I am not the biggest fan of the Evening Standard. It’s a free rag that belongs to the same stable as The Daily Mail, that exemplar of spleen.
However, I picked up a copy tonight at the bus stop outside Waterloo station, returning from a day in the country. It was work rather than pleasure, but very enjoyable to be in Wiltshire.
The ES is not a demanding read, or at least only in the sense that one usually struggles to find anything worth reading. It is the perfect fit for the litter tray, and I use it on das Boot all the time. Tonight though, as I flicked through the pages I found this picture.
So yes, I’m back to BoJo and Trump, two politicians with so much in common, not least the attraction they have for otherwise sensible people. An American lady I met last week told me how much she liked BoJo. She also told me she disliked the new tall structures of glass and steel that are springing up across London. That’ll be Boris, I said. Her eyes widened. He has overruled local authorities fourteen times and given planning permission for very tall buildings, some in quite sensitive areas I explained. She leant forward and listened. This was obviously not the tousle-haired, lovable Boris of her imagination. Developers and that magazine no home should be without, Skyscraper News, love him. Read it if you don’t believe me. The man has done immense damage to London, and bar the cycle super highway, little good. Even the so-called Boris Bikes were a Ken initiative. Ah, Ken, another politician whose ego has destroyed him. He was a great Leader of the GLC, and for that I shall always have a residual affection for him, but he was a much less great mayor. Continue reading
It’s the usual story: I should like to be in bed, but just as I started to make tracks, MasterB, who has been feather hunting most of the evening while I tried to watch The Supervet, Noel Fitzpatrick, without crying (fail), decided it was time for him to go outside. Then we stood on the pavement for an eternity until he could be persuaded into the safety of the garden. There I left him and came indoors.
After The Supervet, Channel 4 had a programme I could not bring myself to watch about what it might be like if Donald Trump were to win the US presidential elections. Truly I can believe that western civilisation is on the rocks and terminal decline when a man such as Trump can be a serious (sic) contender for this job. Ditto that for BoJo as UK Prime Minister. Politics trivialised.
I did see an excerpt where Trump, or ‘the floss-haired one’, as he was described in the Guardian TV guide, declared that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose votes. Can you still run for President of the US when standing trial for murder? Or would his argument – and I use the term as loosely as he does – be that he doesn’t know the bullet killed the person, maybe they were dead before he fired. He has defended his aide who has been charged with bruising a journalist who wanted to ask Trump a question – imagine going into journalism and finding yourself having to do that; no wonder they call it Grub Street – by saying he doesn’t know if the bruises were there before, and that surely if the journalist’s arm had been gripped so hard as to cause a bruise he’d have expected her to cry out.
When I broke my wrist I didn’t cry out. Did that mean it was a fracture I had overlooked, and been carelessly walking and riding around with, but only admitted to once I had done my brief Superwoman flight and crash landed on the road? Continue reading
It’s been a while since I had a rant, and really one is long overdue. For those of you who follow the news here in the UK, you may be aware that the last few days have produced some jaw-dropping events.
IDS (Iain Duncan Smith) has resigned saying the cuts in welfare spending that he has been busy promoting and implementing for six years, have gone too far, and asking David Cameron if he really still thinks “we are all in in together”, which was the Tories slogan for the 2010 election. I do not believe IDS has resigned because he has suddenly developed something approaching a conscience. I believe he sees the chancellor, George Osborne as in a weakened position, and has chosen this moment to stick the knife in. IDS is part of the Brexit campaign; George Osborne part of Bremain. Neither of them does a great deal to attract me to their causes. Make that neither of them does anything that attracts me to their causes. If the choice is just one or the other, we really do need a Third Way, though without Tony Blair.
Now on some occasions I might enjoy watching a bit of internecine action among the Tories, but these posturings do not make for grown up politics, and the referendum, which I bet Dave is really regretting ever mentioning now, is important, and deserves serious attention, not partisan voting along the kick-out-the-foreigners-and-raise-the-drawbridge on one side, and we’re-doomed-if-we-leave on the other. I made the mistake of looking at the Daily Mail to see how that organ of hatred was responding to IDS’ resignation. Mistake. It depressed me for hours, and I am still scared that the people who wrote comments at the end of the articles live in the same country as I do. If Hitler were to stand as their local candidate they’d vote for him. Continue reading
I really do not understand what on earth is going on. Why are we having this referendum? Heaven help us if the end vote is for out. Boris Johnson seems to believe the stories he made up when he was a journalist in Brussels. And yes, it is well known they were untrue, but that didn’t stop an audience who wanted to despise the EU from lapping them up.
I can’t understand why some of the same people who declared we were Better Together when it came to the referendum in Scotland, should somehow think we’d be better turning our backs on the rest of the EU to go it alone. I’ve left it too late to emigrate. It’s not long until I get my Freedom Pass, and the prospect of spending the last decades of my life in a country which defines itself by hostility to outsiders and deep suspicion of ‘foreigners’ despite being one of the most invaded and diverse places in the world does not bring a smile to my face. Continue reading