Vo Nguyen Giap, 1911-2013

The death has been announced in Hanoi of Vo Nguyen Giap, the self-taught general who drove the French out of Vietnam. His generalship at the pivotal battle of Dien Bien Phu, freeing the North from colonial rule and then later forcing the Americans to abandon their support for the various regimes in South Vietnam, was largely responsible for the eventual re-unification of the country under a communist government in Hanoi. Giap is probably not as well known as the events in …

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St George’s Day and English tolerance

Walking around London today, on St Georges, there is little of the festivity or hype that can be found in Ireland around St Patrick’s Day. If you read the Poujadist tabloids, this can be explained by the betrayal of the Bruschetta-munching, namby-pamby, political-correctness-gone-mad, herd-of-independent-minds lupenintelligencia that read the Guardian. And the BMNPPCGMH0IMltrtG crowd will reply that the Flag of St George has been appropriated by the BNP or Empire Loyalists of varying descriptions. A few days ago, I posted a …

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