Mark Steyn is in good form in the Telegraph today having another go at one of his favourite subjects – the UN tranzies, of whom he asks, are they "just a bunch of thugs?".
He starts, however, with a graphic comparison which raises another question. "It's a good basic axiom", Steyn writes, "that if you take a quart of ice-cream and a quart of dog faeces and mix 'em together the result will taste more like the latter than the former."
The question that arises, of course, is how does Steyn know this? We understand he had a pretty rough time in his early career, before he became rich and famous, but was it that rough?
Anyhow, the point he is trying to make – with some success – is that if you make the free nations and the thug states members of the same club, the danger isn't that they'll meet each other half-way but that the free world winds up going three-quarters, seven-eighths of the way.
This is a sort of variation on Gresham's law (Bad money drives out good), Steyn's thesis being that the good is contaminated by the bad. His piece is compelling reading in which he concludes that the UN creates a culture in which the free nations have met the thug states so much more than half way that they now largely share the dictators' view of their peoples.
With that, he takes a dim view of British officials who are trying to rationalise Oil-for-Fraud and other UN scandals observing that it is not just the underage Congolese girls who get corrupted by contact with the UN. Nor is it, we would observe, just the UN which exerts such a corrupting influence.