26 January 2010


The Deccan Sultanates defeated the Vijayanagara Empire at the Battle of Talikota in 1565.  This marked the end of the last Hindu empire on the subcontinent.  The First Fleet arrived at Port Jackson in 1788 to establish the first permanent European colony in Australia.  The Cullinan Diamond was found at the Permier Mine near Pretoria, South Africa, in 1905 and an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Moment Scale hit Gujarat in 2001, leaving more than 19,000 dead and injuring 166,000.

Born today:  Stephane Grapelli (1908-1997), Michael Bentine (1922-1996), Paul Newman (1925-2008), Roger Vadim (1925-2008), Jules Feiffer (1929), Eddie Van Halen (1955), José Mourinho (1963) and Andrew Ridgeley (1963).

It is Australia Day in Australia (What?  You thought maybe Peru?), Republic Day in India and Liberation Day in Uganda.


  1. As it shows 'mountains of ignorance' and 'foothills of confusion', am presuming the map above is the new schematic for the CIF IT upgrade...

  2. Ha ha, Philippa!

    Montana, I see you've had a bit more weather....

  3. Monbiots article made me laugh quite a lot, and his Arrest Blair website.

    Read a very interesting piece by a Nancy Fraser last night for Uni, never heard of her before but very interesting piece on identity politics, redistribution, class, etc.

  4. I love the map - I take it we live in the suburbs of Digitopia!

    Where is it from?

  5. Jay,

    just out of interest, what are you doing your degree in?

  6. And Montana,

    here's America WorldMap for those of your fellow countrymen who have the propensity to say:


  7. Wybourne

    Thanks for that - hilarious!

    As Kurt Vonnegut said, most Americans could not even find their own country on a globe and most Americans cannot screw the cap back on a bottle of whisky without crossing the thread.

    Britain, of course, has raced so hard to catch up with America that the same can now also be said of us.

  8. Love the map your Grace, can anyone explain "mouse heads" to me? Surely that's moose heads? (or is that the point?)

  9. Good map, your grace!

    "cocaine and coffee". heh heh

    many years ago, when blackmailed into expanding my CV for UCAS purposes and ending up at the 'model united nations' conference in the Hague, my school was representing Peru.

    Every 'country' got to give a short speech to introduce themselves to the 'general assembly'. Our speaker referred to Peru's agriculture and national resources, finishing with "and we produce two thirds of the world's cocaine - good, eh?"

    Cue collective intake of breath (and one walk-out) and stony silence from most of the audience (largely american), with scattered laughter and applause, including delighted guffaws from the gentleman with the scary minders sitting at the end of the row where our table was. Turns out the crown prince of Holland has a sense of humour.

    (postscript - when actually being interviewed on the basis of my UCAS form / CV, the only reference to the MUN was "a week getting stoned in Holland, eh? nice")

  10. Flying visit, by the way.

    With the terror alert now standing at "Yellow Plasticine 3" level, I'm taking a packet of biscuits and a cup of coffee to the cupboard under the stairs.

  11. Atomboy,

    here's a fascinating early 20th Century allegorical map called The road to success

    Fascinating yet creepy, it has the cult of ''rugged individualism'' written all over it.

    I particularly love where the curse of 'Bohemianism' will leave you- at the very first stage of failure.

  12. Its PPE, Duke, with the OU. Finishing in October, taken just over 5 years but its been good.

  13. The map is a Jules Pfeiffer illustration for the children's book, 'The Phantom Tollbooth.'

  14. Philippa, LOL!

    My brother actually had "staring vacantly into the fridge because it annoys my father" listed as a hobby on his UCAS form!

  15. Jay,

    excuse my ignorance, what's PPE?


    In what context is the map used in 'The phantom tollbooth'?

  16. earlier, the news said "Britain is expected to emerge from recession, later today"

    anybody else have a mental picture of Britain peeking out from behind a doorway and then shuffling sheepishly through?

    i mean, what does that, er, mean?

  17. Jay - a fellow PPE-ist, very good. Cabinet job, here we come...

    Your grace - Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Although I was able to shift to the 'bipartite route' after a year, or, in the common parliance, I "dropped the E".

    I did so because I didn't understand a bloody word of the economics curriculum. Recently it has transpired that I am not alone in that...

  18. Philippa

    "anybody else have a mental picture of Britain peeking out from behind a doorway and then shuffling sheepishly through?

    i mean, what does that, er, mean?"

    That you dropped too many Es at uni? ;-)

  19. Aah, I see, thanks Philippa.

    I did joint History/Politics but did two years of philosphy. Everything was going fine until I hit logic.....

    Being bloody awful at Maths, I had no idea that I was going to be working out effing equations when I thought I'd be musing in Plato's Cave shaving with Occam's razor. I just did not get it.

    Managed to struggle through but have had recurring illogical nightmares about it since.

  20. your grace - ay, logic was a mandatory course in the first year, and all the little symbols do still swirl round in my head on occasion. although 'my cat is a dog' is an oft-used catchphrase for me now...

    another factor in dropping economics was the tutor's insistence on 'remedial maths classes' for us on Saturday mornings. I managed to come second in the class with a score of 16% in the exam he set us, so it just seemed safest for everyone's sanity to move swiftly away from the subject...

    Dot - some of my philosophy courses would actually have made more sense if I had partaken, but it's too late to do anything about that now, heh heh...

  21. Duke, it's a map of the land which a young boy visits by driving his toy car through a magic tollbooth. Excellent book for kids.

  22. I 'dropped' the E as far as i could, done the minimum necessary and concentrated on the Ps, so final year is all P and P. The E that i did do was a huge jump from A level, which i found largely very straightforward.

    One thing that really is striking about studying E though is just how divorced from reality it often is. The assumptions needed to justify much of our framework are just fantasy stuff that can never exist in the real world. And they seem to take no account of human existence at all.

    Resources can just be "redistributed" to other areas if an industry is priced out by foreign competition. This redistribution, while just a moved line on paper, is of course thousands unemployed, long term local decline in certain places, lost homes, broken families, etc.

    But its fine, we just "redistribute" our resources. All done. And by that logic we force open the markets of extremely poor farmers in the developing world. They will just have to "redistribute".

  23. Jay - indeed - have probably said this before, but the one thing that really stuck in my head from economics classes was being shown lots of lovely graphs of supply and demand intersecting, and explanations of how everything should work perfectly.

    In that case, asked a classmate, how did the recession happen?
    Oh, responded tutor breezily, that's easy - people spend the money

    Any system designed to be used by people that only functions properly when it isn't, is kind of pointless, to my mind. my econ tutor was (is) a genius - but I think he saw economics almost as 'pure maths', with actually very little connection to the real world.

    his demonstration (after a boozy lunch - he wasn't much of a drinker) how a particular set of financial results could be recast to 'prove' either huge profit, huge loss, or break even, was scary as well as funny...

  24. Philippa: Second place with 16%: That reminds me of something:

    I once took part in a nation-wide exam to find possible members of the national team for the International Olympics of Mathematics. I blew it, completely. For more than half of the problems we should solve, all I could write down was incoherent mathematical gibberish.

    I was among the 16 best ones from Germany. That worried me a lot.

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. By the way, as soon as I get away from work, I'll buy a skirt, make a picture and put it up here. Didn't see it yesterday, Sheff's challenge came after I logged out.

  27. Philippa,

    the whole abstract notion of economics I find fascinating if slightly nauseating in term of its dismissal of social effects.

    An interesting economist to look up although dated is Thorstein Veblen. In his writings, most notably The theory of the leisure class and The theory of Business Enterprise, he introduced notions of conspicuous consumption and the theory that a predatory class coerce and bully to ensure they gain the benefits of society whilst contributing nothing.

    Sound familiar?

    He also outlined that a modern businessman is no different from a stone age man in that he uses skills and prowess to make money from others whilst producing nothing. Bankers?

    Anyway, the context of his writings, the US boom years of the 1910's and 1920's is interesting, he was very much an outsider but did influence the likes of Glabraith.

  28. Philippa

    The market itself is treated like an actual thing, a wholly rational, knowledgable thing which if left alone will precisely distribute resources. It seems to have been forgotten that "the market" is actually an abstract aggregation of human interactions and, of course, human error.

    The current crash being a goood example - "the market" didnt price those securities correctly, it massively overvalued them.

  29. Jay - oh yes, and one does get the feeling that the human workers therein are somehow just unconscious slaves carrying out the will of 'the market', thus "it wasn't us that fucked up, it was the market".

    Like a credit default swap is standing over a trader with a cricket bat, going "invest you bastard! invest!"

  30. Morning / Noon all,

    FWIIW i did maths & phys with hist & phil of science graduating at a Yorkshire uni in the seventies of last century. Even though i'm not an economist of any kind i've ended up editing an obscure economics journal (because they think my English is good -- blind & one-eye and all that). The enormous amount of "virtual money" in the global economy is what really scares the willies off me.

    Jay: was that your remark about the care home with internet? Recommended it anyway.

  31. Duke - i was just saying if i reach 96 when the Kelly files are released and my care home has net access, i will be sure to post plenty of righteous fury on behalf of deceased Ciffers (assuming AllyF doesnt make it to 113).

    Philippa - it is very odd to listen to, wheeled out all the time. You get obscene pay - well, "the market" sets wages, so its right.

    You buggered the economy - Oh no, that was the market too.

    Seems to work really well for some people, this obscure "market" entity, justifies their greed and hides their incompetence.

  32. Jay: With a bit of luck you won't have to be in a care home. I have a friend in up-state New York aged 90 who lives by himself and still exercises and works everyday. Admittedly his class mate here in Budapest died last week.

  33. Fay Weldon on 'With Great Pleasure' is really rather marvellous. Don't agree with her on everything, but am greatly enjoying both agreeing and disagreeing with her!

  34. Jay,

    I saw that. I'm not quite a deceased ciffer yet. It's tortured analogy time!!

    See,I'm like Han Solo in 'The Empire Strikes Back'.

    I've been frozen in carbonite by the evil empire (the relentless bigots on CiF) but give it a couple of months and I'll be unfrozen by the general election (Boushh/Princess Leia) and back all lasers blasting.
    .Do I win the prize for worst analogy of the year despite it only being January?

  35. Duke - i would say yes, but then i remember how stupid the boards have become, you will be bested within days.

    In support, i offer the following comment from the abortion thread. Starts off sounding very normal, sane, and then it explodes with Palin'esque stupidity.

    "This sort of pointless article and the comments for both sides will inevitably follow have appeared time and time again. There is no chance of changing anybody's mind and we've heard it all before (wait for it)... There are those that want to kill babies and those that don't."

  36. Jay - saw that, made a strange growling noise, decided not to fucking bother.

    right - french lesson. or, as it has become, french bureaucracy and administration management session. wish me chance...

  37. Jay,

    there is NO arguing with logic like that. I almost admire it.


    rappelez-vous, sous le pavés, la plage...

  38. Here's a funny thing. Momentarily, earlier today I weakened, and decided to de-flounce to add support to George Monbiot's "Arrest Blair" thread. Dont' agree with Moonbat on anything else, but with regard to this he's quite right. And when i came to log in with that name of blessed memory... I was banned!

    It's rather like Schrodinger's Cat. In full flounce mode, I assumed I'd simply resigned. It wasn't until I deflounced that I found I had been banned all that time. But banned while flounced. So no one would know I was banned, not even I. If I hadn't tried to post this morning, I would never know. Yet the underlying reality was a ban. I hadn't been aware, as yet, that the uncertainty principle applied to Cif but now I think of it, of course it would...

    Ho hum.

  39. That success map is wonderful,Your Grace - here is Ronald Reagan's map -


  40. Frank, hadn't you asked them to delete your profile?

  41. Frank, hadn't you asked them to delete your profile?

    I had, but it isn't deleted, just banned from posting. Anyway, don't spoil a good whinge with facts please. I've had enough of bloody facts to last me a lifetime. Where do they get you? Eh?

  42. Frank,

    does that mean you'll be going back? I hope so. I assume you'll go back as Dutch Engstrom or Tector Gorch?

  43. "Frank, hadn't you asked them to delete your profile?"

    "I had, but it isn't deleted, just banned from posting. Anyway, don't spoil a good whinge with facts please. I've had enough of bloody facts to last me a lifetime. Where do they get you? Eh?"

    I miss Pikey...

  44. I assume you'll go back as Dutch Engstrom or Tector Gorch?

    I was DutchEngstrom for a year or two on GUT - he was great. Dutch got banned for "maliciously" quoting Guardian editorials out of context.

    I shall not be returning while a certain person is doing a certain job...

  45. After yesterday's Burns inspired diatribe, in the words of Liberace- Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd like to take you back to one of the classics.

    Sing along to the tune of ''Memories are made of this'' by Dean Martin:

    Trolling posts are made of this

    (hor-rid, the posts you are sending-Cif,
    hor-rid, the posts you are sending-Cif)

    Spout some fetid, rabid pish,
    Views as fresh as last week’s fish,
    Set out to annoy, plenty grief, no joy,
    Right wing posts are made of this.

    Don’t forget to vent your spleen,
    Post it harshly with a scream,
    Your lips, white flecked,
    Whilst brain is unchecked,
    CiF troll posts are made of this.

    Then add BOLD BLOCK CAPITAL!!!!
    In case we didn’t realise you’re men-tal,
    About immigration, you’re not in favour,
    Post hastily through the days,
    See how long your odour stays,
    These are the dreams you savour.

    With Ayn Rand’s blessing from above,
    Spout it generously with hate, not love,
    Ein reich, ein volk, no Blacks, no joke,
    Right wing posts are made of this,
    (hor-rid, the posts you are sending-Cif,
    hor-rid, the posts you are sending-Cif)

    Cif right wing posts are made of this....

  46. Edwin - love the Reagan map!

    "maliciously" quoting Guardian editorials out of context - hilarious.

  47. Also, who is MonsieurLeJongleur?

    Seems like another of these 'new' posters that just seems far too comfortable and familiar to be genuinely new. Good interesting posts, just trying to work out who it is...

  48. Afternoon Frank

    You don't mean Seaton, surely? The saviour of CiF like Thickie McLard-Moyles is the saviour of the wireless.


    I couldn't possibly say...

  49. Your grace, you are needed back on Cif - and I say again you have a very rare skill for invective in verse.

    Hi Frank - Dutch had too much of a 'thing' for Pike I thought, and I don't think you should come back as Tector Gorch - you are more of a Lyell than a Tector, a Warren Oates rather than a Ben Johnson.

    In one of Whedon's nice wee jokes, Buffy killed one of the Gorches, maybe both, but that's all right (Matt Seaton likely won't know you are undead). Anyway, you should be back. There's a cosiness about Cif these days.

  50. It's rather like Schrodinger's Cat. In full flounce mode, I assumed I'd simply resigned. It wasn't until I deflounced that I found I had been banned all that time. But banned while flounced. So no one would know I was banned, not even I. If I hadn't tried to post this morning, I would never know. Yet the underlying reality was a ban. I hadn't been aware, as yet, that the uncertainty principle applied to Cif but now I think of it, of course it would...

    And that sounds very much like the sort of quasi-quantum physics 'logic' component of the Philosophy stuff I was wittering on about earlier. Try annoying a butterfly, see if that makes any difference.

    Philippa 1 : French bureaucracy 1
    We are now playing temps aditionel
    I am considering bringing on a sub.

  51. Bloody hell, Philippa, you've scored against French Bureaucracy? Well done, lass!

  52. heh heh - slow start, but we're now playing Mornington Crescent on the 'Brangelina no more' thread. Now that's logic...

  53. thauma - to be fair, it was a bit of a scrappy effort to equalise, may in fact have come off one of their players, but it's the score that matter, eh?

    the fact that the demand for contributions for 2009 was twice what I actually made, and their 'provisional pre-payment demand' for 2010 was, erm, twenty times what I made last year, has finally been accepted by les autorites to be possibly not accurate, and they are looking into it...

  54. Jay and those interested,

    GIYUS is on the Dr Kelly case on WADDYA. Get it while it's there.

  55. Didn't know Monbiot tried to 'citizen's arrest' John Bolton. george has gone way up in my estimation there, Bolton's an arse...

  56. Your Grice: who is GIYUS? Need any help with the Dutch?

  57. Philippa: Monbiot is OK i think. 400 ppm CO2 which is where we're heading is almost one and half times the "historical" level. From the isotopes of Carbon it can be shown that the extra is definitely anthropogenic.

  58. medve,

    who is GIYUS? I trust this is a joke?!

    GIYUS is a CiF legend, who posts multiple posts at the same time in a unique style and with a conspiracy theory theme.

    His posts get vapourised as soon as a mod sees them. He's been ridiculed, slagged off, joked about (of which I am guilty) zapped etc, etc, but he keeps on coming back under new guises.

    Extremely annoying at first, he's since become a CiF cult hero and the stuff he posts does sometimes hit the spot. He'd been banging on about the swine flu swindle for months before the press picked up on it.

    Loads of posters keep requesting he goes ATL, though I doubt that would ever happen...

  59. What i meant is: is he Awards4NWOmasonry9 ?

  60. Medve - I actually 'surrendered' on the last climate change thread, because as a layperson it is almost impossible to get past the shouting and to the truth. Then someone suggested this collection of peer-reviewed articles on a variety of issues, so I'll be working my way gently through the exec summaries, at least. Although I still have no way of knowing whether or not either the site or the articles cited are kosher. Or what else is out there. Hence, white flag.

    Does it look OK?

    Whereas 'people being gigantic arses' is something I do understand - given the study of politics, particularly.

    So while I always quite liked George, I had no idea whether what he was saying had merit. He has now moved into an area that I understand, so I am happy to give him the PhilippaB seal of partial approval (Tatchell also has one - it's for where you disagree on many issues, but are still really glad they are around).

  61. To be honest i hadn't heard of Giyus until the episode with the Dutch a while back.

  62. Philippa: Off to check it out ..

  63. medve - yes - also any similar name, although I believe Tesco241deal was actually hermione taking the michael.

  64. Philippa: pretty good in my opinion after a quick look at a few of the articles.

  65. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  66. medve,

    Awards4NWOmasonry9 is GIYUS. Because he gets instantly banned, he always has to come up with new names. The names normally accuse the people of being unthinking whilst punning on Bilderberg, New World Order etc.

    My favourite was 'AnalRusebringer9' obviously a play on the Graun editors name...


    I've always though Monbiot to be on more solid ground when talking politics. His stuff on PFI, corruption, weapons trading etc on his own site was always worth reading.

    Since he moved wholeheartedly into green campaigning I switched off but I thoroughly enjoyed his Blair piece today.

  67. Philippa: it's for where you disagree on many issues, but are still really glad they are around).

    Where two people agree on everything at least one of them isn't thinking.

  68. Your Grice: thanks. He didn't get zapped yet. Should i post something in dutch?

  69. Afternoon everyone, Hope those indulging last night have recovered.


    How lovely to hear from you, where have you been? We miss you and all your totally terrible ideas. I concur with the others - you are sorely needed on cif, even though i barely agree with a word you say...I really hope you'll reconsider and join the fray again. and visit us here more often too.

    Am currently on my work travels, (browbeating recruiters of migrant agricultural labour) and holed up in a little hotel in deepest Herefordshire. Wonderful bucolic views all round and a well stocked bar, (at least 12 varieties of good single malts, which isn't bad for this part of England), so different from the mean streets I live on - seems like another planet.

    Suppose I'd better go and sniff round cif and see what's going on.

  70. medve - thank you for that, will soldier on!

  71. Philippa

    "Although I still have no way of knowing whether or not either the site or the articles cited are kosher."

    At least some of the articles appear to be kosher, one's in Science and one or two are in PNAS (very big, very well respected journals, Science, along with Nature, is the daddy of all science journals, scientists dream of getting published in them...sorry, and I'm back!)

  72. medve,

    oh yeah, of course I'd forgotten about that. He never did reply back so feel free to post to him. The added advantage being you can post in real Dutch, not my pidgin Dutch.

  73. And a second voice of approval from Dot - good, I was hoping that it would be OK.

    And don't worry about the daydream, Dot - it's 'Taxation' and 'Accountancy' for me, so we all have our guilty little desires...

  74. "Extremely annoying at first, he's since become a CiF cult hero and the stuff he posts does sometimes hit the spot. "
    Well, yeah, but since for him everything is party of a conspiracy, he's bound to vaguely resemble sense every now and again. Even a stopped clock etc.

  75. fence - couldn't believe he's moved on to Lawrence of Arabia, though - your response bang on the money!

  76. I'm waiting for Alexander III of Scotland next with his "horse accident".

  77. William Rufus - was hunting accident a cover for a gay love-triangle crime of passion?

  78. Fencewalker, that's nothing compared with Bela I of Hungary who died when the canopy of his throne collapsed in 1063. Contemporary sources say it may not have been an accident.

  79. Evening all

    Tesco241deal was me taking the piss out of GIYUS a while back but I got banned!! :o)

    Pikey! Can't you go back as Mr.PikeBishop for example? Would be good to have you back again.

    Bloody brass monkey's here.... dunno what the weather thinks it's doing atm. Brrrr....

  80. "Didn't know Monbiot tried to 'citizen's arrest' John Bolton. george has gone way up in my estimation there, Bolton's an arse..."

    Bolton is one of the most vile creatures on the planet, bar none. For anyone else with a visceral loathing of Bolton there is something really quite priceless on the extras of the Bruno DVD - Bruno making a homosexual advance on Bolton.

  81. Have just tried to read the conclusions of the French Parliamentary 'mission' on the niqab / burka - here
    The key section seems to be the 20 or so pages from p165 to the end of the recommendations.

    The Poirier thread on this is turning a bit nasty, and I'm not 100% sure of my translations, so here's my two cents-worth FWIW...

    The impression is that the mission would dearly have loved to put a ban in but:
    1) It would be unfair to devolve this to local mayors under 'reglements' (bye-laws, I think), so
    2) A national law would be the only way to implement a ban, but
    3) The Constitutional Council has refused to give a view on the matter (?) and we're worried they might rule against us, and
    4) The European Court of Human Rights "appears to have abandoned the principle of the dignity of the person" (and therefore can't be trusted not to rule against us), also
    5) If the only banned item of clothing was the full veil, this would look bad. And we wouldn't want to look bad, heavens no. Finally
    6) Public order could be a problem

    Despite all that havering, their conclusion is pretty clear, I think:
    "There is not - at least at the moment - unanimous support for the adoption of a law absolutely banning the full face-veil in public spaces. A large part of the mission is in favour of a law banning the full face-veil.
    The debate is however open. It is for each to seize to opportunity to find a way forward that permits the country to stand up to this challenge/act of defiance. If full consensus is too idealistic an idea, a large agreement is near at hand"

    What exactly all this means, I have no idea. They could be being very strong to try make up for not then doing anything, or laying the groundwork for doing something (and making sure it's Parliament, not just the mission, who get blamed for any ban / legal overturn).

    Having two (if not three) courts to get any ban passed must be giving them pause, however. My money's on no ban over and above what's already on the books.

    Anyway, I think that constitutes having done homework, so it's back to the Chilcott thread for some light relief...

  82. Jay - and now Sacha Baron-Cohen gets a 'well, he did one really cool thing' pin as well.

    am surprised he wasn't shot. JB had serious heavies with him when I saw him, and he hadn't even laid waste to the UN at that point.

  83. Chilcot's been interesting today. Its quite unusual for HO lawyers to be really definite about anything - they usually like to hedge their bets - but in this case two of them told Straw in no uncertain terms that the war was illegal - which could have given him a get out if he'd wanted one - which shows what a slimey, crawling piece of work he is and gives the total lie to what he said about how how he anguished over the decision.

    What an utter hypocritical little shit he is- top of the list for despatch (after Blair), come the revolution.

  84. Sheffpixie - and how much more disgusting is it now to remember his veto on the release of those cabinet minutes...

  85. Fencewalker,

    he was going on about Lawrence of Arabia? Cracker.

    It's obvious.

    - TE Lawrence was a champion of the Arabs and a critic of the burgeoning zionist movement.

    - he died on a Brough Superior 100 motorcycle.

    - Brough Scott is a presenter on Channel 4 racing.

    - Channel 4 racing is co produced by satellite racing station ''At the Races''.

    - ''At the Races'' was bought by Sky in 2002.

    - Sky is owned by arch-Israeli supporting squillionaire Rupert Murdoch.

    - After getting wind of TE Lawrence's anti-zionist activity a mere 95 years earlier, Murdoch builds a time machine and sends a motorcycle mechanic back.

    - Motorcycle mechanic tampers with the Brough Superior......goodbye Arab lover.....

    Does it always need to be so plainly spelt out?

    ps, enjoying your GIYUS diatribes on WADDYA.

  86. Coming from the Master, that's praise indeed.

  87. Jay

    To think years ago, when he was running the Students Union he was considered a radical! Mind you I didn't like him much then - he always had a slippery side - and now we can see him for what he truly is...an ambitious, dishonest, seller of souls to hell.

  88. your grace - bear in mind it was a Brough Superior, a clear reference to the chosen nature of the zionist movement.

    Sheff - am working through the blog and the ames thread - the clip playing several times on the radio was "well, he's not an international lawyer", which under the circs is pretty much civ serv speak for 'he's a cretin'.

  89. And, ahem, I think we're missing the obvious:


    It wuz a plant!

  90. Sheff,

    agree on Straw. From his earliest political days, he was renowned for machiavellian skullduggery as this article regarding his attempts to smear Jeremy Thorpe in the early 70s testifies. A vile little escapade this.

    An amoral power seeker to whom politics is thicker than blood (shopping his son for a minor drug offence), he makes my skin crawl.

  91. Bloody hell Fencewalker/Philippa.

    How did I miss those two obvious facts? I feel like Harry Pearce in Spooks. Jaded after years of counter-GIYUS operations.

    I need to take a break.

  92. Nice to see that the Kelly report papers will be released to the campaigning doctors, and that the 70-year ruling was apparently made to spare surviving relatives, as has been done in the past.

    GIYUS campaigns bear fruit fast these days!

  93. "I feel like Harry Pearce in Spooks"

    Ooh, do I get to be Ruth? I like Ruth...

    PeterJ - according to the review board of the 30-year rule, exceptions allowing longer rulings apply in cases of national security or 'murder cases' (where they are sealed until the victim's children are 100). Just thought that was interesting.

  94. Jay

    Bruno making a homosexual advance on Bolton

    Seriously? I might have to find a way to watch this!

    You are right, Bolton is up there in the evil stakes with Cheney and Rumsfeld.

  95. Three of the doctors (Burns-Cox, Halpin and Frost) who are questioning Kelly's suicide are contributors to Globalresearch.ca (GIYUS' posts are usually just cut'n'paste from this site.)

  96. @Philippa - yes, I saw that too when I looked up the criteria for the 30-, 70-, and 100-year rules that used to apply before FoI came in. I suspect that given the unusual circumstances of the Hutton inquiry, which had national security implications of a kind, the judge was playing it by ear and went for the safe option.

    I'm glad he came out with a statement so quickly, though. The conspiracy train was getting up steam.

  97. @Scherfig

    Yes, I saw that too. And Norman Baker's not averse to a bit of tinfoil from time to time either.

  98. Was just checking the timetable for Chilcott and there's such a large amount of tempting white space in the 'relevant role' box next to Blair's name...

    One of you IT chaps must be able to pursue a mild hack, surely?

  99. Well it will be interesting to see what, if anything, comes out of the Kelly autopsy report.

    I like Ruth on Spooks too - always my fave character. :o)

  100. PeterJ - Do we have a link to the statement? Can't find nuffin' on the G...
    Because I thought that there were specified legal exemptions in the FOI, the non 'state security' ones being limited to murder. I know that there were many elements there, but if someone's made a legal ruling per the FOI, it does have to be in line with the FOI - just interested to see what refs are in there.

    Eyes are going.

    Just read headline "Prince Charles attacks South Bank Show axe" as including an utterly unexpected 'with'. Thought that was a bit harsh until I read it again.

  101. @Philippa

    There's a BBC story here...

  102. So, Scherfig, are you saying that (forgive me, I was living in the news wasteland that is the US when all this was going on) the doctors are members of a weird global conspiracy site and not to be trusted?

    Hasn't it been established that there were no fingerprints on the knife, or does that come from the same source? And that the attending medical personnel thought there wasn't enough blood if an artery had indeed been cut?

    And if it's all kosher, why have the records been sent to the deep freeze?

    I'm asking out of genuine curiosity because, as I said, I was in a news wilderness and barely heard of it at all.

  103. thauma, there could well be something dodgy, but the people raising the questions don't exactly fill me with confidence. Anyway, if the investigation doesn't turn up anything suspicious then the cover-up itself will be 'proof' that there was a plot. That's how conspiracy theories work :0)

  104. Have just looked at PeterJ's link - Shaz has posted the same one on Waddya. Interesting. But it seems there still remain questions.

    I'll be looking forward to hearing the doctors' response to the autopsy report.

  105. Yeah but life would be really boring if there were no conspiracy theories to theorise about :o)

  106. On US campaign finance 'reform', try the third item here...
    Just wonderful

  107. Actually I'd like to see the autopsy report sent to Scarpetta - or rather, Patricia Cornwell. A mate of mine who is a SOCO told me that they use her books as textbooks in the training programme because they are so accurate.

    I'm only half joking.

  108. Philippa, this must be the Supreme Court ruling that corporations are people and therefore entitled to free speech? Off to have a look...

  109. Thanks for that link PeterJ

    thauma - "I'll be looking forward to hearing the doctors' response to the autopsy report"
    The restrictions placed on the use of the reports by could be a problem there:
    "the disclosure of the report to doctors and their legal advisers for the purposes of legal proceedings would not undermine the protection which I wished to give to Dr Kelly's family, provided that conditions were imposed restricting the use and publication of the report to such proceedings"
    Not sure we'll get much.

    Seems to me - BB? - that it would take a move from Dr Kelly's family rejecting 'protection' to move this on, and that just strikes me as deeply unfair...

  110. No, bugger, videos not available in my country.

  111. thauma - it's deeply depressing so the Daily Show thing does lighten the mood somewhat...

  112. Philippa

    The only way we'd get anything, to be sure, is if the doctors came back and said, "We're fully satisfied that all is well." Which seems unlikely.

  113. Must get off the niqab ban thread before I explode. God we have some morons around these days. I feel another large g 'n t coming on.

  114. And, is it me or is there nothing up on CIFAMerica about it? Have I just missed it? I've searched back a bit and there's, erm, nowt that I can see...

  115. thauma

    I'll be in Leamington tomorrow evening if you want to meet up for a drink. E me if you do.

  116. Sheff - I can't be doing with the likes of monnie on those threads. She once posted about how upsetting it was for her to go shopping in her nearest town and see so many "foreigners" in the streets.

    Every time I see her posting, I have this image in my head...


  117. If you trace this story back to 2004/2005, you'll find quite a few letters to eg. the Guardian and New Statesmen from some doctors expressing doubt that it was suicide. (guess who? Halpin, Frost, Burns-Cox et al). The family accepted the suicide verdict at the time and wanted the book closed on the whole issue.

    Hard to tell what's really going on here, but I feel sorry for the family that some individuals have agitated for years to re-open old wounds against the wishes of Dr Kelly's surviving relatives and friends.

  118. scherfig - oh well, that does lend credence to the decision.

    However, if there *is* anything fishy, then I think the public's right to know overrides the family's wishes, hard as it might be for them.

    The problem could be solved by sending it all to a neutral third party - preferably in a different country - who is an expert in the field and who could pronounce whether or not s/he finds it suspicious.

  119. You think that'd be enough for GIYUS?

  120. Sheff - ay, it's a nasty read, but I think part of that may be because I am deeply conflicted on the issue.

    It's a weird mix of:
    1) I fundamentally disagree with the imposition (whether external or internal) of clothing that seriously impacts on an individual's ability to interact with the world due to religious belief
    2) A woman's right to make her own choice as to her own appearnace is inviolable

    I mean - I know that there is a strong argument that no 'completely free' woman is going to wear a niqab/burqa. Whataver she may say about it being a free choice, I'm going to think otherwise, that there is a strong cultural / religious pressure on her to wear it, and she'd be better of without it.

    But, in a country where there is no question of a legal mandate for it, I think one has to bow to her choices relating to her own body.

    yes, one can aargue that the very existence of the niqab / burqa in France / UK / wherever is damaging in some way to other women, and other Muslim women in particular (by setting a higher standard of 'purity', what have you).

    But in a case such as this, strikes me you've got two sets of 'harms' conflicting:
    a) allow the wearing of the niqab / burqa - can be argued to inflict direct harm on the wearer - but this is against her stated opinion, so not necessarily a direct harm, also, one can argue an indirect harm against women more generally
    b) ban the wearing of the niqab / burqa - which constitutes a direct harm against the woman whose stated preference is to wear it, and with an indirect harm inferrable that 'the state' can control how a woman dresses

    A ban seems to me to cause more relevant and direct harm than the status quo.

    So however much I hate the things, and pity - yes, pity - any woman who wears one, I cannot support a ban.

    I am, as I say, conflicted about it, and do find myself goingg 'hell yes!' at a lot of the feminist arguments for the ban. But on balance, I have to pick the desires of the individual woman (however much I may think they are misguided) over more nebulous arguments about 'protecting society'.

    Society's big. It'll get over it....

  121. Philippa - by much the same reasoning as you, I wouldn't support an outright ban.

    However, a requirement to remove it under certain circumstances seem reasonable to me.

  122. Heh

    Only just spotted the "bollocks to nick griffin" thread of the day.

    Racist numpties might well get their knuckle-dragging friends in to recommend posts for them (after all, if they are used to writing in crayon, they probably have trouble signing up for a Graun account, much less crafting a semi-intelligent post) but when you see so many posters suffixing their posts on that thread with BTNG you know that there is hope after all.


  123. ay, thauma - but that already happens, if sensitively done (don't see the harm in that) - removal at airports etc...

    I do think that the french thing is largely due to polling - and misinterpreted polling at that. 'the veil is bad' came in as a winner, but the pols failed to realise that the populace are capable of seeing something as 'bad' and yet not necessarily worthy of a ban...

  124. BB - there's good stuff on there.

    Plus - check this out

    Fave so far:
    "Vote Conservative. Or I'll kill this kitten"

  125. Agree with both Pip and Thaum on that one. I cannot come to terms with how a free society imposes its freedom on others by banning what they can wear. If you get what I mean.

  126. BB - yes! However misguided the woman - by my particular standard, this is just a bunch of (largely) blokes saying, oi, don't wear that, as opposed to a bunch of blokes saying oi, wear this.

    Just pointless, really...

  127. Philippa - I think that wherever a balaclava is forbidden, a full-face veil should be forbidden, on the same principles, and with no discrimination between the two articles of clothing.

    I'm not too sure (because I'm in a fairly bad mood at the moment for no particular reason except that I have to work tomorrow, as usual) that any particular sensitivity needs to be exercised either. Walking up to a bank cashier wearing a balaclava is sinister. Doing the same thing in a burqa is, to me, equally sinister, for the same reasons: you can't see who's behind it. In fact, the voluminous garments that go with it make it even harder to identify anyone.

    If I were a bank robber, I know which one I'd go for....

    Anyway, off to bed! Will no doubt be in a better mood tomorrow as I've arranged to meet Sheff....

  128. Heheheh! Like the linky! :o)

    I like the Tim NiceButDim one :o)

  129. tbh - if i had to deal with the likes of patronising gittish know it alls like morsecode, that smarmy little cow monmie and all the rest who are so sure of their absolute 'rightness' about everything, on a regular basis - I'd want to veil myself from head to toe too!

  130. Blimey. Can't keep me minces open tonight.


    "Time for bed," said Zebedee

    Night all x

  131. LOL sheff! I do have a particular thing about monnie. She is just Mrs Daily Mail personified really.

    Nighty night x

  132. Evenin' all, hope everybody's well... song for Mrs Daily Mail.

  133. Early morning in Budapest. Have to take younger son to get his throat checked out. Today's UT isn't up yet, so ...

    Philippa: Great work on Chilcot. Got a sore finger recommending your posts.

  134. yay - and extra yay - because no one back-tracks to reads comments - Austraaaaaaaaya Day. Perfect - I love the silence after the the party.