Never Been A Monarchist And I Can’t Understand The Fuss At All !
Being a Brit who has now been residing here in the US for the past eighteen years I’ve long thought that I’d escaped the “bloviated idiocy” of the “Royal Family”. Well I’d done my piece for Queen and country having served in the Royal Marines for almost 8 years. Along the way, I’d lost comrades in action , having served in Northern Ireland during the troubles there in the country. At long last, there now seems to be a lasting peace between Eire ___ (Ireland ) and the rest of the UK (United Kingdom) including Northern Ireland . The atrocities carried out by extreme loyalists dedicated to the cause of a united Ireland has taken thousands of lives down the years. Both the IRA and Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) and the murderous paramilitary of offshoot of the IRA that was a larcenous and incorrigible as one could imagine who went by the name of the “Real IRA” . The latter ‘whose work made that of Al Qaeda seem like a walk in the park when it came to bombing atrocities and murder. No victim was overlooked and that included innocent men , women and children during their reign of terror.
Now it’d be remiss to suggest that the British were without fault during the ongoing troubles and granted along the way the Royal Ulster Constabulary as well as the British Army made their mistakes. But much of that could be put down to frustration and the very fact that whilst on patrol one could never be sure what was awaiting for you around the corner,no matter what your training had taught you. And now with what seems to have been a lasting peace the only disatisfaction that now exists is that of these uncertain economic times that has ravaged economies around the world . Ireland and the rest of Western Europe hasn’t been an exception in this case.
Slide-show for your perusal .
Queen Elizabeth II recently addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations headquartered in New York City , her first such address of the main body of the UN in over fifty years. She applauded them on the efforts that they’ve undertaken in dealing with the crisis’s that have taken place around the globe but she also took the time to warn them of the ongoing efforts necessary that it would take to promote peace and foment good relationships between developing countries and those of the developed nations of the West. That being said much of her speech to the General Assembly was rather understated and circumspect .
Courtesy of The San Francisco Chronicle
By Colum Lynch , Washington Post
Queen Elizabeth II, making her first speech to the U.N. General Assembly in 53 years, praised the foreign dignitaries for converting the United Nations from a “high-minded aspiration” in 1945 into “a real force for common good.” But she prodded its membership to make progress in the fight against poverty and to take “careful account” of the “risks facing smaller, more vulnerable nations” from global warming.
Her address to the 192-nation assembly represented something of a valedictory speech for one of the world’s longest-serving heads of state, an 84-year-old monarch whose life has paralleled the history of the United Nations.
Dressed in a summer bonnet and floral dress, the queen reminisced over the dramatic changes since her last visit to the United Nations, which has more than doubled in membership. She noted that it has grown from an organization with just three overseas operations to the world’s second-largest expeditionary force, with more than 120,000 people deployed in 26 missions.
“It has perhaps always been the case that the waging of peace is the hardest form of leadership of all,” she said. “I know of no single formula for success, but over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.”
The queen’s trip was a brief, somber affair. During her five-hour visit, she paid tribute to the victims of the Sept., 11, 2001, terrorism attacks by laying a wreath at ground zero, the site of the World Trade Center, and attending a memorial for the 67 British victims of the attack at the British Memorial Garden at Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan.
“We are honored by your presence, your majesty,” Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in his introduction at the United Nations. “In a changing and churning world, you are an anchor for our age. Your reign spans the decades, from the challenges of the Cold War to the threat of global warming, from the Beatles to Beckham.”
Tonight another monarch, by moniker only, will make an address, ne’ public announcement as to his professional future within the NBA . LeBron James a…….“King” in his own mind will let the whole world know what they’ve been admittedly waiting to here since his team the Cleveland Cavaliers were unceremoniously dumped out of the NBA postseason by the Boston Celtics . Since then a concerted effort has been made by the Cavaliers front office led by owner Dan Gilbert and GM Chris Grant to persuade the player to remain with the team. The residents of the city of Cleveland have also let their voices be heard. And many of them have become passionate in their resolve, in trying to persuade the native Ohioan to stay in his home state with the only team he’s played for professionally. Though the announcement is not the scale of the Queen’s speech to the UN General Assembly it would appear that the sports world and in particular that of the NBA and cable sports outlet ESPN believe it to warrant a primetime airing on their channel . Not to be outdone the NBA via NBA Tv will also look to broadcast live James’ announcement. Making a comparison between the two speeches seems somewhat mute given the nature of the subject matter. On the one hand you have an actual dignitary and head of state addressing an international political body and on the other you have someone who’s anointed himself “The King” but he has no kingdom to rule over . Well the subjects within his domain might just be the all too loyal fans of the Cavaliers and one would believe the vast majority of the state of Ohio ? But given the possibility that he could choose to depart from the Cleveland his loyal subjects could call for his head or he could choose to abdicate his throne and simply be known plainly as LeBron James !
The angst of simply being known as the King without a kingdom has begun to sting the player and even though having added pieces of league silverware in the form of successive league MVP awards . It simply cannot hide the fact that the one thing that he still desires but remains out of reach for LeBron James is that of an NBA title and title ring. And having seen one of his peers in Kobe Bryant having just won his fifth NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers and second successive Finals MVP award it has no doubt brought about a certain amount of jealousy on the part of James. He’s widely acknowledged as the best player in the league but somehow the shadow of Bryant looms large over the career of LeBron James thus far. And while the pain and the angst of that has yet to subside Lebron James can’t be too happy to now find out that Chris Bosh is about to join Dywane Wade in Miami and strengthen the roster of the Miami Heat. Now the Eastern Conference becomes a pick ’em in terms of a preseason favorite for the upcoming season. And for Heat President Pat Riley the fun might not be over as of yet, as he also yearns the service of LeBron James . As to whether or not Riley can make this a coup de grace by landing James in addition to Bosh remains to be seen. And were he to achieve that this might be the pinnacle of what has been an already successful career as both coach and executive within the NBA.
As the rest of the NBA awaits, so too does the sporting world as this might the most sought after announcement in all of sports in a decade. If LeBron remains in Cleveland then the fans and the organization will be pleased . He chooses to leave and he might just become the most despised individual since Art Modell left the city under the cloud of darkness and in the still of the night. A king without a crown is one thing but a king without a crown and a kingdom well that’s something else ! LeBron has anointed himself the King and in obedience his loyal subjects have fawned over him. Unfortunately, if he continues to fail to deliver then he could meet the same fate as King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette. Too early to say if that fate awaits James but for now let’s simply cut the crap de-moniker him with the King tag and simply call him LeBron James as I doubt that his mother refers to him as the King or King James ! What’s your thought on the matter ? And has this whole episode been almost as insidious as the Brett Favre will he or won’t he saga ? Just chime on in with a comment as to how you’ve felt about the whole NBA free agency saga ?
NB: ESPN will devote much of its primetime broadcast to James’ announcement which is set to take place tonight at 9:00 pm EST .
Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………………………..
UB40 …………………………… “King”