Hope for Fall in Living Standards

Young people of today just don’t know they’re born. If you confronted them with a VHS tape of a home birth they simply wouldn’t recognise any of it. This entitled generation, with their ringtones and wanderlust and inexplicable urges to own property at approximately the same time as their parents and their peers managed it. They don’t understand that you have to make sacrifices to save rather than frittering every last penny away on takeaway sandwiches and rent.

Perhaps house prices have gone up ever so slightly but that’s just down to homeowners carrying out proper maintenance and paying for valuable additions like loft extensions and conservatories. The youth of today ought to weep tears of gratitude at the feet of the guardians of property who have done such an excellent job of being owner occupiers.

But no, the little ingrates keep rabbiting on about the sky rocket in market value racing ahead of salary increases. They just don’t appreciate the joys in life like going off on foreign excursions because you know that no amount of saving will secure you a deposit so you might as well make the best of a more and more tawdry existence.

What definitely needs to happen is a dramatic fall in living standards. They’ll look on the 2010s and 2000s (there is no proper name for these decades. The ‘noughties’ just doesn’t do it for me) as halcyon days when they could skip through the fields without a care in the world. If millennials have their noses forced to the grindstone, experience ever greater levels of poverty and misery they might finally give in and admit that their elders know better.

There’s a horrible chance that some people will take this post as straight fact rather than a half-hearted stab at satire. Not too sure what to do about that.

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Helping Hand for Brexit

For all my unbridled excitement yesterday, the budget was something of, to borrow a phrase, a ‘nothing burger.’ Obviously, after all the fuss, the chancellor had to say something or other because it was his time to shine. So (and I want to make it clear that I couldn’t actually bring myself to watch the thing), after a few lame jokes about throat lozenges or whatever, he launched into his prepared statements.

We get to find out that money is being put aside just in case we somehow flame spectacularly out of the negotiations sans deal and have to cope with the falling off a cliff edge version of Brexit (which appears ever more inevitable). Those are funds that could have been put towards the NHS which just this week has desperately appealed for a lot more cash than was eventually apportioned to it in the budget. So that’s all terribly interesting.

There were a few more pledges about fuel tax and alcohol duty or what have you (this is not the place to come for your incisive and detailed commentary. I’m not really sure why you’re here actually but it’s lovely to have you and please don’t go away. If you don’t validate the existence of my ramblings then I’m just twittering into the lonely void of cyberspace). But the real star of the day was the moves towards totally fixing the housing crisis.

Because clearly, the problem of young people being forced to fritter away more than half of their take home pay on extravagances like rent and bills is solved by knocking off a couple of grand from the total price of finding a place of their own. The saving in stamp duty definitely isn’t going to go straight into inflating the asking price (is the sarcasm evident enough? Should I start going on about how brilliant an idea I totally reckon this is?). It’s almost as if this policy is going to backfire immediately, line the pockets of sellers higher up the chain and leave young people in even more of a grump.

Beat Arthritis With Hammond

The chancellor gets a bad rap. For totally good reason of course, austerity has squeezed large sections of the British population for all its worth and our abysmal economic growth shows quite how much we’ve stalled under the cosh of so-called fiscally responsible party. It’s budget day and I’m just so excited, I couldn’t possibly wait to write this until after the treats have been announced. Except there won’t be any, will there? The Tories aren’t in a position to push through anything controversial so odds are it’s just going to be more of the same.

I still don’t quite understand what motivated people to turn out and vote for this lame duck of a government. Then again, there are folk in America who so desperately don’t want to cast their ballot for a Democrat they don’t have a problem chucking their endorsement behind an alleged molester and predator whose prey of choice was teenage girls (Roy Moore, in his thirties, pursued girls still at high school).

But if we spend too much time getting bogged down with the real stories of the day, we might become too sorrowful to proceed with anything at all. So let me be the one to tell you that there is actual light at the end of the tunnel (and I’m not talking about the joy cricket fans feel because the ashes is almost back. I have the prospect of my obsessed fiancĂ© arising at some ungodly hour to catch up with the day’s play in Australia).

It turns out that Philip Hammond is surprisingly good for something after all. If you sit back and bathe yourself in the boring practicality of whatever it is he has to say, your body will enter a state of nirvanic relaxation. Tension will ooze out of you in an unexpected cure for arthritis. Honest.

May Will Offer Miracle Blood

Theresa May is disintegrating. She very dearly needs to make Brexit work and, at the moment, all signs seem to point to it being an utter disaster. Just in the past couple of days we’ve been greeted with the news of two major European agencies relocating away from London and taking a great number of highly skilled well paying jobs with them and that the International Court of Justice will be lacking a British presence going forward for the first time in over seventy years.

The thing that I find the hardest to grapple with is the notion of imperialism or whatever it is. There are those, who seemingly voted for Brexit, who insist that the UK has a bigger voice on the world stage than it actually does. And that voice has come down with a serious case of laryngitis since June 2016. Quitting the EU has made us all the more irrelevant. We’ve given the other countries a very valid excuse not to care about us.

But don’t fear, it’s not all doom and gloom today. Theresa, for what would seem to be the first time in her beleaguered premiership, has caught a lucky break. The chosen one has finally entered the world. You seem puzzled, have you somehow missed this absolutely incredible but actually true story? It’s like you don’t pay attention to the news or something.

Anyway, a baby hath been born with an amazing immune system. Held within its blood are natural antibodies for all sorts of diseases and indeed cancers. It’s a superhuman miracle that the parents obviously couldn’t be trusted with so the infant has been taken into special keeping. So, for the low and reasonable price of an excellent trade deal with the UK, this child can be yours. Think of all the lucrative vaccines you could manufacture having harvested its miracle blood. What violation of human rights?

Millions Spied on By Defiant Mugabe

I didn’t especially want to write about the embattled Zimbabwe (for the time being at least) president. I just don’t really know enough about the subject (I know you’re not remotely fussed about my process. How the sausage is made has nothing to do with the enjoyment, or otherwise, of the product) – I wanted to slag off the royals in spite of the income they inexplicably bring into the country. I mean, they’d still contribute the economy as a rich family even if they weren’t crowned by God.

Anyhow, even with my limited knowledge of the man, I’m not surprised that folk are fed up with the overbearing ways of Robert Mugabe. Forget about installing people into power without the slightest regard of their credentials, humanity or total lack thereof. If there was corruption (this is what I mean when I say I don’t know a lot about it. I bet there was but I just can’t say for sure), that’s the least of anyone’s worries.

Mugabe’s greatest abuse of power actually turned out to be something rather different. He spied on a hell of a lot of people. It wasn’t out of anything as obvious as paranoia or even just keeping tabs on potential enemies (there actually is a difference in motivation between the two, who’d have thought?). There was a surprisingly innocent motive.

That doesn’t redeem the man or the activity of course, in fact it might make him seem all the more insidious depending on what you make of the news. He was always quite a big fan of The Sims and reality television. The surveillance he managed to get his mitts on was merely his own large scale window into the lives of ordinary people. It was when he wanted to start manipulating events that he went altogether too far. Clearly, he’s got to go.

Fear is Gone as People Turn on Driverless Cars

Oh the endless debates in the 2010s, the ethical concerns and moral implications of letting artificial intelligences take over mundane tasks. After all, plenty of hapless drivers would plough into innocent bystanders, albeit by accident. Did it really make so much of a difference if a machine calculated that it was in the service of the greater good for it to do the same? Do a few extra lives lost really need to stand in the way of comfort?

So, we girded our loins and dispensed with our scruples. Admittedly, an awful lot of testing had to take place before driverless cars could be truly let loose on the markets. It all depended on what the passenger would be comfortable with. Some needed the security of having an entity to criticise so a niche brand of slightly shonkier machines had to be rolled out. They even installed a voice of choice to patiently endure the barrage of ‘helpful’ suggestions.

It’s unthinkable nowadays that anyone ever fretted over the concept of a driverless car. I suppose it was the same way when most new technologies are on the brink of existence. If you go back far enough in time you’ll find people puzzled and incensed by the mere notion of horseless carts (or cartless horses as I originally typed for some reason) or pocket computers or even universal suffrage.

So now we should celebrate as we no longer have to bother with the whole exertion of driving (I only had a few years of feeling superior after I finally got my licence). No more drag racing between boys with massive heaving balls or any more swerving all over the road thanks to intoxication. It’s a paradise. So what if no one can walk safely on the pavement any more? We’ve got shiny new toys to play with.

EU Threat to YouTube

Boy, those negotiators are getting far too swollen for those skintight breeches. Frankly it’s something of a surprise that they can even fit through standard doorways what with those big heads of theirs. Maybe you’re rolling your eyes right about now, suspecting that I’m chock full of sour grapes because the Brexit negotiations are panning out rather less than well. As if! But they are total snot-nose meanypantses who ought to roll over and let Britain have whatever it wants. Obviously.

It would be nice if David Davis could admit that we’re really not in as strong a position as he likes to think we are. All his bravado and talk about how Europe needs us more than we need them (untrue, there are depressing statistics that prove this) is basically baiting the other side. Either they want to crush us into the dust like worms or simply warn off other countries from doing the same thing as us.

If these could be sensible and straightforward negotiations, we would flame out with our tail between our legs, think hard about what we’ve done and get our reapplication paperwork in order. However, the grandstanding on the British side has got their opponents hungry for blood. They can’t allow talks to progress to trade without firm promises of moneys so they have to seek out alternative targets in the meantime.

YouTube was an obvious choice. A massive company, part of a greater network with plenty of resources and such but also with a greater sense of its own importance. It was perfect. They started with credible threatening legal letters and let things go from there. If we’re not careful, the EU will destroy the internet as we know it while they’re waiting for us to get all our ducks in a row to make a more acceptable offer.