Johnny Foreigner

Oh, very fun

That happened when McMillan was based in Rome (he was also fluent in Italian). He was later posted to Dhaka in Bangladesh. Among his experiences there was being refused entry to the Dhaka Club, despite being a member. One morning he arrived dressed in the local Bengali garb of kurta pyjama only to be told by the secretary that the rules required a jacket and tie. “But Mr Secretary this is your national dress,” he protested. “But Mr McMillan these are your rules,” replied the secretary.

The Dhaka Club now being largely populated by the owners of the garment factories. Not just natives, but in trade!


Passengers were warned of waits of up to four hours at a testing site set up in the car park at Faro airport in the south of the country. Many other testing sites in the Algarve were closed yesterday or dealing with a backlog after a public holiday last Thursday. A list of sites published by the government was only available in Portuguese.

That the Portugee use Portugee in Portgee-land.

Alternative analyses

Sweden is the only European country where fatal shootings have risen significantly since 2000, leaping from one of the lowest rates of gun violence on the continent to one of the highest in less than a decade, a report has found.

The report, by the Swedish national council for crime prevention (BRA), said the Scandinavian country had overtaken Italy and eastern European countries primarily because of the violent activities of organised criminal gangs.

So, why, why?

Immigration? As of 2010 some 14% were foreign born in Sweden, 64% of which were non-EU.

Or, and wouldn’t this be delicious, by making buying sex illegal they’ve driven the trade underground and so into gang hands. Like US Prohibition raised the violence rate……

Quite right too

Emmanuel Macron has bowed to Boris Johnson by stumping up French taxpayer cash to lead a bailout for Eurostar.

The French government and Eurostar’s other shareholders will stump up £200m to rescue the Channel Tunnel rail operator, with Britain not paying a penny or providing any loan guarantees, The Telegraph can reveal.

After all, they do own it…..

Well, there’s your problem then

Fed up living in a world designed by and for men, 80s design activists Matrix declared war on every urban obstacle in their way. And their impact is still being felt today

When Le Corbusier developed his proportional system Le Modulor in the 1940s, the great architect had in mind a handsome British policeman. His system would go on to shape the entire postwar world, dictating everything from the height of a door handle to the scale of a staircase, all governed by the need to make everything as convenient as possible for this 6ft-tall ideal man.

If you allow the French to be involved in planning anything then of course it’s going to be a screw up. Vide EU, euro, etc……

Congratulations to The Guardian

So, they set out to ask this question:

Who owns Australia?

OK, interesting.

Pastoral leases cover 44% of Australia, according to Austrade. Pastoral leases are defined by Austrade as a title issued for the lease of an area of crown land to use for the limited purpose of grazing of stock and associated activities. We were able to identify the leaseholders for just over half that area, pulling together data on more than 400 owners who together hold 700 stations covering 189.5m hectares – or about a quarter of the country.

Add in the actual Crown land – I think – and you get to majority ownership.

That is, the government of Australia owns the majority of Australia.

At which point the Guardian chunters on about who owns the leases, not the land.

It’s ever such a bit misleading…..

How excellent this is!

At least a third of French wine production worth almost €2bn (£1.7bn) in sales will be lost this year after rare freezing temperatures devastated many vines and fruit crops across France, raising concerns over the climate crisis.

It was only weeks ago that the same French vintners were bemoaning the fall in consumption which had led to a collapse of prices.

Self-solving problems are, well, self-solving.

One papers solution

Under Irish citizenship rules anyone who has or had a grandparent from the country is entitled to a passport once they enter into the foreign birth register.

It’s getting that foreign birth thing registered that’s the current problem. According to one bit of highly informed gossip the paperwork pile at the office which does that is 12 months long….

If anyone knows of a faster way to get that thing done do let me know – my brother would be highly appreciative.


The Swiss armed forces is taking a big step to recruit more women – by no longer making female recruits wear men’s underwear.

At present, all recruits are issued with “loose-fitting men’s underwear, often in larger sizes”, the BBC reported. In a trial set to begin in April, the Swiss army said women would be issued with two sets of female underwear – one for warmer months and one for colder months.

The Swiss armed forces hope to increase the percentage of female recruits from 1% to 10% within the next decade.

Each pair is expected to get 6 months use a year?

No wonder the Guards wear such baggy pantaloons.


Marketing experts advised us not to focus on Bangladesh. They argued that very few people can locate Bangladesh on the map, and almost all associations are negative. News stories about the country are usually about catastrophes, either natural or manmade.

India is an easier sell. In Britain, we have long felt we know India; we choose to be blissfully unaware of the brutally repressive and exploitative nature of our colonial empire, but are happy to lap up its soft, frilly cultural outputs in the form of Raj romance. With their familiar favourites and decor, Indian restaurants have played up to the appetite for such stereotypes, even if their Anglicised fare bears little relation to India itself, or its food.

To a certain – large – extent Bangladesh is that memory of the Raj. You know, Bengal?

Allies? You what?

It’s not every day that the ambassador of one of Britain’s closest allies calls the prime minister a congenital liar. Sylvie Bermann, who was until 2017 France’s envoy at the court of St James,

The French? Our allies?

Close, yes, obviously, but on the basis that you keep your enemies closer…..

American foreign policy knowledge

Without al-Qaeda, we would have cared about Afghanistan and the Taliban about the same amount we care about Eritrea and its repressive king. Which, of course, is not at all.

King? Eritrea?

Lucas Kunce is the national-security director at the American Economic Liberties Project.


A small thought on Austrian economics

Austrian economics is generally antithetical to state actions supposed to make things better. No, it isn’t anti-state. There are somethings that must be done and which can only be done by government thus they must be done and by government. But beyond that the general assumption, the ethos if you wish, is that asking government to do it means it’ll get buggered up.

That’s not an unfair description of the base idea. It’s also not an unfair view to reach if you’ve been governed by Austrians for a few centuries.

The problem with this as an explanation is why in buggery do Russians always seem to desire more government?


OK, yes, accents (isn’t there movie where the bird just melts when the bloke says one word or summat?) and personal taste and utility and all that:

But my favourite accent is to be found in Belfast; a Northern Irish accent immediately adds three points to a person’s attractiveness. It has the friendliness of scouse, but is much softer and more charming.

Depends which NI accent really, doesn’t it? Ian Paisley’s would rarely be described as “soft” nor, whatever the reports of the man himself, charming.

This is fun

Australian fashion is taking notice of the country’s oldest design traditions – and we’re only just scratching the surface

You know, given that Abos didn’t, before the First Fleet, have any woven cloths of even spun yarns – other than those made from human hair. Fairly short fashion season therefore……

This is trivially easy

From the pungent scent of a cigar to the gentle fragrance of roses, smells can transport us to days gone by. Now researchers are hoping to harness the pongs of the past to do just that.

Scientists, historians and experts in artificial intelligence across the UK and Europe have announced they are teaming up for a €2.8m project labelled “Odeuropa” to identify and even recreate the aromas that would have assailed noses between the 16th and early 20th centuries.

Just go bottle the air in Paris.

Has the requisite amount of dog shit lying around, cheap tobacco and, of course, the use of too much perfume to cover up soap dodging. Done then, eh?