Madam Thatcher

As we approach the 30th anniversary of Margaret Hilda Thatcher winning the May 3rd election, perhaps the greatest comment on the years of Tory rule comes from the man raised in Birkenhead (and who was once quoted as saying his greatest sorrow was listening to Tranmere's defeat on penalties to Aston Villa in the League Cup semi). The song begins about 4.06 minutes in.


It struck me the other day whilst watching countless parents drinking Blue WKDs in Wetherspoons whilst their rugrats careered around the pub that the brewery industry is missing a trick here. After driving away traditional drinkers by concentrating on expensive bottles of garish concoctions of juice and spirits, they now need a new market. Might I suggest - for a small consultation fee - the introduction of a new brand in conjunction with the pharmaceutical industry: Calpolpops.

Black And White

An interesting piece of information comes from the Radio Merseyside phone-in. As we know, whenever the fact that the BNP does not allow black or Asian people to be members is raised, they counter with the mantra that there are groups like the Black Police Association. Whilst this has long been dismissed as a dishonest comparison - the BPA is a pressure group rather than a political party seeking to gain power - it was fascinating to learn that 40% of the membership of the Merseyside BPA is white. As the MBPA site states:

  • Membership is open to all police officers and police staff of any rank and grade, irrespective of ethnic origin.
Now before the BNP trolls come on, I'm aware that associate membership is open to white officers and staff rather than full membership, but this still provides an illuminating insight into how the BNP seek to use flawed arguments to justify their racist constitution.

Sunny Side Up

As The Mail becomes more and more rabid (even by its own standards) Sunny at Liberal Conspiracy has an open letter to editor Dacre, which is worth posting in full, after a particularly nasty anti-immigration scare story from recycling experts, Messrs Slack and Doughty, complete with rentaquote moans from the Two Greenies*:

  • Dear Mr Dacre,

    I was disappointed to read reported in today’s Daily Mail that the newspaper regards it as a mistake to consider that the children or grandchildren of immigrants are British, but rather would classify us as “second or third generation immigrants”.

    although the figures from the Government’s Office for National Statistics show an increase in numbers of foreign born people they still fail to record the true impact of immigration because they record their children as British rather than second or third generation immigrants.

    I hope that your proposed reclassification of Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry as not British, as second and third generation immigrants descended from the foreign-born Phillip, will not distress them too much.

    But it does seem most ungrateful, when Winston Churchill was voted ‘greatest Briton’, to now strip him of that status because he had an American mother. (However strongly your newspaper disagreed with Churchill’s criticisms of appeasement in the 1930s, isn’t it now time to let bygones be bygones?)

    Perhaps you could let us know who the Daily Mail thinks is truly British. I can see you probably think it is too late for my children - as “third generation immigrants”, currently aged under 3 - but perhaps there might be a tip or two they could pass on to their descendants.

    So, given our shared interests in integration and citizenship, it would be terribly kind if you might let us know whether there is anything that those of us who were born here as British citizens could ever do so as to become British in your eyes.

    Yours sincerely,

    Sunder Katwala

Quality. Which cannot be said for some of the BNP-type comments on the Mail story:
  • The figures presumably are an accurate count which means they are possibly out by at least 20%.The true cost of immigration has never been admitted to all we heard was how they were enhancing our economy and a multi cultural society was good for us. The facts are different as the untold damage that has been done by this mindless group of politicians will only be put right when the BNP take over so what a legacy from successive governments over the past 60 years. I hope you are satisfied that you have nearly destroyed what this country once was. I have never been asked about immigration and I would not have supported this madness as millions of my fellow indigenous citizens would agree as this is a small island and it is over populated.

    Click to rate Rating PLUS 150
This goon believes that nearly a third are immigrants and that the BNP are the only solution.
  • If I ask questions about the multicultural policies forced on us by NL does that make me a racist? Well I will ask anyway.
    It is stated that 1 in 9 of the population were born overseas. What is the ratio when you count the number of total ethnic "minoritiy" population?

    Click to rate Rating 126
Wouldn't you just love to perform DNA tests on Al to see how racially pure he really is. Not that he's a racist.Oh no! Fortunately up steps Peter Brant to land a killer blow:
  • Alan, Middlesbrough North Yorks, -

    What does that have to do with anything? Here's the thing. Someone born in this country is British. End of. You do not have "degrees of Britishness". They are as British as you or I.

    Click to rate Rating 481
    - Peter Brant, Worthing, 24/2/2009 15:1

[*Andrew Green of Migrationwatch and Damian Green, Shadow 'We're Full Up' Minister]

UPDATE: Sunder had an edited version of his letter published in the bird cage version of the Mail on 4th March and Associated Newspapers visited this site on the same day after googling for Doughty and Slack.

Shot Down in Flames

Top marks for the eagle-eyed Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells over at Mailwatch for noting that the BNP has scored yet another own goal with its European Election campaign poster. Apparently, the pictured spitfire plane is a Polish one! It's hard to make out but there is Polish insignia near the front of the plane.

More information can be found here.
  • I cannot say how proud I am to have been privileged to help form and lead No. 303 squadron and later to lead such a magnificent fighting force as the Polish Wing. There formed within me in those days an admiration, respect and genuine affection for these really remarkable men which I have never lost. I formed friendship that are as firm as they were those twenty-five years ago and this I find most gratifying. We who were privileged to fly and fight with them will never forget and Britain must never forget how much she owes to the loyalty indomitable spirit and sacrifice of those Polish fliers. They were our staunchest Allies in our darkest days; may they always be remembered as such!

    Group Captain John A. Kent DFC, AFC, Virtuti Militari.

M62 Sojourn

As newly (self) appointed Cultural Attache (well, I'm often called a case) for Merseyside, I visited the hometown of Manchester City yesterday. I had a swift stroll around Chinatown and Piccadilly. Obviously a few pub stops were inevitable, one of which led to an encounter with a guy from New Jersey with his Nikon D700 dwarfing my new baby D40. The poor chap had never been to Liverpool on his trips into England so hopefully that will change soon.

One thing that struck me was the cultural diversity and integation in the city. Of course if the odious BNP had their way, such people and relationships would be banned.

Anyway, details of most of the pubs can be found on this site.

So, some pics (including a couple taken in Liverpool on the way home.

Mersey Pool of Hate

My comment on the local BNP site got deleted as the purveyors of hate don't want the followers to read criticism. So much for democracy and freedom of speech under the BNP. What is of more interest is the standard of comment that does get published on their site of shame.

  • When they think you can be destoyed with impunity via the Stinky Phillips propaganda show they bring on air a meek and mild Granny with one tit having to have the other removed to cancer saying saying how she was treated by a wonderful Asian doctor!! Too much information? Nah This old self confessed lifelong communist/socialist granny by the name of Olive from Huyton is there to do a repeat perfomance that she has done many times over the years on Radio Merseyside, Pete Price Talk in-show, Talk Sport Radio and more.'Stinky' Phillips was well aware of her established act, this poor old grannys there to get the sympathy vote. This would be Rosa Luxembourge whines as she praises the multi racial cess pit she has worked all her life to bring on us. Between the weak whispers of greatfullness to the Asians and Blacks for manning whats left of the the NHS without explaining what has happened to the white doctors and nurses. She then labelled the potential voter for BNP - a Nazi, facist, anti- capitalist and a Hitler lover. These are strong political overtones from a old sweet, meek mild old granny. It came as no surprise to some, they have heard this act before, not only from dear old Olive but from others on many occasions. It would not be a surprise to find out 'stinky' Phillips engineered the whole thing as he and others are familiar with her act. It is a well established con job by communists/socialists a method used by them many times to win sympathy over there opposition. 'Stinky' Phillips also said that he had no idea that Jack Straw, David Blunkett and Co. had been and probably still are Marxist's. He then accused the would be BNP voter of being a liar.
    So much for the freedom of speech!!
The last sentence is today's winner of the Irony Oscar.

A New Shame at The Mail

Another day, another BNP story I'm afraid. If the Daily Mail is not totally ashamed of itself then there is no hope.

Normally the online readers of the Melanie Phillips column are very supportive of her views so it may come as a bit of a surprise for Mel, who is Jewish, to see what her fanbase is saying.

The article itself is no great shakes but it is headlined as 'The Odious BNP is only gaining ground because voters feel so betrayed'.

The comments are - even by Mail monkey standards - alarming. All ratings from fellow readers are in green and are voted up (apart from the very last one).

  • Do you seriously consider the BNP to be a worse choice than the lying, cheating labour rabble.

    Click to rate Rating 310
Says the man from Bush's state.
  • The BNP are the only party standing for Britain and British people.
    The labour and the tories have sold our country out..
    Where is our Referendum.
    Where are our Freedoms...

    Click to rate Rating 257
  • It should not be any surprise when you have arrogant out of touch politicians all with their greedy snouts in the trough the voters will turn to the BNP as a protest vote. Every man/woman in the street can see Britain has lost control of it's borders and immigration is rampant. Why do politicians not see this simple fact
    Click to rate Rating 181
Good to see democracy and free speech alive and kicking in the UAE.
  • Its in response to 60 years of the British people being ignored by parties of all flavours. Events such as the Notting Hill riots showed the British people did not wan't large scale immigration but they were ignored. Labour has elevated immigration, both legal and illegal to a new level. Voters see scandels such as Abu Quatar costing millions when taxpayers can't get anti cancer drugs and they feel very bitter.
    Click to rate Rating 190
  • Lets hope the BNP get lots of votes next time time for a change.

    Click to rate Rating 166
  • I'd only return to UK if BNP were in power!

    Click to rate Rating 135
Unbelievable! Over a hundred people think this makes sense. A man in Romania supporting a putative government which would deport Romanians and in particular Roma.
  • "nine-month suspended prison sentence in 1998 for inciting racial hatred by suggesting the Holocaust was a hoax invented by the Jews to make money."

    I thought Holocaust denial was legal in this country?

    I don't deny it happened, however, I will defend the right of anyone to claim that it didn't.

    It's called 'free speech' and is something that we lost a long time ago.

    Derek Church, Sussex, UK, 23/2/2009 8:05 Rating 94
It's legal therefore it's OK. Free speech? Derek, you protest too much.
  • Melanie Philips.I find your description of the BNP as'odious' offensive as it therefore describes the decent people who support the BNP as odious.You have no write to say such things.Journalists should be objective which you obviously are not.
    People are not fooled by this blackguarding of the BNP anymore.Nu Labour are Odious.

    Click to rate Rating 64
You read the Mail, Owen, and expect journalistic objectivity. Doh!
  • I am an alien in this land, I do not understand the language and do not know which new language to learn as there seems to be so many spoken. I do not understand the religion either, there seem to be so many, all of them incomprehensible to me. I do not understand the culture either, it seems to consist of being very loud in the streets while being very drunk, it also seems to consist showing a complete lack of respect for the law.
    I am male, white, born in Norwich and currently living in Essex, I will vote for any party that promises to deport me back to the land of my birth.

    Click to rate Rating 106

Any opposing comments are shouted down:
  • Reading the comments here makes me feel quite uneasy. I hope the extreme-right views doesn't represent Britain as a whole. As a British/Italian Jew I would be probably in a very unstable situation with the rise of a Nazi party. I better start doing something about my brown hair and olive skin before is too late, I say.

    Click to rate Rating MINUS 113
Well done Der Sturmer. You must be feeling very proud today. Another reason why the BNP, despite the occasional slap from the Mail, still links to Mail stories ad nauseam.

Everton Update

The BNP has announced on its official website of hate that it has cancelled the proposed march which clashes with the Stoke game (see yesterday). As I suggested they have realised what an own goal this was. whilst it was not the BNP themselves that made the decision, the backlash against the racist minority would have been deafening. They have tried to claim that they have called it off in the interests of football fans and blame 'Communist extremists' but they know the real reason.

The only worry is that they will come anyway and have a smaller demo with their Stoke purveyors of lies. The police should be on the lookout for them. It was planned that Nick Griffin - the Holocaust denier - was to lay a wreath at the war memorial at St. George's Hall. Such irony; such an insult to those of all colours and creeds and nations who gave lives in the world wars. This should be stamped out.

Kick Them Into Touch

I well remember being taken to Goodison Park in the 70s by an Evertonian father who wished me to see the contrast between Third Division Tranmere Rovers and their more illustrious cousins across the Mersey. Football had a bad reputation; hooliganism was rife - even Rovers had a bad reputation when playing away.

As years passed we would make the journey to Goodison a few times a season and one of the more disturbing aspects of the trek would be the appearance of skinhead thugs outside Kirkdale station selling copies of Fascist papers (Bulldog or something) and badges with 'Everton are white'. The police did not seem to move them on.

Everton was indeed one of the last clubs to have black players signed on a regular basis. There was a certain section on the terraces who brought shame on what was to become the City of Culture; the bananas thrown on to the pitch when Liverpool secured the services of John Barnes were, in some respects, a turning point. Racism became socially unacceptable at the game.

Whilst it has not gone away completely, this was a welcome change. Of course, some clubs still seem to attract a certain element of Neanderthals. I've been to over 50 football grounds in England and only twice have I felt in fear - at Millwall and at Stoke City.

What those two clubs have in common can be explained by a little anecdote. After being beaten 3-1 by Millwall, we adjourned to a nearby pub for a commiserating pint of Fullers London Pride. The landlord, aptly, was the size of a large brick shithouse and refused to serve a glass of the popular beverage unless we asked for a pint of 'wallop'. Wanting to escape this bastion of friendliness quite quickly we supped up but on the way out spotted numerous National Front and BNP posters. Pride of place was given over to a union jack with a bulldog in the centre. The dog's face had been replaced by a picture of mein host.

Stoke has 11 BNP councillors. Enough said.

Therefore, it is interesting to note the latest developments on Merseyside. After strong pressure from the police, Everton's home game against Stoke City has been rescheduled to the following day as it clashes with a proposed BNP march of hate in the city. Now, the question is this: has the BNP scored an own goal here.

Speaking to many people in the area, it appears that the knuckledraggers are not aware of the importance of football to this area. Historically, the BNP has polled very badly in this area. It now feels it can win a seat in the next Euro elections with Holocaust-denier Nick Griffin likely to be the beneficiary if they secure around 8% of the vote. Good old Proportional Representation!

The Liverpool Echo - to its credit - has a leader comment attacking the decision:

  • Football fans get heartily sick of fixture changes to suit the TV money moguls who essentially own the game. The TV firms pay the big bucks that pay the big wage bills and, like it or not, they demand the matches are played when it suits them and their armchair audience. They often switch at short notice and can have a real impact on family life and work shifts. Season ticket holders, in particular, get a raw deal. It is testimony to the liberal nature of this country’s lawmakers that the BNP are allowed to peddle their dubious politics, almost at will. Especially as their presence usually attracts the hard-line anti-Nazi brigade whose own tactics can create sickening violence when the two groups collide. Sadly we appear to pander to the negative forces and we just cannot see why that should be the case. Everton’s game has been set in the fixture list since last summer. Plans have been made. The BNP announced their intentions in January. They are the latecomers to this particular and potentially unpleasant party. Surely Liverpool’s police and civic leaders should have told the leafleters straight: Another day ... or, better still, another city.
Initially, the BNP would be smugly congratulating themselves over all the publicity they are getting at the moment, but on reflection maybe they should beware. As Merseyside showed over Hillsborough, it does not take kindly to being treated as mugs. Indeed even Simon 'Oucho' Darby has tried to backtrack by saying that both events could have taken place on the same day. I think the police know more about their resources than the BNP will ever do.

Still, it does leave a nasty taste in the mouth that the BNP are deemed to be more important than the match.

Liverpool Beer Festival

Attended the Beer Festival at the crypt of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral on Thursday night.

Au Pair Scam

This is just posted as a warning in the hope that it will be picked up by search engines and so help to prevent others being scammed. We know that there are many variations on the Nigerian 419 scam so this is another facet of the deception. The targets are people looking for employment as au pairs etc, especially those from abroad.

This variation is particularly insidious for it preys on those looking for work rather than those wanting money for nothing (as in the case of the original 419 operation). Given the current economic climate this may prove to be lucrative.

Essentially - in the case I was alerted to - the crooks read adverts placed on legitimate sites ( in this instance) and pose as prospective employers offering work.

This particular character goes by the name Peter Johnson and his "family asks to care of the child Alex of 4, in 18 Bedford Street,London.SE18 1BY UK.

He is not -one assumes - the owner of Tranmere Rovers.

A quick google for this address finds that it does not exist and calls to the mobile number provided are barred.

The sting comes in the constant requests for cash (usually Western Union) for certificates and travel documents. The items appear to the layperson (particularly if English is a second language) plausible but in this case there are no such articles as an "antiterrorist
clearance certificate inline with the United Kingdom Immigration Board directives as contained in the Personal Data Act (PDA) of 2006 on hiring employees outside the United Kingdom."

An earlier money request gives the following (probably also non-existent) address:
UK Travels and Tour

5-11 Lavington Street.

London. SE1 0NZ

Phone: +447031915309

Graham Edvard.

Obviously, the scam merchants will use other variations once this is clamped down on but hopefully if someone reads this they'll realise that it's a scam and not send money, particularly via Western Union.

I did have a look on the au pair site but could not find any warnings. They might be there but I failed to see one.

Well Met Again

I've often mentioned the symbiotic relationship between the odious BNP and the Daily Mail. On the one hand they stand for very similar values but on the other hand they distance themselves from each other. The Mail does not wish to be seen as the vanguard of white supremacism but it is clearly the paper of choice.

Today's paper highlights the fact that the BNP has used wartime songs to bolster its funds. The CD called - not unintentionally - White Cliffs of Dover contains such spiffing tunes as Hang Out The Washing On The Siegfried Line and (to Vera Lynn's anger) her version of the title track.

Now, leaving aside the issue of copyright - Lynn was not the composer - the irony of using songs that document the fight against the Nazis should not be lost. Of course, it's not the first time the BNP has occupied this territory. It provoked a storm last year by selling replica Victoria Crosses and often tries to hijack Remembrance Day parades angering the British Legion.

All of this is part of the BNP's tactic of turning tables by aligning itself with traditional issues whilst accusing opponents of being the real Fascists.

The comments and ratings on the story are an eye-opener though. The Mail - not averse to stifling comment- is quite happy to lets its army of bigots make the hate that dares not speak its name.

  • oh dear, even the title is very un-PC. Shouldn't it be "any coloured cliffs of Dover", hahah!!!! M. Mork, Odder, Denmark, 18/2/2009 13:09

    Click to rate Rating +22
Calling Mork. Just sod off. There are funnier abbatoir tours.
  • the BNP are a legal political party. Grow up!!

    Click to rate Rating +16
  • At 91 years old she doesn't need the hassle from the left which i've no doubt brought this issue up with her!

    Click to rate Rating +23
Not that any of the above would support such a racist party. Oh no! The rest of the comments with positive ratings point out the problems of performing rights. That this is their only concern speaks volumes. Their silence on the BNP issue is deafening.

Then there are the comments which get pulled down:
  • With any luck she'll sue the scum off the face of the earth. Still, the laws of survival of the fittest will see them off soon enough, since racists, are by definition, lacking basic intelligence.

    Click to rate Rating MINUS 36
A person attacking racism is down voted!
  • Good on her! I'm glad someone remembers the war was about fighting thugs with ideologies not a million miles away from the BNP's!

    Click to rate Rating MINUS 37
  • I'm not surprised she has spoken out. It would be really embarrassing to be associated with the BNP.

    By the way, will they bring out another album in appreciation of the efforts of people from other countries, races and tongues who fought and died alongside our forces in the war?

    Click to rate Rating MINUS 6
So there we are. Defend the BNP and receice kudos; point out historical facts and get voted down.

UPDATE: the comments are getting worse. The Mail must be so proud.
  • Peter Brant, Worthing.

    I am what you would describe as a "racist" and my IQ was recently tested at 148. I am a barrister and live in what is generally considered to be an affluent area.

    I also have no doubts whatsoever that I could run rings around bigoted, left-wing fascists such as yourself, without breaking a sweat.

    It is narrow-minded, fomaing-at-the-mouth leftists such as yourself that 'lack basic intelligence'.

    Click to rate Rating + 36
Tom is saying that he is such a clever chap. Who'd have thought it possible that the Bar could have such right-wingers in its midst. Yes, the old left-wing fascist argument. Well done Tom. Obviously Tom i you're such a great barrister, why were you not in demand at 2.53 this afternoon. No further questions.

Banking On The Future

Many of you (of a certain age) may have received an invitation from the UK Biobank project to undergo tests which will be used to research cancer treatment, heart disease and diabetes etc. It sounds a worthy and altruistic scheme to get involved with. They aim to have 500,000 people to study but I wonder if they will get that many given that there is no financial incentive. (Not that I'm bothered but a couple of beers wouldn't go a miss).

However, a few details from their explanatory booklet provide some concerns.

  • We do not know anything about you and have not had access to your medical records
That's a bit reassuring given that I'd need to consent to some body having my details. They then request that written consent is given.
  • Taking part...involves.........agreeing to your health being followed for many years
Sounds like Desmond Wilcox should be in there with TV programmes every 7 years. ' Here we see Eric's piles are getting worse but at least his liver is still functioning.'

I was drawn to the section headed 'Are there any risks...'
  • Taking part...........should not cause you any harm..........The project aims to observe what happens to participants over the next few decades so that future generations can benefit.
So, if someone from the future is now reading this on the internet archives on their eyelid computer, please be grateful for those of us who gave so that your lives could be sneeze free.
  • It is possible that you may be slightly uncomfortable with some of the questions asked or measurements made.
Well as a card carrying member of the going-red-in-Helsinki-institute, there may be trouble ahead. As for measurements, I've had no complaints.

Then there is a small section at the end entitled 'What happens if something goes wrong?' I know we need to cover all bases here but this is getting a bit worrying.
  • The risks of participants suffering harm as a result of taking part are minimal in place to provide compensation for any negligent harm.......
Phew! That's OK then. But what of confidentiality - especially in the light of recent losses of data by various organisations.
  • Computer security (procedures) to block unauthorised access
  • Staff sign confidentiality agreements
However, there is this potential bombshell:
  • Insurance companies and employers will not be given any individual's information, samples or tests results and nor will we allow access to the police, security services, relatives, lawyers, unless forced to do so by the courts.
Given the constant erosion of our civil liberties in recent years, one wonders what kind of government we'll have in 30 years. This present administration has taken the piss for years so maybe another sample won't be missed. They only seem to want a drop of blood so I can't use the old Hancock 'a pint? that's nearly an armful' line.

I do have concerns - joking aside - so although I'd like to help out, I'll have to give this some serious thought.

A Frank Admission

From the toothless tiger, erm, Press Complaints Commission:

Complainant Name:
The Rt Hon Frank Field MP

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Mail on Sunday


The Rt Hon Frank Field, MP for Birkenhead, complained that an article was wrong in reporting that he had accused the Schools Secretary, Ed Balls, of using Government education policy to boost his own position. The article said that, in an interview with the newspaper’s reporter, the complainant had been critical of Mr Balls and had alleged that the latter disapproved of the city academies programme. The complainant said that the report completely misrepresented his conversation with the Mail on Sunday’s journalist.


The matter was resolved when the newspaper published the following correction, under the heading Frank Field MP, in which it accepted that it had misrepresented the complainant’s position:

On October 19, 2008, we reported that Frank Field MP accused Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, of using the issue of city academies to promote his own position in the Labour Party. We accept that Mr Field made no such accusation during our interview; indeed he was at pains to stress the opposite. He did not criticise Mr Balls for choosing his own team of ministers; nor does he regard him as being anti-academy. We are happy to set the record straight.

As the above resolution from the Press Complaints Commission shows, one should always be careful to check out the bed you like to get into. Frank 'outside the box' Field has become a darling rentaquote for The Mail's agenda, particularly on immigration. I sometimes think he just likes to be different rather than independently-minded.

Frank was of course vocal over the wildcats and the recent bussing in of Polish workers to Cammell Lairds (the shipyard not the football team), but as Claude over at Hagley Road to Ladywood finds, the truth is a strange country to some journalists.

Going Underground

Some photos of the Denny Laine gig at The Cavern last night. The fact that we were able to take photos at all is an interesting one, and the matter has troubled mr recently due to a number of incidents.

By chance, The Guardian today reports on the case of comedian, Lee Hurst, who was guilty of criminal damage when he smashed an audience member's mobile phone. He thought the man was stealing his jokes.

Now, the question of copyright ownership and publishing rights is well-known; in most theatres and private venues there are strict rules prohibiting photography and recording. We know that bootlegs always turn up but essentially the artist and/or venue have the right to prevent breaches.

However, there does not seem to be much consistency. A certain irony struck me this week when after being told off at Tranmere Rovers for snatching a few shots, I saw an advert in the local butcher's for our local non-league team, Cammell Laird. The photo looked familiar and upon closer inspection I found that it was one I'd taken and put on Flickr. Obviously the club allowed photos and is within its rights to use images (though it would have been nice to have been told).

Denny, for his part was very friendly and even consented to a quick shot in the dressing room when I opened the wrong door looking for the toilets (yeh, I know, happens all the time but anyone who knows my sense of direction will be aware that search parties have been alerted on expeditions to Wetherspoon's ornate urinals.)

The gig was superb with Denny in fine voice and the concert should be released later in the year on CD. As well as old Wings numbers (Mull of Kintryre, Time To Hide, Deliver Your Children) he also showcased some new stuff and a lot had a very bluesy feel. It was a welcome reminder of Laine's contribution to Wings and confirms the belief that Macca lost a lot of impetus when the group was finished up. I've been listening to London Town and Back To The Egg all week.

Photography in public spaces is also under fire due to recent Government changes. Here, the problem stems from the interpretation of the new legislation which could be used as a catch all offence as various obscure public order laws were used against striking miners in the 80s.

In My Ears and In My Eyes

Just got some tickets to see Denny Laine (former Moody Blues and Wings) at the Cavern on Sunday. Found a video of him playing there last year, the day after Macca's Anfield concert. Given the frosty relations betwen the two, I'm not sure if he would have been there.

Keeps on Giving, Living Doll

As Britain recovers from another BBC scandal (5CC) (this time receiving stick from the Daily Mail for taking action because one of its own is involved, whereas it demanded the head of Jonathon Ross*) we see that another doll scandal is being reignited across the Pond.

Following on from the original Mattel doll that indoctrinated little Biff and Hap, comes startling news that the Japanese are in on it too. As the Owasso,

  • Apparently, the sound byte that had shoppers requesting local stores to pull the Little Mommy Cuddle and Coo doll off shelves has made its way into the Nintendo DS "Baby Pals" game. Many customers who had purchased the doll insisted the doll uttered the phrase "Islam is the Light." Now, the same baby voice utters the same phrase on the game, seeming even clearer than the phrase coming from the doll.
Of course, our friends at MAMA (Mothers Ask Mattel for Accountability) - not to be confused with BNP half man, half crackers Richard Barnbrook's Mothers Against Knives) have already got with the program.
  • Islam is the light” appears to be the new chic addition to the most popular toys in America.
They provide a link to a Youtube video. Now, I don't hear it but maybe some people do; and maybe some people hear what they want to. The power of suggestion is often a factor. One thing that interests me is that for an organisation demanding accountability, they are not that transparent themselves. Nor do they invite opposing comments on their site. They do know that they have attracted criticism though!
  • Many people who like to argue on blogs dismiss those of us who hear the phrase quite clearly. Is this because it doesn’t exist or because if those same people admitted it did they would have to take a stand, one way or the other, and actually do something about it? They would have to look at the evidence that Shariah law is not good for people or other living things and that it is especially horrible for the most vulnerable in our society, our little girls.

    We challenge you to educate yourselves on what Shariah law is really all about and what it has in store for little girls who are forced to live under it’s (sic) unbearable oppression.

The interesting bit about the last paragraph is the reference to 'little girls'. The MAMA lot talk about the subjugation of women under Islam quite a lot on their site with remarkable similarity to our very own British National Party.

As MAMA say,
  • First we heard it in the Mattel Little Mommy Cuddle n’ Coo doll. Now it makes it’s appearance at bath time in the Nintendo Baby Pals video game. Both toys are geared towards little girls.
Point taken on the doll, but there is nothing I'm aware of from Nintendo's ads for the game that refer to girls rather than 'baby'. I've not got the game but there does not appear to be evidence to support any gender exclusivity in the game.

The challenge to MAMA is to come clean over its real role and answer the following questions:
  • Who are the members of MAMA?
  • Where does it obtain its funding?
  • Why does it not allow comment?
  • Does it have any links to any other groups?
  • Who profits from T- shirt sales?
I know that the webmaster will visit here. They use sitemeter which tracks the referring websites, so it's over to you.

I've not looked to see if this lunacy has ended up in our great tabloid press (as id did with The Sun over the doll) but no doubt there'll be some coverage on a slow day. The game is available here for about £7.99 so maybe some rentaquote mum from Cirencester will confirm her outrage or Richard Littlejohn will just cut and paste as he usually does.

I'm surprised the voice has been found on the Nintendo DS console. I'd have thought that the Wii would be far more apt given the MAMA cot-bawlers to take the piss.

*Note how it was considered perfectly acceptable to mock Ross's speech impediment (Wossy) but the same treatment was not afforded to the similarly afflicted Carol Thatcher)

Top Git

'In the Country of the Blind the One-Eyed Man is King?' H G Wells

'In the Kingdom (Brunel) of Clarkson the amoeba reigns supreme.' Fact.

Apology of a man.

Mark Thomas: Unarmed But Dangerous

This article by Mark Thomas in today's Guardian is worth a read. It shows that wearing a uniform sometimes gives a false sense of insecurity and power, and that recourse is difficult.


The Best Cellar

A few photos from a visit to the Cavern Club, Liverpool. I'm afraid I did not catch the name of the singer but he appeared to be a local lad and entertained a sparse crowd with good renditions of beatle classics. Maybe there were fewer tourists due to the weather as the audience seemed to consist largely of students (shoot them lol).

I was still experimenting with diferent lighting settings on the camera but the photos (without flash) are a lot better than previous attempts with a compact. However, I've seen much better examples with similar kit so the learning curve continues.

Get Back To Where You All Belong

The wildcat strikes being held in atrocious conditions across Britain seem to have created a few divisions. When news first broke a few days ago my immediate thought was to fear a repeat of the 'Dockers for Enoch' stoppages o the 1970s. Indeed, a couple of the early callers to Radio Merseyside over the support given by workers at Fiddlers Ferry to those on Humberside seemed to confirm suspicions.

However, as more acts came out it emerged that there is more to this story than first thought.
Much will depend on the actual facts of the case and whether the Italian company are breaching the terms or perhaps the spirit of the Latvian agreement.

One shop steward - speaking in a personal capacity due to Industrial law - made a strong case based on asking for a level playground and made plain that this was not a matter of xenophobia.

What was always certain was that the bandwagon jumpers at the BNP (and there are sometimes left wing groups equally culpable in some instances) would be chomping at the bit.

Simon Darby started blogging about getting his Truth Trucks up to places connected with the action, which was a cause for concern.

What you won't see on his blog, however, was the following positive action by workers, where the BNP invaders are told where they should go, as covered on Channel 4 news here.

(Hat tip to IANSREDLOG)

UPDATE: Eyebrow armer Darby claims this is an SWP infiltrator and that workers at Fiddlers Ferry will all be voting BNP. The truth will out.

The BNP Hypocrisy: Day 2

Following the obscene attempt to utilise the Race Relations Act, the BNP's true colours seem to have come to the fore.

From today's Liverpool Echo:

FAR-right activists were accused of “political intimidation” after encouraging neighbours to confront a prominent anti-racist campaigner on his doorstep.

About 20 members of the newly-formed Wirral British National Party dropped 2,500 leaflets in Wallasey, close to Merseyside Trade Union Congress leader Alec McFadden’s home.

The leaflets urged people to confront Mr McFadden at his home and the maildrop coincided with him fronting an anti-racism rally.

Mr McFadden said: “They knew I was leading the march, so they chose the moment to give these leaflets out, also knowing I am a single parent with two teenage daughters.”

Mr McFadden was stabbed in front of his daughter outside his home in May 2006.

A neo-Nazi website featured pictures of Mr McFadden and he received death threats.

The Merseyside BNP are proud of this action. On their pidgin English site they state:

  • For too long have the British people been pushed about and trodden on by the establishment and immigrant and it is about time we made a stand.
  • Instead of defending British Workers, he (McFadden) was today holding an anti-racism/anti-BNP march in Liverpool while workers were being made redundant.

It is crucial that their hijacking of the wildcat strikes happening at the moment is nipped in the bud.

UPDATE: The Mersey BNP have now scanned in a picture of the leaflet they posted to McFadden's neighbours. The leaflet publishes his address and telephone number and urges people to voice their opinion or pop round.

Brand New BBC Row Cooked

Irony, irony they've all got it ir.........but anyway, our fiends at BNP HQ have linked up with their symbiotic friends at The Mail.

In New Taste Row the Mail finds another whip to flail the BBC with. Apparently, Jo Brand made a joke. As part of her day/night job. With a tenuous link to Jonathon Ross. It 'offended' BNP members. Police brought in. Tax payers money used by police. Charges unlikely.

Where do we start?

As with the leaked list of members itself, where the BNP sought to use the very legislation they would repeal, the dedicated followers of fascism brought in the Old Bill over Jo Brand's line,
'Now we know where to post poo through the letterbox.' If anything, a throwaway line but a lifeline thrown to the eyebrow king himself, Simon Darby:

  • Last night the BNP’s Simon Darby said: ‘The BNP is technically an ethnic group and, under Section 26 of the Race Relations Act, we would suggest there are grounds that an offence of incitement to commit racial harassment has been committed.’
Unbelievable. I think he's being serious. I think he actually fails to understand the hypocrisy. Help me out: is he as thick as his ward, Richard Barnbrook, or is he just taking the piss? (though not through his letterbox, please). Whatever, it seems to be a publicity stunt. The Mail continues:
  • Simon Darby, the BNP’s deputy leader, made an official complaint to Hammersmith police alleging that Brand’s comment had been an act of incitement to cause racial harassment.
The police seem a bit weary of his tactic. According to the story a 'source' (so treat with a caution):
  • ‘It is an absurd case and very unlikely to get to court. A lot of police time and money appears to have been wasted investigating what for all intents and purposes is just a TV show joke.’
  • ‘The chances of this going further are very remote. The idea that the BNP are claiming they are the victim of a race offence is mildly amusing, to say the least.’
Quite. Given that the CPS deemed the White Racist Leaflet to be unworthy of prosecution, I'm sure this will end up in the bin. Well done Darby. When your muppet Barnbrook next rambles on to Boris about policing costs at the Notting Hill Carnival let's hope other GLA members will recall this.

Of course, this being the Mail we have to bash the Beeb.
  • Ironically, the six-show series only hit the airwaves as a ‘fill-in’ while (Jonathon) Ross served his suspension after the fallout over the lewd messages he and Russell Brand left on the answering machine of Andrew Sachs.
Ironically? *sound of head hitting desk*. Next week, man dies in same hospital Ross visited last year.

Then, send in the clowns:
  • The usual anti-British bias from the police farce then.

    Click to rate Rating +342
    - Abigail, Barking
Note the dog whistle phrase 'police farce'. Note that Barking is Richard Barnbrook's gaffe.
  • So as far as the police are concerned it's OK to incite hatred against white people but not against members of the ethnic minorities. There is something fundamentally wrong here not just with this incident but the country as a whole.

    Click to rate Rating +237
The country being Spain? Oh dear my property prices have fallen! Ex-pat prat.
  • I am on the leaked B.N.P. membership list.I joined the B.N.P. for a year and did not renew my membereship.I joined because I was disgusted at the way the B.N.P. were being treated by this sickening Society of G.B.I was disgusted by the way Nick Griffin and Mark Collet were dragged through the Courts.I was named as an Activist when I have never even met another B.N.P. member.
    However,I am sick of the way the British establishment is treating the people who care about Britain and I am going to renew my membership of the B.N.P because I am British and I am proud of it because it is flowing through my veins and making my heart beat.Shame on all you Traitors.

    Click to rate Rating +217
    - Owen Reed, Middlesbrough,
The Mail must be mighty proud of the way over 200 people liked this comment. The Mail will not publicly associate itself with the BNP but most of its stories are in line with BNP policy. The cowardly paper lets its readers write the article they actually wanted.
  • It is a mystery to me why the obese Brand dislikes the BNP. The present day BNP have shaken off the baggage of the past, in the same way as the Labour party no longer attracts Marxist thugs. How are the BNP intolerant or racist? They have a jewish councillor in Essex and an openly lesbian administrator at their head office.

    Click to rate Rating 33
Betty, if it's a mystery to you then you must be as thick as the substance that might be coming through your door. (Editor's note: this is a joke but feel free to sue, ring 999 or cry). As we know, Griffin's party hides its real purpose: control of the media, strangulation of dissent and forced repatriation.
  • It's little wonder that the police don't have time to investigate crime; they are all obviously watching television and thinking up ways to grab headlines to do any of the real policing that Britain is crying out for these days.

    Click to rate Rating 28
Wrong on so many levels. I'll make allowances for the possibility you may be French but then I don't tend to wax illogically in Le Monde. N'est-ce pas? So, READ the story. Lard Darby initiated the action.
  • WHY is poo asterisked out in the headline?? If it is a offensive word now why print it in the body of the text.
Interesting comment from James of London there. Indeed the original did have *** to protect the poor readers.

As we're all losing the will to live, it should be noted that there are some comments amongst the 113 which criticise the BNP for being humourless or racists. They are marked down. Welcome to Mail Land.

The piece de resistance though comes from our old friend and BNP sympathiser, independent Councillor Chris Cooke (the Judd Hirsch lookalike of the zany website and hedgehog story which have made him a star of the net.)
  • I'm sure the BNP don't expect the Police to do anything. They know what they are up against with our political system. But they do make their point. If it was a satirical comment about immigrants by a BNP person a long jail sentence would be the most likely outcome.

    Click to rate Rating 528
528 people, presumably compos mentis, enfranchised and free of choice think the esteemed Cllr Chris is talking complete sense here and not at all hyperbolic twaddle. We await his long winded response. For those who think he is a figment of the imagination, have a look at his sight-damaging site. (UPDATE Now 700+)

As Jo Brand might say 'Daft bastard.'