Ed Lines – December 13, 2019

Ed Lines – December 13, 2019

FRIDAY the 13th of December. I wonder if Prime Minister (or is he now Leader of the Opposition?) Boris Johnson considered the omens of the date Britons would awaken to their political fate.

What do I think happened overnight as constituencies around the UK delivered their verdicts on years stuck in an anarchic political vacuum? I’d offer to toss a coin, if I could find one with four or five sides, because that’s how many potential outcomes there probably are.

If only it was a toss-up between a Johnson majority or a Labour/SNP coalition. On the one hand we could bat on with running the country for the first time in 42 months, on the other … well, I wouldn’t know where to get my hands on some, but I’d be inclined to take up wacky baccy and flop back on my huge Union Jack bean bag, wearing a sh*t-eating grin as the country slides rapidly into economic chaos.

What I hope, pray, and would even promise to give up booze for Christmas* to avoid, is another strangulated, hung Parliament where the Remainers manage to drag the nation down further into the dreary purgatory of Parliamentary stalemate.

What I would like to commend however, to whomever is trying to run the country, is to limit the bumpf with which parties bombard our households and jam up our letterboxes every election.

Jo Swinson could turn up at my front door in the full stockings and sussies rig, waving mistletoe and proffering me a Santa-sack full of £50 notes, and I’d still set the dog on her (and before the gender agenda loonies start, the same goes for Comrade Corbyn – although not clad in racy lacy gear obviously. He’d be dressed as Santa, to befit his station). 

Our house has received dozens of items of Lib Dem rubbish – and at least if it was printed on soft, perforated paper, I could put it to some use. If it had Swinson’s mush printed on it, I’d be eating vindaloo curries like they were going out of fashion. I’d be harder to get off the throne than Her Majesty.

If it was law to send just one meaningful piece of party political literature to every household (or every named voter if they must) the Lib Dems alone would save an ice floe full of polar bears with the emissions they’d save from printing such straight-to-bin rubbish.

As if our poor posties didn’t have enough on. December for these rain-and-shine hardy perennials is a tough ask anyway, what with all the Christmas cards from relatives you frankly haven’t given a second thought to since their last annual missive. At least you know you haven’t missed their funeral.

So go on, drop your postie a tenner for a drink (and a card if you must) or failing that, maybe an ice pack or a tube of Fiery Jack for his weary shoulder.

Back to the electoral bumpf and I have two letters in front of me, one from Ian Austin, the former Labour MP for Dudley North, addressed to a party member in Dewsbury, urging Labour voters to switch to Tory. 

I suspect Ian Austin has as much in common with Boris Johnson as aviation pioneer Amy Johnson, but his Brexit passions are such that he can climb into bed – if that isn’t too near the metaphoric knuckle – with our priapic Prime Minister.

The other is from former Totnes Tory MP Sarah Wollaston, urging the Lockies (x4 letters) to shun the ‘right-wing’ Tories and vote Liberal Democrat. 

She’s beside herself because the far right Tories “won’t tackle burning injustices”.

Son is in Adelaide, so while I can think of a few Justices I wouldn’t mind tackling and burning, sorry Sarah love, we’ve missed the Air Mail deadline to send your plea to him. 

What’s that? Photograph and email it? Do you know how much planet-destroying carbon a single email produces? You wicked polar bear killer, you!

All of the political bumpf hit the recycling bin (mostly unopened) so at least the pointless effort and expense hasn’t created more landfill.

Tories backing Dim Libs, Labour backstabbing their leader in favour of Tories … what on earth is our politics coming to?

What it’s coming to we’ll all have a better idea of by the time you read this – and I’m pretty sure my birthday weekend and Christmas will be made or ruined by what I woke up to on Friday morning…

*I didn’t say which Christmas I’d bin the booze!


I  NOTICE disgraced businessman Tahir ‘Terry’ Zaman is still a busy bee despite being struck off as a director by Companies House.

T’s awaiting trial with his sons for fly-tipping at his planned Pepper Royd St development in Eastborough. Although an application to change offices to apartments was refused, I see much of the work on the derelict mills has already been done! Who needs Mystic Meg when you’ve Terry’s foresight? Mind you, as Hunters franchisee Ashraf Esat blurted when he was fronting Zaman’s Track Road development and I feigned interest in a plot – but noted they were selling more than there was permission for – “Don’t worry, the owner has the planning department in his pocket!” Really? I guess we’ll see...


I’VE BEEN in enough scrapes over the years to know trouble when I see it. And there, last week, standing tall and proud directly between me and my front door, was proper trouble.

A cold-faced, emotionless killer, I thought as the adrenaline pulsed and the familiar ‘fight or flight’ nerves lit up like a Christmas tree.

I went in without a second’s hesitation, boot first (my dad only taught me one useful thing – ‘son, you don’t use your fists until you’ve worn your boots out’). The killer went down and without any compunction I went into rapid stomping mode until the danger was well and truly extinguished. 

And then I looked down. And there staring back at me, unnoticed previously amidst my mad fugue, were two simple words: Please Recycle.

That poor, lonely, empty plastic bottle never stood a chance. But on the bright side, at least now that it was completely flattened, it took up less room in the plastics recycling bin!

The fact is plastic bottles are not the problem; people who don’t dispose of them responsibly are. If we got rid of the culprits responsible for them getting into waterways and oceans, there wouldn’t be a climate problem either – because we’d have reduced the planet’s population by about half (and if we don’t deal with either, Planet Earth most certainly will).

This virtuous ‘war’ against plastic is little more than a distraction from the proper issues, that no one wants to face up to – like a soaring global population. So we get stunts like Sainsbury’s replacing plastic bags with a reusable mesh-fibre thing for 30p. I wonder in passing how much CO2 was involved in manufacturing those, but the point is, big business is getting in on the green wheeze.

I’m no climate change denier, but there’s no ‘good’ cause that big industry can’t turn into corporate cash.

I was told just this week that the ‘clean’ energy a wind turbine would need to produce, just to cover the carbon emissions generated in producing its massive concrete core, magnets, plus turbine itself, would take over 100 years. I’ll happily stand corrected.

But the massive subsidies being thrown at climate economics, albeit piggy-backing on valid environmental concerns, are just the latest politically-smart rackets – and I’ll bet that half of Tory grandees are well invested in them.

If you want to save a planet with out of control population growth and the unavoidable industrial output needed to service it, then build nuclear power stations, as fast as you can. It’s the only realistic solution.

Just don’t tell poor little Greta on her sailboat.

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