13/01/2022

Are The Elgin Marbles Going Home?

A marble fragment that once adorned the Parthenon has been returned to Greece as part of a loan deal The Greek government hopes to make permanent and become a “blueprint” to reclaim the Elgin Marbles.

The 2,500-year-old fragment, the foot of the goddess Artemis emerging from the folds of a gown, has been lent by the Antonino Salinas museum in Palermo, Sicily. If you just keep a bit of a foot it looks weird.

The Italians will receive a 5th-century BC statue of the goddess Athena, which is that women playing tennis and scratching her bum.

Greek culture ministry officials told The Times that the loan of the fragment could be made permanent in agreement with Italy to help “reunite” the country’s cultural heritage.

So maybe it’s time for the marbles to go back. I know they were stolen, they were taken for safekeeping, from the Ottoman occupiers.

The Elgin Marbles, meanwhile, were made the property of Britain by act of parliament and placed in the British Museum’s collection. Give it a couple of years and we’ll be able to use a 3D-printer to make a really good copy. It’s like buying a print of a painting from a museum gift shop. It’s a lot of agro for some marbles you can’t even play with.

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12/01/2022

Trains Are Even Worse

Rail companies across Britain warned passengers that they face cancelled trains, delays and rail replacement buses. And passengers said, “Oh, so pretty much as bad as normal, then?”

Train firms have slashed hundreds of services due to thousands of Covid-related staff absences, with bosses warning passengers to expect last-minute cancellations and more crowded trains due to fewer in operation.

But more crowded trains means more spread of Omicron, which will mean more pings. Extrapolate that and in a few weeks there’ll be no trains.

What’s amazing is that the service during a pandemic-fuelled staffing disaster is no where near as bad as it was when Chris Grayling changed the timetables.

This comes as Southern Rail has finally reintroduced trains to and from London Victoria after the post-Christmas closure was extended by a week. I bet they couldn’t wait. “What? You’re looking for a company to run a hugely delayed service? This sounds like a job for Southern Rail!”

Staff absence for all reasons is now at 11 per cent across all operators, up from 8 to 9% in December, and it’s not just staffing. The train companies say the lower demand is a reason to cut the services.

I guess they’re right but one of the few upsides to living through the pando was getting a seat on a train. That and it’s been a great time for ugly people with nice eyes.

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08/01/2022

Dominic Raab Costs Us £238m

Dominic Raab’s department wasted ‘staggering’ £238m on array of botched projects last year. An increase of 14 times on the year before. Is is staggering? Are you staggered? Or do you hear that and think, “Yup. If you think you can’t go swimming because the sea is close, you’re the guy to oversee a £238m waste.”

The “botching list” includes the electronic tagging systems that were never used. People think the vaccine has a nanochip in it that secret tracks us. The Government can’t get a massive one to work.

Labour called for an urgent National Audit Office investigation into the losses at the Ministry of Justice. And the people in charge now have a great track record when it comes to complying with investigations. Dominic Raab is now desperately trying to move all his emails onto an old pay-as-you-go phone.

Humiliatingly, HM Courts and Tribunals Service then spent £18m on a software system to manage cases which was so bad that courts staff are now threatening strike action over it. Strewth, not even Windows Vista was that bad.

The department also had to pay an extra £72.1m HMRC because it had incorrectly reported the employment status of some of its workers, being hit with a further £15m penalty for breaching the rules.

Meanwhile in good news, HMRC got £87.1m they were owed.

>Read the source story


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