Where is the Bus?

busWhen Brexit won the 2016 referendum, the flopsie remoaners complained that it was only because of lies. In particular, they focused on the Brexit campaign bus which gave the gross UK weekly contribution, when they thought it should have been the net figure, after deduction of what the EU spends in the UK.

Boris Johnson has just won a considerable majority in the general election. The flopsies will not like that at all. They will want to say the election was stolen by lies.

But this time, there is no very obvious bus.

My guess is that Continue reading

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A Whiff of Musk

VernonVernon Unsworth, the British cave diver who was instrumental in saving the lives of a Thai football team trapped in a cave, has lost his libel action against Elon Musk. Elon Musk had referred to Unsworth as a “pedo guy” on Twitter, and later tweeted: “Bet ya a signed dollar it’s true”.

As it happens, Vernon Unsworth is not a paedophile at all, and it might be thought that his action in defamation was something of a sure-fire winner. Musk’s defence was that when he called Unsworth a pedo, he didn’t literally mean that Unsworth was a pedo.

No, he just meant that Unsworth was a tosser.

Not that he was accusing Unsworth of masturbation either. He was just saying that Unsworth was a moron.

And no, he wasn’t accusing Unsworth of intellectual impairment either.

It turns out that, in the general stock of insults, people don’t generally Continue reading

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Climate change – what happened to the Isle of Oxney?

old_mapWhen I was a child, my maternal grandmother retired to Littlestone, on the Kent coast. The nearest town was New Romney, which used to be a thriving port not so very long ago. I recall seeing the metal rings that the ships used to tie up to on the harbour wall.

Not any more.

And what about the Isle of Oxney, just up the road? That is completely gone.

The ravages of climate change? Swamped by rising sea level?

Just the Continue reading

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Middle Agitprop

middlemarchOn the radio, the BBC has been running a dramatisation of George Eliot’s Middlemarch. It is a long time since I last read the novel. Putting a story of everyday provincial life on the radio, with different actors playing each character, inevitably reminds one just a little of a 19th-century version of The Archers Omnibus. Hey ho.

And there is something else.

As the narrative descends from the sunny uplands of Jane Austen to the dreary back alleys of Zola, so George Eliot’s subtle wit is replaced by the whining drone of Continue reading

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Killing for a Browser

My eye was caught by this amusing bit of nonsense on Facebook:

Internet explorer v murder

Curious, I had a quick look at murder rates, and they confirm the popular belief that the murder rate in the United States has been, throughout the last hundred years or so, much higher than in other first world countries. The stats also show that murder rates in the United States have been Continue reading

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Grim Fascination

Mao goodMost people (including many in the Labour Party) are hoping that Jeremy Corbyn never, ever gets into No 10. But elections have been unpredictable thing these days. If, heaven forbid, an unholy pact of EU Remainers gets him in, there will be a morbid fascination among us expats as to how long it will take him to lead the UK into financial ruin.

Venezuela is a sort of precedent. There, the socialists shifted one of the wealthiest countries in South America to disaster in around 7 years. In that time, of course, the destruction of the economy was pretty complete. That nightmare is, of course, not yet over for them.

Australia is another example. Its socialist Prime Minister Gough Whitlam managed to destroy the Australian economy in just 3 years. By the end of that time, having trashed public finances, he had engaged a dodgy agent from Pakistan to try to negotiate a secret bail-out by even dodgier Middle Eastern oil states and was unable to deliver supply. Happily for the Australian people, the Governor-General stepped in to Continue reading

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Height of Doctoring?

PA.jpgPrince Andrew is 6′. The young lady (as she then was) in this “photo” is 5’3″.

Do we smell a rat?

And anyway, just how long is Prince Andrew’s left arm supposed to be? Quite a bit longer than his other arm?

And why does ther young lady look like a cardboard cutout?

Maybe someone thought there was a bit of money to be made here?

To be fair, Grace Kelly did no great harm to the royal family of Monaco. But, overall, the value of Americanisation to Continue reading

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World Cup Fever – the Real Game

Itoje.jpgIf anyone is in any doubt that rugby is a smarter game than football, look at Mario Itoje.

He is a second row forward for England. His job is to put his head between the sweating buttocks of a hooker and a prop, and push. And to jump in the lineout. And, if he can, to make a yard or so every time he gets the ball, before being tackled to the ground.

Mario Itoje does all of these things, excellently well, and more. He is 6 ‘ 5”, which helps. And clearly very strong indeed.

He is also a very talented athlete.  Ant yet more, he was educated at Harrow, and got 3 A grades at A level. Well, yes, I hear you say, A grades are not what they used to be. Grade inflation has devalued the brand. Even so: how many football players have A levels at all, let alone at A grade?

It is all counterintuitive, you might think. Rugby looks such a physical game. And yet, it is a game of considerable complexity. Mere muscle always loses out to muscle + a highly Continue reading

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Payback time

Anne WClearly, UK politics is presently in something of a state of stalemate. It is 2-2.

On one side, we have the majority of the British people, and the British government, who want Brexit to happen. On the other side, we have the majority of Parliament and the courts, who do not want Brexit to happen. The Remainers in the House of Commons to not want to admit that they were lying through their teeth when they made their election promises to honour the result of the Brexit referendum, and so their policy is to obstruct and delay at every turn. The judges on the Supreme Court do not want to admit that they have now entered the political arena, but they will, if they possibly can, declare illegal anything the government does that gives effect to the democratic result of the 2016 referendum.

This wouldn’t be a problem, but for the Fixed Term Parliament Act. But for that ill-considered measure, there would be a general election by now, the Remainers would have been cleared out of Parliament and then it would be 3-1 for Brexit. Easy.

In the end, there will have to be a general election. Presumably, the Remainers are hoping that if they put it off long enough, the British economy will have been trashed, and the British people will have lost hope of ever gaining their freedom.

So maybe the government should chivvy things along a bit. The advantage that Parliament has is that it can, with the assistance of a conniving speaker, pass legislation to prevent any move towards Brexit. The advantage that the government has is that it has a huge number of powers, which it can exercise with machine-gun rapidity. The trick for the government will be to ramp up the fire rate. Here are some thoughts on what the government might do in the next Continue reading

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Les Miserables

Les POne may safety say that Sir Oliver Letwin has brought the same world-wide regard for the dignity and respect of the UK as Sir Les Patterson brought to Australia.

Which is … Continue reading

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