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The Enmerkar Fiasco

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER  
 

Uruk king fails to get Aratta king to cower as Jehovah’s granddaughter juggles the two as sex pets

Enmerkar, the King of Inanna-Ishtar’s cult city of Uruk in  Sumer, was desperate to bring the mineral-rich Kingdom of Aratta, over which Inanna had jurisdiction too, under subjection to Uruk. He vowed he would stop at nothing until this end was accomplished, his reasoning rightly or wrongly being that without him, Inanna wouldn’t be the great queen she now was – straddling two of the world’s pre-eminent regions.

“The wealth of Aratta he coveted, to be over Aratta supreme he schemed,” the Sumerian records so plainly expose him.  It was not enough that Aratta had consented to paying tribute to Uruk in the form of precious stones and had made good on its undertaking: Enmerkar wanted Aratta to be a vassal state of Uruk, finito.

Thus it was that Enmerkar sent an emissary to Aratta to deliver a haughty ultimatum in which he threatened to “bring desolation upon Aratta and dispersion upon its people”. His message in a nutshell was, “submit or else …” Enmerkar strategically picked a time when Aratta was at its most vulnerable. The kingdom was reeling from a telling drought that had destroyed its crop and so was dependent on the granaries of Sumer for the sustenance of its people. If the king turned out to be stubborn, Enmerkar would pull the plug on the supply of grain and the people of Aratta so hard done by might picket him, thereby providing Inanna an excuse to depose him. In truth, the likelihood of such a scenario was a tall order given the hots Inanna had for the King of Aratta but a naive Enmerkar counted on it anyway.

Receiving the message, the King of Aratta, a very wily political operator if there was one, decided to engage Enmerkar in what the great Sumerologist Samuel N Kramer calls “the first war of nerves”. In this post-Tower of Babel era, the world no longer spoke a uniform language but several, most of which wholly unrelated to each other courtesy of Enlil’s divide and rule globalwide gambit.  Taking advantage of this state of affairs, the King of Aratta replied that with due respect, he didn’t understand a single word of the message he received in the now ancient Sumerian language. “Like the bray of a donkey its sound is,” he regretted, appealing to his opposite number to send a fresh message in the language of Aratta, which Enki had devised at the instruction of Enlil.

Enmerkar was furious as he knew the King of Aratta was playing mind games with him. He there and then decided to suspend grain supplies to Aratta so as to teach his counterpart a lesson and with the hope that thus floored, the King of Aratta would come to him running, with cap in hand, and declare himself ready now to kowtow to Uruk. Enmerkar, it turned out, had miscalculated: a year passed and the King of Aratta was a no-show.  

KING OF ARATTA DEFIES ENMERKAR

Even with this virtual egg on his face, Enmerkar was simply not giving up on Aratta. Since the stakes were so high, he considered that it was better to play along to the tune the King of Aratta was singing than throw in the sponge. Calling upon Ninsaba, Enki’s daughter with Ninmah who was the Anunnaki’s Goddess of Writing and who was well-versed in practically every language, he bid her to draft on his behalf a message to the King of Aratta in the latter’s own language.

This time around, the message was even blunter. “Submission or war,” it said. The ultimatum, however, was tempered with something of a sweetener – the offer of seeds from   Aratta’s grain tribute of yesteryears which had been kept in the Eanna granaries and which might considerably help in ameliorating the famine that now plagued Aratta. And this time around, the emissary was no less than Enmerkar’s own son Lugalbanda. It turned out Enmerkar had underestimated the cunning of Inanna, who didn’t care a damn about Aratta being under Uruk suzerainty.

Significantly, Inanna didn’t wish to alienate the King of Aratta, her highly prized bedfellow who delivered with distinction when she wanted to be sexually serviced whilst visiting there. So what does she do? Using what we today call HAARP technology, she artificially induces torrential rains in Aratta even whilst Lugalbanda is  on his way there with a view to bolster up its king’s bargaining power versus Enmerkar.  “A storm, like a great lion attacking, stepped up,” the Sumerian records relate. “Drought was suddenly broken by a thunderstorm that made the whole land tremble, the mountains quake. And once again, white-walled Aratta became a land of abundant grains.”

Thus emboldened, the King of Aratta once again thumbed his nose at Enmerkar, underlining to Lugalbanda that he was not going to be tossed around at Enmerkar’s whim and that Her Imperial Majesty Queen Inanna the Goddess of Aratta was solidly behind him. “Inanna Mistress of Lands has not abandoned her house in Aratta, has not handed over Aratta to Unug-Ki (Uruk),” the king asserted in full flow, brimming with confidence.  “Aratta will not submit.”

The defiant king went on to say that if push came to shove, he was ready to go to war with Uruk. He also made it clear that from now henceforth, he would no longer pay tribute to Uruk by way of precious stones unless Enmerkar was prepared to share Uruk MEs with Aratta. And as if to poke fun at Enmerkar, the King of Aratta even donated part of the strategic grain reserves he had hoarded to Uruk to underscore the fact that with abundant rain now, Aratta would no longer require food aid crumbs from Uruk.

It was a deadlock: in the final analysis, neither king was prepared to concede to the other’s terms and Enmerkar for one was not ballsy enough to go beyond sabre rattling and follow through on his threat of waging war on Aratta. “The riches of Aratta Unug-ki did not receive; the MEs of Unug-ki Aratta did not obtain,” the Sumerian records inform us.    On balance though, it was Aratta which bore the brunt in the fullness of time. “In the Third Region, civilised mankind did not fully blossom,” the Sumerian texts lament as indeed the Uruk MEs, which were crucial to expediting the economic and technological headway of the Indus Valley, were not availed to Aratta.  

GODDESS WHO REVELLED IN NUDITY

In time, Inanna became the most famous god throughout the Indus Valley. Although she was dubbed the Goddess of War, it was as the Goddess of Love (love-making and not the usual spiritual love) she was best known as. In paintings and clay figurines of the Indus civilisation era, she is variously depicted as a warrior armed to the teeth; an astronaut fully kitted in aviational gear; and a stark naked, bare breasted woman with rows of beads and necklaces. But it was her sexuality that struck the greatest chord with her subjects as it were depictions which project her as such that abounded in the Indus Valley. Some such depictions show her raising the hemline of her skirt to reveal her shapely thighs and her prominent, clean shaven punami.   

The Persians (of Iran) and Pushtans (of Afghanistan) called her Abesind and Abasind respectively (very much an echo of her other Sumerian name  Absin, meaning “whose father is Sin”). To the Greeks and Romans, she was known, amongst a clutch of other names, as Indos and Indus respectively, which was just as apt. It’s Inanna after whom the Indus River is named and since the name India derives from the Indus River, the country itself too is derivatively named after Inanna. In Aratta, Inanna was known as Indra.

INANNA’S SUBJECT KINGS

Let us at this juncture try to recap on the saga of Uruk, Inanna’s principal cult city as part of the dot.connection process so that we do not lose our bearings as we match on down the Earth Chronicles lane, which is now just over 100 articles strong with a total of just under 455,000 words, equivalent to about 7 fair-sized books. When in 3800 BC civilisation was proclaimed for Sumer, the so-called First Region, by King Anu at the insistence of Enki, a new political perch for Earthlings was instituted, the first time this happened since the Flood of Noah’s day.

This was kingship. The human king would rule his fellow humans not on his behalf but on behalf of a superintending god.  The first Sumerian city designated as the seat of kingship was Kish, then the cult city of Ninurta, Jehovah-Enlil’s firstborn son. Forty years later, Enlil announced that kingship would not only be the privilege of Kish but would rotate from city-state to city-state at a time of his choosing. Thus it was that circa 3750 BC, kingship was transferred to Uruk with a view to placate Inanna, who was making petulant noises in relation to what she regarded as  intentional foot-dragging on the part of Enlil to allocate her her own domain as per the promise to her by King Anu.

Now, Uruk was famed for one particular specialty – metal casting, notably of alloys of tin. The best tin metallurgists on the planet were to be found in Uruk. Even the Eanna, Inanna’s magnificent temple-house, was structurally made of alloyed tin. Indeed, Eanna, which is typically interpreted as “House of Anu”, can also alternatively be read as “House of Tin”. Anna was the Anunnaki term for tin and the Anunnaki placed a value on tin that rivalled that of gold and silver (the demigod Sargon the Great of Akkad valued the metal so much that he chose it rather than gold or silver for commemorating himself).

Before Uruk attained kingdom status, its day-to-day affairs were conducted by a high priest. This high priest was a demigod, a son of Utu-Shamash, Inanna’s twin-brother, with an Earthling woman. His name was Meskiaggasher, or Meshack in short. Mes/Mesh was the Sumerian prefix or suffix for “Master Metallurgist” “or “Master Craftsman”, the Masonic title of a dynastic king those days and up to New Testament times. Since at that juncture all kings were demigods – part-human, part-Anunnaki – Mes/Mesh became synonymous with royalty.  By the same token, the Egyptian word Mes or Mses, meaning “issue of” (e.g. Thothmes), conveyed the same meaning in its original sense in that the Pharaohs were demigods or claimed to be demigods.   

With kingship having been transferred from Kish to Uruk, Meshack was installed as King of Uruk. He ruled for 324 years before he was succeeded by his son Enmerkar, who in truth was Shamash’s biological son courtesy of the Anunnaki’s overly lax sex morals whereby one could sleep with any consenting woman: it didn’t matter whether she was a close relation such as a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, an aunt, or a daughter-in-law and it didn’t matter that she was married.

Enmerkar was on the throne for 420 years. Under him, Uruk prospered as never before, earning him the tribute of “The Man Who Built Uruk” which resounded for centuries thereafter. It was during Enmerkar’s reign that the Eanna was transformed from a no more than gleaming edifice to a sparkling structure bedecked with all kinds of precious stones extorted from mineral-rich Aratta in the Indus Valley.   

After Enmerkar came his son Lugalbanda. Lugalbanda had the prestige of marrying the goddess  Ninsun whilst he was high priest,  his status before he ascended to the throne. As King, he ruled for 1200 years, the longest reigning demigod in the post-diluvial age.   The mixed couple sired 11 children, the most famous of whom is Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh was King of Uruk for between 126 and 150 years and was succeeded by his son Ur-Lugal, who in turn was succeeded by his son Utu-Kalamma. Altogether, 12 kings reigned in Uruk for a combined total of 2310 years. Thereafter, kingship moved to Ur, the cult city of Inanna’s father Nannar-Sin.
      
SHORT MAN WITH A TALL PEDIGREE

The post-diluvial age saw a rather curious switch in the Anunnaki’s relations with Earthlings in one particular respect.  Before the Flood, it were Anunnaki men, “the sons of the gods”, who pursued Earthling women, “the daughters of men”. After the Flood, the status quo changed full circle: it were royal Anunnaki women, the goddesses, who sought spouses among Earthling men, particularly demigods.

We already know that Inanna was crazy  about Earthling men though none of them was prepared to take her to the altar due to  her eccentricities that knew no bounds. But there was one decent goddess who had an enduring and fruitful marriage with an Earthling. This was Ninsun, Enki’s daughter with Ninmah and therefore a brother to Ninurta, who  Ninmah had way back in Sirius with Enlil. Ninsun made overtures to Lugalbanda and before long the two lovebirds had tied the knot. His intrinsic qualities aside, Lugalbanda’s fundamental qualification for marrying a goddess was that he himself was the son of a goddess, Inanna, and so was at least 50 percent Anunnaki.

The fact that he was half-Anunnaki automatically merited him the title “Divine Lugalbanda”, or Dingir.Lugalbanda in Sumerian. The Anunnaki had relaxed aspects of their social-status code after the Flood and one such revised convention was that  any Earthling  who had at least half of Anunnaki royal blood in him qualified to be called divine. When Lugalbanda succeeded to the throne after Enmerkar, he adopted the title Lugal, meaning “Great Man”. Now, every king is a great man in that he is  the  highest ranking  personage in his domain.

In Lugalbanda’s case, the Lugal emphasis had to do with his being plagued by what is known as Short Man Syndrome. Lugalbanda was unfortunate enough to take after the slight physical stature of his mother Inanna, who was about 5-foot-5 – a midget in Anunnaki terms. His name when correctly spelt is actually Handa, not Banda. Handa meant “Shorty”. The name Lugalbanda therefore was meant to emphasise the point that he might be a small man but as a demigod he was of greater genetic pedigree and as a King he was the greatest man amongst Earthlings.

When Inanna was awarded the Indus Valley, she wanted Lugalbanda, then her high priest, to rule Aratta. Lugalbanda, however,  was not keen on the idea. He was by nature an adventurer: he lived a peripatetic life and therefore was always away on expeditions to indulge his wanderlust. It was after she was snubbed by Lugalbanda that Inanna settled for Dumuzi’s unnamed extramarital son as King of Aratta.  

INANNA SHAGS HER OWN SON!

Following Enmerkar’s earlier stalemate with the King of Aratta, he decided to send Lugalbanda over to take a strong line with the king with a view to get him to yield to the demand for unconditional subjection to Uruk. As related above, the mission was a total fiasco. Resultantly, Lugalbanda was gutted, for as far as he was concerned, it was he who had failed, a shame for a heir. On his return journey therefore, Lugalbanda dispensed with aerial transportation, choosing instead to travel overland by chariot, both to delay to the fullest extent possible a very likely stormy encounter with his father and to explore the wonders of nature being a naturalist himself. In the course of these peregrinations, he not only fell acutely ill but fell into a coma too.  

Upon hearing of her son’s plight, Inanna enlisted her brother Shamash and together they rushed to the Kurdistan wilds in modern-day Iran by flying saucer, equipped with state-of-the-art medical paraphernalia. Touching down at the scene of Lugalbanda’s afflictions, Shamash went to work forthwith. He employed on the half-dead Lugalbanda “stones that emit light” and “stones that make strong”, whereupon Lugalbanda stirred back to full vitality. The moment this happened, Inanna staged a mental breakdown.

Remember, Inanna had, as a matter of public knowledge, always been haunted by the memory of her long-deceased husband Dumuzi. “Dumuzi she still mourned,” the Sumerian records emphasise.  “When she flew about, in the sun’s rays, Dumuzi’s image she saw shimmering and beckoning.”  So when Lugalbanda was dramatically revived, Inanna cried out with feigned derangement that, “A miracle has happened! My beloved Dumuzi to me has come back!” Returning to the Eanna with a fighting fit Dumuzi, she commandeered him to her own bedroom, which she specially decorated for him in the pretended belief that he was the resurrected Dumuzi.

The inevitable followed – an all-night-long   bang-bang-bang by her own son who though short had a large appendage – the thing that mattered the most to the size queen that was Inanna! Clearly, she had always had a crush on him and was just waiting for the opportune time to pounce. Of course there was nothing Lugalbanda’s wife Ninsun could do about this boldfaced adultery: an Anunnaki had the right to sleep with anybody for as long as there was mutual consent.   

From that point on, Lugalbanda was toast for her own mother: she would call upon him every time she had the itch, which meant more often than not being the nympho she was. Also from that point  on, Inanna had a new but bogus boast – that she had powers of life and death having brought back Lugalbanda from the dead. She was, so she bragged, a Goddess proper and not simply an Anunnaki Queen.

It was all a hollow boast really since Lugalbanda had not died but was simply comatose and the person who medically worked on him was not she herself but her brother Shamash. But in those days when the Earthling masses were more susceptible to mis-information and disinformation than we are in this age of the newspaper, the radio, the television, and the Internet, Inanna’s boast was taken as gospel truth by her subjects from Uruk all the way to the Indus Valley.

NEXT WEEK:  LUGALBANDA  AT “MOUNTAIN OF THE GODS”

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STRESS TEST

14th December 2022

We have come a long way from the 19th century, when mental un-healthiness was not recognised as treatable. In those days mental health problems were viewed as a sign of madness, warranting imprisonment in often merciless and unhygienic conditions; and with that backdrop you would think twice before calling in sick because of stress or admit feelings of hopelessness or depression but that’s changing. That may sound like good news but it’s not.

Reasons why employees don’t show up for work can vary, but one thing is for certain; an organisation relies on its staff to get things done and when employees don’t show up for work it disrupts organisational plans, takes up the valuable time from management and lowers the company’s productivity. It’s always been that people miss work for several reasons, some understandable and legitimate and others less so but it’s important that we know the reasons so that such situations can be better managed.

Today stress is one of the most common causes of long-term absence and is especially prevalent amongst office-based staff. This is also related to absence due to depression or anxiety. Is this indicative of where we are as a society, a sign of the times which is that people are constantly pressurised and have less work-life balance?

The British Museum houses a tablet which provides a peek into work-life balance in ancient Egypt. It documents how many sick days and why 40 workers took time off from their workplace in 1250 BC. All sorts of fascinating reasons have been given for why people were away from their work, including a note about someone named Buqentuf, who needed time off for embalming and wrapping the corpse of his dead mother.

There were other reasons like some workers, such as a man named Pennub, missed work because their mothers were ill.  Others had causes that we wouldn’t expect to hear as often today, such as men who stayed home to help around the house due to a “wife or daughter bleeding” – a reference to menstruation. But no mention of mental health, not because it didn’t exist, but it wasn’t labelled thus not reported.

What was reported was a person such as Aapehti who was said to have been ill on a regular basis and also took time off when he was “making offerings to god”.  Workers also took days off when they had to perform tasks for their superiors – which was apparently permitted in moderate amounts. For example, Amenmose was allowed time away from work when he was “fetching stones for the scribe:  And what about other employees who had to excuse themselves from work to brew beer, an activity which was associated with some of their gods and rituals.

All fascinating stuff which provides insight into life at that time. But what insights can we gather from today’s sick leave records? One study recently undertaken gives us insight into the UK police force’s absenteeism. Figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act from police forces in the UK showed that the number of days absent due to mental health problems increased by 9% in one year, from 457,154 in 2020 to 497,154 in 2021.

And here is the shocker. Police have taken a record 500,000 days off due to mental health issues. Zoe Billingham, a former police inspector, suggested there was a greater prevalence of mental health issues among emergency services, due to what they faced during the pandemic of coronavirus. “Police and other frontline services have protected us during the pandemic,” she said. “The pandemic was a great unknown. People were really scared of dying and coming into contact with the virus, and a lot of people did.”

It is a ‘mental health epidemic’ among police. Alistair Carmichael, Home Affairs spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, said: “Frontline police officers do an incredible job serving their communities. But we know that the stress of policing can take a heavy toll on the mental health of officers, in some cases leading to burnout.

Let’s look at another group. A poll by Gallup reported that in the last three years, 75% of young adults aged 18–22 have left their jobs because of stated mental health reasons. This study showed that employees (millennials and Gen Z) want employers who care about their wellbeing. Contributing factors to mental health stress centre around increases in uncertainty and include: Hybrid work environments and the side-effects: no socialization, no end time, no feedback, caring for others; changing rules around work often with poor communications & clarity;  inconsistency & incompleteness of rule implementation:  Uncertainty from these and other factors leads to anxiety and depression.

 

The real story here is not that burnout, stress, depression and anxiety are becoming the number one reasons for absenteeism but that for a large part they are preventable. We have the data telling us it’s the problem but still organisations are doing very little to proactively manage it. Sure, we have counselling services for staff who are struggling and wellness days to reinforce feelings of wellbeing, but this is not enough.

If we start caring and developing work cultures that do not create unintentional stress through how work gets done, that will go a long way to change the status quo. Simple things like ensuring your culture doesn’t thrive on fire drills and heroics to get things done and that emails do not come with expected responses after hours or over the weekend. If we can stop managers bullying, yelling or losing their cool when there is a performance or customer issue and begin giving people more control over their work – all of these are the kinds of stuff that contribute to weakened mental health and absenteeism.

To sum up, your staff’s stress levels are directly proportional to your business’s absentee levels.  Ergo, lowering the former, will also reduce the latter.  Stress down, productivity up and everybody wins out.

QUOTE

Contributing factors to mental health stress centre around increases in uncertainty and include: Hybrid work environments and the side-effects: no socialization, no end time, no feedback, caring for others; changing rules around work often with poor communications & clarity;  inconsistency & incompleteness of rule implementation:  Uncertainty from these and other factors leads to anxiety and depression.

 

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Diana Irks Queen

14th December 2022
I

In September 1978, General Atiku, Princess Diana had enrolled for a cookery course. That same month whilst she was staying at her parents’ home in Norfolk, her friends innocently asked about the health of her father  John Spencer, the 8th Earl. Hitherto, the Earl’s health had never been a matter of concern but Diana somewhat inscrutably voiced a somewhat portendous outlook. “He’s going to drop down in some way,” she said.  “If he dies, he will die immediately;  otherwise he’ll survive.”  

It came to pass,  General. The following day, the telephone bell rang to the news that her father had collapsed in the courtyard of his Althorp Estate residence and that he had been rushed to a nearby hospital after suffering a massive cerebral haemorrhage. The medical prognosis was bleak:  Earl Spencer was not expected to survive the night. Writes Andrew Morton in Diana Her True Story: “For two days the children camped out in the hospital waiting-room as their father clung on to life. When doctors announced that there was a glimmer of hope, Raine [second wife] organised a private ambulance to take him to the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases in Queen Square, Central London, where for several months he lay in a coma.”

Raine was so fiercely protective of her beloved husband that she had the nurses see to it that his own children did not come near him in this critical condition in his elitist private room.  ‘I’m a survivor and people forget that at their peril,” she would later tell a journalist. “There’s pure steel up my backbone. Nobody destroys me, and nobody was going to destroy Johnnie so long as I could sit by his bed – some of his family tried to stop me – and will my life force into him.” But if Raine had steel in her, General, so did the implacable Spencer children, more so the eldest of them all.  “During this critical time,” Morton goes on, “the ill feeling between Raine and the children boiled over into a series of vicious exchanges. There was iron too in the Spencer soul and numerous hospital corridors rang to the sound of the redoubtable Countess and the fiery Lady Sarah Spencer [the Earl’s firstborn child] hissing at each other like a pair of angry geese.”

As Diana had correctly predicted, her father was not destined to die at that juncture but healthwise he was never the same henceforth. First, he suffered a relapse in November that same year and was moved to another hospital. Once again, he teetered on the brink. He was drifting in and out of consciousness and as such he was not able to properly process  people who were visiting him, including his own daughters when nurses relented and allowed them in. Even when he was awake a feeding tube in his throat meant that he was unable to speak. Understandably, Diana found it hard to concentrate on the cookery course she had enrolled in a few days before her father suffered his stroke.

But Raine, General,  was determined that her husband survive come rain or shine. Morton: “When his doctors were at their most pessimistic, Raine’s will-power won through. She had heard of a German drug called Aslocillin which she thought could help and so she pulled every string to find a supply. It was unlicensed in Britain but that didn’t stop her. The wonder drug was duly acquired and miraculously did the trick. One afternoon she was maintaining her usual bedside vigil when, with the strains of Madam Butterfly playing in the background, he opened his eyes ‘and was back’. In January 1979, when he was finally released from hospital, he and Raine booked into the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane for an expensive month-long convalescence. Throughout this episode the strain on the family was intense.”

Altogether, Earl Spencer had been in hospital for 8 straight months. The lingering effects of the stroke left him somewhat unsteady on his feet when he escorted his daughter down the aisle at St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1981 for her marriage to the Prince of Wales.

 

R.I.P. EARL SPENCER

 

It was not until March 29, 1992, General, that Earl Spencer finally gave up the ghost. He was admitted in hospital for pneumonia but what killed him days later was a heart attack. Rumours of his death actually began to make the rounds the day before he passed on. At the time, Diana was on a skiing holiday in the  Austrian Alps along with  her estranged hubby Prince Charles and their two kids William and Harry.

When Diana was told of her dad’s death, she insisted that under no circumstances would she return to England on the same flight as Charles, with whom she was barely on talking terms. “I mean it, Ken,” she told her body minder Ken Wharfe. “I don’t want him with me. He doesn’t love me – he loves that woman [Camilla]. Why should I help save his face? Why the bloody hell should I? It’s my father who has gone. It’s a bit bloody late for Charles to start playing the caring husband, don’t you think so?”

Naturally, General, Charles was alarmed, particularly that his efforts to use one of his right-hand-men to reason with the Princess had been rebuffed. He therefore  prevailed over Wharfe to try and ram sense into his wife. “Lord Spencer’s death was a major news story,” writes Ken Wharfe,  “and if the Prince and Princess did not return to Britain together then nothing, not even compassion for the grief-stricken Diana, would stop the journalists from going for the jugular. The truth about the Waleses would be immediately and blindingly obvious to the most naive journalist … Returning to the Princess’s room, I told her bluntly that this was not a matter for debate. ‘Ma’am, you have to go back with the Prince. This one is not open for discussion. You just have to go with it’.’’

At long last persuaded, General, Diana said, “Okay Ken, I’ll do it. Tell him I’ll do it, but it is for my father, not for him – it is out of loyalty to my father.” But what in truth got Diana to change tack was the intervention of the Queen, who personally called her at Charles’ own request. That, however, General, was only as far as Diana was prepared to play ball: as far as engaging with Charles in conversation was concerned, that was simply inconceivable. “There was an icy silence for the rest of the two-hour journey,” writes Wharfe. “Nothing was said during the entire flight. The Princess did not want to speak to her husband and he, fearing a furious or even hysterical outburst, did not dare even to try to start a conversation. Whatever the discomforts of the journey, however, it was soon clear that the PR spin had worked. The next day it was reported that Prince Charles was at Diana’s side in her hour of need. Yet as soon as the Prince and Princess arrived at Kensington Palace they went their separate ways – he to Highgrove, and she to pay her last respects to her father.”

Lord Spencer was 68 when he died. He was a remote descendant of King Henry VIII.

 

PRINCE CHARLES FINALLY OWNS UP TO ADULTERY WITH CAMILLA

 

In June 1994, when Diana and Charles had been separated for exactly one-and-half years, Prince Charles was interviewed in a BBC documentary by Jonathan Dimbleby. The interview was billed as intended to mark Charles’ 25 anniversary as Prince of Wales but it was in truth a not-to-cleverly-disguised riposte to Diana Her True Story, the highly controversial 1992 collaboration between Diana and Andrew Morton.

In the interview, which was watched by 13 million people, Charles, General, openly admitted for the first time that he had committed adultery with Camilla Parker-Bowles, who he hailed as, “a great friend of mine who has been a friend for a very long time and will continue to be a friend for a very long time”. Diana had been requested to feature in the interview alongside her husband but she parried the overture on the advice of her aides, which was spot-on as she would have been greatly embarrassed by her hubby’s unsavoury confession in her own face and on national television.

The Prince’s candid confessional was followed weeks later by a book titled The  Prince of Wales: A Biography, which was written by the same Jonathan Dimbleby. The book was even frankier than the interview. In it, Charles put it bluntly that she had never once loved Diana and that he married her only because he was coerced into doing so by his  notoriously overbearing father. Charles also made it known that as a child, he had been bullied by his abusive father, virtually ignored by his mother, and persecuted by a wife he portrayed as both spoiled and mentally unstable.   Both Diana and his parents were revolted by the bare-knuckle  contents of the book though Dana need not have been irked considering that it was she herself who had fired the first salvo in the Morton book.

 

BASHIR INTERVIEW BODES ILL FOR DIANA

 

If Diana’s collaboration with Morton was a miscalculation, General, Prince Charles’ Dimbleby interview was equally so. For in November 1995, the wayward Princess hit back with her own tell-all interview on BBC’s  current affairs programme called Panorama. “She wanted to get even with Prince Charles over his adulterous confession with the Dimbleby documentary,” writes Paul Burrell, her final butler, in A Royal Duty.

The interview was conducted by journalist Martin Bashir who was attached to BBC, and was watched by 23 million people,  conferring it the distinction of having attracted the largest audience for any television documentary in broadcasting history. In the interview, Diana voiced concern about there having been “three of us in this marriage and so it was  a bit crowded”, the intruder obviously being Camilla. Diana also gave Charles a dose of his own medicine by confessing to her own adulterous relationship with James Hewitt, of whom she said, “Yes, I adored him, yes, I was in love with him”. Hewitt had at the time documented his affair with Diana in lurid detail in a best-selling book and Diana thought he had ill-conceivedly stabbed her in the back.

And as if to rub salt into the wound, General, Diana cast serious  doubts on her husband’s fitness to rule as future King and therefore his eventual accession to the British throne.   Unfortunately for her, the interview sealed her fate  in so far as her marriage was concerned. “In her headstrong decision to co-operate with Bashir,” says Burrell, “she had never considered, perhaps naively, the implications that Panorama had for her marriage.” Indeed, just four weeks after the interview, the Queen, after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote personally to both the Prince and Princess of Wales requesting that they divorce sooner rather than later.

It was a dream-come-true for at least two parties to the triangle, namely Charles and Camilla. But did it also constitute music to the ears of Princess Diana too, General?

 

Pic Cap

SOWING THE WIND ONLY TO REAP THE WHIRLWIND: Martin Bashir interviews Princess Diana in a BBC documentary which aired on Monday 29 November 1995. The interview incensed the Windsors: the following month, Queen Elizabeth ordered Charles and Diana to sever matrimonial ties. In her vengeful resolve to hit back at her husband following his own interview the previous year, Diana had foolishly sown the wind and reaped the whirlwind.

NEXT WEEK: DIANA REVERTS TO SINGLENESS

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Rights of an Individual in Islam

14th December 2022

Islam is a way of life completed and perfected by the last and final Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The Holy Quran along with the practical teachings of the Prophet (pbuh) forms the basis of Islamic law, social, economic and political systems of Islam – in short the basis of a complete code of conduct for the entire life of a Muslim

Regrettably in this day and age there are certain views in non-Muslims that have a very negative ‘view’ of Islam. The bottom line is that if a Muslim says that two plus two is four, others can ‘argue’ to say three plus one is four, or two times two is four or the square root of 16 is four. The bottom line is no matter what we may think we all are ‘correct’. The fact is that we are all on this earth for a ‘limited’ time. Regardless of beliefs, tribe, race, colour or our social standing in life, we will all die one day or the other and we will “all” be called up thereafter to answer for our behaviour, beliefs, and our life on this earth.

To a Muslim the Holy Quran is the Divine Revelation which is all encompassing and lays down in clear terms, how we should live our daily lives including the need for humans to allow fellow humans certain basic rights at all times. Due to the limited space available I can only reflect on some of the major fundamental rights laid down by Islam:

Right to life

The first and foremost of fundamental basic human-rights is the right to life. “Whosoever kills any human being (without any valid reason) like manslaughter or any disruption and chaos on earth, it is though he had killed all the mankind. And whoever saves a life it is though as he had saved the lives of all mankind” (Quran Ch5: v 32). It further declares: “Do not kill a soul which Allah has made sacred except through the due process of law” (Quran Ch6: v 151). Islam further explains that this sacrosanct right to life is not granted only to its adherents (believers), but it has been granted to all human beings without consideration of their religion, race, colour or sex

Right to Equality 

The Holy Quran recognises equality between humans irrespective of any distinction of nationality, race, colour or gender. “O Mankind We have created you from a male and female, and We made you as nations and tribes so that you may be able to recognise each other (not that you may despise each other). Indeed the most honourable among you before God is the most God-conscious”. (Quran Ch49: v 13). The Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) further explained this: “No Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab…… You are all the children of Adam and Adam was created from soil”. If there is any superiority for a man it is based on his piety, righteousness, sense of responsibility and character. Even such a person with these noble qualities would not have any privileged rights over others.

Right to justice

Allah Almighty has bestowed on all human beings, believer or non-believer, friend or foe the right to justice.  The Holy Quran states: “We sent our messengers with clear teachings and sent down along with them the Book and the Balance so that society may be established on the basis of justice” (Quran Ch 57 : v 25). It further says “O Believers stand for the cause of God and as witness to justice and remember that enmity of some people should not lead you to injustice. Be just as it is nearest to God consciousness” (Quran Ch 5:v  8 ). This makes it obligatory that a believer must uphold justice in all circumstances, including to his enemies.

Right to freedom of conscience and religion

The Holy Quran clearly mentions that there is no compulsion in accepting or rejecting a religion. “There is no compulsion in (submitting to) the religion” (Quran Ch 2 : v 256). Every individual has been granted basic freedom to accept a religion of his or her choice. Therefore no religion should be imposed on a person.

Right to personal freedom

No person can be deprived of his or her personal freedom except in pursuance of justice. Therefore there cannot be any arbitrary or preventive arrest without the permission of duly appointed judge and in the light of a solid proof.

Right to Protection of Honour

Every person has been ensured basic human dignity which should not be violated. If someone falsely attacks the honour of a person the culprit will be punished according to the Islamic Law. The Holy Quran says: “Do not let one group of people make fun of another group”. It further states: “Do not defame one another”, the Quran goes on to say: And do not backbite or speak ill of one another” (Quran Ch 49  : v 11-12).

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