Trend analysis is not an exact science or, indeed, an actual science but when a former Prime Minister is quoted it does not require Heisenberg`s uncertainty principle to deduce a high probability that the speaker has gone stark, raving bonkers. Although by no means conclusively true, it would appear that the highest office of state carries the risk of sending the post holder round the bend. A quick trend analysis of British Prime Ministers since Suez offers a salutary warning to those ambitious for power. (more…)
July 27, 2015
July 20, 2015
According to common western perception, Confucius said a great many things. He did not, however, ever say that we are cursed to live in interesting times. This ironic aphorism is not an ancient Chinese curse uttered by the inscrutable philosopher but is a more modern and more western invention cooked up by the British ambassador to China in the uncertain 1930`s. With the Chinese stock market in apparent free fall, the current British ambassador might well be issuing dispatches describing a communist experiment with capitalism as “interesting”. (more…)
July 13, 2015
The thousand yard stare usually associated with unfortunate souls enslaved by addiction and substance abuse would appear to be increasingly evident on the benches of the House of Commons. Instead of derelicts and drunks, the people staring blankly into the middle distance belong to what was once known as Her Majesty`s Most Loyal Opposition. Addicted to unobtainable power, their behaviour has gone from erratic to unpleasantly anti-social.
The parliamentary Labour Party seem incapable of learning from past mistakes. The interminable process to elect a new leader is still set to rumble on for months exposing further internal divisions, acrimony and nastiness. (more…)
July 5, 2015
There comes a time when you realise that a bad debt is never going to be paid and the only options available are to either litigate or forget about it. Some work undertaken about a year ago resulted in a Mr Micawber situation of misery rather than happiness when the bastards didn`t cough up the dosh that they owed me for doing something that they were incapable of doing. The response from the debtors ranged from “Oh dear, it must be an accounting problem” to “payment in the next three working days” to “sod off”. I gave up and although bruised, put it down to experience. (more…)
June 13, 2015
Next Thursday, June 18th, is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and, coincidentally, the 31st anniversary of the Battle of Orgreave. Wellington`s victory will undoubtedly be commemorated with solemnity and pride but with very little mention of Field Marshal Blücher. Orgreave, on the other hand, is being commemorated with bucket loads of official whitewash.
In June 1984, at the height of the miner`s strike, the Orgreave coking plant near Rotherham was subject to an NUM picket. It seems that some of the striking miners were playing football when mounted riot police launched a baton charge. The pickets tried to run away and as the re-grouped forces of Marshal Blücher were unlikely to appear over the horizon, the miners attempted to defend themselves. There were numerous injuries on both sides. (more…)