There is a bitter truism that has been expressed many times before but never better than by a man called Tom Watts, who gave it an almost Biblical purity when he said "The large print giveth, but the small print taketh away." Small print is like the sharp corner of a low table you can't see in the dark until your shin tells you it's there.
It is no coincidence that there are more lawyers in Government than people. Politicians are in the small-print- taketh-away business and you have to be a lawyer to taketh so much and keepeth a straight face at the same time.
Who but a lawyer could look you in the eye and claim that a solemn promise to give citizens the right to vote on a European Constitution becomes invalid if they cross out the word 'constitution' and call it something else?
I think the problem with democracy is that so few politicians seem to believe in it.
In a curious way the cynics in politics may be less harmful to democracy than those who are intensely convinced in their own righteousness.
The conscience of the true believer in the cause of the European Union, tends to have no difficulty accommodating the imposition of legislation against the known desires of the public.
As the old saying goes, everybody loves democracy - up to a point.
My own reservations about the EU stems from an instinctive hesitation to get closely involved with an organisation so corrupt it can't find an auditor with an eye blind enough or crooked enough, to sign its bogus accounts.
When an organisation created by lawyers and run by lawyers can't find a way to launder its books, it may be one dirty laundry mountain too far. And too high.
But it does take the Third World look off our own politicians putting their relatives on the public pay roll.
CELEBRATION OF WOMANHOOD
A film-maker by the name of Billy Luther has made a documentary about the "Miss Navajo Nation beauty pageant" , to be shown at a festival in Honolulu.
He describes the pageant as a celebration of womanhood and gives its contestants opportunities to showcase not only their beauty "but also their skills in dance, music and sheep slaughtering."
(Courtesy of Mitchell Smyth, Toronto.)
I read that the fine actress Julie Christie (below), is in line for an Oscar for her portrayal of an Alzheimer's victim in a new film. Also the news that Julie herself is suffering from (what they describe as) a rare form of forgetfulness called 'autobiographical amnesia." There are whole parts of her earlier life that are a complete blank.
That isn't a rare ailment. This country is teeming with people who suffer from autobiographical amnesia. Stormont is full of them
SPIRIT IN ADVERSITY
"If life deals you lemons, make lemonade. But if it deals you tomatoes, make Bloody Marys'."
THE DEEPEST CUT
What are they making razor blades out of today - gold?
I went to buy a packet of razor blades last week and worked out that they are now costing me £2.25 a blade.
Is it me?
I used to wonder why people back in the 18th century went into Sweeney Todd's barber shop when so few seemed to come out again.
If razor blades were this expensive, getting a shave from old Sweeney may have seemed worth the risk.
" Never do anything that you wouldn't want to explain to the paramedics."