19 December 2021: Omicron; Sweden; The ambitious Ms Truss; bloody emails; WAGs; & other stuff.

Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable
Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’


Fair comment?: It’s perfectly possible that Omicron is less dangerous than Delta to a person with prior immunity. But we can’t be sure yet. . . Obviously politicians will be reluctant to ruin another Christmas. But relying on boosters alone is a big risk, especially since no one but Johnson seems to think we can hit the target. More here  on this, under the title: Britain’s Booster Plan Won’t Work.

The UK: Richard North remains sceptical about the Omicron numbers, here. Forecasts, he says, are: Unfounded guesses, dressed up in the thinnest veneer of science.

Sweden: Note the difference here between the cases graph and the deaths graph – 7 day moving averages. Does it tell us anything significant? 

Cosas de España/Galiza

A fabulous find by Spanish researchers.

The UK  

Richard North: There’ll be very stiff resistance to another lockdown. The natives are restless and, if Johnson imposes one, he’ll be hugely unpopular with his supporters. He’ll need to manipulate or “spin” the data to give an immediate impression of success. If it doesn’t succeed, he’s unlikely to survive. Johnson knows he’s in trouble. He’s relying on a “Falklands effect” – a victory over the omicrons – to restore his fortunes. It is a last, desperate gamble, where he has become trapped in a Messiah complex, casting himself as the saviour of the nation. 

Ms Truss is an ambitious member of Johnson’s cabinet and a candidate for Johnson’s replacement next year. Having a while ago imitated Margaret Thatcher in a tank, here she is on her Xmas card doing a good impersonation of the queen. One wonders why:-

Not so long ago, no British politician would have been snapped with the national flag in the background. Brits never used to do flags. I blame Farage.

The Way of the World

One major downside if email is that it’s enabled companies to pester us for feedback on whatever it is we’ve bought from them. It’s relentless. Practically every time you order something online now, you get an email from the vendor, badgering you to “let us know what you thought”.  The appetite for customer feedback only seems to be growing ever more remorseless. Eventually everyone will be at it. And I do mean everyone. No sooner will your post have arrived than you’ll hear a knock at the front door. “Good morning, madam, I’m from the Royal Mail. I wonder if you could spare 5 minutes to let us know what you thought of our service this morning.”

It’s what I’ve called – in the Spanish context – playing at customer orientation – in a country where companies were/are not good at this. Ironically, if you sent a company an email not in response to one of theirs, the chances are you wouldn’t get a reply.


In case you didn’t read the Richard North article: WAG. Wild-arsed guess.

Finally  . . . 

Life in Oz . . . A venomous visitor interrupted the Queensland health minister’s press conference on Thursday.  She was giving  a coronavirus news briefing when she realised a large huntsman spider was crawling up her leg. Worse than Boris Johnson, I imagine.

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