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2003/March
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ROMILEY NEWS

Romiley Assaulted by Cowboy Builders

New lamps and Old
New Lamps For Old
Crazy Pavement 1
Crazy Pavement 2
Romiley's crazy pavements
Cowboy Street Lamps
Pavement Wrecker in Romiley
Life in the village has been disrupted severely by packs of cowboy builders, who have tackled various jobs piecemeal. They start something then they disappear, often for a week or more. Suddenly, the centre of the village acquired a whole new crop of blue lamp posts, which were interleaved between the existing ones and which rose into the branches of adjacent trees in some cases. A painting crew arrived -- and disappeared after painting just one of the new lamp posts an anonymous dark grey.
   Holes appeared in the already sadly abused pavements around ALL of the street lights and the electricians set up barricades around their holes to block the pavements and give vandals something to play with. Soon, rain filled the abandoned holes, which postponed completion of the work further.
   And on the roads, great machines crewed by vampires sneaked up in the night to strip off the top layer of the surface. And then nothing happened for ages. But eventually, other mighty machines arrived to lay new tarmac and the streets ended up thick with debris from the stripping and renewing operations. The vampires were using some kind of fiendish weapon of mass destruction which set everything on the mantlepiece rattling in homes one hundred or more yards away. Which is a bit bloody much at the highly unsociable hour of a quarter past midnight!
   One buzzed resident said, "If I'd known the phone number of our Trivial Democrat councillor, I'd have given him or her a ring to ask what's going on. This work doesn't have to be done in the dead of night. I've seen surveys which prove that 50% or more of all vehicle journeys through Romiley are totally unnecessary. They could easily have closed the road for a day to do the resurfacing. In fact, I think I will find out my councillor's phone number and give him or her a half-past midnight call after all."
   All this left Romiley's long-suffering residents wondering why we need a new set of lights -- white ones instead of the existing sodium ones -- and how much they cost. And when our Trivial Democrat dominated council is going to do something about the pavements, which have been broken and a menace to public safety for ... well, who knows how long? Pretty much throughout living memory.
   Meanwhile, the picture on the immediate right shows the current variety of lamp posts. Number 1. is still dark grey -- the cowboys sneaked back to paint all of the finished lamps with the undercoat. Number 2 is one of a few painted black. On the right-hand side of the main road, there is a blue and incompletely assembled new lamp post (3) in front of one of the old sodium ones (4). Worse, the Trivial Democrats' cowboy builders are repainting the new lamp posts black one at a time! They're also taking care to leave a stripe of grey undercoat unpainted, presumably so that they can come back even later on to paint that small bit gold to match the black and gold trim of the refuse bins. Talk about making a job last!
   The pavement situation isn't helped any by anti-social arses, who park their cars on the footpath and destroy paving stones. The last picture was taken on the morning of 2003/03/26. Maybe the council can send a bill for pavement replacement to the vandal owner of this particular vehicle.


TRANSPORT NEWS

Traffic Warden Runs Riot On Manchester

BusA rogue traffic warden is going after buses which pull up at city-centre bus stops! An outfit called Control Plus is in charge of parking in Manchester and one of their gang issued a £40 penalty ticket to a No. 77 bus when it dared to stop to pick up some passengers. Apparently, the bloke had been told to keep bus stops clear and he lacked the wit to understand that they were to be kept clear of other traffic so that buses could use them. The driver of the No. 77 bus assumed that it was some sort of 'Candid Camera' stunt but Manchester City Council found itself faced with a demand for £40 in due course. In even due-er course, the ticket was cancelled and the jobsworth traffic warden was sent for 'appropriate retraining'.
p.s. We didn't make this up, honest!

Overzealous Traffic Warden Wiped Out By Tram
Probably short a few tickets on his quota, one of Manchester's eager traffic wardens tried to book a tram, which he found stationary at a set of traffic lights. Unfortunately, the tram's driver didn't realize what was happening and he moved off when the signal gave him the go-ahead. The traffic warden suffered the loss of his cap and his electronic ticketing machine, both of which were run over by the tram. He, too, is destined for 'appropriate retraining' when he recovers from the shock.

Dandy WoMD Plot Foiled

Security staff at Birmingham international airport have deprived would-be hijackers of a potential weapon. Someone with eagle eyes and a vivid imagination spotted that the children's comic The Dandy was offering a free toy gun on its front cover. Publisher D.C. Thomson's Weapon of Mass Destruction was blue and yellow, and it fired out nothing more lethal than a clenched fist. Even so, the airport's news stands were cleared of the comic and then security staff went back to sleep, secure in the knowledge that they had made the world one tiny bit safer from the threat of global terrorism.

The Blair People CarrierVice-Prez Takes His Eye Off The Ball

The Vice-Prez has been paying the residents' 90% discounted rate on Mayor Livingstone's congestion charge for the Blair family's people carrier. But as he neglected to register the vehicle for the discount, he now faces a fine of up to £80 for every time it was used in the congestion zone. The round number of £1,000 is being tossed around as the price of his forgetfulness. Well, really, Mr. Blair! It's not as if you're doing anything important at the moment to distract you from your obligations.


HOME NEWS

Smallpox Vaccine Shortage Explained

Mr. A. HusseinAfter extensive leaks from the highly porous government machine, Mr. Albert Hussein, the Downing Street Special Spokesman for Security Affairs, has acknowledged that the government has obtained only 20 million doses of smallpox vaccine to cover a population of 60 million.
   "The reason for the apparent discrepancy is simple," he said at a private briefing exclusively for The Black Flag. "The size of a procurement contract is always in proportion to the size of the contractor's bung to New Labour."
   We conclude from his remark that if the Blair crony in question had bunged the Vice-Prez three times the amount surrendered, then the country would have been fully covered. So the message is that the government is not to blame for putting the British people at risk -- it's all the fault of a mean crony, who didn't know the going rate for the bung.

No-brain of the MonthNo-Brainer Of The Month

Barbara Harris, head-teacherperson of Park Road infants' school, Batley, West Yorkshire, who banned all children's stories which mention pigs, including The 3 Little Pigs, because she thought they're likely to offend Moslems.
   A Moslem spokesperson called the action 'ignorant and crazy political correctness'.

The MuggerCould This Man Be Britain's Champion In Europe?

The Chancellor, unaffectionately known as The Mugger to New Labour's customers, has unveiled his personal campaign to slice away the European Union's red tape -- which is a bit rich coming from someone who has spent the last 6 years tying his own country up in pointless and excessively complicated regulations. He also wants the EU's regional policy to be abolished.
   The fund for the regions collects roughly one-third of the EU's budget of £70billion and it is handed out by bureaucrats in Brussels to the poorest regions. As a net contributor to the EU, the UK pays out about twice the amount that it receives for its own regions.
   At first glance, the Mugger's attempt to gain control of the UK's contribution to this cause looks like a good idea. It's our money and we should spend it on our own regions. But the picture changes dramatically at the small print level. What the Mugger wants to do is pass control of the cash from Brussels to Westminster. In practice, this means that the regional cash will disappear into the Treasury's coffers and that the poor old regions will see precious little of it.
   Why? Because the Mugger will tie the distribution process up in red tape and 'qualification evaluations', a token amount will trickle out, mainly to areas where the Labour Party hopes to buy votes, and the rest will just fall into the Mugger's Black Hole to make up for the cash shortages caused by his dodgy ecomonic forecasts.
   How do we know this? Simple. That's the only way the stealth-taxing Mugger knows how to operate.


FOREIGN NEWS

Dali Sketch Stolen From New York Jail

Salvador Dali was booked to talk about art to the inmates of Riker's Island jail early in 1965, but he became ill and he had to cancel the lecture. He sent them a sketch of Jesus Christ on the cross instead and the painting was displayed in the dining room for 16 years -- until one of the convicts threw coffee at it. The picture was then moved to an area where only prison guards and their guests have access.
   At the beginning of this month, two of the guards noticed that the picture looked 'too new and bright'. That's when the prison's authorities discovered that their original Dali had been replaced by a 'rather garish fake'. Investigating the picture's disappearance is complicated by the fact that no one can say exactly when it was stolen.

Corruption? Bring On The EU's Under-Carpet-Sweepers

What is it about the French and corruption? They have a president who'd be in gaol for serial corruption and nepotism if he wasn't running the country. Now, the EU has caught up with sometime French prime minister and later EU trough-gobbler Edith Cresson, who became famous for giving a dentist friend an EU job as an AIDS expert. She has been accused of cronyism, counterfeiting, misuse of EU funds and benefitting personally from EU contracts. The cronyism aspect includes giving £100,000 of EU cash to a 'close male friend' through bogus salaries.
   Of course, everyone expects her to get away with it. The EU is notorious for wasting the taxpayers' cash, ignoring fraud and sacking the people who expose it (yes, Neil Kinnock, that means you), and Madame Cresson will probably end up with a public apology and an even bigger pension to soothe her hurt feelings.


WAR NEWS
Kabooom!

Asda Recalls Soup of Mass Destruction

Anyone storing a 400g can of Asda Thick Country Vegetable soup is liable to get a severe shock, the supermarket chain has warned. Some of the cans have been overfilled, making them an explosion hazard as they are liable to swell up and 'blow'. Customers are advised to throw the cans away after retaining the label to get a refund.
   We have no information on where people are advised to throw the dangerous cans -- so watch out for exploding dustbin, exploding refuse collection vehicle and exploding landfill site stories in the near future.

Candidates for Regime Change

1. Iraq

2. North Korea

3. France


4. Israel
5. Zimbabwe


U-Turn If You Want To -- And She Does

Clare Short had decided not to have her salary cut off at the knees. She's going to remain a minister in Reckless Blair's government. [Is he any relation to Wreckless Eric? Ed.]

Baghdad in flames

Sodom Hussein -- For Gomorrah He Die!

Someone seems to have it in for the World's Favourite Despot. After spending 35 years killing anyone he chose in Iraq, the CIA had a go at him to kick off Gulf War II. Luckily for the WFD, they had the same success as they've enjoyed in their plots to see off Fidel Castro.

Is He Still In Baghdad?

There has been an unconfirmed sighting of the WFD -- or one of his doubles -- in a Romiley pub. "He was watching the football and drinking what looked like a pint of lager," our eye-witness said. "I think he might be a Man United supporter."

Where Were All The Air-Raid Wardens?

Baghdad's night sky was lit by the flames of burning presidential palaces and buildings used by the WFD's regime. It was also lit by abundant street lights, which remained obstinately on through the war's Friday 1 night/Saturday 1 morning bombardment.
   Did no one bother to devise air-raid precautions for the city, including a black-out? Or is there a hidden agenda involved. Insiders have been pointing out that the Yanks have no excuse for missing their targets when they're bombing a brightly lit city. There are also rumours that the CIA has been dropping leaflets on Baghdad saying: 'In the event of an air raid, you are cordially requested to leave your lights on so that surgical strikes can find their targets.'
   Don't you just LOVE the 21st Century?

Who's Supposed To Be Perfidious?

The French, it seems, are not bothered who wins Gulf War II -- as long as they get to pick over the bones of Iraq and their corrupt politicians get a slice of the reconstruction cash; either directly or via bungs from French companies awarded contracts by the UN.
    And they have the cheek to call us 'perfidious Albion'!


MIRACLE NEWS

Hear the Word of the Lord!

Two fish processers in New Square, New York State, claimed that they came across a talking carp on January 28th. The miraculous fish began to yell warnings about an apocalypse as Luis Nivelo was about to belt it and cut it up. Unfortunately, the warnings were in Hebrew, which Mr. Nivelo, a Christian, didn't speak. Also present was Zalmen Rosen, a member of a minor Jewish sect, who was able to translate the warnings. Even so, the fish ended up gefiltered for someone's Saturday dinner.
   Now, Jews around the world are saying the fish was revealing the word of God and it was a modern miracle. The rest of the world is saying that if a talking fish is the best miracle that they can produce in the 21st Century, then they might as well give up!
   Mr. Nivelo remains convinced that the talking fish was the work of the Devil and he wishes people around the world would stop ringing him up to talk about his encounter with the unknown. US stand-up comedians seem to have set the affair in its proper perspective -- they've included a talking carp in their routines.


MEEJA NEWS

the Observer Dirty Trick Flops

The thing that lets the US film industry down, when it tries to portray something British, is the common language. When we Brits see a document with an imprint on its cover saying Department of Defense [with an 's'] instead of Ministry of Defence [with a 'c'], credibility flies out of the window.
   On 2003/03/02, the Observer published what was alleged to be a secret document giving details of how the evil Yanks intended to bug the emails and telephones of vital members of the UN's Security Council. They even added to the story, a graphic showing the alleged document. The wheels came off when people who read the paper and visited its website spotted the blunders. Right up at the top, the alleged National Security Agency document's date, January 31st, was given in the British format as '31/01' instead of '01/31'. And in the body of the graphic was the British spelling 'favourable' instead of the US version 'favorable'.
   As its credibility gap widened, the Observer came up with a cock and bull story about 'typing the document into their computer system and running a spell-check on it', and that was how the Americanisms had been lost. But there was no disclaimer attached to the graphic with the original article published on 2003/03/02, nothing along the lines of: "This is not actually the original document, it's something we bodged up on our computer to look a bit like it."
   With the Observer's credibility blown, the explanation of their dodginess is now the main focus of attention and not their alleged scoop.


MEDICAL NEWS

It's Not Being Fat That's Bad, It's Where You're Fat

A doctor in Denmark has shown that the position of a woman's body fat can affect the health of her heart. Dr. Laszlo Taiko studied a group of women aged 60-85 and found that those with big bottoms are less likely to suffer heart disease or a stroke compared to those with a fat tummy. Even better, women with wobbly bottoms and/or wobbly arms and legs -- but not a wobby tummy -- are less likely to develop diabetes.


GRAND PRIX NEWS

Barge-Boards Last Time, Barge-Car This Time

The Forces of Evil Schumacher was up to his old tricks again in Malaysia -- driving into people. Curiously, he chose to do it to Trulli at the start of only the 2nd race of the season. No doubt he was just getting in a bit of practice in case he needs to shunt someone at the end of the season to take the title -- as he did successfully to Damon Hill but not to Jacques Villeneuve.
   Congratulations to Mr. Raikkonen for winning his first GP and to Mr. Alonso for starting on pole and finishing on the podium in 3rd place. Commiserations to Mr. Coulthard for getting stuck with the crap car.
The cynics among the GP audience have been wonder if the FoE has been told to go easy at the start of the new season so he can make a late charge and provide a dramatic race to ultimate victory. When he lost his barge-boards in Australia following an excursion onto the grass after a failed attempt to bully his way past another driver at a corner, everyone else started to hope that the other drivers have decided that if the FoE tries to use the piece of track they're on, he's not going to get any change out of them this time around.


FINANCIAL NEWS

Mugger On The March Again

The Grabbing Mugger
Gold, Gold!!
The grabbing Mugger and some of what used to be our gold
Having ruined the pensions industry with his stealth taxes, the Mugger is all set to do the same to the savings industry. All schemes which offer any sort of a tax-free perk are to be abolished to maximize Treasury revenue so that New Labour can feed even more of the customers' cash to their black holes and cronies in need of a bung to keep them sweet.
   Even now, the Mugger and his fellow vampires at the Treasury and Department of Inland Revenue are working on replacement schemes which look good value on the surface but which have piranha-like teeth in the invisibly small print.
   The vampires are also thought to be devising further replacement schemes for the current replacement schemes. Why? Because changes confuse the customers and the best time to mug a customer for a big chunk of dosh is when he/she is confused.
   A final thought: Gold is reckoned to be a good investment right now. We used to have quite a lot of it until the Mugger sold it off to prop up the euro.

This Month's GarbageThe Garbage

Watching Thomas The Tank Engine cartoons on TV could make children terrified of travelling by train, says Exeter University psychologist Dr. Brian Young.

Banning hot-X buns because they might possibly (maybe) offend Moslems.

TV soap actors involved in 'stressful' stories are being given counselling. [Wouldn't a quite word about the difference between acting and real life be more appropriate? Ed.]

 
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 back to topCreated for Romiley Anarchists' League by workers in revolt against oppression.
Sole RAL, March 2003.