Home » Apologies for everything » Anger management issues, #1 and #2. Syria: a grotesque deception? Plus: Cheese-dreams; The Sekulow Society…

Anger management issues, #1 and #2. Syria: a grotesque deception? Plus: Cheese-dreams; The Sekulow Society…

“I am sanguine even when the Prime Minister of a minority House bribes the tiny and rebarbative Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland with my money for their vote…”

Anger management issues

I am so angry in general, I find I am no longer angered by things I would have been angry about before.


A part-privatization of patient records-handling in the NHS is reported today (27 June) to have led to a backlog of 700 THOUSAND files missing from patient/doctor consultations up to 2014, many of them related to cancer investigations and child-protection issues. The company sat on the information for three years, until it was discovered that the records had simply been stuffed into a cupboard and ignored by directors of NHS Shared Business Services, a company created especially to transfer paper records between hospitals and GP surgeries in England. There appears to have been no oversight.

“A spokeswoman for NHS SBS acknowledged there had been “failings”.” – BBC News

There have been cases in the past of postmen who hid their sacks of mail at home or destroyed them as they were ‘too heavy’ to deliver. As the Royal Mail was basically guaranteed by the monarch, the outcome has generally been a salutary prison sentence. It has long been my view that civilization is falling apart, due to underfunded and over-rigidified systems operating in an era of increasingly baffling complexity. But paper records? Come on!

(Okay, so I’ve got cupboards full of unopened bills and statements. This is different!)

More specifics

A hundred and fifty people, including children and babies, are burned to death in Pakistan. A fuel tanker has overturned at speed on a bend in the road, much like the bend outside my house where the fuel trucks hurtle by, going at 50 mph in our 30 mph zone. Fuel is leaking, poor people arrive with cans to try to take the leaking fuel.

And some fucking baboon lights a cigarette.

And do you know what? I can’t even get angry. Not at the baboon – Pakistan is a poor country, full of village idiots who can’t give up smoking and often underestimate the volatility of benzo-hydrocarbons – nor at the foolish folk who forget this always happens when poor villagers try to steal fuel from leaking tankers and pipelines, usually somewhere in Nigeria. Nor at the driver, who should be in gaol, nor at the corrupt crony-capitalist system that deprives poor people of fuel and the money to buy some, while bludgeoning them into insensibility with religion.

So, in far-off Portugal, 65 not-so-poor people are cremated alive in their cars or overcome while running away after dry-lightning sets off a huge, fast-moving forest fire in the middle of a catastrophic heatwave that is sweeping Europe. I should be angry that the European Union, German bankers and the IMF have forced austerity measures on Portugal after making high-interest loans to the government that can’t pay them back, so that planned safety measures such as cutting fire-breaks and making public fire-refuges in that enormous forest had to be delayed. But it’s futile getting narked with them, they don’t read muh li’l bogl and wouldn’t care much if they did.

While in China, rescue workers are frantically digging for 120 people missing after a 2 km-wide landslide, the side of a small mountain, buries their village after heavy rain. So what? I find myself shrugging. That’s how it goes in those countries. 159 people died in mudslides and flooding in Bangladesh the previous week, 150 people died in mudslides and flooding in Sri Lanka the week before that – many more in Chile. Should I get angry that villages are built under weak and overhanging mountain slopes and the rural poor have little choice but to to live in them, under the monsoon rains that get heavier year by year? Maybe.

Should it continue to upset me greatly that this is the fault of the lying bastards from Exxon, from Shell, from Hamm and Koch and Devon, Murray Energy and Peabody Coal – giant corporates who have spent hundreds of $millions over decades funding climate-change deniers and stuffing the mouths of politicians and journalists with cash, while racing to burn the last vestige of our inherited energy at the lowest possible cost to enrich their already overwhelmingly rich stockrobbers? That their CEOs are racing to build underground compounds and spacecraft to Mars, buying superyachts and hiring private armies to try to survive the hell they’re making, in which the rest of us have already begun to perish by the thousand – next year, the million? Not really. What can we do? It’s already too late to do anything, even killing the money-monsters won’t stop it.

And here we are in jolly old Britain, gaping at the unexpected news that so far, and despite the inspections we imagined they must have undergone over the years, one hundred per cent so far of the cladding samples from 600 high-rise public-housing tower blocks in England where the poorer sort are condemned to live and sometimes die have failed their safety tests; while some blocks don’t even have fire-resistant doors (1,000 such doors have not been fitted to just five buildings in north London), or proper fire escapes – and are served by unprotected gas pipes. That’s the supposedly safe type of cladding, mind, not the unsafe type that caught fire somehow on the Grenfell tower in north London, killing 79 (that’s 18 dead recovered so far, including the six who jumped; plus 61 still missing… out of possibly hundreds more whose hidden prior existence is suspected but not confirmed, perhaps even covered-up), two weeks after the event.

And the US company that makes the cladding, Arconic, part of the aluminum giant Alcoa? They’ve decided to stop selling it because the regulations in Europe are so complicated. I’m assuming our mutual extradition treaty will enable the police to extract the directors on manslaughter charges? Well, it is complicated: dated UK government regulations would have prevented the use of this type of cladding in these circumstances but were not enforceable owing to deregulation of the inspectorate, so the building trade introduced its own, lower standard…

I ought to be angry about that, right? I mean, politicians should be going to gaol?

Well, I can get somewhat angry when the minister with a special portfolio for vanity projects like the uneconomical Hinckley Point B nuclear power station, whose Sino-French electricity if it is ever finished will cost five times as much as the wind and solar juice we can make ourselves – HS2, the costly and destructive high-speed rail link that will cut 20 minutes off the journey time between London and Birmingham for anyone who can afford a ticket, which won’t be us – the polluting and unimaginative third runway at Heathrow, requiring the bulldozing of historic villages, all in the interests of ‘global competitiveness’ and the Godalmighty ‘business community’ – when ‘Lord’ Andrew Adonis fails to mention fixing the cladding problem, the housing crisis, the defunding of schools and universities and the broken health service as possible priority ‘infrastructure’ projects…

But I don’t. There won’t be enough migrants to build them anyway.

I am sanguine even when the Prime Minister of a minority House risks the disintegration of the Good Friday peace accord, inviting new acts of terrorism, by bribing the tiny and rebarbative Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland for their votes with $1.5 billion skimmed off the budget (if there was one) for the ‘unaffordable’ necessities aforementioned; money that will presumably have to go towards mitigating the unmitigated disaster of the open-ended energy subsidy scheme created by the dog-faced leader of the DUP’s Bible-thumping Parliamentary squad, Ms Arlene Foster. Money perhaps to be rescued from Brussels, that will certainly not now be going to the cash-strapped NHS, as promised by the lying Brexit cunts (Conservative and Unionist Neo-Thatcherites).

And now I am struggling on behalf of the 320 million citizens of the United States of America to get angry, when I read that the Koch brothers, David and Charles, their worth as human beings measured at $48 billion dollars apiece, have issued an ultimatum to the Republican majority on the Senate and their leader, the flexible Trump-licking apparatchik Mitch McConnell: toughen-up and pass the repeal bill of Obamacare, that will doom millions of losers to uninsurable medical misery; pass the $500 billion tax cuts for the top 1% on Fortune’s rich list, who own between them half the wealth of the world, or they will defund Republican candidates in the 2018 midterm elections, on whom they otherwise plan spending $400 million buying their votes and their lies about climate change.

Well, the tar-sands ravaging Kochs won’t defund, will they. That’d be pretty self-defeating. Unless they buy the Democratic party instead, which they could easily afford. They have no political allegiances, they’re not even human beings anymore. They’ve bought themselves out of the human race. They just eat and breathe and shit money while ripping the heart and the lungs out of our dying little blue world; the Saromans, the miners of Mordor. And the poor old GOP senators: damned if they do, double-damned if they don’t. You have to feel sorry for them, before you string them up. But there is no doubting who owns the government, and it ain’t the American people.

No, I cannot today get unduly exercised over the state of the world because I am already so fucking angry, overall, that no horrors can make a difference.

For I am becoming unreasonably furious with the shave-head, tattoo guy renting next door. He spends his entire life screwing about with an old van he’s somehow acquired, out in all weathers – under a tarp in the rain – taking the wheels off, putting them back on again, fiddling with the engine, painting the windows black – not in the yard, right out on the street, on the main road there, look – opposite my house, in the entrance to the side-street where I need to find parking space every day, on the narrow pavements and on people’s private forecourts when they’re out. (It’s a nice, quiet, middle-class estate.)

Enough screwing with the van already! For weeks this man-child has been driving me nuts. He doesn’t even have proper tools for the job.

As, among the many crude modifications he’s made is the installation of some fucking enormous boombox system, that goes ”boom-slump, boom-slump… (pause)… thump-dump, thump-dump… (pause)… boom-thump, dump-wump all fucking day long, shaking the house while he’s out there fucking about with the van, that never goes anywhere more than ten yards around the road, the estate, where no-one ever used to let me park without sticking a threatening note on my windshield. Not a musical note to be heard, just bass fucking thump-wump, that you can hear a mile away.

Get a job!

Christ, I hate poor people. They’re so – always in your face.

They’ve probably got more money than I have.


“…why would he not concoct some foreign policy misadventure to show what he is really made of?

Syria: a grotesque deception?

In a bizarre development, Mr Sean Spicer, the frazzled White House spokesmouth sent out daily to lie for America, has announced at a late-night press briefing that the President has received ‘intelligence’ that President Assad is planning a fresh chemical attack on ‘his own people’, including, of course, many ‘innocent children’.

Trump’s response, he goes on, should that happen will be to launch a direct missile strike on Damascus, at the heart of the Assad regime, aimed at cutting off the head; regardless of the Russian interest. And regardless of any innocent children who happen to get in the way of his expensively acquired ordnance. The USA, he points out, is militarily far more powerful in the region than is Russia.

The reaction of the Pentagon and the generals on the ground in Syria has been wondrous to behold.

Nobody told them.

“The White House must have solid intelligence about a possible Syrian sarin attack but why they chose to send [a] message to Assad and Putin via press release isn’t clear,” Daryl Kimball, the head of the Arms Control Association said in a tweet. (The Guardian, 27 June)

Why ‘must’ they have? (Sorry, I’d tweet that but I don’t have a Twitter account. Ed.)

One of Mr Trump’s key campaign pledges was that he would never again involve the United States in unplanned foreign adventures as his predecessors had; and that for the sake of US forces abroad he would impose a blackout on advance information of military operations.

So here he is, going back on his word again, twice. Is this another ‘you’d better hope there are no “””tapes”””‘ moment, a childish bluff he has post-rationalized as ‘smart’, to ensure that Mr Comey would not be lying when he told the Senate Trump had leaned on him… er… ooops… that could rebound on him bigly?

(It is quite apparent that Mr Trump hates Mr Comey, only because he is taller than the President, for whom personal appearance is the mark of a man.)

And why is it not clear why Mr Trump is conducting military strategy by press release? Normally he does it by tweet, but his staffers are having some success in prising him off his iPhone. Or he just invites the Russians into the White House and tells them in person. He screams at the press like a bitch when they criticize him, but doesn’t mind using them when it suits.

How it suited on this occasion was that Trump had only one outlet for the statement that he could control: Sean Spicer.

With the Orange Clown’s approval ratings still hovering in the mid-to upper thirties and the Senate and FBI investigations into his money-laundering activities and Russian contacts and the pathetically misguided attempts he has made to shut them down showing no signs of stopping, why would he not concoct some new foreign policy misadventure to show what he is really made of?

Which is: pathological lies, self-incriminating tweets, confusion and contradiction, ignorance and obfuscation, mindless greed and nepotism, crony capitalism beyond caricature – plus a horrible series of blunders in the Middle East that have brought Saudi Arabia to the threshold of war with Qatar.

Responding to this ’45 minutes’ dirty-dossier announcement, our own beloved Defence minister, arch-Tory cunt and chinless bully-boy Fallon, goes all kneejerk once again. Of course we will follow Mr Trump into the jaws of hell, no questions asked, regardless of the consequences. Not that we’ve been told about this either.

Who is he speaking for? The nation? Parliament? The DUP?

Why do we allow ignorant and inept politicians to conduct foreign policy on our behalf? Who asked them to create misery around the world, that comes back to bite us? What do we get out of it?

There seems to be a money-tree somewhere contingent entirely on the whims of the Tory party. We can’t afford to provide mental health outpatient services for our disorientated young people, so that they have to be ripped away from their families and sent to the nearest secure bed 300 miles from home, but by God we can still waste millions of pounds worth of shiny missiles we’ve bought from the Americans, risking a world war to massage the bleeding ego of the most disgusting, crooked and incompetent old monster ever to occupy the sacred office.

We can always find money for a good war.

I am hoping this crazed announcement is only Spicey going rogue. He’s as mad as his master, for sure.



I’ve always supported the idea of radio as a natural home for ‘beautiful voices’.

Modestly, I used to be acknowledged as one such myself.

Listening to a voice that is damaged or grating is not a particularly pleasant experience. Some visual content might help to extenuate the sometimes excruciating or merely annoying aural sensation of an impedimented speech; okay on TV, perhaps, but on its own, it makes it difficult or even impossible to move into the sacred communication space between ear and loudspeaker.

A regional accent is generally acceptable, provided it is not so strong as to make it incomprehensible. That means most regions, the most difficult to the southern English ‘RP’ ear being the Northeast, Glasgow and – most difficult of all – Belfast, where interviewees with poor education, no vocal training or consideration for the foreign listener speak so fast and furiously, not a word can be made out. That a Northern Irish accent can be soothing on the ear is evidenced by the dulcet tones of newscaster, Kathy Clugston.

An inveterate listener to Radio 4’s Today programme, I am still perturbed by the voice of presenter Nick Robinson. I know that he survived throat cancer, which has left his voice with a rough tinge. I respect the years he spent as chief political correspondent, a title condemning the holder to doorstepping a succession of Prime Ministers outside Number 10, which obviously he can’t go on doing in the cold night air without further damage to his vocal chords, but the sympathy factor doesn’t make him easier to listen to; while I feel mainly that his high-handed style of interviewing doesn’t fit the early-morning need for a more gentle takedown of political pretension.

There is no doubt that Dame Hilary Mantel, best-selling author of the Tudor romance Wolf Hall – one of those books like Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time and Proust’s A La Recherche des Temps Perdus which one suspects many may have in their bookcase but few will have read from cover to cover – is an enormously intelligent, well-read and interesting person.

Despite realizing the importance of her perception of history as something which, as with our modern God, we have internalized over generations, until of course it came to the historic blunder of voting to leave the EU, I have found it difficult to listen to her current series of Reith lectures. Her wheezy, wavering, disembodied soprano is like checking-in to a half-timbered old country-house hotel and waking paralysed in the middle of a terrifying night of post-prandial port- and cheese-dreams to find yourself being harangued by the ghost of a dead child.

I learn that it may be the result of steroidal medication for endometriosis or some other medical condition. She has not had an easy life. For that reason I stuck with the latest episode and found it rewarding. To quote from her forthcoming foray: ‘History is what remains in the sewer after the centuries have flowed through it.’

A gal after my own heart.


The Sekulow Society

I am unable to manage my anger, however, after reading the following story:


For it seems Mr Trump is not the only scam-artist making a fortune out of well-meaning but gullible charity donors. This lying scumbag he employs as an attorney is just as unspeakable, only worse, as he professes to be a Christian. He’s not, it seems instead that he’s a bottom-feeding invertebrate in a toxic sludge pond.

  • UB

PS (Script, to be read over the phone in a reassuring but menacing voice):

“You may like to make a donation NOW to cover your use of the BogPo/The Pumpkin. I’ll understand if you are poor and can only afford $100 dollars or so. It’ll be worth it to save your immortal soul and avoid burning in the fires of eternal damnation, brother/sister.

“You can save your kids from getting cancer too by sending me all the money you have. If not, I’ll just sue you for it, you un-Christian cheapskate.

“Thank you for your time, have a nice day.”



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