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Blog Number 32 [Friday 19th June 2020]

World beating facts.

  • Taking the knee is from Game of Thrones [Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary]
  • Taking the knee is an act of subservience [Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary]
  • Black lives matter but so do white ones [Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary]

Truthfully, Dom didn’t say the last, at least not out loud. Aren’t we lucky to have such a man as Foreign Secretary? We are for we might have Gavin Williamson, Mattie Hancock or Boris Johnson instead. Sorry, we did have Bojo, he who hummed the Road to Mandalay in a sacred temple in Mayanmar and was rapped over the knuckles by the British Ambassador. How did Kipling’s little ditty go? 

In the Shwedagon Pagoda, in the country Myanmar

There’s a man a-hummin’ and I know he will go far

For the wind of change is coming and the Brexit bell does say:

“Come you back, you Brexit warrior; come you back to Churchill’s day

Come you back to Churchill’s day.

I can’t repeat the rest as it has references to picaninnies with watermelon smiles and other now deemed ‘unacceptable’ terms. It amazes me that after his debacle as Foreign Secretary, Bojo should be considered Prime Minister material. But then, to use a language Bojo claims to think in, he is only primus inter pares and you only have to look at the pares. Another way of putting it is that he’s the worst of a bad job. Which brings me to poor Mattie Hancock.

Do you remember just a few weeks ago Mattie proudly unveiling the new all British, world beating Test and Trace App, the one that is to be trialled on the Isle of Wight? How proud the islanders must have felt to be signalled out. And how disappointed they must feel now that the App is to be withdrawn. Or maybe not. Did you see the vox pop from Look South!, the island’s local news channel?

SCENE: Elderly couple standing on a wind-swept promenade interviewed by young local reporter.

[Local reporter] ‘What do you think now that the world beating Test and Trace App is being withdrawn? Are you disappointed?’

[Long silence. Then finally the woman speaks] ‘What’s an App?’

And what is an app? Ask Apple or Google for it seems we are going to use a world beating combination of theirs now. News to Apple apparently and not welcome news at that for do they really want what passes for the British government anywhere near their App? After all, we all know it can only end in tears. Which brings me [again] to poor Mattie Hancock.

Gamely he fronted the Three Podium Briefing yesterday, only perhaps in line with government cuts to fund a respray job on Bojo’s plane, it was reduced to a Two Podium briefing. For company he had the wonderfully named Dido Harding, she of great successes like Talk Talk and now Test and Trace. Remember Dido? No, not the singer! The Queen of Carthage abandoned by her lover Aeneas who then stabbed herself with a sword and immolated herself on a pyre just to be sure. I suspect this is more likely to happen to Mattie than Baroness Harding who is one of those people who goes blithely untouched from failure to failure, collectively known nowadays as doing a Grayling. Anyway, Mattie stumbled on claiming he had been in serious talks with Apple and Google about pilfering, sorry adopting their Apps though sadly that was mostly in Mattie’s head where all sorts of wonderful things go on. I do feel sorry for Mattie though. Bojo and Dom have him lined him up in their sights. He knows it too but he still can’t help putting himself out there for all to take a pot shot at. When his time comes, we will miss him, won’t we? Okay, okay, I’m not expecting you to answer. Anyway, like Banquo’s ghost he may return, a spectre in his blue suit, white shirt, pink tie and matching pink handkerchief peeping out of his top pocket who will haunt the briefings wistfully calling out, ‘Remember me! Please! Remember me!’

Conversation with M this morning:

[Me]. ‘I’m going off to write my blog.’

[M]. ‘Another one? Have you got anything more to say?’

[Me] ‘Yes!’

[M] ‘But anyway haven’t you just written one?’

[Me] ‘Well yes but people want to read more. And I’m bored with the jigsaw.’

[M] ‘Not surprised. You spent an hour and 25 minutes doing it this morning.’

[Me] ‘What did you actually time me? That’s a bit unnecessary.’

[M]. ‘I didn’t “actually time” you. It was 8.30 when I started my chores…you know the word ‘chores’ do you?…and 9.55 when I finished. You hadn’t moved from the jigsaw in all that time.’

[Me] ‘Well, it’s a tricky one.’

[M]. ‘Of course it is. By the way when you have finished writing that great piece of fiction you like to call a blog, I have a tricky bit of ironing you might like to tackle and there’s a tricky bit of washing up to do too. As long as you’re up to it, darling, after all your tricky exertions.’

I feel a bit bruised to be honest. I must remember not to use the word tricky in future as for some unaccountable reason M seems to have an aversion to it. Tricky that though. Oh God!

Antidote 32

The guitarist Sean Shibe playing Bach, the Sarabande from the Suite in E-minor

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