Friday, November 28, 2003

We don't like what we're hearing

The Big Con

It's on - the search for anybody who agrees with the Prime Minister's dull ideas. They need these photo opportunities and soundbites for the snap election that can't be far off, when they cut and run.

Feargal Mooney
'We will not introduce "top-up" fees

and have legislated to prevent them.'


That is a direct quote from the manifesto of the Labour Party for the 2001 General Election. (Full text.)

In the Queen's Speech this week announcing their program of legislation for the next parliamentary year, they included a measure to bring in... top-up fees. But don't worry - it won't come into effect unless they're re-elected! That will be their excuse, but that is also our opportunity.

This is another ill-thought-out initiative by the 10 Downing Street team that proposed instant fines collected by frogmarching miscreants to a cashpoint. That idea was quietly binned. This time it's future generations of students they want to frogmarch to a cashpoint.

Feargal Mooney

Thursday, November 27, 2003

The dog lists

Words that dogs can understand:
their own names
yumyum
anything that sounds like eating
fetch
chicken
sausages
seize him
rats
go
no
fox
whosit
whodatdere
sit
over
up
down
stay
walkies
wa
W

Words that dogs have difficulty with:
maybe
never
why

Things that dogs like to chase:
cats
pigeons
bicycles
tennis balls
sticks
just about everything

Things that dogs like to go down:
holes

Things that dogs like to sniff:
see above

Things that dogs hate the sound of:
fireworks
schoolchildren en masse

Things that dogs distrust:
postmen
shadows that move

Things that dogs really love:
sunbeams
nubile visitors

Things that dogs find fascinating:
farts
shopping bags
the other side of walls

There are more. Life is short. Shorter now.

Bob Harmless
Radio Ga-Ga-Galaxy FM

£5,000 was burned as part of a moronic publicity stunt by Galaxy FM Radio in Birmingham. Phone-in voters were asked to decide whether the money should be given to a contestant to have a boob job and hair extensions, or burned. They said burn it. Radio by the stupid, of the stupid, for the stupid.

More (BBC).
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D. C. Constable
Britain's first Rastafarian convert policeman

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Denmark Road - Appeal

Dear Sirs

I write in the hope somebody who is with a knowledge of Denmark Road in Willesden [It's actually in Kilburn, here. Ed.] will kindly share their understanding of the street and the area with me, please.

My great grandparents, Francis and Fanny Simmonds lived at #77 Denmark Road for more than 37 years, between 1877 and 1914. Francis is shown, living there still on the 1914 Electoral Rolls, although neither were found at this address in 1901 at the time of the census. Fanny died at Willesden in February 1893 attended by her sister in law, Caroline Pearce, from Kilburn. Francis worked as he always had, in the capacity of a carpenter and in 1893 was a carpenter journeyman.

Their grandson, Herbert Guy Fawcett Simmonds, was my grandfather. In 1912 aged 27, Herbert, with wife and first born son voyaged to Australia aboard the SS Armadale which docked in Fremantle on the 4th January 1913, in the middle of summer.

I would very much like to learn a little of the history of Willesden if possible and also, hopefully learn if the original houses in Denmark Road are still standing.

My appreciation would be magnanimous should there be a reader who may assist.

Thank you for your time.

Sincere thanks and best wishes
Jeanne Helm
Western Australia
jeanniehelm@hotmail.com

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Letters

Message to the folks in Britainamerica


The folks in Britainamerica have volunteered to be our native guides in the war on Turr. They have grit. They have steel. Our enemies are illegal noncombatants. Either your folks are with our folks or they're with the enemies' folks. Make no mistake. We are under attack. By killers. We have to use violence against them, and you have to join in with us or else you're with them. To parrotphrase your great former leader, "We need a little less understanding, and a little more violence."

George (aged 57 and 1/2)

Thursday, November 20, 2003

A nice walk around London, with about 200,000 friends

We set out about 1:30 p.m. and made our way to Malet Street, by an unnecessarily tiresome route of Simon's devising. The march was supposed to start at 2 o'clock but it didn't move till about 3. When you're in the middle of the crowd you can't tell how many there are, I merely note that there were people on all sides for as far as I could see. By the time our part of the procession reached Waterloo Bridge it was 5 o'clock and the sun had set.



Oh, did you want some tedious pictures of placards? Here's one made out of pretzels. You ain't nothin' but a Hoondog.

It was nearly 6 p.m. when we reached Trafalgar Square. There were speeches and music. Here's part of what George Galloway had to say: listen (1.29 mb.) Here is a message from the wife of a US soldier set to stay in Iraq till next June: listen (648 kb.) And this is the Ballad of Joe Hill: listen (969 kb.)

Report: F. Mooney. Pictures: O. Lennon. Sound: S. Moribund.
A Creaking Hips production in association with Double Pneumonia.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Labour PM cheerleader for right wing US Republicans

(Heart)Breaking News


The leader of the Labour Party (a socialist party) is calling on people in Britain to come out and support the far right wing US regime leader (Ref: Guardian.) George W. Bush was elected on a technicality by a minority of people who voted in the American presidential election. His opponent Al Gore received a majority of the votes cast. The most unpopular US President in history is also the first to receive a full state visit to Britain, meaning he gets to stay in Buckingham Palace with the present monarch. He has the smug glow of a leader like Hitler, visiting Paris or Prague, and the British leader has the demeanour of a Quisling who knows that his capital city can be crushed on the say so of his master.

Feargal Mooney

Um

I have been shipwrecked on the shores of Um in the ocean of Uhm. The people here are unable to arrange words in such a conventional order as is understood most people by. After many of days here, I fear my own speech is tainted being the contagion by. Unable shortly may I be much as utter word one of sense. Such grammar have they wobbly, sense itself is lost, forgotten, pfffttt! Long so is it heard they sense more no monkey prattle sounds than in their have heads they. More anon, tabibble.

Zoz

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Herald photographer survives fall

Ossian was humming "On a Clear Day" and trying to take a picture from the roof garden of Willesden Herald House, when he lost his balance and fell over the parapet. Luckily he landed in a large holly bush and got away with just a few scratches and bruises. He discovered this picture in his camera when he landed. He says you can see Gladstone Park in it.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Letters

Exercise: Show that Bush & Blair know they are Terrorists


Given that Awe = a form of Fear, and Fear = a form of Terror,
and Shock = Fear + Suddenness ~ (approx. equal) Terror,
now:

   Shock
+   Awe
______
= Terror

Therefore the US and British "Shock and Awe" campaign in Iraq was a Terror campaign,
therefore they are Terrorists,
and given that they condemn Terrorists,
therefore they condemn themselves, from their own mouths.

Q.E.D.

Details supplied
First year high school Maths student
Letters

Those who live by the sword...


If one of the honour guards goes temporarily sane and bayonets George Bush during his forthcoming state visit to Britain, I doubt any jury in the country would convict him. It would be a case of self-defence.

Name withheld by request
St Raphael's, Wembley

Thursday, November 13, 2003

At the flicks

The Meatrix

It's great to see that good old cartoon films are still there for today's kids. This is a cute one I found* about flying pigs.

Ed.

*Thanks to Guardian Weblog

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Ticker tape latest

"Don't bet against George Soros..."

The man who practically broke the Bank of England when he called Norman Lamont's bluff, and who made another killing on the value of the US dollar this year, has decided to use his wealth to achieve what is now "the central aim of his life" - the riddance from the White House of George W. Bush. He says pronouncements of neo-conservatives in the administration now remind him of Nazi, and later Communist rhetoric from his youth in Hungary. He has donated $15 million so far to Liberal campaign groups for what he says is now "a matter of life and death," the November 2004 US presidential election.

Willesden World Desk

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Letters

They're very good at saying Sorry

Is there some memo going around telling everyone to say sorry everytime their incompetence is noticed in the media? There must be another one circulated to Labour MPs telling them to parrot the concerns that focus groups are revealing. Hello? It's the service and the solutions we're paying you for, not for saying Sorry and repeating our own demands back to us. Just do your damn jobs, you shower, or resign. Sorry is no good.

Disgusted, Stonebridge Park

Monday, November 10, 2003

Stop Bush

I don't understand. What has Kate ever done but make sweet records?

Ed.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Autumn snaps

Fireworks

Lighthouse

Landfall at sunset

Ghost bus


Ossian Lennon

Thursday, November 06, 2003

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Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Last postcard from Costa del Blog from William Gibson - and why blogging is incompatible with writing a novel, in his opinion.

Ossian
For the love of Mike

If policemen and women make tea and use cartons with stupid caps that don't work properly, why don't they charge whoever designed the blasted things with wasting police time? While the designers are in court they can ask the judge to take into account piddly motorway services teapots that pour mostly on the table instead of into the cup, lousy vendor machines that mug people, and sundry other counts of obtaining money under false pretences. I never thought I'd come to appreciate the original wing-flap spout as a brilliant triumph of design by comparison with these untested piles of suppurating ordure masquerading as helpful devices.

Victor Meldrew

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Tonight in Willesden High Road

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
Singing songs of joy and peace
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on.

- Joni Mitchell, River (Blue, 1971)

Sunday, November 02, 2003

[gone away, to seek fortune]





Ossian

November

John Clare (1793-1864)

The landscape sleeps in mist from morn till noon;
And, if the sun looks through, 'tis with a face
Beamless and pale and round, as if the moon,
When done the journey of her nightly race,
Had found him sleeping, and supplied his place.
For days the shepherds in the fields may be,
Nor mark a patch of sky— blindfold they trace,
The plains, that seem without a bush or tree,
Whistling aloud by guess, to flocks they cannot see.

The timid hare seems half its fears to lose,
Crouching and sleeping 'neath its grassy lair,
And scarcely startles, tho' the shepherd goes
Close by its home, and dogs are barking there;
The wild colt only turns around to stare
At passer by, then knaps his hide again;
And moody crows beside the road forbear
To fly, tho' pelted by the passing swain;
Thus day seems turn'd to night, and tries to wake in vain.

The owlet leaves her hiding-place at noon,
And flaps her grey wings in the doubling light;
The hoarse jay screams to see her out so soon,
And small birds chirp and startle with affright;
Much doth it scare the superstitious wight,
Who dreams of sorry luck, and sore dismay;
While cow-boys think the day a dream of night,
And oft grow fearful on their lonely way,
Fancying that ghosts may wake, and leave their graves by day.

Yet but awhile the slumbering weather flings
Its murky prison round— then winds wake loud;
With sudden stir the startled forest sings
Winter's returning song— cloud races cloud,
And the horizon throws away its shroud,
Sweeping a stretching circle from the eye;
Storms upon storms in quick succession crowd,
And o'er the sameness of the purple sky
Heaven paints, with hurried hand, wild hues of every dye.

At length it comes along the forest oaks,
With sobbing ebbs, and uproar gathering high;
The scared, hoarse raven on its cradle croaks,
And stockdove-flocks in hurried terrors fly,
While the blue hawk hangs o'er them in the sky.—
The hedger hastens from the storm begun,
To seek a shelter that may keep him dry;
And foresters low bent, the wind to shun,
Scarce hear amid the strife the poacher's muttering gun.

The ploughman hears its humming rage begin,
And hies for shelter from his naked toil;
Buttoning his doublet closer to his chin,
He bends and scampers o'er the elting soil,
While clouds above him in wild fury boil,
And winds drive heavily the beating rain;
He turns his back to catch his breath awhile,
Then ekes his speed and faces it again,
To seek the shepherd's hut beside the rushy plain.

The boy, that scareth from the spiry wheat
The melancholy crow—in hurry weaves,
Beneath an ivied tree, his sheltering seat,
Of rushy flags and sedges tied in sheaves,
Or from the field a shock of stubble thieves.
There he doth dithering sit, and entertain
His eyes with marking the storm-driven leaves;
Oft spying nests where he spring eggs had ta'en,
And wishing in his heart 'twas summer-time again.

Thus wears the month along, in checker'd moods,
Sunshine and shadows, tempests loud, and calms;
One hour dies silent o'er the sleepy woods,
The next wakes loud with unexpected storms;
A dreary nakedness the field deforms—
Yet many a rural sound, and rural sight,
Lives in the village still about the farms,
Where toil's rude uproar hums from morn till night
Noises, in which the ears of Industry delight.

At length the stir of rural labour's still,
And Industry her care awhile forgoes;
When Winter comes in earnest to fulfil
His yearly task, at bleak November's close,
And stops the plough, and hides the field in snows;
When frost locks up the stream in chill delay,
And mellows on the hedge the jetty sloes,
For little birds—then Toil hath time for play,
And nought but threshers' flails awake the dreary day.
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Book early to avoid disappointment

It is unlikely that Sharon's Grave will be touring in Israel. It opens at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin next Sunday.

Halloween Friday Agreement

The C.R.A.P. has put its hacking weapons beyond use, and apologised. The acts took place in a secret location with nobody else present according to The Great Suspendo, an independent observer generously sponsored by the Magic Circle. So it's all settled then - back to work! Let bygones be bygones.

Ed.*

Thanks to all wellwishers who inundated me with card while I was indisposed. I'm now back to my old self. Ed.

Note: "Ed" above refers to Ed Woodward, or Red Woodward for short, not "Ed" as in Editor. Ed.

Bend forward, put your head between your legs, and...

click to view reverse

Everyone in Ireland is issued with a pack like this, containing potassium iodate for use in the event of "a nuclear accident." Why are people in Britain not issued with survival kits such as this - are we expendable? What about some gas masks, chemical suits and gaffer tape while we're on the subject? Free flights to Australia? Well, what do you suggest we do when we are attacked? Die? You just don't care do you, you lot. You so-called "government." Mass slavery steering committee for the plutocrats, more like.

Malachy Dunhill

Malachy Dunhill's views do not unnecessarily represent the views of this paper. Ed.