Passing Observations 107

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. For many years now, 400,000 taxpaying native Britons (mostly English) have fled their home country and emigrated to America, Australia, Canada, France, Spain, etc. They have been more than replaced by millions of immigrants (some legal, some not). Some of the immigrants pay tax. But they don’t pay as much tax as the 400,000 who have left each year. And so Britain steadily gets poorer.
  2. I wonder if the egocentric, exhibitionistic, celebrities who dress to attract attention realise than in the UK at least it is now a criminal offence to look at other people. And so their bizarre plumage is pointless – except for the photographers whose attentions they crave and who are presumably exempt from the ‘no looking’ law.
  3. Why isn’t the Monopolies Commission investigating Wikipedia and Google? Those two evil truth crushing sites have beaten aside the competition for years.
  4. No one in authority takes responsibility these days. MPs have a responsibility to get rid of a dishonest leader. But they do nothing. Doctors have a responsibility to research how they treat their patients. But most don’t.
  5. Heat pumps cost up to £22,000 to have fitted and cost four times as much to run as gas boilers. Home owners who don’t have a heat pump fitted will not be allowed to sell their home. Home owners who do have a heat pump fitted will not be able to sell their home.
  6. After I wrote about how Antoinette was very nearly knocked down by a silent electric car, my good friend, Dr Colin Barron, told me that there had been a plan a few years ago to fit electric cars with noisemakers so that pedestrians would hear them coming. Something like that is definitely needed. (Colin also told me that until about 1932 it was a requirement for all cyclists to ring their bells constantly to alert pedestrians that they were coming. The Tour de France would have made a devil of a noise.)
  7. The motorist who used her car to nudge protestors who were blocking the road has been banned from driving and fined. If she had to be punished, a one day ban and a one penny fine would have been appropriate. The protestors who blocked the road should have sent down for 30 years.
  8. The Bank of England specialises at screwing up the economy but the 5,500 retired members of the Bank of England ‘s pension fund don’t have to worry. They are to receive a pension increase of around 11% this summer. I doubt if there are any pensioners in the country who are treated as lavishly and as over-generously (with our money) as this bunch of useless quarter wits whose collective incompetence has, in the past, impoverished generations of tax payers.
  9. Have you noticed that defendants photographed entering or leaving a courtroom these days are nearly always wearing a mask. I assume they do it because it looks very woke and marginally more dignified than holding a newspaper or scarf across their faces in order to disguise themselves. The wise ones realise that it’s the eyes that are the giveaways and so they add a pair of reflecting sunglasses to the mask.
  10. Epstein’s chum and BBC partner, Bill Gates, warns that a more deadly variant of covid could emerge. And we could be invaded by Martians but where is the profit in that scare story? (Wasn’t it Bill Gates who promised the paperless office. If so, he got that wrong too, didn’t he?)
  11. To cope with the shortage of oil caused by the sanctions against Russia, the French are planning to build 13 new nuclear reactors. The snag is that they won’t be ready until 2035 at the earliest. It looks like the politicians were right – this is going to be a long war.
  12. I am sometimes asked what equipment we use to record my videos. We use a very old iPad without any updates, a microphone which cost £9.99 from eBay and a camera tripod which we found in a cupboard. Nothing but the best.
  13. What a pity that the money the British and American governments are using to buy bullets and bombs for the war in Ukraine could not be spent on helping the poor and the sick in those countries. But the arms manufacturers wouldn’t like that, would they?
  14. The singer Bono (winner of my hypocrite of the year many times for his tax arrangements) is still pictured on the webpage of the World Economic Forum.
  15. The next football world cup is due to be played in Qatar. The 22 executives who voted for the matches to be played in a country where the weather is not usually considered suitable for football, included 16 who have been banned, accused of or indicted for criminal corruption, involved in FBI cases or accused of ethical violations. More than 6,500 migrant workers have died in constructing the stadia for the matches. This is thought to be more people than died in building the Great Pyramids.
  16. Google (contender for the most evil company in the world) pays Apple between $8-12 billion a year to make Google search its default option – whatever the buyer wants. Seems a bit crooked to me but what do you expect?
  17. Rishi Sunak, who disaffection for the truth seems to have led him to describe himself as a low tax chancellor, is now presiding over tax rates in England which are the highest ever. At a time of economic crisis, with millions having to decide whether to eat or keep warm, Sunak has pushed taxes to the highest level on record. Why am I surprised? This is a man who has been fined by the police for a lockdown crime and whose family tax affairs are embarrassing to say the very least. A good man, a man with self-respect and a sense of honour would have resigned and left public life. If Sunak wants to go to America he should go – I wouldn’t stop him. All political careers end in ignominy and failure. Sunak has started his career in that way.
  18. Sri Lanka appears to be the first country to succumb to the global economic crisis caused by the sanctions against Russia. Eighteen months ago, I predicted that the deaths (to take us down a world population of 500 million) would start first in Africa and Asia – and they are – but I didn’t foresee that Biden, Johnson, etc., would be crooked enough to introduce deadly sanctions guaranteed to cause global starvation. The military had to protect the outgoing Prime Minister and an MP shot himself. The IMF and the World Bank are already in Sri Lanka. They’ll soon need to be everywhere in Africa and Asia. Why I am the only one calling for Biden and Johnson to be arrested for war crimes? My feeling that Johnson, Biden et al encouraged this war, and are helping to sustain it, was given further encouragement by the news that Johnson, who built a political career on lies and opportunism, had promised to help Sweden if that country was invaded (who had been talking about Sweden being invaded until Johnson brought it up?) and, according to a news outlet in Kuraine, was reported to have discouraged a peace settlement between Ukraine and Russia – allegedly saying that Putin needed to be defeated.
  19. Elon Musk, the boss of an electric car company, will collect a $23 billion bonus. Most people are struggling to pay their bills but company bosses are doing nicely. The Standard Chartered bank gave its chief executive a 19% pay rise and the chief financial officer a 21% pay rise. Generous, considering that the bank had to pay a £46.5 million penalty to the Prudential Regulation Authority for `reporting failures’. In the US, Warner Bros Discovery’s earnings fell almost 20% but the company paid its CEO $26.4 million in performance related bonuses. Other big companies have handed out bonuses. Coca-Cola said that the pandemic made its pay targets unattainable so the company handed the boss an extra $1 million just for, well, being there. Am I the only one who thinks the world is barking mad?
  20. Bank of England staff now have to go to work one day a week.

Vernon Coleman’s book Memories 1 is 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 a paperback, a laminated hard cover and an eBook.