July 31, 2005
Die for freedom!
The Anglo Saxon Chronicle points out:
The European Union welcomed yesterday a continent-wide ban on tobacco advertising that will come into effect this week.
The move will prohibit tobacco advertising in the print media, on radio and over the Internet from July 31
FU and the horse you rode into town on - these guys smoked Camel and you aren't fit to wipe their arses! Smoke Camel for freedom's sake!
July 30, 2005
A Sainthood on its a way?
Bianca Jagger, goodwill ambassador from the Council of Europe, gave a reading at the start of the service.
She said his death had been "senseless" and that the Fifth Commandment forbade the killing of the innocent and the righteous.
"There was nothing evil about Jean Charles. His only crime was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and perhaps the colour of his skin."
I'm sorry - it was a horrible mistake and I agree that a Plod with a gun is a dangerous animal and better training etc is needed. But let us remember that in "2003-2004 injuries and deaths resulting from collisions involving police vehicles.
Serious injuries 138."
Shit happens, accidental deaths caused by the police happen; why is this guy being given the nearest thing to a Catholic State funeral presided over by Archbishop of Westminster?
A woman who is famous for being shagged by Mick Jagger and comes from some South American Isthmian country now preaches to us on behalf of Europe. And of course it is all because he was black - or not as Scott points out.
Pass me the sick bag.
July 29, 2005
The Nile Clumps
As you drive down the A303 this year and are about to pass Stonehenge, unknowingly you are passing through another historic monument.
Googel Earth Bookmark or Multimap map Click on Aerial to get high quality aerial photograph).
These are clumps of Beech trees known as the Nile Clumps -
"On the eastern side of the ridge, there were planted clumps of trees early in the nineteenth century by William, 4th Duke of Queensbury, to represent the position of the ships engaged in the 1798 battle at Abu-Kir Bay (the spelling is variable) with the tree line at the new King Barrows used to represent the Abu-kir peninsular in Bequire Island.
"there is strong evidence from a local amateur historian (that) Captain Thomas Masterman Hardy supervised the location of these clumps. This is quite possible for (1) William, 4th Duke of Queensbury, was an admiral in his own right and Hardy could well have been a house guest; (2) Emma, Lady Hamilton, was living in or near Winterslow while Nelson lived in the now called Trafalgar House - about eight miles from Winterslow on the edge of the New Forest (presented by a grateful nation); as stated by the Maritime Museum, it would take somebody with a unique knowledge of this battle to be able accurately to position these clumps to correspond with the battle locations of the ships, including HMS Culloden being aground."
Just shows how important the Battle of The Nile was, whereas now we only remember that other battle he fought and died in.
News from my bunker...
Another photo from my morning walk - my bunker - I have posted a picture before and here is a bit of background info on them. We are still ready for Johnny Foreigner down here in the country.
The Kennet and Avon Canal (the K&A) runs from Reading to Bristol, and is navigable by pleasure craft - as opposed to commercial craft - for its whole distance. It was originally completed in 1810, covers a distance of 87 miles, and includes numerous feats of engineering, such as aqueducts and many locks. There is a set of features along its entire length - World War II defence emplacements, otherwise known as pillboxes. There is a large number of these enormously strong and solid concrete blockhouses along the entire length of the K&A.
Have a Iucky day
Four leaf clover I found on my walk
Image taken on 29/7/2005 8:40
Of course I have a little way to go to catch up with the current record holder for having the most four leaf clovers; a Pennsylvania prison inmate, George Kaminski. While serving time on a kidnapping conviction for the past 25 years, Kaminski has gathered 72,927 four-leaf clovers. He just spends all day foraging through the grass of the prison yard in search of the lucky leaves.
Is it me or does he sound as though the luck hasn't worked...
July 28, 2005
Pack up your troubles
So 16:00 it is all over, I suppose it is good news but all I feel is cynical. And a resolve to avoid watching the News in case I catch Tony Tremble Lip pausing his way through a fatuous statement. And of course there is no point in keeping all those murdering bastards in prison any longer so they will be let out I suppose...
More from A Tangled Web
Momentary lapses of insanity... has asked me some questions..
1) What is your earliest memory?
Jan 28 1965 Winston Churchill's Funeral - as described in an earlier post - here
2) What's the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you?
With my children reading this blog do you think I'm going to describe New Year's Day 1993?
3) Which 3 movies would you take to watch on a desert island?
The Searchers, Sir Henry at Rawlinson's End, The Dambusters.
4) What is your most treasured possession?
My memories and a bunch of old stuff around the house that brings them back.
5) Out of the following 3 people, you have to shoot 1, shag 1, and marry 1. Which would you choose for what?
Tony Bliar, Margaret Thatcher, John Prescott.
Easy - Shoot John Prescott (twice),
Shag - Tony Blair, as he was a pretty boy who went to an all boys Public School and Oxford College he should be able to assume the position and even though it it is not my natural bent, just for once it would be a pleasure to screw him instead of being been screwed by them.
And marry - Maggie as the archtypical "her-indoors", Old Denis seemed to be allowed off the lease a fair bit so that would be OK.
Thanks for asking.
The news tonight...
Shankill bomber Sean Kelly has been released from Maghaberry prison.
The BBC has been told he has been freed on what is called temporary release pending an application to the Sentence Review Commission.
Kelly was one of two men who left a bomb in a Shankill Road fish shop in 1993. Nine civilians died, as did Kelly's IRA accomplice...
He received a total of nine life sentences but was freed early from prison in July 2000 under the Good Friday Agreement.
His early release licence was suspended by Mr Hain after security information indicated Kelly had become "re-involved in terrorism".
Hundreds of police and MI5 agents are continuing the hunt for the men who tried to bomb three London underground trains and a bus six days ago.
Why bother? Find them, you will only let them go again...
TaIes rom my Fridge
Midnight, just back from the pub, one lonely pork pie, a man of my reputation, what was I meant to do?
Image taken on 27/7/2005 23:59
July 27, 2005
The Mark of the Black-blogué
Quant au blogueur Scott Burgess, il constate simplement que, à sa connaissance, c'est la première fois en Europe qu'un «journaliste perd son boulot» après avoir été black-blogué.
I rather like the idea of being a black-bloguér so I formally propose we form The Guardians of the Mark of the Black-blogué and award Scott a trophy flag to fly!
Prince Charles has been accused of "cronyism" after the Duchy of Cornwall employed his sister-in-law as an interior designer.
Mr Davidson said: "He seems to be giving it to this person just because she's the sister of his wife.
"It's nepotism and cronyism."
Sorry - giving relatives jobs isn't "cronyism" in the Royal Family, it is how the whole hereditary system works! It is cronyism when Tony gives serious jobs to jolly decent guys he happened to share rooms with...
What is Britishness and what are fundamental British values? A YouGov survey for the Telegraph has found that Britons' sense of national identity depends far more on shared values and institutions than on nostalgia for warm beer and village cricket.
Graphic Not much to quibble about there but then they got on to this...
To see how individual men and women could embody what it is to be British, YouGov asked 3,505 interviewees who, out of a selection of contemporary Britons, they take pride in. Here are the results:
51 per cent Kelly Holmes She runs around, or is it hop-skip-and-jumping?, just a highly paid performer, I don't know anything else about her, and I may be missing something but that hardly makes her Florence Nightingale does it.
50 per cent The Queen Served her country for decades and only 50% take pride in her?
37 per cent Sir Trevor McDonald another highly paid performer, can read off a screen very well - wow.
37 per cent Lord Coe Another runner abouter, now famous for having narrow eyes and saddling London with the Olympics - Oh God, years of him droning on ahead of us.
36 per cent Paula Radcliffe Public shitter in the streets - I take more pride in the poor bloody cleaners who have to sweep up after her.
33 per cent JK Rowling Bright, clever, successful, stories embody traditional British virtues and tales, good choice - a Gloucester girl, born near Dursley, who is now being claimed as a Scot.
23 per cent Amir Khan Plucky little Asian fighter, I believe. Ten years time will anyone remember him?
21 per cent David Dimbleby The white Trevor McDonald.
17 per cent Tim Henman Another narrow eyed twat - is he Seb Coe's brother?
10 per cent Simon Rattle Flouncy haired musician botherer, something to do with Manchester, I believe, so probably got the northern vote to prove they have culture up there.
Well, I suppose I am out of touch, at least David and Victoria, or Katie Price, or Macca didn't feature...
July 26, 2005
Traffic Jam on the way home tonight
Not much chance of overtaking; and when I did I then met it coming the other way.
Image taken on 26/7/2005 18:10
Image taken on 26/7/2005 18:23
Works for me 2
Many years ago before I had met the present or previous Mrs Englishmen Saturday afternoons were for some poculating at lunchtime, a quick snooze in front of the fire, waking up to The Dukes of Hazzard and a young friend of mine calling round - happy days...
IFILM - Music Videos: Jessica Simpson: These Boots Were Made For Walking
Sexy sudser Jess keeps it clean and gets down 'n' dirty in her Daisy Dukes. These boots are made for washing--and for watching. So siddown, rest yer dukes and get an eyeful of the bombshell next door soaping up the wheels. Legendary singer-songwriter Willie Nelson adds to the authentic flavor on this remake of the old Nancy Sinatra hit for the Dukes of Hazzard movie.
Works for me!
This is what they were fighting for, of course we couldn't do it in England, evil guns and not wearing a safety belt..
- Publius Pundit
Pickup? Check. Gun? Check. Babe? Triple-check.
Boomershoot organiser fired!
Joe Huffman organiser of Boomershoot has been fired from his job - his analysis of why is quite techie but interesting - shows what a clever methodical man he is -
Advocating Freedom Considered Harmful His conclusion is: "termination for being an advocate for gun ownership and freedom."
Over to Kim for his reaction...
If you are bored today..
I am tempted
A century after the first settlers were drawn to the Great Plains by the offer of free land and a new life, a new generation of pioneers is being lured back by the same promises.
Sitting under big, blue skies and surrounded by endless wheat fields, Ellsworth was once the "wickedest cowtown in the West" but now embraces a far more wholesome image as it tries to attract clean-living, young families.
Move to Ellsworth under the "Welcome Home Plan" and you can have free land on which to build, home loan assistance, free utility installation and 12 months free membership of the local golf club.
The town will also help with the down payment on a new house - the size of the donation rising with the number of children you are bringing to the local school.
Applicants must be American citizens or have a US bank account.
Darn! I'm not eligible - and hey I didn't want the membership of the Golf Club anyway. But to live in peace under the Prairie skies, I would have some of that!
"Two faced" cheese eating surrender monkeys
A leading Cuban dissident yesterday accused a "two-faced" French government of putting trade ahead of the suffering of the Cuban people.
The comments by Marta Beatriz Roque, a 60-year-old economist who was arrested during a protest outside the French embassy in Havana on Bastille Day, came after Paris unilaterally ended a European Union diplomatic embargo against the regime of President Fidel Castro, and normalised relations with his government.
Apparently emboldened by the French overture, Cuban authorities responded by launching the largest wave of dissident arrests since 2003, when almost the entire dissident leadership of the Communist-ruled island was rounded up.
So much for the European spirit of common action when there are a few Francs to be made! And who cares about the poor dissidents who suffer living under an ageing autocratic self-worshipping democracy-despising President, or the Cubans.
July 25, 2005
A welcome return
The Alchemist is pleased to announce his return the web. Readers may have noticed his absence of late - there is a reason for this, I shall stop short of calling it a good reason, because if it were I would still be absent.
It seems that an anonymous party took exception to something I wrote previously. Took exception strongly enough to discover my real name (worryingly easy to do as I discovered myself) and threaten my life and well-being.
A devout Christian who lost his job after refusing to work on Sundays has lost the latest round of his legal fight with his former employer.
Now I don't have a lot of time for "The Keep Sunday Special" crowd - I like shopping and drinking on Sunday, but I recognise that not working on Sunday is important to some Christians. A quick Google fails to find any Jew who has been fairly dismissed for refusing to work on the Sabbath, or Muslim for praying five times a day - it wouldn't just be Christians who have their beliefs belittled, would it?
Calling Kate Hobbs at Wanadoo
I hope you don't mind me calling you, but your name is on the Wanadoo site as a contact to call:
About Wanadoo in the UK
Further information on Wanadoo can be found on the company's web site at: www.wanadoocorporate.com.
Tel: 020 7553 7566
Mobile: 07968 067569
And I'm afraid your wanadoocorporate site is down - ask the techies why that is! - so you are IT today.
Long story, but I will try and keep it short!
A Company I used to work for provided me with an ISP connection, I stopped working there and using the connection a long time ago. So I was a bit surprised to get a letter, the first I have ever had from Wanadoo as far as I can recall, signed by Rob Connell "Managing Director" asking for £14.99 as even though they have closed the account that amount is still owing. So I ring the number and explain they should send the letter to the company administrators, not a lot of joy from the underpaid call centre fodder, he just said it was my debt and "that if I didn't want to pay it, then that was my choice, they couldn't make me". Eventually I got the Training Manager and he told me who to write to. Email address? I enquired. "Nope, Wanadoo Anytime doesn't have one" was the reply.
So we have Wanadoo - "one of Europe's leading Internet and directories companies" with its information website down and no customer email address. Looks good doesn't it.
So I wondered who this Rob Connell was - is he Managing Director of Wanadoo Serviços de Internet, Unipessoal LDA, a company registered in Madeira (company number 05431/2000.09.08) whose registered office is located at Avenida do Infante, 50, 9004 - 521 Funchal, Madeira, Portugal because he doesn't seem to be a Director of Wandoo UK - The directors there are ERIC ABENSUR, TIMOTHY JOHN PHILLIPS, and JOHN SILLS according to Companies House.
So Kate please could you clear up who Rob Connell is - Wanadoo wouldn't be misleading me by sending letters signed by him would they?
Anyway please could you pass on the message to him that Account No 1044513 billing needs to be sent to:
NetShift Software Ltd
c/o Tim Townley
BDO Stoy Hayward LLP
Kings Wharf, 20-30 Kings Road
Reading RG1 3EX
As I said sorry to bother you but the call centre guy refused to write down the information when I gave it to him, and Rob Connell seems to be unreachable.
Pick and Mix Taxes
Seven people are challenging the government's use of income tax to fund the war in Iraq.
Siân Cwper, from Gwynedd, is a member of the so-called 'Peace Tax Seven' who are taking a case to the High Court.
They claim government policy on tax infringes their human rights. They are refusing to pay a proportion of their taxes as a symbol of not paying towards the military.
Of course they haven't a chance, just think of what would follow; If I could choose what NOT to spend my taxes on, now there is a list to behold!
What is it with this Push Biking game that some people, including at least one reasonably sane Blogger, get excited about? Following links I see some people even attempt to be rational about it -
An economist on a bike.
For those of you who haven't tried it recently let me tell you it stinks. The non-trusty 4x4 went in for a service this morning so my cunning plan was to load up the old bike into the back, and the cycle the couple of miles into work having dropped the old bus in at the garage. Half a bloody hour of pain - my perineum hasn't been so tender since I left boarding school - I had to buy a new shirt as the old one was a wet stinking rag. Every time I tried to gasp a breath I found the bloody Wiggly-bus spewing diesel fumes in my face and can I make a suggestion to twats in French cars - on a fifteen foot wide road, with a lorry coming the other way, don't bloody overtake a wobbling cyclist. It was bad enough when the milk float cruised past me but when Ms Free Market in the Free Market Battle Cruiser stormed past me I knew my days as a cyclist were numbered. Never again - cyclists, they are all mad and you will be doing the gene pool a favour by eliminating them; after I have struggled back to pick up my 4x4...
It is all starting to come out now
Unknown to his political colleagues or the electorate, Edward Heath was prepared to take Britain into Europe with the full intention of seeking economic and political union, newly-released papers show.
The then prime minister told Georges Pompidou, the French president, that this country could never have a "satisfactory partnership" with America "even if Britain wanted it" because of the disparity of power between the transatlantic allies.
The documents, released after a Freedom of Information Act request by the Margaret Thatcher Foundation, show that Sir Edward, as he later became, was at least as keen on monetary union as the French leader.
Session 1 - Long but worth reading to understand their slippery minds - bastards; "before the war the British always thought of themselves as Europeans, we had a bit of an Empire but that is so old fashioned; can we come back and be Europeans again, as the nasty Americans are bigger than us and might bully us, of course we mustn't be rude to them as we are jolly glad of the American Nuclear umbrella so we must build up our own alternative so we can in the future; ever closer union, oh please! the pound, so what!...." I am off out to have a walk to work my anger off. Pity there isn't a range handy and open this time of the morning.
July 24, 2005
Prime Minister Tony Blair has spent more than £1,800 of taxpayers' money on cosmetics and make-up artists since coming into office, it has emerged.
July 23, 2005
Tim! where are you?
Tim - you OK? I presume the overattention you have been getting has melted your servers, give us a shout if you need help, we will do what we can, or just laugh, what ever.
July 22, 2005
Whilst you are voting...
Yahoo is asking which topics Our Dear Leader should pursue as a priority during the UK presidency of the EU.
The current leader with 45 percent is get Britain out of the EU.
Join in, go on, you know you want to.
At 77% when I looked - go on give it another push!
Don't tell them your name, Pike!
"As [the suspect] got onto the train I looked at his face, he looked sort of left and right, but he basically looked like a cornered rabbit, a cornered fox.
"He looked absolutely petrified and then he sort of tripped, but they were hotly pursuing him, [they] couldn't have been any more than two or three feet behind him at this time and he half tripped and was half pushed to the floor and the policeman nearest to me had the black automatic pistol in his left hand.
"He held it down to the guy and unloaded five shots into him.
And about thirty seconds later human rights activists started bitching...
Dear Hugh 20
Friday July 29th 2005
A few words on the latest terrorist attack in London:
And now I feel a chant coming on:
“You’re crap and you know you are…”
This morning’s Independent has a front-page headline which comments on the situation thus: “CITY OF FEAR”.
I reproduce this merely to demonstrate why The Independent doesn’t sell that much. Had The Independent wanted to more accurately reflect public opinion over here, it would instead have headlined its front page so: “TOSSERS”.
Back in the loud old days of the Eighties, when you couldn’t catch a London taxi without the IRA blowing it up first, the Provos issued a slightly chilling observation after one of their bombs failed to go off. They said: “We only have to be lucky once. You have to be lucky all of the time”.
There is some resonance, obviously, in adapting the IRA’s comment of then to fit the situation in London of now. However, I prefer to believe that there is more weight in adapting Winston Churchill’s famed comment against spiky criticism:
“But in the morning, you will still be fuck-wits”.
And in celebration of the future now facing these frighteners, the celebrated chef Michael Stone has created the following menu of
(a) Bread and (b) Water.
Enjoy shower-time, boys.
It looks like Tim at the Englishman’s will have to look to his laurels as the internetwebbiething’s home for German jokes. Apparently we have a German stand-up working in the UK. A sample:
"Why did my grandfather cross the road? To occupy France."
Coming over here stealing my job, I tell you it will all end in trouble....
John Howard bitch slaps UK reporters.
I can't find this on the BBC - must be there somewhere - but yesterday while the tube was still smoking Blair and OZ PM John Howard held a press conferance:
Questions were along the line of : "Prime Minister, you have appealed for people to stay calm, but do you feel any sense of responsibility at all for the fact that ordinary people here in London now seem to be in the frontline in the war against terror?"
Eventually Howard spoke up -
..Could I just say very directly, Paul, on the issue of the policies of my government, and indeed the policies of the British and American government on Iraq, that the first point of reference is that once a country allows its foreign policy to be determined by terrorism, it has given the game away, to use the vernacular. And no Australian government that I lead will ever have policies determined by terrorism or terrorist threats, and no self-respecting government of any political stripe in Australia would allow that to happen.
Can I remind you that the murder of 88 Australians in Bali took place before the operation in Iraq; and could I remind you that the 11 September occurred before the operation in Iraq; can I also remind you that the very first occasion that Bin Laden specifically referred to Australia was in the context of Australia's involvement in liberating the people of East Timor.
Are people, by implication, suggesting that we shouldn't have done that? When a group claimed responsibility on the website for the attacks on 7 July, they talked about British policy, not just in Iraq, but in Afghanistan. Are people suggesting we shouldn't be in Afghanistan?
When Sergio de Melo was murdered in Iraq, a brave man, a distinguished international diplomat, immensely respected for his work in the United Nations, when al Queda gloated about that they referred specifically to the role that de Melo had carried out in East Timor because he was the United Nations administrator in East Timor. Now I don't know the mind of the terrorist, by definition you can't put yourself in the mind of a successful suicide bomber, I can only look at objective facts, and the objective facts are as I have cited. The objective evidence is that Australia was a terrorist target long before the operation in Iraq, and indeed all the evidence, as distinct from the suppositions, suggest to me that this is about hatred of a way of life, this is about the perverted use of the principles of a great world religion that at its root preaches peace and cooperation, and I think we lose sight of the challenge we have if we allow ourselves to see these attacks in the context of particular circumstances, rather than the abuse through a perverted ideology of people and their murder.
Prime Minister (Tony Blair):
I agree 100% with that.
UXB - the series
BBC NEWS | UK | Experts hail 'forensic goldmine', lots of evidence, lots of witnesses, with luck we will find the bastards quickly and lock them up for four or five years until some "Peace Initiative" means we let them go again!
Pity there wasn't an armed citizen or two who could have tapped them as they looked in disbelief at their non-exploding rucksacks and wondered how they were going to run away, what with their tiny hard-ons hindering movement, as they were expecting they were about to be ravished by a bunch of virgins, or is it raisins?
My "Rivers of Blood" speech
Dear Friends, this was going to be short dignified bitter-sweet post, regarding mortality, courage in the face of adversity, ending with a weak joke you would have all forgiven me for. Hours of research this morning convinced me that the signs I had seen were very bad. Call my an old hypochondriac but this time I knew...
Bugger, I have just remembered that I was eating beetroot yesterday, so that was it - onwards to the pub!
July 21, 2005
A £200k combine, and in the background a 240hp tractor struggles with a set of discs as they start to get the field ready for next years crop.
Image taken on 21/7/2005 18:40
DEAR HUGH 19
If I was the sort of ex-PR chap who had written or was writing or had a yen to write a novel that national newspapers had predicted would be a dark satire on rock stars and the cult of celebrity (I may have used the wrong consonant in “cult”), I would be very bothered by the story in Sunday’s Independent which revealed that the Government has banned books by spin-doctors. So I’m writing this under an alias.
Apparently the Government’s Cabinet Secretary has forbidden publication of the memoirs of former No.10 press officer Lance Price on the grounds that they are “completely unacceptable”.
Hmm. So I don’t suppose I’m going to have much luck with a tome entitled The Way-Hey Of Yesterday, then.
Not, you understand, that any such book exists, has ever existed or shall ever yet exist – as, under the terms of a confidentiality agreement the mere idea of the existence or non-existence of such I am not at liberty to allude to, let alone discuss, I of course do not have the slightest idea what you are, may be or will ever be thinking.
But just say, for the sake of argument, just pretending, that such a book did or might possibly exist – just playing, ‘cos it honestly doesn’t, really, I swear, really, you can look – then where’s the right in that?
I mean it’s all very well and OK for every bloody Prime Minister to publish his diaries and go tromping on tour across the USA lecturing about the time he pissed in the coffee when meeting the TUC, but if some poor assistant press officer wants to earn a bit of cash doubtless because he’s saving up to have his peculiarly-warlike forename changed by deed poll, then the shutters come down.
There’s New Democracy for you. Not, obviously, that this Draconian censorship will affect me; especially as I’m quite plainly writing just this, The New Gentleman’s Grumpy Old Cookbook.
Bit of a mouthful, I admit, but then I’ve been told that I usually am. But it has to be a long title because my book agent advises me that we have to get all the buzz-words in, like “new” – apparently “new” is good for the growing population of Alzheimer enthusiasts, it helps to persuade them they’ve not read it before. And of course “grumpy” and “old” is all the rage – in both senses of the word.
However, I think my agent is either not on the case or is on the gin because I don’t think people want grumpy old books anymore.
No, ever since The Da Vinci Code, god-bothering books are poised to be the new big thing.
You can scoff but I bet you a quid that following the claim in the papers at the weekend that Da Vinci author Dan Brown has earnt $140 Million from the 25 million copies that he’s flogged, as we speak there are novelists all over the planet rushing to knock up anything with a religious theme to it.
In fact I understand that Penguin is already repackaging Jack Kerouac’s On The Road To Damascus, Sebastian Faulks is editing up Bird Evensong and Delia Smith is filming a new series for the BBC to accompany her forthcoming guide How To Bake Communion Bread.
Even I consider it entirely prudent to re-title this here publication to
Christ! It’s The New Gentleman’s Grumpy Old Codebook.
I am fascinated by The Da Vinci Code. I haven’t read it, of course, but I take my Homburg off to Mr. Brown for having the inspired idea of claiming that Jesus somehow dodged crucifixion and married Mary Magdalene instead. I always thought there was something going on between them after I heard about that foot-washing business.
Mind you, I’m not so convinced by Dan’s other claim that the Jesus bloodline has continued down over the ages through Europe’s royal dynasties because if that’s true, then judging by our current lot over here there has plainly been a mix-up at the transfusion unit.
No, what fascinates me is the Catholic Church getting in such a tizz about the likelihood of Christ getting married. I don’t know if you’ve knocked about St. Peter’s Square of late but apparently there’s hell going on about this down there.
Call me a heathen, but I’m puzzled by this. How is it that the cardinals have a problem with Joseph standing up at the wedding reception and saying “As you can imagine, there was a bit of a row when Mary told me she was pregnant…” and yet they completely take it in the stride of their cassocks that there was this chippie who created a bit of a stir by walking on Galilee and caused havoc by interfering with the water at the Nazareth meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous?
I’ve always quite liked Christ. I thought he was what we used to call dead cool. Well, dead, obviously. But you know what I mean. For starters he pretty much inspired Our Look in the Seventies. In my teens, I fancied being like Jesus; all that healing with the laying on of hands stuff seemed fab.
In fact it wasn’t until I first put my hand inside a pair of knickers at the back of the cinema that I realised that being a healer possibly wasn’t the blessing that it was made out to be.
But, all in, Jesus was the guv’nor; he didn’t shave his head like some gods we’ve known and he didn’t seemingly over-eat like that permanently-squatting Buddha (it’s no wonder you’re fat, get up and walk about a bit). And, unlike some of his Indian equivalents, Jesus had the advantage of not seeming to possess an implausible number of additional arms and legs.
And I always found that him not having the face of a green elephant was a bit of a bonus too.
No, I’ve long had a bit of a quiet thing about Jesus; good with words – in fact, for a bloody carpenter, brilliant with words. Never sitting about just asking for tea or saying “you’ll be needing an RSJ for that”. No, it’s “Do unto others as you would have done to thyself” – top stuff! “Love one another with a pure heart” – good one.
In fact it has always irritated me that just as soon as some twat invented the Church as a haven for dodgy blokes who only want to get togged out in skirts on Sundays, everybody seemed to forget about the love and peace stuff. Shame, that; life could have been what I believe is popularly known as a gas if the men with rules hadn’t moved in.
They’re buggers, men with rules.
But before we sort them out, can I just interject to make the say for common sense after just listening to a fucking idiot Home Office minister talking gibberish on Radio 4.
Cabinet member Hazel Blair was interviewed on the Today programme about the alarming new rise in the number of violent crimes and the association of the increase in the drinking of alcohol.
Not unreasonably, the interviewer asked her how this sat with the Government’s bizarre obsession with extending the drinking hours in Britain (currently 11.00 am to 11.00 pm) to 24-hour knocking it back.
This is what she said (and before reading, please contemplate that this woman is expected to be intelligent): “Why should the vast majority of people who go out to enjoy themselves, and who want to be able to get a drink after they’ve been out somewhere else, be penalised because of the behaviour of a small minority?”.
Cretin. The “vast majority” of people don’t drink after 11.00 pm because they have families to go home to/jobs to hold down in the morning. Twelve hours allowance of constant drinking is enough for the “vast majority”.
The only people who will continue to drink if pubs are open all day is this “small minority”. As a consequence of the extended licensing hours, the “small minority” will simply get more drunk (and therefore more problematic).
In other words Blair, you fool, by extending the licensing hours you are merely creating the conditions for the “small minority” to act even more anti-socially. 24-hour drinking is for nobody’s benefit other than drunks – because “normal” people don’t need/won’t want the facility.
It’s like leaving a pile of coke on the kitchen table at a dinner party; only the junkies will use it (well, I will).
But the point is lost on the moronic Minister because (get this, it’s classic) she claims that by extending the “flexibility” of opening hours so that you can drink around the clock, that will lead to “less trouble” (her claim) because it means that “not everybody will be leaving the pub at once, and it’s that (all leaving together at closing time) that causes the problems”.
No, it is not. It’s too much alcohol that causes the problem. And if you extend its availability you are merely exacerbating the problem.
Nobody “normal” regularly needs a drink at four in the morning. I would especially like to ask Ms. Blair (and, by the way, how come Tony is handing out Cabinet posts to his relatives?) and her mates in Whitehall , when was it, precisely, that you last felt the urge to go out to the pub at 4.00 am ?
And here’s another fallacy; I have heard Parliamentarians claim in the House that the British licensing laws need to be extended “in order to bring them in line with the opening hours of bars in other parts of the European Community”.
Crap. During the past three years I have visited Florence , Paris , Rome , Vienna , Moscow , St. Petersburg , Barcelona , Prague , Oslo , Copenhagen , Dublin , Stockholm , Budapest , Munich , Dortmund , Hamburg , Rotterdam , Lisbon and a bunch of Greek islands and lesser German cities besides, the combination of which is relatively representational of the EC.
With the exception of Barcelona (where they are mad) I have NEVER found bars open beyond 11.00 pm in any of these cities.
Yes, I am sure that if you ferret about for long enough off Broadway in Gdansk or scout around the housing projects of Tirane in Albania you can probably find some weasel who might grudgingly open a bottle of an ether-like local liqueur for you (if you pay enough and promise to marry his pig-looking daughter) but surely the drinking habits of a whole Continent cannot be represented in the anarchic practices of flea-pits.
As I have warned before, the Government is up to no good with this elastic licensing. They want more people pissed on the streets because that will cause public uproar and then they’ll be given the excuse to implement their real intention, which is to introduce identity cards.
And I think you’ll find that the Government’s fetish for ID cards is probably just because Gordon Brown and Blair have secretly gone halves on privately purchasing a factory that will knock out each card for a tenner. Got to think of the retirement, folks.
Mind you, this is all entirely academic because I learnt yesterday that there are moves afoot for Britain to be made a partially-dry state. This will be the consequence of calls, reported in The Independent, from the Luton Angry Young Muslims Association.
According to the leader of this group, an accountant called Sayful Islam, apparently, Britain should be made a Muslim caliphate.
The Independent did not bother to explain what a caliphate is, so I looked it up, as I prefer not to live in intellectual ignorance.
A caliphate is where things are run by a caliph. Caliph is the title given to “a successor of Mohammed as ruler of the Islam world”. In other words, the likes of the late (but honorary Grumpy) Ayatollah Khomeni.
Personally this does not bother me as I do not drink, virgins don’t offend me and I reckon chaps like us would have got on with King Khomeni like a house of fire because, as I say, he always struck me as being as grumpy as fuck. One of the club, then.
But I’m wondering how this move to institute a segregation of power is going to sit with the boys in the pin-stripes in Westminster . What sort of protests are they going to howl when they discover that they no longer have any jurisdiction over Luton , Leeds and the Ladybrook Road in Birmingham ?
To me, it makes perfect sense to extend assemblies much as we already have in Scotland and (risibly) Wales; everyone who is Christian (or at least trots along drunk to Midnight Mass at Christmas) gets to be ruled over by QEII and our esteemed MPs and everyone who is Muslim gets to be ruled by this Caliph chap.
But does this mean that those who live in Buddhist hotspots have to be ruled by Tina Turner? I’m not sure that would work because the State Opening of Islington (man) would be constantly delayed by her indecision of which wig to wear.
However, in celebration of Buddhism (which I like); here follows the epicure Michael Stone’s suggestions for a vegan feast. You may think this to be a contradiction in terms, but you’ll be surprised.
BG (blinding alias, eh?)
Meum and Teum - learn the bloody difference!
MILLIONS of bank customers face having their deposits raided by Gordon Brown this autumn under plans to redirect money from dormant accounts to charity.
An estimated £4 billion held in accounts that have not been used for three years or more could be redistributed...
The Building Societies Association, whose members are to be included in the scheme, has protested about the Government’s plans. It says that the money does not belong to the banks or the Treasury: it belongs to the customer.
Quite - If I have a little nest egg tucked away as my "FU" money then it is nobody's business and certainly not Robber Gordon Bloody Brown's to give away - as far as I can recall I only have about £19 in a Post Office account I haven't touched for many years, but still it is mine not yours, OK!
Yet again they try to erase our history and culture.
A council is considering banning Land of Hope and Glory from Remembrance Day celebrations because it is too political - and replacing it with the more "relevant" Rod Stewart song Sailing.
Wolverhampton council will decide on the motion forwarded by the Labour councillor Peter O'Neill.
He declined to say why exactly he objected to Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance and why he thought the words written for it were political, adding: "It's just my personal view."
He said Sailing would be a more appropriate song because it was more relevant to the younger generation.
To be fair to Wolverhampton this is just one prat putting forward a view, so far, unlike last year where another Black Country council banned Poppies as a fire hazard.
Oh and "relevance to the yoof" - what bollocks - especially using a 1970s song as an example...
UPDATE: - I think it is entirely appropriate to include "Sailing" in a Service of Remembrance as it was in a way the theme tune of The Falklands War, just as some of Dame Vera's tunes represent the last European unpleasantness - as Dear Noelie remarked there is a "potency of cheap music" but in addition, not as a replacement.
UPDATE 2: - I note Tim Worstall comes to the same view and also quotes Dear Noelie - "Great minds seldom differ - or something".
Nothing to add, just read it.
Planners -oh come the glorious day!
Bloke 6' 10" tall, ( note even the BBC doesn't try and use metric in a story like this!), wants to build an extension to his house and wants the roof a bit taller than normal. Planners say no - it isn't in our guidelines. Funny that they demand ramps and handles to disfigure some of our finest buildings but won't allow a tiny alteration on a small house, prefering to hide behind the rule book and preventing someone improving their own house and quality of life. You don't really own your own house remember, the council charge you a yearly tax to live in it and control what you do with it. I tell you yet again that the only use of Planners is ensuring that there enough lampposts; so come the glorious day we have somewhere to string them all up.
July 20, 2005
What is it really made of?
Google Moon July 20, 1969, man first landed on the Moon and Google are celebrating, zoom in for details.
DEAR HUGH 18
Wednesday July 27th 2005
Alif lam mim ra. In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
No I’m not on the turn, you cultural pig. According to The Koran, this is the correct way to address each other. Seeing as Allahmania is the new big gig, I thought it would be wise – or at least polite – to get hold of a copy as I want to find out more about this virgin business.
As far as I understand it from reading Her Majesty’s Press, the job incentive for all these nutters who are going about taping Semtex to their tools is that once you’ve got over the shock of watching your head fly off, you get to go to Paradise and shag virgins.
One, ever shagged a virgin? I have; several. It’s crap. They have no idea where anything is meant to go and invariably they then go on and on about being pregnant. Which is not what you want to hear in Paradise; not when you’ve gone to all that trouble of exploding yourself and then spending bloody ages searching about in the rubble for your dick.
Two; forget virgins and them writing all about it in diaries that their mothers then read. No, if you’re on the stairwell to Paradise with all your bits gathered up in your arms what you want to be asking for is a single mum instead. Much more fun. They go like rockets and tend not to say “Sorry, I think I might gag”.
Anyway, this here Koran – or Cor-RAN, as I expect our American cousins call it – has an index. I looked up virgins. There is no listing for virgins. Maybe it’s a Liverpool edition.
But does this lack of chapters extolling the benefits of a tight fit mean that all of these Imploders have been wasting (a) their time and (b) TNT?
Well, not quite. If they turn up in the clouds asking for directions to the virgins they’re going to be looking for an eternity. Yes, I know they’ve got all day and all of the day after that ad infinitum, but it can get tedious. Ask old Moses; he packed it in after forty days.
But the smart zealot doesn’t waste his time looking for Mother Theresa and others of the untouched disposition (the type collectively referred to in my experience as “this is my friend, she’s got a lovely personality”).
Nope; Mr. Smarty gets to the celestial garden and follows the signs for “the high-bosomed maidens”, whom I believe can be found down past the bouncy castle and right at the maze.
I thought that would get your attention. According to page 417 of The K, as we shall snappily now call it, “as for the righteous, they shall surely triumph. Theirs shall be gardens and vineyards, and high-bosomed maidens for companions: a truly overflowing cup”.
A few observations here.
One, I presume that calling a maiden “high-bosomed” is a diplomatic way of avoiding use of the “sag” word. So what does that tell us – that Paradise is full of plastic surgeons?
Or are all of the 38EE ladies herded off to some isolation wing of the Aftergarden where nobody will see them traipsing about tripping over their nipples?
Two, what is all of this “vineyard” lark? Who are the vineyards for? I thought the Believers didn’t drink. Or don’t the rules apply up there? I only ask because if everybody’s pissed off their face playing with high bosoms in the vineyards, then I can’t see the difference between Paradise and a lock-in at The Kings Arms when that bird who’s now gone to Exeter used to run it.
Three, as you may know The Koran is the infallible word of God as revealed to Mohammed by the Angel Gabriel (who was obviously quite the gossip). So which one of those three was having a laugh by punning “a truly overflowing cup” on the high-bosomed business? Was the Angel Gabriel in fact Max Miller wearing a sheet?
Four, and this is the page (70) that The Imploders would probably prefer us to skip over, or at least to pretend that the pages got stuck together after somebody got excited reading it with maidens in the vineyard – this matter of “the righteous” needs examination.
Because page 70 makes it perfectly plain that there is absolutely fuck-all “righteousness” to be found in blasting anybody with an unpleasant flying cocktail of Semtex and your bits. And I quote:
“It is unlawful for a believer to kill another believer except by accident….He that kills a believer by design shall burn in Hell for ever”.
Excuse me for being dense but weren’t there a few believers on (a) The Bus and (b) The Tube trains?
Sorry, I think you’ll find that there were. Don’t you boys come moaning to me with excuses about how you’d left your spectacles in Leeds. I don’t care if you didn’t notice them, those were believers. No bosoms for you; it’s straight to bed in Hell for you, my lad. Consider yourself smoted.
By the way, can I just make it perfectly clear at this point that I, clearly, am a believer. I am, actually. I used to be an atheist until I realised I was God.
Hang on! I’ve found the virgins. They were hiding on page 378. OK, I take it all back; apparently there will be virgins Up There. Phew, thank God for that! For a moment there I was starting to think I might have to take a gerbil with me. Although judging by the explanation of what the virgins will let you get up to, it sounds like very little fun.
For a start, the virgins will be red. Yes, red. I don’t know why, I have absolutely no idea; maybe they’ve got a deal with the Native Americans or something.
“Therein are bashful virgins…virgins as fair as corals and rubies”.
Ever seen “fair” rubies? As I said, red. Great. Don’t fancy yours much. Have you got them in brown?
It gets worse.
“(The blessed of the right hand) shall recline on jewelled couches face to face, and there shall wait on them immortal youths with bowls and ewers and a cup of purest wine that will neither pain their heads nor take away their reason (my emphasis) and there’s shall be the dark-eyed houris, chaste as hidden pearls….we created the houris and made them virgins, loving companions for those on the right hand”.
OK, so now you’re probably thinking “did I keep the receipt?” How does that smoting thing work again? Does it hurt?
Exactly – because what is the point of wine that does not take away your reason? We all know what reasonable wine means; it means that German alcohol frei gunk that the misinformed believe reformed drinkers like myself will really enjoy.
Let me make it plain from my position of considerable authority and experience of the subject of being pissed, there is no point to drinking alcohol-free anything. You may as well shag a vir….
And there’s another point. How in Heaven’s name are we expected to chat up these houris (a houri is an alluring woman, by the way, dictionary-defined as “a nymph of Paradise”) if we can’t get the Dutch Courage up because the wine is crap?
Mind you, what else do you expect if you ask an angel, God and a prophet to organise a party? I bet they don’t do wedding receptions.
Also, if I’ve got to spend all of fucking forever lying on a jewelled couch asking some nymph what bands she likes, I’m going to need some heavy-duty vino, not least to numb the pain of all of those jewels poking me in the arse.
And on which subject, I’m not sure I like the sound of having all of these “immortal youths” hanging around with their bowls and spittoons when I’m trying to teach the houris what “nymph” is an abbreviation for. You can take the afternoon off, boys, I don’t even like Crocodile Rock.
Anyway, I think that 21st Century culinary developments can be called upon to give a make-over to Eternity and on this point the celebrated chef Michael Stone has created the menu below for men on the tug. The following recipes are especially designed for gentlemen planning A Seductive Evening and are guaranteed to please a houri girly. Hope you enjoyed this study of The Koran; next week: Understanding The Talmud Or 1,001 Ways With Chicken Soup.
Trying to do a bit of light dusting and tidying of the Castle Website - there is an upgrade of MT to look at for instance. I have been lax in maintaining my BlogRoll. Sites I visit aren't there and sites that I don't are - please help by suggesting who should be added, or removed...
July 19, 2005
One for the blogroll
Stirring from a Raj-induced trance, Hereward, the man from the fens and his merry band of bog hoppers are doing their level best to wrest our Country back off the wild men from the north.....
DEAR HUGH 17
Tuesday July 26th 2005
Yesterday I thought that I might kill myself. For a number of reasons, really.
1. I am fed up with doctors ordering me not to drink alcohol nor eat anything that is much more interesting than old dog biscuits.
2. Because the proscribed prescriptions of 1. above do not appear to be having any material effect upon my weight.
3. The moto-x bike that I bought for my son three months ago has still not arrived, despite the promise on the website of the LYING BASTARDS who sell these “Diddy Bikes” of “next day delivery”.
4. World War III is coming (and it is, check out the small print in what the powers are now muttering about Iran).
5. Safeway has stopped selling vegetarian bacon.
6. I appear to have broken my left foot, or else gout is making its debut.
7. The CD that I bought solely because it features Burlesque among 18 otherwise-uninspiring songs, jumps on the Family track.
8. The substantial quantity of marijuana that I bought for research purposes is a bit weak; or at least I haven’t fallen over yet.
9. The Prozac which I have now spent six weeks kicking is at last wearing off and I’m finally getting delayed reaction to those events of a year ago which the pills had previously subdued and am consequently thinking “Sorry, sacked for WHAT, exactly?”
10. I need a new suit but do not have the body on which to wear it.
11. My brother just told me that taking cocaine in the past hardens your arteries and ups your cholesterol. Which means that I have to have a word with Mum about her claim that high cholesterol “runs in the family”. What else runs in our family, noses?
12. The existence of newspapers.
13. A general acceptance of the belief that we were born to be mild.
14. Because I made a list of Reasons to Love America but have now lost it. Although I recall that the list included Marlboro, Rebel Yell (the drink, not the silly song), Hunter Thompson, a national enthusiasm for fellatio and the songs of Steve Earle, particularly Here I Am.
14. Because I bought a bottle of vintage Amarone in Florence some weeks back but cannot drink on the orders of Dr. No-No.
15. Because the spell check on this machine indicates that Amarone has been spelt incorrectly (when it hasn’t) and I am not sure that I want to make a living utilising a machine programmed by somebody at Microsoft who does not know what Amarone is. Mind you, one look at Bill Gates should have told me that.
16. Because the Wiltshire Constabulary has sent me a summons informing that they are to prosecute me for the peace-threatening act of driving at 57 mph in a 50 mph limit. I’m actually going to court on this one; to make a stand from the box about how come it is that Wilts Cops can nick me for all of 7 mph but fail to do much more than fuck-all when they drove past my daughter in Devizes at the time when she was been punched in the face by one of the local yobbos whose residency around here is permitted by the county council’s rejection of my Compulsory Death For Thick People proposal.
17. Because a nationwide drought is apparently forecast for Britain in the next fortnight, thus adding water to the list of things I’m now not allowed. I expect air will be next.
18. Because none of the farmers I know are interested in utilising the Drive-By Ratting service that the son and I have instituted (we just park the Saab outside grain sheds and zap away from the comfort of our air-con Swedish suite).
19. Because I am fed up with hearing people talk about “Ee-rack” when the word is quite obviously pronounced nothing of the sort.
20. Because the wind blew over my potted fig tree, startling the dog and more importantly crushing the cucumber plant which until then had been promising to bear fruit that would have been a relative banquet to a nomnivore like me.
21. This one really gets me – flies that zip into my office and then whine buzzingly at the windows that they are too stupid to have noticed. Thus obligating you to incinerate them with a Zippo (oh, Zippos should have been on the list of 14. above).
But what a difference a day makes. All is now sweetness and lite ™ because when I was buying the dodgy Family CD, I also put my clutch upon a CD that features Eddie & The Hot Rods.
Hands up who remembers Eddie & The Hot Rods. Oi, Alex, get your hand up; I bloody know you do.
Anyway, on re-hearing the pertinent sense of “no-one tells you nothing, even when you know they know; but they tell you what you should do, they don’t like to see you grow” I cast myself back to when I first heard it.
Which was 1977, when I was 21 and full of hope and pep and, having just discovered Born To Run in a big way, I was out-thinking Jon Landau by concluding not that “I have seen the future of rock & roll” but that God had gone and sat on my face.
I now have Do Anything You Wanna Do on the boom-box beside the phone, so that when those fuckers from Indian call centres call up and say “Am I speaking to Mrs. GB?”, inferring from my tenor tone that Mrs. B is some sort of East European shot-putt champion, I can turn the music up loud. So that when they say “I can’t hear you” I can reply “Not my fault, luv; I didn’t ask you to ring”.
Anyway, playing Do Anything You Wanna Do now, but thinking of then (my youth) I compared my minds and wondered whether the GB of 1977 would be disappointed with the GB of 2005.
And so all thoughts of suicide went out the window. And then, naturally, that got me thinking on what I should have played at my funeral. I think the Rods is a bit much and I’m thinking now that my previous choice, Steve Earle’s Jerusalem, is a bit worthy.
I certainly don’t want anything by My Ex – just in case the weirdo who owns the Northern Songs copyright turns up to try get his royalties by nicking the collection plate and then starts interfering with the choir boys.
I’ll admit that I’ll Be Seeing You has a nice lilt for the occasion and Keef’s Before They Make Me Run is neatly biographical, as is Paul Jones’s I’ve Been A Bad Bad Boy. Do you think the vicar at Lyme (I have to be buried by the sea) will object if I request The Drifters singing There Goes My Baby? Actually, scrub that; I’ve just played it and it’s atrocious. Truly bloody awful.
Found it, found it. Steely Dan’s (I’m Never Going Back To) My Old School. A bit obvious given the circumstances but I think the brass solo outweighs that and the “I was smoking with the boys upstairs” has a funereal resonance. Actually, no - let’s go for Gram Parsons leading The Flying Burrito Brothers doing Merle Haggard’s Sing Me Back Home.
As ever, I would appreciate the benefit of your sagacity on this if you can suggest better. You may think that I am being premature but 50 is approaching and as I appear to have cornered the market in coronary disease, you can never be too careful.
This brings me to the point of this missive; food for funerals.
I have noticed a gasping hole in the market with this. I was at a funeral the other day (my Gran) and it was quite obvious to me that the caterers did not have a clue. As well they would not because, let’s be honest, few of us have much experience in this department and subsequently we cave in and make do with sandwiches and sausage rolls.
Call me arrogant, but I do not want to be remembered with sausage rolls. I want the mourner (and his cat) to be given a feast; trebles of Scotch upon entering the church and afterwards Amarone served with good honest chaps’ food something like the delights that the chef Michael Stone will suggest below.
Anyway, that’s the easy bit – wait until they read the codicil in my will demanding that I have the inscription “sadly pissed” on my headstone.
Scots to the rescue?
THE Scottish Conservatives are planning to back a two-tier British tax system by offering voters a three pence cut in the basic rate of income tax.
The radical policy pledge looks likely to be the centrepiece of the Tory manifesto at the next Scottish Parliament elections in 2007.
Will the Scots come to the rescue of the economy? The spirits of the great Scottish economists must be pleased, and no I'm not talking about Gordon Brown!
Among other catastrophes, the Heath Government presided over:
- a lethal and unprecedented combination of rising unemployment and inflation.
- protracted conflict with the trade unions, including two huge defeats at the hands of the NUM.
- the abolition of the Stormont Parliament in Ulster on the 24th March 1972, thereby ensuring that the fundamental principle on which democracy operates, i.e. the will of the majority, was cast aside in favour of placating the disloyal and the insatiable great unwashed.
- tensions over immigration exacerbated by the influx of Asians fleeing from Amin's Uganda.
- the accession of the United Kingdom to the European Union without consulting the people. The opinion of the electorate was not sought until 1975 (under Wilson) and even then, was only won on the basis of spin and lies about future intentions and direction.
- the carving up of England's great shire counties in favour of the establishment of Metropolitan authorities - often encompassing a range of towns which had nothing historically in common with one another.
By any stretch of the imagination, the government of Heath was an unmitigated failure. He lacked the essential hard-headedness required of his post; substituting it for the 'nice guy' approach. No wonder Blair was so adulatory. Maybe he will also adopt Heath's petulant puerility towards
A useful summary - though judging by the Front page of The Independent yesterday a combination of Mother Theresa, The Queen Mother, Beethoven and Sir Francis Drake had died.
July 18, 2005
The wheat sheaves are being stooked to keep them dry until they are stacked. The straw will be used for thatching.
Image taken on 18/7/2005 15:01
A new and interesting one to me:
What's the purpose of Conservative Grapevine? To highlight the best posts from around the right side of the blogosphere..
The Government plans to give teenagers smart cards allowing them discounts at cinemas and leisure centres in return for good behaviour.
Children who did voluntary work or otherwise helped their community could earn extra credits for their cards, while those who got into trouble could have their cards deactivated and lose their credits.
Ministers have been impressed by a Wiltshire police scheme that gives teenagers a swipe card offering £10 in discounts at leisure centres or cinemas and for activities such as day trips, canoeing and sessions with a beautician.
Miss Hughes told the Observer yesterday: "It is about celebrating when young people are doing well, as well as being able, through sanctions or not involving young people, to point to the fact that they have responsibilities as well as rights and if they don't meet their responsibilities they jeopardise those rights."
Ah! There is the nub of the nuLabour mindset - "Rights" are withdrawable! By making every numpty privilege a "Right" - including it seems in this case the "right" to get £10 off a cinema ticket - then the whole concept of "rights" is devalued and a bullying Government can happily withdraw a fundamental "right" as easy as withdrawing a Happy Mac Ticket.
Prof Al Aynsley-Green, the children's commissioner for England, said: "I am concerned that we recognise that the small minority who engage in anti-social behaviour are frequently those who come from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.
"Withdrawing incentives such as opportunity cards from them must be the very last resort and should be used sparingly."
Except of course experts still believe that punishing children who are naughty is bad and makes them unhappy!
The proposals will also encourage teenagers from different faiths to get to know each other better, a move the Government thinks is particularly important after the London suicide bombings.
What a shameless use of the bombings!
Ministers are expected to overhaul Connexions, their much vaunted youth support service for 13- to 19-year-olds which was intended to be the muscle behind their rhetorical assault on drop-outs but which has failed to produce results. The scheme cost £420 million just to set up.
So we will try another way to piss the money away!
July 17, 2005
Hi Pop- pickers!
Tim "Fluff" Worstall brings you this weeks round up of all that is brightest and best in the British Blogosphere, and straight in at Number One is Scott, with a real scoop. Congratulations. Take it away Scott! Ba Bah Bom Bom de Dum!
De mortuis nil nisi bonum
BBC NEWS | UK | Former PM Sir Edward Heath dies
So I will say nothing.
July 16, 2005
Youth of today
Graffitti has been scratched into the wall of our church - dated 1777, that is the graffitti was done in 1777, the church is much older.
Image taken on 16/7/2005 13:1
Staight talking John Howard
JOHN HOWARD: Maxine, these people are opposed to what we believe in and what we stand for, far more than what we do. If you imagine that you can buy immunity from fanatics by curling yourself in a ball, apologising for the world - to the world - for who you are and what you stand for and what you believe in, not only is that morally bankrupt, but it's also ineffective. Because fanatics despise a lot of things and the things they despise most is weakness and timidity. There has been plenty of evidence through history that fanatics attack weakness and retreating people even more savagely than they do defiant people.
Read the whole interview - that sounds like a man talking sense.
July 15, 2005
DEAR HUGH 16
Friday July 15th 2005
As some of us are grateful to have known since the time that you took three and a half months to prepare that complex lasagne that I think Carluccio made up for a laugh, you are a noted epicure of omnivorous discrimination. Well, at least you are until you’ve had too much grappa.
Anyway, in your capacity as the Beau Nash of this gentlemen’s forum, I thought you might be interested in checking out the following restaurant that was nominated by Charlotte Rampling at the weekend for The Observer’s guide to The 100 Best Places To Eat This Summer.
According to the only good reason to watch The Night Porter, the next time you take your bucket and spade to Cannes you should dine at Club 55, which is apparently very good for sea bass.
Actually, I wonder if I could lean on your considerable marine experience and have you advise me on the subject of sea bass.
As you know, for more than a score of years I have eaten neither fish, nor fowl nor anything that arrives on a plate asking for its mother. And since my quack has recently discovered that I am a nesting-site for heart disease, no cheese nor eggs neither now. So I am hardly an expert on foodstuffs, even though I could cook better than Delia with my dick.
Anyway, what is this sea bass that has grown in international popularity during the past ten years? I may well be the animals’ new best friend, but I was born and raised by the sea and am not totally ignorant of the nature of a bloater. And when I was a lad, we used to fish for bass. And we called them bass. Just bass. Not sea bass. Just fucking bass. Like we didn’t call cod sea cod and as far as I am aware there is not much call either for sea sprats.
So what’s with this sea bass lark? Or, more to the point and as I once said to infuriate an especially pompous waiter (before reminding him that he, not I, was the one serving at tables on a Saturday night), what is a river bass? Or a lake bass?
This sea bass affectation is rubbish. Have you ever heard anybody order grape wine with it? Exactly, it’s just another example of the culinary class structure that I would like to see torn down and stuffed, with coriander and pine nuts, up the parson’s nose of Martha Stewart.
Another example of this pretension is found among The Observer’s list of 100 best places to eat. On page 20, column 4, to be exact. For there it is that we find The Observer advocating that you eat at La Columbe.
Ah, I hear you puzzle, I am not familiar with La Columbe. As well you would not be, chum, for La Columbe does not nestle next to the other Suffolk and Thameside eateries on The O List. That is because it is in fucking South Africa!
What possessed The Observer’s usually-excellent team of pot and pan-bellied food writers to think that among their three readers there may be one who picked up the supplement on Sunday and said “Do you fancy lunch down the pub, darling? Or shall we go for a quick bite in South Africa?”
As newspapers are very aggressive these days, I was not sure whether their listing of all these dining rooms meant that you are expected to eat at all 100 places this summer. As I calculate that there are only about another 60 days left of summer here, that means eating at a rate of almost 10 restaurants a week.
Besides the evident toll on your stash of air-miles, that’s an awful lot of waiters’ piss to unknowingly drink in your gravy.
Actually, I once knew a woman who looked like Charlotte Rampling. Just like the Francophile actress, she had a hell of a wide mouth on her. She could get two men in her mouth at once and still be able to say “Oh, you’re home early”.
Anyway, the Fourth Estate’s fetish with food reminds me that I must write to the BBC to request that they put more programmes on TV about celebrity chefs.
No, really; I mean it. I want to see more celebrity chefs cooking on television. But I’m not talking about foul-mouthed fuckers like Gordon Ramsay; that’s just him doing his job. I mean proper celebrities, celebrities who are chefs – not chefs who are (apparently) celebrities.
By celebrities, I do not mean those game-show hosts of transient talent who are forever getting pictured coming out of that China White club with the white bit of it running down their nose. I mean stars like Girls Aloud.
I do not know whether you have Girls Aloud in France. Take a tip and write to somebody important suggesting that you do. Girls Aloud are the best thing since The Beatles.
As you know, I am not one to make such an authoritative claim glibly. But Girls Aloud are TBTSTB because, unlike your Ulrikas and Davinas, they are among the few real stars who bother to actually look like proper sluts.
And I love them not least because they look (a) Normal and (b) Like they probably bang like The Beatles (read any biography to get the sense of that).
In other words, Girls Aloud share that magic that the Fabs had in that they appear to be believable and real. I like my TV trollops to at least appear as if they might let you; as the attraction of stardom is that it is achievable. I mean you wouldn’t try to cop a feel with Madonna, would you? You wouldn’t immediately suggest Taking It Greek on your first introduction to Barbra Streisand.
Well, you might; but I wouldn’t.
I think we have become far too stuffy in our global idolatry of the famous; unless the girl next door is in actuality the woman who owns Berkshire, it has become popular not to admire them.
And once again this snobbishness in our worship of the holders of the headlines reveals how out of step we are with the opinions of people who wash.
You can scoff, but a quick glance at the list of what’s best-selling in Britain will muzzle your cynicism. According to the Top Ten chart of best-selling non-fiction hardbacks, jolly Jodie Marsh’s autobiography is at #3, thereby outdoing both Bono On Bono and Geldof’s log of his trek around Africa in a hat.
This intrigues me but possibly puzzles you the greater because you, being half-French, are wondering “who is Jodie Marsh?”
A couple of years back, Channel 4 discovered that it was running out of footage for its usual listing of Foreskins Of The Famous and decided to dive into the batter of reality TV instead with a series called Essex Wives.
As you hail from that maligned county, you will already have anticipated that Essex Wives was a study of families who shouted over each other like thirty Jewish grandmothers locked together in a coal bunker. The wives showed themselves true to stereotype by forever cooking meals containing an abundance of chips and driving to shoe shops in Japanese cabriolets. Being a bit of a fan of the habits of the proletariat, I tuned in.
What became evidently captivating was not the opinions of old mother Marsh, but the sauce of her daughter Jodie; a bright girl who did things like go to Stringfellow’s night club dressed only in a belt. I do not mean a short skirt, I mean no skirt; just a belt. You know the sort, I expect.
I remember turning at the time to the tight half of my conjugal knot and predicting that Ms. Marsh would become a big star and complimented her ingenuity at giving a new meaning to the cummerbund. I may have made some additional mumbling about how it would not be the worst idea in the world for certain other people to follow Jodie’s lead in the waistband department.
Anyway, after I had found a packet of frozen peas for the bruise on my face, I made a note in that part of my brain that was not temporarily illuminated by the sight of stars to remember the name Jodie Marsh.
Damn me if I shouldn’t go into talent-spotting lark because within twelve months young Jodie was spread all over the shop here (well, at least her legs appeared to be) and a star was born. And yet talk about mucky; according to what I’ve seen reported, dear old Mrs. Rampling’s predilection for nasty room service don’t even come close. JM’s got a gob on her that could accommodate all of Wembley Stadium and still leave her room enough to clearly enunciate Abide With Me during the community singing.
Naturally, there are some within our homesteads who cruelly choose to compare her to the fused material formed during the refining of metals, but I question her deserving of their distain because she is, poor girl, merely the personification of chaps’ age-old fondness for the type.
Calibrate my claim by casting yourself back to when you were at school and therefore at your most atavistic – when you went to the 6th Form Disco drunk on Don Cortez, was it the scrubbers that you tried to dance with or the high-achiever prefects who looked like Thora Hird?
If you’re going to be difficult, I’ll ask you again…….
So why do we now, in our dotage, get all high and mighty about girls who we used to wish had been in our tutor group? After all, it’s Jodie Marsh whose name is at #3 in the list of Britain’s best-selling books; I don’t see Professor Mary Warnock charting there in a hurry.
We shall return to this topic of The Importance Of Being Earthy at a later date, but I have to rush off now as I’m cooking lunch of Autumn Stew and Herb Dumplings (recipe below) for the new home-help that social services is sending me. She’s apparently called Nurse Titmuss.
The adventures of Paddy continue
Paddy literally frothing at the mouth at the prospects of the Girls coming to visit
Oh here's one of them - she has heard me coming!
Hello M'Dear! How good of you to come, pleasant journey I hope, have you had a drink?
What Fridays are for
When you have finished this week's "Dear Hugh" letters may I suggest:
Walking through town on Saturday afternoon I am accosted by a very nice elderly lady who is collecting on behalf of the Alzheimer's Society.
"But I gave you a fiver just ten minutes ago," I tell her, as she waves her collecting tin at me.
Fear, panic and confusion flash through her eyes as I walk away, whistling. I know it's wrong, but sometimes you just have to do it.
Lost the plot
A primary school cancelled a Harry Potter day over complaints it could lead children into "areas of evil".
Pupils from The Holt Primary School in Skellingthorpe, Lincs, were planning to dress up as witches and wizards.
But the event - to mark the launch of the new JK Rowling book - was scrapped after parents and a local rector expressed concerns about witchcraft.
Headteacher Paul Martin said the rector claimed he was seeking "to lead our children into areas of evil".
Tell the Sky Pilot to sod off - the amazing fact that kids are excited and want to read a book, any book, is an "a posteriori" good thing.
Of course if he had said it about the Koran.. "he went to Pakistan to study Religion".. No, that would be wrong and a very naughty thing to say.
Food Miles nonsense
It takes less energy to import tomatoes from Spain than to grow them in this country, says a report which claims that "food miles" are not always a bad thing.
...food miles are not always a valid test of environmental friendliness, says the report. They are "too simple a concept" to capture the impact of its transportation.
For example, the report says, it takes less energy to import tomatoes from Spain, where the climate is warmer and no heating is used, than to grow them out of season in gas-heated greenhouses in Britain.
All reasonable stuff, and the Friends of the Earth react in an entirely predictable way ..
"To suggest that locally-sourced food may generate more food miles is ludicrous. (That is not what they are saying - they are saying your stupid "food miles" concept is too simplistic - which is probably why it is all you can understand.)Locally produced food is far better for food miles, but it must be planned and supported by local and national government to find the most efficient methods."
Now that is what the FoE is really about - total State control of the means and and methods of production, to each according to his need.. - hang on wasn't that the old Labour Party Clause Four? I wondered who had picked it up since Tony dropped it. Melons! (Green on the outside and red on the inside.)
And of course you wouldn't have gathered this from the BBC report
BBC NEWS | UK | Food movement 'harms environment' which sticks to the Melon line.
July 14, 2005
Dear Hugh 15
Thursday July 14th 2005
I have to write this quietly because there’s a kind of hush all over the world in a sec; a Two-Minute Silence that takes place in half an hour for the poor souls who copped it from The Tubeway Army.
This is apparently not like the two-minute silences that you and I have been observing over the years on Poppy Day or in respect of stuff like Diana’s death or the end of Pan’s People dancing on Top Of The Pops.
No, this is a New Labour silence and, predictably, we here in the fields of England are therefore having to be instructed on how to behave appropriately. Call me dim but I would have thought that there wasn’t too much to learning how to master this silence lark; it’s not like studying Wittgenstein, even for people who wear trainers.
But once again my presumptions were wrong because it turns out that this here silence cannot be like any silence we’ve known before. The organisers are saying they don’t want any of that head bowed in quiet contemplation and prayer stuff.
No, this is a New Improved Silence with added extra display of public calm. According to all the newspapers and radio bulletins here, in order to mark The New Silence we have to “go out into the streets; leave your homes and offices and stand in silence with others”. If I sit here and pray for the souls of those who were murdered, then apparently that doesn’t count.
I expect that unless I go out and stand in the middle of the road, I’ll get busted by John Prescott’s Silence Detector Vans, who’ll issue me with an Anti-Social Behaviour Order signed by The Noisefinder General.
Well, they can fuck off. I’m marking the loss (in a few minutes’ time) by having a fag, thinking on the ageless tragedy of religion, composing a prayer in my head and then, doubtless when official klaxons sound to signal that we can all be rowdy again, getting the Les Paul out and playing along to Steve Earle’s Jerusalem; the pithy irony of which will be lost on the cretinism of The New Silencers (“well maybe I’m only dreaming and maybe I’m just a fool, but I don’t remember learning how to hate in Sunday School”).
Here we go. Back in a mo….
That was decent. There was not a sound, above the birds singing, across the whole of the village. There was not even the noise of planes in the sky like there is now; which is dead impressive, pilots being able to glide 747s like that for 120 seconds. Although I didn’t see anyone out in the streets dressed up in black bunting, so I presume we’re all for it.
What do you say when they knock on your door – “sorry, I was silent already at the office”?
Of course, you don’t have to have been the publicist for an international rock star for more years than you can shake a stick at to have sniffed nouvelle PR spin in The New Schtum - or the Gedenkminute as we should perhaps call it, now that we’ve gone global (* see below).
In this Slave New World of engineering perception to be reality, the powers want us out in the streets so that the cameras can see it. Come on now, hush for the birdie – because if it can’t be seen on Sky News then it didn’t happen. Probably that plane that just glid over was passengered by hordes of Fleet Street snappers, all taking aerial photographs for tomorrow’s front pages of “The Moment Britain Stopped”.
Because that, of course, will scare the breakfast out of the other suicide bombers who are sitting up on Ilkley Moor planning their next outrage. You can imagine the conversation that is going on as I write:
“What about the Old Bailey?”
“No, the Irish did that; we don’t want to be seen as plagiarists”
“How about a soccer match?”
“The football season’s over”.
“What about a cricket ground, then?”
“Nah, the crowds are dead already”.
“Hang about – look at this! Fuck! The Brits are all out in the streets, holding hands and saying nothing”
“Bugger me, they are as well. Well, that’s it; fuck Osama, I’m out of here! Tell him he can stuff his virgins in Paradise offer, I’m not bombing anywhere else if they’re going to get all mute on us. I’ve had that before with my deaf Granny; it’s terrifying! Ee up, pass us me ferret, you barmcake”.
Respect for the tragically dead is right and proper but if we think this “We Shall Not Be Moved” philosophy is going to stop anything, we’ve unfortunately got another bomb coming. As I’ve said before, the only thing that will work is application of the Hitler Theory of Retribution. In other words, sort out Pakistan.
And before anyone gets jumpy about that, look at today’s newspapers and their potted biographies of the bombers. In each case it’s “he changed after he went to Pakistan”, “he became very religious after a visit to Pakistan”.
Which bit of the clue don’t you understand, guys? Talk about dealing with fools who skip the bleeding obvious, it’s like going into a Tel Aviv travel agent’s in 1939 and the manager saying “Well, Germany’s nice at this time of year”.
Not that anybody is going to take a blind bit of notice of the Pakistan Problem in Downing Street or The Pentagon. I’m just pissing in the wind here; we can’t rough up Karachi because if we did it might damage our arms sales to the heroin warlords on the Kirthar Range.
I expect we’ll get hate-mail about that and I’ll have to do a Rushdie (which isn’t so bad, judging by the gorgeous women he gets to shag). I warn this because, as I alluded earlier (*) DEAR HUGH has now gone global. Hoist the daft Olympic flag that would be appropriate if only seven countries entered the Games; play The Internationale; hang out sheets bearing the felt-tipped slogan “WELCOME YANKS” – because we are now on the Web. By which I mean the Internet, not caught in my hedge.
It seems that somebody – and I suspect our good friend and excellent Englishman Timbo here – has slipped these here Letters To The Coronarians under the door of Stephen Hawkins, or whatever it is that you do to “post on the Net”, as the hipsters call it. I know this because somebody told me to check it out and, lo, up on Google and Yahoo! there is DEAR HUGH.
And beneath our scribblings there’s reaction like the review from hugely-sentient readers such as someone who lives under the unfortunate title of “Darulharb”.
“Darulharb” - whose peculiar conjunction of vowels and consonants makes me suspect him to be one of the cave-dwelling associates of the alarmingly-lipped Osama (Have you ever looked at his lips? Talk about Fish-Faced) – applied his A.J.P. Tayloresque analysis and came up with the acute observation that “You mother takes it up the ass, without Lube”.
Just so that me and Darulharb are on the same page here, he should know that my mother is 75 and, as such, would be very happy to take it anywhere – with or without the participation of his mate Lube, which I presume is an abbreviation denoting his pal as a resident of Lubeck. Or perhaps Lublin, in eastern Poland.
To tell you the truth, I’m a bit disappointed with the likes of Darulharb and Lube (whom I’m beginning to suspect might be Hall & Oates
re-launching themselves under a new moniker) because I would have thought that they could have done better than alluding to my Mum’s apparently cavernous bottom.
In fact, so pathetically “you smell, you do” is the attempted insult that I’m starting to wonder whether old Darulharb is actually just one of those New Labour Silencers who is too PC to write “fuck off, you cunt”.
Still, it takes all sorts. Even those who clearly should have been drowned at birth.
And there’s another lesson that the New Mob has failed to learn from history; there needs to be more of that Herod stuff in their anti-terrorism tactics. There’s nothing like a good cull of the infants to shake fundamental belief – or at least to get your wife on your case, which is pretty much the same thing.
Anyway, as we’re now global and you’re famous can I leech onto the back of your celebrity and ask all of our readers out there if anybody has found the little gold cow charm that I lost in Montserrat in 1988. Send it on, if you have.
Must dash as I’m dying for a piss, but before I go can I show a bit of solidarity with you there out in France by saying how gutted I am that London’s avarice has prevented the staging of the Paris Olympics.
Shame, that. I was really looking forward to live coverage of Ms. Hilton working her way through a long line of men. Maybe they’ll ask my Mum to step in instead. They can get old Lube along as the Polish entry.
And in celebration of that, here follows recipes for Borsch and something you can do with Blinis. And don’t get all pedantic, saying that’s Russian and not Polish; they’re all the same, women with bearded armpits and all that.
as Willie Cope always said in the summer of 1976, when I were but a lad loading bales all day. Of course he wouldn't be allowed to say it now. But then he was a very old farmworker - never even learnt to drive a tractor. And as we roped down the loads on the wagons it was always "Pull, pull like you would pull a black man off your Granny". Disgraceful, maybe the countryside was a racist place in those days.
THFAWM? - "Too hot for a white man" - I'm ashamed to say.
Ministers are considering a new land tax to fund schools, hospitals and roads needed in the south east of England.
John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, backed the tax as a way of providing services and more affordable housing, with 1.1 million extra homes due to be built in the South East by 2016.
He told a conference yesterday that the Government was looking seriously at the Planning Gain Supplement, a tax paid on the difference between the average price of agricultural land and the average price of development land, which is far higher.
He wants more houses built, so he will tax the process - what is wrong with this picture? Now if I sell off the lower acres for Scrote Housing I would make a wacking profit and get taxed on it; under this plan I would pay tax on the gain so I wouldn't make a whcking profit and so would pay less company tax. So the idea doesn't work - it is just envy made policy. Oh, and I notice it is for the schools and hospitals, has there ever been a tax proposed that wasn't? Never are they for the general slush accounts of the government, are they? Remember that Prescott's department has had its accounts "qualified" - ie not accepted - by the auditors for the past 15 years - source - because they can't explain where they piss so much money away!
July 13, 2005
Forman & Field Fine Food - specialising in fine foods from traditional producers, producers whose philosophy is quality through and through, using artisan skills, age-old recipes and the finest fresh ingredients.
Looks great - my mouth is watering! 100 years in Marshgate Lane in the East End of London - but not for much longer as the Ken and his Olympics will bulldoze them out - sign their petition against it please.
As The Times put it:What Paula Radcliffe paused to do in the streets of London, bid organisers are doing to the locals.
DEAR HUGH 14 (APOLOGY EDITION)
Wednesday July 13th 2005
There has been a number of complaints. Actually, has there fuck; but just in case….
I thought it may be worth making clear at this point that “Dear Hugh” is a fiction; a collection of letters written in imaginary character by a grumpy old chap that do not in any way at all represent my pristinely-correct and politically-balanced personal views. If these “Dear Hugh” letters have been taken seriously in any way, I unreservedly apologise for unintentionally adding any distress at a most saddening time following this dreadful atrocity.
Anyway, Muslim zealots; what a bunch of cunts.
And before anybody starts reaching for the number of the Race Relations Board, let me again make it clear that I am NOT talking about the vast majority of kind and decent Muslims. It’s the ones who holiday at Billy Bin Laden’s desert Butlins camps who piss me off.
After giving much of my highly-expensive time to considering this matter, I believe that the Government has only a few choices:
1. Bomb Pakistan (and thereby have the bonus of burning off all of the smack that they deny growing there).
2. Bomb Leeds .
3. Bomb Marks & Spencer (in the interest of political balance).
4. Sort out the twat who thought that the BBC News At Ten’s opening headlines on The Situation now need the aural accompaniment of persistent drumming in order to better represent the gravity of it all.
Al Mac has come up with another suggestion; the institution of Compulsory Loin Cloth Wearing for anybody who looks like they might be secreting explosives about their person. This may make tolerating the British winters a little harsh, but these are difficult times and we all have to make sacrifices. Besides, encouragement of the Gandhi Look would make body searches easier. On the other hand it could cause complaints because if The Suspects use up all the available stash of muslin, how are we meant to drain the fruit when we’re making our jams and chutneys?
The new evidence that the bombers were British nationals raises an interesting prospect. Although the UK outlawed capital punishment back in the early Sixties, the penalty still exists, actually, for crimes of Treason. And also for Arson in Her Majesty’s Shipyards, by the way.
However, threatening suicide bombers with the rope is fuck-all use when these blokes believe in an Afterlife and in all of that Yes! We’re Going To Barbados crap. The solution is plainly clear, then – a national call-up of all philosophers who can demonstrate a priori that Paradise does not exist beyond the same-named massage centre and knocking shop in Swindon ’s Old Town district. With Paradise thus lost, it will be interesting to see just how many of these young Yorkshiremen fancy taking their balls off just for the craic.
The attentive among you will doubtless note that I have a degree in philosophy; one of two things that I share with Ricky Gervais (the other being fat). Few, however, will know that I have evidence that there is no such thing as Paradise. The frequency of the broadcast of EastEnders is proof of that.
I wonder how long it will take the scriptwriters of this or any other soap to write, by complete coincidence of course, a suicide bomber into the cast of characters? Judging by previous displays of their obscene chase of ratings, I’d give it about a week until Dirty Bomb Den checks into Albert Square . I expect the BBC is already thinking of getting topical with a new, Leeds-based series of Ground Force presented by Allah Titchmarsh.
In fact, seeing as there’s going to inevitably be calls soon for immigration restrictions and all sort of reactionary backlash, I’m surprised that Durex hasn’t yet decided to do its bit for ethnic population controls by announcing the launch of the Osama Gossamer.
And here’s another thing that gets me as cross as fuck – poodles. I am especially on their case because they, or rather it, is the only animal that makes my dog Jimi bark like a seal taking it up the arse from one of those charming Canadian furriers (oh, come on – why else do you think that so many Cannucks isolated in the back of beyond volunteer for that vile work?).
Anyway, as you are a man of wide experience I thought you may have a few explanations of why my dog barks at poodles. Is it his natural irritation at owners who only have pets that they can shape like a hedge, or is there more to it?
Talking, as we were, about the ECT treatment that are soap operas, I am hoping that the one exception to these foul programmes, The Archers, will shortly react to the horrific news revealed on Radio 4’s bulletins yesterday.
Following the report that the EC says vitamins give you kidney disease (dead handy to know as it’ll stop all those nannies doing that “have you taken your tablet?” malarkey), The News With Brian Perkins announced that something called The Countryside Agency says that if more “urban people” get out into the fields then the national problems of obesity and high blood pressure will be considerably lessened.
Apparently this Agency wants “quotas” of “young urban, multicultural guests” to put that Cliffy track on their thieved car stereos and head out here.
Now hang on just a fucking minute. Where in the small print of the recent manifesto was that proposed? I have absolutely no recollection of voting to extend the hospitality of The King’s Arms to a bunch of Burberry-wearing Ford drivers. I didn’t get where I am today by socialising with people whose girlfriend Janice drinks rum and black.
Besides, the health-less urbanites whom the fretting Countryside Agency is so bothered about would hate it out here; there’s not enough people to rob and, as far as I am aware, none of the pubs around here do a Pot Noodle Ploughman’s. And the Jobcentre’s miles away.
No, as my good friend Prince Charles used to say before he was stitched up like a kipper by people claiming unfair dismissal because he wouldn’t make them Queen or some such, “everyone in his place”. Quite and the place of the likes of the Brothers Mitchell is not around here. They don’t understand country ways and they’ll get quite the wrong idea of what, say, all of that “Arab Breeding” over Newbury way is all about. They’d be out all night searching for the cages. Looking to feed them sheep’s eyes and dodgy hookers and that sort of thing.
No, it takes an English rural gentleman to appreciate that enjoying Cottage Pie does not involve hanging about in toilets. And for those few of us remaining, here follows the recipe.
The Daily Ablution brings us the latest in helping us to Understand the minds of the bombers:
Today's Guardian gives space to Dilpazier Aslam, a "Guardian trainee journalist" who suggests that one shouldn't be shocked by Thursday's suicide bombings - such a reaction would be inappropriate because, among other reasons:
"Shocked would be to suggest that the bombings happened through no responsibility of our own."
Yes, ladies and gentlemen - we bear responsibility for the murderous actions of maniacal members of a religious cult. An apology is certainly called for - the queue forms to the right.
Needless to say, there are other reasons why shock is inappropriate. Mr. Aslam explains:
"Shocked would be to say that we don't understand how, in the green hills of Yorkshire, a group of men given all the liberties they could have wished for could do this."
I too have tried and failed to get a glimmer of how young men can be so brain washed into leaving family and loved ones, enter a carriage full of strangers and in cold blood blow them and themselves up. But I don't want to "understand" them so I can sympathise them. I want us to understand them in the way hunters understand their prey. In the way Mr FM "understands" foxes...
Read all about it
Jens-Peter Bonde's Reader friendly version of the EU Constitution as signed in Rome October 29, 2004 is now available.
Thanks for sending me the link - I will read at my leisure. Thanks.
To the Glasshouse
Embarrassed American military chiefs yesterday lifted the ban on their 12,000 British-based airmen travelling to London after last Thursday's bombings.
Amid mounting criticism that the move sent the wrong message while London was trying to return to normal, Gen James L Jones, the commander of US Forces in Europe, announced the lifting of "all travel restrictions for US personnel stationed in the United Kingdom".
He added: "While all personnel are encouraged to be vigilant, we cannot allow ourselves to be intimidated by the acts of terrorists."
Bit bloody late to say that now. Gen Jones - see those stones, see that pot of white paint, get to it; and when you have finished, here are the scissors for the lawn. You miserable little worm you did more damage to US UK relations in one stupid order than you can possibly imagine. If Her Majesty The Queen is prepared to ride through London in an open top car what the fuck were you thinking of ordering the Yanks to be cowards?
The Chancellor and the Foreign Secretary demanded urgent action on measures ranging from an EU law to ban anonymous international money transfers to a measure obliging telephone and internet firms to retain customer data for at least a year.
The two ministers took full advantage of the platform offered by Britain's current presidency of the EU. Their stature in Brussels was further reinforced by the sense of shock felt across Europe at last week's terrorist attacks on London.....
Mr Straw called for a "rebalancing of where the line between the rights of individuals and the rights of societies should lie".
Now that quote is far more frightening than the prospect of a few mad ragheads. The chocks under the wheels of the Juggernaut of state control have been well and truly blown away this week.
Sod off Townies
Research for the Countryside Agency found that members of ethnic minorities regarded rural dwellers as older, wealthier, more traditional and conservative than city people.
Rural people wanted to preserve their way of life and were more resistant to change than city dwellers, according to two reports, costing £360,000, which were commissioned as a result of a 2000 White Paper which committed the Government to 'increasing and diversifying enjoyment of the countryside".
An Indian woman, living in London, told researchers: "I think people in the countryside are quite rude to outsiders. Within their community they can be really friendly and really nice, but when it comes to those from outside they can be not so nice.
"I don't think they are hostile. They're set in their own little ways and they don't want their life to be disturbed."
£360,000 to be told that! Next time I see some townie clever clogs researcher poking round my land I have an idea of how to tell him the same; an ounce and a quarter of lead is a lot cheaper than that.
Telegraph Leader agrees.
July 12, 2005
Regional Assembly Members Beware!
Neil Herron: Complaint to Your Council (NE only): Unlawful activity by Assembly members - any readers in the North East please follow this - those of us in the rest of the "regions" of England can do similar - as I have to The Monitoring Officer (Ms M Memoli) of Kennet Council and Kennet's member on the Quisling SWRA Cllr. Christopher Humphries.
Update on advice for Paddy
Yes - and I hope he is righthand thread, otherwise it won't be "lock and load" but bacon time!
Happy Orangeman's Day
Have a Happy July 12th - a day that should be celebrated as a foundation stone of the Anglosphere. And a day hated by bigots, so raise a small glass just to annoy them!
And I have finally found out why a Battle fought on 1st July is celebrated on the 12th...
Originally, Irish Protestants commemorated the Battle of Aughrim on the 12th of July, as symbolising their victory in the Williamite war in Ireland. At Aughrim, which took place a year after the Boyne - virtually all of the old native Irish Catholic and Old English aristocracies dispossessed of lands to accommodate the newly established colony were wiped out. The Boyne, which in the old Julian calendar, took place on the first of July, was treated as less important, third in commemorative value after Aughrim and the anniversary of the Irish Rebellion of 1641 on the 23rd of October. What was celebrated on the Twelfth was not William's "victory over popery at the Battle of the Boyne", but the extermination of the natural leadership cadre of the native Irish.
However, by the time the Orange Order was founded in the 1790s, amid sectarian violence in Armagh, a new Gregorian calendar had been introduced in which the date of the Boyne was also the twelfth of July. Because the date was more familiar and because the Boyne was more prominent in British history, the Orangemen shifted their main commemoration to the battle of the Boyne, which is still commemorated with parades every year on the Twelfth. There are also smaller parades and demonstrations on the first of July, the old anniversary of the Boyne, which also commemorate the decimation of the 36th Ulster Division on the first day of the battle of the Somme in 1916.
The Battle of the Boyne remains a controversial topic today, especially in Northern Ireland where Protestants remember it as a great victory over Catholics and responsible for the sovereignty of Parliament and the 'protestant monarchy', while Catholics mourn it as a great disaster when the legitimate 'true' king sympathetic to Irish Catholics and Irish nationhood was deposed in a protestant coup — both views having more to do with each sides' agendas and perspectives than any historical facts.
July 11, 2005
Image taken on 11/7/2005 16:17
Paddy is growing up fast - next week he is going to go and meet the girls for the first time. Off to earn his keep. He is full of teenage testosterone and getting uppity to any males who go and see him. Pigs react to the same pheromones as humans. I recall going round a Wild Boar farm where the pen of young male Boars all came over Terry Thomas like to the female owner, one sniff of me and it was - "Hey you, this is my bitch, get your arse out of my sight", whereas the female Boars (Wild Boar is the breed name) all simpered through the fence at me...
Oh well, I suppose I will have to have "that" little chat with him before he goes to work - the birds and the bees probably won't cut it with him, any suggestions?
How "normal" are you?
Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues at Cambridge's Autism Research Centre have created the Autism-Spectrum Quotient, or AQ, as a measure of the extent of autistic traits in adults. In the first major trial using the test, the average score in the control group was 16.4. Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder scored 32 or higher...
Some people, including some people diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, argue that Asperger's syndrome is a social construct. Professor Simon Baron-Cohen of the Autism Research Centre has written a book arguing that Asperger's syndrome is an extreme version of the way in which men's brains differ from women's. He says that, in general, men are better at systematizing than women, and that women are better at empathizing than men.
A Wired Magazine article called The Geek Syndrome suggested that Asperger's syndrome is more common in the Silicon Valley, a haven for computer scientists and mathematicians. It created an enduring myth popularized in the media and self-help books that "Geek Syndrome" equals Asperger's syndrome, and precipitated a rash of self-diagnoses. Though these conditions do share traits, there is a consensus that most geeks are arguably "variant normal" and do not exhibit autistic-spectrum behaviors. "Geeks" may exhibit an extreme professional or casual interest in computers, science, engineering and related fields, and may be introverted; however, they do not suffer from impairments per se. This does not imply that there is no overlap between "geeks" and Asperger's patients, but it should be noted that self-diagnosis is a dangerous practice, and one prone to error.
Thanks goodness it is "prone to error" as I scored 45...
Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War Two - the latest stories and photographs from the commemorative events.
Telegraph | News | We will remember them
The Queen defied the threat of terrorist attack yesterday to ride down the Mall in an open-top Range Rover at the head of veterans of the Second World War.
Against the backdrop of the London bombings, she made her gesture in front of a crowd of 250,000 people as Britain celebrated the 60th anniversary of the end of the war.
A Regular writes
The Sparky has his own blog now - I hope he puts up all his old stuff as well.
UPDATE : Note new address - http://where-sparks-fly.blogspot.com/
July 10, 2005
Terrorist bombings - a long time ago
Doodlebug - a touching reminiscence.
July 8, 2005
DEAR HUGH (STATE OF EMERGENCY SPECIAL EDITION)
Friday July 8th 2005
(Language deteriorates below the fold)
One ' Geldof's fucked, then.
Two ' I'll put a fucking bomb in London if Blair doesn't learn to speak faster.
Did you hear him yesterday? Jesus Christ; it made you want to catch a bus. What is the matter with this man and his brain-to-mouth impediment? Is it some form of elaborate stutter?
OK, I know he was at a press conference and reporters these days don't do shorthand but, for fuck's sake, even my one-armed thalidomide tortoise could take that dictation.
Did you hear him?
'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''.by this shoc''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''king'''''''''''''''''''''''.atrocity'.
Fucking get on with it, you twat; Shameless is on in a minute.
As Robbie (12) pithily put it 'Maybe he's got Tourets, Dad, and he needs to think about what he says'.
As a patriot (which I am, actually; Elgar, green and pleasant, the sacred rite of conkers and all that) I am concerned that our Slo-Mo PM is giving the wrong impression to the towel head bombers. They must have watched him on the telly and thought that they'd scored a direct hit, because he plainly appeared to have concussion.
Actually, what is interesting is that Tardy Tony's first remarks to camera ' uttered before some half-wit decided to write a languid, cortege-speed address for him ' revealed his true feelings. And, God, wasn't he is a tantrum then? There he was, getting his moment of G8 glory trashed, and it was all 'This is jolly rude! These people are spoiling my turn to be king and it's not fair! Beasts!'
I hope they catch the fuckers; not just to keep them off the streets but so that somebody can tell them that as far as bombers go, they are really crap. Fifty, or whatever, dead, is dreadful, appalling, but it's still a crap kill-rate compared to what they could have achieved if, for instance, they had just stood in one of those long queues to brush past the Big Issue sellers and down the steps at Oxford Street tube station.
Or in one of the lines outside the Planetarium. Plainly, these bombers do not know their way about.
I noticed that unfortunately it took less than an hour after the blasts for the Americanisation of the tragedy to kick it. This began with unsolicited e-mails from people asking me 'Are you alright?'.
Of course I'm fucking alright, I live in Wiltshire. After about eight of these messages from masters of geography, I thought I might as well join in with the spirit of universal concern and phone my Mum to reassure her (just in case she was worried that times are so hard that I've taken to travelling by public transport).
I rang and said: 'Hi, Mum; I'm just calling to say that I'm not dead'.
She said: 'No, dear, it's Grandma who's dead. The funeral is on Monday. Aren't you coming?'
I said yes, I know, but there's been a terror incident in London and I was ringing to say that I'm not there. And then the idiocy of this struck me and I made a note to call her and say that 'I'm not there' the next time there's an earthquake in China or a flood in Pakistan.
As usual in times of emergency, the news coverage here was bizarre.
'This is the attack that we have long been waiting for', said somebody on Sky News. No, it isn't. The attack we have long been waiting for, and still are waiting for, is one from a dirty bomb. By which I do not mean a device that explodes by calling everybody a cunt.
Talking of which, which bright sub on the backbench of The Times was it who thought that we Brits needed the event to be described in the vernacular of Las Vegas? I don't know if you've seen The Times, but they've taken to describing it as '7/7'.
Ugh. '7/7', '9/11' ' has nobody other than George Galloway worked out that it's because of our bed-sharing with Americana that this has happened in the first place? We, being British, do not need '7/7', thank you. We, being British, are perfectly capable of enunciating 'July the seventh'. It's bad enough standing around waiting for a bus that never arrives without blowing up, let alone having to suffer a terrorism of semantics.
Talking of which, my suspicion that the people responsible are not some slick act was endorsed this morning when I read that the group claiming responsibility are called 'The Secret Organization Group Of
Al-Qaeda of Jihad Organization in Europe'.
That's really up there in catchiness with Pepsi, isn't it?
What sort of fuckwits are they? Who (other than a cretin with scant command of English) uses the snappy word 'Organization' twice in their title? And spells it with an irritatingly-inappropriate 'z'? It's with a fucking 's', you inarticulate heathens.
Anyway, I read the statement from the easily-remembered SOGAQJOE
and noted that among its claims, apparently 'Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern and western quarters'.
Once again, wrong. Speak to my Mum. She lives in the 'western quarters' and she was so 'burning with fear' that she knew fuck-all about it when I rang.
Our mate Al (as in Maclennan, not Qaeda) was not so fortunate. He was at Edgware Road yesterday at the time of the disaster but wisely decided not to hop onto the Piccadilly Line after observing smoke billowing from the entrance to the Tube station. Of course, this could merely have signified a Keith Richards gig in action, but thankfully Alex decided otherwise.
As you may know, Al has moved into the village here and his will be one of the homes that Robbie and I visit tonight in order to orchestrate the inauguration of the All Cannings Defence Corps.
You will have noticed that the ACDC is already a notch up on the SOGAQJOE when it comes to superior acronyms. We also have an air-gun. A .177. So nobody better come around here leaving their sarnies in a paper bag on the Wiggly Bus, or we'll take their eye out.
Anyway, back to the lysergic acid-style reporting. I knew that things were grim when the BBC Nine O'Clock News reported from outside New Scotland Yard that 'what the police have to discover about the bombers is were they foreign or were they home-grown British?'
Well, what the fuck do you think? Home-grown British? What does that mean? Are Home-Grown British terrorists the sort who bomb London because they're fed up that it's been raining a lot and the price of black pudding's gone up? And how exactly are these people grown at home? Under arc lights?
Inevitably, the local news bulletins made it all worse. BBC South West was spectacular in its optimism to be part of the gang. 'The bomb may have gone off in London but it felt as if we were ALL under attack', they said.
No. Wrong. We didn't feel under attack here. But then we've got an
Undaunted by their display of singular ignorance of the location of London, BBC South West continued 'The advice from police in the West tonight is 'be alert but not alarmed'. But although the region is a long way from London and few would expect a bomb here, none expected a bomb on a red double-decker bus to Hackney'.
Oh, right. That's up there with 'Although the tsunami was centred on Thailand, it could have hit Trowbridge, because that also begins with a 'T''
Then, as the Americans had not featured in our domestic news for all of a minute, we had to 'go over, live, now' to Washington where Condaleeza Rice was signing a book of condolence that some enterprising spark had opened at the British Embassy. Did you see what she wrote? She wrote 'they will not die in vain'.
What the fuck does that mean? Not 'did not' but 'will not'. 'Will not' implies a knowledge of future events; has she got some retaliation up her sleeve? And against whom, exactly? What's she going to do, have F1-11's take out Tottenham?
Talk about giving the game away; she may as well have signed the book with 'you'll be sorr-ee, luv and kisses, Condy'.
Perhaps I am being too harsh in my expectation that leaders (Blair, Rice, the BBC) should give some thought to their exhortations before spewing rubbish like drunks in a pub. But then their knee-jerkery paled in comparison with Bono's response.
Don't know if you clocked this but Bono was asked whether he thought that the attacks would shift the G8 agenda from aid for Africa and he said 'It's not a problem'.
Hello? Earth to idiot. 'It's not a problem'? That's up there with 'it's a drag', isn't it? Maybe he'll have to regroup under a new banner now, Make Pomposity History.
But the best coverage was kicked off by that guff from the Mayor of France with his 'maintenant, je suis il Londoner ici' nonsense. No you are not. WE are; you lost, remember?
Personally I don't like the sound of the French trying to muscle in on our gig with all of this 'ich bin eine chirpy Cockney geezer, ain't I my old Dutch' lark. Fuck off and get your own bomb; this is nothing to do with you.
Or is it?
We shall examine the French Connection in a moment. But I haven't finished with the Yanks yet. As I was saying, it's a damn shame that this atrocity has to be described through usage of all four pages of the American Dictionary, with terms like '7/7' etc. And just as it was after September 11th, so the newsmen here last night had to go into Americanised fits of description about the Blitz spirit and stiff upper lips.
Ignoring for a moment both the stiff upper and lower lips of our Prime Minister which prevent him from talking properly, I've not noticed any Blitz spirit. All I've seen is what you always see from us lot in times of dire emergency and national threat ' which is essentially a response of 'do piss off you bloody camel-shagger, you're making me late for the pub'. Blair could do worse than adopting a touch of this 'Oi, fucking keep it down' attitude and less of the hand-wringing feebleness.
Anyway, according to the way that the BBC's entire staff of reporters on work experience put it you'd have thought we'd never had problems on the streets of London before.
I remember the days of Scotland v England football matches at Wembley. That WAS a fucking terror, waiting for a Tube at Kings Cross with all that lot of peat-reeking pissheads in their cloaks of St. Andrew's cross and cans of Tennants Super Brew.
In fact, if I back up my memory by twenty years I remember a time when you couldn't walk down Fleet Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street without some bog brigader setting off a letter box without asking you first. And if it wasn't bombs on every corner, then it was bloody riots going on all over the place. And Millwall playing at home. I know all about ruddy terror on the streets of London; I remember the first royal wedding ' the sight of Barbara Cartland's caked-up face gaping out of one of those carriages was petrifying.
Anyway, having exhausted my interest in the BBC coverage, I switched to ITV because I figured that by now they would be proving true to type and screening 'Celebrity Bomb Victims'.
Oddly enough, this wasn't on. I expect the broadcast was delayed while lawyers negotiated with Ulrika Johnson to present it topless. But no matter because instead we had the highly-entertaining sight of watching Sir Trevor McDonald present an EXTENDED ITN NEWS by continually SHOUTING.
Just in case the gravity of the situation had not dawned on everyone, ITN made it evident by adding a headline to the left hand top corner of the screen during Sir Trev's FURIOUS REPORTS. This read:
'TARGET LONDON' and was illustrated with a graphic of three little FLAMES and implied EXCLAMATION MARKS.
After staring at 'TARGET LONDON' (snappy, evidently not from the same copywriters as those that SOGAQJOE use), I began to wonder whether this was an announcement ' or an instruction?
Was 'TARGET LONDON' a call to arms to all of the swarthy men in skirts who have been poncing about studying engineering at the University of Richmond (sic) since 1977? Was 'TARGET LONDON' the sign that they had been waiting for? Was ITN a sleeper front for Al-Qaeda and, come to think of it, where did Sir Trevor Bin Laden get that tan from in the first place?
But, as I have previously alluded, who says it's the men in skirts that are responsible? It could be the French.
You may scoff but look at the circumstantial evidence. First the garlic-munchers get stuffed on Britain asking pointed questions about the subsidies of the Common Agricultural Policy and how come every French farmer drives a Rolls. Then the brown envelopes that Seb Coe put about in Singapore pay off and Paris fails to get the Olympics.
You can see a pattern. Personally, I reckon Chirac got his over-eager secret service to get their Rainbow Warrior plan out again in order to provide a diversion that would get Blair the hell out of Gleneagles.
I reckon the G8 came down for coffee and biscuits and said 'where's Tony?' and Chirac replied that he'd had to rush to London about something or other but he'd left a badly-typed note which read:
Sorry I've had to away nip. Agree pleaze with the French. They are bon!
You can scoff but these are strange times indeed. Anyway, as I am not in the least bit xenophobic about it all, here follows a recipe for a Solidarity Supper of Towel-Head Cous Cous With French Beans.
Word of the Day
Inured: I admit I had to check on its spelling before writing it, but it seemed to be the one word that summed up the people I spoke to yesterday, so here is the dictionary entry I found.
in·ure also en·ure (ĭn-yʊr')
tr.v., -ured, -ur·ing, -ures.
To habituate to something undesirable, especially by prolonged subjection;
Translations below - to get the message across...
doen wennen aan, van kracht worden, voordelig worden
v. - gewöhnen, abhärten
v. εξοικειώνω, συνηθίζω ή εθίζω (σε κάτι ανεπιθύμητο ή δυσάρεστο)
v. - habituar
приучать, вступать в силу
v. tr. - acostumbrar, habituar
v. - vänja, härda, träda i kraft, utfalla, vara till nytta
中国话 (Simplified Chinese)
v. tr. - 使习惯
中國話 (Traditional Chinese)
v. tr. - 使習慣
v. - 慣れさせる, 鍛える, 効力を生ずる, 役立つ
(فعل) يمرس, أو يعود نفسه
v. tr. - הרגיל אדם לדבר לא-נעים, חישל, חיסן, נכנס לתוקף (חוק)
Business as usual
So has the bombing changed anything - apart from the human cost to a thankfully small number of people?
In my hours on the London bound train yesterday, and in Reading and Newbury, both towns with close links to the Capital, I saw and heard nothing of shock or outrage. Surprise, yes. But this attack has been seen as inevitable for a long time. And before this bunch we had the IRA killing in our streets. So we are not indifferent to it but we are defiant and inured to it. As the Windmill used to proudly boast "We never close" so business as usual is the best response. Sod'em we carry on.
The other reactions in the media are all predictable. The warmth and generosity of response from America is particularly welcome; Tony saying the right words, but failing to sound statesman like; even the scum saying it is either Isreal's or our own fault are reasuring in their consistancy, it means nothing has changed.
We carry on, but with renewed vigour.
July 7, 2005
Home at last - I've had a long day stuck on trains but I'm OK - unlike some of our fellow countrymen. Your thoughts should be with them tonight as mine are.
Image taken on 7/7/2005 17:47
This is the view from my home when I got back. It is worth fighting for.
UPDATE: Thanks for the kind messages, sorry I was without net access for so long! Tonight is a night for enjoying putting the Englishettes to bed and being thankful. Tomorrow is another day.
Be afraid, very afraid
http://www.eureferendum.blogspot.com/ warns us of the coming Euro-army...
It is this document, available here which really illustrates the extent of the EU’s appetite. It is a "shopping list" of some 64 military capabilities, which include: attack helicopter battalions; carrier-based air power; tactical ballistic missile defence; light/medium armoured squadrons; mechanised infantry battalions and field artillery battalions.
And you thought Euro integration had been stopped by the Non vote...
Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner.
Maybe because I was born on the Victoria Park Road in Hackney, (you had realised I was proper East End boy before hadn't you), just a short javelin throw away from the future Olympic village: And maybe because we beat the French: And despite foreseeing a tax sapping disaster and despising the whole Olympic charade; even I was a little cheered to see London win the bid.
Luckily this has put me back in a more wholesome frame of mind:
BBC NEWS | UK | Papers' Olympic gold in gloating
"The 2012 Olympics may also be seen to symbolise the new and changed Britain."
That makes it easy - I certainly don't want anything to do with it.
This is the "new and changed Britain" where Paula Radcliffe, and the modern public, see nothing wrong with taking a dump in the street in front of crowds, and on television, rather than knock a few seconds off her time. While C. B. Fry went mad as a fish in later years, can you imagine the old school athletes stooping so low?
Now if it was to go back to the spirit of the Pre and Post-war games in London, that would be a triumph. And what is it with half the "games" they put on? Games are one man or team against another, with a clear method of winning. Anything that is marked by judges is just a variety turn, whether it is turning somersaults, diving into a pool or that thing that bint did with ping pong balls at Fluffer Carthew's Stag do; nothing to do with the real Olympic Games. (Though if they must televise them I think that girl would be better value than most of the other sports.)
July 6, 2005
Wenn ich Kultur hÃ¶re...entsichere ich meinen Browning!
Kim du Toit - Daily Rant quotes:
"Every time someone mentions the word 'culture', I reach for my pistol." - Herman Goering
Ouch - whenever this is misquoted it pains me.
Goering is reputed to have said : "Every time someone mentions the word 'culture', I reach for my Browning." Note the pun of Browning the Poet and the gunmaker.
But actually the full quotation is: "Wenn ich Kultur hÃ¶re ... entsichere ich meinen Browning." It comes from Hanns Johst's most famous play, Schlageter (first performed in April 1933, for Hitler's birthday) and occurs in Act 1, Scene 1. The character who says the line is called Thiemann.
This is usually translated as "Whenever I hear the word culture... I release the safety-catch of my Browning!"
Please find below some recent emails I have received - I neither associate or disassociate myself from the views expressed; I am just allowing this space as an open forum. If you want to express yourself feel free to add a comment. Do not read on if you are easily offended.
And remember I didn't write them....
Monday July 4th 2005
I thought The Stereophonics were good, REM were good, Madonna was good and so were The Scissors Sisters. I thought The Who were amazing; completely brilliant. Robbie Williams was fantastic; I mean, I don’t really like him but he showed incredible showmanship, he really got the crowd going, well, at least the women. Maria Carey? I know, what was she even doing there? I thought it was meant to be about big acts. Mind you, I suppose anybody who gets paid fifty two million by EMI just to fuck off must be pretty big. Velvet Revolver were rubbish; well, that singer was. What a prat. As my son said, not anything like as good as Axl Rose. Joss Stone was good. Pink Floyd were great, although it seemed like Gilmore still had a cob on. Ms Dynamite didn’t work. Pete Doherty was dreadful, really bad; you could see Elton thinking that was a really crap idea, asking him. The Killers were amazing, I loved The Killers; I loved his eye-liner. I’m going to buy their album tomorrow – isn’t that what it’s all about? Sting was clever, re-writing Every Breath you take like that; he did that years ago, on Spitting Image once, with all the puppets of the world leaders behind him like that. I didn’t think U2 worked that well, Bono seemed aimless singing Sgt. Pepper, almost like he’d walked onstage by accident. I thought Get Back didn’t work, the sound didn’t seem big enough; Helter Skelter was fantastic but why didn’t the BBC show that film when Macca did The Long And Winding Road? He’d said that the Live 8 people had done a new film, like updated The Cars’ thing or something, but the bloody Beeb didn’t show it, they just kept the cameras on Paul. Which seemed to defeat the purpose of the event, moving the viewers and all that. And what was all that starting Hey Jude on the na-na-na bit all about? I guessed that they’d done that because the cops or the parks people had complained that the gig had over-run and you can’t have people singing to stop starving when the good burghers of Park Lane are trying to get to sleep, so cut the verses and go straight to the chorus. That was a shame. And, anyway, they shouldn’t have been closing with Hey Jude anyway; they should have been closing with Do They Know It’s Christmas. Maybe they, the stars, don’t know Do They Know It’s Christmas; i.e. they don’t know the words. But I doubt it; everybody knows the words to Do They Know It’s Christmas. So why didn’t they end with it. Hey Jude was completely inappropriate. Whose stupid idea was that?
Anyway, we watched pretty much the whole gig. Interesting couple of things, though. One, I’ve got three teenage daughters, right? Only one of them watched Live 8.
And, two, you know Isabelle, Alex’s kid? She’s six. I gave her a Make Poverty History T-shirt on the day. She said to me “Uncle Geoffrey….what’s poverty?” So the schools are obviously doing their bit to get the message across.
But I thought the best thing, as it the most cutting comment on it all; twenty four hours after the gig, Bush does a TV interview and he says NO DEAL on any concessions on climate control. Unbelievable; all that protest and pop song singing, three billion people watching and it means absolutely bugger all to Bush. Nothing. The man is immovable. All that effort for nothing. I know Geldof quite well and weeks ago I sent him a message saying that if you want to shift the G8 opinion, you’ve got to shift Bush. Nobody else matters a toss. It’s the Yanks you’ve got to affect. They organise all of this and Bush says basically says “I don’t care”. What a joke. Presumably he draws no similarity between public lobbying to end hunger and public lobbying for a cleaner planet, he doesn’t give a damn for public opinion. He just cares about business opinion. I said to Geldof that if you want to affect Bush, the only way to make him react is to threaten a boycott against buying American goods. Sadly, I was right. Bush only cares about dollars. He’s a selfish cunt. Did I tell you that I have vowed not to go to America as long as he is in power? A complete cunt, that man. Only a man, like the rest of us, but the biggest cunt on the planet. And a thick cunt as well; presumably he hasn’t worked out yet that if you don’t sort out the climate problem, you won’t have a planet to even starve on. Personally I think Blair and the other G6 should treat Bush and Americans like Hugh Grant does in that best scene from Love Actually; when the Prime Minister tells the US that they are bullies at that Press Conference. We need more of that.
Actually, what we need more of is Ricky Gervais. Did you see him? I thought his wind-up over Blair and Bush agreeing to quadruple African aid was superb; the best thing of the whole day. Best as in the only really subversive moment. The rest of it was too safe for me. Good and well-meaning and important and good for Geldof, but too safe to really shake the politicians. I mean it’s not like Maria Carey’s going to worry anybody into changing trade policy, is it?
And talking of which, where were the really worriers, the warriors? Where was Keith and Dylan and Noel Gallagher? They’re the ones you need at this sort of gig, brooding bruisers who get you reaching for the number of the National Guard. That’s the trouble with charity like this, it’s too nice. To change the world, nice doesn’t work. You need Hitler up there saying feed the world, not somebody in Jimmy Choo heels.
And that, sadly, is the truth. Live 8 was wonderful but it didn’t frighten anybody. If you want to change bullies, and let’s face it the G8 is nothing but the biggest bullies in the playground, you’ve got to scare them. Hence my boycott argument. Bob’s a lovely guy but he’s not going to frighten them, because he hasn’t got the sort of eyes that make you believe that he’ll kick your head in. No, poverty and famine needs Hitler instead of Richard smiley Curtis; you need lads who look like they’ll rape your girlfriend in front of you and make her enjoy it. John Lennon would have done the trick. He got shit done. That’s why the Americans had him shot.
The other thing is that whoever does Live 8’s sums should be shot. Starvation is not just about Africa. The World Bank estimates that between 700 million and 1 billion people live in absolute poverty around the world. Yes, one in every four Africans is malnourished and that is a crime. But also one in every seven in Latin America goes to bed hungry. In Asia and the Pacific, 28% of people are bordering on starvation. In the Near East, one in 10 is underfed. According to the World Health Organisation, 1.3 billion people are chronically hungry.
One hundred and sixty million African are hungry. But so are 500 million souls in South and East Asia.
Basically, 25% of the human race is malnourished.
And what does that cunt Bush do? He presides over a damnable country in which 27 million metric tons of cereal, legumes and vegetable protein suitable for human consumption is fed to livestock in order to produce just 5.3 million metric tons of animal protein for rich human beings to consume.
You want an issue? That’s the fucking issue: make the world eat veggie and nobody will have to starve.
But of course they won’t, because meat means money.
Do you know that the world’s biggest meal money-maker is the Iowa Beef Processing company? In 1981 IBP was bought by Occidental Petroleum for $800 million. It seems odd that an oil company should buy into beef at such cost, but do you know why they did? Because, as IBP’s chairman told investors at the time “food shortages will be to the 1990s what energy shortages have been to the 1970S and 1980s”. In other words, “we can make money out of people starving”.
And you sometimes wonder why I’m a vegetarian. I somewhat doubt that Bush is. Cunt.
Anyway, here’s a few beef-less meals for all those selfless souls at IBP and the White House to chew over.
In spite of falling crime figures, violent crime is
out of control. The reality is not reflected in
statistics because it goes unreported.
Even if members of the public do report it the police
will not investigate it because of political
correctness, bureaucracy, fear of "over reacting", the
empowerment of the criminal & his rights and sustained
undermining by the government.
Below is a list of murders commited by children and
If a parent slaps a child, they can may suffer social
services intervention. If a teacher dares talk back to
a child, they risk allegations and suspension. If a
policeman questions a teenager, they must fill out a
40 question form.
The yobs don't fear police. The innocent are unable to
defend themselves for fear of being prosecuted.
It is not possible to defeat an attacker. Equal force
in response to an attack has left the British people
victims waiting to happen.
We have Labour and their "upside down" logic to thank
Below is a list. It seems that there is one murder per
week. The list is incomplete. It may be higher.
Three teenagers have been jailed for life for hacking
a friend to death with two scythes in Sheffield.
A girl accused of attempted murder after a
five-year-old was "hanged" by a gang of children is a
renowned bully. The 12-year-old is the prime suspect
for the attack on Anthony Hinchliffe in Dewsbury, West
Yorks. His family said he was taken from his mother's
garden and lured to a wood by the girl, who lives
Gary Prescott, 16, killed Thomas Noble as the
52-year-old tried to save a girl from being beaten up
The court heard that just eight days before the
assault he had appeared before magistrates for causing
trouble in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear.
15 yr old attepmted murder
A YOUTH aged 15 has been arrested over the attempted
murder of Phil Carroll,
49, in a yob attack in Salford, Greater Manchester, on
Teens held over girl's death
8 June 2005
Four teenagers aged from 15 to 19 were being
in connection with the suspicious death of a
whose body was found in a field.
Aimee Wellock, a dance academy student, was with her
and other friends when a gang of youths from a local
estate confronted them
Girl dies following gang incident
A teenager has died after she was involved in a
disturbance with a gang of youths in the Falkirk area.
Following the incident in the Shieldhill part of the
town, the 17-year-old girl was taken to Falkirk Royal
Infirmary with head injuries.
Boys held after 'rape of girl, 11, is filmed on phone'
By Marco Giannangeli and James Burleigh
Three boys aged 14 have been arrested over allegations
that two of them raped an 11-year-old girl and the
assault was filmed on a mobile phone, it was reported
Barbecue man badly injured in gang attack
By Marco Giannangeli
A man attacked by nine teenagers as he walked home
from a barbecue was critically ill in hospital last
Detectives mounted a hunt for the gang, some of whom
were believed to be as young as 15, after the assault
in which two of the victim's friends, a man and a
woman, were also injured.
The three found themselves surrounded by the gang, who
were "spoiling for trouble", as they walked along a
residential street in Poole, Dorset.
Father dies after chasing gang who attacked his family
By Richard Savill
A father of five collapsed and died after he
confronted a teenage gang who repeatedly pelted his
house with eggs in the early hours.
Gang beats father to death in street
By Nigel Bunyan and Richard Savill
A man was beaten to death yesterday after refusing to
give a light to a
group of teenagers as he waited in a pizza takeaway.
The father-of-three is believed to have been dragged
out of the premises
and attacked in the street.
Witnesses said Muglin Southerman, 43, was hit with a
piece of metal before
his head was kicked "as if he was a football''.
4 held over man's death
By SUN ONLINE REPORTER
FOUR teenagers were today arrested after a man was
beaten to death, police said.
The 43-year-old victim was attacked shortly after
midnight on Oldham Road in Failsworth, Greater
The man, from Rochdale, suffered serious injuries in
the assault and was taken to Royal Oldham Hospital
where he died.
Two boys, aged 18 and 15, and two girls, aged 14 and
15, all from Failsworth, were arrested on suspicion of
Father of two dies in 'gang attack'
4 July 2005
A father of two was beaten to death as he confronted a
gang of youths outside his parents' home.
Alan Fessey, 31, from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, was
attacked as he tackled the youngsters who, it is
believed had vandalised a nearby car.
A 15-year-old boy was charged with his murder on
Sunday night. He is due to appear before Nuneaton
magistrates on Monday.
The Multicultural Mirage!
When was the first time I heard the term multicultural I cannot quiet remember! Perhaps it was in the mid to late 1980s anyway I think it came in to more everyday use after the Tottenham Broadwater Farm riots in 1985, where poor PC Blakelock was hacked to death by a howling black mob trying to protect the firemen on that animal farm 20 years ago. There were a few non-black animals with this mainly black mob of scum that had murder on their minds. However, these were not indigenous white Tottenham people, they were Turkish and Muslim sounding names from memory of those arrested with the infamous double or was it treble murderer Winston Silcott,
This killer who has subsequently had his conviction overturned for the murder of PC Keith Blakelock on that autumn night down on the farm where the wild beasts tore an unarmed British Bobby apart. I had a friend who was working in the mortuary doing a painting job. The word soon got around to that the poor home beat officer was torn apart with the same savagery that was inflicted on the British soldiers at Ishadwandi during the Zulu wars! The only difference was that although that was the worst massacre the modern British Army of the 19th century suffered, the soldiers there were armed but led by the incompetent Lord Chelmsford. The poor home beat officer and the British public would not have expected such barbarism a century later in a civilized country. Much of his injuries were played down in the media to protect this false multicultural image!
Anyway, what has prompted me to write this latest rant is the smug self-satisfaction of the Labour politicians and their ministers! Just heard one on the TV today (5-7-05) saying we should have the Olympics here in London in 2012. Why? Because he, can’t remember his name but another Scot who wants to see England sink! He stated that London has the most diverse and ethnic population in the world. Hurrah three cheers what a cunt, I want see all these foreign basteds (with their foreign values and habits and non assimilating ways) invading Scotland on the same scale they are hitting London. Anyway I personally don’t believe we live in an enhanced multicultural society in the same way these fucking traitors do. The foreigners move in and the white Englishman and his families move out! That’s what has been happing for the last four decades, even a blind man could see that very soon the white English will not exist, and the new darker version of the ‘New English’ will rule the roost.
A prophecy that Enoch Powell envisaged for us, but he was castigated by the traitors, where are all the real Englishmen and women? Do you not care that your race will in a short space of time be no longer around? We can’t all join the White Flight abroad that is still gathering momentum! Pity the poor soldiers, sailors and airmen and women and the civilians of WWII who suffered so dearly, if they had a crystal ball to show how Britain would sell their labour of war and victory so cheap, we would now be a German state instead in turning into a third world mongrel one!!!
In the last couple of days I have had three contributions sent in which I haven't put up on the site. I really appreciate them being sent in, please continue. But I have just had some hassle from from putting up other contributions which didn't represent my views exactly, so I'm giving it a break for a week or so!
Rotten to the core
So far, no Eurostat official has been punished for the diversion of £3m of taxpayer funds into illegal accounts over three years ago in a scam described as a "vast enterprise of looting" by investigators.
All the accused - mostly French officials - are still working for the EU or have retired with full pensions.
But the EU accountant who helped uncover the Eurostat abuses, Dorte Schmidt-Brown, fled home to Denmark after being subjected to a campaign of threats and harassment...
Yesterday the European Court of First Instance refused her claim for redress and ordered her to pay her own costs....
the only two people have ever been "punished" for the affair: the whistleblower herself and the German journalist who broke the story, Hans-Martin Tillack, who was arrested by Belgian police on the basis of charges now proved to have been trumped up by the Commission itself.
The police seized Mr Tillack's computers, telephones, address books and five years of investigative files, exposing his inside sources. In his recent case, the European Court also ruled in favour of Brussels, even though seizure of a reporter's notes are a breach of European human rights law.
I feel Old Testament rather than New testament judgement is needed...
Judges 9:45 (King James Version)
..And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that was therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt.
July 5, 2005
Let them eat cake.
Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Shroeder and Vlad Putin were yukking it up at the G8 conference with jokes to one another about British cuisine.
Well, I will admit that a concoction made of potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, swede turnips, onions and oatmeal is not very appetizing.
But Brits ate this Woolton Pie (named for their food minister) during World War II so they could feed the army that they were about to send to free France from the Germans inch by inch.
Food rationing required a stiff upper lip, an iron stomach and flat feet. British women stood in queues for hours to receive the ingredients, all the while ducking the bombs that would damage or destroy 4 million homes by the war's end. Paris may have been unscathed thanks to a quick surrender, but London burned.
A veritable hit, Sir!
Verbum sapienti satis est
Neil Herron keeps us up to date on the shameless Assembly going ons. And raises a point I tried to raise with my local Kennet Council, to no avail. Still I can always try again:
Dear Ms Memoli
You may remember I tried to raise the problem of Members of the South West Regional Assembly's personal liability for debts. I hoped that by raising it with yourself then it could be simply dealt with, but I accept you could not see a problem.
It might be worthwhile you studying the latest reports from the North East Assembly, to quote:
"...is planning to convert itself into a limited company from its present status as an unincorporated association.
Advice given to North Tyneside Council this week confirmed members of such a body are personally liable for any contracts it enters into, such as those with its 18 staff.
Assembly interim director Paul Wilding said: "Whether or not the members would be individually liable is a question that would be tested by a legal case." But Mr Watson said: "It is a risk and we've got to make sure we have the legal and insurance cover in case something happens.
"I think there was some complacency there before, because we expected to get a directly elected assembly."
Neil Herron, a long-time campaigner against the assembly said: "Each one of those members could face massive personal consequences as it stands."
For Councillor Humphries' sake I hope that he is not personally liable for the debts, and just in case he is, that he hasn't partaken in any votes regarding supporting the SWRA, which could be seen as concerning a personal liability.
Verbum sapienti satis est.
PS Unless you ask specifically I may make your reply public - if would rather I didn't, I won't.
Nothing new out of Africa
The Tanganyika Groundnut Scheme was a plan to cultivate tracts of what is now Tanzania with peanuts. The project was a brainchild of the British Labour government of Clement Attlee. It was abandoned at considerable cost to the taxpayers after it was discovered that peanuts will not grow in Tanganyika.
Read the whole article, it isn't long, for how disaster followed disaster...
As The Tanganyikan Groundnuts Scheme says:
..based upon the official forecasts 4,000 tons of peanuts were purchased for seed in 1947 but only a fraction of this amount was actually planted. By the end of the second season's harvest, after two years of effort and £ 25 million had been expended, only 2,000 tons of peanuts had been harvested, 50 percent of what had been originally purchased as seed.
And the real problem was...
Alan Wood, himself a socialist, considered whether the project being a public enterprise rather than a private, profit-making endeavor had been the cause of the failure. He concluded that the principal decision-makers could not have worked any harder had their own capital been at stake. He knew from personal observation that they worked all of the time, from early morning until late at night. According to Wood,
"They worked too hard. They were themselves into such a state of weariness, fever and fret that they could not think ahead.....Too much has been written about the benefits of capitalism in providing the driving force of the profit motive. What is more difficult to replace is the function of the price mechanism in dividing up decisions among a large number of different people. The trouble was not that General Harrison was a stupid man or an incompetent man; He was plainly a man of great ability. The trouble was he carried a heavier burden than any man could bear." (Emphasis added.)
What Wood fails to realize or admit is that it is not so much a matter of how long people work but how effectively. The profit motive not only induces people to put forth more effort but to utilize the resources under their command, including their own time, more efficiently. Personal financial responsibility forces managers to delegate authority when circumstances require.
I wonder how many of the socialist NGO's busy creating schemes today in Africa have ever studied this disaster?
Just one little asteroid strike please
Senator Hillary Clinton arrived in Singapore ...Jacques Chirac - who arrives later on Tuesday...Blair, with his wife Cherie, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell and London bid leader Lord Coe ...David Beckham....International Olympic Committee delegates.
Go on God, you know it makes sense...
July 4, 2005
50.8 million people had better things to do
United Kingdom 60,441,457 (July 2005 est.)
The Live 8 concerts attracted a peak audience of 9.6 million viewers on BBC One on Saturday evening.
The channel's live coverage of the global concerts won an average audience of 6.6 million..
So despite fielding the "best" talent from popular music in a hugely hyped extravaganza, they failed to be as popular as "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here".
Could some one tell the newspaper editors they got the priorities of their readers wrong....
The Fourth Of July, 2005
Via Kim du Toit
The USA was founded on the principles of INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY. Freedom in the purest form.
Today should be a day of celebration - go read why some are mourning instead.
But whatever, may I wish y'all a Happy July 4th on behalf of freedom loving people everywhere.
ID Cards - Panic?
Tony Blair's hopes of bringing in a national system of identity cards were looking increasingly imperilled last night amid signs of collapsing public support and panic within the Government....Last week Mr Blair suggested that he does not see ID cards as an issue of confidence. Asked whether he could be persuaded to drop the plan if the opposition became overwhelming, he said: "I did not come into politics to introduce identity cards."
That whirring sound you can hear is Tony furiously backpedaling - expect it being kicked into the long grass any minute now - My guess is that "technology concerns" will mean it is "postponed" for further....
But that quote also makes me wonder - what did Tony go into politics for? I seem to remember he stood for :
"To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service". Oh and leaving the EEC!
Well not much success there, or was he just another public school/oxford lawyer who wasn't bright enough to have a real career but still thought they knew more than Hoi Polloi and should boss them about, in their own best interests of course.
July 3, 2005
2nd July What a day!
Well what a great show! Old and young all mixing together in a happy fairground atmosphere.
Image taken on 2/7/2005 12:37
Yes the annual Heddington and Stockley Steam Rally was on yesterday - great fun with a traditional fair, steam engines, fairground organs and engines galore - from tiny minature models to Merlins - all revving for attention. And the Tractor Pulling event was doing its bit for climate change as well..
Image taken on 2/7/2005 13:15
Beats staying in watching the Telly, doesn't it - there wasn't anything on was there?
July 2, 2005
Bit of a rally for our man in The City
BlogShares - FREE MARKET FAIRY TALES - I don't pretend to understand these share tradings but I think I am looking for some Puts on this one....
July 1, 2005
G8 - bloggers' views
Does the G8 Summit matter? The Bloggers' View We asked a whole bunch of the UK's most popular bloggers this very question about the G8. As you might expect, we got some great answers - one in verse, and all very relevant.
Number of the month - eight
Same Story - different papers - different emphasis:
Prince costs country 4p per head as his income surges to £13.m
From the increasingly Republican Rupert Rag - whereas the Dear Old Torygraph gives a more favourable emphasis...
The Prince of Wales has developed into the world's "greatest charitable entrepreneur", helping to raise more than £100 million last year for a variety of causes, his private secretary said yesterday.
As well as 16 "core" charities, including the Prince's Trust, he is patron or president of 352 other organisations, according to the second annual review of the activities of the prince's household.
HRH The Prince of Wales Annual Review 2005
Sir Michael Peat said that the prince also donated £2.5 million of his own money to charity each year, which was a sizeable proportion of his income. "He is not Bill Gates," Sir Michael added.
I have only met HRH once, I was standing in the middle of a field and held a gate open for a bunch of people, the others muttered a thanks as they walked through which was entirely appropriate, but he stopped and made conversation which was just plain nice of him. So I have a lot more time for him than most.
Walking on the sunny side of the street is being recommended for teenagers because they spend so little time outside that they risk developing rickets.
Adolescents who spend most of their time inside, in the shade or in cars, have so little exposure to sunshine that they risk becoming deficient in vitamin D, which is important for bone health.
But concerns about "stranger danger" mean that modern children spend many more hours indoors than their parents.
I have a theory that there is an optimum number of broken arms in children - too many and the place is stupidly dangerous, too few and kids are being mollycoddled too much. Apart from a Fairgroung Chav I haven't seen a kid with his arm in a sling for a long time..
Aye - Kids today - wanders off humming Hovis Tune....
I'll never forget that first day at t'pit.
Me an' mi father worked a 72 hour shift, then wi walked home 43 mile through t'snow in us bare feet, huddled inside us clothes med out o' old sacks.
Eventually we trudged over t'hill until wi could see t'street light twinklin' in our village.
Mi father smiled down at mi through t'icicles hangin' off his nose. "Nearly home now lad", he said.
We stumbled into t'house and stood there freezin' cold and tired out, shiverin' and miserable, in front o' t' meagre fire.
Any road, mi mam says "Cheer up, lads. I've got you some nice brown bread and butter for yer tea."
Ee, mi father went crackers. He reached out and gently pulled mi mam towards 'im by t'throat. "You big fat, idle ugly wart", he said. "You gret useless spawny-eyed parrot-faced wazzock." ('E had a way wi words, mi father. He'd bin to college, y'know). "You've been out playin' bingo all afternoon instead o' gettin' some proper snap ready for me an' this lad", he explained to mi poor, little, purple-faced mam.
Then turnin' to me he said "Arthur", (He could never remember mi name), "here's half a crown. Nip down to t'chip 'oyl an' get us a nice piece o' 'addock for us tea. Man cannot live by bread alone."
He were a reyt tater, mi father.
He said as 'ow workin' folk should have some dignity an' pride an' self respect, an' as 'ow they should come home to summat warm an' cheerful.
An' then he threw mi mam on t'fire.
We didn't 'ave no tellies or shoes or bedclothes.
We med us own fun in them days.
Do you know, when I were a lad you could get a tram down into t'town, buy three new suits an' an ovvercoat, four pair o' good boots, go an' see George Formby at t'Palace Theatre, get blind drunk, 'ave some steak an' chips, bunch o' bananas an' three stone o' monkey nuts an' still 'ave change out of a farthing.
We'd lots o' things in them days they 'aven't got today - rickets, diptheria, Hitler and my, we did look well goin' to school wi' no backside in us trousers an' all us little 'eads painted purple because we 'ad ringworm.
They don't know they're born today!!!
Tony Capstick "Capstick comes Home"
"Me and me fafer"