Just don’t mess up…


So tonight is the night…Star Trek: Picard launches in the States and we in the rest of the world get our first look tomorrow.   I have no idea what to expect but the one thing I ask is that they don’t fuck things up.   Now what exactly does that mean?   For me if they don’t try and make the whole thing too Next Generation and the Federation is great.   The suggestion is that this isn’t going to be that but rather more to the things have gone to crap in the once great Federation – all the better.

I have heard and read some of the many siren calls from the people who seem to think that they have a monopoly on what is good and not good Star Trek and I am sick to the back teeth of all that.  Yes they have the right to their opinion but it is one I don’t really agree with.  I have never had this almost religious relationship with Star Trek but rather I have enjoyed it for what it is – at its best great TV (just for context I have been watching Star Trek since the 1960’s .)  However, I am also aware that there have been some stinkers as well – for me the lowest point was Enterprise and the first season of Discovery – never got the whole Klingon thing until far too late and it put me off  the whole season but that is just my opinion and I don’t want for one moment to thrust that on to anyone else.

One final thing – if they are going to bring back then how about Garack or perhaps Quark or someone similar who at best tolerate the Federation and in the case of Garack are moral free assassins.

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The Crimson Permanent Assurance…


Walking around the City of London on Sunday I felt like I was walking through the set for the The Crimson Permanent Assurance short at the starting of the Meaning of Life.   All around me there were these tiny traditional buildings doing battle with the monsters of modern finance.   It is a few years now since I last walked the streets of the city and I have to say it has changed beyond all recognition – all around the old is being replaced by the towering new and this has all really happened since the financial crash of 2009/9 – I really don’t know what that is saying?

But it isn’t just the City where everything seems to be changing.  I started my day walking through the new Kings Cross.  At one time this was the haunt of prostitutes and low lifes but today it is the shiny new home of Facebook, Youtube and Google (you might argue that nothing has changed but I’ll leave that to your point of view!) .  Google are building their new groundscraper  a building that is as long as the Shard is tall which when finished will be bedecked with a large urban park on its roof.

The final part of the walking tour took me to Canary Wharf, London’s Manhattan on the Thames.   Strangely, the most impressive views are not the steel and glass totems but rather to look back towards the City and its transformation as old father Thames continues to flow to the sea.

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love HS2…

So the battle of Boris’s Big Brexit Bong  seems to be over as there is going to be a light show instead or something I think I’m not sure and I don’t care that much.

Today we find our intrepid PM caught in a political pincer of his own making – the early leaks suggest that High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) to Birmingham just about makes financial sense but beyond that the bean counters can’t seem to make the numbers add up.  Beyond Birmingham is ‘the North‘ and Boris made such a big thing about repaying the north for giving him a commanding majority in the House of Commons.   Now this is the first big test and what will Boris do?   My suspicion is that he will forge ahead because he loves big infrastructure project but I just don’t know.   However, should Dominic Cummings ever find my blog may I suggest three reasons to build HS2:  One short term; One medium term and One long term.

Short Term Reason – you kind of promised to spend big in the midlands and the north and you don’t much bigger than HS2 (If you discount Trident replacement or Hinkley Point nuclear power station)  Over the length of its development you are looking at around £100 billion which is not small beer but it is not being spent all at once and will continue significant investment in the midlands and north for at last the next 15 years;

Medium Term Reason – sometime over the next few years we are going to suffer some form of economic downturn.  This has nothing to do with Brexit, although that is unlikely to help matters in the short term, but rather the economic cycle and when it does hit ploughing billions into the most populated part of Britain will help stabilise any short falls – a very Keynesian approach;

Long Term Reason – we really need to get people out of their cars and planes and onto the electric powered train because it will reduce the amount of carbon we produce each year and help towards ameliorating the worst effects of global warming we are going to suffer over the next 50 years or so.   It will also make a great statement of intent to be carbon neutral as this should also free up extra capacity on the existing network for goods trains – thus removing many lorry journeys.

If none of these reasons don’t do it for Boris then think about this – if Boris doesn’t do it then this will revitalise the Labour party quicker than putting an hyphen between Long and Bailey.   “…Here is the  evidence that the Tories were lying to you all along…” they will say should Boris not build HS2 and HS2 is now Boris’s HS2 even though he had nothing to do with the project until he became PM.

Will any of this have an influence on anything.   Absolutely not but they should build HS2 anyway and all the way to Manchester and Leeds not just to Birmingham and then stop.

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Normal politics have resumed…Sort of…

So the great day is approaching when once more Britain will be free – celebrate one and all unless of course you want a Brexit Bong.   In the first Thick of It moment of the Johnson government we have seen the whole Whitehall machine trying to get the PM out of a mess of his own making.  It all started with what was supposed to be an easy breakfast TV interview which would allow Boris to issue forth on all sorts of things and not expect to get grilled too much on any of his responses and so it turned out to be.   Little did anyone know that the one question that would get Boris into hot water of sorts was the question of the bell known as Big Ben.   In response to a question about getting Big Ben to bong at 11pm to mark the UK’s exit from the EU Boris came up with a comic line about having a wipe round to pay for it.   Ho Ho everyone thought and quickly got on with the rest of their day.

Unfortunately for Boris the idea was jumped on by the Nutters (A Thick of It categorisation) and quickly £125k was raised and at which point No. 10 went into meltdown trying to kill the story – it failed to do so and only managed to add fuel to the synthetic rage.  In the end Boris Johnson had to come clean and kill the whole idea off because it was, well, preposterous as there currently is no clapper in Big Ben nor a floor underneath it either as the whole bell tower is being renovated.   The one saving grace was that the contenders for the Labour leadership weren’t drawn into the whole crazy nonsense although there is still time.

At times you just have to sit back and wonder at the preposterous lengths people will go to make themselves sound important and ridiculous at the same time.

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Website updated…


It has been long overdue but I have finally got around to updating my website…this time the theme is Autumn.   Click here to view.

I hope you find what you find interesting.

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Some of the People in my Life…

Allegedly these are the sister in laws from hell…one who one day will become Queen of England, Wales and Scotland (Oh and Canada as well).  The other?   Not sure what will happen to her or her husband.   Is life fair?   Hell no and I suspect should Prince Harry decide to retire/resign from being a ‘senior‘ member of the royal family then he is going to find that out very quickly indeed.  (Fairness in this case is a relative term).

Seven years separate these two paintings:  The Duchess of Cambridge was painted using Adobe Photoshop whilst the Duchess of Sussex was created using Procreate on an iPad.   Funny where life takes you.

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Oh dear God…


As I write this President Trump appears to be allowing himself to be talked away from the edge of what could have been a very nasty situation.   For all the service men and women who might have been caught up in any escalation as well as the people of the gulf let us hope this is the case…perhaps perhaps perhaps.



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