Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Sun lashes Labour

The Sun has today published the story of an email sent from the Labour Communications Unit to a member of the public claiming that people who wave the English flag are racists and that England, not Britain, has a bad history.

Terry White, probably didn't realise he was writing to a Campaign for an English Parliament member. No doubt he would have tried to conceal the contempt in which Labour holds the English people if he had.

The full story, which is on page 2 of today's Sun, is as follows:

Labour attack on English


A LABOUR Party official caused outrage last night after suggesting sports fans who wave the England flag are racist.
The outburst came from Terry White, of Labour’s Communications Unit, in an email to a member of the public.

It followed a row last week when ex-minister Gisela Stuart claimed the rise of Englishness is a threat to democracy. German-born Ms Stuart said she is concerned people claim to be English rather than British.

The man who complained, named only as Allan Murray, wrote: “Why is it that as a party you dislike the English so much? I am fed up to the back teeth with Labour’s endless dumbing down of the English. The Labour Party are trying to wipe England off the UK map.”

Mr White, who is 65 and near retirement, wrote back: “England, as opposed to Britain, has an unfortunate history around the world and within the British Isles and please do not say that it is all past.

“It is a fact that the right and extreme right in Britain cloak themselves in the English flag, the cross of St George and claim to be the true representatives of the English.

“Wherever there is hooligan behaviour, usually linked to extreme right-wing political groups eg, at football matches here and abroad, it is the flag of St George that is displayed.”

Millions of flag-wavers will be outraged by the attack on fans.

After England’s rugby World Cup triumph a million supporters packed the streets of London to cheer their heroes home many draped in the St George’s flag. There were similar scenes after the England cricket team trounced the Aussies.

Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell raged: “I find these comments insulting and outrageous.

“People will be very angry to hear what Labour thinks of them and their country.”

UKIP leader Roger Knapman said: “This is an insult to our own people. To suggest that England, but not Britain, has ‘an unfortunate history’, is sheer ignorance. If Labour is seeking to disown the Empire, then it should be told that it was the British, not English, Empire.”

A Labour spokesman said: “We cannot condone these comments and they in no way represent the views of the Party. We apologise unreservedly for any offence caused.”

Comments to the Sun

Category: England_

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Germany gears up for the World Cup

German Chancellor Angela Merkel shows up in Barcelona for the for the Euromed summit, and pronounces that the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany will be a chance to present a friendly and modern view of the country to the rest of the world.

"Germany is a football-mad country which is open to the world," Merkel said in a letter on the German government's official website for the World Cup.

"I am convinced that the excitement and the understanding of different peoples will shine out from the World Cup in Germany around the whole world," she added Monday (yesterday).

"We look forward to welcoming fans from the whole world, who will make our stadiums even more colourful and lively. They are all heartily welcome."

Except the Poles apparently.

The Telegraph reports that around 100 German and Polish hooligans staged a mass brawl in a wood on the German side of the border on Sunday afternoon. A 100-strong German police team stopped and searched 45 Germans who had travelled in 15 cars and a busload of 53 Poles after receiving information about the planned fight near the village of Briesen, 37 miles east of Berlin.

One of the Germans stopped on Sunday had been convicted for his part in the rioting in Lens at the 1998 World Cup.

The host nation has not had the easiest build-up to the finals with German away fans rioting during the friendly match at Slovenia in March this year and then in September's friendly in Slovakia.

Yeah right, Frau Merkel! I'm sure it'll be very colourful and lively!

World Soccer News
News 24
Gavin Corder's Blog: Policeman beaten by German hooligans invited to World Cup
Gavin Corder's Blog: The Russians are coming!

Category: Football_

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Final Score

The final score since Saturday 19 November 2005 is:

351 visitors from 30 countries
UK 142 USA 136

I'm calling it a Home Win! Thank you good people!

And it's even...

It's USA 131 v UK 131!

Only one hit counted per 24 hours and the night is yet young....

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Yes!!!!!!! And they've only gone and done it!

Thank you my country men and women!

The score stands at 321 visitors from 29 countries - UK 127 v USA 126!

I salute you!

Now let's keep it that way!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Come on you Brits!

Right, I put the Neocounter thingy on last Saturday and I've set it to ignore my IP. Since then I've had 292 visitors from 28 countries (except one doesn't count because it's a satellite provider - so it's obviously Osama bin Laden checking up on my subversive activities). It's all there in the footer.

On Monday the Americans were heavily in the majority. Tonight we're looking at USA 118 v UK 109. What are the chances of redressing the balance by tomorrow?

One week tomorrow chaps...let's get that Union Jack in the top position!

Good Grief - I'm a Mockney!

And so is everybody else by the look of it! Hey at least I'm not Lara!

You scored as Captain Jack Sparrow. Roguish,quick-witted, and incredibly lucky, Jack Sparrow is a pirate who sometimes ends up being a hero, against his better judgement. Captain Jack looks out for #1, but he can be counted on (usually) to do the right thing. He has an incredibly persuasive tongue, a mind that borders on genius or insanity, and an incredible talent for getting into trouble and getting out of it. Maybe its brains, maybe its genius, or maybe its just plain luck. Or maybe a mixture of all three.

Captain Jack Sparrow


El Zorro




Lara Croft


William Wallace


Neo, the "One"


James Bond, Agent 007


Batman, the Dark Knight


Indiana Jones


The Terminator


The Amazing Spider-Man


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

More beer anyone?

So did the "alcoholic Big Bang", signal chaos and disorder on the streets? Not really it would seem. Despite the doom laden prophesies from the combined voices of the nanny-statist left, the curtain twitchers of Middle England and a bloodthirsty media baying for vomit, it went off as something of a damp squib.

One police officer in Torbay said they often called their 'extra police officer' "PC Rain" but last night it was "PC Snow" patrolling the streets. Around the country, thanks went to the ice, snow and generally inclement late November weather which were cited as reasons for the disappointing lack of binge-drinking bimbos bilious on the byways of Britain, much to the chagrin of the media.

However Mark Hastings, of the British Beer and Pub Association, dismissed such criticism from those he called "the merchants of doom."

"Anybody would think that the end of civilization is going to be visited upon them at midnight tonight," Hastings said. "But if you treat adults like grown-ups, they act like grown-ups. For too long we've had Nanny bending over us telling us what to do and what not to do."

I know what you’re thinking… Mark Hastings, BBPA head of communications, eh? Well he would say that wouldn’t he?

Well, Hastings is righter than you might think.

It has been argued (in my mind satifactorily) that beer was actually the cause of civilisation. When humans ceased to be nomads and settled down to grow grain and make bread they did this often just so they could use that bread to make beer.

Ancient texts preserved on clay tablets indicate that the earliest beer was Sumerian and made using bread.

Bappir, the Sumerian bread, could be kept for long periods of time without spoiling, and so it was a storable resource. We also know, that bappir was eaten only during food shortages. In essence, making bread was a convenient way to store the raw materials for brewing beer.

But is this a plausible incentive for the domestication of grain? Well yes it is actually.

“Many traditional food preparation practices involve steps that lower the toxicity and improve the nutritional properties of plants. Through fermentation of barley-derived sugars into beer, yeast decreases the levels of tannins, stomach-irritating chemicals, and increases the levels of B vitamins and essential amino acids. Barley has both starch, and, in its sprouted form, enzymes that convert starch to sugar. The seeds can be sprouted any time of year, and the final product has excellent nutritional value and can have mildly intoxicating levels of alcohol.

Collecting and processing wild barley seeds requires tremendous effort, and at the time of the transition to agriculture, barley was not the only exploitable food resource - in fact many others were probably more accessible. It is hard to imagine that the effort spent collecting wild seeds would have been for producing loaves of bread.

The alcohol content and higher nutritional levels of beer, however, might have been incentive enough.”
Solomon H. Katz and Fritz Maytag 1991

While I grant you it would be neatly cyclical for alcohol to herald the end of civilisation as we know it, let it not be forgotten what started this whole civilisation thing in the first place.

More beer anyone?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Immoderate Quaffing: Binge-drinking an age-old problem

"He who drinks beer sleeps well. He who sleeps well cannot sin. He who does not sin goes to heaven. Amen."

Unknown monk (Bless 'im!)

Image hosted by

The opening of the new Museum of London Medieval Gallery is set to coincide with new UK laws ushering in 24-hour drinking which come into effect on November 24. And the jolly museum curators are flagging it by pointing out that binge-drinking is an age-old problem – and we British are specialists!

Looking back only 700 years, London had over 1,300 alehouses - one for every 50 people living in the city - but only 108 parish churches. John Clark, curator of the Medieval London gallery, said: "Most people, including children, drank ale made from malted barley without hops.

"They even drank ale for breakfast, and got through up to a gallon, or four-and-a-half litres, a day each.

"At a price of a penny per gallon, only the poorest had to make do with water."

Historically, we know that the Mesopotamians made beer, and that the art spread, possibly through Armenia and Georgia, to Central Europe. Because there are linguistic links between the Hungarians, Estonians and Finns, we know that tribes from Central Europe spread to the far North of the continent and crossed the English channel to the island of Britain.

Beer drinking has been such an integral part of our culture for so long that it seems that we can’t get enough of the stuff, and as a people we have developed a marked tolerance for alcohol. We have evolved the genetic predisposition to generate the enzymes that process alcohol.

The Portman Group confirms that for some years now, it has been known that many Asians have a characteristic variant of the ADH gene, which seems to be responsible for their comparative aversion to alcohol. In turn, this means that they are less likely to become heavy drinkers or alcoholics. It is also the reason that your Japanese colleague may get very pink in the face and legless on a half pint of bitter shandy.

The genetic disparity between East and West came about for the simplest of reasons. The water wasn’t safe to drink.

The Asian solution? Add leaves and boil it. Thus producing tea.

The European solution? Add barley and ferment it. Thus producing beer.

So our culture of 24-hour drinking and bingeing on alcohol may not be exactly unique to modern society in the UK today.

Cross posted to Blogcritics.

If you want a good book on Beer - try Michael Jackson's (no not that Michael Jackson!) Beer Companion: The World's Great Beer Styles, Gastronomy, and Traditions. Buy it from Amazon by clicking on the link and I might even get a beer out of it!

Binge Drinking Adds Up

I had this in my email this morning and it actually worked for me!
It takes less than a out the sums as you read. Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out!

1. First of all, pick the number of days a week that you would like to have a drink. (try for more than once)

2. Multiply this number by 2 (Just to be honest)

3. Add 5. (for Sunday)

4. Multiply it by 50 I'll wait while you get the calculator................

5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1755.... If you haven't, add 1754 ...

6. Now subtract the four-digit year that you were born.

You should have a three-digit number

The first digit of this was your original number
(i.e., how many times you want to have a drink a week).

The next two numbers are .......

YOUR AGE! ~ (Oh YES, it IS!!!!! )


Monday, November 21, 2005

OK Shawford, Hampshire listen up!

You are very welcome, and if you like the blog I am pleased. Really pleased. But for crying out loud, say something!

Looking without speaking all the time starts to come across as a bit obsessive, and I am not alone in this

Is this you Shawford?

Whilst I welcome all-comers...

it's a weeny bit galling that bloody Americans have out-numbered Brits on my blog since I put the damn Neo counter thingy up on Saturday. Mind you the Brits, Candadians and Auzzies tend to stop for a page or two, read, browse a bit... settle in - that kind of stuff. Most Yanks tend to off leg it again - sharpish...

It's all there in the footer. But I can't imagine why...?

In the Interests of Civic Mindedness...

I thought I'd share these job opportunities with you:

Part Time Support Worker to Somali Communities £24,000 - £25,407 pro rata
Part Time Hostel Link Worker £24,000 - £25,407 pro rata
Audience Development Officer £21,867 - £23,313
Children’s Service Play Development Officer £30,654 - £33,009
Cooks of Chinese Meals (2 posts) £12,048 pro rata plus weekend enhancement
3 Estate Newsletter Publisher/project Officer £25437 - £31,557 (fixed term until March 2008)
Drugs and Alcohol Officer £31,557 - £38010 pro rata
External Funding Co-ordinator£25,437 - £27,411
Development Officer (Asian Women’s Textile Groups) £17,922 - £19,656 pro rata
Senior District/Constituency Engineer (6 posts) £33,984 - £41,706

I considered applying for the role of Drugs and Alcohol Officer, (I could commute), but I think they were looking at it as more of a prevention role than sampling exercise. But one wonders whether the good burghers of Brum are aware of how their taxes are spent...

Category: Daft PC Crap_

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Oh I would that it were so....

My blog is worth $10,726.26.
How much is your blog worth?

If only... but it's a fun little gizmo anyway, inspired by Tristan Louis's research into AOL's acquisition of Weblogs inc, the two year old weblog network founded by Jason Calacanis and Brian Alvey, for a sum that is rumoured to be anywhere between $25 million and $40 million. In this process, Time Warner provided some ideas as to the valuation of blogs by traditional media.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

An unlikely discovery...

I've just discovered that Blogger Developers are people! How cool is that?

I was furtling about in Blogger Buzz swotting up a bit, as you do on a Saturday morning. And it occured to me that the articles are posted by people - yes real ones - who have their own blogs. Now you would expect a Blogger Developer's blog to be composed entirely of turgidly geeky technospeak wouldn't you? So it came as something of a pleasant surprise to discover Pete posting about nicotine-enhanced beverages in an entirely anthropomorphic way.

What is even more unlikely is he's discovered the most useful gizmo for those of us who design for print. (Remember printed collatoral... that stuff that you can actually touch...?) It's an online Lorem Ipsum generator - what a brilliant resource!

Cheers Pete, have a NicoShot on me!

Friday, November 18, 2005

How many times...?

The Russians are coming!

According to UEFA, in the wake of the riots in France, a Russian politician has offered some unwelcome help to the French government by threatening to send Russian football hooligans to sort the problem out.

In a telegram sent to France, right-wing politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who is also deputy speaker of the Russian parliament, said: "We are ready with volunteer units of football fans and activists who have served in military combat hot spots. I am convinced that our initiative would restore total order and calm the rioting within 48 hours."

Flippin' heck! That puts our hooligans in the shade! Crikey, more's the point, that puts our politicians in the shade. Anyone for resurrecting Alan Clark?

Category: Football_

Destiny's children

The evil daughter was awarded the school drama prize last night. To anybody who has any concept of what living with her is like, this should come as no surprise. It's a cliché but that girl lives to make a drama out of a crisis. If no crisis pre-exists, she can whip one up at a moment's notice. And very well she does it too.

She was given a £10 book token, with which she was supposed to buy a book (derrrrrrr), that should then have been presented to her. However, as she wanted Jordan's biography we agreed, after some fairly animated discussion, that there is a time and a place for the tabloid and the bimbo-esque, but this just wasn't it. So she just got the token handed over again and she can sneak off incognito to buy it at her leisure.

We had a bit of another to-do before we went though, as a letter from the school had come for the boy and I had failed to forward it to him at uni. I feared he was going to be presented with something in his absence. But a quick phone call to the lad saw the letter opened and it turns out the Sixth Form leavers' prize-giving is in December. Just as well we opened it though, as he's getting three prizes: a special one for being a smart arse and getting straight A's, Public Speaking, and Philosophy & Theology.

I'm obviously proud as punch of the pair of them, but all this prize-giving brought to mind a parents' evening some 10 years ago at their Prep School. Both of them at the age of six had, in their turn, been in the same classroom with the same teacher. And a remarkable woman I now know her to have been.

It was a big old building and the main door from the classroom to the hallway used to stick.

"None of the children can open that door," she told me, "and all of them cry because of it. I don't have it fixed because it tells me a lot about them... The difference between yours is that your son used to cry because he couldn't open the door. Whereas, your daughter cries because the door won't open for her!"

This as you may understand was incredibly perceptive of her, but she went on to describe their characters in great depth and with what turns out to have been an uncanny line in prophesy. She finished by referring to them affectionately as the Actress and the Bishop.

Wow! Was she good or what?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

It's a topsy turvy world we live in...

Today from The Times:

Islamic groups across Europe have campaigned for years for the right of Muslim women to wear the religious headscarf, or hijab. Now a Muslim woman in the Netherlands has won the right not to wear it!

The Islamic College of Amsterdam rejected Samira Haddad's job application after she said in an interview that she did not wear it as she was from Tunisia where the wearing of the hijab in public is prohibited.

Ms Haddad complained to a local anti-discrimination body, but the school cited the Koran in its defence. She then took the case to the Equality Commission, which decided that the Koran was not legally binding in the Netherlands.

Also today from The Guardian:

Ken Livingstone withdraws safety leaflet for women on the London underground after it was denounced as sexist and patronising. Tube Tips for Women was decorated with lipsticks and warned women to be careful on the escalators "especially if you are wearing your party shoes".

It said they should make sure trains did not "rock them to sleep" and to eat breakfast so they did not faint. Lady Hamwee, who raised the issue, said: "Transport for London should produce information campaigns and action that don't use outdated stereotypes."

I really don't know which story is more bizarre!

Addendum: And which woman is free?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

There's another one!

And this one is a flippin' Tory Council! Havant has outlawed the word Christmas and banned Santa’s grotto from its shopping centre because of the fire risk! It must be true - it's in The Sun!The annual £5,000 display of Christmas lights partly funded by local businesses, is being renamed the “Festival of Lights”.

“Festival of Lights”? I ask you, surely this could offend the Hindus!

Still you could argue that Christmas itself 'borrowed' the pre-existing Yule festival from British pagans, so the mid-winter festival losing its religious status is merely a return to normal.

Here's hoping for a Happy Winterval.. Bah humbug! I LOVE Christmas!

Gavin Corder's Blog: Celebrity Winterfest!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Quote of the Day

Gary Sobers re. Flintoff:

"He went in and he got himself on top and then he started to explode - that to me is a player."

OoH er! Now that, Sir Garfield, is what we ALL call a player!

At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines...

It’s the thirtieth anniversary of Springsteen’s album “Born to Run” and the Anniversary Edition box set is released today. Nicky Campbell was on about it on 5Live this morning with a journo from Mojo Magazine – if you’re interested, the article is the cover story on the next issue, out 1st December but in the meantime here’s one from Rolling Stone

The Boss says “I wanted it to sound enormous, to grab you by your throat and insist that you take that ride, insist that you pay attention -- not just to the music, but to life, to being alive.” Too right. It did just that – still does. Eight songs and thirty-nine minutes of some of the most powerful and romantic rock music ever made, it was the turning point in his career.

But it’s “Thunder Road” that steals the album (and the show) every time as Springsteen acknowledges, "There is something about the [piano] melody of 'Thunder Road' that suggests a new day -- which is why that song ended up first on the record, instead of 'Born to Run.'”

Don't run back inside
darling you know just what I'm here for
So you're scared and you're thinking
That maybe we ain't that young anymore
Show a little faith, there's magic in the night
You ain't a beauty, but hey you're alright
Oh and that's alright with me

You can hide 'neath your covers
And study your pain
Make crosses from your lovers
Throw roses in the rain
Waste your summer praying in vain
For a savior to rise from these streets
Well now I'm no hero
That's understood
All the redemption I can offer, girl
Is beneath this dirty hood
With a chance to make it good somehow
Hey what else can we do now
Except roll down the window
And let the wind blow back your hair
Well the night's busting open
These two lanes will take us anywhere
We got one last chance to make it real
To trade in these wings on some wheels
Climb in back
Heaven's waiting on down the tracks
Oh oh come take my hand
Riding out tonight to case the promised land
Oh oh Thunder Road, oh Thunder Road
oh Thunder Road
Lying out there like a killer in the sun
Hey I know it's late we can make it if we run
Oh Thunder Road, sit tight take hold
Thunder Road

Copyright © Bruce Springsteen

You can’t say fairer than that, eh? But 30 years ago? Humour me, it’s my birthday today – so I’m indulging myself! Hell, the highway's jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Policeman beaten by German hooligans invited to World Cup

The French Policeman beaten almost to death by German hooligans during the 1998 World Cup in France has been invited by the German Football Association (DFB) to attend a game at next year's finals in Germany.

DFB general secretary Horst R Schmidt has personally invited gendarme Daniel Nivel, his wife and their two sons to a game in the 2006 World Cup, the DFB said in a statement yesterday.

Nivel was brutally attacked by German hooligans after a World Cup match between Germany and Yugoslavia in Lens in 1998, leaving him in a coma and permanently brain damaged.

Well that's big of them! But as he still has difficulties moving and speaking and cannot remember what happened - I guess it's no odds to him either way...

Category: Football_

BBC Faith Survey

According to a poll taken for BBC News 24's Faith Day, more than two-thirds of the 1,019 respondents identified themselves as Christian, but only 17% regularly went to church. Fair enough, we're British and don't go in for bothering the Almighty unnecessarily... But the Beeb seems a bit scandalised that more than a third of them said they had no understanding of Islam. What is the Beeb on about? I bet they don't have much idea about Christianity either. Especially if they're CofE!

I should have thought that the really positive story to take away from the poll is that the "christians" interviewed had a more positive than negative view of Islam. But it would appear that the sikhs are none too keen!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I am NOT scary! Well maybe a bit...

No I'm not really. I am a wuss. I am a great big girl's blouse. A pussycat! Officially! What do these things know?

You Are Scary

You even scare scary people sometimes!

Look I have even posted on fluffy things below ...big fuck-off fluffy things... But fluffy things!


I like cats. I know we're all supposed to be split into cat people and dog people - I like them both but I like cats more than dogs now - they're just not so needy and demanding. And they crap in someone else's garden! Always a plus!

And I don't like little scrawny creatures. I mean I really don't like them - verging on the phobic. Little rib cages. Scrabbling feet. Naked tails. Euw! I don't like them at all. I also don't like creatures bred into deformity. You know the kind of thing...all dogs are wolves, right? But bulldogs can't give birth without caesarian section. Yuk! Got the picture?

Anyway my younger daughter (not the evil one) wanted a fluffy thing to hug and love and stroke and keep for her birthday. Hamsters are right out and I really couldn't face a house-rabbit, so I got her a kitten. My elder son thinks the husbandry of beasts of any sort in the house is deeply medieval - however you can't please all the children all the time.

Now given I don't care for little scrabbly things, I researched big cats. Big BIG cats. By all accounts there's enough Alien Big Cats (ABCs) at large in this country to provide breeding populations courtesy of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act of 1976, at which point anyone with an exotic beast let it go. Skummy off the 5 Live Message Boards claims (repeatedly) to have seen one. However...

The lynx was once indiginous to the British Isles but sadly the native lynx became extinct 2000 years ago. We still have Scottish Wild cat Felis Sylvestris Grampia and very handsome he is too. Even if I could find one, I didn't think he'd be so cool as a pet. So I looked to America and found the Maine Coon.

Gorgeous creatures. Big old boys. They are wild in Maine and the Eastern seaboard and hugely growing in popularity in this country. Some say they are an inter-mingling of the Norweigan forest cat and a native wild cat. No-one really knows but they are serious snow cats with hairy feet, big paws and a mane to die for!

Our cat is only a kitten but this is his brother against a wine bottle for scale.

When that leaps through the bedroom window in the middle of the night and lands on your chest - I tell you, you know about it! And I'm only talking about his kid brother!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Lest we forget

"All we have of freedom, all we use or know--
This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.

Ancient Right unnoticed as the breath we draw--
Leave to live by no man's leave, underneath the Law--

Lance and torch and tumult, steel and grey-goose wing,
Wrenched it, inch and ell and all, slowly from the King."

Kipling wrote this on 9 October 1899, at the outbreak of the Boer War - the conquest of a people in the name of human rights and justice. It was a warning to the nation that is just as resonant today. It NEEDS to be read in full!

His "Epitaph for a Statesman" is pretty spot on too:
"I could not dig; I dared not rob;
Therefore I lied to please the mob.
Now all my lies are proved untrue
And I must face the men I slew.
What lies will serve me here among
Mine angry and defrauded young?"

But for anti-war my money's on Siegfried Sassoon. He served in the First World War and was known for his bravery in battle. He was a friend and mentor to fellow poet Wilfred Owen.
"Does it matter? — losing your legs?...
For people will always be kind,
And you need not show that you mind
When the others come in after hunting
To gobble their muffins and eggs.

Does it matter? — losing your sight?...
There's such splendid work for the blind;
And people will always be kind,
As you sit on the terrace remembering
And turning your face to the light.

Do they matter? – those dreams from the pit?...
You can drink and forget and be glad,
And people won’t say that you’re mad,
For they’ll know you’ve fought for your country
And no one will worry a bit."

But what about the psychotic energy of his poem "The Kiss"?
"To these I turn, in these I trust—
Brother Lead and Sister Steel.
To his blind power I make appeal,
I guard her beauty clean from rust.

He spins and burns and loves the air,
And splits a skull to win my praise;
But up the nobly marching days
She glitters naked, cold and fair.

Sweet Sister, grant your soldier this:
That in good fury he may feel
The body where he sets his heel
Quail from your downward darting kiss."

While we're on a cheery note, a Royal British Legion report, released the day before Armistice Day, (i.e. yesterday) estimates that 10.5 million people make up Britain's ex-service community.

The average net household income was £15,500 yearly, it said. Some 46% said they had net household income of less than £10,000 a year - the amount the government says is necessary to live on. One in 10 - or 11% - said they had net household incomes of £5,000 a year.

As Kipling said:
"You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!"
Read the rest - it's worth it!

Support the Poppy Appeal 2005
Category: History_ England_

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Since you all seem to like the animations so much and as you were kind enough to give me my sword Span (and no you can't have it back!) I thought you might like this for Owsblog.

It would look better on a white background (click it to see what I mean) but you know what they say...never look a gif horse in the mouth! Boom Boom!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

London's Finest

An American tourist in London decides to skip his tour group and explore the city on his own. He wanders around, seeing the sights, occasionally stopping at a quaint pub to soak up the local culture, chat with the locals, and have a pint of bitter.

After a while, he finds himself in a very nice neighbourhood with big, stately residences... no pubs, no shops, no restaurants, and worst of all NO PUBLIC CONVENIENCES.

He really, really has to go, after all those Guinness's. He finds a narrow side street, with high walls surrounding the adjacent buildings and decides to use the wall to solve his problem.

As he is unzipping, he is tapped on the shoulder by a London bobby, who says, "I say, sir, you simply cannot do that here, you know."

"I'm very sorry, officer," replies the American, "but I really, really have to go, and I just can't find a public restroom."

"Ah, yes," said the bobby..."Just follow me". He leads the American to a back delivery alley to a gate, which he opens.

"In there," points the bobby. "Whiz away sir, anywhere you like."

The fellow enters and finds himself in the most beautiful garden he has ever seen. Manicured grass lawns, statuary, fountains, sculptured hedges, and huge beds of gorgeous flowers, all in perfect bloom.

Since he has the policeman's blessing, he relieves himself and feels much more comfortable. As he goes back through the gate, he says to the bobby "That was really decent of you... is that what you call English hospitality?"

"No sir...", replied the bobby, "...that is what we call the French Embassy."

Category: Jokes_

The Plan

In the beginning was the Plan.

And then came the Assumptions.

And the Assumptions were without form.

And the Plan was without substance.

And the darkness was upon the face of the Workers.

And they spoke amongst themselves, saying, "It is a crock of shit and it stinketh."

And the workers went unto their Supervisors and said, "It is a pail of dung and none may abide the odor thereof."

And the Supervisors went unto their Directors, saying, "It is a container of excrement and it is very strong, such that none may abide it. It is a vessel of fertilizer and none may abide its strength."

And the Directors spoke amongst themselves, saying one to another, "It contains that which aids plant growth and it is very strong."

And the Directors went unto the Vice Presidents saying, "It promotes growth and it is very powerful."

And the Vice Presidents went unto the President saying, "This new Plan will actively promote the growth and vigor of the company with powerful effects."

And the President looked upon the Plan and saw that it was good.

And the Plan became policy.

And this is how Shit Happens.

This is enough to make one get religion!

She's seing a chav! The evil daughter this is... He's dripping in bling and sovs!

All that money squandered on her education to have her loved up by a chav with no chin! A 20 year old one at that! I wouldn't mind him buying her expensive perfume - far from it - but she left open an SMS texting website on here and I DO NOT want to see that kind of filth!

Now me, I'm broad minded's not like I never posted fulsomely on the word cunt... But nooooooooooooooooooooooooo! This is my baby girl!

Oh God! Gods! Stars! Heavens! All of it! I'll pray to anything right now!

Anyone know where I can find a graven image at this time of night? And if any one of you says try the bloody kebab shop - I'll lamp you!

Monday, November 07, 2005

I meant to post this on the 5th...

Oh well better late than never! On second thoughts - I could be early...

600 Glorious Years of Beastlie Furie and Extreme Violence

From medieval times right through to the Nineteenth century, football battled against various attempts to suppress it.

Highlights include:

1287: Synod of Exeter bans "unseemly sports" from churchyards

1314: Edward II's ministers issue a proclamation stating that "forasmuch as there is a great noise in the city caused by Hustling over large balls, from which many evils may arise, which God forbid, we command and forbid, on behalf of the King, on pain of imprisonment, such game to be used in the city in future."

1349: Edward III repeats the prohibition, describing football as one of many "foolish games which are of no use". Further decrees against football follow in 1389 and 1401.

1531: Sir Thomas Elyot writes in his treatise The Boke Named The Governour that football is "nothing but beastlie furie and extreme violence".

1555: Football is banned at Oxford University.

1572: Elizabeth I passes a decree that "No football play to be used or suffered within the City of London".

1576: A group of artisans in Ruislip "with unknown malefactors to the number of a hundred, assembled themselves unlawfully and played a certain unlawful game, called football, by reason of which unlawful game there arose amongst them great affray, likely to result in homicides and serious accidents."

1608-9: Reports in Manchester of "a companye of lewde and disordered persons using that unlawful exercise of playinge with the footbale in ye streets of the a said towne breakinge many men's windows and glasse..."

1615: Football is said to be causing "greate disorders and tumults" in the City of London.

1600s: "In many respects Puritanism in that period became a greater enemy of sport, especially of the popular, bloody variety, than medieval monasticism had been, and the history of sport in Puritan England could be written largely in terms of the regular enactments against it."

The Puritan pamphleteer Philip Stubbes writes that football is more "a bloody murthering practice than a fellowly sport or pastime".

1660: It is alleged of an undergraduate at Cambridge University that "he was in a companie that did in a Riotous manner throw clotts or stones at the deputy proctor and Masters of Arts who came to prevent scholars from playing at football, and other disorderly meetings there."

1796: After the death of a man in Derby's Shrove Tuesday game, football is condemned as "disgraceful to humanity and civilisation, subversive of good order and Government and destructive of the Morals, Properties and very lives of our Inhabitants."

1830s: "The days had gone when authorities stood by helplessly while their subjects took the law into their own hands with impunity; in the capital for instance bands of footballers ceased to be able to create mayhem at will. Street football in the old cities was one of the victims of effective law enforcement."

1838: "Football seems to have almost gone out of use with the inclosure of wastes and commons, requiring a wide space for its exercise."

1881: Evard Home Coleman reports: "The ancient custom of playing at football in the public streets was observed at Nuneaton on the afternoon of March 1st. During the morning a number of labourers canvassed the town for subscriptions and between one and two o'clock the ball was started, hundreds of roughs assembling and kicking it through the streets. The police attempted to stop the game, but were somewhat roughly handled."

Category: Football_

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Origins of Football

This is well written by Jad McAdam.

While many ancient peoples played a kind of football, the European game has a specific history, which might go some way to explaining how such forces have come into existence. The earliest incarnations of football in England were scenes of mass disorder involving hundreds of people. Street football or 'mob football' evolved from a more ancient and bloody ritual called the Dane's Head, where the head of a Danish soldier slain in battle was kicked from one village to another.

A legacy of the Roman festival of Saturnalia, Shrove Tuesday, was set aside for the playing of football in many European towns. The game was a form of unarmed combat and all-in wrestling in pursuit of a round ball. Such games were a part of the carnivalesque traditions of medieval life. Certain days of the year saw the inversion of prevailing hierarchies in festive and comic celebrations. Rules of behaviour and determinations of rank were suspended and all were made equal and given licence to do as they pleased.

Such freedoms have long been problematic for those who represent authority, and government action against football is nothing new in Europe. Since the beginning of this millennium it has posed a legislative problem for different regimes at different times. In 1314 Edward II directed a law against "rageries de grosses pelotes", the hustlings over large balls. Edward III tried to ban football in 1365 for its tendency to impede the learning of archery, a practice beneficial to the defence of the realm. In France attempts were made to ban the sport, by Phillippe V in 1319 and Charles V in 1369. King James I of Scotland decreed in 1424 "that na manplay at the fute-ball, uder the paine of fiftie shillings."

It was the Puritans, however, who mounted the most successful campaign against football. None were more vociferous than the anti-sports pamphleteer Philip Stubbes: "As concerning football playing I protest unto you that it may be rather called a friendlie kinde of fyghte than a play or recreation - a bloody and murthering practice than a felowly sport or pastime." Two hundred and fifty years later this puritanical influence on the government of Queen Victoria led to the end of traditional football.

More than just sexual practices were repressed under Victoria's reign - a whole range of popular of popular activities were policed out of existence. Mob football was one of them. The ancient and carnivalesque pastime was replaced by a specator sport where the crowd was removed from the field of play. The codification of the sport began in the major public schools and was part of a general attempt to civilise the masses in newly industrialised England. The official history of the Football Association puts it in these terms: "if all government is autocratic and evil it is nonetheless necessarily so. The alternative is anarchy and the law of the jungle."

The phrase "a local Derby" is still used to describe a match between neighbouring teams where no love is lost, and the game in Derby provides the best example of the death of an ancient sport. There, football was traditionally played on Shrove Tuesday, between the Parishes of All Saints and St Peter. As all young men were involved in the ritual stoush, the game consisted of over 500 players a side.
On Shrove Tuesday in 1847 the traditional game of football was played for the last time in Derby county. The Mayor appeared on horse back to stop the game with the aid of the local constables. When he was forced back by a hail of stones, the Riot Act was read, the cavalry called in and the game was stopped.

For eight hundred years the popular pastime of mob football had survived, against every edict of every king who had tried to stop it. Only the introduction of the new system of policing initiated by Sir Robert Peel in 1829 gave the state enough power to stamp out the game.

If you fancy some more detail...try these links:

From the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford.

From Football Network

From Expert Football

And from some random Turk!

There's some good stuff here too.

Category: Football_

Friday, November 04, 2005

Do you like my sword?

I hope your cursor has appeared as a sword. This is a small piece of code kindly sent to me by Span. Which is very decent of him. Cheers mate I'll buy you a beer!

However I prefer my sword to his carrot! Which is as it should be!

I like a sword.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Celebrity Winterfest!

"A DECISION to remove the word "Christmas" from festive switch-ons in a council area was an "error" by an overzealous junior official, it was claimed today.

"The removal of the word Christmas in advertising material for the various switch-ons of lights over the festive season in the south London borough of Lambeth was not council policy, a spokeswoman said..."

Story Manchesteronline

I ask you "Celebrity Winterfest?" Sounds like a v. poor reality programme involving panto cast-offs such as Orville the Duck, the Krankies, Cannon & Ball, and Kyle Ozzynob ("Home & Away's Dwayne"). What moron thought that one up? Oh yes the same kind of moron that works at Birmingham City Council who came up with "Winterval". The morons at Birmingham don't mind that the even more moronic at Lambeth borrowed their term!

Or it could be a wheeze by militant atheists to piss the Vicar off...


Category: Daft PC Crap_