Friday, 22 March 2013

More Wandering About

In the 1950’s a couple of my former school mates found themselves in Cyprus in the military.  Both regarded the spell as the least enjoyable two years of their lives and swore never to return.  What will happen next there is becoming difficult to work out and all I can do is stick to Zero Hedge and hope this is good enough.

As the row on privacy and Government regulation of the press rumbles on The Economist, a journal I have read for sixty odd years makes its displeasure clear about what is being proposed, elsewhere in the real world, privacy is no great matter. 

The supermarket we have to use for a few items has mailed me with a personalized effort which clearly shows where we shop, at what times and by an analysis of the spending what sort of meal we would like on Easter day with the recommended wine.

There is one thing that they have not picked up on yet, however.  We have ceased to use their lavatory paper for reasons I do not wish to divulge on grounds of privacy. 

But it will be only a matter of time before they offer me personalized rolls or at least by looking at my age profile make suggestions about texture and capability.

The trouble is that as the post below indicates, the techies are always ahead of the game when it comes to security and privacy.

Another false dawn is all the spin, spout and shout about budgets etc. in the UK, the USA, the EU and the rest of the world.  What really matters is what the money men are going to do and how. 

When Mark Carney takes over at the Bank of England we are promised a very new strategy and attack on the economic problems.  This could be the economic equivalent of the 1st July 1916 when in the Battle of the Somme after nearly two years mostly on the back foot, the British Army attacked in the hope of pushing the Germans out of France.

At least there has been some entertainment.  The Daily Mail today had a piece about the life and larks of Sir Winston Churchill in the first decade of the 20th Century when a young man about town. 

He comes across as perhaps a model for the character of Bingo Little (see Wikipedia) in Wodehouse’s stories about Jeeves and Wooster.

This is not Churchill as we know him.  More to the point a short while ago I posted on Leslie Stuart, (see Wikipedia) born Thomas Barrett, of humble origins who made it to the top in show business at the time.  In the same decade he was making a great deal of money and spending even more.

One interest that Leslie and Winston had in common and it seems at the same time and in the same places was entertaining chorus girls and not stinting on the champagne.  Leslie was unlucky falling into bankruptcy and divorce. Winston on the other hand was bankrolled by press barons and married well.

Curiously, these two men were not quite so far apart as they might have believed and I do not mean in terms of which particular girl or girls whose company may have delighted them.

Trawling around the primary sources, it appears though from decidedly humble origins one of Stuart’s/Barrett’s relations by marriage was from a family where some had gone down but one part had decidedly gone up.  They were connected to the family of one of Churchill’s forlorn female hopes.

But another had been one of the leading huntsmen of his day riding the same country and with the same packs as Bay Middleton (see Wikipedia), now alleged to be the real father of Clementine Hozier, the eventual wife of Sir Winston.

Which brings us back to the beginning.  Between 1924 and 1929 Churchill was Chancellor of the Exchequer in a Conservative Government that had declared that its mission was to clear up the mess in the economy but failed. 

A major reason was putting too much trust in and following the advice of Montague Norman, the Governor of the Bank of England.  The Great Crash that followed, involving Wall Street, European funny money and the rest is one of the dark periods of history. 

At the time, one of relatively recent acquisitions of Empire was Cyprus where we were then busy building up our army and naval bases.

That’s the trouble with wandering you finish up back where you started from.

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