It is interesting, in a macabre way, to listen to people's anguish and fears over what is currently going on and the inevitable consequences for the future.
While it has to be said most of what I hear in conversation comes from those in a similar age group, that is natural as that group have lived through all the previous threats, events and disasters of the past and have a yardstick by which to compare today's multi-faceted attacks on our freedoms, wealth and health.
So much is published every day that would have been headlines twenty years ago or even later that now doesn’t even get on the first six pages, never mind the front one; it is an endless churn of doom-laden statements and facts - I say facts but much is government disinformation; you know, those facts that only they have the answer for.
My old neighbour is typical. When this daily ‘stuff’ is regurgitated in the MSM he says to me “I no longer know what to believe as everything is contradicted by the same MSM“ and he prefers not to listen to or view the news any more. My wife takes a similar position, saying with some regret “there is nothing we can do anyway” and at our time of life it is up to the younger generation to get off their backsides, stop spending all their time on smart phones and do something. Wishful thinking I’m afraid but I think most of us know where she is coming from and those like her, we are getting old and have little left to give outside talking about it all.
The Jubilee will be with us when this goes up, a little light relief in the scheme of things but really just a short pause. I like many remember the coronation of Elizabeth, that and Churchill's funeral: no one puts on pageant as we did then, the last hurrah for a declining nation and Empire, both events with the war still a fresh memory had meaning and both were carried out in a way that at the time only we could do. Now it is like a look back in history to a forgotten time. Many would have it that way on a permanent basis, to all be replaced by a Republic and a President who would be chosen from the dross that infests our parliament these days, not much of a choice; yet the new generation of royals are making it easier for that change to come about.
The weekly blood-letting of the NHS continues with NHS Wales now declaring that it will take at least seven years to get waiting lists back to normal. Such a statement has no real meaning other than that the whole shebang is not fit for purpose. It’s a figure plucked from the sky: they have no idea how long it will really take and to many they will be dead long before the letter arrives with the good news that the NHS is ready to receive you.
Whatever happened to the long forgotten drive towards preventative practises that would give early warnings on health issues and save lives time and money when brought in. Disappeared down the memory hole along with other statements of intent like ‘you will all have a choice of GP and hospital’; how we laugh.
Partygate continues. In itself it should in normal circumstances be something to move on from as not important as long as those involved were doing good work for the country which is what we pay them for; but no, they do a lousy job for the country, have piss-ups when the rest can’t see dying relatives and talk about ‘within the rules’ as though that makes the numerous events in Downing Street insignificant. The latest leak that a couple were ‘at it’ at one of these events says it all regards any respect for those they serve and the rules they enforced. We will have to wait till after the Jubilee to see if any action will be forthcoming as to getting rid of Boris and replacing him with another waste of space.
"We hang petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office"
- Aesop, Greek slave & fable author
Elsewhere the NI protocol problem has no end. Can anyone imagine France standing for Corsica to have a customs line in the Med and be annexed? Yet we, or Boris, thought this was a good way to get the job done despite many in the province warning about the result, and now Sinn Fein have their hands on the tiller because of the failure to sort the problem.
Minority groups grow ever more strident in their demands, whether it is trans people whose numbers grow like immigration every week to such a degree one asks are their any straight white males left; maybe not.
More and more black people want reparations for past grievances in the colonies, though the truth is the amount of money pumped into these places over decades has all disappeared into the ether and is or should not be followed by any reparations for the simple reason no one alive has suffered any hardships that are not of their own volition or those that govern them. We can’t wet nurse the world for ever; we can’t afford to look after our own any more - see the state of nursing homes.
With a million migrants coming to our shores last year it won't be long before there will be no one left in these countries to pay reparations to anyway, they will all be here.
You will note these migration figures are never discussed when government talks about the problems of housing the NHS and financial costs. It is always in the abstract as though they just arrive and mysteriously support themselves.
This is a response to the online petition against signing the WHO treaty that would bind countries to any mandate the WHO comes up with for any medical ‘emergency’; not that if we did not sign we would go along with it for the wrong reasons anyway. After the fiasco in many areas and the actual proof that the majority route had no advantage over the likes of Sweden and several USA states we seem to prefer ruining the country.
The problem is not treaties in themselves but treaties with organisations that have no mandate from this country and the people who can legislate mandates that impose restrictions and procedures on the individual that are contrary to the sovereign state. The WHO has many faults including its leader, see pieces passim, so why the rush to join up?
To protect lives, the economy and future generations from future pandemics, the UK government supports a new legally-binding instrument to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.
COVID-19 has demonstrated that no-one is safe until we are all safe, and that effective global cooperation is needed to better protect the UK and other countries around the world from the detrimental health, social and economic impacts of pandemics and other health threats. The UK supports a new international legally-binding instrument as part of a cooperative and comprehensive approach to pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.
At a World Health Assembly Special Session in late 2021, the 194 countries of the World Health Organization (WHO) agreed to launch a process to draft and negotiate a new instrument, through the auspices of WHO, to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. The negotiating process will be led by member states, including the UK.
The instrument aims to improve how the world prevents, better prepares for, and responds to future disease outbreaks of pandemic potential at national, regional and global level. It would complement the existing international instruments which the UK has already agreed, such as the International Health Regulations. It would promote greater collective action and accountability.
A treaty is an international agreement concluded between States or with international organisations in written form and governed by international law. The UK is party to a large number of multilateral treaties, including many through the United Nations (UN) and its specialised agencies such as the WHO. These instruments reflect obligations states have agreed to enter into to further common goals.
The current target date for agreeing the text of the new instrument is at the World Health Assembly in May 2024. Over the next two years the UK aims to work towards building a consensus on how the global community can better prevent, prepare for, and respond to future pandemics and will actively shape, develop and negotiate the text. The new instrument would only be adopted by the World Health Assembly if the text achieves a two-thirds vote of the Health Assembly (Article 19 of the WHO Constitution). The Health Assembly is made up of representatives of WHO Member States.
Once adopted, the instrument would only become binding on the UK if and when the UK accepts (ratifies) it in accordance with its constitutional process. In the UK this requires the treaty to be laid before Parliament for a period of 21 sitting days before the Government can ratify it on behalf of the UK.
The Government always carefully considers whether domestic legislation will be required to implement the UK’s international obligations when negotiating a treaty. Not every treaty requires implementing legislation and it is too early to say if that would apply here. However, in all circumstances, the UK’s ability to exercise its sovereignty would remain unchanged and the UK would remain in control of any future domestic decisions about national restrictions or other measures.
If changes to UK law were considered necessary or appropriate to reflect obligations under the treaty, proposals for domestic legislation would go through the usual Parliamentary process and the UK would not ratify the treaty until domestic measures, agreed by Parliament, were in place.
This process of ratification allows scrutiny by elected representatives of both the treaty and any appropriate domestic legislation in accordance with the UK’s constitutional arrangements. The Government does not consider a referendum is necessary, appropriate or in keeping with precedent for such an agreement.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
Petitions are a complete waste of time, they are a sticking plaster for supposed democracy but how many have been enacted upon or even listened to?
This is the list from the WHO of the promoted, not elected, board members of that organisation. Not a single nation objected to China being on that list; as Bill Gates largely funds the same it is wonder he is not there in his own right, and we want to sign up?
In Waitrose this week I picked up a copy of the Waitrose magazine Weekender, mainly because I wanted to check on the column by Anna Shepard - you may remember I commented on it a short time ago, called ‘My year living sustainably.’ This week was not so much fun as the earlier one and concentrated on growing your own. She doesn’t seem all that keen on GYO as slugs and snails come into the equation and dealing with them is time-consuming; she suggests that leaving the slugs to 50% of the produce is the answer, though real life experience shows slugs have no demarcation lines and perhaps she should forget that one.
The Weekender had a Jubilee wrapper round it and claims the regular edition is inside! This edition I assumed would be full of Jubilee hints on having a good time and what to eat and drink, but no, the front page doesn’t have 70 years on the throne, it has 50 years of Pride and an old B&W photo of gays in dresses from that period long ago, turning over two pages of Pride milestones; over again and a black man thinks it is time to honour and celebrate lost friends to AIDS; honour? Turn again and seven questions for the frontman of The Feeling, whoever they are, who, you guessed it, is gay and he/she declares his mum is gay his uncle is gay and so is he, good for him, it’s all so complicated…
Turn again and that old Thespian gay Sir Ian McKellen has an article and a full page photo of himself looking very gay and turning another page we are told his story describing his fight for gay equality, though I have no recognition of his being gay holding back his career; perhaps I missed something.
Ah, the next page is the start of food and drink; good, some Jubilee nosh... no, oh what? It is rainbow biscuits from Edd (two D’s) Kimber, Bake Off gay chef, who talks about being gay alongside a recipe for rainbow biscuits.
At last, in the middle a Weekend special with a small mention of the Queen on the page in very small print beneath a large trifle; inside, another small photo of the Queen and then a series of quick dishes for the weekend and suitable drinks. Very little mention of what they are for i.e. Jubilee but we get the message.
Well one thing we got from all that is one sort of Queen has been superimposed on the real thing and in spades.
The week or day would not be complete without an offended group getting something cancelled, sacked or removed. This one comes from the permanently offended who always get their way regardless: a Canadian University puts out a poster showing among others two lesbian Muslim women in hijabs. The reaction was most conciliatory as they acknowledged this type of Muslim exists but have no desire for any depiction or discussion of it to be allowed so the poster was pulled; no surprise there then.
You see they do consider themselves to not only be a superior group but they also want you to know that and be quiet about it.
John D Wood the upmarket estate agents claim property prices have dropped, the beginning of a slump. Not according to them; in estate agent speak it is just a ‘repositioning’ in the market: large numbers have discovered escaping from the cities to larger houses with larger gardens is just what they need. They obviously have not seen the miniscule properties on the smallest footprints in Europe they are throwing up everywhere. If the footprint gets any smaller those already three-storied properties will become four/five stories like a layer cake.
Despite all this I shall be raising a glass to the old girl. Anyone who can put up with the crap she has seen and had to deal with over all those years and remain sane in the job deserves all the plaudits. Cheers!
Our hallowed and grossly overpriced property market kept up by a decade or more of artificially low interest rates and unnecessary incentives which simply push the price higher, has seen the first signs of a reduction in prices and a cooling market. This before the s*** really hits the fan in the autumn. People want properties with bigger gardens and larger houses outside of cities, says John D Woods, regional director; this when the Conservative party's biggest donors are building the smallest houses on the smallest plots in Europe. Something not right there!
Energy companies reap benefits from Direct Debit payments by hoisting monthly payments beyond what will be used in energy. Nothing new in that but now they are really going to town. Of course the answer is to bill monthly what you have used and that can be demanded as the energy watchdog has stated.
Our government is still writing cheques for billions as opposed to millions only 24 months ago. Will the magic money tree die of lack of funds or will it be propped up by the printing presses? There is only one answer to that and it is not a good one: the hard pressed taxpayer will start to run out of funds to pay for all this and resentment at being fleeced grows; endless interviews with obese mothers who can’t afford to feed their children but can afford cosmetic surgery, I-phones and strange hair colours start to look more than a bit dodgy in their utterances.
Boris gives even bigger cheques and armaments to Ukraine so he can at least in one area appear to lead the world, though again spending huge sums of money on a corrupt regime must feel similar to awarding PPE contracts to people who know people who know politicians. It all ends up disappearing into the clear blue sky and unlike the virus there is no end in sight; keep those presses going!
Carrie Johnson, the PM's wife is patron to many green and animal charities. This one is almost funny but shows how these small groups gain traction and make things more expensive and difficult for others:
The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (foundation is the new charity) is complaining about salmon farming and the use of ‘cleaner fish' which remove lice from the salmon. Their concern is that these cleaner fish are being killed and discarded and treated as a disposable resource to tackle lice infestation; they are the invisible victims of the salmon industry and it should be banned from using them unless their welfare can be guaranteed. Strange that salmon escape their scrutiny, but oh well, it is a first step I suppose. Chemicals were used before but the lice developed resistance so the greener natural way was used instead; as always nothing satisfies the green lobby other than banning everything.
Drug driving is rapidly catching up with drink driving as the latest figures show. What to do about it? Simples: put back traffic police that are now as rare as a GP's appointment. The police in response said they doing more kerbside drug tests; when did you last see a stop and test site by the road? No, me neither; the reality is there is no point in prosecuting them as if jailed there is nowhere to put them, hence with so many crimes they are no longer prosecuted, making life easier for the culprits and of course the police. The figures on convictions now are so poor that like GP surgeries in many cases it would be easier and cheaper to do without them.
A city the size of Birmingham is needed every year now to house immigrants. This was announced as Pritti Patel the hapless minister says the flights to Rwanda will start on the 14th June. The legal opposition has just started on these removals and again public money is found in large amounts for people who have never contributed to the system whereas we the public have had legal aid virtually removed in its entirety.
On the other hand overpaid footballers can hose money at their wives in a legal case that should have finished the day one came home and said 'I am going to sue the other' over something so trivial that millions of hubby's cash can be wasted putting things right. There was an answer but still, it's their money.
And then we are warned of power cuts this autumn because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine; that is what the Times said. Not true of course as the real problem that has been pointed out for many many years is our total failure to replace infrastructure and cut corners. No matter whether it is pot holes, or nuclear power stations and a myriad other items, we don’t replace, build or even maintain, so a nation sitting on coal gas and oil is going to ration energy. It's all your fault for wanting to live comfortably of course, and again certain minority groups will be wetting themselves in excitement at the thought of the proles not only not being able to afford to fill their cars but also not being able to charge their EVs, two goals for the price of one, with air travel becoming a bun fight from which you end up going nowhere but back home and the railways going on strike we will be back where we were in lockdown.
And a question to finish: what are they doing with all those dinghies they have collected in Dover and the south coast? Are they recyclable, for sale to the taxpayer at a discount to offset his funding of the migrants, or joined together to form a giant pontoon bridge across the Channel so as to save the bother of collecting the migrants in the first place? I feel we should be told.