Romiley has survived its first month of sewer repairs and traffic jams around the single lane of road available in the centre of the village. Looks like we might even survive to November.
When the torrential rain on the first Thursday of the month slackened, but with lightning still flashing and thunder roaring overhead, a plague of frogs invaded Romiley's gardens. Where they all came from is a great mystery.
The Revolution is about to start?
Our Triv-Dem council has been messing about with Romiley's fancy new lamp posts again. Their minions have been sneaking around, screwing bits onto them. They look like innocent, tubular bars set about 15 feet off the ground but inventive minds are assuming that they are lynch-bars.
Attention Romiley residents wondering why your Council Tax is shooting up your Triv-Dem dominated council is planning to spend all your money on yet another pointless remake of the town centre at Stockport.
Rogue weather floods Romiley!
Smug Bugger arrested for plotting a coup in Equatorial Guinea
"My wife made me do it," he said as he was being led away in handcuffs. "All I was trying to do was depose a dictator with blood-soaked hands and secure his country's oilfields for more enlightened regimes. You let me do it in Iraq so why not in Equatorial Guinea?"
The chief executive of the Football Association has resigned after committing crimes against humanity. His offences include taking his turn with the office bike and not issuing a press release containing the full gory details to Her Majesty's Press. The FA's director of communications stands accused of spin-doctoring. Apparently, he tried to do a deal with the News of the Screws under which the coach of the England football team's dealings with the bike would be deployed but the chief executive's wouldn't.
More good news for savers this month. Interest rates went up to 4.75%.
Whistle-blower gets the boot
Steve Moxton of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate has been sacked for exposing the government's cover-up of visa abuse. IND officers were ordered to authorize thousands of visas for bogus 'self-employed' Eastern Europeans without the usual background checks.
Serial dodginess, dossier-wise
John Scarlett, head of the Secret Intelligence Service and 'owner' of a dodgy dossier on Iraq, is being robust about accusations of trying to sex up another Iraq dossier. He just shrugged off accusations of trying to insinuate lies into the Iraq Survey Group's report on the search for Saddam's non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Dirty Ditch is the public's fault
The public are to blame for the closure of Princess Di's Ditch, according to a government spokeswoman. They spoilt it with 'irresponsible behaviour', which included dropping litter in it and letting dogs and children play in it, which made the water all muddy.
Cash without responsibility
Anyone who gives cash to Data, Oxfam, Plan UK, Tearfund, Unicef and WaterAid might care to consider redirecting their generosity. Why? Because the cash could well be used to buy a newspaper ad full of blatant Labour party propaganda. The people running these charities seem to think that once the money is in their grubby hands, they can spend it on their personal political causes instead of wasting it on the Third World.
HSBC is doing its bit for the Third World by shipping 7,500 British banking jobs to countries where the workforce can be paid in peanuts. So if you approve of a bank cutting costs to boost its profits rather than reduce its charges, HSBC is the one for you!
The government has decided that it will have to get tough with the punters if Diana's Ditch is to be reopened. In future, customers will have to read and sign a 3-page contract cum list of rules before buying a ticket (guide price £5.00). Their behaviour will be supervised inside the fenced-off area by a special Ditch Patrol, which will have powers of arrest and the power to impose spot cash fines on offenders.
A government spokesman has announced that rural planning regulations will be changed to prevent the construction of any more 'classical-style' country houses. "Concrete, steel, pipes on the outside and the more outlandish the better" is what New Labour wants to see dotted around its concreted countryside.
The government is sending in the army to sort out alcohol abusers. Public drunks face being shipped off to our equivalent of Guantanamo Bay. So, given the number of binge-boozers around, if the firemen go on strike, Iraq will be on its own.
Gibraltar celebrates 300 years of British rule
There were street parties for the people and the politicos had an official junket with the Royal Navy supervising. 15,000 Gibraltarians linked hands to form a 7-mile human chain right around the Rock as a demonstration of possession and defiance. A good time was had by everyone but Gibraltar's grumpy Spanish neighbours and the chicken-hearted Yanks, who were invited but stayed away to avoid upsetting the Spanish.
The end of the nocturnal Big Bang?
The government has made it illegal to let off fireworks after 11 p.m. except on Bonfire Night (midnight extension) and New Year's Eve. Not a word on how they plan to enforce the new legislation, however.
The Mysterious Organized Crime Agency?
That's what the name sounded like on the wireless when a government spokesman announced that the UK's FBI-clone will open for business in 2006 with 5,000 agents and a director general on £150K. So hijackers, people traffickers, fraudsters, the IRA, other drug traffickers and those who finance major robberies still have a couple of years left to make hay.
Inglish Litracher? No thanks!
A-level customers who can't spell and have not knowledge of grammar are still getting A and A* grades in English literature exams. Who's to blame? Mainly idle and illiterate teachers, who can't; or who are incapable of; correcting work done by their customers.
Tories to slay the 'Human Rights' dragon
Compensation lawyers everywhere were up in arms in an instant when shadow home secretary David Davis (left) offered a challenge to their undeserved income.
Postal Voting? No thanks!
The Electoral Commission has ruled that New Labour's all-postal voting experiment was a flop. It was badly organized by ministers and their minions, who hadn't thought the scheme through, and wide open to fraud. But it was inflicted on the nation in the hope of boosting the Labour Party's vote. As a result, the public now has no confidence in postal voting. Worse, the government knew that effective anti-fraud measures could not be put in place for the June postal elections but it went ahead anyway. And the same applies to the November postal referendum on a local assembly for the North-East.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
Phishers In Action
The government wants to give drink drivers their licence back early if they're prepared to have an in-car breathalyzer fitted. The offender will have to use the device for 18 months. Critics of the scene have pointed out that a serial drunk could get a friend, or pay someone, to blow into the device on his/her behalf. But the government isn't worried. Why? Because the boozer will have to pay £150 per month for the device, which means a donation of £2,700 to the government's coffers for the 18 month period of use.
If you want to kill someone, Bedfordshire is a cheap place to do it. Lorry driver William Ishani crashed into a car killing all four occupants. His penalty at Luton Crown Court was a fine of £1,000 and a 1-year driving ban.
Every bloody thing is made in China these days. And the list will include uniforms for the British Army, the Ministry of Defence has decided. The switch will save £23million at a cost of hundreds of jobs in the UK.
MPs' expenses for the last 3 year are to be revealed under the Freedom of Information Act. The Westminster Wonders are now in a panic about being shown up as greedy buggers when the customers start making comparisons. The move is expected to lead to a league table showing exactly how much value for money each MP offers.
Another Stealth Tax in the making
Your caring government is planning to fit scales on all refuse control vehicles as soon as a crony can be picked to supply them. All unsorted rubbish the stuff that doesn't go in one of the recycling bins/bags will be weighed and the householder will be charged an appropriate fee for removing it.
The government intends to cut rate support grants even more (by stealth, of course) and then give councils the option to charge for 'unsorteds' so that the councils will collect the flak for taking more cash off the customers.
New Labour's Stealth Taxes to fund its Fat Government Policy have cost the nation the equivalent of 16.5 p in the pound on the basic rate of income tax.
Inheritance Tax, thanks to the government's failure to allow for rising house prices, is up 75% since 1997 to £2.8billion per year, making it another New Labour Stealth Tax.
How much does it cost to trap a wild mink in the Outer Hebrides? The mink-eradication scheme operating there; funded by the Scottish Executive and the European Commission among others; can do it for £10,312.50 per head. But hey, who expects value for money from the people who created the monstrous cost overrun of the Scottish parliament building and the corrupt shambles which is Common Europe?
Another Big Bank rip-off
The independent Banking Advisory Service is accusing the big banks of ripping off their customers with Stealth Charges. Every time they use a credit or debit card abroad, customers are hit with a hidden 'currency conversion fee'. Buy a train ticket, a meal or a present with plastic and there's an extra 2.75% to pay, which is hidden in the conversion calculation rather than listed openly on the bank's bill. And anyone using a cash dispenser abroad will pay an additional charge of at least 2%. Some banks, like Halifax and NatWest, charge the above double fee PLUS an extra fee for using the card abroad. No wonder the major banks can knock out squillion-pound profits.
Customers are fleeing from British Gas after their double-figure gas and electricity price rises. Meanwhile, Powergen, the 2nd biggest energy supplier, has been fined £700K for trying to prevent its customers from switching to a cheaper supplier. So they don't sound like a good bet for a switch.
Own A Great Work of Art!
Regular drinking of alcoholic beverages is good for the brain, researchers at University College, London, have found. Drinking up to 30 units per week at a steady pace (not all at one go on a binge) can improve verbal fluency and mathematical reasoning. But booze does nothing for the memory.
Viagra manufacturer takes on the spammers
Drug giant Pfizer has started a legal campaign against spammers and online pharmacies which are flogging fake Viagra. The fight-back was prompted by a survey which showed that 25% of recipients of spam emails about Viagra believe they come from Pfizer.
The new 5-in-one vaccine for kids is said to be safe because it contains only dead viruses. Which says what about MMR, which contains 3 live viruses?
Hot weather is bad for you it's official! The latest shock-horror study has proved that hot weather encourages air pollution to hang around and nanoparticles in the polluted air can cause 'sticky blood' and promote heart disease. So all those who are worried about the effects of Climate Change are advised to head for Iceland at the earliest opportunity.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
After complaints from frustrated tourists, the USA has put back its demand that visitors have a biometric passport. UK citizens with a machine-readable passport issued after 2004/10/26 will now not need a visa in addition to enter the United States. The deadline has been postponed for 1 year following chaos at the US Embassy's visa desk and accusations of profiteering by charging a sky-high price for visas.
Not guilty, mate!
Poland is claiming that the Warsaw uprising against the Nazi occupiers during World War II has not been properly recognized. This is total bollocks. World War II has been the subject of innumerable books and articles, and it is an integral part of our TV lives, especially on the digital channels.
Political Panics in the USA?
The US government stands accused to issuing terrorist warnings on the basis of information which is at least 4 years old. Although the 'threat' was supposed to come from vehicle bombs, security guards built up long queues of people on the streets as they checked identity tags before admitting people to their place of work.
on Liberty Island, the Statue of Liberty has been reopened to visitors after standing empty for 3 years. The tourist authority clearly thought that the terrorist alert was based on information which was too old to be of any consequence.
Adolf's owner loses appeal
Roland Thein (aka Tach) of Berlin has lost his appeal against a 13-month suspended sentence imposed for 'displaying Nazi symbols' and insulting a police officer. Mentioning the war remains an extremely serious crime in Germany.
Arnie takes a lot of licking
Austria has issued a 100 eurocent stamp to celebrate the 57th birthday of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the film star turned politician who is now governor of California, USA. 73% of the people who responded to a CNN Quickvote said Big Arnie doesn't deserve his stamp. Miserable gits!
An exhibition at the Old Town House gallery in Cape Town next month will show paintings by 17th Century Dutch masters hung facing the wall. The idea is to let the customers see details on the back of the pictures, such as old attempts to preserve the canvas, and labels and comments attached by collectors over the centuries.
After the killer kangaroo plague in Canberra last month, it is now Melbourne's turn for an invasion. Colonies of Argentine ants in the city have stopped fighting each other and formed a 60-mile long supercolony. As a result, they are now a major threat to native Aussie wildlife and serial home invaders as far as the human population of Melbourne is concerned.
AUGUST SPECIAL OFFER
July 20th 2004 marked the 60th anniversary of one of the plots to kill Adolf Hitler. BlackFlag News would like to offer its readers the inside story of this dramatic event as told by one of Romiley's premiere authors.
Category : Military History, World War II, 1944
Researchers in Scotland have found that acid rain reduces the amount of methane released by that country's wetlands. Low pH rain encourages rival bacteria to thrive at the expense of methane-producers, and small amounts of pollution can reduce emissions of a serious greenhouse gas by 30-40%. Unfortunately, acid rain has no effect on the large amounts of methane generated by Highland cows and sheep.
Professor Alan Flowers from Kingston University in Surrey has been chucked out of Belarus after accusing the Russians of messing about with the weather to create lots of rain in that part of the world. Why were they doing it? To keep radioactive fallout from the world's worst nuclear disaster in the Chernobyl area and prevent it from blowing eastwards towards Moscow.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
For the benefit of those who always insisted that Labour is the party of the criminal you've been right all along. The Home Office has admitted its policy of closing police stations by stealth at a rate of 3 per month. With 262 fewer police stations to be wary of since 1997, life has become so much easier for the nation's burglars, vandals and muggers.
It's official : magistrates are too lenient with uninsured drivers. So the police are being given the power to crush vehicles belonging to drivers who won't; or can't; insure them.
Opposition leader Howard goes for Lor 'n' Order
If elected to the top job, Michael Howard will make life tough for criminals. His master plan involves building more prisons and keeping sociopaths separated from the community rather than running around loose in it.
A serial rapist on weekend leave from an open prison has won a one-third share of a monster Lotto Extra jackpot. But he can't spend his £7million windfall as the prison authorities have decided that his sudden wealth has turned him into a flight risk and they've jammed his ass into a secure prison. And if his victims decide to sue him for compensation, he might have nothing left to come out to, poor chap!
You are so busted, mate!
The government is going to make the police in England and Wales arrest people for every offence on the statute book, no matter how minor. Defacing buildings with graffiti, dropping litter, abusive behaviour in public and not voting Labour are expected to be the main players.
A Berlin police precinct has run out of cash because it has blown the annual budget, and more, on repairs to crashed police cars. The section chief has ordered his staff not to spend any more money for the rest of the year.
Prisons in some states of the good old USA are charging their inmates rent. Anyone banged up in New York State, for instance, has to pay $80 per day plus extras, which include haircuts, telephone charges and medical expenses.
Don't buy property in Spain
In particular, don't buy property in the autonomous Valencia region. Corrupt town hall officials there can declare land occupied by a foreign-owned villa 'needed for public or social benefit'. Which means that the owner can lose half the garden or even the whole plot including the villa. And there is no appeal against the decision.
Swings & roundabouts of justice
If you want to be fitted up by the police, try West Yorkshire, where they busted a driver for speeding at 115 mph in a Fiat Punto. The unlucky driver had to spend £2,500 and sell his car to fund his battle for justice. The case was thrown out when it got to court but there's no sign of the coppers involved being charged with perverting the course of justice.
Keeping the customers happy
The Chinese government wants to cremate the nation's dead to save land. The people, however, prefer burial. So a bloke in Guandong province set up a branch of Murder, Inc. so that his customers could give the state a murdered body for cremation while burying their loved one in secret.
Russian scientists are claiming they have discovered wreckage from an alien craft at the site of the Tunguska explosion in Siberia. They say they have found the remains of an extra-terrestrial device. They also found a 50kg rock which was sent to Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, for analysis.
Perseid meteors? Two wet nights in Romiley, no bother!
Scientists at Oregon State University have invented a clingfilm wrapping which keeps food fresh and can also be eaten. It contains natural preservatives and it can be fortified with vitamins and minerals as a useful dietary supplement. The film is made from chitosan, which is found in crab and shrimp shells. This material is normally thrown away, like inedible clingfilm, so converting it into edible packaging provides a double relief for those saddled with the problems of waste disposal.
Good News! Heinz soups have new labels!
Staff at the UK's rail information call centres in India are getting their own back for the period of British rule. They are giving out wrong or deliberately misleading information on train times and fares at least 80% of the time to confound their former colonial masters. The staff get away with their disinformation by being "consistently patient, friendly and polite" to the customers.
Morality & the Driving Test
Prez-For-Life (since 2002/08/08) Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan (Iran & Afghanistan's northern neighbour) is at it again. After successfully renaming the months and the days of the week after important events in his life (see BlackFlag News for August 2002), he has decided that learner drivers in his former Soviet republic will have to pass an additional test. The test is based on his Rukhnama or 'Spiritual World' book, which he created as a moral guide to the nation, and which is an essential part of the curriculum for schools and universities. Luckless budding motorists will have to attend a 16-hour course on old Turky's eccentricities to 'ensure they are educated in the spirit of the high moral values of Turkmenistan's society'.
Virgin's novelty tilting trains have other tricks to entertain the customers such as overflowing toilets and self-blocking radiators. The computers which report when the toilets are full keep getting constipation, which results in trains going out with only one working bog. So booking a seat can become incredibly important!
Al Qaida kitten menaces airliner
A Belgian airliner had to make an emergency landing after a kitten ran amok in the cockpit. Its owner had taken the animal aboard an SN Brussels Airlines flight to Vienna. She took the kitten out of its box when a child wanted to stroke it.
"Are you British, sir? Good! We'll rip you off."
If you book a Eurostar train journey on the Internet tell them you're a Yank and pay in dollars because the bastards will rip you off if you pay in pounds!
British Airways plans to sack all staff who go on strike over this month's bank holiday. They will be replaced by asylum seekers. A government spokesman said: "Offering asylum seekers the dignity of employment at the expense of those who don't appreciate it can only be a good thing for BA, air travellers and the British economy."
Christina Lauwers of Antwerp would love to register her new car but she can't because the official Belgian databank says she's been dead since November, 2002. Her husband was able to get her identity card reactivated soon after he received an official 'sorry for your loss'. But over a year and a half later, Belgian computers are still refusing to accept that someone they've killed off can be brought back to life.
An inventive German pensioner was able to charge around the suburbs of Ulm at over 60 kph after he fitted a chainsaw engine to his wife's bike. But the next thing he knew, he'd been busted for operating a motor vehicle without a licence. He insisted he was just testing an experimental vehicle but the police weren't impressed. But they did have the decency to send him home on a borrowed (engineless) bike.
The train operators are running a very neat scam. They advertise cut-price tickets which have to be booked ages in advance. But when people ring up, they say the tickets aren't available because Network Rail is doing engineering work. Which leaves the customer with no choice but to buy a 'saver' ticket, which doesn't save very much, or a 'standard' ticket at a rip-off price.
... as yet another referee's guide dog pays the ultimate price. Senior referee Earl Hebner (left, foreground) looks on and weeps as wrestler turned film star The Rack inters his latest guide dog. The unfortunate animal strayed too close to the 'action' during a clash of the WWE's largest Titans. Mr. Hebner had to be rescued by security staff when he was left blundering about without guidance following his ring partner's unfortunate demise.
The man who was played by John Wayne in his own biopic has died at 89. Adair learned to use explosives while serving with a bomb disposal squad during World War II. He went on to write the book on extinguishing and capping blazing oil wells and he was rightly proud that none of his workers suffered a serious injury while fighting a fire.
The lady who shrieked her way to stardom in the clutches of King Kong (picture left) has died at 96. Canadian-born Fay Wray (picture right) began her film career in her teens as an extra. She got regular work as the heroine in silent films, and during the 1930s, she starred in enough horror films to earn the title Hollywood's Scream Queen. Although she appeared in some 100 films, she is fated always to be associated with King Kong.
Prez Bush has finally admitted that he was a little premature in declaring the war in Iraq over 15 months ago. It's still going on but he still hopes to win it eventually.
WoMD? Wot WoMD?
The head of Saddam Hussein's nuclear programme has announced that the former World's Favourite Despot scrapped all of Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction after the first Gulf War in 1991. His news comes as a huge embarrassment to the administrations in the United States and Great Britain, which went to war to protect the world from the non-existent WoMD.
Al Qaida suspected of weather control
As Tropical Storm Bonnie and Hurricane Charley closed in on Florida, the US Homeland Security Department was studying the possibility that Al Qaida weather control could be behind them. Florida has not been hit by double tropical storms since 1906 and, with a presidential election looming, this month's bilateral assault aroused suspicions in US government circles.
The war against racialism hots up
White coppers are rushing to take the Metropolitan Police to various courts and tribunals in search of compensation. Most of the complaints come from people who feel they have been overlooked for promotion. All of them are grounded in deliberate favouritism shown to members of ethnic minorities at the expense of more able but ethnically inconvenient white coppers. Has racialism against white Brits had its day? Another feeding frenzy by the nation's lawyers will certainly hasten its demise.
A Romiley athlete is a hot favourite to win a medal in the Solo Synchronized Swimming event at this month's games. Clyde Wydey is confident that he will be able to see off hot competition from China, the current No. 1 nation in synchronized events.
Elsewhere in Athens, the Greek authorities have demonstrated an appalling lack of gratitude to a Canadian bloke who crashed the synchronized diving event in a tutu. His antics put off the Chinese team, who were in the lead, and let a pair of Greeks take the gold medal. But instead of offering grateful thanks, the miserable Greeks have jammed the intruder's ass in gaol for 5 months.
in Norway: A bloke swimming in the sea off Birkeland got the shock of his life when a metre-long snake swam up his trunks. To make matters worse, everyone else in the area set off for the shore at high speed and left him to his fate. Luckily, the reptile was a grass snake, which is non-poisonous but which will give someone a nasty nip if harassed.
in Sweden: Jan-Ove Sundberg reckons he has caught Selma; a sea-serpent rival to the Loch Ness Monster; on film. He has a 20-second clip showing something 30-40 centimetres long [Not exactly huge, then? Ed.], which is black in colour and possibly has touches of red and white.
Inheritance Tax is theft by the state it's a tax on sound stewardship.
Niagra Falls but Viagra Rises!
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