Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be . . . or is it?

The 1950s, when I was growing up in the UK, seems to me to be a lot better and more peaceful era than the present. Or is it that I was young, and naive, with the whole of my life ahead of me? I think not.

A quick look at the crime statistics tells the story. In 1982 there were just over 400,000 crimes reported in the UK, and the clear up rate was over 50%. Last year there were 2.4 Million (repeat Million) crimes reported in the UK – and the clear up rate was lower than 30%. And the statistics for mental health – and drug abuse – tell the same story.

In the aftermath of WWII everybody was sick of war – and worked for a better life. And young couples could buy a modern home on one of the many new housing estates being built for a 10% deposit and a 25 year mortgage at 2.5% per annum of the husband’s income.

So the “progressives” (neo-liberals, libertarians, strident feminists and anarchists etc.) who are screaming that Brexit and Trump are reactionaries are wrong. Much as I dislike Trump, and Nigel Farage, what they are exploiting is a desire by the majority (repeat majority) of the people to return to a better and more peaceful age. The progressive belief in the relentless upward march of history is fake. Karl Marx was right, “History repeats itself, first time tragedy – second time farce.”

The progressives were leading us into a narcissistic, dissolute and decadent era that would cause the collapse of Western civilization – as decadence has always lead to the collapse of civilizations.

In parallel with the decline of The West is the Middle East ‘s descent into chaos. In the past it was by no means as safe and secure as The West – but after WWI, for a while, there was a semblance of order under paternalistic international oil companies. Oil towns like Kirkuk, Abadan and Dhahran had good schools and hospitals open to the families of local employees.

And after WWII, for a while it started to make good progress towards a more universal affluence. But that disappeared under the greed and corruption of The Shah, and Saddam, and the Assads. And the creation of the State of Israel.

If you want insights into the present chaos and confusion in the Middle East, from Sykes-Picot and the Balfour Declaration to Britain’s neglect of its mandates in The Gulf, and the 5 fold increase in crude oil prices that funded the rise of fundamental Islam leading to the events of 9/11, read my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”.

Although it is a work of fiction, it is journalistic because the stories start from real events I witnessed – or were reported to me by reliable sources during my 40 years in The Gulf.

It is written from the points of view of those sources, archetypal expatriates who washed up in the the Arabian/Persian Gulf. They were victims of power-mad politicians’ proxy wars,(The Buraimi Oasis, the Dhofar Campaign, the Viet Nam War), greedy finance house excesses (IOS, BCCI, Lonrho, Lloyds of London etc.) – and in some cases just victims of Madame Bovary style Western wives, and out-of-control, drug-crazed teenage children.

You can preview my book on AMAZON’s Kindle Websites:

www.amazon.com

www.amazon.co.uk

and read the comprehensive 5 Star reviews it has received, and download it if you have a Kindle.

If you prefer a real book in your hands, you can preview my book, and order the paperback from my publisher:

www.feedaread.com

Advertisements

Final Solutions

How do you escape the Palestinian/Israeli conflict?

The stories in my book — THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” — deal with expatriate lives in the Arabian/Persian Gulf in the 40 years following the oil price hike of 1972 when the region developed rapidly from a sleepy and neglected backwater of the British Empire into a world of  glitzy Americanized excess. Yet the last chapter THE BEGINNING is set in Israel. Why? Because anywhere and everywhere you go in the Near/Mid East — quite apart from the thousands of Palestinian refugees you will meet working in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Dubai and the UAE — you will be asked countless times what you think of the Jahud – the Jews.

And then you will be told that they will never be satisfied. Greater Israel is not just the West Bank, they want Jordan and across ancient Assyria to the Ur of Chaldea, in fact the whole of the Fertile Crescent – and even the holy sites of Islam – Mecca and Medinah. The other side of this coin is that Hamas will never be satisfied until Israel is driven into the sea and ceases to exist.

In this atmosphere of mistrust is any solution possible: it is The Balkans raised by a factor of 1000 or more. And just like The Balkans it is innocent children who pay the highest price. This bitter conflict between Semitic tribes randomly kills civilians by the thousands, leaving behind just as many orphans whose blighted future depends on the goodwill and hard work of charities trying to survive in the face of Israeli aggression.

In my book you can read one small story of Layla, a Palestinian Middle East Airlines cabin attendant who converted to Christianity and opened an orphanage outside Ramallah. And you can see that WWI, the war to end all wars, and WWII, the just war against Fascism that among other things liberated European Jews only led to even more pain and suffering.

You can preview my book at:

www.amazon.com/author/mikerichards

and download it if you have a Kindle. Or you can buy it as a paperback from:

www.thebookdepository.co.uk

who offer free delivery worldwide.