Economic consequences of Russia’s war with Ukraine-February 28, 2022

Many things can make a war effort a disaster not a success, and they can be nothing to do with fighting with arms and laying bodies on the line. The economic consequences of war have been well researched and documented. Inflation is one immediate consequence and how far and wide that goes we’ll have to see. But, a ‘localized’ offensive can have ripple effects far from its origins. Let’s look at some early observations and impacts.

The Economist looked widely at what Russia has set in train in terms of economic impacts:

The London Times has also taken a good look. (It’s worth noting that the UK may suffer another impact as a result of oligarch finances that will be restricted:

A Ruble collapse is well underway, and Russia may soon see hyperinflation and shortages:

Access to SWIFT by Russia has now been restricted. This will brake many of its financial activities:

Though, Russia is making attempts to offset any restrictions:

Media access for Russia is being limited as well as monetary gains from using social media, with Facebook banning Russian State media from advertising and monetizing on its platforms.

The cyber hacker group, Anonymous, has ‘declared war’ on Russia:

Wider economic impact: eg on oil and gas prices, with crude touching US$100/barrel:

But wider impacts are coming into view, daily, with financial markets on edge:

Carabao Cup Final 2022-February 27, 2022

I was there, at Wembley, seated in a sea of blue, with my red Liverpool shirt barely peeping above my sweater. Once I realized where my seat was located, I knew that showing excitement for the Red Devils could mean a duffing over. I saw some ‘Scousers’, seated like me, given ‘the treatment’ by Chelsea fans and hurriedly leaving to find other places. That’s a part of English football fanaticism I don’t need to relive.

But, the match?

One of the best 0-0 matches you’ll ever see. Both teams had great chances, saved and missed, somehow. Both scored and had the goal disallowed. So, into extra time and still 0-0. Tired bodies and minds now had to focus on penalties: the lottery.

Amazingly, all 5 designated takers scored for each side; 5-5. Now, sudden death. Liverpool we’re kicking first, and got to 10-10! Up strode their goalie-the back-up, who had played all Carabao Cup legs-it was his tournament. He’d been stellar on the day. He was super stellar with his drilled penalty. He switched back into goal, nonchalantly. Up strode Chelsea’s back-up keeper, who’d been brought on late to be the penalty saver. He’d saved none, though got close a few times. But his kick went orbital! 11-10 to Liverpool! A record for penalties in this competition’s final.

A record 9th title in this competition for Liverpool.

They’ve focused on all competitions this year, even though this one has been used a lot to give the 2nd string games. Today, Liverpool fielded their strongest side, bar goalie.

It’s a win that could be the first of four titles in 2022, which would make a unprecedented quadruple.

For now, savour it and get back to the other matters still to be decided.

Kelleher was a deserved man of the match:

Wordle is vivid to this bloke. I am honored by the humor-February 26, 2022

I was brought up with British spelling and have stuck with it through many American assaults. However, a simple word game may force me to buckle-a word that’s spelt the same by all English speakers. Wordle, though developed by a Brit-a Welshman-favo(u)rs American spelling in offering 5 letter words. So, rumour is rumor, etc.

This has caused trans-Atlantic angst this week, along with so-called odd words like CAULK and VIVID. Fortunately, I’m conversant in both sides’ manners.

But, I’m also not going to get bent out of shape by word games. I do them and have done them for decades. Frustration is part of the riddle. Get used to it.

But, Wordle players are also having to find words less common on one side or the other. The most recent was BLOKE. As I’m in London as I write, it came to mind easily.

But, honestly, the harder the thinking the better, as I age. It’s calming, and lessens rage.

Cartoons when the world sees a troubling war underway-February 25, 2022

Many of us are lost for words after the events of this week. I’m not going to try to find them, today. So, take a glimpse at some pictorial representation of the war and more.

Inflation is already spiking and war will add a sharp twist, as oil prices breach US$100/barrel:

In England, Boris and #Parrygate trundle on:

Russia wages war in Ukraine-February 24, 2022

President Putin has put his plan to invade Ukrainian territory into action, using the pretext of ‘saving’ Russians there, in the Donbas region by the Ukrainian eastern border.

Mass casualties and displacement are feared:

Western responses so far are mainly outrage sanctions:

Jamaica COVID restrictions February 25-March 17-February 23, 2022

Prime Minister Andrew Holness called a press conference last night. He addressed matters related to the COVID containment measures. The current measures are scheduled to expire on February 24, 2022. In summary, the new measures are:

  1. New nightly curfew – midnight to 5 a.m.
  2. Gathering limit for funerals up from 20 people to 100.
  3. Limit for public sector events up from 50 to 100
  4. JamCOVID authorisation to be abandoned as of March 1.
  5. Travel-related quarantine to be eliminated as of March 1, 2022.

The PM said the government is mindful that schools will resume full face-to-face teaching after the mid-term holidays and so it is important that there is care in lifting the measures.

The UK got COVID done?-February 22, 2022

All legal COVID restrictions will end from February 24:

The cat’s out of the bag, over the timing 🤔

‘Free’ (government-funded) mass testing will end from April 1, except for the very elderly and vulnerable:

That came after disagreements between the health secretary and chancellor of the exchequer.

Businesses are concerned, however:

Medical experts remain more cautious:

But don’t lose sight that COVID easing may be good now for political reasons to boost the PM’s fortunes. So, too, a tough-sounding stance on Ukraine. Keep watching with care.

Cartoons to ease us into another week of storm-February 21, 2022

Another storm is on its way to the UK, Franklin. So far, it’s to the far north. London is blustery, today, but dry, so let’s stay optimistic.

Meanwhile, have a laugh at how some have seen recent serious events:

Will the Queen abdicate soon? February 20, 2022

Is the abdication date coming soon?

The Queen has COVID:

Charles and Camilla have COVID, too:

The Queen announced recently her wish that Camilla become Queen Consort, when Charles becomes king:

The Queen celebrated her diamond jubilee, recently:

Is now the time to abdicate? Views differ:

It‘s Saturday, football day, innit-February 19, 2022

A long-time friend and former colleague had offered me a ticket to go to watch his local team, Crystal Palace, play their Premier League (EPL) game on Saturday. First, he’d offered for February 26, versus Burnley, then in midweek said he had a ticket for February 19, versus Chelsea. Was I interested? Well, hell…Oh, of course!

It’s funny, because, as a secondary schoolboy, I had lots of associations with Chelsea FC, and would sometimes go to Stamford Bridge in the late-1960s/early-1970s with school mates after we’d played for school in the morning, during the heady days of the club with the likes of Peter Osgood, John Hollings, Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris, Charlie Cooke and Peter Bonetti. These were heady days. The League Cup was won in 1965, the FA Cup in 1970 and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1971; they were also FA Cup runners-up in 1967 and League Cup runners-up in 1972. I was a grammar school 1966-73. These were the pre-Abramovic days, when the flashiness of Chelsea and King’s Road were rearing its head, before the billionaire transformed the club into a towering figure in English football. Last week, they won the World Club Championships.

I’d never been to see Palace play. They are emerging from being one of the EPL’s ‘poor’ relatives, and in London terms were not in the top class. They are located in a touch part of south-east London, edging into suburbia. But, they have a long and interesting history.

Although formally created as a professional outfit in 1905, the club’s origins can be traced as far back as 1861, when an amateur Crystal Palace football team was established at the Crystal Palace Exhibition building, which has led to claims by the club that Crystal Palace should be recognised as the oldest professional football club in the world. Shortly after Crystal Palace returned to existence in 1905 as a professional club, they applied for election to the Football League, but were rejected and instead played in the Southern League. Palace did eventually join the Football League in 1920, and have overall spent the majority of their league history competing in the top two tiers of English football. The club achieved their highest ever league finish of third place in the old First Division, now known as the Premier League, in the 1990–91 season. Palace were unfortunate to miss out on qualification for the UEFA Cup at the end of that season due to the limited number of European places available to English clubs after the lifting of the UEFA ban caused by the Heysel Stadium disaster. It was also during this period that Palace reached the 1990 FA Cup Final losing to Manchester United after a replay, and they became founder members of the Premier League in 1992.

Following their relegation from the Premier League in 1998, Palace went into decline after suffering financial problems which resulted in the club going into administration twice in 1999 and 2010, but they recovered and returned to the Premier League in 2013 where they have remained ever since, and reached another FA Cup final in 2016, again finishing runners-up to Manchester United.

Crystal Palace have a fan base predominantly from the local area which draws on South London, Kent, and Surrey. Their original home at The Crystal Palace was on the boundary with Kent, while Selhurst Park was within Surrey’s borders until the London Government Act 1963 saw Greater London encompass Croydon. The club’s passionate support at home games-it does have a recognisably large catchment area of 900,000-emanates from the Holmesdale Road Stand, in which the ultras group the Holmesdale Fanatics have been based since 2005.

So, to the main event. It was a tight game, with few chances, but each side had good ones to score, and Chelsea did in the 2nd half, but disallowed for offside. However, they stole it in the dying minutes, 1-0.

Their coach said they were “exhausted” after last week’s match in. Abu Dhabi:

In the stands, it was a spirited affair, with Chelsea fans to my right and Palace fans to my left, signing and chanting against each other.

It got a bit sparky when some Palace fans found a rogue Chelsea fan in their section, and came to haul him out. “C’mon, you ****! Out!” A few stewards intervened and the ‘offensive’ visitor was taken out, under escort, and order was restored. The Palace Ultras got back to singing with more gusto.

Before the match, my mate and I had met at the Regency Cafe, for ‘breakfast’, at 11am. Well, I got there at 10.30; he didn’t arrive until after 11. When I arrived, the line for orders was about 20 long! It’s now in tourist guides, so people visiting from Asia, Europe and the USA were hoping to get a taste of traditional English breakfasts…and ‘brown sauce’:

It was a funny bunch. I had to explain to one guy, who is studying at the LSE, that pasty (pays-tea; skin tone) and pasty (pass-tea; food) are not the same and need to be pronounced differently 🙂

Anyway, I got a cup of tea and eggs on toast, to hold hoping my friend would arrive, soon. When he did, he had to choice of eating what I had ordered or going to the back of the line. He enjoyed the eggs on toast 🙂

But, he really wanted a full-English breakfast, so we found another cafe, nearby, and it was quieter and we had a good chance to catch up.

The irony was that this area is close where I went to grammar school, at Westminster City, so I took a little detour on my way to the Regency to pay my respects. The Regency is in an area that was off-limits when I was at school, so I never got to know it.

Better late than never.

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