Passing Observations 103

Dr Vernon Coleman

This is a long standing series of small items which have caught my eye or mind and which seem relevant, startling, amusing or all three. Occasionally, items which appear here may return as a longer piece. Mostly they will not.

1. Britain’s Prime Minister came to power promising to level up the country, solve the social care crisis and make the UK a science superpower. Instead, he will be remembered for ignoring his own lockdown laws, having a birthday party, lying about it and having to pay a £50 fine. Some legacy, eh? Still, I expect he’ll get a book out of when he is finally thrown out of No 10.

2. `If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.’ – Ray Bradbury.

3. One of the few rock stars to refuse to allow concert venues to force those attending to show proof of a covid jab was Travis Tritt. In respect, I bought a couple of his albums. They’re terrific.

4. Politicians are so predictable. Clinton did terrible things to Iraq to smother the Lewinsky scandal. Thatcher invaded the Falklands to boost her polling figures before an election. And Johnson’s enthusiasm for involving us in someone else’s war is helping to cover up the Partygate scandal. (We should remember that our involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict has already doomed several hundred million people to death in Africa and Asia and has pushed millions in the UK into a position where they have to choose between starving and freezing.)

5. The latest hobby of the woke police is to confiscate balloons on the grounds that they might go bang and cause a panic among nervous millennials and members of the Z generation. Honest.

6. In 1914, the UK’s Foreign Office had 176 staff in London and 450 staff members in embassies overseas. They had an Empire to manage. Today the Foreign Office has no Empire but 14,000 employees.

7. My banned book `Covid-19: The Greatest Hoax in History’ is now available in five volumes in Japanese. Japanese readers should ask for a copy at their local bookshop. Congratulations to my Japanese publishers for having the courage to publish it.

8. About half of the 76 blue flag beaches in England are affected by sewage. Anyone who swims in the sea, or goes wild swimming in a river (most of which are severely polluted) must be barking. Diarrhoea and vomiting is a common consequence of a dip in the sea.

9. The Government has amended its Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill so that religious and cultural customs are requested. This presumably means that it will still be acceptable for butchers catering for religious groups to kill animals by slitting their throats.

10. If you live in Britain and need to call for an ambulance, make it clear immediately that the problem for which the ambulance is required is life threatening. If you don’t make this very clear there is a good chance that you’ll still be waiting for an ambulance many hours later.

11. `I had not realised that not paying my taxes/speeding/parking here was a breach of the rules.’ – universal excuse, thanks to Boris Johnson.

12. During its so-called news coverage of the French election, the BBC ran the headline: `French vote as Macron aims to beat far-right Le Pen’. As usual, the BBC stuck with its policy of describing anyone slightly to the right of Stalin as `far right’.

13. Electricity bills are soaring everywhere as more and more electricity is used to power inefficient and wasteful electric cars. In Dallas one man’s monthly electricity bill was more than $16,700.

14. Much of the wood used as fuel for wood-powered boilers (now being heavily promoted, even though log burners are being banned) comes from Russia. Whoops.

15. The young think they own wisdom, just as they believe they have exclusive ownership of grief, compassion and every other human emotion. It is why young people join left wing organisations and believe they have a monopoly of concern for the planet and the environment.

16. I am delighted to report that research published in the journal of the British Veterinary Record confirms my long-standing view that the badger cull conducted in the UK achieved nothing and yet cost a fortune. It was always plain that the cruel was cruel and pointless but the Government persevered with it to please farmers.

17. Someone called Mark Ruffalo (described by the Financial Times as a celebrity, though I confess I’m not sure what he does) says he found it shocking that the Royal Bank of Canada `hasn’t really engaged’ with him and other actors after they wrote calling on the bank to stop funding fossil fuel expansion. It seems to me that the arrogance of luvvies knows no bounds.

18. Governments had to ban plastic bags because they needed all the plastic to make useless face masks. Now that the face masks have been shown to do more harm than good, may we please have our plastic bags back?

19. If the State were a private company it would reduce prices to try to trade its way out of its financial mess. But because the State is run by idiots, the politicians and civil servants are trying to rescue the State’s huge debts by putting up taxes. This will, of course, make things worse.

20. There should have been an eleventh commandment: `Thou shalt be kind’. I’m not sure they’d have needed the other ten if they’d had that one.

Copyright Vernon Coleman May 2022

Vernon Coleman’s latest book `Memories 1’ is the first volume of his autobiography. It’s unusual in that it consists of a mixture of reflections, experiences, confessions, regrets and observations – rather than the usual `and then I had lunch with…’ sort of autobiography. `Memories 1’ is available as an eBook, a paperback and a hardback.