DIARY OF AN OCTOGENARIAN
- John Copeland -
Friday 11th August - Thursday 17th August, 2017
Lilies in the garden. Sadly, they do not last long in flower.
"We are no longer accumulating. We are squandering the capital of our forebears, even in our way of knowing."
Nietzche. Although written some years ago by a not very nice philosopher, the concept is even truer today. Quoted in "The Strange Death of Europe" by Douglas Murray in which he recounts the dangers and disadvantages of mass immigration, especially from the Muslim contingent that refuses to integrate in its adopted country.
FRIDAY 11 AUGUST
Having recently subscribed to the BT Call Protect Service, we have had only 4 telephone scams over the past seven days, whereas we used to have at least 14. The main problem is that some of the scammers use "Unavailable", meaning that not all scam calls can be stopped, but I ignore these calls, not knowing anybody who uses this lack of identity. It is certainly a relief not to have to come in so often from the garden when the telephone rings, only to find that it is a nasty little scammer from India or Thailand on the line
Yesterday evening I read some more of the excellent book "The Strange Death of Europe", reading the chapter on multiculturalism, the author rightly pointing out that there is no such thing as a happy and harmonious multilateral society anywhere in the world with the ever increasing Muslim contingent here and in many other European countries, especially France that is said to suffer immensely from their presence. The author makes the point that the Muslims never integrate, having their own culture that threatens death to the infidel, and which treats women in an appalling manner, stoning to death those who offend against the strict Muslim laws. Consequently, there can never be any culture merging, making multiculturalism impossible, a failure as Mrs. Merkel ultimately called it.
We have a Hindu family packed into one of the houses in our village, some of them working usefully in the National Health Service, but we never see any of the contingent, and they never join in any of the village social events. That is their right and choice, and we respect their isolation, but it hardly helps integration. It seems to be the loony Left that mainly believes in this multiculturalism, just as the Party believes there should be unrestricted immigration.
Mercifully, the author spells out just how wrong the misguided people are in welcoming mass immigration, hopelessly out of touch with reality, the do-gooders calling anybody who disagrees with their views racist, the term being used to disguise reality and to end any discussion. It is a superb book, not pulling any punches, though I wonder how the author, obviously a right-wing fellow writing for "The Spectator" can dare to say such things, regarded as heresy by the liberal press.
I was not surprised to read on the excellent BBC newswebsite that "At least 91 passengers on a cruise ship have been hit by a suspected case of norovirus,..." The ship was affected by two similar cases in February. Packing thousand of people together in a closed environment inevitably and not surprisingly brings these awful health risks. They wouldn't get me on one of those 6,850-passenger ships for all the tea in China.
When the cannula was taken out of my left hand at the end of the chemotherapy session last Thursday, something went wrong, blood seeping under my skin. It had spread further after this photograph was taken, but then stopped. The nurse, on examining the hand, said that I would have a very nasty bruise. And so it has transpired.
During the morning I took the Scorpio in to town o purchase some petroleum. One of the problems with the 2,300 cc vehicle is that even on a relatively long run it only does 20 miles to the gallon, making it a bit expensive to run, especially as petrol went up another 1 penny last week. On the 23rd of this month it has to have the MOT (Ministry of Transport) annual test, plus some servicing. It has done under 500 miles since the last MOT, so I am hoping that it will pass, especially as we have an honest motor engineer who owns his own business. I would never go to the main dealers for what is invariably a rip-off.
I also bought some eggs, finding that the shelves were nearly bare, presumably resulting from the 700,000 Dutch imported eggs that were found to be unsafe. Why on earth do we need to import eggs when we have our own farmers? Presumably this is why our overseas trade gets worse and worse as Muddling May tries, Canute like, to stem the incoming tide of a severe recession, having about as much understanding of economics as nuclear science.
In today's "i" there is the grim news that nearly every aspect of our industrial performance is falling steadily - exports, manufacturing production, the service industries and construction. Despite the fall in the £, now virtually parity on the tourist rate with the euro, exports fell in June by 4.0%, the biggest monthly fall since June 2016, while imports were up by 1.5%.
For its part, today's "Times" commented by way of adding to the economic gloom: "The financial sector is poised for a sharp slowdown as rising inflation and Brexit uncertainty lead to falls in everything from mortgage lending to new car sales...The EY Item Club is forecasting a drop in the rate of loan growth and for it to even go into reverse next year with mortgage lending expected to fall to £8bn year-on-year in 2018 on the back of a 0.2% decline this year in real household disposable incomes, the first annual drop since 2011."
No unhealthy and unbalanced economy can continue in this manner, and it is therefore obvious that the country is heading for a massive recession, probably towards the end of next year, made worse by the appalling economic programme of this miserable and hated Government. Sadly, lacking a sound manufacturing base, there is no way out of the fine mess the Government is in, meaning a relentless decline and fall.
Bearing in mind that the lower value of the £ has done nothing to stimulate exports, income tax should now be raised all round to prevent - (a) the debt-laden consumer expenditure that is flooding in exports, yet May has painted herself into a corner by ridiculously promising not to raise taxes during her administration, one we hope will be blissfully short, and (b) something has to be done about additional financing for the NHS, the "i" reporting today that "Four million patients stuck on waiting lists - highest figure since targets were introduced."
The problem is that the Tories are the tax-cutting party and to hell with the public services, and they hate the National Health Service almost as much as they dislike those on benefits, retired people, and the BBC. Perhaps the only hope is that if May remains in office until 2019, as the Party is now indicating, it will mean a sure victory for Labour at the next election. It is to be hoped that Corbyn will not let the young down again, as he did with his failed promise to abolish student loans, subsequently saying he was only looking at the problem.
While President Trump has strengthened his determination to hit back at the crazy Kim Wrong-Un, saying that Kim ought to be very, very worried, his Secretary of State seems to be singing from a very different hymnbook, saying yesterday that " America still hopes to solve the North Korea crisis using diplomacy". How this diplomacy can work when Kim refuses to have any discussion is not altogether clear. The main chappie in the woodpile is China, who could easily have put pressure on the crazy man to stop his foolishness.
The worry is that Kim Wrong-Un is essentially a weak man trying to be tough, and this is always a dangerous stance. Because of his declared bravado, it would be very difficult for him to climb down, losing face, going down in the estimation of his armed forces. Somehow we are not out of the woods yet, though I do not believe the crazy man will fire the threatened rockets, bringing President Trump down on him like a ton of hot bricks.
Apart from the brief visit to town is was a day spent at home, checking over Mrs. Copeland's Peugeot 208 which she will be using tomorrow when she will be going down to Essex to see her mother who will be having a party celebration on Sunday for her 100th birthday. What incredible changes she will have seen during her lifetime - the technology getting better all the time, personal relationships getting worse all the time in an increasingly selfish and greedy society.
The evening was spent reading some more of the splendid "The Strange Death of Europe", in which the brave and wise author details the immense harm that massive immigration is causing in Europe, especially with the Muslim contingent that will not integrate. I agree with every word.
On the 10 o'clock news bulletin - "The World Tonight" in which you can avoid the infuriating broken up headlines with inane comments by waiting 1 minute and 10 seconds, it was mentioned that Chancellor Merkel had ridiculously advocated that the North Korean crisis should be debated by the United Nations Security Council. Bearing in mind that Russia and China will immediately veto any resolution put forward by America, this would be totally worthless, the UN being about as useful as the former League of Nations that Hitler had the sense to get out of, knowing it was a waste of time. The President might as well write to the fairies.
SATURDAY 12 AUGUST
I rode in to town to purchase a "Times", seeing a report that a third of households had switched on their heating as a result of this miserably cold and wet summer. We have had our central heating on for the past fortnight as it has been so cold in the evenings, the temperature on occasions going down to 11 C.
There was the good news in the paper that a major Building Society had seen its profits fall by a fifth, which is a loss to celebrate relating to these rip-off Societies that charge borrowers hefty and immoral fees, and give investors a return not much above an annual rate of 0.5%. But then everything connected with the property market is corrupt with its excessive charges for very little work, including estate agents, those dreadful surveyors who accept no responsibility for their numerous mistakes for inconsequential inspection, and those hateful small-town solicitors with their ridiculous conveyancing charges for an hour's work on a computer.
As always, the "Magazine" section of the paper was so awful, one of the columnists having a piece saying "In 1988 we took our cats on a family camping holiday to Scotland. One died, which was sad, but also a relief." An indication, surely, that the paper has gone downmarket to appeal to a young and unthinking readership, a far cry from "The Times" twenty years ago.
There was even a 42-question test to see whether you have the latest craze for "Obsessive Compulsive Disorder" that usually inflicts teenagers who have been brought up badly in childhood. There is no doubt that this country is going barking mad, what with anthropomorphic vegans shedding tears over baby calves crying when they leave their mummy.
At least the book reviews are worth reading. I read and ordered "Every Third Thought" by Robert McCrum, a book dealing with the miseries and relentless decline of old age, describing in one paragraph the horrors of chemotherapy: "My head ached. Everything even water tasted disgusting. I was too feeble to move. After each session I would be curled up at home, waiting for the next stage". I know the feeling well.
President Trump yesterday warning North Korea that the US is ready "locked and loaded." Somebody is going to have to back down, albeit with a loss of face. Somehow I do not think it will be President Trump, not in his present mood. Instead, China will probably lean on the crazy Kim Wong-Un, saying he could upset Chinese trade with America if he fired any missiles at Guam.
Daughter Kate called in to see her poor old dad in the morning, making for a pleasant diversion. Then, after lunch, after giving me the quotidian injection, Mrs. Copeland drove off in her Peugeot for the 136-mile journey to join the celebrations tomorrow for her mother's 100th birthday in the garden of her elder son. Under normal circumstances I would have joined the merry throng, but I was warned by the consultant, and by a nurse, that my 6th chemotherapy session last Thursday would have a powerful reaction, probably for the 5th, 6th and 7th days afterwards.
It is a shame that I would be absent when all members of our little family are attending the party, but I have to admit that, apart from my illness, I am not very good at such large gatherings, the conversation being all very strained and trite - "and what do you do for a living?" - never knowing what to say to the women, especially as few of them show any inclination to discuss American foreign policy, now in its ascendancy.
I could therefore not face being away from home when I was feeling so unwell. Fortunately, a lady neighbour will be looking after me, serving as my carer, ensuring that I am all right, and this evening we went together to see the film "Alone in Berlin" at the splendid Venue cinema. I enjoyed the film but my companion did not share my views, presumably being a woman not liking the depicted violence of the Germans. After the film we came back to my place for a night-cap. We had intended going to the local Club, but there was a girlie film being shown, and we did not want to disturb a film with only 2 stars out of 5 awarded by the critics.
I always worry about Mrs. Copeland driving along the horribly crowded roads in Essex, a veritable hell on earth. Goodness knows what the traffic will be like in ten years from now, but then I will not be here so it will not be my worry when the immigrants continue to flood into the country, Brexit quite forgotten, and a Labour Government in power, Mrs. May having destroyed the Tory Party.
Mrs. C. later sent me a text saying that she had arrived safely in Essex, the traffic being quite light on the road, presumably on account of the miserable weather. I spent the afternoon reading "The Strange Death of Europe", in which the author indicates polls in several European countries saying that the natives do not want Muslims in their midst, regarding them as violent and murderous.
He also makes the point that the Muslims can make all manner of threats, sometimes carrying them out, whereas anybody who complains about their unacceptable behaviour is said to be racist. In other words, racism is a one-way-street. The author is certainly very brave in making these comments, ones that I would dare not to make for fear of this diary being closed down.
The problem is that in its original state Islam is a very caring religion, but has been overtaken by some murderous fundamentalists, destroying its credibility. Many of the Muslims in this country, although keeping to themselves socially, perform some valuable work, especially in the ailing National Health Service; indeed, we would not be able to run the Service without them.
On the BBC news website I saw that China had arrogantly told President Trump "to watch his language". Presumably this insolent statement has been made to assure the crazy Kim that China is on his side in defending his country against the Americans, so there is no need for him to send missiles near Guam. Furthermore, China will say that the conflict will damage Chinese trade with America, and that would cause immense hardship to China. It is therefore better for Kim to back off, which he will do, saying that he has the full support of China and does not want to take any action, especially as it might upset a fellow communist country.
So the frightening issue wil be settled without any warfare. I take the view that President Trump has handled the difficult situation very well, it certainly having been right to make the severe warning to the North Korea's mad leader. Obama would merely have uttered some fine words that never butter any parsnips. It is a pity about President Trump abolishing the health-care provision, but then given half a chance Muddled May and her right-wing gang would do similar things to the National Health Service, already having sold off some NHS land to developer chums for housing,
I went to bed at 12.30 a.m., finding that if I go any earlier I cannot sleep. Sadly, I am not allowed the have any alcohol for two days before and after a chemotherapy session, so it had to be non-alcoholic white wine this evening.
SUNDAY 13 AUGUST
As mentioned earlier, I obviously feel disappointed that I am not with Mrs. Copeland and our family at mother-in-law's birthday centenary celebration this afternoon, feeling as if I have let the side down. Nevertheless, as mentioned earlier, there is no way that I could have faced the long journey and having to be pleasant to people, which I find difficult at the best of times. Fortunately, it looks as if the gods are smiling on the occasion, giving fine weather. On the other hand, it must be difficult catering for 80 people, among whom are those difficult vegetarians, as well as weird vegans who live on rabbit food. At least they will be quite happy hopping around with some lettuce leaves.
In many ways I should probably have presented a stiff upper lip in public school mode, though I loathe the mantra of those glorified boot camps, never having wanted to send my children to the hateful institutions however much money I had. No doubt this opposition indicates that I have a chip on my shoulder - possibly both - in not having been to one of the institutions. I dislike an education that takes young children, still clutching their teddy bear, from home to a brutal establishment based on cold showers and an emphasis on excessive sport. Then there is that total nonsense, utter cobblers, that public schools train for leadership, the reality being that the pupils in their protected and rarefied environment never see any real people, certainly not from the lower classes.
I therefore believe that public schools over the centuries, and even to a limited extent today, have been very harmful to the social and economic structure of this country, encouraging snobbishness and arrogance, and stupidly sniping at those engaged in trade. Even in the British Army it can be argued that the officer class has done so much harm with the unhealthy and unrealistic social division between officers and men, all mixing being forbidden.
Several people often refer to this diary by that hateful word "blog", but it is no such thing. An Internet diary is essentially closed, nobody being able to add comments to the entries, least of all firms advertising on it. A blog, by way of contrast, is open to all, allowing comments to be written among the entries. An essential difference, defined on an Internet site I looked up today.
Mother-in-law at her 100th birthday celebration today. Unfortunately, because of my ill-health I was unable to attend the happy party for 80 or so for family and friends down in Essex. A wonderful lady who can still do "The Daily Telegraph" crossword in a few minutes; can beat Mrs. C. at Scrabble; and can talk enthusiastically about economics and the relentless social decline of the country. Photograph by granddaughter Chloe, the best photographer I know.
Up about 8.30 a.m., I began touching up some of the damaged paintwork around the wheel arches of the Scorpio. Not the most professional of jobs, but the vehicle looks a little better. I also began cutting the grass in stages, as well as sorting out the week's photographs for this diary, so it was quite a busy morning, keeping busy while Mrs. C. is far away.
At 2.30 p.m. an immigrant, in all probability an Iranian, delivered a book that I had ordered from Amazon yesterday - "The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn". A most pleasant and courteous, friendly fellow, who replied when I commented that they even made him work on Sundays: "Sundays, every day they make me work." I cannot imagine any English person working on our hallowed secular Sundays. So what would we do without immigrants? That is the question.
A correspondent has sent an e-mail saying that he had a meeting with an American lady, during which he asked her what she thought about President Trump and his foreign policy. In her reply "She put her head in her hands and said that it was like electing an eight-year-old child as President. At least our government is run by adolescents!"
It seems that our adolescents are now getting out their knives for the forthcoming Conservative Party Conference, wanting to get rid of Mrs. May, one of the candidates being the right-wing Rees-Mogg, unkindly referred to as "Rees-Smug" by nasty columnists in the press. There is no doubt that the Party wants to remove the damaged and thoroughly disliked Mrs May, knowing that the longer she stays in office with her muddles and knickers in a complete twist, the greater the likelihood of a Labour victory at the next general election. It is going to be an interesting Conference. They have their entrances and their exits.
At 3.30 p.m. after making the start on cutting the grass, I went with my caring neighbour to our local Club, sitting outside as it was surprisingly quite warm, far more so than the forecast had suggested. I heard that there were only 5 people who attended the girlie film on Saturday, which did surprise me as the critics gave it only 2 out of 5 stars. Afterwards we went to "The Woodcocks" for a meal. Sundays at restaurants and pubs are "Family Day", when modern woman, too tired after a busy week working full-time, does not feel like preparing a meal for the family, so they all have to go out to eat, meaning we have to endure the mayhem of free-rage children with no parental control.
As the evening was still warm, we were able to sit outside, thereby escaping the horrible youth club-style relayed music inside, but we had to wait an hour for the food, the place crowded with families and children running around. However, it was worth the wait as I had an excellent sirloin steak, cooked to perfection. On the menu I saw that there were only a few options for those unhappy and sad vegans, including "homemade potato wedges" and "roasted vegetable jalfrezi". Yum, yum, but how sorry we should feel for these people with their odd eating. Were I a religious man I would say prayers for them, hoping they would soon be better.
Back home, I finished reading the book on the death of Europe, which I greatly enjoyed, readily agreeing with the contention that mass migration was a serious problem for the receiving countries, the author making the point that the country most badly affected was Germany as a result of that Merkel woman letting in over a million immigrants, eventually admitting that she was mea culpa, but the damage to the social framework of the country had been done, and could not be undone.
The author, also making the point that the authorities in many European countries, including the UK, have regularly tried to hide the serious consequences of immigrants causing mayhem and sometimes murder in bringing in an alien creed and culture, makes the very valid suggestion that "To be on the side of the newcomers was to be on the side of the angels. To speak for the people of Europe was to be on the side of the devil."
This, of course, is why there are strict rules relating in this country to protect the immigrants, including severe punishments for any expressions of racism, sexism and political incorrectness. If you so much as dare to criticise Muslims parading in the streets of London carrying banners saying "Death to the infidel", you are immediately in trouble from the police who take no notice of the offensive banners.
The point is also made that after "a terrorist here, an 'honour' attack, a few cartoons somewhere else - the awareness grew that not everybody who had come to our societies shared our views. They did not share our views about equality between the sexes. They did not share our views on the primacy of reason over revelation. And they did not share our views on freedom and liberty" In other words, integration is impossible; a happy and harmonious multicultural society a cruel myth.
The author additionally mentions that "a recent survey by Pew showed that the affiliation to Christianity is falling away in Britain faster than almost any other country". We have lost our way, and now rely on excessive and extensive debt-fuelled consumerism to make us happy. It is only necessary to see the awful features in the Magazine of Saturday's "Times" to see how right the author is in his condemnation of our vacuous society. The pages are full of holidays and all manner of advertisements relating to expensive items we do not need, along with the endless neurosis about food in an obsession about health, and whether we have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
I have now made a start on "The Last of the Tsars - Nicholas II and the Russian Revolution" by Robert Service, published this year by Macmillan at £25.
During the weekend I was speaking to several people about Premium Bonds. Although I know many people who have these bonds, some with a substantial holding, nobody I know has ever won more than a £25 prize, though some months have brought two or more of such prizes. It makes me wonder, therefore, what happens to the big prizes. Not having won for several months, I am now taking out all my holding, and will put them back again, having to wait a month before they go into the draw,
On every occasion I have done this over the past 20 years I have started to win prizes again, albeit only £25. It makes me think. I suppose, though, the occasional £25 is better than the hopeless return from Building Societies, now amounting to about 0.05%, far lower than inflation.
MONDAY 14 AUGUST
On the BBC news website I read that the White House had defended President Donald Trump's reaction to deadly violence over a white supremacist rally, including a contingent of Klu Klux Klans, in Virginia, described as Neo-Nazi, amid criticism he did not explicitly condemn far-right groups, though a spokesman said his condemnation included white supremacists. A woman was killed on Saturday when a car rammed into a crowd protesting against the rally in Charlottesville, and a rally organiser was chased away by protesters as he tried to give a press conference on Sunday. Jason Kessler, who organised the controversial "Unite the Right" march, was heckled and booed as he blamed the police for not preventing the violence, which he also condemned.
Although I have no sympathy for the Klu Klux Klan, a thoroughly nasty bunch of unpleasant and bigoted people, they surely have every right to make their views known in a supposedly democratic society, the protesting liberal fraternity made up mainly of civil rights activists who incredibly believe that all men are equal (and women, of course). This is an aggressive and unpleasant group of misguided souls who hurl accusations of racism, sexism, and political incorrectness when their muddled views are challenged, when they might be better referring to responsibilities instead of rights. They believe in unrestricted immigration amongst other things in their excessively liberal creed that could easily descend into a mild form of communism.
The abrasive and violent antis and cicil rights contingent in their refusal to listen to any opposing views are not unlike some of the thick university students in this country who hurl abuse and refuse to allow a speaker to talk when they disagree with his views, an ignorant stance that is the very negation of a university education, But then these brainless students are probably studying psychology, media studies, or some other worthless and easy degree, reminding us that there are far too many university students studying for degrees that lead straight to the dole. 20% is about the right intake, 15% in my long ago days.
During the morning, still on my own until Mrs. Copeland returns about 5 o'clock this afternoon, I set up some of the photographs for this dairy, and then undertook some more touch-up painting of the Scorpio for its MOT test on the 23rd August, not that this work will have any impact on the test, though the car will look better. If it does not pass the test I will need to ponder what to do about it, whether to spend a lot of money on repairs, or call it a day and sell it, having been offered £1,000. Somehow, though, I could not get rid of a wonderful car that has still only done 35,500 miles.
Road works scheduled along the village road that leads into the centre of Lincoln. In America or Germany the work would be completed in 7 days rather than 7 weeks, but then we have the lowest productivity per man hour of any of the G7 nations.
In an advertising journal that circulates in Lincoln and the surrounding villages, there is an advertisement for bookings in pubs and restaurants for Christmas office parties, and for Christmas Day dinner for families. The office party must be the most miserable occasion of the year, full of men and women blowing little bugles and trying desperately against all odds to have a merry time, management looking on with despair and embarrassment.
As for the family having a Christmas dinner in a hotel, restaurant or pub, it is surely a shameful travesty of the season. Families should be at home, enjoying the turkey cooked by mummy, playing games and singing songs around the piano, not sitting in a soulless institution eating plastic-tasting food in the company of a lot of strangers. And the idiot's lantern, featuring outdated and wanting-to-be-forgotten comedies, must never be switched on during Christmas Day.
At 10 o'clock this morning I had a scam telephone call with the unlikely number of 441234910028. I immediately cancelled the call, and dialled 1572 to have the number added to my personal blacklist with BT Call Protect, but was told that the number was unrecognisable, and could not therefore be added. So these little buggers are still getting through, though it is an easy matter on seeing a false number on the caller-display to just lift the receiver and quickly put it down again. Even so, the calls are a nuisance, especially as they are all crooked with criminal intent.
The evening was spent in the conservatory reading the book on the Tsar Alexander II. I do not care much for the style, written in brief, clipped sentences, rather like a Janet & John reader, but the content is good and clear.
TUESDAY 15 AUGUST
President Trump is still being criticised for his comments about the murderous rally over the weekend, there being complaints that he did not condemn the so-called "White Supremacists". Fortunately, Melanie Phillips had it right when she wrote in her column in today's "Times" that: : "Trump's initial response was indeed inadequate. Much more worrying, though, was what actually happened. For this was not, as widely portrayed, a clash between fascists and anti-fascists. It was between two groups each of which perpetrate hatred and intolerance, stand against freedom and seek to impose their views of society and human nature by force."
In other words, both groups were wrong, and it was surely unwise for the belligerent antis - a thoroughly nasty mob of civic rights protesters with their bigotry and stupidity, wanting to eradicate American history with their demented ideas, to tackle a violent group of men, for which they must take a large degree of responsibility for ensuing violence, having got more than they bargained for.
The point needs to be made that the White Supremacists were rightly and properly demonstrating against the civil rights mob ridiculously wanting to have a Civi War statute of Robert Lee taken away by way of eroding American history. No doubt we have a contingent of these crazy people in this country who probably want all mention of our glorious Empire to be banned. They are every bit as vicious and intolerant as the White group, and this needs to be remembered. I therefore take the view that the President was quite right in his initial response to the conflict.
As expected Kim Wrong-Un has backed down in his threat to send missiles near Guam, saying that he is going to wait and see what the America actions turn out to be. In other words, there is every possibility that China has leaned upon the silly little man, telling him that Chinese trade with America would be severely damaged, President Trump having threatened a trade war, if the proposed missile strike went ahead. So it can be argued that President Trump handled this dangerous issue extremely well, standing up for America, which is something Obama would not have done, merely making a fine speech, while making the danger worse.
Obama was the President who encouraged bad relationships with Russia and Israel, and was no friend of this country when he said we would go to the back of the American trade queue if we left Europe - a shameful thing to have said, but thankfully he has gone.
Even with the Korean backdown, President Trump has kept up the pressure on China, a report in today's "Times" saying that he had instructed a senior official to investigate that the country steals corporate secrets and employs other unfair trading practices that destroy American jobs. During his election campaign the President vowed to put a 45% tariff on Chinese imports, thereby reducing the massive debt with China and encouraging American industries.
This is not likely to happen, though it would have had a dramatic impact on China, causing it immense financial problems, just as Russia could not keep up with American armaments during the Cold War. I would certainly like to see a heavy import duty placed on Chinese imports in this country, most of which are shoddily made, some totally unnecessary.
I can understand that so many of the American people are upset about President Trump. For eight years they enjoyed the relaxed life of Reilly under the hopeless, do-nothing Obama, the country's economy with the loss of jobs going steadily downhill, unemployment steadily mounting as vast areas saw their industries closing down, Obama doing nothing about it, obviously not understanding the issues. Now they have a President who is waking up the country, and the people don't like the rude awakening. Admittedly, Trump is sometimes reckless and irresponsible, but he stands up for America, not allowing a great country to be pushed around in the world, as happened during obama's years.
The usual brief ride in to Lincoln to purchase a "Times". "The Daily Express" had a splendid and welcome front-page headline: "Wine is key to a longer life - Daily drink can slash the risk of an early death". Isn't this is what I have always been saying, that drink is good for you, though admittedly you can have too much. I realise that I am not now a perfect specimen of good health, but I was assured by my consultant that drinking and not eating the recommended five-a-day had nothing to do with the cause of my lymphoma, though it could be related to other forms of cancer, even though still not proven.
"The Daily Mail" had a headline saying: "Death knell for common sense. Big Ben silenced for FOUR years to protect workers' hearing...yes, it's all down to Health & Safety." We really have gone totally mad in this country in terms of the utter nonsense of these excessive safety rules. It is a pity the clock cannot be sent to Germany, for the repairs would be completed in a month, probably less. It still annoys me that we had to have our new oil boiler put outside in a stone bunker, whereas it had worked perfectly for 20 years quite happily, the smoke going successfully up the chimney. Now the exhaust smoke goes into a neighbours' garden, ,joking them, the boiler not being nearly as efficient. Such is progress
Last week I was hearing that some schools in this country are no longer presenting Shakespeare's play to their children on account of them being too violent, upsetting the young ones. What a way to bring up children, mollycoddling them against any kind of danger, making them into spineless adults who will go down with stress the moment they have any difficulty in their lives. Thank heavens my generation was made of stronger stuff, even managing to stay married.
Each day it becomes more and more obvious that Muddled Mrs. May is gradually watering down Brexit so that it will eventually become meaningless, having us remaining firmly in the dreaded Union that is ruled by Mrs. Merkel. Today's "Times" said that "EU could block trade deals for three years", and businesses in this country would be allowed three years after our departure to adjust. Meanwhile, immigrants could continue to flood in to our already grossly overpopulated country. So we might as well forget about our withdrawal from those nasty people, especially as Mrs. May's senior members are in favour of staying in, wanting the cheap immigrant labour.
It is not too difficult to predict the next twelve months. Having managed to get itself into a hopeless tangle over Brexit, the Government will fall, and in the ensuing general election Mr. Corbyn will come sweeping into power, quickly having another referendum that will overwhelmingly bring a victory for us staying in Europe. Meanwhile, we have to endure all this hot air that is getting nowhere, the woman Prime Minister not having a clue what she is doing.
A correspondent, responding to my entry last week in which I remarked that "' Can any intelligent man really believe, for instance, that there is a God who listens to millions and millions of prayers every day? Surely not,' wrote:' "An infinite God has no trouble with billions of prayers. So I still pray, for you and me."
I have no trouble with this. If people want to believe in prayer that is their right, obviously bringing them succour and satisfaction, but in my old age, no longer seeing religion as an eternal insurance or believing in a caring God, I find that I am going off religion, seeing it, as my father before me saw it, as so much mysticism and magic, the sadness being that religions all down the centuries have caused so much misery and murder. Sometimes I think it would be better if all religions could be banned.
The joyful headline in today's "Daily Express". I have always believed in the efficacy of wine, the very nectar of life.
I was hearing today about several people who have not enjoyed their holidays. One went to Minorca, finding that the place was horribly crowded, and others found the heat unbearable. Yet people continue to act like lemmings, going on these miserable holidays, especially those diabolical cruises in which you are more than likely to go home with some illness. Why do they do it; why do they waste thousands of pounds every year? Is it because of their empty lives, especially in retirement? In most instances there is a need to have a holiday to rest after one.
Back home I continued preparing the Scorpio for the MOT test on Wednesday of next week, cleaning the wheel hubs. The car is beginning to look quite good, though I fear rust is developing underneath, which is not a good sign.
A peaceful afternoon. On the 5 o'clock news I heard that the Governor of Guam had praised President Trump for his excellent handing of the North Korean episode, saying that bullies had to be dealt with by firm resolution, which the President gave. Of course, nobody else will give him any credit, such is the bias against him.
The evening, during which I had to have two injections, was spent reading more of the book about the Tsar Alexander II, which I am enjoying, despite the literary style.
WEDNESDAY 16 AUGUST
One of my readers has very kindly sent me an "Owners' Workshop Manual of the Avro Vulcan." At first I wondered why I had received this gift, not having a Vulcan in the back garden. But it is a splendid book, containing some really first-class photographs of this splendid and unusual aeroplane that went all the way to the Falklands to bomb the runway being used by the Argentineans, only for them to fill in the craters overnight, Nevertheless, it was a commendable flight. All the interior is shown in graphic and interesting detail.
During my days as Divisional Education Officer I was invited to a tour of Waddington aerodrome, when I clambered inside a Vulcan, finding it extremely confined; indeed, being of a rather large size I could hardly fit onto the pilot's seat, yet they flew for hour after hour. In days long gone by we would hear the Vulcans thundering over our village as they took off from the nearby Scampton aerodrome - a splendid sight, but oh so deafening.
Another reader has asked whether there are any back issues of the diary, to which I replied that I say the same things every week, so there is no need for such a facility.
Apparently, President Trump is in trouble yet again over his revised comments on the murderous rally, having rightly reverted to blaming both groups - the thoroughly nasty White Supremacists, and the bigoted and self-rightious civil rights mob who want to eradicate American history with their blinkered and hostile views. As Melanie Phillips said in her intelligent column in yesterdays "Times", the President is quite right to condemn both groups, each as bad as the other, the belligerent civil rights contingent having asked for trouble in attacking such violent men.
It made me laugh to read that the mad Kin Wrong-Un had humiliatingly and embarrassingly backed down in his conflict with President Trump, pathetically warning "the dangerous and reckless Yankees to watch their step." In other words, China had leaned upon him, knocking some sense into his silly head. Not surprisingly, the Governor of Gaum had congratulated President Trump on his stance, something that the teenage scribblers in the American press will never acknowledge from their comfy offices, hardly supportive of the nation.
A reader kindly sent me an "Avro Vulcan Owners' Workshop Manual". Not having a Vulcan in the garden, I wondered why I had been sent it, but it is an excellent book, giving some wonderful photographs of the splendid aeroplane. During my working days I was invited to Waddington airbase to go inside a Vulcan, and what a squash. We used to hear them going over the village, making an enormous, earth-shattering noise.
I woke up not feeling all that well, every bone I my body seeming to be aching. This, of course, is the expected delayed reaction to my chemotherapy last Thursday having been warned about the likely trouble. Somehow I felt like just lazing around, rather like a British worker, but I managed to ride in to town to buy an "i" and a memory stick I wanted to have for some photographs.
In the "i" I read that "50% of people suffer from 'nonophobia' - a fear of being without their mobile phome....Smartphones are so central to our lives that being separated from them for any length of time can put people into a high state of anxiety, and the problem, it seems, is only going to get worse."
I am convinced that this country has gone barking mad, people relying so stupidly and senselessly on these telephone toys, their lives so empty. I switch on my mobile telephone, for which I mistakenly have a 2-year contract, fortunately ending at the end of this year, about twice a week, mainly for making telephone calls, having no other use for the toy. When the contract mercifully ends I will switch to Pay-as-you-go, which will be a good deal cheaper.
I had intended doing some more work on the Scorpio when I arrived home from town, but I felt far too ill, shivering all over and every bone in my body aching; I managed the first five chemotherapy sessions without too much trouble, but this 6th one really put the boot in. However, I had been warned that it would be the worst of the chemotherapy sessions, but I did not think it would be as bad as this. I cannot remember feeling so poorly in all my life. Fortunately, I am told that the two remaining chemotherapy sessions will not be so bad, which is some comfort. Meanwhile, my left land is still blooded, looking very dark and angry.
Mrs. Copeland had gone to the monthly meeting of the Village Ladies Luncheon Club, so I had lunch on my own, consisting of soup, bread-rolls and one glass of real white wine, I then went to bed for an hour or so, feeling very sorry for myself. However, when Mrs. C . returned with members of the Luncheon Club to have wine outside in our community, I decided to join them, feeling that I must not give in to my illness. This attitude is how we lost the Empire, of which I still feel so very proud, a wonderfully civilising empire upon which the sun never set - and now look at some of the appalling countries that gained their independence.
The evening was spent reading some more of the book on Tsar Nicholas II and the terrible problems he faced in confinement during the terrible Russian Revolution -and how wrong was that dreadful man Lenin, a right thug who, along with Stalin, caused so much misery and privation throughout the country with their crazy, unworkable ideas on communism, that anti-life creed in which some men were more equal than others.
I got out of bed in the evening, feeling slightly better, and read some more of the book, on "The Last Tsar of Russia", which I am enjoying, despite the rather unpleasant literary style.
THURSDAY 17 AUGUST
I was amazed to read on the BBC news website yesterday evening that "Labour shadow minister Sarah Champion has quit the party's front bench after criticism over a newspaper article she wrote about grooming gangs. The Rotherham MP wrote in the Sun that Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls'." Isn't this precisely what has been happening in recent incidents that have been brought to court in this country; indeed, we were talking about this during our wine gathering yesterday afternoon, indicating what a terrible problem it was becoming in this country.?
Why is it that we have to hide from the truth about this deepening racial tension in this country? As the author of "The Strange Death of Europe" so rightly commented: "If we are on the side of the criminals, we are said to be on the side of the angels; if we fail to stand up for the interests of our country we are said to be siding with the devil." Presumably it is perfectly all right for these immigrants to sexually harm our women.
I was pleased to see that the good old "Daily Mail" had a headline today saying: "Hounded out for speaking up on child sex gangs", a Labour MP, subsequently suspended by the Party for inflammatory racism, having had the courage to condemn Pakistani immigrants and others who were sexually abusing young English girls, several cases of the abuse having recently reported in the press. As might be expected, Mr. Corbyn, who lives in a cacoon of dreams, has said that there must be no racial bitterness; in other words we live in a happy and harmonious multicultural society - if only! Were it not so serious, we would have to laugh at his dream world.
"The Daily Mail" also had the news that "1 in 5 unemployed are immigrants". So much for immigration benefiting the economy.
Meanwhile, President Trump is still being blamed for his stance on race relations, now being attacked by the gormless George Bush whom you might think would be hiding in the hills after his appalling Presidency. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Democrats just cannot get over their humiliating and substantial defeat in the Presidential Election (Electoral College: Mr. Trump 303; the Clinton woman 236).
On the BBC news website I saw that "President Trump has said he is scrapping two business councils after more bosses quit over his handling of violent clashes in Virginia.
Business leaders left the White House manufacturing council after the backlash against how he reacted to the far-right rally last weekend." He is wise to scrap these useless organisations that merely add a fifth wheel to the coach; indeed, he needs to go through his entire administration to remove some of the deadwood, some probably left over from the dismal years of obama.
President Trump's principal problem is that he has never been a politician, and therefore does not know how to deceive and misrepresent, not realising he has to say one thing while meaning something totally different. Naively, the President therefore honestly speaks his mind, and that will never do, never being accepted. The White Supremacists are accused of neo-Nazi behaviour, but here and in America we appear to be moving towards a Nazi-style regulation in which anybody not agreeing with the official policy is in deep trouble. I become more and more worried about writing this diary.
The "i" had a report that a "glut of vacancies means universities will lower entry requirements", making degrees even more worthless. Were I a youngster today I would never dream of going to university, much preferring to obtain a professional qualification instead. At least I can be thankful that my degree back in the 1950s is worth having. I went to the London School of Economics on a full grant as an independent student, and left LSE not owing a penny. Good old days.
Meanwhile, Mrs. May continues to lower the meaning and purpose of Brexit, now saying that all people from the EU will be allowed to come into this country, making the whole thing worthless, not that we will ever come out. I have to admit that I was completely wrong in being such an enthusiastic leaver, obviously not having appreciated the muddle to get out. On the other hand I do not think I am wrong about President Trump. Within the next year I believe he will have done a great deal to repair the ravages of obama, not that anybody will ever give him a chance.
Not that we can ever criticise the President when we have an utterly hopeless Prime Minister, a damaged, divided and disloyal woman who has not a clue what she is doing, changing her policies every third Tuesday. Fortunately, though, there is every hope that she will soon be gone, and good riddance.
The thuggish, disruptive and simple-minded antis, crazy civil rights mobsters who suffered when they tried to break up a White Supremecist rally last weekend, have now, as part of their demented hatred of American history, torn down this statute of a Confederate soldier as a further reprisal. Presumably this is criminal damage, and all very juvenile.
Much to my relief, I woke up feeling so much better today after the miserable illness of yesterday. So normal activities were resumed, going in to Lincoln on the scooter to have a photograph printed, and to post some letters, one to a reader in New Zealand who, in his 90s, has suffered a massive heart attack, now in a carehome/hospital. It is yet another reminder that we are living far too long, with awful consequences.
There was further heavy rain overnight in this terrible summer, and more rain during the morning, so further work on the Scorpio had to be postponed. The afternoon was spent reading in the conservatory, resuming in the evening after high tea. A relaxing, not unpleasant day, being so thankful that I was feeling so much better.
Lincolnshire 17th August 2017
Diary of an Octogenarian
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