(Subtitle: Harry the henpecked husband)

As Hemingway once said, “In the world of sensation there is no going back.”

Prince Harry has described his circumcised penis, and his bottom being smacked whilst losing his virginity in a public place to a lecherous older woman. What can come next to generate mega for their bottomless pockets (pun intended)?

Well, he could always post pictures of his genitals on the internet? And Meghan could give us a guided tour of her collection of handcrafted bottom smacking paddles. And she could maybe reveal that she never wore knickers on formal state occasions to demonstrate her contempt for stuffy royal protocols like curtseying to The Queen? Although maybe there was a touch of envy because Pippa was reckoned to have the cutest bottom in royal circles – and a panty line would certainly detract from Meghan’s figure hugging $20,000 designer dresses.

Piers Morgan got it right when he said that Harry and Meghan’s reality TV specials were like the Kardashians, but not as classy and dignified.

Harry Windsor, to give him the title he craves, should be aware of a quote from another great writer, Walter Moseley: “In my experience beautiful people rarely give as much as they take – and they almost always come back for more.” Harry condemned Meghan from his own mouth when he warned his staff,

“What Meghan wants, Meghan gets.”

He is just another hopelessly infatuated man who cannot control a demanding wife. He should think on about his late grand-uncle, the Duke of Windsor (King Edward VII) who gave up his throne for the love of an American divorcee. He ended his days as a melancholy ghost hovering on the outer fringes of café society. The parallels are spooky. As Karl Marx said,

“History repeats itself. First time tragedy, second time farce.”

Right now, Harry Windsor is revelling in his bolshie adolescent role of “Black sheep of the family” just taking the piss out of his family, and making his millions. Maybe the Royal household are right to ignore it, get on with the job, and let it burn itself out. But what has happened to the British love of irony and satire (and generally taking the piss)?

We are treating the Harry and Meaghan soap opera act far too seriously.

Quite a few years ago I listened to a wonderful satire on American Forces Radio (very unusual because Americans, usually take themselves far too seriously and don’t take the piss). But this was called the HILL ‘n BILL show, supposedly broadcast from the Santa Monica Lewinsky studios. The set up was President Bill Clinton and Hillary sitting in bed on a Sunday night while she berated him for his poor performance the previous week and set his agenda for the coming week. Hillary’s dialogue was up-to-date and whip smart, in the way that only American sitcom writers can do (think CHEERS and FRASIER), and Bill’s only contribution was (in a down home Hillbilly accent), “Aw shucks Hill, do I have to?” while scarfing down 2 Big Macs and a side of ribs, and slurping a giant Coke.

What could those writers do with a show called MEG ‘n MILLIONS broadcast from the over the top Knightsbridge Arab throne room in their Montecito mansion? Throne Room being UK slang for lavatory.


What happened to the “Real World”

Still grappling with my return to good health and the frightening virtual world I now live in.

Obviously the COVID pandemic dominates everything. Living in NSW Australia, I am baffled by the State and Federal governments declaration of FREEDOM DAY just before Christmas, and their decision that life was back to normal, no need for precautions and just “let it rip’ and go out dancing and drinking.

Result! Overnight infections went from between 1-200 to 20,000, and as a consequence the daily death rate went for 1 or 2 to close to 100. And of course it is not the fault of the politicians. It was “the peoples” fault for not acting responsibly.

It reminds me of Donald Reagan’s comment on professional politicians. “They are like diapers. They are full of shit and need changing regularly.”

Perhaps worse in the longer term is that the unfettered internet has blow away two basic pillars of our democracy: An accused person is entitled to:

  1. A presumption of innocence
  2. Once accused, that the case is “sub judicae’

Now all the crazies on the internet, and most of the “legitimate” media, seem to feel free to conduct a trial by media that destroys all chance of a free trial. Investigative journalism is one thing – advocacy journalism is quite another, and should be banned.

And finally, the internet has become a monster that needs feeding with ever more scandalous gossip, and gives sustenance to people who, in previous times, would have been reviled. Nowhere is that more clear than the Harry and Meghan soap opera. Here is a man who was born into the privileged world of the British Royal Family. Who holds titles, and commissions, bestowed on him by The Queen (and has inherited multiple fortunes from his royal connections) yet seems to feel free to diss and undermine his grandmother, an old woman at the end of a life of faultless service to her people and her country. What a low life.

He should be stripped of his titles, and members of his regiment should present him personally with 4 white feathers (look it up).

For sure, my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” is now a historical novel, based as it is in a world where duty, and honour, and patriotism (but not ultra-nationalism) still counted for something. With the speed of change now full throttle, (and with The Queen almost certainly dead and buried) maybe in another decade it will truly be historical, and will be as popular as novels from the Tudor era.

Or maybe there will be a huge corrections, and people will grow sick of the narcissistic excesses of the internet and PR dominated advocacy journalism – and view my book as something of value.

Vain Hope????????

Ancient History?

To continue from yesterday’s blog, how the World has changed in the 2 years I have been absent on sick leave. And how dramatically it has changed since I published my first blog that promoted my first book THE GULF: “Reaping the Whirlwind.” 9 years ago.

The subscript of my book was “It’s all about oil” – and indeed in those days OPEC (remember them and their dominance) and fluctuating crude oil prices were never out of the headlines. Now environmental issues are centre-stage, and it seems that the long slow murder of the international oil industry has begun with Egon Musk’s success with battery technology, and electric motor cars.

For the moment coal seems to be the main target, but oil will surely follow?

The focus of geopolitics has now shifted from the MidEast to Asia-Pacific. I am fortunate to find myself – once again – at the centre of events. So why am I reluctant to change gear? Because for me the whole basis of my Judaeo, Christian, Islamic civilization was born, dveloped and reined in that region. The Fertile Crescent.

It will be a Tectonic shift for me to focus my efforts on Asia Pacific and its rim.

For the moment my book is still available on AMAZON’s Kindle – or from my publisher FEEDAREAD on their website as a paperback.

If you like reading insights into the making of history – read it.

Back from the Dead

Well almost. After a 2 year hiatus caused by severe complications after routine knee replacement surgery. OMG how the world has changed.

Is my main focus, The Arabian/Persian Gulf, still valid in the (post?) Covid/Global Warming world??????

Only time will tell I guess.

If I have any readers at all, watch this space.

In my prolonged recovery phase I have started with art lesson again, and have become obsessed with the 1900-10 era in Paris where artists like Picasso, Braque and Matisse were forced to paint form the imagination, and not copy nature – because photography had made natural art redundant.

In fact the modern art world was probably initiated by Cezanne “Close your eyes to see” and burst dramatically on the scene by the amazing outpourings of Van Gogh and Gaugin. Hopefully I will not become too academic and will let my art flow freely and spontaneously?

In my short stories, I have tried now to change from my rather pessimistic European outlokk, to the more positive “Spit in your eye and choke you,” attitudes of my adopted country Australia – although I still yearn for the 20 years of blissul and childlike happiness I found living in Mediterranean Spain. Espanya Querida!.

Watch this space

Does Jeff Bezos need my US$100?

Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest man, so why does he need my $100?

My book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” has had about 50 downloads on Jeff’s Amazon KINDLE. That should have earned me between about US$120-150 crossing the threshold of US$100 when I am supposed to receive a cheque. But Jeff splits my account between US downloads, UK downloads, and a few German and Spanish downloads and I haven’t crossed the magic threshold in any single market – so I don’t get a cheque.

Of course my $100 is insignificant in Jeff’s 112 Billion dollar fortune – but he has 2.8 million authors on the US site, and 1.4 million on the UK site. Making the generous assumption that 50% of authors actually earn enough to get cheques, then Jeff is withholding around US$150,000,000 of author’s royalties – and realistically, probably a lot more.

So I am asking you to talk to your friends and get them to download about 10 copies of my book from Kindle site so that I can cross the threshold at least in the US, and get a US$100 cheque.

To be honest US$100 I not really significant to me either, but why should Jeff have it? I promise you if I get the cheque it will go in full to charity. My reward will be knowing that a few more people will read my book which will give them authentic insights into the Mid-East between the 1960s and 2001 – and the events that led to 9/11.

And perhaps somebody should start a movement to clear a lot of other marginal authors from Kindle and send the money to charity, and deplete Jeff’s nice little cash cow.

To help you and others make the decision about my book here is the Foreword to THE GULF; “Reaping the Whirlwind.”

Foreword: Reaping the Whirlwind

Oil is the ultimate prize, equated with world mastery.
Winston Churchill

In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
George Orwell

Dazzled by the imperial splendours of exotic India—the Jewel in the Crown—and distracted by Byzantine political intrigues in Cairo, Damascus and Baghdad, the Arabian/Persian Gulf became a neglected backwater of the British Empire that allowed America to establish a dominant presence in Saudi Arabia and usurp British interests in Iran.

After WW2 America’s thirst for cheap oil developed the region rapidly from a collection of feudal Emirates into independent nation states of international significance ruled by ruthless despots. And when in 1972 they seized control of their crude oil supplies, and imposed a five-fold increase in price, it became a glittering modern arena of Western hedonism in conflict with austere Wahhabi and mystical Sufi Islam.

A world as it is, not as we wish it to be.

Reaping the Whirlwind spans 40 years and is journalistic: a collection of stories highlighting dramatic events featuring strong but damaged characters—expatriates washed up in The Gulf trying to survive in a rapidly changing world.

It is a classic hero’s journey.

The narrator is an idealistic young journalist sent from the UK to The Gulf in the early 60s by his Editor—his mentor. He encounters an atavistic society more corrupt than he had ever imagined. And he finds that the world of the foreign correspondent is more like show business than a serious profession trying to write as honestly as possible the first rough draft of history.

So he begins a lifelong private war.

He meets with Woman as Temptress—but fails to find love—and enters the Belly of the Whale, confronting corruption and hypocrisy no matter what the personal cost. He recalls the suffering and sacrifices of previous generations that built Western civilization—something that has been forgotten by adultlescent Baby Boomers living in their affluent bubble. He returns to the UK armed with a boon that will burst that bubble and change society for the better. But he is too late.

A Merry Christmas to my follower, and thanks for your support

The Sun Also Goeth Down

The biblical phrase “The Sun also rises”, most famously used by Ernest Hemingway as the sub-title to his novel FIESTA, actually says “The suns also rises, and the sun also goeth down and hastens to the place where it arose”. This leads me to wonder if the developed World  weary of the Middle East and its intractable problems, is turning its attention to the Indo-Pacific region where every day in the Gregorian calendar has its beginning?

We see the urgency of dealing with the rise of China as an aggressive superpower, and the economic rise of India, and its problems with Pakistan that in some ways mirrors the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. It is atavistic, religious, tribal, nuclearized and about territory (West Bank/Kashmir)?

The tagline of my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” starts with the sentence “It’s all about oil.” And certainly the rise of the Arabian/Persian Gulf from a sleepy tribal backwater of the British Empire to a region of sovereign states of international significance was driven by the thirst of the West for cheap oil, and the abrupt rise in crude oil prices from $5 to $25 per barrel in the 1970s.

Now, with the wide availability of shale oil and coal seam gas in the short term, and the projected dominance of electric motor cars in the medium term, the significance of secure and cheap crude oil supplies is becoming irrelevant. Will The Gulf once again become a sleepy backwater, not of the British Empire as it once was, but of American Imperialism?

“The sun also goeth down” is certainly true. . . but then the sun will also rise again, and by all that is normal to us, and most of what is manufactured for us, it will rise in The Far East.

If The West had so many problems with its cultural clash with a few million Arabs and Israelis, how are they going to deal with the problems of 1.5 Billion Chinese (and their spear carriers the North Koreans), a billion Indians and Pakistanis, s70 million Indonesian Muslims – not to mention Malays, Thais, Filipinos and assorted Polynesians, Melanesians and Micronesians – and 125 million Japanese?

I hope the US State Department and the UK Foreign Office is up to it (I actually know Dominic Raab the UK Foreign Secretary and he’s a very clever man). And I hope the EU can come up with a coherent foreign policy – some hope.

Except that I love life so much, I am almost glad I’m nearing the end of my life. But what about my grandkids and the World that they will inherit? Maybe they’ll get lucky. Global warming will make this planet uninhabitable, and technology will be so developed that they will be able to rock(et)-off to a better galaxy???

Times and technology are changing so rapidly that the conflicts I dramatized in my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”, that was published just a few years ago, are beginning to look like scenes in a historical novel. At least it they are authentic and not based on reading unreliable historians rewriting history to favour the winners. I did live through those times and witness the events I used as the seeds of my stories. And I certainly did not favour the winners.

I lived and I worked with the ordinary working people (and I never once met an ordinary person) in Iran, Bahrain, Qatar, Dubai and Abu Dhabi – and for 10 years in Saudi Arabia.

You can review and buy my book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” and its fictionalizations of real events in the Middle East in Kindle format at:

Or in paperback edition on my publisher’s website:

Twilight of the Gods

About 10 years ago I read an amazing book, PALESTINIAN TWILIGHT, that was a dramatized documentary about the murder of an American Lutheran pastor who was Professor of Archaeology at Bir Zeit University in Palestine. Ultimately his death was blamed on the Palestinians because he was rumoured to be having affair with his deputy, a beautiful young Palestinian woman.

It was and is an unlikely scenario given the man’s advanced age, and fundamental Christian values, and the Palestinian man convicted of the murder made his confession under torture. Shortly afterwards he was assassinated himself, so he was never interviewed by anybody other than the Israeli authorities. And there was strong evidence to suggest that it was the Israelis who assassinated the professor because his archaeological digs were undermining the Israeli narrative that they had first claim on The Holy Land. And since the Israelis control all archaeological findings the professor’s results were never published.

Whatever! These sorts of brutal shenanigans have become irrelevant. With the Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, supported by the Americans, it seems certain that the Israelis will soon annex the West Bank, with the support of the Americans. If that happens all dreams of Palestinian statehood will be snuffed out.

And Arab support for the Palestinians is falling victim to the theological and geopolitical battle between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran in The Arabian/Persian Gulf. For obvious reasons Saudi Arabia is supporting America’s determination to destabilize Iran. Unfortunately HEZBOLLAH, funded and backed by Iran, was and is the most effective opponent of Israeli expansion. They fought the Israelis to a standstill on their last attempt to invade South Lebanon. If Iran falls then so does Hezbollah, and so do the Palestinians.

It seems that God the Father of Christian Palestinians and their Western supporters has abandoned them, and Allah the God of Muslim Palestinians has too. As the Lutheran pastor himself noted “I always end up on the losing side.” It is like the Norse epic Ragnarök – the Twilight of the Gods.

I used the story line of the Professor’s murder to begin and end my book of short stories, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”. But I changed the characters to an elderly and childless English couple who ran a Church of England orphanage in Ramallah. The feeble and diabetic man was murdered either because of his close relationship with his young female Palestinian assistant, or because the orphanage was seen by the Israelis as a breeding ground for a generation of confident and independent and well educated Palestinian youths. This was symbolic to me of the ruthless way the Israelis’ have taken control of every aspect of Palestinian life.

All the other stories in my book are also dramatized documentaries. They are based on events I myself witnessed, or were reported to me by reliable sources during my 40 years working in and around The Arabian/Persian Gulf.

You can review and buy my book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” and its fictionalizations of real events in the Middle East in Kindle format at:

Or in paperback edition on my publisher’s website:

Did Netanyahu annex The West Bank?

Apart from the token outrage of Western media and politicians, Netanyahu’s vote-grabbing announcement that he would annexe the West Bank if elected passed calmly. As far as Palestinians are concerned their promised state is already annexed and under the control of the Israeli police and military. The building of illegal Israeli settlements on the West Bank continues apace connected by settlers-only roads forbidden to Palestinians. Apart from the Gaza strip, Palestine has ceased to exist, and the two-state solution is dead in the water.

And a potentially bigger conflict is looming as Israeli turns its attention to the gas and oil potential of the Eastern Mediterranean. With its complex of nation states claiming sovereign mineral rights – Egypt, Israel (Gaza Palestine?), Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Cyprus (Greek and Turkish) – it’s a nightmare.

I have a wide experience of oil revenue allocations, and it is a bitter struggle about the huge revenue potentials, especially for smaller and less powerful players. With the overwhelming support of Trump’s America, Israel will be a the most powerful player indeed.

Much as I am anti-Zionist, I have to admire the determination of Israel to exploit and manipulate every opportunity to their advantage. Would that all of us had this ruthless determination.

Supposedly in conflict with the Arabian Gulf States they have cooperated with the UAE in the establishment of the diamond trade in Dubai – and Hassidic diamond dealers enter the UAE quite freely. And now, with the growing regional power struggle between Shia Iran and Sunna Saudi Arabia, the Israelis are offering their cooperation, and finance to The Gulf States, to build a rail link from The Arabian Gulf to The Mediterranean. Shades of the Ottoman Empire and Lawrence of Arabia?

And, along the way of course, defeating Iran will blunt the very successful Iranian backed Hezbollah’s fight against Israel in Lebanon.

Maybe the young graduates I mentored in Saudi Arabia were right. The Zionists do not only covet Palestine, they want the whole of the Middle East: the vast oil wealth and all the Holy places of Christendom and Islam.

When I was working in The Arabian Gulf, some 10 years ago, the Israel/Palestine conflict was front and centre. Now, distracted by the rise of China to potential world dominance, and an existential fatigue with endless Mid-East conflict (Gulf Wars, Afghanistan, the Arab Spring, Syria, ISIS/Daesh etc.), Palestine will just fade off the map. Mission accomplished. Ethnic cleansing swept under the carpet.

How ironic: the magic carpet hovering over the Middle East is the carpet of Zion, and not of Islam.

My book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” will take you back to when the developed world seemed concerned about the fate of the Palestinians. Of Eisenhower’s mistrust of the Israelis, and the Oslo Peace Accords, and the Road Map to peace – all of which have been ignored and trampled on by the Israelis. My book is written from the point of view of expatriate oil workers like me; the flotsam and jetsam that washed up in The Arabian/Persian Gulf – victims of the West’s ruthless and heartless financial system. The same system that has given their unwavering support to the Zionists, and who were the architects of the GFC, the Global Financial Crash of 2008.

You can review and buy my book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” and its fictionalizations of real events in the Middle East at:

Or on my publisher’s website:

Whatever happened to The Global Village

A few years ago it was the orthodoxy – the body of ideas that all right thinking people should adopt without question – to talk about the world as one big global village. Globalization a.k.a. Americanization would bring peace and prosperity, and universal Happyness.

Then came 9/11 – and then the GFC of 2008.

Nobody talks much about the Global Village any more, and DAVOS – the Olympus of the Gods of Globalization – was poorly attended this year.

When you reach your 80s, with a mind reasonably intact, then Karl Marx’s “History repeats itself, first time tragedy second time farce,” or the more elegant French saying, “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose,” resonate ever more strongly.

Do people remember these financial scandals of recent times?

– Investors Overseas Services
– Slater Walker
– Icelandic Banks
– Societe General
– Barings Bank
– Northern Rock
– Lehman Brothers
– Bernie Madof
– Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac

And all the other nefarious dealings – and at times sheer incompetence – of the financial community? The unacceptable face of capitalism.

Or further back in time:

– The Great Depression of the 1930s

And even further back:

– The South Sea Bubble of 1720
– The Dutch Tulip Mania Bubble of 1636

And yet we continue to try and build a global society based on get-rich-quick speculative bubbles (a.k.a. financial derivatives and hedge funds) so that the filthy rich can get even filthier. There is currently about 8 times more out in paper than actual assets exist in the world. And if I have sparked your interest read Loretta Napoleoni’s excellent book ROGUE ECONOMICS for a more detailed and informed analysis.

Last year the wealth of the top 1% in the world increased by 18%, and the wealth of the bottom 50% decreased by 10%. I guess you could call that balance? Does anybody wonder why Trump, and BREXIT – and even ISIS (DAESH). These represent the backlash to the ruthless greed of the people who contribute nothing, merely seeking to make money from money, and ruin the lives of normal people. And of course they will fight endlessly to maintain their supremacy. Hence the howls of rage against Trump and Brexit.

My book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” concerns the flotsam and jetsam that washes up in The Arabian/Persian Gulf. Expatriate American and British workers who are victims of the West’s ruthless and heartless financial system. And my work in progress, GULF II “The Beginning of Sorrows” concerns one man ruined and brought to the end of his tether by the GFC, the Global Financial Crash of 2008.

You can review and buy my book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” and its fictionalizations of real events in the Middle East at:

Or on my publisher’s website:

Jerusalem, Jerusalem

Australia’s bizarre decision to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and reserve East Jerusalem for the Palestinians, pleased no one, and succeeded in antagonising everyone.

The Israelis claim the whole of Jerusalem as their own, and of course the Palestinians oppose this. And thinking of William Blake’s anthem JERUSALEM, that holy city resonates just as strongly in the Christian ethos. Think The Crusades and Richard Coeur de Lion.

Who would have thought that a remote desert oasis, whose reason for existence was a freshwater spring that never dried up, would become the focus for so much intellectual debate about the meaning of life and death – and brutal physical strife and the hatred of religious intolerance.

The background to my current work in progress, THE GULF “The Beginning of Sorrows” concerns itself with the long history of the Middle East, the Fertile Crescent, the cradle of our civilization, the Sumerians invention of writing and establishment of written law. And later the Silk Roads that brought exotic goods and ideas from the Far East. My current book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” is set on Bahrain as it transformed from a sleepy backwater of the British Empire into an independent nation state that acts as an interface between The West, and insular Saudi Arabia.

You can review and buy my book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” and its fictionalizations of real events in the Middle East at:

Or on my publisher’s website: