Strolling round Les Invalides about sixish last night we were treated to the spectacle of ten Police vans scooting hurriedly past to points unknown, scattering traffic as they went. They hung a quick right south towards the river to be joined by another ten or fourteen with sirens honking away. “The Interior Ministers forgotten his baguettes, again.” I remarked to Mrs S before we ducked down into the Metro for the ride home.
We turned on the France24 English news to find that, oh bloody hell, David Cameron was briefly in town as part of a whistlestop tour of Europe, pretending he was going to renegotiate the UK’s standing within the EU. “Well he can whistle off.” Remarked Mrs S. We’re receiving guests this weekend, and don’t want all the best Brasseries bunged up by self important politicians and their coteries of bodyguards and hangers on. Hells bells, we’re got enough armed police and soldiery on almost every street corner as it is.
Heavy sigh. There goes the neighbourhood.
We’ve also been greeted by the news that ‘King’ Blair has stepped down from his position as Middle East Peace Envoy. Well, so long as he buggers off elsewhere, we don’t really care. He can stay out of France and Canada for starters, with a big ‘not wanted’ immigration stamp on his forehead. With the Middle East going up in smoke I hadn’t noticed much peace coming out of it. So someone was falling down on the job, weren’t they?
Not that he was any good as the UK’s Prime Minister. So that should have been an employment ‘red flag’, but then the UN isn’t exactly full of towering intellects. More outright venality and low animal cunning. Rather like FIFA. If real brains were explosive I doubt they’d be able to blow their collective noses.
As the creaking noises erupting from the financial corsets of the European Central Bank become ever more audible, the news that Greece cannot currently pay the IMF its June
protection payment loan installment comes as no surprise. When Greece joined the Euro in 2001 it went into a public sector spend, spend, spend spiral. Now they will reap the fiscal whirlwind. As will all the other countries in the Eurozone. Well, that’ll piss off the EU. Especially Frau Merk inel.
Yet the Greeks want the Elgin Marbles returned? Well okay, so long as they fully reimburse the British Museum for storage, transportation, restoration, and associated costs backdated to 1816. At full commercial rates. Cash terms only. No credit. Gold preferred.
Which rather proves Margaret Thatchers assertion from a 1976 TV interview when she said “Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money.”
At the time then leader of the opposition Thatcher was talking about the mess left, and being made by, the Wilson, Callaghan and Heath Governments. Brown and Balls did the same for the UK from 1997-2009. The same might be said of the current Greek administration, and no matter how many riots they have in Athens, it won’t pay any of the Greek Governments debts. Simple truth; riots don’t pay bills, they only create more. Voting for more taxes on the ‘rich’. Won’t work. The real rich of course will have melted away like the Cheshire Cat, leaving only the shark tooth smile of massive accountancy bills. Then the only poor buggers with anything left, like small landlords, business owners and the self employed will be left to shoulder the whole burden of state spending. And they will lose everything. Twas ever thus.
Any ancienne route jusqu’à, I’m in Europe for the next two weeks, so maybe I should spend most of my cash Euro’s before July when they might just become worthless. Just in case. Pass the Cognac.
………..as simply messing around in boats. Truly. You see so much more from the rivers that still form trade arteries. Details on bridges, views of strange architecture and places, people and oddities that engage a mind more fully than any bus tour.
Recommendation: BatoBus day tours. Sixteen of the best Euros you will ever spend, and a reminder that when it comes to real Fcuk off monuments, I don’t think anyone does it better than the French. Even the most crazed dictator with a coterie of truly terrified style advisers simply lacks the flair of the Frogs for commissioning and placing poems of gilded rock and bronze around the landscape. Style. Bags of it. Even the beggars have a certain je ne sais quoi.
This is rapidly becoming my favourite city in the whole world. Although my feet are telling me not to try walking so much of it at once. Letting my pauvre pieds have the day off tomorrow, when I shall be attempting to improve my French by launching into Marc Lemonier’s epic treatise; ‘Dictionaire de Gros Mots‘. A tome worthy of minute study for the really serious student. I mean I did the stuff for the citizenship test, but you can never really claim mastery of language until you can freely bandy insults around, and understand when they are friendly banter, and when they are fightin’ words.
By way of an aside; I hear Ed Millipede has slunk off to Ibiza to lick his wounds. The moment I heard the news, the thought crept into my head; what if Millipede got all tranced up to dance naked on a nightclub table. I’m reliably informed that such events do happen in certain Ibiza clubs. And nobody noticed? Evil snigger (Simultaneously in English and French).
It’s May, the UK elections are over, political blood is being mopped up and the ‘silly season’ stories have begun to take over the headlines. Like giant killer asteroids and the Loch Ness Monster. BTW: a kilometre (Not a mile) wide asteroid pootling by at 26.5 lunar distances (6 million miles, not 3, FFS! That’s over 10 million Kilometres) is hardly cause for the mass panic some think it should be. Although the tabloid media would be dead in the water without sexing up scary stories to fwighten all the poor ickle bunnies out there. Personally, the only use I have for tabloid newspapers is for lighting fires or as an emergency substitute for toilet paper.
Although I am deriving some quiet pleasure at watching all the UK based control freak lefties beating themselves senseless with wet Che Guevara T-shirts over the Tories getting a majority. Oh, vraiment? As I’m learning to say over here. Les pauvres (Avec un rire sarcastique). You’d have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.
Had the piss taken out of me royally first thing when my pronunciation slipped and I asked for ‘Doux’ not ‘deux’ pain au chocolat at the closest Boulangerie / patisserie. The proprietor corrected me and when I’d acknowledged my goof, was all smiles and ‘abientot’. I’ll be back. Demain.
On my way to the UK shortly, going through the usual last minute fussing with securing valuable documentation and making sure that if anything untoward happens to our cosy little apartment while we’re away, nothing critical will be lost. Packing, checking tickets, booking the taxi to the airport. Ensuring our hosts know when we’re arriving. Off we’re going, into the noisy bustle of jolly old Londinium where the population are faced with a life critical choice.
No, not the forthcoming General Election, which seems to be a straight race between which pro-EU muppet gets in. Not whether to vote for the Tory or Labour Muppet, the Limp Dem, Green or SNP muppet, or the party whose muppetdom is actually in doubt, a.k.a. Big Nige and the Purple Gang, who are currently riding low in the polls, so they’re clearly not worth voting for don’cha know peasants. Don’t let those nasty Tories / Labour / Limp Dems in by voting your conscience. Although if you vote for the traditional rosette, of course they will. Don’t waste those votes, give them to the lamestream parties (Meh). I reckon the result is a given; as usual the British electorate will choose; in the words of Hillaire Belloc to “always keep ahold of nurse / For fear of finding something worse.”
No, I’m talking about the really important stuff, the critical life or death choice that the UK now faces. The burning question of the day. The one crucial decision that will shape the nation for decades to come. What’s going to be the name of the new royal baby? Here are the odds.
Hope this helps.
Update: Well, that’s that then. Bill and Kate have gone for a generational motif on the babies name. Charlotte, (3-1 Grandfather Charles) Elizabeth (6-1 Great Grandma), Diana (8-1 Grandmother). Or in the words of her Great Grandfather; “What about bloody Phillipa then?”
Following a theme spotted over at Oh what Now!……..
Draw your own conclusions. In crayon if need be……….
Whatever colour rosette, all the muppets pictured above are pro federal Europe.
I was loading up my eReader today with freebie books to read while Mrs S and I are visiting and digesting the Cite de Lumiere and was directed to a download site called http://www.manybooks.net. While perusing these web pages, I found my eye taken by a ‘banned books’ category.
Being eternally curious, I decided to take a quick look at the contents of the ‘banned’ pages to see what salaciousness was contained therein. Well let me tell you chums, I was shocked. Shocked, offended and scandalised to my very core. And also not a little disappointed. Apart from not having a copy of the 1951 epic “Racially pure Nazi BDSM Anal Virgin Porn Queens from planet 9″, by the Paraguayan Science Fiction colossus M Bormann*, a rare but worthy classic where every third word in the dialogue is sexually pejorative, all that I found were things like “Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, “Common Sense” by Tom Paine and that dull collectivist treatise “Das Kapital” by one of the Marx brothers (Harpo possibly, I’m not sure). Should they have been banned? And upon whose say-so? See for yourselves.
* Bormann, originally a German politician of the 1930’s and 40’s, never got over the poor reviews of his work; was later heard to muse “Maybe I shouldn’t have made the heroine so Jewish”
Spotted via RT.com; ‘Cast iron Dave’ and any of the lamestream UK political parties will not be delivering on their referendum promises any time soon. Face it chums, whether or not the ‘source’ is kosher, the Germans don’t want to be left holding the baby as the EU’s other major cash cow goes AWOL, therefore they won’t let anyone else have the ball until 2020 at the earliest. Arch bureaucrat Claude Juncker has spoken. Allegedly. Democracy dahleengs? That’s not for you little people don’cha know.
Unless of course someone gets elected who doesn’t give a monkeys about a treaty which, incidentally, was privately ratified without parliamentary scrutiny by a whoreson who was parachuted into the UK Prime Ministers job without having to stand for election as such. There’s some legal wiggle room for starters. It’ll be enough to to keep the lawyers arguing for decades.
I’m due to pass through some of my old London stamping grounds in the next two to three weeks, so I’ll take a good first hand look at how the brave EU world is shaping up. With or without referenda or promises thereof.
Update: Hmm. According to Richard North’s EU Referendum either Juncker is backtracking heavily or he was misreported according to other sources. Both are possible because;
1. Juncker is a politician
2. The Lamestream have to sell advertising space
Or a mixture of both.
I’m still sceptical though. The Tories won’t allow the UK a referendum. Nor will Labour, the Limp Dems, the SNP or the Greens. A vote for any of them is still a vote for a Federal Europe.
UK General Election day May 7th 2015 I’ll actually be in the UK. Specifically in jolly old Londinium, taking in the sights, raiding Marcus Expensius for some specific items of apparel I just can’t seem to source our side of the pond. Having a nostalgia trip to the V & A and maybe the Natural History and Science Museums. Perhaps a boat trip down the Thames to Greenwich, you know, the whole touristy thing. All the things we never did when we actually lived there.
Mrs S and I will no doubt pass by Wastemonster, and will probably see whoever has won the political X-factor lack of talent contest as they wave at the curious (and possibly bemused) crowds. We’ll grouse a little at the disruption to local traffic and try to avoid the worst congestion hot spots as the new head boy / girl / whatever does a lap of dishonour with their underwear figuratively wrapped around their heads on the 8th. Might even stay up while my time sense adjusts to watch the results come in.
This whole general election thing promises to be a head and heart experience for me. My heart wants poor old Blighty to be freed from the expensive clutches of the turgid bureaucratic EU. However my head says it ain’t gonna happen, and the electorate will simply opt for more of the same old partisan same old. Even if Big Nige and the Purple gang look likely to upset a few small scale apple carts.
In passing I might cast a jaundiced eye at the constituency I used to live in and hope against hope that the current incumbent is one of the political casualties. Frankly the man’s a buffoon parachuted in from CCHQ, and I’m told about as popular locally as a bad case of piles.
As for talk of a Referendum on the EU; well, vote for the donkey with the Blue, Yellow, Red, Rainbow or Green rosette and see where it gets you. Apart from nowhere. Cameron and Milliband, despite all current and previous promises to the contrary, certainly won’t. The lamestream of British politics is all soundbites with no bite.
Hey, is that my cynicism? I just knew I’d put it down somewhere.
Terry Pratchett, the finest humourist of the late 20th and early 21st Century, creator of the DiscWorld, Knight of the realm and all around good guy, is no more. No more Vetinari, Rincewind, Sam Vimes or Moist von Lipwig. No more Death, Albert, Detritus or Cheery Littlebottom. Their stories end here. He will write no more (Unless Death accepts the petition). The Sticker household is officially going into mourning. With a litre bottle of Talisker and as many Dry Martinis as is thought undignified. Or not. Deepest condolences to his wife and daughter.
The good news is that Iceland is not going to be joining the EU. Apparently this was over the European CAP access and the Icelanders desire not to have their fishing stocks eradicated by Spanish factory ships.
One is tempted to wonder when the EU will get NATO to sponsor a fascist coup like they’ve done with the Ukraine.