Monday, December 10, 2018

The Idler, Tuesday, December 11, 2018


day of



THEY'RE rioting in the streets of Paris over fuel prices, disenchantment with Emmanuel Macron and a general sense of cussedness. So far the streets of London are quiet.

But could that change? Today the House of Commons is due to vote on Theresa May's compromise Brexit deal. The brexiteers and the remainers both hate it. They say it makes Britain a vassal state of the EU, in perpetuity. The smart money says it doesn't have a hope of getting through.

And, as the analysts in the Westminster bubble always say, dan sal die poppe dans!

Will there be a vote of no confidence in Theresa May? A new prime minister? A general election? Perhaps Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister, with plans to remodel the world's fifth largest economy along the lines of Venezuela?

Or another referendum, the opinion polls suggesting a strong swing against Brexit now the costs are becoming apparent.

It's totally ridiculous, absolutely self-inflicted and actually tedious – except you can't ignore it, not even at this distance, because it threatens to seriously jolt the international order.

The first person to suggest that Britain's future should lie with Europe was our own prime minister, General Smuts, in the immediate aftermath of World War II. He was echoed by Churchill and that has been the direction of events ever since. One gets a feeling sometimes that the pygmies have taken over. As those Westminster analysts are fond of saying, it's a gemors.

Meanwhile, fuel on the fire. The European Court of Justice (bete noire of the brexiteers) has ruled that the UK can withdraw from the Brexit process if it wishes. An amendment in the Commons means that if Theresa May's deal is voted down, parliament takes over.

Back to the Westminster analysts – hier kom 'n ding! But nobody's sure quite what.



FEELINGS ran high at the weekend as Limpopo football club Baroka beat Orlando Pirates 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out to win the Telkom Knockout competition. There was a feeling among Pirates supporters that everyone was against them.


How about this post on social media?


"FACT: It was Orlando Pirates vs the whole South Africa, Chiefs Fans, Sundowns Fans plus 9 provinces, 11 languages, sangomas, fake churches pastors, Facebook people, plus Satan himself and you expect us to win? So much hate. #TKO2018Final"


Yes, football is a serious business.



A RIVER otter has caused discord and social division in Vancouver, Canada.

He's taken to sneaking into the city's Classical Chinese Garden, where a pond is stocked with large koi. He's been chomping them in significant numbers.

He's been evading humane traps. The plan is to relocate him to the nearby Fraser Valley, according to Huffington Post.

It's an emotive issue. Koi have great longevity. One in the pond – not yet chomped – is believed to be 50 years old.

But the folk of Vancouver appear to have lined up in more or less equal numbers between "Team Otter" and "Team Koi." It's being hotly debated on social media. It will probably not result in street violence as in Paris, but feelings are running high nevertheless.



A TOURIST in Sweden is sitting in a bar when a very shapely blonde sits down beside him.

"Hello," he says. "Do you speak English?"

"Oh, I not speaking very much English."

"How much?"

"Two hundred kroner."

Last word

It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.

H L Mencken

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