London Calling

Given Richard Barnbrook's views it may have been more apposite to have titled this 'Germany Calling' but William Joyce, former Deputy of the British Union of Fascists under Mosley, was more of a radio star than pop star.

Millions of Britons tuned in to laugh at Lord Haw Haw's preposterous Nazi lies until he was put to death. One of his fellow propagandists, Norman Baillie-Stewart was one of the last to be incarcerated in the Tower of London.

Richard's latest meandering video offering comes courtesy of the wonderful technology of Youtube as posted at the blog of another Deputy Leader: Simon Darby of the British National Party and, with a careful nod to history, begins with a glimpse of The Tower.

I urge everyone to listen to this 10 minutes of gold. Priceless.

Here are some of the comments made by our elected fool:

On the Red White and Blue Festival "Then we had people like Bob Crow coming up...and the unions and Communists marching down... Now for Mr Crow. He's obviously innocent of all the occurring, maybe.

He is involved with...or guilty by association....guilty of a raucous of violence (sic)Children...were able to play freely without the fear of being attacked or absconded (sic) 0.46 secs

On BBC4's Question Time (sic) (=Any Questions on Radio 4)

We were there to ask poignant (sic) questions.Immigration, not immigration par say (sic)........fabric of the democratic problem (?)

A certain part of the community being kept out of their own existence

It's nice to see Mr B using his native language so well. He then waxes lyrically about bringing back the rope for non-capital offences like paedophilia.

Careful, Richard, Mr Joyce was one of the last people to be hanged for treason.

Londoners must be very proud of having this dolt as a representative on the GLA. They say that he is one of the most articulate speakers the BNP has. His more repulsive side can be seen on his own Telegraph blog where he spits on the graves of WW1 soldiers to have a dig at Nelson Mandela and the fight against slavery, and then demands that the Notting Hill Carnival be banned.

A Whole Lotta Hate

The Olympics allows journalists the opportunity to link athletic prowess/failure to the state of the country, as they see it. It's a win, win situation. Cue unoriginal comments along the lines of 'if there was an Olympic event of (insert favourite moan topic here), then (Brown, Blair, Once Great Britain etc) would claim gold every time. It also gives both professional and hack writers the chance to pun for Britain.

Given that Great Britain - I share people's distaste for the American Team GB - performed beyond expectations, it should provide a dilemma for the knockers. Not so. The competitors have done in spite of the Government.

Following the closing ceremony, as sure as night follows day and knight follows dame, Mr Littlejohn is on the rostrum in a personal best time.

In a column down to his usual standards (headed, London 2012? Get set for Gary Glitter), he's out of blocks early:
  • Just imagine if I had written a parody of the Olympic handover ceremony, which had included a portrait of Fred West, a simulated suicide bombing and a stabbing.
So what's he on about? Well, Britain's 8 minutes of fame in front of millions, at the closing ceremony in Beijing, happened to include the work of artist Marcus Harvey's controversial Myra Hindley print. In fact, it did not. The art in question was part of a montage used in a video shown to around 500 guests - including GB athletes, Boris Johnson and Gordon Brown. The video was commissioned by the Mayor's office according to The Telegraph.

Now, it can be argued that this artwork is incompatible with a celebration of the Games and it could also be seen as an example of the freedom of expression we have here. There is no evidence that either Boris or Gordon were aware of this; it certainly would not make sense for them to have permitted it. But, that is not the point here. Littlejohn - a highly paid, lazy hack - still uses it as an attack.
  • And who thought it would be a good idea to show a promotional video featuring a picture of Myra Hindley, one of our most notorious murderers, tastefully made up of thousands of children's handprints?
The clever bit here is that by omitting to clarify where the video was seen, it is open for the rabid mob of Mailers to make the right connection.

Now, the production wasn't the best ever. David Beckham is hardly my favourite person (let alone footballer) in the world, but given the commercialism and professional nature of the modern Olympics, it's not so disingenuous. He is popular in the Far East, usually comes across as a good ambassador, and like it or not he is a global brand.

The irksome thing about Littlejohn's criticism, is his usual hypocrisy:
  • What was Beckham doing there?
    He's the antithesis of the selfless, Olympian ideal - a man who has chosen to debase his waning talent by prostituting himself for hundreds of millions of dollars playing football in a 'major' league made up of pub teams.
This coming from a man who spends much of his time in exile in Florida in a not-so-small home. If anyone prostitutes himself, our fiend in the North of America must be high up the list.

Harmless fun so far? Richard has another arrow left:

  • But don't be surprised if, in four years' time, the Olympic torch is carried into the stadium in East London by Jade Goody, following a march past by the Bradford chapter of Islamic Jihad, a 21-gun salute from the Brixton Crazee Eyez Killaz drive-by shooting posse - and a concert by Gary Glitter.
    That's if they've managed to shift the illegal gipsy camp off the track and field in time and the whole complex hasn't been shut down by elf 'n'safety
In two sentences he manages to bring in all the usual hate suspects. The Chav, the Muslims, Black Rap-induced gun crime, Paedophiles, the Health and Safety Executive and Gipsies. No mention of asylum seekers or Eastern Europeans in public toilets but there's always next time.
I've missed out the early example of how his mind works:
  • In the Bird's Nest stadium on Sunday, the decapitated double-decker looked just like the bus blown up in Tavistock Square on July 7.
I challenge anyone who watches the part where the bus transforms into a London skyline to think about the bombing atrocities before this despicable excuse of a man mentioned it. Of course, he's always able to rely upon the Littlejohn posse.

  • When the bus came apart, my first thought was the 7/7 terrorist attacks. I could not believe how insensitive the oganisers (sic) were, and my heart goes out to all those people affected by the atrocious attacks. What are they planning for the opening ceremony at the London Olympics in 2012? A train falling apart to reveal Gay Glitter? - A.K., Sydney, NSW, Australia, 26/8/2008 5:14
Now let's just consider this prat for a moment. He's presumably read the shit in the column and then makes the same point about 7/7 and Glitter! Remember the Sydney Olympics? Didn't the fireworks seem a little incongruous with all those bush fires? I must have more time on my hands if I bother with this! [It has to be said that the speech recognition program on Vista speeds up typing! It even understands Scouse, but as ever, I digress.]

The only positive thing I can say about the following comment is that I'm glad he's from New Zealand, not the original Birkenhead.

  • Richard Littlejohn, you made my day! Thanks for a great read and a great laugh! For a terrible moment, I worried that maybe the bus roof opening up was a terrorist attack! It must have brought back terrible memories for those injured in the 7/7 attacks or who lost loved ones. It was silly, tasteless and not well thought out. Why did the London performers represent multiculturalism rather than British culture? Has British culture died now and been replaced by ethnic cultures? Why was the ethnic girl Tayyiba Dubhwala, the winner of the Blue Peter contest that determined who got to be in the show? The Chinese used ethnic Chinese children I notice. Could it be because Blue Peter is on the left-wing anti-white BBC?
    - Robard Sinclair (Brit Expat), Birkenhead, Auckland, NZ, 26/8/2008 10:13
Where do we start? A great laugh? But it was tasteless to have a bus transform 'cos RL thinks it was like a terrorist threat. He then goes on like a recruitment pamphlet for the BNP. His point about Tayyiba, aged 10 (he's having a racist dig at a 10 year old girl!) is not even worded correctly. I think he's either trying to imply the competition was fixed, or she shouldn't have been allowed to participate because she's not ethnically white enough? Despicable and shame on The Mail for publishing this vile hatred. Ex-pat. No irony. If anyone from Birkenhead, Auckland happens across this bit by accident, please be assured that I feel sorry for you having this Sinclair bigot in your town.

Finally, Littlejohn turns his attention to Brown. Or unelected Brown as he thinks he is, showing scant regard to our constitution and ignorance of British history.
  • When he was at the Treasury, he was responsible for fiscal policies which forced councils to sell off playing fields to property developers.
Yes, open spaces and playing fields have been allowed to be sold despite the incoming Labour Government of 1997 promising to protect them from being hived off. I'm having some difficulty finding figures for this but the legislation brought in by Labour was as a result of the Thatcher and Major Administrations' giveaway of the greenbelt. In the same way as there were more Grammar Schools lost under Margaret Thatcher, the political right aim to hide this in the bushes whilst they were the ones in the copse doing the real deals.

Clearly, they continue to bite the dust and I'm the first to criticise a Party of Government I actively wanted throughout the 80s and 90s, but I take offence at the revisionists like Littlejohn who try to make people believe life ended on May 1st 1997 in a diametric way as football pundits refer to the start of the Premier League as the birth of football.


The BNP also has its own take on the Blue Peter competition. This from the Press Officer for Cumbria BNP, Clive Jefferson:
  • Tayyiba Dudhwala won a Blue Peter competition to take part in the handover ceremony on Sunday when London received the Olympic flag, the official hand over ceremony and presentation put on by London supposedly to celebrate all things British.
    The Blue Peter competition asked entrants to write in to explain why they were excited by the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Tayyiba's cousin, Zakir Dudhwala, said she returned home from school one day and the Blue Peter crew were waiting to tell her the news. Mr Dudhwala explained what Tayyiba came up with to win the competition - "She wrote that different people from all over the world come together at the Olympics and she thought that was special."
  • The above "celebration of British culture" is simply the perfect showcase of Politically Correct distortion and the ultimate epitome of media conditioning that I think I have had the misfortune to whiteness and the British tax payer payed 2 million pounds for the privilege.

Waterloo Sunset

Continuing the song title theme, I happened upon this old photo taken in Waterloo, Belgium. On route from Germany, the coach happened to stop at the historic place just as the sky was providing a bit of a display.

When You Wake Up To Find That Your Paper Is Tory......

As Anton Vowl at enemies of reason highlights, the Sunday Express leads today with a non-Maddie or Diana story:

With the Olympics ending today and the torch being passed to Boris and Gordon, the Express faces a bit of a dilemma. How to twist the success of our athletes into a story knocking one of the usual suspects. Who to blame? Government? No, can't find an example of anyone losing a confidential memory stick in Beijing. Migrant invaders? No, that was yesterday. Europe? Yes, been a while since we battered Brussels. Now, just need a ranting UKIP leader to provide a quote. Better get one who looks like a Carry On Film actor. Olympic hijack? Munich '72?
The article itself is completely destroyed by the post referred to above, and later, the Express - to some credit- publishes what purports to be a comment from Damien Routisseau-Magrou ,Vice President, Young European Movement.

He seems to share the feeling that there may be a few things wrong with the article. Just a few mind:

24.08.08, 6:01pm
Hello everyone.first, I would like to thank LindonBSwindon for being the first to make a sensible comment about this article - that it is utter nonsense.Being used to commenting on blogs here and there and especially on the BBC, I know how one simple comment can degrade into a flamewar, or at best a completely superfluous 'debate', let me make clear that this comment is a single rebuttal and that I will not respond to follow-ups.

As the Vice-President of the organisation cited here - the Young European Movement -, I would like to clarify several first comment is on the story itself. I am sure anyone with half a common sense will have realised it is nonsense.

None of the EU's institutions have ever contemplated such a move as is described here. The great thing about writing an article with words such as 'it emerged' and making something up, is that you never need to back it up.

One thing is clear, and it is that the Young European Federalists (JEF; website: is in no position to 'draft' any 'plans' on behalf of any EU institution.

The organisation that I represent, the YEM, is described as 'the British arm' of JEF, though our official link with JEF is more that of an affiliation. However our president is not the Rt. Hon. Charles Kennedy MP, who is the president of the European Movement - UK, but rather Tomas Ruta, who like myself is a full time student.Neither the YEM nor the EM receives any funding from the European Commission or any European Institution, as is stated on our common website,

The European-wide organisation JEF has only received funding from the EC for specific projects in the framework of the YOUTH programme, for which spending is closely monitored, the conditions of which you can find on

The daily express' story stemmed from a website hosted by JEF advocating a single EU olympic team. This is the opinion voiced by a youth organisation and in no way is either a project of the European Commission or a position that would be imposed on athletes without their knowledge.

I am as ever amazed that such distinguished personalities as Mr. Farage and Mark Francois MP accept to comment on such nonsensical stories featuring our organisation when they have repeatedly refused to condescend to meet us in public debates about Europe.anyone wishing to contact me or the organisation I represent can find email addresses on our website,

The YEM is currently in the process of filing a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission about this article.

Sincerely, Damien Routisseau-MagrouVice President, Young European Movement.

Incidentally, I learned that the Germans have a word for Nigel Farage of the UK Independence Party - Backpfeifengesicht (literally, a face that invites you to slap it!)

The man ain't got no culture

It was another Simon who wrote the words in the title of this post (in A Simple Desultory Phillipic on the Sound of Silence album), but the photo above comes courtesy of the blog of leading hatemonger, the British National Party's Deputy Leader, Simon Darby.

Following the tea-and-scones picnic his members had last weekend in Derbyshire, he kindly posted some more jolly photos on his site; comments are moderated but not so moderate so I couldn't make a point there.

Let me tell you, Simon and the morons of Liverpool BNP, that Liverpool's Capital of Culture celebrations have, after a shaky start, turned out well. The picture shows the depths which these purveyors of hate will go to.

This is not the first time the Liverpool 08 logo has been bastardised by these fear-mongers.

The Liverpool Echo reported in July of this year that Peter Quiggins or Peter Tierney as he is known, a local shopping emporium owner, had been sent a Solicitors' letter over his use of it in his battle with developers - a fight that evoked quite a bit of sympathy and support at the time - and forced to desist.
  • THE former owner of Liverpool’s Quiggins centre has been warned by the city’s Culture Company about using the 08 logo to promote the British National Party.
    Hill Dickinson, the Culture Company’s solicitors, have written to now-BNP party member Peter Tierney threatening legal action over the use a version of the Liverpool 08 logo on an advertising hoarding which he tows behind a vehicle.

The article continues with Quiggins defending his action:

  • He said: “I put the logo on my trailer and it says that the city has been sold off.
    “It’s not the Capital of Culture, it’s the Capital of Vultures.
    “I’ve even drawn the logo myself – when you look at it, you can tell I’ve drawn it.”
It couldn't be the same one could it? I'll try to find out more information. Tierney/Quiggins was giving out BNP literature about culture the day before the McCartney concert; a fine ambassador for the city as thousands of tourists converged.

As those who have visited here as a result of following my profile on the Telegraph blog site will know, I've been having a bit of a laugh on Greater London Authority member Richard Barnbrook's pitiful blog. The Guardian initially expressed some concern over The Telegraph giving a platform to this brown-jacketed individual, but I think it serves a useful purpose in exposing Barnbrook for the coward he is. He refuses to answer pertinent questions and therefore has become a figure of fun.

Joking aside, the BNP are dangerous despite their low level of support. As the seat on the GLA shows, when other forms of electoral systems are used - as seen in other parts of Europe - minor parties can end up with disproportionate representation.

(I'm aware of the irony of complaining about infringement of rights and then appropriating Darby's photo.)

The Mail and the BNP: If A Picture Paints

The Mail spends a great deal of time distancing itself from the 'knuckle-scrapers' of the BNP as Littlejohn describes them as, yet often we see stories in the paper which are clearly aimed at providing succour to these Neanderthals whilst washing journalistic hands.
The comments section is usually the dead giveaway. Many of my previous posts have shown examples of this; so much more can be found on the Mailwatch forum.
One of the recurring themes of Mail immigration stories - aside from the headline not fitting the content of the story- is the powerful image. Story about possible Roma thieves? Get actors to dress up as tramps; need a picture of asylum seekers? Show stock photo outside an office that looks like it gives out benefits; immigration? Show a picture of someone dressed in full Muslim niqab.
This leads us to the picture at the top. On numerous occasions it has been used by the Mail to decorate their immigration and Muslim stories. Despite the fact that only a small percentage of Muslim women choose to wear this, the paper is not so subtle in its use of the image.
The same image was found on the BNP's site on 14th August. It is not for nothing that, despite the caveats, The Mail remains the paper of choice for the evil bigots of the BNP.

Darby in Derbys.

Repugnant BNP hatemeister Simon Darby, on his blog, alluded to a story breaking in the Sunday papers involving England footballers and the BNP. It appears that this, in The Sunday People, was the piece in question:

Sport and pop legends are fuming after their images were used in a music video promoting the British National Party.
National icons including Sir Paul McCartney, soccer star John Terry and cricketer Freddie Flintoff were hijacked to appear alongside hate lyrics on internet site YouTube.

The anti-immigration track This Is England includes offensive lines like: "They took our Pound, now they want to bomb our Underground" and has had more than 12,000 views.
Obviously, the people concerned: Terry, Flintoff, Butcher, Pearce and Macca (Churchill could not be contacted for a comment but Max Clifford allegedly said that if he was representing him he would issue a joint press statement with Kerry Katona).
Darby, in Derbys, is quoted as responding, "It is not an official BNP video. It has probably been released by a BNP supporter. People have the power to produce anything on websites these days.

"If it portrays Britishness, then I'm not going to complain about it. I would not be happy with using famous people who perhaps don't have the same opinion as we do. But there is nothing we can do about it. (This is crap as seen here: a commissioned portrait of Winston to raise money for BNP funds. There is also one of John Lennon about to be auctioned this month)
"I don't know what their political views are. If they are not of our opinion, then I
Not quite a not-me-Guv defence as he is clearly secretly pleased about the content and the press publicity. This is an aspect of the fight against these Neanderthal Fascists that has concerned me for some time: the oxygen of publicity v free debate. As I've been trolling Richard Barnbrook's Telegraph blog recently, I keep wondering if it's counter-productive. I feel another post germinating and as cycle-partner Steve has jetted out to his Channel Island tax-haven today (have a word about investment with Tranmere's Chairman while you are there), I've nothing else to do.
I'm a bit worried about attacking Simon Darby as he likes to stick hooks in the mouths of fish and baiting the BNP is sometimes like shooting fish in a barrel, but his blog is informative and reasoned!
  • On Freedom of the press
Just had the Guardian on trying to get a quote about one or two of the speakers we have lined up for you. It almost takes your breath away that these journalists who have facilitated in the systematic destruction of our people and our way of life actually think that criticising a process which is tantamount to genocide is somehow to be forbidden.
The Guardian wanted to ask about Petra Edelmannova of the far-right Czech National Party, party recently announced it was working on a 150-page "study" called The Final Solution to the Gypsy Issue in the Czech Lands. Now this is not quite the same as the Nazi Final Solution but the name is surely chosen for a reason. The article continues, "Although the title evokes the Nazi plan to eradicate Jews in wartime Germany, the party told Lidove Noviny, a national Czech newspaper, its aim is only to offer Roma voluntary relocation to land bought in India. This has undertones of the situation in Italy.
Of course, the BNP itself would like to repatriate - supposedly voluntarily - and believes that asylum can be summed up thus: We will also clamp down on the flood of ‘asylum seekers’, all of whom are either bogus or can find refuge much nearer their home countries.

The Chinese people I have known in my life have been by and large honourable and law-abiding folk. Not that that is any excuse to flood my country with their compatriots, there being a limit to the amount of Chinese food outlets and shellfish harvesting opportunities Britain can provide.

Yes, know your place.......we don't mind you doing laundry or running take-aways as long as we can imitate the Spanish Olympic basketball team and the Duke of Edinburgh in keeping the slitty-eyed motif running.

Jean-Marie Le Pen confronts Sarkozy - Strasbourg (July, 10. 2008)I've been lucky enough to meet him twice, they can call him what they like but one word they never use is "coward".

If we want further evidence of where the BNP stand, look at Derby's photos of BNP advert vans (truth trucks!!) talking of justice for indigenous victims of violence and English victims of racist violence. What colour do you think these victims will be? Answers on a Kennkarte to BNP, PO Box 107, Wigton, Cumbria.

Carlsberg 2 The Sun 1

After an early own-goal, Carlsberg (brewers of definitely NOT the greatest lager in the world) has, like Tim Leunig last week, found out that the people of Merseyside don't take things lying down.

Local paper, The Echo are on the case (£6.98 for 18 bottles at Sainsburys):

  • RED-FACED Carlsberg bosses have apologised to outraged Liverpool fans for their aborted beer promotion with The Sun.
    The Danish brewer yesterday axed a deal with the tabloid newspaper to give readers a free pint over the August bank holiday weekend.
    Senior figures at the firm, which is the Anfield club’s shirt sponsor, contacted the ECHO and admitted their decision was “naive”.
    They said they were bombarded with complaints from upset Reds as far afield as Norway, Malaysia and Singapore. Keld Strudahl, marketing director of Carlsberg International, said the company hugely regretted the move.
    Vouchers were to be printed in The Sun, still boycotted by football fans in Merseyside over its coverage of the Hillsborough disaster, and then exchanged for a free pint in 13,000 pubs.
It may be difficult for the outsider to comprehend the hostility towards this vile paper but it is very rare to see someone in public with it. Whilst one could probably walk into any working class pub in Britain to find numerous copies folded over to the racing page, it is not common here on Merseyside. Dave in the corner - Daily Star;man with Kwik Save bag - Daily Mirror;Eric the Fish - pretentious broadsheet - but you get the idea.

Further articles on Hillsborough are archived as a zip file on the Kirkby Times site here.

Nuts! They Still Crack On

Apologies for the dreadful Daily Star-type pun, but whilst perusing the PCC site, I came across an interesting report of a resolution to a complaint brought by a Scottish school over the perennial old chestnut (ahem) of 'everything-is-banned-through 'elf 'n safety-or-pandering-to-Islam'. It also gives an indication of how much of a toothless tiger the PCC is. I'll hazard a guess that more people continue to believe this urban myth than actually read the reply letter.

Another resolution involved a doctored photo of a battlefield resulting in some war books being given to the person pointing out the error. Given the amount of recent photoshopping used in The Mail et al, Waterstones must be expecting a bumper year.

Complainant Name:South Lanarkshire Council
Clauses Noted: 1
Publication: Scottish Daily Mail
South Lanarkshire Council complained, through Levy & McRae solicitors, that the newspaper had inaccurately claimed that a ban on nuts at Bothwell Primary school, enforced to protect those with allergies, extended to conkers .


The complaint was resolved when the newspaper published the following letter from the school’s head teacher:

“Your article of 7 September entitled 'Conkers? Nut Likely!' reported that a letter sent by me asking parents to check packed lunches for nut content and for chestnuts not to be brought to school, stated that 'pupils could no longer play conkers'.
In fact the letter referred not to conkers but to edible sweet chestnuts, which if eaten by anyone with a nut allergy will cause a potentially fatal anaphylactic shock.
Some years ago, an eight year-old pupil at our school suffered a serious reaction to eating a nut. Fortunately, he survived but the distressed pupils who witnessed the event decided they wanted their school to be nut free. It is in that context that the letter was sent and not as a 'killjoy move' as reported.”
Report: 74

Tough On Crime - Weak On Compassion

Days after an acquittal of a man wrongly convicted of murder - a man whose life would have been taken by the state, or more starkly, US, we see that compassion abounds on Planet Daily Mail. Summary justice is in vogue.

Everything in Mail Land is black and white (mostly white) when it comes to crime and punishment, particularly if you happen to be of foreign descent.

The story itself - about two Chinese students brutally killed in Newcastle - uses the time-honoured and dishonest tactic of inserting inverted commas to avoid attacks from the Press Complaints Commission. The PCC must have the Mail's number on speed dial. In this case, the Mail is on safe ground in respect of libel laws due to the death of the students.
  • A Chinese graduate may have been tortured and murdered because of his links to an international internet betting scam on Premiership football matches, it emerged yesterday.

Note that use of the word may. We don't need any actual evidence, just supposition. As one bastard pointed out on the story about wrongly-convicted Barry George, death, be it through judicial or private execution, solves a lot of problems. Mr. Jeffreys then compounded his bastardy by seeking to justify it here on Enemies of Reason. The Mail then hides behind unnamed sources and then take to the jounalistic Tora Bora with the snide,

  • "It was also claimed that the couple sold fake university degrees and international driving licences and ran a group purchase scheme to buy products cheaply, but then failed to hand over goods or return money."
Now, Zhen Xing Yang and Xi Zhou may well have been involved in what is claimed. The police appear to be investigating this aspect as they search for a possible motive: no problem there. What is also important to note is that this is a murder inquiry (as they say in Taggart) and as such the victims are entitled to sensitivity and proportionality. But not in the Mail.
Whereas the comments policy in the Mail seems to have been relaxed in recent weeks in that opposing views are being allowed, it also means that the more extreme elements are on too. I've argued before that the Mail's policy was illogical even by its own standards, as surely for every one anti-comment, there would be twenty readers ready to toe the right-wing line. However, by allowing appalling comments such as those below, they are again failing.

So, the most serious charges to be levelled at the victims is that they could have been involved in defrauding bookmakers and employers not willing to check qualifications. Not condoned, but hardly befitting summary execution. Send in the frowns:

  • Mess with crime and this is what could happen.
    - Jacqui Weems, Southampton, 14/8/2008 18:02
JW is so often spewing forth on topics relating to foreigners that she may have burning crosses outside her house. I comfort myself with the thought that if you google her name followed by a profanity of your choice, this site is Number 1. How do you sleep, Weems?
  • If true then good. He lied, cheated and stole.
    - Dave, UK, 14/8/2008 21:56
Dave is not certain that it's true, but if it is, he's glad that 'the mutilated bodies of Mr Yang and his girlfriend, Xi Zhou, 25, were discovered in their ground floor flat in Newcastle last Saturday. Mr Yang was tortured before his death.'
  • A very 'sound' nulabour business by the sound of it. Gordon must be very proud.
    - Jerry, Watford, UK, 14/8/2008 21:56
Jerry manages to have a dig at Gordon Brown. First class arsehole.
  • Seems like they lived by the sword..........................
    - Mick, Ipswich, 15/8/2008 0:13
Mick doesn't even understand the metaphor, even allowing for a non-literal interpretation. Please hit this guy with a heavy bible (which ,of course would be more appropriate). Still, I'm sure he's the only one dim enough....oh wait!
  • Live by the sword, die by the sword.
    - eric victor, uk, 15/8/2008 2:01
Look Eric, take this advice from one Eric to another: Please don't breed.
We look forward to hearing jokes on the subject from Ann Winterton.

The Greatest Olympian

On the day that comparisons were made with academic results now and then, we also saw the continuation of the debate over whether Michael Phelps's record Gold medals made him the greatest Olympian of all time.

For what it's worth, I think we have to go some to beat the guy whose name adorns the Olympiastadion, Berlin in my photo below.

Bring on the nubiles

At this time of year I was always have a bet with myself that the Mail (and other culprits) will publish pictures of pretty young blondes getting their A Level results. A pint to Eric. In an unusual move, there is one group photo in the story with a couple of non-white students. Not that the Mail has any motive here.

The annual argument over standards carries on and maybe I'll add my two penneth one day (dead giveaway to your age there, Eric -Ed.)

Best comment on the Mail story goes to this honorary professor:

  • I can't wait to see the spelling, grammar and punctuation of posters who say standards were higher in their day.
    - Callum Durrutti, London, 14/8/2008 9:51

Deserves his own column!

A Grin Up North

The report from Tory think tank Policy Exchange that northern cities are beyond regeneration, caused a bit of a stir in the Republic of Merseyside. The report - covered here in The Guardian - states,

"Coastal cities, whether large like Liverpool and Hull, or small like Scunthorpe and Blackpool, are most vulnerable ... They are almost always at the end of the line. They have lost their raison d'etre [as ports] and it is hard to imagine them prospering at their current sizes.

Understandably, the Conservative Party have been quick to distance themselves from this barmy report. I don't particularly want to dwell too much on this as these academics don't deserve the oxygen of publicity. (Some callers to our local radio station thought they should be deprived of oxygen itself, but I digress).

The report, Cities Unlimited, says: "Many of Britain's towns and cities have failed - and been failed by policy makers for too long. It is better to tell uncomfortable truths than to continue to claim that if we carry on as we are then things will turn out well. Just as we can't buck the market, so we can't buck economic geography either. Places that enjoyed the conditions for creating wealth in the coal-powered 19th century often do not do so today.

The fact is that Liverpool and the surrounding areas are beginning to prosper economically. There is development. Whilst we can argue about the immediate effect on poorer sections of the area., it is noticeable that investment is coming here.

Another bright idea is this so-called new notion: "Cities based on highly skilled workers are the most dynamic. Oxford and Cambridge are unambiguously Britain's leading research universities outside London." People in the north should be told bluntly that their best chance of an affluent future is to move south. "No one is suggesting that residents should be forced to move, but we do argue that they should be told the reality of the position."

Historically, this has happened for many years. As our industry has become increasingly Londoncentric, people have had to, as Norman Tebbit's dad did, 'get on their bikes' and re-located. The idea that Oxford (high murder rate since Morse died), Cambridge and London are crying out for an influx of northerners defies logic and I'm sure this nonsense will be very popular there. Of course, the reality is that there is an implication here that hi-fliers should move but sod the rest, thus creating ghettos which can be left to rot as they were under Thatcher. That is the nasty taste this report leaves; a dilemma for the nasty party seeking votes up north.

The idea that we should forget about regeneration is ludicrous; if anything those in the south should be worried - the future could be in the north. Given technological advances, why do we have to have everything concentrated in the south-east. Costs are lower, people are friendlier (no generalisation either) and other countries manage it.

The other flaw in their argument is that it is based on historical growth. One thing history shows is that successful investment does not necessarily have to be based on the past. Liverpool may not be dependent on its status as a port - though the docks are busier than ever and the river is busier than it's been for decades - but that port would not have been built in the first place without risk and investment.

I'm sure most of us here are having a smile today over this report and are enjoying the Tories squirm, but it does teach us a lesson - such think-tanks - be they left or right - are dangerous, disproportionally powerful bodies. They are often relied upon by papers for quotes when journalists cannot be bothered researching (Civitas, Migrationwatch e.g.) so hopefully their findings and views will not be accepted as tablets of stone in the future. Somehow I doubt it though.

Anyway, thanks Tim 'Nice but Dim' Leunig, for today's laugh.


In an article in the Liverpool Echo 'boffin' (compulsory to describe anyone with a Masters Degree as Einstein) Tim Leunig digs even deeper as he seeks to bury his credibility. I've copied it in full as Echo links tend to disappear after a few days.

  • THE author of a report branding Liverpool beyond help today said its regeneration cash would be better spent on plasma TVs.
    Tim Leunig dismissed the city’s £4bn revival saying the chances of it catching up with rich parts of the south east were "close to zero".
    Instead he said Liverpool residents should move south to London, claiming the decline of the docks had taken away the city’s reason to exist.
    Mr Leunig’s report, which he admitted some people would think was "barmy", was today dismissed as "tosh" and written by an "idiot".
    City leaders pointed to Liverpool’s Capital of Culture-inspired rebirth and hugely successful schemes like Liverpool One and the ECHO arena.
    But London- based Mr Leunig, who co-wrote his report for think- tank Policy Exchange with fellow academic James Swaffield, insisted city residents would be better off packing their bags and leaving.
    He said: "I am not saying Liverpool is such a bad place to live. But it is a bad place to earn money because it is on the edge of the country.
    "It is poorly connected to the road network, the rail network and air links.
    "And it is a long, long way away from markets in Europe.
    "People are doing their best without a doubt. But the city still suffers the problem of not being near London or Heathrow.
    "Some of the cost of regeneration – I wonder if it should have been used to buy plasma televisions. I am being flippant – but only a little."
    Mr Leunig admitted he did not visit Liverpool or speak to city leaders before writing his report. He added: "People in Liverpool are better off than ever before.
    "But they have only got better off at the same rate as the rest of the country, so Liverpool is not catching up with London or the south east.
    "It is not because people are lazy or feckless. It is because Liverpool is less well-placed to do business.
    "The chance of Liverpool catching up with the UK average in the foreseeable future is close to zero.
    "If Liverpool people want to be as rich as people elsewhere they have to move out of the city."
    * Dr Tim Leunig is a lecturer in economic history at the London School of Economics.
    He went to Oxford university, where he got a degree, masters and doctorate in economics.
    He admits to making only a brief "pilgrimage" to Liverpool when writing a report about Lancashire’s cotton towns.
    He can be emailed on

Almost as good as Patrick Minford of Liverpool University - in a lecture I attended - advising unemployed people to visit factories and offer to work for less than the present workforce. The frightening thing was that Minford was very influential to Thatcher; it is to be hoped that should Cameron become P.M. he'll not be returning calls from Plasma Man.

Eric The Gnome

Seeing the picture of Eric The Hedgehog in the previous post reminded me of the story in yesterday's papers and today's Mirror about a gnome taken to exotic locations.
  • He was snatched from owner Eve Stuart-Kelso's garden - and returned seven months later with 48 photos of his adventures. They show the 10-inch leprechaun abseiling and hiking in New Zealand mountains, posing by Sydney harbour and taking a dip in Thailand.
    With them was a letter to gran Eve explaining his absence. It read: "Whilst surveying your front garden one summer morning, I began to get somewhat itchy feet.
    "There is more to life than watching the daily commuter traffic and allowing passing cats to urinate on you.
    "So I decided to free myself from the doldrums of the Shire and seek adventure."
    The pictures, put in an album, also show him on a Singapore cable car, visiting a temple in Cambodia, on a boat in China and standing in a shark's mouth.
    Other places he visited were South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Laos.
My first view was that it could easily be photoshopped but that would be just cynical and spoil such a good story. Of course it also recalls the beautiful Audrey Tautou in the wonderful French film, Amelie - one of my faves. Eric in the Malia picture liked it there so much that he decided to stay. Maybe one day he'll go elsewhere or come home - driven out by the Malia Marauders drunk on free Raki.
His replacement, Eric the Berlin Bear has also travelled and maybe his slide show from Milan will be updated soon.

Excuse for pic of Audrey Tautou with spoon Part 1

White Heat

I normally like to read the columns of Michael White in The Guardian. He can be relied upon for entertaining sketches from Parliament. Now with the House of Commons in recess, maybe the holiday sunshine (or alcohol) has gone to his head. How else to explain his piece today - linking the stories on drunken Brits abroad and the case of mistakes in compensation for rape.

At least the Guardian allows a free reign - within boundaries -to its comments section. Thus, we witness Mr White getting his ass kicked.

The article in full:

On rape and personal responsibility -Michael White

August 12, 2008

Here's a trick question: part I. When Brits on their summer holiday across (occasionally 35,000 feet above) sunny southern Europe get drunk, hospitalised and possibly jailed, whose fault is it?
Usually theirs, of course, though it's always interesting to hear how keen some of them are to blame the poor old British consul for not finding their stolen passport - or opening the front door at three in the morning.
It's all over page one of the Mail today, based on a Foreign Office reports which records a sharp rise in arrests - 2,032 in Spain last year, 1,415 in the US, 230 in Greece, on average 15% up.
In Spain 1,591 Brits died in 2006-07, which sounds like a lot of pool drownings until you remember the pensioners who live - and die - in the sun.
Junior Foreign Office minister, Meg Munn, was on the radio this morning, sensibly advising travellers to check the law and customs in countries they plan to visit. I often forget the French requirement that drivers must carry a triangle and fluorescent yellow jacket in the boot of the car. They can be very bureaucratic, the Frogs, though they tolerated sensational speeding until recently.
What Munn really meant, of course, was drink, drugs and sex. Apparently, not everyone heads south for sunshine or museums. Some go to get bladdered and laid, so they tell me. It's not just the grown-ups either. Teenagers, free from mum and dad, do it too.
Well, well. Serves them right, says me, if the Greek police take a less restrained view of their misconduct than they do down on the Quays in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In socially conservative countries - as ours was until quite recently - being pissed, aggressively loud and half-naked isn't thought acceptable.
I realise the local boys take advantage of this deplorable phenomenon to get easy pickings, but hypocrisy is a universal trait, even among priests and mullahs, let alone barmen.
Now to part II of the trick question. Who's to blame when someone who's got drunk later gets raped, abroad or at home? Well, the rapist, of course. Rape is a very nasty crime, though a flamboyant Tory politician - Nicholas Fairbairn QC - who later lost his job as Mrs Thatcher's Scottish solicitor general once got into trouble for observing that it was very close to a normal activity. It's one reason among several (no witnesses) why prosecution is so difficult.
But what about compensation for rape victims? Just as today's Mail highlights the holiday binge drinkers on page one today, the Guardian carries a page one report under the headline Rape victims told alcoholic consumption may cost them compensation.
We learned that in the past year 14 rape victims have had their compensation trimmed by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) because they had been drinking before they were attacked.
In the case of Helen - a beauty therapist who has not worked since being raped - she got 25% knocked off her £11,000 standard award. It felt like "a slap in the face", Helen told the paper.
She also gave an interview - read by an actor to protect her anonymity - to Radio 4's Today programme which, so I assume, must also have been given the story. The legal wrangle prolonged her distress, Helen seemed to be suggesting. Her lawyer was outraged.
The twist was that the CICA later changed its mind. It updated its response to the Guardian and BBC to say a mistake had been made in Helen's case: its policy is NOT to reduce awards to rape victims on the basis of alcohol consumption.
Today's Guardian editorial comment endorses that position, calling for a change in the rules on alcohol, in part on the grounds that for many women, those who do not see their attacker convicted, monetary compensation from the public purse is a form of recognition for their suffering.
I'm uneasy about this line of argument. Compensation for injury, civil and criminal, can be a pretty rough old business, with bomb victims sometimes getting much less than some pretty undeserving litigants who tripped on an uneven paving stone.
The Guardian acknowledges that drink "raises the risk of suffering rape, just as it increases the dangers of suffering from other violent crimes. No, the argument is that with rape there can be no divvying up of the blame."
Indeed not. But surely compensation is not about blame, that's a matter for the criminal law. It's about weighing up the injury, what long-term distress, financial outlay or even unemployment, it may cause, and - one factor among several - whether the actions of the claimant may have contributed to his/her misfortune. In sum, it's about personal responsibility.
If I get glassed in a pub during a fight which arose when I was drunk it's not quite the same as if I took the broken bottle in my eye as I soberly walked in, is it? If I wear conspicuously expensive clothes - or accent - and a Rolex watch in a rough part of town, drunk or sober, it's a crime to mug me. But, as the old saying goes, I was "asking for it" a bit, wasn't I?
It's rather like the police saying - as they rightly do - "don't carry a knife for protection, it may get you into trouble."
You put yourself at risk, just as you do by speeding when the idiot coming the other way loses control of the car: his fault, but you were going too fast or (another common one) tail-gating.
Yet I get into a lot of trouble with women friends whenever I suggest they have a responsibility to themselves to think about what they're wearing where they're wearing it. Ditto how much they drink. Ditto what I wear - and drink. Date rape drugs may be a problem, but rather less so than the happy hour, I suspect from the speed-drinking I see in bars.
The fact that people go to enormous lengths to deny this factor seems to me part of the problem, just as it is when bladdered stag party boys get stroppy with the consul when they lose their passport in Riga.
Everyone's a victim, no one's responsible. No wonder we have a discipline pandemic in school, at home and on the streets, not confined to the underclass either.
As for Brits, tourist or ex-pats doing drugs and sex-on-the-beach in places like Dubai, where appearances matter (as they once did here) they must be mad.
It's not Bradford or Barking, surely they can figure that out. For one thing it's hotter. That's why they're there. Or have they forgotten? Wonder why...

Whilst it used to be apocryphal old fart judges that equated skimpy dresses and lambrini with 'asking for it', it seems even the liberal elite are holding this view, albeit not apportioning blame in the legal sense - only in civil terms.
Now, let's be clear here, as a bloke who detests the way drunken morons of both sexes desecrate our towns and sully our name overseas, I'm not condoning drunkenness. I'd also fall into the grumpy old man groove of 'you're not going out dressed like that' but rape is rape is rape.

To use the following - as White does- defies logic:
If I get glassed in a pub during a fight which arose when I was drunk it's not quite the same as if I took the broken bottle in my eye as I soberly walked in, is it? If I wear conspicuously expensive clothes - or accent - and a Rolex watch in a rough part of town, drunk or sober, it's a crime to mug me. But, as the old saying goes, I was "asking for it" a bit, wasn't I?

This point stinks for a number of reasons:-
Is White saying that it's different because the alcohol will provide anaesthetic, or is he actually using such a general scenario to cover a multitude of sins? Who was to blame for the fight? Was the protagonist in the second example known to the victim?

Earlier in the article, White introduces the contrasting situation of drunken Brits losing their passports etc. I have an interest here: my first menage-a-tois with Messrs Ouzo and Stella led to me losing a credit card and much skin tissue. Mea culpa. No third party was involved. If I had been assaulted (and hadn't encouraged it) or had been buggered, the situation is clearly different. I cannot rape or assault myself.

I also had a lot of dealings with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) or CICB as was. There was a provision in the scheme for deductions to be made for contributory behaviour. This includes drunken behaviour but is largely to do with behaviour rather than the alcohol content (Often this would only be apparent on appeal as the faceless decision-makers evidently had a remit to save the exchequer money as claim rates rose (allegedly as any great Hislop would say).
White is not saying that anyone walking home in the early hours or with a belt for a skirt is responsible for the crime. He is correct that we need to take responsiblity for our own actions. However, even in purely compensation terms, there is no justification for the inferrence that somehow a victim is the architect of misfortune. It is hard to put a figure on injury in such cases; the tarrif system of the CICA scheme hardly helps here. There is though a clear distinction between an inebriated girl headbutting concret after tripping over a defective paving flag and a rape victim. The pavement is impassive; the rapist is not.

Suffice to say, this is a poor article for The Guardian and would not be out of place in The Mail. It is sometimes a flavourite device of a columnist to take a controversial view a la Burchill and then wait. Well, White succeeds there.
Perhaps the best comment on the piece comes from Purplefluff so the last word should be with her:

Complete and utter rubbish.
Are you REALLY comparing someone who is raped after having the temerity to have a couple of drinks, to drunken stag night idiots blaming everyone BUT themselves for losing their passport?
Compensation is cut if the victim had been drinking *at all* - not because they were *drunk*. This policy is just an absolute joke.
I am getting very tired of hearing men whinge stuff along the lines of: "but *men* are putting themselves at risk if they go around in dodgy areas wearing expensive suits flashing their cash! They're asking for it! whyyyyyy can't I say that women wearing revealing clothing are asking for it!"
Well, I'll try and make it easy for you: no-one actually says of mugging victims that they were asking for it! If you go to the police they focus on the *crime* and do not ask - what were you wearing? Nice suit, that, how much did that cost? You had £200 cash on you and a gold Amex? You had a few beers? Silly man, stop wasting our time, you know what to expect if you flash your cash in that kind of pub! You probably just got drunk and GAVE the money away!
Women, too, are at risk of theft. A businesswoman wearing a designer suit and flashing a gold credit card is quite likely to be a victim, too. Women have the EXTRA risk of sexual assault and rape, and the misogynist myths that go with it.
The thing is that it's reasonably predictable when you are more at risk of non-sexual crime and you can reduce your risk accordingly: cover your PIN when getting out cash, don't take out too much at once, don't wander around dodgy areas late at night, take taxis not public transport late at night, don't ask the shell-suited skinhead lad what he's looking at, etc...
Yes, being extremely drunk might make people more careless about this kind of thing, and I don't think anyone is seriously arguing that drinking to the point where basic common sense goes out of the window is a good idea. But no-one seriously thinks anyone is actually to blame for being mugged, or glassed, *whatever* their behaviour.
The thing is - women get raped when drunk or sober, by opportunist strangers or people they know. Actually, by far the majority of rapes are by perpetrators known to the victim in some way.
Since most rapes aren't the violent, stranger dragging victim into dark alley off the street kind you're probably thinking - it doesn't MATTER how much she was drinking or what she was wearing or anything else she did or didn't do.
Rapists do not have red eyes, horns, a tail, and a tattoo on their forehead saying "RAPIST". They are often very skilled at making women trust them.
Many rapes are by partners, yes, really, or friends of the victim - people they thought they could trust. Women cannot sanely go around assuming every man they date is a rapist, even a long-term partner is a rapist, their friend of ten years is a rapist. Do we assume the nice guy who is a friend of a friend, who is offering them a lift home from the party, after all, they know him to talk to, he seems like a nice respectable guy, and we all know the scare stories that women are at risk if they take public transport home, or even take a taxi alone. Yet rapists are calculating, and the "let me walk you home, dear, you know it's not safe" is not an unknown ploy used by rapists to get women alone.
The risks of sexual crimes cannot be weighed in the same way.
And for your information, women are raped when wearing *all kinds* of clothing. Work suit? Jeans and baggy jumper? Slobby old tracksuit with food stains? Burqua? Nun's habit? Phwoar, sexaaay, yet you can bet some woman has been raped wearing all of the above. I am not surprised your unfortunate female friends get annoyed when you try to patronisingly advise them what to wear. In fact if a man said that to me, I'd think he was "asking for" a slap...what do you expect, deliberately provoking those hormonal angry women? You KNOW they can't be trusted around men coming out with sexist tripe!

Seasonal Greetings


The football's back. The pulses race, the tickets clutched, the scarf worn in Summer.

From expererience there are 3 things that spring to mind when discussing Swindon:

  1. Be sure to take candles if Swindon Town are losing.

  2. Beware Dougal and the Magic Roundabout.

  3. Never fall out with the designated driver before getting a lift back - the train journey is both exhausting and costly.

Therefore, I was not entirely disappointed to miss the opening game of the season in Wiltshire. Another 3-1 defeat and the signs do not look so good for us this season. Leeds - without their 15 point chain -looked in good shape strolling to a 5-2 victory over Chester in the Cup as we crashed out 2-0 to Grimsby. Not a good start.

Ah well, a long way to go.

Daily Mail Pole-axed

I'm not one to gloat (not half) but the Mail has had to print a letter from the Federation of Poles in Great Britain. It has also removed some of the more vile stories I referred to in earlier posts. Of course this is not explained in the Mail. The Guardian helpfully provides more details here.

The Polish community and the United Kingdom

By Wiktor Moszczynski
Last updated at 12:04 PM on 05th August 2008

Older readers of the Daily Mail will be aware that here has been a sizeable Polish community in this country since World War Two when Polish forces fought alongside British servicemen against the Nazi threat.

Since then, an estimated one million Polish citizens have arrived in the UK after European Union expansion in 2004, mostly to work.

They have made a significant contribution to both the Polish and British economies.

According to the National Bank of Poland, about £4 billion is sent each year by Polish workers in the UK to their families at home. However – according to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research – the Polish workforce alone has contributed £12 billion to the British economy between 2004 and 2006.

We have all heard about the cheap Polish plumbers and seen the smiling Polish waitresses and shop assistants.

Poles have helped to revive British agriculture (especially in Scotland, Wales and Lincolnshire) and to boost, until earlier this year, the recent house-building boom in this country.

Unfortunately many were exploited as they struggled to obtain the legal minimum wage and basic employment rights.

At the other end of the economic scale, thousands of entrepreneurs have now set up their own businesses, while others can be found in responsible positions in the NHS, social services, accountancy and banking.

According to Piotr Grzeszkiewicz, director of recruitment agency Sara-Int, the Polish workforce contributes about £1.9 billion a year to the British exchequer in income tax and national insurance, not including council tax.

Poles are integrating well into the British way of life, especially if they are setting up families here. Of course we are aware that their presence has impacted considerably on the resources of local councils, schools and health trusts, but much of this is covered by tax contributions.

The Federation of Poles in Great Britain has been concerned about newspaper coverage which has sought to emphasise negative aspects of the Polish presence in the UK.

In our view, the worst examples linked Poles with words and phrases like “feckless”, “chancers”, “race riots”, “swamp the NHS”, “fears for schools”, “cut-price treatment”, “push British graduates to back of the jobs queue”, “killers, drug smugglers and rapists”. We consider that this has made Poles living in the UK feel vulnerable and persecuted.

Some might argue that these robust headlines were aimed more at the British Government, its immigration policy and at the European Union. Fair enough.

This implies therefore that Poles came into the firing line not because they were Poles but because they were the most visible symbol of those government policies that the Daily Mail has criticised.

The Federation remains critical however of the lack of reliable national and local government statistics on the number and impact of Poles in this country.

We maintain that Poles have felt humiliated by the coverage and are vulnerable to numerous acts of overt hostility and even violence which they have experienced from a vociferous minority of UK citizens.

There have been hundreds of cases of hate crime against Poles in this country recorded in the last 2 years, some leading to death or permanent injury, and we would not want these incidents to be encouraged by potentially inflammatory newspaper stories or headlines.

In some ways the heat is off now. A good proportion of Poles have either already returned or are planning to do so soon as the Polish economy improves and the Polish currency almost doubles in value against sterling.

There is now more concern in the press and economic circles about the impact of their departure rather than of their arrival. Nevertheless a significant number are here and will continue to be here for some years. The need for sensitive reporting and sensitive headlines remains.

Interestingly, no comments were being allowed on this. Another example of the Mail not trusting the readers. Jacqui Weems, John from Tendring et al - eat your heart out.