Recent Politics, and why I am fed up.

Note:  Much of the background information is for foreign readers, who have no idea what is going on in Britain…

With the ongoing chaos that revolves around “Brexit” (a term that I believe trivialises the actuality), my thoughts are that it might be a “Good Thing” if the British parliament could endeavour to adopt the system of many other European countries: that of collaborative coalition between parties. Instead we have two large parties and several smaller ones that will engage in limited coalition to achieve a specific target, but are mainly deeply entrenched in their own policies.

In the UK we historically had two parties: the Whigs and the Tories. They evolved in the 20th century into the Liberals vs the Conservatives (still nick-named the Tories). Then the Labour Party emerged, representing the working class. Eventually the labour and Conservative parties became the main protagonists, with the Liberals sidelined.

Early in my “eligible to vote” timeline, the Liberals combined with some disgruntled members of (mainly) the Labour party to form the Liberal Democrats. Later smaller parties such as Plaid Cymru (Welsh nationalists), the Scottish National Party and the Green Party began to emerge.

In the 1970s the UK population was unusually allowed (instigated by the Conservatives) a referendum and voted to join the European Economic Community (EEC). Since then, through various treaties, the EEC has evolved to become something more similar to the USA, and several former Soviet states have joined. Not only has this become a larger power bloc, but is perceived by the Russians (their own power bloc having in the meantime disintegrated) as a potential threat as actual military integration between the EU states becomes a possibility.

Later, as the idea of leaving the new European Union (EU) – which was beginning to look like the USA or the former Soviet Union – began to raise its head, UKIP (The United Kingdom Independence Party) arrived on the scene.

The UK held another referendum in 2016 about whether to leave the EU. It was narrowly won by the “leavers” at 52% vs 48%. The instigator of the referendum, David Cameron, having not achieved his expected answer made a cowardly resignation speech and left the problem to the new leader, Theresa May. Unfortunately she deigned (possibly having no idea) to outline how we would implement the decision, merely stating “Brexit means Brexit”.

Two years of negotiation between the UK leader and the EU leaders went on. Then the leaving plan was presented to Parliament and rejected. Parliament then voted in an unprecedented step to take over the control of “Brexit”, but failed many times over many weeks to agree on any way out; or if the UK should leave at all; or indeed anything!

Next week we vote for our EU representatives, even though we do not expect them to actually take up their jobs before we leave in October 2019 (the latest deadline).
This is yet another expensive vote that will only serve to indicate the will of the public.

It looks increasingly like there will be a second referendum, costing umpteen millions of taxpayers money, to decide whether the UK will still go its own way or if we will remain as EU partners, in which case the last three years have been a total waste of parliamentary time and taxpayers’ money, both of which could well have been utilised to better public use.

 

Disgruntled with the “News”

This evening I was wondering if I was watching the news on TV or some satirical programme.

First I hear that the broadcaster Danny Baker has been summarily sacked by the BBC for publishing a photograph that would not be out of place on the front cover of “Private Eye” (a publication edited by another popular BBC personality).  It was labelled as “racist”, despite it being an archive photograph of two people and a chimpanzee.  Which race, I ask, was suffering any harm or insult from this photograph?

The next story involved a government department warning that people may have to move away from areas liable to flooding, while at the same time advising that building on flood plains is likely to double in the next 50 years.

Why?

Changing channel I heard that we would be hearing from a correspondent “momentarily”.  Sorry, but why bother to employ a correspondent if they are not to be allowed more than a moment to make their report?

I think I will stick to the satirical “news” programmes.  At least in those the contributors tend to think before they speak.

More painting and printing

Today, apart from spending over an hour sitting in the doctor’s waiting room for an appointment that was “running 16 minutes late”, I have managed to do a bit more painting.
Today’s colour was Vallejo 70.875 Beige Brown.

Although I like Vallejo paints as a medium, I do not like the way they are bottled. Whenever possible I decant them into old Coat d’Arms pots.

Anyway, this previously decanted paint was applied to:
Irregular Miniatures 2mm “Tiny Town” roads for my “Bomber” project,
Some of the tree trunks on my 3d printed outline woodland for gridded wargames,
House fronts for 3d printed outline BUA for gridded games.
6mm Zulu huts,
6mm Zulu Krall, touching up bare patches of ground,
6mm ex-Confederates, overpainted to become more variegated civilian clothing and hats,
6mm mediaeval crossbowmen, leather jerkins.

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Returning indoors from the Shedquarters I found that I need more printed counters for my play by e-mail Market Garden campaign. This time it’s British glider-borne infantry and artillery. So an hour or so at the PC and they are ready to be stuck onto the plastic counters.

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I foresee an evening of cutting and sticking as we catch up with series 1 of the BBC drama “Line of Fire” on TV.

Mostly about painting

Today has seen quite a lot of time in the “shedquarters” catching up with painting.

I have been using my method of taking the next available pot of paint from my paint box and using it to catch up with the various projects “on the go”.
And so…
1. Coat d’Arms 509 Brick Red.
Added to the 3d printed outline townscapes for my 6mm grid games based on Bob Corderoy’s rules.
Added to the Irregular Miniatures “2mm” towns which I intend to use for my “Bomber” game (of which more below).
Base-coated some 6mm cattle – actual colour to be researched later.
Re-painted some hats, coats and trousers of 6mm Confederates to convert them into local militia for my fictitious 1879 game.

2. Coat d’Arms ??? Slate Grey.
Added several roofs to my IM tiny towns for “Bomber”.
Several boxes for a defensive 6mm Zulu War situation.
Tweaked the 6mm Confederates further to become civilian militia.
Added hair and whiskers to a 28mm Victorian General.
6mm medieval artillery woodwork.

3. Citadel Enchanted Blue (Gosh – that’s an old bottle!)
1 pair “Brand New” ACW Union infantry trousers in 20mm.
1 house for the 6mm outline town for a square grid battle game.
6mm Medieval Gunner tunics.

4. Coat d’Arms 505 Green Grey
More tweaking of 6mm Confederates to make 1879 civilian militia.
6mm “Zulu” British defense boxes.
6mm grid game outline tree trunks.
6mm grid game outline buildings.
6mm medieval crossbowmen breeches.

5. Coat d’Arms 107 Bright Gold
20mm ACW Colour pole finials.

6. Coat d’Arms 517 Dessert (sic) Yellow.
Bases for 2mm Colonial troop blocks.

7. Coat d’Arms 406 Muddy green
Bases for 6mm infantry of 1700 period.

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I also made a start on the comprehensive illustrated rules for my WW2 “Bomber” game, representing an RAF night attack on Germany in 1943. I have written the basics of the game, up to the point when the first aircraft takes off.

Light Gardening and Light Wargaming

Life has been rather quiet for the past few days.
I have not felt particularly able to do much, but I have been keeping the garden somewhat under control.

Whenever I work in the garden I am reminded of an old “Punch” cartoon dating from about 100 years ago.
Scene: An old man working in his garden. The local vicar looks over the hedge.
Vicar: “Isn’t it amazing what man can achieve with the aid of the Almighty?”
Gardener: “Aye Vicar, but you should’ve seen it when the Almighty ‘ad it to ‘Isself!”

On the wargaming front I have been designing, printing and sticking to blocks more labels for my “Memoir ’44” games.
Yesterday I produced reinforcements for the 1944 US Parachute Infantry and two forces for Poland in 1939.

 


These graphics (produced pixel by pixel using MS Paint) are printed onto A4 sticky labels, then cut out and attached to 13mm square (19mm for aircraft) plastic blocks. They are much easier to handle than cardboard counters and using tactical map signs lends a greater sense of authenticity to the game when playing on what is essentially a map view of the battlefield.

They lack the visual appeal of real painted toys on a modelled terrain, but I do get the games played sooner! Today, for example I played out a campaign scenario involving 13 companies of US Paras assaulting and defeating 2 companies of German Landsers. Not worth a full-blown battlefield set-up, and the whole thing was set up, played, documented and put away within 90 minutes.