Saturday, 12 March 2011

HOW MANY DESPOTS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A TRADE ENVOY?

There were fireworks the other night.  No, I wasn't talking on the phone to the Future Then Husband, I mean literal fireworks.  


Quite beautiful, actually. Serial explosions of glistening white diamonds sparkling their way down to earth from the sky in front of my dining room window. Went on for ages. Must have cost a packet.


They were celebrating the end of the Carnival.  (Should have asked me, I'd have given them a few euros towards that).  


Part of the Closing Ceremony involves setting fire to the huge fibreglass models that have enjoyed their three-week, snail-like perambulation along the Promenade on the backs of slow trucks, blocking thoroughfares and cutting the town off from the beach for bloody miles.  


Bye. Missing you already.  


Come to think of it, when I lived in Brighton (on the south coast of England), they set fire to things there, too.  The Burning of the Clocks marks the Winter Solstice, with hundreds of homemade paper lanterns being torched along the stony beach on a freezing evening.


And I was born in London.  Wasn't there a small fire there in 1666?


People will be putting two and two together soon. (Start panicking when I move next door to you in a week or so).


Odd feeling, knowing I'm going back to the town of my birth and expecting to feel like an ex-pat. I'm also having to deal with the reigniting of the old embers of my anger, the year and a half I've been away having allowed me to distance myself mentally, as well as physically, from the dire way in which that country is run (there IS someone running it, isn't there?)


But in a way there's a certain comfort in the thought that some things remain the same.  


Take Prince Andrew, for example.  (If somebody could take him - preferably far, far away - I'd be most grateful.  Thank you.) A crass, boorish, unsophisticated man before I left UK shores, he's still a crass, boorish, unsophisticated man on my return. The Queen's 'favourite' son (the satirical magazine Private Eye describes the monarch's former racing manager, the now-deceased Earl of Carnarvon, as being Andrew's 'favourite uncle' - wonder what that means?), Andrew has devoted himself to pursuing close friendships with murderous dictators and dodgy billionaire businessmen - not to mention the odd (convicted) sex offender .


And yet still he clings on to his position as UK Trade Envoy, flying the flag to the most shadowy regimes on the planet, at great expense to British tax payers; the ironing board he insists accompany him on every trip, along with his bloated staff of unnecessary flunkies, bumping up the expenses no end.  Apparently, he was summoned before the Queen herself this week for a bit of a dressing down.  (Well, suppose that makes a change from him undressing himself in the company of underage girls.)


The most recent series of revelations - every day, in the serious UK newspapers, FFS!  - has not thus far been considered awful enough to make his position untenable as an official representative of the British Isles.  


Extraordinarily questionable financial deals with exceedingly questionable businessmen ?  So what? 


Offering hospitality - in Buckingham Palace! - to the close family of brutal dictators, whose hobbies include murdering their own people (with British-made weapons)? Why not?


Smiling at the camera with one arm around the waist of a blond, teenage 'masseur', and cavorting regularly with a convicted paedophile? Who cares?


What does he have to do before he is ousted from office??? Form a pact with the Devil???  Sleep with his crass, boorish, unsophisticated ex-wife??? (Who was caught on camera last year demanding half a million quid from supposed businessmen in exchange for access to her ex-husband.) Admit a fondness for Piers Morgan???


Hmm.


However, the good news is that on my return I will have just missed the government census.  


This is a document delivered to every home in the land every ten years, and if you don't fill it in you can be prosecuted.  I look forward to the court case of the ticketing machine in Hampshire it is reported they have down have on their list of citizens this time around (I'm not making this up). The envelope is addressed to 'The Occupier, Pay On Foot Shelter'.   


Date of birth?  Monday June 12th . 14.57 . Tesco Metro . Basingstoke . Blue Zone .  


Income?  £2.65.  Gates close at 7.30pm sharp.


Religion? Money. 


The questions are increasingly more intrusive.  Who was sleeping in your house on the night of the 10th March?  List their names, sex, and date of birth.  (What's a Prince supposed to answer there???)


Anyway, since I'll still be living in France on the dreaded day itself, and thus exempt from the whole farago, here's a token gesture:-




Name - Nice Etoile


Sex - Yes please


Marital Status - Disappointed





Interestingly, the questions on the form to be delivered to dwellings in England leap from 16 to 18, with the notice Question 17 has been left deliberately blank in the box where Question 17 should be.  


Who writes this stuff for them?  How come they get to write comedy for an audience of 60 million people, whilst I have 13 followers on this blog?  Suddenly everyone's a comedian.


And talking of comedians, Sir Fred Goodwin, erstwhile chief of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group - who took early retirement a month before RBS announced the biggest annual loss in UK corporate history (at which point he qualified for a retirement package of £700,000 a year) - has just been awarded a 'super injunction' (don't get me started) prohibiting him from being called 'a banker'.  So presumably it's now officially OK to call him 'a w*nker'?  Fab.  (Good news at last!)


These are the kind of people who inhabit the UK, dear Reader. Unworthy princes, government executives who fail to dispose of the services of unworthy princes, and greedy bankers...sorry, w*nkers, who have grown personally excessively wealthy by colluding in the great financial scam that has brought the world's economy to its knees.


You can see why I'm going back, can't you?


But on the other hand, look who I'm leaving behind (extract from thread about International Women's Day on Facebook by You Know Who):-  


"According to Dr. Michael Coughlin, an orthopedic surgeon who reported on all his toe surgeries over the last fifteen years which included bunions, bunionettes, hammer toes and other types, eighty five percent of them were performed on women. This is linked directly to tight fitting and ill fitting shoes. And the main culprit-high heels."

http://livesensible.com/main/2009/02/why-high-heels-cause-foot-and-joint-pain/

Not to mention disc, hip, etc. problems.

Baldness ? "Although some men may get it, 90-98% of cellulite cases occur in women."

http://www.drlenkravitz.com/Articles/cellulite.html

Happy women's day :-)





Where's my passport??? 


***


P.S.  Always said they were a load of knits:-  




And goodness me, Prince Andrew appears to be unravelling...





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