Nothing unusual there then
(Thanks Brenda. Fifth successive post in response to email from friend ends...)
Stef's Blog - a native London Southlander and unrepentant 'Conspiraloon™' who doesn't trust anyone, not even himself. Sometimes I take pictures. I also enjoy swearing immensely and think much faster than I can type, so each post comes guaranteed to include at last one confusing typo. OK?
Nothing unusual there then
(Thanks Brenda. Fifth successive post in response to email from friend ends...)
And thanks to Noel who, by way of sending me this semi-funny link here, has pointed out that by intending to move to a property built inside a hollowed out, extinct volcano located on a remote island I stand to qualify as a future Bond villain
The best news I’ve heard this week. The time for head shaving is almost at hand
This is also the fourth succesive post I’ve written in response to emails from friends who can’t be arsed to maintain their own blogs.
Maybe I should start charging a fee, or at least some kind of comedy forfeit
I received an email from someone I haven’t seen for ten years on Monday (Hello Simon).
He mentioned something about seeing my name and url on Page Two of the Guardian
A quick recce to the corner shop and ten minutes later, sure enough, there I was reading a quote from this blog in the ‘Today on the Web’ section.
(Note to self - next time you start a blog don't use your name as the url - there are some strange people out there)
I had to visit the corner shop because, marvellously, the Guardian’s ‘Today on the Web’ section appears only in the print version of the newspaper, not the on-line one.
This probably goes part way to explaining why the increase in traffic as the result of the plug turned out to be, roughly, nada. Yup, still three hits a day and holding.
Coincidentally, the Guardian was already on my mind as the result of a grubby little hit piece it published on Charlie Sheen on Saturday.
For anyone who doubts that the mainstream media, all the mainstream media, including supposed liberal and progressive rags like the Guardian, is owned and controlled by people with a shared, vested interest, this makes for a cracking read.
As I mentioned in a earlier post, Charlie Sheen came out last week during a radio interview on the Alex Jones show and voiced his doubts about the ‘official’ account of what happened on 9/11 . This interview was then picked up by CNN’s Showbiz Tonight and has been bouncing around the Internet ever since.
The mainstream British press has barely covered the story
Except for that editorial-style comment in the Guardian.
And, whether you buy into what Sheen was saying or not, the Guardian article is patently bent, composed as it is of
It also takes advantage of an opportunity to call Sheen insane. I thought that was a nice Soviet touch.
Obviously, it doesn’t actually address the substance of what Sheen was talking about at all.
So, unfortunately, the sparkle of me getting quoted in a national daily newspaper is kind of tarnished a little by the fact that the newspaper in question is, as most newspapers now are, a great big steaming pile of shit.
The fact that the pile of shit is studded with occasional gems doesn't detract from the overall shittiness of the entire ensemble.
Going back to the Sheen story for a minute. On one hand it is gratifying to know that some, just some, of the genuinely unanswered questions about that day are being aired in the mainstream media. On the other hand, the manner of that airing is a little worrying
It’s a strange world we live in where the most scathing criticism of the repressive actions of our governments is made in a legal soap opera featuring William Shatner or the only mainstream airing of 9/11 issues is articulated by a has-been movie actor sandwiched in a show specialising in celebrity gossip.
It’s a strange world we live in where the most scathing criticism of the repressive actions of our governments is made in a legal soap opera featuring William Shatner or the only mainstream airing of 9/11 issues is articulated by a has-been movie actor sandwiched in a show specialising in celebrity gossip and the bloke who played Lou Grant in the Mary Tyler Moore Show
Yippee kay yeah, the Information Dam is about the break and the Truth will finally be set free, rah! rah!
Part of the project to make our police indistinguishable from our army, junta style, involves the gradual adoption of euphemistic phrases contrived to take the sting out of unfortunate news. You know the routine…
and so on.
Anyway, it can’t have escaped anyone’s attention that our police are becoming increasingly euphemistic in their official statements. I blogged a few days ago about how tickled I was to discover that the innocent man shot at Stockwell Station last year was not the victim of a Shoot to Kill policy but was in fact subject to a ‘Shoot to deprive of function’ policy
… deprived of function by being shot in the face, eight or nine times
So, thanks to my mate Ian for coming up with this week’s best official euphemism for killing people that cropped up in the report of the investigation into the death of a man who died in police custody in 1998 …
Mr Hardwick said that although there were "serious failings" by the four police officers, they did not assault Mr Alder and that it could not be said "with certainty" they had caused his death.
But their "neglect" undoubtedly did deny him the chance of life, he said.
Thanks to Peter for reminding me that I haven’t got round to posting about the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill.
That’s partly down to me not having so much free time lately but also because it’s a ‘more of the same’ kind of thing.
For any UK readers stumbling upon ths blog who don’t know about the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill here are a few links to bring you up to speed
The titles of the articles convey the gist of what’s involved.
Basically, the UK Government is sneaking through a piece of legislation which will enable it to make laws by decree without prior submission to elected representatives.
That’s what fascist governments do.
The political climate in the UK has reached a point where I’m not entirely sure just exactly what it would take before people finally faced up to what is going on.
I really don’t know.
Someone started a flickr group devoted to opposition to the new law a couple of months ago – I joined, made a comment along the lines of ‘It’s going to happen, we can’t stop it. Just like we haven’t been able to stop any of the other crap that’s gone down’, and things have been pretty quiet there ever since. I feel a little guilty about being so openly pessimistic but what reasons are there to think any other way?
The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill is going to be passed and we will then be just that little bit nearer to the totalitarian, corporately owned state that is being assembled all around us.
And I honestly believe that nothing is going to stop it.
Here’s a link to a speech I think that’s worth reading/ listening to…
It was given last month by Vladimir Bukovsky, a former Soviet Dissident who knows a thing or two about totalitarian states and how they go about their business. He touches on the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill whilst painting a broader thesis about what lies in store for the UK and Europe. He quite deliberately skirts questions about the interests and motivations behind what is taking place, presumably because he doesn’t want to come across as nutter, but he still has some amusing things to say.
Is it just me or does the story of the ‘rescue’ of Norman Kember and two other peace activists in Iraq yesterday have more than a little hint of Jessica Lynch about it? That would be the Jessica Lynch who was rescued from an Iraqi hospital by a Special Forces team with much hullabaloo when they could have just sent a car?
Call me cynical but lines like ‘The men were found in a room in a house in west Baghdad. There was no sign of their captors’ are just a mite suspicious. They don’t really square with all those anonymous media interviews with former SAS men talking about action movie style rescue operations we’ve been treated since the Kember story broke.
I was also particularly amused by the speed with which certain spokespeople embraced the news of the ‘rescue’ as final proof, if ever it were needed, that torturing people to obtain information was clearly a good thing
If this were a game I’d play my ‘This story is bollocks’ card with the confident expectation of receiving double points at some stage later in the proceedings.
There’s little dispute that major media outlets on both sides of the pond now largely restrict themselves to parroting information supplied to them by vested interests. They apparently no longer feel under any obligation to assess whether the stuff they are repeating makes sense or not. The Kember story is a good example.
Having said, I have encountered a couple of choice nuggets of scathing media comment over the last couple of weeks.
First off, there’s James Spader’s courtroom speech in Boston Legal a couple of weeks ago...
When the weapons of mass destruction thing turned out to be not true, I expected the American people to rise up. Ha! They didn't.
Then, when the Abu Ghraib torture thing surfaced and it was revealed that our government participated in rendition, a practice where we kidnap people and turn them over to regimes who specialize in torture, I was sure then the American people would be heard from. We stood mute.
Then came the news that we jailed thousands of so-called terrorists suspects, locked them up without the right to a trial or even the right to confront their accusers. Certainly, we would never stand for that. We did.
And now, it's been discovered the executive branch has been conducting massive, illegal, domestic surveillance on its own citizens. You and me. And I at least consoled myself that finally, finally the American people will have had enough. Evidentially, we haven't.
In fact, if the people of this country have spoken, the message is we're okay with it all. Torture, warrantless search and seizure, illegal wiretappings, prison without a fair trial - or any trial, war on false pretenses. We, as a citizenry, are apparently not offended.
There are no demonstrations on college campuses. In fact, there's no clear indication that young people seem to notice.
Well, Melissa Hughes noticed. Now, you might think, instead of withholding her taxes, she could have protested the old fashioned way. Made a placard and demonstrated at a Presidential or Vice-Presidential appearance, but we've lost the right to that as well. The Secret Service can now declare free speech zones to contain, control and, in effect, criminalize protest.
Stop for a second and try to fathom that.
And then there’s the coverage given by CNN’s Showbiz Tonight to a Charlie Sheen interview where he rattles off a list of outstanding questions about the 9/11 attacks, describes the official account as a ludicrous conspiracy theory and basically accuses the US government of complicity.
It’s no coincidence that neither of these nuggets were broadcast by ‘serious’ news outlets.
It’s a strange world we live in where the most scathing criticism of the repressive actions of our governments is made in a legal soap opera featuring William Shatner or the only mainstream airing of 9/11 issues is articulated by a has been movie actor sandwiched in a show specialising in celebrity gossip.
Strange, strange days
I’ve spent the last few days operating in the real world – a few days in Rome and some time spent checking out the property market in New Zealand.
A funny thing, house prices in the part of Christchurch we want to live in have been rising at something like 20% a year. Three or four years ago we could have had our pick of where to live, now our expectations have to be considerably lower. Fair enough, that’s life. The rises appear to be largely attributable to the shed loads of English families who are packing it in here in the UK and migrating.
We are talking more than a handful here and the numbers are rising. I know this anecdotally and also because outfits I know that specialise in foreign exchange trades have been having a bumper few years changing emigres’ money up.
I only mention this because I had real trouble reconciling Gordon Brown’s budget speech yesterday, apparently everything is just fucking peachy, with my own sense of where the UK’s at. Presumably the half million or so people bailing out every year share my sentiments.
One thing that really struck me about Rome is how even more scummy than usual it has become - the mess, the homeless people, the sheer numbers of migrants living on the margins. We were staying near Termini railway station and that area has become a kind of shake and bake China Town. Two or three years ago there were hardly any Chinese around and now the place is full of them. And, unlike the Italians, these guys are working long hours. More evidence to me, if it were needed, that the Italians, and the rest of Europe, are in the process of having the arse ripped out of their complacent, cosy little world
Anyway, there I was sitting in this budget restaurant in Rome, reading the menu and thinking about Artificial Intelligence.
AI is one of those oxymoronic scientific disciplines that tickles me immensely. Astrobiology is another.
Ever since I first sat in front of computer I’ve been hearing about how, one day, machines will be able to speak, comprehend speach, think for themselves and generally replace the human brain in the not too distant future.
All we really needed was more powerful computers
It all goes back to that Darwinian/ Evolutionary view of how things came to be. All living things are merely flesh machines controlled by a series of simple, self-preservatory instincts – eat, drink, sleep, fuck, that sooner or later we’ll be able to replicate virtually.
It’s a very reductionist point of view.
Kind of like counting the number of notes in an opera then claiming you are now a talented composer.
Well, the computers have got more powerful and they are still as thick as pigshit as they ever were.
And that’s why, in spite of all our supposed advances, people are still having to be trained to use computers rather than the other way around. Anyone who has toyed with speech recognition or language translation software over the years may understand where I am coming from.
Of course, the chances are that the restaurant owners had used a mini dictionary rather than translation software but the point is that the quality of the final translation would have been the same whatever they used. Yes, after years of extensive research and countless billions spent, Modern Computer AI is now at a level roughly comparable with a Chinese Takeaway menu.
Maybe we need to wait until computers are just a little more powerful. Maybe true AI will be ready in time for those day trips to the Moon in nuclear fusion powered, robot piloted spacecraft I remember reading about 30 years ago.
I’m going to be a little busy and won’t be able to write any posts over the next couple of days. This means that I’ll have to pass on commenting voluminously on the news that Jean Charles de Menezes has been accused of rape six months after he was executed by police (sic.) in Stockwell tube station.
Obviously, the news that JCdM was almost certainly a violent sexual predator means that the police (sic.) did society a favour all along.
All concerned citizens can now rest easy.
Phew, what a relief.
Nor do I have time to comment on the news that the man in charge of those police (sic.) who did us all a favour, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, has just been caught out taping telephone conversations with the Attorney General and officials investigating the JCdM execution, without getting their parents’ consent beforehand.
And, given that it’s Sir Ian Blair we’re talking about, he’s added a dash of his own special magic to the story by illicitly recording a conversation that…
concerned the admissibility of wire tap evidence in court
What an utter arse that man is.
On the subject of arses, I’ve just found out about a new game that I’d like to play with Sir Ian one day, preferably whilst he's speaking to an audience. It’s called Kancho, it’s Japanese and if anyone tried it on Sir Ian in this country they’d be locked up.
Which is a pity.
And here’s a link to The Childhood Goat Trauma Foundation simply because it made me laugh
In case it’s escaped anyone’s attention, the governments of the United States and Great Britain are currently planning to commemorate the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by…
wait for it
…attacking another county
The only key differences being
Er, that’s about all the differences. The rest is the same; the copious facial hair, the reliance on bullshit intelligence, the ulterior globalist motives. The current build-up is so similar to the events leading up to the attack on Iraq I sometimes find myself blinking and shaking my head, so amazed am I that they’re trying to pull the same shit twice. Particularly when you consider how the last one turned out.
My favourite line of the week came from our Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw. A journalist asked him why he wasn’t hitting on countries like Pakistan or Israel. Countries that already have nukes put together through their own clandestine programs assisted with a little bit of thievery here and there. His answer was sublime
Pakistan and India haven’t signed the Nuclear Non Proliferation treaty so they haven’t broken any international obligations. Iran has signed the treaty.
And the moral of the story is ... don't sign any international agreements and no one will fuck with you
Tony Blair hears voices and Jack Straw is a c*nt.
Anyway, I’m one of the legions of people who has recirculated the suggestion that the timing of the impending assault on Iran may be driven by the knowledge that the Iranians will start selling their oil in Euros rather than Dollars later this month. Someone (Wolfie) left a link by way of comment on one of my earlier posts on the subject. It’s not bad…
And I have to say the fact that the major media networks haven’t even touched the oil bourse story does add some weight to the possibility that there is something to it.
But, just in case we’ve all be suckered by some spooks feeding credible sounding but flawed analysis into the Web, here is a different take on the motives behind the coming staged attack on Iran in an article written for the Asia Times
It’s a heavy-ish read but it does contain some points worth considering if you’re interested in figuring out why the mad fucks who head our governments are itching to slaughter a few hundred thousand more innocents.
The findings of the IPCC investigation, the investigation that was going to find out what happened, quickly and honestly, still haven’t been made public but the police have been spinning like bastards.
And the State Broadcasting Company did its part magnificently this week. Apparently, one of the major factors why JCdM got shot was because the police radios didn’t work in the underground. The Panorama documentary waffled about this for ages…
But even as late as the last few minutes of his life, Jean's death might have been avoided. As the surveillance officers followed him down the escalator and onto the tube, they may have finally realised that he was not concealing a bomb.
Jean was not carrying a bag and was only wearing a denim jacket that was unlikely to conceal explosives.
But they had no way of transmitting the message. Their radios did not work underground.
That would be the same surveillance team who fingered JCdM in the first place and pointed him out to the execution squad on the train.
As is the suggestion that a trained surveillance team mistook a Brazillian electrician for an Ethiopean suicide bomber, even after fucking about with pictures of the two in Photoshop for a while months after the event.
The amount of chaff being thrown up is truly impressive. What isn’t clear to me is how many concerned members of the public are being fooled by it.
Are people that gullible? Does anyone really care about the implications of what happened that day and since?
I liked the little touches in the filmed reconstruction, especially the bit where JCdM stood up suddenly when faced by the execution squad, in spite of the fact that eyewitness accounts state clearly that he was dragged from his seat before being executed.
I also enjoyed the way the documentary dealt with, or rather didn’t deal with, the missing house surveillance footage, the missing CCTV footage from the station, why we were being told he was a terrorist even when the police knew he wasn't, the crooked witness statements broadcast that day about unseasonally heavy coats and crap like that or, quite simply, why a lightly dressed bloke with no baggage was fingered for execution at all. Quite peculiar for a documentary that claimed to account for what went down that day.
The intriguing part is that nobody would be asking any questions about the deceits in the police account if the police had managed to get any real 'dirt' on JCdM at all. And for the first 24 hours or so after the shooting the police behaved as if they expected to find some. Let's not forget the crude early attempts by government and the police to suggest that JCdM ran when challenged because he had a bent visa or because he had been mugged a few days before.
He didn't run anywhere. He was dragged from a train seat and deliberately butchered.
I also found the account of officers calling on JCdM's immediate family in London at 2.00am the next morning, sixteen hours after the execution, and grilling them for three hours before telling them JCdM was shot to be particularly sinister.
Our police have taken to knocking on the doors of the innocent relatives of innocent victims without explaining themselves in the wee small hours now.
The comedy highlight of the show occurred when the Assistant Commissioner spokesperson representing the police was asked whether the London Police are operate a shoot to kill policy or not. It went something like
Interviewer: So, the police are in effect operating a shoot to kill policy
Policeman: No, that is not the case. We are most definitely not operating a shoot to kill policy
Interviewer: But the policy is to kill suspected suicide bombers
Policeman: The policy is to deprive them of function
Interviewer: … by killing them
Policeman: Not by killing them. By shooting them in the head
I swear to Christ I’m not making that up. I couldn’t
OK, I admit it. Much as I dislike the genre, I confess to watching one reality TV show.
So, there I was watching Gordon’s Kitchen Nightmares earlier this week. And there he was trying to save a restaurant that was serving meals prepared by a man who couldn’t cook, taken from a menu of bizarre food combinations created by his girlfriend who couldn’t cook either.
They didn’t have a fucking clue.
But, hey, that’s why Joe Public watches reality TV. Deep down people want to watch other people taking a risk, fucking up and demonstrating once again that it’s better to sit on your arse watching television rather than try to make a success of something.
And this week’s episode of Kitchen Nightmares was primo fodder.
At one point, we were treated to the sight of a woman, weighed down by crippling debt, facing up to the stark fact that neither she nor her boyfriend had the faintest idea about running a restaurant.
She started to cry
My first reaction was to have little sympathy for her.
What kind of retard borrows a huge slab of cash to launch a business without knowing the first thing about that business anyway?
My follow up reaction was a little more considered.
What kind of financial institution lends money to a retard looking to start a business without knowing the first thing about that business anyway?
And there’s rather a lot of that kind of behaviour going on right now. And it’s not just businesses either.
When I was a kid I was encouraged to start a small savings account as soon as possible. Not just to get into the saving habit but also to build up a history with a bank or building society so that it would look favourably on me when the time came to take a mortgage out.
Well, that’s all gone into the toilet hasn’t it?
Old fashioned nonsense...
But not to worry, most of the huge borrowing bubble that we in Britain and the States are sitting on is secured against property, so everything’s fine. The media repeats that comforting rationalisation frequently. What everyone seems to be forgetting is that house prices can go tits up virtually overnight, debts don’t.
An even if, for the first time in human history, house prices don’t fall at some point there’s still the vexed issue of meeting the repayments. Never mind about paying off their debts, there’s a huge and growing slab of people who can’t even service their interest obligations.
Hence the rise and rise of the debt consolidation business
Gather up all your debts into one easy debt!
I particularly like the way that so many of these debt consolidation outfits are no more than front organisations for the major banks. The sleazy fucks.
The nice people in the debt consolidation industry will reduce your monthly payments by the simple expedient of converting all your short-term loans into a single, convenient, 25 year loan and they’ll be even nicer by offering to top up your debt with a bit more borrowing so you can go on a nice holiday before settling down to a lifetime of debt slavery.
But hey if the largest superpower on Earth can get by living like that why shouldn’t the average punter?
Of course, there are some people who believe this kind of existence can be perpetuated virtually forever by the simple expedient of borrowing, or printing, more and more and more. The fun part with this kind of voodoo economics comes when, just like your average common or garden pawh white trash household, your entire national income isn’t enough even meet your interest obligations let alone dreaming that you’ll ever be able to repay some of the actual debt off.
Tick tock tick tock
Gordon Ramsay for President. Now
Migration is not an easy thing for a bloke starting his middle years to contemplate, particularly when he is from a close knit family. Mind you, the systematic demolition over recent years of the Britain I once knew, loved and felt deeply attached to makes the decision a whole lot easier to grapple with.
Anyway, we got to talking about passports and nationality and I mentioned that my passport expired in 2008.
And it was only at that moment that I realised, for the first time, that I wanted shot of the fucker.
British passports aren’t what they once were.
I still have an expired copy of one of the old style British passports knocking around the flat somewhere. Now those really were passports. Big blue and chunky, you held one of those babies in your hands and you felt like you had a serious piece of documentation in your palm, backed by the unstinting support of the Royal Navy, the SAS and the Queen herself.
They had to go. Our passports were made indistinguishable from those from such mighty democracies as Luxembourg and Belgium. Many British passport holders felt that they took just a wee bit of a status cut in the process. Some are still sore enough to maintain a healthy niche market in passport covers that make the insipid Euro version look like its illustrious predecessor.
On top of that, our government started dishing out British nationality free with Cornflakes. And that nationality has been dished out in a peculiar and inconsistent way. We behaved disgracefully by not granting full nationality to people in Hong Kong before the hand over to China, yet my local post office is frequented by a succession of people whose English is so bad or non-existent that the staff fill their application forms in for them. Buggered-up application forms completed by people who can’t read them have become such an issue that the Post Office introduced a paid-for correction service a few years ago.
I was having a beer with a South African friend last month and we got round to discussing visas, passports and the like and at one point, with a baffled look on his face, he said ‘I don’t get it. So many people want to get in here your country could have the pick of the crop, yet there doesn’t seem to be any real selection’
OK, so the British passport looks Belgian and I’m not even sure what British nationality means any more but that’s by the by. These are not the reasons why I want shot of the fucker.
It’s the ID card thing.
Our government is gearing up to make registration in a national biometric database compulsory for anyone renewing their passport from 2008.
That particular little morsel of legislation just got its rear-end kicked in the House of Lords this week but anyone who thinks it won’t get through eventually is kidding themself. The Government will simply invoke the magic Parliament Act that totally pisses over our supposed system of checks and balances.
And the passage of that law will say a lot about how fucked-up our supposed democracy has become.
All major parties in our elected chamber except the governing one opposed the law but it was still passed. That means MPs representing 40% of all eligible voters were defeated by a party that has seized an absolute majority of seats with just over 20%.
This is the nature of our non proportional voting system and it has worked historically because our second chamber, the House of Lords, is unelected and usually puts the brakes on any really insane or wicked legislation.
Presumably, that’s why the forces fronted by Blair have worked so hard at ‘reforming’ the House of Lords. ‘Reform’ as in chop its balls off. Buggering up the House of Lords whilst doing nothing to avoid minority rule in the elected chamber is a dead cert path to a form of dictatorship
So, here we are, in Britain in 2006 and the only people standing between that dictatorship and us are a handful of duffers and a few judges whose days of influence are numbered.
And the reform project will be completed just in time for all of us to be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed and numbered. Our lives will no longer be our own.
None of this is happening by accident. It is quite systematic and quite deliberate. And only a tiny minority of people have got the sense to be really freaked out by it.
Having said that there’s an interesting case in South London at the moment. An 18 year old girl was murdered in Croydon last year and the police have written to 4,000 men who fit a suspect profile asking them to submit voluntarily to DNA testing so that they can be excluded from the investigation.
The last time I heard, something like a couple of hundred people had turned up for screening. Do I think the other 3,500+ don’t care or have something to hide? Nope. Do I think they are scared of being stuck on a criminal database with God knows what unforeseen circumstances later on in their lives? Do I think they profoundly mistrust the police and the government?
What the fuck has happened to this country?
How can it be that Blair and New Labour project have brought things to a state where I, a 41-year-old totally British man, want to toss the document that evidences my Britishness into the toilet, or where people are frightened of assisting the investigation into an innocent teen's murder?
Not even the most insane jihadist could despise Blair and the vested interests behind him as much as I do.
He couldn’t even get close.
Extracts from a Tony Blair interview due to be broadcast tomorrow...
On his decision to commit Britain to War in Iraq
"I think if you have faith about these things then you realise that judgment is made by other people"
And when asked to explain what he meant by that statement
"If you believe in God, it's made by God as well"
Blair explains that he makes decisions, such as the attack on Iraq, according to his conscience, guided by his Christian faith.
That would be the same Christian faith established by a man, the turn the other cheek guy, who chose excrutiating death rather than having his disciples bear arms. A sect whose followers were persecuted for centuries because they refused to serve in the Roman Army as a matter of principle.
Blair also seems to have acquired a distinctly American fundamentalist spin to his Christianity. One that junks the concepts of free will and personal accountability and prefers instead to basically blame God for all human decisions.
This perverted and wicked belief system is as insane as anything the most deranged Islamicist could come up with.
And this fucking lunatic is in charge
Jesus would most definitely have wept
The photographer has used too wide a lens aperture leading to too narrow a depth of focus. The result is that Jowell’s face appears to be flattened and somehow disembodied from her blurry torso. The photograph makes her look almost alien.
On second thoughts, maybe the photographer did know what he was doing
Edit: I've only just discovered that Tessa and her husband have had five separate mortages on the same property. One of the mortages was paid off in 19 days.
Nice clean cash out one end. Nasty, grubby, slimey, thieving, greasy cash in at the other.
That's serious money laundering and tax evasion in anyone's books. I'm almost impressed.
... Tessa 'five mortgages' Jowell
Has a nice ring to it.
One of the many blessings I learned to count on was the fact that I lived in a country that wasn’t bent.
All the way up, from bottom to top, the Italian system was as bent as a nine bob note. We would pack the car with family sized packs of tea and bottles of Johnny Walker to lubricate our relatives' dealings with doctors, council officials and bank managers – JW Red Label for more junior officials, Black Label for the more serious uomini.
Policemen would openly demand and take bribes. I remember us getting stuck at the border once and my dad had to buy off two customs officers who threatened to take our car apart unless we looked after them. The senior officer took two bottles of scotch and a carton of fags. The junior officer was happy with one of those special fifty pence pieces with the hands on, commemorating Britain’s entry into the Common Market. A nice touch I thought.
Italy was fucking bent.
So imagine my delight, thirty years later to learn that Italian officials are investigating a British Cabinet minister for financial and political corruption.
Italy, and Britain, have come a long way.
Enter stage left, Tessa Jowell, Minister for Culture
She and her husband have been accused of being part of a fiendishly complicated web of transactions that may or may not have been criminal.
The complicated web of transactions consists of
Media billionaire (and Italian Prime Minister) gives a bribe of $600,000 to the husband of the British minister responsible for the media
Fiendish, complex stuff indeed.
We know that the $600,000 was a bribe, given in exchange for not telling the truth in court, because Jowell’s husband wrote a note saying so. Being a smart cookie he did refer to ‘Mr B.’ rather than Silvio Berlusconi though.
We also know that the money was laundered by Jowell’s husband through a bogus mortgage on their house designed to avoid disclosure and paying tax
And, even though they share ownership of the house and live together, Jowell maintains that she knew nothing about the transaction, stating…
However, I fully accept my husband should have informed me and if he had, I would of course have reported it
The technical term for that statement is what is known as ‘lying through your fucking teeth you deceitful cow’
Jowell’s husband has played down the significance of his note and explained that it was only a ‘hypothetical scenario’ he was considering for tax declaration purposes.
Two thoughts come to mind
First, that means, at the very least he’s admitted to working on a lie to defraud the State of the tax on $600,000 – that would be about $240,000 by my reckoning. How much jail time should that be worth?
Secondly, if e was lying about having taken a bribe from the Italian Prime minister to not tell the truth in court what did he really do to earn the money? Presumably something even more criminal? Selling Rumanian orphans to pet food factories? What?
This all comes from someone described by the media as one of the finest corporate lawyers in Europe.
When I grumble about stories like this and cite them as examples of the interconnectedness, and crookedness, of the machine that’s taking over our lives people sometimes accuse me of being paranoid and falling prey to conspiracy theories.
Consider this current story. There are so many directions you could follow it off to. So many in fact, you run the risk of ruining the manifest purity of the corruption it reveals
Of course it’s all interconnected.
Sure, this kind of graft has always gone on but these newer manifestations of deceit and greed in public office are different, not least in the fact that in the old days officials at least occasionally got the shaft if they were ever caught.
Not any more.
And it’s easy to forget that we’re currently being run by our supposed Left of Centre political party. The party of the working people.
and millions of misguided bastards are still voting for them.
One of my most significant personal awakenings occurred one day when reading a story about benefit scroungers, years ago. I had just been involved in some financial forensic work on a rather huge example of white-collar fraud. And it dawned on me, just like that, that whilst all the Muppets are reading their newspapers and fuming about a few benefit cheats the really big, fuck off fraudsters are happily getting away with millions on a daily basis.
People like Jowell’s husband.
Not a particularly stunning insight but it took me a while to get there and a few million of my fellow citizens still haven’t heard the penny drop and continue to allow the media to misdirect their attentions wholesale. Sure this stuff gets reported occasionally but what the media never does, as it once did, is join the dots together.
Anyway, Tessa you and your husband are as bent as fuck and I hope you and all your other lying thieving, cheating scumbag pals rot in Hell.
I have to have faith in Hell because you ain’t ever going to see the inside of a jail that’s for sure.
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