Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Idler, Thursday, January 26, 2017

Now here's a wild card


HIGH politics, high drama a long way from here. The British Supreme Court has ruled that Theresa May cannot herself trigger the process of Britain's withdrawal from the EU, it has to go through parliament. Theresa has a majority of precisely nine in the House of Commons.


The conventional wisdom is that the thing will be carried – Labour will not try to thwart the outcome of the referendum. But it certainly will attempt to add all kinds of amendments to whatever the government tables as a bill. The Scottish Nationalists say they will move at least 50 amendments. The thing could get very shrill and very messy and could drag on and on.


But here's a wild card. What if the Liberal Democrats were to persuade enough Tory and Labour MPs – many of whom are very uneasy about taking a leap into the dark - to disobey their party whips and vote against, with themselves and the Scottish Nationalists? It doesn't take too much to wipe out a majority of nine.


And then? As old-time political sage Edmund Burke used to so memorably say: "Dan sal die poppe dans!"



High noon?


AND tomorrow Theresa May meets Donald Trump in Washington. Some have been suggesting she will follow up on the women's protest march through Washington (and several world capitals) with a pep talk against the groping of females and against boastful male locker room talk.


That surely is totally far-fetched. In a TV bit the interviewer did his level best to get her to say she would tackle Trump on the issue, but she side-stepped him firmly and adroitly. The US and Britain had a special relationship, she said, and their leaders could talk frankly. She would be drawn no further.


Yet it must be somewhat nerve-wracking for her to encounter in person the man whose reputation mobilised 500 000 protesting women. Maybe Theresa has been practising her karate.


Yes, high politics and high drama.




CAR thieves in the US seem remarkably punctilious in observing the law, once they've been caught. But they keep racking up new charges.

A car theft accused in San Mateo, California, dutifully showed up for his court hearing. But a problem – he drove there in another car he'd stolen in Daly City, outside San Francisco, according to Huffington Post.

Police had seen the vehicle parked on the street. The screwdriver used to punch the ignition was still lying on the floor. They placed a tracker in the vehicle and followed it – all the way to the San Mateo courthouse, where he was arrested.

Then in St Petersburg, Florida, an 18-year-old drove in another stolen car to police headquarters to pick up court papers relating to a previous vehicle theft case he was involved in. He got zapped for being in that second stolen car – then the cops found in his pocket the key to yet another vehicle, that turned out to be parked a block away – also stolen.

That makes it three counts. It becomes very complicated. In South Africa they'd lose the charge sheets but those American cops are unreasonably dogged.

Calling Candy


DOES anyone out there know the whereabouts of Candy Jones, believed to be either in Durban or the UK? A lady of my acquaintance is trying to get hold of her on behalf of a friend in the UK who urgently wants to contact her.


Candy would be in her early 60s today. She grew up in Blackburn Road, Redhill, and went to Lady Fatima Convent, Durban North, Natal University and Edgewood Teachers' Training College.


She had three brothers and a sister. Two of the brothers were called Craig and Harley, but my lady friend does not have the names of the third brother or the sister. Their mother remarried, taking the name Mather, and was a librarian in the municipal library.


That's a fair spread of information, yet this lady friend has so far drawn a blank in spite of contacting Candy's old school and the old girls' association, plus putting it all on Facebook.


Jones is hardly an unusual name, but Candy Jones is unusual enough (though of course she could have married and dropped the "Jones" bit). Can anyone assist?




HOW many jugglers does it take to change a light bulb?

One – but it takes at least three light bulbs.

Last word

Only fools are positive. - Moe Howard

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