LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
14 October 2017
Game On

“Brexit is not a game!” according to Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, in
response to Theresa's latest foot stomping: “The ball is in the EU's court!” she
told the Commons and “I’m acting like a naughty ten-year-old. It’s your move”.

Theresa then refused to answer when interviewed how she would vote on a
second referendum – three times – but you know that already. It is the way she
plays the game; her rules, well, probably Philip’s.

Here’s what Nick Clegg says about her ‘decision making’ in his new book, How
to Stop Brexit (And Make Britain Great Again). Nick sat next to her in Cabinet at
the National Security Council, meeting regularly for ‘discussions’. Theresa was
“punctual and polite”. Not quite the typical manner of a Tory politician, is it? And
those aids? “irritating…she would defer to them or they would interject.” See
where this is going?

When Nick requested meetings sans the entourage, “She didn’t have the
confidence or the wherewithal – I’ve never worked out which – to say ‘Yes, let’s  
do that.’ Time and time again she’d have to go back to the office, consult [with
the aids], then write a letter. It just took sooooo long. It drove me crazy.”
Although are we thinking she might be?

So now you know why Theresa sent the ball into the EU’s court. Surely they
know how to play the ‘you tell me what to do and say’ game Theresa plays. But
Theresa, they have told you over and over again. They aren’t going to change
the rules of the game. They can play the game without us.

Theresa again pleads for “flexibility” from EU leaders. Does she mean cheat?
The perpetually tittering, sniggering, guffawing, fall over laughing David Davis
(you’d think he’d fall off his chair) demands that the EU must be “more
imaginative, more creative.” Davey, it’s the only game in town and you haven’t a
clue how to play it.

John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, said: “There will be some
members of parliament who say ‘I want to be able at the end of all this if I’m not
satisfied, to say No, to try to persuade other members of parliament to say No,
and to hope that No might delay Brexit or prevent Brexit.’ Do they have a right to
argue that point of view? They absolutely do,” he added. Just say no!


Bored Yet?

Every a-z list celebrity has popped up in front of a camera to knife Weinstein in
the back, or elsewhere. They just can’t stop. Didn’t Meryl have to do it twice? Not
enough the first time? OK. The movie mogul was clearly a disgusting, creepy,
sex-addicted, smarmy fat quite ugly guy. All you want to do is say: ew, ew, ew.

Harvey’s supposedly off to rehab – as you do in Hollywood, but does his Arizona
retreat cater to the misuse of power, not just coke? Men in power. Ah. Clearly he
felt totally untouchable, as it were, because it was Hollywood and they all knew. It
was common knowledge. So what did they do? They draped themselves around
his short round little body. “Look at me. I looooove Harvey and he loves me.” As
you do in Hollywood. Gagging (I know) clauses saved him from disgrace and
rehab.

Have we reached the bottom of the ‘a to z list’ yet? “Oh this is a game-changer
fer shur”, they add. Hmmm. Here comes another ‘ew’. Roman Polanski?
Remember his continuing success? Oh let’s face the ugly reality. Wherever men
hold positions of power, this is not only common place, it’s de rigueur. Lovely.
And as for the future? 60 per cent of girls in school are sexually harassed. And
those are the ones who are admitting it. So these predatory boys are the future
then. Loosing hope? It’s already hopeless.

Back to the trial by media. Suffice it that he is guilty of the horrific offences, but
surely the New York Times and the New Yorker have sunk to a new low. At the
forefront of reporting the allegations against him, taking an outraged moralist
tone before he is convicted – not exactly impressive coverage. But as of late,
their reputations have been sliding into – erm – a tabloid abyss. The media itself
is in a frenzy to collect names and details. Sordid all round.


Confess

Every patient in England visiting their GP or attending a hospital appointment will
have to declare if they are gay, straight or bisexual, this imposed by the NHS.
Yes. They will…well, you will. No really. Prurient or what exactly? These details
of your sexuality will be on their permanent medical record for the first time, for
all time, and you just know they will be – erm – shared…oh oops.

From April 2019 all patients aged 16 or over will face questioning about their
sexual identity. And if you change your mind, want to experiment, had a ménage
à trois, got too drunk to know what gender the person was, you didn’t ask the
sexual preference of the other person - what do you do? Lie. I’m thinking you
should change your gender preference every time. You could say you’ve always
had a problem making decisions and you need CBT. Nurses and even
receptionists may ask you. You’re in reception and you’ve just decided on route
that you’re going to be ‘fluid’. Do you want to announce it to the entire room full
of patients? Possibly, but possibly not.

You could be asked regularly if the records are not properly shared between
different parts of the NHS when you attend GP appointments, A&E, outpatients
or even antenatal classes. Oh dear. They are serious about this aren’t they?
“We won’t stitch you up (ha) until you tell us if you prefer men or women or
both.”

Health chiefs say NHS organisations and councils must keep a record to have
“better data” on the health of gay and bisexual people throughout England.
Really? Explain that again. Oh, and curiously The Office for National Statistics
had tried to include this information in the 2011 census.

The project is being launched without full public consultation naturally, after at
least seven years of lobbying by the LGBT Foundation, the Manchester-based
gay rights charity. Really? Not disturbingly invasive, intrusive? Outrageous then?

Oh. One of your choices other than the obvious ones: ‘Other sexual orientation
not listed.’ Let’s tick that box.


High Treason

All that can be said is that those virulent Brexiteers are collectively – insane.
Accusations of treason and betrayal are back again…knives in the back and this
week it’s Philip Hammond’s back. As you know, he refuses and actually can’t
splash the cash in preparation for the hard Brexit the right-wing are shouting,
screeching screaming for. As they do. “Little Britain! Give us Little Britain!” He’s
acting too rationally. He’s just not hysterical enough for them.

Tory MP and leading Brexiteer, Bernard Jenkins, said the Treasury had been
"co-opted" by the EU. Then always an embarrassment and still alive former
chancellor Nigel Lawson said what Hammond was doing what was "very close to
sabotage". Two idiots, here’s a third: as always, dogmatically conservative
commentator Julia Hartley-Brewer, yes, please emit a loud grown here!
demanded Hammond be tried for treason. I’m thinking she should be. The
woman is just dreadful. A fourth if you’re counting: John Redwood demanded:
"Get the Treasury to have more realistic, optimistic forecasts and to find the
money for a successful economy post Brexit". Reality check? Why bother. No-
deal does not preserve the status quo. How can these idiots not acknowledge
this simple fact? It promises to be a total disaster. Shared idiocy.


Cash in Hand

The former chancellor George Osborne, otherwise more appropriately known as
Georgie Boy, has seven jobs since he left the government. We know he’s now
the editor of the Evening Standard, but did we know he is chairman of the
Northern Powerhouse Partnership, a fellow at US think tank the McCain Institute,
and an unpaid honorary professor of economics at the University of
Manchester? Stop there. Unpaid? Really?

Don’t worry about Georgie’s financial situation. As an adviser to BlackRock, the
world’s largest fund manager, he is paid £650,000 a year for one day’s work a
week. What do you reckon he does one day a week? Show up? Make tea? And
let’s not forget those after-dinner speeches round the world for the Washington
Speakers’ Bureau – more cash in hand for GB.

At Stanford, GB’s duties will take in the Hoover Institution, a public policy think
tank attached to the university, and its graduate business school one of the most
renowned in the world. World! Really? Did we ever think Georgie Boy was so
clever? No we didn’t. Wonder why. Just saying.  Theoretically he can claim
eight jobs if he so chooses. Oh you just know the millionaire will.

Georgie said the roles would be “a unique opportunity for me to connect to
Stanford and the west coast”. Huh? Stanford and the west coast? Explain that to
me. Palo Alto and between San Jose and San Francisco? “Whatever you’ve
done in your life, you should never stop learning and wanting to understand the
future.” Learning how to do almost no work, be paid ludicrous amounts of
money, have sycophants bow while you’re predicting the future? Oh Georgie.
Stay in touch. We wouldn’t want to miss your psychopathic rantings.  


Pay Up

And speaking of millionaire ex-politicians, where oh where is CallMeDave? Our
favoured coward has finally taken a job. Curious? Don’t be. It’s with the US
electronic payments firm First Data Corporation. Two or three days a month. I’m
seeing a pattern here.

First Data described CMD in a press release, as one of the “most prominent
global influencers of the early 21st century”. Collective mouths hit the floor. He
would help “expand the company’s footprint in new and existing markets”.

I know you’re saying “What? Why? We don’t care. We never did like him.” But
he said: “I am incredibly proud that during my time as prime minister the United
Kingdom became a global force in fin-tech [financial technology]. I remain
passionate about the opportunities that exist for British and international
companies that are developing exciting technologies both for businesses and
consumers – technologies that have the potential to revolutionise the way we all
live our lives.” Now you really hate him don’t you? And rightly so. Two to three
days a month. Do you reckon he has asked them to call him Dave? Oh I do
hope so.

OK, OK. I have to add this last bit. I just can’t stop. CMD will sit on First Data’s
advisory board, helping the chief executive and other senior figures with
“international, contextual and geopolitical advice and analysis” as well as also
speaking “at private and public events for and on behalf of First Data.” Dave will
not have to declare how much he is paid. Presumably CMD didn’t feel the
reported £800,000 for his fascinating memoirs was enough. Out next year. Form
a queue.


So Special

The Don has been re-invited. Flags at the ready. Right. OK, the Queen has
blanked him, but clearly not the desperate-to-trade-everything-and-anything-to-
the-US Tories. He’s coming for ‘a work visit.’ Right. And we thought he only
tweeted and ranted.

As for that ‘special relationship’, let’s remind ourselves that it was a joke. All
right. Perhaps not roll on the floor funny, but rolling the eyes funny. Obama and
his team viewed it as such according to adviser to the state department under
Obama, Jeremy Shapiro. He claimed the special relationship was mocked when
the cameras were off. Hint: remember the removal of the bust of Churchill from
the Oval Office? “Special relationship!?" Ha ha ha. Churchill wouldn’t be
laughing now would he? But we can.” Shapiro said Trump was merely
“exploiting” the relationship in order to get the best trade deal for the US when he
replaced Churchill. Not very nice.

Shapiro told the Cheltenham Literature Festival: “From my perspective it was
very important for us to mention the special relationship in every press
conference that we had when the UK were here. But really we laughed about it
behind the scenes. Typically, I would try and slip in a reference to the Malvinas
(Argentinian name for the Falklands) or something to spoil it.” Didn’t he notice
he was in Britain? Not very nice. Someone needs to tell Theresa. Oh why
bother, she will make a fool of herself without any assistance.
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