Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Respecting the will of the people. A bit of name-calling (self inflicted). And in praise of Manchester.

As I type this, the radio news is going on again (!) about voting on Brexit in parliament. Has anything else meaningful been discussed in parliament in the last few months, indeed, in the last few years? I am not sure I can stand much more of it.

Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC’s political editor and a person I find supremely irritating, has revealed that some hardline Brexiteers refer to themselves as “Grand Wizards”. This is a title used by the Ku Klux Klan since the 19th century. As the use of such nomenclature has been interpreted as a sign of casual racism on the part of Messrs Johnson, Gove and Rees-Mogg, to name a few, I am rather surprised that Ms Kuenssberg has made this public.

But then she did it by tweet rather than on television. Does this make a difference? Probably not as many people get most of their news from social media. (It’s amazing how much you pick up from Facebook, so if you also tweet and instagram and all the rest nonstop you must find out a lot of stuff. Not all of it necessarily correct though!) However, she also commented that the terminology was used “informally”, as if that makes a difference to the racism aspect.

Meanwhile 5.8 million people have signed a petition calling for the withdrawal of Article 50. This is a record-breaking petition. It will be debated in parliament but the government is apparently rejecting it, because you have to listen to the will of the people. Which can only be expressed once by all accounts.

“Revoking Article 50 would break the promises made by Government to the British people, disrespect the clear instruction from a democratic vote, and in turn, reduce confidence in our democracy.”

Because we all know that Government always keeps its promises and at present we all have such overwhelming confidence in our democracy!?

Donald Tusk, on the other hand, seems to think that the petition signatories and the million who marched through London on Saturday deserve a bitnof consideration.

The mind boggles! It well and truly does!

So, moving on to lighter matters, here is an item from The Manc, “the go to place to see everything that's new and coming up in Greater Manchester from the food to the people”:-


Whenever you tell someone you’re from this great city, especially when dealing with southerners, undoubtedly the first thing they mention is how wet Manchester is. “Oh yeah, Manchester is great but it rains so much. I could never live there”. Well, no it doesn't actually, and there’s research to back this up.

Rainfall figures going back 34 years have been analysed, and the results show that Manchester’s reputation as the wettest city is very much undeserved. Between 1981 and 2015 an average rainfall of 867mm fell on Manchester every year, placing it 15th in the league table of wettest cities in the UK.

It turns out Cardiff is the soggiest spot in Britain, with a massive average of 1152mm of rain soaking the city every year. Besides the Welsh capital, other cities like Glasgow (1124mm), Preston (1034mm) and Leeds (1024mm) were all proven to be far wetter than Manchester.

That there London is the driest city in the UK with a measly 557mm of rain each year, but when it costs £500 a pint and £7 billion for a tiny one bedroom flat in Peckham they can keep their dry weather. It’s much cheaper to just invest in a decent coat.

And even when you look at the number of rainy days per year, Manchester only comes joint 5th with Leeds and Bradford, clocking in 152 wet days annually.

They were beaten to the top spot by Glasgow (170), Newry (167), Belfast (156) and Preston (153) respectively. London only managed 109 days, the soft bastards. So the next time someone tries to tell you it’s too wet in Manchester, you can tell them where to stick their umbrella.”

 Clearly someone feels very strongly about this! Who knew that weather reports could stir up such deep emotion?

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