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2019 Jun 29 - European Heatwave

This week in Southern Europe, the wave of political populism gave way to the wave of heat, a heat wave, as temperatures crept high enough that the trees are beckoning dogs over to them. Yes, the mercury in the thermometers would be rising to the top, if the EU hadn't banned the use of mercury thermometers years ago. Remember that supposedly silly scene in the 4th Indiana Jones movie where he climbs into a lead-lined fridge, well that seems like a sensible idea now, it's probably quite cold in that fridge.

In France they recorded their highest recorded temperature - 45.9C (115F) and authorities have warned people not to venture outside at mid-day, a rule that the Spanish government has seemingly had in place since records began. That new heat record was measured in the southern village of Gallargues-le-Montueux which is actually quite close to Nimes, although I can imagine that the French deliberately made the recording in that village in order to make fun of British newscasters struggling to pronounce it. Perhaps they can retaliate by recording a world-beating rainfall record in an unassuming Welsh valley. Go on Jean-Paul, give it your best shot!

And of course, queue a line of politicians saying that this is all mankind's doing, including many who would single out the men in "mankind" There's even the occasionally utterly shameless ones who jumped on an airplane and flew there to make their point. They're usually the same sort of people who travel first class to Venice to warn people that the city is sinking, that's kind of the whole point of Venice really. Mind you, the weather does seem a lot hotter than it was back in January so maybe there's something in it after all.
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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 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 Apr 07 - Gibraltar and Ken Livingstone

Last year the Remain campaign came out with some ludicrously over-exaggerated claims about what Brexit would mean: 3 million jobs lost, huge tax rises as well as the Islington branch of Waitrose having replace all the artisan Polenta dip with lard or whatever it is that Nick Clegg thinks poor people eat. However, now that Brexit is happening, they’ve decided to double down those stories and the latest claims is that a full scale military war with Spain is coming our way. I imagine that if it ......