Lots to cover this month, including a special guest grump. We look as usual at politics, law and order, the environment, the pandemic, a hint of religion and the Royal Family. The outlook everywhere, though, is pretty gloomy and enough to make us all exceedingly grumpy! 

Issue No. 3 - May 2021
Last month we said ‘goodbye’ to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. He was famous for many off-the-cuff remarks, some of which amused while others definitely did not. I submit here an epitaph that you may or may not consider neutral.
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Here is a rant from a particularly grumpy fellow in the UK – we’ll call him CB (no connection, be assured).

  

"These are crazy times and I have become very tired of being told what to do by governments afraid to allow Nature do her work and reduce the overpopulated planet a tad, if that is what happens, though in reality this is no worse than a bout of flu.  The average age of death here is 82.5 from C19 (same as the annual average age anyway) and 99.6% of people who get Covid recover.

So why have we been locking up healthy people ?  It is the vulnerable who should have been locked up, allowing the rest to have been able to get on with life!

Until I can lean on a bar INSIDE and be able to travel OUTSIDE without my face wrapped up and people diving for cover when the word ‘variant’ is heard, I shall remain GRUMPY!"

ED: Well, really! We'll see if he's calmed down by next month.

Let us now consider emeralds, birthstone of May and symbolising love and success…Well, I have to say, there isn’t much evidence of either around at the moment, is there? I tried finding some nice pictures on the internet of Maypole dancing but kept being offered things like this…

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...instead of this...
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PARANOIA
Putting these Grumps together has become increasingly problematic. I don’t mean a lack of ideas or content is making it difficult to come up with something. No, I mean technologically.
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I am fairly proficient at developing and being creative on a website and managing the pages on it. Usually the production of a Grump (and previously, a Coronagrump), has taken two, perhaps three days at the most. But now, at every step of the way, problems crop up, pictures disappear, copy gets mulched; overall, the programme has become unresponsive…actually, worse than that, it seems to have become confrontational and determined to trash the blog. I write many other things, through this and other websites, on line, etc., yet it is only the 'GRUMP' that seems to be targeted.
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So, call me paranoid, but could it be that the writing and topics we share have touched a nerve somewhere (I can actually think of several places they might have) and we are experiencing the first signs of Orwellian oversight? WOW! Wouldn’t that be something?
  
Will I be subjected to an extreme ‘interview’ and need to justify and account for myself? If so, I would do well to follow the example of the creative lad in the following clip, who surely has the best excuse ever for doing something naughty…
THE ROYAL FAMILY
Following the Duke’s funeral, stories have persisted citing incidents of racism within the Royal Family, while they have simply been trying to carry on as normal. HM The Queen has sought peace and quiet with her horses, 'Churchill' and 'Spear Chucker'...
...while Prince William has begun rehearsing for the day he will be King.
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Harry and Meghan (do they have any titles now? I’m not sure) have been working on their television careers, although their screen test for the popular word quiz show, Countdown, was not considered a success.
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Meanwhile it has been rumoured that Meghan has had her car’s Satnav modified, following a tip-off from a palace insider.
In other Royal news, HM has decided to open parts of Buckingham Palace's private gardens to the public, since the Queen's Gallery has been closed due to Covid 19 SOPs. 
Apparently this part of the garden is dedicated to plants that are deadly and can kill you. It holds over 100 killers, such as hemlock, strychnine and nightshade. And before you rush off to buy tickets, no, there isn't a gift shop!
Finally, the introduction of any new word to qualify for the Queen's English, must first gain Royal approval. This new one is just awaiting ratification.

INEPTOCRACY - A DEFINITION

Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.


ED: We are rapidly approaching this form of global government, if indeed, we are not already there!

POLITICS

In the UK, Boris Johnson has eventually loosened up the lockdown under which the British have been languishing for so long.

"Oh no!" groan
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No specific reason has been given but there has been speculation!
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Petitions had been flooding in to open up bars and clubs especially, but one from South America seems to have been the final straw (no pun intended)!
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Quite frankly, though, it has been very difficult for people to plan their lives and look ahead...
Meanwhile, the recent proposal by some major football clubs to break away with their own league has brought out an authoritative statement from the PM, doubtless drawn from his considerable experience in a similar arena.
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One Head of State who's been having a rocky ride of late, especially with the EU, is Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but he seems to have found a way out of his troubles, at least for the time being.
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In the USA, President Biden was spot on when he said that gun violence in the country was “a national embarrassment” – not sure if he was including the police in his statement! 

It has been said that America is the world’s policeman, a claim that is being increasingly challenged, thank goodness. 
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Looking at their domestic policing, it is easy to see how they have made such a dog’s dinner everywhere else when they have tried to intercede in the affairs of others. Since WW2, they have consistently bungled every military expedition they have undertaken and been the cause of significant discord and discontent all over the world.
Enough is enough, but is it? Donald Trump signalling that he will run again for President in 2024 has sent ripples of foreboding around the world.
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The fate of America and its inexorable collapse would become inevitable were Trump to return, for lacking the ability to engage in self-critique and self-correction, as it dies it will lash out in a blind, inchoate fury at innocents at home and abroad.
Then we will look at the USA from the safety of Canada, perhaps the other side of Mt. Rushmore, and we will see simply this...
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...and what was once a symbol of hope to so many, will now symbolise the state of the nation that it has become.
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PANDEMIC UPDATE
Many people now believe Covid 19 is for all intents and purposes over. They have been vaccinated, their friends and colleagues have been vaccinated, the pubs have re-opened(ish) and Spring has sprung. Well, I have news for you. Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects and listed below are some symptoms to watch out for:
  • Bouts of extreme smugness
  • Sense of superiority over anyone who hasn't had a vaccine
  • Absurd curiosity over whether your friends have had AstraZeneca, Pfizer or something odd from China
  • A need to tell everybody how short the queue was and how smashing all the volunteers are
  • Compelling desire to take a photo of your vaccination card and post it on social media
  • Misguided feeling of immortality
  • Failure to understand why you still can't go on a foreign holiday without a pre-flight check​
  • and an ability to annoy the hell out of 20 year olds by asking, "When are you going to have yours...Oh, they've run out, have they?"
Although there appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel in parts of Europe, the pandemic is mutating...
...and causing catastrophic impacts on many other parts of the world. This  is especially true where there is population density and a slack approach has been taken by governments on mask wearing, social distancing and other well established protocols.
   
I have to admit, though, that I am a bit puzzled by one current issue...
The EU is suing AstraZeneca for failing to deliver the quantity of vaccines it ordered. Most of this vaccine comes from India, who is in a complete crisis now, having run out of all means to combat the virus and is commandeering stocks. So how is it that the EU is sending plane loads of medical aid there?
   
If nothing else, Covid 19 has been a great social leveller and whatever your station in life, you can still catch it...and then?
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Throughout the course of the pandemic, there has been much debate about testing. The quality and timeliness of tests have caused much consternation but there is one test that seems to have been overlooked in the general scheme of things. It is practical, easy and can be done at home, with the results available in seconds...
(NOTE: those with a sensitive disposition should skip the next picture!)
I warned you, so don't blame me if you're offended! But while I'm at it (causing offence, that is), here's how 'The Last Supper' would have gone had it been today!

SOME NEWS FROM OUR CANINE FRIENDS

A pack of dogs was busted by police the other day for not observing social distancing rules when out for group
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relief. And then there was a report about this poor little...whatever it is.
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ED: Yes, nonsense isn't it? Sorry!
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES - the next big GRUMP
My main grump in this edition is all about plastic and associated products. We know all about it, don't we? All the plastic bags, straws, packaging of almost everything...and yet, we do virtually nothing about it. Some hotel chains state pompously that they have discontinued the use of plastic straws; whoopee! Sanctimonious supermarkets, desperate to show their green credentials, charge their shoppers extra for taking their purchases away in biodegradable bags. Yet they have the effrontery to package the bulk of their products in clingfilm covered, plastic foam containers and present their 'fresh fruit', flown and shipped in from all over the world, in plastic wrapped cartons and containers. 
You may not have known about the dreadful global fishing practices, or the impact that red meat farming has on global warming through the production of methane (unimaginable, but for a later edition), BUT we all know about plastic. 
  

Every day, millions of us do our bit to cut plastic waste. We recycle plastic fruit tubs, yoghurt pots, plastic juice bottles -- making sure they’re in the right bin. But what happens next is shocking. Instead of being recycled, much of the UK’s household plastic packaging is being shipped to other countries. Huge amounts end up in Malaysia, Indonesia and Turkey. When it arrives, it's usually dumped or burned, causing serious illnesses for people living close by. 

It's plain wrong this is happening. Our government would never allow another country's plastic to be dumped in the UK. How is it okay the other way around and why isn’t it being responsibly processed?

I won't go on...but if you'd be interested to find out more, follow this  link here for a very worthwhile article on the subject.

The timetable below shows how long it takes for products to decompose - horrifying!
This picture isn't actually very funny, but it makes the point. So does the collage of pictures below that demonstrates all too graphically the effect on the ocean's wildlife through mankind's total disregard for his environment.
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Footprints in the sand...
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Incidentally, I shared some information with you last time about bottom trawling and the unimaginable size of the nets. I have since found this picture which I think well illustrates my point...
I would like to end on a more cheerful note, but find myself challenged. However, a friend from long ago, with whom I spent much time on oceans of sand in the Arabian Peninsula, has come up with this...
...whilst I, on the other hand, will continue to ponder the wonders of the deep, wish mothers and toddlers good luck...
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...and share a last thought 
with my grumpy, big
buddy here!
Keep safe and well,
a2f2ba50b1146305e73267570e38eaee--funny-

Charles

"Let me know if you find anyone following you!"