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2005/April
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Romiley News
ROMILEY NEWS
Mint profiteering in Romiley

The price of a bag of Somerfield mint imperials has shot up from 89p to 97p. When BlackFlag News grumbled about the unwarranted price hike, we were told, "It's all a question of supply and demand. The supermarket controls the supply so it can demand as much as it thinks it can get from the customers."

Toad about to explode
TOAD NEWS
Exploding toads in Hamburg!

Toads in Hamburg's parks are suddenly swelling to four times their normal size and exploding in a shower of guts and body parts. "It's like something out of a science fiction movie," a horrified nature protection worker complained as he began the job of cleaning up yet another disgusting mess.
   Hamburg's animal welfare department is baffled by the loss of thousands of toads and almost resigned to losing every toad in the city. Theories for the cause of the explosions range from the effects of an exotic virus and an out-of-control defence mechanism against the city's highly aggressive crows to experiments conducted by an amateur mad scientist.
   A more mundane explanation is that crows are eating most of a toad and leaving its skin in a tattered condition, which looks like an exploded toad. This expert believes the people who claim to have seen a toad go bang before their very eyes, but thinks they might have seen a toad with a damaged skin inflate itself and self-destruct involuntarily.

WAR NEWS
Yes, he was lying about Iraq's weapons

Screw BlairIn its final report, the Iraq Survey Group has nailed down the lid on Vice-Prez Bliar's myth that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction ready for deployment against British troops in 4 to 5 minutes.
   Some 1,700 inspectors crawling all over Iraq for years and found no evidence that there had been any WoMD in recent times. They also did Syria and concluded that the mythical weapons had not been smuggled to Iraq's neighbour.
   So Prez Bush and Vice-Prez Bliar have been shown up officially as a pair of corrupt politicians who took their countries into an illegal war on the basis of their lies.
UpdateThe head of the Iraq Survey Group has revealed that John Scarlett, the current head of MI6, tried to persuade him to sex up a report on the search for Saddam Hussein's non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Scarlett offered Charles Duelfer '10 Golden Nuggets' of dodgy information for an interrim report issued in March 2004. Mr. Duelfer chose to have nothing to do with them.

   The wheels come off Vice-Prez Bliar's war chariot
squarePublication of the Attorney General's full advice before the 2003 Iraq war shows an even-handed approach to the truth at 10 Downing Street. They cut out all the caveats from the dodgy dossiers that made the case for war and they did the same with the caveats in the Attorney's advice on the invasion's legality.
   Vice-Prez Bliar is now firmly lodged on the horns of a dilemma. Either he lied to the nation to get us into Prez Bush's 'Tidy Things Up For Dad' war in Iraq or he was grossly negligent of his obligations to the country. Either way, he's proved yet again that he's not fit to hold any position of responsibility.
   His regular reply to all charges relating to the Iraq war has become, "You have to make up your own mind about that." Well, Mr. B. Liar, we have and you're guilty.
   p.s. "I took the decision (to go to war)," he keeps saying. But shouldn't your Cabinet have been consulted at some point, Mr. B. Liar?

   Queue Here For Compo!
squareAny British serviceman hauled before the courts on criminal charges relating to offences allegedly committed in Iraq can now sue Vice-Prez Bliar for compensation on the grounds that he ignored the Attorney General's warning that British troops could end up in this situation if they were sent into an illegal war.

MEEJA NEWS
Isn't the new look for the ITN weekday lunchtime news
abso-bloody-lutely awful!

Cameras are no longer parked at sensible observation points, they swan around aimlessly doing slow pans, lifts and dips. Turgid text churns across the bottom of the screen as another distraction. And graphic sets are in constant, pointless motion so that the presenters and their studio guests seem to be drifting through space aimlessly.
   Is this all a device to distract the viewer's attention from the limp quality of the content? Or has some over-egoed designer actually persuaded the dunderheids at ITN that this visual catastrophe looks smarty-farty-arty?
   [Bound to be the latter, Ed.]
   p.s. What's the big idea behind showing adverts for kids' bums while people are eating their lunch? Or is it just a treat for the paedophiles in the audience?

   Bliar Broadcasting Corporation exposed
squareThe BBC has abandoned all pretence of impartiality in the election campaign. A BBC 3 team has been caught of the act of sending hecklers outfitted with radio-microphones connected to BBC recorders into meetings addressed by Michael Howard. Their film of the meeting concentrated on the hecklers to create a false impression of how the Conservative leader was received. New Labour has remained free of BBC-sponsored hecklers – to no one's surprise.

Deck someoneThe Big Election Suspense Issue :
 

When's Prescott going to deck someone?

ELECTION NEWS
The election called but New Labour
very coy over Third Term Big Idea

Surely Britain Deserves Better Than ThisVice-Prez Bliar showcased New Labour's style of government by wishing on the nation his Millennium Dome as the Big Idea for his first term of office. The whole project reflected the arrogance and condescension to the customers of this tired breed of Labour politician with stolen Tory policies.
   Vice-Prez Bliar and his cronies saw nothing wrong with spending vast amounts of taxpayers' money on celebrating the arrival of the Third Millennium one year early. The vice-prez also assured the nation that the world would flock to Greenwich to celebrate the bogus millennium change in his Dome. But that didn't happen.
   The Big Idea for term 2 was regime change in Iraq because Vice-Prez Bliar wanted to suck up to Prez Bush. And if deposing Saddam Hussein involved lying time and again to the British people about the level of threat in Iraq; well, Vice-Prez Bliar and his cronies had no problem with bending the truth right out of shape.
   Perhaps, given this track record of arrogant disregard for his customers and a willingness to lie his head off, the vice-prez has decided that reticence is the best policy for his third term Big Idea. But, assuming he gets in again and whatever it turns out to be, the British people can be sure of two things: it will cost a fortune and no one, other than Bliar cronies, will derive any benefit from all the money blown on it.
UpdateVice-Prez Bliar has promised to clean up the mess he's made of the postal voting system, but he has no plans to do anything this side of the general election in order to derive maximum advantage from the fraud potential. So it's another case of: "Oh, Lord, please make me virtuous – but not just yet."

Smug Meddling MuggerNo longer a man of the people

These days, when Vice-Prez Blair does his poster launches and press conferences, he is always careful to make the venue a closely guarded secret and to surround himself with a rent-a-mob of stooges.
   Why? Because real people keep asking him inconvenient questions, challenging his lies and generally beating him up about his broken promises. They also keep asking him when Smug Bugger is going to step aside in favour of his best friend the Smug Meddling Mugger.
   All very embarrassing, really!
   p.s. Chancellor Gordon Brown is such a financial genius that he announced, at the beginning of May 1999, that he would sell off half of Britain's gold reserved (to prop up the euro) in July. His announcement cause a drop in the price of gold but he still went ahead with the sale and cost the country a small fortune.

Scream!!!What is the Bliar regime worried about?
   1. Its immigration shambles – which is why the Labour client meeja cooked up a story of dissent about the emphasis placed on immigration control at the top of the Conservative party.
   2. The NHS – which is why the focus of most of Labour's lies and misrepresentations is on Conservative policies for the health service.
   3. Mention of the Iraq war, Steal Taxes including Council Tax, the Millennium Dome and any other costly New Labour disaster.
   What are the Conservatives worried about?
Having the election stolen from them through postal voting fraud.

Smug Bugger
Rare contemporary picture of Vice-Prez Bliar
Lost – but will he stay lost?

Vice-Prez Bliar is missing. He has disappeared from the election literature of all Labour candidates but the most contemptible crawlers, and no one (not even his closest friends like G. Brown) ever mentions his name. In fact, New Labour is in deep denial about him and he has become 'the man whose name they dare not speak'.
   This is a very worrying time for Smug Bugger. He knows that Labour might win the election if his influence is obliterated, realize it can do without a leader who hands out goodies to cronies instead of party comrades, and not let him out of his cellar!
meanwhileVice-Prez Bliar is in trouble for refusing to release the records (those that haven't been shredded) of his dealings with major New Labour bunger Paul Drayson. Drayson gave 2 bungs of £50,000 to Labour before his company PowderJect was awarded a £32 million contract to buy smallpox vaccine for the government. And in 2004, a bung of £500,000 was followed by a life peerage for Drayson.

   Mr. B. Liar admits another lie
squareVice-Prez Bliar accidentally let a piece of the truth out while being grilled by the BBC's Rottweiler Paxperson and proving he has no idea how many illegal immigrants he has let into the UK. Nearly 2 years after the event, Bliar admitted that he did authorize throwing the weapons expert Dr. David Kelly to the wolves when Vice-Prez Bliar was still lying about Iraq's non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction. He has been denying his involvement in this crime since July 2003.
   Vice-Prez Bliar's official statement for all of his misdeeds and crimes is: "I'm sorry (no, he isn't), but I believe I was right." (No, he wasn't.)

Fake Tan Smug BuggerFaking it for Britain

Vice-Prez Bliar is officially 'disappointed' that people have noticed his fake tan after he went from peely-wally to bright orange overnight. He is 'uncomfortable' that people are asking him what else he is lying about in addition to his skin colour.
   He would far rather talk about his successes during the last 8 years, such as the Millennium Dome, control of immigration, positioning Britain at the heart of Europe, distributing goodies to cronies, demolishing pensions and savings, and bringing democracy to Iraq at the cost of a few tens of thousands of lives; mostly those of foreigners.
   A spokesman for Robert Kilroy-Silk has described the VP's fake tan as 'contemptible political opportunism'.

RIP-OFF WARNINGS

Customers of LloydsTSB are warned that if they use a debit card to get cash abroad THEY WILL BE CHARGED MORE. And if they use a debit card in another bank, or at a non-LINK ATM, or to buy travellers cheques or foreign currency at another bank, the post office or a UK bureau de change THEY WILL BE RIPPED OFF FOR A FEE. And if they use a debit card to buy something abroad, or pay for something in a currency other than sterling, THEY WILL BE CHARGED A FEE FOR EACH TRANSACTION.

British Airways plans to rip off British customers by charging a British family of four 45% more for an October holiday flight to New York than a French family. The Brits will be charged £1,666 while the French will be charged just £1,150.

JUSTICE NEWS
Judge raps Prescott's Law

V-signMr. Justice Gibb has come up with an interesting counter to the proposition that gypsies can ignore planning law and their human rights supersede those of everyone else.
   The judge concluded in the High Court that if someone extends their caravan and converts it into a permanently fixed home, then that person no longer qualifies as a traveller. And so he/she is not entitled to enjoy old Two Jags' licence to commit a public nuisance.

   The MoD strikes back
squareThe Ministry of Defence has found an interesting way to deal with a pensioner who keeps making a nuisance of herself at a US military base in North Yorkshire. They have applied to Harrogate magistrates to have an ASBO slapped on her!

   New Labour says, "Sorry, we blew it."
squareThe Labour party has admitted that its attempts to increase police numbers are being blown off course. The problem arises because former Home Secretary David Blunkett failed to evict homicidal illegal immigrants, who are killing police officers.
   Blunk was warning that ‘Al Qaida is on our doorstep' when Kamel Bourgass (who killed DC Stephen Oake in Manchester in January 2003) was arrested, and it looks highly likely that Bourgass was framed as an Al Qaida terrorist as part of the New Labour plan to justify the illegal war in Iraq. Thus Bourgass is definitely a killer but he's probably not a terrorist.

   Spain raps aerial terrorist
squareAdolfo Scilingo, a former captain of the Argentine navy, has been gaoled for 640 years by the Spanish High Court for throwing people out of aircraft on behalf of his government. His crimes were committed during a period when Argentina's ruling military junta felt confident about disposing of opponents in this way (1976-1983). Senor Scilingo is the first foreigner to be prosecuted under Spanish laws covering crimes committed in other countries. The laws were introduced because the Spanish legal system had a lot of spare capacity due to a failure to prosecute criminals in its own country, e.g. the Valencia Land Grabbers.

   Ministry of Defence U-turn
squareRemember the part-time soldier who faked the photographs of Iraqi prisoners being abused which gave the Daily Mirror such a thrill? He's not to be court martialled because the army has realized he did the faking in his own time and when he wasn't subject to military law. [Took the idle buggers long enough to work that out! Ed.]

   Lord Woolf unveils his Burglars' Charter
squareLord Woolf, the Burglar's Friend, is at it again. His lordship has ordered a 15% cut in the gaol sentences imposed on burglars, other thieves, dangerous drivers and criminals in general who didn't use violence while committing their crime(s). A criminal with a 5 year gaol sentence usually gets out on parole after 32-40 months. As a result of his lordship's lenience, they will be at liberty and able to resume a criminal career in just 26 months. The public will not be alarmed by the consequent rise in theft and burglary, however, as New Labour will fiddle the figures somehow to show a drop in these offences.


Judges keep complaining that New Labour has changed rules which would have prevented the Bliar regime from abusing its powers. But who's doing anything to stop abuse of power by the judiciary?

TRACK of the MONTH

BlackFlag News would like to recommend a listen to THE GIFT by the Velvet Underground. The track is to be found on the album
White Light / White Heat and it's a hoot!

Criminal News
CRIMINAL NEWS
Noise pollution with a purpose

drummerThe city council of Rajahmundry in south India has come up with an interesting way of making persistent evaders pay their taxes. The revenue department is sending teams of drummers to homes and business premises with instructions to make a hell of a racket until the criminal pays up.
   The tactic extracted £700,000 of back taxes from slow- or non-payers in its first few weeks of operation, and neighbouring Indian cities are busy recruiting drummers for their own campaigns of shaming and deafening for the benefit of their honest citizens.

   Mug wins general election in Zimbabwe
squareNew Labour election planners returned to the UK bursting with ideas after watching Democracy in action in a decaying Third World country. Having seen the success of barring known supporters of rival parties from polling stations, and Mug's skilful use of proxy votes for millions of dead people, they are eager to get on with the same tactics here on May 5th.
UpdateHaving listened with keen interest to Prez Mug's declaration that he intends to stay in power until he is 100, Vice-Prez Bliar is looking into the possibility of doing the same himself.

speed cameraYou just can't win!

Big cities are having to spend half a million pounds or more every year to replace signs stolen by scrap metal gangs. With the price of aluminium at a ten-year high of £1,068 per ton, motorways are lined with loot for the thieves, who tend to be indistinguishable from real workmen in fluorescent work clothing and (stolen) white vans.
   Some councils have tried to get round the problem by erecting signs made of plastic or an unsaleable metal alloy. But dim-witted crooks are nicking these signs, too!

   Not getting away with it
squareMuhammad Afzal, disqualified Labour councillor for Birmingham Aston, has lost an appeal against his removal from office. Mr. Justice Collins ruled that Afzal's human rights had not been breached [It is highly unusual for the Appeal Court to take any notice of human rights submissions! Ed.]. He also ruled that the original court had been entitled to reject Afzal's claim that he had been elsewhere when police officers had found Afzad, Muhammad Islam and Muhammad Kazi handling unsealed postal ballots in a disused warehouse last year.

speed cameraOne Rule For Me

The head of Scotland Yard's traffic division is Chief Superintendent Les Owen. He favours speed cameras on every street corner and hanging, drawing and quartering for speeding motorists. But he sees nothing wrong with letting his driver do 82 mph in a 40 zone and 86 mph in a 50 zone when he's late for a meeting.
   These excesses were recorded on the police car's built-in video system and the driver was eventually awarded 6 penalty points on his licence (reduced to 3 on appeal) when a civilian motorist would have received an automatic driving ban.
   Chief Superintendent Owen, who yelled abuse at other motorists during his dash, thinks that he has done nothing wrong.

Spring Offer for Our Readers

Pass The Parcel by Philip H. Turner

Pass The Parcel by Philip TurnerWhen Nicki and Jeff Jenner arrived at their country retreat with their friend Guy Duggleby, armed men were waiting for them. They deduced that their mutual friend Toby Ryun had been using Jeff's name at the gambling tables again – his usual ploy for changing his luck. What follows is a straight adventure story with no other ambitions. Kidnapping, currency fraud and violent death, mainly in France.

   Read the Blurb & Comments on the RLC website
   Read the Book on the RLC website

Category : Crime fiction. Vintage: early 1980s.

Vote Early, Vote Often
VOTING NEWS
Postal voting is wide open to electoral fraud – official!

burglarNew Labour's dry runs at last year's council elections in Birmingham have confirmed that any seat can be stolen if the postal voting campaign is handled ruthlessly enough. No wonder that postal voting is Vice-Prez Bliar's method of choice for gaining support from apathetic Labourites. And if his party can steal a few seats by fraud; well, that's just a bonus.
   The Electoral Commission (a New Labour quango) admits that the postal voting system is wide open to fraud but it seems to be totally comfortable with the situation. An Electoral Commission spokesman on Radio 4's P.M. displayed a proudly complacent attitude over the fact that there is nothing that his organization can do to counter fraud via postal votes. His message was that if there is nothing to be done about postal voting fraud, then the electorate should not trouble its little head about it.
meanwhileA great many people are asking why it took a whole year to expose the fraud perpetrated by the Birmingham Six and why the police and the CPS are taking such a lackadaisical attitude to bringing criminal prosecutions. There is even a suspicion that most of those charged with the duty of bringing the electoral criminals to book would have been quite happy to see the business drag on until well after the coming general election.
   What has become plain is that New Labour is in denial about postal voting fraud because the party would have no one left to run the general election campaign in some areas if it sacked everyone involved in previous election frauds. And New Labour is in no hurry to clean up its mess this side of the only general election it stands a chance of surviving in the next 20 or so years.

   Postal vote farming condemned
squareReturning Officers all over the country are asking political parties and their candidates – particularly of the Labour Party – to stop collecting applications for postal votes as the practice encourages fraud. The Can't Prosecute Service had 39 fraud investigations relating to past elections in progress at the beginning of this month. Curiously, when this total was announced, there were no current police investigations into the 6 ex-councillors from Birmingham, who were convicted of vote rigging during last year's council elections.
meanwhileDespite the best efforts of the Returning Officers, Vice-Prez Bliar is still promoting postal vote farming with the utmost vigour and doing his little best to get as many applications as possible to go to Labour party offices instead of the homes of the people concerned.

   UK Post unveils its special issues for postal voting

Support World Terrorism stamps

SPAM NEWS
Virginia strikes a blow against cyber-clutter

burglarSerial spammer Jeremy Jaynes has been gaoled for 9 years as the first customer of new legislation in the state of Virginia. Before being busted, he sent out 10 million spam emails per day and his 'hit' rate of one $40 sucker per 30,000 emails gave him a monthly income of $750,000.
   He is believed to have made $24 million from his criminal activities, which means that he had no trouble raising $1 million for bail while his lawyer looks for wriggle room via an appeal.

   Stooges on parade
squareIf you see a bunch of troublemakers at a Conservative meeting, they'll be local Labour Party employees posing as members of the public. And if you see a bunch of people with suspiciously similar signs outside a Labour closed meeja session, they're a Labour rent-a-mob. New Labour has disconnected itself completely from real people, who keep asking embarrassing questions about all the public money they've wasted.

   This month's Believe It Or Whats!
square1. Chocolate contains a compound which stops the spread of cancer cells by switching them off. So if you eat lots of chocolate, you'll get enormously fat, you'll be covered with zits, you might have a heart attack but you'll be safe from cancer.
   2. Feeding a baby too much in its first week condemns it to a life of obesity!
   3. You live longer if you're a little bit of a fatty as skinnimalinks croak early.
   4. Cannabis smoking temporarily knocks 4 points off the user's IQ but texting and doing emails cause a drop of 10 points!
   5. Switching to a low-salt diet for years on end will provide NO health benefits at all!

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.

Home News
HOME NEWS
Price war? What price war?

burglarSupermarkets have been using New Labour tactics to wage a bogus price war. In the first quarter of this year, Tesco trumpeted price cuts on 2,983 products and kept quiet about shoving up the price of 2,852 others. At Asda, it was 2,451 down and 2,004 up. Sainsbury did even better for itself with 2,395 prices cuts and 2,975 price hikes.
   According to Mr. A.B. Liar, a spokesman for the Association of Convenience Stores, "The big supermarkets are not being directly dishonest, but rather very selective with the truth."

   Casino Bill crashes
squareThe nation's gamblers are in mourning! Culture-Vulture Sec. Tessa Jowell's plan to put a casino on every high street has been slashed to the bone, and then some, in the scramble to get something nodded through before Parliament is dissolved. The grand plan was ground down to a single super-casino in Blackpool. Which is exactly where everyone expected it to be put in the first place.

   New dental health initiative
squareNew Labour is planning to make pliers available at council offices, public libraries and supermarkets for those customers who are unable to find an NHS dentist.

clownDanger! Dining Accessory!

Tewkesbury Borough Council has put the kybosh on a plan to provide pensioners with paper napkins bearing a crime reduction message along with their meals on wheels. Gloucester County Council and the Gloucestershire Constabulary thought it would be a great idea to tell their customers to Lock, Stop, Chain and Check but some jobsworth at Tewkesbury did a 'risk assessment' and concluded that the scheme was dangerous. Why? Because of the risk of a pensioner swallowing the napkin and choking on it.

St. George flagHappy St. George's Day

BlackFlag News would like to wish its readers all the best for the 23rd; and sod all the leftie whingers who won't fly the flag on England's National Day. Not to mention Shakespeare's birthday. We're thinking of Norwich magistrates, who don't think St. George's day is 'special' enough for a one-hour bar extension for local pubs, and Liverpool Council, which was forced to back down when it tried to ban a shopkeeper from flying red & white flags. We're also thinking of the PC morons running the Royal Navy, who banned flying the national flag at Devonport because of a visiting Turkish warship. April 23rd is also the Turkish National Sovereignty Day and these idiots thought the Turks might fly into a strop if they saw St. George's flag on 'their' day.

   Honesty is its own reward
squareA Brit-Artist, who claimed he has been going round scratching cars as his latest 'art project', has been forced to admit that he was lying to escape prosecution for serial vandalism and criminal damage. New Labour has since offered him the job of the party's official election artist. "He seems to be eminently qualified for the job, especially on the veracity front," a party spokesman told BlackFlag News.

   New anti-apartheid stand
squareThe Association of University Teachers has voted to boycott 2 Israelis universities which abuse Palestinian human rights. The boycott is a protest against Israel's apartheid policies against the native population in occupied zones.

   Money to burn or someone got bunged?
squareGreater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority has spent a quarter of a million quid on a bus shelter in Eccles. And they put it 15 yards from the nearest bus stop so customers will get wet when they dash for a bus on a rainy Greater Manchester day. Normally, a bus shelter with seats costs £5,000. But this one is described as a 'passenger waiting environment' to explain why it cost 50 times more.

ROYAL WEDDING NEWS
Vatican spoilsports mess up Prince Chuck's wedding arrangements

Royal wedding stampTrouble-makers at the Vatican deliberately chose to hold the Pope's funeral on the day set ages ago for the marriage of HRH Prince Chuck to his longtime pal Camilla. Following the one-day postponement of the great event, the souvenir trade is gearing up to sue the Catholic church for godzillions of pounds in compensation.
   "It's all their fault for making HRH change the date after we'd started making our junk," an industry spokesman complained. "Fair's fair and we have a living to make as well as them. And who's going to buy anything dated April 8th if the wedding actually takes place on April 9th?"
[Probably about as many people who buy junk dated April 9th. Ed.]

   Palace Planners Slipped Up Badly?
squareIt was not until an hour or so after the postponement of the wedding of the year had been announced that someone realized what a big mistake had been made. If the happy couple had stuck to the original date, then they would have been able to get hitched without that tick Tony B. Liar and his dreadful wife trying to hog the limelight!
meanwhileNot everyone is distressed by the change of date for the royal wedding. The police force is rubbing its collective hands at the thought of all the lovely overtime which will be on offer for a Saturday ceremony rather than one held on a Friday.

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world news
WORLD NEWS
Vatican indicted for ageism

The Triple Cross, the EU flagThe ruling that cardinals over the age of 80 may not vote to elect a new pope has put the Roman Catholic branch of the church on a collision course with the European Union. And while they are considering the penalties which can be imposed for such blatant ageism, the Eurocrats in Brussels are also investigating other Vatican labour practices, including the policy which excludes women from a broad range of religion-related jobs and also the lack of a retirement plan, which forces some Vatican employees to work until they drop.

gunsquareFlorida is the place to be if someone attacks you! The state legislature has passed a law allowing people to meet force with deadly force if they are set upon in a public place.
   All the victim of the assault has to do is open fire and then tells the cops, "I felt threatened," and he/she becomes fireproof.

squareWhat is the point of the European Union imposing a ban on African dictators travelling to Europe when the Italians let Prez Mug and his criminal associates into their country unhindered?

squareAlso on Radio Four's P.M. – a bloke calculated that the Vatican's claim that a million people viewed the Pope's corpse could be true only if the spectators had been running through the building and past the remains. So it looks like the Vatican has its own Alastair Campbell clone cooking up dodgy press releases.

squareChina and Japan are currently locked in another ass-kicking contest over Japan's persistent whitewashing in schoolbooks of the atrocities committed in China in the 1930s and 1940s. The real reason for the latest eruption has now surfaced. It's a border dispute over seabed gas fields. Each side persists in drilling in the disputed zone and neither can back down without losing serious face.

squareQatar plans to fire its corps of half-starved Asian boy camel-jockeys and replace them with robots. The UN has been making noises about child abuse and the government of Qatar is not minded to abolish a popular sport. The Swiss manufacturer of the lightweight robots is likely to find more customers in the United Arab Emirates, which is also packed with camel-racing fans. What will happen to the thousands of boy jockeys when they become redundant has not been announced.

squareIsrael has decided to do nothing about the murder of British cameraman James Miller in May 2003. The Israeli army has cleared the officer who shot him, underlining Israel's belief that the state's agents can kill anyone they like in their zones of occupation.

squareIsraeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was cleared of taking bribes in June 2004 on the grounds that he is too dim to know when someone is giving him a bribe. Just to tidy things up, the businessman who was accused of giving him the bribe has been let off, too.

euro coinSpivs' Charter undented in European Parliament

The spivs of the European Parliament have voted not to reform their system for claiming expenses because they are likely to lose a whole lot of cash. At present, they can claim €37,500 per month for office costs without having to provide receipts.
   MEPs are supposed to put 15% of their salary into a pension fund and the EU adds €2 or every €1 they contribute. Again, no one has to offer proof of their personal contribution and spivs can rake in €1,070 per month out of the scheme.
   MEPs are also able to reclaim travel expenses for journeys by air, but all they have to produce is a boarding pass rather than a receipt for the payment. Which allows spivs to fly economy class then bung in a claim for a first-class peak fare. These 3 scams alone allow MEPs to double their salary so it's no wonder they voted not to clean up their trough.
UpdateThe pension fund for EuroMPs has a £29 million black hole in it as a result of disastrous stock market investments. Europe's taxpayers will be mugged to plug the gap.

squareJack Straw, allegedly the UK's Foreign Sec., says he doesn't know what will happen if the French reject the EU constitution in their referendum on May 29th. For the benefit of all those as dim as Straw, what will happen is that the EU will order the French to vote again and keep on voting till the result is Oui! rather than Non!.

The Triple Cross, the EU flagThe top Eurospivs are still at it

Twice disgraced New Labour crony turned EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson is in trouble for junketing at public expense and enjoying a free New Year holiday, during which he free-loaded at a party thrown by Paul Allen, Microsoft's second biggest shareholder.
   Microsoft is in serious trade disputes with the EU, which fined the company €500 million in 2004. As the Trade Commissioner, Mandelson should have known that it would be a good idea to turn down that particular invitation. But the lure of a freebie proved too strong.
   And Manuel Barroso, Prez of the European Commission, is in trouble for taking a free cruising holiday with a Swiss shipping tycoon when the European Parliament was busy passing rafts of shipping and port legislation.

euro coinDog Police for Turin?

The Italian city has passed a law making it an offence punishable by a fine of €500 for dog-owners not to walk their pet at least 3 times per day. But how are they going to know the law has been broken without creating a vast Dog Police to spy on all of the city's dog owners?

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
No London Olympics

A London Olympics?
No, thanks!

Apparently, this message now has a royal endorsement.

Romiley Space Authority
SPACE NEWS
Shuttle programme crawling along

The space shuttle Discovery has spent 10½ hours being moved to a launch pad for the first flight since the loss of Columbia in February 2003. The oldest space shuttle broke apart during its return to Earth when hot gases penetrated fragile carbon-fibre wing structures, which had been damaged by insulation foam falling off the external tank during the launch.
   When Discovery will head for the International Space Station is anybody's guess. Having passed through another ultra-casual period over safety, NASA is now in an era of 'drown in paperwork', with the result that the shuttle is likely to rust to bits quietly on the launch pad before the bureaucrats have covered their asses sufficiently with bits of paper saying trivial safety concerns are just that; trivial.

ARRIVALS

Pope Rottweiler I

The Catholic church has elected an ankle-biter as the next pope. Having served as the previous pope's 'enforcer'; the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was in charge of clamping down on dissenters and making them shut up; he sounds like an unreconstructed bruiser of the John Reid school.
   From what has been said about the new Pope Benedict 16 in certain quarters, the gullible will be expecting him to get into an instant ass-kicking contest with the rival religious businesses. Which could provide the world with a little necessary light relief.
   Benedict 16 has been dubbed God's Rottweiler and he seems to be the sort of fundamentalist who will keep the Catholic church firmly fixed in the 14th Century. His rivals with ambitions to put the Vatican in touch with the rest of the world will take heart from the fact that the new German pope is 78 and unlikely to last as long as the previous incumbent.

DEPARTURES

Prince Rainier III of Monaco

Europe's longest serving monarch has died at 81. He turned his Ruritanian backwater into a prosperous tax haven, married the film star Grace Kelly and produced three dysfunctional kids, who have given newspaper editors many a thrill. Rainier saw off the French when Prez de Gaulle tried to work a protection racket on him, he repelled Aristotle O'nassis when he tried to buy the casino, he reclaimed large areas of land to expand his domain and he diversified the principality's economy to end its dependence on gambling income. Not a bad effort, really!

DEPARTURES

Sir John Mills

This Oscar-winning British actor died at 97 on St. George's Day. His career began in the theatre in 1929 and continued through more than 100 films and countless theatre performances until he was well into his nineties. He became best known for playing ordinary men in extraordinary circumstances, e.g. chirpy Cockneys in WW II situations, but he could also play officers, most memorably in Ice Cold in Alex and Tunes of Glory. Sir John received his knighthood for services to British entertainment in 1976.

This Month's Garbage

The GarbageGovernment ministers assuring us that postal voting isn't wide open to abuse by corrupt Labour politicians and their hirelings.

 Prince Charles 'bewailing his manifold sins' and grovelling to the Church of England.

 Labour's meddling with the Rover car company.

 Labour's plan to impose ID cards at an over-inflated price on the nation.

 Postal vote farming.

 UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's attempt to blame the Iraq oil for food scandal on the UK and the US to draw attention away from his son's part in it.

 Commissioner Ian Blair's politicization of the Metropolitan Police and the open support for New Labour of a man who should remain politically neutral in public.

 Charles 'he's been up all night harassing his newborn baby' Kennedy.

 The BBC's record on political impartiality.

 Lord Goldsmith's choice to put Vice-Prez Bliar's wishes ahead of his duty to his office and the country.

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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