Now incorporating The Sudbury Hill Harrow and Wherever End Times

Monday, October 30, 2006

Willesden Herald - Podcast 4

Archive Recordings: At the Stop the War demos [Warning: too loud! Ed.]

Some stalwart subscribers to the WH might have heard these snippets before, of speeches at Stop the War demos in 2003, from Tariq Ali (unannounced first speaker), Azzam Tamimi, Jeremy Corbin (Hyde Park, March 2003, shortly after the invasion) and George Galloway (Trafalgar Square, November 2003, during George Bush's sojourn at Buckingham Palace).

Feargal Mooney

* Caution: turn the sound down on your iPod. Ed

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

"Afghanistan war is 'cuckoo' " - General


"Tony Blair's most trusted military commander [former Chief-of-Staff, General the Lord Guthrie] yesterday branded as 'cuckoo' the way Britain's overstretched army was sent into Afghanistan. [...] In a unprecedented show of scepticism towards Blair, he said the Prime Minister's promise to give the army 'anything it wants' was unrealistic."


Sonnet for Dandy

Why should Dandy's obituary not be written
in as serious a manner as for Lord or Lady?
On Staverton Road each noontime he was sittin'
on the grass in front where it was nice and shady.

In the evenings he took his master walking,
a genial man who shouted greetings freely
across the street when he and I were talking,
but Dandy wasn't trusting strangers really.

Black and white and stocky, Dandy had a dour way.
I always said, "He'll bark at mine in a minute!"
And after he'd bark me and my dog on our way,
But truly, I don't think Dandy's heart was in it.

Tonight, I saw his master with a sleek new guide.
My question met a tearful answer, "Dandy? He died."

Stephen Moran

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(Updated June 2022)

Michael Longley

As English as Irish can be (Guardian)

" 'You take your poems seriously,' he instructs, 'but you don't take yourself seriously. What the muse hates more than anything is self-importance. Shakespeare wasn't self-important, was he?'
The Ice-Cream Man, is a lovely elegy for a murdered shopkeeper: 'I got a letter from his mother thanking me for the poem. I treasure that letter. It's worth all the good reviews put together.' " (Guardian)

Collected Poems (Cape, 2006)


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Israeli uranium bomb radioactivity in Lebanon

Independent Online Edition > Robert Fisk

"I saw two dead babies who, when taken from a mortuary drawer in West Beirut during the Israeli siege of the city, suddenly burst back into flames."

Think about that. Here is a country with a history of invading neighbours and using WMD's against them. So when are the U.S. and Britain going to invade Israel?


Friday, October 27, 2006

Cheney endorses torture

Hitler smiles

"Mr Cheney's comments set him at odds with the Military Commissions Act, which bars, under all circumstances, treatment of prisoners that inflicts serious physical or mental pain or suffering."

Britain: Do you want to fight alongside this low-life Cheney, to go down together with him in the annals of tyranny?


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wham, bam, thank you ma'am

We have turned Iraq into the most hellish place on Earth

"British ministers landing in Aden in the 1960s were told always to make a reassuring speech. In view of the Arab insurrection, they should give a ringing pledge, 'Britain will never, ever leave Aden'. Britain promptly left Aden, in 1967 and a year earlier than planned. The last governor walked backwards up the steps to his plane, his pistol drawn against any last-minute assassin. Locals who had trusted him and worked with the British were massacred in their hundreds by the fedayeen." (Simon Jenkins)


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Lullaby of Gaza / Mockingbird


On seeing a picture, not necessarily from Gaza, of an armed soldier hiding in a doorway, with two children in the street nearby, "unicef193-0634 / betty press"

Crazy paving, crazy wall,
Concrete floors. When curfews fall
F-sixteens will come to call.
Rocket bye baby, the cradle will fall;
Down will come gunmen, mothers and all.

Iron shutters, iron gates.
Out of sight, a soldier waits
On girl and toddler, under eights.
The elder with her friend debates
Oblivious to their future fates.

Not the chosen, not the just,
They are children of the dust,
When hovels with no papers must
Be razed in order to adjust
Collateral in a stateside trust.


Hush little baby, take your rest;
Papa's gonna buy you a suicide vest.

And if that suicide vest don't blow,
Papa's gonna make you a bomb to throw.

And if that bomb won't kill someone,
Papa's gonna get you a tommy gun.

And if that tommy gun goes wrong,
Papa's gonna build you an atom bomb.

And if that atom bomb won't blast,
Papa's gonna make you a plague to cast.

And if that plague turns back on us,
Papa's gonna buy you a house of dust.

And then before the sun goes down,
You'll look sweet on each wall in town.

Stephen Moran

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Author's note: When I was writing the second one I forgot that I already had one called "Lullaby of Gaza". So it became a series (of two). S.J.M.

Update: Included in "Day of the Flying Leaves - Selected Poems" (Amazon/Kindle, 2021)

Arrivederci Roma

U.K., Ireland Will Restrict Immigration From Bulgaria, Romania

"Romanians and the European Commission expressed disappointment with the decision, saying countries should make a bigger effort to allow workers to flow freely within the union."

You didn't think Zoz would be afraid to say what the rest are thinking, did you? The eastern Europeans won't even allow the Roma to move freely in their own countries. They have virtual apartheid. Let's bring them all here and they can fight it out with the Irish travellers. No?


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Time for walkies?

US 'cannot stay course' in Iraq (BBC)

"His Master's Voice" by Craig © 2006

YouTube favourites

Back to the future?

Michael J. Fox talks to Katie Couric about research and that smartass Limbaugh


U2 and Green Day / The saints are coming

Music from the concert to reopen the Superdome in New Orleans, and a video ironically linking war with flood relief.


YouTube is not all fun and games, there are some serious videos too, but you probably didn't come here for those.

Free Running

Bear with it. After about 2 minutes this becomes one of the most amazing, scariest and frankly worrisome things ever. Do not try this at home.


Ben takes a picture of himself every day

Don't mind the title, this is really a send-up. Funny, and so fast and complete it raises the question "Why bother to watch 100-minute films?"



Yes, Japan. It's either mind-numbingly boring and pointless or absolute genius.


A message from Chad and Steve

You'd be laughing too, if you'd just been handed the equivalent of a billion pounds for your website. So young too. They crack-up on "Two kings have joined together".


Check back for updates.

What goes around

Israel admits using chemical weapons.

"None of the British media is carrying this story." (Lenin's Tomb)

They are now:

Israel admits it used phosphorus weapons (Guardian)

Israel admits phosphorous bombs used in Lebanon (Independent)


Saturday, October 21, 2006

The missing links

The complete works of Charles Darwin

Why is it that other newspapers never give you the link you want, are they afraid that you will click it and never return to their boring websites? Above is the link to the marvellous new complete works of Charles Darwin online in both text and image form.

The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud (no sign of the rest of his 23 volumes?)

Relativity by Albert Einstein

Nearly everything else by everybody else ever, including that chap "Shakspere" and God.

Classic short stories in a beautifully readable format. Aladdin's cave was a car boot sale by comparison.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Willesden short story competition

Win a mug!

It's back, and this time it's impersonal.


Annual short story competition - announcement

Update 2007 results announced

The Willesden Short Story Prize 2007

Prize: Ed's Big Ugly Mug1 special edition inscribed "The Willesden Short Story Prize 2007" and the option, if you choose, to read or have your story read as part of the Radio Free Willesden podcast series. Not forgetting immortality.

The Herald is honoured to announce that local author Zadie Smith has graciously agreed to adjudicate again this year.


There is no theme and no word limit other than our editorial team's variable attention span. If you can hold their attention you deserve a prize. They have read a lot of great short stories and want to read as many more as possible. If your entry is not a short story they will know, so don't send a novel. If it's a chapter from a novel, don't tell us - it should stand alone. If it stands alone, we don't care whether it's part of a bigger work, but we don't want to know beforehand.

Closing date: December 24th, 2006. The winner and those who were short-listed will be notified by email early in the new year. Winner and shortlist will be announced simultaneously.

Please send your entry by email to as attachments in either Microsoft Word or RTF format.

It is important not to include your name with the text of your story, but please do include it in your accompanying email. Pen names are acceptable but we would like to have a real name as well.2 Anonymity will be maintained, if required, with the help of St. Jude and the good judgement of the bartenders of Willesden. Your details will not be used or shared with anybody for any other purpose.

Entries must be in English, your own original work and previously unpublished. We're not worried about previous workshop versions lying around somewhere, but blogged and ezined stories are considered published. Suggestion: cunningly delete them from online before sending them in.

This year it's only one entry per person, please.

Copyright remains with the author at all times, of course.

We reserve the right to withold the prize if entries of a sufficient standard are not received.

This is a genuine competition. No purchase required, as they say. Entry is free and open to all.

The results will be announced here in The Willesden Herald and on several other websites, and the title winner of the Willesden short story prize 2007 will be yours.


There is no official anthology linked to the competition but short-listed entries may be considered for inclusion in "New Short Stories", an occasional anthology planned for inauguration next spring. It will be entirely optional, thus enabling you to preserve the unpublished status of your story, if that is your choice.

Where are they now?

Joint winner for 2006, "Secure" by Mikey Delgado was subsequently published by Guardian Online (here).

The other joint winner, "Dodie's Gift" by Vanessa Gebbie also won another prize (under a different title) and has been published by Cadenza magazine. The same author has won or been second in numerous short story competitions, as well as inconsiderately beating the Herald's own spy at the Small Wonder short story slam on the clapometer. [Sounds painful. Ed]

One of our short-listed authors, Nuala Ní Chonchúir, was long-listed along with Alan Bennett and others for the 35,000 euro Frank O'Connor prize for her short story collection "To the World of Men, Welcome" along with the eventual winner, Haruki Murakami.

January 2007: "Sasquatch" will be included in Tao Lin's collection "Bed" to be published by Melville House in April 2007. (More)

The Cone of Silence

Every entry received is acknowledged by return email. If you do not receive an acknowledgement, your entry might have been blocked wrongly by email-filtering software. Alternatively the acknowledgement might have fallen into your bulk email folder.

Please enquire if you have not received an acknowledgement after 48 hours. If you cannot get a response from stories, there is an alternative email address, see above right "Letters / Submissions".

Feargal Mooney

1 Rare. Very few in existence. The first is in the possession of Red Woodward (here seen drinking Irish Tea).

2 It would be a good idea to include in your email your name, address [optional], the name of the story you are submitting and pen name, if applicable. For short-listed entries full details may be requested, at the editorial team's discretion, to verify. Ed

Updated: 2006: November 1st, 13th, 21st, 29th. 2007: January 19th

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ruth Kelly

Of closets and cabinets

"When she was made Education Secretary there was great excitement in my house. I didn't know she was a religious fundamentalist then, I'd only seen her picture in the paper and it had sent my gaydar pinging off the scale. I burst through the front door. 'They've done it,' I cheered. 'They put a big old out-lesbian in the Cabinet.' " (Froosh Bamboo)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

On poetical correctness

I've broken my rhyming machine;
Whatever can it signify?
I've injured my assonance also,
Which used to dance the samba.

Everything comes out free verse;
Is this a step forward or a setback?
All alliteration also left me of late
And metaphor has met a similar end.

I fell in love the other day;
Naturally she ran a mile.
I couldn't think just what to utter.
She must have thought I was a looney.

Don't even talk about rime riche!
That's another son-of-a-gun.
If metre goes as well,
I will truly be in a place of eternal torment.

Stephen Moran

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De Luderamon shakes on Herald contract - sources

Proinsias De Luderamon to be new anchorman, according to sources in Radio Free Willesden tonight. The former EIEIO primetime star has agreed a contract to front RFW's proposed new flagship series "Please, Please, It's Me".

Noël Knowall

Monday, October 16, 2006

Radio Free Willesden - through the night

Episode 3: Pillow Talk by Hedley Dandridge* (Apologies for the sound quality.)

A mysterious message on an answering machine turned out not to be from Stephen Hawking after all, but from the Tailgate Vigilante, Hedley Dandridge, who shares his thoughts with us tonight here on Radio Free Willesden.

Unfortunately, not all of us can understand Mr Dandridge's speech as well as the staff at Broadmoor, so to help you follow his words here is a transcript**.

Noël Knowall

Subscribe to Radio Free Willesden in iTunes (broken link)

Radio Free Willesden's page in the iTunes podcast directory (broken link)

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* AKA Stephen Moran
** Updated: 3 August 2023

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A Fool to Myself (fragment from a work in progress)

'The official autobiography of Eddie "Red" Woodward'*

Chapter 1 - Out of my Pram

O Boyle, beauteous Boyle, where thy hills all gang green
And thy braes 'ere were beauteous as well,
In thought I amend to the cross there and bend
My two knees and my head down to pray.

("O Boyle, Beauteous Boyle" Herb Shapiro)

I wish I could start my story with a song like that but alas! I wasn't born in Boyle. I was born in Dublin, dirty and dear (especially now that the euro's here). My first memory is of biting the fat finger of some nosy oulwan poking me in my pram. Little did I know then that I would spend the happiest years of my life poking nosy oulwans myself.

To say we were dirt-poor would be an insult to dirt. My mother scrubbed the skid-marked and soggy underpants of priests for the whole arsediocese of Dublin, so our one room home on the third floor of a tenement in Gardiner Street always smelled of shit and religion.

[Red, put something in here about the following: gaslight, fanlights, pyramids of horse dung-balls [ooh Ambassador, you do spoil us! Red], clipclop, cobblestones, ten for a penny the plums, good afternoon, your humble servant, mangles, privies, paraffin lamps, complete absence of television, more fun with a cardboard box than with a gameboy, widows, twenty-child families, velvet tablecloths, vote for De Valera, Larry Gogan etc. Feargal]

* With Feargal Mooney

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Willesden Herald acquires Apple

Today we extend our service to the iTunes podcast directory, Radio Free Willesden [broken link] reports. According to Chief Assistant Nerd Moribund, it's looking "way cool". In case you cannot receive iTunes on your radiogram, here is a picture [broken link]. Standby for further announcements.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Herald security tests nuclear dog

Intruders beware, Zoltan guards the grounds of Herald House.

The fearsome creature even drinks viciously.

Here he is seen training to bust illegal water sprinklers. (Note: this was before the sprinkler ban.) If his handler hadn't called him off for his own safety, he would never have stopped.

They're laughing

A video message from Chad and Steve

The founders of YouTube in good form after receiving about a billion pounds* from Google for their business, which makes no money, only employs about 70 people, and which they started less than two years ago using their credit cards for finance. Got to hand it to them.

* See that Poorboy?! That's the sort of money you'll have to produce! Ed

Willesden Herald short story prize update

Slightly confusing but honourable mention in the latest Asham Award news*, which I think mistakes the Creative Writers' short story contest (announced below) for the Willesden Herald short story contest, which has not yet been announced. Will it happen this year? Nobody knows.

Class of 2006

Nice to see Nuala Ní Chonchúir long-listed for the 35,000 euros Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award for her short story series "To the World of Men, Welcome". It was in good company in the competition, which was eventually won by Haruki Murakami.

Another one of the Willesden Herald short-listed authors has almost (not quite yet) got a bidding war going for his forthcoming book. Not much more I can say about it, but great things are expected.

Noël Knowall, Arts

* What do they mean, "It's not a newspaper!" Feargal can you check with Crapstone Bumwilley Scrotum Scrotum and Haversack, I think that might be actionable. Red

Monday, October 09, 2006

Google eyes Willesden Herald acquisition

Internet search engine Google has bought top video entertainment site YouTube for almost £1bn in stock

Google today continued its manoevres aimed at a takeover of the Willesden Herald, by buying YouTube the day after we started using it. Previously they bought Blogger for the same reason.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Gone with the wind

The pear tree outside Herald House has been gone for a couple of years, martyr to the honey fungus, but it still lives on YouTube.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Radio Free* Willesden presents...

For one night only: Celtic Symphony

From the rooftop terrace of Trellick Tower, we bring you another test transmission from the 2WR transmitter, our second United Nations defying heavy water experimental podcast, tonight starring Dublin's musical pride, Celtic Symphony. Don't miss the end of the track, where there is a short "interview" with the band. Radio Free Willesden podcast second episode: Margaritaville.

The story so far: somewhere between London, Dublin and Acapulco there is a missing salt shaker. Nobody can find it because they think it's a religious fanatic, not realising that it's simply a salt cellar.

Subscribe to Radio Free Willesden in iTunes (to get it on your iPod)

Visit the Celtic Symphony website

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* Cruets extra

Friday, October 06, 2006

Straw is right

Straw 'opposes all Muslim veils'

"'Communities are bound together partly by informal chance relations between strangers - people being able to acknowledge each other in the street or being able pass the time of day,' he said."

People can wear anything they like, but they should show their faces, except when there is a medical reason for covering up. A conversation between one person whose face can be seen and one whose face is hidden is unequal and unfair. It's horrible to see a man in Edgware Road leading a group of black shapes with their faces completely masked.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

That's a strange siren

Beijing 2008

"A brochure acquired by Sky News reveals details of China's new execution buses now operating across the country. Fitted with lethal injection equipment they can deliver on the spot executions." (Sky News)

Our poor capitalist people have to make do with mobile libraries.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Barabbas or Mrs Haverty - you decide

I wash my hands of them. It seems we're to execute a podcast serial and you can either have the diary of Mrs Haverty, "famous ex-Marxist, Opus Dei harridan", or the selected works of Lyall Mogadon, featuring anthropomorphic descriptions of street furniture.

Feargal Mooney

That wasn't the week, was it?


Regarding your recent test broadcast* "from the 2WR transmitter on the top of Trellick Tower", if that* is the best you can do you might as well jump off there instead of broadcasting any more episodes. I remember the real Lord Hawhaw and he was much funnier than your impressionist.

Mr A. D. O'Gram, Daventry

* In association with the Enamel Information Council of Britain and Mrs Haverty International, Clerical Outfitters and Nylon Factors (UK) Ltd.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Radio Free Willesden podcast*

Willesden Calling

From a secret location. They'd like to shut us up. They'd like to shut us down. But in the words of the immortal Al Jolson, "You ain't heard nothing yet!" Unlicensed, uncensored, unshutuppable, Radio Free Willesden.

Sponsored by Mrs Haverty International
Clerical Outfitters and Nylon Factors (UK) Ltd.

  • Subscribe to Willesden Herald podcasts in iTunes [broken link]

  • Willesden Herald's page in the iTunes podcast directory [broken link]

  • Feed for other podcast software
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* Featuring Harry "Twitcher" Lemon on swanee whistle