Passing Observations 181

Dr Vernon Coleman

1. It is, apparently, now quite common for flowers to be stolen from graves and moved elsewhere. Fraud is going to become increasingly common as everyone becomes poorer but stealing from the dead seems particularly low.

2. Regular readers may remember that I wanted to take money out of the bank and was told I couldn’t have it. After a long and noisy argument the bank staff gave in and handed me the notes I’d asked for. A little while later the bloke who looks after our temperamental drains told me all about my troubles at the bank. Someone from the bank had even told him the sum I’d taken out. So much for banking confidentiality. Banks don’t give a toss about their customers, they care only about keeping Big Brother happy.

3. Every decade or so I buy one of Anthony Powell’s novels and try to read it. I always fail. Powell is just watered down Waugh without the acid. Trollope is much more readable, though not nearly as good as Goldsmith. And no one is as good as P.G.Wodehouse.

4. Glum day in the garden yesterday. My brassicas (which I grow in the greenhouse because of all our wildlife) are absolutely covered in aphids. It’s no fun having your brassicas covered in aphids. There must have been a hundred million of the darned things stuck to the leaves. I’ve left the useless and inedible crop out for the birds to eat the aphids and the rabbits to eat the brassicas. (On sunny days the greenhouse’s solar powered windows open automatically to keep the temperature down. And that’s how the aphids got in. Unless they opened the door and let themselves in that way.) As if that weren’t bad enough we’ve also got a wasps’ nest in one of our chimneys. Still, at least they’re not hornets. We had a hornets’ nest a few years ago. They’re truly scary. And, curiously, when they die en masse they smell of rotten fish.

5. Whatever happened to respect? You don’t see it around much anymore, do you? Maybe it emigrated. But to where?

6. I see that LGBT has now become LGBTQIA. Sadly, no one in the entire world knows what the QIA stands for. And what about the Fs? Doesn’t anyone care about the Fs?

7. The term `biodynamic’, now popular among climate change freaks is officially defined as: `A holistic method using herbal and mineral preparations and an astronomical calendar to guide sowing and harvesting dates.’ Now I know they are all completely cuckoo.

8. Re-wilding is officially defined as `The restoration of ecosystems to the point where natural processes take care of themselves without human interference.’ The mad greens want us to re-wild between a third and a half of the world’s land. What that means is that we end up with a third to a half of the world occupied by nettles, brambles, docks, giant hogweed and Japanese knotweed. And lots and lots of rats. To find out what the future looks like please read my book `They want your money and your life’.

9. Within two years tax in the UK will reach 35% of GDP – the second highest level since 1945 when we were busy helping out the Germans as an apology for their having started a war. (Rationing in the UK continued for a lot longer than in Germany.) That is the same level as Norway which is rated as probably the best place in the world to live because of its excellent public services – schools, health service, welfare system, public transport, etc.

10. In 2022, the National Crime Agency received almost 1,000,000 `suspicious activity reports’ (SARs) – most of them relating to people trying to take their own money out of their bank. And yet computer fraud and internet crime is soaring. And neither the authorities nor the banks seem eager to take any responsibility to do anything about it. It is far easier to make and collect SARs than actually do anything to protect the innocent.

11. Daft new rules, energy prices and the increased minimum wage have resulted in 4,600 pubs, hotels and restaurants closing in the UK in the last 12 months.

12. The average FTSE 100 company boss in the UK earns £3,400,000. The average employee earns £33,000. Things are worse, much worse in the US where the average company boss earns £14,600,000 which is probably 1000 times more than he or she is worth.

13. BBC staff seem to think their job is to have views which coincide with the establishment. It is not. Their job is to report the truth instead of spreading a toxic mixture of propaganda, misinformation and disinformation.

14. Friendship is only real friendship when it survives inconvenience.

15. The world premiere of my play `Mrs Caldicot’s Cabbage War’ is due to take place in Mojacar, Almeria in Spain where the Indalo Players will present Mrs Caldicot (the play) as the company’s 25th anniversary production. I’m delighted! All four novels about Mrs Caldicot’s adventures are available on Amazon.

16. I lost all my keys the other day. (It’s been that sort of year.) I found spares and had another set made so that we still have a spare set. The keys cost £9 each. Mind you, they each took two minutes to make and I expect they’re made of something more expensive than gold.

17. Why are there special literary prizes for women? Isn’t that patronising? It makes it look as though women aren’t good enough to win prizes in competitions anyone can enter. I’d be miffed and feel enormously patronised if someone organised a prize for old men.

18. Have you noticed that everything bad that happens to Britain is blamed on Brexit? In a way that is true. Brexit so annoyed the conspirators that they are punishing Britain in an attempt to persuade citizens of other EU countries not to try the same thing. The EU was (and is) part of the move towards a world government. For more about the EU please read OFPIS by Vernon Coleman.

19. France is wealthier than Britain. Why can that be? Well France has more motorways and they are better kept (because they are privately managed and charge tolls). Electricity is produced by nuclear power plants. Childcare costs are half the price because the laws aren’t so strict. And lots of French cities have trams. Housing is more abundant, better and cheaper too. It’s just a pity that the place is full of French people.

20. Half of all working women admit that they have cried at work. And why not? If I worked at the Post Office I’d cry all day long.

21. Everyone over 60 should read `Kick Ass A to Z for Over 60s’.

Copyright Vernon Coleman June 2023