Bristling Brock speaks out...


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The Labour Party leadership contest continues with a three to one female to male bias in the runners.  Bristling Brock can’t help but think that this is more to do with gender diktat from the NEC than it is to do with genuine talent and capability for the role.  That’s not to say that the bias should be the other way around, rather it is comment upon the obsessions our institutions and much of our population have adopted in this sensitive politically correct domain - that of pushing a viewpoint on anything from gender, race, sexuality, faith and endless other subjects that are driven by fashion and collective band-waggoning.  Being seen to be woke rather than having common sense and decent outlooks has transcended all cultural norms that would, under less scrutinised conditions, have served us much better.  If you ain’t woke in todays Britain, then you are automatically labelled prejudiced.  When BB looks around at our culture and civilisation these days and the people it glorifies as role models, he thinks it preferable to be unwokable.

Trumpy is in the midst of his impeachment proceedings, albeit that he is not there to participate in them.  Again, it’s a numbers game, like two armies facing off - the weight of argument from Democrats against him and the weight of Republicans for him which will be translated into the numbers that vote to proceed with impeachment against those that would cast it aside.  Whichever option, it’s a poor representation of what being the leader of the free world is all about.  Bristling Brock is pretty convinced that the proceedings against Trump will be abandoned and, if the pundits are right with their predictions, he’ll be brought back for a second term.  The theatre of Washington going through this charade is less than edifying on the world stage - whatever the rights and wrongs of the situation may be.

A beaming Boris signing off on the Brexit withdrawal agreement is significant - constitutionally and in terms of the political detachment from the EU it signifies.  The deal is, of course, far from yet being struck in terms of trade and commerce and the perfidious French are already trying to insist on UK waters fishing rights across the EU membership being assured for the next 25 years.  There was a time when we’d tell the French where to go with their demands - for in truth, French obduracy has caused us and Europe in general, much heartache throughout modern history - perhaps most strikingly in the case of Premier Clemenceau’s obsession with bleeding Germany dry through the Versailles terms of 1919.  All of Europe saw and suffered the consequences of that stubborn stupidity in the shape of WW2.  Let’s hope Boris keeps his mettle and fends off the petty mindsets of the French.

The arrival of substantial traces of plastic in the waters of Antarctica is concerning for us all.  Yet the world is at variously staggered stages of development and the cessation of indiscriminate pollution is a hope that is looking increasingly far fetched - especially from nations that, almost by cultural position oppose the courses for remediation that are being proposed in the more developed areas of the world.  Getting this to a position of common understanding is one of centuries rather than decades - even if the human species is still around in centuries ahead.  Can we, realistically, change the minds of major polluters such as China, India and others when their entire way of life is geared so differently to those of nations in the West ?  And who are we to preach that doctrine to them, for we started the whole world destruction process off less than three centuries ago.  Goose and gander come to mind here.  We wish for commonality of purpose across the globe.  The truth, however, is that the discord’s that exist between nations and the resultant lack of collaborations are the result of what we are - being the human species, programmed by evolutionary influences to reach a point of extinction as the next chapter of the world’s history emerges.  The extinctions of the past are not unique to those concerned - there is a clear and immutable course set by every species, and just possibly we are reaching the twilight phase of Homo Sapiens existence.  Grim stuff, a hobby-horse topic for BB !!!

Enjoy the weekend....


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The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement will be activated on 31st January and continued alignment with EU regulation will continue up until the end of December, 2020.   Beyond that is pure speculation - deal or no deal, you might say.   Yet this is the process that is now in motion - whether it is liked or not - so is it not incumbent upon every UK citizen to make the whole dynamic work to mutual best advantage ?  Isn't it better for the country to get behind this generational political shift and make it a great success - for what will it achieve if there is continued moaning and groaning that disaster is looming ?   For those comfortable with the dynamic of leaving, it is not so with a sense of 'having beaten the Remoaners', rather it is with a sense of future opportunity, expression and, of course, national sovereignty being re-ignited.  Triumphalism - that over-used word - is not, for the most part, anything to do with the occurrence of Brexit, quite the opposite.  It is a renewed belief in what Britain stands for, what it is capable of doing, its direction of travel and its future national identity.  Whether we like it or not, every country is different - we can still be friends, but we have different priorities, values and beliefs in so many things - and that, for Europe in particular, was a destiny forged immutably over a thousand years ago when the very nature of national identity emerged.  We can become Pan-Global citizens with some common objectives, but those do not subsume those objectives of the nation state.  What we strive for is common purpose, common action and common recognition of those issues that affect us all - but beneath that aspiration there are people - you and I - who, by virtue of being part of the human species, have views, opinions and arguments that the sovereign state should be prepared to take account of in its international relationships and governmental positions.  Idealistic ?  Maybe, but it is a gold standard to aim for.  The times of division need to end.  Britain must get working on making the exit from the EU a political, social, judicial and economic success because if we continue to squabble and sulk, we won't get to where we need to be.  And that would result in die-hard Remainers exhorting triumphalism - but to no meaningful end.  So let's all just get on with making Britain a success again.

The Labour Party leadership contest was always going to be a mixture of comedy and bizarre posturing.  Engulfed in socialist doctrine, none of the contenders have properly recognised the need to translate this into meaningful stratagems that benefit the population.   It is a depressing burlesque show, for the reality of democratic, parliamentary governance is that there is government counter-balanced by effective opposition.  Effective opposition has been absent from our democracy this past 10 years due to the Labour Party writhing with the contradiction of the perfect socialist state against the reality of democracy - the two of which are never likely to meet.  Here, in the third decade of the 21st Century, we still have Marxist purists believing in their souls that this can be mutated with an increasingly diverse British population that long ago understood that purism and pragmatism seldom function together.   To get an effective opposition in parliament, we need some pragmatists at the helm.  Of the present contenders, only Lisa Nandy stands aside of the others as being a realist.  Whether she has the wherewithall to translate that into becoming a future prime minister is still an open question - the others have no hope.   And, as all the pundits have already remarked, whilst she may be the best of a poor bunch, she will not get elected by virtue of the Labour movements voting system.  You could call it masochism, couldn't you ? 

Iran maintains its aggressive world position with a zealotry and messianic fervour that few of us in the West recognise or understand.   It's not clear to BB what Iran even wants out of this positioning unless its true desire is to develop a nuclear arsenal that can be used against Israel.  But then they would invoke Armageddon upon themselves and countless others in the region - is that what they aspire to, a war defined passage to their paradise ?  It can only be hoped that the rising opposition to the Iranian theocratic regime will start to have a major influence over future developments.

Trumpy has recruited a cohort of celebrity associated lawyers to defend his impeachment case.  It's probably wise that he doesn't defend himself as his ability to use language in a convincing and authoritative way is clearly not his strong suit, nor is his ability to be self-deprecating (having recently listened to his views on climate change and '...all these gasses spewing out...' it is abundantly clear that his self esteem far outweighs any sense of realism or understanding - or indeed, expression).  It'll be an interesting episode, no doubt being closely observed by Netflix, Amazon and others with a view to launching a major new mini-series on the affair.  God Bless America !

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There is a current spate of very poor quality reporting - globally - that is creating news from a platform of often almost non-existent facts.   It's been going on for quite a time, but in this early start to the new decade there is a vacuum of substance in the news world arena that has led to serious faced 'journalists' appearing on tv, and in the written dimension through newsprint, telling us a story - be it Ukrainian airline disasters, Harry & Meghan, global disaster apocalypses, assassinations, terrorists, etc, etc, etc - that are based on mere extrapolations of the flimsiest fact and reality.  The big problem is that these sources, by repetitive telling, transfer speculation into fact in the minds of significant parts of any population.   By telling the same thing over and over, no matter how baseless the storyline might be, the fiction becomes the fact, the unusual becomes the norm and the gullible become influenced.

The question, therefore, might be, 'How important is that ?'  Do we accept, in the round, that the news we hear and read is gospel or do we adopt a cynicism that questions everything we glean from media outlets ?  Do we place the responsibility upon the channels that pump news and information at us 24 hours a day to be responsible, professional and impartial or do we select those channels of information in some sort of hierarchy of credibility that places, say, The Daily Telegraph in a higher and more believable position than a tabloid like The Daily Mail ?  Whichever position we adopt, we actually never really know whether we are hearing fact based truth or speculation and opinion.   Extend that gloomy thought further and look at literature, science. history and countless other respectable disciplines and you might reach the same conclusion - each is based upon some fact (or so we suppose) but much of what we read in these contexts is an interpretation of a small amount we do know into a wider portrait about which we all, individually, draw a conclusion.  Nobody has an identical 'interpretation process' that can consolidate an absolute picture.   Some geneticists have distinguished this phenomena as being unique to us as the Homo Sapien species, a species capable of thinking up fictions and scenarios that suit our individual chemistry, wiring, DNA, etc in a way that enables us to position ourselves in whatever circumstance we find - a sort of individual world that we encapsulate ourselves within to explain the complexities of life in general and, perhaps more importantly, help us create, innovate and evolve.  Deep and searching stuff, but it reminds BB, that the world we live in is increasingly commercialised and competitive and the media are just a fragment of that whole - but with profit always underpinning their output.

Now onto trains.  In particular, the beleagured operators who really give every impression of not really knowing what they are doing.   Here we have classic instances of profit driving the service rather than service driving profit.  The woeful competence of operators like Northern Rail and the Trans-Pennine Express with ever hiked fare prices, diminishing and unreliable service lead us inexorably to the conclusion that public services should not be in the hands of private enterprise that decide to buy rolling stock from Spanish companies that didn't understand the specifications, and left the poor old commuter for ever grinding his teeth at the absence of trains themselves, drivers and a coherent timetable.   BB shudders at the Corbynite notion of public ownership but surely there must be some dynamic to empower government to intercede and keep these poorly managed franchises on track...

The Labour Party are going to drag us through three months of leadership squabbling.   None of the current candidates is that inspiring - could you actually imagine any of them as Prime Minister ?  Hopefully you cannot.  But we are all going to be exposed to the wailing and teeth gnashing of hard left-wing exponents, of centre-left exponents and - just possibly - a centrist. The outcome will, I regret, not improve Labour's standing - not because BB has any empathy with that party but because the exercise of democracy through parliamentary governance needs an effective opposition.  Right now, a continuance of that absence seems likely. 

It's difficult to decide whether to congratulate Trumpy on some master-stroke foreign intervention that he knows something about that we don't (hard to imagine, I know) or to wonder whether bluster and sheer spontaneity rule his thinking about such adventures as killing off an Iranian terrorist in Iraq.  He continues to dumbfound.   His support in the US seems sound (BB always finds it extraordinary how many rednecks he can conjure up to listen to him), he looks likely to win the next presidential election (though perhaps that may be as much to do with a very poor Democrat opposition), and he holds such a high opinion of himself that, despite everything, is almost convincing !   What an enigma. 




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