For various reasons, I have not posted so much recently. But I have a couple of moments now, and here are some recent thoughts:
We at the beginning g of September now, towards the end of the rainier winter on the Fleurieu Peninsula, but neither my rainwater tanks nor my dam (“Loch Phenelry”) are yet full.
If my croquet lawn is to flourish over the summer, I need some more rain.
Ever since the British government handed back (unnecessarily, in my view) Hong Kong to the Chinese, Hong Kong was doomed. Without any pleasure in saying so at all, I fear the protesters have no real prospect of succeeding. Hong Kong used to be a colony of the British, but was free, in that the government did pretty much what the people wished for, even though there were no elections. Now and for the foreseeable future, it is a colony of the Chinese, and not free: now the government does what the Chinese want.
For many people, that which is forbidden is all the more delicious.
For me, as for many other people, the best fruit is knowledge. There is a delight in knowing things that most other people do not know. But in particular, there is a delight in knowing things which most people (or at any rate, those in authority) would prefer us not to know.
I’m sure I’m not quite alone in delighting in knowing stuff about climate change which the ignorant flopsies do not know. And a recent little nugget concerned the infamous “hockey stick”. This was the graph produced by flopsie in chief Michael Mann, intended to show that we were in a period of unprecedented warming. Utter poppycock of course. He was called out by Dr Tim Ball as a fraud, and rather unwisely sued in defamation. His defamation action has now been thrown out with prejudice.
This is not, of course, entirely proof that the hockey stick stuff was rubbish, but it is very substantial evidence leading in that direction: the perpetrator and principal architect of that nonsense has been drummed out of court.
The horrid little Greta Thornburg has arrived in New York. She sailed across the Atlantic in a carbon fibre racing yacht, on the basis that she did not want to add to global warming by flying.
At the very least, she has caused at least five times as much damage as she has saved, as crew members for this ridiculously expensive yacht are flown to and fro across the Atlantic in order to indulge her whim. Other analyses suggest that the environmental damage that this voyage has caused is far greater.
In a sense, of course, the creature is an allegory for a much bigger problem: that the climate change movement causes far more damage both to the environment and to humanity than it saves.
The natural home for Greta is, of course, the European Parliament. As soon as she gets there, she will be able to indulge her poppycock (with a generous pension) for decades to come, at the expense of the people of continental Europe.
Brexit outrage – for how long?
We have been here before.
Back in the 16th century, there were those in the UK whose hearts were absolutely tied to Rome. Attempts by the Jacobites to incite rebellion against the legitimate government of the UK went on for a couple of centuries.
In the last century, there was something similar following the Russian Revolution. There was a significant minority of people in the UK whose hearts were absolutely tied to Moscow. They genuinely believed that a world order of communism was the right thing for the UK, as for everywhere else. At the very least, their invidious influence lasted for decades, infiltrating the foreign office (eg Kim Philby), culture (Joan Littlewood), industry (Red Robbo) and even Buckingham Palace itself (Anthony Blunt). Views vary as to quite how much money Michael Foot, then leader of the Labour Party, took from Moscow, and on what basis. It is an obvious, if somewhat cheap, shot to remark that the current leaders of the Labour Party (Corbyn and McDonnell) are cut from the same cloth, even though Moscow is now run by a kleptocracy, and communism around the world is now a burned-out rag.
How long will it be before those whose hearts are absolutely tied to the Treaty of Rome (whose centre of notional power has now moved to Brussels) will cease to be a force trying to sabotage everything that the UK does to prosper? My guess is that it will be decades at the very least. They are like a parasite, desperately clinging the corridors of power that they once stalked, and will not be easily shifted.
To some extent, of course, all of this is to do with the inherent tolerance of the British. There was never anything in Britain comparable to the McCarthyism of the United States, by which communism in there was substantially rooted out and destroyed. That tolerance is a wonderful thing. I do not for one moment suggest that it should be suspended. But it is right to recognise that it comes at a cost.
There was a time, several decades ago, when many of the brightest British brains moved to the United States. That tide was stemmed a while ago.
Meanwhile, there is a continuing brain drain from New Zealand to Australia. Having been married to a New Zealander for nine years, I naturally know a number of clever New Zealanders. The majority of them live either in Australia or England.
The machinations of Brexit are exciting the aspirations us those who want Scottish independence. Well, if they want to go, they should go. But the practical reality is that there is a substantial brain drain from Scotland to England, and for quite a while now the quid pro quo for it has been that a disproportionate amount of the UK budget (and for that matter representation in Parliament) has been disposed to Scotland. If Scotland does choose independence, the brain drain will continue. In fact, unless the Scots erect a Berlin style wall along the border, it will accelerate, as Scotland gets poorer and England gets richer.
“Oh no”, I hear the flopsies cry: “Nice kindhearted Scots would never want to leave Scotland in order to live in a nasty uncaring England”. Really? One only has to look at the southern border of the United States to see the awful determination of those who have suffered under socialist regimes to crawl their way towards the sunny uplands of a land of opportunity. Capitalism, as it is usually called. And by the time the poison dwarf is finished with Scotland, its economic position might be hardly better than Venezuelan today.
Once the UK has left the EU, the overwhelming likelihood is that there will be a very substantial reduction in the barriers between the UK and Australasia. Does that mean that there will be a brain drain from Australasia to the UK? Well, maybe a bit. But if the UK and Australasia are better integrated, I think the net result for Austria later will be a huge benefit. There is a massive migration from New York to Florida, to the benefit of both States. It might well be something like that. Or, if Australia gets it right, a whole load of smart kids in the UK (who have arrived from all over the world) might well set up their smart businesses in Australia, in which case Australia will become the California of the new order. Not least, because the weather is so much better in Australia than in the UK! It is the sort of place where we actually like a bit of rain.