A bugger's muddle: That's what I'm in at the moment with all this new-fangled MS 8.1! I appear to have lost all the important information I had, like names, e-mail addresses, favourite blogs and so on. Still, as I said to SoD yesterday, the best way for me to re-learn is to just keep clicking away at the coal-face until I get the hang of it all. Don't hold your breath!
The advantages of growing old #1: Yesterday, whilst driving my elderly and poorly friend back to London I pondered on the business of getting old and tried to come up with some advantages to the condition. I suddenly thought of a brilliant and witty aphorism on the subject and decided then and there to publish it and also to make it running subject on this blog, hence the numbered sub-title to this piece. Alas, this morning I forgot what it was! Sodding old age, don'cha hate it!
Maybe Mrs May maybe: The next leader of the Tory party, that is, according to sundry wiseacres in the media who tell us that she is leading in all the polls taken amongst Tory party activists. I can't say I am enthralled by the idea but I hesitate to give her a kicking because the last time a fair haired women took over the Tories I grumped like mad until, that is, I actually listened to what she was saying through her ghastly voice and suddenly realised that she was talking amazingly good sense. So far I have to say that I have never heard Mrs. May say anything very much except a few years ago when she was daft enough to describe her own party as "the nasty party". Not the brightest light on the Christmas tree, then. Also, one must harbour doubts concerning any woman who chooses to wear 4" leopard-pattern high-heels, my Mum warned me about that sort of thing!
Fancy a cold shower? If so, save your water and instead read Liam Hannigan in The Telegraph. Here's a quick shiver-inducing splash to give you the flavour:
The United States, still the world’s largest economy by far, contracted sharply during the first quarter of this year. American GDP fell at an annual rate of 1pc during the first three months of 2014 on official figures, the first drop we’ve seen since the dark days of 2011.
It's true, as Halligan reminds us, that the US suffered unprecedented freezing weather this winter and it is likely that the second quarter figures will show a rise. Even so, he still believes that the American economy is floating on printed money despite the miniscule, so-called "tapering". 'Dim Dave' must cross his no doubt well-manicured fingers and hope the American brown stuff does not hit the fan until after the Brit election. Meanwhile, over in the European waste-lands . . .
Merde, alors! According to Patrick Marnham in 'The Speccie', not only is La France going down the toilet economically but also, and more dangerously, its politics are following suit. Pres. Hollande and his Socialist party, of course, are a busted flush after their drubbing in the European elections. But equally, so too is the Right-wing UMP party, the only traditional alternative. They are mired in scandals and court proceedings which just might see Sarkozy in the dock. The blonde bombshell, Marine Le Pen, and her National Front party stand poised to sweep the board at the next French election As Marnham reminds us:
It is an error to regard Marine Le Pen's party as being right-wing [...]. Le Pen rails against globalisation and free trade, against 'American tax-dodging multinationals' and the French employers' association. She wants a high minimum wage, tariff barriers and a preference in employment, housing and social benefits for French citizens over European or international immigrants.
Should she take power the only question will be which will collapse first, the EU or France?!
No more rumbles today