An Actor’s Life • Life before profit: Whose mantra is it anyway?

Every day we seem to hit a new all-time low in political life.

Business before beings
One thing that seems to be a constant, however, is the falling value of a human life. Our leaders, it seems, would rather do business at all costs with murderers than make a moral stand.

One example: the repellent and brutal disposal of one particular human life – that of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of the Saudi regime.

Why has this not opened the floodgates and led to businesses and governments cutting ties with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as quickly as Khashoggi’s body seems to have been severed and dissolved into acid by 15 ‘rogue’ henchmen?

If we do nothing, then the message we send to the Saudi Arabians is that they can do whatever they like to anyone who criticises them and the rest of the world won’t condemn them, but instead will say: “Business as usual”.

Has the value of human life really fallen faster than the value of many currencies? Sadly so it seems, whether it is starvation in countries like Yemen, widespread homelessness or vulnerable people everywhere unable to get support for basic survival.

Empire that struck rich
As I write this the Disunited States of America is about to have its mid-term elections. Gangster Trump is fanning the flames of division with his now all-too familiar style. Probably the most depressing aspect of Trump for me is how he has such a large support base for his vileness.

Whatever the outcome of these elections, the USA has years of self-examination to go through. Empires fade and die. Britain and the Vikings had their day. Maybe there is just no real substance to America’s empire other than the chasing of wealth for wealth’s sake, which is why we’re not really going to miss them.

What will be the USA’s legacy? Some might say they were a counter-balance that stopped the spread of communism, but the spreading of democracy is a weak claim given the number of wars they’ve been in and continue to be involved in. Today’s chants of nationalism provide us with awful echoes of the past. Surely we won’t allow this to happen again? Apathy, though, will give confidence to the racist and the bully.

Hopefully, a new generation of voters – many of them target practice for lunatics with access to AK47s – will want the balance of power to change. Life before guns and profit could be a decent mantra.

But, if the unthinkable happens and the Republicans gain seats at these elections, I think we’d better brace ourselves.

Theatre of screams
I dreamt that I had a one-on-one chat with Trump and as he was leaving the room. I asked him what it was he actually wanted to achieve.

His reply, as he fanned the door open and closed it, was: “It’s getting rather hot in here isn’t it?”

Come in and see ‘The Woman in Black’ ( if you want to experience how theatre can freeze your blood and make your heart pound. But this of course is only make-believe. Trump is real.