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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. Look forward to a few days of television anchors speaking to experts, former diplomats as well as perhaps a singer promoting a new album that walked into the wrong studio. Their opinion, based on utter guesswork, will probably be just about as accurate in the world of political fortune telling that has a track record littered with more failures than Henry VIII marriage councillor.

Running North Korea though, It’s a dangerous job and with the US ready to launch an attack at any point, the job is seen by many as a poison chalice. You could quite literal be passed a poisoned chalice at dinner by a rival member of your family. Assuming Kim has died though, who will be the next dear leader? Who are the possible Candidates?

1) Kim Yo-Kong, the supreme leader's sister is the front runner. She’ll probably get the job and she’ll probably spend the first week or so making a list of enemies she wants to disappear, and hundreds of officials will be murdered and thousands of civilians will die in labour camps. Despite this she will held up as a progressive bastion of feminism, Jeremy Corbym will blame the west, a Guardian article will say that Pritti Patel is worse and the BBC will attribute Kim Jong-Un's death to NHS underfunding.

2) A Military takeover. This one would be a bit more fun I guess from an audience perspective, a bit like watching a badly made remake of Scarface. I’m imagining some sort of scramble for power with bullets flying and presumably bounding of the hundreds of medals that those generals always have covering their chest that make them look like an armoured soldier from the shogunate era. Given the country's repeated failure to develop a ballistic missile it's not hard to imagine one of the top brass saying that if you want something done properly then do it yourself.

3) If you fancy a flutter, Dennis Rodman is an long odds bet that you might want to put a fiver down on if you’re the sort of person who likes to bet on horses at 100-1. Stranger things have happened, remember when Leicester City won the premiere league or when Madonna was in charge of Argentina? At least I think that's what that film is about. Nonetheless, for reasons that I’ve never quite understood, or been bothered to research, Dennis Rodman is phenomenally popular in that country, well ahead of other celebrities like Tom Hanks or Lionel Messi. What’s strangest of all is that if you want a celebrity that can defend your country, the only answer would surely be to recruit Chuck Norris. Rumour has it that Chuck Norris once downed an enemy fighter plane by pointing at it with his finger and saying “bang”

4) Perhaps they will claim that he is still alive or that he’s ruling the country as some sort of ghost or spirit, like the bad guy in a poorly CGI’d movie. They have an weird cult for the ruling dynasty and I wouldn’t put it past them to do a Norman Bates and run the place with a Ouija board. I'm not sure if the North Korea's have an equivalent figure to Derek Acorah but I can imagine him going on stage, saying that the spirits felt very strong and asking if there's a Jong in the audience.
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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 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 ......

2019 Aug 17 - Hong Kong Protests

Looking over the news I thought that the pop band "Flock of Seagulls" had died in a plane crash, but it turns out to have been been a plane downed in Russia after being struck by some birds. Makes a change from the government crashing a plane I suppose. Therefore this week we look further eastward to Hong Kong where protests have escalated faster than the number of lawsuits filed against Jeffrey Epstein.

This week there were shots of the the Hong Kong police firing pepper spray, certainly not t ......

2019 Aug 03 - Meanwhile in Asia

This week I thought we'd look at what's been going on in Asia, because while many would like to equate the Brecon and Radnorshire bi-election as something monumental, pivotal, professizing the end times, it says a lot when the Liberal Democrats consider it an achievement to retake one of their long-held seats from a incumbent criminal. It's like boasting about putting on weight or writing in your CV that your key skills involve knowing how to do the Macarena.

In contrast, the Far East however s ......

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 an ......

2019 May 12 - Chinese Tariffs

Sometimes discussions about economics are nuanced and complex, just imagine the difficulty trying of trying to discuss the fishing industry’s net worth or the construction industry’s aggregate demand. Sometimes they say the point of studying PPE (politics philosophy and economics) is that at least when you’re unemployed you’ll be able to discuss in depth the reasons why.

Well the world of economics is back in the news now with President Trump proceeding with a wide range of import tarif ......

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.

Talks between the US and North Korea broke down recently so the communists decided to mark the occasion by rebuilding some rockets which will also almost certainly break down and fall int ......

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.

The way that ......

2018 Jun 16 - World Cup and US-China Tariffs

The world cup has kicked off, or at least the ball has been kicked, the cup itself remains safely in the cabinet, much like David Davis in spite of his threats to the contrary. The football tournament though, that's being held in Russia over the next couple of weeks. If you're an England fan it's not long to wait until that moment when they fail to win and Gareth Southgate is forced to inevitably resign over his sole responsibility for England failing to be the best team in the entire world, no ......

2018 May 26 - Korean Peace?

Breaking news as the Korean Peninsula might be prepared to break out into all-out full-scale peace. Recently a book fell on my head and I only had my shelf to blame, but the the blame for the inability to agree to a peace deal for the past 60 years? Well that's long and complicated and largely above the pay grade of our current generation of politicians. Most recently, President Trump has been keen to sort out a peace deal as a grand plot twist to his real life reality tv series. Actually, when ......

2018 Apr 22 - North Korea's Stopping it's Nuclear Testing

On Saturday morning the world awoke to the news that North Korea had promised to give up its nuclear testing and missile launches. And I'm guessing Kim Jong Un woke up with an absolute stinker of a hangover and vaguely remembered making promises the previous night that he maybe regretted the morning after the night before. For him, I imagine phoning up Donald Trump at midnight is his equivalent of phoning an ex-girlfriend 10 minutes before the pub closes.

Maybe I'm being disingenuous and this w ......

2018 Mar 11 - Trump will meet Kim Jong Un

Big news in the world of diplomacy, bigger than Kim Jong Un's waistline even. It was announced that President Trump and Kim Jong Un are going to be meeting in person. This marks a big shift in diplomacy from both the North Koreans as well as the president who has spent the past year or so conducting international affairs via Twitter with all the dexterity of a drugged horse

The meeting itself could be a set-piece historic event like the Yalta Conference in 1945 when Franklin Roosevelt met with ......

2017 Dec 31 - End of the Year

It's the end of December and the end of 2017 and it's possibly the end of the line if you're the sort of person who originally became a politician or a tv celebrity to get close to the young female interns. Of course I'm joking, Kevin Spacey got into show business for the young male interns, he's probably looking forward to 2018 because he thinks there's 2000 of them.

Talking about "end of the line" though, one of the stories I'm sure we'll see a lot more about in the future was this week's ann ......

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 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 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 14 - Three Types of News

The talk of a leadership challenge against Theresa May seems to have quietened off a bit, at least for this week, as the government made another move with a big piece of Brexit legislation. In response a senior civil servant tried to get your average lager drinking, white van driving bloke on the street onside by making a Brexit analogy involving a cricket ball and went on to say that Brexit was falling apart like “a chocolate orange” which seemed odd given that if you’re already doing the ......

2017 Jun 03 - Trump pulls out of the Paris Agreement

There was utterly shocking news this week when a politician actually did something he’d promised to when running for office. Nick Clegg said it was madness and that he should have done the exact opposite of what he promised like you’re supposed to. Just look at David Cameron – he promised a referendum to get Britain out of the EU and when he managed to accidentally deliver on Brexit he resigned in shame and left politics.

Agree with Paris or not (and we’ll get to that later) President T ......