What on earth is the UK Government doing? Binding itself to pay tribute to the EU for years after Brexit is barking mad. The worst of all worlds.
Perhaps they have just been worn down by endless remoaning. But this is a road that leads to never-ending servitude to the EU. Logic would say that the EU should be paying for access to the UK market, since it sells more to the UK then it buys, not the other way around. But there is no more logic here than that which drives a battered wife into continuing submission to her abusive husband.
The UK’s best hope is that the EU is so utterly intransigent in its demands for even more Danegeld as to eventually scupper the negotiations entirely. Then the UK can just leave, as mandated by the referendum, without paying anything, and without any Continue reading
This was in The Times today:
We were wrong — worst effects of climate change can be avoided, say experts
Scientists admit that world is warming more slowly than predicted
The worst impacts of climate change can still be avoided, senior scientists have said after revising their previous predictions.
The world has warmed more slowly than had been forecast by computer models, which were “on the hot side” and overstated the impact of emissions, a new study has found….
The study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience… suggests that the world has more time to make the changes.
Michael Grubb, professor of international energy and climate change at University College London and one of the study’s authors, admitted that his past prediction had been wrong…
They could have saved themselves a few lines by simply announcing “Robert Was Right”.
Following the local Council’s abandonment of its absurd prosecution of me, Channel 7 News ran a short piece about it on TV this evening; see https://au.news.yahoo.com/video/watch/36895842/myponga-lawyer-goes-to-extreme-lengths-to-fight-80-dog-fine/.
The episode has done nothing to make me any more kindly disposed to bad Continue reading
It was very sad news that my old friend Ian Posgate died last week.
Personally, I am not very good at being told what to do by people I regard as less clever than me; such instructions tend to bring out the anarchist in me. As soon as I met Ian, it became apparent that I was a mere amateur in this regard: Ian had elevated this sort of insubordination into an art form. And since Ian was markedly clever, he had plenty of grist for his mill. It brought him considerable success, and also some hurdles.
I first came across him some 30 years ago, after his first marriage had collapsed. He took up with my lovely friend Sally, who lived in the flat above me in Notting Hill. Ian would cheerfully wander down to the local newsagent on a Sunday morning in pyjamas and dressing gown, delightfully oblivious to more conventional social mores. Not only was he great fun, but he had very wide interests, and we became friends. Happily, he and Sally soon got married.
It was only after I got to know him that I discovered that he was really quite famous: dubbed “Goldfinger” by the press as by far the most successful underwriter at Lloyds. His success was built in part, I think, on his whole approach to life. He would make snap judgements about everything from politics to art, business, and people and those initial judgements were usually pretty accurate. And he would act on them. But he was never tied down to those judgements: if his ever-sensitive nose smelled anything on the wind of change, he would promptly make the appropriate adjustments. That being his method, he was ever keen to share intelligence with people from Continue reading
Anne Marie Morris, the MP for Newton Abbot in Devon, has been disciplined for saying, in the context of a discussion about Brexit:
Now I’m sure there will be many people who’ll challenge that, but my response and my request is look at the detail, it isn’t all doom and gloom. Now we get to the real nigger in the woodpile, which is, in two years what happens if there is no deal?
Well, the American expression “nigger in the woodpile” (meaning an important issue that is being overlooked) is somewhat antique, and probably best avoided in public speech. But it is really less offensive than many other epithets that are regularly thrown around, like imperialist pig, pakeha, bog-trotter, breeder, red-neck and Continue reading
Sadiq Khan has condemned the London Bridge attack as ‘deliberate and cowardly’.
Well, it was plainly deliberate. But cowardly? I do not think so. The perpetrators must surely have known that there was a very real risk that they would be killed. And they were. Cruel? Yes. Irrational? Yes. Deplorable? Yes. Cowardly? No. So Mr Khan is only 50% right.
Sadiq Khan is not the only one who has been talking pious nonsense about this. Several statements have been made to the effect that these terrorists are out of line with Islam. Well, actually, they are Continue reading
This weekend’s Times Crossword was unusually easy.
Except 1 down. What has “recap” got to do with playing-fields? I cannot see it, for the life of me. It fits. But it is right?
Anyway, if you send it in before Wednesday night, you might find out. Or even win £20. But only if you live in Great Britain.
Which Continue reading
So. Enda Kelly has stepped down from the top job in Ireland.
Enda is a curious name. Like Elimy, Calima, Enealor etc, it does look like a typo. Continue reading
The world establishment is going apoplectic about Trump pulling the US out of the Paris Accord. Even normally-moderate news channels are broadcasting lectures instead of reporting news, scarcely able to contain their rage. It is as though a country in the Arab Middle East said it did not believe in Islam any more.
There are other views, of course.
Trump is not an ideal POTUS, but it would take a genius to be wrong about absolutely everything. And anyway, it Continue reading
Explicit content warning
I have a sort of love-hate relationship with the remote control for my Quad 77 audio system. I will come back to that in a moment, but first of all, a word about hi-fi generally.
A while ago, I was walking my dog in the park, and chatting to someone who, until recently, was in the hi-fi business. He said that the business is now very largely dead, for two reasons.
First, pretty much everyone who wants a hi-fi system has already got one, and what is available on the market now is really no better than what they have already got. I challenged him about this: surely the quality of sound that one gets from the new generation of tiny speakers is pretty amazing, and he agreed that there had been significant improvements at the bottom of the market. But in terms of the best that is available, technology has really not moved on for 20 years or so.
Secondly, he remarked, young people are not interested in hi-fi. They have been brought up on lo-fi MP3 music and often feel rather uncomfortable with hi-fi. And what they stream from the internet is very lo-fi.
Now, if you are reading this, and you are a hi-fi nut, please do not reply to this saying that Continue reading