24 July 2010


Spiraea splendens - Wayne Weber

Recommend to your children virtue; that alone can make them happy, not gold.

-Ludwig von Beethoven


  1. Morning all!

    Some nice gentle beethoven for a sunny Saturday morning.


  2. BB good comments on the Monbiot thread!

    The usual crowd supporting the powers that be on yhat thread!! They don't seem to understand that millions have seen video ecidence for the assault, that there is conflicting evidence as to causal link and that justice is served for all concerned by a jury trial.

    These 'supporters of the police' do not seem to understand that their support of this decision simply grags the reputation of the whole police force in the gutter and threatens law and order instead of defending it.

  3. Doh! 'that' thread and 'drags the reputation.

    * goes to make some more coffee! *

  4. morning all!
    nice flowers.

  5. plus, in the film lists last night, thanks hank for reminding we to organise a cine-soir featuring Gregory's Girl. great film...

  6. Morning everyone.

    Lovely day. Sitting here contemplating housework... meh.

  7. Anne - yeah, the classic post of "if you don't like the police why don't you go and live in Somalia where there aren't any" or some such nonsense was utterly daft imo.

    Nobody is saying - well I am most certainly not - that there should be no police. But the police do have to be held to a high standard when it comes to their own unlawful behaviour.

    Kent Police are pretty good at prosecuting their own when they step out of line. It is a pity that the Met think they are above the law.

  8. Mornin all, Props to Hank 4 the P-Brax low down, but as a Blue C Proxy he probably won't appreciate my seconding Night of the Hunter. A fucking brilliant movie. We watche it in the house and as 'the End' came up my mate and I applauded, seemed the right thing to do..

  9. morning all

    well some great posts over the last few days have been looking but not joining in...classic hank..!


    indeed the police need to be accountable there have been hideous cases of coverups here in Italy of course what comes to mind is Genoa G8, anniversary this week and the death of Carlo Guiliano...no charges brought, there have been other cases such as Stefano Cucci effectively beaten to death in police custody and denied medical treatment in a roman prison hospital. The death of an 18 year old Federico Aldrovandi beaten by 4 police finally after years of cover ups brought to trial condemmed for manslaughter sentenced to 3 years 8 months and then never served their sentences and still are employed as police officers........I give up.....

  10. turminder, Night Of The Hunter is a great film and a long-time favourite. Apparently, Mitchum got the role as punishment for being an awkward bastard. A pity Laughton didn't do more directing.

    BTW, please accept my apologies for abandoning you guys to the spittle-flecked rage of Bracken. What an utterly bizarre man. He seems to regard any mockery or criticism as lèse majesté. Well, here goes my final word on the depressing phenomenon that is Bracken...

    The Three Stooges Of The Apocalypse

    My objection to Bracken and all his works isn't based on class or income or his smoothie-chops photo or his typically vapid New Labour trajectory of failed Parliamentary candidate to Boden-catalogue 'life-style' to the ladling-out of conversational gruel ("The Liberal West, heir to The Enlightenment, is being undermined by Sauron...erm, Muslims...well, dark people who don't have a big blue 'C' after their names, anyway").

    It's not even the entertaining, if boorish, regular appearances of Furiously Shouty Bracken, spluttering and popping and spitting like a cheap pork sausage in the fat of his self-approbation; so outraged by the very idea of being mocked that his head is on the verge of exploding. Bracken's infantile fury at being mocked speaks volumes.

    Bracken is the perfect embodiment of Yeats' line '...the worst/Are full of passionate intensity.'

    Does vulgar 'Man of The Left' Bracken imagine that shouting 'shits, cunts, fuckers, arseholes, I'll have you; I'm ace, me and you're shite..." and his petulant ranting in general is going to create the legend of a Cicero-like forensic debating style? Delusion seems to be a thematic marker with Bracken, as it's always been with the two other Stooges of The Apocalypse, Blair and Bush.

    As Hank says, it's what Bracken is symptomatic of that makes me want to puke up my ring. A talentless New Labour drone whose invective is as dull and unimaginative as his risible 'political thinking', Bracken writes in cliches because he thinks in cliches; he even shouts in cliches.

    Learning that Bracken was an 'advisor' to the Labour Party makes the death-throes of a once great political movement entirely explicable.

    I enjoy engaging people I disagree with when they make their case cogently, lucidly and coherently. If they make a persuasive case, I might modify or even reverse a previously held view. Sadly, Bracken, who makes Tory babbler Michael 'Glistening Lips' Gove look like Antonio Gramsci, is not one of those people.

    I laughed my head off when Bracken, in his 'deluded left' drivel-fest, cited Zizek to make a point. This is a man who thinks the neo-fascist tripe of 24 has something useful to tell us (beyond highlighting the depressing degradation of art and political discourse in the US); the notion that such a man actually understands what Zizek is saying is priceless; like having some PR flack assure you that George W. Bush's favourite writer is Adorno.

    His excruciating prose style--a sort of linguistic DNA-splicing experiment gone horrifically wrong and consisting of New Labour psycho-babble, marketing jargon, cringe-inducing euphemisms and Jeffrey Archer at his most leaden--is an object lesson in how not to write. Yet how many times have I seen some cluck say "I don't agree with you, Peter, but you write very well...".

    Jesus wept.

    Did Orwell live in vain, then? He might just as well have saved himself the bother of writing Politics and The English Language, an essay that Bracken has either: 1) not read or 2) read and not understood.

    Bracken most emphatically does not write well. He writes eye-wateringly badly. Reading his pompous, incoherent, inelegant prose is as painful for the sensitive reader as passing a kidney-stone, but mercifully, is over sooner . His verbiage is a tragic waste of pixels.

  11. Hank

    Re: Local Hero. You couldn’t be more wrong if you tried. BB and Habib retorted last night but please allow me mine.

    Firstly, as I know it’s important to you ;) Forsyth hails from Whiteinch in Glasgow, pretty much next door to where I’m from, a staunchly working class area in the shadows of the shipyards. Forsyth’s identity and message in his films strongly evoke this background, one he’s always identified closely with.

    Forsyth’s first three films- That sinking feeling, Gregory’s Girl and Local Hero gave a unique insight into late 70’s/early 80’s contemporary Scotland and he set out to challenge the traditional representations of the country.

    That sinking feeling dealt with impoverished Glaswegian youth on the margins of society as the heavy industry was disappearing. It’s bleakly funny, comic and tragic in turns but what was most important is that he gives a voice to the voiceless. Mention the word Glasgow to anyone in the 1970’s and they would reply “post industrial hellhole, knives, drunkenness and hopelessness”. Alisdair Gray’s Lanark deals with this representation of late 70’s Glasgow with the mythical city of Unthank representing the city.

    Forsyth gave a voice to those on the margins,he made them human. The film was made for virtually next to nothing, he couldn’t secure funding and never received a fee himself. He kept himself going in his day job as cameraman at the BBC. The actors he used were unknowns, from the Glasgow Youth Theatre.

    I won’t go into Gregory’s Girl as I know you love it. Suffice to say it was made as a counterpoint to That Sinking Feeling where the kids in Gregory’s Girl are mollycoddled and want for nothing compared to the kids in That Sinking Feeling.

    So ironically, the film you love (GG) is Forsyth having a pop at the comfortably off. Whereas the lads in That Sinking Feeling are fighting for survival, in Gregory’s Girl all John Gordon Sinclair has to worry about is choosing between Dorothy and Susan.

    Which brings me to Local Hero. Local Hero is a subversion of the Kailyard tradition of Scottish writing and film making. The kailyard values were twee, stereotypical representations of Scotland- Brigadoon, Whisky Galore, The People’s Friend magazine, The White Heather Club, Dr Finlay’s Casebook etc, etc.

    This (if I may be presumptious) is where your mistaken view of the film comes from. On the surface it looks like a ‘hoots mon, here’s the Big Yank come tae save us all Donald!’ but it’s not. Forsyth uses a lot of ‘kailyardic representations’ as humour whilst at the same time taking the piss out of American’s views of Scotland. Of course, the fact the film was made with Warner Brothers money makes the irony all the more delicious.

    All the traditions of the kailyard film are turned on its head. Mac fails to get the girl. He ends up back in Houston more depressed than he was at the start of the film. Far from the locals wishing to keep their beautiful village and bay, they cannot wait to sell up, Forsyth highlights this when Mac says to Victor the Russian “it’s a shame the village has to go”, to which Victor replies “Yes Mac, but you can’t eat scenery.” And of course, the ending of the film leaves a completely depressing open ending.

    The villagers aren’t Andy Stewart in kilts, they are hard working and poor (as evidenced by Gordon having 4 jobs) and are desperate to sell up. The beautifully elegiac open ending (the greatest end to a film in movie history in my humble..) leaves no easy answers.

  12. continues....

    Local Hero is a film about everything and nothing. Capitalism v tradition, the human condition, the environment (the two women are called Stella and Marina- the sea and the stars), the reality of rural life- the myth of the rural village is just that- a myth. The Hollywood representations are not attainable and all the while sending up both Scotland’s sense of itself as well as outsiders (predominantly American) views of Scotland.

    So in your words, if Local Hero is a film for diehard softhearted liberals, then this diehard working class hero ;) claims liberal guilt.

    You are so wrong about Local Hero, wrong, wrong, wrong, with a capital wrong.

  13. "The death of an 18 year old Federico Aldrovandi beaten by 4 police finally after years of cover ups brought to trial condemmed for manslaughter sentenced to 3 years 8 months and then never served their sentences and still are employed as police officers........I give up....."

    Why on earth was that gandolfo? Are Italian court sentences optional?

  14. Part 2

    But in the imaginary garden of CiF, where real toads like myself and Hank get banned early on, the shmoozers and brown-nosers and vacuous refugees from Hello! magazine, all do well.

    "Coo-ee, Jess...Mwah, mwah...can we have a piece on maxi-dresses, on mini-dresses, on Jaffa cakes, on marzipan, on belly buttons, on weetabix, on clitoral enhancements...and speaking of twats, a piece from Bracken on what he had for lunch would be fab! e-mail Jess a proposal!"

    But nobody presses, I mean really presses, Jessica Reed to give a straight-forward answer to a simple but importantly revealing question like: does the Guardian let workers go just before their six-months (and consequent increase in job security) comes up? And Lo! The voice of reliably noisy 'Man of The Left', P. Bracken did not lead the rest. If Bracken is of the Left, then the term has been leached of every scintilla of meaning.

    I detest posters like MoveAnyMountain but at least he's an enemy who's out in the open, where you can get at the fucker. I can manage a modicum of grudging respect for that. It's the parasitical, entryist likes of Bracken (and Rusbridger, Kettle, Purnell, the MilliVanilli Bands ad nauseum who are the more pernicious foe; the deadly symbiotes who've laid their eggs in the Party's body and whose off-spring have now burst out of the Party's chest, howling for expenses, for votes, for more laws, for approval, for more blood to spill, futile, into the ground of Helmand Province.

    Helmand, where, Ensign Bracken, Pride of the 7th Light Buffoons, confidently assures us, we are 'winning' a 'worthwhile' war.

  15. Part 3

    Meanwhile, as Bracken-like New Labour clones argue over how many pin-heads can dance on the head of an Anglo-Saxon, the weakest members of society are left at the mercy of parasites like ATOS and Capita and Bracken the Trader and Rusbridger The £600,000 p.a.+ Incompetent, who presides over an operation that loses more money in a day than most people earn in 10 years.

    And Rusbridger's creatures have the gall to rail against bankers being rewarded for failure. Bankers like Caroline McCall, formerly CEO of the, er...Guardian Media Group, whose salary went from £498,000 in 2009 to £658,000 in 2010, with a hefty £152,000 pension contribution. At the same time, The Grauniad is showing its support for British workers by sending its IT work off-shore. A heart-warming example of virtue rewarded in 'Bracken world'.

    Bracken: Man of The Left, is sanguine about all this. Why wouldn't he be? Anyone with a book of New Labour contacts (i.e.unprincipled chancers like Bracken) and a well-honed talent for sphincter-licking will do well in the fantasy world of CiF (and I'm sure the writing skills Bracken so signally lacks are more than compensated for by his arse-licking abilities); CiF, where ugly questions are deleted and awkward posters are banned.

    Meanwhile, as Bracken murders the English language during one of the ugliest and most protracted killings in the annals of crime, The Guardian, founded and maintained to be a bulwark against the likes of Bracken and Purnell and Hewitt and Hutton et al, slides ever faster down the chute into the moronic inferno, which is like the scene in Being John Malkovich where everyone's Malkovich; except in the Grauniad's moronic inferno, everyone's Bracken and they're all greasing the chute.

    That's why I'm contemptuous of the likes of Bracken and Jess and Bella and Kettle and the rest of neo-liberalism's useful idiots and supine handmaidens. Because they're just bright enough to see and understand what's happening but are too spineless, too amoral, too pliable or too comfortable to make enemies or waves or draw obvious conclusions and act on them.

    Instead, we get Bracken's witless Manichean posturing; his 'we must defend the Liberal West from Islam (i.e. the world's poor)' shtick, as glib and reactionary as it is fatuous and dishonest. That would be the impeccable Liberal West that rewards Caroline McCall's failure (the paper lost millions in every year that she was at the helm) with a £160,000 annual raise and tells the poor they must tighten their belts because, after all, 'we're all in this together'. Welcome to Bracken World, where Occident=Good and Orient=Bad and The Guardian=A Left-wing newspaper.

    I suppose it's not really Bracken's fault that he's the intellectual equivalent of Vaudeville: a moral simpleton and an ethical infant. But don't expect me to moderate my disdain for him and his ilk. They are the enemy.

    Oh, and Bracken: as for my having had countless user names on the Graun? That's what happens when you're in the habit of making the comfortable uncomfortable; not something a lap-dog like yourself, who mistakes irritable yapping for making a principled stand, would comprehend.

    Unlike you, some of us can't be bought off with a 'treat'. But Bracken's a good doggie: all the other good doggies say so.

  16. And kudos for 'Night of the Hunter' turminder.

    Mitchun is menacing as hell. Speaking of which, has anyone ever seen Shane Meadows 'Dead Man's Shoes'?

    Paddy Considine in that is the most terrifying character I have seen in years.

  17. The Guardian website front page has a piece on the middle class as an endangered species.

    I would advise any of the more class war orientated types not to read that piece ;0

    "The middle-class aptitudes for education and self-improvement and networking – the real constants, perhaps, of middle-class life over the centuries – seem ever more useful in the modern world."

    Bollocks, this. And teh working classes aren't big on education and self improvement?

  18. Thanks, Your Grace. That was absolutely brilliantly put, and I envy your ability to express so expertly what I could only splutter about incoherently.

    You see, that's the difference between a proper education in a sensible subject and a legal education.

    You - and many others who post on here - are far more eloquent than I could ever be about politics and the arts. My artistic brain has been cauterised.

  19. misharialadwani
    "Bracken most emphatically does not write well. He writes eye-wateringly badly. Reading his pompous, incoherent, inelegant prose is as painful for the sensitive reader as passing a kidney-stone, but mercifully, is over sooner . His verbiage is a tragic waste of pixels."


  20. Good stuff 13th! Love Local Hero too. Not a big Dire Straits fan, but the Knopfler Soundtrack does stand the test of time. At work tday so can't post links but see if you can find MK & Chet Atkins (secret policemans ball?) 'Tha's some fine pickin'!'

  21. Interesting piece misharia

  22. Bloody hell - people on fire this morning - positively bounced me out of bed!

    Thats Bracken well and truly nailed misharialadwani. A real pleasure to read on a dullish Saturday morning.

    And aye, I agree, Local Hero is a lovely film.

  23. Misharialadwani

    Now that is what I call a slap down.

    Read and learn Peter B.

  24. SK

    "Are Italian court sentences optional?"

    well they say the law is equal for all here but.....just look at berlusconi......

    they didn't serve their sentences because they got pardoned. A nationwide pardon meant that crimes, theirs being culpable excess in culpable homicide, were covered in this pardon..they didn't do one day in prison and why they are still working I don't know.....here's a link in english

  25. Great stuff, Misha.

    Duke - excellent analysis. That sinking Feeling is a great film, and you're right about the respective political subtexts (if in danger of draining all the joy out of watching filums!)but GG has Clare Grogan at her most impishly winning. No contest.

    I submit to the consensus. I'll give Local Hero another try (-;

    Looks like you're gonna have to run a Forsyth triple-bill Philippa...

  26. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1297219/Judge-faces-anti-semitism-probe-speech-attacking-Israel-helps-free-arms-factory-protesters.html

    Morning all

    This is a curious case - the protesters freed by judge for picketing and damaging manufacturer or aircraft parts.

    Judge apparently accepted evidence of damage and carnage caused by Cast Lead in Gaza to suggest the the damage was done in order to help prevent a further crime.

    Zionist Fed. is going after judge.

    Firstly the jury aquitted - albeit after Judges summing up - did he direct them or wrongly influence? Who made decision ?

    Secondly - can Judge cite Goldstone Report as reasons for direction of his umming up as well as pics and footage from media coverage ?

  27. Furthermore, in absolute numbers, unemployment has increased fastest in the poorest areas.”

    By the year 2007, for every 100 people under 65 dying in the best-off areas, there were 199 dying in the poorest.

    “This is the highest relative inequality recorded since at least 1921,” the experts said.


    This report highlights the shame of Britain.

  28. A very, very, fine piece Misha. Not a single wasted pixel.

    That's me away for a long walk.

  29. Hank,

    yeah, you're right GG will always have one major advantage over Local Hero- Claire Grogan.

    Criminally, That Sinking Feeling was released on DVD last year with the characters overdubbed. They now have Edinburgh Morningside (Malcolm Rifkind) accents as opposed to their real Glaswegian ones. Forsyth has urged no-one to buy it until it's back with the original accents. It means I only have my VHS copy .


    if you ever get the chance watch Housekeeping. Forsyth has been let down badly by the treatment of his back catalogue (see TSF above) and it's not even out on DVD but it's a truly beautiful film. The famous American movie critic Roger Ebert had it as one of his films of that year.

    Gus van Sant, Jim Jarmusch and Wes Anderon have all cited 'Housekeeping' as a key influence. Hollywood reassuringly 'didn't get' Forsyth and unsurprisingly the film bombed.

  30. BB - if you're around

    Meant to say re Lem Lem Hussein Abdu - got this message last night:

    An injunction was obtained late on Tuesday to halt the flight to Addis Ababa on Wednesday. She returned to Sheffield yesterday amid much rejoicing She is still not safe, not having been granted any leave to remain. However, her release signals that the UKBA are not, for the time being, pursuing her removal.

    Barrister and solicitor have done great work, but without all the campaigning and publicity, we would not have got this far. People now hopeful but a bit wary.

    Have to say there are some wonderful people in this city, there really are. They keep pulling rabbits out of the hat right at the last moment.

    Two more Iranians I know have got LTR too. If you're a legacy case your chances are better it seems.

  31. Your Grace

    Criminally, That Sinking Feeling was released on DVD last year with the characters overdubbed. They now have Edinburgh Morningside (Malcolm Rifkind) accents as opposed to their real Glaswegian ones.

    Thats barbaric, vandalism. Couldn't Forsyth have prevented it?

  32. They have started cutting the barley in my field/back garden as I write.

    I knew when I saw it planted last autumn that Miss Diesel dog would be fortunate if she made it to harvest time. She aLmost did.

    Still, lots of happy memories to take on the walk.

    laters all

    By the wayMisha you know that your old pre banning posts circa 2007/2008 (those not deleted by the mods) are still available in the archive?

    Misha at the Guard

    A fine collection by the (quick) look of it!

  33. @Leni

    You can read Bathurst-Norman's full summing up in the EDO vandalism case here.

    I have to say that there's some odd stuff in there if you were expecting an impartial survey of the law and the evidence in the case.

  34. Found a link here to the judge's summing up in that case, leni.

    Looks like the Daily Hate-Mail have taken bits out of context, as usual, as it seems that the Crown agreed that evidence in relation to Operation Cast Lead was admissible.

    Haven't disected the whole judgment yet, but on face of it I see no anti-semitism; only criticism (which was backed up by Goldstone's report) of Operation Cast Lead...

  35. Morning all

    Great piece Misharialadwani.Seems you and Hank have got our Mr Bracken well and truly 'owned'.

    @deano-hope all,s well with you.

    @Leni-i saw those stats.Very depressing.

  36. PeterJ

    Snap! Funny how we both read it yet came to a slightly different conclusion, though.

  37. Hank
    "Looks like you're gonna have to run a Forsyth triple-bill Philippa... "
    Genius idea, on fire today!

  38. Mish
    if boorish, regular appearances of Furiously Shouty Bracken, spluttering and popping and spitting like a cheap pork sausage in the fat of his self-approbation;


  39. Sheff

    That's great news! Fingers crossed that they manage to get through all the hoops.


    Depressing's the word...:(

  40. Philippa

    Don't forget Comfort and Joy aswell. Not the best, but still funny. :o)

  41. @BB

    I'll pick out some bits that I found problematic and post them here later on. But I was reminded at a few points of Peter Cook's summing up of the Jeremy Thorpe trial.

  42. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAQrsA3m8Bg

    Funny video. Particularly enjoyed the little "fake policeman" in Canary Wharf.

  43. Peter + BB

    Thanks will it later - off out for a while.

    BB you seem to suggest that the Goldstone Report has been accepted as evidence of war crimes - would this have implications for Palestinian support groups? Hamas were also cited by Goldstone.

    J Hoffman may well have opened up opportunities for a re-run of footage from Gaza and further support for Goldstone. What about arrest warrants for Israeli leaders / It is a minefield.

    I would be interested inyour observations.

    Anything which might help bring about end to this conflict and the occupation is more than welcome - battering Israel into a defensive corner may well backfire.

  44. Some fantastic posts on here this morning. Opinions expressed with real passion, excellently and entertainingly written.

    If the guardian employed you they would not have the problems they now have.

    Keep on writing!

  45. leni

    I explained that badly. From the transcript, it seems that Goldstone's report was accepted by both sides as evidence in that case only. I am not suggesting that this means the judiciary in general accept it as evidence of war crimes. He does say "if" Israel were guilty of war crimes.

  46. Misha - Class! Just spot on brilliance all round.

    And Night of the Hunter. Brilliant film. Just brilliant. Robert Mitchum was a great actor. I ashamed to say I did once start to watch Local Hero and I fell asleep. I will give it another go.

    Deano - big hugs xx

  47. Princess

    Are you going to anything in the Tramlines music fest all over the city this weekend? I'm off to have an explore via Leopold Square, The Peace Gardens and Devonshire Green.

  48. Hey Sheff - no I am stuck in bed at the mo. Been quite rough all week. Might try to have a look tomorrow but if I feel like this I doubt it. Looks good too!

  49. BB, Turm, Duke

    you can get "housekeeping" on VHS (sign of hope that it's not betamax i suppose...) on the amazon US site...

  50. Do yankee VHS work on UK player?(not that I have one any more ; ))

    Just had the secretary of state for scotland walk through the shop. Had to bite my tongue. Glad to see a little old lady collared him just outside. Dunno what she said, he fobbed her off with some waffle, then quickly slipped on a pair of sunglasses. Not keen to engage with the constituents then Mikey?

  51. @Turminder

    Modern VHS players (last 10 years?) tend to play both, apart from some real cheap ones. You need to look for NTSC as well as PAL in the spec. You might also need a modern TV (last 20 years) to cope with the refresh frequency difference.

    As it happens, I have a suitable VHS player for you under the table I'm typing on...

  52. Cheers Peter! Might take you up on that ; )

    My better half is coming over and we're off to the pub.

    afk pals

    All the best @Deanno :)

  53. Ah, as I read yesterday's thread, I was thinking about That Sinking Feeling, but everyone was gone by then so I didn't chime in with my "TSF is the funniest movie I have ever seen". But it is. I would love to be able to see it again.

    (But not dubbed -- that's just wrong.)

  54. I've been meaning to say how nice it is to hear from you Deano. Take care of yourself.

    Brain present;y addled by solicitor's forms

  55. For all William Boyd/Le Carre fans - Boyd has a lovely essay in the groan review section on The spy who came in from the cold -

    The spy who changed everything

    There also a beautiful poem on the same page - Curlew by the Humber, by David Wheatley - that might have been written just for you..

  56. Here it is Deano:

    Curlew by the Humber - David Wheatley

    Hooped over turned earth
    they stalk between tides,
    unlooked for but found,
    approaching, too close almost!

    The stubble of worms
    they take shaved clean
    at the root, loose grass
    on the breeze

    and shifting
    temporary islands somewhere
    behind the high ditch
    world enough for them -

    in a gaze
    they do not return
    tracking their looped cries

    upwards and peeling
    away as one at last
    that I might know what
    I have seen.

  57. sheff and peterj

    you may be interested in this report following your discussion about falluja yesterday...I haven't read it all but the results of the research seem to confirm that there has been an increase of birth defects, infant deaths and cancer in the population, however, they haven't conclusively identified the agents.....

  58. Hahahahahahah!

    Just got this link from a mate...

    "We made no attempt to check the accuracy of the story before publication and did not contact Rockstar Games prior to publishing the story. We also did not question why a best selling and critically acclaimed fictional games series would choose to base one of their most popular games on this horrifying real crime event.

    It is now accepted that there were never any plans by Rockstar Games to publish such a game and that the story was false. We apologise for publishing the story using a mock-up of the game cover, our own comments on the matter and soliciting critical comments from a grieving family member."

    God knows what Channel Five is going to be like now Dirty Desmond has got his paws on it. I guess their news will be made up of photoshopped youtube vids...

  59. @gandolfo

    Thanks for the link - that's actually the paper behind the report that Sheff was pointing out on Countercurrents, and which was on my list to look up. I'll check it out properly tonight.

  60. "We made no attempt to check the accuracy of the story before publication"

    This is news?

  61. chekov

    Just read last night's instalment..no problem lift wise as long as I've got the car..haven't actually raised that one with her yet...I'd say it's 50-50..would have mentioned it earlier but, at the time, I considered I was doing well enough having given the body swerve to "let me get this straight..you're goin to Sheffield to talk about shit on the internet with people you've never met".

    Let you know for definite by tomorrow or Monday.

  62. Monkeyfish

    I suppose it does sound a bit weird when you put it like that. ;)

  63. Fucking excellent post from WADDYA by 'SpeedyRaskolnikov' which i wanted to 'park' here before the MODS zap it.Will try and reply to it later if i,m sober enough!

    Diane Abbott

    She's a lightweight no-hoper who the BBC and of course CIF are honour bound to endorse due to the 'strong independent black woman clause' in their respective charters which forces them to back her, overlook her obvious inadequacies and condone her past ideologically suspect actions all in the name of trying desperately to maintain some last vestige of support for Identity and Community Cohesion.

    Sorry Diane..shoulda been...

    She's a lightweight no-hoper whom the BBC and of course CIF are honour bound to endorse due to the 'strong independent black woman clause' in their respective charters which forces them to back her, overlook her obvious inadequacies and condone her past ideologically suspect actions all in the name of trying desperately to maintain some last vestige of support for Identity and Community Cohesion.

    Unforgivable I know..but I understand that kinda thing matters to you...I bet they hammer that kind of faux pas right out their little systems at your own son's alma mater...it's the kinda basic error a schoolchild from Hackey would have made 10 years ago..no doubt they'd blush at such a howler these days...now your party's and your own personal ministrations have made our education system the envy of Burkina Faso. Seriously sweetheart, a socialist would've sorted that...nobody who gave a flying fuck about the working class would have settled for the crock of shit ladled out in schools these days..they'd have provided a real education and a real route over the border...not a collection of fuckin McCertificates (try sayin that fast) which wouldn't pass as toilet paper in a detention centre.

    ..just remember...all the dodgy 'grammar school by the back-door' bollocks the Tories are gonna pull is just the natural continuation..the logical conclusion...apparently, you'd send your kid down the local comp if you had to make the decision these days...and my dick's made outta fairtrade chocolate.

    Whoever s/he is has got it 100% spot on .


  64. @ "Monkeyfish": check out your e-mail. Thanks for your offer and I didn't want to put out my e-mail address for obvious reasons on here but you have it now, so if we can contrive between us to get to the "Bunfight" in Sheffield, I would welcome that outcome. There are a few tricky obstacles for me but it's still "do able"!

  65. I'm there for the Sheffield bunfight.

    I owe bracken a pint of Boddington's.

  66. Just heard that Alex Higgins has died. Yet another example of a genious of his craft and not able to make the trade off for his talent.

    I'll admit that's a bit glib and if I get some time to elaborate tomorrow I will do so

    Maybe I won't....who gives a stuff what I think any way?

  67. Hank, that's a debt I could never pay.

    chekhov, Higgins lived his life the way he had to. He was much loved and will be much missed. Not much more you can ask of anyone.

  68. This is just a placeholder - I've been studying the report on cancer rates in Fallujah, and if the figures are correct then there is certainly something that needs to be investigated.

    On the other hand, there must be doubts about the correctness of the figures. The lead researcher, Dr Chris Busby, has a very chequered background in scientific research on radiation risks, and has been characterised as a political campaigner against nuclear power who is not too scrupulous about the evidence he presents to support his theories (in particular, a theory about secondary emission of beta radiation through interaction of environmental gamma rays with ingested uranium particles).

    I'll pull together a piece laying this out more thoroughly, probably tomorrow. But I don't think that this research paper (thanks, gandolfo!) should be taken as fully reliable evidence at this stage.

  69. @Heyhabib: no doubt you are right. We expect too much of people in the public domain.
    Btw: I should have chosen "I" rather than "we"...I don't expect to speak for anyone else!

  70. Alex Higgins has died?

    a href=http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1i30b_bob-dylan-hurricane_music/A>

  71. "Higgins lived his life the way he had to. He was much loved and will be much missed."


    He was a rebel without a tie. A petulant self-pitying brat who tossed his family aside until he had the photo-op with estranged wife and estranged kids when he won at the Crucible in 1983(?).

    Higgins once told Dennis Taylor that the IRA would kneecap Taylor on his say-so.

    Higgins was a cunt.

    And now he's dead.


  72. Nothing to me, Hank, but I think he will be missed by many.

  73. I mean, I don't care about him much, but many more people care about him than they do for you or me.

  74. Don't sell yourself short, habib.

  75. I wish I could have a pint with you, being a fanboy and all...

  76. ''That's impossible''

    Yeah i,ll second that.


  77. And let's be honest, we'll never be mourned by as many as Raoul Moat. Or Pinochet.

    I'd rather have four people genuinely grieving at my funeral than two million idiots tossing flowers on Diana's cortege.

    And that's the difference between the Hank Scorpios of this world and the Hermione Gingolds.

  78. Hank

    I,ve got a lot of time for you Hank but i,m beginning to think that in a previous life you and Hermione were star struck lovers who married and then had a really messy divorce.

  79. Oh fuck using my own theory what does that say about me and habib!!!!!!

  80. Paul, I've got love you, big fella

    I have the feeling that those who turned up at my funeral would be tutting and saying "we knew he'd fuck it up!"

  81. @paul

    heh heh. Like I'd marry a queen.

  82. Morning All

    I/m not having a funeral - I shall die in a coracle and be carried off on a deep sea current. A few would grieve - most would just idly wonder where I had gone.

  83. Habib

    If you want to be cremated on a public pyre then i,ll be more than happy to strike the first match.

  84. While I'm still alive, no doubt, Paul, cheers!

    "idly wondering where I had gone" sounds much better.

  85. This comment has been removed by the author.

  86. Thanks for that Scorpio - funnily enough I'd miss you too. We'ld probably meet again at the furnace door.

  87. Habib

    FFS i don,t hate you.I don,t even know you !

  88. Paul

    you should send him home.

    Even bastards have some humanity in them - well most of them at least.

  89. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKqO0FeaCFQ

    This to remember me by while you wonder where I have gone

  90. This comment has been removed by the author.

  91. Habib

    So are you and me gonna let bygones be bygones then?

  92. Just read the news on the Guardian home page. Heartbreaking. As a veteran of Hillsborough, and the Love Parade in Berlin, just fucking tragic.

    How the fuck does this stupid fucking shit keep on happening?

  93. Habib

    They say there is no heartbreak in Heaven.

  94. Hank

    I turned the news off - they were positively salivating over the tragedy at the festival.

    Why does it happen ? The unanswerable question it seems. People in charge perhaps just don't care enough to organise things properly. Everyday brings its own sadness.

  95. Paul + Habib
    Kiss and make up and then let it be finished.

  96. Paul

    Where our empty shell finishes up matters more to surviving relatives than it does to us.

  97. Paul, it would be my honour.

  98. This comment has been removed by the author.

  99. @leni

    "Why does it happen?"

    It happens because it happens. Nobody cares that it happens, and nobody gets blamed when it happens.

    Ninety six people died at Hillsborough but nobody was to blame. Not a single person was even paraded in a criminal court. And not a single copper lost their job, other than those who chose early retirement on "medical grounds".

    Ninety six innocent people died, and the police got a net benefit on the deal!!

    Ian Tomlinson would still be alive if he hadn't had met Simon Harwood. Tomlinson is dead. Harwood killed him but won't face criminal charges.

    Other than being a suicide bomber or just fucking off out of this country, I don't think I have anything much of value to say anymore.

  100. Paul

    A guy once long ago badly mistreated me - I eventually wrote out my anger and hatred - thenburned it on a bonfire. For as long as I feared him he controlled me.

    There are differents kinds of funerals. Some set us free.


  101. Oi Scorpio

    None of that please.You have a lot of interesting things to say.And people genuinely have a lot of respect for your on-line personnae.And i genuinely hope that one day i,ll make it to Sheffield and meet you.You strike me as a decent bloke-always have done.

    @Habib-HONOURED? Are you taking the piss or being straight? Can,t tell with you.

  102. Leni

    Sometimes you have to break away from social convention to at least set you on the path of setting yourself free.And for me that was resisting all the voices telling me what i should do vis-a-vis my dad as opposed to what i wanted to do.

  103. Hank

    You are not alone in your anger. Why there is no prosecution in either of the cases you mention defies belief - cept we have a system which ensures that nobody in certain positions is acountable.

    There have been something like 1000 'deaths in police custody ' over the past 50 years and not one police officer has been prosecuted.

    The authorities seem to believe that this somehow preserves the 'integrity' of the police force.

    It does quite the reverse - they are so blinded by their own self righteousness - ..


    See above for figures from 1993 ->

  104. I gotta sign off now.Big hug and kiss for you Leni.You,re someone else i,d like to meet someday.Big manhug for you Hank and possibly one for you too Habib .


  105. "You are not alone in your anger."

    Time will tell, Leni.