LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
4 August 2018
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Foot in Mouth

Oh Jeremy…the Hunt one. You know the story, but it is just too - erm – good not
to repeat. Following in the footsteps (I know…foot in mouth reference) of gaff-
prone buffoon Boris as his foreign secretary replacement, when Jeremy was in
China he got confused and thought he was in Japan. Oh that is encouraging
considering his new position as Foreign Secretary. Surely his wife Lucia Guo
was best pleased as she thought all these years she was Chinese and not
Japanese at all. JH had told Chinese officials his wife of 11 years was in fact,
Japanese. So easy to get confused, eh, Jeremy? Japan is widely despised in
China for the atrocities it committed.

He added: "My wife is Chinese and my children are half-Chinese and so we
have Chinese grandparents." Really? ”We (we – huh?)  have Chinese
grandparents”?  Even his attempt at using his ‘Chinese connection’ to establish
a ‘special’ relationship’ between China and the UK didn’t help him, did it?
In his first major overseas trip, JH was in Beijing to discuss the possibility of a
free trade agreement meeting with the country’s foreign minister, Wang Yi. At a
joint press briefing afterwards, the two promised to uphold free trade and fight
climate change. Hmm. And human rights?

“Human rights? Huh? I don’t know what you are talking about. I don’t speak
Japanese, I mean Chinese. I do speak Japanese, with my wife all the time. Now
I’m confused. Where am I? is there a difference? Japan…China…? Do they
speak English here?”

Wang said: “We do not welcome nor do we accept other countries to interfere
in Chinese domestic affairs.” Sounds suspiciously like a threat doesn’t it?

JH’s translation was: “China and Britain have very different systems, but we do
have a lot in common (grand-parents?), and we in the UK think that the rise of
China and China’s economy and Chinese power can and must be a positive
force in the world.”

Clearly JH has no idea what is going on in China or Hong Kong. Assuming he’s
still creating plans to undermine and privatise the NHS with staggering
incompetence. That he understands….

“Oh right. I am foreign secretary now. Right? But I was so enjoying making a
right, getit? mess of the NHS. Such a satisfying job. Now it’s all those bloody
foreigners I have to deal with and they aren’t even in our country where we
could put them in detention and deport them.

“I love the Chinese culture. You know sushi, I mean those little dough balls and
their films. Fantastic. All that dancing. Oh. Right. That’s Bollywood.”
We can all be thrilled he didn’t do ‘a Prince Philip’ can’t we? JH was off to Paris
and Vienna spreading charm. With his innumerable gaffs, this should be
interesting…if you have any interest at all.

Toxic Waste Dump

What could possibly go wrong? MPs have backed plans which could see
nuclear waste buried deep in vaults beneath national parks. Yes. What a clever,
practical, brilliant plan. Is there anyone who isn’t a certifiable idiot in the
government?

In January the plan was initially set out in a draft national policy statement (NPS)
the plans have now been approved by the Commons Business, Energy and
Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee. What could possibly go wrong?

A BEIS spokesman said: “We welcome the valuable input of the BEIS Select
Committee into this process and its agreement that sufficient safeguards exist
for our National Parks.” What could possibly go wrong? Everything.

Make it Stop

OK. OK. We know that JC seeks fairness for Palestine – as we surely all
should/do, but it’s the WAY he is dealing/handling or not – with the anti-Semitic
issue - not whether he is anti-Semitic. You know he isn’t, but his “sorry” has not
been convincing, not quite right (not that right); more ‘sorry you feel that way’
…sorry in that generic sort of way. Simply not as authentic as Corbynistas
repeatedly reminding us he is.

The Labour statement reads: “The NEC has concerns about one half of one of
the IHRA’s 11 examples, which could be used to deny Palestinians, including
Palestinian citizens of Israel and their supporters, their rights and freedoms to
describe the discrimination and injustices they face in the language they deem
appropriate.” Valid point made.

Netanyahu defines Israel as nation state of Jewish people only, insisting Israel is
"the nation state of one people only – the Jewish people – and of no other
people. The state of Israel provides full equal rights, individual rights, to all its
citizens, but it is the nation state of one people only – the Jewish people – and of
no other people. And therefore, in order to bolster the status of the state of Israel
as the nation state of the Jewish people, I intend to submit a basic law that will
anchor this status.". And the Labour party is supposed to agree to this? Really?
With all those voices shouting: “Agree, agree, agree to it! The new ‘Nation State
Law’!”  What’s wrong here?

We know the right and centre of the party are not happy, but his allies, shadow
chancellor John McDonnell and the creator of the Momentum movement, Jon
Lansman are not happy either. Not looking good here, Jeremy. Crisis looming: a
number of Labour MPs have engineered a vote in September to force party
members into adopting the full IHRA definition. Labour peers in the House of
Lords are also reportedly planning to do the same. Have they actually read it?

Being anti-Israel is not being anti-Semitic. End of. Ask any uncompromising anti-
Israel who just happen to be Jewish. But unfortunately it is not the end of
Labour's unravelling. It isn’t really about anti-Semitism per se, it’s about JC’s
lack of authority, gravitas, leadership that his party is complaining about. He has
let this issue totally destabilise and weaken the party.

So what we can deduce is that personal ideology surpasses the unity of the
party. Not good, Jezza. The response has been: ‘step up! before it is too late’. In
the
Independent, ‘well-connected veteran lobby hack Andy Grice warns the
party could split’. And then there is the Communist Party of Britain (CPB) in the
mix that has stated its aim “to defeat New Labour and reclaim the Labour Party”
to bring about “a fully Communist form of society”. Even with a reality check, the
party is close to being doomed.

OK. Jeremy stepped up in the
Guardian, but the response has been step down.
It’s too late. Uh oh. Step away now: more chaos to come… will it ever end?

Yellow Journalism

Telegraph journalist Angela Epstein has been calling on Jewish Labour MPs to
wear the Nazi yellow star in order to “show their revulsion with Jeremy Corbyn”.
Epstein has been busy tweeting and writing articles the last few weeks. Now that
is helpful.

In the piece, Epstein equates the prospect of a Corbyn government to the rise of
Hitler. Wait! How did we get there? She describes the Jewish community as
preparing to leave the country in fear for their lives. “…we have friends leaving
almost every month. Is this really 2018 and not 1933? Yes, sadly.” The woman
defies belief – hers.

Sadly, this was her view 30 July 2018, but December 2015 Epstein tweeted that
Muslims seemed more determined to stop the rise of the Donald than Daesh and
repeating herself, last year she demanded the Muslim community mobilise
globally against Daesh and “extremism”. Racist? Surely not. Not Ms Epstein. Or
should I say, Mrs Epstein? Considering her view of women. It isn’t pretty.
Epstein always appear to be not just zealously right-wing, but completely
culturally conservative – and absolutely adamant. Possibly we could suggest she
leave the country before the Hitler revival. Or now.

Naturally Boris had to weigh in. Yes, intentional. Again in
The Telegraph
continuing their smear campaign against Jeremy, telling him to “grow up”, while
calling JC “boneheaded” – oh really Boris! and accusing him of “merrily dog-
whistling away to all those who want to believe that the ills of the world can be
ascribed to a conspiracy of Israel/the West/the bankers.” Oh just stop, Boris!
Next you will be alluded to Hitler…or has he already?

Theresa and Brexit, Thomas Markle and Meghan, Jeremy and the Jewish
community, now what do these have in common? All a massive mess! No relief
in sight.

Received with Open Arms

Veteran Middle East war correspondent Robert Fisk recently published a
bombshell (I know) report. “I traced missile casings in Syria back to their
original sellers, so it’s time for the west to reveal who (sic) they sell arms to”.

His discovery came about last year after he inadvertently found a batch of
missile casings and shipment paperwork hidden in what he describes as "the
basement of a bombed-out Islamist base in eastern Aleppo" with the words
"Hughes Aircraft Co/Guided Missile Surface Attack” emblazoned on the side of
the spent tubes.

He explains: "This missile will have been manufactured and sold by
Hughes/Raytheon absolutely legally to a Nato, pro-Nato or “friendly” (i.e. pro-
American) power (government, defence ministry, you name it), and there will
exist for it an End User Certificate (EUC), a document of impeccable
provenance which will be signed by the buyers – in this case by the chaps who
purchased the Tow missiles in very large numbers – stating that they are the
final recipients of the weapons." Caught out.

“Why don’t Nato track all these weapons as they leave Europe and America?
Why don’t they expose the real end-users of these deadly shipments? The arms
manufacturers I spoke to in the Balkans attested that Nato and the US are fully
aware of the buyers of all their machine guns and mortars. Why can’t the details
of those glorious end user certificates be made public – as open and free for us
to view as are the frightful weapons which the manufacturers are happy to boast
in their catalogues.” Ah, there they all are, living the dream.

‘Nope To Arms’

What do you do when you are a design museum with an exhibition promoting
Nope: Graphics And Politics 2008-18? You invite a defence, security and
aerospace company to hold an event at the museum of course. Last month the
museum opened its arms – OK doors to an Italian-based company, Leonardo,
the ninth biggest arms company in the world. The event was linked to the
Farnborough International Airshow – regarded by some as an arms fair. That’s
what you do.

I know, I did mention this previously, but not the latest event: artists protested
outside the museum and demanded their work be removed and returned to them.
The exhibition was meant to show how “graphic design and technology have
played a pivotal role in dictating and reacting to the major political moments of
our times”…via military technology then? A third of the 100 works has been
returned.

Whose work for example? Shepard Fairey, street artist famous for his 2008
Hope poster of Obama, is one. He had written on Instagram: “I’m very
disappointed in the poor judgment that the Design Museum in London displayed
by renting their space to a company which manufactures military arms while
simultaneously hosting an art show of activist images…I have made many pro-
peace images as well as art that is critical of the arms industry, so the museum’s
actions are disturbingly contrary to my values. Tell the Design Museum to stop
supporting the arms trade. No more arms company events at the Museum!”

Artist Peter Kennard, a professor of political art at the Royal College of Art: “The
gallery’s reaction has been to demean the artists, when they talk of outside
agitators…the notion that the exhibition’s participating artists—many of whom
are politically engaged activists in their own right—need guidance from
professional agitators is totally ridiculous… [The museum’s directors] can’t relate
to the artists whose work they put on show. They have treated them despicably,
which is why I took my piece down.” Ouch! Others included Gavin Grindon and
activists Benny Tai and Joshua Wong.

And the museum’s directors Deyan Sudjic and Alice Black? Oh they have
naturally criticised the demonstrators. “We will not be seen as an easy target
and a surrogate for the real targets of these campaigners,” they wrote in a letter
posted to the museum’s website. “We do not want our programs to be co-opted
by the agenda of others and we stand by our curatorial independence.” Ohhh.
They came out ‘fighting’ then. “Campaigners”? Not artists? Ohhh. Not much
respect for the exhibitors then is there? The exhibition is now free to visit…if you
dare.

Bored Silly

Just in time for the silly season – which isn’t so silly is it? The British Library has
taken possession of Michael Palin’s archive – and it includes unperformed
Python seemingly silly scripts.

For devotees, they will go on display to the public along with more than 50
notebooks containing notes on two of the Pythons’ films, Holy Grail and Life Of
Brian.

Palin said: “Nowadays that (those) may not be as funny because we’ve changed
a lot in our attitudes since then.” Cleese said the reason it was no longer
regularly shown on TV - because it’s “too funny” compared with modern
comedies. You choose which side to take.

Keeping it Real

While on the subject of humour, the two Princesses, eighth and ninth in line - or
really the Firm in their attempt to continue their Cool-Fab-Young-We’re Just Like
You-Royal-Brand - have granted an interview with British Vogue. I know. Yawn.

But if you feel compelled – really? OK: ‘Eugenie officially joined Instagram in
March but is not quite at ease posting pictures just yet. “It’s so easy to recoil
when you see a perfect image, but it’s important that it’s real. We’re real,” she
asserted.’ R E A L if you missed it due to disbelief. And: “My whole house is anti-
plastic now – and Jack and I want our wedding to be like that as well.”’ Plastic
free? Hmm. No plastic flowers then? No water bottles hidden in handbags? Am I
missing something here? What plastic at a wedding?

Vogue reveals: ‘Their coping mechanism is each other; the two are exceptionally
close, although they did admit to the odd cross word. “One of the biggest fights
we ever had was about a pair of Converse trainers,” Beatrice joked. “We have
the same size feet and both of us had identical pairs. One pair got trashed and
the other sister may have swapped them.”’ “The other sister…” – huh? Is that a
royal euphemism? The two of them: rolling on the floor gasping for breath surely.
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