Passing Observations 94

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. The collapse of a wind turbine in Wales was a reminder that these modern windmills are pretty useless. They don’t work in breezes and slight winds and to stop them seizing up they have to be kept turning with electricity made from burning gas or coal. And if the wind exceeds 50 miles an hour they fall over. Windmills are as much as the BBC.

2. One of the first things dictators are taught at Dictator School is that they must always accuse the truth-tellers of the things they themselves are doing.

3. What a coincidence it is that the worst parts of the world to live in at the moment are all part of the Commonwealth: Australia, Canada and New Zealand. What have they all got in common? The royal family.

4. The saddest reason to do anything is `to while away the time’.

5. Babies who cry for days after being vaccinated are more likely to have suffered brain damage – which might not be obvious for some time.

6. Facebook hired ex-politician Nick Clegg to improve its image. They’d have done just as well to hire Prince Andrew.

7. Those who still wear face masks are brainwashed and brain-dead.

8. Local councils all over Britain have doubled car park charges in order to try to make up the money they lost when they stupidly kept car parks closed and barred during the silly lockdowns. Doubling car park charges will make the conspirators very, very happy because the result will be that thousands more shops will close, town centres will look like scenes for old Charlton Heston movies and Klaus `you will own nothing’ Schwab will be thrilled as we race towards global poverty and the New World Order. Meanwhile, town and city centres will forever remind the few remaining visitors of wet Sunday afternoons in January.

9. `Is there a shoe shop in the town?’ a woman in a café asked the waitress. `Yes,’ replied the waitress, and walked off. `Can you tell me where it is?’ the woman asked when the waitress next walked past. `Yes,’ replied the waitress, and walked on without stopping. All part of the service, I suppose.

10. Pigeons are much brighter than most people think they are. When we lived in Paris the pigeons would peck and stamp and coo on the ledge outside our bedroom window early every morning. And then, as soon as the light went on, they would rush along to the ledge outside our living room window where they knew they would be fed. There isn’t anyone working for the BBC or The Guardian with that level of intelligence.

11. In the 19th century, the first 14 English cricket teams to tour Australia had no more than 12 men and they travelled by coach on rough roads to out of the way cricket grounds as well as to the big grounds. The team managed perfectly well, without complaints or stress related disorders. Today, touring cricket teams carry half a dozen spare players and enough coaches, managers, medical staff and so on to fill an aeroplane. They travel in luxury and frequently take their families with them. And yet injuries and stress related complaints seem to be a constant problem. Poor dears.

12. Why doesn’t the BBC appoint Sir Klaus Schwab its Director General? Wouldn’t that simplify matters?

13. If you are wondering where the BBC finds so many ignorant and prejudiced people to employ, the answer is simple: they tend to employ a lot of Guardian readers. (A long tradition of advertising BBC jobs in The Guardian helps to explain this phenomenon.)

14. Quacks and charlatans often give their trickeries impressive sounding names. There were (and for all I know still are) people offering medical advice who confidently asserted that they could makes diagnoses by studying a patient’s navel. Navel gazing was known as omphalomancy. And then there was gyromancy in which patients were instructed to walk round in a circle until, dizzy, they fell down. Where they landed, gave the quack the answers they sought. And there were quacks who claimed that they could make diagnoses by listening to the gurgling of the patient’s stomach and intestines. This too had a scientific sounding name: gastromancy.

15. There are many ways to die and the problem with being a doctor is that you know most of them. The problem with being a writer is that you can think up lots more! I had fun in my novel `Balancing the Books’ in thinking up delicious ways in which my heroine could murder a clutch of those obnoxious reviewers who specialise in giving one star reviews to books, films, restaurants, hotels, etc.

16. Just as the Sturgeon talks again about independence, the Bank of England has changed its logo to be more `inclusive’. The flag of St George has gone and has been replaced with the union flag. Maybe someone could remind the Bank of England that it is called the Bank of England for a reason.

17. Royal Mail is suffering because letter volumes have fallen fast. And so they are putting up their prices. Brilliant. The price of a first class stamp is going up from 85p to 95p - a massive rise. I have surprise news for Royal Mail. That won’t increase the number of people posting letters. It’s the sort of daft thing incompetent business folk always do – put up their prices when business isn’t going well. Is it conceivably possible that this is all part of the plan to force us to do everything digitally?

18. In the last month I have written four cheques which have all been returned unpaid. Nothing was wrong with any of the cheques and there were funds enough to honour them. I suspect that this is all part of the plan to stop us using cheques and force us into digital payments.

19. In the UK, a card shop boss who refused to close during lockdown has won his appeal over a £35,000 fine. Hoorah for a small ray of sunshine in a dark world.

20. These days the medium now controls the message completely. Marshall McLuhan would be shocked at just how much the medium has become the message.

Copyright Vernon Coleman March 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.