mesmile In an eclectic onion bag tonight, the Buddhism of shopping, A Waspi Christmas Carol celebrating Philip Hammond’s organ, and the chances of a LePen Presidency


So I’m taking a few last-minute groceries out of the car, and the rice packet falls onto the drive, spilling open. One has to be very hungry indeed to think about picking rice out from gravel when it’s going dark and already 0°C. But some instinct tells me to pick up the packet anyway, at which point the 1.5 litre coke bottle slips from its allegedly safe position under my arm, bounces two or three times over the pebbles, and accelerates downhill. More rice pours from the packet. A much higher level of learned instinct tells me not to risk the six-pack of Kronenbourg in my other hand, so I put it down on the driveway before contemplating further rescue operations.

Later in the kitchen, it feels more like a mishap than a disaster. A small fillet pavé of salmon has been purchased, it is Friday night, and within minutes there is a fire on the go and a nice pesto and garlic sauce under way on the hob.

I open the by now nicely chilled coke bottle. It gives a realistic impression of Mr Vesuvius having spotted a beautiful Miss Vesuvius.

But I wipe it all up, bung the sauced salmon in the oven, and decide, to reward myself with a gentle Krono.

I open the fridge, and Krono is there not. Where can the missing beer bottles be?

They are of course still where I left them for safe keeping on the drive. However, as the temperature is now -2°C, they are ice-cold and inviting.

This is what we Buddhists mean when we say, “Good always comes from bad”.


A Christmas Carol

Good King Hammond last looked out, on the feast of Mammon

When the proles lay all about, just like flapping salmon.

Brightly shone his star that night though the frost was cruel

when a Waspi came in sight, eager for a due-hoo-el.

“What right have you at my lair?” asked the Hammond organ,

“You have serpents in you hair, perchance you’re a Gorgon”.

“Sir I am a Waspi bint, paupered by your Budget

 and now that I’m feckin’ skint,  you lot try to fu – hudge – it”.

Laughing now Phil Hammond roared, “Woman you are silly!”

So the Waspi drew her sword and cut off his willy.

There’s a moral here my friends, and it should be hear-ed

Women who deal with loose ends, they too should be fear-ed.


Francois Hollande is not going to run for a second term as President of France. The French People greeted this news as Brits might respond to a decision by Keith Vaz not to stand as Shadow Minister for Moral Compasses.

The last French President this unpopular collaborated with the Nazis. That’s a thought to hold for as long as it takes. Perhaps the final verdict on this petulant, vengeful little eurofascist is that the only reason he got in hinged on him not being Sarkozy….and when Sarko tried a comeback this year, the French told him to va t’en fou. That’s how completely crap Hollande is.

So what happens now? And yes, this is important so wake up at the back there.

Hollande’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls is something of a Blair in that he is way out on the Socialist Right and a big fan of being “open for business”. Like any classic Blairite, Valls has yet to declare his candidacy.

Arnaud Montebourg is very Left-Left: he will definitely run, and his anti-foreign interests stance may make him the best person to run against Marine LePen: Socialist putting France first, but not a scumfascistracistbigot.

There are others who might surprise us – Benoît Hanon, Emmanuel Macron, Jean-Luc Melenchon and Christiane Taubira – but in my view they could only thrive in an atmosphere where the French fancied going Left. What I pick up on the streets here is that the average citoyen is keen for a lurch to the Right.

It feels to me like a choice between the Right and the Further Right. As we all know the candidate of the latter, I’ll take a brief look at the person to the “Left” of LePen. Read on to see why I put Left in inverted commas.

This is Francois Fillon. A chilly Catholic conservative who holds many of Le Pen’s anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim views, Fillon is seen as “less extreme” and therefore ‘most likely to protect France from a far-right presidency’ as the Guardian so objectively puts it. He doesn’t like gay marriage and wants to restrict adoptions by homosexual couples. He’s also not keen on NATO, and would like to soften the European attitude in general to President Putin of Russia.

That’s all fine and dandy for bourgeois intellectuals, but when it come to the workers and les moyennes classes, Fillon has a massive disadvantage: he has pro Anglo-Saxon economic views, and champions the kind of small-state, free-market neocon drivel put out there by Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and the UK Conservative leadership.

Every time this model has been placed before the French masses, they have roundly rejected it. Bizarrely, Marine LePen now finds herself the heir to Gaullisme: France first, and a State that protects what is French (including les misérables) from foreign barbarians….be they Arabs or Americans.

LePen has worked hard and with some effectiveness to persuade French workers that she is the most likely to look after their interests. This – and her implacable opposition to the European Union – create clear blue water between her and Fillon. With serious problems now in Italy, EU migrant policies all over the place, and another developing problem in Greece, the wind could well be blowing in her direction.

Unless the Right comes up with a policy direction that dumps merciless globalism in favour of a firmer stance on EC dictatorship, even with six months still to go I cannot see anything other than a victory for Marine LePen.

Of course, opposing her should really be the job of the Left: but as usual, the Left is too busy arguing to pay any attention.

Six months is a long time in politics. But the EU  works more on the basis of six years. Once again, it is likely to be caught out.


Yesterday at The Slog: Delusion ideas and Democracy don’t mix