The Darkest Hour by Barbara Erskine

I have just today (Tuesday, 19 Sep 2017) experienced an extraordinary  coincidence.

While sitting in a garden centre car park waiting for my wife, who was shopping, I passed the time reading on my kindle the first few chapters of the book in the title.

On arriving home later I picked up my copy of The Telegraph and as often happens a single page fell out. It happened to be the obituaries page and I spotted that of a 99 year-old RAF Squadron Leader, who had been a spitfire fighter pilot in the Battle of Britain, by the name of Nigel Rose.

In the chapter I had almost literally just read, one of the two ‘heroines’ of the book had just met a newly arrived Pilot Officer at RAF West Hampnett, one of a Tangmere centred group of wartime airfields heavily involved in the Battle of Britain.

I read the obituary with increasing disbelief as it described almost exactly that very arrival at West Hampnett of a fresh spitfire squadron from Scotland in the aftermath of a day’s deadly duelling in the skies over Kent and Sussex .

I have just discovered that Nigel Rose was in fact Barbara Erskine’s much-admired and much-loved father, so it’s not surprising – indeed it’s admirable – that she should use his dashing life as a model for one of her characters, but I didn’t know that at the time.

Now, as an ex-serviceman myself, I do make a habit of reading service obituaries when I spot them but not always. That I should have read this particular one on the very day I started to get into Barbara Erskine’s book does strike me as a really spooky coincidence.

We Got what We Deserved!

So there we have it! Stuck with a hung parliament, because of the unaffordable promises of a Trotskyist Communist, who could not possibly be given security clearance for any job in the civil or armed services, because of his political beliefs – a man who has supported every anti-British terrorist group that has operated against the interests of civilised people, since he entered parliament.

And why?

First, because of a Tory campaign that seemed to be designed about a death wish. An election not so much lost as thrown away!

Second, because we allow immature people, who are totally unfit to make judgments on what is and is not good for the country to vote – people who are happy to sell the country down the river for the sake of their own short-term interests: i.e. students who don’t want to pay for their own tertiary education; people who have saved all their working lives and acquired a nest egg to pay for their own care in later life, only to change their minds and decide they would rather hand their savings over to their families after they’ve gone and let the taxpayers pay for their care in old age; people who want to hang on to relatively small free handouts from government – i.e: winter fuel allowance, free TV licences etc – even when they are well off enough to pass such amounts straight through to the charity of their choice – actually mostly passed on to grandchildren to be squandered on holidays in the sun!

Now the pundits are telling us that we’ll have to go on bended knee to the EU to get any agreement on Brexit.

Sorry folks! We don’t want any agreement with the EU that involves anything but their total capitulation to us to give them access to our market, without punitive import taxes in response to their expected attitude towards us. The OECD reckons we can reach a deal quite amicably with other markets without any need for huge re-negotiations of EU treaties. Go for it, I say.

We must take up the EU challenge and say we’re ready to meet on Monday – then when they start chortling and making ridiculous demands, get up and walk out, with the throwaway remark: “Don’t call us, we’ll call you – and don’t hold your breath!”

Holidays over

That curry lunch was great and we came away with:

1.  a raffle prize – a potted plant

2. a delightful original sketch by a professional artist of a white cairn terrier rolling on its back

3. The promise of a print in our holiday cottage we’ve always admired, but had been removed on advice of Country Cottages. Their loss, our gain!


ABF Curry Lunch

Looking forward v. much to a curry lunch with friends Andy and Diana Anderson at Higher Cartha Martha in Rezare, Cornwall. Some thirty guests invited including the Lord Lieutenant – just as well I brought a jacket and tie!

No Way to Negotiate

“When you make a moderate proposal, they will react with blank stares and look at you as if you were reciting the Swedish National Anthem.” So says Yanis Varoufakis the former Greek finance minister of negotiating with the EU. His advice to Theresa May is simple: don’t. If you make any concession to them you will finish up surrendering and conceding victory.

Now, the Greeks went into negotiations in a position of extreme weakness – they were broke and had suffered under years of economic illiteracy. GB Ltd enters negotiations in a position of strength. We no longer want membership of a club that is corrupt, whose books have not been signed off in an audit since it was founded and whose founders admitted that the principles of democracy must be denied to its electorate in case they decided they’d rather retain control of their own national governments.

Let’s hope TM follows this timely advice IF she wins the election with an increased majority. My advice is that in any negotiation you must be prepared to walk out, if the other side is simply not listening. Every indication is that they’re not and we haven’t even begun negotiations!