|LETTERS FROM LONDON
|REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
17 March 2018
|How the Land Lies
Gagging. The government is gagging, all right, has a gagging order to conceal
the disastrous results of hard borders being revealed to the public. Wait. Now
they want no border control. Simply an impossible solution. Rather makes you
wonder what the hell they are doing exactly. Not that we will know unless plans
are leaked. Now let’s give it a little think. Isn’t that what dictatorships do? Hide
and lie? Control all information? Supress all opposition? Well, yes. But the
government is above the law isn’t it? You know, the laws they make themselves.
What else are they sorting out then? You know how they adore children don’t
you? Ah. Always putting the little ones first. They just voted to effectively stop
free school meals for up to a million little children in England. With their
impressively effective new Universal Credit, children aged seven, eight and over
will stop getting free school lunches once their parents or guardians earn over
£7,400. Ah. Let the little children starve. Well, that’s one way to keep them from
advancing in life surely. Brain development, absorbing learning, basically
functioning. Labour lost out by 312 to 254 votes.
The Tory 2017 manifesto clearly stated their position on meals for those
undeserving of. “We do not believe that giving school lunches to all children free
of charge for the first three years of primary school – regardless of the income
of their parents – is a sensible use of public money.” Hmm. And the money
should go to their pay increase then? Of course it should. If nothing else, they
deserve credit (I know) for taking care of depriving the peasants. Oh those
Joint enterprise, Dutch-British Unilever, Britain's third biggest company for
nearly 100 years, is collectively waving goodbye. “See you in Rotterdam. Oh, it’s
not Brexit. We just thought we needed a change of scenery and Rotterdam is
famous for their toxic air quality. What’s not to like then?”
So, it’s moving its legal HQ. Part of, if not the main reason, was the aggressive
hostile £115 billion takeover attempt by Kraft Heinz. With UK laws that allow their
euphemistically, ‘open for business’ way of doing things as the cause. Pathetic.
Unilever fought the second-largest corporate deal in history and won.
You are going to have to sit down for this. Unilever makes: Ben&Jerry’s, Dove
soap, Lyons, Pot Noodle, HB, Elmlea, Coleman’s, Impulse, I Can’t Believe it’s
Not Butter, Marmite, Radox, Maille, St Ives, Vaseline, TRESemmé Viennetta,
Bovril, VO5, Brut, Carte D’Or, Persil, Lipton, Knorr, Hellman’s, Magnum, Surf,
Cornetto, Flora, Domestics, Bertolli, PG Tips, Toni&Guy…huh? Oh I quit. You
get the idea.
These brands are present in 98% of households across the UK. Globally their
products are used by 2 billion people every day. Awkward? Surely not.
Back to the USSR
And now they are simply strangling – “compression on the neck” that is. And
then hanged. “Look what we can do. Poison with permanent affects, make
people disappear, die in car crashes, and even the clever use of hands, rope,
perhaps a scarf around the neck. We are the greatest.” Oh. Oops. Isn’t that
what Americans say?”
Now it’s the 68-year-old Russian exile, dissident Nikolai Glushkov who had
previously angered the Kremlin by suggesting that the death of his friend Boris
Berezovsky wasn't suicide. He was found hanged in his bathroom. Glushkov was
discovered by his daughter Natalie. Lovely. The UK had refused to extradite him
to Russia after granting him political asylum in 2010.
Clearly Theresa needed back up from the rest of the world in her attempt to
admonish Russia. Pity we ‘all’ voted anti-Europe (clue: sarcasm). The EU has
offered its support. Oh right. That evil EU trying to punish us. That EU. Pity
about all those countries that have gone fanatically nationalistic and pro-Putin.
Putin has painted Europe as the enemy of Russia in his desire to destabilise
Europe and make Russia the sole super power of the world. He evidently dreams
the dream of a Stalinist state. Why stop there? Super power of the universe
would be a good move. The supplicating Russians would welcome that brilliant
Strongman Putin must be beating his (ew, ew, ew) bare-chest in total self-
gratification. This all plays out perfectly for him. The Mueller investigation? What
election investigation? The Russian economy, when Putin is perhaps the, if not
one of the richest man on his planet. And then there is all that Russian money
we are so enamoured of and dependent on…the Tories for one. More? Much
more: that gas pipe line….
Novichok evidently and ironically means “new guy”. It was said to be the
deadliest-known nerve agent, developed by the Soviet Union during the 1970s
and 1980s by Lev Fedorov and Vil Mirzayanov. Latest reports say not so…the
However, Mirzayanov, who lives in the US, said: “It’s for paralysing people, it
causes you convulsions and you can’t breathe and after that you die. If you get
enough of a dose of it. It’s real torture, it’s impossible to imagine. Even in low
doses the pain can go on for weeks. You cannot imagine the horror, it’s so
bad.” He said it will result in life-altering side effects forever, regardless of the
dosage and contact. So tragic. 500 people could possibly be affected.
More irony. The Welsh party, Plaid Cymru, has accused the UK of making more
money from selling depleted uranium – used to create nuclear weapons and fuel
nuclear reactors, don’t you know – to Russia than to any other country. In 2016,
the UK sold £1.2m worth of depleted uranium to Russia, making up 92% of its
total sales. Evidently Theresa was asked about this by Plaid Cymru’s
parliamentary leader in Westminster, Liz Saville Roberts, on 14 March. Oh come
on, you know the response by now.
Not so ironic then was the response by Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson:
“Frankly Russia should go away. It should shut up.” WTF? Clearly Mr
Williamson speaks for the government and with such impressive gravitas. Rather
makes you want to avoid any eye-contact with anyone not British.
And then there is Boris. Could he look any more risible, laughable, ludicrous,
useless – oh you can add the rest. And Jeremy. Hmmm. He could have used a
little of that gravitas Gavin wasn’t using when stating his position. While he called
on Russia to “be held to account on the basis of the evidence”, he also said: “Let
us not manufacture a division over Russia where none exists.” Sorry JC. Russia
has strategically created and is creating a division against the rest of the west.
Just when Labour was noticeably ahead, his ratings are now at a pitiful 18%.
You could have given Labour party and the bigger Labour picture a little thought,
JC, before you announced a valid point or even two. Parliamentary records
show that JC has consistently campaigned against chemical weapons as well as
the arms trade.
Nevertheless, I spy the BBC’s Newsnight using JC’s image wearing a Russian
style hat, or his favourite Mao cap photoshopped with a red-coloured
background of Moscow is just unforgivable. Their placating, continuous
Conservative bias is getting very boring. So: “shut up” and “go away”!
On Sky, Russian espionage historian who has lived in the UK for 22 years,
Alexander Vassilier contends that Glushkov was more the target than Skripals
and that leaves all sorts of questions about them. Gosh. So many theories - from
the 100 who make up the cabal ‘influencing’ Putin - to revengeful Russians who
see betrayal as a reason for assassination to... oh, time for a shot of
Pennies from Heaven
Back tracking again. “Oh we didn’t suggest the end of pennies. Oh goodness
me. Pennies are from heaven, aren’t they? And don’t we need them to throw at,
I mean toss to all those annoying homeless blocking doorways.”
After Chancellor, Philip Hammond proclaimed a “turning point”, “a light at the
end of the tunnel” for the rich of course. The government must raise up to £41
billion through tax hikes and an additional £37.1 billion for their ‘divorce bill which
will take 46 years to pay off. Let’s do the maths. That’s until 2064. And that’s
money paid into the EU coffers towards the pension plans of Brussel officials.
Oh oops. Bets are on you didn’t know that, did you? Ah. More secrets. Phil
reassures us it’s just ‘pennies’ over that time. Why not have the Brexiteers pay it?
But from next month millions of families will be worse off as a result of £2.5billion
in welfare cuts. The Resolution Foundation says that as a result of policies
announced since July 2015 the poorest third of households will be an average of
£745 a year worse off.
A new report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found that
a further 1.5 million children could be in poverty by 2022 due to the “cumulative
impact of tax and welfare reforms”
In contrast, the richest third are forecast to record an average gain of £140 a
year. Ah, mere pennies. And that ageing population could mean another £11
billion a year by 2025. Austerity policies may be partly, particularly responsible
for 10,000 excess deaths so far in 2018.
The think tank says “a grim set of economic forecasts that remained largely
unchanged from the ‘bloodbath’ of last November, and underplayed significant
cuts to welfare and departmental spending still to come.” The Institute for Fiscal
Studies’ Director Paul Johnson wrote in the FT that “the numbers do not justify
Hammond’s ‘Tiggerish’ outlook.” Hmm. After seeing a photo of Phil in the
newspaper smiling, I’m thinking separated at birth from Basil Brush.