It is Labour Party dogma that abolishing grammar schools (like the ones which Labour's leadership attended) is the only way to achieve their holy grail of a no-class society. But a study by the London School of Economics has shown that Labour's assaults on the education system over the last 40 years have had exactly the opposite effect. We now have fewer grammar schools and a more class-divided country than ever.
DHL will deliver parcels to war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq, but the hoodies of London, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow are too hot for them to handle. The natives might have fewer guns in Britain but they are infinitely more hostile.
Delusions of grandeur produce gridlock in London
Our prime minister's insistence on a motorcade to take him 300 yards from Downing Street to the Palace of Westminster when he does Prime Minister's Questions is upsetting some MPs. We are supposed to be operating a democratic system in this country but he has become convinced that he's a reincarnation of Joseph Stalin. Which gives him the excuse to surround Parliament Square with gun-toting stooges, who stop the traffic for half an hour or so before The Leader processes to the Supreme Soviet.
Research into the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Laki in 1783 has shown that Nature's nine-month tantrum released ten times the amount of sulphur dioxide gushed into the atmosphere by all of western Europe's industry in a whole year.
The first hosepipe ban of the year is in the southern Water area. We've had the second driest winter since 1904 and parts of Sussex are suffering the consequences. More bans are expected to follow, especially in the Thames Water zone, but water companies across the whole of the South of England, including traditionally wet places like East Anglia, are getting their alibis in place early after 8 months of reduced rainfall or 'the wrong sort of rain'.
While the soft Southern bastards were sweltering in a heat wave on the third Sunday of the month, parts of Yorkshire received a month's rain five inches of it in just three hours. Wide-spread flooding has left homes and businesses devastated, and insurance companies facing multi-million-pound pay-outs. Weather experts were unable to blame the freak storm on global warming; but you could see that they were dying to!
The Mars rover Opportunity got stuck on April 26th while driving over a foot-high sand dune. Its engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California spent the next 5 weeks trying to work out manoeuvres which would let the rover 'swim' its way through, and off, the bank of soft sand to more level and firm ground.
Another Cosmos 1 catastrophe
Conflicting news is coming from the Russians and the Yanks over the launch of Cosmos 1, the world's first solar-sail-powered spacecraft. The Russians, who launched it on the 21st (the summer solstice), with a redundant ICBM from a nuclear submarine, say their missile failed 83 seconds after launch, which isn't enough time to put anything into orbit. The Planetary Society, creator of Cosmos 1, are saying they have picked up signals from Cosmos 1 but it's not in the correct orbit.
NASA sets firm date for Shuttle's return to operation
July the 13th will be the big day for Discovery's flight to the International Space Station. Following the loss of Columbia in February 2003, NASA has been finding more and more dangers in the shuttle programme and it was beginning to look like they would never eliminate all the sloppiness which has crept in since the last disaster. The return to space date slipped back from March of this year to May/June, and there are sceptics around who have put money on October. We shall see.
This month saw yet another case of someone going to the police for protection and being found murdered before the local rozzers got round to doing anything. Every month, there are cases of the police arresting the victim of a crime on some pretext or other and letting the criminal go.
Police cover-up of target culture flops
Police officers in Greater Manchester, Thames Valley and North Wales have targets for making arrests. And if they don't reach their monthly quota of 200 crime-points, they're liable to be 'disciplined' or even sacked. An embarrassed North Wales force tried to deny having a quota system. But the wheels came off their New Labour-style lie via a leaked memo.
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A Sicilian man had his driving licence suspended pending further checks of his suitability to drive a vehicle when the local licensing authority found out that he was excused military service on the grounds of homosexuality. A court later returned his license after ruling that homosexuality is not a proper psychiatric illness. It is merely a personality disorder, which in no way influences a person's ability to drive a car safely.
The right tool for the job
By a fine piece of what experts are calling 'circularity', universities plan to use computers to mark students' essays; which are mainly computer-generated garbage trawled off the Internet anyway.
Sorry, not offensive enough
A customer, who was kept on hold for more than an hour last September while trying to order broadband from cable TV firm NTL, was hauled into court for hacking into their phone helpline and leaving his own, more honest message. He was charged under the Communications Act 2003 of making a grossly offensive message, which ran: "Hello, you're through to NTL customers services. We don't give a fu*k about you, basically, and we are not going to handle any of your complaints. Just fu*k off and leave us alone. Get a life."
Taking the sheep p*ss?
The bus company Stagecoach is testing a bright idea. It has a test bus, which sprays urea extracted from farmyard waste (sheep urine figures heavily in the press packs) into the exhaust system. The urea reacts with oxides of nitrogen to form harmless nitrogen gas and steam, and cut down exhaust pollution.
New Labour culture of lies firmly entrenched at MoD
Scottish fisherman John Baker found a bright yellow, remote-operated miniature submarine adrift at sea. So he towed it home, took a closer look and found MoD stamped all over it. So he rang the Ministry of Defence to ask them if they wanted their sub back.
The latest food scare!
If you eat a bacon butty for breakfast and have a sausage sarnie on the same day, you will die of bowel cancer. And if you dare to have a steak for dinner on your all-meat day, you will drop dead on the spot. And anyone standing within 100 feet of any piece of red meat, fresh or processed, increases their chance of getting bowel cancer by 31.84%.
Dept. of Guesswork Latest conclusions
How much do cowboy garages charge the nation's motorists for their shoddy work? The DoG has come up with the figure of £4 billion per year.
They've got ya both ways!
Overweight and downright obese people are constantly being told that they are going to die of heart disease and/or diabetes, and they should lose weight. But a study in Finland has shown that overweight but otherwise healthy people who diet to a more healthy weight are more likely to die young that people who remain obstinately fat! As a final sting in the tail, the doom-mongers are saying that a lot more research in this field needs to be done, so it looks like they're indulging in scare tactics in a bid for funding.
WARNING! Goal posts in motion.
'Experts' say that 2,00-3,000 lives could be saved every year if ambulances reach people within 8 minutes of a Category A emergency, such as a heart attack. The time is supposed to start from the moment the 999 call is received. But the Ambulance Service is timings its responses from the moment the ambulance starts to roll, which can be anything up to 4 minutes after the 999 call.
The Building Disaster Assessment Group an outpost of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is warning that a penthouse is not a safe place to be if its building catches fire. Extensive testing with firemen has shown that if they have to climb more than 20 floors bearing fire-fighting gear, then they become too shagged out to fight a fire when they reach it.
Cadburys are planning to sell half-size chocolate bars to slimmers to help them to enjoy their favourite brands but without exposing them to too much temptation. The only snag is that they are planning to charge twice the price of a normal-size bar for half as much.
"I want" don't get!
The Royal Mail is to be allowed to put up the basic price of first class mail by 1p per year for the next 4 years. What it wants is an immediate jump in the basic first class rate to either 41p or 48p, depending on which source is quoted. Which could have a lot to do with the regulator Postcomm [Not Ofpost? Ed.] putting in place poor performance penalties which could cost the Royal Mail up to £300 million if it misses its targets.
New excuse needed
Bad news for all those who say they have no time to exercise. The latest research has shown that 6 minutes' furious activity on a stationary bike short bursts, not a continuous stint has the same effect on fitness as 6 hours' messing about in a gym. The best way to do the 6 minutes is at 2 minutes per day over 3 days as four 30-second bursts with 4 minutes' rest in between. But only if you're used to exercise and neither middle-aged nor in poor health.
"Why should anyone believe us if we believe nothing ourselves?" asks Tory leadership hopeful David Davis.
No relief in sight for ripped-off mobile phone users
Ofcom has chickened out of forcing mobile phone companies to stop ripping off their customers with 'termination charges' a levy of 6p/minute on anyone who dares to call a mobile on a rival network or a landline telephone. The 'regulator' is happy for the rip-off to continue until at least March 2007.
The British Potato Council has parked its tanks on the lawn of the Oxford English Dictionary. And the tanks will stay put until the OED ditches the term 'couch potato'. The BPC thinks the phrase fosters the illusion that potatoes are bad for you when they are incredibly healthy and packed with vitamin C.
The 2006 AA road atlas offers an added bonus to its readers it includes the positions of over 3,000 fixed speed cameras. The AA feels it has a duty to warn its customers about blackspots of all types.
The less than popular Glazer family, new owners of Man. Utd. FC, are believed to be preparing to issue ASBOs against disruptive fans when the new football season begins. The courts in and around Manchester are rumoured to be gearing up to find the time to issue up to 68,000 of them.
One law for the legislators . . .
Judges who are 'hauled before the beak' for screwing up are to be spared the humiliation of being exposed to public ridicule. The Lord Chancellor [Charlie F., the former Lord Millennium Dome & prime ministerial flatmate] and the Lord Chief Justice [Lord W., the burglar's friend] have decided that if a dotty old judge doesn't bother to take notes of a case, falls asleep, indulges in bad behaviour, sexual harassment or racialism, is drunk in charge of a court, fiddles his/her expenses, shows blatant partiality, kills someone or commits arson in a naval dockyard; then he/she should be allowed to do so knowing that it will all be hushed up when the Judicial Complaints Procedure has creaked though its secret deliberations.
The Inland Revenue is crap at sending out letters. 30 million per year go out with the wrong address on them. Worse, 48% of self-assessment forms are processed wrongly at the first attempt. And one thing that everyone can be certain of is that nothing will get any better as long as Scotch Gordon is in charge of raising revenue for the nation, given that he's a serial bungler as well as a meddler.
Labour's big new idea frighten the buggers!
The Labour party is so worried about the black hole which Scotch Gordon [left] has dug in the nation's finances that it is having to resort to crude scare tactics to extract more cash from its customers.
The Boy Timms Makes A Bog Of It!
Pensions Minister Stephen Timms made the fundamental blunder of talking down to experts at the beginning of the month. He tried to feed a load of New Labour spin and bogus statistics to the National Pensioners' Convention, and he tried to tell them they'd never had it so good. His reward was to be booed, whistled at and slow hand-clapped to a standstill when he resorted to the usual bluster and misdirection to avoid answering the audience's questions.
The Boy Antonio Sweats It Out
Antonio B. Liar, who is currently posing as Britain's prime minister, is having a hard job convincing anyone that he's not planning meekly to surrender our rebate from the EU budget.
Another outing for the Sleaze-Wallah
Prime Monster Antonio B. Liar has a liking for freebie holidays in the homes of the Italian aristocracy. And how does he say 'Thank you'? By entertaining the Italian aristos at Chequers, his official prime ministerial residence, at the taxpayer's expense. His crimes have been reported to New Labour's official Parliamentary Sleaze Endorser, who is expected to give the PM the usual clean bill of health in due course.
More troubles for the Scottish Parliament building
Staff at the Scottish Parliament are threatening to strike because the place is too hot for comfort. It was designed as a low-energy building with 'natural ventilation' in most places which doesn't work. And there is no air-conditioning. The Parliament's budget contains lots of cash to buy booze for junkets but there's nothing for essentials like water coolers for the staff, who are not even allowed to have electric fans.
Old dodge recycled for Africa
Big News! Britain is brokering a deal to give hundreds of billions to African dictators to make politicians look good! Then we get to the small print.
Bright idea not thought through
Education Sec. Ruth Kelly wants to keep schools open all day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. But there are a few practical difficulties which she seems to have ignored. Like not giving the schools enough cash to fund the scheme properly. And what's going to happen during school holidays if working parents become dependent on schools for child-minding? Not to mention where she's going to get all the school staff from.
The Boy Antonio Delivers Grovelling Apology
Prime Minister Antonio B. Liar has issued an especially grovelling apology to the Commons over the shambles which his government has made of the tax credit system. It was intended to help the low-paid become tax-payers rather than benefit-junkies but the Inland Revenue has made a bog of payments since day one and driven people into penury by demanding instant refunds of its overpayment blunders.
Another Labour lie; but the truth sneaks out
The government plans to sell ID card personal information. How do we know? Because they lied about it.
Freedom of Information; after a struggle
New Labour's warmongers started laying the ground for an attack on Iraq right after the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. The Foreign Office began to explore the legality of ousting Saddam Hussein on November 26 or 27th, 2001. This information was forced into the public domain despite stalling by that total waste of space Foreign Sec. Jack Straw.
Lost the argument? Get smearing, then!
Home Sec. Charlie Clark has realized that he is losing the argument on identity cards especially the inflated cost of them so he is resorting to bluster and cheap abuse as an alternative to facts and good sense. His chief target is the London School of Economics, which is saying that the true cost of Labour's ID card scheme will be 2-3 times the government's estimate of £6 billion.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder what are the symptoms?
Grandiosity and preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success [e.g. the Millennium Dome], a need for admiration, a lack of empathy, a lust for power, rage and vindictiveness in response to criticism [e.g. against Andrew Gilligan, the BBC and the late Dr. David Kelly], a sense that the sufferer's problems are unique, and also many psychopathic and narcissistic traits.
Based on out-of-date figures from a botched census, the Home Office has guessed that the number of illegal migrants in Britain is 570,000 or 1% of the population. Publication of the guess was postponed until 2 months after the general election so that the prime monster could continue to lie about his ignorance of the true extent of his government's failure to control immigration.
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Research in the Netherlands has shown that people do okay on a salt intake of 16 g/day (3.5 teaspoons) and cutting the intake to the British government's recommended level of 6 g/day is a total waste of time and has no effect on health. Further, cutting their salt intake can have an adverse effect on some groups of people, including pregnant women and the elderly. So all the firms which believed the government's propaganda and introduced low-salt (or low sodium) versions of their products have wasted a lot of time and money.
Homework to be banned
Homework damages education and the government is thinking of abolishing it. A study has shown that reducing homework leads to less conflict at home and a better performance at school; and that's only for the teachers!
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Europe's biggest scrounger nation, and EU founder, started the ball rolling on the last Sunday of May with decisive 'NO' vote to the EU constitutional treaty. Why? Because the French felt that the rules on competitiveness would be relaxed too much if the treaty came into force and their regulation-bound country would start to lose its unjustified hand-outs.
"Any country which votes 'non' to the EU constitutional treaty must leave the EU." President Chirac, 2004/04/28.
To which one might add: 'Any president who fails to persuade his country to vote according to his preference should leave office.' Which puts the crooked French President in something of a quandary. Resignation would be the decent thing to do if he can no longer persuade his nation to follow him. But decency is not something with which Chirac can afford to flirt. He has to stay in office to avoid prosecution for serious criminal activities earlier in his career. Like adding £2,000 per month for 'groceries' to his expenses when he was mayor of Paris and giving city-centre apartments to relatives at a nominal rent.
They're not listening in Brussels
Ratification of the EU constitution by the various member states has always been an exercise in futility. This is demonstrated by the way the eurocrats in Brussels are already putting large chunks of it into effect even though the treaty is heading for the dustbin of history.
Neil Armstrong's barber, Marx Sizemore, hit on a great idea in May last year selling the trimmed-off hair of the first man to step onto the surface of the Moon. Mr. Armstrong is now threatening to sue him if he doesn't recover the hair and return it to him. He is taking advantage of a law passed in Ohio to protect the rights of the famous. He also wants Mr. Sizemore to surrender his profits to a charity and pay his (Armstrong's) legal bills.
Room for improvement
The Islamic Terrorist Army Council has ordered its spokesmen to engage their brain before coming out with the reason for an apparently motiveless bloody riot. Excuses like: 'The Yanks flushed a copy of the Koran' may sound good on the spur of the moment, and they will be accepted by ignorant masses, but they don't stand up to close scrutiny, as anyone with experience of trying to flush book-size objects down a toilet will be able to confirm.
US troops have found a vast underground base for terrorists carved out of a quarry in the Iraqi desert. The system of tunnels stretches for hundreds of feet and contains living quarters with air conditioning against the 130 deg.F desert temperatures, storage space for food and weapons and even a firing range. A major international entertainment company is believed to be considering the possibilities of the complex as a tourist attraction similar to the Viet Cong tunnel system at Cu Chi in Vietnam.
Your comments will be noted and ignored
The European Human Rights Commissioner reckons the UK is breaching the human rights of thugs awarded with an anti-social behaviour order, bogus asylum seekers, terrorist suspects and gypsies. The Home Office responded with some of the usual double-talk to show that it couldn't care less what he thinks.
Michael Jackson is innocent, OK!
Given that the trial was all about personal publicity for Tom Sned, the prosecutor, an attempt to extort large chunks of cash by the parents of the kids who enjoyed Mr. Jackson's hospitality and fees for the lawyers, the only surprise is that they found 12 people in California able to appreciate the above.
Geldof & eBay to be hauled before the Euro Court of Justice?
Auction website eBay refused to let people sell their Live 8 tickets following complaints from Saint Bob Geldof. Indignant ticket holders are now reported to be considering making a complaint about restraint of trade, which is illegal under EU laws. Watch this space!
French intransigence wrecks EU budget summit
French president Jacques Chirac, who has yet to be tried on charges of financial fraud while he was mayor of Paris, is putting the whole European project at risk. His insistence on clinging to France's unsustainable £7 billion farm subsidies has thrown the budget negotiations into chaos and severely damaged the struggling euro currency. When it comes to being Bad Europeans, the French seem hell-bent on rewriting the definition.
Eurotunnel has 4 months to sort out its trillion-pound debts. If their problems are not solved by October of this year, then the company will be declared bankrupt and the Channel Tunnel will be filled in again.
Banks to be busted?
The major British banks have been warned that they face prosecution as accessories if Indian call centre staff sell details of their customers' bank accounts and other identity information. Ofdata, the government watchdog, has announced that all breaches of the 1998 Data Protection Act will be pursued relentlessly. [Unless committed by the government and/or its minions. Ed.] The City of London police are currently liaising with Interpol and police forces in Bangalore and Delhi to gather evidence for prosecutions in the International Court.
British mugs who bought dodgy holiday homes to lose all?
Greek Cypriots, who were forced out of their homes and businesses by the 1974 Turkish invasion of the north of their island, are now using EU law to reclaim their property. And incomers, thousands of them British, are finding that they have paid out tens of thousands of pounds to a dodgy estate agent who had no right to sell them a holiday home. The mugs now stand to lose big chunks of cash, either through loss of their investment or in lawyer's fees to keep hold of it.
New Iranian president's dubious history
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's newly elected fundamentalist president, has been outed as a leader of the terrorists who took the staff of the US embassy in Tehran prisoner for 444 days. Survivors of the world's worst diplomatic outrage have identified him as one of their interrogators. President Carter refused to hand over the fugitive Shah of Persia for execution, as demanded by Iran's upstart regime, and the embassy staff were held prisoner until President Reagan took over.
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).
Even Labour MPs are getting worried about the antics of Sherri, alias Mrs. Antonio B. Liar. They fear she is demeaning the office of Prime Minister by cashing in on it. Having made a hundred grand from a lecture tour of Australia & New Zealand earlier in the year, she's off the USA this month to tell them about 'her experiences of life on Downing Street since her husband became PM' for around fifty thousand bucks.
A serial offender
Sherri is already in trouble for enjoying special treatment after realizing she didn't have her passport when she arrived at Heathrow for a private trip to Turkey. A police motorcyclist, with blue lights flashing and siren blaring, brought it to her from Downing Street even though lights and sirens may be used only in an emergency 'for police purposes'.
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When 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.
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Congrats to the Amsterdam Admirals for holding on against the Berlin Thunder in Düsseldorf to win their first ever NFLEL World Bowl; to Valentino Rossi for his win in the Spanish MotoGP in Catalunya; and to Kimi Raikkonen for winning the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal after the Renaults crapped out.
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