Well, it had better be sunny or I might go into Grump Factor 10! Anyway, I'll be back on Friday so contain yourselves, darlings!
Frankly, I haven't a clue! More important, I suspect that no-one else does, either. I would like to think that the Americans and/or the Chinese have broken North Korean codes and are thus in a position of having some inside knowledge although, of course, it is unlikely that they are sharing that information. I also hope that the Americans are doing something more useful than just despatching aircraft carriers hither and thither. For example, I hope they are perfecting a 'perfect storm' of electronic attacks on NK electronic systems such that they can, if necessary, close the place down.
It seems to me that the Chinese are 'sitting pretty'. I don't think that they actively wish for 'Fat Boy Kim' to start tossing his rockets out of his pram because the resulting economic tsunami will bring their burgeoning economy to a shuddering halt along with everyone else. Even so, they will shed no tears if America suffers a mega-Pearl Harbour that might well cripple it for decades.
So, to quote an old Victorian phrase, 'what's a body to do'? More or less nothing is my immediate response apart, that is, from taking every possible precaution throughout every level of the American forces and their government. I assume plans are well advanced for an instantaneous military counter-attack which will, in effect, leave North Korea as a smoking, radio-active wasteland. The imperative is that this must be done as a re-action, not a pro-active action.
In the meantime, cross your fingers and toes and, if you think it might help, offer up a prayer!
Given their recent track record it is not necessary to be a brave man in order to tell the pollsters they are talking 'blx'. Well, I'm rarely brave when it comes to making political forecasts, just dumb, as my record of totally wrong predictions indicates - it's alright, JK, no need to dredge through the archives, I'm pleading guilty!
However, the story from the pollsters that somehow, in some way, 'Jezza' Corbyn and his collective of Trots and loonies are seriously giving the vicar's daughter a hard run during this election is a load of old 'cobblers'. The mythical ice cream in hell has a better chance than the Labour party! Of course, should I prove to be wrong then an imminent migration to Outer Mongolia might be in order before the iron curtain slams down.
Yes, there was a cock-up with the Tory announcement concerning charges for elderly care. It stemmed, in my view, from Mrs. May's 'uber-loyalty' to that pair of dipsticks in her back office who sit to her right and left. Neither of them are practicing politicians and she would have done much better to run it past some of her cabinet before announcing it. None of them are exactly the brightest lights on the Xmas tree but they can usually be relied upon to spot a monster turd flying in their direction!
Even so, I truly cannot believe for a second that the GBP (Great British Public) will do anything other than shower 'Jezza' and his comrades with offal.
(Now, I must just pop over to the Church next door to pray that I'm right - for a change!)
Not that you deserve any because its Bank Holiday Monday so none of you wage slaves are working. Still, I'm a generous fellow, so here you go:
Vern works hard at the Phone Company but spends two nights each week bowling, and plays golf every Saturday. His wife thinks he's pushing himself too hard, so for his birthday she takes him to a local Strip club.
The doorman at the club greets them and says, "Hey, Vern! How ya doin?" His wife is puzzled and asks if he's been to this club before. "Oh no," says Vern. "He's in my bowling league."
When they are seated, a waitress asks Vern if he'd like his usual and brings over a Budweiser. His wife is becoming increasingly uncomfortable and says, "How did she know that you drink Budweiser?" "I recognize her, she's the waitress from the golf club. I always have a Bud at the end of the 1st nine, honey." A stripper then comes over to their table, throws her arms around Vern, starts to rub herself all over him and says... "Hi Vern. Want your usual table dance, big boy?"
Vern's wife, now furious, grabs her purse and storms out of the club. Vern follows and spots her getting into a cab. Before she can slam the door, he jumps in beside her. Vern tries desperately to explain how the stripper must have mistaken him for someone else, but his wife is having none of it. She is screaming at him at the top of her lungs, calling him every 4 letter word in the book.
The cabby turns around and says, 'Geez Vern, you picked up a real bitch this time.'
Vern’s funeral is next Friday!
Just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have. Ralph and Edna were both patients in a mental hospital. One day while they were walking past the hospital swimming pool and Ralph suddenly jumped into the deep end. He sank to the bottom of the pool and stayed there. Edna promptly jumped in to save him. She swam to the bottom and pulled him out.
When the Head Nurse Director became aware of Edna's heroic act she immediately ordered her to be discharged from the hospital, as she now considered her to be mentally stable. When she went to tell Edna the news she said, 'Edna, I have good news and bad news. The good news is you're being discharged, since you were able to rationally respond to a crisis by jumping in and saving the life of the person you love... I have concluded that your act displays that you have a sound mind. The bad news is, Ralph hung himself in the bathroom with his bathrobe belt right after you saved him. I am so sorry, but he's dead.'
Edna replied, 'He didn't hang himself, I put him there to dry. How soon can I go home?'
You can do your bit by remembering to send this email to an unstable friend, I've done my part!
A Glasgow man phones a dentist to enquire about the cost for a tooth extraction.
"£85 pounds for an extraction, sir" the dentist replied.
"£85 quid! Huv ye no'got anythin' cheaper?
"That's the normal charge," said the dentist.
"Whit aboot if ye didnae use any anaesthetic?"
"That's unusual, sir, but I could do it and would knock off £15 pounds off."
"Whit aboot if ye used one of your dentist trainees and still without any anaesthetic?"
"I can't guarantee their professionalism and it'll be painful. But the price could drop by £20 pounds."
"How aboot if ye make it a trainin' session, huv yer student do the extraction with the other students watchin' and learnin?"
"It'll be good for the students", mulled the dentist. "I'll charge you £5 pounds but it will be traumatic."
"Och, now yer talkin' laddie! It's a deal," said the Scotsman. "Can ye confirm an appointment for the wife next Tuesday then?"
Clever fella', that 'SoD': Yes, I know he comes on here from time to time talking absolute blx about Brexit but when it comes to these dev'lish, tricksy computer-thingies, he's a wizard. Can't think where he gets it from but anyway, 'the boy dun good' yesterday.
William Manchester, a brilliant bull-shitter: Oddly enough, for someone like me who devours history books, I have never read any of William Manchester's highly regarded histories although, of course, over the years I had picked up on his stellar reputation which was buffed up by the fact that he had served with the Marines at Okinawa. If he had left it at that all would have been well but, alas, mere truth was not sufficient and, according to The American Spectator, Manchester was guilty of gross exaggeration (putting it politely) on his war record. Sometimes the foibles of human nature just leave you shaking your head in disbelief.
The greatest dereliction of duty - ever! 'SoD' gave me a book for my birthday on the subject of FDR's wartime leadership. Obviously, the disaster at Pearl Harbour looms large, well, disasters always do! I have never quite got to grips with who was most at fault. Obviously, on the principle that 'the buck stops here', FDR carries a huge share of the blame but there is more than enough to go round the entire general staffs of the US army and navy, they, after all, were the highly trained experts in warfare! The fact that 'Washington' was actually reading the top secret Japanese communications simply leaves one feeling totally gob-smacked! Mass stupidity on such a scale is almost unbelievable. As an orthodox, not to say, extreme agnostic, I can say that one of the tiny facts that might - just might - convince me that there is a God, is the incredible coincidence that the American carriers for some obscure reason were not present in Pearl Harbour at the time of the attack. Pheeeew! Wellington's words after Waterloo spring to mind: "It has been a damned nice thing — the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life". By the way, I trust that none of my America friends will think I am picking on the USA because this 'septic Isle' has more than its fair share of 'snafus' which we all try desperately not to think about.
A new candidate to be the mother of my babies: Honestly, it's unbelievable how all those ladies to whom I have extended an invitation to become the mother of my babies never respond! So, more in hope than expectation, I am extending yet another to a lady who has impressed me - 'yuuuuuuugely'! I refer to Mrs. Melania Trump:
She is beautiful, she is elegantly stylish and, as far as I can tell, she never says a word! What's not to like? True, her taste in husbands is a bit dodgy but I am prepared to forgive her that weakness.
Concealed carry, well, sort of: I was trying desperately to use Mae West's old line about 'is that gun you're carrying or are you just pleased to see me?' But in this reversed context it doesn't really work:
As so often, I am grateful to the rascals at I Hate The Media who sourced their story from a site called Bearing Arms which, rather wittily, describes Barack Obama as "being history's greatest gun salesman"! They base that on the fact that during his reign, 'concealed carry' was passed by 48 States and the numbers using it grew exponentially. Needless to say, the murder dropped by 14% - whodaguessedit?
Glamorous but boring: I just watched the Monaco Grand Prix, well, sort of watched it because, to be honest, I kept dozing off. It's a wonderful atmosphere when you are there, as 'SoD' and I were once upon a time, but as an actual race it is totally 'boring-snoring'. It is impossible to overtake and that is the very essence of Grand Prix racing. Even worse, that damned Hun won it and the 'Rt. Honourable Sir' Lewis Hamilton (alright, not yet but it can't be far off!) only managed sixth. Roll on Canada and some proper racing.
Give us a kiss and I'll tell you who he is: The White House sexist? I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked!
This photo was issued by The White House and shows the good, the bad and the ugly the beloved other halves of various national leaders. They are all named except for that rather happy-looking chappie in the back row. The others are all 'First Wives' but he is, I suppose, what you would call a 'First Husband' because he is married to the prime minister of Luxembourg who is, er, a man. Apparently The White House couldn't bring itself to name him. Here, courtesy of The Telegraph, are the happy couple:
Ah, warms the cockles of your heart, doesn't it. Mind you, I think I'd rather be married to him that that grim-looking, old bat in the blue trouser suit. She's married to that nasty thug who runs Turkey so you can't blame her for looking a bit pissed off! Anyway, The White House has been accused of homophobia which is a ridiculous suggestion when you consider who is the current POTUS - who snorted?
Auf Wiedersehen, 'Mutti': So it's goodbye and even good riddance, according to 'Mutti' Merkel. According to The Telegraph, she has told German voters that they should no longer put any trust in either the US or the UK.
She said: "The times in which we can fully count on others are somewhat over, as I have experienced in the past few days.
"And so, all I can say is that we Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands."
Referencing Brexit, she said: "Of course we need to have friendly relations with the US, and with the UK, and with other neighbours, including Russia."
But she added: "We have to fight for our own future ourselves, for our destiny as Europeans."
Why do I always shiver when German politicians start talking about their 'destiny'? And did she, I wonder, tell her people how much it will cost them to beef their armed forces up to American levels? (What's the German for 'not bloody likely'?)
No more rumbles today
'SoD' failed to make a start yesterday but should begin today so, hopefully, I will be back in business tonight or tomorrow at the latest.
However, next week will also see an interruption to what passes for normal service because I will be away from Tuesday, returning on Friday. The 'Memsahib' and I are venturing into deepest, darkest Sussex - quelle courage!
For the benefit of my foreign readers I should explain that in 1987 Michael Fish achieved lasting fame as the BBC weather forecaster who airily dismissed reports of an incoming hurricane with these words, "Earlier on today, apparently, a woman rang the BBC and said she heard there was a hurrican on the way... well, if you're watching, don't worry, there isn't!" Cue: one of the biggest storms ever to hit Britain and I remember well trying to drive through London with what seemed like every other tree uprooted and blocking the roads.
My equal claim to fame arises from my, er, 'forecast' that Summer, which occurred yesterday, would last for the usual 24 hours. Dammit all, today I'm roasting, it's hotter here in 'Zummerzet' than it is in Arkansas, in fact, it's hot enough to melt the Ozarks! Still, never mind, what I call my 'coffin white' complexion has turned to the most delicate shade of pink!
Finally, just a word of warning. 'SoD' is due to descend today in order to update my computer-thingie, the outcome of which is about as reliable as a weather forecast! Should there be an interruption to what passes for normal service, here at D&N, please rest assured that I will, MacArthur-like, return!
In the meantime, let me urge you all to visit 'The Speccie' and read this very funny article by Christopher Buckley who is - natch! - a very naughty (but funny) boy! My American friends may, or may not, be amused!
This is an official notice issued by the MPMO, er, that's the Milborne Port Met Office - not to be confused with those global warming 'dribblies' who wander round shaking their fists at heaven and telling us the end of the world is nigh!
Today is Summer!
Yes, of course it's only for one day, dammit, you're British, aren't you, so you should know that from experience. Anyway, the standard rules apply. All ladies under 29 years of age and under 10 stone will immediately strip down to bikinis and sun themselves in the nearest park. All ladies outside of those parameters will beg, borrow or steal a burqa from their Muslim neighbours.
As for the gentlemen, anyone youthful and possessed of a fine physique will be required to wear a three-piece suit. However, as it is officially Summer, elderly gentlemen, that is those beyond the age of 78, ahem, will be permitted, nay, encouraged to wear shorts and sandals, which in fact, I am wearing at this moment. As I walked round to collect my newspaper this morning, the sight of my bare, elegant legs resulted in several ladies dissolving into uncontrollable paroxysms - of either lust or giggles, I'm not sure which!
Anyway, it's Summer and it only lasts for a day so make the most of it. Meanwhile, I'm off to my local park to see what is sunning itself! 'I may be sometime'!
Legal warning: This blog does not accept liability for any damage resulting from inadvertent vomiting induced by this post.
Here are quotes from two different people on the subject of the Manchester bombings:
"shocking and horrendous attack on children and young people".
"unthinkable", and watched with "shock and horror" followed by "I condemn it."
Fair enough, you might think until, that is, you realise that the first speaker was Gerry Adams and the second was Michelle O'Neil, the current 'capo di tutt'i capi' of Sinn Fein, and at that point you feel the bile rising! Remember it was only 21 years ago that the IRA parked a lorry loaded with 3,000lbs of high explosive next to the huge Arndale Shopping Centre in Manchester. Yes, they gave a warning and an evacuation was made but when the bomb went off people half a mile away were injured by flying debris. Also, it is worth remembering that the IRA were amongst the first to develop the 'shrapnel' bomb in which nuts and bolts and nails were packed round the explosives.
Meanwhile, the Labour party with IRA sympathisers and apologists like Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnel and Dianne Abbott in charge are busy pursuing votes. I hope they have enough sense not to try in Manchester!
Peter Foster in The Telegraph points to the truth of my title when applied to the forthcoming Brexit negotiations. There was a fear put about by the 'Remoaners' that poor old Britannia would be strapped to a table and beaten to a pulp by the EU negotiators before having its quavering hand guided over the surrender document! Life is rarely so simple except in the simple minds of the Euro fanatics.
Mr. Foster points to several critical areas in which British independence/intransigence (delete to taste) will have enormous implications for the EU. As so often in so many negotiations it's the money that counts and without British money - remember we are a net contributor, in fact the second biggest - there will be an enormous hole in the EU budget. Many of the poorer European countries are utterly dependent on EU funds and they will be putting pressure on the EU negotiators not to force Britain to tip the table over and walk away.
Then there is the question of the EU citizens living in Britain - Poland, for example, have a million of their population here. If the Brits offer a reasonable and generous settlement for these people - subject to an overall agreement - then these countries will not be happy if 'Junck the Drunk' plays hardball and forces the Brits to walk away.
In any case, there are already fissures right across the EU which is split for different reasons between East and West, and North and South. The tensions are mounting - see the latest news from Greece! Whilst it is quite possible that an independent Britain might falter and weaken, it is equally possible that a low-tax, entrepreneurial Britain trading world-wide might flourish to an extent that will prove to be a real embarrassment to the EU hierarchy. This will induce them to drive a hard, damaging bargain - but if it is too hard then the UK will simply walk away.
High stakes poker, methinks!
If America was a person we would call the doctor and ask him to administer a sedative. We might even suggest that a few weeks in a nursing home might be advisable, after all, what is pouring out of America, from every orifice, is mostly infantile gibberish. This is not - repeat NOT - confined to the eccentric currently occupying the White House. The hysteria is nationwide, as Victor Davis Hanson points out at some length at the NRO, it includes virtually all of the political parties and the media. Search high and low and you will struggle to find a cool, detached assessment of any kind on any subject.
Nor is this hysteria confined to national politicians and national media. For my sins, I comment fairly regularly on a site run by a Democratic party 'centrist' - at least, he thinks he is! - who was an ardent supporter of 'HillBilly' in the last election. Reading what he writes you can almost see the flecks of spittle on the screen! The very fact that this blogger and his numerous followers truly believe they are 'moderate' is an enormous indication of the paranoia that is gripping America. I do realise that America, being bigger and with politics played for enormous stakes, the game has always been played much rougher 'over there'. Even so, things are getting out of hand. Please read the piece by Mr. Hanson - and weep for America.
A bunch of superannuated 'fossil-futtocks' have had the damned cheek to suggest I am a descendent of some pre-historical, vulgar Bulgar - I know, shockin', shockin'! Of course, I was never convinced by the original theory that we finally kissed our apish cousins goodbye (eeeeeew!) somewhere in Chad not least because I haven't the faintest idea where Chad is and anyway one feels instinctively that it is not the sort of place from which one's forefathers were drawn.
This grotesque theory is based on just two pieces of evidence, a bit of jawbone from Greece and an old molar tooth from Bulgaria:-
“This study changes the ideas related to the knowledge about the time and the place of the first steps of the humankind,” said Professor Nikolai Spassov from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences."
“Graecopithecus is not an ape. He is a member of the tribe of hominins and the direct ancestor of homo."
Well, I'm not surprised they found some old molars in Bulgaria, on average the population only ever possess about one per five of the population. Anyway, these fossilised swots have used a computer - natch! - and decided that this was our Great-to the-power-of-several-million-Grandfather:
Credit: National Museum of Natural History - Sofia, Assen Ignatov
Doesn't look a bit like me! 'SoD'? Well, maybe, on a Sunday morning after a Saturday night down the pub with his mates!
Well, whatever else you can say about 'The Donald', he's not afraid to take decisions! Of course, like just about every other President, one cannot be sure of the wisdom until all those bloody "events, dear boy, events" work themselves out. Whatever, from now on it's farewell Iran, hello Saudi Arabia!
How much easier life was back in, er, 'the good old days' when one simply dismissed all Muslims as scallywags and one just got on with the job of bossing them all about. Now, one has to choose which particular scallywag to support and which one to denigrate. Obama had his eight year 'love in' with the Persians and a fat lot of good it did him. In their usual dextrous fashion they relieved him of oodles of cash and did nothing in return.
Anyway, now it's the Saudi's turn to bask in the American sunlight but at least they seem to be willing to pay for it which is extraordinary given that American fracking will eventually force them into bankruptcy! So from now on it's 'up the Sunnis' and 'down with the Shias', er, or is that the other way round? I dunno but I'm sure 'The Donald does!
As all you wage slaves shuffle into the gulag, here are some fine joke specimens to cheer you up, beginning with an absolute corker all the way from Ireland via Australia:
A farmer named Paddy had a car accident. He was hit by a truck owned by the Eversweet Company. In court, the Eversweet Company's hot-shot solicitor was questioning Paddy.
'Didn't you say to the police at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine?' asked the solicitor. Paddy responded: 'Well, I'll tell you what happened. I'd just loaded my fav'rit cow, Bessie, into da... ' '
I didn't ask for any details', the solicitor interrupted. 'Just answer the question. Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine!'?'
Paddy said, 'Well, I'd just got Bessie into da trailer and I was drivin' down da road...'
The solicitor interrupted again and said,'Your Honour, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the police on the scene that he was fine. Now several weeks after the accident, he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question. '
By this time, the Judge was fairly interested in Paddy's answer and said to the solicitor: 'I'd like to hear what he has to say about his favourite cow, Bessie'.
Paddy thanked the Judge and proceeded. 'Well as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie, my fav'rit cow, into de trailer and was drivin' her down de road when this huge Eversweet truck and trailer came tundering tru a stop sign and hit me trailer right in da side. I was trown into one ditch and Bessie was trown into da udder.
By Jaysus I was hurt, very bad like, and didn't want to move. However, I could hear old Bessie moanin' and groanin'. I knew she was in terrible pain just by her groans. Shortly after da accident, a policeman on a motorbike turned up. He could hear Bessie moanin' and groanin' too, so he went over to her. After he looked at her, and saw her condition, he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes. Den da policeman came across de road, gun still in hand, looked at me, and said, 'How are you feelin'?'
'Now wot da foock would you say?'
One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex standing in the foyer of the church staring up at a large plaque. It was covered with names and small National flags mounted on either side of it. The six-year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the little boy and said quietly, "Good morning, Alex."
"Good morning, Pastor," he replied, still focused on the plaque. "Pastor, what is this?
The pastor replied, "Well, son, it's a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service." Soberly, they just stood together, staring at the large plaque.
Finally, little Alex's voice, barely audible and trembling with fear asked, "Which service, the 8:00 or the 9:30?"
What deep things retired men think about.
I mowed the lawn today, and after doing so I sat down and had a cold beer. The day was really quite beautiful, and the drink facilitated some deep thinking.
My wife walked by and asked me what I was doing, and I said, "Nothing."
The reason I said "nothing" instead of saying "just thinking" is because she then would have asked, "About what?" At that point I would have had to explain that men are deep thinkers about various topics which would lead to other questions.
Finally, I pondered an age old question: "Is giving birth more painful than getting kicked in the nuts?"
Women always maintain that giving birth is way more painful than a guy getting kicked in the nuts, but how could they know? Well, after another beer, and some more heavy deductive thinking, I have come up with an answer to that question. Getting kicked in the nuts is more painful than having a baby, and even though I obviously couldn't really know, here is the reason for my conclusion.
A year or so after giving birth, a woman will often say, "It might be nice to have another child."
On the other hand, you never hear a guy say "You know, I think I would like another kick in the nuts."
I rest my case.
Time for another beer and then, maybe a nap.
But not for you wage slaves, get back to work before the boss comes in!
Aaaaaargh, it's that wedding again! I shuffle up here to my attic, switch on this computer-thingie in order to read the Sunday papers (without which, of course, I would have no opinions about anything) and all I see is page after page after page telling me about 'The Wedding' - which is the one thing I already have an opinion on! My dears, the whole thing looked ghastly and the 'yuuuuge' number of kiddie-winkies let loose to inflict their mayhem obviously required the use of several Tasers! Sorry to be grumpy but obviously my invitation went astray in the post so I am not inclined to be generous!
The vicar's daughter reminds us of biblical truth: 'The good lord giveth and the good lord taketh away' - or something like that, my biblical studies, like the rest of my studies, were never very good. Anyway, that Mrs. May, having come on as more socialist than Aneurin Bevan suddenly whips out her cosh and gives us poor, old-age pensioners a whack. Apparently, the £300-odd quid that that nice, well brought up, Mr. Cameron used to send me and the missus every winter to pay for a sack of coal to keep us warm in the winter, is to be stopped. I am shocked, I tell you, shocked! Come back, Dave, I never meant to call you 'dim'!
That Peter Hitchens 'is a very naughty boy': It's worth reading him in The Mail on Sunday because it saves you the trouble of taking a cold shower! After dishing out various kicks and punches aimed at our sloppy thinking he ends his commentary today by providing a tip as to who is up and who is down in the 'Power Stakes'. He suggests that you should watch and note who visits whom. The one who visits is the junior, as in President Macron visits 'Mutti' Merkel, and 'The Donald' visits the king of Saudi Arabia. 'Nuff said!
"The horror, oh, the horror": There is some advantage in living in a rain-swept, chilly island when you consider that yesterday, in 'San Fran' (where else?) they had a "Summer of Love" parade in which the participants were stark naked. And no, nothing on earth would induce me to publish photos of the event.
Fox is fuxed: A few years ago when I was able to contribute to the upkeep of my 'ex-Best Friend', Rupe, and his sundry wives, I used to be a keen watcher of Fox News. One of my favourite programmes was called "The Five" in which five commentators discussed current events. Obviously, Fox being Fox, most of them were Right-wingers but they always had a 'stat-Leftie' present in the somewhat unlovely shape of Bob Beckel. I liked him because he raised grumpiness to new levels. He was also, on occasions, quite funny but his disdain for all things conservative was often vituperative. Last week, this doyen of the progressive movement was fired - for making racist remarks to a black employee Simply too, too delicious!
Oh no - say it ain't so! Having ducked and dived my way through the saturation coverage of Pippa's wedding, suddenly a thought occurred - Harry and Meghan are probably next! I think I may sail round the world on one of those titchy sailing boats!
Find that brolly fast! The Met Office is forecasting a heatwave - and we all know what that means!
Tragedy or farce? There is a small story in The Telegraph concerning a South African hunter who was crushed to death by an elephant. He was a professional hunter leading a party of his customers when they blundered into a herd of elephants which went berserk. One of them lifted the man using its trunk but was then shot and in collapsing crushed the man to death. I confess that at first I smiled but then I learned that the man had five children and so I gave myself a slap! What do you think?
No more rumbles today
I'm not quite sure what the opposite of being a 'Telly-Trog' is but that is what I have increasingly become in recent years. Each day I search the TV listings to find out what is on for my delight and delectation, and every time it's the same old answer - s.f.a.! However, thanks to the 'Memsahib', for my birthday I was given a box-set of the superb BBC police series "Line of Duty" of which no higher praise can be offered than to say that, in a police context, it almost out-Carré's John le Carré, than which I can speak no higher. I have all four series and last night I watched episode one of the first series. Simply superb!
Then this morning, whilst partaking of my usual Saturday morning 'religious' hour (actually, more like two hours!) in which I sit back and read my way through the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, I checked the forthcoming movies to be shown this week. And lo, I bring thee great tidings of joy because tonight on BBC2 they are showing one of the truly great films of all time - "Cabaret". I have lost count of the number of times I have watched it. Put simply, it is a master-piece! Then tomorrow night there is an intriguing film on BBC2 called "The Homesman" which might well have slipped past me except that I noticed that it stars and is directed by Tommy Lee Jones -'nuff said!
Then, just as I thought 'my cup 'twas full, it over-floweth' because I spotted that on Monday, on Sony Movie Channel, they are showing "Shakespeare in Love", a superb, witty and intelligent film written by - who else? - the great Tom Stoppard. It's all invention, of course, but if you want to capture some of the essence of 'our Will' and his times, this is the film for you.
Of course, in between these delights, I will be slowly working my way through the "Line of Duty" episodes which is a pity in one respect because I have a stack of books piled up by the side of my chair. I am still 'sailing', just about, through Stephen Roskill's history of "Churchill and the Admirals". Then 'SoD', bless his grumpy, smelly, pro-European socks, gave me for my birthday two books by the historian Nigel Hamilton. I already have his biography of Montgomery which I read years ago but these two will offer me a different view of WWII. The first is "FDR at War, 1941-2" and the second is "Commander-in-Chief: FDR's Battle with Churchill, 1943".
So the question arises, how on earth will I cope with all of this? 'Easy-peasy', actually, I will just do even less around the house than I already fail to do!
In my previous post I made some religious allusions concerning 'this septic Isle' but, of course, we all know - do we not? - that today, with the exception of a few 'beardie-weirdies', the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Jock 'Wee Frees', Britain is virtually irreligious. (Sorry, I forgot to include the lost tribes of football fans who may be seen and, alas, heard every Saturday wandering the highways and by-ways chanting their mysterious incantations.) But setting all those aside, today there is only one massive, nation-wide religion beloved of absolutely everyone - the National Health Service (NHS)! It is the icon before which the entire country bows its head in reverence.
Well, make the most of it because it's not going to be around for much longer! It was, is and forever will be a massive accident waiting to happen. The fact is that in its current form it is totally unaffordable! Lest you doubt me, then read the words of Dr. Max Pemberton in this week's 'Speccie':
The NHS as we know it is dying. It’s no longer a matter of if it will collapse, but when. Those of us who work on the front line have known this for some time, and it’s heartbreaking.
Like a great, over-weight, bulging behemoth it staggers on with its steps getting shorter and its palpitations increasing madly. Cardiac arrest is imminent! But nobody, least of all the politicians, has the temerity to mention the unmentionable. The NHS is broke! It is beset with an unlimited demand because we all want to live for ever but has to produce this nirvana on a very limited budget because none of us want to pay for it! The good doctor (I assume he's a good doctor) says the problem is political but I think he's wrong. The problem is 'the Peeps', yes, you the People, that means you, and you and you over there demanding the very latest in drugs and treatments so that you live for ever because, like, well, it's your right, innit? Well, no, actually, it is not your right so just fuck off and die!
Actually, Dr. Pemberton himself is a prize symptom of the NHS sickness. He is a 'psycho-babbler' who specialises in eating disorders. Of course, back in the day, the only 'eating disorder' was starvation due to poverty and lack of food. Today, it is over-eating and obesity with the occasional dose of voluntary under-eating and anorexia all of which is treated by the NHS. Then there are all the knock on effects of drink and drugs, the partakers of which regularly blunder into A&E departments demanding attention because, again, like, well, it's their right, innit?
If in fact the vicar's daughter is returned to parliament with a whacking great majority then that would provide a five year interlude in which some serious thinking and decision-making could take place. Dr. Pemberton supports the idea of a Royal Commission which, if carefully chosen, could begin to do what politicians find undo-able, that is, to think the hitherto unthinkable.
A Royal Commission is also a good idea from a political perspective, because it will raise the kind of questions that terrify politicians: do we, as a society, want to pay for obesity surgery, or IVF, for example? What about sex-change operations and breast enlargements?
Quite so, Doctor, although to be honest I do believe there is something to be said for breast enlargements! Of course, I joke but the future of the NHS is a serious and exceedingly complex problem and it looks as though the vicar's daughter will have the only opportunity for some time to start a new and more rational approach.
Which, of course, has come down to us, if not on tablets of stone, then on white A4 paper bound into the Tory party manifesto and graciously bestowed on us by the vicar's daughter. I use these religious metaphors because, of course, the whole thing reeks of proper, decent, middle-class Christianity which may, or may not, be "A Good Thing"! It is also, of course, impeccably English! There are no Marxist certainties, no Fascist fundamentalisms and certainly none of that foreign emotion which makes their elections sound like football fixtures.
Of course, in my English way, I'm not saying it's right, or wrong, come to that. It is, just like most of its predecessors, more or less right and more or less wrong! That is the genius of the English system - nothing is for ever. In five years there will be another Tory manifesto which may or may not be the same as this one depending on what happens. There will also be another Labour manifesto which will definitely be very different from the incoherent gibberish in the current one which will be treated with the contempt it deserves by the GBP (Great British Public) in three weeks time.
The next five years are certainly going to be exceedingly tricky. There will be 'alarums and excursions' and so it would be highly dangerous for us to vote in some sort of revolutionary government. Already, the critics from the Right (er, including me, actually) are grumbling at Mrs. May's determination to sort out the worst aspects of capitalism which remain 'red in tooth and claw' but if that is what you feel then just contemplate for a moment the activities of Mr. Mike Ashley, the boss of Sports Direct, or that ghastly little fat man, Philip Green, who sold his company - and his employees' pensions - for a fiver before it went bust, or consider Alex Brummer's analysis in The Mail today of the comparison between Directors' pay and that of their workers:
In 1998 the ratio was 47 to one, and by 2015 reached 128 to one, adding to the huge divisions in society.
There is no such thing as a 'free market', only a market which is more, or less, controlled. For the past 20 years, to use the vernacular, the big bosses have 'taken the piss' so they are overdue for a bit of a nudge. Needless to say, the nudges will be a mixture of too much or too little, too restricting or too slack but, as my old mate, Heraclitus, once said, "Everything changes and nothing stays the same" so in five years time we will let our feelings be known.
O God, I cringe before you to ask for a bit of a favour, well, you do owe me given that I used to cut the grass in your Churchyard, so now it's pay-back time! You see, there are certain matters which are constantly repeating themselves over and over ad nauseum and I really can't stand much more of any of them. Therefor, could you kindly see your way clear to bringing the British election to a halt? It's perfectly obvious who is going to win so just wave your magic wand and install 'St. Theresa of May' into No. 10 and let the rest of us get on with our lives.
Secondly, I would be awfully grateful if you could just 'disappear' 'Pippa' Middleton and her appalling wedding because I am so sick and tired of my newspaper being full of it. They even have a double spread on the subject of the toilet arrangements - and all I want to do is be sick in one of them! And whilst we are on Royal matters, if I never see another mention of Harry and his bit of American popcorn, I might - just might - drop a couple of quid in the Church box.
Then, whilst you're at it, perhaps you could 'vanish' all mentions of Donald Trump but in particular remove every single photo of him because he has one of the ugliest, creepiest faces since, er, well, since 'HillBilly', actually and I understand that all over the world young children, and elderly British gents, are developing traumas from seeing his peculiar face reproduced day after day after day.
Finally, O Lord, could you just end the football season - NOW! Each year it goes on and on and on and if I see another incomprehensible foreign football coach on my 'telly' explaining in broken English why his multi-zillionaire 'cloggies' couldn't pass wind let alone a football, I may go homicidal!
Thanking you in anticipation.
Alas and alack, as your Liege Lord of Milborne Port I had intended on this auspicious occasion to give all you serfs a day off because, of course, today is my birthday - 'waddya mean ya never noo?' - so I thought it a gracious and generous gesture not to bore enlighten you all with a special birthday message. Er, also, to be honest, I woke up this morning with absolutely nothing to say about anything! I know, I know, extraordinary!
However that all changed because I paid a visit to the magazine - Taki Mag - of the naughtiest naughty boy of all naughty boys anywhere, the redoubtable, Taki Theodoracopulos. He is, I think, the longest serving columnist at the greatest weekly magazine in the world, The Spectator, and also the only man I know of who at the age of nearly 80 still practices karate, er, that's in between shagging anything that is young, beautiful and female!
Anyway, enough of him, it was an article in his mag that took my attention today, written by a Mr. Jim Goad who gives every appearance of also being a very naughty boy. His essay is entitled: The Genetic Dead Ends Who Rule Europe. His opening paragraph sets the scene:
When France decided to slit its own throat last week and elect the childless Emmanuel Macron as its president over the bustier and more fecund Marine Le Pen, it made him the ninth current European leader whose loins have borne no fruit.
He goes on to point out that as well as France the leaders of Italy, Germany, Scotland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, as well as dear old 'Junck the Drunk' (why am I not surprised?), are all childless. Quite what that portends I do not know but on the other hand you don't read this blog for shrewd, detailed, analytical forecasts, do you? Nah, thought not!
I am still ploughing my way through Stephen Roskill's book "Churchill and the Admirals" and I'm beginning to feel as though I had fought the entire war on my own! I began this 'campaign' with Christopher M. Bell's superb history of "Churchill and the Dardenelles" which, whilst complex enough, had the advantage of being centred on just one campaign. Roskill's book, however, covers the entirety of the Royal Navy during WWII. My 'gast' has been well and truly 'flabbered'!
Of course, one man, for good or ill and often both, dominates the whole global campaign - Winston Churchill. The sheer indomitable will and energy of the man was incredible. And of course, being human, or in his case perhaps, 'superhuman', his mistakes and errors were manifold. Time and time again he was wrong, not just a bit wrong but, to quote a currently popular word, hugely wrong. His refusal, up almost to the last minute, to take the Japanese threat seriously was a colossal error. Similarly, his utter belief in the power of the bomber to win the war skewed air force strategy and resulted in gigantic losses for the merchant marine as well as the navy itself.
The accuracy of his assessments of the character and worth of his various commanders was blinded by his personal feelings which swung wildly in opposite directions, sometimes within a matter of months. Perhaps his greatest fault was that his previous experience as First Lord of the Admiralty from 1911-15, imbued him with a totally false confidence in his own ability as a naval strategist in the totally different era of 1940-1945.
And yet ... and yet ... who else other than he could have driven the British war machine to its supreme efforts during the WWII? I keep reminding myself that not only was he in titular command of the Royal Navy but also the army and the Air Force - and industry - and research - and relations with America - and Russia - and so on and on and on ad infinitum! However despairing I feel reading this book - and others of similar ilk - I keep asking myself who else could have done it? He truly was a giant amongst men and if at times he blundered there truly was no other.
We were very lucky to have him - although there were several admirals who might have disagreed!
An interesting piece at The Coffee House by William Cook on the forthcoming German election. Apparently, there was a state election on Sunday in North Rhine Westphalia, the biggest state in Germany with over 18m people. 'Mutti' stomped home with a huge majority and utterly crushed Martin Schultz's Social Democrats. He, you will recall, is the fat, bearded apparatchik who was the virulently anti-British leader of the EU parliament before he decided to leave and take his chances back home. Big mistake, Martin, "for you zee var iss over!"
So, barring accidents it looks as though 'Mutti' has been forgiven for inviting the Muslim world into Germany and after September it will be back to "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer" - now where have I heard that before? So she might well win and win big but will it be big enough? Apparently it is almost impossible for one party to rule Germany alone so a coalition will be required. A lot will depend on whether 'Mutti' walks up the aisle to her coronation with the likes of socialist Schultz at her side or the leader of the more conservative Free Democratic Party (FDP). They have a somewhat more sceptical view of the EU which might - just - make things a little easier when the two most powerful women in Europe meet up to talk - and we all know who the second one will be!
Well, 'the boy done good' and here is a video of his effort. The opening sequence is a sort of advert for the sky-diving club followed by SoD's effort. I must say he looked remarkably cheerful through the whole thing. He and his friend Simon raised £1,375 for a small local charity, so well done chaps!
Perhaps I will have to forgive him for his 'Remoaner' opinions!
In advance, your Monday Funnies on Sunday night!
First of all some perceptive views from the elderly, er, that includes me, by the way:
While in China , an Australian man is very sexually promiscuous and does not use a condom the entire time he is there. A week after arriving back home in Melbourne, he wakes one morning to find his penis covered with bright green and purple spots.
Horrified, he immediately goes to see a doctor.
The doctor, never having seen anything like this before, orders some tests and tells the man to return in two days for the results. The man returns a couple of days later and the doctor says, "I've got bad news, you have contracted Mongolian VD. It's very rare and almost unheard of here in this country, we know very little about it."
The man looks a little perplexed and says, "Well, give me a shot or something and fix me up, Doc."
The doctor answers, "I'm sorry, there's no known cure. We are going to have to amputate your penis."
The man screams in horror,
"Absolutely not! I want a second opinion!"
The doctor replies, " It is your choice. Go ahead if you want , but surgery is your only option."
The next day, the man seeks out a Chinese doctor in China Town,
figuring that he'll know more about the disease. The Chinese doctor examines his penis and proclaims,
"Ah, yes, Mongolian VD. Vewy ware disease."
The guy says to the doctor, "Yeah, yeah, I already know that, but what can we do? My local GP wants to cut off my penis!"
The Chinese doctor shakes his head and laughs. "Stupid local docttah, always want opawate. Make more money dat way. No need amputate!"
"Oh, thank God!" the man exclaims.
"Yes," says the Chinese doctor. "Wait two week. Fall off by itself!"
A married man was having an affair with his secretary. One day they went to her place and made love all afternoon. Exhausted, they fell asleep and woke up at 8 PM.
The man hurriedly dressed and told his lover to take his shoes outside and rub them in the grass and dirt. He put on his shoes and drove home.
'Where have you been?' his wife demanded.
'I can't lie to you,' he replied, 'I'm having an affair with my secretary. We had sex all afternoon.'
She looked down at his shoes and said: 'You lying bastard! You've been playing golf!
A blonde pushes her BMW into a gas station. She tells the mechanic it
died. After he works on it for a few minutes, it is idling smoothly.
She says, 'What's the story?'
He replies, 'Just cr*p in the carburettor'
She asks, 'How often do I have to do that?'
Before the Shabbat service Maurice goes to his friend Irving and says, "I need a favour. I'm sleeping with the Rabbi's wife. Can you hold him in synagogue for an hour after services for me?" Irving is not very fond of the idea but being Morris' lifelong friend, he reluctantly agrees.
After services, he strikes up a conversation with the Rabbi, asking him all sorts of stupid questions, just to keep him occupied.
After some time the wise Rabbi becomes suspicious and asks, "Irving what are you really up to?"
Irving, filled with feelings of guilt and remorse confesses to the Rabbi, “I'm sorry, Rabbi. My friend is sleeping with your wife, right now so he asked me to keep you occupied."
The Rabbi smiles, puts a brotherly hand on Irving's shoulder and says, "You better hurry home, Irving. My wife died two years ago!"
That's it for this Monday - feeling happy, are you?
Are you a fan or a sucker? I do have a category in my side-bar for 'Sport' and although I haven't checked my guess is that the number of entries is miniscule. This will tell you how little sport looms in my life but, of course, out there in the world there is no avoiding the bloody stuff - especially 'footie'! Mr. Damian Reilly in The Spectator (where else?) offers a revolutionary notion, that football fans should switch their allegiance if their team plays badly. He reminds the fans/suckers (delete to taste) that whilst they might love, adore and worship 'their' club, the club doesn't give a stuff about them! All the club wants is their money!
Bonne chance, mon garçon: Today, after he has taken his wife to the Post Office to collect her pension, that nice young lad, Emmanuel Macron (161/2), will take over France. Well, good luck with that one, mon ami! Liam Halligan in The Telegraph lists the enormous and almost intractable problems the new President with his new political party must face particularly if they fail to gain a majority in the Assembly. Halligan reminds us that 60% of the French voters failed to support him. However, it is outside France that he faces his greatest test, just over the Rhine sits 'Mutti' Merkel, the Empress of Europe, assuming she wins her election in September:
The far bigger challenge, though, will be convincing Germany to allow the creation of a more integrated eurozone, with its own dedicated budget allowing for significant intra-region transfers. Without such a mechanism, the single currency – subject to periodic bond-market squalls and held together with printed money – will ultimately implode.
Berlin talks the talk on Europe. It has even paid tens of billions of euros to bail out various Mediterranean reprobates. But would the German electorate accept a unified eurozone finance ministry, explicit fiscal pooling and the backing of each others’ banking sectors? I can’t see it.
Don't hold your breath, Emmanuel, the EU was, is and forever will be, "a German racket"!
That thud you heard: In case you were wondering what it was I can tell you that it was 'SoD' landing from his parachute jump. When it comes to parachute landings, I taught him all he needed to know - yeeeeeees, quite! Anyway, well done 'SoD', and your mate, Simon, and I gather your charity earned 'big time'.
Hello! Hello! D&N calling America: Can you please tell me what is going on 'over there'? Look, I don't mind having a good laugh from time to time but putting Laurel and Hardy in charge of the United States of America is a bit testing to one's nerves!
Sean Spicer President Trump
Of course, I do understand that anyone is preferable to 'The Wicked Witch of the West' but really, it's time you got a grip 'over there'!
Tony 'Glutinous' Blair oils his way back in: I have enjoyed a snigger at the news that Tony Blair is poised to head up a new political party when the Labour party train crash occurs. Well, good luck with that one, 'Tone', me old mate, but don't hold your breath - er well, actually, thinking about, why not hold your breath and do us all a favour?!
Stand-by for incoming male sexism: I try not to be too definitive concerning sports because I don't understand most of them but just a few minutes ago I saw on Sky News an excerpt from a ladies' boxing match. Now, women's football might be eye-stabbingly boring, but women punching six bells out of each other is sickening.
In case you're not sleeping well: I thought you might all want to know that Portugal won the Eurovision song contest. Yeeeeees, quite, time for my afternoon nap, I think!
Talking of sports: My God, several mentions of a subject I normally avoid like the plague - with one exception - Formula I racing. The recorded synopsis of the Spanish Grand Prix is about to start and I have managed to avoid finding out who won. So that's my lot for today, see y'all tomorrow!
No more rumbles today
As I told you the other day, I am slowly working my way through "Churchill and the Admirals", an excellent history by Stephen Roskill. I have just reached the Oran (or Mers el-Kabir) episode which occurred in July 1940. I am surprised that no-one has made a film or TV play out of it because it contains a heady mix of power politics at the very highest level, national pride and prejudice, grand strategy and, above all else, human nature.
As most of you know, it arose from the fact that following the defeat and surrender of France to Hitler, various French naval ships were in harbour along the north African coast. One of the biggest was lying at anchor in Oran. As seen from the British (and Churchillian) point of view, there was absolutely no way those ships which included several battleships could be allowed to pass freely into German control. Cue: a stand off between proud French officers and their crews and an utterly determined and ruthless Winston Churchill. Although a similar situation arose in Alexandria, smoother diplomacy won the French commanders round. Alas, in Oran the diplomacy broke down and the British attacked sinking many of the ships and killing nearly 1300 French sailors.
Given the wide-ranging nature of Roskill's book, he only touches upon these incidents and although the Wiki entry on the subject gives most of the facts I really do need a detailed and authoritative study on the subject, so if any of you have any suggestions or recommendations I would be pleased to see them.
Well, we all had a good laugh at 'Jezza's' manifesto which came straight out of a Venezuelan Marxist infant school! Even so, it is depressing to note that the adoring infants who surround and support 'Jezza' are frequently graduates of our own 'edukashun sistim'. Presumably, if 'Jezza' ever has his way, he will spend (ooops, sorry, borrow!) another few squillion quid for the 'edukashun' budget and thereby produce even more of the same, at which point, we can all sing together "Ven-ez-uela here we come, right back where you started from"!
Happily, that appears to be the longest of long shots and in the meantime we must muse now on exactly what the vicar's daughter is going to flash at us when the spotlight falls on her at the unveiling of the Tory manifesto. So far it appears to be another of those 'riddle, mystery, enigma' things because, according to Mr. Fraser Nelson, nobody, including the cabinet, has the faintest idea! Apart, presumably, from herself, the only two who really know are these two 'deep state' characters:
Reading military history is not good for you. To use the vernacular, 'it does yer 'ead in!' I think I mentioned the other day that I was reading an old copy of Stephen Roskill's book "Churchill and the Admirals". Not the least of the depressing points that become clear in his excellent book is the inability of modern admirals (with an occasional exception), in an age of constant change and flux, to think ahead. Thus, the pre-WWI Admiralty had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the age of the big gun battleship and having been converted they then had to go through the whole painful process again during WWII when it became obvious that the aircraft carrier was the queen on the naval chess board. So guess what? Today it is all happening again!
It is blindingly obvious, even to an ex-Corporal like me, that in this modern day and age the aircraft carrier is about as much use as HMS Victory!
Therefor, I am delighted to tell you that Mr. Ed Straker (no, me neither) of The American Thinker agrees with me. The 'cousins' are about to launch the USS Gerald R Ford, a name guaranteed to strike fear into the hearts of America's enemies! It will also create severe palpitations in the hearts and wallets of American tax-payers because this particular vessel will cost $13bn and that does not include the mini fleet of support and protection ships required to safeguard it.
In the meantime, 'over here' various governments have chopped and changed what passes for their minds as they struggled to decide which variant of the American F35 aircraft they would approve for use on their new 'toys', the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers. Needless to say, the cost counter kept going up, up and away. The end result will be that we will have two of these 'gold-plated' behemoths, er, but only one will be available for service. Perhaps they can use Dave's model if things get tight!
Mr. Straker reminds us of just some of what these 'castles on the waves' will have to face:
The C-802 is the export upgraded version of the Chinese anti-ship missile YJ-8...first unveiled in 1989 by the China Haiying Electro-Mechanical Technology Academy (CHETA), also known as the Third Academy. Due to the Yingji-82 missile's small radar reflectivity, low attack flight path (only five to seven meters above the sea surface) and strong anti-jamming capability of its guidance system, target ships have a very small chance of intercepting the missile.... The single shot hit probability of the Yingji-82 is unknown, though one unreferenced source claims it to be as high as 98%.The Yingji-82 can be launched from airplanes, surface ships, submarines and land-based vehicles.
He also quotes one of the few, very few, realistic admirals:
Back in the 1970s, before current technological advances, Admiral Hyman Rickover, the father of the nuclear fleet, was once asked how long our fleet could survive in battle. He responded: “Two or three days before they sink, maybe a week if they stay in the harbor.” [My emphasis]
One is forced to ask which, according to Winston Churchill, of the three preferences at the top of all sailors' lists - "rum, bum or baccy" - has induced the almost fatal brain damage evident in so many admirals? I don't know but I think I should be told - particularly as I am one of those paying for their stupidity!
Before I begin, an apology for my late arrival today. We have had two miraculous days of warm sunshine which, sod it, means that I have had no excuse to avoid tending my rolling 0.014 acres. I'll swear I saw the antirrhinums cowering as I approached! However, I did manage to complete my main task which was to fill the three hanging baskets. I load them with what I call my 'floppy tarts'! These are trailing begonias in a mixture of different, bright colours which, over the coming months, will droop down from the baskets somewhat reminiscent of the 'floppy tarts' you see falling out of night clubs these days, er, not that I ever see them, of course, but you know what I mean!
Anyway, 'over there' you have just enjoyed your political equivalent of Barnum & Bailey's circus and I must admit that it reduced me to snorts and sniggers. However, 'over here' last night and today, I have been reduced to hysterics because some 'dirty rat' leaked the draft of the Labour party's manifesto. Oh my God, talk about retro, it was the political equivalent of Stonehenge:
It reeked of the 1970s, Arthur Scargill, nationalised industries, socialism red in tooth and claw.
When 'Jezza' and his collection of superannuated Marxists captured the Labour party everyone agreed that they stood absolutely no chance of winning an election. However, some shrewd observer (I can't remember who) reminded us that the 'Trot-lot' who now dominate the Labour party don't care about winning elections. In fact, winning elections in their view is bourgeois soppiness and that power may only be properly obtained by revolution. It is a dismal thought that most of these brain-dead zombies are the product of our (so-called) universities - yeeeeeees, quite!
Barring accidents, 'St. Theresa of May' is headed for the landslide of all landslides and the next meeting of the parliamentary Labour party could be held in a public toilet cubicle!
ADDITIONAL: Oh God, please, no more, my sides are splitting! I have just read Stephen Daisley at The Coffee House who reports that 'Jezza' has received a ringing endorsement from ... wait for it ... Noam Chomsky!
I apologise for the bad language in my heading and I have given myself a hundred lines by way of punishment! But even so - can you, or anyone, work out what is going on in the Trump (don't laugh!) administration? One minute the head of the FBI, Jim Comey, was in, and then he was out, despatched with brutal suddenness as he was making a speech to his fellow officers. I have read sundry explanations from Right and Left, from insiders and outsiders, but none of them can quite make up their minds what 'The Donald' is playing at.
The most interesting and informative thing I read was an article by Arnold Steinberg at The American Spectator. He concentrates on the man who, so to speak, pulled the trigger, that is, the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein because his boss, Jeff Sessions, had recused himself from any matters pertaining to the enquiry into alleged Russian influence in the election. The point about Mr. Rosenstein is that his main characteristic, agreed upon by the vast majority of both Republican and Democratic legislators, is his strict probity. (The Senate approved his appointment two weeks ago with a 94-6 majority!) He it was who composed the two-page indictment aimed at FBI Director Comey.
Of course, there is considerable humour to be derived from the Dems, who only a few weeks ago were screeching for Comey's head and now that it is presented to them in a basket they are shrieking about injustice. There cannot be much doubt that Comey misbehaved when he listed at great length all the misdemeanours that 'HillBilly' had committed but then let her off! Equally, he was wrong in taking a decision that should have been taken by the Attorney General of the time, Loretta Young Lynch (see comments, my booboo!) even if she was, so to speak, damaged goods after holding an earlier private meeting with Bill Clinton aboard an aircraft during the election campaign.
'The Donald' had made clear his animus against Director Comey months ago so why wait until now? The Dems will, and indeed they are, claiming that Trump is simply trying to put a stop to the FBI enquiries into Russian influence on the election but firing Director Comey will not stop the investigation - and any attempt now to stop it will be instantly leaked.
So what is 'The Donald' up to? Sorry, haven't a clue!
Just as I begin to reconcile myself to Mrs. May's premiership, she does or says something that irritates the hell out of me. Yes, yes, I know, typical woman! (Er, don't tell the 'Memsahib' I wrote that!) Of course, almost anyone would be better than 'Dim' Dave, er, except 'Little Georgie Porgie', but even so, I had my doubts about the lady. There was her stupid remark from years ago that the Tory party was the nasty party! Now she appears determined to make the Tory party the nice party, the kind party, the sweet gooey-gooey party. I feel ill already!
Suddenly, out of the blue horizon - or at least she hopes it will be a blue one! - she decides to act like an old-fashioned, socialist apparatchik and tell the energy companies what they can and cannot charge for their product. Apparently, their standard charges are ramped up enormously to faithful/lazy customers who cannot be arsed to switch companies if their bills go up. If it happens, of course, then that will just mean the cheaper deals available to sharp-eyed customers will increase. Thanks, Mrs. May, and I hope they cut your electricity off!
Now I read that the hoary old subject of fox hunting has risen again and that she intends to offer MPs a free vote on it. I thought that it had all been settled years ago with some restrictions applied but mostly ignored by the 'horsey-huntin' set'. That allowed the hunters to chase foxes and occasionally to bash the odd hunt-protester whilst giving the protesters the chance to stand around in freezing rain whilst chanting slogans and waving banners. A typical English compromise that suited everyone. Now this silly woman has re-ignited the controversy.
She was Home Secretary for five years, as I recall, but during that lengthy period in office I don't recall her achieving anything worth mentioning. Certainly the immigration numbers kept rising and the outcome for illegal immigrants was the equivalent of being made to stand in a corner for an hour and be told that they were very naughty boys!
So far, she has handled the Brexit business exceedingly well but all we have had to date is only the equivalent of the warm-up lap at the 24-hour Le Mans race. How will she handle being bumped off the road by 'Junck the Drunk' and all his fanatical followers? Someone put my mind at rest and tell me that I should have every confidence.
Yes, I'm afraid it is that indispensable Zero Hedge site that is responsible for much of my incorrigible habit of nicking other peoples' ideas - I know, it's shockin', shockin'! Even so, by pointing me towards thelocal.fr site I had a nagging question answered so I am deeply grateful. Ever since Macron won his election in France all I ever read is that he had two thirds of the votes and Le Pen only had a third but, I kept asking, how did those voting figures compare against the total electors' role? Courtesy of 'The Local.fr' I now know.
1. He didn't win over the majority of French people
I am genuinely pleased that the somewhat rabid Mde. Le Pen failed in her presidential bid. I suspect that had she won the French would have discovered the hard way what it is like to live in "interesting times". Mind you, not that life is going to be 'boring-snoring' for them under the rule of Emmanuel Macron. His cher ami, Francois Hollande, will be handing him a shit-stick with shit at both ends and in the middle! According to the 'experts', it is quite likely that the assembly elections will not provide a majority of members in support of his aims and objectives. And standing behind them will be the massed ranks of the unions, the NF supporters, the immigrant multitudes and so on. So, bon chance with that one, Manny, me old mate!
Of course, he has already made clear that he intends to give us Brits a smacking for our impertinence in leaving the EU to which one can only reply - bring it on! We already know from 'Junck the Drunk' and his puppet-mistress, 'Mutti' Merkel, that they can hardly wait to unleash their latent anti-Brit feelings, so nothing has changed. Anyway, as Roger Bootle explains in The Telegraph, we have nothing to fear if we simply walk away without a deal and trade with them, as we do with the rest of the world, on WTO terms.
Yes, alright, alright, I know I'm late - again! - but I had 'Mr. Man' here sorting out my printers which have now gone 'wireless' although there still seem to be the same spaghetti-like bunch of wires sticking out of them! Anyway, relax, here come your Funnies:
There are two statues in a park; one of a nude man and one of a nude woman. They had been facing each other across a pathway for a hundred years, when one day an angel comes down from the sky and, with a single gesture, brings the two to life.
The angel tells them, "As a reward for being so patient through a hundred blazing summers and dismal winters, you have been given life for thirty minutes to do what you've wished to do the most."
He looks at her, she looks at him, and they go running behind the shrubbery.
The angel waits patiently as the bushes rustle and giggling ensues. After fifteen minutes, the two return, out of breath and laughing.
The angel tells them, 'Um, you have fifteen minutes left, would you care to do it again?'
He asks her, "Shall we?' She eagerly replies, 'Oh, yes, let's! But let's change positions. This time, I'll hold the pigeon down and you shit on its head."
AND WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?
The judge says to a double-homicide defendant, "You're charged with beating your wife to death with a hammer."
A voice at the back of the courtroom yells out, "You dirty bastard!"
The judge says, "You're also charged with beating your mother-in-law to death with a hammer."
The voice in the back of the courtroom yells out, "You dirty rotten bastard!"
The judge stops and says to Paddy in the back of the courtroom, “Sir, I can understand your anger and frustration at these crimes, but no more outbursts from you, or I'll charge you with contempt. Is that understood?"
Paddy stands up and says, "I'm sorry, Your Honour, but for fifteen years I've lived next door to that rotten asshole, and every time I asked to borrow a hammer, he said he didn't have one."
Old Goat Quiz
Great mental exercise for the over-60 crowd. Which of the following names are you familiar with?
You had trouble with #5, didn't you? You know all the liars, criminals, adulterers, murderers, thieves, and cheaters but you don't know the Pope? That's lovely, just lovely....
A lawyer parked his brand new Porsche in front of the office to show it off to his colleagues. As he was getting out of the car, a truck came speeding along too close to the kerb and took off the door before zooming off.
More than a little distraught, the lawyer grabbed his mobile and called the police. Five minutes later, the police arrive. Before the policeman had a chance to ask any questions, the man started screaming hysterically: "My Porsche, my beautiful silver Porsche is ruined. No matter how long it's at the panel beaters, it'll simply never be the same again!"
After the man finally finished his rant, the policeman shook his head in disgust. "I can't believe how materialistic you bloody lawyers are." He said. "You lot are so focused on your possessions that you don't notice anything else in your life."
"How can you say such a thing at a time like this?" sobbed the Porsche owner.
The policeman replied: "Didn't you realise that your arm was torn off when the truck hit you?"
The lawyer looked down in horror. "F***ing hell!" he screamed. "Where's my Rolex????"
There you are, that's your lot - well worth waiting for, don't you think? Sorry, didn't quite catch that . . .
Good news for my American friends: I know how desperately worried you have all been over the fate of that innocent little scrote lad, Trayvon Martin, who was shot dead by a security guard as he tried to bash the brains out of the man as he did his job. Well, today I learn that young Trayvon has been honoured by Florida 'University' with a posthumous degree in aeronautical engineering - yeeees, quite! - but still 'n' all, as they say 'over there', according to his record he did enjoy getting high!
'Fermez votre bouche'! Apparently some rascals have hacked into Macron's computer server. Cue: French socialist government leaping up and down with rage and threatening any member of the 'smelly socks brigade' with 20 years in the Bastille if they dare to print a word. Vive la démocratie!
And talking of mouths: There are reports in the papers today that eating bogies is actually good for you. I have nothing to say on the subject because my Mummy taught me never to speak with my mouth full!
As neat a summary as you could wish for: That it comes from Dan Hodges in The Mail is no surprise. Although he voted 'remain' he is shrewd enough to see that the referendum was the last word on the subject and that the piffle emanating from 'The Continuity Remainers' is both stupid and redundent:
But Continuity Remain can’t move forward because they still fail to understand what Brexit actually is. Last year’s vote was not a political or economic phenomenon, but a cultural one. Those who won the Brexit war were those who committed themselves to shaping the soul of a nation, not conducting a chemistry experiment in supra-continental governance.
Couldn't have put it better myself - why are you not surprised?
Oh, poor little Timmy: In a side bar to Hodges' main article there is news that those cruel monsters in Tory HQ have analysed the local election results and they now believe that poor little Timmy Farron, the squeaky leader of the 'il-Lib-non-Dems', is vulnerable and they intend to target his seat. Surely, that nice vicar's daughter, Theresa May, would not allow such a dastardly attack!
Tottering off to The Tippling! Or to put it in plain English, I'm off to The Tippling Philosopher for lunch. I may be some time!
I'm all at sea again! And you can all stop nodding right now! What I mean is that enthralled as I was by Christopher Bell's book Churchill and the Dardanelles, I decided to blow the dust off my book shelves to see what else I had on the subject. I came across a 1972 copy of Churchill and the Admirals by Stephen Roskill. Increasingly I am coming to realise that Churchill was not just 'larger than life', he was larger than his reputation - and that is saying something! Of course, when he was right he was brilliant but when he was wrong - watch out!
Hollande's glove-puppet wins: According to Jonathan Miller at The Coffee House it's all over bar the standard riots you always get after a French election. Miller is an interesting commentator being English but sufficiently well-based in France that he serves as an elected municipal councillor. Macron will dutifully execute the orders of the grey men who 'manufactured' him so as far as France is concerned just expect more of the same.
No more rumbles today
According to young Master James Forsyth, 141/2, at The Coffee House today, Mrs. May might be inclined to publish her 'No Deal Brexit' plan before the 'Euro-weenies' begin their farcical, convoluted, posturing 'negotiations'. It is becoming increasingly obvious that most of them 'just over there' are so puffed up with their own importance that their heads are now in the clouds. They give every indication that they think it is just 'Greece Mk.II' and when they have pounded us with every threat we will simply run up the white flag of surrender, not least, because most of them do not really think we mean it and that we are just looking to gain some trick advantages. Reading the details of how we intend to cope with a straightforward exit would be the best way to drive home the oft-repeated truth that "Brexit mean Brexit"!
Given that Brexit entails high costs and risks to huge swathes of Europe which sells far more to us than we sell back to them will, 'like a hanging in the morning, concentrate minds wonderfully'! It will also re-assure me - as in 'me, Me, ME'! - because I have long suspected that no deal will be possible with 'Mutti Merkel' and so I have hoped and prayed to 'St. Theresa of May' to have a detailed plan worked out well beforehand.
A man may hope, may he not?
As Charles Moore reminds us today in The Telegraph, the Conservative party just keeps on running and running and then running some more. It is now, I believe, the longest running political party in the world. Mr. Moore isn't entirely sure why, or how, this has happened but offers one possibility, that "the Conservatives have fewer prejudices than their rivals". I think I would rephrase that to read 'they have fewer doctrines than their rivals' which, I suppose could be read that they are an unprincipled gang of 'all things to all men' rascals. Well, maybe, baby!
Of course, as a man who constantly prates that political parties should have a fundamental ideology to guide them through the vicissitudes of an ever-changing world, I cannot possibly approve of this Tory 'ducking and diving' but, dammit, the fact is that it works! As Mr. Moore reminds us:
Being unintellectual – even, on occasions, plain stupid – the Conservatives don’t carry that dreadful weight of needing to prove you are doctrinally correct which bedevils life on the Left.
It is, I suppose, 'the British way' and not only does it contrast with the ideologically riven Left but it also stands out - and up against - the disciplinarians of the European Union.
As that other acute observer, Mr. Daniel Hannan, also in The Telegraph, reminds us today, despite the froth and fury, there isn't that much to choose between interfering dirigisme of Macron and le Pen. He warns us that the election of either will be damaging to this country, although Macron, the glove puppet of the Euro-fanatics in the Berlin-Brussels axis, will be particularly malevolent:
He is a European protectionist rather than a French one. His manifesto promises to “turn the protection of European industry into one of the major pillars of reinventing the EU.” He wants to restrict EU public procurement to companies based in Europe, and is a big fan of “anti-dumping” measures – usually the first resort of the contemporary protectionist.
The quicker we get out of that 'closed shop diktat' the better.
I absolutely do not mean any insult to those many - too many - Brits who gave their lives for their country and who rightly deserve those famous words first composed by the Roman poet Horace. However, here I offer them up to another small 'band of brothers' whose patriotism led to the formation of UKIP, the United Kingdom Independence Party.
These stalwarts began what appeared to be a hopeless political movement with but one aim - to get Britain out of the clutches of the European Union. They began as a fringe movement and to begin with it looked as though the fringe was as far as they were going to go. But gradually, bit by bit, and aided enormously by a new charismatic leader, Nigel Farage, and also by increasing stupidity and arrogance from Brussels, this movement morphed into a political movement of considerable weight.
Suddenly, Whitehall and the major political parties were forced to take them seriously, not so much because UKIP was a contender for government but because the collateral damage they could inflict at an election might stop either Conservatives or Labour from actually achieving that ultimate power. Of course, to no-one's surprise, it was 'Dim Dave' whose nerve broke first and he was forced to grant a Brexit referendum - and the rest, including 'Dave', is history.
Alas, the 'Kippers' were only ever a single issue party - but what an issue! And today, this gallant body of men and women have been run over by machine politics. As Monty Python (sort of) put it, 'You Kippers are extinct, you have ceased to be!' Even so, thank you, 'Kippers', I salute you!
Yes, sorry, one of my sillier headings but I do rather depend on 'The Kraut' who, despite his somewhat grim and forbidding visage ...
... I do follow avidly because his columns are full of shrewd observations on the Washington scene. Alas, today he built up my hopes and then dashed them. As I say, very 'kruel'!
Today he confirmed my own, very faint, hopes that perhaps - just perhaps - 'The Donald' might not be as bad as I had feared.
With near unanimity, my Never Trump friends confess a sense of relief. It could have been worse. They thought it would be worse. A deep apprehension still endures but the international order remains intact, the republic still stands, and no “enemy of the people” has (yet) been arrested. Admittedly, this is a low bar. And this is not to deny the insanity, incoherence, and sheer weirdness emanating daily from the White House, for which we’ve all come up with our own coping technique.
My 'coping technique' is to keep on digging my nuclear fall-out shelter in my garden! Even so, 'The Kraut' is right, so far nothing totally horrendous has occurred and it occurred to me the other day that perhaps - just perhaps - 'The Donald' really is learning on the job. In any event, 'The Kraut' advises us all to just watch the results so far achieved:
And so far they hang together enough — Neil Gorsuch, Keystone XL, NATO reassurances, Syria strike, cabinet appointments — that one can begin to talk plausibly about the normalization of this presidency.
See, hope springs eternal and all that sort of thing! But then, he produces a bucket of ice-cold water and poured it all over me. He reminds me that Trump is determined to face down 'Fat Boy Kim' and is busy building an alliance of both friends and (shall we say) not-so-much-friends, like China which has, according to some reports, begun to turn the economic screws on North Korea. At the same time he is offering the South Koreans a missile screen to help their defences but then, at the last minute, he tells them the invoice is, so to speak, 'in the post'. Cue: 'shlock-horror' in Seoul where there is a presidential election taking place, one of the candidates being anti-American and not too ill-disposed to his fellow Koreans in the north!
'The Kraut' poses a horror-inducing scenario to us all - what happens when the red telephone rings in the White House at three in the morning? His solution is to say let it ring and forward the call to Defence Secretary Mattis! Hardly encouraging, Charles!
'Heh! Y'all didn't think a bit of plastic would hold me back, did'ja?'
Those, I am sure, were the thoughts, if not quite the words, of young Master Dexter Hellein a few days ago when, with a 'yippedeedooda' cry of triumph, he popped out of the tummy of his mother, Ms. Lucy Hellein from Alabama.
And clutched in his triumphant fist - is his mother's contraceptive foil!
According to the report in The Telegraph, these devices are more than 99% effective but that wasn't going to deter 'Dexter the Determined', no sirree! I can't help thinking that young Dexter is destined for great things in the future. Apparently he was produced via a caesarean operation and the coil was found in his mother's placenta. His mother, although delighted at his arrival, has had her fallopian tubes removed so, alas, young Dexter will not have any brothers or sisters to boast of his great escape.
Good luck, Dexter, and I hope you have a good life.
Does this pompous poke-nose have nothing better to do these days except interfere in other nations' elections? Has he learned nothing from our Brexit referendum in which he raised his snooty nose and told us Brits that we would be at the end of the queue if we had the temerity to ignore his sonorous words? Needless to say, he received the traditional 'archers' salute' by way of reply! Actually, I'm surprised he has the time given all that golf he has to play, plus ultra-long holidays in swank joints in Hawaii despite his expressed worries for his daughter who is 'home alone' in 'Noo Yawk'! Plus, of course, he has been busy cashing in all those hefty cheques he earned 'boring for America' at the behest of sundry 'zillionaires'.
Mind you, I forgive him everything for the example he has set for nouveau riches everywhere! Take a look at the proposed 'Barack Obama Presidential Center' which, of course, is absolutely and definitely not a vanity project, oh, dear me, no, this will be a "transformational project for this community". The community concerned is the South Side' of that haven of peace and tranquillity, er, Chicago, actually - yeeeees, quite!
'Still 'n' all', as they say 'over there', if this, er, 'transformational project' manages to bring down the local murder rate to somewhere close to that of, say, Baghdad, then it will all have been worth while. Mr. Thomas Lifson at The American Thinker (who is, of course, a very naughty boy!) is very taken with the, er, whiteness of it all.
How all that whiteness will do over the years, as soot, grime, brutal winters, and acid rain take their toll is unknown. Future generations will get to draw their own conclusions.
I suppose, given the news that Iran has just increased its defence budget by 145% courtesy of Obama's kindness/'stoopidity' (you choose), then the fact that within a generation it will look like one of Valerie Jarret's slum blocks will indeed be a tribute to this former Chicago community advisor!
In a recent comment 'SoD' likened our dispute with the EU to the tactical supremacy of German troops against British troops in WWII. In that context, of course, it was utter blx! We are engaged in a political and trade dispute with Germany, not a war. Even so, and since he raised the subject, it is worth dwelling for a moment on the comparison between the two nations in a war setting.
First of all, of course, the utter, almost unbelievable, stupidity of the German leadership in 1939 was only equalled by that of their predecessors in 1914 in which both governments took the decision to go to war. No doubt they were encouraged, and thereby fooled, by their success in war against France in 1870 but a two-country knockabout in the 19th century had no lessons for a multi-national world war in the 20th century. On both occasions the Germans ended up ravaged and smashed by their opponents not least because on both occasions they failed to heed the difference between tactics and strategy.
Tactics is the school of thought that works out how soldiers operate on the battlefield and 'SoD' is quite right that the Germans were streets ahead of the allies in this respect. The reason is fairly obvious as we look back on the history of it. Their officer corps took warfare seriously and worked very hard to hone their tactical methods to be the sharpest and most effective possible. Our officers preferred huntin' with horses! Even so, neither side was able to solve the problem in WWI of how to manoeuvre troops across open ground against machine guns and thus stalemate set in. Prior to WWI, one absolutely crucial and strategic factor never occurred to the German High Command - the inexorable, strangling grip of the Royal Navy. Just like Napoleon, they never really understood sea power - until their civilians began to starve, at which point they unleashed submarine warfare and that brought in Uncle Sam - game over!
It is almost unbelievable that in 1939 they repeated the same mistake and then added some extras, for example, breaking the first rule of warfare - never, ever, invade Russia! Of course, in retrospect it is painfully obvious that Hitler was a dummkopf of the first order but how stupid does that make all those swaggering German Generals in their butch leather coats and jackboots? Of course, here in Britain we have our fair share of dimwits but by and large, on the whole, they seem to possess just enough common-sense not to choose to start a world war. What can one say? Except jolly good show!
As far as the imbroglio with the EU is concerned it is important to remember that whilst there are 27 of them against us, there is only one that counts - Germany! The more than faintly ridiculous popinjays who keep hurling threats and dire warnings in our direction can be safely ignored, there is only one person who really counts - 'Mutti Merkel'. She is the one who will decide. Alas, the omens are not good. Whilst Germany no longer feels the desire to rule the world, it does rule Europe and it will be ferocious in defence of its power which, after all and unusually, it obtained by peaceful means. Apart from maintaining the status quo, 'Mutti Merkel' has only pushed through one revolutionary policy - inviting the Islamic world to come to live in Germany. Putting it politely that does not indicate great intelligence, or even slight intelligence! Regrettably, it puts her roughly at the same disastrous level of stupidity as her predecessors!
Sorry, sorry, sorry because my thievery has now reached epic proportions! Of course, I am always happy to nick bits and pieces from other writers but this time I am lifting the entire article from Brendan O'Neill which appears at The Coffee House. I do so for the simple reason that he says it all so much better than me:
Who does Jean-Claude Juncker think he is?
Jean-Claude Juncker: what a nasty piece of work. There aren’t many politicians I’d say that about. Even most of those I disagree with strike me as being pretty decent people. Theresa May might be a petty authoritarian, but she isn’t sinister. Jeremy Corbyn is wrong about everything, and stuck politically and sartorially in 1983, but he seems a nice enough guy. But Juncker — it is still rare that such a noxious character, such a scheming operator, such an arrogant arse, such a jumped-up, poundshop Machiavelli, darkens the corridors of politics. He’s the worst.
All of Juncker’s awful traits were on display at the weekend, in the spat over his dinner with May last week. Details about the dinner were leaked to the German newspaper FAZ by Juncker’s minions in the European Commission. Proof, if any were needed, that only the most tragic, blinkered EU-loving naif would trust the EC, that distant oligarchy, that byzantine bureaucratic machine, making laws we Euro-plebs must live by even though none of us voted for these people. In leaking about the dinner in order to make Juncker look like a god-king and May like a bumbling fool, the EC has signalled its untrustworthiness, and its intention to make the Brexit negotiations as difficult as possible.
If the lesson you have taken from the leaks is that May is misguided, you weren’t paying attention. Even these leaks designed to make Juncker look good actually reveal what an infinite vacuum of principle and decency he is. Whether he was whipping out a massive pile of paper to show how complex the EU entry deal with Croatia is — like a latter-day Cecil Rhodes saying, ‘This is what nations must do to please me’ — or telling May that Brexit ‘cannot be a success’, Juncker comes off as immovable and autocratic, far more interested in maintaining his grey grip on the levers of EU power than respecting the will of 17.4m pesky Britons.
Worst of all was the revelation that right after dinner he phoned Angela Merkel to fill her in. He told her May is ‘deluding herself’ and ‘living in another galaxy’. It’s not surprising May seems so alien, so otherworldly to Juncker: after all, she was at the dinner effectively to say, ‘The people voted for Brexit and we will give it to them’, and to the likes of Juncker, such an attachment to democracy seems quaint and perverted. Like a telltale school pupil, the playground grass everyone loathes, Juncker was filling in his headmistress Merkel about May’s naughtiness even before he’d got back to his hotel. (Or is he the headmaster and Merkel the swottish pupil? It’s hard to tell.)
That Juncker prefers duplicity to diplomacy, that he can arrogantly insist the British people’s democratic choice ‘cannot be a success’, should not come as a surprise. This is a man with an acute allergy to the whole idea of democracy. ‘I’m ready to be insulted as being insufficiently democratic… I am for [having] secret, dark debates’, he once said. He is contemptible of the idea that ordinary people should have a major say in politics. On the 2005 French referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, he said: ‘If it’s a Yes, we will say “on we go”. If it’s a No, we will say “we continue”.’ It was a No. More than 15m people, 55 percent of the French electorate, rejected Lisbon. And, as promised, Juncker said ‘we continue’ — he enforced the treaty anyway under the guise of the EU Constitution.
Juncker is a fan of lying, too. Yes, the EU Constitution would lead to ‘transfers of sovereignty’ from individual nations to the EU, ‘but would I be intelligent to draw the attention of public opinion to this fact?’, he once asked. Sometimes EU deal-making must be protected from public scrutiny, he said. ‘When it becomes serious, you have to lie.’ This is who, or rather what, we’re dealing with: a man and commission that think nothing of swatting aside mass democratic votes, who prefer the shadows of committee rooms to the light of democratic debate, and who will lie to get their way. As I say, if it’s May’s naivety you’re worried about, you need to have a word with yourself: the other side is immeasurably worse.
Juncker’s nastiness is only a physical manifestation of Brussels itself. Power-hungry, deceitful, dismissive of democracy: the nature of the EU is horribly personified in Juncker. What’s truly alarming is not that Juncker behaves like this — he always has — but that so many in the British commentariat are lapping up his leaks and laughing along with him at the stupidity of May and by extension of those who chose Brexit. It is a testament to the decadence of the media class, to their distance from everyday opinion, that they prefer the underhand antics of Brexit-loathing Juncker over May’s effort to represent the will of the majority. They hope Juncker will punish British voters for daring to hold a different opinion to theirs.
And now some in the media are saying: ‘See how hard these negotiations are going to be for Britain? Are you still glad you voted Brexit?’ Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Never gladder. The meanness and ruthlessness and cynicism of Juncker and his team right now remind us precisely why we voted to leave the EU: because it is an opaque enemy of democracy that has no place in a decent, progressive 21st-century Europe.
Thank you Mr. O'Neill, I couldn't have put it better myself - in a month of Sundays!
Seeing this photo I was put in mind of that bonny, auld Scottish saying that has come down through the ages and which my regular commenter, 'Jimmy Glesga', would instantly recognise, "Watch it or ah'll put ma heed in wi' ma bonnet on!" The problem here is who is nutting whom?
Actually, this brief meeting between 'St. Theresa of May' and 'Junck the Drunk' was exceedingly useful. Not for the parties concerned who I expect are both fully aware of the imminent outbreak of 'war' but for us observers. I am proud that at least one of my predictions has proved right, if only to slightly offset the scores that have been wrong, because months ago I warned that the Euro fanatics would use every trick in the book to attack and denigrate Britain in order to punish us for our impertinence in deciding to get out.
If you were ever doubtful about Brexit then the behaviour of 'Junck the Drunk' and his spiteful (and utterly stupid) chief of staff, Martin Selmayr, who was probably responsible for the leak to a German newspaper, tells you everything you need to know about the 'Kremlinesque' nature of the Berlin-Brussels apparatchiks. They do not have the slightest desire for any agreement with Britain, only a single-minded aim to make us an example to any others who dare to oppose their dictatorial right to rule. Greece was a warning but a relatively small one. Humiliating and punishing Britain is a whole magnitude bigger and, they hope, will force any other potential recalcitrants to stay in line.
The good news from our point of view is that it is now clear the so-called negotiations will be short and sharp - the shorter the better, as far as I am concerned. Yes, there will be troubles ahead but it is not the first time this country has stood alone against a threat from Europe. The absolute imperative is that we must break free from this German racket. Bring it on!
Following the unmitigated filth contained in the jokes below I thought it essential to try and raise the intellectual level of this distinguished blog - and I heard that snigger! From time to time I offer you a selection of fine art and today, lucky fellows and 'fellowettes' that you are, I am providing some of the works of the late, great J. M.W. Turner. Allegedly his dying words were "The Sun is God" and given his concentration on light in all its variations that may well be true.
Dutch boats in a gale (1801)
Just look at that heaving sea - and take a pill if you feel unwell! The way a shaft of sunlight picks out the sail and the foaming waves is exceedingly dramatic. Mind you, he could 'do' romantic, pastoral landscapes as well as anyone:
Raby Castle: the seat of the Earl of Dartington
And I think this qualifies him as one of the first 'modernists':
Snowstorm: Steam boat off Harbour's Mouth 1842
It wasn't all boats and waves, here he captures the first of the new steam age.
Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway painted (1844).
And I bet they ran more efficiently than bloody not-so-Great Western Railways does today!
And, dammit, the man could really draw! Just look at the way he captured the reflection of the castle in the water:
An engraving of a sketch by Turner depicting Brougham Castle
Yes, yes, don't worry, here's 'The Fighting Temeraire'. A 98-gun warship that fought gallantly at Trafalgar, here being dragged off to 'the knackers yard' by a smudgy, dirty, little steam tug-boat. Not quite the end of an era, perhaps, but the beginning of it!
What a truly great artist.
Yet another Monday holiday! Honestly, how are all you plebs going to keep us pensioners in the style we have grown accustomed to if you keep taking days off? I should warn you that this first 'Funny' is quite appalling and in the worst possible taste - but what else would you expect from Australia?
A hippie gets onto a bus and sits next to a nun in the front seat. The hippie looks over and asks the nun if she would have sex with him. The nun, surprised by the question, politely declines and gets off at the next stop. When the bus starts again, the bus driver says to the hippie, "If you want, I can tell you how you can get that nun to have sex with you.”
The hippie, of course, says that he'd love to know, so the bus driver tells him that every Tuesday evening at midnight the nun goes to the cemetery to pray to the lord.
"If you went dressed in robes and some glowing powder," says the bus driver, "You could tell her you were God and command her to have sex with you."
The hippie decides to try this out. That Tuesday, he goes to the cemetery and waits for the nun. Right on schedule, the nun shows up. While she's in the middle of praying, the hippie walks out from hiding, in robes and glowing with a mask of god.
"I am God, I have heard your prayers and I will answer them but you must have sex with me first," he says.
The nun agrees but asks for anal sex so she might keep her virginity. The hippie agrees to this and quickly sets about having sex with the nun.
After the hippie finishes, he rips off his mask and shouts out, "Ha ha, I'm the hippie!"
The nun replies by whipping off her mask and shouting, "Ha ha, I'm the bus driver!"
One year, I decided to buy my mother-in-law a cemetery plot as a Christmas gift. The next year, I didn't buy her a gift. When she asked me why, I replied,
"Well, you still haven't used the gift I bought you last year!"
And that's how the fight started.....
My wife and I were watching ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ while we were in
bed. I turned to her and said, 'Do you want to have sex?'
'No,' she answered.
I then said, 'Is that your final answer?
She didn't even look at me this time, simply saying, 'Yes..'
So I said, "Then I'd like to phone a friend."
And that's when the fight started...
I took my wife to a restaurant. The waiter, for some reason, took my order first.
"I'll have the rump steak, rare, please."
He said, "Aren't you worried about the mad cow?"
"Nah, she can order for herself."
And that's when the fight started.....
My wife at her high school reunion, and she kept staring at a drunk swigging his drink as he sat alone at a nearby table.
I asked her, "Do you know him?"
"Yes", she sighed, he's my old boyfriend. He began drinking right after we split up years ago, and hasn't been sober since."
"My God!" I said, "Who would think a person could go on celebrating that
And then the fight started...
When our lawn mower broke my wife kept nagging me to get it fixed. But, I always had something else to take care of. Finally she thought of a clever way to make her point. I found her seated in the tall grass, busily snipping away with a tiny pair of scissors. I watched silently for a short time and then went into the house. I was gone only a minute, and when I came out again I handed her a toothbrush. I said, "When you finish cutting the grass, you might as well sweep the driveway."
The doctors say I will walk again, but I will always have a limp.
My wife sat down next to me as I was flipping channels.
She asked, "What's on TV?"
I said, "Lots of dust."
And then the fight started...
My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary.
She said, "I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 165 in about 2 seconds."
I bought her a bathroom scale.
And then the fight started......
That's your lot - enjoy your day off!