Ephems is AFK and wishes all its readers a — you know…

Ephems will shortly be intermittently AFK* for a variety of reasons so please don’t expect any blog posts or responses to comments for a while.

Meanwhile we sit and shiver in sub-zero London and wonder whether our daughter in snow-bound New York is going to make it onto her flight to Heathrow.  Global warming?  Pah, humbug.  Lord Lawson must know something that we don’t.

Many thanks to all those of you who have contributed to lively debates on this blog during the year, and especially those who have challenged my more opinionated and partisan posts.  No-one has so far convinced me that our peculiarly British form of preventive detention (Indeterminate sentences for Public Protection or IPPs) can be justified under any civilised system of justice;  or that Tony Blair didn’t mean it when he appeared to say that if he had known that there were no WMD he would have had to think of a different, equally bogus, reason for attacking Iraq;  or that we’re doing more good than harm in Afghanistan or that if we withdrew all British forces tomorrow, the Pakistan régime would collapse, handing over its hydrogen bombs to al-Qaeda (I don’t see the Americans pulling out just because the British did); or that if we all try hard enough we can prevent the planet warming up to more than 2 deg.C;  or that Tony Blair is a middle east peace envoy when he very obviously isn’t;  or that Labour promised a referendum on the Lisbon treaty (or, even if it did, that any government of sound mind would have dared to hold one); or that when government spending is keeping the economy alive (just) pending the long awaited renaissance of demand and supply in the private sector, cutting government spending is a jolly wizard idea — don’t they teach them economics at Eton?;  or that Britain will sink beneath the waves if we don’t pay off our national debt within three weeks of the next election;  or that al-Megrahi should have been left to rot in his Scottish prison until he died — or that there’s no room for doubt about his share of guilt for the Lockerbie bombing;  or that Tony Blair — why do I keep coming back to the old rogue? — would have made an absolutely spiffing President of Europe, even if such a job existed, which it doesn’t;  or that if we keep on fighting the War on Drugs, we’ll eventually win it, any more than we did in Iraq or will in Afghanistan; or that everyone in the country watches a programme called, weirdly, “Strictly”, or that anyone I know watches ‘the X Factor’.  But on all these great matters, Ephems’s meat and drink in the past year, I readily acknowledge that I could be wrong, and on some of them I hope I am.

So I wish a happy Christmas to those visitors to this site who are of a religious disposition and members of the appropriate sect, and jolly holidays to the rest: and to everyone, my best wishes for a much better year in almost every respect than 2009 has been.  It’s a relief to say goodbye to this low dishonest decade (no, I know 2010, not 2009, will officially be the end of the decade, but at least 2009 marks the end of the Noughties.  Good riddance to it!).

*AFK: Away from Keyboard (but you knew that really).


6 Responses

  1. Mary says:

    Happy Christmas to you – have a good break and many thanks for all your comments and advice/assistance


  2. barney says:

    Have a good un Brian.

    regards and thanks.

    barney the brit, (not that it matters) 

  3. J says:

    Happy Christmas Brian. Best wishes and look forward to your return to the blogosphere in ’10.

  4. John Miles says:

    Christmas Eve 2009 – ever so slightly non-standard!
    I’im an octogenarian who managed to fall over on the ice on the Friday before Christmas.

    My elbow swelled up a bit, so on the Tuesday I took it to the Edgware Hospital Walk-in Centre.
    They diagnosed a nasty break and sent me to Barnet A and E.
    Barnet told me that if they didn’t operate there was a risk of really serious damage to the tendons.
    So on Thursday, Christmas Eve, I was admitted (0730), operated on (c 1200) and allowed home (c 2300).
    I’ve lost count of the number of NHS people I had to do with, but they were all so friendly, cheerful and competent that I actually quite enjoyed my spell in hospital.
    Which is just as it should be.
    We read and hear so much about the selfishness, greed and arrogance of our MPs, bankers, bosses, unions, royals, religious leaders, sportsmen and so forth that you can hardly blame anyone for becoming bitterly cynical about the quality of our national life today.
    So it might be a good resolution for 2010 to remind ourselves from time to time that there are also quite a few pretty decent ordinary people out there who help make England, for all its faults, not too bad a country to live in and belong to.
    And a Happy New Year to all our readers!

    Brian writes: John, thank you so much for this courageous and heartening new year message. I couldn’t agree more with your conclusions about England. May your arm heal painlessly and soon, may the ice melt harmlessly before your feet, and may your comments continue to enliven Ephems through 2010 and way beyond.
    If you agree, I’d like to reproduce your message in a substantive post. Meanwhile I echo your cheerful new year greetings to all Ephems readers: may 2010 be a happier and more hopeful year than the one we gladly say goodbye to tonight.

  5. John O'Sullivan says:

    Brian, very belated best wishes to you for a happy and thought-provoking New Year. May your fingertips continue to flutter furiously!

    Despite my strong views on constitutional reform, on the two wars consuming vast tracts of my taxes and on the Blair geezer, I managed to send only one opinion. Several drafts lay fallow while I tried to check the facts behind my opinions, only to find that a subsequent subject you’d posted made my draft offering appear redundant. I think there’s a New Year Resolution bubbling beneath my keyboard.

  6. Andrew Milner says:

    I realise this is off-topic, but you really have to view this on YouTube: SELLING TORTURE TO AMERICA – THE MAD-MEN DID WELL
    US uniformed police using nun chuck, a kung fu weapon to deliberately break the arms of middle-class peaceful “right to life” protesters in the street. This is wrapping the chain round an arm and twisting until the arm breaks, and it all on film.
    Perhaps you can spread the word, even get this clip on the MSM.
    The US really needs to be boycotted.

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