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2005/March
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TIME NEWS
New Labour time theft continues

watch, missing hourVice-Prez Bliar & Co. stole a whole year from their customers via a bogus millennium change, which made the 20th Century only 99 years long and reduced the 2nd Millennium to a mere 999 years. And they're still at it!
   The last Sunday of this month was only 23 hours short, indignant residents all over the UK discovered.
   A Downing Street spokesman was hauled out of a lunchtime booze-up to swear on the head of his unknown father that the missing hour will be returned later in the year. But when has the Labour Party ever given back anything plundered from its customers?

Romiley News
ROMILEY NEWS
Signs of something dodgy going on?

A few years ago, Romiley Primary School was raising funds for its Millennium Library – mainly because the local council wasn't interested in giving the school any cash. The library was built despite the council's miserly attitude, and proved to be a valuable local asset. But suddenly, the Liberals in charge of Stockport Council are breaking their necks to shut the school down and sell off the prime piece of real estate which it occupies.
   Romiley's councillors, all Libs, and the local MP, another Lib, are not interested in the views of people who want to keep the school open. Which leaves suspicious Romiley residents wondering if Stockport Council's brother-in-law has made an offer for the prime piece of real estate and wants to build yet another complex of retirement homes.

UNSPORTING NEWS
The Greeks have their own way of doing things

Greek athleteTwo Greek sprinters with a history of ducking drug tests didn't compete in the Athens Olympics last year after they missed another test on the eve of the Games. They came up with a story of a motorbike accident, in which no other vehicles were involved (and neither were the police), and stayed in hospital until the testers pushed off.
   Both the athletes and hospital staff currently face criminal charges relating to faking the accident and aiding and abetting evasion of the drug test. But the Greek athletics federation has put the International Amateur Athletics Federation into a tail-spin by declaring Kostas Kederis and Ekaterina Thanou innocent of all wrong-doing.
   The federation did, however, find Christos Tzekos, the coach sacked by the sprinters, of failing to tell them to make themselves available for a random drug test. Mr. Tzekos was suspended for 4 years for this offence.
   In 1997, Mr. Tzekos was banned for 2 years by the IAAF for assaulting a drug-control officer while 3 of his athletes ran away to avoid random drug tests.
   The IAAF is expected to refer the matter to its Court of Arbitration for Sport. And the Greek criminal court system is still waiting to process Kederis and Thanou.

broken barsASBO for Irish show-off

Cornelius Horan, a sacked Catholic priest, ruined the marathon at last year's Athens Olympics by dashing out of a pub and grabbing the Brazilian runner who was leading the race. He also disrupted the Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2003 by rushing out onto the track. No surprise, then, that Camberwell magistrates have imposed an ASBO on him to prevent an unscheduled appearance in this year's London marathon.
   Horan will not be allowed to enter any London borough along the marathon route on the day of the race and he will have to keep out of an exclusion zone in Southwark, where he lives. Any more fun and games from him will result in serious gaol time. Unless, of course, the CPS screws up the prosecution.

reality bites 
Mark Thompson, currently the Beeb's director general, has a history of biting and throttling his co-workers. Pity he can't direct his aggressive energies into plugging the enormous holes in the Beeb's finances due to rank bad management.

m0The Pope is being forced to work till he drops with no prospect of retirement. Even on his deathbed, Vatican officials continue to badger the dying John Paul II with paperwork over appointments and retirements in the Catholic church. His plight reflects the deep crisis in the Vatican Pension Plan, which has been in melt-down since the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, alias The Mugger was made a special advisor to the fund.
   "The coffers are empty," a Vatican spokesman said despairingly. "We can't work out where the money went and our special advisor no longer returns our calls."

banana
POINTLESS SECRECY
So what is a 'portion'?

The Government has made a big thing of telling its customers to stay healthy by eating 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day. But every time someone has dared to ask the Department of Health exactly what constitutes a 'portion', nothing helpful has been forthcoming.
   This month, one of the contributors to BlackFlag News visited his local health centre for a routine injection and he was amazed to see a portion poster on the wall in the nurse's room. There were pictures showing what constitutes an official 'portion' – things like a medium-size apple, a handful of grapes, 3 dried apricots or 2 halves of tinned peaches. There was also a picture of the right amount of okra (whatever that is.)
   All of which left the BFN contributor wondering why the Department of Health couldn't have included the poster in its propaganda campaign and newspaper advertising. New Labour's obsessive secrecy for its own sake seems to be the only likely explanation.

MIND BOGGLE
Nice to know what people really think of you

Cardinal O'Connor, head of the UK's Roman Catholics, has announced that the Catholic community's traditional support for Labour is a thing of the past. Which leaves the rest of us wondering what there is about Catholicism which ensures instinctive support for the Labour party. It must be quite interesting for the customers to learn that when an RC bishop or archbishop looks down from a pulpit, he sees a bunch of Labour-supporting, ragged-arsed sons (and daughters) of toil rather than posh people like himself.

Churchill?A waste of both space and money!

The BBC has paid £50,000 of licence payers' money to a 'Britartist' for this brilliant work of art.
   What's it supposed to be?
   Winston Churchill. That's Britain's prime minister during the Second World War, by the way, not the dog who sells insurance in adverts on the telly.
UpdateThe BBC sacked 1,730 staff this month and a further 1,500 are facing the chop to cut costs. No prizes for guessing that the bloke who buys the junk art isn't going.

ChipsA sign of dodginess going on behind the scenes?

Why are Hellmans spending so much dosh on advertising their mayo as a garnish for chips? Well, Belgium is about the only place where mayo on chips is popular (or, at least, considered not totally disgusting). And Belgium's capital is Brussels, which is the home of the European Union's meddling bureaucrats. So it seems more than possible that Hellmans have got wind of a fledgeling change to EU regulations in the offing. Like someone taking a bung to ban vinegar on chips and make mayo the only permitted garnish in the EU zone.
   Now is the time to fight back! You have been warned!

Kaboom!Cold War secrets revealed!

An Italian MP has spilled secret beans about what the Soviet Union was up to 35 years ago. Secret documents smuggled out of Russia show, Paulo Guzzanti claims, that Soviet submarines hid up to 20 nuclear weapons off the Italian coast in 1970 as part of a grand invasion plan. And they're still there! Rusting away!
   The Russian navy has denied the claims – but it chose to do so via Captain Igor Dygalo, a spokesman with a track record for dishonesty. Just about everything he said about the events surrounding the sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk in 2000 turned out to be a lie.

ELECTION NEWS
Smug Bugger to Lying Bastard as the wheels
come off Labour's spin machine

smug buggerThe Labour party is holding secret election press conferences, to which only the faithful are invited. The unfaithful have to work out where they are and gatecrash. Why? Because Vice-Prez Bliar hopes to unload lies about the Tories at these gatherings (which are top secret for 'security' reasons) and stand The Mugger alongside him to pretend that they have always been good mates.
Heil Mugger   Unfortunately, the wheels came off in the post-budget sessions when journalists actually dared to challenge Vice-Prez Bliar's lie that the Tories plan to cut £35 billion from public spending and sack every doctor, nurse and teacher in the country.
   To the vast amusement of The Mugger, the vice-prez was forced to admit that it wasn't true. Worse, when Transport Secretary Alastair Darling tried to claim at another press conference that the Tories plan to cut £50 billion from public spending, not £35 billion, he ran into another barrage of derision and disbelief.
   Is reality starting to bite back all of a sudden?

BRITAIN MEANINGLESS NOT SLOGAN!

!The 3 best election pledges of the campaign so far:
1. "No new speed bumps," say the Tories.
2.The Tories will repair or junk the current human rights legislation.
3.The Tories will lock up gipsies who make nuisances of themselves and blight the English countryside.

TONY B. LIAR WASTE OF NOT SPACE!

#Iraq War Revelations
Sir Richard Dearlove (head of MI6) remembers telling Vice-Prez Bliar in July 2002 that he could see that the case for war was being fixed to support the American intent to attack Saddam Hussein. Sir Stephen Wall (Downing Street European advisor) has admitted helping to stretch the legal argument for war to the limit. He believes that failing to get UN backing for the war set a dangerous precedent.

@Reg Keys, the father of one of the 6 British MPs who were isolated and murdered in Iraq, plans to stand against Vice-Prez Bliar in the general election. He would like all other candidates to drop out to give him a clear shot at the V-P.

Michael HowardHoward gets tough with Howard

Tory Leader Michael Howard has sacked party vice-prez Howard Flight and banished him from the Tory group in the Commons. His crime? Shooting his mouth off, despite a warning not to, at a private meeting, being recorded by a Labour infiltrator and becoming the focus of media attention, and more Labour Party lies, instead of the Labour Party's crimes in office.
   It seems Mr. Howard was serious when he declared that saying one thing in public and another in private won't be condoned.
UpdateThe Capaign for the Rehabilitation of Howard Flood wishes it to be known that he was being wound up deliberately by journalists on Conservative waste-cutting plans and that he made his remarks in the context that further savings will come to light when the Tories get their hands on the books and deconstruct the smoke screen which the Treasury has spread around the true state of the nation's finances.

#For the benefit of any pensioners wondering where the 200 quid promised by The Mugger to help pay their Council Tax bill is – you won't get it until November (assuming Labour wins the general election.)

Prez MugDemocracy In Action!

Prez Mug of Zimbabwe has promised a free and fair general election contest with the 'traitors' of the opposition. But he added that a win by the opposition would not be tolerated. Isn't it great what you can get away with in uncivilized Third World African countries?

The MuggerWatch the blighters wriggle!

The Institute for Fiscal Studies used the government's own figures to calculate that the average household take-home income fell as a result of the Stealth Tax rises in The Mugger's 2002 budget.
   A Treasury spokesman called the report 'rubbish based on unreliable data'. He added: "If people who suffered a drop in income had been excluded from this survey, then reported take-home incomes would actually have risen in 2003/4."

GRAND PRIX NEWS
Good day for the Keller brothers: Fisi & Barri

Giancarlo FisichellaThe Australian Grand Prix provided a chaotic grid with Fisichella on pole, thanks to violent weather during the 2-part qualifying, but not much excitement and precious little overtaking. Coulthard was forced into a hazardous overtaking manoeuvre on Villeneuve at the first corner but the audience was probably asleep by the next overtake.
   The pit stops looked like prime examples of New Labour job creation with dozens of blokes standing round the cars and not doing much. The Forces of Evil Schumacher provided a brief moment of interest when he engineered a shunt with Heidfeld, which sent both of them out of the race, and it was up to his team mate, Barrichello, to score points for second place in a Renault sandwich behind Fisichella, who gained his second win in 142 GP starts.

Fernando AlonsoBlack Spot for both Keller brothers in Malaysia

Fisi slid into Mark Webber when the Australian tried to overtake at a corner (and put both of them out of the race) and Barri gave up near the end, out of the points and with his tyres shot. So it was left to Fisichella's team mate Fernando Alonso to pick up the win for Renault in fine style.
   With the temperature sky-high, this was a day for surviving rather than much of a racing spectacle, especially as the drivers had to make one set of tyres last the whole race. This wasn't a problem for BAR as both of their Honda engines blew up in the first few laps. Raikkonen actually got to change a tyre, giving his pit crew a little exercise, but only because a puncture had ruined his chances of scoring any points.

DEPARTURES

TV on the Radio

Tommy Vance, the gravel-voiced radio DJ, has died at 61. His distinctive voice was ideal for radio and TV adverts; a spin-off from his long radio career, which began in the United States and continued in the UK with pirate and commercial stations as well as the BBC. He took over from Alan Freeman as the presenter of the only decent rock music show on Radio One, and lots of items from his 15-year stint with the Friday Rock Show live on in private recording collections.

DEPARTURES

Dave Allen

A master of TV comedy has died at 68. With his laid-back style, sitting in front of the camera with his glass of whisky and his cigarettes, Dave Allen became essential viewing on the BBC in the 1960s. Lampooning Irishness, perceptions of Irishness, the Catholic Church and anything which irritated him, his TV success continued up to his retirement in the late 1990s. Dave Allen was one of a kind and he will be long remembered with affection.

DEPARTURES

John DeLorean

The visionary car designer, whose dream turned to dust, has died at 80. He will be remembered with affection by car buffs for his stainless steel sports car with gull-wing doors. He will be remembered with no affection at all by the British taxpayers, whom he swindled via his factory in Belfast. DeLorean achieved great success at General Motors and he believed that he could go it alone. He was wrong. His only major solo achievements were persuading successive British governments to throw large amounts of taxpayers' money at his car plant and evading attempts by the authorities in Los Angeles to bust him for cocaine trafficking.

DEPARTURES

'Sunny' Jim Callaghan

The last Real Labour prime minister has died at 92. He entered Parliament in 1945 and made a bid for the leadership in 1963. Callaghan was the Chancellor when Harold Wilson, then prime minister, told his Big Lie to the nation – that devaluation would not affect the pound in everyone's pocket. Callaghan was subsequently shuffled to the Home Office. He changed hats from Foreign Secretary to Prime Minister when Wilson resigned in 1976, fearing the onset of Alzheimer's disease, and he was swept from power by Margaret Thatcher's Tories following the Winter of Discontent and 'Crisis? What Crisis?' headlines in the newspapers.

DEPARTURES

Andre Norton

The 70-year career of this writer of science fiction and fantasy works has ended with her death at 93. She began her career writing for teenagers, she branched out to espionage and historical novels during World War II and she began publishing works of science fiction in the 1950s. She is best known for her Witch World series of fantasy novels aimed at teenagers and young adults. Andre Norton received a shower of awards for her science fiction and she wrote, and co-wrote, an impressive 160 novels, the last of which, Three Hands of Scorpio, will be published next month. The Science Fiction Writers of America plan to keep her memory green with an Andre Norton award for excellence in the field of writing for young adults.

Spring Offer for Our Readers

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 . . .
   . . . currently being extended as more info leaks!

   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

Criminal News
CRIMINAL NEWS
Corporate extortion/blackmail

Someone has come up with an interesting twist on the theme of corporate blackmail. The Australian firm Multiplex has been ordered to hand over £20 million if they don't want snipers taking out the operators of their giant cranes at construction sites. Multiplex has contracts all over the world, including the new Wembley Stadium, and the police officers looking for the extortionist have a real headache of a job before them.

m0Cannabis use went up by 25% in the first two years after New Labour downgraded it from a Category B drug to Category C. The street price of cannabis has dropped by 40% over the last five years in response to market growth.

King TutankhamunKing Tut not murdered (or not the way they thought)

X-ray CAT scans of Tutankhamun's body have shown that his skull fractures occurred either during the mummification process or after his remains were found by Howard Carter in 1922. So all the books and TV programmes about his murder via a clonk on the head have been shown up as garbage.
   The young king died with an unhealed leg fracture. He might have broken his leg while hunting, which was still legal in those days, and he could have been killed by an infection picked up via the open wound. The latest examination of the body does not rule out murder by poison, however, if anyone wants to write a new book on how King Tut might have been done in.

m1Boy racers be warned! If you give your souped up car a kit which shoots sheets of flame out of the exhaust, the police will be after you and your insurance company will weasel out of your contract. In the first ever prosecution for this offence, Stephen Dixon of Colchester was fined £100 and awarded 3 penalty points for using a car in a dangerous condition that could have caused harm or injury.

m2The great, grey bulk of HMP Weare is about to disappear from Portland Harbour, Dorset. The UK's only prison ship is to be pensioned off after eight years as a 'temporary measure' intended to mitigate prison overcrowding. New Labour is hoping to house its overflow of criminal customers in private gaols built to a low-rise design and full of bright colours and natural light. The Home Office seems to be intent on making New Labour's prison experience as pleasant as possible rather than a grim alternative to the straight and narrow.

Hangem High, IranFlog 'em and hang 'em high works for Iran

When it comes to dealing with serial killers, Iran can teach the rest of the world a thing or two. Mohammed Bijeh, who preyed on children, received a trial behind closed doors then he was dragged out into public view for execution of his sentence. No nonsense about appeals to the House of Lords and the Eurocourt of Human Rights, just 100 lashes while being stoned by spectators, then death by slow strangulation while dangling from a crane. And the snuff movie of the whole spectacle should make a few bob for Iranian entrepreneurs.

m9The 192 directory inquiries service should never have been abolished, the National Audit Office has concluded. People are now paying up to ten times more to get phone numbers – and they get duff information 17% of the time. Oftel, now consumed by Ofcom, made the fundamental blunder of fixing something which wasn't broke.

broken barsGood News for Criminals

Thanks to New Labour's love of bureaucracy and red tape, police officers spend less than 10% of their time tackling crime. Most of their day is, in fact, devoted to filling in forms and doing 'trivial tasks', according to the chief constable of Surrey. The Home Office insists on paying highly trained coppers to do low-level clerical work and chief constables have been left in no doubt that they will suffer severe budget cuts if they try to bring in lower skilled and paid civilian clerks to do the work. Why? So that the Government can falsify statistics about the numbers of police officers by citing total numbers without mentioning that 90% of them aren't fighting crime.

m8The police have decided to concentrate on their strengths to the virtual exclusion of all other areas of activity. So forget arresting people who commit burglary, assault, fraud and all that stuff. The police are going after motorists big time. Their prey of choice will be those who are driving around without the benefit of road tax and insurance. The idea is to raise vast amounts of cash from fines via a pilot scheme so that the whole country can be covered with a network of cameras linked to computers linked to tax and insurance records.

m7UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has used standard New Labour tactics to evade personal involvement (for the moment) in a corruption scandal involving UN staff and his son, Kojo.

  • He held a one-day inquiry into allegations that UN officials were profiting from Iraq's oil for food programme, which was run by his son's employer, the Swiss firm Cotecna.
  • He did the inquiry himself instead of making it an independent one.
  • He didn't hold the inquiry until after his chief of staff's department had shredded most of the relevant documents; and, most important of all:
  • He got a result which made him blameless.

unbroken barsEurope Minister Denis McShane is in trouble for calling the French voters who oppose the EU constitution néo-cons, which translates as neo-cretins. He has upset a French socialist MP so much that the bloke plans to take Dr. bloody Denis to court for 'public abuse'.
   French socialists are against the EU constitution because they see it as a threat to their cosy and corrupt brand of social protection.

WAR REVIEWS
Flip-Flop Goldsmith – Vice-Prez Bliar's Man of Plastic

B. LiarFresh evidence has emerged that Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general, didn't declare the 2003 Iraq war legal until his arm had been twisted right up his back by Vice-Prez Bliar's minions. The censored bits of the resignation letter of senior Foreign Office legal adviser Elizabeth Wilmshurst have leaked and they show that Goldsmith started off saying the war would be illegal, he faced both ways for a while and he finally flopped in the right direction for Vice-Prez Bliar.

In March 2002, Vice-Prez Bliar decided regime change in Iraq had to go ahead even though his Whitehall officials told him that there was no basis for it in international law.
In July 2002, it was Lord Goldsmith's opinion that the UN would not authorize force against Iraq.
In the autumn of 2002, Goldsmith thought the UK and the US had no grounds for regime change.
On February 11th 2003, the White House gangsters believed that they had brought Goldsmith onside.
On the 24th, the US, the UK and Spain failed to get a second resolution on Iraq out of the UN.
On the 28th, Goldsmith said a new UN resolution was unnecessary but the Foreign Office's legal officials were saying that a war in Iraq would be illegal without one. Senior FO legal adviser Elizabeth Wilmshurst has said that Goldsmith let them know that he agreed with them (until March 7th).
On March 7th 2003, Goldsmith told Downing Street that no new UN resolution was needed before starting a war but he added that a court might rule the invasion illegal and there could be international litigation.
On March 13th, Goldsmith told Lord Falconer and Baroness Morgan that war was okay under UN resolution 1441.
On March 17th, Goldsmith took Vice-Prez Bliar's word that Iraq had breached UN 1441 and said that regime change by using force would be legal.
On March 18th 2003, having failed to review the 'intelligence' information (most of which was doubtful or plain wrong), Vice-Prez Bliar sold his manufactured case for war to the Commons and Elizabeth Wilmshurst resigned from the Foreign Office.
On March 19th 2003, Prez Bush announced that the war in Iraq had started.

Science News microscope picture
SCIENCE NEWS
Another record prime number discovered

A German amateur mathematician has claimed the world record for the largest known prime number. Dr. Martin Nowak, a dentist, came up with [225,944,951] -1 on his home computer. His number contains nearly 8,000,000 digits. The search continues for a prime containing 10 million digits, for which the Electronic Frontier Foundation will pay a bounty of $100,000.

m0An inventor in Finland has come up with a jacket to protect dogs from wolves. It blasts a 1,000-Volt shock into anything which bites the jacket and there is padding to save the dog from injury. Wolves kill just 30 dogs per year in Finland so it doesn't sound like Jussi Aro has much of a market. Even so, he hopes to have the jackets on sale this autumn.

mouseLook out, Baron Frankenstein!

Scientists at Stamford University, California, are planning to breed mice with brains made entirely of human cells. They have already produced mice with brains containing 1% of human cells. The object of the research is to understand how human stem cells (which will be added to the mice) might provide a cure for brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

m1City Tip! Hackers are believed to be field-testing viruses to find out which work best with the new generations of mobile phones. Sounds like a good time to buy shares in the firms which offer anti-virus software!

m2Forget Global Warming and the Gulf Stream switching off. Forget Death Rocks From Space devastating the planet. This month's Reason To Be Fearful is one of Earth's super volcanoes. There are five of them: one each at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming; Long Valley, California; Naples, Italy; Toba, Indonesia; and Taupo, New Zealand. If any of them blows, the result would be a 'volcanic winter' and another mass extinction. And the one at Yellowstone, the experts believe, is getting ready to let go anytime in the next ten thousand years.

The Muggerblack holeTime to consult the expert?

Physicists in New York reckon they have created a black hole, which lived for a hundred thousand billion billionth of a second, by smashing the nuclei of gold atoms into one another at near light speed. Seeking to consult an expert, they are now planning to visit London, where The Mugger has created a much more enduring black hole in the nation's finances, which is likely to linger on for decades if Labour is re-elected in May.

travel
TRAVEL NEWS
Government targets put unsafe, inexperienced drivers on the roads

The Driving Standards Agency imposes quotas on driving examiners to make sure that their individual pass/fail rates reflect the average rates for their area. This archetypal New Labour system of targets was exposed when an examiner was sacked for having a personal pass rate over 10 points lower than his local average rate of 47%.
   The DSA had to pay compensation for his unfair dismissal but there is no sign of compensation for the motorists exposed to the sub-standard drivers put on the roads by this quota system. Its customers should not expect New Labour to put a stop to this malpractice anytime soon as the government has a financial interest in maximizing the number of motorists to obtain maximum income from taxes and fines for speeding and parking.

GlobalFlyerNon-stop around the world

American millionaire 'adventurer' Steve Fossett has succeeded in his bid to fly solo around the world in GlobalFlyer. His aircraft is constructed of composite materials which, he hopes, could make future aircraft cheaper, more fuel efficient and more environmentally friendly. When asked about the long-term significance of his flight before he took off, Mr. Fossett replied, with rare honesty, "None!"
   He spent 67 hours in the air covering 23,000 miles and sleeping (so he says) for 1-3 minutes every so often. There was drama on the homeward leg of the flight when his aircraft was found to be short of over a ton of fuel. Luckily, strong tail winds pushed him across the Pacific and helped him to make his base in Kansas safely.

skull 'n' crossbonesBrits – unfair game for a rip-off

The travel firm Thomson looks like being shopped to the European Commission for charging British holidayers 45% more than Dutch customers for the same holiday. The scam was uncovered by the 'consumer watchdog' Which? and the cause has been taken up by Trading Standards officers.
   British customers booking holidays at Disneyworld in Florida suffer a similar rip-off compared to Americans and Europeans, as do British customers who download music from Apple.
   Citroen, Fiat, Ford, Nissan, Rover and Toyota are also ripping off British car buyers.

trainUK Rail travellers have been warned that 40% of tickets bought on-line from thetrainline.com could be invalid and using them could result in a fine and having to pay for the journey again at a higher price.
   The main cause of the problem is suspected to be train operators supplying duff information to the ticket agent and making a whacking profit out of it.

m9Britain's roads are full of potholes because local authorities are misusing funds allocated for road repairs. As a result, claims by motorists for damage caused by sub-standard roads are up 60% and £93 million was wasted on compensation payments last year. Romiley residents can confirm that Stockport Council is a prime offender where neglect of roads and pavements is concerned.

C-C Bottling plantSomeone else taking the p*ss out of the customers?

Ryanair has a long history of offering customers rock-bottom fares for their flights and then tacking on all sorts of stealth charges, or advertising flights to tourist-trap cities but landing their aircraft at airports miles and miles away. Their latest profit-seeking dodge is to sell own-brand bottled water at £4 per litre. This nice little earner consists of Thames Water's product (costing 0.06p per litre) plus a spot of carbon dioxide to give it a fizz.
   This scam was brought to the attention of the Great British Public in an episode of Only Fools And Horses, in which Del Trotter sold tap water in posh bottles as Peckham Spring. Coca-Cola jumped on the bandwagon in March last year, selling Chateau Thames Water under the name Dasani at 95p for a 500 ml bottle – a mark-up of 300,000% on the cost to them of the water.
   Coca-Cola was pursued by the National Mineral Water Association and the Food Standards Agency and the product was recalled and junked after it was found to contain up to twice the legal amount of bromate.

APOLOGY of the MONTH

BlackFlag News would like to apologize on Vice-Prez Bliar's behalf to Admiral the Hon. John Byng, MP, who was shamefully done to death on 14th March 1757 by a British Government not unlike the Vice-Prez's. Admiral Byng was made the scapegoat for the Government's negligence, which resulted in the loss to the French of the Mediterranean island of Minorca.
   He was executed as a result of the illegal sentence passed by his court martial and surprise! The official investigation into the loss of Minorca cleared the politicians.
   The government of the day lied about Admiral Byng and briefed against him in a manner which could have served as a blueprint for the present day Downing Street press office's treatment of Dr. David Kelly and its other victims.
   Maybe, one day, Vice-Prez Bliar will also get round to apologizing to Dr. Kelly.

Home News
HOME NEWS
A universal trend to nastiness?

Negative advertising seems to be the trend of the moment. Drink Horlicks and become a vindictive bastard. Put Hellman's mayonnaise on your chips and become an enormously fat Belgian. Are these TV adverts likely to sell more of the above products? No! So it looks like a couple of ad agencies are heading for the order of the boot.
   Could one of them be the cowboy outfit which persuaded Sainsbury's that John Cleese bellowing at people would make customers rush to their supermarkets?

m0No wonder they call them TRIVIAL-Democrats!

Nearly 4 years ago, a polished boulder inscribed with the text of a 16th Century curse went on show in Carlisle. A Triv-Dem councillor is now lobbying to have it removed as he is blaming it for the area's recent disasters, which include the foot and mouth outbreak, job losses at major employers, fires in the city, their football team's relegation and this year's floods.

Not value for moneyNottingham county and city councils have decided to abandon Robin Hood as their symbol. So they paid £120,000 to a PR agency, which came up with a giant letter N. WOW!!!!
   Council taxpayers, whose money disappeared down this drain, were less than impressed. "A giant letter N doesn't stand for anything in particular," Ian Walker, chief executive of Nottingham's Tales of Robin Hood pointed out. "N could just as easily stand for Norwich, Northampton or Nuneaton," added Rob White, chairman of the Worldwide Robin Hood Society.
   The man in charge of promoting the city and county, who blew the £120K, thinks the letter N has 'that wow factor' and it is relevant to all sorts of things about Nottingham, not just tourism. Strange how that sort of bloke is always entrusted with vast amounts of public money.
UpdateTKZ (total kill zone) Bearing in mind the complaint by Steve Green, the area's chief constable, that he gets more murders than he can handle, maybe a flak jacket would be a more apt symbol of life in Nottingham.
meanwhile35 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales endorsed Steve Green's view that the police 'service' is drowning in paperwork.
meanwhilePolice in Kent are to lose the sirens and flashing lights on their vehicles, and they will have to observe speed limits and the Highway Code when chasing criminals. The head of the police Tactical Operations Department in Kent has warned customers that police officers will take a lot longer to reach crime scenes and arrest rates will plummet. But he feels it is a price worth paying to achieve political correctness.
   Appropriately, the policy will be introduced on April 1st. There will be no announcement as the head of Kent's TOD is hoping that criminals will not notice that they are no longer being pursued with any degree of relentlessness.

m192% of all emails are spam, says an email security firm. BlackFlag News is surprised to hear that the figure is as low as 92% and feels that 96.8% would be nearer the mark.

m2"One in three people in the UK has links with a terror group," said a Government security expert. The rest of his remarks were drowned in gales of laughter from his audience.

m3The ITV soap The Bill is painting an interesting picture of Sun Hill's Moslems. They don't want to know the police and they're so deeply sunk into victimhood that they won't shop drug dealers (unless someone puts a charge of dynamite under them) in case having criminals in their ranks reflects badly on their 'community'.

m42003: "Saddam Hussein has chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction which are ready for use against the UK in 4-5 minutes."
2005"There are 200 Al Qaida terrorists in England plotting outrages right this minute!"

urban installationA failure of imagination?

A woman in Stalybridge is being persecuted by her neighbours and her local council for having a garden that looks like a refuse tip. The town hall tyrants are so upset that they are threatening to chuck Mrs. Helen Abbott in gaol for 14 days, and she faces eviction by the housing association from which she rents the house. BlackFlag News would like to suggest a way out for Mrs. A. All she has to do is claim that her garden is an installation and apply to the Big Lottery Fund for a grant to maintain a national treasure. Or she could always flog it off to a London-based collector with more money than sense.

reality bitesThe Government's plans for imposing hugely expensive ID cards on its customers and giving them a casino on every high street are unravelling at high speed. Vice-Prez Bliar has upset so many residents of the House of Commons that most of the bills offered in the last Queen's Speech are falling by the wayside as reality bites.
   V-P Bliar's only hope of salvation is to do a deal with the Opposition parties. But as the general election looms and the New Labour's attack dogs and dirty tricks departments spring into action, there's not to much hope of that happening.

The MuggerNot much of a budget

The Mugger was extravagant in his bogus claims that he's brought prosperity to the nation for the longest period in the known universe but his offerings didn't amount to all that much. He took a billion pounds from the oil companies and handed some of it to pensioners to pay this year's Council Tax. But he gave the 'grey voters' a one year only deal, which means they're on their own when the Council Tax increase percentage hits double figures next year.
   The rest was purely cosmetic, including giving pensioners the freedom to ride around on buses in off-peak periods (a concession which large numbers already enjoy), and the freedom to pay if the bus crosses into another council's territory. As for the remainder, it was mostly jam tomorrow; concessions for future years (when The Mugger will no longer be in the Chancellor's job) rather than this year.
   As for doing anything about the Labour Party's culture of tax and waste and lie about it – forget it! The Mugger's black hole is £14 billion pounds deep and getting deeper by the minute.

m5Congrats! to Pte. J. G. Beharry of the 1st Battalion the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment on being awarded the Victoria Cross for valour in the presence of the enemy in Iraq.
Congrats! also to Mrs. Margaret Dixon on getting her shoulder operation performed at the 8th attempt. She had to handbag the Labour party to make the operation happen and BFN hopes it turns out to be completely successful.

m6"Don't vote, it only encourages them!" Which is probably why 3 million people, according to the Department of Guesswork, have not bothered to register to vote in the May 5th general election.

m7Vice-Prez Bliar has been shamed into cleaning up his act somewhat. The country is no longer in danger of being thrust into an illegal war on the strength of a chat over drinks involving Tony and his political staff with no one taking notes. The V-P is being obliged to return to the proper cabinet procedures with everything on the record, and Labour politicians are not to be allowed within a million miles of spy data as the evidence shows that they are unable to resist lying about it and distorting it out of all recognition.

m8NASA used to be the butt of jokes about its fiscal out-to-lunchness. Who can forget the $1,000 lavatory seats and $500 hammers? But the BBC, for all its cost-cutting and sackings, is right there with NASA in the waste-of-cash stakes. The Beeb outsources work to Land Securities Trillium, a property management firm, and the good old generous Beeb is quite happy to pay LST £57 to change a light bulb, £2,500 to erect 9 shelves, £5,500 to install a £2,500 air-conditioner and £1,000 to put up a sign.
   The BBC has signed a 30-year contract with LST so if the licence fee soars in future years, the customers can make a good guess as to where the cash is going.

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' (but don't hold your breath).
   In the meantime, as a public service, Jenson Farrago is offering access to his collection of examples of lottery, phishing and other email spam.
CLICK HERE to find out what miracles they offer.

SURVIVAL NEWS
Rewriting history on the hoof

X-ray machineThe Government announced last month that it was determined to do nothing about the threat of Avian Flu, which has killed three-quarters of the humans who contracted it. The Department of Health insisted that it had no stocks of vaccine and it had no plans to purchasing any.
   All that has changed now, and the Government has been shamed into spending several millions of pounds on antiviral agents, which will slow down a pandemic while vaccine producers take up to 4 months to create a specific agent against the particular strain which strikes the UK. And the Health Sec. is pretending that the Government started planning to do this last March instead of on March 1st this year.
   The first batch of antivirals will be delivered in 2006 and the rest will follow in 2007. So anyone planning to get bird flu is advised to put if off for a couple of years.

m0Reasons to be idle Number 99 : Community Acquired MRSA is spreading to communal areas of gyms and sports centres via dirty and poorly cleaned towels. CA-MRSA causes boils and other skin inflammations, and it can trigger a lethal type of pneumonia. You Have Been Warned!

m3German beer consumption is down 20% over the last year. Breweries are faced with a choice between going out of business and finding a way to convince younger boozers that beer is quite cool, actually, and alcopops are for wimps.

m4The Government has been forced to scrap its plans to ban, on cost grounds, NHS prescriptions for drugs which provide an effective delaying treatment for Alzheimer's disease at about £2.50 per day. Vice-Prez Bliar is worried about losing even more of the 'grey vote'.

killer ladybirdGarden alert: killer ladybirds on the way!

As the weather warms up, a predator from the Far East will soon be rampaging around British gardens. The harlequin ladybird arrived as an illegal immigrant on plants imported from one of our European neighbours last September. It is bigger, tougher, hungrier and psychopathic compared to our 46 native species of ladybird.
   The short-term good news for gardeners is that it is an aphid-chomping machine. The long-term bad news is that when it runs out of aphids, it will start munching its way through British species of ladybird, reducing pest-control diversity.

m5Upset by the loss of his parliamentary expenses, IRA spokesman Martin McGuinness has warned the relatives of Robert McCarthy, who was murdered by the IRA at a Belfast bar last month, not to stand against him and his mates in the general election. Isn't it great what you can get away with when you have a private army behind you?
UpdateIRA spokesman Gerry Adams has accused the killers of Robert McCarthy of sullying the nationalist cause. Which raises the interesting question of how it's possible to sully a cause involving mass murder and maiming, drugs and arms trafficking, bank robbery, kidnapping, extortion and protection rackets, and fraud on an international scale. Oh yes, and did we mention murder?

noble weedAttention all pot-heads! It would be a good idea to stock up on your noble weed of choice. Home Sec. Charles Clarke is going soft on New Labour's policy of going soft on cannabis. He has suddenly realized that Vice-Prez Bliar's being soft on criminals and soft on the causes of crime isn't impressing the customers, especially with a general election looming. So Clarke is now planning to make possession of cannabis non-compulsory. And he might even try to make it ILLEGAL if he thinks he can get away with it!

Evil BushAre Americans born evil or do they have to work at it?

Mrs. Terri Schiavo has been in a vegetative state, severely brain-damaged and unable to swallow, for 15 years. She has no quality of life and her husband thinks she should be allowed to die. Her family and the lunatic fringe in the United States want to keep her alive by artificial means just for the sake of keeping her alive.
   A Florida judge ruled this month that her feeding tube could be removed. So Prez Bush cut short a holiday to but in and try to intimidate the judge into changing his mind. Bush and his majority in Congress seem intent on prolonging this poor woman's torture because they are either totally oblivious to human suffering or just merciless in their eagerness to impose their will on their fellow citizens regardless of what anyone else thinks.
   Unfortunately, George Dubya is not just in hock to the lunatic fringe as the price of his recent election victory – he's a card-carrying member of it. During his reign, hard science has been replace by ignorance, superstition and prejudice. Stem cell research, evolution and the real facts of climate change are all taboo subjects in the United States. Pollution is okay as long as Republicans and their supporters are making a profit out of the contamination process. And conspicuous consumption remains the rule for the good old US of A.
   When things go so badly astray, people in their right minds start thinking that maybe the Oklahoma City Bomber had a valid point – even if he was about 1,200 miles off target.

Ten BobBarclays are proper Klingons when it comes to their customers' cash!

Customers of Barclays Bank found themselves unable to draw money from cash machines on Easter Sunday. When the clocks went forward one hour, the bank's main computer got itself in a tangle and refused to have anything to do with ATM transactions for the rest of the day.
   Some facts: The nation's clocks have been going forward for British Summer Time since 1916. No other bank has this problem. Barclays made a pre-tax profit of £4.6 billion last year and not having to pay for a computer system that works must have helped quite a lot.
UpdateProbably aware of how much of their money Barclays have clung on to, its disappointed customers are claiming compensation. If Barclays can demand a penalty of £35 for going overdrawn by 7p, one of them insists, then depriving him of his dosh has to be worth a bundle going the other way.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
No London Olympics

A London Olympics?
No, thanks!

Apparently, this message now has a royal endorsement.

world news
WORLD NEWS
The EU's books don't add up. Again.

the EU flag, the Triple CrossFor the tenth successive year, the European Union's accountants have refused to approve its accounts. They were not convinced that the £70 billion of taxpayers' money went to the right people and not the usual crooks. Every member of the European Commission, apart from Neil Kinnock, was obliged to resign six years ago because of the amount of money which was disappearing no one knew where.
   Kinnock was put in charge of combatting fraud until he, too, was shuffled off last year. His approach was to suspend from the duty, the only woman trying to stop fraud and his mission was a total failure. Around 20% of the cash lost to reported fraud (as opposed to total fraud) ends up in Spain, which is also the largest nett recipient of EU largess. The United Kingdom is second only to Germany in contributing to the European monetary shambles.

m0The government of Sudan, a country which practises genocide almost as a national hobby, would like the name of the allegedly carcinogenic red dye Sudan 1 changed. The Sudanese government is worried that bad publicity from the recall of food products containing the dye will have an adverse effect on their country's reputation around the world.

the EU flag, the Triple CrossThe spivs have their hands out again

The UK is about to overtake Germany as the biggest contributor to the EU's coffers. Our price of membership of this corrupt, shambolic and bullying organization will be £4.3 billion compared to Germany's paltry £4.1 billion. To balance this, the UK is right at the bottom of the list when it comes to getting cash back from the EU. And despite all of the above, the blighters are still trying to grab the UK's Thatcher Rebate, even though they have done nothing about the unfair system which justifies the rebate.

m9The chess grand master and former American Bobby Fischer has escaped from Japan after being held there since July last year. Japan's criminal government kidnapped him at the behest of that war criminal Prez Bush, Mr. Fischer said on his release. His 'crime' was to play chess against Boris Spassky in Montenegro in 1993. Mr. Fischer escaped from the 'bullshit' charges by applying for political asylum in Iceland and then for citizenship of that frozen nation.

m9The French and the Germans used their stooge Vice-Prez Bliar to block an EU plan to open up the labour market in their countries to competition from lower-waged European nations. Then Jacques "I'd be in gaol if I wasn't in office" Chirac sent the Vice-Prez on his way with a pat on the head and a kick up the bum in the form of a warning that the UK rebate from the EU will be toast this summer. Which leaves the rest of us asking: "Do we really need friends like the Frogs and the Germans?"

This Month's Garbage

The Garbage Michael Schumacher, who is on $40 million a year, gives his kids, Gina-Mari (8) and Mick (5) just 2 euros per week pocket money (£1.37).

 Wines like Piat d'Or and the products of Ernest & Julio Gallo, Jacob's Creek and Blossom Hill, which were found to be bland and boring in Which? blind tastings.

 The BBC paying £4,500 of licence-payers' cash to burglar and fraudster Brendon Fearon and nothing to Tony Martin, whose life Fearon blighted.

 New Labour's decision to give control of the Blair Broadcasting Corporation to a bunch of political appointees: New Labour luvvies, cronies and usual suspects.

 A £200 million super-quango for the racialism industry.

 Home Sec. Charles Clarke's house arrest bill, according to the Labour peers in the House of Lords.

 New Labour's overspending and underachieving city academies, and Vice-Prez Bliar's desire to inflict a lot more of them on his customers.

 Charlie Falconer's theory that if the Tories make trespass a criminal offence, gipsies will be prosecuted for trespassing on land which they have bought.

 Vice-Prez Bliar's Opportunist Society.

 The attempt by the Minister for Child Abuse Margaret Hodge to pretend that Jamie Oliver has been an official government School Meals Tsar for the last year or so.

 David Blunkett being allowed to squat in the home secretary's official residence despite being evicted from this job.

No. 10 Certificate of EndorsementThis edition of BlackFlag News was compiled in accordance with official 10 Downing Street guidelines on accuracy and veracity.

 
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