Sunday 12 February 2023

The Sunday Ishmael: 12/02/2023

 Woops, she's done it again.
Having been knocked back by the Government of the United Kingdom in her attempt to introduce the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, which could only have an adverse impact on biological women and cause gender-recognition-certificate-seeking English men to flood across the border to pick up their own vital piece of paper that would give them undisputable access to women's toilets, changing rooms and domestic violence refuges; Mrs. Fish has embarked upon a policy that will increase the cost of the weekly shop, further drive hard-pressed Scots into penury, cause the closure of innumerable small businesses, allow Councils to stop recycling collections and give English producers a huge advantage when selling goods into Scotland. Pretty damn good, eh? Of course, it will all be Westminster's fault when it steps in to end this fresh madness, as we must hope it has powers to do.

The thing is, people living in Scotland are uniquely filthy, scoff-law, anti-environmentalist, lazy drunkards, or so we are told by Circularity Scotland, the Greens and environmental campaigners, and need legislation to make them behave like Norwegians, who are really, really good at picking up after themselves. Now, this may be true of the Weegies, of whom I'd believe anything, but I walk Orkney beaches pretty regularly and I can report that there are masses of dead birds, dead seals and great hillocks of seaweed tangled with fishing net offcuts, but not so much in the way of discarded cans and bottles. Unlike down Scarborough, where they train elderly people as litter-pickers, issue them with protective equipment, waterproof trousers, gloves, bags and those Grab and Grip litterpicker tools,
and encourage them to patrol the beaches and the streets, filling their litter bags and then to write reports. It has to be elderly people because younger people are too busy, creating the litter, so that the elderly people have something useful to do in their declining years. I know this on account of I have chums in Scarborough and I've seen the bands of pensioners roaming the streets and beaches, PPE'd up to fuck, groaning under the weight of their litter bags, fighting off other pensioners to get to the best litter. Come to think of it, it's probably a subgroup of EuthanasiaULike, and when one pensioner shuffles off, their colleague pensioners circle round, redistributing their litter between them, before joining forces with their Grab and Grippers to tidy up their mortal coil.
By the way, did you know that the avian flu is now the avian and seal flu? It's jumped species. Probably best to keep away from beaches and always carry a raised umbrella to ward off birds with flu dropping on your head as you go out with your Grapn'Grip litter pickers. 
A Grabn'Grip tool sounds like something that might retail along with the fluffy pink handcuffs at the Anne Summers shop, but no, it is a serious bit of kit, that you could wave at the avians, and even use to pluck the frailer ones out of the air and stuff into your bag, before writing your report.
Talking of Anne Summers and the elderly, did you know there's a thriving service in Maebashi, Japan, operating from the Tone Shoten "bookstore" chain?
It assists elderly men with their end of life planning, by buying their porn collections. In November last year, Tone Shoten started a monthlong promotional campaign targeting male senior citizens.
The store paid an extra 1,000 yen ($7) to people who brought in at least 10 DVDs for appraisal. They also received an Amazon gift certificate worth 500 yen if they filled out a questionnaire about their concerns and requests for the disposal of adult DVDs. Over the last two years, they reckon they have bought at least 140,000 DVDs from old chaps who needed to de-clutter before moving into care homes or wanted to avoid the embarrassment of their families finding out, post mortem, that grandad was an old wanker. The porn collections are then resold "in line with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals in the adult entertainment industry". Honest, not invent. All that cherry blossom and pretty tea-ceremonies. Who would have thought that Japan was a country committed to industrial-scale wanking? Well, I suppose the clues have been there in plain sight - they invented the term bukake, after all. Why have a word if you don't have the practice in the first place? It's just not wholesome. But then, neither is this:

Katie Price, model and celebrity, formerly known as Jordon.

Anyway, circling back to wee Nicola's latest attempts to sink Scotland's economy, drinks manufacturers and retailers have a week in which to  register with Circularity Scotland. Should they fail to do so, they can not sell drinks in single use plastic, PET or glass containers in Scotland. Registering commits them to the Deposit Return Scheme. Ishmaelites of a certain vintage will remember small boys with little trucks knocking your door and asking for your empty bottles that they would then return to the corner shop to claim the deposit, thus accumulating a tidy sum that they would spend on cigarettes. Hilarity Scotland's scheme does not depend upon an army of avaricious small boys, although I daresay they will work themselves into the transactions, at some point. No, it's a tad more complex. From August 16th this year, all retailers of drinks will be required to have a reverse vending machine (again, honest, not invent), into which you post your empty can or bottle and the machine will return you a 20p coin, log it onto your credit or debit card, or print you a voucher. The machine costs £17,000, the cost to be met in full by the retailer. 
What's 20 pence, you may say, merrily,  I throw these nibbets onto the side, with my car keys, when I come home, to avoid wearing out my trouser pockets or them disappearing into the alternative universe of down the back of the sofa. (Do you watch that Sort Your Life out with Stacey programme? The premise is that the team, under the toothy direction of Stacey Solomon, descend on a messy, hoardy, cluttery family, pack all their stuff into several pantechnicons, transfer it to an aircraft hangar, where they lay it all out, in shameful rows, on pallets, tables, clothes rails and groundsheets, then make the family spend days deciding what to keep and what to chuck, whilst their home is professionally cleaned, decorated and enhanced with built-in storage units. Then, having Marie Kondo-ed their life's stuff, the meagre remnants are returned and beautifully, but sparsely,  arranged and everyone goes Wow. Just brilliant TV. True cruelty and nosiness masquerading under Caringness. Anyway, the last episode I saw, Toothy Stacey found a total of £2 grand down the back of the sofa, in jacket pockets, lost wallets, and uncashed cheques.)

So, what's 20 pence? Remember that the 20 pence is levied on every can. So if you buy a six-pack of Coke, that's £1.20. If you buy a case of Bud, that's £6.00. Certainly adds to the cost of the weekly shop. And you don't get it back unless you go back to where you bought it and feed it into the reverse vending machine. If the small boy army got to your bottle stash first, then that's that. It is what it is. Down the Swannee.  Councils will cease their roadside plastic and bottle recycling collections, as the consumer is putting in the miles to get to the reverse vending machines, so all the jamjars, coffee jars, baby food jars will go into the general rubbish. Dundee City Council has already announced this cost-saving service reduction. 
Drinks manufacturers in other parts of the United Kingdom will have a 20 pence competitive advantage over their Scottish counterparts, as they will be able to sell their products into Scotland without levying the 20 pence deposit. And that's where Westminster might step in, thus saving artisanal Scottish breweries and gin manufactories, as Nicky's scheme will place Scotland in breach of the UK Internal Market (UKIM) Act, which puts the ‘market access principles’ of mutual recognition and non-discrimination in law to ensure there are no new barriers for businesses trading across the UK. 
It will be spun as Westminster flexing its muscles, exerting control over Scotland and therefore Scotland needs to be independent. The crazy thing is that Sturgeon has been warned of this in a legal report and her own MPs have raised objections in Holyrood. The scheme is being introduced in England in 2025, so the Internal Market Act objection falls away then - but Sturgeon presumably wanted the glory of getting there first, and she is under the Green goad to maintain her death grip on power. 
Scotland - best part of England. 
Whilst we're on the subject of drink, did you notice the wet hostels for homeless alcoholics that Scotland has introduced? Seems to be an excellent, pragmatic scheme. Traditional dry hostels do not meet the need as street alcoholics must drink to avoid withdrawal symptoms, which can be life-threatening - seizures and Korsakoff's Syndrome. The wet hostels provide their residents with measured doses of alcohol at regular intervals, to maintain blood alcohol levels, thus avoiding both withdrawal and damaging binges.
Scotland's relationship with alcohol is toxic and lethal - I've heard the figure being bandied about of 3,700 alcohol-related deaths per year. And now there is a campaign to ban the advertising of alcohol products entirely and to require shops to stock it on shelves behind shutters, just like tobacco products.  That will probably fall foul of the Internal Market Act as well.
The Dwarf Zelensky has been on a surprise European tour this week, begging for additional lethal aid and Wings for Peace in his mangled English and clumsy phrases. It did serve to remind us that he is, first and foremost, a performer. The effusive and embarrassing welcome given him by Mr Northern Speaker and the Parliamentarians, elbowing each other aside to get selfies with the great, but tiny, war hero (unfair, mrs ishmael, he is no shorter than Macron or Putin), can only have confirmed Britain's position as an enemy of his state in Putin's mind. 
The truly dreadful pictures of devastation and death in consequence of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria demonstrate  how frail and vulnerable human life is, in the face of geological events and jerry-building. Life is tough enough, without War adding to the burden.
 Time to sue for peace, not ask for weapons and support to further extend this war into its second year. 
Here's something to cleanse the palate:
Andres Segovia plays "Leyenda" also known as "Asturias" composed by Isaac Albeniz.
It has been a long, dark, cold winter - the gales have been ferocious, the seas high, hail and hard rain thrown at my windows like buckets of ice - but, lo, the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.


thanks to editor mr. verge, there are now three anthologies of the collected works of ishmael smith:

Honest Not Invent, Vent Stack  and Ishmael’s Blues are all available from Lulu and Amazon. If you buy from Amazon, it would be nice if you could give a review on their website.
Ishmaelites wishing to buy a copy from lulu should follow these steps :

Thanks to editor mr. verge, there are now three anthologies of the collected works of ishmael smith:
Honest Not Invent, Vent Stack  and Ishmael’s Blues are all available from Lulu and Amazon. If you buy from Amazon, it would be nice if you could give a review on their website.
Ishmaelites wishing to buy a copy from lulu should follow these steps :
please register an account first, at This is advisable because otherwise paypal seems to think it's ok to charge in dollars, and they then apply their own conversion rate, which might put the price up slightly for a UK buyer. Once the new account is set up, follow one of the links below (to either paperback or hardback) or type "Ishmael’s Blues" into the Lulu Bookstore search box.  Click on the “show explicit content” tab, give the age verification box a date of birth such as 1 January 1960, and proceed.
Link for Hardcover :
Link for Paperback :
At checkout, try WELCOME15 in the coupon box, which (for the moment) 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, PB (including delivery to a UK address) should be £16.84; HB £27.04.


Anonymous said...

Cleansing, yes. Thanks Mrs I.

Bungalow Bill said...

Sorry that was me.

mrs ishmael said...

Thank you, mr bungalow bill - music, poetry, art and gardens are useful correctives to the horrors of the military mind, the stupidity of politicians, corruption, avarice and greed by everyone seeking to make a bob or two at the expense of one's fellow man. Not an entirely flawed species.

Mike said...

If Katie Price gets any bigger the yanks will be shooting her down.

Here is another rendition of Leyenda. Its sharper and the harmonies are better to my ear, but of course its a matter of personal opinion. Also from the beautiful Alhambra, I think.

Mike said...

Apologies: Williams' recital is in Seville, not at the Alhambra Palace in Grenada (as is Segovia's)

ultrapox said...

i hear ms price is getting in shape for a stint as the michelin-woman.

yardarm said...

Here, here: to the restorative powers of art and the garden.

Let`s hope that Gnasher has scuppered her insatiable ambition to be President of the People`s Republic of Scotland.

If not, then as I used to say to Mr. Ish, see if you Islanders can become Norwegians again.

mrs ishmael said...

I suppose, messrs mike and ultrapox, it depends upon the buoyancy and propulsive agents with which ms price's protuberances are filled, as to how high and how far she goes before the Yanks take a lethal interest. Maybe they are filled with gaseous covid virus, though, and we could point her at whichever geopolitical enemy takes our fancy.

mrs ishmael said...

Glad you could pop in, mr yardarm. Your Norwegian thought maybe explains why Orkney's streets and beaches are relatively free of the bottles and cans that Circularity Scotland tendentiously assures us are a national hazard and disgrace - it's the Norwegian tidy gene. Scotland wouldn't want to lose Orkney from its exchequer, though - During the first 6 weeks of 2023, Orkney Islands Council made £12.5 million from interest alone on short term loans. OIC is eye-wateringly wealthy. When Gnasher is President And Supreme Ruler she will doubtless be scraping in all the local authority's financial reserves. Levelling.

ultrapox said...

mrs ishmael, whilst helium would comprise the optimum lifting gas for pricey's prize-balloons, hydrogen might also be held suitable for emergency-top-ups...

however, should hydrogen ultimately be preferred as the buoyancy-medium, then health-and-safety considerations could possibly preclude engagement in certain social activities - such as smoking, and leaning over a gas-stove...

naturally, these small sacrifices may prove rather inconvenient to katie - but the point is that, once subjected to inflation, the court-bailiffs won't be able to get their hands on her assets.

Dick the Prick said...

Gonna go back to the music