Black Flag News
 
 2008/July 
  final
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Romiley News
ROMILEY NEWS
New pavements a compensation time-bomb

Romiley is acquiring an increasing spread of posh, new paving in the centre. It looks great right after laying; but it's a death trap when it rains. The problem is that the coefficient of friction of the surface sinks to almost zero when the paving is wet. So instead of compensation claims from people tripping over the previous broken paving, the council will have to pay out a fortune to people who came a cropper through losing their footing after rain. And if this paving ever acquires a coating of ice, the death toll from people sliding into the road and under a bus is likely to be HUGE.

Crime News
CRIME NEWS
Hole healed?

The biggest security fix in the history of the worldwide web has been executed to stop hackers cutting in to the process which translates domain names into numerical codes. So does this have anything to do with MicroSoft security update KB951748 buggering up versions of Zone Alarm running with Windows XP/2000 everywhere?

squarePolicing By Omission
The government and the police would have us believe that the crime rate has been dropping like a stone for years. But everyone knows they are ignoring two inconvenient truths:
 • 1. The government and the police have a long and dishonourable history of fiddling statistics downwards, not recording crimes and down-grading crimes to lower categories.
 • 2. People no longer report lots of crimes because they know nothing will ever be done about them and they see no point in wasting their time.

squareMPs voted this month to continue buying themselves TVs, furniture and other household goods with taxpayers' money.

squareAnother brilliant idea
The Association of Cheap Police Officers (ACPO) has come up with another corker! It would like all police dog handlers to find out whether a fleeing suspect is allergic to dog hairs, or frightened of dogs, before setting a canine copper on a criminal fugitive. The same rule will apply to sniffer dogs used in searches for drugs, explosives, etc.

squareTime to cash in
The Portuguese police have given up on the case of Madeleine McCann, missing from her holiday home since May 2007, to let the detectives on the case write books about what a bog-up they made of the investigation.

no swastikasThe Nazi Immunity
It sounds like a book by Robert Ludlum but it seems to be a guiding principle at the News of the Screws. If you stick a Nazi label on a story about someone in a position of power, that excuses libel and it's a licence to make up anything you like to spice up the story.
   Having been obliged to pay out the best part of a million quid in damages and legal costs, the NotS is expected to charge the whole affair to the publicity budget with the feeling that it got pretty good value for the money!

squareBury the trouble-makers
The Chinese government has come up with a cheap way of dealing with investigating the corruption which led to schools collapsing all over the place and killing all the kids in them after the Sechuan earthquake. Instead of wasting a pile of cash on embarrassing court proceedings, the Chinese are locking up anyone who dares to mention contract scams by officials and collapsing schools.

Allah's Thunder by Henry T. Smith

New on Lulu.com –
Allah's Thunder by Henry T. Smith

BlackFlag News would like to bring to our readers' attention, this brilliant solution to the Iran Problem by one of Romiley's premiere authors.

   Read about the Book on the Romiley Literary Circle website
   Buy the book in paperback or as a download from Lulu.com

Category : Military Engineering, vintage 1988, 9" x 6", 200 pp.

CLIMATE NEWS
  Flat screen TVs are killing the planet!

climate change sloganThat's the latest shock-horror scare story from the carbon con-men. Their argument is that nitrogen trifluoride is used in building flat screen TVs [only by some manufacturers, Ed.] and it has a greenhouse thermal capacity 17,000 times that of carbon dioxide.
   The fact that nitrogen trifluoride is made only in relatively small amounts, and it's all in TV sets rather than the atmosphere, doesn't seem to matter.

climate change sloganAnother fine mess!
The rush to biofuel crops has shoved world food prices up by 75%, according to a secret report to the World Bank. The results have been suppressed to avoid embarrassing President Bush, who has gone for ethanol production big time to reduce American oil imports and let him pretend he's doing something about reducing carbon dioxide generation.

climate change sloganA Right Royal Pioneer!
Prince Charles has reduced his output of carbon dioxide by 18% as his contribution to preventing global warming. BlackFlag News is now compiling a list of people who should be encouraged to give up breathing entirely for the good of the planet.

climate change sloganA change for the better!
Motor racing fans are hoping that climate change will produce more wet races like the one at Silverstone this month. Rain rolls the dice and prevents Grand Prix races from becoming a dull procession. And if it makes Ferraris spin and encourages the boy Hamilton to drive like a demon and win, it can be only a good thing!

climate change sloganSuper-nanny State or What!
scotch gordon wants restaurants and all government food supplying organizations to include health and carbon-footprint ratings on their menus. And the staff at fast-food joints will have to attend courses on delivering healthy food.

climate change sloganAn Inconvenient Broadcast
Channel 4 is in trouble over The Great Gorbal Warming Swindle, which was shown last year. The programme was shopped to the regulator, Ofcom, which concluded that the makers of TGGWS made insufficient effort to:
 • Include enough material which was plain wrong
 • Show up environmental scientists as mendacious fanatics trying to scare the public to boost their funding, and
 • Portray Greens and the modern day Nazis
   Accordingly, the programme makers have been requested to take a course at the Al Gore Academy of Documentary Accuracy to make sure they get it right next time.

Better Out Than InThe latest Big Euro Plan
The posturing tendency in the European Union has come up with the bright idea of turning the Sahara Desert into a vast collection of solar power stations.
How a Solar Power Station Works :
Hundreds of mirrors reflect the Sun's rays at a boiler on top of a tower. Steam generated in the boiler is fed to a generator at ground level and then condensed to water. The electricity generated is then used to pump the water back up the tower to the boiler.

DEPARTURES

Windows XP

Born in October 2001, this version of the MicroSoft PC operating system has been given the bullet in favour of Windows Vista, which is bigger, clunkier, even fuller of stuff which the punters will never, ever use and, of course, jam-packed with bugs. [Although, it will be possible to buy PCs running XP until at least next April. Ed.]
   Worse, if the punter has some old kit strapped on to his PC, the chances are he won't be able to get a Vista driver for it. So everyone's collection of gadgets which they can't use, and CD ROMs which won't run with the current version of Windows, will expand further if they have to resort to Vista.
UpdateMicroSoft reckon they will continue to support XP until 2014 for the benefit of Luddites who want to wait until they get Vista working better.

DEPARTURES

Thomas M. Disch

This American science fiction writer chose to end it all on Independence Day at the age of 68. He came to the attention of British SF fans in the page of New Worlds when Michael Moorcock took it over. He belonged to the 'weird concepts' fringe of SF and subscribed to the 'Earth is running out of food/resources/etc.' school, which is seen as prophetic in the 21st century. He surfed the fringes of the SF mainstream and his style was often labelled 'too coldly intellectual'. He attempted to write horror, but with limited success. He was more comfortable branching out into poetry and children's books.

DEPARTURES

Manuel Beltran of the Liquigas team

The first Tour de France rider to fail a drug test was booted out on Day 7. A sample provided on the opening day tested positive for erythropoietin, a drug intended to let kidney patients make oxygen-transporting red blood cells.
UpdateNext to go were another Spanish rider, Nevado, and the double stage-winner Ricco of Italy. Given the recent history of the Tour, many people are now wondering how long Carlos Sastre will remain the official winner.

DEPARTURES

The Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare

First opened in 1904, the pier had just received a million-pound refit to maintain its position as the premier tourist attraction in the area. It was devastated in a matter of hours by a huge fire at the end of this month. The fire, 3 months after the reopening, engulfed the entire structure and left behind just steel wreckage.
   When the pier burnt down in 1930, it remained derelict for 2 years before being rebuilt for the following summer season. The pier was built in 8 months in 1904, but given the leisurely pace of construction projects these days, it might just be back in action as a rival to the 2012 Olympics.

DEPARTURES

Eric Dowling

One of the leading players in the mass escape from Stalag Luft III in 1944 has died at 92. The then Flight Lieutenant Dowling was on the last trip of his tour when his Wellington bomber was shot down in 1942. He ended up in a PoW camp at Sagan in Poland; the distance from home was supposed to discourage escapers. Instead, the camp's chief escape officer decided to try to free 200 prisoners on the same night.
   'Digger' Dowling worked in the tunnels before becoming a map-maker and a forger of documents. He was not chosen to be among the 76 men who actually got out of the camp; 50 of whom were murdered by the Gestapo. The author Paul Brickhill offered an account of the plan in his book The Great Escape (1951), which was hijacked by Hollywood for the film of the same name starring Steve McQueen (even though there were no Americans in the camp.)
   Dowling survived a death march evacuation of the camp as Soviet troops neared it. He resumed working for his father's company after the war and then joined British Aerospace at Filton near Bristol, home of Concorde, until his retirement.

DOSH NEWS

Irish Republic has golden dilemma

gold bullionGold deposits worth up to one billion euros are thought to be lurking beneath the hills of Co. Monaghan. But the Irish government faces a serious loss of EU environmental grants if digging up the gold blights the landscape. So the Irish Treasury and Environment departments are busy calculating whether they can afford to go for the gold.
UpdateCynics reckon that the Irish will dig up the gold then go crawling off to Brussels begging for grants to let them repair the devastated landscape!

squareThe price is correct
Pringles are 'biscuits with some potato content' not potato crisps, the High Court has ruled. Which means that the overpriced snacks will not have to be further inflated by VAT.

squareDo as I say, not as I do
scotch gordon reckons British families are wasting £8/week on food which is just thrown away. But he became curiously silent when asked how much is wasted by the government every week. Or how much taxpayer's cash was wasted on sending him to the junket in Japan, where he came out with his message to the nation.

squareGOOD NEWS!
The EU wants to cut the rate of VAT on a range of services down to as low as 5% to give sluggish economies a boost.
BAD NEWS scotch gordon put British finances in such a hell of a mess that his government can't afford to cut any taxes.

squareSomeone's doing something right
There may be doom & gloom everywhere about the state of the economy under scotch gordon, but at least the BBC is making money. Its sales are up 13% on 2006/07 and the operating profit is up 17%.

squareMoney, money, money!
The chancellor, a.k.a. 'im with the eyebrows, is rubbing his hands over the by-election for David Davis' seat in Yorkshire. 25 no-hoper candidates have each lashed out £500 on a deposit, which they will lose and mr. eyebrows will gain.

squareA loss of confidence
It comes as no surprise to hear that the 2 biggest mortgage providers in the United States – Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac – have got themselves into serious bother. After all, how would anyone take companies with names like those seriously? Or expect them to be run by anyone other than a bunch of comedians?
 • Related Update : The Dow Jones index is to be renamed the Davy Jones index if it sinks any further.

square"Free, but not as we know it, Jim."
The British public is being paying £8.3 billion per year for 'free' banking. The cash is extracted through banks not paying interest on current accounts and ripping people off with excessive & stealth charges. The Office of Fair Trading reckons the average customer is paying £152/year for this 'free' service.

squaresmug bugger blair's round the world farewell tour cost the taxpayer three-quarters of a million quid.

squareZimbabwe is so broke . . .
. . . that the government is unable to find the cash to print any more zillion-dollar inflation banknotes.

squareSurprise!
Food inflation is rising faster in rip-off Britain than anywhere in Europe, or in the United States, Canada & Japan. And only in the United States is energy inflation higher than in Britain.

Better Out Than In
EU NEWS

Unintended consequences

Dutch coffee shops are feeling the pinch after the introduction of a smoking ban on the first of this month – but not for the apparently obvious reason. Customers are no longer allowed to put tobacco in still-legal joints, which now have to be full-strength, 100% cannabis. Café owners say the situation is like banning the sale of beer in pubs and expecting the customers to drink litres of whisky or vodka instead.

squareEU Cash Crisis
The French now hold the EU presidency so look out for a huge increase in junkets and freeloading as Pres. Sarko tries to force the people of Europe to love the Euro-monster.

squarePoland says "No!"
The Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, has refused to sign off the Lisbon treaty on his country's behalf after the Irish rejected it in their referendum. "It is an ex-treaty, it should be pushing up daisies," a BFN reporter was told. "And no amount of tarting up will make the rotting corpse any more fanciable."

squareBritain should say "No!"
Our £20 billion deficit for the trading period October 2007 - March 2008 was due entirely to our dealings with the EU. So much for its economic benefits!

squareNot a U-Turn because we don't know the direction!
Biofuels used to be the planet's saviour, so the EU demanded that its members add them to oil-derived fuels. But the result was global starvation and devastation as food crops were diverted to biofuel production.
   So the EU's management has changed its mind dramatically. What it really meant was that part of our transport needs would have to come from 'renewables', not necessarily biofuels. Which leaves the rest of us wondering what they have to offer, if anything, instead of biofuels.

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Home News
HOME NEWS
UK Flagnew labour infects the weather?

July started with the hottest day of the year (in places), but it didn't last and it was just a brief diversion before things got back to normal with a wet weekend. Which could be a perfect description of the fate of anything the labour party touches.

squareVaz knighthood up in smoke?
He used to be implacably opposed to detention of terrorist suspects for 42 days but Keith Vaz, MP, Britain's most popular Asian (self-styled) did a U-turn when it came to a vote. A leaked letter from the labour chief whip explained the sudden conversion – he's in line for being 'appropriately rewarded'. But now that's been made public, the K is out of the question. But he did get a posh new office out of the deal.

square'Nuff said!
scotch gordon wants to be prime monster because "plenty of other people have wanted this job".

squareJust so you know!
A TV licence is needed to watch TV programmes as they are being broadcast irrespective of whether the receiver is a TV set or a PC connected to the Internet or another source.
   No licence is needed for viewing programmes at times other than that of the original TV broadcast – downloads, BBC iPlayer material, etc.

squareThe next big, broon brainwave
scotch gordon is worried about the amount of food being wasted so he plans to launch a new police auxiliary service. The Food Police will have the power to search any and all waste bins & bags, indoors as well as outdoors, and issue £100 spot fines to anyone deemed to be throwing too much food away.

squarePray right or perish!
The Church of England is to create a hit squad of super-bishops, who will crash land on parishes which are getting too Romish or refusing to accept female clergy. Their job will be to whip rebels back into line and prevent the CoE from fragmenting further.

squareThe truth finally revealed!
There was no "brown bounce" when scotch gordon took over – it was only a collective expression of relief that smug bugger bliar had finally buggered off.

squareMore meddling
Older people don't have enough to do so the government plans to oblige local councils to recruit an army of Entertainment Officers, who will go around harassing anyone over 50 into joining a council-run activity group. Those who refuse to co-operate face spot fines and/or a rise in their Council Tax as a penalty for their inertia and lack of social involvement.

squareIf you want to contact your MP, don't try the House of Commons for the next 11 weeks. They're all on holiday until October.

squareGlasgow East by-election result means nothing, says PM
The defeat of labour and a swing of 22% to the nationalists confirmed that everyone hates scotch gordon; but he knew that already so nothing has changed.

squareJoin our on-line poll on scotch gordon
 
  Do you want him to go?
  Do you want to watch the bugger wriggle on in a job which he kept insisting
      he can do when it's obvious he can't?

squareBelieve it or what!
There's a rumour going round that Anne Darwin, the insurance fraud via canoe accident lady, is being encouraged to join the labour party and stand as scotch gordon's successor because she has the right sort of cavalier attitude to the truth to be a labour prime minister.

squareThe ex-archbish is talking through his hat . . .
. . . when he says Max Moseley's court triumph over the News of the Screws means that, suddenly, unspeakable and indecent behaviour no longer matters in public figures. Might we remind Lord Carey that 11 years of new labour have done infinitely more harm to British moral standards than one small court case, and that Mr. Moseley never lied to the country to start a war which got thousands of people killed.
   Meanwhile, scotch gordon is planning to borrow £14,000,000,000 and spend it on buying himself popularity among the house-buying set. How's that for unspeakable and indecent!

squareThe labour government's policy of making divorce easy in the late 1960s is said to have created large numbers of old people who are lonely and depressed. [As opposed to large numbers of people who are together and miserable? Ed.]

squarelabour's policy of encouraging people to become enormously fat through idleness seems to be targetted at solving the pensions problem. Having stolen security in old age, scotch gordon has created a generation of people who will die 11 years early and not need much of a pension.

travel
TRAVEL NEWS
A good reason to stay put!

Heathrow's Terminal 5 loses 1,000 bags every day and the insurance companies are just as good as they ever were at weaselling out of paying up. This news is offered to anyone looking for an excuse not to go anywhere.

squareOne result doesn't fit all
Mark Cavendish has become the first British biker to win 3 stages on the same Tour de France. He completed his hat trick on the day when the organizers had to chuck out a 3rd rider for doping; so they're hoping Mr. Cavendish doesn't win again in case the two events are linked somehow.
UpdateOh, no! He won another stage the next day. So we can expect another drug cheat to be evicted any day now.

squareDon't you just get the feeling that everyone is going to be totally sick of Mr. O'Bama's shiftiness and blair-like lack of substance long before November and the US presidential election comes around?

squareIf you're going to Peking for next month's Olympics, don't forget your smog mask as the air pollution level is still 3x the World Health Organization safe level for airborne particulates.

WAR NEWS
The Belgian MoD is no better than ours!

squareDue to a cock-up on the ammunition ordering front, soldiers in the Belgian army are rationed to just 4 bullets apiece until April 2009. But who'd want to invade Belgium anyway"

squareMenace busted
A German man has been charged with criminal attention-seeking following his arrest for ripping the head off a waxwork of Adolf Hitler at the Berlin branch of Madame Tussaud's. He is expected to be sentenced to be dropped down a deep, dark hole for 5 years as an example to other exhibitionist criminals.

squareDon't mention the 'N' word!
The German government is keeping a close eye on the Max Moseley versus the News of the Screws privacy case. The newspaper faces being sued again if it tries to make out that anything German has to have a Nazi context.

squareIran missile confusion
President Dinnerjacket had 9 missiles fired off in a single day, 5 of them at one go, and then some more in night tests. He wanted to prove that he can zap anything within a range of 1,250 miles of the launchers if anyone is stupid enough to bomb his country's nuclear plants. Which leaves the rest of us wondering, "Has he got any left? Or did he fire off the entire Iranian missile stock in a big bluff?"
UpdateThere is further confusion over the missile tests – the actual number of missiles fired is in doubt after official pictures, released on the Revolutionary Guards' website, were found to have been digitally enhanced with cut-&-paste material to make the trials look more numerous and impressive. No one is sure now whether the pictures show actual Iranian missile launches or someone else's recycled.
UpdateThe next quibble is over the vintage of the missiles and their age. The ones fired off this month were definitely not new missiles with a range of 1,250 miles. They were either 10 years old with a range of 750 miles on a bit younger with a range of 900 miles.
   The nett effects of the whole affair have been to drive the price of oil even higher and deliver billions of dollars to Iran's oil-based economy, and to leave President Dinnerjacket's enemies wondering if he has any new missiles. Because if he has, he didn't use up any of them in his tests.

squareAn inconvenient war criminal
When he did a runner in 1995, the supporters of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic claimed: "Every Serb home will be his hiding place, every true Serb will be his ally." Which is probably why he has been able to live quite openly and work in 'alternative medicine' in Belgrade, the Serbian capital, for the last 8 years. He was shopped for genocide only because the Serbian government is trying to shed its pariah status in order to be embraced by the European Union.

squareRecycled scam
Last year, scotch gordon tried to make people jump to the conclusion that he would be bringing lots of troops home from Iraq in an attempt to draw attention away from the Tories' annual conference. This year, he started chewing the carpet when he tried to crack on that all the troops will be gone by 2010 and no one even pretended to take him seriously.

world news
WORLD NEWS
Metropolis rediscovered (all but 5 minutes)

Fritz Lang's 1927 science fiction epic was 2½ hours long at the initial release and the critics hated it. Worse, producing it almost drove the studio into bankruptcy. The film was re-released as a series of much shorter versions with essential parts of the story missing, some of them trying to tell a different story.
   A restored version with a running time of 118 minutes was compiled by the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation of Wiesbaden and released on 2 DVDs in 2001. The film was accompanied by notes on the scenes in the missing half-hour and a bonus DVD on the restoration.
   Now, an almost complete version has turned up in a museum in Argentina. So there should be another DVD out in due course.

squareJumped-up frog
The French president has decided that the Irish have to vote again on the Lisbon Treaty and get the result right. So who died and made him boss of the universe?

squareInfamy! Infamy! They've all got it infamy!
smug bugger blair has wriggled out of an expenses-only trip to the Gaza Strip, claiming that the Palestinians would kill him if he went there. So he's having to do some paid-for (plus expenses) jobs instead.

squareNot for a generation
The US government is planning to reopen its embassy in Tehran but it is finding it almost impossible to arrange kidnap insurance for the staff. The embassy has been closed since 1979, when the 90 inmates were kidnapped en masse by the Iranian government and the Americans were held prisoner for 444 days until Ronald Reagan replaced Jimmy Carter as US president.

squareThe Nats are the natural party of government in Scotland
Further proof of this hypothesis was offered when the Scottish Nationalist Party candidate overturned a labour majority of 14,000 in Glasgow East this month. The results were:
SNP 18.2%; labour 17.6%, Tory 2.6%, Others 3.8%, Did Not Bother To Vote 57.8%.

squareEurope still doesn't 'get' new labour
scotch gordon is in trouble for talking big about launching a green revolution based on clean but overpriced new technology when, of course, he never actually intended to do anything. Other Eurocrats seem totally unable to realize that it is the new labour way to be all flash and no substance.

squareThe new scotch?
Wendy Alexander doesn't seem to be doing much in the way of leading labour parties at the moment. Maybe she should apply to take over from scotch gordon.

This Month's Garbage

The Garbage London, where Mayor Boris is warning people to walk on by, in the interests of their own safety, rather than trying to help anyone they see being attacked by criminals.

London Metropolitan University, which apologized to the Chinese government for giving the Dalai Lama an honorary degree in May.

The management of King's College Hospital, N.E. London, which clamps ambulances left too long in ambulance bays and charges itself £50 to have them unclamped.

The management of St. Mary's airport, Isles of Scilly, which offered a braille version of a recruitment advert for an air traffic controller.

denise milani, the Metropolitan police's diversity director, who thinks the police should celebrate the contributions which gangs of Roma travellers make to crime in London.

Jeremy Beeton, the director general of the government's Olympic Executive, who collects a bonus of £200K/year on top of his salary for letting the cost of the game quadruple from the original £300 billion bid price.

scotch gordon, who thinks he's like Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, or Dithering Heights in his case.

The launch of Apple's latest gimmick phone, which became a shambles because O2 couldn't handle the rush of business from eager customers.

All local councils which want to turn elections into prize draws.

The staff of JFK primary school, Tyne & Wear, who won't let the kids compete in sack races or 3-legged races in case they fall over.

Environment Sec. hilary benn, who thinks high petrol prices are a good thing because they give the government high tax revenues and force poor people off the roads, reducing their carbon dioxide emissions.

The government's ambition to hoard details of all phone calls, emails, text messages, internet searches, on-line purchases, etc. made in Britain when the Information Commissioner has concluded that this government can't be trusted not to lose the data.

The illiterate teenagers who marked the Standard Assessment Tests badly, the cowboys who hired them and the government, which paid out £165 million of our cash for the whole shambles.

eddie "he's talking" balls, the minister responsible for the SATs fiasco, who ain't going to quit because he's scotch gordon's best mate and fireproof.

The former archbish Lord Carey for selling his soul to the News of the Screws.

sir ian blair (no relation), the commish of the Met, who's being investigated over the award of high-priced contracts to his mate's firm (but who's expected to come out of it covered in whitewash).

West Midlands police, which demoted a superintendent for referring to a BMW as 'Black Man's Wheels' after he was shopped by a couple of jobsworths, proving that there is no sense of proportion at the top and too many brain-dead bozos hoping to get to the top by making proper coppers quit in disgust.

The confectionery company Mars, which pulled a Mr. T ad for Snickers after a bogus complaint that it might possibly upset homophiles.

Ofcom, which fined the BBC's licence-payers £400,000 because the Beeb faked the results of some competitions with the result that the cash now goes to the Treasury, for them to waste, instead of TV programme makers.

 
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