Goodness me

I can’t help thinking I’m an egalitarian. The word seems to connote more or less what I stand for, morally speaking. It cements the aims of all those who want to lift our species out of the life old Hobbes described as natural: ”solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”. But ever since the Americans crystallised the principle – ‘all men are created equal’ – plenty of gainsayers have ensured that some are more equal than others. They have used pseudo-science, pseudo-religion and pseudo-economics to justify their belief in the subjugation and humiliation of other races and creeds. Not to mention politics where we witness so-called social democrats identifying members of their clubs who have unsuitable views about equality.

Of course the best strategy for my opponents is to deny the principle – which in their book gives them licence to deny their hypocrisy, their dressed-up inhumanity, their sense of innate superiority. Their  tribes just play their cards more skilfully, they’ll say; and devil take the hindmost. But I can’t hope St Peter will deal with them in the end; so many of his adherents agree with their flawed conclusions. I just want them to know they can’t fool everyone with their arguments.

Shrugus Shoulderus (Sean Connery)

Lost a fiver today.

 

It’s alright, don’t feel sorry for me. It was my own fault. Fell out my pocket. Not got a Clouseau where it went. Like Cato the Younger I took this hit with a resigned Hardy look at the fourth wall and remembered the famous Roman quote by Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis “What’s for you will never go by you.” Though I’m sure it was originally in Latin,

Quid Leatherus testamus numquam Cheerioyou.

 

Austrayia has another new PM

. . . sworn in and raring to go.

Over the last decade, we’ve had more Prime Ministers than clean knickers.   Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Kevin again, Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull, and now Scott Morrison.

On Monday, Malcolm himself called for a spill in an attempt to defeat an imminent challenge from Peter Dutton.  He won, but only by a small margin, so a demand for a second spill was anticipated.   Our doughty Malcolm was not going to give in gracefully, so he set a couple of difficult conditions on Peter D, for a meeting to be held today (the last day such a meeting could be called for a couple of weeks – don’t worry about why).

To his surprise, and chagrin, the conditions were met, and the meeting held.   A second spill was approved by vote, but only just, 44 to 40 I think, and lo and behold there were three candidates on the ticket.   They were Peter D (pushy, right wing, youngish ex policeman), Scott Morrison (“ScoMo”, middle-of-the-road, 50 years young) and Julie Bishop (62, vastly experienced Foreign Minister, known and respected by many colleagues around the world, Deputy Party Leader and in both positions for many years, middle-of-the road, described by some as “Turnbull in a skirt”).   The pundits mostly said JB should win, but that PD probably would, because she was another pesky woman.

So whaddyaknow?   ScoMo walked it, and another lad won the deputy leader job (JB didn’t stand for that, this time).

So Malcolm has resigned his commission to the G-G, and as soon as ScoMo gets sworn in (by the G-G), he’ll be head honcho.   Talk about revolving doors.  😎

A home girt by sea… and one that is not.

Well, it has to be done. On Tuesday, next week, I will be flying out to Awestruck-and-failure for a 3 week stint. My junior attachment will be participating in something called World Scholars, an academic forum involving children from 50 countries. The event is being held in the Melbourne Convention Centre form the 18th to 21st of August. Continue reading “A home girt by sea… and one that is not.”

There is nothing like a Dane

I came across a Grauniad leader this morning – and had to read it twice. Is this about Denmark, with the happiest people in the world?

I suppose the biggest difference a non-Dane notices over there is that most of the folk in the shopping centres (except perhaps in the few cities) are discernibly descended from Scandinavian stock. Compare that to most British towns. But there is another major difference. Since WWII we have grown used to seeing and living cheek-by-jowl with incomers of all races and persuasions; they are part of our landscape. I hate the word ‘integration’ but I would say they play a part in our society which most of us recognise and no longer resist, as we did at first. But the Danes are still where we stood after WWII! Hence the existence across that small country of 56 ‘ghettoes’, as described in the article, linked below.

After my second reading, I have had visions of PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen playing our favourite Viking, King Canute (never mind the spelling), as portrayed in fake news as a megalomaniac resisting the waves. I hope I’m wrong.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/08/the-guardian-view-on-forcible-integration-in-denmark-this-cannot-end-well

 

Is diversity a priority?

Oxbridge (wherever that may be) is accused of many sins: elitism, positive discrimination and prejudice of every shade to name but a few. And now a distinguished alumnus has voiced his view that Oxford is still getting it all wrong, admissionswise, ‘staggeringly’.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/06/05/oxbridges-lack-black-students-staggering-failure-says-universities/ Continue reading “Is diversity a priority?”

Effortless surrender

Your mates, the House of Windsor, have shown the world that the game is up. The centuries of polite condescension practised at arm’s length from popular culture came to an abrupt end amid uncomfortable glances and nervous grimaces. The gates were flung wide. No Trojan horse was required. Come on in, no contest. Canterbury had no reply to Chicago. Gospel trumped the choir boys. Oscars outnumbered Garters. Not an MP or General or billionaire in sight. Just our daily tweeters: George, Idris, David and Victoria. If Diana was the people’s princess, Harry is the champion of the chavs. Bring on the clowns? They are already here.

Slimeball’s book

Missed. Missed. Missed.

It was a catalogue of misses. No wonder Scotland are tripe at football when youngsters are messing about with a football throwing it at a basketball net. Missed. And from an easy distance, no one would shoot from downtown. Missed again. Just don’t get American sports at all. Too many “Hail Mary’s” in them for my liking.

The problem, as I could see it, was that the boys were not statuesque or Sipuesque. They were too short to be stormhoopers. They needed to be the size of the mountainous, non-basketball playing, ex-FBI chief, James Comey. I wanted to shout “Chief, just jump up, and put it in the basket.”

American politics aren’t my bag of tricks either. Nonetheless, the repercussions from the firing of the FBI boss by Donald Trump is still reverberating around DC so I bought the Comey book (half price at WH…a bargain) and found it an easy read. The big guy has been promoting it stateside. I watched his performance on the BBC’s America This Week last week. Refreshingly, he answered a lot of questions the way I answer them. “I don’t know” cropped up frequently.

There is one funny incident in the early part of his biography where he describes spilling gallons of milk while working in a grocery. Apart from this Fools and Horses moment the book is rather drab. The details of the Clinton E-mail investigation and Trump Russia connections are  sketchy and unfulfilling. His one on one joust with the President of the USA is an ongoing game. Which one will, ultimately, put it in the basket?