Black Flag News
2004/January
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ROMILEY NEWS

New Year shopping? Forget it!

Romiley was closed on New Year's Day – every shop shuttered, no newsagents open, not even the petrol station. Anyone wanting a newspaper, or a bottle of aspirins, was faced with a hike of a mile or so in the rain up School Brow to the Co-Op in Bredbury.
   Umbrellas were necessary for those holding a fireworks display the night before, but the whizz-bangs were still crashing enthusiastically over an hour past midnight so plenty of people were undeterred by the terrible weather. And the odd firework was still going off on New Year's Day morning, showing that some people don't know when to move on.

#The long heralded snow finally reached Romiley four days before the end of the month. But was the Triv-Dem led council organized enough to make Romiley's pavements safe for the customers? Anyone who guessed 'yes', please go and stand in a corner. For people who are paying one of the highest rates of Council Tax in the country in charge versus benefits terms, the sanding/salting effort was purely cosmetic rather than a serious attempt to make the pavements safe. So what are they spending the Council Tax on? Nothing that really matters, apparently.

Campbell McAllister, chief spokesman
TRUTH NEWS

Brought to you by
Campbell McAllister
Chief Downing Street Spokesman

Office of the Vice-Prez
Office of the Vice-Prez

In his Xmas message to the troops in Iraq, the Blessed Leader said there was 'massive evidence of a huge system of clandestine laboratories' and the Iraq Survey Group had found compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein and his allies had tried to conceal weapons.
   "Rubbish," said Paul Bremer, the top US official in Baghdad, when asked about the Blessed Leader's claims during the inter-holiday period. He added that the claims were probably red herrings, which someone trying to undermine the Iraq Enforcement Coalition had tossed out with the intention of demolishing in due course.
   Since his pronouncement, the heretic Bremer has received an 'educational adjustment' to acquaint him with the truth of this matter. He is expected to leave hospital in six to eight weeks.

smileBlessed Leader not in the business of teasing colleagues

The Blessed Leader's New Year announcement that 'the job is only half done' is not to be taken too literally. He is not offering to step down in 2010, when Chancellor Big Gordy Broon is too old for the top job. On the contrary, his faith in the British people is such that he is confident of receiving a 4th term in office if he feels that there is more to accomplish.
   The Blessed Leader totally rejects charges that he has brought the UK into a state worse than the one in which he found it, and that if he stays in office twice as long, things will become four times worse.

smileResponding to 16-point personal credo posted by the leader of Her Majesty's Opposition, the Blessed Leader will shortly issue his own 32-point credo to prove that he is twice as committed to customer care.

smileNo danger of toxic waste chaos

The Blessed Leader has assured us that no stockpiles of toxic waste of 'fridge mountain' proportions will be created as a result of revised EU regulations, which were agreed in 1999. At present, there are 218 sites across the entire UK licensed to dispose of toxic waste. The number will be reduced 10 sites, mainly in north-eastern England, when the new regulations come into force in July this year. Even so, the government remains confident that the waste disposal industry can cope with the coming problems of transporting toxic waste hundreds of miles to one of the remaining disposal sites.
   Rejecting charges of dithering and wasting 4½ years, the Environment Minister has, with the Blessed Leader's approval, promised that action would be taken now that the industry has defined the problem. The Blessed Leader's staff are ready to put in place all necessary legislation and to provide the clarity and leadership needed by the waste industry.
Stop PressAccusations that the Blessed Leader's political communications staff at Downing Street used Xmas to bury a report from the Hazardous Waste Forum on the toxic waste situation are entirely false.
Stop PressOne of the Blessed Leader's boon companions, who is affectionately known as 'Two Jags', has solved the toxic waste disposal problem. Deputy and Not So Blessed Leader John Prescott is going to have it dumped in a working salt mine in Cheshire – a move which is expected to do wonders for the Blessed Leader's campaign to encourage his subjects to opt for a healthier, salt-free diet so that they may live longer and worship the Blessed Leader for longer.

smileThere is no truth in the story that the Blessed Leader's visit to the British troops in Basra was a cheap political gesture and an attempt to rewrite history and get his alibis in place pre-Hutton Report. Neither is there truth in the allegation that the trip to Iraq was a tax dodge to let the Blessed Leader claim his holiday in Egypt as an essential component of a business trip.
   Be assured that your government is on target to conquer the virus of Islamic tourism. Believe nothing else.

Saddam capture!Rat dragged from hole in ground

It can now be revealed that the Blessed Leader, at great personal risk, led an armed expedition deep into hostile Iraqi territory during the second week of December, 2003. Acting on information gleaned by the Blessed Leader's personal intelligence service, his picked band of troops cornered Saddam Hussein near his home town of Tikrit.
   As this dramatic picture shows, our Blessed Leader personally dragged the deposed dictator out of the hole in the ground, in which he had been hiding. Naturally, the occasion was documented by the Blessed Leader's personal photographer but a decision was taken not to release the picture. But now that a version of the historic image has been posted on websites in the United States, with the Blessed Leader's face obliterated, he has decided that it is time to tell the truth about his heroism.
   The nation thanks him for the inspiration of his leadership and courage.

smileStill straight as a die

Be assured that the Blessed Leader remains a 'pretty straight sort of guy' and that he has direct personal experience of Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction. Following his heroic capture of Saddam Hussein, and tough interrogation of the prisoner, the Blessed Leader has visited no less than 8 sites where WoMD were once stored.
   Believe nothing else.

smileThe street prices of common drugs have fallen during the Blessed Leader Years. Ecstasy is now one-half of the 1997 price, cannabis and cocaine cost one-third less and heroin has fallen to 80% of the 1997 price. Further, distribution has improved to such an extent that there is now 'no difficulty in obtaining any drug anywhere in the UK', according to a recent Home Office survey.

smileIt is untrue that the Blessed Leader packed his foreign secretary off to toady to the French because he feels rejected by the Americans. The Transatlantic Alliance remain strong; in fact, it is stronger than it ever was under a Tory government; and the Blessed Leader's influence over our major European ally remains paramount.
   Further, our relations with France have always been cordial; in all senses; and no special bridge-building initiatives are required.
   Believe nothing else.

smileThe number of violent attacks on customers didn't really rise by 17% last year. The Blessed Leader's Home Office gives a solemn assurance that it's all down to the police using a new method of recording crimes.
   And while this excuse may have been trotted out every year since 1997, it is no less true for 2003. Believe nothing else.

smileThe Blessed Leader notes the statement by David Kay, former head of the Iraq Survey Group, that no WoMD were produced in Iraq during the 1990s and none were stockpiled before the recent conflict.
   A full rebuttal will be issued in due course, but the Blessed Leader feels that Mr. Kay's removal from the ISG shows that his superiors felt that he was lacking in commitment to the task of tracking down Iraq's WoMD.

smileFrench President Jacques Chiraq is not to be trusted, neither is he to be believed. Chiraq has been trying to undermine the Blessed Leader ever since he challenged the European Union's corrupt, thoroughly discredited and tainted Common Agricultural Policy, from which the French have always derived an unfair advantage.

smileCorrections to transcriptions of the Blessed Leader's speeches

Correction 1 : "Saddam Hussein is developing WoMD and we cannot leave him unchecked. He is a threat to his own people, to the region and, if allowed to develop these weapons, a threat to us." delivered 2002/04/10
The official transcript now reads: "Saddam Hussein is developing programmes for creating WoMD and we cannot leave him unchecked. He is a threat to his own people."

Correction 2 : "It is right (to go to war) because WoMD, chemical, biological and nuclear weapons are a real threat to the security of the world and this country." delivered 2003/01/15
The official transcript now reads: "It is right (to go to war) because Saddam Hussein's programmes for developing WoMD, chemical, biological and nuclear weapons are a real threat to the security of the world."

Further: The Blessed Leader has commanded me to point out that if the UK went to war on the basis of faulty intelligence information, then that is a matter for the intelligence gathering community rather than the Blessed Leader.

skull and crossbonesDiary entry – NOT FOR PUBLICATION

I confess, I did not believe Charlie, Pete and Ally when they assured the B.L. that they knew of a judge who would cut the government enough slack to junk all charges and bite the BBC's ankles at the slightest excuse. Nor did I believe that this miracle of a judge would just ignore all evidence against the government case.
All hail, the Blessed Leader and may he forgive me for being a miserable doubter.

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HOME NEWS

The Official Better Dope Guide

Bought some drugs but you're not sure what to do next? Don't worry. All you have to do is log on to a Home Office website*, which will offer you all the training information that you could ever need. The site will tell you how to get the most out of the popular drugs of the day by giving advice on much to use and the best methods for taking your drug of choice.
   NOTE: The pages telling customers where to go for the best deals, how much to pay and how to recognize good stuff have been removed following complaints that the government is nannying its customers.
   * The website is part of New Labour's Customer Services Initiative.
UpdateCannabis has now been officially downgraded in status from 'serious' to 'frivolous'. Which means, in practice, that Vice-Prez Bliar is going for the drug-dealer and drug-user vote and the law will no longer be enforced as far as cannabis is concerned.

New Labour steals Tory kite

Doing a spot of political kite-flying, the Tories announced that they would change the rules for speed cameras. The revisions included abolishing penalty points on the speeding motorist's driving licence; except in extreme cases. The next day, Vice-Prez Bliar & Co. hijacked the idea – which hasn't happened to the Tories in living memory.
   Looks like the New Tories are starting to become a political force.

Hide under your bed, the Eurocops are coming!

UK civil rights organizations are getting antsy about European arrest warrants, a scheme which began with the new year. Apparently, foreign police forces are now entitled to turn up in the UK with a piece of paper, and stroll off with British citizens with the blessing of a British court. And all this without having to produce any evidence of wrong-doing.
   The civil rights people are saying that 'Johnny Foreigner' doesn't have a proper legal system while pointing to Greece, Spain, Portugal and Belgium as examples. So they want the British government to put the scheme on hold until the foreigners shape up, legal system-wise.

#Vice-Prez Bliar has put on hold his plan to pack the House of Lords with cronies. Sheer embarrassment is the reported reason for the delay. Also, he needs to carry out some further screening of his stooges. Most of the current batch of New Labour crony lords are too idle to turn up at the House and the Vice-Prez is looking for stooges who will take his sweeties and keep their side of the bargain by being there to vote on command.

?What do you do if, like Vice-Prez Bliar, you don't have a reverse gear?
A U-turn, like the one he did on Ken Livingstone.

The UK truancy rate has risen by 40% since New Labour took office in 1997. Spending on programmes to change the behaviour of truants has gone up by over 800% in the same period to £84.5million per annum. Which tends to suggest that the Bliar regime is great at spending taxpayers' money but not very good at spending it on anything useful.

!The government wants to make letting off loud fireworks after 11 p.m. illegal? So how does it propose tracking down the yobs who let off one loud bang at 1 a.m.? All the fine ambitions in the world are somewhat useless without a spot of practical enforcement.

Ankle-Grabber of the Month

Labour MP Stephen Pound, who promised to sponsor a 10 Minute Rule Bill (knowing it had no chance of lasting longer than 11 minutes in the House of Commons) for whatever a poll of Radio 4 listeners threw out; and then chickened out when the customers wanted the right to defend themselves in their own homes against burglars.

?Is Vice-Prez Bliar lying when he says he'd quit if he lied? Well, he's done it and he didn't quit, so he must be.

It has never been easier to cheat the taxman – official! The Commons public accounts committee has found that the chance of a bogus declaration being picked up by the tax authorities is minimal. The Mugger is costing the nation £2-3billion in tax revenue through his minions' failure to pursue cheats. 30 million tax returns are filed every year while only 400 serious fraud investigations and just 60 prosecutions are carried out per year.

#Jerry Knight, a prison governor who sacked a prison officer for telling a joke about Osama bin Laden, has had his bum chewed by an employment tribunal for pretending to do it in the name of racial awareness and trying to collect brownie points. The sack for gross incompetence should be Mr. Knight's next reward.

#Network Rail is planning to add 5 minutes to all train journey times 'to make timetables look more realistic'. How very New Labour!

Vice-Prez Bliar is handing taxpayers' cash to a PR firm run by a buddy of Peter Mandelson's to sell his university top-up fees scheme. MPs are calling the deal an abuse of public money; and that's an opinion from experts in the field.

!Wouldn't you just know it! Water UK reckons that we've been getting nothing but 'the wrong sort of rain' this month and none of it is getting into reservoirs and underground aquifers. So, presumably, the water companies will be obliged to put their charges up by 50% in the late spring to stop poor people wasting it during the summer.
   Nothing like getting your alibi in place good and early.

HUTTON NEWS

Open government? No!
Selectively porous government? Si!

3 wise HuttonsWhat a surprise! The now thoroughly discredited Hutton report was leaked a day early to a tabloid which currently supports the Bliar regime. Why? For three terrific reasons:

  1. to distract attention from the regime's majority crashing from 161 to 5 after a revolt of Real Labour MPs;
  2. to apply spin to the material leaked; and
  3. to celebrate successful pulling of wool over Hutton's eyes.

The leak also clarified the purpose of the Hutton investigation. In declaring everyone associated with the Bliar regime spotless and everyone else as guilty as hell, Hutton provided Bliar with a club with which to beat the BBC and political opponents.
   Installing Bliar cronies at the top of the Beeb failed to check awkward questions about the regime's dodgy doings. The Beeb will now be required to chain up its genuine news-hounds or face the consequences; which are likely to amount to severe nose-in-the-trough deprivation for the chief guzzlers until they fall back into line. But doing the same to political opponents, inside and outside his party, is likely to prove more of a problem for Bliar.

#Dead Man Walking

So what has Hutton achieved? The important objective of leaving Vice-Prez Bliar twisting in the wind, exposed as shifty and untrustworthy and with nowhere to hide.
   As for the report itself, perhaps the kindest thing said about his lordship's efforts is that his conclusions are 'naive and unsustainable' when it is abundantly clear that the Bliar regime took the country to war on the basis of 'sexed-up' and 'dodgy' dossiers on Iraq's weapons, and threw weapons expert Dr. David Kelly to the wolves as a cynical act of political distraction.
   An alternative view on the reason why V-P Bliar and his minions have been cleared is that Hutton wished to spare the country, briefly, the truly dreadful prospect of Tony Bliar being replaced by Gordie Broon, the man who, by his untutored meddling, has destroyed the pensions and savings industries in the UK.
   As a further benefit for Bliar, the removed chairman of the BBC governors was a Gordie Broon crony. Bliar now has the opportunity to slot in someone more acceptable.

?Hutton: what next?

Lord Hutton confirmed his lack of contact with the real world and a wilful reluctance to accept that Vice-Prez Bliar and his minions are rogues. So it's no wonder that the hacks assembled to listen to him greeted his explanation first with disbelief and later with open derision. Hutton also confirmed that the Establishment will let a dodgy character like Vice-Prez Bliar get away with more or less anything.
   So what do we do now? Well, there's a clear case for following the example of the European Commission. When a referendum gives the wrong result, the EC just repeats it until it the right decision is obtained.

!A combined 'poll of polls' shows that 67% of the British population believe that the Hutton Report was a whitewash job.

 
What Hutton should have said:

  • The government took shaky Intelligence information and exaggerated it in its dossiers to make the case for war in Iraq look sexier.
  • BBC Journalist Andrew Gilligan made minor scripting errors in his 6 a.m. '45 minutes' Radio news report.
  • Those errors would have gone unnoticed had not Alastair Campbell been trying to bully the BBC into lying for him.
  • Tony Bliar okayed the 'outing' of Dr. David Kelly and he has to bear the responsibility for everything that followed.

!The Hutton Report on the leaking of the Hutton Report

Principal conclusion : there was no leak and therefore no one is to blame.

STEALTH TAX NEWS
The Mugger

 

 
Stealth Tax #66 : £60 per day fines for late submissions of self-assessment income tax declarations.

Stealth Tax #67 : another assault on the motorist. The present government will be making a concerted effort to drive poor motorists off the roads (and raise even more stealthy taxes) in its final year of office. This is why traffic wardens have been given powers to impose fines for 121 different offences in the hope that fewer, mainly rich people will brave the roads in future. The offences will include parking more than 19 inches from the kerb (for which the fine will be £100) and dithering by people who are lost over whether to make a turn or keep straight on.
   The system will not involve confrontation, however. The wardens will just photograph the incident and the vehicle's number plate with a digital camera, and send the pictures back to base. A penalty notice will then be issued in due course by post.
   As wardens have a lot of regulations to learn, it is expected that they will operate by taking pictures at random initially. The random pictures will be checked by experts, who, the Department of Transport is confident, will be able to fit up at least 71% of the victims for some offence or other.
   As an added bonus, the DoT expects to identify significant numbers of the estimated 1 million 'ghost drivers' who are using our roads without the benefit of tax, insurance and a driving licence. If a 'warden' fine is not paid within 1 month (usually because a rogue driver is using a false home address), the vehicle's registration number will be forwarded to an automated CCTV identification system.
   The next time a traffic camera spots the offending vehicle, the police will be notified and the driver will be liable to arrest, confiscation of the vehicle and, Home Secretary Blunk says (even if few believe him), deportation if he or she has no right to be in the UK.
   As a (near) future development, computer systems linked to CCTV street observation cameras will soon be watching motorists in areas inaccessible to wardens, e.g. motorways and tunnels, in an attempt to ensure that misbehaving motorists pay for each and every crime.

Stealth Tax #68 : The Victims Fund. What is it? A surcharge fine on everyone who passes through the courts. This is seen as amounting to a further assault on the motorist as fewer than 50% of career criminals pay fines. The surcharges will range from an extra £5 for speeding to £30 for murder.
    The Victims Fund will operate in parallel with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, which is not expected to raise its paltry level of payments. It is anticipated that most of the cash raised will be spent on collection, administration and assessing the merits of claims from victims of crime: i.e. in areas which buy votes for the government from its employees.
   Expenditure on support services will also be increased: counsellors, advisors, civil servants who create leaflets and videos, printers and media production services, etc. – in other words, the whole para-crime industry. Any cash rewards paid to victims of crime from the Victims Fund are expected to be at a pretty derisory level, as for the CICS.
The government also wants to make private companies liable for attacks on their staff by criminal during working hours. This is seen as a crude insurance swindle designed to save the CICS the £12million per annum paid to police and prison officers, doctors and other medical staff, and teachers.

Stealth Tax #69 : Abolition of Legal Aid for the middle classes. The initial plan is to deprive motorists of the right to free legal representation. In time, the roll-back will include people charged with more serious crimes, such as murder and assaults on jobsworth officials. The ultimate object of the 'reform' is to ensure that legal aid cash is passed only to members of the legal profession who labour to keep illegal and undesirable immigrants in the UK.

SURVIVAL NEWS

Total wipe-out on the way?

extinct species of Romiley dinosaurOne million species (10% of all species on the planet) will be extinct in 50 years' time and half of the rest will be dust by the end of the century. All this is due to climate change, say the 'experts'. Well, that's the way the universe crumbles and we'll just have to adapt to any changes in the climate because we can't do anything effective to change them. Which means that anyone who says they can put the world to rights given vast enough amounts of taxpayers' money is a crook, a liar, a lying crook or a control freak on a power trip.

!Pong or die! If you smoke, you'll get cancer. If you drink, you'll get cancer. If you eat salt, you'll get cancer. If you eat salmon, you'll get cancer. Now, the latest scare story is that using anti-perspirants gives you cancer. Looks like we're all doomed whatever we do (or don't do).
   p.s. Eat Thai chicken and you'll die of avian flu.
   p.p.s. Eating junk food sabotages the memory and may even cause actual brain damage! And if you want to live to any sort of ripe old age, don't go to Manchester as the city is designed to turn its inhabitants into obese food-junkies, who croak early.

#Congrats to Naked Rambler Stephen Gough, who spent 5 months in various gaols along the way, and transfused £50,000 of taxpayers' dosh to the legal profession, but finally made it from Land's End to John O'Groats.

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TOURIST NEWS

Alky Ida tourists discover the power of the phone

US flagBad guys out for a laugh are using simple methods to tie the Yanks, and their pals, in knots. They have found that all they need to do is book a seat on an airliner in a slightly dodgy name, e.g. Osama bin Adams or Gerry Hussein, and bad things happen to the mugs travelling on that flight. Either the plane never takes off or everyone aboard is harassed and delayed for hours by smug security types.
   Even worse, anyone with even a vaguely Arabic name faces being called a liar by a Yank in shades. Chinese, French and Welsh travellers seem to be most at risk.
   Another good trick for the Alky Ida tourists is to mention a flight number in a phone conversation or an email, knowing that the Yanks monitor the world's communications with computers set to pick out key words. Chaos at a distance can be an extremely effective weapon.

UK flagAirports in crisis

The 'security' situation in the United States is reported to have the UK government severely worried. Delays to flights (and their cancellation), and further delays at US airports are making passengers revise their travel intentions. The Yanks are now insisting on wholesale photographing and fingerprinting of everyone who applies for a visa and everyone who arrives at one of their points of entry.
   While some are chosing to fly elsewhere, many are opting to stay at home and spend their travel budget on consumer goods, such as a wide-screen TV or a better PC with a large monitor (or even multiple monitors) for an on-line holiday.
   The likely drop in the numbers of airline passengers is making government forecasts of future demand even more unreliable and weakening the case for expansion of airports. Even worse, the government is becoming severely worried by the potential loss of bungs for favours connected with planning applications and runway and terminal building construction contracts.

Virtual Sky Marshals Spring Into Action

In response to nervous noises from across the Atlantic, the UK government rushed out an announcement that all passenger aircraft flying to the United States would carry armed Sky Marshals for the customers' protection. And then someone realized that firing a gun on a pressurized aircraft is a bonehead manoeuvre at the best of times. That's when the concept of Virtual Sky Marshals was born.
   A member of the Downing Street Bright Ideas Team realized that announcing that there will be Sky Marshals, rather than actually having them, is safer, cheaper and easier to do. This system of announcing an intention to act, rather than acting, has served New Labour well in the past, and it offers the additional benefit of allowing the government to spend the budget for the Sky Marshal project on bungs to cronies and bribes to potential voters.

The Great Wall of China isn't so great any more!

The Chinese government has performed a survey of its greatest tourist attraction and found that almost 70% of The Great Wall isn't there any more. Tourists, developers, the government's failure to prevent natural erosion and predatory locals are all blamed for the disappearing act. Bits of the Wall are regularly recycled as building materials for structures as diverse as pig sties and coal mines.
   The situation is not helped by the Chinese government's 'rescue' approach to maintaining the Wall; they actually do something only when it starts falling down instead of taking early preventive measures. But concern over the Chinese bid for the 2012 Olympic Games is forcing the government to re-assess its attitude to this national treasure.
   In fact, there is now a suspicion that they're warning the people who allocate Olympic Games that if China doesn't host the one in 2012, what's left of the Wall gets it!

THOUGHTS

Random Reflections In January

#The Mugger may have murdered Prudence but Vice-Prez Bliar is still clinging to Ambiguity.

#The recent Iraq war was a strategic error of the first order; fiscally, politically and militarily unsustainable.

?What, exactly, is the Bliar regime up to over broadband Internet connections? The plan, apparently, is to get 'the majority' of customers on-line by 2010. But what does this mean in practice? The ambition has to be either to make the service available to the majority, or to oblige them to be connected.
   The latter case would bring up the prospect of a repressive regime making a broadband Internet connection compulsory by law. Which, in turn, means that every customer would be obliged by law to pay £25 per month to a service provider. And to own a PC, of course. Could this be Stealth Tax #666?
   Are we to see TV detector vans re-engineered as broadband detector vans and sent out to tour the streets looking for Internet Abstainers from 2010? Is Vice-Prez Bliar seriously intending to put his customers in fear and trembling of jobsworths who are policing his intent to make sure that every customer has a PC, and that it's switched on around the clock and connected to the Internet via a broadband link? And the browser's home page is www.UKGov.Customer-Messages.co.uk/Do_This_Now!.dhtml?
   Some detailed explanation of Vice-Prez Bliar's aspirations is needed urgently.

#If the Commissioner of the Met himself is going to question Prince Charles about Princess Di's road-traffic accident, then we can all relax. It's only going to take the head copper away from policy meetings on things like ignoring drug dealers and burglars, and concentrating on raising revenue from soft targets like motorists. So only Prince Chazzer's time will be wasted.
   p.s. The French compiled an exhaustive, 6,000 page dossier on this RTA so why will the jobsworth Commissioner take a full year to complete his 'investigation'? Or is he just a slow reader?

!Just think how different things would be if Lord Hutton had been the judge at Harold Shipman's trial.

?What will be the consequences for Vice-Prez Bliar of using up his entire quota of 'benefit of the doubt' on the Hutton Report? It would have been Prudent to save some for the inquiry into the beginnings of the latest Iraq war. But his rival for the top job, Sourpuss Gordy Broon, has murdered Prudence. Can that be just a coincidence?

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   Many described their resistance at first as a matter of principle. Later, they talked of matters of conscience. The more honest among them also admitted personal ambition as a motive for aiding a leader's downfall.
   The deluxe edition contains a pop-up appendix on Endogenous Growth Theory.
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DOOM 'N' GLOOM NEWS

Wogs to take over in 2031

RIP UKThe government's chief medical advisor has revealed that she sees no future for anyone currently living in the UK if they carry on as they are. "The British are idle guzzlers, and they'll all be dead of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, a stroke, or a combination of the above, within a generation," she told Vice-Prez Bliar in her New Year report on the health of the nation.
   She painted a grim picture of a possible 2031, in which a Great Britain denuded of its native population is roamed only by mobs of bogus asylum seekers, who are vainly seeking an open social security office.
   Stung into action, the government is expected to introduce a Fridge Police Service to confront the growing menace of obesity by restricting customers' access to their stocks of food. Other plans in the pipeline include a Bill to make sports compulsory by law for all customers and another Bill placing truly draconian levels of taxation on vehicles to force motorists out of their cars.
   Fitness prompts are soon to be compulsory in all soap operas and all scripts will require an endorsement from a government inspector before the episode can be shown on UK television. The requirement will be made retrospective to ensure that archive soap episodes shown on digital TV are 'retro-scripted' and new scenes are edited in to give prominence to government policies on healthy eating and exercise.
   "Look, I know this isn't going to be much fun," Vice-Prez Bliar told a press conference in Downing Street during a lull between winter showers. "But if the British people don't shape up, there'll be no one for my heirs to organize in the middle of the century."
   On being asked when the office of Vice-Prez became hereditary, Mr. Bliar spotted an approaching rain cloud and dashed back indoors.

Scottish farmed salmon is lethal say American toxicologist

A shock-horror study of farmed salmon has found that they are rich in dangerous carcinogens and radioactive residues, and recommends that farmed salmon should be consumed at no more than one meal every 4 months. Wild salmon is okay and North American ranched salmon is safe, the Yanks say. Most authorities believe that the report has been published to distract attention from the threat to humans of BSE in US cattle because there are few checks on the health of cattle delivered to slaughterhouses. The beef industry in the United States is just too big and too rich to be subjected to effective regulation.
   Meanwhile, the UK's Food Standards Authority is saying that UK ranched salmon is safe by the standards of the World Health Organization and the European Union. And the FSA recommends that customers eat salmon at least twice per week to gain the benefits of omega-3 fish oils. etc. So the customers are left wondering whether to believe over-excited Yanks or our own complacent FSA.
Stop PressBritish consumers appear not to have been taken in by the Yankee scare-mongering. Little change has been reported in salmon consumption in the wake of the report, and the overall trend in the industry is upward.

TRANSPORT NEWS

Don't mention the railways!

Mr. EyebrowsNew Labour has no idea what to do with the railways next, which is why they trotted out Transport Secretary Alistair 'Eyebrows' Darling to waffle for a while and not say anything. The main problem is that his predecessor, 'Liar' Byers, screwed things up so badly that anything Mr. Eyebrows does can only make a bad situation worse. And Vice-Prez Bliar is not yet suicidal enough to let Johnny 'Two Jags' Prescott have another go at an integrated transport policy. So Rail Transport is now off the political agenda until after New Labour has lost the next election.

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FOREIGN NEWS

Israeli soldier faces slapped wrist

An Israeli soldier has been arrested after admitting the attempted murder of British peace activist Tom Hurndall in the Gaza strip. The sniper shot his victim in the head 8 months ago, leaving him in a coma with no signs of brain activity.
   It is standard military practice in such cases for Israeli soldiers to shoot someone and then get a colleague to swear that the victim was carrying a gun. It is standard political practice for the Israeli government to accept such statements as true without question.
   Based on past performances in Israeli military courts, their man is unlikely to receive more than a mild chastisement if convicted.
   Note 1 : Had Mr. Hurndall been Palestinian rather than British, there would have been no investigation and the sniper would still be at work.
   Note 2 : The Israeli military is currently dragging its feet over the murder of British TV cameraman James Miller by one of their soldiers 7 months ago.
Stop PressMr. Hurndall's death in hospital this month is not expected to have any effect on the fate of the soldier-assassin.

You eat what you are!

Job-creating German police are setting up a Cannibal Division. They have convinced their government that it is necessary after bolting a world-wide conspiracy onto the trial of self-confessed German cannibal Armin Meiwes [see last month's BlackFlag News]. The trial was supposed to be over before Xmas but it seems to be dragging on. [The latest estimate of the finishing date is now in February. Ed.]
   No one should be surprised to learn that the Cannibal Division will be tasked with gathering information on a virtual network of international cannibals, who exchange information via websites and emails. German experts reckon that there are hundreds of active cannibals in their own country and thousands at it world-wide.
   Nominations for the person you'd most like a cannibal to eat should be sent to Jenson Farrago [farrago at lineone.net].
UpdateSadly for the lawyers, they were unable to prolong the trial into February. Mr. Miewes has gone down for 8½ years for manslaughter. Bet he wishes he'd had the benefit of the doubt from Lord Hutton. Then he'd have been able to go home and invite a friend over for a dinner to celebrate his freedom.

Warning: Center Parcs rip-off in operation

If you are British and you book a holiday at a Center Parcs site on the Continent, YOU WILL BE RIPPED OFF. The Consumers' Association had found that anyone booking a holiday in English, using either a call centre or a website, will be charged 20% more than someone booking in French or Dutch.
   YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

#The hunt for Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq has been called off – but don't tell anyone because the government wants to keep it quiet.

$From October, 2004, the US government is intent on charging $100 for a visa. Every potential traveller (children included) will also incur the expense of a trip to the US embassy in London for fingerprinting and an interview.
   p.s. Anyone who dares to queue for the toilet on the aircraft won't be allowed to enter the United States in case they're an Islamic tourist.

euroThe European Commission has suddenly realized that it was illegal for EU governments to let France and Germany off for breaching the Stability Pact. Now, the EC is threatening legal action. Like that's going to happen!

!Three journalists have geen gaoled in Zimbabwe for reporting that Prez Mug is on an extended holiday in Asia at public expense while his customers are starving.

Shave or go to gaol!

As well as banning religious garments in schools, such as Islamic veils, the French government is now thinking of requiring those wearing a beard with a 'religious connotation' to shave it off. The idea is to prevent schoolkid religious fanatics from getting around the law by resorting to alternative religious symbols.

Unashamed war criminal about to become an unrepenant ordinary criminal?

It seems somehow fitting that Prime Minister Sharon of Israel should be undermined by charges of taking bribes in connection with a planning applications. It rounds out his character and makes him seem more human. It turns him from a brutal associate of mass murder into just another greedy politician with his hand out.
   But he does have a possible escape route from his predicament. If he can do a Jacques Chiraq and cling to office for long enough, he can hope that everyone will have lost the will to prosecute him by the time the electorate finally dumps him in the dustbin of history.

!Exploding whale causes gridlock in Tainan. The 56-foot beached whale was being taken to the university for a post-mortem when decomposition gases erupted, showering motorists and pedestrians with blood, guts and rotting blubber. Part of the city remained at a complete stand-still for hours during the clean-up operation. It is understood that the Taiwanese Tourist Board is now planning to add Street Sushi to the island's list of attractions.

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SPACE NEWS

Traffic wardens for Mars soon?

To Mars!

Mars is getting quite crowded, these days. The Open University's Beagle 2, delivered by the European Space Agency's Mars Express, is there but possibly in bits if no one can contact it. The much larger NASA rover Spirit was sending back pictures of Gusev Crater within hours of landing there. Congratulations to everyone involved in both missions. And we hope Spirit's twin Opportunity makes a similar soft landing on the other side of the planet on the 25th.

UpdateThere's an account of an intemperate article by Jeffrey F. Bell, Adjunct Professor of Planetology at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, on the spacedaily.com website [title: Beagle 2: A Fortunate Failure, posted January 13, 2004]. Bell has a good rant at Dr. Colin Pillinger and everyone who dared to spend one-quarter of the NASA budget for the 1997 Mars Pathfinder rover (the little one before Spirit and Opportunity). Bell gloats over the failure to contact Beagle 2 on the surface of Mars. So perhaps it's the turn of Dr. Pillinger to have a small gloat at NASA's sudden failure to be able to talk to Spirit after things seemed to be going so well for the mission.

UpdateOpportunity landed safely and began returning pictures right away. And NASA engineers think they've found out what went wrong with Spirit but it will take 3 weeks to fix. Good job they didn't give it Windows XP™ as its operating system, or they'd still be scratching their heads long after the Mars rover's 90-day working life ran out.

BRAIN-DEAD?

Why are the Yanks trying to earn the contempt of the rest of the world through wilful bone-headedness?

Locking up a British student for a month to wait for her trial after she did a bomb joke at a baggage check is ridiculously heavy-handed. Threatening her with 15 years in gaol for making a false bomb report is nothing short of contemptible. If the US is genuinely under threat from what Prez Bush calls 'Islamic Tourists', then it should take SENSIBLE protective precautions.
   Locking up British tourists for non-offences brings the whole process into contempt and leaves the US with 2 serious problems: 1. MORE people will say they had it coming the next time the 'Islamic Tourists' attack the US or something American; and 2. FEWER people will feel inclined to offer help to, or co-operate with, what is now perceived to be a bone-headed and oppressive regime in the US.
   Shape up, America, and let some good sense crawl through your mental fog or find yourself left on your own!

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PRISON NEWS

Shipman – suicide or murder?

Harold Shipman
Harold Shipman
The inquiry into the death in prison of the former doctor Harold Shipman is expected to convene in 2010 and last up to five years. In a snap poll conducted within hours of the release of the news of his death, 93% of respondents felt that his death was not suicide.
   Most of the disbelievers felt that his demise had been engineered by the top-secret department of the British security services which was responsible for the assassinations of Rudolph Hess and Princess Diana. The reaction in Hyde, Cheshire, where Dr. Shipman practised medicine and murder, was mainly satisfaction that he is no longer a drain on the public purse.
   The conclusions of the official inquiry will be that the death was a genuine suicide, not murder by a secret government department; that no one in either the prison service or the government was negligent; and, therefore, that no one is too blame. As the Bliar Effect will still be in operation, no one will believe anything in the report, not even its authors!
   Despite Mr. Shipman's death, the appeal against his convictions for murder will continue and his legal team are confident that he will be pardoned in about 2042. The inquiry into the credentials of his alleged legal representative is expected to open in the 3rd quarter of the century.
UpdateAnyone wishing to read the email sent out by "Benson Tito", who claims he can unlock millions left in Spain by one of Dr. Shipman's victims, is invited to visit the Crooks In Action section of Jenson Farrago's website.

SPORT NEWS

Only tarts in shorts win sponors?

Head of FIFA Sepp Blatter thinks that female footballers should play in tighter shorts to give them a more interesting image which will attract commercial sponsors.
   Marianne Spacey, manager of the Fulham female team, replied that women did play in tighter shorts 10 years ago but nobody paid any attention.

Who's going to get the 2012 Olympics?
BlackFlag News asked the UK's Ministry of Sport by phone

BFN : Which city will get it, New York, London or Paris?
MoS : It won't be New York because of the threat from Islamic tourists.
BFN : So London is in a straight fight with Paris?
MoS : Not much of a fight. London last had an Olympics in 1948 but Paris hasn't had one since 1924, so they'll get it.
BFN : In that case, why are the usual suspects in London wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers' cash?
MoS : Because they're all a bunch of freebie-guzzling spivs.
BFN : Thank you for your candour.
MoS : I take it the cheque's in the post?

Wolves 1, Man. Utd. 0

Anyone who paid Sky six quid to watch this match on the 17th got to see the bottom team in the premiership defeat the top team. Who says miracles don't happen any more?

This Month's Garbage

The Garbage The British police investigation of Princess Diana's fatal road-traffic accident in a foreign country in the last century.

The idea that Ken Livingstone has become politically correct enough to be let back into Vice-Prez Bliar's New Labour party. 

 Prince Chazzer ever plotted to kill his weird (ex-)wife [although, he might have felt like throttling her at times].

The Garbage"I suggest you look at the totality of what I said." – Vice-Prez Bliar. 

 Arts Minister Estelle Morris and his Feargal Sharkiness the Live Music Tsar.

It costs Labour-run Hull City Council £50 in red-tape charges to authorize and action, changing a light bulb (plus 3 weeks to get the job done). 

 Criminals caught red-handed trying to steal diamonds from a display at the Millennium Dome should be let off just because the judge dozed off at their trial.

The GarbageCriminals who didn't use guns, but did use a JCB and sledgehammers, and were armed with bottles of ammonia, are entitled to have their sentences reduced. 

Left-over garbage which missed the appropriate bin : The government's new Hug-A-Mugger social policy to prevent criminals from feeling excluded.

The Hutton Report. 

 
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