Wednesday, June 30, 2004


Is there a lower form of pondlife on the planet than Richard Perle. I've just listned to the Zionist, right-wing reactionary on the BBC (why is he still allowed airspace?) putting up a robust defence of Ahmed Chalabi, the hawks' own choice to replace Saddam until his fingers were found to be very sticky, and very near the till. Not that this would present a problem to Perle, whose own dealings make Jeffrey Archer look like Snow White.

The executioner's face is always well hidden

The first US Ambassador to Iraq after Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL) is the delightful John D. Negroponte, a man who was as widely feared in Central America as Saddam was in Iraq. Negraponte has pledged to wage war on the insurgents in Iraq... presumably under the auspices of the 'sovereign' Iraqi Government, of course. If his past performance of promoting death squads in Central America is any measure of what can be expected, it is more than just the 'insurgents' who have got something to worry about.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Don't think twice.. It's alright

Byker is back from Glastonbury, muddied, knackered and happy. And why not? Personally I think I'd rather have my private parts fried in chip fat than spend all weekend up to my neck in muck in order to listen to McCartney sing his back catalogue (if ever there was a lucky bloke on this planet it was him the day he met John Lennon) and Morrisey, Oasis or most of the others on show. But I find it totally depressing and nauseating to read all those posers and yoghurt-weaving hippies who are upset because the masses have discovered "their" festival and are ruining it for them. If they don't like it, shove off and find another festival of your own to go to, where no-one will bother you... and we don't have to put up with your whining. Me... I'd go to WOMAD or Cambridge anyday, and if you want a real festival... this is THE one.

Monday, June 28, 2004

On this day...

Thanks to New Links for this dead cool feature. If you now click on 'Click it' next to the date above each post it tells you all sorts of things that happened on this day in the past. For instance today would be Queen Victoria's 174th anniversary as queen if she had only lived to see it, Innocent IV became Pope in 1243, it's Jean Jacques Rousseau's birthday, only 226 to-day, and Franz Ferdinand got himself shot in 1914... the consequences of which led to millions of other people getting shot over the next thirty odd years.... and much, much, more besides.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Oooh dear...

Just back from Stechford Ward in Hodge Hill. Lib Dem supporters in the local elections seem pretty upset that their vote has resulted in a Tory Council, and they give every indication of voting Labour in the by-election.

Sometimes even the President of the United States has got to stand naked

Well, not quite, but Dubya in Ireland took the opportunity of doing his Ralph C Nesbitt impersonation in his vest... but the Irish Government banned publication. Well, this site goes one better and has a clip of George strutting his stuff in his boxers.

Should Denmark find themselves involved in a penalty shoot-out tonight, I suspect Aston Villa players Martin Laursen and Tommy Sorensen will be tossing a coin to see who takes the 10th and 11th penalties.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

A real warm brummie greeting

Liberal Democrat candidate in the Hodge Hill, Birmingham by-election, Nicola (Nokia) Davies is a lobbyist for the mobile phone industry. Nicola defends the mobile industry against residents who are opposing the siting of masts near hospitals and schools. Thanks to Lib Dem Watch for the pictures of the generous reception given to Nokia's boss when he visited Lib Dem HQ in Hodge Hill.

Charlie looks uncomfortable as he meets Hodge Hill residents.

Friday, June 25, 2004

A troubled mind

So, for all of those of you who suggested unkindly that the lad couldn't score in a brothel... he proves you wrong.

We all liberals now!

Thanks to Underblog for the reference to this very funny site.

Deja vu

England were knocked out of Euro '96 when Aston Villa player Gareth Southgate missed a penalty. Last night, Villa striker Darius Vassell found out what it feels like. But at least he stood up... which is more than you can say for the Ugly brothers, both of whom have over 50 international caps. I missed the whole thing myself. I went to a concert by one of the greatest living Irishmen... and he was magnificent!

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Bloody good question... bloody lousy answer

Mr. David Amess (Southend, West) (Con): When the Prime Minister next discusses working-class issues with his Health Secretary, will he consider the widespread concern around the country about the siting of telecommunications masts? Will the Government consider altering the planning laws, so that applicants will have a duty to prove that there is a need for a mast, and that there are no associated health risks?

The Prime Minister: What we should do is make sure that we proceed carefully, according to the scientific evidence. Experts in the field prepare reports and reviews for the Government, and we must take account of them, but it would be foolish for us to make a decision that was not based on the scientific evidence. Therefore, I will proceed very carefully—as the Government are doing—but the decision that we reach will be in the interests of all the community, and it will be based on proper scientific knowledge and expertise.

The Governor

"The Continental Op first hear Personville called Poisonville by Hickey Dewey. But since Dewey also called a shirt a shoit, he didn't think anything of it. Until he went there and his client, the only honest man in Poisonville, was murdered." The opening lines of Dashiell Hammet's first book, Red Harvest, written in 1929. The summer holidays are coming... and I'm stocking up on pulp crime fiction. But I bet no-one will drag me into a story better than Hammett with those fantastic opening words.

Southampton(H), Albion(A), Charlton (A), Newcastle(H). It looks like the lads will be top going in to September. (Somehow I feel these words may be taken down and used in evidence against me at a later date).


My old mate Dave Hallam has got in to a spot of bother over a website he has designed. Dave is a methodist lay preacher and he has set up a site related to Francis Asbury, who emigrated from the UK to to America in 1771 and was influential in the development of the Methodist Church over there. Unfortunately, David mentioned the Black Country delicacy of faggots on his site and various search engines in the US picked it up and interpreted it slightly differently.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Voters of Hodge Hill beware - Vote Lib-Dem = Vote Tory

If the electorate of Hodge Hill needed any further warnings after John 'give-us-a-seat' Hemming's decision to join a Tory Cabinet, Lib Dem Watch reveals:

May 2004: Lib Dem councillor and London Assembly candidate in Barnet and Camden Jonathan Simpson says: "It is a campaign we are fighting to win. The electorate want to get rid of what they see as a right-wing liability. Brian Coleman’s various comments prove he is not fit for public office."

June 2004: The Lib Dems agree a deal to run the GLA with the Tories and help to get the very same Brian Coleman - deemed "not fit for public office" - elected Chair of the Assembly.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Something fishy

Maggie Thatcher's underpants do not appear to have been changed for nearly a fortnight. What's up there then?

The Last Goodbye

Tim signs off from Bloggerheads with this magnificent Parting Shot

Steve Bell shows Labour united around the leadership over Europe.

Hodge Hill, Birmingham and Leicester South are now both set for parliamentary byelections. Labour are defending relatively large majorities in both seats and they are likely to provide a greater indication of where the party is heading than the June 10th elections where multi-seat voting and the Euro elections led to everyone claiming virtually everyone but UKIP had lost. The Abbey Ward leafletting team will be soaking their feet in warm milk (and drinking warm beer)in preparation for the task ahead.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Rest assured... Our day will come.

Over at Bloggerheads, Tim is laying down his mighty sword for a while. Easily the most entertaining and informative Blog on the block, he will be sorely missed during his sabbatical. The sheer volume of material he has directed people towards to inform them about the Bush-Blair axis has been phenomenal, and there are many bloggers out their who have been inspired by Bloggerheads.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Principles... who needs 'em

Remember this...

Well those radical Liberals are at it again.
Just look who they are getting into bed with now.

Come writers and critics who prophesize with your pen...

According to this column in the Guardian, "Politicians lie for a simple reason: they want to keep their jobs." And journalists do it for what... money?

Thursday, June 17, 2004

"If the great Phil Ochs were to come back from the dead tonight he'd probably be hailed as the new David Rovics."

Next weekend is Glastonbury. Having done my share of muddy fields and foul toilets, I don't particularly envy those who are going. Apart from the fact that David Rovics is appearing (according to his website, although he's not listed in the Glastonbury one). Rovics is my favourite American on the planet (except my sister-in-law Lisa who doesn't count). He is currently on tour in the UK with Attila the Stockbroker - go see them if they're in a town near you. David Rovics also has a pretty nifty blogsite too (access via his website) and he is currently blogging around Britain on his tour. If you are going to Glastonbury, go see David in the Leftfield.

I am the man, the very fat man, who waters the workers beer

I am indebted to Nick for this. Apparently our glorious leader is strutting his stuff on the European stage, this time protecting UK employment laws from interference by Johnny Foreigner. Before anyone feels too grateful, they should be aware that Blair is actually trying to STOP the EU from giving workers more rights under the EU constitution.

"We are not prepared to have anything that takes away our ability to make sure our industrial laws in this country remain as flexible as they are now.", Blair told his Downing Street press briefing.

Thanks... for nothing. Over to you.

Momentum is building

It looks like The Big Intervention bandwagon is starting to roll as Balders and Tim are joined by the mainstream media.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Money doesn't talk.. it swears

"The uptick in the bio defence spending has really allowed us to expand our technology into a market we hadn't been into before, so it is a nice upside for us" says the Chief Executive of Biolog, one of the numerous US 'defence' contractors watching their profit graphs rise in the country which owns and controls the world's largest supply of Chemical WMD.

I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin'

Fidel Castro explains the impact of globalisation on the Third World.

Meanwhile, the refugees of Darfur experience the situation at the sharp end.

Oh... and in Britain legal firms make millions out of human misery.

Perhaps they should have an early morning visit from the Specialist Crime Directorate who seem keen to crack down on organised gangsters operating immigration rackets.

I know everyone is probably fed up with Ronnie Reagan stuff, but Greg Palast's article is well worth a read.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

If two people make the same choice... who chooses who gets what?

One of the philosophical problems about 'giving people choice' is that it is not really as simple as it sounds. The freedom for parents to 'choose' to send their children to the school of their choice was a nonsense, because the places at the 'best' schools would be oversubscribed and you didn't get that choice. If one hospital can carry out so many hip operations quicker than the others, can everyone choose to go there. No... because they would not have the capacity. So, when this man talks about choice, he really means leaving these things to the law of the jungle.

It's a record

Tomorrow I am taking part in a world record attempt. Sarah Marshall (the woman with the red sweater at the back of the walking bus photo on my masthead), is organising a world record attempt for the number of children participating in a walking bus, and afterwards we all get a certificate to validate our attempt. Go for it kids!

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Agenda for change

Although the Labour vote in the West Midlands Council elections seem to have held up reasonably well, the situation nationally is looking grim. Something must be done. If The Big Intervention only gives us Jack Straw as Leader, it will not be worth the effort. It has got to be about Labour members re-claiming the Party from the social democrat careerists who have stolen its heart. Blair has maintained an iron grip on Labour by winning elections. That grip will loosen pretty quickly as we start to see the trend reverse. To paraphrase The Godfather, "Nothing personal Tone, it's just business." There's an interesting database at Dumpblair.

So... it's all OUR fault again..

I know we didn't support the illegal invasion of Iraq, nor the broken manifesto pledge on tuition fees, nor the massive increase in the PFI'ing of the NHS, nor the wholesale privatisation of local authority housing... but as usual, when it all goes tits-up, if the Oily Howard wins the next General Election, its all our bloody fault again!

Friday, June 11, 2004

Da Do Ron Ron

Thanks to Tim at Bloggerheads for this brilliant 'tribute' to the late Ronnie, who's bloody funeral took up hours of live friggin' television in this country. Would the US TV stations do the same thing for Thatcher? We wait in eager anticipation of an answer to that question.

And it's still 'Councillor' Bob Piper

Yes, about an hour ago the Abbey Ward result in Sandwell was announced, and it finished:

Dr. Ann Jaron (Labour) 2007
Steve Eling (Labour) 1941
Bob Piper (Labour) 1850
Roger Prior (Lib-Dem) 840
Ewart Johnson (Tory) 801
Roger Hickman (Tory) 793
William Shipman (Tory) 706

A fantastic result for us... and for Sandwell overall (although the fascist BNP still have one seat) but although Labour lost three seats we still have a 53 Labour seats and a good overall majority on the Council.

The candidates take the plaudits, but I would like to thank Liz, Pam, Cait, Andy, Lesley, Sian, Richard, Sita, Jim, James, Clare, David, Patrick, Alan, Hazel, Adrian, Carolyn, Damien, Annie, Phil, Carol, John, Letty, Joyce, Ceri...and the 1,849 people who voted for me.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Hasta La Vista

Tomorrow I'm attending the Public Inquiry into this dreadful bloody casino in my Ward. After that... it's 100% attention to getting out the Labour vote on Thursday, so I don't expect to blog again much before the result is announced on Friday afternoon. I'll be back in full flow then, whatever the result, although the blog name might have to change to Citizen Bob!

Selective memory

The media are gushing in their tributes to Ronnie. Surprisingly little reference, however, to this, and this, and this.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

since John Wayne was no longer available, so they settled for Ronald Reagan

Like BykerSink, I can find no sense of loss for the passing of Ronnie Reagan. Byker's tribute via Gil Scott Heron seems entirely appropriate.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Who or what is Al Qaeda

Thanks to the consistently brilliant Pete for this superb piece.

Don't abstain, but don't let in the Tories either

I've had another half an hour 'phone call from a friend this morning who says she is still voting Green in Birmingham, even though that sort of voting will probably hand the City Council over to the Tories. It reminds me that in 1979 various Trot groups urged people not to vote Labour because, "Thatcher would attack the unions and it would lead to a mass uprising by the working class." Bloody good strategy that turned out to be!

You'll find God in the church of your choice

The Guardian reports that His Holiness gave Dubya a 'tongue-lashing'. Is that sort of thing allowed these days in the Catholic Church?

Ingrid has been screaming literally blue murder about the tragedy unfolding in Sudan for weeks on Me and Ophelia, and at last some of the lazy-arsed editors in the media have started to move the story up the agenda. If you haven't done so already, go to Ingrid's site and read her Sudan posts (we differ quite a lot on most other things) and you'll find the best coverage and links on there. Help spread the word... put a link on your site to Me and Ophelia. Let's face it, it beats Belle De bloody Jour!

Friday, June 04, 2004

Are they by any chance related?

I know the Tory candidate in the London Mayoral elections has a dodgy background with transport companies, but do the Renault, Saab and Seat dealers in Co. Meath, Ireland, in this list have any connection with their man?

Every cloud has a silver lining.

Now how much confidence would this US Treasury Secretary fill you with?


I've just watched the biggest 2004 registered 4x4 super jeep roar past me on the M6 with a giant poster in the rear window screaming out 'Fuel Protest NOW' - Say no to fuel duty. What a complete tosser!

Its dirty work... but someone's got to do it.

I don't know how Austin Mitchell or Tom Watson feel about it, but I find it somewhat disconcerting to find out that Margaret Thatcher's underwear has got my name on it.

Disillusioned words like bullets bark

So, why Labour? In view of the number of people, on this site and on the doorstep, who have challenged me to say why they should vote Labour next week, I thought I would use this post to justify why I am in the Labour Party and why I think people should vote Labour rather than Lib-Dem, Green or Respect.
For people of my age, and those a damn site older, the disillusionment people are currently feeling with the Blair Government is nothing new. Ralph Milliband, father of the New Labour Project’s Edward and David, wrote the classic book called Parliamentary Socialism in 1961 which explained why Labour would never deliver socialism (and the joke goes that his sons are proving his father’s words).
Inspired by Milliband I resigned my Labour Party membership in 1968 over Harold Wilson’s tacit support for LBJ in Vietnam and Callaghan’s Commonwealth Immigration Act introduced to stop East African Asian’s fleeing persecution from seeking asylum in Britain.
In spite of my pithy letter to Wilson, he never resigned, the bombing didn’t stop, and Callaghan was so wounded he went on to become Prime Minister. A few years later, after I had decided they had suffered enough, I rejoined the Party. However, substitute Blair and Blunkett for Wilson’s craven support for a US President and Callaghan’s hard line on asylum, and you will probably appreciate why I do not share the same degree of disillusionment as those who thought Blair was going to introduce a bright new dawn.
After I left Labour I toyed with some of the other leftist groups, but I usually found that whilst they were strong on rhetoric, they were weak in practice. They wanted democracy in South Africa, but imposed a Leninist control freakery over their own members. They argued for women’s sections in the trade unions, but didn’t have a women’s section themselves “because we are socialists and don’t need those.” Not being one to kow-tow, I didn’t hang around.
So, why Labour? Whatever the merits of the Greens, and I think there are many, they haven’t got any links with the trade union movement, and in any event they won’t get power, and I suspect if they did most of them would be terrified and leave. So, in reality, not voting Labour means you either throw people to the Tories, or the Liberals. Given that you probably still wouldn’t be here if it was the Tories, I’ll discount that option.
The Liberals want to be all things to all people. More extreme than the Tories in the Shires, and more radical than Labour in inner city Birmingham, where currently they are running a ‘Save our Post Offices’ campaign… without ever telling the electorate that their official party policy is not to save them but privatise them. Its anything for votes. But where they are in power, they privatise with the best of them. Kinnock in his famous anti-militant speech said you can have all of the principles in the world, but without power they count for nothing. For the Liberals, its reversed, you can give them all the power in the world, but they have no principles.
So, why Labour? As Tony Benn says there are socialists in the Labour Party, just as there are some Christians in the Church. We are the only political party with a mass link to the working class through the trade union movement, and like the unions, we have our share of careerists, arselickers, and reactionaries. But we also have some bloody good members…socialists, councillors and even MPs (believe it or not), who do not subscribe to the ‘what’s in it for me’ philosophy that the media try to brand all politicians with… and far too many people out there believe.

End of whinge

Welcome to UKIP.... you're welcome to UKIP

In a move which will have rocked the foundations of our society, Charles Henry John Benedict Crofton Chetwynd Chetwynd-Talbot (that's one person, not our Euro 2004 squad) has announced he will be throwing his weight behind UKIP in the European elections. Charlie was elected to Parliament on a 100% turnout by Henry VI in 1442 at a time the name Talbot sent fear into the hearts of Frenchmen everywhere. Now over 550 years later, he's at it again. Charlie has announced he will be ditching the Tories for UKIP (never trust a man with the same name twice I say, just look at Eric Djemba Djemba, Jay Jay Ockocha). Within hours Charlie has been flushed down the Tories 'memory hole'.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

"I can think of no more unprincipled stand than to say the war is unjust but we support it anyway"

Charlie Kennedy, in his more sober (sorry, somber) moods, likes to take the plaudits for being the only major party against the War in Iraq. but as this article in the Independent points out, this was just the usual Lib-Dem fudge. Less backbone than a jellyfish!

New links

I've added two new links to the sidebar. Maggie Thatcher's Underpants deserves inclusion for such a fantastic name, but it's also a good read. Also Paul, at Is this A Good Idea? has been added. He lives in Sandwell and despite his Glory hunting tendencies and his revolutionary abstentionism, its a good site!

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

And you thought we had problems with Kilroy-Silk

Czech porn star Dolly Buster - née Katerina Bochnickova - has been campaigning in a low-cut blouse as a milkmaid who does not want her country to be "milked" by Brussels.

So, who's the big threat?

Thanks to the good Doctor for referring me to Daniel Brett who poses the question What is a greater threat: Jihadism or Islamaphobia, and then answers it pretty damn good!

It's all about oil

Thanks to Tom Watson MP for the reference to his namesake which dishes the dirt on the Haliburton/Dirty Dick smoking gun.

Cheesy Cheney