Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain is a classic of Western literature. Starting just before World War I, it follows a middle class bourgeois, Hans Castrop, to a tuberculosis sanitarium on the top of a mountain (hence the title). His intended 3-week visit to his cousin turns into a seven-year internal odyssey among the sick.

We sit at the precipice of a civil war in Great Britain – fuelled by religion, tradition and culture clashes between the majority and minorities within. Not the clash of Catholicism and Protestantism that we have seen before, in the form of England versus Ireland, but in the form of Islam versus all other faith-groups; in the form of southern and south-eastern Europeans clashing with each other in the underworld of Britain. These are conflicts that our fair isle harbours within her modern multicultural society.

A community in Bavaria, Germany, was surprised recently to find deliveries being made of basic beds to an apartment in a small block: twelve beds, arranged as in dormitories, in a two-bedroomed flat with one lavatory. It was to house twelve African so-called 'asylum-seekers'.

The similarity between Muslims on one hand and feminist and homosexual activists on the other may superficially seem shocking, but in fact it is normal, indeed predictable.

I was lately comparing the communism we used to have in Eastern Europe, until the late eighties, with what Western Europe has been experiencing for the last two or even three decades, when socialism, the early form of communism, became more visible and obvious over there, even for those who weren't paying attention.

"In political jargon, useful idiot is a pejorative term for people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause. The term has been used to refer to Soviet sympathizers in Western countries." – Wikipedia