DATELINE: Tuesday, August 8th 2017, 1.26pm. Location: Home office, at my desk.
Situation: Huge depression – just like the weather system that seems to have been sitting over England every summer since 1976.
I refuse to put the central heating on at this time of year, however I would light a fire tonight – if only I had a canoe to get down the drive to supply of logs.
I wish I had the constitution of good old Arthur dog. He poked his nose out of the door this morning, took one sniff at the deluge and promptly turned round and literally (I can only assume) girded his loins, because he still hasn’t been out for his daily constitutional.
He must have innards like a water buffalo (and speak of the devil – I think I just saw one float down the road towards the river!) To maintain the beastly theme, it’s been raining cats and dogs here since first light. Even Noah’s called it a day.
I keep checking the news bulletins but so far no-one has blamed this incessant downpour on Brexit. It can only be a matter of time, although if I thought the EU had the power to bequeath us a fair share of their continental sunshine, I’d have voted Remain myself.
But no, it will predictably be global warming that’s ironically to blame for yet another wash-out British summer – such a disappointment, after that glorious week or so in June when I had the barbie out twice and we all got giddy for a proper summer for once. Talk about raining on your parade...
While people today blame the exodus of polar bears escaping melting icecaps for blowing the jetstream southwards and bringing the current sodden sodding weather, I’d love to know what people blamed for August 20th 1939, when 4.5 inches of rain fell on Blandford in Dorset.
This month in 1939 was beset by thunderstorms and downpours, with lightning causing “considerable loss of life in the London area” according to Met Office papers. Interestingly, a week later we Brits were all heading for Europe too – not for a sun-lounger, but marching off to war with Hitler and Co.
The Met Office papers say “rainfall was excessive over a large area in east and south-east England and the eastern Midlands”. I suspect their boys were the first to sign up and ship out.
Indeed, is it just a coincidence that on July 15th 1914, some 2.5 inches of rain fell on Whitby – reportedly its heaviest downfall in 50 years – and “between the 20th and 28th the weather was influenced by a large depression”.
Hark to this from those same Met Office papers: “On the 29th and 30th, when the depression passed away across North Germany, a large anti-cyclone extended … over the whole of Western Europe.”
You know what happened on July 28th 1914, don’t you? Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Germany threw the first punch at Russia and on August 4th, after “a considerable quantity of rain” back here in Blighty, we offered Kaiser Bill outside. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Now, I’m not quite suggesting that we’ll be trying to re-take Calais or Agincourt (let alone Berlin and Rome) unless this damnably miserable weather picks up.
What I will unequivocally, unarguably, irresistibly, slap my thigh and go to the foot of our stairs insist, however, is that the British national mood lifts, nay soars like an angel on the wing, when there’s a bit of sun and blue sky in evidence.
So if those EU schemers in Brussels really do want to pick a fight, whether it’s over Brexit bills, immigration, or simply the cost of a loaf of bread, they might be well advised to check the weather forecast first … because if they don’t like we Brits taking their sun-loungers in Benidorm, they really won’t like us when we’re wet and miserable.
SPEAKING of weather, wars and suchlike (see above), I could have kicked the neighbour’s cat when I read the story we have on page 12 today.
It is received wisdom amongst some experts in military strategy, that the first time a nuclear weapon is used in anger – for instance by that North Korean lunatic Kim Jong-un against the US territory of Guam as he is threatening – various hostile states will immediately launch first-strike attacks.
This could see Israel settling its land disputes once and for all, Russia decide that computer hacking isn’t good enough for those loud-mouthed Yanks, and India/Pakistan getting ‘proactive’ over the disputed Kashmir region.
I suppose the French could feasibly get themselves overly worked up over Brexit and decide to give us a portion, but knowing them, they’d miss. Possibly blow up Guernsey.
You may fairly ask what on earth that has to do with a bunch of visiting Indian ‘street artists’ running and jumping around Dewsbury market last week.
Well, India is a nuclear power with a military that makes ours look like Dad’s Army.
It is the 6th largest economy on the planet, growing at a rate that makes us look like Greece. That’s why we send it hundreds of millions of pounds of international aid every year, despite the government pledging to stop.
Yes, there is dire poverty in India – that’ll be their inhumane caste system at work, in tandem with government policy to enforce miserable work/life conditions in order to fuel that economic growth and allow them to build more nukes.
And we help that how exactly? By flying some blokes over here to jump off a piece of scaffolding in front of a handful of puzzled shoppers in the name of ‘culture’?
It must be a nightmare for our highly paid civil servants to find poor people to help – still, good to know that ‘austerity’ has bitten the dust.
REGULAR readers will be aware that I’m not entirely enamoured of the level of commitment towards this end of Kirklees by the forces of law and order.
As such I suppose we should be reassured by the crime and public order blitz a range of enforcement agencies collaborated on in Dewsbury at the end of July. From the story on page 4 it sounds like they filled their boots (and more than a few cells) with a wide range of miscreants.
That’s all well and good, but it does beg a couple of questions:
Firstly, doesn’t that prove beyond reasonable doubt (got my Midsomer Murders hat on now!) how rife crime is in this area?
Secondly, doesn’t it suggest that we need a constant and visible police presence and not just a token harvesting of the low-lives when it suits the power-that-be to give their crime-solving stats a nudge in the right direction?
I FAIRLY chuckled at the story of failed Batley terrorist Ghulam Hussain, jailed for six years for his plans to join Islamic State in Syria.
Hussain reportedly said he’d rather take a bullet than return to this dump – I can’t imagine his neighbours in Track Road were over-chuffed by that insult. Given chance I would like to ask him how he thinks ‘this dump’ got in the state it is?
Considering both his death wish and the life expectancy for IS recruits being about 20 minutes, I would also like to know why on earth we are keeping these scrotes in the comfort and safety of our prisons, rather than leaving them to their grisly (and welcome) fate?