160738-Tower-of-London

Tower of London

I’m visiting my family & friends in the UK for the first time in 10 years (well at least those who have not fallen off their twigs, who’s number include many of my uncles and aunts).

I though I’d relay a few scattered impressions:

- Triple dip recession
- Austerity has increased the budget deficit (as predicted)
- 16 year old mothers are sponging off the state (welfare queens), which assesses the value of motherhood as zero.
- Eye wateringly expensive public privatized transport, petrol & diesel.
- Small portions of food (good!)
- Bicycles are used for commuting (see eye wateringly above)
- No white bread in the homes (good!)
- Many babies evident in the streets (where are the babies in the US? I know they are about, but not so evident)
- Domestic gas bills higher than domestic electricity bills (there’s something very thermodynamically wrong with this)
- Wood burning for heat (sounds innocuous until one contemplates the birth of the industrial revolution, decimation of forests for charcoal, and the subsequent rise of coal) and was never thus before — see gas bills above.
- Thin people (see portions of food above).
- UK leaving the EU (again, or for ever, or …). Get over it, the Germans won WW II (via the Euro).
- Venture Capitalists focused on regional growth in a global market (Good Intentions, questionable business strategy).
- The somewhat weird way the press in the UK seizes on some technology (Hovercraft, Concord, Computer Programming — the most recent) as the salvation of the economy and not one discussion of Marketing, or Sales. Otherwise know as brilliant engineering, poor marketing (except for Dyson, who’s vacuum cleaners suck)
- History. One lady remarked on a historical figure mentioned in passing who died 300 years ago was “in her family”.
- Lord E (no names here), active in the house of Lords, believes Sufist extremists in Islam who wish to reestablish the Caliphate are our greatest threat. No discussion of the acts of the 1%, Israel or the US in pushing more moderate Muslims into the extremist camp.
- St Hilda & Synod of Whitby. Not of earth-shattering importance today.
- York Minster and medieval foundations (or their lack thereof).

Photo from xiquinhosilva licensed under Creative Commons