HONEY MCBEE’S MEDIA BUZZ: [ALMOST] THE LAST HURRAH

Since we last met it seems as though the world has turned upside down and inside out, so where to begin?  Here, in no particular order, is what we found interesting just this week…

 

AT HOME…

Follow that!:  For enlightenment on the Article 50 bill [the European Union (Notice of Withdrawal) Bill to be precise] that now begins its perilous journey through both houses of Parliament, constitutional anoraks kept awake by it all need look no further than this summary of its potentially bumpy ride by the BBC’s Mark D’Arcy.

More enlightenment from experts [this comes with a Gove warning] on the academic Conversation website yesterday; this time it’s the White Paper setting out the government’s Brexit plan. All you need to know that No.10’s prepared to tell you…

 

It’s Neverendum:  In the wake of Michael Fallon’s intervention, Brian Wilson – a former Labour cabinet minister, let’s not forget – pointed out one or two home truths about Indyref2 in Friday’s Scotsman.  On the other hand, Alex Massie in Thursday’s CAPX  says it’s now ‘inevitable’; torn between a dire economy and with one eye on a soft border with rUK, “the more often Sturgeon warns that another referendum is more likely than ever – and this is issued on a twice-weekly basis – the harder it is for her to keep a lid upon rising nationalist expectations”.

Iain Macwhirter in the Sunday Herald writes that both Fallon and the PM show scant respect for Scotland’s viewpoint – indeed,  the Brexit White Paper makes it clear that many of the powers coming back to the UK from Europe will not be passed on to Holyrood. Decision time, says Macwhirter, has to come before 2019, or Scotland will be locked in to the UK and out of Europe – we’re in the last chance saloon…

Codswallop? :  In the light of the White Paper and returning powers, Kent fishermen have expressed concern that post-Brexit the government will still sell them down the river.  Saturday’s Kent News revealed fears that CFP and quotas will stay, as well as the right of foreign boats to fish in UK waters. Doubtless our own Leave-voting trawlermen have the same worries…

Meanwhile, is Secretary of State Mundell going native? Should we worry about this Brexit chillax? We think we should be told…

 

AND AWAY…

Understanding Trump:  Yes, we know, but there’s a case to be made. Best perhaps to look at those around him, not least his very own eminence grise, chief strategist Steve Bannon.  Try this profile, from Martin Hannan in Saturday’s National, who reports Bannon as “detesting the republican establishment only slightly less than the Democrat’s leaders”.   Then there’s this from Friday’s Quartz DailyBannon’s political philosophy boils down to three things that a Western country, and America in particular, needs to be successful: Capitalism, nationalism, and “Judeo-Christian values.” These are all deeply related and essential”.  Bloomberg’s Timothy O’Brien says Trump’s advisers are on a hiding to nothing – he’s only ever going to listen to his family…

While we’re across the pond, Philip Perry on the Big Think website says the seven countries on Trump’s banned list (and lest we forget, also Obama’s) are not those we need to worry about most; how about banning all travel from Europe?    And in fact, as Margareta Pagano pointed out in Friday’s Reaction posting, Donald Trump has been flagging up his foreign policy for years – if anyone had bothered to listen…

A fascist monster?  John Daniel Davidson, in the Observer of all places, thinks not – During his first two weeks in office, whenever Trump has done something that leaves political and media elites aghast, his supporters cheer” – and in the same edition we find Mary Dejevsky’s defence of government by tweet – “is saying what you mean and meaning what you say really such a bad thing? Might there be merit to communicating unmediated, not just with your domestic public but with the world?”

 

OTHER STUFF…

Let them eat rocket:  As we face the disaster that is iceberg and courgette rationing – chin up, Britain! – Tim Worstall on CAPX says we need to go on sourcing our food from the rest of the world, or we face starvation.  Worstall points out that real famine comes when we rely on local food production and the harvest fails –Ireland a prime example. “The cure for hunger was being able to bring in food from elsewhere … food security isn’t created by growing food here. It’s created by having many sources of supply, spread across different locations and thus subject to different weather patterns”.

Who’s next? : So, farewell then Peter Capaldi.  Arch feminists – and in the Guardian, Mark Lawson of the BBC’s Front Row arts programme – have called for the next incarnation to be a woman.  Mark Smith in Friday’s Herald says No. No! It’s a long running joke that the Doctor should be a woman, says Smith, but it’s not a serious suggestion. Honest. Maren Thom in Friday’s Spiked agrees.  It’s dangerous box-ticking says Thom. The real problem lies in the content – like Sherlock and Bond, the edge is fast disappearing.

Inside the big blue and yellow:  Ever wondered as you wander round IKEA [own up, you know and we know you do] where they get all those hygge names you have to write down to remember before you go aisle-hunting?  Wonder no more. Anne Quito explains on the Quartz posting that there’s a “strict internal logic that offers a peek into Scandinavian culture”.  There’s even a dictionary of IKEA product manes. Fascinating stuff – especially those which turn out to be rather unfortunate…

 

AND FINALLY…

Pssst. Wanna make £130,000? :  Honestly, just when you think you’ve seen it all. You really couldn’t make this – somewhat ghoulish- tale up. We won’t spoil it for you. Read on…

 

As our editor reports, this column will soon be migrating elsewhere, so this is [probably!] Honey’s last buzz in weekly form.  But panic ye not – we’ll continue to bring you the best of the blogs, reviews and thoughts of Scotland’s finest minds in the cheap seats – all those media musings you might otherwise have missed in fact. Keep watching! See you soon…

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