Saturday, December 31, 2005

The sound of knives sharpening.

OK, think of a gadget that changed the world. Is it here? I'm afraid I owned far more of these than I would wish to admit to. Anyone want a betamax video recorder and a couple of tapes?

Friday, December 30, 2005

Warley Woods, Bearwood, Sandwell
Behind the smiley faces of the Cameron Crew, this bunch are still around in the background. I hope His Bobness can square the circle of Capitalism - The most effective system of wealth creation. Free markets are blind to gender, race, class or religion. or "currency exchange rates determined by the free market..." or "Deregulation, Domestic and global – to maximise freedom of choice and individual responsibility in an improved society." Compassionate Conservatism, my arse.
Tom Watson describes 2005 as the year of the ipod. Well, maybe it is, but..... Sociologists will talk for ever now of the iPod generation, solipsistic, introverted, used to demanding and getting their own, customised version of everything. Combine this with a society made up of people whose sensitivity chips have been removed and you are headed for serious trouble.

Forget TINA.
Regardless of what we are told by the guardians of economic and political power, there is an alternative.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Recently revealed Cabinet papers show that Harold Wilson wanted to nationalise the breweries. "Much local resentment is caused when a local brewery is taken over by one of the anonymous national breweries thus reducing the choice - and often the quality - of beers available," he wrote. Unfortunately he was only writing to Shirley Poppins, but still, bless him, and I take back all those things I said about you, Harold (well, most of them).

It takes a desperate man to sing a desperate song.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Vote for who you like... the IMF will still win. Iraq will not be sovereign or independent in the near future, even if President Bush says so. The country’s financial future will instead be dictated by a new colossal economic occupation, complete with ground forces, tanks, foreign military bases and the like -- all thanks to the United States, Britain and the IMF.
Recovering from an all-day session on Timothy Taylors 'Landlord' this morning and I watched the highlights of last July's Live 8 concert on TV. One of the most moving moments for me was when Geldof introduced Birhan Woldu. This is from this morning's Guardian: "But I'll end with this truth. Although I am exhausted and bone weary in every sense, all of those 20 years of boring you and myself to death about this stuff would have been worth it for a single life. For just one person, it's been worth it - Birhan Woldu. When we saw that little scrap of humanity on The Cars' film 20 years ago during Live Aid, when we saw that silent scream, the soundless agony of that tiny thing, when the phone lines collapsed with pity for her - and then to see her now, beautiful, dignified, elegant, intellectual, dynamic, hopeful; a young woman worried about passing her agricultural exams on the Live8 stage, then I really, properly mean this: all of it was worth it for just her. For that single life. And in her is everything every person is and can be and must be allowed to be, and therefore every death, every loss is a great loss, an incalculable loss, a diminishment, an impoverishment.

This year, all of you started keeping 5 million Berhan people in east Africa alive. Not bad. Not bad at all."

Of course, if you want to, you can always sit on the sidelines and snipe whilst you play with yourself.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

An old mate of my has got his job back after a piece of personal vindictiveness led to his unfair dismissal. Good on yer, Mick, it just goes to show that sometimes the good guys do win! I hope you and Susanna have a good one this Xmas and I'll catch up with you in the New Year.
Thanks to Skuds for this link.

It's a website which enables you to in put a photo of yourself and using face recognition software it compares you to a celebrity.

So, I fed in this photo:

And it said the closest celebrity to me was… Kevin Spacey.

Not sure Kevin will be telling his mates down the pub though! As Skuds says… more work needed here.

Have a good Xmas everyone.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Remember what Tom Watson told you... vote Lib Dem... get Tories! The Lib Dems continue to pave the way for a Hemming-style Tory-Lib pact. If Mr Cameron is as good as his word, and the Conservative Party does change and become genuinely “liberal”, there should be nothing to prevent an electoral pact with the Tories.

Of course, Charlie doesn't want to deal with the Tories. That's easily resolved. Get shut of Charlie. The Leb Dim petitition to dump Chuck is online. Now, we wouldn't want any vote rigging, so leave it to those nice folk in the yellow tories to stick the knife in.

Footballer gives fascist salute. Blair's buddy Berlusconi leaps to his defence, "Mussolini's era hadn't been so bad", explaining that Fascist racial laws against Jews were only introduced to help the Axis war effort.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Twisted logic. British spy infiltrates Sinn Fein. British spy creates mayhem and succeeds in getting the devolution process halted. British spy confesses to being British spy. British spy is not assassinated by republicans. Who is to blame. Why, obvious really, Sinn Fein and the IRA, of course.

An absolute classic Private Eye cover.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

"God damn it…first one wants freedom, then the whole damn world wants freedom." - Gil Scott Heron, 'B Movie'. Evo Morales, the first ever indigenous President of Bolivia, Latin America's poorest country, describes himself as America's worst nightmare. Taking a leaf from the new book of Latin American politics written by Hugo Ch├ívez, Morales will seek to copy the example of Venezuela's reformed state oil company, which has secured advantageous deals with foreign companies without too much complaint.

Remember 'Chemical Sally' and 'Dr Germ' and the US most wanted 'deck of cards' members of Saddam's regime? Well, quietly, slowly but surely, they are being set free. I suppose bringing people to trial for creating weapons of mass destruction would be a tad embarrassing without even the flimsiest evidence of such weapons.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

There's been a big fuss in Sandwell over the last couple of weeks. According to Council sources (and the media), we have allegedly offered the Council's refuse collectors an additional payment of £900 to work on three Christmas and New Year Bank Holidays to prevent a backlog of rubbish building up. They have (allegedly) refused and asked for £1300. You can probably gather from the above that I have not been closely involved in this fiasco. Well, the local (and national) media have had a field day with lurid stories of "greedy binmen" holding the council to ransom and editorials with hints to residents to withhold their traditional Christmas Box for the refuse collectors. I've only one contribution to make on this subject. Why do we want them to work on Bank Holidays anyway? I know the attempt to get them to work was a genuine attempt to help dispose of the even larger mountains of rubbish and wrapping which accumulate over the holiday... but it is not beyond the wit and wisdom of Sandwell residents to hang on to their rubbish a bit longer over a holiday period, surely? We might even encourage a few more people to get down to the Tip and the Bottle Banks and recycle more of their waste. Give the refuse collectors a decent holiday with their friends (if the poor buggers have still got any) and families, bung them a bit extra for taking away the extra stuff after the holiday, and maybe everyone could start off the new year on a more constructive footing. Oh, and by the way, negotiations like this are much better conducted without involving journalists, "greedy" or otherwise, in search of a scoop or some scandal to rake over.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Someone has drawn my attention to this sad personal tale concerning my fellow Sandwell Councillor.... BNP member James Lloyd. Apparently the lad... "got himself in with the wrong company to start with and has now gone completely off the rails." Actually, perhaps that is his own defence too... just got in with a bad crowd. The boot camp for the son, the jackboot camp for his dad.

Have I Got News For You, Charlie

Steve Bell, brilliant as ever.

Charles Keneddy has apparently received the support of his senior Leb Dim colleagues... a bit like the rope supports the hanging man, to steal a phrase from V.I. Lenin. Ming Campbell's pledge to support Kennedy "as long as he remains Leader" is a classic piece of Newspeak. We're approaching that 'tipping-point' where you can no longer find anyone who thought Charles Kennedy was ever a good idea anyway. Empty threats won't solve his problems. Time to spend more time with the family and the TV Studio, Chuckie. Still, the problem then could be the "yellow Tories" find their way back to their natural environment.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Where can you find Marianne Faithful convent-girl-cum-singer, Arthur Lowe, Book of Revelation, Ofsted, Jake The Peg, Amanda Burton and Pantheus, King of Thebes all in one place? Easy, I know. They are all referenced on the excellent 'Achtung Bono' from the Four lads who shook the Wirral. What a Xmas bonus for less than a tenner!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Ernesto, an occasional and confused contributor to this site, once went into Philpotts, a 'fancy dan' sandwich shop in Brum and asked if they had black pudding on white sliced... with lard! So, Ernie, this one's just for you!
Aircraft Emissions/Noise: 14th December 2005

Q. To ask the Member for Yardley and Birmingham City Councillor, John Hemming, what the Leb Dim Councillors are doing about this in their capacity as shareholders of Birmingham International Airport.

Written Question to the member for Yardley: 14th December 2005

Q. To ask the Leb Dim Member for Yardley how much longer he is going to fiddle whilst Rome burns around him, and for clarity of his position in respect of the Honorable Member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber.

I wonder sometimes if the Leb Dims have compelely lost it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"Never underestimate the self-pity of the ruling classes. Since Labour took office in 1997 the Confederation of British Industry has been engaged in one long whinge. It doesn't matter that our taxes are among the lowest and our regulations among the weakest in the developed world. It doesn't matter that the rich are richer than they have ever been. The CBI is the monster with a thousand stomachs that will never be satisfied." George Monbiot gives both barrels to the CBI.... and a few others too!

Steve Bell on drawing Dubya. "He moved like a chimp, walked like a chimp and even talked like a chimp. This was no play acting; George Bush actually was a chimp."

Friday, December 09, 2005

It looks like there will be no difficulty scoring at next year's World Cup. A brothel where the prostitute's pay to get in!

The Tories have chosen the right man – and what a disaster that will be! The unanimous adulation heaped on David Cameron by media pundits and political commentators of all persuasions actually makes me more confident in predicting his failure as an opposition leader than I have been on any political issue since John Major took Britain into the ERM, applauded by a similar ecstatic consensus of the chattering classes.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Yesterday I listened to one of those dreadful Five Live radio ‘phone-in programmes asking people to ring in and say what they thought about David Cameron as the new Tory leader. The whole level of discussion reminded me of the scene from the West Wing, when President Jed Bartlet describes a similar experience:

“I was watching a television program before, with a kind of roving moderator who spoke to a seated panel of young women who were having some sort of problem with their boyfriends - apparently, because the boyfriends had all slept with the girlfriends' mothers. And they brought the boyfriends out, and they fought, right there on television. Toby, tell me: these people don't vote, do they?”

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Well, here's a surprising turn up for the book. A middle-class lawyer telling the trade unions to be more respectful to their masters or they will have to stand in the naughty corner. I'm touched by the irony of a new labour flunky telling the unions they must halt their decline in their membership!

Vote for Bloggerheads, and get your friends to do the same. I would say Vote Early, Vote Often, but that twerp Hemming will run off to the courts if I did. Surely Tim can beat the likes of Melanie bloody Phillips.

Things are getting serious for the bluenoses as they face the prospect of going into the festive season having won less games at St Andrews than Aston Villa have this season. Perhaps this is the time to remind Pete about his pre-season optimism. I quote from his post of August 10th:

"The football season is upon us and the prem starts on Saturday. Last year I predicted Blues would struggle, this year I predict the opposite. Most of my fellow fans and certainly the national media, have us written off as mid table plodders and I can see the sense in that, but there are circumstances which lead me to believe that the optimism that most (apart from me) felt at the start of last year is justified this time around.

First....Forssell, he proved himself fantastic scorer at this level in a mediocre, defensively minded team lacking creativity. Basically, he did it by himself. If his knee injury hasn't knackered him completely there is no need to suppose he won't be as prolific as before. There are a couple of factors that most commentators have failed to pick up on though. The first is Jermaine Pennant. This boy excites like I haven't been excited since Trevor Francis was superboy. If you think Wright Phillips is a class act, wait till you see Pennant. This time around, Forssell will have ammunition, plenty of it.

Also, assuming they are all fit, which is unlikely I know, he will be accompanied by one of two absolutely superb strikers......Heskey (don't laugh) and Pandiani, who believe me is a bit special and better than his stats from last season suggest.Then, Dunn might get fit and Izzett, who lets not forget was the prems leading supplier of chances the year before last is fit again. We have the potential to be a pretty scary attacking force, if only Bruce and his coaches take the shackles off. Remember where you read it first!"

Pete, if you've got any horse racing tips... sit on 'em!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

John Hemming takes time off from predicting the end of the world on energy supplies to claim that the NHS is in financial crisis. Incredibly, this is a man who willing jumped into bed with the Tories (and anyone else who issued an invitation) for the first (and last) sniff of power that came his way, and he's got the brass neck to claim Labour is presiding over the run down of the NHS. Well, perhaps he would care to take time off from asking endless crackpot questions about silent phone calls and ask a few about Government spending on the NHS. He might also want to compare what the Government has actually spent on the NHS with the pie-in-the-sky empty promises in the last three Lib Dem Manifestos. When he does he will be able to work out just exactly what sort of financial crisis the NHS would be in if Labour had only spent as little as Hemming and chums had promised.

Those of us in the Labour Party may disagree with our Leadership on a number of things, (and we still have more to do to bring health spending up to EU averages, but our starting point was to take over a health service from Hemming's coalition partners who had spent 18 years trying to destroy it)) but we will stand no criticism from those cretins who would have only made the situation worse.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Start the week with a smile...

Danny Kelly on why he won't say a word about George Best's 'minute's silence'.

Uncyclopedia. A good spoof Wikipedia site

... and this bloke's a laugh a minute!

Friday, December 02, 2005

This story reminds me of that old chestnut: When they opened the trophy cabinet at Wolverhampton Wanderers, two Japanese prisoners of war jumped out!

Best check the seat carefully before settling down in a Birmingham cab.