Monday, February 17, 2014

Jetsam, ivory and kindness

Jetsam on Thames mud.

 I wake sometimes worrying about the declining population of elephants. The papers are full of the threat to their survival which originates entirely it seems from the burgeoning  demand from China's middle class for items carved from ivory. International law forbids the slaughter of elephants and the sale of their tusks, but rampant greed appears to be winning the battle. Campaigning too even when it is led by the British Royal Family is losing out. We are witnessing a crime against a rich  and magical  inheritance.  Yet I couldn't help noticing in the paper with great sadness an emotional call by Prince William for the destruction of the entire collection of antique ivory in the Royal collection. Old ivory is sensibly excluded from the ban on the sale of tusks. To destroy meticulous and beautifully executed works of art would be another crime.

In the Pembury Hospital coffee shop an ambulance driver noting my problem in getting up from the table where I am siting next to hers, proffers help. "There you are young man," she says.

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