Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Look At The £3bn New Shooty Thing

Look everyone at the new shiny ship we have built.
No don't look at the £3 billion bill, just wave your little British flags and puff your chest out with pride that we may be skint and not have a money tree to fund the wages of police or nurses and have food-banks, cutbacks, closing facilities for the old, a criminally-underfunded NHS, social deprivation, high levels of homelessness and the highest levels of child-poverty in Europe but can still take billions from our dwindling tax coffers and spend it on a piece of massive military kit.
Rule Britannia and Britannia rules the waves and all that and a huge British aircraft carrier coming to an oil rich Muslim country soon (or as soon as we get our hands on some aircraft).

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Leninism, Stalinism and Trotskyism In A Nutshell

Of the three well known Russian Revolutionaries, Leon Trotsky is probably the least well known apart from the fact that he was name checked in a Strangler song and was killed by an ice pick.
Now that Tony Blair has come out as a former Trotskyite, interest has grown in the man and what he stood for and how it differed from Marxism explained here.
Fact is, Marxism is the idea put forward by Karl Marx of a community (hence the name Communism) which is ruled by the people for the benefit of all while Leninism, Stalinism and Trotskyism are the interpretations of the ways of achieving Marxism. 
A quick review of the Russian Revolution is required so we have Lenin, Stalin and Trotksy at the head of the Bolshevik Party who disposed the Royals and found themselves in charge and wondering what to do next. 
Lenin was the boss and he, Stalin and Trotsky decided what was required in order to achieve Communism would be the need to set up a ruling Party, named the Vanguard, to oversee the installation of Communism and which would then fade away in time to leave the workers in charge.
So far, everybody on the same Marxism page but now comes the difference because Marx said for Communism to succeed, it would need to spread around the capitalist nations of the World but Lenin wanted to ensure Communism was settled in Russia before spreading the ideal out to other countries, this is called Permanent Revolution as in a domino effect where there would always been one country following another into Communism.
Trotsky didn't want to wait and wanted to strike while the iron was hot and spread it far and wide while Stalin wanted to keep it only in Russia and to turn the vanguard party into a permanent Government.
Lenin and Trotsky therefore were together for the Permanent Revolution but Stalin was against the idea but they managed to keep the far more authoritarian Stalin subdued until Lenin died in 1924 and Stalin grabbed power, exiled Trotsky to Kazakhstan and executed almost all of the Party's Trotskyists in what become known as the Great Purges and effectively removed all of Trotsky's influence.
Stalinism took over and to stop Trotsky's continued criticism of Stalin's rule, after several assassination attempts, he succeeded and he died in his Mexican home from a pick axe to the head in 1940.
Trotskyism then is the idea by Leon Trotsky that the Marxist theory should be spread around the World rather than only one state.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

UK To Join Another Misguided American Conflict?

In recent history Great Britain has made several wrongheaded decisions to join American Presidents in their military adventures, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya are sores that refuse to heal and Britain could easily have stayed out of.
Now that easily the worst US President in living memory is threatening to unleash fire and fury on North Korea, the question to ask is will Britain be joining in the mass slaughter of North Korean's?
Britain, also known as America’s lap dog after Blair's pandering to GW Bush, could formally refuse any call for help in waging war against Kim Jong Un as membership of NATO does not automatically oblige it to participate in a conflict as Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty which states that an attack on one NATO member is an act of aggression against the entire military alliance,
is limited only to attacks on member states’ territories in North America, Europe and the Atlantic.
Britain itself found this out when Margaret Thatcher attempted to invoke NATO’s collective self-defence provision over the Argentinian invasion of the Falklands.
The US, however, could exercise pressure to ensure Britain’s support in any military confrontation with North Korea as Britain is planning for an extensive trade deal with the US to soften the blow of Brexit and wouldn't want to jeopardise that by not backing America in yet another military adventure.
As Britain has been at America's side at every ill-conceived conflict since 2001, it is likely that Britain will need no pressure and we could be heading towards another misguided American led conflict that we have no business, or need, to be involved in.

Another Problem With Electric Cars

We are starting to see more and more electric cars on our streets but i came across a previous unthought of problem this afternoon while crossing the street, they are silent.
I got to the crossing just as the lights were turning back to amber and there sat a car, i looked at the driver, the driver looked at me and i thought that as his car was not making any noise, he had broken down or stalled at the lights.
Assuming i would have time to cross as he would have to re-start his engine, i stepped out just as he pulled away, silently.
I jumped back, apologised and waited for the next green man to flash but apart from me trying to cross roads, i can see silent cars being an issue, more so for pedestrians, especially visually impaired ones, and cyclists who rely on hearing approaching cars.
With the Government recently announcing that petrol and diesel vehicles are to be consigned to history on British roads by 2040 and the price of buying an electric vehicle tumbling, a tonne of metal travelling silently at 30mph around our streets is already causing problems with a report from the Guide Dogs charity found a 54% increase in pedestrian injuries in accidents involving quiet cars.
The EU have ruled that car builders must incorporate artificial sound generators in their cars by 2021 but 4 years seems quite a way in the future when people are being injured now.
Guess for the next few years when i cross the road i will just have to adhere less to the 'Listen' part of the 'Stop, Look and Listen' mantra we had drummed into us as children.

Factually Wrong Song Lyrics

I recently read a blog post where the author lambasted Alanis Morissette for her use of the word 'Ironic' in her song, pointing out that rain on your wedding day, a free ride when you've already paid or good advice that you just didn't take isn't ironic at all as irony is 'using language that normally signifies the opposite'.
I pointed out in return that he was 22 years too late as she was suitably hit over the head with it back in 1995 when the song came out to which the reply was that the author was only 22 which is fair enough as he would have been preoccupied with filling his nappy and dribbling at the time and missed the whole thing.
There are some song lyrics which do make you wonder why nobody fact checked them before they were released, U2's 'Pride' has a line about Martin Luther King getting shot: 'Early morning, April 4/Shot rings out in the Memphis sky' although he was shot in the evening.
The Band Aid signal 'Do They Know It's Christmas' is a charity single which raised millions for drought striken Africa so it feels churlish to point out that the line sung by Paul Weller, Sting and Boy George that 'there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time' is wrong unless Morocco is no longer in the continent as it snows every winter in Morocco.
There is also 'Where nothing ever grows/No rain or rivers flow' when the continent has the second longest river in the Nile winding through it along with the Congo river but as it was for charity we can let them slide .
Unfortunately we can't do the same for RUN DMC who rapped: 'There's three of us, but we're not the Beatles' in their King of Rock single which shows a real blind spot either for counting or the most famous four-peice in music.
Pink Floyd singing 'We Don't Need No Education' in their song ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ shows that in using a double negative they badly do need education and it probably wouldn't be wise to go orienteering with The Who as who knows what sort of crazy compass they were using when they came up with the lyric 'The north side of my town faced east and the east was facing south' in their
song 'Substitute'.
The song 'Catch a Falling Star' tells you to not only catch it but to then put it in your pocket although the next line should warn you that as it has just reached a heat of 3,000F or 1,650C falling through the atmosphere, it will probably burn straight through your leg if you did.
Such disregard for all thing astronomical is also present in 'Save the Best for Last' where Vanessa Williams tells us 'Sometimes the sun goes 'round the moon' which it doesn't and Christopher Cross in Arthur’s Theme tells us what to do 'When you get caught between the moon and New York City'. He suggest fall in love but as the moon is about 240,000 miles away which would put you 120,000 miles out in space if you are caught between New York and the Moon, i would suggest screaming while you fall to your death as more appropriate.
Lions are nocturnal and sleep during the day so 'In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight' is misleading, as is Sade's Smooth Operator song which contains a blunder obvious to anyone with a map of America when she says: 'Coast to coast, L.A. to Chicago' although 'Coast to somewhere just past the middle' probably doesn't have the same ring to it. 
Napoleon didn't surrender at Waterloo, he was captured by the British weeks later trying to sneak off to North America so you shouldn't trust Swedish singers with British and French history and literacy lessons from Sam Cooke should be avoided as in 'Another Saturday Night' he describes being set up with a girl who: 'had a strange resemblance to a cat named Frankenstein' so unless he meant that she looked like the mad scientist Dr Frankenstein who created the monster, he got that wrong. 
I'm sure there are many more inaccuracies which have slipped through the net but Wang Chung's 'Dancehall Days' with 'Take your baby by the wrist/And in her mouth an amethyst' and Oasis's 'Slowly walking down the hall, faster than a cannonball' in Champagne Supernova
always leave me wondering.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Happy Birthday Global Recession

Today seems to have been chosen as the tenth birthday of the sinking of the global economy with collapsing banks, unemployment soaring, governments going bust and ushering in a decade of austerity measures.
The 9th August 2007 was the day that a French bank admitted it pulled the plug on investments in US property which sparked a recession so deep that it continues to reverberate on the 9th August 2017.
The crisis ripped a huge hole in the many nation's finances and in Britain severe austerity measures followed but are now on the brink of being abandoned as the total debt pile is still rising and currently stands at a whopping £1.7 trillion, almost 90% of the UK's total national income and double the amount of debt when austerity began.
The argument is that the decade of austerity has actually weakened the economy hence the u-turn now but with recessions being a constant part of Capitalism, that the politicians, regulators, and financiers are trying to put a sticking plaster over it so they can carry on as before rather than find ways to stop a similar catastrophe befalling the system should be a cause for concern.
The experts are saying that in 2007 the economies of Australia, Belgium, China, Canada and South Korea avoided the worst of the crisis and helped to steady the World's economic ship but even they can not avoid the next one which is being talked about as we are still suffering from the last one and we know is coming because it is inevitable that another devastating collapse is coming because the system used collapses with such alarming regularity and consequences every decade.

No Nuclear WInter Coming Soon

One of the concerns when Donald Trump because President was that he would have access to the American nuclear arsenal but the thought was that even he wouldn't be so moronic to actually get his little hands near the red button but in a moment of typical Trump ego stroking he has escalated a crisis with nuclear armed North Korea.
Within a couple of hours of Donald Trump's warning not to make any more threats, on penalty of 'fire and fury', North Korea made yet another detailed threat that they were carefully examining plans to strike the US territory of Guam.
Seems he is plenty stupid enough after all to bring the world to the brink of nuclear war and scarily the decisions are being made by two imbeciles posturing and putting many lives at risk in defence of their own ego's.
As Kim Jung Un justifies his nuclear ambitions as defending his nation from a rampant United States who go around bombing nations to bring about regime change, Trump's infantile bluster has made his point for him as it is exactly what he is saying he will do.
In his deluded mind, Trump probably thinks that by ratcheting up the rhetoric and threatening to rain down fire and fury will bring the Communist leaders begging for talks and renouncing its nuclear ambitions.
Except they won't but neither will either send the World into a nuclear winter as as dumb and foolhardy as Trump and Jung Un may be, both know that if things escalate beyond the current shouting match, everybody loses.  
Donald Trump knows that minutes after the first missile lands in North Korea, South Korea, Japan and the western seaboard of the United States will be devastated while Kim knows that attacking Guam would be suicide for him, his regime and his country which would be swiftly annihilated.
The Mutually Assured Destruction that did so much to keep the Cold War from turning Hot is back in play but the rhetoric is good for both leaders as it justifies the young Kim's view and by Trump cranking up the North Korean threat to eleven, it distracts from his ever increasing problems at home.

Political Traveling Wilburys

Two things Great Britain needs more than anything is a new Government and to stop the barnstorming crazy that is Brexit.
Handily, with one stone we could brain two birds as the call for a new Anti-Brexit Political Party goes out and calls for the best of all the main parties to come together to 'stop Brexit catastrophe'.
The former chief of staff to the Brexit Secretary is calling for a new political movement to oppose Britain's exit from the EU, and he has called out Labour's Chuka Umunna, Stella Creasy, Rachel Reeves, Pat McFadden and Tory MPs Anna Soubry, Nicky Morgan, Nicholas Soames as well as the Liberal Democrats leader, Vince Cable.
Cable seems well up for it, tweeting that he agreed and the public should have a chance to shift away from Brexit but no news so far from the potential supergroup of MP's.
Tony Blair has already made some of the same noises and has even began looking into potential funding streams for the new party which could prove to be the Achilles heel, because if Blair is involved then it will be very hard for the newcomers to attract supporters willing to find themselves on the same side of the man they have been hounding as a war criminal for the past decade.
As we are pencilled in to commit the ultimate act of financial stupidity on 29 March 2019 and as the Conservatives are hanging onto power by their fingernails, they had better get a move on if the political equivalent of the Traveling Wilburys want to step in and save us from our own stupidity.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Top Posts Ever

Ten Years and 3304 Posts ago i sat down and began Falling On A Bruise, a blog mulling over things going on in the World.
Some posts sink without a trace and some seem to hit home so here are the 21 most viewed posts out of all that i have posted.

Anders Behring Breivik       
Brits Doing American Accents, And Failing
Frank Carson And Linda Nolan Mystery Solved         
Magic Spells
Marxism In A Nutshell
Michael Moore: Guardian Angel 
Nicotine Fuelled Nightmares
Paralympic Viewing Figures   
Proof That Nicholas Cage is One Of The Undead  
QuickQuid
Quitting Smoking With E-Cigarettes  
Solving The Piigs Crisis
Thatcher Jokes 
That's A Shame
The Lost Copenhagen Post     
Tony Nicholson: The Right Decision
Whinging Pom Eggs               
Why is It Raining So Much In UK This Summer?       
Why Nobody Believes John Terry
World Turning Vegetarian   
Zombie Conspiracy                       

Enjoy August As September May Not Be So Good

Luckily we are off on our holidays shortly which is lucky because come September there won't be anywhere left to go as the World will no longer be here according to conspiracy theorists who are convinced it will all come to a grinding halt next month.
Admittedly they have said that many times before but this time it is definitely, absolutely no doubts about it going to end and it's all down to a mythical planet, Planet X.
The planet will collide with the Earth and bring about the end of days around the 21st August and no apocalypse would be a real apocalypse if the Bible wasn't involved somewhere.
David Meade, who is a self proclaimed: 'Stargazer and Christian numerologist' has been looking at the charts and various Bible verses which have lead him to predict that there will be a a great sign from heaven as written about in the Book of Revelations and then Planet X will slam into the Earth.
NASA have come forward to poo-poo the Bible holding Stargazer as they pointed out if something that big was cartwheeling it's way to smash us to smithereens in a fortnights time then they would have spotted it by now and it was predicted to come our way in 2003, 2007, 2012 and 2015 and they are pretty certain it never happened then either.
I will stick my neck out and predict that if you have a holiday booked for after August 21st then you shouldn't be asking for a refund just yet.

Booing Gatlin

All eyes were on Jamaica's Usain Bolt to win the 100m gold medal but he was beaten into third place by America's Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman.
Gatlin, who has served two doping bans, received boos and jeers both after winning the race and then again as he was presented with his gold medal on Sunday night.
The treatment by the crowd has received equal amounts of condemnation and approval from former athletes and Gatlin himself saying that he feels he's done his time and should be welcomed back to athletics.
Once possibly you can explain away but to be caught cheating twice and then to try and claim you shouldn't be jeered for it is a bit of a nerve.
I understand the argument that once he served his bans, he fulfilled his sentence and should be free to continue but i don't agree with it, to my mind if you are found cheating than you should be out for good.
If i was an athlete and i was slogging away for years only to be beaten by a former drug cheat i would wondering if the advantage they have over me was due to any permanent physiological changes as a result of their drug enhancements.
Are their muscles bigger, stronger or in a better condition due to a lifelong advantage after taking growth hormones or other body-changing drugs?
Nope, Gatlin for me deserves all the jeers and brickbats thrown his way.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Coming To A Planet Near You Soon

I'm sure that NASA are trying to play it smooth to avoid a panic in the general population but three recent stories when taken together point towards something spectacular heading our way.
First the hacking group Anonymous uncovered documents that showed NASA have evidence of alien life after years of the space agency probing far flung galaxies and solar systems searching for beings that did not originate on planet Earth.
NASA issued a hasty: 'No we haven't' statement and the story faded away.
Then news broke that astronomers have spotted what may be a giant megastructure orbiting a distant star, a Dyson Sphere, and such a thing could only be the work of advanced aliens, capable of engineering and building on such a scale that it becomes visible from light years away.
Then shortly afterwards a hush-hush document was leaked that the US Government had created a new department called 'The National Space Defence Centre' who were responsible for training special forces in a secret location near the Colorado's Rocky Mountains in space warfare and gave them the silly, macho name of Space Aggressors.
Hmmm, we said, so why would the Americans be training for conflict in a space environment in a hastily created department?
We could brush all the incidents off as a coincidence but now news that NASA are advertising for a 'Planetary Protection Officer'.
The advert for the $187,000 per annum job states the role involves: 'safeguarding Earth from extra-terrestrial infection' and creating policies to ensure 'the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration'. The role’s security clearance level is 'secret'.
The truth, as they say, is out there but it may very soon be here and it's probably 8ft tall, green and has a ray gun.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Why Brexit May Not Happen Afterall

I guess some people thought pulling out of the EU would be straight forward but the more we look at it the more problems we see and i am beginning to think that it may prove to be just to difficult, expensive and detrimental to the British economy that it may not happen after all.
As well as the tens of billions divorce bill, experts expect the British economy to drop by as much as a third and even if we did deals with every major trading country, it wouldn't plug the gap of the World's largest Single Market.
Politically, we have to cuddle up to some of the Worlds worst regimes in fear that if we criticise them, the trade deals will be canned and the border with the Republic of Ireland and British Northern Ireland is political dynamite.
Businesses have began relocating to EU countries and taking tens of thousands of jobs with them and Britain has been stripped of its triple-A credit rating.  
Then there is the future of the British Union, with not only Scotland looking to declare independence from the U.K. and serious questions are being asked in Northern Ireland, which like Scotland, voted to Remain.
With only a few by-elections reversals standing between a Government with a wafer thin majority and another general election, Brexit is looking to be more of a headache then the Brexiteers thought and the Government should be brave enough to hold their hands up and just say it would be too detrimental for the UK and they will not be pursuing it any longer.
The Brexiteers will bleat but the alternative is Theresa May going down in the history books as the Prime Minister who willingly oversaw the breaking up and economic suicide of the UK, a mistake that would take a generation or longer to correct.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Not Following On From Hugo Chavez

Only the more ignorant and misinformed amongst us would say that Hugo Chavez was anything other than amazing for Venezuela and its people but things seemed to have taken a sharp turn for the worse in the South American nation since he died.
Under the guise of continuing the great mans work, President Nicolas Maduro has gone on a rampage of what looks like for all intents a drive towards dictatorship.
Following a controversial vote to give himself sweeping new powers, political rivals are believed to have been arrested and the military has been deployed to quash protests.
Despite international condemnation, Maduro is planing to plough on with his rewriting of the Constitution which will give him unlimited powers meanwhile the protests from all sectors including the Chavez supporters will continue and the violence looks likely to escalate.
Chavez may have been an impossible act to follow but Maduro seems to have made a magnificent pigs ear of the legacy left by Chavez and is said to be driving his country off a cliff, especially ironic when you consider his job before politics was driving a bus.

No Trump Chaos Amidst The Trump Chaos

We all remember Iraqi information minister Mohammed Saheed al-Sahaf and his dizzying refusal to admit that everything was falling down around his ears.
Comical Ali may have gone but his stubborn commitment to accept that everything is going to hell in a handcart is by no means extinct as proven by Donald Trump.
The Orange One took to to Twitter to brazenly blare: "No Chaos in the White House' as yet another employee, the 12th in six months, was handed his P45 and made his way out the Exit door after a little over a week of beginning the job.
Every bit as chronically dysfunctional as expected, he may be doing irreparable damage to America and it's reputation, but it is fascinating to see just how far he will drag his country down before events bring his tenure to a premature end.
The links to Russia will probably prove to be his downfall, the enquiry seems to be turning up more lies and cover-ups the deeper it digs, but that may be some time in the future and the country he said he would make 'Great Again' could be on it's knees by the time the men come to drag his bloated carcass away.  
It may be a great time to be a journalist with such a loose canon in the White House but as long as he sticks with embarrassing himself and his own nation and doesn't take the George W Bush route of sending his military on far flung adventures, it is fascinating to watch him implode so fantastically

Waving Goodbye To Sick Stan Kroenke

Stan Kroenke is Arsenal's biggest shareholder and owner of My Outdoor TV, part of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, which has launched in the UK which has programmes named 'Cast & Blast', 'Miss Wildgame' and 'Hollywood Weapons' which show hunting and blood sports.
As an Arsenal fan i'm beyond disgusted that the man who owns our club is also involved in glorifying the sick and brutal killing of wild animals and will be using the proceeds from such a disturbing channel to run Arsenal.
There will now be renewed vigour behind the call for the Russian billionaire and second largest shareholder, Alisher Usmanov, to take over the club although he is being locked out by the Arsenal Board due to his close ties with Vladimir Putin.
I would hope that my fellow Arsenal fans will be vocal enough to leave Kroenke and the Arsenal board in no doubt that we want our club to have nothing to do with such a nauseating and disturbed individual as him.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Princess Diana And 1,299 Others

The country is currently in the grip of Diana Mania due to it being the 20th anniversary of the Princess dying in a subway in Paris.
Undoubtedly an awful event and a matter of deep, deep sadness for Diana's family as when someone you love dies it goes without saying that the sadness is all encompassing but every day we hear about the deaths of people unrelated to us and in comparison it barely registers once the news item moves on or we turn the page and it doesn't begin to compare to the death of a loved one.
Grief is not the normal response to the death of a stranger because if it were we would all be in a permanent state of grief.
Of course we empathise with those who have lost loved ones, but that's not the same thing.
We sometimes reflect on those who touched our lives from afar but in the scheme of things 1,300 of us die in the UK daily and for each of those 1,300 deaths someone, somewhere is mourning.
As tragic as the Diana death was, or David Bowie, Nelson Mandela, Whitney Houston, George Michael or Prince, when a celebrity dies i don't understand the outpouring of grief about someones death that we never actually knew.
The last few years has seen the death of so many talented individuals and it is right that we reflect upon their lives achievements and discuss it but we do that with anyone who dies, most importantly following the death of someone close to us but as they don't get top story slot on the news or a pull-out souvenir section in the newspaper doesn't make their passing any less sadder and especially not for those of us who didn't know them.
It is fine to feel sad about Diana and for her family but there was an average of 1,299 people who lost loved ones that day also who went without mention.

No Vocalising Loquatiousness Here

Parliament’s longest word has been uttered and it's 'pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis' which Michael Bryant blurted out today in a select committee meeting which means 'loccinaucinihilipilification’s' reign has been ended after five years.
It has become the fashion for some people to try and make themselves appear cleverer than they actually are by using long words by creating extremely complex sentences requires an impeccable fluency in English and only a fatuous individual would attempt the use of a salubrious nature of sophisticated commentary, or sesquipedalianism as it is known.
While some people avoid long words, a form of hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia, the manifestation of the existential paradigm is infinitesimally larger than the exponentially evolved humanistic mindset, indeed this precept can be fundamentally beyond the cognisance of any finite mind and the constant fluctuations in the language ensures everlasting change to our vocabulary.
Being able to ask for a train ticket to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch can be a floccinaucinihilipilification and not seen as vocalising sequipidalean loquatiousness.
If it was up to me i would place a pile of Trinitrophenylnitramine under anyone who tried it and that's why you won't see any of that here!

Gonna Need More Bubble Bath

Religious people do tend to take the Bible seriously, hence they will argue that the World was made in seven days and man was made from a pile of dirt but they tend to go quiet on the parts of the Bible that talks of unicorns, dragons and horses with the heads of lions or creatures that are half-rooster and half-snake and don't even mention the fire breathing sea creature with multiple heads. 
It's easier for them if you stick to the bits that doesn't spin off into Jason and the Argonauts territory such as why does the creator of humans hate almost everything about the act of humans reproducing?
He sure isn't a fan of periods as Leviticus 15:19-21 is all about how unclean periods are and anyone who touches a woman who is on her period is unclean for a day. Not only can nobody touch her but everything she lies or sits upon is also unclean and: 'whosoever toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening'.
If a man avoid his wife for a week and if they have sex during the remainder of the month, if the man 'has an emission of semen', Leviticus 15:16 says he must: 'bathe his whole body with water, and he will be unclean till evening'.
Nine months after that bath time, according to Leviticus 12:2-4, a woman who has a baby is unclean for a month if it's a boy and two months if it's a girl, because girls are extra ikky obviously.
Hopefully the male Churchy types have a decent supply of loofahs and bath wash to scrub themselves with and the women have a cellar to live in for a week each month to avoid contaminating things with their period lurgies.
It would be unfortunate if you live a life of purity only to get turned away from the Pearly Gates because you once sat on something your wife touched while on her monthlies or if you seeked a wizard for some reason.
What has Wizards got to do with it you may ask?
In a book that has talking snakes among all the crazy, is it such a surprise to find that God hates Wizards as well as you discover if you carry on reading Leviticus to 19:31 where it says: 'Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them'.
I don't know what being defiled by a wizard entails but if you are the type to hate homosexuals because an imaginary man in the sky tells you to than you had better burn that Harry Potter DVD just in case.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

New Inventions Needed Quickly

Scientists put the emergence of Homo Sapiens at approximately 250,000 years ago but after 200,000 years of living in caves and bopping each other other the head with a club, around 50,000 years ago we got our act together and began using our large brains to make specialist tools, organise our living space, move to less inhospitable areas and about 5000 years ago we developed cities, agriculture and trade.
Considering the dinosaurs were around for over a hundred million years and never invented anything at all and never evolved beyond walking around and eating each other, us humans have not done bad.
We harnessed fire, invented tools, the wheel, writing, telescopes, engines, discovering gravity and split atoms, invented many modes of transport, electricity and came so far so fast that in 1899, Charles H Duell of the patent office announced that 'Everything that can be invented has been invented'.
Mr Duell was obviously wrong as we carried on inventing things to this day but one day will there be a time when we really have invented everything?
Mankind should be quite rightly proud of itself but there are some inventions that still need to be invented if we are going to last as long as the comparatively simpleton dinosaurs.
In our 250,000 years we have undoubtedly caused more destruction to the planet than the dinosaurs did in their entire 150 million years, enough destruction to seriously place the Planet and its inhabitants in peril so we need to invent, and quickly, a way to cleanse the pollution in the very air that we breath and have shovelled into the now poisoned atmosphere.
We have developed, and used, weapons of such destruction that whole cities can be wiped out in seconds and continue to use up the rapidly dwindling valuable natural resources quicker than they can be replaced so alternative resources need to be invented.
Space travel is a necessity as the only planet we have becomes more overcrowded and unlivable so a whole host of inventions are needed to allow us to travel to, and live on, other moons or planets
We are at the mercy of the earths crust with volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis so need to be able to control them as well as the forces of the planet’s evermore violent weather and dangerously warming climate.
While fire and the wheel were essential for human life to develop, inventions since have made human life easier and more comfortable so while inventions such as televisions, the Internet, light bulbs and cars are nice, they are not essential whereas the inventions still to come are literally the difference between our life and death.
For all our smart inventions we are at our most highly vulnerable, some due to our natural environment but mostly due to our own stupidity and undoubtedly we will invent even more horrific ways to end human life so while there is still plenty left to invent, we can only hope that our wisdom advances more rapidly than it has so far.
The dinosaurs may not have been the brightest in comparison to humans but they were around for so much longer than us and they were not the ones who put their very own existence and all life on the planet at peril so surely that makes us the simpletons.

Friday, 28 July 2017

The Electric Car Problem

Great news that the Government have announced that petrol and diesel vehicles are to be consigned to history on British roads by 2040 but as usual the Government is short on details.
The price of buying an electric vehicle has been tumbling and is now similar to the cost of a petrol one and one in three cars sold in Europe now is electric and by 2040 almost every car sold will not have a petrol tank but a battery.
Dyson, Apple and Google have joined the traditional companies looking to join the car market which should force the price down even further but the problem is the required infrastructure for electric cars.
The Government has announced £100m of funding for car charging infrastructure but that looks a woefully low amount considering what is needed.
With 35 million cars currently in use in the UK, and supposing that the 35 million vehicles will over time convert to electric, that is a very heavy use of devices sucking electricity continuously from the National Grid. 
The National Grid will therefore have to be expanded to accommodate such a substantial rise in demands with the AA saying that the extra electricity needed will be the equivalent of almost 10 times the total power output of the new Hinckley Point C nuclear power station being built in Somerset and that was after years of debate of where to sight it as nobody wanted a nuclear power plant in their back yard.
As well as having to build 10 new power stations at a current rate of £20 billion each to deal with demand, there is also the building of hundreds of thousands of charging points.
Inventing the electric car and announcing the phasing out of cars running on fossil fuels is the easy part because the much needed reshaping and financing of our country's entire electric producing infrastructure will be much harder.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Where'd They Get That Big Chicken From?

The chlorine-washed chicken row carries on and now after one Minister said he was okay with it, another one has piped up and said he would not allow the chicken's washed in a chemical that was used as a devastating weapon in the World War to be allowed in Britain as part of a future deal with the USA.
'No. I have made it perfectly clear, and indeed this is something on which all members of the Government are agreed, that we are not going to dilute our high animal welfare standards, or our high environmental standards, in pursuit of any trade deal' said Michael Gove who is currently the Environment Secretary.
Good for him, especially as Michael Gove is widely regarded as someone who wouldn't think twice about selling his own parents if he gained from it. 
The practise of washing chickens with chlorine is widespread in the US but has is banned in the EU which only allows washing with cold air or water although Liam Fox explained that Americans had been eating it for years with no ill-effects but then they voted George W Bush and Donald Trump into power so that is debatable.
Already the protests have started and i am more than impressed that protesters, with only a few days notice, have managed to wrestle up a massive blow up chicken to carry to Downing Street.
Is there a large supply of different blow up animals holed up in someones garage or did someone have it laying around just in-case such a purpose arose because i can't see how they could have got one made in such a short time span.
Resourceful bunch these protesters.

Boots Get It Wrong Again

No. Na. Nein. Non. Nyet. Mhai. Illai. Não. Nee. Ne. Nope. Negatory. Nada. No way, Jose. Nil. Nu. Nie. Bu Dui. Iie. Nem. Nullus. Nej. Neen. And, in case any Klingons are working in the Boots advertising department, ghobe!
You CANNOT take 'I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday' change the word Christmas to Summer and make an advert flogging sun tan lotion wishing it could be Summer everday!!
Obviously Boots have learnt nothing from their recent debacle where they were charging an extortionate price for a contraceptive pill and then using a highly dubious and patronising justification for doing so.
To be fair they did cut the price and apologise once the news of protests outside the stores and boycott of their goods reached them and threatened their profits but still, taking a Christmas song and trying to change it's reason for being is also worthy of a grovelling apology.
Roy Wood and Wizzard must also take the flak as they must have agreed to the Chemist using their most famous song to pollute our televisions with, obviously not content with the royalty cheques they must receive each January after the Christmas music fest when the song is almost permanently being played somewhere.
As for Boots, i will refuse to darken their doorstep and refuse to buy anything from them until the misguided advertisement is removed and i will be buying my regular supply of morning after pills elsewhere until then.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Brexit Keeps Giving, Now It's Chlorine Washed Chicken

Liam Fox, the trade secretary, is in America to thrash out details of a trade deal amidst concerns that Britain accepts chlorine washed chicken, GM crops and hormone-fed beef, all of which are currently banned by the EU. 
Campaign groups, the poultry industry and opposition politicians are calling on the Government to come confirm or deny that the UK is prepared to lift its ban on chlorine-washed chicken in order to accommodate US poultry farmers who want to sell their meat in Britain.
The Liam Fox line that: 'Americans have been eating it perfectly safely for years' is surely a nod towards what he is willing to foist upon us in order to secure a post-Brexit trade deal.
Washing poultry in chlorine is banned in the EU so we can look forward to Fox encouraging a family member to eat chlorinated chicken to show it's harmless and we shouldn't be worried about a bit of chlorine in our food and stop the concerns about a chemical used in World War 1 and didn't do a blind bit of harm apart from mass slaughter.
We are getting our country back and, as a bonus, we are getting chlorine-washed chicken as well but i'm sure i didn't see that painted on the side of a bus last year.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Fatal Flaw In Ai

After Climate Change, Artificial Intelligence is the greatest threat to mankind but the day when robots decide that the problem is mankind itself and decide to do away with us has been postponed as we have discovered a fatal flaw in the armour of our future usurpers, fountains.
Steve was a security robot who spent his days patrolling around a shopping complex in Washington DC making full use of his facial recognition, high definition infrared sensor cameras but unfortunately for him his creators forgot to include a water detection capability and the robot came to a watery end, upended in the complex's water feature.
Some have speculated that it committed roboticide, throwing itself into the fountain in a pique of depression at the futility of it's existence but experts think he just fell down the steps and plunged headfirst into the water where his circuits fizzed and his lights blinked out for good.        
It was always joked that any attack by the Dalek's from Dr Who would fail at the first flight of steps so they got around that by evolving levitation skills so using the same logic, our greatest safety net is water features until the robots develop waterproofing.

Well Played Mrs Abe

My bi-lingual friend from Hong Kong has a brilliant way to deal with chuggers in the street, she babbles at them in Cantonese and they quickly move away and onto the next target.
Classic tactic to avoid speaking to someone who you don't want to speak to and the exact same tactic that the Japanese Prime Minister's wife used to avoid the oafish Donald Trump at the recent G20 summit when she unluckily found herself sat next to the orange buffoon.
In a recently interview Donald Trump remarked that he had a rather awkward few hours at the evening meal with the First Lady of Japan Akie Abe as she doesn’t speak English, not even Hello.
Actually, Mrs Abe is fluent in English and recently gave an address in the language so obviously just pretended not to speak it in order to avoid dinner conversation with the lardy American.
Kudo's to Akie Abe, well played that woman and how the other World leaders spouses must have wished they had thought of that excuse but i bet they will now.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Not Quite So Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

There are some things that Americans just can't do such as cross the road where they like or make a decent cup of tea because nobody seems to own a teapot but one thing they fail miserably at is faking a British accent.
The high water mark has always been Dick Van Dyke's stab at a bit of cockney in Mary Poppins but he has finally seen fit to issue an apology for acting out: 'the most atrocious Cockney accent in the history of cinema'.
Very good of the actor to hold his hands up and say sorry for giving the British accent a proper mangling although i have never understood why Daphne's in Frasier was so strange, she being English and all.
Anyway, Dick may not have Chimmed his last Chimeney because he has a part in Mary Poppins 2 which is currently being filmed so we may yet have to dig out that spoonful of sugar and dig it in our ears to to help that terrible accent go down.


Thursday, 20 July 2017

£30 & A Lecture For Women From Boots

Boots the Chemist have began selling the 'morning after' contraceptive pill and priced it at £30, five times more than in other European countries.
Boots have justified the cost but saying that by making it so extortionately expensive, it: 'helps prevent emergency contraception from being misused or overused' and allows them to offer 'important sexual healthcare advice to women'.
The pill is a way to avoid unwanted pregnancies, as are condoms but you can buy them for £3 a packet so you do wonder why Boots are charging ten times more for something that does the same job. 
Well, you would wonder if it wasn't blatantly obvious that Boots are profiteering and trying to hide behind some highly dubious justifications.
Why they can't offer important sexual healthcare advice if they sale them for less than £30 hasn't been explained nor if they give out advice to any men who buy contraceptives or is it just women who need to be lectured about having sex?

Sunday, 16 July 2017

The Next Dr Who

Doctor Who is banned in China because the government authorities don’t want to promote anything that could be seen as rewriting history which means that they won't care who become the 13th TARDIS driver.
Rumours abound that the next Timelord could be a female with Phoebe Waller-Bridge name coming up continually especially after the BBC's own show Newsnight saying that: 'Waller-Bridge had denied claims that she’s going to be the first female Doctor but then Joanna Lumley has already played the role for Comic Relief, so that would technically be true'.
Kris Marshall was the leading frontrunner for the role but the latest favourite is Broadchurch actress Jodie Whittaker but the BBC has said that the identity of the latest Doctor will be unveiled after the Wimbledon men’s singles final today.
Capaldi, who replaced Matt Smith in the role in 2013, will relinquish the role after this year’s Christmas special.
Exciting stuff unless your Chinese but as much as a female Doctor would be great, Kris Marshall would be perfect for the role so i guess i am just going to have to sit and watch Federer running around in his tight white shorts for a couple of hours before i find out.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

The Trump And May Show

What done for Tony Blair was his closeness to George W Bush and one of the things doing for Theresa May is her closeness to the man who overtook Bush as the worst US President in living memory, Donald Trump.
A pathological liar, the links to Russia are the latest in a long line of lies which he or his family dismiss as fake but have turned out to be true.
Within days the 'big nothing-burger', a harmless chat about adoption with a Russian official, went to a confirmed attempt by a foreign nation to undermine Hillary Clinton and American democracy in the 2016 election,  
Following the denials, along came Trump junior himself to release an email chain showing that in fact he took the meeting in anticipation of receiving dirt on his fathers rival on the explicit understanding that this was part of a Russian government effort to help the election of his father. 
Theresa May tied herself to Trump in the first week of his presidency, rushing to Washington to hold his hand and offer him the bauble of a state visit.
When Trump broke from the Paris agreement on climate change, May refused to sign, saying she would raise the subject with him at the G20 meeting only to admit afterwards that she had done no such thing.
When he was widely condemned for leaving his daughter in his G20 seat while he stepped out of a meeting, May, said that she thought it 'entirely reasonable'.
While derided as less than a joke and a liability to keen at arms length around the World, May continues to hitch her star to a President that was always likely to explode in her face.
Already weakened at home by a range of awful decisions, May manoeuvring herself so closely to such an embarrassment of an American President who quite rightly attracts such vitriol is baffling. 

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Military Life? Think Again

The Human Resources department of the British Army must have quite a tough time dreaming up recruitment ad's because 'come join us and kill people or get killed yourself' isn't that enticing a slogan so it comes up things like 'Travel the World', 'Learn a Trade' or their latest campaign which involves 'Belonging'.
The Army say the campaign is aimed at all backgrounds and certainly not specifically targeted at poorer people from deprived areas, but a leaked document on the This Is Belonging campaign spells out that the key audience is 16- to 24-year-old 'C2DEs', marketing speak for the poorest people from deprived areas.
Exploiting people who don’t have a lot else going for them and taking advantage of that lack of opportunity to fill the military ranks is sneaky but if they can't play on the romance, the glamour and the danger of going to war zones then they have very little else to go with.
The MOD said: 'We are proud of the opportunities serving in the armed forces affords young people that aren’t always available elsewhere, from basic literacy education and support for postgraduate degrees, to high-quality accredited training and unique employment prospects.'
So there you go young people, you aren't going to other countries to possibly die overthrowing leaders our leaders don't like, you are undertaking high quality accredited training which may come in very handy once they have picked up your legs from 200ft away from your body. 
I say to my students or anybody who even contemplates a life in the military, anything, anything at all would be a wiser or more acceptable employment choice and there are numerous cemeteries, hospitals and rehabilitation centers around our country with men and women who would agree and wish they had been told the same thing.
Worse, there are plenty of innocent victims in the same places in countries where our military have been sent in the recent past by our warmongering Government who would say the same thing.

Not Quite Dropping The F-Bomb

I'm not one to casually throw around swear words but maybe that's because i don't have a large enough vocabulary according to the snappily titled: 'Taboo Word Fluency and Knowledge of Slurs and General Pejoratives: Deconstructing the Poverty-of-Vocabulary Myth' from the academic pair of Kristin L.Jay and Timothy B.Jay. 
The report found: 'the ability to generate taboo language is not an index of overall language poverty, rather a voluminous taboo lexicon may better be considered an indicator of healthy verbal abilities rather than a cover for their deficiencies.'
Smart arse academics trying to sound smart-arsey indeed but what it means is that swearing like a tourettes suffering sailor doesn’t mean you’re an oaf, it just means you have a large and colourful vocabulary.
If you don't want people to think you're an idiot, you should start preparing to step up the profanities but you can't go straight to dropping the F-Bomb in company so i would suggest one of the halfway swear words, kinda like a F-hand grenade.
The choices are between fecking, freaking, fricking or fugging so you email Tim or Kritin for example and say: 'You fricking academics don't have a frecking clue what you're talking about, dozy feckers' and you would be taking the first steps to having a large and colourful vocabulary and impressing a couple of scientists with your taboo word fluency.
I imagine they would feckin love that.

Brexit Looking Doubtful

I am still hopeful that at some point in the near future, the Government will look at the Brexit deal on offer, glance at the rapidly emptying coffers and announce that we won't be going through with Brexit after all because it is just too damn expensive and detrimental to the British economy. 
They could blather on about their priority being ensuring the British nation is not left without a pot to pee in then get back into bed with the EU and carry on as if nothing happened.
With the sums being worked out and the Leave campaigns promises being exposed as whopping great lies, their are murmurs that Britain could just not afford the drop of a third in the economy and are looking for a way to back out gracefully, probably via another referendum on the deal on offer where hopefully this time the idiots calling for Brexit are suitably sent to a corner.
A number of senior European figures have said Britain is welcome to change its mind on Brexit and with Theresa May's position looking perilously unsafe, things could very quickly all change.
My view is that we are struggling now, throwing Brexit into the mix and shaving as much as 33% off our already slumping finances is economic suicide and as our Government are elected to do the best thing for us, in this case the best thing would be to hold their hands up and say Brexit is unaffordable and being in charge of our own borders is very little reward for the Brexit slump which would make the last decade of austerity look like a party.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Austerity Hasn't Worked, So Why Persevere With It?

During the election campaign, the Conservatives often made the claim that austerity was working and was needed to bring down the debt.
The answer was they said that their strict measures would clear the debt by 2015 which was then pushed back to 2019 and has now been pushed back again to 2025.
Now austerity is back in the news because the Government are contemplating easing the measures after 7 years of cuts and closures so how much has the measures reduced the debt by?
In 2010, the Great British debt was £845 billion and after 7 years of cuts and austere measures, the debt now stands at £1.6 trillion at the end of July 2016.
So the question is in which way has the Government measures reduced the debt because whichever way you want to spin it, the debt has doubled.
The previous double act of David Cameron and George Osborne and then Theresa May made sure the debate was always about how only they could be trusted to balance the books, or live within our means as the phrase went, but now the cat is out the bag and the hardline austerity since 2010, where everything that could be cut was slashed to the bone, hasn't worked.
We found out the hard way that it was a terrible idea to cut police numbers during the terrorists attacks, the council cuts when the tower block went up in flames, devastating underfunding of the NHS when winter rolls around, closure of Homeless shelters when the city centres shop doorways fill up with the homeless and the 33% rise in suicides amongst benefit claimants who have had their benefits cut.
Austerity hasn't worked and it is hard to believe that the Government has only just worked that out now so we should be asking why was it persevered with and was the Government incompetent or just being ideologically malevolent?

And Then A Bit More Conflict

Don't know if it's just me but the World seems to be heading headlong into a war somewhere with so many countries either facing off with each other or actually already involved in a conflict already.
We can now add China and India pointing fingers at each other to the growing list of possible flashpoints after Chinese and Indian soldiers have been scuffling with each other over the border region of Doklam in Bhutan, which is claimed by China but is supported militarily by India.
America and North Korea, both run by morons, are making threats to annihilate each other and North Korea are pointing their missiles at South Korea and Japan who are buidling up their military around the Korean peninsular.
Meanwhile Saudi Arabia is threatening to do to Qatar what they are currently doing to Yemen only Qatar is backed with the military might of NATO member Turkey and Middle East powerhouse Iran.
The long running conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan show no sign of abating and it seems everyone and his dog is turning up in the shooting gallery that is Syria.
Libya is beset with conflict and the Turks and Kurds are shooting at each other and the Somalian civil war which began in the early 90s, is still going strong.
India and Pakistan's dispute over the Kashmir region flares up every now and then and Israel continues to kill Palestinians at will with Palestinians returning fire over the border wall and Russia and Chechnya duelling in the North Caucasus.
The obvious worry is that so many nuclear armed countries and some of the largest militaries are involved in squabbles along with some of the most hotheaded leaders of our time.      
If only we put as much effort into peace as we put into making war then the World would be such a better place but unfortunately we never seem to learn which is why national Defence budgets to design, build and buy weapons to kill as many people as possible far outweigh national Foreign Aid budgets to improve and save lives.
Humans, what a bunch of idiots.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Live From 1776

News breaking from Philadelphia, the thirteen American colonies have declared themselves independent and have named themselves the United States of America. 
Let's go straight over to Lucy in 1776, what are you hearing Lucy?
Thanks George, i'm here on the lawn of the Pennsylvania State House and plantation owner, early slave labour adopter and inventor of the swivel chair Thomas Jefferson has just read out a declaration where the thirteen states are no longer under British Rule and have declared themselves an independent nation.
A group calling themselves the Founding Fathers are speaking and although it isn't easy to hear from my position, Jefferson's opening line of 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal' bought a few raised eyebrows from the slaves who were listening from the cotton fields alongside us. 
Safe to assume that Slave Traders Robert Morris and Carter Braxton kept their heads down when that bit was written and looking at the morbidly obese Benjamin Franklin, fair to say his girth is equal to three men.
Let's see if we can get a comment from Benjamin Rush who famously said with the right treatment, blacks could be cured and made white, Mr Rush, as a slave owner will you now be freeing your slaves to enable them to take up the unalienable rights endowed by the Creator of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?
Seems Mr Rush isn't keen to speak to us and the only bit i caught was that last word 'Off' he shouted.
It is unsubstantiated that William Whipple, Francis Lightfoot Lee and John Adams wanted a clause inserted to make another unalienable right the right to marry their own relatives, all three men already being wed to their cousins, but more on that later as we watch chaotic scenes as the Founding Fathers try to unfurl the new American flag only to discover that Benjamin Franklin has several chicken legs and half a boar wrapped up in it. A snack for later probably.
So back to you in the studio on this momentous Day when America declares itself independent and we witness the birth of a new country, Benjamin Franklin's latest chin and 200 years of making fun of the way they say Aluminium and refuse to use the letter U in words.   
Thanks Lucy, now the weather...

Saturday, 1 July 2017

The King Is Back

Don't know if it is me getting older or Hollywood is to blame but i seem to be visiting the cinema less and less each year and looking at the list of upcoming films this year the cinema seat will be safe from my backside again this year until at least September when Stephen King's 'IT' arrives.
It would be fair to say that i fell out of love with Stephen King and his novels a few years ago, the decade between the 1998 and the late 2008 was a slog even for a keen King fan like myself but thankfully the King is back and 11/22/63 was a s good a King novel and anything he put out in his heyday.  
Luckily through the lean years we had the King adaptations on our TV screens and films in the cinema and 2017 sees four adaptations to feast upon, the Dark Tower, IT, The Mist and Castle Rock TV Series which is a mash up of Stephen King characters.
Boom times are here for Stephen King then and although there is a fair amount of snobbery about King books from literary types, you don't get to have such a long list of books and TV adaptations without being a great story teller and King, despite his wobble which followed his accident, has been at the top of that list since the mid 70s when he threw his book Carrie at us.
To many King is a Horror writer but those of us who have been what he calls 'constant readers', he is so much more and has an impressive body of work that means generations to come will be able to understand just why he may not be the best writer of our generation but is overwhelmingly the most popular.

How The X Factor Works

Seems you can't turn on the TV without seeing a show trying hard to 'discover' the next singing sensation and despite 13 years of X Factor not discovering one, okay possibly Leona Lewis, they still keep going and Simon Cowell and his gang are about to hit our screens again every Saturday and Sunday evening for the next five months.  
Luckily we know what songs we can expect to hear from this series of wannabe pop stars because luckily, they always sing the same ones so the top tune sang across all the Singing Talent shows according to Vulture Lists is 'I Have Nothing' by Whitney Houston.
Then is it 'Feeling Good' by Nina Simone, 'Piece of My Heart' by Janis Joplin, 'Alone' by Heart and 'Don’t Let the Sun Go Down Me' by Elton John.
Always amazes me how nobody seems to have cottoned on to how these shows are actually run and the manipulation of the voting system is glaringly obvious so the winner is always who they want it to be.
The shows production staff get to study the public's weekly voting patterns in detail and hence know exactly the levels of popularity that each contestant is enjoying.
When the presenter reads out the voting results each week and says 'in no particular order' there are plenty of production staff sitting there thinking 'we know the order'.
The nation thinks anybody could win, but from day one they know who's a hero and who's a zero and if A would be more of a money spinner than B but B is more popular then they can edit against B, give B a poor song and hand A a real stormer or give the 'standing applause' and gushing comments to A and give the 'bad week' or 'hope you survive this week' speech to B and if all else fails, it's the bottom two and the judges get to remove one from the competition and you can rest assured they know who to get rid of or if the 'public vote' will return the singer they want which gives the impression that it was the people making the premium rate phone calls who did it. 
After the first few weeks they can see who is leading the pack but they don't want us to know that they know because then it stops any semblance of it being a competition and people stop phoning in and Simon Cowell's bank balance takes a hit and he doesn't want that.  
The only time it is a real competition is the final but by then they have manipulated it so the one they want to win has the best chance of taking home the title, the contract and the chance to become forgotten before we break out the chocolate for the Easter weekend.
Of course knowing all this takes away the fun now you know when someone gets handed 'Angels' and a standing ovation from the judges while another gets to sing 'Long Haired Lover From Liverpool' and told it wasn't their best performance exactly what's going on behind the scenes.

Happy Birthday To You Canada

Happy Birthday Canada, 150 today and one of the few countries on the Planet that nobody seems to have a bad word against.
The annual seal slaughter is a black mark against your otherwise good name but leaving that to one side you are Globally well liked and considered America's more well behaved little brother.
Canada is the second largest country, has a great looking flag, dress their police force in a blindingly bright red uniform, share a Queen with us Brits and play ice-hockey but otherwise it's mostly known for not being very well known.
The election of the very engaging Justin Trudeau in 2015, has improved the Canadian image abroad which was previously a bit safe and boring but he has taken to the global stage to talk climate change, welcoming 30,000 Syrian refugees and refusing to buckle under the President of their noisy, less well behaved neighbour.
Most of us over here think of the average Canadian as a slimmer, better looking American without the gun fetish but Canada is not a force in the affairs of the World as its size suggests it should be but things do seem to be shaking up there in the top half of the North American continent.
It is a good thing that Canadians don't turn on the TV to see an angry mob burning the Canadian flag and calling for the death of their Prime Minister but they need to become more engaged in World politics.
If it could just stop hacking seal cubs to death and pretending it isn't for the fur it would almost be the perfect country but it is still a constant reminder to America that if it hadn't chucked our tea in the river and gone warmongering mental all those years ago, Canada is the country that America could have been.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Does Brexit Still Mean Brexit?

EU Ambassadors have started to review whether the UK will reverse its Brexit decision in light of the election result, with the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, suggesting the UK might realise at some point that 'it made a mistake'.
I still hold a little hope that the Government will wise up to what we are throwing away and realise that it will be far too detrimental to the country and our finances and call the whole thing off but that is not the signs that i am seeing.
At least the Hard Brexit option which the Conservatives were bizarrely proudly trumpeting before they suffered humiliation at the voting booth has died down but they are still saying we will be leaving the single market and the customs union come what may although the figures of what this act of economic suicide will cost the country.
We still have 18 months of negotiations to go, not sure why they triggered Article 50 in March only to waste 3 months of the 24 and start start negotiating in June but the whole Brexit thing has been a shambles from the start.
We can hope it won't happen, but i fear that it probably will and we will regret it immediately and within the decade be crawling back asking to rejoin the club because our finances will quickly show what an monumental act of stupidity the 52% has foisted upon us.

Not Ready For Mars Missions

After far too long, Space is sexy again with a regular supply of Space related stories with Japan announcing today that they plan to build a space station in the Moons orbit by 2030.
The announcement comes as China and India are planning ambitious space programmes with both looking to land probes on Mars while the USA are planning to send astronauts to Mars by 2033.
While all eyes seemed to be swiveled towards Mars, overlooking the Moon seems a fundamental error.
We have a ready made practice site 4 days travel away where we can perfect building bases and living on an alien planet before looking further afield.
Mars is 240 million miles and a 6 month each way trip away but we haven't been back to the Moon since 1972 which i find a major disappointment especially as we seem to be making the jump straight to colonising Mars.
There is no Space race this time so there is no need to nations to compete with each other to send an astronaut to plant a flag in the Martian soil, we can all join up and do it together by first colonising the Moon.
Rather a case of running before we can walk and by making a second home on the moon, and building a space station in orbit around it, this could be one of the first of many stop-offs because that is what we will need as we venture further out into the Solar System, stop off points.
A trip to Mars is six months out and for all out technology, the human body is unable to handle the lack of gravity as we see from those returning from the International Space Station who are greeted by Gravity and a hospital worth of medical services.
All which makes the talk about manned Mars Missions far fetched until science develops a way to travel faster then we can currently to shorten the trip, develop some form of artificial gravity aboard the rockets or we create a string of fully equipped regular stopping off points and that's where we should be looking.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Sausage 'Puff Dog' Roll

US grocery chain Trader Joe’s have announced a 'genius new invention' which they have called 'puff dogs' and are sausages inside puff pastry.
Probably not such genius to anyone who has walked past a Gregg's over the last few decades and seen a window full of them but Trader Joe’s say their puff dogs are a twist on the classic on the hot dog and instead of bread rolls, they have used sausage wrapped in flaky puff pastry.
Of course it is nothing like the good old British sausage roll which is flaky puff pastry wrapped around a sausage so it isn't as if Trader Joe has nicked our idea, given it another name and called it a genius new invention.
They have even included a users guide on how to eat the sausage roll puff dog which they advise can be eaten on their own but they recommend dipping them in your favourite condiments.
As a vegetarian i swerve the whole eating sausage roll thing but from what i can gather, the proper way to eat them is to bite off the top and then flap your arms around as it burns your vocal chords so lets see if Americans pick up on this time honoured tradition also.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Smells Like Space To Me

As astronaut Tim Peake continues his tour around schools and colleges, he has answered a question that has never occurred to me but obviously did to the 8 year old that asked it, what does Space smell like?
The UK astronaut likened it to metallic burning type aroma like hot metal, welding fumes and barbecue but nailed it down as like 'burning sausages on a charcoal grill'.
There you go then, next time you get accused of burning the sausages at the summer barbecue, say you are recreating the smell of the Cosmos and call them Space Sausages.

Spending £1.5 Billion

Since 2008, the economic crash and resulting austerity measures has been a great cover for the Government to do what it wants and with an ideological right wing Conservative Government in power since 2010, they really have made hay while the austerity sun shined.
Every cut has been ushered in with the mantra that it is all about cutting the deficit and making sure that 'we live within our means' but that has all fallen apart as the Government shuffle £1.5 billion towards the DUP in order to guarantee their backing and the those crucial 10 seats in Parliament which gives them a wafer thin majority.
While the Labour Party plans before the election were ridiculed as unaffordable and would mean taxes having to go up to fund them, i wonder what Labour was proposing and the Conservatives dismissed which would have cost less than the £1.5 billion bribe to buy the DUP.

Nationalising the Royal Mail would have cost £0.8bn, but would mean tax rises to pay for it so said the Tories.
Nursery Access for all children came with a bill of £0.3 billion but was weaved away as unaffordable by Theresa May.
Those 10,000 extra police officers came with a price tag of £0.3 billion but the Conservatives said too expensive.
Restoring bursaries for nursing students would cost £0.6 billion but the coffers were bare so said the Treasury.
Increase State Pension for lowest earners, £0.3bn but waved away as not an option in thes times of austerity.

Any one of these policies, or a combination of some the smaller ones, could have been paid for rather than make a shabby deal with the DUP but i'm sure it won't stop the Conservatives repeating the same old line about reducing the deficit, living within our means or reducing the deficit, delete as applicable.
Seems there is always money available for wars and propping up a crumbling Government.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Who Is The Lunatic Nazi?

North Korea have followed up their assertion that Donald Trump is a lunatic by likening him to Adolf Hitler.
The comparison is of course absurd, people liked Adolf Hitler when he first came to power and nobody liked Donald Trump when he took over so that falls at the first hurdle but let's persevere with the North Korean Thread.
Both blames a specific group of immigrants for all their problems, Trumps has his Muslims and Mexicans to Hitlers Jews, they both replaced the top tier of Government to install friendly faces and appealed to the common lowest denominator in society.
Throw in that he used to keep a copy of Hitler's speeches by his bed and the North Korean link between one of history's most notorious monsters and Adolf Hitler is almost complete. 
No Brits wanted to see Adolf or Trump land here also but the last piece in the jigsaw is the genital deformation, Hitler only had one testicle and Trump has a tiny penis and there you have it, conclusive proof that Trump is the new Hitler and the North Korean leader has the lunatic American President's number.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Looking Again At Labours Privatisation Plans

If you think that the twists and turns of British politics has turned its last twist then you could be in for a surprise as Theresa May still has to get her ‘Queen’s Speech’ programme for government through the Commons and if she fails to do that then the leader of the next-largest party would get a chance to become Prime Minister, in this case Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party.
As we may yet have a Labour Party ruling over us it is worth looking at their manifesto just in case and the stand out pledge for me is to nationalise large swathes of what the Conservatives sold off.
For me, privatisation has been one of the great pups sold to the public because to be frank, it just doesn't work.
Nobody can argue that since they went private the rail, utility, mail or water industries have been more efficient, generated investment, lowered costs or saved jobs.
What actually happened is large scale redundancies, prices sky-rocketed and the previous British companies are largely in the hands of a small group of international investors who pay themselves billions in dividend payouts and as we found out recently, tax free.
The promised benefits of market competition have never materialised as the energy companies colluded to rise prices ensuring consumers are shafted whichever way they turn.
Under Labours plan, they would transfer ownership and responsibility for our utilities to publicly-owned bodies bringing utilities back into public hands and putting the massive profits directly into Government coffers and bringing down household bills.
Privatisation has been the exact opposite of what the Conservatives under Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron promised us and the Conservatives are eyeing up the NHS, the jewel in the state run crown, and if anybody believes that having a company running our Health Service for a profit will improve standards or keep it free to use, then they should cast an eye across the Atlantic to
America and ask themselves why would would we want to replace the NHS with a system of Health care where the ability to pay for treatment is the first question asked.
The privatisation experiment has failed as it is blatantly obvious that it increase costs and lowers the quality of services because it is impossible for the private sector to deliver the same service for less and still make a profit and making a profit is the bottom line for businesses.

Why Bad News Sells

Why does the News only show negative things is a question i have been asked a few times and my usual response is to shrug and waffle something about bad news sells.
Until know i had no real basis but science has come to the rescue and The London School of Economics and Political Science has done the research and found that newspaper and magazine sales increase by approximately 30% when the cover is negative rather than positive.
Of course editors know this, the 'if it bleeds, it leads' mantra is commonplace but as the boffins at LSEPS explain, there is a reason why we are drawn to the negative. 
The conclusion they have reached is that it all comes down to what us humans decide to pay attention to and it is evolutionary advantageous to heed negative information as the potential costs of negative information far outweigh the potential benefits of positive information therefore the brain is predisposed towards focusing on negative information.
News content is predominantly negative because humans tend to be more attentive to negative information and as long as that continues the lead stories on newspaper front pages and the lead stories on broadcast media will always be a negative one to grab the readers or viewers attention.
Thanks science, you came good yet again.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Win-Win

Prince Harry says that nobody in the royal household wants to be the next king or queen, but will carry on out of public duty.
Lucy says feel free to bugger off then Harry and take the rest of your family with you. 
In an interview about the his life and the future of the monarchy, the Queens grandson of the Queen said there is no one in the Royal Family who would like to inherit the throne.
As well as public duty, the £36.1m per year the Government hands over to the Royals is a great sweetener but if the Royals want to step aside, i'm sure Britain would manage perfectly well without them, we could even take it in turns to live in one of the Palaces and drive around in a carriage waving at people every couple of days.
They don't want to do it, we don't much care about them doing it so send in a removal van, pack the lot of them off to somewhere out the way and we have an extra £36 million each year to put into our national piggy bank. Everyone's a winner!

Studying Uranus

NASA have announced a mission to study the atmosphere of Uranus and rather predictably the sniggering has begun and headlines about probing Uranus are abound.
As a serious and grown up blog, there won't be any of that here so let us put to one side the schoolkid humour and take a good, long look at Uranus and how important it is to study the gas that emanates from Uranus.
NASA have outlined four possible missions to see what is coming out from Uranus and the rings around Uranus including one which includes dropping a probe into the Planets atmosphere to measure gas and heavy elements.
Scientists wants to probe deeper into Uranus than ever before, previously only taking pictures of the giant as they passed by and revealing it to be both larger and more noxious than expected.
As anyone can see Uranus come into view on any given night, it is about time we reached out to it and fully experienced Uranus and expanded what we know about the unnatural size of Uranus,  the Earth, and all of its people, could fit inside Uranus 63 times over.
As Uranus is very gassy, scientists are not expecting to find life there, nothing could live in the toxic fumes that come from Uranus and it is not a place humans could go to, nobody wants to explore Uranus, so we won't be sending men to have look closer at it.
So let's have a long, hard look at, probe and take some close-up pictures of Uranus and explore one of the mysteries of our universe, and stick a large flag in Uranus.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Non-Islamic Terror

The right wing mouthpieces who usually spit their venom following a terror attack seemed to have gone quiet since the last terror attack was by one of their own.
They were very quick to rant and rave about Islamic terror, some spewing forth while bodies were still being removed, but Nigel Farage, Katie Hopkins and the orange racist in America usually so quick to log into his twitter account, have all decided to give this one a miss which is a shame as they are the ones who have done so much to drive the Islamophobia that resulted in a dozen of them being driven into outside a North London mosque.
It is reported that attacks on mosques or Muslim centres take place less than once every fortnight in the UK and there has been a five-fold rise in reporting of Islamophobic crimes following the Manchester attack and a two-fold rise after the London Bridge atrocity.
The obvious question to ask is are we Brits doing enough to root out extremism in our communities as we ask of the Muslim community after every terror attack and if we hear someone spouting extreme right wing views, should we be reporting them as potential terrorists or is that only done if they are brown skinned and wear a beard?

Phew, What A Scorcher

Climate change deniers will say that it's all fake news made up by China to gain industrial advantages but it has been, apparently, quite warm out in Britain this week.
Monday was Britain’s hottest day of the year, and temperatures reached the dizzy heights of 33C today and more of the same is expected for tomorrow by Wednesday with nighttime temperatures only dropping back to the average for the June daytime.
Brits are not known for their ability to cope in this kind of weather and i make no secret that i hate it but while some are telling us they are having a brilliant time, we know the real truth.
They are sweaty, grumpy through lack of sleep and those shoulders are a little too red to be comfortable but although they won't admit it, we all know they are struggling also.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Not A Good Time For Theresa May

It's hard to feel any sympathy for someone as cold hearted as Theresa May so let's not even try but enjoy the fact that she has had a torrid time of things recently. 
In the space of a few short months she has lost her Commons majority and is now battling for political survival and had to deal with two terrorist attacks and within days of a disappointing election result, the Prime Minister has been accused of a lack of humanity in her response to the Grenfell Tower inferno when she refused to meet residents.
To launch an election campaign while on course for a landslide win and end up with less seats then you began with is a poor show, then the two terror attacks which saw her record on reducing police numbers ruthlessly attacked.
This was quickly followed by her visit to the Grenfell Tower where she only met emergency services and not victims or those made homeless and even die hard Tory and May defender Michael Portillo turned on her citing a 'lack of humanity'.
She still has to tie up a deal with the DUP, start Brexit negotiations and get her much delayed Queen's Speech though Parliament.
As she has done so much to blight the lives of her citizens with her vicious austerity cuts, this is a good time to revel in Theresa May having the boot of Karma giving her backside a good kicking.

Blame For Grenfell Tower Fire

After the shock of the horrendous Grenfell Tower fire comes the anger and quite rightly, fingers are being primed to be pointed at someone but who exactly the buck stops with is still being debated.
The culprit appears to be the cladding on the outside of the building which was not fire resistant and actually eased the fire around the building.
The building firm who installed the cladding, the Kensington and Chelsea council who are in charge of the area and signed off on the job, the Government who cut local authority expenditure, the Fire Services who advised residents stay in their properties or the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) who managed the building.
The investigation will settle any claims of who to blame but someone somewhere messed up horrifically and should be held responsible for what's looking to be a devastating three figure death toll.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Reasons To Be Cheerful

All in all things have been pretty grim recently and after watching the news for a few days you would be excused for thinking everything is going to hell in a handcart but you can either refuse to watch the news anymore and ignore all the war, death and stupid people doing stupid things or take a step back and spend a few moments pondering just the good things we have.
There isn't anything we can do about Donald Trump, Brexit, ISIS, Theresa May or Syria and the media only reports the bad things, the great things in life we have to search out for ourselves, things that make you smile or lift your heart even if only temporarily, things which in my list would be:

Picnics in the park, colourful flowers, baby animals, proper orange juice, football, swearing parrots, Guns N Roses music, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Christmas, slippers, the Moon, David Boreanz, Paris, Marx Brothers, Cheese, Devon, meteor showers, Hotel California song, Kevin Bacon, Stephen King novels, the ending of the 1812 Overture, thunder storms, smartphones, random acts of kindness, Latte, singing in the shower, Christmas Trees, Dr Who, Dave TV Channel, It's a Wonderful Life film, Birthdays, chocolate, summer rain, Arsenal, puppies and kittens, Sweden, fresh crisp bed sheets, snow, my husband, Pirates of the Caribbean films, Morgan Freeman voice overs, fluffy clouds, 1970s photographs, Monty Python, winning on a scratch card, A Christmas Carol, laughing babies, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Michael J Fox, 11/22/36 book, raspberry ripple ice cream, your song on the radio, holidays from work, cream soda and a real fire on cold winter evenings.

When you think about it there are many more things lift us up then bring us down but yes the World can be a harsh, cold and vile place and it does seem to be run by people who really couldn't give a monkeys about the rest of us but as someone almost sang once, when you're feeling sad, simply remember your favorite things and then you won't feel so bad.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Quoting The DUP

In case you been stuck in a cave since Thursday, the abridged version of the last four days is that Theresa May's gamble didn't pay off and she ended up with a hung parliament and has drafted the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) with their 10 seats into Government to make up the 326 seats needed to make a Government.
It is fair to say that the religious DUP have some controversial views including not believing in climate change, evolution, not supporting abortion, same-sex marriage or even gay adoption.
But don't let me tell you, let's get it straight from the horses mouth with some recent quotes from the party the Conservatives are cuddling up to: 

On Creationism: 'My view on the earth is that it's a young earth. My view is it was created in 4000 BC'. 2007
On Evolution: 'Certainly not, and there are plenty of other people in this society who don't believe it either'. 2007
On blood donations: 'Someone who has sex with somebody in Africa should be excluded from giving blood'. 2012
On their female leader, Arlene Foster: 'Her most important job is wife, mother and daughter'. 2016
On same-sex marriage: 'I think these sorts of relationships are immoral, offensive and obnoxious' 2005
On LGBT people: 'I am pretty repulsed by gay and lesbianism. I think it is wrong'. 2005
On gays: 'It wasn’t my wife who determined that homosexuality was an abomination, it was the Almighty' 2008.
On gays (again): 'I cannot think of anything more sickening than a child being abused. It is comparable to the act of homosexuality'. 2008
On women: 'I stand by my faith and the word of God that man was created in the image of God and that woman was created from the rib of Adam to be his helpmate and companion'. 2008
On gay adoption: 'We are moving mountains to facilitate immorality and to bring the rights of lesbians above all others in this country'. 2008
On gay adoption: 'The facts show that certainly you don't bring a child up in a homosexual relationship, that a child is far more likely to be abused or neglected in a non-stable marriage'. 2015
On Abortion: 'I would not want abortion to be as freely available here in Northern Ireland as it is in England'. 2016
On Climate Change: 'I don’t care about Co2 emissions to be quite truthful. I still think climate change is a man made con'. 2005

Hmmm, I guess if you are being picky you could point a few things there which may make them unfit to rule over us as part of Government.

Let's Call The Whole Thing Off

The plan was Donald Trump gets turfed out of office well before he is due to visit the UK and the invite stupidly handed down from Theresa May gets null and void and America gets a grown up in charge and the streets of the UK avoid being flooded by protesters against the orange face racist.
Now after the election and Theresa May desperately clinging onto power with the aid of the religious nutjobs of the DUP, the last thing she wants is a reminder of that hand holding session at the White House but it seems that Trump may pull out anyway in the wake of his tweet over recent terror attack and his withdrawal from tjhe Paris Climate Agreement.   
It is reported that the man who admitted he paid no income tax and admitted to sexually assaulting women called Prime Minister Theresa May to say he did not want to visit until he had support from the British public which is as good as saying he won't ever be popping over.
It is unknown what Theresa May replied but a Downing Street spokesman said: 'We aren't going to comment on speculation about the contents of private phone conversations' although there is a very good chance that she may be booted out of office before him as even her own party are manoeuvring to oust her after he awful election showing.
It could be that she is such a disaster that Trump doesn't want to be seen with her which would suit everyone all round as we don't want him here, he doesn't want to come here, she doesn't want to be seen with him and he doesn't want to be seen with her so let's call the whole thing off and we can keep our placards dry for the demonstrations against next round of Tory austerity cuts and Trump can go visit about the only country where he will he will be welcome, Russia.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Who Are The DUP?

With the Conservatives scrambling around looking to make deals to stay in power, the spotlight has fallen on the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) but what do we know about this party set to rule over us and drawn from the protestant side of Northern Ireland’s political spectrum?
What we do know is that they are a deeply religious group far to the right of the Conservatives and the bright, hot light of attention is throwing up some undesirable quotes from the party which should give the Tories pause for thought for exactly who they are now cuddling up to.
The party is the creation of Reverend Ian Paisley who was heavily involved in a campaign against Catholicism and homosexuality and fiercely opposed gay rights, routinely preached against homosexuality and the party picketed gay rights events even after it was decriminalized in Northern Ireland in 1982.
Northern Ireland is the only remaining part of the UK where same-sex marriage is not legal after the DUP used a controversial veto mechanism to block any change to legislation. 
The party has been the largest in Northern Ireland since 2007 and one of the ten seats belongs to Paisley's son, Ian Jr, who shared his view that he was 'repulsed by gay and lesbianism.'
Another seat is Peter Robinson who said that he 'wouldn't trust Muslims' and backed a pastor who labelled Islam 'satanic' while the education minister said he believed that the earth is 4000 years old and wanted creationism tought with equal weighting as evolution in schools.
Other quotes include homosexuality being labelled as worse than the sexual abuse of children and they hold a policy against abortion and campaign strongly against any extension of abortion rights to the country in line with their deeply rooted religious beliefs.
Hard to believe that it could be that the Conservative may not be the nastiest party in the coalition except on Sundays when the DUP refuse to work, it being the Sabbath and all that.

June Not The End Of May

In wonderful understatement, Theresa May admits the election did not go to plan and boy, did it ever.
The thinking, i presume, was that she would call the election early while Labour was in disarray and her majority of 12 would grow to anything between 80-120 and she would spend the next five years doing as she pleased.
Turned out Labour got their act together and she was an inept as it was possible to be and she not only lost her majority but is now in such a weak position that she is only able to make the numbers work by doing a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party in a coalition, and the DUP will demand a high price for their seats, and even then she will have to run as a minority Government at the whim of any rebellious minister who disagrees with her when she tries to pass any new laws. 
All in all, the can't fail gamble blew up in her face but as much as Labour are celebrating, we still face the prospect of another five years of Conservative rule, although one which will be much easier to defeat in the Commons.
My theory that the reason she went for the election three years early was because she knows what is coming with the Brexit negotiations coming to a head in 2019 and the inevitable tanking of the economy and upheaval which would not play particularly well in the election in 2020.
Can't blame her for being opportunistic, she saw a chance and went for it, but that it failed so miserably means the next five years of her Government, if it doesn't implode before, is going to be a tough slog and even tougher when the Brexit deal is sorted.
The silver lining is the rise of Labour and the demise of UKIP, a stain that hopefully has been washed away, but the Government can't paint this as anything other that a massive exercise in Government self-harm and Theresa May is in a far, far weaker position for the next 5 years than she would have been for the next 3 years if she had settled for what she had.