October 31, 2003
A Hard Man's just reward.
CIGAR-chomping Gulf hero Colonel Tim Collins has been awarded an OBE in the war honours list.
It is proof the brave 43-year-old nicknamed Nails performed in an exemplary fashion during the conflict.
The Royal Military Police earlier cleared him of mistreating prisoners. after a US soldier complained.
Throughout the war, the Ulster-born dad-of-five led the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment from the front, taking on Iraqi fighters personally.
His moving eve of war speech, when he urged his men to be "ferocious in battle but magnanimous in defeat" so impressed George Bush he hung up a copy in the White House.
Youngsters today - huh!
The highest British honour for gallantry has been awarded to a 19-year-old soldier for his bravery after being attacked by US aircraft in a "friendly fire" assault during the war in Iraq, it is revealed today. Trooper Chris Finney of the Household Cavalry Regiment was awarded the rare George Cross, which has equal status with the Victoria Cross, after he struggled to haul his colleagues from a burning tank while being shot at.
The VC is only awarded to those who come under enemy fire.
October 30, 2003
Can you stand more on the Tories?
The Edge of England's Sword reports what the BBC has to say.
After years of self destruction, the Tories appear to have snapped out of it and decided to turn their energies onto the government...But the apparent deal to ease Michael Howard into the leadership not only shows a parliamentary party finally accepting it has to unite or die - to quote its ousted leader.
It also shows that the rival factions seem to have learned the lesson Labour did two decades ago - political purity must come second to winning.
Tory Turmoil - over?
For once the Tories have amazed me and done something sensible, all rallied round one person and decided to get on with life - I wouldn't have chosen Howard myself - but they needed to STFU and get on with fighting Labour rather than fighting each other.
UK free democrats has written on this better than I could.
They only thing that could spoil the party is if the traitor Clarke chucks his hat in..
So Yeo, Davis, Letwin, Fox have all ruled themselves out. Clarke has not ruled himself out but with even Stephen Dorrell supporting Howard the writing is on the wall. Unless Ancram decides to push it to a vote, which given the Ancram good guy image is unlikely it will be Howard without a contest. The remakable thing is the Tories do look as if they will rally round, on Newsnight Dorrell, Boles, Letwin and Yeo all effectively endorsed him so did Stuart Wheeler. So the left of the party is on board with a candidate precieved to be on the right. Norman Fowler came on to say what a great guy he is.
What's more Howard is the continuity candidate he will policy wise not change much - a good thing. Davis would probably have been better at getting floating voters but that would have been squandered with division and Howard promises to bring unity.
If this happens we can expect a Davis promotion perhaps to Shadow Chancellor. Howard is an old man at 62 a unified partyHoward fights the next election and his popular Shadow Chancellor David Davis wins the leadership taking them on to victory in 2010. stranger things have happened.
Darlings, I have had the new place tastefully decorated in Farrow & Ball Colours. The background is "Farrow's Cream", the sidebar "Printroom Yellow" and the Title bar "Bookroom Red". I think this gives this site a traditional restrained English Country house look - Your comments?
Lib Dems at work.
Hurray for the workers - as always the only good thing about a Lib Dem council is that come the Glorious Day they make sure there will be enough Lamposts for every single one of them...
Moves to replace Union flags around Torbay with European Union emblems have triggered a Town Hall revolt.
Council workers have mounted an official protest over plans to take down the British and English flags at seafront locations in Torquay and Paignton. The ruling Liberal Democrats also want to take down the St George's flag and Union flag at the Town Hall in Torquay.
They would be replaced by the EU flag and "rotated" so the St George's and Union flags will fly for part of the week and the European one for the rest.
The news came in a memo to council staff from director of strategic services Tim Whitehead on behalf of council leader Cllr Chris Harris and deputy leader Cllr Andrea Colborne.
One worker said: "We object to being told we must have the Euro flag.
"They might want it but why should it be stuffed down our throats?"
It is understood the Town Hall "keepers" refused to carry out the switch.
And a staff petition was started which quickly gathered more than 130 names.
They plan to present the petition to council managing director Richard Painter.
Cllr Harris said: "The best way forward is to recognise that we are part of England, the UK and Europe.
"Look at Torquay harbour and see how much money we have had from Europe.
"It is important that if people are going to be assessing Torbay for European money we are seen to be part of Europe."
He said Union flags at seafront locations would be replaced by European flags or those of other European nations.
He said multi-national flags used to fly at prime locations but were replaced under the last Tory administration to tie in with the Queen's Golden Jubilee.
He said they were planning to "rotate" the St George's flag and Union flag at the Town Hall with the Euro flag.
"That may mean one day of the week or it may be three or four days," he said.
"I think the workers feared the St George's flag was coming down completely.
"There has been some misinterpretation and that is not the case."
He added: "We want to welcome visitors from Europe. We want to keep our workers happy and I am sure when they realise what is happening they will be happy."
The Lib Dems tried to get the Union flags replaced while the Tories were in power, but their proposal was unsuccessful.
Tory group leader Cllr Eileen Salloway said: "Our national flag is a matter of great pride, not least for those who have fought for this country under British colours.
"This arrogant and unpatriotic action by the Liberal Democrats will cause great offence to many."
Torbay hotelier and South Devon MEP Graham Booth, who represents the United Kingdom Independence Party, said it was "appalling".
And he felt the council was admitting it was being run by the EU.
He said: "They are run by the EU these days so at least they are being honest.
"With the programme of regionalisation the councils and district councillors are going to disappear anyway, so they are just getting ready for that."
He added: "It's appalling to see it but what more can you expect of them? It shows them for precisely what they are."
October 29, 2003
During the England Samoa Rugby Match England sent Dan Luger onto replace centre Mike Tindall, who was being treated for injury but had not left the field, and while England had 16 players Luger made a tackle before being told to leave, less than a minute after going on.
It was a mistake, the injuried guy was not taking part in play and had no material effect on the outcome (England were lucky to win after playing appalingly) but our Australian friends are whining as usual:
"Australian forward Toutai Kefu, who is missing the World Cup with a shoulder injury, demanded that England should be stripped of the points for winning the match and that Samoa should be awarded the win.
"Arrogant Poms should be stripped," was the headline over his column in the Brisbane Courier Mail."
- The game plan is to get the excuses in early in case they don't win!
Back to the stone age.
Looks like a victory for the precautionary principle.
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | EU launches chemicals crackdown
The knock on effect will be that thousands of useful chemicals that have never done any harm will not be tested as it won't be worth while paying to test them.
I look forward to seeing if this chemical passes:
Oral toxicity (The Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances, 1986):
Human; TDLo: 12,357 mg/kg/23 D-C
Mouse; LD50: 4,000 mg/kg
Rat; LD50: 3,000 mg/kg
Rabbit; LDLo: 8,000 mg/kg
All lit up.
A few years ago as I was walking home across the field from the Pub when the northern sky lit up with the most amazing display of the Northern Lights. It being 1:30 in the morning and me being very very drunk, I thought about ringing lots of people up and saying - look out your window - but I thought no one would either thank me or believe me.
So according to Samizdata.net - Arrival of the big one there is a chance it might happen again tonight. If it does don't miss it because I intend to get very very drunk and see if it happens again for me - and I will ring you if it does...
Posted by The Englishman at 2:31 PM
Let loose the pigs of war!
Jewish settlers in the West Bank are being asked to trade in their guard dogs for pigs. The animals, considered unclean in Judaism for thousands of years, would help protect the settlements from attacks by Palestinians.
A company which supplies guard dogs to the settlements in the West Bank has asked senior rabbis for approval under Jewish law to train the pigs. The company says they are better than dogs because they have a stronger sense of smell. Because they are considered unclean by Islam as well, their presence could discourage Muslim attackers.
I feel a need to have a pig category of postings as I'm a great fan of all things porcine.
October 28, 2003
News from the left coast.
Doesn't seem to be working judging by this
Nasa photo of the smoke
I'm sure patriotic Americans are blaming the Fu-Go Weapons.
All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.
Something good you can do for Iraq.
A Utah soldier's instinctive reaction to help a child in Iraq has blossomed into a national toy donation drive for the children of that war-torn country.
Operationgive.org began last month, after "Chief Wiggles" a member of the Utah National Guard stationed in Iraq, who maintains a Web-based journal, chiefwiggles.blog-city.com/; posted a description of his touching encounter with an Iraqi girl.
He said he saw a little girl crying outside the barbed wire fence by the front gate of the former palace where he works. Her mother, who had only one leg, had hobbled inside to talk to someone.
"She was obviously very poor, in her tattered old dress, totally worn out plastic flip-flops, her hair matted against her head indicating she hadn't had a bath in a long time and her skin blistered from the dirt and weather," wrote Chief Wiggles, whose real name is withheld for security reasons.
"Once I saw her I quickly told the MPs to move the barbed wire back to let her in to join her mother. Her crying stopped as she darted in to grab ahold of her mother's long black dishdasha, torn and frayed from years of use."
Wiggles went to his office and found some toys and necessities. He brought them back to the little girl and her mother. Through an interpreter, he explained about using one of the gifts, a toothbrush, every day. He also gave her a whistle and a toy monkey.
"Her eyes lit up with such joy as I put the monkey arms over her head. She was so excited to receive everything, being somewhat shy though, not having dealt with an American before," he wrote.
The day after that posting, about 1,000 e-mail messages flooded in to the chief's Web site, said Scott Evensen, a Provo friend who maintains the site. The notes asked, "Where can we send toys?"
The result was Operationgive.org. Hundreds of boxes of toys and necessities were shipped to Iraq's children. So many toys were sent that distribution difficulties cropped up and the shipments had to be temporarily halted.
"We should have an address for shipments this week," Evensen said. Meanwhile, for information about how to donate money for the drive, check the Internet site at operationgive.org.
Backers have lined up warehouse space and volunteers will operate the warehouse, located in Baltimore. They have also made arrangements to ship the material to Kuwait at about $3,500 per shipping container, each of which may hold in the neighborhood of 800 to 1,000 boxes, Evensen said.
Chief Wiggles is arranging for a container to be sent from Kuwait to Baghdad, where he has been able to obtain warehouse space, he added.
As of Sunday, more than 500 boxes had been delivered to the chief.
Evensen said orphanages asked for school material and underwear, and these are being forwarded also.
Internet commentator Dean Esmay, a volunteer in Detroit, said that in one week, the Iraq end of the pipeline received more than 200 boxes of toys and $21,000 in donations.
A lawyer has been setting up a nonprofit corporation to handle the contributions, he added.
Evensen wrote in an e-mail to the Deseret Morning News saying that on Monday, Chief Wiggles was "visiting a 300-bed children's hospital in Baghdad. The Army is sending a film crew along."
The toy drive has drawn so much interest that an English newspaper plans to visit Chief Wiggles next week in Iraq and MSNBC is planning a special report on him, he added.
One of Chief Wiggles' most ardent supporters is Gail S. Halvorsen, the Spanish Fork man who became known as the "Candy Bomber" and "Uncle Wiggly Wings" when he dropped candy to the children of post-World War II Berlin, 55 years ago.
"I'm 100 percent for it," Halvorsen said of the chief's drive. "I'm Uncle Wiggly Wings and he's Chief Wiggles. . . . I think it's a marvelous thing he's doing."
I hope someone buys the firm - life would be so much duller without packets of Brain's Faggots on the shelf. Luckily I have a couple of local faggots in the freezer that I bought at the Farmers Market on Sunday. Served with gravy and peas nothing could be better.
(and if you have to ask what is in a faggot you don't want to know.)
The 2003 October edition of NumberWatch is a classic must read for anyone interested in the Truth vs Media scares.
Gun Crime Statistics (especially kids killed by guns)
Shock horror 1. If you feed your baby 100 tons of proprietary baby food, it might get cancer.
Shock horror 2. GM crops do exactly what they were designed to do.
and so on - if any of these interest you go to the site.
"We have the misfortune to live in the new Dark Ages, where science and beauty alike are buried in a morass of myth and superstition."
P800 Sony Ericsson Ligula
Reading my Roman history and using my P800 phone stylus to clean my ears at the same time made me wonder?
A ligula was an instrument with a narrow cup-shaped scoop at one end. It may have been used as a medical probe, or as an ear scoop or for picking up small quantities of ointment (medical or cosmetic) from jars.
A Dad's Nightmare
Boy, 8, dies in game of Tarzan: "A boy of eight died after becoming entangled in a rope while playing a game of Tarzan at his tree-house."
The poor father of this boy has all my sympathies and my admiration because he came out and said that you can't wrap children in cotton wool all the time if they are going to grow up and enjoy life, and sometimes accidents happen. And that is the truth.
(#1 I mention only the Dad because he is the only one to be featured in the press, and in no way do I mean to not recognise the devestation such a loss has on the rest of the family - but I also guess it was Dad who built the tree-house etc and so his feelings of guilt will be tremendous.)
(#2 I know of what I speak here though through luck and modern medicine my sons are alive and well.)
German plans show drive for unified Euro-army
EUobserver: "Germany is pushing for the creation of a fully-fledged Euro-army, according to plans obtained by the Conservative Party in Britain, writes the Telegraph. This revelation is likely to send ripples of concern through Britain, one of the more sceptical member states - over close military co-operation in Europe.
The memorandum, written by senior Germany army officials on the future of European defence, allegedly suggests that a European army should have joint structures that go beyond the ones already in place.
The document adds, 'The army would report to the EU government and to the EU Parliament. Through a deployment law Parliament should decide if deploying troops is an option or not.'"
"The plans also have the backing of France and Belgium, according to the Telegraph."
Well at least the uniforms might be smart, His Tonyness claims to be against it but the ratchet still clicks towards it. Time to release the pawl with whatever it takes.
IRA 'sorry' for Disappeared
BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | IRA 'sorry' for Disappeared: "The IRA has apologised for the grief caused to the families of the so-called Disappeared. "
So that's all right now then - No it f***ing isn't.
Nanny State - eh?
Came across pages of advice about Halloween from the Canadian Health busybodies - someone gets paid to write and publish all this stuff - but as always "it's for the children" so thats OK then...
It is all probably sensible advice, but if you are an anxious parent you will be able to look after your kids already, and if you don't care then a po-faced web site isn't going to make a difference. And Jesus wept, let the kids eat real sweets one night of the year!
Health Canada - Halloween
October 31 can be a chilly night so make sure that costumes are loose enough to be worn over warm clothing but not so baggy or long that trick or treaters can trip over their costumes.
Trick-or-treaters should wear sturdy walking shoes.
Make-up and face paint are better than wearing masks which can restrict breathing and/or vision. If you choose to use a mask make sure it is one that allows the child to see and breathe easily.
Swords, knives and similar accessories should be made of soft, flexible material.
You might want to offer an alternative to sugar-based treats. Gum should be sugarless. Stickers, multicoloured pencils or beads can be a nice surprise in place or in addition to traditional treats
October 24, 2003
The new blog EnviroSpin Watch
The new blog EnviroSpin Watch has become an essential daily read.
The ecoterrorists and enviroidiots are becoming one of the biggest threats to peace and prosperity the world has known - A bit strong? No - the Greens are killing millions with their halfwitted policies, and that isn't very nice for those killed and out of pure self interest doesn't make for a safe and prosperous world to live in.
When they can they plan to feature a guest essay from a famous writer or scientist. The first is from one the world's most popular science writers, Matt Ridley, celebrated for his many fine books. Any Cance to read matt Ridley should be grabbed - so go to it!
October 23, 2003
EU Commissioner Backs Irish Smoking
EU Commissioner Backs Irish Smoking Ban: "EU Commissioner Backs Irish Smoking Ban
Source: Reuters Health, 2003-08-04
"Irish plans to stamp out smoking in public places were backed on Monday by the European Union 's (EU) top health official, who also accused the tobacco industry of aiming products at youth.
The ban, proposed by Irish Health Minister Micheal Martin, would take effect from early 2004 despite fears from the bar and restaurant industry that profits will be hit.
'Are we going to put into the balance the health of the public against profits? I am sure the population of Ireland and other places in the EU (don't) want (that),' said Health and Consumer Affairs Commissioner David Byrne, who is Irish.
'I believe the tobacco industry is manipulating and misleading people and targeting young people and adolescents because they realize that if they get them young, they're hooked,' he told a news conference at the 12th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in the Finnish capital"
OK where to start?
Banning smoking in Bars - I don't smoke but give the freedom to chose.
Profits - a dirty word.
Industry -a dirtier word.
Its for the children - yeah.
People are being manipulated and mislead - by safty Nazis like you Mister.
Are the Irish smokers too lilly livered not to stand up to this -
THE wine-cup is circling in Almhin's hall,
And its Chief, 'mid his heroes reclining,
Looks up, with a sigh to the trophied wall,
Where his sword hangs idly shining.
When, hark, that shout
From the vale without --
"Arm ye quick, the Dane, the Dane is nigh!"
Every Chief starts up
From his foaming cup,
And "To battle, to battle!" is the Finian's cry.
This is a public service
This is a public service announcement about the sighting of an enemy.
Read Samizdata.net - Silly burgers for the full details, I will just quotye the quotes they talk about.
"People are incapable of saying no to junk food and other health risks, and it is the duty of the State to influence them, according to a senior public health official.
In defence of the "nanny state", Professor Dr John Ashton, regional director of public health in the North West, said yesterday that government intervention was needed to protect those incapable of protecting themselves. "Individuals cannot protect themselves from bioterrorism, epidemics of Sars, the concerted efforts of the junk food industry, drug dealers and promoters of tobacco and alcohol," he said."
"He has three grown-up sons, but recently became a father again with his partner Maggi Morris, 47, a director of public health in Preston. Their baby has been named Fabian Che Jed, after the Fabian Society, Che Guevara and the Old Testament prophet Jedediah."
October 22, 2003
Just catching up with a
Just catching up with a story about the Great Virgin Hair Robbery, as one does when I noticed the next two headlines on the page:
Norway world leader in casual sex:
UN: Its best to live in Norway:
Any connection I wonder...
October 21, 2003
I thought I would give
I thought I would give this a bit of publicity - just in case there any younsters reading this old fogey...
Institute of Economic Affairs: "Student Essay Competition - Entries must be submitted by Wednesday 10th December 2003
21 October 2003
An essay contest for students aged 18 or under. ÂŁ1000 for first place and three ÂŁ500 winners
Demonstrate your understanding of principles of economics by answering ONE of the following questions in 1500 words or less:
*Is the concept of a 'Mixed Economy' flawed? If so, why? If not, why not?
*Can government regulation fine-tune a capitalist economy? If not, why? If so, under what circumstances?
*What is meant by 'Market Failure' and 'Government Failure'? How should we choose which of these two institutions should undertake what roles in the economy?
Entries should be submitted by email to Christine Blundell
Mailing address for postal entries is:
2,Lord North Street
I don't know much about
I don't know much about the Swiss People's Party but the BBC calls them far-right, but from the BBC site they appear to only be far-right if you are of the BBC mindset - here is the links and the "crimes they are accused of believing in.
"Opposed to European Union membership
Accused of racism after saying drugs controlled by 'Albanians and black Africans'
Used the word 'negro' in campaign poster "
Maybe the overwhelming victory is actually because of the reasons noted by:
"The BBC's Imogen Foulkes:
"The promises to lower tax and stay away from the European Union were well received"."
October 20, 2003
The Seattle Times: : "Friday
The Seattle Times: : "Friday is the statistical day when Americans will have worked as much as their European counterparts will all year long, counting vacations, holidays and shorter workdays."
October 19, 2003
"we shall fight them
"we shall fight them on the beaches, we shall fight them on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the field and streets, we shall fight them in the hills. we will never surrender'"
Melvyn Bragg in an excerpt from his new book about how English became the Lingua Franca of the world used the above quotation to illustrate how Old English words are so powerful - they all are Old English apart from "surrender" which is French. - Need I say more.
October 18, 2003
David Blaine who cares? I
David Blaine who cares? I have been proud of the way nearly the entire British nation has treated him, as a joke. I think he believed he would get "respect" - no he got eggs thrown.
See also a heavy article on what a twat he is Jesus Christ, David Blaine, Bobby Sands and Orson Welles.
(Only good point is that he has pissed off those who hold the memory of Bobby Sands sacred.)
-- Reading the above it is ironic that Blaines stunt is described as "beyond the pale" - Pale, in this case, comes from the Latin palus : a stake in the ground to mark a territory. The expression, beyond the pale, means outside the rules of society or civilized behavior. It originates from the boundary around Dublin when Dublin was under British rule and the rest of Ireland was only nominally. So to be pedantic it is the IRA who are beyond the pale in this, and probably every other, case.
Posted by The Englishman at 8:16 AM
The Hunting Declaration - 1st
The Hunting Declaration - 1st November - It isn't just about hunting, it's about liberty and standing up against unjust laws.
October 17, 2003
Samizdata.net reports on the irony
Samizdata.net reports on the irony that traditional history teaching was "abandoned in the 1970s for a more pick-and-mix, bring-it-alive and never-mind-when-exactly-it-happened approach to history, and the only bit that kids now want to pick is The Nazis."
And now our German partners in the EU are complaining and the British Education Minister (Labour Europhile) is agreeing with them.
"How huge an irony would that be? The very people who have worked hardest to beat British national pride out of Britain, namely the teaching profession and the theorisers of teaching who have been guiding them, have ended up with a kind of History that says only one thing: Germany bollocks!! Don't want nothing to do with them bastards!!! As a result these anti-historical history persons, mostly rabidly pro-EU on anti-British grounds, could be achieving what looked impossible as recently as only a decade ago, namely the saving of Britain from permanent EUro-subjugation.
Lefty bastard enemies of British History, we hail you, the savours of British national independence."
OpinionJournal - Leisure & Arts:
OpinionJournal - Leisure & Arts: "A casualty list from the Knob Creek Gun Range, which hosted one of the country's largest machine-gun shoots this past weekend, would look something like this: Two dozen old appliances. A dozen junked cars. Tens of thousands of rounds of spent ammunition. Zero people."
"These statistics will be disturbing to the myopic antigun crowd, which fails to recognize the millions of rounds fired safely every year, including the tens of thousands fired at this twice-yearly event that draws everyday folks from as far away as California and Florida."
I imagine, Dear Reader, that
I imagine, Dear Reader, that you read Kim on a daily basis - if not you should - but whatever else you do you MUST read this article
Kim du Toit - "Imagine if an American president said that the United States was going to subjugate its Constitution to one drawn up by the United Nations -- and refused to allow a vote on the subject.
Can you say 'armed rebellion', children? Thought so.
Yet that's precisely what Oily Heap Of Shit BritPM Tony Blair is trying to do with Britain and the European Union's constitution, in the face of 'concern' by the Queen (in diplo-speak, that's the equivalent of 'Are you crazy?'), and in spite of searing condemnation"
If like me you are
If like me you are pestered by Spam - or just want to sort your email into buckets - I really can't recommend POPfile high enough. Cross platform, works with any email client, Open Source and Free. And it gives me 99.65% accuracy in classification!
Download version 0.20 from
POPFile Home Page
October 16, 2003
"Hollywood actor Ben Affleck has
"Hollywood actor Ben Affleck has attacked US President George Bush's 'dangerous right-wing' policies, which he said were eroding civil liberties.
Speaking in Los Angeles, Affleck, 31, was accepting an award from political group, People For The American Way.
He received the Spirit of Liberty award for his work on behalf of children's rights and voter registration.
Affleck also compared the current state of US politics to the last days of the Roman Empire.
Referring to fellow film star Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent election as Governor of California, he compared "the dawn of the Schwarzenegger era in American politics" to the empire's decline.
Other stars attending the People For The American Way event included Harrison Ford, Bruce Willis and the Dixie Chicks.
- Jesus, where is a meteor strike when you need one, could have got a whole barn full of them!
Posted by The Englishman at 10:32 PM
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature |
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | GM tests show danger to wildlife:
That's the headline - the story actually manages to be more balanced.
BBC NEWS | Politics |
BBC NEWS | Politics | Straw says 'no case' for EU vote: "Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has insisted there is 'no case' for a referendum on the draft European constitution. Because the fundamental relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU will not be altered."
Let me translate:
"Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has insisted there is 'no case' for a referendum on the draft European constitution. Because
the fundamental relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU will not be altered. we would lose it - oh and I'm lying through my teeth in the hope of keeping my job"
Reuters | Latest Financial News
Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage: Only 10,250 gun crimes so that is OK then. I'll leave it to my friend Michael over at Free Market Fairy Tales to expand on how grateful he is that the politicians have disarmed the population to make us all feel safe.
I have to say the
I have to say the care and attention we are receiving at our local hospital with our new born Mary Jane is exemplary and a wonderful part of the NHS ( we had to go to Bath hospital for a test and that is still chaotic and in the patient waiting area has the filthiest carpet I have ever seen - worse than the grottiest pub - I watched as the cleaner came in and tenderly cleaned the great god they all worship - the TV - but ignored the lumps of food on the floor).
But other parts of the NHS are still as bad as ever - this enterprising Granny mixed up fake blood from Cranberry Juice and Biscuits, called an ambulance and got her operation...
Times Online - Britain: "HERNIAS are very common, sometimes unpleasant, but almost never life-threatening. It is for this reason that operations to deal with them have some of the longest waiting times in the NHS.
The seven months that Mrs Litton waited for her operation is not uncommon, and in some parts of the country could have been longer.
Overall, nearly 30,000 patients are waiting more than six months for ĂÂgeneral surgeryĂÂ, under which hernias are classified. Of these, 7,565 wait more than nine months."
And if you are in a similar situation here is The Times advice:
HOW TO CREATE A BLOODY COUP
Cranberry juice and digestive biscuits is not a classic recipe for fake blood but it could create a realistic congealed effect, according to a leading professional make-up artist (Patrick Barkham writes).
Julia Cruttenden, the principal of Greasepaint, an international school for stage, television and film make-up, said that she normally used washing-up liquid or golden syrup with red and yellow food colourings and a dash of coffee. Ms Cruttenden, who has been making fake blood for 25 years, heats the ingredients slightly to get them to mix.
She said: ĂÂCranberry juice on its own might be a bit pink. You might get a nice congealed and scabby-looking blood with biscuits. Using biscuits might just work; IĂÂll have to try that.
ĂÂIf you want runny blood you need washing-up liquid or golden syrup as a base to give it the right consistency. A bit of coffee works a treat because blood is browner than you think.ĂÂ
Posted by The Englishman at 7:48 AM
The US version of BBC2
The US version of BBC2 comedy Coupling has been unceremoniously yanked from the NBC schedule after only three episodes, prompting fears about the show's future.The US translation of the BBC2 comedy has attracted criticism in the States for its frank and frequent references to sex - two TV stations even refused to broadcast the show.
However, perhaps the most damning comment from US critics - who have seen the original version of Coupling on digital cable channel BBC America - is that it is just a pale carbon copy of the British show."
Why is that shows are always remade - is it that the networks believe Americans are too dumb or parochial to understand - or bond with British actors? Is it something to do with royalties? Why don't the networks grow up and try the original on the audience?
October 14, 2003
BBC NEWS | Politics |
BBC NEWS | Politics | Blunkett targets nuisance neighbours: "Neighbours who spoil the lives of law-abiding people in their communities will face tough action in a new campaign, Home Secretary David Blunkett has promised.
Under plans announced earlier this year, the worst offenders could be relocated, while others could see their tenancy contracts reduced from 12 to six months, be sent to parenting classes or issued with fixed penalty notices. "
Why am I uneasy about this new crusade?
Not just because this is a government that thinks there is nothing odd in giving the Egg Marketing Directorate full access to data gathered under anti-terrorism legislation, but because my definition of anti-social isn't theirs. And I doubt it is yours either.
Let me list a few possible antisocial behaviours, which do you think Mr Blunkett would clamp down on:
Playing loud music which is part of my culture, man.
Cleaning a legally held gun on your back porch.
Slaughtering a goat in the street as part of a religious festival.
Shooting a fox in your garden.
Having five kids from five different men, probably five but not really sure.
Rejecting the advice of social workers.
Taking the kids on holiday during the school term.
Teaching your kids how to nick cars.
Teaching your kids how to shoot.
Chucking bricks at huntsmen.
Chucking eggs at Labour politicians.
- Put me down for being anti-social..
October 12, 2003
The New Scientist reports on
The New Scientist reports on a suggestion that developing nations need control to help them grow - it sounds a bit like the old liberal view that nanny knows best - and like the old racist imperialist view that "darkies can't run a bloody thing". I think they are heaping the blame on Free Trade when it actually shows the need for law and order, especially property rights. Still read on and see what you think.
"If developing countries join the global economy too soon, they risk becoming trapped in a cycle of poverty and corruption, a new analysis suggests.
A number of empirical studies have shown that poorer countries experience higher levels of corruption. Badly paid officials are easily tempted by bribes, the reasoning goes, while the well paid officials in richer nations risk losing their comfortable salaries if they are caught taking backhanders. But if corruption so bedevils developing nations, how do they escape and become rich?
Daniele Paserman, an economist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, and his colleagues say they have found a simple answer. If a poor country opens up its economy to the outside world too quickly, the flow of money across its borders encourages corruption, which in turn hampers growth"
Rugby Union | Lomu
Rugby Union | Lomu to receive honour Good - recognition for a great and brave man.
Football | Brave England qualify Bad - these soccer ponces wouldn't know bravery if they ever lifted their snouts out of the designer troughs long enought to look at the real world.
October 11, 2003
Just looked in the stats
Just looked in the stats for this page and the last search result that caused someone to visit here was from Australia : Google Search: Jonny Wilkinson skin tight image -
I hope the searcher wasn't too disappointed!
October 10, 2003
My old friend David Lovibond
My old friend David Lovibond writes about my local town Devizes in this week's Spectator - Ali and the new baby - Mary Jane Austin - are in there tonight.
"In better days the world left Wiltshire alone. Blighted by neither coastline nor famous hills, the county was merely on the way to somewhere else. In the heart of this fortunate backwater, Devizes was the very archetype of an English market town. There is a castle, a square big enough to have burned at least one Protestant martyr in, and fine curving terraces of Georgian houses paid for by Wiltshireâs fat cornlands.
... But it is only recently that suicidal drunkenness and the ubiquity of hard drugs associated with inner cities have appeared in the town and made street crime and even gang fights commonplace.
The Home Office lists Wiltshire as the second safest county in England, despite an increase of 20 per cent in reported crime over the past eight years. In Devizes, though, police figures show an astonishing 77 per cent growth in crime over the same period. Lawlessness on this scale means discarded hypodermics by the swings and blinged-up youths in fast cars parked nose to tail in the square, windows down and trading. It means an old red bus camped behind the town asylum, open for business and supplying the schizophrenics with the pills to keep them mad. It is shop windows smashed on Saturday nights and the town centre a no-go area every night. It is mini- riots outside the takeaways at closing time, and swirling groups of boozed-up teenagers in broad daylight shouting and threatening anyone who comes near. It is beggars at the cash-dispensers, mugged tourists, burnt-out cars, blizzards of litter, bikes ridden unchecked through pedestrians and the stink of piss in the alleys. It means CCTV cameras at every corner, and never meeting a strangerâs eye. And for me it means that my local, the ancient and once wonderful pub where General Wolfe recruited soldiers for his victorious campaigns in Canada, is frequently infested by redundant cannon fodder; hopeless old-young men gruesomely decorated with purple tattoos, uniformed in combats, woolly hats and âhoodiesâ, braying like donkeys and looking for trouble. It has become a place where extreme violence is only an unwise glance away; a commotion of running feet, flailing fists and a victim staggering, his head a red cap of blood."
And what has caused it?
"Like everywhere else in England, Devizes has lost its homogeneity. The pervasive blight of multiculturalism has, for the young especially, killed off any feeling of a personal relationship with their surroundings. Children at the local comp may have an excellent grasp of Englandâs pernicious role in the slave trade and know how it felt to be an oppressed Muslim in British India, but they wonât have a clue that Alfred the Great stopped the Viking hordes just down the road, or that the hill they see from their classroom windows is a Civil War battleground. The youths hanging round the fountain, or drifting listlessly from chip shop to pub to street corner, have no sense of ownership of the history that made their town. They have lost the instinct of belonging that their grandparents took for granted; the connection between people and place has been broken. "
I must say David lives in the other side of town to the bit I know, but his rant (go to the site and read it all) illuminates the decline of the England I love.
Just a question - if
Just a question - if homoeopathy works why do drug dealers sell the real thing? If diluting dung beetle resin to one part in a trillion makes it more potent think what it could do for the crack dealer - very low raw material costs and when you are busted all you are selling is pure water with the hint of a molecule of dope in a swimming pool amount of water - probably purer than the mains. I looked but couldn't find the answer - Google Search: homoeopathy heroin:
"homoeopathy" or "homeopathy" give the same result but only one spelling is correct to me!
October 9, 2003
Itâs a GirlHuge page of
Itâs a Girl
Huge page of all the pictures - but I'm so proud I don't give a damn!
WowAfter a day of nothing
After a day of nothing happening, 5:00pm Ali got a few twinges, 5:40 we left for the hospital, 5:50 we arrived, 5:57 we had the most beautiful 6lb 15 1/4 oz girl in our arms - An hour later she was suckilng and mum and baby doing fine.
Two bottles of Wiltshire fizz late all I can say is wow!
Welcome to the world!
Sat at home today with
Sat at home today with Willie Nelson playing on the computer feeling mellow, the sun is shining, Wiltshire is beautiful. My little girl had the first night without waking in pain for a week which is great and Ali is out walking round our fields with the dogs to see what happens because her waters burst earlier this morning and she is impatient for the baby to arrive..
I'll keep you up to date when I can.
Posted by The Englishman at 12:53 PM
October 8, 2003
Latest news from Oklahoma:KOTV -
Latest news from Oklahoma:
KOTV - The News On Six: "Gasoline prices are again on the rise in Oklahoma.
Self-service unleaded is selling for an average of a $1.36 a gallon statewide, up a penny from Monday."
That is what we pay for a litre in the UK!
Gentlemen's Relish: "There is a
Gentlemen's Relish: "There is a question that many of us are asking ourselves these days, and it is this: âWhat is the Internet and can it be of any use to a gentleman?â The answer generally perceived to be the most accurate is: âLeave the beastly thing alone and your pleasant life of indolence will not be affected in the slightest.â However, if curiosity does get the better of you, it is important that you are aware of the true potential of the Internet. "
October 7, 2003
Translated version of http://www.checkpoint-online.ch/CheckPoint/Monde/Mon0068-IrakSituation.htmlAn long
Translated version of http://www.checkpoint-online.ch/CheckPoint/Monde/Mon0068-IrakSituation.html
An long article from the Swiss on the situation in Iraq ( lifted from Samizdata.net ) - however being the monoglot that I am I have linked to a Google translation - (which runs out half way through) -
Choice excerpts - in Google transalated phrases which add to the flavour:
Contrary to the litanies of the media, the stabilization and the democratization of Iraq are in good way.
It is that Iraq of today, 4 months after the catch of Baghdad, does not resemble the mud pit which is described to us daily. The reports and the dispatches of all the Western press not only describe a reality much more moderate, but also make it possible to acquire an overall picture showing clearly that the coalition is on the good way.
The number of attacks is a good indication of this reality. At the end of June, it reached its top with an average of 25 daily attacks to the weapon with fire and the explosive, and a total of 40 serious incidents, but these figures are gone down again today to respectively 12 and 30. The reduction of the attacks, combined on the constant level of the losses, shows that a reduced number combatants improves its tactics and increases its effectiveness. But of the so low figures, for a country of 24 million inhabitants and vis-a-vis a force of 160' 000 men, indicate especially the absence of any popular resistance. For memory, between 1946 and 1947, the Jews conducted 578 attacks per day in Palestine on the British troops!
(whoops mentioned the Jews as proto-terrorists - that will probably get me blackballed - but I'm only quoting from this article!)
L'explosion de la criminalitĂ© surtout Ă Bagdad l'exige. En juillet dernier, la morgue de la capitale a dĂ©nombrĂ© 10 fois plus de victimes par balles qu'en juillet 2002, mĂȘme si les rafales lĂąchĂ©es pour cĂ©lĂ©brer la mort des deux fils aĂźnĂ©s de Saddam Hussein, selon un quotidien de Bagdad, ont Ă elles seules tuĂ© 31 Irakiens et blessĂ© 76 autres. MalgrĂ© cela, la violence doit ĂȘtre relativisĂ©e : avec 470 morts par armes Ă feu en un mois pour une population de 5,6 millions d'habitants, Bagdad connaĂźt un niveau de violence comparable Ă celui de Johannesburg (275 homicides par mois, 3,2 millions d'habitants) et un peu moins de deux fois et demi supĂ©rieur Ă celui de Washington (262 morts en 2002 pour 600'000 habitants).
Translate that bit yourself!
EUobserver: "Seven out of ten
EUobserver: "Seven out of ten German voters would reject the euro if they were given the chance, a new poll has shown.
Only 29 percent of Germans would vote to keep the euro if a vote were held today. In contrast, 70 percent would reject the euro, given the opportunity.
Maybe surprisingly, it is younger Germans that are the most eurosceptic, with 73 percent of 18-24 year olds saying they would reject the euro. "
So there is hope after all - the young Germans are getting over the collective guilt trip of their fathers and are not thinking they have to agree to every and any thing that has the words European Unity written all over it. The EU might have been the answer to yesterday's problems but not tomorrow's.
Jonny WilkinsonAs an English Rugby
As an English Rugby fan I have great hopes for our team in the World Cup which is about to start. And it is a team game, but for my colonial friends I just wanted to bring to their attention Jonny - acknowledged by friend and enemy alike to be at the pinnacle of the toughest game around. And he believes in hard work, modesty and being thoroughly a good bloke - compare and contrast to the hissy Prima Donnas in the soccer world who earn ten times as much.
And this year the new strip is skin tight so the Present Mrs is also happy to sit down and wath the games :)
(Oh and boasting about him being the best is not just because he is English - I also cant praise highly enough Jonah Lomu of NZ who is another great sportsman - his dignity and courage in being robbed of the best years of his playing life by a terrible disease and coming back to the game is what being a sportsman is being about.
October 6, 2003
From those lovely people at
From those lovely people at the IEA - Institute of Economic Affairs -
a pdf article about the "flatearther's" belief in the Free NHS.
As always their articles are a worth the read.
October 4, 2003
Didn't spot this on the
Didn't spot this on the BBC about our old friends across the channel supplying missiles made this year to Iraq!
Colorado Conservative: Here's the Reuters story on French Missles in Iraq
October 3, 2003
Excellent article on the current
Excellent article on the current World Climate Conference in Russia - Thanks to The Brazos de Dios Cantina for pointing it out to me.
The Edge of England's Sword: The Knight's Move: "the head of the Russian Academy of Scientists (not a fringe scientist, by any means, although I'm sure the ad hominem attacks will start) saying that the only people who would be affected by the abandonment of Kyoto "would be several thousand people who make a living attending conferences on global warming" .... Go read.
TCS: Tech Central Station -
TCS: Tech Central Station - 'The Protection of the Foolhardy or Reckless Few'?: "'It is not, and never should be, the policy of the law to require the protection of the foolhardy or reckless few (and therefore) to deprive, or interfere with, the enjoyment by the remainder of society of the liberties and amenities to which they are right entitled,' the Appellate Committee from the House of Lords opined."
Thanks to Judicious Asininity for bringing this to my attention.
Poor guy ignored a DO NOT SWIM sign - did - hurt himself - sued - case chucked out eventually with those stirring words. Whilst I'm sorry for the guy being all smashed up this is good news.
I noted this travel article
I noted this travel article about a little Dorset village -
Telegraph | Travel | The village that died - it happens we went there this summer and it is as described. I live near Imber. As I walk the dog this morning I will go past a Pill Box / gun emplacement where a few locals were prepared to stay and slow down the invasion for a couple of hours or so. If I could walk ten miles south I am in a military training zone - Salisbury Plain. Random notes maybe, but protecting this "homeland" (as the Americans would say) is part of the warp and weft of where I live and who I am.
October 2, 2003
For 700 years - let
For 700 years - let me repeat that for 700 years we have had a system for hallmarking precious metals. It works.
The bloody Italians in charge of the EU this week want to change it because :
The Precious Metals Directive had been shelved for more than a decade, but under the presidency of the EU by the Italians - the Continent's largest jewellery manufacturers - it was reinstated.
The original directive maintained that the variations in testing and marking items of gold, silver and platinum from country to country distorted European trade laws.
It claimed that the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, France and Spain should relax their tradition of compulsory third party testing in favour of a Europe-wide option of self-marking. For more see: ic Birmingham - Fingerprint of quality lost
So the Italians are going to tell us about honest trading, and destroy part of our heritage on a fanciful whim - oh and guess who are the biggest jewellery manufacturers in the Eu , and who haven't got hallmarks - the fucking Italians.
There is a wider point Universal Darwinism applies to laws and customs of a country - if it has stood the test of time - it probably bloody works. If you want to bring in a new system , bring it in alongside and let them compete. Currency, units of measure, etc this all applies. When you see a shrill demand to BAN the old you know the new isn't going to win on its merits.
Obey the suit ..my day
Obey the suit
..my day at the office (if only!)
Lib-Dem World has now gone
Lib-Dem World has now gone in to action - I'll miss the old bugger on CIX but I will be a regular here (oh and he is less of a lib-dem than I am) guaranteed to offend everyone.
So Rupert Murdoch the great
So Rupert Murdoch the great republican has suddenly discovered the benefits of hereditary succession:
"City analysts have expressed deep concerns at the prospect of Rupert Murdoch's younger son, James, taking over as chief executive of BSkyB, branding him the wrong man for the job.
They are worried he lacks experience to take over the publicly listed company and claim the move is damagingly 'nepotistic'. "
One day I'm going to write the definitive article on the advantages of having an element of hereditary governance. Simply, elected rulers spend their time and our money on ensuring their re-election and the wellbeing of their families (for natural reasons). "For life" appointments such as Judges show how this can grant independence from the day-to-day desire for re-election. Hereditary rulers are even freer because they do not have to consider how to help their offspring up the greasy pole. Their removal only comes if they prove disastrous in the long term, not just in the run up to Polling day; or if they prove too troublesome or uncool. There is also an element of the old Greek idea of random choice of legislator and how no-one who wants to be a ruler should be allowed to.
The best news I have
The best news I have heard about the NHS for a long time - a bit of competition creeping in. Lets hope this breaks open the floodgates of demand.
BBC NEWS | Health | Hip op ruling: Freedom to travel?: "Hip op ruling: Freedom to travel?
A High Court judge says that, in principle, at least, if you have suffered 'undue delay' waiting for your NHS operation, you can go to Europe, have surgery - and leave the NHS to pick up the bill. "
Worth going to the BBC site for the full story and try and pick out the truth from the bias.