June 5, 2019
Surely you’ve seen the episode of Fawlty Towers when Basil (John Cleese) is trying to catch a rat? The rodent belongs to his waiter, Manuel. A long term resident, the ‘Major’, sees said beast and takes Basil to task about his sighting. Basil denies everything….
So I’m sat outside my father-in-law’s quite plush and modern Care Home when in amazement he chirps up that he’s seen a scurrying rat! (Eric is 87 years old and we’re sat outside waiting for someone to appear from inside with a wheel chair to take him inside).
His observation is preposterous. However as we continue to sit outside biding our time I see the rats – eek! Yes two of them playing happily near the front door. More frustrating for Eric is that they appear to nest in a large bush outside his room near a door. We mention this to the staff and get a proverbial shrug of the shoulder. Seems the rodents are a feature of the accommodation and entertainment programme for the inmates.
Talking of senior people of a different generation I loved the media coverage of the Queen inspecting a mocked up supermarket check out. It was one of those check outs where you scan the items yourself. See the image:
A recent outing to a factory was a delight. The Yorkshire Chapter of the Morgan Sports Car Club had arranged a trip to the suburbs of Hull to walk around the Swift Group premises. This meant a real good clean and home inspection of the car before I put it alongside the other beautifully preserved Morgans. Here in Cottingham they make caravans, motor homes and static homes. If like me you’ve taken the North Sea ferry from Hull you inevitably see loads of these things awaiting loading. It was fascinating and is mainly about plastic sheet materials that they turn into boxes. The Kon-Tiki (image below) weighs in at £145,000 before you add various extras. It seems a lot to pay but then I think of those enormous RV’s in the USA. The only difference is that they have roads wide enough to take them. My guest (David Cook) and I agreed that weaving one of these through some busy streets with lots of parked cars would be stressful!
Donald Trump is in London. Obviously there is a 24/7 News Channel feeding frenzy on both sides of the Atlantic. To me, Trump is unattractive for his regular personal and demeaning use of Twitter, his failure to denounce White Supremacists and some of his previous personal and business practises. Surprisingly his misogynist behaviour and rejection of showing his tax returns seem acceptable to millions of US voters. However on misogyny the USA has ‘previous’ on their Presidents and so many may rationalise why get over excited by this one?
However in his role as the global apocalyptic disturber I like his stance on trying to make US companies make more in the USA and his head on conflict with China. It takes some resolve to resist every domestic financier, think tank and compromising colleagues not to confront economic imbalances. They will tell you about ensuing stock exchange collapses, company closures… famine and armed conflict. (A bit like Brexit: based on forecasts our ‘crashing out’ will be a ‘catastrophe’). On this basis you’d never do anything and Trump wants a second term and a legacy.
His favourite enemy is the mainstream media and CNN (see their heavyweight pre-occupations above) has delighted in his apparent negative reception in London. A peek at their App has reporting on protests, hostile British politician comments, highlights of apparent abuse of privilege by having his children tag along etc. To add to their fury then Donald and Melania sat in the middle of a Downton Abbey special with the personification of grace, calm and judgement, the Queen at a State Banquet. It really has been too much to bear for them. As regards protests then frankly a few thousand disaffected Left Wing supporters of the Opposition party met in central London. This is not at all reflective of the UK’s reception. One protester when asked what she was marching for raised the topic of recent abortion law changes. The interviewer, gently, did point out this was a change made by a State not the President. I doubt many of the placard waving throng also factored in that his visit coincides with attending D-Day landing commemorations. Here 4,400 British and Allied troops died embarking on the liberation of Europe, and the world, from fascism. Maybe someone forgot to mention this on the Facebook page they were subscribed to…
The UK’s attitude (that is not just the unrepresentative rump of the UK called London) is probably indifference (but Melania’s dresses are sublime). However back on US prime time opponents seeking negative news are satisfied and indulged with this distorted coverage. Let’s face it those sponsors need high audience figures.