30 July, 2012


It's the Internet wot made me do it, yer honour

Well, not really, but it's amazing where you end up.

I was penning a comment to Julia's latest post on false rape allegations when I found myself reflecting on the potential use of male chastity devices with the keys held by some legally trusted third party like say a solicitor as a preemptive defence against rape allegations.

As you do.

A swift google leads me to the Chastity belts for men page, where I learn that some of their "devices" are supplied with

Five (5) individually numbered plastic locks that allow the "wearer" to go through metal detectors without setting off any alarms.

Coo-er. Puts security checks in a whole new light, dunnit? Mind you, the unavoidable trouser bulge could be a bit embarrassing.

27 July, 2012


Well, well, well!

Three holes in the ground?

Yeah, maybe. But this too:

Olympic athlete seeks asylum in Britain

Perhaps the newspapers could make themselves useful by keeping a count. You know, like

Ishmailia (Muslamic Rep of)
— Gold: 0
— Silver: 0
— Bronze: 0
— Asylum seekers: 23

As the (seemingly) immortal Brucie would say, "Good game! Good game!"

18 July, 2012


Quotes of the day

My apologies for the ongoing dearth of quality bigotry, racism, unrighteousness and general downright unpleasantness on this blog. Even us retired baby-boomer scum, reduced to sitting all the livelong day in Wetherspoons, sipping Russian lager, tutting over CiF and wondering how to spend our bloated final-salary pensions, occasionally find what's going on in the world so fucking bizarre as to be beyond comment. My flabber has been so comprehensively gasted that I am currently waiting for a nice Polish gentleman to find time to fit me with a new flabber (handcrafted by ethical Chinese slave labour and covered in finest halal pigskin which has been depilated using only the urine of untrafficked Moldovan virgins — or so Marek assures me).

Anyway, here's a brace of quotes to be going on with. First, professional arsehole and IPPR apparatchik Matt Cavanagh, writing at CiF about the Census results, reassures us that we are not overpopulated and that ongoing mass immigration into the UK is a jolly good thing

As for those modern-day Malthusians who worry about whether we are recklessly contributing to a global population crisis, it's worth considering that if the entire population of the planet – estimated to have passed 7 billion last year – lived like the residents of Tower Hamlets or Kensington and Chelsea, they would all fit in an area the size of France. Again, global demographics do raise serious issues, but they concern urbanisation and the efficiency and inequality in how we use resources, more than sheer numbers.

[my emphasis]

It's difficult to know how to respond to that kind of nonsense; it's just pig-ignorant belligerent git down the pub sort of logic. So, in this magic world, will we eat each other for food and burn our shit for energy? Or will it be the other way round?

I do find it curious how the attitude of the Left to overpopulation has shifted. Forty years ago, any left-leaning environmentally-engaged commenter would have taken a Malthusian view, that resources were finite, whatever the mitigating effect of technological improvement, and that we could not support unlimited human population growth, whether or not in growing prosperity.

Now the issue of unsustainable population growth is completely off the table. Odd that. Mind you, during the Sixties and Seventies the (native) population of the developed West was still growing steadily. One could argue about the threat to sustainability by pointing at ever-increasing numbers of fat, greedy White people gobbling up finite resources.

That no longer applies. The ongoing growth in population comes almost entirely from the Third World and must therefore be actually celebrated. I recall a BBC programme marking the passing of the 7-billion mark in world population. A random but picturesque rural shack in Malawi was selected to symbolically represent the birthplace of the 7 billionth child. We were invited to rejoice in the fecundity of the Malawian people.

I also remember, if rather vaguely, a BBC World Service radio programme in which a former US international official (diplomacy, NGOs, that sort of thing) recalled a conversation with a senior government minister in Bangladesh. "Your country is poor, waterlogged and massively overpopulated. And the population is growing. How will you deal with this?", asked the American. "No problem", came the reply, apparently in all seriousness. "We will simply export our surplus population to the West."

Ain't doublethink and entitlethink wonderful? No worries, just raid the freezers of the rich and throw another banker on the fire.

I'll leave it to veteran CiF commenter haardvark to have the last word,

On immigration, the Guardian is the gibbering sailor on the deck of the Titanic still insisting it is unsinkable. The facts don't actually matter.

15 July, 2012


Does the Mail on Sunday know?

In a shocking lapse of editorial standards, the Freeview EPG this morning let slip the carefully guarded secret of an ongoing celebrity gender reassignment.

Mayor of Basildon, Wayne Knobhead, commented, "Trans-wot? You takin' the piss, mate?" before punching our reporter in the face.

12 July, 2012


Getting a bad rep

As I entered the ticket hall at Abbey Wood railway station, the place seemed to be swarming with REOs and BTP officers. Actually there were no more than three of them, along with their "customers", but their presence seemed to fill the place. Passing through the barrier I encountered another BTP copper who was keeping a very firm grip on his "prisoner", a young Black gentleman whom the officer was chiding firmly for his lack of sincerity during earlier interrogation.

So much, so business as usual. In these parts, anyway. But on the platform I was approached by a rather nervous tourist, the head of a family group. "Excuse me, sir, but is this a bad area? All the police...?"

I must say I'd never thought of that. Large numbers of actual policemen and uniformed people readily mistaken for policemen, milling around the place, interviewing "suspects". If you don't know what's going on and you are unfamiliar with the area it must be quite intimidating.

Scabby Wood, as it is known to its enemies, is home to a ginormous camping and caravanning site which, for reasons unknown to me, is hugely popular with parsimonious tourists from the near Continent. I've known the district fairly well for over thirty years and it's always struck me as a nondescript but pleasant enough sort of place, notwithstanding being quite literally "the other side of the railroad tracks" from Thamesmead, a place whose infamy is also not entirely deserved.

First impressions, eh?

Incidentally, while proof-reading the above, I note that Abbey Wood railway station actually has its very own Wikipedia entry. Isn't Wikipedia wonderful and don't you just love the obsessive completists who write it?

11 July, 2012


F-word B-word C-word

I find the John Terry trial increasingly surreal. This half-time report in the Telegraph leaves me even more confused than before I read it. Apparently Ferninand referred to Terry having s— Wayne Bridge's bird and Terry responded, or as the case may be, did not respond by calling Ferdinand a f— black c—. And there's a lot of stuff about people being fat and/or slags, as the respective briefs struggle personfully to establish a precise calculus of offensiveness in order to identify the line which Mr Terry crossed, or as it may be, did not cross.

All total nonsense. A complete waste of time and money. And if the process is intended to improve race relations, I would suggest that it does precisely the reverse. If Terry is acquitted, race hustlers up and down the country will be up in arms, parading their victimhood, demanding even harsher penalties for looking at a Darkie out of the wrong side of the mouth. And if he is convicted, ordinary decent White folks who'd as happily slaughter and eat a black pig as a pink one will wonder if it is possible to say anything to a person of colour without the danger of giving offence; taking one step closer to the obvious conclusion that it is safer to have absolutely nothing to do with Black and Brown people at all.

But at least there's some fun to be had in watching the media hacks squirm, trying to report the naughty language which is at the heart of the case and therefore cannot be avoided. The Torygraph daintily refers to s— rather than shagging. The Mail and the Telegraph insist on mangling the core phrase of the whole case into incomprehensibility as "f— black c—". On the steam wireless last night, one BBC lady reporteuse quoted the phrase as "f-word black c-word", in carefully enunciated RP tones which made it sound as if she were describing having to pick up a turd with bare hands.

At least the Guardian, Gawd bless it, has the b—s to report what was (allegedly) said: "fucking black cunt".

But they're all wrong, you know. They're missing the point. If Mr Terry had just used the words "fucking" and "cunt", none of this pantomime would have ensued. If you must bowdlerize the language to protect the eyes and ears of the genteel classes, then surely the correct representation would be

Fucking b— cunt.

It's all complete cullions, innit.

Sorry, complete c—.

06 July, 2012



You may have heard of the EDF. It is a versatile organization, known for its cheerful mascot, a singing turd (thank you, Neko-san, I really didn't wish to know that) and its popular street events. It also supplies my house with electrical current.

For several years, I have been reading my own electric meter. When they are about to prepare a bill, EDF emails me a reminder, I read the meter and submit the reading to their website. A more convenient arrangement than having a meter reader turn up when you're out. And they do always turn up when you're out, or still in bed, or having a crap, or swinging stark bollock-naked from the chandelier while playing a kazoo. It's really quite uncanny.

So it came about that last year that I received a letter from EDF

Wotcher Cock!

We notice that, like, you has an email address and therefore a connection to the Interweb thingie. That's cool, man. So we is going to offer you da opportunity to save da rainforests by electrifying your bill.

All you has to do is sign up for our free online login and you can opt to have your bill made up in electronic form. We will email you when it's ready to download.


Alison Carpetbiter
p/p Da Singing Turd

OK, I paraphrase somewhat, but you get the drift. I ignored it. And so EDF stopped sending me printed electricity statements. This is an interpretation of "opt in" that I am unfamiliar with, but there you go. Also I found I could no longer submit meter readings, because the relevant webform was behind the "optional" login I had decided not to sign up to.

After a while I cracked, created a login and opted to revert to paper electricity bills. Which, to give 'em their due, actually did work. Why would a modern environmentally-conscious websavvy geezer like me do that, you ask? Because I know something the privatized utility companies have forgotten. Utility bills have social functions in addition to their basic purpose.

Every so often in dealing with the big wide world you are called upon to prove your identity and your address. So how do you provide proof, or at least plausible confirmation, of address? The traditional method is by showing a recent utility or other bill or statement from an "upstanding" organization. With the steady transfer of our official and commercial interactions on-line this handy source of ad hocpaper documentation is gradually drying up.

Next time the postman calls with a package too big for the letterbox and I am out, or can't get down from the chandelier and get dressed quickly enough, I am going to have to go to the sorting office to collect the item, and the nice man will expect to see some place id, something from a respectable and recognized organization with my address on it. Council tax, water rates? Could be but it needs to be no more than three months old. Tricky after June. Phone bill? Do BT still send out paper bills? Don't ask me; I gave up my landline 15 years ago. Bank or credit card statements? On-line only. Gas bill? I'm all electric. Recent lecky bill? Ah! Got one of those.

So, you see, Mr Singing Turd, things are interconnected. And so are the odd little unexpected legacy obligations of operating in the utility infrastructure. I shall be expecting my electric bill, on paper, via snail mail, every three months for the foreseeable future, thanks very much.

Sorry about that.

05 July, 2012


The wisdom of the subtitling computer

I was watching the weather forecast on the BBC's Breakfast programme on the laptop. As it goes, instead of listening to cuddly Carol Kirkwood's gentle highland burr I had the sound muted and was following the subtitles. (Us blokes can multitask too, tha knows. I was trying to follow some bollocks on the Today programme at the same time.)

Anyway, the subtitles relayed
There will be a moggy start to the day.
Does that mean that it will be hot and humid, or is this a cute way of saying it's going to rain cats and dogs?

I think we should be told.

04 July, 2012


Waiter, there's a boson in my soup

I have to say that I find the meeja's fascination with particle physics quite puzzling. BBC news bulletins generally and this morning's Today programme in particular have been all of a quiver at the apparently impending isolation of the Higgs boson. Remember the LHC switch-on? It was broadcast live on TV news. What's that all about?

Actually, speaking as a pig-higgerant layman, I rather hope that they don't find evidence of the Higgs and have to turn their attention in a new direction. Speaking, as I say, as someone qualified only to admire the pretty colours in the animated diagrams, there is something deeply æsthetically unsatisfying about the way the standard model keeps adding new particles to fill in the gaps in the model. When we are told that the Higgs boson is necessary to add/explain mass, I find myself thinking of ancient and mediæval astronomers bunging in another layer of epicycles to maintain the geocentric model.

I mean, if William of Ockham were alive today, he'd be spinning in his grave, innit.

Meanwhile the Guardian rises to the challenge with a splendid piece of victimism by one Amit Chaudhuri, professor of contemporary literature at UEA, who challenges "the West" for its failure to celebrate the Indian contribution. The class of particles called bosons, he reminds us rather testily, are named in honour of the Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose. Well, up to a point, Lord Krishna, up to a point. OK, nobody's heard of SN Bose. But then, most of us had never heard of Peter Higgs either. And the jovial Higgs is at least still alive and reasonably telegenic. Plus, the physics community has acknowledged Bose's contribution in the name of the class of particles which his contribution identified.

So what's the beef? (Can I say "beef" when addressing an Indian?)

Actually, the most telling reflection of the Guardian mindset in Amit's piece comes below the line in a comment by Mulefish

Not dwelling on the Chandresekar limit or the universally accepted intellectual superiority of the Chinese prople, I would pause to recall that the first man, woman and dog, sent into space were Russian, the Gagarin monument in Moscow being as tall and infinitely more meaningful than the Statue of Liberty in the U.S.A., this built by the French, anyhow.

[my emphasis]

The continued presence of this comment is not a moderation oversight, either. If you look at Mulefish's posting history, you will find he has form for repeatedly asserting the genetic superiority of the Chinese. Now just imagine if I were to pop up on CiF and assert that the reason so few Africans have Nobel prizes (proper ones, not celebrity ones like the peace prize) is because Africans are thick. (But good runners with a natural sense of rhythm.)

Ain't balance wonderful?

03 July, 2012


The rioting season: a haruspex writes

According to the joint Guardian/LSE study, Reading the Riots, the police fear a repeat of last year's riots in England. To what extent this energetic hand-wringing might be driven by politicking about staff cuts, I couldn't possibly comment, but the timing of the news report is somewhat inauspicious.

Remember the Great Harry, Wetherspoon's outpost in beautiful vibrant downtown Woolwich, burnt out during the 2011 rioting season,

Refitting of the building is now complete and the pub is scheduled to re-open next Tuesday, 10 July.

So all we need now is for some more hot weather and for CO19 to shoot another half-caste drug dealer somewhere in London without his mother's permission (or whatever the beef was last time).

And off we go again.

It could become a tourist attraction, tha knows. Happy-snapping Chinese tourists in armoured buses watching the rioting and the looting, leading up to the closing ceremony in General Gordon Place of the Torching of the Spoon.

Makes yer prahd, dunnit.

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