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BBC

Rolf Harris

Rolf Harris was a massive part of my youth. It would appear now that he was a massive part of other kids youth too – and not in a good way. I mean I always thought Saville was a sleazy sod but Rolf! Rolf was Aussie gold.

I use to watch his show “Cartoon Club” as a kid and as 19 year-old he headlined the end of year party at Nottingham University. He was great. He got bigger cheers than Dannii Minogue who was the second on the list. I was right at the front and she certainly was “well fit” in the live. I guess she was maybe (even then) too old for Rolf’s tastes and Kylie would have clobbered him with a knotty prop – always struck even from her days in Neighbours as a feisty one our Kylie.

So I saw Rolf with his wobble board and doing Jake The Peg, painted an Outback scene and did a few songs and told a few jokes. The consummate light entertainer – especially after a few tinnies of Fosters – yes there was a reason the evening had an Australian theme.

I just don’t get it. If you are a successful, wealthy, entertainer you can actually get a consensual sexual relationship with an attractive adult. So why all this nasty, grubby stuff? Is it to quote Wilde, “Dining with Panthers” or is it just egomania or what?

Rolf, you let a generation down. You let me down. Now you are going down.

World Cup Quote So Far…

From St. Glenn of the Hockle on the BBC upon the occasion of Mexico beating Cameroon 1-0…

“Cameroon looked like they were playing in chains”.

Given Hoddle’s previous the mere fact the BBC felt the need to employ him now is astonishing.

Just look up his opinions on the disabled, faith healers and of course “Diamond Lights”. That and the fact he tended to play Anderton. And won fuck all.

Sir! Sir! Clarkson said a bad word, Sir!

Jeremy Clarkson, the celebrated oaf, is in a bit of bother with those guardians of moral rectitude, the Daily Mirror:

The Mirror claims that the Top Gear presenter was reciting a rhyme while in front of cameras, during which he allegedly said, “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe…” before mumbling: “Catch a n****r by his toe”.

The bastard. Reciting childrens’ rhymes without the currently approved Bowdlerizations is it, now? The man’s a menace to society.

We used that rhyme all the time as kids, and didn’t even know what the word meant. It was just the thing you caught by the toe, and let go in the event of squealing. (I had a vague idea that it was a small furry animal something like like a badger, myself. Do badgers squeal? Never mind.) Guess I’ll never work for the BBC, then (yeah, that’ll keep me awake at night):

Lawyer Lawrence Davies told reporters: “Clarkson has to be sacked, no matter how much money he makes for the BBC. Use of that word is not acceptable.”

Oh, obviously. Totally proportionate response. I mean, he might say “fuck” or “cunt” next. Or is that allowed now? Anyway, he’s clearly an irredeemable hatey xenophobe racist hatemonger. If he isn’t stopped now, before you know it he’ll be mowing down crowds of black people in a McLaren P1 with the Confederate flag painted on its roof on live TV, while laughing maniacally. Stands to reason.

The Mirror says that it hired a firm of audio forensic experts to analyse the clip. They confirmed that the n-word was indeed used by Clarkson.
An investigator working for CY4OR…

…blah, blah, blah. Oh, and by the way, don’t forget to pay your TV licence or the BBC will send the lads round.

I don’t know. Clarkson may be the BBC’s token “right-winger”, but he’s still an arse; the Mirror’s just the Sun without the tits (and it wasn’t Murdoch who nicked his employees’ pensions then took a header of his yacht when the net began to close in), and the BBC’s a protection racket disguised as a TV company. Sometimes I wish they’d just all go away and leave us in peace.

North of the DMZ and beyond the pale.

There has been some crazy news out of everyone’s favourite totalitarian heckhole recently.

First I heard this nugget…

Doctor Who, Top Gear and Teletubbies have apparently passed the suitability test to be shown on North Korea’s tightly-controlled state TV.

After months of negotiation with the BBC, the three shows have been deemed worthy of consideration for broadcasting in the totalitarian state.

The country’s state broadcaster, Korean Central Television, is only on air for six-and-a-half hours every day.

Odd choices. Skipping over the tubbies the sight of that Bellendius Maximus Clarkson whizzing around in a Bugatti is almost torture to the poor buggers up there who feel lucky to get a puncture repair kit for their bike. And the Doctor is a rather anti-authority figure which probably wouldn’t fit with the rest of KCT’s output… Although I guesss the Cybermen might go down well with the Kimocracy.

At least a third of the output is spent praising the government of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, while another third extols workers to toil harder for the good of the country.

And I thought endless repeats of “Last of the Summer Wine” was soul-crushing.

But wait…

The weekly television highlight is ‘It’s So Funny’, a long-running comedy show in which two uniformed soldiers perform slapstick sketches in between propaganda lectures about the greatness of North Korea.

Now that’s what I call entertainment! That’s better than Cannon & Ball that is and they were fucking terrible beyond my comprehension. Here’s a modest proposal. We parachute Piers Morgan into the Pyongyang. He’s without a berth and it is a win-win if you ask me. I feel so sorry for the North Koreans.

This speaks volumes…

Likewise, there is no fundamental difference between the way in which North and South Koreans look [The entire peninsula is very ethnically homogeneous in the World and this is an ancient civilization - Nick]. Having said that, however, 60-plus years is not a short amount of time, and the two Koreas did live through two very different worlds. South Koreans now live in one of the world’s wealthiest countries, North Koreans one of the poorest. In particular, the crushing famine that North Korea suffered in the mid-1990s has left a visible impact on North Korean people’s physique. While the average height of adult South Korean men is 171.5 cm (~5′ 7.5″), the average height of adult North Korean men is 165.4 cm (~5′ 5″). Because North Korean youths have become so malnourished, North Korea had to lower the minimum height requirement for its soldiers from 140 cm (~4′ 7″) to 137 cm (~4′ 6″) in 2010. (In contrast, South Korea recently had to extend the maximum height requirement from 196 cm (~6′ 5″) to 204 cm (~6′ 8″) for its conscripts.)

And that is not unrelated to the TV on my wall (Samsung) and the fact I have never bought a single item from North of the DMZ. I mean if they can’t get enough food they ain’t going to break the mould in tech are they? (More on that later). But this isn’t even the end-point of socialism as we understand it and as the socialist Eric Blair understood it. This is not Sweden with toothsome murder mysteries and beer you need a mortgage for. This is Hell run by an insane Satan. This is the prison state as envisaged by Vasily Grossman as the end of Stalinism.

But they have drones you know. Things that sound like they were built in a shed. I have spoken to hobbyists who can do better. At least it ain’t the grotesquely over-budget, under-performing and over-time F-35. I mean that camera… I have a better camera and I’m not on a defence budget here.

But before we simply regard the Kimocracy as risible buffoons it would be be wise to consider this. And also to consider that it is entirely possible to laugh and be revolted at the same time. They are profoundly risible but also profoundly evil. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Roger Lloyd-Pack (1944-2014)

I was saddened to hear that the actor Roger Lloyd-Pack died yesterday of pancreatic cancer.

Probably one of my favourite TV shows whilst growing up was “Only Fools and Horses” and Lloyd-Pack’s “Trigger” was an absolutely vital part of the ensemble that made that show so brilliant – and it was epically good at times rising to heights of utter genius. Of course he was in loads of other stuff like “Harry Potter” and “Dr Who” but for me he shall always be the bumbling Peckham street-cleaner. I think we forget too easily that whilst the show was centred on the antics of Del and Rodney the rest of them from Mike at the bar of the Nag’s Head to Denzil the scouse trucker, Grandad, Uncle Albert, Boycie, Marlene and all the rest of them really made the show and gave the central cast folks to spark off.

As I said, I grew up watching that and I still watch it. Trig is no longer in my memory but in the Sky (in every sense). He is the overhead one Dave or Watch or whatever. Perhaps the nearest to immortality we can get. His peerless deadpan shall not be forgotten as long as electromagnetism exists.

I don’t think I can embed this (it’s BBC) but just click

…and there is loads more.

Proposed new regulatory state will do regulatory state type things. Film at 11.

I’ve just overheard a BBC trailer announcing an hour-long Reporting Scotland special on today’s publication of the “independence” manifesto white paper, which, they say, “covers everything from the economy to sports teams and TV programmes”. Reason enough to vote against the thing, I’d say.

And yeah, I’m posting this rather than watching it.

Day of the Doctor.

It is today. It is a fixed point in time and space and I shall be there – or at least in Stockport (the Manchester tickets had gone) – to see the 50th anniversary show live in 3D in the cinema. Cool. I shall not be alone. This is being shown live in 94 countries in 1500 cinemas live. This has never been done before. My wife recently bought the 50th anniversary edition of Dr Who Magazine. It has a copy of the 1964 first anniversary edition of the mag which includes a letter from a reader saying that the Who was the best programme (don’t we call ‘em “shows” now) on either channel. How times change!

I should have bought a fez for the night. Fez’s are cool. There is nothing more but this…

Posthumous Execution – A modern slant on an ancient tradition

“You asked a question two days ago that I will now answer for you. You are quite right, Mademoiselle. You cannot libel the dead.”Hercule Poirot in Death on the Nile

Since ancient times, it has been seen as a symbolic but rather futile gesture to seek final retribution upon your enemies by digging up their rotten corpse and undertaking the ritual steps of execution albeit with rather less effect than usual as the offending enemy has already escaped and is now thumbing his nose from the safety of the Halls of Mandos or your own particular incarnation of Mozart’s “Confutatis maledictis, flammis acribus addictis…” (“When the accused are confounded, and doomed to flames of woe…”) (more…)

The BBC hits the absymal, and then digs…

I wanted to watch something on at 11pm on MTV and rather than have a conversation or whatever I watched the tail-end of the BBC’s new(ish?) sitcom “The Wight Way” which is an hilarity set in – as far as I can tell – a council Health & Safety department. And it is that funny. Or not. It was five nines not. Folks who know about servers (not that I am casting any nasturtiums) will know what I mean. It were fucking dreadful.

Dear sweet Jesus of Nazareth (and I am not taking Our Lord’s Name in vain because if He had seen that Sodom and Gomorrah would have looked like a small incident with a camping stove there would have been smiting beneath the fifth rib, up the bracket and indeed elsewise – and that from the Prince of Peace). It wasn’t just bad it was chronically septic. It was so far up the pole it was fucking orbital. I’ve known people who enjoyed major abdominal surgery more than that.

It makes “Geordie Shore” sound like fucking Shakespeare. I enjoy rides out to the sticks and perhaps dinner in a pub but that show is a country pleasure I shall not partake of again. I’m a fairly liberal guy but when shit like that is smeared across the Samsung (what did nowt to cause it) I want to fucking well lock and load.

I know a lot of libertarians and conservatives and such and such think the BBC has a bias towards the left and it does but it also expropriates GBP145.50 from all of us to make utter drivel. Oh, and to pay for pedophiles, obviously.

I mainly watch “Watch” and “Dave” so I can see great comedy writing. Where is the pill? And the drug? And which knockwurst contains the painting of the “Fallen Madonna…”. As to the whereabouts of the “Cracked Vase with the Big Daisies”. God knows. The BBC clearly doesn’t anymore. It requires a Pte Helga not so much to tell them to “COME IN!” as “FUCK OFF!” and possibly with Lt Gruber (and his “little tank”).

Anyhow, congrats BBC. In “The Wright Way” you have made “So haunt me!” look like comedic genius. That is genius, that really is. I haven’t seen a faster “race to the bottom” since Manchester hosted Europride. Because I thought you had hit bedrock, BBC, with “My Family” which despite starring Robert Lindsay and Zoë Wanamaker you managed to make utterly dreadful. Though the storming example of the recent shitcom about a British Muslim family that makes “Love thy Neighbour” look like TV downloaded from the future (there is an app for that) runs it close.

I say this because the BBC used to make good stuff Like “‘Allo Allo” or “Only Fools and Horses” and it’s all still on Sky’s Satellite of Love. And dear Gods some BBC executive ought to be waiving his cock in the neighbourbood of Arkright’s till. Or doing “Porridge”. For the crapfests of recent years.

But with “The Wright Way” the BBC utterly breached the turdulence threshold and sent the crap-o-meter to permanent FSD*

Yes, they made “On the Buses” for a new century.

Thanks BBC!

*That happened at Chernobyl. When reactor 4 went totally tits-up (that’s how my nuclear physics lecturer at Nottingham put it – “Now, children, now you know what not to do so don’t do it!”). Of course I would do it because I’m a meddler. I am the ethnically British person The Daily Mail warned you about (not Neil Kinnock – I’m the other one). I have done questionable things. There is a reason I always fancied Ace in Dr Who. Remind me to tell you about it later but the things I’ve blown the fuck out off or burnt down is something else. Never anyone else’s property, mind. Anyway FSD. If a dial is showing FSD it is probable that it is much more. The wonks at Chernobyl didn’t tell Moscow this. I think they were mainly shot. FSD is Mother Nature getting upset**- or instrumentation’s way of telling you it has l gone very badly Pete Tong. Pete Tong? By that point you are technically fucked. At that point it becomes emotional.

**Every scientist knows that she’s the one bitch you really don’t diss. Not. Ever. You tease her, mind.

Was it just me…

… or as guests at Maggie’s funeral did I honestly see Geoffrey Howe and Michael Heseltine? And I heard that José Manuel Barroso was there. What were that vile trinity planning upon – dancing upon her grave?

At another level, according to the BBC News, some scumbags threw stuff at the horses in the cortege. That says much to me.

It is the same mentality that blew-up the Boston Marathon. Just lacking the blood and guts to do it for real.

Disgusting,

“What can men do against such reckless hate?” – Theoden, King of Rohan.

That phrase chimes with me and has done since I was a kid. Because the enemy does hate with a recklessness beyond measure, beyond reason. That is why they chucked stuff at the horses.

She stood against reckless hate.

And that is what we have to do. We have to stand. Maggie did and so shall we.

Stand!

Lord Melvin of the Bouffant

A couple of nights ago Our Beloved Lord of the BBC Round Buffet Table (of the Free Drinkies and Nibbles), Lord Melvin of the Laboratoire Garnier (because he isn’t worth it) was asked about the “bedroom tax” on the early evening “entertainment” creature called “The One Show” on the BBC and he wrinkled his erudite brow – for he is an intellectual* unlike you or me.

Oh, he was upset. He believed that the government ought to stay out of people’s homes (unless it is to build HS2 which means he gets to his “Beloved Lake District” ever so slightly quicker whilst fantasising about shagging a young Dervla Kirwan** along the way.

Melvin Bragg was upset…

smallest-violin

Housing benefit is an unholy mess of course but this is not the time to go into that viper’s nest which reflects on the British obsession with the ownership of domestic property*** and many other things. But, a reduction in a benefit is never a tax. It may be a bad thing but call it what it is – a reduction in benefits, not a tax. It reminds me of a Green a while back talking of a government “subsidy” to airlines on fuel. What he meant was not that aviation kerosine was actually subsidised as such (it isn’t) but that it wasn’t taxed. Now why might that be? Now you can’t hop into your Ford Focus and fill ‘er up in France that easily but a 737… That is the whole point of flying – to make geography history. If only our finkers and tinkers (and tinkerers) could get up to speed on stuff like that. I mean maybe they need nearly 110 years of controllable, fixed wing aviation to get it… Oh, wait! Been done hasn’t it? Anyway, to conflate tax and benefits like this is a tacit belief in the “pocket-money nation” in which all monies really belong to the state apart from the “allowances” which are “given” to spend off our own bats (and obviously to spend as is seen fit in order to desperately try and re-inflate an insane consumer bubble economy – or else). It must be so nice for the proles to have a coupla quid on the hip. It’s like “voluntary” NICO contributions for the self-employed. “Voluntary” in this context really doesn’t fit with what it says in my wife’s OED or my Websters. Aren’t those two tomes suppossed to be the ultimate repository of the English Language? Try telling that to some fucker kicking your door in at 4am.

At a deeper level the minute you allow government to interfere with housing market then Lord Bragg, The Quiff Pursuivant then you are allowing them into people’s homes. Obviously.

Or maybe he’s just too busy wanking himself into a coma over fantastic dalliances with pretty girls a third (at best) his age in a field with commanding views of Derwent Water. Fine enough I guess (if a bit pathetic) on his own shilling. Anyway I digress…

(Sorry, thinking of Ms Kirwan, again – who is BTW two years older than me. Well fit in that train-wreck of a Dr Who Christmas Special a bit back. Good stuff which failed to gel.)

Anyway, the main point. Lord Bragg of Hair Product (you could launch a Harrier Jet (if we still had ‘em) off his cranial dead wombat) said he (he looked like he was about to weep the tears of the crocodile into his last freebee canape – I mean that bad – poor soul – how he has suffered!)…

I mean he Ronald Pickup (seriously!) couldn’t even afford a spare room for his inamorata and had to “do it” on a hill-side. That was the excorable “A Time to Dance” where Mr Pickup stood in for the Braggster in the role of “Randy Old Git #1″.

Enough Nick!

Anyway, the deeply intellectual Lord Bragg of “Presenting a show on ITV that nobody watches but means ITV can claim to do the Arts” was “viscerally” upset by this policy decision. He then apologised and said what he meant was he, “Felt it in his gut”.

Because us peasantry – presumably including the folk on housing bennies – wouldn’t understand “visceral”. Now I may have gone to an ever so ‘umble (fuck that!) Comp in Gateshead but fuck you Lord Bragg and the cunting unicorn you rode down from your cloud on. What really got me is that he wasn’t prompted but autonomously and automatically felt the need to apologise for using a “difficult” word becuse he is so clever and those he (literally) Lords it over are, to him, not. It was the assumption that made me want to forget my education and resort to the demotic (that’s classical too!) Anglo-Saxon and see visions of blood-cured battle-axes and flaming brands and other things too dreadful to state.

Make no mistake. From Prince Charles to Lord Bragg they think of us as pets at best. The simple fact that Lord Bragg of Twatbuggery felt he couldn’t use the word “visceral” to the plebs says it all. He’s not used to BBC1 – bless. Perhaps he ought to be put out to grass on a reservation on BBC4 with Jonathon Miller****.

Seriously though it is like something from Plato. These are the “Children of Gold” (not that they are looking that young mind) who love the poor just as long as they don’t have to stand too close to ‘em. Abject poverty to them means flying business class. We are their play things. I had Lego as a kid and bricks don’t mind if they get turned into a space-ship or an oil platform or a land dreadnought or whatever. I have rendered things in lego and clay and paint and code and all the rest. Never people. The arrogance is stunning. I’d go so far as to suggest that they only get away with it because it is so stunning you don’t notice it in exactly the same way you affect not to notice a naked 7′ Zulu warrior with an asagai and a 12″ semi on your commuter train of the morning. He might also have some beads mind and one of the deluded middle-aged ladies might ask if they were Fairtrade because her niece’s birthday was coming-up…

She’d be trying hard not to look at the cock mind.

And failing.

Most fun she’d never had since she didn’t inhale a Clinton during the Vietnam War.

Do anything you want, Mel & Chums, but don’t patronise me or I might liberate some artifacts from Prague Castle and then Your Lordship you might discover a true “gut-feeling” of what “visceral” really means.

PS. This is exactly the same bollocks that keeps alive the idea that Shakespeare couldn’t possibly have written Shakespeare because William was a grammer-school boy from the relative sticks. It must surely have been an aristo and not some young lad charging a groat to stand in the “shouty end” with a flagon of ale and a dubious pie to hurl at the cast if they fluff their lines. The greatest dramas of all time were staged without an Arts Council grant – get over it. Or get a pie in the mush!

*Or given the barnet he looks like an “ageing Ted with a masturbator’s pallor”. I owe that phrase to Mr Smarting Anus who also “Wanks Higher than any in Wome” and is usually more full of shi’ite than a mosque in Qom.
**BBC – A Time to Dance. If that wasn’t taken straight from the Braggadocio’s self-abuse notes then call me a Belgian.
***A massive issue. Forgive me for skirting this here because I’m in danger of “Old toffees blogging”. You know what toffee is like after it has been left out for a couple of days? You pick one up and the rest comes along with it…
****I have a cruel and unusual punishment for Miller. He must speak for a full two minutes without using the word “paradox”. If he manages that then Matron will give him his Horlicks and not spank his botty. Though he’d probs like that. Depending on the Matron so might I but not Horlicks! I mean if it was Kylie, say…

One Way or Another…

I was speechless – literally – when I heard of this cultural malfeasance. It was like some scrote had drawn a cock and balls on the “Rokeby Venus” with a magic marker and then sniggered. This is sheer musical vandalism.

The epically crap “boyband” One Direction have “covered” (under the aegis of the deranged and creepy Louis Walsh) the Blondie song, “One Way or Another” (from “Parallel Lines” – the Greatest Album Ever).

But wait there is more! It includes a wankensteinian “mash-up” with “Teenage Kicks” by The Undertones. And just to make Jesus Christ himself vomit choleric stools with inchoate rage it also includes iDave.

They are doing it for “Comic Relief”. God help us! If comics want to help starving Africans then send Dawn French with a cooking pot and a bouquet-garni to the frigging Congo and be done with it! It isn’t just the music it is the sheer patronizing nature of the video. Nothing to do with helping the poor but all about looking good to naive fans. And for the rich to salve the consciences for being rich which is pathetic.

You appreciate it’s a song about stalking?

One way or another I’m gonna getcha, I’ll getcha, I’ll getcha getcha getcha getcha…

… Oh yes! If Ms Harry wants to do that down a back-alley somewhere I shall applaud and if Fergal Sharkey then decides to give those teenagers kicks “All through the night” then I shall be even better pleased!

It has nearly 20,000,000 hits on Youtube. And people seem to really like it. Dear God!

I wonder how many of those have even heard of the originals.

PS – For those fortunate enough not to have heard of these bum-fluffed troubadours the press, which is always reporting on them, call them, “1D” for short. This appeals both to the music lover in me and also to the mathematician.

Windy Miller – Irish edition – it’s like a Leprechaun rotisserie!

UK and Irish ministers will today sign an agreement that could see some of the world’s largest wind turbines built across the Irish midlands.

Stretching more than 600 feet (180 metres) in the air, the towers are set to generate energy for millions of UK homes from 2017.

The companies involved say the Irish power is a cheaper form of renewable than UK offshore wind.

Note cheaper form of “renewables” and no mention is made of burning coal or oil or gas or trash or uranium.

But environmentalists have described the scheme as “crazy”.

They say it risks damaging Ireland’s landscape.

Well, for once I’m with the Greens here. I mean Mr Magoo himself would manage to spot a 180m tower. That is roughly the height of the BT tower in London. Apparently they don’t look so big if you look at them from a long way away. Neither does Jupiter.

BTW that is an explicit ref to “Father Ted” and cows. And he was trying to explain scale and such to his dim-witted curate Dougal.

Under the plan, a number of companies are seeking to erect hundreds of wind turbines across the boggy midlands of Ireland. The power generated would be transferred to the UK via undersea cables that would join the grid at two points in Wales.

“Boggy midlands”. Dear Gods! Have people been on the Poitín? I mean building a 180m tower in a bog? What could possibly go wrong?

One of the developers, Element Power, says the plan would save UK consumers around £7bn over 15 years compared to other renewable sources.

Again with the renewables Moriaty! Electricity is the life-blood of modernity. Without the electricity we might as well dig-up Jimmy Maxwell and bugger the remains. I mean for fuck’s sake! Let’s make the most important thing in the World – the thing that separates us from the brutes in the most half-arsed manner imaginable! But that’s OK because this utter fuckeration is happening in Paddyshire. And they are stonier than an Old Testament execution.

The developers also say that thousands of jobs will be created in Ireland and the economy as a whole will benefit.

But it creates jobs! What Keynesian madness is that? You might as well just pay Pat to dig a hole in the bog and Mick to fill it in. I hate this. It is the key fail of BBC News. Always with the jobs Moriaty! Economic development is about destroying jobs not make-work for the sake of it. I mean how many dung-chewers or pig-pokers do you know? We had this thing called an “Industrial Revolution”. This meant we made things quicker, cheaper, faster and with less general effort. We might as well climb up a 180m tower and piss on the grave of Lord Armstrong. And yes, his gaff was the first home in the world with electricity. He had a hydro station because he wasn’t a numpty.

But concerns are now growing that the turbines needed to provide the power will be of a size and scale not seen in Britain or Ireland before.

Because the bog lands are relatively windless, the company behind the scheme says they will need to stretch high into the sky to catch sufficient wind to generate power.

Some old-time buggers in Babylon had a similar idea. That’s in fucking Genesis. Do we ever learn?

“We felt it was better to built slightly larger turbines but fewer of them and that’s the best way to minimise the impact on the local area.”

180m is slightly larger. I am a former student of astrophysics so I have a technical term for 180m, “fucking enormous”.

But opponents say that local people have not been consulted and few actually realise just what an impact the turbines will have on the landscape.

“People don’t actually understand the scale of them,” said Andrew Duncan, an auctioneer and spokesman for the Lakelands Wind Information group, who are opposed to the plan.

Is Mr Duncan lobbying for windy milling in the Lakes. Because if so he can fuck off too. Cumbria has a major role in power generation – it’s called Sellafield.

“Putting up the largest turbines in the world without consultation – I think it is ludicrous, to be honest.”

Yeah, well I live in a grade II listed building and technically I’m not allowed a Sky dish. And that is less than a metre across! It was hidden round the back of the chimney by the Sky-man. Of course in order to get “council telly” I could perfectly legally erect a monstrance of a 5 metre Yagi dipole which is odd because just down the road from me is a fucking ginormous dish. We call it Jodrell Bank. Oddly enough that is also a grade II listed building. A few years back it was faced with closure for the want of GBP 3.5 million. I almost did an MSc there but I also had an offer from Queen Mary in London and I kinda figured Stepney would be more fun than Macclesfield which is (in a weird way) is how I wound-up in Cheshire anyway. In the end though London was fun – as ever.

Jodrell Bank is fucking awesome. I go there when they have does. I go there because it is the future, not the past. I recall being disgusted when it was to be scrapped and folk were on about what an iconic thing on the Cheshire skyline it was. Yes, it is but is that the point of it? There’s a Universe out there and that is our telephone. It is not about being cute. It’s about being an enormous steerable array. It’s about astronomy, not heritage. This is Britain. This is the birthplace of the industrial age and the nation of Newton and Darwin. We are not a fucking museum. My boss at Nottingham University won the Nobel Prize for inventing the MRI scanner. There is no blue plaque on the door. We are now going for the Blue Paque and twinning with Hobbiton. I have stood on the reactor plate of the first ever nuclear power station at Calder Hall in Cumbria as a kid (A-Level Physics school trip) and I shall be buggered if I’m giving up that to build cunting windmills in Irish bogs. You couldn’t get Fathers Ted, Jack and Dougal to come up with something more half-witted! And at least Craggy Island was windy.

Oh for God’s sake electricity, the motor car and heavier than air flight are like cool. They are the second industrial revolution. They are the reason I can get fro Manchester Airport to Paris in just over an hour or to Istanbul in like four. It is the reason I don’t go into the stream and bang my washing with rocks like some medieval cunt but stick it in the electric machine instead. Dear sweet Jesus! Do I want to live like my grandparents? No. And they appreciated new stuff too. My Grandad went to primary school without shoes. I went to university in Nike Airs. I’d say that was an improvement and so would he if he was still with us.

But not everything has been cured yet.

Nothing Changes

February 5th

Today we had a meeting about the Europass. This was a completely new development. I’d never even heard of it. … It seems that [it] is a new European Identity Card, to be carried by all citizens of the EEC. The FCO, according to Humphrey, is willing to go along with the idea as a quid pro quo for a settlement over the butter mountain, the wine lake, the milk ocean, the lamb war, and the cod stink.

Apparently, the PM wants me to introduce the necessary legislation.

I’m horrified by this.

Sir Humphrey was surprised by my reaction. He thought it was a good idea, as I’m known to be pro-Europe, and he thinks that a Europass will simplify administration in the long run.

Frank and I tried to explain to the officials that for me to introduce such a scheme would be political suicide. The British people don’t want to carry compulsory identification papers. I’ll be accused of trying to bring in a police state [...]

I asked Humphrey if the Foreign Office doesn’t realise how damaging this would be to the European ideal?

“I’m sure they do, minister. That’s why they support it.”

This was even more puzzling, since I’d always been under the impression that the FO is pro-Europe. “Is it, or isn’t it?” I asked Humphrey.

“Yes and no,” he replied of course, “if you’ll pardon the expression. The Foreign Office is pro-Europe because it is really anti-Europe. In fact, the Civil Service was united in its desire to make sure the Common Market didn’t work. That’s why we went into it. Britain has had the same foreign policy objective for the last five hundred years – to create a disunited Europe. In that cause we have fought wars with the Dutch against the Spanish, with the Germans against the French, with the French and Italians against the Germans, and with the French against the Germans and Italians. Divide and rule.”

“But that’s all ancient history!”

“Yes, minister, but it is, in fact, current policy. It is necessary to break up the EEC, so we had to get inside. We had previously tried to break it up from the outside, but that didn’t work. Now that we’re in, we are able to make a complete pig’s breakfast of it. We can set the Germans against the French, the French against the Italians, the Italians against the Dutch… the Foreign Office is terribly happy. It’s just like old times.”

Yes, Minister, “The Writing on the Wall”

ID cards, lies and duplicity over Europe… the book from which I’ve taken the bulk of this quote was published in 1981. The TV series which I’ve been re-watching and inspired me to post it first aired in 1979. Both are as relevant today as they were then (another episode is about an austerity drive). They’ve aged far, far, better than the highly celebrated – and much more recent – The Thick of It, for example: it was about the Blair administration; Yes, Minister is about the delusion that these here-today-gone-tomorrow administrations make a blind bit of difference in the face of our real government, the Civil Service.

If you’ve never encountered Jim Hacker, Sir Humphrey, and the Ministry of Administrative Affairs, I highly recommend you remedy the defect. The first series in particular is exceptional. Think of it as an education. Johnathan Lynn and Anthony Jay were – are – both political animals, and had contacts who were even closer to the centre of the permanent government; they weren’t making it up. Maraget Thatcher, when she met them, is reported to have said, “It’s very good. How did you know?”.

Apocalypse postponed – again.

We all know it was finito on the 21st. Due to the end of the Mayan Long Count.

Except it like wasn’t… Mind fair play to the Mayans – they still exist and still have their language and culture – shorn of human sacrifice – that does happen in Mexico mind mainly as a result of the deathly tango between “The War on Drugs” and the gangs… But that’s another matter…

But quite a few of them made a few quids out of new-age twats. And if a hippie and his or her money is parted due to ancient and brilliant mathematics and astronomy then Nick is happy.

Over at the “Christian Science Monitor” they have a round-up of their top-five failed (obviously) prognostications of global doom. They are all corkers…

***

The Millerites* – serial prognosticators of doom – kinda like religious Alan Hansens – but there was a “Great Disappointment” for them when the world didn’t end in 1844. They split and we got the Seventh Day Adventists and ultimately the Branch Davidians.

***

December 21st (again) 1954. This is a cracker…

Martin’s followers, many of whom quit their jobs and gave away their possessions, gathered in her home to await the aliens. (Martin’s husband, a nonbeliever, slept upstairs through the whole thing.) To avoid being burned by the flying saucer, her followers removed all metal from their persons, including zippers and bra straps. Midnight came and went and the group became increasingly agitated. Finally, at 4:45am, Martin said that she received another message from Clarions informing her that God was so impressed by her groups actions that He changed His mind and decided to spare the earth.

I love the fact hubby slept through the End of the World and what sounds like some sort of deranged Dianetics orgy. I mean why worry about the clap if it is the End of Days? Or maybe it was like the Heaven’s Gate “Away Team” who watched Star-Trek videos before they drank the Kool-Aid (or whatever). Some of those even castrated themselves so they didn’t get a stiffy when Lt Uhuru fiddled with the Crimble dec in her lug. Me, I lugged the ‘scope and Pentax out the back and got some pretty decent photos of Hale-Bopp. With my girlf and a cable release. Mentalists. I mean I knew my Solar System Dynamics lecturer Carl Murry had a year’s sabbatical in Florida to work on his book so why worry? Prof Murry is still with us and so is Florida. The book is available from Amazon. The paperback is fifty quid. There is a used hardback for nigh on nineteen hundred quid. I assume it is a mint signed first edition or similar. Very bright chap Prof Murray. Looked to the future. I have a copy of the earlier ring-bound photocopied version with my own spider-crawl marginalia.

***

Hal Lindsey. Bog standard apocalyptica though repeated – often. He now claims (after his predictions for 2000AD didn’t come to pass) that Prez Obama is setting the stage for the antichrist. If the antichrist is Joe Biden I think we can all sleep safely for he is a moron.

***

Pat Robertson, who in a 1980 broadcast of “The 700 Club” said “I guarantee you by the end of 1982 there is going to be a judgment on the world.”

The world didn’t end in 1982, but “WKRP in Cincinnati,” did.

So why was Mr Robertson running in several desultory attempts for the presidency when it’s all effed anyway?

***

And finally my personal fave. The Prophet Hen of Leeds. This one is instructive for utterly contra to millennial or apocalyptic visions this shows that the good folk of Yorkshire then, as now, have a warped, nay, fowl, sense of humour. And in these final days it is good to have a certain sense of continuity.

***

Now we only have the enforced jollity of Crimble. Ho, ho, ho! to look forward to.

Something I saw in the Telegraph darkly amused me. The Crimble Special of the execrable “Call the Midwife” on BBC1 (which has displaced the “Who” spesh – Dear Gods!) said it would, “Have you crying into your Christmas pud”. True, in a sense. In the sense of outraged boredom and terminal tedium.

Merry Christmas everyone!

(Bah, humbug!)

*Not to be confused with the Miller Lites which is only the end of beer (as if that wasn’t bad enough).

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