Interesting times

“May you live in interesting times” as the legendary curse goes. Well, these past few days have been interesting as far as we are concerned. On the home front, elderly friend is slipping away down the sad path of dementia toward the long night. Her short term memory is all screwed up, so when she cannot find anything she’s on the phone to us at all hours. Brother in law had a bit of a fright when lack of regular sleep caught up with him and he simply collapsed. Twice. Mrs S wants to up sticks and move countries yet again and guess who is being given all the heavy lifting? Now our normally reliable car has packed in, so I’ve had to arrange for full diagnostic. Looks like an easy fix (allegedly) for the garage, being something to do with a bit of electronics having given up the ghost, unfortunately my automotive skill set and tools are sadly lacking for such a relatively modern vehicle, so off to the shop it goes. Fortunately we’ve still got the Mutt to get about on.

This morning, having had a breeze through the FT, I see the Queen, God bless her, has given the green light to Bojo the UK’s deceptively clownish PM, to suspend or prorogue Parliament. Of course all this has the remoaners up in arms, claiming that this is ‘anti-democratic’, but their pointless prolonging of BREXIT has clearly gone against the democratic mandate that was handed down to them in 2016, so yar boo to you lot. The delay has already cost the UK dearly. The Queen knows this, Boris knows this, the remoaners don’t seem to care. They’re just acting like a bunch of spoiled brats.

They’ve had three whole years to get a deal from the EU and they have failed. So WTO terms it is. In sixty five days from the time of writing and counting. No referendum, no votes, no attempted palace coup by the fantasists who think that Corbyn driving to Buck house in a taxi and forcing the Queen to make him PM. Err, can I point something out? You know the old challenge “You and whose army?” Well, fun fact; HM Queen is commander in chief of the armed forces. All the officers and squaddies in the Army, Navy and Air Force have sworn loyalty to her, not some unpopular and crabby left wing politician. It’s her army, not the Corbynites. The Police are also sworn to the Queen. True, they may be managed day to day by politicians, but they work for her. She’s the boss. The Chairman of the board. The EU attempted a stealth takeover, but over half the people of the UK used their votes to say “Out.” and that’s that.  HM Queen rules UK, okay?

Oh, by the way, saw this over at Raedwald‘s. So apposite, so goddamn on the money when it comes to the remoaners. So I too shamelessly nicked it.
Remoaner Tantrum

Since even before the 2016 referendum those who intended to and voted leave have been subject to continual abuse and insult from the opposing faction, which is no way to change hearts and minds. Newsflash kiddies; you can only convince someone to change their mind through persuasion. Constantly beating them over the head and abusing them just won’t cut it. This is negotiation 101, as they say over this side of the pond.

Right. Now I’m off to talk to a mechanic or two. Yes, these are indeed proving interesting times.

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Amazing stories

The older I get, the more amazed I become at some of the strange stuff that much of humanity calls cognition. Of late I’ve noticed that certain millennial females, in an attempt to appear ‘nicer than thou’ behave in ways that are positively dangerous to other road users. One occasion was when I was waiting to enter a traffic island (Many Canadian drivers here on Vancouver Island understand traffic islands like they understand cornering, lane discipline or changing gear – the answer is that they don’t), when a female driver stopped and waved me in front of her, which I could not at first see because of reflections on her windscreen and side windows. There was no-one behind her and more than enough room to allow me to slot in behind to take my turn. Yet when I opened my side window and waved her to go past, firstly because I like potential road hazards in front of me where I can see them, secondly because the rule with traffic islands is to give way to traffic already on the traffic island. In return she got mad and shouted, then gave me the finger, simply because I did not want her behind me. There was plenty of room, no need to get irate, yet she blew up.

Similarly, I was travelling the back roads a few days ago when I came across a local transit bus (Not a school bus – different rules apply) sitting at a stop with it’s hazards blinking just before a blind right hand bend. The car in front came to a sudden stop which I almost missed because their brake lights weren’t working, forcing me to pull a full on, brake screeching jamming on of anchors, I did something I rarely do, which was hit my horn to warn them of this ill-timed behaviour. This appeared to annoy the driver, who had pulled up to allow two cyclists, who were blocked from my line of sight by the now-stopped car blocking the road in front and the bus itself, to cross a fast country road on foot. The car driver gave me the finger. Then proceeded to drive at under thirty kmh for the next two kilometres, all the time favouring me with rude gestures, until she thankfully turned off. In my book the driver and the bus driver should have moved on to let the cyclists cross safely at their own discretion. Instead the virtue signallers created a problem which need not have existed and thus a deal of raised blood pressure. Not to mention that crossing the road from in front of a large parked vehicle is something I was taught at my mother’s knee was a bloody silly thing to do and likely to be terminally bad for your health.

Now I don’t know about you dear reader, but all this trying to show how ‘nice’ you are on the road is positively dangerous. Having checked my copy of the Canadian Highway code, yes, I had it right. Both drivers, both female, both in their late twenties, were in the wrong. They had also taken it amiss because one road user at least found their behaviour somewhat counter intuitive. For ‘counter intuitive’ read dumb as a bag of rocks. I see a lot of this. People too focused on trying to appear pleasant, but when encountering even the slightest objection, go into complete meltdown. I’ve even come across this standing at the roadside, waiting for Mrs S to catch up before crossing. I’ll be waiting at the roadside for my wife, head turned away, body language indicating that I’m not going to move any time soon, only to have some grinning bozo beeping their horn, waving at me to cross from behind a windscreen that is more or less a mirror, then getting all irate when I wave them on. It’s all so very passive aggressive.

Now I’m a well travelled man. I’ve driven all around Europe, the USA, Britain and Australia, but nowhere else in this big wide world have I come across this “Don’t you dare not let me be what I think of as nice to you” attitude. If you want to annoy a suburban western Canadian or urban Ontarian female, just tell them you don’t think that they’re as nice as they claim. Believe me, there is nothing more likely to enrage the entitled than having this one petty hypocrisy called out. White hot humour failure will be immediate, often followed by disproportionately spiteful and petty acts against you which ultimately benefit no-one. Canadians as a whole may have this reputation for being pleasant and charitable, but in major urban populations this attitude only runs skin deep, if that.

It’s almost a mirror image of what is going on online, where people who disagree with a given viewpoint are subject to disproportionate displays of virulent hatred, even to the point of being hounded out of their job. Which is a bit rich, or rather not, as kicking an able worker out for merely expressing an opinion is a shot in the foot all round. Considering it may be only one actual person really put mildly out of sorts by such an opinion, the rest of the outrage being amplified by a form of cognitively-impaired drone network. The loss of service of a key employee will probably be far greater and impact not only the organisation so targeted, but also the people served by that body of people and those within it. Not to mention the desire for vengeance from the person thus persecuted for so little reason. Hence the saying I was taught as a boy; “If you would seek vengeance – first dig two graves.”

Now the political pendulum is swinging ponderously rightwards, certain people should be quaking in their little pink booties in fear of the wrecking ball they used without provocation upon others has begun the long ponderous sweep in their direction. Yea in the words of my head librarian, Igor the badly stitched; “What cometh around, goeth around. Oh yeth.”

You’re going to like this

…but, to quote the old Paul Daniels catchphrase “Not a lot”. Rather than get drawn into the same old “Oh! we’re all doomed if there’s a no-deal BREXIT” that the remoaner commenters have been tediously banging on about, I’ve been watching the European markets with interest. After all, one mans downfall is another’s opportunity. Germany is especially vulnerable. If the markets for their heavily manufacturing based economy undergoes serious shrinkage, as is likely, they will have trouble. This is despite shipping cars over to the North American market via Nanaimo BC, Canada. That’s right. The small city of Nanaimo BC, Vancouver Island (Where I lived for five years) is Canada’s major port of entry for BMW’s, VW’s etcetera. This is into a near-saturated market you understand. We in Canada have the pick of the world as far as vehicles are concerned so it’s a highly competitive environment. Some people like BMW’s etc, I don’t, but then I have my own, highly personal reasons for this choice.

Today I’m stuck in the office, gearing up for an increase in work. It’s wet out, and nowadays I’m a confirmed dry day only rider. Might get a tootle in tomorrow before sister in law comes down for the weekend. Which means I have to go and get a few things before me and the mutt go out to play.

Anyway, back in the old country the paperwork on leaving the EU is all done and dusted and the date is set. 31st October it is. Mainly because the EU has refused to negotiate any further. It was their way or the highway. So it’s time to stop talking and get walking. Seventy one days and counting at the time of writing. I know we’ve been here before, but this time it’s on. No returns, with knobs on.

Equipping the RN with a few lightweight fisheries protection vessels might not be such a bad idea. Arm with two anti-shipping missiles (Buy a dozen Harpoon RGM 84’s from the Yanks, or maybe even use up some surplus Anti-tank stuff) and a 20mm Oerlikon should be enough firepower for the interim with some line cutting gear, at least until the EU fishing fleets get the message.

That means with the UK’s contribution to the EU about to disappear with a now-inevitable no-deal BREXIT, the Germans will be left holding the larger part of the EU’s fiscal baby, which is bad news for the Eureaucrats. From a simple business perspective, you simply can’t just lose such a major element as the UK in a continent wide cashflow without a major restructuring. Or even in extremis a European economic collapse if the Russians decide to apply a little judicious pressure via their gas pipelines. The whole renewables thing the Germans relied on for power is collapsing, so power prices will rise, much to the chagrin of the poor German public and the disadvantage of German industry. The French have their own major economic issues and will have to look a bit slippy if they aren’t going to end up carrying Brussels can as well. The EU has been going round signing trade deals with a lot of other countries of late, extending their circle of influence, but that won’t do them any good if what their member nations produce becomes too expensive.

As for the other nations, Italy won’t hang around when things go pear shaped, nor I think will the French. The Hungarians, Poles and Czechs may well split off into a mitteleurop trading bloc of their own taking a few of the smaller Eastern European nations with them. Thirty nine billion pounds (43 Billion Euro’s or 48 Billion US Dollars just disappeared ne’er to be seen again.

So a number bloated bureaucrats may well find themselves jobless with nothing but a depleted bank account and several expensive mistresses to provide for (Or in Junckers’ case his wine cellar). Spare a Bentley for an out of work Eurocrat guv? Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of people. This could be fun.

Update:  The UK is purchasing twenty six all weather drones for fisheries protection.  I wonder if any of then will be armed?