Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Wednesday 20 July 2011



No not the clot with the faux custard pie.

I am referring in my title to Wendi Deng, Mrs Rupert Murdoch; see how she steamed straight in to give the miscreant a slap.

I dream of having a woman like that as my life companion - support, commitment and so on; are hundreds of millions necessary? Romantically, I still hope not.

Full marks Wendi, and my compliments.

Until the next time

Sunday 19 June 2011

Death of a Spacecraft

The BBC has published a video of the burning-up of the spacecraft Jules Verne in 2008 as it re-entered the earth's atmosphere.


Friday 3 June 2011


This news item caught my eye the other day.

It made me think of certain prominent individuals (some French) who might be breathing a sigh of relief - if their eyes like mine caught the news item!

Until the next time

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Fucking Typical EU Bullshit

I really do not like Marmite, let alone its Australian analogue "Vegemite"; I would much rather spread my toast with proper beefy Bovril.

However, all this is beside the point: the Danes who have hitherto in my opinion been quite robust in other politically-incorrect areas appear to be wanting to ban the sticky stuff.

This REALLY pisses me off: all the time, bloody governments assume the god-damned right to interfere in individuals' personal lives.

FUCK OFF - all of you (governments)!

Until the next time.

Sunday 22 May 2011

McEnroe Moment

There is a fair bit of argy-bargy at the moment concerning Dominique Strauss-Kahn's replacement as head of the IMF. It seems that some nations believe that it is time that a non-European headed the organisation.

The BBC reports that amongst the possible candidates is one Gordon Brown...

My reaction? "You cannot be serious!"

Until the next time

Friday 20 May 2011

How Does It Work?

Some crackpot who rejoices in the name of Harold Camping has predicted that the world would end tomorrow, 21st May. The story may be found here.

As you are no doubt now aware, it hasn't.

Obviously the man is certifiable, but aside from his fatuous prediction, what mystifies me is how this clown could be the multi-millionaire that he is reported to be.

All my life I have wondered how large sums of money are acquired; this latest story only serves to increase my bafflement!

Until the next time.

Thursday 19 May 2011

Osama Bin Laden & DSK

I suppose I'm a bit late writing about this (Bin Liner) affair.

Not much to say really; there are suggestions that his assassination was illegal.

Guess what? I don't give a rat's arse whether his assassination was illegal or not; good riddance to bad rubbish.

Tragic that there are so many other fanatics ready to take his place; I wonder how he's getting on with his 72 virgins?

Perhaps DSK will convert to Islam?

In Private Eye, Craig Brown writes the excellent "Diary" for each edition. One purported to report the words of the late Harold Macmillan, Earl of Stockton, formerly British prime minister, who had to endure the famous Christine Keeler scandal in 1963. Craig Brown has his Macmillan saying that (Secretary of State for War) John Profumo had had a little trouble in the "trouser department"; all I can say is that from what I have read, it seems that Dominique Strauss-Kahn has "form" in this regard, even if the current allegations are proven not to be true. One example is this story which appeared in the Telegraph today.

Until the next time.

Monday 21 March 2011

Do I detect the hand of Saif-al-Islam?

Or perhaps his father as well?

Here is a report from the Libya February 17th site:

17:00 Almanara Media An eyewitness has contacted Almanara Media to relay the following report he received from a doctor in Tripoli:

“One of the doctors who works in a Tripoli hospital has informed me today 21st March 2011 at 13:00 GMT that Gaddafi’s forces are bringing into the hospital old bodies (i.e. dead for a while) and they wish to bring the media so they can film and photograph them as being casualties from the coalition strikes. He also informed me that he was able to recognize a number of the bodies as being amongst the youth who were kidnapped from Souq Al Jummah’s protests in Tripoli.”

Oh yes: those oil-stealing crusaders again...

Until the next time

Sunday 20 March 2011

Guess Who's Stuck His Oar In!

Yep! It's old Raspberry Beret again.

He says that the USA (note not the UN) is seeking to take Libya's oil. I have to say that Gaddafi and his crackpot South American analogue Chavez, make a perfect pair.

Meanwhile I see that Moussa, secretary-general of the Arab League, has been trying to move the goal posts, saying that the military action was not what he expected for the construction of a no-fly zone. This is the man who was present at the Paris summit yesterday! Perhaps he believes that the coalition pilots should simply ignore anti-aircraft installations, merely trusting in (Mussa's) God?

And in another rant from Gaddafi he is now, in addition to the usual crap about pinching his oil, claiming that the coalition is "attacking Islam" He is obviously getting desperate.

Here's a report that has just appeared on the BBC's live Libyan Crisis report:

More from Venezuela's president on the air and missile strikes on Libya: Speaking on his weekly television and radio programme, Hugo Chavez condemned the "indiscriminate bombing " claimed the US was after Libya's oil. "Libya is under imperial fire. Nothing justifies this, he said. "Who gave those countries the right?* Neither the United States, nor France, nor England, nor any country has the right to be dropping bombs." Mr Chavez added: "Let's try to help, to intercede between the parties. A ceasefire, sitting down at a table. That's the path when facing conflicts of this sort."

*The answer President Hugo, is the United Nations... Last time I looked it up, Venezuela is a member.

Until the next time

Saturday 19 March 2011

An Unlikely Alliance!

The dreary Libyan Government spokesman suggests that the aggression that his country is undergoing is due both to "Al Quaeda" and "Zionist" forces.

Blimey! It would be very unwise to activate the Israelis; they'd go through Gaddafi's mob like a dose of castor oil!

Meanwhile the bloody old congenital liar is still bleating about his cease-fire!

Until the next time.

Going In Large

Well now, yesterday I posted two pieces, the first suggesting that the UN decision to implement a no-fly zone plus other measures was "too little, too late" whilst the second stated that the first casualty of war is the truth.

As for the first of the articles, I must admit that any military credentials I might have been thought to possess have been shattered. Yes, Gadaffi's men are in Benghazi, but soon they will find themselves it seems, without any means of supply. And stupidly, I had not imagined that the UN-sanctioned coalition would go in so hard and so quickly. It seems that the French began operations even whilst the Paris summit was in progress. And now I read that already 112 "Tomahawk" cruise missiles have been fired at Libyan air defence facilities. This is serious stuff. I imagine that the coalition allies are expecting the supporters of Gadaffi to start to distance themselves from the régime.

As for the second post, the Libyan statements given out today include the biggest lie I have ever come across viz: "We have not fired a single bullet at any of our people" And as for your cease-fire... Dear oh dear.

For Gawd's sake Muammar! We might be "infidels" but we are not bloody stupid.

And a message for your supporters: no, nobody harbours colonial ambitions towards Libya and neither does anyone intend to steal your oil!

Wake up!

Until the next time

Edit/Update: Just heard an interview with a Tripoli resident who spoke frankly - and very bravely. he lives about 500 metres from an air base which was the target of coalition-launched missiles. He put the lie to Libyan Government claims of civilian casualties: he was very impressed with what he called "good shooting", in particular citing the case of a Land-Rover AA vehicle being destroyed with a single shot. He added that the people were in the street watching these events! He went on to describe Gadaffi as a man who "has run out of ideas" Perhaps he was correct; now Gadaffit is threatening civilian targets in the Mediterranean. Nothing new there, bearing in mind Lockerbie of course and Gadaffi's support for the repulsive IRA.

Friday 18 March 2011

And: "The first casualty in war is the truth"

I have just been watching BBC news which included an extract from a press conference given by a Libyan Government spokesman, in which it was claimed that "no civilians have been killed as a result of the military operations."

I am struggling to decide whether I am more outraged by these barefaced lies themselves or by the staggering neck of their purveyors.

Connards de merde!

A la prochaine

Too Little, Too Late, Horses and Stable Doors

The news last night, welcome here at least, that the UN Security Council had voted in favour of a "no-fly" zone and other unspecified military measures, certainly provided a cause for celebration in Benghazi.

However, less than 24 hours later, we see that Gadaffi's troops are at the gates of the city, unhindered today in their rapid advance from Ajdabiya. Meanwhile, there is to be a conference tomorrow in Paris where members of the newly-formed coalition will discuss (I suppose) the realities of instituting the "no-fly" zone.

Given that the coalition has assured us all that there is to be no occupying force on the ground in Libya (and UN Resolution 1973 does not authorise this) and the well-known saw that wars are never won from the air, one feels that when asked to retreat, withdraw etc., Gadaffi who appears to hold nearly all the cards at present, will simply say "No."

And then what?

A week too late I think.

Until the next time

Thursday 10 March 2011

A Damned Good Idea

Let's face it: Gadaffi is an arsehole; similarly his bizarre and ranting son: "We are not a Mickey Mouse"...

After the balls-up in Iraq, the world in general seems rather cautious, understandable perhaps given that there is a war to win in Afghanistan.

So there is a petition to sign, asking the UN Security Council to implement a "no-fly zone" in Libya, the aim being to achieve 1,000,000 signatures. I have signed, though I have to say that place names like Tobruk and Benghazi suggest to me that a more robust response would be appropriate...

I doubt that Field-Marshal Rommel or The Auk would have done so much hand-wringing! Of course we live in different times and a different world. So for example, the British Government can waste time and money discussing plain cigarette packets whilst civilians in Libya are being murdered by their own government.

Thanks to Banned for the link to the petition.

Until the next time.

Oh Yeah?

From the rolling news feed on the BBC's coverage of the revolution in Libya, comes this:

More from Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. He said it was clearly stated in the UN charter and international accords that "each nation has the right to decide its own future". As such, he said, "intervention in internal affairs, especially military interference, is unacceptable".

Well, well, well. Try telling that to the Georgians Mr Lavrov - or indeed the Chechens, you hypocrite.

Until the next time.

Friday 4 March 2011

Good News for Smokers

Yes, there is good news, but sadly nowhere near Europe.

This excellent story comes from Frank Davis's blog:

Unfortunately, of course this comes from the country ruled by the remarkably fatheaded Hugo Chavez ("Raspberry Beret"), though it's nice to have somegood news from that part of the world for a change.

Not often smokers hear any good news. So this is one to enjoy.

March 3,2011 CARACAS -- Venezuela’s Ministry of Health has annulled by decree an anti-smoking law which would have prohibited smoking in public places and offices of work a day after it was published. By contrast to the US, Canada, Europe and Asia, Venezuela is one of the few countries that still allowed smoking in a wide variety of public places, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and stadiums.

A day after the anti-smoking law was printed in the Official Gazette, the annulment resolution was published in the Official Gazette. All laws must be published in the government's Official Gazette to be official. The text read: “to declare the absolute annulment of the resolution of environments free of smoke identified by number 014 and the date of February 24.” No motive or explanation was given for the sudden annulment.

Until the next time

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Libya IV: Two Lunatics in Accord

The two are of course the fatheaded Hugo Chavez of Venezuela ("Raspberry Beret" in these pages) and the clearly deranged Colonel Gadaffi.

Both say that all the fuss is connected with the fact that the wicked western powers intend to colonise Libya and seize its oil.

It is ironic that it has been Gadaffi who has been claiming that the protesters (who of course don't exist according to the colonel since everybody loves him) have been affected by the hallucinogenic drugs given to them by Al Quaeda.

No colonel, I think it's someone else who has been on the jazz Woodbines!

Until the next time.

Saturday 26 February 2011

Libya III

Watching the BBC this evening I saw a recording of a statement given by Gadaffi's No 1 son, Saif al-Islam Gadaffi assuring the world that everything is fine except that the régime has to deal with "some terrorists" in a couple of towns west of Tripoli and implying that the reports of thousands of casualties are "a joke"

Well well. Talk about deja vu!

Reminded me of the following "information minister":

Until the next time

Wednesday 23 February 2011

Libya II

With Gadaffi seemingly increasingly cornered like the rat he is, various observers have suggested that the situation can get only worse.

Gadaffi has money and he has mercenaries and since it will be obvious to anyone who has seen his recent public appearances that the man is a raving lunatic, he is quite likely to wreak even more havoc on the long-suffering Libyan people.

I have been following when I can, the BBC coverage and things have reached the point when protesters are begging other countries even the USA (despite years of anti-American propaganda) to intervene - militarily.

I agree with the protesters on this: I feel that the time has come not for sanctions, which would be most unlikely to influence Gadaffi, but armed intervention. How this would work of course is another matter. The U.N. is the traditional route, but I suppose that the Chinese and perhaps the Russians, would probably veto any Security Council resolution. If anything of this type is to be done I suppose it will be once again the "dreadful" Americans who will have to come to the rescue.

The Daily Telegraph has an interesting piece though on this subject:

"There have also been calls for the Americans to enforce a no-fly zone to prevent warplanes being used to quash the revolt – but why should these matters be left to the Americans, or to Nato forces? Are other Arab leaders so intent on saving their own necks, or so wary of fomenting insurrection elsewhere, that they will do nothing beyond denouncing Gaddafi?"

Meanwhile, the British have sent a Frigate, HMS Cumberland to provide, possibly, assistance in evacuation. The Telegraph wryly points out that the Cumberland has just one helicopter - and is in fact due to be axed soon.

Not a good time for defence cuts, I feel; it's a dangerous world.

Until the next time.

Monday 21 February 2011

Catalogue of Scum

The Telegraph today provides a list of possible successors to arsehole-in-chief "Dr" Robert Mugabe.

As the title reads: A catalogue of scum, with the exception perhaps of Mrs Mujuru, who appears to be the wife of a major arsehole.

How sorry I am for the people of Zimbabwe.

Until the next time.


I have to write a line or two on the subject of Libya.

I have long been content to brand Gaddafi as a madman, now only the compound noun "mass-murderer" will suffice; this noun of course is also applicable to his dubious son and to the rest of his nasty henchmen.

As I did with the people of Eygpt, I applaud the courage and bravery of the protesters and would also applaud the principles of the two Libyan Air Force fighter pilots, who defected to Malta rather than bomb their fellow citizens as they were ordered to do, and also those ministers and diplomats who have resigned in protest, together of course with elements of the Libyan military.

Until the next time

Sunday 20 February 2011

More Anti-Smoker/Smoking Balls

First I begin with a site from Canada, called Citizens Against Government Encroachment.

I reproduce the latest article in full, since I consider it vitally important:


When it comes to the smoking issue (and to a lesser extent the obesity issue), many people have expressed to us how amazed, baffled and even disgusted they are at how some of our fellow citizens have turned into arrogant, obnoxious, hateful individuals almost overnight.
Indeed, as we read open letters to the various media, listen to open lines on the radio or television, follow newspaper and other forums on the internet, we can not help but notice how ugly some individuals become when they hide behind the veil of relative anonymity. When opponents of banning smoking scenes in movies attempted to have a civil debate in a CBC forum, one poster using the alias of Dennis Brady had this to say :

“Smoking is hated - as is any foul smelling addiction. We would have no less disgust for people whose habit was sh*ting on public beaches or on park benches. We would be as disgusted by people who refused to bath or use deodorant.

We DO want smokers segregated - removed from all contact with non-smokers.

Do you understand? Need I repeat it”

In a Globe & Mail forum about beach bans, one poster using the alias “doggiez” suggested this final solution to the “problem”:

“Put even MORE cancer-causing chemicals -- tar, formaldehyde and the other 700 -- into cigarettes to hasten their deaths.”

When challenged with logical arguments and unable to offer any reasonable responses, many such commentators accuse their opponents of being in the pay of what they refer to as “Big Tobacco”. Here is a response from the so-called “Dennis Brady” that is typical of many smoker de-normalization proponents with very little substance to defend their point of view:

''The people have learned to never trust anything coming from the tobacco industry or its shills and apologists.''

You may want to read or reread how C.A.G.E. was also a victim of the same tactic: ''THE RIGHT THING TO DO'' NSRA STYLE
We strongly suspected that this hostile attitude demonstrated toward individuals or associations with differing opinions were not the doings of ordinary citizens, however one must always give the benefit of doubt: perhaps public opinion had changed overnight when public smoking bans were adopted? Well, you can relax folks. All this time, it was not your next door neighbor, co-worker, friend or relative who was turning into an aggressive “Mr. Hyde” when protected by the cover of anonymity. We now have tangible proof that most of the people who are posting obnoxious and hateful material are simply following orders from the anti-tobacco industry:

We have obtained the manual on how to effectively implement outdoor bans published in September 2010 by Physicians For A Smoke-Free Canada (PSFC) : SMOKEFREE OUTDOOR PUBLIC SPACES: A COMMUNITY ADVOCACY TOOLKIT.

We share with you here below a few of the more disappointing passages that we have uncovered.

For proof that they have tobacco control advocates planted in the various internet forums look at the footnotes on the page that gives advice on how to refute arguments from the tobacco industry or their ‘’front groups’’ (page 22):

‘’ Comments from tobacco control advocates also appear refuting “Vince’s” comments. Accessed August 6, 2010 at http://openfile.ca/node/908/.’’

Note that we at C.A.G.E. know ‘’Vince’’ and we can assure you that he is an authentic grassroots poster from Manitoba who has absolutely nothing to do with the tobacco industry.
Also appalling and very hypocritical is the manner in which they recommend infiltrating their opponents whom they conveniently label as “the tobacco industry and their front groups” :

“Whether they are funded by the industry or not, to stay on top of any organized opposition sign up for their mailing lists, preferably using an alias. You can also search online for organizations that oppose your campaign and sign up to receive email alerts, preferably at a home email address or some other location that doesn't link you to your position in the coalition. Be sure to share these communications with your key coalition members so that everyone is in the loop and you can collectively decide how to counter the industry most effectively.”

The entire 101 page manual is a most interesting document that exposes the tactics of the anti-tobacco industry and we suspect that after they see us bringing this document to the attention of the public, it will quickly be altered or totally vanish. Not to worry we have made back- up copies in anticipation. The following are some of their other tactics and while they did not shock us as much because we had noticed them practicing these strategies since a long time, we are, nonetheless, surprised that they would be so arrogant and self-confident as to make their tactics public.

.....write (or sign ghost written) letters to the editor, etc. (pages 31 & 33)

.....submit at least two letters to the editor each month during the campaign, under the names of different authors”. (page 33)

.......Nothing can ruin a campaign faster than public disclosure of financial wrongdoing (intentional or unintentional) ? something your opponents would love to expose if given the opportunity. (page 34)

Interestingly, in the following paragraph they acknowledge that there are in fact authentic citizens (labeled as angry smokers) expressing themselves and that it is not the tobacco industry and their ‘’front groups’’ who are doing the complaining. Furthermore, they are acknowledging that most non-smokers don’t complain leaving us to conclude that indeed most of what we read in the various media must therefore be plants of the tobacco control industry.

....... A key aspect of any smoke-free campaign is to mobilize the silent majority. Most non-smokers do not speak out against smoking, but you have to tap into their power to win your case. Angry smokers who feel they are losing what they feel is their right to smoke will likely speak out in a variety of ways
--- letters to the editor, comments sections of online articles, radio call-in shows, etc. Their voices can seem very loud, even though they represent a significant minority of the population. (page 36)

........ For the next few months, strive to ensure there are positive media stories, letters to the editor, etc., that tout how well the bylaw changes are working. There will no doubt be a backlash from smokers in the beginning until they get used to the changes. In the meantime, you have to counter their negative comments in the media, in comment sections of online news pieces and blogs, on radio call-in shows, etc. Your job is to make politicians continue to believe that they did the right thing. It is not unheard of for councillors to backtrack on their decision and water down legislation. (page 48)

........ Plant stories in the media about non-smokers politely asking smokers to move to a designated smoking area or outside the smoke-free area and smokers complying. Create the impression that the bylaw is working and it will! (page 48)

There are many other examples, far too many to list here, but we invite you to peruse the whole document yourself and get an eye-opening education about how anti-tobacco operates. The late Gian Turci often said that this was a war. Sometimes we thought he exaggerated. To our dear freedom and justice-loving friends, we must now admit that Gian was right and that this is in fact a real war. But rest assured that we will continue to use the truth as our only weapon because when this war will be over, we do not only want to stand victorious but we also want to stand proud for not having stooped to such depths of deceit.

Wednesday 16 February 2011

It's Kim Jong-Il's Birthday - Hurrah - Or Perhaps Not

Yes, the absurd North Korean dictator celebrates today his 69th birthday, according to North Korean records, or his 70th if you prefer the Russian version...

Thanks to Wired.com's excellent "Danger Room" feature, I found the following amusing video which sets out to take the piss out of the ridiculous and incredibly anachronistic Stalinist régime that the ailing dictator heads.

I have written "amusing" and so it is, though not of course to the millions of starving, brainwashed North Koreans who are not part of the elite.

"Shapeless tragedies in taupe" was one fashion critic's comment on the dictator's clothing - this a response to a statement from North Korea claiming that it was becoming a world fashion leader...


Until the next time.

Friday 11 February 2011

Egypt (Call me a cynic)

I have just been listening to President Obama celebrating the astonishing achievement of the Egyptian people in ridding themselves of their president. As is typical of American politicians, he has praised "democracy", "freedom", etc., etc.

So, if my experience of the myth of "democracy" is anything to go by, there should soon be a smoking ban in Egypt; and if the Islamists take over, there will be nothing that could be called "life" at all.

Thinking of Sherlock Holmes, I have always had a secret longing to visit "Ionides of Alexandria" to purchase a thousand of those "excellent cigarettes"; I suppose that even were I to find the money my wish, like so many in my life, would be bound to remain unfulfilled.

Until the next time.

Thursday 10 February 2011

A Good Fit

Today it has been announced that China, interested in Zimbabwe's platinum, is planning a substantial investment in the country (or perhaps into the pockets of Mugabe and his fellow thugs).

Meanwhile we have a report about how the Chinese handle criticism.

Overall, there appears to be plenty of common ground for the burgeoning relationship.


Until the next time

Saturday 5 February 2011

"There's Many a Slip"

Probably like many people, I have been following the BBC's live feeds about the on-going protests in Cairo with great interest.

Now as is well-known, the BBC tends to side with the anti-tobacco lobby just as it does with the "warmists"

And today the BBC made a little slip:-

· 0922: Despite its gas reserves, Egypt is not a rich country - the protests have paralysed the economy. Tourists, a major source of income, have been frightened away, the financial system is shut and prices of basics like cigarettes and bread have been soaring. The BBC's Kevin Connolly in Cairo says many Egyptians are beginning to wonder aloud how quickly daily life will return to normal regardless of the outcome of the struggle for power.

Nice to see that the BBC has finally been able to admit that cigarettes are "basics" eh?

Until the next time.


Those who were pleased that the police had apparently vanished from Tahrir Square, the centre of the protests in Egypt, must think again.

In view of the distressing content of this article from the New York Times, I am fully convinced that the Egyptian State in its present form is rotten and deserves to fall; and no, I am not convinced by the lies I have been hearing from the leader of the ruling party and from the newly appointed vice-president General Suleiman.

I wish the protesters well in their brave efforts, but equally hope that they are not unwittingly building another Iran. The Iranians are no strangers to repression and cruelty; unlike the Egyptians, they practise these things though in the name of their "god" and their interpretation of their holy book...

Until the next time

Wednesday 2 February 2011

Eygpt & The Middle East

As we all know, the spark was struck in Tunisia.

Now after eight days it seems that the protests in Eygpt show no sign of abating, the protestors apparently unimpressed by President Mubarak's statement yesterday that he would not stand again for election; they want him to go now.

Meanwhile there has been a series of prophylactic actions in other middle-eastern states, with even the President of Yemen indicating after 33 years in power, that he will not stand again and neither will there be a "dynasty"...

Now whilst a number of Presidents appear to have been rattled rather by recent events, things have taken a rather more sinister turn today in Cairo, where out of the woodwork, has appeared a large number of pro-Mubarak supporters These people have not adopted the peaceful approach of the anti-government protestors: they have behaved like thugs and many have suggested that they have in fact the backing - if not the direct involvement - of the government which, it is suggested, hopes to benefit from the chaos these people are causing i.e. instability - the word "stability" being a central part of last night' presidential speech.

I am disappointed by the Eygptian Army's performance today, in contrast to its demeanour during the protests up to now. I expected it to keep order, which it has patently failed to do; this could be viewed as the Army's having decided to side with the régime.

No doubt we shall have to wait for further developments

In the meantime, I should add that I have always had a soft spot for President Mubarak - but only for one reason: many years ago he was quoted as describing Ayatollah Khomeini as "a pig" an observation I have always felt was fully justified.

Let us hope that Cairo does not become another Tehran.

Until the next time.

Monday 24 January 2011


Only yesterday I mentioned my second article (from February 2008) on this blog; it was the first part of a piece about the NKVD, the Stalinist instrument of repression, that I called "Stalin's SS."

The second part of the piece included a section about the NKVD's involvement in the Spanish Civil War, 1935 - 1939, and its brutal suppression (under command of Alexander Orlov) of POUM the Trotskyite organisation that fought the fascists, but did not subscribe to Stalin's idea of communism.

And tonight I watched a Ken Loach film, "Land and Freedom" which told the story of an idealistic British volunteer who fought with a POUM unit. The film shows quite clearly how the official republican side suppressed popular movements like POUM - obviously under Soviet direction.

The old joke runs "A cynic is what an idealist calls a realist." Stalin was indeed a realist - terrifyingly so.

Until the next time.



One of the worst tyrants in history was of course Josef Vissiaronovitch Stalin: torturer, murderer with a kind of perverse paranoia probably never equalled; certainly the scale of mass murder achieved under his authority was probably only ever exceeded by that other appalling tyrant, Mao Tse Tung.

The second-ever article (and in fact the third) I wrote for this blog concerned what I called Stalin's SS: the NKVD. It will be abundantly clear to any who read the articles, the extent of my disgust at a) the NKVD itself and b) the double standards still prevalent today whereby the Nazi SS is condemned root and branch (and quite rightly) whilst mention of the NKVD is rare indeed - and as I mentioned at the end of the second part of the piece, there is even a record label in California called NKVD! Imagine the fuss if one called a label "SS Records"!

Anyway the reason for my mentioning all this is that a play, called "Into the Whirlwind" featuring Russian actors and actresses, has been put on in London. It is based on the memoirs of Yevgenia Ginzburg who was imprisoned in 1937 and sent to the Gulag, ending up at the living hell that was Kolyma. She was eventually released after Stalin's death.

I was pleased to see in the BBC report that the audience was profoundly moved by the play which I hope proves to be a slap in the face for those in Russia today who wish to rehabilitate the monstrous "Father of the People," Stalin.

Until the next time.

Sunday 23 January 2011

More Study Needed?


Or perhaps not: I wrote the other day about an inquiry taking place in Israel concerning the Israeli military's assault on the Gaza Flotilla, which took place in international waters.

Today, the New York Times reports that the inquiry has found that the raid was legal; once again "quelle surprise". The NYT's article includes the following quote from one Alan Baker, formerly legal advisor to Israel's Foreign Ministry:

"Whether this will persuade Turkey is doubtful. Whether this will persuade the Arab countries is very doubtful. I think the serious countries will take it very seriously because of the people who were involved and because of the international observers."

Well, Mr Baker, I am certainly not persuaded, and if you read this blog you will have noticed that I predicted the outcome of the inquiry; how could I possibly be so prescient? And yes I did take the inquiry very seriously!

News: Turkey rejects Israeli inquiry conclusions. (BBC report)

As for the legality of international "adventures" one only has to reflect on the case of Tony Blair currently facing the Chilcott inquiry.

Until the next time


So many prominent people have "Front" - sometimes referred to as "Neck" more positively perhaps described as the ability to "tough it out".

"He's got more front than Brighton Beach" a friend of mine would say when confronted by this aspect of human behaviour.

So of whom am I thinking when raising this topic?

Well there's Tony Blair for a start: as another friend would remark, here's a bloke who could fall down a lavatory and come up smelling of roses; the bastard will probably get away with it. And then there's his old pal Peter (now Lord) Mandelson; he's fallen into the khasi on a few occasions and each time popped up again, richer and even more influential.

And what about Eric Cantona? The ex-footballer given to making bizarre statements, who recently tried to organise a run on the banks in France, of course without success. Now he has popped up as "Director of Football" (whatever that means) at an American club called "Cosmos".

Here's a video showing "Front" in action:

I am always in awe at the incredible self-belief of these people, and even more in awe at their lack of shame. I suppose one of the most outrageous examples at the present time (though it is not always easy to choose) must be Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi. The New York Times, in an entertaining piece describes recent events as a "soap opera" which I suppose it is, despite what could be unpleasant consequences for the Italian State, its population, political institutions and economy. Despite apparently incontrovertible evidence from wire-taps and witnesses, Berlusconi continues, loudly, to protest his innocence. It is important to bear in mind that he has a track record in a variety of scandals and so far has got away with everything. Indeed, some people think that he might even get away with the current scandal.

If he does, he will deserve an award for "Front of the Decade"!

Until the next time.

Saturday 22 January 2011

Dead and Alive

Zimbabwe once again is in the news, this time concerning a report from an independent electoral commission.

According to this report, more than a quarter of those on the Zimbabwean electoral roll are dead... The Telegraph article includes the following:

"It also revealed nine people born between 1890 and 1900 aged between 111 and 120 years old. There were 93 children below one year old,"

I suppose that only the dead (and of course the children less than one year old) could possibly be so ill-informed as to vote for "Dr" Mugabe and his bunch of murderers and thugs.

Until the next time.

Thursday 20 January 2011

I'm Fed up (Update)

I said the other day that I am fed up with the Israelis.

Today we have some more news from Israel: there has been an investigation into the events surrounding the Gaza Flotilla, which you may recall was intercepted by elements of the Israeli military, an interception that resulted in the deaths of nine Turks. Please note that the flotilla was attacked in International Waters, thus the attack was in a sense an act of piracy as I understand the meaning of the word.

The report states that the Israeli soldiers concerned are to be "absolved of blame."

Quelle surprise! (The Israelis are of course never to blame are they?)

So exactly WHO was responsible for the death of these nine innocent people?

The Telegraph report includes the following paragraph:

David Trimble, the former Northern Ireland first minister, one of the two non-voting foreign observers on the commision, said the panel members "were determined that the inquiry be rigorous."

Rigorous no doubt - to the extent that the "correct" conclusion will be reached.

Until the next time


The title of this piece refers to today's report of the statement from Baroness Warsi, co-chair of the British Conservative party and a member of the Cabinet.

The baroness tells us that anti-Muslim prejudice in the United Kingdom has "passed the dinner-table test", in other words it has become acceptable to display this prejudice. She says that she intends to fight an "ongoing battle against bigotry."

All well and good and she adds: "Those who commit criminal acts of terrorism in our country need to be dealt with not just by the full force of the law... "They also should face social rejection and alienation across society and their acts must not be used as an opportunity to tar all Muslims."

Yes, well, I should bloody-well think so; no surprise there, or at least there shouldn't be.

What concerns me is what was not mentioned, i.e. the other reason for growing anti-Muslim feeling: the fact, I suggest, that the vast majority of the population in the UK do not want their country to become a sort of west European version of Iran.

I left England six years ago and shortly before I left I had reason to visit the town of Luton. A west Londoner, I could scarcely believe my eyes; the place looked like Kabul.

Baroness Warsi would do well to address this aspect I think when pursuing her "on-going battle against bigotry."

I'm glad I got out.

Until the next time.

Sunday 16 January 2011

I'm Fed Up...

... with the Israelis.

Please read this extract from a Telegraph article concerning a peace settlement with the Palestinians:

"What is preventing the advent of peace, the advent of peace negotiations is that the Palestinians are doing everything in their power to avoid them," Mr Netanyahu told a meeting of foreign journalists in Jerusalem. "That is the simple truth."

Mr Netanyahu's comments came as the United States was attempting, so far unsuccessfully, to revive peace negotiations.

Direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed after Washington admitted last month it was no longer pressing Israel for a new freeze on settlement building, the Palestinian condition for continuing to negotiate.

Direct talks began on September 2, but stalled three weeks later with the end of an Israeli moratorium on settlement building. The Palestinians refuse to talk while Israel continues building.

Of course the Palestinians are quite correct in refusing to discuss terms with the Israelis - especially with that warmonger Netanyahu.

The Palestinians have been losing their historic country ever since 1947; it now has a fraction of the area that it had even in 1967; the Israelis have consistently ignored numerous UN resolutions and have compounded the felony by continuing to build new settlements on Palestinian lands. I suspect that the Israelis would not have been able to get away with these outrages were it not for the importance of the Jewish vote in the US, plus of course the fact that the US sees Israel as a bulwark against the fanatical Islamists so prevalent in the Middle East; I admit that these matters are far from simple.

I should add that I utterly deplore the actions of the various Palestinian terrorists and hi-jackers. I am not an anti-Semite but equally, I deplore the terrorist actions of the Israeli government and military.

I have never forgotten a film I saw on English TV of an Israeli soldier bulldozing a Palestinian's orchard. That was many, many years ago and put the Israelis and their objectives entirely beyond the pale as far as I am concerned.

Until the next time.

Saturday 15 January 2011

"Train Station" - Ugh!!

[Resisting the Americanisation of the English Language]

Why has the horrible expression "Train Station" become normal parlance - and is indeed now found in written usage - in England (and for all I know as a resident of France, the UK)?

I refuse absolutely to use this abortion of an expression; what's the matter with the term I learned: "Railway Station"?

A station is a stage - or if you like "stop" and is therefore an entirely apposite term for a railway; it is of course the root of the adjective "stationary."

Those who protest "Ah ,but you say 'bus station' don't you?' are throwing a red herring into the argument. Since buses use the roads, together with cars, vans, lorries (not 'trucks' - these run on railways) coaches, motor-cycles, bicycles and a few horses, one simply must say "Bus Station" since "road station" would be ambiguous at least and in fact, inaccurate.

Since only trains run on railways, "Railway Station" is absolutely the correct term.

So there.

By the way, I have no problem at all with the term "railroad" or perhaps better "rail-road" This term is entirely sensible - as sensible in fact as "railway" - or even "rail-way"!

Until the next time.

Tragic but True

The flood catastrophe in Brisbane, Australia has claimed many lives and it seems sad that such an event should draw one's attention to the crackpot "global warming" fanatics, but the following article from the Daily Telegraph, which I copy here in full, demonstrates that these misguided, deluded, and frequently dishonest pressure groups must be stopped.

(Journalist: Christopher Booker)

Ever more alarming facts are emerging to show how Brisbane’s floods were made infinitely worse by cockeyed decisions inspired by the obsession of the Australian authorities with global warming. Inevitably, the country’s warmist lobby has been voluble in claiming that such a “freak weather event” (as the BBC called it) is a consequence of man-made climate change. But far from being an unprecedented “freak event”, the latest flood was nearly a foot below the level of one in 1974 and 10 feet below the record set in 1893.

For years, Australia’s warmists have been advising the authorities that the danger posed to the country by global warming is not floods but droughts: not too much rain but too little. One result, in Brisbane, was a relaxation of planning rules, to allow building on areas vulnerable to flooding in the past. As long ago as 1999, this was seen as potentially disastrous by an expert Brisbane River Flood Study (which was ignored and for years kept secret). Instead of investing in its flood defences, Australia spent $13 billion on desalination plants. (Queensland’s was recently mothballed because of the excess of rain.)

Last week’s most disturbing revelation, however, was the contribution to Brisbane’s flooding by the South East Queensland Water company’s massive release of water from its Wivenhoe dam upstream from the city (for details see “Brisbane’s Man-Made Flood Peak” on the Regionalstates blog). Instead of controlled releases through the previous week, the company allowed the level to rise to within a few inches of the top of the dam before releasing a vast volume of water, with devastating consequences for Brisbane 36 hours later.

Last spring, Queensland’s prime minister, the drought- and warming-obsessed Anna Bligh, ordered the water company not to allow any releases from the dam because water was such a “precious resource” that none must be wasted.

Unsurprisingly, on Friday, the city’s Lord Mayor asked for a full judicial review of what had happened. But it is time our Australian cousins carried out a very much more wide-ranging inquiry into all the other decisions made by their gullible politicians in recent years, under the spell of a pseudo-scientific ideology which now looks utterly discredited.

Until the next time.

Wednesday 12 January 2011

A Very Stupid Man


This man is a fur-lined, ocean-going prat.

Why? Well read this quote from a BBC news item about anti-alcohol legislation in Turkey (surprise, surprise as the Islamisation of this once-proud secular state advances):

"Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has publicly voiced his disapproval of alcohol consumption. Last year he said he could not understand why people drank wine when they could just eat the grapes."

Last weekend I was treated to a good share of a 2004 château-bottled Pauillac - Château Lynch-Moussas, Premier Grand Crû Classé no less.

The ignorant fathead illustrated above has no business pontificating on subjects of which he knows, quite obviously, bugger-all!

Until the next time

Wednesday 5 January 2011

Global Warming, Passive Smoking - or perhaps both?

Dead birds falling from the skies in the USA and now Sweden are indeed strange events - and quite disturbing.

However, stranger still if no-one comes forward to blame "global warming" or "passive smoking" for these sad events!

And on the latter subject, three cheers for the Spanish rebels.

Until the next time.

Tuesday 4 January 2011


Belgium has been run by a "caretaker" government for seven months. Politicians have been told that they have until tomorrow to consider a new plan to break the deadlock following last June's general election.

This BBC article includes the following intriguing quote:

"Seeing the country running without a government for so long without experiencing any major problem might play on the side of those who want the end of the country," says Jean Faniel, researcher in political sciences at Crisp, a Brussels-based politics studies centre.

"They could say: 'You see, we don't really need a federal government, we're doing well without one.'"

There you are: it's official. A modern European country can run without a government. I ask you: why do we put up with it?

Until the next time

The Backlash that shouldn't be...

The Daily Telegraph reports today that there is a "growing backlash" concerning the perks enjoyed by senior staff in the EU administration.

Apparently, these senior officials, earning between €104,000 and €185,000 per annum are entitled to three months off work on full pay each year. "Nice work if you can get it" was the sentiment that first sprang to my mind. However the article goes on:

Stephen Booth, of the Open Europe pressure group, said: "If the top ranks of the EU's civil service can take this much time off it raises interesting questions about how much work they're actually doing."

This is the bit that rattled me. If the "backlash" results in these overpaid parasites actually doing more "work" then on top of the ludicrous expense of this near-farcical organisation (which is bad enough in itself) we shall have to face up to an additional 25% damage caused by these bureaucrats. The more "work" they do, the worse it gets.

I say give them nine months' holiday each year!

Until the next time.

Sunday 2 January 2011

Boring 2010

The title above, is not intended to be a reference to last year, although in my case there is an element of truth. No, the title refers to a conference held for boredom enthusiasts on 11th December and reported in the Wall Street Journal.

I strongly recommend that you follow the link; a fine piece of American Journalism (no irony) - I find American journalism especially in regard to the quality and style of writing, at least in the better newspapers, greatly superior to that found in English ones.

A few quotes for you:

"Boring 2010 is the handiwork of James Ward, 29 years old, who works for a DVD distribution and production company. In his other life, as the envoy of ennui, Mr. Ward edits a blog called "I Like Boring Things." He is also co-founder of the Stationery Club, whose 45 members meet occasionally to discuss pens, paper clips and Post-it Notes."

"Proceedings at the sell-out event were kicked off by Mr. Ward himself, who discussed his tie collection at great length, accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation.

He noted that as of June 2010, he owned 55 ties, and 45.5% of them were of a single color. By December, his tie collection had jumped by 36%, although the share of single-color ties fell by 1.5%.

"Ties are getting slightly more colorful," he noted. Also, apparently, his taste was improving. By December, only 64% of his ties were polyester, down from 73% in June."

"One eagerly awaited talk was about writer Peter Fletcher's meticulous three-year—and still running—sneeze count. With the help of graphs and charts, Mr. Fletcher disclosed that he had sneezed 2,267 times in the past 1,249 days, thus gaining "a profound understanding of the passing of time.""

"I've even sneezed when recording a sneeze," he said."

Thanks to Dick Puddlecote for pointing me to this gem.

Until the next time.