31 July, 2011


A fairy tale for our times

Little Nicky Lowles put up a press release at HnH early last week about Breivik's supposed links to the EDL. Since Searchlight seems to be the British media's de facto definitive source on all matters "far-right", it appears to have formed the basis of much of the "evidence" presented in the mainstream media of UK "far right" complicity in the Breivik atrocity.

Let me see if I can understand how this process works.

Consider a hypothetical scenario. A UK blog with an interest in the Subcontinent, let's say for the sake of argument Pickled Politics, takes up the issue of female fœticide in India. The blog posts repeatedly on the subject, forms links with campaigners against the practice in India and ecourages sympathetic activism in the UK.

An anonymous commenter, posting shall we say under the moniker StarofIndia, begins to comment regularly on these posts. The comments ramble a bit, the commenter's position seems to be more generally anti-abortion rather than concentrating on the specific issue, but on the whole he/she is coherent, cogent and seems compatible with the views and aims of the blog and the other commenters. At one stage, he/she indicates their intention of visiting London in the near future and expresses interest in taking part in a proposed demonstration. A welcome is extended by the other Picklers.

Things go quiet for a while and then the news breaks of an atrocity in Delhi. A bomb attack takes place at a convention of obstetricians, killing many. The perpetrator is easily caught and is identified as one Ramjam Bagarit. Mr Bagarit, it is soon learned, is a convert to a particularly uncompromising strain of fundamentalist Christianity and is among other things an absolute hard-line pro-lifer, viscerally opposed to abortion under any circumstances. He has decided to address the problem by taking out those whom he sees as the facilitators and practitioners of this evil.

Assiduous, indeed frantic, digging by la meejah and by conspiracy nuts, grudge bearers and Faceache/Twatter vampires at large leads to the firm view that Ramjam and the former PP poster StarofIndia are one and the same nutter. Indeed, Ramjam's own ramblings in his "online book" Four Horsemen and an Apocalypse relate how valuable he found his exchanges with the Picklers among many, many other influences.

Your starter for ten is, should Sunny Hundal be tried for conspiracy to murder?

Or should the media stop behaving like rabid opportunistic arseholes?

30 July, 2011


The world turned upside down

Some African missionaries came round this morning, hoping to convert the people in my street to Christianity.

I didn't open the door. Instead I got down on my hands and knees and called

Il n'y a personne ici que nous poulets
through the letterbox, and made loud clucking noises until they went away. I wonder if that'll get reported in the Lagos Journal of Anthropology.

Funny old world. Innit.

29 July, 2011


Some good news for once

Joanna Yeates's landlord Christopher Jefferies wins libel payout


Out of the mouths of...

... babes and non-native speakers.

I was half-listening, as is my custom, to BBC Radio 4 as a Beebwallah was busily voxpopping indigenous Dutch people in one of the more "multicultural" corners of the Netherlands. The natives were unambiguously forthcoming about their attitudes to their largely Moroccan neighbours.

For balance, the programme moved on to interview some chap who was involved in improving "community relations". A sort of political social worker, if you will.

There are basically two reactions from the Decent and Righteous when faced with people who express anti-immigrant sentiments.

One is to loathe them unequivocally as racist monsters to be shunned or, preferably, persecuted.

The other is to regard them as ignorant and childlike beings who need to be engaged with gently and cured of their irrational fear of the Other.

Our man was clearly of the latter persuasion and organized open discussions with the indigenous riff-raff, bravely and rationally engaging their racist bile in a non-confrontational manner. So we were told, anyway.

My experience of the Dutch is that very many of them speak pretty good English — for which I am duly grateful, their native language gives me a sore throat — but that their English is generally not quite as good as they think it is. There is a not always merited cockiness in their self-perceived command of idiomatic colloquial English which I didn't hear, for example, from the English-speaking Norwegians who were voxpopped over the past week about you-know-who.

So I wonder if our man quite understood the exact nuance when he said,
"We need to listen to what you might call "white trash".
Always best to lay thi cards on t'table and speak thi mind, lad, but ah reckon tha might a stook thi foot i' thi' gob theer.


28 July, 2011


Numerology corner

They do get offly worked up with their obsessive numerological hermeneutics, don't they? Linkhopping, I came across this post on Political Scrapbook (cancel past the idiot popup if it appears), breathlessly revealing the questionable use of the number 88 by some EDL wallah (inferred or actual).

I've no idea whether said geezer is your actual Adolf Hitler-worshiping Neonazi who spends his time, when not out on marches or wanking, pacing up and down his living room siegheiling towards a shrine to the Führer and frightening the cat, or is just being confrontational, or just taking the piss to annoy the soapdodgers, or is a bingo fan. Frankly I don't much care, though it is all mildly entertaining.

This sort of stuff reminds me of the exchange some months ago between a particularly Righteous established CiFer and a relatively new poster whose moniker had the suffix 88.

Aha! quoth the Righteous one, Gotcha! Your use of the suffix 88, secret code for AH = Adolf Hitler, unmasks you as a Nazi! [*]

Er, no, replied the newbie, it's the year of my birth. I'm 22, I was born in 1988.

No idea what they'd make of the 48 in my URL: dogwash48.blogspot.com. As it goes, 1948 is indeed the year of my birth; I added it when registering because Blogger wouldn't let me have plain dogwash.

Afterthought: Now that the initials ABB are so infamously linked with a certain Norwegian chappy currently in the news, d'you reckon the engineering multinational Asea Brown Boveri will have to change its name?

And while I think about it, ABB Transportation has been a significant supplier to London Underground, innit, and those three evil letters are to be seen all over the place. I think London Underground has some explaining to do. Hold on a minute, London Underground is part of Transport for London, and who does TfL report to? That's right — Boris Johnson. Another right-wing blond.

It's all becoming clear now.

No, Nurse, please, not the injection just yet. I've just uncovered the master plan and I've got to post it to the Internet before — whispers — They come for me.

* Oops. Bucko in the comments shames me into remembering that 88 actually stands for HH = Heil Hitler!


No stools at the bar, please

Enough of this tedious media speculation about whether or not Anders Breivik is actually Stephen Lennon's secret homosexual lover, or whatever tendentious tosh little Nicky Lowles has extrapolated from some or other vacuous Faceache/Twatter rumour today. Time instead for some gratuitous low vulgarity.

The Oldie is Richard Ingrams' monthly mag for sagalouts. It's indicative or something or other that I have absolutely no idea how I came to be on their monthly newsletter emailing list. Either somebody's been flogging on data or I'm getting forg... was what I writing about again? I was in WH Smug's the other day and I bought a copy. Well, you do need something mildly respectable to slide your copies of Wanker's Weekly and Normous Nockers into, innit? I mean, brown paper bags are a dead giveaway.

It's actually a much better read than you'd expect, full of articles by grumpy old gits, but grumpy in a fuck-you way rather than a whiny way. And with only the merest token sprinkling of ads for stairlifts, step-in baths and funeral-costs endowment policies.

Browsing the contents page, I was momentarily taken aback, however, to see this entry

Now I know the elderly are apt to become pre-occupied with the deterioration of their bodily functions, but, really, there are limits. Then the rheumy eyes focused on the summary below,

Turns out to be a less than sympathetic review of a visit to an overhyped Cotswolds village.

Phew! I think I'll go and have my nap now. Nurse! The blue pills!

25 July, 2011


Gawd no, not another Breivik post?

Before I go out and get well pluged, perhaps I can commend this to your attention. I'm not an out-and-out fan of Old Holborn; in the end I find his brand of hyperlibertarianism to be entertaining and thought-provoking™ in a quixotic sort of way but not particularly helpful. But the man has balls, and says what he thinks, and his analysis of the social roots of Breivikgate — or Andersgate or Oslogate or whatever snappy name we eventually decide on for last Friday's atrocity — is succinct and more accurate than most.

On reflection, I too am surprised that something like this has not happened before.

"If you rob people of their identity...
all they are left with is nationalism and violence"


This is all going to get very silly

Well, now we know what the journos have been doing all weekend, poor bastards. Poring over Anders Breivik's latest bestseller* Min Kamp looking for juicy quotes.

And the prize must go to the Telegraph team for this earth-shattering bit of amateur psychobabble,

Humiliated by knitting classes

Breivik's grudge against society appears to have its roots in the humiliation he felt at being forced to learn to knit at Smestad primary school in Oslo.

He says these courses were introduced "to feminise European boys in their insane quest to attempt to create the Marxist utopia consisting of 'true equality between the sexes'. I remember I dreaded these courses as it felt very unnatural and was a complete waste of time."

I see Jeremy Clarkson gets an honorable mention from the Knight Justiciar,

He also cites an article by Jeremy Clarkson, the Top Gear presenter and Sunday Times columnist, about the flag of St George stating: “This is the only country in the world where the national flag is deemed offensive.”

Praising Clarkson’s Top Gear performances, Breivik adds: “Discrediting national flags as signs of ‘bigotry’ is happening all over the Western world.”

Watch out, Jezza, the Righteous will be coming after you. (Oh, yes, they already are, aren't they?)

Oh dear. I think we can look forward to a week of emoting competitions, tiresome analyses and investigations of the psychological implications of the precise shade of Breivik's maternal great-grandfather's socks, and seriously impressive efforts on all sides to extract as much political capital as possible.

Hmm! Perhaps time to turn off the computer and the telly and spend the remainder of the week down the pub getting well pluged on the Power Charger, with chasers of pints of binge. I might even try a packet or two of those overpriced posh crisps. I rather fancy hand-crafted organic kettle chips with natural sea-salt crushed between maidens' thighs.

Remember: if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it is almost certainly a platypus in a mini-burqa.

* latest bestseller: I have to admit, somewhat shamefacedly, that I nearly typed "latest blockbuster" there. I think that might have been a Ross and Brand too far.

24 July, 2011


Here we go

At the Grauniad, E I Addio, our man in the stands with the full bladder and the rolled-up Footie Echo, types breathlessly,

The Norwegian daily VG quoted one of Breivik's friends, saying that he had become a rightwing extremist in his late 20s and was now a strong opponent of multiculturalism, expressing strong nationalistic views in online debates.

Breivik had talked admiringly online about conversations he had had with unnamed English Defence League members and the organisation Stop the Islamification of Europe (SIOE) over the success of provocative street actions leading to violence.

"I have on some occasions had discussions with SIOE and EDL and recommended them to use certain strategies," he wrote two years ago. "The tactics of the EDL are now to 'lure' an overreaction from the Jihad Youth/Extreme-Marxists, something they have succeeded in doing several times already."

Contacted by email, the EDL had not answered.

What exactly are "conversations" in this context?

So a nutter, to use the technical term, posts in the comment threads of activist blogs and talkboard fora. He is probably quite plausible and, up to a certain point, is engaged with sympathetically. He then fantasizes (projects) this interaction into a more significant engagement and influence.

I could do that. I've never, as far as my ageing brain can recall, commented at any of the SIOE blogs, but I have spoken on a couple of occasions on the EDL forum, and have been replied to civilly. Hey, guys, I have "links to the EDL".

So a newspaper report which quotes from a report in another newspaper which quotes a comment by an unidentified "friend" of the madman — friend? I though he was supposed to be a friendless loner — who remembers some vague waffle and boasting about on-line interactions with SIOE and EDL. Breivik, apparently, wrote of his UK contacts "two years ago". Clearly in on the ground floor, then: the EDL was set up in June 2009.

And this airy-fairy nonsense justifies the headline,

Note the particularly unambivalent subtitle.

(Incidentally, folks. Please stop using the phrase, "Norway attacks". Every time I see it I automatically think of this.)

While we're here, I'm curious about the tense in the phrase,
Contacted by email, the EDL had not answered.
The pluperfect (reported perfect) form "had" suggests that, per the "friend's" report, Breivik had emailed the EDL, who in turn ignored him. Not as many will no doubt be only too keen to read it, that the EDL are currently unwilling to discuss the matter.

The Mail and Express talk in similar, if more excitable, terms. The Express's headline borders on the libellous.

Nice bandwagon rolling here, eh? Ketlan's little army of semi-literate commenters at Lancaster Unity are, to use that phrase again, creaming their pants, while Theresa May will no doubt be carefully considering the manifold opportunities offered by these developments.

Hypothetical situation, my arse.


Blogger/Google processed my post and, having uploaded it, showed me this advertisement alongside the confirmation message,

You're 'avin' a giraffe, in't yer?

23 July, 2011


Let the point scoring and opportunism commence

A friend who is inordinately keen on motor racing once told me that Formula One drivers sometimes get so excited during a race that they — if you'll pardon my momentary lurch into demotic vulgarity — that they cream their pants.

I have no idea whether there is any truth in this piece of tittle-tattle, but I can imagine that the reaction of some on the Righteous Left to the increasing likelihood that yesterday's car bombing in Oslo and the shootings on Utøya were the work of a blond blye-eyed "far-right" indigenous Norwegian will be not dissimilar.

A rambling post by Joseph W at Harry's Place, under the guise of a preliminary broad-brush attempt to analyse the motivations of the assumed perp, Anders Behring Breivik, casually throws in mentions of the BNP, and below-the-line commenters throw in the EDL with a dash of vDare to add flavour.

So then, perhaps I ought to open a book on it. How long before the first serious suggestions in the UK that the BNP, EDL and similar "far right" groupings should be banned because they are realistically likely to participate in or at the very least foment bombings and maybe even a shooting spree at the next Labour conference? Link
I mean, that Breivik geezer looks just a little bit Julian Assange, innit? And he was a rapist, innit? Well some jealous tart he was shagging said he was, so he must be, innit? So there you have it, comrade. All BNPers and EDLers are murderers and rapists and should be banged up. Obvious. Innit?

Going off at a tangent, you do have to wonder just how clever Google really is. The Independent's report on the incident naturally refers to the number of people left dead and also unidiomatically refers to people "diving into the sea" to escape the island (probably momentary confusion with the Norwegian word innsjø which means "lake"). Does this have anything to do with Google offering the following advert, I wonder.

As the poet Littlejohn is wont to say, you couldn't make it up.

21 July, 2011


Don't blink or you'll miss it

I bought a little portable disk drive yesterday from a nice Polish gentleman called Rafal. I know that because his name was printed on the Maplin's till ticket.

It's just big enough to cover my outstretched hand (ie palm + fingers), powered through the USB cable and has a capacity of 1.5TB, give or take the usual arguments over what constitutes a terabyte (TB or TiB?). That is startling. It's worth taking a step back and considering quite how startling. Less than twenty-five years ago, a mere twenty-five years ago I should say in my bestest quivering "When I were a lad" voice, we celebrated the upgrade of our departmental network from dumb terminals connected to an MP/M, S-100 "network in a single rack" system with 30MB of shared disk space, to floppy disk-only IBM PCs (256KB of RAM!!! *) connected to a Corvus Omninet LAN with a massive (© all computer mags and retail outlets) 90MB of shared disk space to flounder around in.

And those two 45MB disk drives did not take kindly to being moved about while spinning either, though I can't remember whether they were self-parking on powerdown or not. There was a time when an unexpected power interruption could mean a physically trashed disk as the heads "landed".

My new toy has an American brand name, was "made in Taiwan" and "assembled in China". Whatever that means exactly. Still you can't have everything.

There was one slightly disturbing moment. As I stood outside a nearby hostelry, sipping a pint of German lager, I read the packaging which gave a summary description of the product in more languages than you can shake a Eurocrat at. The Swedish translation included the phrase
färdig på ett kick
which in my confused way I read as meaning
ready for a good kicking
Fortunately good sense prevailed and I forbore from experimentally punting the contraption down the street. The actual meaning is "ready in an instant" and seems to be a slightly racy translation of "plug and play".

Altogether now. "Speak loudly and slowly in English. Repeat until the foreign Johnny gets the message."

What was the Swedish again for "Excuse me Sir, the left-hand horn on your helmet is poking in my eye." and "If you do stick your broadsword up my jacksy, as you threaten, my good man, I shall be compelled to summon a gunboat."?

* 256KB of RAM. It's indicative of something or other that I originally typed that as 256MB, an error which I only noticed after pressing the publish button. Clearly "kilobyte" is now purely an archæological term used by professional computer historians.

20 July, 2011


Nurse? The screens!

I wonder how long it will be before the conspiracy theorists explain how yesterday's "pie in face" attack at the Murdochs' select committee hearing — Piegate as it is inevitably already being called — was organized by MI6 at the behest of the NWO or ZOG or the Bilderberg Compliance Executive and that Wendi's much remarked right hook was the result of weeks of training by a 20th Century Fox stuntman.

Just wondrin'.

Today's question:

Q. What d'you call a boatman who transports vegetables by canal?

A. An Onion Bargee.

17 July, 2011


Do tell

John Biggs is a GLA AM representing East London who is assiduously trying to curry favour with the emerging Islamic Tammany Hall of Tower Hamlets — good luck with that mate; don't forget to ensure the curry is halal.

As the East London Advertiser tells us,

The Home Secretary has been asked today [12 July] to ban a threatened march by the English Defence League through London’s East End.

The call comes from the London Assembly’s budget chairman John Biggs, who represents East London at City Hall.

He has written to Theresa May asking her to ban the “divisive” march through Whitechapel planned for September 3—anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War.

“I have real concerns that groups opposed to the Far Right EDL will also take to the streets if it goes ahead,” he said. “The results will be huge public disorder, a risk of injury to the public and damage to property.”

Today’s letter was the second in a week to the Home Secretary in which he outlines his concerns: “I believe the march will be totally divisive.”

It would be staged the first weekend after Ramadan, he points out, if it goes ahead.

(My emphasis)

Which is all very nice and very much par for the course. The local Muzzie Yoof will be unable to control themselves and will riot. So best not to upset them, eh? Damage to property? It always strikes me as ironic that neighbourhood riots usually trash the property of the rioters' own community, following which public funds are demanded to pay for reconstruction. Very Violet Elizabeth.

But enough of this. What really intrigues me is the Ramadan reference. What exactly is the negative significance of an EDL march taking place shortly after Ramadan. If the EDL gave a shit about upsetting Muslim sensibilities they might hold off during Ramadan. Who knows? Perhaps they have; I'm not privy to Tommy's councils of war. (Oh no, Tommy isn't allowed to get involved because of his bail conditions, is he?)

But shortly after? What's the problem? Are we concerned that the local Yoof will be extra tetchy because they've not been eating properly?

And what, Bismillah, is all this stuff about the anniversary of the Second War? Lutfur's not planning to invade Poland next, is he? Bloody Hell!

Ah, the sound of desperate scraping in an empty barrel. Not quite as desperate as this gem from earlier this year, though,

The BNP’s Perth event [to launch its manifesto for the Scottish assembly elections] was not widely reported in the media, but it did not go unnoticed by active trade union member David McPhee.

Translation: Desperate reporter voxpops random bloke in pub; uses as hook for political commentary dressed up as news.

That piece deserves some sort of prize for ingenuity. Reminds me of an art class at school, where we were each required to draw a single standing figure, the individual drawings to be subsequently lined up to form a picture of a bus queue. To minimize effort, I drew a man who was susbtantially hidden behind the open broadsheet newspaper he was reading. The teacher was torn between giving me a prize or a bollocking.

Fascinating stuff.

16 July, 2011


Comment is free, but moderation is freer

The CiF homepage link to a fairly unpleasant piece by Polly baying for the blood of more "right-wing" newspaper editors now that (as she seems to think) the Dirty Digger has been effectively vanquished,

The same about 20 minutes later,

Whatever the plausible explanations for comments simply disappearing without trace — the last excuse I saw was that when a naughty comment is deleted any further comments that refer to it are also liable to deletion but whereas the original offending comment is replaced by the naughty message the referring comments simply dis-ap-pear — well whatever, this is no way to inspire confidence is it now, chaps?

Smacks of jiggery, if you ask me, and while I personally wouldn't go so far as to impute pokery, as such, well...


No hiding place

From the disintegration of Occupied London, that is.

A policeman was shot during a street chase in South Croydon last night. Pleasingly, and unsurprisingly, the Old Bill have got their finger out and apprehended the miscreants in short order. Another newspaper reports that Operation Trident has been involved in the search. Make of that what you will, but a reasonable working assumption would be that the perps are perhaps not of the indigenous Caucasian persuasion.

Such is Croydon. Its transformation over the past 10-15 years has been staggering.

I recall the area round Euston station at one time being infested with drunken Scots beggars calling out "Can ye spare us a poond for a cup o' tea, Jimmae?" I always imagined that they had come to London on the train from Glasgae to make their fortunes and had got no further than the concourse before giving up and settling down to a life of alcoholism.

These days I find myself wondering if all the asylum seekers and other immigration hopefuls get as far as Lunar House and no further, sinking into a sort of mulitcultural criminal despond in improvised camps in the forecourt. Perhaps that accounts at least in part for the startling enrichment of Croydon.

Around the turn of the century (I love being able to say that), a large organization with which I am familiar sought to reduce its Central London office estate. Firms and public sector bodies both do this with tedious regularity. It's part of the standard reorganization cycle: the "the grass on the other side is greener" delusion. Bean counters compare office rents in the City with those in, say, Gravesend and drool simple-mindedly. Plans are hatched to encourage staff to work from home and to shove the remainder* out to the "provinces". Because a significant proportion of the staff are adamantly unwilling to relocate their homes and families and are quite prepared to leave in preference, you end up offering multiple sites on the cheap periphery of London.

A few years later, after the disruption and expense have been absorbed, the weaknesses of distributed working become apparent, and departments begin to seek crafty ways of "re-co-locating" staff. If the process runs true to form, small central London offices are set up to colocate "key operations".

This happens in all types of reorganization in large institutions both public and private sector. A wilful blindness to the fact that each "solution" has both advantages and disadvantages.

Anyway, one chappie was offered relocation from his central London office to an office in beautiful downtown Croydon in the early Noughties. It was in theory a massive life style improvement. He lived somewhere still moderately civilized just north of Croydon — don't ask me, it's not my manor — from where he could comfortably cycle or at a pinch even walk to his new office.

He refused point blank to move, citing in so many words the dangerous demographic changes.

Now I can't vouch for the validity of his fears. As I say, it's not my manor. But I did have occasion to speak to the geezer and the sheer vehemence of his position was clear enough.

Interesting times.

* Except the senior management team, of course, who "need" to remain in the posh central offices for presentational and reputational reasons, and so that they can hobnob conveniently with other members of the elite in accustomed comfort.

14 July, 2011


Like a very slow reverse striptease

The Docklands Light Railway (may Allah be well chuffed with it) has been a remarkable success story. Its extension projects, in particular the Lewisham and Woolwich projects which are of direct interest to me, have been completed on or before the projected date. And so one might have expected of the Canning Town - Stratford International branch, largely justified off the back of the Olympics and HS1.

But, as the Diamond Geezer reminds us today, the project is now somewhat overdue. Rumours abound, including dark tales of fearless teams of Chinese pikeys repeatedly nicking the signalling cable and shipping it back to feed the furnaces of Guangzhou.

If TfL have simply decided to defer opening until associated traffic-generating developments — the Olympics, Westfield, Stratford International — catch up, well why don't they just say so?

But tantalizing clues do leak out, like this redrawn route map I saw over the door of a DLR train yesterday.

As the late Kenneth Williams so eloquently put it, "Stop messing about!"


A Bombay duck by any other name is still a fish

During the previous outbreak of violent unpleasantness in Bombay, three years ago, I watched and listened to the rolling news reports on Sky News and the BBC. The British reporters and presenters scrupulously referred to the Indian city as "Mumbai". The locals, whether high-status interviewees or voxpoppees on the street, were less righteously unanimous; many, perhaps most, called the place "Bombay".

People do get quite worked up about things like this. I recall many moons ago the then government of the Ivory Coast issued a proclamation through UN channels that henceforth the country was to be known as Côte d'Ivoire. Absolutely no other nomenclature would be countenanced. The instruction eventually filtered down to us for implementation, as if a corporate pronouncement had been made that henceforth all apples would be called Eric. A colleague of, shall we say, more recent African heritage than me, who was especially fastidious in matters of post-colonial pride and rectitude, became a bit of a pain over the issue. I'm afraid I was less than 100% sympathetic, and took to referring to Sri Lanka as Ceylon and to Zimbabwe as Rhodesia (or if sufficiently irritated, as Southern Rhodesia). This drove him apoplectic. I gave serious consideration to speaking of German East Africa rather than Tanzania, but decided that not only was this inaccurate but also medically dangerous.

In fact there is no justification for insisting on a particular naming convention, even within a single language. The Government of India may well declare that the "colonial" names Bombay and Madras are to be replaced with the proudly post-colonial Mumbai and Chennai. They may have some success in getting this convention generally adopted in India, though clearly in the present case it has met with some resistance. What the Indian authorities and the more self-righteously nationalistic Indians (or their White liberal proxies in the UK) are not entitled to do, however, is insist that we follow suit. If, in British English, it remains the common practice to refer to Bombay, Madras and Calcutta, then tough titty.

We may of course decide to follow their revised practice out of politeness or as a matter of general convenience, but that's our decision. If the Americans had responded to the pointless triumphalism of renaming Saigon to Ho Chi Minh City by collectively deciding to refer to the place as Gooksburg, that might not have done much for US-Vietnamese relations but there's bog all the Vietnamese could do about it.

13 July, 2011


You wait until the very end of time for a Horseman of the Apocalypse...

... and then four of them come along at once.

Never mind the decline of the English Church, a far more significant token of England's ineluctable demise is the vulgar decline of the British Soap Opera, as Corrie is overwhelmed by gay storylines, turning Weatherfield into a sort of gloomier version of San Francisco or Brighton with a funny accent. Eebagum booger me ecky thump 'ell as like tha knows, Violet Carson must be spinning so fast in her grave that if you attached electrodes to her you could meet the electric power needs of the whole of the North West.

Time was, when the world was young and straightforward and optimistic, that I was a passive fan of The Archers. Passive inasmuch as in our house Radio 4 is the default backing track and I didn't dislike the show enough to get up and switch it off. In them thar days The Archers had slow-paced plots about village social politics and agricultural topics which were well enough presented to engage the mild interest of a city boy. Plots developed gradually over weeks, almost in real time.

These days no epsode is considered acceptably gripping unless Usha Gupta comes out as the village's first Hindu Lesbian, Roy Tucker converts to militant Islam and attempts to blow up The Bull, or Lynda Snell is outed as a professional dominatrix running a dungeon staffed with trafficked Moldovan beauties. It's like the Midsomer Murders with added 'orsemuck. I can't reach for the off switch fast enough.

Bah! I'm off down Greenwich to get well and truly pluged on the Power Charger. Posting tomorrow, if any, will be very bad-tempered.


Sauce, goose and gander - halal edition

The failure of attempts to at EU level to require the explicit labelling of halal and kosher meat as such went relatively unreported, thus facilitating the continuing dishonest and shoddy practice of subsidizing halal and kosher meat production by selling unacknowledged halal/kosher products into a mainstream market which will assume by default that the meat is slaughtered according to mainstream British standards.

The EU is now proposing to relax the restrictions on feeding bonemeal to livestock, which were introduced after the BSE episode. It will be permissible, for example, to feed chicken-derived protein to pigs and pig-derived protein to chickens. As the NFU wallah on this morning's Farming Today said (well, perhaps not in so many words), "Fair do's. Yer chicken is not yer natural vegetarian. It's a bleedin' flyin' dinosaur, innit."

A spokesman for the National Council for Islamic Victimhood was quoted on the programme as saying, (well, in almost as many words),"This is terrible. This is Islamophobic. We demand that chicken meat which has been fed pig bonemeal be clearly labelled as such."


12 July, 2011


An alternative perspective

From David Goodhart's predictably upbeat Prospect piece marking the 10th anniversary of the Oldham - Bradford - Burnley riots, "A tale of three cities"

At the beginning of the 1980s, minority politics in Bradford and in the other towns was about equal rights and fighting the National Front — symbolised by the acquittal of the Bradford 12: young Asian men who made petrol bombs to protect their streets against white racists.

(My emphasis)

I rather vaguely recall Sunny Hundal and someone else — I think it was the artist formerly known as Ian Roberts, — speaking in glowing terms of the defence of Southall against the NF in 1979. Here's Yaz on the subject — apparently she actually participated. She writes,

I was at that highly charged march in Southall in 1979 to protest against the National Front, which was meeting in Ealing Town Hall to discuss how they would repatriate "niggers and Pakis" and "bulldoze Southall to the ground and replace it with an English hamlet". It was well known that racists were active in the borough, my borough, and in 1976 had killed a young Asian man, Gurdeep Singh Chagger.

(My emphasis)

There was a time, no more than 20 years ago, when I would have agreed wholeheartedly with these sentiments. It was almost a legal requirement to do so.

But things move on. Here's a recent quote arising out of confrontations in Brescia (source) (via),

Among [the most] applauded [of the speakers at a rally] was the mayor of Adro, a small town next to Brescia, Oscar Lancini, who declared: "I am proud to be a racist, if racist means defending our territory". Brescia, explained the secretary of the Lombard League, Giancaro Giorgetti, belongs to Brescians first of all.

I don't like violence. I have seen its effects. But we have also been asked to buy into the view that the hostility of the National Front and other "racists" was wholly irrational, an entirely despicable atavistic and unfathomable hatred against ordinary decent innocent "British" people going about their everyday lives in peace, purely on the basis of their "skin colour".

Of course this is to be condemned outright, and firmly repressed.

Well maybe, maybe. I have come over time to re-examine that mantra, that core belief of post-war liberal decency.

Part of the mythology which underpins the "ethnic/liberal" view of "racism" is the unspoken presumption that the current demographic disposition has always existed. That Manningham has been an exclave of Pakistan for ever. Sunny and Kwame may feel that the Southall they grew up in has always been a semi-autonomous Sikh/Hindu territory since time of out of mind. Yaz arrives in the 1970s to find this little piece of India fully formed and apparently deeply rooted.

Well, out of mind for some of you, perhaps.

One of my bad habits on this blog is to bang on tediously about my age. In my defence I plead incredulity. The idea of me being 63 years old seems faintly ridiculous. In my head I am still, of course, in my early thirties. I have to get my old git's bus pass out every so often and look at it to reconfirm the chronological reality. But there are benefits. One of which is that I am old enough to have seen pre-colonial Britain with my very own eyes. Not Southall, or Manningham. But certainly North Manchester and Oldham.

I may be an apprentice doddering old fool but I don't remember seeing a single Black or Brown person on the streets of Moston in the 1950s. Now, apparently, it's infested with Nigerians. I remember when a White Man could walk safely through the streets of Glodwick without fear of molestation. If you're too young to remember that era personally, try thinking about all those black-and-white feature films and documentaries from the 1950s that are used occasionally to fill up airtime on the telly. In the outside location scenes, do you really think the director had to shout "Cut! Get those bloody Darkies out of shot" every couple of minutes in order to preserve the "mythical" overwhelming Whiteness of the streets? The mass colonization of the UK is a recent and resented phenomenon. I sometimes reflect gratefully that it's as well I'm a migrant myself, living in London rather than in my native Manchester. Otherwise I might be doing rather more about colonization than just ranting impotently on a blog.

When that National Fronter or these days that EDLer marches through your streets, you may think he's just demonstrating mindless thuggish drunken racism. He, on the other hand, may think he is striking a blow against a colonizing invader, that these are his people's streets which you have stolen, and he wants them back.

And d'you know, these days I'm coming round to the view that he may have a point. If defending your tribal territory against massive colonizing invasion makes you a racist, then, as they used to say, I'm a Chinaman.

11 July, 2011


Sauce, goose and gander - refugee edition

BBC news (World Service, Today programme) has been reporting that the Kenyan authorities are dragging their feet on providing additional facilities for Somali refugees fleeing the emerging Horn of Africa famine. This despite an additional camp being ready to bring into use but currently standing empty while the existing Dadaab facilities are bursting at the seams.

Paraphrasing from memory,

While they are willing to help fellow Africans, the Kenyan [authorities] are concerned about accepting hundreds of thousands of refugees who may wish to settle permanently.

Now there's interesting, look you. The Kenyans will accept Somali refugees but (a) they expect them to go home when the life-threatening danger from which they fled has abated, and (b) while the Somalis remain in Kenya they are accommodated in dedicated camps rather than being dispersed across Kenyan society.

Hmm. Perhaps there's something we Europeans can learn here.

09 July, 2011


The Paki Club, open to all

The opening of The Pakistani Club in Bradford with its innovative membership criteria
Membership is open to all Pakistanis or people of Pakistani origin, says Mr Ahmed - as long as they are aged over 18.
offers interesting opportunities. I wonder if Nick Griffin* can be persuaded to apply for membership, and then take the matter to the EHRC when he is turned down on the grounds of his, er, ethnicity.

* Or whoever is at the wheel of the BNP's sinking ship in a month or so's time. Probably Griffin, as I get the distinct impression that the current leadership election will be run according to the Burmese-Zimbabwean rulebook.

08 July, 2011


Do you still beat your husband?

While we're on the subject of the hacked voicemail of murder victims and the soon-to-be-late News of the Screws, the question of how much Rebekah Wade knew about the dubious shenanigans is surely a classic "Do you still beat your wife?" question.Guilty as charged either way. I don't approve of the death penalty so I will not be joining those clamouring for Ms Wade to be publicly hanged at Tyburn but suggest instead the following punishment:

That Ms Wade be taken to a public place and stripped naked. She shall then be secured using restraints that permit unrestricted access to her whole body. (Any good supplier of BDSM accessories will doubtless be able to advise.)

Relays of sadistically-minded
pædiatricians will then be encouraged to carry out unpleasantly invasive investigations and procedures on her.

A mere token return for the unnecessary suffering she has inflicted on others.


It was Sunny wot done it

Deluded cunt.

06 July, 2011


And now a word from our sponsor...

I have, with regret, re-enabled the "word verification" requirement on comments.

I must say Blogger's spam filter is very impressive. It has been remarkably effective in suppressing all of the actual commercial spam while making only 3 false positives since the feature was added. However each spam comment, filtered out or no, is also emailed to me for review anyway and, as the number of spam attempts relentlessly rises the — how can I put this? — proctalgogenous effect of checking these emails has reached an unnacceptable level.

Spammers of the world, I am grateful for your interest and for your many kind offers of very reasonably priced Viagra, amenable Russian brides and interesting prescription drugs with names I've never heard of before. Thank you for your offers to unlock the iPhone I don't have. As for those fake Chanel bags — just what sort of girl do you think I am?

It's been fun, up to a point. Now fuck off!

(While I'm on the subject, I haven't had any offers from those kind folks in West Africa recently, asking for my help in releasing orphaned bank accounts with infeasible oodles of moolah sloshing around in them. Have I upset them with my rather, er, direct views on Nigerians? Didn't mean it chaps! Honest! To show there's no hard feelings, how about I sell you a 99-year lease on the rest of Thamesmead? At a knock-down price of just $419,000,000,000 US Dollars, payable in advance. But for that price you'll have to turf out the Vietnamese yourselves.)

04 July, 2011


Out of the mouths of ... people working their notice?

I am not, shall we say, 100% convinced that this, brought to us by Max Farquar, was the result of your genuine accidental typo,

Probably a pissed-off employee working his ticket or his notice? Mind you, speaking as someone who has actually had occasion to have to read not only the Grocer (imaged above) but also the Draper's Record in his time and managed to do so without falling asleep, you never can tell.

The cutting brings to mind the strange case of the missing settlement of Bolaks. In the late 1970s, international direct dialling access to the Continong and to the wider world was spreading in a fairly patchy, incremental way. There were often perfectly sound technical reasons why the whole of a country could not be opened up to inward direct dialling in one fell swoop. So, as engineering improvements at the "distant end" made additional area codes accessible, BT would update and re-issue per-country area code pamphlets to interested commercial customers. One such that came into my hands somewhere in the period 1977 to 1980 was for Finland, and included a dialling code for a place called Bolaks. I thought nothing of it initially, apart from chuckling at the double entendre of the name.

Then four years doing a general linguistics degree finally proved its worth when it occurred to me that Finnish does not normally use the letter 'B', and certainly not in native place names. This is why the Finnish for 'bank', probably a loanword from the Swedish, is pankki rather than bankki. (OK, I checked. Hankkipankki actually scores six hits on Google but regrettably none of them are for real.) A quick check of the gazetteer confirmed my suspicions. I wonder if the prankster was ever found out. Knowing BT, he's probably just retired from a directorship.

And yes, I do wish I'd kept that booklet. Sigh.


Tales from the Multiculture - Rara ursa

I saw a Polish bear dyke on the train yesterday. Like a bull dyke only beefier. Spiky hair, gruff voice, the sort of physique that suggested she could easily balance a 40-ton artic trailer on the tip of one finger while using her other hand to punch out an attacking phalanx of enraged rhinoceri. Her partner was only marginally more femme and only slightly less intimidating.

Which is fine by me. Whatever floats their respective boats, as they say. So long as they don't turn up in the John Snow starting fights and demanding that society be remodelled in their image in the name of equal rights as a depressingly large number of gay activists seem to these days.

Mind you I did feel strangely nervous and was quite relieved when they got off.

No, what I found so incongruous was not so much the dykedom as the Polishness. Well, they were speaking Polish, and Polish is definitely not the sort of language you speak just for the hell of it. I mean to say, I didn't think they allowed that sort of carry-on in Poland. What does the Cardinal have to say about it?

I mean, Heavens to Murgatroyd chaps, this is not the sort of thing we allowed those over-eager A8 types into the EU for, and opened the borders up early for. Rafal the handyman, who replaced my window after the burglary last year, fine. Małgorzata and Justyna, those amiable, pretty young blond girls who seem to serve behind the bar of more or less every Wetherspoon in the South East, sooper. But the sort of young women who could have Oddjob and Jaws running away in terror, loose on our streets. Was that covered by the accession treaty? No wonder the Krauts kept their borders closed.

03 July, 2011


Nasty outbreak of albedoism reported

Apparently that nice Mr Clarkson off the telly has put his foot in it again. According to the Mail, he made a racist allusion to that even nicer, if distinctly overweight, Mr Henry. Actually, the Mail reporter seems to have cribbed his story wholesale from the People, so let's have a quick dekko into the horse's mouth:

But there was a hail of criticism. Grenada-born war hero Johnson Beharry, 31, who won the Victoria Cross fighting for Britain in Iraq, said: “Remarks like this just aren’t funny. They ­legitimise racism. People think it’s acceptable to poke fun at people without thinking about the ­consequences. Clarkson needs to be stopped from saying things like this.”

Race campaigner Lee Jasper, said: “It starts off with Clarkson making stupid racist comments and it ends up as playground taunts and racist slurs on the street.

A hail of criticism, eh? Well, for small values of hail, I suppose. You can just imagine the editorial conference at the People, can't you?
"Clarkson's made another racist gaffe. Referred in public to the fact that Lenny Henry's a Black man. Should be worth half a column.

Right. Charlie, we'll need a couple of quotes from celebrity nignogs. No, not rappers or footballers this time; needs to be somebody who's still got a positive image. What about that coon that Blair pinned a VC on? He'll do nicely. And that half-caste crook that used to work for Red Ken; he should be worth a quote."
Mind you, that photo of L/Cpl Beharry the Mail's dug up. Incredibly bad tempered. Looks as if he's about to spit at somebody. Presumably it meets their requirements.

Rent-a-mouth MP Denis "Adenoids" MacShane (né Matyjaszek) fired up his bullshit generator and contributed,

“Clarkson’s full-on innuendo is unpleasant and offensive and out of tune with multi-cultural, multi-ethnic Britain.

“It’s like a blast from the south of the US when the Ku Klux Klan thought these jokes were funny.”

Really? I didn't know Lenny Henry was all that well-known in Dixie. You live and learn.

Yes, yes, but what exactly was the nature of Jezza's crime? What did he actually say?

He complained an energy-saving mode on his new TV made the screen so dim “every programme looks like it is being presented by Lenny Henry in a cave”.

That's it?

So not yer actual proper in-your-face racism then, but essentially a mild case of albedoism. Just as professional on-air lush and part-time amateur physicist Sarah Kennedy noticed that Black people's skin tends to reflect less of the available ambient light than that of White people, with the consequence that the former can be more difficult to see in poor light, so professional on-air boor Clarkson has noticed that underpowered television displays do not have sufficient energy to display the lighter skin tones of White people.

So it's official (© all newspapers). Physics is racist.

Be interesting to see how far this one goes. So what's Clarkson's record again? Sieg Heil salutes for German cars. No problem, the Krauts are fair game; they're family, and they lost the bleedin' war didn't they? Koreans eating dogs and Mexicans being lazy and with cuisine that looks "like refried sick". Well, a) all of that is true and b) Koreans and Mexicans are only token Darkies for the purpose of calculating parliamentary expenses, or something. So they don't really count either.

Mr Henry, however, is a proper paid-up Darkie. Which puts a different complexion on things. (Permission to groan granted.)

Even if Clarkson doesn't get the push, it should keep CiF going for, what, a dozen articles. 18? Any advance on 18?

While we're at it, I might as well take the opportunity to shop Chris Tarrant. In 1982 in an episode of O.T.T., following a particularly lubricious sketch, involving as best I recall the lovely Helen Atkinson-Wood and a bed, Tarrant made an off the cuff remark to the aforesaid Mr Henry, "You don't blush, you, do you?" The clear implication being that if Mr Henry had been sufficiently embarrassed by the sketch to actually blush, his dark skin tone would have effectively hidden it.

Albedoism of the most cunning and vile stripe!

Good game, eh? I suppose some of these wankers think they're promoting good race relations with this sort of shite.


You can click 'Delete' as often as you like, but...




A bit crudely expressed, I concede, but I really can't see what was wrong with that comment, Sunny, my old mucker. I mean, truthful, concise, very much to the point. I'd be inviting this Jass geezer on to pen a couple of OPs for PP, myself.

Then again, your mileage, as they say, may vary.


Auntie who?

(I suppose that title only works properly if you read it in a Northern accent. But there you go.)

Mr Pavlov's Cat points us towards this Een Stannat piece and muses on news values in today's politicized MSM.

I must say I'm at least as concerned about the dismal standards of sub-editing in today's politicized MSM:

It really is about time the authorities got to grips with this anti-facism business.

Do anti-facists dislike faces per se? Which presumably means that they have to scrupulously avoid mirrors and other reflective surfaces. Or is it just selected faces they take exception to, as in "I just don't like the look of your face" as a prelude to lamping a random innocent stranger they meet in the street?

02 July, 2011


Compare and contrast

Five Chinese Crackers, writing about the shaming of Johann "I'm a fat left-wing fairy so I'm morally superior to you in oh so many ways" Hari,

... If you think what Hari has been doing is the lowest of the low, hoo-boy, are there surprises in store for you if you spend some time looking behind what you read in newspapers.

So, yes, Johann Hari should be in trouble for what he did and I guess that's up to his editor. He's apologised and said he won't do it again. In a world where the Press Complaints Commission allows columnists to tell bald-faced untruths preceeded by the words 'the fact is', that'll probably be enough. If he ends up getting into more trouble, can't say I'll be complaining. I won't be complaining if he doesn't either.

Translation: Hari is a plagiarist lying prick but he's one of our lying pricks, and he lies for a good cause. So I'm going to hum and har a bit, pretend this is a storm in a teacup, and slip in a bit of implicit whataboutery to muddy the waters.

Little Nicky Lowles, blogging about a Nick Griffin tweet,

The BNP leader Nick Griffin has tweeted how he hopes a visitor to the House of Commons tonight blows himself up in what would presumably be, some sort of suicide bombing.

A controversial Muslim cleric is due to address a meeting at the House of Commons this evening. Griffin wrote: "..they've invited a banned Islamist to speak in House of Commons this evening. Hope he blows himself up there!"

(Original emphasis)

Translation: a far-righter has spoken. Everything uttered by a far-righter must be parsed, analysed and deconstructed for any potential evil meaning, much in the manner of a Stormfronter poring over some public utterance looking for the tell-tale mark of ZOG. Everything a far-righter said must be construed absolutely literally if it is advantageous to do so. Remember, the far right are stupid, ignorant and illiterate, except of course where they are being devious and evilly clever.

Never indulged in antagonistic throwaway rhetoric then, Nicky? If I were to write that, come the revolution, you and Matthew Collins would be the first ones up against the wall, would you construe that literally as a serious death threat and call in the Old Bill?

Further down, Nicky warms to his theme,

After the dreadful 7th July suicide bombings in central London back in 2005, the BNP took images of the carnage and distress and turned them into a vile leaflet which the BNP delivered three days later in Barking and Dagenham during a council by election there. The candidate standing against the BNP was a Muslim, something that the BNP tried to make a great deal of. The BNP were hammered by the electorate, who were rightly disgusted.

Everybody, Right, Left and Centre, has made use of images of the 7/7 event to illustrate political publications, in particular the "iconic" images of Davinia Douglass holding a burns mask to her face as she is helped away from the Edgware Road station, and the twisted wreckage of the No 30 bus at Tavistock Square.

But apparently when these images are used by those not of your political tribe, Nicky, such use is "vile", is it? Tedious, intolerant no-platformist hypocrite.


Stranger than fiction

You thought it was all just another silly example of the anarchic absurdity we'd all come to expect of those jolly funsters, the Pythons, didn't you? You know, that Monty Python sketch about the unarmed-combat instructor who was obsessed with teaching his soldiers how to defend themselves against attackers armed with fresh fruit.

Turns out he was right all along. Paula Ross, reports the Metro among others, has finally been cured of her fear of bananas, originally brought on by unpleasant experiences as a toddler.

Paula, of Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, suffered torment during her school days because playground bullies would chase her brandishing the fruit.

She admitted: ‘It is a ridiculous fear but it is something I have had since I can remember.

'People used to chase me round the playground at school with banana peels and everyone used to laugh at me. They thought it was hilarious.

See, if the authorities had taken notice of the Pythons and set up appropriate early-learning initiatives, the younger Paula could have dealt with the playground bullies by shooting them or, if worse came to worst, lobbing a raspberry grenade at them and unleashing the tiger.

01 July, 2011


The semi-detached mind bells the morrisman

To a lovely little township by the Thames, which I shall not embarrass by naming, where some Morris Men were in evidence. They had concluded their curious ritual before I arrived and they had then repaired en masse to a local hostelry for refreshments. From time to time the tinkling of bells could be heard as the Morrisists wandered round the pub, still wearing their dancing kit.

As I contemplated this curious sound, the semi-detached mind leaned across, as he does, and whispered that Morris Men were compelled to dress in this way, with bells strapped to their calves, in order to stop them creeping up on virgins. Apparently the music, dancing and most especially the clacking of sticks was apt to inflame their passions, overpowering normal civilized self-restraint.

Personally, I think the SDM is pulling my plonker, as the vulgar hoi polloi are wont to express it, but you never can tell.

Possible virgin-ambushing proclivities excepted, the Morrisites seem a harmless enough bunch. The only thing that annoys me about them is their habit, on completion of their bizarre gyrations, of coming round with the collecting hat. Rather like those bands of gyppos who wander round during the the al fresco season with their fiddles and accordions, play three or four bars of a popular tune wherever groups of people are gathered, then send a child round with an upturned tambourine. Come off it! I don't expect strangers to fund my bizarre hobbies, which I have the common decency to practise in private anyway.

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