|Jon A. Gored|
Police Catching Up With Author
Those lucky enough to have read Prey by Romiley Literary Circle member Jon A. Gored will be familiar with his application of miniature cameras of the sort used by American football officials (Ump-Cams) to crime-busting. Now, the West Midlands Police are trying out the same idea in Birmingham.
What they're doing is building the cameras and a transmitter into cycle helmets used by Bike Police. The recording units are attached to the special mountain bikes used by the unit and the coppers can wander about and record video pictures of quality high enough to be used as evidence in court.
Where Romiley's authors go today, the rest of the world visits in a couple of years' time ...
in 90,000,000 BC?
Dinosaur bones have turned up in an undisclosed location somewhere within the bounds of Romiley Village. Few details have penetrated the veil of secrecy, which was lowered around the site to prevent looting by ruthless commercial fossil hunters.
Core Nucleon Activation Egesis Analysis performed at Manchester University's Paleontology Department gives a preliminary dating of the remains as 92-84 million years old. The leaks suggest that a carnivore tooth from a chicken-size animal and several small tail bones, probably from another animal, turned up during excavation work to extend a fall-out shelter. The big question going around the village now is: "Who the hell in Romiley has got a fall-out shelter?"
The Great Birmingham Earthquake at 1:00 am on 2002/09/23 was a flop, Romiley residents declared. It may have cracked the tarmac in a pub car park in Knotty Ash but no one here noticed it. Unlike the Great Romiley Earthquake of 1984! One witness to that memorable event recalls:
"I felt a rapid but not a violent shaking of my chair and I heard a creaking noise -- which was due to movement of a free-standing set of steel shelves loaded with about 700 paperback books. The whole thing took place at 07:58 hours on 1984/07/19 and lasted for 10-15 seconds."
A member of Romiley Literary Circle added: "For about six years prior to the earthquake, I'd done a lot of research for a book which referred to the Essex earthquake of 1884. So I knew what it was more or less right away. I was able to say to myself, 'Cool! It's an actual earthquake. What's happening around me?' I would put the force in Romiley at about Strength III on the Modified Mercalli Scale."
A third observer noticed a strange movement of a 30-volume Encyclopaedia Britannica, which occupied the lower part of a bookcase and shelf unit. The wooden sliding doors of the upper part rattled as if a heavy lorry was driving past.
Historical Note: The 1984 Earthquake was the biggest of the 20th Century in Britain. It measured 5.5 on the Richter scale and it brought down electricity pylons in North Wales, where it originated.
after Steve Bell
The Invisible Man
Vice-Prez Blair, who became known as Princess Pushy after his attempts to muscle in on the Queen Mum's funeral, just can't win. He made an uncharacteristically discreet entrance and exit at St Paul's Cathedral on September 11th and he didn't try to put himself about.
So isn't it ironic that afterwards, a number of Yanks were heard to ask, "Why isn't Tony Blair here?" in accusing tones!
Salford Rains On Romiley
Collections of large buildings influence the local weather and create their own micro-climate, according to Salford University meteorologist Professor Christopher Collier. He has shown that large buildings cause turbulence in wind currents, which throws water-saturated, low-level air upwards. The water vapour condenses into droplets as it rises – aided by dust particles produced by polluting cities – and the nett result is more rain.
Professor Collier has observed that Romiley, which lies to the south-west of Salford, has experienced a rise in annual rainfall of 50 mm, or around 8%, since 1970. Areas to the north and north-east of Salford, in contrast, are getting less rain but an increase in persistent drizzle. So Salford is also making Manchester even soggier.
So! What's to be done about it? An instant poll of Romiley residents indicated that flattening Salford would be a good start.
Lord Archer may be banned from the House of Lords just because he's been to gaol for more than 12 months? The Romiley Voters' Panel says this is a rather silly distinction.
Is someone who went to gaol for 365 days less untouchable than someone who served 366 days? This is typical Blairite wishy-washyness. Being able to enjoy the hospitality of the House of Lords should be an all or nothing affair.
Either being a gaolbird for one single day makes someone unfit for the company of the genuine aristocracy and jumped up political appointees, or it shouldn't matter a scrap if the criminal has been to gaol for 99 years.
The Way Forward
Tory leader Mr. IDS Dunc says he's going to 'slay' failing schools, crime, sub-standard healthcare, child povery and insecure old age. Wow, gosh! Better vote for him, then. Because the best the Vice-Prez can offer is letting us watch him guzzle freebies.
US Gets Tough on Congestion Charge
King Ken Livingstone's plan to charge his subjects in London £5 to drive in the centre of the city breaches the Vienna Convention's rule that diplomats can't be taxed, says the US ambassador, whose embassy lies within the Forbidden Zone. Mr. Livingstone has told the Yanks to go ride a bike because he reckons it's not a tax, it's road pricing, which is something else entirely.
Perhaps his bullish attitude has something to do with the fact that any cruise missiles launched at him to bring about a ‘regime change' in London are likely to crash through the windows of County Hall [now flogged off to the Japs], given the Americans' history of getting things wrong when it comes to aerial bombardments.
Vice-Prez Blair is 25% racialist - it's official! A new survey has come up with the surprise conclusion that one-quarter of Scots are racialist and 1% are strongly so. A survey of English people found the results unconvincing. They put the true figures at 90% for routine racialism and 45% for the extreme sort. The dozen or so respondents also accused the Mugger of being 100% racialist– it certainly explains why he's so fond of zapping the English with his stealth taxes!
The Heroin Benefit
A flood of cheap heroin is on the way to the UK as a big ‘thank you' from the warlords of Afghanistan. With the repressive Taliban regime out of the way, they have been able to increase opium production by 1,400% over the past year to a massive 2,700 tons.
"We owe it all to Prez Bush and his personal assistant, what's his face? The Prez of England," said Warlord Gadgi Sidiqet. "The Taliban control freaks really screwed up poppy production. After our liberation, we're looking forward to a new age of prosperity and further opportunities to expand our business to the maximum."
The Saddam Hussein Of All I'm going for a currie Jokes
John Major interesting? The Grey Man of British politics? Gimme a break!
"Is it interesting that he had a pre-ministerial fling with a Scouse slag called Edwina?"
"Possibly. For about ten seconds."
"But is it interesting enough to make you dash out and buy the paper which is publishing the slag's diaries?"
Grey is grey and oh, so dull,
And ever more shall be so!
|Missile-proof - the Vice-Prez steps out|
Vice-Prez To Blame -- It's Official!
The Vice-Prez is to blame for ruining our planet. That was the verdict of the (It's Gonna Cost The) Earth Summit in Johannesburg. Even Third World leaders took time out from stealing foreign aid money to acknowledge that the VP's bumbling and incompetence are having a seriously detrimental effect on the state of our planet. He also stands accused of wrecking Africa by his passion for handing out British taxpayers' money to corrupt dictators.
The VP left the junket early, spitting fire and wearing his new outfit, which provides almost complete protection against protestors throwing eggs and rotten vegetables. On his way out, he announced that he is going to join the Prez in his Saddam Hussein of all wars against Iraq without delay, probably just to cheer himself up.
"That's going to make a few ****ers ****ing well sit up!" he muttered, red eyes flashing dangerously, as he boarded Air Force 1-A for his flight home. Stock markets around the world took nose dives in response to his announcement, returning to the low points reached when the Prez revealed that he had the power to order an attack on Iraq without consulting Congress.
|Mr. Jags with minder|
The British deputy prime minister Mr. T.W.O. Jags has received an award for his considerable part in the 'Betterment of the World Environment'. India's deputy prime minister presented him with his trophy during a stop-over in Bombay on his way home from a junket in the Far East.
It is not known at the time of writing whether the Indians got the wrong John Prescott or they were just having a laugh. No clear photographs of the presentation ceremony are available. The degree of camera shake in the prints suggests that the Black Flag's chief photographer was having trouble containing his mirth.
Greek Boycott Hurts The Rip-Off Merchants
The EU's Department of Guesswork has included a whole raft of mind-boggling dodginess in its "proof" that rounding up prices when going from old currencies to euros has added just 0.16% to eurozone inflation. They must have left Greece right out of their sums. Price rises have hit up to 200% there, and the punters ain't happy.
Boycotts, particularly in tourist resorts, have left shops empty and business down by 60% for some profiteers. Next on the list are token, 2-minute boycotts of public utilities such as electricity and telephones. The organizers are hoping for a general switch off for 2 minutes at a specified time to send a message to this other gang of spivs.
British tourists have found that one week in Greece in 2002 cost as much as 2 weeks in 2001, and all tourists are advised to give Greece a miss next year to teach them a much needed lesson.
Of course, our own dear freebie-guzzling Vice-Prez won't be affected as he never pays for his holidays.
We Have Ways Of Making You Enjoy Yourself
They've finally been and gone and done it! There have been plans to do something with Colditz Castle for years but none has come to anything as it lies in the grim, grey, post-Communist, run-down former DDR. But it's now going to become a youth hostel.
Democracy In Action!
96% of the British population are agin' it, according to recent surveys. But the Vice-Prez is for it -- so the Saddam Hussein of all wars is still on.
That's New Labour-style democracy for you!
The Inside Story?
Mo Mowlam, MP, says the Saddam Hussein of all wars is just a plot to seize control of Saudia's oil. According to this latest conspiracy theory, the Prez is worried that when King Fahd dies, lunatic Islamics will take over the country in a "democratic" election and the flow of oil to the West will stop (until the Prez sorts out the Israelis).
The Dearth of Difference
The French are still fighting a rearguard action against Franglais. The Germans are resigned to the flood of Denglish. But the Japanese Government are now looking for ways to prevent Japlish from obliterating their national language.
Anyone got King Knut's mobile phone number?
1066 All Over Again!
Aggressive German mosquitos, blown across the North Sea, are invading England's East Coast. Visitors are advised to take their own supplies of mosquito repellent as the local shops have all sold out.
Blut und Ehre
The Vice-Prez had decided that he's going to splash a little British blood around to remain best mates with the Prez. Naturally, it won't be his blood.
Meanwhile, in his latest statement from Führer HQ in Baghdad, Saddam Insane announced that he has no territorial ambitions in Europe. The Rheinland, Austria, the Sudetenland and Poland can all relax.
Blut und Ehre II
The VP's plan for a mass torchlit war rally at Manchester's Olympic stadium has been scuppered by fire regulations. The VP is reported to have erupted into a red-eyed rage and chewed his way through a couple of feet of heavy-duty Axminster on receiving the bad news. His mood was not helped by Mrs. VP (Cherie Booth, QC, a.k.a. Mrs. Blair Ed.) telling him that one of her legal workmates reckons that it would be illegal under international law for the UK to invade Iraq. The VP is expected to ignore the opinion, as he does with every other inconvenience.
Romiley votes to back Bush & Blair
On Sunday, September 8th, Romiley's residents turned out in force for a spontaneous community discussion at the celebrated Romiley Forum. In a lively debate chaired by the Mayor, looking somewhat hot and bothered in his full civic regalia, the gathering voted to back Prez Bush and Vice-Prez Blair.
Violence broke out when the Romiley Labour Supporters Group (both of them) realized that the backing options were a straight choice between "over a cliff" and "into a deep, dark hole".
After a period of disorder, during which the Romiley Constabulary gave the RLSG a spot of police violence, the Mayor adjourned the debate without conclusion.
Bad Sock Day in Baghdad
Saddam Insane is reported to be laughing his socks off on a regular basis over the antics of the frustrated war-mongers Bush 'n' Blair. Branches of Marks and Sparks all over Iraq are said to be struggling to keep his many palaces supplied with their full colour range of "heavy-duty desert dictator" footwear.
Mr. Insane's strategy has always been to keep the UN weapons inspectors out of Iraq until he's hidden all his ‘nasties' where they'll never find them. He feels that all the war-talk is a good idea because it gives him more time to hide things. He is also encouraged by his advisors, who assure him that the Bush-Blair Axis couldn't lead a lemming over a cliff.
Justice Of A Sort
Two US pilots have been charged with involutary manslaughter as a means of persuading the rest of the blind bastards to look before they press the button. Major Harry Schmidt dropped the laser-guided bomb which killed 4 Canadians in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Major William Urbach was his flight leader.
And about time, too! (Bet they get off, though.)
|The World's Favourite Dictator|
Will He, Won't He?
Both Prez Bush and Vice-Prez Blair cried 'foul!' when Saddam Insane played his Joker and offered to let UN weapons inspectors back into Iraq unconditionally. Looks like the world's favourite dictator reckons he's got everything hidden well away now.
Meanwhile, Prez Bush is still eager for ‘regime change' to clean up the mess left behind by his daddy and the Vice-Prez's support for a shooting war is now thought to be waning as opposition to it becomes increasingly vocal within the Labour Party.
It is even being rumoured in certain circles that Prez Bush is starting to see the UK as ripe for its own ‘regime change'...
The War On Wallets
New Labour's war with the asset-owning members of the British public continues. The Vice-Prez is cooking up some grand taxation plan under the banner of 're-distribution'. As usual, there will be a lengthy softening up process, during which he will drop coy hints and his lying spin-doctors will deny he said, or intended to say, anything about putting taxes up.
So what are the implications of 're-distribution' for the nation at large?
- Higher taxes;
- More cash flowing into the Treasury;
- Greater scope for the VP's minions to make a percentage of the pot 'go missing' for re-distribution to cronies; and, maybe, just maybe;
- A few quid more for some of the worst off via a scheme set up by the Mugger which is deliberately badly targetted and minimally advertised to reduce take-up and the drain on his 'War Chest'.
Q: Tell me again, why is the Labour Party so keen on putting taxes up?
A: Because the bigger the pot, the more they can skim off the top without anyone noticing.
Contingency Planning, New Labour Style
The fire brigade's going on strike and everyone thought that the Army would rally round with their Green Goddess fire engines and give cover of a sort.
Vice-Prez Blair has put the 4,000 troops designated for fire-fighting on standby for his virtual war in Iraq. So once again, poor old Britain is expected to pay the prices of the VP's vanity.
Make The Polluter Pay
Once upon a time, Paris had a team of blokes on motorbikes fitted with vacuum gadgets. They used to ride around the city removing dog turds from the streets -- until the city council abolished them. Now, the city council has hired a gang of 90 Turd Wardens to hand out 200 euro fines to dog owners who don't clean up after their pets.
The policy seems to be "don't spend any money on cleaning city streets but raise income from fines, knowing that the extra cash can be deflected to junkets for members of the city council".
The Earth has a second satellite - semi-official! It's called J002E3 and it circles the Earth in 50 days, as opposed to 27 and a bit days for the visible Moon, and its orbital distance from Earth varies between a mere 300,000 km and 840,000 km [the Moon has a more circular orbit of diameter 380,000 km]. J002E3 was discovered on September 3rd, 2002, by Canadian amateur astronomer Bill Yeung.
If it is recognized as a genuine natural Earth satellite, it will be renamed S/2002E1. But that may not happen. At present, all that astronomers have seen is a fuzzy blob of light – which could belong to a captured asteroid of diameter 50 m. Alternatively, the same amount of light would be reflected by a white-painted booster rocket of length 10-20 m, which was launched from Earth.
So we're all waiting for the final official verdict.
The official verdict is that the alleged 'moon' is the third stage of the Saturn rocket used to hurl the Apollo 12 astronauts to the Moon in late 1969. A big clue was that the object's spectrum matches that of white titanium oxide rocket paint.
Wrong Way, Mate
On 2002/09/19, the North-West issue of the Metro reported that fizzy drinks company Pepsi is negotiating with the Russian Aviation and Space Agency for the ultimate promotional giveaway -- a trip into outer space. If their plans go ahead, the cost of socking it to Coca Cola will be a massive £10million. The only snag is that the destination of the jaunt is the Mir space station.
Black Flag readers were quick to shower the Metro newsroom with emails telling them that anyone who wants to visit Mir will need a submarine, not a space shuttle. The Russian space agency de-orbited Mir on 2002/03/21 and what's left of it currently lies at the bottom of the Pacific.
Georgina Littlejohn of the Metro's editorial staff sent out a general email thanking the readers for their interest. It seems that the Metro used some copy from Russian sources. It mentioned Mir but it was no longer available when Ms Littlejohn checked again – presumably because they'd spotted the blunder.
Surprisingly, Ms Littlejohn admits in her email that neither she nor the Pepsi press office knew that Mir was no longer in orbit. Odd how little people working in the alleged news media know of what's going on around them -- and what has gone on.
The Euro Conspiracy Explained
Q:Why is Vice-Prez Blair so eager to get the UK into the eurozone?
A: Because he hopes to do a Kinnock when the British people sack him for incompetence.
He wants to retire to a sinecure with lots of freebies in the European government machine. Proving himself a good European by adding the UK to the euro-club is a vital step on VP Blair's path to future European free-loading.
But joining the eurozone would subject the UK to the European Central Bank's policy on inflation – which means low interest rates and a squeeze on public spending.
But the VP has already promised massive spending on the public services. So how can he reconcile his promise on public spending with joining the eurozone?
Simple – he privatizes as much of the public sector as possible. The Public Finance Initiative for the Tube was one such scheme. If such things are no longer on the books as ‘public sector', their borrowing requirements no longer count as far as European fiscal targets are concerned.
So the books are fiddled, the Government pours vast amounts of dosh into its black holes, the UK joins the eurozone and the VP sneaks off to a life of permanent and unending luxury on the ‘World Stage' in his dotage. Simple.
Money is Bad For You
Well, it is if we're talking about euro coins. When they came out in January, people were threatening to sue the EU's banking operation because the coins were giving them a rash. Now, Swiss doctors have backed them up.
A reaction between human sweat and the metal alloy releases up to 320 times the permitted amount of nickel and can trigger skin allergies. People who have to handle lots of the coins, such as bank tellers, are advised to wear gloves until the EU issues safer coins.
Keeping the pound is looking an increasingly safe option for all manner of reasons. Even though doing so could scupper the Vice-Prez's retirement ambitions!
Nobody took those cute little aliens seriously when they appeared in the Cadbury's Smash adverts, laughing at the antics of spud-peeling Earthers. But their day is coming. The Department of Guesswork's latest prediction is that the once humble fresh spud will become a scarce luxury by 2015. People will still be eating as much spud – but it will be in the form of potato products – frozen chips, potato cakes, packet mash, crisps and weird things made with the bits left over from manufacturing the other products.
Vote Early, Vote Often
Want to sell your vote? Then log on to the website cashvote.com. The Kiel-based firm is buying votes from fellow Germans at 10 euros a pop. Those who take the money are put on trust to vote the way they are told in the imminent German general election. Selling your vote, or even offering to do so, is totally illegal in Germany and the penalty is a fine or up to 5 years in gaol. But that doesn't seem to stop the punters who are seeking out this exciting opportunity to redefine democracy.
A poll conducted in Germany found that 13% of the electorate were willing to sell their vote for less than 500 euros. Germans have also offered to sell their votes on Internet auction sites. One bloke even took out a small ad in the Frankfurter Rundschau and offered his vote in exchange for a job.
Selling a postal vote seems to be the best way forward when it comes to solving the knotty issue of ensuring that the payer obtains a guaranteed vote the right way. Which makes you wonder why Tony Blair's New Labour Party is so mad keen to extend postal voting...
Bamboozling The Unwary
It's a bit less ambitious than selling someone the Statue of Libery or Nelson's Column, but con men have been going to town on an Internet domain name scam since 2001/09/11. They were offering to register domaign names ending with .usa for patriotic punters in the United States and .scot or .brit for UK residents who wanted to fly the flag over here.
Their registration fee was a massive £40 (a .co.uk domaign name can be registered for as little as £3 in the UK) and they didn't tell their customers that the usual browsers can't access these irregular domaign names, which makes them fairly useless to anyone hoping to establish an Internet business.
The US Federal Trade Commission froze bag guy assets to the tune of $1.5million after receiving a shower of complains and customers over there may even get their money back. It's a different story in the UK, however. Our own Office of Fair Trading is about as much use as a chocolate teapot in the 'getting useful things done' department.
Virtual Reality Comes To A Government Near You!
The Office of National Statistics has added over 1,000,000 'virtual people' to the 2001 Census results -- a 'fiddle factor' equivalent to over 2% of the population. The officials responsible for the shambles that was the 2001 Census believe that they missed out 3-4% of the population, mainly through general bungling and not paying their collectors enough money to cover the time involved in making repeat visits to people who were persistently out. Particularly left out were people living in large cities, so the statistitians have invented these 'virtual people' to cook the books in what they guessed were the right directions.
Professor Bert Royle, an expert on Martian population migration called in by the ONS, said, "Okay, we included people who weren't actually there on Census Day. And yes, you could call that making people up. But hey, we have every reason to believe that our method produces a much more accurate picture of the UK's population."
In due course, the government will be using the cooked books as a basis for making policy decisions. Why does one have the feeling that it won't make any difference if they're creating policy on the basis of 'virtual people' as they're bound to get things wrong anyway?
The fiddle also allows the Government to pick and choose which areas will receive grants. So using virtual census results makes it easier for New Labour to target its supporters at the expense of Tories. But try getting the Blessed Blair to admit that!
Some people will nick anything that's not nailed down. On the other hand, other people aren't too bothered if the object of their desires is attached to something else. Like the Spanish villain who ripped an arm off a statue of Cibeles in Madrid. The left arm of one of the most important monuments in the city vanished during the early hours of Saturday morning (2002/09/21). A bunch of drunken youths stripped to their underwear, waded through the fountains around the statue and climbed up it to remove the arm.
The official value of the missing arm is £20,000. Although how this figure was reached remains unclear.
A smash and grab merchant attacked a clock shop in Arundel, Sussex, recently and got away with two bronze figures. When the police forensic team examined the scene, they found a finger! Which they put on ice. Now, the Sussex police have offered the criminal a simple deal: return the stolen goods and you can have your finger back!
This seems to be a regular occurrence for the Sussex police. They found another finger at the scene of another break-in at Lewes in July. It is not known whether they did a DNA analysis on the fingers to find out if they should be looking for two blokes who are each missing one finger or one bloke who is missing two fingers.
Wrestling Soap Shocker
World Wrestling Entertainment used to be the World Wrestling Federation until the Worldwide Fund for Nature [the WFN] decided that it has to have exclusive rights to the use of the initials WWF. Under both flags, WWF/WWE is known all over the world for its television soaps featuring its gang of wrestling superstars.
Mock battles in the ring spill out into the wider world and superstars regularly batter one another with steel chairs and ladders, and drive fellow competitors through tables. They even go in for such extra-curricular activities as driving monster trucks over some one else's car and chucking fellow competitors off a bridge into a river.
Despite all of the above, when it was announced that the superstars Billy and Chuck would be holding a homosexualist-style commitment ceremony on one of the TV shows, the American Agglomeration of Sexual Deviants actually took them seriously! The AASD even offered its public support for the ‘wedding' and described it as a step forward for the usually homophobic world of professional wrestling.
But in the event, the ceremony turned out to be just another part of the wrestling soap's plot. Billy and Chuck announced that they were straight as a die and the sketch turned into an ambush of one WWE general manager by the other.
The AASD got totally bent out of shape and stated fulminating about the damage that such mockery does to its cause. They obviously weren't watching a couple of years ago when the in-ring wedding of Stephanie McMahon, daughter of WWF/WWE boss Vince, turned into a shambles with Steph being kidnapped and ‘married' in Las Vegas, while unconscious, to Triple-H, another ‘wrestler', who is commonly known as Triple Tedious because he is; extremely so.
That'll teach them to take TV soaps seriously!
|A Ferrari bursts through the farce barrier|
Another Ferrari Fiasco
The US Grand Prix at Indianapolis started and finished with blunder by the Forces of Evil Schumacher. His first blunder was to overshoot his grid slot at the end of the parade lap. He had to back up hurriedly while the grid was forming. Then, at the end, the Ferraris tried to stage a side-by-side finish for the cameras but they made a bog of it. The commentators assumed that they 'finished' at the wrong white line -- the one at the end of the grid rather than the start/finish line, and the timing system gave the race to Barrichello, who had always been second, by 0.010 seconds! The Forces of Evil tried to say he planned it but no one was fooled. And did the crowd boo another Ferrari fix!