Tuesday, 18 December 2018

18th December 2018 - Bridges, Ecology and Storytime

Thought for the day :"According to my chocolate advent calendar there are only two days to Christmas"

So Let's start with the good news.
Yesterday was the first day when getting to Wales is free - though apparently they have put new 50mph speed cameras in (there have been some at the plaza for years but they may have new ones) and the thought is that they are going for the £60 fine rather than the £5.60 toll

And in the world of ecology - I rather like this design idea....
A new house - it is  a Green One !!

But the old politics keeps cropping up

LEAVER: I want an omelette.
REMAINER: Right. It’s just we haven’t got any eggs.
LEAVER: Yes, we have. There they are. [HE POINTS AT A CAKE]
REMAINER: They’re in the cake.
LEAVER: Yes, get them out of the cake, please.
REMAINER: But we voted in 1974 to put them into a cake.
LEAVER: Yes, but that cake has got icing on it. Nobody said there was going to be icing on it.
REMAINER: Icing is good.
LEAVER: And there are raisins in it. I don’t like raisins. Nobody mentioned raisins. I demand another vote.
LEAVER: Right, where’s my omelette?
REMAINER: I told you, the eggs are in the cake.
LEAVER: Well, get them out.
EU: It’s our cake.
JEREMY CORBYN: Yes, get them out now.
REMAINER: I have absolutely no idea how to get them out. Don’t you know how to get them out?
LEAVER: Yes! You just get them out and then you make an omelette.
REMAINER: But how?! Didn’t you give this any thought?
LEAVER: Saboteur! You’re talking eggs down. We could make omelettes before the eggs went into the cake, so there’s no reason why we can’t make them now.
THERESA MAY: It’s OK, I can do it.
THERESA MAY: There was a vote to remove the eggs from the cake, and so the eggs will be removed from the cake.
REMAINER: Yeah, but…
LEAVER: Hang on, if we take the eggs out of the cake, does that mean we don’t have any cake? I didn’t say I didn’t want the cake, just the bits I don’t like.
EU: It’s our cake.
REMAINER: But you can’t take the eggs out of the cake and then still have a cake.
LEAVER: You can. I saw the latest Bake Off and you can definitely make cakes without eggs in them. It’s just that they’re horrible.
REMAINER: Fine. Take the eggs out. See what happens.
LEAVER: It’s not my responsibility to take the eggs out. Get on with it.
REMAINER: Why should I have to come up with some long-winded incredibly difficult chemical process to extract eggs that have bonded at the molecular level to the cake, while somehow still having the cake?
LEAVER: You lost, get over it.
THERESA MAY: By the way, I’ve started the clock on this.
REMAINER: So I assume you have a plan?
THERESA MAY: Actually, back in a bit. Just having another election.
REMAINER: Jeremy, are you going to sort this out?
JEREMY CORBYN: Yes. No. Maybe.
EU: It’s our cake.
LEAVER: Where’s my omelette? I voted for an omelette.
REMAINER: This is ridiculous. This is never going to work. We should have another vote, or at least stop what we’re doing until we know how to get the eggs out of the cake while keeping the bits of the cake that we all like.
REMAINER: Fine, I’m moving to France. The cakes are nicer there.
LEAVER: You can’t. We’ve taken your freedom of movement.

In other news, and trying the Reset Windows facility on the laptop which has been playing up lately
Will let you know ...

Cheers !
perhaps we should turn to a greater source.

Monday, 17 December 2018

17th December 2018 - Santa, Starving and Satire

Thought for the day:"Someone just phoned me, sneezed and hung up – I hate cold calls"

Timely information - Sarah Jacobs..

Sarah Jacobs the 'Welsh Fasting Girl' died on 17th December 1869. 

Sarah was born in 1857 on a farm near Llanfihangel-ar-Arth in Carmarthenshire. When she was nine, she became seriously ill and was confined to bed for a considerable period of time. She passed the time by composing poems and reading the Bible, but then according to her parents, Evan and Hannah, she suddenly began to refuse food. However, she did not suffer any ill effects, and seemed to be thriving.

Word got about, and soon, Sarah became famous, with people travelling from all over Wales and England to see her lying in her bed, surrounded by flowers and reading the Bible. They considered themselves to be witnessing a miracle and were encouraged to give gifts and money to Sarah.

Some people, however, were obviously sceptical and Dr Phillips of Guy's Hospital decided to arrange for six nurses to carry out a 24 hour vigil, in which they would observe, but offer no treatment or help unless Sarah asked for food. This Sarah did not do and she slowly lapsed into semi-consciousness, before dying on 17th December 1869. An autopsy later found food in Sarah's stomach and tragically groove marks on her toes, where it was supposed she had been tried to open a stone water bottle in a desperate attempt to get water.

People were outraged when news of the cruel experiment and Sarah's death became public and her parents were imprisoned for manslaughter, however, none of the doctors or nurses were prosecuted.

In modern political thought ...

Seems to sum up today's news..

A festive thought...

and in other news - a Video capturing the last year in thoughts


Sunday, 16 December 2018

16th December 2018 - Sunday Politics

Thought for the day:"Do you handle a redhead’s temper gingerly? asking for a friend"

A rare piece of pontification...

No-one really agrees with anything these days - people get too emotional and the argument goes off at a tangent...  However, I have stated in the past that I took the opportunity to examine Britain and its relationship with the Common Market (as it was then) during my time at Aberystwyth University, studying History and Politics. My approach was simple, I thought I was going to be studying International Politics which is the reason I went to Aberystwyth, but in fact found out that International Politics would have taken me into the political machinations of different political institutions, whereas my interest was in "how did we get where we are today?" in other words - taking the historical perspective to understand the institutions which govern us.

This often leaves me at a different place from those who are arguing either for or against Brexit - as they are arguing from emotion and often self interest - whereas I am tending to think about how we got here and how that affects those decisions.

I have never evaded my opinion back in the seventies that joining the Common Market not only ruptured our trade with the Commonwealth causing untold effects, but was always a badly disguised attempt to move further towards a united Europe governed from Brussels. We are horrified by the "deceit" exhibited during the referendum (on all sides I will add), yet when we went into Europe we were not given a say at all. And when we finally were able to have a say by changing the government who were advocating coming out, that government conveniently changed their policies after gaining power.  We were told that millions of pounds could be transferred from the money given to Europe and could be used to fund the NHS, this time around. Back in the seventies, many people voted to go into Europe as they thought a trading agreement would mean that the cost of a bottle of wine would be the same in London as in Paris. That never happened either.

All our current concern is to ensure a free border...  yet if I go to France I have to show my passport and wait in line. On  my last three trips to Germany - I have been invited to park up while my van is examined at the "free" Border.  When I get off my plane in Crete - I have to go through customs and show my passport... Are these free borders into Europe???

But today I saw an article which sums up many of my opinions so I relate it again today...
It is by a blogger called Joel Rodriguez - ....  Joel Writes He is clearly a supporter of leaving  - so will probably be discounted by many outright - but I find some of his points quite compelling...

Britain, Europe and decades of deception

Europhile politicians integrated Britain into the EU by stealth. Brexit was inevitable.After the British electorate voted to leave the EU in June 2016, the search began among the elite for someone to blame. Then prime minister David Cameron was singled out for allowing the referendum to take place at all. The leaders of the Vote Leave campaign were accused of misleading the public.

In reality, the 2016 referendum result was a natural response to decades of massive constitutional change, undertaken without the express consent of the British people. By the time Brits were given a vote on EU membership, they had long decided that enough was enough.

To understand this, we have to cast our minds back over how Britain came to be in the EU in the first place.
In 1972, the UK, Norway, Ireland and Denmark sought to ratify the Treaty of Accession and join the European Community (EC), the forerunner to the EU. Norway held a referendum, but the public rejected membership. The UK, under Edward Heath, brought forward legislation to accede to the EC without consulting the people. Heath did so partly because he knew he would lose: polling following the accession showed the people were against it by almost two to one.
As the European Communities Bill passed through parliament, several politicians acknowledged that the public was opposed to going into the EC. Nicholas Ridley MP said at the time: ‘There is an opposition from the people, a lack of full-hearted consent to the terms, which makes it wrong for the government to drive on into Europe.’ Despite such reservations, the bill passed. The UK joined the European Community without the expressed consent of the public.
In 1974, the Labour Party won power with a manifesto promising a referendum on EC membership. The vote was set for 5 June 1975. The Yes campaign was aware that it had to change public sentiment towards the EC, and set about trying to do so in a variety of ways.
Project Fear was deployed for the first time. Labour MP Peter Shore summed up the Yes campaign lines in a speech at the Oxford Union: ‘Fear that we won’t have any food. Fear of unemployment. Fear that we have somehow been so reduced as a country that we can no longer totter about in the world independently as a nation.’

The fearmongering was accompanied by persistent dishonestyregarding the true aims of the EC. It was presented as nothing more than a ‘Common Market’. Government advice was that ‘there is no question of Britain losing essential sovereignty’, despite ‘ever-closer union’ being one of the stated objectives of the Treaty of Rome, which Heath signed in 1973.
The British voters chose to stay in the EC by an overwhelming 67 per cent in the 1975 referendum. It would be the last time we were directly consulted on the issue until 2016.Although voters in the 1975 referendum were promised that British sovereignty wouldn’t be compromised, work began to integrate the UK further into Europe. 

In 1978, Labour PM James Callaghan eyed joining the forthcoming European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), the EC’s system for linking the values of different currencies. The UK did not join the ERM initially, but in the late 1980s the Treasury started a similar policy of ‘shadowing the Deutschmark’

In 1990, then chancellor John Major signed the UK up to joining the ERM, in the final few months of Margaret Thatcher’s premiership.
It ended in disaster just two years later. On 16 September 1992, ‘Black Wednesday’, the UK government was forced to withdraw, after it was unable to keep the pound above its agreed lower limit.

The European Community became the European Union via the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. Many member states, including France, Denmark and Ireland, held referendums on Maastricht (as was required by their respective constitutions). 

There were calls for a referendum in the UK as well. At the time, the constitutional expert Vernon Bogdanor made the case that the public should vote on the Maastricht Treaty: ‘MPs are entrusted by the electorate with legislative power, but they are given no authority to transfer that power. That authority requires a specific mandate from the people.’

But such appeals were ignored, and Maastricht was ratified in 1992, without public consent.

During the New Labour years, the European Constitution, which would consolidate Brussels’ power, arrived on the agenda. In April 2004, prime minister Tony Blair told parliament that it should debate the European constitutional question ‘in detail and decide upon it. Then let the people have the final say.’ He made a referendum a 2005 manifesto commitment.
But the constitution was rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005, and so the British referendum never took place. The Constitutional Treaty was simply repackaged as the Treaty of Lisbon, and was pushed through in 2007. Although the Lisbon Treaty was almost identical to the Constitutional Treaty, it was presented by the EU as an amendment to the Maastricht Treaty. The position of the Labour government was that national referendums on ‘reform treaties’ were not required.
Parliament ratified it in 2008. Further integration with the EU was agreed, and the primacy of law transferred from London to Brussels.
Ever since we joined what we were told was a Common Market, pro-EU politicians have sought to avoid direct consultation with the British electorate regarding the EU. The UK was integrated into the EU by stealth. The 2016 EU referendum was the first time the British people were given a chance to vote on Europe since 1975. In the intervening decades, British sovereignty had been diluted time and again — precisely what politicians said would not happen.
Is it any wonder the UK voted for Brexit?

I leave it to yourself to consider ...  but I have always contended that Brexit was nothing to do with immigration, borders, customs and trade, it is about being given the opportunity to say "No" after so many years of never being given a say...  We can still be bloody minded..

And for those who demand the People's vote and another referendum .....   What possible evidence have you seen over the last couple of years that suggests that the vote would not be as split as it was last time.  Theresa May made the mistake of calling a general election when points ahead in the polls and got a sore nose and lost her majority...   Are those calling for the Referendum also those calling for a Yellow Jacket Revolution in the UK ??  I fear they are.....

Must be Sunday - pontificating again

Best get back to humour and cartoons and birthday cards

Saturday, 15 December 2018

15th December 2018 - Relations and Storms

Thought for the day : "Mixed my tipp-ex with my Viagra – had a huge correction"

Found this useful little section on working out your cousins - so thought I would put it here.
I posted one similar back in February but this is a bit more pictorial and easier to read... The Cousin Explainer or Relations

And so a very wet Saturday - Storm Deirdre is attacking the North with lots of snow and rain and wind  - we are just getting the tail end - but it is wet and  miserable - I know - I had to go out into the rain to pick up the PA system for the Choir... and the skies opened... It can stay in the back of the car for a while - it may get brighter later .... 

Meanwhile on the xmas spirit...

Cheers !

14th December 2018 - Just a couple of thoughts...

Thought for the day:"That's the trouble with time travel - gone today and here tomorrow"

On the road back from the South Coast ...    done a lot of mileage this year that we were no expecting.

And so - in other news - Brexit...

On Crime and Punishment...

and on Social Media

About sums today up ..

Cheers !

Thursday, 13 December 2018

13th December 2018 - Elf on a Shelf

Thought for the day:"I installed an electrified fence around my property at the weekend. My neighbor is dead against it."

Seems I started something yesterday with my Vollsanger on a Hanger

 I got Vollsanger on a Clanger

 and gave my friend Pat Patrick a Pat on a Hat

This one caught my scientific eye - will probably use it for a birthday card one day ..

and so it is off down to the South Coast again to see Vic...

Little time for musing unless I do something later ..
Probably be in the House Martin later..

Cheers !

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

12th December 2018 - Freemasons Hall 360

Thought for the day:"My wallet is like an onion – when I open it I cry"

There seems to be a meme out there about an elf on a shelf...
So I went for ...

Found some lovely pictures of Freemason's Hall in Great Queen Street and thought I would share...

In other news - the Bothy failed its MOT..   For some reason they decided to test it as a Class 7 rather than a class 4 (motorcaravan) but there still sees to be some welding to do and a new tyre and brake pipes. Looking for an estimate to see if it remains worthwhile to repair - I think it will have to be - the engine is still going well...   But a few pounds off the Christmas list....

Cheers !