An occurance that has been unusual of late; with Lufthansa providing their usual array of free newspapers, I got my hands on a hard copy of the ‘Financial Times’ for the first time in a long time on the flight from Munich to Birmingham and there, on pages two and three, were two interesting stories to compare and contrast. On page two we had Ayatollah Khamenei upseting the British government by apparently singling out the UK as the most “treacherous of Iran’s enemies” and “the most evil” of foreign powers,(1) and on page three we had an article, which focused on the ongoing row over the Elgin marbles.(2) The marbles constitute that half of the 5th century BC frieze that was removed from the Parthenon temple by Lord Elgin in the 19th century. Greece believes that the two halves shoujld be reunited in the new Acropolis museum, whose opening is being celebrated tonight. Indeed, the Greek government is even offering world-class sculptures, which the British Museum officials can choose, from Greek museums to fill the space that would be left in the Duveen gallery in London, should the marbles be returned. The British, however, are having none of it and the marbles are staying put.
Now, the British are a bit indignant with Khamenei but they shouldn’t be surprised; after all the Ayatollah is not their friend. However, Greece is Britain’s friend and the British to put it bluntly stole the marbles from the Parthenon. Now, I am sure that the Brits are actually deluded enough to think that the world loves them. However, MI5 should be telling the Mandarins in Whitehall the truth and really the evidence would seem to suggest that Britain, “the most evil of foreign powers” should be making at least an effort to keep her friends.
1 ‘Financial Times’ June 20, 2009, p2
2 ibid p3