Nosferatu and Super Creeps










As part of Liverpool's Free Thinking Festival, I am due to go to hear the Rev. Ian Paisley tomorrow night. I noticed on the ticket that the BBC make you agree to being recorded or photographed for their own purposes, but that you cannot use any photographic equipment yourself. Might have something to say about that.

Last night we were treated to Nosferatu on the big screen albeit in bitter weather conditions.

I wanted tickets to see Tony Benn, Will Self and Trevor Phillips but they were all taken. Given the numbers left for Paisley, it shows his time of ire has long past. However, as many others have said, the Brossgate saga continues as indignant shouters of all credos have their say.

Anyhow, some photos. Must get a better camera capable of night-time shots.

I think my arachnophobia is getting better. I rescued an eight-legged monster from the urinals in the White Star.

Enjoyed Nosferatu, but not half as scary as the influence Max Clifford has over the media.

Slides:

No Mas!

I'm as guilty as anyone, but for Fuck's sake, this Brand/Ross story has more legs than a millipede on a bierhaus table. The Guardian is becoming a major culprit, having no fewer than 15 stories relating to the matter on its online front page.

As I wrote in July, I took the Shilling and signed up to the Green-Ink Mercenary Group by complaining to the BBC about a perceived offensive piece by Jeremy Clarkson. This produced a reply from the Beeb:

  • Please accept our apologies for any offence caused. Throughout the testing Jeremy was in awe of this car and he attributed much of that to its Italian design. As usual he made a few references which seem like typical stereotypes. As you're aware this is typical of Jeremy but he certainly doesn't mean to upset anyone and he wasn't taking a view or making a statement as much as he was a random reference. He certainly didn't mean to use the term (wop) as a derogatory slur as some in the past have.
Now, this was not on the scale of the Sachs Satanic Slut Slur, but maybe you need the full force of the vested interests of the media to get things done.

Unfortunately, this topic - having been inflamed by the media - is becoming hard to escape. At the water cooler, in the pub, at the Enema Clinic (well, you have to make your own fun as the nights draw in), Brossgate/Manuelgate (Wait until Graeme Garden becomes embroiled in a similar scandal) is everywhere.

The only person that comes out of this with any credibility is Andrew Sachs himself. Once the names of Max Clifford, Kelvin McKenzie and Schillings Solicitors are in the mash, we know that there's more than trouble brewing.

When Diana died, there was a bikers' pub in Birkenhead that had a Diana-free on the day of the funeral. Anyone mentioning the D word was fined or barred. Sounds good.

So, stop it. Move on. We need to protect the BBC and not allow the Daily Mail's wreckless driving of the issue to continue. But, let's call it a day on the two people involved. And that includes YOU, Eric.

The BNP Pantomime: Oh Yes They Are

While leader of the BNP Griffin is enjoying a sojourn in Prague, his deputy, Darby is busy blogging about his exploits and having a go at Trevor Phillips (but at least putting some distance between him and the Mail, if not some of its more volatile readers). What was interesting was that he has a comment from one of the real BNP followers, one Duggan. Now, no blogger is expected to agree 100% with commenters or to be responsible for any witless points made, but I think it speaks volumes that Darby, like The Mail with the Littlejohn column and the majority of stories, only allows comments in broad support of the original piece of writing.

Comments are subject to vetting by Mr. D, so we may assume he has no problem with this:

  • I watched Phillips being interviewed by Krishnan Gurumurthy on Channel Four News this evening. It beggars belief that they were discussing whether, essentially, English people ("white" was their term) should be afforded privileges in England. Two foreigners discussing my rights to my own country. Not due to "equality", as they call it, just as a sop, during a recession, to assuage their fear of the rise of the BNP, not that they would even name their nemesis.
Duggan 21:48 28th October 2008


That would be Krishnan Guru-Murthy, born 1970 in Liverpool and Trevor Phillips, born in London in 1953. Of course, this ties in with the BNP's oft-used quote from the Duke of Wellington about a dog being born in a stable not being a horse.

As I said in September, this is part of official BNP mantra as seen in their attempts to repudiate the accusation that they are a racist party here (at section viii). I make no apologies for repeating this.

Last year when the exact phrase appeared in a comment on the Daily Mail site, a complaint was made and to their credit they immediately removed the offending item and indicated that the moderator was upset at mistakenly allowing it through; another example of the frantic attempts at kiss chase between the Mail and BNP.

Simon and Richard Sitting In A Tree


None of the chairs are plugged in.

As I said in the post about Brand and Ross, childishness has its place and time; the playground tends to be the best one. The Mail, at one end of the spectrum in that matter, often finds itself in a dilemma itself. Its political stance - particularly over immigration - is similar to the BNP. Yet, it is a love that dare not speak its name. Time after time it seeks to distance itself from the BNP yet it knows full well that many of its readers will be potential supporters.

Even Littlejohn described the party as 'knuckle-dragging scum' which is a bit rich coming from a man who described Rwandan genocide as Mbongo tribe v Mbingo tribe; and the BNP's own site has a section about the so-called Littlejohn Syndrome, where they lament the people who largely agree with them but won't openly jump on the same handcart.

It is somewhat interesting that great minds do tend to think alike.
  • Whilst India can develop a sophisticated space programme, we currently give hundreds of millions of pounds to them in aid, whilst this winter tens of thousands of our old people will die because they cannot afford to keep warm.
  • The next time they launch (the rocket) perhaps we can ask for the names of all the British pensioners who die this winter to be written down the side of it because that, in effect, is what it amounts to.
Simon Darby, Deputy Leader, BNP 27th October 2008

  • India does not need our aid, we do ...

    India has just sent a rocket to the moon, part of a billiondollar space programme.

    Earlier this year, the Indian conglomerate Tata bought Land Rover and Jaguar for £1.15billion.

    Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal is said to be worth $45billion and is one of London's most famous ' nondoms'. He is reported to be the fourth richest man in the world, just one of thousands of Indian multi-millionaires and billionaires.

    So why did Gordon Brown commit £825million in foreign aid to India at a time when that country is buying up British firms and sending rockets into space?

    With our economy going to hell in a handcart, we should be asking for our money back.

    Charity begins at home.
Richard Littlejohn 28th October 2008

As johnnyhead (hat tip) on the Mailwatch forum highlights, the story was first seen in January of this year so is hardly news, and secondly the apparent contradiction in needing charity while reaching for the stars is not as straight forward as the charity-begins-at-home lobby think, as Newsweek ran this story on 18th October:
  • The Indian space program is already far ahead in one respect: its use of space technologies to solve the everyday problems of ordinary people on the ground. For more than 20 years, India has been quietly investing hundreds of millions of dollars in its earth-sciences program with an eye toward helping farmers with their crops, fishermen with their catches and rescue workers with management of floods and other disasters. "India is leading the way in the approach towards the rationale for earth observation," says Stephen Briggs, the head of the European Space Agency's (ESA) Earth Observation Science and Applications Department.

    Measured by the number and sophistication of their satellites, America and Europe may be ahead of India. But with an annual budget of about $1 billion—less than a tenth of NASA'sISRO covers a lot of ground. It has built and launched 46 satellites, which provide data for at least nine Indian government ministries. Its 11 national communications satellites are the largest network in Asia, and its seven remote sensing satellites map objects on Earth at a resolution of less than a meter. These form the backbone of a series of practical initiatives that, according to a Madras School of Economics study, have generated a $2 return for every $1 spent. "We have clearly shown that we can give back to the country much more than is invested in the space program," says ISRO chairman Madhavan Nair.

It's just a rumour that Simon Darby will be shaving his eyebrows for Children In Need, where charidee begins and ends at home, on Friday and Littlejohn will writing 1000 words without mentioning Dads Army, 'elf 'n safety, political correctness, you couldn't make it up, hell in a handcart or buggery in public toilets.

Brand Spanking

The Brand and Ross farce continues to take up space in the newspapers and on the TV as the media find that they have another story other than the credit crunch to concentrate on.

As Anton Vowl has already pointed out when the story broke, the case does provide a bit of a dilemma given the two main protagonists.

I think my view can be summed up in a few points:

  1. Russell Brand is an over-rated fool.
  2. Jonathon Ross is an over-paid (though more talented) fool
  3. The prank was offensive and harassment
  4. The BBC bods were fools to air the pre-recorded item on their programme
  5. The BBC has done a great disservice to those that defend it to the hilt and its local presenters
  6. The Daily Mail and The Sun show rank hypocrisy in criticising this whilst publishing scanty panty photos of the grand-daughter.
  7. ITV shows its second-rate self in carrying the story as a main item, whilst failing to inform its viewers of the DM's vested interest in ITN. Similarly, using liar and scumbag Kelvin McKenzie on News at Ten to criticise moral standards is like asking Ronaldo to complain about players diving.
  8. Sky News also neglected to mark up their link with The Sun's coverage
  9. The BBC, to its credit, also discussed the issue locally and nationally. ITV and Sky would not be so open
  10. These cretins have handed the moral high ground to papers like the Mail and allowed the Licence Fee to be questioned.
There is a time and place for prank calls. Many of us have piled into a phone box to ask a stranger if there were any Walls in his house, or phoned the pub to ask the barmaid to shout out for Mike, Surname Hunt. Bart Simpson, Victor Llewis-Smith and other comedians have made good use over the years. This was not funny, however. If an ordinary citizen had done it, he would be risking a criminal reprimand, not a stiff letter from the DG.

The BBC should make its own decision on this matter and not pander to the politically motivated complaints. Either this was a good idea or it was not.

Lest We Forget: No Place For BNP in Poppy Day Remembrance


As we approach November 11th, the BNP is again trying to exploit the annual British Legion Poppy Day. As Griffin points out on his party's site,

  • British National Party supporters must make an extra effort to assist the national Poppy Day appeal as poppy-sellers to help avert the worker-shortage crisis for that charity, BNP leader Nick Griffin has said.
This is a repeat of last year when the BNP tried to hijack the Remembrance Day for their own odious political ends. Whilst many people still feel a little uneasy in wearing the poppy these days - In the 80s, I used to have a complimentary white one, hastily made with tippex and guaranteed to produce head-clearing effects in warm rooms - what with Iraq and the debate over Haig, I do feel that it should be maintained. Death is death whatever the battlefield.

In 2003 - as reported by the Wakefield Express - wreaths were used as placards for the BNP:
  • Incensed bystanders at Sunday's service at the Rishworth Street memorial watched as a BNP representative marched up to lay a wreath under the guise of East Ardsley Conservative Club.
    Horrified dignitaries quickly realised what the wreath stood for and it was immediately removed.
  • And a wreath bearing the BNP logo was also placed at a memorial in Horbury with a note which read 'You fought bravely to keep this country for your own. Rest in Peace. Now it's our turn'.
    Both wreaths caused distress to war veterans and members of the public.
Earlier this year, ex-BNP councillor, Tony Bamber put out a leaflet - later deemed insufficiently inflammatory for prosecution - demanding Muslims apologise for the heroin trade and making the bizarre claim that before the 'Islamic invasion, it was almost impossible to find heroin here' . In addition to this vile hate-mongering, he saw fit to call his band 'Preston Pals' in a blatant attempt to link to a famous WWI volunteer force. Lancaster Unity add,
  • Bamber, in keeping with the BNP's long-established tradition of jumping on any available bandwagon, formed a fictitious group a couple of years back, which he called the 'Preston Pals', a reference to the company of volunteers from Preston who were eventually formed into 'D' company, 7th Battalion, the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, to fight in World War I.
The British Legion, hopefully, will not forget what was said at the time:
  • The Royal British Legion (RBL) has roundly condemned this misappropriation of the name by the BNP, with its spokesman Patrick Leavey saying; '[The Preston Pals] sacrifice should not be besmirched by people engaged in political campaigning for such an ugly cause. We condemn this leaflet, its contents, and those who are disseminating it'.
In 2007, the Sunday Mail in Scotland was appalled at the hijack attempt,
  • Jim Panton, chief executive of Poppyscotland, said: "I had no idea the BNP have tried to get involved in the Poppy Appeal.

    "It's outrageous for any organisation or group to try to hijack the poppy for their own benefit or gain.

    "It is a misuse and misrepresentation of the sentiment of the appeal and we would take a strong line against that.

    "We are apolitical and have not asked any party to back us."

No doubt people will tell me that these people are individuals and have the freedom to do as they please, and that help is help. The Royal British Legion does not seem to share this view:
  • Neil Griffiths, of the Royal British Legion Scotland, said: "We abhor any association with the BNP. I worked most ofmy military career with Gurkhas and feel angry by any level of racism when I encounter it.

    "The BNP seem to have forgotten that the Indian Army in the Second World War had two million members.

    "It was the biggest volunteer army in military history and it played a huge role in the war."

And there we have it. Whilst other political parties attend cenotaphs and lay wreaths, overtly provocative ones like those from the BNP are not wanted. A party that would not let Indians join has no place on a day when sacrifices are remembered; a party that has produced a so-called White History resource cannot stand next to someone remembering slaughtered skin of all colours.

It barely needs stating of the sacrifice made in one particular conflict against the very credo the BNP is connected to but tries to distance itself from. This is another attempt to gain legitimacy and the RBL should be firm, notwithstanding the ageing membership and dearth of volunteers. Poppies are still prevalent in pubs, shops and offices and I for one will be wearing one.

1776 and all that



I keep seeing this graphic on Sky News. It shows Americans using electronic voting. This has been tested here on a small scale. However, we had the misfortune of not being able to vote for Winston Churchill, Clement Attlee or William Ewart Gladstone. Still, where America leads.

But Emily Loved Him

After yesterday's pronouncement that 5 year olds may be taught about the birds and the bees, comes news that they may get to discover the cat.

Without getting too sentimental and becoming a TV talking head reminiscing about remembering Captain Pugwash, I did feel a tinge of excitement at the news. Off I went to Youtube to discover why I failed - many years ago - to answer the perennial quiz question about the colour of Bagpuss. This is where I wax lyrically about only having a black and white TV and no scalectrix but I don't wish to labour my deprived upbringing (young people today with their Wii, ipods and immunisations).

Birkenhead Beer Festival Day 1
















Fawlty Shades of Green


Following yesterday's mention of rentaquote Stephen Green of his Christian Voice Movement, we see him appearing on the pages of The Guardian today. Strangely, the Mail neglected to call him up on the sex education in primary schools story, so maybe there is a parallel universe somewhere.

Or, is this a sign of the Guardian's continued drop in journalistic standards? As the paper develops a trend for celebrity, tabloidesque pieces masquerading as comment (Big Brother blogs, Kerry Katona updates), has it fallen into the trap of regurgitating press releases?

Polly Curtis in The Guardian does provide more accurate information than the Mail's headline-and-run approach, pointing out that:

  • Children will learn about body parts and the fact that animals reproduce from the age of five, puberty and intercourse from the age of seven and contraception and abortion from the age of 11.
The Mail, however, merely informs its readers that,
  • Children as young as five will be taught about sex, drugs and alcohol in compulsory lifestyle lessons, ministers announced today.
Returning to The guardian, although other comments are sought, the disturbing one is from Green,
  • However, a minority of traditional family campaigners opposed the decision. Stephen Green, national director of Christian Voice, said the proposals would only "encourage experimentation" and contribute to the rise in teenage pregnancy and infertility.

    He said: "We oppose this move completely. It can only encourage experimentation and will not teach about the rise in teenage pregnancy and infertility.

    "Condoms only cover one part of the anatomy and do not protect against other infections carried on the skin that can cause infertility."
My objection is not to the fact that there is an opposing view, but that it comes from a man allowed to punch above his weight by hiding behind a tin-pot organisation.

There will be Christian groups that also oppose this but do not share Green's apocolyptic view of the world, his hatred of homosexuality, his anti-Islamic stance, his suggestion that Hurricane Katrina was God cleansing sin, his belief that the Queen's Sovereignty comes from God, prayer can win Test Matches against Islamic countries! I could go on but I'm losing the will to live.

Local BBC radio here also quoted from Green on this matter and this went much further than the Guardian words. To paraphrase he suggested that this was a proposal from a Government forcing children to fornicate and that sex should only be between two virgins on their wedding night. I don't think he was referring to John and Yoko.

As I said yesterday, our new friends in Owasso (Morning! hope the storms have not done much damage, though Green may claim them to be a judgment on Obama supporters) may be as upset about this as the Magic Bus, but at least the Doll-Fearers may have a soul mate.

The doll - rather confusingly -is purported to say 'Satan is King' as well as 'Islam is the light' but Brother Green sees a link:
  • We want the freedom to preach the Gospel, to say Jesus Christ is The Way, The Truth and The Life, and that the gurus and prophets of other religions lead nowhere except to hell.
All makes sense now. Must. Join. Christian. Voice. Green. Is. The. Lamb*









* He is baaaaaarking mad.

Magic Bus


At the risk of upsetting viewers in Owasso, Oklahoma, the Guardian report on a campaign - assisted by the British Humanist Association - to put adverts on London buses saying "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life"

The idea was first suggested by Ariane Sherine in the paper, and now Richard Dawkins has agreed to match the funding raised.

Whether the campaign will have any effect is largely unimportant. A positive message and one that will bring out the 'But-this-is-a-Christian-country' brigade.

The article adds:

  • As you read this, a new advertising campaign for Alpha Courses is running on London buses. If you attend an Alpha Course, you will again be told that failing to believe in Jesus will condemn you to hell. There's no doubt that advertising can be effective, and religious advertising works particularly well on those who are vulnerable, frightening them into believing. Religious organisations' jobs are made easier because there's no publicly visible counter-view to refute their threats of eternal damnation.

    The atheist bus campaign aims to change this. In addition to the slogan, the adverts will feature the URLs of secular, humanist and atheist websites, so that readers can find out more about atheism as a positive and liberating alternative to religion. We've also set up an interactive campaign website and Facebook group, so that questions raised by the adverts can be publicly debated.

UPDATE: 22/10/08 (or 10/28/08 if you live in Owasso)

The Daily Mail are on the case. Wheel out self-proclaimed Messiah, Stephen Green of Christian Voice:
  • Stephen Green of pressure group Christian Voice said: 'Bendy-buses, like atheism, are a danger to the public at large.

    'I should be surprised if a quasi-religious advertising campaign like this did not attract graffiti. 'People don't like being preached at. Sometimes it does them good, but they still don't like it.'

On his own website, he believes that this advert is being proposed because atheism is dying on its feet. Therefore, Christianity must be so strong that he doesn't need to make ludicrous pronouncements on non-stories just to get publicity. Exhibit A:
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber's decision to write the song and front a Eurovision talent show for the BBC and his announcement that he will not be back until 2010 to find a Dorothy for the Wizard of Oz means he has abandoned his attempt to resurrect the resurrection-less Jesus Christ Superstar as a result of pressure from Christians, a Christian pressure group said today.
Green has been quoted as comparing Allah to Satan, so maybe the Owasso Doll Horror is further evidence that Green is not as barking mad as he seems, or that the Mail is not being lazy and ridiculous by keeping CV on speed-dial.

Although Christian Voice is just a mouth piece for one particular zealot, it does offer membership. However at £20 a go, I think the money is probably better spent on the atheist bus campaign.

What is it about the Green clan? Damian Green, rentaquote Tory shadow minister; Andrew Green, rentaquote head of Migrationwatch; Al Green : "Call me call me call me
What a beautiful time we had together
."

Now Peel's Train Stops on Merseyside

From today's Guardian:

By the end of this week, if you are visiting Liverpool you will be able to ride into town on a train bearing the name of John Peel. And if you happen to be listening to one of the late DJ's favourite songs – Amsterdam's Does This Train Stop on Merseyside? – well, the answer will be yes.

The train is intended as a lasting memorial for Peel, who grew up in the area. "We are very proud of the man John was and of his connection with Merseyside," councillor Mark Dowd, chair of Merseytravel, said in a press release.

The train will be inaugurated at around 3pm on Thursday, leaving Merseytravel's Liverpool South Parkway station. Sheila Ravenscroft, Peel's wife, will be present for a ceremony and will travel on the train's first journey to Liverpool. "We are just really delighted that John is being honoured with this train," Ravenscroft said. "He would have loved it!"

The train's inauguration comes just two days before the fourth anniversary of Peel's death.

"Having Sheila with us to launch the train makes it that extra bit special," said Neil Scales, Merseytravel's chief executive and director general. "This train will forever be linked to John, a man whose influence on music was, and to some extent still remains, unparalleled."

Guests at the event will be treated to a special performance of Does This Train Stop on Merseyside? by Amsterdam's Ian Prowse. The song was cherished by Peel, who once called it his second-favourite track. "[John] wasn't capable of playing [the song] without crying," his wife told BBC Radio 1 in a tribute special.

"If he played it on the radio he'd have to put something on straight afterwards because he wouldn't be able to speak. When he played it at home, he'd always need a cuddle afterwards."


HMS Illustrious in Liverpool 2008





More information on the 2009 visit here. Mersey Ferries have special cruises.

Pictures of the 2009 visit anf fly past here.

Dark Side of the Star


I don't think I'm the only one who thinks that this front page stinks. A complaint should be made to the Press Complaints Commission so they can slap the wrists of Richard Desmond. Given that he doesn't feel much contrition over the smacked bum given to his other publication, The Express over the McCann story, as sales increased markedly while the soap opera was on, I doubt if he's bothered.

Defamation actions cases may be the new golf club, but it would nice if it could be shown that a Muslim TV Licence payer had sufficient locus standi to bring a class action. Hmmm.

The issue of the BBC is not the point here. Us and Them is the forerunner to burning of mosques.

Us And Them"

Us and Them
And after all we're only ordinary men
Me, and you
God only knows it's not what we would choose to do
Forward he cried from the rear
and the front rank died
And the General sat, as the lines on the map
moved from side to side
Black and Blue
And who knows which is which and who is who
Up and Down
And in the end it's only round and round and round
Haven't you heard it's a battle of words
the poster bearer cried
Listen son, said the man with the gun
There's room for you inside
Down and Out
It can't be helped but there's a lot of it about
With, without
And who'll deny that's what the fightings all about
Get out of the way, it's a busy day
And I've got things on my mind
For want of the price of tea and a slice
The old man died


(Waters, Wright) 1973

Express Readers Make Charity Donation

You do not have to be Justin Toper - Britain's Best Astrologer in Britain's Greatest Newspaper to have seen this one coming.

'TAPAS SEVEN' ACCEPT LIBEL DAMAGES


The friends known as the Tapas Seven who were on holiday with Kate and Gerry McCann when daughter Madeleine vanished have accepted £375,000 libel damages from Express Newspapers.

The damages - which will be donated to the Find Madeleine Fund - relate to articles in the Daily Express, the Sunday Express and the Daily Star between July and December last year.

Strangely (or not) readers who are funding the donation to the diminishing Fund's pot are not allowed to comment on this story. Is the Express merely ensuring that no further action is taken against them, or protecting its 'reputation' from the idiots that buy this shite?

Justin Toper - Britain's Best Astrologer - is on the case. In today's column, he uncannily highlights Sagittarius (23/11 - 21/12) which happens to be the star sign of owner, Richard 'Where did I put my Hitler costume' Desmond.
  • You should manage to take your mind of (sic) current emotional difficulties and from acting irrationally. The sense of relief when you realise that you are wanted could give you a tiny shock today. The best is yet to come - which means waiting for friends to show up.
Yes, £375,000 should manage that. Tiny shock? Not unless we've got the voltage wrong. Could be a long wait for the friends though.

Here Comes The Sun: It's Not Alright!

Islamic Doll Part III

Right. The Sun Readers have spoken. I will use short. Sentences. For.Them.
Liverpool's favourite paper (for US viewers this is sarcasm and apologies for the superfluous 'u')
takes up the lead on this world-important story. Forget the credit crunch, climate change, the US election and Tranmere losing to Millwall - the big issue is this:


  • MY Sun users are having a doll dilemma as they debate whether Fisher-Price Mattel's Islamic doll should be shelved.

  • MY Sun's news forum has been a hive of activity with users in a state of shock following the news that the doll is also available in toyshops across the UK.
State of shock? Have they banned tits on page 3? Has Jon Gaunt professed a love for ballet? Has Carlsberg been forced to shelve plans to give away its gnat's piss lager (again)?
No, Sun literati members are up in arms over the threat of Islamic indoctrination through the Trojan Doll. What do the sane and rational have to say?
  • Dutch user Lisolette says: "I think this is a very scary development. What do these parents do?

    "Do they play the doll while their kids are asleep?"

Lisolette could speak no English until she bought a subliminal learn-to-speak-crap cassette from the Eindhoven Institute of the Gullible. Unfortunately, there are side effects and she has now started smoking and providing motivational help to bus passengers.
  • MelissaFinlan from Birmingham is convinced that if the doll uttered Christian messages it would be banned in the UK.

    "Of course this doll should be removed from all shops!

    "If we, in England, are being forbidden from displaying our own flag at times in case of causing offence, why should this be any different?'

That would be Birmingham, England not alabama then. Where the City Council had a British flag flying last time I visited. Obviously, there are no dolls available for Christians but even if they aren't banned, this one should be. Well done Mel. Now have a lie down before your brain explodes onto the M6.
  • "It should be removed," says Casadro from Liverpool.
I think Casadro should try waving his copy of the Hillsborough Liars' rag in a local pub.

To be fair, there were a lot of people on the Owasso site disagreeing with the bans, but looks like the madness is spreading.

Let's leave the final words to Elvis,
  • She's just a shabby doll
    She's putting him off and putting you on
    She's just the shabby doll
    You're swearing upon you know in your heart
    She's gone you know in your heart
    She's just a shabby doll

    There's a girl in this dress
    There's always a girl in distress
    She's just a shabby doll
    She's so sure she's self-possessed
(MacManus)

See also
Only in America
Separated by a Common Language



Separated By A Common Language

Amanda Morgan-Scott of the Owasso Reporter has another scoop. Someone across the pond in State 51 has been disrespecting the town/city of Owasso in Oklahoma (turn left at Tulsa). So let's get one thing straight here: everyone should feel proud of their homestead and should put up a solid defence (defense) as I do with mine. Perspective should also be kept and when humour (=humor for US visitors) does not come in your flavour (favor) one should have the ability to take as well as give out.

OK, (Okay not Oklahoma) puerile comments out of the way now. Let's look at what the article actually says,

  • Rofkahr's indignation over Little Mommy doll sets off media and Internet frenzy
Gary will be on Oprah next week recommending books for children without hidden meanings (C.S. Lewis v J.K. Rowling - winner to play either L.Ron Hubbard or Kirk Cameron in the Super Bowl) and Leno on Thursday discussing how Sarah Palin's winks are really a sign that the Republicans have been bodysnatched by Islamic Jihadists and that when she says 'you betcha' she is actually quoting from the Koran. But first, a word from our sponsors...........

Anyhoo, Amanda gets us back on the rails at last:
  • That's all it took to set off a wave of interest. Gary was interviewed by KJRH Channel 2 in Tulsa for that evening's news and he later did an on-the-air interview for a radio station in Lexington, Kent. Gary's story got spread much quicker than he expected, with more than 160,000 views of his story on www.owassoreporter.com. More than 1,000 comments were left on the Internet article from people in 45 states and four countries. It's no surprise that some of the comments were directed toward Gary and most were less than flattering. Other Web sites were created with either the Owasso Reporter online article copied and pasted directy onto the site or with the link to the story imbedded. Most of these sites also had comments either about the story or directed at Gary and Owasso.
So, increasing advertising revenue in these troubling times? I bet some sites were nasty though.
  • One particularly nasty posting was on ericthefishking.blogspot.com, a personal Web site by someone who apparently found the story very interesting and thought he should tell his readers exactly what he thought of Gary, the Owasso Reporter and the town of Owasso. Here are some excerpts straight from his blog.
Fair's fair Mandy babe, after all I learnt to use CTRL+C+V a long time ago and the addiction cannot be cured. Still, I don't receive any coins for this ego trip so hey ho.

  • "Gary Rofkahr from Owasso (The City Without Limits!) appears to be Witchfinder General here. He heard that there was a doll that said, 'Islam is the light' so what does ol' Gazza Boy do? He bought one! (He also bought Relax by Frankie as soon as he heard the prophet Mike Read tell us how evil it was). The local journal - the Owasso Reporter - is on to it. Jostling for space with other biggies like Restaurant closing not considered news by some and Motorists soon could find they will spending less time waiting for stop lights to change to green, it puts its top person on the job... Very Christian of you Gary. How about organising a Darwin and Dawkins book burning jamboree or Beatle CD crushing while you're vanquishing sin? The Owasso Reporter is taking no chances and bravely finds a fence to sit on...Please tell me this is just a bad dream - or a clever marketing ploy - that Owasso only exists if you go through a red light after selling your soul at the Crossroads?"
Sounds familiar. I wonder if they know who Mike Read is? For those US viewers he was a bit like Howard Stern but with a Cliff Richard fixation. He almost became Mayor of London, England as seen here: MIKE READ: MAYOR.

Gary, to be fair, is a bit taken aback at being more popular than Elvis.
  • "I don't have any animosity toward people of the Islamic religion.
Well, this site stands shoulder to shoulder with Mr. Rofkahr's position there whilst tentatively hoping that it doesn't result in the last Anglo-American show of strength. What we do take issue with is the over-reaction and this maybe seeps out with his next sentence.
  • This is not about religion. It's about a doll with a secret message imbedded in it that they're trying to sneak past us to indoctrinate our children and that's just wrong on so many levels."
Wrong on so many levels we agree. Islam is the Light or Aslan is the Lion?

Now people may mock this but people power can be important and a force for good. Who can forget those town councils in England, Europe that saved their flock from seeing the blasphemy of The Life of Brian? Just because they did not have a cinema is beside the point.

As with dead parrots and fruit bat licences (licenses) you really do need to stand up for your beliefs and put your foot down with a firm hand.

As Gary says,
  • "With help from my friends and the Owasso Reporter, we achieved what we set out to do
Altogether now......................

What would you do if your doll's out of tune
Would you stand up in Wal-Mart and shout,
When you're in church and Islam's not the light,
Are you certain the audio's not right?

Or, you don't buy a little doll for your friends
'Cos when it cries it'll drive you round the bend,

So, could it be Owasso people
That this could put you on the map?

No, you'll set fire to little dolls on the heap
No, you'll all burn them like good little sheep
So, I must go and get down for some sleep.

Finally, Anon on the original post has this to say:

  • I WISH YOU WOULD BRING YOUR DUM ASS TO OWASSO ERIC FISHER KING OR WHO EVER THE FUCK YOU ARE..OWASSO IS THE BEST PLACE TO LIVE AND THE OWASSO REPORTER IS THE BEST NEWS.GARY HAD EVERY RIGHT TO FEEL THE WAY HE DID ABOUT THE DOLL..MAY YOU ARE ONE OF THE SATAN PEOPLE WE HAVE IN THIS WORLD.YOU WILL BURN IN HELL.....WTG OWASSO,,,KEEP UP THE GODLY WORK WE DO,,,
Note how it starts off very reasonable and then slowly degenerates into what can only be described as mild criticism. To repeat my oft used anti-heckler barb, Anon, I liked your hymns and poems better. It's getting late here so please do not shout. You're keeping the baby from praying to Macca.

Finally, in deference to the home of Garth Crooks, I mean Garth Brooks, I leave the final word to one of Gary's friends or family member...or both:
  • "I'm so happy to live in a town like Owasso that has a newspaper that will stand up for what's right and that isn't afraid to print a story that might cause them grief. There's just a bunch of great people in this town."
Amen.

Mail and Mullen Part II : Tragedy, Comedy and Farce

PROLOGUE

Due to my failure to answer two Literature questions in last night's Quiz League battering, I've been sentenced to extra training and so a day off has been idly but wisely spent.

Further news on the strange bedfellows [1], The Mail and the Rev. Peter Mullen. As the Guardian reports, Mullen has used his column (you lot giggling at the back: see me after class) in The Northern Echo to 'apologise' for "making some off-colour jokes about homosexuals on my website.

He continues,
  • However, I do believe The Evening Standard took my words out of context, although that paper did have the good grace to print my explanation of my intentions.
This being the Evening Standard owned by the same group as The Mail of course. So, they seem to have kissed and made up. So all's well that ends well [2]. However, the Rev. seems a bit grudging in his confession.
  • I was not criticising individual homosexuals. I have never criticised them. I number many homosexual men and women among my dearest friends.
(An Interpreter writes, 'Some of my best friends are black, gay, black and gay, young, gifted and black, which means I cannot be prejudiced against 'them'.'

I'm a bit confused at the next bit,
  • I voted for the Homosexual Reform Act of 1967
Does he think there was a referendum on this? Was he an MP or sitting in the Lords Spiritual section? Maybe he just means he supported the change in law. He then gives some of the game away. Whilst he is claims to be tolerant, he has some ground rules.
  • homosexual acts “between consenting adults in private.” “Between” means two. “Adults” meant 21. “Private” means in the bedroom.
He does not make it clear whether he agrees with the lowering of the age to that of heterosexual consent. Nor does he mention the anomaly that existed due to hotel rooms not being classed as 'the bedroom.' He mentions Hamstead Heath and public lavatories which denotes an unhealthy interest in Littlejohn's domain.

So - apology over - he returns once more unto the breeches [3]:
  • And the love that once dare not speak its name [4] now shrieks at us in high camp down every high street.
  • What I do oppose – on the authority of the Christian faith – is the corrupting influence of the promotional parades of homosexuality by such as Gay Pride demonstrations.
Translation: Keep it in your trousers until you're in your own room and don't ram it down our throats by mincing down the road at the Love Parade.
  • I was delighted to be so warmly welcomed at church last Sunday by the many homosexual people in my congregation.
More subtle mentions of the fact that there are gay members of his congregation. Methinks he does protest too much! [5]

He then name-checks Sandy Toksvig on Radio 4 in a bid to show that he can take a joke at his expense.

So, we shall await further words of wisdom from the pulpit in the Mail as the star-crossed love affair continues.[6]

Gobie's Notes
1] Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. I will here shroud till the
dregs of the storm be past...................The Tempest
2] All's Well That Ends Well........obviously
3] Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more...............Henry V
4] I am the Love that dare not speak its name........... Lord Alfred Douglas 'Two Loves'
5] The lady doth protest too much, methinks.............. Hamlet
6] A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life ...............Romeo and Juliet

A Helping Hand in Florida

More American news. When I am bored i sometimes look at the sitemeter data for what brings poor unfortunate people to this theatre of spleen venting.

I know of at least one wanker residing in Florida but was surprised to see that someone from St Vincent's Hospital in Jacksonville, Fl visited the site after googling 'NUBILES'. This is a consequence of mentioning a Stranglers song in a previous post. I won't link directly to their site but it has a picture of a nun on the main info page.

The Healthcare centre says that it, is a faith-based, not-for-profit health system that has served the people of Jacksonville and the surrounding communities for more than 91 years.

Good to see that the organisation is providing a helping hand for its patients. And Richard Littlejohn - if it's you - howdy!


Only in America?

Talking Fisher Price doll 'preaches pro-Islamic message to toddlers'

It's a bit unfair to have a go at The Mail for this one as it's also covered in the Telegraph, but here's another reason why religious nutters so prevalent in the States should never be allowed to dictate what happens in the UK.

  • Concerned parents have accused a Fisher Price doll of preaching pro-Islamic messages to their children.

    The Little Mommy Cuddle 'n Coo dolls, available in the UK from £19.99, have been reported as saying: 'Islam is the light.'

    The talking doll initially caused controversy in the USA and some retailers even removed the product from their shelves, Fox News reported.

    But Mattel, the parent company of Fisher Price, dismissed the controversy as a phenomenon caused by the doll's cheap inbuilt speakers.

    A spokesman said: 'The Little Mommy Cuddle 'n Coo dolls feature realistic baby sounds including cooing, giggling, and baby babble with no real sentence structure.

    They refute allegations that a Muslim worker has tampered with the voice box – and deny the plaything also says: 'Satan is King'.

There is a video here.

Just don't let these assholes get copies of The White Album or Black Sabbath (Incidentally, if you get a vinyl copy of any Celine Dion record and play it backwards it sounds like.......much better)

Gary Rofkahr from Owasso (The City Without Limits!) appears to be Witchfinder General here. He heard that there was a doll that said, 'Islam is the light' so what does ol' Gazza Boy do? He bought one! (He also bought Relax by Frankie as soon as he heard the prophet Mike Read tell us how evil it was). The local journal - the Owasso Reporter - is on to it. Jostling for space with other biggies like Restaurant closing not considered news by some and Motorists soon could find they will spending less time waiting for stop lights to change to green, it puts its top person on the job.
  • "I have a 1-year-old granddaughter," he said. "It makes me mad that someone is trying to indoctrinate our children with an innocent toy."
Presumably, the Rofkahr Rugrat is more used to discussing the finer points of Proust and Wittgenstein than chanting the mantra. Irate, Daddy called the nasty men at Fisher Price (presumably on a real telephone not a Fisher Price one):
  • "I told them I didn't want my money back, I wanted them to pull these dolls off the shelf," he said. "They told me they can't pull an item just because a customer requests it, they have to have corporate direction. I told them I would get corporate direction and get back to them. I told them I'm from a town of 30,000 people with 46 churches in it and I know someone who attends each one. I'm going to everyone I know to tell them about this and I'm going to call Target and Wal-Mart and see if we can pull this doll off the shelves."
Very Christian of you Gary. How about organising a Darwin and Dawkins book burning jamboree or Beatle CD crushing while you're vanquishing sin?

The Owasso Reporter is taking no chances and bravely finds a fence to sit on:
  • Editor's note: The Owasso Reporter has chosen to only play the video of the phrase the doll utters that sounds like "Islam is the light." Video of the phrase where the doll sounds like she utters "Satan in the king, Mama" is very hard to distinguish and cannot be truly judged through a video on the Internet. Therefore, we have chosen not to run this part of the video.
The company take no prisoners:
  • We have found that if told to listen for a particular phrase, you may hear something similar due to the power of suggestion.
Aha! Harry Hill was right - the power of suggestion........or the power of the religious nutter.

Please tell me this is just a bad dream....or a clever marketing ploy......that Owasso only exists if you go through a red light after selling your soul at the Crossroads?

Another Rentaquote Joins The Team

In addition to Migrationwatch, The Taxpayers' Alliance and other assorted gobshites we now have a new arrival: The Rev Peter Mullen, chaplain to the London Stock Exchange. It's certainly understandable that traders are in need of prayer at this time, so now Peter is on hand to provide the necessary ecumenical weight and gravitas to the laterst top story.

ROYAL MAIL CONDEMNED FOR HONOURING 'NAZI' MARIE STOPES

  • Royal Mail has been condemned for releasing a set of stamps that include controversial family planning pioneer Marie Stopes.

    From today her face will appear on the 50p stamp in the Women of Distinction set, which commemorates the achievements of six women.

    Stopes was accused of being racist because of her support for eugenics - the 'perfection of the race' through selective breeding.

Leaving aside the nauseating feeling of seeing the Mail go on about Nazis after its support of the '30s, who does the paper call on to back its claim that the design has been condemned. None other than the Rev. Mullen.

  • The Rev Peter Mullen, chaplain to the Stock Exchange, branded Stopes a 'Nazi sympathiser'. He said: 'She campaigned to have the poor, the sick and people of mixed race sterilised.'
Of course, this is the rational and sane Peter Mullen who last week was himself the subject of condemnation in this very paper for calling,
  • for homosexuals to be tattooed with warnings about the perils of gay sex in a cigarette-packet-style health warning.
and
  • In the blog, Mr Mullen wrote: 'Let us make it obligatory for homosexuals to have their backsides tattooed with the slogan SODOMY CAN SERIOUSLY DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH.

    'In addition, the obscene 'gay pride' parades and carnivals should be banned for they give rise to passive corruption, comparable to passive smoking. Young people forced to witness these excrescences are corrupted by them.'
Then there was his poetry prowess,
  • 'The Bishop of London is in a high huff.

    'Because Dr Dudley has married a puff;

    'And not just one puff - he's married another:

    'Two priests, two puffs and either to other.'
Turning back to the stamp issue story we see that Marie Stopes is accompanied by some other famous women:

  1. CLAUDIA JONES
  2. BARBARA CASTLE
  3. MILLICENT GARRETT FAWCETT
  4. ELIZABETH GARRETT ANDERSON
  5. ELEANOR RATHBONE
The names are significant; all have CVs which may not appeal to the Mail or some its rabid readers. Strangely, no comment is made other than the condemnation of Stopes. The Mail is doing its usual trick of feeding its readers enough bait.

Jones : Communist, prisoner, asylum seeker, founder of the Notting Hill Carnival;
Castle : Labour Minister, architect of the Equal Pay Act;
Fawcett : Votes for Women campaigner
Anderson : Became a doctor against all odds instead of housewife;
Rathbone : Woman MP and early critic of the Nazis

Stopes of course also pionerred contraception advice and established Family Planning Clinics.

The sad thing is that the Mail story apparently took 2 journalists to write. One to look at Wikipedia, the other to telephone the Rentaquote Rev.




Bärental Rights

In the award-winning 'Cooke Retort', Councillor Tiggiwinkle took me to task about speed cameras.

The BNP supporter may now be researching into whether cameras played a part in the death of Joerg Haider, the Austrian leader of the Future Party.

The BBC report as follows:

  • Austrian far-right politician Joerg Haider was driving at twice the speed limit when he died in a crash early on Saturday, court officials have said.

    Mr Haider, 58, was travelling alone at 142km/h (88mph) in a 70km/h zone when his Volkswagen Phaeton V6 crashed.

    The accident occurred south of Klagenfurt, the capital of Carinthia, where he was the provincial governor.

    He was leader of the Alliance for Austria's Future, and was known for his anti-immigration and anti-EU policies.

    Mr Haider had crashed shortly after leaving a nightclub.

  • In 1991, his term as governor of the province of Carinthia was interrupted, after he made comments praising employment policies of Nazi Germany.

I
t's a bit unfair having another go at Cllr Chris but it gets people looking at his RTA of a site and he comes here to trade handbags. The possible rise of the right-wing parties across Europe is a very real threat given the economic circumstances. What of the BNP's greatest monobrow? What sayeth Brother Simon 'Two Wardrobes' Darby?

This is a good indicator of the real BNP. They claim to be a non-racist party, just looking after the indigenous population oppressed by the minorities. They don suits instead of black shirts, but the underlying message is the same.

Like 'Nick' Griffin of the BNP, Haider sought to distance himself from more controversial beliefs.

Notwithstanding that his mother and father had been Nazis and that land had been acquired by his uncle from Jews at a knockdown price, he joined nationalist organisations from an early stage, in much the same way as Nasty Nick inherited some of his political beliefs from his father, ex-Tory, Edgar.

Griffin has still not comprehensively retracted his comments about the Holocaust and Haider leaves behind a smokescreen over his past views on Nazi concentration camps and German employment methods. As the BBC reported in 2000,
  • His first stint as governor in 1989 ended abruptly when he praised the employment policies of Nazi Germany and was forced to resign.

    A few years later, he described World War II concentration camps as "punishment camps" and said the Nazi SS was "a part of the German army which should be honoured".
Cllr Cooke may be a lightweight in the BNP stakes - he still claims to be independent - but he has been superseded by a proper badge-carrying councillor in the West Midlands: Russ 'I did put an opinion poll on this site i thought it would be a bit of fun but some people can't even be trusted to take part in somthing as simple as that, a supporter or supporters of the Labour Party, found a way to cheat, labour had almost 600 votes so far this month, my site had recieved just over 300 hits so far this month, it seems cheats will always cheat. ' Green of Tipton.

We had a jolly time at the Preston Citizen, where he attempted to justify a smear campaign leaflet and refused to apologise for the use by BNP member Tony Bamber of a picture of Rachel Whitear despite protests from the dead girl's parents.

The BNP will use any tragedy to further their cause. Haider's death is only a tragedy in the sense that his work will continue and the economic crash brings far more capital for the Right than Haider's Downfall.

Ai Weiwei Spider: Liverpool Biennial 08

As part of the Biennial we have another spider, this time on a web stretched across the square at the rear of the Town Hall. It looks better when illuminated at night. It had been raining most of the day when I went to see it. The sky tends to get washed out in such conditions.

From the Biennial site:

Artist, architect, curator and prolific blogger, Ai Weiwei’s practise defies easy categorisation, except perhaps for a recurring delight in play and provocation. Ai often draws on the materials of the past for his work, transforming them through assembly, remoulding, or sheer destruction, into present day commentary.

The spider is one of nature’s architects, whose ability to weave his silken web provides the means for his survival. For MADE UP, Ai Weiwei takes this symbol of creativity, and enlarges it to gigantic proportions, spinning a web of light across the entirety of Liverpool’s Exchange Flags. At the heart of this intricate steel construction is a crystal studded spider, while LED lights strung along the cables allow us to enjoy a paradoxical night-time image of dew glistening in the sun.

Ai has looked to nature for inspiration on previous architectural projects, most notably as Herzog and de Meuron’s collaborator on Beijing’s ‘Bird’s Nest’ Olympic Stadium. But Ai is not so much interested in plays on the natural, more in taking objects and, through a simple intervention (in this case a shift in scale), transforming the familiar into something new and extraordinary, with the result that the idea or image becomes all the more real by virtue of its unreality. and extraordinary, with the result that the idea or image becomes all the more real by virtue of its unreality.
extraordinary, with the result that the idea or image becomes all the more real by virtue of its unreality.
andextraordinary, with the result that the idea or image becomes all the more real by virtue of its unreality.
extraordinary, with the result that the idea or image becomes all the more real by virtue of its unreality.
anextraordinary, with the result that the idea or image becomes all the more real by virtue of its unreality. extraordinary, with the result that the idea or image becomes all the more real by virtue of its unreality. extraordinary, with the result that the idea or image becomes all the more real by virtue of its unreality.

extraordinary, with the result that the idea or image becomes all the more real by virtue of its unreality.extraordinary, with the result that the idea or image becomes all the more real by virtue of its unreality.

extraordinary, with the result that the idea or image becomes all the more real by virtue of its unreality.







Yeh But No But Yeh But You Betcha


As Little Britain in the USA airs on TV, the Republican Party's own Hockey mom has taken a knock to the ankles. Troopergate - complete with compulsory suffix - may be the final KO blow to this strawweight's attempt to win a heavyweight crown. Still, the pre-fight claims and counter-claims continue:

  • After the mixed-verdict report was issued, Mrs Palin’s spokesman Bill McAllister said it vindicated her for acting "within her constitutional authority" to remove executive employees such as Mr Monegan who served at her pleasure.
Vindicated? Is this really what Investigator Blanchflower was saying?
  • And in a complicated 263-page ruling, Mr Blanchflower concluded that Mrs Palin was in violation of a state ethics law prohibiting public officials from using their office for personal gain – in this case, pursuing her family’s grudge against Trooper Wooten during his messy divorce with her sister.
We'll just have to wait until the fireworks and await the November 4th results. I was up for Portillo, up for the Florida chads, and I'll be there - glass in hand - for McCain's telephone call to Obama.

Caveat: if this is read post-election and I counted too many chickens, my spokesman will point out that I feel vindicated in any case.

No Tears of a Clown

Deputy BNP leader Simon '2 Wardrobes' Darby says,

  • Before our very eyes we appear to be witnessing the collapse of the financial system as we know it but since it is that system that has been utilised to sell us all into multiculturalism, no matter how painful it becomes, you'll not see any tears from me.
If ever we needed a reminder of how nationalists like to pounce on economic crises, this serves well. Prepare for attacks on migrant workers next. The Daily Mail can only do so much.

Happy Birthday, John

Sutton Rotten in the State of Merseyside


Yesterday, in Liverpool on a visit to see the new spider, I picked up a copy of the Daily Post in a local hostelry whilst sheltering from the downpour. The headline was truly shocking and shows how the credit crunch is biting everyone.

Sutton Estates, a property management company, have obviously been hit hard. On my recent visits to a bank that shares its premises with estate agents I have witnessed that the staff's day seems to be drifting by like the arctic tundra. Presumably, the same is happening in the buy-to-let market.

Sutton have come up with a brilliant solution to non-payment of rent by serial defaulters: use the News of the World ploy of Naming and Shaming.

The article begins,
  • SIGNS naming and shaming those who have fallen behind with their rent will be put up outside dozens of homes across Merseyside in the next few weeks as landlords feel the bite of the credit crunch.
Neil Heffey, a partner in the firm wades in,
  • “They can avoid us, but not their neighbours. Now, every time they walk in and out of their door, the neighbours will be laughing at them.”
Now, obviously I wouldn't condone non-payment of rent but there may be extenuating circumstances. Although the agency say they will not do this in cases of hardship, who is the arbiter of this? Heffey then scrapes the barrel with this gem:
  • He said those avoiding paying their rent were “taking the food off my children’s plates."
So, we are asked to believe that a partner with this firm has not made a tidy sum throughout the years when the credit crunch was not around? He sounds like Theo on Dragons' Den blabbering on - albeit in jest - about taking his kids' inheritance. He also reminds me of a former boss of mine - a millionaire in the 90s - who also used this same phrase when negotiating wage rises.

The signs will be ignored by those people who do not wish to pay in any event. Indeed it appears that one of the signs in Birkenhead has been torn down. I question the legality of such a move.
John Tuson of Kirwans solicitors agrees:
  • He said the estate agent’s signs could potentially open them up to legal action. Among the areas for concern, he pointed out, were the possibility of defamation, incitement to assault or affray, harassment, breach of the tenancy agreement, or even trespass.

    Mr Tuson said: “There is also confidentiality, in that the landlord should not expose information about the tenant to a third party, and there’s the issue of privacy under Article Eight of European Convention of Human Rights, along with data protection issues. And I dread to think what the consequences would be if the signs were accidentally put on the wrong houses.”

The most disturbing aspect is that the Daily Post appears to give tentative support to this. In its comment section it stated that,
  • Being labelled a rent-dodger is a stigma, certainly, but one which they have brought on themselves by failing to use their housing benefit for the purpose it is intended.
The article itself does not specifically say that the cases are all connected to Housing Benefit payments but the post is certain that this is the case. More stigma?

The fact remains that there are legal avenues available, which although lengthy and costly, are the proper solutions to the problem. Given the effect on cash flow of small businesses. I only hope that Suttons are better at paying their own bills than some other professionals I know of.

At first I thought this had something to do with the long-established firm of Sutton Kersh. This surprised as I have had dealings with them in the past and this did not sound like something they would be involved in. Sure enough, their website here, points out in a home page statement that,
  • Sutton Kersh would like to point out that Sutton Estates is not part of the Sutton kersh Group.....and are not responsible for Sutton Estates actions and wholly disassociates itself from their actions........and prides itself on professionalism and best practice.
Perhaps an indication of the difference in the firms can be seen by comparing sites. On Sutton Estates' own website, they claim to be, Sutton Estates Residential Letting's (sic), a friendly, honest and professional experience.

Next week, those failing to pay their window cleaner will be forced to wear a yellow flannel.

Update:
A poster on the anorak site claims this could just be a piblicity stunt and that the signs were on empty properties. Not been able to check but there was a video on BBC.

QE2 Final Voyage: Liverpool October 2008