LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
22 September 2018
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All the Rage










OK. Checkers deal is dead...Theresa’s deals are dead in the water…Theresa is
a dead woman walking. So it’s all dead. If only Brexit was all dead. But the Irish
border nightmare is still alive.

Donald Tusk reminded Theresa that her ‘cherry picking’ approach will not work,
and neither would Boris’ claim that Britain could “have its cake and it eat”.
Theresa choked on the cake. Oh dear.

Now who said: “There will be no Withdrawal Agreement without a solid,
operational and legally binding Irish backstop.” Oh you know. Tusk. So not
looking good for zealous Brexiteers is it?

So then it will be a ‘no-deal Brexit’ as the very worst outcome? The consensus is
that this will get voted down in Parliament, creating a constitutional crisis, and
another General Election will have to be called. Are you following?

Meanwhile, EEF, the industry body says more than 80% of UK manufacturers
are unprepared for a no-deal Brexit. And one in six think it would make their
business “untenable”…or simply disastrous.

The only curious bit is that Theresa was livid, shaking with rage, making more
very unattractive grimaces than usual over her Checkers ploy when it was
rejected, when it was totally dead in the water or dead anywhere else you could
choose and – erm – she didn’t know that – having been told over and over again.
Hmm. Curious? Or scary?

Wait. Rewind. Firstly: Theresa presents a plan that had been totally rejected – in
a blindingly red jacket – are we thinking bull and flag/cape, rather than the
obvious bull reference – now that was a good choice.

Secondly: she has a meltdown temper tantrum – are we thinking two-year old –
yes we are. And on the world stage?!

Thirdly: she demands – erm – demands! respect! Respect?! It’s what she, oh –
right ‘we’ – as in the royal we? – “expect”! If it weren’t so serious, it would be
laughable. Is anyone laughing?

Fourthly: she has thrown it all back on Europe. It’s their responsibility to come
up with a plan. What? ‘WE’ are demanding to leave. So Macron is supposed to
come up with a plan which will hurt Europe. Now that is clever.

Lastly: for an ex-Remainer she is certainly driving us off the cliff into the no-deal
Brexit devastating ruinous reality. Phil! Clue: so un-prime ministerial. Clue:
unhinged. Get her help – now! Really!

Do you suppose Macron has sent Theresa one of the T-shirts now on offer by
the Elysée Palace from their souvenir range? One has the word
Croquignolesque (roughly translates as “cute” or “charming”) or one with the
phrase Poudre de perlimpinpin (which translates as “fairy dust”). Evidently
Macron used this one during a debate with Marine Le Pen ahead of the election.
Each at €55 each. Oops. £49.50.

Wearing a Smile

“Oh my god! Is she actually – smiling?! Nooo!!!” Yes! Victoria does have the
ability to move the corners of her mouth – up. Sometimes you just want to shout:
“Get a life!” and that is directed at the press who have this ludicrous obsession.
Try looking at her clothes. Which have been brilliant – really brilliant – for the
last 10 years. No added cash in the bank, but that is irrelevant isn’t considering
how very very rich the Beckhams are. It has been reported the debts have
increased nearly £10m in 2016, while bank loans increased to £12m. Although
the rumour is she is beginning to show a profit after four years out of eight
showing a loss of possibly £4,000 a day. Hmm. Do you suppose smiling will
help? She could break even by 2020. So her T-shirt featuring SMILE on it, a bit
of irony?

Available in more than 50 countries, 400 outlets, sales of nearly £169m. Items
from £200 (ah) to £2,900 (oh).

This was the first time she has shown her line at London Fashion Week. After
being ridiculed by the press endlessly, could she be smiling – and dancing! – on
tables! for this reason? Remember she received an OBE last year for services to
fashion and charity. So, back off.

Going Out of Fashion

Now let’s deal with – deep breath in – Brexit – arghhhhhhhhhh! So necessary to
express how we feel about the idiocy. Back to our reality. The fashion industry is
worth £32bn. Yes, billion. We all know Britain is the centre of the world for
innovative fab designing, designers. But for how long?

Tariffs - loads of, foreign exchange rates for starters, customs delays – oh right,
those - technical standards, port queues, new VAT rules (with importers paying
their 20 per cent up front), foreign buyers being allowed in - ‘a logistical
nightmare’. All bad enough, but evidently those crucial Eastern European
stitchers are gone already leaving a void; no Brits to replace them.

Only the beginning isn’t it? What about designers, delivery drivers, shop staff,
warehouse staff, etc. more than 10,000 Europeans work in the fashion industry.
And - 60 per cent of models taking to the catwalk for London Fashion Week are
not – yes British. No. Yes. Thus, bookers are nervous. Brexit Britain as the
fashion centre – oh don’t make me smile….

Smile. You’re on Camera

We can see youuuu…. Well, Amazon can and not in the way that you would
think.

They are planning to surprise you with self-opening smart parcels. OK. your
response to opening the parcel will be captured. It will video your “excitement”.
Hmm. Now doesn’t that imply you will be? Hmm.

Surely you want an explanation, or you simply say it is intrusively stupid. Either
way, here is how it works: it’s all done by timer. There will be a camera and
crucially, a microphone.

And what does Amazon say about this? It would help to combat fraud. Huh? The
birthday present from you Auntie Mary? You’d think that? MI5? And…here is the
vital bit, it will allow Amazon even more information on you – clearly – but not just
your possibly shock/horror reaction, but the interpretation of. “The level of
interest a buyer has in the goods, as well as measuring the amount of time it
might sit unopened.”

The package might - might? oh really – be fitted with a GPS tracker. I get it.
Surprise surveillance! How cleverly devious.

Now here is the best bit. Your audio response will be sent to the vendor. Geddit?
Not just Auntie Mary, but the vendor! Now why would that be? Ha. It could
include “contextual data recorded at the time of the opening”. But the real point
is to try to sell the recipient – ready? – “follow-up incentives or offers”. Quelle
surprise! Not all. Recordings would (would? ha…will) be saved to Amazon’s
‘datatstore’. They have a datastore? Ha.

And then there are all those Christmas and birthday packages sent to children.
Uh oh. Not looking good. But you just know this “dystopian” plan, as it is called
by civil liberties organisations, will is next. “Surprise! You are on camera! You
are being recorded. Now careful what you say. Act surprised, excited, thrilled
and don’t forget to thank your auntie after you rave about how perfectly brilliant
the item is. Good.” Don’t even try to return it. They will ‘know’….

Thought this was all? Oh dream on. Now Google’s new Nest Hello is a video
doorbell that aims to be smarter than the rest with constant recording, face and
object recognition. Losing the will here…

The Hello is a direct replacement for a wired doorbell, working with an existing
chime and requiring constant power, making it ‘one of the high-end options for
smart doorbells’. Just thrilling.

Get ready. When someone approaches the door the light ring pulses around the
doorbell button, ‘enticing’ them to push it. The doorbell also sends a notification
to your phone and can make any of your Google Home smart speakers sound
an alert too.

Here’s where the power is in your hands. You can then choose to ignore the
caller, hit buttons in the app to read out an automated message or talk through
the doorbell to the caller using your phone. Your message options are: “You can
leave it”…“We’ll be right there” and “No one can come to the door”. Lost it….

Keep Smiling

Oh look. As if you could not. Brand Royal has been busy working overtime.
They shoved, OK, possibly not shoved, but you get the obvious point, Megan’s
mother in front of the camera with MM sharing her cooking skills.

A book? Not a book? Really? Brand Royal is bringing out MM’s cook book
created to support Grenfell? NO! Really? Her mother was there ‘for support’.
Reciprocal? Not exactly. Invited the day before, left sitting in the church pew
alone – that supportive mother.  

And what happened next? No breath-holding now. Ex-Waity is baaaackkkk. She
immediately stepped up, stepped in; “C’est moi! I’m back! Over here! Here!
Megan who? Did I say something in French? I am just so impressed with myself.
Aren’t all of you? Of course you are. See you the next time Megan shows up.”
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