LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
24 July 2015
You're Joking

Ha, ha, ha. Curiously not everybody is laughing at what was originally a joke.
Not exactly comedy club material.

It has been said potential Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, was suggested as a
joke by an MP to enter the contest. Although not exactly known for her humour,
(or am I missing something here?) Margaret Beckett, one of the senior MPs who
put Corbyn on the ballot paper, now admits she had made a mistake and she’s
not doubled over clutching her sides.

“I was concerned that people would feel that they had been deprived of the
opportunity for that point of view to be aired. I am beginning to wish that I
hadn't.” Left-wing Corbyn has created total chaos, a lot of nastiness and very
little humour...so far.

But all is not lost if a laugh is required. There is now a spoof account entitled
@corbyjokes which has generated more than 2,000 followers in the last day. It
tweets election issues disguised as classic one-liners. Ready?

“What do you call a man with a seagull on his head? Yes, more support is
needed for those with mental health issues.”

“Doctor, doctor, I keep breaking my arms in two places. The fact that he has to
tell his Dr twice says more about the state of the NHS.”

A disclaimer states: Jeremy hasn't heard or told a joke since 1964. No one said
they were actually funny did they?

Three time winner Tony (Blair) has said: “Labour supporters whose hearts tell
them to support Corbyn should get a transplant.” Oh, was that a joke? Tony
continues to warn against JC. “I wouldn’t want to win on old-fashioned leftist
platform.” Surely that is a joke. Tony is missing a point. Why change the party in
five years with the same policies?

From
The Week: ‘Donald Trump, often (often?) regarded as a joke candidate,
has infuriated grandees of the Republican Party with another headline-grabbing
stunt. The self-proclaimed multi-millionaire read out a rival White House
wannabes mobile phone number at a press conference. Senator Lindsey
Graham recently called Trump a “jackass”’. Not laughing. Lost in translation – or
culture....

The Donald does his best: "He's not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he
was captured. I like people that weren’t captured". His humorous view on John
McCain, who is clearly not amused.

Not a joke is Labour’s pathetic collusion with the hysterically giddy, Chancellor
Boy-George. He hasn’t stopped grinning since he got his ‘let’s kill off all the
poor, particularly the children’ legislation passed. So what does the Labour party
represent exactly? Oh right...all right, I know ‘right’. Fewer poor children born,
fewer going to university, families moved out of sight. Oh right. It represents
another conservative party: Labour. Tony must be thrilled. Boy-George has
managed to sneak through further changes to the benefits cap without even
consulting parliament. Fascism – not so funny.

One positive thought. No, seriously. There is one. Just one. After Boy-George
and PM CallMeDave have implemented their manifesto, the peasants could rise
up and revolt enraged from fee-paying health care, sleeping in the parks, empty
food banks, babies left on doorsteps – and you thought that was Greece. Ha.


The Body Banks It

Sorry, but I just don’t get, or should I say ‘buy’ Elle Macpherson – at all. OK. Her
PR machine, I’m guessing here because I actually don’t care, labelled her ‘The
Body’ as a branding strategy. After a programme featuring her awhile back (why
would I watch it? I’m asking myself that. Surely I didn’t actually watch it did I?) I
remember being taken aback by how condescending and nasty she was. If you
need to know.

Yes, yes, we know she’s constantly selling herself, her lifestyle, her body, her
products – but wait. She has a new product you will want to buy to emulate her
very life. You too could lounge seductively in your tiny bikini on some tropical
island somewhere.

Evidently the global market for nutricosmetics (erm, digestible beauty products)
valued at $3.36 billion in 2013 is projected to reach $7.4 billion by 2020. Really.
Well Elle not only has a ‘super elixir’, £96 per 300grams, but has added a new
protein powder to her ‘health’ enterprise that tastes like chocolate. Getting credit
card out now. Just joking. The £48 super food can replace breakfast and lunch
for those ‘busy women on the go’ – ew. Elle shares: “It's a great fast track to a
breakfast smoothie. I blend Nourishing Protein with almond or rice milk, plus
fresh fruit and ice, and I’m out the door!” On her way to the bank?

I must stop here due to celebrity-causing nausea, but: before you try to
magically modify yourself into Elle, a 2014 report by
Datamonitor Consumer,
which surveyed 25,000 consumers across 25 countries, revealed that only 2
percent of those who drank beauty drinks daily claimed to see improvements in
their physical appearance...and you know it was all in their minds don’t you.


Rational and Irrational Rants or I’m Losing the Will to Live:

Oh not more secrets and lies. Of course there are. It’s the government. Farmers
will be able to use blacklisted pesticides linked to serious harm in bees after the
UK government temporarily lifted an EU ban. These neonicotinoid are close in
chemical composition to DDT. And how did they do that exactly?

CallMeDave claimed ‘his’ (all by himself apparently) government was the
“greenest government ever”. Ever! The same who is trying sell off the national
parks. He didn’t stop. “...like the world’s first green investment bank which is
spending billions of pounds investing in green energy..” Like un-funding wind
turbines, Dave. “We should follow the science.” Oh Dave.

Opponents called the decision “scandalous” and criticised the government’s
secrecy, which has included gagging its own expert advisers. And how did they
do that exactly?

Over 500,000 people signed a 38 degrees’ petition to keep the ban on bee-killing
pesticides. When all the bees are gone, the Tories will be as well – but oh dear,
so will we. Oh yes. ‘We’re all in it together’ aren’t we Dave.


The Fun Bits:

The Mysterious Baker Boy

You do know there is no actual 221B Baker Street surely. There is a shop selling
Sherlock Holmes stuff on Baker Street, but ‘the world’s most famous address’ is
more than that – it’s a mystery to be solved. Thrilling.

It’s the ownership of the Baker Street block that is secret. It has been linked to
notorious Kazakh businessman Rakhat Aliyev and his family. Oh dear me.
Mr Aliyev, the son-in-law of Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev and
former deputy head of the country’s secret police, was accused of corruption,
amassing a multi-million pound business empire. Oh dear me. There’s more.
In February this year he was found hanged in an Austrian jail cell, where he was
being held on murder charges that he strongly denied. Gosh.

Lawyers for the family and a company registered in the British Virgin Islands,
which is the official registered owner of the land, deny Mr Aliyev was the true
owner, but refuse to reveal who it is.

Global Witness say ‘the case illustrates disturbing loopholes in the UK’s property
market which they say can be exploited to hide the proceeds of corruption and
launder the proceeds of crime or “dirty” money’. They have called for an
investigation into the ownership by the UK authorities.

Do you reckon the family even know who Sherlock is? Conan Doyle would
certainly be intrigued.
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