Category Archives: Uncategorized

Pandemic

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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Regicide is dangerous…

…It brings on many changes
And I can take or leave it if I please

regicide

 

My great etc uncle Colonel George Fenwick was not only a soldier, but a member of the bar, and he was invited to sit on the bench which tried Charles I and condemned him to death. There were a few misgivings about the wisdom of regicide at the time, and Uncle George was not stupid. He declined to sit.

That was indeed wise. Come the Restoration, those members of the regicide bench who were still alive were hung, drawn and quartered. If my memory serves me well, the royalists even dug up one or two members of the bench who were by then dead, and hung, drew and quartered them!

A new sort of regicide has developed recently in Australian politics. It is quite a while since a sitting prime minister has finished his term in office without being deposed by internal revolt, and the present incumbent (just) Malcolm Turnbull looks as if he is just about to go the same way. Interestingly, he has required the regicides to sign their names to a piece of paper before he walks to his political scaffold. As I write this, it seems that Continue reading

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Brexit means more Brits in Hell, Warns God

tony-blairBrexit will means that up to 35% more British citizens will go to hell, instead of heaven, according to new research.

This startling revelation follows a poll of prayer results, which show that God has instructed St Peter to impose strict post-Brexit guidelines. Unless dying Brexiteers have repented, they will automatically be consigned to purgatory at the Pearly Gates.  Once there, they will face a lengthy wait until probate. Once their will has been proved, officials appointed by the European Court of Justice will assess whether they have bequeathed at least 40% of their estate to the the EU Officials Benefit Fund. If not, then consignment to hell is more or less automatic, subject only to a special asylum plea to the Pope.

Appointed to oversee the asylum process is former Prime Minister, Tony Blair.  Asked to comment on the new arrangements, he said, “Told you so”. Asked why he has hired Gerry Adams as his deputy, and insisted that all his new team must be either Irish or Liverpudlian, he added “That was Cherie’s idea”.

Current Prime Minster Theresa May said, “We are working with the Vatican to ensure a smooth transition to these new alignment regulations. It is vital, for our Brexit-for-Britain vision, to ensure a good working relationship with all our European partners, including Satan, and we must not discriminate against EU officials, whether they have horns and pointed tails or not. My whole team is committed to strong and stable government.”

In a rare lapse from his usual good manners, Jacob Rees-Mogg Continue reading

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Pride and Prejudice

What a striking contrast this past week between the pride of the RAF 100th birthday celebrations, and the miserable capitulation of Theresa May to the EU.

Will she be replaced as Tory leader, and hence Prime Minister, by someone with the bottle to override the bureaucrats and to do what the country has voted for? Perhaps, but probably not quite yet. There is an anomaly. The majority of Tory voters are pro-Brexit. The majority of Tory MPs (including Theresa May) are not. So those MPs do not – on the whole – truly represent their own party.

If the party gets angry enough, might it take a leaf out the Labour Party book, and deselect the traitors? They could. Not their habit, of course; local Conservative Associations are typically loyal to their sitting MPs. But these are strange days. Get rid of the Tory MPs would do not share the views of their local parties, and TM would be out of No 10 in a jiffy.

Things might be starting to hot up, as the UK heads towards the EU rocks? Theresa May has already gravely prejudiced any prospect of a sensible Brexit deal. The only real prospect now of a proper Brexit is Continue reading

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Busted, but Back

BustedI see that tired old canard about 97% of all experts agreeing with climate change alarmism is doing the rounds again!

For heaven’s sake! This is on the level of photoshopped pictures purporting to show George W Bush holding a telephone upside down, or manufactured quotes of Donald Trump allegedly saying that he went with the Republicans because they are stupid. There are so many holes in the 97% nonsense it is hard to know where to start. And I won’t. But it has been a remarkably successful piece of propaganda, and does indicate (i) that the floppies have done surprising well taking the public for gullible fools and/or (ii) that the old Nazi technique – of repeating lies often enough turns them in facts, of a sort – does work, at least to a degree.

For a selection of the many debunkings of this 97% stuff, see Continue reading

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Chutneyed Green Tomatoes

chutneyI tried the first time making chapati to go with my curry the other day. Not a great success for that purpose, although they turn out to be surprisingly nice for breakfast instead of toast with baked beans and egg.

More successful was the green tomato chutney, which I made from my vegetable garden produce at the combined urging of my PA and my housekeeper.

Some people say “chuckney”, with a “ck” rather than a “t”. How did that happen? It may well be by route of the glottal stop: people saying “chu’ney”.

Does that mean that the origins of the stuff are rather working class? I wouldn’t Continue reading

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Losers are Grinners

nudgeThe sports press are having a whale of a time.

Both England and Belgium are now certain of qualifying from their group in the World Cup, and bizarrely, it seems so there might be an advantage for either team to lose in their final group game, against each other, since losing will probably mean less strong opposition in the next round.

One might think this is all FIFA’s fault, in arranging a draw which leads to such a bizarre circumstance. And what miserable sourpusses they are for now warning the teams of sanctions if they try to lose.[1] A game in which both parties are trying to lose[2] would be great fun![3]

Then again, it might be even more fun watching a game in which each team is trying to lose, but at the same time pretending that it is trying to win.

However things turn out, there might well be a bit of “Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more” from whichever team loses. Continue reading

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Cheering the Chavs and Bogans

The FIFA World Cup is going on right now in Russia. Living in Australia, there is a very different perspective than that from England.

newmanBoth England and Australia have qualified, but neither has much realistic prospect of winning, or even doing that well. England is better placed, you might think. After all, England has won the competition in the past (although that was quite a long time ago). It has one of the best football leagues in the world (although quite a lot of the players in that are foreign). And dammit, we invented the game in the first place. Nevertheless, the prevailing mood in the English press is one of diffident self-mockery, recognising the unlikelihood of success.

By contrast, Australia is thoroughly gung ho. For sure, Australia punches well above its weight in sporting terms for a nation of only 24 million people.  It has done well to even qualify but its track record is not good. Since it first qualified in 1974, it is played 15 World Cup matches, and only won only two of them. One of those was against Japan, and so does not really count. Nevertheless, the experts on the Australian commentary teams are thoroughly upbeat, saying in advance of each match, “Yes, we can do it”. They don’t of course. With one match to go, it looks virtually certain that Australia will be knocked out, not having won any of its matches this time either. And yet the Ozzie pundits are still in there enthusing. If Australia wins its last match against Peru 20-0, and if France make monkeys out of Denmark (or is it the other way round?), they confidently predict that Continue reading

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Mera, Mera, Off the Wall

mokoAmong people who say silly things, there is a full range from the mildly eccentric to the full-blown potty. New Zealand academic Mera Lee-Penehira looks as though she might be well up the latter end of the spectrum. For example, in 2015 she launched a criminal complaint against the United States under the International Crimes and International Criminal Court Act 2000. Why? Because she does not think the United States ought to be in Hawaii. She said:

“We need to challenge everything the U.S. government does in Hawai‘i, because on the basis of law, it is quite simply wrong. The historical documentation is clear, that the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to exist under an illegal occupation by the U.S. and that the laws of occupation must be complied with. As a victim of war crimes committed in Hawai‘i, this cannot be allowed to continue to take place with impunity.” Continue reading

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