I took (and passed, for what little it matters now) the New York Bar Exam when the city was under heavy snow; over 30 years ago now.
On this day a year ago
So Vallance has morphed from being a “Covid” scaremaster and “vaccine” cheerleader to being a “climate change”/”net zero” propagandist. That fits, as one would expect. I wonder what he thinks about “Black Lives Matter”, Ukraine etc.
…or as Wellington put it, saying that someone born in a stable must be a horse.
At least they have not yet learned from the Jews the conceit that they are somehow essential to European culture and civilization.
Yes, wake up, English “conservative nationalists”! The Indians are not your allies, any more than are the Pakistanis; incidentally, neither are the Jews and/or Israel. Don’t be fooled.
So speaketh the “Levelling Up Secretary” and, prior to that (incredibly), Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
When you look at the pack of cretins now running this unbelievable bad joke of a government, you realize anew how truly unfit for purpose our political system has become.
Sparks a few memories.
The UN Centre in Vienna (actually on the edge of the city) is an odd place; at least that was my impression when I saw it in the mid-1980s. A concrete fortress or “island” (not literally, though actually on a large island in the Danube), set in quite a green area between the old Vienna and a newer section.
I used to swim, almost every day during my visit, at the not-far-away Alte Donau Strandbad, a closed-off section of the Danube that is either an “oxbow lake” or an artificial version of one. Superb place. Clean river water, a green park, properly-run facilities for changing etc and, best of all, few people. I was there on weekdays, when even in high summer the bulk of the hardworking population were at their jobs.
You cannot just wander into that UN Centre. Even in those days you had to have a pass issued by the security kiosk there. I did not have to get a tourist pass because someone I knew who worked there got me a different kind of visitor pass. The difference was that tourists get a guided tour, whereas I was fairly free to wander around.
A large collection of buildings.
I remember trying to get a sense of what is quite a confusing set-up. I remember seeing a noticeboard with ads for various kinds of local staff. The rates of pay, as far as I could see, were far better than the same people would get in Vienna itself, and were of course not taxable (UN employees do not pay national income tax but only a kind of UN tax, which is far lower).
Another thing that struck me was the Commissary, which no doubt had its origins in the immediately postwar 1940s days when almost everything was unobtainable, but what is odd about that is that the UN Centre in Vienna was established only in 1980, a mere few years before I visited! So a mystery. Maybe there was an earlier, smaller mission.
That Commissary, about the size of a medium-level convenience store, sold duty-free food and drink (including booze) to anyone who was a UN employee or, I think, accredited diplomat. A strange “boondoggle”, in the American phrase. I noticed (I think on a Friday), a couple of (from their stature and looks) East African women, buying Scotch.
Not sure I would call them “happy days”, but not very unhappy, anyway.
The Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation is Sergei Lavrov.
Lavrov, half-Russian, half-Armenian, is a graduate of the prestigious MGIMO or Moscow State Institute of International Relations [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_State_Institute_of_International_Relations].
Lavrov worked as a diplomat in Sri Lanka and the USA before being appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs in 2004. He has been in post for 18 years.
Lavrov speaks 5 languages: Russian, English, French, Dvihehi, and Sinhala (the latter two being the languages of the Maldives and Sri Lanka).
See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergey_Lavrov.
Now let us examine his present opposite number in the UK, James Cleverly, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.
Cleverly, a “half-caste” (in the old term), with a British father and a mother from Sierra Leone, seems to have wanted an Army career.
According to Wikipedia, Cleverly “trained in the Army“, whatever that may mean (no detail of whether he was training to be an officer or as an enlisted soldier, presumably the latter, nor of where he trained, nor in what regiment or corps), but suffered a leg injury in 1989 and had to drop out. He would have been 19 or 20 at that time.
Cleverly then obtained a degree of sorts in “Hospitality Management” from the then Polytechnic of West London [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_West_London].
Cleverly was involved, not terribly successfully (one can surmise) in business and executive activities during the years up to about 2008, but by then was involved in two side-activities which proved more fruitful for him— politics, and the then Territorial Army (now, Reserves).
Cleverly’s leg injury had obviously been resolved by the time he was commissioned in the TA as 2nd lieutenant in 1991. He stuck at that for the following 14 years, reaching the rank of Lt. Col by 2015.
In politics, Cleverly was a London Assembly member for 8 years from 2007. Cleverly then benefited from the scandal around the ineffectual Jew sex pest and pervert Brooks Newmark, who had to stand down as MP for Braintree (Essex). Cleverly replaced Newmark.
Cleverly’s time as MP has not been distinguished, but the upheavals within the Conservative Party led to him being appointed as a Minister of State in 2020 and now, under Liz Truss, as Secretary of State. His appointment dates from 6 September 2022, about two weeks ago.
Cleverly speaks no language other than English.
See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Cleverly
Well, there it is. Sergei Lavrov’s background, languages, and 18 years of experience (and many successes) in post, as against James Cleverly’s background, lack of success (other than in narrow career terms), two years of arguably relevant experience, and time in post as Secretary of State five minutes (putting it flippantly).
It will be recalled that when (also absurdly) Liz Truss was Foreign Secretary, Lavrov easily made a fool of her, inducing her to say that quite well-known cities in Russia should be given “back” to Ukraine (the stupid woman had no idea that they never had been part of Ukraine; one was not far from Moscow).
Liz Truss was an embarrassment as Foreign Secretary; she is just ludicrous as Prime Minister. Now someone even less educated is Foreign Secretary. This country is screwed.
Sergei Lavrov will win no plaudits for his kindly good nature, but on whom would you bet your money?
Late afternoon music
While it may seem cruel to mock someone who, quite obviously, is not always compos mentis, that person, Biden, heads the most powerful country on Earth, with enough nuclear weaponry to send us all permanently into orbit. It is all very well to say that he is not really in charge, but that simply raises the question, “who is?” or “what cabal is?“, and what is the real agenda?
Late tweets seen
9 thoughts on “Diary Blog, 22 September 2022, including some personal memories of New York and Vienna, and a comparison of Sergei Lavrov with James Cleverly”
I HATE Liz Truss with all my heart and that means A LOT! 🤬🤬🤬
You make me laugh, you Latin hothead! I am laughing *with* you, though, not *at* you.
I can only agree with your view, though perhaps I am more cool in expressing my dislike of the enemies of Europe’s future.
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Dear Ian: I have to admit that you are right! Yes, if I had to play an enraged Italian I would not have to “get into character”, just be myself! 😂😂😂
Carrying on with the subject of “being a hothead” I think there are things that influence our behaviour such as education, upbringing, social environment, etc. Then, there are madmen like me who disregard everything (😂😂😂)
You the Brits were famous for keeping your cool under desperate circumstances (the famous “stiff upper lip”) and I found some evidence of it in a funny and interesting video which I am sending to you. The author gives his viewers “5 tips to sound like a native speaker” and the best one for me is No. 4 , according to him “British people love understatements” That means you NEVER express strong feelings because, somehow, that is considered “rather vulgar”. Please watch the video, the tip No. 4 begins at 5.40.
Thank you, but there was no link to the video you mention.
One of the most famous examples of British sang-froid is, I suppose, that of Wellington and one of his officers at Waterloo. Said officer, on his horse, is hit by a cannonball (I think), but stays sitting on his mount, merely saying to Wellington, “by Gad, Sir, I’ve lost my leg”, to which Wellington replies, “by Gad, Sir, so you have”!
I know that you know the 1970 film version.
Thank you Ian! Yes, I remember that very well, is one of the most famous anecdotes about the Duke of Wellington. You cannot be more cold/English than that! 😂😂😂
Here is the link to the video.
Interesting, but according to some of the examples on the video, I am more like an advanced foreign student than a native English speaker. Well, I suppose that’s just me.
In the 1980s, when my then girlfriend was talking to me about whether her small children needed anything, I said that “they both need footwear”, and she responded
“FOOTWEAR?! Do you mean ‘shoes’? Are you sure you have not come from one of those KGB training centres where people probably go around asking ‘What watch?’ instead of ‘What is the time?'”…
(her other theories about me were 1. that I was a “changeling”, exchanged when born, by the elves or fairies, for a human baby, or 2. I was from some other planet…).
What a weird woman! (Other words come to mind… 😂😂😂)
Unless I missed something, what was wrong with “footwear”? I understand that “shoes” is more usual but there is nothing wrong with that.
Talking about the incredibly complex English language I have to say that, for some weird reason, although I learned British English and most of my books are English, I tend to use the American spelling in words like organize, analyze, realize, etc. For some reason, I feel it is the natural/correct way.
BTW, I must leave now, I need some footwear 😂😂😂
I think that the lady in question thought that “footwear” was something only seen on signs in department stores etc. Not used in normal speech. I still do not know what is the truth about that…