Thursday, December 20, 2007
You know what? I don't know why I'm even bothering to ask - it's bloody obvious isn't it?
When you need to debate an issue which specifically and vindictively persecutes 50 million people in England, you just know that the best thing to do is to invite two Scotsmen onstage to give us the benefit of their experience and no doubt tell us what's good for us - and what we should be happy with.........
The debate, 'Is the West Lothian Question unanswerable' has been organised by the Hansard Society. The two protagonists are Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Lord Charlie Falconer.
Oh, and just for good measure, Sheena MacDonald (yet another Scot) will be chairing the debate.....
I will be attending the debate in my capacity as a downtrodden English person. And like any downtrodden English person, I shall be mostly extremely gobby with Mal and especially with Chaz during the Q and A session -
If any other downtrodden English people are interested in attending - you can apply online via the above link...... but be warned, Falconer is mine.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
With his 'massive' LibDem rank and file majority of 500 votes, Clegg shook the hand of the seething and vanquished Huhne (I reckon a job shadowing the Westminster bog cleaning rota beckons for Chris)- and turned to the audience to deliver his first 'my politics is going to be different' speech.
There he stood, four square and square jawed. The almost massed ranks of the Press, the adoring cadre of his Team-Clegg support and a whole battalion of former failed LibDem leaders sat there, baited breathed, waiting for Clegg to deliver his new brand of honest politics to a weary country.....
"New type of politics.... blah, blah, blah.... putting honesty back.... blah, blah, blah.... our contract of trust with the electorate"....
And then he was finished. The new broom, the new honest Joe had said what was needed to be said. Triumphantly, Emporio Cleggy waved to the adoring masses. Everyone stood up and clapped for LibDemmery - even Ming Campbell once Kennedy had woken him up with a sharp elbow to the ribs...
Up stepped Radio 4 anchorman, Edddie Mair to do a quick interview with the new broom of honesty. Honest Cleggy went into honesty-overdrive, fielding the questions with a vague honest confidence that goes with the job of leading a party that will always be bit-part players.
But wait, Mair had an ace up his sleeve. His last question to Clegg concerned the BBC ban on the words 'faggot' and 'slut' in the seasonal song 'Fairytale in New York' by the Pogues/Kirsty MacColl. "So Nick, what are your thoughts - is the BBC right to bleep out these two words?"
Bearing in mind that the Christmas ballad is a classic, has been voted the best Christmas song of all time, has been in the charts every single year since it was first released 20 years ago, is used on the telly every year to advertise virtually every Christmas CD compilation and is played remorselessly on all of the nation's radio stations for up to 6 weeks before Christmas, Mair felt confident he would get a cogent, wisey-word answer from the new LibDem oracle.....
He has to doesn't he? I mean, is there anyone in the YouKay aged 20 or over, who hasn't heard the song at least a thousand times?.....
Apparently, there is.
Clegg considered his answer. This Sage of wisdom, already weary of the grinding responsibility of LibDem leadership after just 5 minutes into the job delivered his 'honest' answer....
"Well Eddie, I can't possibly make a judgement about this as I have never heard the song - and it wouldn't be right for me to comment on it without hearing it, would it?... So I'll tell you what I will do, I will lsten to the record, then I will come back to you and give you my answer..... OK?"
Well, so much for the new honest Joe.....
You're a bum
You're a punk
Youre an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy christmas your arse......
Thankfully, the BBC has now rescinded the ban and 'faggot' and 'slut' are now deemed to be 'OK' I wonder why? Could it be that someone at BBC 'getting down with the kids' Division actually took time out to have a quick gander at the lyrics of some 50 cent and Eminem tracks?.......
Friday, December 14, 2007
The English Democrats' magazine, the 'English Voice' should be out any day now. I reckon it's our best yet - mind you, it should be, because it was a hell of a lot of work. There are also a few new YouTube offerings about to come off the production lines - I hope will be both amusing for the viewer and embarrassing for our great leader.
There are other things in the pipeline, none of which I can yet go into - but hopefully, this coming year is definitely going to be pivotal for the cause - and I believe it to be a golden opportunity to put even more pressure on the chimera that currently infests number 10.
I don't know about anyone else in the English community, but I have definitely crossed the Rubicon. Because of the danger to our democratic rights, the traitorous ineptitude of our English MPs, the routine disenfranchisement of our people and the somewhat clouded future of my kids, more and more of my work time is taken up with the cause of England.
Some things are much, much bigger than a career - the future of our country, for instance.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Morphing at its most worrying I think. If this isn't an advert about the dangers of mucking around with genes then I do not know what is. This amalgamation is so weird, I reckon he would get an audition in a 'Phones For You' advert.....
H/T Mr Fred Bishop.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Nigel Hastilow, incurrer of the wrath of David Cameron for the crime of having an opinion has written a book called 'Tomorrow's England'
As Nigel says about the book - 'It's essays about the way our freedoms are disappearing and nobody seems to mind. It's also about the NHS, the way our democracy can be distorted, the EU as the first stealth super-state. And about David Cameron's Conservative Party'.
Judging from what Nigel says, it looks like he's got a best seller on his hands...
Monday, December 03, 2007
"Hi, is that the Information Office of the Palace of Westminster?"
"Yes, how can I help you?"
"Well, I'd like to speak to the Ministry of the North West please."
"The Minis-treeee of the North West?"
"Yes, the Minis-treeee of the North West....... It has to be there - after all there's a Ministair for the North West - our great Prime Minister himself devolved powers to her soon after coming to power"...
"Do you know who the Mini-stair of the North West is then?"
"Yes, her name is Beverley Hughes"....
"Oh, you mean the Children, Schools and Families Minister?"
If her name is Beverley Hughes - I suppose I do.....
"Hmmm, let me have a look, Mini-streeee of the North West..... North West, North.... Mini-streee of the".......
"You might have better luck if you type in Mini-streeee of the North West of England"...
"Yes, the Mini-streeee of the North West - of England...... I've had a butchers on the Parliamentary web site and cannot seem to find it. Look, I know it must exist - because you've got your Ministair, QED, there must be a Ministreeeeeeeee with which to house said Ministair and her entourage - even if it's just a converted airing cupboard, a phone line and a packet of post-it notes....
"Well, there doesn't seem to be even an airing cupboard".....
"Hoo-bloody-ray! Now we are getting somewhere...... Can you let me have it, please?"
"Just address the letter to the Ministair of Children, Schools and Families at the Ministreee of Children, Schools and Families, Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BT and I'm sure the Ministair for the North West will pick it up from there".....
"So just to recap. The North West of England - an area with a population of seven million people, that's two million more than the population of Scotland doesn't actually have a Ministreeeeeeeeeeeee of the North West - or indeed a Ministair of the North West who actually does anything?........ It's sort of like the Werthers Original advert, isn't it?"
"Yeah, you know .... the kid in the car telling his Dad about his mate's 'sort of virtual Dad'..... The Ministreeeeeeeeeeee for the North West is a sort virtual organisation - it doesn't exist.... it's a figment of our great leader's imagination"....
"I couldn't possibly say - but I'm sure someone, somewhere is doing good works for the Region"....
"Yes, it's an 'area' - and not a 'region'"
"Yes, I'm sure it is........ Is there anything else I can help you with?"
"Actually yes!.... Can I speak to the Ministreee of Yorkshire and Humberside, please?".......
Saturday, December 01, 2007
This is my favourite, done by a guy in Japan - and sort of sums up the utter fraud monkey that is today's You Kay.... it's all leeking away, Gordon. Don't it make you feel proud?....
Friday, November 30, 2007
The British Rugby League national team has in the past, usually completed as 'Great Britain'. However, last month's 3 match series against New Zealand was the very last time that GB as a team will ever play. It has now been disbanded and all the home nations have gone their seperate ways. (If they should all get together again as a touring party in the future then they will be play as the RU boys do under the title of 'The Lions').
Next year, the Rugby League World Cup will be held in Australia, and England and Scotland will be competing as national teams, There is therefore a real opportunity to try to persuade the Rugby League authorities in Leeds that Jerusalem should be our anthem of choice, especially as it is traditional that before every Rugby League Grand Final (the sports equivalent to the FA Cup Final) it is traditional that before the match kicks off, a selected classical singer walks onto the pitch and sings Jerusalem. The whole crowd of 68.000 join in. I listened to this year's event on the radio - and the singing of the hymn was simply fantastic.
This is what the official Grand Final site said about the pre-match entertainment -
'In the final moments before the teams walk out, the award winning Yorkshire born Lesley Garrett will sing a special arrangement of the hymn Jerusalem - the traditional anthem of the Super League Grand Final. She regularly appears in both opera, in concert and on television and has won massive critical acclaim as a recording artist; she also has eleven solo CD to her credit.
And Lesley says she is already looking forward to performing a song which she believes is highly appropriate for a major sporting occasion: ‘Jerusalem for me is most associated with sport and music and the very best situation in which to sing it is in front of 65,500 people waiting for kick-off!” She added: “It’s a song I have sung for many years and I particularly love this arrangement with the drums because it gives it such extra power and excitement. “I am thrilled to be singing it for this special engage Super League Grand Final and I know just what an exciting and emotional day it will be for everyone!”
She could have mentioned that Jerusalem is a song associated exclusively with England, but never mind, the precedent is set. They play Jerusalem as a traditional curtain raiser to their most prestigious domestic occassion - so in theory, it cannot be much of a leap of the imagination to use the hymn as England's anthem for next year's world cup, can it?
Apparently, the RFL are deciding the team logistics right now.
This is my email to the RFL HQ.
I understand that now the final GB v NZ test match series has been played, the home nations are going their own seperate ways.
In future, England will have her own team, and be playing as such in next year's Rugby League World Cup. That's something I really support, but can you tell me, will we also be having our own anthem as well before each match?
A couple of months ago, I saw the Grand Final at Old Trafford between St Helens and Leeds - and was completely knocked out by the singing of 'Jerusalem' before the action started. It was fantastic. As everyone sang for all they were worth.... and I mean, 'everyone', I would suggest that Jerusalem would make a superb anthem for the England Rugby League team - not only is it a stirring and uplifting tune, but it also actually mentions England in the words - and so is more than appropriate to be our anthem.
And as was proved on Grand Final night, it is fantastically popular amongst the ordinary people of England.
PLEASE do not go the route of picking God Save the Queen - and copying the RU and Football teams - it is the UK anthem and so, has nothing to do with England - and you can bet your life that Scotland will be picking their own anthem rather than GSTQ.
Can you please let me know asap which song you intend to use for all future England National Rugby League team matches.
Alfred the OK.
Monday, November 26, 2007
James Purnell, the Culture Secretary for England was interviewed last Friday by Simon Mayo on BBC radio's FiveLive afternoon show, The Daily Mayo. I sent in an email, which Simon duly read out in toto (including the 'disenfranchised Englishman' bit). Below is the transcript - first the email, then the bumbling, inexcusably pathetic answer from James Purnell and the interjections from Simon Mayo.
'Can you ask Mr Purnell when England is going to be allowed her own National Anthem?
God Save the Queen is not the English Anthem, it is the British one - England doesn't have one and it's about time we did. I suggest 'Jerusalem'.
Scotland and Wales have their own anthems - and it is plainly bizarre to hear the Welsh and the Scots booing 'God Save the Queen' as the anthems are played prior to England playing them in the 6 nations tournament.
Mr Purnell is the culture secretary for England - he should start to champion our country by promoting our culture. Our own unique national anthem would be a start'.
Alfie the OK,
PURNELL: "I'm proud of being English, and I'm proud to be British....... And I think you can be both at the same time.... And I think ... if we start to go down this sort of seperatist route, we'd really regret it in 10 or 20 years time...... You know, this is a fantastic country and I think trying to set ourselves one against the other would only make us weaker"....
MAYO: "Yes but, it's not nessecarily seperatist, just to say England could have its own song the way the Scots and the Welsh have"....
PURNELL: "Well, we've got Baddiel and Skinner haven't we?...... And, ermmm, got fantastic songs that err... errrr... err... err.... at err, rugby.... at err football - but I.... I.... I just think, you know... that there is a sort of mood about, which is that, errr..... somehow England is missing out......
England is a fantastic country, we're doing brilliantly well, when I talk to Euro"....
MAYO: "Brilliantly well at what?"
PURNELL: "Just generally. When I talk to European colleagues or talk to people, you know, talk to Democrats in America and they..... You know, are extremely impressed by what we've done.... So I think we should be proud of our country, I think we should be clear that we can be English, British, Scottish, Welsh, errrrr, Northern Irish at the same time and there's a multiple, you know, you can be Northern Irish and British and be proud of both at the same time and that's something we should all be able to feel."
MAYO: "And European, chuck it all in"..........
So there you have it. Pathetic Purnell, the Culture Secretary for England says that to give England our own national anthem will endanger the union by going down some 'seperatist route'. But apparently, the Scots and Welsh having their own anthems does not endanger anything. So presumably, in Purnell-world, the very act of Scots and Welsh fans booing 'God Save the Queen' to the hilt at Murrayfield and the Millennium Stadium, must mean the union is being strengthened with every gob-glottal vented.
Not for us a national song that defines our identity. Not for us a stirring theme to bind our country with common goals and collective purpose. No, Purnell says we have Baddiel & Skinner, and footy & rugby songs to fall back on - as a sort of 'Anthem-Lite'....
And so, just to get things straight in my mind - Purnell rules out 'Jerusalem' because it's the work of the Devil - but Baddiel & Skinner doing a 'Derek and Clive' pastiche or footy fans singing 'Posh Spice takes it up the arse', and 'The Referee's a bastard' is perfectly fine for our national singy-songy........
Purnell says it's OK to be proud of being English - just as long as you keep quiet about it...... And this from the man tasked to promote English Culture. Pathetic.
If you want to hear it yourself, go here and wind onto 1:20:03 for the question and blathering answer from a national disgrace.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Do you know what? I am getting heartily sick and fed up with the blue sky thinking going on by the Scottish Establishment - apparently for our benefit.
Scots Labour MP, Ian Davidson suggests a return to English regionalism. Posh Scot Rifkind, after oooh, at least 10 minutes cogitation emerges from the toilet with his little piece of 'back of the envelope' to declare "Grand Committees in our time"... Scottish Prime Minister, Gordon Brown gives us one of his sickly smiles and pretends to go deaf - or, as in this week's PMQs gives a completely inaccurate answer when asked about the Barnett Formula....
Hey, all you bods at The Scotsman, all you 'worried of Dundee' readers, all you 'concerned for your jobs Scottish politicians' why not campaign for a referendum to be held in England about OUR constitutional future. Why not ask US what we would like, for a change?
The answer to the English Question will not be found on Malcolm Rifkind's toilet seat, it will not be found behind Gordon Brown's faux smiles, it will not be found in Ian Davidson's selfish streak, it will not be found by a Scots media suggestion of 'Rifkind Lite' - it will only be found by actually asking the population of England what they want.
And talking about The Scotsman. Tell me Mr Editor, during your week long 'special' on analysing the West Lothian Question, did you once, even once go down, south of the border to actually ask the people of England what they actually would like - or have you been too busy canvassing opinion from worried Scottish MPs to be bothered?
As tonight's edition came from Glasgow in Scotland, the rest of the panel were of course, all Scottish.
David Steel - Grey haired has-been, Scottish LibDems man in grey.
Trout-pouter Wendy Alexander - Scottish Labour leader and sister to Wee Duggie, the world's worst election organiser.
Annabel Goldie - leader of the Scottish Tories and Scotland's very own Claire Rayner agony aunt.
Nicola Sturgeon - chippily bolshy Scottish deputy leader of the SNP and chair of the Alex Salmond fan club.
As per usual, the thorny question of the 'West Lothian Question' was aired. As per usual, most of the Scots on the panel (apart from the chippy bint) agreed that because of England's vast bulkyness, we shouldn't get a Parliament of our own because it will bugger the union to death - forever. As per usual, not one of those miserable power-mad ruminating tossers suggested that the people of England should be allowed the opportunity to decide what we bloody well want. And then the discussion went all Barnett - Goldie proclaimed that Northern Ireland got the most, then London, then Scotland.... interesting use of a Province, a City and a Country there Annabel in order to somehow illustrate your pathetic point of no value or accuracy. But never mind, Bumbleby didn't bother to take you up on it. Lord Steel likened England's current predicament to Scotland of years ago - and being bullied by English, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs into accepting legislation.... Yeah, but Dave, baby - that was when Great Britain was ruled by a Unitary Authority, wasn't it? Bumbleby remained silent.
And as for Aaronovitch? well he just said there was no appetite in England for self determination. According to Dave, it was all a right wing media plot....
On second thoughts, I don't think Aaronovitch is an Englishman after all..... Maybe he's trying to redefine himself as a plastic Scotsman?
Thursday, November 22, 2007
This image was composed by my eldest Son, John. He is at the moment travelling the world - and is currently in Shanghai. It is a self portrait and he entered it in a competition last year which was all about trying to show your passion about football. He got into the last 6 - but did not win. To me, it perfectly sums up the hopes, the highs - but mostly the lows of yer average England footy fan.
Last night's disaster at Wembley was an utter disgrace. McClaren, the uninspiring plodder has gone - along with a cheque for 2.5 million quid in his back pocket. Thanks for nothing, Stevie.
And then, this morning the living dead - the board of the FA, staggered out from their blue-blazered comfort zone to face the media music. Old, pale, out-of-touch, arrogant and complacent..... but most of all, a complete failure by any of those damned white-haired tossers to do the decent thing and fail on their own swords. It was they who appointed a journeyman coach to the position of England manager - it is they who sacked them this morning. Their judgement is now therefore as flawed as McClaren's tactics - and by definition, they should all go right now also.
I am old enough to remember how Brian Clough was overlooked for England coach because he was too gobby. I also remember how Bob Paisley, the most successful English coach of all time wasn't even considered - not because of his ability to manage the national side was in doubt, no, it was because his cloth capped image wasn't quite what the blue blazered brigade felt comfortable with.
Ever since Walter Winterbottom's appointment in the late '50's, the FA have always favoured yesmen and arse-lickers as coach. I hope now that things will change..... but I doubt it.
But one thing's for sure, the England team simply do not deserve the fantastic support they get from the English public. They are, without doubt, the most loyal supporters in the world, and it really is about time, the God-awful FA started to treat them with some sort of respect.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Watching Allistair Darling doing a passable impression of a 'dead man dead', yesterday, it sort of struck me just what a group of talentless losers Gordon Brown's Cabinet actually are. Far from being the much heralded 'Government of all the Talents' - they are little more than a gang of remedial no-opinioned school boys, hanging on every growly-voweled word and control-freaked diktat of the Great Leader. Darling, Balls, Cooper, Miliband and the rest would more at home in short pants and reading the Beano rather than delving into government boxes..... None of them has a decent original thought between them.
Aside from the LostCDGate scandal, the list of woes has an air of calamitous government about it. Who knows, someone might just invent a new word for the English (sorry, British) language that will sort of define a complete balls up on a monumental scale. "Oh dear, you appear to have made an utter Brown of that, haven't you?"
Brown's dithering fingerprints are all over the Northern Rock debacle. Last week, super-special, Brown-appointed security expert Sir Alan West dramatically changes his mind in the space of half an hour and a brief 'chat' with his Boss over the question of how long terror suspects should be detained prior to charges being brought. Apparently, his proclaimation that he didn't believe in detention of more than 28 days was a 'misquote' - even though he said it live on Radio 4.
At the weekend, Foreign Secretary David Miliband's big new speech on Europe got the red pen treatment from Gordon Brown. Rather embarrassingly, it was only altered after the Foreign Office had circulated the original to the country's news agencies. Last week, Jacqui Smith, our chunky Home Secretary and part-time Rugby League prop forward, stood at the Despatch Box and told us about the 20,000 illegal immigrant security guards working for the state. Apparently, the reason why she didn't tell us about it in July was because she wanted to work out what to do about it first.(And she managed to say all that with a straight face!)
This Summer's Surrey Foot and Mouth outbreak was tracked down to a leaking underground pipe from a Government research laboratory. The pipe was due to be replaced a couple of years previously, but budget cuts from Brown's Treasury to government agency Defra meant that the pipe was left to corrode, fracture and contaminate....
The north of England floods, occurring just days after Brown's coronation, was a complete balls up. The Prime Minister had barely appointed his new team of special regional ministers for England, yet Caroline Flint the minister responsible for the flooded area did nothing for over 2 weeks. Only when the great God Gordon cruised into town in his big flashy 4 be 4, dodging the beached sofas and flat-pack flotsam did Flint show her brassy boat.
Gordon, ever the prudent fool - especially where northern English folk are concerned, pledged a pathetic 14 million quid for 'relief'. Caroline Flint, standing a respectful 5 paces behind, swooned in adoration. The guy from Hull council rolled his eyes and complained that the damage ran into many hundreds of millions of pounds - and that 14 crappy million was not even loose change.....
Then there was Immigration Minister, Liam Byrne's performance on 'The Daily Politics' last week. Anchorman, Andrew Neil first pulled all his legs off, then his wings, then stamped him into the concrete. Byrne could not, would not admit to official figures of immigration published by his very own department. Byrne could not, would not admit to anything, full stop. He blathered and said "errrr" a lot. After 10 minutes of relentless questioning, Byrne's excuse for not knowing anything much about immigration was because he had left his folder at the office.
He knew the figures all right - the only problem was that he couldn't actually say anything of note, just in case a member of the Gordiban was in the wings, taking notes.
Brown's performance at the Despatch Box since he took over from Blair has been woeful. His body language, his shaking fists, his forced insincere gurning grins, his inability to tell a decent joke, his crap excuses for not knowing his facts ("The honourable gentleman forgets that I have only been in the job for 5 days") - and the complete inability to give Cameron any kind of body swerve is embarrassing to watch. - Second only to the passive reaction of Speaker Fat-Man Mick Martin as he allows Brown to ignore answering the same question asked 4 times in a row. ...
There is really no doubt about it, Brown is a political sociopath. A man devoid of any human interaction and warmth. He trusts no one - certainly enough to allow him or her to make a decision. Gordon doesn't do delegation or sincerity. He tries so hard to act the part of the conviction politician, but that is failing also - if you look closely, you can see the trowelled-on make-up is running...
All this was confirmed on Sunday night with the first part of the TV trilogy 'The Blair Years' on BBC 1.
Blair was interviewed about his relationship with Brown. He sat there, 'doing' sincerity like only Tone can do, resplendent in his newly rediscovered Bambie-esque persona, trying his very 'hardest' to defend the Heath Robinson hard-wire that is the world of Brown - but in spite of his very best efforts, the control freakery of the puppet master from number 11 just shone through.
Machiavellian, borgian, iagoian, uriah-heepien, hissing-sydian - Brown was all of these and more. A man absolutely obsessed with being head cohoanie of Great Britain Limited. The schemer of schemers, the man who told Blair "When the fuck are you going to fuck off out of here, so I can have the job?" was at the centre of virtually every Blair initiative. Most government decisions of the time seemed to revolve around whether Gordon would free up the cash - and when 'stuff happened' Brown always seemed to be able to be somewhere else as Blair got roasted......
Well, it's all coming home to roost now. There is nowhere to run and hide for Gordon. The shit has hit the plastic English football fan - and what's more, it's sticking. That's the trouble with assembling a team of yes-people around you, Gordon - they are selected on the premise that they will be docile sheep rather than talented decision makers - and when things go tits up, they cannot cope.
But can you? Or will you continue to rely on your 'Government of all the sycophants' - the 'GOATS' to manage things?
Sunday, November 11, 2007
'Five years ago only pointy-headed nerds knew about the West Lothian Question and "asymmetrical devolution". Today, the man on the Clapham omnibus probably still doesn't know or even care where West Lothian is - but he does want to know why Scots are being offered "free" university education, prescriptions and care for the elderly when he still has to pay'......
(not sure why "free" has been marked so, though).
Anyway, they mentioned the Part of the Union? video -
One increasingly popular post on YouTube by a group called Justice For England makes green-eyed statements about the poor funding received by England compared with the "free" health care, tuition fees and other handouts from the Scottish Parliament. Let's see if SNP Finance Secretary John Swinney feels quite so flush when he delivers his budget this week.
The Justice For England video is accompanied by the Strawbs' track Part Of The Union, even though it was written about trade union disputes rather than the state of the UK. But perhaps the song's warning to be "wise to the lies of the company spies" is a reminder of the need to clear up the myths surrounding the Scottish question.
There they go with that "free" thing again....and what about that 'green-eyed statements' reference as well? We are not green-eyed. Mega pissed-off, yes - but not green-eyed.
"A touch of Hollywood this week, Ray Winstone talks about playing a Viking in his new role as Beowulf, and why he doesn't mind them invading his beloved West Ham.......
I listened to the interview - what is really, really pathetically depressing is what the great over-actor himself had to say about his role. Winstone confirmed the BBC's 'mistaken' belief that Beowulf was a Viking hero - then went on at length about how much 'Viking' is in the average West Ham suppoerter.
Imagine, spending God knows how many months making a film - and being totally ignorant of the origins of the story. What's more, I bet the 'cockerney-cliche' has been travelling the world telling everyone who will listen that Beowulf is a Viking legend....
For the benefit of the BBC, Ray Winstone, Angelina Jolie and anyone else interested, Beowulf was an Anglo Saxon hero in an Anglo Saxon epic poem originated and recited during the golden age of the Anglo Saxon world.
In my book, that makes him an English cultural icon. Geddit?
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Well I haven't won the lottery, so that must mean I am up to my neck in new projects designed to keep embarrassing the Brownster and trying to bring down the entire rotten edifice of Britishness.....
I have, of course had some help along the way, my kids and my wife have gone above and beyond the call of duty - but some celebs are also giving their talents to the cause of Englishness....
Including these two guys (although they don't actually know it yet).....
Well I would walk 500 miles, and a I would walk 500 more just to be, tra la, la, la la, la la, la, la, la, la, at your dooor-uhhhhh-uhhh.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I of course refer to the English Question - the question that cannot be solved - and until recently, the question that could not even be mentioned in respectable circles without accusations of rampant insanity and terminal knuckle-dragging. "What, you're an English Nationalist and you believe in a parliament for England?... Isn't that 'a bit racist' and something to do with the BNP?"
And all of a sudden, in spite of the routine blankage that has gone on for years, the English Question is now the must have accessory, the new political handbag on the arm of Posh Rifkind and the great new 'EQ-Plan' lose pounds' wonder-diet all rolled into one. The English Question is now hot to trot, legitimate, and fully credo'd for discussion because the Tories have now decided it is 'OK' to do so.
And as per usual, it's a Scot who is doing the proposals. As per usual, it is the man residing in the safest blue rinse territory in the country - and by definition living in a microcosm of priviledge and exclusivity who feels he has the legitimacy to speak on behalf of fifty million of the disenfranchised. As per usual his solution is designed to supposedly accommodate the unique conglomeration that is England. As per usual, the solution is a three legged camel and is an insult to fag packet backs everywhere. Not for us, a bog standard model of democracy - we are supposed to embrace the 'Democracy-Lite' Grand Committee model of Rifkind's comb-overed imagination.
And there's the rub. Rifkind's proposals have nothing to do with democracy and the bringing of government back to be the servant of the people where it rightfully belongs. It has everything to do with the preservation of the status quo - and a cynical attempt to dampen down rising English ire. The reason we have arrived at this ill-thought through solution is apparently because of England. England, the complicated. England, the ungovernable (except by know-all Scots). England, the enigma, the troublemaker wrapped in a sheath of amorphous blobbage - a country that cannot, by definition have the gift of national democracy bestowed upon it.
It's a sort of Gordian Knot connundrum of the 21st Century. An insurmountable problem so complicated as to render Britain's finest brains stuck in 'thick as pig shit' mode. Our Gordian Knot - a tangled web of non-democracy, intrigue, lies, evasion and disinterest seems to be ravelling away before our very eyes as politicians everywhere decide that the English Question might, just might require some sort of an answer - and then fail to put forward the only simple solution available in favour of complex formulae based on the price of gold, the phases of the Moon and how often cows fart out the tune of the national anthem....
So how to solve our democratic Gordian Knot? How do we address the desire of 65% of English people for a parliament for England against the snivelling self-serving opportunism of our craven politicians? Back in antiquity, the problem of the Gordian Knot, which had taxed the finest Greek minds for years was solved by a charismatic leader called Alexander the Great who had a bit of an attitude to 'problems'. In a fury, he chopped it off with his sword and chucked it away.
And that should serve as a warning to our leaders. The longer they delay the inevitable, the more the people of England will fret, fester and steam - and the more radical will be their demands. We're now less inclined to try and pick our way through the alleged knotty problem of English democracy in favour of Alexander's more final solution. Our sword is about to hit the knot as our sense of persecution grows by the day. Now people are not just demanding a parliament for England - they are beginning to demand complete independence. A federal solution, once seen as far sighted is now increasingly being rated as 'not enough'...
The people in the dock for this appalling state of affairs are our collective political class and their hair-brained schemes at 'do-it-yourself democracy'. It is they who have ruined our relationship with the other home countries, it is they who have bought them off with democratic overload and public service hush money. It is they who have played fast and loose with the union for the price of political advantage and pimpage.
No Grand Committee, no EVoEL, no 2-for-1 deal, no dynamic parish council, no money-back guarantee, no appointed quango, no regional assemblies. We demand a parliament for England - a contract of national democratic obligation between the English electorate and our English politicians - nothing, absolutely nothing less will do.
The lack of English Democratic recognition is not a trend or a fashion accessory - it is a damnable disgrace - and a shameful indictment of political skullduggery and cynical manipulation by the political classes ever eager to keep what they have - at all costs.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Today, October 26th is the feast or black letter day of King Alfred the Great. So on this King Alfred’s Day and in memory of him, without whom our nation of England would never have come into existence, I wish you a very happy King Alfred’s Day on this 1080th anniversary of England’s Nations Statehood!
So raise a toast to good King Alfred the Great - the father of our nation!
Note: Alfred, if you are out there in the ether, looking down upon us from a great height, can you come back like quick - your nation really does need you like never before.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
You'd think the government would recognise the problem and attempt to address it - especially as public transport in rural areas is non existent.....
No surprises then to read this from the Petrol Retailers Association's 'Forecourt' magazine....
'England and Wales also need to catch up with Scotland, where a grant scheme is available for forecourt operators from the Scottish Executive. It is available to help them with capital investment.
The grants are part of the Rural Petrol Stations Grant Scheme (RPSGS), which is one of three grant schemes which make up the Scottish Executive's Rural Transport Fund - set up in 1998 to improve transport in rural areas of Scotland.
The Scottish Executive recognises that cars are a necessity for many people in rural Scotland and it is therefore vital for residents to be able to access a forecourt relatively easily.
According to its website, the scheme was set up "to support the retention of a sustainable and accessible network of fuel supply throughout rural Scotland".
I don't think this could ever be voted through at Westminster (on behalf of the bumkins south of Carlisle) though.... The Scots MPs would never allow it.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Apparently, it's all to do with 'Greening the Green Belt' - because the existing Green Belt just isn't 'green' enough.... It's a bit too sort of 'monochrome' 'tatty' and 'naff' - not to mention having the odd abandoned supermarket trolley thrown in (the canal).
Being responsible pen-pushers, the lackeys at Natural England have thus provided a suitably damning indictment on this despised and decrepit area of land that everyone in the whole world really hates. In order to right this eyesore - and to get some verdant hues back into the belt, the thoughtful boffins at Natural England have, in their wisdom endorsed the government's plan to recolour the belt from Puke-Green and Offal-Brown to Supa-Soviet-Slate, Its-a-Breezeblock-Blue and Reallygreat-Grey.
The Press Release says -
Time for a greener green belt, says Natural England.
Natural England, the Government’s statutory advisor on landscape, has assessed the case for a review of green belt policy as part of a fresh approach to greening new development.
The Government is seeking a major expansion in house building for social and economic reasons, with around 3 million new homes planned. Natural England’s role is to advise on the implications of this for the natural environment, taking into account the impact of a changing climate, whilst ensuring that everybody has access to high-quality green space.
Natural England's Board agreed at its meeting of 10 October the need for a housing policy that puts green space at the heart of all new development - see Natural England’s pre-scoping paper 'Housing growth and green infrastructure' [90 kb]
Sir Martin Doughty, Natural England’s Chair, said: “The time has come for a greener green belt. We need a 21st century solution to England's housing needs which puts in place a network of green wedges, gaps and corridors, linking the natural environment and people."
Now, I know what you are thinking - aren't we lucky that our glorious government are going to green up our crappy green belts by shoving 3 million houses on them + schools, + factories + all the rest of the relentless concretia that accompanies any such new developments.....
I bet you guys in Scotland and Wales are 'green' with envy that your countryside isn't being 'made greener and improved' with such radical plans?
Yeah, I bet you are.
What's it all about... sharing for the benefit of all... or shafting the English as per usual?
Thursday, October 18, 2007
How much money does the BBC spend per day on taxis and hire cars?
Is it -
a) £15 including a 3-bob tip to Tommy the cab driver.
b)£145.56p because we cannot expect our celeb' talent to get the bus - and anyway, we have a contract with 'Happy-Cab cab hire, Shepherds Bush'.
c) £12,000 - well, we have to ferry a lot of very important people like Natasha Kaplinski around and Mondeos ain't cheap.
d) £50,000 because it's C-Class Merc turbo-testosterone for us - and anyway, we're far too important to ride in Mondeos.
How much money did the BBC spend on entertaining MPs, hangers-on and media luvvies at this year's Glastonbury festival?
Is it -
a) £28 plus a communal barrel of whacky backy
b) £500 not including a complimentary pint of specially brewed Glastonbury mud beer for each visitor.
c) £20,000 because you just have to create a good impression.
d) £70,000 because it's not our money so we don't really give an Arctic Monkeys.
How many people did the BBC send to cover the 2006 World Cup?
Was it -
a) Motty, Lawro, Hansen, a cameraman and a sound engineer.
b) Motty, Lawro, Hansen and a technical staff of 20.
c) Motty, Lawro, Hansen and a technical staff of 20 plus a back up staff of 30 to make sure everything ran smoothly.
d) Motty, Lawro, Hansen and a technical staff of 20 plus a back up staff of 30 plus over 200 hangers on, ne'r do wells, Motty-mates, P.R. dross, glad-handers and highly paid flotsam.... Plus a batallion of caterers making a grand total of over 300 people*.
*ITV sent 64 people and Sky sent under 50.
Jenny Abramsky, the BBC Director of Audio and Music has amassed, (courtesy of a gold plated BBC pension) a retirement wedge of how much money?
Is it -
a) Hardly anything because, like those in the private sector, Jenny's pension wedge has taken a huge hit from the Chancellor and the markets.
b) A modest amount because unlike the private sector, BBC pensions are a bit more flexible to manage.
c) Not that bad really, through careful husbandry and sensible investment management, Jenny should have a contented old age without too much worry.
d) Kerrrching City! Jenny's pension pot is 3.5 million and climbing fast! And if there is a little blip in the markets - no worries, we can just top-up using the 3 billion plus that the public give the Beeb every year.
Sir Michael Lyons, Chair of the BBC Trust - "What we have to make sure is that the BBC squeeze every penny they can out of every licence-fee pound.
Answers - 1,d). 2,d). 3,d). 4,d)
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Hi, I'm Nick Cameron, trust me.
Nick Clegg - one of the Machiavellian gang of LibDemmers who have dumped 'The Ming' in a merciless coup is sort of a dead ringer for a young 'Call-me-Dave' don't you think?
Nick, who is expected to become LibDem-Capo after Ming has ritually had his 'Campballs' hacked off and fried before his very eyes, even sounds like Dave - and Dave sounds like Tone - and as everyone knows, Tone likes to think he sounds like God Almighty...
Hi! My name's Dawn - and I'm a complete thicko
I know she's got a whole shedful of competition, but I really haven't yet seen anyone from the House act and talk as stupidly as Dawn Primarolo does. She's in a whole dimwitted Beezer-homed league of her own. Every time she appears on the box it's a disaster - she's all the wit and where-with-all of lobotomied deaf comatosed zombie. All the more alarming then to see just how much 'responsibility Ms Primarolo actually has.
Dawn Primarolo - Ministerial Responsibilities
Public health including Regional Public Health Groups, WHO and children's public health; Health improvement national programmes including tobacco and smoking, alcohol, diet and nutrition, physical activity, drugs and drug treatment, obesity, sexual health, accident prevention, abortion, rural health, and deep vein thrombosis; Health inequalities; Food Standards Agency; Health protection, including emergency preparedness, scientific development, pandemic flu, immunisation and international health; Fertility including IVF, Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and draft Bill (RATE); International and EU business; R&D; Medicines and pharmaceuticals industry including MHRA; NICE; Departmental management
If she's the best on offer then God help the nation's health.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
It was great to see - especially when the rendition ended - the crowd erupted into spontaneous applause - and a few tears were wiped away from the cheeks of more than one 18 stone prop-forward. It would have been fantastic to have actually been there don't you think?
"Been where" I hear you ask. You're right, it wasn't Paris and the England-France World Cup semi final - they obviously went with God Save the Queen. No, it was Old Trafford in Manchester and the Rugby League Grand Final between Leeds Rhinos and St Helens.
So, well done to the Rugby League authorities for doing the decent thing and recognising that God Save the Queen is not England's National anthem - and for having the balls to go with Jerusalem as the anthem of choice. The RFU, the FA and the ECB would do well top follow their example.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Now I really do find Titchmarsh to be quite an irritant - he's always going on about Britain and Yorkshire - and then Britain again. I reckon he talks about Britain at least as many times as Great Britain Brown does, and that is simply several hundred times too many. And I seriously wonder about the sanity of this country's women - as apparently, his likeness is the most kissed mannequin in Madame Tussaud's..... There is just no accounting for taste.
Anyway, back to the show - Titchmarsh introduced Bryson as "the President of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Britain - the CPRE".
Incredible - he just could not utter the 'E' word - even though he gave us the acronym afterwards.
The conversation then meandered along with Titchmarsh subbing 'Britain' in where 'England' should have gone at every opportunity, even though, Bryson's remit is exclusively an English one, he never said a word to correct him.
It's a small, insignificant point - but it illustrates a bigger media agenda - and that is, the obsessional rebranding of England to the population. It has to stop.
Friday, October 05, 2007
Watching the Rugby Union World Cup on the box, I've been struck by the different Hakas that the participating Polynesian teams like to perform just before kick off. The most famous is the Maori-inspired All Blacks Haka, but the Samoans, Fijians and Tongans also like to get in a bit of cultural intimidation before kick-off.
When Tonga played England last weekend, their version of the Haka, which is called the 'Sipu Tau' is particularly aggressive. They were sort of leaping about only a couple of feet away from the English players, pointing and a-jabbing away into the faces of our boys. Thankfully, the lads are made of finest English beef - and so, with stiff upper lippies standing to attention, they refused to rise to the ritualistic taunting of the Tongans.
But it sort of got me thinking - maybe we should have our own version of the Haka. Then we too can perform in front of our adversaries.... and thereby put the fear of God up them so much, they are beaten before an eyeball can be gouged or a tackle can be flanged.
So what sort of Haka should we have then? Should we whip out the Morris Dancing gear and give them a quick 'Hey-Nonny-Nonny' straight between the eyes? Should we bring a Union Flag with us, so when they start their Haka, we can transfix their captain with the flag staff and claim their islands for the British Empire?..
Then I thought of our history - the version of it that is B.L.L. (Before Lying Labour). Back to the time of Henry V and an epic battle on a foreign field. A battle of courage and daring-do in which the English, outnumbered by a zillion-to-one slaughtered the posh, la-de-dah French on the field of Agincort.
Before the battle, the French has threatened to cut off the first two fingers, (the 'draw' fingers which an archer uses to pull his bow-string) of every English bowman they could find. According to tradition, the English archers heard about this and stood behind their wooden spikes waving their two fingers in the air towards the mounted French Knights. The two fingered salute was born.
It was a taunting insult too far for the French. They charged headlong towards the English line - a gory death and a shattering defeat soon followed as the mighty 'Bodkin' arrowhead propelled by the awesome English long bow did its deadly work...
Yes, I reckon the sight of 15 beefy Englishmen all performing the two fingered salute would do the job just right..... especially against the French.
"Thanks for the fantastic fund raising Jane......
The millions you have made for the NHS will come in really, really handy. All that cash can now go up to Scotland to save cancer patients up there".
"What? You would like to see if this very expensive drug can help save your life?
"Sorry, Jane, expensive new cancer drugs aren't to be wasted on the likes of you - we can obviously only give expensive cancer drugs to those that deserve it - the kind of people who live in Mr Brown's constituency for example"...
Don't ya just love this fantastic United Kingdom of ours?
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
I came across this Marvel Super-hero a few months ago.... 'Union Jack' is his name, fighting crime, righting wrongs and preserving the union is his game.
I wonder what his secret identity is then?... Maybe he's a philanthropist, or perhaps he's a millionaire businessman, or an ace cub reporter.... or even a well known politician?
Between you and me, I reckon Union Jack is really Gordon Brown in disguise - I mean, you never see them in the same room together, do you?
Holy smoke Union Jack, looks like your arch enemies, 'Middle-aged angry bastard' and his diminutive sidekick 'Little Englander' are out to ram some toxic Dundee-Cakeonite up your jacksy...... Kapow!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
This is my favourite hymn played on my favourite instrument, the Dobro guitar. It is by Ronnie Wood when he was in the Faces - he apparently secretly recorded it and shoved it on the end of the Faces album, 'Long Player'.
I first heard the track years ago when I was a student in the '70's. Since then, it has been one of my very favourite tracks.
When my Dad died in 2005, I wanted to have it playing when his coffin was brought into the Crematorium. Unfortunately, the rest of the family out voted me and went for 'Abide with me' instead.
I've shoved up a few pics to support it - but it is the music, the arrangement, the understated passion I love.
God bless England.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Eric splits the Conference scene - again......
Watching the Labour Party Conference on the box this week is a bit like watching the occupants of an ants nest. Everyone knows what to do and how to do it. Everyone claps in the right places, laughs at crap jokes from dullard speakers and ecstacises over the most boring of speeches... They even gave Tory defector, Quentin Davies a standing ovation for God's sake. Not a trace of the Awkward Squad of old, not a trace of that tricky resolution tabled to conference delegates and union block votes, no heckling - and certainly no hint of anyone getting 'Wolfganged'...
What would Eric Heffer have made of it all?
Red Eric - an MP from the Socialist satellite of the Liverpool Soviet and his ilk made Labour Conferences of old just superb TV to watch. Hardly a resolution went by without Big Eric, dressed in his trademark light yellow suits, storming out of conference, closely followed by fellow collectivists, Ian Mikardo and Renee Short. If you were lucky, mullet-headed Degsy Hatton and Tony Mulhearn, his co-founder of the Scouse People's Liberation Army would pop up offering to give Dennis Healey a Kirkby Kiss.... And TUC boss, Vic Feather could always be counted on to threaten the immediate walk out of a million workers if the Polaris missile resolution went through... Somewhere along the line, 358 year old Manny Shinwell would be wheeled onto centre stage so that everyone could applaud the oldest MP who ever lived...
And over on the top table, in a haze of smoke sat Harold Wilson, Ray Gunther, Barbara Castle and the rest, puffing away for all they were worth. If it wasn't a pipe, it was Capstan Full Strength - no one had heard of Health and Safety then. Brylcreem, National Health Specs, rolled up sleeves and loosened collars were the fashion statements of the day.... Michael Foot could always be relied on to wear his brand spanking new duffle coat at Conference - and George Brown would drink the free bars dry - and then go on the telly to proclaim that workers of the world should untie.....
It was exciting, it was spontaneous and it was passionate - it was 'must see TV'. In those days it was the Tory Conference which was stage-managed and the Liberal Conference which was uber irrelevant...
But those days have well gone, sharp suits and PR bods infest the floor - and as a consequence it's a boring as a Leonard Cohen gig.
Give me Militant Tendency any day over Brown-nosing tendency.
Hollywood plunders even more English culture...
The epic Anglo Saxon tale of Beowulf is the latest bit of Blighty-culture to be given the American studio makeover treatment. Due for release in November, this computer rendered epic stars Angelina Jolie as Grendel's Mum and Ray 'have a bit of that, you slag' Winstone as Beowulf himself....... Amazing, an English actor actually playing an English hero, whatever next?.....
And who knows, the script might be more than just OK seeing that ace writer and uber blogger, Neil Gaiman has penned the script.....
Being a CGI production, I notice that Mr Winstone's famously flabby sludge-gut has been airbrushed out of existence - to be replaced by a six pack as good as Peter Andre's in his really crap singing days. No prizes for guessing which attributes of Ms Jolie have been enhanced - eat your heart out, Jessica Rabbit, 'twin torpedoes' has just entered the building.....
But what I want to know is how a drop dead gorgeous babe like Grendel's mum could have given birth to the horror show that is the plug ugly Grendel? I mean, Grendel's old man must have been a right old prune - right at the back of the queue when they were giving out faces, I reckon.
So, who was he?
Hmmm, I wonder whether Ms Jolie has ever been on the lash in Hull - I hear no woman is safe from the attentions of the local MP there...
Friday, September 21, 2007
grand competition to come up with a slogan to suitably sum up the You Kay and everything we apparently uniquely stand for. You know the kind of stuff they are talking about - 'tolerance', 'fairness', 'Simon Cowell' and 'the ability to queue'.....
He wants to make people 'proud' to be British again - and is inviting the whole nation to start sucking on their pencils and compose a suitable strapline that will sum up our great nation (yawn) ..
According to the press release, 'every school and public building in the country will be emblazoned with a new "national motto" under Gordon Brown's drive to encourage patriotism and Britishness'......
Call me cynical. but I bet, up there in SNP HQ, (Brown-Baiting Division), they are, even now writing their very own Scottish slogan. That of course will mean the Welsh will want their very own slogan..... ditto, Northern Ireland.
So no guesses as to where the new 'Britain is fab, cos we are, innit' slogan will be rolled out.....
Anyway, as this is a national competition, I thought I should chuck my tuppenny's worth into Gordon's hat...
'Britain - the new name for the English regions'
Thursday, September 20, 2007
What really struck me was the quality of the Speakers. Truly excellent. Angus MacNeil, the SNP MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar turned up, had a coffee with us and then delivered a good speech on Scotland's relationship with England - and the ultimate certainty of our own Parliament. I had a lot of respect for him anyway, as it was he who researched the case of Maundy Gregory and the sale of peerages in the 1920's - and reckoned he could get Levy and Blair for doing the same....
The fact that the whole 'Cash for Honours' investigation failed to commit anyone for trial, I think said more about our Establishment and the special priviledges its members enjoy compared to the rest of us than it did regarding the quality of the case that was submitted to the DPP.....
A special mention should go to Ed Abrams, public speaker par excellence. He did a speech about the Justice for England march on May 1st. Earlier in the day, during a coffee break, Ed wandered over to me and asked if he thought it would be a good idea if at the end of his speech he should shout out the march chant.... "What do we want? Justice for England! When do we want it? NOW! What do we want? An English Parliament! When do we want it? NOW"....
Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Pity, I had forgotten just how close my seat in the hall was to one of the 4 foot high speakers. (about 2 yards away, actually).....
I met up with a few fellow patriots - Julien from We are the English, David Wildgoose from the Campaign for an English Parliament, Marcus Stafford from The England Society, Nathan Poole from English Yoof and a couple of speakers from the Steadfast charity....
Intelligent argument was also supplied by Liberal Party Chair Steve Radford, Colin Copus, Senior Lecturer of Local Politics at Brum Uni' and Derek Clark, Ukipper MEP.
The word over coffee was whether there was going to be an election in October.... I hope there isn't, I really do... The prospect of another 5 years of Labour, courtesy of the English voter, of another all new, bright, shiny Tory leader and of Ming telling us he will be doing the job into his nineties really does fill me with utter despair.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Gordon Brown said CJs would be rolled out “across the country” – so obviously, obvee-bloody-losely, ’right across the country’ means just England, again.
I’m not against the idea of the common man or woman gathering to decide issues of local and national consequence – but it isn’t a new concept, the Anglo Saxons had them over a thousand years ago. And you just know that their CJ model would have been free of the politics and the spin that accompanies every single decision from New Labour – Citizen’s Juries being no exception.
It’ll just be more talking-shop opportunities for all those local busy bods that so blight our control freaked society. More excessive expense claims, more MBEing, more hot air and more guest appearances on BBC community TV programmes. The usual suspects will vent their spleens, present their recommendations to government - and be totally ignored.
A quick scan of the BBC’s CJ Q’n’A page confirms my worst fears.....
What exactly is a citizens' jury?
A citizens' jury is a group of between 12 and 20 people, chosen to represent the communities from which they come. According to ministers, they will be chosen independently and will not be experts on the topic under discussion, nor members of interest groups. They will be asked to look at real issues, in the same way as a jury does in a courtroom. The idea is to give ordinary people a bigger role in democratic decision making.
(Yeah, but I bet that big woman with the big flowery dresses and the big flowery head gear – the one who runs a kids refuge in London will be on loads of them).
Can people apply to take part on a jury?
According to the prime minister's official spokesman, the selection process will be decided by individual government departments and the organisers of the specific event. However, the idea is that those involved are genuinely representative of their communities.
(Cronies, cronies, cronies, cronies, cronies, cronies, cronies, cronies, cronies, cronies, busy-bodies and that big woman with the big flowery dresses and big flowery head gear...)
What subjects will be under discussion?
Children on Thursday and crime and communities will be the topic for another jury next week, followed by nine simultaneous juries - one for each region - on the NHS. There will also be a nationwide set of juries held on one day to debate issues including: crime and immigration, education, health and transport.
(So, ‘Nine simultaneous juries – one for each region’. Looks like these CJs will be a nice little lifeboat for all those local big-noises that are about to get the boot from the floundering SS Regional Assemblies gravy boat.)
How would they work?
The juries will spend a day, or several days, considering the chosen subject. They will be given facts and figures that have been independently verified and will hear "evidence" from a range of experts. Jurors will then discuss the issues among themselves before reaching a conclusion. Their decisions will be used to help advise ministers on policy.
(And ministers will actually take any notice of their recommendations?).
I’ll give Citizens’ Juries a year, tops - before they are quietly kicked into the long grass and forgotten about – unfortunately, the people like the big woman with the big flowery dresses and the big flowery head gear, will not.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Marr was aided by his panel of self-opinionated bigotry in his objective (and objectionable) task of finding out what Englishness was all about. As this programme was an exercise in national disrespect it was a gimme that the Scottish racist and food critic AA (I hate the English) Gill would be on. As this was the BBC, it was also a nailed on cert that multiculturism would have a representative. It did in the form of Anita Anand (first generation British Asian journo). The place of the token indigenous English bloke was obviously filled by an upper class twit famed for his blue blazer, floppy hankie and for using the word ‘ghastly’ a lot. Peter York self-styled style snob with a Prince Charles hair cut and a sneering countenance hewn from a vein of 24 carat Prussian arrogance got the job. (Narrowly beating art critic Brian Sewell and ginger cad, James Hewitt).
And so it went. Andrew declared being English was all about ‘Fat Les’ – it isn’t. Fat Les, Keith Allen was born in Swansea – and the persona of Fat Les is a crude pastiche of football caricature cynically concocted to sell records.
Anita said that being English is all about tolerance, stiff upper lippyness, irony and being rubbish at sport. As if to prove it, the back-room boys at the BBC stereotypical bullshit workshop had compiled a tape of heroic sporting failures... Gareth Southgate’s penalty miss, being spanked by the Aussies at cricket, etc, etc.
Someone piped in that the reason for the English trait of self deprecation was a ruse to hide an innate feeling of superiority..... Everyone else chin rubbed and metaphorically nodded in agreement.
Andrew rolled out a couple of typical English people to sum the whole nation up..... No, not Dick Van Dyke’s excellent and incisive portrayal of a poor cockney chim-chimmering chimney sweep in Mary Poppins. Not Kevin Cosner’s ever so real portrayal of folk hero, Robin Hood – “Goddammit! We have to rescue our bro', Little Jan from the clutches of that asshole, the Sheriff of Nattingham”.... Not even Audrey Hepburn’s remarkable performance as Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady (she was born within the sound of the bells of Brussels Town Hall, you know). No, apparently, yer typical English persona can be summed up by Miss Marple, Agatha Christies amateur sleuth and bumbling buffering Tory, Boris Johnson....(Stands back in stereotypical gobsmacked amazement! I mean they must have spent, ooh, at least fifteen bob on the research, eh?)
York sneered, Anand smugged, Gill hated, and criticised the BBC coffee and curly sandwiches - and Marr kept on telling us how not English he was. “No really, I’m as Scottish as a deep fried Mars bar, Jimmy”...
Robbie Burns versus William Shakespeare it wasn’t.
It wasn’t even the Krankies up against the Telly Tubbies. It was complacent, ill informed radio trash – but as it was all about dissing the English,it was perfectly legitimate, wasn't it?....
Friday, August 31, 2007
During one of my recent spying missions to our local Tesco I noticed a rather strange line just over there by the bargain basement display. On sale was a big box of riding crops for the amazingly reasonable price of £1.84p each. Now I don’t do riding – but I know a bargain when I see one, so I sauntered over all casual-like to have a closer look...
I slid one out of the box and sort of started to thwack it rhythmically against my thigh. The shaft, constructed from finest Chinese plastic felt cool to the touch. The imitation plastic flap flopped from side to side in a provocatively stinging wiggle...... Hmmmm, corporal punishment.... I wonder if Mrs Alfie would be interested?....
“Put it back”. It was my 20 year old Son bringing me back to reality and reminding me we lived in West Lancashire and not Western California. Still, I wonder why they were being sold in our local Tesco? We have no horsey set round our way to speak of – the only horse flesh I was aware of occupied the tins of Kennomeat nearby – and there is no way they can be spanked back into action. Maybe Tesco have seen a gap in the market and have decided to go big on Sadomasochism? Maybe Sir Terry likes to wear women’s undies? Maybe owning a riding crop is now a very British thing to do?
Who knows? But if you want to buy one, then hurry along to your local Tesco – you’ll find them over in the corner, right next to the gimp masks and the furry hand cuffs.
“Hello, is that the Morrisons Customer Relations”?
“Yes it is, how can we help?”
“Well, can you tell me if you are proud to serve England?”
“Of course we are. We are proud to serve everyone in the UK”.
“No, but are you especially proud to serve England? And are you as proud to serve England as you are to serve Scotland”
“Yes, I suppose we are – why do you ask?”
“Well during the recent e.coli scare at a Morrisons supermarket in Scotland, I saw a TV report about it on the BBC. I couldn’t help noticing that the Reporter was standing outside the store and behind him was a 20 foot sign with a huge Saltire painted on it and the strap line – ‘Morrisons, proud to serve Scotland’.... There were also a couple of internal shots of the supermarket – and the ‘Proud to serve Scotland’ strap was stuck on anything that didn’t actually move”.....
“So if, like you say, you are proud to serve England – and in fact just as proud as you are to serve Scotland, when will you be erecting a big new 20 foot high sign outside my local Morrisons store with a huge St George’s flag and the strapline ‘Morrisons, proud to serve England’.....
“When will you be doing that?.......................... Hello...... Hello.... Is anyone there?”
Friday, August 24, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I came third in the Witangemot Awards catagory of a 'Blogger most worthy of a book deal' behind Iain 'swept the board' Dale and the man in a mitre, the Archbish' Cranmer.....
I was dead chuffed - and although I wasn't a winner as such, I feel I should publicise the fact I came third in the hope that any passing book-dealer might take pity and offer me a 50 grand advance....
Or maybe a 60 grand advance would be better because I've got this really great idea for a block-bustin' book, it's all about an evil boy wizard called Barry Rotter...
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Thankfully, my Open University Doctorate course on ‘Interesting vegetable shapes’ is safe from scrutiny. The EU needs more ‘Interesting vegetable shape Inspectors’ and great news, Mrs Alfie has promised to buy me a set of turnip gauges and a carrot flange for Christmas.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Something for the weekend..
Fairport Convention, English folk rock band of the late sixties and seventies. This is from Glastonbury in 1971. Manic fiddler, Dave Swarbrick is on top form - stopping only to light a fag, a habit that would eventually lead him to chronic ill health and a lung transplant.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Pretty clever stuff, in a Sherlock Holmesian way, eh? Maybe, down here in PC blighted Blighty we could do with such thorough, no-nonsense proper policing as practised ooop north to clean up our streets?....
That is until you consider exactly what the graffiti artist actually wrote.... Using a big thick indellible pen and in great big letters he scrawled , 'SCOUSE CELTS'... nearby, he drew a nice smiley face and dated it. Underneath everything, he signed it... with his very own name.
Sergeant Gregor Hay, who is leading the investigation, said that they had identified the suspect as a tourist due to travel back to the mainland by ferry on Friday.
"We believe the suspect has been stupid enough to use his own name," he added. "We are keen to speak to a family who are still on the island."
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
English Nationalism and paranoia are natural bed-fellows. Watching the News or reading the 'paper - it's very easy to slide into an analytically anal overload (not a pretty site).... why aren't they saying this... what about the other..... it's not Britain, it's England you God damn Labour loving bastards....
I'm always looking for the hidden agenda, the things they're not saying. The massaging and manipulation of reality as the great media machine continues to do Nu Labour's bidding - it's in all walks of life and is relentless in its presentation of a supposed partnership of equals and a watery-eyed commitment to a beloved Union.
Which brings me to this advert - published in the last edition of the Sunday Times, Culture Magazine for the NS&I....
As a graphic designer, the first thing I noticed was the appallingly awful PhotoShop work - the same bloke can be seen in the crowd half-a-dozen times, and half the people are mirror images of the other half.... And then there are the flags fluttering away, celebrating that most apparently 'British' of cultural events, The Proms. Paranoia demanded that I count them, naturally.
The supporters of the Proud and historic nation of Scotland have 3 large flags fluttering.
The supporters of the Proud and historic nation of Wales have 3 large flags fluttering.
The supporters of the collection of regions reluctantly known as England have only 2 flags fluttering (and one of those is pitifully small).
Fortunately, England's fluttering flag quota is made up to three by the inclusion of a single large Union Flag.
So that's alright then...
Monday, August 13, 2007
Great news! Sir Terry Leahy, CEO of Tesco plc gives Jersey nationhood status! Scouser, Sir Tel' said "We recognise Jersey as a proud and noble nation... their potatoes are really fab', and we sell lots of their wooly jumpers in our bigger stores - so that's good enough for me."
The inclusion of Jersey into the United Nations of TescoWorld is in recognition of the proudyness of its people and uniqueness of the culture.. "Apparently, Bergerac was filmed there, you know" said Sir Terry.
Sir Terry confirmed that a special new flag graphic would grace all Jersey products from now on. "That way, the consumer won't be confused - and will know exactly where the produce has come from".. When asked if an all inclusive Channel Islands branding might have been a better option, Sir Terry thumped the table (product of Sweden) and insisted that all nations had to be respected by Tesco...
Asked about England, Sir Terry loosened his tie (product of Thailand), fingered the rim of his tea cup (product of China) and confirmed that England was too complicated, too diverse and too huge to be called 'a country'...
"And anyway, England has no culture - sure they've made the odd cop show but they're no Bergerac, are they?"
Championing the magnificent Seven Sisters in Britain, those huge white cliffs majestically thrusting out into the British Channel was Irishman, Des Lynam... As Des confirmed, "The Seven Sisters is the gateway to Britain"... Cue grainy scenes of the RAF, Spitfires, Tally Ho-ing into the Luftwaffe over the South Downs…. Then we were back to the present day, Des confirmed that this view was Britain’s gem……"This is Britain’s gem", he said.
Next came Edinburgh in Scotland. We knew it was Scotland because there was a bloody enormous picture of a fluttering Scottish Saltire plus a skirling skirl played by a Scottish piper in a kilt to introduce the piece..... This view was introduced by Edinburgh-born Rory Bremner...
Rory waxed lyrical about Scotland’s heritage, magnificent scenery and national proudyness…..
And then we’re back with Sir Trev’ in his chopper, hovering above Britain – Trev tells us we are off to Wales ….
And indeed we were off to Wales and the Gower Penninsula. We knew it was Wales because there was a bloody huge Welsh Dragon fluttering away on screen - and Welsh song-totty, Katherine Jenkins did the business of trying to sell us the Mumbles.... (I'd always thought was a dodgy disease of the older gent)..
Katherine waxed lyrical about Welsh heritage, magnificent scenery and national proudyness…..
And then we seamlessly hove into Blackpool. Orange man, David 'Jaffa' Dickinson is trying his very best to sell us this holidaying jewel of Britain's coast, in Britain. He has a hard job. .
And that was it. An alien watching would have had no idea that there was a country missing from the entire programme…. England was a no-show. Surprise, surprise....
Friday, August 10, 2007
"Yeah Brad, shame that – they’ve found against the protesters – all they’ve done is ask NICE to rewrite the guidance notes"… A bit of tweeking here and there should do the job I think"..
"So, how are we going to report it then?
"I reckon something like 'Alzheimer’s drugs available to everyone apart from the English – due to extortionate charge of £2:50p per day"….
"Hmmmm, it’s good – but probably a bit OTT I think. After all, we are not talking about everyone in the UK on this story – just England."
"What, the country of England?"
Definitely not – ‘England, the collection of regions’. Don’t you remember your training?"
"Sorry, of course, I don’t know what came over me…… OK, well how about this one? - ‘Alzheimer’s drugs not available to English patients"…
"Still too inflammatory – look, we want to tell the news, but not to tell it as it really is, obviously".
"I mean, what would be gained by telling 50 million people that they cannot have a medicine available to everyone else?".
You mean something like - ‘Alzheimer’s drugs will not be available on the English NHS to patients"..
Almost – but we don’t want to highlight the fact that there are actually 4 NHSesses in the UK, do we? We want to play that down a bit… I was thinking something more like – ‘Alzheimer’s drugs will not be available on the NHS in England to patients"..
"That’s better, now we’re getting somewhere"…..
"I’ve not finished yet, what if we played down the ‘in England’ bit"….
"What? Do you mean ‘whisper it"?
"Exactly, ‘whisper it’…. Look it complies with Cabinet Working Directorate 345665/tes – Operation Changeling, so we’re in the clear with Gordon and the boys."
"Great, get Natasha in here, right away… No wait, I don’t think she does ‘whispering’ too well, better make it Fiona"…..
And so on today’s BBC One o’clock News, this was how the story was reported….
‘Alzheimer’s drugs will not be available on the NHS in England to patients"……
I used to be able to get that kind of stuff on my Macs, but one day, just before 18 Doughty Street went live, ‘they’ withdrew support. Overnight, I, and millions of other middle-aged Mac users with middle-aged Mac machines, were suddenly cut out of experiencing the multimedia multistuff.
I couldn’t even access flash sites any more - and every month that went by, my web experience became more and more diminished.
Something simply had to be done – so I did it.
Last night, I experienced my very first session of pod casting from 18 Doughty Street. It was mightily impressive – and at last, I have seen the programme which had Christine Constable and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown guesting….. riveting stuff.
And tonight? Well tonight I’m going to create my very own Avatar and get stuck into the phenomenon that is Second Life. Tell me, does anyone know if virtual England has her own Parliament in that virtual world – or has Citizen Brown got there before me?