2017 Dec 10 - Brexit + Trump Names Jerusalem Israeli Capital

Brexit news: don't look now but apparently it's going pretty well, for now at least, supposedly. People talk about politicians being out of touch but I always think that for those ministers involved in the Brexit process, getting stuff to happen must be a good analogy for us regular folks trying to get an old car to scrape through an MOT for one last time.

This past week actually started out looking quite bleak on the Brexit front, I'm sure Theresa May was imagining the upcoming news headlines in the way that I used to look forward to an upcoming Shakespeare essay at school: you know how it is, it's Sunday night and you know it's due on Thursday and you know that your claims on what you know are further away from the mark than when when Michael Bay made Peal Harbour. But for now things seem to be vaguely on track; sure the Remainers in the cabinet are still trying to haggle the EU upwards on the fee side of things but on the other hand, the EU federalists seem to be increasingly keen to get rid of Britain and get on with the task of subjugating the continental Europeans without pesky nationalism getting in the way.

But if we want to look for a real dispute, proper gnashing of teeth and wailing, let's look to the wailing wail itself in Jerusalem. This week President Trump decided to say that Jerusalem was the Israeli capital. That went down about as well as a visit by Martin Shulz to Alene Foster's house. This annoyed a lot of people: the Palestinians, the Arab world and don't forget the regular pub quiz enthusiasts like myself who was relied on the knowledge that Tel Aviv was the capital to earn themselves an extra point or two every few months. Bizarrely I saw some Scottish Nationalists getting angry on the internet about it, you'd think they'd sort out the Edinburgh vs London capital city debate first really. But who knows, one day the Middle East might reach a peaceful settlement and send an envoy to head to Glasgow and sort out the ancient Rangers vs Celtic football conflict.
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2017 Dec 02 - Markles & Spencer & Flynn

One of the UK's most popular highstreet stores is Marks & Spencers and if you're a shareholder then you're probably hoping to benefit from the free advertising now offered by the new Royal couple-to-be: Markles and Spencer, also known as Harry and Meghan. I imagine that with those initials, the marketing team at highstreet rival, "H&M" will also be rubbing their hands. The wedding is set for next spring and hopefully won't coincide with the Grand National like when Prince Charles got married. So ......

2017 Nov 24 - Black Friday Brexit

If you’ve been near the high street recently you’ll have seen all the commercial Christmas tat back up. It’s still only November but it’s returned like a bad rash, and you’ll possibly be counting down the days until you can finally open that SmartTV you bought yourself, I mean that you bought for the family. Children are maybe drafting letters to Santa this weekend but in Downing Street, Theresa May’s hoping she’s been a good girl this year as she writes down what she wants and fli ......

2017 Nov 18 - Coup against Robert Mugabe

Robert Mugabe's leadership is something that the news organisations seem to refer to as "controversial" which is of course a polite way of saying you'd trust him to manage your economy the way you'd trust Harold Shipman to manage your end of life care. It's like if the newspapers had described the Kray twins as "cheeky chappies" or the BBC were moaning that the ISIS leadership seemed "set in their ways"

Anyway, Mugabe has been in charge of Zimbabwe for decades now, pushing forward with his own ......

2017 Nov 11 - Trump, Asia & Saudi Arabia

This week President Trump has been off on a long trip to the Far East in order to bolster trade relationships, come up with a plan about how to deal with North Korea and of course to make a number of barnstorming speeches about how "crooked Hilary Clinton" failed to win any electoral college votes in that part of the world. The last big trip the president made was to Saudi Arabia in order to, amongst other things, finalise a multi-billion dollar weapons contracts and that part of the world has b ......

2017 Nov 04 - Kevin Spacey and Dodgy Politicians

There’s that old saying in show business: never work with children or animals, especially if it’s pornography. Kevin Spacey though - he’s one of those “do as I say, not as I do” kind of celebrities though. In the 1995 film The Usual Suspects, he played a ruthless criminal who brutally murdered people and did a lot of bad stuff but even Keyser Soze had lines he didn’t think appropriate to cross. Now the latest series of House Of Cards is on hiatus because HBO would rather keep the sho ......

2017 Oct 27 - Catalonia & JFK

Another week and it’s pretty much still the same shouting match from Spain. The central government in Madrid has said that it’s going to take back direct control over Catalonia, while the seperatists have declared that they’re going to prepare an imminent motion for independence. But nobody’s actually done anything, it’s like a nightclub bar at 9 o’clock and everyone’s waiting for someone else to go onto the dance floor first. I guess Nicola Sturgeon and Leanne Wood would be the gi ......

2017 Oct 20 - Catalonia

Catalonia was back in the news this week, the Madrid government has triggered Article 155 to remove autonomy from he region and just like when the UK triggered Article 50, the EU doesn’t like this one much either. It would be true to say that Brussels has the same regard for these articles as Polly Toynbee does for Quentin Letts’ articles. Nonetheless, the powers that be are trying their hardest to make sure if there was any chance of reconciling with the Catalan separatists then it’s up t ......

2017 Oct 13 - Brexit Bill (again)


A lot of page filler about Brexit in the papers this week. Essentially nothing of substance has happened for a few days and there’s no proper developments as such. Yet at the same time, there’s no debacles from the White House this week and from a legal perspective, the newspaper lawyers would certainly prefer that their columnists discuss rumours about Phillip Hammond than those surrounding Harvey Weinstein’s ongoing ‘legal difficulties’

The supposed ‘Brexit Battle’ is that Phil ......

2017 Oct 05 - Theresa May's Speech & Catalonia


The big story of the week was supposed to be Theresa May’s Conservative Party Conference speech which, let’s say “didn’t go according to plan” unless that plan was “let’s make a pilot for a political comedy show in the style of Frank Spencer” There was a coughing fit, a prankster, the sign behind her literally fell apart and by the end I was looking around the stage to see if anyone had put a bucket of wallpaper paste at the top of a strategically placed ladder.

On the other ha ......

2017 Sep 30 - Labour & Conservative Party Conferences


So a few days ago saw the end of the Labour party conference and a fun time was had by all, just as long as you weren’t Laura Kuenssberg, or wanting to play ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ on the jukebox. Party conferences are always curious state managed affairs these days. Originally they were for the grass roots members and MPs to meet and discuss what direction the party should go in, in the case of the Labour party the centre ground, to the left, the far left or extreme left. But no nee ......

2017 Sep 21 - Florence and Boris

It’s been a pretty bad week again in Central America, more tropical storms, Mexico suffering a another major earthquake and the other day I turned on the 10 o’clock news and for a while it seemed as though there were now dinosaurs on the loose in Costa Rica but then I realised the clocks don’t go back until next weekend and it was actually just the last half hour of Jurassic Park. The film holds up reasonably well actually, although if I wanted to see an older bearded man introducing dinos ......

2017 Sep 15 - New £10, New iPhone, Grenfell & North Korea


Rather than focus on one main news story, this week we saw the launch of 4 new things so I thought we’d go through each of them one at a time:

Starting with #1, the Bank of England started handing out the new £10 note. Some journalists and campaigners were keen to point out that it’s first note produced in a while with a lady on it, while more observant commentators took the time to flip it over and look at the other side of the note where the Queen’s been sitting for the past 6 decades ......

2017 Sep 07 - Hurricanes and Jeremy Corbyn

Not content with the damage it’s already done to the ExxonMobil share price, the Caribbean has another three storms moving in; the latest one (Hurricane Irma) has pretty much wiped out Barbuda and Hurricanes Jose and Katia are forming out at sea. I suppose hurricanes come in 3 or 4s like busses, although if I was a cyclist I’d frankly rather take my chances with hurricane Irma than take on a Bendy Bus.

The names of these storms by the way are preassigned and go up alphabetically, earlier in ......

2017 Aug 30 - Hurricane Harvey

I decided to stay inside and draw today because it’s raining outside but for real rain we have to go to the US because everything is as they say “bigger in Texas” with the possible exceptions of tax rates and tolerance for firearm legislation. This week Hurricane Harvey has been doing far more damage to Houston than North Korea could ever hope to. It’s a real shame that Kim Jong Un didn’t just dress up like Blofeld and put out a videos claiming that he was responsible and that they’d ......

2017 Aug 24 - GCSE Results

In the UK, Parliament it still on recess and across the pond, it’s been nearly a week since Donald Trump sacked anyone. Indeed, the main story for quite a few days was the furore about silencing Big Ben for a few years so they can repair some of the stonework. It was getting pretty tense until the clock finally struck 11 o’clock and the pubs opened so journalists and MPs alike had someone else to go

Luckily enough for the news starved newspapers, exams results came out this week. One great ......

2017 Aug 18 - Charlottesville Violence


There was news this past week in America when that old problem of racism managed to escape from its containment cell in Mel Gibson’s house and make it all the way across the country to Virginia with a flashpoint of violence in Charlottesville which is a small university town up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, ironically in one of the few parts of Virginia where there wasn’t even any fighting during the actual US Civil War.

It was always liable to turn violent and then President Trump decided ......

2017 Aug 12 - Will North Korea Attack The USA?

It’s possibly just days until Doomsday and it’s a face-off between Trump and North Korea with everything on the line! It’s a standoff like in a card game in a James Bond film, except that in a bizarre twist, Sean Connery’s wig is the most realistic hairpiece present at the card game.

But back to the latest threat, this time to nuke the remote US territory of Guam. They say that they want to create hell in the Pacific and I think that’s dreadful because Lee Marvin starred in a move cal ......

2017 Aug 05 - North Korea has a Missile

North Korea is very much like a petulant attention seeking child and this week they got annoyed that we’d been paying too much attention to the other children, I mean countries, mostly the rolling human tragedy unfolding in Venezuela. Of course, if North Korea was a badly behaved child in the back of a car I suppose they might have shouted some swear words, but that’s more of an Anthony Scaramucci thing. He was sacked this week, forced to go after just 10 days, I’ve had milk that lasted lo ......

2017 Jul 28 - Banning petrol cars by 2040 plus Brexit


One of the problems with making promises is that you tend to be held to account, so this week we saw a promise about getting rid of petrol and diesel cars by the tear 2040. That’s 23 years from now when a lot of the politicians will be retired, deceased, rotting in a club in St James’ or simply arguing about how many more leadership elections it will take to oust Jeremy Corbyn. Given how electric cars have been coming along though it’s all fairly silly really, there’s an expression that ......