Now that sugar has turned out to be so lethal, even when completely hidden inside a cream scone (pronounced scone) a ray of sunshine comes along to warm our sweet-toothed despair.
Experts from the Institute of Nutritional Flagellation (INF) have produced a report claiming that after
extensive studies, there is a safe food for humans.
However, the INF boffins warn that
this most welcome finding doesn’t mean you should rush out and gather a snack of
lawn clippings. Their advice is that harvested grass must be washed and
pasteurised before it is safe to eat. Major supermarket chains are
expected to market ready to eat packs of fresh or dried grass.
According to the INF, dried grass, or “hay” as it was often called in the past,
may be reconstituted simply by adding boiling water to make a lo-cal broth.
Numerous grass recipes are being devised by official health
experts, but my favourite is a thick and juicy seared grass-steak devised by
our unhealthy ancestors and still enjoyed today.
Take one calf, fatten it up on lots of nutritious grass, kill
it, hang the carcase for twenty eight days then cook and eat the steaky bits.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un laughing with female pilots as he
inspects the Korean People's Army (KPA) Air and Anti-Air Force Unit
North Koreans must trudge off to the polls on Sunday. They have to elect members for the Supreme People's Assembly. They don't choose between candidates as there is only one per district. The vote is merely Yes or No and guess which is the more advisable.
As the SPA is purely a rubber-stamp assembly, these elections seem to be aimed at checking the entire population via periodic mass mobilisations. Jerking the strings to see which ones are broken I suppose. It also provides outsiders with clues as to who is favoured by the regime and who is not.
“When officials are not renominated, this points to them falling out of favour,” said Andrei Lankov, a professor at Kookmin University in South Korea. “The sudden appearance of a new person points to the opposite.”
“To the best of my knowledge,” he said, “not a single SPA member has ever voted against a bill or motion introduced by the government.”
They have been called low information
voters or LIVs, people who vote but know next to nothing about political
trends, issues or possibilities. People who don’t even know the names of major
cabinet ministers or the role of the EU in making UK law.
Yet they vote.
In my view and no doubt quite a few others, the main
function of the EU has been to sideline all voters simply because the governing
classes regard us as too thick and politically idle to be allowed into policy-making.
Whatever its original purpose, the EU clearly intends to
sweep away the untidiness of democracy and smarten things up with a makeover of
professional policy-makers. Nothing must be left to chance or the whim of voters
in the fanatical pursuit of extreme, micro-managed political tidiness.
Anarchy is the enemy
of liberty, and so, at its highest pitch, is mechanical efficiency. The good
life can be lived only in a society where tidiness is preached and practised,
but not too fanatically, and where efficiency is always haloed, as it were, by
a tolerated aura of mess.
We used to refer to extreme political tidiness as fascism, communism, totalitarianism or
whatever. Take your ideological pick. Soft
fascism melds well with modern trends.
Whatever we choose to call it, the EU has created a
situation where the main function of national politicians is the covert implementation
of EU policy. This leaves them plenty of spare time to waffle their way through
faux public debates on unimportant, preferably non-EU issues.
So is democracy worth saving and is UKIP the party to give
it the kiss of life here in the UK?
Well UKIP is hardly likely to resolve the LIV issue even if
against all the odds it makes inroads into EU domination. So we may as well face the possibility that LIVs
don’t give a toss about democratic principles because they don’t analyse
political issues beyond their own superficial and largely inflexible
It takes a lot to shift us out of our comfort zones because
here in the early twenty first century those zones are voluptuously comfortable.
Especially when compared to living standards of only a few generations ago.
We don’t take to the streets, agitate for general strikes
or vote for a dwindling number of folk who actually want to make democracy work.
Life is simply too comfortable to be bothered with all that reading and thinking
So LIVs vote for the mainstream every time. Democracy is on
the way out and what the future will usher in as its replacement is not easily guessed
at. The change will be slow though, so LIVs won’t notice until it is too late.
Maybe it’s too late already and UKIP is no longer relevant
apart from being a repository for protest votes – but LIVs don’t do protest
Do you count yourself as lucky? I do, but I suppose it mostly depends on the
comparisons we make or fail to make.
I was lucky in all kinds of obvious ways from the time and country
of my birth onward. In the developed world there are millions of us living our
comfortable lives with worries previous generations would have treated to a tubercular
splutter of disbelief.
We have our ups and downs of course, but materially most of us
are lucky. We have our personal tragedies too because death comes to all and is
so often untimely or painful. Yet in spite of the omnipotence of death we are
lucky compared to earlier generations.
So are some people more lucky than others? David Cameron was
born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, but do we count this as
luck? I think we do.
What about Blair? Bonkers in my view, but lucky enough to
be charming in a way I’ve never quite fathomed. Maybe if I’d met him I’d know.
I’m sure luck plays a major part in our lives. I’m lucky to
have made a reasonable career decision when I discovered I was passably good at
chemistry. I could have given chemistry a miss and opted for something with deeper
appeal, but I didn’t yet the choice turned out reasonably well.
However I wasn’t well equipped to make the choice anyway – there
was a hefty element of luck. Maybe my parents buying me a chemistry set for
Christmas had a hand in it. A proper fifties chemistry set it was too, one
where you could discover the combustible delights of sulphur and iron filings.
The books and comics of the time were stimulating too and my
parents believed strongly in the educational value of regular reading.
Another stroke of luck – I was born at a time when books were available to
borrow free of charge from public libraries.
Looping back to political careers - are politicians such as
Cameron and Blair talented, lucky or a bit of both? Which is the more powerful
asset? Impossible to say of course, but I think with a enough talent,
politicians are often able to twist lady luck around their little fingers.
Doesn’t say much for the present lot though does it?