Topical news story - with no comment

Dash it chaps, I have piccies of yours truly in suit and tie at various UN meetings, with political bigwigs and also barefoot in the street with the young homeless in India on horseback working in the Andes and so on. See me now, shambling wreck with white hair down past me shoulders, but no bl**dy vanity pony tail thank you and joy of all joys, I only bother to shave about four times a year. Now that is what some of those types should learn to enjoy instead of stuffed shirts after the occasional stuffed beast.

Many people enjoy tales of Lardface in his younger days. Bercow will probably have a job controlling the oinks from the oiks when Cameron next enters the Commons Chamber.

I started my Cantabrigensian years in one of the oldest colleges, they did things that make Porterhouse Blue look like normality and all with every conversation in either Latin or ancient Greek. I defected to a place that is relatively normal (although I still belong to the original one's roll) as a postgrad but then once postdoc and in various societies professionally came across what we might call eccentricity. I was offered a seat by the leader of the opposition at that time in the presence of the PM but have enough shadows behind me to instinctively say no chance. None of it involved ladies of the night, lines of white powder, burning large cash denominations and especially no even remotely bestial activity.

Spot on, exactly, actually-actually and frightfully. Was given lessons on how to furl and umbrella and walk with same as a proper chap with at least a trilby, not to mention ballroom dancing classes to avoid treading on gels's feet. Didn't want to meet the wrong sort of person, after all. It was all cockers pees, gooooff and tennis clubs. Plenty of good gravel under smart wheels too. They should see me now.

Should mention that I personally belonged to sundry strange dining clubs, among them the Savoy Breakfast, the Reverse Lunch (very dangerous but no pigs), the Committee (even more dangerous with various wild battle cries which are still used whenever telephoning or greeting other members such as are still with us) and several other which I won't invite ire here on. I was asked to be an MP on more than one occasion and I eventually decided not to follow that route for various reasons one of which being that I diddn't want to be an embarrassment if my past caught up with me. It seems that I made one wise decision at least.

Jolly good show, what ?

Yes, of course David ....we

have, by the way an architect staying at our place next year.

Coming from UK as many of our clients do.

Oh gosh, I say old bean... :-D

I think we are all allowed a moment or two of light hearted fun. If I go to a dinner party I probably don't want to listen to hours of serious philosophical discussion. This sort of stuff has been going on since man first emerged from the darkness.

Which is precisely what people said about the DSK story as it broke. Apart from that we are making a feast of a meal because it is an invitation to have a bit of fun. As for news, welllllll if you really want VW, medication that costs a $1 to make being sold for $750, the ongoing refugees stories, the actual war in Syria, Greece, the Pope in the USA, Turkey, the Security Council and a few others, there is nothing much to raise even a glimmer of a smile! But rest assured, there is lots of news and many of us very well informed. We have decided to have a laugh whilst we can.

Cannot see what the fuss is all about. So he smoked something dodgy and belonged to a strange dining club. Just the usual crap newspaper serve up to the idiots who got nothing better to think about. Cannot be much going on the world if rubbish like this gets published.

Thanks for that Brian- you are a mine of information on the subject. Suicide is a really horrid thing and I have always supposed that it required awful guts.

Actually, high suicides and socialism (not that it ever was that) is a popular myth. In fact liver diseases far more appropriately associated to high fat and sugar consumption, which historical correlate with hard winters, boosted by excessive alcohol consumption which has a several century long history, cause pain and severe depression. Hence suicides. That was a Soviet psychology conclusion several times over, but nobody believed it, however since 1989 several new studies have been done, including ones done by people from outside the countries in question, that provide that picture. It is a bit of an odd phenomenon since the Baltic states are each different to the other, Lithuania higher than poorer Estonia with Latvia low incidence, Czechs very high, Slovaks low and Poland patchy, Russia is across the board pretty awful.

As to the UK, the guesstimated 3000 is mainly assessed against people either already all but dying because their conditions were so advanced, people who are genuinely unable to work being struck off as needing disability benefits when they could not physically go to work. The figures are badly distorted by the fact that there is an assumption that they are all committing suicide. They are not, but of those who have the ambiguity is being used to dismiss them from possibly being driven to ending their lives because of that. Others have starved to death after losing benefits, some died from exposure for lack of heating, numbering in the hundreds, but as death by natural causes do not require any more than a regular doctor's certificate of notification of their death and may under certain circumstances require examination by a pathologist thus have their death 'signed off' by a coroner. Whatever the case, and leaving particular political persuasions aside, since the change in benefit policy, structure and practice changed associable deaths have vastly increased. IDS refuses to actually ever comment and his HoC confrontations with all parties, including his own, have shown that he is driving that policy.

Comparing suicide rates, benefit systems and so on between countries does not work very well David, in both cases systems, definitions and so on are too disparate for them to work but the media makes fair weather of them in order to create stories.

Or as one would say in good German - Schweinerei

I think one coroner blamed the DWP policy for one death. That coroner has a long history of controversy and has upset a large number of muslim and jewish people. There have been numerous compaints about her. I don't deny that people may have been very distressed by removal of benefits but some of those benefits have bben in many cases rightly removed because some people were not making the effort to get into or back to work. I had two very close but severely disabled friends who for 50 years fought their disabilities and had successful lives and careers. At the other end of the extreme I have also known people destryed absolutely by failure who were unable to lift the yoke and who ended up making that final gesture. Money or lack of it is by no means the only motivation for such acts. There are several epople in my village here who appear to be young, fit and healthy, yet they seemingly get by because it's too easy to live off the French state. Everybody in the village knows who they are but the village to an extent supports them by making family gifts to the needy at Christmas, a Christian time for giving but it's not only Christians who are the recipients. BTW the suicide rate in the UK is relatively low compared to many countries known for their socialist welfare benefits. There may indeed be a link between socialism and suicide but that will be for some new doctoral thesis no doubt. Socialism and vodka and suicide certainly seem to uplift the figures.

The disabled. 3000 dead

Bet the Pig Breeders monthly is having a field day hearing about such 'cochonnerie' !


There would naturally be a flagrunt denial of any such stymieing of evidence of damage. He would undoubtedly use it as a good bit of PR on other ways of using pork...

A so will end the sad, curly parliamentary tail tale. Well, for today.

Regrettably the whole of this unsavoury episode must have done enormous damage to the British pig industry. and Prime Minister should be asked during PMQ today what plans he has to put life back into it.

Meanwhile I offer some more appetising ways to enjoy the animal: