Ghastly, Glastlier, Ghastliest

OllieIf reports are true, Tony Blair is even more ghastly than we thought. He has apparently praised Ollie Robbins[1] for deceiving the Cabinet about the true nature of his Robbins-Weyand deal[2] before then encouraging the Labour Party to reject it. Blair has apparently[3] said:

I take my hat off to Olly Robbins, Olly is a very skilled guy, the elaborate camouflage of all the different points is a tribute to the skills of the British civil service, I say that sincerely.

This deal isn’t a compromise, it’s a capitulation.

The withdrawal agreement will keep us tied to EU trade policy until there is an end established by ‘joint consent’ – in other words, the EU has a veto.

It is coated in heavy fudge, but that is the inedible biscuit beneath the coating.

All this does rather suggest that getting rid of Ollie Continue reading


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A Continental Victory? Not so fast!

Barnier WeyandMichelle Barnier and Sabine Weyand have done an excellent job of outmanoeuvring the British civil service at every turn in the Brexit negotiations. On behalf of the EU, they have conceded virtually nothing, whilst extracting more or less complete surrender from the UK side.

They have confidence on their side, of course. The EU always wins. Whenever any vote goes against them, they simply have it reversed.

It is fair to say that they’ve had the wind behind them, in the sense that the British side has been led by Ollie Robbins, a committed Europhile[1]. The negotiations might have been harder if the rug had not been pulled out from under David Davies and then his successor Dominic Raab. Whenever it looked like either of those Brexit secretaries would put up any opposition to EU demands, number 10 grabbed the reins from their hands in order that Robbins and Weyand could make the agreement they both wanted. Philip II of Spain would have succeeded in his Spanish Armada if the British Navy had been commanded by Continue reading

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Yankalilla Council Elections

localsIf you have a vote, and have not yet cast it, now is the time to do it. The issue that most people care about is dogs: who is most likely to roll back the ridiculous anti-dog by-laws that we have recently been suffering from?

In Field Ward, Leon Zarins will get my top vote as a dog-lover. You have to vote for 4 candidates. So for me, that is:

  • Zarins
  • Rothwell
  • O’Neil
  • Wetherby

So – Olsson certainly does not get my vote!

In Light, you would probably want to go:

  • Gibbs
  • Leverington
  • Quirk
  • Marks
  • Verwey

With a bit of luck, enough dog lovers – or just people who recognise that the wishes of most residents should prevail over the demands of a few activists – will get elected, so that Continue reading

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Quiz XI – Fireworks

guy fawkesToday, Englishmen celebrate the thwarting in 1605 of Arch-Remainer Guy Fawkes, who attempted to frustrate English independence from Europe by blowing up Parliament. We do this, as we have for the last 5 centuries, by letting off fireworks on the evening of November 5th each year. A simple pleasure now constrained, ironically,  by EU Directive 2103/29/EU.

This quiz question is multiple choice. How many words are there in this Directive?

  • 21
  • 210
  • 2,100
  • 21,000?

As usual, no prizes other than PIA.

Hint: the recital begins thus Continue reading

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Hat Trick

I sometimes attempt The Times crossword puzzle. Sometimes I finish it; more often I do not. So I was quite pleased to finish each of the last three days’ puzzles.

Some people think they are a waste of time. On one analysis, of course, they are. But there are so many divergent problems in the world: it does seem to be soothing to solve a convergent problem from time to time.

27181 was moderate. I had to look in the dictionary to see that HERDWICK is a sort of sheep. 27182 was not too bad. 27183 was really quite hard, I thought. If I ever knew, I had forgotten that BASEBAND is a technical term for a radio frequency. I had to check an atlas to see that ORAN is a North African city. And I needed the dictionary again to see that to TORREFY something is to dry it.

It is possible to do these puzzles on line.  But I print them out, partly because Continue reading

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Caravan Wars

caravanPresident Trump is apparently sending some 5,000 troops to the Mexican border in order to confront the caravan of people arriving from the south. One would need considerable optimism to think that it is going to go well.

Trump talks in terms of an “invasion”. But it is not like an invasion in the ordinary sense. These caravan people are not soldiers, but economic migrants. It’s really not on to shoot them dead, even for Trump, and so for the troops, their rifles are presumably going to be useless.

Some of the caravan people, perhaps many of them, might well claim asylum. Whilst they might well be asylum seekers, it is doubtful that any but a tiny proportion will be found to be entitled to asylum, and so after the US government spends a lot of time and money on them, they will presumably be sent back across the border. And then what happens?

It is not difficult to imagine that vast Continue reading

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Animal Games

Perdita corkThe animals have been playing a new game: “What Shall We Do with a Champagne Cork?

I throw the cork. If Perdita gets it, she dances around the lawn, throwing the cork up in the air in delight like a killer whale does with a seal. Only rather less dramatic. Obviously. After a while, she gives it back, so that we can do it again.

If Merlin gets it (he is remarkably nimble on his feet), he lies on it, and pretends to have nothing to do with the game at all. “Cork? What cork? I haven’t seen it”.

Melin corkIt is a much better game than “Eat the Spoon”. For that, they operate as a tag team. Merlin jumps up onto the kitchen benchtop, finds a wooden spoon and pushes it off down onto the floor. Perdita then eats it.

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Bad News Audit

It has been a very bad few weeks for the global warming industry.

Last month – September – was the coldest, globally, for a decade. Melbourne had its coldest September morning in 15 years. And it was the coldest September day ever recorded in Germany and Holland. Likewise record cold in Canada. And Delaware. And East Anglia. All over the place, in fact.

HadCRUT-audit-532x720Obviously, an exceptionally cold patch is no more statistically significant than an exceptionally warm patch. Much more worrying for the warmists is the audit of the HadCRUT4 data published a few days ago, carried out by Dr John McLean and published by Robert Boyle Publishing.

Those who care about this issue know exactly what the HadCRUT4 data is, but lest you do not, gentle reader, I should explain that it is the dataset that has been used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to make its various claims about global warming that has occurred, and its various predictions about further global warming. The accuracy of this data is of course fundamental if any reliance is to be put on the IPCC predictions – “garbage in, garbage out” as they say.

And so I spent the $US 8 necessary to buy An Audit of the Creation and Content of theHadCRUT4 Temperature Dataset. It is 135 pages long. Some of the findings merely suggest that the data collection has been sloppy. Others suggest that the data, especially in the earlier years, is extraordinarily sparse such that there is a very wide error margin. Some of the data is plainly nonsense, such as data purportedly from ships reporting positions many miles from the sea. There has been much data which has been changed in an unreliable way (homogenised, as they call it) without any adequate record being kept of such changes. There are 75 such types of error painstakingly identified. And there are a couple of things about it which are particularly Continue reading

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Peter PanFor a while, when I was practising in London, I had to put up with the bit of teasing from my professional colleagues on the Peter Pan front. I looked far too young, they said.

The criticism was unfair, I thought. The thing was, I really was far too young: it was no illusion. I started my law firm when I had only just turned 28 years old, and before very long, I and that law firm was doing some serious business. In those days, I was, generally speaking, much younger than my peers.

At no very obvious moment, all this changed. I am now much older than my peers in the law. I know this because I’ve started to feel a real sense of gratification about eating vegetables that I have grown myself in my vegetable garden. This must be a sign of age, even if Continue reading

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Bad Strategies

Brexit votesIt does very much look as though the Remainers have got their strategies badly wrong concerning Brexit.

During the referendum campaign, the Remainers focused very little on the merits of remaining part of the EU, instead choosing to denigrate Brexiteers, and to try to instil a sense of fear about leaving the EU. That might well have worked in continental Europe, but the British people tend to be resistant to that sort of pressure. And so the Remainers lost.

As we head towards the Brexit date in March 2019, the Remainers are now focused on trying to make the Brexit process as difficult as possible, continuing to denigrate the Brexiteers and effectively saying that if you voted for Brexit, you are stupid. Again, the British people tend to dislike that sort of patronising treatment.

Again, I think this is likely to backfire. The more troubled the Remainers make the process of leaving, the more likely the British people are to think, “Sod it! Let’s just leave without any sort of deal with the EU!”. This is not, of course, entirely the fault of Continue reading

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