The Editor-in-Chief has gone on holiday and left me in charge of NEWS.MC.

I am not sure if this was a wise decision, because when I’m in charge of something I have a strong temptation to wreck it. Sometimes I look at the superyachts moored in Port Hercule and my mouth waters at the thought of driving one of them at great speed into the digue, or better still, a cruise ship.

I am First Mate material, if supervised, but definitely not a Captain.

So, when the cat is away the mice will play, or more accurately, the mouse.

Please consider my predicament for a moment. Imagine being left in charge of a keyboard without someone else standing over you to check what you write is completely PC. What is there to stop me from going just a little bit overboard – if such a thing were possible – and mouthing my deeply-held views on topical matters?

And yet, somehow, from hidden depths I stop myself. Self-restraint that I never knew I had prevents me from writing the unacceptable, nowadays the unforgivable.

Let’s hope Putin finds similar reserves of self-control and keeps his finger off the nuclear button. But then, he is obviously a paranoid sociopath and we can’t expect too much.

I hear the voice of my editor saying: “Jeff, can you get to the point? What is this week’s Diary all about?”

And, I have to say it’s not about much because in 2022 it’s impossible to voice an opinion or a view on more or less any topic. At home, for example, Mrs Daniels forbids me to broach the very thorny topic of Hungary’s national borders and what I consider to be the great historical injustice of the Treaty of Trianon.

Which brings me to the Pope. A few weeks ago he suggested that Putin may have been “provoked” into attacking Ukraine. This made me even less of a fan of the leader of the Catholic Church than previously.

Then last week Amnesty International criticised Ukraine for placing military units close to schools and hospitals, lest the Russians cause accidental death and destruction to innocent civilians. The Pope’s absurdities were almost laughable, but Amnesty’s take on Russia’s war against Ukraine was mind-boggling. Putin’s forces have been deliberately targeting civilians from the very start of this war. Are we so soft and so contaminated by political correctness that we fail to see the reality in front of our eyes?

Next week I may write about Carrefour, if I still have a job, as it’s always the most interesting topic for NEWS.MC readers for the simple reason it’s something we can all relate to in these very troubled times, even as we drip with sweat and stagger in tropical heat.

Any views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the publishers. Monte-Carlo Diary is published in the interests of editorial diversity.