Sunday, December 30, 2007
So it looks like a few more years of General Badmash, till some other general decides to take over, or the CIA decides to terminate him "with prejudice", pace the unmourned Zia
ul- Haq. Tariq Ali once wrote a book called "Can Pakistan Survive?" A synthetic nation with a phoney name, a secular nation of Muslims, their religion being the only common denominator. Israel, another synthetic nation, will last as long as the US needs it. Will it outlast Pakistan?
"Television spent most of 2007 with its head in its hands, whining that the audience didn't love it any more because it had been making stuff up. But only a moron would believe anything they saw on TV in the first place ..." (Charlie Brooker, in yesterday's Guardian)
The image I display to represent my blogging persona has been declared invalid or illegal, or something, and has been disappeared. I should be angry, "incandescent", to use a spin doctor's term. But I'm just a little peeved at the prospect of having to find an image that is sufficiently unattractive without being grotesque. I have to record my dislike of the misuse of the term "avatar", but if I'm going to disappear, then return in another form, the word may be apposite.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
An article in today's Guardian G2 by Jon Hedley gives some CIA euphemisms for torture and kidnap. The phrase I quoted was by some British journalist who couldn't bring himself to describe American torturers as torturers, probably as a result of the bias imposed by his paymasters. He did, however, use the word "extreme", which in the British media is a description reserved for Left-Wingers, Irish Republicans, and Muslims. Tut-tut!
These are some of the terms preferred by the CIA:
Special methods of questioning
Enhanced interrogation techniques
Refined interrogation techniques
This last, Hedley informs us, was the preferred terminology of the Gestapo when referring to torture.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
"No charges for police officer filmed hitting woman"
(Headline in today's Guardian)
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
"In the past five months more than 40 women have been murdered and their bodies dumped in the street by militiamen, according to the Basra police chief. Major-General Abdul-Jalil Khalaf said that some of them had been killed alone, others gunned down with their children. One unveiled mother was murdered together with her children aged 6 and 11."
Now British troops can move out of Basra, their job is done.
On second thoughts they might as well, these things are happening while they are supposed to be patrolling the streets of Basra.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
As for the canard about Bush stealing two elections in a row - that's a non-runner in Westminster. We simple folk don't understand that democracy sometimes needs a little help, a little tweaking, to get the right result. That's democracy, that rhymes with hypocrisy, that you spell with a D, as in D-vious.
AT LAST! Someone has mentioned the noble Lord Ashcroft in connection with dodgy donations.
prisonlawinsideout: Lord Ashcroft of No Fixed Abode#links
Friday, November 30, 2007
i) The Natwest three: they undervalued an enterprise they oversaw on behalf of Enron; they and their American co-conspirators bought the company at a knockdown price; they then sold it on making millions for themselves and their cronies. Now they will go to jail in the US and will have to repay their ill-gotten gains. The Home Office extradited them to face trial and so must have accepted prima facie evidence of a criminal offence.
ii) The QinetiQ Cabal: undervalued an enterprise they oversaw on behalf of the British People; they and their American co-conspirators bought the company at a knockdown price; they then sold it on making millions for themselves and their cronies.
We can expect to see them rewarded in a future Honours List.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
ORGANIZED RAGE: We live in a corrupt society in which big business and its representatives steal at will.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
British athletes and sportsmen and women are always good in national events and competitions, and crap internationally. Why? Because being British doesn't get you off in other countries.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Obsolete: The UK National Defence Association and snouts in the trough.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Who do these unelected practitioners of victim culture think they are? Here's my definition. They are Bush's 21st century Hessians. If they want more money, better equipment, and protection from those nasty people who shoot back, they should go to the Pentagon.
Keep the military out of politics. We don't need any homegrown Musharrafs.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Let's hope that the next volunteer for overpaid scapegoat has a good clearout of the millionaire playboys. Give them more time with their brokers.
Lord Goldsmith has stated that he would have resigned the post of Attorney General rather than be party to the extension of the 28 day period of detention for suspected terrorists. This is the man who, early in March 2003 advised Blair that the proposed invasion of Iraq could be illegal. Later that month he advised Blair the the invasion of Iraq was legal. I think the noble lord could have squared his conscience on the legality or otherwise of detention without trial.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
It is now evident that this individual should not have had access to the data he was handling. So he was doing the work of some lazy bastard higher up the totem pole. 'Twas ever thus in the British workplace; the work and the blame travels down the chain of command, while the perquisites and the praise travel up. "The buck stops here." Bullshit!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I think I can safely predict that they will not. Nor will anyone dare to suggest that we cease to permit private organisations to interfere in the government and administration of this nation.
Friday, November 16, 2007
"I want to be totally convinced because I am not going to go and push for something that actually affects the liberty of the individual unless there is a real necessity for it."
This means -
"I am quite clear that the greater complexities of terrorist plots will mean that we will need the power to detain certain individuals for more than 28 days."
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
So what would Cameron do that would differ from "business friendly" Labour's policy? The honest answer is nothing. Is he going to make a speech telling employers "Your days of cheap labour are over. The Conservatives are going to make you pay decent wages, put a stop to excessive working hours, and enforce health and safety legislation"? I don't think so. Neither for that matter are the BNP. Their Fuehrer has already informed British business that there will be no meddling with market forces after the Putsch. But he has the option of introducing the real thing - slave labour - and that would halt the economic immigration. The problem for us British is that we would have to make up the shortfall in the slave market, or return to slave trading.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
The response of the dictator's western patrons can be summed up in the words of another South Asian based bully-boy, "Oh dear! How sad! Never mind!"
I have to quote from an article of Kenneth Tynan's reprinted (from 1973) in today's Observer. Of Noel Coward he writes, " ... if his face suggested an old boot, it was unquestionably handmade."
What is the opposite of a backhanded compliment?
Friday, November 02, 2007
(Self-portrait, with first wife, www.nyss.org/fisher/images/big/soyer.jpg)
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I won't be present at the cenotaph at 11 o'clock on the 11th this year because the 11th falls on a Sunday. That's when the representatives of state and church and monarchy show their shiny faces. That's when the military march around with firearms. Sunday is the day of the donkey.
When the 11th of November falls on any other day a much more subdued ceremony takes place, attended by old servicemen and women and their families and friends, and a few others who 'will remember them'. No pomp, little ceremony, but genuine remembrance and heartfelt gratitude for the sacrifice of those 'who laid down their lives for their friends' and for others they could not know, others unborn.
"We don't remember once a year", the Provost Sergeant informed us sprogs, "We remember our dead every evening when the flag is lowered and the bugler blows 'Retreat'.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Members of our government have been working for Vodaphone. I wonder how much they were paid. I'll have to look in the Register of Members' Interests.
Lord Hoyle, Labour Peer, has been taking money from a lobbyist for the Merchants of Death. No need to worry though, he was paid for talking about football.
The man who oversaw MPs' expenses as they submitted claims for £87,600,000 is resigning. His own expenses of nearly £400,000 over three years have nothing to do with his going. It turns out that he's "a man of integrity", though one with expensive tastes. He'll survive. As one gravy train departs another arrives.
"Together, MPs and peers have conspired to draw huge government grants for their second homes, a perk denied other taxpayers. Profiteering and self-protection among politicians have become endemic." Tom Bower in Wednesday's Guardian.
What a grouch!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I've been toying for some time with the idea of keeping a record of words and phrases that are new to me and might come in handy one day. Many of these are likely to be ephemeral but nonetheless be worthy of a permanent record. I have to admit that worthiness is not a priority; wit, inventiveness will probably be more important. We shall see.
I was moved to acting upon this long nursed idea by a word I heard on the telly the other night. In a repeat of QI Stephen Fry introduced the word listerine into a discussion of rhyming slang. This was explained as follows: Listerine is an anti-septic; a septic, or septic tank in full, is a Yank; so listerine equals anti-American. I'm sure I'll be using that in the future.
Another expression I heard from one of my sons was also new to me. I'd bought some singlets, the type of vest my wife usually calls "Freddy Mercurys". My son called them wife beaters, apparently because men who go about wearing these items of clothing with nothing over them look like the kind of people who indulge in domestic violence. This is stereotyping, of course, and not to be encouraged, but is a good example of how one's appearance can arouse prejudice in others.
The term may have featured in the Viz comic, whose creators are great promoters of these sneering and snobbish attitudes, though it's "all in fun", of course, and not to be taken seriously.
Both my sons are avid readers. I'm not.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
This story is from "Gagged!" the bulletin of the South Wales Anarchists.
Didn't a certain comic actor go to jail for this offence recently?
"You Are The Weakest Link…A Welsh cop ‘famous’ for appearing on TVs ‘The Weakest Link’ has been found guilty on 18 charges of owning child porn. Sergeant Mark Bretherick, from Welshpool escaped jail due to technical loophole & didn’t even get sacked by Dyfed Powys Police (though he has now resigned). He has received a 3 year supervision order& put on the sex offenders register for 5 years. Yet another cop gets away with a heinous crime without doing time. On The Weakest Link, Bretherick told Anne Robinson that he relaxes by dressing up in Saxon or Viking costumes for mock battles as part of a historical re-enactment group. He added he would love to see her running around a battlefield in a maiden’s outfit."
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Trust in the BBC is at an all-time low, because of recent scandals - rigged results to phone-in votes, and misrepresentation of an incident involving the monarch in which she was shown in a bad light.
It's about time the public woke up to the Establishment propaganda machine. Pity that it had to be because the Head of State fell victim to it's manipulation of events. That time it was for effect, usually it's to more sinister ends. Reversal of a filmed sequence to distort the facts is nothing new to the BBC, though it's usual milieu is the news rather than entertainment programmes. The miners had a taste of it more than once during their great struggle to save their industry. Simon Pirani, editor of the NUM newspaper during the big strike, gives an example -
"... no apology or correction was offered when BBC news reversed the order of events at Orgreave in 1984, screening shots of miners throwing stones at police before showing mounted officers charging the miners. In 1991, though, in response to a complaint by Charles Alverson of Cambridge, Martin Hart, on behalf of the then BBC director general, acknowledged that the film had been reversed. Hart claimed: "It was a mistake made in the haste of putting the news together ... an editor inadvertently reversed the occurrence of the actions of the police and of the pickets." No inquiry. No measures to ensure it doesn't happen again. No public admission. "http://www.guardian.co.uk/letters/story/0,,2134594,00.html
Others have furnished further examples -http://www.guardian.co.uk/letters/story/0,,2136625,00.html
As for the rigged ballots. It's well known that the runaway winner of the vote for BBC sports personality of the year in 1991 was Bob Nudd, world champion angler. But the BBC opted to give the award to the athlete Liz McColgan. The BBC didn't do angling, you see, so there was no percentage in promoting the sport.
Personally I lost confidence in the BBC in the early seventies, when the BBC news reporter for the Middle East was a right-wing American Zionist called Michael Elkins. This gent was allowed to broadcast Zionist propaganda as news on the BBC. At the same time the BBC's news from Northern Ireland was being spun by an Orangeman named Waldo Maguire, who ensured that all reports from his fiefdom showed the "Loyalists" in a good light, and ascribed all violence to the Papists.
I didn't know enough history to lose confidence earlier. It was much later that I learned of the BBC's role in the General Strike of 1926, broadcasting falsehoods to undermine the morale of the striking workers, and break their solidarity.
The history of the BBC is a history of lies, disinformation, and class war partisanship. If Murdoch ever succeeds in his ambition to take it over it might not be too much of a culture shock. It will just be a case of breaking out its true colours and nailing them to the mast.
Friday, October 05, 2007
If your working life was being over-managed to the point of ruining the job,
And you were being threatened with the sack,
And then they wanted to steal your pension,
Wouldn’t you fight back too?
Support the Postal Workers
Don’t moan – ORGANIZE
Another day, another lie from Royal Mail! Remember the lie that posties had demanded a 27% pay rise? Leighton and Crozier kept on pushing that one in the media until asked for proof and couldn’t produce it.What about the lie that posties were 40% underworked and 25% overpaid? That one was from Adam Crozier who receives a basic salary of £500,000 a year with a £370,000 bonus for 2007 to go with the £3,000,000 in bonus payments he’s already pocketed. His accomplice Allan Leighton works two days a week for Royal Mail and is paid a basic £200,000 per year. Then there is the lie that Royal Mail is losing work to competitors. They ARE losing contracts because the Government have given incentives competitors to undercut Royal Mail, and this has been encouraged by Leighton and Crozier, but there is more work than ever for postal workers as the competitors use Royal Mail to deliver their mail. Royal Mail denied they were facing a pension shortfall because they had ceased paying contributions for years. The day after issuing denials in the national press Royal Mail were forced to backtrack when presented with a leaked secret document which showed they have plans to prevent new employees joining the pension scheme and that existing employees will have to work beyond retirement age to make up the shortfall. How about the one where posties are opposed to modernisation? Modernisation has been taking place for generations within Royal Mail and has always been embraced by the work force. Code sorting machines, stamping and franking machines, packet sorting machines, automatic letter facing machines, What staff are opposed to is wholesale job cuts without consultation and enforced redundancies. Another lie nailed! Leighton and Crozier say changes must take place in order to improve standards. With recently released figures of 95% of first class mail being delivered the day after posting, this is another lie. Royal Mail is the most efficient postal service in Europe and has been for decades. Had Leighton and Crozier had experience of working for Royal Mail as opposed to turning up for the occasional meeting, they would know than on any day the average delivery will have 5% of mail which cannot be delivered because it is incorrectly addressed, the intended recipient has moved away or insufficient postage has been paid. Even so, a rise in standards from 87% nationally to 95% without the job cuts and office closures proposed by Leighton and Crozier shows they are really priming the mail service for privatisation aided and abetted by the Labour Government. Apart from this, Leighton and Crozier are pushing through later start times which means customers will receive their mail later in the day and are trying to bring in one collection per day from pillar boxes. We fail to see how this will improve the service, but since we know that service to the customer is way behind making profits for the fat cat shareholders waiting to pounce, we aren’t too surprised. The Communication Workers Union think negotiation with these ‘here today – gone tomorrow’ venture capitalists will lead to a happy ending. We in the Industrial Workers of the World aren’t fooled. The lessons of bus deregulation and Rail privatisation, the introduction of ‘the market’ into education and the health service are not lost on us. We know if these brigands get their way, the postal service will deteriorate as surely as any other service the privateers have got their greedy hands on. Fight back now!
Thursday, October 04, 2007
"So, the second CWU day of action came and went. The CWU claim 95% of people refused to work and looking around the figures from different Royal Mail units from Regional Distribution Centres to the smallest Delivery Offices it’s difficult to argue with that. Needless to say, Royal Mail does argue with the figures and have instructed Line Managers to provide information on employees who are on sick leave, annual holiday leave or who are on their weekly day off. One sixth of all staff in delivery offices will have had their day off on Friday and anything up to 15% will have been on holiday. The percentage of sick will be anyone’s guess, but a combination of the draconian Attendance Procedure (agreed with the CWU, it should be added) and Line Managers out to score Brownie points from their Area Managers ensure very few people are off longer than is the very minimum of time. Royal Mail deducts this total from the numbers of staff who go on strike and issue their own figures in the hope of fooling the public that thousands of postal workers are actually working. It’s similar to the system the Government use when issuing the unemployment figures to the compliant media. Everyone knows there are many thousands of under -18s, older members of the population, parents of very young children, carers of elderly relatives etc who cannot claim benefit, but who are removed from the total of unemployed.Of course there exists an active group of scabs who Royal Mail knows will be prepared to cross the picket line and break the strike. A hard core of blacklegs with no sense of self-respect, dignity or solidarity. A set of individuals who can always be relied upon to carry out any order without question. These are knows as ‘managers’ although they are little more than office boys, and bullying office boys at that. This is why Leighton and Crozier have given them all several thousand pounds each while telling postmen and postwomen they can have no more than 2.5% just as long as they hit a set of undisclosed targets, carry out work which will lead to one in six postal workers joining (or not joining, depending upon the Government’s strange method of mathematics ) the unemployment figures, agree to later starting times and covering work performed by colleagues on holiday or off sick for no extra money and much more. These managers are mostly members of the Communication Managers Association which is part of Amicus. "
Read more at -
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Sir George Yule's Hobson Jobson ("The Anglo-Indian Dictionary"), s.v. Burma, informs us "The name is taken from Mran-Má the national name of the Burmese people, which they themselves generally pronounce Bam-má, unless when speaking formally and emphatically."
It is interesting that these power-mad generals are so partial to the formal in speech and writing. I recall that the generals who once held Greece in a firm and fascistic grip banned the use of Dhimotiki, popular language, in newspapers, permitting only the literary Katheravousa as a medium for their communiqués to the masses.
An American University has banned Bishop Desmond Tutu from speaking there because he dared to criticise Israel.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
For my money we could have done without the first Prescott, but opinion is divided in Hull on that point.
*A reference that will only have meaning to elderly Hull people.
It seems that every parent of a blonde girl in the Maghreb will be a suspected kidnapper. Haven't our hacks heard of the fair skinned, sometimes blue-eyed, sometimes fair haired Berbers? Probably not. Only Northern Europeans can be fair.
Some years ago a little Yorkshire lad went missing in Corfu. Every gipsy camp in Greece with a fair haired child was raided by the Greek cops. Meanwhile British tourists were running to the police every time they saw a fair haired Greek child.
We don't know much about foreigners, but we know they have to be dark. OK?
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
i) a bloodbath in Rangoon
ii) an election date from Brown.
Wal-mart are selling "Talking Jesus" Dolls in the US. I bet he doesn't do the one about the camel and the eye of the needle.
I wonder how the sales of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" are going. The Wal-mart spokesman said that selling the work didn't mean the company agrees with it. I suppose it'll be located somewhere near Darwin's "Origin of Species" and Marx's "Capital".
Personally I'm waiting for the talking St. Ambrose doll - "How far o rich, do you extend your senseless avarice? Do you intend to be the sole inhabitants of the earth? Why do you drive out the fellow sharers of nature, and claim it for yourselves? Nature gave all things in common for the use of all; usurpation created private rights."
Sunday, September 23, 2007
So began an entry on Craig Murray's blog. Mr. Usmanov objected, and being a very rich man he was able to get Mr. Murray's blog closed down. Another victim of the Uzbek gangster was Boris Johnson, also gagged (Crikey!).
prisonlawinsideout: I'm Spartacus#links
These criminals love to acquire football clubs; Berlusconi, Tapie, Shinawatra (the man who cleaned out Thailand). And all, no doubt, would be acceptable as donors to the Labour Party coffers.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
"Brown rejects Platini plea to tackle super-rich"
"The government also rejects the argument that that money is a malign influence in the game..." Or in politics, keep the brown envelopes coming. A green light to Russian kleptocrats and American asset-strippers, not to mention the prawn sandwich scoffers in the corporate boxes. Somebody's got to pay for it all - now let's think.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
If ever the Yanks drop the miles, pounds and pints, there will be a quick change of opinion in this country. It's a desire to please to our imperial masters that keeps us on the imperial scale.
Friday, September 14, 2007
There's a lot of photographs of Ms N. Lawson* in the press of late. That's because she's selling something and the British media love to help the rich get richer. But I've noticed that on every photo she has the exact same expression on her face. She looks like a mad person who's under sedation.
*Such a stupid forename. She's obviously not named after a flower. What sort of father would saddle his daughter with his own forename?
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
This message from the editor of the "Labourstart" website (www.labourstart.org).
The campaign we launched a little more than a week ago in support of low-paid workers in care homes in north London has generated more support than any other campaign we have ever done.Already, well over 8,100 messages have been sent to the employer. This is even bigger than our 2005 campaign in support of the Gate Gourmet workers, which was a much more widely publicized dispute in the mainstream media.As we mentioned in this week's message, the employer reacted swiftly and brutally -- first threatening us with a libel action in the English courts and then sacking a union rep.And then on Thursday, in an unprecedented move, the employer (Fremantle Trust) contacted our internet service provider and demanded that they shut down the campaign or else face a lawsuit themselves.We were contacted by the legal department of the internet service provider and told that we had until noon on Friday to close down the campaign or else the entire LabourStart site would be shut down.We worked very hard over those 24 hours to attempt to get our provider to back down, and had the full support of Unison (Britain's giant public sector union, whose members are at the center of the dispute) but were not successful in doing this before the noon deadline on Friday.As a result, at 11:59 on Friday we were compelled to shut down the campaigns.But -- we instantly revived the campaign in nine languages on a different server, in a different country, with a new name that reflects our feeling at this time.The new site is called "We will not be silenced!" and is located, appropriately enough, at http://www.wewillnotbesilenced.orgIf you have not yet sent off your message of protest to Fremantle, please do so from the new page.Remember that you can use our system to send out your own message to the chief executive of Fremantle Trust -- and you can tell her, if you wish, what you think of this attempt to silence our campaign.Please also inform all your lists and every trade unionist you know to use the new site to send a loud and clear message to this employer.If Fremantle Trust were unhappy to receive 8,000 emails, how are they going to feel about getting thousands more in the next few days? Because that is exactly what is going to happen.We will not be intimidated, we will not be bullied, and we will not be silenced. The campaign continues.
Monday, September 10, 2007
A recent survey found that the greatest sartorial faux pas in the public view is wearing socks with sandals. Not for me, though I can't see the attraction of sandals for adult males. The biggest gaffe in my eyes is wearing a tie with a short-sleeved shirt. Tie - formal, short sleeves - informal, it's easy. I also grind my teeth at the current "fashion" for wearing sunglasses on the top of the head, which can be read by trained semioticians as "trendy and stupid". Let us pray that before long even idiots will recognise the idocy of this affectation.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Hang on a minute! Killing fields? That was Cambodia; Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. They were enemies of the Vietnamese and allies of - guess who! Why China, USA and UK.
I learned a few expressions from Vietnam before the US forces cut and ran; napalm, Agent Orange, tiger cages, My Lai, carpet-bombing, "barbecued monks".
Monday, August 20, 2007
In a recent article on the unrest in Pakistan Tariq Ali claimed that Musharraf's overtures to Benazir Bhutto are at the instigation of the US. Wasn't the US behind the coup that ousted Benazir? Didn't the CIA consider her a dangerous left winger, i.e., not right wing enough? Certainly it was the CIA that encouraged the military coup against her father. Then they had to kill off his executioner, General Zia, when he he wouldn't, or couldn't, rein in his heroin exporting generals.
It's said that in order to govern Pakistan one needs the backing of the three A.s - Allah, Army, America. At the moment Allah and America are at war, and the Army doesn't know which one to back. Benazir should stay in Dubai spending the Zardari loot, unless she yearns to join the long list of murdered Bhuttos.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Murray has barred the families of the trapped miners from speaking to the press. How did he manage that? Threats? Or did he just tell the press not to talk to them? Like British hacks, journalists cannot be bribed or twisted in the Land of the Free.
'But we get precious little on the Murray who had enough political muscle to get a Mine Safety and Health Administration district manager who had cracked down on safety issues at one of Murray’s mines reassigned (clearly, contributing $213,000 to Republican candidates over the last ten years, as well as another $724,500 to Republican candidates and causes through political action committees connected to Murray’s businesses, has its benefits). The Murray who rails against the United Mine Workers Association, claiming it wants “to damage Murray Energy, Utah American and the United States coal industry for their own motives.” The Murray who called Hillary Clinton “anti-American” for saying America needs a president who will fight for workers’ rights, and telling a Senate committee this summer that Al Gore and Congressional Democrats are bent on “the destruction of American lives and more death as a result of his hysterical global goofiness with no environmental benefit.'
Monday, August 13, 2007
Reading through postings about the deceased it seems that those who met him, those not in the entertainment industry that is, found him to be a nice bloke. Those who never met him repeat the cliche "pretentious twat" (ad nauseam). It seems that Anthony H. had a public persona and a private one; the public one was, at least in part, a wind-up, one that worked well.
I was never very impressed by the music he promoted, and considered so important, but I never missed his "So It Goes" programme while it lasted. He seemed to be involved in the scene without getting down with the young in that patronising/embarrassing way (cf. Malcolm McLaren). He was always well turned out, which scores high marks with me. He was erudite, which which made him seem pretentious in some of the circles in which he moved. He was, in my opinion the opposite. He made the assumption that others were on his intellectual plane, which is the opposite of talking down to people.
He appears to have died poor, another high mark in my book. He helped others to make money in the music business without making any himself - a sharply trousered philanthropist.
I recall him saying something about seeing himself as an Andrei Bolkonsky, but knowing at heart that he was more of a Pierre Bezukhov. Well for me Bolkonsky was a cold fish, while Bezukhov wore his heart on his sleeve and always tried to do right in his bumbling way.
The first record I ever bought was "Lullaby of Birdland", composed by the maestro and played by his quintet. How long ago was that? I can't remember - mid-1950s sometime. By the time I went into the army in '57 the tune was reported to have been recorded by over a hundred other artists. I believe it was said to be the most recorded jazz number at that time.
Birdland was the New York jazz venue named after the immortal, but short-lived, Charlie Parker, nicknamed "Bird". Later the club's management barred the eponym, as entertainer and as patron, not respectable enough. Ars longa, vita brevis ... turpe lucrum potentissimum.
Another couple, in the UK, have called their kid "Princess T'iaamiii" or something like that. They came up with the name after they dropped a Scrabble game. It turns out that neither parent can spell, so sooner that pick a name and show their ignorance by spelling it wrongly, they devised a name that nobody can spell.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Saturday, August 04, 2007
"Welcome to America, David, where people like you are paid for doing nothing." What a way to greet the world's number one shirt salesman. Yanks won't be buying Beckham shirts, the rest of the world will be pouring money into the Galaxy owners' coffers. So who's paying him to do nothing? The placard should have read "American dream, foreigners not welcome."
Capitalism and chauvinism are incompatible, even if the latter is a useful tool for capitalists to employ in dividing and controlling the labour force.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
I have a pimple on my arse. What's the government going to do about it? Why hasn't Gordon Brown stopped the rain? What's the government going to do about all the idiots filling our TV screens? Can't they organise a cull?
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Monday, July 09, 2007
"From May 4 2006 to April 26 2007, EDU staff received a total of 170 gifts and invitations from companies including Shell, Total, Exxon Mobil, Amerada Hess and Chevron. The hospitality has to be recorded in an EDU register, which has now been disclosed to freedom of information campaigners. It shows that Mr Campbell, the head of the energy unit, recorded receiving a benefit of some kind more than once a month."
Today I heard a newsreader on BBC News24 pronounce the word "harass" correctly. I imagine his colleagues laughed at his faux pas.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
More revisionism; Abd-al-Basit al-Megrahi is to appeal once more against his life sentence for his part(?) in the Lockerbie bombing. Now that Libya is coming in from the cold and Bush has his sights on Iran it's going to be OK to revive the other version of Lockerbie; that the perpetrators were the Ahmad Jibril group, hired by the Iranians. If Megrahi's sentence is quashed, and Libya's involvement is finally refuted, perhaps Gadafy will demand repayment of all the compensation he shelled out to get back onside with the Great Satan.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Let's hope that Putin puts the block on this insult to be added to Middle East's injuries.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
ITN yesterday referred to these events as a "military coup" by Hamas. Why?
What the British media pretend not to know - Hamas was a pathetic little religious party with hardly any support among Palestinians until the Israeli mass murderer, Sharon, decided to build it up to weaken support for Fatah. Zionist money was lavished on Hamas who spent it on community welfare projects. By this time Fatah, under Arafat, had settled for a virtual Palestinian state controlled by Israel. All the leading Fidayeen had been killed by the Israelis, or had been marginalised by the new men, who had taken no part in the armed struggle, but were determined to win the peace. As corruption became the norm under Fatah, support for Hamas grew and grew. All the western propaganda portraying them as terrorists was wasted on the Palestinians. In fact it was not intended for the Palestinians, for no US or UK goverment was ever interested in Palestinian opinion. Now the Palestinian people have a government vilified by western governments and media. Hamas are "terrorists", so anything that happens to the Palestinians now is of their own doing. Let slip the dogs of war. The world's third most powerful military state feels threatened by its sickly Islamic neighbour. The Hamas fighters will be easily defeated, unlike the better armed Lebanese Hizbullahi fighters. Then the massacres can begin, and we in the West can stand by and watch with a clear conscience.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Obsolete: The worst, most sensationalist newspaper? Why, the Independent, of course!
As I heard more (I always avoid direct contact with Blair's lies) another word suggested itself - cowardice. I thought at first that Blair was biting the hand that had massaged his ego. But no, he was just arse-licking and complaining about the taste at the same time. It was like the bloke who gets a bollocking at work, then goes home and kicks the dog. Blair who for years has been kissing Murdoch's arse has decided to bite the Independent's in protest.
Can we read from all this that the big cheque from Murdoch for his memoirs/apologia/pack of lies has been cashed and can't be recovered?
Perhaps, now that Brown is taking over, Blair's doing a spoiler, stirring things up between the "feral beasts" and the Labour Party. Brown has done the hand-kissing and genuflecting to the White House war party and the Dirty Digger, but they still don't trust him. He doesn't have that eager to please manner of the Great Sycophant.
Phrases not used in the Blair whine: weapons of mass destruction, forty-five minutes, war crimes.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Question - has Berezovsky the "dissident" (ITN) got friends on the staff at ITN? Big Boris's "friends" can make a lot of money, but they sometimes die in mysterious circumstances. Another explanation might be that MI6 has "assets" at ITN, reporters who are given juicy stories to run with. We know that the all BBC news staff once had to be vetted by the security services. Has that practice stopped? It's hard to tell. But if MI6 controlled BBC news output they would surely want to do the same with ITN by one means or another.
ITN still refer to Luguvoi as an ex-KGB agent, while describing the other ex-KGB agent, Litvinenko, as "Russian exile".
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Reports on the Lebanese army's attack on a Palestinian refugee camp refer to the Islamic militia, Fatah-al-Islam, as Syrian-backed. In fact this group is financed by the Saudis and, according to some, is made up entirely of Saudi nationals, not Palestinians. So why are the British press and TV news linking the group to Syria? Let's think now ... Bush and Co. are gunning for Syria; Bush and family are business associates of the Sa'ud family, and the Bin Ladin family; Saudi Arabia has a lot of oil and Syria has none. All together now - SYRIAN-BACKED FATAH-AL-ISLAM.
From yesterday's ITN news - "former KGB operative Andrei Luguvoi", "Russian exile Alexander Litvinenko". They could just as easily have said "former KGB operative Litvinenko", but that would be sort of neutral and disinterested, like news and unlike propaganda. They could have said "former Berezovsky associate and professional assassin, Litvinenko", but that's not the way the story's being skewed.
The previous day ITN had referred to Berezovsky as a "Russian Dissident". You know, a bit like Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn, Joseph Brodsky or Alexander Ginsburg.
And Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
'The capitalist/socialist debate has in general ceased to dominate modern politics. From Beijing to Brussels, the free market has won the battle of economic ideas.' Oliver Letwin, Conservative Party spokesman on big ideas(?).
'A new book, Second Chance by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the cold war hawk who served as national security adviser to Jimmy Carter, includes a startling phrase. No leftist, Brzezinski detects what he calls a "global political awakening", a stirring across much of the developing world, among those who are "conscious of social injustice to an unprecedented degree and resentful of its deprivations and lack of personal dignity". Thanks to television and the internet, the global have-nots can now see all that the haves are enjoying at their expense. The hard-headed Brzezinski sniffs revolution in the air.' Jonathan Freedland
Letwin talks of a battle won, Brzezinski writes of a war to come. Letwin views the transformation from state capitalism to liberal capitalism as a defeat for socialism. He doesn't quite proclaim that the class war is over.
The "end of history" soundbite has been laid to rest alongside the "no such thing as society" madness. Greed may still be good for the City thimbleriggers but they don't shout it from the rooftops anymore. The Conrad Black trial in the US has revealed that not even among a population bombarded day and night with capitalist propaganda is it possible to find twelve people who accept that the rich have a God-given right to take, and take, and take.
Are the American dreamers rousing from their slumber?
In the same edition is a right of reply piece by one Michael Carter, World Bank country director for Russia, 1997-2001. He objects to Naomi Klein's article on the World Bank. On Russia he writes, "With hindsight there was much the bank could have done better in the extraordinarily complex challenge it faced in Russia...". With foresight too. Carter was lucky to be appointed to the Russian job as a rise in oil prices kick-started an upturn in the Russian economy. Previously the World bank had been overseeing the impoverishment and immiseration of large sections of the population.
"Russia's economy sank into deep depression by the mid-1990s, was hit further by the financial crash of 1998, and then began to recover in 1999–2000. Russia's economic decline was far more severe than the Great Depression, which nearly paralyzed world capitalism following 1929. It is about half as severe as the catastrophic drop borne out of the consequence of the First World War, the fall of Tsarism, and the Russian Civil War.
"Following the economic reforms of the early 1990s, Russia suffered from a sharp increase in the rates of poverty and inequality. Estimates by the World Bank based on both macroeconomic data and surveys of household incomes and expenditures indicate that whereas 1.5% of the population was living in poverty (defined as income below the equivalent of $25 per month) in the late Soviet era, by mid-1993 between 39% and 49% of the population was living in poverty. Per capita incomes fell by another 15% by 1998, according to government figures.
Public health indicators show a dramatic corresponding decline. In 1999, total population fell by about three-quarters of a million people. Meanwhile life expectancy dropped for men from sixty-four years in 1990 to fifty-seven years by 1994, while women's dropped from seventy-four to about seventy-one. Both health factors and sharp increase in deaths of mostly young people from unnatural causes (such as murders, suicides and accidents caused by increased disregard for safety) have significantly contributed to this trend. As of 2004, life expectancy is higher than at the nadir of the crisis in 1994, yet it still remains below the 1990 level.
Alcohol-related deaths skyrocketed 60% in the 1990s. Deaths from infectious and parasitic diseases shot up 100%, mainly because medicines were no longer affordable to the poor. There are now roughly one and half times as many deaths as births per year in Russia.
"While the supply shortages of consumer goods characteristic of the 1980s went away (see Consumer goods in the Soviet Union), this was not only related to the opening of Russia's market to imports in the early 1990s but also to the impoverishment of the Russian people in the 1990s. Russians on fixed incomes (the vast majority of the workforce) saw their purchasing power drastically reduced, so while the stores might have been well stocked in the Yeltsin era, workers could now afford to buy little, if anything.
"By 2004 the average income has risen to more than $100 per month, emblematic of the mild recovery in recent years thanks to a large extent to high oil prices. But the growing income is not being evenly distributed. The social inequality has risen sharply during the 1990s with the Gini coefficient, for example, reaching 40%. Russia's income disparities are now nearly as large as in Argentina and Brazil, which have long been among the world leaders in inequality, and the regional disparities in the level of poverty are still growing sharper." (Wikipedia, "History of Post-Soviet Russia")
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Friday, May 04, 2007
Time to play the race card, Madame R., everyone else has. Le Petit Nicolas, c'est le Petit Le Pen.
On the midday news on Channel 4 on Wednesday one Barry Stickings of BASF was telling us all how safe his GM potato is, safe enough to plant in the open fields of East Yorkshire. Preceding him was a scientist from ACRE who said the potato had been tested by ACRE and found to be safe. Unfortunately the interviewer neglected to ask him who funded the research, so I'm trying to fill that gap in my knowledge.
It would appear that not everyone is as confident as Mr. Stickings and his friends in ACRE; certainly not the Dutch government.
"Last Wednesday, March 7th, The Council of State in The Netherlands judged in a appeal by Greenpeace that the field trials of BASF had been illegally permitted by the Ministry of Housing, Spacial Planning, andEnvironment (VROM) and destroyed the permits immediately. The court decision was based on the grounds that1) these potatoes had been insufficiently tested in a controlled environment (like a greenhouse or laboratory) to be release in the open, and 2) the Ministry had not been able to do a proper environmental effect assessment (as required) since BASF had failed to provide information specific enough for this purpose on the location of the trial sites. It concerns three BASF GM potato varieties, two with changed starch content similar to the Amflora-potato and one with hightened late blight resistence. All three are also herbicide-resistent."
What a difference a couple of months make, especially in the Britain of GM- embracing Blair.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Ms. Klein's article, "The World Bank has the perfect standard bearer", is about the hypocrisy of that organisation and its media claque in attacking Wolfman Paul and his idea of "good governance". I quote further:
"The truth is that the bank's credibility was fatally compromised when it forced school fees on students in Ghana in exchange for a loan; when it demanded that Tanzania privatise its water system; when it made telecom privatisation a condition of aid for Hurricane Mitch; when it demanded labour "flexibility" in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami; when it pushed for eliminating food subsidies in post-invasion Iraq. Ecuadoreans care little about Wolfowitz's girlfriend; more pressing is that in 2005 the World Bank withheld a promised $100m after the country dared to spend a portion of its oil revenues on health and education. Some anti-poverty organisation."
The World Bank is a creator of poverty on a mass scale. It makes a few politicians rich by bribing them to attack their own people's living standards. It encourages them, coerces them if necessary, to dismantle all welfare structures, and to wage war on organised workers. According to Joseph Stiglitz, former Chief Economist to the World Bank, "The new global order has condemned people to death. They don't care if people live or die". That's the global order as advanced by the World Bank, the World Trade Organisation, the United Nations as an instrument of US foreign policy, and the G8; insofar as any of these organisations can be said to exist independently of the others.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
The coming of dusk could herald the "the Sleep of Reason", which might well accord with the Doctor's plans.
Addendum (sed non corrigendum): I realised afterwards that I'd got the password wrong, but I'm loth to change it. Why? Is it because I fear the wrath of the adepts? Is it because I'm being controlled by the hidden masters? Perhaps the paranoiacs are right, and the organisation I thought was dead by 1790 lives on. So stet!
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
"Yeltsin has taken the opportunity to imprison & torture socialists who have a far longer record of opposing stalinism than he has, who were indeed imprisoned by the Communist regime when he was part of that regime, & who now profess the views in opposition to both stalinism and Yeltsin, that they always held." ("The Two O'Clock Knock Now Comes at Three", a Syndicalist Bulletin publication, October 1993). So old Borya was consistent in one thing, belonging to a ruling class that persecuted socialists.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Bryan Ferry, love him or hate him you have to despise him. The poseur supreme who uses the pseudonym Max De Winker when travelling incognito (I thinks it's Winker but I might be a letter out). He gets all gooey over Nazi art, Albert and Leni and all those beautifully choreographed rallies. What a pity no-one painted Zyklon-B canisters Andy Warhol style.
I suppose now we know what he calls his studio we should stop calling him Max and address him as "Mein Führer".
Saturday, April 14, 2007
"What an extraordinary story, that people who every day take calculated risks with their lives are expected to earn relatively small sums of money whilst people who get themselves taken hostage, in circumstances which are worth exploring, can make a killing. I have never heard anything so appalling."
Thus spake Heseltine (Guardian, 10th April), and once again I find myself agreeing with a Tory. "I wasn't raped", says Fag-ash Faye, and that's her story. They kept me apart from the others, she complains. In the navy they all bunk down together you see. Having abolished rum and the lash it seems that the Andrew has decided to eradicate the third fine old naval tradition by mixing the sexes below deck.
Then there's that other naval tradition, wearing pyjamas over day clothes.Why else would that poor fellow complain, "They made us strip and put on Pyjamas"?
Then there was poor "Mr. Bean". How did he survive the ordeal? Bad news for him, I'm afraid. He's going to find that it's not only those wicked Iranians who'll be calling him Mr. Bean from now on.
So now the British Navy is a joke all over the world, except in Britain where disgust is the common reaction.
There used to be an Official Secrets Act, signed by all armed service personnel. Has that been quietly dropped, along with resisting capture, and volunteering only name, rank and number?
When I was doing my bit even telling a civvy the colour of army issue socks was, in theory, a chargeable offence. If they wanted to shut you up they had means to hand. Now , it seems, the MoD wrings its hands and claims it is powerless to act.
So when will the Bloody Sunday killers be talking to the press?
Friday, April 06, 2007
Friday, March 30, 2007
I watched a programme last night about the TV series "Roots". People talking about the effect it had on them and their peers at the time. I too remember watching and enjoying it, though to be honest it was well acted hokum. What I remember most was the reaction of the Americans to this piece of entertainment. "We never knew that!" "It's hard to believe that such terrible things happened in the land of the free", etc.
Well how could they not know? I knew about it as a kid living thousands of miles away. But, in last night's programme, British contributors of Afro-Caribbean origin, descendants of slaves, described how they had had their eyes opened by "Roots". They were recovering their lost history in watching this entertainment.
Maybe it was living in the birthplace of Wilberforce that gave me an advantage. The struggle to abolish slavery and its attendant evils was a story well known to Hull schoolchildren. We had Wilberforce House to visit, where we could gaze on the instruments and implements of subjugation and control. Alongside these manacles, shackles, hooks, barbs, etc., were illustrations of how they were applied. Semi-clothed captives and field workers were depicted writhing under the lash or dangling from trees secured by one limb or another. We had seen it all long before Alex Haley's work was filmed.
Later there was "The Holocaust". Today there is only one holocaust, THE Holocaust. If you asked anyone today the meaning of the word I reckon most would say that it was what Hitler did to the Jews. I imagine the latest edition of the OED will feature something of the sort as one definition of the word. And all because of one rather poor TV serial. Again the American reaction was "We knew nothing of this". How the hell did they miss it (the genocide not the TV show)?
While I wonder at people's ignorance, speculating whether it is wilful, I remember a similar gap in my own knowledge. I had never heard of the Amritsar massacre before it featured in the film "Gandhi". When the film came out, as I recall, a lot of Colonel Blimp types emerged from their deep armchairs to deny that the massacre ever took place, or to accuse Richard Attenborough of exaggeration. The exaggeration line was taken up by our monarch's consort, ever the diplomat, on a visit to Amritsar not long ago.
The annoying thing is that I'd read a great deal about India's history as a lad, my interest awakened by the photographs and souvenirs my father brought back from his stint in the 14th Army during World War II. I suppose Amritsar was not yet acknowledged in the history books, particularly those directed at the young.
And the moral of the story ... when we read history we should always ask what has been left out; just as when we listen to a politician, we listen to what (s)he is not saying, because what (s)he is saying is worthless.
The Office of Fair Trading is to investigate excessive bank charges. I anticipate another voluntary code from our business-friendly government.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Sunday, March 25, 2007
I know that, to some extent this is about black history, about admitting black people to their rightful place in the history of Britain, of the Empire, of the world. But look how we do it! We concentrate on the work of one white European. History as made by one person, complete distortion. This is history as told by Hollywood. History for the ignorant masses who must remain ignorant for fear that they might realise that, as a collective entity, they can change the course of history. No, we must wait for a great man to come along and strive on our behalf.
So the historians - in reality the hagiographers - set to work. Apparently Wilberforce's sons, in writing their father's biography, saw fit to blackguard the name and reputation of Thomas Clarkson. Clarkson, tireless worker for the emancipation of slaves, had to be belittled so that the Wilberforce star might shine more brightly. We may safely assume that Cobbet's verdict on the great man didn't feature in the hagiography; "... this swelled-up, greedy, and unprincipled puffer, who has been the deluder of Yorkshire for twenty years past." Wilberforce was MP for Yorkshire for most of his career, not for his native town of Hull, which position journalists continually claim for him. Radicals like Cobbet were angry at "... his alleged failure to acknowledge the extent of the deprivation and oppression suffered by the ‘free British labourers’ whose lot he had contrasted favourably with that of the slaves." (John Wolffe, DNB)
I have read in the past that W.W.'s philanthropy didn't extend to improving the condition of child factory workers, and that he opposed any moves toward reform in this area. I don't have a source for that so the charge must lay on the file for now.
Another casualty of the "Great Man" school of history and it's bulldozing methods is Olaudah Equiano. A black man who agitated for abolition does not fit well with the present discourse. Such people are supposed to wait patiently for their fair skinned saviour to ride in like the Lone Ranger. Black history has rescued Olaudah from the dust-covered archives , and brought him to the forefront of the abolitionist movement. Time to return to the shadow of the Great Man for a while, Olaudah. There you will be joined by the Quakers, the Sheffield cutlers, and the craftsmen and tradesmen of the London Corresponding Society, whose agitation for abolition finds no place in Hollywood-style history, or the potted, and gutted, version of history favoured by the media.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
It's the Mcavoy media love-in at the moment. How long before he becomes a love rat? Then there's the "My Drink and Drugs Hell" story, to be followed by the nonentity's consignment to oblivion. But fear not, there'll be another one along in a minute.
Russell Brand, the Man-sized Testicle; Ben Fogle (Who? What? Why?). An old mate of mine had a simple explanation for these overexposed individuals; "Somebody's rooting her/him" was his verdict. Cynical perhaps, but in many cases one struggles to find a more credible explanation.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
The same week we can read the following in the Guardian -
"A woman from Latvia had her passport confiscated by a Hull agency that forced her to work 16-hour shifts at a Barnsley factory, sleeping between them in a car."
Present-day slavery is a different matter. Trying to do something about that involves treading on some very influential toes. So let's stick to the meaningless theatrical geatures.
Is the Hull agency still in business? I have not the slightest doubt that it is. Will it be identified by the media? No chance.
There is something symbolic about the slavery penitents walking away from Hull and its 21st century slavers.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Maybe there's a website dedicated to this nefarious pair and their moneygrubbing antics. I must do a web search.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Anyway Bush is getting tired of trashing Iraq and has his sights set on Iran. I believe he's ordered a dossier on the Islamic Republic from Downing Street.
Meanwhile, on the domestic front, the media are wetting themselves over a petition on road charges - two million plus signatures! I think Ms. Catherine Bennett put that in perspective in last Thursday's Guardian -
Then there were the two million (?) who demonstrated their opposition to the invasion of Iraq on the streets of London. I note with interest that the figure of two million was used on last evening's ITN News. When the media refer to this protest the figure they give is a million or "over a million". Two million was the organisers' figure. It seems that ITN have turned against the war, asking what British troops have died for, and if anything has been achieved. Better late than never I suppose. Of course ITN has never been as supine as the BBC. The killing of Terry Lloyd would have done nothing to raise their enthusiasm for official versions of the conflict's progress. The words "so-called war on terror" were also used in the same report.
A large figure, but one that should, perhaps, inspire only limited awe in a
country where eight million people watched Jade flop out of Big Brother. And
where, in 1989, 4.5 million people put their names to a real, paper, petition,
in support of the ambulance workers' wage claim. It seems to have been ignored.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Richard and Judy, venality personified. Once again caught in flagrante delicto, their grasping hands in the pockets of their viewers. Will they be punished? Of course not. I'm betting Channel4 will give them a rise as compensation for their embarrassment, as if people of their sort ever felt embarrassment.
I suppose my remark about eunuchs in yesterday's post could be taken as sexist. I'm never quite sure which words are in and which are out. I'm still wondering if it's OK to use the word Spaniard nowadays. Everyone seems to say "the Spanish". There's a lot of similar terms I'm wary of: has Somali become Somalian? Must Croats and Bosniaks now be Croatians and Bosnians? I'm sure there must be a handbook of correct terms I can consult, but I haven't found it yet.
But back to the eunuchs' female colleagues. "Blair's Babes" they were once called condescendingly, but that was before most of them voted for the barbarisation of Iraq. Blair's bomb-happy harpies is a bit of a mouthful. Brian Sedgemore's description of them as Stepford Wives is a fair equivalent of eunuchs, I suppose.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Alan Simpson's verdict on his fellow Labour MPs. I'm not sure that he's exaggerating. Simpson, who represents Nottingham South, won't be standing for re-election having realised that he can be more effective outside the Parliament than in it. Of course all MPs know that, but the money's good and then there are the perks, the junkets, the brown envelopes. Better a rich eunuch than a poor, honest man (the MPs' motto).
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Then there was the strange case of the Colne bomb factory; not Muslims, no story.
The England team were booed off the pitch at the end of last night's home defeat at the hands of Spain. Are those millionaires worried? Keep buying the shirts, suckers!
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
This is post-Thatcher Britain; privatise, marginalise, criminalise. Cut back on the Customs Service, let the heavy drugs in, pay your cronies in advertising a fortune in public money to advise us to "Just say no". Then when the druggies start committing crimes to feed their habits, build more prisons. It's the American way, and everybody knows that the Americans have got it all sussed. That's the ideal polity to which first the Thatcherites, then the Blairites aspired. Totally discredited, but, as the mill owners of Manchester told Herr Engels "And yet there is money to be made. Good day, sir". That was justification enough for "...barbarous indifference, hard selfishness on one side, unspeakable misery on the other, everywhere social war, every man's house a fortress, everywhere marauders who plunder under the protection of the law." Autres temps, les mêmes moeurs.
Of course, in order to accept this deterioration in their living standards the majority of the population has to be lobotomised, desensitised and detached from reality. Blair's "education..."x3 is making a decent job of this. Soon we'll be down to the levels achieved by Skinnerites in the US, a nation that believes George W. Bush is fit to hold its highest office.
Here's an extract from an article about a new US TV series that Murdoch's minions wish they hadn't commissioned -
"Luke Wilson plays ordinary Joe Bowers, chosen to be frozen by the military in 2005, who accidentally wakes up in 2505 to find a broken-down, thuggish America where language has become a patois of football chants, hip-hop slang and grunts denoting rage, pleasure and priapic longing, where citizens are obese, violent, ever-horny and narcotised by consumerism, TV and fast food."
So far in the future? I've always believed that science fiction is about the here and now, not a very original thought I suppose. I suggest that it could also be a description of the UK in ten, maybe five, years time. Still, keep on consuming, nothing lasts forever and the human race has had a good run.
Meanwhile, in South London, young men and boys are being gunned down at a rate of one every other day - americanisation has really caught on there. After the murder of Damilola Taylor something was to be done. We learn now that £7,000,000 was set aside to make Peckham a safer place. The public is entitled to ask what it got for it's money. Where is it now? Is anyone accountable for it? If this happened in a Third World country our media would be pontificating about corruption. That's not a word they like to use about British individuals and institutions. So nothing will be done, but somebody, or some bodies, will be a lot richer.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
We await the Church's declaration that it will cease all involvement in child adoption, as promised.
Judges releasing paedophiles, so what's new? Judges have always had a soft spot for child abusers. There are those who believe that there's a paedophile mafia, or freemasonry, and some judges belong to it.
Now they can blame John Reid, averring "I was just obeying orders." Funny, when other judges state that they won't stand for politicians compromising the independence of the judiciary.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
"The right questions weren't asked in the lead-up to the
Iraq war, and now the whole world is paying the price."
This crap by politicians and journalists that they were fooled by the lies of Bush and the oil-slickers, and Blair and his spin-doctors, won't work. There were plenty of people who weren't fooled, but they weren't being well paid to disseminate the lies.
After the first Iraq war the hacks complained that they'd been lied to, but they wouldn't just repeat the lies next time. Second attack on Iraq, the media go into cheerleader mode. Now they are claiming that things would have been different if they'd known that they were being lied to by Bush and Blair.
It would be nice if we could believe them. Unfortunately we see them going along with these proven liars, now on Iran, regurgitating the disinformation they're been fed by the propaganda machine. Warmongers at the beginning, peacelovers in the aftermath, accessories throughout.
So now bills introduced by the government have to be vetted by the Pope's representative in the Cabinet - Ruth Kelly, the fully-fledged flagellatrix of Octopus Dei. Will the Pontiff get his way? Well, Blair the crypto-catholic will do his damnedest for Holy Mother Church.
That's another Blair lie, that he is not yet a catholic. Any catholic will tell you that nobody but a catholic can receive Holy Communion. Yet Blair was doing so regularly a few years ago, until the press got wind. But even then nobody pointed out that Blair the recipient of the eucharist = Blair the Roman Catholic. Not even, to my knowledge, the sleuth-hounds of the Orange Order. Can it be that non-catholics are not aware of the significance of this act, and that catholics kept Shtum for fear of an almighty row?
When I was being educated at catholic schools we were told that there is an unwritten rule in this country that a catholic cannot be Prime Minister. Whether or not this is true I don't know, but it appears that Blair has heard that story and is not taking any chances.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
More on the news about "black holes" in pension funds. Black hole is journalist's code for stolen money. If it's found that money has been stolen then there should be a hunt for the thief and an attempt to recover the loot. The thieves in these cases are employers and managers who have stolen money from their employees, and that, after all, is capitalism - the rich and powerful fleecing the poorer, powerless majority. What journalist is going to call these people thieves? No, a black hole opens up and swallows millions in workers' savings; it's like an act of God.
As the IWW columnist, T-Bone Slim, wrote, "The poor break the laws, the rich merely evade them."
Friday, January 19, 2007
What was difficult to swallow, though, was the idea that (pernicious) T.B. was subject to hallucinations about the countless lives he has snuffed out in the course of his sojourn as Prime Minister. That man, that person, has no doubts. Did we ever see a man so full of hubris, of chutzpah, of shit? "You're all wrong and I'm right, and, even when I'm wrong and you're right I'm still superior to the rest of you. I'm a Christian, I talk to God and tell him what I'm going to do. He has never yet ordered me to desist. I also talk to George Bush, and God tells George what to do. My arse is divinely covered."
Jade Goodfornothing's mother has gone on record with the claim that her daughter can't be racist because she's of racially mixed parentage. That reminds me of the time a mate of mine was arguing with two Israelis. Their racist remarks about Palestinians, and their description of the treatment they felt Palestinians deserved, led my mate to call them fascists. "Oh no, we can't be fascists" they assured him, "because we are Jews."
Tensions and rivalries between different ethnic minorities, for example Afro-Caribbean and British Asian, have led to violent incidents in the past. These could not be racial in origin according to the Essex Gobshite theory of race relations. Cultural, I suppose.
Congratulations to Ms. Marina Hyde of the Guardian; the only British journalist who knows that the singular of paparazzi is paparazzo.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Everyone has an opinion, here's mine.
Racism, yes. Note that the weasels of Channel 4 state that there has been no OVERT racism on their piece of shit programme. Translation - yes, there's racism, but we're not seeing it.
Then there's this word "culture" that's suddenly become fashionable. Not racism, it's a clash of cultures. Cobblers! Haven't the BNP been using this expression lately in reference to their anti-Islamic propaganda? It's not racism, it's cultural. Pure coincidence that 95% of British Muslims are Asian in origin.
I have to confess, shamefacedly that I was one of the alleged million extra viewers who tuned in on Tuesday evening to see what was going on. The answer - nothing. I've always avoided the Big Brother bearpit/cesspit before, and it seems I haven't missed much. I kept switching back and forth but all I saw was people sitting around looking bored; all I heard was a hissing noise intended, I think, to prevent the public hearing what was being said (covert racism?).
Neither Enemadol, the makers, nor Channel 4 are expressing any regret, contrition or intent to reform. Ofcom says it's up to Channel 4 to listen to the public. Is that it, Ofcom? What a parcel of moral bankrupts. All the public can do is switch off en masse. We won't miss anything. The liveliest parts get shown on the news.
The above statement that 95% of BritishMuslims are Asian is just a guess on my part, but it can't be far wrong. I daresay it's as reliable as the pollsters' count of Big Brother (Big Bully) viewers.
Tuesday's Guardian had a good headline; "One in five Home Office statistics are unreliable, says department head." Confusing, n'est-ce pas? Leaving aside that it should read, one in five ... is unreliable, it has to be a leg-pull. The head of the department of unreliable statistics issues a statistic on the unreliability of its statistics. It's like the Cretan claiming all Cretans are liars, or Pascal (was it he?) claiming that all generalisations are false, including his generalisation about generalisations. That way lies madness.
Luís Buñuel on statistics -
"It is impossible to read a single page in a newspaper without finding at least a dozen of them, most of which are blatantly false." Was he exaggerating? Was he generalising?
I'm no fan of Buñuel. I find his output rather seedy, but I'll except "Los Olvidados" and "Nazarín", to avoid accusations of generalisation.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
The event was later commemorated by Robert Burns in his poem "Parcel of Rogues"
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Friday, January 05, 2007
We can expect a correction as soon as Tone gets back in front of the cameras. Blair and Brown are the one's who talk about climate change. Pearson's job is to be the whipping boy when New Labour are exposed as liars and hypocrites - once again. In the meantime he should be telling the menu peuple, people like me, to switch off the standby on our tellies, and not flush the lav when we've had a piss. That's New Labour's strategy for saving the planet.