24 April 2010


This is the date traditionally given for the Greeks' use of the Trojan Horse to defeat Troy in 1184 BC.  The United States Library of Congress was established in 1800.  In 1915, 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders were arrested in Turkey, an event seen as the beginning of the Armenian genocide.  The Easter Rising in Ireland began in 1916.  The 17th Century warship Vasa was salvaged from Stockholm harbour in 1961.  Alexander Komarov became the first man to die in space exploration in 1967, when the parachute on Soyuz 1 failed to deploy.

Born today:  Anthony Trollope (1815-1882), Willem de Kooning (1904-1997), Robert Penn Warren (1905-1989), Shirley MacLaine (1934), Jill Ireland (1936-1990), Barbra Streisand (1942), Captain Sensible (1954) and Paula Yates (1959-2000).

It is Republic Day in the Gambia.


  1. Start the day with a tune.

    For no other reason than I like it...


  2. I like this too..


    Shit. Made myself all sad now.

  3. Songs of hope, sadness, spirit and unity. Fuck do I hate the X Factor.

  4. Me an' all, BW.

    You seen the Marina Hyde piece?

  5. Will check if its in the hard copy MsChin, going out for a bit.

  6. Morning all,

    MsChin, I read Hyde's piece. Good article. Although her article yesterday on the Sky News leaders debate was even better.

    AlisdairCameron, if you're reading.

    I see Cameron's focusing his attention on the North East for penury.

    When will you Geordies and Mackems learn that it is simply not on NOT to have an obscene concentration of wealthy people for David to target with tax cuts?

    You all simply insist on living on state handouts. And despite everything the Tories have done for you- shutting down all the industries, subsequent failure to invest in the region, damping down life chances and expectations and channelling the money saved into rich southern pockets, you still absolutely refuse to be rich.

    It's time you were all taught a lesson. By starving the region of investment, damping consumption, raising unemployment and refusing to provide capital to start up businesses, The Tories will ensure that business and investment will flourish.

    And if you still refuse to be rich despite all this help, then it's your own fault for being poor.

  7. Duke

    Makes perfect sense, don't it. Heartless bastards.

    The lack of interest in the poorer among us by all 3 parties in this election campaign is finally getting a mention though - in the Graun's analysis of the 3 party's manifestos and the Letters page.

    Got to love the BNPs manifesto, though. Haven't laughed so much in ages, especially re: the penal colony with the penguins on Georgia. And the death penalty for drug dealers - you can just imagine some old granny pleading on her arthritic knees for clemency for getting a bit of grass to alleviate her beloved's suffering from MS.

  8. Read it MsChin, it's pretty good. He's one evil fucker, yet even educated mates of mine give it the "he's just a very good businessman" routine. Yeh - with his fist round Mandleson's balls.

    Meanwhile, Ben Goldacre has raised m,ys pirits significantly with his Bad Science article today.

    I don't know what the copyright issues are but here's the second half of his article here

    "Alongside the science of individual claims, it's also worth looking at what the parties say about science itself. Here, only the Liberal Democrats' manifesto stands out, promising funding like the others, but also making pledges on the use of independent scientific advice in policy (in contrast to the David Nutt affair), and even coming out in favour of open-access academic publication.

    "But more than anything, this election offers a new opportunity: beyond expecting our politicians to follow the evidence, we can be evidence-based ourselves, in our voting decisions, and hold ourselves to the same high standards. VoteMatch can match your views against the party manifestos. Skeptical Voter knows if your MP believes in the homeopaths' magic beans.

    "Using TheyWorkForYou I can see that my last MP (Andrew Smith, Labour, Oxford East) voted very strongly in favour of the Iraq war, very strongly against an inquiry into it, very strongly in favour of ID cards, and so on. It's grim reading. PoliticsPosters will print that on a poster, so you can make sure your neighbours know too.

    "Websites such as these recognise that disseminating data in a meaningful form is as important as gathering it in the first place. Your MP's voting record, and attendance in parliament, have always been publicly available, but until recently it was an effort to find, so only journalists and lobbyists knew the ugly details. That has changed. In the past we relied on hunches and reputation, but now – uniquely – we have the option to leave tribalism behind, and deploy our vote using data."

    Give him a raise.

  9. Here are those Goldacre links in full:





    Good stuff. Only knew about they work for you one.

  10. MsChin,

    on that topic, Geert Wilders launched his general election manifesto yesterday. He's entitled it (and get this):

    "Niet voor Ali en Fatima, wel voor Henk en Ingrid" (Not for Ali and Fatima but for Henk and Ingrid). Outstanding eh?

    This is a long standing mantra of Wilders that he's been using for years- Henk and Ingrid pay for Ali and Fatima.

    The rest of his manifesto is the usual- try to reduce involvement in Europe, stop all immigration from muslim countries, reduce welfare and benefits etc etc etc.

    He also called on the Dutch to "Make us great" which truly does have sinister undertones.

  11. I bow down before the wisdom of Tories. Instead of being ruled by moon-faced Etonians syphoning off resources to the South,and kicking us in the teeth should I go for by twats like Nick Brown who bullies and patronises, and fraternises (with suspicious-looking closness, and possible business tie-ins...) with such fine figures of the nth east community as Freddie Shepherd (aka FFFS= Fucking fat Freddie Shepherd) who views ordinary people with such respect and is so personally moral. A (very decent) (Old) lab local MP described FFSS as a "fucking crook" allegedly, but there's been funny business afoot, with labour closely involved, meaning that FFSS has recently 'acquired' (using Govt hand-outs, but it's in his form's name...) great swathes of riverside land along the Tyne, in theory for building windfarm turbines etc (but also to scoop Greenwash handouts).FFSS has also been very close to other Lab figures locally. It's all terribly above board I'm sure, just as Mr Purcell's actions in Glasgow have been utterly respectable.

  12. Vote match says I'm a marginal Green. Damn.

  13. Dave just gave a speech claiming in full seriousness that a hung parliament was what all the politicians wanted but it wouldnt be fair for the people. He spent about half his speech warning against hung parliaments. He's terrified.

    Apparently electoral reform wouldnt allow people to throw out governments properly, and "real change" would be to... keep the system that does allow them to do that, FPTP.

    The best "change" Dave is prepared to offer on constitutional reform is to make any non-elected PM hold an election within 6 months. Despite the fact that we never elect PMs anyway.

    I would dearly love a member of the audience to throw a shoe at his face, watching him recoil after the dull thud...

  14. Jay,

    Dave has launched the official Conservative Party 2010 election fragrance today- l'éau désespoir (desperation).

    It's a unique blend of musky hubris, fresh hints of Murdoch outrage, essential oil of Etonian angst underpinned by a woody floral bouquet of fucking failure giving way a top note of political oblivion.

    It's a sweet sweet smell.


    the people of the North East have been consistently let down by their political 'champions' the same way the people of the west of scotland have been let down by theirs.

    It's a particularly insidious form of nepotism, patronage and cronyism that has always infected the mainstream labour movement in these areas.

    "Our Friends in the North" brilliantly satirised T Dan Smith and his cronies in the North East.

  15. Its a sweet smell indeed, Duke, watching the little urchin staring down the barrel of failing to get a majority against the most appalling Labour regime, last year tories were on about 49% of the vote as i recall, labour as low as 24%, it was an absolute foregone conclusion. And Dave and George have completely fucked it. Makes me snigger every time i think about it...

    Also Duke, could you email Montana your email address and ask her to forward it to me, if thats ok, i'll hopefully have something to send over next week.

    Right, i'm off out into the sun, powered on by the smell of hung parliaments and weeping Etonians....

  16. @ the Duke. Aye, but T.Dan Smith, to his credit wasn't as plain venal as some current 'saviours'. The trouble with 2our friends" the TV version was that it ended semi-upbeat, with hope that New labour would save the day. When the (original) play was revived up here a couple of years ago, Peter Flannery included some tweaks to portray New lab as as bad if not worse, corporatising the cronyism,making it more embedded and systemic. Where T dan smith fell down was that he wasn't sufficiently of the establishment to escape the rap: New Lab made sure that they are the establishment, and so that the dice are loaded against ever being called to account or held culpable.

  17. Just popping in before heading off to watch the footy - can highly recommend the Robert Service article, and thread, if anyone fancies a laugh, and getting in on a contender for 'thread of the year'...

    Have fun, all

  18. Jay,

    I've just emailed Montana to forward you my email address. Looking forward to to it.

  19. Evenin’ all

    13D, AliC:

    “the people of the North East have been consistently let down by their political 'champions' the same way the people of the west of Scotland have been let down by theirs”

    Let’s not forget the people of London, or indeed the people of just about any predominantly working class area/region you care to name.

    If I had access to you-tube here, I’d post a link to The Who doing “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (especially as I recall Montana is rather fond of the singer), but unfortunately I suspect that we, or at least enough of us, probably will.

    Laters, maybe

  20. Andy -

    That link is

    Unfortunately I think we will be :(

  21. Have been talking ballocks on waddya and am
    questioning my sanity right now.Not working
    tonight but really do need to sleep.Feel like
    the walking dead.Saturday night,partner out with
    her family and yours truly is cat-sitting and
    talking BS on waddya.Think the word SAD springs
    to mind.And i,ve run out of wine and my local
    Threshers closed down recently-damn cheek!

    Anyway hope all,s good with the Untrusties!!

  22. Hello

    I/m so tired I could sleep on a bed of nails.

  23. Your Grace, nothing has made it to my inbox. Please try again at:


  24. Paul - just offered you a glass of red. You're sooo ungrateful. :o)

  25. Hello

    Anyone there?

    Elvis Costello with Allan Toussaint..



  26. Fuck it. You can have the same link as started the day.

    Abide with me.


  27. It really doesn't get any better.

  28. Morning all!

    Paul - your suggestion on Bidisha's thread about 'humps in Holland' just made me cough coffee. Genius choice of words...

  29. There's a piece up by Milliband Minor, if anyone fancies venting some spleen...

  30. Where is everyone?

    I've checked, and I'm not on the wrong thread again...


    [waves haplessly]

  31. @ PhilippaB. Tempted but life's too short. Yet more bullshit,ignoring the massive fucking errors and omissions of the last 13 years and saying, ooh, we will do it,honest,promise,this time round,just give us another chance or else me,my brother and our mates are going to be all sad in our 40s as the power we believed was ours as if by right looks like it might be taken away from us by plebs who just don't understand how brilliant we are (well, at least in our heads we are).
    His trouble is that the masses did,and do get the New lab message (control-freakery,wars,neo-liberalism,outt-sourcing,managerialism,surveillance), but a majority don't like it: he's like the stereotypical Brit abroad who thinks if the keep repeating something very loudly, they'll get what they want from the ignorant natives, when in truth the naatives understand only too well, but don't like him and so aren't playing ball.
    Oh, and the continued use of that weasel word "progressive". Progressing towards what?. A technocratic future,controlled by a cadre of self-declared,self-serving,out-of-touch (or never in touch, thanks to the student politics..policy wonk..safe seat pathway) shysters.

  32. Morning Philippa,Alisdair and anyone else who happens
    to be up at this ungodly time of the day.

  33. On the 'Miliband Minor' thing, this from crompton tickled me:
    (the Milibands are probably the only pair of brothers where both are minor)

    Alisdair - have you noticed the chap on the MH 1/4 thread saying that everyone commenting is a paid shill for the MH lobby? I'd say 'paranoid' but I'm not sure of the precise medical meaning and wouldn't want to piss off that woman who was so cross about the cartoon...

    morning Paul! I keep forgetting I'm an hour ahead of those of BST - am presuming everyone is sat watching the marathon with a cream-laced coffee and a doughnut (that's what I used to do...)

  34. Someone called Stankle said this on the Baggini thread at 1:22 pm

    Goodness. I can't call what I consider to be ignorance and/or trolling "bollocks" now ?

    How about if I said "nonsense" ? Would that be enough to avoid the delicate middle class sensibilities of CiF moderators ?

    It's all a bit fucking blue peter here isn't it ?

    Someone we know perhaps?

    Woever it is - couldn't have put it better myself!