Archive of Postings to June 2022


Your Guess is NOT as Good as Mine

man19Like so many people in the UK Grandad has been paying for gas and electricity via a fixed price deal - in this case costing £110 per month. These deals stopped being offered as soon as the price of gas rocked upwards. And 30-June marks the end of this particular contract.

So Grandad has been waiting to see what the new tariff will be from 1-July. And today came the email from Shell Energy to confirm how much more it will cost in future.

To quote the supplier.. We check your account every three to twelve months to make sure your payments are on track to cover your energy usage and that you’re not building up too much credit or debit. Then in large font it states ... New monthly payment of £86.00 from 2 July 2022

So according to the clever guys at our energy supplier the effect of massive increases in gas and electricity costs will be a reduction of £24 per month in our payments ...

It would be nice if true but Grandad’s old school logic tell him that the software programmers have not allowed for a fixed price contract ending within the date range covered by their calculations. A situation that applies to a large number of their customers - which if not corrected will mislead many.

So how long will it take for a correction email to arrive? And does anyone actually check that the results coming out of the Shell Energy app are accurate - or even sensible?

tags: Gas, price hike, war, cost of living, crisis



More Trouble Ahead?

Russia-Expansion1In 1945 the German city of Königsberg became the Russian city of Kaliningrad as part of the Soviet demands for war reparations. The German population was forced out and Russian became the official language.

Being physically separated from Russia was not an issue until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. This put independent countries on its borders.

And this isolation was made more stark when Poland and Lithuania became members of NATO and, in 2004, the EU.

Kaliningrad is major transport hub, with sea and river ports, and also the headquarters of Russia’s Baltic Fleet. Its special tax status has made it one of Russia’s largest industrial centres.

Lithuania, Poland and NATO have shown no interest in changing the status quo but there are signs that the psychopathic Putin is turning his expansionist ambitions to the region. Either Putin directly or some of his owned politicians seem to be hatching a scheme - and creating justifications - for annexing a chunk of land between Kaliningrad and ally Belarus. Most likely by taking a portion of southern Lithuania.

The very idea of such escalation of the current Russian aggression would seem to be crazy to anyone outside the control of the Kremlin. But inside the madhouse steps are already being taken to cease recognition of Lithuania as an independent country. Not just that but the Russian populace are being primed for a possible conflict using nuclear weapons.

A scenario is emerging of Russia declaring Lithuania to be part of Russia and so no longer a NATO member. If this triggers NATO military action then Russia will nuke any country involved - while hoping that NATO backs down when the gun is pointed at its head ...

Update 20-Jun-2022
Today comes news of a new twist to the involvement of Kaliningrad in any extended conflict between Russia and western nations. According to the UK press the passage of goods by rail from Belarus to Kaliningrad has already been blocked by Lithuania. Who were in turn implementing the European Union’s sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. This has not gone down well in the Kremlin.

Also today senior NATO figures are warning that the war in Ukraine could drag on for years - while the UK military are pointing out that they may have smart, modern weapons but not in sufficient quantity to last more than a few weeks in a full scale war. And while the missiles, tanks and heavy weaponry might be good the available UK-EU troops would be vastly out numbered.

So we may see a poorly trained and commanded Russian army but the West does not have the numbers for an extended fight. Europe would need a rapid increase in its arms manufacturing capacity - starting now - to face an extended conflict. This raises the spectre of NATO - rather than Russia - having to resort to nuclear weapons to try to win an escalated war quickly.

Start praying it does not happen ...

tags: War, Europe, Liar, Russia, Mad Vlad, Kremlin, Death



Still Here?

At the international level the fact that a psychopathic Putin is still alive and in power must be issue number one. Even though the next level down in the Russian hierarchy seem to agitating for even more destructive actions. Some going so far as saying civilisation has just two choices - either Russia is allowed to win or everyone is nuked out of existence. Goodbye cruel world!

DodoBird1wAt the national level the fact that our bumbling BoJo is still leading Her Majesty’s Government only highlights the opinion that there are no realistic alternatives currently occupying the Palace of Westminster. Today’s ranking of cabinet members puts Our Boris last by a long way - with Ben Wallace in the lead. But still there is a view that it is not the right time to change leaders. The same line of argument used by the Scottish politicians to avoid having a second independence referendum.

And at the dead cat level we have large amounts of media coverage for the proposed re-introduction of Imperial measurements. Truly a non-event - even in the week of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The fact that we still have a situation where so many people seem to want to go back to Imperial times says something about our country. Considering that a Parliamentary committee reviewed weights and measures and recommended the SI metric system be adopted exclusively should have been enough. But they made their recommendations in the 1890s - with metrication to become compulsory by 1899. The fact that the USA has not changed over is the sole reason miles and pounds are still here.

But it is scraping the diversionary barrel to drag this out again - 123 years after the target switch-over. And fans of gallons over litres may want a rethink their support when they realise that the premium petrol Grandad bought today at 189.9p per litre works out at £8.63 when measured by the gallon!

tags: War, Liar, Russia, Mad Vlad, Boris, diversion



A Lottery Without Winners

EuroSpin2-250Another big money draw - another lottery where no one wins the promised millions. Last might quite literally millions of people hoped for big rewards from the latest Euro-millions draw. But they were all disappointed - again.

Friday night was the 13th roll-over in succession - and again no winners of the main prize. Not since 18-Mar-2022 has it been won. As a result the headline prize will have grown from £14 million to an estimated £184 million by next Tuesday.

So Grandad is off to buy a handful of tickets - and if you don’t hear of me again then either I’ve won or it’s all become just too much ...

tags: gamble, empty, Europe, mega draw



May Day, May Day

Now that the illness of Russia’s unhinged psychopathic leader Putin has become more obvious further attempts to deny it have been abandoned. In fact hospitalisation for something serious - cancer or Parkinsons - could come straight after next week’s parade of military might in Red Square.

Rasputin_200Monday was being prepared as the big celebration of Russia’s takeover of Ukraine and the installation of a pro-Moscow puppet regime. And that could still be the propaganda message even though most of the rest of the world can see through the lies. But Egyptian pharaohs and Roman emperors still told their subjects that they were the victors in any wars that they actually lost - so expect much the same next week. However if something goes wrong with a 21st century victory parade then news of it will certainly get out very quickly.

But Russian forces have gained some Ukrainian territory and continue to have the advantage with more heavy artillery, aircraft and troop numbers. And there is a clear intention to press west along the Black Sea coast and into Moldova. If Mad Vlad survives his hospital visit and remains in power then Romania will be the next country that has its coastal cities attacked ... And since Romania is a NATO member all of Europe will then be at war.

Russia’s existing gains in cities like Mariupol have been hollow victories - since what use are cities without any intact properties or infrastructure? The Ukrainian resistance holding-out in the steel works there will almost certainly be over-run. But the blasted steel works may never be operational again.

Next Monday’s parade could be the last one seen by this latest Russian psychopath - so let’s hope that by next year the current senseless killing has long been stopped and Russia’s oil and gas revenue has been diverted towards rebuilding a peaceful Ukraine ...

tags: War, Europe, Soviet, Liar, Russia, Mad Vlad, Kremlin, Death



St George’s Day

With the date falling on a Saturday this year there seem to be a few more celebrations arranged than before Covid restrictions. A good sign of growing public support for real heritage rather than false representations.

MelbSov-l200Given the increasingly threatening rhetoric against the UK coming out of Russia’s official broadcasters - and the terrible atrocities by Russia in Ukraine - this public support seems certain to grow. Especially with more facts emerging about how Russia has been trying to weaken the UK. The years of Russia funding social unrest - both directly and indirectly via any useful idiots - will soon start to run out of cash. Something Russia has had until recently in huge amounts. Now the days of having spare millions from gas and oil sales to spend on indirect propaganda - even after Putin and all his oligarchs have taken their substantial cuts - are coming to an end.

Take fracking for shale gas as an example. Who gains when propaganda-fed activists - and some MPs - block getting our own fuel? Russia gains that’s who. And it is already known that Russia has indirectly funded anti-fracking groups with this objective. How this will play out in the future is uncertain but if the financial sanctions against Russia are effective then the activists will have lost a key income stream.

But it’s not just fracking - everything from Brexit to IndyRef2 has rumours of foreign funding and anti-UK propaganda. The closing down of RT (Russia Today) was a step in the right direction but there are still plenty of other ways to spread lies and mis-information. And Russia certainly has a plentiful stock of lies it can supply.

RussianArms1-200Perhaps one unexpected reason to undermine support for St George in the UK - could be because the centre of the restored Russian flag contains a figure that looks very familiar ...

tags: War, Europe, Soviet, Liar, Russia, Mad Vlad, Kremlin, St George



Light Entertainment 2

With just three weeks until the next Eurovision Song Contest it seems like the familiar script built-up over many previous editions has been turned on its head since our January posting.

ESC2922-RyderSam-1Russia is out - obviously - and not just for 2022. While Ukraine has moved from being a long-odds outsider to be a clear favourite to win despite the prospect of needing a pre-recorded performance.

Meanwhile in the UK our entry has been selected - Sam Rider performing Space Man - using a different approach to recent years. And Sam has been busy on promotional tours in Europe and taking advantage of his established tiktok following.

This - possibly helped by UK’s prompt support for Ukraine - has moved us from a no-hope position to fourth place in the betting behind Italy and Sweden. True the Eurovision popularity poll puts Italy top with Ukraine fourth with UK down to seventh - but that’s quite an improvement over last place and no points ...

Update 15-May-2022
Result - 1st Ukraine, 2nd United Kingdom, 3rd Spain ... last Germany. Who says politics don’t play a part?

tags: Eurovision, BBC, Russia, Ukraine, war, politics, reversal



Moscow Sinks

Still the Russian aggression continues in Ukraine. But despite all the odds stacked against them the Ukrainians are not being over-run. In fact the sinking of the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet has emphasised just how much smarter and determined the Ukrainian forces are.

Rasputin_200While the ridiculous propaganda put out by the official Russian channels seems laughable in the West there are plenty who believe it behind their digital curtain. In the case of the sunken cruiser the story that the flagship was taken out by an accidental fire but all the crew were safe seems certain to unravel as soon as it is known how many Russian sailors have failed to return.

Quite how the Russian Psychopath will lie his way to a famous victory by the 9-May-2022 target is hard to guess but it will almost certain involve further tragic loss of life .. other peoples’ lives that is.

With the repeated attempts to draw NATO into direct action let’s hope the incompetence of the Russian lie-factory does not lead to fatal unintended consequences.

tags: War, Europe, Soviet, Liar, Russia, Mad Vlad, Kremlin, Bunker



Russia Ruled By A Psychopath

Sixteen days into the war caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the unhinged psychopath called Putin still rages at his generals for not making his deluded battle plans work.

We can only guess what is in the mind of this dangerously impaired 69 year old - but then even his generals and political deputies have no idea either. But his actions speak louder than any of the ridiculous lies and deceits coming from the vast propaganda machine that is struggling to hide the truth from the world.

Man1902Eighteen days of senseless death and destruction and still no one has removed the madman from his position of power. Putin has well and truly forfeited the right to exist - and his generals are already known to be guilty of well documented crimes against humanity. How can such terrible atrocities ever be allowed to be brushed aside or go unpunished?

Meanwhile Russian troops are still firing heavy weapons into civilian areas - taking out schools, hospitals, shops and homes. Leaving survivors to freeze or starve amongst the rubble - with women and children being shot in cold blood while trying to get to relative safety.

For what? What use to Russia are the shelled out town and cities? What possible justification can there be for invading this UN member state then killing its people; the people of Ukraine - an independent country that shares so much history with its Russian neighbours?

And where is the international action to stop this barbarity? Certainly there is no attempt by the United Nations to raise and deploy a peace-keeping force. As constituted currently the UN is pointless - with both Russia and China able to block any effective action that does not suit their aims.

And NATO keeps talking tough while standing back from involvement. With Germany totally dependent on Russian energy the whole of the EU lacks the stomach for a fight. And in the US political weakness removes the biggest player from the NATO team. With no UN, EU or NATO support the actual task of fighting falls on Ukrainian patriots. They deserve a victory and then reparations from the aggressors

Recently the Russian Psychopath has been threatening to ignore national borders and to treat aid heading to Ukraine as valid targets. More than a touch ironic considering that all of the Russian actions are far from valid - and they cannot claim to have any valid targets in either Ukraine or any of the surrounding countries. This war could still spiral out of control ... Lie, Lie Ras Putin; Wrecker of the Russian dream

Twenty five days on since the Russian army launched into an orgy of senseless death and destruction against the people of Ukraine. Still their psychopathic commander refuses to stop the murders or withdraw from their insane invasion.

Three weeks of attack and large parts of important Ukrainian cities have been made uninhabitable by missiles / shells designed to kill, maim or starve civilians. Aiming for an outcome where any survivors will be impoverished slaves of the Russian state and Ukraine will cease to exist as an independent country.

But every since day one there have been warnings that under Putin Russia will not stop there. Rallies to celebrate the invasion of Crimea in 2014 and [rigged] opinion polls showing public support for more expansionist wars show that there is official support for attacking countries on Russia’s western border - with or without NATO opposition.

Russia has not shown itself to be a military super-power with its shambolic attack on Ukraine and resulting huge loss of men and machines. But there is the concern that Russia has held back from deploying its best troops and most destructive weapons. If Putin’s psychopathic plans follow the same route as those of Hitler 80 years ago then chemical and nuclear weapons plus all the divisions from the east will be directed at any country that opposes him - without regard for the cost or lives lost.

Readying the airborne exit to a nuclear bunker is already rumoured to have happened. But more pointedly last week’s flurry of billionaire’s jets leaving Moscow for Dubai is a worrying sign that WW3 is becoming more possible ...

Web posting spotted today about the Russian leadership ... What a regime - if it wasn't so serious, you could make a sitcom out of it. And the reply from Emma Grate ... Monty Putin's Dying Circus

tags: War, Europe, Soviet, Liar, Russia, Mad Vlad, Kremlin, Bunker



A Mad RasPutin?


tags: War, Europe, Soviet, Liar, Russia, Mad Vlad, Kremlin, Bunker



20th Century Rerun

In a move taken straight from the deceitful dictators handbook Russian president Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has sent the vast majority of the country’s military to protect the Russian speaking people of Ukraine from their own government.

man9The same tactic that was used by Adolph Hitler to protect German speaking regions outside Germany in the build up to a full scale invasion of, first, Poland and then Western Europe. How long before the Russian leader commits to annexing the rest of Ukraine is hard to predict (for obvious reasons) but the lesson from history is that it won’t be long - and won’t stop there.

Just a few years ago it seemed unimaginable that a new power mad dictator could lead Europe into another world war. But recently the odds have been shortening rapidly.

In the 1930’s the Japanese also began their military expansion leading to the misguided belief that they could cripple the USA as a world power by destroying their fleet in Pearl Harbour. Now we have China threatening to do much the same. With history repeating right down to the recent treaty between China and Russia. A move that creates an East-West axis like the Germany-Japan common purpose axis of the 1940’s.

So after a rerun of the 20th century pandemic we are now facing a rerun of the 20th century conflicts .... Does mankind never learn?

tags: War, Europe, NATO, Soviet, Spanish flu, Taiwan



Free On Wednesday?

According to media headlines, quoting a unnamed US source, Wednesday this week has been booked for a Russian invasion of Ukraine - subject to other commitments of course.

Man1901Now I’m no expert in how best to start a war but I would have thought that a key element would have to be surprise. Massing half the Russian army near the border would create a powerful force if war was the intention - but telling the world it will kick-off next Wednesday is a very unlikely basis for a battle plan.

Perhaps it was a secret plan discovered by spies and then leaked to stop it going ahead. Or perhaps there was no such Russian plan but Western leaders invented one to then claim they had stopped this terrible event from happening. Perhaps the Russians leaked a false plan to trick the Western leaders into looking the wrong way while China invades Taiwan or at least sound out how they would react if it were true.

Since Russia and Ukraine are well versed in covert actions, propaganda and mis-information the chances of knowing the truth are anywhere from slim to absolute zero. And US/Britain’s truthfulness is not much better.

So as our loveable(?) buffoon of a Prime Minister runs around making meaningless threats the citizens of Kiev are keeping calm and carrying on. A motto that the British used to have years ago ...

tags: War, Europe, NATO, false alarm, empty threats



Not Just Partygate

The apparently chaotic nature of the working environment in Downing Street looks to the outsider as a rehearsal for a very bad episode of The Apprentice. Except in this case the Lord Sugar character is part of the chaos.

DodoBird1wBut now that that Commissioner Dick has acted to delay the results of an investigation we can only guess how damaging it will be. Not that Dame Dick will get away with the Met’s failures for much longer.

Yet, in a way, who ate which cakes with how many civil servants is just a smoke screen hiding the Government’s bigger failures from the media headlines.

Moving goods between a UK warehouse and its retail outlet should be the same irrespective of which part of the UK you live in. The EU still demand customs controls on goods to Northern Ireland - and the UK government has repeatedly threatened to bypass the restrictions but has failed to deliver.

The fishing industry was promised the end of damaging mega-trawlers stripping UK waters and a return to UK control with UK boats. But the mega-trawlers have been given licences, along with anyone who can claim to have fished in UK waters before. Not what was promised.

Trade with the EU was supposed to be frictionless and trouble free. In reality the solution in place is deliberately and excessively burdensome. Yet the UK government’s response seems to be limited to asking our EU friends if they could please be more co-operative. But our neighbours in Europe don’t understand the rules of Old Etonian cricket. And our current wet lettuce attitude may be because the UK signed up to the Johnson-May-Robbins Withdrawal Agreement despite its faults. With the Prime Minister reportedly expecting to change it after leaving - a fatal miscalculation.

There’s more but that’s more than enough to put Partygate well down any list of strategic concerns ...

Update 7pm
Dame Dick has resigned according to various sources. Mayor Khan seems upset that the Prime Minister is profiting from the delay caused by the police investigation she sanctioned ...

tags: UK, resignation, breakdown



Rocky Horror Show

Around 85% of UK households use gas for heating. But offshore gas production has been in decline since the year 2000 which has meant that the UK has gone from being a net exporter of gas to importing over half of our gas supplies. Government estimates suggest we could be importing 72% of our gas by 2030.

MunsterManHowever onshore gas production by fracking the UK’s shale rock deposits could change all that - yet it has been delayed, or totally blocked, by both public protests and government red tape. Instead we see natural gas being piped into Europe or shipped in by tankers, including gas fracked in the USA, all at world market prices.

As a result of international demands (and political tensions) the UK population faces just some of the cost of being dependent on imported gas with a £700 per year rise in average energy bills from 1-Apr-2022. But there is the prospect of another increase six months after and repaying today’s handouts for years.

Every politician and media outlet is calling for the government to do something - but in the long run it’s the markets that dictate. Anything the government attempts will have a cost to the tax payer. And the more they attempt the more additional costs will be incurred. Price-caps, allowances, rebates etc all simply defer the problem while adding to the administrative overheads.

Will the marchers who demanded a ban on fracking be happy to pay the higher prices - or prepared to switch off their gas boilers? If they are like the insulation activists who fail to insulate their own homes I very much doubt it ..

The other issue with gas boilers is, of course, their future role in domestic heating. The government has plans to phase them out - but their proposed heat pump alternative is totally unsuitable for the vast majority. Clearly domestic heating will have to switch to electricity sooner or later. But what the practical outcomes of our government’s initiatives (crazy ill-conceived primary school fantasies) will be is anyone’s guess.

tags: Gas, carbon footprint, net zero, price hike



Events, Events

BoJo2A winner in the Conservative leadership contest. A winner in the last general election. But it seems that these will count for little as events conspire to bring Mr Johnson down.

A growing list of failures and unacceptable actions - each minor enough to be overcome in normal circumstances - have all appeared at short notice. Their combined effect when bunched together like this could mark the end of the Johnson tenure at No. 10.

Increasing panic spreading through the government, unrest in Whitehall and Europe plus escalating military threats are likely to set off a chain of events beyond the Prime Minister’s control.

There may be trouble ahead ..

Update 4-Feb-2022
As the wheels fall off the BoJo bus when it hits the pot-holed streets of broken promises there is a rapidly increasing chance of a change in political leadership. Place your bets on a dodo BoJo pronto ..

tags: UK, resignation, breakdown



Light Entertainment

ESC2022-Georgia-circus-mircIt would be nice to have a break from all the military, medical, climatic and financial threats with some light, unchallenging, entertaining relaxation.

I’m sure that’s what is in the mind of this group (!) Circus Mircus who will represent Georgia at the Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy in May.

Unfortunately the British approach seems certain to lead to another musical debacle that will stir-up abuse and raise blood pressures almost as much as Downing Street partying. [Come back Katrina and the Waves ...]

Cannot comment on the UK’s choice for 2022 because the selection has not been made yet. But can almost guarantee that the final result will be another zero point disaster - irrespective of the song or its singer.

tags: Eurovision, BBC, repeat, failure


Earlier postings ...











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