Sunday 14 August 2022

New Lows

When he complained about some failure of service, which he did quite a bit, my late brother Christopher always responded to the stupid defence ‘Nobody has complained about this before’ by saying ‘Well, you won’t be able to say that again’. 

Now, we need a united and equally devastating reaction to the infuriating claim made by so many retailers that ‘Sorry, we can’t accept cash’. I suggest: ‘Please explain why exactly you cannot accept cash.’

Because of course they can accept it (though, outrageously, there’s no legal obligation to do so). They just don’t want to, a completely different thing. See it. Say it. Sorted.


The cult of man-made warming has lowered the standards of journalism. On Saturday, the Financial Times, a well-regarded Left-wing [sic] newspaper, wrote that water levels on the river Rhine in Germany had ‘fallen to new lows’.

The same account noted that water levels at Kaub, where the Rhine is measured, were just above 18 inches. Then it went on to note that four years ago, in 2018, this fell to just under ten inches, considerably shallower. So it was not a ‘new low’ at all. When it starts raining again, it will be amazing how quickly we forget this panic.

But we do need to do something. We waste so much water. My advice: Cancel HS2 and spend the money instead on building a national water grid which can quickly divert water from the wetter parts of the country to the drier ones when needed.


Have you noticed how Ukraine and Ukrainians cannot do anything bad? I think President Volodymyr Zelensky is actually quite a decent person [why?]. But his attempt to get all Russians banned from travelling to Europe is bigoted and foolish. Russians do not all agree with their government’s stupid, bloody invasion. But Zelensky gets away with this proposal because Ukraine is a sainted nation.

Now we have the weird episode of the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station which has been in Russian hands since they illegally seized it in March. This, whatever the provocation may be, is an extraordinarily stupid thing for anyone to do. But who is doing it?

Well, since the Russian Army is dug in there, it is extremely unlikely that the Russians are doing it. So who is doing it? Martians? North Koreans? Eskimos? When I put the words ‘Ukrainians shell Zaporizhzhia’ into Google, that search engine responded by saying: ‘No results found for “Ukrainians shell Zaporizhzhia.” ’ Instead I got several accounts of the Russians apparently shelling themselves.

The BBC reported online on Friday that the power station had ‘come under heavy fire’. But who from? It is not even stated. Normally reporters are urged to avoid using the passive voice. But for Ukraine, this rule has been suspended.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International, once revered by liberal global opinion, has made a cringing apology for a report in which it pointed out (as far as I know accurately) that Ukrainian troops had been sheltering in civilian buildings. Who really doubts it? Troops do this, even if they are not supposed to. 

But Amnesty now says it ‘deeply regrets the distress and anger that our press release on the Ukrainian military’s fighting tactics has caused’. This is ridiculous. If news is reduced to childish one-sided propaganda, how can the citizens of adult democracies possibly make serious decisions about which policy we should follow?