LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
15 April 2017
'Cause I Feel the Good Times Coming'                      

'Cause I Feel the Good Times Coming? Not quite, Ella. Spoiler alert: Hitler didn’t
use gas on his own people. No really. “We didn’t use chemical weapons in
World War II. We had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to
using chemical weapons,” this pronouncement by the US press secretary, Sean
Spicer. The same who is unable to pronounce Bashar al-Assad properly,
communicated this news at a press conference.  “Own people”? Concentration
camps were “Holocaust centres”? “Holocaust centres”? Are we actually in a
mass collective nightmare?

And the 1965-1973 US Vietnam war? No chemical weapons used then surely.
Oh oops. Napalm. Oh oops. Agent Orange. Let’s have a quick review. Napalm is
a mixture of plastic polystyrene, hydrocarbon benzene, and gasoline. When
ignited, the gel sticks to anything and burns up to ten minutes. The effects of
napalm on the human body?  Creates excruciating pain and almost inevitably
causes death. Water boils at 101C/212°F - napalm generates temperatures
815C1,500°F to 1204C/2,200°F.

And another favourite Agent Orange? The Vietnam Red Cross recorded over 4.8
million deaths and 400,000 children born with birth defects due to exposure to
Agent Orange. It was later determined to be in violation of the Geneva Contract.
N
ot to dwell on the inconceivable insanity and utter stupidity of The Donald’s
government
, but next Spicer will be saying ‘Hitler – not such a bad man’…. Well,
the devotees of The Orange-Man did d
isplay their support with the heil Hitler
gesture during his candidacy didn’t they?

Leaving the land of the dangerously dumb and dumber, we can easily move on
to more Holocaust denying. I know. How is it possible to deny it? All I can think
is they share the same brain disorder: detached from reality.


Mon Dieu!

And here we have another: Marine Le Pen, you know - and wish you didn’t, the
leader of France’s far-right Front National has denied on TV that France or the
French state were responsible for the infamous Vel d’Hiv round-up of Jews in
Paris on 16-17 July 1942. Most of these 13,000 Jews ended up in death camps,
or as Spicer calls them – Holocaust hotels, I mean Holocaust centres. “If there
are people responsible, it’s those who were in power at the time. It’s not
France.” Oh la vache!

She continues in a follow-up statement, referencing former presidents de Gaulle
and Mitterrand, insisting that France and the Republic were in London during the
German occupation, and that the Nazi-collaborationist Vichy regime “was not
France”. Quoi!? Vichy was merely an ‘aberration’ of the French Republic and
imposter as representative of France. Quoi!?

Le Pen holds that while individuals shared responsibility, none could be
attributed to France. Clearly she isn’t the typical Holocaust denier, as yet, but
what about people who are still alive and remember exactly how France rolled
over when Hitler took power.

Le Pen, widely expected to top the first round of the Presidential elections on 23
April. We’re reassured she will not triumph and win the ultimate prize, but then
again…tout est possible.


Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

A bit of good news – quelle surprise.

Is worrying about all those coffee cups we use and toss e
very minute of every
day
keeping you awake at night? Well, have a little lie down, help is on its way.

A British company (no surprise there), Biome Bioplastics has developed
biodegradable coffee cup made of plant material. The plant starches and
cellulose “will disappear into carbon dioxide and water within three months.”  A
mere one per cent of the 2.5 billion cups can be recycled. Only three of the 25
chains sold reusable cups. The naughty chains, let’s name them, Starbucks
(always a favourite), Caffè Nero and Costa have been – erm – misleading us by
pretending their cups were eco-friendly. Come on now. Let’s boycott…come
on….


Money is No Object

Have you finally given up trying to destroy one of those new polymer £5 notes?
Have you risen to the challenge? Naturally the question is why? Why have you?
Nevertheless, loads of people have tried, but now a professor at University of
Nottingham, Sir Martyn Poliakoff has succeeded where others have
failed…almost.

He bypassed the usual ineffective attempts: microwaving, ripping, washing,
stomping on, shouting at. He instead used liquid nitrogen and a hammer. See.
You would never have considered that – particularly the addition of the hammer.
Who knew? Seriously.

“I had the idea that if we froze it with liquid nitrogen, the strands of the polymer
would be frozen rigid and you may be able to break it, hitting it with a hammer.”
After being beaten into submission, ultimately you would be left with a
transparent piece of plastic and five pounds out of pocket. Something to
consider. You can watch it on YouTube.

Wait. Good news not so good after all. Evidently all is not fine in the world of the
fiver. But it appears the 'indestructible' £5 polymer notes can be over-used within
six months until the security holograms have rubbed away. Oh oops. Not so
indestructible after all, huh? Now the Bank of England has had to reneged on
their claims that the new bank notes could not be destroyed. Liquid nitrogen has
not been mentioned, but  "prolonged washing at high temperatures" has been –
by the Bank of England of course.

Taken from the wash, Big Ben hologram gone missing, while holograms on the
top and bottom of the notes had turned green. Police issued a warning saying
fake notes had been spotted in circulation.  A licence to print money then?


School Daze

OK. You knew it couldn’t last. The good news that is. The bad news surely does.
So. If you have children, you are aware that the government has created cuts to
spending on books and equipment as well as special educational needs
provisions over for the last few years. So. This year half the schools in England
have had to ask parents to hand over cash or to buy books, pencils, iPads. Half?
For how long? Curious that the Tory toffs continue their stratagem to keep those
inconvenient peasants educated. Curious that. A Department for Education
spokeswoman said: “We will continue to help [schools] use their funding in post-
effective ways.” She reassured us that parents were not obligated to make
‘contributions’. Right. So your children will have no pencils. Oh and they need to
wear their coats and hats because some schools can’t afford to turn on the heart.

Let’s enjoy conspiracy theories for a minute. Now the government has increased
student debts from 4.6 per cent to 6.1 per cent. Thus adding thousands more –
annual fees reaching £9,250. And why would they do this you might ask? So
that those from low-income backgrounds could be left with a £50,000 debt? Oh
surely not. Could the toffs

Shadow Education Secretary, Angela Rayner said: “The Tories have already
trebled fees and slashed maintenance grants, leaving our student facing the
highest levels of graduate debt in the world.”

And then there are those changes in the visa system aren’t there? British
university benefit by £11 billion a year from those unwelcome, unwanted
foreigners. Not for long. Clever those Tories.


I Am Enough

Is this good news or bad news? Do we care? No is the answer. Harry’s love
obsession, American actress Meghan Markle has given up her life-style website.
Oh no. Oh yes. Not appropriate for a future addition to the royals? Hmmm. Her
look-alike, Pippa, tried it, sharing her incredibly naff lifestyle ideas. I will spare
you any r
epetition of them as they are so cringe-making, you would not
appreciate it. So I’ll leave it to MM. The same who told you to always keep a
“bottle of bubbles” ready at all times. Oh dear. Oh dear. “Keep being ‘the change
you wish to see the world’. Above all, don’t ever forget your worth- as I’ve told
you time and time again: you are enough.” Is that James Blunt in the
background – you know – You’re Beautiful’? Help!

She really wrote this apparently. Oh dear. Oh dear. It clearly speaks for itself
and it is – just shockingly arrogant and pathetic. Can we assume she has a
stack of ‘self-help’ books by her bed? Think and Grow Rich? Possibly not quite
so appropriate that one. Unlimited Power… You Are a Badass: How to Stop
Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living….

MM is planning to start her own charity (once she moves into Kensington Palace
presumable). As you do. A source (don’t you ever wonder who these ‘sources’
are exactly?) said: “With Harry beside her, she’s confident she would be able to
have the right kind of backing to support her. Obviously he has friends in high
places and, although she’s adamant she wants this to be solely her project
,
Meghan realises he will be able to initially help. Harry’s got tons of experience
working with UNICEF, so he thinks it’s a great idea for Meghan and will provide
with all the help she needs.” Indeed. MM ‘campaigned to make the world a better
place and says she would give her last $10 “to someone who needed it more”’.
Bless.

Ingrid Seward, editor of Majesty magazine, offered career advice. She believes
this to be a clever ploy – I mean plan. “Harry and Meghan’s backgrounds are so
different; they are from other planets. Obviously, a major charity role would be a
smart move for her. I think Meghan is pretty career savvy and that will work in
her favour. But Angelina has worked tirelessly for years to get that UN
ambassador role. I don’t think it will drop from heaven for Meghan.” Perhaps not
heaven, possibly from a turret.

Before meeting Harry, MM had pushed to land her own cooking show on US TV.
Let’s leave it there….
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