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Shedding No Tears

The media in the UK is completely overwhelmed by the unsurprising news that Prince Philip has died at the age of 99.

For me, that is nothing to cry about. Since 1945, the man lived a life of privilege. He never had to do a real day’s work after the end of WW2. He spent his time driving Carriages, shooting pheasants and other birds and animals, and walking around next to the Queen.

If he got so much as a toothache, he would be hurried onto an exclusive private hospital, and given the best medical care available in Britain.

He travelled the world on a Royal Yacht, exclusive aircraft, helicopters, and even a Royal Train. He could own and drive any car he desired, and choose to live in any of the numerous Royal residences around the country.

His life was one of comfort. Probably part of the reason he lived to such a grand old age.

The Prince was never shy to court controversy, often outspoken, and occasionally racist too. Unlike politicians or celebrities, that didn’t cost him his ‘career’ though.

A 99 year-old man died today, as no doubt did many other 99 year-old people.

As far as I am concerned, he deserves no more respect than any of those others.

Royal Tantrums

Unless you have been hiding in a cave, you cannot have missed the constant news coverage of the split between Prince Harry and his wife, and the British Royal Family.

The Prince has gone to live in America, and made allegations against the British media for racism and harrassment, and his wife has talked about bad treatment at the hands of the other Royals.

Now they are to be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, threatening to ‘tell all’. This follows a much-publicised interview between the Prince and James Corden, shown here as ‘News’ on every channel. It has been reported that over 200 TV networks will be showing the Oprah Winfrey interview around the world, making a small fortune for CBS, and a similar cash pile for Ms Winfrey, no doubt.

The scramble for early snippets to report is unseemely indeed. And it is strange that the TV companies in America, and many Americans, seem far more interested in the comings and goings of our Royal Family than we do.

Oprah has told reporters that the Prince and his wife are receiving no fee, and there is no donation being given to any nominated charity either.

Looks like they missed a trick there. (If that’s true of course)

In Britain, Royal press people are already preparing to counter any allegations by leaking reports of Meghan’s ‘bullying’ of staff employed by the Royal household.

It seems to be coming down to taking sides. Who do we believe? Who said and did the worst things? Is this interview going to open up a can of worms at long last?

For my part, I couldn’t care less. One bunch of over-privileged wealthy royals sniping against another bunch is of no interest to me whatsoever.

People here and in America are still dying from Covid-19. That’s what should be on the news.

Health care workers including nurses are being offered a derisory 1% pay rise, after all their tireless efforts during the pandemic. That should be on the news.

Or perhaps the news that all of the British Royal Family are going to pack their cases, and go to live in California near Harry.

I would watch that report.

Covid News: Who Can We Believe?

It is becoming increasingly difficult to make any sense of conflicting reports about the current health crisis.

Take this exchange, found today on Twitter.

@bbc5live
· Jan 1

“It was minimally affecting children in the first wave… we now have a whole ward of children here.”

Laura Duffel, a matron in a London Hospital, tells Adrian Chiles about the Covid situation in hospitals.

Radio @BBCSounds.

@CheungRonny

I’ve been the on call consultant in a london children’s hospital this week – this is simply not true, and irresponsible in the extreme – frightens parents, fuels covid-deniers. Covid is rife in hospitals, but not among children. We have enough to deal with without this garbage.

Twitter reply, January the third.

Arise, Sir Tax Avoider

Lewis Hamilton is an incredibly successful F1 racing car driver. His skill has made him world famous, as well as very, very rich.

Much is made of his humble background, and how he overcame that to be able to set an example to other young black people in Britain and elsewhere.

Today, he has been made a Knight of the Realm, in the New Year Honours List.

Sir Lewis Hamilton.

He has indeed set a great example with his driving, his respectful demeanour, and his entrepreneurial business sense.

But he has also set another example, that of how to become even richer by not paying the correct amount of income tax on his earnings.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/lewis-hamilton-tax-dodging-paradise-papers-f1-champion-latest-claims-a8041061.html

And he doesn’t even live in Britain any longer.

He has learned well from so many other rich Tories and tax-avoiding businessmen, pop stars, and other celebrities.

And like so many of those, he has been duly rewarded with his knighthood.

Compare that to Captain Tom.

Second Wave: Or Still The First?

Covid-19 is still making the news. A huge percentage of the British population is enduring a second lockdown, and President Trump has gone into hospital for treatment.

They are now talking up the ‘second wave’. Is it any wonder, when the bars and pubs opened here, and we were treated to videos of groups of (mainly young) people enjoying parties and fun-filled gatherings? Or when Mr Trump thought it was okay to have a presentation in the Rose Garden with nobody wearing masks, and all of the cuddling or chatting close together. Or when the schools were forced back, resulting in large numbers of infections almost immediately.

Then we have the various conspiracy theorists who claim it doesn’t exist, or if it does, it is not that serious. Yes, more people still die from cancer, heart attacks, and even road fatalaties all over the world. But is this a reason to blatantly ignore the advice of medical professionals, or to overturn the hard work of so many medical staff since January?

I doubt this is a second wave, as the first wave never went away. We now have the winter flu season to deal with, when so many people will have the symptoms associated with Covid-19. That will mean more demand for testing, and possibly more deaths being counted as Coronavirus related.

So please stay safe. Carry on abiding by the commonsense rules not to spread the virus, or contract it. And above all, don’t believe it isn’t real.

(This post was created using the new block Editor. I was unable to work out how to insert any images, but wil use this blog to try to learn how to use this pesky, hateful thing!)

UPDATE: Royal News Blackout

beetleypete

Following my posts on here and on my other blog https://redflagflying.wordpress.com/ yesterday, Fraggle did some digging in the You Tube comments, and discovered that the video was filmed in 2018. Before posting yesterday, I watched numerous clips on Twitter, including one with a date/timer running on the screen. I didn’t use that one, as it was so shaky.

So it would seem likely that the date I saw was ‘inserted’, and the demonstration mentioned happened two years ago when Prince Andrew was initially implicated in the Epstein scandal.

Thanks to Fraggle for discovering this, and I wanted everyone to know.
This will be reblogged on my other blog too.

Of course, that changes nothing about Andrew’s refusal to testify, or to accept extradition to America. Or his well-documented friendship with Epstein and his visits to parties at Epstein’s house where young girls were flown in for the use of guests.

View original post 13 more words

Royal News Blackout

*** UPDATE ***

Please see Fraggle’s comment below. This clip is supposedly from 2018 according to comment by those who posted it, and not yesterday.

Unless you have seen it featured on Twitter, you will be unaware of a loud protest by a fair-sized crowd outside Buckingham Palace in London today.

This is a protest against Prince Andrew’s involvement in the trafficking of underage girls for sex, part of the Epstein scandal in America. The Prince has also declined to appear in court in America, where he might face charges of sex with underage girls at the Epstein mansion.

Not that Andrew is in the palace. The Queen isn’t there either, and has decided ‘not to return for some time’. I doubt anyone is in there, except the poorly-paid staff, and royal lackeys who keep the whole thing going at the taxpayer’s expense.

That in itself is disturbing enough, the fact that Royal privilege means he is exempt from being extradited to America to give evidence. He cannot be arrested by US Federal agents in Britain on an international warrant, for the same reason. This is an even bigger deal than Diplomatic Privilege, which can be revoked.

Of greater concern to me, is today’s event has NOT been mentioned on any news broadcast, by any of the various news channels operating in the UK.

The people working for those companies, and they call themselves ‘journalists and reporters’, should hang their heads in shame.

Much is written about Fake News these days, but this is the reality of Real News going unreported, on the instructions of the rich and privileged who run everything in this country, even the information supply.

Now not only can we no longer believe what we are told is the news, we are deemed unfit to be told what is happening in front of our own eyes.

Has It Come To This?

For all of my life, America has considered itself to be the Cradle of Democracy. The Land of The Free, where free speech is ingrained in the Constitution, and even the right to own and carry lethal weapons is supported by ancient rights.

Over the years, harsh treatment of Civil Rights protestors made the news, as did the violent reaction to Vietnam War protestors at times.

But the recent actions of the authorities in Portland has seen a worrying turn of events. Federal officers wearing Army uniforms and carrying Army equipment have arrived in the city to break up protests there. This is against the wishes of the city’s mayor, who did not ask for assistance.

These ‘Feds’ are using unmarked vehicles, wearing no identity tags or serial numbers. They are dragging protestors off the street and taking them away in those same unmarked vehicles. They are not reading them their rights and arresting them, and in many cases they are beating them hard with clubs, or using pepper spray on them.

I am not an American, and I do not know everything there is to know about the actions of the demonstrators.

But this cannot be right. Not anywhere, and certainly not in ‘The Cradle of Democracy’. Those agents involved are little more than ‘Trump’s Stormtroopers’, and if this was happening in Britain, France, or a hundred other countries, the rest of the world would be calling for sanctions to make it stop.

Only 41

The government here is celebrating. Only 41 deaths from coronavirus notified in a 24-hour period. That confirms their intention to reopen the hospitality sector, and reduce the supposedly ‘safe distance’ from 2 metres to 1 very soon.

Only 41! Hurrah!

Think about that 41. Those people had husbands, wives, children. Relatives including aunts, uncles, and cousins. They had work colleagues, as well as lifelong friends. For every one of those 41, you can add at least 100 people who will be affected by their death, for the rest of their lives.

So to my mind, that should read 4,100, not 41.

And if you see it the same way as I do, you will surely agree.

41 is still too many.

Eliminating Inconvenient History.

Recent events in America have unleashed a storm of protest against the treatment of black people all over the world. Not just current treatment, or the recent actions of the Police and other authorities, but historical ones too. This is understandable, and it has been suggested to me that the George Floyd incident was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

In the last week, numerous corporations and organisations have felt it necessary to make public statements and even apologies on the issues of Black Lives Matter, and the long history of institutional racism in the western world. Laudable perhaps, and possibly also necessary for marketing purposes and attracting customers in future. Both Nike and Apple have been involved, ignoring the fact that they are happy to exploit Asian labour by paying the workers in countries like China a pittance for long hours, compared to salaries in the West. Is that not also a form of racism, and one that is acceptable to most customers who buy i-phones, or the latest trendy trainers?

So if this is just the beginning, then where does it end?

Pulling down and defacing statues has caught on quickly, following on from the same thing happening to Confederate Statues and war graves in America a couple of years ago, as well as this week. One commemorating an 18th century slave trader in Bristol was thrown into the water, and those in honour of Cecil Rhodes and Churchill in London were defaced last weekend. Having statues that supposedly honour such people (Churchill was a well-known racist) is questionable, I agree. But is it not better to learn from their mistakes in the past, and allow them to remain to remind us?

I would suggest it is.

Because when you begin to eliminate history, you start to re-write it. You conveniently forget that African and Arab trade slavers existed long before any white men became involved with them. In fact, many still exist in some countries today. I don’t see anyone protesting about that history, or those current events. What about the Egyptian and Roman empires? Both were built on slavery, and expanded by the use of slaves. Should we pull down The Forum in Rome? Demolish The Coliseum? Have any of those demonstrators pulling down statues ever enjoyed a holiday to Rome, or Egypt?

The Pyramids are said to be one of the seven wonders of the world. Mausoleums to pharoahs, built on the blood and sweat of countless slaves. We know that, we learn about that, and when we go to look at them, we appreciate that. Let’s blow them up though, because surely they commemorate cruelty and slavery? Let us topple the statues to Tiberius and Caligula, and cast them into the Tiber. If it’s good enough for one slave empire, why not for all of them?

How far back is far enough?

And what about churches, and western religions? Most built with the huge wealth of countries who dealt in slavery, or stole natural resources like gold from countries in South and Central America. They killed the people there that opposed them, (who were also slavers of course) before enslaving others to work in their mines and goldfields. The wealth generated was given in large part to the Catholic Church, who actively used to oversee all those operations on the pretext of bringing religion to heathens. So when we admire European cathedrals, and the amazing statues and relics stored within, let’s not forget where the money came from. Exploitation, and slavery.

Time to pull them down perhaps?

On the news today, I heard that the film ‘Gone With The Wind’ is no longer to be allowed to be shown on television in Britain. How long before they start banning others? What about all those Hollywood epics about Egypt? And the films ‘Young Winston’, or ‘The Darkest Hour’? They are about Churchill, so let’s ban those too. And what about books? How long before Margaret Mitchell’s book of ‘Gone With The Wind’ is banned too? She got an award for that, so let’s take that back hile we are at it. Then it would seem logical to ban ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’, ‘Huckleberry Finn’, and any historical book that has a contemporary view on black people that has since been identified as racist?

An Asian reporter on BBC News declared this morning that he feels ‘uncomfortable’ about reading the ‘Tintin’ comic books with his young son, due to the way some characters are portrayed. Save his embarrassment, just ban them. Then everyone can start to forget history, and begin to change the facts to suit this new and different agenda.

Fortunately for me, I will likely be dead before all that has happened.