Monday, December 31, 2007

It's New Year's Eve and it's party time

Last post of the year before I slip into a dinner jacket and make my way to one of South London's most exclusive night spots...

And a Happy New Year to all who pass this way

except for my friends in New Zealand, who are already long out of their heads and far, far away in Sleepy Bobo land...


Seen outside a closed-down squat in Camberwell...

Best Photo Caption Ever? pt2

A grateful nation pays tribute to the heroic role played by the UN in saving its people...


Christians redux

A couple of days ago I was, as I do, hanging around outside Westminster Cathedral in Victoria.

Victoria is home, of course, to London's main coach station and anyone who has had cause to use the station at any point over the last few years will have been greeted by the sight of dozens of coaches, queued nose to tail, waiting to unload their cargoes of thousands of people from Eastern Europe looking to find out for themselves if the streets of this unfair city truly are paved with gold.

Most of them, even though they soon discover that gold is pretty thin on the ground these days, move on and manage to get by. But a few don't and soon discover that a Plan for a Better Life which simply involves the following steps...

1. Get on a coach to London
2. There is no Step 2

...does have certain limitations

To cut a long story short, there are always quite a few people sleeping rough in and around Victoria. In fairness to the local council and various charities, they do get help but there are always more people taking their place

Anyway, I was standing by the 'Catholic Truth' bookshop next to Westminster Cathedral admiring its nativity scene and its fine selection of divinely-inspired cookbooks

The Whited Sepulchre bookshop, Victoria

when I noticed an interesting wee sign conveniently located at gutter level on the front door...

Not being a linguist I can only guess that the writing on the right hand side of that sign on the front door of an allegedly Christian bookshop is telling people who are down on their luck and reduced to sleeping on pavements to fuck off in four different languages


Saturday, December 29, 2007


A couple of days ago I linked to documentary about Jesus made by theologian Robert Beckwith. The central thrust of the film was that the teachings attributed to Jesus are universal and perfectly compatible with other belief systems across the globe.

I liked the film a lot because, for a welcome change, someone actually got to put up an intelligent show on mainstream TV which attempted to explore the similarities between people of different faiths, or absence of faiths. In the process the film also tried to demonstrate that being a Christian doesn’t necessarily mean being an intolerant nutcase and that, shock horror, Christianity really should be about being nice to people and doing the decent thing for its own sake

And whilst Beckwith didn’t explicitly state it, one of implied conclusions of the film was that the problem with many Christians is not that they’re Christians, it’s the fact that they’re shit Christians.

Gandhi probably put it better and without reverting to any swears…

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ"

Sure, belief in a Sky God is a bit silly but it’s no sillier than, say, believing that life spontaneously sprung up out of sludge after being struck by lightning a few times

And if secular polemicists such as Richard Dawkins serve no other useful purpose it is to prove that people with religious faith do not hold the monopoly on being intolerant, and plain fucking ignorant, dicks


The reason why I mention all this is because someone has just left me a link (thanks btw) to an internet movie called Zeigeist which attempts to make a connection between religious faith, especially Christianity, the 9/11 attacks, the War on Terror, the global banking system and elitist control of our world...

The film includes little original material and is basically a mash-up of information and clips that are freely available on the web and already well-known to people who are into that sort of thing. The most interesting part is the first third of the film which covers similar ground to Beckwith’s C4 documentary and makes a strong case that Christianity was itself a mash-up of pre-existing material and ideas.

A mash-up criticising a mash-up – oooh, the irony

FWIW my opinion of the film is that whilst it contains some very good and potentially startling factual content some of the conclusions woven around that content are totally misleading

My biggest issue is with the claim made by the film that monotheistic religion and the mindset it encourages has been the driving force for getting on for most of the Evil in the world over the last 2,000 years


Sure religion has often been subverted for Evil ends, but so has environmentalism, humanism, marxism, darwinism and lots of other initially well-intentioned isms I could name

If you could somehow abolish all organised religion tomorrow it wouldn't change a thing

Because people would still want to steal things off each other

And some people, the most wicked and most conniving of people, will continue to be very good at stealing - regardless of whether everyone else believes in a Sky God or not

The payload of Zeitgeist is the assertion that religion, not theft, is driving the bad things that are happening in the world. In that respect, whilst Zeitgeist purports to be a radical ‘Truth’ video, its message is absolutely no different to the Islamofascist bullshit that the Conservative Neocons and their puppet-masters are using as an excuse to rape the world

If I could be bothered I could sit down tomorrow and make my own competing film which highlights all the awful things that have been carried out in the name of atheistic secularism. The 19th and 20th centuries are littered bounteous quantities of source material. Sauce for the goose and all that...

But I won't because I think that would be a distraction.

The world’s problems don’t stem from religion, or lack of religion. They have come about because of greed and the inability of the majority of people to adequately comprehend and deal with the machinations of a ruthless, amoral minority.

When most people, Americans certainly, talk about Christianity they have one specific form of Christianity uppermost in mind - US style Christian Fundamentalism which is both intolerant and just about the least Christ-like belief system anyone could come up with.

I'd maintain that Christian Fundamentalism was created and is promoted, as with the Catholic Church, by very earthly interests. I can understand why people get wound up about religion but they are focusing on the weapon rather than the creature wielding it.

And if people keep swallowing the same old bait, crafted to divide and distract us, nothing will change

In short, whilst I think movies like Zeitgest contain a lot of interesting material and are worth watching with an open but sceptical mind, the film I’d really like to see made is the one that doesn’t fuel the eternally fruitless, divisive conflict between Christians and secular humanists but rather the film which shames the daft fucks who think they are Christians into behaving a bit more like the guy they claim to revere.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Best Photo Caption ever?

Yet another straight rip from Lord Patel's blog but I had to have my own copy. Part of me is thinking that some children making daisy chains or a few bunnies flopping around in the foreground would have been nice additions to the scene but maybe that would have been too much...

Hostile Indian Village of the Lakota Sioux Indians, 1891


Channel 4's JC Christmas Special

Robert Beckwith's The Hidden Story of Jesus - one hour and forty minutes of absolutely top notch viewing imho...


Monday, December 24, 2007


"They were funny at first. But then they got out of hand and then I started to get scared"

A gang of about 50 rampaging students dressed as Santa have run amok at a cinema complex in New Zealand.

Staff said the Santas, who were apparently drunk, damaged property and frightened film-goers at the Hoyts Cinema complex in Christchurch by shouting and swearing.

Manager Derek Rive said the "hooligans" abused patrons, chanted obscenities, ripped down posters and knocked over cardboard figures advertising films.

Cinema patron Kate Gorman, 35, was waiting to see the movie "Enchanted" with her two children when the group arrived.

"They just caused absolute chaos. They kicked over the signs, kicked over the Christmas tree," she said.

Her children, Gabriella, 6, and Jackson, 7, had been confused by the incident.

"Jackson said to me 'are those Santa's helpers gone crazy, mum?' I said 'no, they're just idiots, basically," said Mrs Gorman.

"They were funny at first. But then they got out of hand and then I started to get scared," said her son Jackson.

Security cameras caught the action, but Mr Rive said with their hats, white beards and suits, the rampaging Santas cannot be identified.

He said he has no objections to the group coming back but only if they obey the rules.

"Apparently they were drunk or intoxicated. If they want to come back, they're welcome to. But they have to abide by the house rules like all our patrons do," he said.

As they left, the Santas triggered a fire alarm, forcing several hundred patrons to evacuate the complex for half an hour.

© Independent Television News Limited 2007. All rights reserved.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Stef's SuperHappyFeelGood Music Videos of the week

Ends by Everlast...

Lyrics Here (thx Tony)

Hide U by Kosheen...


and a couple more, non music, videos which are only likely to appeal to a very select number of British people. The kind of people who'd be amused by the cast of Star Trek advertising debt consolidation services or Gordon Ramsay pleasuring himself on the toilet - the Gordon Ramsay clip is definitely not work friendly...


The latest in South London Street Fashion

To commemorate the news that the Independent Police Complaints Commission has ruled that no-one was responsible for an innocent man being shot in the face 6/ 7/ 8/ 9 times and then subject to a cynical campaign of slander and vilification after he was executed, the Conspiraloon Alliance has just added a nifty new item to its range of fashion leezureware...

A matching stick-on beard and web browser cache full of kiddie porn are also available as optional accessories

And if you order before Christmas we'll circulate stories that you are a wanted rapist, illegal alien and crack fiend to the newspapers at no extra charge


The Credit Crunch explained - by a man who sounds like a duck

Dr Michael Hudson

The current banking crisis is the result of a decade of freely available, low interest credit

and the only way to avoid a 1929 style crash is to cut interest rates 'far and fast'

I know this is True™ because I read it in a newspaper

So, remember boys and girls, unlike the businesses they lend to, when the banks fuck up they can't be allowed to fail and everyone else has to bear the cost of bailing the thieving scumbags out

Alternatively, you could listen to full-time Conspiraloon™ economist, and part-time duck impersonator, Michael Hudson explain what's really going (wink wink) in this mp3 file entitled 'Fighting the Class War' available on his homepage.

The interview was recorded back in August but it is still perfectly relevant because, unlike the stuff that gets passed off as commentary in the mainstream press, it's not bollocks

The file is forty minutes long and Hudson takes a while to get warmed up so it's one of those things to play whilst waxing your surfboard, shaving the cat or some other essential household chore, but the guy is spot on imho


Friday, December 21, 2007

C'mon baby take a chance with us

"The best way to destroy the Capitalist System is to debauch the currency"

Thanks yet again to
LWTC247 - this time for passing on a link to a couple of Youtube videos of Max Keiser talking about the 'death of the dollar', much of which is equally applicable to sterling. It's a good piece but I still wouldn't buy a 2nd hand car off Max (though the title of an article on his website - '
It's debt war!!! Baby Boomers versus their children!' - is pretty special)

and even if you're not particularly interested in the Death of the Dollar, the last minute or so of the 2nd clip does feature Max wandering around a cemetery near Jim Morrison's grave singing '
This is the End ...of the dollar ... beautiful friend ... la la la' to himself and giggling like a total Loon.

More financial journalism should be like that


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Stef's recommended book of the month

And whilst on the subject of Wagner and the intellectual sophistication that goes with an appreciation of classical music, may I recommend the following as a perfect last minute Christmas filler...

"Wagner's Ring cycle - "The Ring of the Niebelung" - has been described as one of the most enduring of operatic spectacles. This collection has brought together writings on the Ring and includes articles by George Bernard Shaw, Georg Solti and Andrew Porter, excerpts from Wagner's own letters and works and discourses by over 30 other writers. Covered is the tetralogy of the Ring - "Das Rheingold", "Die Walkuere", "Siegfried" and "Goetterdaemmerung" - in essays on Wagner's intention, the theory behind it, its interpretation, artistic backgrounds, historical influences, literary sources, musical architecture, modern stagings, the "Ring" in English and various styles of performance. The book is designed to serve as an introduction to the "Ring" as well as a companion to fans and performers of Wagner's operas."

Inspired, I suspect by this book being recommended by Derren Brown in his equally excellent 'Tricks of the Mind', several comments in the Amazon review section on Penetrating Wagner's 'Ring' scale new bottoms in homosexual double entendre, which I enjoyed tremendously...

"As implied by the title, this collection probes deeply into Wagner's vast Ring piece. Accusations of anti-semitism make Wagner's Ring a sensitive area today, but it continues to offer pleasure to many. This is a masterful work of musical scholarship that deserves a place on any sturdy shelf. No doubt it will influence appreciation of Wagner's Ring for many years to come. Among the highlights is the revealing chapter on the many characters than Wagner has managed to cram into his Ring. Also covered are the brass instruments that Wagner designed specifically for use within his Ring. There will always be those who are opposed to musical analysis (just the same as there will always be those who resort to juvenile humour, regarding the title). They will say that Wagner's Ring is 'violated' with excessive force of scholarship. For this reviewer, however, Wagner's Ring remains quite intact and is indeed tightened by the exploration. In short, this stimulating venture in and out of Wagner's Ring has resulted in a seminal, fluid output."

"I have read the excellent scholarly contributions by Messrs Redhart, Schwartz and Reaney, amongst others, and just had to get involved. What a subject, and what a book! The expansiveness of Wagner's Ring often leaves one panting for breath, and anyone lucky enough to have even half-probed its depths deserves full recognition. Even without the messy bits, this sixteen-hour musical epic leaves one with no alternative but to reacharound for academic help. And this book provides it, and more. Stimulating, it cannot fail to tickle the imagination as it enters the Ring from every conceivable angle--musical/practical, theoretical, historical and cultural. For fans of all things Ring-like, this is a must."

"I was disappointed to find that 'Penetrating Wagner's Ring' edited by John Louis DiGaetani, not was in fact a hitherto unknown part of Tolkin's 'Lord of the Rings'.
But the question still remains as to whether they were mates, or 'Just good freinds'?
The title of this book disturbs me. I will pray for you all this evening."


If you're going down South they got no work to do

And in my second flagrant rip of the day from Lord Patel I refer to his post on the effective nationalisation of a certain financial institution entitled 'Northern Rock ... Apocalypse (almost) Now'

and whilst I approve wholeheartedly of his chosen Wagnerian soundtrack for the unfolding spectacle, personally I'm veering more towards Led Zeppelin, specifically...

"Cryin' won't help you, prayin' won't do you no good,
Now, cryin' won't help you, prayin' won't do you no good,
When the levee breaks, mama, you got to move

All last night sat on the levee and moaned,

Thinkin' about me baby and my happy home.
Going, going to Chicago... Going to Chicago... Sorry but I can't take you...

Going down...

going down now...

going down....

Still, look on the bright side, a lot less people are going to be worried about Inheritance Tax thresholds next year


Phew! What a scorcher!

This one is so priceless it's worth lifting straight from Lord Patel's blog

Per the UK met office...


Monday, December 17, 2007

My Messiah™ is better than yours♫ - a Conspiratune♫™


Vocals by Kindergarten Dalek

Video by Muncher®

It would be fair to say that some of us out here in Etherspace are none too impressed with self-styled Messiahs putting out bollocks 'truth' videos about 7/7 which can and almost certainly will be torn apart by the corporate media as a light snack before breakfast

(btw - just because I have just linked to J7 Truth's rebuttal of '7/7 Ripple Effect' that does not mean that the above video is anything to do with J7 Truth - a group of people who have spent two years painstakingly researching the events of 7/7, filing freedom of information requests, trawling through official documentation, forcing the Home Office to change its Official Narrative on the sly, boring stuff like that. To the best of my knowledge, J7 Truth is not in the business of making silly videos and leaves that sort of thing to Conspiraloons
and wannabee Messiahs with a hard-on for Alien UFOs, Crop Circles, Ancient Sumerian prophecies and any other old crap they can sling into the mix - and there appear to be plenty of them out there)


Sunday, December 16, 2007

The 'Credit Crunch' explained aka That's NumberWang!!

Pocket money - Weimar style...

Now seems like a good time for a quick recap on the basic Weimar 1923/ United States 1929 - 'It's the Bankers stupid' Conspiraloon model of what 'Credit Crunches' are really all about

aka From relative Freedom to Serfdom in half a dozen or so easy stages...

  • central bankers increase money supply by creating masses of money out of thin air and lending it out at low interest rates
  • prices on the essentials of life - food, water, fuel, housing - rise as a result of the massive increase in money
(though thanks to everything being electronic now most people don't need to buy wheelbarrows this time around)

  • because the inflation is driven by increased debt not by increased income, incomes/wages don't rise at the same rate as prices
  • to keep up with the inflated prices people, businesses and nations take out larger and larger loans
  • the bankers put their own wealth somewhere safe (invested in essential utilities and commodities) and then sharply restrict the supply of money
  • people, business and nations either go bust and sell their assets to their creditors at knock-down prices or they don't go bust but are saddled with huge loans owed to banks and which are now harder to pay off because there is less money around. Those people, businesses and nations effectively become tenants in their own homes, factories, farms and countries

...and that's NumberWang!!

and it's probably worth pointing out the rather obvious fact that if and when a bank does goes tits up it's more than likely that depositors (or, in the case of Northern Rock, tax payers) will lose some or all of their money but it will be a cold day in Hell before borrowers see their loans vaporise in a similar way

It's also worth noting that the German people were smart enough to realise that they had been deliberately and systematically fucked over in the 1920s but, sadly, dumb enough to be conned into blaming the wrong group of people. Fortunately, we live in more enlightened times and the chances of us being distracted into blaming all our ills on one particular innocent ethnic or religious group, rather than a small bunch of elitist fuckers, are now virtually zero

Well, maybe not quite zero


Maybe not all but quite a few roads lead to Goldmans - redux

My new Fish of the Month, and a strong candidate for Fish of the Decade, the bottom-feeding Ratfish

It's nice to see that my old spooky psychic powers haven't eluded me

A couple of days ago I slap up a post whittering on about Northern Rock and the not so Hidden of the Market that is Goldman Sachs and today I discover (via Lord Patel) that Goldman Sachs have been 'hired to aid Northern Rock rescue'

Well fancy, fancy that


This decision on the part of HM Treasury?/ The Bank of England/? Northern Rock's board?, which is somewhat akin to putting Vlad the Impaler in charge of a blood bank, has apparently been made because of Goldman's 'global reach'

which is one way of explaining how the world really works I suppose

That Northern Rock rescue bid in full swing...

but, fret not children, we won't be footing Goldman's bill (the least of the opportunities they now have to make lots of luvvly, luvvly money out of Northern Rock) because...

"The Treasury spokesman said the U.S. bank's fees would be paid by Northern Rock."

because, as we all know, Northern Rock has got loads of spare cash knocking around to pay Goldman's fees

Oooh, oooh, the pyschic powers are tingling again

...and they're not telling me happy things

As I, and others, have said to anyone who would listen to us, like the Titanic when it was first holed, there was an almost mathematical certainty about Northern Rock's fate which none of the distractive bullshit of the last three months could change. An unbelievably large sum of money has been effectively stolen from all of us in broad daylight and it seems more than likely that the perpetrators are going to get away with it.

And there is every reason to believe that Northern Rock is not the end of it.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Stef's hand-selected Hardcore Internet Porn Site of the Week

brought to you by the creators of 'The Internet: Now in Handy Book Form!'

(posted in commemoration of my disappointment at discovering that
HIPS was not a government acronym for Hardcore Internet Porn Site)


That Newsnight report on Policy Exchange faking evidence...

Here's that Newsnight piece on neo-con fake think tank Policy Exchange forging evidence I mentioned a few days ago. I doubt that Youtube will be keeping it up for very long...


7/7 Ripple Effect - now available from inside 'Mossad controlled' Google

I've written a couple of times about the Messiah-produced car crash in waiting that is the 7/7 Rippple Effect 'truth' video about what really happened (sic.) on 7/7.

And I have good cause to suspect, and I am waiting for, a very particular reason to write about it again

In the meantime, this comment from the appropriately named 'Dingbat' on the US Anti-Neocons forum gave me reason to laugh in a not particularly happy-sounding way...

"(7/7 Ripple Effect)
available outside Mossad controlled Google if you follow links on this page"

a swift peek at Google will reveal that 7/7 Ripple Effect is in fact most-favoured by 'Mossad controlled' Google and Google video, unlike anyone who has criticised the movie, my humble self included, who have been bumped down on Google to a quick and remarkable, verging on the suspicious, degree in double quick time


Maybe not all but quite a few roads lead to Goldmans

Good news for anyone looking to get a mortgage and worried about the impact of the ‘Credit Crunch’ on the ability and appetite of banks to lend them money

Northern Rock is still offering 125% sub-prime mortgages


The Northern Rock ‘together’ Mortgage

“together is more than just a flexible mortgage.

It gives you the money to buy your home as well as providing you with a cash reserve for the things you want.

All at the same interest rate.

It’s ideal for first time buyers and it’s flexible, so it changes as your life changes.

A together mortgage adapts to your needs, from helping you onto the housing ladder to moving to a bigger place, extending your home and providing extra cash when you need it. Or you might simply choose to switch your mortgage from another lender, to take advantage of together’s features.

How together mortgages work

together is different to a normal mortgage. It works by combining your secured mortgage with an unsecured loan at a single interest rate with one monthly payment. This combination can be worth up to 125% of your home’s value.

together is a mortgage which allows you to borrow up to 125% of your home’s value. It’s a bit different from a normal mortgage and works by combining a secured loan worth up to 95% of your home’s value, with an unsecured loan of up to £30,000, all at the same interest rate.”

After all the speculation of recent months, it’s reassuring to see that Northern Rock management aren’t spunking away that £30,000,000,000 of the British public’s money on toxic financial cack

And the emphasis on spelling ‘together’ with a lower case ‘t’ is also a good sign that Northern Rock focuses on the important, fundamental things and not just superficial marketing bullshit

When the Titanic started sinking the Captain did at least have the decency to turn the engines off


Elsewhere in the entirely honest world of high finance I was touched to read this heart warming tale of three Goldman Sachs traders unselfishly battling adversity and ordering in chicken salad as they sold the US housing market short

Three Bankers Make £2bn Out Of Mortgage Misery

Three New York traders are celebrating one of the biggest profits in Wall Street history after making a £2bn bet that sub-prime mortgages would fall in value.

The trio at Goldman Sachs, the US investment bank, watched their winnings grow as the rising numbers of mortgage defaults caused chaos in a worldwide financial crisis.

Dan Sparks, 40, Michael Swenson, 40 and Josh Birnbaum, 35, bet that the sub-prime mortgage market was in trouble and scooped £1.96bn, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

Their win, one of the biggest windfalls in the securities industry in years, wiped out between £0.73bn and £0.98bn of mortgage-related losses elsewhere at the bank.

Goldman Sachs is now expected to report a record £5.3bn annual profit - and the three traders are in line for bonuses of between £2.45m and £7.34m.

The Wall Street Journal revealed how Mr Swenson would leave his home early enough to travel to the office from New Jersey and fit in a workout at the gym before arriving at his desk by 7.30am.

Mr Sparks, who commuted in to Manhattan from New Canaan, Connecticut, would leave his house by 5.30am.

With no time for breaks, the trio ate breakfast and lunch at their desks - a chicken and vegetable salad from a nearby deli for Mr Swenson and a chicken or turkey sandwich for Mr Birnbaum.

They often worked past midnight and missed weekend trips with their families as they battled with their bosses to keep their bets from being whittled away by more conservative risk managers.

Investment banks tend to keep a tight leash on traders, with memories of Nick Leeson's losses of £827m from unapproved trading which sank Barings Bank in 1995 at the forefront of their minds.

In February, Mr Birnbaum was overruled when he insisted it was the "the wrong time" to be cutting the bets. The decision was later reversed.

Other traders on Wall Street, including at Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley, also bet against the sub-prime mortgage market this year, but their gains were wiped out because they underestimated how far the markets would fall.

  • Goldman Sachs is, of course, the natural choice for the discerning and well-informed investor. What with its uncanny predictive abilities and all

On the positive side, Goldmans is big on supporting global warming activism and youth education and does what it can to keep senior politicians around the world in caviar and hand-jobs in the periods when they are out of office

Goldman Sachs is, of course, highly unlikely to be one of the firms that goes tits up if and when the financial markets finally melt down and will no doubt still be around for the next one

Time for a new Fish of the Month methinks...


And one thing that is always worth remembering at times like these is that when a bank, or an oil company, or whatever, reports a profit of 1, 2, 3, 4 or £5bn, or even a loss, there are a thousand and one ways to siphon off profit before it reaches the company's bottom line.

There is no way on God's Earth that mere mortals such as ourselves could ever be able to understand just how much is being made from the misfortunes visited upon us or even who is making it


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Top Ten Messiah Update

Messiah Connoisseurs the World over will be delighted to learn that the Conspiraloon™ Alliance has just released its updated Messiah Top 10 Chart

In the wake of the ritual, and tediously formulaic, humiliation of his followers on Channel 4 last night and the fact that the World has stubbornly staggered on past his predicted end date, Michael Travesser will no doubt be comforted by the fact that he has been awarded the coveted Number One spot by the UK's leading coven of Conspiralunatics and identified as this month's One True Messiah

And We should know, We've seen a few

And remember boys and girls, when not being distracted with stories of nutcases in canoes and teddy bears or being fobbed off with bullshit whilst a group of crooked fuckers plays pass the parcel with toxic banking sludge and leaches the remaining life blood out of a critically sick financial system, never forget that anyone who espouses any kind of non-material, spiritual worldview is definitely a creepy nutcase who probably touches up small children.

Remember that and then go out and buy some shit, preferably on credit

...and no, for the life of me, I cannot quite figure out how it is that Richard, Son of Bran, didn't make it into this month's Top Ten...

Warning: No Photoshop was applied to
Richard's teeth in the reproduction
of the above photograph


The illustrated adventures of Vince Cable

Thanks to anon for leaving me a link to a transcript of last night’s House of Commons debate on the Northern Rock farrago

It’s a long read but made easier by the cute little pictures of the participants which give the transcript a nice comic book – photostory kind of vibe. The pictures are also just the right size for prodding angrily with your forefinger

Vince Cable was, obviously, on form...

Taxpayers are already committed to the hilt; they have already advanced staggering sums. In normal circumstances, I would not dream of recommending my solution, but we are in an extremity—and in an extremity we have to look at the options. The one that I propose is the least undesirable; I shall come to the reasons for that. were most of the other elected representatives who spoke – greasy, self-serving, deceitful little shits right down to virtually the last man and woman.

A selection of some of my favourite greasy, self-serving, deceitful contributions from the session…

Jim Cousins, Labour

I come back to this point. One of the real skills built up by Northern Rock's workers is making mortgage lending available to the lower end of the income scale and making those mortgages work in a sustainable way. So far, the published record indicates that the bank has been very successful in doing that. That set of skills is of enormous value to our current housing market and it would be sensible not to downgrade those skills and destroy that reputation, which would make that work impossible.

Peter Atkinson, Conservative

The hon. Gentleman has been dreadfully dismissive of the small shareholders, of whom there are 140,000. Yes, some acquired their shares on demutualisation and have been counting them as their savings for retirement. Many others, including people in my constituency, bought small quantities of shares because they wanted to support a good local business. They are the ones who will suffer. They should not be dismissed and put out of the picture.

Doug Henderson, Labour

I understand theoretically some of the points that the hon. Gentleman is making, and I have read the motion. Is he aware that Northern Rock employees do not want nationalisation? If it is difficult now to sell the business as a going concern, they wonder how much more difficult it will be to do so in future. The small shareholders, some of whom I see in the Gallery, oppose nationalisation because they would lose any value that they have.

Kevan Jones, Labour

Is the hon. Gentleman at one with the leader of the Liberal Democrats on Newcastle city council who, along with the majority of elected politicians in the north-east, supports efforts to get a solution for Northern Rock? Is he not in danger today, with the emotive language that he uses, of running down the company and making matters worse?

Plus one strange exchange where someone actually seemed to be trying to suggest something constructive for a moment...

David Drew, Labour

I, for one, congratulate the hon. Gentleman on calling the debate. Did he consider another option—the possibility of remutualising Northern Rock? Some of us feel strongly that one of the great problems of demutualisation is that it was predictable that some companies, because of the nature of the marketplace in which they operate, would overstretch themselves. Is it not time we looked at the strength of mutuals again?

Vincent Cable, Liberal Democrat

That is a helpful intervention, with which I have a great deal of sympathy. I used to be involved in an organisation called Save Our Building Societies, which campaigned against the original demutualisation of Northern Rock for precisely that reason. After a period of temporary public ownership, that might be one of the options that appear viable, but rushing into a sale now would preclude it. The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right.

…and then everyone went back to the serious business of being greasy, self-serving, deceitful little shits

So, remember boys and girls, Northern Rock is a superbly managed financial institution which is only suffering problems because of a) something which happened in America and b) the acting Leader of the Lib Dems, one of the handful of apparently sane and honest people in the House, talking it down all the time. A kindly, bearded and jovial man in a big balloon is shortly going to make everything alright again in time for Christmas

"Look! It's Richard Branson - He'll save us!!"

  • The Virgin bid is bollocks
  • As the result of a special recipe secret blend of incompetence, corruption and outright fraud, Northern Rock is going down
  • Other banks and businesses are also going down
  • It is going to hurt
  • A lot


Policy Exchange hate tank busted?

Last night, BBC's Newsnight aired a jaw-dropping piece accusing the 'centre right' think tank/ Lobby group Policy Exchange of faking evidence used in the production of a widely quoted report it published a couple of months ago. A report which claimed that one in four British mosques are distributing material which says that it's OK to abuse women, crucify homosexuals, eat Christian babies and generally be a bit of c*nt to anyone who isn't a Muslim

Author of the tremendously well-written and informative 'Celsius 7/7', co-founder of the Policy Exchange think tank, Tory front-bench spokesman and all-round chopper Michael Gove - very similar in many ways to his neo-con contemporaries in the US but without their charm or personality

I say jaw-dropping because this is the only occasion I can think of when national broadcast media have suggested that someone might be deliberately faking material in support of the current domestic war on terror paradigm

Why Newsnight should break the habit of a lifetime and report something like this completely baffles me. Maybe they're doing a 'Gilligan' and the whole thing is going to blow up in the BBC's face. Maybe there's a war going on behind the scenes. Who knows

but, anyway, the show is currently up on the Newsnight website here and should stay there until tomorrow night's show is broadcast (the marvellous display of synchronised Lobby-trolling currently taking place on Newsnight's daily blog will presumably stay up for a little longer)

and if anyone knows how to download a local copy of the program please please do



Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I'm always forgetting anniversaries - redux

Thanks again to LWTC247 - this time for reminding me that today is the anniversary of the Piazza Fontana bombing in Milan in 1969

And if you don't know much about the Piazza Fontana Bombing, Operation Gladio, The Strategy of Tension and P2 that's not a surprise. This stuff doesn't get much coverage in the English media because this sort of thing only happens to foreigners in foreign lands

Yeah, right

In fact, so confident is the State Broadcasting Company that people understand that this sort of thing could never happen in Britain, and won't see any parallels or make any connections, it is happy to post up reasonably candid pieces about this kind of explosively covert behaviour when it happens in other countries...

Over 4,000 arrests were made in the aftermath of the bombings and one of the suspects, Guiseppe Pinelli, died after falling out of the fourth floor window of the police station where he was being held.

The bombing marked the start of a series of attacks known as "the strategy of tension" between 1969 and 1974 by the right wing group, Ordine Nuovo.

Their aim was to prevent the country falling into the hands of the left -wing by duping the public into believing the bombings were part of a communist insurgency

... One of the original suspects, Pietro Valpreda, was eventually tried alongside two neo-Fascists and numerous other secret service agents in 1974, but all the accused were acquitted in 1985 following numerous trials and appeals."

and thanks also to LWTC247 for taking the opportunity to link to
a brief post I made about another forgotten anniversary, this time the Bologna Station bombing, I made barely a month after 7/7.

What I continue to find truly, truly depressing is that, over two years after 7/7,
this pissy little, relatively low traffic blog, originally created to share photos and the occasional knob gag, frequently figures high-up in simple Google websearches for information and photographs from 7/7 and 21/7

I've lost count of the number of times I've tried to do some basic research on 7/7 and 21/7 only to find Google returning my blog as a source

For fuck's sake

So much for the rest of the British blogging 'commentariat' - the useless, blinkered, dissonant, parochial fucks

(Ok, Lord Patel is a worthy exception and shares my passion for senior policemen trying to pass off tupperware and toothbrushes as WMDs in press conferences ...and there are a few others but not many)

All I can say is that we're just so damned lucky that this false flag terror business never takes place in Anglo Saxon countries and only happens to wops, wogs, fuzzy wuzzies and daigos - and, anyway, they sort of deserve it for being a bit foreign don't they