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Editorial February 20.02. 2002

GARBAGEGATE? You heard it first here on Hackwriters August 2001.

As the prime Minister Tony Blair continues to deny he did anything wrong in the Mittal Steel affair, we would like to remind you that in August last year our own spy Pascoe Penryn was not just on the case but handled the actual faxes to Romania and Ireland as this extract will prove:

'I was pretty naive about the power of these multi-nationals until I actually worked for one.
On Monday I had a fax from the Government office in Dublin in one hand and a fax from Tony Blair in the other (I'm not revealing anything secret here as the information can be obtained from the company website). The company has made generous donations to the Labour Party coffers, so Blair sent a fax to both the Romanian Prime Minister and Romanian Secretary for Privatisation as the company wished to buy a Steel works in Romania. The fax basically stated that if the Romanians sold to Labour donors then Blair would support Romania's entry into the EU (Never mind Romania having the worst economy of the 12 new applicants).

The fax from the Irish government was condemning the company closing it's Irish steel making site, costing thousands of jobs. Guess where the jobs went? That's right, good old dirt cheap Romania. Guess why the Irish people voted against the Nice Treaty for EU enlargement?
Politicians sell out cheap. Nothing new, it's just that I hadn't seen it first hand like that before'.

Read the whole article here

The Curses, the divorces, the broken promises - Valentine's Janus face.

Sometimes, for no particular reason one can actually fathom, coincidences occur. We look for explanations for these events and when we can't find them we attribute them to bad luck or fate or perhaps a curse or two. Right now my eldest sister is pretty upset because her third child is has just separated from his wife. It was sudden and unexpected by her, though not by myself. This follows a recent divorce by her first daughter and separation by her second son last year. Three out of three in just one family. Statistically of course since they are the product of a divorced family it follows that they too will divorce, doesn't it?

Now there is already a silver lining as the the first daughter has found someone to love who seems to love her. All's well that begins well or something like. But just as one is adjusting to this family drama, along comes Tabytha Towe with her Vancouver diary and although her article appears to celebrating eight months of a perfect relationship, it is in fact a swansong and she is just facing up to the fact that it's all over bar the division of CDs. So far thats four of my own direct family undergoing emotional trauma. Who next I ask? then realise that everyone single one of us is already divorced or about to be seperated, so we are living statisitical proof that happy relationships are utterly impossible.

I have just returned from France, Port Grimeau in fact, just outside St Tropez. And yes it was delightful, warm, the mimosas were out in bloom and it was a tough decision to return to the UK. Nevertheless the neighbour who lives under the flat I borrowed was definitely labouring under the impression that he was living under a curse. A curse? How many people do you ever meet outside the movies who believe that?

Well G. to be nameless, believes that from the moment he decided to get divorced his wife put him under a curse. He lost his beautiful home in Paris, his great job with the UN, broke both his legs and just recently his shoulder and elbow. There is nowhere he can go without breaking something and he is definitely under the impression that his wife won't be happy until he is dead. If I tell you that G. spent most of his professional life in Africa you will immediately understand that the concepts of curses are much more credible there. (And effective). His wife will understand this too.

The thing is, another friend, also nameless, is about to go through a divorce and she too has recently broken a leg, an arm and elbow and faces losing her home. She of course knows her curse, the marriage she was in. She fortunately doesn't believe in curses, but nevertheless....

Reviewing these events with Carine - our publisher, we reflected on the fact that between us, we could only think of two couples that were truly happy, truly in love and we would be surprised if they ever parted. Yet on Valentines Day the newspapers are full of declarations of devotion and promise of love 'forever'. No one, as far as I know, places an ad or sends a card promising you shall be cursed every living day henceforth. (Except in Haiti).

Love is hard thing to keep and needs constant attention. If you have a relationship right now, think about what you can do to keep it going, make it last and inventive. It really is better to have a partner you can share your life with and go places with. It really is better to know that someone will care your you when you are sick or blue and it is even better to help someone you care for make their lives more worthwhile.
If you have someone, hang on, be patient, learn to be more flexible. The alternative is misery, recriminations, curses, broken limbs, forced selling of homes and cars and the sharp gloating smile of the lawyers that feed off your hatred. The real curse is the lawyers shingle, it's menacing squeak as it swings in the wind awaiting the next victim.

By all means look for someone to love, but take it slow and look for compatibility rather than your basic bonking material. Me? I'm off to see MONSTERS.Look them square in the eye - you can keep your curses.

More on Valentine misery

More on Virtual love

Travel to Senegal with Monique, meet up with Herr Hegel with Ray, salute Elton Brand find out the truth about Enron with James Campion, share a lovelife with Tabytha, find out which Chinese year you are with Sara, experience violence in the Congo, travel to Thailand, Macau, India, Dublin, Laos, and read a whole host of new fiction and First Chapters. It's a very good month with excellent new writing from all over the globe.
All on Hackwriters. We thank all our contributors and look forward to more from them and perhaps you?

© Sam North 2002

If you want to join me for screenwriting development classes I'll be at the
Salignac Foundation in France in March and May. It will be fun and there are two types of programmes, beginners and professionals. Be good to see you there.

A Salignac Diary

Read CARELESS LIVES - a novel in progress

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