Exit pursued by a nightmare
Thank heavens, thank goodness, thank all our lucky stars and thank you sweet baby Jesus for giving us at long last some clarity and a time scale as to how the British government is systematically taking leave of its senses.
The Conservative MP for Maidenhead who, through a combination of good fortune and good old-fashioned skulduggery woke up one morning to discover that she was Prime Minister, delivered a rather odd speech to fellow Tory ministers and bemused foreign ambassadors at the historically significant Lancaster House in that there London. Lancaster House, a mere diamond`s throw from the almost derelict Buckingham Palace, was the venue for various conferences that led to the independence of fine, upstanding incorruptible democracies such as Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe but is probably best remembered for a rousing speech given by one of Mrs May`s less emotionally stable predecessors extolling the virtues of the European Single Market. It is fair to say that in the end Margaret Thatcher had completely lost her mind (more…)
If the weakness of the old is a stubborn and irrational reluctance to accept a shift in circumstance, then surly the strength of the young must be the wilful, recalcitrant ability to undergo a change of mind.
Friday morning dawned with the happy coincidence of a planned day off and the first significant snowfall of the winter. The plan had been to dispatch the less than eager sixth former to school and wave off to work the older virago career girl sibling, wait for rush hour to die down and then take a leisurely drive to a middle distant Shropshire market town for a nice day out. A glance at the weather and a quick look on social media confirmed that every motorist in possession of a valid licence but lacking any actual ability to drive was out on the roads sliding into things. The walk by the river, the pub lunch beside a roaring log fire and visits to a favourite butcher, baker, grocer and fancy delicatessen would have to wait until another less apocalyptic day.
Instead we climbed into coats, hats, scarves, gloves and wellies and went for a walk in the Arboretum. It was stunning. Dog walkers sniffed indignantly as if they had never seen a couple of geriatrics running around and throwing snowballs at each other before. Their dogs, however, like the barking mad Labrador I once walked in the marvellous Arbo, wanted to join the game. One miserable young bastard suggested that we were being “irresponsible” by lobbing snowballs up in the air for the dog to catch on the descent. The owner was annoyed because we made his dog “over-excited”. It seems that dogs and old people are not allowed to enjoy the snow. (more…)
In her strides
If ghosts actually exist and if they do exist are capable of exhaling, then the ghost of Frederick North, second Earl of Guilford and Tory Prime Minister between 1770 and 1782 will be expelling an enormous sigh of relief at the moment. After 235 years of being generally considered as the most useless, indolent, weak and shallow British Prime Minister devoid of any leadership quality, he now finds himself in third place in that particular race to the bottom.
Lord North might be remembered as the Prime Minister who lost the Americas and fought numerous European wars against the French, Spanish, Dutch and just about anybody else. He even manufactured his own Falkland crisis in 1770 in order to fuel tensions between former allies France and Spain and won the conflict simply because of the dominance of the Royal Navy. Sadly, the Royal Navy, built on the proceeds of plunder, slavery and brutal colonialism could not secure victory in the American War of Independence. The irony that the American Navy some 242 years later could not defend America`s independence will not be lost on Vladimir Putin. (more…)
There can be no finer example of British values than the deranged irrationality of an ill-informed angry mob in full hue and cry. The indignant if ignorant enraged fury in other circumstances might be regarded as hilarious where it not for the seriousness of the current situation and the shrieks of bitter opprobrium in more sensible times would probably induce sympathy rather than a futile acceptance that the world has gone stark, raving mad.
Sir Ivan Rogers might not be a household name but that does not present a barrier to appearing on celebrity television game shows populated by celebrities that no one has ever heard of. His resignation as the British Ambassador to the European Union has elevated him to a fame beyond bag carrying diplomacy. (more…)
There are and will be many eloquent eulogies, obituaries and retrospectives of those who breathed their last during 2016 and although some might find the deification of dead celebrities somewhat mawkish, this years` harvest of notable souls has been almost relentless. It is statistically unlikely that 2016 has seen a spike in the demise of the not so rich and rich and famous but it does feel like a lot of the good ones have fallen off the perch and gone beyond and too many of the bad ones are still alive and kicking. (more…)