Sunday 25 July 2021

The Sunday Ishmael 25/07/2021

  Pegasus Project - 
 Another Bit of a Worry

 In his 2015 essay on the development of personal phones during his lifetime, mr ishmael said: "But I hate them most of all because they don't do what people are led to believe they do. And they do do something else." Nil By Mouth  drafted 21/5/15 (published in The Sunday Ishmael  18/07/2021)
This is part of the something else: do run this little video - it is rather chilling

Edward Joseph Snowden, former computer intelligence consultant, leaked highly classified information when he was an employee and subcontractor for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013, and has been on the run ever since. His disclosures revealed numerous global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA and the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments, and prompted a cultural discussion about national security and individual privacy. Edward Snowden described your mobile phone as "the spy in your pocket". 
Hot in the House of Commons on 22/7/21 - Dawn Butler went a step too far in calling a spade a bloody shovel, and found herself excluded from the House after refusing to withdraw her accusation that Bo-Jo is a liar:
And it has been a week in which Dom Cummings has made further revelations about Bo-Jo's handling of the 
Covid v. The EckonomyStupid crisis. 
Impossible not to believe that Bo-Jo  considered the culling of over eighty-year olds a sensible price to pay for the restoration of Life As We Know It. In an unrelated fact, Bo-Jo's father, Stanley, was born on the 18th August 1940 and is estimated to be worth approximately £2 million. 
In his Annual Report for 2021, the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, has started worrying about the seaside. He has  recommended a cross-governmental national strategy to improve the health and wellbeing of residents of coastal towns, where, it seems, there are higher disease rates and lower life expectancies than inland. For example, in Blackpool, which the local G.P.s (Def. non-specialist doctors for our non-British readers) identified as suffering from Shit Life Syndrome (SLS)*, life expectancy for males is 74.4 years and for females 79.5 years. This is considered to be appallingly poor, surprisingly, as it is substantially better than greater Glasgow, where life expectancy is currently 71.6 for men and 78 for women. Now, there is no point in a  Glaswegian male moving to Blackpool on his seventy-first birthday in the expectation of getting another three years out of the Judge's arse (prison slang, ask me later). Life expectancy should be calculated at each point in the life journey. So, if a baby survives the dangers of gestation and birth, it will have a greater life expectancy than the zygote. If the 21 year old survives the horribly dangerous male teenage years - war, crime, showing off, he will have a greater life expectancy than a 13 year old. With each decade successfully negotiated, life expectancy increases. So a child with a life expectancy of 79.4 at birth, doesn't actually run out of life expectation when he attains the age of 79.4, our older readers will be delighted to note. He can continue expecting more life. 
Up to a point.

*SLS - Shit Life Syndrome - a chronic health condition combining emotional, social, financial and physical problems. The medical professional has always valued a good acronym - how could we forget NFN (Normal For Norfolk) which was written on some patients' medical records in East Anglia to allude to illnesses or disorders  resulting from incest.
Nicola McFraud (allegedly)  
Just as mr mongoose predicted, the SNP does not want Scottish Independence from the United Kingdom. If they did, they wouldn't have "lost" the £600,000 raised through two fundraising drives in 2017 and 2019, for the purposes of funding a second independence referendum. Seven complaints have already been made to the SNP about the missing cash, which Police Scotland has confirmed are under investigation, and since the announcement of that fraud investigation, a further 12 allegations have emerged.
The £600,000 was supposed to be "ring-fenced" but supporters raised concerns when the published accounts revealed the money was gone. In May, Douglas Chapman resigned from his role as Treasurer of the SNP's National Executive Committee, citing a lack of information which prevented him from carrying out his fiduciary duties. On the 31st May 2021 Joanna Cherry also resigned from the NEC, claiming she was prevented from improving transparency and scrutiny within the party.
So, where's the money gone?

Perhaps she took advice from Gordon Brown, who, prior to becoming Prime Minister of the United Kingdom between 2007 to 2010, was Chancellor of the Exchequer for 10 years, during which he reformed Britain's monetary and fiscal architecture, including selling the country's gold reserves between 1999 and 2002, at the bottom of the market, for reasons best known to himself. This is by way of introduction to this remarkable essay discovered by mr verge.

From the desk of Editor mr verge:

The following, rediscovered only last week in the shifting sands of google’s capricious search results, may be of particular interest to ishmaelites as it was written at the same time (presumably just before, though it’s hard to tell exactly) as Gordon the Ruiner, the apocalyptic science-fiction pastiche which this essay’s straight, righteous loathing perfectly complements.  From an editor’s point of view, it’s fascinating to see the cogent long-form rant in full effect a few months before stanislav morphed into ishmael, here on these very pages.  And while the targets may be figures from our recent past (God grant it stays that way, in the case of Bruin) his horror at madness in high office, and financial incontinence of staggering enormity, won’t have to look too far for resonance in what we’ve got before us now.

 January 26, 2009

Early on, Brown’s fevered parliamentary bombast rang alarm bells; here was, by his own account, the cleverest boy in the school, not elucidating - as, with a huge majority, he could, comfortably - or even amplifying his proposals but instead shouting, patronising, ranting, declaiming; offering not an explanation but a deathly mantra of unverifiable self-compiled dodgy data, along with some fanciful, cast-in-stone economic tests, as though they were holy scripture or - more menacingly, prophetically - as if from some little red book of Chairman Gordon’s Thoughts. A waterfall of Tractor Production Statistics and five-year plans cascaded from the dispatch box, his metronoming Claw of Doom punctuating each dubious claim; not a chink of questioning, heretical light could be allowed in on the fabulous economic wizardry taking place, right before your very eyes, ladeezangennulmen, alchemy, perpetual motion, the philosopher’s stone, the holy grail, the lost chord, the fountain of eternal youth, time travel and a cure for the common cold and an end to boom and bust; Brownism was the way, the truth and the light, however maladroit, deceitful and dark its progenitor. Queries were met by heavyweight, oppressive, deeply unattractive, bullying, I-Know-Best motor-mouthing; how dare you ask me questions? My way is the right way. My things are the right things to do, don’t you know I am Napoleon, l’Empereur fou?

Some, outside the blinkered, incestuous, charmed circle of MediaMinster, deploying meagre mental arithmetic rather than self-interest, never bought Brown’s shit. Those who effortlessly and without a shred of shame fluffed the Golden Chancellor with the Snotty Iron Fist have a fucking cheek publishing, now, their condemnation, beating their pissed-up breasts as though they’d warned us all along. Cunts, all of them. Like Mao’s Revolutionary Guards, up and down the land, they all assured a succession of NewLabour general election victories, warming their poxed-up arses in front of Brown’s bonfire of the money, peddling lazy journalism and hosannahing themselves all over the airwaves.

Son of the Fucking Manse-ing - as though a lifelong adolescence informed by the sanctimonious, hypocritical, tight-lipped, disapproving, miserly tyranny of Godless, heathen fucking Presbyterianism equipped him to save the world - Brown foisted himself on us through Succession, some feudal droit de Seigneur; an insane, Voices In the Head, ongoing dialogue with his dead, domineering clergyman father about their shared, timeless sense of Vaaal-ewes, their Sol-you-shuns paraded to the nation as evidence of his Messianic suitability to become and remain the unelected prime minister.

 Brown’s bogus spirituality, learned among the hate-filled, fork-tongued, tight-fisted, sour-faced, wife-beating, red-faced, greedybastard freemason sonsafuckingbitches of Fife was deemed to bypass any need for a democratic process. Brown, his teeth Domestosed and his collars starched, made himself over, like some bloated daytime TV housewife. The hallmark of his competence, urged the Man With No Nails, was Trust me, I am mad. Delusions, voices, self-harm, infantilism, the works, ga-ga-ga-ga-ga. Affirm me, he blustered, fearful of an election, not by normal democratic means but on my performance over the coming months, years, and impoverished, breadline decades.

As Blair’s domestic prime minister, Brown’s vile, bullying hostility, his battering to death of enquiry or legitimate, parliamentary scepticism - not that there are too many megawatt searchlights on the Tory benches - was, as anyone could see, an alien response, far beyond normal politics; this was crippling egomania, obsessive self-justification, his How-dare-you- question-my-reality actually being a masked form of Please, for Pity’s sake, don’t question my reality. Talking, at night, to his Daddy, one imagined Brown claiming to have seen off another impudent challenge to his brilliance, the fucking headbanger.

As time has passed, indiscreet civil servants, spiteful, slighted former colleagues and Westminster gossip have belatedly, and with the dubious imprimatur of the insider with nothing to lose, validated our view of Brown as a mad, mad, mad control freak, a mistrustful paranoiac, a revolting bully, prone to rages and deeply unpleasant, oppressive and violent towards his subordinates, even towards such festering minds and shabby characters as Blears and the schoolboy Bugbrothers and Jowell and Hoon and the inexcusable Flint, themselves - astonishingly - more vapid, compliant, grateful and laughably incompetent than Blair’s A-Team of babes, thieves, slags, ponces, nobodies and the Vengeful Blind; we labour now under a cabinet appointed for no other reason than that, stupid and detestable, they posed no threat to the Lunatic’s snot-encrusted, nail-bitten, spasming grasp on power.

 Ignoring, however, his massively disordered personality, and making no mention of his freakish bloatedness and discomfort in his own skin; his nail-biting, snot-eating habits, his unnaturally late marriage and parenthood, a personality-neutral examination of Brown’s ministerial and prime ministerial conduct alone reveals not only a mind at war with Reason but an immature character intent, hell-bent, on conscripting the rest of humanity to his madbastard Triumph of the Delusions. Like a Lilliputian courtier, he condemns himself from his own mad mouth; he may just as well bark as speak, for all the sense he makes. Listen:

“This week I am uniquely placed to un-fuck last week’s fuck-ups, and next week, guess what - a–ha-ha-ha -, I will be the only person capable of un-fucking this week’s fuck-ups, which I will not have made, even though, obviously, I did.”

 “The fuck-ups, you see, when they regularly occur, are not my responsibility but someone else’s, even though I am rigidly in charge, doing the right thing and taking the tough decisions, for you anyway, waking in the middle of the night to devise more fuck-ups and obviously, therefore, only I can un-fuck them.”

 “It is because of me that we are uniquely well-placed to withstand the global economic turbulence for which I am not responsible even though I was its cheerleader, its veritable stormfront-in-chief; it is because of my competence at being incompetent that even though I say we are uniquely well-placed to weather these storms, we are actually the nation most buffeted by them and this is why you should, if I permit you to, vote for Me. A vote for Me is a vote for an eternal Groundhog Fuck-Up Day. Each day you get up, it’ll be the same fuck-up and the same proposed un-fucking. Day after glorious, fucked-up day. I’m in charge, I have been in charge for twelve years, everything’s fucked; everything. Nothing works and there is no money, therefore, obviously, I should stay in charge; who could doubt it?”

 “Stuff like this, it needs a head-banging, eat-his-own-shit, barking-at-the-moon, scratch-himself-until-he’s-bleeding, drugs-don’t-touch-him, lock-him-up-for-his-own-protection madman to sort this lot out. Let me explain; encouraged by me, the banks did too much lending - the more money they loaned to people who would never in a million years pay it back, the more money they were able to pay themselves - and as the people did too much borrowing and spending this caused the High St boom in tat and rubbish shipped in from the Chinese who now own all the real money, and probably some of the gold which I prudently gave away for fuck-all but none, obviously, of my special, made-up, imaginary money. Which I keep as a National Currency Reserve. In my mind.”

“This lending and spending carry-on caused the fuck-up, for which someone else and not me is responsible, even though at the time it wasn’t a fuck-up but a miracle for which I was, then but only then, responsible. But that is then and this was now. Isn’t it?”

“Just because it was wrong then, even though it wasn’t, doesn’t mean it’s wrong now, even though it is. You see, citizens, what is, isnae, and what isnae, is. And anybody disagreeing is talking down the country and my prudent stewardship of it, which has seen unprecedented stable economic growth, schoolsandhospitals which are prudently on the never-never and an end to boom and bust and not, as some claim, an economy drowning in shit up to its nostrils and sinking fast, which it isn’t, and that is why President Barack Obama thinks I am wonderful. Which I am. My father tells me most nights. You ken when I was a wee boy, living an ordinary life, banged up with a bullying religious maniac, I learned the Vaaal-ewe of a good sermon every Sunday, blaming the parishioners and demanding money from them, and I’ve always tried to live up to that very special lesson I learned; blame other people, threaten them, bully them, frighten them, then take their money from them and spend it better.”

 “If it is now, now, so to speak, I am now going to give the banks some of my special money, more money than there, in fact, is. Or ever was. But only on the basis that they again lend it to people who can’t pay it back but can only spend it, or to businesses which, because of somebody else in America, are, now, for the foreseeable future, fucked, and don’t actually need any money but just need to be wound up, thanks to me, and by doing all this, just like before, I will make the economy strong again, even though it is very strong now, it’s just that there is no money and soon there will be no jobs. Do you understand?”

 “I will explain. I am going to give imaginary money to the banks so that they can lend it to poor, no longer hard-working families and no longer small but instead failed businesses who will never pay it back and when that doesn’t work then my next big idea will be to take everybody’s personal debt and sell it to the banks, which I shall by then own myself and when my banks don’t pay me for all the personal debt I have given them I will just print some more imaginary money and think of something else to do; maybe the best thing to do will be to nationalise the money of those who have saved instead of patriotically spending and give it to somebody else, thus making a level and competitive playing field to help us out of the Recession, which it isn’t, but only a Downturn and not by any means my fault. The thing is, with the press you can say any old rubbish and they’ll print it. Otherwise we won’t let them in the Lobby. Or let them buy us lunch.”

 “The thing with money, d’you see, is that if you run out of it, you just make up some more pretend money. Not everybody can do this, obviously; where would we be, my Goodness, if people could just make up money, invent it? That wouldnae be very Prudent. Ho-ho-ho. But me, the country’s premier financial wizard and economics hardman, war leader, social scientist, author, statesman and fruit-and-nutcase, I should be able to magic some money up.”

“It is by printing mountains of pretend money and throwing it all over the electorate that I will prove that, even though the money rapidly becomes less than worthless, the wrong thing - burning all the proper money and giving away all the gold, making everybody unemployed and homeless - was actually the right thing to do. Even though, if it was, we wouldn’t be in this mess. Which we aren’t. More is more when there is more but equally, when there isn’t any more, like now, then less is more, you see. Poverty, the new wealth. Trust me; I’m as mad as a fucking hatter.”


Economic and financial contra-analyses, by public figures and commentators, of Brown’s ever more bizarre and destructive one-final-push, over-by-Christmas soundbite strategems, take no regard of his affliction and contaminate the national survival argument.

 There is no dealing with a nutter, no point engaging with him; engagement is his victory; engagement permits “Look, Listen, I will give you a lesson in free market economics, told to me in days of yore by men of the Northlands and for which, by the way, being a workshy Scotch lunatic and totalitarianist, I have neither training nor aptitude, even so I will talk tractor production statistics at you until your nose bleeds and your bowels curdle. And by my effortless mastery of this made-up nonsense shall I, Noggin the Nog, render you speechless.”

 If only the Leader of the Opposition had any meaningful life experience he would know that in disputing with Brown the minutiae of his madness he plays to his snotty strength. Saving his ire for a worthless and redundant PMQs, observed only by drunken journalists and lonesome obsessives, David DoesMyBaldSpotShow Cameron wastes his time and betrays the nation, which can only see him as Brown’s Yah-Boo stooge in this unveiling disaster. Sadly, Cameron, a catastrophically over-promoted airhead, himself starting to pout and mince and play to the gallery of reptiles, combing his hair this way and that, dragooning bloated self-satisfied geriatrics to his cause, adds to the national woe; he is good, as we say in Scotland, for fuck all; his strategy is Hang On Sloopy, Sloopy Hang On, while the country slides into a sea of shit, and hope to win an election. Lacking all the talents save spin, Cameron, a Blair/Brown Lite, feels he should be prime minister, not because he can bring anything to the post, but because he wants to be and if he hangs on long enough then, through Buggins’ Turn, he will be.

 The Liberal Democrats - Good God, what are they good for? Absolutely nothing - huff and puff on the basis that they have in their slender, copraphiliac ranks the Sage of Last Resort. Jesus Wept, this tired old clown, Cable, pretends to the Wisdom of Solomon for lamely trotting out, as though it were the Unified Field Theory of Everything, the everyday talk of any working man’s club or public bar. You can’t fund a country on artificially inflated house prices. Simple. Job done. 

But quick-stepping Vince, Newsnight after Newsnight after Newsnight, would have us believe this is Nobel Prize Economics. And in the stupid, insular, up-their-own-arses world of Mediaminster, they believe it is, too. Oh, if only the politics fairy would make Vince Cable Chancellor. And in this worthless reflected glory Mr Nick Haircut – like Mr Cameron, the wrong man, at the wrong time, in the wrong job, but possibly the right suit – stakes his claim to have a stab at fucking things up.

 Brown is safe from nitwits like these, watching their own vulnerable backs, tossing their coiffures furiously. The removal of this madman must be depoliticised, engineered from within his own ranks, in the national interest. Brown has created three thousand new imprisonable offences. Three thousand. None of them apply to the ruling class or their chums in the banks, obviously, although we can be jailed for messing up the VAT return or not paying the Ross-Wogan levy. No matter how grave his blackmail, money-laundering, fraud or war crimes, how criminal his neglect, the politically-appointed career gangsters in the Met and the bent prosecutors would not countenance a move against a UK minister, let alone prime minister, for such would undermine the whole shabby edifice, under which socialism sends its kids to private schools, Diane, overlooks its mortgages, Tess, and employs its rentboys at the taxpayers’ expense, Peter. Immune from prosecution, Brown’s removal must come from the cesspit out of which, spluttering and bullying, he crawled.

Instead of preening, adjusting his cufflinks disconsolately on the Treasury Bench’s Desolation Row, instead of throwing dinner parties in his own honour, the revolting Torture Secretary, Straw, could do one good deed before he retires to wealth and self-regard; he should arrange for Brown to be extradited to a place of sanity, as much in the interests of the bad-tempered, pouting, mincing, gibbering lunatic himself as in ours. The unspeakably pompous Straw must calculate and intrigue carefully, find some hissing form of grandiloquence, les mots justes, and dump this fucking nutter; it shouldn’t be too hard among unprincipled, self-centred scum like the PLP. Otherwise he must live and die with a reputation that consists of lying feebly to the UN, sniffing around Condoleeza Rice, the ugly acne-ridden bastard, and embracing torture as an instrument of British jurisprudence. Removing the nutter’s hands from control might redeem the ghastly Straw, a little.

The unelected, illegitimate prime minister of the United Kingdom, for all his Vaaal-ewes and Sol-you-shuns, is a mental case of the worst kind - no smiling, child-like idiot savant, Brown - and should be nutted-off to Rampton or Broadmoor, although, God knows, the denizens of the secure hospitals have far less blood on their hands, far fewer souls plaguing their sleep than does this hideous, gulping, stuttering, snot-eating, loathsome, cowardly warmonger. And yet, cowardly ourselves, we permit him, even now, to strut and posture; we allow Ozymandias Brown impudently to add insult to injury, to brazenly bully and hector an entire nation which he has beggared and - whilst relentlessly lecturing us from his imaginary pulpit, sermonising, shitting in our faces - to grind us into ruination and dust. My name is Ozymandias, Saviour of the World. Behold my works, ye mighty, and despair.

How to pick your nose like a Chancellor of the Exchequer

Stanislav, a young Polish plumber said...


Jesus fucking wept. If this was almost anybody else in the human race there would be - even among those who worship here - a twinge of sympathy: foot-in-mouth, flies undone, hit thumb with hammer and so on, it's one of those.


You can see him, praying like a doomed Jock cunt to his dead, mad father: Daddy, I must not say Saved the World, I must say Saved the Banks; I must not say Saved the World I must say Saved the Banks; maybe writing it on the back of his hand BANKS NOT WORLD in red ink. And then, catastrophe, a laughing stock, everybody laughing at him, that bloke Cameron, with his two eyes and his driving license and his stationary jaw, and his fingernails, laughing at him, him the cleverest boy in the Manse. Anyone who had a heart would feel sorry.


Since it’s this mad fucking bastard, however, the response is exultation; in dulce jubilo, Oh! happy day; Christmas come early; trouble is, it’ll make him madder than ever, the horrible, snot-eating, fucking mutant; a miserable humourless bigoted Jock lunatic; a cocksucking, snot-eating, one-eyed madman. Save the world, fuck me, the man’s a walking fucking catastrophe, the United Nations should lock him up before he causes any more havoc and fucking mayhem; God help us, they’re all barking - nutters like Kauffmann and Skinner and Osblow and Clegg and Oaten, the place is exploding with maniacs - but this fucking clown is out on his own, somewhere at the far end of sanity’s galaxy. How the fuck did this happen, a lonely, criminal lunatic, mincing and pouting, jibbering, spluttering, bad-tempered, delusional, spiteful and incompetent, running the fucking country?


December 2008


Both anthologies of the work  of mr ishmael and his young Polish friend, Stanislav, Plumb Cheap for You:  Honest Not Invent and Vent Stack - are available to purchase for mere money at Lulu or Amazon. It is cheaper to buy from Lulu. Here's how to buy your own copies: 

Please register an account with them first. This will save you a couple of quid, as going straight into the link provided below seems to make paypal think it's ok to charge in dollars, and apply their own conversion rate, which will put the price up slightly for a UK buyer. Once the new account is set up, follow our link; a pop-up box asks for age confirmation - simply set the date to (say) 1 January 1960, and proceed. (If you type the title, the anthology will not appear as a search result until the "show explicit content" box - found at the bottom left by scrolling down - has been checked.  You may also see the age verification box, as above, at this point.) 
 The full title is "Vent Stack love from stanislav" by ishmael smith, and the cover you'll see is red with white titles and a picture of Buster the Previous Blog Dog having a green thought in a green shade. 

Link for the paperback:


shorter link, which might make it easier if you wish to paste it into an email and tell a friend:

 Honest, Not Invent is available in paperback or hardback.

Link for Hard Back :

Link for Paper Back :

At checkout, enter TREAT15 in the coupon box, which  takes 15% off the price before postage.  If this code has expired by the time you reach this point, try a google search for " voucher code" and see what comes up.  With the 15% voucher, the book (including delivery to a UK address) should cost £10.89


Mike said...

The Brown reign of terror now seems like a halcyon period. Blair is still the one I hate the most, but its a photo finish. But what a shower of shit there has been since Brown. For all his famed non-expertise in economics, if one was allowed a peek at the Treasury's books now - the real ones not the make believe ones - then it would be shocking and in comparison the Brownian period would seem benign. And we all know it will only get worse. I thank God I'm approaching the latter quartile of my life. Its OK to say ignore it, get off the grid etc., but this thing is like herpes it infects you forever.

mongoose said...

Back in the day, mr mike, we used to talk about all the magic money that was sprayed around. How little we knew! The furlough gravy train and the five hundred squid ping bonus has been ruinous. A vast number of young people are know used to getting paid all but proper wages for doing nowt whatsoever for months on end. All that electronic confetti will have to be inflated away, I guess. And how much is all this is truly going to cost in real wealth destroyed by way of business failures is, thank goodness, unknowable. Snotty does indeed look more of a strategic genius with every day that passes.

Mike said...

The zero interest rates, Mr mongoose, have lead to not only the destruction of sound investment, but the transfer of real manufacturing and wealth to China and other countries. Forget the phony metric of GDP which is meaningless (eg money borrowed counts in the nominal GDP figure), but by any sensible metric of economic activity - such as energy consumption, steel production etc, China is out in front by a country mile. China and Russia combined are a colossus; they can function quite happily - indeed more successfully - if the rest of the world ceased to exist. The West with its phoney economics and wokeness is finished, and may well cease to exist if it tries something stupid. Apropos of which I see HMS Queen Elizabeth is making waves in the S China sea. The top brass in the Admiralty have lost the plot. Reading the UK press of late I cannot understand the anti China and Russia tone. Even the Yank press isn't that bad.

mrs ishmael said...

Mr ishmael had a visceral loathing for Brown - we can't have this revisionist thinking - only in comparison with the current dire Conservative cabinet, the truly astoundingly trashed economy (Covid, darling)and some very thick rose-tinted glasses could Gordon the Ruiner be seen as anything other than what he was - a man so far out of his depth that it would have been risible had he not wielded the power that he did. The man was Chancellor of the Exchequer for ten solid years, during which he gave the Bank of England operational independence and responsibility for setting interest rates. He changed the inflation measure from the Retail Price Index to the Consumer Price Index and transferred responsibility for banking supervision to the Financial Services Authority, which, arguably, increased the 2007 global banking crisis. And sold off the gold.

mrs ishmael said...

With interest rates of 0.05%,mr mike, in Britain property is being seen as a sensible investment, hot-housing house prices beyond the ability of most young people to buy the roof over their heads in many parts of the country. In Orkney it is said that house prices have increased by 20% in the last 12 months. This is all ascribed, rather than intrinsic value - fairy fucking dust.
As for the international posturing - I guess the enemy without is being identified to distract from the enemy within.
Wokeness has finished the Labour Party. The Trade Unions need to cut the umbilical tie and pour the funding into a new party. There's lots of chancers out there: Gorgeous George Galloway, Nigel Farage, Andrew Neil - even Dominic Cummings was being coy with Laura Kuensberg about his parliamentary potential.

Mike said...

Its too late Mrs I. If, like me, you have been away from the UK for a number of years; then make a return visit to old haunts (as I did a few years ago) the result is literally astonishing. Hard to believe my eyes. And none of it for the better.

By any absolute measure Brown was not just awful but downright bad - I don't dispute that for a minute. I'm simply observing that using Brown as the "gold standard" its got a lot worse.

mongoose said...

Some places are still the same, mr mike. If you get out of the cities, life, in England at least, goes on much as it ever has. There is a different set of stupidities to navigate from time to time but that has always been so. Go West especially and we are still here taming the wilderness of Bandit Country..

McDoom, mrs i, is, was, and will always be the symbol, the bastard child, the very essence of what went wrong with Labour. The clever manse boy morphing via corruption into a PM name-calling a humble woman of the land expressing her concern for her vanishing way of life. Even he though might have baulked at this level of stupidity. The current Left, btw, is an allegiance of pretend grievance and shredded naughty bits. If the answer is Sir Kier Starmer Bt, WTF is the question and why do we care?

ultrapox said...

our ocean-going arsehole of a prime minister, mr mike, is no horatio nelson...

but more, i am afraid to say, a catastrophe-coordinated captain pugwash.

mrs ishmael said...

I know what you mean, mr mike - mr ishmael and I moved to an island off the north coast of Scotland twenty years ago, and on the rare occasions we visited cities we had known, the poverty, squalor, crowding, street beggars and smells were overwhelming. Maybe part of it was just no longer being accustomed to it, maybe part of it was the contrast with our adopted home, but a big chunk was actual deterioration - roads left unmended and potholed, rubbish bins stored on pavements as routine, chain stores you'd have thought too big to fail, C&A, BHS, Woolworths - all gone and premises left empty or taken over by charity shops, pawn brokers, loan shops or "gentlemen's clubs". Covid has cut another swathe through the High Streets of Britain.
But mr mongoose is also right - away from the cities, there is beauty, tranquillity, greenness and pleasantry. I've always thought that the whole of Orkney is like rural England in the Fifties: ancient buildings gently crumbling in mild sunshine, no advertising hoardings, no neon and no dual carriageways - Kirkwall is like a big village and Miss Marple would be find it all very familiar.
"Pretend grievance and shredded naughty bits" - excellent coinage, sir!

mongoose said...

I read in the electronic paper today that some council in England wants us to have nine different bins. Glass, plastic, paper, food, metal, general recyclable... I forget the rest. Which reminded me that my three bins do indeed sit in the lane as ugly as sin. Mea culpa.

BTW if you go to Bath, the local council there has told TPTB to stuff their freakin' bins precisely on the grounds that they would disfigure so beautiful a city. And so everyone got supplied with foldable bags for their recyclable stuff and such like. The foxes were overjoyed, of course, and now everybody keeps their stinky bags of ick off the ground by hanging them from their Jane Austen railings.

Mike said...

I know what you are saying Mrs I, but its a very slippery slope.

I lived in London in the 1970s/80s. And, generally, for a big city it was quite agreeable. I went back to London in the late 1990s from Sydney to do a project and frankly is was scary: the squalor, stink, beggars etc as you describe. The whole place looked totally run down. Moreover, it felt threatening and dangerous at night traveling on the tube - never something I felt in 18 years living there (even when the IRA were setting off bombs).

My first return visit in 1999, I caught the train from Heathrow to Paddington. First the smell of urine in the tunnels connecting the various bits of Heathrow was off-putting; second, the cost of a single fare was a shock; third, when I was on the train a scruffy looking man sat opposite me and pissed on the floor. Welcome to London.

Mr mongoose: before I emigrated in 1994 I lived in East Devon (actually in a thatched house built in 1516) in a beautiful old village of several similar properties - and importantly a village pub. I was saddened to see a lot of the greenbelt had since been converted to commuter suburbs to Exeter. Estates of small little commuter houses built of cardboard.

As I said, its a slippery slope going downhill.

mrs ishmael said...

Basically, I suppose, in addition to the country having gone to hell in a handcart, there are just too many people in Britain. Okay, there are great swathes of Wales, the Highlands, Northumberland etc, which are fairly empty of people - but no-one wants to leave the cities to colonise the empty bits because there's no jobs, housing, medical and educational infrastructure or fastfood outlets. So the cities get bigger and nastier, grinding the green belt underfoot as they edge outwards, eventually to merge into the next city along. No wonder Boris has been encouraging the Covid Cull.

mrs ishmael said...

Talking of recycling, mr mongoose, did you hear Allegra Stratton on Newsnight promoting her ten steps to save the Planet schtik? Turns out I've been an Eco Warrier for years, as I never did see the point in washing dishes before you put them in the dishwasher. Not, actually, very keen on washing up at all. Such a greasy, filthy business. Better by far to just keep on using the frying pan instead of destroying its patina with harsh chemicals and hot water, to keep one mug for tea and another mug for coffee, and continue to use them, to eat your dinner out of the nice clean box the fishnchip purveyors put it in, then chuck it into the bin. No longer worried about Letting My Standards Slip, I'm now proud to be Doing my Bit to Save the Planet.

mongoose said...

One only needs to scrap the plates before putting them i the dishwasher, mrs i. It is after all a dishwasher and not a garbage guzzler. Back in the day when I was a poor wee urchin, I had a kitchen so small that I could stand in the middle and touch all four walls without having to move. There was a rectangular space looking all mournful and was obviously meant to have a cooker in it. I put a dishwasher in it and bought a Baby Belling to heat up me beans on toast.

Oooh, which village, mr mike. I used to live in that part of the world. Clyst Honiton was mine. Although not so much an East Devon village as an A30 pimple.

Mike said...

Mr mongoose: Broadhembury. Up from Clyst Honiton on the A30 and turn left at Honiton. The Drewe Arms.

mongoose said...

Very nice indeed, mr mike, I'd have never left. Alas, in those pre-internet days we'd have had to have known it was there to find it. But I played cricket all around those a-little-bit-nearer-to-Exeter villages though. Massacred almost every time as we were, we were often in desperate need of a drowning sorrows venue. Some of those little village teams were very good.

Mike said...

Mr mongoose: We were very happy there - life was very pleasant. But the storm clouds were looming; it was obvious which way the country was going. So we went to the other side of the world. All in all, I think the decision has been vindicated.

mongoose said...

My time in Devon was over by 84/5 and then I went to London until 93. Since then back on the fringe of Wessex in one place, I experience a life not that dissimilar to people who have lived here before - except for the mad price of it, of course. I have never been, of course, a proper city boy; I like to see green things.

What storm clouds did you see, mr mike?

Mike said...

I started to have my doubts when a young, slick kid was on Newsnight. He had a Saville Row jacket, shirt and tie, but for a brief moment the camera showed below the table that he was wearing jeans and trainers. It was clear he was on the rise, and he was prepared to say anything for power. I'm sure you have guessed by now that was Blair. And johnny underpants turned me off completely. And also there was the whole "Common Market" stuff that was getting intrusive. Also, my gut feeling was that the quality of life in the UK had peaked. The ERM debacle showed that the political leadership had no clue, and didn't care really about the damage it caused.

In 1988 I was working in Hong Kong and took the chance of visiting Australia, and traveling around the country. I remember saying to my wife when we were driving around the Northern Territory bush (quite spectacular landscape) that we have never been in a place where if we break down (and we were driving an old Datsun that belonged to an Australian girl living in Darwin who previously lived in one of the houses we owned in London) we will certainly die. The freedom and free spirit of the country entered my psyche.

It is actually quite difficult to close down one life and start another. Lots of family opposition, business decisions, and it took from 1989 to 1994 to achieve that move - during which period we had our first child. And when we left, with just 2 suitcases and all our other stuff weeks behind in containers, with no idea where we would live, my wife was pregnant with our second child. So you have to be determined.

mongoose said...

Blair was the end of conviction in politics. Or perhaps Major was. Before then - and one could agree or disagree - there was no misunderstanding about what Thatcher or Foot or Powell or Jenkins or Crosland or Castle or any of those people stood for. Now we have post-TV, post-fact politics. We are no governed by focus groups and organised trolling and paid internet repetition of material posing as fact. Everything else is labelled lies. There is no honour in it, no real debate. All is a four legs or two legs race to the bottom.

Trying to understand politics in different nations, it is instructive to rotate the electronic globe of, say, Google Earth and set your locality of choice at the centre of the world. If one does that with a spot between Oz and Antarctica, there is almost nothing to see but NZ and ocean. You definitely chose the wild end of the world.

Mike said...

Mr mongoose: as normal men in the street, enjoying a game of cricket and a pint, one could take the view that politics and Westminster is far removed and irrelevant to us, way out in the West country. However, I've seen Government on the inside, and its clear to me that sooner rather than later it has a fundamental effect on our way of life. I'm sure I don't need to quote examples to prove this point. So when you diagnose that its going wrong, its time to take stock, as I did. And we voted with our feet.