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June 30, 2005

Dear Hugh 11

My dear, dear, American visitors please look away now; I love and value you but our correspondent has a slight downer on all things American today....
Comments welcome, as ever.

Thursday June 30th

DEAR HUGH,
Today I received your note seeking help for ideas of what to feed your imminent American visitors.

I quite understand your panic and I agree, what do they eat that can be freshly-prepared? Search me, son. I've always felt that everything Over There comes out a packet, including most of the people. I think it's because they don't like to waste time cooking as they need every spare moment for cribbing up at their night class studies of how to behave civilly like the rest of the human race.

If in doubt, as you clearly are, it's probably the safest bet to just point them towards your dog's bowl. Judging by my experience of American culinary habits, they will notice no difference from home cooking.

I'm not sure whether I told you this but I'm convinced that the events of the past five years or so have now culminated in the situation where there are only two Super Powers left on the planet. Super Power 1 is America, evidently. Super Power 2 is World Opinion.

And World Opinion (led by mine) now has it that America should be given an ASBO.

Are you familiar with ASBOs in France? Despite the frightful sound of it, this acronym does not in fact indicate some child in callipers, nor does it reference what used to be whispered about the preferred proclivities of my biology mistress at school. No, an ASBO is what those illiterate twats in Whitehall decided to dub a smack on the wrist, or in their parlance an Anti-Social Behaviour Order.

Basically, if you come home to your tower block drunk, beat the living daylights out of your wife and kids, shag the dog and then nip round to next door to set fire to their place and head-butt any firefighters dispatched to sort out your mess, then you are awarded an ASBO.

In essence that means that you get to have your name in the paper citing you as a local lout and then an ITV film crew pops by to make a reality TV series about you.

Although in grudging fairness to Whitehall, such leniency was not what they had in mind when they came up with the idea for ASBOs at four in the morning after smoking a lot of weed.

What it was meant to be was the society equivalent of one of those "this is your last chance" scoldings that wives terrifying dish out to us chaps whenever we do something as subversive as sigh when a bit of tentative Saturday morning fumbling elicits the announcement that can't you bloody see that she's still got that headache she's had since 1908.

The general point is that ASBOs do not work to deter loutishness any much more effectively than being told "you smell, because you do" in the playground. That, of course, is because Britain's politics and police departments are patrolled by pansies who fail to understand that the Hitler Theory Of Punishment ("you smite me, I incinerate your nation") is the only deterrent worth a shout.

But, unusually, I digress. What I am trying to suggest is that we in The Rest Of The World should all gang up and slip America an ASBO in a brown envelope (probably getting somebody dead thick like the Malaysians to deliver it) at the G8 pro-celebrity bash at Gleneagles.

After the Americans have called in Canada to read it to them, they will inevitably start squealing "why?" like stuck pigs and it is at that point that we push Belgium to the front of the line to tell them that we've had it up to the back teeth with their recent foreign policy because it is utterly anti-social. I suppose you could make a good case for just being American is sufficiently anti-social, but best not to complicate matters as immigrant nations such as the US tend to have learning difficulties and we'll be there all night if we have to get into that one.

Up until this morning, this was - as I am sure you will agree - a corking idea. But then I picked up The Daily Mail at the breakfast tableau and to my horror I read what I fear that any American lawyer (which, let's face it, means two thirds of the bloody country) would seize upon as a US defence against an ASBO.

The particular excuse that I suspect they will hit upon was that which the Mail reported was used by the lawyers defending one Brian Blackwell Jnr.

I'm not sure whether you are familiar with Brian Blackwell Jnr. - and if you are, I advise you to kick him down the stairs. Brian Blackwell Jnr. is a young tyke (19) who got straight A grades at A-level, was studying medicine at Nottingham University and was a general all-round clever clogs who slightly blotted things by killing his parents.
He duffed up his Dad with a claw-hammer before stabbing him 30 times (not with the hammer, obviously; the Blackwells were the sort of happy middle classers who commanded more than one utensil) and then set about thwacking and knifing his mother. He then left their bodies ("to rot" said the Mail with unnecessary detail) and buggered off to run up bills of $45,000 on their credit cards.

Quite evidently, the young Blackwell should spend the rest of his natural days in solitary with his balls caught in a vice. And so he surely would have done had it not been for his brief, who said that far from being guilty of the murder that is obvious to even a blind horse, he was answerable only to a couple of counts of manslaughter because of his "narcissistic personality disorder".

His what? Ignoring for a moment that the inspired luminary who thought up "narcissistic personality disorder" probably gets his gear from the same dealer who services Whitehall, what on earth is it?

Quoting from the Mail, I can tell you that this apparently excusable condition is a mental illness which makes you "obsessed with fantasies of your success, power and brilliance".

So who does that remind you of?

Exactly. What is the difference between doing in a couple of old souls with weapons from the shelves of Do-It-All and blowing their credit and invading with tanks to siphon off all the oil like the Yanks are doing in Iraq?

Logically, the crime is exactly the same and so is the delusion. And probably, just like Blackwell Jnr. (who will be out in seven years), the Septics will get away with their bludgeoning and fleecing too.

Naturally, the prospect of America remaining guilt-less depressed me to the level of one on a manslaughter rap, but that was until I hit on a better wheeze.

In attempting to study the American brain (with a microscope) I discovered the key to controlling their outrageous behaviour. Forget all of those diplomatic protests and not asking them to garden parties, the one thing that really gets to them is economic rebukes.

As anyone who has ever read Death Of A Salesman knows, Americans fear nothing except poverty.
And if we want them to stop decimating Afganistan and Iraq whilst eyeing up Iran and North Korea, the only way to do it is for The Rest Of Us to say "right, that's it, shift your troops home again or we're going to stop buying Marlboro, Miller Lite and all of those other products with names that you are incapable of spelling correctly".

That would do it, world peace at one stroke of the cheque book. If Americans thought that a global trade embargo would prevent them from owning the ludicrously-large homes that they seemingly need to house their ludicrously-large backsides and egos, they'd never bomb anywhere ever again.

And whilst we are on the subject of poverty, somebody ought to get a note up to the boys at the G8 to tell them not to stop giving Chinese Burns to the American delegates until they agree to what I hear that lickspittle Blair is calling "the climate question".

Apparently the inside word is that the US is quite prepared to cave in on cancelling Third World Debt and this making poverty nostalgic lark (as they can afford to, now that they've filtched all of that Iraqi oil) just as long as no Smart Alec pushes them on the ecology matter. My man in Bush's rectum (christened Anthony) tells me that there is absolutely no way that the World's Biggest Polluter will cut back on emissions etc. because that will cost them a packet in lost profiteering.

Has nobody the courage to inform these imbeciles that whilst allowing famine in Africa is nothing other than a mortal sin, the actual No.1 priority at the G8 should be refurbishing the Earth - because if we don't sort that out we won't even have a planet to starve on.

But what's the use? The Yanks will get their own way, just as they always had done since they managed to convince a generation that The Osmonds were a rock and roll band.

As to your plea for a recipe for your American guests, I can only suggest that you follow the following way of making Chilli Con Carne. But, given their nationality, I recommend that you add three extra teaspoons of chilli powder; in order to give them the s***s that they are.

Good luck with attempting with what they believe passes for conversation.
All best,
GB

Posted by The Englishman at 9:21 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Come see the Doggies Hounds

Countryside Alliance

Many hunts across the country are holding kennel open days this summer, and are inviting those who want to find out more about hunting in to see the kennels and meet the hounds. These open days are being publicised locally, but you can help by letting people know when your local hunt kennel open day is. Click here for a full list of open days, broken down by region.

Posted by The Englishman at 4:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Save Mrs Tiggywinkle

Britain, UK news from The Times and The Sunday Times - Times Online
HEDGEHOGS appear to be in decline across the country, according to a survey.
In three years, sightings of the mammal were down by a fifth.
..
The main reasons for the decline are unknown but potential causes are intensification of agriculture, with much larger fields, less semi-natural habitat and more pesticides on the land, plus drier summers

Yea yea yea - Agribusiness and climate change, the usual suspects. But in the last three years there has been no increase in larger fields, there has been a large increase in semi-natural habitat and Pesticide usage is decreasing. Doesn't anyone do a modicum of research before shouting their mouths off?

May I suggest that the large increase in the hedgehog eating Badger population might be a more likely candidate?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:03 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Every BBC man not doing his duty

Telegraph | News | Even German TV provides more coverage of Trafalgar than the BBC

Criticism of the BBC's coverage of the Trafalgar celebrations intensified yesterday after it emerged that German television planned to screen a documentary on the celebrations which will be longer in length than one made by the corporation.
Scores of irritated viewers complained after the BBC chose to restrict its Trafalgar broadcasts on terrestrial channels to just a 30-minute live programme before Wimbledon coverage took precedence....
admit that the corporation, which has 170 BBC staff in Portsmouth, "perhaps did underestimate the popularity of the event".

The Trafalgar celebrations were shown live and recorded by stations from Japan, France, South Korea, China and Latvia, with almost 1,000 journalists in the area.

The BBC also failed to give live coverage to yesterday's drumhead service attended by 6,000 Royal Navy veterans and hosted by Brian Hanrahan and Kate Adie.

We have a house guest this week who was livid that he couldn't find coverage. 170 BBC people there and they couldn't put it on. Unbelievable.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:42 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 29, 2005

Dear Hugh 10

All is not white with our correspondent...

Wednesday June 29th 2005


DEAR HUGH,

Thank you for your note detailing what you and Marilyn get up to in bed with a packet of chocolate orange and for your consequent enquiry about recipes for slimmers.


But before I address that, you know that bint from Bogota that you were telling me about, the one who does a turn? Do you still have her e-mail? If so, would you kindly whack it over to me because I need to write to somebody in authority about the new cocaine problem and, being Colombian, I thought sheíd probably know somebody in one of those cartels that every man Jack of them seems to be a member of.

As you know, until now I have never been known to have a problem with cocaine (my only problems having been with policemen and those Customs people who do work experience at Heathrow as part of their BNF training).

But now enough has come to enough and itís about time that something is done about it, or at least that somebody writes a letter to The Times.

My new-found coke concern stems from reading about its widespread popularity, which is very unsettling. As you know, time was when cocaine was the drug of the elite, the Schutzstaffel of substances. And very appropriate those times were too; the Great Smell Of Brut brigade had their pints of mild and a Malibu on their birthdays and us lot, being gentlemen of the world, had our Charlie. All was in its right place; us in the lounge bar lav with a Mastercard and a rolled-up note and them in the snug puzzling out the difference between spots and stripes on the pool table.

All was white with the world and it is no coincidence, methinks, that during those times of correct regimentation the incidence of thugee behaviour in pubs was limited to the very occasional punch directed at pigs who greedily helped themselves to a handful of your cheese and onion crisps.

Now you canít move around here on a Saturday night without getting your head caved in by some lout or other. And for this I blame the coke. Or rather, I blame the fact that cocaine has become so popular that now itís The Peopleís Drug.

As I have argued before, it is a very bad idea to allow simple minds that cannot handle it to be within a furlong of any substance stronger than snuff. Marx was completely wrong when he wittered on about opiates for the masses; in my not-inconsiderable experience, masses should not be permitted anywhere near opiates. For starters, they canít cope with the vividity of the dreams, let alone the constipation.

But anyway, this cocaine business has got completely out of hand because now everybody is doing it. I was listening to John Humphrys beat up some unfortunate this morning over new crime statistics which apparently reveal that one in every eight adults is snorting it and that it has become especially popular among what the BBC calls ďurban youthĒ (by which they mean black insolents and white trash from Tottenham).

Of course, I saw this coming years ago and had anyone at the Home Office bothered to have paid any attention to my letters applying for the job as Drugs Tsar we wouldnít be in this mess. But thatís by the by, the point is that everybody is now hunched over the mirror.

Besides the fact that I know of at least one current national tabloid editor (and many Canary Wharf executives) who has enjoyed a toot in my presence, itís the point that his readers are doing it that is bothering me. Has nobody else worked out that you simply canít go around letting these chavs get their hands on cocaine without expecting a giant leap in the number of dead common assaults?

As I have said before, the operative words in the chav acronym are not ďcouncil houseĒ; they are ďand violentĒ. We are dealing here with people whoíll put a lighted rook-scarer up a catís arse (youíve watched Shameless) and they are certainly not the sort who should be introduced to the old nose whisky.

You may think I am uncharacteristically over-reacting but let me tell you that I have it on the authority of the Gazette & Herald no less that last week cops armed with some new form of electronic sniffing device discovered ďtraces of cocaineĒ in public lavatories in Calne. OK, I admit that this indicates that the drugee in question was possibly not a resident (as to most of that townís feral populace using a public lavatory usually means peeing in a doorway) but you understand my issue that the sort of people whose diminutive minds are so already scrambled that they believe Burberry to be a good look should not be permitted to take drugs that will inevitably make them yet more weirdly recalcitrant.

I realise that we live in such grimly-egalitarian times that a full house for Blunkett: The Musical is entirely feasible but donít you think the authorities could do something about preventing the oxymoronic working class from sliming too far up the social ladder by decreeing that anybody who calls a dealer must first sit a MENSA test?

At the very least, youíd have thought that The Powers would have blocked such blatant endorsement for cocaine as was the front page of yesterdayís Sun, which informed the nation that the mobís very own madonna, Peopleís Princess Di no less, used to take coke during the period when she was fluffing arabs in the back of Mercs.

I mean thatís it, isnít it. You can forget all about trying to keep the rabble off the gack now that theyíve gone and read that their bloody idol made her nose burn. Thanks a bunch, Rupert, for dropping that piece of veiled republicanism on us all. Now weíll never get them back in their place eating Fray Bentos straight from the tin.

And on which foodie note, I come to your request for a satisfying, but slimming, meal. As you can imagine, I have given this a great deal of thought and there has been much consultation with Michael Stone, the chef. It is our conclusion that as you live in France you combine the ultimate in nouvelle cuisine with the ideal diet dish, as follows.

(SORT OF) SALATE TRICOLORE

(Per Person) Take one baby cherry tomato Ė measuring little more than the circumference of a late-season pea Ė and make a 45-degree slit in it about half-way up one side.

Insert the stem of a very small basil leaf into the slit.

Place the leaf-decorated tomato upon a bone-dry side plate and then very carefully arrange about half a gram of cocaine in a line beside the tom.

Serve immediately.

Although this meal seems radically insubstantial, you will find that that almost everybody who finishes it will almost immediately declare themselves to be feeling ďabsolutely stuffedĒ. I expect it was once popular at Kensington Palace . Or at least getting stuffed used to be.

All best

GB


Posted by The Englishman at 4:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

So come and arrest me

A quick trip in to the DIY store leads me down the path of criminality yet again -

In the far distance from The Castle I can see a house - I don't want to so I thought a couple of Leylandii - a fine British tree - would do the trick - two for the price of one at £9.99, done deal.

Of course I am risking an ASBO thanks to that tosser Steve Pound MP for Ealing North... High Hedges Bill

The government declared war on light depriving leylandii hedges, describing them as one of the worst forms of anti-social behaviour and announcing plans to give councils power to chop back any offending hedge higher than two metres (roughly 6ft 6in).

Well I want my pair, I think I will call them Gordon and Tony, to grow well past 100ft as they are capable of doing. I noted the Garden Centre no longer calls them Leylandii just "Ornamental Conifers", such is the fear the Government has put into the growers of them.

And my other purchase - a replacement light switch, of course I wouldn't dare break the law and replace it myself without the presence of a qualified electrician, a man from the council and the Archbishop of bloody Canterbury, would I?

Posted by The Englishman at 4:43 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Dear Hugh 7

The missing letter has turned up...

Thursday May 19th 2005

DEAR HUGH,

Do you have a phone number for Gordon Brown? I thought you might because I seem to recall that you said you met him on holiday once. Or was that Gordon Banks? Whatever, I just need to be able to speak to the bloke. I tried calling up Eleven Downing Street but they're a fat lot of use, apparently he can't be arsed to chat with such low-life who were the most important people on the planet when he wanted my vote a few weeks back.

Anyway, I need to talk to him because I've worked out a way by which he can keep the country afloat; and it's in his interest to listen.

As you know, everybody's in a bit of a tizz over here since Blair discovered that successive governments have been dipping into the Christmas Club box that was the national pensions fund in order to go spend it on ammunition for Iraq, gin and loose women. Or some such. Because everybody's been helping themselves to a tanner here and a fiver there, consequently there is not enough left in the kitty to pay out a pension for people like me who have spent all their life expecting one.

When the penny finally drops in the national psyche that there's no biscuits left in the tin, one of two things is going to happen. Either (a) there will be a run on the "bank" expressed through the act of people refusing to pay any more National Insurance (due to Gresham's Law that you don't throw good money after bad) or (b) there will be a bloody revolution.

Now although Old Shifty (Blair) has reluctantly muttered a claim that he will give up the Caesarism of his position during the term of this Parliament, I suspect there is not a cat's chance of him taking the Yale to No.10 off his key-ring until the very last moment - or at least not until the estate agents have rented his new gaff out at exorbitant rates to some senile Arab.

I reckon that Old Shifty won't shift himself until there is absolutely no money left in the tea caddy where they keep the pension dosh. Only when he can no longer afford new strings for his Stratocaster will he start telling the family to pack and not to forget about boxing up all the prezzies that they got from state visits.

At that stage he'll phone Gordon - probably from the jet upon which he will already be en route to his new post as the musical turn at Camp David - and tell him that he's left him the keys under the mat.

Brown, gurgling with delight at last, will nip next door to claim the throne offered him years back - only to discover that Britain's had the burglars in and there's no money left with which to govern. At which point, cue the start (b) above.

But I can save Brown (and Britain) the spilling of a lot of blood and not some little embarrassment when they pass around the envelope for Old Shifty's leaving gift. And to be honest, I got the idea off Blair himself (although best to keep quiet about that otherwise he'll send his missus round with a writ claiming copyright).

I was gently waking up the other morning to the Today programme as usual when I heard Old Shifty come on The News Read By Brian Perkins to discuss the shortfall in the pension funds and announce that "people must take responsibility for living longer".

Great, I thought, now it's my fault that I'm not already dead. Typical of this lot to try to make me feel guilty about that. So now it's up to me to provide for myself and all that talk of the last sixty years about the welfare state, well, that was just talk; nobody put any commitment in writing.

Then this really good idea - the one that could save Brown's backside - came to me. The Government's point is that because we are all selfishly going around refusing to die in our sixties, more people are eligible for pensions than they calculated for when they did the sums during the period of the Black Death. And this older population boom, coupled with some very bad investment in the nuthouse that is America, has resulted in the nation being, well, a little short.

Old Shifty's solution to this is for us to "take responsibility", by which I take him to mean that we should save more or, more likely, that he is going to quadruple the National Insurance subs. Typically, he's got it arse about face. What he should be doing instead - and this is what I want to tell Brown - is to turn the system on its head.

Instead of moaning that his aunts haven't pegged it and taxing them and us for the audacity of breathing, what he ought to do is reward people for perishing prematurely.

It's staggeringly simple economics. If there's a problem because there are more of us hanging about that there is money in the coffers to cater for, don't penalise us for living longer - encourage us to live shorter.

Instead of heavily taxing cigarettes and booze and other means of an untimely death, what they should do is provide tax breaks and incentives for all those who are making every reasonable every effort to pop off soon. We should get tax relief for smoking, boozing should be re-promoted as socially responsible, fatty fast foods should be subsidised, it should be made cheapest to live in cities where the pollution is vile and there should be Government grants for anybody death-wishy enough to claim in female company that there is more important things in life than new shoes.

By providing these early-grave incentives - and a few others imaginative schemes like benefit hand-outs for VC nominees who say "yes, your bum does look big in that" - the Powers could encourage millions to get their coats and thereby save the nation a packet.

So if you see Gordon, tell him.

GB

Posted by The Englishman at 6:51 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Come visit

If you have Google Earth installed, you can double-click on the downloadable Placemark file below and it will fly you to The Castle. If not, you will need to install Google Earth first (available at http://earth.google.com).

Google Earth Placemark for The Castle.
Send me a link to your place as well!

Posted by The Englishman at 6:45 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Big Brother Bins

Telegraph | News | Microchips in bins help to increase recycling

A council is putting microchips in all 100,000 of its wheelie bins to monitor whether householders are recycling enough of their rubbish.

The 50,000 households in the South Norfolk district council area are being issued with two bins - a grey one for run-of-the-mill rubbish and a green one for plastic bottles, cans, paper and cardboard that can be recycled.
Dustcarts will empty grey bins one week and green ones the next, with on-board scanning equipment weighing each one and identifying which home the contents come from.
Over time, officials in the Liberal Democrat-controlled council will be able to calculate which households are backsliding on recycling and then advise them on how to do better.

And then they will send you to re-education camps, just for your own good ...
Any fascist measure in the name of environmentalism just gets waved through. Any chip in my bin may meet with a nasty accident...

Posted by The Englishman at 6:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

This mornings news...

Telegraph | News

Gang beats father to death
A man has bben beaten to death after refusing to give a light to teenagers as he waited in a pizza takeaway.

Vigil for coma barrister
The daughter of a barrister who remains in a coma 10 days after a teenage gang beat him up as he walked home from a barbecue has told of her concern that he "might never wake up".

Just two items that happen to be next door to each other on The Telegraph front page...

Posted by The Englishman at 6:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 28, 2005

Dear Hugh 9

Oh you lucky people - I have intercepted another "Dear Hugh" letter - get comfortable and read on...

Tuesday June 28th 2005

DEAR HUGH,

A slight problem has cropped up at home and Iím not talking about my on-going writ against Bob Dylan for his unauthorised basing of the lyrics of Like A Rolling Stone and Positively 4th Street on my life (and seeing as you ask, Bobsy, ďitĒ actually feels rubbish and, by the way, itís a drag to see you too). No, the problem du jour is that Iíve become a bit of a woman.


Obviously, I need your advice on how to deal with this; although by that I do not mean that I am seeking you to tell me that my bum does not look big in anything.

Naturally I realise that for your good self to be in receipt on an unsolicited confession from a chap ostensibly claiming to be on the turn is enough to send you screaming to the hills to thwack with sticks the courting Gerards who picnic there on salads and rose wine, so I had better explain my position.

It all began a couple of months back when my left ear fell off as a consequence of a squall of furious lectures from my Grand-Child Bride on the benefits of abstinence from the purple beads winking at the brim.

Following the curve of the philosophy of the G-CBís deal-breaker (which essentially was condensed in the premise that she ďwonít shag drunksĒ) I was persuaded by some forceful lobbying from my lower brain to select the squelching over the burping.

Disregarding for one second the fact that the small print of The Deal was not exactly what I had hoped for Ė or at least the frequency of the results of the aforementioned agreement has been somewhat lacking Ė I attempted to embrace my new sobriety with all of the enthusiasm of a lucky contestant winning a set of soup spoons on Sale Of The Century.

And thereby began this alarming process which appears to have brought on this gender exchange. The more I resisted the lure of my usual eighteen weekly pints of Scruttockís Old Derigible, the more I found myself to be uncharacteristically grumpy and complaining.

I, of course, was fine with this and I explained reasonably that irritation and tetchiness was merely a side-effect of the teetotalitarianism that she had thrust on me and so shut up and get your knickers off and those stockings on.

Bizarrely, this line of argument failed to put her in a mood of anything approaching a state of oestrus. But as her lack of enthusiasm for the new bedfellows of Rampant Rabbits and lubricunt served only to further foul my moods, we had what women like to call ďa chatĒ (which we men recognise as an extended period of uninterrupted berating).

During the course of this (one-way) chat it was illustrated to me that perhaps I should substitute a new substance for the previously-championed alcohol. As you can imagine, my eyes lit up at this prospect and I began to balmily enjoy looking forward to the prospect of towering hills of white powder littering up the home. At the very least, I mused, she must be suggesting that I take up speedballing.

You can, then, appreciate that my heart somewhat sank when she suggested that the gilded grape be replaced withÖchocolate.

Exactly.

I mean, what good is bloody chocolate when you are wanting to gird yourself for a good night in or out? Or even, and indeed especially, for a good night of in and out? Yes, I know that cocoa butter is supposed to turbo-charge the libido, but just breathing usually does that for me.

But, being the sort of agreeable New Chap that I am, I decided to give it a walnut whirl and set off to Waitrose in search of dark chocolate (I am not allowed the milk variety as dairy products feature among the 142 single-spaced pages of proscribed products that my doctor forbids me on account of them worsening any of my 35 terminal conditions).

Being a chap, I had expected to find a bit of Bournville and, being a chap, had expected to find that perfectly disgusting and pointless.

But bugger me if I didnít get that wrong. I had been expecting to pick up one of those red-wrapped bars that your Dad used to eat when he started smoking a pipe, lonely stacked in isolation amid shelves of the good Belgian stuff. But instead I found myself staring into a darkiesí cave of milk-less choc.

Iíd heard that some people (women) have a bit of a fetish for the stuff, but did you know that these days they appear to make dark chocolate for every form of depravity? Thereís lemon choc, blackcurrant choc, lavender choc (no, I have no idea why), orange choc, mint choc, and then thereís the really hard-core stuff like cardamom chocolate and, I am not making this up, cayenne chocolate. Why the hell any bird would enjoy something like that, both sweet and spicy, is beyond me; but then it never ceases to amaze me what women will put in their mouths these days.

Anyway, undaunted by which choice to make from this exotica Ė let alone undazed by the confusion of what is the point of difference between ď70% cocoaĒ and ď85% cocoaĒ Ė I made a purchase.

By the way, in the unlikely event of this Dantesque tale having the effect of in any way persuading you to follow my strange behaviour, let me warn you now that this superchoc isnít cheap; one bar retails at around the same price as a small Japanese car (not, I know, that you would be seen dead in a ditch in a Japanese car; Iím just making an illustration).

Anyway, weighed down by my choice of pricey choc (for which I am hoping to find funding by applying to the G8 Summit for one of those debt write-offs that they hand out these days to anybody who canít pay the water bill) I crawled home full of thoughts that it would bloody well serve her right when my eating of the stuff caused her enjoyment of EastEnders to be interrupted by projectile-vomiting.

As you can never be too careful with this sort of girly food, I took the precaution of having several good heaves on a roll-up of that Algerian herbal mixture that you sent me, in order to assist my appetite.

Well blow me vicar and schtump me with a trenching tool if I wasnít as ill-advised as the Mayor of Hiroshimaís ďSilent SundayĒ campaign.

Never mind booze, this stuff is better than acid! Honestly. All that stuff that we thought was guff when the girls said it was more-ish and ďgorgeousĒ and ďbetter than sexĒ is spot on (not that I am currently in a position to calibrate the latter comparison, but you get the drift).

Anyway, this whole seeing it (or indeed anything) from the womenís point of view is, as you can imagine, more scary than going round to Alexís gaff to hear his Yes albums and although I have yet to develop any other girly symptoms, like an unnatural interest in shoe shops and the inability to throw a ball properly, I am understandably concerned that without psychological counselling I might start to miss watching Sex In The Clitty or whatever itís called and nonchalantly shaving my arm-pits and blunting the blade of something that is quite clearly marked ďmenís face razorĒ.

God forbid that I might even start having telephone conversations that veer from the correct form of ďHello + the point of my call + goodbyeĒ.

As you can read, Iím in quite a state over this; so please send lawyers, guns and money. And donít, for Christís sake, even entertain trying any of the following recipes. Or you too might start agreeing with Them. And chaos lies that way.

All best,

GB

(CHICKEN IN CHILLI & CHOCOLATE RECIPE FOLLOWS HERE, TOGETHER WITH RECIPES FOR DAMN-EASY CHOCOLATE MOUSSE, CHOCOLATE FATHERSí DAY CAKE AND CHOC & HASH BROWNIES)

Tuesday June 28th 2005

DEAR HUGH,

A slight problem has cropped up at home and Iím not talking about my on-going writ against Bob Dylan for his unauthorised basing of the lyrics of Like A Rolling Stone and Positively 4th Street on my life (and seeing as you ask, Bobsy, ďitĒ actually feels rubbish and, by the way, itís a drag to see you too). No, the problem du jour is that Iíve become a bit of a woman.

Obviously, I need your advice on how to deal with this; although by that I do not mean that I am seeking you to tell me that my bum does not look big in anything.

Naturally I realise that for your good self to be in receipt on an unsolicited confession from a chap ostensibly claiming to be on the turn is enough to send you screaming to the hills to thwack with sticks the courting Gerards who picnic there on salads and rose wine, so I had better explain my position.

It all began a couple of months back when my left ear fell off as a consequence of a squall of furious lectures from my Grand-Child Bride on the benefits of abstinence from the purple beads winking at the brim.

Following the curve of the philosophy of the G-CBís deal-breaker (which essentially was condensed in the premise that she ďwonít shag drunksĒ) I was persuaded by some forceful lobbying from my lower brain to select the squelching over the burping.

Disregarding for one second the fact that the small print of The Deal was not exactly what I had hoped for Ė or at least the frequency of the results of the aforementioned agreement has been somewhat lacking Ė I attempted to embrace my new sobriety with all of the enthusiasm of a lucky contestant winning a set of soup spoons on Sale Of The Century.

And thereby began this alarming process which appears to have brought on this gender exchange. The more I resisted the lure of my usual eighteen weekly pints of Scruttockís Old Derigible, the more I found myself to be uncharacteristically grumpy and complaining.

I, of course, was fine with this and I explained reasonably that irritation and tetchiness was merely a side-effect of the teetotalitarianism that she had thrust on me and so shut up and get your knickers off and those stockings on.

Bizarrely, this line of argument failed to put her in a mood of anything approaching a state of oestrus. But as her lack of enthusiasm for the new bedfellows of Rampant Rabbits and lubricunt served only to further foul my moods, we had what women like to call ďa chatĒ (which we men recognise as an extended period of uninterrupted berating).

During the course of this (one-way) chat it was illustrated to me that perhaps I should substitute a new substance for the previously-championed alcohol. As you can imagine, my eyes lit up at this prospect and I began to balmily enjoy looking forward to the prospect of towering hills of white powder littering up the home. At the very least, I mused, she must be suggesting that I take up speedballing.

You can, then, appreciate that my heart somewhat sank when she suggested that the gilded grape be replaced withÖchocolate.

Exactly.

I mean, what good is bloody chocolate when you are wanting to gird yourself for a good night in or out? Or even, and indeed especially, for a good night of in and out? Yes, I know that cocoa butter is supposed to turbo-charge the libido, but just breathing usually does that for me.

But, being the sort of agreeable New Chap that I am, I decided to give it a walnut whirl and set off to Waitrose in search of dark chocolate (I am not allowed the milk variety as dairy products feature among the 142 single-spaced pages of proscribed products that my doctor forbids me on account of them worsening any of my 35 terminal conditions).

Being a chap, I had expected to find a bit of Bournville and, being a chap, had expected to find that perfectly disgusting and pointless.

But bugger me if I didnít get that wrong. I had been expecting to pick up one of those red-wrapped bars that your Dad used to eat when he started smoking a pipe, lonely stacked in isolation amid shelves of the good Belgian stuff. But instead I found myself staring into a darkiesí cave of milk-less choc.

Iíd heard that some people (women) have a bit of a fetish for the stuff, but did you know that these days they appear to make dark chocolate for every form of depravity? Thereís lemon choc, blackcurrant choc, lavender choc (no, I have no idea why), orange choc, mint choc, and then thereís the really hard-core stuff like cardamom chocolate and, I am not making this up, cayenne chocolate. Why the hell any bird would enjoy something like that, both sweet and spicy, is beyond me; but then it never ceases to amaze me what women will put in their mouths these days.

Anyway, undaunted by which choice to make from this exotica Ė let alone undazed by the confusion of what is the point of difference between ď70% cocoaĒ and ď85% cocoaĒ Ė I made a purchase.

By the way, in the unlikely event of this Dantesque tale having the effect of in any way persuading you to follow my strange behaviour, let me warn you now that this superchoc isnít cheap; one bar retails at around the same price as a small Japanese car (not, I know, that you would be seen dead in a ditch in a Japanese car; Iím just making an illustration).

Anyway, weighed down by my choice of pricey choc (for which I am hoping to find funding by applying to the G8 Summit for one of those debt write-offs that they hand out these days to anybody who canít pay the water bill) I crawled home full of thoughts that it would bloody well serve her right when my eating of the stuff caused her enjoyment of EastEnders to be interrupted by projectile-vomiting.

As you can never be too careful with this sort of girly food, I took the precaution of having several good heaves on a roll-up of that Algerian herbal mixture that you sent me, in order to assist my appetite.

Well blow me vicar and schtump me with a trenching tool if I wasnít as ill-advised as the Mayor of Hiroshimaís ďSilent SundayĒ campaign.

Never mind booze, this stuff is better than acid! Honestly. All that stuff that we thought was guff when the girls said it was more-ish and ďgorgeousĒ and ďbetter than sexĒ is spot on (not that I am currently in a position to calibrate the latter comparison, but you get the drift).

Anyway, this whole seeing it (or indeed anything) from the womenís point of view is, as you can imagine, more scary than going round to Alexís gaff to hear his Yes albums and although I have yet to develop any other girly symptoms, like an unnatural interest in shoe shops and the inability to throw a ball properly, I am understandably concerned that without psychological counselling I might start to miss watching Sex In The Clitty or whatever itís called and nonchalantly shaving my arm-pits and blunting the blade of something that is quite clearly marked ďmenís face razorĒ.

God forbid that I might even start having telephone conversations that veer from the correct form of ďHello + the point of my call + goodbyeĒ.

As you can read, Iím in quite a state over this; so please send lawyers, guns and money. And donít, for Christís sake, even entertain trying any of the following recipes. Or you too might start agreeing with Them. And chaos lies that way.

All best,

GB

(CHICKEN IN CHILLI & CHOCOLATE RECIPE FOLLOWS HERE, TOGETHER WITH RECIPES FOR DAMN-EASY CHOCOLATE MOUSSE, CHOCOLATE FATHERSí DAY CAKE AND CHOC & HASH BROWNIES)



Posted by The Englishman at 5:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Come fly with me!

Google Earth is a standalone application that's essentially an enhanced and upgraded version of its Keyhole 3D satellite imagery product. As Google has done with several of its past acquisitions, the company has also made the application free to all users, dropping its annual subscription fee for the basic version. Google Earth Plus with additional features will cost $20 per year.

Google Earth is designed to make it easy to "fly" to aerial views of many locations on the planet. Currently, the application has detailed imagery for the U.S., Canada and the U.K. and 38 major cities in other countries, as well as medium to high resolution terrain imagery for the entire world.

The application is a "console" with controls allowing you manipulate 3D satellite imagery of the Earth in a viewer directly above the controls. When you first start the application, your view is of the entire globe. You can either use the controls or Google Earth's search functions to zoom in on a specific location.

Wow wow wow!

Posted by The Englishman at 5:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cuddly Communist Spy

Telegraph | News | Unrepentant Soviet spy Melita Norwood dies at 93

Melita Norwood, once described as "the most important British female agent ever recruited by the KGB", has died at the age of 93, it was announced yesterday.

Mrs Norwood, whose espionage activities were disclosed by Vasili Mitrokhin - a former KGB archivist - in 1999 after his defection to MI6 with a large number of files, died at a West Midlands nursing home almost four weeks ago.

Mrs Norwood had been an "extraordinaily motivated Soviet agent right to the end of her life".

I seem not to be able to spot the words; traitor, rope, heels spinning, flung into an unmarked grave, which surely should be in the story somewhere - or is it that cuddly communist grandmothers didn't really mean any harm, so that is all right then.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:20 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Byers in Court

Telegraph | News | Byers 'stole Railtrack from small shareholders with targeted malice'
...
Accusing Mr Byers of "expropriating" Railtrack from its owners, he said he had brought about "a de facto renationalisation" of the company, which owned the railway tracks, signals and stations. However, "Mr Byers was not willing or able because of the cost to do that by the conventional route: buying the shares in the company. Instead, he wanted to get something for nothing, something for which he ought to have paid."
Mr Rowley said: "I believe Mr Byers's integrity will be at the heart of [the case].

On one side we have the facts - on the other side we have Byers "integrity"; a word the sincerely stupid, sincerely socialist, Polytechnic teacher would have to read out loud to himself as he looked it up to discover its meaning - allegedly! Wouldn't take me long to come to a judgement, though I would reserve a couple of days to devising a suitable punishment....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cuddly Oirish Terrorists

Telegraph | News | IRA can change, says Blair

The Prime Minister appeared to endorse suggestions that the IRA could transform itself into an old boys commemorative organisation when he met with Bertie Ahern, his Irish counterpart, in London yesterday.

Once again, Mr Blair stopped short of calling for the disbandment of the IRA when he said that the IRA could adopt a "different modus operandi" as both leaders called on republicans to embrace peace and democracy. Earlier this month Mr Ahern indicated that IRA parades and old boys' reunions could be tolerated, provided the Provisionals ceased all paramilitary activity.

Excuse me while I vomit - let's all dance down the street, drinking Guinness and having a Craic hand in hand with murderers and bombers. They are jolly people the Irish you see, they didn't really mean any harm as they tried to impose their Marxist regime through intimidation and criminal rackets.

Twenty years time there will be bun fights and fizzy pop all round as old boys from Al Queada hold their annual March through London - followed by a Tea Dance and fireworks - on September 11th.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Local - how the money goes

At vast expense someone built a combined control room for all the emergency services in the Devizes area - ie when you rang 999 it was answered in one building and then they sorted out who to send.

The Firemen threw a wobbly because they are "special" and needed there own centre. It was eventually solved I believe by building them their own room in the centre.

May 2003

The FBU had voted to take strike action over safety issues and job security at the shared 999 control site in Devizes.

(Note the "safety issues" when it was just about saving members jobs!)

And now a whole two years later another move is planned - and the firemen are having another tizzy - safety - jobs - madness.

BBC NEWS | England | Wiltshire | Fire control move is 'inevitable'

Wiltshire fire brigade has admitted it will have to quit the new shared 999 control centre because of plans to create a regional call hub.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is against the merger.
The union fears it may lead to delays in calls being answered.

Last month, firefighters in neighbouring Gloucestershire took unofficial industrial action in protest at the merger plans.
In February, Avon Fire Authority said it would not voluntarily hand over 999 services.

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June 27, 2005

Dear Hugh 8

Monday June 27th 2005

DEAR HUGH,

Thank you for your letter asking for a good hang-over cure. Before I apply myself to that, I thought you ought to know that Iíve discovered where the Government has spent all that pension cash that everybodyís been asking them for - the ever-nannying Home Office has used it to buy Morrisons, or Safeways as we used to call it.

Odd, I know, but nonetheless true. And I have proof; I was in there (Safeway/Morrisons) this morning, mooching about with a list and trying to avoid those mums who hang around there bending over deliberately at the bottom shelves so that you can see their cleavage and get the hint that their old manís at work, when the contents of my trolley were suddenly seized at the check-out.

Now before you start assuming stuff, donít. Because whilst I realise that it is perfectly possible to buy magic mushrooms in Oxford Street these days (at the jeans store that is opposite Virgin at the Tottenham Court Road end), as far as Iím aware Safeway has yet to get in on that act.

No, my shopping was impounded because it contained aspirin and paracetamol. There on the conveyor belt behind the apples, San Pellegrino and dairy-free ice cream (sic), were four packets of 16 tablets of aspirin and four packets of 16 tablets of paracetamol. Each packet costing 19p.

I was just breaking into that forehead sweat that you get from attempting to keep up with bagging your shopping in tandem with the Mach III speed at which they scan it when the slip of a girl on the check-out said ďYou canít have thatĒ.

ďSorry?Ē, I said, confused.

ďYou canít have that. I can only sell you two packets of painkillersĒ.

ďBut I want eightĒ, I protested.

ďYou can only have twoĒ.

ďWhy?Ē, I said, knowing already that I was going to regret asking that.

ďItís the lawĒ, she recited woodenly.

ďNo itís notĒ, I reacted, being something of an authority on the varied legalities of substances (as you know).

The girl was plainly confused by this and appeared reluctant to argue.

ďWho told you itís the law?Ē, I continued but she didnít want to answer that either.

ďHang on a secĒ, I said and muttering ďsorry about this, mateĒ to the bloke who was now knocked out with delight to be queuing behind this unexpected shopping jam, I belted off to the in-store pharmacy.

ďExcuse meĒ, I mumbled to the chemist who was standing there glaring at me with eyes that said itís eleven thirty in the morning, why arenít you at work like proper men? ďYour girl on the till tells me that I can only buy two packets of painkillers. Why is that?Ē

Immediately she clocked the long hair and earrings and, doubtless presuming that I was therefore planning to inject this gear, enquired ďWhy do you need more?Ē

ďBecause I have a wife and three daughters and they all get periods and because my son and I get headachesĒ, I said, not expecting the interrogation and not willing to disclose the input of hangovers here.

ďWell, itís the law anywayĒ, she huffed.

ďWhich law is that? Can you name me the exact Act?Ē.

Irritated by my retaliation, she changed tack.

ďItís so that you donít overdoseĒ, she said.

ďBut I wasnít planning to overdoseĒ. I admit that this was a bit of a lie; for whilst I had no intentions of suicide before this palaver began, the appeal of that was by now starting to grow on me.

ďItís meant to make it difficult for people to overdoseĒ.

I fixed her with my best ďMadam, you are a cretinĒ look whilst I computed that two-packs-only rule was ludicrous anyway, on account of 2 x 16 aspirin or 2 x 16 paracetamol or an exotic cocktail of one pack of either would kill you anyway.

So what was the rule for? To stop you killing yourself more? To prevent binge-dying?

Besides, what happened to the buy-one-get-one-free philosophy; does that only apply to catering packs of Kotex and other non-requirements like surplus tins of luncheon meat?

I was causing another queue now and the line of pensioners behind me were becoming arsey that I was holding them up from getting their prescriptions for surgical stockings, so I went for the throat.

ďLet me get this right; you can only sell me two packets of aspirin in case I kill myself Ė even though those two packets would kill me anyway?Ē

ďThatís right, only two packetsĒ, she withered.

ďOK. So how many bottles of Scotch can you sell me?Ē

ďAs many as youíd like, sirĒ, said the mouthpiece of reason.

I walked away, resisting the temptation to summon the manager for a good castigating on the matter of how dare he sell two-litre bottles of bleach, as that could kill me, or how dare he sell packs of twelve fish-fingers, as that could suffocate me if I crammed them all into my mouth at once and refused to chew or swallow, or how dare he not limit the quantity of Diet Coke I could purchase in case, in a suicidal bid, I filled my bath with it and held my head under the brown froth.

Come to that, how dare they sell bunches of bananas when it is perfectly feasible that I could stand outside the store stripping off the skins and deliberately attempting to slip on one, again and again until I managed to skid beneath a passing bus?

And I was just enumerating the myriad ways in which I suspected that Safeway was stealthily culpable of assisting my death when the reason for all this came to me.

Blunkett, this is his doing. Or else the doing of that fat bogger who stepped in as replacement when dear David got caught bringing a whole new meaning to Blind Manís Buff, the one who looks like a pederast Father Christmas.

Itís the bloody Home Office, buying up Safeway/Morrisons in order to nanny us again with that restrictionist protestant logic that they never quite manage to think out much beyond the penetrating argument of ďjust donít do it, OK?Ē I expect theyíre going to re-name it ďHomerísĒ, probably in a bid to subliminally appeal to the Simpsons-like intelligence of their average supporter.

Anyway, all of this expansionism by the Home Sweet Home Office is just the tip of the ice-pick. As soon as their spin quacks get on the case we wonít even be allowed two packs of aspirin; not content with printing that ďSmoking KillsĒ graffiti all over my Marlboro packs, the Government PR unit will have a field day with new slogans like ďTense, nervous headache? Deal with itĒ.

And this brings me to my point Ė if the Government is now set on preventing the use of pain-killers (either by this alleged ďlawĒ that nobody seems capable of detailing or else by state control of supermarketing), how on Earth are decent Englishmen like ourselves expected to cure our hangovers?

Are we to be called upon to do something ridiculous like just ignore the pain? Does Blunkett or Clarke or whatever he calls himself require that we donít get drunk? Or maybe heís hoping to fob us off with those herbal ďremediesĒ on which it is impossible to OD for the simple reason that extract of camomile wouldnít anaesthetise a newly-born ant.

The point is that the writing is on the wall and I seriously advice you to stock up now on all available forms of pain-killer otherwise the cure below will not work. Unless you know of a better cure, in which case send me the recipe.

THE GOOD MORNING-AFTER

* In a pint glass, pour in four fingers of near-frozen vodka.

* Add the juice and zest of one lemon + one finger of Tabasco.

* Add sprinkle of celery salt + one finger of Worcestershire Sauce.

* Add four aspirin or paracetamol + 1 teaspoon of Vitamin C.

* Top up with juice of 1 tin of liquidised plum tomatoes + ice.

* Drink rapidly, followed by chaser of half-pint of pale ale.

* If hang-over remains after 10 minutes, repeat all above.

* Do not bother to decorate with irritating celery stick as it invariably gets in the way and restricts the gulping.

All best,

GB

Posted by The Englishman at 7:20 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

And did those feet?

How long for Englandís green and pleasant land?
We British are obsessed by landscape, yet our own actions and climate change could alter it for ever, says Bryan Appleyard....in a time of environmental change and decay, one name should head all lists of our contemporary landscape artists. He is not seen as an artist at all, but as a scientist. James Lovelock made his name through the Gaia hypothesis, which suggested that the earth could be viewed as a single organism, a concept that, after 40 years, is generally accepted. Indeed, it is the foundation of all earth science.

Bollocks, but then Appleyard is just another empty headed metropolitan Arts critic who doesn't know better. He is correct in one way though, "Earth Science" is now a catch all term for touchy feely environmental courses in some universities which produce bearded sandal wearers who become "experts" and Luddites in the name of three toed liver-worts at the first sign of progress. But that's not real "Earth Science" - back in my day at college when we studied cutting down rain-forests and how to do it to maximise yield, organo-chlorines and when it was good to use them; in fact as I was saying to old whatshis name at the Ball the other night.......

Posted by The Englishman at 7:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Tory loser knows how to win

Telegraph | News | Howard: Tax cuts won't put us back in power

..It also reflects a growing view among Tories on the modernising, liberal wing that the state of public services is of more pressing concern to voters than tax cuts, which they do not trust politicians to provide.
Mr Howard's speech, the first of several setting out his views on the party's future, will be seen as a coded attack on David Davis, the front-runner to succeed him.

I'm becoming more attracted to David Davis the more I hear...Howard is quite right in one way to say we don't trust politicians to deliver "tax cuts" - certainly didn't believe his wishy-washy promises. "Tax cuts" aren't just about the money, in fact the money is the minor consideration. It is the concept of rolling back the state and letting people spend their own money how they want, rather than believing in a system that says that 4 out of every 10 pence I earn will be more wisely spent by The Government than I could manage to do.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:02 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 25, 2005

Patently Obvious

Vote YES to Patenting Software and Business Methods*
*and computer-implemented cooking recipes

Top Ten Reasons to Vote for Software Patents
We present an easy-to-read guide to software patents and why you, an MEP should vote for
full patentability of software and business methods. Copy and distribute this handy guide!...
Vote for Software Patents now and help us
destroy the SME plague!
This message has been brought to you by the British Association for Software Technology and Research & Development Standards, representing the largest technology firms in Europe and America in collaboration with patent attorneys. We believe in a future where we the largest and most powerful firms are free to compete on any legal terms that we care to define even if it means corrupting the democratic process and destroying the general population's trust in the EU institutions to do so.

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June 24, 2005

The view from my window

outmywindow.jpg I looked up from typing to see this - and Ihad my camera to hand, nothing else!

Posted by The Englishman at 7:21 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Where's that global warming when you need it?

After a break of 24 years I'm going to an Oxford May Ball this evening - and what is happening to our heatwave ? uk.weather.com - Oxford Weather. Bugger. Still it will be good to go back to St John's. I'm too old for this staying up lark, still I should be alright as long as I don't call any police horses gay!

Posted by The Englishman at 6:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 23, 2005

Tony Two Face on Europe

BBC NEWS | Politics | Full text: Blair's European speech

I am a passionate pro-European. I always have been.

TONY BLAIR SEDGEFIELD PAMPHLET

Tony Blair was elected to Parliament as a Labour Party MP in the constituency of Sedgefield at the General Election on the 9th of June 1983. He had previously stood at the Beaconsfield by-election in 1982. In his Sedgefield Election Address he stated:
"We'll negotiate a withdrawal from the E.E.C. which has drained our natural resources and destroyed jobs."
Sovereignty has obtained a copy of Blair's 1983 Sedgefield Election Address and we reproduce it in full. His EEC quote appears on page 3...

Posted by The Englishman at 11:45 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Our Island Story

Those very good chaps at Civitas have a project to republish H.E. Marshallís Our Island Story. The Daily Telegraph has been running a fabulous campaign to support them. John Clare points out in todayís ĎAny questions?í how popular the idea is and how you can help.
By coincidence we were given Mrs Englishman's Mother's copy a month or so ago, with a load of other books, and it is the book of choice in the East Wing Lavatory. I have been enjoying rereading it, remembering it from my school days. For some reason I always imagined the author to be some tweedy pipe smoking gentleman - so I was surprised to discover the author's name behind the initials - Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall! Support the campaign and get hold of a copy if you can - you will enjoy it as much as the next Harry Potter from that John Kingsley Rowling chap!

Posted by The Englishman at 6:48 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Meeting the vassals

Telegraph | News | Eurocrats plan grand tour to win hearts of citizens

Still reeling from the collapse of its constitution, the EU's most senior Eurocrats yesterday promised to tour member states, including Britain, to ask citizens for their vision of its future.
Aides pledged that the 25-nation tour would not be complete without the commissioners involved meeting their fiercest critics face to face, including British Euro-sceptics.

The European tour will be led by Jose Manuel Barroso
The progress through national capitals will begin this autumn, and will be led by Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, and Margot Wallstrom, the vice-president for communications.
They will be accompanied by a shifting retinue of relevant commissioners - such as Peter Mandelson for the British leg of the tour.
The exercise to win hearts and minds will lead to the commissioners meeting national parliaments and members of "civil society", including unions, NGOs, groups of voters and young people.


"civil society", oh - that lets me out then!.

Like Mediśval monarchs loaded with a waggon train of bribes they will stately process dispensing favours and audiences on the adoring crowds..., maybe like Bad King John they will loose the Constitution in The Wash. A tip - avoid any surfeit of lampreys on your trip Margot!

Posted by The Englishman at 6:45 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 22, 2005

Last bastion of Marxism

IN OUR TIME'S GREATEST PHILOSOPHER VOTE - Radio 4 - you can probably guess that Karl is running away with the vote....

Posted by The Englishman at 12:35 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

No, no , yes

BBC NEWS | Politics | Blair says EU rebate 'has to go'

Tony Blair has said Britain's £3bn EU rebate is an "anomaly that has to go" -

He is tired of all that tough posturing and some of his European chums have been rude to him - where is he going to go on holiday next year? - so the Tony is made for turning.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:00 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Leading Trade and Industry by example

BBC NEWS | Politics | DTI name changes cost '£30,000'

The week-long rebrand of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to Productivity, Energy and Industry (DPEI) cost nearly £30,000.

I bet it cost a lot more - there must be thousands of letterheads somewhere being pulped and unaccounted for! As Tory frontbencher Lord Hanningfield said "This whole episode revealed yet again that Tony Blair is more interested in renaming and rebranding Whitehall than renewing and reforming Britain. "

Posted by The Englishman at 6:57 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 21, 2005

ID Cards - the musical

eclectech : the very model of a modern labour minister : a tribute to charles clarke and his id cards

a hint of politics and opinion, a dapper dog singing and the cutest puppy pianist on the planet...

And don't forget:

Pledgebank

"I will refuse to register for an ID card and will donate £10 to a legal defence fund but only if 10,000 other people will also make this same pledge."

Posted by The Englishman at 10:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Target Rich Environment

Telegraph | News
Modern-day druids, hippies and revellers who turn up at Stonehenge to celebrate the summer solstice may not be marking an ancient festival as they believe.

Ah, so Hippies are wrong - makes a change. As they drag themselves back to London from Stonehenge they pass by Free Market Towers; and the more lost pass under the Castle walls - off to check if the oil is up the right temperature yet...

Posted by The Englishman at 6:36 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Cigarretten Vertrauensmšnner

Telegraph | News | Cigarette snoopers to enforce ban

New powers effectively criminalising smoking in public were announced by the Government yesterday, with the minister in charge promising an "intelligence-led approach to enforcing the law".
Informers will be encouraged to report breaches of sweeping bans on the habit, in which company smoking rooms will be outlawed and places such as bus shelters and the outsides of office blocks made no-smoking areas.

Which would you prefer; A country of self rightous grasses whispering to Authority or, also from The Telegraph;

hnsmoke21r.jpg

Posted by The Englishman at 6:30 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 20, 2005

Wimbledon Balls

WIMBLEDON has stepped up its battle against internet touts by trying to make the resale of tickets for the tennis championships that start today a criminal offence. The Government is considering new laws that would make it illegal to resell tickets won in the tournamentís public ballot....The spokesman said: ďWe spend huge amounts of time and money to ensure that Wimbledon tickets originally go to the people who genuinely wish to attend the event themselves. We would welcome any legislation that helps to facilitate this process.Ē (The Times)

Of course I am naive but I thought selling tickets in an auction was an ideal way of making sure the tickets went to someone who wanted to go - what is it about ticket touts that annoys people so much? I fail to see the difference between a ticket I have bought and no longer want and any other item I have which I want to sell on. just that ingrained hatred of the free market I suppose..

Posted by The Englishman at 6:37 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Tory Shower

Tim Hames in The Times tells the Tories a few home truths...

Come on peasants, revolt!

The argument being offered is that Conservative MPs have a unique knowledge of the strengths and weakness of the candidates and they alone can be trusted to reach a rounded decision about their respective merits.

Yet what has been the record of this panoply of gods in the past 15 years? They usurped Margaret Thatcher and ushered in 15 years of civil conflict. They embraced the feeble John Major in 1990 and then again in 1995 simply because he was not Michael Heseltine. They plumped for William Hague in 1997 because he was not Ken Clarke and declined to move against him two years later when it was already evident that he was a liability. In 2001 they provided party members with a shortlist of Mr Clarke and Iain Duncan Smith ó a choice between the unacceptable and the unelectable. The notion that they have divine inspiration is risible.

It is, furthermore, all part of a broader fallacy. To listen to some Tory MPs one might believe that the party in Parliament consists of an enlightened band of shrewd moderates who are desperate to charge towards the political centre ground but, alas, are constrained by a fanatical cadre of racist, sexist, homophobic, probably mentally unbalanced pensioners in the constituencies who crave ideological purity above power. This is nonsense. Long experience of the company of Conservative MPs has taught me that a disturbingly high proportion are themselves a few votes short of a full ballot box. I refuse to accept that it can be statistically possible for the Conservative Party in the country to contain a higher percentage of headcases.

...It is time for a peasantsí revolt in the Conservative Party. If I were a typical member I would think that if I am good enough to donate money to it, good enough to raise funds from others for it, good enough to stuff envelopes, good enough to deliver leaflets and good enough to knock on doors, then I am good enough to be asked to decide whether I keep or lose my vote on the party leadership.....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 18, 2005

Morning

Mr FM Mr NBC The Good ColoneI - Last night Pub IPA write you own comment
55H60109.jpg
Image taken on 18/6/2005 7:10

Posted by The Englishman at 7:16 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

June 17, 2005

Alternative ideas wanted

Via Dear Old Blithers:
And Wired reports that the UN wants to impose a tax on every e-mail sent. Hereís an idea instead:...

Posted by The Englishman at 7:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Nannies Tea Time

Telegraph | News | WI in a pickle over safety

To the many satisfied customers who buy Ann Doy's prized homemade piccalilli it does not matter where the ingredients have come from. It is the taste that counts.
But Government officials, acting on European regulations, are determined that she, and thousands like her, must now account for every ingredient, insisting on them keeping receipts for a year for each item purchased.
"If I use something from my own garden I have to write a receipt out to myself." All the produce has the ingredients clearly listed".
The legislation affects all homemade produce and even cricket teas will be held to account.
A spokesman for the Food Standards Agency said the legislation only applies to outlets selling on a regular basis. He said: "We would envisage local authorities [will] take a proportionate and flexible approach."

Ah - there's the rub - you intoduce legislation and claim it is reasonable because you expect the local Council Officers to ignore it - but give a bully a new stick and what are they going to do?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:52 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Tony? cynical ploy? No...

Telegraph | News | Blair's anti-terror Bill was 'an election ploy'

Tony Blair was accused last night of using terrorist control orders as a "cynical election ploy" after it emerged that they had yet to be extended to any new suspects.

Quelle surprise! Next, news that Dolly Parton sleeps on her back...

Posted by The Englishman at 6:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 16, 2005

One last flight

Telegraph | News | Donors let the Sally B fly again

A wartime bomber will be able to make one more historic flight despite European insurance regulations that have made it too expensive to fly.
Britain's only airworthy B17 Flying Fortress, the Sally B, will join Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancasters to celebrate the 60th anniversary of VJ Day with a flypast at the Blenheim Festival of Flight on Aug 14.
It was feared that the aircraft would be grounded after EU regulations put it in the weight category of an airliner, increasing its insurance five-fold.
Francis Rockliff, the festival's director, described the re-classification of the Flying Fortress as "European bureaucratic lunacy", but sponsorship by Virgin Atlantic and an anonymous American donor has made its appearance possible.

Good news - I must try and go - but if it really is its last flight might I suggest a slightly different flight plan - rather than going west to Blenheim a more South East route would take it over the Channel, and Brussels isn't that far, even if it were fully loaded...

Posted by The Englishman at 7:08 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Prescott mad plans to improve the housing market

Telegraph | News | Bulldozers move in on Liverpool

In Hertford Road, Bootle, the bulldozers were clearing terraces where people were still living as the first phase of the Deputy Prime Minister's 15-year housing market renewal scheme ground into action. Officials said the demolitions, on either side of one house, were necessary because criminals had been using the houses. But residents said the move was intimidatory.
A hard-hatted worker, who declined to give his name, told The Daily Telegraph: "We're having terrible trouble with the local people."

"These are gorgeous houses. If you got one like them in London you would be talking about £1 million."

Mary Jo Joyce, a Bootle resident who has backed the families campaigning to save their streets, said: "The houses they are planning to build will have half the space at twice the price. They will look ugly and could have been built anywhere."

Nothing like an old Socilaist trying to organise a free market is there? - and when it doesn't work throwing all his teddies out the pram - or in this case knocking it all down and blaming the stock!

In related news Mugabe's bulldozers continue to knock down houses people want to live in...

Posted by The Englishman at 6:59 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 15, 2005

Worth turning the Box on for

channel4.com CUTTING EDGE: THE F***ING FULFORDS Tonight 9:00

Meet the Fulfords, Devon's answer to The Osbournes - but in tweed. One of Britain's oldest families, the Fulfords preside over a huge estate set in over 3,000 acres of countryside, passed on to the eldest son of each generation for over 800 years.

But the Fulford dynasty is under threat due to financial troubles. Head of the house Francis spends much of his time devising money-making schemes to help him raise the annual £30,000 needed to keep the house running, not to mention the cool million required to stop it becoming derelict.

Wife Kishanda has the thankless and never-ending task of attempting to keep such a huge property tidy while looking after the four children - Humphrey, Edmund, Matilda and Arthur, eldest son and heir to the estate.

It's English eccentrics against the rest of the world as the Fulfords fight for survival. Expect high blood pressure and expletives galore in this look at one man's fight to save his corner of England.

One repeat worth watching!

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Semper Paratus

BBC NEWS | Politics | Watchdog voices Armed Forces fear

Funding for the Navy has been cut temporarily to concentrate on the Army.

Ships not needed are generally repaired only if there are problems affecting health and safety or environmental safety.

The National Audit Office says: "Although funding is planned to start to return to normal from 2006, the MoD anticipates that the material state of the Fleet will degrade, along with its ability to undertake high readiness tasks over a longer period."

The RAF has cut flying hours for fast jet crews from 17.5 hours a month to 16.5.

The MoD says the risks are "acceptable" but the NAO warns it could affect the crews' "high-end war fighting skill sets" and over time dilute skills and experience.

The report suggests 38% of forces have "serious weaknesses" in their state of readiness.

Keeping our ships battle ready isn't important, as long as H&S and the environment are protected - and don't think of Jack Hawkins in his Duffle Coat anymore think "Royal Navy's diversity and equality policy officer"

Royal Navy reforms; recruits gay staff

The Royal Navy has announced a new drive towards equality for its lesbian and gay employees, with a host of new initiatives set to modernise and reform the institution.

And as well as these projects, which include partnering with Stonewall and changing its policy on 'married' quarters in line with the new Civil Partnerships, the Navy has announced it will advertise in the gay press as part of its latest recruitment drive.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mandy in 1940

BBC NEWS | Politics | UK must end "Churchillian tone on the Reich"

The UK Government must stop sounding like Winston Churchill in its negotiations in Berlin, European Commissioner Peter Mandelson has said.
In a speech in London, Mr Mandelson said the UK had to change both tone and substance to win backing in Europe.
The UK must be ready to look at reforming its independence as part of a deeper rethink of the Reich's plans, he said.
"It is surely wrong to ask the poorer new accession states to pay for any part of the independence," he said....

In a Fabian lecture in east London, Mr Mandelson said: "Refusal to talk about much needed Joining the Reich is part of the old conservatism in Europe which the Barroso Commission is determined to change.

"But Britain should be careful not to play into the hands of this conservatism.

"Ministers must be consistent and courageous in their reformism, and be prepared, in the context of a deeper re-think about the Reich's expansion, to look at reforming Britain's independence."

Posted by The Englishman at 7:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mandy joins in the handbagging

BBC NEWS | Politics | UK must end 'Thatcher tone on EU'

The UK Government must stop sounding like Margaret Thatcher in its negotiations in Brussels, European Commissioner Peter Mandelson has said.
In a speech in London, Mr Mandelson said the UK had to change both tone and substance to win backing in Europe.
The UK must be ready to look at reforming its rebate as part of a deeper rethink of EU spending, he said.
"It is surely wrong to ask the poorer new accession states to pay for any part of the rebate," he said.

What do you mean "pay for the rebate"? The rebate just means we pay a bit less, we don't get money from anyone else! And quite frankly I couldn't give a flying fuck what the Europeans think...

Posted by The Englishman at 7:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 14, 2005

Picture this

If my mental arithmatic is correct - if a grain of salt is worth a Pound then the average yearly salary would about fill a Salt shaker. A Kilo bag would be worth a million pounds. The cost of our EU membership since 1992 would be very large Lorry load - 41 Tonnes.

I can see the advert now!

Graphic: Figuring out Europe - World - Times Online

Posted by The Englishman at 8:49 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Recommendation 2

The right eye has been becoming weaker and weaker - I blame the Internet - so much so I have been toying with starting to shoot left handed as the target has become a blur even with my glasses.

But last week I went for an eye test, they said the prescription was only slightly different, but I ought to have new glasses. A quick look at the prices in the Opticians, £170, £250 , plus this, plus that, had me feeling my way out for a quick reviver.

A local firm, though they may as well be in Hong Kong, came to my rescue. Excellent service, the glasses came in four days and when I went shooting last night, for the first time ever I could see the bull as a focused dot! Now I have to find another excuse!

So my recommendation goes to:-
glassesdirect.co.uk

How to avoid the UK glasses rip off
1. Get an eye test at a high street optician
2. Buy online, using your prescription
3. Receive your glasses

Posted by The Englishman at 7:03 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

defrag C: -f

The old computer I blog from has been becoming slower and more annoying as time goes on, a bit like me really. For some reason the Windows XP defragger won't work, the MMC is missing in action or something - which also means other defraggers like Diskeeper also wont work. But yesterday I found the answer - the Command Line. The old ways still work, thank goodness for "conservatism".

Posted by The Englishman at 6:48 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Recommendation

PHD Press Presents Vienna Days by Kim du Toit - just a note to say the Publisher has been helpful "above and beyond" in sorting my order out. Now looking forward to reading the book!

Posted by The Englishman at 6:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 13, 2005

Pass it on

This scheme really works! You may have seen other schemes and said "Huh, what a CON!" but this is 100% GENUINE!

All you have to do is send a dozen old bricks to everyone on the
list.
Then put your name at the bottom of the list, and send it to six friends.

When your name reaches the top, you will have received more than HALF A MILLION bricks.

Stack them all in a heap and generations will remember you for THOUSANDS of YEARS to come.

And remember - this is a 100% genuine PYRAMID scheme!!!

1.) Senor de Sipan, Huaca de la Luna
2.) Mixcoatl Totepeuh, Teotihuacan
3.) King Nebuchadnezzar, Boraippa
4.) Pharoah Rameses the Great, Ramesseum
5.) Pharoah Khufu, Giza
6.) Prime Minister Blair, Millenium Dome, London

Posted by The Englishman at 11:53 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Good advice!

Rachel Gets Fruity! :)

Posted by The Englishman at 11:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Best of British

Tim Worstall's weekly Britblog Roundup # 17 is up.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 12, 2005

Draw A Pig - Personality test

http://drawapig.desktopcreatures.com/gallery/2005/6/12/468960.jpg

Posted by The Englishman at 9:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Would I want to join this club?

Out of the blue I got an invitation to sign on the dotted line, send a cheque and become a Fellow of the RSA - I'm sure thousands of others got the same mailshot but it was nice to be asked.

About the RSA

The Society was founded in 1754 by William Shipley, a painter and social activist. He brought together a group of individuals to propose a manifesto for Society "to embolden enterprise, enlarge science, refine arts, improve our manufactures and extend our commerce".

Sounds like a good traditional club with decent aims... oh dear, they changed their aims to a new manifesto last year...

Encouraging Enterprise
Moving Towards a Zero Waste Society
Fostering Resilient Communities
Developing a Capable Population
Advancing Global Citizenship

,,,For instance - one project...

Arts & Ecology
The issue of the environment is one of the major challenges of our time. Climate change, pollution and contamination, waste and the exploitation of resources are key concerns. How the environment functions alongside poverty and party politics, conflict, global trade and land use is a pressing matter for a growing number of artists. The RSA in partnership with Arts Council England has launched a new programme to profile, encourage and support artists in addressing ecological concerns at both local and global levels.

Nah- don't think I'll bother...

Posted by The Englishman at 9:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 10, 2005

BBC Picture quiz

BBC NEWS | Magazine | Quiz of the week's news

The government announced plans to crack down on replica guns this week. Quickly now, one of the above guns is real.... which one?

I got it wrong!

Posted by The Englishman at 10:13 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

That crazy German sense of humour!

A lot of visitors to this blog - welcome - coming looking for German Jokes - see here, here, here, here, here, and many others - use the search yourselves! Idle curiosity lead me to this news item today:
Agenzia Giornalistica Italia - News In English

The German Pope is becoming more and more "friendly": sometimes he even cracks jokes and indulges in informal attitudes. This morning, he didn't wear his skullcap and his hair was ruffled by the wind. Indeed, he talked about the "Wind of the Spirit" and called on it to enlighten all those who want to distinguish between love "which lacks nothing being the treasure of wisdom and science ", and imperfect love, also called "beginning of wisdom". "This contains in itself the idea of punishment, and is excluded from the hearts of the perfect to reach the fullness of love. And servile fear is substituted with a perfect fear, a gift from the Holy Spirit."

Whilst I still can and no disrespect to the old boy I feel this example of a German ribtickler is too good to keep to myself.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:11 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

"All safe" sounded, but will anyone hear it?

Telegraph | News | Childhood cancer risk higher near atomic sites

Scientists found no increase in childhood cancers near nuclear power stations, but did find higher than average rates close to certain atomic research facilities, weapons assembly plants and waste reprocessing centres.
But they say the clusters are unlikely to have been caused by radiation from the plants.

Anti-nuclear campaigners, such as the environmental consultancy Green Audit, claim the study's methodology was flawed and that its findings are a "whitewash" .

The Times' fuller report is below.

Britain, UK news from The Times and The Sunday Times - Times Online
.....
For the four sites where links were found it concludes that risks were modestly increased.
At Sellafield, for example, the risks of leukaemia and NHL were 14 per cent higher than average and the risks of solid tumours 11 per cent higher. The biggest risk was found at Dounreay, where the odds of contracting leukaemia or NHL were more than doubled, but this was based on small numbers ‚ÄĒ 9 cancers when 3.9 would have been expected.
Professor Bridges said that this ‚Äúblip‚ÄĚ could have been due to population mixing, which exposes children moving to an area of infectious agents that they are unused to, which has been shown to increase leukaemia risks. In this case, the population mixing was the result of people moving to Thurso, near Dounreay, to work in the oil industry.
As for Aldermaston, Burghfield and Harwell, he said, Berkshire and Oxfordshire had been shown to have higher cancer rates than other areas for reasons that are unexplained but which cannot be due to radiation because the cancers are found far from nuclear plants.
Rosyth is the only new site identified by the study. The evidence shows a small excess of leukaemias and NHL: 218 where 211 would have been expected and 392 solid tumours where 343 would have been expected. B

Posted by The Englishman at 6:47 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Crazy Frog demands

Britain, UK news from The Times and The Sunday Times - Times Online

TONY BLAIR put himself on a collision course with Jacques Chirac last night by rejecting a call from the French President to make a ďgestureĒ by giving up Britainís £3 billion rebate
M Chirac said after a meeting with Jean-Claude Juncker, the Prime Minister of Luxembourg:: "The time has come for our British friends to understand that they must now make a gesture of solidarity."
Mr Blair delivered his rebuff after the talks with Mr Rasmussen. "Britain has been making a gesture, because over the past ten years, even with the British rebate, we have been making a contribution into Europe 2Ĺ times that of France."

Or "Piss Off Crazy Frog"

Posted by The Englishman at 6:40 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 9, 2005

Seven to save the world

Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

We have been looking for 6 visionaries who can make the world - or part of it - more just and more peaceful.

And their "mission statement" is by Margaret Mead who was a dupe and a fraud, but still sways the impressionable!

And what are our heroes going to do? - Receive £37,500 each a year for five years for a start, and there now seems to be seven..

"The brief was to suggest radical solutions to problems, addressing the underlying causes rather than ameliorating them, said trust secretary Stephen Pittam."

And the Number One world problem that needs solving is - cue drum role - Shutting Guantanamo Bay - "a lawless enclave and a model for human rights abuse around the world". Starring human rights lawyer Clive Stafford-Smith.

A fierce critic of the US government's justice process regarding terror suspects, Mr Stafford-Smith said: "Closing Guantanamo Bay could easily happen in five years - I'll bet money on it.
"The question will be: will the US take their nefarious operations elsewhere?"

He said influential voices were also trying to close the camp, referring to US Senator Ted Kennedy and former president Jimmy Carter.

For fucks sake - millions of people starving, dying of preventable disease, tribal wars breaking out all over and he thinks it is the most important problem in the world - as far as I know not one prisoner has died at Gitmo - which considering the law of averages of deaths in a population is remarkable.

Still with any luck he will be kept busy for the next five years and not bothering us with anything else.

Posted by The Englishman at 9:52 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

The Emperor's clothes

EnviroSpin Watch

Shhh! Pass on the whisper as swiftly as possible:

"The Emperor cannot manage climate whatever he does. He has no clothes!"

[And your chance to vote on Emperor Blair's mighty powers is here, with EnviroSpin's NEW Mini Poll: 'Can Mr. Blair control climate change predictably?' Do vote now. Thanks.]

And that, folks, is the butt-naked truth. One long-known by Old King Cnut (for it is he). Even if Emperor Blair were to close every factory, ground every aircraft, shut down every power plant, crush every vehicle, and plunge 4 billion people worldwide into poverty, climate would still change, and often dramatically. Shhhh! 'He has nothing at all on!' And we all know those toadying lords of the bedchamber.

You may want to visit to vote...

Posted by The Englishman at 7:15 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Special needs

Telegraph | News | Warnock U-turn on special schools

Baroness Warnock, the educationalist whose report led to the drive to include children with special needs in mainstream classes, admitted yesterday that the policy had failed and left "a disastrous legacy"... "I think it has gone too far. It was a sort of bright idea of the 1970s but by now it has become a kind of mantra and it really isn't working."

Ah Luke 15:7 - at least the old girl has realised that some of the trendy ideas of the 1970s harmed the children - I wonder how long it is before the State School system also catches on.

For those of you without a handy copy:

Online Bible Text: Luke chapter 15, KJV

7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:56 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

ďItís the euro, stupid.Ē

Opinion - Anatole Kaletsky - Times Online

The euro is the essential cause of Europe's "democratic deficit" because it prevents different countries adopting the variety of social and business models that voters demand. A currency is to national economic management what a border is to political sovereignty: with floating currencies each country can choose its own style of economic and social organisation; with fixed currencies they can't.
If France or Italy wants a generous social safety net, it can keep its business costs down by devaluing its currency. Of course, devaluation may lower living standards for consumers, but if people want to pay this price to preserve their social traditions, that is what democracy is for. It is only when a country with high social costs loses control of its currency that the burden becomes intolerable, destroying jobs and decimating investment.

The truth is creeping out - and if the bankers do cut the rates to help Italy, Germany and France what happens to the economies of Ireland, Portugal and Greece?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 8, 2005

Local Green Plan

There is a new Greenie meme about - how many earths do we need to sustain the present level of consumption? - what "earthshare" are you taking up? etc.

Of course something like this is right up the local Regional Assembly's street - so they have created a whole website about it:

Stepping Forward

And guess who writes the forward?
The Hon Sir Jonathon Espie Porritt, Bt

Jonathon Porritt was appointed by the Prime Minister as Chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission in July 2000. This is the Government's principal source of independent advice across the whole sustainable development agenda. He is also President of Sustainability South West , a member of the Board of the South West Regional Development Agency and a leading writer, broadcaster and commentator on sustainable development.

If old Espie is considered "independent" meaning "impartial" then I'm a Dutchman shouting "Ja" - no point reading further, when a chilled Stellenbosch is calling from the drawing room.

Posted by The Englishman at 10:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Quis Custodiet ipsos custodes

A lovely example of Local Council goings on:

Regular readers will know I'm under the rule of Kennet Council - and I discovered that Ms Memoli is Kennet's Monitoring Officer but that it is up to the members to declare interests, no one checks, so as Monitoring Officer she is happy all is OK.
(Quote - "Although I am the custodian of the Register of interests, the onus is on the Members themselves to register their interests ...declaring interests, this is a matter for the Members themselves...In conclusion, therefore, I am satisfied that members of the Council have registered their interests.."

So I thought I would start to keep an eye on their goings on - First stop: Minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board held in Committee Room 2, Browfort, Bath Road, Devizes on
Tuesday 11th May 2004

..5. ELECTION OF VICE-CHAIRMAN

The Solicitor to the Council advised that the voting for this position should be by show of hands as the Constitution of the Council did not allow for a secret ballot for the election of either Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board.

Members requested, however, that a secret ballot be held and the Chairman decided to allow a secret ballot, despite the advice of the Solicitor to the Council to the contrary.

Why do I get the feeling that the members just don't get it when it comes to following the rules?

Posted by The Englishman at 9:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Foxwits

Times Online

MPs who campaigned for licensed hunting criticised Jackie Ballard, the director-general of the RSPCA, yesterday for suggesting that wounded foxes did not suffer.
Ms Ballard, a former Liberal Democrat MP, was responding to new research that challenged the view that shooting foxes was more humane than hunting them with dogs. The research found that shooting led to many foxes being wounded.

In a letter to the all-party Middle Way group she wrote: ďThere is not absolute proof that wounded foxes suffer.Ē

Baroness Golding, the groupís Labour co-chairman, said: ďThis unbelievable statement brings into question the charitable status of the RSPCA. What is the point of a charity dedicated to animal welfare if it believes that a wounded animal does not suffer?Ē

Lembit Opik, Lib Dem MP for Montgomeryshire and co-founder of the group, said: ďThey claim we donít know if wounded animals suffer . . . the RSPCA campaigned to ban a method of control that doesnít cause wounding but backs methods that clearly do

It never was about the foxes....

Posted by The Englishman at 8:07 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Hardened Criminal captured

Cherwell Online - Student arrested after 'gay' horse jibe

Brown inquired, "How do you feel about your horse being gay?" of one of the policemen, stating that his colleague's (horse) was clearly not gay. After repeated comments on the sexuality of his horse, and despite warnings from the policeman about his behaviour, Brown's offer of an apology to the horse was rejected and he was handcuffed and taken by the officers to the police station.
The arrest was made at 2.20am on Monday morning, and Brown was in a state which he described as "pissed out of my head".
He had tried to escape the police by hiding in a doorway in Ship Street, but was found after back up had been called for. A total of six policemen were involved in making the arrest...

The (police) spokesman also said that the ďhomophobic commentsĒ were ... offensive to the ... horse...

You couldn't make it up.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:01 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

And it is value for money?

Telegraph | Money | UK to swell Brussels' coffers by £14.6bn

Britain's gross contributions to the European Union could rise to £14.6billion by 2007-08, up from £12.1billion this year, according to figures published by the Treasury.

The figures - which came in a parliamentary answer - are likely to add to the confusion over exactly how much Britain contributes, which on current projections is equivalent to about 4p on income tax or the Home Office budget. Britain is the second biggest contributor after Germany.

And that is just the direct cost...; with any luck by 2007 the cost will be zero, zilch, not a bean!

Posted by The Englishman at 7:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Lasciate ogni speranza voi chíentrate!

BBC NEWS | UK | Bill aims to target replica guns

Chief Superintendent Paul Robinson, who heads Scotland Yard's special firearms operational command unit, said "..that banning sales of the guns would, in all likelihood, result in a drop in armed robberies and firearms incidents."

So the bans they have introduced so far haven't worked, obviously more bans are needed...

Knives remain the weapon most commonly used in violent incidents, prompting the minimum age at which they can be bought to be increased from 16 to 18.

Remember that is all knives - butter knives, fish knives etc - no wonder the young have no table manners.
Remember At 16:
You can get married with your parents' or guardians' consent
You can buy cigarettes and tobacco
You can ride a moped of up to 50ccs
You can pilot a glider
A girl must be 16 before she can legally have sex with a boy
A male may consent to a homosexual act if he and his partner are both over 16
You can have an abortion without your parents consent
A boy can join the armed forces with his parents' or carers' consent
You can apply for your own passport
You can have beer or cider whilst eating a meal in a restaurant or an eating area of a pub, but not in the bar..
At 17
You can hold a licence to drive most vehicles
You can pilot a plane
You can emigrate...
probably not a bad idea the way this is all going.


The new legislation will also provide measures to deal with binge drinking.

That's Friday nights buggered then.

There are also plans to give community groups and parish councils the power to apply for Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (Asbos).

That will sort out Mr Free Market and his desire to mow his lawn on Sunday afternoon - they will slap an ASBO on him!

Posted by The Englishman at 7:16 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 7, 2005

More books for you to read

Google Print

Search the full text of books (and discover new ones).

Posted by The Englishman at 10:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Slaughterhouse Blues

FWi - Farmlife news

GETTING CHILDREN onto farms and into abattoirs is a top priority for the Danish pigmeat industry, with the government also backing efforts to educate the public about the realities of food production.

Danish agriculture minister Hans Christian Schmidt stressing the importance of showing young people where their food comes from.

"People must realise that when they settle down in the countryside, sometimes they will come across animals,"

Mr Schmidt believes it is right to show children around the country's abattoirs too.

One company doing just that is Danish Crown with its new slaughtering facility at Horsens in east Jutland.

The largest factory in Denmark, killing one pig every four seconds, the plant also has a special viewing gallery.

Danish Crown GB - Facts about the new slaughterhouse

Weekly slaughterings: approx. 78,000
Employees: approx. 1,360
Ground area: approx. 37 hectares
Automatic evisceration
Slaughter robots
Group housing and stunning (with gas)
Heating with lard possible....

I am happy to rear my own pigs, take them to the local Slaughterhouse and then eat them, but there is something vaguely all too Teutonic in this facility for me to be happy...

Posted by The Englishman at 9:53 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Book meme

L'Ombre de l'Olivier - Di2.Nu weblog tags me to answer:

Number of Books I Own

As a an exercise in estimating for Maths homework we came up with a figure of 4000 books in the house, but a lot of those are thin children's books that belong to the Englishettes.

Last Book Bought

Wilt in Nowhere (2004) by Tom Sharpe for a journey - having read all his others it was an agreeable way to spend a few hours. However I have been given a large number of old books recently and also have a goodish choice from work, so book buying has been sparse recently.

Last book I tried to buy was Vienna Days By Kim du Toit but failed to sort my personal paypal account out!

Last Book Read

Lower than Vermin (1953), by Dornford Yates - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia says of it: "based on a phrase used by the Socialist politician Aneurin Bevan to describe members of the Conservative party, is an unfortunate hysterical rant in which Dornford Yates defends his anti-Semitic and highly class-conscious attitudes. As throw away fiction I quite enjoyed reading it in the bath, with a glass of Damson Gin and some real Cheddar Cheese.

Five Books That Mean a Lot to Me

The Bible, King James Version - I'm not a religious man but even I could be tempted back to church if they reverted to this version - beauty and resonance in every verse - I have tempted breaking the copyright law and added The Song of Songs to the extra section below - ain't it grand!

2 The Selfish Gene: by Richard Dawkins opened my eyes to the wonder of biology - I was lucky enough to be at Oxford in 1979 and be tutored by his uncle and be taught in the same building as he was working.

3)Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling my father read them to me as I sat on his knee in front of the fire - I don't think I have ever been so happy.

4 The A G Street books - I think I will quote myself:

An Englishman's Castle: Wessex revolt - not long ago.

IN the 1940s, George Raymond Walden, a British farmer, aged 65, was shot and killed by British police officers who were supporting members of the War Agricultural Committee in dispossessing him of his lawful property at Itchen Stoke - Hampshire

...In 1952 A G Street wrote a novel "Shameful Harvest" based on this incident. This is the best study of how petty local bureaucrats for the best of reasons end up acting like the Gestapo and how sometimes the honourable thing to do is fight them.

A G Street, a Wiltshire Farmer, is an interesting writer:

In 1932 he published Farmer's Glory, which told the story of the changes that he had witnessed during a quarter of a century in farming. Street looked back to the `spacious days' of English agriculture, and lamented the passing of a world before the First World War where tenant farmers played golf and joined in tennis parties, and where there was a satisfying pleasure to be found in farming itself. By the 1930s, fortunes had changed; farming was becoming a `business', but an unprofitable one, and Street had been forced to abandon most of the methods his father had employed in running the farm. Street hesitated to refer to this lost world as the `good old days', but nonetheless he saw `farmer's glory' as a thing of the past.

With his farm losing money - he got on his trap and went to town selling milk, and then he discovered that he could write, and get paid for it! He published many articles and books and was also famous through the forties and fifties as a reliable Radio personality - Brains Trust etc. If you see one of his books in a second hand shop, buy it - you will enjoy it. Lots of lessons there.

5) I would like to add The Road to Serfdom or The sceptical Environmentalist and books of that ilk but they are not the books that formed my views; I had formed those from many sources related to them first. The same goes for The Origin of Species - again I came to the source late. On the basis of which books would I save in a fire it has to be the photo albums and diaries of the children (aahh!)


Five Bloggers to Tag

Come on surprise me - put your choices in the comments!.

Chapter 1
1 The song of songs, which is Solomon's.

2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.

3 Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.

4 Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.

5 I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.

6 Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.

7 Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?

8 If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents.

9 I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots.

10 Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold.

11 We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver.

12 While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.

13 A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.

14 My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi.

15 Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes.

16 Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed is green.

17 The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir.

[edit]
Chapter 2
1 I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.

2 As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

3 As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.

5 Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.

6 His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.

7 I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.

8 The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.

9 My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice.

10 My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

11 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;

12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;

13 The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

14 O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.

15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.

16 My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.

17 Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.

[edit]
Chapter 3
1 By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not.

2 I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not.

3 The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?

4 It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.

5 I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.

6 Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?

7 Behold his bed, which is Solomon's; threescore valiant men are about it, of the valiant of Israel.

8 They all hold swords, being expert in war: every man hath his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night.

9 King Solomon made himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon.

10 He made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it of purple, the midst thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem.

11 Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.

[edit]
Chapter 4
1 Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.

2 Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them.

3 Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks.

4 Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.

5 Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.

6 Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.

7 Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.

8 Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards.

9 Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.

10 How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!

11 Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.

12 A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

13 Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard,

14 Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:

15 A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.

16 Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

[edit]
Chapter 5
1 I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.

2 I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.

3 I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?

4 My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.

5 I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.

6 I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

7 The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.

8 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.

9 What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?

10 My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.

11 His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.

12 His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.

13 His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.

14 His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.

15 His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.

16 His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

[edit]
Chapter 6
1 Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.

2 My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.

3 I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.

4 Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.

5 Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me: thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead.

6 Thy teeth are as a flock of sheep which go up from the washing, whereof every one beareth twins, and there is not one barren among them.

7 As a piece of a pomegranate are thy temples within thy locks.

8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number.

9 My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.

10 Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?

11 I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished and the pomegranates budded.

12 Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib.

13 Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.

[edit]
Chapter 7
1 How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.

2 Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies.

3 Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.

4 Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.

5 Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries.

6 How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!

7 This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.

8 I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples;

9 And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.

10 I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.

11 Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.

12 Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.

13 The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.

[edit]
Chapter 8
1 O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised.

2 I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother's house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.

3 His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me.

4 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please.

5 Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee.

6 Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.

7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.

8 We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?

9 If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar.

10 I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.

11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baalhamon; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver.

12 My vineyard, which is mine, is before me: thou, O Solomon, must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.

13 Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice: cause me to hear it.

14 Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:13 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Not from these parts

BBC NEWS | England | Wiltshire | Mysterious creature stalks city

A mysterious creature described as a cross between a kangaroo, a leopard, a monkey and a cat is stalking Salisbury.
At least four sightings have been reported to police,..Nicki Lomas, 23, first spotted the animal, said to also be racoon-like, on London Road at midnight ....

Midnight eh? I wouldn't want to imply anything but there are some damn fine pubs in Salisbury. I will be on my guard but not too worried....

Posted by The Englishman at 1:12 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

It's who counts the votes..

Michelle Malkin reports:

WASHINGTON STATE ELECTION WATCH: COURT REFUSES TO OVERTURN

It is a story I have been following, notable for many things including the power of a blogger to create and push the agenda - so a big hand for
Sound Politics

Josef Stalin 1, Common Sense 0

"Will Judge Bridges side with common sense and rule that election officials can't just keep counting ballots again and again and get different numbers every time without also showing that every ballot has a voter and every voter a ballot? Or will he side with the Democrats and Josef Stalin and rule that he who counts the votes makes the rules and doesn't have to obey any laws?"

Posted by The Englishman at 7:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Today's recipe

I note year ago I posted this:
An Englishman's Castle: Today's Recipe
..I had to make a Wiltshire Lardy Cake ..

5 lb White Bread Dough
1 Kg White Sugar
1 Kg mixed Dried Fruit
1 Kg Lard
Roll the dough into a 3x1 Rectangle, spread 1/3rd the Lard, sugar and fruit on 2/3rds the surface, fold in on itself so it is a square, rollout and repeat twice so you end up with a many layered cake. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from pan whilst still warm and eat.

Picture

Yum - the one I made yesterday was wonderful - is it acceptable in polite society to eat it for breakfast as well?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Augean stables to get light dusting

End is near for MEPs' "outrageous" expenses - World - Times Online
THE notorious expenses system that enables MEPs to boost their salaries by thousands of pounds a month by claiming for a set amount, rather than what they actually spend, is to be reformed. ...
MEPs admit that their expenses system is little more than legalised corruption, the Parliament has repeatedly defended it as a way of balancing the disparity in pay between the worst-paid and best-paid....

Well, it is a start I suppose. I always thought claiming expenses you didn't occur was an offence....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 6, 2005

Monday nights

Bliss
555K0105.jpg
Image taken on 6/6/2005 21:54

Took the Lee Metford down to the range at the Pub and tried a few adjustments of the back sight - getting closer despite my failing right eye; Mr FM wanted to see it with the bayonet (pictured). Pint or two of Barney's best Wadworth's IPA. He only scored 98% in the beer competition as he failed to wipe his keystones and shives - but then no one was going to get 100%: it is the best beer in the county! Ah, England at its best. Pity Kim wasn't there, I know he enjoyed his Monday night down there and he did pick out the rifle for me; but there will always be another time.

Posted by The Englishman at 10:57 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

The New Model Party

Ah - this sounds more like it!

Direct Democracy UK

Direct Democracy - Agenda for a New Model Party is being launched on 13 June 2005, to promote change and renewal within Conservative politics in Britain.
We, the authors, are a group of MPs, MEPs, candidates and activists from many traditions across the Conservative Party, but who unite in our belief in a new kind of politics.
For three years we have been meeting to discuss how to restore confidence in, and honour to, our democratic process. Our policy ideas emphasize diversity, pluralism, and local decision-making. ..


Telegraph | News | Parish politics may be key to success

Conservatives need to adopt a Self-Denying Ordinance. They must dispel the notion that they are interested simply in office and convince the country that, rather than grasping at the levers of control, they would push powers outwards and downwards. They should be guided in all things by three principles.
Decisions should be taken as closely as possible to the people they affect;
Law-makers should be directly accountable;
The citizen should be as free as possible from state coercion. ...

Fifty-four years ago, the Conservative Party bounced back from a disastrous election by articulating voters' frustration with the bureaucracy that oppressed them. An electorate sick of ID cards, ration books and nationalisation responded gratefully to the slogan "Set the People Free". The Conservatives governed for the next 13 years.

Ours should be the same theme: set the people free.

Interesting stuff - these guys seem to understand what is going on, and what needs to be done - I will be following with interest.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Faggy Clarke turns on Tories

Telegraph | News | Clarke criticises Tory 'Right-wing populist' rump

"We have, I am afraid, made ourselves a rather Right-wing popularist party which is why we seem incapable of getting more than a third of the vote," he told BBC1's News 24.
A Daily Telegraph/YouGov poll reported last week that 56-year-old Mr Davis was the overwhelming favourite among party members to replace Mr Howard, with Mr Clarke ranking only fourth in members' preferences.
Challenged on the results yesterday, Mr Clarke said that they underlined why grassroots members should no longer have the decisive "one member, one vote" say on who becomes Tory leader.

Translation: "You can't trust the Tory members - the ones who put up the cash for the party - firstly they want to pursue "popularist" policies and secondly they aren't clever enouhg to vote the right way - just like those stupid French and Dutch people: much better to leave the running of the place to clever people like me who can get it all sorted over a decent lunch or two."

Piss Off - your time is over.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:15 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

The Madness of nuLabour

Telegraph | News | Blanket fines for premises in 'alcohol zones'

The Government's campaign against binge drinking will include plans to fine all pubs, nightclubs and off-licences £100 a week regardless of whether they are specifically to blame, it emerged last night.

Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, has decided to allow drink disorder fines to be imposed not just on specific premises linked to drink-related problems but on all main licensed outlets within proposed new "alcohol disorder zones" (ADZs).

They have gone mad - I can see no other explanation. Propose a law that punishes the innocent along with the guilty for a new made up offence and think it is a sane and workable idea; there can be no other explanation.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:09 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 5, 2005

Euro crash?

Ministers deny euro's demise - Sunday Times - Times Online

A report last week from Charles Stanley Sutherlands, the stockbroker, put a 50% probability on at least one country leaving the euro by 2008, and said that its complete collapse by 2020 was "inevitable".

There seems to be all sort of jittery feelings out in the market at the moment - and sometimes markets overreact and cause irrational crashes. I think I would swap out my Euro notes for greenbacks, if I had any.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

David Davis make the right noises

Telegraph | News | Davis sets out his vision for Britain: power to the people, not the party

"The party must change," he says. "But in discussing the nature of that change, we must first ask ourselves the right question: not 'What must we do to win?' but 'What we must do for Britain?' If we aren't interested in changing the way the country works, but only in chasing after an ebbing political tide, then we will earn nothing but ridicule. We are in danger of becoming too introspective. We will not deserve to be elected if we are more concerned with internal party politics than in improving the lives of the British people."

I couldn't have put it better myself...

Posted by The Englishman at 7:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Teneo te, Africa!"

("I have you, Africa!" Suetonius attributes this to Julius Caesar)

Telegraph | News | Blair gives up on his EU dream

Mr Blair, who will seek to shift the focus of his administration on to poverty in the Third World this week during talks with President Bush, has told his closest allies: "Africa is worth fighting for. Europe, in its present form, is not."

Tony! - over here! Any chance you could concentrate on Britain instead? I know you think you are too big and clever just to lead this little Island and want to be a "World Statesman" instead but you can do that by leading the UK - or you could pop down the road to see if the Commonwealth is still in business, shamefully neglected and wasted opportunity; or even grab the Anglosphere challenge and run with that....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:24 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

A man who knows

skiPPer

It is perhaps a bit too early to look into the future of the EU but maybe a couple of things now seem likely. Firstly, the 'ever closer union' written into the 1957 Treaty of Rome is now of historical interest only. It seems like the voters of France and Holland have indicated a general disinclination to surrender both sovereignty and their views of their own national character. And yes, it could be said that in many ways, the Eurosceptics have won.

Secondly, I suspect that the eurozone's days are numbered. It was always a dubious proposition that so many very different countries would be able to find a common interest rate suitable to their needs and the restrictive euro rules regarding national deficits acceptable. Italy, now arguably Europe's 'sickest man', faces economic decline as its manufacturing markets are ravaged by the emerging giants of India and China. The straightjacket of the euro means that it cannot use devaluation as the antidote but has to face rising unemployment. How long can this last? I suspect the euro will prove to be a brief and unhappy interlude in Europe's financial history long before we get anywhere near considering an application to join it.

So is the EU finshed? No. Far from it....

New blog on the block; from Bill Jones who isn't one of us amateurs in "Ars Politica" - one to watch.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sense from France

The Democracy Defined Website. Home Page of The FCDAE-FIJA.

The FCDAE-FIJA non-profitmaking educational organisation sponsors this site which is dedicated to the defence and propagation of Democracy, Political and Religious Freedom and Humanitarian Values, for the benefit of people everywhere.

Some time ago I posted about their tract on the EU constition - they also have interesting stuff about Trial by Jury, Cannabis and Global Warming.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 3, 2005

Lame Ducks

Telegraph | News | Lame duck leaders in search of solutions

Jacques Chirac
Silvio Berlusconi
Gerhard SchrŲder

Wot? No Tony Blair?

Great article - go and read it - either get the Kleenex out for the poor darlings or, well, whatever else you would choose for an injured duck....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gordon Slapped

Telegraph | News | Bush slaps down Brown's plan to double Africa aid

President George W Bush has rebuffed Gordon Brown's plan to double aid to Africa, days before Tony Blair arrives in Washington to argue its merits....

America was not consulted on the scheme. But, to assume its share of the burden, it would be expected to raise a total of $12 billion (£6.6 billion) a year at a time of severe budgetary cutbacks.

...Part of America's irritation with the debate on Africa is the way the rest of the world downplays or ignores its own increases in aid.

So Bush isn't actually keen on a plan that would cost the American taxpayer $12 Billion, and they weren't consulted on. What a surprise! Gordon is so keen on pissing away other people's money he just forgot that some people object to happening to them.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:24 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Paying for the protesters

Edinburgh Evening News - Top Stories - Shortage of portable loos hits G8 camp plans

Frances Curran, MSP, representing the group G8 Alternatives earlier told councillors that camping facilities would be needed from Friday, July 1, through to Thursday, July 7, along with free transport between the sites and the city centre.

So you want free campsites, free portaloos, and free transport into the city centre so the poor bunnies don't even have to walk downtown to smash up the McDonald's - and who is paying for it all? I suppose at least there won't be a demand for free soap....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:12 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 2, 2005

No means No

EUROPA - Margot WallstrŲm, Vice-President of the European Commission: my blog

The fragrant one is in a state of shock and for the sake of feminists everywhere needs reminding that "No means No" - I am sure she spent days chanting that in her earlier years. Now she seems to think it means - Maybe, well after a couple of glasses more of wine; yes.....

If you have time go and drop a comment on her blog; such as:

Dear Vice-President WallstrŲm,

Which part of No do you and your various minions and spokespersons not understand?
Posted by Helen
Website: http://www.eureferendum.blogspot.com

Posted by The Englishman at 7:38 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Tory choices

Telegraph | News | Davis rejects advice to fight back on centre ground

In a move which may deter party moderates from backing his bid to succeed Michael Howard, Mr Davis appeared to spurn Sir John Major's advice last weekend that the party's route back to power had to lie in reclaiming the centre of politics.

So the Tories are against anyone offering a radical alternative to nuLabour - we will just be better middle managers will be the rallying call.

Note to Tories - if you search the newspapers beyond the pages describing your own internal politics there have been a couple of referendums recently. And I will give you a clue, it wasn't the cosy central ground politicians who won. Grow up, you are no longer playing student politics and trying to impress Arabella and scoring debating points; go and talk to some real people and offer a real alternative. A lame duck Prime Minister pushing failing policys, a divided Labour Party running out of steam and you can't provide a decent opposition party - you have no hope.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The British Army today

BBC NEWS | Programmes | Real Story | Hero colonel's war crime misery
On the eve of the invasion in Iraq in March 2003, Colonel Tim Collins seemed to sum up everything the British Army stood for when he told his soldiers in the 1st battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment to be "ferocious in battle but magnanimous in victory."

The rousing speech went around the world, winning admiration from President Bush and Prince Charles.

Two months later he was facing allegations of the mistreatment of Iraqi civilians and prisoners of war.

He fought through the courts to clear his name. Prevented by army regulations from speaking out himself, he had asked the MoD to make it clear that he was not accused of murder. They declined, saying they could not comment on an ongoing investigation.
Colonel Collins believes their motives may have been more sinister.
"I know there are individuals in the army who have never been in action, not even a fight in the playground.
"And they are jealous of combat commanders, so maybe there is an element of jealousy. Maybe the fact that I'd risen to prominence without their permission offended them and I needed to be cut down to size."

And the penpushers won - he resigned from the army - what a loss!

Now aged 45, he has just published his controversial autobiography and is in demand as an after-dinner speaker. He also talks of a future television project.

He makes use of being able to talk frankly about the war. A staunch Protestant, he is scathing about the lack of planning to help re-build Iraq.

Eh? What has being a Protestant got to do with it? It is not because - whisper - he is from Ulster is it, that it is relevant? Oh do Catholics just not care about the lack of planning?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:06 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 1, 2005

Tonight's Job - Fix Bayonets!

Getting the bayonet to fit onto the Lee Metford
550J0103.jpg
A couple of needle files and some oil cleaned the crud out
550J0104.jpg
and doesn't she look great now?

"They don't like it up them, sir".

Posted by The Englishman at 8:27 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Mr Blair goes to Washington

Britain, UK news from The Times and The Sunday Times - Times Online

TONY BLAIR will fly to Washington next week for talks with President Bush to try to save his ambitious G8 agenda, which is under threat from heavy US opposition. ...
The trip comes amid growing pessimism that initiatives on climate change and Africa will be lost owing to a lack of support from the US. Mr Blair is seeking a new commitment from President Bush that he will join India, China and Brazil to agree a new target for a cap on emissions outside the Kyoto Protocol, which President Bush rejected four years ago. ...

That would be the same treaty that Clinton never tried to get accepted by the US then - "On July 25, 1997, John Kerry and Ted Kennedy, along with 93 other senators (with five senators not voting and none voting in opposition) adopted a resolution stating that Ďthe United States should not be a signatory to any protocol to, or other agreement regarding, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change of 1992, at negotiations in Kyoto" ... still must be evil Bushchimpyhalibuton's fault...

British officials are concerned that the two allies are equally at odds over Africa. Mr Blairís Commission for Africa called for a tripling of aid, and Gordon Brown has put forward ambitious plans for cancelling the debt of African countries. ..
Last weekís agreement among EU members to spend 0.7 per cent of their GDPs on aid by 2015 will add to the pressure on the US to come on board. ďThe US will not want to be isolated on this,Ē one senior Whitehall official said.

Wanna bet?

Aid to Africa has increased rapidly under President Bush, but has been strictly targeted. His main initiative on aid, the Millennium Challenge Account, provides financial support for countries that can prove that they have cracked down on corruption and attempts to improve governance and security.

Oh the evil Bushchimp! Instead of pissing money away by writing large cheques to Swiss Banks any government official or NGO who asks for one, he actually wants to make sure the money is used effectively...

Still it will nice for Cherie who is going to make a few tens of thousands from some interviews and a talk - is she paying for her own ticket?

And I wonder if Tony will have time to actually pick up that Congressional Gold Medal he was awarded back in July 2003?

(He addressed the Congress to say - "Golly, thanks for voting to award it" - but he hasn't popped back to get it or thank them for it - I wonder why not...)


Posted by The Englishman at 7:11 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

The Euro - the market speaks

Times Online

THE EUROís losses after Franceís rejection of the EU constitution gathered pace yesterday as the French vote fuelled concerns that future economic reforms in the eurozone will be hampered. ..

The selling pressure on the euro came as Moody's, the credit rating agency, warned of the long-term consequences of the French vote for the eurozone economy.
Although Moody's concluded that "European unity is unlikely to be derailed as a result", and saw few direct implications for the credit status of eurozone member states, it said there would be damaging fallout nonetheless. "The dynamics of integration and enlargement will be hampered and the functioning of European institutions will become increasingly ineffective," it said.

That feels a bit optimistic to me...

Posted by The Englishman at 6:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack