Black Flag News
2004/June
   FINAL
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Romiley News
ROMILEY NEWS

Replacement for what?

The first post of the month arrived with a mailing from Stockport Council described on the front as a "REPLACEMENT VOTING PACK". Fine, only what was it replacing? Because we never received an "ORIGINAL VOTING PACK" for the replacement to replace.
   p.s. It would be interesting to know how much repairing the shambles has cost Stockport's ratepayers in terms of printing costs, labour costs – for both printing firms and overtime for council staff – plus extra postage costs. But as Romiley's Trivial Democrat councillors aren't very good at responding to queries, the secret is likely to be preserved.
   p.p.s. Romiley's voters were interested to find that their ballot papers, if folded in the regulation manner, were too big to go in Envelope A. And if Envelope A were the right size, it would be too big to go in the Envelope B provided. Nice to know the postal ballot has been so well organized.

k1At long last, the former Fruit Bowl has reopened under its new management, its new layout and its new name! (But aren't the spuds an awful price? Ed.)

k2Super Thursday? Not in Romiley. Universal postal voting has knocked the stuffing out of this month's elections. The competitors haven't bothered to deluge us with election literature as they have no idea whether their bumph will arrive before the punters post their ballot papers.

k3The motorists who make pointless journeys through Romiley are advised to give us a miss for the moment. The council will have the road up in the centre of the village until November.

Ex-Prez BillBill Clinton has applied for associate membership of Romiley Literarcy Circle on the strength of his autobiography, which was published this month. But the book's so bleedin' boring that the Membership Committee had to tell him to forget it!

"Me, too!" politics brings bogus choice to Romiley

The Left CrossingThe Right Crossing
You can cross here ..... or here, 10 yards away.

Always eager to jump on a bandwagon, Stockport council's ruling Triv-Dems have decided to give the customers a choice of places to cross the road in the centre of Romiley village. At the cost of thousands of Council Tax-pounds, more red knobble-tiles have been insinuated into the ruined pavements and the customers now have the choice of crossing the road at the original crossing point – or 10 yards away.
   Brilliant!

Brief Candle by Robert Arion   Summer Bonus   Summer Bonus   Summer 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 the Romiley Literary Circle website
   Read about the Book on the RLC website
   Download a zipped HTML version of the Book at the
       Romiley Literary Circle website

Category : Crime & Commerce, mid-1990s

space news
SPACE NEWS

Transit of Venus observed from Romiley!!!

The transit, 11:10 am
11:10 a.m. BST
The transit, 11:35 am
11:35 a.m. BST
The papers were going mad in the run up to the first transit of Venus visible from the UK for 700 years. Their 'science correspondents' showed themselves up as hacks with a fancy title and no qualifications by going on about a great astronomical [or in some cases 'astrological'] event (true as no living person on the planet had seen a transit before this one) and a brilliant spectacle (hype).
   Naturally, Tuesday June 8th started off with enough cloud about to reinforce the native pessimism of the experienced observer of astronomical events in Romiley. But the Sun did eventually boil off the hazy, high cloud and find its way into gaps between the lower ones.
   Even so, the event was entirely missable because Venus passing in front of the Sun isn't something anyone would notice in the way that an eclipse of the Sun by the Moon is something you'd have to be deep in a dark cave not to notice.
   Anyone trying to see the transit using a conventional eclipse viewer of aluminized plastic film or over-exposed photographic film was out of luck. The tiny dark spot that was Venus – 1/900th of the area of the solar disc – wasn't big enough to be visible to the average naked eye. A pinhole in a piece of card was similarly ineffective in producing an image big enough to show anything.
   The images above were produced using binoculars by projecting the sun's image into the shadow of the binoculars on a large piece of card. A large card was necessary because we didn't have a clamp and holding heavy binoculars steady is no easy job.
   The images are inverted, which is why Venus; the tiny dark blob; is seen at the top-right of the pictures rather than the bottom-right. They were captured with a digital pen camera of the type used by members of Romiley Arts Federation to record the history of Romiley's new lamp posts [see the RAF website, link below].

ALMOST SPACE NEWS

Spaceship One leaps out of the atmosphere for a couple of seconds ...

Spaceship One... And the next thing you know, the alleged news meeja were going on about the cost of space tourism dropping from the $20million, which Dennis Tito and Mike Shuttleworth paid the Russians for trips to the ISS, to the price of an average package holiday.
   Congratulations to all at Scaled Composites and to pilot Mike Melvill but there's a long way to go before flights into space, or to the top of the atmosphere and the edge of space, become practical or even affordable to hoi polloi.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

POLITICAL CRIMINALITY

Members of the UK parliament, and politicians of other nations, fall foul of the rules from time to time. BlackFlag News has come across the case of a local government councillor who seems to have suffered particularly disproportionate treatment in a New Labour inspired kangaroo court.

CLICK HERE to find out (a) what sort of punishments politicians receive for their crimes (and what they can get away with) and (b) how their punishment compares with what happened to Councillor M.

Home News
HOME NEWS

Nobody escapes World War II!

It's difficult with the steady diet of WW II on television; particularly on BBC 2 at Christmas; but observant readers will have noticed that the 60th anniversary of D-Day arrived at the start of this month. Complaints about the arrangements for the ceremonies in France seem to be the dominant issue.
   The French, who weren't really involved in it, are accused of hijacking things. The Germans, who played an essential role in the whole thing, are censured for being there. And if any Brits turn up, it will be only because they defeated the best efforts of Vice-Prez Bliar's regime to bog up the arrangements for getting them there.

k1Listening to some Labour person called Dunwoody sounding off on Radio 4 against fuel protestors, one was left wondering what was the point of giving her the air-time. Nobody in the protesters' camp was likely to be swayed by her strident complaints. So it seems likely that she's just an addict to the sound of her own voice and she enjoys playing the victim of stroppy customers.

k2The BBC is still the Bliar Broadcasting Company at heart when it comes to Europe. The Centre for Policy Studies has been monitoring Radio 4 and TV news programmes, and it has found that the political views of people interviewed show a consistent 60-89% bias in favour of the 'hand more power to the EU' lobby.
UpdateThe BBC is planning to waste millions of pounds of the licencepayers' cash to retrain its journalists to grovel properly to New Labour. And from now on, every reporter will be required to clear his/her stories through a Political Office staffed by Downing Street appointees. The new management of the BBC is reported to be quite cool with the arrangement and all of them think Vice-Prez Bliar is 'a pretty straight kind of guy'.

k3200 truckers staged a protest drive through the centre of Cardiff to let Vice-Prez Bliar know that promising to 'look again' at this September's fuel Stealth Tax didn't impress them.

k4Not Sorry : David Kay of the Iraq Survey Group thinks Vice-Prez Bliar is 'delusional' if he really believes there are WoMD still to be discovered in or around Iraq. In fact, Mr. Kay thinks the Vice-Prez should be apologizing for the lies already told about Iraq's non-existent weapons rather than coming out with more of them.

k5Sorry : The Sunday Post, Scotland's favourite newspaper, gave Vice-Prez Bliar a lesson in apologizing to the customers on D-Day + 60 years. After printing the same Oor Wullie and The Broons two weeks running, the Post gave its customers a double helping of Scotland's favourite characters as the apology.

k6Good news for Savers again this month with interest rates up ¼% to 4.5%.

Yet another fine mess

After the Millennium Dome, the foot & mouth fiasco, bogus WoMD and the Iraq war, the bogus asylum-seeker & illegal-migrant shambles and the postal voting chaos, New Labour was forced to admit yet another costly catastrophe this month. UKeU, the government's online university, was closed down after wasting £62million of taxpayers' cash. Its architects predicted that it would attract hundreds of thousands of customers. Just 900 actually signed up to an enterprise based "more on optimism than market-led judgement".
   Another fine mess you've landed us in, Tone!
UpdateThe people running the UKeU [Into the ground? Ed.] are all in line for fat bonuses. New Labour's culture of rewarding failure rides on.

k1Lots of Queen's Birthday Honours for the Bliar cronies who outed the late Dr. David Kelly and then sought to draw a veil over Vice-Prez Bliar's part in the whole dishonest mess.

celebrationWho says New Labour is the no-fun party!

After its success with cannabis, the Home Office would like to make prostitution legal. Elsewhere, Culture Sec. Tessa Jowell wants fruit machines to offer £1million jackpots to the punters and Health Sec. John Reid wants poor people to be allowed to smoke themselves to an early death without being drowned in disapproval.

UKIP election sloganThe Party of the Moment

The UKIP seems to have thrown a satisfactory scare into the main political parties by its performance in the European Parliament elections. Their number of MEPs has risen from 3 to 12, the public has told Vice-Prez Bliar if he won't listen, they're not going to vote for him. And UKIP has changed its tune on Europe.
UKIP   Instead of ignoring the European Parliament, UKIP is now planning to show up the system's numerous deficiencies and abuses – like the practice common among MEPs of signing in to collect a day's pay then swanning off somewhere else. If they can manage to get rid of the likes of Neil Kinnock, appointed Vice-Prez In Charge of Stopping Corruption but who thinks it's his job to sack anyone who exposes corruption, then UKIP will be doing a grand job.

k2How does a copper get on the fast track to becoming a chief constable?
   Well, belonging to an ethnic minority and having 6 mistresses more or less guarantees it.

k3The government is reported to be well on track for abolishing the public library system within the next 20 years. Putting the Department of Culture, Media, Sport & Fisheries in charge of the job has been a great success, say those planning to take over the vacant buildings when they are no longer needed to house books.

k4When the Iraqis have managed to kill one another to extinction, can our troops come home?

parrot"No Room! No Room!"

Native bird species are being crowded out of the British Isles by parrots. The 'experts' say that parrots have been escaping from captivity since Victorian times and breeding successfully in the wild. The current rate of population growth is estimated at 30% per year and there are expected to be 100,000 of them around by the year 2010, which is bad news for owners of vineyards. Parrots are a protected species and the ravening beasts can gobble enough grapes to reduce wine production to 10-20% of the pre-parrot level.

What housing shortage?

The government rented thousands of houses on 3-5 year contracts as parking places for asylum seekers. Then it drove the more bogus asylum seekers out of the system. Result – 25,000 houses standing empty at an annual cost to the taxpayer of £100million and the government doesn't have the wit to park someone else in them.
   New Labour – Finding new ways to waste your money.

k5If Princess Di's Ditch cost £3.6million, they must have spent at least £3.5million on lunches talking about it and the rest on actually building it.

THE MUGGER NEWS

It's Official: Retirement At 70

Gimme the f-ing money!
Gimme the f-ing money!
New Labour has made such a good job of destroying the pensions and savings industries that the retirement age is going up to 70.
   Why?
   Because the number-crunchers at the Treasury have calculated that enough people will croak between 65 and 70 (and not require a pension) to make the state pension affordable.
   Of course, it could be argued that the government wastes more than enough taxpounds to double the state pension right now, but try getting that sort of admission out of the Mugger and his cronies.

Ructions in Downing Street

The Mugger is getting bent out of shape over a forthcoming book which portrays him as pushy. And Vice-Prez Bliar isn't happy because he's shown up as easily pushed. Derek Scott, sometime economic advisor to the V-P, got the cold shoulder and the old fish-eye from No. 11 Downing Street when he worked for No. 10. So he's not inclined to pull any punches in his 'serious book about the politics and economics of Europe' – which just happens to include accounts of a lot of ass-kicking contests between Vice-Prez Bliar and the Mugger, most of which the V-P lost!
   The cantankerous Mugger is reported to be frothing at the mouth and bitching to anyone who will listen about 'an orchestrated flood of lies and distortions' from his enemies – pretty much what he and his mates used to do to Mr. Scott, in fact.

HEALTH NEWS

What the customers want for the NHS

X-Ray MachineActually, chaps, what we really want is the politicos to stop buggering about with the NHS. We don't need New Labour lying to us about the arbitrary targets which it achieves on the basis of fiddled data. We don't want jobsworth bureaucrats abolishing sterile procedures and other essentials on cost grounds.
   All we want is that our nearest hospital is clean and staffed by people who know what they're doing.
   So why is that so hard to grasp?
UpdateNew Labour has promised to stop fiddling hospital waiting lists to 'prove' that the government is meeting arbitrary targets.
   "When?"
   "They're not saying. The government would also like sick people to stop bothering their doctor and 'manage their own illness'. Oh, yes. And mixed-sex hospital wards will soon be history."
   "When?"
   "They're not saying."

celebrationBooze Is Brilliant!

A medical advisory panel has warned the government that 24-hour opening of pubs will cause serious damage to some customers' health. But this advice has been ignored. The police have warned that binge drinkers will turn city centres into violent no-go areas. But this advice has been ignored. There are taxes to be raised from extended pub opening; from both excise duty and VAT as well as company profits, and with New Labour, "It's all about the money!"

It's all about the money!Bad news for the dentally challenged

If you're planning to pull your fillings out by eating lots of sticky toffee or break a tooth badly enough to need a crown – DO IT NOW!
   Our caring, 'the NHS is safe with us' government is planning to more than double the cost of check-ups and fillings as soon as it gets some really bad news to obscure the announcement. So much for the promises of giving everyone their own NHS dentist and creating a nation with lots of healthy, sparkling-white teeth.
   With New Labour, it really is all about the money.

25% of all sick notes are bogus – that's 5 million per year. Does this make the British world-class sickie skivers?

10% of the people who go to GPs are health tourists who are not entitled to use the NHS and who are stealing from the British people by doing so. Which means that the NHS is perfectly entitled to 'poach' staff from overseas to meet its obligations to the people who are paying for it. Amazing what you can justify by assembling unrelated facts.

BLIAR NEWS

Vice-Prez Bliar's Latest Line

Vice-Prez BliarHe won't admit that Iraq had no Weapons of Mass Deception but he has retreated as far as a belief that proof will be found that Saddam Hussein had a 'complete determination' to get some. The official reason for going to war in Iraq has now been changed from 'disarming Saddam' to unseating him for 'humanitarian reasons'.

Vice-Prez Bliar"The UK's Red Lines for the EU are safe with me."

start quoteThere is no need for a European Public Prosecutor to control investigations across national borders, we're dead against the idea and we're definitely not going to have one.end quote
    Vice-Prez Bliar, 2003

start quoteOh, all right, then.end quote
    Vice-Prez Bliar, 2004

#"Vice-Prez Bliar says he's going to win the referendum on the EU constitution."
   "How's he going to do that?"
   "Cheat!"

Vice-prezidential crony Paul Drayson did extremely well out of his 2 cash bungs to New Labour, and Health Sec. John Reid has been twisting arms furiously to keep the details secret. In exposing the whole sordid story, the parliamentary ombudsman has won a rare victory over this sleaze-ridden Labour government.
   It seems Mr. Drayson made his second bung while the government was deciding which company should act as an intermediary for obtaining smallpox vaccine after the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks on the USA. [The intermediary would buy the vaccine from the producers on behalf of the government, not make it. Ed.]
   Drayson's company copped for a £20million profit out of the deal and the boss got himself a peerage. He has since voluntarily taken on the job of bolsterer of Vice-Prez Bliar's reputation in the House of Lords.

CLOWN NEWS

Wet Weather Is Safe Weather

clownDerby City Council reckons school trips and outdoor events should be cancelled if the weather looks like being sunny. Some jobsworth is worried that the kids will all get skin cancer and their parents will sue the council.
UpdateA professor at Boston University School of Medicine reckons that the cover-up culture is producing a 'silent epidemic' of cancers, heart disease and diabetes related to Vitamin D deficiency. This vitamin is produced by the skin when it is exposed to sunlight – or not, if everyone stays in the shade.

k1No Cake By Order! Meanwhile, in Wiltshire, the head of a primary school has banned cakes from fund-raising events in case they give the customer food poisoning, even though the expert opinion is that cake is least likely to poison anyone.

clownClowns in Rochdale

Officers of Rochdale Council told taxi drivers that they couldn't fly English flags on their cabs because the flags are advertisements, which are not allowed under the terms of the taxi-operator's licence. When asked which product the flags are advertising, the clowns had nothing constructive to say. So the taxi drivers intend to keep flying the flag and Rochdale's councillors are quickly putting distance between themselves and the clowns.

clownBrain-fade in Biggin Hill

Five litter bins in Biggin Hill, Kent, used to overflow regularly because Bromley council didn't empty them often enough. Not any more they don't, because the council has solved the problem by removing the bins. A spokesman for the council seemed to think binless people would act responsibly and take their litter home.
[What planet's he from? Ed.]

clownTackling crime is the EU's lowest priority

Lancashire Constabulary applied to the European Regional Development Fund for a grant to help put extra police patrols on the streets in the seaside town of Morecambe, a high-crime area.
   "No," said the ERDF, "We're giving your application the lowest possible priority. Actually, we think the money would be better spent on a school for circus performers."
   Pretty much what you'd expect from a bunch of clowns who squander the European taxpayers' cash.

POSTAL VOTING

Faint praise from 'Lord Dome' Charlie

Millennium DomeConstitutional Affairs Secretary Lord Falconer has called Johnny 'Two Jags' Prescott's experiment in postal voting "something of a success". The government's failure to meet its own deadline of putting voting packs in the hands of the customers by June 1st doesn't matter because the delays were due to 'technical issues', which seem to have the same quality as 'Acts of God' as far as ministerial responsibility goes.
   According to Charlie, "... the critical thing is that electors have the opportunity to consider their vote and then cast it before June 10." So it seems that if they have only a few minutes to do the considering and casting, that doesn't matter. And if the Royal Mail doesn't deliver votes posted at the last minute in time, that doesn't matter either.
   Charlie reckons the trial, "... was worth doing because it would boost turnout - the ultimate test of its success." But he doesn't have anything constructive to say to charges that the trial was gerrymandering designed to increase the Labour vote in its rotten boroughs.
   His parting shot to his critics was, "You can forget legal challenges." But given that Charlie Forkbender is in office only because he's one of Vice-Prez Bliar's cronies (his former flatmate) and his sole 'claim to fame' is his maladministration of the Millennium Dome, the nation's lawyers aren't looking too downcast.
   Meanwhile, Stockport Council had to redo 225,000 voting packs because it made a bog of them and the score for Bradford was 250,000. Johnny 'Two Jags' Prescott did a Jeff Hoon and zapped off on holiday, leaving his understrappers to lie for him with government statistics. And nobody listened to the Electoral Commission, which warned that holding postal votes in 2 regions would be pushing it, never mind the 4 regions that Vice-Prez Bliar wanted so that he could claim the biggest postal voting exercise in EU history..

Postal Voting – What was it for?

To boost the flagging Labour vote in its traditional areas in the North & Midlands by making it easier for lazy voters to participate. And also to make it easier for party activists to collect up ballot papers and fill them in the right way.
   Unexpected spin-offs?
The loss of the secret ballot. "The Boss" in families, businesses and whole communities was dictating how his subjects should vote – and getting away with it in Asian 'communities' because that's how things are done traditionally!
   Expected spin-offs?
Producing and delivering voting packs was a total shambles and, thanks to all the messing about, the cost was at least twice that of a normal election (with polling stations) for a purely cosmetic increase in voter numbers.
   Another fine mess you've landed us in, Tone!

k1 The Outcome : based on the results from 165/166 councils, Labour lost 464 seats while the Tories, Libs, UKIP and BNP gained a total of 400 seats. So where did the other 64 seats go?

Postal Voting – Where did it get us?

A quick survey as the last of the voting was being completed (and postmen all over the 4 areas affected were quietly dumping sacks of mail in their usual oubliettes) came up with:

  • Five police forces investigating allegations of election fraud, gerrymandering and intimidation.
  • The concept of a secret ballot became a joke.
  • Emergency polling stations needed because of late delivery of voting packs.
  • Tens of thousands of dim voters baffled by the voting pack instructions and disenfranchised.
  • Tens of thousands of potential voters put off by the rigmarole of the witness form.
  • The system encouraging the apathetic Newcastle upon Tyne electorate to vote against Labour. [Shot in the foot for old Two Jags, then? Ed.]
  • The Triv-Dems going to the courts over the result in an area of Birmingham, where stacks of postal ballot papers were filled out by what looks like the same person (from the lack of variations in the size and placing of the crosses).

DEPARTURES

Ronald Reagan

Prez Reagan with wife, Nancy
Prez Reagan and Prez Gorbachyov
Ronald Reagan, successful Hollywood movie actor turned politician, has died at 93. He starred in over 50 films and he was being paid twice as much as Prez Truman in the post-war 1940s. His next career move was to become governor of California, which put him on a 12-year trail for the top job in American politics.
   Mr. Reagan became Mr. Prez in 1980 [top picture], denying Jimmy Carter a second term in office. He was elected via a new political phenomenon – Reagan Democrats, who abandoned their party of registration to cast a personal vote for a Republican.
   Prez Reagan was known as the Great Communicator because he could deliver his lines convincingly and with humour. He survived an assassination attempt within the first 3 months of his presidency and he went on to establish strong bonds with the UK and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's governments. He is credited with playing a major part in the collapse of Communism by frightening the Soviets with an arms race which they could not afford and then talking arms-limitation with Prez Gorbachyov to let him get reforms going.
   Alternatively, there was the Iran-Contra scandal and the views that Prez Reagan almost frightened the Soviets into a shooting war with his sabre-rattling and the Soviet Union would have collapsed anyway because the system was corrupt and run by spivs and it got into a war it couldn't win in Afghanistan [cf Prez Bush and Vice-Prez Bliar in Iraq].
   Within 2 years of telling Prez Gorbachyov [lower picture] that the Berlin Wall had to go, both Soviet communism and the Wall were history; as was Prez Reagan after serving his two terms. The final decade of his life was spent in the black pit of Alzheimer's disease under the ever-protective care of his second wife, Nancy [top picture].

DEPARTURES

Anthony Buckeridge

Anthony Buckeridge
The author of the 'Jennings' books has died at 92. Mr. Buckeridge, a prep school teacher, first told the stories to boys at his school but he went on to create 62 radio plays for the BBC's Children's Hour and 25 books in the Fifties, Sixties, Seventies and early Nineties, which sold over 6 million copies.
   Jennings, and his pal Derbyshire, were 11-year-olds out of the same box as Billy Bunter and 'Just' William Brown, and their adventures were essential reading, and listening, for the generation of children brought up after World War II.

NEW LAMP NEWS

  Installing, painting, and
  numbering 28 new lamp posts

How long should the job take? If we're talking about the ones which Stockport Council put up in the centre of Romiley, then the answer is
     71 weeks at least
because the numbering job hadn't been finished at the end of this month.

PUBLIC SERVICE MESSAGE

Give Blood Now!
Do this NOW!

world news
WORLD NEWS

Norway joins the ranks of street-smokers

From this month on, smoking is prohibited in Norwegian bars and restaurants. Which tends to be good news for romantics as chatting up of exiled fellow smokers in alleys and doorways usually takes a steep upturn when such a ban is imposed.
UpdateVice-Prez Bliar is thinking of bringing in a universal smoking ban by stealth. He's going to leave the implementation of the ban to local councils in the hope that he personally won't be accused of persecuting smokers.

Kaboom!Stab in the back for head spook

Prez Bush ordered the CIA to find a reason for war with Iraq. The CIA gave him Saddam's vast arsenal of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the British 'Intelligence' services backed them up with Alastair Campbell's help. And now the war's out of the way, apart from some minor tidying up, the head of the agency has been obliged to quit.
   No doubt George Tenet is wishing he'd been a British spook working for Vice-Prez Bliar. Because he'd be head of the whole of his country's spy business and heading for a 'K' of some sort on this side of the Atlantic.
UpdatePart of the USA's Big Lie about Iraq pre-invasion was that Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were best mates. That piece of disinformation has now gone down the plughole along with the notion that Mr. Hussein was involved in the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks on the USA. The truth is creeping out of the woodwork as the US prezidential election draws nearer. And both Prez Bush and Vice-Prez Bliar are trembling in their boots as they wait for the next part of the Big Lie to be exposed.
UpdateThe US has spent $126billion on the Iraq war, which works out at $3,400 per family. "We'd rather have had the $3,400," say Prez Bush's customers. British families have had to cough up just £250, which is a slightly better deal but one which we could have done without.

Athens Olympics 2004Getting what you wish for?

Athens bust a gut to get the 2004 Olympic Games. The price of this particular ambition is a decade of debt for the Greek people. That's how long the experts reckon they'll take to pay off the deficit from the games thanks to the ballooning costs of construction and counter-terrorism measures. There's a lesson here for the headbangers who want to hold the 2012 Olympics in London. But don't expect this government and the others to learn it.

Vatican holds Hutton Inquiry on Spanish Inquisition?

Encouraged by Vice-Prez Bliar's success in rewriting history on what happened to Dr. David Kelly and why we went to war in Iraq, the Pope has sought Mr. Bliar's advice on whitewashing the Spanish Inquisition and similar organizations, which hounded heretics in the Catholic Church's area of influence.
   The result was an inquiry into the historical record covering the period from the Thirteenth Century to the Nineteenth Century. And lo! A team of distinguished academics has found that practically no one was ever busted for herecy in the bad old days. And of the few who were persecuted, less than 1% were persecuted by the Catholic Church. The rest suffered at the hands of non-Church tribunals.
   Of those who fell into the hands of Official tribunals [rather than Provisional tribunals], no one was tortured for very long, a doctor was always present and the torture was discontinued as soon as the prisoner began to show signs of distress.
   Apparently, the Catholic Church feels that if the number of its victims was vastly exaggerated in the historical record, and the true total is less than 1% of a very tiny number, then it is not worth issuing a formal apology for the stress and trauma suffered by those victims.
   It looks like the Pope has seen Vice-Prez Bliar's grovelling apologies going down like a lead balloon and he has no wish to follow him down that blind alley.

Legal, indecent and untreated

Doctors in the USA are fighting back against their persecutors. They are refusing to treat lawyers and their families as pay-back for all the frivolous malpractice cases brought against doctors by the greedy legal trade. The doctors reckon that they are fulfilling the terms of their Hippocratic Oath if they offer emergency care only

fireballBig bang in New Zealand

People often accuse New Zealand of being the most boring place on the planet. But things got quite interesting for Brenda and Phil Archer of Aukland this month when a grapefruit-size lump of rock crashed through their roof. Experts reckon that the meteorite hit the Earth's atmosphere at ten miles/second but it had slowed to a mere 340 mph when it crashed into the Archers' home. The lump of rock is worth about £5,000 and a 'scientist' apparently told Mrs. Archer that she has to keep it in her oven at 100 deg.C to keep it in good condition!

virusComputer viruses branch out

Mobile phones are becoming smart enough to attract the attention of the people who write computer viruses. The latest of the phone viruses, Cabir, attacks only really expensive models and disguises itself as part of the phone's security software. It uses the Bluetooth system to send itself to other mobiles and renders the phone inoperative while doing so. The virus doesn't attack information stored in the host phone but it does run down the battery while it is seeking to reproduce itself.

MENTAL IMAGES

We Brits also have the Human Right not to be disgusted

Prisonerscar bomb 1car bomb 2

It's all very well for the British government to pass laws saying we have to love foreigners and not discriminate against them, but it's about time they were challenged on human rights grounds. The government has no right to force us into the company of people with unfortunate associations. It violates our basic human right not to be plagued by disgusting and distressing mental images. And let's face it, foreigners do seem to be going out of their way to flaunt their barbarity.
   Iranians, for instance. Think of them and what comes to mind? British service personnel arrested illegally and paraded for the Iranian media, blindfolded and humiliated. Iraqis? Suicide bombers and thousands of people killed by armed criminals who are trying to reestablish their right to rob and murder their fellow citizens without come-back.
   Followers of Islam in general – murderous control-freaks directing herds of mindless fanatics who leap into car bombs when they're not abducting people and hacking their heads off. Palestinians – more suicide bombers. Israelis – trigger-happy former victims, who are trying to prove they can out-do their former persecutors in the barbarity stakes. Africa in general – countries were the governing regime is thoroughly corrupt, they manage to afford endless civil wars for the right to steal national assets and there are permanent famines because the government has stolen the aid money or it is denying aid as a means of ethnic cleansing (e.g. Sudan). Talking about ethnic cleansing – mention Serbia and its neighbours and mental images of mass graves pop up right away.
   There used to be a generation in this country which had to be kept away from Japanese visitors because they conjured up mental images of the torture and murder suffered by British prisoners of war. Most of the survivors from World War II have gone now, but the same problem applies to Ireland. For many people in the UK, mentioning Ireland throws up images of bombs, bodies, wrecked buildings, shattered lives and the perpetrators of atrocities going unpunished.
   No matter what the law says, people have a right to chose not to associate with foreigners whose very presence conjurs up distressing mental images. As long as there is no way of telling if the Iranian/Iraqi/whatever bloke standing next to you is an okay guy or a suicide bomber waiting to go off, and while such foreigners continue to create the sort of newspaper and TV images to which we have been subjected recently, who in their right mind is going to take the chance of having anything to do with them?
   For all the man in the street knows, that nice Saudi bloke standing next to him might be all smiles one minute and trying to hack his head off the next. Xenophobia*** is not something that comes naturally. It's something that foreigners are imposing upon us and we have a human right to shun them either as a means of survival or as a way of remaining free of disgusting mental images. So if those foreigners want to be accepted, they're going to have to start behaving like decent, civilized human beings. It's their choice and it's up to them to take it.
   p.s. You can add the Swiss to the list of repugnant foreigners after the England-Portugal match.

*** On reflection, xenophobia is the wrong word to use. What we need is a new word to express 'disgust caused by enforced familiarity with obscenity'. Greek scholars, please email us your suggestions. Ed.

UpdateIranian pirate flagNow that our naval personnel are safely out of Iran, the truth is creeping out. It was hard to believe that they 'strayed' into Iranian territorial waters if they had satellite navigation gear – and they didn't. The Ministry of War has announced that they were hijacked by Iranian pirates as part of that country's fun and games with the political temperature at their border with Iraq. Some mad sod of a Revolutionary Guard commander clearly thought that raising it would make him look good. In fact, it was the sort of cheap publicity stunt which we have come to expect from Vice-Prez Bliar's regime!
UpdateUrs Meier, the ref who disallowed Sol Campbell's winning goal in the England-Portugal match, has received so many death threats that the Swiss police have advised him to go into hiding. Scottish football fans, whose team didn't make the Euro2004 finals, have offered him a home and a place of honour in their country.
   Talk about someone being the architect of his own misfortune and it's nice to see the gods grotting on one of the unworthy for a change.

Criminal News
CRIMINAL NEWS

Oldham leads the way

postal voteThe first arrest for fraud connected with Johnny 'Two Jags' Prescott's mammoth postal voting scheme has been made in Oldham, a Lancashire town which had become somewhat notorious for dodgy goings on at election times. A Trivial Democrat candidate was busted after two men called at a house in Oldham and offered to 'look after' the occupants' ballot papers.

Is the Law an ass or is it just administered by donkeys?

A man who stood at the roadside carrying a placard reading "Speed Trap – 300 yards" has been persecuted by Aldershot magistrates. The coppers operating the speed trap, which was concealed in a van, arrested Mr. Stuart Harding because he was preventing them from reaching their speeding ticket quota while contributing to road safety.
   Charged with obstructing a constable in the execution of fund-raising duty, Mr. Harding was banned from driving for 1 month for no apparent reason.

k1If you want to kill someone, do it in Cornwall
A woman who killed a pedestrian while driving an uninsured vehicle and then fled the scene was fined £83 by Bodmin magistrates. Her case came right after a bloke was fined £443 and banned from driving for 2 years for hitting a tree.

spamSpammers' safe haven

The UK under Vice-Prez Bliar is not only a safe haven for bogus asylum seekers and illegal immigrants; spammers are now migrating here from Italy of all places. If caught, Italian spammers can go to gaol for up to 3 years. The law in the UK is full of 'gigantic loopholes' and the maximum penalty for deluging email inboxes is a £5K fine. The biggest loophole for the spammers is an excusion of business email addresses from the regulations. So the spammers unload their crap on everyone while proclaiming that they are sending it only to businesses.

Sharon too thick to know when he's being bribed!

Israeli PM Ariel Sharon agreed to use his influence help an Israeli businessman with his plans to develop a resort on a Greek island. Sharon received bungs totalling £300,000, which went on political campaigns and the family farm, and his son was given the job of marketing director of the Greek island project despite having no experience of the job.
   But Israel's new attorney general, Menachem Mizaz, has decided that there is 'insufficient evidence' of corruption. Mr. Mizaz has ruled that the Sharons did no wrong because they didn't realize they were being bribed! Appalled Israelis are now wondering if Mr. Mizaz is related to Lord Hutton.

k3The government has decided that candidates for jobs as magistrates need not show signs of 'common sense' any more. The minions of Lord Charlie Falconer, Lord Chancellor and former Lord of the Millennium Dome, feel that a requirement for JPs to show 'common sense' might make those lacking the quality feel uncomfortable.
   And, striking a purely practical note, the government's current sentencing guidelines prevent the use of common sense anyway!

HOME OFFICE NEWS

Another whistle-blower gets 'New Labour' treatment

no-brainerWhile working at the British embassy in Romania, James Cameron exposed serial abuse of the visa system. His revelations contributed to then Immigration Minister Bev Hughes getting the sack and provided further evidence of the debasement of standards under the Bliar regime.
   After being suspended from duty, Mr. Cameron has been recalled to the UK for investigation and political persecution for giving the Tories a stick with which to beat the government. His reward for blowing the whistle on Home Office malpractice was to have his salary frozen and he has no hope of promotion for the next 3 years.
   He also seems to have become the target of another New Labour smear campaign of the sort waged against Martin Sixsmith (sacked over the Jo Moore and her "good day to bury bad news" email shambles), 94-year-old Rose Addis (accused of racialism after her family dared to complain about the way the NHS had treated her), Paddington rail crash survivor Pam Warren and the late Dr. David Kelly.
   So what have the Westminster Wonders been up to that they didn't want anyone to know about? Well, it seems the Home Office ordered the British embassy staff in Bulgaria and Romania to issue business visas to at least 25,000 bogus applicants, rejecting just 1.6% of the customers when the embassy staff felt that at least 90% of the business plans were bogus.
no-brainer   There is a strong suspicion that the Home Office was conducting a bizarre, no-brainer exercise in filling quotas for the likes of one-legged tilers, fingerless electricians and customer liaison staff with no command of English. Political correctness run riot is thought to be at the bottom of it.
   Home Sec Blunk is denying all knowledge of the affair – he reckons he was too busy screwing up the bogus asylum seeker situation to notice what was going on. And if anyone told him about it, it went in one ear and out the other. The Home Office has issued a string of lies over this further shambles, many of the lies contradictory. And no doubt the shredders are chonking away around the clock to remove the evidence of malpractice and keep old Blunk in his job.
   But hey, what else do you expect from New Labour?

no-brainerOne rule for you, another for me : "The role of any chief constable has be be one in which the public have confidence," Home Sec Blunk said as his excuse for trying to fire David Westwood, Humberside's chief constable, for his failure to preserve intelligence records on Soham killer Ian Huntley.
   But substitute 'home secretary' for 'chief constable' in the above quotation and shift the context to asylum and illegal immigration, and shouldn't Blunk be looking for somewhere else to park himself and his doggie?
   And still on the subject of people not doing their job, Richard Ingrams has pointed out in the Observer (2004/06/27) that the headmaster of the school in Soham made no attempt to check Ian Huntley's references for the job of school caretaker and yet the head has copped for no flak at all and zero media persecution.

k1Lord Archer is claiming in his latest book that he suffered official malice and deliberate mistreatment while in prison. The Home Office and the Prison Service say his claims are rubbish. Faced with a choice between believing a convicted perjurer and believing Vice-Prez Bliar's minions, we have to go with the perjurer.

Ofcom NEWS

The Directory Inquiries service is just great!

Ofcom has declared abolishing the BT monopoly on directory inquiries calls a huge success. The parameters of success include:

  • The number of calls has dropped by 45% (3 million fewer calls per week)
  • Lots of people don't use directory inquiries any more because they've realized they have to pay for the calls
  • 15% of callers on average get inaccurate information
  • The staff at call centres in India, South Africa and the Philippines (with China waiting in the wings) have never heard of well-known British towns and shops
  • The cost of getting a single phone number varies wildly and the average cost has gone up compared to the old BT system
  • There are 120 service providers but BT (118 500) and The Number (118 118) dominate the market despite providing the most expensive and time-wasting 'services'
  • It's a whole heap cheaper to get numbers on the internet from the likes of 192.com.

If this is Ofcom's definition of a howling success, we tremble at the thought of what they'd call failure.

TRAVEL NEWS

New Labour's "Culture of Failure" strikes again

rail travelNetwork Rail, the government's successor to Railtrack, is a not-for-profit company; but that doesn't apply to the staff. The company made a loss of £750million last year (half of it taxpayers' cash) and failed to meet the government's arbitrary performance targets, but the five bosses are still getting 24% bonuses and the 15,000 staff are all going to cop for a £600 bonus. "For what?" one can't help but ask.

It's all about the money!The Government says:
Speedcams reduce road accidents by 40% and save 100 lives per year.

The Department of Transport website says:
Casualty rates are higher at 14% of speedcam sites [743 of 5,200 sites] and a total of 67 more people were killed or seriously injured at the 10 worst sites in the last year.

speed cameraThe money raised from speedcams is either used to buy more of them or paid to the Treasury as Stealth Tax. The government has no intention of removing speedcams from sites where the death and serious injury rate is up.
   Now tell us it isn't all about the money, Mr. Bliar.
p.s. If you're going to give a V-sign to a speedcam, use only one hand – or better still, get a passenger to do it. A motorist who fired 2-handed V-signs at a camera which had caught him out previously was fined £100 for not being in control of his vehicle (speeding cost him just £60).
   Which leaves BlackFlag News wondering why, if he was observing the speed limit when he fired off his V-signs, was the speedcam taking pictures of him?

It's all about the money!Please Park Here – so we can give you a ticket!

The number of parking tickets issued outside London has reached an annual rate of 2.1million; up 50% on last year; while parking tickets issued in London accounted for 70% of the national total of 7million. Councils are hiring private firms and setting targets for the amount of money they have to raise and while the revenue from motorists is going up, spending on public transport is going down. There's a message in there somewhere!

Nude Bike Protest in Spain

Cyclists stripped off and rode around the centres of Barcelona, Madrid and Saragossa on the 3rd weekend of the month. They wanted to tell the Spanish government that motorists have hijacked the city streets and turned them into hostile and dangerous places for everyone else.
   A bloke in Madrid was knocked down by a taxi before he could get his kit off and he startled everyone nearby by yelling slogans about bicycle lanes as he was stretchered away. His accident underlined the object of the demo – to prove the fragility of the human body compared to the a motor vehicle.

rail travelNetwork Rail has accused the RMT union of enlisting an army of ghosts to win its latest strike ballot. The list of voters included the staff of signal boxes which no longer exist, staff who are employed by the train companies and not Network Rail and a vast army of non-persons whose work location is officially logged as 'unknown'. Looks like the RMT's leaders have been to Zimbabwe to consult the Robert Mugabe 'Rig Your Own Election' service.

D-DAY + 60 YEARS NEWS

The Rest of the World Thanks America

The leaders of European nations, and Vice-Prez Bliar, gathered in Normandy to offer thanks to the Good Old US of A for winning World War II at the first weekend of this month. Vice-Prez Bliar offered his personal thanks to Prez Bush for the Americans who designed, built and flew the Spitfires that won the Battle of Britain; for the brainy Yanks who cracked the German military codes after they recovered an Enigma machine from a U-Boat; for the brave US sailors who crewed the Atlantic convoys which kept Britian fed and supplied; and for the heroic American soldiers who turned back the tide of Fascism in Europe.
   He then offered a special word of thanks to the film-makers of Hollywood, who have recreated these great American achievements so faithfully in compelling, Oscar-winning movies.

dead chicken
FOODY NEWS

Here's something else we all got totally wrong!

k1The latest bright idea to come out of the US food industry concerns oranges, tangerines and their cousins. Apparently, the Yanks reckon that the peel is packed with cholesterol-busting antioxidants. So customers are advised to reverse their normal practice. You should eat the peel and chuck the rest away.

k2Why the hell would the manufacturers of Ribena come up with a 'limited edition' variety called Fruits of the Swamp? Presumably, it's a 'limited edition' because they don't expect many people to buy the stuff because no one in their right mind would want to drink slimy, smelly, swamp-sludge. Apart from kids, of course.

k3The Consumers' Association has found that pre-packed foods sold in supermarkets contain vastly reduced amounts of nutrients and the price is inflated vastly compared to the 'loose' product. [Another statement of the blindingly obvious, then? Ed.]

k4The US Department of Agriculture has reclassified french fries [freedom fries] as fresh vegetables. Coated or battered vegetables [such as chips], the DoA says, are no different from a waxed lemon as far as freshness goes. They are not preserved and they retain their perishable quality.
   So if you have 5 bags of chips a day in the United States, you're fulfilling the UK government's requirement to consume '5 portions' of fruit and/or veg.

k5Smoking, the latest scare story says, will cut 10 years off your life and make all your teeth drop out.

fush"Make your minds up, you bastards!"

One day, the 'experts' are telling us to eat lots of oily fish for the omega-3 fatty acids in it. The next, they're telling us the fish contain so many different poisons, it's a wonder they can stagger into a Spanish trawler's undersized nets and croak.

Euro2004

"Who's the bastard in the black?"

What a useless bunch of sods the England football team are. Their loss to France in their opening match amounted to criminal negligence. Beckham, who missed the penalty, Heskey, who gave away that stupid free kick and Gerrard, who booted the ball back into his own penalty area, should all have been on the first plane home in deep disgrace. In fact, they couldn't have done a better job of losing if some Far East gambling syndicate had paid them a million quid a man to throw the match!

k1"Yeah! So what do you reckon that Swiss ref's going to spend his million quid on?"

k2Having beaten Switzerland on their way to 2nd place in their group, England had the misfortune to come up against a Swiss ref, who disallowed a perfectly good winning goal because the idle ref was too far away to see what was happening. So we got the black farce of a penalty shoot-out from a penalty spot which had been cut out of the pitch and filled with bog debris, it looked like. The whole thing turned into the sort of crude swindle we associate with the WWE rather than an allegedly legitimate football match, and we wuz bleedin' robbed, mate!

k3"Do you think the Boy Beckham is trying to make a career out of missing penalties?"

k4Flag-makers in the UK are on overtime to make enough Swiss ones to meet the demand of England fans, who want one to burn.
   The pub and off-licence trade, in contrast, has gone into mourning. Now that England has been swindled out of a place in the semi-finals, interest in Euro2004 has fallen right off and only Scotland's fans are in much of a mood for celebrating.

k5A mob of German 'football fans' rioted in Hamburg after their team lost to the Czech Republic by the odd goal in 3 and received the bum's rush from Euro 2004. The Hamburg police are blaming the riot on the city council's decision to try to win votes by showing the match on a giant TV screen in the city center.
   "If they would have voted against the city-centre TV," a police spokesman said, "then the damage would have been restricted to the homes of the hooligans."
   As a result of the carnage – Hamburg was described as 'looking like it did 60 years ago' by the time order was restored – the German national team is likely to be excluded from the 2006 World Cup unless the German government offers grovelling apologies and guarantees that there will be no further trouble.

k6Sven Erikson is paid £4million a year to coach England's football team, which is out of Euro2004. Karel Brueckner gets just £65K to do the same job for the Czechs, who are still in it. BlackFlag News would like to endorse the campaign to swap them over.

IRAQ NEWS

International 'Pass The Parcel'

Old Iraqi flagThe US governor in Iraq has had enough of the place. Paul Bremer handed over the country's pink slip to new prime minister Hoshyar Zebari 2 days early, then he got out of Dodge. Mr. Bremer was on a plane and heading for home, looking mightily relieved, within 2 hours of chucking in his job.
   Meanwhile, in neighbouring Turkey, Prez Bush and Vice-Prez Bliar congratulated each other on a job well done. And back in Iraq, another British soldier, Highland Fusilier Gordon Gentle, was murdered at Basra by a roadside bomb and Pte. Keith Maupin of the US army, who was abducted by terrorists in April, was also murdered.

This Month's Garbage

The Garbage 'Two Jags' Prescott's ambition to hold the biggest postal voting campaign in the EU in an attempt to gerrymander idle former Labour supporters into action.

 Cheltenham Borough Council has banned its gardeners from planting flowers on health & safety grounds. Apparently, some jobsworth decided that digging is highly dangerous because those doing it are at risk of spraining a wrist and then rushing to some ambulance-chasing lawyer to sue their employer.

 Labour party stooges & usual suspects insisting that their postal voting trial was a big success.

 That Swiss-Portuguese ref for England's final Euro2004 match.

 "You can see a doctor within 48 hours," promises Health Sec. John Reid. How does he manage that? By another New Labour fiddle. If there isn't an appointment available the first time you arrive at the surgery, the receptionist will tell you to come back another day when there are appointments available within 48 hours.

 
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