06 August 2009

6 August 1945

70,000 died instantly
140,000 dead by the end of 1945


  1. The appalling decision taken by President Harry S. Truman when Japan was virtually routed has at all times been a theme of discussion among people interested in contemporary history.

    Some say he wanted to end the war right away, others say it was just a warning to the then Soviet Union not to overstep what it has been doing in Europe. That is a warning to Communism to stop its march ahead.

    But the result of that decision - and that on Nagasaki - is known to all of us. Hundreds of thousands of dead because a man wanted to give a warning to another one (Stalin) may be likened to what is being done by the US nowadays with other type of weapons. It is another type of weapons because the wars that have been started by the States are for the control of oil in countries where American soldiers could not stay had those countries been bombarded with nukes.

    Otherwise I wonder whether they had been the target of another nuclear attack, as it appears it has been thought regarding another country (Iran) which I think it has not been carried out for the same reasons.

    But as you know, what Truman could not do at the end of WWII, the US can do now because it can quite easily dosify its attacks.

    And always present is the disdain for the innocent human being.

  2. Hiroshima. If a picture says a thousand words, then the photo above says it all.

  3. It might have killed 140,000 - it probably saved ten times that number, if not more.

  4. A day when Americans should hang their heads in shame.
    Sorry, Montana.

  5. Apparently the Japanese were suing for peace at the time. But you do have a point, Frank.
    And we bombed Dresden...

  6. Montana: as on July 7th, a simple memorial says the most. Thanks

    It’s a bit late to be attributing “blame” for Hiroshima, but I’d suggest that the average American of the time was no more responsible for that than the average Briton was for Dresden, the average German was for the Holocaust or the average Japanese was for the various atrocities committed by the Imperial Japanese Army. I don’t imagine that Harry consulted Montana’s grandparents before he gave the order.

    All we can do now is try to make sure nothing similar to any of those atrocities happen again, and in that we all have some responsibility...

  7. @Dan:

    Just a quick point of order mate, the Japanese weren't suing for peace at the time. Kantaro famously used the word mokusatsu to describe his government's position of "contemptuous silence" in response to the Potsdam Declaration.

  8. andysays
    All we can do now is try to make sure nothing similar to any of those atrocities happen again, and in that we all have some responsibility...


  9. @andy:

    Agreed mate, but the bombings did end the war in the Pacific (Russia's surprise invasion of Manchuria helped as well).

    There's a school of thought, though, that says that Downfall, the planned US invasion of the Japanese mainland, would have brought about a pretty swift collapse of Japanese civil society (the Japanese were very war-weary in mid-1945, they had no Navy, they'd been suffering an intense aerial fire-bombing campaign, and it's said Hirohito's reaction to the devastation in Tokyo was beginning to turn his mind to peace), so I guess we'll never really know.

  10. Another point to keep in mind is that japan was even closer to starvation than continental Europe had been by war-end. Germany fought to the last - the consequence of this was that tens of thousands, more likely hundreds of thousands, died in eastern europe and germany itself, after the cessation of hostilities. Ethnic german civilians were massacred across eastern europe.

    If Japan had also fought to the last, the non-military deaths would perhaps have been even greater. There is a strong argument that the shock to the system provided by both bombs saved millions of lives.

    Myself, I think I'd have taken a chance on the plan suggested at the time - that the first bomb should have been preceded by a leaflet drop, and then it would have been dropped on an island in Tokyo Bay, as a low-casualty warning/demonstration. If they didn't surrender, then a follow up bomb would wipe out a city. But that's a hindsight position - at the time they had *one* bomb, and were fighting a desperate war, with, as has been mentioned, Russia making a land-grab in Europe - a similar Russian grab for Japan which may have come in a protracted war would have been disastrous. Ending the war quickly was necessary.

  11. Interesting debate, the Hiroshima one, wasnt it Monbiot who did an article on this which kicked off a huge debate? Was very interesting as i recall.

  12. And, Frank, I'm maybe being a bit unfair to Dan, in my blanket "Japan weren't suing for peace" claim. There were, entirely understandably given the dire situation Japan found itself in in early 1945, various lower level groups talking to Dulles and the OSS in Switzerland and Malik in Moscow, and Hirohito himself no less was desirous of peace, but they were really just attempting to negotiate their way out of the position they were in and looking for some kind of settlement, "peace with honour" as it was put at the time, a rather naive belief frankly given the very bald statements previously put about by the Allies that nothing but unconditional surrender would do. The Soviets were characteristically unimpressed and rightly interpreted this as a sign of weakness on Japan's part, and it was this that in part triggered the Soviet invasion of Manchuria.

    So apologies, Dan, if I came over as dismissive, I didn't intend to be, mate. There's a bit of truth in what you said, it's just not "suing for peace" as the term is normally understood.

  13. Yes, right, blame is pointless. Quite right Montana and quite right everyone else. I withdraw my comment about Americans hanging their heads in shame.

    One another topic, does anyone share my complete admiration for TED?
    If you don't know about TED, you're in for a mind blowing experience.
    You should start with a talk by this woman: Jill Bolte Taylor.
    Just google TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) and look her up.
    I cannot believe you won't be amazed and delighted by her talk.
    And then see and hear Phillipe Starck talk about design...

  14. Swifty: I’ll happily bow to your superior knowledge of both military history and the Japanese language.

    But not yours, Frank:

    *at the time they had one bomb*

    So what happened three days later was just a mass hallucination, was it?

    The argument about less Japanese civilians being killed in the long run can be made now. It may even be true. But you can bet it wasn’t a factor in the actual decision.

    The bombs were dropped to save American military lives, to bring the conflict to a speedy end and to send out a warning to Stalin’s Soviet Union.

    All of those are perfectly understandable motives from the American point of view. Just don’t insult our intelligence by suggesting that Truman et al were concerned about saving Japanese civilians.

    Anyway, I’m not going to discuss the details of Hiroshima any further; the temptation to “go nuclear on your ass” is too strong...

  15. So what happened three days later was just a mass hallucination, was it?

    Bomb 2 wasn't built when bomb 1 left the US - it was still awaiting various bits, some of which were still on drawing boards. So *at the time they had one bomb* is accurate I'm afraid.

  16. Andy

    I think you mean "noocular".

  17. @thauma:

    I used to love it when Dubya said that.

  18. Swifty - you are a glutton for punishment.

  19. The Japanese government were after peace. The emperor wasn't and the military most certainly weren't. Anyone who knows anything about pre-war Japanese society will tell just whose opinion counted in that particular discussion.

    Dropping the bombs was a fucking dreadful thing, but it was necessary at the time, and had two not been used in anger in 1945 and the true awfulness of them been clear for everyone to see then many more most certainly would have been in in the 1960s when the USA and Russia were itching to get into each other. The bombs were bigger then too.

    Enough of that. I'm off to the Great British Beer Festival. Have a nice day. I certainly will!

  20. Hats off to you Montana for reminding us of this day.

    churchill said at the time

    "We must indeed pray that these awful agencies will be made to conduce peace among the nations and that instead of wreaking measureless havoc upon the entire globe they become a perenial fountain of world prosperity"

    hmm - what happened to the non proliferation treaty?

  21. @Sheffpixie:

    See "Die Physiker" by D├╝rrenmatt. You can't put the genie back in the bottle - that's what happened to nuclear non-proliferation...

  22. Quite. The non-proliferation treaty could only work in the short term. The number of countries with the resources and technology to build a bomb from scratch was always going to increase with time.

  23. Having been ardent CNDer more years ago than I care to remember, I think personally the subject has been well and truly exhausted. I think my original kneejerk reaction stems from earlier passionate and ultimately fruitless arguments.
    I'm with Andy on this one.

    PLEASE look at Jill Bolte Taylor on TED...

  24. Given our propensity for choosing war at the drop of an economic/political inconvenience,and given the way the possession and/or desire to possess nukes appears to be spreading we're pretty much doomed I'd say.

  25. @Sheffpixie:

    Well, things like CTR and GTRI are attempting in some ways to at least keep the genie close to the bottle, to stretch the metaphor. They do need more funding though, and the constant fear in the US particularly is that these programmes won't prevent fissionable material falling into the wrong hands.

    But making an atomic bomb is truly not something a lone fanatic in the wilds of Tora Bora could cobble together out of bits of decommissioned Soviet hardware, frankly. For the most part, you really need to have the resources of a nation state at your disposal. So there may well be more than a whiff of paranoia in these programmes.

  26. But making an atomic bomb is truly not something a lone fanatic in the wilds of Tora Bora could cobble together out of bits of decommissioned Soviet hardware, frankly.

    Actually it's pretty simple to build a hiroshima style bomb. If you have the enriched U235, a good engineering shop would be all you'd need. Enrichment is the bit needing specialised gera - gas centrifuges etc. But a Little Boy bomb is no prob to build. I'd modify this design - you can eliminate the explosives used in the gun by working with a rail gun, or even using car airbags. Without the need to contain the initial conventional explosion, you could then make the bomb lighter and smaller. Doddle. Enriched material is the key - once you have that you could build a bomb in a month at any half decent engineering department. Then the issue becomes delivery...

  27. thauma: LOL

    Sheff: I guess it depends what you mean by “our” - I’d prefer to say “given our leaders’ propensity...”

    But I still hope we’re not doomed (insert your own link to Private Fraser off Dad’s Army here; I can’t be arsed to look right now).

    Dan: Various British governments share some responsibility for the current nuclear (noocular if you like, thauma) situation. Even that hero of the left, Nye Bevan, argued that Britain should keep its “independent” deterrent when he was Shadow Foreign Secretary.

    On the subject of Phillipe Starck, my brother has worked as a TEFL teacher for many years. When he was working in Paris, one of his jobs involved going to the headquarters of one of the massive private water utility companies to do one-to-ones with some of their top people.

    Apparently, this headquarters building was amazing. The Hausmann era facade had been retained, but the rest of the building had been rebuilt in the most modern and hi-tech way then possible. Among the innovative designs were the water-coolers, designed by the aforementioned Monsieur Starck.

    According to my brother, they looked great, but in all the time he was there, he was unable to get a drink of water because they were functionally useless. And this was a company whose business was to supply water to the nation.

    Gotta larf...

  28. Fuck me, Pikey’s building a bomb in his garden shed.

    Now I’m scared, seriously scared...

  29. Uh oh. MrPikeBishop has the bomb.

    I take it back, Sheffpixie - we are doomed.

    Frank, agreed, but enrichment was what I was really thinking about - you can't enrich uranium in a cave.

    Where would you get your enriched material from? (Don't say Niger or I'll have to shoot you).

    PS Blimey, if that little lot of keywords hasn't got GCHQ/Vauxhall's wires tingling, I don't know what will...

  30. You lot are scaring the crap out of me....Think I'll avoid the UT today and concenrate on building myself a shelter and stocking up on tinned food.....

  31. Thauma
    guess I meant homo sapiens when I said 'our'. I do hope you're right Swifty, rather than Frank, although if he reckons he can do it in his shed then who knows what's possible.

    I remember the Cuba crisis when for a few days we all thought our time was coming. I was at college and refused to go home where my father had made 'preparations'. Preferred the idea of dying with my mates.

  32. Incidentally, and to lighten the mood...

    Did you know: Figures released last week show the Government is now by far the largest advertiser in the UK?

    "It spent £211m of its £540m marketing communications budget on advertising in 2008/09, a 35% increase on the previous year, and forged ahead of the other two biggest spenders - Proctor & Gamble and Unilever. Campaigns on obesity, road safety, smoking and climate change were just some of the areas driving this."

    HM Govt's keeping ad land afloat just at the minute, it seems.

  33. adland and the bankers....just everyone else in penury then....

  34. Yeah, I remember the Cuban missile crisis- I was thirteen at the time and what was important to me was to lose my virginity before I died.
    Now, can't we talk about something else than fucking nooclear weapons?
    Holidays in Marrakech, for example?
    I've got special offers in Riad Maizie- 55 euros per night per couple (September only) INCLUDING BREAKFAST...
    Beat that...

  35. @Vari:

    And, thanks to the law of unintended consequences which this fumbling government seems to enact at every opportunity, the UK's burgeoning cocaine trade as well.

    Way to go, HMG.

  36. Where would you get your enriched material from? (Don't say Niger or I'll have to shoot you).

    Hey, I have the invoices to prove it!

    You could buy gas centrifuges over the counter up until four or five years ago - that's the only really specialised bit you need. I'm sure there's plenty avaialable alothough they'r enow viewed as sensitive tech. From there's it's just yellowcake - relatively easy to get if you have deep pockets - nitric and hydrofluoric acid - ditto. And Bob's your uncle.

    You dont' need to worry - I'm more interested in cruise technology...

  37. God I have such contempt for advertising, matched only by my contempt for this government. What an utter waste of money and talent government advertising represents. (Apart from campaigns that inform citizens of their rights, of course)

  38. Frank, you're Abdul Qadeer Khan in disguise, aren't you?

    Come on MI5, get the boys from Thames House round here now. We've found someone we think you might like to talk to...

  39. Frank, you're Abdul Qadeer Khan in disguise, aren't you

    Swifty - I think you're on to something - Had a feeling there was something odd about Frank...

  40. "Pikey has the bomb"

    I can feel shudders running through every council estate in the country...

  41. Sheff - I think you've got me confused with Andy....

  42. Hey, who's this tart Jodie Mathews on CiF having a go at pikeys?

    Leave off! Just 'cus I can't go and defend myself..

    Seriously though, and again, why don't this ThoughtPolice crowd fuck off? When are they going to realise they're the bad guys?

    Maybe I should nuke her a bit...

  43. @Sheffpixie:

    Had a feeling there was something odd about Frank...

    Like A Q Khan, he loves Hawkwind and motorbikes, believes in ESP, hates benefit spongers and socialists, and can build a nuclear bomb.

    I'd say we've got him bang to rights.

  44. PS That Jodie Matthews piece is a bit of a po-faced special, even for the Graun.

    Watching May, Clarkson and Hammond (definitely in that order) trying to do what the US Army never could and advance from Saigon to Ho Chi Minh City was one of the funniest bits of telly I've seen in a long time.

  45. Sheff: thauma’s right.

    But don’t worry, I confuse myself with her now and again...

    Frank: that's what I thought mate.

    But don't nuke her - I'm sure someone else will make the Pikey/MrPB joke if they haven't already.

    Although I'm hoping that you really have only got one, and don't have the ability to produce another within three days, so I suppose if you did use it on Matthews, the rest of us would be safe for a while ;-)

  46. SwiftyBoy:
    I do so agree. 'Pikey' is RACIST? Give me a fucking break...
    'Po faced' describes The Guardian perfectly.

  47. Maybe Jodie Mathews would like to explain how Top Gear is something my entire family watches, and enjoys? It is *funnny*. It is the only BBC programme, bar Dr Who and Attenborough, that we all watch, even the four year old, and all find something good in. What is *wrong* with three blokes acting like kids and arsing about? What is *wrong* with blowing shit up? Has Mathews ever seen Mythbusters I wonder? Might that be okay because it's a bit camper? Stupid woman.

  48. She's humourless and po faced admittedly, but to post that article bearing this in mind;

    Jodie Matthews is Research Fellow at the University of Huddersfield's Academy for the Study of Britishness...

    Shows that if nothing else she is brave.

    Or stupid.

  49. ♪♫♫♪ Anyway I've a song in my heart cos I'm going to Headingley tomorrow, so if you can lay off noocular armageddon till Saturday, Frank, when I'm nursing a crippling hangover and would probably welcome it, I'd be mighty grateful. ♪♫♫♪

  50. Hope you get better luck than we did with our tickets for Edgbaston last Sat....

  51. Jodie Matthews is Research Fellow at the University of Huddersfield's Academy for the Study of Britishness...


    Well she clearly needs to do a little more research if she can't quite grasp that the progamme she's demanding be banned is the single most popular programme on its channel. Oh, and a channel with "British" in its name...

    Arsing about and taking the piss is almost the sum total of Britishness you dolt!


    We pay her!

    Oh I need to get back to my centrifuges...

  52. @Vari:

    The tickets are currently very safe, thank you. And I'd completely forgotten you were going en famille to Edgers on Saturday... what a choker. Think the weather's OK for tomorrow - if not, it's all day in the Original Oak. I'll be plastered whether it suns or rains, frankly.

  53. These govt adds..has anyone noticed one? I mean we might all have *seen* one, but noticed? I was thinking the other day about the old Public Information ads: much derided, but quite effective I think. I don't drive but I do know "don't be a fool, obey the two second rule" for separation; I know that old Frank with the nasal hair might have trouble crossing the road, so watch for him; I know that cats think it inadvisable that I go with strangers; I know not to put mats on polished floors, and I know 'knees bent, arms stretched' for picking stuff up. Bring 'em back, I say.

    A selection:
    Prodigy fodder: don't go with strangers
    Crossply and radials don't mix!
    Dark and Lonely Water - scary shit & inspiration for Raven?
    Polished floors: like Terry and June but serious
    Electrical safety: looks vaguely like a Robin Nedwell Confessions movie
    Alvin Stardust, road safety guru

  54. Jodie Matthews is Research Fellow at the University of Huddersfield's Academy for the Sucking of Lemons.

  55. @Fencewalker:

    Public Information films were just that - public information.

    This new batch look a lot more like propaganda for HMG's continual quest to hector us all into behaving in the "approved" way.

    And don't get me started on these bloody government-funded "Smash Bang Wallop What A Great Job Our Border Agencies And Coppers Are Doing" progs, either.

  56. The TG thread is going gangbusters ... can't keep up ... *pant, pant*

  57. Great photograph Montana.

    I used to work for an American who always called Pearl Harbour "Japan's Day of Shame". He used to talk about it quite a lot, even though he was too young to have remembered the war. He was a Democrat too, so not a red-neck Bush supporter. Come to think of it he never mentioned Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

    It was Hitler who said something to the effect that when you start a war you open a door into a darkened room. The only comment he ever made that I'm forced to agree with.

    After the hammering they took, it's extraordinary that both Germany and Japan then went on to create super economies just behind the US. I expect losing on such a colossal scale concentrates the mind wonderfully.

    Well that's Thought for the Day over with. Stiflingly hot here - can't wait to hit the coast.

  58. The TG thread is going gangbusters

    People *like* Top Gear, they might even love it. A lot of people see Top Gear as the last bastion of British manhood on the BBC, an isolated redoubt circles by the fanatical hordes of dead-eyed priestesses of Political Correctness.

    And it's *funny*. It's good telly. Intelligent, knowing, heterosexual, small c conservative and quintessentially English telly. So it must be destroyed.

    Talking of destruction, have the Guardian announced the Observer closure yet? They going t sneak it out at 6pm Saturday?

  59. Well, I don't have a telly, but I have seen TG a few times and found it mildly amusing.

    I've also read Clarkson's pieces on the Times website and think they are sometimes quite brilliantly funny even when I completely disagreed with his pov - do I have to turn in my lefty badge now?

  60. TG is one of my secret pleasures - actually its the 'secret' pleasure of practically everyone I know, except my son who is quite brazen about it.

    I know clarkson can be an utter arsehole but it has to be said he's also one of the funniest blokes on tv when he's on form and (another confession) I rather like some of the cars too.

  61. Oh Lord, why did I bother

    Top Gear ?
    What these people don't get is that TG is *really well made* telly. It's sharply written and clearly put together by people who enjoy it.

    This is why people like myself, who generally think Clarkson is a cringeworthy numpty, can giggle like a peevish schoolboy, or laugh out loud at some of their antics.

    And we virtually all on the left / right / pluto agree that jeering at caravan owners is perfectly fine. Just not Romany ones. Because obviously that is beneath us.
    OK ?

  62. I'm going to france in my caravan tomorrow.

    So just watch it.

  63. Bloody pikeys

    Have a good one.

  64. @everyone:

    Bazookas at the ready - Frank's got a 'van.

    Actually I quite like the idea of having a caravan - must be getting middle-aged.

  65. Frank:

    *Then the issue becomes delivery...
    ...I’m going to France in my caravan tomorrow*

    Is that your idea of an efficient warhead delivery system?

    Seriously though, enjoy your holiday :-)

  66. Afternoon all

    Frank - you wanna watch for the 6.am bang at the door with what you have been posting on here today, mate.

    I mean...


    ...admitting to owning a caravan?!


    I would quite like a motor caravan, though, when I am older and don't have to work so bloody hard to make ends meet. Could zip off to all the places in the UK I have never been to. I like that idea.

    As for "is pikey a swear word". Hmm. Well I think it is if it is addressed at travellers/roma, but it seems to have more of a "chav" connotation these days and doesn't refer to roma at all generally.

  67. SwiftyBoy
    Oh come ON mate. Thought you were a banjo player. Gotta be a static trailer for you !

  68. btw, whereabouts in France do you go? I am off to the South Vendee - where I used to live - in a week.

  69. @BW:

    Hell yeah. With Darlene an' everthang. Guess I could take the pickup if I fancied a night away (along with 2,000 rounds of ammo and 12 crates of beer)...

  70. Sorry to put a downer back into the conversation, but viz Truman and the bomb:

    My grandfather grew up in a small town in Missouri, only a few miles south of Truman's hometown of Independence. He was an engineer on the railroad. Once, after Truman's presidency, my grandfather was 'deadheading' (riding back to one's home city after having been on a working run out) back to Kansas City from Chicago. HST was also on that train -- alone in a private car. Somehow Truman found out that there was a deadheading engineer from Cass County on board and he asked that my grandfather be invited into his carriage to pass the time together. Mostly they talked about baseball, farming (my great-grandfather was a sharecropper), etc., but Truman did talk a bit about his time in the White House.

    He told my grandfather that he wished he'd never been president. He said that the pictures (like the one above, I presume) of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would haunt him forever -- he felt like he had murdered them personally. But as Frank said, Truman truly believed that it was the best option for ending the war at the time. There's no doubt in my mind that Harry Truman went to his grave feeling the weight of every single Japanese life that was lost as a result of those two bombs.

  71. Toast and Marmite06 August, 2009 16:33

    Ah Montana, nice post, but it was like stamping on carbon fibre brakes attached to the shopping trolley of the TG discussion.

    Anyways, have dropped you an e-mail, (finally), ref jaffa cakes.

    Some of the coments from a supposedly liberal readership as regards TG were truly horrifying. Pleased to see that most on here are actually aware that it's a not - to - be - taken - seriously TV show, rather than a recruitment drive for baby-eating fascists prepared to drive on London in virgin blood fuelled tanks that only get 5 mpg!

  72. Hi Montana: when I said above that Truman hadn’t consulted your grandparents before dropping the bomb, I never dreamed he might have spoken to one of them about it afterwards.

    I can easily believe that he was genuine in his belief that it was the right thing to do at the time, for the various reasons mentioned above. He didn’t (and couldn’t) know the full horror of what was being unleashed.

    For any of us to blame him now, sixty years on, is pretty pointless really.

    I wonder if George Bush or Tony Blair will ever have a similar chat on a train and make a similar revelation about the deaths of all those poor Iraqis...

  73. andysays

    "I wonder if George Bush or Tony Blair will ever have a similar chat on a train and make a similar revelation about the deaths of all those poor Iraqis..."

    Maybe they will pour their hearts out to their prison guards in the Hague...

  74. BB: It’s a nice idea, but we both know it’ll never happen :-(

    Even an admission that they might have been wrong is too much to hope for.

  75. WTF?? Anyone listening to Radio 4 right now ? Comedy about a struggling broadsheet with a painfully hip yet utterly fatuous online arm...

    What COULD they be thinking ?


  76. Anyone seen the goddess Marina's LiS piece today.. check out the link to a S Times piece by one Jessica Brinton....

  77. OK Kiz - who is this jessica brinton of whom you speak?

  78. This comment has been removed by the author.

  79. Strangely enough...I have a few pikey relatives in Ireland. Last time I saw them they were all cracking nicked hubcap jokes because I'm scouse. Fucking pikeys...or pikies?

    JUst watched C4 news btw. Presented by Krishnan Guru Murthy with extended reports by Faisal Islam and Keme Nzeren. C4 news is clearly, like the BBC and Guardian, a committed equal opportunity employer. So far OK.

    So where are the Gypsy, Roma, Pikey, Diddicoy writers, presenters and reporters. Don't tell me even these liberal bastions have a line that they just won't cross? Or is the fact that they're generally white, working class and mouthy enough tom disbar them?

    Surely the Travelling community should have a right to at least 2% of the jobs in these institutions. I'm not gonna rest until I see Jeremy Paxman announce an in-depth investigation into quantitative easing only to cut to a tattooed, donkey-jacketed Irish fella with a broken nose announce (via subtitles)..."Sure who gives a fuck" then spends 5 minutes repeating his mobile number in case you want your drive doing (while he rolls a fag).

    Or does it have to be an Oxbridge pikey?

  80. Jodie Matthews is Research Fellow at the University of Huddersfield's Academy for the Study of Britishness...

    Just where the fuck do they get these people from? Do they have a machine that generates one every month? Or do they send out an alert to learning establishments that says "Studying bollocks? No chance of a job? Then come and write for The Guardian! No talent required, just the ability to squeeze up Matt Seaton's arse."

    I've been drinking.

    Could you tell?

  81. Terrific story there re: Truman and the bomb, Montana, thanks for sharing it with us.

    It's personal slants on history like that which get lost when people pass on. Perhaps the internet will allow them to survive longer than they might have done without it.

  82. Now I've never personally met a Traveller, Roma, Gypsy or Pikey (that I know). I do know that the general populace around here have a very negative opinion of one or some of these sub-groups (which aren't terribly clear to most, I would think) in re crime and litter. Lots of angry letters to the editor in the local rag.

    The TG thread suggests that the worst culprits are the ones that aren't actually genuine members of these groups. I'm quite willing to believe this, but I just don't know.

    However, I will recommend the film Into the West, about Irish travellers: it's sublime. It also has the advantage of starring the delicious Gabriel Byrne.

  83. There's a fucking horrible trailer to the film on YouTube - an American one, I think - that markets it as a children's film. But really, it isn't at all, although I expect children would enjoy it too.

    It's about Ireland, its legends, the travellers and the pressures of modern society. And its ending, as I recall, is much like an Irish folk tale. I'll say no more about that for fear of giving the plot away.

  84. monkeyfish
    What's your'e name... Mac FUCK ???

    I'll murder the pair of yers !!!