Walking around that part of the city today that would have constituted ancient Rome and I could not help but get a slight impression of what this city once was and you begin to almost feel the greatness of a place where, shortly before the birth of Christ, over four million citizens lived and that is not including the slave population. This would suggest that a big chunk of the ancient city is still covered by newer buildings. Anyway, it is a nice little experience traipsing around and you start to let your imagination run riot; wee glass of wine in one of the local taverns and then down to the Colloseum for the match of the day, catch up with one of the debates on the forum romanium before going home and did the politicians then waffle quite the way that they do today?
Got back to the hotel and picked up on a BBC World documentary on Afghanistan and there was David Millibrand talking out of a hole that wasn’t his mouth. Babbling on about the “war on terror” and how it won’t be won for some time and how more British soldiers will have be sent to the Hindikush to fight this war and how, despite the difficulties, Afghani hearts and minds are being won and there are some very real successes and it is important to develop the country to reinforce this and blah, blah, blah. What a lot of bollocks; terrorists don’t generally come from Afghanistan, the war in Afghanistan cannot be won, British soldiers are being killed there and will continue being killed there for nothing. Moreover, they are not liked and one of the reasons that they, like the man with the shawl’s government, are disliked is the very fact that only some 3% of the aid flowing into the country is being spent on the Afghani people. Do you think the Romans spouted out drivel like this? Well, the picture above is of the Colloseaum and I suppose even back then, it was a case of giving the plebs their bread and circuses and they would have listented to anything.