Black Flag News
2004/September
   FINAL
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PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
on behalf of

The Black Flag's Editorial Department

start quoteWe could apologize for any inaccuracies in this issue but we're not going to.end quote

SPORTY NEWS

American Crunch is back!!!

NFL new seasonThe new NFL season began in New England with warm rain from the tail end of Hurricane Frances soaking Foxborough stadium. We had a display of strong offenses overcoming weaker defenses, and the final result was left in doubt right up to the end. The Indianapolis Colts don't usually win at the home of the Patriots, who are the current Super Bowl champions. They didn't win again this year because they kept self-destructing in the red zone.
UpdateThe standard of officiating is particularly dire this season. The Washington Redskins, for instance, were robbed blind when they played the Dallas Cowboys at home in the last Monday Night match of the month. The particular game-changing moments were the officials' failure to spot a textbook example of pass interference in the end zone by a Dallas defensive back and a Dallas punt-returner making an obvious fumble, which was recovered by the Redskins and then ruled not a fumble by the blind officials.

#Rules which must be obeyed without question!

The referee for a Southern League match between Leighton Town and Harlow held up the start by 45 minutes when he found that the goalposts were two inches too low. That was how long it took groundsmen and the home team's physiotherapist and vice chairman to dig a trench around the offending posts. The match ended in a 2-all draw and a Football Association spokesman said the ref did "a brilliant job of applying the rules".

v5Europe beat the USA at golf in the Ryder Cup – thrashed, more like – and there were all sorts of snide remarks about how easily the British become Europeans when they're on the winning side. Which encourages the obvious reply that Europe's politicians make us feel like we're permanently on the losing side and that's why we don't want to know them.

FerrariCongrats to the Chinese government for building a Formula One track at Shanghai with places where the drivers can overtake. If F1 is to drag itself out of the doldrums, it needs to encourage the construction of new venues like this one and junk the old courses where overtaking is impossible and the 'race' is just a dull procession: e.g. Monaco.

Special Offer for Our Readers

BlackFlag News would like to offer its readers an opportunity to read this communal work by Romiley Literary Circle's authors. [Always subject to revision if inspiration strikes!]

The History of the Millennium Dome after the Bombing

The History of the Millennium Dome after the BombingPrime Minister Angus McBlair had wished his Millennium Dome on an ungrateful nation and he planned to hold a millennium change junket one year too early. The Millennium Dome Bomber was determined to take the wind out of his sails. Find out who wins and who loses as the Millennium Dome's explosive history unfolds from December 1999 onwards ...

   Learn why the Book was written on the RLC website
   Read the Blurb & Comments on the RLC website
   Read the Book on the RLC website

Category : Contemporary History @ the Millennium Change

POST NEWS

The Great Royal Mail Robbery

The Royal Mail has missed all 15 of its targets for deliveries for the period April-June 2004. So the government, which is no great expert at hitting its own arbitrary targets, is going to impose a huge fine as a penalty for failure.
   But hang on a minute – who owns the Royal Mail?
   Actually, it's the government.
   So if the government fines the Royal Mail and stamp prices have to go up to pay the fine, doesn't that amount to yet another Stealth Tax?

New Labour, New Sneaky Taxes, New Swindles

Note for collectors: the stamps come from the Great Mugs Of Our Time miniature sheet

v1David Mills, boss of the Post Office, is a bit of a cheeky chappy on the quiet. He's quite happy to cut staff numbers and build up long queues because he reckons standing in a queue is "a social experience for most people".
   According to Mr. Mills, his customers don't mind standing in line for anything up to 35 minutes** because they can chat to one another and have a jolly good time.
   **The Post Office used to have a waiting time target of 5 minutes maximum but it junked the target, following New Labour policy, when it could not be met.

crystal stampNew venture in Philatelic Advertising

The Austrian postal service has commissioned a stamp with a surface coating of actual glass crystal. Coating manufacturer Swarovski reckons that their product is tough enough to stand up to the battering which it will receive in automatic sorting machinery. The coating is 'ironed' on to the conventional paper base of the stamps using a specially created adhesive and it is decorated with the Swarovski swan motif.

Police in unexpected places

The post office at Watton, Norfolk, has added a new line to its range of services – it's now a part-time police station. As well as buying stamps and collecting their pension, customers can now hand in lost property, leave messages for coppers who will probably ignore them and get basic advice on crime prevention.
   The new concept in rural policing has become necessary as a result of New Labour's policy of closing police stations at an average rate of 3 per month since their arrival in 1997. In rural villages where the post office has been closed, it is hoped that the newsagent will provide a 'police-station corner'.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Stealth Taxes

Did you know that New Labour has imposed over 90 Stealth Taxes on its customers? That the total burden of new indirect taxes is the equivalent of 16.5p on the basic rate of income tax? That some people are paying out half of their income in taxes and charges?

There is a list of the Stealth Taxes on the Garbagegate website.
Locate Stealth Tax Chronicle to read 'em and weep!

Home News
HOME NEWS

Buck House security beefed up
– Superheroes on duty!

Super HeroHome Secretary Blunk announced a radical upgrade in security at royal palaces this month. The latest moves are designed to accommodate the Royal Family's wish that Buckingham Palace should remain accessible to the people of the UK and not become a fortress.
   To achieve this, the usual security systems and armed guards have been supplemented by a rota of Superheroes. Should anyone intrude on the premises with evil intent, the duty Superhero will swoop down on the offender(s) and neutralize them in short order.
   The Metropolitan Police Commissioner with special responsibility for Royal security said, "This is a step in the right direction in that it removes the need for armed guards to shoot intruders. Blood is often difficult to remove after the event and frequently poses a biohazard to the clean-up crew. Further, Superheroes have a proven track record against criminal activity of all types."

v1Michael Howard, if elected to the nation's top job, will eliminate MRSA from New Labour's dirty hospitals. He will put in place 'a sustained and effective programme of action'. The government responded by saying it had set a target for MRSA reduction.
   Even better, Mr. Howard has promised that everyone will inherit one million pounds if he wins the next general election while all New Labour has on offer is higher inheritance tax for more customers.

Speed cam signSelf-justification exercise hits the rocks

The London Safety Camera Partnership issued a self-congratulatory leaflet in which it claimed that "speeding causes over one-quarter of all deaths on London's roads". But the leaflets had to be pulped when the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the claim was totally bogus. Motoring organizations were surprised but pleased to find that a little truth can sometimes leak into the government propaganda campaigns around its Stealth Tax activities.

Work & Pensions Secretary Andrew Smith has been sacked for being crap at his job and a Brownite to boot. He failed to do anything about the devastation to state and private pensions caused by New Labour's predations, and he thought it was okay to let people make fraudulent incapacity benefit claims.

The Scottish Parliament – Scotland's Millennium Dome – has opened for business even though this typical example of New Labour in action is not yet working properly – they couldn't find the key to open the front door, for instance. The carbuncle is 3 years late and 11 times over budget at £438 million. And, with so many Scots persons in the government, no one should be surprised to learn that English taxpayers had to cough up a big chunk of the dosh.

v2The nation rejoices as Alan "Quitter" Milburn returns to government after abandoning his beloved family to become Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He will become Minister for Getting New Labour Re-elected – a strictly party-political job for which he will receive a fat salary paid out of the taxpayer's pocket.
   New Labour – New Abuses

v3New Labour plans 24-hour schools to let working parents choose their own attendance hours for maximum convenience.

!Comment : reshuffling a bunch of deadlegs still gives you a bunch of deadlegs.

v4After the wettest August in the whole history of the universe, Yorkshire Water has launched a campaign to get its customers to 'use water sparingly'. Notorious for having the country's leakiest pipes and doing least about them, the company now seems to be suffering from leaky thinking.

v5The Welsh Development Agency has banned the use of the term nick-picking (first use recorded in 1951) because it thinks it has something to do with slave trading (abolished 200 years ago) and might offend ethnic minorities. The term Brain-storming is also banned because it might offend brainless idiots, like the people running the WDA.

!Taking a nap for precisely an hour and a quarter during the afternoon is the secret of health, a long life and increased productivity.

v6Researchers at the prestigious London Institute for Political Studies have achieved an empirical proof of the maxim: "If a politician tells you something 3 times, he (or she) is lying." Analysis of the recent publication New Labour: The Compleat Speeches is believed to have provided the conclusive elements of the proof.

!Go out in the sun and you'll die of cancer. Stay indoors and you'll die of vitamin D deficiency. Decisions, decisions!

Downing Street scriptwriters on strike for more time off

They worked round the clock on the Lord 'Bouffant' Bragg revelation about Prime Monster Bliar contemplating resigning 'for family reasons'. And when it produced derision rather than the anticipated sympathy, they had to work round the clock again to rewrite Mrs. Bliar's script for her appearance on TV to flog her book.
   After including a new section rubbishing Lord Bragg, an exhausted scriptwriter commented: "We need a home life, too. It's all very well coming up with a brilliant new story line after a flop, but they should have some consideration for the people who have to churn out their garbage."

v1Rural affairs minister Alun Michael pulled out of a celebration of the 'right to tramp all over other people's land' because he wanted to avoid thuggery and violence by envious Socialists.

v2Scoring 46% in an Edexcel GCSE higher maths exam is worth an A-Grade!

#The government is purging the civil service of all those with right-wing views. But Communists, Trots, Maoists (if any survive) and envious Socialists will be allowed to remain on the public payroll. If this is New Labour's idea of balanced government, it's time for the customers to reach for the Trade Descriptions Act!

!"I will not negotiate with terrorists," Vice-Prez Bliar said, referring to the Iraqi criminals who are threatening to murder Briton Ken Bigley. Mr. Bliar made his announcement right after leaving a negotiating session with the IRA, an Irish terrorist gang which uses exactly the same methods as their fellow criminals in Iraq.
   Is this what one would expect from a 'pretty straight kind of guy'?

DoshNew Stealth Tax on the way

The government is currently raking in £105 million per year from insurance companies for treating road accident victims in NHS hospitals. Its next move is to extend this wheeze to accidents at work and it expects to rake in a further £150 million per year.
   Insurance premiums for motorists have soared to pay for the present stealth tax. The new stealth tax is expected to add 5% to business liability insurance premiums, some of which went up by 20-50% in 2003/4. Motorists and businesses pay for the NHS already via general taxation and National Insurance. But New Labour thinks they should pay twice.

Government duplicity on migration exposed

263,000 migrant 'workers' came to the UK in 2002 but the government, for its own reasons, said the figure was 150,600. 270,000 'workers' arrived in 2003. And instead of working, 8% of them promptly signed on for unemployment or disability benefit. But the government would prefer its customers not to know this.
   More incompetence from the Dept. of Work & Pensions but no sign of anyone getting the sack for it.

Mugger Sieg heiling
"Sieg heil, Brothers!"
Psychologically flawed Mugger delivers hysterical rant to Labour party conference

The speech to his party conference by Chancellor Broon, the man who put the steal in Stealth Tax, whipped the delegates into such a frenzy that Poland started to become nervous about another invasion.
   But Chancellor II Alan 'Quitter' Milburn was able to throw a bucket of cold water over them with a warning that ranting louder and louder about this government's mythical past achievements does not impress the electorate.

Wash here!Get scrubbed!

Hospital Zone

ERADICATE MRSA

Please wash thoroughly
after handling each customer

RECYCLING NEWS

Russian project not going with a bang!

An enterprising bloke living near an army training site in Morozovo, Novosibirsk, Russia, found an interesting use for some surplus shells. He built a burglar-deterrent fence out of them. Unfortunately, busy-body police officers spotted the fence and called in a bomb disposal unit of the Russian army.
   Other residents of the area have used shells still full of explosive in the construction of houses, outdoor toilets and even pieces of furniture. The Russian military has now issued a directive requiring them to stop it.

Bizarre, incompetent and dishonest

It took 5 months' digging by the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee but the truth is now out – when it comes to 'recycling' Britain's overseas real estate, the Foreign Office can be relied on to make a hash of it.
   The UK has acquired properties overseas worth £1billion in the form of embassies and similar official buildings. But in 1998, New Labour decided to sell some of them off to buy computer systems.
   A good idea? Not if the sales are in the hands of commercial dunderheads, who have a knack of buying replacement buildings in a rising property market and not selling the original building until after the market collapses. And if that isn't bad enough, Foreign Office ditherers are in the habit of buying the flogged off building back at a hefty nett loss to the taxpayer.
   The bunglers at the Foreign Office tried to hide their incompetence behind a screen of bogus commercial confidentiality. And even after the cover-up attempt failed, they continued to lie about what they had done and pretend that they had made a profit for the taxpayer.
   Nice to see that Britain's assets are in such safe hands, Mr. Straw.

v1The Blood Transfusion Service in Prague has discovered an excellent way to bring in customers. Instead of a cup of tea and a biscuit, new Czech blood donors are offered 2 free pints of beer and a year's subscription to a beer magazine. Punters are now arriving by the busload from all over the place.

PARLIAMENT NEWS

Whose House of Commons is it anyway?

"The people of this country have an absolute right to wander around in the chamber of the House of Commons and keep an eye on what the New Labour spivs are up to."
   "But what if they'd been terrorists and killed everyone in there?"
   "There was just a handful of ragged-arsed, envious Socialists on the Labour benches for the anti-hunting and 'Don't mention the war!' debate."
   "So they wouldn't have been missed?"
   "Quite. And the rest of us would have been obliged to stand back to avoid being killed by the rush of party hacks eager to fill the dead men's boots."
   "So there's no need to spend a fortune on more security?"
   "Security matters at Buck House because the Queen is one of a kind. Politicians are infinitely replaceable. But no doubt the government will take the opportunity to hand fat security contracts to the usual cronies. And the Westminster Wonders will become even more insulated from the real world."

the chamberIt Wisnae Me!

Lord Fraser's report on the Scottish Parliament Building scandal has been published. He concluded, predictably, that no one is to blame for the shambles.
   The first-ever First Minister, Donald Dewar (Labour), was so eager get his gift to the Scottish nation built; from a combination of purely personal and sordid political motives; that he let himself be bamboozled by his civil servants. Sir Muir Russell, then head of the Scottish civil service, had a 'semi-detached' attitude to the project and his minions didn't have a clue what they were doing.
the windows   The estimates of cost and build-time were ludicrously inadequate and informed supervision of the construction was non-existent. Anyone who tried to object to design delays, poor management and a lack of leadership was shown the door. The civil service committed the ultimate crime of negligence by handing out contracts which made the taxpayer, not the contractor, responsible for cost over-runs.
   The MSPs went along with the whole shambles like a bunch of sheep. No one was ever willing to take responsibility for blunders, and that is why the motto in the main entrance to the Scottish parliament building reads simply: "It wisnae me! Honest!" And yet, despite all this, no one is to blame.
   Where would we be without these noble lords who see no evil and speak no evil?

Peter HainCommons security safe in his hands?

Peter Hain, minister for digging up cricket pitches and general vandalism, believes that he is just the person to take over security of the House of Commons. Although he has never held a proper job in his life, he was arrested regularly in his youth and he is confident that he knows how the criminal mind works.
   His first big idea is to fit turnstiles at all doorways in the Commons. Once MPs and staff have got the habit of using a swipe-card to pass through the turnstiles, Hain plans to introduce a charging regime to discourage 'unnecessary circulation'. He is confident that having to pay to pass through the turnstiles will discourage intruders.
   The picture (above) shows Hain being dragged away by the police to have a sense of proportion fitted. Sadly, the operation was a failure and he was transformed from a destructive yob to a blustering old duffer.

the EU flag, the Triple CrossTime for a common language – English

The EU has shot itself in the foot again. It doesn't have enough translators to handle every combination of the 20 official languages (up from 11 since the last enlargement). Worse, there aren't enough qualified translators around in Europe to staff the Council of Europe, the European Commission and the Strasbourg Parliament. So anyone from the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovenia or any of the newcomers can forget about offering their point of view to a committee or the full works.
   There is a move afoot to impose shorter speeches and more concise reports on the euro-wafflers, but it is not expected to have much effect. EU translation costs are currently running at over €1billion per year. As English and German are becoming de facto languages of choice, the time has come to bite the bullet and settle for English as the universal European language. Especially as Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria will be adding to the translation burden in 2007.
   p.s. Turkey wants to join the club, too.

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Coming soon: Coga – yoga with cats; Hoga – yoga with hamsters; Poga – yoga with parrots; Toga – yoga with tortoises

DEPARTURES

Professor Fred Whipple

The astronomer and expert on comets, meteors and meteorites has died at 97. In the 1950s, when he was professor of astronomy at Harvard University, he published his concept of the comet as a 'dirty snowball' consisting of rocky debris glued together with ices of methane, carbon dioxide and water. He met often savage criticism from those who believed that comets were nebulous clouds of dust and small rocky particles but he was proved right in 1986 when the European Space Agency's Giotto probe arrived at comet Halley. The probe returned pictures of a splintered, rocky nucleus which was rich in frozen gases, and confirmed that jets of gas cause a comet's orbit to vary slightly, as Whipple had suggested.
   Professor Whipple worked on radar countermeasures (chaff) during World War Two, he promoted the development of meteor tracking systems and helped to develop radio astronomy. When the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, the first artificial Earth satellite, only Whipple's network of amateur astronomers was able to track it. He enjoyed a distinguished academic career and he served as a senior advisor to the US space programme from its beginnings to the present era of budget cuts and disarray.

DEPARTURES

Bill Froggitt

The amateur weatherman extraordinary, and the last of his line, has died at 91. Building on a family obsession with the weather dating back to the great Yorkshire storm of 1771, he based his predictions on his family's records and observations of the natural world – seaweed, pine cones and the activities of animals. He achieved national celebrity in 1985, when he correctly predicted a thaw as the Met Office was promising several weeks of blizzards. He also predicted the great storm of October 1987, which was famously dismissed by TV weatherman Michael Fish because it wasn't going to be a hurricane. Although his level of forecasting accuracy was never as good as the myth, he was always able to do at least as well as contemporary Met Office computer systems in the short term.

DEPARTURES

Brian Clough

The footballer turned manager, the man who was never afraid to tell people that he was right, has died at 69. Brian Clough's successful career as a player was cut short by injury and he turned to management. He turned 2nd division Derby County into league champions and then he took his personal blend of arrogance and tyranny to Nottingham Forest. The club became league champions and enjoyed back to back victories in the European Cup in 1979/1980.
   Clough's blunt manner and his willingness to upset people he didn't like, no matter how powerful, meant that he never achieved his ambition to manage the England football team. But he left an indelible mark on professional football.

Warning from HM Government

If you go anywhere near salt,
YOU WILL DIE!
If you eat any salty foodstuff,
YOU WILL DIE!
Sodium chloride is the ultimate WoMD and it is to be avoided
AT ALL COSTS!

Customers are advised to remain calm during this crisis.

p.s. this warning also applies to SUGAR

FOOD NEWS

Supermarkets trying to kill their customers, shock horror!

Skull n CrossbonesThe Trading Standards Institute has warned that the practice of injecting salty water into fresh pork (to increase the weight so that water can be sold as meat to boost profits) is putting lives at risk.
   An untreated pork loin contains 5% of the maximum recommended daily salt intake of 6 grammes. One injected with salty water contains six times more salt – 30% of the maximum daily intake.
   People who consume these products are at risk of high blood pressure, strokes and an early death as well as a big hole in their budget. But the government has no plans to put health warnings on the packaging of watered-down food products.

rainThe wet August of dismal memory did British apples and pears a power of good. It filled them up with water, nutrients and sweetness. Worcester apples are now 40% bigger than usual and further enlarged varieties will be hitting the shops in the second half of September. And massive Conference pears are on the way soon.

Check colour before releasing protest missile

Anyone who wants to protest by chucking a tomato at a German politician has to think twice before doing it. The courts take the colour of the missile into consideration when handing out punishment. Yellow tomatoes are harder than red ones and merit a harsher penalty. And anyone chucking a solid, unripe green one is lucky to get off with their life!

!WARNING! Supermarket mince may contain twice as much fat as the label claims. Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury are all offenders against the Fat Code.

!WARNING! The sweet manufacturers' claim that they are abolishing jumbo size chocolate bars will not stand up to close scrutiny. All they plan to do is chop their monster bars into 2 or 4 portions. So the customer will get the same calorie overload in a different packaging – and probably at a higher price to cover the cost of the messing about.

world news
WORLD NEWS

Drunken Irish Yob Wreck Olympic Marathon

The ancient Greeks gave us a word for it – hubris. Just when the Greek government had been bragging about how its security operation had been 100% tight for the Olympic games, another intruder strolled into view.
   The first gate-crasher was a Canadian in a tutu, who handed gold medals to Greek divers and received a 5 month gaol sentence as his reward.
   In the final event of the games, an Irish religious nutter, who dashed onto the track during the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2003, was back in action. Cornelius Horan rushed out of a taverna, assaulted the leading runner, Brazilian Vanderlei de Lima, and dragged him into the crowd.
   Horan received a 2 month gaol sentence for his antics at Silverstone. The Greeks let him off with a suspended sentence which, remembering what happened to the Canadian bloke, suggests that their justice system is as much of a shambles as ours.

In yer dreams, Rudi!

Republican ankle-grabber Rudolf Giuliani got up on his hind legs and had the cheek to tell the convention in New York that George Dubya Bush is another Winston Churchill. So we've assembled a few facts to let our readers decide through which orifice Giuliani was talking. (Clue: he had to deliver his address standing up so that it didn't come out muffled.)

W. Churchill

W. Bush

War hero, escaped from the BoersDraft dodger
Could hold his liquorDrunk turned God-botherer
Won his war against NazismMaking a bog of his war against T'rr
BritishAmerican
Smoked trade-mark cigarsToo scared to smoke
Expert bricklayerCouldn't build a wall to save his life
Awarded Nobel Prize for literatureWhat's he ever written?
Inspirational speech makerFoot in mouth every time gob opened
Wore the pantsPushed by his rich wife
HonestCrooked

Hurricane FrancesAnother battering for Florida

As an encore to last month's assault from Hurricane Charley, Florida closed its airports at the beginning of the month and evacuated 2.5 million people as Hurricane Frances closed in. Last month's Tropical Storm Bonnie turned out to be a busted flush but Frances will deliver the second leg of the first double hurricane strike in a matter of weeks for over a century. Will there be much left of Florida for the next hurricane to wreck? Doesn't look like it!
UpdateGroznyem Budu!
If there is anything left of Florida after Frances has finished with it, Hurricane Ivan now has the troubled peninsula firmly in its sights! And Tropical Storm Jeanne, the next one on the horizon, has been officially upgraded to hurricane status.
UpdateHurricane Jeanne ripped up Florida's east coast at the end of the month, shredding buildings with 120 mph winds and battering the wreckage with giant waves.

v1The things some people will do to get off a sinking ship! Ex-Prez Bill Clinton, for instance, faked a heart attack to get out of campaigning for John Kerry in the current race to be Mr. Prez of the USA. Slick Willy is now planning to spend the rest of the year promoting his autobiography instead of working for free for Mr. Kerry's campaign.

1 euro coinThe United States of Europe has its collective hand out again

The latest massaged 'accounts' from the European Commission fail to show that the UK handed over £2.8billion nett to the European Union (after our rebate of £2.7billion). This puts us second in the league table after Germany, which paid out £5.9billion, and way ahead of France and Italy, who both coughed up a measly £1billion nett after their massive subsidies. The European Commission's latest message to the UK taxpayer is that we should surrender our rebate (won for us by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, lest anyone forget) and brace ourselves for a huge increase in EU spending.
   Looks like we're going to need a government which has the courage to say No! to the European monster as soon as possible.

Kaboom!The future is nuclear, EU decides

Gas prices are soaring, sending up the price of electricity generated from gas in sympathy. So the EU is back-peddling furiously on over-ambition regulations for the nuclear industry. The UK, Germany, Finland and Sweden have decided that they don't want the Brussels bureaucrats messing with their nuclear affairs and the EU's energy commissioner has been forced to listen to the big money.
   Why do we need nuclear power? Because the master plan for the future is to use the surplus electricity from nuclear power stations to make hydrogen, which will be used as a carbon-free fuel for vehicles, replacing petrol.

v2Professor Manfred Walzl of the Graz Neurological Clinic in Austria has found that beer reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks, improves the circulation, and can act as an aphrodisiac if not taken to excess. Men can drink a litre per day, and women half of that, to do themselves a lot of good. Wolfgang Clement, Germany's economics minister, who can down a beer in 1.5 seconds, reckons it should be available to the customers via his country's health service.

v3The Justice Department in Rio de Janeiro is investigating why 6 police cars rushed to a restaurant to arrest a bloke who was smoking a cigar in a smoking zone. A female customer phoned her daughter, a policewoman, when the man refused to put his cigar out. But when the cops tried to intimidate him, the man set his dad on them. His father is a colonel in the Brazilian air force and he soon routed the cops.

v4Since a version of The Scream and The Madonna were stolen from the Munch museum in Oslo last month, attendances have soared by 25%. The museum authorities are saying that the rise in visitor numbers is due to the publicity generated by the robbery, and not due to punters flocking to mock the security arrangements and gaze at 2 blank stretches of wall.

Tsar Vlad returns Russia to the black night of totalitarianism

Vladimir Putin, president of all the Russias, thinks democracy is great; which is why he's going to restore it as soon as possible. In the meantime, he's cracking down on dissent in the name of waging a war on terrorism. Newspapers and TV channels which fail to support him 100% will be closed down. And on the political front, he intends to evict the small parties from parliament, appoint regional governors personally rather than let his customers vote in the candidate of their choice, and where voting is allowed, the customers will get a list of candidates of Tsar Vlad's personal choice.
   His next big plan is to take personal control of all money in Russia and its satellites, and dish it out only to those whom he thinks can be trusted to spend it on approved things. Isn't it great what you can get away with when you play the terrorism card?

v5UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has confirmed officially that the 2003 Iraq war illegal. It was not sanctioned by the UN security council and it was not in conformity with the UN charter.

Hang 'em high as you like!

The citizens of Ayo Ayo, Bolivia, had a mayor who was an embezzler. He refused to resign after he was arrested and taken to court. So after the court proceedings had dragged on for 2 years, the good citizens of the town decided to dispense their own brand of justice.
   They strung Benjamin Altamirano up from a lamp post and set fire to his body. This brings the number of lynchings in Bolivia in the 21st Century to 27; the score was just 6 in the last 5 years of the 20th Century; and the government in La Paz, less than 50 miles from Ayo Ayo as the helicopter gunship flies, is getting the message and stepping up security.

US gets tough with Islamic tourists

The pop person formerly known as Cat Stevens, now rebranded as Yusuf Islam, got the bum's rush when he tried to sneak into the USA on a scheduled flight. "Anyone with a name like that is an obvious security threat," said a spokesman for the Homeland Security Department. "And we are through rolling the dice where national security is concerned."

SNAKE NEWS

Cobra tales

Snake HeadC Manoharan Snake Manu of Madras, India, hopes to put his name in the record books through his snake act.
   He aims to be the first person to get a cobra to wriggle up his nose and emerge from his mouth. He had been practising his dodgy manoeuvre using a garden snake, which is harmless.
   We wish him the best of luck with the real thing!

meanwhileA suicidal Austrian snake trader defended himself with 2 five-foot cobras when the police broke down his door and tried to stop him killing himself. He menaced them with the snakes so the cops shot him in the leg, he fell down and both cobras bit him! And the bloke had to be rushed to hospital to receive the antidote to the snakes' poisonous venom before the bullet was removed.

COMMENT

Have they NO decency?

Why is it that ITN newsreaders are such appalling people? On both the lunchtime and 10:30 p.m. news on September 03rd, when the lead story was the massacre by Chechen terrorists at the school in south Russia, the newsreaders kept badgering the man on the spot for a body count.
   What made the ghoulish bastards think that we, the viewers, were gagging for a precise body count? Or that we particularly wanted to know exactly how many children had been murdered? Or did they need a ballpark figure so they would know what sort of display of bogus concern they had to put on? Or were they just morbidly curious, sick bastards who were in a position to satisfy a craving?
   Wherever the truth lay, the public faces in the ITN studio came out of this day severely tarnished.

NEWS NEWS

Who selected the evening news for September 27th?

super trainThe evening news about Virgin on Radio Four was that the fancy new trains were conking out – one of them due to a faulty wheel, which had gone square or something – and the passengers had lots of less than complimentary things to say about broken journeys which took a couple of hours longer than the timetable.
   But on ITN's 6:30 p.m. news, there was not a mention of trains. Instead, we got Mojave Aerospace Ventures' Spaceship One tricked out in Virgin livery and a perky story about how Richard Branson is planning to fly people into 'space' for 4 minutes at £115K a head.
   Same company (Virgin), 2 stories, one real news and the other spin and hype. The message is clear – if you want proper news, rely on the wireless and forget the trivia merchants on TV.

Criminal News
CRIMINAL NEWS

Get out of gaol free in Paris

The French anti-terrorist police got their knickers in a twist when they found 3 tunnels under La Santé, allegedly a high-security prison in Paris. It was the prisoners themselves who reported hearing mysterious noises from beneath their feet last month. The most dangerous inmates; fraudsters, corrupt politicians and terrorists; were promptly moved to other gaols.
   A search of the city's archives revealed that the tunnels are part of a network of catacombs and quarry workings, which extends under large parts of the city. The tunnels had been sealed with iron grates many years before but someone had re-opened them.
   The Paris police were unable to say who had re-opened the tunnels and what had been going on in them. As there were no shafts connecting the tunnels and ground level, a police spokesman said that an escape attempt was unlikely. But he did offer the theory that someone had been preparing an attack on the prison.

v1A German truck driver thought a car parked outside a bank looked like a getaway vehicle, especially when he saw a crowbar and some tools on the back seat So he demolished it with his lorry and called the police to boast about doing their job for them. The car's owner, a self-employed carpenter, was not amused when he returned to his vehicle. So the lorry driver had to pay a €5,500 fine, he lost his licence and he had to pay out more cash to get his lorry repaired.

Pebble Police combat beach bandits

Chesil Bank used to have 100 million tons of pebbles, which defend part of the Dorset coast against erosion by the sea. But it is under severe threat from the landward side. Inspired by TV makeover shows, gardeners have been arriving by night with shovels and wheelbarrows to steal the pebbles. As a result, the chief warden has been forced to mount patrols against the pebble-rustlers, and they set the police on stroppy thieves who refused to return their loot.

Did he have to grin so broadly?Hysterical police assault hunt-ban protesters

"We all saw them on TV, clobbering the protesters in Parliament Square with batons. And they weren't even wearing balaclavas and ski-masks to cover their faces up. A naive person might ask: 'How do they get away with it?'"
   "And someone a bit more clued-up about how the world works might ask: 'Who gathers the evidence when a complaint is made other than the police?' Making a few inconvenient videotapes and flash-cards disappear isn't a problem for experienced police officers."
Update"They deserved everything they got," Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens said of the protesters while denying that the police violence had been excessive.

Blunk's Big Idea – a Coppers' Con Trick

Our Home Secretary has come up with another winner to improve relations between the public and the police. His big idea is for the police to be polite on the phone to customers who ring in to report crimes. The customers will also be assigned to a Personal Police Facilitator, who will keep in touch with them and seek comments on their treatment.
   A spokesman for the pressure group Burgled Brits commented: "The last thing people who've been burgled or assaulted want is some twat ringing them up to ask them how they've enjoyed their police experience."

Indian Ghost-Buster busted

Ambika Rai came up with the brilliant idea of dressing up in black and scaring people in the night-time streets of Siliguri, West Bengal. He then tracked down his victims and offered to perform rituals to drive the ghost away. Some of the mugs paid up large amounts of money but some rotten sod phoned the police, who chased and caught the black ghost. Mr. Rai has been charged with deception and stealing the gifts which his victims wanted him to give to the 'ghost'. Who says the spirit of free enterprise isn't alive and thriving?

Illegal traffic wardens persecute Southwark motorists

The residents of this London borough are getting a holiday from parking regulations after the Immigration Police busted the entire complement of traffic wardens. Motorists who received a ticket from these illegal migrants to our fair land now have 2 lines of hope for an appeal.
   If the warden is deported and unable to attend a court hearing where the ticket is challenged, the chances of getting it cancelled are increased. Alternatively, if the illegals put false information on their job applications to sub-contractor APCAO Parking, then every ticket they wrote could be invalid.
   Sounds like a good deal for the lawyers whatever happens.

Dotty old judges go totally soft on criminals

The Sentencing Guidance Panel, a retirement home for judges who are too decrepit to make the bench, has proposed radical sentence reductions for criminals who admit their guilt without messing about.
   Any crim who spares the nation the cost of a lengthy trial can expect to spare the taxpayer the cost of a lengthy period of incarceration. This is the equation recommended by their noble lordships. If their plan is adopted, the nation will be spared the cost of building new prisons and there may be redundancies at existing gaols.
   Bizarre consequence : A murderer who confesses all and makes generous financial restitution to his/her victim's heirs could get off with community service instead of gaol!

v2Attorney General Lord Goldsmith has ordered the CPS to put British soldiers in front of civilian courts to face charges related to their service in Iraq, e.g. murder. This is being seen as an attempt by the government to shift attention away from its own criminal activities, such as sending British troops to Iraq to fight an illegal war with defective equipment, and withdrawing life-protecting equipment from front-line troops. Lest anyone forget, this policy has led to the death of troops who were forced to do without a flak jacket.

v3The 11 staff members of a school in eastern India hit on a brilliant scam in February 1981. They all skived off on full pay, turning up just for 2 official occasions per year, and the headmaster hired 3 'dummy teachers' at six quid a month [currently £14] to take their places. The racket was busted this year when the local school examination board performed a snap inspection and found that in addition to a ghost staff, most of the school's pupils existed only on paper.

SMUG BUGGER NEWS

The man himself is the headline!

Smug BuggerSmug Bugger arrested by Sand Police for drawing unauthorized lines : "He was reckless and persistent, and he deserves everything he gets," said the arresting officer.
Smug Bugger tossed out of the Cabinet : "We have quite enough criminals in our ranks already," said a New Labour spokeswoman.
Iraq Survey Group: Iraq had no Weapons of Mass Destruction in 2003 : Smug Bugger arrested again for waging an illegal war.
Smug Bugger arrested for hypocrisy : A police spokesman said, "He admitted he's against a ban on foxhunting. He was also excessively smug about giving his envious Socialists the debate on hunting as a distraction from his illegal war in Iraq."
Smug Bugger arrested yet again for deserting his post. "He was absent without leave when customers sought to lobby him during the pointless debate on the bill to ban foxhunting," a member of the House of Commons security force said.
Smug Bugger strikes back : "I did not absent myself from the Commons during the hunting debate for no good reason," he said. "I was under arrest and in a police cell at the time."
Smug Bugger sued by Scriptwriters' Guild for making do-it-yourself changes to the script for the Iraq War. "We were told the war was to save the world from Saddam Hussein's Weapons of Mass Destruction," a Guild spokesman said. "There was never anything in our briefing about going to war just to get rid of Saddam."
Smug Bugger sent back to drama school : "He's been faking sincerity for 7 years and he's burned out," said his drama coach. "He can't fake it convincingly right now but we're sure he'll be back on track after his refresher course."
Smug Bugger sued by Connaught Square residents : "He has caused an almighty crash in our property prices and we intend to seek redress," a spokeswoman for the Residents' Association said.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
No London Olympics

A London Olympics?
No, thanks!

space news
SPACE NEWS

Genesis Probe bites the dust!

Genesis crashedAll those who followed the progress of the ill-fated British Beagle 2 mission to Mars put on a small smile when they saw the Genesis probe parked up to its neck in the Nevada desert. The probe had spent 3 years gathering atoms from the solar wind; material blown into space by the Sun's nuclear furnace. NASA was hoping that analyzing the particles would help to explain how the Sun and its planets formed.
   The US space agency planned to get a stunt pilot to snag the probe's parachute lines as it fell to Earth to ensure that it made a soft landing. Unfortunately, neither the drogue parachute nor the main one opened and Genesis hit the ground at 190 mph instead of 10 mph. The NASA team is now in damage limitation mode, hoping that a useful amount of undamaged material can be salvaged from the crash.

ToutatisDoomsday postponed again

If you are reading this, the death rock Toutatis didn't hit Earth on Wednesday, 29th September. It missed us by a million miles (4 times the distance between Earth and the Moon); and that's the closest the asteroid will come to Earth for the next 500 years. 4179 Toutatis was discovered in 1989 by French astronomers. They named their find after the Celtic/Gallic god whose name is invoked Astérix the Gaul and his pals in the cartoon books by Goscinny and Uderzo.

SpaceShip One launchSpaceShip One heads for its place in history

Mojave Aerospace Ventures' SpaceShip One successfully completed the first of two fully-laden $10 million Ansari X-Prize flights on the 29th of this month. It's White Knight carrier aircraft released SS1 at 48,000 feet and pilot Mike Melvill carried on to a height of 358,000 feet (as measured by ground radar).
   The pilot shut down the engine 11 seconds before it was due to cut out automatically when the spacecraft went into a dramatic corkscrew. The manoeuvre is known as a "spin-stabilized" roll. When wind that hits an aircraft from the side, it rolls as a corrective technique. SS1 is inclined to roll a bit too much.
SpaceShip One landing   Mike Melvill felt that the spacecraft was under control at all times, and he glided down to land at Mojave 'Spaceport' without incident.
   SS1 must complete a second manned flight within two weeks and reach a height of at least 100 km (330,000 feet) while carrying a load equivalent to 3 people on both flights. The next one could take place on October 3rd or 4th.

TECHNOLOGY NEWS

Luddites 3, Innovation 1

The progressive Billa supermarket of Purkersdorf, Austria, felt good about introduced speaking shopping trolleys to tell customers about bargains and cleaning robots which politely asked shoppers to shift out of the way. But the trolleys were withdrawn when customers started complaining and putting their hands over the speakers in the handles to shut up the grating voices.
   The cleaning machines also got the chop because they kept crashing into customers and trolleys, and the supermarket got worried about being sued for injuries and emotional distress. Another idea that flopped was an automated checkout counter. The management found that the customers were strolling off with items without paying and human staff were required to ensure honesty.
   But one gadget has proved popular with the customers – a machine for measuring blood pressure in the checkout area.

!WARNING! If you buy anything from Panasonic and it breaks down, you will NOT be able to get through on their customer service department on the telephone line and they will IGNORE any emails you send them.
meanwhileAnyone calling the ntl customer service lines for Manchester, Swansea or Lanarkshire has been getting a recorded message from a bloke with a strong Geordie accent telling the caller to f*ck off. The full message goes:
   "Hello. You are through to NTL customer services. We don't give a f*ck about you. We are never here. We just will f*ck you about, basically, and we are not going to handle any of your complaints. Just f*ck off."
   The company is blaming either a hacker or a disgruntled employee.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Phishers In Action

"Phishing" is the repellent practice of stealing information from other people with the intention of emptying their bank accounts and sticking bogus charges on their credit cards. One way of doing this is to send potential victims an email got up to look like a communication from their bank in an attempt to obtain account, pin number and password information.

As a public service, Jenson Farrago is offering access to examples of phishing emails. CLICK HERE to find out what they look like.

travel
TRAVEL NEWS

Speed Kills or Speed Pays?

Speed may kill, but there is good speeding and bad speeding. This is the government's deliberately confused message on this subject. It would appear that one of the government's stooges had decided that tinkering with speeding fines by introducing 3 levels of penalties instead of one level will draw the public's attention away from the illegal war in Iraq.

v1Reckless cyclists in Bournemouth are in for a shock from now on. If they charge along the town's promenade or pavements at more than 10 mph, they will get a good talking to. The council has appointed a team of wardens and armed them with speed guns to harass cycling pests. Unfortunately, the council cannot impose fines at present but maybe there's a by-law on the way.

No escape from the UK Parking Police

There's a well-known racket involving spivs sending out demands for cash dressed up to look like genuine invoices and lazy companies paying up without doing any checks. Euro Parking Collections, a firm which acts as an agent for 40+ local authorities across Europe, seems to have borrowed the idea and built on it.
   By undisclosed means, EPC or its client got hold of the details of a vehicle owned by a Swedish bloke – number plate and vehicle manufacturer. Krister Nylander of Bollstabruk was then sent a demand for £90 on behalf of CP Plus, a firm which manages car parks in the UK.
   Mr. Nylander was amused rather than annoyed by the demand –. mainly because CP Plus was claiming that he had parked his Yamaha snowmobile in Warwick in June of this year. Mr. Nylander has been to England once, as a schoolboy, and his snowmobile has never left Sweden.
   Both sets of spivs, EPC and CP Plus, are keeping their heads down and saying nothing about their racket now that it has been exposed.

trainThis season's railway excuse

Midland Mainline, which runs trains between London and Yorkshire, has announced that its services are being delayed by the wrong sort of sunshine. It invades the driver's cab, which has plenty of windows, and turns the cab into a hothouse. So trains have to be parked in the shade until the driver's cab cools to an acceptable working temperature. Midland Mainline is now working to beef up the air-conditioning and installing heat-reflecting sun blinds. A spokesman for the company said, "No one told us the weather in this country can be sunny and hot".

v2The Appeal Court has ruled that there is nothing wrong with gypsy travellers ignoring planning regulations and the requirement to have planning permission for construction projects. So if anyone is having problems with their council's planning department, the remedy is clear. All they have to do is claim they're gypsies and howl that their Human Rights are being abused, and they they'll be able to get away with murder.

v3Anyone planning to travel to the United States of America should be prepared to stand in a queue for 3-5 hours in the immigration hall, where the staff have to check passports, take fingerprints, photograph the customers and cope with a slow, crash-prone computer logging system. And if the traveller misses a connection, he/she will have to pay for an overnight stay at a hotel as the delay is not the airline's fault.

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 particular 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.

This Month's Garbage

The Garbage August, 2004 – which was the wettest version of this month for 50 years.

 George Dubya Bush's flip-flopping over his war on T'rr. First it's unwinnable then his party hacks decide he's blundered and it becomes winnable. Make your bloody mind up, Dubya!

 The England football team chucking away a 2-0 lead against Austria. Another triumph for Shagger Sven.

The Garbage Her Majesty's Press throwing a communal wobbly when England's football team wouldn't talk to them after their jammy victory in Poland.

 New Labour's intention to ban foxhunting as a distraction from the illegal war in Iraq – but not until after the next election so the government's hirelings have time to kill 200,000 dogs. It's pandering to the countryside-hating cannon fodder without giving them anything.
"Oh, Lord, make me virtuous – but not just yet."

The Garbage Scotland Yard persecuting British service personnel for 'crimes' committed in Iraq while they were on active service – especially after the military have decided that there is no case to answer.

 Lord 'Bouffant' Bragg taking over from Alastair Campbell as Downing Street's main purveyor of claptrap to the meeja and coming out with a yarn about Smug Bugger nearly resigning for 'family reasons' rather than guilt about making a bog of things and his illegal war in Iraq.

The Garbage Our lying, spin-doctoring government saying the MMR vaccine is safe then getting upset when the public refuse to believe the latest piece of claptrap and dare to ask why Leo Bliar didn't get it if it's so bloody safe.

 The IRA claiming they'd found 'a real bug' in their office 2 days before resuming talks with the government and getting all indignant when no one believed them.

The Garbage Smug Bugger denying he's ever heard of Lord Bragg after a clumsy attempt to generate sympathy produced derision instead. The 'useful idiot' (as V.I. Lenin would have called him) has served his purpose and Melvin can now be discarded.

 The notion that the war in Iraq is 'back on again' when it was never off.

 The notion that Smug Bugger doesn't negotiate with terrorists.

The Garbage Jack Straw, our alleged Foreign Sec., getting all buddy-buddy with Prez Mug of Rhodesia and lying about it afterwards. "It was dark and I couldn't see what I was doing," he said.
   [But Jack, old mate, it was light enough for clear photographs of you doing it. Ed.]
UpdateThe latest official spin on this is that there are a lot of black people hanging around at the UN and it's often 'quite difficult to sort them out'.

 
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