Current Affairs

Woodrow Wilson, eh?

So Princeton is getting rid of his name from buildings ‘n’ stuff because of his racist views.

Hmm, well. That’s rather a cat out of the bag, isn’t it? “Racist views” would include near all of the Democratic Party pre- about 1950, wouldn’t it?

Well he’s right, but not the wisest thing to say right now

The top editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer has resigned following an uproar over a headline bemoaning property damage incurred during the protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

The newspaper announced on Saturday that Stan Wischnowski, 58, was stepping down as senior vice-president and executive editor, after apologizing on Wednesday for the “horribly wrong” decision to use the headline “Buildings Matter, Too” on a column Tuesday. suggesting an equivalence between the loss of buildings and the lives of black Americans.

Lives matter, buildings matter, everything matters. The trick is to find the right balance. But current times and all that….

How long do you think it’ll take?

Far-right activists are posing as journalists in a “deplorable” bid to spread fake news about Muslims breaking lockdown, the government’s Islamophobia advisor has warned.

How long before anyone saying anything even vaguely possible to describe as islamophobia is outed as being on of these poseurs? After all, it’s a pretty easy logical switch to make, isn’t it……get everyone to believe the NF are doing this, then insist that anyone doing it is NF.

Most amusing

A group of would-be holidaymakers who flew in a private jet from London to the Côte d’Azur in France has been turned back by police.

Seven men and three women arrived on the chartered aircraft to Marseille-Provence airport, where helicopters were waiting to fly them on to Cannes, where they had rented a luxury villa.

No Zil lanes here, the law applies to thee too.

Now, for points, because points make prizes, guess the answer using this information:

The men, aged 40-50, and women, aged 23-25, were refused permission to enter France and ordered by police to fly back to the UK.
Once the Embraer Legacy jet had landed at Marseille-Provence, the group, made up of several nationalities including Croatian, German, French, Romanian and Ukrainian,

We’d allocate the younger women to which nationalities, the older men to which?

Gee, ya think?

Some ministers believe the ‘draconian’ measures have gone far enough and risk harming the economy

Of course these are politicians so they’ve still not grasped it. Of course the restrictions harm the economy. That’s not even the issue. What should be – but so far isn’t – is that allowing the disease to rip through will be damaging, harming the economy is damaging, what we need is the right balance between the two.

Lockdowns can only ever be temporary things

Britain’s coronavirus lockdown began to fray on Wednesday night as official figures showed an “uptick” in the number of people using transport.

The number of those using their cars and public transport, which had been consistently dropping since strict social distancing measures were introduced, rose for the first time at the beginning of this week.

It is feared that the sunny forecast for the weekend, which could see temperatures of 20C in London, will prompt more people to go break the rules and go outside and socialise as the Easter holidays begin.

Mervyn King, the former Governor of the Bank of England, warned that there could be a “rebellion” if the measures are enforced for too long.

No, not could be, will be. Only a change on emphasis there though, for Our Merv* is generally right.

*Papists of a certain age from areas of the West Country will have a memory of “Our Merv”. The Bishop of Clifton** was Mervyn, an oddish name for a priest but there we go, there must have been a St Mervyn at some time. During the services there is a “We pray for…..” and that includes the sick of the parish, maybe those recently deceased etc, but also “Our Bishop….” and in this case this would be “Our Bishop Mervyn”. Just part of the ritual. And of course given West Country practices he became “Our Merv”.

Mervyn King is not a Catholic bishop but I’ve always thought of him as “Our Merv”.

**Think that was the Papist see of the time


Among the various considerations over the coronavirus one we really do need to add to the mix.


Decisions about what to do are being made by small groups of people. And it’s easy enough for small groups to get caught up in a spiral of ever more extreme words and actions. This being one of the manifestations of groupthink.

No, I do not say this is the explanation for all. But I do say that it explains at least the appearance of some of what is going on.

The cure for groupthink is opening up the decision making group to others. From outside the previously exclusive group.

A coronavirus oddity

Supermarkets here are just fine. Near everything in stock – including toilet paper – and no rush, hassle or panic. Brother’s in next country over, same thing. The UK, chaos.

What the hell happened that excitable Latins are now more phlegmatic than the British?

This is a fun claim

Hanau attack part of pattern of white supremacist violence flowing from US

Racism. In Germany. Caused by Americans.

No domestic causes nor history of it at all.

This is also good:

While no early evidence emerged linking the alleged Hanau attacker to established extremist groups or individuals, analysts said that both the online manifesto and the nine people the gunman chose to murder made it clear that his attack was part of a ongoing pattern of white supremacist terror.

The evidence all says this is a lone nutter. Therefore it’s part of an ongoing campaign.


Top holiday tip – Barcelona in a ten days’ time

One of the biggest experiments in algorithmic price management is currently underway, as the GSMA, the mobile industry’s lobby body, has scrapped this year’s Mobile World Congress gabfest.

MWC Barcelona was due to start in ten days.


And that experiment in algorithmic price management? 100,000 aircraft seats are suddenly empty. 100,000 hotel beds slumber undisturbed. Expect the biggest fire sale ever, and for those who can take the time, the last few days of February in Barcelona will be idyllic this year. It’s going to be fun watching the travel websites.

That’s waaacist

Peculiar how this works eh?

Stewart has since deleted his Twitter account but it emerged last night that he had used the same Shakespeare quote in another social media row – this time over horsefeed and ragwort – in June 2018 that had no racist connotation.

Stewart went on to quote a passage from Measure For Measure, suggesting Mr Shapland was a “proud man, dress’d in a little brief authority….like an angry ape”.

The tweet, which has now been deleted, so upset Mr Shapland that he re-posted it, accusing the newsreader of being a “disgrace”.

Mr Shapland wrote on Twitter: “If ITV newsreaders think it’s okay to choose to use outdated classical text to get an association in with the word ape about a black person they’ve been bullying and seeking to belittle all afternoon then this country really is broken.”

Quoting Shakespeare is racist or not dependent upon who is listening. Presumably because black chappies can’t be expected to grapple with that level of literature? Something which I find rather racist as an assumption to be honest.

Fair enough Mr. Farron

The conclusion: nothing is certain, and there must be a future path back to a non-Tory government. This will involve luck, but also a decent amount of design.

Two main obstacles block that path.

First: the “Scottish problem”. The last Labour government held 41 Scottish seats; today the party has one. The SNP’s rise has helped the Tories in two ways. Tory opposition to independence detoxifies them for “unionists”; and more importantly, the SNP’s strength in Scotland blocks a UK Labour majority. The Tory trump card is that the only alternative to a Conservative majority is a ragtag Labour-led coalition, with the nationalist tail wagging the dog and demanding the dismantling of the UK.

And why should the English be ruled by the Scots?

Independence now therefore.

Logically and sadly so

Boris Johnson has said that Iran shot down the Ukrainian passenger plane in Tehran after Western intelligence agencies concluded that the downing of the jet was most likely an accident.

US satellites reportedly picked up two surface-to-air missiles being launched shortly before the accident and US officials suspect there are missile fragments near the crash site where all 176 passenger died.

After all, planes don’t normally just fall out of the sky.

Well, actually, we used to say that about Boeings, but now…..

My library has a pongo pongo requirement

But other than that what is to be done?

As many as 4,500 primates face having nowhere to go when the government bans people from keeping them as pets, a BBC science presenter has warned.

Dr Ben Garrod, a primatologist who is presenting two new science-based shows for the broadcaster, said that while he welcomed the expected policy announcement, which is currently in the consultation stage, there remained concerns about where to accommodate the animals if they are confiscated.

He said: “We think there are 4,500 privately owned primates in the UK, even if we banned it tomorrow what do you do with these 4,500 animals that can live decades? We don’t have the facilities to confiscate them off people.

It appears that we’ve got that not thinking thing going on again. It’ll be illegal to keep them. But zoos won’t want them, or couldn’t take them. And?

So what will happen to them? Presumably be put down. Which will be a grand victory for the protection of animal rights, won’t it?