The Special Relationship Endures

Those Brits who needlessly fret about the strength of the Special Relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States of America can finally rest easy – for so powerful is the bond between our two countries that we now apparently share a common weather system.

The Daily Mail reports on the perfect storm now linking our great nations:


For so great is the rapport between our countries that it is now reflected in the heavens themselves.

And at a more human level, fans of the British actor Benedict Cumberbatch hoping to catch a glimpse of him at this evening’s BAFTA award ceremony in Covent Garden, London were left disappointed when our mutual storm stranded him at JFK airport in New York.

This bond is enduring.


The Storm Cone

A supplemental Music For The Day suggestion: “Look, The Storm Cone” from Act I of Benjamin Britten’s 1945 masterpiece, the opera Peter Grimes.

This music seems particularly apt given the severe weather which continues to batter much of the United Kingdom this week, leading to the first “red warning” of the winter from the Met Office.


As the villagers proclaim at the climax: O tide that waits for no man – spare our coasts!


Now the flood tide
And the sea-horses
Will gallop over
The eroded coast
Flooding, flooding
Our seasonal fears.
Look! The storm cone
The wind veers.
A high tide coming
Will eat the land
A tide no breakwaters can withstand.
Fasten your boats. The springtide’s here
With a gale behind.
Is there much to fear?
Only for the goods you’re rich in:
It won’t drown your conscience, it might flood your kitchen.
God has his ways which are not ours:
His high tide swallows up the shores.
And keep your wife upstairs.
O Tide that waits for no man
Spare our coasts!


Those within traveling distance of London may want to check out the English National Opera’s production of Peter Grimes, running until the 27th February.


Beware Hurricane Bachmann

The pressure group Climate Name Change has published an hilarious video on YouTube, imagining a world where the World Meteorological Organisation names extreme storms not after everyday, innocent people (thereby tarring their names by association with devastating natural disasters), but instead after some of the more intractable anti-science climate change deniers currently serving in the US Congress:


I must say, I do quite like the idea of a Hurricane Bachmann or a Tropical Storm Steve King:

“Senator Marco Rubio is expected to pound the eastern seaboard sometime early tonight”


“Now, Michele Bachmann is on the way folks, and specifically the eye of Michele Bachmann will be hitting Florida in a few hours”

This is not to say that I am totally intolerant of climate change skeptics. I can certainly appreciate the potentially distorting effects of groupthink in the scientific community, and at a stretch I can see how some of the data points, correlations and trajectories may have been exaggerated to better fit a pre-ordained narrative, intentionally or not.

What I have no time for, however, are the mouth-breathing troglodytes – serving Republican members of the U.S. Congress – who talk about dinosaur flatulence or a literal interpretation of the Bible’s account of Noah’s flood as a way of trying to discredit scientific evidence. All in the cause, they innocently protest, of “having a fair debate about the issues”.

Semi-Partisan Sam says “no” to all of that.

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Yes, even in these economically stagnant, rainy, sunless times, there are plenty – as The Commentator reminds us today.

Some of my favourites, together with my responses:

3.  Only people born before 1940 really know what ‘austerity’ means. Remember this, whining lefties, particularly students upset about paying for their university educations.

4.  You are perfectly entitled to ignore the weird bleating emanating from any Bishop. This includes the one with the eyebrows and silly beard.

11.  You have never experienced a food riot or a bread queue. Indeed. The daily chaos at the Tesco Express does not count.

14.  There’s been a little tinkering but you still have freedom of expression. Hmm. As long as you don’t “use insulting or threatening language”.

17.  Gordon Brown is nowhere near the country’s finances. THANK THE LORD.

20.  David Cameron hasn’t left anything in the pub for a while. As long as Britain’s nuclear codes are not sitting abandoned underneath an empty seat at Wimbledon Centre Court we should be okay.

23.  The Royal Marines are on our side. And so are the Paras. And if they weren’t, I would change sides pretty quick-smart. I would not bet against those people.

See the link for the full list.

So there we have it – our Prime Minister may have lost his political radar leading to the horrifying spectacle of Labour economic policies once again being given credence, and the sun may not have made an appearance in weeks, but things could be much, much worse. And that they are not, let us all give thanks.