|LETTERS FROM LONDON
|REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
15 December 2018
|Hanging Off the Cliff-Hanger
Wait. Listen. Is that laughing? Of course it is. It’s the world laughing at the
pathetic ineptitude of the government, Theresa, the Tories, and certainly
Brexiteers everywhere. They lied, they bribed, they blamed, they threw temper
tantrums, they had never heard of Northern Ireland. Quite the surprise to the 1.8
million who live there. Backstop? Backoff.
A clandestine (?) contest to decide who is the thickest. And the chosen one can
be the next PM! Now that is brilliant. Oh let’s just start with Boris. See. Laughing
already. Ah Bad boy buffoon-ing Boris had his hair styled for the PM crown he
has assumed was his birth right.
Oh silly Boris. With new hair style, silly Boris still looks like a chubby naughty
schoolboy. Oh wait. Boris lost 12 pounds in 2 weeks. He gave up those Mars
bars he won’t be able to swallow whole after his goes Brexit through. And
Moggy! Really! so –erm – ungentlemanly as the epitome of the 19th century, and
mentioning the Queen won’t absolve you from acting like - a peasant.
Where was Theresa after she scuppered off after reneging and pulling her
‘meaningful’ vote on Tuesday? Oh you know, the world knows, but it’s worth
remembering. She rushed off to Berlin to meet with Angela Merkel.
Uh oh. I see metaphors looming. As you surely know Theresa got locked inside
her car, a Mercedes, as she attempted to meet Angela who stood waiting on a
red carpet while it poured with rain. Locked in? Or locked out? “Angela! Angela!
Tell them to let me out! How do you say that in German?” Just adding to the
cinematic comedy don’t you think? The PM keeps having car malfunctions.
Yesterday her motor had to try twice to get through Parliament’s gates.
What is Theresa’s actually exit strategy? I know. I know. ‘Exit’ strategy. There
isn’t one. But was there ever? Clue: metaphors. The Remain woman is either a
genius and Brexit is cancelled or she is an idiot and we have a no-deal Brexit.
However, there is no majority for her deal and no majority for no deal. Still, l’état,
c'est moi-Theresa, plus Phil of course has a plan B. Ha ha ha ha.
Hmm. Theresa and team Theresa may not be laughing soon. Secret talks
between the DUP and Labour are taking place “at a senior level” to find
“common ground”. Oh dear. Possibly a no-confidence motion in the government
before Christmas as reported by HuffPost UK. Theresa’s whole government
could be facing a new threat as early as next week. Oh not a jolly Christmas
After ‘winning’ with 83 votes, “Let’s get those 317 Christmas geese out, to all the
MPs, Phil. Oh. Possibly not. Let’s not reference ‘lame duck’, don’t you think?
Next week we’ll do Christmas puds. Eh, Phil? Sweetening them up, eh Phil?””
Non, je ne regrette rien
Has all this coward Cameron created farce, fiasco, utter chaos been secretly
written by Armando Iannucci? Hard to imagine it hasn’t been. From “no-regrets”
CallMeDave: asked by a reporter if he regretted his decision to sanction the
public vote, he replied: “No, of course not!” CMD has insisted that he does not
regret calling the Brexit referendum but did say he was “concerned” about the
current state of British politics. Oh Dave, oh Dave.
CMD said he had “made a promise” to the British people to hold a vote on EU
membership, so had to keep his word. “Made a promise?” Oh right. To
Farage…you know, the representative of the British people. And you know; “The
British people have spoken!” If I hear that ludicrous rubbish excuse one more
CallMeDave has apparently told friends he would not be against returning to a
cabinet role under the next prime minister. Jezza?
Remember when, just before the 2015 general election, Dave told voters they
faced a “simple and inescapable choice - stability and strong Government with
me, or chaos with Ed Miliband”. No need to comment is there? Or during
campaigning on the EU membership issue our Dave said leaving the single
market would be “needless and reckless” and that cutting ties with Brussels
would “hit our service industries hard”. See. No comment necessary. Dave has
said it all.
But wait. L’état, c'est moi aussi, CMD has something to say. He is currently
writing his memoirs. Can’t wait. He holds the position of being the only living
prime minister not to have supported a People’s Vote so far.
Thinking about your future? Don’t bother. A waste of time. Evidently, our future
on the planet may also be our past. Researchers show that we are reversing a
long-term cooling trend tracing back at least 50 million years. And it's taken just
two centuries. See? No worries. We won’t have a future quite soon.
Ready? By 2030, the earth's climate is expected to resemble that of the mid-
Pliocene, don’t remember that? going back more than 3 million years in geologic
time. OK. Without reductions in our greenhouse gas emissions, our climates by
2150 could compare to the warm and mostly ice-free Eocene, an epoch that
characterized the globe 50 million years ago.
Even before the close of 2018, scientists behind the biggest accounting effort on
the planet, the Global Carbon Budget, warn that emissions from coal, oil and gas
will have dumped a record 37 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent into the
atmosphere by the end of this month. This is 2.7% more than last year, which
also showed an increase. Human destruction of the world’s forests will add
another four billion tonnes in the same 12 months. Worrying, right?
NOAA's annual report card on the Arctic, released today, shows that the Arctic
region experienced the second-warmest air temperatures ever recorded; the
second-lowest overall sea-ice coverage; lowest recorded winter ice in the Bering
Sea; and earlier plankton blooms due to early melting of sea ice in the Bering
Tip of the Iceberg
Remember the sun? No, the sun by Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, best
known for The Weather Project, his enormous artificial sun at the Tate Modern’s
Turbine Hall in 2003. Two million people came to sun bathe.
Well, now he is suggesting we think about the Arctic. He has set up 30 massive
chunks of ice, weighing up to six tons, there to disintegrate in the December
sunshine. See. There is sun in the winter. He collaborated with geologist Minik
Rosingo to create Ice Watch.
The pieces had been fished out of the Nuup Kangerlua fjord in Greenland, then
shipped to Denmark and then set up at the Tate.
Here’s the best bit. You can hear them. No, really. They make popping sounds
deep within. They are full of air bubbles from the atmosphere. That air has not
been exposed for about 10,000 years. Now that is impressive, Olafur. “It’s a
concert of bubbles.”
Olafur wants the public to be “physically touched by the art”. People have
listened, licked, caressed, kissed, patted and scratched the melting ice caps.
Not scratching. What? Their initials?
The outer ring of blocks resembles a watch – which is apparently a countdown
to environmental apocalypse. See the connection? Olaf does. It is a microcosm
of the effects of climate change globally. The equivalent of 10,000 of these
hunks of ice is melting in Greenland – every second. Yikes!
Olafur: “These are massive and thousands of years old. Some are transparent,
others opaque. Their textures vary, their colours are tones of blue and
white…witness the ecological changes that our world is undergoing.”
“The blocks have travelled after breaking off the Greenland ice sheet and floating
off to sea…these blocks tell their own story – a story which is also ours. Their
melting into the ocean is our world melting.” See them before they melt away.
House of Cards
One in 10 Christmas cards are sent to pets. Not having a jolly joke here. Pet
owners send the cards not only to their own pets, but to their friend’s pets as
well. One in six include that dreaded ‘update newsletter’….
With the average Brit sending 18 cards, one in 10 sends between 46 and 100,
one per cent send more. Those who live in Edinburgh send the most,
Manchester sends the least. More than 3 per cent kept their cards on the
mantelpiece for more than half the year. So it’s 37c, families are drinking iced
beverages in front of the fan and admiring their Christmas cards then? Hmm.
At least some gave cards to their post person, that’s 4 per cent and 3 per cent
send them to – erm – their ex. Really? The ex that is.
Partners in Crime
And now for a laugh. Well we didn’t laugh when the no longer held in high
esteem New York Times published one of their ‘Oh London. So 19th century.’
Remember when their travel writer wrote that we still eat boiled “mutton” and
porridge? Michelin starred then….
Now the Britain-bashing newspaper has requested on social media for people to
come forward to give their experience of petty crime in London. Hopefully
Americans won’t confuse London, England – you know – that country over there
– with London, Kentucky, Ohio, Arkansas, Texas or West Virginia. Of course
they myopically will.
OK. Back to the fun bit.
Have you experienced a petty crime in London? Click to tell us your story.
(Your submission may be selected for publication.) https://t.co/MRvmXdlYC8
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 13, 2018
And they did.
‘When I worked in London someone pushed in front of me in a queue.’
‘I asked someone how they were and they actually told me.’
‘One of the ravens in the Tower of London kept following me around when I
visited – really scary.’
‘Someone held the door open for me when I was still ten feet away and then I
had to run and pretend I was grateful. I was sweaty and fuming’
‘Saw someone try and join the middle of a queue once to join their friend.
Luckily the police were on hand to tut loudly at them until they moved to the
rear. Wasn’t pretty.’
‘I once gave a stranger my phone to take a photo of me and my friends on a
night out and when he handed it back they were all in portrait mode’
‘My home was invaded by a discount Batman.’
‘A woman jumped the queue at the Waterloo Maccies & we all gave her
disapproving looks but didn’t say anything.’
‘My neighbour in Notting Hill is keeping a Peruvian bear as some sort of
unlicensed pet. They put a hat on it and take it on trips to museums and
bookshops etc god alone knows what they feed it.’
‘The person I was behind at the tube barrier yesterday waited for the person in
front of them to go through and the barriers to close, before using their oyster
card. AND NOBODY DID ANYTHING, even though I tutted and rolled my
‘Somebody once tried to talk to me on the Tube. Twice. Admittedly, they were
a friend, but one must have standards.’
‘Still reeling from someone putting milk in my tea, BEFORE adding hot water.
‘A neighbour tried to start a conversation, once.’
‘Every December someone breaks into my living room, eats a mince pie,
takes a bite from a mince pie and leaves a heap of presents. You can only
imagine the carnage that ensues when my kids get up. It’s devastating.’
Over to you, New York Times….