Scrapbook for June 2019

Posted on  UTC 2019-06-01 02:01

25.06.2019 – Boris the Card

Was about to write something about Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson's latest escapades – then realised that we haven't heard from Theresa May nor talked about Brexit for nearly a week. Thank you, Sir!

A little group of councillors were discussing Denry.

'What a card!' said one, laughing joyously. 'He's a rare 'un, no mistake.'

'Of course, this'll make him more popular than ever,' said another. 'We've never had a man to touch him for that.'

'And yet,' demanded Councillor Barlow, 'what's he done? Has he ever done a day's work in his life? What great cause is he identified with?'

'He's identified,' said the speaker, 'with the great cause of cheering us all up.'

Arnold Bennett, The Card, A Story Of Adventure In The Five Towns, E. P. Dutton, London, 1911, p. 277.

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Arnold Bennett by George Charles Beresford, 1927. Image: ©National Portrait Gallery, London.

24.06.2019 – Lindenbaum

For the Schubert fans, a fine Lindenbaum, 'lime tree', its dense foliage offering shade in a small playground at the entrance to the village.

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Yes, it's definitely a lime tree, currently fruiting; heart-shaped leaves; the fruits cluster in umbels on delicate stalks which emerge from near the base of elongated leaf-like bracts.

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21.06.2019 – The choice is theirs

One more long, tedious month to go in the Conservative party leadership election.

The choice on Brexit policy: There isn't one. Both candidates are offering Brexit solutions with so much wiggle room on every point that no choice can be made. Both are relying on negotiations with an opponent who flatly rejects any further negotiations. Both are suggesting that these negotiations will be completed by 31 October this year, when the default kicks in and the UK leaves the EU.

The choice on character: Johnson has a long record as a liar, a cheat, a philanderer, a blusterer and a chancer. He is someone whose word is worthless. Hunt has spent years running the soup kitchen that is the NHS without making the slightest difference that anyone can see. Perhaps not: the NHS has probably got much worse, but was so bad anyway that 'worse' is difficult to quantify.

12.06.2019 – News from the asylum

Aside from the minor technical problem of a totally lame-duck prime minister announcing this (see The last insanity below), the lunacy of the announcement itself cries out for psychiatric analysis. Even Paul Homewood, that normally phlegmatic observer of the climate asylum, is starting to bang his head against the wall in disbelief:

It is nothing short of scandalous that decisions like this will be rushed through Parliament without any proper debate, and without being fully costed.

The BEIS have already indicated that the costs could be £70bn a year, £20bn more than the CCC estimated.

It is also unacceptable that this law will be passed without any public consultation whatsoever. In particular, the media have been complicit in this cover up. The public will be horrified when they are presented with the practical realities of decarbonisation.

This is clearly one area where Parliament has no mandate for action. No party included such a policy in its manifesto, and given their almost unanimous adoption of it the public will get no say in future elections.

As for the idea of appointing a group of young people to advise government, I can only assume May has totally lost her marbles!

Meanwhile back in the real world, global emissions rose again last year by 2%, according to the new BP Energy Review.

While the whole of Parliament must stand accused here, the dreadful May must take her share of the blame. In an attempt to establish a legacy after three years of her disastrous premiership, she is instead signing the most expensive suicide note in history.

History will not look kindly on her.

The reason for the haste is that the politicians currently basking in the parliamentary swamp are terrified of the electoral impact of the international Green tsunami.

12.06.2019 – The last insanity

UK Prime Minister Theresa May resigned as leader of the Conservative Party on 7 June. She will hang around as Prime Minister until her successor is chosen, probably by late July. Her current event horizon, before she drops into the pitch black hole of political has-beens, is therefore about six weeks away and closing in every day.

Today we find her pledging that her government will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. ITV News Science Editor Tom Clarke notes:

The decision to commit the UK to a "net zero" carbon economy by 2050 is a momentous one.

If the change to legislation gets through Parliament, it would commit the UK to nothing less than a new industrial revolution.

After having had to listen to her increasingly deranged pronouncements over the last three years, the British people have become so inured to her nonsense that no one bothers to wonder why, only six weeks before her departure, she can announce measures for the coming thirty years and five months that she will not be in government. We wonder why this announcement just had to be made now and not in six weeks' time, when the next PM is in place.

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