rashbre central: September 2020

Wednesday 30 September 2020


No surprises in the undignified debate of the swamp slinger and his contender. 

Trumpy opened his box of tricks and threw everything at Biden. 

PT Barnum-ready television-prepared Trump has done his funders proud. They have explained to him that if he loses he will suddenly have all kinds of lawyers and tax people crawling over his actions. They'll find out whether there's any corrupt family business among the expensive haircuts and a potentially massive debt. 

Maybe the Russians will help him out with some loans? But that assumes that there is a discernable result from the election. 

Doorstepped voters in white well-heeled suburbs still seem enthusiastic about The Donald. Possibly a case of 'don't confuse us with the facts?' 

Trump's street brawler and over-talker tactics were good for television, and commentators could watch the car crash debate and find endless hooks to discuss. Glitchy Max Headroom vs Coco. Like my picture.

 Trump will have already goldfished his way into a new scene and claim that the tv-show was a rout against Biden. The video is about Superpowers but somehow feels closer.

Saturday 26 September 2020

Topsham Museum Virtual Tour flight testing

I suppose it had to happen. Little autonomous flying cameras. I had a similar device in a novel, called The Circle, where military could sprinkle small devices over an area for monitoring. It was based upon real technology, but now that Amazon has done it, it will become commoditised in the way that Gilette did for the RFID. I recollect that RFID was partly sold to stores on anti-theft grounds, but Gillettes procurment slashed the cost of individual RFID chips. 

Anyway, we played around with a drone a few weeks ago to build the lock-down virtual reality version of our Topsham Museum. 

Something I noticed was that the average drone has also scaled down, albeit still with good wind stability, even over the sometimes blowy River Exe. And yes, we did have a licence. 

I've just about finished loading the VR hotspots into the journey, so it will soon be possible to visit the museum in the daze of lockdown. 

Enjoy the (beta test) visit: Topsham Museum

Thursday 24 September 2020

bendy banana bozza

'Canva' we both agreed, when we looked at Rishi Sunak's tweets. 

Nicely made personal branding for the man who will replace Boris. Except, like with Theresa May, it isn't the right time. 

The Tories are a successful electoral force because their ruthlessness exceeds their sentimentality. They know how to cling to power. When there is something troublesome, then it is a good time to have selected a fall-guy, before deploying someone who might show some promise. 

That is why the lazy, unprincipled, incompetent, charlatan buffoon will continue to run. He's the unwitting panic button, selected to cover-up Brexit and accidentally plunged into the out-of-control Covid situation. 

The ruthless Tories will keep Bojo in place until the worst is over. Pandemics, lock-downs, U-turns, lack of control, out of control, lorry parks, economic melt-down, high unemployment, hypocrisy, faux-piety,  law-breaking, evil henchmen, sleazy lurkers, massive governmental debts, reprivatisations, collapsing Briish companies. 

Nice one, Bozza. And nice-one Tory party for setting up the fist-waver to distract us. Of course, if the clown can sneak in the Free Trade Zones and Casino Banking, then he'll please at least a few sleazers.
Manwhile, Richi has to tap dance around the economy. New bail outs for those without work, subsidies to companies.  No budget to bring back control. At least the National Office of Statistics will have something to say in November.

Government borrowing in the current financial year is already projected to reach at least £300billion. Debt levels have reached £2 trillion, which is the equivalent of a whole year of pre-Covid national output. 

The new-estimated £35 billion spent on furlough scheme seems like quite a bargain, except that it will all end abruptly without a new taper deal. 

Stop Press: That's what he has just announced. 33% work = 77% pay (if employers pay 55% of the pay - ie a taper deal)

A tweak to the scheme to put people back to work part time, paid by their employers is a way to sift out the real workers in the scheme and would create some velocity of circulation of money too. Rishi might just stand out as a true innovator in a Cabinet of imbiciles.

Monday 21 September 2020

COVID Red and Blue Zones

I thought I'd take a look at the charts of the COVID coverage. 

The first statistically generated one I looked at was quite revelatory. It showed areas of the UK where the COVID was increasing, but also areas where it was decreasing. 

Cornwall gets red but with only 13 cases per 100k, compared with the Rhondda Valley showing 111 cases per 100k or Northumberland with 56 cases per 100k. I live in Devon, which shows 4 cases per 100k. 

Randomly, I've used red for the increases and blue for the decreases. 

It paints a startling picture, with the north mainly red and the south mainly blue. 

I decided to zoom in on London, to see the worst areas. One of my old stomping grounds of Redbridge popped up as a hot-spot with 34 cases per 100k, but it was next to Essex which ran at 10 per 100k. Another home ground of Kensington and Chelse ais running at 13 per 100k. The City does not publish a number.

It rather begs the question about which figures the government is using to create the latest circuit breaker strategy?

Sunday 20 September 2020

cake and eat it

I've been looking at the current economic situation and wondering how Bojo will blamelessly jump free before he is replaced next year. 

I suspect there will need to be some kind of emergency budget. 

It can be along the lines of 'we are all in this together' and Rishi Sumak can play around with three main taxation areas comprising Income Tax, VAT and National Insurance. 

The first two of these items could raise around £5.5 billion (tax) and £5.2 bn (VAT) with a 1% point rise. 

NI is more headachey and raises only about half as much. 

A total of 7.5 million people are on furlough, with staff from more than 900,000 businesses off work as the Treasury paid 80pc of their salary up to £2,500 a month under the Job Retention Scheme. It is now reduced but meant that furlough cost around £14bn per month at the start - which reduces as the employer is supposed to take more of the burden. 

So here's how things could work. Rishi could add 1% across the board to taxes "we are all in it together" and make Basic rate 21%, intermediate 22%, then 41% and 46%. 

People would moan but a 1% increase is difficult to get too hot under the collar about. 

That taxation would boost the incoming tax by £5.5 billion. Then Rishi has to decide whether that is enough - it runs at something like: 

1% Income tax = £5.5bn 
2% Income tax = £11 bn 

As it goes to 2% or 3% it would get harder to defend, and Rishi will no doubt be pulling the chain for the Bank of England to flush some new printed easily (quantitative easing) money through the system. 

Rishi could add something to VAT, maybe a 1% increase to 21% (which yields around £5.2 billion). 

Together the two schemes would yield almost $11 billion, which pays for the furloughed workers but perhaps with a longer and more gentle tapering off, to encourage replacement jobs seeking? 

I'm not saying that I agree with these moves, but they are the only ones likely to fix the current situation.

And of course, it doesn't do anything to remedy the £2 Trillion of debt presided over by Controlmeister Boris. It is a weird way to demonstrate taking back control.  

If the UK was a computer, Bojo would have 'paged out' the entire operating system and caused it to crash. Oh, wait a minute...

Of course, Boris will want a tax rise now and then a tax cut before the next election. Typical cake and eat it stuff.

pictures in the sky

I've travelled around since lockdown was derestricted. A few observations:

  • Boarding a train when half the people on the platform were not wearing masks. 
  • Another train where everyone followed the rules.
  • Seeing a number 57 bus with one passenger
  • Almost forgetting to wear a mask to go into a petrol station
  • Hardly ever re-fuelling the car
  • Waiting for streams of WAH* golfers to cross at that usually quiet pedestrian crossing
  • Passing my empty ex-commuter car-park at 15:20 when it would normally have 500+ cars
  • Driving along an empty M25
  • Seeing the warning signs for the Channel Ferries saying lorries can't cross because of capacity limits
  • Seeing the warning signs for Operation stack (where they use the M20 as a lorry park)
  • Travelling outside on the deck of a ferry (like most passengers) without wearing a mask
  • Using the self-managed quick scan in bars to show attendance for tracks and trace.
  • Getting used to quickly assessing a bar's capability to handle social distancing (1=token, 4=reliable)
  • Being overwhelmed by the number of instruction messages outside a hotel's reception
  • Being surprised at the variety of different schemes used by restaurants to implement their opening policies.
  • Being surprised by several times qualifying for the 'eat-out' rebates of £10 per person.
  • Seeing no pedestrians around the shopping centre.
  • Watching sports fans crowd around a football ground, not wearing masks.
  • Mainly empty beaches, or at least socially distanced beaches
  • Watching a socially distanced open-air theatre show
  • Being turned away from National Trust for not booking
  • Being able to get into Tate without prior booking (thank you!)
  • Mostly conducting regular get-togethers via Zoom
  • Discussing the mise-en-scène of Zoom setups
  • Discussing getting one of those Dan Dare face plexi-shields
  • Deciding that it ain't normal.

*WAH - Outlook abbreviation for Working At Home

Tuesday 15 September 2020

Edge, Edge Blue and Edge Red

Now I am getting ahead of myself with this locked-down novel-writing lark. 

A friend commented that the Edge Book could do with a sequel, and so I've decided to produce two. Not in the sense of a conventional trilogy, but instead producing two different outcomes dependent upon an action in the first (written) novel, Edge.

I've looked at the Ed Adams novels release schedule and I'm up to 1 December 2020, so I guess I'll have some time to produce these two new novels, maybe one in January and the other in February. I'm thinking about something like 6th Jan and 28th Feb.

I've decided to try producing a concept package for each novel too:

So here's Edge Blue. And Edge Red.

I made the two earth images using photo overlays from burnt frying pans.

Now it is JASMOS - Just A Small Matter Of Storytelling.

Tuesday 8 September 2020

credits remaining = 0;

Now the clown wants to go back on the Brexit deal struck last year. It's the one he struck and praised as “oven-ready” in December’s election, which saw him win a landslide victory. 

Sir Jonathan Jones, the Treasury solicitor and permanent secretary of the Government Legal Department, has reportedly quit his post in fury over the government’s plans. 

Bodger doiesn't care. It's handy that it is the permanent civil servants that are falling instead of his hapless so-called leadership.

It'll make a good book and TV-show one day.

Monday 7 September 2020

renege renege

I know, jolly japes, let's renege on our original decision to remove the Customs border with Ireland. 

We can use the theatrics of it all to annoy that Mr Barnier too, so much that we can blame him for when we decide to smash out of the EU instead of negotiating a deal. We'll have to keep it from Parliament, use the wife of Slippy Teflon to leak it to the press "*What they don't know won't kill them." It has always been the plan, after all.

It'll be a whole lot easier to crash out and means that the appalling homework by David Davis and the other ugly ducklings will never see the light of day. 

Now we'll need a few useful charlatastic phrases for whilst we are turning the UK into a banking casino and tax haven for the privileged. Let's see now, FreePorts - that rings a bell. We can spread them around - Liverpool, Bristol, somewhere near Sunderland, and maybe a couple near Boris Island where we were going to put that original third runway. 

We can say we have levelled up, and that the red wall is now the blue wall. Something trite about fishing limits too. I'll get the new Party Bingo cards printed.

Some of my chums might have to extend their pockets to take all the money this could generate, but I think our Leader of the House of Commons probably knows a few long-winded and arcane wheezes to squirrel the money away, probably off-shore, come to think of it.

Still, I'm out of it in six months and The Dom will have to find a new covert threat.  Once I've a safe place in history, I'll hand the whole shebang to Rishi. He'll know how to print past the £2 Trillion of government debt. 

Forget doubles all round, it's not even triples, oh no, quads all around. "*Quad nesciunt eos non interficiet," as Rollo Biffkins used to say.

Sunday 6 September 2020


Okay, I'll admit it. I do, now, enjoy living close to the sea.

Thursday 3 September 2020