This morning I was up, out and away early to visit my local tax office. The word ‘local’ is more of a received metaphor than a fact – it takes 40 minutes to drive there. As from January 6th, it’s moving to somewhere 50 minutes away, but this is only a temporary arrangement. After that – some time in 2020 – it’s moving to another place that is two and a half hours drive from here.
I went there because today is a working day, and the internet site promised they were open, so I followed that advice. They weren’t.
The tax I went to pay was €719 in 2015. Today it is €1488. I went in person not to talk to the fonctionnaires about that, but rather because so far (a) they have taken direct from my bank account €1360 (b) then sent me a letter saying there would be a supplement of €128 and then (c) sent me a bill for €1488. But the person in charge of updating the website’s opening hours forgot to do it.
Last week, a large UK financial institution sent me a letter by express mail saying that I had £00.00 in its Online Saver Account and this had attracted £00.00, which sort of follows. Six months ago they renewed a smart card, and sent it by express for me to sign. I don’t have a Savings Smart Card with them, so that doesn’t follow at all.
Now all of these events will have the AI (artificial intelligence) mob jess a-whoopin’ an’ a-hollerin’ for their product….except that AI is briefed by human intelligence. Human intelligence is not the same as logic, emotional intelligence and compassion, because most bureaucrats lack some of that, and pointyhead geeks lack all of it. Sadly, they are the people briefing the AI software into the robots.
So very soon, nothing will follow. Do you follow?
I was quite surprised to learn yesterday that Germany has formally recognised a third gender. This is because I still speak a sprained-to-fractured form of German, and it has always had three genders – der, die and dass – he, she and it.
But the move is to do with people not language: as from yesterday, Deutschland is once again über alles in that it now has three types of citizen – male, female and diverse.
In a previous series, The Third Reich also had three typologies of humanity: Aryanische, Untermenschen and Jüdische. It was like the Cleese and Two Ronnies sketch about social class, but with fewer laughs and more concentration camps. However, exceptional Nipponese people with yellow faces were designated honorary Aryans.
Most German ideas do not end well. This has been particularly true of the beloved Führerprinzip that gave us Hitler and Merkel – and equally of their open welcome to Islamic refugees, whom Berlin sees as the next generation of Gästarbeiter – whereas the citizenry has its doubts.
A German bloke who drove his van into a crowd of Muslims on Monday has been designated a ‘Xenophobic killer’ by the media. But an Islamic knife nutter who severely injured three Brits yesterday has been filed under ‘possibly terror related’. He was yelling “Allah Aqbar” – which could be a major clue to motive.
Migrancy (a form of behaviour now rapidly becoming a slightly more active form of vagrancy) is eyeing up Blighty as yet another land where welfare is readily available. Desperate infant asylum seekers unaccompanied by adults are heading for Britain in droves, and so our Home Secretary Avid Rabid has returned home from his safari jaunt holiday, and immediately ordered two HM Naval destroyers to take up positions in the Channel, because his enemies in the Tory Party forced him to do so.
He appeared to think that the ships were being deployed to stop criminals from smuggling rings into England. However, The Slog can exclusively reveal that the issue is the smuggling of discerning criminals, not rings.
Having realised that there were not always nice people involved in the issue, Belovid Jihavid said he doubted the motives of those unwilling to accept the first safe haven they found, and affirmed that the sending of warships to the area would send a strong message to those migrants who would, naturally, be processed in the normal way on arrival in Britain.
The discernment of these ne’erdowells is to be admired given that – just like those who rejected Greece, Hungary and Italy on their way towards Germany – they have not allowed their desperation to lower their aspiration. Having found France less than welcoming, they stoically plough (or sail) towards our Sceptred Isles.
Surely it is our duty to welcome shrewd folk with open arms. Our banking system, for example, will always have vacancies for those with such an obviously ambitious focus.
Do you follow?
That sort of gritty determination is what sets Theresa May apart from the general run of political leader, because she and she alone alone leads by following.
Our Prime Minister has been following EU leaders around from Pilau to Positano – from the yacht moorings of the Virgin Islands to the deregulated sands of the Bahamas – in an unstinting and unsparing pursuit of the unspeakable. Indeed, such has been her indefatigable prostration, NASA has decided to rename its Voyager Probe ComeWhatMay in recognition of her ability to find a lump of ice somewhere way beyond Pluto, and conclude that it is warming to her Chequers Plan.
Optimistic as ever, I present here the full text of her New Year’s message in the hope that somebody somewhere waiting for a pension, a bus, an operation, a Brexit, a direction or a star to fall might find inspiration in her avowed exculpation:
“My fellow Britannic Europeans, we must now come together and follow each other in order to turn the third sharp corner that lies ahead, leading directly back to where we were before my spineless predecessor asked The People what they wanted, and they gave the wrong answer. You followed your own personal thoughts, adding up to a risible majority. And where did that get us? Getting on for three years of chaos before reason prevailed.
“So now is the time to follow a leader who follows all the important leaders and ignores divisive extremists. Now is the time to Leave on a bold new journey with zero risk – and Remain in the safety of our port of departure, minus only the cargo and the Captain”.
The choice is yours, fellow citizens. Do you follow?