|LETTERS FROM LONDON
|REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
19 October 2019
John le Carré today: ‘"Politicians love chaos. Don't ever think otherwise. It gives
them authority, and it gives them power. It gives them profile. The idea that they'll
fix it for you." He despairs about what he believes is absolutism on the political
right and left, libertarian and Leninist with the same objective. To start again after
the chaos.’ Despairing.
Hmm. And what did Boris do? Oh you know. He ‘informed’ the EU of the
decision to delay and then ‘ordered’ them to ignore it. He refused to sign one of
the three letters. Soooo prime ministerial. Is there an adult in the room?
Evidently not. Annnd, here are those (many, many) moments when we get
confused with his doppelganger across the pond.
Saturday, Rt Hon Lord Michael Heseltine, former Deputy PM, stood on the stage
and told the hundreds of thousands (a million possibly) who had gathered: “The
very existence of our United Kingdom now hangs by a thread. Brexit will not
bring us together. It is the wedge that will drive us apart. They call it taking back
control. They dream of Donald Trump as some newly discovered benefactor
when it is clear that the only special relationship he knows is ’America first’” We
all marched in solidarity and all cheered in unison when the result was read out.
Oh and just a little reminder: On BBC Breakfast, Charlie Stayt got Brexit
secretary Stephen Barclay to admit what actual assessments the government
had done on the economic impact of Boris’ new deal. Hint: NONE! Evidently the
government has done no impact assessments, and therefore has no idea what
Britain will look like after the deal comes into force. You couldn’t make it up
could you? Well, if you could it would be a comedy – of errors.
Coup de Grâce
Oh let’s start with: “there is a god!” and it isn’t Jezza. Spoiler alert: it may be
John McDonnell! The shadow chancellor has been accused of a behind-the-
scenes coup, amid claims Jezza is preparing to step down. Cheering here.
The Sunday Times says McDonnell has “put himself in daily charge of the
Labour operation as the party moves to an election footing”. Party insiders also
claim he has “launched his own policy platform and drawn up a list of
appointments he wants in the leader of the opposition’s office, known as LOTO,
to surround Corbyn with his allies”. Very busy, that ‘shadow’ chancellor.
Last week JC’s chief of staff, Karie Murphy, and his political secretary, Amy
Jackson, were moved out of his parliamentary office and sent to work at Labour
headquarters instead. Oops. More than 30 staff are to be summoned to ‘informal
interviews’ with McDonnell ally Sir Bob Kerslake, a former head of the civil
service. Oh dear. This supposedly is part of a review into ‘management
systems’. More senior heads to roll. Next? Oh look, it’s Seumas Milne, JC’s
highly influential director of communications, is next on McDonnell’s hit list.
Murphy, Jackson and Milne controlled Jezza so efficiently, effectively,
successfully that it was very difficult for anyone else to get access to him. Thus
the ongoing problems with Labour. “They were routinely misleading colleagues,
telling other people: “Well, Jeremy is taking this decision.” He wasn’t. And lest
we forget, Jezza’s reputation as a leader is not only lower than it has ever been,
it is actually lower! than any leader’s has ever been!!! Yikes! Blimey! Your turn.
“McDonnell is now basically the leader of the Labour Party,” one source told the
newspaper. “It’s a silent coup. He’s getting his own people in, isolating and
picking off the old guard around Corbyn.” He has said the next Labour leader
must be a woman. OK John. Now get rid of Jezza. Now.
News alert! There is a god and his name is Guy Verhofstadt. EU negotiators will
offer Brits the chance to individually opt-in and remain EU citizens - “associate
citizenship” - as a proposal in Brexit negotiations, the European Parliament’s
chief negotiator has confirmed.
The Independent first revealed the plan in its early stages last month. It has now
been fast-tracked to the negotiating table by Verhofstadt, who is in charge of
disentangling a post-Brexit deal. Gobsmacked. Sign me up.
The Sky’s the Limit
No, no to Brexit and not in the usual way. As we all know, Sky News has
launched a “pop-up channel” sans Brexit. “A study released this summer found
that a third of people are avoiding the news entirely. More than 70 percent of
them blamed Brexit, saying they were too frustrated over the political debate
surrounding it,” says John Ryley, head of Sky News. Well, that explains
fanatical Brexiteers and their obvious total ignorance doesn’t it – well, a bit.
He continued: “Sky News Brexit-Free is a bold approach but listening to public
opinion over the past weeks and months, it’s something we know our viewers will
find valuable.” The survey reported by Press Gazette found an 11 per cent rise
in people turning away from the news was “driven by boredom, anger, or
sadness over Brexit”.
Channel 523 (not on myTV) between 5 pm - 10 pm and on YouTube. Assuming
the viewers will be the same “Let’s just get it over with” the band of brain–dead.
Right. Destroy the country forever because ‘you’ are bored. Try a hobby. The
Brexit farce is going to go on for years and years and years….
A Waste of Energy
Listening to the Tory liars – oh we do try to avoid it really – and how Britain leads
the way to ecological heaven. Curiously with all this the government has
tightened planning laws and slashed subsidies, as you do when you are a Tory.
Solar panels – ha – turbines – ha – not laughing here. The number of wind
turbines nearly trebled 2010-2015. Not so 2015-2018. Only 27 per cent. A 94
per cent fall in solar panel subsidies while they are now cheaper than ever.
Lib Dem deputy leader, Ed Davey’s response: “Since 2015 the Conservatives
have…deliberately obstructed any progress to further encourage the use of
Watch this Space
Spoiler alert: this is not a film review. Just when you think life on earth can’t get
any worse – oh let’s move it out to space. The Outer Space Treaty of 1967, an
international agreement which bands weapons in space. A guarantee surely.
Could this be more crucial? One minute to consider how many leaders are
weapon/military/power mad? Too many. Well, not so fast. Guess who has
decided to renege and stay power mad? Of course. Donny.
Mr Ashurbeyli, former head of a Russian state-owned defence contractor: “In
fact, the situation is worse than this, given that only 20 states on earth have any
sort of access to our space.” And Ram Jakhu, a professor at the Institute of Air
and Space Law at McGill University: “…the increasing militarisation and
weaponisation in space appeared to be a prelude to serious conflict between
superpowers. Currently an intense race to the moon and asteroids is going on,
mainly for exploration and natural resources. There’s potential for geopolitical
conflicts.” Noooo! Really!!!??? The race for space control/ownership is inevitable.
Life on Mars
More on Mars. “We were thrilled when we saw the first tomatoes ever grown on
Mars soil simulant turning red,” project leader Wieger Wamelink said in a press
release. “It meant that the next step towards a sustainable closed agricultural
ecosystem had been taken.” Veggies such as tomatoes, radishes, rye, and
quinoa grew in happily in Martian soil. Right. So after destroying life on Earth,
it's moving on to the destruction of life on Mars. Vegans welcome. But best to be
prepared. Those dust storms that regularly engulf the planet, months at a time,
are extremely toxic.
If you want to experience Life on Mars – OK, not the TV show – the colonising -
go to the Design Museum, Moving to Mars. Ah yes, back to colonising. Six
inflatable pods that include a gym, a laboratory, and living space – oh and with a
‘luxurious chaise longue’. And let’s not forget the robots who will do the work.
And the rent? £500 billion for one year. Oh. And it takes eight months to get
there. Ahhh. An entire solar system to colonise….
Battle of Wills
Oh the brand battle continues. Yawn. And the winner this week? Harry and his
continuing referencing of his mother’s death. Always a guarantee. Not to sound
cynical – really! – but, perhaps bereavement counselling would help after all if in
all these years of “every click” of a photographer’s camera leads to mental
torment. Sounds serious.
Back to our shared reality. One senior figure said aides were “baffled and
infuriated”. Shouldn’t they be used to this by now? “This move has certainly
overshadowed the Pakistan visit and what has been achieved here during the
last few days, as well as the work by an awful lot of dedicated people here on the
ground as well as back home for months.”
And of course there is that unspoken agreement that royals don’t try to
overshadow those noteworthy official oversea visits. Oh right. Harry missed that
when he was busy living his previous – erm – hedonistic life style.
Harry reminded us that the media’s focus on his life – that life that he demands
to be ‘focused on’ – the “pressures that come with that reminded of the bad
Uh oh. Bad stuff here. The Mail's NHS psychiatrist Mind Doctor Max Pemberton
wrote: “These awards are about celebrating seriously ill children, their families
and their carers, but his words were all about him. By breaking down while
talking about his own experiences as a new father, he ‘colonised’ the event —
he made it about him, rather than the people in the audience. Suddenly, the
spotlight swung away from them and their day-to-day struggles to a man — a
member of the Royal Family, no less — who was essentially shedding tears
about his own worries. As a former Army officer, Harry should have been able
to master his feelings.”
“In my work as a psychiatrist, I spend my days encouraging people to talk
openly, but public displays of emotion like this smack of attention-seeking.
Crying is a form of communication, but it has its limits; far better to use words.
And then the people who really mattered that night would have remained the
focus…Surely he could see that his anxieties pale in significance when
compared with those of the families he was there to meet?” Apparently not.
Latest is that the ‘used and abused’ are considering Cape Town as their
residence. Taking ‘our’ £5,000 gold bath tub then? Oh right. We can replace it.
Possibly two. One for each of them – and a little one for Archie of course.
Relief. Telly heaven. Finally. For those who aren’t addicted to dancing, singing,
‘reality’ programming…I mean, really…BBC has two crime dramas on offer.
Phew! Dublin Murders and Giri/Haji. Both feature innovative cinematography,
clever plots. Both BRILLIANT!!! Thank you! Oh and lest we forget – Spiral!