Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Heaven knows I'm miserable now

I hate the winter. I detest the cold and the damp and the fact that you go to work in the dark, and when you come home it’s dark again. I loathe snow. Whereas other kids would roll around having fun in the stuff I would retreat indoors and only go out if it was absolutely necessary. My kids didn’t inherit this loathing, and couldn’t understand why their dad didn’t join in with the sledging and snowballing like other kids dads did with wild abandon. Now, to make matters even more miserable as we enter the countdown to winter, I’ve done my back in somehow. My GP has given me an appointment a week away (how’s that for reducing waiting times, Tone) and over the last few days I’ve had acupuncture from a Chinese health shop and been x-rayed and beaten up by a chiropractor… and it is still bloody agony and I’m dying from sleep deprivation. Coupled with my daughter leaving for University… heaven knows, I’m miserable now.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Help support ZNET

ZNET, the radical left website, urgently needs money. If you can spare a tenner, give them a hand. Here are a couple of examples of the work they collate on the web.
"At Baath party headquarters, another team - led by a Major Kenneth Deal - believed they had discovered secret documents which would reveal Saddam's weapons' programme. The papers turned out to be an Arabic translation of A J P Taylor's The Struggle for Mastery in Europe. Perhaps Bush and Blair should read it." Robert Fisk, consistently brilliant on Iraq.
"Ayad Allawi has about as much sovereign control as Fidel Castro has over Guantánamo bay." Tony Benn, on Labour and the War.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Who says Black Country men don't know a thing or two about seduction? Ah, he's from Shrewsbury... that explains it!

A love supreme

The Wikipedia link on the date bar above tells us that if he had only laid off the white powder, the great John Coltrane could have been enjoying his 78th birthday today. The world would have been incalculably richer for it too. Turn on your speakers, sit back, enjoy.


Courtesy of mmChronic comes How chav are you?, which, despite the fact that it is from your Soaraway Scum, is actually quite good (especially the Quadrophenia pic). How did Jim at Chavwatch site Slave to the 11C manage to miss this one?

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Haven't we seen this movie before?

"As for the Labour opposition, who should be riding high in the effort to turn out this government, they claim to be the party of brotherhood, but they seem to have taken their interpretation of it from the earliest biblical example – Cain and Abel. It doesn’t really matter whether Denis Healey or Tony Benn is the bloodstained victor. Neither the bankrupt right nor the hard left of the Labour Party have anything to offer this country any more. Their slide downhill has gone too far. It is irretrievable and irrecoverable. The party’s over."
So said David Steel, 23 years ago to his Party Conference, just before he told delegates that they were the new party of government and that "I have the good fortune to be the first Liberal Leader for over half a century who is able to say to you at the end of our annual Assembly: go back to your constituencies and prepare for government." That was September 1981. In the election of June 1983 the Alliance was hopelessly defeated as the Tory voters stuck with the Tories they knew. As the Lib Dems tell people in more detail what they DO stand for, they will say, Sorry Charlie, but pigs don't fly!

Eye eye

I'm all in favour of councillors having websites... and bloggerheads has done a lot to promote them, but is this Joe 90 impersonation absolutely necessary?

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Oh dear... oh very, very dear

Seems just a little on the expensive side to me, but as I am one of the Scrutiny councillors appointed to look into this matter, I had better not comment further.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Decisions, decisions, all the time, decisions.

Don't let anybody tell you otherwise. Being a newspaper hack is hell. Just look at the sort of gut-wrenching decisions they have to take to maintain their integrity.

Twisted logic

David Aaronovitch in The Guardian draws the conclusion that because British people who followed the golf at the weekend supported Europe against the United States it would be logical if they also supported the European Constitution and the entry into the single currency. One can only hope he was joking, but it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between a spoof and Aaronovitch's so-called 'serious' pieces.

Monday, September 20, 2004

A giant

Words like "Great" and "Legend" are much over used, bandied about to describe the likes of Wayne Rooney, who may or may not, one day, be exceptional... but to anyone who loves the game of football... this man was a true legend who will still be talked about in 100 years time. Brian Clough died today.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

The leaving for Liverpool...

Eldest daughter Sian moved in to her flat on the campus of Liverpool University to-day amidst much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth... she was OK, that was just me and her mother. It doesn't seem to matter how much you prepare for it, it really does hit you when they go. The coming back home and the realisation that her room was empty..(and may never again be filled) that's when it hit me! I think I'll go and thumb through all those old photos one more time...

Friday, September 17, 2004

"As you get older, you get less willing to buy the latest version of reality" from 70 things you may not know about Leonard Cohen in The Guardian Friday Review, also including "He is a lifelong manic depressive" (suprise, anyone?) and the fact that he played a bit part in Miami Vice.

In the same Friday Review a good write-up of the excellent Rachid Taha's new cd, which includes his "Rock the Casbah" tribute to Joe Strummer.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Voice of little America... be scared. Culled from The Inside of my Head.

It's nothing to do with us...

When local authorities decide to sell off their council housing to 'not-for-profit social landlords' they always say they are doing it in the best interests of the tenants. Walsall MBC embarked on this particular route three years ago, giving staff and tenants a promise that jobs were safe with all the new funds the social landlord could attract, and tenants would have a major say in any developments because tenants would sit on the board of the companies. What they omitted to point out was that the financiers and accountants would control the board, and tenant board members would have to sign a pledge saying their first loyalty was to the company... not their fellow tenants. The trade unions warned it would end in tears, and within a year 100 staff had been made redundant, and now the tenants are finding out what sort of pig in a poke they have bought. The councillors, meanwhile, say..."we're powerless, don't blame us."

According to George Monbiot the issue of hunting is a class war. If we accept that analysis, surely this must be the first recorded case of the police turning their batons onto the ruling class? Things could be turning our way...

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Spy satellites

I've always been a bit sceptical over the claims made proclaiming the virtues of spy satellites. I think the fuss all started when the JFK administration threatened to start the Thirld World War over missile bases in Cuba photographed by US Spy Planes. Then came the satellite era, and for years we were led to believe that if you so much as scratched your arse in a suspicious manner in the Sahara desert someone in the Pentagon would know about it. The myth started to crumble when the claims about 'weapons of mass destruction' turned out to be a load of spurious nonsense. Now, when the North Koreans claim to have blown up a mountain in order to build a hydro-electric facilty, US officials are saying "We still don't know what it was, and we're not speculating." Surely they could drop a hint by telling us whether a mountain appears to have been demolished?

Sunday, September 12, 2004

100 photographs that changed the world

That's what Life Magazine have called this collection, although you only get to see 28 of them on the web site and it implies you have to subscribe to see the rest. There is an obvious in-built US bias at work here, but there are some pretty powerful images (and some very gruesome ones too), including this one from The Land of the Free.

Lynching 1930
A mob of 10,000 whites took sledgehammers to the county jailhouse doors to get at these two young blacks accused of raping a white girl; the girl’s uncle saved the life of a third by proclaiming the man’s innocence. Although this was Marion, Ind., most of the nearly 5,000 lynchings documented between Reconstruction and the late 1960s were perpetrated in the South. (Hangings, beatings and mutilations were called the sentence of “Judge Lynch.”) Some lynching photos were made into postcards designed to boost white supremacy, but the tortured bodies and grotesquely happy crowds ended up revolting as many as they scared. Today the images remind us that we have not come as far from barbarity as we woul’d like to think.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

It's Working!

I am indebted to Poons for his technical expertise in reviving my dead computer. I have spent ages today reloading all the bits and bobs of software and reconnecting the internet connection (with help from the service line from my Internet Service Provider who advised me that typing in my connection data was much easier if you plugged the keyboard in first) and now, normal service returns. So, if you are having any problems that mean your computer needs repairing... this is a shameless plug for The Computer Whisperer on 0773 0775 085.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Savage by name...

The poor lad was sent off and left the field in floods of tears, and now he is threatening(?) to quit...

...and the only thing that drowned out the cheers was the sound of a nation laughing!

Shooting yourself in the foot

Thanks to Manic for this link to the Indiana News, where the Monroe County Coroner has been teaching people gun safety.

Hell hath no fury....

The patronage of the Prime Minister, coupled with the denigrating of colleagues via the media, is the Prime Minister's style. Using the No. 10 machine in a manner which is undemocratic, unaccountable... and to most people wholly unacceptable. Clare Short in the Guardian.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Steve Bell on the tensions behind the Cabinet reshuffle. Just brilliant!

Monday, September 06, 2004

A minute's silence

On Saturday morning my computer upped and died. No warning, no explanation... dead! PC bloody world have quoted me something exhorbitant just to look at it, and I have refused their kind offer. So for the moment blog postings will have to be squeezed in at work. Normal service will be resumed as soon as I can find a way round this situation.

Souness eh? Thank heavens for that. Without O'Leary stretching the pennies as far as he can, we'd be certainties for the drop I reckon. We have only got thirteen players on the books who have made more than 20 Premiership appearances.

Friday, September 03, 2004


Thanks to Jim at Slave to the 11c for this... check out what's going on in the garden in the third picture!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Lib Dem/Tory alliance moves closer

Those of us with practical experience of the Lib dems know that the first glimse of anything vaguely resembling power, they wrap up their principles in a nice little bundle and throw them away. This latest book of Liberal ideas, a veritable privatiser's charter and apparently much appreciated by Chucky Kennedy, begins to position them for a possible coalition with Howard and co. after the next general election. One more damn good reason for Labour to ditch Blair and move onto the higher ground.

Another one bites the dust.

You become more aware of your own sense of mortality when people you knew in your youth start to die. I felt a shiver up my spine this morning when I read that Carl Wayne, former lead singer of The Move, had died aged 61. I was never keen on The Move, and Carl Wayne was far too much of the ‘oily pop star’ for my liking, but I did used to see him in his pre-Move days as the frontman for Carl Wayne and the Vikings. Way back in the mists of time I recall seeing them as support for The Kinks at the Carlton Ballroom (later re-named Mothers, a hippy venue of some repute where The Pink Floyd recorded the live bits of Ummagumma) on the very night that ‘You Really Got Me’ made it to No.1. That sense of doom came looming large again when I thought of that, because Dave Davies of The Kinks has also had a spot of bother with his health recently. I think I'll pop along for a health check-up.

Carl Wayne (centre) with his Vikings Posted by Hello

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Habeas Corpus RIP b.1679 d.2004

If you're worried about the post Sept 11th abuse of power in Guantanamo, read Balders and see how in 2004 you can be accused and locked away without being charged, tried or convicted. Time to be scared.