Thursday, 27 February 2014
What's done is done.
Munching my way through a slice of toast and marmalade with a background noise of the Today Program on the radio. It was Bishop Tom Butler's turn to speak on Thought For The Day and I wasn't paying much attention. I heard mention of the 1190 massacre of the Jews in the city of York. The Bishop then went on to talk about a proposal by the Spanish government to make amends for the expulsion of the Sephardic Jews some five hundred years ago. Apparently decendents of these Jewish victims of the inquisition may be offered Spanish citizenship. Having practised on the Jews the devoutly Catholic Isabella and Ferdinand proceeded to get rid of the larger Muslim population. Would the decendents of expelled Muslims also be entitled to a Spanish passport? Like much else in life there would of course be an EU dimension to all of this. I spread marmalade on another slice and poured coffee. I always have misgivings about historical hand wringing. Apologising for past injustices that happened generations ago always seems a bit pointless somehow. I mean how far back do you go? Roman Empire? Norman Conquest? Far better surely to try and do the right thing now. Anyway, as I say, I was only half listening. Suddenly the Bishop had my full attention. Did I hear him mention Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean? That some Sephardic Jews took revenge on the Spanish crown by looting the Spanish Main and sailing under both the skull and crossbones and the Star of David? Was the Bish having a bit of an ecclesiastical wind up? I know that Tom Butler is fond of a drink but surely he wasn't pissed at quarter to eight in the morning? Not a bit of it. It's all true. There is even a book. Bound to be at least one website devoted to Jewish Pirates. A whole new field of anoraky enquiry opens up. If only Harriet Harman had nailed the NCCL colours to the mast of the Jewish Pirate Appreciation Society rather than to that of the Paedophile Information Exchange how much easier would her life be today. But like I say, what's done is done.