21 July 2019
We’ve been having some outside woodwork painted. It’s taken 6 weeks but the painter was meticulous and everything now looks much better. There was, of course, extra work on unexpected rot in two places but he painstakingly cut it all out and fitted new timber and we ended up having to argue with him to increase his charge because of the additional work. Anybody who wants a good and reliable decorator, let me know and I’ll give you his details.
In exchange, does anybody know a good and reliable gardener (who doesn’t claim to be Bicton-trained and then, having been given garden twine, ties up sweet pea shoots with thin wire that cuts through the stems)?
Elsewhere in the world, a president who is particularly stupid, even by the impressive standards already set by some other world leaders, was condemned by his House of Representatives for racism, having told four congresswomen of colour to “go back and help fix the … places from which they came” without realising he had just written off four of America’s largest cities (Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota and New York City) as “broken and crime-infested”. Perhaps they just need a good decorator.
And don’t you love the “from which they came”, a needlessly pedantic construction which inspired the put-down “This is the sort of nonsense up with which I will not put” often attributed to Winston Churchill, though he may actually have borrowed it from an earlier source.
Then, as I was getting supper t’other day, I heard terrifying rhythmic shouting coming from the sitting room where Judy was watching a Trump rally on the news and Trump was winding up a crowd who were chanting what sounded from the kitchen exactly like ‘Sieg heil’. Can’t something be done about the man before it’s too late?
Incidentally, did you know that Hitler was disparagingly described as “a house painter” as part of the Allies’ propaganda to belittle him; he was actually an artist who had painted buildings?
Tomorrow we’ll know who our next, unelected prime minister will be. Aaarrrggghhh. What a sensible person Philip Hammond seems comparison; it’s a pity he didn’t enter the leadership competition but perhaps he can recognise a poisoned chalice when he sees one.
Jenny Jones, a London assembly member while Boris Johnson was mayor has said of him “you always got the feeling he hadn’t read his papers” (which is entirely consistent with his mercifully short spell as Britain’s worst ever Foreign Secretary) and that “He is a charming companion, but you couldn’t trust him to feed your cat if you were away one evening”.
Other contributions to Britain’s decline come from the Labour Party which is having trouble with a syllogism. A syllogism is, of course, a valid conclusion drawn from two premises sharing a common element. For example:
Premise 1: all cats are black
Premise 2: Fido is a cat
Valid conclusion: therefore Fido is black.
I’ve written before about the way people are conflating anti-semitism with anti-zionism but this can arise from a false syllogism (where an invalid conclusion is drawn from the two statements). For example:
Premise 1: Israel is a Jewish state
Premise 2: many Jews live in Israel
Invalid conclusion: therefore (all) Jews are responsible for the state’s actions.
This conclusion is obviously not true since, if “many” Jews live in Israel, some don’t. Therefore, being Jewish is independent of where you live and whether or not you support actions taken by the state of Israel; and therefore criticism of actions of the state of Israel does not constitute anti-semitism.
Because Jeremy Corbyn hasn’t managed to deconflate the two, he has become utterly discredited and the Labour Party is now in spasm so it would seem sensible for the party to replace him with somebody who can use their ‘honeymoon period’ to draw the party together and provide effective opposition to the probable (100-1 on) disaster of a Boris Johnson premiership.
Alternatively, even more of the disenchanted from both sides could transfer their votes to the LibDems and the Greens, leaving us with a nicely-balanced 3-cornered parliament (and the pro-zionists in a small cupboard discussing whether Netanhayu really is the best national leader since Saddam Hussain).
Is it really 50 years since the first man landed on the moon? (Rather than stay up till 3 am, I slept through it and didn’t hear Neil Armstrong misremember his script.) One of the more interesting stories this week was about the rubbish that mankind has left there, including “96 bags of poo, urine and vomit” which some scientists want brought back to earth so they can study them. (“And what do you do?” “I study 50-year old poo, urine and vomit, ma’am.” “How interesting!”)