Seems appropriate

Juan Carlos’s departure — a decision taken to ease pressure on his son, King Felipe, and the Borbon family as anti-monarchist sentiment grew — came after Spanish and Swiss prosecutors launched investigations of allegations of bribes over a Saudi Arabian high-speed rail contract.


He is said to be the guest of the Fanjul family, wealthy Cuban-American friends who made their fortune in sugar plantations.

Well, not so much. They’ve made their fortune out of the American sugar tariff regime – the one that makes domestic sugar twice the price of world -, a regime they’ve been able to maintain over the decades by the delicate deployment of election funding.

Appropriate friends to have…..

Ha ha ha gurgle, snort

Commonwealth HQ lawyers facing charges of corruption

Well, OK. That’s not funny.

Joshua Brien, an expert on the law of the seas, and his wife, Melissa Khemani, a renowned anti-corruption expert, worked at the headquarters of the Commonwealth in central London.

That is.

Ms Khemani, 40, is facing two charges of acquiring, using or possessing £62,000 of criminal property. She is due to appear at court on October 22. She had worked in the criminal law section of the Commonwealth Secretariat helping member countries to implement the United Nations convention against corruption.

The Canadian-born lawyer was then appointed an anti-corruption legal expert with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris. She is now a lawyer for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) working on due diligence on transactions and introducing anti-corruption reforms.

Quis cutodiet ipsos custodies…..

Ammonium nitrate

Nasty stuff if it does explode. Which is what just happened to Beirut, couple of thousand tonnes of the stuff. Happened at Texas City and also, I think, in Halifax in WWII? Or thereabouts. One of the stories of which is that anyone happening to be looking out the window as the shockwave arrived is blind…..for obvious reasons.

Matthew Pennycook MP is a dunderhead

Praising Joe Biden’s climate plan our more local addlepate declares:

In the process, he intends to create millions of well-paying, unionised jobs making wind turbines, building sustainable homes and manufacturing electric vehicles;

Pennycook is stupid enough to think that this is a benefit of the plan rather than a cost.

We’re never going to have a well run country when those who would do the job are this ignorant, are we?


So, poverty during lockdown:

‘Eat out to help out’: a forlorn dream for those struggling to feed a family
The government is spending about £500m to pay people to go to restaurants, while families in poverty get next to nothing

OK. From the report:

In our study, we found that everyday budgeting
practices that low income families previously employed suddenly became inaccessible or
impractical. For instance, shopping in multiple supermarkets for reduced items or the
cheapest prices was no longer feasible

And in response, the government has banned BOGOFs and promotions on certain foods. Cheered on by The Guardian, the paper bringing us these stories of poverty, of course.

Seriously Guardian? Seriously?

There’s nothing complex about it, scoffs someone (we’ll call him Slim Jim) every time the topic of weight loss comes up in the media: eat less and exercise more. If I’d lost a pound every time I’d heard that, my struggles would be over. Again, the implication is that fat people are stupid, lazy or lacking in self-discipline, and probably all three.

I don’t think I am lazy. I’ve climbed to 18,000 feet, run a half-marathon (OK, jogged) and written three novels (one published). I can be lazy certainly, but surely all of us can.

I don’t think I lack self-discipline. It was arguably an excess of self-discipline that enabled me to starve myself in my 20s until my BMI dropped to below 15. It is more than double that now, but I don’t believe my character has fundamentally changed.

“But that’s an eating disorder!” cries Slim Jim. “It’s different for most people!” And it’s true, I have been diagnosed with an eating disorder, but then I’ve been diagnosed with lots of things.

This the prelude to insisting that obesity is about deprivation etc. At which point:

Author Clare Allan spent 10 years in a mental health institution.

So we do rather know that the lady isn’t representative of the average land whale. So why the use of the lady as the exemplar of how complicated it all is?

One for Carole Cadwallader

Russian hackers stole classified documents from the email account of a Cabinet minister before they were used by Jeremy Corbyn to attack the Government, it was claimed on Monday.
Former Trade Secretary Liam Fox was the victim of what appears to have been a "state-backed" operation ahead of last year’s general election, sources said.
The news triggered a review of Government security as ministers and MPs were reminded of the need to follow rules set out by the National Cyber Security Centre, part of GCHQ.
If the claims – currently the subject of a police investigation – are proven, it would be the first time a current or former Cabinet minister had been successfully targeted by Russian hackers.

An actual real example of Russian interference in British politics and elections. She will be all over it like – as Ike and Tina sang – white on white, right?

Yes, of course she will.

The ancestor will be revolving

Rage against the dimming light: Irish rebel over lighthouse LED makeover

One of the lights to be changed is St John’s Point. Which is – I assume at least – where g g grandpops was. He was a lighthouseman and moved up from Queenstown to Dundrum and there aren’t many other lights around there.

He’ll thus be revolving. Or, of course, heartily approving. If they work better then why not?

Language, language

When an interview with the woman appeared in The Times on July 27, friends of Mr Spencer told the newspaper she had not mentioned the allegations of sexual assault.
She reacted angrily to the suggestion, telling friends at the time that she had reported allegations of “sexual abuse” to him.

They’re not the same thing, are they? Assault – an heinous crime – and abuse – well, what is the definition of that?

She said: “He never suggested I should go to the police. In fact I asked him when he would withdraw the whip, he first said when he had a police report, then changed it to a charge, then he said ultimately he’d need a conviction.

Eh? She wanted the whip withdrawn – ie, end his career – of an ex-minister on her word alone and without having even reported it to police? Rather Star Chamber isn’t it?

So here’s some fun

Areas are being locked down again.

More than 2.7m people in northern England have woken to fresh lockdown restrictions despite living in neighbourhoods which have had fewer than four confirmed cases in the last 14 days, Telegraph analysis has revealed….

We have slightly out of date information on ethnicity by area.

Further data on ethnic groups by local authority can be found from either the Office for National Statistics or Nomis.

Wouldn’t that be a fun cross correlation for someone to do?

Just for completeness sake perhaps alongside one of material deprivation?

Wonder why some newspaper hasn’t already done it really…..

Vermine for Prem hurts

Them tech giant monopolies

It would probably work better if those warning us of oli- and mon- opolies knew their stuff:

much as it examined and then banned Microsoft from bundling its Explorer search engine with its other software more than a decade ago.

Explorer was a search engine then, was it? Not a browser?

Inman even links to this:

European computer users who rely upon Microsoft Windows and its Internet Explorer application to get online are to be offered the chance to switch to a competing web browser. The deal today between the software company and European Union regulators ends more than a decade of legal wrangling.

Holy Lord, seriously?

Restaurateurs are hoping the scheme will boost a struggling sector. Hawksmoor, the high-end steak restaurant chain, said it received 5,500 bookings in six hours after it advertised the “best steak and chips in Britain” for a tenner (it reduced the cost of a 300g portion of rump steak and chips from £30 to £20 before applying the discount).

£30 for steak and chips? And that’s rump?

I’ve been out of England too long, obviously, given my surprise at that number. I’d expect dinner for 2 including the wine for that. Actually, we do go for – lunch, agreed – for two for significantly less than that. Including the wine, coffee, amuse guele and tip.

Today’s cretin

Nobody benefits from a world of 8 billion or 11 billion people, except for large capital interests that need cheap labour and mindless consumers.

It might be possible to argue that 8 to 11 billion people benefit from being able to have a life…..