Dominoes

David Davis has resigned as Brexit secretary.

The rabid elements on the left think he did this on a Sunday night to ‘slope off quietly and hope nobody noticed’, which is presumably why it’s all over the BBC and other news outlets.

He stepped down very publicly, not ‘on a Sunday night’ but with perfect timing. In less than 24 hours, the Prime Monster will deliver an already prepared speech to the House of Conmen in which she claims the cabinet are fully behind her sham Brexit. If he had resigned days ago there would have been time for the spin doctors to mitigate the situation. They have, at best, 18 hours to sort something out.

There’s going to be some hasty rewriting deep into the night. This isn’t a ‘blow’ to Tessie Maybe. It’s a full on cricket bat to the face. She is going to look very silly tomorrow.

Mr. D was followed shortly afterwards by another, and another. Co-ordinated? Undoubtedly. Cruel? Well she won’t listen to reason so there was no other course of action left to take.

They say they are doing it ‘for us’ but come on, nobody believes that any more. What has rattled the Tory cage is that they know, with absolute certainty, that as things stand they will be utterly wiped out at the next General Election.

Tonight could be the last night that devious bitch sleeps in No.10. Tomorrow is going to be very interesting indeed.

We might actually get a proper Brexit. They won’t do it for us, they’ll do it to save their careers.

As long as they do it, I don’t really care why.

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Not even one

There is an American tobacco brand called American Spirit. Rolling baccy and readymades. They are available in the UK although you might need to get them by mail order because (certainly round here) nobody has heard of them.

They are apparently very good, but are the UK ones the same as the US ones? Well, someone offered to send both myself and Roobedoo a pack of the US American Spirit cigarettes to try out. We could compare them to the UK ones, although at £10 a pack, the UK ones wouldn’t be a regular smoke. Not for me at least.

So, one pack of cigarettes in a package. Will they be allowed through? One pack cannot be considered smuggling. Keep in mind that these cigarettes are legal in both the country they are coming from and the one they are going to. That they will not explode, leak or spontaneously combust on the way. That they pose no risk of harm whatsoever. Will they get delivered?

No.

They didn’t even make it out of the state. Why?

They are prohibited. They are perfectly legal to buy in both countries but you cannot send even one pack between countries. Not even one.

Now, I could understand if we were talking a crate of cigarettes, but we are talking one pack. Actually, smugglers wouldn’t even send a crate of them by post. The cost of postage would wipe out any profit from the price differential. Sending one pack at a time would leave you with a street price way higher than even the UK shop price. So ‘smuggling’ is not an excuse.

Nobody is going to smuggle tobacco all the way from the US to the UK. Not when you can load up a small boat in Amsterdam and land it at night on a Dover beach. Hell, you could do it with sail, you don’t even need fuel.

Still, at least the US post returned them to the sender. The UK post would probably burn them, and I wouldn’t be even slightly shocked if I heard they burned them one at a time.

The UK’s Royal Mail have such heavy restrictions on what can be posted, even within the country, that it’s really no surprise we have so many private courier companies now. The private couriers are always your best bet for anything large or heavy – they are cheaper and many of them will collect from your house. Very useful way out here because the little sub-post office in Local Shop can’t handle parcels unless they fit wilthin the general post. Posting anything big means a 25-mile round trip or call a courier.

But I digress.

This is how deep the antismokers go. How petty they can be. How spiteful they have become – all with the full support of those governments who demand taxes on earniings, taxes on spending, in the case of booze, baccy and fuel, taxes on taxes. They rip money off us at every turn and yet are petty enough to enforce prohibition on the transport of a single pack of cigarettes.

‘Oh but one pack could become ten, then a hundred…’

Yeah right. At international postage prices that is really going to happen, isn’t it?

It has been true for a long time that you can visit a EU country from the UK, have a nice weekend away, load up on baccy for your return and save enough on baccy prices that your trip was essentially free. That won’t be true after a real Brexit of course. It probably won’t be true after the fake Brexit that is about to be instituted by Tory and Labour MPs with the backing of Mad Merkel, the Queen of Chaos. So we won’t even have that.

It’s been true for years that in many EU countries you’ll get a far better deal on baccy in the corner shops than in duty free. Most of the duty free only applies if you are leaving the EU.

Same for booze. Duty free whisky prices are beaten by a local Tesco or Aldi if you travel within the EU. There’s really no point even visiting duty free shops. Unless you are leaving the EU – then you get proper duty free prices.

Well, we’re leaving the EU, aren’t we? So at least we can pick up a litre of cheapo giggle water on the way home from our agonising sunburn holiday.

I’m betting that’ll be a ‘no’. I’m betting there’ll be a strict limit on what you can bring back, as if we weren’t in the EU, but the prices will be fixed as if we were. It will apply to cigarettes too.

I haven’t grown my own tobacco for a few years. I’m going to have to start doing it again.

Fortunately I have already stocked up on homebrew equipment. And I’m betting the farmer will let me have a kilo or two of barley cheap – probably free if I fix something or paint something that saves him a job.

I have also, during the course of reclaiming the garden from the weeds, found (so far) three blackberry bushes, some huge elder trees, brambles, raspberries, strawberries, so far five apple trees and seven cherry trees. Oh and let’s not forget the three well-established grapevines in the greenhouse. There’s no shortage of stuff to make booze from here.

There won’t even be a financial paper trail.

All this, you say, because you couldn’t get one pack of cigarettes? Yes. Not because of that one pack.

Because of the spite that stopped it.

Something for writers

Leg Iron Books authors (and anyone else) might want to take a look at this :

http://reneesauthorspotlight.blogspot.com/p/get-featured.html

I’ll have a go but it’s aimed at authors, not publishers, so I can’t do it for you.

The same is true of Goodreads.com – you can have an author page (it’s a pain in the arse to set up but you can) but there is no provision for a publisher page.

Anyway. Smoky rant is due for tomorrow because I missed out on one pack of cigarettes due to antismoker pettiness.

I’m going to let the rage stew until it boils over. Won’t take long.

Justice and Vigilantes

There have been some vigilante incidents in the UK recently. I saw a video of a truck repeatedly and deliberately reversed into the front of a kebab shop.I saw another of two men being attacked and made to flee in their car, the rear window smashed.

Both were alleged child abuse retaliations and both were heartily cheered on Twitter. Were they child abusers? There are certainly a lot of them about but the videos offered no evidence in these particular cases.

The child rape gangs have operated out of kebab shops – but did they use the particular one attacked in the video? I don’t know. Likewise the men chased away in the car – were they child rapists? I don’t know.

The accusation is enough now. As in the days of the Witchfinders, once accused you are guilty. These days, a Muslim talking to a child is a prime suspect and while most of the rape gangs are indeed Muslim (no point whining ‘racist’ at a statement of fact so don’t bother) it’s still only a small proportion of Muslims. Calling all Muslims child rapists just leads to witchhunting, and that is never good.

Besides, it goes a lot further than the Muslim gangs who are coming to light now. They were facilitated for a reason and it’s a reason most people are not prepared to accept. The facilitators are people in positions of power and they are not Muslims. The rape gangs were, and to a large extent still are, part of their supply chain.

Yeah, I know, I sound a bit David Icke now. Well, I write a lot about demons and witchcraft and devilish things and I don’t just make shit up. I use ‘real’ demons and ‘real’ spells and ‘real’ incantations in the stories (‘real’ insofar as I researched what these people actually do rather than just invent my own magic world). The covers of Samuel’s Girl and Jessica’s Trap are not idle doodles. They are taken from The Key of Solomon which a lot of people think is a fictional book, like Lovecraft’s Necronomicon, but it’s all too real. It’s part of a group called Lemegeton and the British Library has it. Partial translations are even available on Amazon.

I’ve never dabbled in calling up demons nor in running the actual rituals for real. For me it’s in the same class as the Ouija board. If it’s not real it’s a waste of time. If it is real it’s too dangerous to play with. Therefore the logic gate returns ‘no’ either way.

I’ve argued before that it does not matter whether Satan is real or not. What matters is that a lot of people believe he is real and will do horrible things to please him. Atheists refer to God, Allah, etc as ‘sky fairies’. Well you could call Satan the ‘underground fire goblin’ and it still does not matter whether any of them are real or not. What matters is what people who do believe in them are prepared to do.

Look at what the radicals among Allah’s followers are prepared to do. They are prepared to blow themselves to mince in a crowd even if the crowd contains other Muslims. Why? They believe they will get 72 virgins in Heaven.

Quite where they expect Allah to find them 72 virgins each when they have raped every girl before she reached adulthood is a mystery.  The only virgins left are the incels so get ready for an eternity of playing World of Warcraft against 72 fat sweaty guys who have way more practice than you. Is that worth mincing yourself for?

The devil worshippers are not so overt. They want power over the world, just like radical Islam, but they are much more subtle about it. And, frankly, they are better at it. Remember, it does not matter if God or the devil are real. People are doing all this because they believe in these entities. The actual existence of the entity is irrelevant, the actions are all too human.

I could do a lecture on this, I’ve learned enough but let’s summarise. Eliphas Levi translated some useful parts of Clavicula Salomonis that are relevant here.

Kether, the Crown, is not an individual being. It’s an essence. I’d be up all night getting into this but basically it’s God. Not a bearded guy saying ‘Pull my finger’ to Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Something much more intangible, spiritual, non-anthropic. His adversary? There are two, who are at war with each other and if you’ve followed superficial treatment of this by the likes of Shouty Alex and the Internet Outrage Show, you might be surprised.

The two adversaries of God who are in eternal war with each other are called Satan and Moloch. They are not the same.

They are opponents. Keep in mind that it is not necessary for you to believe any of this, only to recognise that there are people who do.

So you can claim to be an opponent of Satan if you are a follower of Moloch but since both are leaders of the Thamiel and both opponents of God, the end result is the same.

And Moloch is depicted as an owl. Shouty Alex was close when he sneaked into Bohemian Grove. Pity he didn’t read up on the matter.

Satan or Moloch, your initiation will be based on depravity and your continued servitude will include continued depravity. It’s perfect for control. If they have video of you raping or otherwise abusing a child, you dare not speak out against them or defy them. You can’t join the power circles unless you do this  but once done there is no going back.

Moloch doesn’t have to be real. Only the video of your initiation has to be real.

Trump is not part of this. That’s why they are so scared of him. Jacob Rees-Mogg is not part of this. That’s why they will avoid letting him lead the Tory party. He won’t be controllable.

Corbyn, I’m not sure, but I don’t think he’s part of this either. But then he’s just a figurehead and if he gets to be PM he’ll be run from the shadows because he really has no idea what he’s doing. Tessie May seems to be a weak one too, run from the shadows. So maybe she’s not really part of the elite either.

The test will come if Trump is invited to Bohemian Grove. I don’t think he will be. He’s far too likely to tweet the whole event. May won’t be going. It’s an all-male event. Let’s see the feminists point their screaming vaginas at that one. If they dare.

So yes, the Muslim rape gangs are an evil that must be eradicated but the testimony of those gangs is kept secret for a big reason. The names they might drop…

This still does not justify vigilantism. Oh it’s going to happen, it is already happening and it can’t be stopped because justice is corrupted.

They sent 18 police officers to arrest a frail old soldier for ‘war crimes’ from 30 or more years ago. Eighteen. To arrest a frail old man. If you get burgled you might have two officers calling in for five minutes a week later to sign your insurance forms. Say bad things on twitter and they’ll be round your house by dawn.

A man who defended his home against armed robbers has been prosecuted for a hate crime for calling them bad names. The robbers have not been arrested.

Justice? Can you afford it? The latter case was a rich man and he couldn’t afford it. What does this tell me? It tells me that as much as I disagree with vigilantism, if you break into my home I am not calling the police. Your reward will be a shallow grave in the woods. I’ll be selling rhubarb to Tesco if there are enough ofyou.

Is it at all connected? Let’s get a look at what the Believers think.

There are ten Sephirah in the Eliphas Levi translation. I have discussed only number one. Let’s skip to number five.

Five is Geburah, Justice, and the good guys are the Seraphim. They believe in merciful but swift and appropriate justice. They are opposed by the Golab, the ones of wrath and sedition. Witchhunters, basically. No care for due process, if you are accused you are guilty. I used Golab in ‘Jessica’s Trap’ because it was so fitting. And now it’s fitting in the real, modern world too.

Accused, you are guilty. Even if the accusation is absurd. You are Nazi-racist-bigot if you so much as question the fascist dictates of those who label you fascist.

Doesn’t it sound familiar?

I have no religion. I have no faith, and I worship nothing and nobody.

But…

IT. DOES. NOT. MATTER. WHAT. I. BELIEVE.

What matters is what the people doing this stuff believe. They believe it will bring them power and glory so they implement it all. Does it work? Well of course it works. There are always, always, enough gullible morons, enough useful idiots to form a cult. That’s been proven time and time again.

It doesn’t mean there is a God or Allah or Satan or Moloch or any of the rest of them.

Humans have always been perfectly capable of being utterly shitty to each other without any supernatural influence.

But hey, blame it on the red guy. He won’t mind.

He doesn’t even exist.

Back to work

Well, June has ended and so has my little break from work. Back to full steam ahead tomorrow. I have a Dutch version of Justin Sanebridge’s ‘The Goddess of Protruding Ears’ to put out first, which won’t take long because he’s done all the hard stuff and therefore I’m open for submissions.

There will be a Halloween anthology and a Christmas one, I’ll be looking for stories from the beginning of September and from late October for those respectively. September to Christmas is likely to be pretty busy on anthologies but before and after that, loads of time.

There is a short short stories book, a scientific treatise and a potential new novel on the way but I don’t have a definite time frame for those. Writing is like that, it happens when it happens.

Plus, of course, some of my own stuff.

I’ve been watching the world descend into madness this month and I am certain there are violent times ahead. Vigilantism is on the rise on all sides. The government doesn’t seem to want to even admit it’s happening, much less try to deal with the issues that are causing it. Oh they won’t deal with the issues of course. They’ll try to deal with the vigilantes and thereby make things far, far worse.

Tessie ‘Jackboots’ May is going to fuck up Brexit. It’s going to be an absolute shambles, neither one thing nor the other. Add that to the fizzing fury already on the streets and I, for one, will be glad I live way out in the wilds.

But, serious stuff is for tomorrow. My last few hours of relaxing (well, apart from dealing with a tax form that’s changed this year and confused the hell out of me – but that’s done now) are not going to be marred with politics.

Yesterday was an unusually warm and sunny day. The sky turned so blue I almost called the police to report the aberration but then they’d all be on Farcebok and Twatter so it seemed more useful to post pictures where they’d see them.

If I add one word here – Islam – it will flag this post for police attention and they’ll see the strange blue sky phenomenon and maybe do something about it. It’s causing serious eye strain.

Well, since it wasn’t raining, CStM and I ventured forth to visit something we’ve lived near for two years and never seen. Gight Castle. It’s a ruin and you have to walk maybe 20-30 minutes from the car park to find it. You could walk there in a lot less time if you don’t bother looking at the scenery but if you’re not looking at the scenery it’s a wasted walk. So we didn’t rush.

The path is pretty much a North of Scotland A-road – it certainly has fewer potholes than most of the other roads around here. Maybe because cars aren’t allowed on it.

It gets into some deep woodland. Bright and sunny day, but stray six feet off the path and you’re in darkness. I bet it’s fantastic at night.

Anyway, we got to the castle and… it’s a bit of a shithole. Could do with a gardener, could have done with one 40 years ago at least and if I was selling it I’d have to come up with something more appealing than ‘a fixer-upper’.

It does have some interesting features and it would be worth restoring – although you’d have to be a major lottery winner to even get started. Would it be worth doing?

You’d have this view:

And this:

But you probably wouldn’t get any mail delivered. No postman is going to take a 40 minute walk to drop a bank statement through your door. In winter you would need your own snow plough to get  to the main road (which is itself an unlit winding country road) so you’d probably be best to stock up with food and hole up until the snow melts.

Oh, and you’ll need a generator. It’s several miles to the nearest electricity supply. Also a well pump and a septic tank. Or get used to walking down to the river with a bucket and/or a roll of paper.

It would be a fantastic place to live. The darkness in this farmhouse is total on a moonless night but out there it would be positively primeval. But, you know, we’ve gone a bit soft these days. I recall shivering until the coal fire got going enough to melt the ice on the inside of the windows. Now I set the central heating to come on half an hour before I have to get up and do I want to go back? Well… no, not really.

We do save on our heating bills with the wood burning stove but would I want to go back to having to shiver out of bed and light it, then wait until it warms up the one room it’s in? The beauty of granite of course is that it warms up a lot more than that one room as the heat spreads through the stone, but that’s also the downside of granite.

When it’s cold outside, those stones are very cold. Sustained sunshine and it’s like living inside a storage heater. The granite holds the heat of the sun and lets it out all night.

Gight Castle is made of granite. No surprise, pretty much everything in this part of Scotland is made of granite. We have loads of it. The castle would have had huge fireplaces and plebs to light them before Lord Byron felt a hint of a shiver. Bringing it back to life in the modern world would be massively expensive and seriously hard work.

It would be great though, wouldn’t it? I think I could only do it with a massive rollover lottery win where I was the only winner and even then it would be a tight budget.

But then, since I never buy lottery tickets, my chances of winning are slightly less than someone who does buy them.

If you look this place up and want to visit you will see options for getting there by public transport. Do not fall for this. Two buses a day pass the entrance, one at 6 am and one at 5 pm. There are no other buses, no trains and the nearest taxi rank is in Ellon, about 12 miles away. You drive or walk here.

And if you walk, you will walk from Methlick (about 6 buses a day, it’s a teeming metropolis – it has a shop! And a tractor dealership) for about an hour along a winding unlit country road with no pavements that is used by Audi driving madmen as a race track.

If you survive to almost-there you could call in on CStM and me for a cuppa.

If you arrive in the morning you can wait in the garage.

Rail Zombie, and other tales.

Traaains…

All rail zombies wear anoraks and have a notebook full of engine numbers. Somewhere I have a book of coach numbers. My ambition was, and remains, to get a book of coal truck numbers and go rust spotting.

I’m working on my tax form. If it’s not done this weekend I have to pay tax on account by the 30th (that’s advance tax based on the previous year’s income). If it is done in time, I get tax repaid because I was way under the tax limit last year. Oh I’d eventually get it all back even if I did end up paying but why loan them anything? They’ll just waste it.

Working on taxes means the procrastination dial is turned up to 11. I will do absolutely anything other than work on tax. I have a Dutch version of ‘The Goddess of Protruding Ears’ by Justin Sanebridge in the works. The English version is already published. I have a G scale railway stacked in the office (traaaaains) and I need to arrange the garden to fit the railway. Fortunately the shit weather is keeping me indoors so I’m restricted to indoor procrastination. There’s still plenty of that.

I’ve been watching the Donnie Trumpton chess game. Not really a fair game because his opponents don’t know it’s a chess game. They think he is stupid (well they think we are all stupid) even though he was born to an immigrant who worked as a maid and became a billionaire and then President. He survived a few doses of bankruptcy and came back. Stupid? Really?

He’s an arrogant arse. You could argue that a man who came from nothing to billions more than once is entitled to be a bit smug but in Balmedie, not too far from here, his golf course for the rich and insufferable has really pissed off the residents. He’s not popular in this part of Scotland.

Still, he plays a good game. He anticipates his (entirely predictable really) opponents and if this was a real chess game he’s ten moves ahead. The latest move, the Melania coat, was a beauty. A woman who can afford, and who is used to, high fashion, wears a grungy Parka with graffiti and nobody sees the clear chess move that entails. They fell for it, hook line and sinker. They fired up exactly as they were intended to.

I didn’t know that the separation of families at the border started with Clinton and continued unopposed through Bush and Obama. I didn’t know it was happening at all. Now I do. And now I, and all those Americans who aren’t frothing at the mouth, know it has been happening for a very long time and they know that Trumpy stopped it. He could have quietly stopped it. Instead he let it fester and rage and make headlines for the first time in about 20 years and then he stopped it.

He’s good. I don’t like him, but I have to admit he is good at this game.

Mrs Clinton, Mrs Bush and Mrs Obama never visited those separated kids. They weren’t supposed to be noticed. Oh but Mrs Trump went to visit. Dressed in homeless chic, off she went. There was Outrage!

I laughed like a hyena on acid when I saw that coat. You could not make a more obvious move unless you tried for a fool’s mate on Kasparov. Melania Trump dressed like a 60’s mod? Come on, if they had put her on a moped with fifty rear view mirrors it could not have been more obvious.

The left responded with all they have. Stormy Daniels. They sent a porn star to visit the children. A porn star.  Yeah, because all those kids have watched her on Kid TV and all aspire to be like her. Jesus, you could not put up a worse opponent to Melania Trump in a flasher coat.

I reckon I’m pretty good at anticipating an enemy move. I one brought a co-worker close to tears of laughter in a meeting when I brought out the answer to every criticism ‘someone’ tried to tag me with. I saw it all coming.

I wouldn’t take on Trump though. And I would never play chess with him for money. I might not like the guy personally but I have to admire his game. He’s very good at it.

But back to serious stuff. Traaains!

I have been populating the coaches for this new set. G scale is 1:22.5 but I can get away with 1:24 and 1:25 too. The difference is minimal. And the size of this stuff means you can have people in seats without cutting feet off.

Here is the coach. The ruler beside it is 2 feet (60 cm) for scale. I have four. Coaches,not rulers!

The people are in various levels of moulding detail. It doesn’t matter too much, they will be inside a coach and not very visible so I won’t go overboard on the details. Pretty rough is good enough in this case.

First example – Train Perv 1

Bit low on detail. Compare with Train Perv 2 –

Just as vile but with better definition.

Again, Man with a Can, crap moulding…

…as opposed to Creepy OIdman

Then again, we do have Random Tart 1…

And Random Tart 2…

… to keep the train pervs pervy.

You might have noticed Random Tart 3 progressing on Twitter. I have something special in mind for that one and for Random Tart 4. Later…

In other news, we have Guardian of the Bags –

The Pizza Addict

Mum Does Not Approve-

The Fat Skinhead


And of course, Nigel Farage –

There are others but that will do for now. There’s a really filthy Batman diorama in progress too.

If I could only force myself to finish this tax form.

Wales, the next target of the New Puritans

The Welsh Assemblage of Useless Authoritarian Wasters has introduced minimum pricing for alcohol. What a total and utter waste of time, as much of a waste of time as the Assemblage itself.

You know, when the Blair Witch decided to go ahead with devolution, Scotland’s vote was pretty decisive. They wanted their own parliament who are now hitting them hard for smoking and drinking and eating – and taxing them more to pay for more control over them. Still, that’s what they wanted. They voted for it.

The vote in Wales returned a resounding ‘don’t care’ because that is the Welsh way. The Welsh have never cared who is in charge, for the most part, because they aren’t going to pay any attention to who is in charge anyway. Plaid Cymru do well not because of their policies but because they have a Welsh party name. They can get into positions of power but have never grasped that the bulk of Wales doesn’t give a shit.

There is a place called Treherbert. I went there once. I spent most of my early life living mere miles from it and went there only once. It was enough  A tiny place at the end of the railway line, it is nestled in a deep valley between high mountains and sees very little of that strange yellow circle in the sky, even in summer. If you are ever looking for the legendary Caer Colur (the gloomy enclosure) I’d recommend starting there.

Some years ago there was a news story about Treherbert. The name got my attention at once. Something newsworthy happened in Treherbert? What could it be? Dalek invasion? Secret lair of Blofeld? Someone dropped a spoon?

A guy in a council house was making his own vodka when his still exploded in a most spectacular fashion. Apparently – and this came as a surprise – he wasn’t breaking any laws because it was all for his own use. He did not intend to sell any.

Hmm. I live on a farm that grows barley specifically intended for the whisky industry. I could probably buy a tonne at cost price. But let’s not get distracted by my hobbies.

The point is, even years ago there were home stills when cheap supermarket booze was available. In the 1979-1982 years of my first degree there were dedicated homebrew shops everywhere. They started reappearing in Scotland (not dedicated shops but homebrew sections in other small shops) even before the minimum pricing nonsense started here.

In my early teens you could buy homebrew kits in supermarkets and since they had no alcohol in them as sold, they were not subject to age restrictions. It was just syrupy malt and a packet of yeast. I see those making a big comeback soon.

I have a friend in Wales who will care nothing for this minimum pricing nonsense. He has a large garden full of fruit trees and they all get turned into wine. His blackcurrant wine is particularly good. So he doesn’t actually buy much commercial booze.

Look at other countries. Iran has a total booze ban for religious reasons. You are not even allowed an alcohol based mouthwash. So what happens? Stories of weddings ruined because of dodgy black market booze poisoning everyone.

Norway has horrific alcohol pricing and you can only get a limited amount from State booze stores. The result? Alcohol purchases in Norway have plummeted. Success? Sales of raw sugar have soared. What do you imagine is happening there?

Alcohol is really easy to make. Making it safe to drink is not quite so easy. Promoting an unregulated black market is never a good idea. But then, when was the last time any politician had a good idea?

Scotland’s minimum pricing might have worked maybe 20 years ago. It’s a long way from Aberdeen to the border and I’m north of Aberdeen. Driving down for a case of whisky is not cost-effective and would be a tough one to do in one day. Scotland is narrow but pretty damn long. But hey, we have internet now so I can order booze from English suppliers and it’s not subject to minimum pricing.

Today I was at the dentist for my half-year teeth count. Nothing wrong with me, she even took X-rays in a desperate attempt to find something wrong with this smoky-drinking curmudgeon. Little side observation – are all dentists small women now? I’m not objecting, I don’t mind at all, it’s just that there seem to be no male members of staff at all in that place.

Afterwards I passed the whisky shop, so I called in and treated myself to a bottle of Shackleton. I hadn’t seen it before. A malt blend based on the whisky taken on the 1907 Antarctic expedition. The whisky shop is never cheap, the more common ones are much cheaper in the supermarket but this place is where you find the unusual ones. It’s a great shop. When I win the lottery I’m going to try the high shelves with the ‘Oh fucking hell’ prices.

Wales is, frankly, tiny. It’s also vertically narrow with the English border on the east side so none of it is very far from a day-trip over the border. Get a few friends together, hire a minibus and stock up. Easy. It’s going to happen. So who will this new law damage? Well, corner shops mostly, small businesses, a small effect on the likes of Aldi and Lidl but alkies? Nah. It will be of great benefit to the English economy to the detriment of both Wales and Scotland. You know, guys, you voted in some utter fuckheads to run your devolved administrations – but then, who but an utter fuckhead wants a job that’s all about controlling their own countrymen and making their lives harder and more miserable?

What will also happen is homebrew and also criminal gangs filling the gap for those who can’t afford van hire or homebrew equipment. All of it totally unregulated and all of it free of any care about age limits. What a great idea, eh? No wonder government buildings have so many big windows.They need room for everyone to get a lick.

You know, more and more often these days, I’m thinking November 5th should be a day of national rejoicing in the UK. We should not be burning Guy Fawkes in effigy. We should be hailing him. He had the right idea.

At least he tried.