|LETTERS FROM LONDON
|REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
3 February 2018
|Doom and Gloom
Wait. The government leaked a report it wrote on how Brexit will undermine the
UK’s economy by 8%? The very same government that wants us to be a little
non-productive, astronomically expensive island the world has lost respect for,
where the food is so costly people have stopped eating toxic US foods, where
US ‘health’ care is instituted and you’d be better off giving yourself stitches,
where the utilities are too high-priced to use, where there are energy shortages
and you have to live like in the 18th century, where we don’t share any possible
subversive threatening activities, where aviation is in doubt, where we don’t have
access to new life-saving drugs, doctors, nurses, skilled workers, scientists,
curators, artists, musicians? All right, all right, you can add the rest. Yes; that
Returning from her China doll imitation trip, ‘Auntie May’ has reminded us of her
continuing rigidity: she will press ahead with Brexit even if her officials do
ultimately conclude there will be an economic price to pay. Well, as long as she
and Phil aren’t affected.
Actually, the rumour is that Theresa ordered it. Huh? The Sun’s Tom Newton
Dunn reports that Theresa “knew about the report before Christmas” and was
shown an early draft last week, along with the rest of the Brexit war Cabinet.
Uh oh. According to Newton Dunn ‘we’re on the brink of a kamikaze resignation
by a “senior minister” who is set to denounce Theresa in a parliamentary
speech. Holding breath here.
And that report? Well, it’s all doom and gloom. Details of a document (called
“EU Exit Analysis – Cross Whitehall Briefing) paints a gloomy picture no matter
what deal is struck with Brussels. Hit the emergency button. If Brexit goes
through, we are doomed…obviously.
The document was obtained by Buzzfeed and shows a hard Brexit would reduce
growth by 8%, while an unworkable Canada-style free trade agreement would
shrink the economy by 5%, and even the softest - staying in the single market -
would slash growth by 2%.
New barriers to trade, such as loss of market access and customs and border
checks would drive the cost of Brexit to the economy up even further. According
to the analysis, the scale of UK borrowing could be tens of billions of pounds
higher in 15 years than if we had stayed in the EU. I’m getting a headache
here…or is it possibly a migraine? Simply: Britain would be worse off under
every single Brexit scenario projected by the government. That includes those
rabid Brexiteers. Oh, and which rabid Brexiteers will suffer the most? Why it’s
the North-east, the West Midlands, and Northern Ireland. Just saying while being
tempted to have a very small inner smile.
The Brexit Committee did its best to get hold of the reports. “Hand it over! The
report that those unpatriotic, rogue civil servants did. A coup in Whitehall! A
coup in Whitehall! It’s treason! You know very well we don’t want those peasants
to know anything, any facts.” Asked why Theresa was not making the report
public, a DExEU source told BuzzFeed News: “Because it’s embarrassing.” Oh,
as if this government isn’t…ha ha.
Following “embarrassment”, Tory ministers have surrendered to pressure from
Labour agreeing to release the document to MPs. But - it will only provide on a
single hard copy, to be held in a secure room in parliament for them to view -
and will not be made available to the public. No really. Seriously. Really.
Theresa’s leaked plan to cut immigration after Brexit would be significantly
greater than the benefits of that favoured and repeatedly promised – or is it
threatened - US trade deal, a leaked government analysis reportedly warns. Clue
here: leaked. Oh dear oh dear. Now wasn’t the main reason for leaving the EU
those horrible, foreign immigrants massing up on our shores, living among us?
These leaks are becoming endemic.
Just when you are weak from all this, all the leaks, there’s a bit more – well,
there’s always more isn’t there? Tory ministers have used taxpayer cash to fund
a secretive hard-Brexit pressure group. Now who leads it? Why it’s the next PM
according to those who live in the 19th century, Jacob Rees-Mogg. That Rees-
Mogg who is rather partial to using tax havens to hide away his considerable
wealth. Now what’s not to love when he can be our next PM? Plus ça
change…strong and stable….
Not Just a Pretty Face
More gloom and doom. Good looking people vote Conservative. Stop. No. Well,
yes. Evidently, good looking people tend to be treated better by others. No
prizes given for good looks or guessing. Those attractive people are more likely
to see the world as fair and so are less sympathetic to the hardship of others.
This is a new US study, so it’s surely important to consider that. “Good looks can
create ‘blind spot’. In a sense, attractive individuals have a blind spot that leads
them to not see the need for more government or aid in society.” Hmm. Probably
true, but considering the fanatical competition in the US to look perfect and
better than everyone else this could affect the study…hmm…just asking.
You could think that attractive people would not feel entitled, per se, but just
might feel secure about themselves and their positions in life, society, that they
can afford (as it were) to be generous with a bit of empathy, wouldn’t you?
Checking yourself in the mirror now? The study was published in the Journal of
Public Economics and also involved Dr Carl Palmer of Illinois State University.
Still reflecting (I know) on the US, according to payment records seen (leaked?)
by The Times, Boots billed the NHS £1,579 for one single 500ml tub of a
moisturiser cream made up specifically for patients with skin problems selling
elsewhere for less than £2. This might require rereading. Need to be reminded
that the US Walgreens bought Boots? Reports claim the same moisturiser- a
mixture of creams- is regularly prescribed in the UK for around £1.73.
The NHS said companies increasing drug prices were harming both taxpayers
and patients. And they are continuing to buy it?
Walgreens Boots Alliance has “categorically” denied overcharging, insisting it
complied with all regulations and legal requirements. It claimed prices of specials
were reviewed on a regular basis to make sure they were in line with the
average price paid by the NHS. Hmm. £1,579 vs £1.73? How was that calculated
A spokeswoman told The Times the process of making specials ordered at short
notice "incurs high overheads, reflected in the final cost, which is set in line with
the sector to reflect the bespoke nature of the products.” Oh I see. One patient
requiring this cream is the only one of 66,573,504 billion people in the UK. Right.
Vote of Confidence
Gloom and doom alert: it wasn’t the youth who saved Labour. Newly released
results show that there was very little change in turnout by age group between
the 2015 and 2017 elections. No surge. So much for the Corbyn groundswell of
celebrity status. Disappointing. Apparently, young people don’t vote and old
2015-2017, the turnout among the youngest voters was between 40% and 50%.
Overall turnout did go up in 2017, but only by 2.5 percentage points.
So what explains the mass movement supporting Jeremy? It’s simple: mainly his
clever political strategy and really - who under 70 would support the duplicitous
Tories? OK, in 2017, Labour's popularity increased among all ages, except for
those over 70. Point made – sort of. So at the end of the voting day, who knows
what the youth, the old, the voters, the non-voters will do.
Caught in the Act
Hint: head in hands now. There is a new tracking devise that knows where you
go and when while you are at work. Taking too long for that quick loo break? Not
a problem, pull up those pants, the wrist band will actually ‘nudge’ you to get
back to work – straight away.
A London start-up was created to allow your boss “eyes everywhere”. Thanks.
In real time, in all building locations and floors. And how will they do that since
you asked? By bouncing signals from data sensors dotted in doorways and
corridors. That’s how, for less than 20p. Now that does make it even more
They’re hhheeerrre already. City firms, Shoreditch spaces and West-End
private members’ clubs. Coming to an office near you. Well, your office really.
Now isn’t that inspiring? More surveillance.
“It helps with efficiency because you know floor by floor if there are people
there so you can turn off the air-conditioning or lights…” Oh please. You know
you can’t even hide at home with TVs and computers watching and listening, but
surely it’s simply a matter of time where every step you take… And then there is
micro-chipping – en masse. Can’t wait. Oh wait. It’s soon isn’t it?
Makes Your Hair Curl
Wills has ‘joked’ about Ex-Waity’s 'nightmare' hair. His mane (so sorry) point
being it took five hours a day. Assuming it now takes four, all right, possibly
three now that it has been shortened – but when her essentials are revealed,
Let’s start with the explanation. Be prepared; it could put you to sleep.
“Round barrel brushes are essential for creating Kate’s infamous bouncy blow-
dry. The first brush looks to be a metal bristle brush, which is great for heat-
styling wet hair, aka the first step in the blow-dry process. The metal base will
heat up, taking out a lot of the bulk and making it easy to tame thick hair like
Kate’s, for a smooth finish. A natural boar bristle barrel brush is in there too,
along with a large mixed-bristle brush; the natural bristles grip the hair really well,
while the mixed version would pull through hair nicely to create lots of lift and
volume. I would use the boar brush as the finishing step in the process, to get
that gorgeously glossy finish. I like that the stylist has chosen a brush with a grip
handle – very necessary for this more small bristle brushes – you can never
have too many when your client’s hair is as famous as Kate’s! Again, these
would be used on smaller sections, and to create those perfect finishing
touches.” Warned you.
How Kate gets her 'bouncy finish' you are salivating to know, surely: “Next up,
there’s a teasing brush, which is used to create root volume on dry hair, giving
Kate that full, bouncy finish she’s known for. The cushion brush beside it is
great for detangling either wet or dry hair, to remove knots without damage. It
looks like we have a Mason Pearson brush in the mix too, probably a mixed
nylon and natural bristle brush. I’m not surprised to see such a premium brand
there; they’re a brand with heritage and such a strong reputation. This kind of
brush would be used to distribute oils evenly through the hair and creating a soft
texture; ideal for creating the kind of soft, sleek up-dos that Kate wears so well,
with no harshness. Two smaller styling brushes are in the mix, which are great
for a multitude of tasks – from detangling wet hair to reducing frizz in a finished
look. And then we have a selection of combs: tail combs for creating sharp
partings and neat lines, fine-tooth combs for smoothing and getting that perfect
smoothness in up-dos, and a wide-tooth comb to gently work through wet hair.
The next set of brushes look to be ceramic bristle brushes, which are again
fantastic for creating plenty of gloss and shine. There’s a water mist bottle there,
which is great for reviving a hair style that’s in need of a boost. After a day’s
walking out and about, Kate’s hair might need a little rejuvenation, so a quick
mist with water and a blast with the dryer will give a fresh bounciness back to the
style in seconds. There’s two Charles Worthington products in there which are
surprisingly purse-friendly options for the Duchess: Volume & Bounce Body
Booster Mousse and the Perfect Finish Hairspray, which both offer lots of lift
and volume. The mousse is around £6 and the spray is around £7, which means
you can use the same products as our future queen for much less than you
might expect. Both of these products offer "style memory technology" which
holds on to the style longer, which is an essential for Kate on a long day’s
meeting and greeting. There’s another mousse – a volumised style requires
mousse, so no surprises to see two bottles. Kiehl’s Crème with Silk Groom is a
premium pick that’s been chosen to maintain Kate’s healthy shine. It’s a
conditioning hair treatment that promises silky hair with a mirror shine, likely
used at least once a week to give her those dreamy glossy locks. This is a
classic product that celebrities have loved for years, so I’m not surprised to see
it amongst the high street brands in the kit – it’s well-known for very good
Oh those finishing touches for a perfect mane: “It looks like Redken’s Pillow
Proof Blow Dry Extender spray, which banishes oil and gives day-old hair a
refreshed look without the need for washing [is there]. This is very handy when
there’s such a busy schedule! And of course, there’s plenty of hairspray to keep
those famous curls locked in place, including the classic Elnett – if it’s good
enough for the Duchess...And finally, the tools required for Kate’s crowning
glory hairdo. A wide barrel tong is perfect for creating large curls or soft waves
in the hair, while the conical tong is used to shape curls that are looser at the top
and more pulled-together at the bottom – a look which Kate wears often to create
shape without stiffness. The slim barrelled tong is great for smaller curls or
creating areas of movement around the face when the hair is worn up, and of
course there’s straighteners in the mix too. Two hairdryers, because you must
always have a backup(!), and plenty of extension leads and adapters for every
eventuality too – with a high-profile client, you must be prepared for any
situation. And there looks to be some microfibre towels in the kit too, which are
ideal for preventing frizz after washing, and gently soaking up excess water to
allow hair to absorb product better and dry evenly. They look like they could be
Balmain Paris Hair Couture brushes, which help to regulate the temperature of
the hair, prevent frizz and lock in the style – all essential for a princess who’s out
and about! The larger brush would be used to create smoothness and large
waves, while the smaller brushes would be used for Kate’s fringe sections, or to
create small flicks or curls towards the front of the hair.”
The post went viral on social media among royals style blogs – how sad is that
you must be asking - resulting in Ex-Waity’s private hairdresser, Amanda Cook
Tucker, deleting her account. She has revealed that she struggles to pack for a
trip away with Ex-W. Note: it’s hair! Still awake? Really? Personally, I didn’t read
the description, or I’d be asleep for several days.
Not Rocket Science
After the verbal accusations of last August between permanently smug- smiling
Jeremy Hunt and Professor Stephen Hawking, Hawking has returned with an
army. Now this should be worthy of note and hopefully attention-grabbing.
Professor Stephen Hawking is backing a campaign group JR4NHS, which has
been granted permission to challenge our favourite Health Secretary Jeremy
Hunt in the High Court over plans to allow private companies to play a greater
role - oh let’s be realistic here - take total control in the NHS. Ah poor Jeremy
had all those covert, secret plans.
His privatisation-by-stealth has been criticised by the campaigners not just the
obvious - but hiding it behind the hysteria of Brexit. The campaign group was
founded by three doctors and a university professor. They remind us that the
introduction of accountable care organisations (ACOs) will “Americanise” the
NHS. Oh. It isn’t already? Profit and inefficiency before health? It’s the
American way… a US-style private insurance system.
Naturally Hawking has warned that introducing Jeremy’s preferred commercial
companies to run parts of the health and social services would amount to an
“attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS”.
The proposals will now be subject to judicial review to take place “as soon as
possible after March 14”.
Not new, but a reminder that the ACOs will decide the boundary of what care is
free and what has to be paid for. And the best bit? They will be paid more if they
save money. Now what a brilliant way to run the NHS. Jeremy’s department has
called the actual truth about his plans “irresponsible scaremongering”.
And what did Jeremy say about the renown physicist? “Stephen Hawking is a
brilliant scientist, but wrong on lack of evidence… he accused him of
“pernicious falsehood”, even suggesting that he was misinterpreting the
evidence of academic studies. Excuse moi, Jeremy? Enough criticism forced
JH to refer to Hawking as “my hero” in an article. The man, like the rest of the