From George Orwell to David Cameron

I discovered a day or so ago that George Orwell wrote 1984 on the Scottish island of Jura (Google map). In 1946 he rented Barnhill in the north-east corner of the island. It’s still there:


There are only about 200 people living on Jura, and his nearest neighbour was a mile further north up the coast. The nearest town was about 25 miles away down a mostly potholed road. Mail was only delivered twice a week. There was no electricity. There may not have been running water either. The house was lit by paraffin lamps, and cooking was done on a Calor gas stove. It was heated by coal and peat fires.

george_orwellHe was joined there by his young adopted son Richard and his nanny, and by his sister Avril. And once he started writing, he’d spend all day typing upstairs in his bedroom or study, chain-smoking black shag roll-ups, and in the evening go fishing or checking lobster pots.

It was during this period that he learned that he had tuberculosis, and he spent more and more time in bed, until eventually in late 1948, the manuscript completed, he was forced to leave Jura. The book was published in June 1949, by which time Orwell was in hospital. He died in January 1950. (More links here and here)

It was Orwell’s friend David Astor, editor of the Observer, who had first suggested Jura to Orwell. He owned an estate on the island overlooking Tarbert Bay, a few miles south of Barnhill.

A frequent visitor in recent years has been David Cameron. Tarbert Lodge is owned by his wife Samantha’s stepfather, Viscount Astor. No doubt Cameron has visited Barnhill. And he may even have read 1984.

And since we now live in Orwellian-nightmare-smoking-ban Britain (what would the chain-smoking Orwell have made of that?), with Big Brother in the form of Tobacco Control, and Thought Police speaking politically-correct Newspeak, it might be said that what George Orwell dreamt up on one end of Jura, David Cameron now implements and supervises from the other end.


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21 Responses to From George Orwell to David Cameron

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    What George Orwell dreamt up on one end of Jura, David Cameron now implements and supervises from the other end. With a worldwide Cast of New Players strategically placed in government depts. of importance and usually appointed and anointed rather than elected……..

    Even the EU’s handpicked Pope is delivering up the goods as Conservative Cardinals get relived of duties if they don’t concur the NewSpeak Popes Orders…………

    Yes indeed todays world is Orwells times 100………………..

    But it cant go on much longer now the plan to keep the Titanic afloat is for each country to start QEing its own country for a bit to keep the scam alive a bit longer. Japans going to do it first for 60 days and then the EU is going to take over in December for awhile and then Russia will get her turn and then on to another hamlet for the presses to turn out even more cash……….

    You have to remember the Presses for currency haven’t stopped running since 2007 around the globe!

    It aint gonna be pretty when the bow finally goes under the waves………..

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      All Of These Items Point To a Collapse in the Markets

      Phoenix Capital Research’s picture
      Submitted by Phoenix Capital Research on 10/30/2014 19:47 -0400

      The primary drivers of asset prices are the economy and corporate earnings.

      Unfortunately, both are indicating future weakness.

      If you want a somewhat accurate measure of GDP growth, you need to ignore the headline GDP numbers an look at nominal GDP.

      The reason for this is that all “adjusted” GDP data involves a “deflator” metric that is meant to adjust for inflation. The Feds often use an inflation adjustment that is even lower than their official Consumer Price Index metric (which is already massaged to downplay inflation) in order to make GDP growth look greater.

      Consider this simple example. Let’s say that the US GDP grew by 10% last year. Now let’s say that inflation also grew by 10%. In this scenario, real inflation adjusted GDP growth was ZERO. However, announcing ZERO GDP growth is a major problem politically. So what do the Feds do? They claim that inflation was just 8%, and BOOM you’ve got 2% GDP growth announced for a year in which real GDP growth was actually zero.

      By using nominal GDP measures, you remove the Feds’ phony deflator metric. With that in mind, consider the year over year change in nominal GDP that has occurred.

      As you can see, we’ve broken below four, the reading that has been triggered at every recession in the last 30 years. So the economy is likely at or already in a recession.

      The above chart shows that the US is on the brink of a recession. With that in mind, consider that corporate profits are at all time highs.

      Not only that, but corporate profits, as a percentage of GDP are at all-time highs. Never before in history have corporations made so much money relative to the US economy. This trend is not likely to continue.

      So, we have a weak economy, record profits (mostly from cutting payroll by firing people) and record profits as a percentage of GDP. The simplest interpretation of this is that there will be a reversion to the mean at some point.

      What will the mean be?

      In terms of valuing stocks as a whole, based simply on CAPE (cyclical adjusted price to earnings) the market is significantly overvalued with a reading of nearly 26 (anything over 15 is overvalued).

      Indeed, we’ve only been at this level of valuation during major stock tops (1929, 1966, 2000, and 2007)

      So… the economy is weak, corporate profits are unlikely to rise much, if at all, and stocks are sharply overvalued…

      ALL of these point towards another collapse in the markets…

      Don’t let the second round of the financial crisis crush your portfolio… we offer a FREE investment report Financial Crisis “Round Two” Survival Guide that outlines easy, simple to follow strategies you can use to not only protect your portfolio from a market downturn, but actually produce profits.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Now you can see why Draghi and well about everybody else redesigned the GDP equations and added never before counted things like Prostitution,illegal drugs,grant money etc etc as un-identified and counted GDP incomes. So they created levels of income to bounce the GDP numbers up overnite creating values that never existed before………That’s how you make Hitler believe he still has 100 Divisions left on May 5th 1945!

  2. I knew that. Probably because I’m Scottish.

    I read Orwell Today regularly, years ago. Did you know that it is written by Jackie Jura?

    What are the chances of that happening? About the same as winning the Lottery in ‘1984’?

    “The Lottery, with its weekly pay-out of enormous prizes, was the one public event to which the proles paid serious attention. It was probable that there were some millions of proles for whom the Lottery was the principal if not the only reason for remaining alive. It was their delight, their folly, their anodyne, their intellectual stimulant. Where the Lottery was concerned, even people who could barely read and write seemed capable of intricate calculations and staggering feats of memory. There was a whole tribe of men who made their living simply by selling systems, forecasts, and lucky amulets. Winston had nothing to do with the Lottery, which was managed by the Ministry of Plenty, but he was aware (indeed everyone in the party was aware) that the prizes were largely imaginary. Only small sums were actually paid out, the winners of the big prizes being nonexistent persons.”

  3. The Blocked Dwarf says:

    Just out of interest, does anyone know what brand of ‘black shag’ Orwell habitually smoked? Surely there must be a website that lists the brands of every famous person? I refuse to believe that I am the only tobacco ‘geek’ around…

    • Frank Davis says:

      This brand? Although its pipe tobacco.

      Or this one?

      • The Blocked Dwarf says:

        He spent long enough on the continent to have acquired a tasted for ‘zware’ or caporals I guess. I have just read his account of being shot in the Spanish Civil war and of smoking in hospital-how there was a tobacco ‘famine’ at the time and his compadres gave him their tobacco rations. Fascinating…well it is to me, but I’m a sad old man what doesn’t have a life…

  4. One of the Few says:

    It is to simplistic to attach much of the current Orwellian nightmare to Cameron and his sad Westminster Coven. He and his fellow marionettes simply prance and dance to every tune
    pumped out from South London soirees,melodies of regulation,restriction and healthy guidelines
    The Westminster hidden elite ,armed with BBC and Guardian shroud wavers,dictate and demand
    policy assured of compliance ,the political class worried about exposure of their seedier past.
    Few in the Commons dare stand up to the fury of the concealed lobbies,lest they get hauled
    onto the stage of media ridicule and demise.
    Could be worse ,Labour’s agenda is ffinalised in Nottiing Hill cellar mews frequented by a variety
    of undesirables,twisted abhorrents and diseased gargoyles

  5. lleweton says:

    I remember shops like Bewlay’s, which sold loose tobacco, stocked dark shag and also a very light shag tobacco. Among packets of rolling tobacco you could buy Nosegay and Boar’s Head, both very strong, as well as the lighter Golden Virginia, Sun Valley (a little later), Three Castles and A1 Light. The strong, dark rolling tobaccos seemed to be popular among older men of that time. I’m thinking of more than 50 years ago. The wrappings were attractive and distinctive in design, and reassuring in their ubiquity and sense of cultural continuity – which, casting forward from that time until today, is why the achievement of ‘plain packs’ would be such a coveted prize for anti-smoking campaigners.

    • The Blocked Dwarf says:

      “Nosegay”??! Seriously? There was a tobacco called ‘NoseGAY’?!? *SNORK!!* (yes such puerile, childish things delight me-put it down to my 2nd Childhood). I can just imagine the modern rebranding ….’Nasal orifice of unspecified gender preference’…

    • nisakiman says:

      Ah, those names bring back memories of my youth! I used to smoke Sun Valley for a while. As I remember their half-ounce packs were smooth and satiné and a very defined cuboid shape, unlike GV, which was a much softer wrapping which deformed quite easily. And the tobacconists: such aromatic caverns of delight! The dark Mahogany shelves reminiscent of the old style of pharmacy, the jars of exotically labelled tobacco, the serried rows of aesthetically pleasing packs of cigarettes, some of them tantalisingly foreign, with names like Sobranie Black, Passing Cloud, Caporal, Gitanes and Disque Bleu. The Burleys, the Shags, the Turkish Blends. But most of all, those wonderful smells!

      Very evocative….

      I just cannot understand why some people don’t like the smell of tobacco. I think the smell of tobacco, both in its pre-smoked state and when being smoked is the main reason I started smoking. And I still love the smell of good tobacco, fifty years on.

      • The Blocked Dwarf says:

        With you on the aromas NIsaki me Ol’ China….even The Bestes Frau In The World (Who when I met her was a rabid, virulent Anti-Smoker for whom smoking was a sure sign of demonic possession -I kid you not.) loves the smell of certain tobaccos.

        Mind you, beauty is in the eye of the tiger or however that saying goes; I recently opened a tub of home cut that I thought smelt DIVINE. The Bestes Frau took one whiff and exclaimed in German “YUCK! Smells like a french brothel’s laundry basket” (although how she’d know is beyond me!).

      • smokingscot says:

        @ Nisakiman

        Bought a pouch of Van Nelle Zware Shag during a stopover in Amsterdam. It STINKS and it’s brutally strong.

        They claim 12 mg tar and 1.3 mg nicotine (at 5.2 mm size with filter)

        By comparison GVG out of Amsterdam is rated at 12 mg tar and 0.8 mg nicotine (same size rollup).

        Lots of photos and, for those who might seek an even more powerful smoke, they’ve got one called “Black Fire” – even the pouch seems sinister!

        Never again!

      • lleweton says:

        Yes, I remember a delightful old shop in Fleet Street, near an alleyway to the Old Cheshire Cheese pub, where, you stepped down into the shop and were greeted by all those smells, and a gas flame burned permanently on the counter for people to light and try out the tobacco of their choice. A more civilised culture, in my view. And you did not feel like a leper.

  6. alanxxxx says:

    A big George Orwell fan myself, and wish that we had more ex Etonians of his calibre around these days. In Parliament.

    On his work, I’ve felt my view often skilfully influenced by a master propagandist who can lead me by the nose, but I stonkingly agree with where he leads me.

    Two tobaccos in my memory from Leeds in the 70’s: Black Beauty and Brown Beauty, both a notch up in aggression from Boar’s Head. Someone told me these tobaccos were a popular gift to give to prisoners. It wasn’t advisable to lung smoke this stuff, though it was thin cut for cigarettes.

    A photo I’ve seen of Orwell shows a leather tobacco pouch, so the baccy was probably bought loose.

    I remember in “Down and Out in Paris and London” (in the Paris bit), he wrote (to paraphrase) “It was tobacco that got us through it all”

    Society pushes me into being a trainee sad old man who doesn’t have a life, but if I’m going down, I’m going down fighting.

  7. alanxxxx says:

    Sweet Afton, Yellow Perils, Capstan Full Strength and Richmond tipped – lovely stuff. And the Ants would have had Orwell stop smoking, and Bill Hicks, and George Melly. It’s easy meat to point to the pleasure that smokers have given. Smoking, as I continually assert, is an ordinary pleasure.

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Man accused of shooting at man smoking cigarette

    man shot at another man who was standing outside and smoking a cigarette in Pahokee, according to deputies..

    The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office arrested Telvis Lawler, 37, Thursday for attempted murder.

    Deputies said a man was standing outside a friend’s house smoking a cigarette on Oct. 10 when Lawler approached him and told him “I’m fixin’ to kill you.”

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    Scientists Say Smelling Farts Prevents Cancer

    This is not a hoax, folks. Scientists out of the University of Exeter believe that smelling farts actually prevents cancer, among other diseases.

  10. The Blocked Dwarf says:

    “Zware Shag during a stopover in Amsterdam. It STINKS and it’s brutally strong.”-smoking scot

    That stopover must have been a while ago. All the ‘zwares’ were toned down by EU dictate a few years back. I thought it was a myth until i was in Germany earlier this year & bought a brand of RYO tobacco -that used to be so strong I couldn’t smoke it. A double zware if one might describe it thus. Now it’s so mild my kids smoke it -and they bitch about my gauloises mais!

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