Category Archives: Culture

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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BritBox “Watch anywhere”

This sounds good:

Anywhere

But not unhappily, not that good: Continue reading

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Banged to Wrongs

EU burnThis is quite seriously weird: I this see on Twitter from Pieter Cleppe @pietercleppe:

Incredible: Germany’s Upper House approved legislation that would impose a prison sentence of up to 3 years or a fine for defamation of the EU’s flag or hymn. What about freedom of speech? 

And what about those who feel that Ode to Joy is a bit… well …cheesy?

Germany, and indeed some other countries, have also made holocaust denial a criminal offence. 5 years for that one.

For sure, denying the historical fact that the Germans, not so very long ago, did kill an awful lot of Jews is decidedly nutty – the evidence is really very clear.  In the UK, the preferred route is not to lock nutters up, but instead to place them in the Houses of Parliament representing the minor parties. Prison costs the State £37,543 a year per prisoner, not to mention the cost of Continue reading

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Brexit & Global Warming: Gnostics v Faithful

GnosticIt has been remarked that there is some commonality between those who advocate for British independence from the EU (Brexit) and those who are sceptical about climate change alarmism.[1] The point might equally be put the other way around: that the more likely someone is to believe in the UK’s continued partipation in the EU project, the more likely that person is to believe in impending disaster resulting from anthropogenic global warming.

What is the link between these concepts? It is an interesting question, and the answer is by no means obvious. Certainly, it is the case that a number of the sharpest minds in Britain today (Matt Ridley[2], Nigel Lawson[3], Jacob Rees-Mogg[4] and Daniel Hannan[5] to name a few) – let us call them the Gnostics – are in favour of Brexit, and are also sceptical about the beliefs of the climate change lobby. But then again, there are also Continue reading

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Scared, or Scary?

cat in microwave 2What little Greta Thunberg had to say to the UN’s, is like her other utterances, complete tosh. Children are not being murdered by greedy industrialists. There are no entire ecosystems which are collapsing. We are not experiencing any mass extinction.

But here’s a question. Is she genuinely scared witless? Or is she a manipulative little vixen?

It might be a mixture of the two, of course. But it is hard not to believe that there might be a fair bit of the latter. Not all manipulative children suffer from Aspergers Syndrome, but it appears to be well documented that children suffering from Aspergers are particularly likely to indulge in manipulative behaviour. As noted by Continue reading

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Heathers

My younger daughter Lucy Fenwick Elliott has done a great job directing Heathers: The Musical, which has now been well reviewed. It will not be long, hopefully, before she is directing films again.

A fair old enterprise, to judge by the size of the squad:

full squad

Unsurprisingly, I am very proud of her.  A very clever daughter.

Meanwhile, my older daughter – journalist and Senior Content Editor at The Telegraph  Annabel Fenwick Elliott – is in the Californian desert, writing up her forthcoming book. And stranded there, for the moment, by the collapse of Thomas Cook. Very proud of her too.

 

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Eton Mess

etonThe Labour Party is threatening (again) to attack public[1] and other feepaying schools. In particular, they propose to make it more difficult for pupils from such schools to get to university, and to remove buildings and playing fields from such schools.

There is a good point about inequality in education. It would be sensible for the best education to be given to the brightest children, not the children of the parents with the most money[2]. But how to go about this?

The Labour Party approach is to destroy the best schools. A much better approach would be to make the best schools more available to the most promising children, regardless of the means of their parents.

Attacks tend to be focused on Continue reading

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Silence and Tears

byroDipping into Byron is a mixed pleasure. There is a lot of pointless guff that is barely better than doggerel, and then there are some jewels. The other day I came upon this bitter-sweet poem (well, it is like a song lyric, really), which I had not read for many years, and had forgotten. I could set it to music. Except that the last time I did that – to We’ll No More Go A-Roving – Leonard Cohen promptly copied me with his own version.  Well, it is too late for him to do the same with this one:

When we two parted
   In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
   To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
   Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
   Sorrow to this. Continue reading

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Recent thoughts

 

Cigar4For various reasons, I have not posted so much recently. But I have a couple of moments now, and here are some recent thoughts:

Rain

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.

Hong Kong

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.

Forbidden Fruit

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 Continue reading

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Soaking rich

bathYou would need to be seriously, seriously rich to want to spend $49,157 for a bath.

It does not even come with taps. They are Continue reading

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