We Brits (How I hate that term!) pride ourselves on our tolerance and the free speech that is permitted in our country. But tolerance has its limits, and free speech brings with it responsibilities, something that Anjem Choudary chose to ignore. For 20 years he has preached hatred of western ideals - while living in the country he claimed to hate and claiming state benefits as he had no other source of income! the problem was that, because of our tolerance of free speech, he never quite went far enough to be prosecuted - until recently. Now he has started a five-and-a-half year prison sentence for pledging allegiance to ISIL. No doubt be will be freed in just over two years and will once again start claiming benefits, while his family live on them during his imprisonment.
We must be mad!
But enough. Let's switch to something far more interesting.
I know that today is not International Speak Like a Pirate Day, but it should be I say that on the grounds that today should be renamed in honour of Henry Every.
What do you mean, you've never heard of Henry Every? Well, I have to grant you that he's not the most famous (infamous?) pirate who ever lived but it was on 7th September 1695 (although some say it was 4th) that Henry, also known as Long Ben, and his crew captured the Grand Moghul of India’s treasure ship “Ganj-i-Sawai” with its cargo of jewels, estimated to be worth £50 million at today;s prices. the GM was so annoyed that he threatened to break off trade with England unless he got his treasure back so the English government and the East India Company put up a massive reward, thereby launching the first ever worldwide manhunt.
Nobody knows what happened to Henry after that. Some say he sailed off to the Caribbean where several of his crew were eventually captured, six of them being hanged in London; others say he set himself up as the King of Madagascar, and there is also the tale that he returned penniless to England under a different name.
but whatever happened to Our 'Enery, his treasure has never been found. Perhaps it lies still buried on a tropical island?