I know, but…

I said I’d keep the book stuff over on the LI Books site but I spent the evening assembling a montage of book covers. Considering this started as a wild idea in a tiny flat outside Aberdeen, and the first Underdog Anthology appeared in December 2016, I think I can allow myself a moment of smug…

Not bad for a one-man operation, assisted by an editor who is also beset by a day job, I think. There’s more to come. Seems there’s no stopping it now.

The Nicotine Worms

There has been a video circulating that looks like something Kenny Everett would have made as a parody of antismoking – or rather Antivaping, which is actually Antismoking, The Next Degeneration. It’s really, really bad. It’s like those old SF/horror B movies that were so bad they gained cult followings for being hilariously bad.

I have saved this still from the video because it has so much comic potential

They claim that vape pods are littering the whole planet, leaching out heavy metals (plus nicotiiiiiiine!) and getting worms addicted to both. So we can expect to see worms on street corners passing round illicit tobacco while bopping to Iron Maiden. I can see story potential in that image. I’ll consider an antismoking/antivaping parody short story collection if there are enough ideas out there and really, how can you be short of ideas now? There are more ideas than there are clowns in a car.

Do people randomly discard vape pods? I’ve never seen one on the ground and yes, I do enter civilisation (reluctantly) on occasion. I see cigarette butts but those biodegrade, despite the lunatic idea that they are immortal. You see them every day because there are new ones every day and that’s because smokers are forced outside. If they were immortal we’d be wading through them by now.

But vape pods? I bought one of those Juul things to try out. It’s okay but the EU have limited the nicotine in them to Consulate or More levels. So it won’t work. The best alternative I have tried is still the HNB IQOS device but you can’t use that when driving and it can be a bit of a pain when it runs out of charge. Oh I still use it, mainly when I run out and can’t be bothered tubing up some more ciggies, and it’s still pretty good, but it hasn’t taken me off the real thing so far.

Most vapers, certainly in the UK, use refillable tanks. They will only be discarding little plastic bottles and those will mostly be discarded at home, into the recycling (I do love to put empty Viking and Skjold packs, Danish cigarettes, into recycling in the hope it’ll scare the shit out of a dumb drone in the recycling plant).

No, I don’t care if they think they will get The Lumps from seeing the packs and subsequently shit themselves in a panic attack. Anyone stupid enough to believe the antismoking/antivaping nonsense deserves all they get. I am sick of trying to tell them the truth. No more. Die if you want to. Live in terror of a mythical monster if you want to. I don’t care any more.

Like the old saying goes, ‘First they came for the smokers, and I’m a smoker, and nobody (not even pubs) spoke out for me so don’t expect me to give a shit when they come for you.’

The same is true of the Church of Climatology. You want to believe that rubbish? Go ahead, believe it. Don’t make any preparations for the Grand Solar Minimum that has already started and boy, you think you have ten years? You don’t have five. You’re demanding action in the wrong direction and it’s already too late for you to change. Tough titties. I’m getting ready for the right thing and I am no longer interested in saving the world.

Truth be told, I never was. I was only ever interested in saving friends and family and me of course. I did try to warn the rest of them but they came back with sneers and insults until I thought ‘Why am I trying to help these morons?’ Oh I’ll still drop them a hint now and then but there’s no point getting too close to them. They’ll all be dead soon.

Nicotine is not addictive. Nicotine causes no harm at all. Nicotine, or rather the oxidised form, enhances brain function. These things are real. Science, what’s left of real science, has already proven them. Nicotine from burning or heated tobacco, or heated on a coil in a vapouriser, works this way. Nicotine absorbed through the skin does not. Patches and gum miss the point – if they were loaded with oxidised nicotine they might work but nobody is listening.

And I’m no longer telling them.

Nicotine delays or maybe even prevents dementia and Alzheimer’s. Antismokers seem to be largely already suffering these things.

Nicotine is not a bad thing. I will accept that smoking real burning leaf can lead to bad things but nicotine is not the cause of those bad things. Nicotine only became a ‘bad thing’ when vaping fired up. If nicotine kills, every doctor who has prescribed patches and gum is guilty of attempted murder. Take a moment to savour the idea of those trials. Imagine antismoking/antivaping trying to wheedle their way out of it now. I wish I could afford a lawyer for this.

Oh that oxidised form? It’s called niacin. Look up the history of pellagra to find out why it’s added to so many foods, and where it came from. Or search for comments by Rose in the history of this and other smoker blogs. Or, if you prefer, avoid all foods containing niacin (nicotinic acid) and die happy and in horrible agony. The game is yours. Make your choice. I really don’t care any more.

I have retired from science and from researching it. I still do rare consultancies when they show up but I do not work for tobacco companies because my specialisation means they have never asked me to. I will not work for antismoking research, and they are unlikely to ask.

As for vapers, most of them are good guys. Still they have a vocal born-again-nonsmoker group that means I will not support them. You support the fight against antismokers as well as antivapers or you will lose.They are the same enemy and they have been very clever in splitting us. You rail against antivapers and also against smokers? Half of your effort is directed at your own side.

If you will not see that, then…

First they came for the smokers. I was a smoker and they came for me first and nobody spoke out for me.

Then they came for the vapers. They added to the hate that was already on my shoulders so I will not speak out for them.

The game is on. Your move, vapers.

Delusions

Well I’m knackered. Grass is getting its first cut and it’s full of pine cones. Not just one or two. There are branches loaded with cones that have fallen over winter and they have sunk into the grass. If I don’t spot them in time they are anti-lawnmower mines.

I can’t use the ride-on mower yet. I need to be on the ground so I can spot the branches. It has to be the old petrol mower – that thing doesn’t stop for much but if it hits a branch full of cones, I get peppered with them. The grass box is no use, it fills too fast. So I leave the cut grass to dry for a day or two then rake it up, pulling out the deeply-embedded branches with the rake.

I’ve completed two lawns and cut the big one. There’s only one small one left to do and then the raking. The goal is to get it to where I can use the push mower because that gives the best cut, but one pine cone will stop that thing dead. I’ll get there. I did it last year, took months, and over winter the giggling trees refill the grass with cones and branches. Apple tree branches are seriously hard – they don’t mince like pine branches, they shatter into little flying stakes.

Still, what I lack in gardening skills I make up for with sheer bloody-mindedness. I just will not give in.

A little like Tessie Maybe, I suppose, although my decision to engage in an eternal and ultimately unwinnable battle with the forces of nature doesn’t affect the rest of the population. Her delusion that someone out there actually likes her stupid plan is in danger of killing the country, and has very likely ended the Conservative party as a major political force. Even if they replace her now, a lot of the damage is likely to be irrevocable.

There are deluded people who think that stopping Brexit will neutralise parties like UKIP and the Brexit party. This is a serious mind-twist. Stopping Brexit is what the government have been doing all along, and that is what has re-energised UKIP and brought Nige Farrago back with a new Brexit party. Combined, they could make a serious dent in a general election.

Unfortunately, they hate each other, are likely to field candidates against each other, split the Brexit vote and lose massively. No doubt each will blame the other but if they could just get along, they’d be a new political force.

I’d vote for UKIP or the Brexit party but if both are standing on the same ballot, there’s no point. They’ll split the vote and both will lose. I won’t vote Tory, Labour, Lib Dem or SNP so it could just be a ballot paper with a drawing of something primitively obscene on it and the words ‘What’s the point?’

Vote Green? The most delusional party of all? Never. They still push ‘man made global warming’ even as we enter a Grand Solar Minimum in which all those massively anti-conservation windmills are going to be even more useless than they are now. At least if they switch the damn things off, bird and bat populations will have a chance to recover. If they gave up on those things and the solar farms, China’s lakes of toxic waste might finally stop growing and the concrete and steel industries can go back to making houses and cars. You know, actually useful things.

Man made ice age, man made global warming, man made climate change, it’s all bollocks. We have been ten years from human extinction since at least the 1950s and delusional people still believe this shit. Worse, the building of massive numbers of houses with no chimneys – and therefore no means of independently heating them when the power fails – is going to kill an awful lot of people. As will the proposed ban on wood burning stoves. I will never buy a house with no chimney.

We experienced the Green world last Thursday. There had been a problem with the local electricity substation over the winter. A storm knocked it out and they couldn’t fix it during the storm because, well, high voltage, driving rain, very bad mix. If I worked for them I’d have refused to go out too. Last Thursday they did some fixing to make sure it won’t happen again this winter but it meant the power was off from 9 am to 3 pm.

We have oil fired central heating but the pumps and timer are electric. No electricity, no heating. Apart from our wood burning stove and the (bottled gas run) cooker hob. Also, our water comes from a well (which as Dan Holdsworth pointed out, is actually a holy well or at least a borehole into the same water – and that’s the next Halloween theme). It’s gravity fed downhill into a holding tank in the utility room and then pumped through UV treatment and filters. The pump is electric. So we filled lots of things with water before the power went off.

Yeah, we drink holy water here. I put a dash of it in malt whisky since it has no chlorine or fluorine to mess with the flavour. It’s better than bottled water – no plasticisers from the bottles.

It also means that if we ever get visited by vampires or those possessed by demons, a glass of tap water will do the job. That’s if the flying apple tree stakes from mowing don’t get them first.

I just need to cut a hatch in the tank cover and we can access the well water direct in a power outage without having to lift the whoile cover off. We have a Brita filter and we can boil the water on the gas hob so we can have pretty safe water for drinking even with no power. Heck we can boil it on the wood burning stove at a pinch.

Did you see the mess left behind by the climate loonies in London? Plastic bottles, plastic bags, litter everywhere. And not one of the bastards walked there. They posted footage of the event with their iPhones and claimed they were saving the planet. The delusion is strong with these people.

Pollution is something I can get worked up about. We do not need to have rafts of plastic floating about in the oceans but that has nothing at all to do with climate change. Plastic can be melted down and made into something else. I once tried making bricks out of it for garden use – I’ll have to revive that idea.

Most of it comes into the sea from rivers in Africa and Asia but that is because we send them all this crap for recycling. They don’t produce it, we do. If we weren’t so goddamn lazy we could melt it into blocks ourselves. If you are going to build a low garden wall, five or so bricks high, multicoloured plastic bricks could be just the thing. You can give them a cement coat if you want or just let the light catch them. They could be quite a feature. They might not be strong enough to build a house but then again, maybe they are. I’m not a plastics expert. Maybe they would be a fire risk.

I should say something about Diane Abbott…

…but I have to be careful in case she calls me ‘racist’.

As if I care. We are all racists now. Not judging people on skin colour is racist. Dogs are racist. Saying Hi to someone is racist. Not saying Hi to someone is racist. Whether you know them or not. You are racist whether you are or not. Just shrug and move on.

Anyway, the last post was about Diane Abbott having a quiet sip from a booze can on a train while not bothering anyone at all. I was on her side and still am, for the first and possibly last time ever. It is a stupid law.

However, as many have pointed out, she is part of the lawmaking mechanism. It is a stupid law but she apologised for breaking it instead of saying ‘This is a stupid law’. So yes, she should pay the fine and suffer the public humiliation of being a convicted criminal MP. As if that has made any difference to any of the rest of htem.

I was recently called for jury service (fortunately not chosen). If I had had a criminal conviction, I could not have been called. If I had a criminal conviction while being an MP, no problem. This seems wrong. Very wrong.

Any criminal conviction of any kind should disbar the criminal from forever being in a lawmaker position. Lawmakers who defy the law are clearly dangerous. Any arrest for anything, ever, and you cannot enter government. That makes sense to me.

Hm. There wouldn’t be many MPs…

The Train Boozer

I haven’t forgotten the Freddos competition. I’m still in recovery from the recent chaos. It will happen. Yesterday we had a sample of the Green Life – a power cut from 9 am to 3 pm – and if it had continued into the evening we’d have been glad of that wood burning stove. Easter is here and will be over soon. Maybe then normality, such as it is, will be restored for a while.

Anyway, today it seems Diane Abbott has been photographed sprawled out in a train carriage, surrounded by vomit and cans of Special Brew.

Not really. In fact she was quietly sipping from a single 250 ml can of Marks and Spencer Mojito and not bothering anyone.

There are now calls for her to be prosecuted.

I never thought I’d see the day when I would take Diane Abbott’s side on anything but there you are, sitting quietly on the eleventy-thirteen train home, not causing anyone any bother, and suddenly a mob of Puritans appear and lynch you.

Yes, it is against the law, but it’s a stupid law. We already have laws to cover drunk and disorderly – in fact I believe ‘drunk in a public place’ is against the law, so even the lone guy staggering home from the pub in silence is breaking the law. I have broken that one many times. We do not need an absolute alcohol ban anywhere other than while driving anything or while at work (politicians really should take note of that one, especially Anti Sobriety, because it applies to everyone else).

The whole point of public transport is that the alcohol driving limit does not apply to anyone but the train staff. Sure, being drunk and obnoxious will, and should, get you refused transport or thrown off at the next stop but one can of 8% booze (roughly half a pint of a not very strong wine by equivalent) isn’t likely to do that.

I mean, she’s taking public transport home at a time when a lot of those politicians are demanding a full police escort everywhere they go. Why isn’t that the story? All she did was sit in a seat and drink a can of what, to me at least, could almost be considered a soft drink.

She drank two units! Two! She drank all of both those units and had the nerve to walk off the train without falling over! How could she! Shock! Horror! Call the Sun! They’ll print this shit.

Pfft. If I had to work with Grandpa Cordite and The McConnellator all day, I reckon I’d be necking vodka straight from the bottle on the way home. And hitting myself on the head with the bottle between swigs.

Some are going to say I am advocating drunks on trains, with waves of urine wafting across the aisles on every curved track, and tsunamis of piss and vomit building up along the train at every abrupt stop. You’re not going to get that from a game of two units, one can.

Scotland does not allow drinking on trains between 9 pm and 10 am. The 10 am part is irrelevant really, you can’t buy any in Scotland before 10 am anyway. The 9 pm part is so that those leaving pubs don’t get any more plastered on the way home. If you want to open a can of Tennent’s on a train at 1 pm, no one cares. The buffet will even sell you a can (at far above minimum price).

Nobody’s really likely to bother you if you take a swig from a hip flask at 9:30 pm or later. As long as you aren’t causing any bother… no one cares.

Of course, if you are sitting in a warm-but-cooling wet seat and swearing incoherently at the other passengers, you’re going to be met by the transport police at the next stop, whether it’s your stop or not. And that is as it should be.

There is no time limit on the Transport for London ban. There is no sensible in-between. They see it as all or nothing. If you so much as sniff a beer, you are a raging alcoholic likely to smash every window then stab the passengers with the shards of glass. So they have banned it entirely.

I can understand a ban on late boozing on public transport. It’s likely to be those who have come, pie-eyed, from the pub and are already blootered. You don’t want them tipping over into vomit-factory on your old and smelly train, it’s bad enough in there as it is. You can’t even rely on a friendly smoker to quench the stench because that’s been banned for a long time too.

Same with buses. I have taken the very late weekend bus home from Aberdeen a couple of times in the past and they put the shittiest vehicle in the fleet on that route. It’s not called the ‘vomit comet’ for nothing. It doesn’t come out this way – nothing does – so I don’t go drinking in Aberdeen now.

But really, a whole newspaper article over a can of premixed plonk? Being drunk by someone who didn’t cause so much as an inconvenience to anyone?

I know, I know, ‘one rule for us and another for them’ but is this a rule she was involved in making? I rather suspect it’s one of Sadold Khunt’s idiotic pronouncements to distract from his dire record of actually doing his job. It’s not a national law. It’s just That London. They had seven to choose from and they chose Dopey. Grumpy was already employed as Squeaker in the House of Conmen but that still left six.

It is, I repeat, a stupid law. One among many. Diane Abbott is right to ignore it and was wrong to apologise for it. The idiots calling for her to be prosecuted should instead be calling for the idiotic law to be dumped.

That never happens, does it? It’s never ‘Well it’s a stupid law anyway’. It’s always ‘Enforce the stupid law!’

I have no hope for this current iteration of civilisation, and I doubt the next one will be any better.

There are times, like this, when I am glad I don’t have too many birthdays left to endure.

Notre Dame

Home of the Hunchback. I had an Aurora model kit of him many years ago. I never did get to see the real cathedral and now I never will. It has been ravaged by fire. Even if they rebuild it exactly as it was, it’s unlikely to be completed in my lifetime.

It burned fast but then 800 year old wood would be very dry indeed. The only good thing is that nobody was killed in the fire.

I have no religion, no need of any god, so the meaning behind the building is of no relevance to me. However, the architecture, the work that so many people put into it, the skill and effort to make such a thing, that does impress me. What is telling, and a little depressing, are all the people saying it would be impossible to replicate those skills.

It was built in the 12th Century! It took 200 years because they didn’t have cranes or power tools. You want to drill a hole through three feet of granite? Here’s a hammer and a chisel. Get started.

Even older buildings, the pyramids, the Inca temples, many more, we hear that they could not be built with modern hands. What the hell happened? We have far superior tools now. We have cranes to lift vast slabs into place in minutes. And yet we cannot even do things they did in the 12th century?

It has been said that the human race is degenerating and will eventually return to rabid savages beating each other to death with sticks and bones. It looks increasingly likely. In some places it’s already happening.

Anyway. Notre Dame is gone. It might remain like many of the Scottish castles, a ruin visited for historical interest but never rebuilt. I’d prefer that to Macron’s stated aim to rebuild it to ‘reflect diversity’. France, please get rid of your tinpot Napoleon before he deletes your history. Before he creates a modern ‘inclusive’ religious centre that you know won’t have any Catholics in it. Before he takes 200 years of painstaking work by generations of skilled Frenchmen and turns it into a religious shopping mall.

Oh, I know, it was built by an oppressive regime, the Catholic Church. Not long after that, the Spanish Inquisition came into force. But that was hundreds of years ago. The modern Church couldn’t oppress a masochist even if they begged for it. Even the Pope has been kissing other people’s feet. I’m surprised he didn’t do a ‘Wayne’s World’ “I’m Not Worthy” thing while he did it. What a prat. He’s supposed to be God’s representative on Earth. God should have waited until he was just about to kiss that foot and then rammed Uriel’s flaming sword right up his arse.

I said I didn’t follow any religion. I didn’t say I haven’t looked into them. I do not dismiss things without checking them out first.

It’s an architectural tragedy to me. The ghosts of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of skilled builders and sculptors will be weeping tonight. All that work, gone in a few hours.

Naturally, all the usual suspects are trying to make political mileage out of it. Trump-haters are banging on about a tweet in which he said maybe dumping airborne water tankers on it would be good. Well that can’t happen, but Trump isn’t being stupid. He’s just being wrong.

Europe doesn’t get the regular forest fires California gets. We have some water-dumping helicopters but not many. Dumping a huge gob of water on an already fragile structure, one that is far older than America, would collapse it. Trump is a businessman, an American and now a politician. Not an architect, geographer or historian. No reason he would know that his idea was a bad idea. No reason to do more than say ‘Nah, Donny, that won’t work’.

And the blame game has started. Nobody knows what started the fire yet. Notre Dame was being renovated, I don’t know what was being done but there was scaffolding around the part that (as far as I can see from the videos posted) caught fire first.

Ever seen a bitumen heater for roof sealing? It has a fire under it. You can set off 800-year dried wood with a welding spark or an electrical fault. It could have been an accident.

This is of course set against a recent history of church arson in France. There have been quite a few attempts, some successful, to torch churches. No suspects have been identified but ‘we know who it was’ is all over the internet.

So it is no surprise to find the pointing fingers. It was a little surprising to find them pointed at Macron though. I mean, I think the man is lower than a corgi’s tit and about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike but even so… I don’t think he went into Notre Dame with matches and kindling. I really don’t see how he could possibly think it would be a good idea.

‘It happened on his watch’. Well come on, he can’t watch it all. It’s like saying the Blitz happened on Churchill’s watch. He didn’t make it happen. Although Macron might have helped create the conditions for it to happen. But that’s another post.

It would have been Macron’s most utterly stupid move if he had done it or arranged it. He has had over 20 weekends of Gilet Jaunes and inflaming them by destroying one of France’s most impotant historical structures would be the action of a lunatic.

Macron is a dick, a small one, but he is not suicidal.

I have seen the fire blamed on Antifa. What? Well they do destroy things for fun but this would really backfire on their aims. Then again, they do recruit from the irredeemably idiotic.

And, of course, I have seen it blamed on Muslims. Sometimes quite openly. There is no evidence for this. I can see how the conclusion is reached especially when the lunatic fringe of Islam cheer the destruction of every Christian monument (heck, ISIS destroyed their own peoples’ monuments)

Basically, it has only just happened and we don’t know what happened. Maybe it was an accident. Maybe it was arson. We do not know.

But there will be assumptions and this is Notre Dame now, not some provincial church. This is the big one.

If you’ve been watching how things unfold, you’ll be taking cover now. Especially in France.

They invented the guillotine. Messing with them was never a good idea.

Jimmy Lasagne

So, Julian Lasagne has been booted out of the Ecuadorian embassy after seven years. If half of what the embassy staff say is true, he has been an utter arse of a house guest while in there.

Now he is under arrest for skipping bail and could get a year in jail for that. If he is extradited to America he could get five years for attempting to hack into a government computer.

That’s six years. If he hadn’t hidden away he’d have been a free man a year ago.

Many are claiming this is a dangerous precedent for free speech and freedom of the press. No it isn’t. He’s currently arrested for running away from a rape charge. Not for anything press related. If he did indeed hack into a US government computer, well freedom of the press doesn’t cover that either.

His Wikileaks project was, and still is, a great thing. Maybe he is innocent of that rape charge – but running and hiding rather than having his day in court does not look like the actions of an innocent man. It is not proof of guilt, of course, but let’s be honest, it doesn’t look very good.

He had a chance of winning the rape case. He has a chance of winning the hacking case. He cannot win the skipping bail case because he very publicly did exactly that.

See, just because someone does something good and impressive – Wikileaks exposed a lot of corruption – doesn’t mean they are an all-round nice guy as well. It does not mean they get a free pass when accused of rape, nor does it mean they can act like a deranged teenager when they are given protection by an embassy.

He would have had to leave sooner or later. Was he planning to die in there? The charges waiting for him were not going to just go away. The bail-jumping charge was a definite anyway, he might as well face up to it. And the US government does not easily dismiss charges of hacking into their systems. No matter when he came out, that was all waiting for him. It could have all been over by now.

Instead he imprisoned himself for seven years to avoid potentially six years of jail time that he would have to face no matter when he emerged. Oh, and the year for jumping bail would not have applied if he hadn’t jumped bail.

I think he would have won the rape charge case. They had already had consentual sex, the charge was he had another go in the morning, without a condom, before she woke up. Even if he did, it would be very hard for the prosecution to prove it.

Well, it would have been hard to prove. Now he has demonstrated his utter arsery, if I was on the jury I could well believe he’d avail himself of a sleeping woman.

Julian Lasagne’s case is not about free speech, nor about freedom of the press. It’s about a man who ran away from rape charges, was taken in by Ecuador’s embassy and given asylum, and who hid for seven years to dodge five years’ jail time while being the house guest from Hell.

He came out looking like Uncle Albert from Only Fools and Horses. Like the hermit from Life of Brian. He looked like he had given up on any attempt to look after himself.and had completely lost his mind.

I suppose seven years of self-imprisonment, with the knowledge that the chance of six more years of imprisonment was waiting when you come out, can do that to you. There is no escape, only eternal hiding.

This is not a hero. This is a man who once did something great but who has since proved himself to be an arse. This is not about freedom, this is about an alleged rapist who ran and hid and abused the hospitality of those who took him in.

We can applaud his past deeds while still refusing to have him as a house guest.

Now, we are told, he is in the UK’s equivalent of Guantanamo. Interesting. We don’t, as far as I know, have such an equivalent unless it’s the Isle of Wight. Or maybe Scalpay, a grim little island off the coast of Skye. But that’s a farm, not a detention centre.

Calling this an attack on freedom of the press is just silly. He skipped bail on rape charges. That is what he is under arrest for.

The press do not get a free pass on rape, nor on hacking government computers. Not even if their intentions are noble.

And hiding for longer than you would have been in jail for… is very silly.

Chaos Abates

The stress of the book is long over, all authors are paid, all books are sent to those who elected to be paid in books (except one who I still have to persuade to accept any payment at all!). It is not yet up on Legironbooks.co.uk, and the new authors’ profiles are not on there yet.

That will happen after Monday. My office is also the guest room, we only use the upstairs rooms for storage since there’s no heating up there. My parents are here until Monday so I don’t have easy access to the desktop computer.

I am using the Laptop of Eternal Despair. It came loaded with Windows 10. Win 10 is designed for a touchscreen and this laptop doesn’t have one. So it’s not easy to use. It’s also of a spec that could run Win10 comfortably at first, but updates have swollen the program out of the laptop’s range. It is now agonisingly slow.

Once I have my desktop back I will upgrade this laptop to Windows 7.

Anyway. The big lifting of stress was jury service. If you haven’t been zapped with this one (this was my third time), what happens is this. You get a citation weeks in advance. From that point, if you are self employed, you cannot take on any work that would overlap that date and you cannot say when you will be available after that date. You might be on a one day trial or on a year-long one. This can kill your business but there is no opt-out from the court system.

Also, we live on a farm in a remote location. There is no public transport here. The nearest bus stop is an hour’s walk away for me, a lot longer for my parents, especially my father. He is 80 and has had several strokes.

Oh that doesn’t stop him. He has dismantled an old armchair we had in the greenhouse (it was there to be dismantled and burned but we hadn’t done it because we don’t go in the greenhouse in winter. It’s horrible in there). It is now completely dismantled and burned to ashes and he has cuts all over his hands. Yeah, it’s not just me, it’s in the family. My son had to have his finger sewn back together after a router incident, they X rayed him and asked when he had broken his thumb. He didn’t know he had.

Anyway. What was preying on my mind was, if I was called in to jury service I would have to take the car. That would leave my parents and CStM isolated here and if my father did some serious damage to himself, they had nobody to call on. Both my kids were at work and even if they could come out, they are both at least half an hour away. I would have known nothing because you can’t have your phone in a jury box.

If you’re wondering how much damage an 80 year old multiple stroke victim can do to himself…. last time they were here he was trying to realign patio slabs. Like son, like father…

Yes, we ended up visiting casualty that time. So you can imagine how concerned I was about being roped in to a case which might have been about something utterly tivial. As most prosecutions seem to be now. Calling someone by the wrong made-up pronoun gets you in more trouble than if you just kept quiet and stabbed them instead.

The next part of the jury process is a phone number. You call after 5 pm the night before you are due to attend and it tells you whether to attend or not. If you don’t have to go – I assume because there are cases still going on – you have to call again the following night. Three of these and if you are not called, you are free.

That’s what happened. I am free of jury service until they ‘randomly select’ me yet again five years from now. By then I might have a conviction for wrongthink which would exempt me. They are going to have trouble finding ‘clean’ jurors in five years.

By then we might even have left the EU. Scotland does not have local council elections this year but the ones in England are likely to send a very strong message to any Tories still capable of hearing it. I have seen Tory councillors on Twitter telling us that the council posts have nothing to do with Brexit and we shouldn’t punish them for what the Tory party is doing. Yeah… tough luck. You are going to get hammered.

It’s not about councils. It’s about sending a message. A message clear to every Tory MP except Tessie the Blind. She doesn’t care about the party anyway, she’s doing it all for herself. She will destroy the Tories as well as the country and they don’t seem to care. Well, it’s going to be fun to watch. Even John Major, the Monochrome Man, didn’t manage to do this much damage.

Will Corbyn win? The chaos he would inflict would be legendary. It’s the only Tory game now – ‘vote for us or Stalin’s apprentice gets in’ – but who will vote for Corbyn? How is he even still an MP? Labour supported Brexit too and Labour fucked it up too. He is really no more to be trusted than Tessie Maybe. We could see a whole new party system out of this if the Brexit supporters don’t fuck up this chance by fighting amongst themselves. Which is what they will do because they are politicians and therefore inherently stupid. Clever people get proper jobs.

The latest news is a Brexit delay until Halloween. Roobeedoo has wondered if Tessie is synchronising with Underdog Anthology release dates. It certainly looks like it, but it’s more likely that the Tin Tart just has no idea what she is doing.

The Tories are in crash and burn mode now, far more than even when Major John called ground control to say there was a problem. And they seem to think they can get votes by telling us the other side is bad.

Well, yes, they are. Our choice is to throw money into a Corbyn black hole or into a EU black hole. The Tories offer no other aletrnative, in fact they offer nothing at all. And they want us to vote for them.

No.