Tag Archives: UK

Recovery mode

Well here we are, back in our chosen BC domicile. Still feeling rather rough around the edges and mildly debilitated. Whatever we have has subsided a little but not gone. It’s just lurking around like a deranged stalker, choosing it’s moment to leap out shouting “AHA! Bet you thought I’d forgotten you, eh?” On the plus side it doesn’t look like either of us are about to die, although our mutual coughs have yet to disappear.

At present there’s a risk we might both get fired as the new accounting system head office set up is (We think) still not fit for purpose. Not that it’s our fault, but the idiot in charge is covering her back, doubling down and setting deadlines which another division have just refused to comply with. That’s right, they’re trying to force us to use a new accounting system which our much larger sister division has just binned. Thus I am working on a Sunday and the following Remembrance day holiday to see if I can iron the bugs out.

So, come Wednesday there was this big video conference where we thought we were going to be hauled over the coals for not being able to make their poorly documented package work. It’s on days like these one feels like Edmund Blackadder on the eve of his proposed epic voyage around the world. That scene where Lord Melchet hands him a blank sheet of paper as a map, asking him if he’d mind filling in the details as he went along. (In episode 3 ‘Potato’) I get annoyed when people do this to me because; firstly I don’t get paid enough and secondly it’s their package which they are paid to manage. Now they’re handing out deadlines and ultimatums? Eff off. I’m no slacker. If a job is at all possible it gets done. If it isn’t, well sorry peeps but you’re not exactly paying megabucks and I’m inclined to do tortoise impersonations to within the shell of my previous job spec. My immediate boss knows this and has written some very pointed emails to the jokers pushing this implementation. Besides, if I can’t do it, I can’t think of anyone else in the organisation who has made it work. Good luck with finding my replacement guys.

Mrs S has seen my reactive scowl and remarked that maybe it’s time we both handed in our papers on this particular company. My response is that maybe it’s time we both moved on.

Well the upshot is that despite feeling like I’ve just had a serious run in with a steamroller we’ve not only beaten their deadlines to a bloody pulp by sheer old fashioned slog, along with a little ingenuity where guidelines were lacking and emerged victorious once more. Having handed in a report on the weaknesses of their systems, as soon as we’ve caught up we’ll be allowing ourselves a bit of a time out.

Despite being disappointed that we weren’t in the UK for BREXIT I see Bojo, the UK’s deceptively jovial Prime Monster has refused to play nice with Big Nige and the BREXIT gang. He may be refusing to be seen to be playing ball with a free trade, free speech faction just in case certain high-rolling donors pull their much-needed shekels from the Tories coffers. Maybe he thinks the election is in the bag. He may be wrong like Treason May was. The remoaners may yet have a sting in their treacherous little tails. The Tories I think, will need any support the light blue faction can offer. Same as they currently need the DUP. Cave, cave Mister Johnson.

However, my judgment is currently very cloudy and I feel like I need a weeks rest to recover fully. As far as any election goes December 12th will be the acid test.

The London Cough

Excuse me, I will be brief. Am currently suffering from what I am calling ‘The London Cough’, an unspecified ailment caused by excessive catarrh build up at the back of the throat. It begins with a rather unpleasant hacking cough, accompanied by repeated feverish episodes that doesn’t follow the normal pattern of a seasonal cold. Usual cold and cough medication barely touches it. Just when You’ve got to feeling somewhere near normal and you’re no longer coughing up dark green chunks, along comes another bout. Not to mention the disruption of sleep which is further debilitating to the point where only repeated naps of up to two hours each are possible. Five days of this so far (Add on top of normal sleep deprivation from jet lag as we’re back in BC now) leading to an overall malaise that makes you feel like you’ve been run over by a truck.

This malady is not quite Flu, as there are no real aches, and the fever comes in short bouts, just like having one cold after another. Very curious, but also debilitating. Mrs S was first to catch it, four days before we were due to fly out and I two days after. Thus our flight back to BC was punctuated by hacking from others so afflicted. Wonderful in flight entertainment, not. Or should that be snot?

See you when I’m feeling human once more.

You don’t hear this every day

A head of state as a caller to a radio talk show? Now that is truly awesome. What a coup.

Let’s face it, Trump lacks subtlety. He’s not eloquent, he’s brash, forthright and occasionally a bullshitter. But not an outright liar as some claim. He exaggerates rather than tells total untruths. Unlike many of his predecessors and detractors who would not recognise truth if it was tugging at their sleeves.

Don’t care much for the man himself, but I do like what he’s doing for the USA economically. The UK could have a piece of that action instead of hiding in a hole and whining incessantly about how bad Trump is.

On that topic, I never understood this reflexive anti-Americanism some people have. Maybe it’s because the yanks are brash, successful and outward looking. Unlike their most vocal critics, who come across as a bunch of petty, jealous, xenophobic losers.

Today on the home front, I’m off to lay a few evil spirits with elder sibling. Following Ma Sticker’s demise in 2014 we had serious disagreements over the estate which almost went to court. Now matters are more settled, I’ll be rubbing his nose in it in a gentle sort of way. Even if I’m not really looking forward to our meeting. I’ll just have to put my game face on, wear my best coat, a dangerous smile and accentuate the positive.

Eldest is currently in recovery mode after long term boyfriend gave her the elbow, the fool. Personally I think they were right on the point of making their relationship permanent, he panicked and ran. Not an attractive quality in a spouse to be. Getting married to raise a family is a big step and requires courage which we now see he hasn’t got. If he ever comes crawling back, I think she should first kick him in the nuts for being such an idiot then buy him a kitten to keep him company in his lonely old age. Tonight, (Australian time) she’s out on the town with her friends in Sydney to have a little personal time and think about getting a better place to live. Whilst we’re able we’ll wire her some pennies to help her keep head above water post breakup. It’s what family is for.

Steak!

I love a good steak. Which is great because steak restaurants are big in London right now. All sorts of ‘Gaucho’ type restaurants are in vogue, some where they give you a large chunk of hot stone upon which you can literally cook your own piece of beef to your idea of perfection and others where they serve a particular cut, medium rare, or should that be medium raw.

Notwithstanding, the customer service I have experienced in all of these has been little short of excellent. The quality of beef though, perhaps not as great as I’d hoped. Living in Canada as I do, the quality of steak cuisine is very good, from the on-a-budget version at a Denny’s roadside eatery to more upmarket fare, I have rarely been disappointed but for one thing, there is a cut of beef that knocks every other for six no matter how barely it is cooked. It is not often served on our side of the pond and unlike cuts I have now come to regard as inferior, can be had at a lower price. Possibly because your average Canadian consumer has yet to recognise true quality of this ‘butchers cut’. They’ll happily sink their teeth into the much chewier Rib-eye, but offer them the piece of flesh I refer to and like as not they’ll turn their noses up at it.

The piece of meat I refer to is called a ‘Flat iron’ steak and I have yet to eat its peer from any breed of cattle. Cut from the inside of the shoulder blade on a forequarter, this particular bit of muscle has an entirely different texture and flavour to any other. Firstly, texture. A flat iron steak has an almost buttery feel in the mouth, it almost melts, even when almost tartare. The grain of the meat runs longditudinally from end to end, not cross grained as with most other cuts. Properly butchered there will be no tough membranous tissue which sometimes mars the wonderful saliva inducing mellowness of this cut. Next, flavour. Mass market beef can be a bit of a flavour desert, not so the flat iron. It has a more pronounced beefiness combined with it’s splendid texture, a taste that might have you wondering why the hell you’d want to eat any other part of a steer.

The best news of all is that there is a chain of restaurants in London which specialise in this cut, serving it a little too rare for my liking, but the butchery was good and despite the redness of the meat, slipped down a treat. Did I also mention that they’re also not as expensive as most of the ‘Gaucho’ style steak houses? A full flat iron steak will feed two hungry meat lovers, even if I would have liked a little larger portion (and hotter) of their Horseradish sauce. Their creamed spinach too is enough to restore a badly Bluto battered Popeye and put a twinkle in his eye that his paramour, Olive Oyle, could not mistake.

Now I don’t do shout outs like this often, if at all, but if you want to get away from the fancy stuff masquerading as food whilst in the UK’s capital, you could do worse than visit one of the nine (At the time of writing) “Flat Iron” franchises dotted around town. First come first served. Expect to queue. Don’t forget your dessert. (Oh, the calories, the calories!)

Unless of course you have the misfortune to be a vegetarian, or worse still, vegan. Then I am afraid there is no hope for you. You poor thing.

BTW: No one really ‘hates’ vegans, vegetarians or other diet obsessives as claimed in the Grauniad.  The rest of us find the endless proselytising somewhat tiresome, even annoying, but no-one really hates them.  For example, one of my stepdaughters is a ‘fish vegetarian’ (Won’t eat meat but will eat eggs and fish).  Which I find curious but hardly a Casus belli.  To truly hate someone over their chosen diet would be to say that the matter was worth taking seriously.  Chacun a son gout.

Another day out

Good old rainy London. Gave my new raincoat a thorough testing today. Wandered around Covent Garden and environs sampling pleasures and tastes while dodging the drizzle tainted crowds. Mrs S directed our steps into a couple of expensive venues I would normally never go anywhere near. For example one of the top rated patisseries in London.

Well colour me impressed. The coffee was excellent. Heavy on the Italian influence rather than the bitter American. Quiche that was divine, and as for the Sachertorte, that was light and melted in the mouth rather than leave you feeling like you are chewing stodge, as happens with so many mass produced versions. Exquisite. I’d had an indifferent pint of IPA earlier, so perhaps I was ready for some quality.

We’ve had a deal of discussions with family and friends of late where the discussion has centred around quality stuff and why it’s worth the price. Reason one; longevity. A really good pair of boots will last ten times as long as a much cheaper pair. Why a good quality suit is a good investment (Buy two, with extras if you can – looking smart is never a bad idea) Nice cotton shirts feel better and last longer. M & S basics more comfortable than the cheap stuff from Primark. A little more spent on the basics means you can go cheap on the accessories.

Anyway, I’m standing outside one store on the Kings Road and an expensive car snorted past. Then another and another. People were walking past me in expensive clothes and a thought hit me. Rather a large thought about the economics of everyday life. It made perfect sense and for a few seconds all the dots lined up, I saw the entirety of human economic activity in action and why free markets really do work.

Every single one of us is connected by a massive web of transactions, be those social, emotional or financial. From the single jet of a fountain to the massive money machine that is the City of London, which in turn is connected to all the other major centres all over the world.

Let me enlarge. The single fountain jet provides social value because as humans we like to look at flowing water, it calms and stimulates us, therefore it has worth. However the fountain jet needs water and power to create that worth. These are not free, the power to drive the water has value, as has the water itself, it needs to be sourced, transported through a network of pipes with a lot of other water. The pipes through which the water flows need to be manufactured, channels dug through the ground for them, the complex net of pumps and storage to maintain an even pressure. All of these need human effort and intervention.

Then there’s the electricity that powers these networks created by investment in power plants made out of millions of complex components from heat exchangers and steam handling technology to the massive transformers and circuit breakers which manage the power output (For the sake of brevity I’m excluding ‘renewables’ here, just talking about base load generation). All of which has to be funded and made by finance. Money must be made, credit obtained to pay for the intricate web of costs that underlie even the simplest nut and bolt. Part of what I do as an investor is loan money to larger companies so that they may pay for new machinery to build and maintain those power plants and networks of water pipes. Which kind of brings me round in a circle to the pleasing spectacle of the fountain jet.

Therefore I posit that anything in motion consumes and creates energy and energy is a function of life. Likewise the market of life is in constant motion. Each of us, is whether we like it or not, is interconnected through diverse voluntary transactions to everything else in this world. Thousands of times a day. Every time we step out of the door. Every leaf swept, every drop of rain cleared, everything man made has multiple costs from the parts of a leaf blower and the parts needed to make the machines which make parts for leaf blowers. The credit and finance to pay that cost has to be raised by financial institutions which are the money machine we are all part of, from the beggar hunkered down outside the supermarket to the flash git in his Maserati posing down the street. Sometimes the chains are not obvious, but they are there nonetheless.

Isn’t this a fascinating world we live in?

Update: Tearful phone conversation with Eldest who dwells in the fabled land of Oz. Long term boyfriend just walked out on her, the idiot. That is all.

Getting kitted

Mrs S got me into a store yesterday. I’ve been half heartedly looking for a new raincoat, but some of the prices for what I wanted were somewhat eye-watering. Almost seventeen hundred dollars for a classic Aquascutum? Wowch. So I’d been dodging the issue.

So when she saw the Barbour store on Regents street I was hustled in and forced to act as tailors dummy. They did have a cattlemans full length coat I was a little tempted by, but we decided to postpone a decision for after lunch as they only had it in one rather unpleasant colour. Yes we could have bought online, but that’s not the same experience. So we asked the assistant to put it by and promised to return after a Moroccan style lunch.

The capital streets currently seem calm and busy with tourists, mostly from Europe and South America, at least on the Tube. Piccadilly and environs were their usual self, with little of the outrage and shenanighans we’d been led to expect. As I said to Youngest’s friends over dinner last night, I thought the old place was better than I remembered it from the late 90’s. People politer, air much cleaner but just as rainy. Hence the need for much improved outdoor wear.

After lunch it was back to the store with Youngest as fashion adviser who took one look at proposed purchase and firmly shook her head. “It’s too much” was her judgement. So we cast around for something a little more reasonable and ended up with a slightly more expensive, but equally robust item. Oh, and a heavy felt Trilby. I like hats like Trilby’s or Akubra’s, they give the face a certain framing and keep most of the inclement weather out of your eyes. Also when you’re like me and hairdressers start to charge search fees, they are a comfort. Not to mention having a certain cachet, marking one out as either a gentleman or arrant rascal. Depending upon how it is worn.

Barbour have long held a reputation for being like armour plate. A man’s jacket, for example, takes quite a long time to wear in properly and get that traditional battered look they were famous for, so much so that one impatient fashion victim reputedly got a friend to wrap his brand new Barbour around a Land Rover’s bull bars for a few days heavy off-roading. After which time the garment had gained a little ‘patina’ and the look of a real outdoorsman’s garment (Looking like it had been dragged through blackthorn hedges for years and used as a bed for two incontinent Lurchers and several litters of kittens). Thus adding to the owners street, or should I say field-credibility.

Anyway, the Brexit clock is still ticking because although an extension was requested as required by the Benn act, the EU has yet (At the time of writing) to approve. I think the public mood has been over stimulated with project fear and that the only thing that will mar the air on the day the UK finally leaves is an huge sigh of “About bloody time too.”

Where there is tea

There’s an old World War two slogan that came to my attention yesterday. “Where there is tea there is hope.” attributed to English dramatist Arthur Wing Pinero from his play (Book?) ‘Sweet Lavender – a comedy in three acts’. Saw it first in the Churchill War Rooms, now it seems to be popping up everywhere. On souvenir mugs and teapots, on tee-shirts, fridge magnets, even in sermons. Like a modern interweb meme it seems to materialise in the most unexpected places. See below.

These are frustrating times. People do not do what they are asked and seem incapable of passing on messages correctly, or even performing simple tasks. This is something I often find, when tempted to hurl my laptop across our hotel room because for example the account I’ve been given to manage data has not been set up correctly. Even the most creative solution I’ve been able to come up with won’t work, so I am reduced to reverting to older, more tried and tested methods to get my job done on time. Getting things done has always been an important facet in my life, and to not be that way is incomprehensible. So with Parliament at present. Won’t have an election, won’t deliver on Brexit, in fact will do anything but do the job they were put in place to do.

In these times I always fall back on a morning cuppa to hit my reset button and restore my internal equilibrium before stepping up to meet the challenges of the day and emerge victorious. Well, not always, but I don’t give up without having a damn good go at it. If in a losing fight, it’s always useful to make sure that any aggressor gets the message that one is not to be trifled with lightly. A mug of what I call ‘builders’ tea (English breakfast with milk) always helps. No idea why. Perhaps there’s some obscure biochemical trigger within the blend which calms the emotions whilst stimulating the cognitive faculties? I do not know.

No other hot drink has such a restorative effect. Coffee leaves me buzzed but disorganised and those wishy washy herbal brews are little but flavoured hot water with no readily sensed benefit, yet a traditional English ‘cuppa’ can drag me out from under a metaphorical ton of rubble to fight another day. This is one of those unexplained mysteries of life which can lead to exchanges like;
“Sir, that building collapsed on you. Do You need to go to hospital?”
“No, I’m a bit beat up but I could really do with a cuppa.”

I know I’ve explored this topic before, but can anyone tell me which is the best? Is PG Tips the most efficacious or perhaps Tetley, Yorkshire Tea, or even your basic bog standard brew? Let us plumb the depths of one of life’s great mysteries together.

Time out

Right. Fed up with hearing about the Parliamentary antics and have elected to spend tonight at the theatre after a pleasant steak dinner. An online booking, a skip and a jump on the tube and we’re forgetting all our cares for a couple of hours.

It doesn’t help that all the news, both personal and public, has been unpleasant to say the least. From Elderly Friends dementia to the near-equally eccentric behaviour of the UK Speaker of the House of Commons, I am forced to ask myself, is there an epidemic?

It would explain a lot….

Update: well, we had a jolly fine time at the Garrick watching ‘Noises off!’ with some very polished slapstick routines which had the audience roaring.  Recommended.  We even got free ticket upgrades.

Boris Johnson won his vote on the current Brexit deal by a larger margin than predicted and the comments threads in the FT are more full of pro-EU comment trolls than usual.  Including those praising Barnier as the person who has been tasked with ‘repairing’ the relationship between the UK and EU.  Delusional, much?  Hey he’s 68.  It’s a retirement job.  The likelihood of him ‘achieving’ anything are as remote as the nearest quantum black hole.

Tomorrow I am signed up on a short basic butchery class.  Will try not to remove any of my own bodily particles as part of the learning process.

The only blot on the horizon was seeing Trudeau get re-elected.  Although on the bright side he’s only got a minority government so I hope he won’t be able to do too much more damage to the Canadian economy.

Fingers crossed.

Don’t make them angry – too late

Today was a quiet day after all the shouting and posturing from various groups, including that bunch of treasonous vermin in Parliament. The ones desperate to block BREXIT, that is. Also quiet because the silly people of extinction rebellion are getting the message that their antics will no longer be tolerated with good humour.

I get the sense that both groups have worn out their welcome. The most credible polls say a Tory landslide if Bojo, the deceptively clownish UK Prime Minister can get his deal through. If not, the light blue ticket will make serious inroads into the overall vote. Then may the Lord have mercy on the souls of the betrayers of democracy. Or not. Like so many, I no longer care. For heavens sake have done!

I also get a seeming that Corbyn, when it comes to an election, will lose out massively to Farage, because certain leave constituencies would not vote Tory if you tortured them with horrible spiky implements, but they’d back the light blue ticket or stay home with a vengeance rather than back Labour as currently structured. Farage will gain support because he and his don’t like or trust the Tories, they see him as a threat and, dear children he most certainly is. People overall are sick of the artificial delays, many remain first time voters have openly stated that they will not vote so again. The logical conclusion is that disaffection with the anti-democratic antics of Parliament is a palpable force.

Yes, the banner wielding student activists and public sector boomers were out in force around Parliament on Saturday, but when the rain came down, the noisy blue flag waving party, about 1000-1500 strong (My estimate) at speakers corner went silent. I was actually less than two hundred yards away when it all went suddenly quiet. Then carried on walking with a quiet savage smile on my face as Mrs S and youngest were luring me on with the promise of red wine and decent steak. Which, dear reader, I later consumed with gusto and chimichurri sauce.

Now a different kind of rain is about to fall for all these anti democratic protesters. They are making everyone else angry. As we saw with those commuters and the XR protesters, that anger will flare. They had better hire bodyguards next time they pull that crap. Especially outside of London.

What we’re in the middle of now is effectively a new peasants rebellion, a new Battle for Britain and the UK. If Boris falls, so will all the mainstream parties in a real ballot box romper stomper if the people are betrayed yet again. Never mind your soft soap ‘people’s vote’ which is just another way of trying to hold back the growing tidal wave of disaffection. A solemn promise was made. No ifs, no buts. We Brexiteers knew what we were voting for. Out means out. ‘Deal’ or no.

Me, I’ve already voted in Canada and hope my solitary ballot does some good against the corporatism of the Liberals and Tories. Not to mention the other rob dogs calling themselves the Greens and NDP.

Tomorrow I have work to do before pootling off to visit the Science Museum and later a pleasant evening lecture on something hopefully devoid of anything remotely associated with 21st century politics. Tick tock. Pass me a whiskey love.

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.

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.

Dear Remainers

Hello My dear BREXIT remain campaigners,

Just a little missive from over the pond to say hi and point out a few things. If the UK does not leave the EU on the 31st October 2019 you are all screwed. Not just you, but the Brexiteers as well. In fact the whole population of the dear old UK. As an expat, my funds have very little exposure in Europe at present, but yours. Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. You are so totally fucked. Not because of BREXIT itself, but by the continual uncertainty and delay you have caused.

Why do I say this? Well a few reasons actually, and they’re not hard to see from my moderately lofty viewpoint. If the UK bends the knee to the EU, either as a vassal state or still within that bureaucratic morass, I have seen hints that the next decade won’t be much fun for UK Plc as a whole. In fact you’ll only think it’s fun if you’re really into sadomasochism in a big way. This includes all those small to medium sized businesses struggling to compete in an environment ever more skewed by the EU to favour the big corporates.

Point of order here; you Remainers might think that you are on the side of ‘democracy’. Yet any effective democracy will die if the UK stays within the EU. Because the EU as now structured has about as much democracy as had the old Soviet Union. Don’t take my word for this, the documentation is all on the EU’s web site. All the legislation. All those regulations that will begin to tighten around the UK like a seventeenth century hangman’s noose. One that slowly constricts and strangles whilst the feet of the condemned dance in the air. Slow and painful. The economic punishment beatings of austerity will forever be your lot. See Greece.

You see, all the bad things that will follow a failed Brexit will be for your own good. Also to serve as an example for any other bumptious little country with ideas above its station who dares to even think of leaving the glorious EU empire. Also like Greece, your constitution and a thousand years of law will be torn into tiny little shreds. If you have the ill fortune to find yourself in a court of law, the onus will increasingly be on you to prove your innocence against fairly flimsy evidence. Think that’s easy? I could cite the examples of the UK Family courts where most fathers are considered guilty upon the most paper thin allegations. Like the so-called Canadian court of human rights where evidence for the defence can be (and often is) dismissed at whim. You’re there so you’ve got to have done something? Right? Think Twitter hate mobs are bad? These will be worse. Not only that but not falling foul of the rising flood of legislation will be an increasingly more difficult task. You will have lost even the pretext of innocence before the law. The process will go like so; allegation, automatic charging, show trial, conviction, sentence. Defence? Oh dear me no.

By the way, did you know that although the EU does not officially have a death penalty, there is a law on their statute books that allows for one to be imposed should you ‘insult’ the European Union? Go look. It was there when I last checked. So wrongthink might take UK citizens to whatever execution device the Eurocrats deem fit. Be that a bullet in the head or the horror of the Fallbiel. Even if at first it is only those filthy Brexiteers who literally get it in the neck. Don’t think that these self-serving Eurocrat bastards won’t consider mass murder to keep themselves in positions of power and privilege.

My brother in law, a staunchly typical remainer, has indicated that he would be more than happy to fill mass graves just for the ‘privilege’ of remaining within the European Union. So don’t say that it’s all paranoia. Remainers have left those on the pro leave side of the fence with no illusions on associated matters and what they’ll do, given half a chance. So give the pseudo moral outrage a rest. You’re only fooling yourselves.

Add to that, in case of civil unrest I hear that there are plans to deploy non-UK Police personnel and non-UK military personnel on UK territory. Think I’m talking from an orifice not normally used for that purpose? Go look it up. All within the EU’s web pages. The EU Army we were told was an febrile illusion invented by a deluded pro BREXIT faction? That’s there too. Ever closer union? Now we learn that was always the way this was going. The Eurocrats have been working toward that goal since day one. A new German empire with it’s own patrician class that you won’t be able to get rid off.

Free person or modern day serf. Ask yourself this; do you really want to be at someone else’s unfettered beck and call all your life? The EU will make you all slaves to a self-selecting elite. Think it’s bad now?

Oh and the European Central Bank is in serious financial trouble. The printing presses are rolling and ECB interest rates are sub zero. If you haven’t pulled your funds out, do so now. As a small investor I took this step a couple of years ago.

Now there is, however, one bright spot in all the imagined gloom that the remainer pundits endlessly (and tediously) predict. If a ‘no-deal’ Brexit does go through on the 31st October, at least you won’t have to hear another EU Parliament speech from Nigel Farage ever again.

See you in mid-October,

Stay safe.

Bill

P.S. I may be outside Canada when our Federal elections happen, but there’s a thing over here called ‘advance voting’ so Mrs S and I can get our anti-Trudeau ballots in the box before we board our plane.

Points of failure

Following the BREXIT news, I see Bojo, the UK’s deceptively clownish PM has just outmanouevred the remoaner MP’s. He called their bluff. Talk about cojones, I’d hate to play him at poker. Despite being in a weakened position he flipped the noisy remoaners the bird and Labour, recognising that much of their own voter base were the ones who mostly voted ‘leave’, folded.

The BREXIT party poses a significant electoral threat to the Corbynites, as it does to the Tories if Bojo fails to deliver on the 31st October. Farage and co are likely to capture a significant part of their vote and they know it. The Limp Dems might garner a few seats because of split votes, but they won’t make much headway in largely leave constituencies. The numbers are against them. A hung Parliament would result with a majority of dark blue (Tories) and light blue (BREXIT party). Maybe Farage would deal, maybe not.

A lot of what I see going on at present is all sound and fury, signifying nothing. The Remain faction won’t get any bills past the Lords in the time frame available to them and the Tories won’t invoke the Parliament act to force the issue. Only the ruling party with a firm majority can do that. Boris Johnson won’t go cap in hand to Brussels, partly because even the EU has lost patience and won’t negotiate further and partly because if he does bend the knee, from an electoral standpoint he and the rest of the Tories would be heavily overdone toast. I think he understands that this is his defining moment and he must not fail.

Judging from the mood of things from over here in BC, the British voting public, outside of a few noisy activists, have had enough. Now if it does come to a UK General Election, there are certain parties who will be in for a punishment beating at the ballot box. Those who have demonstrated bad faith will be the worst hit. Which is what the Corbynites fear. They have broken faith with a good deal of their traditional voter base who wouldn’t vote Tory even if threatened with red hot pokers, but might well vote BREXIT party or just stay at home in disgust. All the remainers “We want an election and we want it now” rhetoric is just guff, as has just been proven. The shadow of Farage hangs over them all and they know it.

These are their points of failure. Despite the threat of electoral annihilation, the remain faction will not give in, but will grow ever more shrill, right down to the wire. The thing is, to continue the poker metaphor, they’re a busted flush. They’ve played their best cards and bet the farm but they are beaten. Now they’ll try to kick over the table and call a mismatch, but they’re too late. All Bojo and company have to do is stand firm and filibuster like their lives depend upon it. Because in a way they do.

My, my, this is interesting. I’m positively looking forward to London this October.

Update:  Speaker Bercow has resigned?  Good gravy.  Whatever next?  All I know is that another must be elected by the Commons while one of the previous speakers three deputies stands in.

Having had a quick breeze through the history, a Speaker’s resignation is unusual, but not unprecedented.  So apart from calling into question Bercow playing ducks and drakes with certain parliamentary rules, it’s going to be business as usual.  The Brexit clock ticks on.

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.

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.