Brexit

Wouldn’t you like to know how I voted – well, tough I’m not saying where I put my cross! It’s getting all messy. Ireland and the Customs Union are creating havoc but I say so what?

Doesn’t coming out the the EU cause problems and difficulties?

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Fat

Why doesn’t anyone say “no” to a gargantuan hamburger, one may well ask? It’s all in the mind. Well, that’s the conclusion I draw anyway.

Anything?

Everybody goes on about a new car (well, make that fairy new), a Big Mac, a rented flat, a spanking lip stick……..there’s not much that the ‘anybody’ doesn’t go on about. So where do we  go to sort the problems of the world out. Nowhere that’s where.

Isn’t it a notion that has the word ‘depressed’ about it?

The Cruise

That’s the Cruise over and done with. Six lectures and everybody is happy – at least I think they are! All up-market (I’m not saying which Cruise company it is, might just set off the Trolls again – although they do amuse!), fanciful food and service that would do a Sheikh proud.

It’s back to scribbling now, how tedious!!!

 

 

Marks & Spencer

This isn’t just food…this is M&S food!

At least, this is what we were told for months on end, the advert drove the Matron round the bend, particularly when I said the voice was all sexy and mysterious. Talking about my darling wife, a few days ago I decided to have a day off from being the objectionable and demanding husband – it’s true, I promise you!

The Idiot’s Lantern (ie TV) had been plugging us for weeks about all this cordon bleu £10 job at Parc Trostre’s M&S (why we chose there is a mystery to me) – the truth is, somebody had bought me a multi-coloured rugby shirt for Christmas and I was taking it into M&S to get the money back. Rugby? Multi-coloured? Not me at all. Getting into ruck’s and sniffing other men’s backsides has never  been my style, apart from anything else, I’m a starched collar and double-cuff man myself.

Anyway, I cashed in the rugby shirt ie I was given a credit note and sauntered around for a few minutes wondering what to do next. As you know, ’shopping’ is not really my thing and frankly, I just get thoroughly confused with all the sparkling floors, shiny chrome clothes rails and sales assistants who look as if they’d do anything to work for John Lewis and have a slice of the action at the same time – I tried buying some sexy lady’s underwear in there once, that was an experience, believe me. I nearly started wearing the stuff myself, the assistant was so convincing. The Matron kept checking my drawers for months afterwards too!

So, pants or socks seemed the only way out of my M&S credit note nightmare. Off I went, looking here and there, hither and thither, when all of a sudden the Matron popped into my head. Why not do something all loving and appreciative for once, thinks I? Why not say ‘I love you’ without the words?

Inspiration struck! An M&S £10 supper for two! Different, imaginative, romantic, all for £10! This will put a smile on the wife’s face, I thought.

The following evening, I prepared a dining table fit for a Royal feast. Pukka table cloth, best cutlery (even proper fish knives!), candles, the works.

Guess what? The fish oozed spinach, which the Matron hates, the chips had crinkled passed their sell-by date, the wine was dismally mediocre and the cherries in the pudding, were a definite no-go area.

Now you know why, I don’t ‘do’ shopping and why I’ll never try and get on to a Mr & Mrs TV Show.

And to hell with a M&S £10 dinner for two!

Anti-Semitism

Jeremy Corbyn is having a bit of hard time at the moment – not that anybody in Wales will be put off by this, and rightly so! It’s all about anti-Semitism, that’s speaking ill of the Jews. Surprising really, I thought we’d sorted all this out a long time ago but there we are. I can’t say that someone who is Jewish makes any difference to me. I remember some Jewish friends in Law School (that’s a fair time ago!), they were really on the ball. Outpaced me at every turn! Good luck to them too.

Jeremy Corbyn was railed against for letting his far left leadership with ‘siding with anti-Semites’ again, according to Jewish groups around the country. The row is about a mural which is offending the cause of the Jews, a mural showing Jewish bankers playing monopoly on the backs of the poor  – Corbyn didn’t pay much attention to it at the time, it was just a mural and that’s that.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews said in a letter the mainstream majority of British Jews and their concerns are ignored by Corbyn and those he leads. Thus the Left wing are racist. Corbyn has apologised but is this enough?

Personally I don’t see what he can do, short of expelling those form the Labour Party he knows are racist – this would be a fine job, all the parties have people in them of a racist inclination! So I would say, there’s nothing much he can do.

Apart from this, this is a slur on his character. The Far Left is coming in for a trial by tribulation. Not good.

Corbyn needs to come in from the cold, try a different form of politics. Keep his Left of Centre to tolerable gains and surmountable achievement, this way he would gain a few votes. Running off to the far Left is not the way. He will lose. If he can keep his Party in line he may have a chance to gain power, if he can keep part of the Left restrained in its anti-Semite leanings. The racist groups may be forming but Corbyn please keep your politics to the Left of the Centre ground, not far Left. You may take this Column as unadulterated piffle but there’s some truth in it. A truth that you have to learn or sink without a hope.

It’s all about keeping the people on your side and anti-Semite deliberation (I know that you are not responsible for this but you are the Party Leader) is not the way to do things – not if you want to be Prime Minster.

 

 

Corbyn – EP

Jeremy Corbyn is straying a little too far to the appeasement game ie not giving the Government full Labour Party backup in the foreign relations debacle. I’m thinking here of Russia, in all its patently glorious empire!

He’s being slow and distracted – perhaps by a changing political will, although I can’t imagine what that could be?

His Left of Left politics is hardly going to change the will of the general population. He’s bending too far too the other side, although if this is your choice vote for him and good luck to you. It’s a democracy and everyone has a free will to exercise their voting inclination. Some commentators say, his Russian antics are causing a split in the Labour Party. It’s falling apart, in all directions. Some in the Labour Party are moderate and some find his support (?) for the Russian State intolerable, although they don’t say this in public which is fair enough.

A split?

Corbyn’s past antics have caused concern amongst many. His politics are far too Left for some in Labour, there is a faction of dissent in the Parliamentary wing of the Party. Now, this is fine if you follow a Left of the political persuasion but and here’s the thing, the UK is not a Left leaning state – albeit that he may have a 650,000 (or thereabouts) members. Young and fresh and know it all students – I can’t say much else as I was a student once, a long time ago! So this is hardly a basis to put your political life into.

He’s selling Britain down the road with no car to thumb a lift in. Not good.

If Corbyn is your choice for Prime Minister then good on you, but be careful what you vote for. Churchill went nuts over appeasement and May, dare I say it, is the same. Russia has always been unpredictable, so be circumspect in what you vote for. Another Labour Leader, who knows but Jeremy Corbyn I’m not so sure.

He’s just too soft and a Prime Minster has to be hard as nails.

It may take a division in Labour but so what? We’ll get a Leader that we believe in, not somebody that is scared to say hold on your wrong, for fear of having his Left of Centre brought into question. It’s a tough decision to make, but in the hereafter everybody in Wales will be forced to make it. Far Left is not the way, workers’ rights, social security, a decent education, the Health Service is and we don’t need a quasi-Marxist (I’m thinking here of John McDonnell!) to tell us this.

But then this is politics for you, who am I to tell you what to do.     

 

 

Immigration

Immigration? All the politicos are burning this notion on everybody voting ‘out’ of the European Union because of it. How has Wales reacted to this? I can’t see any desire for this to be a reason, can you? There is no immigration in Wales – to speak of, apart from Swansea and Cardiff and even here the people from other continents is derisory to put it mildly.

I lived and worked in Birmingham for a good few years and there is definite problem with immigration, well some of the more extreme versions of it. I lived in a road where I was only ‘white’ there and my staff were all of the Sikh variety. And do you know what? I never had any problem. I went to few Sikh weddings etc and even now some of my best friends are of a Sikh culture.

Makes you wonder what all this ‘problem’ is all about doesn’t it?

In Birmingham, other cultures was the way, the mainstream. But in Wales this is not the case. So, why did we vote out in the referendum? I cannot figure this out. Could it be that we see immigration as a drain on our finances? On the other hand, is it costing us too much to put up them? The Health Service, old people etc etc Lets not blame it on ourselves for heaven’s sake, it’s all the immigrants that are coming into Wales isn’t it?

What balderdash.

Where Wales is concerned, immigration is not the problem. The Welsh government is. They’ve messed up the financial planning, the Health Service, social care and on and on it goes. All in all, for the past 20 years they’ve made a hash of everything. Good on them though, that’s what politics is all about. Can’t understand why I write on it but there we are, I’m the deluded type that exists purely to put his name to something!

You all need to think about this, it is worthy of thought. Some might say, get out of here, you’re talking a load of rubbish but am I? I think not. Having lived in England for most of my adult life, I just don’t see where the problem lies. Live in London, Essex etc and you’ll know what I mean. Immigration is fine, the country cannot do without it and anyone who endorses a block on it is singing in the wind.

We all live in the same country, so why don’t we learn to tolerate and accept one another – apart from terrorists and the such like?   

Compare Birmingham and London to Swansea or Cardiff and the immigration question doesn’t exist at all, so what is all the fuss about?

 

Teresa May

Teresa May has been generous in her outward looking thought processes on leaving the European Union – I can’t stand using the word ‘Brexit’, it sounds like something from a Kebab take away  stall! But there’s one problem: The European Union is not taking a blind bit of notice of her. She tries and tries but to no avail.

The universal European ‘contract’ cannot be broken – not even by a sovereign state. It’s the B and end of all of peace and tranquillity. Well some might think this but even if you do, it is not in the interests of the UK. May has a difficult task in front of her, keeping the right wingers in line and the left (the Tory left, whatever that’s supposed to be?). A difficult task indeed.

Prime Ministers face all kinds of problems but this is the coup de grace of the modern era. The crowning glory. There’s ‘cherry picking’, have you ever heard anything so ridiculous in all your life? Loads of countries ‘cherry pick’ on all kinds of standard trade agreements, so why have we got to pick on these words all the time?

The media has gone nuts again – well, at least this is something we all know about!

All in all, the Prime Minister has done a good job. She has been honest and particularly frank – a trade deal will not give us everything we want. She has kept all parties happy, for now anyway. What’s happening with John Major I just don’t know, he hasn’t got over the Munich Treaty yet I suspect. It was good to see Mandelson on the telly, all the Blairites are not dead yet!

It will be difficult to criticise Theresa May. She is the only leader the Tory party can produce. She is strong and sticks to the task in hand. Will she ever go? I don’t think so, not if she has any political sense. We’ve got her for some time yet.

The media and press go on and on about nonsensical issues – issues that don’t get on the radar of the average voter. It will be in or out, blah bah blah. The EU is pushing hard and being deliberately uncooperative. Let’s hope Theresa will get them going after this, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. There is a long path of negation to go and where this will end up heaven knows where.

There is much that the EU can hold out for more but will this affect their own financial position? Their own trade?

These are the questions that all need to be asked. Where it will end up, I just don’t know – and no does anybody else for that matter!

EBook or print? – EP

EBook or print. Crusty sentimentality or pure practicality?

Waterstones have just announced a profit, albeit on children’s books – well, if you want to make some profit there’s the best way to go! Not to mention all the other stuff they sell. Children’s books. Now there’s something to get your teeth going, isn’t it?

Publishers are reluctant to say how they sell, on what genre etc.  So, it’s difficult to conclude anything. The BBC has recorded a drop in eBook sales of 0.1% – is this more to do with austerity perhaps? Taking all the evidence in tow (how much credulity to put on this, is your guess) it seems that eBooks are on the decline and print books are all in an upsurge of sales. Well, that’s the upsurge.

One thing I do know, is that Waterson’s are not keeping piles of books and neither is W H Smiths, this tells you something. In light of all this are eBooks really in decline? My own books (fiction) seem to be levelling out, the same for eBook as for the printed version. All in all, I can’t make as solid statement on anything at all – and I don’t trust publishers at all (dealing with them is enough of a nightmare in itself!).

Reading is down, full stop. We have a generation that is only click clicking and this may well be the cause. It might be that all this is well, but I’m not so sure. What happens with degrees, what happens with general learning? In my opinion, it is all downhill. I was talking with a Professor of Law the other day and asked him whether his students were all doing the classic legal texts that I used to have to do. He laughed and said in your dreams. This a fact I (I don’t write ‘fake’ news).

It’s troubling, more than troubling. Life is more about Tweeting and Facebook, heaven help us. I don’t bother with either, you’ll pleased to know – on second thoughts, I don’t know whether you will be pleased to hear that, but there you are!

EBooks are cheaper and inexpensive – although publishers keep the price up. I don’t understand why but there we are. Is it about saturation? There are is more self-published work on the internet that ever before. Is it about democratising? I’m not so sure. Is it about the emotional connection between the reader and the print books? This is another that is for the reader to decide.

I can say this: Reading is for an intellectual elite – that sounds bad doesn’t it? An elite that is fast declining. What we are all going to do about it, I just don’t know.

Buy more eBooks I suppose.