Passing Observations 48

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. Those who think it unlikely that food prices will rise much should know that the price for shipping a single 40 foot container from Shanghai to Rotterdam – a standard route from China to Europe - has risen to just under $12,000. And that’s a 626% rise since this time last year when the cost would have been around 2,000 dollars. This matters enormously because if moving fridges, cars and clothes around the world becomes more expensive it will, inevitably, also be more expensive to move food from here to there or from there to here. Food is going to become more expensive. And since some food producers won’t be able to cope with the price rise, food is also going to be in short supply. Drivers and other staff isolating will also add to the shortages.
  2. Commodity prices are soaring too. Oil has risen fairly dramatically (making it more expensive to fuel the ships and lorries needed to move food around the world) and agricultural products have also become more expensive. Corn futures have risen by more than 30% this year and wheat and soybean prices are very high. China is importing huge amounts of wheat and that’s having a dramatic effect on the price you and I are going to have to pay for bread. All this is going to get worse because global warming cultists are ‘encouraging’ oil companies to stop finding new supplies of oil – and so the price of what is available will rise.
  3. After Brexit, the UK Government forecast that between 3.5 million and 4.1 million EU nationals would apply to remain permanently in the UK. The civil servants and politicians were wrong of course. And, as always, their estimate was very low. The real figure, by the end of May 2021, was already 5.61 million. Today, one in five Londoners is an EU national. This change will have a dramatic effect on public services (such as hospitals, roads and schools) on voting patterns (because the foreigners will be allowed to vote) and on the nature of every aspect of British culture and day to day life (including religion and the economy). How many of these new immigrants will blend into society? And how many will form ghettoes – with their own culture and language? How many will become productive tax-paying citizens and how many will become an economic burden? No one knows the answers to those questions.
  4. In the days of horse-drawn transport, a man used to walk behind horses carrying a shovel and a bucket. That’s what Nick Clegg does these days for Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook infamy.
  5. A bronze statue of suffragette Emily Davison has been erected in Epsom, Surrey. Davison’s sole lasting claim to fame is that she threw herself under George V’s horse Anmer at the Derby horse race in 1913. Davison died. The jockey was taken to hospital with concussion. This is one statue which should be toppled and removed. Why on earth anyone would erect a statue to a woman with such scant regard for other lives is beyond my comprehension.
  6. Most of the problems associated with social media would disappear if users all had to put their real names on everything they wrote. Anonymity gives power to cowards.
  7. More than 75% of all adults around the world have a smartphone. That means that four billion people can be accessed and controlled. Computer technology has gone from curious and interesting to essential and controlling in less than a decade with billions of people constantly feeding apps a steady stream of personal information about their health, finances and whereabouts.
  8. Nearly half of all heterosexual couples in the USA met online.
  9. Allowing staff to work at home might be great for bosses (who can cut office costs) and great for employees who don’t have to spend money on travel, subsistence and smart clothes for the office – but it’s a bad deal for customers. The problems are endless. You ring a company and find yourself talking to someone who clearly has a baby and two dogs in the same room. You ask for some information. They cannot provide it, either because they can’t access the main computer or the filing cabinet or because they need to speak to someone who is also working at home several dozen miles away. The delays can be catastrophic. It’s about time bosses and staff started to think about the people who pay their wages – the customers.
  10. I am in terrible trouble for daring to write about and criticise a scientist who sewed up the eyes of kittens. Here is an extract from my book The Health Scandal which was published in 1988. It deals with someone called Colin Blakemore. ‘In 1986, Blakemore and a colleague performed an experiment in which they used 13 new born kittens. Each kitten was injected with chemicals. Some of the kittens had the chemicals directly into their brains. In another experiment Blakemore and a colleague used 18 domestic tabby kittens. Two of them were binocularly deprived by suturing the conjunctivae and eyelids. Their eyes were sewn up. In another experiment Blakemore and two colleagues used 59 golden hamsters. In about half (their words) the left eyes were removed and the eyes which remained were injected with chemicals. Blakemore claimed that his work did not have to be justified in clinical terms.” I did ask, at the time, for some evidence that any human being or animal had benefited from this work. I heard nothing. Since I wrote that book Blakemore has, I think been knighted by the queen.
  11. Much of what is happening now is bizarre beyond Ripley’s wildest dreams. In the UK, the National Grid recently announced that Britain should have enough electricity to meet demand over the summer months. What an odd thing to say. Aren’t winters usually colder than summers? Don’t people use more electricity when it’s cold and dark? If they feel they need to reassure us about electricity supplies during the warmer, brighter summer months what are they saying, but not saying, about electricity supplies during the colder, darker winter months?
  12. Little or no research is done into the long-term effectiveness and safety of drugs which have been licensed for human use. Once a drug is on the market it can stay on the market for as long as its manufacturer is making a profit — without anyone finding out whether it really does work and is safe. Only if someone somewhere happens to notice that 75% of the patients who take that drug turn purple and explode will the drug’s safety be questioned.
  13. Here are items of research no one ever does: Do drugs act differently when given to men and women? How do drugs act differently when given to elderly patients or to children? When prescribed for a routine infection, should antibiotics be given for three days, five days, seven days, ten days, fourteen days or how long? In which patients are non-drug therapies more effective than drugs? Most of the drugs on the market are merely variations on a relatively small number of themes. So, for example, there are scores of different antibiotics available and scores of different painkillers on the market. But many of these are more or less identical — differing only in that they are made by different drug companies. When will someone compare the effectiveness and safety of these different drugs? We are aware that many drugs interact badly. If your doctor gives you drug A then you may be fine. If he gives you drug B you may be fine. But if he gives you drug A and drug B together, the mixture may kill you. Very little research is done into the ways drugs interact when given simultaneously.
  14. The politicians make a great fuss when a few footballers suffer a little abuse on social media but while they’re crying crocodile tears over that they’re busy destroying the reputations and lives of doctors who speak out and share the truth. No footballer has had to put up with one hundredth of the lies and libels that have come my way in the last year – and most of the lies and libels and distortions have come from my own government.
  15. “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise.” – Voltaire.
  16. I bought replacement SIM cards for a 3E mobile phone but was told afterwards that the replacement cards start to expire the moment they are bought – another nasty phone company trick.
  17. The last time I visited the Cotswold Wildlife Park, I was horrified to see that visitors were allowed to have their dogs with them. I saw an owl huddled in a corner, terrified, with a dog barking at it incessantly. And I saw a female rhino angry and stressed by a dog which was barking at the rhino’s calf. Dogs should be kept out of all wildlife parks. To allow otherwise is, in my view, lunacy.
  18. The last lawyer to die for the sake of his conscience was Sir Thomas More. And that was a long time ago.
  19. The Financial Conduct Authority, which is supposed to protect the public from conmen, sharks and crooked investment managers has lost track of more than £300,000 worth of computer equipment – possibly containing sensitive financial data. Staff have misplaced 323 electronic devices over the last three years.
  20. Drug companies have been fined more than £260 million for overcharging the NHS for hydrocortisone tablets. The drug companies managed to overcharge for almost ten years by paying possible competitors to stay out of the market. And we are encouraged to believe that drug companies are all run by kind, honest people who have our health, our lives and our interests at heart.

Vernon Coleman’s latest book is called Endgame: The Hidden Agenda 21. The book explains how we got here, why we got here and where we will end up if the resistance movement doesn’t win the war we are fighting. Endgame is available on Amazon as a paperback and an eBook.