Thursday 17 July 2008


Heaven knows geopolitics is hardly my subject, but there's something I've become dimly aware of lately which I rather like the sound of. It seems everyone is talking about leagues. McCain has some kind of plan for a league of democratic nations (to do the kind of jobs we can't rely on the UN for). Sarkozy seems to have founded something called a Mediterranean League, intending to embrace not only Mediterranean Europe but, ambitiously, the Levant too. The Baltic nations virtually form a league already (shades of the Hanseatic League?), and it seems to me there's a good case for an Atlantic League, embracing the whole Atlantic seaboard, down as far as the Iberian Atlantic on this side of the pond. History, prehistory and culture all seem to point to this kind of maritime affinity.
It's a pleasingly old-fashioned idea (and word), but I wonder if the forming of leagues might be a way out of the evident limitations of the nation state and UN-style international organisations.
Silly animal story follows. Probably.


  1. ...and did you know that in the 31-nation European anti-superbug league, Britain lies close to the bottom, with an infection-control performance worse than anyone but Malta, Greece, Portugal and Romania?!

  2. No but I'm not at all surprised Selena. I believe we're way way down (i.e. up) in the maternal and neonatal mortality league too.

  3. This post reminded me of this story about Nicholas Horthy that appeared in Time magazine in 1937. As a reporter, Nige, you might also appreciate this outstanding example of the prose style that provoked Wolcott Gibbs's comment: "Backwards ran sentences until reeled the mind."

  4. Reminds me of the rather charmingly named International League Against Epilepsy which always evokes images of an old-fashioned spy agency rather than a serious modern medical organization.

  5. Thanks for that Randy - whatever became of him? Nothing good I fancy...
    And ExtraP, you're right!