Cui bono?

honor hominesque honesti floreant

Category: austerity

Unscheduled Special Announcement


Ed: As the telephone is now working again, and as I have to make this special announcement, I shall also include a couple of small items that have just come in.


Late news : Spain

            Federica Bertocchini, a biologist with IBBTEC in Santander, has discovered a worm (the larval form of Galleria Mellonella) that eats holes in plastic bags.  Monetary authorities, which throughout the world have been switching to plastic-based currency notes to reduce costs, are starting urgent consultations

Late news : Turkey

            It is reported that President Erdogan has ordered his own arrest but has not been able to find any policemen still at liberty who could carry out the instruction.


Editor’s report :  I thought I would be left as the only resident in the office when I helped Karela take the bike and the other luggage down to the ferry, on her way back to Zagreb for the first proper leg of her world tour.  But the very next day we acquired at last a new intern.  Edward arrived, unannounced as far as I was concerned.  It turned out later that he had warned us on a postcard from Bordeaux that he was in immediate need of somewhere to stay, and he thought he could just walk into our place because he knew we had been trying to get a new recruit for months, and failed.  But Kevin, who has been doing the post round lately, came up here in a rainstorm and all we could see was a damp piece of card with something illegible scrawled on it.

   Edward is English but quite friendly, and has been living in France for the past three years.  He decided to get out while he could; he thinks Theresa May will block all journeys to the UK from the EU, including British citizens, as part of her war against immigration, but otherwise he seems politically sane.  For instance when I mentioned the idea of charging Tony Blair with treason he said he had once been docked a month’s bonus pay for telling his departmental head he’d sooner shake hands with an overused male undergarment than with Tony Blair.  When he told me that, he added that he would sooner shake hands with Tony Blair than with Emmanuel Macron (French presidential candidate, for our readers in Inner Mongolia), a view which is very similar to what comes from my facial diagnosis technique.  For the past week he has been sleeping on the office floor on a mattress we borrowed from the odd-job man.  Edward is a bit older than the average intern, being a retired medical researcher, but an intern (i.e. unpaid) is what he has to remain for at least the next three months, if he lasts that long.  Lady W’s strict orders.  Personally I’m quite glad he’s arrived even though it plays merry hell with my research, but he clearly knows a lot more about computers than I do.  We had the computer down from the attic, and in no time he was sending out e-mails, complete with pictures of the view over the harbour.  He said he could include ‘tasteful’ pornographic pictures in future issues of the journal.  (I’m still wondering if there is any way I can put this idea up to Lady W.)

 Scheduled date for next posting remains 1st June


Do you get what you pay for or do you have to fight for it?

(Berthold Featherstonehaugh-Cheems is our bureaucratic correspondent. He grumbles like hell about the designation and wants to be the ‘bureaucracy correspondent’, but I think the other term suits him quite well. He’s got to put up with it since we’re paying his salary.) (One bottle of Sauterne every time he hands in an article.)

A White Paper released yesterday revealed the government’s intention to abolish queues. A spokesman for the Department of Employment said this would be one of the principal measures in a programme with the overall aim of making the population more resilient and less inclined to depend on what are too often seen as advantages and privileges to be claimed as ‘rights’, with no need for any effort or commitment in financial terms on the part of those who claim them. The new measures would thus follow in the footsteps of valuable reforms initiated by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mr Ian Duncan Smith) and other members of the government, to reduce or abolish state financial support for those out of work, in order to incentivise them to seek employment, and with the same objective to eliminate any form of subsidy for single parents attempting to stay out of the workforce merely to look after their own children. As one among many instances of the need for action, it had frequently been observed that at crowded bus stops in wet weather many waiting passengers allowed those who had arrived earliest to board the vehicle first; but this discouraged the spirit of competition so vital for national economic progress. It was entirely reasonable that a parent with a sick child arriving at a hospital, knowing that his child’s condition was probably more worrying than the minor ailments of the majority of those waiting, should be able to receive immediate attention and treatment for the child on payment of a suitable fee. The spokesman described the new proposals as ‘bringing the efficiency of modern market practice into everyday life’ and promising benefits for the community as a whole, and he pointed out that they were broadly in line with the acknowledged principle that a population will value what it has to pay or struggle for.

            The changes may not be brought in immediately since it is anticipated that there will be a need for concordant legislation to modify the present laws concerning affray, assault, and riot. This aspect will of course be dealt with by the Ministry of Justice.


Monty Skew writes

Greece has provided a vivid demonstration that (to adapt Mr Ford) austerity is bunk. In obedience to the Troika Greek taxes have been raised year by year between 2010 and 2015. Tax receipts of the Greek government have however diminished year by year between 2010 and 2015. Reasons are thought to include increased evasion (no surprise), increased emigration (no surprise), increased co-operation within families and volunteer groups (no surprise), and simply reduced consumption of things costing money (no surprise). As a result of the obvious effect of the lower tax receipts on the Greek government’s budget, Brussels has asked Greece for further cuts.


Sephelia has asked permission to set up what she calls a ‘linguistic corner’.  I’m rather inclined to think we have quite enough language here already, with Greek from Manos, French from Simon’s adopted mother, South American Spanish from Isabelita when she comes in, and Croat from Karela (not to mention the language I use when things get more confused than usual). On the other hand, one should encourage the young in such good habits as may occasionally surface. I shall mull this over.  But her request has prompted me to pull out something I prepared a week or two ago, namely evidence that even if English is still a living language, it is well past its prime; to put it bluntly it is in an advanced state of senility. List to appear soon, I hope.


Puzzle of the day: than which well known prime minister is Donald Trump more civilised and more truthful?