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2020 Jun 13 - Mob Rule & Chaos on the Streets

In the space of a week and a half the reasonable protests of a man’s death have escalated rather quickly from a movement arguing simply for justice. Instead we’ve seen a series of marches, riots and angry demands extending from everything such as police reform to more fringe ideas like banning the tv show Thomas The Tank Engine and demanding that Scotland remove statues of Wallace The Bruce, on the spurious grounds that he was racist for not employing Africa-Americans in 13th century Scotland. Or maybe it's because they're confusing him with Mel Gibson.

Ladies and gentleman you may wish to call me Rod Serling for the next few minutes because we have crossed over into the Twilight Zone here. It’s a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind, wait in fact no it isn’t, it's not of mind, it’s a mindless rabble where a political and media class are too terrified of being seen as politically incorrect to tell people to go back to writing letters to the Morning Star or setting up a poll on Twitter. This isn't the idiots left in chart of the asylum, because at least then the problems would be mostly in the vicinity of the asylum. An asylum that would at the very least give us movies like Silence Of The Lambs or One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest, rather than banning Gone With The Wind a film which in a twist of irony featured the first black Oscar winner but sure let's ban it until the Academy issues Oscar Statues in a rainbow of colours and not just gold. That film's whole plot is that the South loses the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln frees the slaves but this mob, these are the people that in London vandalised the Abraham Lincoln statue on the basis that he lived a long time ago so must have been a slaveowning racist and goodness knows what they'd have to say about actress Honor Blackman if they saw her surname.

To this day I’m still unsure as to what the protestors in London actually expect Boris Johnson to do with regards to police reform in America, it’s rather like demanding that your MP makes Apple go back to having USB ports on their laptops. Or picketing a branch of Tesco because your train tickets cost too much. At least i think that train tickets are still one of the things that Tesco doesn’t sell. I guess it’s probably somewhat more useful than protesting outside a corporate office due that’s empty because everyone’s working from home but as I said we’re in bizarro world territory here anyway, I was especially intrigued by furious demands to ban the children’s show Paw Patrol in which 3D puppies help solve problems and fix things, supposedly the rage is over the fact that one of the puppies dresses up as a emergency workers wears a little policeman's hat and badge. I’ve never seen the episode in which the fictional dog kills people or uses racial slurs, not even to the other different coloured dogs. Perhaps it’s on a DVD special and besides my kids are more into Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom so I’ve only seen a handful.

Let’s look at America though where they’ve been having a riot, literally. A 6 block section of Seattle is currently being run by a social commune where there are no rules and everyone solves thing in partnership, which in practice means it’s a borderline active warzone with looting, people unable to get food or clean water and scenes very much like something out of a Movie. At least I think it’s like a movie, it’s been months since I was able to go to the cinema. Either way very little is likely to happen now legally speaking with any good faith and public support for change now destroyed, much like a newly torched branch of Foot Locker or a mobile phone store robbed of all it's pretend demonstration phones in a crime presumably carried out by people in such a frenzy that they were probably stealing more of the phones advertised as 50% off. If protests had remained peaceful, they would have achieved some aims like police reform, or at the very least preventing the police unions from keeping convicted officers on the payroll. Instead it was transformed into a culture war where in an us-vs-them situation, most people will side with the people that don't want to ban Citizen Kane because it's described as black and white.
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2019 Dec 01 - London Bridge Attack

Carnage this week in London, at least that's what a lot of Arsenal fans will be saying down the pub, after the sacking of Unai Emery after 18 months of abysmal managerial malaise that made Leanne Wood look like Queen Victoria. David Cameron hasn't made a comment on that story, though it's probably because he can't remember if that's one of the teams he claims to support or not.

But the big story of course this week was of course a different kind of arsenal, the kind that armed police carry on t ......

2018 Apr 07 - London's Violent Crimewave

A number of years ago in London I saw a sign in the pub warning about thieves operating and after I was asked to pay £7 for a pint I realised that they were mostly standing behind the bar. However, this week saw a violent crime wave epidemic in London coming to world prominence as the city overtook New York's crime rate.

As with many other problems in London like the cost of living or the mostly lackluster performance of football clubs' the Champions League, there are lots of underlying causes ......

2018 Jan 13 - Trump and S***hole Countries

This week I'd initially planned to talk about Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle except that frankly the most visible change was that the various cabinet ministers changed their shirts and ties between day one and day two. The main news this week (of course) was from Washington DC where the president decided to draw attention to himself. Sure presidents love to steal the show, Bill Clinton famously carried a saxophone with him in order to outshine George Bush or Ross Perot should the situation aris ......

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 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 Jul 07 - Politics and Wimbledon

This week has been fairly quiet in the UK, I guess most politicians have been too busy watching Wimbledon or submitting expenses. There have been ongoing questions about the Grenfell Tower fire and we’re not really going to know all the facts for years. We’ll likely have a public enquiry followed by demands for a second enquiry when some people disagree with the result, as with Brexit, and the press led by the BBC giving a free platform to all the conspiracy theorists.

But that’s life I s ......

2017 Jun 21 - Bad Week for Theresa May

The last week or so has shambles of bad press management from the government. Not reallya good time to be a spin doctor at Downing Street: it must feel like you’ve taken controls of a burning plane and successfully landed it on an aircraft carrier that’s just been struck by a torpedo.

The Grenfell Tower fire was a genuine tragedy but in the days since Theresa May managed to come across as detached and unemotional, she was probably depicted worse in the press than the owner of the company th ......

2017 May 30 - Election: 1 week to go

If you live in the UK, then there’s just one week to go until the election. That means 7 more sleepless nights until we find out whether Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott will be in charge of the UK’s anti-terrorism policy. It’s a scary thought and in all honesty, I’d place more trust in that tiger that ate a zookeeper over the weekend in Cambridgeshire. In an odd twist of events this weekend also saw police in Florida arrested Tiger Woods for drink-driving and for a while I briefly misun ......

2017 Mar 24 - @#%! of The Year

What a depressing week: an utter tosspot killed some folk in London, not normally news but it happened right outside parliament so it’ll be generating column inches for years to come. Just look at Guy Fawkes, he didn’t even succeed with his plot and the papers still mention him every year. As for the Westminster Bridge attack, it was actually a year to the day since the Brussels bombings where 32 people died, and it was lucky for many I suppose then that in comparison the British attempt was ......