Friday 15 May 2020

Led by donkeys ... Covid19 exposes the truth about incompetent leadership

For the last four years I have been trying to work out how and why Donald Trump was elected President of the United States and why Boris A.B de P. Johnson  persuaded more than half of voters that we should leave the  EU and that they should elect him as Prime Minister of the UK.  For four years I've been trying to discover how any rational intelligent voter could support either of these people? I've decided that voters don't make entirely rational decisions.

Led by donkeys
Today I was reminded of a famous officer promotion reference written  by a commanding officer for a junior........ "Men will follow this officer anywhere; out of a sense of morbid curiosity".

Like the soldiers in the reference voters aren't entirely rational, they want to believe the optimistic stories they are told, from half truths to downright lies and even knowledge of a potential leader's mendacity, incompetence and indolence doesn't put them off.

George Packer, in The Atlantic, explains how the Covid19 virus  has manged to exploit chronic underlying conditions;" political corruption, a sclerotic bureaucracy and heartless economy "and to show up the USA as a,"failed state". Every American concerned about the future of USA should read it, Trump is not going to make America great again.
We are living in a failed state, George Packer.

Andy Beckett in, The Guardian , explains how today in the UK we have the highest Corona-virus death rate in Europe exposing a similar range of fault lines in Britain and why exaggerated  wilful optimism of the snake oil salesman is about to collide with reality. Johnson is just not up to the job of governing the country ; his complacency, misplaced sense of his own exceptionalism, old Etonian privilege and lack of attention to detail has been exposed by the pandemic.  At least those who voted for him are having their sense of morbid curiosity satisfied.
Vote winning optimism and half truths are about to collide with reality, Andy Beckett

Tuesday 12 May 2020

Lock down week 7; at last the adults are in charge...

On Saturday Tobermory was still and quiet; we were still keeping our distance there were no visitors, no cruise ships, I had the ferry, "Loch Tarbert" to myself again and the inshore fishing boats were tied up in harbour. The economy is in stasis but we are all trying to stay safe.

Back in February The UK government bumbled along complacently despite what was happening in the rest of the World and warnings from health experts here, rather like the Trump administration in the US. We lost the initiative by acting too late.

We are now in week 7 of "lock down" and  have the highest Covid19 death rate in Europe, over 40,000. The government is keen to open up the economy  to get people back to work and on Sunday 10th May the UK Prime Minister (Boris Alexander de Pefeffel Johnson) presented us with a road map showing how  his government would deal with the next phase and open up the economy. I don't think any of us are any wiser or safer.

Inshore fishing boats tied up in harbour
Johnson's prescription could be seen as an attempt to shift responsibility from his government on to us as individuals by exhorting us to, "Be alert" what ever that means in this situation.

Meanwhile... nurses and doctors still don't have the personal protective equipment they need and we don't seem to have an effective testing and tracing system.

In Scotland our devolved government has it's own policy....... no change, we stay at home and only essential workers go to work. There are some adults in charge at last!

The first priority of any government has to be the safety and health of it's citizens ( subjects in our case) the economy although vitally important has to take second place. Unlike in the USA where the Trump administration with the pandemic not yet under control and heading for over 100,000 deaths seems to favour the economy over it's citizens safety. Trump isn't alone in passing the buck;  it also looks as if Vladimir Putin is shuffling off responsibility for Russia's Covid19 problems on to the country's regional governors.

Wednesday 6 May 2020

Did you enjoy your Dinosaur eggs for breakfast?

First find a mouse
Hens (chickens in the USA) are highly intelligent, they can negotiate complex mazes in return for rewards, they learn quickly, for example they expect me to be out there in the late afternoon to feed them some grain and as soon as they see me around that time they come running like cartoon chickens.

Genetically hens are highly diverse, visit a local poultry show and you will see 30 or 40 different breeds because of there dinosaur ancestry.

Research shows that my hens are evolved from and are the most closely related to ancient feathered dinosaurs. They have more microchromosomes  and a more diverse genome than  any other bird species, just like the feathered dinosaurs.

This morning I watched what looked like a small bit of dinosaur behaviour; a hen swallowing a mouse whole. Luckily I had my camera phone with me and my birds are extremely tame. Poultry will eat almost anything they find palatable, whole grain, insects, earthworms, grass and this morning mice.

Then swallow it whole- headfirst of course

If you enjoyed an egg for breakfast this morning that was laid by free range hens perhaps it was mouse in the hen's diet that made it taste so good.

This mouse was supplied by Mimi the cat she leaves them outside (most of the time) as gifts for me.