It’s a great dane

In the 1960s and 70s I became a little interested in politics. I thought Edward Heath and George Brown were the old fuddy duddy type of politician, but liked Harold Wilson (he gave the Beatles MBEs after all). I also liked Jeremy Thorpe, of the Liberals. He seemed young and trendy. Looking at newsreel clips of him now, I have no idea why I thought that.

There’s a complicated story surrounding Thorpe. Here is a brief summary:

It appears that Thorpe had a homosexual affair with a man named Norman Scott in the early 1960s at a time when homosexuality was illegal. Scott continued to pester Thorpe for money over a period of time. He wouldn’t go away, and then one day someone tried to ill him. Scott’s dog was shot and killed, but the gun failed and Scott was not killed.

He was tried for conspiracy, and acquitted, but it ended Thorpe’s career.

A new tv series (only 3 episodes) with, for once, a rather excellent Hugh Grant has stirred interest in the whole thing again. I suppose it was rather brushed under the carpet at the time.

This is from the BBC only a few days ago: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44336859 

 

Yawn

One of the great things about the UK summer, and it’s not the weather, is that the politicians are away on holiday, which means the politics programmes on TV have little to talk about. So, no Daily Politics or Question Time.

But now they are back, and it’s just like they haven’t been away. The one topic we got some relief from is now back as a major topic, Brexit, the UK leaving the EU.

There is so much, sorry, crap being said by the UK side. The European negotiators say “you’ll regret leaving” etc, the UK people say no, it’ll be all sweetness and light. Some are saying, well, OK, we had a referendum, the majority who voted wanted to leave, we leave regardless of cost or consequences. There are still people saying it can be stopped, or reversed. There are stupid arguments: people have changed their minds, mostly old people voted to leave and they are dying off all time, whereas mostly young people voted to stay and more young people are becoming eligible to vote each day, so the balance changes.

Let’s just be clear. We had a referendum last year. People 18 and over who registered were allowed to vote. The vote was to leave, not overwhelmingly, but the point of a referendum is to take a snapshot of what the country wants. OK, both sides, but especially the leavers, said things that were patently not true (like, more money for the NHS and an end to immigration). The remainers said the stock market and British jobs would be hit. The truth was, nobody had a clue.

They still don’t. Have a clue. The leavers now point to certain days and say the stocks have gone up, see, Brexit has had no effect. Truth is, we haven’t left yet. Things go up and down naturally. It’s very Trumpian to point to random good things and say look at me, I’m wonderful.

Now we have idiot Boris Johnson stirring it up. Idiot is not fair. He gives that impression, but I am sure he is a calculating, scheming and basically untrustworthy person. Yes, I have met him.

The slimy (my opinion) David Davis, who leads the leaving team, says they have suddenly realised it’s all rather complicated and they will need more time, at least two extra years. Mr Trump of course said he was going to sort USA healthcare almost immediately, then came up with who knew it was going to be so complicated too. The answer is well, you, the politicians, you knew, or should.

It shows pretty much all our politicians in a poor light. They are incompetent, from Mrs May downwards. Six months of discussions seem to have got nowhere. The tv politics programmes spend hours discussing it, getting nowhere.

Here is my opinion, for what it’s worth, basically nothing. We had a referendum. Maybe it was badly worded, but tough. If we had another and remainers won, would we have another, and another. Many of the leavers voted to leave because they were deliberately given misleading information (because leavers never expected to win, so it doesn’t matter if you lie). So, we leave, there are 18 months to go, it has to be sorted. If we have to pay tens of billions to the EU, then those who voted to leave, including a number of very rich people, should be made to cover the cost. If leaving the EU turns out to be a bad thing, then those who voted to leave should be held responsible.

Trump destroys the world

President Trump has been at it again. In a speech to the UN, he said:

The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing, and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary.

This is pretty clear at first glance. Getting past the ‘Rocket man’ name calling, Trump seems to be saying that, if pushed, he will simply wipe out North Korea.

Does he mean this? Well, he has a knack of using vague and imprecise language. Commentators take him literally at his word. Like when he said about closing the Internet. He has no power to do that, in the first place, plus I suspect it would be at least very difficult. But he didn’t mean close it down, I think, he meant take tighter control of it, regulate everything and monitor what everyone is doing.

Would he really literally murder 25 million North Koreans, plus untold numbers of others? My fiends say no, of course not, wiser heads will prevail and it wouldn’t happen.

Me, I’d believe it easily could happen. In the end, Mr Trump can destroy the world…

Do the right thing

President Trump, they say, is a warm, compassionate, caring man. They say. Where is the evidence for this? I have no idea. Who says it? Why, Anthony Scaramucci, who was sacked 15 days before he began his job as White House Communications Director.

President Trump, they say, likes to confound people by doing the opposite of what they expect him to do. As President of the USA, leader of the free world, we expect the President to be a statesman, we expect him to do the right thing. He therefore must be doing the wrong thing, by his own admission.

The world is not a safe place. The USA makes the world less happy than it could be. The USA is not a happy place. With protests, statues being torn down, far right white supremacists believing it is fine to kill their fellow countrymen on the street and the President refusing to clearly condemn any of it, for fear of upsetting his supporters or speaking against his beliefs, this is not good.