Passing Observations 109

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. In February 2021, the Royal Society of Arts wrote to me. Someone called Nicholas Bull said: `Given your views including your recent involvement in the BBC panorama programme the Disciplinary Officers have concluded they must issue a prospective expulsion.’ I had not taken part in the Panorama programme and have never even seen it, though I gather it might have been uncomplimentary. Expelling me because I’d been monstered by the BBC seemed like arresting me for being mugged. At the end of April 2022, I wrote to the Royal Society of Arts and pointed out that everything I had warned about in relation to the mRNA jabs and the PCR tests had been established as the truth.’ I was not surprised not to receive a reply.

2. The metaverse is a world where people can choose who (eg what gender) they want to be. We are expected to trust Big Tech to implement all ID verification.

3. Four out of five people say they would describe themselves as woke.

4. The biggest causes of plastic in the sea are dumped fishing gear and plastic waste (much of it officially designated as recycled) which has been dumped by ships.

5. A letter writer in the Telegraph suggested it was `unfair to ban Daniil Medvedev from Wimbledon but when you are in a war everything is unfair’ (ignoring the fact that we are no more at war with Russia than we are at war with Iceland or South Africa) and suggested that `what he could do is to condemn Vladimir Putin and the Russian army for their despicable actions. Then he can play.’ I assume that the letter writer is confident that President Putin would not be tempted to punish Mr Medvedev or his relatives for such a condemnation. To me the amazing thing is not that someone should write such a letter but that the Telegraph should think it worth publishing. I was delighted to see that in the end, the tennis authorities decided to take away ranking points from the Wimbledon club. Since Wimbledon is now no more important than any local tournament I hope that the BBC will save money by not bothering to show the tournament on its channels.

6. The UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and scores of politicians and civil servants were fined £50 each for breaking the lockdown rules that they themselves had created. Members of the British public were not dealt with quite so leniently. Among the other 136,000 people fined for breaking the lockdown rules were the following: a student was fined £10,000 for organising a snowball fight; a pub landlord who held a Christmas gathering the same night that Downing Street had a party was fined £4,000 and a beggar was fined £434 for holding out his cap at King’s Cross station.

7. Horatio Nelson was 18-years-old when he was made captain of his first ship. He was a Post Captain at the age of 22. These days, too many folk of that age are still living at home and expecting Mum and Dad to ferry them to school, ballet classes or global warming demonstrations. (`Did you remember to buy me some glue, Mum?)

8. Antoinette told me that Iceland is offering cheap food for the over 60s. I misunderstood and told her that this was very nice but I thought that by the time I’d paid the air fare I would be out of pocket.

9. Anyone nervous about making a speech in public should read my friend Dr Colin M Barron’s book `The Craft of Public Speaking’. Highly recommended. Packed with excellent advice.

10. Sepsis seems to be more common now than ever before. Is this because the world is dirtier? Or are hospitals dirtier? Or are nasty bugs just more potent?

11. Why, when I’ve just bought a book or a fridge online do I immediately receive scores of adverts from people wanting to sell me another copy of exactly the same book or the same fridge? Is everyone mad? Or do they just all think that I’m mad?

12. Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Jackson were all Presidents of the US. And they had something else in common. They all managed plantations and kept slaves.

13. Over two years ago Antoinette was referred to the local physiotherapy department at the hospital. The department duly closed because of the rebranded flu. As far as I know, it still hasn’t reopened.

14. `It’s a good thing we don’t get as much government as we pay for.’ – Will Rogers

15. We know that everything `they’ have told us for two years was a lie. So why should we believe anything they tell us in the future? Our governments are as a crooked and unreliable as Google and Wikipedia.

16. There are 400 highly trained economists working for the Federal Reserve in the US. Their job is to keep inflation below 2%. But inflation in the US is now around 9%. Why not just sack all the useless economists and replace them with a kangaroo? Much cheaper and far more fun.

17. American retail consumers send back 16.1% of all purchases. And 20.8% of all online purchases are returned. Returns are often destroyed because they are unfit to sell again. Returns in the US create 5.8 billion pounds of landfill waste every year.

18. The CIA regards books as the most effective method of sharing information.

19. Here’s another reason why Doris Johnson and the other Partygate idiots all deserve to be sacked and sent to prison: they are so unutterably stupid that they took photographs of themselves breaking the law.

20. James Michael Curley was mayor of Boston while in a federal penitentiary. Would Boris Johnson resign if he were sent to prison?

Copyright Vernon Coleman May 2022

Vernon Coleman’s book `Memories 2’ is the second 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 2’ is, like `Memories 1’, available as an eBook, a paperback and a hardback.