Now incorporating the Sudbury Hill Times. Getting really wintry, isn't it? Well, autumnal to be more precise. So how are you anyway? ... Sheesh. ... Yeah. ... Oh dear. ... Well, take care. Good to see you. I hope you enjoy the show. And don't forget to turn off your mobile phone. ... Thanks. ... Ow! Bloody hell, that hurt! ... No, no, I'm fine. ... Cheers. Yeah, see ya.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The walls have eyes

A spy tells me The London Silence is available from Willesden Library. When last seen, the copy there had three date stamps on it. I don't know how the library got it, but it wasn't down to me. (You can't prove it.)

Ossian

PM woos the sadist vote

Blair hopes TV "masochism" will win over voters

In one recent speech -- condemned as cheesy by some, applauded as an impressive heart-to-heart by others -- Blair compared his relationship with Britons to a turbulent marriage. 'I understand why some people feel angry not just over Iraq, but many of the difficult decisions we have made. And, as ever, a lot of it is about me,' he said last month. (Reuters)

Nuns marry Jesus, and that's fine, no disrespect to them. But the idea of the British public playing stroppy vicar's wife to the Reverend Phony's gimp is beyond satire. Let him grovel till polling day, then kick him in the ballotbox.

Zoz

McMurder on the dancefloor

diamond geezer

"Los Del Rio - BigMacarena"
"Bobby McFlurry - Don't Worry, Eat Happy Meal"

Diamond Geezer on great form as usual.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005



© Craig

Six months for shooting at the ground, eight months for manslaughter

One law for you

A teacher who opened fire with a pellet gun after "yobbos" launched a campaign of vandalism against her family has been jailed for six months.

[...]

A confrontation with a gang of youths drove her [Linda Walker, 47] to fire the weapon [an air pistol] at the pavement near one teenager's feet on August 14 last year, a court heard.

[...]

In a phone call to the police she said: 'I'm going over to that field over the road, I've got an air rifle and a pistol and I'm going to shoot the vandals that come around here.' Walker's offence carries a maximum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment.


And one law for them

When their victim, who had a water phobia and could not swim, grabbed hold of the bridge railings, the pair prised his hands away, saying "Berry needs a swim" and "Let's chuck him in".

[...]

Two weeks ago the two teenagers were sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court to be detained for 18 months and eight months for manslaughter.


Obviously the judges have their rationale, and they are as good as anybody at rationalising their prejudices, but it does make one think, 'Pity she didn't shoot the buggers, and do the extra couple of months.' I know it's an unworthy thought.

Here's a better report about the teacher's case, in the Independent. Okay, she was in the wrong. But she gets six months, when people are getting away with murder, and the vandals are still out there vandalising.

Zoz

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Oliver Letwin smells trouble

Tory turmoil as rebel fights on

"Oliver Letwin, the shadow chancellor, admitted some Tories consider Howard and himself 'terrible wimps' for not advocating more radical tax cuts."

He knows he's going to lose, he can smell it. Yes, so can we Oliver, we can smell a pompous, lying hypocrite all the way from Willesden.*

*Meaning who? Ed

The monkeys' tea party

To mark its tenth anniversary, Willesden writers workshop announces "The Monkey's Typewriter," an anthology of poetry and fiction. There will be readings by contributors and possibly surprise guests from 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 31st. upstairs at Willesden Library Centre.*

*Carnival attractions courtesy of Gerry Boysey's Human Circus.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

One MP for sale, low mileage, good as new

'We can make common cause with Lib Dems'

"Tony Blair said yesterday that Labour plans to make 'common cause' with the Liberal Democrats to expose Conservative policies in the coming election campaign."

Willesden Herald readers did not vote for Sarah Teather in order to get Bush's lapdog. No deal, no sellout, no way!

Friday, March 25, 2005

From the introduction to New Writing 13

"It's worth pointing out: a lot of what was submitted was dauntingly undaring. On the whole the submissions from women were disappointingly domestic, the opposite of risk-taking - as if too many women writers have been injected with a special drug that keeps them dulled, good, saying the right thing, aping the right shape, and melancholy at doing it, depressed as hell. Thank god for the writers here, then, who refute this strange trend; to name just a few - Nicola Barker's understanding of the strangeness of social structure, Frances Gapper's pier-end eccentricity, Kamila Shamsie's visceral force, Susan Irvine's good aggressiveness of form, Monique Roffey's theatrical panache."

That's the controversial bit from The introduction by Toby Litt and Ali Smith. Are they angry, are they in denial, why do their names sound implausible ... who cares?

Ossian

New Writing Anthology

How to submit work to New Writing 14

The deadline for submissions is 30 June 2005. New Writing 14 will be published by Granta in September 2006.

"We found it hard to understand why writers with nothing to lose but time and the cost of postage were so unadventurous." (Comment on submissions for New Writing 13 by the editors, Toby Litt and Ali Smith)

Ossian

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Lunatic takes over asylum

BBC Director General Bit Colleague 'Like A Dog'

'Before I could say a word he suddenly turned, snarled and sank his teeth into my left upper arm (leaving marks through the shirt, but not drawing blood). It hurt. I pulled my arm out of his jaws, like a stick out of the jaws of a labrador.'

Mike Tyson would be jailed for six months for something like that. But it's not Mike Tyson in this case, it's Mark Thompson. He should have been fired from the BBC in 1988 for biting a colleague. Instead he is now the Director General, and in the past couple of weeks has set about firing thousands of presumably non-psychotic, non-cannibalistic BBC staff.

Zoz

Famous people from Willesden, a short series. No. 4

Simeon Solomon

He's not really from Willesden, but like a lot of other famous people he ended up here. At one time he was in with the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, but he ended as a pavement artist and died in a workhouse. But just look at some of his paintings, they're beautiful. Luckily this link to his Mary Magdalene is too late to be added to Dan Brown's meretricious Da Vinci Code tapestry of drivel. [Dead links. Ed]

Goldsmith under pressure over war advice 'flip-flop'

Times Online

"The document was released yesterday under the Freedom of Information Act, although key sentences were censored - fuelling accusations of a Government cover-up of its vacillating legal line on the war."

Face it, the war was illegal. Arrest warrants should be issued NOW by the International Criminal Court against Blair, Straw and Hoon for crimes against humanity.

Zoz

Mars Express confirms earlier Herald report

National Geographic: "Frozen Sea" Seen on Mars

The European Space Agency's orbiter has beamed a picture back to Earth of an ice floe formation on Mars. We are not at all reluctant to say 'we told you so.' On September 9th, 2003 we published this picture of seaweed on Mars taken from the Willesden Observatory's world-beating "massively redundant array" optical telescopic*.

*Developed partly with funding provided by the Willesden Herald.

Bush decides who's to live and who's to die

Guardian Unlimited Cartoons Steve Bell

The entire US government apparatus is convulsed in a battle to forcefeed a brain dead woman indefinitely, and keep her alive. They don't give a damn how many of their soldiers, British and Iraqis are killed. Bush should be in an insane asylum not in the White House. This is the moron that Blair sold Britain out to. This is the man who condemned more prisoners to death than any other contemporary state governor, and spent an average of ten minutes per case before deciding.

Epitaph on a Tyrant

Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.

--W. H. Auden

That's too good an epitaph in this case, a better one would be, 'Here lies a shameless mass murderer, may he burn in Hell.'

Zoz

Monday, March 21, 2005

Spring words blossom

Official website of Laura Hird

Laura's site promises the "pick of the best new writing and stuff" and a great load of reviews (see reason for saying this, below) and a ton of new short stories, as well as the remarkable Lit Mag Central and lots more besides.

Ossian

They flog horses don't they?

New review of The London Silence

This one is a mixed review, in parts flattering, by Neil Ayres.

Ossian

Lotto rapist released from prison

Sky News

'No one believes he's going to be able to stop himself attacking women,' a police source told the Daily Mirror. 'He doesn't give a damn about anyone or anything. He's the ultimate nightmare.'

He was given "life", he's still a danger, so why are they releasing him after 16 years?

Zoz

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Red Cap father to stand against Blair

Sky News

Former ambulance paramedic Mr Keys, 52, from Bala, said: 'It will be a David and Goliath fight, but Goliath was a Philistine and I think that word sums up my opponent.'

Let's all get behind Reg Keys and teach Blair a lesson he'll never forget.

Zoz

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Free poster for your cell



To celebrate our re-launch, this Sunday's super soaraway 'sden comes with this free poster of our legendary flounder, Red Woodward, fighting alongside the Fidelista in Finchley.

New improved formula! Free!

The super soaraway 'sden suddenly seems even superer. All new layout and fandabidozi giveaway pictures for all. Google gawkers glut your gizzards on our glamourous geewhiz graphics!

Marketing Dept.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Old Bushmills?

Dave Allen dies aged 68

Guardian TV critic Nancy Banks-Smith, writing about Allen in 1993, said he was like a '20-year-old malt. Very rare and very expensive, I hope, and you'd recognise it with a bucket over your head. Sip for six weeks. Savour, don't swig.'

Dave Allen

Reuters.com

'Am I the Irish comedian with half a finger? No, I'm the Irish comedian with nine and a half fingers,' he said, referring to the missing tip of one of his fingers.

Goodnight, and may your God go with you

Willesden's favourite Irishman and all-round comic genius, Dave Allen, has died in his sleep, aged 68. He always ended his hilarious, and religion-lampooning TV shows with a suave, 'Goodnight, and may your God go with you.'

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Poetry anthology update



Some of you may recall the poetry anthology I started trying to produce - it seems a long time ago now. It was going to be called last night's dream corrected after one of the pieces. The likelihood is that the collection will now form a separate section in the new anthology from PretendGeniusPress, called fish drink like us. I hope this might be acceptable to people who submitted work.

Ossian

Monday, March 07, 2005

The security trap - New Labour's gamble on terrorism

The UK government is delighted to offer an unacceptable security bill at this time, because they calculate - with despicable cynicism - that there could be a terrorist outrage before the election. The only security they care about is the security of their seats in parliament, their tickets for the gravy train. The calculation is that a terrorist outrage before the election might turn the electorate against them, as it did in Spain with various complications, but that trapping the opposition into opposing a security bill will acquit the government of responsibility. Somebody should tell people about this, explain it to the public, so that New Labour's cynical gamble on terrorism, security and the election doesn't work.

Zoz

Sunday, March 06, 2005

International labour unions

The solution to the problems of globalization lies in a new generation of labour unions, which will be international. These new unions will have to fight both the capitalists and the old national unions. This is the cause that the anti-globalization movement is searching for. Isn't it?

Zoz

Attacking the Demi-Puppets

Reflections on Literary Rebellion Part I



"From the beginning, by the nature of our organization and our campaign, we've willfully put ourselves last among writers, 'the lowest of the low,' embracing this status. We recruited the most disgraced, overlooked, scorned, alienated, angriest, craziest outcast writers in the nation, desiring those at the bottom, complete underdogs; active outsiders."

Ossian

Asian women writers - scripts wanted

From: "Brent Brain"



"Are you an Asian woman working on a short or full-length theatre script you would like to develop? Kali Shorts is the first stage of Kali Theatre's writer development programme. Selected writers will be able to join the Kali writers' group and receive support in the development of their work."

Ossian

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Review of The London Silence

From: Attacking the Demi-Puppets



"We see [...] not a development into maturity, but a regression from confusion into the comforts of ignorance. This gives the collection a growing impact of depression, as if the world is so overwhelming the character wants to go backward. It's harshly realistic about the fate of young people who don't come from a glowing Cozzens or Fitzgerald background."

Ossian