Saturday, 9 May 2020


This week, I feel we have gone even deeper into the Twilight Zone.  I have been following the statistics for Covid-19, and even I, a non scientist or expert, can see we are still at the peak and likely to go very much higher.   If  over 2,500 people  are testing positive each day, then how many people have those 2,500 infected?  How do you trace the contacts of 2,500 every day?  It's an impossible task.

I feel the government is trying to woo us into a false sense of security in some kind of Orwellian way.  It began with the VE Day celebrations (first in my recollection) with people quickly abandoning all their weeks of quarantine to go party with their neighbours.  This week has seen the beaches packed and the streets come back to life.  It's like 'social distancing is so over'.  Why?  When I first starting checking numbers, Kent, for example, had 18 confirmed cases, now it has nearly 5,000 and I'm supposed to feel safer?

Within this blog there are those who think this global pandemic is an almighty hoax, seriously.  But they can have their say.  My first question to them is however, why?  Accusations have been thrown at Bill Gates for example, he apparently, wants to inject every citizen of the world with some kind of microchip that will turn us all into automatons. Unfortunately, that is not even a good plot for a bad sci fi movie, for what purpose for example?  And of course, Bill Gates, has never shown any signs of wanting to rule the world, no diamond collared white cats or gold toilets.

But I won't rule conspiracy theorists out altogether.  There has never been a better time, for those so minded, to harvest masses of private information about us.  I was surprised to learn for example, that all those with access to mobile phone data can literally check an area on a map to see if the population are staying inside.  I found that mind blowing, but of course, right now, there are all sorts of computer whizz kids working on 'apps' that will track and trace the infected (sorry about that, watch way too many zombie films).  We literally won't be able to go anywhere without being tracked and traced.  Scary huh?   

To be honest I gave up on privacy a long time ago, almost as soon as I joined the internet.  It's just not something I would obsess over.  I don't care that my laptop keeps me offering me personalised adverts for fat, fifty and funerals, and I don't care that the Co-op knows I occasionally treat myself to a box of fine chocolates or that I have a penchant for googling 'spooky movies'.  Stores know what our tastes are, as do banks and the machine that dishes out tickets in the car park.  They also know this is the second bottle of pink gin I have bought in 4 weeks.  All that personal information has been harvested by political parties and wanna be despots for decades.  Just for a bit of useless information, buy avocados regularly and you move up a demographic.  

Anyway, we have a good discussion going, Covid-19, Boris, Donald and is the West moving to the extreme right?  Come join us.


How much do I hate Trump?

I know I should be talking about English politics at the moment and the hapless case of Boris Johnson and our own soaring Covid-19 cases, take it on the chin he said, you too can have a stay in ICU with a team of physicians watching you constantly, followed by a sojourn at Chequers and a short spell of paternity leave for your sixth, or is it 7th child.  Could you imagine Churchill taking time off during WWII to learn how to make bottles and change a nappy?

But as much fun as it is having a dig a Botchit Boris, he is not half as interesting as the as the lunatic in the White House.  I miss his nightly briefings, you literally never knew what was going to happen.  What dumbass idea he was going to come up with.  And tis true, I secretly hoped that at some point the men in white coats would appear, or the Cavalry at least.  Trump loves the verbal sparring and it's funny because he thinks he is winning.  His capacity to delude himself must break all previous records.  Step aside all you Napoleon Bonapartes and Julius Caesars, Donald Trump has spoken; 'I alone can fix it'.  And I suspect, if it wasn't for the Evangelists, he would push God aside too.

Now it shouldn't be entertaining to watch someone have a nervous breakdown, and I feel bad about it, but I'm going to watch anyway, I'm not going to avert my eyes.  We are all living in a time of huge change and huge turmoil, our descendants will wonder how we felt and what we saw.    How we, living in a democracy, came to elect the absolute worst of humanity as our leaders.  We haven't been pressured, we haven't been threatened or bribed, we are here as a result of free will.  How will our descendants interpret that, will they see us as greedy, selfish, inhumane?

We Brits had our opportunity to choose unity, compassion and equal opportunity, but we (not me) voted for a government that we already knew to be heartless, manipulative and probably corrupt.  For my readers in the USA, you still have hope!  That is, within a few short months, you can vote in the grown ups.  Donald Trump's toddler brain is not cute in any way, it is downright dangerous.  You have, waiting to take over and fix everything that has been broken, compassionate statesmen and stateswomen, who understand how government works and how legislature affects ordinary citizens.  Will Trump for example, be held to account for the chaos that ensued following his instinct to ban all flights from Europe?  The thousands trapped in crowded airports for hours on end?  Trump doesn't think.  Johnson has the same problem.

It is bizarre on every level, but especially from the perspective of an onlooker from across the pond.  Your leader has abandoned his leadership and is pretending the coronavirus isn't happening.  True, our leader has also abandoned his leadership, but at least he doesn't think it is a hoax foisted on us by the Labour Party and China.  He also, hasn't as yet, suggested we inject bleach.  I suspect Trump's delegating his powers to the States is because he can see disaster coming and he would prefer the Governors to be held accountable and not he.  Globally, 50million died as a result of the 1918 pandemic, 675,000 in the USA, so right now he is a man with a lot of wriggle room.  Handing responsibility for the pandemic over to the Governors individually, is probably the weakest and most cowardly tactic he could come up with, but he has no idea how to lead and he doesn't have the humility to ask for advice from others.  If Hilary Clinton were President right now, she would have Bill, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and probably George Bush as well, to turn to.  Trump has no-one, because he thinks he is a stable genius and he alone can fix it.  That's scary, see his business history.

But Trump has 100% faith in his ability to bullshit.  More particularly his ability to bullshit the uneducated, who he professes to love.  But he doesn't love them enough to ensure they have the same testing and protections that he and his White House staff have.  Not that they even got that right, as I write this, two members of staff close to Trump and Pence have tested positive for coronavirus.  If the hapless Trump administration cannot keep the virus away from the President and the Vice President, how does that bode for the rest of the USA?  Trump's main tactic, it would appear, is to pretend the virus has gone away.  All his wishes haven't come true, but he is acting as though they have.  There is a sad little boy in there somewhere, but there are a lot of bigger problems to cope with right now.   

I don't judge the American people by their ghastly President and the deplorables that follow him.  I love them for their confidence, their honesty, their sense of fair play (most of the time), I never miss Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, the two Jimmies, Kimmel and Fallon, and not American born, Trevor Noah.  I love their writers, their actors and comedians, and of late, their glamour.  And of course, I love everything Hollywood.  All the cool people, it would appear, hate Trump and his destruction of culture.   It's weird how those on the right always want to destroy art rather than celebrate it.  Perhaps because art, literature and music carries the history of their wrong doings.   Trump will do all in his power to cover up the number of deaths, the number infected and the number unemployed.  Whilst he has all the power he can alter public records.  That won't help anyone, but he will argue, China did first.

He can't however distort the truth in the way he would like.  He has tried 'pay no attention to the man behind the curtain' a couple of times, and it's never taken.  Journalists are fact checking him on every lying word that comes out of his mouth and it irks him.  Some say he is constantly off his head on Adderall and Sudafed, maybe even cocaine.  He certainly sniffs a lot and his eyes look as though he has hayfever, so it's a possibility.  To me, he brings to mind, every time I have ever been cornered by some drunken, braggadocious old man at a party.  When I was younger, obviously. That is, they/he repeat over and over again for fear you did not fully take in details of their large apartment with room for a pony. Err, yeah, heard that several times - still don't like  you.  I swear if I were in that press gaggle I would get everyone to question him about ventilators, just to take the pee and off script.

My kindest wishes to all my readers, wherever you may be.  Take care.  


  1. Do people still say "across the pond"?

    (full name has been supplied before)

  2. Hello Rosalinda, T, Dave, NL and everybody
    Just a few thoughts on the nation "across the pond"

    When Heinrich Brüning, who was a highly educated and intelligent politician with a PhD in political science, announced his resignation in 1932, uncontrolled madness took over the political power of the weakened democracy in the Weimar Republic. In the course of just a few years cultural life had become political, while at the same time as a few conspiratorially mad politicians managed to get the people to believe in their genius.

    The economic and social problems were solved in a radical and simplified way the following years and the political power ended up in the hands of a few. The brutal methods of making Germany “GREAT” again became legitimate and the pursuit of a utopian well-organized society with a unified worldview, grew ever stronger among those who considered themselves to be true Germans.

    Does the German tragedy, has any bearing on the course of events in the USA of today? Does the cultural decadence of Germany in the 1920s and the 1930s, which foreshadowed the collapse of the Weimar Republic, be compared to that which can be seen in the “GREATEST” nation of today?

    1. Hello Bjorn and thank you for your interesting comment.

      There are a lot of parallels between the rise of Hitler and Trump. Both appealed to the popular vote by making ethnic minorities and socialists the enemy. Hitler had an advantage, in that many Germans, himself especially, felt hard done by in the aftermath of WWI. Germany was hit particularly hard by the Great Depression, with tales of Germans having to having to use wheelbarrows to carry the amount of cash needed to buy a loaf - the Deutschmark was worthless.

      Arguably, Hitler had the 'perfect storm' in which to start a 'Make Germany Great Again' campaign. As George Orwell let us know, the best way to kickstart an economy is by going to war. Literally everyone is working because all factories have been converted to making munitions for the 'war effort'. Churchill spotted what Hitler was doing in the early '30s but no-one would listen to him at the time.

      Theodore Roosevelt, by contrast, rebooted the American Economy by investing in infrastructure, roads, bridges, homes, and places of education, he got the American people back to work, in a fair and compassionate way. Maybe that contributed to the idea that the Americans were the good guys of the world, well that and Hollywood.

      Fast forward 80+ years to today. I still think Americans are inherently good, and the Trump presidency was some kind of fluke, a combination of Hilary Clinton being perceived as the establishment and Trump's incredible abilities as a salesman. Somehow, like Hitler, he is able to hypnotise a large audience, he is able to draw on their basest instincts, those horrible sides to their nature that they usually have to keep hidden.

      I have heard Trump keeps a copy of Mein Kampf by his bedside, but I think that unlikely, any book he may have is more likely to be an Epstein catalogue of underage models. Apologies, I shall try to hold back the bitchy. I doubt he has read it, but I expect someone may have explained it to him as though he were a 4 year old. He is certainly ticking a lot of the boxes in the beginner's guide to dictatorship.

      I have a wish/dream that he will get his arse whooped in November. I want that even more than I want him to catch Coronavirus. And I am astounded, astonished, presently wondering whether I should put more tonic in it, that Trump has even a smidgeon of a chance in the upcoming election. He has given up any pretence of caring about the virus and how many hundreds of thousands of Americans who will die, he wants, or desperately needs, people back as paying customers at his golf clubs! If Trump is broke, then Congress needs to know about it, because he is compromised in every way. That's just an aside, I have been watching Trump's battle for immunity from prosecution in the Supreme Court, and right to keep his tax and financial records a secret. It is not going well for him, but at least 2 of the Judges are Trump appointees, so who knows. If they rule he can carry on his mob rule, he can then literally go shoot someone in 5th Avenue and it would be OK. Scary huh?

      My consolation is that most Americans are inherently good. That is, the dominant ideology of the USA, is to be not only the world's leader but the moral guidance we should all follow. I should add here, that I grew up watching old movies from Hollywood's Golden Age and they of course, were selling the American Dream.

      I fear Bjorn, that if Trump does not lose in November, he will, or at least will attempt, to take his future rallies, of which there will be many, over to much more overt racism and division. People who would never normally have been petty minded and certainly not racist, might find themselves just going along with the new laws and regulations for fear of being targeted themselves?

    2. Oops, missing crucial 'New Deal'

    3. Bjorn 15 May 2020 at 10:06

      Hello, Björn, and thank you.

      In order to respect Rosalinda and all the readers of her blog, I suggest that you put Heinrich Brüning’s resignation in a proper context, interpret it in your own personal way and then explain what you believe would be its essential historical message, and what you believe his having been a highly educated and intelligent politician with a PhD in political science has to do with what happened to him or with anything else.

      You may have heard the definition of Historicism , as in The Poverty of Historicism, which gives us a hint about how difficult it is to understand history across time boundaries.

      How does that sound, my friend?

      “Does the German tragedy, has any bearing on the course of events in the USA of today?”

      What do you think?

      Does the cultural decadence of Germany in the 1920s and the 1930s, which foreshadowed the collapse of the Weimar Republic, be compared to that which can be seen in the “GREATEST” nation of today?

      Do you have in mind Rosalinda’s “I don't judge the American people by their ghastly President and the deplorables that follow him. I love them for their confidence, their honesty, their sense of fair play (most of the time), I never miss Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, the two Jimmies, Kimmel and Fallon, and not American born, Trevor Noah. I love their writers, their actors and comedians, and of late, their glamour. And of course, I love everything Hollywood. All the cool people, it would appear, hate Trump and his destruction of culture.” And that “GREATEST” thingy is sarcasm, isn’t it?

      Of course I jest, Bjorn, but maybe there are a few serious messages in this bottle. :) (Or should it be LOL?)

      BTW (No idea if this helps) Goebbels had become Doctor of Philology three years before he joined Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers' Party).

      Have a nice weekend

      Kind regards (I mean it).


      I haven’t read Rosalinda’s comment yet.

    4. Hi T

      Thanks for comment T. I shall comment on that reply as well as that of Rosalinda's comment,which I'll have to read one more time. I'll be back late tomorrow. I've got to take care of my dog now.
      Have a nice weekend and
      спокойной ночи

    5. Björn 15 May 2020 at 22:12

      Доброе утро, Сканди! Клопы кусали?
      Good morning, Scandie [‘Scandinavia]! Were the bedbugs biting? [Alludes to ‘Sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.’]

      You are indeed brave, Björn, but the fight is mine! :)
      [ My “…tear your comment/s limb from limb, linguistics and all.” echoed Rosalinda’s “I could tear my opponents arguments limb from limb.”]

      I love dogs. Please say hello in Dog from me to yours.

      Русская шутка: Шведский студент в книжном магазине. Продавец: “Эта книга сделает половину работы для Вас. Студент: ”очень хорошо, я возьму две.“
      A Russian joke: A Swedish student in a bookshop. The bookseller: “This book will do half the job for you.” The student: “Very good, I’ll take two.” :(

      Please don’t feel you have to rush with replies on my account, I can wait.

      Kind regards.


    6. I get the feeling you are mocking me T, trying to make me appear trite and irrelevant. I'm a scholar who doesn't write like a scholar and you don't get that. I always find it rather odd that some educated people are so, so snobbish (I tried to think of another word, but snobbish is the most appropriate) about popular culture. As if they are way too highbrow to pay any attention to comedians, films, tv, anything that can be described as fodder for the masses eh? Was Beethoven better than The Beatles? As a screaming teenager in the 1820's and a screaming teenager in the 1960's. I just had to check Beethoven on Google and the first thing that came up was the large, fluffy dog. That I suspect T, sent you rushing for a large chebang of Remy Martin!

      It's a pretty blinkered perspective in my opinion, the whole idea of being too posh to know who Emimen is. If you are 'woke' - a new meaning applied to an old word that I am loving, you would appreciate not only the art and literature of old, but the exciting new ideas brought in by the next generations. I think it is good to know the icons who prevail in the age in which we live. I have no respect for those old Judges who claim to know nothing about popular culture - why not, say I, how much are they paid?

      I make no apologies for my love of popular culture T, for one thing it makes conversation with whoever you meet far easier, lots to discuss, and if you lead it to The Tudors, as in my case, all the better. Perhaps I should put it in a nutshell and on a more personal level. I never want to be one of those dotty old women who don't know what's going on. I remember when a psychiatrist asked my dear old mum in her final days, 'do you know what day it is', she boldly replied 'yeah - do you'. Unfortunately, two minutes later, she declared she was off to the garden to have a 'fag' with Wendy Richards (deceased EastEnders star) who was, according to her, in the room next door, which quickly confirmed the lost marbles diagnosis. I think she was at her happiest, in life, when she was up to mischief with her pals, they all came back to her at that time and her deceased siblings too. My deceased dad was thee too, and she was squabbling with him, just as she always did, which made me think, maybe he really was?

      But I wandered, I wanted to be cross with you T, I can't understand your new 'Game of Thrones (not yet seen) approach' to Bjorn. I feel you are almost at the point of asking him for a joust (ok that was more Tudors), but hopefully you can now envisage two knights going to battle, ha ha. Unfortunately, I fear if you do go off onto a whole load of PhD stuff, you will lose me, maybe others, unless you can explain it simply. The two knights jousting may be the better option :)

      For myself, I am heartily disappointed that the battle is over is Russian Grammar, of which I and probably most of my readers, know nothing, finding a Judge to mediate will be a nightmare. To be honest I wish the 'battle' had been about the rise of the Far Right, is the USA heading towards the tragedy of Germany in the 1930's. But the gauntlet has been thrown and you both appear to be enjoying it.

    7. May 2020 at 17:46
      Hello Rosalinda and thanks for your comments on my post.

      I believe that Roosevelt's New Deal, which came about when the American society was in a severe social and economic crisis, may be compared to today’s upcoming crises in the USA and the coronavirus pandemic is just a part of that problem, as is the climate change.

      Therefore Bernie Sanders with his Green New Deal, if he had been given the opportunity to reshape the American society, might have succeeded in making America great again, but in a healthy way of course. Trump definitely won’t. I’m afraid that the Democratic Party and its voters have now made a total misjudgement, in that they believe that Sanders does not have the charisma to challenge Trump in the presidential election. I beg to differ, though I know so well that it’s quite pointless to discuss what might have been, still I can’t help doing that.

      Joe Biden, if he comes to power, though not quite likely, may perhaps be able to take the American political discourse back to some kind of normality, but it takes much more to restore a nation in deep cultural -and social crisis than an uncontroversial traditional politician, without any clearly stated vision for the future.

      As for the election, there isn’t any real counterweight to Trump's madness, and people in general in the USA now seem to accept his mental disorders as a kind of normality, thereby helping him to stay in power, just as you fear Rosalinda.

    8. Rosalinda Hutton 16 May 2020 at 21:39

      My dear Rosalinda, thank you.

      You have raised some interesting and important points. For me, today is a day of prayer and reflection. Please let me think about what you’ve said and reply with consideration the point you’ve raised deserve.

      Please rest assured I don’t mock you..

      Have a good Sunday and look after yourself.



    9. I'm a little more optimistic than you Bjorn. I too preferred Bernie Sanders, he is much like Jeremy Corbyn, but perhaps too far left to win a majority. Biden is not a progressive, but he may be a safer bet to beat Trump. He is a nice guy - and he holds much kudos for being Vice President to Barack Obama, memories for many Americans of a much stabler time when the US was respected throughout the world. I fear many think they are presently on a roller coaster and just want to get off and feel terra firma beneath their feet. I'm sad for Bernie just as I'm sad for Jeremy Corbyn, the world, it would seem, is just not ready for the rebooting it needs.

      From all the news programs I watch and articles I read, and there are many, all the 'Never Trumpers' are banding together behind Biden, their only goal, getting Trump out. The Resistance, as I believe they are commonly known, includes disillusioned Republicans 'The Lincoln Project' who are producing anti-Trump ads and supporting Biden. I follow, on twitter, George Conway (husband of Kellyanne) and Rick Wilson, two leaders of the Lincoln Project, who rip Trump apart on a daily basis.

      Donald Trump is the most hated President ever, but I see what you are saying Bjorn, he still has millions following him, how on earth can that be? How can so many people get so worked about the immigrants who live among them - especially as they are probably immigrants or descendants of immigrants themselves? I don't understand the concept of 'mass hate', where does it comes from? How do the hate mongers stir it up? How is it possible to be so angry at strangers who are doing you no harm?

      These are tumultuous times Bjorn, I never thought the UK would vote for Boris over Jeremy, but they did. History teaches us that an extreme right wing government is usually replaced by an extreme left wing government, it is the dialectic, the thesis, antithesis and synthesis, but it didn't happen that way. The British public voted for an even more extreme version of the same, a government that has stripped workers of their job security and literally killed over 100,000 with benefit cuts. A government that will push people back to work and kids back to school even though the pandemic is still raging. History has already shown us how that worked out (1918), but as always, money first.

      But the sun is shining, the sky looks clearer than it ever has, and I'm sure even clearer in Sweden, have a good day Bjorn.

    10. Hello T 15 May 2020 at 18:56

      You made quite a good point there T about Doctor Göbbels being a highly educated man. Even worse, many of those Nazis, such as Albert Speer, Joseph Mengele and Roland Freisler, just to mention a few, were all well-educated, intelligent and charming persons, but unfortunately mentally disturbed deep inside.

      Did the Führer seek them out or were they just attracted by him and his folly? As for Göbbels, he got the chance to invent the Nazi ideology, as Adolf himself hadn’t really any apart from his hatred of Jews and his dissatisfaction with the Treaty of Versailles.

      Reading Mein Kampf, I & II, which I did a couple of years ago, I realized that Hitler’s confused conception of reality and his philosophy of life were based on nothing but incoherent, contradictory and often linguistically more or less incomprehensible philosophical interpretations of things he randomly may have read as a teenager, without really having understood so much of it. Already when he embarked on WW1 he was obsessed with hatred and revenge of those who had rejected him, which grew even stronger after that war. The rest of the story we all know so well.

      The mystery remains to be solved. Why are the brutal and simple political solutions often implemented by those, who should’ve known better, given their intelligence and their educational background. We see this all too often in different historical processes through the ages and one should perhaps ask oneself if there’s any universal human compassion and reason at all in life, that we can learn about through education? Or are there only random factors deciding what direction societies go? However, what we’ve learnt from history is that we haven’t learnt anything from history, which we understand looking back at our history, realising that it is not times of peace that have shaped society but wars.

    11. Some history.

      “Theodore Roosevelt, by contrast, rebooted the American Economy by investing in infrastructure, roads, bridges, homes, and places of education, he got the American people back to work, in a fair and compassionate way. Maybe that contributed to the idea that the Americans were the good guys of the world, well that and Hollywood.”

      Oops, Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909.

      “Oops, missing crucial 'New Deal'”

      New Deal, 1933 – 1939 (FDR - Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 to 1945).

      Some more history.

      Hitler, Mussolini and FDR: The Secret History of a Mutual Admiration Society

      “In 1933, FDR responded to a journalist who asked him his view of Mussolini. “I don’t mind telling you that I am keeping in fairly close touch with that admirable Italian gentleman.” That same year FDR again gave his view of Mussolini to Breckinridge Long, US ambassador to Rome. “There seems to be no question that he is really interested in what we are doing and I am much interested and deeply impressed by what he has accomplished and by his evidenced honest purpose of restoring Italy.””

      “FDR, Mussolini concluded, was moving his country in the direction of national socialism and “without question the mood accompanying this sea change resembles that of Fascism.”

      If this is not incriminating enough, around the same time, the official Nazi newspaper Volkischer Beobachter offered its views of America’s new president. “We too as German National Socialists are looking toward America.” FDR, the Nazi publication said, was replacing “the uninhibited frenzy of market speculation” of the 1920s with the “adoption of National Socialist strains of thought in his economic and social policies.” Of his policies the paper concluded, “We fear only the possibility that they might fail.””

      “My conclusion is that, buried here in the archives of history, is incontestable evidence that FDR’s progressive New Dealers and the fascists, both in Italy and in Germany, viewed each other as ideological comrades on the same side of the aisle. They all recognized fascism to be on the left. They praised each other, and adopted each other’s policies. This is the crushing historical truth that progressives now try to conceal by foisting the fascist label on a man who has nothing to do with fascism, Donald Trump.”

  3. Hi again Rosalinda
    correction of a line in my recent post:

    "while at the same time a few conspiratorially mad politicians..."

  4. Sorry Rosalinda
    I was too stressed when I wrote my post. Here are my corrections I suppose T has already noticed what needs to be corrected LOL

    …..a few conspiratorially mad politicians managed to MAKE the people believe in their genius.

    Does the German tragedy, HAVE any bearing on the course of events in the USA of today? CAN the cultural decadence of Germany in the 1920s and the 1930s, which foreshadowed the collapse of the Weimar Republic, be compared……

  5. Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon - Arnon Milchan

    “Arnon Milchan has led a secret double life. The kind of life one would read about in a John Le Carré spy novel or in a movie made by Hollywood colleagues Steven Spielberg or Oliver Stone. This is the story of a secret agent, of nuclear proliferation, billion-dollar high-tech defense transactions, ideology, patriotism, love, heartbreak, and the awe inspiring Hollywood career of a mysterious mogul. In a true story that puts James Bond to shame, Confidential details with nail-biting suspense how producer Arnon Milchan evolved from his youth into one of the most important covert agents that Israeli intelligence has ever fielded. From Iran to South Africa, from Poland to Taiwan and the US, Confidential casts a global net to expose the legendary producer of blockbusters like Pretty Woman, LA Confidential, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Meir Doron and Joseph Gelman methodically unveil Arnon Milchan's role as a key player in many of Israel s most important intelligence operations. Confidential is packed with stunning new revelations and opens a window into the world of a key covert operative, who evolved into a genuine member of Hollywood's royal elite”

    1. Re Arnon Milchan

  6. Trump may have garbled the message but Sweden IS experiencing a migrant crime wave, according to cop accused of 'inciting racial hatred' after online rant about 'criminal immigrants'

    Sweden: Migrant charged with murdering his girlfriend and chopping her into pieces

    Sweden: 16-year-old migrant sentenced for rape, other crimes

    Sweden: Sudanese migrant arrested for raping girl and killing teenager who tried to intervene

    1. You are lucky you were published 20:38, you have not left a name or way in which to identify you.

      I won't be clicking on your links, and I hope others don't either, you are trying and failing, to stir up hatred towards the migrants in Sweden and the readers I have there, who I am sure follow Bjorn's interesting comments.

      The stories you have selected are atypical of ignorant, racist hatemongers, who are intent of sharing the manufactured fear they have. Cowards, too scared to live because they believe in bogeymen.

    2. Rosalinda Hutton 16 May 2020 at 21:53

      Rosalinda dear

      I think you might be holding the wrong end of the stick here. Rather than worrying about your contributor’s abstract political incorrectness, I would be thinking of the tragedy that had befallen the families of those raped, killed and butchered Swedish youngsters.

      I would be very interested in hearing your Swedish contributors’ views on what’s happening in Sweden, as would the provider of the links, I suppose.

      Keep safe.



    3. Is the earlier contributor saying only migrants rape, kill and butcher Swedish youngsters? I would be concerned for any victims of such heinous crimes T, including those committed by the indigenous population. The poster however, was focused on the migrant aspect, that is, the only crimes he/she presented were committed by migrants. It is a common political ruse, obvious to those familiar with it. Racists will always hone in on crimes committed by 'illegals' or people they believe should not be in their country. When Germany took in thousands of immigrants a myth soon started up that they were raping local German women. The story was intended to stir up hostility towards migrants.

      We have seen the same thing with the rabid right in this country who are convinced Muslims are operating in gangs to procure young girls, look at Britain First, its practically all they talk about. That and Halal meat.

      As you can see T, I am not a fan of people who use snidey tactics to stir up hatred, I could have binned the unsigned post but I preferred to call it out for what it is because some people are oblivious to political trickery.

      My kindest wishes to you regardless, and take care.

    4. Hi Anon 16 May 2020 at 20:38

      The image of Sweden, not just its immigration, has recently become very distorted in international media, at least from the American perspective, where Sweden is perceived as a traditional socialist state. I shall try to clear up some misunderstandings about our policy regarding immigration, but it’s a very complex issue to deal with. I'll be back as soon as I can, tomorrow hopefully.

  7. Hi Anon 16 May 2020 at 20:38

    Just a few words about immigration here in Sweden.

    "Do you think that there’re any aliens in the universe" I once asked a Russian woman. посмотри в зеркало, (look in the mirror) she said.

    This was not in any way malicious but instead philosophical in a very typical Russian way, meaning that you should try to see “the other” in yourself preventing you from disliking or hating people for no reason.

    As for the ongoing immigration to Sweden from countries outside the EU in recent years, roughly half of those who claim to be refugees have been granted asylum, the rest are asked to leave the country, but some stay and commit crimes. We are not a police state, so in most cases there aren’t any violence involved, instead we rely mostly on voluntary return.

    As for immigrants in general, they shouldn’t really be classified as a homogenous category of people, as there’re so many different individuals and ethnicities. So in order to understand why immigrants as a heterogenous category are somewhat overrepresented in the Swedish crime statistics, we need to define them by their socio-economic status, such as poorer housing than the average citizens, lower education, involuntary segregation, exclusion and unemployment, which many of them share with quite a few ethnic Swedes living under similar socio-economic conditions, whose vulnerability is significantly worse than that of the majority of Swedes.

    Discussing criminality from an ethnical perspective, as some people do, is not the same as being racist but absolutely pointless imo, as it doesn’t lead anywhere. Criminals of all kinds are, just like all of us, first of all individuals, whose socio-economic realities should always be taken into account, regardless of ethnicity.

    Please, try at least to understand the complexity of this issue and you'll find no simple solutions preventing criminality.

  8. Interesting comments, Björn, Rosalinda, T & all.

    As hard work and persistence have a role in graduation, being highly educated doesn’t always mean being highly intelligent. Motivation is elusive and so is one’s desire for power. For instance, was Goebbels, the unsung talent, just seeking recognition? If so, yet another proof that you can’t demand respect, but isn’t it scary that nobody could convince him to change his mind? How about the women that surrounded him, were they all unaware? One of them, Goebbels’ secretary:

    ‘She recalls being handed the case file of the anti-Nazi activist and student Sophie Scholl, who was active in the White Rose resistance movement. Scholl was executed for high treason in February 1943 after distributing anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich. “I was told by one of Goebbels’ special advisers to put it in the safe, and not to look at it. So I didn’t, and was quite pleased with myself that he trusted me, and that my keenness to honour that trust was stronger than my curiosity to open that file.”’


    "The story of Sophie and Hans Scholl still resonates today. They, like their contemporaries, had grown up as members of the Hitler Youth — an experience vividly depicted in the satirical movie JoJo Rabbit. Yet they found the inner resources to resist the Nazi machine. Devout Catholics, their determination to bear witness for their faith played a part, but so too did the fact that they had a teacher who showed them the meaning of intellectual freedom and integrity. This was the lesson that Sophie and Hans learned from Kurt Huber. Integrity is the ability to face up to the truth and make whatever sacrifices are necessary to uphold it. The Scholls were true to themselves. Not only young Germans, but students everywhere could do worse than to follow their example."

    “They had a teacher who showed them the meaning of intellectual freedom and integrity.”

    Good ending.


    1. What a sad and yet heartening story NL. I love the movie JoJo Rabbit, the slow unravelling of the young hero's beliefs is touching and tragic. Even as a 'horrible little nazi' he was adorable. For the Scholls it must have been very frightening to go against the indoctrination of the Hitler Youth. Such stories of heroism are inspiring NL. I am sad that Sophie and Hans did not live to see the defeat of Hitler, but I am glad to see their heroism will never be forgotten.

      My kindest wishes to you and yours NL, take care.

    2. NL

      For instance, was Goebbels, the unsung talent, just seeking recognition? If so, yet another proof that you can’t demand respect, but isn’t it scary that nobody could convince him to change his mind? How about the women that surrounded him, were they all unaware? [Clues to the possible answers might be found in Goebbels ‘ diaries] One of them, Goebbels’ secretary:

      She recalls being handed the case file of the anti-Nazi activist and student Sophie Scholl, who was active in the White Rose resistance movement. Scholl was executed for high treason in February 1943 after distributing anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich. “I was told by one of Goebbels’ special advisers to put it in the safe, and not to look at it. So I didn’t, and was quite pleased with myself that he trusted me, and that my keenness to honour that trust was stronger than my curiosity to open that file.”

      Do you know of a reliable source, apart from the fragrant Kate Connolly of the Guardian, confirming the above story? Do you know whether the unedited video/audio recordings of tens of ours of Brunhilde Pomsel’s interviews are available to the public?

      Integrity is the ability to face up to the truth and make whatever sacrifices are necessary to uphold it.

      What a good definition. Here, a curative drop of an epistemological potion might be in order: How is one to ‘know’ what “the truth” is?

      “They had a teacher who showed them the meaning of intellectual freedom and integrity.”

      And you know that from MSM? Wouldn’t you think it a shame the teacher hadn’t taught not getting executed for having achieved nothing of consequence?

      Good ending.

      I wouldn’t say that.

    3. Anonymous 23 May at 11:48


      The Work I Did: A Memoir of the Secretary to Goebbels by Brunhilde Pomsel; Thore D. Hansen

      “Otherwise our days were always exactly the same. Really controversial things like the Scholl case [the White Rose] didn’t cross our desks. But Herr Frowein, Goebbels’ personal advisor, handed me all the files, the court files, unsealed. I was to put them in a safe. ‘Please don’t look inside’, he said. And I didn’t, because my boss asked me not to. Or maybe he said: ‘I’m relying on you not to peek.’ It was all very quick, and then he went away. I was left alone with the thing and didn’t look inside. And I thought, oh, God, I’d love to. But I won’t: he was relying on me not to do it, so I won’t do it. I was still very proud because of the trust he put in me. That was more important than satisfying my curiosity. I thought that was very noble of me; I’ll never forget that.”

      Integrity is the ability to face up to the truth and make whatever sacrifices are necessary to uphold it.
      I agree with you, that is not a good definition.´Objective truth´ is a step in the right directon, but not enough.

      Wouldn’t you think it a shame the teacher hadn’t taught not getting executed for having achieved nothing of consequence?

      Something of consequence:

      How do you explain the international attention the White Rose continues to draw?
      Franz J. Müller: The White Rose is seen as the prominent indication that resistance in Germany was possible, that one could do something. Of course it adds to the effect that it was young people, and also that it was siblings who were executed.

      What's your experience when meeting young people and students? What is it that the example of the White Rose ought to convey?
      Franz J. Müller: They tend to admire what we did. I try to explain: Hans and Sophie didn't want to be heroes. They valued friendship and freedom. The students should look for information as comprehensively as possible and have discussions with friends, in order not to be easily influenced by propaganda slogans, and to show civil courage when liberties are at stake.

      Good ending.


    4. Anonymous 24 May 2020 at 09:22

      Something of consequence.

      “The students should look for information as comprehensively as possible and have discussions with friends, in order not to be easily influenced by propaganda slogans, and to show civil courage when liberties are at stake.”

      NL, do you think you have looked for information as comprehensively as possible? It seems you haven’t. You sound like someone easily influenced by propaganda slogans.

  9. Hi Rosalinda and everybody

    Nice to hear from you NL (välkommen tillbaka)

    “They had a teacher who showed them the meaning of intellectual freedom and integrity.”
    This is really the key phrase in your post.

    Unfortunately, today's modern school often teaches the subjective truth and the doctrine of how to best adapt to the ever changing world, regardless in what direction that world takes us, which could be dangerous.

    Without drawing any parallels with Nazi Germany, there is still a risk that Snowden, Assange, Manning and others might face something similar to the 40s German “Volksgericht”, just like Sophie Scholl and others did, who tried to reveal the lies of power. An American judge who at the same time is a dedicated American nationalist and also a devoted Republican can certainly, under certain conditions, interpret the law to his own and his party’s advantage, just like the terrible Roland Freisler did in Germany.

    Anyway, your post raises a lot of existential questions.
    Hope that others will join in.

    1. Oh gosh, now you are going to have to tell me more Bjorn! What do you mean 'today's modern school often teaches the subjective truth and doctrine...…..'. What is this 'modern school' and what have I missed? I'm not doubting you at all btw, just curious as to the way in which texts are deconstructed in line with modern thinking. I am ancient, ergo do not know what modern thinking is.

      I am interpreting your 3rd/4th paragraph as a move by scholars of language and literature away from common courtesy, social niceties, and the endless waffling of tortured artistes hyped up on Opium? Ditch the subtext folks, its too complex for today's audience, let's just keep it real. Realism is the next hot genre! Make Gordon 'Greed is Good' Gekko your role model, it's not about human need, it's about making money. Don't bother to pretty it up.

      I have no problem with that Bjorn, if it spills over into books and movies. Artists reflect the age in which we live, they are the ones who tell future generations what it was really like. How do you explain the decadent, hedonism of 1930's Berlin? You make a movie called 'Cabaret'.

      How do you portray the USA of the 2020's? I'm no soothsayer, but I foresee dust bowls, food lines, tent cities. I think all the writers of Zombie and Apocalypse movies had an inkling a 'Trump' would come along in one form or another and here we are. Here in the UK, things are just as bad, in that we have a government moving at snail's pace to make things safe for the population who are currently quarantined. But we here in the UK, do at least have the safety net of benefits and a National Health Service. If we become ill we will be taken care of, at no cost. Past Labour governments have put in place a safety net for everyone that the US doesn't have. My heart goes out to them, because not only will the American people suffer the most deaths, but they will also suffer the biggest economic hit.

      But I think ultimately Bjorn, we are talking about the dominant ideology, have we, each country in the West, changed our perspective? Do we now see ourselves as superior? Some sort of master race perhaps? So elite we must shut our borders and prevent inter racial breeding? Does the USA want to take an isolationist stance? Are they better off without us? Trump seems to think so. If, and I think it unlikely, the USA is the first to develop an effective vaccine, will they share it freely with the world?

      But I have wandered, I blame you Bjorn, you shouldn't have mentioned the word existential, lol. Take care my friend.

      In my 'boredom' I am re-watching old iconic movies from Hollywood's Golden Age. Even without colour they are as captivating as they always were.

      I do not fully understand the Snowden, Assange, Manning and Others cases, but I would hate to think they are all reliant on a right wing American Judge, probably appointed by Trump. What we know of Trump and his administration, is that he is a vicious mob boss who always goes for payback. And that's just what we know about him. It is likely to be just the tip of a gigantic iceberg, with millions of crimes coming to the surface after he is gone.

    2. Hello Rosalinda, really interesting post and thanks for reading mine.

      Here we really have something philosophical to discuss Rosalinda. My intuition, my most loyal companion, tells me that we in the western world are now in a time of more pervasive change than we’ve ever been before. How are we going to deal with that?

      I need some time to formulate my thoughts Rosalinda, I'll be back tomorrow.

    3. Dear Rosalinda
      21 May 2020 at 20:42
      I’ve been busy for a few days. I'm trying to catch up now. Sorry for late response.

      “Unfortunately, today's modern school often teaches the subjective truth and the doctrine of how to best adapt to the ever changing world”, I said.

      “What is this 'modern school' and what have I missed?” you said Rosalinda

      No, Rosalinda you haven’t missed anything, just my view on modern higher Swedish education at our universities.

      Talking about the “subjective truth”, I had the teaching at our Swedish universities in mind, which seems to be in favour of quasi-scientific views, while trying to be so modern.

      In the curriculum, there is now an absolute requirement that “the gender perspective” must be taken into account regardless of what subject is being taught. This may perhaps sound reasonable, considering that Sweden has a reputation for being an open, free and modern society in many ways, but why do we have to specifically apply “the gender perspective” to what we teach or learn? Why not the socialist, the liberal, the communist or just the historical perspective?

      From a Swedish intellectual perspective, the study of gender has become inseparable from FEMINIST thinking, which has its own dogmas, one of which is that women are oppressed because of inequality in general. So when the Canadian philosopher Jordan Peterson affirmed, based on serious scientific research, that we in Scandinavia have the biggest personality differences between men and women in terms of temperament and interests and that it’s due our egalitarian politics, most intellectuals got shocked, as it was an attack on our new modern state religion, namely the FEMINISM, which we all are supposed to embrace.

      Have a nice evening Rosalinda It seems that we're about to defeat the corona virus, at least in Europe.

  10. No Boris "does not think it a hoax foisted upon us by China". Yet you still slate him despite him imposing the lockdown you so ardently and stridently support. Constantly pecking and implying he should have locked down earlier and that he and he alone is responsible for the "soaring death rates". Well, well I look forward to your next blog and withering attack on Piers Corbyn who was not only arrested at an ant-lockdwon rally, but also stated on radio that the level of fatalities caused by COVD 19 are grossly exaggerated. Had it been a brother of Boris arrested and stated this in a radio interview you would have milked it. Don't say you would not have done.

  11. Actually I don't hate Boris Johnson quite as much as I usually do 17:45, mostly because he is not Trump. Unfortunately, he is not Churchill either, he doesn't have the right words, the right attitude, the capability to pull the country together, as a leader he has been abysmal. Starting with being stupid enough to catch coronavirus himself. By contrast, today's twitter is full of praise for Nicola Sturgeon, who has not missed a single brief. She is there everyday and she is letting the Scottish people know exactly what is going on.

    As for Jeremy's brother Piers Corbyn, so what? It's not so long ago that Boris's sibling were denouncing him. It is not unusual for sibling to have completely different perspectives of the world, I'd say it probably happens in every family. The brothers Hitchens for example, Christopher and Peter, who appeared on Robin Day's Questiontime on opposing sides - one left, one right. Guess which one I favour?

    Sadly, I did not discover the wonderful Christopher Hitchens until after he died, but once I did I became obsessed with him. It was another one of those nights where one search led to another to another, and I was still watching Christopher Hitchens interviews until the dawn chorus of birds started tweeting. I was astonished to discover for example, that Mother Theresa was in fact an evil woman, her charity deliberately kept the sick and dying in poverty, it was an eye opener.

    You say I would have milked it if Boris had an embarrassing brother, but given Boris is the embarrassing brother, I don't see it happening.

  12. No Ross, you don't hate Johnson, but scathingly state that he does not have the right words or attitude, cannot pull the country together and is an abysmal leader. You seem to have overlooked the fact he missed many briefs because of the virus he "stupidly" caught. I would have thought if anything he was displaying Churchill-like leadership catching the virus. He had visited alleged victims of the virus in hospitals. Were Prince Charles and thousands of others who caught the virus stupid also? Significantly, Boris and Charles and many thousands have recovered. Thousands more will not even know they had it. You infer he does not have the capability to pull country together. What exactly do you mean? Most of the country like you support his lockdown don't they? Not a surprise really when the Government and MSM has initiated a brainwashing campaign to convince the public that this so-called pandemic is the 2020 equivalent of the Black Death. A brainwashing campaign that would make the one to convince Joe Public that Madeleine Mc Cann was abducted seem like child's play. I commend you incidentally for your many blogs on that particular hoax. Your attempts to brush off my comments in my 17.45 post about Piers Corbyn are to me at least significant. "So what" you say, and when you state "Boris is the embarrassing brother" you are implying that Boris is the equivalent of Corbyn. You know damn well that his beliefs and actions on this alleged pandemic are completely the opposite of Corbyn. I only wish that MPs who constitute the Labour Party had a tenth of the integrity that Corbyn has. if they had, they would be doing a service to the working class they claim to represent. People who are locked in their own homes. People who are living in a needless state of terror and panic because of a relentless media/government brainwashing campaign. Pensioners in care homes brokenhearted and bewildered because their relatives cannot visit them etc. etc. Finally, I do find it ironic that you refer to the late, great Christopher Hitchens in your reply to my original post. It is hypothetical of course, but I strongly believe if Christopher was still alive, he would aligning with his brother on this disgusting farce. They were compatible on some issues if you recall.

  13. What a shame you left no name or form of ID, that is off putting for anyone who may want to respond to you.

    But you have addressed your rather angry post directly to me. I'm not saying everyone who caught Covid-19 is stupid, but Boris clearly was in ignoring the experts who surround him. Like Trump he used shaking hands and not wearing a mask as a sign of bravado, and surprise, surprise he caught it.

    Strange that you defend Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn in the same post but regardless. Boris Johnson clearly doesn't have the gravitas of Winston Churchill, it is unlikely anyone will be listening to his speeches 70+ years on.

    I'm surprised that you don't understand the concept of 'uniting the country', that is what good leaders try to do, that is they don't just represent their own base, those who voted for them, they strive to represent everyone. See Churchill, and more recently Jacinda Ardern, Nicola Sturgeon, Angela Merkel.

    I am less surprised that you consider the pandemic and the lockdown a brainwashing campaign, given your oddball opinions thus far. At this time, over a quarter of a million have been infected and nearly 40,000 have died in the UK alone, those statistics make Covid-19 very real. You should be thankful the Government and the people of the UK are taking the risks seriously or those figures would be exponentially higher.

    As for people living in a needless state of terror and panic etc, really? Most people I know are binge watching Netflex, spring cleaning, baking or embarking on a new hobby. We are not rushing into Anderson shelters to avoid bombs or praying our loved ones don't get killed on active duty.

    Not being able to visit loved ones in care homes and hospitals is heart breaking, that suffering is very real, but we understand the rules and the pressure the NHS is under. I have often wondered how people in the past coped with pandemics and war, but they did, they not only survived but thrived. The human spirit is stronger than we give credit for.

    [Deep sigh of frustration] - you clearly missed the gist of my 'every family has one (embarrassing brother)' response to your shock and outrage at Piers Corbyn. I'm absolutely not implying anything of the sort (ie Jeremy is the embarrassing brother), and you clearly had to do somersaults to get there. Tut tut, by resorting to deception to build an argument, you are acknowledging me as your superior, Oops huh?

    1. "Rosalinda Hutton22 May 2020 at 12:11

      What a shame you left no name or form of ID, that is off putting for anyone who may want to respond to you."

      No Ros it is only off putting for you - I didn't hear anyone else complaining when it has happened in the past.


    2. My blog my rules Brain. I'm complaining, I don't like it and I ask politely that those write in, identify themselves in some way for the sake of continuity. Your opinion on this Brain is of no consequence.

  14. Finally, nice to see you refer to the late Christopher Hichens as great. I don't see where the irony is however, that's obviously an internal thought that you didn't share. Aaah, your hypothetical, your belief that Christopher and Peter would unite on your belief that 'this', this being Covid-19? is a disgusting farce'? Peter Hitchens views we can check, and I just did. The first thing I read, 'the greatest crisis I have seen in my lifetime', but reading on, I quickly discovered that he, like you, believes the coronavirus is not as dangerous as claimed, that is, the 'greatest crisis' he refers to above is the economic one, what he describes as an over reaction.

    I haven't read it all yet, but he puts his argument well - I never said he wasn't eloquent - but it is an unpopular argument for good reason. Boris Johnson gave a good, and personal, demonstration of what happens when you take it on the chin. What a shame for the Right, that he didn't get the mild dose which would have opened door to the government's first tactic of herd immunity.

    Obviously, I don't know what Christopher would think right now, but I think he might raise an eyebrow at working class kids going back to school next week, while private schools are not re-opening until September. When people like Peter Hitchens talk about getting back to work, what he really means is, the masses need to get back to work, the wealth creators not the wealth hoarders. He and all is ilk, will probably carry on working within the comfort and safety of their own homes until the crisis is over. At least Piers Corbyn put his crazy beliefs into action by meeting with unmasked crowds.

  15. “What a shame you left no name or form of ID, that is off putting for anyone who may want to respond to you.”

    That’s not off–putting to me in the least.

    The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.

    C. Bukowski

  16. Pleased to meet you C.Bukowski, but are you the original poster or another voice in support of anonymity? Are you indeed C. Bukowski, or are you crediting him for the quote above? The quote I don't get, is it some kind of put down?

  17. Ros @13:54

    Curiosity killed the cat that had raised its tail the higher, the more it had been stroked.

  18. Ros 17 May 2020 at 12:17

    “Was Beethoven better than The Beatles? As a screaming teenager in the 1820's and a screaming teenager in the 1960's.”

    Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770 – 1827

    1. Your point 14:51, no name or initial left. If you want to carry on the conversation you had better think of one.

      The line was written hastily, it should have read 'ask a screaming in the 1820's and ask a screaming teenager in the 1960's.

      This pedantry is so tiresome.

  19. Ros: "I have been following the statistics for Covid-19, and even I, a non scientist or expert, can see we are still at the peak and likely to go very much higher."

    You Ros as "a non scientist or expert" are wrong.

    Ros: "This week has seen the beaches packed and the streets come back to life. It's like 'social distancing is so over'. Why?".

    Because you have not been following the news Ros. Lockdown was partially lifted - people in England can now go out as often as they like, they can drive as far as they like, they can have an ice cream, they can sunbathe, they can sit on park benches, they can play golf/tennis and go fishing. They can go viewing houses and they can meet people in the park.

    Do try to keep up Ros.


  20. I have been following the news Brain, that's why I am alarmed. Is English not your first language?

    Presumably you, and most people who read here, are reading and watching the same news that I am. 2,500+ new cases a day is not something I find reassuring, do you? Would go to the beach, sit on a park bench or go view a house? OK, using social distancing, some things are possible, but I am surprised so many people are listening to this, thus far woefully incompetent, government's guidelines on staying safe rather than their own common sense. Remember, at the start of all this Boris Johnson wanted to go for herd immunity, he wanted to send the British public straight back into the petri dish knowing that millions would die. The words cannon fodder comes to mind, and here we are four months in, with thousands being infected daily with the masses being urged to get back to work and take the risks on the chin. As usual the Generals are at the back while the working classes take the losses.

    1. @ Rosalinda Hutton22 May 2020 at 19:40

      Compare how many new cases there are today with the number of new cases a month ago. How many deaths are there a day compared with a month ago.

      The first peak has passed - it is not rising now. Whether the relaxation of social distancing creates a second wave that is the question.


    2. UK migration: Net migration from outside EU hits 'highest level'

      “Net migration to the UK from countries outside the European Union has risen to its highest level for 45 years, the Office for National Statistics says.

      igures show an estimated 282,000 more non-EU citizens came to the UK than left in 2019, the highest since the information was first gathered in 1975.

      The ONS says a rise in students from China and India has driven this.

      In contrast, the number of people arriving from EU countries for work has "steadily fallen".

      In 2019, an estimated 49,000 more EU citizens came to the UK than left - down from the "peak levels" of more than 200,000 in 2015 and early 2016, the ONS says.

      In total, an estimated 270,000 more people moved to the UK with an intention to stay for 12 months or more than left the UK in 2019.

      The ONS says more than 677,000 people moved to the UK and about 407,000 people left.”

    3. A lot of people in 1918 thought the first wave had passed Brain (sarcasm?), then look at what happened. You say the question is, will there be a second wave, as if there is a chance there won't be, despite everything the scientists have told us.

      Perhaps you do not understand that the numbers have gone down because we have all been in quarantine not because the virus has gone away. With over 2,500 new cases a day, clearly it hasn't. It is among us now just as virulently, or even more so, than it was before we went into lockdown. This time, more people have it and it is likely to have spread further. We do not have adequate testing, ergo we do not know how far and wide it has spread. We should not be less cautious, we should be more cautious, my own area Kent, at the start had 18 infected, now it has nearly 5,000, ergo the strict measures we practiced at the beginning, should be more vigorous now not less. The chances of our crossing paths with someone who is infected is expontentially higher than it was when we went into lockdown.

      If you think the risks have gone away, then tell me why you think way, I'm curious as I am sure are others. Or if you think it is all a big conspiracy, why don't you explain why? If the arguments are strong enough to persuade you, perhaps they are strong enough to persuade myself and others? Why don't you give it a go.

    4. @ Rosalinda Hutton23 May 2020 at 14:29

      Why are you twisting everything I am saying? The scientists (not me) say that the peak was reached in April and the daily number of deaths have been dropping - not rising, since then. Just look at the figures Ros. The first wave is reducing i.e. the daily number of deaths -that is the reason there has been a relaxation of some of the restrictions. Yes the numbers have gone down because of quarantine - I have never said anything different.

      You are mixing up various snippets of information you have read. The reason the number of infections are going up is because the amount of testing has increased. Yes the infection is still there but you can't deny that the daily deaths are going down. Yes there are a lot of "hidden" deaths and the total number of deaths is a lot higher than reported officially. I think your comment about Kent figures from the start to now is quite obvious and applies to everywhere.

      I have never said that the risks have gone away - I have said that we will have to see if the relaxation of social distancing creates a second wave - I believe that it will, but whether it is higher that the first wave remains to be seen.

      I do not deny that Covid19 is a serious virus over and above a normal heavy "flu year" -it certainly is a serious pandemic that requires worldwide action.

      I do not " think it is all a big conspiracy" so I don't have to explain anything. I just disagree with your "non scientist or expert" comments.


    5. I'm not sure of your point 09:22, and you didn't leave a name or any form of id for responders to reply to you.

      Are you troubled by the immigration numbers or reassured by them? Some think the island of England will sink if too many people come in, I trust you are not one of them.

      Personally, I am reassured that people still want to the come to the UK, that we are still seen as a land of freedom and opportunity. Looking at the bigger picture and the long term future, I see countries competing for migrants. Contrary to the beliefs of the far right, those brave enough to uproot and start anew in another country are the most talented and ambitious. They are actively seeking a new and better life and are prepared to work hard to get it. That's basically the story of the USA and indeed the UK.

      All around us, even during the hardest of times, there are immigrants working their socks off to start new businesses. They see past the pessimism and apathy of the indigenous population, they know that success is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration, ergo they put in the work and the hours.

      The world has changed, even here in Britain, younger generations are moving away, streets no longer have houses filled with the same families for decades, small businesses and jobs no longer pass from father to son, kids rarely stay home. As happened in Germany we will have areas with depleted populations, not enough young people to keep services running. Germany welcomed immigrants to their schools, their health services, everything that keeps a society ticking.

      I really struggle to understand anti immigration arguments, and few are brave enough to explain them to me, ha ha. But I want to at least try. Is it fear that the immigrants will get all the Council houses and hospital beds? Is it resentment that immigrants can get the same benefits as we do, even though they haven't spent their entire lives paying into it?* Is it fear that England will no longer be England? That we will somehow be overturned by the 4% of Muslims who live in the UK? That we will all have to eat Halal meat and live under Sharia Law? I am struggling here to set out what the fears are because frankly, I just don't understand them.

      *I should clarify this by saying that the benefit system and the NHS are paid for by the CURRENT generation who are working, ergo whatever you have paid in the past matters not. I remember trying to explain that to an elderly gentleman in a chat room, angry at a young mother of 6, that he didn't think he should 'pay for'. He had no children and couldn't understand that one day those 6 children would be supporting him.

    6. Yeah, I'm not taking to this 'Brain', unless you want to put 'No' in front of it? Lets just go back to Ziggy.

      Why am I twisting your words, who knows, maybe I'm just bored and feeling mischievous or maybe your 'Mr Angry' tone just winds me up. As usual you said a whole load of nothing, but your last line at least made me laugh. You don't have to explain you just disagree with my non expert, non scientist comments. What a cop out? Let me translate. I have nothing credible to rebut your comments, I just wanted to let you know I hate you. If we were in a school playground, you would probably pull one of my plaits and run off. Ha ha, if I had any mixer, I would have a pink strawberry gin. Ahh, do have oranges. Orange juice in strawberry gin - doesn't sound right, there may be a reason for that? Watch this space!

    7. Rosalinda Hutton23 May 2020 at 16:21

      My Dear friend Ros, have you been hitting the firewater a little early today.

      Take care


    8. 19:01

      T is not Unknown, you are not T.

    9. @ 19:01

      My dear Unknown

      Your “Dear friend Ros” neva hits the firewater. Neva.

      That is not to say that the firewater never hits her.

      Btw, what is the firewater?

      Get my drift?


    10. Rosalinda Hutton 23 May 2020 at 16:21

      “Yeah, I'm not taking to this 'Brain', unless you want to put 'No' in front of it? Lets just go back to Ziggy.”

      Rosalinda dear, it’s true that Ziggy has a brain, but it’s not true that Brain is Ziggy. Ziggy isn’t here.



    11. Ros 16:21

      In view of your discussion killer comment I will leave it to you.


    12. Yeah you would think ha ha, but no Old Fruit, even I wait until the cocktail hour. But I jest. I was thinking as I wrote the pink gin comment, that I would be in for a stern telling off from the correspondent who writes to me regularly to tell me I am an alcoholic.

      I object on a number of levels. My alcohol intake is very low these days because I have little tolerance - I am sure many of the men I dated in the days of old, wished that had been the case then ha ha. It is only occasionally and only when I have someone to chat to - usually online. Underneath my 'want to alone' persona, I am a social soul, I like to have people to talk to and to exchange ideas. Sometimes I just want to have a laugh, or at least give a laugh to those reading. I personally love the scribblings of old retrobates, mostly writers, in their alcoholic or drug induced hazes they expose their inner psyches, they reveal their true selves along with all their faults and addictions in a way we can all empathise with. I should add here, it might only be me who empathises with old reprobates.

      Mostly I talk about drinking in jest T, because, if I am honest, and I am, I have a lot of fun times and a lot of fun memories that mostly involved an excess of alcohol. In retrospect I would not have drunk as much as I did, I hate to think how many millionaire suitors it put off. It also took me off focus, I liked partying more than I did working. But I have no regrets and I love outraging people with tales of my exploits. While all this partying was going on (well as much as I could squeeze in) I was working full time and raising two kids alone. I rarely took time off. My motto, as indeed that of most of my colleagues, was work hard, play hard.

      Now I am suffering for all that partying, in that I am no longer able to dance on tables or take on Indiana Jones in a shots contest. I, or more accurately, my body knows when it has had enough. If I, and my neighbours are lucky, it is usually when I get to the second verse of Honky Tonk Angels. That is usually the precursor for 1. Conking out, 2. Projectile vomiting, 3. A combination of 1 and 2. I have missed out a stage - the part where I will literally cook up anything at all I have ever fancied. This week I have cooked apple pie, lemon meringue pie, treacle tart and now, drum roll, crème patissiere or was it crème anglais (custard), who knows, I mixed up the two recipes halfway through and the result was, lets say, solid. Tasted OK, if you have pleasant memories of the yucky blancmanges we were served up in 60's but not quite the pouring consistency of the pouring sauce I was looking for. Back to the drawing board.

      When I have had a drink and come online, I am hoping that others will pick up on my playful mood and start up a lively conversation where we can all just have a laugh. In the old days I used to post on an old AOL Board, which began as a Madeleine McCann online discussion group, but quickly became the Wild West of social media. Only gunslingers dared to enter, ha ha.

    13. It was a completely unmoderated board, a chat room provided by AOL to discuss 'Europe' matters. The disappearance of Madeleine McCann was a Europe matter, ergo, it became the home of every loon who ever wanted to go online and threaten/insult people, under cover of anonymity. I used Cristobell, a pen name I had already adopted because I liked the ambiguity of Coleridges 'lovely lady Christabel', was she straight, was she gay, was she human?

      I don't crave alcohol T but I do occasionally like the way in which it takes me to happy memories and shout out loud 'Ok, who's up for craic?' On the old AOL board we had occasional 'Balls', as in the party sense, where for one night only, we could come as whoever who wanted. I think we had Lords, Earls, trollops, tarts and a number of male strippers. The drinks flowed, cyberally, and much fun was had by all.

      Anyway, you may be relived to know, I didn't go for the strawberry gin, freshly squeezed orange combo, I found a small can of 7UP. But I didn't go for that either, because I had no-one to squabble with. Instead I made chocolate ganache tarts, patissiere and Paul Hollywood handshake level (have photos) and am feeling exhilarated that they turned out so well. The pastry making etc, is a small achievement in these tumultuous times, but it makes me happy, and isn't that what John Lennon said is the meaning of life?

    14. To the various T's I rest my case - see:
      Rosalinda Hutton23 May 2020 at 22:09 (part 1)
      Rosalinda Hutton23 May 2020 at 22:09 (part 2)


    15. Ros - please post the photos you have.


    16. I am enjoying this discussion T, or perhaps the pink gin and a little trip away from the scary times in which we live. I was thinking today of an author I once loved, an American little known in the UK I think, but very similar and some might say, the US equivalent of P.G. Wodehouse. Thorne Smith is credited as the author of sci fi and fantasy, but to the young me, he was so much more than that. Not only are his hilarious tales littered with stories of excessive drinking and drug taking and who knows what (I was very young when I read them) but they made me cry with laughter. I had never seen drinking alcohol described in that way in any text or movie I had ever seen. I try to credit all those writers who have ever influenced me, and Thorne Smith is among them. I remember as a young adult trying to find his books in libraries, almost always without success. Today I bought one of my favourites, Skin and Bones, 75p would you believe and yes, I can read it online in lovely big print. I could really do with a laugh.

      It is so very kind that you care about me T, it is much appreciated. I wish I could say, I am running, cycling, doing push ups and eating nothing but nuts, berries and mountains of veg, but I'm not. Well I am kind of, within this current OCD cooking phase is a revival of my soups. Added to which I finally have wholewheat bread flour - Yey! On the downside, I don't think I have any yeast, doh! Will try soda bread.

      Sadly, I never, ever, have a choice as to what my next OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) will be. They are, to quote one of my all time favour movie lines (guess which one?) beyond my control. I once spent hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of hours completing a large oil, painting by numbers,canvass of Vincent Van Gogh's 'Sunflowers'. Of course, I had no idea of what a huge commitment painting by numbers could be! Naturally, there was no talent involved, it was simply a case of filling every numbered area with a corresponding colour. Simple huh? Not on your life, it took hour upon hour, day after day, I have no idea where I got the patience and my life was pretty busy at the time, but I was determined to have a hand painted canvas of the real thing and the original was several million out of my price rage! I even had the cheek to sign it with credit to Vincent in the corner.

      I am trying to describe the way I feel when in the grip of OCD. I don't worry about it now because I have given up any pretence of being normal. If my OCD, whatever it may be (they are usually quite harmless) kicks in, I usually just go with the flow.

    17. It's good to hear that you are keeping busy Ros.



    18. But I am waffling, as you have probably guessed, not quite in Patsy Cline mode, but probably going to nod off with the conundrum of whether to add cornflour to crème patissiere or not? Or was it crème Anglaise? In my experiments, I have not yet used my one and only vanilla pod (cost £4!) and debating whether to buy £8 vanilla paste online? I have never been particularly enamoured with the vanilla substitutes I have always used, maybe ok in cakes, but no good at all when you move on to serious patissiere! I'm not sure I want to use my $4 vanilla pod on custard you have to slice.

      What a shame that those who would have appreciated us most in our dotage are no longer with us. Big Lynn, bless her heart, never lost the excitement she felt waiting for something to come out of the oven. My dad too loved my cooking, though he was my greatest critic. He never forgave me for leaving the skins on the potatoes in a potato salad. Brickers, a bachelor who ate at all the best places (think Bertie Wooster)
      would, I have no doubt, joined in my quest to put pastry and the use of cornflour and gelatine under the microscope. It is quite a unique 'ask' were I to dip a toe into online dating, quite specific, like painting toenails and playing the banjo. I also quite like dreadlocks, but that may be too niche. Perhaps I should say, falsies will be considered. I have always, rightly or wrongly, judged men on how willing they are to go along with your interests. With cooking for example, shoes off and laying back on the couch is the fast, do not pass go, ignore jail, and fff off out of the door high speed exit. A guy willing to shake a little paprika and crush a bit of garlic into that pot you have on the go, while holding you up close and dancing to 'let's get it on' will probably go all the way. Men who can see all the psychedelic potential of the first aid box preferred.

      I jest of course, as old as I am, a drop of gin brings out the minx in me. I've always find men more pliable if you wind them up, a lot. They have a moral code, or the gentlemen do at least, not to fire back at women with all the ammo they have at their disposal. If they do, they lose the fight.

      It's an advantage I have always enjoyed, there is something quite delicious in winding a man up to the point where he wants to throttle you, but can't. Ok, I'll admit, it's not really fair, in a head on man to man confrontation, there is always the option of a right hook, a physically satisfying way of fighting back. I have to say right now, the men who have interested me the most are those who can turn that right hook or slap into an effective word filled rebuttal. Right now, am picturing Humphrey Bogart (have watched a load of b/w movies this week).

      Sadly, in my experience, most men (apart from Yorkie eaters) crumble in the presence of a strong woman. Now, at this old age, I am wondering why more young women, myself included, didn't just settle for those men who crumbled. There was the road, perhaps a bit more travelled, that would lead you to happiness in your old age. Someone who loves you enough to just say 'yes dear'.

    19. Oh dear T, melancholia has hit in, and now I am off to find 'People who need people are the luckiest people in the world', you probably know how the rest goes, but it is a go to song when I have the blues. I curse myself for having been such a terrible marriage prospect, lol. I was adorable to men who liked a challenge, men who relished the prospect of a daily argument and a bossy, self opinionated woman, but way too feral for the upwardly mobile families.

      But I am not bemoaning my lack of a life partner. I am sure if I had wanted one, I would have set myself on a quest to get one. The truth is, I have never in my life, not even when I was 5 years old, been willing to commit myself to another person. I had friends, lots of them, and I was willing to fight to death for anyone of them, but I was alone, I could not, would not, share who I was.

    20. I have been very fortunate in life, in that whatever situation or environment I have been in, I have always been able to make friends. The idea of aligning myself to a phrase such as my husband and I, or my wife, partner and I, is a bit weird. How do you become so bonded that you share the same taste? One is kowtowing to the other, which one is it?

      Oops, should have paid attention to your first post, now ready for Ovaltine, will skip Kitty Wells and go cheer myself up with some 'Modern Family', its right up with their Seinfeld imo! Take care T, kindest wishes.

    21. Brain, with your indexing of grievances, who gives a fff? Just move on.

    22. Well Ros, I must admit your posts today have been quite sad to read.

      I hope you feel better tomorrow.


    23. I am indeed keeping busy T. I cannot tell you how vexing it is, that I, a super intelligent woman (have been drinking pink gin) have had such a problem mastering, what are the simple baking skills passed down from generation to generation. Right is achievable! And by hook or crook I am going to get there! Now I am feeling like Vera Lynn - better put the gin glass down and fire up the Ovaltine! :)

    24. Oh dear, why sad, I am about to have a cup of Ovaltine, a banana sandwich and the remainder of a spooky I was watching last night on Amazon.

      Sweet dreams Zig and anyone still here :)

  21. Germany relaxes immigration rules for Jews coming from former Soviet Union

  22. Well X at 22.54, or was that a kiss? You don't know how happy you have made me! I will be delighted to post my photographs, I am not on Instagram or anything like that so have nowhere to show them off, apart from my long suffering friends! I jest, they are the recipients of my largesse, lol. One dear neighbour keeps giving me apples, whatever does she mean?

    Happy to share my cooking results, the good results as well as the bad, but wasn't sure there was an audience for it. I know that I am trying out lots of things that would appeal to my age group, tastes and smells from happier times, it's a challenge, going back to basics, but it's worth it. Basic egg and bacon pie bears little resemblance to all the quiche recipes over the years. But that exact taste can be replicated and improved upon, but, maybe personal choice, it should always be served with beans! Maybe I will dedicate an entire blog to recreating egg and bacon pie from the school dinners of the 60's, I've spent decades perfecting it, not its here!

    Take care, dear poster, now, must get the ovaltine on.

    1. No it is an identifier and not a kiss.

      (I suppose you will find this answer "angry" and question if "English is my first language")

    2. Ouch, that was mean, now I feel stupid. I thought you were being kind, how wrong was I?

  23. "Björn 25 May 2020 at 22:04
    Have a nice evening Rosalinda It seems that we're about to defeat the corona virus, at least in Europe."

    No Björn Ros says: "even I, a non scientist or expert, can see we are still at the peak and likely to go very much higher."

    Don't relax yet Björn.


  24. Hi Brain

    Has there ever in the history of Europe been so much uncertainty about things? I believe that Charles XII, Napoleon and Hitler were more predictable than covid-19 is today and much easier to defeat. Humanity has been challenged but will by all means necessary fight back, though we cannot expect some kind of Messiah turning up.

    Have a nice day
    (No, not really relaxing and absolutely not risking others' lives by breaking or violating any of our society's rules or recommendations)

    1. @ Björn26 May 2020 at 19:12

      What a strange thing you say:"Has there ever in the history of Europe been so much uncertainty about things?"

      You said before "It seems that we're about to defeat the corona virus, at least in Europe."

      So maybe make your mind up.

      I will say that there is no uncertainty about Covid-19 and things.
      Covid-19 will be beaten and other "things" have always happened.


    2. Hello Brain26 May 2020 at 20:21

      Covid-19 is a terrible enemy, no doubt about that, but we'll defeat it. Yet, we have no idea what society will look like after that victory,do we? The uncertainty can therefore be said to be the only thing that is certain.

      Have Nice Evening Brain

    3. @ Björn27 May 2020 at 19:17

      "Covid-19 is a terrible enemy, no doubt about that, but we'll defeat it. Yet, we have no idea what society will look like after that victory,do we?"

      You have previously said "It seems that we're about to defeat the corona virus, at least in Europe."

      Some European countries are already ending lockdown -society is starting to return to normal - society will look like the past, but unfortunately with a lot less (mainly older) people.


    4. Björn 26 May 2020 at 19:12

      “I believe that Charles XII, Napoleon and Hitler were more predictable than covid-19 is today and much easier to defeat.”

      Do you still believe that, Björn?

  25. Ros: "It began with the VE Day celebrations (first in my recollection)"

    Really Ros - yes it is the first 75th VE day that you have recalled. But I remember every VE day being celebrated. Maybe it is because I an older than you.


  26. I'm sorry Ex, I don't understand your point.

    1. "It began with the VE Day celebrations (first in my recollection)"

      Your comment says that the VE Day celebrations are the first in your recollection. I remember VE celebrations every year but there will only ever be one 75th.

      If "(first in my recollection)" means something different then maybe you could explain.


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