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Johnny Foreigner

Oh, very good, yes, very good indeed

Campaigners last year called on MPs to enshrine the right to a four-day week in law after hailing the results of the UK pilot as a “major breakthrough”.

Other countries have also been testing out the idea. Emmanuel Macron last month had to postpone a labour summit to discuss the idea because too many participants were on holiday.

This might not be a move in the right direction

South Africa is facing the uncertain possibility of a coalition government after the former president Jacob Zuma’s new party upended the country’s elections, contributing to the African National Congress party’s vote share collapsing well below half, with 97% of voting stations counted.

By Saturday, the ANC, which has governed South Africa with a large majority since Nelson Mandela led it to power 30 years ago after the end of apartheid, had 40.14% of the vote.

If the final results are similar, that would represent a decline of more than 15 percentage points from the 2019 elections, and suggest voters have punished the former liberation movement for chronic unemployment, rolling power cuts and crumbling infrastructure.

The business-friendly Democratic Alliance (DA) was on 21.7% of the vote, while Zuma’s uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party, which was launched only in December and supports nationalising banks and expropriating land without compensation, was on 14.8%.

“Business friendly” is one way of putting it. Hoping to maintain a civilisation another……

The decline in US coffee consumption

Americans are drinking half the coffee they did in the 40s

Hmm. Not sure that’s something I would measure by the gallon to be honest. American coffee used to be famously awful – weak. Now it’s less so – note, only less so.

lb of beans per capita sounds like a better measure to me – could be the same result, sure, but gallons, given possible changes in strength, seem the wrong measure.

Just an aside

He served around two years at the “country club” prison at Lompoc, California, with tennis courts, a golf course, gym and billiard room.

Having actually been to Lompoc (no, not into the prison) that sounds like the conditions inside could be better than outside.

Obviously they would do this

Emmanuel Macron has been accused of handing unions the “gold medal for blackmail” after several secured pay-offs to prevent them striking during the Olympics.

With the Paris Games just two months away, unions representing almost every sector of the French public service have engaged in a race of their own over who can strong-arm more cash out of the treasury.

What did anyone expect?

The only possibly interesting question is how much did they get?

Damn pesky foreigners should just do what we say!

Especially those foreigners in Africa!

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are coming under pressure to use their financial might to persuade Ghana to reconsider a proposed law that could lead to anyone who identifies as LGBTQ+ being jailed for three years.

Charities and campaign groups are calling on the global development bodies to tell Ghana they may stop funding the country if the proposed legislation – which will be challenged in the country’s supreme court next week – comes into effect.

Palmerston sent gunb oats, apparently we’re now to stop supporting the Supplenentary Development Goals if thoseblasted Johnny Foreigners just don’t do what we say.


Don’t they realise that we are right?

An interesting little point here

Get ready, Keir Starmer. Five years to stop us growing poorer than Poland
Tax, human rights, corruption and more must be ruthlessly reformed to steer Britain out of the doldrums

OK, not hugely certain about the economic prediction but let’s run with it. It’s popular at present.


Law and Justice (Polish: Prawo i Sprawiedliwość [ˈpravɔ i ˌspravjɛˈdlivɔɕt͡ɕ] ⓘ, PiS) is a right-wing populist and national-conservative political party in Poland. Its chairman is Jarosław Kaczyński.

It was founded in 2001 by Jarosław and Lech Kaczyński as a direct successor of the Centre Agreement after it split from the Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS). It won the 2005 parliamentary and presidential elections, after which Lech became the president of Poland. It headed a parliamentary coalition with the League of Polish Families and Self-Defence of the Republic of Poland between 2005 and the 2007 election. It placed second and they remained in the parliamentary opposition until 2015. It regained the presidency in the 2015 election, and later won a majority of seats in the parliamentary election. They retained the positions following the 2019 and 2020 election, but lost their majority following the 2023 Polish parliamentary election.

So Poland’s had an awful lot of ruling by right wing populists, even social conservatives, recently.

Interesting, no? Rule by right wing populists, social conservatives, produces stand out economic growth. Who knew?

Wish more people said the right thing to Call Me Dave

Lord Cameron has warned the US Congress not to repeat the mistakes of the 1930s by blocking a multi-billion pound aid package for Ukraine.

The Foreign Secretary said the West must not “show the weakness displayed against Hitler”, in an unusually blunt intervention into American politics.

In an article for The Hill, an influential Washington newspaper read by Capitol Hill policymakers and insiders, he said approving the support for Kyiv was “a matter of global security”.

But his overtures were immediately rejected by a Donald Trump-supporting Republican who on Wednesday told him to “kiss my a–”.

If you’ve done nothing wrong

Then you’ve nothing to fear. Obviously. More information, more clarity, is good:

In recent years, Sweden has been caught in the grip of escalating gang conflict involving shootings and explosions – largely driven by drug trafficking, involving firearms and bombs. September was the worst month for fatal shootings in Sweden since 2016, with 11 deaths, and 2023 saw the most explosions per year to date.

The Moderate party-run coalition – supported by the far-right Sweden Democrats – have pledged to take action by sending more young people to prison and giving police more powers to search people and vehicles. But with younger and younger people being pulled into crime, turning them into “child soldiers”, the violence is showing little sign of stopping.

The explosions – usually targeting rival gang members and their families – often contain dynamite or gunpowder-based substances, according to police. Hand grenades have also been used.

In most countries, tracking down the address of a potential victim could be a laborious process. But not in Sweden, where it is possible to find out the address and personal details of just about anybody with a single Google search. Experts say criminals are being greatly helped by a 248-year-old law, forming part of Sweden’s constitution.

Well, if you let in some vast number of migrants who don’t share the cultural biases of the indigenes then yes, you might end up having problems. Like, say, everyone knowing where enamies live….

The French system

The company is in danger of being toppled by an all-too familiar tale of debt-fuelled corporate misadventure and hubris. Much of the blame has rightly been laid at the door of Thierry Breton, a former French finance minister who led Atos for a decade until 2019.

Under Breton, who is now EU commissioner for internal markets, the company chased growth hard. A dizzying debt-financed deal spree boosted its market value but left Atos saddled with costly borrowings.

Being an Enarque means never having to say you’re sorry.

Not having a lot of money is sorta relative, you know?

We didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up. My father was a merchant marine and my mother was a nurse.

I had an older sister and a younger sister and we grew up in Hollywood, Florida – between Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

We lived in a bungalow with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. It was on an acre of land, about 12 blocks from the beach, within bicycle riding distance, so I could go every day. It was fun and I took up watersports at an early age, so I’d be sailing, surfing, fishing and waterskiing.

We didn’t have the money to go to many places on holiday. We’d go to The Bahamas or Jamaica or Bimini.


Very Russian

The price rises have also unnerved the Kremlin less than three months before a presidential election that Vladimir Putin wants to use as a public display of support for his war in Ukraine.

The Kremlin has been forced to issue statements denying egg shortages and put into action its emergency plans to buy tonnes of eggs from abroad and waive import taxes to suppress prices. It has also ordered its FSB security services to arrest anybody suspected of hoarding eggs.

Arrest the usual suspects…..

Ah, the old days

‘Moscow is full of Del Boys now’: Putin’s war economy lurches towards full-blown crisis

Knowing the right folk – and being willing to do something a bit dodgy – makes a fortune in such places. As it did back when. Routing oil around, arranging the re-smelting of gold, there will be people making fortunes. And getting shot for them too….

Police were called over a community council meeting at which homophobic remarks were allegedly made about a transgender laird.

Samantha Kane – a barrister who is believed to be the only person in Britain who has changed gender three times – bought Carbisdale Castle in Scotland in 2022 for more than £1 million.

But, but, why would anyone move *to* Scotland?

Sounds about right

Sitting in his cramped office in the heart of the picturesque Dordogne village of Verteillac, Bruno Merlaud smiles. Behind him is a box of teabags featuring a union flag and the words Keep Calm and Carry On. “Keep this under your hat. I would say that one in 10 Britons are twits. That compares with nine out of 10 French. Now there are fewer of you, it makes me sad. They are a clientele I appreciate enormously,” he says.

Tho’ we might refine that a little to equality in twittery, it’s that Brits tend – tend – not to act out quite so much. A British twit might well mutter to the wife “You’ve no idea what that Mayor’s up to now Luv” while an F would have an ear splitting meltdown in the street.

Not that I’m being culturalist, or Johnny Foreignerist, in the slightest of course.

The importance here is the breaking of ranks

Emmanuel Macron breaks ranks to call for Gaza ceasefire in Israel-Hamas war
French president used term for first time at aid conference in Paris, with most Western nations favouring ‘humanitarian pause’

‘Manny needs to break ranks. Doesn’t really matter what the policy is, or even the issue, but to be different is important.

Because otherwise how would France be relevant in hte world if they weren’t being shouted at?