24 September 2019

Utter humiliation for Boris Johnson

I tuned in for the tail end of the Supreme Court judgement. While I'm not in favour of having criminal trials broadcast on television, these appeal court judgements are something that I am perfectly fine with.

And, wow, it was damning for Boris Johnson. The summary and the full judgement available on online make clear that the 11 justices view a five-week prorogation as unjustified just to create a new Queen's Speech... as well as unlawful. To quote:

61. It is impossible for us to conclude, on the evidence which has been put before us, that there was any reason - let alone a good reason - to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament for five weeks, from 9th or 12th September until 14th October. We cannot speculate, in the absence of further evidence, upon what such reasons might have been. It follows that the decision was unlawful. 

The prorogation is null and void - the 2017-19 session is back on from tomorrow at 11.30am - and this crazy process has yet more twists and turns.

If Boris Johnson had any morals, he'd resign over this. I guess we'll have to kick him out via a Vote of No Confidence instead though...

21 September 2019

A Bad Day to Wear Red (Review: 'Star Trek' 2.13, "Obsession")

While collecting samples of a very hard element, Kirk's landing party is attacked by a killer cloud. A cloud that Kirk has seen before. He's determined to hunt this thing down, because this time, it's personal...

This is a very bad episode for fans of red shirts. No less than five are killed during the process of the story, none of them in particularly pleasant manner. Another, the main guest star, has a major attack of survivor's guilt and also tries to Kirk Fu Kirk, which could have gone a lot worse than it did.

Survivor's guilt is a big theme in this episode, although not named as such. It had only recently been identified - and would later become combined into the broader diagnosis of PTSD - initially among Holocaust survivors. I'd imagine there were a lot of cases of it - especially among survivors of an attack that killed a large number of their comrades - but this was one area of PTSD that hadn't been identified at the time of the war; battle fatigue (aka "shellshock") was something that had been dealt with a lot better then.

Kirk's survivor's guilt is prominent in this episode, manifesting itself in an obsession to go after the creature at the cost of a time-sensitive medical mission. William Shatner may have a reputation of being a massive scenery chewer, but here he plays it fairly restrained, his anger and determination clearer to see without throwing something at a vent that jams it open, unlike Stephen Brooks' one-shot Ensign Garrovick.

This is a strong episode for everyone except Uhura, who doesn't have that much to do and Sulu, who isn't in it. Spock demonstrates that Vulcan logic isn't perhaps the best thing to deploy in a counselling role.

As a final note, the version on Netflix is the original broadcast version, not the remastered one, which makes an interesting viewing. Mind you, the dated effects don't really detract that much.


An excellent episode, helped by Shatner playing it pretty restrained and with a strong overall story. It's very much a hidden gem and deserves wider recommendation.


09 September 2019

A massive week in British politics

The week I pick to go on holiday to the Isle of Man... and British politics goes even crazier than it has been lately.

Boris Johnson's majority was eliminated, pretty much through his own actions. He should have never made the Benn act vote a confidence matter, but he doesn't seem to be getting very good advice lately. Now, with Parliament prorogued until 14 October, he faces the prospect of being forced to ask the EU for another extension unless he gets some new deal by then, which isn't very likely.

So, what next? Possibly more MPs standing down; maybe even further defections from the Conservative Party.

I think we are likely to have a November General Election - whether it is during a No Deal scenario or after another extension, it will be very bad for the Tories.

We might just get Prime Minister Corbyn...