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By Pete Moore On September 20th, 2019 at 6:26 pm

Welsh rugby fans travelling to Japan for the World Cup have been urged to cover up tattoos to avoid offending some of their hosts.

Hundreds of supporters are heading to the country ahead of Wales’ opening game of the tournament on Monday.

Tattoos have long been associated by some in Japan with yakuza crime syndicates, and tattooed tourists could be barred from communal hot springs.

Fans are also being asked to wear shirts when using gyms or pools.

Have the Japs been told to expect a load of gym bunnies? These are rugby fans. Hot springs, gyms and pools will rank far below beer, food and rugby on the to-do list. Just organise those and everyone will be happy. But we learn that tattoos are a thing in Japan, and a bad thing at that. I don’t mind a bit of ink, but it’s their country and their society so they make the rules.

And don’t worry about the Welsh. They won’t be there long.

Friday LEO Recap

By Patrick Van Roy On September 20th, 2019 at 2:06 pm


By Pete Moore On September 19th, 2019 at 7:15 pm

Can anyone beat England?

One more sleep ’till the Rugby World Cup starts. NB: since Japan is hosting it, and matches are kicking off in the mornings UK time, I will be spending my evenings catching up. With the caveat that I am a hopeless predictor of any sporting event, this is how I see it.

Only New Zealand, Seff Efrica and England can win it. With Wales, Ireland and France there are six teams that can beat each other on any day, but the Rugby World Cup is attritional. The two finalists will have to play 7 games in the end and injuries are a certainty. So while Wales, Ireland and France can and might claim big scalps, only New Zealand, Seff Efrica and England have the strength in depth right through their squads to cope.

New Zealand are favourites, partly on reputation. They’ve been vulnerable this year but they’ll be there at the end. The Saffers have been increasingly impressive since they ditched a selection policy which made them a laughing stock. The result is an awesomely powerful pack and a lighting quick backline. Handre Pollard is their one decent fly half. If he gets crocked they’re in trouble. England also have an incredibly powerful pack, which they intend to use like a threshing machine against anything in its path. Our weakness is that quite a few of our players are rather spikey and can lose their minds. World Rugby wants a clean tournament and referees are under instruction to get the cards out.

So that’s my prediction, one of New Zealand, South Africa or England. Beyond that, I have no idea.


By Pete Moore On September 19th, 2019 at 6:53 pm

Let’s unpick this.

MPs in Austria have dealt a blow to the EU’s landmark trade deal with South America’s economic bloc, by demanding a government veto on the deal.

The draft free trade agreement took 20 years to complete and the EU has described it as its biggest so far […]

Without backing from every government in the EU, the Mercosur deal cannot go through.

Jörg Leichtfried of the centre-left SPÖ hailed the decision as a “great success for consumers, the environment and animal welfare as well as human rights”, warning that it would have been bad for climate protection and labour rights in South America.

So a trade deal, 20 years in the making, which would have made us richer by abolishing a lot of the EU’s protectionist tariffs, gets blocked by a bunch of Austrian communists. Of course Irish farmers, who benefit from such restrictions on Argie longhorn, are against it also.

Why should the opinion of Austrian communists and Irish farmers affect the prices that we in the UK pay? Because that’s how the EU works, and that’s why it’s backward, dysfunctional and sinking.

We’ll note also that an EU trade deal isn’t only about trade. You can have a trade deal only if you fall into line on so-called worker’s rights, human rights environmental laws and something called “climate protection”. You can have a trade deal only if you become an offshore haven for every backward idea imposed on everyone in the EU too.

That is not a trade deal. That is EU imperialism.


By Pete Moore On September 19th, 2019 at 6:41 pm

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s total planned coal-fired power projects now stand at 226.2 gigawatts (GW), the highest in the world and more than twice the amount of new capacity on the books in India, according to data published by environmental groups on Thursday.

Sounds like a lot, and that’s just what China has planned. But how much is 226 gigawatts? What’s a comparison?

The new China projects would be more than Germany’s existing installed power capacity of around 200 GW by the end of 2018.

Ohh that much. Yeah, your little green recycling bin is really going to make up for that.


By Pete Moore On September 19th, 2019 at 6:30 pm

“Mammy …”

A new video has emerged of Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, wearing blackface, a day after he admitted such behaviour was racist.

He apologised on Wednesday after photos of two similar episodes – one when he was a teacher and another a student – came to light.

His Liberal Party says the video is genuine and dates from the early 1990s.

The revelations come amid campaigning for the 21 October election, when Mr Trudeau hopes to win a second term.

I am shocked to my core at this bombshell news. Shaking with fear too, like all of you. I’m so shaken that I dropped my fair trade soy latte when I heard that Justin Trudeau is a neanderthal knuckle dragger. Everyone’s affected by this. I know because everyone who’s been calling Boris Johnson a racist is suddenly quiet. They’ve been struck dumb!

I know that Canadians will do the decent thing and rid the public sphere of this foul man.

California leads the way…… God Help Us

By Patrick Van Roy On September 19th, 2019 at 3:16 pm

Sunrise, Sunset

By Mahons On September 19th, 2019 at 12:34 am

The news out of Israel doesn’t seem too good for Bibi Netanyahu. He seems to have not secured the votes he needs to continue in power. Likud may ultimately form a unity government, but the condition of the opposition will likely be that Netanyahu is out.

His criminal problems, messianic complex (please, a Jewish Messiah is a been there done that thing), ethnic baiting and shameless scare mongering and shady politics likely combined to drive the result. Dont get your hopes up for peace, his center-left rival is nearly identical in his positions. But, as the man said, its a start.


By Pete Moore On September 18th, 2019 at 7:10 pm

I’m sure this country will go bust if my alarms all fail on the same morning. It’s been a long day, things to do, dinner to make etc … and then I’m going to bed.

So have yourselves an Open Thread then, one decorated with a bit of Wiltshire as seen by Eric Ravilious. Normal service will soon be resumed.

Tell us what you know –

Something Special is coming…… in the mean time

By Patrick Van Roy On September 17th, 2019 at 11:44 pm