September 9th, 2019

A Bit Of A Ramble- Rather Like One Of Johnson's Speeches In Fact

"How are you this morning?" asks Ailz

"Cold," I say, as I struggle into my body warmer.

"Then you'll have to shut some doors, won't you," she says.

"But the cats like to go in and out," I say.

"Well they'll have to get used to not being able to," she replies.

I've seen the weather map. There's a big blue meanie sitting over our quarter of Kent. I seems as though we're going to have rain all day.

I keep starting to write a piece about the state of British politics and then giving up. The situation is at once so complicated and so simple. The new Prime Minister and the parliament he no longer controls are playing a game of tic-tac-toe- one makes a move, the other blocks the move and so ad infinitum- (because no-one ever wins or loses at tic-tac toe once they've worked it out.) Meanwhile EU officials cast a cold eye and say "actually you're exiting on October 31st, deal or no deal- so there." I cast around for a metaphor and John Davidson comes to my aid, "It's playing bowls upon a splitting wreck."

Thank you, John, that'll do very nicely.

I read a piece in the NY Times this morning because I thought it might be gainful to see what outsiders think. The Times compares Johnson to Trump- and says he's taking advantage of the woolliness of the British constitution to do things that are at the very limit of whats legal and politically acceptable. For instance he gave a speech in front of a backdrop of massed police cadets which was supposed to be about funding but turned into a party political rant- which was terribly unEnglish of him- and the sort of thing American presidents and foreign dictators do regularly but British PMs don't- only nowhere does it say in writing that they can't. The effect was somewhat spoiled when one of the cadets- who'd been on her feet for an hour and unlike Boris didn't have a lectern to lean on- went all wobbly and had to sit down. So far, so Boris. Remember how he got stuck on a malfunctioning slip wire with a helmet on his head and a miniature union flag in each hand? Things keep going all slapstick on him but it never seems to matter. The bumble is factored into his act; it makes him seem harmless.

Does he want a No Deal Brexit? I rather think he does. Why? Because a crisis will give him the chance to remake the nation in his own image. Is he up to the job? Probably not. Will he survive long enough to bestride the narrow world like a colossus? Again, probably not, but who can tell?

Meanwhile the party he supposedly leads is falling apart like an old flivver with Oliver Hardy at the wheel.

Norwich Roof Boss #3

A good number of the cloister bosses represent scenes from the Apocalypse- and I think this must be the first of them. John is asleep and Jesus is creeping up behind him. That's not exactly how the text says things happened (in the text St John hears a voice like a trumpet and turns to see one "like unto the Son of Man" in a blaze of glory) but the figure on the right is definitely Jesus (no-one else wears a halo with a cross in it) and the beardless male is almost certainly St John so what else could it be?