Category Archives: Politics & Random Musings

Betcha we don’t leave the EU — on October 31 or ever

And as the prime minister struggled through her witless negotiations with the EU, so this fervour for a people’s vote grew — because the thickos hadn’t understood how complex it all was, had they? And look — see how complex it is now, how labyrinthine? You hadn’t bargained for this, had you? And yet all the way along it was not Brexit that was the problem but the government’s handling of Brexit. But this stereotype, of the decrepit moron leave voter, was crucial to the cause of not delivering Brexit. They knew not what they had done, these poor deluded *snip*s. So another vote was needed, or maybe no vote — just stop the process in its tracks.

Labour MPs could convince themselves that in opposing Brexit they were doing the best for their constituencies, despite what their constituencies actually had to say about the business. Tory MPs did the same. And so parliament began to follow the narrative of the soft Brexit, the nice Brexit, the Brexit that wasn’t Brexit at all, something that might be offered as a sop to the idiots but that actually kept us in the EU in all but name.

Oh, and the elderly. It was elderly people who voted leave. Destroying the future of the younger generation. And their votes shouldn’t really count because they’ll all be dead soon — a familiar theme among that extremist tranche of absolutist remainers.

Never have so many blameless people in this country been held in such contempt, or been subject to such vilification, by an elite. A transgressed elite. Another narrative. The vote was invalid. It was not “binding” — despite the promise of the then prime minister, David Cameron, that it would indeed be binding and the absence on the polling cards anywhere of the word “advisory”. Sheer chicanery. Only 52% voted leave — a proper vote would have insisted upon a 60–40 majority. Would it? Why would it?

Those were the rules — a simple majority sufficed. Everybody knew that when they went to the polls, remainers and leavers alike. A football match won one-nil has still been won — the opposition does not declare that it’s not a win at all because the score wasn’t five-nil. The majority of people in the UK didn’t vote leave — another wholly asinine objection from that rump of infuriated remainers. No, indeed, they didn’t. But we have a habit, in this country, and in most democracies, of counting up the votes of people who have voted — not the ones who didn’t. An odd arrangement, but there we are.

Or the vote was invalid because the leave campaign — always the leave campaign, never the remainers — told fibs. Well, heaven forfend. If we nullified elections every time a politician told a porkie, we wouldn’t have a democracy at all. But all this epic, disingenuous, non-sequitur shit, this flailing around in pursuit of a bunch of Aunt Sally arguments, helped to grease the wheels of the remain lobby and assuaged the MPs in their confected anguish over not, actually, respecting the vote at all.
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The Edwina Curry Interview: Edwina Discusses Brexit, Russia, Putin, the EU with Cheshire Olga

My guest today is Edwina Currie. An Oxford University alumna, she was an MP from 1983 until 1997, and was a minister in Margaret Thatcher’s government in the Department for Health. She is the author of eleven books, a well-known radio presenter and TV personality. She even runs a business club and is the president of a male voice choir!

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Olga: What inspires you?

Edwina: I’ve been inspired by looking at the work of great people. Particularly Margaret Thatcher, who I knew and worked for. I had noticed her when she was a young, married woman MP, a scientist and a mother of small children. Her children were only 6 years old when she went into parliament. I went into parliament when my children were 6 and 8 years old. I knew it could be done because Margaret had done it.

You cannot aspire to be that person, but you can aspire to their way of life, ideas and attitudes. And try to continue the pathway they showed.

I was in elected office for 22 years. Each time I had the opportunity to administer some power I tried to do good things that would be durable. We introduced free breast cancer screening for everybody. We brought in cervical cancer screening for women. We were the first country in the world to have both.
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Интервью с британским министром Эдвина Карри о России и о Брексит

Сегодня у меня в гостях Эдвина Карри.

Эдвина Карри выпускница Оксфордского университета, была членом парламента и министром здравоохранения в правительстве Маргарет Тэтчер.

Эдвина медийная персона, автор одиннадцати книг, руководитель бизнес-клуба и президент мужского хора. Мы говорим о России, Брексит и Маргарет Тэтчер.

Видео на русском и английском. Стенограмма ниже. Нажмите кнопку ниже, чтобы посмотреть на Youtube. Continue reading

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The 5:2 inventor on ‘mini fasts’ and his new secret to rapid weight loss

Dr Michael Mosley is in the business of making people healthier, not upsetting them. Whether he is talking about people struggling with eating habits, or the food industry pushing unhealthy snacks, he always chooses his words carefully. But the man who revolutionised eating with the 5:2 diet is frustrated by the speed at which things change.

NHS nutritional advice tells us first about the importance of eating your five-a-day, and then it says that your meals should be mainly based on starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice and pasta. So the NHS is telling us to keep up bodies constantly charged with carbohydrates, as if we have learnt nothing about the benefits of the intermittent fasting that was popularised by Dr Mosley. Continue reading

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Wheel in the Daleks, Doctor — whatever it takes to exterminate the BBC’s bias

But we are not quite on that track yet, because my daughter continues to watch past series of Doctor Who — in fact, she watches them when the current series is on.

She wants a Dalek fix, much as we all do from time to time. What she doesn’t want, she says, is to be struck over the head each week by the monkey wrench of fatuous BBC liberal propaganda, with a few crap aliens thrown in here or there as a sop.

A perfectly balanced, all-boxes-ticked, ethnic and gender-balanced team trying to help Rosa Parks sit where she wants on that bus (episode three), or partition in India, the consequence of British wickedness, in which Muslims show how absolutely bloody marvellous they are (episode six), or the misogyny of witch trials and so on and so on.

My kid isn’t alone. The audience for the current series has dropped by more than a third. The kids don’t like it — they get all that tendentious rubbish at school “enrichment” class, when they should be learning how to add up. Me, I’m down with the kids. They’re right. Continue reading

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More American Aggression: The War Against the Turkish Lira

Why is the war raging against the Turkish lira?

More accurately what is going on can be described as a battle against the Turkish lira as part of a war to protect the position of the U.S. dollar.

With a huge proportion of external debt denominated in dollars; some $300 billion in private as opposed to government debt amounting to about 50% of Turkish GDP, Turkey is an easy target. That the U.S. has a political beef with Turkey is merely a bonus.

Remembering that, for the United States, maintaining the position of the dollar as a reserve currency is key to the survival of the country, this war is very important.

What we are seeing at the moment is an inevitable response to the ongoing process of de-dollarisation.

There will be responses and counter-responses but the biggest single risk, in my opinion, is that the actions currently being taken by the United States tend, whether successful or not, to lead to the outcome that is least desired by the U.S. Continue reading

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Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, Donald Trump and Meghan Markle.

Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, Donald Trump and Meghan Markle and not three obvious names you might think are likely to come together in one article.

What about I throw some Brexit in?

In an internet forum discussion (ostensibly on Donald Trump but frequently on other things) recently, a bloke said this to me:

Read up on Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi and his views: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_von_Coudenhove-Kalergi#Views_on_race_and_religion

Well, I’d never heard of Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi. But from the link I found an interesting quote:

“The man of the future will be of mixed race. Today’s races and classes will gradually disappear owing to the vanishing of space, time, and prejudice. The Eurasian-Negroid race of the future, similar in its appearance to the Ancient Egyptians, will replace the diversity of peoples with a diversity of individuals.”

I’ve often thought this was someone’s “grand plan” for humanity. If you go back through popular culture, you’ll find it everywhere for decades as a gentle sort of propaganda.

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Is War Between the USA and North Korea Likely?

The media is foaming at the mouth at the prospect of a war between North Korea and the USA. Is a nuclear war likely between North Korea and the USA? Are Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un likely to go to … Continue reading

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Teddy Boys and the Rock’n’Roll Revival

Although fifties-styled clothing was not readily available in High Street stores, revivalists were catered for by small shops, who frequently sold goods through small adverts in music papers. Perhaps one of the best known is Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s shop at 430 King’s Road, Chelsea, which opened in 1971 as ‘Let it Rock.’

The shop initially sold original fifties clothes, but Westwood soon started to produce new copies to sell.

These were not exact copies; colours tended to be brighter than the fifties originals, and featured camp detailing like fake fur or lurex trim.

As a youth tribe, the new Teds in Britain were not far removed from the skinheads. Both movements were almost exclusively working class, and they were both known for racist behaviour and general aggression.

But the teddy boys were far more flamboyant, from their gaudy suits to their authentically charged style of dancing. Even their choice of car was crucial-in the mid 1980s, a car magazine, commenting on the very American looking Ford Consul Capri of 1962, noted that many of the surviving vehicles had tears in the cushion of the driver’s seat-attributed by the magazine as being caused by metal combs sticking out of the seat pockets of the driver’s trousers.

Teddy boys were still around at the dawn of the punk age; indeed, contemporary pictures show than some punks adopted a certain amount of punk gear, with drainpipe jeans or trousers being notably popular (no flares!).

Not that the two factions were united-Poly Styrene, the leader of the punk rock group X-Ray Spex had her market stall of kitsch trashed by a gang of teds. But by the end of the seventies, only the most dedicated of teds remained.

The fifties had by then featured in several high-profile films and television shows, most notably Grease and Happy Days. Although these were American products, they both had a considerable impact in Britain too.

By the 1980s, nostalgic perception of the 1950s was quite different to what it was in the previous decade. In the 80s, cod-1950s style was far more archetypally American, typified by the leather jacket/blue jeans/white 6 t-shirt look. Although the yearning for the past survived, any historical accuracy had been obliterated. Continue reading

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Essay: Domestic Nostalgia

This is a large estate on the edge of a village, built within a small forest, the construction of which required annihilation of most of the foliage. All the roads are named after trees, and the style of houses all 7 conformed to an olde-worlde stereotype of leaded windows, canopies over front doors and fake half timbering. But why do so many people favour the traditional over the modern? It would appear that to many, the past offers reassurance and security. In Traditional Interiors, which is a book from the USA published by the Architectural Review, the notion is suggested that “In a marvellously comforting way, the past is forever there; the rules are established; the mistakes have been eliminated.

A sort of purification has taken place, and the trends of the moment have been eliminated”2 . The idea of the traditional being away from the realm of fashion is an important one when considering architecture, or home fittings and furnishings. Nothing dates as quickly as the ultra contemporary, and as the purchase of a home and/or its furnishings represent a considerable outlay, people tend to be wary about that which will date quickly. Traditional designs are a safe option; while they will never be terribly fashionable, they probably will never be particularly unfashionable either. Another interesting parallel to note is that both the inter war years and the period from the eighties on have both been periods of remarkable growth in domestic consumer technologies. While the earlier period saw the introduction of scheduled radio and limited television broadcasts and increasing ubiquity of the telephone, the later one has so far.

Traditional interiors. Los Angeles : Knapp, 1979. 8 seen mobile phones, powerful computers, the emergence of the internet and a glut of television channels all become a part of everyday life. The unprecedented levels of mass communication achieved in both of these eras served to considerably alter perception of time and space-speeding life up as well as making information ever more accessible. In a world where the unfamiliar constantly becomes the normal, people can feel the need for something tangible and familiar to grasp on to.

The future is not the certainty of an exciting new world that it was in the two decades following the cessation of WW2. Indeed, the problems associated with modern design and architecture of this period are well remembered, and add to a suspicion of the ‘new.’ Even the lack of regional variation in recently built estates can be perceived as offering reassurance. In an age where people’s jobs can easily lead to them relocating to an unfamiliar part of the country, the similarity these developments have to each other almost eliminates the need to get used to the new area, which is something that seems to have been happening over the last couple of decades in terms of global standardisation as well.

The irony is, though, that people who are quite happy to live in a modern ‘traditional’ home, with ‘traditional’ furniture could also be the kind that would turn down living in a genuinely old (but modernised) house or owning antique furniture. This is illustrated in a brilliant quote from a book on the Channel Four series Sign of the Times (broadcast in 1992) which was a show about the nation’s taste in home décor. One of the participants said that “I’m put off real antiques because to me they look old and sort of Barker, Nicholas and Martin Parr. Signs of the Times: A portrait of the nation’s Tastes.

In summary, domestic nostalgia, despite its detractors, offers the consumer a retreat from the high speed world that we live in. The mistakes made post war in relation to ‘the new’ have remained in people’s consciousness for a long time, and even today, the traditional is associated with quality, and a slower, more peaceful world. It is a completely idealised vision of the past, but because of this rose tinted depiction, a home built or decorated in this style provides a symbolically safe environment for its occupiers. Continue reading

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