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WHERE TO BEGIN?

Stephen  Day

Stephen Day

WHERE TO BEGIN?

  • 11.10.2017

SOMETIMES it's not that easy for this column to find something to have a good old moan about, (you know, the kind of thing that keeps the Girne branch of the Victor Meldrew Appreciation Society happy). This week I originally thought I was totally spoilt for choice, until I studied what the options might be.
The end of the world? No, that's old hat, because it didn't happen two weeks ago (mind you, with North Korea's Kim Jong-Un still around, the "end of days" mob might still be in with a chance). What about Donald Trump's "tweets" (always good for a laugh)? No, not this time. Thankfully the US president (up to now at least) has managed to restrict a threatened World War III to a war of words, despite the North Koreans trying to chuck more missiles into the South China Sea than the Zulus threw spears at Rorke's Drift. How long before Donald imitates the immortal words that Michael Caine never uttered and tweets: "Don't throw those rockets at me"? No, I couldn't use that either, because he hasn't done -- yet.
Then there was the UK Trident submarine captain who has just been stripped of command over an "inappropriate relationship with a female junior officer" (let's hope they were nowhere near "the button" when they were relating, otherwise there could have been even more missiles going accidentally Awol). Also not usable, this tale is probably covered by the Official Secrets Act (if you know what I mean).  
I could have started off with Joanna Lumley warning us that the digital world (phones etc) is leading to the death of "human interaction" (apart from on Trident submarines it seems), but no, I decided not to use it. Nevertheless, I pictured the scene: "I'm sat right next to you, my mouth is moving, it's called conversing. Hello there, anyone at home? I'm over here. Hello, HELLO!" Yes, Joanna might have a point, but surely not in her personal case, unless the world has totally lost its digital marbles.
No, none of these tales proved satisfactory, then it looked as though the good old Cyprus talks might come to the rescue again. Apparently "a leading London-based research company", after long deliberation and no doubt expensive procedures, came to the world-shattering conclusion that the chances of a Cyprus solution were now "slim to remote". Get away! Who would have guessed? What would we do without all these "experts"? (Answer: save a lot of expensive statements of the blooming obvious and finally recognise the talks are as dead as the proverbial dodo.)
Meanwhile, that tireless TRNC proponent of Cyprus reunification, President Akıncı, advised us the talks "will not resume any time soon". How's about "not at all, unless the UN treats us equally" (with the South) as a slightly more realistic alternative? No? Ah, well, what a shame, because that is precisely what the TRNC's foreign minister wants. Wires crossed, gentlemen? Maybe it's another example of Joanna's alleged digital threats to human interaction? No, it's not, and these "talks" stories about "no talks" sounded a bit repetitive, so I ruled them both out as well.
Then I read another TRNC belter. The mayor of Girne has warned Bellapais folk to "expect traffic chaos". I see. So what's new? They face that every time they get in their car, don't they? Of course they do. I suspect it just means there will be even more chaos while the village is turned into a passable replica of a First World War Flanders field trench system as new water pipes are installed. Thankfully no mention was made of the work being carried out during the abbey concert season (be thankful for small mercies). This whole yarn was also ruled out on grounds of it being far too predictable.
By now desperation was setting in, then the TRNC Foreign Ministry accused the Greek Cypriots of "resorting to lies and slander". Try as I might, I couldn't see where the news was in this revelation, so I rejected that as well. 
Then I bucked up a bit. Somebody had sneaked a picture of Harry and Meghan having a quick snog at his Invictus Games. The  Prince is obviously in love and fancies Meghan something rotten. Leave the poor lad alone, say I, so I have.
Then I thought I'd got it. A friend reported that people of allegedly "Russian" origin (there was no time to check their passports), were in a supermarket, "opening jars, sticking fingers in and testing the contents before putting them back on the shelf". Then you wonder how wars start, whoever the finger-dippers were (somebody call the UN). Consequently, this week, as you can see, I've focused on absolutely nothing at all (not much change there, then).

ON WESTMINSTER

Back to the Future?
AS THE Corbynistas' Brighton celebration of recent electoral defeat ended, with them setting out their hellish vision of a Britain marching forward into a brave new socialist world, policies firmly fixed around all the failures of the disastrous 1970s, coupled with "extra- parliamentary action" if necessary, my heart sank. 
There they were, all those middle-class lefties, too young to remember when all they believe in was actually the norm, applauding nationalisation, industrial action (read inaction), politicised strikes, trade union intimidation, civil disorder, inflation, national bankruptcy and the chaos of the "winter of discontent". Some vision.
The fact they were in Brighton, scene of the only attempt to blow up a whole Cabinet, was no problem, but the whole week being taken up by a glorification of Jeremy Corbyn, chief apologist for IRA terror, the perpetrators of that horrendous crime, certainly was. In a way it was symbolic of what "Labour" has become.
It was therefore no surprise that as the Conservatives arrived in Manchester for their conference, they were confronted with a sign proclaiming, "Hang the Tories",  accompanied by suited dummies swinging by the neck from ropes. Apparently, being a Tory is now a capital offence. Heart-warming sentiments these worshippers of Corbyn have, don't they?
I don't care how many reported Cabinet disputes over Brexit allegedly happened on the sidelines of the Tory conference. Only one thing should be on that party's mind: keeping Mr Corbyn and his Marxist bully boys as far away from power as they possibly can. Their failing to do so literally fills me with horror.

A DAY IN THIS LIFE

To BC or not to BC?
GOING to a bar quiz this week? Watch out for the history questions. If many of Britain's schools have their way, you will no longer be able to identify when events took place by using either BC (before Christ) or AD (Anno Domini). You should answer BCE (before Common Era) or CE (Common Era), whatever that is. Why? So you don't "offend" non-Christians. What? Tell me, when are these PC bigots going to stop offending the likes of me?

Monarch collapse
THE collapse of Monarch Airlines is a tragedy, especially for the 100,000-plus stranded passengers. Same applies to the staff. Just one thought. The Greek Cypriots have spent months banning non-EU citizens from crossing to the North when they fly into Larnaca. To say the collapse will leave the South a few flights short is an understatement. Divine justice? Definitely not in the case of the passengers, but South Cyprus? Maybe, just maybe.

Join the BRS
THE BRS has just announced the signing up of its 1,700th member (total now 1,751). Membership has gone through the roof in the last two years. Some of the many attractions are undoubtedly the large health treatment discounts and the expansion in its social activities that are attracting new members. For just a 40TL subscription a year, I don't know how any Brit can afford not to join. Get on with it. 

What would Mr Smith think?
I RESPECTED the late John Smith, former Labour leader and the greatest prime minister the UK never had. What would he think of Corbyn's Labour Party? He would be appalled. Along with the likes of Atlee, Bevan and Gaitskell, I suspect he's spinning in his grave.

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