Archive for Boris Johnson

Arrogant and Offensive

Posted in Politics with tags , , on May 24, 2020 by telescoper

This extraordinary tweet (now deleted) was posted by the official UK Civil Service account after the Prime Minister’s shameful attempt to defend the obvious wrongdoing of his boss, the unelected official Dominic Cummings. It was only live for about ten minutes but was very widely circulated, as the stats show.

Whoever posted the tweet has obviously now lost their job, but it had to be said and I applaud them.

The Cummings affair demonstrates even more clearly that the UK Government considers itself above the rule of law. People need to wake up, quickly.

More immediately, Boris Johnson has just thrown the UK’s response to Covid-19 in the bin. If the rules don’t apply to Cummings why should anyone else obey them?

Calculating the UK COVID Alert Level

Posted in Covid-19, mathematics, Politics with tags , , , on May 11, 2020 by telescoper

I didn’t watch yesterday’s broadcast by the UK’s Clown-in-Chief Bozo Johnson but I gather that he delivered an address that was every bit as coherent and lucid as one might have expected.

I for one am delighted that at last there is some clarity in the UK Government’s position and that they have applied the necessary level of mathematical rigour to their treatment of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Catching up on these pronouncements via Twitter I was impressed to see, for example, to see this precise formulation of the calculation required to establish the COVID Alert Level.

Let me take you through a detailed calculation using this important formula.

As far as I know the best estimate of the basic reproduction number R in the UK is around 0.8.

As of this morning (11th May) the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in the UK is 219,183.

Applying the formula I obtain a value

COVID Alert Level = 219183.8

That seems a big number. I thought it should only go up to 11. Have I slipped up somewhere?

A Strange Day

Posted in Politics, Rugby with tags , , , , on October 19, 2019 by telescoper

Being in Maynooth getting some work done this afternoon, I wasn’t in London for today’s People’s Vote March, which seems to have been a big one. So big, in fact, that even the BBC felt compelled to mention it. Well done to everyone who took part!

Inside the House of Commons, Members of Parliament voted for an Amendment, the upshot of which is that the Government is now required to seek an extension of the October 31st deadline for leaving the European Union to allow Boris Johnson’s so-called `deal’ with the European Union and the associated legislation to be properly scrutinized.

The `deal’ finalized with the EU last week is a remarkable achievement, in that it is even stupider than the already extremely stupid deal negotiated by Theresa May. The one good thing about it is that it is a big step on the road to a United Ireland, which I personally hope I live long enough to enjoy. Loyalists – especially the Democratic Unionist Party – don’t see things the same way of course. The latter party’s public humiliation by Johnson in was a huge gamble that backfired spectacularly on him ,as their ten votes in favour of the Letwin Amendment led to the Government’s defeat, which lost by 322 to 308.

And then there’s Scotland which, like Northern Ireland, voted to remain in the European Union in the referendum that seemed to take place decades ago. While special customs arrangements to facilitate frictionless trade have been proposed for NI, there’s nothing at all in the Withdrawal Agreement for Scotland. In fact Scotland isn’t mentioned once in the text. Faced with such contemptuous treatment from Westminster, the likelihood of Scottish independence must now be greater than at any point in recent memory.

Anyway, Johnson is presumably now back at home in Downing Street with his crayons,writing a letter to the European Union asking for an extension as the law requires him. Or will he? Will he instead do what he usually does and try to bluster his way out of trouble? Will he end up going to prison for contempt of court? Or perhaps he’ll just go and die quietly in a ditch somewhere?

UPDATE: In an astonishing act of petulance, the UK Prime Minister sent not just one but three letters. The first – an unsigned photocopy of the letter contained in the Benn Act. It’s a wonder he didn’t wipe his bottom on it for further effect. The second letter was a covering note from the UK Ambassador to the EU explaining what the first letter was for, and the third was a rambling and incoherent missive from Bozo himself trying to explain in poor grammar why he didn’t think it was a good idea to grant an extension. If Johnson had been planning to make himself like a complete imbecile he could hardly have done a better job. Meanwhile Donald Tusk did exactly the right thing and took the first letter as a request for an extension. Johnson’s pathetic bluster had no effect on the EU, but in any case that was all for Tory party consumption anyway. Stupidity goes down very well with the Conservative Party these days.

P.S. For diary purposes I’ll note that today in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals, England beat Australia 40-16 while New Zealand beat Ireland 46-14. That means my accumulator bet is still on…

P.P.S.  Wales beat France by the narrowest of margins (an elbow) and South Africa beat hosts Japan in the other two quarter-finals, bringing my quad bet home in style.  Who will win the competition overall? I’ll go for New Zealand, but I’m not going to bet on it. Always quit while you’re ahead.

 

Diversity, Inclusion, Rain and Brexit

Posted in Biographical, Politics with tags , , , , on October 11, 2019 by telescoper

So here I am in a very rainy London. I arrived yesterday for a meeting of the IOP Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which was an interesting occasion with many new things about to unfold, tempered by a bit of sadness that the wonderful Head of Diversity at the IOP, Jenni Dyer, is leaving shortly to take up a new job. However will we manage?

Anyway, instead of flying back to Ireland last night after the meeting, I stayed in London last night because today there is an ordinary meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society at Burlington House, to be followed by a Club Dinner. I’ll be going home to Ireland tomorrow.

Unfortunately the weather has put a dampener on my plans to spend a bit of time wandering around London because it is raining quite heavily and is forecast to do so for the rest of the day. Still, at least the hotel I’m in has WIFI so I can get a few things done this morning before venturing out into the inclement conditions.

Meanwhile the pound is rising against the euro on optimism that there may be a Brexit deal on the horizon after yesterday’s meeting between Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar. Nobody knows the details but it seems likely that it’s basically the same as Theresa May’s `deal’ except that the `backstop’ is to be replaced by what is effectively a  customs border in the Irish Sea.  My personal preference would be Boris Johnson thrown in the Irish Sea.

I doubt the Democratic Unionists will be happy with this, but Johnson is probably gambling that enough Labour quitlings will vote for it that he no longer needs their support. Of course, that all depends on whether what was discussed yesterday turns into a concrete legally-binding agreement signed off by the EU.

P.S. Bookies’ odds on a No-Deal Brexit on October 31st have drifted out from 4/1 to 5/1.

 

Johnson Close To Deal

Posted in Politics with tags , on September 25, 2019 by telescoper

Thank you, Google, but that isn’t really the information I was looking for.

A Very British Coup

Posted in History, Politics with tags , , , on August 28, 2019 by telescoper

Known liar, charlatan and tinpot dictator Boris Johnson.

Got back to Ireland this morning to find that the UK Government has decided to suspend Parliament. The deed is already done:

Prorogue

Remind me, what was all that stuff about the European Union being undemocratic?

Any lingering doubts anyone might have had about the direction in which the United Kingdom might go after known liar Boris Johnson became Prime Minister will have been dispelled this morning by the decision (by a small group within the Cabinet) to prorogue Parliament. There can be no doubt that this is a coup d’état. The parallels with 1930s Germany are chilling. If you ever wondered what you would have done in then, as the Nazis took over, that’s what you’re doing now.

This may allow the populist charlatans behind this manoeuvre to force through their chaotic `no deal’ Brexit, but they cannot be allowed to get away with this. I live in hope that one day they will be brought to book for this scandalous act. When that happens the retribution will be a joy to watch.

This disgraceful episode has made much easier a decision I have been putting off for almost two years. I’m putting my house in Wales up for sale and cutting the last of my ties with the United Kingdom. Enough is enough.

The Last Prime Minister of the United Kingdom?

Posted in Biographical, Politics with tags , on July 23, 2019 by telescoper

The front page shown above is three years old but is now even more apt than ever. Having won the Tory Party Leadership election, Boris Johnson will soon be installed as Prime Minister. The fact of his being a lazy dishonest blustering charlatan who is totally unsuited to any form of public office seems not to matter to the 90-odd thousand members of the Conservative Party who voted for him. I’ve never felt happier that I escaped…

It was always likely that Brexit would propel the dregs of UK politics to the forefront, and now the bottom of the barrel is in charge. It will take more than luck for the UK to get through this abysmal episode intact. The only question to me now is whether it will be Scotland or Northern Ireland that leaves first.

What do you think?