johnny9fingers: (Default)
www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/us-politicians-and-brexiteers-clash-on-concocted-border-issue-1.3862750

Wherein we find that:

"The visiting US congressional delegation had a forceful and at times heated encounter with pro-Brexit UK hardliners as the American politicians rejected claims that the Border was a “concocted” issue.
The delegation, led by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, met members of the pro-Brexit European Research Group, led by Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, on Monday. The meeting was part of their mission to the UK and Ireland this week to stress that there was no chance of a US-UK trade deal if Brexit damaged the Northern Irish peace process."


Just what the rest of us have been saying all along. So much for "Project Fear" chaps, eh? What about Project Understood-the-implications-of-the-stupidity-of-the-idea instead?

Now just what are the chances of the eejits enlightened, forward-thinking leaders who dropped us this deep in the mire recanting and telling the great British public the truth about their original assertions and promises?

The GFA was guaranteed by the US and the EU, as well as the UK and the Irish Republic. Now what piece of magic will make the GFA consistent with Brexit? Unicorns and other Chimæra spring to mind, excepting they appear much more realistic than the rather imaginative ideas the ERG have for non-existent-border border control. It should be the ERG's battle cry. Border control for the non-existent border. And we want it now, and/or in the unspecified future, or never.

I'm thinking of calling it the oxymoronic expression of perfect cognitive dissonance.


johnny9fingers: (Default)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/15/notre-dame-fire-paris-france-cathedral

Dear god no!

The spire has collapsed. Oh gods. Unbearable loss.

I grieve for France. If we can help with the rebuilding, we must.
johnny9fingers: (Default)
www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/apr/15/sajid-javid-i-could-have-had-a-life-of-crime

Wherein Mr Javid says he could have led a life of crime, rather than "going straight" and becoming Home Secretary.

The one-liners simply write themselves...




johnny9fingers: (Default)
...Pissed off the new regime in Ecuador and they invited the rozzers in to the Embassy to take the chap away.

Now we have to work out if we should extradite him to the US or not. For a change, Jezza has come out with an opinion with which I agree; which is against extradition. I think maybe we should allow him to escape to Moscow after serving what amounts to a seven-year self-imposed sentence, but what do I know? Maybe we should fine him for his contempt of court and skipping bail, but he's already done his time, so to speak. If the lasses involved in the case don't want to bring charges any longer then contempt of court is basically our only point of contention with the chap.

And we all know what he did anyway. We were there when the strategically-timed releases happened. Among other things.

I did think that after all the assistance that Julian gave the Trump campaign he would be safe from prosecution in the States. But maybe not. Trump's memory is so full of lacunae that I'd not really want to extradite anyone there ATM. And I don't think, structurally speaking, Uncle Vlad would be pleased if the Donald threw Julian under a bus. Wikileaks may be a busted flush now, but it still has a brand name despite (or maybe because of) being a contested space between various agencies leaking this and that; alongside whistleblowers and folk trying to let other people know of bad things happeningTM.

Assange may find life as an asset rather trying, but there you go.

We haven't put Cameron in the Tower, despite his manifest fubars. Here's hoping we don't put Assange on a plane to Washington.
johnny9fingers: (Default)
twitter.com/ProfDanielMuijs/status/1114565952711090179

Wherein we find that Professor Daniel Mujus, who is deputy head of Ofsted, and has been a professor of education in many UK universities, has had his application for settled status in the UK rejected and now needs to find evidence of residence since 2013.

You couldn't make it up.


johnny9fingers: (Default)
www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/08/trump-removes-secret-service-director-homeland-security

Wherein we find that:

"Donald Trump announced on Monday that he will remove the Secret Service director, Randolph “Tex” Alles, from his position, as one anonymous official described “a near-systematic purge” at the Department of Homeland Security."

The pretext for this is apparently border security and catching a Chinese lass with dodgy equipment and computer viruses in the Donald's private resort, the latter of which appears to be a success - they caught the lass, after all.

Now I guess he will have to purge all the Intelligence/Security Services under his jurisdiction. Then he can ensure there are no challenges to his narrative of events.

As we now know (ahem) there was no collusion; just folk joining in with the chorus because it is so catchy.

And when Trump has purged the security services and put his own folk in place I guess he will be the one dictating how the history of these events is told from here on in. Excepting of course that he can't change the people in the rest of the Five Eyes network, and they all know what's been going on.

I predict the Five Eyes network will have to get dismantled as well, because I doubt Trump can persuade the other security networks not under his jurisdiction to forget all the info they have on him and his election. If he throws the Five Eyes network under a bus to preserve his version of events we will know just what sort of patriot he is.

So...

Apr. 8th, 2019 10:38 am
johnny9fingers: (Default)
Some sense at last from a Brexiter breaking ranks after seeing the appalling carnage of our body politic.

www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/i-was-strong-brexiteer-now-we-must-swallow-our-pride-and-think-again/

In a road-to-Damascus-like revelation, Peter Oborne now gets the points folk like me have been making since before the Referendum. Is it wrong of me to hope this might become contagious?

johnny9fingers: (Default)
How do we deal with a divided polity?

We can't have another referendum because that would deny the first one, even though the first one was tainted. (However, parliament can and will vote on the same measure considerably more than once to get an answer the government wants.)

Parliament is sovereign, but can't go against the will of the people.

No-one listens to the PM but she can't be forced out of office because of the Fixed Term Parliament Act and the constitution of the Tory party. So Parliament itself is a chaotic and random place of little or no discipline on the Tory side and subject to breakaway and walkout on both sides of the House.

We have a titular PM who does not command parliament in the job of a person who needs to be able command parliament; even if that command is normally exercised through the Whip's office.

No one can negotiate on our behalf who does not speak for a majority, and there is no majority for anything, only against things.

And instead of giving folk the actual information needed to be able to understand the nation's predicament, the propaganda rolls on.

Even if we were to revoke Article 50, the opportunity cost of the last three years, in terms of institutions etc upping sticks and moving to the EU, will come to billions.

I must state here that I am a remainer.

But, alas, what England needs is an ultra-hard Brexit that brings it to its knees. It's the only language that folk in favour of Brexit will understand. Then they can champion their freedom to their heart's content. And, knowing the way things are going, it may just lead to enough of a revolution to really unsettle things and turn us into a failed state proper.

And I don't need to be able to read sacrificial entrails or interpret the flight of birds on the Capitoline to make that prediction; just the normal amount of sense coupled with my own hubris.

We are fucked; but I've said that since the day after the referendum. Either democracy loses, or we have committed the most public act of self harm since Mishima.

Because I am a believer in democracy, seppuku it is. Woefully, there appears no other way. And this is what has brought Parliament to a standstill. Maybe we need some friend to step up to be our Kaishakunin.

As an aside, why hasn't anyone flung Cicero at Boris? Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra?
johnny9fingers: (Default)
And I saw this:

www.theguardian.com/society/2019/apr/02/drugs-before-sex-more-common-in-uk-than-in-europe-or-us-study

Wherein we find that:

"UK citizens are more likely than Europeans or those living in the US to have taken drugs such as MDMA and cocaine before sex during the last year, according to a new study."

and

"... He said cannabis was more commonly used in the US in general and this correlated with a higher number of people using it during sex. Cannabis was the only drug in which the UK did not top the US and other countries, with 49% of people from the states combining it with sex compared with 36% in the UK."

Now I've always contended that the British, and in particular the English and Welsh, are a nation of slappers and tarts of both male and female (and other) varieties. And to be candid, we are ok with that. I know we have a worldwide rep for being cold and somewhat emotionally distant, but that's because sex is now more of a recreation rather than being about reproduction; and in many respects the severing of the connection with reproduction renders sex a pleasant hobby, rather than the emotional maelstrom binding families together or tearing them apart. In this, we are are coming to resemble the upper classes of previous centuries, but with a lessening of the imbalance of sexual politics between men and women, heterosexuals and homosexuals, and cis and transgendered folk.

But the sordid, filthy Brits do Chemsex rather more than the rest of the world. Do we have to get off our faces to actually sleep with someone else? Of course not. Is it more fun when you are high/stoned/tripping etc? Well, if you can manage sex with all the background of altered consciousness and heightened senses it can be pretty damn amazing - ask any rock star. I mean to say you don't do dangerous things more than once unless you actually like doing them. Unless you're mad, of course. And as a nation, right now, we are pretty mad.

So I guess the reason half of us Brits take drugs before sex is on the off-chance that our prospective bedmate might be a Brexiteer. That way we have an excuse, I suppose. Or maybe we can hope to blot out the details.

Music...

Mar. 31st, 2019 01:35 pm
johnny9fingers: (Default)
I've been listening to Oscar Peterson and Joe Pass's collaborations and am rather impressed by how well they work together, to the extent that I've begun to think that Peterson really is the only jazz pianist in Art Tatum's league. Don't get me wrong, I love Thelonius Monk, George Shearing, Dollar Brand et al but damn, is Oscar unbelievably good. The other thing about this period is Henning Orsted Pedersen. What a bassist. Wow!



For me, today feels like the sort of day for Sibelius or maybe Mahler rather than Peterson's trio. I think I need to gradually work my way up to "Ventilator Blues" or "I just want to see his face". Maybe Mahler 5 followed by "Memo from Turner" would plot my trajectory better for the morning on which the clocks have gone forward. Yeuch.

Later (much later) I can drift off to sleep to Bach's St. Matthew Passion. In the intervening period between lunch and transcendence I shall listen to the sound of F1 engines, for it is one of those days. (Rather impressed by young Leclerc; it seems like Ferrari have got a really good prospect in him.)
johnny9fingers: (Default)

...If I hadn't been brought up with Monty Python. This is the maddest period of our history. Up to now, obvs.


Cui bono?
johnny9fingers: (Default)
First gig of the year.

I'm still running the Helix through the Dickinson. I'll take my number one Strat and the Variax as my guitars. The function band has had to remove all Michael Jackson songs from the set. If I never have to play the "Beat it" solo again it will be no great hardship. Tonight's set will be Motown/Stax orientated stuff. Cool, in-the-pocket rhythm work and a few fills at most. Tonight, Ladies and Gemm'n, I shall be Steve Cropper and Nile Rogers; and any resemblances to post-Schoenberg harmonic theory will only be me playing bum notes because I've forgotten what key we are in.

It's going to be in Covent Garden. And it's a quick get-in and set up, and parking in the West End is such a fag - so there are time-constraints involved and parking difficulties. Who would be a working musician, hey?

So tonight is dedicated to Miladies Terpsichore and Euterpe; and may we get the audience dancing their arses off and having a good time without having the overlay of worry about parking fines. Driving in London is such a fucking pain. And some of us, carting kit around, don't have an option.
johnny9fingers: (Default)

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-47381119

Little Gidding adapted to take into account climate change.

Midwinter Summer is a new season,
Sempiternal though parched towards sundown,
Suspended in time, between pole and tropic.
When the short day is brightest, without frost, just fire
The hot sun flames the land on dried-up pond and ditches
In windless heat which is the heart's chill
Reflecting in the haze
A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon...


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