2020 May 23 - Coronavirus & The Economy

I'm publishing this on May 23rd which is George Osbourne's birthday, which now means we've had more months of Coronavirus than he has jobs. It's hard to tell really because with social distancing in play, he's maybe had to add 'clean ing the house' to his CV, or perhaps he prefers to live in filth; a lot of anonymous people online say he's into filth. I've never met the man though from what I read he seems like the sort of chap that probably closes the laptop at around 8 o'clock so he can listen to people clapping outside and assume that the public are celebrating his stewardship of the Evening Standard.

I imagine the one job he wouldn't want to be doing right now however is the old "chancellor of the exchequer" one, seeing as how this is a time when there's serious work to be done and major decisions to make amidst a no-doubt shambles where the usual economic models are falling apart alike an Air-Fix model Spitfire assembled by a small child. I would imagine Gideon Orbourne actually probably quite likes making airfix models, what with all the glue and the naphthalene vapours although in the real world the word 'solvent' has a far more economic meaning because right now the Western world is voluntarily embracing the economic equivalent of self-immolation. Perhaps cutting limbs off would be a better analogy because the Prime Minister continues to convey a jovial charm and indifference that's reminiscent of the Black Knight in that Monty Python film, while the business owners across the country are more akin to John Cleese demanding that the government fix the dead parrot, I mean the dead economy and reopen things.

The current situation is now forecast to cost around half 500bn pounds between government borrowing, lost investment and other costs and in context, that's literally the cost of a manned mission to Mars, or the kind of outlay you're looking at if you wanted to see Accrington Stanley win the Champions League. Certainly If "money talks" then it's saying "goodbye" and for no return other than maintaining the status quo. But "every life counts" though currently only 36,000 people have died from the coronavirus which in context is a lot less than have died from other things since the start of the year. I can't help wonder whether it would have been better spending that half a trillion pounds kind of money 5 years ago to cure cancer or at the very least become the world research capital. It would be nice if the UK was the pace where people came to cure cancer rather than the place that Far Eastern betting syndicates go to launder money before they get uncovered by the Mail On Sunday.

For context imagine everywhere in the top 500 towns and cities, you're down to smallish towns like Fathersham, Truro, Broadstairs, Dumbarton, and now imagine giving every single one of them £1bn no strings attached to spend or waste on anything they like. Mostly community art projects and pay rises I imagine. Nonetheless you examine it in that context and you quickly realise that the return on investment is worse than that time King Phillip of Spain bought hundreds of galleons to conquer England.

In my mind the only way this thing ends is with inflation exploding to 20%+ or taxes, possibly a massive raid on corporations which means your pension. When I'm not wasting my money on eBay, I like putting it into cryptocurrency and gold and I'd frankly adviser others to do likewise. Or at the very least buy an investment on eBay, and by "investment" I don't mean a classic Nintendo or a classic car, or frankly anything on my watch list. I should delete all that stuff actually...
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2020 May 16 - Coronavirus Thoughts

Once again there's not really a huge amount of news to talk about this week but I guess that the purpose of these is to write down some thoughts that make people laugh, very much like the LibDem manifesto. So I'll try my best.

One of the stories this week that caught my eye has been talk of if and when a vaccine may be developed. Great news except for the small detail that the doctors are keen to test the vaccine on monkeys first before giving the vaccine to humans. The reason this causes me to ......

2020 May 10 - Coronavirus & VE Day

This week was yet another one where Coronavirus was dominating the news. By the time things finally return to normal, the Chelsea Pensioners will consist largely of their team from last season. And it's been so long since I went to the gym that I should start calling it James.

But here we are and this week saw the nation stop to commemorate VE day and the end of the second world war in Europe. Prince Charles led a 2 minute silence while Prince Andrew also joined in with his two minutes of right ......

2020 May 03 - Coronavirus Month 4

Here’s a remarkable thought, four years ago if the Brexit referendum had gone the other way then this would be the final week of David Cameron’s second 5-year term as prime minister and the UK would be about to undertake a 2020 election assuming Coronavirus didn't mean it got delayed along with football season, olympics and my eventual plan to one day tidy the cupboard under the stairs. As it is, we’ve had multiple elections 2 prime ministers and the Covid thing which has probably made Dav ......

2020 Apr 26 - Kim Jong Un Dead?

One of the more interesting stories to appear this week as been the news that the North Korean leader has died at the age of 36, a remarkable young age really though very much in line with North Korean life expectancy. It’s actually a rather strange story as it has been commonly reported except for the main tv networks which are waiting for the press release to drop before they decide to run the tape and finally get on with the macabre discussion of who will be taking on the new role as leader ......

2020 Apr 19 - Coronavirus Again

Another week and another lack of things to talk about, most of the headlines right now are about how the US or Denmark or some other country is thinking about re-starting their economy, and listening to the vague plans being thrown around is a bit like someone discussing their vaguely plans to restart a fitness regime they abandoned back in February. Obviously it's for the best but it's also a bit tricky, maybe give it another month. Chancellor Rishi Sunak's stories and plans about restarting th ......

2020 Apr 12 - Boris Goes to Hospital

Doesn't 2019 seem such a long time ago? In Britain people were talking about leaving the EU whereas nowadays people are more interested in talking about when they're going to get to leave the house. This week, yet more of the same, depressing fatality numbers while we all sit eating through the cupboards and freezer. Earlier this week the wife asked me if I wanted canapés for dinner and I thought "yum yum there must be some in the freezer to heat up in the oven" but it turned out that in fact s ......

2020 Apr 05 - Coronavirus News

I'm sat here, stuck in my house once more still armed with more pasta than you can shake a stick at, or at least a stick of spaghetti at. Luckily I'm doing pretty well, which I guess makes the opposite of most people's stock portfolio. But yes, welcome to April, named after the latin word "apero" meaning “second" so in this the 2nd month of the Coronavirus Crisis, what has been happening around the world?

In America president Trump's been making a couple speeches though the main news has been ......

2020 Mar 28 - Boris & Coronavirus

It's not often you hear the left wing news media saying something positive about the Prime Minister but this week they were simply reporting that Boris had tested positive for Coronavirus and will therefore be working from home which is pretty convenient as his office, the cabinet room, is just down the hall from his bedroom anyway. You have to admire the irony of Boris having not apparently used enough Johnsons baby wipes to clean his hands, although it does show the dangers of saying things li ......

2020 Mar 20 - Coronavirus Update

Another week and another ratcheting up in seriousness for the Coronavirus. For me personally I was affected when my car engine light came on despite it just being serviced but it turned out that it was just the car owner virus

What's been going on around the world then? In the UK London is being put on lockdown with the Queen making a dash for Windsor Castle before the curfew came into affect. Alas most people are not able to relocate from their 1 bedroom flat to a massive mansion in the countr ......

2020 Mar 13 - Coronavirus Gets Serious

If you've been listening to a lot of Dean Martin or Tony Bennett then perhaps you're suffering from Crooner virus but for the rest of the world the Corona Virus decided to level up and let everyone know it means business. And business has indeed been hit hard as the markets collapsing faster than Diane Abbott if she tried running a marathon. The stock market saw 10% day over day drops as politicians urged calm although panic buying's probably the only reliable revenue stream right now for a lot ......

2020 Mar 07 - Coronavirus & Biden/Bernie

Two stories to cover this week, first an update on Coronavirus, or "Covid19" as it's officially called. Don't worry if you missed the first 18th episodes though, they're probably on Netflix. Right now though things are continuing to ratchet up in terms of seriousness and do remember that when you read the official government numbers, you should double them, just as you would if you were quoted the cost of a large government project, or the number of times Prince Andrew claims to have met someone ......

2020 Feb 29 - Coronavirus

There's been quite a few stories about death in the news this week, first I read that the world's oldest man had died and I thought, "poor bloke, that must be the 3rd or 4th time that's happened to him in the last couple of years"

But the big story this week was the continuing escalation of the Coronavirus as it became the most viral thing to come out of Asia since that Gangnam Style youtube video a couple of years ago. The World Health Organisation upgraded the risk to "very high" and the numb ......

2020 Feb 22 - Democratic Primary

This weekend in America it's the next round of the Democratic selection process and at the time of recording, I can't tell who's going to win because predicting the future is not a superpower that I possess. And if I could have any superpower? That would probably be the Roman Empire in the 2rd century. Let's take a quick look at the 5 main candidates though

1) Joe Biden - He's the candidate that the establishment are hoping gets the nomination. He's Obama's old VP, has decades of experience, he ......

2020 Feb 14 - Sajid Javid Resigns

Happy Valentines day, or for those with breathing difficulty, happy ventolins day and to those who are especially thrifty, it's just a day or two until the shops are selling chocolate at a heavily reduced price! In Westminster though it's been a bit of a Valentines Day Massacre though with Boris acting like Al Capone with a reshuffle. Actually, in that analogy, it's probably Dominic Cumming's who's the mob boss because for a Brexit-voting country that voted to get rid of unelected busybodies, th ......

2020 Feb 08 - Great Week for Trump

Two major news stories to come out of America this week leaving president Trump happier than that time that he found a loophole saying he didn't have to hire any of the idiots on that tv show of his.

The first main story was the acquittal in the senate impeachment trial, much as that result was never in any doubt, I've seen romantic comedies with more twists and suspense, joking of course because I don't want those sorts of films. At no point did anyone expect Adam Schiff to turn around like ......

2020 Feb 01 - Brexit is Done

Well Britain is finally rid of the EU and so depending what side you're on it's either time to open some sparkling wine, or start opening up those hundreds of tins of canned food that the BBC warned you'd need to stock up on. Either way it's better than the old diet where you have nothing but Brussels and keep losing pounds, billions of them. Talking about tinned goods though, it would actually be fairly ironic if the Coronavirus became a global pandemic and the stockpiling thing turned out to h ......

2020 Jan 26 - Chinese Coronavirus

This weekend the Chinese New Year and it's the year of the rat and to celebrate the Chinese have done what they do best, copied things from the West, and have taken the whole rat motif to a new level by having a plague, just like Europe did back in the 14th century with all the rats. Yes, it's not so much Kung Fu so much as Kung Flu, as the coronavirus looks set to kill upwards of a hundred thousand people which are the death numbers you more associate with factory workers at an iPhone factory a ......

2020 Jan 17 - Vladimir Putin Beyond 2024?

One of the shorter articles on Wikipedia, is the page listing Russian Presidents, it's only got 4 entries on it and two of them same guy. At the time of writing, there's the same number of Russian Presidents alive today as there are members of The Beatles.

Vladimir Putin is no Fool On The Hill though and he's very aware that he's running out of constitutional loopholes to keep him in power so he's decided to play the classic autocracy play of convincing people that he should be able to rewrite ......

2020 Jan 10 - Prince Harry Resigns

Royal news this week as Prince Harry announced that he and his wife are as fed up with the tabloids as the rest of us, and want to resign from royal life although it's unclear at this stage whether he will be changing his name to "formally known as prince" like the singer or similarly swapping his signature to a strange symbol. I imagine that official calligraphers and people involved with heraldry are more concerned about their job than whoever ends up getting the new job in charge of Iran's mi ......