Fits and Starts

Here it comes in fits and starts, the return of travel. Beginning in late June a British cruise line will send out a ship capable of holding 3,647 passengers  and … just sail around, not stopping anywhere. More wandering than cruising.

China says it is processing visa requests from vaccinated individuals, but only from those who have been vaccinated with a Chinese-made vaccine, which are not available or approved in much of the world.

And the Icelandic government announced today that from tomorrow, visitors who can prove vaccination will be welcomed into the country with no test or quarantine. If you time it right, just before the coming big volcanic eruption, maybe you can trade where you’re stuck now for being stuck in Iceland.

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You wouldn’t want to get through the day without knowing that in honor of Burns Night tonight, a bag of haggis has been floated twenty miles into the air. Would you?

More Scotland Snow

Further to yesterday’s post, Good Morning Scotland, here’s more Scotland in snow, from Ailish Sinclair’s lovely blog.

Good Morning Scotland

Scotland woke to a lovely morning today, 14 January, 2021. Here, the Campsie Fells, central Scotland, photo by Melanie Scott via The Scotsman.

With a Sigh of Relief…

… or is that exhaustion? Leaver or Remainer or EU citizen, we can probably all agree it’s time. To all parties: good luck with that.

Gunboat Boris

The Tory government’s plans to use the Royal Navy to patrol British fishing grounds in the event of a hard Brexit elicited this French response Saturday:

Recalling this well-thought-out Trump Administration plan, back in April, to “shoot down” ships:

Good government. Good times.

Brexit

High noon comes at 11:00 p.m. UK time tonight. Big bong or no bong.

UK Election, 12 December, 2019

Early thought on tonight’s UK parliamentary elections: a good night for Biden, Buttigieg & Klobuchar.

Fair to read tonight’s thumping Tory victory as evidence that Labour was too far left of the broader electorate. To the extent that the Brexit vote in 2016 was a harbinger of the election of Donald Trump five months later, that’s an argument in favor of candidates hugging the middle ground in the fight for the Democratic nomination.

Not my personal politics, but it looks like the state of things.

Second: sorry to see Lord Buckethead dead last in Boris Johnson’s constituency of Uxbridge & South Ruislip. Next time.

Final note: the only Portillo moment, by 149 votes, turns out to be LDP leader Jo Swinson’s defeat by the Scottish National Party’s candidate.

A potential 2020 story of longer lasting import than the incipient Labour leadership race will be the Scottish independence dance between Johnson and the SNP’s Sturgeon. Bring it on.

Those Cheerful Tories

In the UK, the Conservative and Unionist Party’s Home Secretary Priti Patel, whose parents emigrated to the UK in the 1960s, vows “to end the free movement of people once and for all” as she outlines hardline immigration policy at Conservative party conference:

Queen Elizabeth Doesn’t Have a Passport

sez here.