+I had to struggle through my supper tonight, accompanied by the BBC PM Programme. I could have choked several times. First up was Andrea Leadsom, a Cabinet minister (no less) for business and energy. She was explaining the government’s newly announced ‘policy’ to phase out the sale of new diesel and electric cars five years early in 2035. Turns out it’s not a policy at all, but merely the start of a consultation. The period of this chat with the car industry will no doubt extend well beyond the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow later this year. Following the sacking of former junior minister Claire O’Neill as the UK nominated president of the summit there’s now a good chance that Leadsom could take the role. The name of the messiah comes to mind, many times over.
+Then, forcing me to rise from my healthy pizza eating came an interview with a health minister about the case of the surgeon who was imprisoned for his criminal activities, particularly for his unnecessary treatment of women suspected of having breast cancer. This health minister is none other than Nadine Dorries, previously notable for taking off from her duties as an MP to appear on ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.’ The name of the messiah comes to mind again. What a state of affairs. The anti freedom for women to chose campaigner earned the title ‘Nadine Bonkers’ when I had an office on the same floor as hers back in the noughties. Just before I switched the radio off she was extending her condemnations to the health service generally, even though the surgeon in question also worked in the private sector.
+With some justification Trump can have a good laugh at the Democrat’s inability to count the votes in the Iowa primary. If there’s one thing the Republicans have learnt it is how to count votes at the local level. The former speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill is credited with the phrase ‘all politics is local.’ This really means ‘all vote counting is local’ and never was there a truer statement in the context of US politics, where the Republicans have embraced gerrymandering whilst the Democrats have comparatively been too sniffy about such tricks. These lessons are being learnt post-haste with our own new administration, we can expect to see a free trade deal on this front very soon.
+Part of my studies as an elderly student of fine art has led me to the work of Alfred Jarry, the strange avant garde figure of fin de siécle France, who invented Pataphysics, wrote ground breaking plays and novels, lived life to its alcoholic extremes in a largely impoverished (financially) existence and died at the age of 34 in 1907. He was both a pain in the arse yet a good companion in equal measure it seems. Thinking about a trip to Paris, I wondered about visiting the site of one famous occasion when he and his friends had a riotous time at the Taverne du Pantheon, on Rue Saint-Michel. The book I'm reading gave the precise location so I looked it up on Google Maps to see if the establishment was still there. The result couldn’t be worse. Instead of a classic Parisian taverne, there is now nothing more than a Burger King. It is impossible to imagine anyone having a riotous time in a Burger King, least of all in Paris, least of all on the Left Bank.