Monday, 18 December 2006

Who's the daddy?

This is from Canadian TV

Now according to the respected medical journal 'The Lancet' anything from 1% of the population to 30% (in Liverpool dirty scousers!) were fathered by someone other than their "father". I only just found this link, I'll do a search of the Lancet in a minute, but it ties in with what I was thinking after watching the recent Channel 4 documentary 100% English, where we saw Garry Bushell find out he was actually part African and Carol Thatcher find out she was 25% Middle eastern, the funniest moments were the Woman who said you had to be able to trace your family tree back to Hastings to be classed as English threatening to sue the programme makers for revealing she was half Romany, and the mad old Diana Mosley wannabe (who was ranting on about gollywhitewogs, whatever they are) and turned out to be a mixture of East Asian and Red Indian!

I think the documentary makers being obvious metropolitan liberals were a bit disappointed to get sensible reactions from Bushell and a young squaddie (25% Balkan if I remember right) who took it in their stride, the squaddie in particular making the point that seeing your true origins might make the more racist amongst us think again.

An honourable mention must go to the patriotic woman from Grimsby who was the most English of all (99% or something) who said that Ian Wright was a true Englishman, unlike some Anglo-Saxons.

Anyway back to my point, all these people were convinced that their families were English going back generations on all sides, DNA tests proved them wrong, which just goes to make you wonder what their Grandmothers were getting up to... It also makes me think about all this family tree searching people seem to be doing recently, fair play but maybe combining it with a DNA test would help to give a fuller picture.

Wedding belles

Matt Lucas from Little Britain has got married in a panto style ceremony

The bit that really got me is that Phil and Peggy Mitchell of Eastenders turned up as The Demon Prince and Fairy Godmother! That's celebs for you, unfortunately I can't find a pic of them so here's one of Elton and David.

(sorry for the Heat magazine style post but my blogging partner has fled to Spain for Christmas and won't be back to the middle of next week, I'll be picking up the slack until then)

Farepack victim's letter to Clive Thompson's wife

I do not like to harp on about a subject;

Here is an excerpt from a letter sent to Sir Clive Thompson's wife by the dinner ladies at Taylor High School in Motherwell

So Mrs Thompson, we wish you, your husband and family no ill will or malice, in fact we hope that you all have a truly wonderful Christmas, as it will at least give us some sense of satisfaction to know that your family is at least reaping the benefits of the values that we had instilled in us as children, that if we wanted something we worked for it, and by us doing so it may not have proved very beneficial for us or our families, but, on Christmas morning, when you turn over in bed, and your husband hands you a gift, beautifully wrapped, and in the moment before you unwrap it, when you are feeling excited, and wondering what it contains, could you just stop a minute, and ask yourself, as a mother, "BY THE SWEAT OF WHO'S BROW WAS THIS GIFT PAID FOR?" and then think about some poor child, not in some third world country, but in Great Britain, who is at this same moment sitting in their not so luxurious home, and wondering why Santa didn't bring them what they had dreamed of, then open your gift and try to feel excited about it. Now tell us, would you like it to happen to your child? If your answer is no, then perhaps you are a caring mother after all, a caring mother does not only care for her own children. But if this letter has left you unaffected by the distress and disappointment caused to lots of families, by a company that your husband is chairman of, then we would say that you and your husband deserve each other, an we hope you never find yourself in this position as people will never forget it nor will they ever let you.

Yours Sincerely

More info can be found at;

I reckon the Farepack victims would have been better off going to Credit Unions, a vastly under used and under rated resource for those on low incomes. There's a good article here
on the top notch Liverpool Times website, the article on Irish credit unions is especially enlightening.

Sunday, 17 December 2006

Don't panic Captain Mainwaring!

I've nicked this from Ken Macleod's Early days of a Better Nation blog

I think it's well worth a look if you're interested in the contributions of socialists and anti fascists to the war effort, look beyond the pacifist nuts at the real socialists...

'A Popular Front in arms'

Home Guard Socialism: A vision of a People's Army
by Stephen Cullen
Copyright, Allotment Hut Booklets
Price:3.00. Available for cash, UK stamps, or sterling cheque made out to the author at 76 Hanworth Road, Warwick, CV34 5DX

The BBC comedy series Dad's Army has probably done more to shape the popular memory of the Home Guard, Britain's WW2 volunteer defence force, than any other source. Good though the laughs are, this is a shame, because the Home Guard was a serious organization whose history has some significance today and may have more in the future. Stephen Cullen, an anti-militarist with a sound knowledge of military history, here provides a clear, well-documented and non-sectarian introduction to one aspect of the Home Guard's history that deserves to be better known: the key role of a small group of socialists and Spanish Civil War veterans in its initial organization, in the training of thousands of its members, and in the popularization of its ideas and methods to a readership that extended well beyond the Home Guard itself. Tom Wintringham's New Ways of War (1940), and 'Yank' Levy's Guerrilla Warfare (1941), both Penguin Specials, provided their readers with the political rationale and the military tactics of guerrilla warfare as a method of national and popular resistance to mechanized warfare and fascist occupation. Guerrilla Warfare is a severely practical manual: Levy's personal experience ranged from the Royal Fusiliers through the Mexican Revolution and Sandino's struggle in Nicaragua to the British battalion of the International Brigades. He drew also on the contemporary experiences of the Soviet and Chinese partisans. It's a long way from Captain Mainwaring's comical crew.

Stephen Cullen's pamphlet provides a wealth of fascinating information about Wintringham, Levy and their comrades, the 'Osterley Park socialists', and their vision of a People's Army. It leaves its readers to reflect on the curious and unsettling fact that in the national and social crisis of 1940, the one moment in the twentieth century in Britain when an armed people led by socialists was an urgent necessity and was rapidly becoming a practical reality, the great majority of Britain's radical socialists were otherwise engaged.

Why don't you run for parliament?

That's what a mate asked me in the pub last night, when I was expanding on my political views in a Guinness fueled rant. Well first of all it's not likely a pro-English independence socialist candidate would get elected, secondly er it's not likely I'd get elected if I was running for a mainstream party, thirdly if I was democratically elected by a significant section of the local population, I wouldn't be able to take my seat. No, I'm not an undischarged bankrupt or electoral fraudster, I'm a republican and as the Centre for Citizenship say here that disqualifies me from membership of our so called mother of parliaments...

Surely if we were a real modern democratic society, Members of Parliament would have to take a pledge of allegiance to the people, or some such formulation, not to Mrs Windsor, why should I make any extra effort to defend this woman just because her ancestors robbed more land than mine?

Meanwhile here is a spoof of the oath of allegiance that immigrants must make before getting British citizenship. Well spoof or just reading between the lines of what the oath really says? Now whatever your views on immigration, why should Liz and her parasitical intellectually sub normal family be first on the list? And why should authority derive from the crown? The only people who can grant authority is us, 'The People'.

Fourth in the table!

Fans' eye view on Saints getting to fourth in the table (that's self indulgent footie news for you nonsporting types ;-) ), Ugly Inside have this article on the possibilities of promotion

Meanwhile to keep with the England theme of the blog, our blind cricketers could probably show the so called able bodied team a thing or two, we've just lost out in the semis of the world cup

I'm a bit worried about that "Proud to Patronise" banner behind them...

Saturday, 16 December 2006

What sort of nationalism?

Another plug for toque, a post on what we should be aiming for in English nationalism, while here newera has a perhaps more idealistic (but no less valid) conception of what he means by it. I'd say my own view falls somewhere between the two.

Friday, 15 December 2006

Oliver Postgate, blogging

For the staggers

it's not just about blue string soup but that's got to be in there somewhere

MP's views on the campaign for an English national anthem


Dear oh dear, talk about mealy mouthed politicans.

Thanks to Little Man Toque
for drawing my attention to it in his reply to this post

Not being convinced by the choice of words is not an excuse to not support the motion, lets establish the principle of a national anthem then argue over it's content.

I'm a little angel

How evil are you?

According to this anyway, thanks to Not Saussure for this

I don't see how a gun would make me more angelic

Farepack update

Well, at least they're getting something

Well done to everyone who has donated something to the victims. Still it's a shame to see the scum who stole the money in the first place (the company's owners) getting away with it.

This is what I want for Christmas

Hey forget the bad taste

You do get the chance to play for the anti christ's team, but they can't win.

As based on the books by this bloke. No one mention transvestite serial killer lookalikes please!

What a picture!

I don't normally go in for purile trot leftism, but this one is class.

From here

Morning after pill "controversy"

Frankly unlike Bel over here

I can't see what all the fuss is about, morning after pills should be available for free when required like any other medication, subject to the same health considerations of course.

"Call me ignorant, but I thought that the general aim of a charity was to benefit society."

I'm not sure about ignorant, but you are wrong. Charities are supposed to benefit who or whatever they say they want to benefit, or push whatever line they say they want to push. As it happens I think they are benefiting society by putting these ideas forward.

Serious fraud probe dropped

What a surprise the government and the Serious Fraud Office have dropped the corruption probe into BAE's dealings with the Saudis

The only surprising thing was that they were probing it in the first place. And to claim they are dictching the probe on grounds of 'national security' is a laugh.

It just goes to show that where cash is concerned principles go out the window. Another issue of course is all the fuss about muslim women and the veil, the government seems to be happy to jump on the hysterical bandwagon over that, complete with one of their MPs (Jack Straw) demanding muslim women strip before he will see them in his office - and yet they are quite happy to take the money and run when it comes to dealing with a vile Islamo-fascist regime, that happens to have a lot of oil money.

The excellent Chicken Yoghurt looks into the issue in more depth here, and raises some other points

Blogging to peak next year

According to this report on the BBC

It will reach a peak of around 100 million bloggers, with 200 million having already stopped.

I wonder how long I'll keep this one up.

"68% of English want own Parliament"

This is from the Telegraph, cut and pasted so we don't lose it.

Britain wants UK break up, poll shows
By Patrick Hennessy and Melissa Kite, Sunday Telegraph, 26/11/2006

The United Kingdom should be broken up and Scotland and England set free as independent nations, according to a huge number of voters on both sides of the border.

A clear majority of people in both England and Scotland are in favour of full independence for Scotland, an ICM opinion poll for The Sunday Telegraph has found. Independence is backed by 52 per cent of Scots while an astonishing 59 per cent of English voters want Scotland to go it alone.

There is also further evidence of rising English nationalism with support for the establishment of an English parliament hitting an historic high of 68 per cent amongst English voters. Almost half – 48 per cent – also want complete independence for England, divorcing itself from Wales and Northern Ireland as well. Scottish voters also back an English breakaway with 58 per cent supporting an English parliament with similar powers to the Scottish one.

The poll comes only months before the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union between England and Scotland and will worry all three main political parties. None of them favours Scottish independence, but all have begun internal debates on the future of the constitution.

The dramatic findings came as Gordon Brown, the favourite to succeed Tony Blair as Prime Minister, delivered an impassioned defence of the Union at Labour's Scottish conference in Oban yesterday.

In an attack on the Scottish National Party, against whom Labour will fight a bitter battle for control of the Edinburgh-based parliament next May, the Chancellor claimed: "We should never let the Nationalists deceive people into believing that you can break up the United Kingdom."

The ICM poll told a very different story, however, with 60 per cent of English voters complaining that higher levels of public spending per head of the population in Scotland were "unjustified", compared to 28 per cent claiming they were justified. Even among Scots, 36 per cent said the system was unfair, with only 51 per cent supporting it.

Voters also had serious concerns about the so-called West Lothian Question, the ability of Scottish MPs at Westminster to vote on solely English matters while many purely Scottish issues are decided in Edinburgh. Sixty-two per cent of English voters want Scottish MPs stripped of this right and even 46 per cent of Scots agreed. The poll showed that the English are more likely to think of themselves as British than the Scots are. Only 16 per cent of English people said they were "English, not British", compared to 26 per cent of Scots who said they were "Scottish, not British."

In the sporting arena, 70 per cent of English people said they would support a Scottish team playing football or rugby against a nation other than England. But, when the question was put to Scots, only 48 per cent said they would back England with 34 per cent supporting their opponents, no matter which country it was.

While I certainly don't agree with all the reasons given in the article why English people want independence or a parliament, I can't disagree with the conclusions. We want our own government, we want to be recognised as a nation in our own right - and the only people trying to stop us are the political establishment.

This isn't about England Vs Scotland, but about the people Vs the politicans.

Apologies for the old news, I'll make sure my second post is more upto date.

I'm a geek I admit it

Thanks to the Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe for this

Words fail me...

Direct link here

Border issue barrier to split?

Scaremongering in the 'Scotsman' today

What a load of cobblers, as Alex Salmond points out border controls and migration between the UK and the Irish Republic have hardly been strictly enforced even during the height of the troubles. All Scotland would have to do is remain part of the 'Common Travel Area' that involves Britain and Ireland. My wife's family are Irish catholics with members living on both sides of the border, most of them don't even bother with dual citizenship it's just not an issue for them, and I don't see why it would be between to other independent states.

Bumper crop of blueberries found on Mars

According to New Scientist here

Alright so not quite as exciting as the headline made it sound, like everything when it comes to Mars exploration, hey we've found canals - no, sorry they're giant cracks, hey there's green vegetation - sorry it was a stain on the telescope or something, hey we've found a giant face - oops no sorry shadow and crater, hey we've found a rock in Antarctica that's from Mars and got fossilised microbes - ha! I'm not falling for that again, the microbes could from Earth right?

You've cried wolf too many times Mars experts...

Thursday, 14 December 2006

Blogpower and the end of futurism...

I found this on blather, the excellent Dublin site

Blather interviewee Bruce Sterling pens his last article:

"The future of the Internet lies not with institutions but with individuals. Low-cost connections will proliferate, encouraging creativity, collaboration, and telecommuting. The Net itself will recede into the background. If you're under 21, you likely don't care much about any supposed difference between virtual and actual, online and off. That's because the two realms are penetrating each other; Google Earth mingles with Google Maps, and daily life shows up on Flickr. Like the real world, the Net will be increasingly international and decreasingly reliant on English. It will be wrapped in a Chinese kung fu outfit, intoned in an Indian accent, oozing Brazilian sex appeal."

Here's the full article

This seems to tie in to some of the ideas expressed here by James Higham and friends...

the idea of co-operation between a loose network of small blogs...

I'd even go as far as wondering whether the internet itself is "dead" - do people actually still spend hours browsing randomly like they used to? I know that for the last couple of years I've pretty much only gone to sites I already know, or on the recomendations of others.

Our jolly scottish cousins

This picture shows what fun it must be attending socialist rallys in Scotland... Hmmm... OK

Why choose that flag then?

Just in case anyone is wondering what that green and red flag with a white dragon is all about... The honest answer is that I like designing flags. The political answer is that while I don't have a problem with the English flag, I've got a sticker on my car after all - I reckon the ideal of English Republicanism needs another symbol, one that can be exclusively associated with it.

Well the White dragon allegedly comes from King Alfred's battle standard and is an excepted symbol of ango-saxon England, also white is the colour of peace, not surrender contrary to popular belief - and a white dragon could symbolise a peaceful nation that is prepared to defend itself.

Pictures in books show 17th century revolutionaries like the diggers and levellers with green flags - green was the colour of 18th century radicals because it was the "commoners' colour" and therefore seen as democratic. There's also all the images and descriptions of 'A green and pleasant land' of course.

Red needs no introduction as the colour of the international working class and labour movement.

Also Red and White are the colours of the English flag, and the Welsh flag has a similar design.

I propose that any lefties or democrats that support the campaigns for an English parliament or for outright independence print off copies of this design, for stickers, posters or leaflets.

If you want - and stick the picture on your blogs and websites. Maybe it'll catch on.

Transistria's president returned to office

Wikipedia article here

The happy chappie is Igor Smirnov of the Respublika party. He has been the President of this internationally unrecognised 'democracy' since 1990.

According to Wikipedia, this little nation despite not really existing has more names than most 'real' countries!

"Other names in use

In Russian, the names used for Transnistria are always consistently either Pridnestrovskaia Moldavskaia Respublica or Pridnestrovie (the two official names, long- and short- respectively). However, in English a wide variety of names have been used to describe the region, among them: Trans-Dniester, Transdnistria, Transdniestria, Transdniestr, Trans-Dniestria, Transdniester, Transniestria, Transdnestr, also Trans-Dnjestr and Trans-Dnjester.

The government of Moldova refers to the region Stînga Nistrului, which means "Left Bank of the Nistru" although in in the Moldovan Latin script, the official name is Republica Moldovenească Nistreană (which translates to English as "Nistrian Moldovan Republic"). The European Court of Human Rights used the name Moldavian Republic of Transdniestria or Moldovan Republic of Transnistria (MRT), while OSCE and others sometimes refer to it as the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic (TMR). Author Charles King, in his book The Moldovans, uses the names Dnestr Republic and Dnestr Moldovan Republic (DMR)."

Worlds tallest man saves dolphins

Good lad

I wouldn't want to be accused of parochialism!

How many post offices to close?

According to this, up to 3,000 many of them in rural areas. So the government wants to cut car use but is forcing more rural people to drive more often. OK that makes perfect sense. Actually this about more 'rationalisation' it's about making the Royal Mail fit for final privatisation.

"You cannot carry on putting a massive amount of public subsidy into this"
Prime Minister Tony Blair

And yet you can continue putting a massive public susbsidy into the arms trade, which employs fewer people, you can continue to subsidise America's war in Iraq - but when it comes to providing subsidies for normal people, that's a different matter.

The English are racist!

Aren't we? You know a lot of people on the left and in liberal circles (mostly the middle classes it seems) like to claim that the english are racist and so is any attempt at fostering an English identity.

Well no... Surely rather than criticising the behaviour of people around the world cup and other big events, why not encourage people to come together under a shared English identity?

Rather than encouraging people to describe themselves as "Afro-carribean" or Muslim, or "Anglo-Saxon" why not just say English?

Maybe that gay English flag is just another example of the latent fascism of the English people...

The Visual Front

On a lighter note, I've found this cool site that gives me an excuse to attempt posting my first picture!

It's full of posters (mostly republican) from the Spanish Civil War, probably the last time republicans, socialists, communists, and anarchists were all too briefly united in a common front against the true enemy.

This poster says that "saving the crop is the same as defeating the enemy in battle".

Where's the logic?

One question that keeps returning to the lips of politicans and journalists during this terrible story
is "How can a tiny police force like Suffolk handle such a large case?" "Wouldn't a merged East Anglian force be more efficient?"

Well, at the moment Suffolk is able (and is doing) to call neighbouring forces for any help they require. If the forces had been merged considering one of the arguments in favour of merger (the main one in fact) was economies of scale if anything they'd have to go even further afield to find the manpower they needed since departments would have been merged and cut and officers would have been redeployed all in the name of effiency.

Still it wouldn't surprise me if this was the news story required to reignite the debate.

The West Lothian Answer

The West Lothian Question was named after the MP for that constituency the mighty democrat Tam Dalyell.

"For how long will English constituencies and English Honourable members tolerate... at least 119 Honourable Members from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland exercising an important, and probably often decisive, effect on British politics while they themselves have no say in the same matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?"

I think it's a stupid question - why should English MPs who have consistantly refused to back an English parliament punish our neighbours for demanding their democratic rights? The real question is not about so called celtic over-representation at Westminster, but English under-representation in our own country.

Tam was a fantastic politican, a true blue old school representative - but he was wrong on this issue