Friday, December 29, 2006

worst film of all time?

Zombie Honeymoon on DVD (2006)
Starring: Tracy Coogan, Graham Sibley, Tonya Cornless
Director: Dave Gebroe

I'd be tempted to say this is the worst film of all time, but it's not that good. Someone had quite a bit of money to lavish on this terrible vanity project. The script was clearly knocked up in an afternoon down the pub. The acting - while competent - lacks direction or conviction. I suspect the actors were wondering seriously where their careers where headed while making this film.

As someone who takes the zombie genre very seriously this film offends me. I couldn't finish it - so you never know - the last 30 minutes might be very good. But I doubt it.

Avoid avoid avoid.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Central London

Well, I moved.
Now I've got an office not far from Oxford Street. I used to work here a few years ago - until 1999. I didn't think I'd ever want to come back, but after about 3 years stuck at Leyton I'm pleased to be back in the thick of it. S is pleased too cos it means I can be home by 5pm some days, and never after 6.00.
It was my birthday at the weekend. S took me on the London Eye. It was dark,and cloudy, but it was still a good experience. We found where we lived, and other notable landmarks.
then we went for a drink at the NFT.
Tonight I'll be seeing Paul weller at the Forum with a bloke from work - in fact he was briefly my boss back in 2001/02 - NOT Paul Weller - the bloke I'm meeting!
The Artangel gig was very enjoyable too - apart from the middle class twat from the Telegraph and his offensive "poetry" about how poor people sometimes have to work nights. He fails to grasp the reality of being working class. He kept talking about night workers who are unhappy to be out at night because they have a poor sick child at home! Is that the only reason people would like to be at home, or have better working conditions? How fucking Dickensian? What an arsehole!!

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Friday, November 24, 2006

send me back that email please

I've not been blogging much lately. I have been quite busy though. Isn;t that one of the ironies of this whole business? Whenever I have anyhting to write about, I don;t have the time to write it.

I've been posting loads on the sentence game website - Google goat, boiled chariman and sentence game and you should get it. It's very amusing when it works. If you look at my favourite words you might think I was obsessed with vicars. But I'm not.

S. has been up in Oxford now - she's been elected to a post on the Students Union, and she's kicking bottom generally. I've had use of our car, which means I've pretty much failed to cycle in the past fortnight, and to be fair, that had a lot to do with my ear infection which I picked up in Oxford. We went to see "Borat" and as we sat down in the cinema I noticed a slight pain on my outer ear. by the time we got out, I was in agony. Then we missed our bus home and had to walk in pitch black round the ring road.

My new job has finally materialised. I will be starting at Baker Street offices on Monday morning. Another reason for having the car, I've been moving boxes of stuff off my desk at Leyton, and to my home. It's all signals stuff which I can;t see I'll have a lot of use for, so I'm gonna archive it in the loft.

I've been on ebay too. since xmas is nearly here, I've bought some games. Not the crappy modern games, but good old fashioned 70s games - for the family. First off - I got Mastermind, the game of logic, which we used to play loads when I was a kid. and I also ordered "Dad's Army". I used to love that game. It was last produced around 1974 apparently.

Last weekend I saw Bruce Springsteen - a friend sold me his spare ticket for �25 which was nice. I enjoyed it very much. He didn;t do his usual rock posturing thing. this was country/ folk style. Excellent.

Tonight I'm gonna see an Artangel production called Because the Night (which was a Springsteen song wasn;t it?). I'm particularly interested in the paranormal man and the comedy. but there's plenty of other stuff to get stuck into.

That's all for now.

Cheers :)

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Bush's Petro-Cartel Almost Has Iraq's Oil
A brilliant article which starts with Bush being inaugarated, and followed immediately by plans to invade Iraq.
It describes the oil industry's role in making and executing plans.
Provides explanations for events during the occupation based on US's plans for grabbing Iraq's oil.
Read it - there's a part two to click on too.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Barbaric punishment

So Saddam is to be hanged. Will that make everyone feel better? Or does it mean that we're as bad as Saddam? I noticed that Blair couldn't bring himself to condemn the sentence even though the UK and the Labour Party officially oppose the death sentence.
I'm guessing that as well as being popular in the USA - the hanging of Saddam will mean that he has been silenced for ever. If he lived, then there's no telling what secrets he might reveal. Secrets that the US and the UK don't want the public to hear - how they maneuvred Saddam into power, supported his regime, failed to challenge his atrocities, and finally used him as a scapegoat when it was convenient.
I'm against hanging which is a pity - as sometimes I feel it is the only fate that Blair and
Bush deserve

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

oil slick in the Thames

This is unbelievable. Someone's dumped oil (or diesel) into the Thames. Apparently the slick's a mile long already!
I'm hoping that the opportunity is going to be taken to seriously penalise this particular polluter.
I've got an uphill struggle in front of me - just realised that in my new post I'm going to have to answer auditor questions regarding our environmenatl policy. There's a whole pile of documents I have to ensure are in order before then.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

tub of lard

That's it then. I'm back on a diet. I've measured my fat gut, and my chest. The aim will be to reduce these measurements between now and next spring. In summer 2007 I will be my correct weight, and fit.
Today I mainly ate couscous, vegetable juice, salad and tuna.
I reckon i need to stop drinking for a while too - well maybe socially, and a little at weekends - but mid-week at home has to stop.
Bit of a hectic week coming up - early meetings in central london - all connected to my new role as environment manager. I'm going to an internal conference on Friday at Hammersmith - in the Novotel. I've got to be there at 8.30 am. Blimus!!

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Monday, November 06, 2006

The Dome - less green than it was

When the public, and presumably local authorities, the media, and that, are sold the idea of a new development, we tend to get fobbed off with benefits that the buidling will bring, and lately, green initiatives that make the development more attractive.


The Millenium Dome - as was - "used rainwater - grey water - to flush toilets and for cooling. Reedbeds outside cleaned the water before its reuse".


Apparently - according to a mailing from  they've now gone. "Rain now runs to profligate waste. Reedbeds neglected and sure to go. Other energy saving systems ncluding local power generation have gone too. Why I asked?"


Too expensive - was the answer.


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Friday, November 03, 2006

scooby do soup

actually - it wasn't so nice. The soup was watery - and the lumps of pasta were not very much like pasta. They were more like small tasteless dumplings.
I only bought it because it seemed like a good joke when I was in the co-op on Sunday with S. when she pointed out it was half price - would I like it? I said yes! And we laughed. I wasn;t laughing while I ate it today.
Oxford eh? What's that all about? We went to see "Scanner Darkly" in the most run down cinema I ever sat in - including the old Brixton Ritzy. It was just off Cowley Road - famous apparently - famous for being "edgy", "arty", "diverse" etc. And it probably is for Oxford.
There were lots of people - middle class students, many in fancy dress - quite a few blokes in drag I noticed, I was never aware that that was a Halloween tradition. There were also plenty of proper Oxford people around - especially in the Hobgoblin pub where we had a drink. Two girls came in dressed, apparently, as French tarts (S said) except they weren't. We quickly realised they just in their normal clothing - it was the beret, with a tight skirt and heels that gave us our intial impression.
We had a drink, squeezed in a pretty decent Indian meal, and then took our seats in the flea pit. And flea pit it was. It stank, the seats were extremely uncomfortable, the decor was a la abandoned ware-house.
Film wasn;t bad though.
The wobbly ride home on the bikes was good too.

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Scooby Doo Soup

I'm having Scooby Doo Vampire Tomato Soup with Pasta Ghouls. Lovely!

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Friday, October 27, 2006

this weeks top ten on my MP3 player

1. Johnny Cash
that Sun stuff is still doing it for me - and I've started loading up his American Series stuff now - so Cash might stay at number one for some time.
2. Elvis Costello
Can't see EC disapearing from this list in the near future either
3. David Bowie
Now I've got Laughing Gnome and some other of his 60s stuff on the MP3 player...
4. Wilco
5. Talking Heads
I loaded up a few live tracks at the weekend - from The Name of This Band and Stop Making Sense
6. Steve Earle
The man is a God. I saw him at Glastonbury don;t you know...
7. Morrissey
The man is a God, I saw him at Glastonbury don;t you know...
8. Kate Bush
I just bought Wuthering Heights - no room to put it on the MP3 player yet though.
9. Can
Getting a bit fed up with this at the moment.
9. Flaming Lips
9. Polyphonic Spree

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I went to the other end of Leyton High street on Wednesday to find a bike shop - I'd got a puncture in Stratford and needed to buy a pump as I'd left mine round S's flat.

I noticed a plaque on number 544 on the high road. The names on the plaque were:

sir Fisher Tench c1700

Thomas oliver 1750 - 1803

It wasn't the exisiting building they lived in, but one that predated the current terraced house on this site.

I'm not absloutely sure about the spelling - so that means i have to go back and check. Could find nothing on Fisher Tench - except lots of site about tench fishing came up :-).

Thomas Oliver though - one name came up on Wikipedia, and this may well be the one:

Thomas Oliver (Lieutenant Governor)

Thomas Oliver (January 5, 1733 - November 29, 1815) was the last Royal Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts.

"He was graduated from Harvard in 1753, and resided at 33 Elmwood Avenue, Cambridge. He took little part in public affairs until, upon the death of Andrew Oliver, he was appointed by the King at the suggestion of Thomas Hutchinson, who believed him to be a brother of Oliver.

A mob of five thousand angry citizens forced him to resign on September 2, 1774. He fled to Boston, remaining there for a year. When the British troops sailed to Halifax in March of 1776, Oliver went with them, going on to England. He was proscribed under the Massachusetts Banishment Act in 1778, and his estate confiscated."

Unfortunately the dates don;t quite match up - he'd have been too young to have lived there in 1850. First off - I'd better check the dates and spelling.


I got to look at a copy of this at the Anarchist Book Fair in London last week. It looked interesting - quite academic - something i might need to be reading to be honest, but at £3 a copy I wasn;t prepared to buy on the spot. Turns out its online, so I can peruse for free.

White van drivers

Some people say you shouldn�t criticise white van drivers, they�re just doing their job, why should driving a white van make you a bad driver. It�s just prejudice.

As I cyclist I�m on the sharp end. It may not be scientific, but I feel that my perceptions are important.

The other day I had two incidents on the same day. A vehicle cut across the front of me to take left bend, causing me to brake sharply; and another driver opened his door right in front of me. Luckily I ride slowly and fasr enough away from parked vehicles these days that I didn�t hit it. Guess what � both vehicles were white vans.

There was a study carried out by an academic, called Dr Ian Walker, recently that showed objectively that white van drivers drove closer to cyclists than any other drivers.

"Previously reported research from the project showed that drivers of white vans overtake cyclists an average 10 centimetres (4 inches) closer than car drivers."

So it's not just my perception then - cunts drive white vans - or white vans turn drivers into cunts.

"To test another theory, Dr Walker donned a long wig to see whether there was any difference in passing distance when drivers thought they were overtaking what appeared to be a female cyclist.

Whilst wearing the wig, drivers gave him an average of 14 centimetres (5.5 inches) more space when passing."

With my long hair - I may well be benefitting from this phenomena!


Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I came off my bike yesterday. It was really wet, I was going through Silver town - just by the railway, and the Tate and Lyle plant. There's a couple of tram tracks running across the road diagonally, which I've never considered to be much of a problem before, but yesterday my wheel slipped into the rail and I was catapulted across the road.

Luckily nothing was coming along behind me - there's quite a lot of traffic along there including massive lorries. I wasn;t able to move at first, but slowly my body realised I wasn;t hurt and let me get up. I cut my wrist, bruised quite a few bits; still hurts today. My bad hand was wacked too, so that's hurting now.

The bell on the bike is a write off. I nearly lost my speedometer, found it in a puddle. My light was scratched. The panniers had come off - my laptop was in one, but it was OK. My saddle was torn - the fluff's sticking out now.

Apart from that - nothing. It took me a while to work that out though - checked everything after I got to the ferry. It was getting on for 7.30 so I didn;t want to miss the last one.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

read this

Turns out that Jon Ronson used to play keyboards for Frank Sidebottom:
And Mrs Merton was invented by Caroline Ahern as a character on a Frank Sidebottom record.

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Frank Sidebottom

After sticking Frank's firm Favourites on my MP3 player last week, I've decided to have a quick google for Frank Sidebottom on the net. I came up with the following:

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Anarchist Bookfair

I've never been to the Anarchist bookfair before. I came away with enough literature to fill a medium sized rucksack, including a book on the Angry Brigade, a copy of the Lobster Magazine, and an enormous number of back issues of various Anarchist newsletters.

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Friday, October 20, 2006

top ten artists on my MP3 player - by number of tracks

1.   The Monkees
2.   Johnny Cash
3.   Elvis Costello
4.   David Bowie
5.   Wilco
6.   Polyphonic Spree
7.   Flaming Lips
8.   Steve Earle
9.   Gary Numan
10. Kate Bush

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

FW: See Tickets New Tours and Events

So where do all the moral and right-thinking people of this country go when they want a good knees-up?
Judging by the most recent See Tickets email I received - I've got a feeling I now know.
In between supporting "our boys in Iraq" and demonising muslims, I guess they might be going to see LIONEL RICHIE in Birmingham or Manchester. Or even 10CC.
If you have a rockin' Granny or your Dad's a vicar, you could pack them off to see CLIFF RICHARD
"We are giving you the amazing chance to buy half price seats for some of his fast selling November dates. Buy now to avoid disappointment!" They've hads to knock the price down so pensioners can afford it!

If you're still under 30 you might fancy bland, FM friendly, pointless, wannabe, and soon will be, stadium rockers SNOW PATROL at Manchester's G-Mex. I saw them at Glastonbury a couple of years ago, and as well as wishing I hadn't, instantly foresaw that they'd be huge in just a few years. U2 for our grandchildren I reckon.

Or you could see the tabloid-friendly spectacle that is BABYSHAMBLES

I had to put this in quotes just cos I don;t want anyone thinking I could write the following words: "Catch the hilarious comedian when he performs at Manchester's Apollo later this month" -  JIMMY CARR. Or you could pay less and see womeone who's funny.

And I expect the quote marks I put in were turned into little squares. It always happens!

I like the bit at the end of the email where it says "ALSO NEW THIS WEEK..."

and there follows a list of bands, many of whom are quite good and well worth seeing. But probably considered a bit weird by the fine upstanding major party-voting c**ts who seem to own this country.

the list of weirdos included

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Cat's Playlist

1. Johnny Cash ~ San Quentin
One of his prison albums from the late 60s. I bought this recently along with the Folsom Prison CD.
2. Johnny Cash ~ The Sun Years
Surprisingly good, and at �5 for 50 songs, a bargain. I've been deleting the syrupy sounding tracks from my MP3 player, but the other 30 songs are strong enough to make this set of recordings a classic.
3. Morrissey ~ Ringleader of the Tormenters
It's a grower. As good as any of Mozza's other solo efforts, and better than most.
4. David Bowie ~ Buddha of suburbia
It's a soundtrack album from the television series of the same name, and also its a proper Bowie album, and a good one at that. I just won it on an ebay auction - for 20 squid.
5. Colorblind James Experience ~ John Peel Session
Another ebay win. I should have bought this years ago, but didn;t. Anyway - now I have it on vinyl. Four tracks on the record, each one great in its own way. I'm bidding for the first album now. I saw the (late) Colorblind James back in the late 80s. Twice. Once performing the first album, then back again for the second album (which I do have).
6.  Sheffield Shanty ~ Monkey Swallows The Universe
A song brimming with wist.
7. Complete Monkees
Another bargain. It contains everything the Monkees ever recorded, it says here. Hardly a duff track on it.
8. Beyond Nashville
This is a compilation album containing country and country inspired tracks that accentuate the dark side of existence.
9. Elvis Costello ~ Delivery Man
I can't get enough of this album. Listened to it again this morning. It might be Costello's best album.
10. Gary numan ~ Telekon
The album Numan made at the peak of his powers. I have the expanded version which includes I Die: You Die and We are Glass. I'll be seeing this performed live in December.

Not a shred of truth

According to an item by GAVIN ESLER on the Newsnight BLOG yesterday that survey which said most of us �fail to shred documents we put in our dustbins, leaving us open to identity fraud�was carried out for ... a company making shredding machines.�
�Why is it so few of the newspapers - or the BBC for that matter - have seen fit to mention that the survey might result in a sales boost for the people who paid for it.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I'm an Extremist

In this age of bland "centre" politics anyone on the left is an extremist. If you read Chomsky and reject permitted politics (which is basically support for the status quo in various different forms) then you're an extremist.
I'm an extremist, Blair and all the snivelling little cunts who run around carrying out your twisted little plan to bring about a new age of darkness, fear and superstition.
Now the government want us to spy on muslims and report extremism to the authorities. Muslims today - the rest of us tomorrow - if we don't stand up and reject this now. How long before a new Gestapo is created? How long before we all live in fear of a new labour SS? How long before the muslims, the gays and the "extremists" are shipped off and never seen again?
I reject the status quo. I reject this new plunge into fascism. I reject all political parties.
So I repeat - I'm an extremist - go on - report me.

Friday, October 13, 2006

wing NUT brigade

Alright. Well I was going to let this go, but a little research has made me change my mind.

Someone who call him/herself Pliny the younger wrote this comment on my Blog,

"That comes to 600 people a day. Think someone might have noticed all those bodies piling up in the street if these numbers were accurate?
Another example of nonsense being accepted as fact

in reply to yesterday's entry about the death figures for Iraq. So I put my reply - and you can see it as a comment under yesterday's entry. Then I checked out Pliny's website.

wing NUT brigade

"I am Pliny the Younger, and I own this web page. I teach Humanities in Kansas, and consider myself to be slightly to the right of Ronald Reagan. As the days go on, I and the other members of the Brigade will add to these pages, and will hopefully enlighten all that come across these pages to the truth that exists."
"This web page is dedicated to exposing the hypocrisy of the Left. Whether they are in the media, government, politics, or in the blogosphere, the The Wing Nut Brigade will shine the light of truth and understanding upon their nefarious words and deeds.
"We hope to be a clarion of truth in the heart of “red” America, as we battle the forces of evil in “blue” America. We shall not stop until we become the Wing Nut Division. All hail!"

That's some mission! Only trouble is if you go and look at the website - it appears that the NUTS have failed "to shine the light of truth and understanding upon" anything. Apart from the bits I quote above, there's nothing on the website. "As the days go on, I and the other members of the Brigade will add to these pages". Yeah? Go on then. I can;t wait to see what right wing idiot toss passes for "humanities" in Kansas.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Iraqi Dead

655,000 dead.
Of course Bush denies it, but on what basis? I have no idea.
The Independent is very good today, with a long article about the reality of living in Baghdad, by Patrick Cockburn. I'm particularly shocked by the manner that US troops have been wacking Iraqis just on the offchance that they may be suicide bombers.
The Iraqi police general in charge of the serious crimes squad was shot throught the head by an American soldier who mistook him for a suicide bomber.
President Jalal Talabani's head of protocol was in hospital with broken limbs after his car was rammed by a US Humvee.
These are just the high-ranking vicitms. I suspect that thousands have been shot in this casual manner by US troops since the war ended and the occupation began.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


BBC London just ran a trail for its Q&A program with Peter Hendy, head of Transport for London. And prominent in the trail is the sound of a bicycle bell and a woman shouting "hey! That's a red light". So we can see how that program is going to go then? Some cunt's gonna phone up and compain about cyclists jumping red lights and then no cyclist will be able to make a valid point at any point during this program.
I've written to Hendy - he had to apologise for insensitive remarks he made about cyclists the day he started his job!
I might phone up and ask what he's going to do about buses and motorists who run red lights, ignore rights of way, break the speed limit and park on the pavement; especially the ones who seem to target cyclists in some sort of personal vendetta.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

North Korea

Why do all the news reports keep saying that North Korea "claims" to have tested a nuclear weapon. Don;t we know? Considering all the seismolgy equipment round the globe, I'm surprised we can't confirm whether a nuclear weapon was exploded in North Korea, or not.
Lurid diagrams in the Independent today showing the potential range of NK's new weapon. It's a bit irrelevent discussing this isn;t it? NK know that if they use it it'll be reciprocated a hundred times over, and NK will cease to exist. But it sertainly gives them some security against being attacked by their neighbours.
Or by America.
I'm not sure how much more unsafe this makes the world, if at all. After all Israel and Pakistan have nukes, as do many of the former Soviet Union nations, some of which are incredibly unstable or corrupt.
Our politicians are talking of taking action - but what action can we take? I believe we should do exactly what we did when France let one off in the South Pacific a few years back. Absolutely sweet fuck all. France went against international opinion when they carried out their last series of tests in the south Pacific. But our governments did not issue sanctions or threaten "action".
I laughed incredulously listening to the radio last night. Some toffee nosed twat representing the UK government said he couldn;t understand why NK needed nuclear power as South Korea had offered to supply all NK's energy needs. Ah - so that's why the war in the Middle East isn;t about oil then. We were perfectly happy to have our energy supplied by Arab countries weren't we? We're OK about buying gas from China and allowing Russia to own its own energy sources aren;t we? Beacause at no point do we think that our enemies (rivals?) might use their advantage as leverage to make us do things they want us to do.
No the US, europe, Russia and China are enganged in a huge game of chess to gain control of the global energy network at the moment. The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were just a small part of this. The gradual corruption, underming democracy and supporting tyrants, in the former USSR is another.
We wouldn;t accept the position we demand that NK put themselves in, so why should they? We have nuclear weapons, so why shouldn;t they? We are autonomous and run our countries our own way without external interference, so why shouldn;t they?
It's a flaw of the nuclear proliferation treaty that the so-called recognised nuclear powers seem not to have any intention of disarming. We cling onto our nuclear capability while lecturing others about why it would be so dangerous if they had the bomb. I wouldn;t listen to such hypocracy, why should North Korea, or Iran?  

Friday, October 06, 2006

Jack Straw is a Tosser

We already knew this of course. But now he's said something so astoundingly stupid and insensitive that this fact must be beyond dispute.
But was it stupid or was it timed to further stoke up tension?
I can;t answer this question. But either this government are incompentent blundering fools, or there's a  secret agenda here. Not that secret in my opinion either. It's a bit like the 70s and 80s when authorities seemed determined to stoke up racial hatred for their own political agenda.
Over a day later Straw still hasn;t backed down or apologised.

No Ball Games

Wreck of the Old 97

The weather!
It's bollox and has been most of the week. I don;t mind rain, but I do when its the sort that makes you sodden through in about a minute.
S makes a flying visit today, so I'm going to Camberwell to meet her later. And I guess I'd better clear the fridge of all the perishables from over a week ago, that have definitely gone off by now.
Watched Sopranos last night. Last night's was the best yet. Vito is fleeing for his life after it became generally known that he is gay. Tony's all for forgiveness, but his weakness may not be acceptable to the captains. The general view is Vito needs whacking.
I haven't been getting any mail this week. I stopped to ask the postman about it this morning - he said they've lost the fob that opens the communal door, and that means they can't get in to deliver. Bloody hell. I'm short of two Screen Select DVDs, a Colourblind James Experience LP, a David Bowie CD, and other stuff too!
It'll mean an early trip to Bromley tomorrow morning. I can probably fit in a visit to Waitrose, and photograph a stink-pipe too.
I updated the stink-pipe web site earlier today - see link on right hand panel. I also updated a document me and S are working from so we can identify stink pipes and connect them with their locations.
Tony Blair appeared on Blue Peter the other day. Even the kids were giving him a hard time! Wanker! I read the other day that Blair wants to bring in a law that forces cyclists to ring their bell whenever they see a pedestrian. In London that'll be all the time. My finger will be knackered. I'll have to design a device that rings the bell using an electric motor driven by a dynamo.
My cactus has gone wierd and grown multiple rabbit ears. I have no idea why, or if it's in any way normal for this to happen:



Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Warsaw "seems to breed melancholy"

S took me to task the other day for writing here that she described Warsaw as a shit-hole. Actually she expressed herself far more eloquently than that, although she did say "shithole".

"Warsaw is the worst place that I have ever visited; it is populated by humourless sour faced tossers, the town is a shithole - I reckon the Germans did them a favour when they levelled it - fuck knows why anyone bothered reconstructing the place.

No wonder anyone with a spark fucks off out of it asap."

"Anyway, with luck I'll be getting a train out of here v. early tomrrow morning."

"The place has a sense of, let's not say faded glory, rather decaying dogshit; it's riddled with concrete cancer architecture, dissatified political graffitto and a level of drunkeness that I find depressing (looking into one of the wall to wall bars* today I saw someone geniunely smashing their head on the table while the other solitary drinkers continued to gaze morosely at their pints poured from cheap cans**

*read flyblown shithole playing dire 80's eastern european electronica while pasty faced acned men & boys drink themselves to death in their own personal hell bubble - I least when I'm hellbound I invite everyone else to come along for the ride/spectacle.

**Yup, go in the wrong sort of bar and ask for a beer and you're given a lukewarm can and a glass - pour it yourself - even the hostesses on the hellsville express can't be bothered."

I hope that puts the record straight.

Jimmie Dale Gilmour and Flatlanders

the collaboration with Mudhoney looks intriguing

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

...and they pissed on your rug!

I managed to upload all of S's photos from her East European jaunt, onto the internet. It took a while - the computer crashed after 5 hours, and still about 30 pictures remained stubbornly on the laptop's C drive.
So I tried again last night and succeeded. Had to do housework, those cats don't half make a mess. They will spread grains of cat-litter all over the house if left alone for a few days. They carry it clenched in their little paws. The bastards!
Bromley council can;t be arsed collecting my recycling, and I have no nearby facilities. I tend to keep it till there's a massive pile, and when I've got the car, I stick it in the boot ready for whenever I happen to drive by some facilities. There's a recycling bin at S's place - so I usually dump it there. Right now though, the car's in Oxford, and I took S's recycling at the weekend, which added to what I had already is now quite a pile. There's no way I can carry it on my bike - or even walk with it to the nearest facilities. I could however post it to the council - each item individually, with postage to be paid on receipt by the council. They must have a freepost address for something - I'll could use that.
The Thames was a fantastic colour this morning - a deep sea-green blue. But I couldn't be arsed taking pictures.

These pictures were taken by S in Lithuania, in a place nicknamed Stalin Land. They've bought up loads of Soviet era statues and placed them around a park.

And as always - click on the picture for a larger version:

Elvis Costello

I've just been listening to "The Scarlet Tide" by EC, from the 'Delivery man' CD. It never fails to move me.
It must be over a year since I bought this CD; since I put it on my MP3 in its entirety earlier this year, I haven;t got fed up with a single track. There are those who say EC has lost it, and doesn;t make records like he used to. These people obviously haven;t listened to Delivery Man. It's a superb album, as good as anything he's ever done, and better than most of it.
That said - I've had "North" for nearly two years, and apart from a couple of tracks, feel completely intimidated by it. It's a difficult album, but by no means poor. It marks EC's incredible growth as a musician since he first emerged in the mid 70s.
Phil Jupitus on 6Music this morning said he'd put his entire EC collection on his MP3 player - and I'm sorely tempted - it amounts to 760 songs - 36 hours worth played back to back. What a 36 hours that would be. Hmmmm...I've got a day off work on Thursday.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Happy Birthday to this Blog

I've been doing this Blog for two years now.


A drive back to London on Sunday - same intermittent rain all the way - meaning I couldn;t relax on the wipers front.
We had a family outing in the afternoon - to a Wetherspoons pub in Petts Wood. We thought it would be reasonable food and quite cheap.
Unfortunately this was without factoring in the shit, lazy Chav staff working there. They got the order wrong - mixing up my double burger with S.'s cheese and bacon burger, so she got a double cheese and bacon, and I got a normal one. K. got a chicken salad instead of the veggie salad I ordered. We'd already noticed no salt in condiments available, and really dirty cutlery. So we complained about all this.
They failed to apologise for any of this, made excuses. Then we got the food back, they'd just scraped the food off the plate and gave us back the same shit with the extra burger swapped round and the chips now cold. Still no apology.
The burgers didn;t look cooked - the buns weren't toasted - the chips were white and cold.
We asked for our money back and walked out.
It was only when we went to Orpington and ordered the same meal that I saw how my dinner was supposed to look - and taste. It was compeltely different. The burgers looked like they'd been grilled - they were a pleasing dark colour. So were the chips. and we got the relish that was supposed to come with the meal.
And K got her veggie salad this time.
So we'll have to send in a complaint about this. Those lazy bastards need to be told to start doing their job - or get sacked.
On the way into work this morning I saw a Recumbent tandem being ridden by a couple. That'll sort out the balancing problems me and S. had the other week riding a trad tandem.


I slept on the floor - and it was quite comfortable. In the morning it was sunny, theny it pissed down, then it was sunny.
This went on all morning till the afternoon - after we'd left for the city centre on our bikes - and then it pissed down permanently.
We managed to get to a pub for a cheap lunch, a bit of charity shop shopping, and a tour ropund S.s Central Oxford campus.
It was impossible to do anything very interesting cos of the weather, so we opted for an eveing in the local noodle bar, and drinks back at home. Both of slept early that night.


Long stressful drive to Oxford on friday. Long because of gridlocked traffic in Camberwell, Kennington, Vauxhall, Hyde Park Corner and Marble Arch.
And I nearly lost our bikes on the way...the cycle carrier straps came loose, and I was lucky to discover it in time.
And it rained. Not proper rain, but on-off-on-off heavy bloody rain, which required full on wipers, then nothing - then full-on wipers again.
And S. was extremely annoyed at my lateness.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


It appears that changes are appearing v - e - r - y    s - l - o - w - l - y

something's wrong.

This blog site isn't updating my edits.
So this probably won;t appear until the problem is fixed.


S. had a mild crisis the other night which left me with about 2 hours sleep. Now, over a day later I'm still spangled.

I've lost my work keys too, which is causing me a fair amount of inconvenience.

Anyway - S. is up in Oxford - studying - and I'm visiting tomorrow. It means I've got to seriously get my shit together tomorrow, in terms of laundry, housework, finding all the things I've lost, packing the car with things that s wants in Oxford, etc.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Who Killed Kennedy?

I've never considered myself to be a conspiracy theorist, so until recently I've kind of skated around this issue. I've always been aware that conspiracy theories existed, but I never knew much beyond the "Magic Bullet" theory, and the discrepencies and contradictions in the records surrounding Oswald.
I'd been reading a lot of crap from the Garrison investigation in 1967, I guess because of that Stone movie. But that's pretty much a major red-herring, and a load of bullshit.
When I started writing my own history of the USA I had it in the back of mind that I'd either not really deal with it, or pick a few theories of the shelf, including the official story, and offer them up for the reader to decide themselves. But eveytime I come up against the Kennedy murder, it just seems inadequate, and I feel like I'm avoiding the issue.
I now feel that JFK's death, and the truth surrounding his murder, is crucial to understanding that whole period. after all JFK wasn;t the only prominent figure who was bumped off at the height of his powers.
I'm very impressed with Summers' book, "The Kennedy Conspiracy". It examines the evidence in minute detail. It isn;t the only book I've read on the subject, but so far it is the best.
Oswald was clearly working for US intelligence. He wasn't the scumbag traitor that the establishment want us to believe he was. He probably didn;t have time to commit the assassination, as he wasn;t quite in the right place at the right time, and no-one can definitively place him on the sixth floor of the book depositary at the moment Kennedy was shot. He was also not that good a shot. Yet he ran up the stairs to the sixth floor, assembled his gun, aimed fired and hit twice, then ran back downstairs quickly enough to be witnessed by a cop all in the space of a few minutes, and not a bit out of breath or flustered,looking nonchalant enough so that the cop who saw him didn't consider him at all suspicious.
50 odd people thought a shot or shots had come from the grassy knoll. Some saw the shooter. a photo appears to show a head in the right place. Others saw a man fleeing from the grassy knoll. The accoustic evidence proves with 90% certainty that some of the shots came from the grassy knoll. JFK's injuries were such that they could only have been caused by a gunshot from the front, ie, the grassy knoll. Witnesses, including ones with combat experience, were sure that at least two shooters were firing - and from different directions.
Then comes the doctored and disappeared evidence, the lies, the pressure put on witnesses to lie, and the lack of a proper inquiry.
For me its bang to rights - Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy. One powerful enough to fake evidence, pull files, forge official documents, etc. Now I only have to work out who was in that conspiracy.
Anyway - the upshot is that I'm rapidly working towards a theory that I'm happy to include in my book - not a conspiraloon theory, nor the standard history version which is clearly inadequate.

Monday, September 18, 2006

after counting to ten

I've calmed down.
After I left U75 because I couldn't stand dealing with the feeble minded, they've started coming onto my PERSONAL Blog and telling me what I can and can't say. Free speech is something that most U75ers  hate - either cos they're stalinist "socialists" or because they're little neo-con robots who believe the only right the working class should have is to work 50 hours a week, and be bloody grateful for it. Otherwise Daddy's company just won't be able to get the staff.
I finally got round to buying the new Moz album, and as S is away in a former Soviet bloc country, I'm driving around in the car. That means loud stereo. I've loaded Stereolab, Bowie, The Tears, Moz and an Indie compilation in the CD player, and was playing it LOUD this morning. Moz is well on form with this new one, and I wish I'd bought it before.
Just had to help S buy a ticket to get out of Warsaw - they didn't take her card. She's been really negative about the place, calling it a shit-hole among other things.
Went to the Thames Festival yesterday - no pictures...
Reading Anthony Summers' The Kennedy conspiracy...
Watched 13 - Tzameti (2005) last night - I rated it with 5 stars on Screen Select - that's what I call a thriller, not that Hollywood shit we get fed with over here.

Some Urban 75 wanker has posted a feeble comment

The morons who post on Urban 75 seem to be brainwashed and thick. Too thick to realise that people may exist outside of their internet personas. I used to be a regular poster on Urban 75 until one day I woke up and realised I was wasting my time arguing with a bunch of middle class tosspots that I'd rather just ignore.
Come on you thick twat - identify yourself!
Anyway - I repeat my point - that your comment only serves to reinforce. Urban 75 and that ginger-haired Welsh wanker who runs the whole show, seem intent on associating themselves with events that are "cool". However when I've started critical mass related threads on U75 a run of posts were posted saying er...sorry, can't make it cos of work/ a trendy gig/ can't be arsed/ got no bike/ can't ride a bike/ I'll be wankered on drugs.
And I've seen very sporadic and occasional attendence of Critical Mass by regular U75ers.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Tangela Tricoli

I just heard this woman singing on the Danny Baker show. Hilariously terrible.

Apparently she provided inspiration for Lisa Kudrow's character, Phoebe, in the TV sitcom "Friends" and the song "Smelly Cat" featured in the alleged sit-com is based on "Stinky Poodle".

go here too

Cycle helmets may raise risk of accidents

by Alexandra Topping
Tuesday September 12 2006
The Guardian

Wearing a cycle helmet could be hazardous for your health, according to research from the University of Bath. The study of 2,500 overtaking motorists in Salisbury and Bristol found that drivers get 8cm closer to cyclists wearing helmets because they are seen as more experienced.

Female cyclists are also given more room. Traffic psychologist Ian Walker used a bicycle fitted with an ultrasonic distance sensor to record data. Dr Walker, whose research is to be published in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention, was struck twice during the experiment.

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years

OK so its Monday again. I'm wrecked already. There's been a lot of sackings on the project I'm involved with in the last two weeks, and apparently there's more to come. I'm about to step sideways into a different job. The whole project is nose-diving and I want out.
We went to Brick Lane festival yesterday and looked at some art (not very good), and ate some curry (tasty). We didn;t eat on Brick Lane which is a bit poor these days, but in a restaurant a couple of streets away that S knew about. I'm not going to publicise it as the queue is long enough already.
The Dials were kind enough to send me a few tracks that they'd recorded. I've stuck them on my mp3 player, and have been listening to them for about a week now. The four tracks are quite varied in styles, with country, psychedlia, soul, and acid jazz all thrown into the mix. three of the tracks are particularly catchy pop songs; the other is a ballad. I've recently put 60 tracks by the Monkees on the MP3 player too, and for a second I thought a couple of the Dials tracks were Monkees tracks, till I checked the screen. I mean that as a complement, of course.
I've got my bike back - it only cost me �12 - at Edwardes, Camberwell. I was a bit shocked to see Wharf Cycles had gone.
It's the anniversary of "911" today - I put reggae on and danced through the minutes silence as a sign of complete disrespect to the United States.
I'm aware that thousands of innocents died in that attack, but they are a tiny percentage of the innocents that have died brutally and needlessly since America decided it needed an empire. It's time we started considering the hundreds of thousands that have been killed by the terrorists in the White House over the last 60 years.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A letter I sent to SchNews

In a recent issue of SchNews you quoted the critical mass web address as Urban75. This is incorrect. The actual address is
I'm not aware that anyone from Urban 75 is involved with critical mass - or even takes part on a regular basis. Urban 75 are a self-serving group of middle class t**ts and do not need any more publicity than they have already.
I hope you can find space in your next issue to print the correct address for critical mass.
The Cat

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I went to this event on sunday with the family. It wasn;t bad. Me and S got to ride a tandem. We were a bit wobbly.
I'm bikeless for a couple of days; my wheel is being fixed in camberwell. I do get to read more when I'm on public transport. I'm reading Anthony Summers' "Secret Life of Edgar Hoover". Summers makes the claim that Hoover - as well as being a complete bastard all his life, and blackmailed everyone to keep his job - he was a transvestite, and had been in a long-term gay relationship with another FBI employee. I haven;t got to the really good bits yet.
My MP3 player is full of Americana at the moment. I put on 60 Johnny Cash tracks, a funk cd compiled by James Brown, and a southern blues compilation. Put that with the Wilco double cd, the 50 track country compilation, & Elvis Costello's "Delivery Man".  


Yesterday wasn;t a good day. After only three hours sleep, with a hangover, and depressed, I was expected to turn up at work, organise 4 teams and their paperwork, write an audit report, and cover for a colleague who has gone on leave. No chance!
I could barely cope and barely did the bare minumum I could get away with. Therefore no report, and a little of the other two jobs I had to do.
On the way home - with two heavy panniers I managed to break two spokes on my back wheel. That left my back wheel buckled, though I could still ride it. I had to ride carefully though, with quite a heavy load I was concerned about breaking the wheel so much that it became beyond repair.
I went home via Greenwich so I could buy food for my cats. I get this dried stuff - Hill's Maintenance diet. The few times I've dared feed them anything different I end up with an ill cat - except fresh or tinned fish of course - but I can;t afford for them to eat too much of that.
Once I was carrying the cat food, then my load was 5kg more than before, so I ended up walking a large part of the way home just to be safe. Got home at 8:30.
I made a large chllie con veggie carne, put on something more comfortable, put my feet up, and fell alseep to Futurama series 3 on DVD.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Gary Numan to perform Telekon in entirety!

I've only seen Numan once this year already - pretty much doing only tracks from his new album. Now he's touring doing only tracks from my favourite Numan album, Telekon. I'm quite excited about this now.

(News date: Jul 27)

I think most people will have heard some rumours or comments about this by now. For quite some time I have been concerned about those fans, most of whom have been with me for many, many years, that would like to see more older songs played live. As you are aware, my own desires have been to play less older stuff as each new album comes along, especially since '94 when things got much heavier and darker. I have struggled to come up with a solution. One that enables me to continue to play predominantly newer material at the shows and yet doesn't seem to be ignoring the wishes of those people that are a, not as interested in the newer stuff or b, do like the newer stuff but would still like to hear more older songs. So this is my first attempt at trying to do something that is some kind of a solution. In December we will play four shows where we only play songs from the Telekon album and it's associated singles and B-Sides. If this 'Classic Album' idea works I might do it again but playing songs from different 'old' albums each time. I intend to play the songs pretty much as they were originally recorded, so not massively reworked as I usually do when playing older songs. This, I hope, will give those fans exactly what they want, without me having to dilute the current album tours and shows with too many older songs. For me, knowing that these are special shows for a particular part of my fan base is also something that I can be comfortable with. As you know I hate nostalgia with a passion but this is a compromise that I can live with and enjoy. The shows will be at:

    Dec 5. NOTTINGHAM. Rock City
    Dec 6. GLASGOW. QMU
    Dec 7. MANCHESTER. Academy
    Dec 9. LONDON. The Forum

The tickets will be available on this site, at the venue, and at other outlets which I will let you know about as soon as things are set up. Hopefully that will be before I fly to America on sunday.

This idea working or not, and whether it ever happens again, is entirely down to how many fans want it and are prepared to come along. I really hope enough people are interested. " - from Numan's website.


Thursday, August 31, 2006

Dr Syn Day

A year ago - we said we'd go back to Dymchurch - I wanted to see the entire town dressing up and playing out the events surrounding the Dr Syn legend.

A battle was recreated on the beach - the army and the navy versus smugglers and pirates.

girls and women in big dresses...

and seagulls

The Dials - tour dates

21st September 2006
The Pressure Point, Brighton

22nd September 2006
The Jericho Tavern, Oxford

23rd September 2006
Bath Place Community Centre, Leamington Spa

28th September 2006
The Red Roaster Cafe, 1D St James Street, Brighton.

2nd December 2006
The Cockroach Club, Peterborough

What no more London gigs? I was hoping to see them again soon. Still I might just be able to see them in Oxford. S. had an interview for a course up there today, and I reckon she's probably in. In which case I'll be in Oxford a fair amount.

As for the Dials - go see them - they're very good live, if you like that Tarantino/ surf / blues / country crossover sort of thing.

Friday, August 25, 2006

these pictures look old - the one above is of my Dad and sister, and the little dog was called Scamp. It must have been taken around 1980, despite my Dad looking like he's walked out of 1973.

Here he is again, asleep after running round like a mad thing for hours. You can also see most of the cat - Whiskey.

This isn't so old - although it is still Scamp. Taken around 1987/ 88 - You can see my sister's two dogs - in my parents' garden - and they still live here now.

Dr Syn Festival

The plan for our Bank Holiday is this - drive down to Dymchurch in the early hours of Monday morning, grab a parking space, go watch the reenactment of the Doctor Syn legend:

Stop At Red - Misguided Idiots

I want to have a quick few words about this bunch of eejits
What do they think they can achieve? So people who stop at red lights are pledging to continue to stop at red lights. And people who don;t will continue to be RLJs (red light jumpers).
I treat some red lights as advisory when I cycle. the ones where not stopping has a nil effect on other road users, and nil risk for me. Others, there's a risk of hitting peds, and if peds are about, I stop and stay stopped until its safe to move on. And on major junctions where I have to cross the flow of traffic to get to the exit I need, then I definitely take no chances.
There's a real argument here that traffic lights are designed for the needs of motor vehicles and/or the need to protect pedestrians from motor vehicles. So why do traffic lights apply in exactly the same way to cyclists as they do to cars, lorries, motorbikes and buses?
In many cases the law could say cyclists proceed through red light if safe to do so. Recklessly racing through a crowd of pedestrians, or against traffic crossing the junction can remain just as illegal as it is now.
That's why Stop At Red are so wrong. Instead of wringing our hands and looking concerned about the criticisms we receive from other road users - and lets face it, these complaints are nearly always red-herring arguments which indicate a deep prejudice undeneath - we should be declaring the need to change the law to one more appropriate for cyclists.
Are Stop At Red going to campaign for lawful motoring. Probably not. So who is. Motorists? Well, that's clearly not happening. So why should we be the only suckers working within an unworkable set of laws?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Two Way Stretch

I've got a Screen Select account, which means I pay them about 15 squid and they send me an unlimited number of DVDs every month.
The latest two I received were Lost In La Mancha - I can't wait to see this with S. - and "Two Way Stretch". If you don;t know this film, then it's an early Peter Sellers comedy, befroe he hit Hollywood. Peter Sellers was excellent, plenty of genuine laughs, and unbeliveable to see how different the world looked less than 50 years ago.
Only the ending was a bit crap. Instead of the crims getting away with the diamonds they lose them in some pretty bizarre and out of keeping with the film plot twist. Cribbins had to climb on the roof of a train to evade the police, even though they had the perfect aliby of being in prison at the time of the robbery, and while climbing back down dropped the diamonds off the train. They all end up dressed as Arabs trying to steal the diamonds back of the Sheikh. Ludicrous!

Empty days

The stress of work, and the fact that I need to put a good extra couple of hours in today, means I drove in to work. Am I letting the [cycling] side down? I don't think so. For me it just proves that the average cyclist like me is normal human being, not some "tree hugging freak", lycra lout, terrorist on two wheels, cycling psychopath etc. Actually I am someone who uses the most appropriate form of transport on any given day or circumstances. I could have cycled today, but I chose not to. Instead I was out in a VW Golf with a sticker on the back that says "Give Cyclists Room".
I feel really self conscious among the muslims out here these days. When I see them looking at me what are they thinking? Do they think I fear them, hate them? I am actually thinking I hope they don;t hate me for what my country is doing.
In the midst of all this whipping up of race and religious hatred, new rights-destroying legislation, bombing of Lebanon, our continued occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, Heart FM seems to have hit on the debate that matters. They're asking the question, the big question, the question we all need to ask ourselves. what do you prefer, crunchy or smooth peanut butter, or both equally?

Disappearing News

I'm reminded of  story that featured quite prominently in BBC bulletins on August 9th, the day of the dastardly plot being disrupted. There was this story of a "security breach" on a plane at one of the London airports. A smartly dressed man, in a suit, carrying a brief case, had got on board a plane I think that had just been emptied of passengers. He claimed he'd left something on the plane. He smashed the glass to use an emergency handle to gain entry to the cabin. The police were called and he was removed.
The police immediately denioed this was a security breach but didn't elaborate. The third time this story appeared in a bulletin, about 6 pm, an airline spokesperson was interviewed saying as far as thye were concerned this was a breach of security and wanted to know what the police were talking about. Then the story disappeared entirely. I haven't been able to find mention of this in any of the papers on-line, or in the printed version of the Indie. Nor has any mention of this story appeared in any news bulletin since, as far as I know.
I get the impresssion that the man in question wasn't just some common or garden member of the public, and this story has been killed by the authorities. So what was this fecker up to? And what do the police know? I've no idea.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bomb Plot Trial

Judge Timothy Workman set the date for the trial as September 4, at the Old Bailey

Tanvir Hussain
"The first man to be remanded was Tanvir Hussain, 25, who was said to have no fixed abode.
He is charged with one offence of conspiracy to murder contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1977. The second charge alleges that, on diverse days between January 1 this year and August 10, with the intention of committing acts of terrorism, he engaged in conduct to "give effect to their intention to smuggle the component parts of improvised explosive devices on to aircraft and assemble and detonate them on board".
The defendant appeared in court wearing a white T-shirt and grey sweatpants. He had close-cropped dark hair and a beard and spoke only to confirm his identity." Guardian
"Umar Islam, 28, who gave his address in court as London E15, Arafat Waheed Khan, 25, from Walthamstow, east London and Ahmed Abdullah Ali, also 25 and from Walthamstow, were also remanded in custody to appear before the Old Bailey on September 4.
The three appeared in the dock together dressed in white T-shirts and grey jogging bottoms and remained impassive throughout their brief appearance." Guardian

"The other four men who are due to be charged in court with conspiracy to murder are: Assad Ali Sarwar, 26, from High Wycombe; Adam Khatib, 19, from Walthamstow; Ibrahim Savant, 25, from Walthamstow and Waheed Zaman, 22, from Walthamstow.
The other three suspects were charged with other terrorism offences. One, a 17-year-old male, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with possessing items useful for terrorism.
Two others have been charged with failing to tell the police about what they are alleged to have known about terrorism. They are Cossar Ali, 23, who has a seven-month-old baby and who is married to suspect Ahmed Abdullah Ali, and Mehran Hussain." Guardian

"A further 11 people remain in custody; police have until tomorrow to present charges or request an extension to the time they can be held without charge.
ICM poll for the Guardian today revealed that 72% of people questioned think government foreign policy has made Britain more of a target for terrorists and only 1% of voters believe it has made Britain safer." guardian

The charges brought are Mickey Mouse charges designed to force the defendents to prove their own innocence. The conspiracy laws are an anomaly in British Law. It is a sure sign that the polcie have no evidence whatsoever, and are hoping that these young people end up incriminating themselves in their defence.

This trial will be a sham, with a nice safe judge to make sure the verdict goes the right way. I can't wait to see the "evidence".

The anti-Muslim backlashed has been kick-started by the government:

Amar Ashraf, a pilot, was ordered off his plane yesterday to be interviewed by armed police because he had a muslim sounding name. He was forced to go home to Wales and pay £800 for an alternative flight two days later.

Azar Iqbal was removed from a plane from Manchester to Atlanta last Thursday, seperated from his family, and held for questioning by US officials, eventually deported back to the UK.

Two British women complained about a bearded Muslim on a flight from Spain - even though the man had passed security twice.

Dr Ahmed Farooq, a radiologist and a muslim, was escorted off a flight from Winnipeg in Denver last week after reciting prayers that were regarded as suspicious by the other passengers.

The new Prevention of Terrorism bill

And a reminder to myself to look at this

Places to Stick Signs

I can see it might be a bit of a problem for the Highways authorities. They need to stick a sign up, but haven't got room to put it. Can't put it on the road, it would inconvenience the motorists. Can't block the pavement - there'd be complaints. Ah! But there's always the cycle lane. No-one uses that do they? Especially the contra-flow ones that bypass busy roads in the City. The only people who will compain are cyclists, and everyone hates them anyway.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Dials

I went and saw a band called the Dials a few weeks ago. They were supporting the Mekons who I'd liked back in the '80s. I think time has left the Mekons beind a bit. They helped to reabilitate country and folk back in the days when Elvis Costello risked an early end to his career by making a Country & Western album, and country generally was slated as cheesey, outdated, for old men. It was even before Johnny Cash was considered to be remotely cool. These days of course, country rules. At least it does if you're male and over about 25, under 45. Everyone now knows Johnny Cash is a great artist, cool, and about as rock'n'roll as you can be. We have bands like Wilco and Steve Earle who easily stand astride both the rock and country camps. Country elements form parts of many rock songs these days. It will leave most people wondering what's so special about the Mekons. They're a northern English band who play country quite badly, but with spirit. To be honest I was a bit surprised that their musicianship hadn't moved on at all, not an inch. Still, I'm glad I saw them.
S. didn't like The Mekons; she took a personal dislike to them after they nattered all the way through the support (The Dials) and gave her dirty looks when she complained. This ambivalence was reinforced when the band announced they were playing Urban75's Offline event in Brixton the following day, to an audience of trendy uptight tossers. Andy, who came with us, wasn't too impressed either. I had a history with the band, and even though I admit they weren't great - they never were technically - it was the spirit, the ragedness, and the fact that they were daring to take Indie where Indie, at first, really didn't want to go, and after it had gone, came back.
The Dials however, went down a storm. I thought they were excellent, and so did S. Mark Lamarr's been promoting them quite a bit lately, and there's a debut album in the pipeline. They're a Brighton band whose sound is very Tarantino-esque in places. I'd describe it as surfer country blues, jazzy too in places. They freely admit they steal from everywhere. My kind of band.
The Luminaire too was an experience - a very little venue, the smallest I've ever been to, probably slightly smaller than the cellar bar in Thames Polytechnic, where I sued to frequent back in the mid-80s.
I might buy the ep.