November 30, 2005
Scrolling through WORDCOUNT which ranks English words by popularity of usage I thought I would see where "Palatine" - as in "County Palatine of Durham" was - there is is Pop-pickers sitting at 19971th most used English word. Can't say I have often dropped it into casual conversation but obviously people do as at 19969 is "welding", 19970 "restated", 19972 "etiquette" and at 19973 "Spinach". Really is Palatine used more often than Spinach?
Of course when I'm talking in the pub I tend to use the phrase 20652-20654....
Pinch my Nipples*
Roll me over in the clover
Roll me over, lay me down, and do it again.
- Why "Pinch my Nipples?
A woman went to a K-Mart service counter and tells the clerk she wants a
refund for the toaster she bought because it won't work. The clerk tells
her that he can't give her a refund because she bought it on a special
offer. Suddenly, the woman throws her arms up in the air and starts
screaming, "PINCH MY NIPPLES, PINCH MY NIPPLES, PINCH MY NIPPLES!!!!!!"
The befuddled clerk ran away to get the store manager. In front of a
growing crowd of customers the manager goes to the woman and asks, "Ma'am
She explained the problem with the toaster, and he also tells her that he
can't give her a refund because she bought it on a special offer. Once
again, the woman throws her arms up in the air and starts screaming
"PINCH MY NIPPLES, PINCH MY NIPPLES, PINCH MY NIPPLES!!!!"
As a result the crowd gets even bigger! In shock, the store manager pleads
"Ma'am, why are you saying that?" In a huff, the woman yells, "BECAUSE, I
LIKE TO HAVE MY NIPPLES PINCHED WHEN I'M BEING SCREWED!!" The crowd broke
into applause and her money was quickly refunded.
November 29, 2005
Live Tree BIogging
Five planted only another 13095 to go
I may be away from the computer for a bit but l can get comments out on the tractor
Image taken on 29/11/2005 9:13
Don't get mugged in Bath
The Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, accused Avon and Somerset of positive discrimination in a recent recruitment drive. It claimed that the force turned down some strong candidates on grounds of race or gender.The force confirmed the majority of the rejected applications were white males.
Paul Hazel, Avon and Somerset's head of personnel and training, said: "The majority of those deselected were white men because the force's workforce is over-represented by white men."
Yep - the Rozzers down there are being chosen on the basis of whether they tick the right boxes on the diversity form rather than if they would make good thief takers. Still if the srote is caught all he will have to do is weed the Chief Constable's garden and be told off by a hairy lipped care worker...
Telegraph | News | Young thugs to avoid jail under new guidelines
Hundreds of young criminals, including muggers, will escape jail under a new twin-track sentencing strategy announced yesterday and immediately condemned by the Tories as "sending out entirely the wrong message".
First, a council chaired by the most senior judge in England and Wales said that muggers under 17 should be given community penalties rather than custody if they used only "minimal force" when committing robberies.
The two policies will see hundreds of youths avoiding a spell in a young offenders institution
Then the Youth Justice Board, which is responsible for the punishment of youth offenders, said that many more who were given harsher sentences should nevertheless be kept in open conditions, including Borstal-style residential school accommodation...
November 28, 2005
EU Referendum reminds me that I haven't joined the vast majority of Bloggers of posting pictures of me and my Cat - to remedy that here is a picture of my Cat -" D4"- and I playing outside in the sun a couple of years ago...
Mr FM and I popped a few at the range tonight. As ranges go it is at the scruffy end, it is more a shed attached to a pub - which works fine for me. There are still safety notices up from 1967 and a high scoring card from the 1930's. We only shoot short .22 down a tube, as has been done for 100 years, being prepared for the Hun or another outbreak of the South African Unpleasantness. Brass cases litter the floor but as I peered around with my new shooting goggles on I was surprised to see one on the far side seemed to be complete. I saundered over and picked it up to examine it and found it was just a bit of grey fluff stuck in the end of an empty case. Mr FM put on his best Donald Pleasence voice and said "Look, I'm not blind, I can see that pin .."
Isn't a shared cultural heritage wonderful!
Cry God for Harry, England ...
A pub landlord who wants special recognition for St George's day has lost his High Court battle.
Tony Bennett, 47, who runs The Otter in Thorpe Marriott, Norfolk, wants the 23 April recognised as a national holiday.
Norwich magistrates granted him an hours' extension last April because he was holding a charity function, not because St George's day was "special".
On Monday Law Lords turned down his request for a judicial review to get the day declared as a special occasion.
Norwich magistrates agreed to the extension because the pub would raise money for charity - not because they recognised the day as special in the eyes of the law.
Mr Bennett said the extension had been given for the wrong reasons.
St George is the patron saint of England and has been recognised as such since mediaeval times
Judge Supperstone said there was "no basis" for Mr Bennett challenging the decision of the magistrates, adding the case was "hypothetical" anyway as the law had since changed with the introduction of new legislation governing 24-hour drinking.
He agreed with Norwich magistrates that 23 April was not special because there were no national celebrations and it was not a bank holiday.
Boo Hiss to those Fenland Fools - enough to put me off ever going to Norwich - it is enough to wake Hereward...
You a Brummie?
" There'll always be an England or is it Britain?"
They have poked the hornet's nest of national identity up in Birmingham....
Good news at last from France
Jacques Chirac's presidency hit a new low yesterday when a poll revealed that most voters think he now has little or no influence over events at home or abroad.
But on the other hand:
Some analysts say his absence from the political stage has been carefully orchestrated to allow his protégé, Mr de Villepin, to appear as the nation's de facto leader, and a credible presidential alternative to his rival, Mr Sarkozy, who leads the UMP.
Mr de Villepin recently stood in for Mr Chirac at a United Nations summit and his fight to cut unemployment has boosted his popularity.
The prevailing view is that the president will stop at nothing to block Mr Sarkozy's rise to power - even if it means backing a socialist candidate.
He is weakened but, as one UMP deputy put it: "Everyone fears the last roar of the old lion."
Give a man a fish...
Buying a calf for a needy-villager in Africa this Christmas would seem the ideal present but one charity says the warm glow one gets from sending some "ethical gifts" is not always matched by the reality.
Send a Cow, one of the original charities involved in donating livestock to needy communities, says that cheap cows provided by some charities as part of ethical giving schemes will not make a "significant impact on poverty".
One of the animals sent by Save a Cow to a Ugandan village
The charity donates foreign breeds of cow to African families, and charges charitable givers £750 per cow. In contrast, Christian Aid is offering £165 cows on its virtual gift list and Oxfam is offering calves for only £32.
Pat Simmons, communications manager for Send a Cow, says the cheaper cows are local breeds that give a fraction of the milk yield (maybe only 1.5 litres a day) of their £750 cows, who can give up to 25 litres of milk a day.
..neither Christian Aid nor Oxfam guarantee that your donation will actually be spent on the goat, cow, flock of chickens or well that you have purchased.
30 per cent of Britons are considering splashing out on livestock and wells for the developing world as part of Christmas shopping this year. In the 25-34 age group, that figure rises to 40 per cent.
Interesting that people are cottoning on to this very practical way to help the poor - also interesting that the big charities are muscling in on this spirit of generosity and seemingly just using the money in the same old way!
There is a UK farmer run charity which has been doing this for twenty years, and I know that UK farmers give up their time and expertise to ensure that the bought animals really do make a difference on the ground, not in providing more funds for Arts Grads to swan about in 4x4s or to splash out on dubious publicity! By giving directly to a peasant real growth and reform is possible. As they say if your neighbour's farm burnt down you would go round and help wouldn't you?
Seeds For Africa and FARM-Africa also seem to be grass root level charities - but the one that may get a quid in the box from me is The Brooke Hospital for Animals who provide very practical and hard headed help - they also looked after my Father's old Hunter when the Wiltshire Yeomanry was taken off their horses in 1941 - he always thought kindly of them for that.
November 27, 2005
Tis the season to be jolly
The first of the seasonal get togethers around a luke warm mince pie, a luke warm sausage, a luke warm glass of Pinot Grigio and a luke warm fire has been survived.
I used to get the odd invite to a large farmhouse where the farmer wandered around spilling straw and colostrum from bottles over the inherited furniture and fittings. I only ever ate anything still hot and burning from the vast kitchen range and drink from unopened bottles. I have a distinct distrust of any man who smells of soap and believe we all have to eat a peck of dirt before we die, but there are limits. The bottom coolest oven of the range was used as a lamb reviver, a lamb found cold and thirsty would be brought back to the farmhouse kitchen, wrapped in an old sack and brought back to life with a bottle of milk and an hour or so in the oven. I remember going there one cold Easter when friends from the village had also been invited. Roast Leg of Lamb was the order of the day so they were a little disturbed to see this pathetic bundle of a baby lamb in the oven, the door was left open. Their discomfort grew as the lamb revived and staggered to its feet and escaped the oven. They didn't dare ask what was going to happen next but I believe furtive plans were being laid to escape before the lamb was dealt with. Their relief at learning that the roast joint was in the top oven was short lived as they sat down to eat a lovely bit of lamb, with a small lamb noisily running round the kitchen under the table looking for its mother.
But it wasn't the presence of livestock in the kitchen that was most off putting - and I swear this is true with no exaggerating at all. I was eating in the Posh Dining room at Christmas when my eye caught sight of a fresh Walnut Whip of a dog turd on the carpet by the fire. My lessons in etiquette failed to explain the correct response so I made my excuses and left as soon as I could. At Easter I was back, the food again was laid out in the Dining Room. I looked casually over to the fireplace and there was the turd still there - now dry and mouldy - but still, I'm sure the same turd. I went hungry.
Jumpers for Goalposts
As the damp freezing weather permeates the Castle bastions I tried to be helpful and found a length of wool, tied it to the eldest Englishette's mittens and threaded it through the arms of her outdoor coat. Ah she won't lose them now and so no more cold hands. "You can't do that! Don't you know a child was strangled by that..."
You can't argue with the modern folk wisdom of the school gates, there is no logic so there can not be any rational discussion; so I cut the cord and have wandered away looking for the corkscrew.
November 26, 2005
I hate 24 hour Pub opening and old age.
Bugger, Bugger, Bugger - In olden days I used to stay down the pub until whenever - I even remember one day having our pool game disturbed by someone taking their dog for a walk at 7:00 am. Now we are allowed to stay longer I'm not up to it. Mr FM kindly dragged me out of the warm embrace of the IPA just now and I faced the final humiliation.
Many years ago I went to drive away from the Pub having secreted a young lovely in the front seat of the Pickup earlier; the windscreen was frozen over so our tryst was still secret, but Big Don as he passed offered to solve that problem. He unzipped and offered his legendary trouser snake to the frosty air and proceeded to clear the frozen ice off. Young Miss X sitting hidden in the passenger seat was given a close up view of the old Jap eye; only sixteen and I was breaking her in gently, so Big Don was surprised to learn she was in the truck when a stifled scream went up. Embarrassment all round.
So tonight I get back to the car which has a frozen over in the time it takes to sink a gallon of Wadworth's best; Ah-ha I think, time to clear the windscreen. Old age; the prostate pressure is such all I can manage is a dribble across the wipers. So the drive home was akin to peering through the drivers slit of a Sherman Tank on a foggy day, but the track is wide and there is only one pole in the middle of it - should be OK.
Oh to be young again, youth is wasted on them...
Update - yes Big Don, Miss X and myself were all in the pub last night, still friends 25 years later.
November 25, 2005
And the result is?????
A man has invoked the 1689 Bill of Rights to fight a £60 parking fine from Worcester City Council at a tribunal.
Robin de Crittenden, 67, of Willenhall, near Wolverhampton, argues the bill protects people from having to pay fines until convicted by a court.
He said the challenge aimed "to put the politicians back in their kennels".
The National Parking Adjudication Service reserved judgment on the case but is expected to notify the parties of an outcome later this month.
We will be announcing the decision from the Decrittenden v Worcester Parking Appeal case at a Press Conference at 11am outside the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand in London.
The press release is being prepared (will be circulated at 6pm tomorrow) and the implications of the decision by Adjudicator, Mr. Prickett, will have a knock-on effect for all Decriminalised Parking Enforcement local authorities as well as the National Parking Adjudication Service.
Needless to say, the decision is precisely what was expected...more to follow.
It's Friday Fun Time
Two Scottish lads are chatting in the pub about the one bloke's wedding
which is just around the corner.
The one bloke says to the other, "I think I'm going to have to wear a kilt
for my wedding."
The other bloke says, "Oh, aye? What's the tartan?"
"Oh she'll be dressed in white, I suppose."
Question of the day
Q. How many dogs is it legal to use in the recapture of the escaped chipmunks?
Hattip to theCountryside Alliance
A. The chipmunk is not an exempt species under the Hunting Act 2004 so ordinarily it would only be legal to use two or less dogs to flush one to a gun. However, because the chipmunks have escaped from captivity the situation is different. It is legal to use an unlimited number of dogs in the recapture (dead or alive) of an escaped mammal....
The end is nigh
Public confidence in the Government has plunged dramatically, with voters fearing that Tony Blair is losing his grip after Cabinet rows and resignations, defeat over anti-terrorism laws and threatened shortages of influenza vaccines and gas this winter.
A YouGov poll for The Daily Telegraph today shows that a majority of the public believes that "the wheels are starting to fall off" his Government just as voters are starting to take the Tories seriously again
Tony Blair was "coming to the end of the long road of his ill-health", his doctor said last night as family and friends waited at his bedside.
The Fettes and Oxford Barrister, who has struggled with the Labour Party for most of his adult life, was unconscious and breathing with the help of a ventilator at the private Cromwell Hospital, west London.
Prof Roger Williams, who has overseen his treatment, said: "He is still having standard medical care and treatment but his hours are numbered now. I would be very surprised if he survives another 24 hours." He said the doctors could do no more.
I think that is today's story, but what with this 24 hour opening I may have confused something...
Live Snow Blogqing
Not much yet to be seen in this view from The Castle
Image taken on 25/11/2005 7:23
November 24, 2005
A simple slip of the tongue
Speaking on the BBC's Today programme, Mr Hain was attempting to clarify the difference between the new legislation and existing measures covering the early release of prisoners.
He said, "It is different from the political prisoners.
"The political prisoners were already in prison. They were already serving a sentence, they had been convicted before April 1998."
Of course it is a simple slip of the tongue - whilst he used to be a supporter of Irish unity he is now one of Her Majesty's Loyal Ministers.
Of course there is also the small matter of his Criminal record he also tends to forget: "A 1972 private prosecution brought by Francis Bennion in regard to his leadership of the illegal direct action interference with the South African Cricket tours resulted in a ten day Old Bailey Trial with the jury failing to agree on three charges and hence acquittals on those charges, but Peter Hain was found guilty of Criminal Conspiracy and fined £200. He appealed against the conviction in 1973. The Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal with costs. As reported in the Daily Telegraph of October 23 1973, the court said his conviction was ‘fully justified’. Lord Justice Roskill said Mr Hain had not elected to give evidence, adding ‘He gave no explanation of his part over the incidents with which he was charged’.
In 1976 he was tried for, and acquitted of, a 1974 bank robbery, allegedly having been framed by South African intelligence agents."
Gosh, guilty of organising violent intimidation for political purposes, "innocent" of a Bank Robbery, far left activist, etc. no wonder he gets on so well with Gerry Adams.
Of course now he realises how easy it is make a slip of the tongue and call terrorist scum "political prisoners" he will also understand how it is a mere slip of the tongue that I refer to him not as The Right Honourable Peter Gerald Hain MP for Neath in Wales and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Secretary of State for Wales but simply as The Oleaginous Cunt.
::::Thanksgiving at Plymouth UK:::: - see we do celebrate as well!
To my American reader - have a good one !
Things that Americans can only say on Thanksgiving
01. Talk about huge breasts!
02. Tying the legs together keeps the inside moist.
03. It's Cool Whip time!
04. If I don't undo my pants, I'll burst!
05. That's one terrific spread!
06. I'm in the mood for a little dark meat.
07. Are you ready for seconds yet?
08. It's a little dry, do you still want to eat it?
09. Just wait your turn, you'll get some!
10. Don't play with your meat.
11. Just spread the legs open and stuff it in.
12. Do you think you'll be able to handle all these people at once?
13. I didn't expect everyone to come at once!
14. You still have a little bit on your chin.
Christmas Lights - aren't you glad they aren't next door?
Burning the Koran
IT WAS the surprise hit of the autumn season, selling out for its entire run and inspiring rave reviews. But now the producers of Tamburlaine the Great have come under fire for censoring Christopher Marlowe's 1580s masterpiece to avoid upsetting Muslims.
Audiences at the Barbican in London did not see the Koran being burnt, as Marlowe intended, because David Farr, who directed and adapted the classic play, feared that it would inflame passions in the light of the London bombings.
Not being an Art's Grad my knowledge of Elizabethan plays is pretty much limited to playing the Porter in a school production of The Scottish Play (typecasting - can I sue?) so this play was unknown to me, but I do like the sound of it.
THE OFFENDING LINES - follow....
Tamburlaine: Now, Casane, where’s the Turkish Alcoran, And all the heaps of superstitious books Found in the temples of that Mahomet Whom I have thought a god? They shall be burnt . . .
. . . In vain, I see, men worship Mahomet.
My sword hath sent millions of Turks to hell, Slew all his priests, his kinsmen, and his friends, And yet I live untouch’d by Mahomet.
There is a God, full of revenging wrath, From whom the thunder and the lightning breaks, Whose scourge I am, and him will I obey.
So Casane; fling them in the fire.
(They burn the books.)
Now, Mahomet, if thou have any power, Come down thyself and work a miracle.
Thou art not worthy to be worshipped That suffers flames of fire to burn the writ Wherein the sum of thy religion rests . . .
. . . Well, soldiers, Mahomet remains in hell; He cannot hear the voice of Tamburlaine.
Seek out another godhead to adore:
The God that sits in heaven, if any god, For he is God alone, and none but he.
Act V, scene i Tamburlaine the Great
The old story
British-born Mr Khan, who works for Direct Line Insurance, is seeking damages for "hurt feelings" under the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003. (He) claimed that the bottles of wine on offer put him at a disadvantage because, as a Muslim, he could not drink alcohol and was therefore unable to claim the prizes.
Hurt feelings! How on earth can a telephone insurance salesman claim to have "feelings" that might be hurt? "Quote me bloody happy", or what ever, you would need more than a warm bottle of Tesco Pinot Grigio to make me feel "happy" about the scum.
A retired gun dog proved that his retrieving instinct, if not his judgment, was still sound when he proudly presented his owner with an unexpected find - a live hand grenade.
Just the sort of dog Mr FM needs
Three Cheers. The British Empire is in the pink and expanding!
Good work Belinda - plenty more to be done yet - carry on.
British territory is expanding rapidly in the South Atlantic, thanks to this eruption on Mount Belinda.
Belinda can be seen as a red eye staring into space in satellite images of Montagu Island, in the South Sandwich Islands, which has grown by 50 acres in a month.
and there is a flock of Pigeons on the rape and I only had my phone with me!
Image taken on 21/11/2005 9:06
BT Iine down
No net access this morning, this is via my phone, so no blogging.
Update - access now restored, if you hadn't guessed!
November 23, 2005
Spitting on the graves of terrorist victims
The government's controversial bill on paramilitary fugitives has been passed by MPs by a majority of 48 votes.
I was in the workshop with the large sledgehammer and angle grinder straightening a large lump of farm machinery when the radio started on about this - how the radio survived I am still not sure. There are no words I can write to express my disgust at this. Off to the Range.
eclectech : pointless but fun
A silly squirrelly animation for a fabulously funny but rude song...
Thanks to Misty for the link, she is looking for someone to slip her one today, I only wish I could oblige as it was her Birthday yesterday, Happy Birthday - chav!
Obviously you have already bought your copy the The Worstall's Bogged, but if you haven't please also pop a copy of Our Island Story into your Amazon Shopping basket - they are trying to get a lot sold this week to influence the charts! And why not.
England's second class NHS
The Government was at the centre of an escalating row over the flu vaccine shortage last night after ministers tried to blame doctors for causing the crisis....
No get it right - the government is trying to pass the buck in England to the Doctors for not organising
a piss up in a brewery flu jab supplies, whereas the sheep-shaggers seem to be able to spend their subsidies in stockpiling enough with no problem.
John Prescott's "urban renaissance" was condemned yesterday by the Urban Task Force he set up as "clumsy, insensitive, rushed, quantity-driven and wasteful".
The independent panel, chaired by the architect Lord Rogers, particularly attacked schemes in the Midlands and the North involving wholesale demolition of Victorian and Edwardian terraces.
Is there anything that Prescott is good at doing or has been successful at?
November 22, 2005
Education is a wondeful thing
Browsing my local college website for some information I came across this part time course:
Who is the course for?
This course is for anyone over 18 who is interested in learning about and enjoying malt whiskies
What does the course aim to do?
To broaded knowledge of the subject, how to identify the different malts and introduce new flavours.
What will be covered?
An introduction to the regions of Scotland, including the Highlands and Islands, where malt whiskies are produced
a more in depth study of a few regions and some sampling from these areas
the different production methods
aroma and taste
the importance of ageing
what is meant by single, double and blended
the social conventions associated with drinking whisky
Will I have to study at home?
Strangely they don't answer that - isn't it wonderful how your tax money is being spent!
A site of national importance
Congratulations to EU Referendum
With modest growth, we should make the million-mark about this time next year, if we are still around. That, dear readers "all else being equal" is up to you. As long as we see steady growth in the readership, we judge that our writing is worth the effort. On the other hand, in the free market for information that is the internet, if there is no demand for our product, then we will let market forces take their course.
You can decide whether the blog survives, by talking about it and promoting it, and encouraging others to visit. Or you can allow it to slide to the obscurity of a decent burial. Over to you.
Keep it up chaps - and don't believe the stats - they are seriously flawed, compare them with the raw server hits! Also with Caching by service providers etc your numbers are going to be down. Your work is essential.
That survey in full
One in three Britons believes a woman who flirts is partly or totally responsible if she is raped, a "shocking" opinion poll showed on Monday.
Between a third and a quarter of respondents also put part or all of the blame on the woman if she fails to say "no" clearly to the man, wears sexy clothes, drinks too much, has many sexual partners and walks alone in a deserted area.
"It is shocking that so many people will lay the blame for being raped at the feet of women themselves," said Kate Allen, a spokeswoman for Amnesty International UK which commissioned the research.
"These findings should act as a wake-up call to the government to urgently tackle the triple problem of the high incidence of rape, low conviction rates and a sexist blame culture," she added.
Oh so it is a sexist problem is it? One part of the report that didn't get reported was this:
The older demographic and those from the DE social group stand out as being more likely to think a woman’s behaviour can make them in some way responsible for being raped.
Interestingly, there were very few gender differences in attitudes; with the only stand out difference relating to male’s opinion that certain dress can make a woman responsible for being raped.
So not very sexist at all! The attitude that I think is sexist is the MSM assumption that no women ever has any responsibility for being raped. Remember we aren't talking about a stranger with a knife type rapes in most cases, we are talking about intercourse that happened with out consent. The definition of rape has been eroded so much that even if she has invited the man into bed, had sex once with him, initiated a second bout and suddenly has second thoughts during the vinegar strokes it becomes rape. So I'm with the older poorer people who know how a small percentage of women behave, and that they should take some responsibility for their actions.
November 21, 2005
If you, like me, were wondering about the circumstances of the horrible murder of the Policewoman as she came across an armed robbery of a Travel Agents in Bradford - why were the robbers so well tooled up for a simple hit, why the massive police convoy of the suspects etc, then this commentary from a local may help.
In that area of Bradford, there's a whole host of front businesses, travel agents, takeaways, taxis, etc, running laundering to cover for the drug and pimping operations. Like all such operations nationwide, it's gang-managed. This sounds like some internecine fallout, hence the armed convoy from London, etc. In every walk of life there, from Plod operations and Council policy implementation, down to corner shop counter transactions, corruption is the name of the game....
Travel Agents offer many services, including money changing, and in this area the regular moving of family goods and people to and from the sub-continent, and all this in a largely cash-based sub-economy. A more cynical observer might also comment that the international movement of peoples without the correct paperwork is also an expensive and cash-based industry that requires a degree of management. However, drugs and industrial-scale pimping is the major industry in Bradford.
Of course I wouldn't suggest that this particular Travel Agent was anything but a regular operation, but the thieving scum might have thought it was a front for a rival gang.....
What a waste
Telegraph | News | West 'should buy the Afghan opium crop'
The West should buy up Afghanistan's opium crop and license its use for pain-relief medicines rather than trying to destroy the crop, it is proposed today.
The Senlis Council, an international drug policy think-tank with operations in Afghanistan, says the planned deployment of 3,000 British troops to smash the narcotics trade there is doomed to fail.
The study suggests that a military response to the problem will prove ineffective and simply destabilise the country's fledgling democracy. Emmanuel Reinert, the executive director of Senlis, said: "It is totally unrealistic even to attempt to eliminate the crop.
"How can one hope to achieve stability and gain the support of the farmers for a new Afghanistan through the destruction of the crops that provide for their families?"
Quite - let Boots buy the stuff and flog it to the punters who want it - clean and legal and I wouldn't even begrudge Gordon slapping a tax on it - anything would be better than the present Drug War mess.
An internal memorandum from David Miliband, the minister for communities and local government, to John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, proposes an end to the two-tier structure of district and county councils that operates across much of the country.
The memo, passed to The Daily Telegraph, argues that the existing set-up is inefficient, wasteful and confusing.
The move comes as the Home Office completes plans to merge the county constabularies and reduce 43 police forces to about 15.
Mr Miliband says this and other reforms offer "a significant opportunity for Government to think cohesively about how we run local services and govern at a local level".
He adds: "We need to make sure that any changes are considered together with those of the police, health and other structural reorganisations that are currently being proposed.''
There is far too much local government, al chattering away to each other as "stakeholders".
Let me propose a simple outline of reform.
Abolish the Quisling Regional Assemblies and all their hanging on "partnerships".
Abolish Local Authorities.
Channel 100% of local spend Government money through the County Council, with it having the power to decide spending - this should cut a lot of the duplication of quangos.
Give Parish and Town Councils a greater role and let them take over much of the local authority's roles.
There you are simpler, more accountable and cheaper - how much for that consultants report?
November 18, 2005
Too much to hope
Three weeks ago I noted:
A step in the right direction
There are some advantages in having a Conservative Prime Minister in a Labour Government and Tory Tony seems to being edging towards the right steps in Education, late and not far enough but every journey etc...
Telegraph | News | Funding for schools to be 'fair and equal'
Councils will be stripped of their responsibility for schools; businesses, churches, City livery companies and wealthy individuals will be allowed to take over schools; independent schools will be encouraged to accept state cash and join the state sector; and there is to be a new emphasis on grouping pupils by ability and offering advanced classes to the brightest.
Mr Blair made clear that he was ready to resist opposition from the Labour Left and the teachers' unions to opening up the system to parent power and ending comprehensive education.
Today it is all revealed as just being a hope too far...
Local authorities will play an even bigger role in the admission policies of the new self-governing state schools, it emerged yesterday.
They will have "a more clearly defined" duty to challenge schools that introduce selection in order to favour certain types of pupils.
Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary, stressed the continuing role for local councils as she tried to quell Labour unrest over plans to let schools run their own affairs.
Looks like the jobs in the LEAs are safe for a bit longer.
November 17, 2005
Religious Education in Wiltshire - no Bibles allowed.
Mr Simpkins, who said Tristian had been suffering for around two years, met his son's teacher on Monday. He said after the meeting: "I think they really want me to withdraw Tristan because it's the easiest option for them.
"He would go there and disagree with what the teacher said and they probably don't want that in the class.
"He's decided to stay put because if he comes out of the syllabus he won't be able to sit the religious education GCSE. He'll study Islam to a certain point.''
Mr Simpkins said his son's lecturer once called him at home after Tristian read the Bible during a lesson. He said last Tuesday Tristian was ejected from the room when he wrote God Save The Queen on his exercise book.
"We've been having problems for some time," he said. "The whole Year 10 syllabus is Islam, Muhammad and very much one-sided. There are no Bibles in his RE lessons. They give out one book, you can't research it yourself, which I think is wrong and a lot of his class mates feel the same way. The children don't like it."
More on weird comment spam
"I've managed to save up roughly" - Google Search gives 212 examples of one of the weird spam comments I got - all with different numbers in - is someone testing blog comment policies out? Passing secret message? Mine came from IP 22.214.171.124......
Oh and a very nice man came with a big tractor and chain to tow me out!
Live Tractor BIcgging
I may be sometime......
Image taken on 17/11/2005 10:29
Image taken on 17/11/2005 10:28
Weird Comment Spam
Have you seen this before? It's a number guessing game: ...I guessed 8314x, and it got it right! Pretty neat.
This is cool, you have to try it. I guessed 5276x, and this game guessed it!
I can't believe it, my co-worker just bought a car for $4863x. Isn't that crazy
I've managed to save up roughly $5203x in my bank account, but I'm not sure if I should buy a house or not. Do you think the market is stable or do you think that home prices will decrease by a lot?
Four comments I have had in the last day; I have truncated the numbers because I don't know what is going on. Any ideas? Or is it like the good old days of John Snagg announcing "This is London, the white bird is flying east tonight, Pierre has lost a shoe and tow bags of sugar....."
Ted Heath - Gosh I miss him
Idly looking at a decent length of rope I have hanging in the barn I realised how much I miss Ted Heath - he was so reliable and it saved so much time. On any issue one only had to find out his views and then take the opposite for you to be right. Never failed. And no one seems to have stepped up to the mark - obviously absolute moonbats don't count, Heseltine is a close run thing, Portillo is veering that way, Ken Clarke is almost there but has said one or two sensible things, whether he believes them or not. Am I missing anyone? Am I wasting my time oiling the rope?
EU Flag - get consulted
An email in:
Under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 flags come within the definition of “advertisement”. Their display is controlled by the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992.
Under these Regulations displaying the national flag of any country is not subject to advertisement control as long as it is displayed on a single vertical flagstaff and neither the flag nor the flagstaff display any advertisement additional to the design of the flag.
Advertisement Regulations are in draft to allow the EU flag to be flown without having to apply to the local authority for express consent and we will be consulting on the new Regulations before the end of this year. National flags already benefit from this exemption. If you would like to be included in the consultation, please let me have your postal address, as we may be sending out by hard copy.
These changes are a deregulatory measure. Our proposal would remove a layer of bureaucracy and make it easier for anyone who wants to fly the European Union flag to do so from any location where there is a flagstaff. Any national flags may already be flown without planning consent.
PDCD Branch B
4/J2 Eland House
Get emailing Janet.Amery@odpm.gsi.gov.uk!
A lot in the papers about how the English team should respond to the All Blacks Haka.
"Look at the big poofs dancing . . ." Fran Cotton, Otley, Yorkshire, 1979
It may have lacked the poetic genius of Shakespeare, the Oscar-winning rhetoric of Mel Gibson, but did Fran Cotton's jocular debunking of the haka inspire the North to their famous 21-9 victory over the mighty All Blacks of 26 years ago, a game which has become part of rugby union folklore?
Letters to the Editor The Times
Sir, ...The time has come for the English team to face down this intimidation with our traditional, but equally unsettling, morris dance.
I have always preferred the suggestion of a more traditional English response - "Front rank kneel, make ready, middle rank p'sent, rear rank fire; p'sent, fire; p'sent, fire.. full details are here and below..
Explanation of the Position of each Rank in the Firings,
by Battalions, Wings, or Grand Divisions.
Front Rank Kneeling
Ready. Bring the firelock briskly up to the recover, catching it in the left hand; and
without stopping, sink down with a quick motion upon the right knee, keeping
the left foot fast, the butt end of the firelock, at the same moment, falling upon
the ground; then cock; and instantly seize the cock and steel together in the
right hand, holding the piece firm in the left, about the middle of that part
which is between the lock and the swell of the stock; the point of the left thumb
to be close to the swell, and pointing upwards.
As the body is sinking, the right knee is to be thrown so far back that the left
leg may be right up and down: the right foot a little turned out: the body
straight, and the head as much up as if shouldered; the firelock must be
upright., and the butt about four inches to the, right of the inside of the left
Present. Bring the firelock down firmly to the present, by sliding the left hand to -the
full extent of the arm, along the sling, without letting the motion tell; the right
hand at the same time springing up the butt by the cock so high against the
right shoulder, that the head may not be too much lowered in taking aim: the
right cheek to be close to the butt; the left eye shut, and the fore-finger of the
right hand on the trigger; look along the barrel with the right eye from the
breech-pin to the muzzle, and remain steady.
Fire. Pull the trigger strong with the fore-finger, and when fired, remain looking on
the aim, while you can count one-two; then spring up nimbly on the left leg
keeping the body erect, and the left foot fast, bringing the right heel to the
hollow the left; at the same time drop the firelock to the priming position. -
Half-cock and proceed with the priming and loading motions as before
Rules and Regulations
1816 Drill Manual Page 30
Make Ready. Spring the firelock briskly to the recover; as soon as the left hand seizes the
firelock above the lock, raise the right elbow a little, placing the thumb of that
hand upon the cock, with the fingers open by the plate of the lock; and then, as
quick as possible, cock the piece, by dripping the elbow, and forcing down the
cock with the thumb, step at the same time with the right foot a moderate pace
to the right, and keeping the left fast, seize the small of the butt with the right
hand: the piece must be held in this position perpendicular, and opposite the
left side of the face; the butt close to the breast, but not pressed; the body
straight, and full to the front, and the head erect.
Present. As in the foregoing explanation for the front rank.
Fire. As in explanation for front rank, with this difference, that as soon as fired, and
after dwelling on the aim as directed, the firelock is to be dropped briskly to
the priming position; the left foot being at the same time drawn up to the right,
and, immediately after the firelock is thrown up to the shoulder, the men spring
to the left and cover their file leaders.
Make Ready. Recover and cock, as before directed for the center rank, and, as the firelock is
brought to the recover, step briskly to the right: a full pace, at the same time
placing the left heel about six inches before the point of the right foot. The
body to be kept straight, and, as square to the front as possible.
Present. As in explanation for the centre rank.
Fire. As in explanation for the center rank: after shouldering, the men step to the left
and cover their file leaders as the center rank does.
In firing with the front rank standing, that rank makes ready, etc. as specified
in the article relative to the platoon exercise.
Officers. N.B. In giving words of command, as well in as out of the ranks, officers are to
stand perfectly steady, and in their proper position; their swords held firmly in
the full of the right hand, with the upper part of the blade resting against the
shoulder, the right wrist against the hip, and the elbow drawn back.
In firing by grand divisions, the centre officer falls back, on the preparative,
into the fourth rank, and is replaced by the covering serjeant.
November 16, 2005
Corona stellarum duodecim
EUROPEAN leaders will hold celebrations in Strasbourg today for the 50th anniversary of the European flag of 12 gold stars on a blue background
I always find a bonfire makes a nice celebration - or would suggesting we burn the Marian Cult symbol be against the law for stirring up religous hatred?
Buy Buy Buy
Amazon.co.uk: 2005 Blogged: Dispatches from the Blogosphere
The Worstall has a blogging book out for Xmas - I was trying to work out how to have a nifty advert up for it but I can't so just follow the link - I note that:
"Customers who shopped for this item also shopped for:
The Big Book of Masturbation: From Angst to Zeal; Paperback ~ Martha Cornog"
Oh well I suppose that is the market segment us bloggers go for....
Like Bears in Woods EU accounts hold no surprises
It doesn't even make the newspapers any more: that's the shocking thing. We are so blasé about Brussels fraud that we no longer notice it. Yesterday, for the eleventh year in a row, the European Court of Auditors refused to approve the EU's accounts.
The President of the Court of Auditors told MEPs yesterday that "there has been no improvement" in how the EU runs itself.
The truth is that EU fraud is, in the correct sense of the word, structural: a product of how the Brussels institutions are set up.
Beyond reform: I wonder if the US has any of those White Phosphorus rounds left over looking for a good use?
Good ole boys
In Bradford, more than three quarters of all Pakistani marriages are believed to be between first cousins.
I didn't realise they all drove around in pick ups, swigging moonshine and listening to Country and Western - shows how little I know of Asian culture. Even Pewsey hasn't got such a high percentage, hell some of them there will even marry an outsider with only five fingers!
November 15, 2005
One law for us, one law for you.
The Conservatives are to seek another Commons vote on extended pub opening hours in a bid to scupper the plans.
Bars in the House of Commons operate without a licence, and do not keep to the permitted hours laid down by the Licensing Acts.
Council tax inspectors will be able to enter people's homes and take photographs even of their bedrooms, it emerged yesterday.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister said it was "ridiculous" to suggest that each of the 22 million properties would be visited.
"There will not be armies of people sticking cameras through your window," a spokesman said.
"The only time a valuer will go out [to see a property] is if you have a peculiar property. It may be - and this will be on only a very few occasions - that you receive a letter asking for a visit."
A spokesman for the valuation agency said it was not possible to forecast how many visits would take place under the new council tax regime.
As always it is all very reasonable and will only be used, most politely, in a very few cases. You give the right of entry and to snoop to Council Enforcement Officers and they won't use it; If you believe that then I've got £41 million in a safe deposit box in Nigeria and you being a trusted person can have a third of it if you will just help me transfer it.....
November 14, 2005
Good news about climate change
"This was something that was obsessing me and creating a writer's block."
Aaah the poor diddums couldn't churn out more his tedious rubbish because he was worried about climate change and the polar bears disappearing - I think I will go and vent an old fridge in celebration!
Thinking back to yesterday it is suprising that some poets managed to turn out some memorable stuff while facing death in the trenches isn't it, obviously not as worrying as the prospect of getting a teeny bit warmer.
As Thom says - get the Kleenex ready- :
What finally nailed it for me was hearing just one too many people in the media - disputing climate change. Saying - "No, the scientists agree that blah, blah, blah".
That, to me, is just the ultimate evil.
Everybody knows it's happening. I don't know where these people get off, man. Because this jeopardises everybody's future, all our children's future.
Burning Rubber and The Pursuit of Happiness
Took the Son and Heir to the MPH '05 show yesterday - it is in London next week, recommended!
Fast cars, conspicuous consumption, unabashed luxury, poking fun at Health and Safety, environmentalists and Tony Blair, loud explosions and Clarkson in good form - what's not to like?
And yet looking round the packed auditorium it didn't look like the sort of people Dave and David were appealing to, where is the message about Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness - the latter has been forgotten, and yet maybe it is the most powerful argument for Small Government there is!
National Ammo Week
The Gun Guy commands: Buy "100 rounds, or more, of your favorite / most-used / in-case-I-ever-get-a-gun-in-this-caliber ammo"
100 rounds of .38 special bought Boss - duty done and have a good one!
November 13, 2005
The Cost in Pounds and Ounces
My business is located 100 yards away from the local council offices, and I have spent 16 long hard years building this business up from scratch, and now employ 11 people.
My involvement began on 9th March, 2000 when I was served with a ' Notice of Seizure', by Mr.R.Reading, a local Trading Standards Officer who informed me that if my imperial scales were not converted to metric or replaced within 28 days then they would be liable to seizure or forfeiture, and I could be fined and/or face criminal penalties. Not a civil offence with a ticket or on the spot fine, but a CRIMINAL OFFENCE with a fine of £5,000 and up to 6 months in prison! ( the same as if I had assaulted a police officer).
I questioned his authority but he could not tell me which law I was breaking.....
They picked on the wrong man... leaving aside his leadership which brought down Prescott's elected regional quisling assemblies, leave aside the current cessation of trader harassment by TSOs, leave aside the £33,767 he has made his council pay back so far for illegal ticketing, he is a hero of the people for forcing the Government to start facing up to the inconvenient fact, for them, that some of our basic liberties are protected by a Bill of Rights. For the latest twist see: Telegraph | News | Christopher Booker's notebook
They are coming to take you away.
The European Commission has been accused of trying to have troublesome staff declared mentally ill in order to provide an excuse for giving them the sack.
Critics claim that the commission has resorted to tactics "worthy of the KGB" by pronouncing staff unfit for work after grillings from psychiatrists....
Among those who claims to have been a victim of the new tactic is Jose Sequeira, 58, a Portuguese official who is now taking the commission to court over what he says was a deliberate attempt to sack him using psychiatric tests.
Mr Sequeira, who worked in the commission's ministry for development, says he was astonished to read personnel reports which said his behaviour "sowed doubt regarding the state of his mental health".
He was put on permanent sick leave after tests found he suffered "verbal hyper-productivity" and a "lack of conceptual content" in his speech.
And Lord Kinnoch hasn't also been sectioned?
Ceterum censeo Unionem Europaeam esse delendam
November 12, 2005
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
Michelle Malkin brings us Bush's well considered words:
While it is perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began. Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war. These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgments related to Iraq's weapons programs. They also know that intelligence agencies from around the world agreed with our assessment of Saddam Hussein.
They know the United Nations passed more than a dozen resolutions citing his
development and possession of weapons of mass destruction. Many of these critics supported my opponent during the last election, who explained his
position to support the resolution in the Congress this way: 'When I vote to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein, it is because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat, and a grave threat, to our security.' That's why more than 100 Democrats in the House and the Senate, who had access to the same intelligence voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power.
"The stakes in the global War on Terror are too high, and the national interest is too important, for politicians to throw out false charges. These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will. As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who send them to war continue to stand behind them. Our troops deserve to know that this support will remain firm when the going gets tough. And our troops deserve to know that whatever our differences in Washington, our will is strong, our Nation is united, and we will settle for nothing less than victory."
Flying the rag
Lord Harrison asked Her Majesty's Government:
What benefits they expect from the proposed reform of the law concerning the flying of national and non-national flags from public buildings, particularly with regard to the tourism industry and the twinning of towns.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Baroness Andrews): My Lords, the only change to the law that we have proposed is a deregulatory measure which will allow all national flags and the European Union flag to be flown from any flagstaff without having to apply for permission from the council. That will bring greater clarity to the regulations for people who want to promote support for the EU and Britain and other countries, which could benefit the tourist industry.
Lord Harrison: My Lords, I thank my noble friend for her Answer. Given that towns such as mine—Chester—proudly fly the flag of the European Union, the USA, the Commonwealth and our next-door neighbour Wales to welcome visitors and tourists and to cement those friendships, I ask my noble friend to note that her reply is most welcome to clarify the law. Is she aware of the disgraceful campaign waged by some unthinking Euro-sceptics who try to remove the European Union flag from local council buildings in the north and even from the European Parliament building at Queen Anne's Gate in London?
Baroness Andrews: My Lords, my noble friend is certainly right.... I very much welcome what he said about the EU flag. Our new proposals mean that there will be no repeat of the recent events in Westminster and the Weir Valley where UKIP drew attention to the fact that EU flags have been flown without the consent ...
Baroness Andrews: My Lords, yes, I agree that express consent is necessary for the flying of a whole range of flags, including many flags which she has described as being emotive. I am thinking of the way in which other political parties have flown particular kinds of flags. Indeed, that must remain within the control of the local authority.
So bringing to the attention of the authorities an illegal act is branded disgraceful and the flying of the EU flag is described specifically as a political act - " promote support for the EU". (Remember councils can't spend your money for politcal acts). But the flying of "emotive flags" by political parties should still be under council control - apart from the EU rag I can't think of any others - unless you count the Hammer and Sickle flown by trendy students or the Swastika flown by little dick retards - somehow I don't think they are what she had in mind, St George's crosses seem more likely. Still there is a sham consultation to go through first - I suggest you follow the lead of Neil Herron: and email
Dear Susan Peart,
I understand that there will be a "mini-consultation" on amending the planning rules on the flying of flags, in particular to give the EU flag a status equivalent to that of a national flag, Class I in Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992, Statutory Instrument 1992 No. 666, as outlined by Baroness Andrews recently ... here
Please could you tell me the proposed timetable for this "mini-consultation", and if I will be allowed to participate and make a submission?
Labour used police chiefs to lobby MPs on terror Bill
By George Jones
The Government was accused last night of politicising the police by putting pressure on chief constables to lobby MPs to back controversial new anti-terrorism laws.
As the Cabinet rallied round Tony Blair to shore up his battered authority after his defeat on plans to detain terrorist suspects for up to 90 days without charge, senior Conservatives said the Government had compromised the traditional neutrality of the police.
Ooh - glad someone else noticed...
November 11, 2005
Brazil voted against a gun ban
I have been expecting to see more on the Blogosphere about the Brazilian referendum on whether to ban handguns, but I seem to have missed the articles. Before the vote the media seemed to just expect people to "see sense" and vote for a ban - this extract shows that some commentators can't get to grips with the fact that they didn't..
By voting not to ban the sales of guns and ammunition in the referendum held on October 23, Brazilians have condemned thousands of their fellow citizens to death in coming years. Angry husbands will shoot their wives during domestic rows, irate middle-aged men will shoot their teenage neighbors because they are fed up telling them to reduce the volume of their CD players, motorists will shoot other motorists for denting their cars, while physically or mentally handicapped people will kill themselves in moments of despair. The killers and thieves among us will see the vote as a declaration of war and become even more trigger happy. The flow of guns into private hands will continue, enriching arms manufacturers, gun dealers and feeding Brazil's parasitical private security industry. The pro-arms lobby was so effective in selling the message that guns are good that one can expect to see a surge in sales. Perhaps guns will become popular Christmas presents this year along with cellular phones and Ipods. Members of the family can then compete to see who will be the first to fire the weapon and kill a criminal.
The sheer size of the majority against the ban - 63% to 36% - was almost unbelievable considering that polls showed an overwhelming majority in favor at the start of the campaign. Not one of the 26 states and Federal District returned a majority in favor and even then only seven states had more than 40% voting "Yes". The "Yes" vote was highest in violent states like São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Alagoas and Bahia. On the other hand, voters in the equally violent "Wild West" states of Acre and Roraima voted against the ban by 83% and 85% respectively. Rio Grande do Sul had the dubious distinction of the highest "No" vote in the whole country (almost 87%) showing that the gauchos still revel in their historical martial image.
Funny thing asking the people want they want - sometimes the elites don't get the answers they want....
If any question why we died,
Tell them, because our fathers lied.
Follow the link for the rest...
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Don't break the faith, remember and fight on.
November 10, 2005
The Royal British Legion report, released the day before Armistice Day, estimates that 10.5 million people make up Britain's ex-service community.
The average net household income was £15,500 yearly, it said.
Some 46% said they had net household income of less than £10,000 a year - the amount the government says is necessary to live on.
One in 10 - or 11% - said they had net household incomes of £5,000 a year.
As Kipling said:
I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o'beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's ``Thank you, Mister Atkins,'' when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's ``Thank you, Mr. Atkins,'' when the band begins to play.
I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.
Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy how's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.
We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.
You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!
Pot meet kettle
Tony Blair has accused some MPs of being out of touch with the public...
Fettes College (£6733 per term (three terms a year)) and Oxford educated barrister with a £3.5million house in Connaught Square living in a guilded cage surrounded by flunkeys, flakes and rich friends is obviously the man on the Clapham Omnibus as what the public are thinking. But then "look, I'm a pretty straight guy".
DD refuses to go all the way
Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs will be barred from voting on English laws if Conservative leadership hopeful David Davis becomes prime minister.
He pledged England-only votes in the House of Commons - but ruled out a separate English Parliament.
"My view is that we should have an English vote - otherwise we would have to go to the expense of another set of MPs."
I have some sympathy for his view that we don't want yet another bunch of MPs at the public expense but a dog's dinner of each constituent part of the United Kingdom having different types of parliaments is just not right - be bold and grab the nettle of setting out a coherent policy of constitutional reform. And if you are worried about the cost of extra MPs then may I suggest you look at MEPs - now there is a way to save some money!
Whoops - I owe an apology:
Sometime ago I blogged a couple of times about Wanadoo's customer service:
An Englishman's Castle: Wanadoo - Wannadon't -calling Rob Connell
I got another letter from them yesterday so I rang my friend Julian at the Press Office on 020 7553 7566 to jump up and down that I didn't believe that Rob Connell was a Director of Wanadoo UK plc as stated in the letter and that I didn't owe them the £14.99.
Anyway a very nice lady - I think Heather Bamforth - rang me back today and allowed me to rant to her as well. She tells me Rob Connell is a Managing Director of their Madeira company. I have just reread the letter and tried to ring her back on 0113 222 9100 (the secret Wanadoo number) to apologise - while it is misleading on the matter of Rob Connell they also apparently now have the account as paid - don't know how as the registered card expired last year and was a company card of a company that is in administration (I was just working there!). Still reception couldn't find her name on their list so I will leave it, but it is all very strange.
Backing the Police
Mark Sparrow has a thoughtful essay on the Police
These days police officers seem to spend much of their time plucking the low-hanging fruit afforded by motorists or minor transgressors of petty government edicts. In effect, the police have become Blair’s Brownshirts as they set about assiduously enforcing the latest bans and crackdowns. Is it any wonder that the country grows restive and fractured as common sense seeps away from law enforcement? Have the police sold out in return for the government turning a blind eye to their Spanish practices and guaranteeing their gold-plated pensions?
Sadly, I can’t honestly say whether I would even bother coming to the aid of a police officer any more. And that comes from someone who has always strongly supported law and order. I simply don’t feel the police are part of civil society any longer. They have become more like the French gendarmerie – a pseudo-paramilitary force that lives a barrack-style existence, sealed off from the public and rarely interacting with those it is supposed to serve.
I don’t hold out much hope for any change in this state of affairs. And yet, if we are to fight terror the police will need the help of its natural constituency more than ever. Surely it’s time to reinstate common sense and depoliticise the police. It’s time the police took off their fluorescent jackets, rolled up their sleeves and reconnected with the British public. If not they will have only themselves to blame when there’s a major breakdown in law and order and the middle classes stand idly by with their hands in their pockets.
Quite and it seems our MP's are similarly unimpressed by the Rozzers -
Telegraph | News | Blair's blackest day
Mr Blair's decision to press ahead with a vote on 90 days was seen as one of the most serious miscalculations of his premiership.
Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, had hinted last week that the Government would seek a compromise on a lower limit, which Labour MPs had believed would be around 42 days. That could well have secured the support of many Tory MPs.
But Mr Blair overruled Mr Clarke and insisted that there could be no compromise. He authorised an unprecedented lobbying exercise, with the Home Office telling chief constables to contact their MPs to put the case for 90 days.
Read that last sentence again - yes the Home Office putting pressure on the Police to put pressure on MPs - a twisted use of power if ever there was one. And remember there is a name for a state where the police create the law, a Police State.
November 9, 2005
It walks like a lame duck, it quacks like a lame duck, it even looks like a lame duck - but it claims it isn't one!
BBC NEWS | Politics | Blair defeated over terror laws
On this Day in History
Washington, D. C., November 9, 1942
White House news release.
The representative of this Government at Vichy has reported that last evening M. Laval, Chief of the Government at Vichy, notified him that diplomatic relations between Vichy and this Government had been severed. ..
The Government of the United States can do nothing about this severance of relations on the part of the Vichy Government.
Nevertheless, no act of Hitler, or of any of his puppets, can sever relations between the American people and the people of France. We have not broken relations with the French. We never will.
This Government will continue as heretofore to devote its thought, its sympathy and its aid to the rescue of the forty-five million people of France from enslavement and from a permanent loss of their liberties and free institutions.
Apart from the surprise that the USA and Vichy had maintained Diplomatic relations until so late in the war - the next day the Germans drove into Vichy - the thought that the French people needed rescuing from "enslavement and from a permanent loss of their liberties and free institutions" by their political masters seemed still to be apposite.
It is in a church - does that give a hint?
Organisers of a memorial service to remember murder victims say its future is in doubt because of concerns it may exclude non-Christians.
The service at Trafalgar Square's St Martin-in-the-Fields church attracts hundreds of bereaved people each year.
But the Home Office, which provides £2,000 funding, has asked for proof it reaches "all parts of the community".
A suitable banner
Silent Running » Blog Archive » Crusader Boar Prints England, Pigs, Help a blogger, Right up my street.
November 8, 2005
One for The Worstall
Ferret owners here in the North West expressed concern that in Portugal ferrets are not regarded as domestic animals and it is illegal to keep them as pets. The animals can be used only for hunting purposes and must have a government permit.
Mr Davies was asked to warn British ferret owners that their animals could be seized and killed if they make the mistake of taking them on holiday to Portugal.
In a letter shown to the MEP a distraught Portuguese ferret owner, who keeps pet ferrets in secret, wrote: "We still live in the shadow and every time I see a police car parked near my house I think, this is it, they are coming for my ferrets."
Mr Davies called on the Portuguese government to change its rules and give ferret fanciers in the country the same rights as elsewhere in Europe. He asked the European Parliament's petition's committee to judge whether the Portugal was breaking the rules of the pets' passport scheme.
But now the Parliament has ruled against the claim that the country is limiting the free movement of pets across the EU. It says that Portugal is within its rights to maintain that ferrets cannot be 'pets' in that country.
Mr Davies described the ruling as a massive blow to Portuguese ferret owners.
He said: "I accept that the EU should only get involved in matters of cross border importance but if there was any scientific justification for banning the keeping of ferrets other countries would have done the same long ago."
The MEP's call for free movement of ferrets had the backing of North West animal rescue charity 'Ferrets in Need'. .....
Well that is it - if the EU can't protect the rights of Ferrets what use is it!
Darwin Award Nominees
BANJA LUKA, Bosnia (Reuters) - A hand grenade being used instead of a ball in a game of catch exploded early on Saturday killing three youths in this Bosnian town,...
I have said it before - "When you remove the pin, Mr. Hand Grenade is no longer your friend."
News just in
'We cannot risk changing course now', Tony Blair said today, as the government published proposals to cancel parliamentary elections.
Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, the Prime Minister said that "even the chance of a change of government would be a
victory for the terrorists".
"We must not let them change our way of life", said Mr Blair. "Terrorism will not be defeated until our determination is as complete as theirs, our defence of freedom as absolute as their fanaticism, our passion for our way of life as great as their passion for tyranny."
Mr Blair said that the police had advised him that elections would be dangerous. "They would divert attention from the war on terror", he said. "If the public chose a new government, that would be a victory for terrorism. We must not take that chance. Holding elections would be contrary to the strong advice given to us by our security services and our police, and I am simply not prepared to do it."
A land fit for Heroes
In cloying heat and tangled in barbed wire, Lt Billy Norbury lay in agony from the bullets embedded in his lower body. Grenades were bursting around him and fierce machine-gun fire from the heavily-defended Japanese position was raking the slopes of Jambo Hill.
As his comrades from the King's African Rifles fell dead around him the subaltern, ignoring the pain, got to his feet and carried on the charge up the hill to engage the enemy in hand-to-hand fighting.
For his courage, Lt Norbury was awarded an immediate Military Cross on the battlefield. But 54 years later, after decades of agony and operations, he died from his wounds, penniless and abandoned by the country that had sent him to war, because he had enlisted in a colony.
In 1940 Billy Norbury, born in Mombasa, Kenya, of British parents, joined the KAR, a regiment raised to impose law and order in East Africa.
He was given a "colonial commission", which meant he could fight in East Africa but not abroad. When the War Office discovered that he had been "illegally" fighting abroad in the Burma campaign it upgraded his status to a "King's Commission" - but never informed Lt Norbury of this vital change.
At first, Lt Norbury survived on a war disability pension from the Colonial Office. But in 1963, when Kenya gained independence, responsibility was handed over to the Kenyan government, which refused to pay pensions to foreigners.
Lt Norbury appealed to the War Pensions Agency but was told that because he enlisted in Kenya "any appeals you have to make would have to be with the Kenyan authorities".
In 1971 the officer discovered he could apply to the British Government for a supplement to his pension and wrote to the agency. Lt Norbury received a reply two years later that included a questionnaire, which he filled out. But he heard nothing more and assumed he was ineligible.
His doctor wrote to the agency asking for a review, but he too received no reply.
The Veterans Agency said war disability pensions were only for those who fought in the Armed Forces in units based in Britain. "We do have to abide by the provisions of the law. Either people are entitled to the pension or not," a spokesman said.
I'm incapable of any comment - off to the range!
The traditional firing of a salute to mark the beginning and end of the two-minute silence has been cancelled for Remembrance Sunday this weekend on health and safety grounds.
War veterans were left fuming in the seaside town of Walton, in Essex, after lifeboatmen told them that they would not be able to fire maroons at the beginning and end of the silence on advice from RNLI headquarters.
It must be a miserable life being the Health and Safety Manager at the RNLI - I'm sure that the staff at headquarters have been fully briefed against dangers such as straightening paper-clips, so sharp! but the volunteers don't seem to listen going out in all that nasty weather to save people, and without filling out all the risk assessment forms first!. But still at least you can stamp your little feet about the maroons.
Of course being the reactionary sod I am I would suggest that the miserable worm of an HS manger should "assume the position", the maroon should be inserted, with the aid of some axle grease (I'm not cruel) and then after everyone else has retired to a safe distance, lit.
November 7, 2005
Fatty Falconer says Bugger the Bill of Rights
The White Paper could lead to motorists finding their vehicles immobilised or impounded rather than being taken to court.
"The use of wheel clamping, vehicle impounding and intelligence-led enforcement, together with a national network of enforcement officers operating from the agency's 40 local offices, provides further options for dealing with less serious offences outside the magistrates' courts system," the paper said.
Unveiling the plans, Lord Falconer said: "More wheel clamping would be a good idea."
The BBC and TV Licensing Authority may be given new powers to issue their own summonses for licence dodging.
But Oliver Heald, the Conservative shadow constitutional affairs secretary, said he had "serious concerns about farming out the issuing of fines to non-governmental bodies".
"This will make them into judge, jury and executioner," he said. "The administration of justice is a matter for the state, not independent organisations with a financial interest like the BBC."
That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void;
Emancipation from magic
Jawing in the pub the other day we were discussing the Guns, Germs, and Steel and how it attempts to explain why Western civilization, as a whole, has survived and conquered others, while refuting the belief that European hegemony is due to any form of European intellectual superiority. Diamond argues that the gaps in power and technology between human societies do not reflect cultural or racial differences, but rather originate in environmental differences powerfully amplified by various positive feedback loops.
All well and good I suggested up to about 500 years ago, but it doesn't explain why some parts of the world, and why some groups in society have failed to keep up.
Why is South America a basket case compared to North America? Why is Southern Europe a drain on Northern Europe? Why has the Indian community in Britain prospered compared to the Pakistani one, when they both arrived here at similar times with similar disadvantages and presumably faced similar "suppression by the racist white community"?
I think there one phrase that encapsulates the reason, and I found it here:
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism - Wikipedia
Emancipation from magic
If your community is in thrall to centralist religious leaders who preach a strict subscriptive lifestyle you are going nowhere fast. And of course even in the secular protestant Anglosphere we are at risk from the new religions of Environmentalists and EU federists who seek to bind us to their worlds. Bollocks to them all - give me freedom, liberty and prosperity!
Hark to the hounds
Of course the Hunts have been out cubbing - sorry training the hounds for some time, but the opening meets seem to have passed off well - as far as I have heard.
As to the state of the sport I was interested to get a copy of our local Hunt's annual accounts.
04/05 to 03/04 - Subscriptions up from £41.727 to £49,235, Caps (what you pay on the day for hunting) up to £13,848 from \£10,093 - in fact total income up to £95,147 from £77,307. Expenditure showed a slight rise from £81,244 to £83.675, which included an increase in the Master's Guarantee (Staff Salaries) from £55,000 to £60,000.
So looking fairly healthy!
They also print all the Subscribers and the amount they subscribe - a large number subscribe £25 but there are others who give a bit more. Interestingly I ran a three names through The Sunday Times Rich List and came to £1.2 Billion, and that didn't include the more famous names.
So on a bean counter level at least one hunt is doing very well, showing increased support and has the backing, if needed, of substantial wealth. Looking good for the future.
November 5, 2005
Faggots for Bonfire Night
Yum - In the Aga there are real faggots cooking in an onion gravy to be served with peas and chips - just the autumnal meal to brace yourself before going out to The Burning! - Here is the youngest Englishette helping - I'm sure a couple of my readers have never actually seen faggots in the raw before (to coin a phrase) - the white lines are the caul which is wrapped round the chopped offal, if you have to ask what is in one you don't want to eat it, but at four for a pound it is a cheap meal.
Happy 5th November
400 years ago a man was imprisoned and tortured after trying to do an honourable act 11 years ago the present Mrs Englishman became so, and I forgot to buy a wedding anniversary card - whoops!
November 4, 2005
A man goes to a zoo.
There was only one animal there, A dog.
It was a shitzu.
Welsh Secretary Peter Hain has claimed that Welsh police forces are too small to tackle the threat of terrorism, drug trafficking and organised crime.
Mr Hain said among many known terror suspects, some were in south Wales
If the oleaginous Hain is really worried about terrorists I suggest he asks the Northern Ireland Secretary if he knows for any running about; oh that is him as well, I suppose having two faces is useful after all.
November 3, 2005
Inspired by The Sun's campaign against Domestic Violence (which strangely seems to only be about male violence against women) I had a quick look at a campaigning website:
2 women are killed each week by a current or former partner in England and Wales
Domestic violence kills more 19-44 year old women than anything else - more than cancer, road accidents and muggings.
Wait a moment - that is 104 women killed - an appalling number, far more than I have noticed in the crime reports but let us take it as a given. In 2004 (source) 5391 women of that age range died - so every other cause of death caused less than 100 deaths, that is at least 52 other "causes of death". Me thinks they are over egging their cause. The last figure I saw was that total deaths on roads were about 3500 people a year, I don't have the split by age and sex but do you believe that it would be less than 104 for this large group? When you are campaigning for a worthy cause you shouldn't need to make stuff up, it doesn't help, it makes cynics like me distrust everything you say.
The Citizen Test
To test whether applicants have any knowledge of how Britain really works, here is a more relevant version. Remember that some questions can have more than one answer.The ASI Version
To add the nifty little Poppy appeal graphic to your blog just cut and paste this into your template:
<a href="http://www.poppy.org.uk" target="_blank"><img
poppyappeal107.jpg" width="127" height="107"
vspace="4" hspace="4" alt="Support The Poppy
Appeal 2005" border="0"></a>
Race Riots in Paris - The Guardian has the answer.
The latest outbreak of unrest has focused attention on France's sink estates, where petty crime and drug-dealing are rife and unemployment can reach or surpass 50%. Built to house immigrant workers after the second world war and the families who later came to join them, many of these cités are today sink estates with little possibility of escape.
The country's immigration and integration policy is based on one of the founding principles of the republic that all its citizens are equal. Few politicians will yet admit, however, that radical and anti-republican measures such as positive discrimination may now be unavoidable.
An expensive drain
The Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park has gone £2.2 million over budget and will cost £250,000 a year to run, officials disclosed yesterday.
The total cost of installing the fountain is now expected to be £5.2 million, the Commons public accounts committee heard.
Asked by Sadiq Khan, a Labour member of the committee, if the monument was a "fiasco", Dame Sue Street, the department's permanent secretary, said: "There were difficult lessons to learn. . . but I don't think it can be described as a fiasco.
"It has been a troubled project with a good and lasting outcome."
"A good and lasting outcome"? A joyless pointless grey drain going round in circles with a couple of security guards on hand at all times costing the taxpayer money for ever - well I suppose it is a memorial to Diana.
Safe in their hands
... the NAO said one in 10 patients admitted to an NHS hospital would be "unintentionally harmed".
It also claimed that half of the incidents could be avoided if lessons were learnt from previous errors.
The figure was based on research at two hospitals. Among the 10 per cent of patients harmed by accident, 19 per cent suffered "moderate impairment", six per cent suffered "permanent impairment" and eight per cent died.
The NAO analysed further data provided by 169 trusts on deaths "as a result of patient safety incidents".
"This showed that in 2004-5 there were some 2,181 deaths recorded, but it is acknowledged that there is significant under-reporting of deaths and serious incidents," it said. "Other published estimates of deaths as a result of patient safety incidents range from 840 to 34,000 but in reality the NHS simply does not know."
One study said there could be as many as 72,000 incidents which "contributed to the deaths of patients".
The NAO also said that a survey of NHS trusts found there were 974,000 "reported incidents and near misses" in 2004-5. The most common involved patients falling over, staff giving the wrong medication, equipment breaking, staff getting records wrong and "communication failure".
But those figures did not include around 300,000 hospital-acquired infections, of which about 30 per cent were preventable, the NAO said.
No wonder the NHS keeps nannying us about the "dangers" of passive smoking, failing to tie our shoe laces and french kissing our poultry, killing us is their job, they don't want anything else coming in stealing their work.
November 2, 2005
Home defence down under
A MELBOURNE resident has fought back against two armed intruders, killing one with a sword he seized from his attackers, police said.
A second intruder fled with cuts to his hands and legs after the attempted armed burglary in Melbourne's south-east early today.
Police detective Stephen McIntyre it was unlikely charges would be laid against the male occupant of the house.
Natalie Solent puzzles over what she calls self-antonyms - I have always known them as autoantonyms - cleave, dust etc. Another one of our little tricks to prevent foreigners learn our language!
For more see Nym Words > Autoantonyms
Please adjust your bookmarks.
A TANGLED WEB is now http://atangledweb.typepad.com make sure you read it daily.
Regulatory Impact Assessments in the real world
..for esoteric reasons of their own the EU are aiming at the individual identification of sheep, so that they know where they all are.
From an agricultural point of view this is a waste of time. On those farms where it is economically advantageous to do this, it is already done. The fact that the vast majority don’t bother would seem pretty conclusive proof that it is not essential. But Europe wants it, so Europe will probably get it.
New regulations come with a ‘Regulatory Impact Assessment’ in which the regulation is effectively costed and justified. The RIA that came with the latest set of sheep tagging regulation was a wonder of misunderstanding and incomprehension. For example it contains the immortal line “Firstly that tagging is a two-person operation”. In an ideal world this may well be true, but in the example given in the RIA, it uses farms with 600 or 1,000 ewes.
Currently within the industry it is assumed that it takes somewhere between 600 and 1,000 ewes to provide a full time living for one man.
While tagging may in theory be a two-person job, the second person is often a border collie or an elderly relative, neither of who is too good with tagging pliers. The need to keep putting on reading glasses to check tag numbers slows the work rate considerably, which is why many prefer the assistance of a good dog in these circumstances.
Secondly the RIA totally ignores the time element. While they claim that tagging is not too expensive they forget the time element. It has to be pointed out that the cost is not the primary problem. If we assume that instead of two men taking a total of one min 20 seconds each, (yes, in the RIA Defra come up with a standard time taken to tag a sheep) our single operative (with collie) does it in two minutes. In the example flock with 1,000 lowland ewes, there are 1,650 lambs. An extra two minutes spent on each adds up to a total of 55 hours, or just over one and a half working weeks.
This is where the culture clash comes in. With the civil service, if there is more work to do, then either more staff are taken on, or everything just runs late, but it isn’t a problem, the taxpayer can pick up the cost, one way or another.
Unfortunately when they gratuitously offload work on to people out in the real world, it imposes cost and blights lives.
This isn’t solely an agricultural problem. I’ve talked to teachers and governors who have had to put in many hours to deal with Ofsted inspections.
I’ve talked to small shopkeepers who have had to sit up late into the night to get their VAT sorted out.
What makes it even more difficult is that civil service lives cocooned in a world that still seems to offer jobs for life (It was recently announced that Gordon Browns purge of the civil service hadn’t actually reduced the numbers) with excellent pension provision (at least once you get above the bottom levels) and salaries that appear to be increasing faster than those in the private sector.
Out here in the real world things are rather different. We are competing against the rest of the world, and it is rough out there.
In many industries there is no slack left any more. Take agriculture and its suppliers. We are getting the same price per kilo for beef as we got back in the 1980s. (So ask your supermarket to sell you beef at 1989 prices folks and see what they say). So we have had to cut costs. Our suppliers have also had to cut cost. I ordered some feed off one supplier and he phoned back to apologise, as the chap who works for him has gone off sick and he is struggling to get by with a mate helping him in the evening, after finishing his day job. The margin isn’t big enough to carry spare staff.
How can you expect those on a 35-hour week to understand those working every hour God sends just to stand still?
Yes running your own business becomes more of a mugs game every day, if you can't beat them....
And they got a grant for this?
....researchers at the University of St Andrews have shown for the first time that women with higher levels of oestrogen do indeed have more attractive faces.
The study, published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences is the first to demonstrate that women's facial appearance is linked to their well-being because oestrogen impacts on women's reproductive health and fertility.
"People have speculated for years that women with more attractive and healthy looking faces have higher oestrogen," said Miriam Law Smith.
Hormones exert most effect on the face during puberty, she said. The principal male sex hormone testosterone causes the jaw and eyebrow ridges to become more prominent and facial hair to grow, making boys' faces grow more than girls'.
The female sex hormone oestrogen prevents the growth of facial bone, reduces the size of the nose and chin, and leads to large eyes, increased thickness of lips and fat deposition in the cheek area, along with hips and buttocks, features that announce that a woman is fertile.
And in my day we just studied Fruit Flies in Biology at College - damn I was born too late.
The end of the beginning?
Zimbabwe's bankrupt government finally admitted yesterday that it had run out of food because land seized from whites was given to amateurs with no "passion for farming".
That admission shows how bad it really has got, is a change coming now? Lets hope so.
November 1, 2005
1st November post
Last year I posted this: An Englishman's Castle: My England
November 01, 2004
My England:.. here are some pictures of Wiltshire, .. they were taken on 1st November 2003:
I'll walk up there today - it is twelve years since my Dad died and I miss him still.
EU Referendum has "covered the remarkable story of 47 French politicians, 27 of whom can be described as senior, being found guilty of financial malpractice and receiving suspended sentences as well as rather high fines (which they may or may not pay). Let me repeat that: 27 senior politicians were found guilty. Not simply accused but actually found guilty after an exhaustive and exhausting trial.
Furthermore, it was made clear during the proceedings that one man was missing from the line-up of defendants: President Chirac, l'escroc himself.
Big news, one would have said. Well, one would have been wrong. The story was covered somewhat half-heartedly on the day and forgotten since then by most of the media.
Compare that with the acres of newsprint devoted to the indictment of Lewis Libby, former assistant to Vice-President Cheney and a man of whom few have heard in the United States until this week, never mind in Britain.
Enough said about the MSM - thank goodness for blogs to keep me informed.
Objects of desire
In Oxford yesterday so I popped into the free Pitt Rivers Museum . I spent a year living on Museum Road but never tire of it or the attached Natural History Museum; if you are ever near visit.
The Pitt Rivers is undergoing some building work as they increase its size, without damaging its original Victorian interior and displays, so the collections are a bit limited.
They have a special display of Wilfred Thesiger photographs taken in the 1950s in Iraq, especially in the Marshes - destroyed by Saddam.
Knowing the readers of this blog I'm sure you would also be interested in the permanent display of the evolution of the gun, with examples, including my favourite the 1898 Enfield - object number 1957.5.1- "Accession Book Entry - MRS. IDA DOYNE, ... Henley-on-Thames. Enfield 1898, .303 rifle, found by the donor's brother, Frederick Nicholas Griffin, after an engagement with the BOERS at WAGENAARS KRAAL, CAPE COLONY, 18 Feb. 1902. The wooden encasement beneath the barrel has been cut away, presumably to lessen the weight as a whole. The firing-pin has been filed away at the point. Its owner Judge HUGO was killed during the action. Length 3' 4". "
Of course others may prefer objects 1940.7.0377 .1 1940.7.0377 .2 1940.7.0377 .3 loaned by Cheltenham Ladies College - can you guess what they are?
Accession Book Entry [Loans] - Council of the Ladies' College, Cheltenham, Glos. - From Africa - Rifle and bayonet, European make, late 19th or early 20th century. ? Used in African campaigns.
Related Documents File - New information from Graham Priest, 13/12/2001, re: 1940.7.0377 .2 (bayonet): "Turkish Model 1891 Mamer Rifle bayonet. Made under contract in Germany. Turkish inscription will be German maker's name (Weyersberg?) and Turkish date - (Muslim calendar). [Crescent & Star symbol] - back of blade - Turkish symbol. IVLLIO = Arabic weapon #. Sheet brass on scabbard = N. Africa - probably a post WWI (Gallipoli) souvenir." [CF 18/12/2001]
Old Pitt Rivers Museum label - Mauser Rifle, Germany, 1898. With the 1898 pattern bolt-action magazine Mauser, the 19th century rifle reached its most perfect form. In the hands of an expert, more than 20 r.p.m. can be fired; 15 r.p.m. is readily attainable. The design was adopted by many other countries besides Germany (this specimen was exported to Turkey) and would have been adopted by Britain but for the outbreak of the 1914-18 war. The British P.14 and U.S. P.17 snipers' rifles had Mauser actions. Mausers are still eagerly sought by marksmen and "sportsmen" the world over. Calibre: 7.92 mm. (.311") Sight Range : 2000 yards. Loaned by Cheltenham Ladies College. [DCF Court Team 25/11/2002]