Friday, 22 June 2018
My son Christopher told me a very clever palindrome: 'Live dirt up a side-track carted is a putrid evil'. This beats the longest I knew: 'Able was I ere I saw Elba' (put into the mouth of Napoleon in exile). However 'live' and 'evil' gave me the idea for a short and punchy one: 'Live not on evil!' I think this would have made a better motto for Google than 'Don't be evil'.
I shall not march on Saturday for a 'people's vote', which would be a referendum by another name. I am against referendums on principle, and for once I agreed with Maggie Thatcher when she quoted Clement Attlee, calling them a device of dictators and demagogues'. Mrs Mayhem will call a referendum only if she feels sure she can win it. Admittedly she got it wrong over the 2017 election, but we can't count on that. If she is clever she will frame the question so that she can live with either answer - and she will rig the electorate as Cameron did in 2016. Any outcome other than abandoning 'Brexit' will be a defeat in my eyes. I'm afraid a 'people's vote' will be wangled to look like an endorsement of 'Brexit'. If you march for a 'people's vote' beware of getting what you wish for.
Thursday, 21 June 2018
Definition of an ignoramus: person who thinks the plural of ignoramus is 'ignorami'. Ignoramus is not a Latin masculine singular but a 1st person plural verb meaning 'we do not know', from ignorare. And while we are about it, the plural of octopus is not octopi but octopodes; -us is not a Latin singular ending but comes from from Greek pous 'a foot'. Fake Latin plurals are an embarrassing attempt to be learned. Even genuine examples like musea, errata seem rather pompous. It is not an erratum to say museums and octopuses.
Friday, 15 June 2018
Mrs Mayhem is promising a 'Brexit bonus' of £4 billion a year for the NHS, so does this vindicate Boris Johnson's promise on the Big Red Bus? No!!! He promised £350 million a week, which would be £18.2 billion a year. And Mrs Mayhem's figure is partly out of taxes, which have nothing to do with the EU. More lies! They are getting desperate.
Tuesday, 12 June 2018
Nobel Peace Prize for Trump??!! They must be joking. He is still threatening war on Iran. But what is stopping him from having a summit meeting with President Rouhani, a more affable man that Kim? Is it because Netanyahu has told him not to? Or is it because Iran doesn't have nuclear weapons to bargain with? A united Korea would have a population of 77 million, making it the 20th most populous country in the world, ahead of the UK, France and Italy. At present South Korea with 51.2 million is 27th and the North with 25.6 million is 52nd.
Sunday, 10 June 2018
Thursday, 7 June 2018
The governments of Israel, Turkey and Burma refuse to recognise the rights or even the existence of, respectively, the Palestinian, Kurdish and Rohingya peoples, and these are by no means the only examples. Is there no limit to the human capacity to obliterate inconvenient peoples? This is the backside of nationalism, which for all its popularity is an oppressive ideology. As long as human rights are defined by the 'United Nations', there seems to be no escape. We need concepts based not on nationality but on citizenship, not on nation-states but on jurisdictions, not on the right of nations to self-determination but on the right of people to live unmolested according to their culture in the country of their birth.