Tuesday, 26 May 2020

A headline and a picture

Two stories both from Sky - here and here. Of course it isn't the public Cummings has to worry about, but the mainstream media who did so much to foster this mess.  

Monday, 25 May 2020



by Chris Wevers - licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Wrentham, with the promise of a try-out later, rode with Travers and saw the countryside through the screen and along the sinister radiator of the long Isotta.

“The fact of the matter is,” said Travers, “you want to drive the Isotta. You’ve been itching to break your neck ever since you clapped eyes on the damn thing.” 

Christopher Bush - Murder at Fenwold (1930)

“What’s an Isotta?” I asked myself while reading this Golden Age detective story. Not being a car buff I didn’t know and initially a picture of the Isetta popped into my mind. Nope - wrong era but a quick web search brought up a more appropriate image.

Blimey - what a car. Makes the story far more interesting if I imagine myself zooming along country lanes in one of those, puffing casually on my pipe while solving the mystery with careless aplomb.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

The great spearmint issue

Mrs H and I drink a few herbal tea concoctions as pleasant alternatives to the endless tea and coffee of our parents’ generation. We don’t touch the soft drinks many folk seem so keen on.

One of our favourites is camomile tea but recently I managed to cock up a purchase and ended with camomile and spearmint tea. Disappointing but I tried it and to my surprise rather enjoyed it. But there is a problem. I can’t smell or drink the stuff without being reminded of spearmint flavoured chewing gum I last chewed about sixty years ago. Some gum was peppermint flavour, but some of it was spearmint and that’s the one I associate so firmly with chewing gum.

I suppose flavour and aroma memories have to be extremely durable from a survival point of view. It is obviously a good idea to remember safe tastes and smells, but I wish I could tone down the spearmint chewing gum link.

Anatomy of an unperson

The prime minister's chief aide Dominic Cummings is facing fresh allegations that he breached lockdown rules.

He and the government had said he acted "reasonably and legally" by driving from London to County Durham while his wife had coronavirus symptoms.

But The Observer and Sunday Mirror are now reporting he was seen in the North East on two more occasions, after recovering from his own Covid-19 symptoms and returning to work in London.

No 10 said the story is "inaccurate".

Downing Street has also denied that police spoke with family members of Mr Cummings "about this matter".

But Durham Police insist their officers spoke to Mr Cummings' father, who confirmed that his son had travelled with his family from London.

Labour has called for an urgent inquiry into the allegations.

The media seem to have picked up on the idea that Dominic Cummings is to become an unperson. As far as the establishment is concerned, his three great faults are that he is hostile, clever and independent. He maybe have a fourth fault - but whisper it softly - he may be a lateral thinker.

To my mind he hasn’t done much to demonstrate these characteristics to any outstanding degree, but the establishment is acutely sensitive on these matters so the idiot lockdown rules are to be used to damage him if at all possible.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

For reasons to himself best known


He that complies against his will,
Is of his own opinion still; 
Which he may adhere to, yet disown, 
For reasons to himself best known:

Samuel Butler - Hudibras (1684)

Although in Biden's case I suspect he has no idea why he said what he said and is quite ready to disagree with himself as often as seems necessary. 

Friday, 22 May 2020

Forward to the fifties

Anyone paying attention over the past few decades must be aware that something ugly seems to be coming our way. Although the coronavirus debacle has no direct link to the climate game, flaky science and authoritarian bungling have obvious links to flaky climate science and authoritarian eco-bungling.

It has been clear for a long time that there is a settled global political intention to shackle democracy in the developed world in order to control and limit the ability of our ordinary citizens to consume. Primarily this is our ability to consume energy in the form of everything from electricity to fossil fuels to plastics, transport and all kinds of consumer goods.

A base level from which to assess the end point of this managed trend could be the nineteen fifties. No central heating, no car, no automatic washing machine, no dishwasher, no freezer nor any other appliance consuming more than a nominal wattage. Add to this limited air travel, limited holidays abroad and limited ability to travel long distances on the roads.

Feed in a few modern touches such as pervasive censorship and surveillance, intrusive control of health and diet, sweeten the pill with a digital fantasy world and and relentless propaganda and maybe we have a plausible glimpse of the future. More plausible than epidemiological models anyway.

Naturally these things are never explicitly spelled out but they have been obvious for years. The thinking behind the screw-the-West trend is equally obvious. A primary UN policy objective is equality, but it appears to hold the view that certain areas of the world will never achieve equality with the developed world. No prizes for guessing which areas they might be.

So global policy is for the developed world to be endlessly kicked in the nuts by a combination of loony bureaucracies, unhinged celebrities, flaky science and mad academics. A touch of evil seems to be in there too. Stir in a widespread Malthusian outlook that current living standards developed world are not sustainable and we’re done. We have a long-term global policy based around the severe reduction of developed world freedoms and living standards.

Yours and mine that is.

Not theirs.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Immeasurable loneliness

I noticed again the mystic charm of space, that imparts a sense of individual solitude to each integer of the densest constellation, involving the smallest star with immeasurable loneliness.

Bret Harte - A Lonely Ride (1871)

Maybe this is why we don't all become astronomers, fascinating though it is to stare up into a clear night sky. There is something else apart from the fascination, something almost overwhelming at times.