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Thursday, 29 August 2019

Democracy revisited

NEW READERS START HERE Britain voted to leave the European Union (Brexit) to regain the country's/parliament’s sovereignty from interfering foreigners. But at what cost? Negotiating trade deals with the EU have failed, a no-deal Brexit looms. No-deal is predicted to be disastrous for our economy. Johnson, our new PM, favours no-deal. To prevent the mainly anti-no-deal parliament from hindering him Johnson has, in effect, closed down parliament for a short, crucial period. So much for sovereignty.

Yesterday daughter Professional Bleeder left Hereford by bus, returning to her home in Luton. Sent us this email

At Gloucester a woman accosted the driver. She was booked to travel on this coach, but not until it arrived in Cheltenham. This morning she had "found herself in Gloucester" and wondered if she could get on now.
The driver saw no problem but wouldn’t let her sit in a reserved seat, even though she had a seat reservation. Not too strange; this is National Express.

From the back comes a voice. "Has she paid to go from Gloucester to Cheltenham?"

My mind, but luckily not my mouth, responds with, "How is that your business?"

The driver appears nonplussed, but says that she hasn't. Outrage breaks out; this is "not fair"

The driver points out the woman will miss the coach in Cheltenham if she does not get on it now, thus losing her money. Chuntering ensues

The driver now addresses all passengers. Those wearing headphones are asked to remove them, children are asked to pay attention. You could cut the atmosphere with a knife. "I want everybody to decide. Should this woman pay the fare from Gloucester to Cheltenham? Raise your hand for yes"

We thought Johnson had murdered democracy.

We voted no.


  1. Bravo to that driver. Why can't there be a government leader like that?

  2. Natalie: And an electorate like that driver's passengers!

    Congratulations on having moved into one of those "difficult" French numbers where one must pause first and do a little mental arithmetic.

  3. Roddy, do you mean my singing Je Ne Regrette Rien at my 90th birthday party instead of Happy Birthday? If so, first of all, I'm chuffed that you're still reading me. Secondly, pas d'arithmetique mentale quand je chante. Jamais!

  4. Natalie: How is four twenties, plus ten rendered in English?

  5. Oh I've finally got it! Quatre ving dix.
    Thank you. Let it be our secret.

  6. Natalie: Not secretive, I prefer "elliptical". As with my own equivalent event (see: Anyone seen Winston Smith?). Trying to be all the things that that lugubrious song you discarded isn't.

    1. Belated best wishes for quatre vingt quatre and may you reach quatre vingt dix with nothing to regret and many more songs to sing.