Goodbye Grump

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Fresh trout from the Kunhar River, Kagan Valley, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan
Issue No. 5 - June 2021
A few weeks ago I wrote to you asking if there was an appetite for the 'GRUMP' to continue. 
"There was a wailing and gnashing of teeth" at the very thought it might be discontinued, and for that I thank the many of you that responded. However, there were also many replies that suggested, in essence, that it was time to call it a day. People are fed up with Covid-19, American politics (and elsewhere) and don't want to be reminded of it any more than they have to be. The 'Coronagrump' (18 issues) and the 'Grump' (6, issues, including 'Grump Live!') have had a good run but it is time to move on.
I have to say that I agree with them and so this will be the last 'Grump' as you know it. 
Of course, there's still plenty to be grumpy about and there always will be, so there's every chance that before too long, this blog will be resurrected in some other banal format for your pleasure and entertainment. In the meantime, let the swansong begin... 
LEADERSHIP
The thing that has struck me most about the last 18 months has been the lamentable lack of any kind of quality leadership around the world. This, of course, is not a new rant. As if we had become numbed to its absence, however,  the global community f leaders are championing their combined ineptitude once more.
I am referring to the incomprehensible issue of travel and the relevance of vaccination certification...in ANY format. Now as an international traveller, often going to parts of the world where a number of unpleasant diseases abound, I carry with me a vaccination document that covers, among other things, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A & B, Typhoid, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Influenza, and a few others - this is it and I keep it up to date as required.
(ironically, you'll notice that this was
issued in Hong Kong, aka China!)  
Now I have been thoroughly AstraZenecaed and can prove it with a Certificate. I am a UK Citizen and can prove that too. I currently live in Pakistan, where the incidence of Covid-19 has been significantly less than most countries around the world, especially the UK, and I can prove that as well. Yet were I able to get a flight to take me to the UK, which in itself would be a major challenge, I will have to quarantine in an assigned hotel for 10 days and take three Covid tests, all at my own expense. And the same is true to a greater or lesser extent in most of Europe, the Middle East, etc. Our leaders just can't seem to work this out and it is pathetic! Why can't they simply accept a stamp in my Vaccination Card or passport, or if they want to be clever and high tech, allow a simple certification app on a smart phone. Whatever they do, I just wish they'd get on with it.
Being away from the UK, I am constantly mystified how it is that Boris Johnson is able to maintain such a high level of popularity. I suppose cancelling all anti-Covid rules on the 19th July will ensure his longevity in power, but don't forget, he put everyone in the UK in the brown stuff in the first place.
By the way, for those of you in the know, is this really what happened to Hancock?
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THE INTERNATIONAL ARENA
The people seem to have had enough of their leaders and in many countries, they are going after the crooks, and about time too. The rogues gallery below showcases a few...
Trump
WHO'S NEXT?
             ...but there are many others due for their comeuppance. Just have to hope 'you know who' doesn't come back...
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One thing I am finding quite comical is the renaming of various US military bases. It must take them a lot of time and money to come up with racially and sexually neutral names. And what will they do when somebody claims a name is discriminatory against age and should all of their aircraft carriers have their names changed (except the USS Franklin D Roosevelt) on the basis that they are discriminating against the disabled?
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Talking of Roosevelt, his wife Eleanor once claimed that she had a rose named after her and that she had been very flattered until she read the description in the catalogue: - 'No good in a bed, but fine against a wall.' 
EFFECTS OF COVID-19
One of the many effects of Covid-19 has been the massive changes necessitated in airline schedules.
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Most airlines have had the number of flights reduced drastically, by as much as 80% on some routes, making them simply not viable. This in turn has effected the destinations, where some people have gone on holidays and then found that they cannot return.
Some business tycoons have elected to leave Earth completely for their holidays...well, I suppose it's alright for some!
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SPORT
I have not covered much in the way of sports over the past months, largely because so much has been cancelled. When an event has gone ahead, its either been heavily politicised or been without fans or both.
Not being a great sports follower myself, I only really track headlines but I have heard that there's some football tournament going on in Europe at the moment. Apparently there was a match between England and Ukraine the other day. It can be said that one of these two are deeply divided between ultra-nationalists and people who want to join the EU, with dodgy Russian money funding its rightwing politicians. But I suppose that Ukraine has its problems too!
Japan has had an unenviable time 
preparing for the Olympic Games. Among other things, choosing the official logo has been a challenge; is it the 2020 Games (2021) or is it the 2021 Games? Or indeed, should there even be a Games?

I have to say, though, the various so-called 'sports' that now qualify as Olympic Games, do seem somewhat unrelated to the original spirit intended by the Greeks. 
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This has been really hard on the athletes, of course, whose training schedules have been in chaos. Anyway, GOOD LUCK to them all; after 4+ years building up to the Games, they deserve it.
TIME TO SAY 'GOODBYE'
As Arnie famously said, "I'll be back!"
All the best and
keep safe.

Charles