Thursday, January 03, 2019

Thoughts from Heald Green, England: 3.1.19

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain. 

As usual on a Thursday morning, I'm indebted to Lenox Napier of the comprehensive Business over Tapas for some of the following items.

The UK
  • There were more than 55,000 arrivals by 'irregular immigration' to Spanish territory in 2018. Which rather puts into perspective the trickle of refugees arriving from France across the Channel - a current media obsession in the UK and apparently another cause for panic in the most incompetent British government for generations.
  • A few more stats:-
- Migrants who've crossed the Channel to the UK so far – 239
- Asylum claims in the UK last year – 26,350.
- Asylum claims in Germany, Italy and France last year – 198,000, 126,000 and 91,000.

  • More progress in the laws relating to sexual abuse.
  • The Parliamentary Speaker has said that henceforth no one will be allowed to call anyone fascista or golpista. The ousted PP party has requested that corrupto also be forbidden. Well, they would, wouldn't they?
  • Astonishingly (to me at least, who never buys the stuff): Bottled water is one of the most lucrative businesses in Spain, where consumption is 116L per person/year - behind only Italy and Germany in Europe. Globally, Spain is the 6th largest consumer of bottled water. This might've been understandable in the 1970s but in 2019? A huge marketing triumph. As well as a fine demonstration of popular gullibility. And snobbery.
The UK/Brexit
  • Richard North addresses here the ignorance/stupidity/dishonesty (or all 3) of the British Transport Secretary. BTW . . Reader Sierra advises that the very dubious – and possibly useless - contract mentioned therein has been granted to a relation of the largest contributor to the Conservative party. Probably just a coincidence we agreed . . . 
  • Here's something on this I've just come across while looking for what I've cited in the Finally . . . section below. BTW . . . 'Nicker' is slang for pounds sterling. Like 'quid'. 
  • Fart and his Ruski pals/financiers. A well-known tale but with some new details.
  • Every Trump accusation is a confession, Chapter 547: "Mitt Romney is not a team player". One gets the strong impression that Fart defines 'Team player' as 'Someone who agrees totally with me and/or does everything I order them to do without question'.
  • Here's a lovely article I stumbled across – Why is English so hard to learn? - with a number of nice links. You can find the Dutchman's astonishing tour-de-force here. [Trigger warning for that bothersome old fart, Alfie Mittington: You're not going to like the use of the word phonetic in the articles. Though you'll probably deny this. Jesuitically and implausibly]
Finally . . .
  • Just after I'd refrained from mindlessly repeating one of my mother's favourite sayings to my 3 year old granddaughter in a cafĂ© this morning - viz: You need to take your coat off or you won't feel the benefit when you go outside – I read an article entitled Does it make scientific sense to take your coat off indoors to feel the benefit outside? But it's not yet on the paper's web page. Hopefully tomorrow . . . For anyone who can't wait, there are several other articles on this issue on the web.
© [David] Colin Davies

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