By popular tradition in the USA, the groundhog comes out of his winter burrow on February 2nd for a look at the weather. If he can see his shadow, he disappears back into his hole, expecting a further 6 weeks of bad weather. If it's cloudy and he casts no shadow (as on Feb. 2nd in Romiley), he comes out of his burrow, expecting spring to arrive at any moment. Naturalists are confident that there are no longer any groundhogs resident in Romiley the ones which weren't drowned in their burrows by floods will have been blown into the next county by gales.
Scumbag thieves sabotage Romiley's health care
The Health Centre was in chaos after thieves broke in and stole the computers. [Update: it was the monitors which were stolen, not the PCs, but the denial of service effect was the same. Ed.] Unable to access appointments made and medical records, the service was reduced to emergency appointments only. Anyone with info on the scumbags is invited to pass it on to BlackFlag News so that we can give them some exposure.
Romiley's Committee of Vigilance to retake the streets
Following criminal assaults on the Health Centre and the Gateway supermarket this month, the RCoV has decided to set up Vigilance Patrols. The teams will be armed with tasers, which are guaranteed to subdue the most violent of criminals until electrified restraints can be applied. Minor offenders will be chained to something solid and left to experience public humiliation. More serious offenders will be removed to a People's Prison 'somewhere in the neighbourhood'. There, they will enjoy starvation rations and grim conditions until they repent.
The New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers clashed in Texas to settle Super Bowl 38. The match started as a defensive battle but it featured a 3-minute shoot-out at the end of the first half to leave the Patriots ahead 10-14.
The American Crunch Pro Bowl involves the best NFL players of the year as chosen by the players themselves. They meet in Hawaii for what is usually a by-invitation, end-of-term exhibition match. Not this year, though. Recently, the American Football Conference has been beating the National Football Conference and nobody has cared too much. But finding themselves 25 points down at 38-13 early in the second half, the NFC team woke up.
While the nation was questioning Lord Hutton's judgement, and his contact with reality, bits of the truth were crawling into the light of day. If Vice-Prez Bliar and his cohorts were blameless, then fingers had to be pointed elsewhere, e.g. at the 'Intelligence community'. And when the scapegoats started defending themselves, e.g. by accusing the Bliar regime of using the Intelligence services for PR purposes and virtually sweeping the floors of Spy HQ in search of useful scraps, some of the fog began to disperse.
A message from the Downing Street Communications Unit
The Blessed Leader has said all that he wishes to say about Iraq's multiple and well-documented Weapons of Mass Destruction.
The Hutton Report is having the desired effect on the BBC, where leadership of the chicken-hearted is now the order of the day. As well as editing everything uncomplimentary to the government out of news and current affairs programmes, comedy shows like Radio 4's Absolute Power (which features a couple of spin-doctors) are also being snipped as the panic spreads. And the snipping exercise was a second-best choice after the outright surrender of cancelling the programme proved too much for the chicken-hearted ones to get away with.
The cancellation of flights from the UK and France to the United States at the Super Bowl weekend is generating a high degree of scepticism in the UK. There is a suspicion that the US security services are engaged in an exercise in self-justification if they're in charge of homeland security, then they have to dig up threats to their homeland to justify their existence.
Prez Bush and Vice-Prez Bliar have been nominated for the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize by a Norwegian MP. BlackFlag News has no information on whether he is a notorious hoaxer or just trying to get himself noticed.
Lord Butler Who He?
A bloke who thinks it's okay for government ministers to deceive by telling selected parts of the truth. Also the guy who paved the way for Alastair Campbell to turn the civil service into a Labour Party propaganda unit. And someone who won't even be told that Vice-Prez Bliar and his chums snipped off warnings about the reliability of intelligence reports and used the raw data as a basis for sexing things up, amplifying the apparent danger and setting the nation on a path to war in accordance with Prez Bush's wishes.
Lords cheer up the lawyers
The House of Lords has ruled on the practice of clearing snow from the pavement in front of one's house. If anyone slips on the cleared surface, they can sue the housholder for creating a hazard. But if the passer-by slips on a snow- or ice-covered pavement, they can sue the local authority for not making the pavement safe.
The Butler Inquiry The Results : None of the testimony and documentation fell within the exceedingly narrow remit of the inquiry and so no evidence of incompetence or wrongdoing was detected.
Single Choice Issue
Buff Hoon, minister for lying about, and to, the armed forces, reckons that the 4-5 minute claim in Vice-Prez Bliar's dodgy dossier is insignificant. The Vice-Prez himself pleads ignorance of the whole matter. Both have attracted the headline: Liar or Fool? Which begs the question, "What do they mean, or?" We know both of them are liars and if they expect anyone to believe their ever-changing stories, that makes them idiots as well.
BBC Goes Totally Chicken
The craven acting director-general has decided that the BBC can no longer pursue breaking news in case it is seen to be in competition with newspapers and in case it embarrasses the government. (Oh, what a giveaway!) In future, the BBC will report only well-established fact, which will require corroboration in the form of signed statements endorsing the accuracy of the report from 2 participants in the news event.
The Church of England has decided that the Three Wise Men story is inaccurate. There is no evidence that they weren't as thick as 3 short planks or that they were men. In short, the truth lies somewhere between 3 wise men and 3 clottish women. Where we go from there has not yet been disclosed.
Fingebant atque credebant : The Roman historian Tacitus knew all about spin-doctory and he devised a suitable epitaph for Vice-Prez Bliar's minions and hangers-on. The usual translation is 'they both pretended and believed in the pretence'.
"Please try to sneak into and out of the country!"
The British government has given an Israeli minister an immunity from arrest in this country. Shaul Mofaz is wanted for crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli army in occupied Jordan during 2002 but the Bliar regime is pretending that he has diplomatic immunity. Those eager to have Mr. Mofaz arrested are planning a legal challenge the moment he sets foot on British soil.
Trade Unions get 67% Return On Investment. The trade unions handed £6million to New Labour last year. In return, Vice-Prez Bliar intends to hand them £10million of taxpayers' money if the current Employment Relations Bill slides through Parliament. Sounds like a sweet deal!
Lord Chief Justice Woolf reckons that a building to house the government's planned Supreme Court will cost the taxpayer £50million. But given the experience of the Scottish Parliament building, which was supposed to cost £40million but which will now cost in excess of £500million, and the 'Bloody Sunday' inquiry, the cost of which has blown up from £10million to more than £155million, the Supreme Court sounds like it's going to be another Millennium Dome. [And given the track record of the usual suspects in getting things like this built, it probably won't come 'on-line' until the turn of the next millennium. Ed.]
Public protection scheme
The public gallery of the House of Commons is to get a bullet-resistant screen in case an outraged customer decides to take a pot-shot at Vice-Prez Bliar. Which seems to be another waste of public money as we're enjoying the sight of the bugger wriggling too much to put him out of his misery.
Vice-Prez Bliar is to allow Genetically Monstered crops to be grown in the UK. Why? Because the US government wants GM to be legitimized world-wide and when Prez Bush yells 'Jump!', the Vice-Prez gets on with it. Labour bunger and V-P's crony Lord Sainsbury is expected to do 'very nicely' out of the deal.
Immigrant cab drivers who can't speak the language and don't know their way around are standard in American films. But it would appear that the situation is no better in the UK. Auto Express magazine put researchers accompanied by a driving examiner in black cabs and minicabs in London, Birmingham and Manchester. The conclusion of the skills survey was that 90% of the drivers would fail a standard driving test. Their offences included yakking into mobile phones, driving the wrong way down one-ways streets, snacking while driving and not keeping both hands on the steering wheel for other reasons, and not using mirrors.
Doctors at St. Thomas's Hospital, London, have found that coughing as the needle goes in provides a distraction and makes an injection as pain-free as possible. One cough per jab is required for multiple injections.
"Vice-Prez Bliar is liable to croak at any second from a heart attack!"
Although the Vice-Prez is making light of his unfitness to rule, from the medical standpoint, Labour MP Dr. Lewis Moonie begs to disagree. He has the same irregular heartbeat problem but he insists that the Bliar version is much more serious, implying that the Vice-Prez should quit on the spot and hand over his job to the next in line. Given Downing Street's tendency to lie and lie again about the health of the incumbent, his customers can expect more of the same over Vice-Prez Bliar's heart condition.
Civil servants are requested not to leak anything about the latest Iraq war and breach the Official Secrets Act, even if the government cannot prosecute them for fear of having the war declared illegal in the courts. Thank you.
The government intends to ban 'Happy Hour' in pubs. Vice-Prez Bliar's new direction, post-Hutton, is towards trivial, achieveable targets rather than ones which will give him any trouble. Useful legislation is now a no-hoper; which is good news for all those who believe that when a government tries to do something, it only makes a bad situation worse.
Bush & Bliar to be impeached after misselling scandal?
The Prez and his side-kick sold the Iraq war with all the enthusiasm and dodginess of purveyors of used cars or endowment mortgages. That's the gist of what retired UN weapons inspector Hans Blix is now saying. Mr. Blix seems surprised to find that B&B sexed up their 'evidence' for going to war and he rather naively expected sincerity from them!
Tony Bliar probably doesn't know this, but he also faces impeachement for negligence. It has been ruled that if he didn't know the 4-5 minutes readiness claim applied only to Iraq's battlefield weapons, then he was failing to do his job properly.
The soon to be established Fadocrag website will offer payments to registered 'snouts'. Informers will be able to sign up at the webside, provide their credit card details and become eligible for payments. If the Fradocrag assessors judge that the information is useful, a payment will be made to the credit card from an untraceable source. If the scheme proves to be a success, the Home Office will consider expanding the system of indirect payments to include top-ups for household utilities (electricity, gas, water, etc.) and mobile phones.
Octogenarian tells town hall bandits where to get off
Miss Elizabeth Winkfield was hauled before Devon magistrates when she told Torridge District Council that she wouldn't pay their demand for an extra £114 in Council Tax. She offered to add the rate of inflation to the previous year's bill but the council insisted on their 18%. Miss Winkfield's options now are to let bailiffs seize her property and sell it off for ridiculously low amounts or go to gaol. And she is quite prepared to do the latter.
Irish politicians seem to be as bad as French ones when it comes to spivvery. The current PM, Bertie Ahern, looks like going the same way as his predecessor over bungs. Charles Haughey copped for £8.5million. But Teflon Tea-Shop Bertie looks like being sunk for peanuts in comparison.
The Metropolitan police have extended their investigation of the murder of Briton Tom Hurndall to include the murder of British cameraman James Miller. The two men were shot by Israeli troops in Gaza in April and May of 2003 respectively while watching the Israeli army of occupation harassing the civilian population and knocking down buildings.
Mrs. Yasser Arafat is reported to be under investigation by the French authorities and the EU because they reckon her bank accounts were used to launder cash misappropriated from the EU's €350million/year aid to Palestine. Given the track records of both investigating bodies, Mrs. A. doesn't seem to have a whole lot to worry about.
Stealth Tax #71 : a £200 per year charge to middle-class parents for places on formerly free school buses.
The Mugger is resorting to a standard diversionary tactic. He is having a go at the EU's 'wasteful and inefficient spending' in an attempt to draw attention away from stealth taxes and similar abuses in the UK. Which are perpetrated by the government of which the Mugger is an undistinguished member, we might add.
Stealth Tax #72 : a £250 per hour charge for the fire brigade for non-fire-related call-outs, e.g. clearing up after road accidents and rescuing pussy cats out of trees. The sponsor is our old pal 'Two Jags' Prescott.
Having demolished the pensions industry, the Mugger's next target is the UK film industry. He is closing a tax loophole to ensure that no more major films will be made here, depriving British people of jobs and the Treasury of tax revenue. So why's he doing it? Because the Mugger sees anything that makes things worse for UK plc while Vice-Prez Bliar is in charge as part of his Personal Power Plan.
Armin Meiwes, the Kassel Cannibal, has exercised a little-known right available to all EU citizens under the Human Rights Charter. He has opted to have his conviction for manslaughter with cannibalism, and the 8½ year sentence, reviewed by an independent judge from a foreign country. He has nominated the UK's own Lord Hutton for the job and his legal team expects to see him free to pursue his somewhat dubious hobby sometime in the late summer. He might even invite Lord Hutton to dinner when he gets out of gaol.
The Israeli army has been charged with a December killing spree in Nablus in Israeli-occupied Jordan. The score for the alleged terrorist hunt stands at 4 gunmen killed, 9 adult by-standers dead and 6 children dead. Israel has been trying to keep the news media and human rights groups out of the isolated city but some evidence of atrocities is starting to leak out.
Apparently, the US government has known since May 2003 that there were no WoMD in Iraq. So why didn't Prez Bush tell Vice-Prez Bliar? Or did he tell him, and has the Vice-Prez been lying to us since then? BlackFlag News would like some answers.
Bush does the dirty on Bliar
Prez Bush is to launch an investigation into why his spies got the Iraq WoMD issue so badly wrong. He is on safe ground as his dossiers were compiled by the CIA, etc., and not the White House. Vice-Prez Bliar, in contrast, got his fingers inky by reshaping his own dodgy dossiers to make the case for war more sexy. So Bliar is heading for a kicking while Bush holds a 'Get out of gaol free, it wasn't me, Gov!' card. Worse, the US report will be published in March 2004; after the coming US presidential election but before the next general election in the UK.
EU double standards showing again
The European Commission had declared Ryanair's subsidies from small airports in the public sector to be illegal while continuing to turn a blind eye to similar subsidies to airlines from private airports and direct state subsidies to Air France.
Prime Minister Sharon of Israel has announced a plan to withdraw all Israelis from the Gaza Strip, an area of Egypt which has been under Israeli occupation since 1967 as a border-straightening exercise. Such announcements are usually just PR exercises but there is a suspicion that this time, he will use the withdrawal plan to justify annexing further Arab land in Israeli occupied Jordan.
Enterprising Uruguayans are planning to raise parts of the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee and build a museum around them as a tourist attraction. The warship was damaged by the British navy in December, 1939. Its captain reached the neutral port of Montevideo but found that he could not make effective repairs in the 72 hours allowed under the rules of war. So he scuttled his ship in the River Plate, where it has remained a hazard to navigation ever since.
The French want to reduce the 7,000 annual deaths on their roads (twice the UK death rate) and they think they can do it by getting points added to the licences of British drivers for speeding and parking offences committed in France.
China is to blame for the dollar's slump and the euro's inconvenient rise against the US currency. Apparently, the Chinese are messing about in the international currency market to avoid taking a share of the pain from the dollar's slide. And the Europeans think this is unfair.
The European Union expects that 50% of its citizens will be seriously allergic to something or other by 2015. Obsessive standards of cleanliness and a failure to 'eat our peck of dirt' are believed to be the main contributory causes to the spread of universal allergies. Customers are advised to buy lots of handkerchiefs; and shares in pharmaceutical companies and firms which manufacture inhalers.
Dr. Atkins, he of the diet, had a history of heart problems and he weighed 18 stones when he died in hospital last April, 2 weeks after a fall on an icy pavement. At 6 feet tall, he had a body-mass index of 35, which made him clinically obese. Opponents are saying he died of a heart attack because his arteries were clogged up by fats from his diet. The chairman of his company says he didn't have a heart attack and he put on 4 stone 4 pounds (68 pounds, 31 kilogrammes) in 2 weeks due to water retention while he was in a coma in the hospital.
Dr. Friedrich Wurst of Basel University has come up with a test which can spill the beans on long-term drinking habits. He can detect the levels of fatty acids, the by-products of metabolizing alcohol, in human body hair and tell if his subject is an abstainer, a light drinker or a boozer. Those wishing to conceal their drinking habits can thwart this test by removing all of their body hair. But the bad news for them is that big boozing can also be detected after up to 3 weeks by new blood and urine tests.
UK still 2nd Class in EU
French Prez Chirac has made it quite clear that Vice-Prez Bliar isn't going to horn in on his cosy twosome with the Germans. The Big Two (in terms of population) have warned the V-P that they'll zap his vetos if he doesn't support EU voting rights based on population numbers. But they did toss him the bone of support for a new EU job of European Commission Vice-Prez in charge of Economic Reform, which Vice-Prez Bliar has bookmarked for his disgraced crony Peter Mandelson.
"Bring me the head of Osama bin Laden."
US special forces are drafting in a large chunk of the British SAS for a bin Laden capture operation. Prez Bush is hoping that being able to display the carcase of his country's No. 1 enemy (preferably dead and unable to talk back) will swing the election for Mr. Prez 2005 in his favour. Pakistan's army will also be taking part in operations to clean up the border area with Afghanistan. The Pakistan government is taking the double opportunity to score points with the US government and rid itself of stroppy, and armed, opponents in the region.
Iran takes a step back toward Dark Ages
Iranians chose to stay away from the poles after their totalitarian regime banned opposition candidates from standing in this month's general election. Two newspapers which supported the country's 'reformists' were also closed down. Despite clear warnings that the Gods are not smiling on them, the Iranian people seem to be moving inexorably toward a one-party state of the sort which blighted Russia and Eastern Europe before the collapse of Communism, and which continues to oppress large areas of Africa. The unfortunate people of Iran have done earthquakes and fire. Now, all they have to get through are pestilence, isolation and control freakery at a level which Vice-Prez Bliar can only dream of. But hey, if that's what they want, it's their problem.
The Israeli army has turned to bank robbery in the occupied territories, having realized that it has enough fire-power to get away with it. The initial venture yielded an estimated US$11million from Palestinian banks in Ramallah. The operators of Palestinian art galleries are advised to move everything into safe storage out of the country before their Rembrandts take a walk.
Burying people in densely populated Taiwan is now a severe problem, which is why Houston-based Celestis Inc. is extending its 'space burial' service, which has been available in Japan for the last couple of years.
Prez Bush, hard-core boozer turned abstainer and God-botherer, isn't happy about being exposed as a draft-dodger. Especially when John Kerry, his likely Democratic opponent in the coming election for Mr. Prez 2005, is a decorated Vietnam war veteran. But George Dubya can take comfort from one fact: he didn't zap off to Canada to avoid military service.
Does that matter? Well, not really, because both hopefuls for the Mr. Prez job seem to have the same qualifications as the captain of the Good Ship Venus.
While Prez Bush was a non-participating member of the US National Guard, John Kerry (now a Vietnam veteran) was protesting against the war with 'Hanoi Jane' Fonda (as proved by a photograph of them sharing the platform at an anti-war rally). According to Prez Bush's supporters, this makes George Dubya more patriotic than Mr. Kerry. [Do I detect the sound of bottoms of barrels being scraped? Ed.]
The 'Hanoi Jane'/Kerry picture has been shown to be a composite created from 2 pictures taken 13 months apart in Miami Beach (Fonda) and New York (Kerry). The prime suspect for creating the bogus picture is the Republican party's Dirty Tricks Department because nobody else would do something as dodgy as that!
Demonize, Demonize, Demonize!
Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who first suggested a link between the MMR vaccine and autism and bowel problems, is now top of the government's hit list for boat rockers. Mainly because Vice-Prez Bliar is being held, wriggling, in the spotlight for refusing to say if his kid Leo had the triple jab. Which leaves his customers coming up with conclusions like:
Notes : Those wishing to reach an informed conclusion are invited to consider the following:-
Clare Short is 'totally irresponsible and entirely consistent'. Which has what to do with the accuracy of her revelations about Vice-Prez Bliar bugging the UN Secretary General and a whole bunch of others? If his counterblast is 'totally tangential and entirely evasive', it must mean that she's telling the truth and he's not happy about it.
Unwhipped Tory MP Ann Winterton told a joke about a shark going for a Chinese in Morcambe Bay in an after-dinner speech, Labour MP Nick Palmer told the papers.
The MyDoom virus is sending the people who guestimate how much these things cost into a feeding frenzy. One of its objects seems to be to swamp the website of the SCO Group, which is claiming intellectual property rights to elements of the allegedly open-source Linux operating system for PCs.
Upgrade and perish?
Those lucky people who are still struggling with Windows 98 were cheered to learn that the latest security panic at Microsoft doesn't affect them. Only versions of the operating system from Windows 2000 onward are affected by a huge hole, through which any competent hacker can stroll to take over an individual PC or a company network. Apparently, Microsoft was warned of the serious flaw in July 2003, but they've only just got round to releasing a patch for the hole.
Microsoft adopts new New Labour policy
The Gates Empire has decided to follow Vice-Prez Bliar's new direction. Instead of concentrating on fixing major bugs in its software, Microsoft will now focus on tiny, easily fixed details. Accordingly, Microsoft has turned its big guns onto the font Bookshelf Symbol 7 [bssym7.ttf]., which is included in Microsoft Office 2003.
The great thing about space travel is that you don't have to be stuck on the same planet with Peter Mandelson.
Understanding Hutton : Judges tend to be notoriously soft on serial offenders. This is evident from the number of 'last chances' offered to criminals who leave the court one day and return the next with a new charge sheet. And judges sometimes try a short, sharp shock. So what has happened now becomes clear. Hutton gave another 'last chance' to Bliar, Campbell and all the other dodgy-dossierites and he came down good and hard on first-offender Andrew Gilligan to frighten him into staying on the straight and narrow in future.
Hutton , what next? We could always follow the EU's standard practice for a referendum: if the stupid public votes for the wrong option, the EU insists that they keep voting again and again until they get it right. So if one stupid judge gives the wrong verdict ...
Is £5,200 one-way a reasonable price to pay for a 47-hour, 1,861-mile train ride from Adelaide on Australia's south coast to Darwin on the north coast? 250 mugs actually paid that much for the new trans-continental train service's inaugural journey.
Which is worse: the retentive knowledge of Buff Hoon (he knows everything but doesn't pass it on) or the wilful ignorance of Vice-Prez Bliar (he should know things but can't be bothered asking questions)?
It seems inescapable that politicians in government get so used to covering their asses that they end up incapable of telling the truth. Experience shows that they will tell any lie to maintain an illusion of personal infallibility; and modify the lie until it reaches a form which the public will accept or until they are overtaken by another crisis.
Anyone seen A Poka A' Chips, Now!, the new Vietnam war classic from the Scottish film industry?
On Monday February 16th, TheGuardian copied the Daily Mail by putting a big picture of a 19-year-old, blonde, female American actor person on its front page. This is okay for a mere tabloid but is it what one expects of an allegedly serious broadsheet? And on Wednesday 18th, TheGuardian put the story about the faked John Kerry photograph on its front page one day after the Daily Mail had given us all the gen on the source of the photos used to make the composite. Which mean that by the time TheGuardian got round to delivering the story, it was olds rather than news.
|Created for Romiley Anarchists' League by workers in revolt against oppression.|
Sole © RAL, February 2004.