Laffer's still laughing:
Why are the most brilliant insights often so simple and obvious? According to The Telegraph, it was way back in 1974, when Gerald Ford was president of the USA, that Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and one or two others met for lunch in a Washington restaurant. Among the group was a little-known professor of economics, Arthur Laffer, who insisted that the president's desire to raise taxes was mistaken. He used one of the restaurant napkins to draw a simple diagram demonstrating that beyond a certain point higher taxes collect less money. "At a stroke", to quote the old phrase, of his pen, Laffer exposed the Lefties' desire for yet higher taxes to be what we had all suspected it to be, that is, punitive rather than a pious desire to raise as much money as possible to alleviate the suffering of the poor. Laffer is in London to attend the Margaret Thatcher Conference on Liberty next Wednesday. Give that man a knighthood! (Apparently the napkin still exists!)
A culinary triumph: I BBQ-ed last night and I can honestly label it a 'triumph' not least because of certain factors lodged against its success. First of all, it was my first BBQ in what seems like decades ever since global drowning took over from global warming! Second, and even more important, I had mixed myself a jug 0f nitroglycerine dry martini without which my cooking skills deteriorate, or to be honest, without which I worry and fret about whether or not I am cooking correctly (with it, I don't give a flying fig!) but the 'Memsahib' in an act of gross carelessness verging on sabotage lifted the jug from the deep freeze - and dropped it! (The divorce should be over by Christmas, an open and shut case in which I know his Lordship will sympathise with me.) The third factor promising myriad potential disasters was that the 'Memsahib' insisted that I cook the food on kebab sticks, a style of cooking which I have never attempted before. And I had to do all this whilst sipping on white wine, or what jovial Jack Falstaff called, "thin potations"! Terrifying because, of course, I am not used to BBQ-ing whilst stone-cold sober! Fortunately, because I regularly 'labour in the vineyards of the Lord' (= cut the grass in the churchyard!) He smiled upon my efforts and the result was a sensational success! This morning I am moving slowly and finding the noise of this clicking keyboard a little loud! And, oh God, I've just remembered that we're out to lunch today . . .
That Magna Carta ain't worth the vellum it's written on! Well, not when it's used as an example of what constitutes being 'British', according to Dr. Tim Stanley in The Telegraph as he gives 'Dim Dave' the equivalent of a hundred lines for failing miserably to define 'Britishness'. Dr. Stanley, obviously a highly erudite and intelligent man - well, he agrees with me! - insists that we should just concentrate on teaching our 'likkle kiddie winkies' the history of their country:
You really want to turn our children into little Britons? Then just teach history honestly and well. Let them enjoy it, wallow in it, find their heroes, identify the villains (Henry VIII) and make their own minds up about what it means to them. Teach them literature, too, and philosophy/religious studies so that they understand the moral foundations of the society around them. Most importantly of all, teach the Forsterian principle of connection. When did we last feel really British? At the massive get-together that was the Diamond Jubilee. And did we all sing along to lines of Latin from Magna Carta, or to Suggs and the boys from Madness? Even those dour old Whigs can’t deny the power of ska…
No more rumbles today