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Scrapbook for July 2018

Posted on UTC 2018-07-01 02:01.

20.07.2018 – Two lettuce leaves short of a salad

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Theresa pulls in the youth vote.

Image: MailOnline.

19.07.2018 – Tommy Robinson

As those of you who are interested in such things will already know, the appeal of the man going under the name 'Tommy Robinson' against his conviction and sentence for contempt of court was heard yesterday.

Our jokey little censored announcement of the court date was intended to reflect just one of the many rumours that swirl around this matter. However, parts of the evidence presented to the court are still subject to reporting restrictions.

The case was live-blogged (to its credit) by the Independent website. Legally educated comment on the case is available from the Secret Barrister and the BarristerBlogger. The panel of three very senior judges (among them the Lord Chief Justice) is aiming to reach a verdict by the end of this month.

It is interesting that the two legal bloggers make predictions for the outcome that are substantially different. We shall have to wait and see.

Although we have sympathy for TR's personal predicament and especially that of his children, we can only repeat that he is an idiot who pulled the roof down around his own ears. The final verdict will be interesting, but his cause is not worthy of freedom of speech outrage.

18.07.2018 – For your diary

Today, XXXXXXXXXX's appeal against XXXXXXXXXX is being held in XXXXXXXXXX before XXXXXXXXXX. XXXXXXXXXX is an idiot, but we wish him good luck, nevertheless. If things do not go well for him, it will at least be an outing in a summer he will not get back – autumn and winter, too, possibly.

17.07.2018 – Our aspen in summer

The Figures of Speech aspen in high summer:

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A light breeze causes the papery leaves to twist and shimmer.

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17.07.2018 – Here we go again

The USA emerges squinting in the light after its two-year journey through the 'Russian Collusion' tunnel. Not for long. Switch your torches back on as we enter the 'Russian Election Meddling' tunnel, which will probably turn out to be just as long and just as futile.

We just need the meddling theorists to produce one person – a million would be nice, but one will be a start – who changed his or her vote based on Russian actions. One.

The current story is that the Russians helped to expose the character defects and the malfeasance of candidate Clinton. If this is true then Americans should thank them for bringing these facts to their attention. After all, it's not as though this knowledge about Clinton is false. Hillary Clinton lost and needed no external help to do so.

We now know beyond any reasonable doubt that it was the FBI who ordered and paid for the 'dirty dossier' which the agency then used against Trump, if only to gain them further spying rights. After two tunnel years we can make out no Russians, merely disaffected Americans.

But so what? – we are going into the tunnel anyway, it seems.

17.07.2018 – Don't do it, Vernon!

The Elon Musk haters – and there are a lot of them around the world – are goading Vernon Unsworth, one of the key figures in the wonderful rescue of the twelve Thai schoolboys and their football coach, to sue Musk for defaming him without any evidence at all as a 'pedo-guy'. Musk also seems to suspect every foreigner residing in Thailand of paedophilia, which, in itself would probably be good for a class action of all foreign residents of the country.

Mr Unsworth should resist this goading. He has nothing to gain and an awful lot to lose. His character may be whiter than driven snow, but by the time Musk's lawyers and their gumshoes have finished with him he will be a broken man – both in reputation and in bank balance. A reward of a few thousand dollars for information would find plenty of takers in Thailand, whether the information they supply is true or not.

Those of you whose entire life story could survive a close inspection by lawyers being paid to blacken your character raise your hands now… thought so.

The process is the punishment: don't do it Vernon. Sit tight. Say nothing. Let Musk take the flak for his calumny, the world has judged him. Your George Medal or some such trinket is in the post.

Update 18.07.2018

Even without Vernon suing Musk (at least so far), Musk's horrible innuendo has hit its mark. The media are already sniffing around Unsworth, hoping to turn something up:

A police officer in the Chiang Rai, where Unsworth has lived for seven years, said that no charges or complaints had ever been filed against Unsworth. The officer declined to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

The media genie is out of the bottle.

10.07.2018 – The free market

We learn today that fifty-five articles of frozen food, the range for shoppers in the UK alone, all come from a single processing plant in Hungary. We know this because the plant has been adding listeria to its products for some time now. For us, though, at the moment, the listeria is not really the interesting part of this news.

What gives us food for thought is that the dazzling choice offered by the free market is really no choice at all. Or more precisely, the choice has nothing to do with the product in the bag – you know, the thing you bought it for. The consumer may choose by price, the design of the packaging, the size or the portion or just happen to be in a particular supermarket, but the contents are always the same.

The economies of scale in large, global food production mean that for an increasing number of items the fundamental variety of products is being reduced, to be replaced by an artificial variety created by marketing.

People who worry about this probably don't buy plastic bags of frozen vegetables in large supermarkets anyway. But our inner Communist is troubled by the efforts of marketing and distribution that go into creating this fake diversity in products that are fundamentally the same. Those efforts will ultimately be reflected in the price the consumer pays for being deceived in this way.

There is no competition for the product, since it's all the same, only competition for the packaging and marketing.

09.07.2018 – That Brexit shambles

The fundamental problem with the current UK shambles over Brexit is that dim Theresa has never grasped that her procedure is fundamentally flawed.

For some incomprehensible reason she has filled the offices of her government in a mix of 50-50 Leavers to Remainers. This permanent conflict of opinion has not meant that some wise compromise acceptable to all has emerged – just the opposite, in fact.

To use the phrase from the odious Blair years, her government has devoted the time since the referendum to 'triangulating' its own position. This before the EU even gets started on them. This procedure has meant that Britain seems to have expended far more energy negotiating with itself than with its opponent. Thus the resulting unsavoury, malodorous, half-digested mass that has now popped out of the great government bowel after much grunting and straining (Alexander de Pfeffel Johnson™) will satisfy no one.

There is only one solution, and that is the one suggested by a despairing Peter Hitchens many years ago and here expanded for the new circumstances: let the Tory party commit electoral suicide; let the Labour lords of misrule bring a plague upon the land for five years, perhaps even cancelling Brexit; in those five years, release the local constituencies from the shackles of CCHQ, get the grassroots back; purge the Tory party of all Majorism, Hagueism, Cameronism and Mayism. On the return to power that will inevitably occur after five years of Labour lunacy, purge the entire socialist legacy going back to 1945. Execute a real Brexit.

Unfortunately it won't happen, leaving only ineffectual rage.

09.07.2018 – Novichok: the story so far

Two drug addicts find a syringe (?) discarded (?) by the would-be Skripal assassins (?) take it home (?) and inject themselves (?). Syringe not found; nothing found, in fact. One policemen feels ill (again).

That Putin has a lot to answer for!

Some factual input:

Porton Down stocks 'Novichok' and a lot of other nasty stuff. Amesbury to Porton Down 6 km; Salisbury to Porton Down 7 km; Salisbury/Amesbury to Moscow 2,500 km.

UPDATE

The UK authorities have just released a photo of the two alleged Russian assassins. If you see them do not confront them: they are armed and dangerous. Do not accept cigarettes, boiled sweets or syringes from these men.

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