BNP Not Racist. My Arse!

Edmund at I Kid You Not via Harry's Place had a valuable expose of some of the bedfellows of BNP members. The party and their apologists continually claim that they are not a racist party. Time after time supporters will say that there is nothing in their official publications that openly incites racial intolerance.

However, when we see what they actually stand for, we see how hateful and prejudiced they are.
They have, over this last few months, decried the lack of freedom of speech whilst preventing it themselves.

Obviously any newspaper or blogger does not necessarily share the views of anyone posting comments. However, the general tone of comments and acceptance thresholds tell us more about both The Daily Mail and the BNP.

As an example, on eyebrow farmer Simon Darby's blog he posts a pretty picture of rural Norfolk.
This leads to a predictable comment from one of his foot soldiers, jao7:

  • Nice brown field site. 'Spect a few thousand homes for the invaders or pikies will be blotting the landscape in due course! Which will mean an end to the local wildlife in due course, to be replaced by ....well 'new wildlife' as it were!.

Global Exclusive

I have on occasions taken the proverbial out of world-shattering stories in newspapers across the globe. Last January I mentioned that our own local paper had headlined the massive scoop that a schoolboy had received a credit card application form.

Now we hear that the financial institutions are tightening their belts as the credit crunch hits. As ever, the Wirral Globe is hot on the trail. An EXCLUSIVE by Carol Emmas is the lead story in the final paper of 2008.


AN UNCLE who wanted to give his niece a new £50 note as a gift was told by “Scrooge” Lloyds TSB to pay a £5 administration charge.

Outrage! Surely this cannot be right?

“I was just about to hand over two twenties and a ten to the gentleman behind the counter, when a senior assis-tant stepped in and said they couldn’t make the exchange without charging a five pound administration fee, and that it was company policy,” said Mr Williams.

“For 15 years I had been away at sea, and now I won’t budge at Christmas as it is very special to me.

“I just wanted to give my niece something nice.

A spokeswoman for Lloyds TSB said: “Because the gentleman was not a customer we had to apply the standard administration charge for money changing.

So well done Carol. Your relatives must be so proud of you getting a front page exclusive, complete with photo of Mr W clutching two twenty pound notes and a tenner. This is what your career was leading up to.It may not be as good as the gig Barry Bragg has writing about the 300+ Michelin starred restaurants in Wirral offering 'generous portions' whilst carrying adjacent adverts, but it's early days.

I particularly like the way the word 'assistant' retains its hyphen in the online version.


The Daily Mail now have this earth-shattering story. Madness.

University Challenge

Watched an enjoyable programme on the history of University Challenge. This looked at the changing face of the concept and students in general over the years, with the class system at the centre.

One of the special editions was a contest between the CBI and the Royal Opera House, which reminded me of the jaw-dropping choices available for patrons wanting tickets on its website. Under 'title', alongside the usual Mr, Mrs, Miss and Dr are Countess, Baron, Deacon, HRH and Rabbi.

Well, if you've been given a title why not use it?

Hippo Chris and the Bouncing Bombsite

Wannabe lawyer and wannabe sectioned Lee Barnes is using the Christmas break to give us a further insight into the BNP mind.

Leaving aside his barking mad diatribes on 9/11, Zionism and his MySpace poetry, he's just placed links on his site to supposed wikilinks of police officers who are members of the Masons.

Oh, and Albert Hurwood, who claims to Hugh Muir of The Guardian that he is not a member of the BNP even though he was apparently on the other leaked list, has linked to a story on the BNP site as part of his reddit use. Now, that doesn't prove anything, but note that he doesn't offer any criticism of his alleged bedfellows. Oh Pinnochio, do you now dwell in Corby?

Hippo Chris and Christmas Messages

Hippo Chris

Some good examples of hypocrisy and downright affrontery this year. From the annual autocue fest of Liz 2 to the usual attempt to shock by Channel 4; from Papal bull to mealy-mouthed Maildom.

Exhibit A
  • "If Christ were on earth today, undoubtedly He would stand with the people in opposition to bullying, ill-tempered and expansionist powers.

    "If Christ were on earth today, undoubtedly He would hoist the banner of justice and love for humanity to oppose warmongers, occupiers, terrorists and bullies the world over.

    "If Christ were on earth today, undoubtedly He would fight against the tyrannical policies of prevailing global economic and political systems, as He did in His lifetime.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran

Where do we start?

Then we have the reason the country comes to a stop on Christmas Day in order to hear from above what our betters think. The speech is as much a British tradition as having a monarch of Germanic stock.
  • "Christmas is a time for celebration, but this year it is a more sombre occasion for many,"

    "Some of those things which could once have been taken for granted suddenly seem less certain and naturally give rise to feelings of insecurity."

As the credit crunch bites there'll be less Bucks Fizz at Buck House so for those affected by this message we'll flash up an onscreen phone number for you to call and donate money for this family in need. Even Prince William has had to cut down on razor blades recently on his sombre Christmas trip to Oz.

Of course, some people feel the Royal family are totally in touch with reality - even if their own grasp of constitutional politics is a bit ropey. Cue Daily Mail Asylum Patients:
  • So why doesn´t Her Majesty dissolve Parliament and get these idiots who caused the problem out of power?

  • If the queen really cared, she would have thrown this Labour give-away lot out years ago.

    Click to rate Rating 3
    - John, A state in Europe., 24/12/2008 6:
A lot of Mail readers are less than complimenary however.
  • And the relevance of HER remarks to ordinary Folk?
    This is infantile- she is wholly insignificant to reality

    Click to rate Rating 6
    - James Bowers, United Kingdom,
The Daily Mail itself also shines out like a beacon of hope:
Message of Hope Among The Gloom. As with the Queen's lecture above, the paper should also carry on-screen links to Careline but every day.
  • As bad economic news floods in from around the world, most of us will be approaching Christmas this year in a more sombre mood than we've become used to over the past 17 years of steady growth.
Sombre? Is Lizzie writing for the Mail? Or Dacre scripting the seasonal soliloquy?

Then it's over to the land of accountancy at the Holy See:

Pope Benedict XVI said, "If people look only to their own interests, our world will certainly fall apart," he told tens of thousands of worshippers gathered in St Peter's Square.

He would be better relaying the message through two glove puppets - Urbi and Orbi for example? Yeh, stop being selfish.
  • "Brothers and sisters, all you who are listening to my words: this proclamation of hope – the heart of the Christmas message – is meant for all men and women."
That's all men and women who don't get mixed up in gender theory and cause untold damage to the rain forests, apparently.
  • But enough, for the moment, of political speculation and economic gloom. Enough of the mighty dread that has seized the nation's troubled mind.
Will the Mail cease publication in the New year? No? Oh well. Carry on.
  • As the angel told the shepherds abiding in the fields, the message we celebrate tomorrow is one of joy and hope for all mankind.
So Happy Christmas, Froehliche Weihnachten, Wesołych Świąt, joyeux Noël, Merii Kurisumasu, З Божым нараджэннем, kala christougenna, Nadolig llawen.

Ye of Little Faith

Yesterday, before our match against Brighton I was moaning about our propensity to concede goals in the last few minutes. Indeed, I've always wanted to see if my non-scientific belief that we would be champions of Europe if football adopted the 80 minutes duration favoured in rugby (there's an obvious flaw I know) has some basis, and Manchester United would be propping up League 2. This is based on us giving away goals that actually result in loss of points in those final minutes, whilst only seeming to score late when we've already made sure of victory (or defeat).

Anyway, I drafted up this:

  • Dear Santa,

    Please can you make sure that Tranmere Rovers players learn to tell the time so that they do not stop before the final whistle and concede late goals. Two injury time goals to knock us out of two cup competitions in the space of a week is not funny.

    We have come to expect these late mishaps over the years, but it would be nice if you could make sure that 2009 sees us leaving the present giving to professionals like yourself, Santa.

    Otherwise we may lose faith and start reading the Santa Delusion.


    A concerned fanatic.
Anyway, despite a dire performance Santa delivered early.

  • After conceding late goals against Peterborough and Scunthorpe to go out of two successive cup competitions, Rovers scored an injury time winner of their own to clinch three League One points.

    Antony Kay's 92nd minute strike earned Rovers the win from a game in which they had carved out plenty of promising opportunities but lacked a telling final ball.

I feel an apology to the fat man in a red suit coming on.

Please Just Take This Video From My Hands

Christmas is that time of the year when people you haven't heard from ages get in touch to share their trials and tribulations. HMV remind us they have a very good selection of choirs and Welsh songbirds warbling Ave Maria taking the space of new talent; Cliff Richard launches his annual ghosts of Christmas Past; the leftover advocaat reminds you that it will be there next year now that Aunt Flo has used her Bingo wings to visit the Mecca in the sky; soap operas plan weddings that can't possibly go wrong and BBC News 24 sets up camp in Oxford Street to bring us the real news in between footage of floods and war.

Now we have previously unseen film of Madeleine McCann released to an eager but wary media, in a drip-drip approach favoured by the estate of Eva Cassidy.

  • Kate and Gerry McCann.......................... have released a new video featuring previously unseen footage of the little girl playing happily with her family before her disappearance.

I know it's a bit iffy having a dig when there is a missing child and Madeleine is not responsible for the media behemoth this story became. Nor is she a willing victim of some of the vitriol bestowed on her parents. However, So what's this latest development all about?
  • In the first recording of her speaking that has been made public, she encourages her brother and sister to copy her gestures, saying: "Clap your hands together and one, two, three."
The soundtrack even uses Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars. The McCanns themselves have decided to take a back seat on this one and let the music, er the video do the talking. As Clarence the Friendly points out,
  • "Kate and Gerry do not wish to say anything further. They feel the video will speak for itself. This message is entirely focused on Madeleine, as it should be at this time of year.
Well, that's clear then. The trouble is I always hear the accompanying song's lyrics as ' If I lie here, if I just lie here, would you lie with me, and just forget the world?'

Flickring Embers Go Lower and Lower

Staying with a photo theme, I was half way through a post on a flame war I was having with a very strange Nazi sympathiser on Flickr, when I came across the Nazi Birthday Cake story. Both the Flickr argument and the cake name item seem to tread a line between laughter and contempt - a line I often walk along when dealing with Richard Barnbrook of the BNP.

The woman on Flickr, Rip_Li , who looks like Steve Irwin, was posting a plethora of images from Auschwitz and Buchenwald with comments making it plain that she supported the deaths at the camps and had a fixation with Nazi regalia. At best the comments ranged from the crass - 'Nazi men are so hot' to vitriolic 'Communists die'.

I know I shouldn't get into arguments with these people but sometimes I can't help having a go.

Her photos were - after a complaint from me - removed from the pool devoted to Auschwitz but the photos - which include pics of the person with snakes, a cat with a '?' on its coat and a Nazi skull - remain on the site. This sets an interesting poser over freedom of expression and speech. The person - who claims Germanic heritage - is not denying the Holocaust but wallowing in it. I referred the matter to the site itself and will be interested in what the stance is. I'm not saying the uploader should be thrown off but I did feel the comments were inappropriate.

One of the flaws of flickr, I feel, is that there is nothing to stop anyone uploading photos which are not their own. Obviously, if copyright is breached then action could be taken but I do feel it is one of the lazier aspects of the site. Horses for courses I suppose, and I'm hardly perfect when it comes to purloining public domain images (ahem).

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, the Campbell family have been expressing a similar freedom. They were not happy with the results in using the popular Baby Name Wizard,

  • 'The perfect baby name will speak to your heart, give your child a great start in life—and maybe even satisfy your uses groundbreaking research and computer generated models
So they decided on uniqueness: they named their son Adolf Hitler Campbell 3 years ago. Now, obviously this little characteristic has been the talk of their town for some time. But the international media has picked up on an interesting development:
  • A local supermarket refused to make a birthday cake with "Adolf Hitler" on it.
Surely, the parents are unaware of the connection with the Austrian guy, or maybe this is post-modern irony?
  • The ShopRite in Greenwich Township has also refused to make a cake bearing the name of Campbell's daughter, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, who turns 2 in February.
I see. Bit of a theme here. Any other kinder?
  • Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, a girl named for Schutzstaffel head Heinrich Himmler, turns 1 in April.
At least when they go to order that one, the shop'll think it's an April Fool jest. Oh you Campbells, you're just like that Mel Brookes.
  • The Campbells said they wanted their children to have unique names and didn't expect the names to cause problems. Despite the cake refusal, the Campbells said they don't expect the names to cause problems later, such as when the children start school.
I blame it on celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Bob Geldof. Maybe it won't cause many problems down the Kindergarten as they play alongside little Benito, Augusto and Nick.
  • The grocer offered to make a cake with enough room for the Campbells to write their own inscription. But the Campbells refused, saying they would have a cake made at the Wal-Mart in Lower Nazareth Township. The Campbells say Wal-Mart made cakes for Adolf's first two birthdays.
Obviously, the townsfolk of Lower Nazareth are a bit vague on historical connotations to names too. Whether the Campbells are that naive is another question. As the article continues:
  • Heath Campbell, who said he has German ancestry and a relative who fought for the SS, took off boots he said were worn by a Nazi solider..............
  • He laid them next to a skull with a swastika on its forehead, the first of dozens of swastikas seen by the Campbells' rare guests.
Hang on. Seems familiar. Let's breach someone's copyright.

Hopefully, after Christmas I'll have something other than Nazis to talk about. I'm getting worse than Channel 5.

2008: A Year in Pictures

As 2008 ticks down, I thought I'd share this collection of photos of world events.

The set is in three parts beginning here. The second part even has a great shot of Liverpool's spider celebrations. When looking at the standard of these professionals, it does make my efforts look a bit poor. So much so that I'm thinking of investing in a Nikon Digital SLR to compliment my happy snappy Olympus.

More Fairy Tales

If proof were ever needed that Richard Littlejohn is the most overpaid, lazy and moronic journalist in the world, then his latest column - as usual thrown together with all the thought and rationale of a Bacardi-drenched reveller choosing an outfit to vomit over - provides us with further evidence.

In another boring attack on political-correctness-gone-mad he regurgitates the old favourite of Christmas being taken away from this once Great nation.

  • a Nativity play in Nottinghamshire cancelled because it clashes with the Muslim festival of Eid.
See how they just keep repeating the lies and it becomes fact. Now, either Littlejohn knows that this story is crap or he knows his readers are so blinkered that they will believe everything he writes.

As I wrote on 4th December (the day after the Mail's story which still stands uncorrected with 58 comments criticising the school or the country) the story is a blatant untruth.

Even the Christian Institute pulled the item shortly after I emailed them; even the Express managed to note that there was a panto postponed rather than any Christian celebration. Last time I looked there was no mention of Cinderella in The Bible so unless Les Dennis has just been made Archbishop of Liverpool, it's a non-issue.

Littlejohn inserts some other examples to pad out his poor effort:
  • Oh, and a pensioner was punched to the ground in Tunbridge Wells for playing carols too loud.
According to the report in the Telegraph, the chap was a long-standing collector for charity and said,'"Nothing like this has ever happened to me before.' That seems to be an isolated incident to me, Dick. Despicable, cowardly, unprovoked and an affront to the majority of right-thinking members of society - and Mr MacDonald's attacker is no better.
  • A woman in Gateshead was ordered by a housing worker to take down fairy lights because they could offend non-Christians.
Yet another story merely plucked from his own paper. I wonder if the journalists involved in the original stories who earn less than the Florida Sunshine Boy are happy at their work being cut and pasted so freely.

Of course, the facts are a little less interesting than he makes out. The original by 'Daily Mail Reporter' (further salt in the wound as they don't even get a name-check)
  • A woman has spoken of how she was told to remove her Christmas lights by a housing association worker - in case they offended her non-Christian neighbours.

    Dorothy Glenn decorates her home in South Shields with hundreds of festive lights every year, including a giant tree and a 4ft Santa Claus.

............which she puts up in the first week of November...........but hey ho.
  • But she was left stunned this year when a South Tyneside Homes worker called at her house to inform her that the decorations she was displaying might be offending her neighbours.
Sounds like a complete jerk. So the official was carrying out official policy then?
  • The association last night apologised to Mrs Glenn and insisted that removing Christmas lights was not part of their policy.
But there must have been complaints right? What does Mrs Glenn say?
  • My neighbours are Bengali and Chinese and I know that they love the lights - the children will always point them out when they walk past.'
  • (she) said she had a close relationship with her neighbours and enjoyed living in a community with people from different backgrounds.
A local councillor joins in,
  • Independent councillor Ahmed Khan, who represents Mrs Glenn's ward, condemned the over-zealous employee's actions.
And that should have been that. Mr Khan says that this type of over-reaction sets back race relations 20 years. He might have added that by highlighting what amounts to the unauthorised actions of one employee in this manner in the national press in a newspaper that openly touts for such fables, the situation is exacerbated. There are 178 comments on the story, ranging from vitriolic attacks on PC madness to bigoted defences of Christianity.

This is how the Mail works. It knows its audience. It knows that not everyone who buys this garbage will share such extreme and entrenched views, but it understands that propaganda can be effective if given through a drip feed approach.

And of course the BNP's Youth wing is still asking members to telephone primary schools it has named to 'ask why the school discriminates against indigenous British people. ' It still has details of Greenwood School in Nottinghamshire despite the school expressing concern about the BNP contacting it.

Schools have enough to contend with without this sort of harassment. We know the Daily Mail is the paper of choice for the BNP. It links to its stories as a matter of course. Vigilante man Albert Hurwood of Navigor also does so.

I hope that schools affected by such blatant, repeated lies will consider complaining to the Press Complaints Commission notwithstanding its toothless status.

Another BNP Clanger

From Simon 'Eyebrow farmer' Darby's blog:

  • I cannot let the week go by without a mention of the sad passing away of Oliver Postgate, the creator of Pogles' Wood, Noggin The Nog, Ivor The Engine, Bagpuss and The Clangers. Like many of you reading this I suspect, such programmes were an instrumental part of my childhood. So much so in fact that owing to the calming and almost hypnotic affect Mr Postgate's voice and characters have upon me, upon hearing a tribute on Radio Four recently, I literally had pull over and stop driving. What a contrast to the violent, degenerate, dehumanising, multicultural, Marxist trash Britain's children are expected to endure nowadays.
That would be the Oliver Postgate who was the grandson of Labour Party leader and campaigner on issues such as nuclear disarmament and climate change. Nice to see that genius can even be appreciated by those with an irony by-pass like Darby.

Obviously, such programmes were not that instrumental in making the man that Darby is today: the hate-filled, slimy bigot we are treated to on a daily basis. Maybe Oliver is having a chuckle today over tributes from people who are not worthy of sharing the same airspace as a clanger's fart.

Hallelujah! The Sex Factor

Tonight sees the announcement of the winner of the X Factor. I'll do my best to avoid the monstrosity but will no doubt find it hard to avoid the result. I comfort myself that it will come in handy for the Pub Quiz at a later stage.

As many people have already pointed out, this year's winner/cash cow will be releasing a version of Leonard Cohen's celebrated 'Hallelujah' to top the Christmas chart. One more reason why Christmas should be banned.

Anyway, some busy people have suggested that if people buy a proper version - Jeff Buckley's haunting rendition for example - that this might make it all better.

The song, for those unfortunate enough to have missed it, has an interesting history. Written by Leonard Cohen (noted for his music-to-slash-your-wrists-to) it has numerous verses in the original format. Add to that the tragic death of Buckley and we have a song graced with legendary status.

What will be interesting is that as the lyrics are overtly sexual, will the BBC 'ban this filth now' or just not explain what 'I remember when I moved in you,' may mean.

My favourite cover is by Buckley but Rufus Wainwright does a good job too. Also, see John Cale and Cohen's own version. The video of Cohen has a choir doing a bad job of hiding behind posts before they enter.

Christmas Not Banned in Liverpool

The White Room

Following on from the news that The Daily Mail is to launch a record label, word reaches the Fish that they are hoping to follow in the footsteps of Tuesday's Guardian by offering Turner Prize style art downloads.

It is understood that the first one is to be in the manner of Keith Tyson's History work, and an exclusive preview example is shown below.
The Mail's free download: 'No Greens, No Blacks, No Reds'

Now That's What I Call Amusing

The Daily Mail is to launch its own record label - perhaps influenced by the BNP's vinyl solution, Great White Records. The Guardian has had some fun over this and some of the suggestions for tracks to be featured (notwithstanding when the tabloids do this sort of thing, it's usually embarrassing) are very good.

So here comes the plagiarism bit:

  1. 'Santa Claus Isn't Coming to Town Because He's Been Banned By Barmy EU Health and Safety Regulations and a Bonkers PC Town Council Who Were Worried He'd Offend an Ethnic Minority Group, Even Though They Had No Such Qualms About Celebrating Eid, the Chinese New Year and Every Other Bloody Foreign Shindig on the Calendar, I Mean For God's Sake Have We Forgotten Whose Country This Is?'.

    (along with the B-side, 'Alright, So He Hasn't Been Banned, a Small Town Council in the West Midlands Just Decided Not To Use The Father Christmas-Shaped Illumination In Their Christmas Lights Display After He Blew Up Last Year, Still, Makes You Wonder What We Fought a War For, Eh?')

  2. Bigot Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell)
  3. Road To Hell (In A Hardcart) (Chris Rea)
  4. It's the End of the World as we Know it (And I Feel Outraged) (REM)
  5. Ebony and Ivory (will never live together in perfect harmony if we have anything to do with it, right lads?) (Macca and Wonder)
  6. Take My Benefits Away (Berlin)
  7. Candle in the Wind (was removed due to bonkers EU Health & Safety legislation) (Elton)
  8. Gimme shelter, but not those bastard asylum seekers (Stones)
  9. Worry! Don't be Happy! (Bobbie McFerrin)
  10. Enoching on Heaven's Door (Dylan)
  11. Oswald Mosley Shoals - Ocean Colour Scene
  12. (send them) Back for good - Hate That
  13. Back to Blackshirts - Amy Whinehouse
  14. Our House (is depreciating in value faster than any other on our street) (Madness)
  15. All I Want For something to moan about
  16. We gotta fight, for our right, to the British National Paaaaaaaaaaaatay! (Beastie Boys)
  17. Ain't No Sunshine (because the political-correctness-gone-mad-EU-fun-police have said we can't have it any more)
  18. Another brick in the (Polish-built) wall (floyd)
  19. Mailman bring me some blues
  20. The Wedding album - Madonna (John and Yoko)
Childish fun but necessary.

BNP Humour By-pass

From the BNP site:

  • Hastings BNP will not back down to intimidation from a self-confessed lying journalist working for the local newspaper, says Nick Prince, BNP organiser.
  • The chief reporter at the Hastings and St Leonards newspaper, Richard Morris, who is the chief culprit behind the anti-democratic harassment campaign, has a lesser known role as an alleged stand-up comic.

    A video of one of his performances, which can be found on You Tube, contains some interesting remarks about himself and his profession.

    His opening crack is of particular importance: “I am a journalist… [hisses and boos] … I expected I’d get that so I was toying with the idea of telling you I was a sex offender, thinking I’d get a slightly warmer reaction. But I do believe honesty is the best policy — except at work of course.”

Not that the BNP or its paper of choice The Mail would be less than honest.

Here's one from a Christmas cracker. what's the difference between the humourless BNP and the miserable Daily Mail? Not a lot it would seem.

I Don't Know Much About Art But...........................

The Guardian invited 5000 people to download an original artwork of Turner Prize winner Keith Tyson. The work is based on his History set and depicts random configurations of the colours seen on a roulette wheel.

  • History Paintings

    Each of the paintings in this series consists of 49 identical strips, coloured with red, green or black aluminium powder, depending on what the roulette wheel instructed Tyson to paint. Three large-scale works are named after cities with famous casinos, together with momentous years of social upheaval in their history (e.g. St Petersburg 1905), while 12 smaller calendar works are named after locations of casinos together with a month of the year.

I managed to download one as a pdf file which has been converted to jpg with free software hence the watermark. Not seen any on eBay yet!

Official site here.


It has reached eBay!

[As the eBay seller has created an account for this very purpose, one wonders how serious this is......or whether this is all a publicity stunt. Good fun though.]

FLICKR group here.

Project proposed on the Guardian Blog:
  • We hope to create crowd sourced internet art with the community of winners that we can gift back to Keith Tyson. There is nothing sinister behind our intentions.

    I recently completed my Masters with the University of Arts London; my thesis was on Internet art and the phenomenon of crowdsourcing. I am really passionate about this area, and was inspired to create something with this community. I'm sorry if it seems vague, it is a little, as we only just started working on it. The people that have got in touch are just happy as I am to be a winner, and I think would like to be involved in a collaborative internet art project in this spirit.

    Just to assure you we will not do anything with peoples personal details; we are very aware of data protection. We are not associated with Keith Tyson, just fans of his History Paintings project and keen to foster a community to create some collaborative art.

    Best wishes,

Not Just Emily

Another sad one. Yesterday we thought about John Lennon in 1980. Today, we learn that the creator of such classic children's TV as Ivor The Engine, The Clangers, Noggin The Nog and Bagpuss, Oliver Postgate, has died aged 83.

I mentioned Bagpuss less than two months ago in a post here.

The Guardian has some more links to Youtube videos of Postgate's legacy here.

It is easy to get sentimental in such circumstances but a simple goodbye and thank you seems the very least we can say to a man who defined a huge portion of childhood for many of us.

Dial 'M' for Murder

Interesting, if somewhat disturbing news reaches us from Barking and Dagenham, home to Richard Barnbrook and 12 BNP councillors. Homicide and Telephone Threats no less. Cancel all police leave. CSI:Dagenham.

Not only has Richard attracted the attention of the Greater London Assembly Standards sub-Committee but he's been gagged. 'Richard Barnbrook investigated over murder claims', screams the B & D Post. Calm down. He's not been carrying out a form of ethnic cleansing. Apparently, he's made some claims that are a bit suspect.

  • Richard Barnbrook, the BNP's only London assembly member, is under investigation after being accused of wrongly alleging that three murders took place in the borough.

    Mr Barnbrook, who is GLA member for Barking and Dagenham, claimed in September that a girl and two others were murdered in knife attacks.
The great thing about this elected clown is that he oftens makes ludicrous claims on his Telegraph blog about how he always wins debates with Mayor Boris Johnson only to have them shot down in flames by people who have access to video evidence. I mean I could claim to have scored the winner for Tranmere against Leeds on Saturday but unfortunately for my Walter Mitty moment, there is the small matter of Ian Moore's belter appearing on TV highlights and then Youtube.

Likewise, our hero, RB is a also a great fan of technology:
  • He made the claims on Youtube website, accusing London Mayor, Boris Johnson and councils of failing to do more to tackle knife crime.
  • GLA's standards sub-committee referred the allegation for further investigation after viewing the broadcast last month.
Well, well, well.
  • Mr Barnbrook said in the Youtube video in September: "In Barking and Dagenham three weeks ago there was murder of a young girl.

    "Again two weeks ago there was another attack by knives on the streets of Barking and Dagenham and two people were murdered."

    Mr Barnbrook has been advised to make no comment while the investigation is underway.

Fellow Dagenham BNP guy, Bob Bailey is also in the local paper over the leaked list of BNP members.
  • Cllr Robert Bailey, leader of the opposition group on Barking and Dagenham Council, said he had received abusive calls since the list was posted.

    He said: "I think it's absolutely terrible that this list has been put in the public domain by somebody who has acted illegally.

    "I have had abusive phone calls from people threatening to follow me around and attack my house.
Quite right too. After all without the leaked list there would be no way of contacting Bob apart from at his surgery (1st Thursday of the month) or via his council website which helpfully details his address, telephone number and email address alongside his fellow BNP councillors.

Mad About The Girl

Well done Madonna. Let's hope the Mail On Sunday is forced to pay the full £5 million. I'd put up a picture of her but in the circumstances...........

  • Singer Madonna is claiming more than £5m in damages after the Mail on Sunday published private photographs of her wedding to film director Guy Ritchie.

    A high court judge today heard that pictures of the "wholly private" event at Skibo Castle in the Scottish Highlands on December 22 2000 were copied "surreptitiously" by an interior designer during work at Madonna's home in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.

  • "Whilst the claimant was having interior work done on her home in Beverly Hills, one of the interior designers, Robert Joseph Wilber, surreptitiously gained access to the photograph album and copied at least 26 photographs."
  • the photos published in the newspaper were cropped so the fact that they were "photographs of photographs" was hidden from readers.

    "Readers were told nothing about the grubby way the photographs had essentially been stolen from the claimant's home and purchased by the Mail on Sunday from Robinson," [Madonna's counsel] Nicklin added.

  • The judge entered judgment in Madonna's favour on the issue of liability today.

    Further proceedings to assess the damages to be paid are expected to be heard at the high court next year.

The Guardian

Christian Institute - Charity Not Clarity

Following on from the inaccurate article in The Mail about Greenwood Junior School in Nottinghamshire NOT putting Eid before the Nativity, comes evidence that the story has done its job.

Apart from the odious BNP smear merchants, the misrepresentation of the school's position has made it to a website for residents of Qatar and has also made it onto the site of Daily Mail favourites The Christian Institute. Its head honcho, Colin Hart successfully challenged google over Pro-life adverts and spoke on behalf of the police officer sacked for sending emails relating to the 'curing' of homosexuals.

It's at this time of the year when we think of others and with charity giving set to drop during the recession, it's perhaps helpful to see what contributors to Mr Hart's outfit can expect for their direct debits. According to the Charity Commission, the Institute posted revenue receipts in excess of £1 million in 2007. Their ethos is described thus:

  • The Christian Institute exists for "the furtherance and promotion of the Christian religion in the United Kingdom" and "the advancement of education".
In 2001 the Charity Commissioners criticised the charity for its political lobbying over the proposed repeal of Clause 28. The Guardian reported,
  • "The Charity Commission has criticised the right-wing religious pressure group behind the (Lady Young's) campaign against the repeal of Clause 28 for breaching the terms of its charitable status. It has ordered the Christian Institute to change its subtitle, 'influencing public policy', and accused it of engaging in politics. The Newcastle-based charity, supported by hardline Christian evangelicals, lobbied hard to support Lady Young's campaign in the House of Lords to defeat government attempts to repeal Clause 28, intended to prevent 'promotion' of homosexuality in schools and by local authorities."
Then there was the Civil partnerships issue.
Conservative MP John Bercow also criticised the CI in the House of Commons debate on an amendment to the Civil Partnerships Bill. From Hansard:
  • Mr. Bercow: Given that the approximate £20,000 cost of that full-page advertisement on page 31 of The Times by the Christian Institute would have sufficed to feed approximately 5,000 people in Sudan for up to a month, does the hon. Gentleman share my astonishment that a supposedly charitable institution should choose to deploy its resources in that way?
This followed a full-page advert in The Times supporting the amendment to allow siblings living together to be included in the proposed Bill. His concern was shared across the chamber by Alistair Carmichael:
  • Mr. Carmichael: It is about tax benefits for charities. That is what concerns me, which is why the Government should look at the conduct of the Christian Institute.
The nativity story on the Institute's site is lifted from the Mail's story and indeed, the accompanying photo of the nativity is the same one.

[UPDATE: 18:40 - link no longer works and article appears to have been removed from the site. A start but of course the flock will have already digested the contaminated feed and have not had a correction]

Whilst there is nothing to stop charities from having a political aspect to their campaigning they are expected to be reasonable and balanced. Clearly, the CI's publications cast doubt on that premise.

The CI seem to be little more than another Migrationwatch or Taxpayers' Alliance - self-appointed pressure groups which (unlike Hart's brotherhood) do not have charitable status.

Now, obviously mistakes can be made. Now that it is apparent that the Mail's story was wide of the mark, and extremists like the BNP continue to use the lie to promote disharmony, one would have thought that a Christian group would be willing to put things right and clarify matters.

I emailed the organization last week but despite a follow up, I did not receive the courtesy of a reply or acknowledgement. Of course, they could be busy doing God's work, but I note that they did have time to post another 'topical' article today - on Christian words being dropped from the Oxford Dictionary - to compliment its publishing of the Oxford Lights Festival non-story.

Do we really need to give charitable status to a body that just regurgitates stories from the Mail and Telegraph? Next thing we'll be doing the same for BNP-list man, Albert Hurwood's National Vigilante crazies.

Remembering John

Gathering Nuts in December

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the toy store, the sane and rational people behind the MAMA campaign (Moms Ask Mattel for Accountability) have taken the fight against Islam to new heights.

Remember the doll that didn't say 'Islam is the light'? The one that caused The Sun to have a stroke?The one that caused yours truly to write a column in the Owasso Reporter in Oklahoma? Of course you do. But, - a reader shouts - surely we've all moved on from this silly season story? Oh no. Take a bow MAMA.

As they say on the terraces, who are you?

  • Moms Ask Mattel for Accountability - MAMA -is a public education effort by concerned families to protect children from being invited to join Islam, without their parents’ knowledge or permission
Pleased to meet you, MAMA. So, you've heard about the doll then?
  • Mattel, the largest toy maker in the world, is still selling a toy that says “Islam is the Light”
So, what's your solution to this crime against humanity?
  • Truth-in-advertising for this toy is of material importance to the post-9/11 consumer, especially to the post 9/11 parent who purchases a toy in absence of any warning that the toy advocates Islam to young children.
I see. So, if granny buys this devil doll for little Britney she'll grow up wanting to blow up people? Or maybe she'll just join the US army where you get to learn to land planes as well.

Disturbingly, Mattel are apparently in on the indoctrination.
  • “Chris Schaden, senior vice president of sales at Mattel, said last month the company did a thorough investigation and found that, ‘if told to listen for a particular phrase, you may hear something similar due to the power of suggestion.’”
Ah, Harry Hill's POS strikes again. What are the chances? (anyone outside the UK won't get this).

Even worse, Mattel, it is claimed, posted a different sound file on its website.

MAMA were not to be fobbed off. They used computer and audio experts to slow down the audio so that a definitive, remixed version could be produced. Whether this will be released on itunes is another matter.

Here, Randall Rathbun, the aliteratively named hero of the movement, picks up the gauntlet like a knight on his way to the crusades:
  • I slowed the whole recording down to the following 3 ranges: a man’s voice, a woman’s voice and a child’s voice.

    I then listened carefully, playing each several times for subtle
    nuances. The child’s voice wasn’t quite right, there was too much
    articulation for a normal child to master. The man’s voice didn’t
    sound right, the timbre quality or resonances did not fit or sound
    right, but when I played the woman’s voice the first time, it was an
    uncanny match.

  • I used the Windows version of Audacity Sound Editor to slow the speed from 44.1K to 31K and convert the file from mp3 to a wav file….
Slow down, Randy, you mean it won't work on a Mac?

Now, I'm losing the will to live so I can't be bothered to give these zealots any more space. I'm no apologist for any fundamentalist extremism whether it be Jihadists or the MAMAs from Hell.

Under the Greenwood Christmas/Eid Tree

That Hardy annual, 'Christmas-is-Banned-even-though-it's-not' story emerges from the Daily Mail. Don't look so surprised. Yet another school is forced to issue a statement refuting the basis of the original article. Not that it'll be much use; it will pass into the annals of myth-as-fact.

The DM headline is Primary School Cancels Nativity Because It Interferes With Muslim Festival of Eid.

As Mail readers need a bit more coaxing, there's even a lovely picture of a traditional nativity scene. So, what's the score?

  • A primary school infuriated parents after cancelling the traditional Christmas nativity play to make way for the Muslim festival of Eid.
Traditional........nativity...............Christmas...............Muslim.................cue frothing readership.
  • Is this the thin end of the wedge ? They will be banning all Christian activities next, just wat and see.
    This is Britain ( no longer Great ), BUT still our country.

  • We live in a christian society, why have we yet again had to bow down to the minority and suspend the Nativity until after the CHRISTMAS PERIOD, what is the point in that. The political correctness in this country has now gone way too far and something should be done about it

    - Sam McCormick, Denton, Manchester,
Now, it's tempting to be charitable to these people. After all, they're only commenting on what they have read. But, what exactly have they been given? Aside from the headline and opening sentence, where is the evidence?
  • In a letter, sent by the staff at Greenwood Junior School, mothers and fathers were told: 'It is with much regret that we have had to cancel this year's Christmas performances.
So, it must be a nativity performance then? With Christian connotations? Three Wise Men, donkey, wobbly scenery, angels, shepherds washing their socks etc?
  • Why do we have this sort of thing repeated year after year? Wouldn't it be much easier for all concerned to abandon our long-held traditions and hand over the country to whoever wants it. That's obviously what's going to happen eventually anyway so why don't we just get on with it? Then we won't have this silly Christmas thing interfering with other, apparently more important, beliefs.

Let's be Frank. No, let's not. I agree that we shouldn't have this repeated every year, but it will be whilst this despicable excuse of a newspaper gets away with twisting the truth to lie to its readers. Frank then goes into a sulk and sounds like a child that's just been told he is to be a cloud in the nativity whilst his nemesis is to play Joseph. Sound familiar, Frank?

Of course, the truth, as Mulder and Scully would say, is out there. Oh yes it is!
  • A school has had to defend itself against claims that it rescheduled its Christmas show to make way for Eid.

    Greenwood Junior School, in Nottingham, told pupils' families that the pantomime would be held in January because of a "full calendar of events" this month.

    It said the move was in keeping with the tradition of pantos in the New Year.
We see now that the Christmas performance was in fact that well-known religious extravaganza, Cinderella. Unlike this panto, Chris Johnson's scoop is all balls!

Chris must be so proud. So many Mailites queuing up to agree how terrible this decision is, suckered in by his lies. I hope your family google you Chris and see this blog showing what a worthless journo you are.

Even The Daily Express - although still having a dig at Muslims for the cancellation- managed to get the Cinderella part right.
  • A SCHOOL’S traditional Christmas pantomime was scrapped to make way for the Muslim festival of Eid, it emerged yesterday.
There does seem to have been a slight administrative error in that it might have been expected for a multi-faith school like this one to know the dates of the Eid festival (which varies a bit like Easter) but we can all have hindsight. The school also seem to suggest that it was not a concrete date anyhow.

The worrying aspect is that the school has been forced onto the back foot and needed to issue a second letter. From the Press Association:
  • In a statement, the school said it planned to stage Cinderella on January 28 and 29.

    It said: "The date of the pantomime was only set recently, once we were confident that pupils and staff would be fully prepared.

    "Because of this, and the full calendar of events happening in the lead-up to Christmas, we were unable to fit it into the schedule.

    "In order to avoid any disappointment, a letter was sent out to parents advising that a performance would not take place in December."

    The "full calendar" comprised a range of events, including a Christmas carol concert and Eid celebrations, a Nottingham City Council spokeswoman said.

So, here we go again. The Mail has not issued an update to this to clarify matters because that would have involved a grovelling admission of fault.

The Mail also knew about the second letter:
  • Yesterday, a statement issued by the school said: 'We would like to apologise for any confusion caused as a result of [the original] letter we sent out and would like to reassure parents and the community that Christmas has not been cancelled at Greenwood Junior School.
The Mail knows quite well that for all its readership's mocking of education standards, its army of admirers tend to read bold type only. This makes this article doubly deceitful.

As I mentioned in my criticism of The Liverpool Echo over the Santa story, I would have thought it appropriate to contact the subject at the centre of the story before letting rip. That would have ruined the headline, of course. The Mail could still have had a thinly-veiled attack on Muslims like The Express, but it wouldn't have enabled them to imply the banning of not only a seasonal tradition but a Christian one at that.

I hope the Governors and Head of Greenwood Junior School make an official complaint to the Press Complaints Commission. Whilst not much will happen, it's important that such sham journalism designed to create intolerance as much as the BNP, is officially recognised.

Merry Xmas and Eid Mubarak. I hope the children enjoy all the festivities in December and January.


I should have predicted that the odious BNP would make something of this. They refer to the story and chillingly ask:
  • Does your child attend ‘The School that Cancelled Christmas?’ Did you receive the Scrooge letter? Please contact the BNP National Enquiry Line and we will do everything we can to help you fight for your children’s British culture and heritage.
The Youth BNP site also asks people to contact the school and provides names, address and telephone and fax number (admittedly in the public domain). It says,
  • Please be polite, and ask why the school discriminates against indigenous British people. We would also urge local parents to put on their own Nativity play, or attend one nearby
As I said before Chris Johnson and the other vile journos must be very proud. On the one hand writing for papers that publicly distance themselves from the BNP; with the other hand reaching out and providing alms.

When the school receives an avalanche of protests from fascist morons, I hope you can all sleep at night!

Freedom Of The Press and Responsibility

The Liverpool Daily Post and Echo group has recently announced that it is moving its printing presses to Oldham and that - in line with a number of media organizations - making journalists and staff redundant.

Hopefully, its investigative journalism integrity will not be in question. Take this story today:

Good start. Festive pun, albeit a lame one which the average four year old child would remember from last year's Christmas cracker. Story by Michelle Fiddler. No puns available here.
  • A FATHER Christmas today told how he was sacked from a city centre grotto after details of his teenage criminal record came to light.
Well, that's good then. We wouldn't want our children sitting on a criminal's knee.
  • Christopher Power had been working at the Liverpool One grotto for two weeks when he received a telephone call to say he was being axed from the £8-an-hour job
So far, so good. Bang to rights. Won't someone think of the children. Tell us more.
  • The call came 48 hours after the ECHO contacted Liverpool One and Mr Power’s employers Great Grottos.
Oh, so it was The Echo wot done him! Bravo! Do not pass go; do not collect £8 per hour.
  • Mr Power, 40, said his criminal record, which dated back more than 20 years, related to minor offences when a juvenile.

    He declared his convictions before getting the job, even though under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 he was not legally obliged to do so.

Mr Power is a jobbing actor and has managed to turn his life around. He has also written a book about this. He spoke to local radio today about this and told the interviewer that he intended to take matters further.

The Liverpool One management and sub-contractors have not been clear over who made the actal decision, and on what basis.
  • A Liverpool One spokeswoman said: “Liverpool One contracted a professional company to employ staff for the grotto.

    “They received two calls – one in person – last Wednesday to alert them to the fact that one of the Santa Claus workers had a criminal record.

    “Based on this information a request was then made to Great Grottos that if this was the case it was preferable for the man not to continue in this role rather than cause further public concern.”

The Echo claim that the company was contacted by someone (other than themselves) and the decision was then made. However, I'm troubled by the Echo's part in this.

They state at the end of the article that,
  • The ECHO contacted Mr Power’s employers – as a matter of public interest – after being informed he had a criminal record.

    After speaking to a Liverpool One representative we were satisfied the criminal record dated back to Mr Power’s teenage years and the convictions were “spent”.

    We therefore made the decision not to pursue the story.

Fine. But my concern over this is that the Echo could have contacted Mr. Power first and allowed him to explain the situation. It may well be that the decision would have been made in any case because of the other tip-off the company received. Did the Echo know of this? The article does not make it clear.

Mr Power has his photo in the Echo so may have been happy to use the opportunity to set the record straight as the matter was likely to be in the public domain. Whether he should be happy with the role and behaviour of the newspaper is another matter.

World Migration Report

The latest study from the International Organization For Migration has been released. I'll have a more detailed look later, but some interesting snippets that we may not see as headlines in the Daily Mail or as soundbites from Migrationwatch. How often we hear people saying how full we are, how we're a small island and how we are the soft touch. There's nothing new in my initial thoughts but it's worth repeating to counter-balance the doom merchants and bigots.

The report bases itself on figures from 2005, which, in my opinion gives it greater weight than say a report claiming to be more current.

  • Germany, host to 10.1 million migrants in 2005, is the principal country of destination,[in Western Europe] followed by France (6.5 million), the U.K. (5.4 million), Spain (4.8 million) and Italy (2.5 million).
Using figures from Wikipedia, and allowing for disputes over the complete accuracy of the data, we can see that, as never advertised in the likes of the Mail, sun and Express, Germany has almost double the amount of migrants as this country whilst only having a population of around 82 million compared to about 60.5 million UK inhabitants.Moreover, France, often seen as having the upper hand in EU matters posts a higher figure than us with only a slight difference in population (64.4 million).
  • The ten countries reviewed.......... all show positive rates of growth in the stock of migrants from 2000 to 2005, with Spain and Italy recording the most important increases of 194.2 per cent, or 3.1 million migrants, and 54.1 per cent, or 884,000 migrants, respectively.
This compares the situation in 2005 with 2000. It may well be argued that Italy was due an increase, starting as it did from a low base, but whilst statistics are not the be all and end all of the debate, they are interesting nonetheless.

Of course, as recent studies have shown the position is subject to change as economic factors kick in - as seen with the recent return of Eastern Europeans such as Poles to their homelands as the weak pound and increased costs hit hard.

the fact remains though that the population of Europe is ageing. This fact is often glossed over, or used by the right-wing to incite panic over changing culture due to higher birth rates among non-white ethnic groups. The study finds - allowing for the fact that it covers other non-EU states - that there will continue to be a source of labour in the developing nations and,
  • In the absence of international migration, population in developed countries
    aged 20-64 may be expected to decline by 23% from 741 million to 571 million by 2050.
As I said, this report invites further study.

The Mail did come up with an immigration story yesterday, but this was merely another of its 'fear' pieces about another Sangatte:

An Extraordinary Rendition

Condoleezza Rice plays Brahms for royal audience

The US secretary of state treated the Queen to a piano recital at Buckingham Palace as a farewell gesture before Bush's administration leaves office next month

Driving Me Crazy

A quick example of the Mail's agenda.

Start with a headline. What can we come up with? I know:

Muslim Peer Banned From Driving After Sending Text Message Moments Before Fatal Crash

This becomes,

Labour Peer Banned From Driving After Sending Text Message Moments Before Fatal Crash once you click on the link.

Still sounds bad though. A Muslim and Labour Peer causing a death because he was texting instead of concentrating on the road. Well, actually, even the story itself puts out the incendiary device pretty early.
  • Labour peer Lord Ahmed has been banned from driving after he sent a string of text messages shortly before his car hit and killed another driver.
Moments = shortly. Tell me more.
  • The 51-year-old sent the last text about two minutes before his Jaguar saloon ploughed into the vehicle which had hit the central reservation of the M1.
Moments = shortly = 2 minutes. Still, he sounds guilty as sin. I bet the court threw the book at him.
  • Prosecutor David Scutt said he exchanged at least five texts with a journalist while going at around 60mph.

    But, he added, although texting while driving is an offence this had no bearing on the collision which killed Mr Gombar, of Leigh, Lancashire.
Yes, but he was texting! If he hadn't been giving less than 100% focus minutes before, surely the accident would have been avoided? Bloody mobiles: they must have had some impact?
  • Driver Martyn Gombar, 28, had escaped, leaving his Audi A4 without lights and blocking two lanes, but died when he went back to get his mobile phone.
See? I was right about the danger of using mobiles on the motorway. Any more information?
  • Police said the road was pitch-black and drivers could not see the Audi until the last second.
Well, at least the average Mail commentator will have read all of this and treat the matter rationally and sympathetically. Right?
  • Will this person face the full fury of the media and the law???
    I doubt it..
    Nu labours two tier britain.
    He is Untouchable..and will walk away laughing at all of us.

    Click to rate Rating 20
    - mr Blonde, NEWCASTLE UK, 1/12/2008
Mr Blonde does not realise that there is no 'e' in the male version and does not understand the irony of saying this below a full fury Mail story.
  • Why hasn't he gone to prison???

    Click to rate Rating 19
    - John Law, Barnsley UK, 1/12/2008
  • I trust every solicitor in the country will take this case as precedent to kill people (stopped in the outside lane) whilst driving and texting.

    Click to rate Rating 12
I trust Tim will one day realise what a load of batshit his comment is. But his is not the worst interpretation of the law.
  • i always thought if you caused an accident and someone had died because of your actions -that is murder then the judge brings it down to a slightly lesser crime. however to say you will have to live with it is very easy much easier than the person or family. it's like rubbing salt into a wound. he was suppose to be in a job of responcibility then he should loose his job like others would and privatly sued . this is not justice or have we3 a two tier justice now!

    Click to rate Rating 11
  • There have been a good few people given custodial sentences for causing death by dangerous whilst using their mobiles behind the wheel and at lower speeds.

    Surely this landmark case (no sentence for death by dangerous driving) would allow them to appeal and be released?

    What a mess the law in this country has become.

    I guess though, if he were a Tory peer like Lord Archer, he might be facing a different punishment.

    Click to rate Rating 10
Not one comment pointing out the facts of the story. The Mail shrugs and says it duly published the salient aspects of the case and it's not its fault that the readers it is happy to have representing it are thick as big muck and hate Muslims and Labour. Job Done.