We put the flowers out for him but, sadly, he can't come. Now, BlackFlag News can tell you why.
The Red Planet Gets A Look-In
It's a well known fact that whenever there's a spectacular astronomical event on offer, Romiley will be cloudy. That holds good for eclipses, planetary conjunctions, meteor showers, transits of the International Space Station, bright Iridium satellite flares [see www.heavens-above.com for details of the ISS & flares] and anything else you can think of.
The latest attempt to get at Vice-Prez Blair revolves around the living quarters at 10, Downing Street. Certain people are saying that if Mrs. Thatcher paid rent on the flat during her occupation of it, then Vice-Prez Blair should do the same instead of enjoying it as a freebie.
They're At It Again!
Hardy nudists were strolling around Yorkshire toward the end of last year [see BlackFlag News, 2002/10], braving October wind and rain in nothing but a pair of boots. The heat wave has brought more of them out of hiding much earlier in the year, and they're all over the place.
The Health & Safety Executive is threatening to prosecute a Dorset hospital because it hasn't filed a plan for dealing with staff who become stressed. Apparently, the hospital doesn't actually have to do anything about stressed staff, it just has to file a plan with the jobsworths at the HSE.
The £2 lottery ticket is being denied vigorously by Camelot, and the National Lottery Commission has poured official cold water on the notion, so you punters can be sure that it's on the way!
The new boss (designate) of the Can't Prosecute Service is well known for making piles of money from defending terrorists. Worse, he has convictions for both possessing and procuring a dangerous drug as well as speeding, so while he lacks experience of prosecuting people, he has shared the 'being prosecuted' experience and he'll be able to empathize with criminals. So the pessimists among us are expecting to see the CPS sink to new levels of hopelessness.
An official survey of 123,000 NHS patients has shown that the Department of Health is lying when it says that just 12% of patients wait more than New Labour's 48-hour target time for seeing a doctor. The real figure, apparently, is four times higher.
Brainless Traffic Warden at large in Westminster
Brain switched off rather than just in neutral, a traffic warden handed out parking tickets to 3 fire engines in London's Piccadilly while the crews were busy with a fire and a rescue operation in an office building. He then added that if the fire engines weren't gone in 20 minutes, he'd be back to dish out more tickets. He also tried to ticket an ambulance, which was waiting for the man trapped in the building, whom the firemen were rescuing.
Gone, but not unsleazed
It seems to be Hughie Green's turn for a posthumous kicking this month. Apparently, he was a screaming monster when he wasn't beaming for the TV cameras.
Precision, Precision, Precision
His BBC bosses have been going on about Andrew Gilligan's imprecise use of language in his reports on the government's dodgy dossiers. But we got a fine example of sloppiness in the Guardian. The massive power failure in the US/Canada was blamed on a 'lightning strike'. Which means what? The staff leapt out on strike? Or a power station was struck by lightning? Maybe, we should be told.
Coolest of the cool
Vice-Prez Blair has been voted the coolest politician in the universe this month. Great news? Well, it was by Britain's under-30s, who are not exactly known for their good taste or their good sense. In fact, this particular electorate is known more for its ability to get totally ratted on any night of the week rather than its knowledge of political affairs. Worse, the voters were hard pressed to name any other poltician. Still, it's a result of sorts.
Dialling one of the new directory enquiries numbers is likely to be an expensive business, the initial surveys have shown. Some, like NTL and One, charge a flat fee for a call and give you one number. Most charge a connection fee and a rate per minute charged by the second. So the poor old punter has to decide whether she/he will get quick service, or be put on hold for half an hour while incurring the per minute charge, and/or be connected to somewhere on the other side of the world, where they've never even heard of the UK, and find the call lasting three-quarters of an hour.
The Stakeholder Myth
Once it had become clear that The Mugger had wrecked the pensions industry, the government obliged companies with 5 staff or more to offer stakeholder pension schemes. Come April 2001, embattled employers sighed deeply and marched into battle with yet more red tape and expense. And lo! The country became stakeholder rich. Well, not exactly.
The Hutton Inquiry has sunk all hope of a quick dash for a referendum on the euro, say some pundits. The nation mourns the end of V-P Blair's dream.
Official Smoke Screen
Alastair Campbell slinking out of Downing Street with his tail between his legs (in 4 to 5 weeks) isn't news. He leaked his departure ages ago to get a bidding war started for his memoirs. So what we should be asking ourselves is: "What bit of embarrassing news is the government trying to hide behind the Campbell media circus?"
Vice-Prez Blair will not be sleazed by the inquiry into the death of Dr. David Kelly, a Downing Street spokesman has assured BlackFlag News.
No WoMD, But That's Okay
No Weapons of Mass Destruction have turned up in Iraq during the last year and the official view is that none will ever be found as S. Hussein has hidden them too well. But even so, it was still okay to go to war with Iraq without the WoMD.
Hutton Inquiry The Results On The Cheap
How many millions is it going to cost the poor old taxpayer to get a report out of Lord Hutton? Here are the results at no cost to the public purse!
Alastair Campbell can't be trusted further than you can throw him but he's totally blameless.
Are we to be taken in by the Liberians?
An end to the civil war in Liberia? What's that all about? Basically, an 11-year-old ass-kicking contest to determine who gets to steal the foreign aid has run out of steam. Maybe the answer to such conflicts is to forget about the aid. Then these characters will have no reason to fight. And if Liberia is so poor, how come everyone and his dog has a gun?
"I knew I was right to ignore Windows XP."
The latest virus to give the world a thrill, variously known as MSBlaster, LoveSan and Poza, is trying to cripple Microsoft's websites, particularly the Windows update site. But as it infects Windows NT, Windows Me and Windows XP, those Luddites who are still using Windows 98 would appear to be safe.
T.S.T.S. [Too Stupid To Survive]
The Israelis have reacted to a suicide bombing by killing one of the few Arab faction leaders in favour of peace. Well, it's nice to know that they're fully committed to anarchy in the Middle East.
They tried to lie about it but some truth has sneaked out of Downing Street. One of the vice-presidential spinners really did compare the late Dr. David Kelly to Walter Mitty during the campaign to sleaze the government WoMD expert.
Let him enjoy his holiday, you bastards! #2
Lord 'Millennium Dome' Forkbender has plunged the Vice-Prez into even more trouble by planning to let EU citizens resident in the UK vote in a referendum on the euro.
Let him enjoy his holiday, you bastards! #3
Why, oh, why couldn't the legal establishment have postponed the announcement that the co-founder of Cherie Blair's legal firm will be the next head of the Crown Prosecution Service?
Let him enjoy his holiday, you bastards! #4
The Yanks have really got it in for the Vice-Prez if the Wall Street Journal waited until he went on holiday before pointing out that the Chancellor [a.k.a. The Mugger] has failed to meet almost every economic goal that he set on taking over at No. 11 Downing Street in 1997. The Mugger's failures include targets for growth, economic stability, industry, employment and investment. His failings are costing the average family £2,000 per annum.
Felix Baumgartner's gliding fall across the English Channel has put the British authorities on full alert against aerial migrants.
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The German Grand Prix provided just 2 brief periods of excitement, both revolving around the Ferraris, and the rest was just dull routine and not a patch on the recent British GP.
Fernando Alonso of Spain became the youngest ever winner of a Grand Prix in Hungary and he got to overtake the Forces of Evil Schumacher on the way to his win.
Soaring temperatures have forced the French to cut speed limits by 15-20 mph in an attempt to reduce ozone emissions from vehicles, which have exceeded the 'safe for humans' limit by 50% in places.
Strasbourg is a good place to avoid when the weather gets hot. In the middle of the first full week of the month, the French were spraying their nuclear reactor with cold water to prevent overheating after the exterior temperature reached 48 degrees Centigrade, 2 degrees below the emergency shut-down temperature. The assistant director of the station commented: "We can't say if it will work yet." Still, if the reactor blows and takes out the European parliament centre in Strasbourg, that can only be a good thing!
Spontaneous and deliberately set fires have killed thousands of acres of trees and 5 people, including a British woman and her grand-daughter.
Wine growers are watching their grapes shrivel from lack of rain and this year's French crop is expected to be 25% down. So we can expect the French wine growers to have their hands out for even more EU cash before long.
With 3,000 dead from the heat, the mortuaries at Paris's funeral parlours are full and the hospitals have run out of beds for live sufferers. Nothing can be done about any of this as the Government has gone on holiday.
The price of chicken and chicken products is set to soar as millions of chickens have died in the vast, airless sheds of the nation's factory farms.
Mont Blanc is closed and Chamonix is a ghost town. The retreat of snow and glaciers has left the Alps covered in unstable rock rubble, and boulders come crashing off the slopes unpredictably. Melting permafrost may have undermined the foundations of ski lifts and cable cars, making them too dangerous to use, and the winter sports industry is staring ruin in the face.
Network Rail has imposed a speed limit of 60 mph. Why? Because their long lengths of steel rail are expanding beyond design limits in the heat, and they're in danger of buckling and causing fast-moving trains to derail.
A couple of motorists, both coppers, have had speeding convictions squashed at Guisborough Magistrates' Court, East Cleveland. They noticed that the speed camera sign had a yellow background when the regulations specify that they should have a white background. So the BlackFlag News editorial staff got to wondering. What if some evil person went round painting yellow backgrounds on speed camera signs?
"Endangered species endangering us, please advise!"
Messing about in boats off Australia's coast isn't always a good idea. The Johnson family from Coventry were cruising around the Whitsunday Islands when a 30-ton humpback whale tried to hitch a ride on their yacht. The monster shot out of the water, crashed onto the deck, destroyed the mast, the rigging and the radio aerial, and slid back into the sea leaving behind just a scattering of empty barnacle shells. Luckily, the Johnsons had a mobile phone to call for help, which saved them a 10-mile paddle.
Stay put, you sods!
We applaud the decision to close the railway network for repair work over the bank holiday weekend. If the experiment is a success, we expect to see the roads closed as well, next year. After all, people should stay at home when they're not working. The abundant congestion everywhere proves that the Almighty didn't expect them to be swanning all over her planet like headless chickens.
Who's To Blame For The Columbia Disaster?
The 'culture' at NASA received a good kicking but the real villains live on Capitol Hill. The neglect of safety and the head in the sand management philosophy at NASA stem directly from the long sequence of budget cuts by the US Congress. It was their unwillingness to put the proper amounts of money into keeping the shuttle flying that doomed Columbia and its crew. The politicians are to blame not that they're bothered, of course.
"Take a hike, you customers." No, that should have read, "Take a holiday."
The operators of train 'services' are urging their customers to take a holiday in the week after the August Bank Holiday because the track engineering work is continuing through the last week of the month. Shouldn't they have mentioned this a little bit earlier to give their customers a chance to book a bargain?
The Atkins diet could cause kidney damage and bone loss, says the Medical Research Council. It can also produce nausea, tiredness, consipation and digestive problems, and the body is deprived of essential vitamins and minerals if fruit is excluded in favour of eating vast quantities of meat.
Is the landlord of a pub allowed to evict from the premises, men dressed as women who try to use the female toilets?
"It may be art, but not as we know it, Jim."
Poor old Richard Morrison of Liverpool has had his flat broken into twice by a burglar last month and by the police this month. Apparently, the burglar was arrested by some miracle; for something else, of course; and he grassed up Mr. Morrison in an attempt to buy himself a few favours. He told the fuzz that he'd seen a human head in a jar of formaldehyde while burgling Mr. Morrison. So the coppers battered their way into Mr. Morrison's flat, only to find that the 'head' was a work of art, of sorts. Mr. Morrison had made it by draping slices of bacon on a wire frame. All bids for the work to his agent.
Crooks sometimes get caught out
Burglar Brendon Fearon is using the taxpayer's money to fund a legal action for compensation for injuries suffered during the course of one of his crimes. He's been careful to let himself be taped limping along with a walking stick by the TV news agencies. But, it seems, he's been uncareful enough as to let himself be taped walking about without his stick and even running for a bus. He also used to play 5-a-side football when he was in gaol recently, according to a former cellmate, and he was able to 'kick the hell' out of anyone who didn't pay up for the heroin that he supplied. Nice to know we have such competent people handing out the legal aid.
"Excuse me, gospodin!"
If someone asks you the time in Moscow, run for your life. Two women are going round hypnotizing likely prospects, taking them home and robbing them blind while the victim is in a trance. Other approach tactics include asking the way to a metro station and asking the prospective victim to look after a dog for a few minutes.
Thought Crime Anarchy
In July, a judge accused Scotland Yard of committing a "state-created" crime by setting up an undercover money-laundering operation to catch suspected drug dealers in Gibraltar. That was his excuse for halting a case which had lasted 5 years and cost the poor old taxpayer £25 million with the prospect of the defendants taking civil action for compensation adding to the total.
A million people trapped in New York's subway system, gridlock from Detroit in the west to New York in the East, and from Toronto to Ottowa in Canada. No power, no lifts, no trains, no water, no ground-based phones, security problems in prisons with electrically operated locks on the cells and 3 New York airports accepting landings only.
Q: What do Baghdad and the bits of the USA and Canada around Niagara Falls have in common?
Lights Out #2
50 million people were left without power in the north-eastern United States and bordering regions of Canada. The cause? A lightning strike at the Niagara Falls power station. The response of the US government was to send in troops right away to sort out the strikers, who are about to discover that they have bitten off more than they can chew. New anti-terrorism legislation in the US is so elastic that it can be used to charge the strikers with 'behaviour having the character of terrorism' for which the penalty can be death.
Idi Amin, VC, Emperor of the Universe, Conqueror of the British Empire, Last King of Scotland, Prez-Emperor of Uganda, Son-of-a-Bitch 3rd Grade, etc. has finally croaked in exile in Saudia. His regime wrote off 500,000 customers during his 8-year spree in the 1970s, which included expelling Asians from Uganda and stealing their property and valuables, and welcoming hijackers to Entebbe airport and spawning 3 films about the rescue operation.
|Created for Romiley Anarchists' League by workers in revolt against oppression.|
© RAL, August 2003.