Do you remember Harold Camping? A bible thumping christian who made his living from predicting the end of days and sharing his theory over his radio station. He built up quite the following over the years. And they didn’t all desert him when the world repeatedly failed to end on time. But that’s not entirely surprising – that’s how cults work. A dedication and devotion that goes beyond any arguments from fact or reality. Harold Camping’s cult was pretty harmless as cults go. It was fringe, and laughable rather than dangerous. Continue reading
The year got off to a terrible start for UKIP, the country’s official party for racists and bigots, when their leader’s (inappropriately young) girlfriend got him the sack with some slightly KKKesque comments about the quality and colour that Meghan Markle would be bringing to the Royal Family. Then they elected a new leader who has himself gone full-on white supremicist batshit crazy. Could things get worse?
A couple of years ago, when we were burgled, the police ran down the culprit. They found his fingerprints on an inside window pane. They obtained CCTV footage of him buying bottles of booze from a convenience store with my debit card. They found him with stolen goods in his possession. He was, to put it mildly, a notorious habituable offender. And he was caught red-handed. Bang to rights. An open and closed case. Beyond any reasonable doubt.
I enjoyed my first protest. It’s one more thing crossed off life’s bucket list. It was a worthy cause. It was a great opportunity for a photo walk. It was a successful protest, to my mind. Different folks might have different opinions on what counts as a success. You could possibly argue that a protest commonly called Stop Trump failed when Trump arrived. However, in the key areas that I would consider critical when judging whether the protest was a successful or a failure, the protest hit the mark. Continue reading
The concept of free speech is something of an oxymoron if taken too literally. The only guarantee when anything is taken to an absolute is that freedom will not be the result. The boundaries of what is, should be and can’t be free are contentious, and not my point today. My point today is explaining what the most vocal proponents of free speech in the UK and elsewhere are really after. Their goals are in fact hidden behind the cloak of free speech.
Today, even as I type this, a group of toffs are holed up at Chequers trying to decide which of the latest combination of fudged trade and customs plan they would like the EU to reject. Some might suggest that Theresa May’s Brexit plans are beginning to look like the Rocky saga – implausible, badly scripted, going on far too long. Others might suggest it’s more of a Rocky Horror Picture Show – fantasy from the 1970s. I’m hoping today might yet turn out to be more Agatha Christie. You just can’t have that many aristocrats in a country house at one time without someone being murdered. It’s just a matter of who will take the knife in the back. Ooooh, so many good candidates to choose from…
Every once in a while, a town that is local to me will hit the national news. One of the most exciting events was back in the late 90s when a bunch of animal activists burst into a fur farm in Ringwood, releasing thousands of mink. Yay for the freed mink! Not such great news for the native wildlife that then came into contact with the mink. In 2011, Mrs P and I returned from the land of the narco, where grisly beheadings were the norm. Only for someone to behead a man across the road from our workplace. And just recently, a well off gentleman is an exclusive neighbourhood round the corner from mother was shot dead in a bungled Continue reading
I knew the story of Jennie Jerome, the American lady who came to these isles and produced the dominant figure of 20th century British politics, Winston Churchill. It transpires that we returned the favour – what goes around, comes around. Although I was, until recently, ignorant of the story. I shouldn’t have been. Twice we have spent the day at Minterne House and Gardens, in a small village in West Dorset. Not so far from our home in Bournemouth. It’s here that the story began, as a young Pamela Digby, the daughter of Baron Digby, grew up in the family home.
You may have seen the tragic news from a small town in southern England last week. A mentally disturbed man did not go into a primary school and 25 young school children were not bludgeoned to death with a cricket bat. Tragic. Absolutely tragic. Nonetheless, teachers around the country are being issued with a huge assortment of cricket bats, tennis racquets, snooker cues and hockey sticks. Just in case. It’s best to be prepared for every eventuality. Thoughts and prayers must go out to Prince Philip and what passes as the UK gun lobby Continue reading
Times change, so they do. Is war upon us? Who knows. Maybe yes, maybe no. But probably not. Yet. Not this week. Hopefully not before the iPhone 8 has been launched and mine shipped to me. Many months ago, I suggested one possible end to Trump’s reign could be a military coup d’etat. On the basis that Trump flips out and orders something particularly irrational and outrageous that only instant military intervention could prevent. It was at the ‘least likely’ end of the list. Maybe it should move up a place or two. Continue reading
For the last year or two, I have been known to make use of these virtual pages to protest political developments, deviants and disaster. There’s much to protest about at the moment. Although, perhaps, if you are a Trump loving Brexiteer, you might think I doth protest too much. But regardless, I do protest. I’m not, however, a protester. I have never actually attended a protest march, gathering, sit in, commune or other type of mass event that actually requires my physical presence. In part it’s because I’m lazy. It’s also often Continue reading
The election last week. Well, that was unexpected, huh? Against all odds, the Conservative landslide transpired to be a hung parliament. Recriminations in Tory and media circles will last long into the night. And beyond. But the truth is, we are all guided by polls. Which in the UK are notoriously off the mark. But still, the Continue reading
Back in 2006, Mexicans went to the polls in what was a contentious, controversial and ultimately very close presidential election. The result wasn’t what roughly half the population wanted. And that half of the population were angry. Very angry. The protests went on for what seemed like years – possibly because it was years. There was even a protest outside my home, which Obrador once visitied to do a little anger-stirring Continue reading
Last week, Donald Trump heroically prevented the squashing of one of the most endangered insects on the planet by the careless actions of the prime minister of Montenegro, who came within an inch of stepping on it. In fluent Croatian, Trump alerted his international colleague, “Budi oprezan, prijatelju. Gotovo stao na Continue reading
Last year, we had a somewhat controversial trial in the UK. You may have heard of it – the news services covered it fairly comprehensively. It was controversial for a number of reasons, not least that it even occurred. Instigated by a fairly small number of individuals, most of whom had a fairly questionable set of morals, on the basis of hearsay and dodgy data. Continue reading