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Britain

Idiot of the Day.

I present Maciej Maciejewski…

Not exactly a looker either...

Well, what did this intellectual giant do? In a desperate bid to be deported to his native Poland he chucked a petrol bomb into Manchester Town Hall. But wait! It gets better… He’d been living in London and travelled to Manchester to do this because “He liked London too much”. He then obtained petrol, a Budweiser bottle from a bin, tore a strip from his T-shirt for a fuse and caused GBP 250 damage to the mighty Victorian edifice. Well, it survived the Luftwaffe so a single deranged Pole*…

Anyway, he ain’t getting deported. He’s doing two years chokey. He could have killed someone. What puzzles me is how he got to Manchester. If we assume it was train or the National Distress bus that is a sum of monies roughly in the ball-park of the cost of getting Ryanair or whatever to Poland. Yes, even from Manchester. I know having done it.

I feel very sorry for this numpty. He is clearly not playing with a full-deck.

I mean there are ups, downs and creamy middles to being in the EU (which both Britain and Poland are) but the free movement of people is an unalloyed good. Oh, I know it doesn’t need the full kit and caboodle and it certainly doesn’t need my last experience at Manchester Airport where I had to have my chipped passport scanned and then stand on two footprint marks whilst my face was scanned before I was allowed through the gate. I’d only been to Holland.

*There has got to be a complex analysis joke there…

Diplomacy amidst the wreckage and the rhetoric

Malaysian PM Najib on MH17

Although not a fan of Malaysian PM Najib Razak, his approach to the MH17 disaster has been more diplomatic than the angry rhetoric of both the US and the UK. Indeed I would go further and say that it demonstrates the difference between Cameron and Obama, who are simply politicking and the governments of Malaysia and the Netherlands who are attempting to recover the bodies of their citizens and understand why MH17 is spread across 8-miles of a Ukrainian war-zone.

(more…)

Seeing as it is the weekend – almost.

This is Minnie Snodgrass trapped in a bucket. This happened in Yorkshire – this could only happen in Yorkshire. It is like Compo going down a hill in a bath. More generally it is just so Carry On. You can imagine the scene with Babs Windsor having a “bra malfunction”, Hattie Jacques like a galleon in full sail forcing Kenneth Williams into a corner and Jim Dale doing 80mph on a motorised floor cleaner through an exit into a laundry van – you know the drill. I can hear the ghostly laughter of dear old Sid James*.

The kid was rescued totally OK after A&E called in the firemen with their cutting gear. But that bucket! It is enough to wrinkle Norah Batty’s stockings.

*Rather a good straight actor in his day.

Quote of the Day.

We are always happy to help the increasing numbers who want to disentangle themselves from the increasingly fruitless practice of tax avoidance.’

An HMRC spokesman.

Per Ex-KGB Agent: Snowden was in Moscow’s sights six years before leaking U.S. secrets

Yes, I know it’s the Daily Mail. But in the U.S., the National Enquirer has developed something of a rep as a source actually more reliable than the MSM papers, so maybe it’s the same with the Daily Mail. (Note, however, that Robert Baer did not — to the best of my knowledge — change his name to Jack Bauer halfway through his remarks.)

So maybe it’s only the God’s truth, or half-truth, which would not surprise me. Of course, it says more about the Bear in its Den than about the Snow.

Or maybe it’s a KGB plant. Or a KGB attention-seeker seeking attention.*

And/or a pack of lies. Should we set up a pool? Our great-great grandchildren might be the lucky winners….

Edward Snowden was in Moscow’s sights six years before leaking U.S. secrets claims former KGB agent

Moscow identified Edward Snowden as a possible defector in 2007
Former KGB chief Boris Karpichkov said Moscow ‘tricked’ Snowden
Russians began monitoring Snowden, 30, in Geneva while at the CIA
US officials trying to establish whether Snowden as a double agent

By Darren Boyle

Published: 06:05 EST, 8 June 2014 | Updated: 14:34 EST, 8 June 2014

Russian spies ‘tricked’ US whistleblower Edward Snowden into asking Moscow for asylum by posing as diplomats after spending six years targeting him, a former major in the KGB has claimed.

Boris Karpichkov, who fled Russia after 15 years serving with the KGB said Snowden had been identified as a potential defector as far back as 2007.

. . .

Karpichkov told the Sunday People that Russian security agents leaked information concerning Snowden’s arrival in Moscow to provoke the US into action.

. . .

The US cancelled Snowden’s passport before he could get a connecting flight out of Moscow, forcing him to seek asylum.

According to Karpichkov: ‘It was a trick and he fell for it. Now the Russians are extracting all the intelligence he possesses.’

. . .

Former CIA official Robert Baer has said the US has began investigating whether Snowden had been turned by the Russians in 2007.

[Snip]

See the rest, including the photos of our very own Bond wannabe (or whatever he is), with and without Brian Williams, and of Karpichkov, at the source. And the 162 comments of course.

The Sunday People story is much the same, but with a shot of Karpichkov in an alley, and of the Head Bear imitating an Executive, in a blue suit and dark-red Power Tie.

*Speaking of which paper, its story also says this about Karpichkov:

Karpichkov, 55, fled Moscow on a false passport in 1998 after spying on his native Latvia for the KGB and its successor, the FSB.

He fell out with FSB bosses when he wanted to retire.

Crassology – Dixon style.

Last night I watched the final of “Britain’s got Talent” on ITV. It was primarily a collection of profound tosspottery. But this act stood out (even above the pro-mawk that was teenage rappers “Bars and Melody”. It was “Paddy and Nico”. An elderly British woman being chucked around the stage by her much younger Spanish dancing instructor – “Oh, young man!”. The act itself reminded of a Quote by TS Eliot along the lines of it being fascinating “If you concentrate on the essential horror”.

But that was not the point. Paddy, the geriatric hoofer, had almost missed the final due to some (clearly) minor injury and Alesha Dixon (one of the judges) praised her “courage” and explicitly compared it to the courage of the troops on D-Day. Epic fail.

So, doing a three minute dance routine is equivalent to charging Sword beach with a rifle at a German machine-gun nest? Alesha, get your dictionary out.

I dunno who won. Frankly I was past caring so put the footie on only to see England secure a goal-less draw against those titans of the game – Honduras. Yes, Honduras. When it comes to the real thing Italy are going to murder us and stack the bones in the shower before breakfast.

I did quite a lot of swearing at the telly last night. And yes, there is a literary ref there which I’d be interested if anyone knows. And I mean knows, not Googles.

On the 6th of June, 1944…

This young man you see before you, cocky as hell, fit as a Butcher’s dog, hard as nails, and with a fag on, jumped out of a plane over Caen in Normandy from about 1000 feet, along with thousands of his brothers in arms. A 60Lb pack on his back, a Sten gun and a rifle, and a life expectancy of around 20 minutes, according  to War Department estimates.

Dad in uniform age 18 001

He was part of 6th Airborne whose  job it was to support the glider troops who were to take Pegasus Bridge and prevent a German counterattack, until British troops from Gold and Sword beaches could reinforce them. Despite being scattered all over the place, his group finally made it to Pegasus Bridge.

He lasted much longer than that of course, and from that moment on he was at the sharp end of every battle all the way to Berlin and beyond. He was in Holland checking out the cellar of a house when a Panzer tank took out the house above him, and the rest of his platoon. Leaving him buried alive. It took him 3 days to dig himself out. He had a clause in his Will that stated that in the event of his death, his main artery was to be severed, just to make sure, because there was no way in hell he was going to be buried alive again! He was one of the first troops into Belsen, and couldn’t believe his eyes (even after having friends and comrades literally blown to bits next to him) at the sheer horror and depravity that one evil twisted ideology could inflict on fellow human beings. The most heartbreaking thing, he told me was when they tried to feed the inmates from their rations and watched them go into shock and die. They had no idea that could happen. It felt like they had put a gun to their head there and then.

And yes that cocky crazy incredibly brave young man, was my Father in Law. In whom I have immense pride. But what I wonder now, did he fight for? He was told he was fighting for freedom and democracy and the liberation of Europe; The last Righteous War. And he was. Trouble is our Elites and Politicians didn’t let it turn out that way.

Dad in Para uniform latest 001

The Attlee Labour Government  promised paradise on earth after the privations of war (rationing continued until 1954) and won  a landslide victory. They proceeded to Nationalise everything that wasn’t nailed down, and pretty much everything that was too. Then ran the whole country into bankruptcy. From the NHS (the envy of the world! Funny no other country has ever tried to copy it though eh?) to the Welfare state, which was to be a safety net not a lifestyle. Government after Government thereafter (Tory or Labour it made no difference) conspired to manage the decline of Great Britain, not its resurgence.

We spent much blood and much gold and lost an Empire on a very righteous fight for freedom against unmitigated evil. You’d think that Europe would have been grateful eh? Well some of them probably were, but the movers and shakers  like President De Gaulle of France were moving and shaking towards a new, but very old idea… The United States of Europe.

At first they called it the Coal and Steel pact, between France and Germany. Both made interdependent so that Germany could never go to war against France again (by 1945 Germany was so fucked, disgusted and guilty with itself, they never ever wanted to go to war with anyone again, anyway), but with the arrogant French thinking they were going to be the leaders and the Germans the workers in this new world order. Well it didn’t work out like that.

Now a united Germany is the master of Europe, and calls all the shots. The “Ever closer Union” that condescending nutters like traitorous Ken Clarke, believes are just a form of words not a statement of intent, is getting ever closer to becoming The United States of Europe, and with as much democracy as Hitler himself would have allowed.

The Queen is even now laying wreaths with President Hollande (who would probably like to guillotine   her) in the Champs Elysees, and Chuckles Buggerlugs is doing the same in Arromanches where the Mulberry Harbour and Gold beach was, to all those who made such a noble sacrifice on behalf of Liberty and Freedom.

On such anniversaries such as this, and with  bitter tears in my eyes, I wonder if my Father in Law, dead over 20 years now, would have thought it worth the bother .

I was going to say something serious…

… but the Cat’s server was playing Les Buggeurs Risible. Anyway this is a shorty. I used to live in Leeds (dreadful by and large – if it ain’t the Devil’s arsehole it is well within the CEP farting zone of it). Anyhoo, one day, to relieve the sheer horror*, I take a trip to Harrogate. Most genteel it was too. Didn’t like that much either. Rather too much up itself if you ask me. I apologise for the arse jokes though we shall shortly enter another orifice.

Harrogate has many bijou shops selling crap to the sort of people who have more money than sense. One of the noted (by me anyway) galleries of over-priced crap was called and I swear I’m not making this up called Godfrey and Twatt.

I almost expired from laughter after leaving it (well I had to go in). It was so full of pretentious shite it needed a colonic. Fortunately there was a place for that round the corner. That’s Yorkshire for you. Urban hell-holes and rural places that think they are Chelsea with scenery. Oh, and Compo going down a hill in a tin-bath. I hated that show. From the dreary theme tune to the geriatric pace and all ports between.

Here endeth the ramble.

*I once lived on Meanwood Rd. If that sounds Dickensian that’s because it was. My landlord was Rory Aikins. I saw him on telly not that long since. I once torched a chair of his in the back yard. I swear to God, Allah and Shiva that there were “things” living in it. So I took it outside and with the aid of a newspaper had a bonny. I’d asked him first, mind. He may have had some sentimental attachment to this dreadful thing but he said OK. He took it off my fucking deposit mind. Cunt. Utter cunt.

Separated at Birth?

Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Council, said EU leaders had agreed to ¿re-evaluate¿ its agenda after voters ¿sent a strong message¿ at the weekend

 

 

Lessons have been learned Da yadda Da yadda Da yadda… Oh no they fuckin haven’t!

The UK Electoral Dilemma

Prisoners dilemma

Although the result of the drubbing that UKIP has given all of the other main UK parties has yet to be revealed (as the Euro results won’t be released until the rest of the EU finishes voting on Sunday night), one thing that is clear is that although UKIP support is patchy, it is taking votes from all of the other main parties, but more importantly it is threatening to take the possibility of an outright win in May 2015 from both the Tories and Labour.

Given the unpleasant taste of coalition which Dave Cameron (and more importantly the UK populace at large) has endured for the last four years, the thought of repeating it with both a weaker Tory party AND a weaker LibDem party must be positively nauseating. I can’t imagine that Ed Miliband is much enamoured of a Lib/Lab coalition either.

This leaves the possibility of a little exploitation of game theory, best illustrated by “The Prisoner’s Dilemma“. In short neither Cameron nor Miliband wish to abandon their EU policies, but stealing UKIP’s main raison d’être in the form of a genuine in/out referendum on the EU would both undermine UKIP and allow either one of the parties to leapfrog into power.

However, if both parties do it then although UKIP is neutralised, neither party gains sufficient electoral advantage to seize outright victory in 2015. Equally, there is no benefit to half-measures as Mr. Cameron’s worthless 2017 referendum illustrates.

I’m betting that both parties will keep their existing policies on the EU for the time being, but that in a very late announcement just prior to the May 2015 General Election Labour will announce a straight in/out EU referendum.

…and before anyone starts… – No I don’t expect either party to actually honour a commitment to a straight in/out EU referendum. After the election is won it will get watered down into the usual bullshit settlement as Harold Wilson did last time.

Nimrod Down.

Well, I guess you’ve heard of the four missing British yachtsmen. Now the big searchers for them (or their remains) is the US Coastguard. Fine. No issues with the fifth service of the US military. They know what they are doing and they appear to have deployed significant resources to the task for it is a hell of a lot of ocean to search.

So, what have us Brits done… We have sent an RAF C-130 to Canada. Now the BBC News was giving mixed messages on this. They showed USCG C-130s and said the RAF plane was the same which is not exactly true. You see the USCG C-130s aren’t transports – they are specialized recon platforms. The RAF plane is the standard transport and they had an RAF Air Marshall saying basically that it was going to have folks looking out the windows and using the MkI eyeball. Magic.

The 2010 UK defence review resulted in the scrapping of our Nimrod maritime recon planes. Now these were designed to hunt Soviet subs. They had been re-jigged at enormous expense and were scrapped when almost ready. Now, I don’t think they should have been re-jiggled because my absolute fave company BAE systems had no idea how to do it so it cost a fortune hence they were scrapped. A better idea would have been to take the recon kit and stick it on an A320 or 737 – i.e. not an airframe from the dawn of the jet age. But… regardless we need a maritime recon platform. Do you want me to draw a map to explain why?

Obviously Nimrods never sank a Sov sub – it never came to that thank Gods! But they were very useful for SAR missions. Quite simply they can’t do it all with choppers.

This video makes me ashamed to be British…

What an utter fuck-up beyond belief. That C-130 we dispatched is literally (litorally?) the best we can do to protect our shores and hunt for the missing. It is beyond pathetic.

Time to frighten the Horses…

And as we already know, they are already spooked and pooping incontinently all over the Media in a desperate attempt to Drive Old UKIP down. Allegedly the Tory party backroom wonks have done a deal with the Guardian to provide them with scurrilous material on UKIP candidates for both the EU elections and the Local Council ones. What the Tories work with the Guardian… The enemy? Surely not? Oh you betcha!

It’s not just the Guardian though, the whole of the British media has suddenly woken up to the fact that there’s a new game in town, that might just challenge the cosy hegemony  of our current rulers. A party who are actually listening to the views of voters, not condescendingly browbeating them into submission with their Elitist nanny knows best policies.  From the BBC, the Independent to the Mirror and the Sun, even to the Express and the Mail, the boots are stamping on the faces of UKIP candidates that the rest of us have never heard of. I doubt Nigel Farage has heard of half of them.

But then how many of their own candidates do you think the mainstream parties have much knowledge of either. Mr Ed, the Marxist talking horses arse, certainly doesn’t . And he doesn’t seem to live in the same world as the rest of us either.

I won’t bore you by going on about that potato faced twat and PR man, iDave, who is trying to pull the same dishonest trick Harold Wilson did back in the 70’s, by trying to pretend that he can re-negotiate our terms with the EU, because he can’t, and they just won’t give back one iota of power that we have ceded to them. He will pretend (as Wilson did… and Chamberlin in 1939) that he has a cast iron agreement on this piece of paper  wot he has in his hand, and so now we can all vote to stay in, yay! He’s a lying piece of cuntulating shite!

As for the Boy Clegg… well I fear he is heading for the rubber room faster than Gordon Brown and Teflon Tony. He is a creature of the EU, bought and paid for twice over, and he and his party will be going back to holding their Party Conference in a phone booth very soon now.

So what I am saying is…. all of us with UK votes on Thursday , vote UKIP. Are they flakey? Sure! but are they venal dishonest little shits like the rest certainly are? Well some of them possibly. Politics attracts certain personality types, as do the Police and Social Workers, and as Norman Stanley Fletcher once remarked in Porridge, when a tin of his Pineapple chunks went missing… There’s a distinct criminal element in this Nick you know…

Will voting UKIP make any difference? Well in the short term no. They have no UK Parliamentary seats and are unlikely to get many given the implacable  Media opposition they face from every wing of the political spectrum. But I am happy for them to be the major UK party in Brussels and set about smashing up the Gangster Protection Racket that it is from the inside. Let them spend their salary and expenses how they wish, and not vote for anything at all or vote against everything under the sun, because I want out of the EU before the inevitable United States Of Europe is announced by some unelected kleptocrat flunky who calls himself a President, in some time in the not to distant future.

I want my country back. However bad the decisions made by our Parliament, they will be our decisions made by our people for our people, not some distant unelected self chosen Elite with stars in their eyes about new Empires. The EU are a bunch of gangsters.  And do link to Prof Anderson’s rather long article. He may be a very Leftist Historian, but he’s on the money with Europe.

And UKIP really are beginning to scare the horses…

The Smell of Derbyshire…

Air Wick has partnered with the UK National Parks, developing a range of fragrances inspired by the UK’s distinctive and majestic National Parks. These evocative fragrances not only capture the freshness of Britain’s ‘breathing spaces’, but are also designed to bring the countryside…inside. As well as experiencing the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, Peak District, Exmoor and Brecon Beacons first hand, you can now enjoy fragrances inspired by these parks from the comfort of your own home. Whist, supporting the UK National Parks with every purchase.

The Air Wick Master Perfumers have crafted an exclusive collection of four fragrances which will help reignite memories of individual parks. Our scents reflect the changing seasons and intense variety of the British outdoors, evoking the beautiful landscapes the National Parks represent.

I live kicking distance from the Peak District I do wonder… I dunno what to wonder but some products should just not exist. Let us hope the market prevails.

Resurrection Shuffle.

It’s Easter Monday, a day of great joy for Christians. Their Lord and Saviour is risen from the dead. But 55 of the prod nosed, know better than you do, self righteous, would prefer you forgot all about it. Could their letter to the Telegraph be just a coincidence on this day? I seriously doubt it.

I’m looking out of my window, and from where I stand (I live on top of a hill here in Bristol) I can see  at least five church spires. Admittedly two of them are now carpet warehouses and another converted into sheltered housing, but the other two are still functioning places of worship. I live in the district of St Andrews, just down the hill is St Pauls, then next to it is St Annes and St Werburghs , all with their attendant churches. Bristol was just a little bit Christian religious in the past, just like the whole of Great Britain, don’t you think?

Are we now? In strict observance and church attendance certainly not, but who can deny that the whole of our culture, Laws and morality stem directly from Christianity, and as belief in some imaginary sky fairy or other goes, it is most certainly the most benign that has ever been invented.

But the 55 signers of the Telegraph letter think that iDave’s professed belief is divisive to our country. Oh really? what more divided than it is already? This is Hotel UK. Come on in, get yourself a room, make whatever mess you want , carry on just as you did wherever you came from, live in a parallel universe, and we’ll do our best to just ignore it. Don’t bother trying to fit into our culture or learn our funny little ways, cos it’s all made up rubbish anyway, say the 55. The great cathedrals of Wells, York, Canterbury etc etc matter not a jot, in fact pre Christian contributions to our Nation count as much… Er, who the hell was that then? Bronze age Britons? The Romans?

It would seem to me that the ones being divisive here are the signatories to  the Telegraph letter. Is iDave being a two faced little PR shit in trying to hoover up every spare vote he can get, including the Christian one? You bet! But if the 55 want to have a go at Potato Face then do it directly, not through knocking what we fundamentally are and have been for over a thousand years… A Christian country.

A little music for a bank holiday that suggested the title of this piece. Bugger Ashton Gardner and Dyke, this is much more fun… Or riseable… take your pick.

The Miller’s Tail…

So Maria Miller, Sec State for Culture has fallen on her sword (for I am slain iDave!) due to her diddling expenses.

What the flying fuck do we have such a position for, apart from some croney of iDave diddling expenses, obviously?

Have you been to the National Gallery (it’s free by the way – and my favourite art gallery in the World*). Did Turner need a Department of Culture to paint his piccies? Did Francis Bacon? I recently saw some of his in Amsterdam recently**. Did Tolkien need one to write Britain’s favourite books? Did Elgar? Did the Beatles? The Stones? Does Adele? Do you or me? God help us Shakespeare managed to make it without the state!

Culture is simply what we do. In a sense it is what we are. We just do it. From posting video of a cat doing something amusing on Youtube to the Elgar violin concerto we just do it. In this case “we” is Kyung-wha Chung. She is my fave fiddler ever -do listen to the rest – it’s great***. And I have a weakness for the violin concerto. And that is her with the LSO conducted by Solti. Neither are Brits but Elgar was. And in a real sense that kind of sums up “culture” for me in the sense that here we have a piece of music played by a Korean/American with the orchestra conducted by a Hungarian/mainly American with an honorary British knighthood. What I mean is Elgar has “stretch”. All true culture has. Elgar is quintessentially English and not from a rich background (at one point he was employed to conduct an orchestra in the local lunatic asylum) but that his music can reach from Seoul to Budapest to Chicago and touch people enough to play it that well says something.

I have been to a folk festival (for my sins). It was curious. Apart from getting Brahms und Liszt (it was a stag do) it struck me how parochial (and in extreme cases nationalistic – not in a good way****). True culture is in a sense beyond borders. God help me I am English but I can’t stand the Tory club Little-Englander with his G&T any more than I can stick the “shop local, think global” lot with faux tribal tattoos. I was going to get one if I’d completed my PhD – my equation. Alas for me and an inker this did not come to pass. Folk is shite anyway. But what I was really trying to say is… I once came across in Georgia (USA – not entering the Putindoom) a fellow who expressed surprise at my mere existence. He declared a desire (and he was well adult) not only to never leave the USA (for there be dragons elsewhere ) but to never leave the state of Georgia. I’d just done a 2,500 mile road trip round the SE USA. I guess I just like globalization and that Huge Furnished Shitting-Stall can get his locally-sourced onions off behind his organic arras.

Anyway, that is getting seriously off the point (if there ever was one*****). This I like. (Aside – there is a shop in central Amsterdam that sells Brit stuff called “Arkwrights”).

Yes there was. Culture. It is universal and natural. It should be allowed to just happen but it is intrinsically global (and that scares people). Now don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against “local colour” but our culture is increasingly self generating and global. That does not mean it is less diverse. Gods no! You can get decent sushi in Manchester******. If that means the Eccles cake is heading the way of the sauropods then so be it. Mind, in Porthmadog you can get excellent fish and chips (but fuck all else). And they all speak Welsh! But that is not my point. You expect good fish of whatever sort in a fishing port. And good chips anywhere (apart from Amsterdam).

Culture happens. It can be global. It can be local. It can be both. Concentrating on the local is absurd in the age of jet planes and youtube in my eyes. The more it goes global the better I think. I have God knows how many channels off my Sky dish. I can watch a Nigerian soap opera if I want – I don’t because they are piss-poor but… Why do we need a culture secretary at all? Why when we have Easyjet? Why when we have the internet? Why when within walking distance I have have Chinese, Italian,Spanish and Indian take-aways/restaurants? Why have a culture secretary?

*I’ve been to quite a few of the greats.
**See, I’m not uncultured. I could have gone to the ‘Dam and spent my time bombed out of my box sucking dope from bongs shaped like penises. I went to the maritime museum, the Jewish history museum and… Mind the food over there ain’t great. I did eat kangaroo mind (a first for me) but it was bloody awful. Having said that it might be just due to the Dutch tendency to serve Flintsonian portions and bugger the quality. And chips with everything.
***But not as great.
****Not that that was anything like that.
*****There wasn’t really.
******My brother would disagree because he’s lived for several years in Japan.

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