Tag Archives: Mediterranean

A Tour Around the Internet

February has a habit of catching me out. Spring starts to drop hints, the birds begin to act amorously and then it snows. Even in years that are generally free of snow February often manages to squeeze out a few flakes. As I’ve said before, it probably wouldn’t be considered snow in many countries that get proper snow, but in the UK a couple of inches for a couple of days brings us to a halt.

It’s a bit like those summer heatwaves we have – we don’t get one every year and they only last a couple of days. We all complain and need a lie down in temperatures that would be considered mild in Australia.

As a result, we have few snowploughs and no domestic air conditioning.

However, that doesn’t stop me complaining that it’s unseasonably nippy this morning. Nor does it stop me becoming a stereotype, British and talking about the weather. Whatever next? I’ll be on to Europe, immigration and capital punishment next.

Talking of which, I’ve just been looking at Albania on Wikipedia. I find that it is a member of two organisations I had not previously heard of – the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and Union for the Mediterranean. I didn’t even realise it was on the Black Sea. And when I check it up, it isn’t. Quite a few of the members aren’t on the Black Sea, and when you check the “Observer Members” the link becomes even more tenuous – they include Egypt and Israel (which must make for some fun meetings), France, Poland, Tunisia and the United States.

It’s much the same with the Union for the Mediterranean, but the entire EU is in that one – even Ireland, which it’s notably lacking in olive groves and sparkling blue seas. It seems, from reading the Wiki entry, that this is not a particularly effective organisation. One meeting ground to a halt when nobody could agree whether to refer to certain territories as  “occupied” or “under occupation”.  Such is life as an international diplomat.

It’s a good thing I don’t blog about politics or I might be tempted into sarcasm.

There is, it seems, tension between the EU and some of the less progressive states over Human Rights. This led me to checking which countries still executed homosexuals, and then to checking where the UK stood on this.   We last executed men for homosexual activity in 1835. Times and sensibilities were different then, but it was a surprise to find it was so recent.

So there you are, a discussion on the weather followed by world politics and capital punishment for something which isn’t actually a crime in the UK. Only on the internet…