Category Archives: Europe

Londinium again

Touched down and still a little jet lagged but quite enjoying the environs of Kensington and Chelsea with an afternoon bloggers meetup with Tom Paine of The Last Ditch and Leggy from Underdogs bite upwards. Two gentlemen whose intellects left me a little giddy. Or was that just my jet lag? I don’t know. Very enjoyable afternoons talk.

Liked Tom’s idea about travel books. I reckon he should do a series of them. Such as “Tom Paine’s America” Subtitled; ‘one man and a Ferrari go in search of the real USA’. He could do the same for Europe and Russia, as he has travelled extensively in those regions.

Work however, has me starting with a new accounting package, which means I haven’t quite thrown my laptop across the room in frustration, but the temptation is there. Hell of a time to engage on a steep learning curve, but I hear that one of my organisations other divisions has already refused to use this package as structured, so they’ve given it to me to iron out the data entry bugs. Oh for heavens sake! I’m supposed to be on holiday! Grr.

My sense of frustration has been somewhat alleviated by the entertaining spectacle of several Extinction Rebellion idiots getting a righteous kicking from angry London tube commuters. Good, these XR people need a few hard lessons for giving everyone else a hard time. Especially when the real science is against them.

The problem is that the fashionable science regarding climate change XR derive their panic from is unproven and only derived from incomplete mathematical climate models. I’ve seen several credible sources analyse the IPCC report and associated outpourings and their conclusions are totally different from what the climate modellers and XR claim.

The more empirically correct version of climate science is undecided as to the cause, but does not agree that climatic variation is man made, or even anything to do with carbon dioxide. As I’ve said before, we’ve suffered from all of these prognostications of doom from the climate modellers for over fifty years and not a single one has come true. So I am refusing to curtail my travel simply because some eccentrics have got a bee in their bonnet over matters they palpably do not understand.

Saturday promises to be interesting because I will be around Wastemonster visiting various sights and will give any protesters who attempt to bar my path very short shrift. “Excuse me, thank you -byeee” kind of thing. I’m a tourist. A sights to see, places to go, not interested, TTFN attitude. Might even be fun. Might even see the outcome of the BREXIT vote in real time. Who knows?

Got to dash. Meetings with daughter and a decent curry await.

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Final pack

Travel days are coming and I’m packed and even more ready than Mrs S, who is fiddling around with the fine detail before we board the great tin bird which will, providence willing, bring us to not so sunny old Londinium for a long overdue break, even if it is in many respects a working holiday.

Today is larder emptying day, and I’m using up the last fresh ingredients before shutting down the kitchen this evening. Tonights repast will be a revisitation of a Cajun remoulade, ingredients below;

A quarter of a large Red Pepper (Fresh Red cabbage can be substituted if no peppers)
Half a stalk of Celery
One Green (Spring) Onion
A quarter cup of fresh Parsley (Not dried)
Half a cup of full on Mayonnaise
Half a cup of full fat Sour Cream or Creme Fraiche (Creme Fraiche is best)
Two heaped teaspoons of Dijon Mustard
Two heaped teaspoons of Horseradish
A shake or two of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce
A shake or two of Tabasco
Two heaped teaspoons of Paprika
Four heaped teaspoons of crushed Tomatoes or two medium size tomatoes
A third of a teaspoon of Cayenne pepper.

However, because I’m clearing out the last of the fresh stuff, said recipe has been amended to a very satisfactory simplified green version;

Half a large Red onion
five stalks of Celery
A quarter cup of fresh Parsley (Not dried)
Half a cup of full on Mayonnaise
Half a cup of full fat Sour Cream
Two heaped teaspoons of Dijon Mustard
Two heaped teaspoons of Horseradish
A shake or three of Tabasco
1 home grown green Habanero pepper with seeds removed

Just throw it all in the liquidiser and let rip until you have a smoothish sauce. First taste tests indicate that it’s not so hot in the mouth as it’s predecessor. However, the remoulade is tasty and satisfyingly viscous. Might benefit from a squirt of Lime juice, might not. Tonight I shall be serving some with fried Pork steaks and Broccoli mash with garlic butter as I’ve given up on starchier vegetables. My waistline is thanking me for it.

So, tickets and bookings are paid for. Sterling Banking facilities are set. New cell phone in hand. This time tomorrow we’re off and running.

No doubt the desperate anti-Brexit crowd and doltish Extinction Rebellion people will block our path at some stage, but we’ll cross those mildly awkward bridges when we come to them. If push comes to shove there are plenty of decent pubs within short walking distance of our lodgings.

Anyone else?

Has anyone else noticed a singular trend in Western politics? How comedy and entertainment is intruding from the lowest to the highest? No? The ask yourself about the previous professions of certain leaders.

Prime Minister UK. Boris Johnson; Journalist and one time host of “Have I got news for you”
President of the Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelensky. Playwright and Comedian
President of the USA. Donald Trump; ex-host of “The Apprentice” Property magnate and speculator
Co-founder of the Italian anti-EU Five Star movement. Beppe Grillo comedian and activist.
Ex=President of Czechoslovakia. Vaclav Havel. Playwright.

All have been entertainers and all taken centre stage in times of revolutionary turmoil against entrenched establishment political forces. Anyone else notice the trend? All social liberals but fiscal conservatives. Victor Orban of Hungary is to the right this particular spectrum.

Oh and Farage, the outsiders outsider, who Boris Johnson’s cabinet have half seriously threatened to nominate as the UK’s EU Commissioner should Brexit fail. Oh boy, that could be a real barrel of laughs.

No wonder the Eurocrats are refusing to negotiate further. Not to mention the fact that they want what they want and the UK had better play ball or else you horrid little British people. Behind all that bluff and bluster they are scared shitless. When the UK leaves the EU without a deal, like the UN, they will run out of other people’s money faster than a drain. Other countries will follow.

The Benn act can tell Boris Johnson to stand on his head and blow bubbles out of his arse, but in the end it won’t matter. The Speaker may collude with foreign bureaucrats. If Boris can’t get a deal because the Eurocrats won’t budge, that’s that. I hate to be a smug bastard (Well only as bit) but I’ve been saying what other people have for a long time. No deal was always the only deal, because the Parliamentary remain faction don’t understand the Eurocrats for what they are, arrogant little men with all the empathy of a bad tempered scorpion on acid. That arrogance has now bred a form of desperate bravado as almost a seventh of the EU budget is about to go AWOL. Like a bad parent chiding a rebellious grown up son or daughter, all they can threaten is “We’ll cut you off!” when in the end event it is they who will be the losers. Like a child leaving an abusive family to start a new life, Britain’s best option is to walk away.

One note about Boris Johnson. This man has hidden strengths. Anyone who watched the old news parody show ‘Have I got news for you’ when he took over the hot seat will be in no doubt as to how thick his skin can be. Both sides of the fashionably lefty panellists used to rip into him something cruel, yet he maintained an air of self deprecating buffoonery and good nature against the cruellest barbs that could be thrown his way.

I notice these things. I think a few more people do as well.

The politics of fear

There’s a movement of the entitled currently making nuisances of themselves on London streets who call themselves by the grand title ‘extinction rebellion’. These silly frightened people worship a teenage girl as their prophet and claim we’re all doomed if we don’t dismantle society and stop doing anything any time anywhere within the next twelve years, or according to some sources, eighteen months. From what I can see, a lot of them are anti-BREXIT as well.

They rather remind me of the current dementia-driven outpourings of our elderly friend. Who makes wild claims about her belongings being rifled through by her care home’s facility staff when she’s too befuddled to find them herself. Even after she’s been physically shown the item that she has been ‘lost’, two minutes later she’s swearing blind that it’s been stolen. Which can get a bit wearing.

Like her, extinction rebellion are unable to accept reality, which is that unless a bloody great asteroid impacts the Earth in the next century, it’s going to be more or less business as usual. The Earth will not boil, making life unsustainable. Even if everyone in the entire world buys an SUV to do their daily errands. Most of us will get up, go to work or whatever, earn a crust to pay the bills and then go home. The fact that post BREXIT some people may have to pay more for their BMW spares will pass us by, unless of course you own a BMW, Skoda, Mercedes or Volkswagen.

As for their claims of man made climate doom, they are just that, unsubstantiated claims. From massive temperature peaks to sea level rise and dead Polar Bears, there is very little hard science behind them, and despite forty plus years of clinging desperately to the CO2 climate driven theory, no-one has actually established a positive link to any catastrophe. All the prophesies of climate doom have been overblown and proven false. Don’t take my word, or that of anyone else. Go look for yourself and you will find what I did. That the major driver of Earth’s climate is about 93 million miles away and very hot indeed. The climate models the portents of doom are based upon rely on only one measurement for the sun’s influence, that of TSI, total solar irradiance, and make little allowance for variables like cloud formation or variances in the sun’s electromagnetic fields, which have direct impacts on Earth’s weather. It has been proven that when the fields weaken, as they have been doing for the last fifteen to twenty years now, a cooling phase begins. Educated guesses are that this period will probably really get going in 2020 and last for about thirty plus years. It’s why the jet streams are playing up.

As for the claims of “hottest year evah” I would point my last reader to the early to late 1930’s. Temperatures, tornadoes and heat waves were all greater then. The newspaper reports of the time will confirm this. Unfortunately, not all this information is listed online. so is not immediately accessible to the casual reader, although Tony Heller does a decent job of pointing out the falseness of these overblown claims. At least for the USA. He has the resources to dig through old newspaper archives and retrieve information that might otherwise be flushed down the memory hole.

The hard science is out there and can be empirically demonstrated. The only drawback is that the interactions between the Sun and Earth are highly complex, cannot currently be influenced by humans and are therefore not taxable. Which is why the climate cultists like extinction rebellion will dismiss them out of hand. They have made themselves so frightened that essentially their higher cognitive functions are seriously diminished and so are unable to process newer and more credible information.

That seems to be the mood in the old country right now. Everybody has worked themselves up into such a lather that no one is thinking straight. The lamestream media likes fear because it sells their product. Many politicians like the fear because it can drive votes and thus power their way. If only people would actually stop for a moment, take a breath, do some proper research outside their immediate comfort zone, they might stop panicking and be able to have a bloody good laugh at how ridiculous the situation became.

Then again, that’s probably just wishful thinking on my part. Experience tells me that most people would rather panic than actually think. Hi ho. Off to the asylum we go.

Outlaws

I was watering the deck garden today, pleased that the sun was paying us a protracted visit. The weather of late has been windier and damper than average leading to an upsurge in umbrella sales. So many locals are adopting them for shelter against the elements, when a small idea popped into my head. About outlaws. Well not so much real Robin Hood or William Tell outlaws, but those dubbed ‘bad’ by a vociferous and corrupt faction in the media and political classes. I think we all know to whom I refer. The oppressors who use cries of “You’re a racist!” or “You’re an (add poorly latinised prefix here)ophobe!” to bludgeon any opposing voices into submission. Because the currently oppressed don’t think themselves bad people, they’re just saying “Not so fast. Give them time. Let the newbies integrate.”

The bad guys are those currently with power, the ones who pass laws giving privilege to the politically connected, in hock to NGO’s and the UN like Trudeau and his Liberals or corporate interests like Scheer and the Progressive Conservatives up here in Canada. To my eyes, they’re just two sides of the same debased coinage. You can include the NDP and Greens in that club too. They all sing off the same polluted hymn sheet.

It’s easy to be an outlaw in today’s political climate. I can think of three major candidates; Donald Trump in the USA, Nigel Farage in the UK and up here in the not so frozen north, ‘Mad’ Maxime Bernier. All three the result of personal passion and a genuine desire to help the little guy against their corporate overlords. In effect the Robin Hoods of global politics. I do not include Boris Johnson in this group because I have my suspicions, although if he can get BREXIT by October 31st when I’ll be in London, perhaps he can join the ranks of the Merry Men, especially if he enlists the support of the BREXIT party to move things along. The Tories as they are currently structured may be toast, but I have a seeming that Boris might just weld a new small state, pro small business Conservative Party together out of the wreckage. Not what the UK has had in recent years, which was effectively ‘Blue Labour’ but something a little more broad which actually recognises that what was good for the big corporate interests is not good for the smaller concerns, who can’t afford all the ‘compliance’ business today seems to require.

I liked his openings. Above and below. Love the wailing of broken-hearted lefties in the background.

Johnson’s speech proper opens at four minutes and ten minutes. Corbyn’s reply at twenty one minutes and twenty five seconds. Johnson’s riposte begins at thirty two minutes and forty eight seconds. Ian Duncan-Smith drops in a carefully planted question at thirty nine minutes and eighteen seconds. I could have listened to the rest but quite frankly the sun is shining and my throttle hand is getting twitchy.

Other good news is that now we have a certainty that BREXIT will happen, the value of the pound has begun to rise again. I am really looking forward to London 31st October. There will be champagne.

Now I’m off to get suited and booted. TTFN.

A battle for Britain

I’ve finally bought a motorcycle. A big beautiful blue beast of a bike that is steady as a rock and handles beautifully. Heavy brute at rest, but once you’re moving it’s a complete delight. So I dug into my financial reserves last week and signed on the dotted line. While on the test ride I remembered reading a 1980’s advertising slogan about how motorcycling was the most fun you can have with your clothes on. Jesus this thing is a complete Spitfire! Fast, manoeuvrable and with a gorgeous rorty engine note when I open the throttle. I love it. On each sunny day throughout the summer, I intend to be out on the road annoying Greenies by increasing my carbon footprint whenever possible. Vroom! Although I will make one concession by watering our blooming deck garden before I leave the house. I shall be going out for a little while, I may be some time.

Excuse this posts titles hyperbole, but I can’t help feeling we are witnessing a battle, not merely for the soul of a nation, but also of an entire culture. A culture which has been economically empowering and successful across the world. A culture which has raised more people out of poverty and misery over the last fifty years than any other before it. A culture based on the simple concept of peaceful self-ownership. The focussed effort of the individual, not the clumsily directed efforts of a bumbling and clumsy state. This is the idea modern Britain was founded on. And it’s a great idea. Which is why the Americans took it on and refined it and so many people from all over the world want in. Even if they’re going to end up exploited if they don’t watch out. But that is part of the price you pay as a migrant. It’s why so many highly qualified people from overseas end up cleaning floors and working as taxi drivers to survive while they wait for their qualifications to be recognised.

As an expat, I must confess to being deeply torn. On a personal level, yes, I’ve left the old country and don’t miss it’s physical restrictions, the narrow crowded roads and suchlike, but that doesn’t mean I no longer care about the mess the political classes have created and still promulgate in the land of my birth. Which is why a new Battle of Britain is raging quietly across that sceptred isle. Until the EU elections when the voting public delivered a “Do the job you said you’d do” message via the BREXIT party. Yet despite the leave faction being seriously outgunned by the money available to the remainers, they’re still winning (Just). In spite of a propaganda ministry (BBC) bias that would have even Joseph Goebbels saying “Hang on you fellows, zat’s a bit extreme issn’t it?” Even dragging the front runner in the Tory party leadership contest into court for “Lying to the public” WTF! Boris Johnson is a politician FFS! If we put all the politicians who ‘lied’ in the dock for telling porkies it would be a very empty Houses of Parliament and House of Lords indeed.

This is nothing more or less than Adlertag, full fledged hostilities against anyone who would want to take the UK out of the EU. May the appeaser has failed and is all but gone, but there are still too many dithering, desperate politicians who are afraid of losing their seats and only making matters worse. All the talk of second referendums or cancelling article 50 is nothing more than cowardice. Because I think certain remainer MP’s are being threatened by their money men and the rest see the trough they have had their trotters in for far too long about to run dry.

This is a time when courage is called for against the forces of bureaucratic darkness. We know who the bad guys are. The empire builders and petty Napoleons of the EU Commission. The legions of lazy bureaucrats and coterie of pet academics who don’t want to see the money taps of taxpayer funded moolah turned off. The majority of Britain knows this, the Italians know it, the Hungarians, Austrians and Poles know it, as do a growing chorus of previously-ignored voices across mainland Europe. The peasants are finally revolting.

As for myself, I will be in London on the 31st October, raising a glass to my one-time fellow countrymen and women, looking forward to the D-Day when the EU as it is currently structured begins a rapid decline into the footnotes of History.

In the muddle of a jingle

Happy weekend everyone! It’s almost the end of May. Well it will be this June and not before time. On the domestic front our deck garden is starting to look a little crowded, in a colourful sort of way. My six Lemon plants are now living outside full time enjoying the fresh air, the Pansies are still going strong and I’ve recently picked my first radishes. Very nice they were too. Any fresher and we’d have had to put chastity belts on the Beetroot. Serves me right for planting French radishes.

Old gardening jokes aside, I’ve been watching the UK political scene and actually looking forward to the EU election results. Privately I think the powers that be in Europe have finally woken up and actually read the writing on the wall. Even if belatedly. People the world over are seeing the globalist threat for what it is, a naked attempt to strip them of even the most basic of civil liberties, like the right of ownership and freedom of expression then install a top down doctrine which has never worked.

I’ve seen this ugly political mechanism in operation and it is never anything but corrosive and destructive. Got to fall in line comrade, can’t get a job if you don’t pay your union subs. Strike when you’re told, can’t negotiate for yourself you know. What are you? Some kind of maverick? Sorry mate, shop steward can’t help you if you don’t do him a favour first. Been there, done that. The closed shops (Union only workers) of the late 1970’s were no fun to work in. I hated them because they dragged everyone down to the lowest common denominator and always gave unwarranted power to the equivalent of the playground sneak.

The good news is that the political pendulum is beginning the long swing back to some form of sanity and proper democratic representation. The bad news is that we’re not there yet and a lot can go wrong. When people once more have the courage and right to express what is merely an opinion without being harassed out of their jobs by activists or even arrested by the Police, then we should call this a win. But not until then. And even then with a weather eye out for the evil to rise again. The lesson here to the mainstream politicians is that sometimes you just have to do the job you were given to do. Never mind if your so-called clever mates don’t want you to do it. The job is the job. Deliver or be brought down.

Of course the remainers won’t be happy, but I have the feeling they never are anyway, so, a no score draw there I feel. However, once the path to BREXIT is more certain, business can plan and invest accordingly, the pound will regain its value and I look forward to seeing another tearstained departure on this side of the Atlantic as Trudeau too is shuffled off toward a richly deserved political obscurity, except as a footnote as Canada’s worst ever Prime Minister.

Having second thoughts

We are currently booked and paid for to visit London, UK in Autumn 2019. Nothing much, we’re going to spend a little quality time with ‘North’ (Younger stepdaughter) in the great metrollops and go do some sightseeing. Only the current Police crackdown, where they are doing the whole facial recognition fascist thing has me thinking twice. Arresting otherwise law abiding people for getting annoyed at being scanned without permission? That and they’re confiscating spoons for heavens sakes. I’ve just seen a triumphant tweet from London Police of a ‘deadly weapons cache’ that looks like the contents of my cutlery drawer before I had a clear out last year. I swear this picture of a ‘weapons cache’ had a butter knife and a spoon in it, FFS! All right, there was a fencing foil in amongst the edged kitchen tools on display, but that had a fencing button on the tip and might have put someone’s eye out if they were very, very unlucky / clumsy. I bet most of those other bits of metal weren’t all that sharp, rather like the arresting officers.

Jesus H Freaking Christ on a Velocipede! I used to be part of the UK law enforcement ‘community’ as a lowly bylaw enforcement officer, but right at present any trust of the UK Police on my part has been eroded to the point of nothingness. You can even be arrested for telling jokes for heavens sake! Or questioned for holding the ‘wrong’ opinions. After that some bozo in black will probably make an excuse to rummage through your kitchen drawers and try to make a case for terrorism. “All right chummy. Yore nicked! Slice your own bread do you? Right! You’re under arrest for conspiracy to make sandwiches.” Dear God alive. Does anyone understand how retarded that sort of behaviour makes them look? God knows what they’d make of my Sabatier and Sushi knife collection. Probably accuse me of a massive conspiracy to cook a casserole.

Honestly at this juncture I’m actually becoming more afraid of the UK Police than any criminal I might happen across and am inclined to avoid any uniformed presence like the plague, refusing to engage with them and crossing the streets where possible to avoid said uniformed presence.

This is why the current crop of party politicians have to go. They’re the ones behind the moral panics driving this idiocy. All of them. Tory. Labour. Lib Dem. Green. None of them have a clue. This is getting worse than the 60’s and 70’s and this extreme behaviour by the UK Police is liable to make things far, far worse than they already are.

I am seriously thinking about cancellation. Stuff ’em. I’m halfway inclined to spend my tourist dollars elsewhere.

On the plus side, my deck garden is looking well. The largest Lemon plant just crept over the twenty four inch marker. My Capsicum seedlings have been planted out and we should shortly have Sunflowers, Canna Lillies, Lupins and Delphiniums. A Blue rose has also been added to the collection. Once the rain stops I’ll be outside reading Montaigne’s essay on the delights of solitude.

Done and done

That’s it. I have the papers for my postal vote and will be casting ballots against both my old constituencies Tory incumbent and the Labour / Limp Dem / Green ‘opposition’ in future, in favour of either the BREXIT or UKIP candidate.

The UK will still be an EU member on 23-26 May 2019 and not ratified the Withdrawal Agreement by 22 May 2019, so those are my voting intentions. Stick that in your polls and smoke it. Although not in a non-smoking area, which is most of the UK.

The mainstream UK political class have screwed over a large democratic vote, I’m talking Tories, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Greens, so they all now richly deserve hammering after hammering at the ballot box. Not just the local elections but at every election. Remove the mandate, the access to power and privilege that the old guard of politicians (From all sides of Parliament) have so flagrantly abused by the only peaceful means possible. Time for the party to end. Call it a mandatectomy is you will.

Throw the bums out, as our colonial cousins would say.

Say it ain’t so

A song has been going through my head for the last day or so. A powerful tune written in the mid 70’s by Murray head. One which I have taken diabolical liberties with and altered salient lines which I hope retain the power and majesty of the original, but which I have adapted for an obvious purpose.

Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
That’s not what we want to hear Joe and we’ve got a right to know

Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
We’re sure they’re telling us lies Joe please tell us it ain’t so

They tell us that our heroes have played their best cards
And don’t know how to go on
We’re clinging to solemn promises we were made
But the honest days are gone

The country and democracy have fallen apart
The money has gotten scared
One mans words could hold the country together
But the truth is no-one cared

Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
We pinned our hopes on you Joe and they’re ruining our show

(Ooo Baby)
Don’t you think we’re gonna get burned
(Ooo Baby)
BREXIT’s gonna to get turned
We’re gonna get burned
We’re gonna get learned
We’re going to get turned
We’re going to get burned
We’re going to get burned
Ooo learn
Turn
Burned
Ooo burned
Yea…..

Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
That’s not what we want to hear Joe please tell us it ain’t so
Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
We’re sure they’re telling us lies Joe and we’ve got a right to know

They tell us that our heroes have played their best cards
And don’t know how to go on
We’re clinging to solemn promises we were made
But the honest days are gone

The country and democracy have fallen apart
The money has gotten scared
One mans words could hold the country together
But the truth is no-one cared

Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
That’s not what we want to hear Joe and we’ve got a right to know

Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
They keep on telling us lies Joe please tell us it ain’t so

Say
Say it ain’t so
Say it ain’t so
Cause we’ve got a right to know

We are, I feel, past the point of no return. Unless one side or the other backs down. Or the political left (Including half the current UK parliamentary Tory party) learn to behave like grown ups and do what they solemnly promised.

I wish this weren’t so. But it is. I leave you with the 1977 version of this poignant little number as sung by Roger Daltrey.

Apologies to Murray, but it’s such a great song.

Democrats in name only

There are a lot of people like this. Democrats in name only or DINO’s (Pronounced to rhyme with Rhino’s) They lose a democratic vote, or can’t win by the pre-agreed rules of the game, then get all precious and clutch their pearls when their guy loses. Or refuse to accept a democratic vote and get all bent out of shape when those who actually won cry “Foul!”.

There’s far too much of this from the political class. They have forgotten who they are supposed to serve. Perhaps they need reminding? Just in case it’s slipped their mind. You know how easy that is. Busy taking cheap shots at each other and virtue signalling, calling people names. Well, there’s just so much to do.

Now they’ve shifted the putative date for BREXIT to October 31st 2019. Well, well, well. I will actually be in London that day and look forward to whatever events unfold. Parliament Square anyone? This should make for a Halloween worthy of remembrance. Or bonfire night. I’m quite looking forward to seeing the fireworks first hand.

If the wife lets me.

Service guarantees citizenship.

Are they mad?

Over here in BC we’re watching the farrago of BREXIT with a heavy sigh in our hearts, all I can do from this side of the pond is shake my head in astonishment and quote Malvolio from Shakespeare’s 12th Night:

My masters, are you mad? Or what are you? Have you no wit, manners, nor honesty, but to gabble like tinkers at this time of night? Do you make an ale-house of my lady’s house, that you squeak out your coziers’ catches without any mitigation or remorse of voice? Is there no respect of place, persons, nor time in you?

This is how the current shenanigans of the UK Parliament look to me. There is no rhyme or reason to the remainers antics. They, like my Brother in law, are behaving like a bunch of spoiled brats. If they cannot have their way to stay in the EU as their corporate masters dictate, then they will abuse every parliamentary tactic at this late stage of the game to throw spanners in the works and thwart the democratic mandate.

The EU has done a great deal of damage to blighty over the last forty years, from the decimation of UK Fisheries and Agriculture to hamstringing certain areas of commerce and continually attempting to move the major banking centres in the UK over to places like Frankfurt. The European Union post Maastricht and Lisbon devolved into one long slow motion car wreck. Not to mention the selling out by the Major, Blair and Brown administrations.

However, minded as I am to look on the bright side, as my deck garden is doing well, we do indeed have germination.

One thing did strike me today as I looked south to the vast snow capped peaks of the Olympic Mountains. I am beginning to look at the current period of populism and overturning of the old order as the dawning of a new enlightenment. Like in the late 18th and early 19th century. Maybe we’ll get a better form of democracy. Not discredited old ideas like Socialism, but something better, which prevents usurpation by NGO’s and vested interests. A less easily manipulated media. The parallels, at least to my mind, are out there if you look. Or is that me being hopelessly naive?

Oh what the hell, you can call me a dreamer… Sounds like a song lyric, doesn’t it?

Looking forward

Am I optimistic? Well probably yes and then possibly, definitively no. We have in laws visiting us in April, however, this means both of my wife’s sisters will be descending upon our doorstep for two weeks. For a delicate sensitive soul such as myself, this is not a favourable scenario. So I have offered to make myself scarce for a few days to allow for a little sisterly rebonding. All they’ll want to do is shop and gossip and my small talk is next best thing to non-existent. Ergo, I would be a constant brooding presence, resented by all. Better to make like a banana and split. Yes, I’m a coward. Next!

A downtown Victoria hotel room beckons for a few days while all three are together. The current plan is for me to take a couple of books and perhaps enjoy the rooftop bar at the Sticky Wicket. Mrs S has kindly offered to pay for my accommodation as recompense for my exile. I might even treat myself to tea at the Empress. They do an excellent Kenya blend there.

Current reading is Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France and The Great Degeneration by Niall Ferguson. I like Dr Ferguson’s writings, he has a fluid, eminently readable style and is frequently bang on the money, as it were.

On a broader front I’m hoping that the EU rejects the UK parliaments’ request for a BREXIT ‘extension’ and the UK can simply slip it’s moorings to sail away and let the whole shoddy faux-empire collapse. Let’s face it, the Italians don’t want it. France is too busy with the Gilets Jaunes protests and the Germans don’t want to have to carry the economic can for the entire bloated bureaucracy. Could it be ‘game over’ for the EU? Maybe more sensible minds will come to the fore and propose winding back the idea of the EU to a simple free trade zone, although that is rather unlikely. Even if they do, the French farmers and fishermen won’t like that. They’re too prone to riot if they don’t get their way.

Am still rather looking forward to sending all my UK email contacts a “Happy freedom day” email on the 30th March. Depending upon the EU’s final response, BREXIT may still happen on time despite the remainer MP’s frantic treasonous backpedalling.

Good luck everyone. Nil Desperandum.

Planning for Lahn-dahn

The crocuses and snowdrops have surfaced from under the snow and we’re currently travel planning for an Autumn sojourn in dear old Lahn dahn as some of the locals call it. No, that’s not a place in Vietnam or Thailand but the estuarine pronunciation of London, capital and Metrollops of the dear old dis-united kingdom. We’ve sorted out where we’ll be staying in Earls Court and looking at places to eat and drink while we’re sauntering around the various museums and cultural icons. Top of my list are the National Science and Natural History Museums. Mrs S will be bimbling around the V & A and suchlike while I have a thorough geek-fest in Kensington. We plan to take in a couple of shows while we’re there too.

It will be interesting to visit a post-BREXIT Britain. I’m almost tempted to send all my UK contacts a ‘How does it feel to be free?’ greeting when the UK finally wrests itself loose from the choking tendrils of the EU. Hopefully in the next month. Thinking about it I haven’t been into Harrods or Selfridges Food Hall in a Donkey’s age. Which I’m quite looking forward to. It’s not so much the range of produce as the cornucopia of smells of a properly kept Fish and Game counter that tease the old olefactories. To a country raised boy like me it’s almost like going home. Even if where I once called home is over a hundred miles away. Now it’s several thousand and over ten years, but we are where we are and there’s an end of matters.

There’s also another small matter of yet another fence to mend. This time it’s the other party which will have to come to me, or at least down to the Smoke. I’m not spending good money hiring cars and booking hotels visiting someone who may not appreciate any olive branch I hold out. However, I’m jumping the gun a little. Best to hold my tongue and extend the hand of reconciliation. Even if none of the parties involved can be bothered to cross the pond to visit me. I know they can afford it.

However, I do so enjoy the old country in controlled small doses. It also pains me to see what it is becoming. Likewise Canada, increasingly divided and all in the name of ‘diversity’. Misguided ‘Hate speech’ laws creating privileged minorities. Police investigating non-crimes, all the while prioritising ‘thought crime’ like rogue tweets and off colour facebook posts over real crime, like burglary, criminal damage and assaults. Prediction; this will come back to bite the rule setters and enforcers. Very hard indeed. They depend on the public trust to operate successfully, and the current value of that trust is so far below zero it resembles the state of the Great lakes, which when I checked this morning had over seventy four percent ice cover. I’ll also say this; Laws which dictate thought rather than deed pave the descent into a really dangerous form of totalitarianism.

To wax poetic; boils like prejudice and hatred only heal after they have been properly examined, lanced, drained and debrided, if you’ll forgive the medical simile. To extend the metaphor, such poison is always best treated with free and honest debate. Shutting people up only lets matters fester until the only certain cure is high amputation. Which is a tactic tried by many totalitarian regimes, always failing at the cost of many innocent lives and eventually the ruling regime. It also destroys trust in the Police who are supposedly protectors, not persecutors of the general public. It is not their job to check someone’s thinking. Or is that just me being horribly naive?

Notwithstanding, say you think that Justin Trudeau is metaphorically a Weasel, Socialism is a murderous doctrine or that Islam is fundamentally incompatible with western democracy. Regardless of whether anyone finds those statements ‘offensive’ they should be considered and examined to see if they are true. Which they are. Even the most cursory reading of the facts will highlight the realities. If the law of the land is changed to suppress such opinions, what happens when these views become mainstream once more? Will the laws put in place to protect those opposed to such views be, like any captured weapon, be turned against their erstwhile abusers?

This is the danger of criminalising opinion. Opinion is mere fashion. It changes, and the mob it is meant to drive changes with it. The mob can turn in a heartbeat. When it does, you don’t want to be in it’s way.

Idle thought for my single US visitor; I think Bernie Sanders bears a strong resemblance to a deceased British far left politician from the 1970’s and 80’s, Michael Foot. See what you think. Well, it amused me.

Digging my way out

Snow shifting over the last two days. Two 10kg bags of snow melt and a kilo of salt later and last night there was still a big lump of packed snow and ice on the drive. Then I found out that there’s another tranche incoming of up to six inches overnight. Bloody hell. I’d only just dug us out of the last lot. This is Victoria in British Columbia for heavens sake, not Nunavut above the Arctic circle, reputedly the place where Canadian brass monkeys come from. Fortunately it’s only a Summery two Celsius outside my window at the moment, I can tell because our Hummingbird feeders are no longer frozen. After getting rid of half the two foot deep berm of snow on our deck I’ve elected to leave our deck garden covered because the snow acts as an insulator and stops our delicate little plants freezing completely. It’s even worse at the Great lakes, we’re talking 49.3% ice coverage with Ontario completely frozen, which is not unusual, but the historical data for the last 3 years says we’re in a cold spell as of 2018 & 2019. See Screengrabs below.

Fortunately my best Lemon Tree plants are sitting aloof from all the white stuff on a nice warm window ledge indoors. They will survive. I’m not too sure about the other plants we left outside. Our Hummingbird feeders are being visited by some copper throated and green backed species, so they’re all right.

Back in the old country I see Theresa May has snatched defeat from the slavering jaws of victory, yet again. My wife thinks she’s being very clever and manipulative. I disagree. She’s clearly out of her depth. Her prevarication have cost the UK dearly due to the uncertainty her government has created. Had they just said to the EU “Bye chaps, we’re off at the end of March 2019, toodle pip. Thirty nine billion you say? Don’t hold your breath.” everyone in business would have known where they stood and made provision accordingly. Instead May and cohorts tried to do what their sponsors and lobbyists told them, which was betray the spirit of a democratic vote. She’s still trying to get a last minute deal when that time is long past. The EU wants what it wants and boo sucks to everyone else. Which will be it’s ultimate downfall. The French protests continue, with their ‘leader’ on trial for ‘carrying a stick’ at one of the protest flashpoints. Over in Germany, the AfD are gaining ground. Hungary is still being a real dog in the EU’s manger and let’s just not talk about Italy. Overall, things do not look good for the EU. When the UK leaves, the implosion of the EU will accelerate. Trade will continue and the world will still turn. A lot of worthless mouths will have to relearn some job skills. Or starve.

Youngest reports that it’s been snowing in the great metrollops, but not much else. She’s too busy sorting the legal fallout from other people’s foolishness. Oh well, all makes work for the working lawyer to do I suppose. She’ll never be short of remuneration.

Then there are the reported five thousand children who went ‘on strike’ to ‘save the planet’. Manipulated by activist teachers no doubt. In reality their ‘strike’ probably increased emissions by forcing the held up traffic they created to idle their engines. This is why the voting age should not be lowered. Children should be allowed their childhood, not used as pawns for the ideologically blinkered and fanatic.

Not that the activists actually look at what’s really happening in the big wild world (See above screengrabs). They live in their own bubble realities of victimhood and delusion and when the worst happens are not equipped to survive. Those of us who pay attention simply douse the outside lights, barricade our doors and ensure the larder is full. The howling activist mobs can freeze and starve. They are the authors of their own undoing.