Counting Cats in Zanzibar Rotating Header Image

Cruelty to animals

Campaign to save the common-or-garden idiot

Life is hard - especially if youre stupid

THE Swansea woman who posted a grossly offensive comment about Down’s Syndrome on Facebook in a hate crime has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

Ursula Presgrave cut and pasted a comment from a website saying people with the condition should be put down – promoting what was described in court as a “tsunami” of responses online, including death threats.

Swansea Magistrates Court heard that people complained to South Wales Police about the message, and the 23-year-old was arrested.

Presgrave, of Talfan Road, Bonymaen, had previously pleaded guilty to sending an offensive message by means of a public communications network when she appears before justices today for sentencing.

Call Centre’s Ursula Presgrave given suspended sentence for Facebook Down Syndrome comments

Is society going to collapse because a Z-List celebrity and newly inducted member of the hasbeenerati placed her foot in mouth and posted a comment on LifeInvader sorry FaceBook that the perpetually offended are (quelle surpise) offended by? In short No.

How many children with Down’s Syndrome were led to their deaths because of this woman? Zip. Zilch. Zero. Nil. None. The square root of sweet fuck all.

Ergo, who are her victims? what is the real crime here? because if we exclude the world of the SJW’s, the ‘Perpetually Offended of Tumblr Wells” then the only guidance that we can receive from this posting of Ursula Presgrave is that she is a narcissistic idiot. The last time I looked in the Hansard index, being an idiot was not a crime, more a state of being.

In all fairness, I am in favour of the exposure of idiots, indeed it is one of the great pleasures of modern society that idiots, like prophets are self-announced and seldom recognized in their own country.

Jeremy Corbyn is an idiot, still supporting the Marxist / Leninist diatribe despite 70-years of Communism clearly demonstrating that it doesn’t work. Do we silence his monumental acts of idiocy over Trident or support for Hamas? No – we splatter it across the pages of the daily newspapers so that we can reveal his idiocy for all to see, we don’t sentence Jeremy for having offensive views (certainly I find pretty much everything about Jeremy offensive), so where do we draw the line?

The Common-or-garden idiot in mating plumage

The common-or-garden idiot (also known as the female “lesser spotted tattooed fuckwit”) in mating plumage 

Are some kind of idiots worth saving because of prestige or is it only the common-or-garden idiot that needs to be ground into the dust? Maybe this is just elitism in another form? Jeremy Corbyn – another string to your bow perhaps?

In light of this, I think it is time to start a campaign, write to our MP’s and let them know – the common-or-garden idiot should not be persecuted for its behaviour; it should be brought out into the sunshine and lauded for the depth of its ignorance and stupidity.

Save the Idiot!

For Fox Sake!

Rod Liddle, Sun columnist, goes off on one.

TALLY Ho! No sooner are the Conservatives back in office than they’ve decided to have a go at the poor foxes once again.

Actually I am of the opinion that they are trying to fix a half-arsed law that does little for either camp.  Trying to turn it into a Toffs or Us campaign because it suits your townie tunnel vision is unworthy of decent journalism.  But then, this is the Sun we are talking about.

Probably because there’s not much important going on in the world, is there?

When trying to repeal bad laws you have to begin somewhere.  The fox hunting travesty is as good a place to start as any.

Just the EU falling to bits and jihadi maniacs chopping heads off all over the place and Britain swamped by more and more immigration.

More bad laws to repeal, yes?

The Prime Minister wanted to waste some parliamentary time loosening the laws on fox hunting.

I assume this was David Cameron’s gift to his local pals — the Cotswold Posse.

All those rich monkeys in his constituency who enjoy nothing more than ripping a defenceless animal to bits.

But wait! Riding to the rescue are the Scottish nationalists!

Because Toffs on horseback are far more dangerous than the SNP interfering in English matters that should not concern them?  Your priorities are as skewed as the perceived ones you are whinging about, Ron.

They’ve said they will vote against any Tory proposals to relax the hunting ban. Despite the fact that they shouldn’t have anything to do with the matter because the rules don’t apply to Scotland.

But Ron agrees with them so it’s okay for the SNP to gang up in the House of Commons in precisely the way they promised not to.  The English faction of Parliament should interfere right back and give the SNP a bloody nose.  Oh, wait.  We don’t get to practice that privilege.  But that’s okay because foxes are cute and cuddly and never kill livestock.  Evah!

Opportunistic hypocrites, says Mr Cameron. But the foxes don’t care where salvation comes from — any port in a storm.

I despise Cameron but he has a point.  As for any port in a storm, it depends what is waiting for you on the dock.  In the foxes case it’s poison, lethal gas or a spade over the head.  At least they have a chance to escape horse and hounds.

My own guess is that the SNP are furiously against fox hunting because most members of the party have the same coloured fur as a fox.

Waaaaaycist!  That’s waaaaycist against gingers that is.  To presume they have fur and not hair.  Tut tut.

They’re worried the hunters might get confused. The toffs out on horseback spending the entire day pursuing what they think is a fox — and then they find the hounds have just eaten Nicola Sturgeon.

Ron thinks Nicola is a fox.  Does he kiss her picture every night before he goes to bed?

Still, at least the Nats are on the right side for once.

No, they’re not.  This is political interference on steroids. Will you still feel the same way if they join the Guardianista inspired witch hunt against Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid journalists?  Only stupid turkeys vote for Christmas.

The British public is hugely opposed to fox hunting, according to every opinion poll carried out on the matter.

According the opinion polls we were going to have another hung Parliament.  How is Coalition 2.0 going for you Ron?

Rightly, they consider it a horrible and barbaric business.

So was the invasion of Iraq but that didn’t stop New Labour did it?  They believed that foxes were more deserving of protection than the civilians who died during the ousting of Saddam.  They are still dying because IS filled the void.  Save your indignation for them, Ron.  Let’s have some honest perspective here.

Every bit as barbaric as all those other sports we’ve banned over the years — bear baiting, for example. Or cock fights, or dog fights.

Which take place in pits with no chance of escape.

Just because fox hunting is undertaken, in the main, by posh people, it doesn’t make it any less barbaric. A psychopath wearing a pink jacket is still a psychopath.

Where to begin?  Foxes are an apex predator and are culled because they kill livestock.  You know, all those cute and fluffy lambs, chickens and ducklings.  Dressing up in costume and riding to hounds, in Ron’s world, is psychotic because it is mostly done by toffs even though, in reality, it isn’t.  Bashing an animal’s brains out with the back of a shovel gets no mention, presumably because the deed is done by salt of the earth common man and is therefore not psychotic at all.  This is pure hypocrisy.  It is bare-faced, townie lefty, no nowt bollocks.

But there’s something about the Conservatives that revels in ripping an animal to bits.

I seem to recall a few Conservatives voting for the ban.  Must have slipped Ron’s mind.

If they’re not trying to bring back fox hunting they’re gassing badgers — for no sane reason whatsoever.

Because TB infected badgers don’t exist and neither does Bovine TB.

Mr Cameron and his well-bred cronies have no time for our wildlife, as they show time and time again.

There’s an awful lot of Labour voting farmers and country folk in my part of the world who regularly shoot rabbits and crows.  Aren’t they wildlife too?

If it’s furry and it’s got a pulse, kill it. If it’s a bird of prey, let the gamekeepers shoot it or poison it.

Your PETA-coat is showing, Ron.

And yet I thought the Conservatives were sick of being portrayed as the “nasty party”?

It’s all Fatcha’s fault.

Here’s the deal, Dave. Sort out the economy. Try to raise the wages of our poorest people a little bit, huh?

Nine quid an hour isn’t enough then?   What do you suppose this piece of Tory socialist insanity is going to do for the economy?

Decide what we’re going to do about IS and all those refugees trying to get into the country.

With all those bleeding hearts and EUphiles voting against him?  Not a chance.

And leave the foxes alone.

If you saw what a fox does to livestock it would make you puke, Ron.  But since you are a townie you keep yourself insulated against red blooded reality and arrogantly insist that you know what the scamelling hell you are talking about.

Kenyan fiddling with a kid.

Sex attacker is confronted by his victim in Kenyan court… a female GOAT (and he is jailed a record ten years for ‘defiling’ it)

defiling the goat? He’s not precisely covered himself in glory has he either? I mean it might have been a very attractive goat – to other goats but… it’s a goat.

A man who was jailed for 10 years for having sex with a female goat came face-to-face with his victim in a Kenyan court.

The goat watched quietly from the corner of the court room in Malindi while Katana Kitsao Gona, 28, was jailed for bestiality.

I’m really not sure about this story. It is quite possibly the first time he came (oh, er missus!) face to face with said beast. My vague understanding (and I could be very wrong) is the only critters who have sex face-to-face are humans and bonobos. Personally I don’t think he ought to have got chokey. Surely the stare of the goat* and his naming and shaming is enough? I mean that happened a few years back to a bloke from Hull who was caught molesting a goat by a railway line. He was fined (the goat was deemed OK by police vets) rather than ten years in the tank but his career was ruined. He was a chef. Well, who is going to employ a chef who sodomizes goats? And it is sodomy by pretty much any rational definition. Call me odd and all but sex with another human regardless of gender is like whatever. Shagging a goat is basically not OK. Do I have to explain why? And why the Mail has to state prominently that it was a female goat is beyond me. I suppose you just shouldn’t shag the nanny.

Anyway, on with this tale of utter depravity…

According to Jimmy Kimaru, chief prosecutor, Gona was caught sexually assaulting the goat in a bush.

It really doesn’t get better than that. Some of us dream of Brad Pitt or Keira Knightley on a Caribbean beach and some of us fuck goats in the backwoods of Kenya. Admittedly a female goat but quite frankly that doesn’t make a quantum of WTF to me. And why did this vile crime happen?

Gona, who pleaded guilty, told the court his wife is disabled and depends on him daily. Despite this, the judge jailed him for a record 10 years for ‘defiling’ the animal.

Well, as I said before some crimes are in a sense their own punishment. This is a very libertarian stance. Would you employ the goat-fucker of Malindi? No and neither would I. If you were his wife would you not seek a divorce? Obviously you would! There is not a court on the planet that would deny you. I mean an affair with another human might be forgiven but screwing a goat in a bush is simply unforgivable.

And now we get onto arguably the meat of the deal. I think the Dr Who character of Captain Jack is interesting. He is frequently described as “bisexual” but he is is actually “omnisexual” and I think calls himself that. So why does that matter here? He fancies males and females of every bipedal, thinking, speaking race in the Universe. OK, I’m fine with that but a goat is different. What is clever about Captain Jack is a couple of things. The first is there is very little hint in Dr Who of interspecies pregnancies (I’m gonna get called on that) and in that respect it is much more on the biological money than Star Trek (score one for the Brits!) but it acknowledges that sex is not just about procreation. And it acknowledges another thing. If one accepts that (and some don’t) then you have to face a tricky question and Captain Jack answers it very well. He is prepared to fancy different species so therefore he can’t see gender as that important. I think that is interesting. Obviously Captain Jack would never fuck a goat but he kissed both The Doctor and Rose. I guess what I’m getting at is that interspecies sex is acceptable in a fantasy setting (think Beren and Luthien) iff (not an sp) the species are roughly comparable and able to give informed consent and stuff. In short an Elven princess is one thing and a goat is quite, quite different.

Seeing as there is a species difference either way I’m not entirely sure if I can make a solid point here and I have to just really on the “yuk” factor to a certain extent here but… let’s face it making love to Arwen in the Royal Bedchamber of Minas Tirith beats the Hellskis out of goat-fucking in a bush in Kenya.

Pretty much anything beats that. The last time I had a filling beats that.

Quotes from The Mail.

*Goats have nasty stares. I recall an incident on a Greek island in the ’90s when I was surrounded by goats and the leader of the pack – a big billy with horns poised at my scrotum gave me a vile stare. I thought it about to charge and de-bollock me but then the goatherd turned-up. I have rarely if ever been more pleased with a Greek fellow entering stage left. I had also accidentally nearly troden on a snake about ten minutes before which was seriously nonplussed. Beautiful island but full of things that wanted to kill me.

Kitten Nearly Dies

Now this, from Melbourne….

Kitten nearly dies from vegan diet

Lort Smith Vet Leanne Pinfold says cats should be fed a proper diet. She is pictured with Roger, who is well-fed and available for adoption. Source: News Limited

A KITTEN has almost died after its owners fed it a strict vegan diet.

The horrific case at a North Melbourne animal hospital has prompted a warning about the dangers of people “forcing ideologies” on their pets.

Lort Smith Animal Hospital veterinarian Leanne Pinfold said the kitten was brought in this month by its owners, who were believed to be vegan.

She said the kitten’s diet of potatoes, rice milk and pasta had caused it to become critically ill.

“It was extremely weak and collapsed when it came in. It was almost non-responsive,” Dr Pinfold said.

The kitten was given fluids via a drip, placed on a heat pad and fed meat.

It remained in hospital for three days after which the kitten’s owners were given meat to feed their pet at home, she said.
Dr Pinfold said as obligate or true carnivores, cats needed meat to survive.

She said people who wanted a pet that did not eat meat should consider other animals, such as rabbits.

“Concern for animal welfare has to include a biologically-appropriate diet,” she said. “You can’t force your ideology on the cat.

“Carnivores will seek out meat and your cat is possibly more likely to go hunting and kill local native fauna if you deprive it of meat.”

Dr Pinfold said she had not come across a similar case in her 11 years as a veterinarian.


About the Animals …

This thought just passed through the space between my ears:

As for “animal rights” … what animals have is a claim upon us. It is mediated by our hearts and our consciences, and derives from our faculties of sympathy and empathy with reasoning urged by these faculties as another factor.

The animals’ claim upon us comes from our own nature as human beings.


Yesterday I sent an airmail letter to the Prime Minister of Vietnam. This is something I rarely do.

This is fairly urgent…

So please make some noise about it. And you all have the ‘net – you know how.

Ministry of Defence issues eviction order.

Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre faces eviction from Tam Dao National Park, following an aggressive campaign by the park director, Do Dinh Tien.

On Friday 5 October, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) informed Animals Asia that the Ministry of Defence has issued an order to evict the sanctuary operation and its 104 rescued bears. This follows Mr Tien lobbying the Ministry of Defence to declare the sanctuary to be an area of “national defence significance”.

Mr Tien has been pressuring Animals Asia to relinquish the land since April 2011. It is believed that he intends to hand it over to the Truong Giang Tam Dao Joint Stock Company, in which his daughter has an investment. This company has submitted an application for development of an “eco-tourism park” and hotels on the site.

The closure of the rescue centre would have a severe impact:

104 bears, rescued from Vietnam bear bile farms and smugglers – evicted

77 local Vietnamese staff – unemployed

US$2 million – investment in building and development by Animals Asia – lost

The word on the street is that this “military requirement” is a stalking horse for the minister’s daughter who wants (I am not joking here) to set-up alleged “eco-park” hotel-complex and such and evict the bears. So people who carbon-offset their holidays can feel good about themselves whilst destroying an animal sanctuary. The whole thing stinks. I think we must call for Mr Bond. He seemed to be involved with thwarting a dodgy “eco-hotel” recently.

“We are desperate to ensure that the rescue centre is not closed down and relocated. The welfare of 104 bears, who have already suffered enough, would be seriously compromised, and the rescue centre and US$2 million in donations would be lost. We’re calling on the public, and the media, both in Vietnam and overseas to urgently appeal to the Prime Minister of Vietnam for justice, and to let him know their feelings on this terrible threat to the bears’ welfare.”

-Jill Robinson MBE, h.c, Founder and CEO of Animals Asia.

I have mentioned this charity before. My wife supports it (she did the Manchester 10km run for it) and is very upset about this. So am I. And I know some of you folks gave a fair few quid to this excellent charity. So I don’t ask for further financial support but I do ask kinda differently this time. This is state corruption and that above almost anything is what we ought to stand against. My wife, me and some of you (thanks!) have monies given on completely honest terms only for a corrupt state to line their own pockets by a blatantly false flag equivalent of a compulsory purchase order on a charity that had hitherto had the “full support” of the Vietnamese government. Yeah, I know, it’s like football management. When the board says they are, “Standing behind the manager” you just know they have the daggers sharpened.

Let me add some more…

Bear bile is not only horrifically cruel to the bears but so insanitary is it it is not only dangerous medicine and to the extent it works there are alternatives that do not require such cruelty but proper, cheaper drugs and ones that don’t carry the considerable risk of infectious disease to humans are available.

My wife’s adopted bear, called January died, but she now has Wilfred. And yes, that is the blog of the Animals Asia founder Jill Robinson. Might I add that cage that Wilfred was in is relatively generous compared to the ones most bears are kept in for frequently a quarter of a century with their gall bladders tapped. The Chinese government wants to end this (they want for all their sins to appear modern and civilized and their burgeoning middle class do care about animals and as I said this can be injurious to human health). The Vietnamese Government seems to have back-slid on this because the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (and that is how they style themselves) has ministers that are going for the buck in the nastiest way.

The claim that the land in question is an area of national defence significance is questionable, given that the centre has been in operation since 2005 and that the Chat Dau Valley, where it is located, has been used for tourism and other private purposes since the park opened in 1996.

It is believed that once the bear centre is forced to close, the land will be declared to no longer be of national defence significance, allowing the Truong Giang Joint Stock Company to take it over for private development.

The eviction is in direct violation of the Vietnam government’s 2005 agreement with Animals Asia to fund and develop a facility on 12 hectares of the park that would permanently rehabilitate and house 200 endangered bears rescued from the illegal bear bile industry. Based on this agreement, Animals Asia has invested more than US$2 million in building and infrastructure.

And that is the rub. This is a naked stalking horse for vile corruption and for a usurpation of property rights on the grounds of that classic coverall of defence. A beut is that one given that you can D notice or whatever any discussion on the grounds of “national security”.

It is a fine charity (some aren’t of course). My wife and I don’t support causes without a good look-see. What appears to be happening is a charity welcomed with open arms by a government is having the rug pulled due to the greed and duplicity of a minister of that government who has played the “security card” from the bottom of the deck. If the Vietnamese government are made to know that they risk international ill-will and a fall in tourist Dollars, Yen, Euros and Pounds because of this depraved and Machiavellian scheme to make a minister’s daughter rich by blatant chicanery then they might think again. So go make some noise. Let them know.

Here’s a good start point.

Write to Vietnam. The postcards I sent from Paris recently saying like the Musée d’Orsay is like awesome cost EUR1.35. The airmail letter to the Vietnamese PM cost GBP1.28. Let them know we care about corruption (and why – why the stable rule of law – and not the whim of a Politburo member – encourages investment). Let them know that destroying part of an organisation aimed at ending an evil trade that is already (technically) against Vietnamese law will mean that regardless of the wonderful things to see in their chunk of South East Asia we’re going to Thailand instead (Mr Tien’s scheme is all about the tourist money-bags so hit ‘em there). Let them know this “traditional cure” causes more harm then good. Let them know they sold that land to Animals Asia in good faith and that we shall not invest in Vietnam when property rights are treated there in such a cavalier fashion. But most of all let them know that that charity has done wonderous things to help prevent (and to deal with the aftermath) of caging and torturing intelligent mammals with mouldering and rusting taps fitted into their abdomens in tiny, filthy cages sometimes for decades. And that that is unacceptable even if this was good medicine which it isn’t.

Let them know if that if they want to be seen as a civilised nation this is just not on.

PS. I’m not sure I have made it clear enough moneys gone to the major effort of Animals Asia in China are OK. They have spent that on buying bears from farmers (in much the same way the British Empire ended slavery – unlike the Septics who did it by having a dreadful war), looking after them.


I once had a BBQ in the Lake District and the caravan I was staying at had a badger so… Well as I had done before put out food for the badger that toured the area (badgers are Britain’s largest remaining carnivore – apart from me and you – since the extinction of wolves – which are kinda cool when they aren’t chewing on your femur).

There seems to be afoot a half-arsed attempt in terms of highly (and I mean highly dubious “science”) a badger-cull (science an astrrophysicist would regard as complete and utter bollocks) that is both wrong morally, ecologically, scientifically and poiintless. So, badgers….

I know that is at best annoying. At worst dreadful. We can use these Turing machines for all sorts of things.

I asked about the badger cull. These machines make this easy. You ask too. You can. However rich or poor you are you have more bits of power warming your sexual area to read the news-feeds than any great sultan of yore. The sort who considered an abacus SofTA. I think that is even old fashioned.

If you object to the badger cull you can do something about it. You can know how. Upon your lap you have an organ of generation more powerful than any penis or vagina of the greatest potentate of yore. And it probably was bought knock-down at Walmart or Target or Currys.

We can change things without politics as previously seen.

Or not. Your call, your laptop.

I honestly don’t know if this cull is a good idea but I am convinced enough it is wrong (and I tend to be conservative on such matters) that it is (and this is not the only reason) that if my wife goes to peacefully, lawfully, to disrupt a cull I’ll be there. The “science” seems iffy at best so let’s call it. There is physics, the discipline of Newton, Maxwell, Einstein… which is about the most profound insights into the Universe, and there is chemistry which is dull but useful and then there is this sort of drivel. It isn’t even biology (which is both fascinating – increasingly so- and useful – increaiingly so- unless you want to be a Timelord). What the fuck is “Agricultural Science”. It’s a numpty science at best.

PS I put out a corn-cob after having eaten the corn. The badger or some fucking thing ate the cob. It wasn’t me in my pants crawling on the gravel and strangling foxes. I think I was watching a DVD at the time. Look what happens in rural areas stays there.

PPS As I suggested about the ‘net, you can find out too. You can decide and you can act or not. You can do it. Or not. Your choice.

Counting Cats, Saving Bears.

For a while now my wife has supported a charity (a genuine one) called Animals Asia. Indeed she has adopted a bear called January – the month of her rescue from a bile farm. Don’t worry she (the bear) lives in China. Regular readers here will know I blog rather than bleg (I don’t make a habit of supporting every cause that ambles down the road – NSFW but ought to be required watching for any office manager) so if you got a few quid spare this really is a good cause. Animals Asia is also involved in trying to prevent the vile trade in cats and dogs for eating. I marinate meat after it’s dead. In parts of Asia cats and dogs are tortured whilst alive to “improve the flavour”. Many of these are stolen pets.

Anyway, over to Lizzy (who is running the Manchester 10km for this)…

Since 1993 Animals Asia has rescued Asiatic black bears, also called moon bears, from bile farms across China and Vietnam, and cares for them in rescue centers in Sichuan and Tam Dao, Hanoi.

Moon bears are listed in the most critical category of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species, however there are more than 14,000 trapped on brutal farms, sometimes for up to 30 years. It is illegal to take them from the wild in China but many are still killed for the gall bladders or caught in leg traps as new stock.

Bear farming is illegal in Vietnam and is now banned in 20 out of 31 Chinese provinces.

My goal is to raise £415 for Animals Asia. £415 is the cost of gall bladder surgery for one bear. All of the bears need to have their gall bladders removed because of the severe damage caused by bile extraction on the farms.

Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – I raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

It’s a very good cause.

Moon Bear

Moon Bear

I call him “Bitey”

Well the New Year in these here parts has got off to a spectacular start in terms of crimes that defy rational explanation.

Yes, somebody stole a 5ft caiman in Stockport. Yikes, that’s just up the road from me and I have a stream at the bottom of the garden! I must obtain a large shrimping net. I’m sticking with calling it a caiman for that is what it is but the Stockport Express (useful for lighting fires) headlines it as “crocodile”. The Guardian does a bit better because caimans are actually from the alligator family and headlines it as an “alligator”.

They also stole sundry other reptiles, tortoises and snakes including a 7ft anaconda. They also stole a cockatoo and a parakeet which were pets being looked after for their owners which must be heart-wrenching for them. General principle of theft and why it’s bad: It might just be an X to the tea-leaf but it is in this case a beloved companion to it’s owners who had taught the bird to talk. Or similarly it might be a laptop with all your stuff (or more likely the MOD’s stuff), or whatever. Somethings are replaceable parts and some are not but does that matter to the tea-leaf? No. For example every Halloween I tend to carve a pumpkin (and I’m good) and put it outside and one year some utter bastard stole it. I couldn’t call the cops could I? What is the monetary value of a pumpkin? But it was my pumpkin that I’d spent a couple of hours with a scalpel and such on and I thought added to the gaiety of the street. What is the value of a pet? People who steal such things steal away part of your life, not just “something on the insurance” though that is bad enough. If push came to shove and some scrote was here right now I’d help him carry the big TV rather than have him rifle knick-knacks that have no real value except to me and my wife. I would of course (if possible) attempt to “have an accident” and wing the bastard with the telly and I can imagine 32″ of Samsung doing significant damage. Then call the dibble. I would hope to refrain from a cunning foot-tap to the nadgers but that is an unwieldy item and who knows where it might have landed, officer?

I guess the point is that the distinction between “property crime” and “crimes against the person” is often utterly artificial.

On another tack I will bet you dollars to donuts there is a damn good chance the Stockport Reptile Gang (hardly “Ocean’s 11″) don’t know how to look after these critters and at least some shall die because it certainly isn’t warm round here right now. That is animal cruelty which is a matter I take very seriously. Unlike say PETA with their deranged campaigns about “sea kittens” and such. Do click that link and look at the cartoon image on the right under “Create Your Own Sea Kitten” of a lass hugging a fish out of water. If you ask me that is the same morality as drowning real kittens in a sack down the canal. That fish doesn’t look happy.

Anyway, I hope somebody winds up at Stepping Hill hospital A&E with some “unusual for Stockport lacerations” and the whole bally lot of them subsequently get scrobbled by the rozzers.

Fishy Business

I have meant to post this for some time.

I don’t know what it’s like where you are but in England there is a deranged craze for having fish nibbling your feet.

Full disclosure here: I am a fish-fancier. I don’t have any at the moment (possibly because I now have a cat and he’d go mental – “free-range!”) so I find the idea obscene.

Let me explain why. I first saw this reprehensible practise (I am given to understand that one of the more depraved Roman Emperors (as you can imagine that’s against some pretty stiff opposition) got sexual kicks from being nibbled by fish) in the MetroCentre in Gateshead but that’s not really my point. We have a covenant with the animals and I utterly fail to see how this is part of it.

Let’s put it bluntly. I thought they had tanks of fish as a promo-thingie in much the same way the John Lewis perfume counters in Newcastle had marine tropicals (very well kept – it has to be said – beautiful fish) then reality dawned. I couldn’t have a fag in the MetroCentre but I could have my feet nibbled by Garra rufa. I do sometimes wonder if I’m actually cut out for the C21st.

Anyway, it comes down to this. Invariably the fish are kept in bare tanks for at least their “working time”. So what when the mall or salon (and these are everywhere – I saw one in Keswick fairly recently – next to a shop selling boots for climbing mountains) closes? These tanks don’t have any of the impedimenta I would regard as vital for fish keeping. Oddly enough I tend to regard things like a filtration system more important to fish health than some manky old moo’s plates of meat (get a pumice stone you vile trolloping slag!). So if they are permanently kept in such conditions then that is bad. As indeed if they were, on end of business, moved to a veritable fish wonderland of a tank then that’s bad too. Anyone who has ever kept fish will know the cardinal rule of not stressing them by not shifting their environment more than absolutely necessary.

But they’re only fish! Right. Tell that to me. Tell that to someone who with infinite care kept his fish until their natural puff (slurp – I guess) was up. Tell that to the me that carried a (very heavy) tank half-way across the city of Nottingham or who perfected the art of moving them via a net and a pint pot when I had to move. My last act as an undergraduate at Nottingham University was to release my beautiful comet, Streak into the Engineering Faculty pond. “Swim well, little fish!”. It was really quite emotional. I wasn’t sure about taking him back to Gateshead and then down to London but moreover I wanted to leave something meaningful at my Alma Mater and it was a nice pond with no signs of heronicity so maybe, just maybe (they can live a long time) Streak is still there being fed Doritos by the morons that pass for this century’s undergraduates. I hope so. Not really so very different from last century’s undergrads. At least those in engineering… Physics grad snark there, sorry!

Anyway, enough of that. I saw Streak swim out of the little travelling tank like a good ‘un and that’s enough for me.

But every aspect of fish pedicures repulses me. No, let’s get this right. I’m not squeamish about it (though I think it foul). My fundamental objection is the abuse of animals. And it is abusing animals by any standard candle.

Almost exactly five years ago I wasn’t in a shed in Cheshire typing tripe but in the the Caribbean Sea snorkelling over the third largest reef on the planet and a 14′ nurse shark ambles past. I didn’t know this was normal so I alerted the dive captain who (I assume to avoid panic) didn’t use the “S” word but the euphemism “a very big fish”. I wasn’t scared – I just thought I ought to point it out because I’m not used to what you might see in such waters. To be honest I was more, “Wow… it’s like being at an airshow except underwater!” Anyway I felt the need to point it out.

I love fish. They’re good for the eating (apart from Vietnamese river cobbler from TESCO which is bland beyond any human comprehension of blandness) and for the looking at and in at least one case (off the coast of Florida) being awed by them. I mean I was paddling about like the hapless terrestrial primate I am and then this shark goes right by me (well about 1.5m below me – nurses tend to be bottom feeders) and I’m too awestruck by the sheer casual elegance of it to think of the teeth. It was kinda like your dad traded the motor and came out with an F-16 (and not as my dad did a diesel Skoda Octavia – but as he never tires of pointing out it’s comfortable, reliable and gets good mpg and unlike the F-16 fits on his drive). Nothing against that Czech/German motor but it’s like “Dad, nice car” but not a shark (or an F-16) level of awe. I mean obviously. I also got close-up to a barracuda. Now that was something else in the teeth department. I got real close but then if I have a camera (and I did) all bets are off. One day the coroner will conclude “misadventure” and that with a DSLR clutched in my rigid hands.

So I hate it. Or to put it another way my “shark experience” was off the shores of Key West (if you haven’t been then sell your children’s kidneys – they only really need one…). That’s fish like they’re supposed to be. Not chewing on fat bird’s ankles.

I am seriously on the warpath over this. I abhor any cruelty to animals. Most people think that just means cats and dogs and donkeys. I extend the courtesy to fish. Perhaps because I’ve kept them (and shall again) and perhaps because I’m just me. But if you are vile to any critter your name is on my (ever-expanding) list of enemies. And there shall be a reckoning. Possibly involving your genitals meeting and greeting a Breville sandwich toaster.

(I didn’t for legal reasons actually say that but I bloody well meant it).

I put so much time, money and effort into keeping my fish as happy as I could and this outrages me so.

There is an old saw that cruelty to animals implies the further potential of cruelty to humans. I never bought that. Oh, there is a truth to it but surely isn’t being cruel to animals a wrong in itself?

And this is wrong. Every fish-fancying bone in my body calls it from the highest parapet.

Sweet Jesus…

I got this from co-conspirator RAB via Alisa

Oddly enough I recently saw a bit of a doc on Bubbles the dismally treated ape of Michael Jackson. It appeared that Michael and Latoya and much of the rest of that non-shrewdness didn’t twig on Bubbles ever growing-up (where ever did they get that idea from?). Sometimes it is hard to know whether to laugh or cry.

But, yeah, let’s give “the monkey” an AK-47! What could possibly go wrong?

Actually no it isn’t. Borges argued that everything persists due to it’s need to be what it is. The rock has to be a rock, the tiger a tiger… Everything is what it is because that is what it is. The shark swims and gets bitey, the Nick codes and wields a posidrive and dreams of orthogonal universes where his leather jacket carries the stripe of the invisible flying tiger. All things can pass and all things can be but that doesn’t mean I can’t think some people are just wankers.

You’re Homo sapiens sapiens for fuck’s sake! You don’t give the monkey a gun for a laugh. You have agency. You have the capacity to plan, to think ahead.

And yes, I tend to think giving a loaded assault rifle to a chimpanzee is about as wankerish as it gets.

I shouldn’t mock. I once exploded s fridge (not a Beko – too easy) and have done other things for the sheer hell of it.

Bluebell Girl…

She’s a bit of an old dog herself these days, and no high kicking dancer like Betty Boothroyd either, but she was a right goer in her day, shagged her way through the entire staff of Oz and International Times magazines back in her Hippy hayday. But yes Germaine Greer is barking again, here.

What is it about the Hay on Wye Festival, a gathering of the Glitterati Literati, held in a small town on the border between Wales and England, that has no butchers or bakers shops, but about 4000 second hand bookshops, that brings out the bonkers in our Great and Good?

Yesterday we had Stephen Fry promising to top himself, with the due dread and sympathy that was supposed to instil in us mere Plebs. Well sorry Steve baby, you were magnificent in Jeeves and Wooster, borne to play Wilde, and QI could not be done without you in the chair, but if you feel like that, then off you go. I for one, do not find you a national Treasure, more like a sneering, condescending, rich as Croesus, pain in someone else’s arse.

But I digress, back to being Germaine…

Greer has a bluebell wood you see, and she thinks that the biggest threat to Bluebells is dog faeces. It is rich in Phosphorous apparently, which is fatal to the little blighters.

Do Foxes, Badgers, Deer and squirrels not shit in the woods then dear? Why arn’t they rich in Phosporous?

Well I seem to be sitting on a nice little earner with my bonkers Springer Spaniel then don’t I? I always scoop the poop, but instead of throwing it away I may be able to start up a match Factory, or a dietary supplement business(Phosporous is a vital for good health).And of course we can all see where those inconsiderate dog owners have let their pooches poop and not cleaned it up can’t we? Just take a walk through the park at twilight and there it all is, glowing in the dark!

“If you love Bluebells, Kill your dog!”

Nice one Germaine! Guaranteed headline grapper for an old, sad Intellectual slapper like you! I always think that if you want to read an aging polemical contrarian, you are better off with Julie Burchill, at least she’s funny half the time.

Thing is that Germaine’s “Wood” has been through many incarnations over the years. I read an article by her in the Telegraph (no Leftie snob she, when there is a hefty fee involved) around the time our wonderful Coagulation wanted to sell off our woodlands, and she agreed!

She basically said that she wished she’d never started with it in the first place. The first lot of experts she got in planted the wrong trees and they died, the next lot planted ones the Deer had for breakfast, and on and on. Now we get this Bullshit, er… dogcrap, because she’s managed to grow a wood that basically grew itself.

Bluebells are not, repeat NOT a threatened species.

Still, let’s be thankful that she’s not one of the Greenie Malthusian Candidates (yet) or gawd knows what she’d be advocating…

Cull a Granny for Gaia, perhaps?

I Don’t normally do this sort of thing…

… My wife posted me this link. Animals Asia is one of the good guys charity-wise – there are a lot of chancers on the make. My wife supports them – she adopted a bear that had been horribly tortured for it’s bile and supports it’s campaign against eating cats and dogs. Just check them out and make up your own mind then do what you can.

The bear doesn’t actually live with us – that would be intolerable for all concerned – scare the bejeezus out of the cat for a start – but is in a reserve in China.


I really like fish. Not only am I keen eater of fish but I used to keep them. Yes, despite being a student and not exactly on the most money I kept a flock of danios. I like fish in every sense.

So… I have watched with attention and vituperation evenly balanced C4′s season on fishing. Oh what a mess this world is! No, I don’t like farmed salmon (bland) and yes I only buy line-tuna and no I am far from ideal but I do my bit and perhaps more to the point I understand my bit. I like fish whether it pootles in my tank or sizzles on my griddle.

In short we have a mess. We have fishermen chucking back the catch they aren’t allowed to land and that’s the catch I want to eat*. The village I live in has a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker but not a fishmonger and this is an enormous shame for I would like to go beyond the salmon, tuna and cod. Yes, I would. And no I don’t mean invertebrates.

I will not eat invertebrates. I saw Heston Blumenthal cook a fucking massive crab and it looked like… Well, I dunno but I had watched “Starship Troopers” a bit earlier so you can imagine my ‘mares that night. I know, I know… lots of people think crab is very nice to eat and I am irrational to think, “You chuck rocks at it and run away screaming like a girl” but fuck me sideways that lit my fight and flight wires – it was a total monster. It was fucking hideous. It was waking-up drenched in sweat and screaming, “But No Mummy, No!” hideous. I don’t do prawns either. The woodlice of the seas are the prawns. I have an A-level (Grade A) in biology so I have dissected things you people wouldn’t believe (and things I didn’t duck fast enough to avoid – that is what happens when teacher is out of the room – heart fight!).

Now we get to a tricky issue. I have swum with sharks. Yeah, right, whatever but those nurses were 2.5m long which is a hell of a fish in anyone’s currency. The thing is I’m not brave. Quite literally I was more likely to be hit by the Subway delivery truck than eaten by one of those magnificent beasts. And they are magnificent – I am a fish fancier recall. To swim in their company was just magic. They have the functional elegance only shared by Molly from Neuromancer and fighter planes. They have a stark working beauty rather than a voluptuous one.

They look like fighters – they look like F-16s. They look like Vipers. My wife said they were beautiful apart from the mouth. OK, but that is the business end and when that M-61 Vulcan spins-up then beauty can take a hike for it’s time for the beast. I’d prefer a Rheinmetall-Mauser BK-27 but that’s just me. 20mm is for gays and Americans! You also have the issue of spin-up time for a Gatling…

Has any ‘plane ever wanted it’s intake painted with the shark mouth more than the Viper though?

So the crumple-faced Jockulent swear-chef is dispatched to investigate the shark-fin trade. And it stinks. Don’t get me wrong. I tend to think Gordon Ramsey is a git but on this he was right. He was right because “finning” is obscene. This is what they do. They catch the shark, cut it’s fins off and chuck it back in the sea, usually still alive. The rest of it is worthless. Well, shark ain’t great eating (my brother used to live in Japan where they eat any shit out of the briny – he didn’t much like whale either) so presumably shark fin soup is delicious? Indeed the only part of the fish worth the candle? Er… no. It isn’t. It’s fish-stock and rather bland. In Taiwan or London it will cost you maybe 80 quid a bowl but it is the Emperor’s New Clothes really. I can understand that. The one time I had caviar it was nothing to write home about apart from it being caviar (a party held by a guy from one of the ex-Sov ‘stans – he had boatloads of the stuff – he also did a rather good Freddie Mercury impersonation and upset a direct descendent of Søren Kierkegaard by shafting his moll – I use the term advisedly because he was so Organitsaya** it’s true – up against the adjoining wall with a vigour that belied his gammy leg) at the most unholy of hours.

We were always at war with Eurasia.

So shark fin soup is nothing to write home about but it has a cachet so people get into boats and horribly kill noble beasts for it. Now don’t get me wrong. I’d love to be taught proper game fishing but only if, when I landed a tuna or a marlin, it was all eaten. Life and death are not games which is why we have games as well as life. The idea of finning such a creature and chucking it back to die is as repugnant to me as the idea of de-winging an F-16. A fish without fins is a ‘plane without wings – obscene. I am not saying such magnificent (though they are – you will never see Nick happier than in an aquarium other than at an aerospace museum running my paw over the flanks of a Sea Vixen in a manner that is frankly pornographic) creatures should not be killed but it is wrong to kill them so easily and for so little. That is dead wrong. There is no absolute moral argument from me (I like a sirloin for example) apart from the argument that beauty matters and it’s casual destruction to make over-priced and bland soup is an abomination.

It is time people got moral over this. It matters. An enormous part of what makes us human and gives us the right to lord it over the other critters is the capacity to refrain from arbitrary cruelty. I certainly don’t favour banning shark fin soup. I’m not that kinda guy and I also know that if it’s 80-quid a bowl now banning it would rocket both price and desire. Our Chinese chums ended foot-binding. They can end finning. They can do that for the same reason. Shark fin soup is high end and so are bound feet until you look at either naked and then they are foul. The soup is bland, the feet look dainty in silk slippers but bared they are horrendous. Stripped bare they are vile, so is the soup.

So enough cruelty to fish already! It is pointless evil.

*TESCO et al don’t do catch of the day. They love farmed fish because they can control the supply. That makes good business sense in terms of the logistics.
**His Dad owned a gold mine.

Shitbag of the Month

I don’t usually pay much attention to Daily Mail type righteous rants but this time words fail me

%d bloggers like this: