Up north

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

16 October 2018

“Brought up in the provinces in the forties and fifties one learned early the valuable lesson that life is generally something that happens elsewhere.”

Alan Bennett, English playwright, actor and author. The son of a butcher, Bennett, who was born in 1934, is a tyke. Which means that he was born “up north” in what was at that time the county of Yorkshire far from the madding crowds and bright lights of the country’s capital “down south”. For all the fame and fortune that came to him in later life, he never lost contact with his northern roots. 

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You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
  7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

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Posted in Literature, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The iron law of politics

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

15 October 2018

 

“Never believe governments, not any of them, not a word they say.”

 

Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998), US novelist, travel writer, journalist and war correspondent.

 

Antigone1984:

For a minor example of this iron law of politics, let’s check out the current issue of UK satirical magazine Private Eye (No. 1480 of 5 to 18 October 2018, page 7).

In October 2009  Sadiq Khan, transport minister in the then Labour Government, assured a fellow Member of Parliament that privatisation of the railways had been a success: 

Dr B. Ching, who writes the Signal Failures column [in Private Eye], is a long standing advocate of nationalisation, but the Government takes the view that the current system has delivered many benefits for passengers, and can continue to do so, without the wholesale upheaval of a complete industry restructuring.”

In September 2018 Sadiq Khan, now Mayor of London (the Labour Government having been booted out of office in 2010), tells the City AM freesheet why he backs rail nationalisation: 

Privatisation has been a failure. All the evidence is there.

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You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
  7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

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Posted in Politics, Transport, UK | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Two Cultures

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

14 October 2018

“If a scientist were to cut his ear off, no one would take it as evidence of heightened sensibility.”

Haiku by Sir Peter Medawar (1915-1987), English immunologist, who won the Nobel Prize for Physiology/Medicine in 1960.

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You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
  7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

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Posted in Art, Health, Japan, Literature, Netherlands, Science, UK | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Batting for England

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

13 October 2018

“It’s a funny kind of month October. For the really keen cricket fan it’s when you discover that your wife left you in May.” 

Denis Norden (1922-1918), English comedy writer and television presenter 

Antigone1984:

This is English humour at its most arcane. You could not translate it into Chinese – or even hieroglyphic Egyptian, for that matter. It is one of the main arguments in favour of Brexit – the exit of Britain from the homogenising European Union, which is slated to take place on 29 March 2019.  Save the date – and get ready to join in  the universal rejoicing that must surely accompany such an auspicious deliverance.  But foes abound – not least quislings within our borders –  and fond hopes may yet turn to ashes. If the whey-faced glumbags of Brussels succeed in thwarting our dream of freedom, the peculiar English sense of humour will inevitably be regulated into oblivion. In fact,  according to reliable sources,  red tape is already being manufactured across the Channel that will impose a standardised format on jokes throughout the union’s 28 member states. This is truly no laughing matter.

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You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
  7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

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Posted in Brexit, China, Egypt, Europe, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Life is the breath of a buffalo

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

12 October 2018

“A little while and I will be gone from among you, whither I cannot tell. From nowhere we came, into nowhere we go. What is life? It is a flash of a firefly in the night. It is a breath of a buffalo in the winter time. It is as the little shadow that runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”

Comment attributed to Crowfoot (1830-1890), a chief of the Blackfoot Indians based in the US States of Montana and Alberta, in a speech bidding adieu to his people on 25 April 1890.

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You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
  7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

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Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

South of the Border, Down Mexico Way

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

11 October 2018

“Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States.”

Lament attributed to Porfirio Díaz (1830-1915), who was President of Mexico from 1877 to 1880 and again from 1884 to 1911

Antigone1984:

Plus ça change…..The man who will take over as  Díaz’s latest successor on 1 December  Andrés Manuel López Obrador – is likely to have similar sentiments. Obrador, popularly known as AMLO from his initials, trounced the political establishment to score a landslide victory with 53% of votes cast in the presidential election on 1 July this year.

Mexico is awash with violence. Over 25,000 people were murdered there in 2017 — the highest annual figure recorded – while an estimated 130 political candidates and other public officials were murdered during the 2018 election campaign alone. The police appear powerless, while the drug cartels are a law unto themselves. And then, as if that were not enough, across the Rio Grand there is Trump and his wall. 

However, that’s where the comparison with Díaz ends. Obrador is a left-leaning populist, who has vowed to root out corruption, whereas Díaz was a dictator who seized land from the peasantry and handed it to the big landowners.

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You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
  7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

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Posted in Mexico, Music, Politics, USA | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Doing things by halves

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

10 October 2018

 

“We have to free half of the human race, the women, so that they can help to free the other half.

Emmeline  Pankhurst (1858-1928), English suffragette   

 

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You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
  7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

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Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment