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2020 Jun 06 - Coronavirus Summer

20200606
It's now June, normally a month when you might be out enjoying a drink in the sun and watching the cricket, but thanks to the Corovirus, the only kind of bat you're going to be seeing is one of the ones for sale that that Chinese wet-market. Did I say cricket? Because I'm fairly certain you can buy them there too along with locusts, grasshoppers and pangolins which I've never had, though supposedly they taste a bit like pork or duck. I must say that I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian but a general rule is that if you don't know what noise an animal makes, don't eat it.

Anyway, a summer with no cricket, no beer garden and strangely no Wimbledon which is odd given that the players stay far more than the regulation 6 feet from each other. Rest assured though that, this summer will be quite different all round, with the one exception being the riots which will remind many of the long hot summer of 1967, though everything I always heard was that if you could actually remember the 60s then you weren't there. For my generation it would be the 90s LA riots I suppose. A truly bizarre piece of trivia regarding that is that the only reason that the Rodney King video ever even existed was because the event in question happened right next to a motel which was across the street from where they were filming Terminator 2 and one of the guests just happened to have his camcorder handy on the off change that Arnold Schwarzenegger was hanging about.

Nonetheless, we'll leave that topic for next week potentially and take a look at the UK where a range of proposals have been put forward for easing the lockdown, many of which are unworkable in practice, like having separate smoking and non-smoking sections of a taxi, or a no-peeing section in a swimming pool. Those who want to take a regional approach to handling the problem seem to have forgotten that the thing managed to get in and out off China, Russia and other locked down places in a way that would make James Bond raise an eyebrow if he was paying attention rather than thinking up suggestive things to say to Maud Adams. You have to either open the country up or not though and yet the government continues to pursue an on-the-fence approach to things, probably best summed up where trains ferries and planes are off-limits, yet makeshift rafts in the channel made out of driftwood are maybe ok?

The one point of apparent clarity is in the opposition to extending the Brexit transition period, a policy decision that may actually be made out of ideology and policy, or perhaps Boris doesn't want to shake hands at a covid-ridden press summit and end up in hospital again. Certainly Brussels has lots of plans to hand out money it doesn't have and yes, wasn't it always but this time even the Germans are getting cold feet about footing the bills. It reminds me of an old joke where 3 construction firms are bidding for an EU contract. The French firm puts in a bid of €10m. Then a German firm puts in an offer of €20m with a presentation explaining that their engineering will be of higher quality. Finally an Italian construction firm puts in a bid of €30m Euros and the Brussels official phones up the company to ask how they could possibly justify the bid being was so high and the owner, explains, €10m for you, €10m for me and €10 for the French.
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2020 May 23 - Coronavirus & The Economy

20200523
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 ......

2020 May 16 - Coronavirus Thoughts

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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

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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

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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 19 - Coronavirus Again

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 ......