Passing Observations 167

  1. The British taxpayers are spending £369 million on doing up Buckingham Palace. But Charles, the man who would be king, doesn’t want to live there. He wants to live in his other 39 palaces and castles (perhaps because they’re less likely to be targeted by Russian bombs). So, why in the name of everything royal, are taxpayers spending so much money tarting up an empty building? It would make far more sense for the Government to turn the monstrosity into a few dozen premium apartments and sell them to foreigners who find the address appealing. Taxpayers would then make money out of Buckingham Palace instead of having to fork out several fortunes to make it look pretty for absolutely no good reason.
  2. We have an infestation of false black widow spiders. They look as scary as they sound and although they may not be quite as venomous as black widow spiders they’re not the sort of creature you want living in your slippers. We’ve not had a good year so far. We’ve had two blocked drains, a broken bath, two leaks in the roof, a fridge that stopped working, a central heating system that leaked and had to be turned off, a tree that’s died and has to be taken down at absurd expense and a dishwasher that appears to have given up the ghost. Oh and my laptop computer has decided to stop working. I hope someone buys a book soon. There are plenty available via the bookshop on this website.
  3. A total of 29 doctors died while being investigated by the General Medical Council in the UK between 2018 and 2020. Five of those were confirmed suicides. In my view the GMC is a savage and inhuman organisation which is directly responsible for those deaths.
  4. Schools which give children iPads and similar devices in lieu of teaching should be closed down.
  5. ‘No one knows anything,’ said screenwriter William Goldman. He was talking about Hollywood but he could have been talking about anything.
  6. I know I annoy people from time to time. But that’s what writers are supposed to do. When I was young I always thought I’d like `He made people think’ on my grave. And it still seems apt. If you don’t read stuff that annoys you, by questioning your beliefs, then you’ll never learn anything.
  7. ‘A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.’ – Saul Bellow
  8. ‘Change is coming that hasn’t happened in 100 years and we are driving this change together,’ Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin.
  9. Heroin was invented to help wean soldiers off morphine after World War I. That went well, didn’t it?
  10. You will own nothing and pay for everything. If you want to understand the future we all now face please read: They want your money and your life by Vernon Coleman. It is available via the bookshop on this website.
  11. A typical smart phone needs 70 different elements. All of these have to be dug out of the ground using heavy machinery and lots of diesel fuel. Most of the essential elements required are controlled by the Chinese.
  12. India now has a bigger population than China.
  13. ‘Everywhere I have sought peace and not found it, except in a corner with a book.’ - Thomas a Kempis.
  14. Britain’s public sector employs 10.6 million people. This means that one in three people is employed by the State. That is why productivity in Britain is the worst in the world and the economy in Britain is the worst in the world.
  15. I wonder if there is a high ranking armed forces officer in the US or the UK who has ever won a battle. Just wondering.
  16. It is possible to argue that Colonel Gaddafi of Libya did good things for his people. NATO destroyed him and his country and imposed Western values. Apparently, you can now buy slaves in Libya.
  17. ‘To encourage Literature and the Arts is a duty which every good Citizen owes to his country.’ – George Washington. Sadly, some universities in the UK are now dropping English literature courses.
  18. ‘How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.’ – Henry David Thoreau.
  19. The public voted to leave the EU but the Government’s plan to ditch thousands of useless and damaging EU laws by the end of 2023 was abandoned after Remainer peers in the House of Lords said they would oppose the action and defy the public vote. The House of Lords is a dangerous anachronism which should have been shut down and sold off for residential accommodation decades ago.
  20. An astonishing 30% of all the countries in the world now face sanctions from the US, the UK, Japan and the EU.