Thursday, December 01, 2005

Tony B Liar Strikes Again

I got this in an email today:

The British Government has warned media outlets against publishing further details of a leaked memo of an April 16, 2004 meeting at which George W. Bush allegedly told Tony Blair he wanted to bomb Al Jazeera's headquarters in Qatar. The Mirrorآ quoted an anonymous source who stated that Bush "made clear he wanted to bomb al-Jazeera in Qatar and elsewhere. Blair replied that would cause a big problem." At the time US forces were attacking the Iraqi town of Fallujah. "The No 10 memo now raises fresh doubts over U.S. claims that previous attacks against al-Jazeera staff were military errors," The Mirror reported. Following the original report, Attorney General Lord Goldsmith warned news outlets that publication of any further details from the memo would be treated as a breach of the Official Secrets Act.
SOURCE: The Mirror (UK), November 23, 2005
For more information or to comment on this story.

The leaked memo was mentioned several times on “Have I Got News For You” by Ian Hislop, along with the gagging order. Hislop seemed to be inviting the wrath of number 10.
That the US have been deliberately targeting al Jazeera is something that I have long suspected – and have been stashing the news clippings into my chaotic filing system at home where they will emerge eventually. NATO forces in Serbia targetted the local news media there. Al Jazeera weren't the only victims of this policy however. Large numbers of independent western reporters were wiped out during the Gulf War - including a blatant, purposeful US tank attack on the hotel where many such journalists were based.

I’ve been enjoying a period of exceptionally good cycling recently – the new bike helps. The weather is good for it too. Makes me laugh though – where are all those new cyclists now? A little bit of cold weather and they’re back to taking their chances with suicide bombers on the tube. And what makes me laugh? It’s actually better to cycle in this weather – you get less sweaty – and there’s less incompetent cyclists on the road too.

My days of cycling along the canal sides, through Victoria Park and onto the Woolwich Ferry are numbered though. I’m changing location to Central London in January. I’ll be working at Baker Street after that. The route is not so nice, but I can do a little bit through Hyde Park. And I’ll be spitting distance from Regents Park, the Zoo and Camden Lock.

I walked back through Woolwich the other day. This was because I saw some odd things going on. A crane, a large shining ball, lots of lights, a police cordon, loads of vans carrying movie equipment. It was between takes, clearly, as I was allowed to walk straight through the middle of the set. There were a little group of shacks with a stuffed cockerel sitting on top, lit by massively powerful indirect light. I’ve no idea what was being filmed though.

I wandered past M&S, McDonalds, and had a flashback to my student days. I suddenly had a clear memory of rushing into M&S for a large bag of crisps just before going into a 3 hour engineering lecture. The old Thames Poly is abandoned now – and it was the main building. It’s also the heart of Woolwich. Can’t see any sign of redevelopment though. I find it a little sad – I must go down and take some pictures before it all disappears.

Then I saw it. A stink pipe. A big one. It was right in front of the student accomodation – where I lived for a year – where my friend Dave lived for the year after that. I must have walked past it a hundred times while I was in Woolwich, and probably never really noticed it. Well, there you go.

I’m going to a pub quiz tonight with S and some friends. I used to run a pub quiz up on Clapham Common – back in the mid 90s. It was to raise money for Greenpeace, and it became quite a tradition. Friends of the Earth always used to join in, as well as several people who just happened to be in the pub at the time.

Coming up with questions was the hardest bit. The one time I was able to enter was in ‘93 after coming back from a holiday in Sicily – I’d set the thing up before I went away and arranged for someone else to write the questions. They arrived in sealed envelopes – so I had no idea what they were, allowing me to join in with the Greenpeace team.

The event petered out after a couple of years – I’d stopped doing it monthly – eventually doing just a couple a year – and then the new management in the pub signalled that they weren’t really very keen on us continuing.

This 24 hours drinking thing is a bit of a let down – I haven’t even found a pub yet that’s extended its hours by minutes, let alone hours. Last orders still goes at 10.50. where’s my bloody 24 hours drinking then?!?

My Dad’s been ill. He went in for a routine hospital and ended up with a massive infection. Although, according to my mum, he’s getting quite a bit better now, and is likely to be coming home today.

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