Current Affairs

Not believing in the healing power of advertising then

Thirty-one people were injured after they burnt their feet during a fire walk over hot coals as part of a corporate team-building exercise for a Swiss firm.

Thirteen of the advertising and marketing company staff were hospitalised after the voluntary barefoot challenge at a “sales day”.

Police, 10 ambulances, a large rescue vehicle, and two emergency medical teams rushed to the scene, where 150 workers were present.

Paramedics treated scalded staff at the scene and took others to hospital after an emergency call to the retreat of 150 workers on the Au peninsular in Zurich on Tuesday.

No fracking in sight

Shropshire earthquake: ‘Frightening’ tremor rocks homes from side to side
The 3.8 magnitude tremor – the biggest to affect Britain since June 2018 – was described by residents as ‘surreal’

Well, unless Cuadrilla is running stuff in secret that is…..

Your donations at work

The leaders of Black Lives Matter (BLM) allegedly used $6 million in donations to buy a luxury California mansion, as they face questions about how the anti-racism group manages its finances.

The 6,500 sq ft home has more than half a dozen bedrooms and bathrooms, multiple fireplaces, a soundstage, a pool and parking for more than 20 cars.

BLM officials tried to keep its existence a secret, a report has claimed.

When pressed on the purpose of the opulent house – known as “the campus” – an internal note was circulated exploring ways to “kill the story”, the New York Magazine reported.

The memo, obtained by the magazine, included bullet points explaining that the property could be described as part of the cultural arm of the organisation.

Yeah, cultural centre, that’s what it is, cultural centre.

Note that this is on top of the place in Quebec, the houses bought by the lead organiser and so on. This is extra to what we’ve already heard about.

How to beat Russia!

The responses have been fairly predictable.

Those who habitually argue that the rich should have less have been arguing that if we take the stuff off rich Russians then we shall beat Putin.

Those who habitually argue that we must have more renewables argue that we should have more renewables to beat Putin.

Those who habitually argue for money printer go brrrr argue that money printer go brrrr to beat Putin.

It’s as if folk aren’t, quite, addressing the situation in front of them but are riding their habitual hobbyhorse, isn’t it?


Russian forces fired missiles at several Ukrainian cities and landed troops on its south coast on Thursday morning after President Vladimir Putin authorised what he called a “special military operation”.

Shortly after Mr Putin spoke in a televised address on Russian state TV, explosions could be heard in the pre-dawn quiet of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. Gunfire rattled near the capital’s main airport, the Interfax news agency said.

“Putin has just launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Peaceful Ukrainian cities are under strikes,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter.

Really didn’t think he was going to do that.

I’m well aware of at least one strand of Russian thinking. I was there in Moscow when Ukraine declared its independence and the Russian reaction was as if Staffordshire had declared UDI. Whut?

But actually doing something about it, no, I had’t thought they would.

There is a truth here

“I don’t believe it’s more difficult to be a comedian now, speech-wise, than it was,” Kane said. “If we were sat with Bernard Manning, Jimmy Jones, Victoria Wood, about to do a gala in the 1970s, the list of shit you couldn’t say was much, much longer. I mean anything to do with any sex, any swearing — imagine not being able to use a swear word to emphasise.

“Yes there’s different things that you can be cancelled for, but they just replaced the other things that were much more difficult in the past.”

I don’t say it’s entirely true, but there is a truth there all the same. There are indeed rules, they’re just different rules from those we used to have. They may or may not be better rules too, but the point is that there always is that larger societal agreement upon what is polite, then there’s that second set of things which veer off into being edgy, then the third, things we don’t do or say.

The same being true of dating, or marriage, or clothing, etc. The real difficulties coming during the transitions of course, when the new rules haven’t been widely agreed upon….

I recall this going on

Broadcaster Andrew Neil has launched defamation proceedings against American businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri.

Court records show the former GB News chairman, 72, filed a claim against Ms Arcuri on Wednesday.

Ms Arcuri is listed as a litigant in person on the court filings, suggesting she does not currently have a legal representative.

Not that I’d insist upon a declaration in something ongoing like this but I do think Ms. Arcuri’s choice of words was unwise.

Get your response in early

Accounts published by the Captain Tom Foundation show that between May 2020 and May last year it spent £400,000, after receiving more than £1 million in donations.

More than £240,000 of the registered charity’s expenditure went on the costs, while four grants totalling £160,000 were paid out to good causes. Of the foundation’s costs, £125,000, almost one tenth of its income, went on fundraising consultancy fees, including to a firm run by Captain Tom’s daughter.

I’m absolutely sure that only yesterday I saw a piece about Capt. Tom’s daughter. About how she’d been working so hard on her own business and also setting up this charity. And how difficult it was to keep all the plates spinning.

Of course 25% on costs is minimal when compared to some of the larger charities but still. Good to see that she’s learnt the value of getting your retaliation in early.

So what is the actual liberal answer?

More than half of women are childless by the age of 30, according to official figures which show later motherhood, or choosing not to have any children, has now become the norm.

The statistics show that for the first time, the majority of women enter their 30s without having started a family.

The Office for National Statistics data paint a stark picture of changes in fertility over the decades.

Current day liberals start shouting that we’ve got to have more free childcare, or better maternity leave, or summat.

The problem being that this starts from the wrong end. They’ve got some idea of what society should be – all the wimmins entirely free, economically liberated, yet also fecund and a rising population. Which is;t liberal.

Liberal – real liberalism – is to set the people free and then see what they do. And accept what they do too. If free people have fewer children then, well, that’s what free people do. There is no result to be aimed at, the process of being free is itself the point and purpose.

It’s also rather self solving. We are, clearly, all the descendants of those who had kids. Those who didn’t want them breed themselves out of subsequent generations. Now that we’ve more choice about such matters this effect will snowball. The next generations will be the offspring of those who desire kids and so it will go on.

Fun, fun, rumour

Bloke on Twitter insisted he’d seen Mark Drakeford – First Minister of Wales – in Bristol on NY Eve.

No idea whether that’s true of course. But would be fun if it were. Escaping his own lockdown and all that.

But just think what the deeper message would be. Wales is so terrible that Bristol – Bristol! – is a step up……

An interesting claim

Rape survivors who arrive in the UK on small boats across the Channel are being neglected by the authorities while others are being inadequately treated for life-changing injuries, a damning report has disclosed.

Inspectors found that suicidal women who had been repeatedly raped by people smugglers were not adequately supported after arriving on UK soil.

Crimes committed upon foreigners, by foreigners, in foreign, are somehow our fault. The Monty Python one where we should tax foreigners living in foreign countries was at least a joke, although Murphy has since picked it up as an actual proposal.

I’d not realised how out of whack it had got

So, new gig means having to read the Mail financial pages. Sigh.

At which point, properties for £3.25 million:

3 bed flat in St John’s Wood, 3 bed flat in Victoria (they call it Westminster) and 9 bed Georgian on 32 acre estate on Lansdown in Bath (OK, Battlefields, up by Beckford’s Tower maybe?)?

In what rational world are these all valued the same?

Yes, yes, I know, markets, what folks will pay and all that. But still. Really.

M. Hulot’s ‘Oliday

A popular French environmentalist and former government minister faces new allegations of rape and sexual abuse after several woman came forward in a TV documentary to testify that he had assaulted them.

The claims come four years after Nicolas Hulot, 66, was first accused of rape by the granddaughter of the late Socialist president François Mitterrand.

‘E mi’ be ‘avin’ une soon.

Bit annoying

The man arrested on suspicion of murdering David Amess had considered killing other MPs, the Telegraph understands.

The investigation into the tragic death of Amess suggests he was not specifically targeted, but picked at random as part of a plot to kill any national politician.

Imagine the annoyance of dying on the basis of eenie, meenie, miney, mo.

Of course, we all do in the end, whether random chance or weighted that this bug or that cancer takes hold. But still.

It’s an interesting version of “negotiate” isn’t it?

Most interesting:

The bill includes a plan for Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies that would set a ceiling for what Medicare would pay for certain medications: no higher than 120 percent of what several other wealthy countries pay. Pharmaceutical companies that did not participate in the negotiations would be subject to a severe excise tax.

I can see negotiate meaning “would you like to give us a nice price?” I can see negotiate meaning as the NHS does, we’re a big customer, give us a discount or we won’t buy it.

But negotiate as in cut your price or we tax you? Bit Lucky Luciano there, isn’t it?