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Bye-bye Boomers

In the UK, Adam Boulton, Sky New’s editor at large, has left his job. He didn’t seem too happy about it. Saying that he was still “young and healthy”, he told a Times journalist (63); “I’ve just got to accept to a certain point that you and I, we’re tail-end baby-boomers, and there’s a kind of move against the baby-boomers and the fact that we’ve had less time at the peak is just the way it goes.” This ‘tail-end boomer’…

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1.5 to stay alive

Last August I wrote an article about coronavirus, under the heading R, for Project Reset. In it, I suggested that the threat of a pandemic could be used as a possible smokescreen for governments to subdue their people, while sorting out various important issues, including the environment. COP 26 has been going on in Glasgow; it is being attended by representatives of 200 nations and on the opening day it was addressed by two 95-year-olds, the Queen and Sir David…

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Skills. Who needs them?

In the UK, we currently have 270k more people employed than ever. There are also a record 1.1 million job vacancies. How can this be? Simple really. Brexit. There are 100k fewer HGV drivers than needed, and a similar number of butchers who are needed to legally slaughter farm animals. Vegetables are rotting in the fields. Why? Brexit. It forced overseas workers to consider their position in the UK, and feeling unwelcome, they left the country in their droves, leaving…

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Covid; petrol, polls and angry youth

‘Plant a tree in ‘73, or there’ll be no more in ‘74.’ I vaguely remember this slogan from my childhood and now, as the environment and tree-planting top the UK agenda once again, people are fighting at the petrol pumps and the UK is concerned about where its winter electricity will come from, it looks like we are heading into the crap 70s again, complete with strikes, blackouts and food shortages. Compared to a year ago, covid seems to have…

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The tipping point

If there’s one thing we know about climate breakdown, it’s that it will not be linear, smooth or gradual. Just as one continental plate might push beneath another in sudden fits and starts, causing periodic earthquakes and tsunamis, our atmospheric systems will absorb the stress for a while, then suddenly shift. Yet, everywhere, the programmes designed to avert it are linear, smooth and gradual. Current plans to avoid catastrophe would work in a simple system like a washbasin, in which…

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Geronimo: The Musical

What is an R rate? I can’t remember. Do you have to wear a mask? I’m not sure. Is the virus all over? Who knows and does anyone care? So it’s back to normal then. But it isn’t really, is it. 12-year-olds are going to be vaccinated, without their parents’ consent. The UK government has a traffic-light system list of countries we can visit on holiday. A travel agency will happily let you book and charge you £10k for a…

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Should I stay or should I go?

Advertising used to be great fun. In the 80s and 90s it was a creative and exciting industry to work in. You got to travel the world (business class) and spend millions of pounds of someone else’s money.  Now, though, it is run by accountants and has migrated to the internet, where creativity is anathema. No way do I want to use algorithms to target an audience with a bland message, so advertising was out. So I turned to journalism,…

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Billionaires: the new space junk

Jeff Bezos, billionaire and reptile, has been flown in his rocket to the edge of space and back. Well, straight up into the air to a height of around 63 miles, to achieve a spot of weightlessness. Bezos is the founder of Amazon and has accumulated Croesus-levels of wealth through business success and a stubborn refusal to pay taxes. He doesn’t even pretend to feel obligated to do good with his wealth.  In the past year, his ex-wife has become…

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What year is it?

If you don’t work in London, we won’t pay you London wages. ‘So why are you closing the London offices then?’. Let’s park this WFW conundrum for a while and take a look at the positive and redemptive qualities of sport. We have just had the 2020 Euros, which ended in a deserved win for the best team, Italy, and was widely regarded as a huge success. Until at least a thousand drunk English fans breached the Wembley ‘security’, like…

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What is an acceptable level of risk?

Life is full of risk and the pandemic makes us consider what are unacceptable risks to life and what can then be done to reduce them. We are told we ‘must learn to live’ with the virus; some people will inevitably die from it, so what is an ‘acceptable’ number of Covid deaths? The UK government’s chief medical adviser and now human punchbag, Chris Whitty, points out that we live with seasonal flu, which kills thousands each year. Like deaths…

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