Today's all-important briefing
+In any normal (sic) democracy, the challenger to the incumbent is usually well established long before the play off. This gives the electorate the chance to properly weigh up their options (it is said). But not in the United States, where the primary system ploughs on and on for the challenger whilst giving the incumbent a free ride. The primaries for the Democrats look set to drag on for nearly eight or nine months since they started. Why a party cannot chose its candidate on the same day nationwide is beyond me—except of course, it isn’t. Each state wishes to protect its own little patch of sovereignty, which no doubt can be traced back to some historical precedent which can’t be changed lest it unleashes the forces of hell (I visited New Hampshire once—motto: Live Free Or Die). So now for the Democrats the process drags on and on and all the while the idiot in the White House doesn’t have to worry. You might think that for a federal election, they could devise some standard, federal rules. But no, that would be to trample all over tradition, so it can’t happen. This is known as States’ Rights, and no doubt the supporters of this dysfunctional system would argue that such protected diversity is what holds the Union together. The same system that allows Wyoming to have the same number of Senators as California. The former with a population of less than 600,000 and the latter with a population of 40 million. In this year’s presidential election, at least you’ll be able to rely on a politically appointed court to settle the result if it’s close. But my money is on Trump trying to avoid an election result altogether, one way or the other. Coronavirus might play into his sticky little hands.
+I am wondering if the current crisis isn’t bringing something of the authoritarian out in me. I suspect like many people I am concerned that as I self-isolate, stay at home and eat crumbs, there’ll still be a load of people going out excessively snapping up whatever is left on the shelves, regardless of anyone else’s needs- just like those ignorant people who still can’t bring themselves to clean up their dog’s shit. What to do? I think I would mobilise the army and make it known that they will be patrolling supermarkets (now the only focus of society) to ensure that people behave themselves. Would that be a bit heavy handed do you think? Well, I’m in no doubt it would act as a deterrent. Just like the Trident missile system is a deterrent. On that particular subject, it must be reassuring to know that in this new ‘war’ (as Trump calls it) we have nuclear weapons. Let’s nuke Coronavirus! Let’s bomb the f*** out of it! But in the meantime, it would be nice to think that we might have a sufficient military capacity to respond to a civil contingency with a bit to spare. Sadly, after austerity, we haven’t.
+For some time I’ve been getting emails from the Guardian which address me as ‘Dear Supporter.’ There’s something very irritating about this. It assumes a type of relationship with them which is egregiously and self-importantly presumptuous. It’s as if you like eggs and buying them makes you an ‘egg supporter.’ But normally with buying eggs you’re not usually enjoined to donate to the great Cause of Eggs. The Guardian needs to be careful not to walk on eggshells (huh), taking its READERS for granted. That’s a warning, Guardian bods. If I cancelled the Guardian I would save around £500 a year. That’s a lot of eggs. And I’m not bloody well donating (at least not until they sack a few columnists whose names I won’t mention, but needless to say it is they who cranked up big style on their anti-Corbyn omni-f***s**t blather). I’m glad I got that off my chest.
+How quickly things change. A month or so ago, after the collapse of regional airline Flybe, the custodians of Cornwall and Devon were moaning about the hit this would have on ’regional connectivity.’ Now they’re all into regional disconnectivity, telling people to stay away. The ups and downs of modern life.
+The 6.30am BBC Radio 3 news bulletin this morning said 'UK prisons are in lockdown.' That's a relief. The phrase wasn't used in later bulletins.
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