Saturday, July 28, 2012

"The most leftie opening ceremony I have ever seen – more than Beijing, the capital of a communist state! Welfare tribute next?" ... "multicultural crap".

I deliberately avoided the McDolympics opening ceremony but, after reading the above I wish I'd watched it. I was going to write that I'd never heard of the not so crypto-fascist Aidan Burley M.P., but I had. He's the turd sacked from some government post for celebrating Hitler's birthday, or something similar.
He obviously yearns for something more Aryan, in the style of Munich 1936, perhaps.

Marina Hyde's report of the shindig here, giving us a new word, arseoisie.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Politicians who think we're stupid #1
Jeremy 'Berkeley' Hunt, he of the dazed grin and the ridiculous haircut -
Having shown himself to be a creature of Murdoch, he seemed destined for the scrapheap. But no, this is the the government of none of the talents and old Berkeley doesn't stand out. Dishonest, incompetent, without a redeeming feature, he survives to sing the praises of - wait for it! - G4S. Universally despised and decried as they are, the Luftmenschen of G4S have a champion.

Reporter: is this the biggest cock-up in Olympic history?
Berkeley: not at all, G4S are getting better every day.
Reporter: shouldn't they pay back the vast amount of public money they obtained by deception?
Berks: Certainly not, they're lovely people.
(Continues to grin vacantly while scanning the horizon for the man with the brown envelope)

Politicians who think we're stupid #2
Smirks Osborne. Questioned by a reporter on whether he intends to continue taking the nation to the economic abyss, Smirks declares that there are other countries whose economies are in a worse state than the UK. He neglects to mention that these are countries, e.g., Greece and Spain, that are enacting the same suicidal policies as he is.

These people think that we were stupid enough to elect them, and therefore we are stupid enough to believe their lies. But they forget that they were not elected. They got together with another unelected and unprincipled bunch and got the unelected head of state to permit them to form a government.
We are, however, stupid enough to let them get away with it - to date.
From Owen Jones (‏@OwenJones84) on Twitter -

"Don't have a job? The Government will demonise you. Stand up and fight to save your job? The Government will demonise you."

I don't do Twitter but this was recycled in the i(silly name) newspaper.
Mr. Jones, I learn, wrote the book "Chavs", which could be worth a look. I assumed from the name that it was one of those "revenge of the middle class" jobs.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Withdrawal symptoms - Tour de France over; what to do with my afternoons?

NOW we all love the Tour; so different from a few years ago when the only time the Grand Boucle got a mention in the British media was when there was a drug scandal to gloat over: and a name-check for the winner when the race was over.
BBC news reports of the fifties, Louison Bobet winner, Jacques Anquetil winner. That was it.
During my school years it was a bit better. One of my better off mates could afford the magazines that kept us in touch; the days of Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali.

Today every news bulletin is an edition of the Bradley Wiggins Show. The last couple of days I've been hearing that the Tour is the greatest annual sporting event of them all. On a couple of occasions reporters have forgotten their task of puffing the McDolympics and left out the 'annual' bit.

Well done, Team Murdoch, the old ganef will be pleased. Now you've got the yellow jersey maybe next year's race will be a little less clockwork, a little less patronale, à l'Hinault. I prefer an exciting loser to a boring winner. Wiggins got the big prize, but Cavendish and Froome were more interesting to watch.

I was wondering where the name Wiggins came from. Guesses: 1. locative from the town of Wigan. 2. A patronymic related to the Irish name that gives us the surnames MagUigin (Maguigan) and Ó hUigin (now Higgins). No, it's Breton in origin, from the name of a saint, Uuicon or Uuincon. This gives us the French (Breton?) surname Guégan. The French avoid the letter W and go for the G sound, i.e., Guillaume (William), Gautier (Walter). An early English based Uuicon was recorded as Wigan le Breton, and across the generations variant spellings appeared.

Get me on the subject of names and I could bore for England.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Prime Minister 'Mad Dog' Cameron disapproves of planned the transport workers' strike. Wow! What a shock. I bet the the hacks questioning him about this expected him to back it, raise a clenched fist, and bawl out

The workers united
will never be defeated.

Oh, and that middle class creep Miliband also condemns the action. But keep sending in the donations, Brothers and Sisters, the Global Capitalist Party works a two-shift system.

Change of topic:
I read in the paper yesterday that Mad Dog and his sidekick, Smirks Osborne, refer to Tony Blair as 'the Master'. I've said it before, Cameron has a soft spot for criminals.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lebensraum - clearing the way for free enterprise.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Quatorze Juillet -

"... upon the immortal 14th 0f July, 1789, a day which gave new life to man, the pillars of superstition were shaken by the capture of the Bastille, and the thunderbolt of reason hurled despotism from its throne." Citizen Robert Watson
(Quoted by Graham Bain in his biography of Watson)

Virtually the same entry as I posted last year, but it bears repeating, I think.

A little historical aside on the Irish diaspora and the storming of the Bastille. I've read several times that an Irishman led the popular assault on the prison, but the name keeps changing. I've developed a theory that several Irishmen took part in the act, and all placed themselves at the head of the force as they told it later.
Another Irish exile who played a role in this historic event was one of the seven released prisoners, James Whyte, Comte de Malleville, a veteran of the Irish Brigades in the French Army. He was found to be barking mad,and was soon confined to the Charenton Asylum.
Robert Watson, quoted above, was a Scottish Jacobin, also exiled in Paris, and a welcome guest at the St. Patrick's Day celebrations of the Paris-based United Irishmen.
(More in the article linked below)

Friday, July 13, 2012

"Karl Turner witnessed David Cameron's attack on fellow Conservative MP Jesse Norman, in which he reportedly stuck his fingers in the backbencher's face after confronting him outside the House of Commons division lobbies."

How typical of a British politician to describe a witness account as "recycling gossip and tittle-tattle".
Did David Millar snub Bernard Hinault at the presentation ceremony in Annonay Davézieux today (Stage 12)? Is there history?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Labour Party is hiring Tony Blair as an advisor.

Question 1: how can they afford him?
Question 2: when is he going to fit them in?
Question 3: is he going to be an advisor in the same way he's a Middle East Peace Envoy, i.e., not?
Question 4: will Labour politicians ever again be able to describe the Tories as out of touch?
Question 5: how is this piece of filth able to appear in public and escape arrest for war crimes?
I already know the answer to question 5 - he has bodyguards provided by the British taxpayer. (Supplementary question) I wonder if that makes us all accessories to war crimes? Well, apart from the rich who don't pay taxes in this country.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Rolling Stones in Hull, 1964.

I was never a fan myself, mainly because the poncey lead singer couldn't/can't sing. As my missus's grandfather used to say, if he was singing for nuts he wouldn't get the shells. Once Brian Jones was dumped and the blues musical foundations undermined they were completely worthless. Still the schmatte bears attention, though Jones's shirt collar looks decidedly grubby. I used to affect the look myself around that time; dark suit, white shirt buttoned at the neck (no tie), Spanish heel boots. And kecks just a little too tight to be gentlemanly.
Needless to say, this video only merits my attention because of the location.

Monday, July 09, 2012

I was intrigued by the reference to Early Day Motion 301 in yesterday's post, wondering which MPs were signatories, so I went in search of it.
Here it is with 12 names attached. The *18 that appears among the names means that there were 18 signatories, though only 12 are listed with the motion. John McDonnell was on the picket line the other day, and was photographed holding an IWW banner. I must admit to being confused about this.
I'm assuming that these motions are a way of letting off steam for the parliamentary lobby fodder, and are ineffective. Still, it helps to spread the word.


John McDonnell
Jeremy Corbyn
Sir Alan Meale
Jim Dobbin
Ian Lavery
Mr Dennis Skinner
* 18
Hywel Williams
Glenda Jackson
Kelvin Hopkins
Katy Clark
Mrs Mary Glindon
Dr Hywel Francis

That this House notes that the cleaners employed at John Lewis Partnership's Oxford Street store under contract by Integrated Cleaning Management Ltd are paid below the London living wage; expresses disappointment that John Lewis has been praised as a model employer but has failed to ensure the compliance of its contractors with the Greater London Authority rate of £8.30 per hour which is designed to provide a minimum acceptable quality of life; is concerned that the cleaners are facing excessive cuts in their jobs and hours, whilst their trade union IWW has been refused recognition for collective bargaining; and expects the cleaners to be treated with respect, paid fairly and remain employed in sufficient numbers to meet the demands of a flagship store of Oxford Street.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

John Lewis IWW Cleaners Strike Friday 13th July

(6 Jul 2012)

The independent union the Industrial Workers of the World has today served notice for strike action of cleaners at the John Lewis Partnership’s flagship Oxford Street store. This is the first strike in the history of the Partnership only recently hailed by Deputy Minister Nick Clegg as a model for the British economy.
The campaign of industrial action will commence on Friday 13th July 2012. If a settlement is not reached the IWW has made clear it will announce further strikes in July and August, including through the Olympic period.
The members of the IWW Cleaners' Branch announced a resounding mandate from its members to take strike action, the strike ballot had an 80% turnout with 90% voting in favour of industrial action.
Cleaners at John Lewis Partnership are employed through a contractor Integrated Cleaning Management (ICM) who recently announced up to 50% cuts, comprising cuts in cleaners hours (wages) and jobs. ICM have refused to recognise the union for collective bargaining and rejected outrights a claim for the London Living Wage of £8.30 per-hour, a rate set by the Greater London Authority and championed by Mayor Boris Johnson.
The London Citizens campaign has been engaged in several years of discussions with John Lewis to bring the cleaners into the Partnership and pay the London Living Wage, making no progress. The cleaners feel exasperated by a contractor who recently offered a mere 24 pence pay increase, conditional on 100% attendance.
IWW have been approached by numerous John Lewis partners have expressed sympathy with the cleaners and also have wondered why the cleaners have not been brought into the partnership.
This IWW dispute has had wide ranging support including various MPs from Labour and Plaid Cymru that have signed the Parliamentary Early Day Motion 301. The IWW and its supporters expect the cleaners to be treated with respect, paid fairly and remain employed in sufficient numbers to meet the demands of a flagship store on Oxford Street.

Industrial Workers of the World
London Regional Secretary
2nd Floor,
145-157 St John Street,
United Kingdom, EC1V 4PY

See also this article in the New Internationalist.

Thursday, July 05, 2012


I have to confess to feeling sympathy for Lance Armstrong.
I've had a go at him in the past (I hear he's really upset about that), and I've jeered at his insistence that he was drug-free during his racing career.
Well, without taking anything back, I think he's getting a rough deal. Why now? Why not when he was at it? Of course he was reported as clear of anything illegal in his testing, but the circumstantial evidence, the accusations by people in the know, were there. Has the US Anti-Doping Agency got any more on Armstrong than they had when he was racing? What we are told is that people who were also at it have done a deal and turned him in. Is that the only advance in the case against him? if so, it's not much of an advance.
To repeat myself, why now? The Tour de France is in full swing, and some of the USADA's collaborators are actually taking part; Leipheimer, Zabriskie, et al. Of course they aren't guilty of any wrongdoing as far as the Tour organisers are concerned, but this casts a shadow on the great event. It also ensures maximum publicity for the Yankee drug snoops.
Seven Tour wins; what, should he be found guilty, happens then? Will the Tour organisers feel bound by the findings? Presumably they'll have to hold an enquiry of their own, but, Jesus! If they have to strip Armstrong of all those prizes, and reallocate them. What a mess. We've just seen Alberto Contador stripped of the 2010 win, which was then awarded to Andy Schleck. Justice done, maybe, but does Andy S. feel like a real winner?
I have to wonder, what proportion of these achievements can be ascribed to performance enhancing substances, and how much to the rider's effort? I don't suppose anyone can answer that. I also wonder, when the riders drink their specially concocted energy drinks, submit to pain-killing injections, swallow their vitamins, do they know what they are ingesting? How guilty are they if they obey doctor's orders.
I think we are now at the stage where any Tour de France that wasn't overshadowed by a drug scandal would elicit cries of "cover up!".
In spite of which I say, hand on heart, this is the greatest event in the sporting calendar, and those athletes, with or without the dodgy boosters, are heroes every one.

Monday, July 02, 2012


David 'Dave' Cameron is "prepared to consider" a referendum on UK membership of the EU.

So no referendum then.

To be honest this particular piece of Cameronian bullshit doesn't need translation. I haven't heard or read one comment on this tall tale that gave it even minimal credence. Some think that Cameron can't be bothered to lie convincingly, the basic requirement of any politician.