Tuesday, September 6, 2022
The Ascension of Liz
I did a bit more research on the bird I saw killing a pigeon Sunday morning. I've decided it was probably either a peregrine falcon or a sparrowhawk. The RSPB has a list of similar raptors here and explains why those two are the most likely, given the urban environment where I saw it. Unfortunately I didn't pay attention to the color of its eyes, which would have helped clarify things, but my impression was that it had a piercing stare -- which would suggest the yellow eyes of a peregrine or sparrowhawk.
Now that we have that ironed out (sort of), let's talk about Liz Truss. Yes, we finally have a new prime minister, after weeks of lethargic campaigning and wrangling among the political classes. Boris Johnson has been dragging himself around like a bird with a broken wing for months now, so it's good to have someone new on deck, even if it's someone untested and not universally liked.
The weird thing about this selection process is how divorced it seemed from the British people. The selection of the prime minister is never done by popular vote -- rather it's done by party members, who tend to be older, whiter, male and wealthier than the vast majority of British society. British voters select the ruling party, and official party members (something like one percent of the population) then choose their leader. This time around, the campaigning seemed especially like inside baseball, at least to me. I never heard anyone on the street talk much about it or express a strong opinion. It seemed like the beating of a distant drum, taking place in, well, a foreign country.
I also don't have much of an opinion about Liz. She seems like a typical Tory, hating taxes and loving profit and shareholders. It makes me tired.
Jonathan Pie has some quite strong opinions about her, though. He's a fictional political correspondent played by comedian Tom Walker, and the New York Times has a video of him ranting about Truss and the state of Britain today. It would be funny if it also weren't true.
Yesterday I was walking to work and this guy was walking in front of me. Apologies for the crappy photo, because we were both in motion, but isn't that an ankle monitor on his left leg? I thought the whole point of those is that the wearer isn't supposed to leave the house. Maybe they can go to the store or out for essentials, or can be within a certain radius of home. I did not ask. Anyway, it's not something you see every day.
I took a second batch of the rescued slides to be scanned yesterday. So I'll probably have one more post of someone else's intriguing pictures. I know you can't wait! I uploaded all the scans I've had done so far to Flickr, so in the meantime you can check them out there. I'll add the new ones when I get them.
Dave and I watched a rather dreadful disaster movie called "Flood" on Amazon over the past two nights -- about London being inundated by storm surge during a hurricane-like tempest in the North Sea. The movie is about 15 years old, I think, and there was so much wrong with it that we found ourselves playing a sort of Statler and Waldorf role, mocking and grumbling from the sidelines. We had fun, but I'm not necessarily recommending it.