Saturday, December 2, 2023

One of These Guys Will Lose His Marbles



I’m not about to get into the history of the Parthenon Sculptures/Elgin Marbles controversy between Greece and Britain, but for those of you who might be interested, there’s a lot about the subject in the news these days. And why is that?

Essentially, it boils down to a politician putting his foot in his mouth or, more appropriately, shooting himself in his foot with his mouth. Which politician I leave for you to judge. 


This new squabble over the PS/EM hit the international news when British prime minister, Rishi Sunak, abruptly canceled a meeting with Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, a decision prompted by their ongoing controversy over the 2,500-year-old Parthenon Sculptures.


Photo by Petros Giannakouris

Here’s a partial description of the facts of the row as put forth by
Ioannes Chountis de Fabbri, a political adviser to the UK House of Lords.


“From a strategic point of view, Sunak’s decision was not carefully considered and has largely backfired. It was a knee-jerk reaction, fueled by Mitsotakis’ unusual move to meet first with the leader of the opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, and the former’s interview with the BBC, which for many was viewed as a lack of diplomatic tact. The move by Britain’s new foreign secretary, Lord David Cameron, to meet with his counterpart at the 11th hour, vindicates this. In the end, running away from a meeting is never a good idea and is rarely conducive to positive results. Be that as it may, the deeper truth might lie elsewhere. Simply put, it may be argued that Sunak tried to avoid – for the second time after December 2022 – the replay of what had transpired at 10 Downing Street when Prime Minister Mitsotakis raised the marbles issue before cameras, when he met with his then-counterpart Boris Johnson in November 2021.”


In Greece's newspaper, Roderick Beaton, a retired professor of modern Greek and Byzantine history, language and culture, is quoted as saying “regarding Sunak’s decision to cancel the meeting, I have an opinion and I say it out loud: In plain terms, I find it outrageous,” he said. “In more formal terms, this is definitely a huge diplomatic blunder, which for me remains, for now at least, inexplicable. There may be something lurking in the background that we don’t know, but from all the statements that are circulating I can’t understand the decision of the prime minister of Britain.”


But the battle didn’t stop there.  Here’s video of PM Sunak adding accelerant to the “dumpster fire,” by calling PM Mitsotakis “a grandstander” in Parliament.


Not unexpectedly, the press has found fertile fodder in all of this for its political cartoonists.


Photo by Ilias Makris

Photo by Ilias Makris

So, who wins this battle of the PMs?  Rather than my offering an opinion from the bleachers, let’s see what Britain’s King Charles has to say about it all. In this case, it’s a visual comment forcefully presented at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai…in the midst of the PM row back home. 

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Take a close look at King Charles’ tie and pocket square.  Now a closer look. Yep, the tie and pocket handkerchief bear the colors and symbols of the Greek national flag !!!


I call that a drop-the-mike moment for Greece…and take it as a sign of strong support for a prompt (?) return of the Parthenon Sculptures.




  1. I would suggest Sunak see a podiatrist asap. He has a big hole in is foot.