|Signs of movement, but not many|
The Liberals running Stockport council are very liberal with the Council Tax when it comes to schemes likely to yield a lot of free lunches, like the plan to blow £500 million on another unnecessary remake of Stockport's centre, but stingy when it comes to essentials. Street lighting, for instance.
One of the fancy new lamps was removed from Compstall Road as it was in the way of last year's mammoth sewer repair. The base was replaced in mid-November. Three months later, there are signs that the council might just be getting round to restoring the lamp. Well, they dug a hole around the base and wrapped it in a tatty old plastic bag. But there seems to be no great sense of urgency about replacing the top bit with the light fitting and actually getting it working again.
A photo-essay history of how the fancy street lights came to Romiley is available on the website of Romiley Arts Federation.
Despite warnings of dire weather, Romiley survived the snow in the last full week of the month in good order. Days did begin with snow-covered pavements but even when the sun decided not to put in an appearance, the snow had all vanished by lunchtime even in areas not considered important enough by the Council to receive the odd shovelful of sand and salt mixture. Gardens, shed roofs and wheely bins retained a white covering but it soon disappeared from the roofs of buildings, suggesting either poor insulation or an ambient temperature a few degrees above zero.
|New rules for EU employees|
The European Union has obliged airlines, including the el cheapo ones, to abandon their 'hard luck' policy for passengers whose flight is delayed and passengers who are bumped off a flight. In future, they will be entitled to refreshments and overnight accommodation, or alternative transport to their destination.
They will also be entitled to complimentary refreshments if their flight is delayed, the refreshments to be supplied after a time depending on whether it is a short-, mid- or long-haul flight. So customers can expect to see airline fares soar!
There is also a scale of compensation payments but they don't apply if the reason for the cancellation is beyond the airline's control, e.g. dreadful weather, strike action or an air traffic control delay.
Europropaganda is bad for you
The European Commission is conducting a propaganda war against myth-makers in the British press. It assigns myth status to the news that the EU will ban advertising slogans such as: 'Guinness is good for you'. But it turns out that the EC propaganda is full of lies.
The European Parliament is in the course of nodding through legislation which will let the Eurocrats ban 'health claims of any kind' from beverages containing more than 1.2% by volume of alcohol.
And Guinness is a whole lot stronger than that.
Spain delivers 'don't bother me' vote in its EU constitutional treaty referendum
Electorate : 35,000,000
EU Status : Scrounger State, recipient of massive EU hand-outs.
|It was the result pretty much everyone was expecting in Jacksonville|
The match remained close and even until the fourth quarter, when the New England Patriots scored twice and the Philadelphia Eagles faffed about instead of going hurry-up. So the 24-21 final score looks a lot closer than it really was.
So Congrats! to the Patriots for winning back-to back Super Bowls and 3 out of the last 4, and more Congrats! to Deion Branch for being voted MVP. Hard luck Eagles for going 0-2 in Super Bowls, but don't forget the Patriots lost their first 2 before they launched their 'dynasty'.
|That's it for the Hubble Space Telescope, says NASA|
The US space agency will not be sending another mission to replace worn-out parts on the Hubble Space Telescope to extend the working life of the most successful piece of kit ever placed into orbit. A service mission using the space shuttle is out of the question now that it has been reclassified as too dangerous to place in an orbit any distance from the International Space Station.
Worse, there is just enough cash in the current NASA budget for a mission to shove the HST out of its orbit and send it on a fiery plunge through the atmosphere to a watery grave in the Pacific Ocean, final parking place of the likes of Skylab and the Mir space station.
Memories of past space missions
The continuing success of the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity set the BlackFlag News Science Editor thinking about the Soviet planetary explorers of the Lunokhod series. There is masses of stuff available from NASA about what its rovers have done, but very little was heard of what the Soviet vehicles achieved over 30 years ago. So, some history:
Lunokhod 1 weighed just under a ton and it comprised a tub-like compartment with a large convex lid and eight independently powered wheels. It had four television cameras and extendable devices for measuring soil density and mechanical properties. Lunokhod 1 was intended to operate for 90 Earth days. It actually operated for 11 Earth months, from November 17, 1970 to October 4, 1971. Lunokhod 1 travelled 10.5 km and transmitted more than 20,000 TV pictures and more than 200 TV panoramas. It had also performed more than 500 lunar soil tests.
Lunokhod 2, an improved Moon rover landed on January 16, 1973 and operated until June 4. The next robotic explorer to travel to another planet was the Mars Pathfinder rover Sojourner which arrived on Mars in late 1997.
In only 8 weeks, Lunokhod 2 covered 37 km of terrain, including hilly upland areas and rilles, and sent back 86 panoramic pictures and over 80,000 TV pictures. Opportunity completed just 2.2 km of exploration in its first year on the Red Planet.
Happy birthday to Pluto
Clyde Tombaugh discovered his new planet 75 years ago this month and Pluto has retained its secrets. Astronomers still not sure what Pluto is made of, how it was formed, or why its orbit is so different from those of the other eight planets. There are those who argue that an object smaller than Earth's Moon (left with its own moon Charon) is really a Kuiper Belt Object rather than a proper planet. But the good news for those who wish to see Pluto retain its status as a planet is that the sizes of KBOs seem to have been over-estimated. No doubt more will become clear in 2015, when NASA's New Horizons mission reaches the edge of the solar system.
British astronomers from Cardiff University have announced the discovery of a brand new galaxy (pictured left) which is invisible and contains no stars. Which leaves the rest of us asking, "How the hell did they find it?" or "Who the hell's going to believe a silly story like that?"
Nevertheless, the astronomers are confident that they have found a galaxy consisting of rotating dark matter. Lacking stars, it is detectable only with a radio telescope. For the record, the galaxy is called VirgoHI21. It was discovered in 2000 and the team has taken five years to rule out all explanations other than that VirgoHI21 is the first dark galaxy ever detected.
|How to wash whiter and cheaper|
Richard Pashley, a professor of physical chemistry at the Australian National University, has found that air dispersed in water 'glues' dirt together by surface tension. But if the water is degassed to remove dissolved air; a complicated process involving repeated cycles of freezing and thawing the water while keeping it under a high vacuum; it becomes as effective for suspending grease as a water/detergent mixture.
Soap-powder manufacturers says they are not worried by the discovery as there is no practical means available for degassing water on a domestic scale. And tumbling it around in a washing machine would just gas the water up again and make a detergent necessary!
How can customers in pubs stay awake all day and all night to take advantage of New Labour's compulsory 24-hour drinking laws? Simple! The American brewer Anheuser-Busch is selling beer containing caffeine. Two standard cans provide the caffeine equivalent of one cup of coffee.
"We're in the club," says North Korea
North Korea has announced its membership of the 'We've Got The Bomb' Club. Its nuclear weapons were developed as self-protection against the United States.
"We are well aware that George Dubya Bush could wake up one morning and feel lucky," the Korean Minister of War commented. "So we felt we should have something which would make him think twice about pushing his luck."
The dash to digital continues and those Luddites who are still using the analogue TV services will find their screens going blank from 2008. The abolition schedule is as follows:
|YEAR||Services going extinct|
|2008||Border, HTV Wales, West Country|
|2009||Grampian, Granada, HTV Wales, Scottish TV|
|2010||Anglia, Central, Yorkshire|
|2011||Carlton/LWTV, Meridian, Tyne Tees, Ulster|
The biggest product recall in British history involves more than 350 products suspected of containing the industrial dye Sudan 1. The red dye, used to make chilli powder look bright red but illegal in the EU zone, causes cancer in rats fed massive doses of it. Nobody knows if Sudan 1 causes cancer in humans and it is likely to be present at 'undetectable levels', somewhat like the 'active' ingredients of homeopathic 'medicines'. Customers are advised to panic only if they think they can make a claim for compensation.
|CONGRATULATIONS . . .|
. . . to those citizens of Iraq who dared to go out and vote. Democracy can be a pretty daunting business, especially if the likes of Prez Bush and Vice-Prez Bliar have anything to do with it!
It is well known that the first dodgy Iraq dossier was based on a 10 year old thesis trawled from the Internet and the second dodgy dossier, which contained the case for war in Iraq, was created by Alastair Campbell in Downing Street rather than by Joint Intelligence Committee head John Scarlett, its supposed author.
Now, it has emerged that the Attorney General's okay on the legality of the war was another product of the Downing Street fiction factory and not written by Lord Goldsmith. Which leaves the rest of us wondering why the likes of Scarlett and Goldsmith draw fat salaries from the public purse if Vice-Prez Bliar's cronies (who are also on the public payroll) are doing their work for them.
Late Winter Bonus
BlackFlag News would like to offer its readers yet another literary adventure in the form of Romiley Literary Circle's Story of the month.
by Corin Pecuniary
Read the Story on the Romiley Literary Circle website
The author thinks his title works a whole lot better than that of the US TV series 'NUMB3RS'. He describes the story itself as 'a corny pastiche'.
Category : 21th Century Crime/Police Procedure
|A sign of the times?|
EasyJet is introducing a £10 booking fee for its formerly free and easy flights. But it's not being called a booking fee. Those who take advantage of the scheme to secure a seat in a favoured part of an airliner are being encouraged to think of themselves as queue-jumpers rather than people who plan ahead.
Edinburgh has voted 'No!' to congestion charging. 75% of the 300,000 people consulted turned down the opportunity to pay £2 per day to enter two charging zones. The council hoped to raise £760 million over the next 20 years; which is a hell of a lot of free lunches for usual suspects down the drain.
WORD OF THE MONTH
Plandemonium n organized chaos
|BlackFlag News readers turn out in force to vote in Iraqi general election|
"If the British people paid for the war that liberated Iraq, then the British people should be allowed to vote in the election to decide who administers that country." This important point of principle was opposed vigorously by the Bliar regime but a High Court judge ruled in favour of the British people when the matter was brought before him on the Friday before the Iraqi election.
Mr. Justice Mickle turned down the government's plea for leave to appeal against the decision early on Saturday morning, and BlackFlag News was able to co-ordinate an invasion of polling centres. After some argument, and a number of phone calls, the returning officers were obliged to accept that any British citizen on a valid electoral register was entitled to cast a vote.
Undaunted by a ballot paper the size of a football pitch bearing the names of several hundred candidates, British electors made their democratic choice and retired to celebrate in nearby hostelries. The Bliar regime is understood to be making strenuous efforts to have the ballots ruled invalid, but BlackFlag News has been assured that the Law Lords are not minded to give in on this important constitutional issue.
Nobody has been paying much attention to Chris Smith, MP, since he got the sack as Culture Secretary. So he's trying to get himself noticed by telling everyone who will listen that he's been a plague carrier since 1987. Probably because he thinks some scurrilous rag was about to 'out' him.
Those opposing New Labour's extension of the class struggle by banning fox-hunting hit a brick wall when they tried to persuade the High Court that the 1944 Parliament Act is illegal. But they were encouraged to press on and appeal because there might be a human rights issue involved, which is peculiar to say the least.
BlackFlag News is aware of several recent Appeal Court cases in which the judges concerned completely ignored human rights issues raised in the submissions and made no comment at all about them in the judgements. So why the change of heart on human rights?
Cynics might detect a hidden government agenda and the word coming down from on high (from the equivalent of 'Keith in the Lord Chancellor's office' in John Mortimer's Rumpole of the Bailey stories) to encourage supporters of hunting with sufficient false hope to push the embarrassment from a hunting ban past the next general election. Given the general grubbiness of this government, it looks very likely that something dodgy is going on.
270 hunts out in force, hundreds of police officers watching them instead of persecuting motorists and 91 foxes written off even though the foxhunting ban is in force. Life can go on regardless of New Labour spite.
The Land Registry has launched a website which promises 'easy' on-line access to details of more than 19 million properties in England or Wales. So it sounds like the place to be for nosy people who want to know who owns what and, more importantly, how much they paid for it.
File a tax return online? Forget it!
People trying to file a self-assessment tax return at the last minute have crashed the Inland Revenue's website.
The Revenue denied having a problem at first, following established New Labour practice, then claimed not to be responsible for problems caused by a last-minute rush. But even so, the deadline for filing returns without penalty was put back a fortnight from the original date of January 31st.
Last year, 900,000 people missed the filing deadline and qualified for an automatic £100 fine. The Revenue is being very coy about how much of the notional £90 million was actually collected.
An award for unprofessionalism in radio broadcasting has been made to J. Dimbleby for chairing items on Auschwitz without knowing how to pronounce the name of the place. "Where is Ow-switch?" listeners were left asking themselves. "Somewhere near Ipswich?"
Growers in Yorkshire's Rhubarb Triangle between Leeds and Wakefield are seeking protected region status from the EU. They are after 'appellation controlée' status to distinguish their product from inferior Dutch imports, which have about as much taste as bland Dutch tomatoes.
Hawkshead is stepping into the breach left by one of New Labour's excessively politically correct quangos, which decided not to fund free guided tours of the Lake District as they don't attract enough elderly, disabled asylum seekers. The Lakeland clothing firm will sponsor the popular tours for 12 months to give the organizers time to set up a self-financing support scheme.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has issued some advice for Pancake Tuesday. Customers are advised that frying pans are hot and may cause burns. The same applies to carelessly tossed pancakes, which can burn body parts on which they land. Margarine or butter dropped on floors can make cooks slip and injure themselves. And straying too close to a gas jet may set clothing on fire.
In response to the people now scoffing about the blindingly obvious, RoSPA would like to add that hospital casualty departments treat twice as many burns on Pancake Tuesday as on Bonfire Night.
Twisting the tail of the cheeky sod
The royal wedding announcement was made a week or so earlier than planned to stop Vice-Prez Bliar dead in his tracks. The Vice-Prez tried (unsuccessfully) to make himself the centre of attention at the Queen Mother's funeral and the Windsors decided on a pre-emptive announcement to prevent him from trying the same trick over Prince Chazzer's big day. The announcement also took the steam out of this month's New Labour weekend election jamboree, which was seen as some pay-back for the large number of occasions on which Mr. B. Liar has been insolent to the monarch.
The Vice-Prez responded with a petulant announcement that there will be no bank holiday for the royal wedding day.
Vice-Prez Bliar is now frantically trying to disassociate himself from the royal wedding. He was all smiles when he announced it while claiming the credit for organizing everything. Now that everything is going pear-shaped and his plans are unravelling, he doesn't want to know.
Gazundering is back in fashion again. Property prices have reached such unrealistic levels that a significant proportion of first-time buyers are doing it. Dropping the price offered when contracts are about to be exchanged is effective, but the vendor is liable to rip out every fitting not specifically named in the contract, including light sockets. So gazundering is good news for cowboy electricians, at least.
The government seems to be doing its best to come up with the most meaningless political slogans of all time. BlackFlag News would like to try out this one to see what sort of impact it has on our readers:
Britain: REMUGIENT not HAMATE!
The Royal Mail loses its monopoly at the end of this year and rival companies will be allowed to collect and deliver ordinary letters in 2006. But before anyone starts cheering, this means that the Royal Mail's exemption from having to charge VAT on its services will have to go.
So postal rates will rise and the customer will end up paying yet another bloody Stealth Tax.
You're on your own now, mate!
The government is selling off the Green Goddess fire engines which, with crews from the armed forces, have served so gallantly through fire brigade strikes.
Once these relics of World War II have become part of history, New Labour's customers will have to resign themselves to being burned to the ground next time the firemen go on strike.
The Sudan 1 Depreciation Society says, "Better dead than red!"
One expert said, "The risk of getting cancer from Sudan 1 is equivalent to that from smoking one cigarette during a standard human lifetime." Another expert said, "The same slight correlation between Sudan 1 and cancer seen in laboratory rats would be obtained if a human subject consumed 3 tons of Worcestershire Sauce every day for 2 years."
BlackFlag News would like to apologize on Vice-Prez Bliar's behalf for the Black Death.
p.s. Vice-Prez Bliar would also like to apologize to the iceberg which was assaulted by RMS Titanic.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
Crooks In Action
The European Union is promising to do something about the criminals who send out emails about bogus lottery wins and extract cash from the gullible as 'administration fees'.
As a public service, Jenson Farrago is offering access to his collection of examples of crooks' emails. CLICK HERE to find out what they offer.
|The Earth is safe: thanks to Global Warming!|
Our planet goes though climate cycles, which are controlled by the Sun's output of energy, Earth's orbit and its orientation to the Sun due to the tilt of its axis. Ice Ages have alternated with warmer periods throughout our planet's history. And by rights, we should have been heading for another Ice Age for the last four to five thousand years. But it's not happening.
A team of planetary climatologists led by Professor Ruddiman of Virginia University has put forward the theory that Man has been modifying his environment on such a serious scale for the last 6,000 years that the next Ice Age has been postponed. Agriculture, deforestation and burning of biological fuels have created sufficient greenhouse gases to cancel out natural global cooling.
As a result, the UK has been spared a connection to the European mainland via an ice-bridge and the British nation has not suffered the inconvenience of having the country buried under ice a mile or so thick. "Not a bad thing," the average Briton might say. "Not so," retort those hoping to make money out of pretending they can do something to stop (or even reverse) climate change, who seem to think their best argument against their rivals is accusing them of being in the pockets of the oil companies.
And so we are faced with the interesting prospect of watching Vice-Prez Bliar, and other saviours of Africa, explaining how they will drag that continent into at least the Nineteenth Century without vast changes in land usage and carbon emissions on a scale which will postpone the next Ice Age for a million or so years.
The smart money is saying: "If they can modernize Africa without contributing significantly to global warming with their hot air, the age of miracles will be well and truly here!"
The Worldwide Fund for Nature says polar bears could be extinct in 20 years along with several species of seal, and Esquimaux will have a tough time scraping together enough ice for an igloo.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
A London Olympics?
Apparently, this message now has a royal endorsement.
|Call-centre dodginess warning|
If you phone an 0870 or 0845 number, be prepared to be ripped off! Calls to these numbers are described as 'national rate' and 'local rate' respectively but they will cost customers a whole lot more than calls to a specific area or local code (e.g. 3p/minute for both during the day on an ntl line).
The banks, government departments, public services, utility companies, airlines, etc. which make their customers pay 7.91p/minute to talk to them collect 2.5p/minute from the fee. So some of them are keeping customers on the line with delays and deliberately confusing information to make extra profit out of them.
0845 numbers cost 4p/minute, of which the service provider collects 0.5p/minute. In 2004, some 20% of all landline calls went to 0870 and 0845 numbers at a total cost to the customers of £1.2 billion.
The SayNoTo0870.com website provides cheaper 'proper' phone numbers for major organizations. Doctors are also getting into the act as having an 0870 numbers allows them to get what amounts to a free phone service for themselves.
The government has no plans to do anything about this swindle.
The Department of Health has been shamed into banning this scam for doctors' surgeries, 300 of which are pulling it as part of a 7-year deal. So Network Europe Group, the phone service provider, is looking for £11.5 million of taxpayers' cash in compensation.
Killing burglars is okay official!
The government has changed its mind and announced that it is okay to zap a burglar in your home using your weapon of choice as long as you can argue that you used only 'instinctive and reasonable force'. Problems can arise, however, if a householder chases a burglar with intent to apprehend him/her. Rugby tackles and a single blow are permitted. 'Greater force' could lead to prosecution.
In which case, the householder can always deploy the Belgrano Argument of self-defence: just because a hostile force is moving away at one given moment, that doesn't mean it can't turn round and attack if it thinks the defence force has been lulled into a false sense of security.
Apparently, no change in the law is necessary but Vice-Prez Bliar had to send Home Sec. Charles 'Menacing' Clarke round to stare at the new Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, until he stopped making noises of dissent and agreed to toe the party line.
ACPO & the CPS have issued advice this month on what householders can do to fight off burglars. CLICK HERE to read it.
The United Nations has always reeked of hypocrisy but the stench of corruption is taking over big-time. A report by the chairman of the US Federal Reserve is saying top UN officials and French companies all took bribes from the UN 'oil for food' programme in Iraq during the Saddam Hussein era. But will anyone get the sack or even be obliged to surrender the loot? Don't hold your breath, folks! Benon Sevan, the head of the programme, who explained away $160,000 in his bank account a present from his auntie in Cyprus, is claiming that he is being scapegoated.
The Russians aren't as good at getting away with things as they used to be. First, they were put in the frame for poisoning (non-fatally) the current leader of the Ukraine and now they've been accused of gassing to death the prime minister of Georgia. The KGB ain't what it used to be.
The various bits of the IRA are in a strop because they pulled off a massive bank robbery in Ulster, denied it and no one will believe them. But the good news is that they now know how Vice-Prez Bliar feels when no one will believe his lies.
"Life is endlessly complicated if you're a bureaucrat with no sense of humour and even less sense of proportion."
New Commish of the Met Sir Ian Blair decided on something really dramatic as his first act in office. He changed the font of the force's motto from one that looks like handwriting to a plain, sans serif font.
His reason for the face lift is that the old motto 'discriminated against short-sighted people'. He also bunged in a gratuitous 'together'. The new message now reads: 'Working together for a safer London'; which remains just as trite as the old version.
Just re-doing the revolving sign at New Scotland Yard cost £4,500 and there are hundreds of vehicles to repaint and tons of stationery to replace.
When asked whether he plans to add translations for people who can't read English, or a phone number for the illiterate to ring to hear the message read to them, Sir Ian suddenly realized that he was late for a meeting.
High street opticians are ripping their customers off big-time. They are buying mass-produced Korean spectacle frames at £1-2 each, adding lenses costing less than £1 per pair and charging their customers £75-99 for the completed pair of specs.
The International Olympic Committee is setting itself up for mockery by banning refreshments when its members visit the countries bidding for the 2012 Games. When IOC members take a bribe, they demand a whole lot more than a free lunch. And if the IOC thinks cutting out the small things will make the rest of us think they've solved their endemic corruption problems well, a field day for the mockers!
All you need is influence
Israeli PM Ariel Sharon has been handed a 'get out of gaol free' card over charges involving laundering illegal campaign funds. His son, Omri, has volunteered to take the flak on behalf of the family. The official verdict on his dad is that everyone knows what he did but the evidence is lacking.
Ariel Sharon had another miraculous escape in June 2004. He accepted a bung for using his influence in a Greek property deal and his son was put in charge of marketing the project. But the Israeli attorney general drew the Huttonesque conclusion that the Sharons are too dim to know they are being bribed and, therefore, not corrupt!
How curious! Gerry Adams has insisted that his sector of the IRA wasn't involved in the £26 million bank robbery in Ulster but he's no longer denying that the head office of the IRA was behind it. Which is about as close as his sort gets to a confession.
The IRA is also saying its members weren't responsible for murdering a man in a pub brawl and an elaborate cover-up. Who knows what Adams will have to say about it in a week or two.
The police of the Irish Republic (probable destination of the bank robbery loot) have connected Adams' sector with an IRA money laundering operation.
Sinn Fein to disband. Gerry Adams has declared that any members involved in criminal activities must resign; which will leave insufficient people to keep this particular sector of the IRA viable.
The French finance minister Hervé Gaymard has been obliged to quit over his freeloading. Although he owns an apartment in Paris, he had two apartments knocked into a single luxury duplex and moved his family into it. And he had the cheek to insist that the French taxpayer paid €15,000 for the cost of the conversion work, plus €14,000 per month rent plus further unspecified expenses.
Students of irony will be pleased to hear that Gaymard's job (before he got the sack) was cutting waste in public spending. The enterprising Gaymard was lining his pockets further by renting out his Paris apartment for €2,300 per month and he had the cheek to claim in a recent magazine interview that he has no money even though he also owns 2 houses, 2 flats and a farm.
INITIALS OF THE MONTH
GOSH good sense of humour, slightly twisted!
|Everyone's trying to put the world to rights|
US Prez Dubya Bush has been told to back off after making threats of violence against Iran and Syria. He has been advised that nuclear weapons in these 2 countries would balance the threat of the nuclear weapons which the United States helped the Israelis to build.
Nelson Mandela has been reminded that the main cause of poverty in Africa is its leaders and their cronies stealing all the aid money and any revenue from national resources. So killing the politicians and emptying their bank accounts has to be the first step to dragging Africa into the 19th Century. And another good idea would be keeping the UN out until its leadership stops ignoring genocide if white people aren't doing it.
The latest craze in Poland is looking for what the Communist era files say about people. Details of secret agents, employees of the secret services, informers and victims of the regime have found their way, mysteriously, onto the Internet. But there is no indication of who belongs to which category. Which leaves lots of scope for speculation, accusation and trouble-making.
The French moan about franglais, the Germans about denglish; now, the Japanese are at it. Their language police are claiming that most Japanese people can no longer speak their own language properly and they are becoming increasingly unable to read and write kangi, one of the main scripts. Foreign words, teenage slang and computers all share the blame for the slide towards English as a global language.
Some headbangers are describing Ellen McArthur's record-breaking round the world sail as "A great sporting achievement". Which leaves normal people asking, "Where the hell does sport come into it?"
But McArthur's success has led to crowds of people having lots of jolly fun from ringing up her main sponsor and saying they ordered something before she set sail in November last year, and when are they going to deliver it?
The Windsor Building, the tallest in Madrid, did an impression of the Towering Inferno; ironically, while it was being refurbished. The blaze proved a great attraction for locals and tourists alike, who were all hoping to see the 32 storey structure come crashing down on its neighbours. Unfortunately for the rubber-neckers, the steel framework of the building proved a little bit too strong.
Publishers worldwide are worried about falling sales but firms in the United States might just have realized what went wrong: the public got fed up with small books printed on shoddy paper with type that needs a microscope to read.
So some US publishers will try making bigger books with better quality paper and a legible type-size. And they're hoping the public will swallow a price between those of paperback and hardback volumes. And no one should be surprised if they hear loud cries of "Told you so!" ringing out from the headquarters of Romiley Literary Circle and the premises of Farrago & Farrago, its publisher.
The government thought it would be a good idea to send every household in the land advice on what to do in the event of a major terrorist attack (and how often do they happen?) as part of its feeble attempts to justify its illegal war in Iraq.
But it won't be sending out advice to householders on what to do in the event of an attack by burglars because that might actually be of some use to the customers.
Interesting question: what happens if Vice-Prez Bliar runs out of sand for drawing lines in?
Anyone who wants to object to a 24-hour drinking licence for a pub or club will have to live within 75 metres of the premises. Objectors who live 76 or more metres away will be dismissed as 'irrelevant'. Further, local councillors representing people within the 75-metre circle will not be able to speak up for their constituents at council meetings as they will be judged to have a 'prejudicial interest' in the matter rather than relevant local knowledge.
This is Democracy In Action under New Labour.
The House of Lords has welcomed a new addition Lord Kinnock of Bedwetty, who has described his fellow inmates as "descendants of brigands and gangsters" and "a bunch of unelected busybodies". [Who elected Kinnock to the Lords? Ed.]
|"My head used to be this big in the good old days. Honest!"|
As he used to be an elected but ineffectual windbag in the House of Commons, and he was a total waste of space as the EU Commissioner who 'fought' corruption by sacking people trying to eliminate it, Vice-Prez Bliar's cronified upper chamber sounds like the ideal dumping ground for him.
BlackFlag News would like to add some verbs (and a spot of honesty)
to New Labour's election slogans:
Your family ought to be better off after all the extra taxes you've paid.
Your family should be treated better and faster but we're too busy fiddling NHS waiting lists.
Your child should be achieving more but we keep making a bog of the education system.
Your community will not be any safer while New Labour remains the burglar's friend.
Your country's borders cannot be protected while we refuse to take responsibility for them.
Your children will not be burdened with the best start if New Labour stays in office.
|This edition of BlackFlag News was compiled in accordance with official 10 Downing Street guidelines on accuracy and veracity.|
| ||Created for Romiley Anarchists' League by workers in revolt against oppression.|
Sole © RAL, February 2005.
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