2019 May 18 - Huawei

This week I thought we'd take a break from Theresa May to discuss Huawei, the Chinese company with a name that people disagree on how to pronounce. A bit like when people disagree on whether it's "envelope" of 'on' velope or how about even something as simple as the letter H. If you want to reduce the cost of healthcare, I'd ban access to anyone who pronounces it the "en haich ess"

Anyway, Huawei, not to be mistaken for Hawaii. The company is supposedly independent of the Chinese government and has complete freedom, but so does a child who's given the choice between a red apple or a green apple (or straight to bed). And talking of Apples, the mobile phone industry is the heart of this upcoming technological and financial battle of 5G phone rollout: who has it, who profits from it, and who's intelligence services get to spy on it. For those struggling to keep up, the Chinese would like to have access to everything, and the US would like those rights to remain in California, and occasionally Langley Virgnia. The US has in the past couple of weeks made it pretty clear where it stands with the whole 'trading with China' issue and so if you're a tech company, you should avoid using Huawei products in much the same way that you or I avoid watching anything beyond first 5 seconds of a YouTube advert or anything beyond the penultimate season of Game of Thrones.

But speaking as someone who was too lazy to cook dinner earlier, sometimes buying in Chinese is irresistible, That's why the US Commerce Department just put Huawei on its Entity List, meaning American companies would need to obtain licenses to sell it critical components for its products and that could make it hard for Huawei to get the parts its needs. They've also told intelligence partners like the UK that they can do what they want but if they do, as has been suggested, allow Huawei into the UK then the CIA will cease sharing intelligence secrets with MI6. That means if the British government wants to learn about weapons facilities in Iran, they'll have to make time to tune in to live round the clock news broadcasts where John Bolton goes on tv and pushes for full scale regime change in Tehran, making W Bush seem lightweight and indecisive.

And all for the want of marginally faster internet when you're trying to get Netflix in the countryside. It's a complicated world we live in I guess, and makes you long for a quasi-romantic long since passed era when spies used to share briefcases in the park and the briefcases were actually just really large early mobile phones because Huawei hadn't started selling smartphones.
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2019 May 12 - Chinese Tariffs

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2019 May 04 - Local Election Results

A wipeout for Theresa May this week in a set of local election results worse somehow than the quality of the services being provided by the councils in question. I think it was best summed up by two Conservative spokesmen, one of whom said the night had "gone downhill" and the other of whom described it as an "uphill battle". That wordplay is precisely the sort of disconnect you'd expect though, the Prime Minister believing that the public are annoyed her repeated failure to get a Brexit deal wh ......

2019 Apr 27 - Nigel is back for the European Elections

If scientists ever develop a beer that comes in capsule form, then you could say that it was a "bitter pill to swallow" Apologies, that was dreadful, but something that is going to be a bitter pill to swallow for establishment politicians is that there's some elections coming down the line. In the past you'd normally get 2 parties, both of whom were variations on the same, like having to choose between water and molten ice. However, in both Europe and the US the last year or so has seen the emer ......

2019 Apr 20 - Notre Dame & London Protests

This week started with the sad news that a fire had almost led to the destruction of Notre Dame, and certainly Quasimodo will have to spend the next couple of years living on the Phantom of the Opera's sofa. The atrocity drove to people around the world pledging hundreds of millions of Euros to rebuild and President Macron says it may be rebuilt in just a couple of years, presumably because there's an election in 2022 and he'd like to reopen the cathedral as a last act of office before he's kick ......

2019 Apr 13 - Julian Assange Arrested

Just taking a look at the science news and apparently an Israeli space mission ended in failure when the rocket crashed into the moon, having presumably missed its original target of the Gaza Strip.

But the main news this week in my mind was the arrest of Julian Assange. After 7 years of living in the Ecuadorian embassy to avoid extradition to the US, he's finally been shown the (Ecua)-door let's just hope that he didn't leave his car parked outside otherwise he'll have face far greater consequ ......

2019 Apr 06 - May Asks Corbyn for Help

I was once told by a motivational speaker to stand up for what I believe in, and I wondered, "what if it's comfy chairs?" Well this week Theresa May continued to stand for nothing and show no shame as she decided to invite Jeremy Corbyn in for talks, in a similar but different manner to that in which the Ulster police used to regularly invite in Mr Corbyn's friends in for questioning. This has of course gotten nowhere because Jeremy Corbyn is ideologically opposed to both aspects of what she's a ......

2019 Mar 30 - Theresa May fails a 3rd time

There's that expression "third time's a chart" but it's not always true, as Theresa May found out this week after her third attempt at passing her "deal" achieved about the same level of success as someone heading into a pub claiming they can only stay for one. The Prime Minister's actually discussed having a 4th go at it and it's almost become like watching someone repeatedly failing to give up smoking or learn a foreign language. I wonder whether Theresa has a copy of the novel Finnegans Wake ......

2019 Mar 23 - Mueller Report

It’s been a busy week, asides from Brexit one of the big stories was the announcement that ISIS had finally been defeated, which is similar in concept to when their shoplifters were de-handed on many an occasion.

But the big story of the week was the completion of the Mueller Report which revealed that, drumroll please… Revealed that the past 2 years have been a complete waste of everyone’s time. It makes Theresa May’s 2 years in Brussels seem fairly productive in comparison; at least s ......

2019 Mar 17 - St Patrick's Day Brexit Update

It's been an especially violent and confrontational week but luckily today is St Patricks day, when we can forget about everything as we sip on a pint of Guinness and contemplate Ireland's long and famously violence free history. Q: What do you call a bulletproof irishman? A: Rick O'Shea Anyway, for now I'll stop, or should I say "backstop" because I suppose I should get back to the Brexit news.

The week saw Theresa May return to Westminster to have a second go at passing her Brexit agreement ......

2019 Mar 09 - North Korea Again

Earlier this week I was wondering if Elton John liked Lettuce, then I realised that he was more of a rocket man. Well someone else who likes rockets is Kim Jong Un after satellite images this week revealed that the oversized dictator decided to rebuild the rocket launch site that had previously been destroyed.

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2019 Mar 03 - India and Pakistan

There was an especially high level of filler in the news this week, yet more articles about Brexit not to mention a selection of social and environmental stories that are about as newsworthy as if Fiona Bruce hosted a debate over whether to add the milk before or after the teabag. Yet in the mean time the world actually came pretty close to starting World War 3 this week when military tensions between India and Pakistan rose higher than an estimate for Jeff Bezos’ divorce bill.

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2019 Feb 23 - Shamima Begum

This week has seen a lot of debate, by which I mean politicallyy correct attention seeking, over whether teenager Shamima Begum should be allowed to return to the UK, after spending years living in ISIS controlled territory and discovering that 'ISIS' rhymes with 'crisis' and that like those still holding onto Blackberry telephones, the jihadist extremists are very much on the losing side these days; the territory held has been reduced to just a couple of hundred square miles, approximately the ......

2019 Feb 15 - Airbus A380 Ending Production

This week saw Airbus announce that it was going to be ending production of its iconic A380, the double decker aircraft with a price tag as large as its size and its size matched only by the length of the security queue as people look at their watches and ponder two questions: 1) How is a bottle of water as dangerous as the machine gun next to it on the banned items list and 2) If you had planned to take a machine gun on board where were you planning on putting it? It certainly won't fit in the o ......

2019 Feb 09 - Jeff Bezos Blackmailed

Celebrity gossip news this week as Jeff Bezos accused the publishers of National Enquirer of trying to blackmail him, in a salacious story that really brought home the difference between real world billionaires and those we grew up with such as Bruce Wayne or Scrooge McDuck who to my knowledge was never involved in a extramarital affair although he has been known to express a worrying predilection for gold coins which in the US feature a picture of Native American lady Sacagawea.

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2019 Feb 03 - Russian Threats

There have been a lot of ludicrous scare stories in the press about how Brexit will lead to war, pestilence, the deaths of millions, Jimmy Savile coming back to life, all the iPhones being rounded up and other similarly sensationalist nonsense. To be honest I doubt anything could be worse than the current situation where Tony Blair is given air time and political debate is reduced to discussing how everything from healthcare or the price of a train ticket is as a result of Brexit, or sometimes a ......

2019 Jan 27 - Mugabe & Macedonia

With Brexit and President Trump hogging the headlines, sometimes it's easy to forget that there's a whole world of news out there and I don't mean the sports section of the newspaper, or that advertising section selling either made-to-measure chinos or perhaps premium rate phone numbers, depending on your newspaper of choice. I thought this week we'd look elsewhere and talk about 2 other things that happened in the world this week.

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2019 Jan 19 - US Government Shutdown

With Theresa May continuing to run down the clock, let's take a look at America where a government shutdown has been going on for several weeks, long enough that even drum soloists have started to look at their watches and question how much longer it has to go.

Normally budget disputes are solved by both sides coming together and agreeing to get the next year funded on the condition that certain additional chunks of money are set aside for wasteful but politically important job creation schemes ......

2019 Jan 13 - Brexit Update

In spite of a referendum to supposedly settle the issue, Brexit apparently remains one of those divisive things, like marmite or Justin Bieber, although actually at least with those two most people can agree on the fact that they both go best on the end of a knife. Maybe a better example would be the film 2001 which is either a stunning untouchable masterpiece or (if you're under 30) in dire need of a reboot with laser fights and maybe Chris Hemsworth. Unfortunately that's the level of intellect ......

2019 Jan 05 - Happy New Year

Happy new year, it's 2019. I imagine that if you asked Diane Abbott what 17 plus 1 is she'd reply, 20(or)019. This is also (finally) the year that science fiction film Blade Runner is set in so while we count down to Elon Musk selling us tickets to the off-world colonies, let's maybe take a look at what the next few months have in store down here on earth,

First to America where a new house of representatives have just taken their seats and promised to pass all sorts of crazy laws for the senat ......