At a certain point, to remain slightly tangential to wherever I was became a way of 'being Tony': by not being anything that everyone else was.
The people whose necks hurt when I write about the Middle East tend to live in Brooklyn or Boca Raton: the kind of Zionist who pays another man to live in Israel for him. I have nothing but contempt for such people.
But I'm English. We don't do uplifting.
History can show you that it was one pile of bad stuff after another. It can also show you that there's been tremendous progress in knowledge, behaviour, laws, civilisation. It cannot show you that there was a meaning behind it.