Black Flag News
2004/April
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ROMILEY NEWS

The burglars are at it again

Things have been quiet of the telephone front for a long time but the burglars are at it again. The phone rings and as soon as you pick it up, the line is dropped. The burglars have found out that there's someone in and they're already dialling another number in the hope of finding a customer who's out and available for being done over.
   Generally, the pestered householder gets the 'number is withheld' message on dialling 1471, which suggests that whoever was calling had a sinister motive. BlackFlag News noted the nuisance back in February of 2003 and took a generally pessimistic view on the likelihood of the problem going away. Looks like it's starting all over again, folks!

floods

The River Rom has been a bit rumbustious this month. It overflowed into the mini-park at the junction of Sandy Lane with Compstall Road so enthusiastically that it created a boating lake on the west side in addition to the usual Olympic swimming pool. [see BlackFlag News of July 2003 for an earlier pic of the swimming pool]
   There have been dire warnings about how much of the UK will be under water in the year 2030 due to New Labour's policy of building on flood plains and ruining natural draining. Given Romiley village's perennial drainage problems, it seems likely that any surviving residents will have had to have developed webbed feet by then.

Flag of St. GeorgeRomiley was brought to a complete standstill by this year's massive St. George's Day celebration. There were parades through the day, a grand fiesta on the Rec and street parties in the evening. For once, the weather machine was kind to us, providing a warm, summery Friday after getting all outstanding rain out of the way on Thursday. Planning is well in hand for next year and everyone is hoping for similar weather and attendances.

DEPARTURES

Norris McWhirter

Norris McWhirter
Norris McWhirter, co-founder of the Guinness Book of Records, has died at 78. His lasting legacy is the record-breaking Book of Records, which he started in the 1950s with his twin brother Ross, who was murdered by Irish terrorists in 1975.
   Like his brother, Norris McWirter was an international athlete and he became a BBC sports journalist. He and his brother set up the McWhirter Twins agency to supply facts and figures to newspapers, yearbooks and encyclopaedias. His love of useful and obscure facts made Norris McWhirter a sound choice as the resident expert for the TV programme Record Breakers from 1972 to 1995.
   Norris McWhirter was active in politics, standing unsuccessfully as a Conservative candidate in the 1964 and 1966 general elections. He and his twin brother both campaigned on behalf of the freedom of the individual and the UK's sovereignty via the Freedom Association. One of Norris McWhirter's final campaigns was to oppose the government's manoeuvrings to bring the EU single currency to the UK.

April First News
APRIL 1st NEWS

Some of these stories are alleged to be genuine. Spot the ringers!

Smile!A German hamster climbed inside the printer for his owner's PC and couldn't get out again because he was too fat. So his owner called the Flensburg police. A copper duly arrived, only to be told that a neighbour had retrieved the hamster, who was asleep in his cage by then.

Smile!Vice-Prez Bliar is all set to introduce compulsory identity cards right away. His original plan was to sneak them in gradually but his financial experts have assured him that the civil liberties mob can be brushed aside. Thus all UK citizens can look forward to having to shell out forty-two quid in the near future, either for a straight ID card or as an extra fee for having the necessary personal biometric information added to a passport or driving licence. The police are backing up the Vice-Prez, insisting that an attack on London is 'inevitable' and that ID cards are 'a must' in the fight against terror.

Smile!Fine Gael justice spokesman John Deasy admitted having a smoke in the member's bar at the Irish parliament and promptly received the sack. Smoking in public places in the Irish Republic became illegal on the last Monday in March and his party leader felt that he had to give Mr. Deasy the chop pour encourager les autres. As an ironic twist of fate, the area where Mr. Deasy had his smoke has since been designated a smoking area.

Smile!An Australian judge demanded to know the name of the 'idiot' who had granted bail to serial burglar Tristan Ellis. Ellis was facing 28 charges and he had been given bail 3 times in 2003 following arrests for breaking and entering.
   "Actually, M'Lud," the court usher said in an apologetic tone, "it was you."
   Embarrassed silence on the bench from Justice Dean Mildren.

Smile!Immigration Minister Bev Hughes hasn't done anything wrong, and both Vice-Prez Bliar and Home Sec. Blunk were desperately sad to see her go, but she resigned anyway.

Smile!An Austrian tourist took a picture of Her Majesty the Queen, with a pack of corgis in attendance, placing a bet darn her local bookies. The tourist didn't dare to speak to Her Majesty (because his English isn't too good) but he claims he sneaked a peek over her shoulder at her betting slip and won £16 from the royal tip. He is now reported to be wishing that he had had more faith in the Queen's talent for picking a winner.

Smile!According to material now available in the National Archives, the British government of the 1950s planned to put a live chicken into nuclear time bombs planted in the enemy's path if the Russians attacked during winter. The job of the chicken was to radiate 1,000 BTU per day and prevent the mechanism from freezing up. A spokesman for the National Archives said: "It is not an April Fool. The Civil Service does not do jokes. It has merely been turned into one by New Labour."

Smile!The same government also advised customers awaiting evacuation after a nuclear attack to button up their overcoats and wear a hat to protect themselves from fall-out.

Smile!A Brazilian MP has lost the seat that he won in 2002 over allegations that he tried to bribe voters with Viagra. Antonio Jose Morae Souza of the PMDB party was also fined £4,000 by the Regional Electoral Tribunal.

Smile!Peter Mandelson is in line for the job of chairman of the BBC as a surprise 'dead cert' candidate. Vice-Prez Bliar is reported to be furious because he wants Mandy to become one of the UK's European Commissioners when the current deadleg incumbent Neil Pillock's turn at the trough runs out.

Storm Tide by Philip H. Turner   Spring Bonus   Spring Bonus   Spring Bonus

BlackFlag News would like to offer its readers a chance to read this work by one of Romiley's premiere authors.

   Read the Book on Jenson Farrago's website
   Read about the Book on the Romiley Literary Circle website
   Buy the Book at the Lulu.com website

Category : Crime, 1980s

Home News
HOME NEWS

More Stealth Taxes

Stealth Tax #82 The 100% tax allowance for small businesses & self-employed on new computer/advanced telephone equipment cut to 50% for 2004/5 tax year.

Stealth Tax #83 Passports – in addition to costing twice as much as the present price of £42, the new 'biometric data' passports will be valid for half as long. They will have to be renewed every 5 years instead of every 10 years, which doubles the cost yet again.

Stealth Tax #84 £100 per year 'lighthouse tax' on small boats over 8 metres long. Commerial shipping lines think they should pay £2.6million per year towards the annual £73million cost of maintaining lighthouses and navigational equipment.

To come in due course – A registration fee on all previously unregistered small boats as an 'anti-terrorism', cash-raising wheeze.

Wake up to waste
landfill siteBarnet Borough Council gets tough
with recycling refuseniks!

The north London borough achieved a 60% success in a voluntary refuse recycling scheme. So its next move is making recycling compulsory in 4 wards from this month, and in the whole borough from October. Apparently, under the Environmental Protection Act of 1990, the council has the power to tell its customers what sort of containers to put refuse in. And it can prosecute them if they don't do it. Lucky customers will be issued with a black recycling box to go with bin bags and wheely bins, and they have to put all their discarded glass, paper and cans in the black box.
   And to make sure the customers don't just dump everything out of sight in a bin bag, the council's own Refuse Police will be making patrols on Dustbin Day, pawing through the contents of bin bags and wheely bins for misplaced recyclables.
   Anyone who refuses to co-operate will receive warnings and then 'formal notices'. And if that doesn't work, the offender can be hauled into court and fined up to £1,000 for non-observance of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
   Sounds like another job creation scheme for the legal profession. Not to mention council jobsworths.

Success is a double-edged weapon for the NHS

Hospitals built under Vice-Prez Bliar's Private Finance Initiative have a vested interest in not being a howling success. The hospital side of things is run by an NHS trust but the buildings belong to private companies, and it has now come to light that secret penalty clauses in PFI hospital contracts kick in if the trust fails to maintain a rapid throughput of customers. If the number of customers occupying beds in the hospital rises above a threshold level, the private company can charge the NHS Trust increased fees for 'overstressing' their assets by packing too many bodies into their delicate buildings.

v1As a result of Vice-Prez Bliar's current lack of enthusiasm for messing the House of Lords about a bit more, Lord Archer will not be disqualified from going to the place and joining in.
   "The move to exclude gaoled members was just a cheap political gesture, which fooled no one, and which could rebound with highly embarrassing consequences on the Labour Party," an insider commented.

Delaying tactic has limited success

It is rumoured that Downing Street ordered the police to bust a gang of Islamic terrorists to force the Immigration Department's botch up over bogus Eastern European migrants out of the headlines. The police and MI5 were still engaged in intelligence gathering operations but they had no option but to leap into action when the word came down from on high.

Bev gets the bulletBev gets the bullet

Immigration Minister Bev Hughes has been sunk by Labour's chief whip. He realized that there was documentary evidence filed away to show that he pointed out the bogus immigrant situation in Eastern Europe a year ago, while he was at the Foreign Office. The files also contain 2 replies from Bev saying, 'that's terrible, I'll do something about it right away'. Worried by the effect on his own career, he let Bev know that it would be a good idea to quit before she was fired.
   Bev says she forgot about the warnings and she still insists that she has done nothing wrong. Even so, she's now following in the footsteps of Steven 'Liar' Byers and Mandy (twice). She now sees herself as a martyr and MI5 is keeping a close eye on her in case she becomes a suicide bomber.
   p.s. Hey, Blunk! Bev didn't get the push because of the meeja, it was because she couldn't bring herself to tell the truth in the Commons and be the odd one out on Labour's Front Bench.
   p.p.s. If Bev's gone, why's Buff Hoon, the minister for going on holiday and screwing up the armed forces, still in place?

Jousting for the junkets

Doubly disgraced Vice-Prez Bliar crony Peter Mandelson and Defence Minister Jeff 'Buff' Hoon are in an ass-kicking match for Neil Pillock's job when he retires from his sinecure as Commissioner for not putting a stop to corruption in the EU's ruling bodies. Buff reckons that because he was a Euro MP for 10 years and he's been a minister for 5 years without getting the sack once, he's better qualified than Mandy.
UpdateCurrently a non-crony who didn't want to invade Iraq, former Foreign Sec. and selectively ethical foreign policy advocate Robin Cook is reported to have tossed his hat into the ring over the Pillock job, which has upset Mandy even more!

Threatening the registered owner of a vehicle with an automatic fine if the excise duty isn't paid this year has produced what is expected to be a £100million windfall for the Treasury. One and a half million extra cars, vans and motorbikes have been taxed in the first 3 months of the year. Around 1 million are thought to belong to drivers who thought they didn't have to tax their vehicle. Now, if the government can only find some way of forcing the rogues to take out some insurance as well, we'd really be getting somewhere.

No-brainer to brainer?No-brainer to brainer?

The head of the Commission for Racial Equality, Trevor Phillips, wants to declare peace on the British way of life. He is a former advocate of 'multiculturalism' and the concept of casting aside British values in favour of all things ethnic and alien – more or less a virulent form of racial partiality directed against the British natives by those who choose to come and live in their country.
   But now, Mr. Phillips has decided that he would like to see a nation with common values, which include everyone being subject to the rule of law (even minorities), everyone being able to speak English and the long cultural heritage of the British Isles being honoured.
   Sounds like a major conversion job! Maybe someone should check Trev's passport for a Syrian visa to find out if he's been near Damascus recently. And the next thing you know, you might even see Labour councils allowing people to fly the Union flag. But we're not holding our breath on that one.

The Death of CND?

There was a lot of chat about the low turn-out at the annual CND stroll, but is anyone really surprised? No government, Conservative or Labour, was ever going to give up its nuclear toys unilaterally. CND, therefore, was always just a social club for yobs and the self-righteous. And now, it has been left behind by history. In the 21st Century, there are too many rival excuses for yobs to run riot and people to be self-righteous for CND to get a look in.

Sir Tim Berners-LeeGong for worldwide web inventor

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man who invented the worldwide web, has been named as the first winner of the Millennium Technology Prize. Awarded by the Finnish Technology Award Foundation, it comes with a cash payment of one million euros (671,000).
   Sir Tim devised his system for allowing scientists to share reserch findings easily across a computer network in the late Eighties/early Nineties while working for CERN in Switzerland. He never took commercial advantage of his idea and he encouraged the use of the net as a channel for free expression of ideas and collaboration.
   Sir Tim has, however, he has received international recognition for his contribution to the Computer Age. In 2001, he was awarded a fellowship of the Royal Society and, later in the year, the Japan Prize in the Computing and Computational Science and Engineering category, for which he received a medal and 50 million yen (280,000). He was award a knighthood in 2003.
   Sir Tim is currently based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.

No-brainerThe public gallery of the House of Commons has been boxed in with a tinted, soundproof and bullet-resistant screen because Vice-Prez Bliar was getting paranoid about potential hecklers. He spent half a million quid of taxpayers' dosh on it, which works out at about a couple of thousand on materials, a few hundred on labour and the rest as a bung to some crony.

The MuggerIt's all about THE MONEY!

Home Secretary Blunk has announced that anyone who refuses to register for the government's soon to be compulsory ID card scheme will face a 'civil financial penalty' of up to £2,500. He says that ID cards are needed to prevent the UK becoming a soft touch for terrorists, which is a bit of a joke. The UK is infested by terrorists and Mr. Blunk's every effort to get rid of them runs onto the rocks in the court system. Further, Spain has ID cards but they didn't stop the terrorist attacks on the railway system in March.
   No, what this whole ID thing is about is the money. The grasping hands of the Mugger are itching to gather in the forty-two quids. Forty-two quid extra for a biometric passport, which will last 5 years instead of 10 and provide the Treasury with 4 lots of forty-two quid instead of one. Forty-two quid for a biometric driving licence. Forty-two quid for a stand-alone ID card. And massive fines for refusing to let the government store data on you in an insecure databank.
   The money is everything and the whole ID card thing is a fraud. Not that Vice-Prez Bliar or any of his crooks will admit it, of course.

v2Congrats to Young Button for his pole position for the San Marino Grand Prix and his third appearance on the podium in succession. Nice to see BAR getting its act together at last.

v3Coppers in Hampshire are up in arms over a ban on male coppers wearing earrings. The chief constable wants to smarten them up with a new dress code. And he has a point. Who's going to have any respect for a copper, male or female, who's wearing earrings while in uniform?

v4Paul Drayson seems to have received excellent value for his £100K bung to New Labour. His company, PowderJect, received a multi-million-pound contract to act as an agent for obtaining smallpox vaccine (when the government could have saved millions by going direct to the source and cutting out the middle man), and he's just copped for one of the latest round of Tony Crony peerages.

comments
COMMENTS
comments

v1

start quoteAll the moaning about Google putting ads into emails misses the point completely. The customer still has a choice. If he/she doesn't want Google's gigabyte of mailbox space, which comes with the 'appropriate' ads, there are plenty of other companies providing a cost-free and ad-free email service.end quote

v2start quoteSurely it must be time to draw a line under Tony Bliar and move on?end quote
   start quoteNah, we want to watch the bugger wriggle a lot more.end quote

v3start quotePeople are saying Vice-Prez Bliar shouldn't be lounging around on a yacht off Bermuda while Iraq's yobs are killing and kidnapping. But no matter where he is and what he's doing, he's not going to make things any better for Iraq. So it's probably best for all concerned, the British people included, that he's not doing anything on a yacht somewhere.end quote

snookerstart quoteWatching the world championship snooker on BBC 2 reminds you how truly dreadful the BBC is right now. They waste about 10 minutes per hour on their internal adverts and when you get to one of the programmes, the messing about goes on and on. You switch on to watch 2 blokes playing snooker and what you get instead is their complete life histories and anything else the Beeb can think of to delay actually showing the match. Oh, for the lost days when a sports programme showed the sport and wasn't infested with talking heads. Get on with it, you bastards!end quote

start quoteSharon is going to kill Yasser Arafat, is he? So when did the Israelis acquire this licence to murder people they don't like?end quote

start quoteUS troops torturing Iraqi prisoners? How could they?end quote
start quoteQuite easily, actually. People have to be trained to kill if they are to be soldiers. They have to be shown how to put aside their natural inclinations to avoid shooting other people and to steer clear of fights. So if the soldiers behave like "barbarians", it's because that's what they've been trained to become in order to wage a war effectively.end quote

TRAVEL NEWS

Pantograph failure – Electrostar trains fail to get it up

train1Train operator c2c spent £350million on new trains for its service between London and Essex's dormitory towns. And when the Electrostar 357 trains wouldn't work, the management tried to bamboozle the customers with science. The problem was that the trains couldn't generate enough oil pressure to keep the pantographs, the train's overhead current collectors, in contact with the overhead wires and no electricity was getting to the motors.
   A c2c spokesman actually said: "The atmospheric pressure in the c2c train area this morning was more than twice what it was yesterday. This led to an airlock which, in turn, led to the falling down of the pantograph which collects power from the overhead wires." Which is total bollocks.
   A look at a standard barometer shows that the normally experienced range of atmospheric pressure is between about 28.5 inches (72 cm) of Mercury at Stormy to 30.5 inches (78 cm) of mercury at Very Dry. 'Standard' atmospheric pressure is 30 inches (76 cm) of mercury.
   If the atmospheric pressure had been 'more than twice what it was yesterday', it would have been over 60 inches of mercury and every barometer in Essex would have blown up! A slight exaggeration, c2c, don't you think?

The new Euro consitituencyA bit more than a fourpenny bus ride to lobby your MEP!

How do you give the people of Gibraltar a say in the European Parliament? Especially when the Spanish don't want the place mentioned because of the embarrassment it causes them. Vice-Prez Bliar handed the problem to the Electoral Commission, which came up with the bright idea of tacking the colony on to the nearest UK Euro-constituency.
   So the 20,000 voters in Gibraltar have been included in the South-West constituency - Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset, Devon & Cornwall. And no doubt the MEPs elected this year will be flying economy on the 1,800 mile round trip to visit the new voters and claiming for an executive-class flight.

Planning to fly to the USA? Forget it!

If the Yanks get their way, anyone wanting to cross the Atlantic will have to be prepared to spend 5 hours kicking their heels at the airport. The big idea is to question travellers about where they expect to stay in the US, plus any other impertinent questions they think they can get away with. And when you add up the time it will take to get answers from the hundreds of people on a flight - and put the data into a computer system so the Yanks can check it - it's likely that the land of the free will become the land of the don't bother going as far as tourists are concerned.

train1"New Labour could have set up a brand new railway system with the billions wasted on ineffectual patching up of the existing system." The Commons Transport Select Committee has laid the blame for this failure squarely on Vice-Prez Bliar. "Six wasted years on from his election victory in 1997, he cannot blame the botched Tory privatization for his mess."

Wolf Rock mapTo go more cautiously in future?

The destroyer HMS Nottingham is good to go again after a £39million refit. The ship lost an argument with Wolf Rock off Lord Howe Island (see map) in July 2002, it was torn open from bow to bridge and it had to be towed home welded to a Dutch heavy lifting vessel.
   The calamity occurred after an injured member of the crew had been transferred to Lord Howe Island, a strip of land 14 kilometres long and 1 km wide. The ship's second-in-command took charge of plotting a course on to New Zealand. A junior officer put a navigational pointer on the chart, covering up Wolf Rock, and the recipe for disaster was complete.

v1UK's top cop cops for junket in Paris. Sir John Stevens reckons his trip to the French capital was vital to his multi-million-pound investigation of Princess Diana's death. But if both a British accident investigator and the French police have carried out thorough investigations of the scene, it's difficult to see what Sir John is achieving other than wasting taxpayers' cash. And, perhaps, indulging in a spot of booze-cruising.

U-TURN NEWS

That European Constitution referendum ...

Surely Britain deserves better than thisTHEN   "The European Constitution is just an exercise in tidying up and nothing to get excited about."
   "Those starting a campaign for a referendum might as well put away their placards ... we are not going to do it."
   "I see no case for having a referendum on this."
   "If there was fundamental change here there would be a case for a referendum. But there is not."
   "There will not be a referendum."

NOW   "Okay, you can have a [mumble*] but only after the next general election so I can put it in the manifesto and stop the Tories using it against me. And by the way, please stop calling me a political opportunist."
   * referendum but the Vice-Prez can't bring himself to say the word.
p.s. If the V-P has his head screwed on the right way, he'll campaign against the EU constitution to make people think they should vote for it.
UpdateIf the country dares to vote against adopting the EU constitution, Vice-Prez Bliar (if still in office) will keep holding more polls until he gets the result he wants, following the precedents set by Denmark and the Irish Republic.
B. Liar Lie Nailed : We can't be expelled from the EU if we vote against the constitution, as Vice-Prez Bliar would have us believe. But who says that's such a bad thing anyway? The British people signed up to a European Economic Community, which was all about trade (and stopping the Germans invading France again). They most certainly did not agree to be part of a European state run by a bunch of spivs in Brussels. So being on the outside of all that, but inside a European Free Trade Area, would be to the UK's benefit.
   p.s. X-Prez of France Valery Giscard and current French Prez Jacques 'Corruption Is Me' Chirac have confirmed that saying 'no' to an EU constitution is not saying 'no' to the EU itself.

Constitutional treatystart quoteChris Patten says voting against the constitution will force the UK out of the EU.end quote
   start quoteLike you can believe anything from someone trying to keep his place on the Euro gravy train.end quote

start quoteCountries have constitutions, nation states make treaties with one another. So if the EU has a 'constitutional treaty', does that mean its leaders don't know if it's a country or a set of nation states?end quote
   start quoteOr does it mean having the constitution makes the EU a de facto country but its leaders are too dishonest to admit it?end quote

Justice delayed by eight months

A Middlesborough fan fell asleep last August while his team was being thrashed by Arsenal. The club punished him by confiscating his season ticket. He also ended up in court, where he was convicted of being drunk in a public arena. His appeal reached Teeside crown court this month. A curiously non-dotty judge (possibly the only one in the country) ruled that Adrian Cass had merely exercised his right to fall asleep if he wanted to. Mr. Cass's conviction was quashed, he received costs and he got his season ticket back. The judge also decided that the case should never have been brought.
   Nice to see the blighters getting something right for once.

NOT TO BLAME NEWS

Current official positions on matters arising

Campbell McAllister"Despite the evidence to the contrary in leaked memos, documents and emails from the Home Office, the Immigration Service, Embassies and Consulates abroad and other Government Departments – Immigration Minister Bev Hughes is not to blame for approving the admission of migrants without any sort of checks to 'clear the books' of backlogs at Sheffield and Croydon. Further, neither she nor the Home Secretary can be blamed for ignoring the policy in Romania of issuing visas to those undeserving of admission to the UK.
   "Ms. Hughes exists in a state of blissful ignorance of all wrong-doing, as does our Blessed Leader. Thus neither can ever be accused of telling less than their whole truth.
   "Thank you for your kind attention."

Campbell McAllisterFor your further information –
an additional statement by Campbell McAllister, the official Downing Street spokesperson

"Government Ministers are entitled to say whatever they think the people will accept. They are under no obligation to be consistent or to stick to the letter (or even the spirit) of the truth. they are also entitled to blame their subordinates for any failures and accuse them of not keeping their Minister properly informed, even if this is untrue.
   "They are further entitled to suspend from duty, or dismiss, 'whistleblowers' for causing embarrassment to the Blessed Leader's Government.
   "Thank you for your kind attention."

The Big Freeze!A horror story with teeth!

The people making money out of pretending they can do something about climate change are always coming up with horror stories. One of their best is that if the planet heats up, the Arctic ice will melt, the Gulf Stream will stop warming Europe and North America, and Britain and the USA will end up with a climate like Siberia's. Next month, a disaster movie with just that theme is released. And boy! What a panic it's caused!
   X-Prez Bush is so worried about getting the blame – in an election year –: for freezing New York solid that he's put a ban on the staff of NASA giving interviews about the film's content or commenting on it in any way.
   p.s. The global warming industry are now saying that cutting off the Gulf Stream will reduce temperatures by only a few degrees Centigrade and atmospheric warming will more than compensate for the drop in sea temperature.

GREAT LINES – wish I'd said them!

"Looking at this woman's handwriting, she HAS to be a serial killer."

"That's not good enough."
   "That's as good as it gets, mate."

"How did someone so stupid get to be your age?"

"You don't care if the world is going to end in 23 minutes?"
   "Gosh! I'd better kill this bottle before it's wasted."

"These people aren't so much leaping to conclusions as lemming to them. And we all know how easy it is to stop when you're over the cliff and heading for the ocean below."

"He was murdered in broad daylight."
   "Night time is for wimps."

"So she kicked him. Right in the Earth-moving equipment. Didn't half make his eyes water."

"Thank you for visiting Alabama" the sign said. The glow of welcome faded when we saw the reverse side, which read: "Thank you for getting the hell out of Alabama".

"Do you think I'll forget this?"
   "Do you think I care?"

"Paranoid is when you only think people are out to get you. This is definitely for real."

"This situation needs to be unfukt right now!"

"If I think of anything ..."
   "I'll be the first to know?"
   "No, you'll be the next to know."

"If I weren't the guy with the gun, I'd burst into tears."

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world news
WORLD NEWS

Mexicans throw a wobbly

The Ministry of Defence told the Mexican government in February that half a dozen British service personnel would be exploring an extensive system of caves about five miles from Cuetzalan, a small town 120 miles from Mexico City. The expedition was trapped when part of the case system became flooded and had to be rescued. Next thing you know, the Mexican government was claiming that the men were on a secret mission to search for uranium and going into terminal diplomatic outrage.
   On a technical note, it is impossible for uranium to occur in limestone rocks, which are formed from deposits of dead coral and dead sea creatures. In order to be able to throw the cavers out of the country, the Mexican government has had to change the law to change caving from a recreational occupation to scientific research, which requires a much higher-powered visa. Which is a shot in their own foot, tourism-wise.
   Clearly, something has gone terribly wrong in Mexico, the brown stuff is about to hit the fan and the government there is shouting loudly and trying to get everyone's attention diverted elsewhere.

Flag of IraqPeople in Iraq called Saddam Hussein used to receive special benefits from the regime – up to about March last year. Now, Iraqis are rushing to change their name to something else. They're getting fed up of being called rude names, being linked with 'the dictator' and people assuming they're a criminal.

EU flagEU sends the Mugger ballistic!

Chancellor Gordy Broon was chewing his carpet within seconds of hearing the latest from Brussels. The European Commission wants to abolish restrictions on importing drink into the UK from the Continent. The UK has the highest levels of alcohol duties in the EU, and a Customs service which gets away with imposing random, purely arbitrary and totally illegal limits on what customers can bring into the country. The EU wants to level the playing field with its new wheeze.
   British people would be able to booze cruise to their heart's intent under the new system. Or they could buy cheaper booze by mail order from the comfort of their homes. Pubs and off licences in the UK are reported to be confident that the Mugger will squash the plan, even if it is through his own greed rather than for their benefit. The miserable regimes in Scandinavia are also sure to be opposed to the plan.

v3New Zealand is traditionally the most boring country on Earth. But the citizens of Te Kuiti, a rural farming town on the North Island, are doing their best to spice things up a bit. The big idea was to mimic the Running of the Bulls through the streets of Pamplona – only using 2,000 sheep.
   The sheep were supposed to dash through the town with a couple of All Black rugby stars but they had other ideas. They split up into groups and took off in all directions. No one was trampled to death or gored by the horns, and most of the town's four thousand citizens rallied to the task of rounding them up.
   The organizer, John Grainger, had predicted that the event would be pure chaos and that was exactly what he got. Now, he's hoping that the event will acquire a cult following.

cricketUK flagWho says we're finished as a sporting nation?

At the beginning of the month, England beat the West Indies in a cricket Test series on their home ground for the first time in 36 years.
p.s. Congrats to Brian Lara for scoring 400 not out. But what was he doing during the first 3 Tests?

Boom!Chinese symbol of corruption gets the chop

The Bank of China building in Wenzhou is to be demolished without ever opening its doors for business. Costing £2.3million, it has become a symbol of the institutional corruption in the New China. Over forty people, including executives of the bank, city planning officials and senior staff from the developers, are currently under investigation by the police. The charges relate mainly to corruptly allowing sub-standard materials to be used during the construction of the 22-storey building, and the giving and taking of cash bribes and various favours.

v5Someone put a piranha into a pool at a Berlin aquarium containing fish, which children are encouraged to stroke. The staff spotted it only when the piranha started attacking the other fish. The curator of the aquarium had no idea where the predator had come from, but he mentioned that people had dumped tortoises and exotic marine life on there in the past as an alternative to flushing an unwanted pet down the toilet.

Eye jewellery"I think I've got something in my eye, Doctor ..."

Dutch headbangers are paying a couple of eye surgeons to fit sparkly eyeball jewellery. The 10 minute procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and involves slitting the transparent cornea and inserting a 3.5 mm, sparkling heart, star or stud. The concept arose from research at the Netherlands Institute for Innovative Ocular Surgery. And when the implantation process was found to be simple and harmless, the surgeons began performing it for the patient's fun and their profit.

v6Two Russian naval officers copped for a fine of £50,000 for having a sauna built next to their battleship's engine room. Their court martial was told that the sauna caught fire and caused thousands of pounds of damage. The captains were sentenced to pay 20% of their future wages to cover the damages.

the ex-PrezA right stitch-up in Palestine

Trying to buy the Jewish vote in November's election, soon-to-be ex-Prez Bush wants to give the Palestinians part of Egypt which doesn't belong to him and let the Israelis have parts of Jordan which belong to neither the USA nor Israel. And oh, yes. The Israelis can use the Gaza Strip as a shooting range whenever they feel the need for some target practice. And Vice-Prez Bliar, the White House poodle, is going along with all this.
   If that's democracy, you can keep it!

#The Canadian police charged a motorist with careless driving after they caught him playing a violin on Highway 400 while heading into Toronto. The man's story is that he was warming up for a concert.

$Orbital Development of Carson City, Nevada, are at it again. Their latest wheeze is to offer a chance for someone rich to load unwanted possessions into a private spacecraft and send them to the Moon. The spacecraft is expected to impact the Moon's surface at 5,500 mph at any chosen spot on the near side. The asking price is $6m, which includes a trip to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with three guests to watch the launch of the Lunar Crasher.
   See our Space News section in BlackFlag News / November 2003 [it's near the bottom of the page] for Orbital Development's previous adventures.

No-brainerCompo Rules, UK!

Iraqis are queueing up to be shot by British troops so that they, or their relatives, can bung in a claim for compensation. The news that the UK is infested with dotty old judges who will swallow any load of tripe placed before them is believed to be behind the upturn in attacks on the British Army of Occuaption in southern Iraq. The government's response is to decree that every time a British soldier fires a weapon, there has to be a full investigation by the usual jobsworths. Getting the army to wipe out a few dotty old judges pour encourager les autres would be a better idea.
UpdateThe good news for compo-culture Iraqis, and the legal profession, is that British troops might stay there for 10 years to clear up the mess left by X-Prez Bush and Vice-Prez Bliar, and the Vice-Prez is nerving himself to send in more troops right now.

!The Italian government plans to make intruders fair game. The change in the law is aimed mainly at protecting shopkeepers, several of whom have been persecuted by the police recently for daring to resist armed robbers. Further, people in their own home will be assumed to be under attack by unwanted visitors, and not liable to go to gaol if the intruder is croaked.

v1Out of gaol - well, nearly : Mordechai Vanunu, who blew his whistle on Israel's secret nuclear Weapons of Mass Destruction programme and received 18 years of persecution in prison by the Israeli secret police.

Not out of gaol - Irish infiltrators pull wool over eyes of dotty old Colombian judge

Three Irishmen, who entered Colombia on false passports, have been cleared of charges of training terrorists in the use of explosives and urban terrorism techniques. The prosecutor has appealed the decision and the men will remain in in gaol until their case has been heard in a superior court. Each received a gaol sentence and a fine of €5,700 on the false passports charges.
   The men, 2 of whom are convicted terrorists, claim that they were 'monitoring the peace process' deep in Colombian terrorist territory and, incidentally, they are eco-tourists. But they have failed to provide a convincing explanation for why they needed false passports. Predictably, the usual IRA apologists are trying to turn them into martyrs.

UNRELIABLE HISTORY

What the 'news' reports say and what's really true

Der FuehrerAdolf Hitler was granted honorary citizenship of the small Austrian town of Haslack in Upper Austria in March, 1938. The town council assumed that the honorary status had been cancelled automatically on Hitler's death in 1945, and it was never officially declared void.
   But recently, the mayor discovered that his was the last town in the country to have preserved an honorary citizenship for the former Führer of the Third Reich. And so the town council voted unanimously to perform an act of democratic cleansing [c.f. ethnic cleansing? Ed.] Now Bitterfeld in Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, is said to be the only town to retain Adolf Hitler on its list of honorary citizens. But is this so?
   The town's website gives Hitler's dates of birth and death and lists his profession as "Reich's Chancellor since 30 January 1933". There is also a comment to the effect that Hitler's honorary citizenship was cancelled. The current mayor of Bitterfeld believes that the Hitler entry is necessary to make the records "historically complete". His political opponents have failed to come up with as sensible an argument to justify rewriting their history.
   In similar vein, Bonn University was allegedly bragging in 2001 that Joseph Goebbels was a famous 'old boy' in an 'advertising brochure' designed to attract students. The Jewish lobby promptly went bang in all directions, the university took a kicking and it was forced to issue a counterblast to the adverse propaganda.
   The reference to Goebbels actually appeared in a book called Perspectives. Research and Teaching at the University of Bonn, not an advertising brochure. The book contains a brief chapter on the history of the University, and Goebbels is included in a list of prominent Bonn professors and students. Goebbels was a student in Bonn University's philosophy department from 1917 to 1918. The university also owns up, in the book, to having played host to Karl Marx.
   The counterblast finished with the message that the university was merely acknowledging its past (and being historically complete) and that it deplored 'a malicious misrepresentation of the facts' by the usual suspects.

#Had he survived World War II and its fallout, Adolf Hitler would have celebrated his 115th birthday this month as the official World's Oldest Man. The last-but-one holder of the title was Menorca resident Riudavets Moll, who was born on December 15, 1889 and died on March 6th this year aged 114.

FOODY NEWS

How old is a supermarket chicken?

dead chickenDon't bother looking at the sell-by date, it's meaningless. Processing factories keep 'updating' them and the final one on the supermarket's packaging can be way out of date. Which is why the government is working on a regulation requiring all large supermarkets to install a self-service carbon-dating system so that the customers can determine the age of their purchases to within a few hundred years.

Sainsburys are at it again

Courgettes? Mainly green with some yellow, look a bit like baby cucumbers except they have a ribbed rather than a round cross-section? Not any more. Sainsbury's plan to sell spherical courgettes from a Dutch source. They have the same vitamin and mineral content as the long ones and they aren't genetically monstered. So why are they selling them if they're much the same as the long ones? Because they cost 40% more.
   p.s. The Dutch? Aren't they the ones who invented tomatoes with no taste?

v1Vice-Prez Bliar tried to cosy up to the Germans by offering them a safe haven for growing genetically monstered crops. But Bayer have abandoned their plans to grow GM maize here after realizing that they wouldn't be able to sell the crop because of the dedicated consumer resistance. So the Vice-Prez is trying to think up something else that the Germans might like.

UK flagUS flagThe incredible disappearing junk-food eater

Junk food is turning Americans into a race of midget – that's the latest foody survey shock-horror conclusion. Europeans, in contrast, are becoming taller and taller. The average Dutchman is now over six feet tall while the average US male is just five foot ten, half an inch shorter than his British male counterpart. As a consequence, beds are being lengthened and door lintels raised all over Europe while the Yanks are finding themselves with a whole lot more room for manoeuvre.
   p.s. Obesity is now said to be an even greater cause of cancer than smoking!

v2A Japanese restaurant in Kunming, China, offered sushi served on the naked bodies of 2 female students, but not for long. Following protests from the Lumpen locals, the authorities banned the treat on the grounds that the ladies 'lacked the required health certificates for restaurant employees'.

v2Relief is in sight for all those who squeeze a lemon over their fish then spend the next 5 minutes hunting for pips. Seedless lemons are coming. In face, they're here already in limited quantities, but they cost 260% of the price of the seedful type. So not many people will be rushing out to buy them just yet.

v3Drinking 2 pints of lager or 3 glasses of wine every single day will give you brain damage. But when it happens, the good news is that you won't care about something as trivial as a bit of brain damage.
    p.s. Drinking beer is more likely to give you gout than drinking port.

$Cattle rustling is the new growth industry in California. An increased demand for beef caused by the Atkins diet is getting the blame.

Terry's of York? Not any more.

Like many formerly British companies, chocolate-maker Terry's was bought by one of the international giants ages ago. Now, the parent company, Kraft Foods International, is closing down the business in York and moving production to Eastern Europe. So anyone who wishes to register a protest against companies moving jobs out of the UK should stop buying chocolate oranges, Terry's All Gold, etc.

v4From now on, Newcastle Brown will be Gateshead Brown because that's where it will be made after the brewery in Newcastle is closed. If it is no longer made in Newcastle, the brown ale loses its EU protected status and anyone can imitate it – even if they can't call it Newcastle Brown Ale because that name is protected by copyright. So watch out from cheap imitations from China with a very similar label.

v5The Germans plan to petition the EU Commission to make sauerkraut consumption compulsory. In an attempt to crack the UK market, German cabbage picklers would like the Commission to declare sauerkraut a healthy food which must be consumed on at least 4 days per week.

Criminal News
CRIMINAL NEWS

A lust for illicit cash does it every time

Al Capone, gangster, killer and bootlegger, was brought down by his failure to pay income tax. Ariel Sharon, politician, war criminal and accessory to mass murder, looks like going the same way because he couldn't resist a bung from a land developer – mainly because Israel has neglected to provide the protection for top politicians which is keeping French Prez Chirac in office and out of gaol for corruption.

v1A woman in Bridgeport, Connecticut, was busted after she bit off another woman's finger during a fight. The victim wrapped a towel around her hand and fled in search of medical attention. Her hopes of having the finger re-attached were crushed when someone disposed of the finger by flushing it down the toilet. The biter will appear in court at the end of the month to face a charge of first-degree assault.

v2The Belgian police sent a motorist a speeding ticket for doing 2,100 mph (about 3 times the speed of sound) in a Brussels suburb. A state prosecutor, who was charged with following up the unpaid fine, asked the police what height the plane was flying at when they caught it speeding. At that point, the police apologized to the motorist and blamed a faulty radar set. And sending out the ludicrous penalty was due to 'human error'.

v3Police in Bochum, Germany, are looking for a man who was sick onto a car and cause €2,000 damage to the paintwork. The theory is that the paint was unable to resist the corrosive effects of the man's stomach acids.

v4Some evil person got at the printing system for Aero wrappers at a Nestlé factory in York and made it print Shit Bar in the space for the Best Before date and code. 20 pallets of chocolate bars were affected but none left the factory. A spokeswoman for Nestlé denied that everyone working on that shift had been threatened with the sack if no one confessed. BlackFlag News suspects that the action was part of the global protest movement against Nestlé's policy of buying up popular brands and lowering their quality while raising the price.

v5High scrap metal prices are being blamed for the rise in thefts of metal manhole covers all around the UK. They cost councils an average £120 to replace and their fate is usually to be melted down and turned into cars and washing machines in China.

$A woman who was robbed of £9,000 after leaving a bank in Santiago, Chile, plans to sue. She reckons that one of the cashiers yelled, "Who's the lady for the £9,000?" before counting the money loudly. The bank is saying that it will produce CCTV footage to prove that the cashier wasn't 'loud'.

The government is making noises about cutting the wages of the IRA's political wing in the Ulster parliament because they're still involved in murder, extortion, drug dealing and all the other traditional pastimes of Irish terrorists. But will anything happen in practice? We all know how easily Vice-Prez Bliar can be bamboozled by the likes of G. Adams and M. Mcguinness.

This Month's Garbage

The Garbage Bev Hughes isn't incompetent and she shouldn't resign.

Vice-Prez Bliar taking personal charge of the immigration shambles will produce any change for the better. 

 Mr. Justice Elias handing out British taxpayers' money to Kosovans who were shooting at British troops.

The Sky Sports website : you have to provide an email address to send them a message, but all that happens is an email arrives at the address provided saying that the recipient (sports.online@bskyb.com) was unavailable to take delivery of the message. 

 The ban on visas for Romanians and Bulgarians with forged documents – which lasted just one week.

Vice-Prez Bliar's noises about instant compulsory ID cards – which can't happen until 2013. 

 Lord Chief Justice Woolf, who doesn't think burglars should be locked up while moaning that criminals receive 'singularly ineffective' gaol sentences. Double-think, or what?

Talking litter binBerlin's city refuse collection department is busy testing talking litter bins, which have a photo-sensor to detect litter thrown into them and solar cells to power an electronic voice. The bins can thank users in English, French and Japanese as well as German, and they are also trained to remain silent after dark in order not to frighten passers by. But, as yet, they cannot detect when a customer gives them a metal can or plastic bottle, which is verboten under Germany's strict recycling laws.
   Berlin city council is hoping that a humorous approach will make people feel more inclined to keep the streets clean. They also hope to sell the idea to other German cities and abroad. Their research department is believed to be working on an extra-strength, vandal-resistant model for the British market.

 
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