Mummy, Can I Be An Adult When I Grow Up?

Remember, as a small child, how one looked up to adults? They appeared so mature, completely sure of themselves, involved in matters way too important and mystical for a mere child to comprehend.

One day the child will be like them: no longer an infant, but a different person with a whole new set of views and ideals; in charge of their own lives, in control of their destiny.

Perusing the BBC website this morning revealed new tensions between North and South Korea.[1] The North has been firing artillery shells into the sea, from naval vessels close to a disputed border. The South, in retaliation, has been firing its artillery shells into the sea.

For the past few weeks in Sri Lanka, a country that recently ended a thirty year civil war against the Tamil Tigers, two men have been hurling insults at each other. One is the nation’s president, the other a high ranking army officer supposedly responsible for defeating the Tamils.[2]

Both men wanted to control the country by winning power in the recent presidential election. The army officer lost. Today, he is holed up in a hotel, which the victor has surrounded with armed troops.

Meanwhile, in London, a group of men and women are taking turns to squirm and wriggle on a chair in a committee room, as they attempt to justify going to war with Iraq, alongside the Americans in 2003. They are senior politicians and civil servants who never expected to be caught out with their pants down in such a manner, and are doing their very best to pretend they’re really wearing clean underwear.[3]

Today, it’s the turn of Lord Goldsmith – better known to his Mum and Dad as Peter Henry. Back in 2003, he really couldn’t make up his mind if going to war against a non-aggressive country was legal or not. First, he decided it wasn’t. Then, a week or so later, he thought it just might be.

Peter Henry was the absolutely top legal adviser to the government at the time, the Attorney General, whose very grand-sounding title meant he knew more than anyone else about what was right, and what was wrong.

Sadly for Peter, he still had difficulty making up his mind, and when he eventually did, it was probably because he was a bit confused that he likely got it wrong.

If Peter Henry has problems convincing the Iraq Inquiry Committee of his innocence, he can always rely on his then boss, the once Right Honorable Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, to bale him out.

Tony Blair gives his evidence this Friday. Being an ardent and vociferous Christian, as well as the ex-prime minister of Britain, he will truthfully tell the Inquiry why he took a leading role in the slaughter of around a million or so innocent Iraqi citizens, created five million orphans, razed their nation to the ground, and condemned Iraq to decades of violence, bloodshed, and misery.

Anthony Charles Lynton Blair can be relied on to appear convincing.

Meanwhile, in the great United States of America, President Barack Obama is preparing to address his citizens tonight. He will tell them why he’s chosen not to close the US Holiday Camp for Deprived Muslims at Guantanamo Bay on the tourist island of Cuba; why he was wrong to think Americans might need a National Health Service that provided care for impoverished citizens, when in reality it was the US health industry that required lots of governmental love and financial assistance, and how he was actually downsizing the numbers of troops in Afghanistan by sending an extra thirty thousand to fight out there.

Small children hold adults in awe. They regard them almost as demi-gods. They want to grow up and be just like the heroes and heroines they meet each day, both in real life and on the television.

It comes as something of a shock when they finally realize that adults never grow up at all.

[1] “North and South Korea exchange fire near sea border” BBC January 27th 2010

[2] “Fonseka rejects Sri Lanka election win for Rajapaksa” BBC January 27th 2010

[3] “Goldsmith admits to changing view over Iraq advice”

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