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Britain

Without a…

From the BBC

A dog walker found a human leg behind a Conservative social club in Greater Manchester, prompting a police search and the discovery of a body.

The body was found close to Healey Conservative Club in Whitworth, near Rochdale.

The adult limb was found on Sunday afternoon. It is not yet clear how long the leg had been there or whether it belonged to a man or a woman.

Lancashire Constabulary said dogs were being used in a search of the area.

The Conservative club declined to comment.

Well, what, frankly, do you say?

This is in my neck of the St John’s… I have found curious things. I have never found a leg. Thank God for small mercies. I think it would upset me for a while. But then as a Newcastle fan you learn to get over such regrettable things.

Put it this way. Given that Rochdale is notorious for kiddie-fiddling including the late Cyril Smith MP.

In which I’m reminded why I dislike politics by engaging in some

I haven’t taken an active part in any political campaign since 1992, when I stuffed envelopes for my local Tory Association. I don’t – as will be no surprise to attentive Kitty Kounters – like politics, although I take the same morbid interest in it as I would any other catastrophe that had befallen me and my family.

However, the recent narrowing of the polls in the Scottish referendum, not to mention the mob that assembled outside the BBC in Glasgow at the weekend (I’m no fan of the BBC, but that sent a chill up my spine), made me feel I had to do something, so this afternoon I headed down to the Better Together office and volunteered. I ended up handing out leaflets and posters on the street.

Mostly, I was pleasantly surprised. Without any overt indication – a badge, T-shirt, or whatever – it was impossible to tell at a glance who would be sympathetic. People of all ages, all walks of life, and all ethnicities accepted a leaflet with a smile, a good many actually coming up and asking for them, and for the most part it was actually quite a heartwarming experience given the sheer volume of “Yes” propaganda that’s around. It was encouraging to see that “we” really are out there, and in good numbers.

But around 5:30, just as I was thinking of heading home, two blokes came up to me and demanded, “CAN YOU GUARANTEE THAT THE BARNETT FORMULA WILL NOT BE DILUTED OR ABOLISHED BY 2020?”. Not memorized at all, oh no. I was rather taken aback. Of course I can’t. Nobody can. It’s a long-standing parliamentary convention that a sitting parliament can’t bind future ones. I’ll bet whoever wrote the question for them knew that perfectly well. Whatever, it set them off. I don’t think they even listened to my answer.

Long story short, twenty minutes later, there was a crowd of I don’t know how many Yessers – dozens, anyway – TV cameras, press, and a couple of coppers. And me, plus the Better Together bloke I was with. Still don’t even know his name. He seemed to be getting the worst of it, and holding his own – he’d obviously experienced this before – while I had been latched on to by a guy with a bike who, to give him his due, was relatively subdued and rational. Relatively. Then the mob jumped back in. By the end of it, their entire “argument” consisted of chanting “Yes! Yes! Yes!” at us. It’s not hard to imagine what it reminded me of.

Eventually we extracted ourselves – to loud cheers, as if they’d won the argument that had barely even taken place – and the police came over and asked us if we needed protection. Police wondering if mainstream political canvassers need protection, in Britain, in 2014.

Politics is hateful.

I’ve always said that, but I saw the literal truth of it today. Sneering, shouting, hate… it was the very antithesis of reasoned argument. I tried, but they weren’t interested. They just regurgitated the prepared lines, sneered, and laughed. Then resorted to the chanting when we weren’t so easily cowed. I have no hesitation in calling them a mob, without any irony.

Orwell wrote, “True propaganda does not seek to persuade. It seeks to create a climate of thought in which dissent is seen as something akin to madness”. These people were clearly wandering around the city looking for us, not to persuade undecided voters, but simply to shut us down. Spoiling for a fight.

People say that whatever damage this referendum has done – the uncertainty affecting the financial markets – “it has at least engaged people in politics”. No: it has set them against each other, forcing them to take sides. Maybe it amounts to the same thing. That’s why I can’t stand it.

But I’ll be back tomorrow. I won’t give the buggers the satisfaction.

Dr Bonham’s case.

A man by the name of Bonham refused to pay for a license to practice medicine from the London College Physicians.

The College pointed out that not only did it have authority granted by a King (Henry VIII) , but also a specific Act of Parliament upheld medical licensing. So it fined Bonham (half the fine going to the college – half to the government, just as the Statute said it should) and ordered him to be imprisoned.

In the modern world that would be it – consumer protection upheld, and the evil “Dr” Bonham shipped off to be raped to death in prison somewhere (to the applause of the media – and the education system, the schools and colleges with their “protect the consumer” and “protect the worker” textbooks). However, this was 1610………

Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke (with his wicked, reactionary “Medieval mind”) was outraged by the whole thing. Not owning a piece of paper (a “license”) was not a crime under Common Law (to the Common Law a crime was an aggression against the bodies or goods of someone else – not failing to buy something). Also how could a body (the college or the government) sell licenses and, at the same time, sit in judgement over the case? This would mean that those who profited from the sale of licenses (had a financial interest in it) could punish those who did not buy them! – Which (to the modern minds of both the college and the government) is replied to by “well yes you Feudal nutcase – THAT IS THE POINT”.

Sadly (in spite of the work of Sir Francis Bacon, the author of the Progressive classic “The New Atlantis”, and mentor of Thomas Hobbes – the great philosopher who spread the enlightened notions that “law” was just the whims of the rulers, and that humans were just machines, not beings – not moral agents). The reactionary Sir Edward stopped the imprisonment of Dr Bonham – and declared that he did not have to pay a fine for refusing to buy a piece of parchment (a “license”) as the Common Law (those DUSTY CENTURIES of Year Books full of cases about one man hitting another man over the head with an axe – or damaging a local church by using its windows for target practice for archery……) knew of no such “crime”, and that it was an outrage that those who sold these pieces of paper could fine (indeed imprison) those who refused to buy them (Sir Edward’s “medieval mind” just did not understand the Progressive modern world……).

Nor did this reactionary bigotry end with Sir Edward Coke.

Chief Justice Sir John Holt (late 17th century – the generation that produced the English Bill of Rights and other hopelessly reactionary documents. with their right to keep and bear arms and so on, that are affront to the modern Progressive world) held to the same view that Acts of Parliament do not overturn fundamental principles of natural justice embodied in the centuries of tradition of Common Law reasoning (in spite of Progressive Legal Positivist Thomas Hobbes “proving” that there was no such thing as natural justice or natural law in a moral way – and that the judges of the Common Law, in seeking justice over the dusty centuries, were just lost in illusions – true law being just the will of the ruler).

Chief Justice Holt – even cited judges as far back as Bracton (did he not understand that only what has been said in the last five minutes matters?) and openly stated that Acts of Parliament do not trump fundamental law – indeed it is the other way round. And that it was possible (although difficult) for legal reasoning to find justice. Not that all judges would always agree (YES – there are other cases in the centuries of Year Books that contradict the cases that Sir Edward Coke cited, he knew that and it does NOT undermine his position), but that legal reasoning (fundamentally reasoning in justice – after the manner of Aristotelian reasoning) was possible – that law was NOT just the ravings of Kings and Parliaments. That fundamental law was different to (and higher than) “legislation”.

Chief Justice Holt even tried to apply this to slavery – which to him (as to the 19th century American lawyer and later Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Salmon P. Chase) was the Common Law crimes of false imprisonment (dragging someone back if they ran away), and violent assault (whipping someone for refusing to work – no more acceptable in Common Law than throwing someone in prison for refusing to buy a piece of paper, a “license” or an “insurance policy” as with “Obamacare”).

In the United States this reactionary tradition continued with, for example, Justice Pierce Butler of the Supreme Court who held (by dissenting in “Buck Versus Bell”) that a State (even after it passed a “statute”) could not hold down a screaming woman and cut her up for the “crime” of (allegedly) having a “low IQ” out of fear that the women might give birth to babies who also might (allegedly) commit the “crime” if having a “low IQ”.

Justice Butler did not even believe that the government had the right (even after passing a statute) to exterminate “inferior races” – he had clearly never read the noble Progressive writings of the Fabian socialists H.G. Wells (the teaming millions of blacks, browns and yellows must go, forms of gas could be developed and…..) and George Bernard Shaw (every person should be made to justify their existence before a government board, “like the income tax tribunal” and if the board was not happy with them, they should be executed), friends of fellow Supreme Court Judge – O. W. Holmes Jr who wrote the Progressive view of Buck V Bell.

To a Progressive such as Holmes  the old American saying (attributed to Mark Twain) – “no man’s property or liberty is safe – when the legislature is in session” (a much realistic attitude that the deluded British faith in Parliament) is replied to with “and a jolly good thing to!”.

Well where do you stand gentle reader?

With the vile reactionaries such as Sir Edward Coke, Chief Justice John Holt, Edmund Burke (see his writings on Ireland and India), American Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, 20th century Justice Salmon P. Chase (and the others of the “Four Horsemen” who opposed such Progressive things as Franklin Roosevelt “National Recovery Agency” – General Johnson’s Jackbooted “Blue Eagle” thugs who tried to set the prices and business practices of every enterprise in the United States).

Or do you stand with the noble Sir Francis Bacon (of The New Atlantis), Sir William Petty (the creator mathematical “economic planning” in the mid 17th century), Thomas Hobbes, the Bowood Circle of the late 18th century (funded by Lord S.) with such lovely people as Jeremy Bentham – with his 13 Departments of State controlling every aspect of life (as it is the duty of government to promote pleasure and oppose pain – and natural law and natural rights are “nonsense on stilts”, law being simply the will of the rulers), and with the Hobbes lovers among the “Westminster Review” crowd of the early 19th century (with their “land question” – i.e. the view that the state could plunder the ancient estates, overturning “feudal” notions going back to the ninth century, as David Ricardo had “proved” that….. let us ignore the fact that Frank Fetter refuted David Ricardo on land a century ago, the Ottoman Empire, and Eastern Despotism generally, rocks, it is “Progressive” to attack the estates of “feudal” Western land holders). And the “New Liberals” of the late 19th century, and the Fabians and the American Progressives and………….

Ignore the warnings of old reactionary Common Lawyers such as Sir Edward Coke and John Holt that Progressive Francis Bacon stuff is really the dark side of Roman Law – the “Civilians” with their doctrines that the will of the ruler has the force of law, and that no law binds the government (because the government can change the law as it likes).

After all such warnings are repeated in the speeches of reactionary (and “corrupt”) President Warren Harding and reactionary (and “stupid”) President Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s (see the Politically Incorrect Guide to the Presidents) when they pointed out that  such things as the Progressive “New Freedom” of Woodrow Wilson which claimed to “evolve” beyond the principles of the Constitution of the United States, are (in fact) a product of German collectivist political philosophy (see J. Goldberg “Liberal Fascism”) going back as far as the 18th century philosophy (see the works of Hayek on this – for example the “Constitution of Liberty” and “Law, Legislation and Liberty” – although Hayek can never free himself from the general philosophy of the very people whose political ideas he attacks – and, contrary to Hayek, their politics comes naturally from their philosophy) and that this political philosophy is (in turn) a return to the ideas of the “civilians” – the Roman Law scholars with their doctrine that the government is limited by no law (as it can create any law it likes – and change any existing law) and that one must hope for wise rulers to promote the happiness of the people… The reactionary Harding and Coolidge claiming that those who seek to “evolve” beyond “vulgar” or “primitive” views of freedom (the property rights view embodied in such things as the British and American Bill of Rights) actually collapse back into the darkest tyrannical despotism.

Surely no one (but the most hardened and bitter reactionary) would deny that governments should promote pleasure and prevent pain (prevent the little darling people, children really, hurting ourselves) – without letting any silly “old right” stand in their way?

Lets avoid a shotgun divorce

Fog in the Channel - Continent cut off

Before I get kicked to death in the streets by the Counting Cats Eurosceptic wing (which seems to be most of us in fairness), I shall be clear and unequivocal.

I believe that Britain has a place in Europe as its political and economic stability is essential to British peace and prosperity, but that “Europe” and the “European Union” are two very different things.

I believe that the EU is a travesty and, if not brought down by its own hubris, will cause conflict in Europe in the not too distant future, probably over the secession of Germany.

For this reason, I believe the UK should leave the EU, in fact we should have baulked at its creation at Maastricht in 1992.  Although John Major was very successful at negotiating away the worst excesses of the transformation from European Community into European Union, it was in fact little more than appeasement. (more…)

There’s a hole in my bucket…

… dear Liza, dear Liza. etc. [Repeat to fade]. Apparently all hell has broken out in Manchester because of a hole in the road. Except the Manchester Evening News prefers to refer to it as a “crater”.

Now this is a crater…

This, on the otherhand is a hole in the road…

Just look at the barricades! And why close both lanes? Why? And where is Prof. Quatermass when we need him?

Fruity Girls

Today the A-level results came out. I never knew they were friends of Dorothy. Anyway the Daily Mail celebrates with this…

That is better than their earlier piccie which showed no lads at all. It would appear only sexually attractive girls pass the exams. I had to wear a wig (itched like Hell) and shave my legs (itched like Hell) but I got four A-levels.

And it isn’t just the Daily Mail. They all do it. The BBC do it, the Telegraph does it, even The Guardian does it. As to educated fleas… Who knows or indeed cares?

One hundred years from now my scholastic achievement shall be forgotten and it will be concluded by historians that in the late C20th-early C21st only sexually attractive women won this (by then) obscure qualification and that on the basis of four of ‘em in a row jumping in unison. For they shall have access to the digital archives that clearly show that only A-levels were only for fruity girls.

All the King’s Horses and…

…not too many tanks.

From Breitbart a couple of days back…

The Times reports that thousands will gather in Wiltshire today to mark the merger of Britain’s two remaining tank regiments amid concerns that the move could be misguided as tensions with Russia increase.

After a decade fighting insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan with just light infantry, heavy armour became seen as outdated. However, after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its continuing actions on eastern Ukraine, there are now calls to change priorities.
Lieutenant-General Sir Andrew Ridgway, a long-serving tank officer who is now Colonel of the Royal Tank Regiment, said: “Going down to the small number [of tanks] that we are going to have in future is taking a risk. But defence capability is like insurance: You don’t have the insurance you want. You have the insurance you can afford. The crucial thing is to get your priorities right, to make sure the things you really need are what you have.”

Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon* added: “Recent conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria appear to signal the demise of the tank but activities in Ukraine especially and Gaza might suggest this is a little premature.”

No. It is worse than that. It is the perennial military error of always preparing for the previous war. And given the decades lead time (why?) for mil-tech to hit the ramp we could easily be caught flat-footed.

This weekend’s merger is especially ironic as it takes place as Britain prepares to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of its entry into First World War. It was during that war that Britain pioneered modern heavy armour, introducing the first ever tank into active service in 1916.

By the end of the First World War, Britain had 25 tank regiments, rising to 44 after World War II.

And then there was one..

However, from today there will only be one Royal Tank Regiment, which will have 56 Challenger 2 tanks. Two other regiments – The King’s Royal Hussars and the Queen’s Royal Hussars – will also each have 56, bringing to total number of tanks in the army to 168.
This means tanks the modern British Army now has fewer tanks than horses, and also puts the UK behind many smaller countries, including neutral Switzerland.

168 tanks. That is piss-poor and not being able to take mighty Switzerland on is dismal.

General Ridgway said he did not want the number of tanks to fall any further: “We really have reduced to a very low level,” he said.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: “The Army has been redesigned so that it is more adaptable, agile and can continue to respond to future threats. The amalgamation of 1 and 2 RTR is part of these plans and will not affect our ability to deal with modern threats including the use of a wide range of armoured vehicles and tanks.

“Alongside our allies, we take recent events in Ukraine extremely seriously. That is why we have taken measures aimed at reassuring our Nato allies in Eastern Europe such as UK participation in a major land exercise in Poland involving 1,300 troops and more than 300 military vehicles as announced by the Defence Secretary earlier this week.”

That’ll put the wind up Pooty Poot.

4/8/1914 – 4/8/2014

Yesterday was the 100th anniversary of the start of the most titanic conflict the World had yet seen. It was a tragedy of unprecedented scale (Apart from maybe the Mongols…) It is a tragedy the sequels of which are still happening like bad movies. The current war in the Near East is a result as was the Second World War as was the rise of Fascism, Communism and Nazism. All three are in one form or another still with us like Japanese knotweed.

When I was a potless student I developed a love of Victorian and early Edwardian literature. Well, it was out of copyright so cheap. Something that shone through to me was the general sense of optimism. Do you know the origin of the phrase, “How the other half live”? At the start of Victoria’s reign half of Britain lived in abject poverty and I mean abject poverty. I don’t mean they had an iPhone 4 not a 5S. By her death it was one in ten. And think of the technology over this rough period of time! Anaesthetics, anti-septics, pasteurisation, sanitation, automobiles, powered flight, telephones, radio, steam turbines, AC power, electric light… The optimism is palpable. I bought and read these books because they were cheap but I fell for them because of that sheer optimism and it seamed hardly ill-construed. In 1900 the country with the fastest rate of GDP growth per capita was Russia. A sensible person might have seen Russia turning into some sort of constitutional monarchy and something like a bigger Canada. It could have happened and imagine that…

It didn’t happen.

Europe was wrecked. Russia is still stuck in a quasi-Tsarist rut, the remains of the Ottoman Empire are largely in a situation of utter chaos and the blood and treasure expended by all over the last hundred years is incalculable. The loss of young European men – especially of the officer class – the potential movers and shakers in the arts, sciences, business, engineering and such was so calamitous that Europe permanently lost the lead to the USA after the Great War. That is not an anti-US statement but what could we (and I mean all of us) have achieved had those millions not died? And it is not just the statement of a middle-class white European male. It is a statement of fact reflecting the social conditions of the time. The emancipation of, say, women was arguably advanced by the war but surely this could have been done in a different manner?

Here is just one example of our loss

Karl Schwarzschild (October 9, 1873 – May 11, 1916) was a German physicist and astronomer. He is also the father of astrophysicist Martin Schwarzschild.

He provided the first exact solution to the Einstein field equations of general relativity, for the limited case of a single spherical non-rotating mass, which he accomplished in 1915, the same year that Einstein first introduced general relativity. The Schwarzschild solution, which makes use of Schwarzschild coordinates and the Schwarzschild metric, leads to a derivation of the Schwarzschild radius, which is the size of the event horizon of a non-rotating black hole.

Schwarzschild accomplished this triumph while serving in the German army during World War I. He died the following year from the autoimmune disease pemphigus, which he developed while at the Russian front.

Asteroid 837 Schwarzschilda is named in his honor.

The Schwarzchild metric is not just the first but remains the most important solution of the Einstein field equations. Trust me. I know this stuff. But don’t take it from me…

I have read your paper with the utmost interest. I had not expected that one could formulate the exact solution of the problem in such a simple way. I liked very much your mathematical treatment of the subject. Next Thursday I shall present the work to the Academy with a few words of explanation.

— Albert Einstein

How many other greats and potential greats were lost? We shall never know. And how many other ordinary folk who would have lived normal productive lives for they matter as much.

OK, I’ll tell you. I live in a parish of roughly 4300 souls. This is probably more than the population in 1914 (it’s prime commuter belt for Manchester and Buxton and such places).

This is the roll-call on this parish’s war memorial for WWI…

To the Everlasting Honour
of the Men of Disley Parish
who gave their lives
in the Great War
1914 – 1919.
This Cross is placed here in Greatful Remembrance.

Ellis ARDERN
Robert ARDERN
Reginald C ARNOLD
E Walter ARNOLD
Harry BAND
Oliver BELL
Joseph BENNETT
Robert BENNETT
Harry N BOLD
Herbert BOWDEN
John BRANSON
Charles BRYAN
Wm M BUCHANAN
Harold CARRINGTON
Arthur CHORLTON
G Charles CLAPHAM
Harold DAWSON
Thomas DAWSON
John DEARNALEY
Harry EDGE
Harold ETCHELLS
H Innes FERGUSON
Arthur FORD
Samuel FORD
John FROGGATT
Richard GARLEY
Tom W GARLEY
James R GASKILL
Albert GASKILL
Herbert GOODWIN
Walter GRAHAM
William HAGAN
Percy HALLAM
Fred HARRISON
James A HARRISON
Ernest HAYTHORN
Wm HIGGINBOTTOM
Ernest HILL
Frank HOLYOAKE
William HOWARTH
Louis INGHAM
John JENNISON
Ernest JOHNSON
Harvey JONES
Ernest LEECH
John LIDDELL
James LOGAN
Frank LOMAS
Luke LOMAS
Percy MASSEY
George MIDDLETON
Thomas MIDDLETON
George A MILES
Roy MILLER
William MOORCROFT
Charles MOTTRAM
Ernest MOTTRAM
James MYCOCK
Frank NELSON
Daniel NORMAN
J Joseph NUTTALL
Ernest PIKE
Frederick POTTS
Thomas PRESTWICH
Harold QUARMBY
Charles RHODES
James H RIGBY
Frank ROXBY
Robert ROXBY
Henry SERPELL
Benjamin SHIRT
Stanley SHIRT
Samuel SHIRT
Albert SMITH
Joseph SMITH
John STAFFORD
Henry TAYLOR
James TAYLOR
Wm THOMPSON
William TURNER
Thomas H WALKER
Harry WELCH
Arthur WHITEFORD
George W WHITTLE
Everett WILD
William WILD
George W WILKINSON
Samuel WOOD
Walter WOOD
Charles WOODWARD
John WOODWARD
Charles WYATT
Frederick YATES
Leonard G B YOUNG
Cyril NIELD
Reginald NIELD

We remember them.

Weekend Mentalists – (Mainly) US Edition.

A social media strategist at a Utah language school [A what?] said he was sacked because his boss thought a blog post written on homophones might encourage homosexuality.

Tim Torkildson, a former employee at the Nomen[?!] Global Language Center, said he was asked to leave his job as head of social media because his boss feared the blog entry might give the impression that the school was promoting homosexual behaviour.

Well of course homophones are the new Samsung range that enables anonymous toilet-trading – My Motorola/Google phone only allows hook-ups with fat birds from Stockport. Quite how anyone encourages homosexuality anyway is beyond me. Go on, go on, go on!

But wait! A homophone is not that at all is it? It is a linguistic term meaning two words said the same but mean different things and are spelt differently. English due to the mongrel nature of the lingo is replete with them, “Which witch?”, “We can see the sea from here” and all that. Indeed, “Homo” is of ambiguous meaning, depending on the Laughing or Grief root (or, er… missus) “Man” (as in the clearly pushing bum-fun term “Homo erectus” (I bet there is a movie by that name showing Ugg and Ogg the cave gents getting it on big time – trust me when HD video things* are as dog-cheap as they are and you got the internet every oddness that can be done (and with CGI things that can’t – slashfic with Sauron and Morgoth). Trust me it will exist.

Speaking to the Salt Lake City Tribune, Mr Torkildson said that Mr Woodger told him he ‘could not be trusted’ and the only job he would ever succeed in would be ‘something clerical’.

The blog post has been removed from the language school’s website.

Mr Woodger however denied that he had sacked Mr Torkildson for that reason, saying instead that his blog posts had begun to ‘go off tangents’ and had become confusing and occasionally offensive.

He added that homophones were beyond the understanding of most of the student body.

That from a guy running a language college! Having said that Mr Torkildson does appear to have purloined Cpt. Mainwaring’s syrup.

He’s the one on the left.

*-*-*

Now we all like good customer service

An Oklahoma woman didn’t hesitate to pick up the phone to complain when a product she bought did not meet industry standards.

But perhaps she should have taken a moment to think it through, since the number she called was 911 and the product was crystal meth.

According to police officers in Enid, 54-year-old Lynette Rae Sampson was the model of politeness as she described how the ‘ice’ she had purchased did not meet the purity standards she was used to.

Officer Aaron Barber was greetly[sic] warmly when he arrived at Ms Sampson’s home.

-

‘I’m glad you came,’ she told the officer, before leading him to the kitchen where the crystal meth was stored in a tin on the counter.

The woman was arrested.

‘Once you think you’ve seen it all, something new will surprise you,’ said Captain Jack Morris of Enid Police.

‘It’s sad people who utilise these drugs don’t realise how it affects them and what they can do to you.’

Ms Sampson now faces up to 10 years in jail for possession of the drug and paraphernalia.

*-*-*

Why use public transport and fight for a seat when you already have a fully charged up four wheeler at the ready?

That’s what this gentleman decided to do, apparently disregarding the law.

Mobility scooters are banned from being used on any non-pedestrianised roads – let alone one of the UK’s busiest motorways.

But the OAP was seen on the hard shoulder of the M1 being escorted by a police motorcyclist between Junction 31 near Sheffield and Junction 32 for the M18 interchange.

A passenger in a passing haulier lorry filmed the bizarre occurrence on Britain’s oldest full-length motorway.

- which just goes to show it isn’t just America that produces mentalists.

*Between my wife and me we have seven video takers! Everyone is David Lean these days. Not including webcams.

Top Gun, Bottom Prices…

Ever wanted to re-enact Top Gun scenes with your own privately owned fighter jet, well the RAF have helped two people do just that.

Erm… Well, I have never wanted to be a midget squealing, “Speak to me Goose!” whilst battling with my latent homosexuality during the least realistic dog fight ever committed to celluloid. If that would have been for real and I’d been in a “Mig-28″ Mr Cruise would have taken an early bath.

The military service allowed a 1976 Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR3 jump-jet and 1988 Panavia Tornado F3 to be auctioned off without a reserve.

The Harrier was sold to a gentleman from Essex for £105,800 while the Tornado was sold at a relative snip at £36,800 to a female pilot.

Wowsers! Now, obviously what 2&8 the Tornado is in is but still that is not an especially pricey sports car! God knows where I would have parked it but it certainly gains the drop on the Current Vauxhall Corsa. Get that up to 80 and it shakes like the Millenium Falcon getting up to light-speed.

Nice to see things what cost millions going for a song though.

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.

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