Place Your Bids

I thought this might be a spoof, but apparently, the US company charged with trying to sell the Mighty Whites of Tranmere Rovers, has put the club on eBay!:

The club is not happy apparently but at least it will generate publicity. However, it would be worrying if we get another American owner as we had past problems with Mr Osterman, Chester City had problems with Terry Smith and the US owners of bigger clubs (Liverpool and Man Utd) have hardly endeared themselves to the fans.

  • Historic brand and fan base in FA football dating back over 100 years;

    Low cost of entry for club with significant potential for promotion to the second division or potentially the Premiership;

The ad is here, but may be taken down soon.

Of some concern is this business jargon:
  • The potential to pay for a portion of the acquisition through subsequent divestitures of excess/ non-income producing real estate with NO financial risk to the common shareholders;
  • Ability to generate pro-forma double digit returns on for the new investors;
UPDATE: 30 July

The eBay listing still exists but is showing as ended. Meanwhile, Peter Johnson, fresh from not smuggling drinks into Edgbaston issued this statement:
  • Statement

    Posted on: Thu 30 Jul 2009

    As fully documented in the Liverpool Daily Post earlier this year, Tranmere Rovers Chairman Peter Johnson has appointed Dornoch Capital to broker a sale for his shares in the Club to a responsible US investor.

    However, Mr Johnson was very disappointed to discover that Dornoch Capital had chosen as a route to find a potential buyer and would not have given permission for them to do so had he been asked. Mr Johnson has instructed Dornoch to remove the ebay listing immediately

Prezza Present

A self-deprecating email arrives from John Prescott, asking for donations towards his Go Fourth campaign:

  • Go Fourth has to rely on small donations. It helped us fund our Prescott Express tour, which was fantastic.

    Tony Blair has donated £6,000 to Go Fourth and Alastair Campbell, myself, Glenys Kinnock and Dick Caborn have all made significant donations too.
  • So here's the deal.

    If you donate £15 to Go Fourth, I'll send you a signed copy of my book, Prezza Pulling No Punches.
  • Now let's face it - you won't make a fortune sticking it on Ebay.
  • You could even use it as a raffle prize or at worst, prop open a door with it.
Quite what Tony Blair intends to do with 400 copies is open to debate.

Interestingly, the book - My Story, Pulling No Punches topped a list of books left in hotel rooms in a spurious survey by a hotel chain seeking free publicity (beating The Karma Sutra on the way)

Red Red Wine

Here in the republic of Merseyside, it seems that the Liverpool Echo (traditionally an evening edition) is set to be published earlier in the day, which would put it in direct competition with its sister paper the daily Post (traditionally a morning publication).

This reminded me of my time in Birmingham where the Evening Mail was available before the last edition of the (morning) Birmingham Post owned by the same group. The Liverpool siblings and their Birmingham cousins were much of a muchness in any event, so I always thought that they might as well amalgamate.

This would inevitably lead to journalist and auxiliary staff redundancies (and to some extent this has already begun) but the future does look bleak for some local papers as falling sales, reduced advertising revenues and competition with free sheets make margins tighter.

The plight of local journalism is not helped by lazy, non-stories such as this in the Birmingham local. The startling piece of investigative journalism by Alison Dayani (good look with googling your name from now on) comes after a humorous post by Councillor Bob Piper on how to beat the alcohol ban at Edgbaston's cricket ground in time for the Third Ashes Test.

I say alcohol ban, but of course the ban is just on taking your own hop or grape concoction; expensive rat's piss and cooking sherry are readily available inside. Regular readers will know that I am a past master at smuggling my own water and/or wine onto aeroplanes so maybe I'll have to keep schtum from now on!

As Bob Piper explains in his follow-up to his original post:

  • Anyway, for the cricketing authorities who just want to rip people off with their own alcohol sales, and the ground sponsorship from drinks companies, to have the bloody hypocritical nerve to suggest I am encouraging binge drinking, they must be taking the pee somewhere

Gem and Fool's Gold

An interesting contrast in today's Guardian between those who have sufficient standing to comment and those who earn a living playing to prejudices from afar.

In a piece about discoverers of bodies, we have the quote from Trevor Saunders, the man who found Gemma Adams, murdered by Steve Wright:

  • It was an unusually sunny morning in December 2006 and I was on my rounds as a volunteer fisheries warden. I was checking for blockages in Belstead Brook, a gully that runs into the river Orwell, and remember thinking how pleasant it was to hear the birds singing after days of rain.

    Then I noticed something alien protruding from the water. Moving closer, I brushed some dirt away and thought it may be a mannequin. I touched the shape; it was freezing cold. I wondered if it was a human being, but I couldn't see a head because it was covered with debris. When I shifted it, I realised I had found a dead body.

    I now think of her as Gemma The body was face down, with the arms outstretched and bent at the elbows. It had been in the water for at least two weeks, which had slowed down decomposition, and I am grateful for that. Her face was on its side, her eyes were half open. She just looked like a normal person...[...]

    Then the circus started. There must have been at least half a dozen police cars, plus motorbikes and the press. They set up a portable toilet and a catering van. I was there all day. I was the only member of the public allowed at the spot, because I had to show people around the lakes and the area. They used my caravan as an office. It was comforting to be part of the investigation, and it was night-time before they took Gemma away. It was a relief to me that she was now safe and dry.

    I am glad I found her because it kick-started the police to finding the other women. And also I feel that from that moment Gemma was at peace. The following night I had a dream. I was at the brook and Gemma was there. She turned to me and said, "Thank you." In fact, for the first few nights afterwards I couldn't sleep without having a flashback to the moment I'd found her. I'm a very emotional person, even more so since this happened. I couldn't help thinking over and over, "What makes a person do something like that?"


    When it came close to the first anniversary, I bought Gemma a buddleia and planted it in her name by the brook. I visit every day. I feel like I know her; she's part of my life. It's as though she is a friend, a very strong bond. As soon as a photo of Gemma comes on the TV, I find myself crying.

Nobody can know the effect of such random happenings; what would we feel? Some people react to death in different ways; I tend not to attend funerals, others feel the need to let the emotions out. Horses for corpses, perhaps.

Contrast the feelings Trevor Saunders, a chance onlooker, has towards someone he never knew in life to the more-than-willing voyeur, Richard Littlejohn of the Odious Daily Mail:
  • The five women murdered in Ipswich were tragic, lost souls who met a grisly end.

    No one with a shred of humanity would wish upon them their ghastly lives and horrible deaths. But Mother Teresa, they weren't.

  • That doesn't make it justifiable homicide, but in the scheme of things the deaths of these five women is no great loss.

    They weren't going to discover a cure for cancer or embark on missionary work in Darfur. The only kind of missionary position they undertook was in the back seat of a car.

  • The men who used them were either too mean to fork out whatever a massage parlour charges, or simply weren't fussy. Some men are actually turned on by disgusting, drug-addled street whores. Where there's demand, there'll always be supply.
I make no excuses for referring to a Littlejohn article from 2006 for it needs repeating time after time: this bigotry is allowed on a daily basis by a paper symbiotically related to the BNP.

A Victorious Innings

I happened to be watching UKTV History (Yesterday as now named) today and noted a programme about the Last Tommy: the surviving soldiers from the trenches of WW1. One of those featured was Harry Patch, who died today (aged 111) * less than a week after succeeding another veteran, Henry Allingham, as Britain's oldest man. Seems ironic that the TV documentary - made in 2005 by the BBC -had already been scheduled for the day of his death.

Harry, as his close friend says,

  • "He was a man of peace who used his great age and fame as the last survivor of the trenches to communicate two simple messages: remember with gratitude and respect those who served on all sides; settle disputes by discussion, not war."
I still have my grandfather's First World War medals; he never wore them, but they remained in safe-keeping and are a constant reminder of the brutality of war, the futility and bravery; the need to reflect on prejudice based on nationality and difference.

Never forget.

(*111 is seen as unlucky as a cricket score and is sometimes known as a Nelson)

Even More Blues From a Red

Fresh from his court case, Stephen Gerrard celebrated by scoring against Tranmere and causing a further setback to my dream of mighty white supremacy. Still, we managed a 2-2 draw against a team (aside from Stevie G) that would not be familiar to many (the other first team members being in the Far East).

This was a bit of a blow as I could not attend due to my Flu Friend duties. I might as well have a sign round my neck saying 'unclean' and ring a bell judging by some reactions. The official advice is thus:

  • There is no need on risk grounds to avoid contact with people who might simply have come into contact with those having the illness, such as the parents of children at schools with a confirmed case but who are not themselves ill.
Anyway, Steve - next time keep away from bars (unless you're playing against us).

Cloud Got The Blues

I call this a Cumulo Nimby - it was spotted hovering over some new developments today -

Guitar Shorty

A few moons ago, I chanced upon this guy at Birkenhead Town Hall. He claimed to be related to Jimi Hendrix and so he was. Just managed to get hold of a couple of albums and it brought it all flooding back. Did I really see this guy do a backflip wearing his axe?

Sky Owner And Crooked (and Guess Who Else?)

As MacGuffin @ Tabloid watch pointed out in may, there was something fishy about the Daily Mail headline of 14th May - Gypsies Smash £5 million police helicopter -

  • A group of travellers wrecked a multi-million pound police helicopter which was being used to spy on their site.
This 'fact' was based on unnamed sources:
  • A police source said last night: 'The gipsies were furious because they kept getting buzzed by the helicopter.

But, at the end of the story (most Mail readers have gone to bed after the first few lines) we see something a bit more official:
  • A Surrey Police spokesman said the identity of the mob members was 'unknown'.
Still, job done. Guilt without evidence and the Mail bigots are happy:
  • Fact. The Police will know who did this.......

1229 people agreed with this.

Via septicisle @ The Sun Lies (and hence the laboured Hayley Mills/Murdoch reference in the title) we see one of the other papers to report on the story, The Sun has retreated:
  • SURREY Police have not blamed gipsies for an attack on their force helicopter, no staff in their operations rooms were threatened by gipsies and no gipsy site was being targeted for a raid as we reported on May 14.

Strangely, we now see The Sun reverting to the 'gipsy' spelling. Could the original have come from an unauthorized press release?

Crown Princess

Crown Princess leaves Liverpool

Hall of the Lyin' King

Düsseldorf Brauhaus

Like Herr Hitler, I like to visit the odd beer hall; unlike the uncelebrated Mr H I don't tend to organize many putsches there.

A laughable story in today's BNP News:

The Destruction of British Culture: 52 Pubs per Week Closing

The economic downturn and the Islamification of large areas of Britain have been blamed for the massive decline in traditional British public houses, with at least 52 per week currently being shut down.

Really? Who says?
  • According to figures released by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), pubs are closing at a record rate and 24,000 jobs have been lost in the last year alone as a result.

    The report showed that 52 pubs closed every week in Britain in the first six months of this year, an increase of a third on the same period last year.

OK, fair do. But about this Islam factor?
  • The BBPA said, “The biggest impact is the recession. There are fewer people out and fewer people spending money in pubs and bars regardless of where they are.

    “Pubs are already diversifying but unfortunately if you are a community pub you can’t transform yourself into a trendy town centre bar.”

Yes, yes! But what about the Muslims?
  • The BBPA report studiously avoided the other reason for the closure of this traditional British cultural phenomenon: the Islamification of Britain.
Oh, so The BBPA report is not saying what you say in your headline then? How very strange; the BNP must be able to get out of this predicament with solid facts and data, surely?
  • A handful of recent examples illustrate the point:
  1. A report dated 18 May 2009 in the Birmingham Mail told of how that city’s council had approved the conversion of a Handsworth pub into a mosque — even though it had been carried out without planning permission.
  2. A This is Nottingham news report from 16 January 2009 revealed that “a group of Muslims is seeking permission to continue to worship in a former pub.
  3. A report in the Bucks Herald of 1 October 2008 reported that a “pub in Aylesbury is to be converted into an ‘Islamic cultural centre’ and Mosque. The Skinny Dog (formerly The Greyhound) in Churchill Avenue, which has been closed for several months, has been bought for £600,000
So, only 3 examples in the last 12 months when apparently 52 are closing each week. And note that the pubs were already closed before being bought and converted. Perhaps Herr Griffin was too slow to use his BNP funds and newly found EU wealth to bid for these sites to keep them as pubs. Perhaps he could serve Guinness and when it is thrown over him, he can let his thugs give someone a kicking as the BBC reports:
  • A Labour MP [David Drew] has claimed British National Party supporters beat up a man when he threw beer over the party leader, Nick Griffin.

    The alleged incident took place at the Falcon Inn, Painswick, Gloucestershire...

  • "As a result of this he was taken outside and given one hell of a hiding."
On This is Gloucestershire more detail emerges:
  • "Nick Griffin came out and I decided to splash him with Guinness. I was swiftly put in a headlock by one of his security people. I was backing away and had my hands splayed out.

    "They started taking me down the road, and I was worried about that.

    "Then a member of staff from the Falcon came out and took me off the BNP security person and took me back in to the pub. Then I was asked to leave the pub via a different door."

    But he said he was later spat on in the street and verbally abused by a member of the party in a car.

So what's the official BNP line?
  • BNP spokesman John Walker said: "People have to start to realise now that they cannot go around taking liberties with a member of the European Parliament, whichever party they represent.

    "We won't put up with it. It is not civilised behaviour. If he got duffed up, he was a victim of his own misfortune.

There we have it. Waste the black stuff on the odious Griffin and his thugs will take the law into their own hands.


Number of British workers for hire 0
Employment Offered 0

And Finally...

Freudian (almost) typo from NW Nationalists (the people who think Griffin is a dirty commie):
  • The BNP lacks the human resources to be a serious party.

    That is largely because capable or idealistic people are seen as a threat.

    Any organisation run like that will reach a point where it can't get much furher. Rule by expulsion is not a politically viable policy.

Heil of the Century

And now fron Norwich, it's the quiz of the week[1]:

Which party standing in the By-election tomorrow has produced a leaflet full of blatant, hate-filled lies?

Cath Elliott at Liberal Conspiracy pours cold water over the usual BNP claims of Asylum seekers getting priority in public housing over local people.

The leaflet triumphs:

  • Local people in Norwich are being pushed to the back of the housing queue due to Norwich City council and Broadlands District council giving priority to African asylum-seekers.
As Cath explains - having first hand knowledge of the situation -

"Contrary to the assertion in the BNP’s first paragraph that housing priority was given to “African Asylum seekers” the refugees were housed through private sector leased homes.

Furthermore, the use of the pejorative term asylum-seeker was not strictly accurate too.
  • ...we’re talking here about people who had fled the fighting in the Congo, who were living in refugee camps in Zaire (and in some cases who had been in those camps for as long as 10 years), and who had been accepted as refugees by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) while they were still in the camps: in other words prior to their arrival in Britain.
Given that the BNP candidate descibes himself as a Reverend without any evidence of ordination, it's no surprise that they seek to deceive yet again.

Original article in full.

Tami Time

A bit of running around this evening as we needed to access supplies of Tamiflu. There does appear to be a difference in the advice given. NHS Direct has an interactive questionnaire which can cause a bit of panic when it advises calling 999 immediately. When you attempt a second opinion from a GP, it becomes more complex and a prescription becomes the order of the day.

Only a limited number of pharmacies have supplies of the tablets. Although it does make sense to use supermarket pharmacies with longer opening hours, it can amount to a further division as people without access to transport (as most supermarkets are now out of town) can be at a disadvantage.

Let's hope there's a happy ending to this.

Put Your Hands On Your Head

Ah yes, the Sixties and the sound of the 1910 Fruit Gum Company. Good to see our own Simple Simon getting down wid da kidz:

  • A Beverley of a different kind now, that being the black singer Beverley Knight. She is not best pleased with June's European Election result and judging from recent comments she might be joining Snow Patrol and releasing a special track in order to "help the campaign against the BNP". Here is what she said:

    "Imagine a world if that lot got in! Everybody I know would be shipped out of the country and the economy would collapse in two seconds. It's a big, big deal. As much as I hate the fact that people went to the booths and voted for them, we live in a democracy. People can do what the hell they want and vote for who they want, which I think is absolutely right. But now we've got those two representatives in Europe, all their bad intentions and dodgy policies have to be brought to light. Give them the rope and they will probably end up hanging themselves."

    You never know, unlike Snow Patrol, she might pick up another MOBO, although the irony of this will more than likely be wasted on Gary Lightbody and Co.
I give you the winner of the best female artist at the MOBO awards in 2007 - Amy Winehouse.

As with the urban myth about membership of the Black Police Association, the BNP hierarchy are keen to perpetuate another lie about Black music.

Extra, Extra!

A pleasant surprise to be found in tonight's Liverpool Echo:

Here Comes The Moon

Turn Back Time

Yesterday, for only the 4th time since the opening in 1934, people were allowed to walk through the Queensway Mersey Tunnel. I did this last year as shown in the picture). 1934 was also the last time England beat the Aussies at Lord's so maybe history is being repeated at the moment (Tom Watson almost made it truly historic).

Speaking of our representatives, it seems one of Wirral's MPs has left his chuckle muscles on the green benches of Westminster. according to the Liverpool Echo.

  • THE writers of hit Liverpool comedy Brick Up the Mersey Tunnels were forced to change the script after a Merseyside MP threatened legal action.

    Royal Court bosses decided on a rewrite after Wirral South MP Ben Chapman said he was prepared to take out an injunction against the city centre theatre.

    The MP objected to a joke about the parliamentary expenses scandal made by one of the characters comparing benefit cheats and MPs.

Chapman is not named but apparently reference is made to Wirral South (Chapman's constituency) in this play, which satirises the relationship between those living on opposite sides of the river.

Chapman maintains that he has done nothing wrong. Indeed his constituency office proudly displays a newspaper article quoting the House of Commons Fees Office to back this up. What he fails to understand is that whilst - technically and legally - he may not have done anything untoward, it is the attitude that no morality codes have been breached that does the damage.

I remember the 1997 by-election vividly - my father clutching an illegible John Prescott signed flag and the host of golden Labour posters and boards outside houses. Britain was ready for change and a few months later Blair was swept into power.

Such a pity that the hope that came with that was ruthlessly torn down as fast as those signs.


I'm reminded of the Stranglers concert in Liverpool some years back when JJ Burnell looked up to the seated area above the standing crowd and announced that we must be from the Wirral. there was a collective embarrassment as we realised how right he was!

Radio Ga Ga

Another interesting email pops into the box from our odious new MEP. Obviously the huge salary is not stretching far enough in Europe so it's out with the BNP begging bowl again.

  • Our Security Team are heroes; it's
    time we invested in their safety

    We desperately need to support our wonderful Security Team. These extraordinary brave men and women are all volunteers and give their time freely in order to secure the safety of us all. I can tell you personally that if it were not for
    their dedication, professionalism and bravery, I would not be here today.

    In today's political climate the need for fully trained, well equipped security staff is vital. Our team desperately needs new radio equipment, sat-navs, clothing, and ongoing training. These people risk life and limb for our safety, the very least we can do is to supply them with the necessary equipment to do their job. We complain about this government sending our troops into war zones without the proper equipment, and rightly so. But let us not be accused of doing the same with our lads and lasses, who freely give their time to protect us.

    New radios alone will cost £18,000 so you can see, we have to make a significant commitment to our Security Team but believe me they deserve it. Imagine what our brave security must have endured protecting me outside Parliament: bottles, eggs, punches, kicks, placards… they are all heroes of the first degree. If you witnessed the shocking scenes at our press conference outside Parliament you'll know how much our Security people deserve our support!

Radios? £18,000? You can get plastic walkie-talkies from Aldi for about £20! Sounds more like an army he's building, rather than a security force. Maybe Gary Aronsson's Totenkopf avatar makes more sense now.

One of Mr Griffin's crack security force, yesterday

Frank McCourt

Sad to hear of the death of Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes and T'is. This blog actually started after a trip to Limerick in Ireland and a poetry reading in his home town.

Tomorrow, we should all raise a glass of the black stuff to Frank. Anyone near the Baltic Fleet in Liverpool would do no worse than opt for a pint of their own brewed stout.

To Frank!

Walk On The Wild Side

Of course, if this had happened in Manchester, it could have been a walk on the Tameside but I digress. Yesterday 40+ Flickr enthusiasts took part in a two hour trek around Liverpool as part of a worldwide PhotoWalk. The walk was organized by Peter Carr (see his Vanilla Days site). Many of the crew ended up in Baby Blue for an expensive drink or two. Probably the scruffiest crowd to enter the celebrity-spotting venue.

It was quite an experience to watch bemused shoppers wonder what the paparazzi were after.

So, here are some photos of the day.

Dark Side of the Pool

Liverpool One

On Daily Mail Bombing List

Who Are You?

Everton Moptop

Mello Cafe

Ideal Homer Exhibition

Chinatown, Liverpool

Magical Mystery Tour

Cathedral Graves

Stone dead

Wot! No Zombies

Church Prison

Death of a Child

Fallen Soldier

Up On The Roof

A weekend treat. Macca messing on the rooftops again. This time at The Ed Sullivan Theater, New York for the David Letterman Show.

Video here (for how long?)

Performances of Coming Up, Band On The Run, Let Me Roll It, Helter Skelter and Back In The USSR.

Simple Simon And His Even Thicker Flock of Fascists

I've just booked a trip to Brussels. It won't come courtesy of the morons and bigots who voted for Nicholas Griffin of the Odious BNP but it will enable me to partake of some great Belgian beers as I hope to be there during Oktoberfest.

Simon Darby of the aforementioned Odious BNP is having a good time shuttling back from Strasbourg and Brussels and keeps the troops up to date with this peach of a comment:

  • Just heard that Nick will be making his first speech in the European Parliament this afternoon between three and sixclock. Please remember that this is French time and as such they are operating an hour in front of us.
Bloody foreigners with their anti-GMT time zones; bloody BNP members - too thick to know the difference.

Further news arrives which seems to cast doubts on the BNP's egalitarian and democratic treatment of its members.

Chairman Griff takes time off from being barred from Europe's finest hostelries (or not) - 'Do you know what I am?' - to email the foot soldiers of hate and doom.
  • Unlike the other British MEPs, we are not motivated by money, expenses or career;
But if you'd like to give us some of that, er, money (Britisher Pounds only - used notes preferred) then who's to stop you? After all, the party is growing like a festering disease. However, Nicholas has a note (non-traceable numbers please) of caution for the dogs of warp.
  • but there is still something more that can be done: Upgrade to Gold membership!
Gold you say? But what's that all about, nick dear?
  • Gold members are the 'elite' of the Party - they go that extra mile and quite rightly display their Gold membership badge with pride at Party meetings and events.
I see, those street warriors who go the extra mile (but ignore the parable of the Good Samaritan obviously) and fight the good fight with all their might. Come hail (I said hail not Heil so stop that sniggering at the back), rain or other weather conditions not caused by the Marxist conspiracy of Global Warming, these patriots are there, giving their time, intellect and strength to the nationalist movement? Well not quite.
  • Gold membership for newcomers is a mere £60 - and existing BNP members need only top up their membership by £30 to become Gold members!
Oh, £30 extra, Nick. What if I'm a poor destitute indigenous person who cannot get a job, house, helicopter or lobotomy due to preferential treatment for immigrants? I feel like a second class citizen in my own nutty party. What's the benefit if I sell my antique copy of Mein Kampf and put the children on the game to pay the upgrade?
  • The Gold membership badge also makes a superb addition to any type of clothing, whether a suit or casual.
Oh, OK that's me sold!
  • All Gold members receive a special gold membership badge that sets them apart from ordinary members.
Yeh, take that 'ordinary' members. Bling talks.

Anyone feeling left out by this sudden elitism in the hierarchy of this democratic party may be calmed by the strident call from Griff:
  • now is the time to join as a Gold member: crime, immigration, corruption, EU sell-out, dysfunctional schools and hospitals, political correctness, break-up of the United Kingdom, high-taxes, rip-off Britain, Islamification…..isn't it time you joined the British Resistance?
Those dysfunctional hospitals really do need tackling. It's not possible to walk the streets without encountering the threat of feral A & E departments jumping out and giving people a good triage.

Maybe members will wake up to the fact that Midas Griffin does not turn everything he touches into gold.

Unchanged Malady

On the day that Griffin and Brons take their seats in the European Parliament comes an in depth report from the Centre For Social Cohesion researched by Edmund Standing, whom many of you will know from Harry's Place (and previously I Kid You Not) which can be downloaded as a Pdf here.

It goes into terrific detail over the continuing links between the BNP, its members and supporters and racist, white supremacists. Many of the stars of previous posts are included.

Griffin constantly claims he and his party have changed; the reality is different.

via Lancaster Unity

See also:

Liverpool BNP Youtube

BNP Nazi Candidate

Facebook Racists

Ashes to Ashes

The Daily Mash has two articles to exercise the chuckle muscles.

Firstly, (ironically after I had a conversation last week with a US-American on the same subject):

  • TEST match cricket was declared stupid last night after England drew with Australia despite being much, much worse at cricket than them.

  • England can now claim to be just as good as Australia as experts warned it will soon be impossible to attract young people into the game if you cannot win no matter how much better you are than your opponent.
  • Experts say Australia may have been forced into a draw after a little known by-law was used to assess their score in dog years.

    The passage in the rule-book, written in bright green biro, states any player involved in totals over 600 not holding a British passport will have their score divided by seven.
Secondly, as more (British) bodies are readied for cremation, the issue is summed up thus:
  • MORE people know where Afghanistan is compared to three years ago while thousands more have promised to look it up on Google, according to a new poll.


    In a stunning success for the government's war strategy, almost 20% of Britons can now point to the troubled nation on a map, though less than 10% knew why they were being asked to.
  • Margaret Gerving, from Hatfield, added: "September 11th 2001 was an awfully long time ago. There have been many, many episodes of Celebrity Masterchef since then and I had to make room for them in my brain."

Another Mail Apology

From today's Daily Mail:

  • Inayat Bunglawala

    On March 15 we suggested that Inayat Bunglawala’s stabbing an intruder at his home questioned his suitability as a Government adviser on terrorism.

    In fact Mr Bunglawala acted entirely in self-defence and no charges were brought against him.

    Also, Mr Bunglawala does not support Al Qaeda or Abu Qatada as the article may have suggested.

    We apologise to Mr Bunglawala for the distress caused and have agreed to pay him damages.

Of course, had he not been a Government adviser or had a foreign sounding name, or media secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, the Mail would have questioned his suitability just as forcefully! Had he been BNP-supporting, vigilante cause celebre Tony Martin he'd have had a few more plaudits.

(Not that I'm a great fan of the MCB or unaware of Martin's apparent Asperger's)

Ogden's Nut Gone Mad

Those of you who remember the good old days of Coronation Street will recall the superb acting of Jean Alexander as Hilda Ogden; a real actress not someone merely playing themselves as seen in Eastenders.

It seems that Liverpool has become famous for something other than the mop top. On Beatles Day yesterday, amongst the Beatles wigs (worn mostly by tourists) was the latest fashion accessory: the pre-night out curlers.

From the same day, some more fabtastic photos.

A bit strange having a plaque commemorating removing the bricks of convicted sex offenders!

Jim Coburn as Lennon

Clayton Square, Liverpool

John in Mathew Street

Jimmy Coburn (Blue Meanies) @ The Cavern
First version (clean) that I've heard of Lennon's Serve Yourself.

The girls in blue were obviously on a Hen night and when asked to take their photo, I had to obey the law.

Bloody Asylum Seekers

I'd forgotten about the post-modern irony of Simon Sheppard and Stephen Whittle, who fled the UK to claim asylum in the USA. Apparently, this master plan did not work (the US being full of non-whites and Jews and all) and they came back.

The Guardian explains, "Two British racists who fled to the US were jailedtoday following what is believed to be the UK's first conviction for inciting racial hatred online.

Simon Sheppard, 52, and Stephen Whittle, 42, were sentenced at Leeds crown court for a number of race-hate crimes.

The court heard the pair had published grotesque images of murdered Jewish people alongside cartoons and articles ridiculing other ethnic groups.

During their first trial the pair skipped bail and fled to California where they sought asylum claiming they were being persecuted for their rightwing views. They were locked up before being deported back to the UK."


The court heard the investigation began when a complaint about a leaflet called Tales of the Holohoax was reported to the police in 2004. It was traced back to a post office box registered to Sheppard in Hull, and police later found a website featuring racially inflammatory material.

Prosecutors said one article suggested that Auschwitz was a holiday camp for Jews provided by the Nazis. Jonathan Sandiford, prosecuting, said: "The general theme of the article was that Auschwitz-Birkenau was in fact a holiday camp provided by the Nazi regime. A constant theme was that the Jewish people had made up the story of the Holocaust as a slur on the German people."

Food for thought for our freedom of speech brigade and our deranged follower from Brighton.

Dave Gorman has an interesting and effective way of dealing with obsessives in his latest blog post here. It also raises concerns over the new mobile telephone directory.

Bloody Foreigners

One of the most disturbing aspects of the phone-tapping scandal is the lack of any substantial debate on the ownership of the press. Can it be right for non-British nationals and non-tax payers to have such a substantial stake in our so-called free press?

Of course the same papers are the first to bleat about foreign football managers and players. Maybe it's because the readership are as stupid as the publishers believe.

There's a pitiful letter in the Guardian by the Director of the PCC, which then gets torpedoed (back to U-boats eh, Eric?) by a short rejoinder published next to it.

  • n the coverage about the phone message tapping allegations, the significant action the PCC has already taken to eliminate this deplorable practice seems to have been overlooked. The 2007 convictions of Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire sparked a wave of activity to help raise standards and repair public confidence in investigative journalism. Our inquiry across the whole of the British press resulted in six recommendations to newspaper managements to help ensure there would be no repetition. The press code of practice was changed in August 2007 to make it more difficult to justify "accessing digitally held information without consent", and further guidance was published in the editors' codebook.

    We conducted seven two-hour training seminars at the News of the World, at which attendance was mandatory for all their staff, and two seminars in London and Glasgow with the Information Commissioner's Office for other national newspaper journalists, to train them in the correct use of undercover newsgathering methods. Additionally, the industry as a whole - also in conjunction with the information commissioner - issued practical guidance to journalists on the application of the Data Protection Act.

    This record of activity shows that the PCC took the matter extremely seriously, and was determined to ensure that bad practice would not be repeated. We publicised our activity at every stage so there was absolute transparency - and did not act, in Simon Jenkins's random criticism (Comment, 10 July), "behind the scenes".

    Your revelations are extremely concerning about the situation as it was before all this action was taken. Clearly there are separate roles for the police and for non-statutory bodies like the PCC, which have a specific and more limited remit. But if there are any complaints that phone messages have been tapped since 2007 we will deal with them immediately. We are also urgently looking at whether the PCC was deliberately misled at any point during its inquiries two years ago.
    Tim Toulmin
    Director, Press Complaints Commission

  • So, the Press Complaints Commission, the chihuahua of the media regulatory world, is back on the case (Watchdog to examine if News of World executives told the truth, 10 July). The News of the World should be afraid, very afraid.
    Geoffrey Rider
    Ripon, North Yorkshire

Quiz Time

I know a lot of people come here to idle time away whilst at work in local councils and universities when they should be working, and such skiving can have repercussions as this woman (who had the temerity to criticise Hazel Blears) found to her cost, but hey, it's Friday, it's Beatles Day so put the phone off the hook (obviously if you work for samaritans or Air Traffic Control this may not apply) and test your Beatley knowledge.

If your fiery supervisor (who's probably on seven pence an hour more than you) complains, send them round to me; I'm a Fifth Dan in the dark art of paper shuffling. (Hint: always carry a piece of paper when walking around the office. It looks like you have purpose even if it's only a printed copy of Captain Nijinsky's tips from the Racing post)

The Liverpool Echo has a good Beatles quiz today. I got 42 out of 50 which says a lot for my trivia knowledge if not my life. I'm sure one of the answers given by the Echo is wrong (Laxton's Superb rather than Granny Smith for the Beatles Apple logo was my recollection) but there you go.

The Quiz is here.

Questions 1-10 to start you off:

  • 1. What was John Lennon’s first primary school?

    2. Where was The Beatles’ last full-scale concert appearance?

    3. And when was their last Liverpool concert?

    4. Which church hosted the fete, in July, 1957, when John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met?

    5. Mal Evans, The Beatles’ studio prop man, provided which item that later became a crucial sound effect on the song, A Day in the Life?

    6. Which Beatle said “Liverpool keeps me feet on the ground”?

    7. What was John’s Aunt Mimi’s surname?

    8. What is the pub on the front cover of Ringo’s Sentimental Journey album?

    9. In which Beatles album track does the National Trust get a name check?

    10. Where now is the original Magical Mystery Tour Bus?

The Beast Goes On

As Uponnothing on AngryMob notes the story about Griffin's comments on sinking migrant boats was not covered by The Daily Mail (though it did find space for a picture of Lily Allen's nipple). Even The Express carried the story though did not trust its readers to comment on the piece.

Griffin is again in the news with his latest filth:

  • The BNP leader Nick Griffin has described Islam as a “cancer” that should be removed from Europe by "chemotherapy".

    In an interview with Channel 4 News, Mr Griffin, who has just been elected to the European Parliament, said there was "no place in Europe for Islam".

No doubt he'll claim this is out of context but there are obvious dog whistles to the methods the BNP would like to use to 'voluntary repatriate' (if I may boldly split the infinitive!)

Baby You Can Clamp My Car

The Daily Mail often has a special place for campaigning on behalf of the poor motorist so hard done by with taxes and speeding fines so the following - from The Daily Mash - is a fitting antidote:

    CLAMPING someone who sees a no-parking sign and then blatantly ignores it is a breach of their human rights, the RAC has claimed.

    Yet more corporate gibberish
    The motoring organisation said thousands of drivers are being forced to pay large fines simply because they think they can park their car wherever they bloody well feel like.


    "And anyway, most of the signs had fallen off, or the drivers had to park there because their grandmother had just died, or they have a medical condition which means they have to go to the toilet every 20 minutes and if they can't park their car they will, sadly, poo themselves."

    Tom Logan, director of Bastards Ltd, a London-based clamping firm, said: "Look, I would not be in the wheel clamping business if I was anything other than a total shit.

    "But in my defence there is a huge yellow and black sign that says don't park here or we'll clamp you. There is - and you know there is."
The full piece is here.