Black Flag News
2002/July
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Black Bandits
Black Bandits over Romiley
Photo: Oliver Strange

Black Bandits Buzz Romiley

It was getting on for lunchtime (12:30 pm) on the second Tuesday of the month -- a miserable, wet day. Suddenly, 5 black fighter aircraft blasted across Romiley. The mystery intruders were keeping beneath the horizon-to-horizon clouds and flying low enough to be busted for contravening air-traffic height regulations. They certainly rattled the tiles and slates of Romiley roofs as they roared over the town. Their course was east-south-east, which suggested that they were on their way from Barton Aerodrome to give Marple, Hayfield and possibly even Chesterfield a fright. Who were they? Who knows?
   Historical Note: the last time Romiley was buzzed, years ago, was when some Luftwaffe pilots on a NATO exercise got a bit lost.

Euro Sour Grapes?

Why is the pro-euro mob up in arms because 3% of the anti-euro commercial was devoted to Rik Mayall doing Hitler? Were the pros planning to use der Führer themselves? And are they narked because the antis got in first?
   Hey, don't worry, guys. If you want a mass murderer for your campaign, why not use Stalin? He killed 30 million people, which is 50% more than Hitler's score, so he'll be 50% more effective in promoting your cause. Sic semper tyrannis.

Another Cock-Up Coming

Identity cards for all -- a good idea or a bad one? Or as Keith Waterhouse asked in the Daily Mail, "What are they for?"
   But when you think about it, both questions are irrelevant. Why? Because the government which made a bog of the 2001 census, caused melt-down at the passport office and gave us the Vice-Prez's personal ego-trip Dome ain't fit to run a whelk stall, never mind devise and implement something as complex as a national ID card scheme. So the whole thing is going to cost a bomb - £30billion according to the National Office of Guesswork's latest estimate - and it will be scrapped as unworkable when all that money has been wasted.
   Not that such a minor consideration will stop politicians with an itch to scratch and cronies in search of bungs and soft jobs at the taxpayer's expense.

Noisy Car Of The Week

H313 TFR takes the biscuit. Our expert said: "Any piece of mechanical equipment which generates that amount of sound when the vehicle is just parked outside someone else's house with the engine ticking over has to have an incredibly low efficiency rating."

Traffic Chaos To Order

London led the way, now other towns and cities are introducing "interstitial" traffic light delays with all the subtlety of one of the Chancellor's stealth taxes.
What are they? Time periods when all of the traffice lights at a junction stay red.
What are they for? Ostensibly, for the convenience of pedestrians. In reality, to increase traffic congestion to justify the introduction of traffic congestion tolls of £5/day or more.
What are they for really? To raise cash which the politicians can skim to pay for pet projects and perks for themselves and their cronies.
   So now you know.

A Lookist Cult Of The Viewer

Are you fat? Ugly? Old? Lame? Then the organizers of the Commonwealth Games don't want you to go to Manchester to officiate. The judges, scorers, time-keepers, etc. have to be telegenic and able to 'enhance the youthful image of the Games'.
   The ability to do the job is now officially placed second to looking good.

Bunger's Blunder

A company called Powderject bunged New Labour £100,000 and was awarded a £28 million contract to procure smallpox vaccine. The company doesn't make the vaccine. All it had to do was order it from a Swedish company -- something which HM Government seems incapable of doing when there's bunger to reward.
   Now, it seems, Powderject has ordered "the wrong sort of vaccine", which had echoes of British Rail's "wrong sort of snow". And all that the bunged Government can do is defend its bunger. But as it's the same regime which gave us the Millennium Dome Affair and the Foot & Mouth Farce, its assurances that everything is okay with the vaccine have a hollow ring.
   In office but not hacking it, Mr. Vice-Prez.

Princess Di's Ditch

If someone's going to spend £3 million on a memorial fountain, you expect to see serious amounts of water shooting into the air from an impressive structure. Which is why most people couldn't see why Princess Di's Ditch qualified as a fountain at first. But it appears to be two sets of shallow steps with water trickling down them.
   Apparently, children are supposed to be able to paddle in the ditch. But can you imagine the reaction of the local council to the thought of children being exposed to open water in a public park? They'll have a razor-wire fence and armed guards around it the second the first drop of water hits the ditch.


FOREIGN NEWS
Native Britons
Native Britons

Any Fule Kno That!

The alleged news meeja seem to have rediscovered what anyone with a trace of education has always known, namely that the current occupants of England, most of the white-skinned ones, are descended from Angular Saxons, who invaded the British Isles from Europe and pushed the occupants at that time into Wales.
   Researchers at University College, London, have found that English men are pretty well genetically identical to people living in the area of Holland from which the Angular Saxons came. So cue the meeja dragging a whole gang of professional Welshmen, and Welshwomen, out of the woodwork to tell us how brilliant the Welsh are, how they kept the Romans out of their grotty little country and they're not really totally crap at rugby.
   Q : But what really happened when the Emperor's legions reached Offa's Dyke?
   A : They sent spies in to have a look at what Wales had to offer.
   And when the spies came back, they reported that they'd seen lots of mountains, slate, rain, druids, fat blokes singing, and the odd narrow-gauge railway. Oh, yes; and even more rain. And did we mention the rain?
   So the Emperor got back on his horse saying, "Nothing worth having, then?" and headed back to Londinium or wherever.
Welsh Tourism   So the Welsh were left on their own to fester until that total head-banger Edward I came along and said, "I don't care if these Welsh creeps have got nothing worth having, I'm having it. Oh, yes, and build some castles to give the tourist industry something to work with. And a Prince of Wales sounds a goodish wheeze, too. Sort out some PR on that."
   So anyway, whither now for the Welsh? Are we going to see a surge of political correctness and their rebranding as Native Britons along the same lines as Native Americans? And the Taffy tribes being herded onto reservations? Nah! What will happen is that everyone will forget the Welsh again until the next big discovery comes along.

Does Vince Know Something We Don't?

According to the WWF, Mankind (What, that nice Mick Foley?) is using the Earth up so fast that the human race will have to colonize another planet within the next 50 years. We can just imagine Vince McMahon strutting out for a rant at the start of one of his wrestling shows and telling us that sports entertainment will soon be on offer on Earth II. There won't be enough hours in the day to fit in all his spin-off TV shows!

Money-Back Guarantee!

The parents of Pakistan's competitors at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester have had to post a £10K bond, which is returnable only if the athlete goes back to Pakistan.
   Ten grand to get into the UK? Sounds quite reasonable compared to the usual snakehead rates, and you get to travel in relative comfort, too!
Stop Press!
It was the team from Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, which did a runner en masse!

Gudburger Strikes Back!

The Gudburger chain of hamburger restaurants is taking legal action against Mr. Baesar Carber (56, 31 stone), a New York janitor, who blames Gudburger for making him a fast-food addict and causing his diabetes, high blood pressure, high bad cholesterol level, premature baldness and 3 heart attacks. His lawyers are demanding $35 million in punitive damages.
   The Gudburger countersuit accuses Mr. Carber of a reckless lack of self control, criminal gluttony and attempted extortion. The chain is demanding $135 million for damage to its reputation and Mr. Carber's firm of 'no win, no fee' lawyers is also named in the action as 'profiting accessories'. Mr. Carber's assets are estimated at $17,600. That just leaves his lawyers $134,982,400 to find if they lose. Plus costs.

Iraq Can Relax - For The Moment!

Vice-Prez Blair has had a word with Prez Bush and the Saddam Hussein of all wars won't break out while the Vice-Prez is on his latest freebie summer holiday. After that, watch out!


OLD NEWS

Schumacher investigated over 'attempted murder' of Villeneuve

A cutting from the Grauniad with the above headline [dated 07/01/1998] caught the editor's eye while he was trawling through the archives on a research project. This was a few months after the Forces of Evil M. Schumacher had tried to cheat his way to the Formula One drivers' championship using the "crash into your opponent" tactic which had worked so well in the case of Damon Hill.
   Anyone know how much gaol time he served?


DOSH NEWS

Bank Admits Minor Printing Error

The new £5 notes with the vanishing serial numbers were printed with the numbers on top of the long-life varnish layer instead of under it. The bad news is that the problem can be corrected only by giving the 200million notes an extra varnish layer at a cost to the taxpayer of £250million.
   The good news is that the fiasco is not expected to have any effect on this year's bonuses paid to the Bonk of England's managers.
Stop Press!
Hang on to any examples of the first issue of these new fivers they're worth £15 each at the time of writing and they may shoot up even more in value with time!


DEATH NEWS

Cruel, Unusual & Legal

An Iranian court has passed a death sentence on a man who raped and murdered his 16-year-old nephew. The method of execution involves tossing the criminal off a cliff in a sack. And hanging him if he survives the drop.
   One can only admire the Islamic imagination. And they should make a fair few bob out of the TV and video rights.


SPACE NEWS

What?

You can't hear yourself think on the International Space Station - and that's official. The noise from the equipment, such as the fans needed to circulate the atmosphere and cooling fluids, makes the ISS so loud that most conversations contain the word, "What?" as frequently as a World Wrestling Federation TV show in the Steve Austin Era.
   The noise level in the Russian service module is now a continuous 70-72 decibels, which compares with the 75 dB generated by a vacuum cleaner. At the other end of the station, in the US lab module, the level is 55-62 dB. This is a lot noiser than a library (40 dB) or even a large office (50 dB) and comparable with normal conversation (45-60 dB).
   The result of this continuous sonic attack is that the occupants of the ISS might miss an alarm signal -- probably the one that tells them the station is about to blow up -- and they suffer from temporary hearing loss. But there are solutions.
   The cheap but time-consuming solution is to fit noisy equipment with high-tech rubber isolation mountings to reduce vibrations and sound. This method reduced the noise from a Russian depressurization pump from 100 dB to 60 dB at a cost of under £40. But unbolting equipment in zero-gravity is time-consuming and the occupants of the ISS frequently claim that they spend so much time on routine maintenance that they have no time for science.
   Another solution would be to use the system described in the Daily Mail [2002/03/28] -- a "Silence Machine", which samples unwanted sounds, uses a computer to build an exactly opposite sound (with the sound waves reversed), and feeds the opposite sound to a set of loudspeakers. The result is that unwanted background noises are cancelled out and peace reigns.
   So can someone give NASA the email address of Professor Selwyn Wright?

What, Another One?

This month's Death Rock is 2002 NT7. Just 2 weeks after spotting it, an 'expert' has calculated that it could hit the Earth on February 1st, 2019 with enough force to do to humans what the Yucatan Death Rock did to the dinosaurs. But we in Romiley are not bothered -- mainly because we know that when the asteroid's orbit has been calculated properly, surprise! It won't be on a collision course with the Earth after all.
   But the 'expert' got his name in the papers, and that's what really counts.
Stop Press!
The asteroid impact on the Earth has been postponed to February 1st, 2060. So nothing to worry about for most of us.


 
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 back to topCreated for Romiley Anarchists' League by workers in revolt against oppression.
Sole RAL, July 2002.