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Blogjob - internationally noted comment diary

A compilation of some of the entries from our main website NuGgets column since it started.
The latest material may be in the main NuGgets column,, or in another page on this site.
Authors: EM, StO, NG-1 (the boss and editor of the official column,) NG-2, with occasional ideas from others.
All items are copyright; reproduction by any means in any medium is therefore illegal without
permission and acknowledgement of both source and authorship.
Site written in restricted HTML to allow older computers to read it.

Pick your time period:
 year 2003 - first part  
(scuds, T*chmarsh, 2003 predictions, what a Turkey! Miss Quote, Ginger Bush.)
 year 2003 - part two  
(Super Bus, house price boom, SARSational!, remorse and UK law, SARS-3)
 year 2003 - part three  (Olympics? teaching jobs, chimps, GM, arrogFrance, Putin, Patel, Burlusconi, WMD, UNcertain.)
 year 2003 - fourth part  (No Bel Pope Prize, Network Fail, new Tory leader, blown lines, Tbilisi tantrum, Canning's, Wright Bros)
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        world leader


dateline 2003 - part one

Scuds -
   It's not often the Middle-East gives us a laugh these days, but in an unusual burst of Kurdish humour we saw recently, courtesy of the world wide web, was a great faked photograph of how Saddam hides his scuds from the arms inspectors...
   Underground bunkers? No.
   Presidential palaces? No.
   Swamp silos? No.
   The 'photograph' clearly proves Saddam's scuds are mounted on mules. Pass me that pass Hannibal...

T*chmarsh Goes Marsh Twitching, near Nesstown Zoo -(inspired by Ultimate Wild Night and the odd choice of presenter) - by E.M.
    Well known TV personality into microphone; quietly: "We're not allowed over that substantial fence and into the wilderness proper, but here near the lower slopes of the new, warm mountain, on the edge of the remaining marshes, there is a plethora of unusual birds... and, it has to said, a fine alluvial soil with just a hint of salinity which would favour..."
   "Cut, cut, cut darlings... Al, you're doing nature now, not gardens; that's over until you can buy your own company."
   "Oh. But it's perfect for salphidoriums here."
   "Nature... wild, you know... no... oh well think of dear David, ducky."
   "Alright then... Over there are some of the most exotic birds north of the tropics, but here on de marshes beyond the boundary we also find unique and surprising birds..."
   "Cut! Al luvvy, put in your contact lenses: must read the autocue more carefully... Dee marshes; as in river Dee darling."
   "Dee marshes... okay take it again..."
   Later: "That's a wrap, thanks Al; up to the voice-over team now. Now get us out of these boondocks before we get eaten alive by bloody mosquitos!"
   A few days later; voice-over: "Look at that delicate sifting action and purposefully ducking head. It's a bobtailed marsh-tich enjoying the fruits of labour of gullible charley tits marshalled to do the work digging over its..."
apologies to non-UK readers: BBC TV parody

Nimodamus 2003 -
   Last year Evelyn Murray gave us some uncannily accurate predictions gleaned from the old crone of the chip shop, Grandma Nim. This year EM is rather occupied elsewhere - (see Nesstown Zoo saga, amongst other things,) - so it's a team effort and much cut down...

© Infinity Junction dotCom
January - GWB gets fed up of waiting for arms inspectors to brand Saddam a cheat and sends stealth bombers to North Korea instead. He being weak on geography, and his generals keen on collateral damage, Cape Hatteras is re-shaped in the effort and Pamlico Sound becomes North Carolina's first deep sea harbour.
February - EU fisheries ministers discuss imminent collapse of fish stocks around its shores. Misinterpreting the news, Japanese ministers order an increase in emergency suplies of fish stock there.
March - Syria takes over rolling presidency of UN Security Council and orders arms inspectors into the US. GWB designates eight states as 'presidential palaces' and another four as 'isolation hospitals.'
April - The euro rises above the US dollar. The pound slips too. New Prime Minister Edward Heath invokes history: "The pound in your pocket is still worth the same today as it was yesterday. (Terms and conditions apply.)"
May - British tanks and guns in Iraq, seized-up with desert dust, are swapped for abandoned Russian made ones and sold to souvenir hunters.
June - France goes on strike in protest at everything.
July - North Korea melts down. Nobody notices.
August - French holidays start, so strike is called off.
September - Russia complains that Britain has been secretly supplying Iraq war surplus tanks and guns to Chechenya.
October - Syrian souvenir hunters questioned.
November - Rebel tanks and guns in Chechenya break down due to the cold.
December - Russia sends a thank you Christmas tree to the British army for its part in the subjugation of Chechen rebels.

Another Mid-East Insight -
   British reporter in Iraq (with possible war looming) - Football mad Iraqi males' favourite pin-up isn't Saddam, and Britney is banned, so good old 'Bend It Like' Beckham is top seller in posters.
And they are knowledgable: "Manchester United have been crap in defence this year," says one Iraqi. "F*ck Alex Fergusson," says another after his favourite European team was beaten.
How ironic that the two captains of England, Saint Blair and God Beckham, receive such different reactions in the Middle East. Mind you dear young David B wouldn't hurt a fly off the football pitch.
For US readers, we're talking about soccer, the most popular spectator sport in the world.
Manchester United is the world's richest sports club and is managed by Sir Alex F. (As above.)
(Iraq report from UK Channel 4 news - interpretation by Infinity Junction.)

What a Turkey! -
   The anti-war lobby are understandably chuckling to themselves about Bush's rebuff by the Turkish parliament. Actually refusal to allow invasion via their border wasn't done as some noble anti-war stance at all. In fact Turkey's motives are rather dark; they don't want the northern Iraqi Kurds getting any more power and autonomy than they already have. Without American soldiers to protect them, northern Kurds are likely to suffer if and when war starts. Which suits Turkey fine.
   Why the Kurds represent such a perceieved threat has never been very clear to outsiders. Yes Turkey has its own Kurdish population and yes they have been known to commit acts of terrorism in the past. That is at least in part down to the Ankara government's attitude to Kurds. A little more give and take would go a long way. As would have the billions of dollars aid forgone.
   The only good thing about the affair is that President Beligerantbush has been taken down a peg or two and war almost certainly delayed, if not actually stopped.

Miss Quote -
   The BBC, "auntie" as often referred to, as if it were indeed a prim spinster aunt, has always been right at the forefront of technology. True. First to 'broadcast' radio, first to experiment with broadcast television, first to invest in a computer system of any worth, indeed the architypal completely independent but nationally funded media corporation.
   But, god bless them, mistakes are sometimes unashamedly ignored as they experiment with new technology.
   So what? The bloomers when they do appear, fleetingly, can be very amusing.
   Here's an example: a live voice-to-text auto-transcribe system, developed by the 'beeb,' during a report on President Bush's likely reaction to Russian and French veto of a United Nations resolution resulted in the following on-screen text...
   "President Bush sees war against Iraq as a wonderful opportunity to WRITE a lot of sins...." (Infinity Junction put the relevant word in capitals.)
   Does the Beeb's transcriber know something we don't?

Cooking the Books - by E.M.
   Ex UK Foreign Secretary Robin ('Ginger') Cook, in his resignation speech in protest at Iraq war, quoted a theme that has been aired in this column before; namely that hangin' judge Chad.
   War, Mr Cook implied, was entirely the Bush family's fault, because if brother Jeb had run the Florida election fairly, Al Gore would now be president; there would have been more effective diplomacy and much less beligerance.
   If George senior had finished Saddam off in the first place... but he didn't.
   Never much liked old Ginger Nut before, but he can dunk himself in my tea any time he likes now. It seems to me like they want to run America rather like Saddam runs Iraq; as if they own it.
   I hate to be smug, but I told you so.

(Go back to the top?)


2003 - part two

Super Bus
   Watching teletext/ceefax subtitles can be an amusing game - some of these captions are written as the speech is broadcast, thus leaving occasional howlers on screen. Here's a recent one; (there's a slightly older one above too.)
   As quizmaster Chris Tarrant asks, and the main TV screen displays, we realize the question is about ancient history. Our translator thinks otherwise: "Tarquinius Super Bus was the last emperor of which town...?"
   Motown, you might guess.

House Price Boom? No Problem - by Evelyn Murray
   UK house prices up 50% in three years. Young families unable to afford their own homes. Low interest rates, low unemployment, shortage of housing due to demand.
   Simple, force anyone who doesn't have to live where they are to move abroad. Result - tens of thousands of houses for sale, prices drop. NHS old folk bed-blocking stops too. Bolshie French farmers outnumbered in their own countryside. Well they unloaded the immigrant problem onto us, so it's only fair we unload a problem onto them.
(Funnily enough, a week after this was first put up on the website,
a council representative in Kent suggested people working there
should move to France for cheaper housing! - Ed.)

SARSational News
   About 85 years ago there was a virus epidemic, a pandemic in truth: it was so widespread. It killed around 20 million people, in places eliminating over one tenth of the entire regional population. ('Decimation.') It was a mutation; a new strain of a well established virus called influenza. Western history records this as Spanish Flu. Less than a century later, today, we see another menacing mutation of a common virus, in this case a variant of the common cold; corona virus. At present it's called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, although in time this might be replaced with a more scientific name.
   So why the big fuss in the media? It is not as pernicious as AIDS/HIV - SARS only kills a fraction of one percent of those in contact with it. Those who get it eventually gain immunity, unlike AIDS. And unlike AIDS this one will NOT run and run, simply because people do gain natural immunity, leading to the infection pool dropping below threatening levels for all but the least healthy. The only unusual feature of this is the ease with which it can be transmitted; slightly easier than flu.
   It seems ironic, sad really, that so much media effort and attention is being put into what is after all just another largely survivable new disease, when at the same time equivalent energy is not exerted upon the much more dangerous and sociologically ruinous AIDS.
   Is this a form of journalistic racism, or the ugly face of capitalism? SARS is, after all, mainly spread out of China by comparatively affluent people travelling from hot-spots to other well-off and crowded population centres. At the time of writing this comment SARS has killed just over 200; something like 100,000 times fewer people than Spanish Flu did and maybe 20,000 times fewer than some predictions for AIDS in the next few years. In other words, SARS is not a major international threat compared to many other diseases; it pales into insignificance compared to the effects of bubonic plague, Black Death, in the 14th century - that is reputed to have killed half the affected populations. It is even pathetic compared to the regular winter flu outbreaks in Asia and Europe which usually kill far more people than SARS has.
   Perhaps with Iraq out of the way news people are desperate for anything, especially after being pre-conditioned to bio-terrorism. But there is a more sinister possibility for this media distortion - the ugly face of capitalism bit - big drugs companies know they cannot make much profit in the 3rd world where AIDS is most widespread, so they put their money where their wealth is.
   SARs much for equality.
Since the above was written it is reported that SARS is already mutating.
Now this is usually a good thing because for evolutionary purposes a virus which
kills its victims ultimately kills itself as the source of non-immune hosts dries up.
The result most commonly is a less virulent strain.
Good news for both virus and victim.
NOTE 2 - later still, (we're only talking days here,) so-called experts argue;
some say the death rate is 7%, but when you look at these figures they are
journalistic invention based on the the worst cases admitted to hospitals and
not all people in direct contact with known carriers.
Maybe the disease won't, but this story WILL run and run!

SARS Post Script (see above) - The China Syndrome; SARS, Flu, Foot and Mouth - what next?
   After Toronto's attempts to get WHO travel advice changed, two arguments emerged. The sensationalists claiming that SARS kills 7%. The realists still sticking to around 1%. Note these figures are not exactly equivalent: 7% is worst-case for hospital admissions; 1% or less is people having close contact with known sources of the disease.
   Whatever, it has become clear that yet again Chinese practices of livestock keeping need radical update to keep species separated, especially from humans. Hong Kong flu, one of the worse outbreaks of recent decades, was put down to generally unclean and over-crowded chicken and pig farming, combined with open sewerage and the inevitable resulting cross-contamination. Their methods allowing viruses to freely jump between species, encouraging mutation. Thus the human population is left unprotected by natural immunity.
    So when all these thousands of unplucked, unclean, dead chickens find their way into crowded street markets, infection is almost certain.
   And that leads to another worry for farmers; foot and mouth disease. These conditions make its eradication a virtual impossibility.
   Come on China, you claim to be modern, but...

Remorseless Mess - Parole Parsimony
    The High Court of the UK has at last overruled the Parole Board over the case of farmer Tony Martin who shot dead a burglar at his remote farmhouse. Martin, who had been burgled several times before and claimed police were less than useless to him, took the law into his own hands and shot a known local criminal who was ransacking his house. Martin always claimed it was self-defence but he was sent to prison on the 'reduced' charge of manslaughter, rather than the original charge of murder. The case caused great controversy in the UK and generated a high degree of public sympathy for Martin.
   Then some of the most archaic mechanisms of English justice came into play; the Parole Board.
   What drives these people's minds I have no idea at all. They are quite simply contrary, muddled, idiotic even. Drugs dealers, gang murderers, serial anti-social offenders get better treatment than poor old Martin. It all boils down to what the PB see as the prisoners 'attitude of mind.' But if they are no danger to the general public, why does this matter?
    Well, in the perverse thinking of the Parole Board, if you don't admit your guilt AND show remorse, you cannot go free. Medieval!
   Like the case of a mentally retarded graveyard worker who was sent to prison for 15 years after he 'confessed' to killing a woman. He didn't do it. He had been duped by police into signing a statement the consequences of which he didn't fully realise. But, and here's the really perverse bit, because he didn't do it, and kept saying he hadn't done it, he was still in prison 18 years later because the Parole Board decided he was a murderer and had to admit it. Finally somebody realised the injustice and organised a challenge which released him from gaol. The Parole Board took a dim view on that even though there was now some evidence that someone else had committed the original murder.
   In some countries, people like Martin are legally entitled to defend their property by murdering suspected intruders. Viz the case of an Englishman in Florida left stranded at night and going to ask for help at somebody's house. He was shot dead outside the door by the resident; no charges were brought.
   So we come to Tony Martin. In their divine wisdom, the PB refused Martin permission to apply for early release simply because he never showed any remorse.
   The questions have to be asked- if you were awoken by someone stealing from and wrecking your isolated home at the dead of night, and you just happened to be a farmer with a shot-gun, would you or wouldn't you? And if you did stop permanently a hoodlum, how much remorse would you show?

SARS Take Three - you can bet your life on it - by EM
   Professor Roy Anderson of Imperial College London claims SARS has a 20% mortality, which would make it more dangerous than almost all known flu viruses. (I mean I've had flu a dozen times or so and here I still am, I think.) But published figures and generally accepted on-the-ground accounts show a downward trend. Is Anderson a bit out of touch perhaps?
   Professor Stuart Sidell from Bradford University is one of those who talks about mutation causing degradation of the virus, (lessening its impact on humans.) But he also suggests there might be an element of 're-combination' which could make it dangerous again. Is this last suggestion a climb-down in the face of Anderson's claims? ... And just what is this re-combination thing - are these viruses having sex?
   It seems we come up against the scare factor time after time; the media love it!
   Next scare story is the idea that SARS will become endemic in south-east Asia - 'entrenched' as somebody said. So what's new?
   Will SARS ever be the world killer the media love to talk about? 10 to 1 says no. Will it ever kill any more people than flu has? 10 to 1 says not in our lifetime.
   But then if SARS kills you it won't be in your lifetime and I'll have won the bet anyway. Make that 1000-1.

(Editor adds: officially at the time of writing there have been
just over 500 deaths from over 7,300 confirmed cases - that's
a mortality rate of 6.85% - EM's 10-1 odds look pretty safe!)

(Go back to the top?)


2003 - part three

Olympic Dreams - by E.M.
   Turn Again Livingstone, Lord Mayor of London, proposes adding £UK 20 to the household bills of everyone in London for the next five years to finance an Olympic dream.
   The question is why?
   Transport in the UK capital is awful at the best of times, just imagine what several thousand athletes, even more coaches and team officials, umpteen reporters and camera-men, and several million extra visitors would do to traffic, on the ground and under.
   Dream? Nightmare!
   But EM has a cunning plan.
   Move it all to Manchester and change the names so visitors don't realise. Manchester Ship Canal becomes the Thames, Manchester Airport renamed as Heathrow Terminal 6, Manchester University becomes the Houses of Parliament, Crumpsall Hospital is The Tower, and Urmston sewage works becomes the Dome.
   Those foreign johnnies will never know the difference.

What Ever Happened to
   EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION, loudly vaunted by Blah some while a go? 1600 classroom job losses due to lack of funding in England alone and many more at risk. Could it be something to do with spending our cash on a war?
   I think we should be told.
FOLLOW-UP Oct '03 - Figures released by Liverpool University in a study for the NUT
show a much worse situation: 9,000 proper teaching jobs and 12,000
assistant posts were lost this year. The government only admit to 270!

Chimp Off The Old Block - by E.M.
   So Chimpanzee's are 99.4% the same as humans, according to DNA experts. Well, by that token I reckon David Beckham is probably 99.7% the same as George (W) Dubya Bush. That doesn't mean I'd put GWB in the England team. Matter of fact GWB doesn't fit in any of my plans: just not my type.
   Now fit young, rich footballers are another matter. You can have a free kick-around with EM any time you like.
   Tell Posh you're doing an interview with a big cheese. Yum.

Genetically Modified Bush
   Big US corporations, backed up by ultra-capitalist GWB are pushing genetically modified food in a big way at present, not just in Europe where there is much scepticism, but also in Africa, where there is also some doubt.
   Whatever the arguments about food safety and environmental damage, GM's biggest pushers are missing the point in Africa. The big problem is starvation - caused not by inferior crop breeds, but by war, corruption, lack of water supplies and poverty. GM does nothing to address any of these.
   US representatives at various talks keep stressing international obligations as regard to rejecting, or not, GM crops. I'd say the obligation was to help the starving millions long, long before any discussion of the rights and wrongs of GM.
   So US, stop being so pushy! Stop being so greedy!

CAN EXPRESS THEIR OPINIONS OF GM CROPS AT - an independently organised debate

Arrogfrance - by Stew the Oil
   New European constitution; hmm. Maybe, maybe not a good idea, but will everyone ever agree to it? Of all the leaders in Europe, the French, going all the way back to Marshal Petain and including such egotists as DeGaul, Mitterrand and Chirac, win the arrogance stakes hands down. No contest.
   So how come the job of drafting a new constitution was handed to them?
   I feel the ghost of Napoleon entering. Spooky, ain't it?

Putin Things Straight
   After getting at the Yanks and Froggies - a Ruski thought...
   Dour faced Vladimir, once proud to be in the communist KGB, is quoted as saying that he read the theories of Marxism/Leninism and found them superficially attractive whilst he was a teenager, but as he grew older discovered that they were "Nothing but a dangerous fairytale."

Post War Party
   Yeah, well this a late due to the Iraqi Post Office having been hidden away in a bank vault, or something. Anyway some time ago we asked correspondent Evelyn Murray to invite selected guests to the A and B lists for a post war bash; with reasons. We couldn't print most of it, but here's just a few...
   A-list: Co-Lin Powell - sexy name, sexy bloke? He can explore my diplomatic avenue any time he likes! Tony Blah - nah; too righteous and slimy. Cherie, you keep him: you deserve each other! Hugh Phratease - crazy name, but do you feel 'ferry' good after; or is it just a damp squid? Ba'ath time - okay fellas, whose first to scud my back???
    B-list: Chirac - crazy guy... crazy everything. Turkey - yep, it was one. IsRael ready for war - I don't know, ask him. Yasser Arrafat? - no mate, I use thin pinewood shafts and sharp metal points with my bow. Rumsfeld - you squeeze mine and I'll squeeze yours, cheeky boy!
(Ugh! Must be the Drambuie. Ed.)

"The Tide Has Turned"
   At last Professor Meadow's ludicrous theories about infant death and murder have been shown to be the fraud that they are. (High Court throwing out The Crown's case against Trupti Patel for 'murdering' her three infants.) The jury took just 90 minutes after a three week trial to decide that Mrs Patel's babies died of natural, possibly inherited, causes.
   Now the question has to be asked - what about all those other mothers who've been victims of Meadow's apparent vendetta against women and now languish in jail as a result of his invalid evidence.
   Ken Norman, chairman of Portia Campaign, says in his thorough investigative book, The Lynch-Mob Syndrome, time and time again that juries have been misled for years about the true causes of Cot Death. This just proves him right.
(The Lynch-Mob Syndrome is available as
electronic text from

Burlusconi Burlesques - E.M.
   A certain Italian Prime Minister has been mentioned on this website before for his dubious antics both to gain power and to keep it. This takes the garibaldi biscuit though; passing a law to stop the law prosecuting him. What methods he used to manage that doesn't even bear thinking about.
   This is one Italian Job I Caine't take. (Get it?) Pasta la vista, baby. Be it ever so jumble, there's no place like Rome. Etc, etc.
(Ed adds later - looks like it's catching: not all that long after this
B. and then one of his ministers were rather rude to Germans.
And this guy is temporary president of Europe!
Can't see Britain joining the euro zone with him still there.

Meadow Put Out To Graze?
   (Follow up to "The Tide Has Turned," see earlier in this page.)
   A question in the House of Commons in the UK parliament is to highlight possible bias and certain innaccuracy of Professor Meadow's now controversial theories about infant death.
   The question "...deplores the decision of the Crown Proscecution Service to field Professor Meadow in the trial of Trupti Patel; and calls for an urgent review of all cases in which Professor Meadow has given evidence, including those in the Family Court."
   On top of that, Meadow now faces an enquiry by the British Medical Council which could even take away his medical licence.
   This has ramifications in North America too, where his invented syndrome has been cited in child murder trials to help obtain convictions.
   I hope he's well insured...

Indelible Bulk - minority malarkey - by new cultural correspondent Greta Garble
   Despite all efforts the French govenment might think they are making with de-Americanising their culture and society, Hollywood's (crap new version of) The Incredible Hulk looks best bet to bring in most French audiences this summer, by a big margin. As usual French films seem only attractive to the minority.
   Their efforts are reminiscent of the Welsh language lobby much closer to our home. Round here you regularly see abwlances and heddlu cars with blue lit tops. Amazingly, the occupants always speak English. As a resident of North Wales in the past, I can say with some authority that most communities only speak Welsh when an English person is in earshot.
   Well two can play that game. Next time a Welshman walks into my home, I'm going to speak gibberish.
   And to the French government? No point: they understand gibberish perfectly.

Little Miss Muffet
   Prime Minister Muffet sat on a tuffet,
   Fixing laws all in a day
   Then down came a spider that sat down beside her
   And scared Burlusconi away

(Wish somebody would! - Ed).

Weapons of Mass Delusion - ed
   "See that thar boy; it's sure dangerooze."
   "But sarge, it's just a donkey doo, ain't it?"
   "That son is Saddamic mass destruction donkey doo left strategically placed by Al Kidda, the world's most faecetious jokers."
   "Gee sarge, how'd'you know that?"
   "Look carefully boy: it's Got Wobbly Bumps all over it."

Galileo - take 2 - by Stew t-O
   It has been mentioned before in the Infinity Junction NuGgets column about the US being upset about the european 'spy satellite' but now a new slant emerges.
   Quite apart from the US security monopoly being broken by 'eurospy,' the yanks, it seems, are equally concerned about their financial monopoly of detailed space images.
   How very surprising.

War Wounded - E.M.
   For our many overseas readers and even those at home who don't follow UK politics, (well why should you,) many citizens are now revolting, as they say in Whitehall.
   One of the safest Labour seats in parliament has just fallen with a massive 29% swing away from Prime Minister Blah's New Labour policies.
   It's not just the war in Iraq that draws disapproval, although that's a big chunk, but all those right-wing policies- privatisation of public services (which always get worse afterwards,) spending money unwisely (the Dome, idiot IT consultants and computer systems that don't work, the war of course, spin doctors etc.)
   But EM has a cunning plan...
   Get Iraq to declare war on us and it will all be justified. In the flash of a grenade, as you might say.
   At least we won't have to worry about WMD being used on us.

   Quote from an exchange on BBC TV Newsnight (23rd Sept '03) between Jeremy Paxperson (for it is he) and US correspondent Tom Carver:
   P-man: "Is there a clear plan?"
   Meatknife: "No of course not Jeremy: this is the United Nations!"
   Nuff said.

(Go back to the top?)


2003 - part four

VAT (ican) not included * - ed
   Many reports in the press and TV news all across Europe claim the Vatican are snubbed, humiliated, cross and/or surprised that Pope John Paul II didn't get the Nobel Peace Prize. The question that instantly springs to mind is - why should he?
   The winner, Shirin Ebadi, is a lady laywer, judge and outspoken human rights activist in Muslim Iran. Unlike the Pope she has put her own personal safety on the line regularly for a cause both she and the UN believe in. The Pope on the other hand prays and urges peace and goodwill - fine but there's no risk and apparently no effect. The fact is thousands of people publicly urge peace and goodwill, and many more thousands also spoke against the war in Iraq, but they're not put in for a Nobel Prize.
   Many commentators also point out that Karol Waholya, aka Pope JPII, as leader of the Roman Catholic church, doesn't exactly have a brilliant human rights record himself. Shock horror to RCs. Viz juvenile rape victim abortion and condoms to prevent AIDS; both banned and both of which definitely save lives.
   It has been suggested that because the Pope probably won't get another chance to be entered, he should have won. Hang about, this is interesting logic; does that mean that if a singer gets terminal cancer they should be allowed to win the Eurovision Song Contest?
   In their 'taxing' judgement the Nobel committee got it right. Perhaps it's time those Roman Cardinals did a job-swap to learn more of the real world, preferably into an AIDS infested slum area and for at least a whole year with no outside help.
*(Value Added Tax)

Network Fail
   Eat ballast Thatcher!* Network Rail has stopped all external maintenance contracts for British railway lines.
   At last the quasi independent UK Network Rail authority has admitted privatisation, and the enevitable cost cutting involved to satisfy shareholders' greed, has failed.
   The wonder is that it didn't happen much sooner because passengers have been complaining about umpteen failings for years since British Rail was cut up and sold off.
   After a series of high profile accidents, and a hushed-up mass of low profile failures, we now have the long hoped-for proof that privatisation doesn't work, especially not for infrastructure: it costs more than the old, supposedly inefficient services did. Actually it's pretty obvious that when private investors put large quantities of their own cash into a project that they will expect to cream off big profits, at the expense of the tax payer and rail user.
   National bank interest rates were removed from government control some time ago; maybe it's time for the way our tax is levied and spent to be controlled by some politically independent body too. Mmm... That would stir things up a bit! You can imagine those Brussels vultures circling in anticipation of a kill.
   No doubt if you ask Balfour, Jarvis, and the other stranded engineering companies they'll have their own slant on 're-nationalisation.' It's a tough world in big commerce. Who cares? They're gone. Hooray.
* (PM Thatcher started the whole privatisation thing off.
She has a lot to answer for regarding our services)
(EXTRA - EM does it again! Ed. - virtually at the same time EM was penning this, Ballast plc,
a UK public/private finance constuctor, went bust. Remember EM's 9/11 prediction? Spooky!)

   Now that, er, thing, y'know, well it doesn't really matter coz he's gone has gone, UK Tory MPs have decided they can't trust the people they represent and have stitched up a deal to put their own man in charge. Trouble is that man is the original NIMBY. As MP for Folkestone, Howard fought long and hard to stop the channel tunnel messing up North Down scenery near his home.
   Right wing, slimy and self-righteous. Or as Old Mad Maid Widdicome said, 'There's something of the night about him.'
   Mind you, she can talk!

Blown Lines
   In a poll of film fans, the world's most memorable line in cinema history isn't "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world..." etc of 'play it Sam, play it for me' fame, but the simple statement: "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" *
   This was, of course, pre-al-Qaeda.
* (from the original Italian Job.)

Shove Up Nasty
   New Labour, and the fundamental side of the Tory party come to that, might do well keep an eye on the East, not just because of Islamic fanatics, but also because ordinary citizens in some of the 'recently freed' nations are flexing their muscles.
   In Georgia for example, (country not state,) once all-powerful president old Eddie ShoveUpNasty has been given the heave-ho in no uncertain terms for not listening to his people's wishes and responding. ('Peaceful' storming of the opening of parliament in Tbilisi by thousands of cheated, disillusioned voters.)
   Well, how about foundation hospitals, privatisation, etc: people in the UK didn't vote for those.
   All it takes is the armed services not to intervene. Hmm... several army regiments likely to be chopped, not to say the new aircraft carriers, and half our Apache helicopters mothballed...
   Anyone fancy a walk to parliament?
(Ed adds - a few days after this was written Tony Blah's government
announced its 'Big Conversation' with the UK public.
Past experience says this will make no difference at all.)

Cann Do - ed
   One more nail in the coffin of Prof Meadow's reputation today at the Court Of Appeal. The judge ruled that Angela Cannings' conviction for murder of two of her children, largely based on the evidence of Meadow, was quashed on the grounds that it was 'unsafe.'
   Ken Norman in his book The Lynch-Mob Syndrome, published through this website, (details click here,) has claimed this for a long time, and campaigned on behalf of Angela and other victims of Meadowism.
   Now let's see all similar cases automatically reviewed. *
(Since this was written The General Medical Council has announced an inquiry
into Prof Meadow's claims and conduct; it could even find him unfit to practise.)
*(Jan '04 - Lord Goldsmith, attorney general, announced just such a review,
see blogjob 2004.)

You've Lost That Flyin Feeling - 100 years on
   Watching that model Flyer sink into Kittyhawk mud, made one wonder what those old bicylce makers the Wrighteous Brothers would have thought of it.
   Wo-oh baby that sinkin feelin!

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