We can no longer say ‘Here is the News’. The closest we can get is ‘Here is some news that appears to add up’

China appears to be suffering a massive coal shortage. It’s all part of “the energy thing” that I still find hard to follow, believe or get ahead of….but here are some oddities. China is by a factor of five times the biggest coal producer on the planet. That is (for them anyway) the end of the good news. Among the big boys, it also has the lowest level of coal reserves.

Guess which nation has the largest reserves….America. Guess which country has been dumped as a supplier after a dispute with China….Australia. Guess who took up the slack….America – having forced Beijing to cut tariffs on coal. In the first six months of 2021, US coal volumes headed for China increased ninefold period-on-period to 4.42 million metric tonnes in 2021.

Guess which country China now depends on most for coal….America

Guess which country in 2020 pressured Britain to dump Chinese giant Huawei as an internet infrastucture supplier…..America.

Guess which countries just signed a China-containment military pact….America, Britain and Australia (AUKUS).

Guess where the big cui bono is headed on this one?

From Day1 of the Slog’s foundation, this has been my view on the right diplomacy and trade policy for Britain:

A breaking story this morning in France is that the country’s biggest Pharma player Sanofi (also a close ally of Emmanuel Macron, and partnered with UK global giant GSK) has abandoned its own mRNA “messenger” vaccine in favour of what it calls “a more classic” style of formulation. We must all pray that what they really mean is something where the idea is to make you immune and noninfective rather than shedding germs before being dead somewhere along the road.

This could well represent a game-changer; at the very least, it’s one to watch.

A couple of updates on mandatory vaccination and prices in France. As far as the Boy King’s edict about treating the unvaxxed as lepers, I’ve now shopped in all the major hypermarket brands over the last two weeks; not one has asked me for a vax cert. My local bar/restaurant isn’t enforcing either masks or vaccination passes.

I’ve also been engaging in “stranger” conversations among unmarried men with no kids and women with children. This is the sort of habit that can get a person arrested, but so far so good. What’s very clear from these informal interviews is that, in France, the great majority of mothers are going to draw the line at kids, while younger men say they will flout any further Lockdown laws. With an election coming up next Spring, I can’t see Macrony Man trying anything silly.

I got an email from Butagaz this week strongly advising me to get gas delivered before November, as they think a massive price hike is “inevitable”. For once, I don’t think they’re flying a marketing kite here: avoiding energy inflation is going to become an obsessive consumer hobby throughout Europe.

As for general inflation, foodstuffs are without doubt 12-15% higher than they were a year ago. The official number is 1.08%, a figure so surreal it illustrates clearly the withering contempt the élite has for the average citizen’s ability to tell Dimanche from the Eiffel Tower.

In case you missed it….