Sunday 31 July 2022

Pervasive silliness


Quite amusing I thought, but like many Monty Python sketches it went on for too long. Comedy silliness goes back a long way of course. Silent film slapstick for example - all those custard pie fights. Music hall showed comedy silliness too and no doubt slapstick has always been with us.

Yet it raises an obvious question - has comedy silliness become part of our culture to a greater extent than in the past? If it has, then maybe mass entertainment is the cause, but so much silliness seems to have spilled over into areas which are not supposed to be silly. 

Maybe comedy has to be silly and silliness is more fundamental and pervasive than we imagine.

Walking off cliffs

John Roberts has a piece in TCW on how we have become isolated from the natural world. I certainly have a strong sense of that when walking in the Derbyshire hills, strolling along the river Wye looking out for kingfishers or merely pulling up spuds in the garden.

There’s a wonderful grounding reality about the natural world. Gravity is all too real if you fall out of a window, and rain, wind and sunshine can make you feel wonderful or damage your health. Childbirth is both joyous and potentially fatal. Relationships can be enriching or toxic.

All this may sound obvious, but doesn’t seem to be for many of our fellow citizens who think that bad things shouldn’t and wouldn’t happen if the State took proper care of us which, of course, it promises to do: that voice of authority again.

This detachment from the real leads to living too much in the head. Your ideas, arguments, your emotions become the greater part of your reality. The constantly chattering voice in your brain becomes louder unless you can ground yourself. This is the default position for many and it can be dangerous. The signs are everywhere.

A familiar problem to many because the signs are everywhere, but the whole piece is worth reading. Roberts goes on to cover climate change, the recent pandemic mess and the weird lunacy that is woke culture.

It wouldn’t be so bad if these ideas stayed inside the head but they escape into the real world where they can have serious consequences: men in female prisons and hospital wards, and male athletes competing in women’s sports events for example. I have heard of midwives saying that a man can have a cervix. I suppose the beings in your head can have any anatomy you want. I’m just waiting for the day when gravity is seen as a Western construct and people start walking off cliffs.

Saturday 30 July 2022

Co-op v Lidl

We visited our nearest Lidl supermarket today. Haven’t been there since before lockdown, but today we decided to take a look round and maybe pick up a few bargains.

The last time we were there, a middle-aged chap with his own shopping basket filled it up, strolled through an unoccupied checkout and nipped off across the car park without the formality of paying. A checkout operator eventually spotted him, tried to give chase but was too late.

Sadly there was no such excitement today, but we did pick up a few cheap groceries. An interesting experience on the whole because it isn’t easy to see how the Co-op can survive in the face of a relentless focus on price we see at supermarkets such as Lidl. The Lidl car park was full. The Co-op car park is never full.

We rather like the Co-op and shop there for odds and ends, but how it survives I don’t know. Maybe one day we’ll find out that it can’t.

Attitudes change

Discharging firearms to the common danger is an offence, even if not a very serious one.

E.R. Punshon – The Dark Garden (1941)

It's a quote from a work of fiction of course, but here in the UK, the general attitude towards firearms does seem to have undergone a significant change almost within living memory. 

Firearms have always been taken seriously of course, but over time, what we regard as serious can change, as our general attitude to firearms seems to have changed. Or perhaps our attitude has been changed on our behalf and behavioural psychology does work.

Friday 29 July 2022

William on Rotters

“Of course he was a rotter. He was bound to end in the gutter sooner or later,” said Lawson. Philip was hurt because Lawson would not see the pity of it. Of course it was cause and effect, but in the necessity with which one follows the other lay all tragedy of life.

William Somerset Maugham - Of Human Bondage (1915)

As we know, rotters rarely end up in the gutter these days. Maybe that's a pity, but now we have other pressures which loom just as large as the spectre of the gutter. They govern our lives just as tightly as the proximity of the gutter ever did. Intrusive health advice, political correctness and our inability to tell it as it is in public life are just three aspects of the problem. We aren’t even rotters – well most of us aren’t.

One outcome of fanatical anti-rotter overreach is the recent attempt to select a Conservative party leader. One requirement is a name already well enough known as a non-rotter. Another is a clear break with the previous incumbent who did perhaps have a faint, rotter-like aura. Another is… but there a quite a few little restrictive caveats likely to give us a Prime Minister nobody would have elected given a better choice.

We don’t want a full-on rotter perhaps, but going too far the other way… at least the ability to be a rotter in the right circumstances… that could be useful.

Rob Hersov on South Africa


I've posted two videos in a row here, which I usually avoid but this is an interesting and unusually forceful speech given by billionaire Rob Hersov last year. It concerns the continuing problem of South African corruption and what can be done about it. 

Thursday 28 July 2022

A Plan Is Not a Strategy


Not my usual area of interest, but I like the clarity of this distinction and it is something most people must have encountered during their working lives.

Catastrophically Normal

Last year's weather signals changing climate even though it was unremarkable, Met Office says

Though hardly remarkable overall, 2021 still recorded significant extreme events, including a new temperature record in Northern Ireland in July and exceptional rain in October.

There was nothing exceptional about the weather overall in 2021 in the context of climate change, according to the Met Office...

Yet it was only "unremarkable" because "our perception of what is normal is changing as our climate changes", the Met Office's Mike Kendon said.

Looking out of the window I immediately noticed how suspiciously dull and cloudy it is out there in dangerously normal Derbyshire. Worryingly mild too and I can't see the smoke from a single wildfire. That in itself is a cause for concern. 

The air is horribly still as if a deadly breeze is lurking somewhere in the vicinity of Matlock. Given the slightest atmospheric disturbance, it could waft down the A6 and on through Belper leaving a dreadful trail of nicely dried washing fluttering in its wake. I see we'll just have to sit it out and hope for the best.

Wednesday 27 July 2022

Which party would make most effort to lose?

UK energy bills forecast to hit £3,850 as Russia cuts gas supply further

British households face being told shortly before Christmas to brace for annual energy bills of £3,850, three times what they were paying at the start of 2022, after Russia further squeezed Europe’s gas supplies.

Consumers were also warned that annual charges of more than £3,500 a year, or £300 a month, could become the norm “well into 2024”.

If the next Prime Minister were to call a general election immediately after enthronement, we could end up with a most interesting situation. 

The two main parties are unlikely to relish explaining such enormous energy bills and the inevitable hardship stories. It could become very grisly indeed and more importantly, very politically destructive. 'Poisoned chalice' hardly begins to describe it.

In which case, which losing strategies are the main parties likely to adopt for the election? They both have MPs who would do a fine job of losing support if thrust to the front of the campaign so maybe that's all they need to do. 

Both parties would thoroughly understand the need to lose, so it's a finely balanced strategic question this one. Could go either way.

The Desert

A Solid Man. One who is finds no satisfaction in those that are not. ’Tis a pitiable eminence that is not well founded. Not all are men that seem to be so. Some are sources of deceit; impregnated by chimeras they give birth to impositions. Others are like them so far that they take more pleasure in a lie, because it promises much, than in the truth, because it performs little. But in the end these caprices come to a bad end, for they have no solid foundation. Only Truth can give true reputation: only reality can be of real profit. One deceit needs many others, and so the whole house is built in the air and must soon come to the ground. Unfounded things never reach old age. They promise too much to be much trusted, just as that cannot be true which proves too much.

Baltasar Gracián - The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

One deceit needs many others, and so the whole house is built in the air and must soon come to the ground. This is the slippery slope which so many moral lessons have taught but we still pretend it isn’t a slope and it isn’t slippery.

They promise too much to be much trusted, just as that cannot be true which proves too much. Climate change long-term forecasts promise too much to be trusted. A settled science cannot be true as it proves too much. The lessons are not new.

But in the end these caprices come to a bad end, for they have no solid foundation. Political caprices such as… oh I don’t know… wind turbines as replacements for Russian gas perhaps. Gender politics as a replacement for human biology.

Unreality is a desert. The great spark of life, the marvellously infinite cascade of reasons why things are as they are – all is absent. It is not even akin to a deserted village where weeds gradually choke the streets and a chill wind moans around crumbling walls and broken windows. Not even that, but a desert where nothing well-founded can grow and Unfounded things never reach old age. 

Tuesday 26 July 2022

Pavement Parking

Wandsworth crash: Mum ran over children on pavement outside school

A car being driven by a mother of two crashed into a tree and a wall before hitting a group of primary school children, a court has heard.

On 8 September 2020, 39-year-old Dolly Rincon-Aguilar mounted the pavement in her 4X4 and struck several pupils and parents, Kingston Crown Court heard.

Unintentional apparently, but the story reminds me of our school run and the road where Granddaughter’s school is. As usual in such situations, each weekday morning this road becomes temporarily crammed with cars being used to take kids to school.

Many parents park with two wheels on the pavement even though the width of the road dictates that it can’t make much difference to traffic flows or the risk to wing mirrors. As if many drivers think this is how parking is done on public roads anyway.

A surprising number lurch onto the pavement knowing there are many young children around. Once parked, another surprising number open the doors on the driver’s side, decanting their kids into the road. 

No accidents so far and I don’t think the risks are severe, but the risks are certainly higher than they could be without any extra effort by drivers. It’s all very odd, as if habit has a far greater hold over us than thinking ever does.

Seems appropriate

Fossil named after Sir David Attenborough ‘is first animal predator’

The fossil of the earliest known animal predator has been named after Sir David Attenborough.

The 560-million-year-old specimen is the first of its kind, and is thought to be the earliest creature to have a skeleton, researchers say.

Called Auroralumina attenboroughii, it was found in Charnwood Forest, near Leicester – a city with which Sir David has long established links.

Monday 25 July 2022

The EU’s appetite for power

Andrew Tettenborn has an interesting piece in The Critic. He compares the constitutionally dubious nature of Roe v. Wade with attempts by the EU to impose social policies on member states, citing two lawsuits against Hungary and Poland.

The EU’s appetite for power
What has Europe learned from Roe v Wade?

…the real beneficiary of the new Supreme Court decision was American democracy. The kritarchy, or rule of judges, under which matters of vital social policy had been steadily removed from elected governments to nine wise men and women in DC on the basis of inference piled on tendentious inference about the meaning of the Constitution, had been overthrown.

What is interesting is that while the US is increasing the role of democracy and cutting back on one-size-fits all centrism, Europe, or rather the EU, is discreetly seeking to move the other way. Not on abortion (at least yet, on which see more below) but on social policy more generally.

There is little doubt that Brussels wants to constitutionalise many issues and take control away from state governments, imposing a more uniform approach decided at the centre by a combination of the European Commission and the European Court of Justice. A couple of lawsuits announced last week by the European Commission against two of its own member states provide a good indication of the way things are moving.

The whole piece is worth reading as yet another indication that the EU is in an internal expansionist phase which show no sign whatever of reaching some kind of plateau. We may take it that subsidiarity was never a rule of the Brussels game.

There is little doubt that Brussels wants to constitutionalise many issues and take control away from state governments, imposing a more uniform approach decided at the centre by a combination of the European Commission and the European Court of Justice. A couple of lawsuits announced last week by the European Commission against two of its own member states provide a good indication of the way things are moving.

Tragic but not a surprise

Man riding e-scooter killed after collision with car in London

Police were called by the London Ambulance Service around 5.40pm on Sunday to Tower Hamlets to reports of a collision involving a car and an e-scooter. The driver of the car, a blue Kia, failed to stop at the scene.

We see more and more of these scooters zooming around on roads and pavements.  With dark clothing and no helmet, riders don't seem to be aware that they are visually small and not not easily spotted by other, much bigger road users. They seem to be good at appearing unexpectedly too. 

Sunday 24 July 2022

Another form of lying


A form of lying

Climate change: First bill written by children on climate education

Children should be taught climate change in more depth and in all subjects, experts and students themselves have told BBC News.

Current teaching is leaving children unprepared to live in a warming world, they warn.

There’ll never be a Utopia, and it’s only a form of lying to set such ideals before the multitude.

George Gissing - Denzil Quarrier (1892)

It's an argument we could easily make about the climate narrative - behind it is just another Utopia. In this respect it isn't even new, just an old fantasy dressed up in new lies. Teaching the lies to children, even that isn't new.  

Saturday 23 July 2022

A fundamental Tory problem

Helen Dale has an interesting CAPX piece on Tory problems with gender issues.

Earlier this week the philosopher Kathleen Stock waded into the national press to talk about Tories and our troubled relationship with transgender issues, using Penny Mordaunt’s tilt for the top job as commentary fuel.

For Stock, the Tories’ flapping around on gender issues demonstrates ‘a special kind of indifference to half the population’, which she ascribes to a ‘hidden ideological commitment’ to individualism. She also suggests that the many Tory MPs who do oppose self-ID are motivated by ‘opportunism and cultural warmongering’, rather than concern about women...

Contrary to Stock’s argument, it is emphatically not because Tories are indifferent to women or planned to use trans as an issue with which we can wedge Labour (although we’ll take the latter as a present). It is because most Tories think both gender self-identification and feminism are nonsense.

Probably so because it has been obvious for years that there are problems with the conventionally uncritical view of men and women in politics and the workplace. It isn't going smoothly and the reasons are too fundamental to be avoided forever.

Women are female homo sapiens. The notion that women have no statistically significant, systemic character flaws is nonsense.

Two of the biggest problems when it comes to forming decent, functional, social orders are male violence and male sexual incontinence. The victims, and even more the perpetrators of violence, are overwhelmingly male. A Swedish study found that 1% of adults generated 63% of all violent offences. But that 1% was itself almost 90% male. Males also overwhelmingly dominate sexual offenders, with a similar skewed pattern. Violent crime is a sex-based power-law on steroids.

Thanks to the movement of women into the professions, into creation of culture (women have always been important in its transmission), into management, politics, and media, we are now confronted with a new problem for sustaining functional social orders. Female emotional incontinence, what one old Tory friend calls ‘the blubbering woman problem’.

Women are systematically more hostile to freedom of speech than are men. As institutions, including universities, have become more feminised,
they have become more hostile to freedom of expression and thought.

And faced as we are with national and global totalitarian trends, freedom of expression and thought are not optional. They are not nice to have, they are must have or we lose the ability to sustain what previous generations passed on to us.

Assuming she's sober...


Friday 22 July 2022

How to be shown things

I realized that there were certain sections of my education that had been neglected. How to be shown things and make appropriate comments seems to be an art in itself. I don’t possess it.

Stephen Leacock - Sorrows of a Summer Guest (1925)

I don't possess it either.

We bought the dining table and chairs separately but we think they go so well together. Well I've just about managed to squeeze my knees under the table.

We saw it in a little shop by the quay and just had to buy it because we knew exactly where we wished to hang it. It makes a statement don't you think? Unfortunately it does.

In the end we went for the two litre rather than mess around with anything smaller. It has a bit more poke when you need it. Just like your previous car.

Media World

Media World is an entirely imaginary world where everything is dominated by the mainstream mass media. In Media World we have -

Media government
Media politics
Media culture
Media freedoms
Media science
Media art
Media history
Media language
Media health
Media news
Media celebrities
Media opinions
Media comedy
Media memes
Media sport
Media music
Media movies  
Media entertainment
Media food
Media education
Media travel
Media transport
Media holiday destinations
Media fashions
Media style
Nothing to see here – move on (a Media World boundary).

Thursday 21 July 2022

The pointed cap with the golden bells

After all, folly is the great attribute of man. No judge is as grave as an owl; no soldier fighting for his country flies as rapidly as the hare. You may be strong, but you are not so strong as a horse; you may be gluttonous, but you cannot eat like a boa-constrictor. But there is no beast that can be as foolish as man. And since one should always do what one can do best—be foolish. Strive for folly above all things. Let the height of your ambition be the pointed cap with the golden bells.

W. Somerset Maugham - Orientations (1899)

Extreme weather is Earth's 'chorus of anguish', Pope says

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) -Pope Francis on Thursday called on world leaders to heed the Earth's "chorus of cries of anguish" stemming from climate change, extreme weather and loss of biodiversity.

In a message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, he urged nations to confront climate change with the same attention as global challenges like wars and health crises, saying global warming hurts poor and indigenous populations the most.

Francis said rich countries have an "ecological debt" because it is they who have caused the most environmental pollution over the past two centuries, marring nature's song.

A Guinea Pig

US President Joe Biden tests positive for COVID, experiencing 'very mild symptoms'

The 79-year-old is fully vaccinated and has received two booster shots. The White House says he is now taking anti-viral treatment, Paxlovid.

Canadians are Fleeing with their Wealth


An interesting chap this. He is of course mainly speaking to people who understand the risks of being wedded to one jurisdiction and wealthy enough to do something about it. I particularly like his point about how quickly things can change in any jurisdiction. As we know.

Momentary Perspectives

One of the problems we have is how vigorously to express points of view, especially to ourselves. Sceptics are sceptical listeners and may even be sceptical about their own language, the ways they describe their own points of view to themselves.

For sceptics, caveats and uncertainties get in the way of strongly overarching political viewpoints. Yet in some circumstances, caveats and uncertainties may dilute a level of overarching vehemence which is not always inappropriate.

For example, to accuse MPs of being stupid is always likely to be an oversimplification, but not necessarily inappropriate as the response of the moment. It’s not the whole story, but much of what they do is unambiguously stupid.

Another example. Mainstream media are only interested in stories suited to their media business, not the veracity of the stories. Veracity counts for nothing if the story is otherwise publishable. The climate narrative generates an endless supply of untrue but publishable stories - so they are published. Misleading, unscientific or downright false – doesn’t particularly matter. Not the whole story when it comes to mainstream media but sometimes worth saying.

Here in the UK we have a topical search for a political leader which could be described in many ways. At this time we could say that the role is essentially the role of a stooge. It is the public face of a clearing house for lobbyists and pressure groups. Nothing to do with voters and not a leader in any meaningful sense. Not the whole story but…

State schools are creches, the NHS is a political booby prize for the little people, the BBC is a lobbyist for the interests of the upper middle classes and a failed experiment in responsible public broadcasting. Just miss out the caveats, it isn’t wholly inappropriate all the time.

Or we could say that part of the recent coronavirus debacle was an experiment to judge the widespread acceptance of severe travel restrictions required by Net Zero. Another part was a test of imposed mass medication as a cheaper approach to basic healthcare for the little people.

All oversimplified perspectives perhaps, but sometimes points of view have to be pitched more vigorously than sceptics tend to prefer. Yet that is a weakness too. We can’t escape some weakness all the time. Language isn’t like that. And MPs are sometimes stupid.

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Nothing to see

We whizzed off to Matlock for a short walk today. Set off with a few concerns about the recent killer heat bomb or whatever it’s called, because obviously we expected to encounter a number of distressing scenes.

For example, we thought we might come across stalled cars with folk inside who had sadly succumbed to the scary red blobs on Met Office maps. Didn’t see one though – quite surprising really. Air-conditioning must have worked I suppose. 

There were no dead fish floating belly-up down the river Derwent either. We stood on the bridge for a moment and had a good look but no – not one dead fish. No dead ducks on the boating pond either.

Just luck I suppose.

North Korean Cool

Ask a North Korean: How do North Koreans stay cool in the summer heat?

Air conditioners are not widespread in North Korea, and homes that have air conditioners cannot use them as they wish due to heavy restrictions and unstable electricity. Thus the most popular way to stay cool in North Korea is a solar-powered handheld fan — even if they blow (mostly) hot air.

Many North Koreans will seek relief from the heat by making lots of cold cucumber soup, a summer food that has been around for a long time. Cucumber is thought to cool the body and hydrate. Slicing cucumbers and adjusting the saltiness with soy sauce or salt is one method of replenishing moisture and salt lost through sweat.

We like cucumbers, so cold cucumber soup sounds reasonable for us. Must look up a recipe. I'm not so sure about the next idea though.

There is also another must-eat food for North Koreans who wish to pass the hottest summer days safely, which people in other countries might find difficult to understand — dog meat.

It is not difficult in North Korea to find a restaurant specializing in preparing and selling dog meat, and the delicacy is particularly popular in the summer. There is a saying: “If dog meat soup even just drips on the back of your foot you will be able to withstand the heat.”

A search for the golden mediocrity


Besides, Dick Whittington had in him from his birth the makings of a Lord Mayor—he had the golden mediocrity which is the surest harbinger of success.

Somerset Maugham - The Choice of Amyntas (1899)

Tuesday 19 July 2022

Somehow the difference isn't surprising

Gems and jewellery worth up to $100m stolen in heist on armoured van in California

The vehicle had been transporting the precious cargo between jewellery shows when it was robbed, authorities say.

Brandy Swanson, director of security company Brink's, which owned the van, said between 25 and 30 bags were taken, containing an unknown number of individual pieces.

Estimates of the value of the loot vary wildly, with 18 victims reporting more than $100m (£84.3m) in losses, while a Brink's spokesperson said the items were valued at less than $10m (£8.4m).

The Wrong Horoscope

'Landmark ruling' sees government's net-zero strategy ruled 'unlawful'

Campaigners said the "illegality" of the government's flagship climate change strategy was "a huge political embarrassment".

A landmark court judgment has ruled the UK government's net-zero strategy is in breach of the law - as it doesn't explain how targets will be met.

It sounds as if there was a climate horoscope mix-up here. It’s hard to say exactly what went wrong, but it may be something to do with Mercury mincing into the wrong Quadrant.

Don’t whisper it within the astral plane before take-off, but there is also a rumour going round that the Minister intoned the Twelve Carbon Mantras in the wrong order while wearing odd socks. An unnamed but a very senior Master of Carbon Astrology thinks this could explain the current spell of hot weather.

Monday 18 July 2022

Nonsense used to have a certain charm

European bison arrive near Canterbury to manage woodland

Paul Whitfield, the director general of Wildwood Trust, said: "It's going to demonstrate the very real impact nature based solutions can have in solving the climate crisis.

"We're going to prove the impact bison in the wild can have on the environment.

"They will create an explosion of biodiversity and build habitat resilience, locking in carbon to help reduce global temperature rise."

Presumably the 'proof' would be a detectable change in global temperatures directly attributable to the Kent bison. But -

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “
which is to be master – – that’s all.”

Lewis Carroll - Alice Through The Looking Glass (1871)

Net Zero for otters

"It is not at all an easy thing to shoot an otter," said the parson, a dear lover of the rod and gun; "but if you have an otter here, he will harry your trout dreadfully. The only way to get a shot is to lie hid for hours. Nous would do more harm than good, freely as he takes the water. But, Arthur, you understand all that. I am sure that you are an old sportsman."

R.D. Blackmore - Christowell. A Dartmoor Tale (1882)

Different world, different imperatives. Otters competing with humans for food as well as spoiling the sport. Yet many people today seem to think their 'values' are immutable.

Sunday 17 July 2022

Neil Innes Protest Song


Pleasantly warm

It' a pleasantly warm day here in slightly cloudy Derbyshire so Mrs H and I whizzed off in the MX5 for breakfast at a local garden centre. The idea was to fill up early and cook as little as possible during the day. The only fly in the proverbial ointment has been the Mad People who seem to think we'll inadvertently go shopping in a padded walking jacket, heavy walking trousers and a woolly hat.

Fortunately we managed to think things through and wore light summer clothing.

As usual in these conditions.

Like everyone else.

Unfortunately this short but warm spell has arrived in time for the Mad People to shove Net Zero at our new Prime Minister. The usual suspects must be lining up already, which does make a chap wonder if there is an official instruction booklet for Prime Ministers. 

A booklet of things Prime Ministers can do and mostly cannot do. Things they should not expect to achieve, levers of power which don't actually exist, scripts they may find useful, scripts they must read, learn and inwardly digest. It certainly feels that way.

Saturday 16 July 2022

Beware the crisis crisis

Tim Dawson has a piece in the Critic on our corrosive crisis culture, something we all understand and probably deplore, yet it still dominates the public arena.

Beware the crisis crisis
Constant catastrophism is destroying our brains

We live in a crisis culture. Everything, we are told, is in crisis. Climate crisis. Covid crisis. NHS crisis. Economic crisis, obesity crisis, housing crisis. Education crisis. Energy crisis, population crisis. Cost of living crisis. Prison crisis. Migration crisis. Constitutional crisis. No wonder there’s a mental health crisis. The alcohol crisis is just people trying to stay sane.

It is worth reading the whole thing even though it is a familiar issue, because as Dawson says - 

Journalists and politicians might be initiators of this madness, but they are victims of it, too. They, along with the rest of us, sit like spectators in Roman amphitheatres, guzzling booze and baying for blood — caught in a world which encourages anger and catastrophisation to keep the wheels of its consciousness spinning.

Is it addictive? For some people it certainly seems to be.

It is, all of it, seriously bad for us. I speak from personal experience. I, like so many others, have found myself glued to Twitter, scrolling endlessly through the frenetic psycho-gunk, unable to resist saying something inflammatory. Back when I used to drink like a sailor, or a Tory SpAd, the urge to engage became almost uncontrollable. These days I try to ignore the platform, but it still pulls me back. I log in, like a desperate addict seeking one last fix, and soon find myself sucked into its vortex of self-generated crisis and despair.

Why is Starbucks closing stores ?


This guy is right - there is a funny side to this. Grim but funny too. Oddly enough, a Guardian report on the story doesn't mention crime. Must have slipped their minds that criminal activity necessarily involves crime. It's what we call an essential feature.

Starbucks says it will close 16 US stores out of concern for employee safety

Executives say the coffee giant’s stores were not immune to problems related to mental health and drug use

Friday 15 July 2022

The Abandoned Mam Tor Road


It's remarkable how long it took to abandon a project which couldn't work. Reminds me of a few other projects - much bigger ones. 

Mam Tor is a 517 m (1,696 ft) hill near Castleton in the High Peak of Derbyshire, England. Its name means "mother hill", so called because frequent landslips on its eastern face have resulted in a multitude of "mini-hills" beneath it. These landslips, which are caused by unstable lower layers of shale, also give the hill its alternative name of Shivering Mountain.

Nudge Nudge Nudge

Men under 40 shouldn't have more than a shot glass of beer per day, new study suggests

The researchers called for stronger guidance to warn younger adults of the health dangers posed by drinking and said there should be tailored alcohol guidance to depend on a person's age and where they live in the world.

Modern life eh? Nudge, nudge, nudge...   

Thursday 14 July 2022

Drowning in pap

Yesterday was a busy day. Lots of this and that, lots of interruptions, although we did manage to nip out for a coffee. Derby rush-hour found me sitting in a car dealership waiting-room while our evil fossil fuel transport was serviced.

On the waiting area wall, a large TV showed live Sky news reporting on the whittling down of Tory leadership candidates. What surprised me slightly was the realisation that it must be a long time since I last watched TV news. It isn’t very good and not at all incisive. But you knew that.

The event was so gripping that I found myself counting the number of times a presenter said “er”. Came to about ten times a minute. She was struggling to inject some drama into the proceedings. They all tried to pump up the drama but without the benefit of incisive political reporting it was pretty well impossible. But they tried.

To this casual viewer, it wasn’t enough to go on and on about left and right and political support shifting from here to there and back again. There was no edge to it. When we consider the how inadequate our political classes are, how entangled they are in lunacy, dishonesty, global subservience and moral cowardice, how obvious it is that they are far from being the best we could have –

My overall impression was of a society drowning in pap. Not a new impression of course, but it did reinforce a familiar issue - mainstream pap won’t get us anywhere. Yet pap has a power all of its own which should not be underestimated. To many people, anything which strays too far from pap seems extreme. Stray too far and not enough people are listening. Mainstream pap is genuinely powerful.

The car was fine though. Derby rush-hour is best avoided.

Wednesday 13 July 2022

Missing Penny

CityA.M. has a piece on the ministerial elusiveness of Penny Mordaunt.

Exclusive: Penny Mordaunt savaged by trade colleagues who say she’s been ‘missing for months’

Top Tory leadership candidate Penny Mordaunt has been accused by senior Whitehall figures of neglecting her duties as a trade minister for the past six months, with one claiming “we’ve been a minister down for a long time”.

A senior source from the Department for International Trade (DIT) told City A.M. that other ministers had been forced to “work two jobs” due to Mordaunt, while adding that she had refused to go on several official trips to instead focus on her leadership campaign.

As we know, war has broken out on the Greasy Pole, and this piece is part of it. Worth reading as stories from the Greasy Pole often are, if only because they are so far removed from real life.

Tuesday 12 July 2022

Slow-Down Wales

Speed limit to be lowered to 20mph in Wales

Speed limits in built-up areas look set to be reduced from 30mph to 20mph in Wales from next year - a UK first that is controversial among some drivers.

Ministers say a 20mph speed limit will lower road collisions and traffic noise and encourage people to walk and cycle...

Latest police data shows the largest proportion - exactly half - of the 5,570 people hurt in collisions in Wales happened on 30mph roads.

The statistics also show that of the 1,131 people killed or seriously injured on Welsh roads in 2018, 40% of the incidents happened in 30mph zones.

It's interesting that this is tagged by the BBC as a climate change article. The key words are obvious enough - encourage people to walk and cycle.

Bad Penny

In The Critic, Josephine Bartosch has a useful reminder of how tenaciously woke Penny Mordaunt can be when it suits her agenda and how dishonest when it doesn't. It's also a reminder of how desperately poor our political choices are. But we knew that.

Even a battle-aged jihadi could be forgiven for allowing a tear to roll down his bearded cheek after watching Penny Mordaunt’s campaign video. On Sunday, the prime ministerial hopeful launched a leadership bid with all the patriotic bluster of a Hovis-advert...

The implicit message of her campaign is that unlike the feckless, morally-challenged incumbent, the Minister of State for Trade and member for Portsmouth North is an upstanding traditionalist with firm British values. To this end, even before announcing her intention to run, Mordaunt sought to fend off accusations of being on the “woke wing” of the party.

But until Johnson’s belated announcement of his departure, Mordaunt was widely understood to be an enthusiastically woke trans ally. In her then role as Minister for Women and Equalities, she pushed for reform of the Gender Recognition Act (2004) which would have potentially seen all safeguards removed for those wishing to change their legal gender.

Now of course she tries to play it down.

Consequently, as soon as there was a whisper of Mordaunt’s candidacy gender critical campaign group Conservatives for Women (CfW) dubbed her “a warrior for the trans lobby”. In response, Mordaunt complained, “Some want to damage my reputation for whatever reason. They want to depict me as ‘woke’.”...

Here, it seems she either shares the “poor memory” of Boris Johnson, or else his whimsical approach to the truth. In fact, she bitterly opposed the amendment. Those who pointed this out include The Critic’s own Christopher Montgomery, who noted, “Everyone who has followed these issues inside government knows that Penny Mordaunt fiercely resisted the absurd ‘pregnant person’ terminology being removed from this bill. And only caved when women in the Lords made her.”

Not unfamiliar, but it is worth reading the whole piece as a reminder of how absurd climbers of the greasy pole can be. Just another creep we might think, but who else is there?

Monday 11 July 2022

Impersonal processes have not left the room

It is worth considering the possibility that over the past few decades, focus in public discourse has shifted away from impersonal processes towards a much greater focus on people. Of course this is an endlessly subtle distinction, but maybe one worth making as the possible root of a number of serious current problem.

To take just one familiar and superficially trivial example bound up in our ‘prizes for all’ culture. Gullible folk are now more likely to be told that they are beautiful, unique, strong or empowered, to be told ‘just be yourself’ or ‘you can be whoever you want’ which isn’t even true, but that doesn’t seem to matter. Or it could be any one of numerous similar platitudes.

We’ve seen something related to that in the grandkids’ school sports where nobody really loses and nobody really wins. It still generates a certain amount of enthusiasm because kids love running around, but they don’t quite confront the impersonal lottery of life where people discover the natural advantages they have and those they don’t.

To take another familiar example. The global climate has become the responsibility of people rather than a huge complex of impersonal processes. A shift in focus rather than an absolute shift of course, but clear enough. Ludicrous finger-pointing takes the stage.

To take another familiar example. Gender has become the responsibility of the individual person rather than the evolved, impersonal processes of human biology. Another example where finger-pointing takes the stage. Not a coincidence perhaps.

To take another familiar but much wider and more serious example. Truth has tended to become the exclusive responsibility of people we call experts rather than the effective elucidation of impersonal processes. There is surely a significant risk that here lies our approaching nemesis – impersonal processes are armed with consequences.

Got it in one

A very short post this one, but Mrs H simply dismisses Rishi Sunak as a 'snake'. 

Got it in one I'd say.

Fantasy Expert Speaks Out

Labour leader Keir Starmer criticises Conservative leadership contenders for using 'fantasy economics'

Many of the Conservative leadership contenders have pledged to cut taxes if they are successful, but Mr Starmer is set to claim billions of pounds worth of the commitments made are unfunded.

It's a bit rich coming from an apologist for the fantasy gender game. Politics may be a fantasy-mongers playground but fantasy genders are pushing even that boundary. 

Come on Sir Keir - say something interesting to amuse us on a hot day.

Sunday 10 July 2022

Embed critical thinking

Comment Central has an earnest but uninspiring piece on the problem of fake news. 

Embed critical thinking to protect against fake news

Following the publication of a report into how we access information, Jane Harley writes that it is crucial to embed critical thinking to ensure we can differentiate between real and fake news.

With a growing number of sources to consult, from traditional books and academic journals to search engines, newspaper websites, and of course social media, it's fair to say differentiating between fact and fiction is harder than ever. Added to that, the unprecedented events of the last two years have immeasurably changed the way we consume news and media, bringing the debate around misinformation into sharp focus.

Okay, let's embed critical thinking, although adults should have done that already and older adults should have done it a long time ago. Critical of what though? 

What's reassuring is that, despite most of us logging on to seek out new knowledge, after two years' exposure to scientists and academics talking about COVID-19, we still rely on experts when it comes to deciding what is credible or otherwise. Of those surveyed, almost eight in 10 (79 per cent) said they saw universities and academic institutions having an important role in helping them to differentiate between fact and fiction, while almost half (48 per cent) said they were confident something was truthful when it was backed up by relevant experts.

Avoids the familiar and fundamental problem - how to choose those relevant experts. 48 per cent is an interestingly low figure though. A reader's comment is worth adding here.

Of those surveyed, almost eight in 10 (79 per cent) said they saw universities and academic institutions having an important role in helping them to differentiate between fact and fiction

Really? Universities? The home of cancel culture, restricting free speech, social ‘sciences’ trying to take over from actual science, obsessions with identity politics - I wouldn’t trust them as far as I could throw them.

A good rule of thumb for trusting the UK media: trust anything right-wing that the Guardian says, trust anything left-wing that the Daily Mail says, and trust nothing the BBC says.

Saturday 9 July 2022

Something must be done

It's a lovely day here in Derbyshire, but too warm to get much done, so we’ve had a pretty idle time loafing in the garden. There was nothing we really had to do unlike wannabe Prime Ministers who now have to be seen running around like maniacs. They must be used to creating the appearance of constant activity though. Part of the job.

Something must be done is perhaps the only political driver which reaches the public arena. Something mustn’t be done is usually the best response, but a key job of politicians is to make sure that one isn’t aired at all. It wouldn’t give meddlesome people anything to do and that includes the governing bureaucracy as well as the political class.

In which case, political activity requires a state of affairs which is not satisfactory so something must be done can be made to seem like the natural response. It also requires a certain lack of clarity about what could be done. To maximise meddlesome activity there is no point having simple solutions ready to hand.

Experts who offer simple, straightforward solutions or experts who say you can’t do much anyway are definitely not required. Meddlesome folk do not intend to set foot on that unproductive road. Get some other experts is the answer. As we know.

The political class generally seems to know all this but views the potential rewards as worth it. Revolving doors, useful connections, greater familiarity with how things really work. It attracts those with an inflated estimate of their abilities. Bound to. Almost as if that’s what it is supposed to do.

Anointing The Next Prime Minister

As a plain, practical man of the world, I must realize that it is the Prime Minister who has been murdered. As a plain, practical man of the world, I don’t think that the Prime Minister matters at all. As a mere matter of human importance, I should say he hardly exists at all. Do you suppose if he and the other public men were shot dead tomorrow, there wouldn’t be other people to stand up and say that every avenue was being explored, or that the Government had the matter under the gravest consideration? The masters of the modern world don’t matter. Even the real masters don’t matter much. Hardly anybody you ever read about in a newspaper matters at all.’

G.K. Chesterton - The Father Brown Stories (1929)

Friday 8 July 2022

Getting it wrong

Quillette has a piece on the political demise of Boris Johnson. Mildly amusing but mostly pointless and unhelpfully supercilious. Worth reading as an example of how promising online publications can go wrong.

Those who voted for him in 2019—unless blind, deaf or over-generous to the point of idiocy—knew very well what they were getting. Boris Johnson was the bodger, the gaffe-monger, the overgrown schoolboy who steals all the sweets and second helpings for himself, then diffuses your annoyance with spaniel eyes and a solar smile. This was not a political titan or a man of any particular conviction.

Then we have his political opponent described.

Seldom has a choice of Prime Ministers been so stark. The ludicrous manhole-snapping, these-are-my-pronouns figure of Jeremy Corbyn looked just the man to take our sweets and order us to stop laughing. He was the Oliver Cromwell of modern British politics, promising a puritanical revolution supported by those ever-ready to seek and find offence. The world Corbyn offered looked bitter, shriveled, paranoid, joyless, and likely to be populated by ideologues who could barely register humour, let alone produce it.

Maybe the piece was intended to be amusing and nothing else, but a reader's comment makes some good points about the whole thing.

This is a species of sneering, self-righteous, journalism typical of the British press and Westminster political correspondents. Pointless and tiresome in the extreme but all over the British press. Full of meandering gossip and sneering but making no substantial political nor social points. I didn’t subscribe to Quillette to read it here too. Please exercise better quality control; just because you can publish something doesn’t mean you should.

How to draw a line in the sand


Quite Mad

I’ve been up since 5:30 because it’s a lovely morning and I don’t sleep well through lovely mornings. The street outside is very quiet under a pure blue sky so it’s time for some contemplation.

May be mildly distasteful on such a morning, but sometimes it’s a good idea to contemplate a familiar aspect of social or political life until it becomes detached from the familiar but misleading world of here and now. Relax. Contemplate. Allow the endless media screech to fade away... 

All is calm...

The bog-standard climate narrative intrudes…


Drift away from the screech of doom…

Row gently towards the shores of sanity…

Towards a world where the laws of the universe prevail…

And governments cannot pass laws to change global weather patterns...

Because that would be…

Quite mad...




Thursday 7 July 2022

Brunton's Mechanical Traveller


William Brunton seems to have been an inventive chap and this rather eccentric invention does appear to have worked for a while.  

The most novel and ingenious of his inventions was the walking machine called the Steam Horse, which he made at Butterley in 1813 for use on the company's tramway at Crich. A second one was built for the Newbottle colliery, which worked with a load up a gradient of 1 in 36 during all the winter of 1814. Early in 1815, through some carelessness, this machine exploded and killed thirteen persons.

Reform is off the agenda

This is not a defence of Boris Johnson, but getting rid of him is a reminder of the way Donald Trump was treated. In both cases we saw the iron determination of an establishment which absolutely will not tolerate significant reform.

As is well enough known, even in a democracy, entrenched establishments and their governing bureaucracies implacably oppose reform unless it extends their remit. Brexit labelled Boris as untrustworthy in that respect.

Yet we still have an Opposition leader who cannot say what a woman is. We have the destructive economic residue of a coronavirus debacle spun from the fevered imaginations of inadequate experts, a Net Zero policy based on scientific and technical nonsense, an apparently unsolvable immigration problem, an apparently unsolvable housing problem, a failing NHS, poor quality state education and a House of Commons stuffed with liars and charlatans.

Now we have a Prime Minister brought down by relentless exaggeration of a few trivial rule breaches and the appointment of a groper. The difficulties Boris has faced are a completely unmissable clue to the embedded nature of the problem. Reform is off the agenda.

Wednesday 6 July 2022

Journalists and numbers

Vitamin D 'overdose' warning after man admitted to hospital for excessive intake

The man's daily regime had included more than 20 over-the-counter supplements.

As part of this, he was taking 50,000mg of vitamin D - the daily requirement is 600mg.

Oops -

A microgram is 1,000 times smaller than a milligram (mg). The word microgram is sometimes written with the Greek symbol μ followed by the letter g (μg).

If you choose to take vitamin D supplements, 10 micrograms a day will be enough for most people.

Do not take more than 100 micrograms (4,000 IU) of vitamin D a day as it could be harmful. This applies to adults, including pregnant and breastfeeding women and the elderly, and children aged 11 to 17 years.

No going back

William Atkinson has an interesting piece in CAPX on the political stagnation implemented by the Attlee government which is still with us today.

Why Britain’s biggest problems are all Attlee’s fault

Happy NHS Day! Yes, the 1946 National Health Service Act came into force on this day in 1948. The 5th July may not yet hold the same resonance as yesterday’s Independence Day does across the pond. But with the current American passion for historical self-flagellation and the ongoing adoration for Aneurin Bevan’s monolithic monstrosity, it cannot be too long before we see Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum returning to biff up aliens in honour of our health service.

It isn't only the NHS, but central planning generally which the Attlee government introduced and which still holds us in it's inescapable grip.

Only 6% of Britain is developed. Yet we have around 4 million fewer homes than we do families and households, and prices have increased by 500% since the early 1990s. This housing hyperinflation is fundamentally baked into the 1947 act. But it is impossible to alter. As the creation of the NHS created millions of publicly employed voters who scream at the slightest hint of reform, so did the Planning Act create a permanent NIMBY class with an interest in preventing development or a fall in house prices.

This is because of the fundamental shift in mindset that the Attlee government enshrined in British politics. The First and Second World Wars had forced an expansion in the size and cost of the state as a necessary corollary to victory. But Labour, rather than rolling that back, ensured the state would remain permanently larger and more intrusive as a route to their vision of socialism in one country.

The whole piece is well worth reading as a reminder of how impossible it is to roll back the central planning ethos of a permanently over-large state. It probably explains the collapse on the Tory party into just another socialist party under Boris Johnson. 

Politically, any major party is almost bound to conclude that there is nowhere else to go. Not enough voters are ever likely to understand an alternative political ethos to blaming everything on the government.

Welcome to Primark


Tuesday 5 July 2022

Running out of puff

Electric police cars ‘running out of puff’ on way to emergencies

Electric police cars are running out of charge when responding to emergencies because the blue lights and sirens drain the batteries, it has been suggested.

Officers using environmentally friendly vehicles in rural areas are also struggling to locate charging points, raising questions about their effectiveness.

The vast majority of constabularies in England and Wales now include electric vehicles in their fleet, with the Metropolitan Police pledging to be 100 per cent electric by 2030.

Interesting phrase that - 'running out of puff'. As if Noddy's car has conked out and Mr. Plod helpfully suggests it has 'run out of puff'. 

Of course it means the cars aren't yet up to the job as anyone but a head below the parapet bureaucrat could have foreseen. But there is a solution. Bung a diesel generator in the back with a tank of fuel on the roof is one possibility. 

A present from Blackburn


A Western made in 1899, but don't expect an earlier version of High Noon. 

From the YouTube description -

Shot in Blackburn, England, this bizarre show is believed to be the first dramatic film in the Western genre, pre-dating Edwin S. Porter's The Great Train Robbery by four years.

Monday 4 July 2022

Bad Hair Day

Hyesan high school students forced to write self-criticisms for “inappropriate” hairstyles

The students are being called into a Socialist Patriotic Youth League office every day to write self-criticism letters from morning to evening, a source told Daily NK

Five female students at a high school in Hyesan, Yanggang Province, were recently busted by an enforcement team for having “inappropriate hairstyles.”...

On June 20, one such team on street patrol busted five girls in their second year at Hyehwa Senior Middle School for dying their hair. North Korea takes issue with students dying their hair a color other than black, claiming such actions encourage “capitalist delinquency.”

Completely bonkers of course, but presumably there isn't much scope for gender politics either. Admittedly a very small silver lining - I much prefer our brand of political lunacy to theirs. I wonder if grey hair is inappropriate though?  

It does raise another question - how global political options appear to be narrowing down to the brand of political lunacy you prefer. At the moment the choice is obvious enough, but sometimes when scanning the media headlines each day - well it does make a chap wonder about the future.

Keir's Rabble Problem

BBC broadcasts interview with Diane Abbott where she claims Boris Johnson is 'rumoured to like assaulting women

  • 'Diane Abbott made unfounded claim that Boris Johnson is 'rumoured to like assaulting women'
  • In a BBC interview the MP was asked about allegations around Chris Pincher
  • The Broadcasting House episode was taken down and the claim was edited out

It's almost as if someone has encouraged Diane to remind us that Sir Keir has an uncontrollable rabble to manage if he is to steer Labour anywhere near power. She's good at that.

Sunday 3 July 2022

Woodwork Lesson


There are quite a few tree-felling disasters on YouTube - the guys in this one didn't even look competent. Entertaining though - full marks for that.

Binns and Son

I recently read a detective novel by Max Dalman, pseudonym of writer Max Dalman Binns, son of Ottwell Binns.

Ottwell Binns (1872 - 1935) was a British novelist and Unitarian minister. Binns was a prolific author, publishing many novels of adventure and mystery, from 1917 to 1939. His publisher in Britain was Ward Lock. Though he died in 1935, Ward Lock continued to publish novels under his name until 1939.

His son, Max Dalman Binns, was also a mystery writer under the name Max Dalman.

It's a guess, but most people probably haven't heard of either chap even though Max Dalman had fifteen books published and died within living memory in 1951. I’ve only read one of his books, but it was competently written, well plotted and just as readable as some more famous writers within the same genre.

I think of them as railway books bought from the station bookstall to while away a journey. Reading them, I almost catch the hissing and clanking and unmistakable aroma of a steam engine.

Fading memories perhaps, but it isn’t easy to make out why some writers rapidly sink into obscurity where others don’t. Talented writers who were famous and widely read in their own lifetime – their longevity is easy enough to understand. Yet when it comes to the durability of lesser writers, a certain amount of luck seems to come into it.

From my perspective, Max Dalman’s books were strong enough to have been adapted for films in the fifties, even if only low-budget B pictures. But as far as I know they weren’t and Max Dalman the writer faded into obscurity. Maybe the Kindle will make a difference, but I suppose it’s partly a numbers game – some writers have to disappear simply to make room for new ones.

Saturday 2 July 2022

Even an MP could understand this


Prejudice can be rational

It’s my faith that we do what we do because anything else would be less agreeable.

George Gissing - Eve's Ransom (1895)

This Gissing quote captures an aspect of middle class motivation – the hard-nosed pursuit of whatever is most agreeable. Yet it can turn sour. Prejudice is a good example. Used judiciously, prejudice can protect a society against complex moral conundrums, slowing down the rate of social change to a level where major disruption is avoided.

Prejudice can be mired in ignorance of course, but it may also protect a culture against damaging social progress amid competing moral claims which cannot ever be settled in a completely equitable manner.

For example – do whatever you wish but keep it private and we won’t interfere. It’s a kind of mild prejudice which says we don’t approve of what you do but are not prepared to argue about it. We are not prepared to enter that particular moral maze because we don’t have to. These are not completely equitable solutions, but they are solutions. Prejudice can be rational.

Yet prejudice can be made to seem disagreeable when a middle class culture such as ours has been strongly conditioned to associate it with ignorance. Ignorance is definitely not agreeable. Turn rational prejudice into disagreeable ignorance by banging the drum of fanatically equitable standards and we lose the protection of rational prejudice.

We find ourselves having to argue against what were once moral extremes or keep quiet because even rational prejudice has been recast as morally extreme. In other words, the rational strength of prejudice has been lost, which is why our culture is sinking into a state which is neither rational nor equitable.

As for those who have been conditioned to find this state of affairs agreeable – some now seem to have a sense of unease. It can’t be agreeable.

Friday 1 July 2022

We’re living in the Land of Lies

Kate Dunlop has a good, solid piece of invective in TCW. A fine way begin the month and well worth reading, even if you don't agree with all of it. Because she is right - we are living in the Land of Lies. The global village wasn't supposed to be like this but it is.

I USED to wander through life with a benign view of most people, even liars, excusing them on the grounds that their lying revealed more about their fears and inadequacies than anything else.

However since the emergence of Covid, I have developed severe antibodies to lies and liars; all my erstwhile charity gone and replaced by loathing and a frothing anger.

What’s changed? Well, it’s the ubiquity of the lies and the brazen arrogance of the liars. Corruption and mendacity are daily occurrences in our failing state – bright-faced media quislings lie, our treasonous leaders lie, scientists, educators and doctors lie. Like poison gas from an open sewer, their dissembling seeps inexorably into our consciousness.

Our entire political system is shown up for the sham that it is: democracy smothered by a cabal of globalists with money and power, intent on imposing their authoritarian vision of the future. We see their mercenaries passing themselves off as representatives of the people; cuckoos forcing compliance and misery on those simply looking to live free from oppression and want.

It’s truly a strain to keep up with all the lies – they come so thick and fast. BLM, carbon neutral, Nato peacekeeping, monkeypox, Partygate. There is the current nonsense that our economic malaise is a supply chain issue courtesy of Putin, not the outcome of feckless policy decisions and the printing of money to finance lockdowns.

Click the link and read on.

Overly corporate

Pride parade has become 'overly corporate', says one of UK's leading LGBTQ+ rights activists

Peter Tatchell was among around 30 members of the Gay Liberation Front who organised the UK's first 'gay pride' march in 1972.

Speaking on the 50th anniversary of the UK's first 'gay pride' march which he helped organise, Mr Tatchell said Saturday's parade was becoming "overshadowed" by corporations, instead of focusing on LGBTQ+ groups.

Mr Tatchell is understating the problem. Movements turn into businesses which turn into rackets. We are well into the racket phase already.