Monday, June 30, 2008


From The Sun:

GIRLS have revealed the shoes most likely to put them in the mood for love – but they cost £300.

Women say wearing black high heels by designer Christian Louboutin makes them feel sexier.

Experts reckon the red-soled shoes are also more likely to get fellas gawping.

Louboutin’s shoes were voted most likely to turn girls on in a survey by women’s website

They are already worn by stars including Gwyneth Paltrow, who sported a pair at the Iron Man premiere in New York.

Others seen in them include Angelina Jolie, Posh Spice and Sex and the City’s Kristin Davis. fashion editor Belinda White said: “The classic black heels by Christian Louboutin are women’s favourite shoes to make them feel sexy.

"Wearing them makes women feel more attractive – and also more likely to catch a man’s eye. So donning these designer heels could lead to better sex and far more of it."

Italian researchers recently claimed heels over 2in boost women’s sex life by exercising pelvic muscles.

Louboutin admits he crafts heels to "slow women down and give them a sexier gait".

Nearly a quarter of the 2,500 women polled admitted they owned at least five pairs of shoes they had NEVER worn.

I Suspect You May Be Lying

From a BBC page about the 11 plus, someone who may not be telling the truth.

In order; "which" instead of "that", "i" instead of "I", "their" instead of "there", "done" instead of "did", missing "is" between "school" and "because", comma instead of full stop after "sex", "their" instead of "there" (again), "would of" instead of "would have". I'm sure there are others, but you get my drift.


Labels: , ,

CCTV In Parliament Square

Had a lovely walk round Parliament Square on Saturday, beautiful weather and lots of actual tourists masking exactly what I was doing: checking where the CCTV coverage is, and working out the best method for completely blocking off the (manually operated) entrance to Parliament.

As far as I could tell, there are two CCTV cameras on the lampost nearest the Churchill statue. There's one on top of the building behind Churchill. There's one on the building on the corner opposite that (although there is another one on that building, it's mounted facing the opposite direction with no apparent rotation platform). So that's four on the left hand side of Parliament Square as you're looking at the Houses of Parliament.

On the Houses of Parliament itself, I'm guessing the listed nature of the building has limited positioning of CCTV, but there are two on the newer section closest to Parliament Square (above and to the right of the gate). The gate, once opened, splits in two directions, to the right there is a metal barrier from above and a raised barrier (presumably also metal) from below.

There are two more CCTV cameras perched on top of the building to the right of Parliament Square. Adequate coverage and no apparent blindspots. At the moment the building directly opposite the Houses of Parliament are covered by plastic sheeting and scaffolding, but will presumably also have CCTV on top of them once the building work is completed.

Given the nature of the traffic flow, the best bet for blocking Parliament Square completely would be to crash a bendy buses across the left hand junction (from Westminster Bridge) - ideally into something heavy (like a truck) or another bus (for maximum disruption). The opposite junction doesn't have the same span and could easily be blocked using only a bendy bus.

The first crash may have the desired effect of the security staff opening the gates. Given the amount of flat surfaces around the square, and the cone effect of the Houses of Parliament's corners, the sound of the collision should be suitably amplified to make it sound significantly worse than it is. I would assume that their training would advise against assisting casualties, but that human nature would take over - the fear of negative headlines may also help in this respect.

Behind the Anti War protester there's more than enough space for helicopter landing, so this whole area would need to be torched. This would also reduce the possibility of off-road police vehicle or motorcycle mobility. Depending on the intensity of the blaze, it would also remove foot patrol assault as well. A concerted effort on the fire front would also allow it to spread to any crashed vehicles affording some protection with a "ring of fire". Similarly the smoke screen would remove at least three of the CCTV coverage.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

You Are Doing It All Wrong

The name should tell you all you need to know. Click here then just keep clicking on the pictures to get more examples of world class stupidity*.

I'm sure some of them are photoshopped.

I hope that some of them are photoshopped.

But rather a lot of them just appear to be well, like this.

A fantastic way to amuse yourself for a few hours. A bit like the Darwin Awards, but in pictures.

*hat tip to The Devil herself.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Savoj Zizek

I was listening to Radio 4 this morning, when I heard Savoj Zizek's rather interesting take on Schindler's List - it's a remake of Jurassic Park and the Nazi's are the dinosaurs. I found the article in which he refers to that here and then read his equally fascinating view of Night M. Shyamalan's The Village.

**********************SPOILER ALERT**********************

For those of you who haven't watched it, the following section does give away every single nuance of plot. If you don't intend to watch it (or already have) then please read on, as I think it says quite a lot about the way the threat of terror is presented in the UK (and the US).
This threat is, as we learn, in the best "totalitarian" manner staged by the inner circle ("elders") of the community itself, in order to prevent the non-initiated youngsters to leave the village and risk the passage through the forest to the decadent "towns." The "evil" itself has to be redoubled: the "real" evil of late-capitalist social disintegration has to be transposed into the archaic magic-mythic evil of "creatures."

The "Evil" IS a part of the "inner circle" itself, IMAGINED by its members. Are we here not back at Chesterton's Thursday, in which the highest police authority IS the same person as the super-criminal, staging a battle with himself? In a proto-Hegelian way, the external threat the community is fighting is its own inherent essence...

And what if this is true in a much more radical way than it may appear? What if the true Evil of our societies is not the capitalist dynamics as such, but the attempts to extricate ourselves from it (while profiting from it), to carve out self-enclosed communal spaces, from "gated communities" to exclusive racial or religious groups? That is to say, is the point of The Village not precisely to demonstrate that, today, a return to an authentic community in which speech still directly expresses true emotions, etc. - the village of the socialist utopia - is a fake which can only be staged as a spectacle for the very rich?

The exemplary figure of Evil are today not ordinary consumers who pollute environment and live in a violent world of disintegrating social links, but those (top managers, etc.) who, while fully engaged in creating conditions for such universal devastation and pollution, exempt themselves from the results of their own activity, living in gated communities, eating organic food, taking holidays in wild preserves, etc.

And thus, it is the middle class who are the true evil -as argued by The Devil herself on many numerous occasions.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Maybe It's Because I'm A (South) Londoner

Well, possibly. I don't "love London so", but I do actually enjoy living here. Which seems to be unusual insomuch as you see so many people on TV doing the 'escape to the country' bit. Plus the general complaints about it being over-crowded, noisy, smelly and hideously expensive, obviously. But it is a quite special place.

If it wasn't located in England it would be splendid.

I've just got back from Newcastle, and while I do have a special place in my heart for the Great North (having being born and bred there) it is very *very* quiet up there. I don't think I could live there now, as I'd constantly be thinking that there'd been some kind of plague and everyone had died. Even apparently busy shopping centres are incredibly quiet.

It's like the people of the North don't like sharing their business and everyday lives with all and sundry like the people of London seem wont to do. No shouting, no yelling into a mobile phone, no playing music on a mobile on the tinny speaker. Nothing, but a hushed whisper. Quite delightful, but spooky. Like suddenly being transported into the Victorian era and discovering people used to be polite to each other.

Don't get me wrong, the people of the North are friendly. Just not pushy. If you engage one in conversation, they can - and will - chat with you for hours about whatever it is that you ask them about. Like London cabbies, but with more opportunity for interaction and less right wing politically.

Unless you happen to get them onto the subject of immigration.

Despite having a lower population of immigrants than pretty much anywhere else I've been in the country (as well as a long established - and fully assimilated - Chinese and Indian community) it seems as if every Geordie I've spoken to thinks there should be less immigration. And while the Great North is far less densely populated than a lot of other places (North Tyneside has a population roughly the same as Enfield borough) they think that the UK is full.

Perhaps it's a Northern thing: worrying about problems that don't affect you directly. Or perhaps it's a media thing; the national news pushing London based stories as being somehow representative of the whole country.

Whatever it is, I do find it slightly peculiar.


Sorry about the lack of blogging recently. Family stuff, house move and work (though not necessarily in that order) have contributed to me being fairly time poor.

Fear not, there will be more spleen venting over the coming week. As per usual.

Labels: ,

Friday, June 13, 2008

Democracy EU Style

This afternoon, it appears the Irish voted against the EU Treaty. This was a referendum that was promised to the British people by the Labour party, but while we didn't get the chance to say "NO", the Irish did. And they took that chance with both hands.

We had previously been told that it would take all of the 27 countries to agree on the treaty for it to be passed. As Ireland voted "no", then, I had stupidly assumed, that that would be the end of the Treaty. Obviously the European Commission head, Jose Manuel Barroso, called for other states to continue their ratification processes and said a solution should be sought. The twat.

Then, I hear on Radio 5, Richard Corbett - the Labour MEP for Yorkshire & the Humber - saying that despite the Irish vote, the Treaty should still be ratified. He proposes another referendum (presumably followed by another and another until they eventually get enough people to say "Yes") in Ireland.
"Nor should we accept the bleating from Eurosceptics that there is somehow something undemocratic about a new referendum. It is perfectly reasonable to address a divergence in the positions of the 27 EU countries by asking the minority of one to think again - especially if its concerns have been addressed. What would be undemocratic would be to allow the one to prevail over the many."
Yes that's right Ireland, you got it wrong the first time, so you go away, have a little think about yourselves and try voting the right way this time.

Note, he's not proposing actually changing the Treaty, oh dear me no. He's just proposing that they put it out to referendum again. And again. And again.
"Whatever the issues are, it should not be impossible to address the bulk of Irish concerns. If this can be done without having to alter the treaty - which would require a new IGC and renewed ratification in all the counties (now nearly 20) that have ratified already - then so much the better."
And why would it be better for the same referendum question being put out again, rather than a proper and open discussion of why Ireland (the only place in Europe thus far to actually get a referendum on ratifying the treaty, remember)?
"Of course, no-one relishes the prospect of still more debate and negotiation on the minutiae of the composition and functioning of the EU institutions."
I think you might be lying a bit there, matey. I suggest that YOU don't want any debate on the minutiae of the EU. Because if there was some debate, more and more people might realise just how little control of their own lives they actually have now. And where would your gravy train be if the people of the UK decided to leave the EU altogether?

When will the EU listen to a "no" vote? Why will they persist in shoving the EU Constitution as the only way forward, when every time a country has had a chance to vote, it has said "no" when first asked? Why is Gordon Brown pushing ahead with ratifying a treaty that should be dead in the water?

I'll tell you: It makes no difference we're already fucked.

I am the Revolution, and I demand my fucking country back.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bob Spink You Are A Cunt

Yes I'm fucked off with the DUP, but they were bought. They will learn their fates from Paisley, I am sure of that.

Bob Spink however can fucking die.

From UKIP's own policy document
7.9 UKIP would abolish Control Orders, as we regard detention without trial as an improper state of affairs. UKIP would also allow the use of phone tap evidence in terrorist cases unless the security forces or police have overriding objections.

Yes, that's right, UKIP are against detention without trial. So much so that Bob fucking Spink - their only bastard MP! - voted WITH the Government, giving his own backing to the extension of detention without trial from an already extreme 28 days to the spectacularly extreme 90 days.

Ann Widdecombe I kinda expected to vote with the Government, she's mental and believes an invisible man in the sky talks to her. Going along with Brown must be a bit easier to swallow if you're already that mad. The DUP were bought. Some put the value of £200million and a concession on how the Embryology Bill will be implemented in Northern Ireland.

But Bob Spink? What the fuck were you thinking, you retard? You are a contemptible cunt and I hope you die in a suitably humorous way.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

God Bless The Onion

Nicely ripping the piss out of World Of Warcraft players.

'Warcraft' Sequel Lets Gamers Play A Character Playing 'Warcraft'

Labels: , ,

Monday, June 09, 2008

Drinkers, You're Next!

As I mentioned many moons ago (before the smoking ban came into effect) the next target on the Government hit list would be drinkers.

Like smokers, drinkers are an easy target. They pay a huge amount in taxes and duty, and because of their habits, generally enjoy a shorter life thus relieving their burden on the state in retirement (pensions, nursing homes, long term care etc). Drinkers, like smokers, are also doing something which is perfectly legal - but seen by the Nanny State as a "bad thing".

Health Secretary Alan Johnson has proposed an "alcohol squad" to help towns with the most drink-related hospital admissions fight their alcohol problems. The aim, like everything else, is to improve the nation's health and was announced at the same time as an initiative to cut obesity in the youth of the country.

I can see this back firing in the long term, but hey, who thinks about the long term? Apparently, the Department of Health highlighted evidence to show that for every eight people who received brief advice, one cut down on the amount of alcohol they drank. So that's up to 12.5% less alcohol being sold. Which would mean less tax and revenue from Duty. Pubs will require less staff, meaning less Income Tax and National Insurance, plus a possible increase in Income Support.

Obviously, there would be a way of recovering the Duty and VAT lost, simply by putting the levels up, but this wouldn't be politically very sensible as most people seem to think the Government already over tax them as it is. They'd be right too. But the other method of recovering the lost Duty and VAT is even more dubious - forcing retailers to put the price up.

Funnily enough that's exactly what's been suggested. The Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire has said over the weekend that supermarkets are "making as much money out of people's miseries as they can" and that prices need to be raised. He goes further, though:
"I think there needs to be some control on prices and I wouldn't have it as self-service. I would have it sold under the counter like cigarettes because alcohol is just as dangerous as tobacco."

Yes, that's right, *under* the counter. Good work there Chief! I can imagine it's been quite some time since you've been in a shop, but at the minute, cigarettes are available OVER the counter. Although not for the want of trying.

Also, not sure if you're aware of this - being a copper and all - but it's actually illegal for prices to be fixed. See this handy Government document, specifically the third item down which says
Competition law prohibits almost any attempt to fix prices - for example, you cannot impose minimum prices on different distributors such as shops.

Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Tesco's executive director for corporate and legal affairs, said action would have to come from the government, but it was willing to enter into discussions. She said:
"We can't put up our prices because people will simply shop elsewhere - it could be commercial suicide - and we can't act together to put up prices because that would be against competition law."

That was on the back of the British Medical Association (who represent Doctors, well known for their love of a good old drink up) demanding in February that prices should be increased to discourage drinkers.

The British Medical Association report said pricing and promotion of drinks was fuelling an "alcohol epidemic". It called for an end to happy hours in pubs and cut-price supermarket deals as well as improved access to treatment. The BMA report is based on placing greater restrictions on the availability and access to alcohol. It did not recommend how large the tax hike should be, but pointed out a 10% rise could reduce alcohol-related deaths by nearly 30%. Alternatively, it could do fuck all apart from increase shoplifting and people poisoned by drinking meths, but the BMA aren't going to mention that, are they?

Obviously, the alcohol industry are up in arms about this. Michael Thompson, head of communications at the Portman Group, which is supported by the UK's leading drinks producers, said:
"We need to change the drinking culture by making drunkenness socially unacceptable, proper enforcement of alcohol laws by police, better education and a crackdown on the minority of rogue traders who serve alcohol to children should be our priorities,"

All of which are true. More to the point, if I drink to excess, but don't harm anyone, that's my decision to take. Not the Government's. I can get pissed and know I'm doing my bit for the country. If I die early, good, I've saved the Government a whole heap of money down the line while contributing tons now. Stop deciding what is and what isn't good for me - I will make my own choices, thank you very much.

But I'm sure Middle Class England will be backing the Chief Constable, the Health Secretary and the BMA, because they think that alcohol related problems are down to the poor, the stupid and the North.

Sadly, they'd be wrong.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Thought Crime 2008

I know I'm coming to this a bit late, but I felt certain that there was no way it could progress as far as it has without someone seeing a bit of common sense. I am naive sometimes.

But first, a bit of background.

On May 16th a non Academic staff member at one of Nottingham's universities was arrested by the police. His "crime" was downloading and printing a document from the internet, for a friend of his in the Politics faculty. This document was the 'Manchester Manual' (so named because of where it was originally discovered), also known as the 'Manual of Afghan Jihad' or 'Military Studies in the Jihad [Holy War] Against the Tyrants'. To the Americans, it is known simply as the 'al Qaeda manual'.

"So," you may be thinking to yourself, "some miscreant has downloaded this for nefarious reasons from some pro-jihad website and has been caught. Good!" Well, if you are, just hold on a second. Let's have a look at which pro-jihad website the document came from, shall we?

That would be that well known sponsor of terrorism, the US Department of Justice. The document (split into four parts) is available for download here, here, here, and here. And I would heartily recommend that you do download it, if only to see if mass arrests follow. Oh, and to laugh at the phrase "undercover brother" - that reminded me of some kinda blaxploitation film.

The 'Manchester Manual' was originally obtained in April 2000 by British anti-terrorism agents and subsequently turned over to the FBI's Nanette Schumaker later that same month. It was originally the property of Nazib al Raghie (also known as Anas Al Liby to the US government) who was the equivalent of an old pensioner from the Afghan war living in retirement in Britain. At the time the manual was confiscated during a counter-terror recce operation, UK authorities were not interested in him. Neither, apparently, was the FBI and he was not arrested. Not unexpectedly, he then disappeared.

During the London ricin trial (where there was no ricin, and no crime) the defense considered the American government's description of it as "the al Qaeda manual" a manufactured title (see fourth paragraph from the end). Nowhere within the document is al Qaeda mentioned and it seems to have possibly originated in the last years of the Islamist resistance of the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan. But from time to time the Manchester manual has been used by the US government to make political points.

As part of Bush's justification for the fight on terror, links (third link under third sub-heading) to a display page for the manual at the Air University, Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Alabama (which seems to have gone down, probably due to the number of people trying to see what was downloaded). This page was a mirror of the John Ashcroft Department of Justice's old placeholder on the book; one which had been taken down although copies of the material still reside on its machine - and were the links given earlier.

So why did the University authorities decide not to investigate, but instead to pass the matter on to the Police? The only real grounds they had for suspecting anything to be amiss was the downloading of a book. A book which is, as I've just shown, linked to by the White House website, and available from Department of Justice servers. And a book which would be, along with similar 'manuals' from the IRA, the Nazis or the Shining Path, be a worthy document for discussion in a PhD.

Under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000, a person commits an offence if they "possesses a document or record containing information"..."of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism". The stunning vagueness of this sentence was focused dramatically in February of this year, when the Court of Appeal ruled that simple possession could not be enough for a conviction. There had to be demonstrable intent to commit terrorist acts as well.

The Times Higher Education Supplement reported on May 29 that the main accused was using the manual "as preparation for a PhD on radical Islamic groups [and] had downloaded an edited version of the al-Qaeda handbook from a site he found via Google... It is understood that [he] sent the 1,500-page document to the staff member... because he had access to a printer."

Not really a very good terrorist there, is he? Getting someone else to print the document for you, and then having the temerity to turn up and present yourself as being the person who downloaded it once the police arrived to investigate the person you'd sent it to. Your reward is potential deportation. Have a biscuit.

What the fuck is going on in this country when reading a public document - hosted by the US DOJ, ffs - constitutes a potential criminal act? I know I have invoked Godwin's Law previously by comparing Labour to the Nazis, but while the Nazis burned books, Labour seems intent on stopping anyone from discovering anything that would negate the bullshit they feed us in order to justify the removal of our civil liberties.

Fuck the Government before they fuck you. Join the Revolution.

I am the Revolution, and if there's anything left, I'd like my fucking country back.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, June 02, 2008

Heathrow Ban Man For T-Shirt

Okay, in a 'crimes against fashion' type moment, Heathrow Airport made a man change his t-shirt before he was allowed to board a flight. The man had been wearing a Transformers t-shirt (and yes, he does work in IT) with a picture of Optimus Prime holding a gun on it.

IT consultant Brad Jayakody, 30, was shocked when he was told to change his top if he wanted to catch his flight from Heathrow’s Terminal 5. He asked to see the security chief, thinking the boss would "see sense" — but he backed up the decision and threatened him with ARREST. For wearing a t-shirt. For fuck's sake.

Perhaps I missed the memo about it now being illegal to travel if you happen to be dressed a bit funny. I mean if they'd said he couldn't travel because he was Australian, then I could understand it, but for a fucking t-shirt? Are you insane? As he himself said "What was I going to do, use the shirt to pretend I have a gun?"

You let people travel in tracksuits or dressed as a Moomin, but a t-shirt with a PICTURE of a PRETEND GUN on it is now a no-go?

What the fuck is going on in this fucking country?

I am the Revolution, I'm keeping this t-shirt on, and I'd like my bastard country back you fucking cunts.

Labels: , , , ,

"Climate Deniers Are Paedos"

In a story likely to offend pretty much everyone, it's nice to know that you can rely on the Church to really put the cat amongst the pigeons.
The Bishop of Stafford, Gordon Mursell, wrote in a parish letter that not tackling global warming meant people were "as guilty as" Josef Fritzl.

I didn't realise you were a scientist specialising in the environment, there Bishop, as you obviously must be to put forward such a challenging view. Although as you are a Bishop, I will bow to your superior knowledge about paedophilia and child abuse.

You fucking idiot.

Labels: , ,

Goodbye Freedom, Hello Gitmo

Gordon Brown will be pushing ahead today to inflict another blow on liberty. He plans to increase the amount of time someone can be held without trial to 42 days, from the already excessive 28 days it currently is. This measure is being introduced as part of the Counter-Terrorism Bill which does have some sensible parts, but could so easily see function shift - like the recent RIP Act abuses - into non-terrorist areas.

Britain already has one of the longest periods of detention without trial in the West. As you may be able to see from the picture below, Canada has one day, the US two, Russia five, France six, Ireland seven and Turkey seven and a half.

There are, as Liberty suggest, alternatives to extending the period.
Remove the bar on the use of intercept (phone tap) evidence because its inadmissibility is a major factor in being unable to bring charges in terror cases. Liberty welcomes the Government’s proposed Privy Council review into the use of this evidence in terror trials.

Allow post-charge questioning in terror cases, provided that the initial charge is legitimate and there is judicial oversight. This will allow for a charge to be replaced with a more appropriate offence at a later stage.

Hire more interpreters: Prioritise the hiring of more foreign language interpreters to expedite pre-charge questioning and other procedures.

Add resources: More resources for police and intelligence services.

Liberty has pointed out that emergency measures which exist under the Civil Contingencies Act (2004) would allow the government to temporarily extend pre-charge detention in a genuine emergency where the police are overwhelmed by multiple terror plots. These powers would be subject to parliamentary and judicial oversight, something which is not guaranteed under the legislation about to go before Parliament.

Liberty also believes that even such an extreme measure would be preferable to creating a permanent state of emergency. Which does seem to be the direction in which the government are heading. A direction the US has already headed, and look how successful that is. Oh, and by the way, there's no need to call a General Election if the country is in a state of emergency. Handy if you happen to be trailing in the polls by a significant amount, eh Gordon?

To put the detention issue into perspective, here's a very interesting piece from The Economist magazine from October 2007. You'll note in the sixth paragraph:
"Britain likewise suspended habeas corpus in the second world war to allow it to detain around 1,000 suspected fascists. All were released after three years. During the 'troubles' in Northern Ireland in the early 1970s, nearly 2,000 suspected extremists were interned. But the practice was scrapped in 1975, as it was clearly fuelling support for terrorism — just as Guantánamo is doing now."

The removal of habeas corpus - freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, coupled with the right to challenge it in an independent court - is unnecessary. We have legislation in place that would allow any genuine terrorist suspects to be held longer than the current 28 day period anyway. With the removal of other pieces of restrictive police legislation, investigations wouldn't need to take longer than 28 days, plus evidence gathered by wiretap would be admissable. By increasing the length of detention without trial, the Government are actually encouraging terrorism - as happened in Northern Ireland - and restricting the liberty of British citizens.

UPDATE: There is an excellent dissection of this over at SpyBlog

This is a disgrace. We can end it.

I am the Revolution and I want my fucking country back.

Labels: , , , , ,

eXTReMe Tracker