Monday, 18 February 2019


Am I alone in thinking we have a moral vacuum in which views about what’s right and wrong float in helpless confusion? The absence of instinctive certainties is one of today’s biggest problems. The BBC Radio 4 programme “The Moral Maze” exists solely because of this.

The recent debate about Shamima Begum, the 19 year old British girl who fled to Syria aged 15, joined Isis , got married to a Dutch terrorist, lost two babies and now, pregnant again, is claiming her rights to come “home”, have and look after her baby in peace … is a classic example of an issue filling the Times (their “scoop” ) polarising views, with politicians calculating what plays but …. no one knows what to do. When the modern world was created there was no set of instructions and no rulebook issued.

It’s unbelievable but in 2019 we seem to be making it up as we go along. And I see this happening in companies, charities and community projects where reference to constitutions (if such things exist) is often seen as pettifogging bureaucracy.

The problem that all this creates is demonstrated in a series of remarkable events last week.

The first was the protest movement of some 10,000 school children walking out of their schools on Friday at 11 am and demanding more radical action by government to arrest climate change and save the planet. There were some great slogans “I’m studying for a future that’s being destroyed,” “I’ve seen better Cabinets in Ikea” and so on.  I wonder if this isn’t the beginning of a long painful wedge for government. Youth had its say, in interviews spoke well and may have got a taste for it.

Secondly  the President of the Disunited States. I spend most of my time speechless when I see Mr Trump. However I totally agree with his action last week. He was right to call a State of Emergency. But it’s not the wall – a preposterous notion - it’s Donald Trump being President who’s the emergency. Can’t someone get the schools in the USA to walk out? He might listen to that. If being completely confused, grumpy and disoriented is less bad than being swaggeringly certain and plain wrong Britain unbelievably is in better shape than America right now.

Example 1. Save 50% by skiplagging

Finally finding loopholes in pricing structures. A bit like tax avoidance which is OK whilst tax evasion is not so it is with “skiplagging” (no me neither until the other day). It’s when Airlines charge less for multileg flights than straight trips and some resourceful passengers are buying these and missing off a leg.

Example 2 : Lufthansa from Seattle to Oslo via Frankfurt £556. Seattle to Berlin over £2000. So get off the Oslo flight at Frankfurt and buy a cheap ticket to Berlin. Smart? Well no.  A passenger who did this has been sued; Lufthansa lost but has appealed saying airlines have to make a profit.

Again I’m speechless.

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