Home » Agony Uncle » The sleaze is just impenetrable; the stench unbearable.

The sleaze is just impenetrable; the stench unbearable.

The Pumpkin News

January 2017

“It doesn’t do to try to out-Nazi the Nazis. Nazi-ing is what they do best.”


Life’s full of contradictions, ain’t it?

From: Our Man in Washington, Fargel Narrage, ©2017. @sunningdalegolfclub.net

It seems odd.

Why would the Kremlin have built up a dirty dossier on Trump especially?

A ‘kompromat’ blackmail operation going back several years, in order to turn him into the Manchurian Candidate, a Russian sleeper: yet, until last summer, there was apparently no prospect of a narcissistic, bullying, misogynistic, tacky reality TV show host; a notoriously thin-skinned and defensive, autocratic global business tycoon with no political experience or friends in Washington, a corporatist foreign policy agenda and an utter disregard for the truth as a negotiating tool ever being nominated as the Republican candidate?

If it was an investment, boy is it paying off.

According to the veteran Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee, who interviewed him in 1988, even then he was harbouring ambitions to ‘make America great again’. Long before President Obama brought the nation to its knees with affordable healthcare for all, and Crooked Hillary was abusing children in a pizza parlor in Washington, Trump was arguing that the US was being ‘kicked around’ (a curious echo of the notorious Nixon resignation press conference, where he moaned: “‘now you won’t have Nixon to kick around any more”) and had lost its standing, power and credibility in the world. In the right circumstances, yes, he would run for President…

So did Russia have a hand in creating the circumstances – while at the same time ensuring they had leverage over their man? They say you can’t kid a kidder, but Trump is so vain, it’s a major weakness that he always imagines himself to be on top, which of course in a golden-shower situation with prostitutes you aren’t. (That was a joke, I imagine. Odd flashes of humor alert.)

I’ve noticed, by the way, that whenever he is accused of wrongdoing, Mr Trump always turns his denials into diversionary narratives, in what may be unconscious admissions of guilt. “I own hotels, so I know about secret cameras” would be one of them. Seriously? He has those in his hotels? “I’m a germophobe” (so was Howard Hughes, it must go with the money) was his way of denying the story that he paid prostitutes to piss on a Moscow hotel bed. Not: “I’m a happily married man, I would never do that!” but a dubious medical explanation invoking a mental disorder. Crazy.

Is it possible that the highly experienced and apparently well-regarded by his fellow Brit spooks, former MI6 Russia desk chief Chris Steele, who has been named (unusually) as the author of a 35-page report on the alleged dossier, and who is said by the CIA to be a reliable source, has had this stuff planted on him in an elaborate Kremlin double-bluff operation?

The report is months old, and was apparently commissioned by unnamed dissident Republicans opposed to the Trump nomination – Steele (who has gone into hiding) now runs a private intel company in London and charged £130,000 for his services. Why has US intelligence, that has known about this stuff for six months, only now at the eleventh hour released a two-page digest via John McCain and CNN, with a leak for insurance to Buzzfeed, casting doubt on the President-elect’s loyalties?

The obvious reason is because of his attacks on them over the other claim that Putin in person had authorised the hacking, both of the Democratic National Congress and of the opposing Republican National Congress; and that Wikileaks had chosen to, er, leak only the former, to discredit Hillary; while remaining curiously mute about whatever the hackers had found out about the Republican campaign.

The man from Ecuador

Not long ago, Trump was calling for Wikileaks’ founder, Julian Assange*, to be executed. Now it seems he can’t sing his praises highly enough, although of course he denies that the leaks have benefited his campaign at the expense of his opponent’s.

Which may be why he has put the inept Rudy Giuliani in charge of America’s cyber security. The former Mayor of New York’s crime-busting consultancy boasts of its record on cyber security, a claim that inevitably resulted in a torrent of fun memes from the hacker community, who immediately set-to rummaging around in his files before going public with the many, many failings, software redundancies and pathetic safeguarding inadequacies of Giuliani’s firm’s own systems.

So then if you wanted the Russians to have free access to your servers, you know who to call.

So many contradictions: so much ‘don’t do as I say, just pay for what I do and pray I don’t fuck it all up’. As Heraclitus wrote, ‘all is flux’.

With the latest allegations, Trump has childishly compared the CIA and FBI to ‘Nazis’; although in the illusory, quantum world of Trump’s strategic brain the row which that caused could be a ploy to draw attention away from the congressional hearings into the profound unsuitability of his ghastly crew of billionaire donor appointees to his transitional cabinet.

Already over a thousand lawyers and academics have signed letters protesting the appointment of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions 111 – Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama – as Attorney General on the grounds that his ‘non-racist, pro-Civil Rights’ CV is a total fabrication and a whitewash. He never defended those cases, they point out, he prosecuted them. It’s on record, if only the Senate investigators care to look.

The choice of the ‘Nazis’ epithet was instructive; a Freudian slip. Just as the media has been anguishing over Trump’s choice of alt-right high priest and Breitbart News co-founder, the dissolute-looking Steve Bannon, as his strategic advisor, and the overall tenor of a far-right, authoritarian/white supremacist administration taking shape, Trump comes out with this bit of transference: if we’re the Nazis, so are you, with knobs on!

It doesn’t do to try to out-Nazi the Nazis. Nazi-ing is what they do best.

And then there’s the nasty bullying and freezing out of and treatening to sue media that reports on things he doesn’t want them reporting on. It’s bound to result in the self-censorship as survival strategy that will help to cover up whatever nefarious deeds he has planned (his friend and media strategist, Peter Thiel, another litigious and thin-skinned billionaire, has already put one news website out of business in a $35 million lawsuit over outing him as a gay man).

It does not bode well for a new administration claiming that it wants to get closer to Russia – Trump has frequently spoken admiringly of his fellow kleptocrat, Putin, and rubbished the North Atlantic alliance – to be falling out so badly with its intelligence community, especially with NATO/Russian relations on a knife-edge (the US has just sent three thousand troops with tanks and battlefield nukes to Poland, a move cheerfully hailed by the Kremlin as an act of aggression – after all, does it not make their frequently denied incursions into Ukraine a symmetrical strategy?).

Why is he saying those things, in complete contradistinction to the pronouncements of his pet generals, like the eminently reasonable-sounding ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, who has very clearly asserted that he is resolutely pro-NATO in the face of Russian aggression? (Unless he really isn’t. Who knows what the hell these people will say next?)

On the other hand, what has the CIA ever done for us, that was open, honest, ethical and above-board? And when did they stop interfering in other countries’ elections?

Anyway, today the Trumpkin is again offering an olive branch to Moscow: do good things with us and I’ll lift those sanctions. Does he mean resolve the Syria conflict, fire Assad, withdraw the troops from the Baltic, get out of the Donbass, take our side against China and help to defeat IS? Probably not. Do another kleptocratic deal over drilling rights with Rex Tillerson and Exxon, the hell with the welfare of the ordinary Russian people, we’ll put billions more dollars in your Panama account, we’ll forgive you for Crimea and your mates can go back to digging out their Knightsbridge basements, is more like it.

As if those contradictions weren’t enough, today comes a report that Israeli media are saying their intelligence agency, Mossad, has been warned by the CIA not to share intel with the White House until links with Putin have been thoroughly investigated as they fear Trump has been compromised and is not to be trusted with secrets that might find their way back to Teheran.

Trump, however, has been bullishly supportive of the illegal settlements in face of Obama’s profound reservations and the recent UN resolution; and he has pledged to roll-back the Iran nuclear deal that a hawkish Tel Aviv finds so uncongenial.

Is he just saying those things to keep Israel quiet, to divert attention away from the Russian connection, which might fatally compromise the State Department’s position with Tel Aviv? To get in good with the Manhatten set? Or just covering-up some underlying mid-east strategy we don’t hear about through his incoherent tweets and speeches, like invading Iran? God knows, he has enough retired generals on his transition team (“I know more about ISIS than any generals, believe me…”).

Or does he just want Netanyahu’s blessing to put his brand on hotels in Tel Aviv? How deep is his strategy, beyond just utilising his serendipitous position to make more money for Trump Family Enterprises Inc?

The worst thing about this transition to a new ‘anti-political, swamp-reclaiming’ paradigm in US politics is its sheer murkiness. The sleaze is just impenetrable, the stench unbearable.

Meanwhile the diehard Dumbfucks of the rustbelt continue to worship him, even as his overall poll ratings slide and the list of those with funerals to go to on Inauguration day grows longer.

Quite a good timeline of the dirty dossier affair, or what is likely to become known as ‘golden showergate’, can be found on:


*The plot so far: Julian, an Australian citizen, is skulking in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden on a rape charge because he fears being extradited or even renditioned from Stockholm to the USA over the leaking of the Snowden files, where he faces a potential life sentence. He has claimed in his defence that he was ‘compromised’ by US intelligence, using a woman who seduced him at a reception and then cried rape when he had another go in the morning, as you do – it being the best time of day before a long leisurely breakfast. He presumably hopes that by aiding the Republican candidate in the US election by helping to compromise the Democratic candidate through the release via his Wikileaks website of damaging intel gained by Russian hackers, he has given himself a get-out-of-jail card with President-elect Trump.

Does this stuff have an outcome?


Long live the King!

I had one of those brief, lucid dreams last night that, as I was walking along the riverbank, an elderly woman passing-by on the footpath muttered to me that she had heard the Queen had died.

I haven’t been trusting those Palace bulletins about Her Majesty suffering from a ‘heavy cold’, that’s been keeping her for weeks at Sandringham away from her official duties, it’s what they always say when the old monarch is on the way out. It’s more likely pleurisy; pneumonia – antobiotic resistance.

The unworthy thought that immediately popped into this cynical old walnut was, of course, that she should hurry up if she’s going to go, get it over with this week.

Not that I have anything against her, or would wish anyone away before their time, but…

The death of the Queen of England after 65 years on the throne and the controversial accession of my old school chum, the mystic Charlie-boy, would be a story of such huge global importance that they would surely have to postpone the Trumpkin’s inauguration on Friday as a mark of respect.

Possibly for long enough to get impeachment proceedings or a white-coat job under whatever passes in the USA for our mental health act, as he is clearly dangerously unstable, under way before he can pass an executive order like Caesar Augustus did, making himself a God.


All news is fake news

You can’t believe anything you hear on the news.

According to the news, Britain was heading for a little ice-age today as an ‘Arctic Maritime Air Mass Event’, or ‘winter’ as it’s colloquially known in January, flooded the country, bringing ‘up to 4 inches  of snow’, ‘freezing temperatures’ and ’60 mph winds’ to all parts.

It wasn’t quite what the weather forecasters were saying, but it was a story to divert attention from whatever was really going on.

Thanks to the news, thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes on the east coast, ahead of an expected ‘two-metre tidal surge’ that at the time of writing has yet to eventuate*. This morning’s high tide passed off normally, to everyone’s great surprise, but who knows what horrors will be borne on the waves when darkness falls and the tide returns? (Spoiler alert: none. Didn’t happen, folks.)

In what remains of Europe, it’s been minus 30 deg C. Some Greek islands are cut off by snow. People – mainly poor villagers with no heating, refugees huddled in tents – have been freezing to death.

That’s winter news for you. But we don’t like to hear about freezing refugees, as we’ve spent the last two years fending them off with boathooks and their deaths are on our consciences. So that’s not much in the news.

Here on the west coast it’s been a bit windy and quite cold, about 3 deg C, although it warmed up later. We had a brief hailstorm last night accompanied by a rumble of thunder. I phoned my ex-sister-in-law in London – okay, she phoned me, I never phone anyone, I’m a phonophobe – as I was concerned about images of snow blanketing the capital. Oh, she said, yes, we had a little flurry here but nothing has settled.

Something is going on. The news media cannot be getting this agitated about a little bit of normal wintry weather in January for no reason.

What are we not being told? Probably lots of things about how shitty everything is getting.

One clue was contained in a TV weather forecast, where the forecaster showed us the weather map from the same day in 1983, when we had a similar plume of cold air moving down from the Arctic and the country was blanketed with snow. The average national temperature that day over the UK was minus 8 deg C.

Winters are definitely getting warmer.

So now, the only way to find out what’s really going on is to forget the BBC. Visit al-Jazeera, Russia Today (RT), Breitbart, Buzzfeed, NSNBC.

Telling it like it is.

*Oh, but the surge arrived unexpectedly ahead of, or after, high tide, not sure which, but not at the same time, and 30 homes on the seafront in Yorkshire were flooded. Better safe than sorry, eh? Back you go then.


Keep calm and carry on

Theresa May obviously watches the BBC’s Casualty rather than the American documentary, House.

British medical soaps invariably involve patients who are personally known to and in some kind of dramatic relationship with the medical staff, who are generally in dramatic relationships with one another.

It’s all rather staid. Like Theresa, actually. And when things go wrong in Casualty, they seem to do so in ones. (Unless some writer on drugs has written a Christmas special where an airliner falls from the sky into the hospital yard. Even then they never seem able to afford more than a dozen cast members and a rented ambulance.)

Without wishing to come over all Andrea Leadsom, as a father-of-two I have to comment that, without offspring, it is impossible to expect that Mrs May has had much contact, either with the education sytem, or with the NHS. Later in life, if one has failed to make it big, as they say, if one has not become the PM, one’s disintegrating carcass is increasingly thrown on the mercy of doctors – a quality in their case that can be sometimes strained.

My own painful experiences with hospitals in the past six months suggest that in order to portray a more realistic frontline medical unit in action, writers and producers need to introduce a more, er, random element to their narratives. A study of Chaos theory might not go amiss. For Casualty, to bring it into the 21st century one might cheerfully substitute the new programme title, ‘Mayhem!’

Plus, obviously, treble the number of groaning extras held for days on trolleys in corridors, if they can be prised out of the ambulance queue, and quadruple the number of blue-uniforms rushing hither and yon, desperately recycling half the number of beds needed to treat the legion of referrals of mostly elderly hip-fractures from A&E and possible cardiac cases from GP surgeries, patients who may have to wait weeks before they can finally be operated on or discharged into an uncaring, underresourced, underfunded ‘community’.

Like the public elevators, half the equipment won’t be working, and the other half won’t have enough staff to operate it. To get to your destination, you will have to fight your way through a bazaar of fundraising cake-stalls, jugglers and snake-charmers.  ‘Tests’ will all come back negative, because positive results cost money. There’ll be a three-week wait to see your own GP, after your appointment to make an appointment. If they are under 50, your GP won’t know how to examine you and probably would feel a bit squeamish doing so. They won’t risk a diagnosis for fear of being sued, so they’ll send you away with a scrip for more tests.

I’d bet Theresa May gets her information about the NHS from watching Casualty. See, this episode there are only two patients on the ward. One is about to haemorrhage violently, but the junior doctor has not spotted it because she is concerned about her upcoming disciplinary hearing, in which she will be accused of  purloining the contents of the drugs cabinet for her boyfriend just out of prison. The other patient is the ex-lover of the wife of the senior registrar, who is having an affair with the consultant anaesthetist. Enter as an emergency admission after attempting to leap from a bridge, the self-harming, anorexic daughter of patient one, adopted at birth…

But Charlie Fairhead, at 103 the world’s oldest charge nurse, will quiver sagely and health will be restored.

So all of the experts screaming for help are just being hysterical. Everything is under control. Look, that lovely Indian anaesthetist has got personal issues! Her qualifications are perhaps not quite bone fide. But her colleagues will rally round before she goes home for the evening for a glass of well-chilled Chardonnay and a bunk-up with the senior registrar’s wife.

Crisis, what crisis?


Adherents of the new BBC1 Saturday nite series Taboo will know what I mean.

The obvious solution to the problems of Brexit is to revive the British East India Company. A bit of corporate ruthlessness is what’s needed. A spot of privateering. A private army. Out of Europe, our many borders under control once more, we can no longer afford to treat Johnny Foreigner, especially of the duskier varieties, with kid gloves.

After all, can we not manage their countries better than they can?

In their own interests, of course.




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