I have lived in Spain for almost seven years and in that time I’ve kept abreast of news from back home. Partly as I’m interested in current affairs and have this column to write, but also as wise words shared with me when I first arrived still ring true. Better to be working hard in the sun than to be working hard under the all too often grey skies back in Blighty.
A recent meteorologist’s conference was hastily convened to discuss Britain’s recent topsy turvy weather. It was announced that Britain may be due a dry sunny summer sometime between 2017 and 2022 ! 2012’s summer was the second wettest ever recorded, caused by a warmer than usual Atlantic. The Gulf Stream in turn now passes south of the UK bringing wetter weather. Spain and the rest of continental Europe are apparently due their coldest summer since 1816. I will however take my chances and hang around especially as Andalucia has hit 27 degrees in the last week. Incidentally September and October may be hotter than usual so a fair trade off.
Still in Britain Chancellor Osborne threatened ministers with detention if they couldn’t slash £11.5bn of their budgets for the year after next. Don’t worry if hospital waiting lists grow and schools decay as a new railway line called HS2 will be built instead. Most of the cuts are coming from local councils with about 400,000 jobs lost in the public sector. Pay these former public workers dole and housing benefit instead – makes sense. Incidentally nobody wants HS2 outh of Watford except the construction companies as it will destroy swathes of beautiful countryside simply to reduce the travelling time to that early morning meeting in Birmingham. This apparently will boost British productivity, as instead of grabbing 20 minutes extra in bed; people will do 20 mins extra work.
Foreign railway operators are rubbing their hands with glee in anticipation of further expansion as Britain, wrongly decided long ago to privatise its railways. 2/3s are now owned by State owned companies; from France, Germany and Belgium amongst others. British rail travellers pay the highest fairs in Europe with most of the profit going abroad rather than being reinvested in Britain’s railways.
Remember McLibel? In the 1980s a tiny environmental group called London Greenpeace produced and distributed 500 copies of a pamphlet criticising that bastion of healthy eating McDonalds. Instead of ignoring the leaflet the corporation threw the full weight of Britain’s libel laws at two of its authors. Now there’s an explosive revelation that there was another co-author; an undercover policeman going by the name of ‘Bob’ Robinson. McDonalds may want to ask him or the Metropolitan Police to return the £10 million they spent in legal fees. The undercover cop was aiming to infiltrate the Animal Liberation Front or ALF. To help his cover or libido, ‘Bob’ had relationships with unsuspecting women. One of whom bore a child with this lowlife whilst his real wife and children, whom he returned to at weekends, remained blissfully unaware. There are 12 women now suing the police after similar allegations have come to light. There is also an investigation into the allegation that ‘Bob’ planted a fire bomb in Debenhams whilst on a mission with the ALF in which £340,000 of damage was caused. If true, surely this is incitement, as three other men were convicted of the crime.
All actions by a now disbanded shadowy police unit called Special Demonstration Squad. Officers stole the identities of dead children to use as their aliases. Damningly whilst the Met Police were outwardly helping the Lawrence family after their son Stephen was murdered in 1993 they were also trying to smear them. Organisations investigating police corruption and deaths of black youths whilst in police custody were also infiltrated. Even the poor chap Duwayne Brooks who was with Stephen when he was murdered and also suffered injury has been targetted and harrassed ever since by yet more despicable actions by the Met police.
Britons can sleep easy as now there was a new unit set up called the National Domestic Extremism unit. They have files on about 9000 shady environmentalists and civil liberty campaigners. Suspected ne’er do wells such as Jack Straw, Diane Abbott and the lawyer Amir Khan who represents the long suffering Lawrence family. And basically mostly law abiding people that protest and struggle to keep Britain a fair, just place and a green pleasant land.
1984’s predictions have been stealthily coming true and are now much closer with the launch of Microsofts new console XBox One with its all seeing eye; maybe all this extra curricular surveilance will at last not been needed as nerdy teenagers everywhere can be viewed by the authorities via the camera that stays on 24/7 as long as its connected to the interweb. Gott watch these gamers they get up to all sorts especially with the Kleenex and a Victoria Secret catalogue. Apart from the lowly bobby on the street never trust a copper! It takes a special sort of arse to seek bad in people and to get a buzz by shopping his fellow man!