Shame or Ashamed?

Norwich Union has trumpeted its altered name of Aviva, Marathon transformed into Snickers and Cat Stevens became Yusuf Ali. But is a name change always a good move?

An interesting development over at the Merseyside BNP site. In an attempt to distance itself from the BNP it has rebranded itself as 'The Merseyside and Liverpool nationalists.' It even has an exclamation mark at the end of the title like Westwood Ho! and Send Them Back! Of course, it still has the merseysidebnp blog address. Surprisingly, along with the disappearance of the BNP moniker is the vanishing Union flag. Are they ashamed of the British flag?

Is this because the Griffin-led BNP are ashamed of their medal-clad troops, or is it an indication that the local cadre will be free to express more extreme views in the future.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Fighting For The Right

The issue surrounding the campaign for the Gurkhas to be allowed to reside in this country has had many of us tearing our hair out; we have found ourselves effectively sharing a platform with The Daily Mail, Conservative Party and the odious BNP ™.

quite how the Government has allowed itself to get into this position is unclear. On the one hand it is eager to appease the anti-immigration tabloids and appear tough on the issue; on the other, it has not (remarkably) realised the depth of feeling on this matter.

In a situation likened to the Post Office closures and rail nationalisation, a Government intent on spin and focus group creeping has let an opportunity go begging. Moreover, it has allowed the bigots and ignorant to use the playground game of immigration Top Trumps.

A caller to the Radio Merseyside lunchtime phone-in - a BNP member/supporter from Ellesmere Port waded in with his best card - you let everyone in and give them mobile phones and housing but don't allow people who fought for the country - which is patent nonsense given the facts as outlined by councils in Salford and Redcar.

Our BNP fiend (sic) was shot down in flames when it was pointed out to him that despite his concern for the Boys From Nepal, they wouldn't be welcome in his party.

So, it is a step in the right direction to see the latest vote in the Commons, which although symbolic, may be sufficient to make Gordon and Co have a change of heart. Having visited Auschwitz yesterday (and pledged money for its future) he should be mindful not to give succour to the BNP and fight for rights not for the Right.

Blue Monday

After yesterday evening's cycle ride, I now realise that:

a) I'm not as fit as I used to be;

b) My bike needs a bit of a refit.

I noted that Dave Gorman is about to embark on a cycling tour coupled with stand-up gigs and that he has been given a bike by Wirral's Chris Boardman. Cheat.

Still, there was time for a swift pint of Jennings in The Tap at Eastham Ferry and a snap of the view across the Mersey estuary as Easyjet planes soared over from JL Airport.

Pic also at Aminus

Moore Magic

Good to see Christy Moore has included the Ian Prowse song 'Does This Train Stop On Merseyside' on his new CD 'Listen' together with a cover of 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond'. Just heard the album and as ever, I'm impressed.

Whither Rule #15

Since the BNP Discipline Manual was highlighted in the press, it now emerges that Rule #15 has disappeared into the ether. Curious.

To remind people, here it is:

  • BNP activists and writers should never refer to ‘black Britons’ or ‘Asian Britons’ etc, for the simple reason that such persons do not exist. These people are ‘black residents’ of the UK etc, and are no more British than an Englishman living in Hong Kong is Chinese. Collectively, foreign residents of other races should be referred to as ‘racial foreigners’, a non-pejorative term that makes clear the distinction needing to be drawn. The key in such matters is above all to maintain necessary distinctions while avoiding provocation and insult. [RULE #15]
Could it be that the BNP feels that this wasn't quite the message they wanted people to hear as they seek to rebrand themselves in time for the Euro elections?

Ten Bob Note

As the fallout over the introduction of a 50% tax rate for about 1.5% of the population continues, it is comforting to see Andrew Lloyd-Webber (the man who never actually said he would leave Britain if Labour gained power) in his natural habitat - the ever-rational Daily Mail - barking about it:

  • I believe that this new top rate of tax could be the final nail in the coffin of Britain plc.
Maybe you could write a musical about it, Andy? Fatcats?

Even though this budget measure is perhaps the most popular thing the Government has done in a while, good old Middle Englander and his wife are on the prowl.
  • My son and daughter in law are in this category. they are not super rich just hard working. they get up at 6 am to prepare for 1 hour travelling, usually no breakfast
    come home 8 to 9 pm for a frozen meal. Their first 4 hours work is for themselves, the next 6 hours is for the lazy shiftless 3 million on benefits the work they do at until midnight and weekends is for the expenses of our MPs. . I really wish I had not sacrificed to give my son a first rate education, I really wish he had not sacrifice his youth in studying. I f I coulf have my time over I would have encouraged him to go on benefits and enjoy life.

If you are finding it hard, Andrew, me ol' creamy whirl, take time out from selling The Big Issue and drop me a line. My offer of a free one-way ticket on Ryanair remains (unless they introduce an ugly task to go with their proposed 'fat tax.' Take that look off your face!

[Claude at Hagley Road To Ladywood has a good piece on the Heffmeister's addition to the debate]

Wellington in Wellington

I love Google ads. Don't have them here but it's always great to see what the algorithms come up with and the interesting juxtapositions and ironies.

Today's example is on the spiffing British Pages, which although still awaiting its first vacancies for British (see Nick Griffin for definition) workers, continues its march/crawl towards success. The fact that the two North-West businesses (the soon-to-be-demolished pub and the Blackpool hotel) have disappeared from the site may be just a blip. Perhaps the poor spelling was putting customers off. Or the golliwog badges.........

Anyhow, if the British Pages fails in its crusade to save Britain from itself, members may be tempted to join the queue to jump ship and emigrate to the land of the kiwi. This blog foresees the establishment of epoch-making friendships between the English emigres and the New Zealand indigenous Maoris. Dogs in stables and all. Whether ostentatious tattoos will be allowed in Griffin's New Look BNP remains to be seen.

The chums at the British Pages will be pleased to see the results of a study highlighted in today's Guardian. Now this blog is as cynical as any about so-called scientific studies that seek publicity fr the people carrying out the survey, but hey ho:

  • The famously multicultural city of Bradford has emerged as one of the three most "English" places in England for patriots to spend St George's Day.
Now, I'm biased here. As someone introduced to the delights of Balti and Lamb Jalfrezi via the curry houses of Soho Road in Birmingham, I must admit that my first trip to Bradford was an eye-opener. A victory for Tranmere (our only Viking football team) at Valley Parade was followed by a magnificent curry near an equally impressive mosque.

We even stayed at a pub which overlooked the 'lane' featured in 'Band of Gold' starring the great actress Samantha Morton. Halcyon days. So good to see that Bradford also has -according to the survey - "one of the country's highest ratios of fish and chip shops to people, and an astonishing number of cricket clubs and leagues."

It was good to see Brighton positioned in the top 10 too. That should please someone! Before he sets sail for pastures new.


Hopefully, Leicester City can do us a favour and beat Scunthorpe tonight to help our promotion campaign.


There Be Dragons

Oh yes there are some places allowed to celebrate St George (apart from Lithuania, Portugal....oh stop it now....point made.....see Brian Reade) but I thought I'd partake of the brews on offer in the Wetherspoons Spring Beer Festival. The best was a dark beer from Canada but they did have a St Georgen Brau Keller beer from Bavaria. Prost!

Dragons, Griffins and Other Myths

It's that time of the year again. April 23rd. St George's Day. Patron saint of Lithuanians and quite a few others. No doubt there will be stories about jobsworth people banning flags so as not to upset the 'others'.

Some of the papers today (Guardian, Mail)report on Rule 15 of the BNP Discipline Manual (makes me think of Dirk Bogarde for some strange reason), which I touched on previously.

This is of more interest than the recent stories about the BNP rebranding itself but I don't see how it's such a secret when it's all on the BNP website.

The comments in the Mail are true to form in their symbiotic relationship with the BNP. You must be so proud of your demographics, Associated Newspapers.

The British Pages (also mentioned in the previous article) goes from strength to strength. Perhaps. In a timely missive they say:

  • Let me start by wishing you all the best for St Georges Day. This is our day and hope your celebrating with pride ! The site is growing at a steady rate and any thanks for joining, but we need your help if this site is to succeed, we would apreciate it if all members would try and recoommend at least one company to go in the directory and try to invite one more member to the site.
    At the moment we are in the process reaching a deal with a Nationalist book supplier that will give all members of British Pages a 10% discount. Hopefully we will beable to confirm this by the start of next week.
    Thanks very muchj for your continued support
So, the challenge is there. Recommend your local businesses but be careful that they do not fall foul of Rule 15. Still no sign of any jobs there (or indeed potential recruits) on the employment section, but hey, from little adolfs, er acorns. They may be looking for a proofreader soon though. Watch this space.

UPDATE: a flag controversy is flying in Liverpool at this very minute. apparently, the local council have taken down some flags from a street. You wonder at the mentality of such decision-makers because no doubt the odious BNP will be rubbing their hands with glee.

Aren't Terror Suspects Useful?

I said in the previous post here, that the suspected terrorists arrested in the North-West led to an open day in the tabloids about what the 'potential' targets were. As with the G20 protests, the media is quick to accept police and security services' version of events (and in this case quick to embellish the facts.

Now that all of those arrested have been released without charge, no doubt the tabloids will seek to justify the original arrests on the basis that 'you can't be too careful, guv' which is of course one step away from internment of anyone looking a bit foreign. The disturbing aspect is that they are facing deportation on security grounds, which smacks of the security services having more than one bite of the cherry. Hopefully, upon appeal, more facts will emerge. Should they be granted legal aid then expect the usual suspects to lambast this.

This is worrying for a number of reasons. Given the Government's complete faith in incarceration without charge for lengthy periods, these arrests seem to come at periodical intervals as if to remind us of the 'enemy within'. Those of us with a few remaining libertarian bones will be castigated for encouraging/condoning/supporting terrorism, but we will continue to seek answers and counter the lies, half-truths and dog whistles in the right-wing media.

If people want to know the effects of such reporting they need only have listened to a young woman interviewed on North-West news shortly after the arrests. She had been abused in the street. Because she looked foreign.

The reaction to 7/7 was also worrying. Aside from the ludicrous sanctioning of police placement outside railway stations (nice overtime if you can get it), there was a sense of a bunker mentality. Political correctness seemed to be jettisoned as people found it appropriate to express views which were openly prejudiced. In the name of 'better safe than sorry' I noticed anti-immigrant feeling which quickly disappeared when someone of a different ethnicity appeared.

Our fiends (sic) at BNP HQ are rubbing their hands of course.


Finally, I've been following with interest the completion of The Dream in St. Helens on the site of the old colliery. Some impressive pictures here. I knew that the Taxpayers' Alliance would have a rentaquote response ready and wasn't disappointed. They really are a bunch of artless, self-appointed bastards.


Fly Tipping by N. G. Riffin


Just booked a flight to Oslo which seemed like a good idea at the time as I pine for the fjords but evidently it's a bit on the expensive side and the airport is a bit of a distance to town but hey ho. Anyway, as I know there are a few regular visitors from Norway, I'd be grateful for any tips. I've already perused a few guides including the use-it website, so I've a fair idea what I want to do. Certainly a boat trip looks likely.


In other news, I'm looking into the wondrous news that the BNP are trumpeting the British Pages - a Nationalist version of the Yellow Pages, which they probably think is a Maoist conspiracy!

The thinking behind this epochal site is that people can highlight businesses they feel contribute to Britain: Marks and Spencer, Harrods etc. I should imagine.

Not only that but the rational and not-at-all bigoted people behind the site are standing at the forefront of the fight to preserve the British pork pie:

  • Everyday we see more high street names promoting the islamification of Britain. Fast food outlets that are forcing halal products on an unsuspecting British public. Not only is this process barbaric and totally alien to our animal loving nation. It is a direct attack on British culture and identity. Goodbye to our favourite the bacon butty or the pork pie, no more ham in your ploughman's sandwich.
The list does recommend a local butcher who won't sell Halal meat. A lone voice apparently. No flies on him (or his lamb chops).

It's only early days but already they have 2 major exclusives:
  1. The Ace of Diamonds pub in Manchester claims to offer a welcome to all (though prospective patrons may wish to consider that Mein Host, Derek Adams, recently stood for the BNP in local elections). So successful was he (he came 2nd) that it forced the Council to use a time machine and issue a Compulsory Purchase Order in 2007. As the BNP point out the CPO was issued ‘for no apparent reason other than to persecute the owner’.
2. Calder Designs, where you can order your very own Enoch Powell T shirt or perhaps an 'England: Love it Or Leave it' car sticker.

The site also has a handy job vacancy section. Unfortunately, nothing is on offer at the moment. Nor are there any takers for the 'British Workers For Hire' section. Of particular interest is their declaration:
  • Our Employment Exchange is probably our most ambitious section. This is where we want to try encourage British employers to advertise their vacancies. By recruiting through the British Pages employers not only gain hard working conscientious British staff.
Now this could be one to watch. Given that the BNP tells its members:
  • BNP activists and writers should never refer to ‘black Britons’ or ‘Asian Britons’ etc, for the simple reason that such persons do not exist. These people are ‘black residents’ of the UK etc, and are no more British than an Englishman living in Hong Kong is Chinese. Collectively, foreign residents of other races should be referred to as ‘racial foreigners’, a non-pejorative term that makes clear the distinction needing to be drawn. The key in such matters is above all to maintain necessary distinctions while avoiding provocation and insult. [RULE #15]
  • Britain does not have ‘immigrants,’ a term proper for use in settler societies like Canada, Argentina, and the USA. It has ‘guest workers,’ ‘foreign workers,’ or ‘descendants of foreign workers.’ They are, depending on who they are, ‘racial foreigners,’ ‘religious foreigners’ or ‘persons of foreign religion,’ or ‘ethnic foreigners.’ The last term is meant to apply to persons racially similar to Britons, but ethnically dissimilar, like Dutchmen.
This seems to fly in the face of the recent New Statesman article, which stated,
  • Public anxiety about immigration may have helped fuel the BNP’s rise, but the party is about more than racism and xenophobia.

Still, getting back to the crusade on 'British jobs for some British workers', they may be looking for a JCB operator over at the Ace of Diamonds soon! Clearing the decks I think, though they haven't always been playing with a full one anyway.

Dummer and Dummer

From the local BNP site:

Anonymous said...

School literacy lessons 'have left a generation lacking the stamina to read books'

Part of the Labour plot of dumming us down!!

Zombies on Grand National Day in Liverpool

Four Lads to Shake the World?

Banksy on the Wall

One Foot in the Grave

There's a Place

Riders on the Storm

Dancing in the Street
Chinatown in Pepperland

Move Over Busker


Champagne Supernova

Happy Zombie

Crazy Graffiti

Let's Dance

Staines and Groats and Claims

Perhaps the only thing more stomach-churning than seeing Iain Dale and that Guy Fawkes guy with the Mallen streak (or maybe a Brylcream smear) being given prominence on BBC News, and having The Guardian describe him/it as 'buccaneering' is the fact that Simon 'Oucho' Darby of the odious ™ refers to his site as 'well informed'. Well, I suppose if the definition of inform is given its 'grassing up, leaking' meaning.

Bloggerheads has more in depth stuff as to why the new blue-eyed bloggers should be seen in their demon eyes finery.

What is clear is the stinking hypocrisy of people in glass blogs demanding apologies and resignations. This doesn't excuse the idiot behaviour and spin in general, but it does grate when the moral high ground is taken by these reprobates. There are further questions, such as how the emails got into the public domain and whether money changed hands.

The Guardian suggests that this story shows the arrival of blogging and a shift: a sort of power without responsiblity or accountability. Which is a bit rich coming from the Fourth Estate.

So You'd Like It If You Was Blown Up, Like.........

Following the arrests in the North-West of a number of suspects (or guilty as not charged to use tabloid parlance) we've had various attempts at guessing what the alleged target was. The Star conjectured that the Liverpool v Chelsea game was the proposed venue, which beggars belief given the timings of the raids, which were BROUGHT FORWARD after Quick's cock-up. Is it conceivable that the action was to be taken as the men entered Anfield? Or were they to be followed a la de Menezes until someone decided to take them out?

There is no concrete information coming out for obvious reasons, but this is not good enough for our tabloid boys. They need something to feed to their readers. The Star's piece of crap was written by Bill Martin so he must be satisfied that he has done the job without actually providing evidence, merely weak words such as,

  • Police were last night investigating claims that any planned attack might be football related.

    They will probe whether Manchester United’s stadium at Old Trafford might also have been in the terrorists’ sights.
Claims? By whom? Oh right.

Of course, in a previous raid on terrorist suspects, one unconvicted man had a Man Utd ticket stub in his flat; a crime in itself but not yet illegal or damning evidence of Al Quaida membership.
  • There is no immediate suggestion the stadium was the target but one of the raids was just three miles away.
But of course the headline is 'Footie Terror Plot' and the first line is:
  • Fears were growing over a bomb threat to last night’s Euro cup clash
It's a win-win situation for hacks like Bill. I don't know the details of the intelligence garnered by the security forces but neither do the journos. And if they did, another 'D' Notice (or equivalent) would be slapped faster than a Star Bird's arse.

This all comes in the run-up to the remembrance of Hillsborough so the thought of atrocities at the match in this area are bound to be an emotive issue. So, Daily Star, I hope your sales slump like The Sun did after Hillsborough for your deliberate scaremongering.


Of course we should be alert, not as the old joke goes, because Britain needs Lerts, but because the police have asked us to do so. Apparently there is a poster asking vigilant citizens to look for suspicious rubbish so James Holden (link wasn't working) via Boingboing has a billboard generator for you to use.

Be ready for the usual 'so you think terrorists are great' argument from anyone from the 'send 'em back' brigade.

No sooner had I written that last sentence when I saw that our fiend (sic) Simon Darby of the odious BNP has put a picture of the Daily Star headline above on his blog. Go figure. He also believes thar arrests in Clithroe vindicates BNP opposition to a mosque there.

Leeds Away Day

Always one for a bargain I took advantage of the National Express Funfare offer of a trip to Leeds for £1 each way. It costs more than that to get to the coach station.

It's a few years since I've been to Leeds and whilst - like many cities - there are tall apartment and office buildings beginning to dominate the skyline, they haven't totally detracted from the style of the city centre. The pubs are excellent too. I only remember the Duck and Drake from previous visits but there are enough in the centre to have made Brian Clough's 44 days a lot more bearable.

So, a few photos methinks.

Leeds Town Hall

County Arcade

Leeds Pubs

1. Town Hall Tavern

Not a traditional Ratskeller establishment but a pub across the road from the Town Hall. Had a very rare outing for Timothy Taylor Ram Tam as well as the more usual Landlord, Golden and Best Bitter. The brewery was having a week long celebration of cask ale with 5 pint purchase (over the week in Taylor's pubs) earning a free one.
Did not try the food but the portions looked substantial. A bizarre incident was a man coming into the pub with his own fish fingers asking for them to be heated up!
The clientele (sans Birds Eye produce) seemed to be a fair mix of people. The Law courts are also nearby so lawyers and council workers are regulars. Mein Host is very welcoming to 'foreigners' like myself.

2. Victoria Family and Commercial Hotel

Great George Street

A large range of beers in an ornate, if dark pub with individual alcoves to discuss civic secrets and conduct illicit trysts (perhaps). Plumped for a Batemans brew but it was less than perfect.

UPDATE: an intrepid adventurer using this post as a pub crawl guide found the beer to be in good order so don't rely on my single dealing with the pub.

3. Mr Foley's Cask Ale Bar

Chanced upon this on the way back from the Town Hall on The Headrow. It is also known as Dr Okells so this caused some confusion. Has an upstairs area and separate room for hire. Decent range of beers and Belgian bottles. Had a quick pint of Black Bess Stout. The toilet area displays pump clips from previous guest beers.

4. Whitelocks

The oldest pub in Leeds dating from 1715. Very friendly staff quick to offer recommendations. Decided against the tempting Old Peculier as I settled on a pint of Moorhouse Pride of Pendle. There is a beer garden/smoking area in the courtyard, which attracted a sizeable following despite the weather. They're made of stern stuff, Yorkshire folk.

The pub is off Briggate in Turk's Head Yard. Well worth a visit.

5. The North Bar

Couldn't find this one in spite of the directions given in Whitelocks so rather than ask a policeman I grabbed a couple of nuns. They knew exactly where this was; the Trappist beers on offer here may be popular in convent circles.

This is not a place for the softened drinker. It has some of the strongest Belgian beers on offer (Delirium Tremens at 9%, Rochefort 10 at 11.3% and Stouts at 9%). The bar warns patrons to know their limits so I went for a Wallonian Saison Silly at a mere 5%.

Mainly frequented by younger people when I popped in and it was pleasing to see so many women who appreciated strong, decent beer without the need to end up vomiting in a skip afterwards. (A reader writes: Takes one to know one, Eric).

Certainly worth a trip to Leeds by itself. Interestingly, it has taster size glasses so punters can avail themselves of a variety without developing an irrational urge to buy a kebab.

A decent day out for £2. Coupled with the fact that I availed myself of McDonalds' toilets without buying anything (on principle), I was quite pleased with the outing.

A Frightening Snapshot of British Policing

I was out taking photos in Leeds the other day when I attracted the attentions of a couple of Police Community Support Officers. They were courteous and merely asked me what I was doing (and yes I did think of the obvious answer to this, but fortunately insufficient beer had been consumed to enable my sarcasm muscle to flex). For all I know they might just have been interested in photography or were wanting to chat to the community they serve.

However, recent developments have led to a real sense of cynicism about intentions. The introduction of Section 76 of the Counter-Terrorism act 2008 lends itself to the potential arrest of photographers (be they journalists or not) and the National Union of Journalists are among those expressing concerns.

Others have been less pessimistic citing the likelihood of a difficulty in enforcing this. This makes sense but history shows us that the police are not averse to using any legislation - even the arcane - to police protests, as the miners found out in the 1980s. Whilst arrests often do not lead to charges let alone convictions, the provisions serve their purpose.

The case of Ian Tomlinson shows the value of the citizen photographer and journalist. The traditional media is only now reporting the seriousness of the situation several days after the blogosphere had highlighted the issue. Obviously it has not learnt lessons from Hillsborough and Jean Charles de Menezes that it has a duty not to act as a receptacle for the P.R. department of the police. Another knee-jerk press release has been shown to be flawed.

One disturbing aspect that this raises is the continued reliance of the police on accusations of alcohol consumption. Once a PC smells drink, this becomes another weapon to use.

Without the video sent to The Guardian, would Paul Stephenson have been forced to issue a statement talking about 'obvious concerns'? We don't know what actually killed this man but we do know we need to keep watching and recording.

UPDATE: Bloggerheads reports on Indymedia covering this matter with allegations at the Climate Camp of protestors being told to delete photos. Perhaps the best solution - short of an immediate Human Rights application - is to delete the photos but not tell the old Bill that it does not actually permanently destroy the data on the card. Just use recovery software. Simples!


Late Booking

On the day that the Guardian reports on plans by Birmingham to build the UK's largest library, the cuts in Wirral's libraries were due to kick in. It now appears that Culture Secretary Andy Burnham will now initiate an Inquiry, which may or not bring a reprieve. At least there should be some proper debate now as clearly this issue has been watched by councils throughout the land.

I did visit the Wirral Museum a couple of weeks ago and did draft a post on this, so I'll dig it out once my horses have lost at Aintree.

More Hamilton Terminological Inexactitudes

I must admit I fell out with Lewis Hamilton once he became another F1 tax exile. I have to be consistent given my vilification of Button in the preceding years.

In his press conference today, Lewis appeared to say that he was man enough to 'stand here before the media'. Only thing was, he was clearly sedentary.

5CC eat your heart out.