Chinese Earthquake Lions Do Their Stuff
The rest of Romiley may have been levelled by the Great October 2002 Earthquake but the street's Chinese Earthquake Lions ensured that Carlton Avenue, at least, remained safe on 2002/10/21. The two massive shocks, which split roadways and toppled tall buildings, were felt as a gentle side-to-side shaking at the home of the lions. The residents were able to go about their business as normal while the rest of the village picked up the pieces.
Great Romiley Earthquake II
Romiley was struck by a double earthquake at 12:42 pm on Monday, 21st October, 2002. The main shock lasted 10-15 seconds. A 5-second minor shock followed on about half a minute later. Lunchtime soup pans slid a couple of inches on the gas stove and off their position directly above the burner – but no reports were received of pans plunging to the ground with great loss of nutritional contents. In addition, a computer operator reported a feeling that her gas-lift typing chair was about to collapse.
No Warning From Romiley's Animals
The earthquake literature is full of stories about animals giving humans a warning of a coming earthquake – the interpretation of the behaviour is usually made after the event, however. In Romiley, the visiting cat to the Black Flag's offices gave no sign that he was expecting anything unusual. When he reported for duty after breakfast, he had a drink in the sink downstairs, prowled around for a while, had another drink in the sink in the bathroom and then settled down for a kip, as usual.
Earthquake Fatigue Sets In
A great many people didn't notice any of the earthquakes – as demonstrated by CCTV footage shown on Granada Reports. The camera shakes fairly violently but the people continue to walk the streets oblivious of the geological event going on beneath their feet.
Earthquakes – A Last Word
The latest news from the experts is that the Great Romiley Earthquakes are part of a cluster which may go on and on for months. So we'll just have to get used to them. Non-experts reckon that the building work on Manchester's Olympic stadium, which involved a lot of pile-driving and digging, might have dislodged ground connected to the area's abandoned mines. The former Bradford, Agecroft and Moston pits all lie less than a quarter of a mile from the new stadium. So whether we're blaming old coal mines or the stadium building work, everything is collapsing to a new equilibrium state, which will be reached in the fullness of time.
Romiley Resident Lambasts Beeb
The following email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org was copied to the Black Flag Offices:
Dear BBC -- Why can't you just get on with showing snooker matches without all the messing about? We don't need endless repeats of Ronnie O pretending to play rugby and guys lying on a bed making mobile phone calls. What we want is to watch snooker matches.
Clyde E. Wydey.
Archer Out Of Gaol 'By The End Of The Week'?
The prison service is just starting to come to terms with the true implications of Lord Jeff Archer's prison trilogy.
Compensation Culture Madness
Cubs in Windsor have to get their mum to sign a consent form if they want to play conkers. Their local commissioner announced that conkers is now classified as a dangerous sport; so dangerous that it has been banned by a lot of schools and the cubs have to fall in line with the regulations made by education authorities. The big worry is that some litigious parent will sue them for a bundle if a child sustains a slight or imaginary injury. The dad of one of the cubs called it 'political correctness gone mad'.
The Observer's Bogus Equinox
Building on its successful support for Blair's Bogus Millennium Change, the Observer offered a bogus equinox as part of the bad science behind a scare story. The autumn equinox was on September 23rd and the Earth's makes its closest approach to the Sun early in January. [Any fule kno that - Ed.] But the Observer decided to combine them to create an October flood scare story.
Signs & Portents?
"What next?" the people of the West Midlands are asking themselves. Last month, it was an earthquake. Early this month, a meteor roared over their heads. Traditionally, such things are heralds of a major disaster to come. Some might argue that it's probably going to be Vice-Prez Blair's war with Iraq. But it might just be the Bogus Equinox Flood forecast in the Observer [above].
The saying ‘You don't have to be mad to work here, but it helps' seems appropriate for the boss of the Northern Ireland police. Vice-Prez Blair (A.L. Blair, currently prime minister, Ed.) has picked a real, raving nutter in Hugh Orde if he's apologizing to the IRA for busting their spy ring at Stormont.
Mint With A Hole In Its Security
The Royal Mint is guarded by Ministry of Defence police, who have metal detectors and the authority to conduct random extreme body searches on staff and visitors. The gold store is reckoned to be the most secure part of the building – but someone took £25,000 in new £20 notes out of a safe in this room and no one realized that the cash had gone.
Human Fly Fails?
Frenchman Alain Robert reckons he can climb any building without special equipment, such as ropes, safety nets and a parachute. His conquests include the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building and 30 other skyscrapers, and the twin towers of the Petronas Building in Kuala Lumpur. But things didn't quite go to plan when he tackled No. 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf.
Closed For The Strikes
The following services are expected to be closed down by bolshy trade unionists on fire brigade strike days: the London Underground, mainline railways, the Channel Tunnel (which should upset the ambulance-chasing lawyers making money out of keeping bogus refugees in the country), airports, fuel delivery vehicles, power stations, offices and factories, sporting events, entertainment venues and large retail premises.
When the News is Rubbish, Print the Speculation
What were the pieces of ‘very sensitive' jewellery belonging to Princess Di which couldn't be named in court during the Burrell Case?
Jobsworths Sink Raffles
Magistrates in Hampshire have ruled that anyone who organizes a raffle which offers alcohol as a prize must pay £10 under the Licensing Act of 1964. Failure to pay the fee invites a fine of up to £2,500. Members of local charity groups have labelled the notion ‘bureaucracy run mad' and they are determined to go on ignoring the law as the fee could leave them running their event at a loss. The chairman of the magistrates, in true jobsworth style, said, "We do not make the law. We merely seek to administer it at maximum inconvenience to the general public."
The New Golf
Gun-happy Italians have wiped out the bird population in their part of the world. But instead of hanging up their weapons, they're flocking to Scotland, where pigeon shooting has been labelled ‘the new golf'. The Italians are so eager that they tend to fire before the pigeons come into range, which makes the pigeons fly higher and ensures that the feathered resource is not depleted unduly.
Power company Scottish Hydro Electric would like to send some Italian hunters to the area between Barcaldine and Benderloch in Argyll. That's where rampant woodpeckers have made Swiss cheese out of 34 of a string of 65 thirty-foot wooden poles, which carry high-voltage power lines.
Nothing To Declare
Hardy nudists are flocking to Yorkshire to stride across the wind- and rain-swept moors wearing nothing but a good pair of boots. The British Naturist Association announced that its members are going rock climbing starkers in addition to walking and jogging in packs up to two dozen strong. The police and the administrators of national parks have received no complains about these activities, which shows that they are being done discreetly.
Every day's Bonfire Night for a good month before the 5th of November. So much for a quiet life.
Ex-Prez Bill On Parade
Was there a touch of irony in the adoration shown to Bill Clinton by the Vice-Prez and the Labour Party Conference? Bearing in mind that corporate fraud in the USA mushroomed during Bill's presidency – and he and his missus were investigated for dodginess to a back-ground of arm-twisting and a convenient suicide. Also bearing in mind the fun and games in the Oval Office during the Monica Years.
Boycott? What Boycott?
The government has admitted there is a national lottery boycott in operation after the National Association for the Prevention of Deportation of Bogus Refugees and Terrorists copped for a massive £341,000 from the Community Fund, which is in the safe hands of the wife of notorious EU junketeer Leon Brittan.
Vice-Pres Responds To Firemen
"You're wrong and we'll sort you out," the Vice-Prez declared before unveiling his master plan to keep the country safe during firemen's strike days. "Every box of matches in the country will be taken into protective custody on the day before each strike," he explained. "By removing the means of ignition, we automatically remove the threat. This is the kind of clear thinking and real world solutions which the country has come to expect from this government."
Taxes Have No Colour
The government is eager to impose a huge landfill tax, thinking it can make the burden more acceptable to the punters by calling it a 'Green Tax'. But any fule kno that's just another deliberate lie from a bunch of serial liars.
A Polite Silence?
Estelle Morris herself admitted that she was no good at her job as education secretary. But all this is forgotten because ‘the media hounded her out of office'. So what conclusions can the voters draw from this?
All this sounds very much like what Prince Hamlet called, "The insolence of office". And what about all the other duffers? It would obviously be impolite to mention what a bog John Prescott is making of things. And Vice-Prez Blair doesn't seem to be as close to the Heart of Europe as he pretends to be with Germany and France ganging up behind his back to sabotage our EU rebate.
A Shambles Too Far
The Millennium Dome, the Jubilee Line extension, the new British Library, the Wembley Stadium fiasco – what will come next on this list of sorry examples of New Labour's incompetence?
New Labour's plans for the motorways "a great success story"
Motorway congestion has increased by 250% in the last four years, according to a survey by the independent Transport 2000 organization and the government's usual suspects are queueing up to take the credit.
The government has come up with the brilliant plan of imposing a 20 mph speed limit in towns and other built-up areas. But given that Mayor Livingstone and the utility companies have contrived to reduce the average motoring speed in London to 3 mph, does that mean motorists can sue someone for 'stress and trauma' if they don't have the opportunity to travel at 20 mph?
Drunk As A Buggy Driver
If you want a successful career as a drunk driver, get yourself a battery-powered buggy and do it on the nation's pavements. A Derbyshire man was arrested in November last year while driving his buggy home from the pub. A breath test showed that his blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit and a PNC check turned up the interesting fact that he was serving a 3-year driving ban for being drunk in charge of his Citroen.
New North West Landmark
The rusty Angel of the North has a new rival – the Monster of the North-West. This alleged 'work of art' is 91 feet tall compared to a mere 65 feet for the Angel and it cost a quarter of a million quid (£800,000 for the Angel).
Bradford also plans to get in on the monumental outdoor sculpture act with "a seraph or possibly a very large cherub". The monster will be sited on the four-acre Thornbury roundabout, which is Yorkshire's biggest. The local people aren't at all happy about the invasion of one of the area's few grassy playgrounds but the business community and the politicians are in favour of it, as long as a quality artist is called in to design it.
The French government has come up with an alternative to an outright ban on porn as part of its pragmatic moral crusade. Porn film producers and distributors pay a 33% special tax in addition to the standard 33% corporation tax. The plan is to up their special tax rate to 60%. The Frenchies hope that the 93% tax rate will make the porn sector ‘financially unattractive'. As a separate move, they're also going to impose a flat-rate charge of 91,500 euros on all imported feature length porn films.
Iraqi Election Result -- Saddam Surprise Winner
"As returning officer for the Iraq, Baghdad, constituency, I declare the number of votes cast to be as follows: Hussein, Saddam ..."
Mutinous Micks Quelled?
The citizens of the Irish Republic, who are among Europe's most accomplished freeloaders (they're second only to the French), dared to vote against the Nice enlargement treaty in a referendum.
French Cure For Baldness?
Those ingenious Froggies have come up with a gadget which, they claim, can stop hair loss. It looks like a cyclist's helmet and it ‘works' by injecting a small electromagnetic charge into dead or dying hair folicles to bring them back to life – a bit like Baron Frankenstein and his monster, only using a set of batteries (not supplied) instead of lightning.
Poodle Gums French Prez
Jacques 'I Should Be In Gaol' Chirac is said to have cancelled an up-coming Anglo-French summit because Vice-Prez Antoino Blair was rude to him. One-man crime wave Chirac wants the Common Agricultural Policy to continue to force-feed disorganized French farmers with Euro-dosh -- and he wants the UK's EU rebate to be included in the pot. The Vice-Prez dared to say, "No, hold on a minute," to Chirac in front of other EU leaders. So Jacques is now in a sulk at home and likely to stay like that until he gets his own way.
New Name, Same Old Disaster Area
Meanwhile, former French Prez Valery Giscard wants to change the name of the European Union to 'The United States of Europe' [or 'United Europe' as a distant second choice] and give everyone a dual nationality.
The Wrong Sort Of ...
The ultra-slick French railways have come a cropper in the wake of the storms over the final weekend of October. Salt spray blown in from the sea had collected on their overhead power cables with the result that when the supports and insulators get rained on, the water becomes conductive and the electricity leaks to ground instead of remaining in the wires until a train comes along.
WFD Duel Offer
Saddam Hussein, now officially instated as The World's Favourite Dictator by UN Resolution 2294-3994-ZZZ-02, has offered to fight a duel with Prez Bush over the issue of Iran's Arms. Journalists detected a note of irony in the WFD's voice but most right-thinking people feel that Prez Bush should take him at his word. One million megaton thermonuclear weapons at 20 paces would be a great way of unpicking the Gordian Knot of weapons inspection.
Hiding The Evidence or "Just A Tiny Prick, Sir!"
The government wants everyone in the UK to have a smallpox jab in case Saddam Insane turns nasty. Is that the nice Vice-Prez looking after us? Joke! What happened is that Powderject bunged New Labour and lo, the firm was awarded a contract to buy supplies of smallpox vaccine. Then there were accusations that they'd bought the wrong sort of vaccine.
We Will Be The Masters!
After the World's Favourite Dictator has been disposed of by the decent nations of the world, the Americans will send in an occupation force similar to the one which administered Japan after World War II. The occupation regime will hunt down war criminals and stick them in front of show trials, give the country a democratically elected government in due course, whether the Iraqis want one or not, and track down and destroy all hidden chemical and nuclear weapons.
The Pentagon is worried that while its troops may be fighting fit, the idle press corps will be unable to keep up with the battle front when the Saddam Hussein of all wars starts in Iraq. The military planners are worried about winning the media war – which is infinitely more important than the actual fighting war.
Bogus Refugees Ate Our Swans
Swans were once a royal delicacy. Now, they're a protected species. But they're still disappearing in large numbers all over the London area. The population of 130 at the reservoirs in Enfield and Chingford has crashed to ‘just single figures'. Bike and foot patrols are now watching the River Lea and the prime suspects are Eastern Europeans. The penalty for killing a swan is a fine of £5,000 and/or six months in gaol. But if you're a bogus refugee, no doubt all will be forgiven.
Yeah, blame it on global warming.
Spanish marine biologists are blaming Global Warming for the mysterious deaths of giant squids off the country's north coast. Apparently, 30 of the creatures have been found deceased over the last 40 years. Other alternatives for the ‘extinction' include the effects of military manoeuvres in the area and pollution. But the Spanish government prefers to go with the global warming notion as that makes it someone else's fault, not theirs.
Lunch On The Firm?
Meanwhile, in Germany, two zookeepers in the Cologne area have been busted for snacking on the animals. They are alleged to have barbequed five Tibetan Mountain chickens and to have polished off two Cameroonian sheep.
Polecat Preservation Society Needed?
Tory Peers are rushing to the Save The Tebbit flag in large numbers after the party's 'modernizers' said they wanted him junked. If Mr. IDS Dunc, the alleged leader of the Tory Party (a.k.a Ian Duncan Smith, Ed.), lets his headbangers sling Lord T onto the scrapheap, about half of the Tory membership of the House of Lord will resign the Tory whip in protest. Some Shadow Cabinet resignations are also on the cards.
Latest Internet Peril
There's a new virus doing the rounds called Bugbear. It arrives as an email, which is disguised as an old message. The reason for doing this is that people are told to be suspicious of a new message from an unknown source. "If in doubt, delete it" is the usual rule for mystery messages. But when people see a message which looks like an old one, they're likely to open it to find out if it's something to keep or something to delete.
School Dinners, Glasgow Style
Kids today have so many more choices than their parents. If they don't fancy the ‘healthy eating' offered by their canteen's menu, the kids at a number of secondary schools in Scotland's second city are now pooling their cash and using a mobile phone to get a pizza delivered to the school gates.
FrankenFoods March On
The European Union has introduced new laws aimed at giving Frankenstein Food Genetically Monstered crops a wider circulation in the world. In theory, the rules require products containing GM components to be labelled accordingly so that the GM part is traceable back to the origin of the genetic monstering. But can anyone imagine the French or the Italians bothering with that?
James Maxwell, 37, was convinced that he had been given HP Sauce in a pub rather than the advertised chef's home-made sauce. He was so certain that he broke into the pub at Abbotsbury, Dorset, looking for his proof. All he got was a conditional discharge from the Weymouth magistrates. He also had to pay out £50 compensation for the criminal damage which he caused.
This Week's Survey
78% of pensioners are permanently legless, according to the pressure group Alcohol & Tobacco Concern, and it's all down to the stress of modern living. Most of the worst offenders are women due to the decreasing tolerance to alcohol observed with increasing age for persons of the female persuasion.
Lots of Bottle
Motorists in Llanelli with diesel-engined cars are refuelling at Asda. Only instead of using the petrol station, they're buying the 'own brand' cooking oil by the hundred bottles and saving 40p per litre. Apparently 32p/litre cooking oil -- plus a dash of methyl alcohol to wash out the glycerol -- does the same job as 73p/litre diesel fuel. The Customs and Excise Department has joined forces with the police to strike back against this loss of tax revenue by sending out teams of expert sniffers to check exhausts for the dead giveaway of a chip-shop aroma.
Lots Of Bottle II
Milk is to be sold as a designer drink called ‘m...' in 250 ml bottles intended to appeal to the ‘yoof' market. The idea is to "make milk easier to drink on the move".
The Nation? C'est Moi!
Lord Irvine has got himself into trouble for adopting Hermann Goering's attitude to other people's paintings. He's ‘borrowing' them on permanent loan to tart up his office, which was refurbished at vast expanse to the taxpayer as soon as the ink on New Labour's 1997 election victory was dry.
Grand Art Competition
Romiley Art Gallery has announced a grand competion for the village's residents and their friends. Several pictures are now on display in the Manet Suite and visitors are invited to offer their opinions on them.
Crony Art Cash Horror!!!
Lord Derry Irvine's plundered hoard of people's paintings and art objects is a benefit, tax experts say. The collection is worth £1.5million and the ‘benefit' that he enjoys amounts to £300,000 per annum – which is taxable at 40%, which means that the noble crony owes the Inland Revenue £500,000!
Wild Child Sues
A disruptive child is attempting to sue his former adoptive parents for "stress and trauma" following their successful legal action against the adoption agency which placed the brat with them. The former parents complained that the boy spoke no English apart from swear words, he was aggressive and he considered knives and forks to be weapons rather than eating irons. The boy attacked other children, including his former parents' daughter, and he could not be left alone as he 'used to wreck everything in sight' in one of his fits of aimless rage.
Identified Flying Object?
Reports are coming out of Alaska of a huge flying creature with a wingspan of around four metres. It has been seen flying over the south-western corner of the state and it is terrifying the locals. Eye witness Moses Coupchiak, 43, thought that it was an old Otter aircraft at first. When he realized that it wasn't a conventional powered plane, he radioed his home town of Togiak, which lies 400 miles from Anchorage, to warn the people to keep their children indoors.
The Black Flag has a suggestion to make over what the UFO could be. There has been a fashion in recent years for people to build the machines sketched by Leonardo da Vinci in an attempt to prove that he invented the helicopter and all sort of other modern gadgets, including the tank. The Americans have a history of testing secret flying machines, and their fun and games while developing U2 high-flying spy planes and the stealth bomber have given birth to countless tales of UFOs.
Storm Dinosaurs Do Their Stuff
|Created for Romiley Anarchists' League by workers in revolt against oppression.|
Sole © RAL, October 2002.