Monthly Archives: June 2016

Eton Mess, Drone debacle, Vince

Big picture stuff – Brexit is no big deal (who needs an England, GB, UK, EU) or whatever arbitrary enclosure we create to keep people in or out – Small (but more important) picture stuff – Brexit could impact badly on those who already have crap lives.

I feel ashamed and disappointed in my generation. We have raised a flag of intolerance and selfishness that our children will have to live under. We have let the rivalry between two old Etonians (one led us to the cliff and one pushed us over) mess us up. (An “Eton Mess” he says with half-baked wit and more shame)

The next step is to try to ensure that the next government, of whatever geopolitical entity remains, prioritises those that have crap lives and leave those that don’t (all the readers of this blog) to suffer the excruciating torture of more expensive holidays, and the unbounded joys of fewer funny speaking neighbours to drag house prices down and steal those terrific agricultural jobs we are all so keen to take .

Compared to being stuck in a rubber boat in the Mediterranean with a bunch of pirates, being stuck in front of the telly watching Wimbledon while the politicians, bankers, quangos, kings, princes, priests, Etonians, academics, economists, technocrats, bureaucrats get into the most frightful muddle, seems like Nirvana.

Make sure we keep our eye on the ball and that means ensuring that those people, some of whom will have voted for Brexit, don’t become the victims of the dysfunctional elite that have fucked us up ever since the idea of bossing people about first occurred to those imaginative (no denying that) creators of god, jehova, mohammed, thor, zeus, and all those other fine examples of moderation, tolerance and love. Sorry to keep harping on about it but the current trifles really do stem from our absurd belief in the notion of an authority that has all the answers. Some of us believed Cameron, Farage, Corbyn, Johnson or some other expert to be right and duly followed them. There is no ‘right’ nor is there a ‘wrong’ there is only stuff and we need to ensure that the stuff is distributed evenly to all human beings whatever bit of the planet they happen to be standing on. Once everyone has the same amount of stuff, food, shelter, education, basic human rights, then they are free to decide on their own ‘right’ not the ‘right’ imposed by others.



Meanwhile. “Vince” our nomadic ginger cat is getting more confident. Arthur managed to get within a couple of metres of him by crawling. I think Vince was so surprised to see a furless, gigantic, cat in shorts, that it stopped him in his tracks. Bobby continues to pee liberally in the house although his atomizer drug therapy should be having some effect. Mitch has yet to really notice Vince and seems completely laid back, so I think he is absorbing the lions share of cat Pheromones due to his spectacular girth and thus catchment area capabilities. Brian our farmer neighbor with the hens has found the fox hole but happily his solutions seems to be that knowledge is power – ie he knows where the fox is so he reasons the fox will no longer venture across this knowledge/ power/ intellectual divide. Hmm?

Our new drone has ended up stuck up a tree after profiting from that part in manual we had not read, ‘when your drone goes out of range it will continue to follow the last instruction it receives’ – thus if last instruction is ‘fly away fast’ on losing contact, so it does, until it meets the Redwoods of Appleton Roebuck and lands with agility and a certain grace on the highest branch. The most fun was had when the neighborhood assembled to watch the spectacle of man and woman, whose species have flown to the moon, fail to invent technology sufficient to dislodge a toy airplane from a tree. There it now sits, its metaphorical tongue stuck out, an arboreal (is that a word for tree based) vault for the filmed highlight from our debacle, including that immortal lost shot of 4 flailing, fading, human-beings shouting recriminations at each other.

Despite weeks of tests and concerns my health is excellent – at least that is how I feel – apparently its not – but I choose to ignore that bit of statistical mumbo jumbo. I am more flexible than I have been for years. I can put my socks on like a sprightly 60 year old, pop in and out the bath like a rust corroded ‘Stanner’ and lift the surprised cat onto my shoulder after only 5 attempts. No I am lying, I am genuinely much, much, fitter.

The family are all flourishing enormously which makes me happy, happy, happy. Maria has Scarborough concert this week that I shall attend. Feels good to be the youngest person in the audience. The only thing is we have to stand for the queen at the end – honestly, really – I guess there might be the odd Brexiteer in the audience seeing as most of them are nearly dead and think standing for the queen is actually a requirement for a Thursday evening concert of light classical and show songs. Still I will do it as the alternative is to standing up for my principals, which I find more objectionable than standing up for the monarch.

I have significantly improved the sound quality and reliability of the phone box project. I now have a pan, tilt, zoom camera in place – admittedly mainly to track Vince.

This is true!

Sorry  messed up – ignore last message

I was sent this as a link by Jane Baxter. I almost never reproduce stuff but I believe this to be the ‘let’s not Brexit’ Holy  grail and as it looks as if the vote could be close (shudder of utter disbelief and disgust) I would like you all to regard this as compulsory reading.

It’s is from here 

Some people think it’s completely irrational to want to leave the EU. So, to avoid looking like you’re ignorant or incapable of understanding the issues, here’s a handy list of 30 excuses you can give for your position.

You don’t have to believe them all, just use whichever you feel comfortable with.

Contrary to the expert conclusions of every economic authority of note (OECD, World Bank, Bank of England, IFS, etc, etc, etc), Brexit will not be damaging to the British economy.
Experts don’t always get it right. In fact, because I can think of one example of an expert getting something wrong, I’m going to assume they’re all wrong on the economic consequences of leaving the EU.

I think English literature graduate Michael Gove has a better insight into global economics than the above experts and, in fact, Brexit will magically solve any and all problems in the British economy.

I believe that there aren’t enough jobs to go round for EU immigrants, despite the fact that more workers create a larger economy, creating more jobs as well as a higher tax take.

I believe foreign workers who fill jobs where there are skills shortages like nursing, construction and, erm, premiership football are adding nothing to society.

I believe leaving the EU will remove any moral obligation from the UK to support and welcome desperate people fleeing war and peril in the most troubled areas of the world as this country did before and during WWII.

I believe leaving the EU will make refugees who have already risked everything to get here decide not to bother after all.

I believe China (market size 1.2Bn) will offer just as good trading terms or better to the UK (market size 57Mn) as it does to the EU (market size 500Mn).

I believe the angle of curve of my bananas is something that the EU genuinely legislates on and that this is sufficiently important to me that I am willing to suffer economic hardship in order to protect the right to have access to the bent/straight bananas that I prefer.

I believe the Social Chapter is an affront to my right to oppress others and of those who would seek to oppress me.
I believe this country would wake up the day after leaving the EU and would suddenly find itself bathed in a glorious light of sovereignty, whatever that means. I don’t believe that in practice sovereignty is actually a pretty vague idea that actually can only be negotiated in relation to the wider world as part of international community and that no country gets to do exactly what it likes. Except perhaps North Korea. Yeah. I want to live in North Korea. They got sovereignty.

I believe that, contrary to intelligence experts, the UK would be safer from terrorists without pooling intelligence with other European countries, even though most of the 7/7 bombers were born and raised in, erm, the UK.

I believe we could pool intelligence with other European countries from outside the EU and they would be just as happy to share with us as they are now, but somehow, even though I believe the situation would be the same, that’s still a reason to leave the EU.

I believe I am better represented by the first-past-the-post elected parliamentarians in Westminster than the proportionally representative elected parliamentarians in Brussels and it’s got to be one or the other, rather than both.

I believe the supremacy of European Court of Human Rights (even though it isn’t actually an EU body) diminishes sovereignty in the UK and therefore somehow is less just even though, erm, I can’t think of any occasions when it has overruled British legislation except, oh yes, that thing about prisoners getting the vote, but, well, I suppose actually that might be quite just anyway, but still…

I believe the EU is all a Franco-German conspiracy and the best way of defeating it is to, erm, allow the Germans and French to get on with it.

I believe the EU is run by a bunch of faceless pen-pushing bureaucrats, completely unlike our own fine British civil service which has just exactly as much red tape as is necessary to ensure accountability and to counter corruption, and not a scrap more.

I don’t actually know whether Brussels government is any worse than UK government, but no one’s asking me about leaving the UK, but they have given me a chance to whinge that not everything is perfect in the world, so I’m taking it.

I don’t find Leave’s figure of £350Mn in payments to the EU a week remotely ridiculous, even though it takes no account of either the rebate or payments to the UK.

I believe that instead of spending £350Mn a week to the EU, if we left, we really would be able to spend it on the NHS ‘cause that’s really how economics does work. No, it is.

I believe Britain’s exit from the EU will bring the whole edifice tumbling down and I don’t like anyone else forming an international collaboration if we’re not part of it, even though, erm, I don’t want to be part of it.

I believe holidaying in Europe will be just as easy and no more expensive because they should be happy to have our fine British pounds, even though after Brexit they might be worth a lot less.

I believe that the imports from Europe that of course I will still be able to buy just as easily and just as cheaply will be just as safe and my consumer rights will be protected just as well, even though these are safeguards that are protected by EU legislation.

I’d like to be able to rip off music and videos, like they do in China and Russia, because they don’t have those pesky EU intellectual property controls which stop me stealing from artists whose work I like.

I believe people traffickers who operate outside the law anyway will be just as easy to track without transnational agreements and information sharing.

I believe an isolated UK will have more influence on a global stage because, well, we used to have an Empire you know. Just like, erm, Egypt, Mongolia and the Aztecs.

I’m a Scottish nationalist who wants to stay in Europe, but I hate those Sassenach Tories and this is probably my best way to get another chance to break up the United Kingdom.

I’m an Irish republican who wants Northern Ireland to be reunited with Eire and, erm, I’m not quite sure how that’s going to happen by leaving the EU, but if that Scottish guy thinks it’ll stuff the English, then I’m for it too.

I don’t mind my taxes supporting scroungers hundreds of miles away and with whom I have no connection so long as they’re this side of any sea, but I don’t want them supporting no foreign scroungers whose need might be even greater. After all, I do my bit by giving a fiver to Pudsy most years.

I just want to shove it to Cameron and Osborne.
Michael Gove is my anti-Establishment icon.

I don’t really want to leave the EU, but I want Boris as our next prime minister because he’s got silly hair and says wacky things – a bit like that awfully funny chap they’ve got in the US at the moment, who’s also ever-so keen on Brexit.

I liked it back in the olden days when frogs were frogs and Krauts were krauts.

I believe whatever the Daily Mail and Daily Express tell me to.
I genuinely feel no cultural connection to Abba, Archimedes, Aristotle, Bach, Beethoven, Brie, Cervantes, Chanel, Cicero, Croissant, Da Vinci, Einstein, Euclid, Goethe, the Grimms, Homer, Ibsen, Joyce, Leibniz, Michelangelo, Mozart, Pasta, Plato, Pythagoras, Rousseau, Schiller, Socrates, Tapas, Truffaut, Virgil, Zola or whatever, but on the other hand, I’ve got Morris dancing, Robert Burns, bara lafwr and the Orangemen in my veins.”

On the other hand, if every one of these reasons seems utterly, Trump-lovingly deluded, stop being a bloody idiot and vote #remain.

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Down the tubes

It’s been a busy fortnight of health tests and all is pretty good. While I continue to get worst very slowly, there is no need for any treatment at present and plenty of treatment options down the line including thalidomide ! It seems I don’t have to see any specialists for three months which will be the first time I have not had monthly chats with my mates at York hospital for two years – hurrah in some respects, but I will miss the laughs with my lovely nurses. Various glitches seem to have been put aside – poor kidney function -got better, protein in the wee -no follow up, new/old shadow in scan, been there since the beginning – no change. Of course everything can change but then, so what! Everything always changes. Time to celebrate deliverance again.

The trip to the Royal Free was pleasant enough. While I was there they investigated the shadow. This was a prolonged process as I had two trips down the scanner torpedo tubes. First one was the usual, lie like a corpse, listen to desert island discs and wonder if the gigantic thing that descends within a mm of your face is going flatten you like a Wimpy bar patty. Second trip (a posher machine) involves keeping your arms folded above your head for the duration of another desert island disks. When asked nonchalantly if I needed any help, I retorted with a manly ‘no thank you’ to the the Rumanian gorgeousness who was assisting me. I should have scrutinised the look on her face more carefully. In retrospect it was clearly a “really?” Or “oh yes you do”. Anyway halfway through the next torpedo trip. It kicked in – first a gentle ow! Then a more urgent yeow! Climaxing in a teeth gritting ‘so this is what the rack felt like’ – anyway just as I was about to bale. We reached a gap in the process. Yelling over “Lara’s Theme”, or some such, I had long ceased to listen, the gorgeousness enquired if I needed any help. Yes, I said, hoping for a lethal injection at least, at which point she helped! This consisted of nothing less than her applying her upper body weight to my arms to prevent desperate flailing (I was just about to reach that stage) and keep them in place while the scan continued and as she said (avoid having to start again) . Suffice to say the pleasure of the Rumanian gorgeousness’s robust breast lying across my upper body did not compensate for those last 5 minutes but as she saved me from having to do it again – I love her! It f*****g hurt!!! She congratulated me afterwards, I assume for holding out as long as I did and not moving but blimey who would imaging folding your arms above your head could hurt so much. Note to self – Yoga classes.

A rant:

The world outside my personal bubble of delight seems to be a bit crap. I suppose it’s about fear and, though it’s a cliché it’s true, fear engenders macho arseholes to hate. We are afraid of terrorists so we retreat into xenophobia and thuggery and throw the baby out (basic humanity) with the bath water. The latest Farage poster is disgusting, inflammatory, ignorant and fascist. I don’t find him at all funny anymore. The gay nightclub murder and Trump’s (I have never found him funny) capitalisation on that event, to stoke racist flames, is evil. While we don’t yet know the facts, the murder of a mother of young children, whether a politician or not, is a real personal tragedy. If another politician comes out with the nauseating platitude of “my thoughts and prayers are with the family” instead of saying something truthful, respectful and considerate – arghhh……It is with shame and regret that I have to admit that, I am more worried about my cat (who temporarily vanished) than the state of the world, but still, the least one can do is feel shit about it all and tell people that you feel shit, fed up and angry.. Part of me would like to be the sort of person who really, really cares about the world and its people. That’s not someone who cries about it, I am not even sure that it is necessarily a person who does something about it, some of them are right selfish bastards in my experience.. Frankly there is nothing more depressing to find out that an aid worker in Syria is a complete tosser and a show off (I have). I think the best we can do is pretend well and speak our pretence loudly. Like I have. So good for me.

The Vote

Pragmatism and selfishness seem to be frequent bed fellows and I snuggle up with both but by voting Brexit one is voting for segregation and discrimination and that’s a step beyond selfishness. Keeping poor, so called ‘undeserving’ foreign immigrants from enjoying the product of the U.K’s Ill deserved wealth, (after all it is built on historic exploitation, luck and geography, (have we really worked harder than the average Albanian farmer)) is a form of Apartheid. It is a vote to keep the good stuff to ourselves and let the rest of the world go hang. We don’t need any national borders at all. People live in harmony when borders slowly dissolve, when resources are shared and when the princes, Kings, priests, oligarchs, billionaires and governments are retired to the dustbin labeled “foolish aberrations of history.” Bring it on I say.

I am not a fan of the EU, indeed democracy or government of any kind but I am even less of a fan of handing the levers of democracy to a bunch of people who’s primary motivation is to own stuff, keep stuff and stop anyone else sharing their stuff. I find it hard to believe I might be in the minority. I hope not.

Don’t be a complete pillock vote to stay in.