There was a news item on the BBC earlier, which is covered by this article on the BBC website. It tells of an elderly chap, Doug Varey, who saw a pop-up on his computer offering security protection for 12 years at a cost of £556.
A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from TV Licensing (dated 11 October), informing me that my TV licence payment hadn’t gone through, and that I needed to pay before 13 October, otherwise they’d set the debt collectors on me. Within two seconds I had mouthed “f**k off” and clicked the spam button. Then there’s the Virgin Media emails saying much the same thing. And the Sky ones. And don’t even get me started on the avalanche of emails I get telling me I’ve won an Amazon/Iceland/M&S/Sainsburys/Tesco/Argos/etc. gift voucher. Or the latest one where I’ve apparently won a Kia. I’ve had spoofed bank ones before. Even the pop-up ones like that which snared Doug Varey have cropped up from time to time.
The scammers will get nothing out of me. Unfortunately, they rely on people like Doug Varey – and the “thousands” of others who fall for it.
I use Bitdefender Total Security. It alerts me if I go to an infected website, automatically scans anything I download, and prevents any installed software from accessing protected folders unless I tell it otherwise. It also has ransomware protection and spam filtering among a host of other stuff. It doesn’t slow my computer down. And it costs £20 new on Amazon. It is updated frequently with the latest virus definitions.
Over 12 years, Bitdefender would cost me £240. And yet Doug Varey is quoted in that BBC story:
I thought per year, that’s [£556 is £46 a year] quite cheap. And I agreed to sign up for it.
It isn’t cheap in any shape or form. Even more so when you consider that once he’d paid, they then appear to have accessed his computer and forced him to cough up another £4,000 to remove an alleged hacker.
I have a coffee cup with the Dilbert cartoon above on it. Never was anything so true.
But, by God, it hangs around for a long time.
It’s 16 October. The trees are only just turning yellow. The clocks don’t go back for another few weeks. Bonfire night is still a way off. And I just saw (last night) the first Christmas advert on TV. In the last week, I saw my first Christmas tree in someone’s front room while I was on a lesson. And I’m pretty damned sure that the lights in someone’s window and outside their house when I picked my pupil up for her lesson tonight were Christmas lights.
People are idiots.
A bit of advice to anyone using a dashcam. I see a lot of people complaining that theirs is playing up, and other advice to regularly reformat the card – which seems to get a lot of people recording again. I strongly believe that part of the problem is with the card, and not the dashcam. Specifically, people are using the wrong cards.
I have always used SanDisk Extreme cards in my dashcams, and I have not had any problems. Extreme cards are not the cheapest, either. They’re pretty high spec. However, I recently wrote to SanDisk and asked them if Extreme cards were OK to use in such applications. Here is what they replied:
Thank you for contacting SanDisk® Global Customer Care. Please allow me to inform you that for Dashcams & security surveillance cameras, we recommend to use SanDisk® High Endurance Memory Cards since these cards are specially developed for high endurance applications and continuous read & write cycles. These cards are built for and tested in harsh conditions and are temperature-proof, shock-proof and waterproof.
Also, please be informed that using Extreme or Ultra line memory cards on these devices void their warranty.
At this point, it is worth noting that “high endurance” cards are special cards. They’re not easy to get hold of except through specialist suppliers, and your local Currys is unlikely to have them in stock. They cost more than normal cards.
But the upshot is that using Extreme (i.e. high-end “normal”) cards puts them under stress that they’re not designed for. It voids their warranty, but – more importantly if you read between the lines – there is a good chance they will malfunction or play up. I don’t know much about cards from other manufacturers, but I would lay odds that most people with dashcams are using the cheapest card they can find, and that means they’re not “high endurance” types. Most of the time I see people asking what dashcam to choose they always want a cheap one, and the one they end up buying often costs them less than I pay for a SanDisk Extreme card – so there’s no way they’re going to buy a card even close to that.
My current dashcam is the NextBase 612GW. It records in 4k, and on cards up to 128GB (so I get about six hours of footage in a run). I have never had any problems with Extreme cards, but after the SanDisk advice I invested in a Samsung 128GB high-endurance card.
NextBase doesn’t seem to want to enter into discussion over this and insist that all their devices work with Extreme cards. Their own branded cards appear to be rebranded SanDisk ones. I don’t disagree that Extreme cards have worked well for me, and probably for everyone else when they’re new. But the niggling problems people keep reporting might not be doing NextBase any favours, because I firmly believe that a lot of the reported “faults” are down to those cards protesting at being used outside of their specification, with the user blaming the dashcam.
SanDisk high endurance cards only go up to 64GB at the moment (SanDisk said they’d feed back to their technical people on that), though other manufacturers (e.g. Samsung) produce higher capacity units.
Look at the photo, above.
Yes, it’s real. It hasn’t been Photoshopped or anything (unless Derbyshire Police are making stuff up), but this is what they found when they stopped a driver doing the school run near Normanton. It appeared on the BBC local newsfeed, so there’s no stable link, but the brief text with it says:
The officer gained the driver’s attention and escorted the car to a nearby garage in Normanton for a replacement tyre.
Derby City Council [DCC] said checks on the car found it was fully taxed and had a valid MOT.
Erm, excuse me, DCC, but the Highway Code says the following:
Tyres. Tyres MUST be correctly inflated to the vehicle manufacturer’s specification for the load being carried. Always refer to the vehicle’s handbook or data. Tyres should also be free from certain cuts and other defects.
Law CUR reg 27
Following the Law link to The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, we see:
Condition and maintenance of tyres
27 …a wheeled motor vehicle or trailer a wheel of which is fitted with a pneumatic tyre shall not be used on a road, if—
… the tyre has any lump, bulge or tear caused by separation or partial failure of its structure
I think it is fairly safe to say that the tyre in the photo is absolutely, totally, and unequivocally illegal for use on the roads. Illegal with knobs on. It’s worth at least six points on someone’s licence in that state.
It’s yet another example of the Police not doing their jobs properly. If a male driver had, say, tried to chat up a woman as he engaged in “the school run”, he’d be in the cells and looking at lifelong membership of the sex offenders’ register before you could fart. However, someone “else” on “the school run” has got away with this unbelievably dangerous tyre. And he/she (take a guess which it most likely was) probably had his/her kids with him/her at some point (not to mention everyone else’s kids who had to risk being within five miles of him/her).
You need to be a special kind of stupid to let a tyre get in that condition. I’ve never seen one even remotely like it, and the wheel balance must have been beyond bad. And the driver in question seriously needs lesson in how not to hit the kerb every time they park, because as well as an horrendously dangerous car, they’re also clearly an horrendously bad driver (and don’t forget the month of rain we had this morning, either). But now we know you can get away with all that. In Derbyshire, anyway.
I nearly went a full year without a single puncture… until last night.
My last lesson was due to start less than 5 minutes away from my house, so I hopped in the car and was met with the “ping” and a warning light on the dashboard. I went round to have a look and, sure enough, the front nearside was extremely low. I quickly cancelled my lesson, pumped the tyre to the required pressure, and set off in the direction of Kwik-Fit. But then I realised the time was 5.50pm – and a vague memory of them closing at 6pm flashed up in my mind. I pulled over and did a quick Google, and I was right. Damn.
The tyre didn’t deflate noticeably when I checked it late last night, but by this morning it had. I was actually quite pleased about that, because I’ve taken them in before when the tyre’s suddenly deflated and they’ve not found a problem (aka “possibly a sticking valve”). The fact it had done it twice inside a day meant that was less likely to happen this time.
Anyway, I took it in this morning, and thankfully I was the only one there, so they did it straight away. It turned out to be the most pristine, shiny, straight-out-of-the-box-someone-just-bought-from-Screwfix screw imaginable that was lodged on the inside surface of the tyre.
I’ve mentioned this before, but when the reverse around a corner exercise was still tested, and so you had to spend a lot of time perfecting it, some corners were deliberately seeded with screws by sad acts who probably also voted for Brexit. One year, I had four punctures in the space of a few weeks just before Christmas – all shiny new screws.
If I ever catch anyone chucking screws into the road, I’ll punch their teeth in!
Incidentally, if you’re ever on a lesson (or even if you’re a regular driver), NEVER let your pupil drive over a bit of wood in the road. It’s usually a piece of skirting from a house (or something similar) and it almost invariably has screws or nails in it, which the wood conveniently holds in an upward position. If you’re lucky and there are no such screws, it’s only because some other poor sod has found them first and they’re now stuck in his tyre.
This crops up from time to time, and someone recently asked me if the same rules applied when giving refresher lessons to full licence holders that apply to learners.
When teaching a learner for reward (i.e. if you’re being paid), you must be an ADI, and you must display your badge.
It’s also worth noting that ‘reward’ refers to any sort of remuneration, so if someone was giving you a discount for a service they provided, you’re still doing it for ‘reward’ and are on dodgy ground if you’re not an ADI. Same goes for gifts or ‘contribution to petrol’ (that last one is funny, because a typical lesson might only use a couple of £ worth of fuel at most, and yet people take ‘contributions’ of £20).
Most of my work is with learners, but every now and then I get a full licence holder who wants a brush up, needs to be assessed for medical reasons or perhaps age-related insurance issues, or ones who have had an accident and are now apprehensive and need some reassurance.
I’m an ADI, so the issue of reward doesn’t come into it for me, but if I am doing the lesson in their car I do not move my badge out of mine and into theirs. I checked on this years ago, but when the topic came up again recently I could not remember how I’d found out, and I couldn’t find any online information that clarified it either. So I did what I usually do and asked DVSA directly. I emailed them as follows (summarised):
I am fully aware of the rules regarding payment for lessons (i.e. you must be an ADI and on the Register, etc.) and displaying your badge when teaching learners.
However, what is the situation where a full licence holder has asked for refresher training. Do the same rules apply?
Does the law relating to giving driving lessons apply equally to training given to FLHs as it does to tuition given to provisional licence holders?
DVSA replied (summarised):
I can confirm the rules only apply to learner drivers and not full licence holders. You do not need to be qualified as an ADI to provide instruction to full licence holders therefore a badge will also not need to be displayed.
So there you have it. Anyone can give refresher lessons to people who hold a full (and valid) licence, and they can take payment for it. They are not breaking the Law if they do. Furthermore, an ADI does not need to keep moving their badge around if they are doing such a lesson in the FLH’s own car.
I’m giving refresher lessons to someone in their own car who I taught previously – do I need to display my green badge?
No. DVSA has confirmed absolutely categorically that you only need to display your badge if you are teaching a provisional licence holder (i.e. a learner). In fact, you don’t even need to be an ADI to give refresher lessons, and you wouldn’t be breaking the Law if you were being paid for it.
The system we have in the UK is that if you hold a full non-UK licence from a non-EU country, or a country which does not have a reciprocal arrangement with the UK, you can drive on that licence for up to 12 months.
The clock starts ticking from the moment you set foot in the UK. It doesn’t stop if you go home again, and it doesn’t get reset at any time. Oh, and you can’t go back home, get a full licence, then come back and drive for a full 12 months on it. The clock is started as a result of your first entry into the UK – not the entry of your licence.
The purpose of this arrangement is to give you time to apply for a UK provisional licence, take driving lessons, and pass your test. Unfortunately, many see it as an excuse not to do anything for another 12 months – then get desperate.
Many years ago, while I was still a relatively fresh ADI, I had a new pupil who was from Pakistan. He had a job with a big pharmaceutical company based in the south of the UK. On his first lesson I asked to see his licence, and he handed me a pristine Pakistani one (green card). Alarm bells rang immediately, and asked him how long he’d been in the UK (two years). I then asked him when he had obtained this licence. He told me he went home earlier in the year (about three months previously) and got the licence then. I told him I didn’t think he could drive on it and – in his presence – called the main police station in Nottingham to seek clarification. As luck would have it, the guy who answered on that Saturday or Sunday afternoon was ex-traffic police, and he told me he thought I was right, but went to fetch the handbook to check for me. That was when I heard the full detail I have already given, above. In this learner’s case, he needed a UK provisional licence and didn’t have one, and the lesson obviously didn’t go ahead.
Some designated countries (and the whole of the EU) have those “reciprocal arrangements” I mentioned. The full list is here (and although it is dated 2013, it is still correct at the time of writing). People who hold full licences from those countries can exchange them for a full UK one without having to take a test. The exchange is like-for-like – an automatic licence from Australia would get exchanged for an automatic licence in the UK. And the original licence must have been obtained in one of the reciprocal countries – not one near by, or with a similar sounding name or geography (i.e. North Korea is not the same as South Korea, USA is not Canada, Hong Kong is not China (nor is Singapore), and so on).
Ignorance of these rules – real or pretend – is not going to get you anywhere if you get stopped by the police. I know for a fact that there’s a fair number of older non-UK drivers, who have been in the UK for quite some time, who still drive on their “international licence” by virtue of going to visit family in their home country once a year, thus believing they’re resetting the counter. They only get away with it because they haven’t been caught yet – and I know for a fact that there are some who have been caught, and who therefore can’t fall back on “pretend” ignorance any more, but who carry on driving nonetheless. Sorry, but it’s true.
As driving instructors, our only professional responsibility is to make sure the people we teach are licensed to take lessons with us. Anything beyond that is a personal matter, and climbing on to a soap box to bemoan the dangers of allowing foreigners to drive in the UK at all, without (or before) passing a test, has nothing to do with our day job. Don’t forget that we are foreigners when we travel outside the UK, and if you think we should bar anyone who hasn’t passed a test in the UK from driving here at all, then expect to have your (or your kids’) future plans for camping or skiing holidays seriously curtailed in return.
This has been the system used for many years across many countries. It doesn’t result in carnage, and apart from the usual mad rush to get a licence at the end of the 12 month window, it works reasonably well. For us as well as “them”.
They can go home and drive for another 12 months in the UK
NO THEY CAN’T!
I got this directly from the police when I had one once who had obtained his Pakistani licence when he went home for a few weeks earlier that year. I suspected when he showed it to me that there was something wrong, because he lived and worked in the UK, and had done so for the previous three years.
The police confirmed from their official manual that the clock starts ticking as soon as someone enters the UK, and does not get reset if they leave the country. In this guy’s case, the clock ran out over two years earlier and his 3-month old Pakistani licence was meaningless. He needed a UK Provisional and was classed as a learner.
I doubt that the system would check someone who had left the country for several years then re-applied to come back, so they might get away with it – but most non-UK nationals or dual-nationals won’t, because they are officially resident here. If they do it, they’re driving illegally – they’re uninsured, for a start.
Foreigners can fail a test and still drive. That’s wrong.
Look. It’s the system. How many current UK drivers would pass the test if they took it right now, without additional training? How many ADIs would?
It’s worth looking at the DVLA’s official position on this before spending the rest of your working life believing something else. I wrote to them and specifically asked what happens if a non-UK/non-EU full licence holder takes and fails a test within the 12 month window. Their response was:
A non GB licence holder can still drive for up to 12 months regardless of a UK test failure.
Is that clear enough? ADIs are always whinging about how one of their pupils was unfairly failed for things like not looking in their blind spot even though no one was nearby, or braking hard at a junction, but that they’re otherwise good drivers. Like it or not, the test is a series of hoops the candidate has to jump through, and if they miss one, they fail. The difference is that a learner has never driven unsupervised and has never been licensed to do so, whereas those holding licences from other countries usually have. There’s a big difference.
And don’t forget that when a UK driver visits another country, they expect to be able to get a hire car if they want one and visit all the tourist sites. A UK driver in Europe, the USA, or anywhere else is no different to a foreign driver in the UK. It’s the system.
If you’re teaching a foreign driver, just concentrate on your job and teach them. Get them through their test.
Trying to get them off the roads is a personal issue, not a professional one.
Foreigners may never have driven on the left
No. And foreigners in other countries – foreigners from the UK – may never have driven on the right. Yet many thousands do it every year. It’s the system.
The driving test isn’t specifically about driving on the left or right. It’s about being able to drive safely enough to get a licence. It’s all very well giving examples of the bad examples you may have experienced or heard of (or even imagined might happen), but a lot of non-UK drivers holding full licences are perfectly safe on the roads.
Of course, some aren’t. But as I suggested previously, some of our own learners fall into that category.
Professionally, we should concentrate on teaching our own learners. If you want to embark on a personal crusade, keep it separate.
I’ve seen people fail their test and drive away from the test centre
If they have a full licence from another country and are still within their 12 months, they are not breaking the Law. It’s the system. I repeat what the DVLA has told me:
A non GB licence holder can still drive for up to 12 months regardless of a UK test failure.
If they drive away on a Provisional licence unaccompanied then they are breaking the Law. It’s a totally separate situation, and one that isn’t confined to non-UK drivers.
Even EU drivers are unsafe
Look. Try to understand this. The people who come to you are not representative of the entire population of the universe. They are merely representative of the type of people who have issues with their driving. Crass, all-encompassing statements about EU (or any non-UK) drivers are just wrong. The ones who approach you obviously know they have issues, otherwise they wouldn’t have.
Foreigners have always driven here when they visit – certainly within your lifetime. The vast majority are exactly the same as a Briton driving abroad – and we’ve always done that.
There are some UK drivers – people who can trace their family tree back virtually to the Saxons – who are crap drivers. They’re probably less “foreign” than you are. It happens. And they’d be just as crap driving in France, Spain, the USA, or anywhere else. The same is true for some people who were born in other countries. Driving is a human skill, not a racial one.
The UK test is stricter than everyone else’s
You can’t have it both ways. First, it’s about driving on the left, now it’s about British superiority.
Britain doesn’t have the “hardest” test – not even within Europe.
In my own experience – and that of a lot of other ADIs if what I have read is correct – people from countries where obtaining a licence is easiest tend to realise they’re going to have problems and take lessons when they get here. Not all of them, of course, but a fair few.
I’ve had full licence holders from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, USA, Gambia, Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal, Zimbabwe, and some others I can’t recall right now come to me for lessons because they’re terrified of our roads.
If someone has a full licence from any country, and doesn’t give a damn about how they drive, they won’t come anywhere near you in the first place. So if they do, it’s either because they don’t have a licence, or because they know they need some guidance. And if they vanish once you explain how much work is involved… well, as I said previously, it’s a totally separate issue, and has nothing to do with allowing foreigners to drive for 12 months on their full national licences.
I never see them again when I tell them they won’t pass the test
You’d never see any learner again if you told them that. I was under the impression that ADIs were supposed to be positive when dealing with their customers.
Perhaps you should take a step back and consider that maybe your attitude to “foreigners” is clouding your judgement when you take them on.
When someone comes to me, and once I’ve assessed their driving, I explain to them what is required to pass the test, and that they’re not there yet (assuming that they aren’t, although many aren’t far off). I explain that there’s no chance of passing the test by luck unless you’re close to the required standard, so it is important to fix any specific problems. I stress to them that we’re going to do it in the shortest possible time, because driving lessons are expensive. I never tell people how long it will take, because I simply don’t know. If someone is no better than a beginner, they usually already know they’re not ready (and, usually, they do, no matter what you’ve convinced yourself of otherwise). One or two might believe differently – usually, the older drivers – but the majority don’t.
If someone insists on booking a test in spite of all that, I simply tell them that they can’t use my car. If they disappear as a result, I concentrate on my other pupils, because that’s my job.
If they pass, they’re not insured to drive away from the test centre
Neither are UK learners. That’s why I explain to any of mine – no matter where they come from or what colour their skin is – that if they go for their test in their own car (and a small number do), they need to phone their insurance company before they drive away just to be on the safe side. If they’ve spent all that money on learning to drive, they will listen. Any who don’t are not automatically “foreign”.
It’s their responsibility – not yours. And the problem is not confined to “foreigners”.
Until recently, there was a billboard in Nottingham at the junction between Porchester Road and Woodborough Road which carried the ad shown above.
The owner of the company, Lee Davies, had seen the same sort of ad used in America – and if you Google it, they use it a lot – and decided to use the idea himself.
In most cases where it is used, they have an image of an attractive female, with the text “Your Wife Is Hot”, and some follow up stuff about getting the air-conditioning sorted out.
Davies ran the idea past his family (including females) and none of them found it offensive. Indeed, when it went up in July, he was getting people asking if he could do a male version, which he seemed prepared to do at some point. He’d paid for two months, and that would be setting him back at least £1,500 (probably more), and he almost certainly wanted to check the return on his investment.
At that time, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) had received two complaints about it. Frankly, he could have put up a photo of a kitten and some prat would probably have complained. Also, quite frankly, if he had used a photo of a kitten and someone had complained, the ASA would still almost certainly have somehow concocted a reason to ban it. Which they have done now.
You see, the ASA has recently introduced rules about the use of gender stereotypes in advertising, so you can no longer advertise, say, a family-oriented product using a picture of a typical family (i.e. the kind everyone would recognise). If you even dare to suggest a family consists of a man and a woman with children, you’re pretty much dead meat. You can’t use white models without running the risk of being convicted of being non-inclusive, and if you try to play the game and put some of the allowed minority groups in it, you’ve then got to wrestle with how your depiction matches up with their perception of themselves. And since that roughly equates to “how long is a piece of string”, you’re basically screwed. Then there’s the matter of whether any females depicted are thin, fat, short, tall, pregnant… whichever you go for, the others will complain, so you’re screwed again.
Then there is the issue of being female in itself. There are several parallel universes running together here, because it’s perfectly OK for a woman to dress attractively (or even to the extent that she could be auditioning for an adult film role), but if a man dares to observe the fact… he’s dead meat, again. It’s apparently wrong for a man to ask a woman out anymore – or at least, it could easily turn into such a scenario if the woman decides she is “offended” and reports it. Which could happen anything up to 40 years later, if what I keep reading in the news is true. And if she does report it, the police will drop all their paperwork and cancel all their community meetings immediately, send a SWAT team out, possibly call in the BBC with helicopters and drones and stuff, then put on “extra patrols to reassure the public”. And ruin the rest of the guy’s life.
In a nutshell the world has gone mad, and the ASA are a bunch of morons.
There are thousands of adverts I find offensive one way or another. That bloody TUI ad with the whiny singing girl a couple of Christmases ago, for one. Anything with whistling for another. Anything with rap music of any kind in it. Anything with kids eating – especially when they’re wearing the food instead of getting it in their mouths, so pretty much anything with babies or toddlers. And don’t even get me started on how they try to show things that really shouldn’t be shown outside the baby-changing facilities in McDonalds, or the changing rooms in a clothes shop – especially when I’m having my dinner.
But I don’t complain. I just moan on the blog about them.
There’s nothing wrong with the ad, and the (now) 25 people who have complained should just either be totally ignored, or referred to a psychiatrist for the help they obviously need.
Most people will remember the Edwin Curry saga back in 1988, where she claimed that most eggs were contaminated with Salmonella. It led to a dramatic fall in egg sales (60%), and it destroyed her political career.
Ironically, there actually had been a Salmonella epidemic, even though the furore resulting from her comments sought to deny any problem. The whole matter is quite complicated, and I won’t go into it here. But it wasn’t until about 2017 that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) finally announced that it was, after all, safe for “vulnerable people” (pregnant women and the elderly, in particular) to eat soft-boiled or runny eggs. It’s funny that even though there was “no problem” back in 1988, it took 30 years to officially come out and declare it in such a way that the implication was there had been a problem for all that time, but there you go.
In between times, it had been a case of yes/no/maybe when the question about the safety of eating eggs – especially soft-boiled or runny ones – cropped up.
I read an article somewhere in the last week that mentioned a Salmonella outbreak across several flocks (the difference between a “flock” and chickens in general is a highly complex and political situation in itself). But an FSA alert came through today warning people that British Lion Eggs (those are the ones that Brexiters believe have red, white, and blue yolks, and which play Land of Hope and Glory when you crack one) from Flock 1UK1187 with Best Before dates of 22, 23, and 24 September may be contaminated with Salmonella, and should be cooked thoroughly.
FSA emphasises that this affects a single flock code, but the story I saw suggested more might be affected, so I expect this one to escalate.
I’m a lifelong Labour voter. In my youth, I was even an active member. But I simply cannot vote for them while Jeremy Corbyn is leading them. That’s just on general policies and leadership issues, though. Corbyn’s turn-and-turn-about half-and-half stance on Brexit is a separate reason why I wouldn’t vote Labour, no matter who was leading them.
I have only voted for one other party in my life, and that was at the last elections. My vote was specifically for an anti-Brexit party and, in hindsight, it was a wasted vote. ChangeUK made the right noises, but it wasn’t their time.
The Lib Dems gained a lot of votes in those elections, but now they’ve come right out and said that they will cancel Brexit if they are elected in the forthcoming General Election.
They’ve got my vote. I was already planning to vote tactically this time. Now I won’t have to.
Brexit was a national embarrassment on 24 June 2016, and it has become more so with every single day that has passed since then. The sooner it is stopped, the better we will be able to repair the material damage it has caused. As for the underlying social damage, well quite frankly, those idiots who got us into this back in 2016 can go to hell. It’s where they were trying to take the rest of us these last three years, so they’ll be quite at home.