Number of the Month

October 2008

Surprise, surprise!

 The only surprising thing about the current financial emergency is that it took so long to develop. Numberwatch first warned of the threat in 2001 and has referred to it frequently ever since.

Over the same period it has also been repeatedly warning about the coming energy crisis and the inevitability of power cuts. With a few honourable exceptions (including, of course, the sainted Christopher Booker) journalists have largely ignored the subject, while politicians make only pious asides and do nothing. You can bet your sweet bippy that they will all be wise after the event.


 Health bulletin

When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.

Thanks to all those who enquired about the state of your bending author. There has been a series of shocks. Atrial fibrillation and magnesium deficiency were no sooner diagnosed and treatment begun than pneumonia struck and survival is owed to the skill of the ambulance crew. At the moment there are so many drugs and counter-drugs that the authorial mind is even  more confused than ever. There are other pressing problems, such as the even greater confusion over book deliveries and the overdue accounts, so it might be some time before normal service is resumed.

Before the devastating bug struck your bending author also became an official cripple (or, in PC, registered disabled) which opens up a new world. It is easy enough to learn to drive a mobility scooter, but learning the hazards along the way – absence of drop kerbs, overhanging vegetation, traffic sign poles in the middle of the pavement (sidewalk) etc – is a whole new ball game.

Just another thread in the rich tapestry of life.


Binary nomenclature  

It is characteristic of the stage of an argument where people begin to realise that they are losing it that they resort to abuse. Thus we have a minor Guardian hack hurling rude names at a distinguished geographer.

Having said that, however, we must observe that our Philip has rather missed the point about portmanteau portfolios. They are most easily understood by those who have a modicum of mathematical knowledge. A complex number hast two parts, one real and one imaginary. The whole is not quite greater than the sum of the parts, thanks to the intrusion of a chap called Pythagoras, but it is still greater than either.

Likewise the new concept of the portmanteau portfolio has two parts, one real and one imaginary. Thus in the new Minister for Energy and Climate Change we have a real disaster coupled to an imaginary one. The opportunities for offsetting blame are incalculable.

Hence a list of forthcoming ministries would look something like this:

bulletEnergy and climate change
bulletHome affairs and fairies at the bottom of the garden
bulletForeign affairs and alien abduction
bulletTransport and UFOs
bulletHealth and witchcraft
bulletEducation and things that go bump in the night
bulletTransport and magic carpets
bulletExchequer and Icelandic investments
bulletJustice and trials by ordeal
bulletDefence and wishful thinking

And so on.


Mensonge du jour

The broad mass of a nation will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.
Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf.

About once a decade we seem to get a new big lie from the ruling politicians that dwarfs all others. In the UK the big lie of the moment is:  

This legislation will only be used against terrorists.

From the highest of authorities we are being told what everybody knows, that the nation’s freedoms are being carved away at an astonishing rate.

Winston Churchill savaged the post-war Labour government with a campaign against The Snoopers. Then, as now, activities that were once perfectly normal were turned into crimes. People had had enough of the snoopers and they were swept away, for good we thought. Now they are back in greater strength than ever. Their wages are an unconscionable strain on the economy and their gold plated pensions will blight the lives of our children and grand-children. They are led by a new generation of local authority Gauleiters, paid salaries that exceed those of Government ministers, with a direct line to the Brussels bureaucracy and powerful enough to ignore elected local politicians. The UK has the highest number, pro rata, of surveillance cameras in the world. The total number is 4,285,000.

Surveillance legislation is used almost entirely by local authorities in order to punish political incorrectness, such as trying to get your children into the best available school, dropping a piece of bread that is immediately eaten by pigeons or putting your multifarious bins out at the wrong time.

If only we had an opposition, as we did in the days of Winnie!

Link to the above piece.



Money talks

Anyone finding the political response to the financial crisis might find our vocabulary of help. Among definitions that are relevant are recession, recovery, conservative principle, economist, investment, prudence and optimist.

Considering that these definitions are several years old, it is some consolation that our politicians exhibit one virtue – consistency. 


A bit late, isn’t it?

CCNet quotes a number of sources for the stories that the EU might have to change its energy policies if a natural gas cartel is formed. Just when you think the dimwits within the Brussels bureaucracy could not possibly exceed their revealed capacity for brainless statements, they come up with this. It is like proposing to turn a giant oil tanker about instantly. In the case of energy policy, the basis of which is well known and agreed, the time frame is of the order of ten years. A competent government would have ensured that the energy sources were sufficiently diversified to avoid the possibility of disaster through the failure of one of them. Britain has dismally failed to adopt such a policy, thanks to the insouciance of its leader of a decade. Now that it has handed over political power to an unelected, unchallengeable clique, there is no alternative to catastrophe. Billions are being spent on so called renewable energy sources, chimerical products of minds blinded by religious faith, while reliable and diverse sources are ignored (or even banned). Ironically it is France, an untiring sponsor of the EU hegemony, that will avoid this disaster, thanks to its substantial investment in nuclear power.

Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.


Number of the month – 6,000,000

Six million pounds is the annual salary the BBC pays to a crude, talentless oaf by the name of Jonathan Ross. The money comes from a poll tax inflicted upon almost every family in the UK , many of whom find the imposition of 135 pounds a year onerous. Several of the BBC executives receive salaries in excess of that paid to the Prime Minister. At a time when the world financial crisis is at its peak, Ross seized the November headlines with a puerile prank involving an abusive telephone call to an elderly and much loved actor. His punishment by the BBC was a short suspension with loss of pocket money.

Those of us who are very old can remember when “unbiased BBC” was not an oxymoronic joke. Indeed, we are considerably in its debt for the education and elevation it gave to us, in addition to high quality entertainment. Now, however, it is in the hands of the new establishment. Crudity and debased language, masquerading under euphemisms such as “edgy comedy”, are encouraged as a sign of its imagined working class credentials. The excuse is that they have to appeal to young people. Taken to its limit such an argument ends with entertainments such as Christians being thrown to the lions and gladiators hacking each other to death: for the degrading of public taste is a feedback process in which each stage provides the justification of the next.

The concept of the BBC was a fine one. There was excellent drama, quality comedy and disinterested comment, all uninterrupted by tacky advertisements. Ratings were a secondary factor, so it was not necessary to pander to what is erroneously called “the common denominator”. All that is almost gone. The comment comprises entirely the views of the new establishment and the zealots that inform it. Elaborate attacks are mounted on anyone who puts forward a non-establishment view. When ordinary people are struggling to make ends meet, the waste and bureaucracy within the BBC have become legendary, which makes the BBC tax all that harder to bear.

The BBC is beyond retrieval. It has lost its raison d'être.  It is the remains of a once loved friend that are now riddled with putrefaction.  

Time to put it out of our misery!

Link to this piece






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