Of course it is …

We’re at M&D’s, a sort of early Christmas Day for them – not that Dad remembers the notion of Christmas, nor, actually me. Or my brother Kevin. I might add a post-note to this after today as my brother, his kids and Jen and James are coming down. C and I prepared all the food yesterday so when the family battles begin at least there will be plenty of food available to chuck at each other. I (sort of) joke, but there is something about the lot of us, Christmas and ignitable alcohol which seems to create an explosive mix. Ready … get set … [Actually all was well.]

My next post will be post-Christmas. We have a lovely time planned with our girls and their spouses. Hopefully they’re looking forward to it as much as we are. Doubtless, when I’m wandering round the house not quite remembering where ‘up’ is, they’ll try and be kind to me (and C), although the two of us do have a pact to launch ourselves off Beachy Head when the time seems right. Let’s hope that’s not for a while …

… because we live in interesting times!


mmmm, sausage rolls

His Orangeness is in a bit of a pickle. His foundation has been closed down by a NY judge, who reckoned that ‘Individual 1’ (that’s the name Mueller uses for His Donaldness) and his family used the family charitable foundation to launder money – and not actually do anything charitable. His Secretary of Defense (sic), General Mattis, has resigned quoting irreconcilable differences about the way Trumpkins treats his allies, smiles at dictators and is now unilaterally and without discussion pulling out of Syria and par-pulling out of Afghanistan.

Let’s just dwell on Syria for a second. Allegedly Trump pulled the plug having had a conversation with Turkey’s president, Erdogan, who is a staunch Islamist (in a previously secular country) who locks up everyone and anyone who opposes him – a dictator by any other name. Erdogan reckons the US can leave because ‘they’re’ (whoever they’re are) on top of the problem with ISIS (Turkey has an important, east border with Syria). Leaving aside Erdogan’s dictatorial approach to democracy, the biggest issue here is the Kurds. They are a religious grouping without a state. They have been niggling the Turks in the east of their country for sometime, hoping for some form of autonomy. They occupy the top-left of Iraq and swathes of Syria. And they are, without doubt, allies of the West … including the US. Erdogan has incurred into Syria to deal with ‘terrorists’ (read Kurds) and intends to stretch further into Syria to deal with … whatever anyone says … the Kurds. The US was preventing that. Not any more. With no US in Syria, leaving aside the ability of Russia to fill the vacuum, the Kurds are toast.

So. Let’s. Recap. Trump speaks to a dictator who has problems with a religious minority in his country. Dictator says, ‘don’t worry, it’ll be fine’. Trump agrees, pulls out the thin blue line opening the west of Syria to major incursion by the dictator … history will complete the rest.

And now Trumpkinton has closed down the US government because nobody other than him wants to build a wall (now a series of tall steel spike [Making American Grates Again], although having been in procurement I know that you can’t specify the finished product, just the requirement ) that’s going to cost $5bn. But at least Congress has got away for Christmas and both houses will get a pay cheque at the end of the month, unlike the 350,000 workers who won’t. And we thought we’re rubbish at governing?

Which we are. Come on. On Thursday (was it Thursday? It seems like a long time ago) parliament staged pantomime: Jeremy and the non-talk. You’ll have heard that JC (not, in anyway to be confused to the babe in the manger who, even at today’s tender age would have set fire to the place and formed a government in a pub somewhere) called Maggie May ‘stupid woman’ under his breath. Although he denies it – in parliament, hundreds of expert lip-readers said that he did. I’m not sure what’s worse: calling the PM a misogynistic name or lying in the chamber.

Of course … it’s lying in the chamber. Of course it is. Whilst we really shouldn’t be calling each other names, we shouldn’t lie about it afterwards. But, that’s not my point. My point is that this was early doors on Thursday when there was a lot to do. Like, ehh, sort out Brexit. But, no. The Torys decided that this was such a heinous crime they would spend all day – all day – talking about this.

Are they crackers? Is there anyone in that building who knows their arses from the elbows? Is it so close to the end of term that, breaking away from playing Monopoly and watching Toy Story in the tea rooms, they couldn’t stop themselves?

Maybe Erdogan has a point about democracy. I know some people. And those people have a few tanks. And they know how to run a whelk stand. And have the necessary weapons to shoot down a drone …

Got to go. I’ve got a few calls to make.