The first post of the month arrived with a mailing from Stockport Council described on the front as a "REPLACEMENT VOTING PACK". Fine, only what was it replacing? Because we never received an "ORIGINAL VOTING PACK" for the replacement to replace.
At long last, the former Fruit Bowl has reopened under its new management, its new layout and its new name! (But aren't the spuds an awful price? Ed.)
Super Thursday? Not in Romiley. Universal postal voting has knocked the stuffing out of this month's elections. The competitors haven't bothered to deluge us with election literature as they have no idea whether their bumph will arrive before the punters post their ballot papers.
The motorists who make pointless journeys through Romiley are advised to give us a miss for the moment. The council will have the road up in the centre of the village until November.
Bill Clinton has applied for associate membership of Romiley Literarcy Circle on the strength of his autobiography, which was published this month. But the book's so bleedin' boring that the Membership Committee had to tell him to forget it!
"Me, too!" politics brings bogus choice to Romiley
Always eager to jump on a bandwagon, Stockport council's ruling Triv-Dems have decided to give the customers a choice of places to cross the road in the centre of Romiley village. At the cost of thousands of Council Tax-pounds, more red knobble-tiles have been insinuated into the ruined pavements and the customers now have the choice of crossing the road at the original crossing point or 10 yards away.
BlackFlag News would like to offer its readers a chance to read this work by one of Romiley's premiere authors.
Category : Crime & Commerce, mid-1990s
Naturally, Tuesday June 8th started off with enough cloud about to reinforce the native pessimism of the experienced observer of astronomical events in Romiley. But the Sun did eventually boil off the hazy, high cloud and find its way into gaps between the lower ones.
Even so, the event was entirely missable because Venus passing in front of the Sun isn't something anyone would notice in the way that an eclipse of the Sun by the Moon is something you'd have to be deep in a dark cave not to notice.
Anyone trying to see the transit using a conventional eclipse viewer of aluminized plastic film or over-exposed photographic film was out of luck. The tiny dark spot that was Venus 1/900th of the area of the solar disc wasn't big enough to be visible to the average naked eye. A pinhole in a piece of card was similarly ineffective in producing an image big enough to show anything.
The images above were produced using binoculars by projecting the sun's image into the shadow of the binoculars on a large piece of card. A large card was necessary because we didn't have a clamp and holding heavy binoculars steady is no easy job.
The images are inverted, which is why Venus; the tiny dark blob; is seen at the top-right of the pictures rather than the bottom-right. They were captured with a digital pen camera of the type used by members of Romiley Arts Federation to record the history of Romiley's new lamp posts [see the RAF website, link below].
... And the next thing you know, the alleged news meeja were going on about the cost of space tourism dropping from the $20million, which Dennis Tito and Mike Shuttleworth paid the Russians for trips to the ISS, to the price of an average package holiday.
It's difficult with the steady diet of WW II on television; particularly on BBC 2 at Christmas; but observant readers will have noticed that the 60th anniversary of D-Day arrived at the start of this month. Complaints about the arrangements for the ceremonies in France seem to be the dominant issue.
Listening to some Labour person called Dunwoody sounding off on Radio 4 against fuel protestors, one was left wondering what was the point of giving her the air-time. Nobody in the protesters' camp was likely to be swayed by her strident complaints. So it seems likely that she's just an addict to the sound of her own voice and she enjoys playing the victim of stroppy customers.
The BBC is still the Bliar Broadcasting Company at heart when it comes to Europe. The Centre for Policy Studies has been monitoring Radio 4 and TV news programmes, and it has found that the political views of people interviewed show a consistent 60-89% bias in favour of the 'hand more power to the EU' lobby.
200 truckers staged a protest drive through the centre of Cardiff to let Vice-Prez Bliar know that promising to 'look again' at this September's fuel Stealth Tax didn't impress them.
Not Sorry : David Kay of the Iraq Survey Group thinks Vice-Prez Bliar is 'delusional' if he really believes there are WoMD still to be discovered in or around Iraq. In fact, Mr. Kay thinks the Vice-Prez should be apologizing for the lies already told about Iraq's non-existent weapons rather than coming out with more of them.
Sorry : The Sunday Post, Scotland's favourite newspaper, gave Vice-Prez Bliar a lesson in apologizing to the customers on D-Day + 60 years. After printing the same Oor Wullie and The Broons two weeks running, the Post gave its customers a double helping of Scotland's favourite characters as the apology.
Good news for Savers again this month with interest rates up ¼% to 4.5%.
Yet another fine mess
After the Millennium Dome, the foot & mouth fiasco, bogus WoMD and the Iraq war, the bogus asylum-seeker & illegal-migrant shambles and the postal voting chaos, New Labour was forced to admit yet another costly catastrophe this month. UKeU, the government's online university, was closed down after wasting £62million of taxpayers' cash. Its architects predicted that it would attract hundreds of thousands of customers. Just 900 actually signed up to an enterprise based "more on optimism than market-led judgement".
Lots of Queen's Birthday Honours for the Bliar cronies who outed the late Dr. David Kelly and then sought to draw a veil over Vice-Prez Bliar's part in the whole dishonest mess.
Who says New Labour is the no-fun party!
After its success with cannabis, the Home Office would like to make prostitution legal. Elsewhere, Culture Sec. Tessa Jowell wants fruit machines to offer £1million jackpots to the punters and Health Sec. John Reid wants poor people to be allowed to smoke themselves to an early death without being drowned in disapproval.
The Party of the Moment
The UKIP seems to have thrown a satisfactory scare into the main political parties by its performance in the European Parliament elections. Their number of MEPs has risen from 3 to 12, the public has told Vice-Prez Bliar if he won't listen, they're not going to vote for him. And UKIP has changed its tune on Europe.
How does a copper get on the fast track to becoming a chief constable?
The government is reported to be well on track for abolishing the public library system within the next 20 years. Putting the Department of Culture, Media, Sport & Fisheries in charge of the job has been a great success, say those planning to take over the vacant buildings when they are no longer needed to house books.
When the Iraqis have managed to kill one another to extinction, can our troops come home?
"No Room! No Room!"
Native bird species are being crowded out of the British Isles by parrots. The 'experts' say that parrots have been escaping from captivity since Victorian times and breeding successfully in the wild. The current rate of population growth is estimated at 30% per year and there are expected to be 100,000 of them around by the year 2010, which is bad news for owners of vineyards. Parrots are a protected species and the ravening beasts can gobble enough grapes to reduce wine production to 10-20% of the pre-parrot level.
What housing shortage?
The government rented thousands of houses on 3-5 year contracts as parking places for asylum seekers. Then it drove the more bogus asylum seekers out of the system. Result 25,000 houses standing empty at an annual cost to the taxpayer of £100million and the government doesn't have the wit to park someone else in them.
If Princess Di's Ditch cost £3.6million, they must have spent at least £3.5million on lunches talking about it and the rest on actually building it.
Because the number-crunchers at the Treasury have calculated that enough people will croak between 65 and 70 (and not require a pension) to make the state pension affordable.
Of course, it could be argued that the government wastes more than enough taxpounds to double the state pension right now, but try getting that sort of admission out of the Mugger and his cronies.
Ructions in Downing Street
The Mugger is getting bent out of shape over a forthcoming book which portrays him as pushy. And Vice-Prez Bliar isn't happy because he's shown up as easily pushed. Derek Scott, sometime economic advisor to the V-P, got the cold shoulder and the old fish-eye from No. 11 Downing Street when he worked for No. 10. So he's not inclined to pull any punches in his 'serious book about the politics and economics of Europe' which just happens to include accounts of a lot of ass-kicking contests between Vice-Prez Bliar and the Mugger, most of which the V-P lost!
Actually, chaps, what we really want is the politicos to stop buggering about with the NHS. We don't need New Labour lying to us about the arbitrary targets which it achieves on the basis of fiddled data. We don't want jobsworth bureaucrats abolishing sterile procedures and other essentials on cost grounds.
Booze Is Brilliant!
A medical advisory panel has warned the government that 24-hour opening of pubs will cause serious damage to some customers' health. But this advice has been ignored. The police have warned that binge drinkers will turn city centres into violent no-go areas. But this advice has been ignored. There are taxes to be raised from extended pub opening; from both excise duty and VAT as well as company profits, and with New Labour, "It's all about the money!"
Bad news for the dentally challenged
If you're planning to pull your fillings out by eating lots of sticky toffee or break a tooth badly enough to need a crown DO IT NOW!
25% of all sick notes are bogus that's 5 million per year. Does this make the British world-class sickie skivers?
10% of the people who go to GPs are health tourists who are not entitled to use the NHS and who are stealing from the British people by doing so. Which means that the NHS is perfectly entitled to 'poach' staff from overseas to meet its obligations to the people who are paying for it. Amazing what you can justify by assembling unrelated facts.
He won't admit that Iraq had no Weapons of Mass Deception but he has retreated as far as a belief that proof will be found that Saddam Hussein had a 'complete determination' to get some. The official reason for going to war in Iraq has now been changed from 'disarming Saddam' to unseating him for 'humanitarian reasons'.
"The UK's Red Lines for the EU are safe with me."
There is no need for a European Public Prosecutor to control investigations across national borders, we're dead against the idea and we're definitely not going to have one.
Oh, all right, then.
"Vice-Prez Bliar says he's going to win the referendum on the EU constitution."
Vice-prezidential crony Paul Drayson did extremely well out of his 2 cash bungs to New Labour, and Health Sec. John Reid has been twisting arms furiously to keep the details secret. In exposing the whole sordid story, the parliamentary ombudsman has won a rare victory over this sleaze-ridden Labour government.
Derby City Council reckons school trips and outdoor events should be cancelled if the weather looks like being sunny. Some jobsworth is worried that the kids will all get skin cancer and their parents will sue the council.
No Cake By Order! Meanwhile, in Wiltshire, the head of a primary school has banned cakes from fund-raising events in case they give the customer food poisoning, even though the expert opinion is that cake is least likely to poison anyone.
Clowns in Rochdale
Officers of Rochdale Council told taxi drivers that they couldn't fly English flags on their cabs because the flags are advertisements, which are not allowed under the terms of the taxi-operator's licence. When asked which product the flags are advertising, the clowns had nothing constructive to say. So the taxi drivers intend to keep flying the flag and Rochdale's councillors are quickly putting distance between themselves and the clowns.
Brain-fade in Biggin Hill
Five litter bins in Biggin Hill, Kent, used to overflow regularly because Bromley council didn't empty them often enough. Not any more they don't, because the council has solved the problem by removing the bins. A spokesman for the council seemed to think binless people would act responsibly and take their litter home.
Tackling crime is the EU's lowest priority
Lancashire Constabulary applied to the European Regional Development Fund for a grant to help put extra police patrols on the streets in the seaside town of Morecambe, a high-crime area.
Constitutional Affairs Secretary Lord Falconer has called Johnny 'Two Jags' Prescott's experiment in postal voting "something of a success". The government's failure to meet its own deadline of putting voting packs in the hands of the customers by June 1st doesn't matter because the delays were due to 'technical issues', which seem to have the same quality as 'Acts of God' as far as ministerial responsibility goes.
Postal Voting What was it for?
To boost the flagging Labour vote in its traditional areas in the North & Midlands by making it easier for lazy voters to participate. And also to make it easier for party activists to collect up ballot papers and fill them in the right way.
The Outcome : based on the results from 165/166 councils, Labour lost 464 seats while the Tories, Libs, UKIP and BNP gained a total of 400 seats. So where did the other 64 seats go?
Postal Voting Where did it get us?
A quick survey as the last of the voting was being completed (and postmen all over the 4 areas affected were quietly dumping sacks of mail in their usual oubliettes) came up with:
Mr. Reagan became Mr. Prez in 1980 [top picture], denying Jimmy Carter a second term in office. He was elected via a new political phenomenon Reagan Democrats, who abandoned their party of registration to cast a personal vote for a Republican.
Prez Reagan was known as the Great Communicator because he could deliver his lines convincingly and with humour. He survived an assassination attempt within the first 3 months of his presidency and he went on to establish strong bonds with the UK and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's governments. He is credited with playing a major part in the collapse of Communism by frightening the Soviets with an arms race which they could not afford and then talking arms-limitation with Prez Gorbachyov to let him get reforms going.
Alternatively, there was the Iran-Contra scandal and the views that Prez Reagan almost frightened the Soviets into a shooting war with his sabre-rattling and the Soviet Union would have collapsed anyway because the system was corrupt and run by spivs and it got into a war it couldn't win in Afghanistan [cf Prez Bush and Vice-Prez Bliar in Iraq].
Within 2 years of telling Prez Gorbachyov [lower picture] that the Berlin Wall had to go, both Soviet communism and the Wall were history; as was Prez Reagan after serving his two terms. The final decade of his life was spent in the black pit of Alzheimer's disease under the ever-protective care of his second wife, Nancy [top picture].
Jennings, and his pal Derbyshire, were 11-year-olds out of the same box as Billy Bunter and 'Just' William Brown, and their adventures were essential reading, and listening, for the generation of children brought up after World War II.
From this month on, smoking is prohibited in Norwegian bars and restaurants. Which tends to be good news for romantics as chatting up of exiled fellow smokers in alleys and doorways usually takes a steep upturn when such a ban is imposed.
Stab in the back for head spook
Prez Bush ordered the CIA to find a reason for war with Iraq. The CIA gave him Saddam's vast arsenal of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the British 'Intelligence' services backed them up with Alastair Campbell's help. And now the war's out of the way, apart from some minor tidying up, the head of the agency has been obliged to quit.
Getting what you wish for?
Athens bust a gut to get the 2004 Olympic Games. The price of this particular ambition is a decade of debt for the Greek people. That's how long the experts reckon they'll take to pay off the deficit from the games thanks to the ballooning costs of construction and counter-terrorism measures. There's a lesson here for the headbangers who want to hold the 2012 Olympics in London. But don't expect this government and the others to learn it.
Vatican holds Hutton Inquiry on Spanish Inquisition?
Encouraged by Vice-Prez Bliar's success in rewriting history on what happened to Dr. David Kelly and why we went to war in Iraq, the Pope has sought Mr. Bliar's advice on whitewashing the Spanish Inquisition and similar organizations, which hounded heretics in the Catholic Church's area of influence.
Legal, indecent and untreated
Doctors in the USA are fighting back against their persecutors. They are refusing to treat lawyers and their families as pay-back for all the frivolous malpractice cases brought against doctors by the greedy legal trade. The doctors reckon that they are fulfilling the terms of their Hippocratic Oath if they offer emergency care only
Big bang in New Zealand
People often accuse New Zealand of being the most boring place on the planet. But things got quite interesting for Brenda and Phil Archer of Aukland this month when a grapefruit-size lump of rock crashed through their roof. Experts reckon that the meteorite hit the Earth's atmosphere at ten miles/second but it had slowed to a mere 340 mph when it crashed into the Archers' home. The lump of rock is worth about £5,000 and a 'scientist' apparently told Mrs. Archer that she has to keep it in her oven at 100 deg.C to keep it in good condition!
Computer viruses branch out
Mobile phones are becoming smart enough to attract the attention of the people who write computer viruses. The latest of the phone viruses, Cabir, attacks only really expensive models and disguises itself as part of the phone's security software. It uses the Bluetooth system to send itself to other mobiles and renders the phone inoperative while doing so. The virus doesn't attack information stored in the host phone but it does run down the battery while it is seeking to reproduce itself.
It's all very well for the British government to pass laws saying we have to love foreigners and not discriminate against them, but it's about time they were challenged on human rights grounds. The government has no right to force us into the company of people with unfortunate associations. It violates our basic human right not to be plagued by disgusting and distressing mental images. And let's face it, foreigners do seem to be going out of their way to flaunt their barbarity.
*** On reflection, xenophobia is the wrong word to use. What we need is a new word to express 'disgust caused by enforced familiarity with obscenity'. Greek scholars, please email us your suggestions. Ed.
Now that our naval personnel are safely out of Iran, the truth is creeping out. It was hard to believe that they 'strayed' into Iranian territorial waters if they had satellite navigation gear and they didn't. The Ministry of War has announced that they were hijacked by Iranian pirates as part of that country's fun and games with the political temperature at their border with Iraq. Some mad sod of a Revolutionary Guard commander clearly thought that raising it would make him look good. In fact, it was the sort of cheap publicity stunt which we have come to expect from Vice-Prez Bliar's regime!
The first arrest for fraud connected with Johnny 'Two Jags' Prescott's mammoth postal voting scheme has been made in Oldham, a Lancashire town which had become somewhat notorious for dodgy goings on at election times. A Trivial Democrat candidate was busted after two men called at a house in Oldham and offered to 'look after' the occupants' ballot papers.
Is the Law an ass or is it just administered by donkeys?
A man who stood at the roadside carrying a placard reading "Speed Trap 300 yards" has been persecuted by Aldershot magistrates. The coppers operating the speed trap, which was concealed in a van, arrested Mr. Stuart Harding because he was preventing them from reaching their speeding ticket quota while contributing to road safety.
If you want to kill someone, do it in Cornwall
Spammers' safe haven
The UK under Vice-Prez Bliar is not only a safe haven for bogus asylum seekers and illegal immigrants; spammers are now migrating here from Italy of all places. If caught, Italian spammers can go to gaol for up to 3 years. The law in the UK is full of 'gigantic loopholes' and the maximum penalty for deluging email inboxes is a £5K fine. The biggest loophole for the spammers is an excusion of business email addresses from the regulations. So the spammers unload their crap on everyone while proclaiming that they are sending it only to businesses.
Sharon too thick to know when he's being bribed!
Israeli PM Ariel Sharon agreed to use his influence help an Israeli businessman with his plans to develop a resort on a Greek island. Sharon received bungs totalling £300,000, which went on political campaigns and the family farm, and his son was given the job of marketing director of the Greek island project despite having no experience of the job.
The government has decided that candidates for jobs as magistrates need not show signs of 'common sense' any more. The minions of Lord Charlie Falconer, Lord Chancellor and former Lord of the Millennium Dome, feel that a requirement for JPs to show 'common sense' might make those lacking the quality feel uncomfortable.
While working at the British embassy in Romania, James Cameron exposed serial abuse of the visa system. His revelations contributed to then Immigration Minister Bev Hughes getting the sack and provided further evidence of the debasement of standards under the Bliar regime.
One rule for you, another for me : "The role of any chief constable has be be one in which the public have confidence," Home Sec Blunk said as his excuse for trying to fire David Westwood, Humberside's chief constable, for his failure to preserve intelligence records on Soham killer Ian Huntley.
Lord Archer is claiming in his latest book that he suffered official malice and deliberate mistreatment while in prison. The Home Office and the Prison Service say his claims are rubbish. Faced with a choice between believing a convicted perjurer and believing Vice-Prez Bliar's minions, we have to go with the perjurer.
Ofcom has declared abolishing the BT monopoly on directory inquiries calls a huge success. The parameters of success include:
If this is Ofcom's definition of a howling success, we tremble at the thought of what they'd call failure.
Network Rail, the government's successor to Railtrack, is a not-for-profit company; but that doesn't apply to the staff. The company made a loss of £750million last year (half of it taxpayers' cash) and failed to meet the government's arbitrary performance targets, but the five bosses are still getting 24% bonuses and the 15,000 staff are all going to cop for a £600 bonus. "For what?" one can't help but ask.
The Government says:
The Department of Transport website says:
The money raised from speedcams is either used to buy more of them or paid to the Treasury as Stealth Tax. The government has no intention of removing speedcams from sites where the death and serious injury rate is up.
Please Park Here so we can give you a ticket!
The number of parking tickets issued outside London has reached an annual rate of 2.1million; up 50% on last year; while parking tickets issued in London accounted for 70% of the national total of 7million. Councils are hiring private firms and setting targets for the amount of money they have to raise and while the revenue from motorists is going up, spending on public transport is going down. There's a message in there somewhere!
Nude Bike Protest in Spain
Cyclists stripped off and rode around the centres of Barcelona, Madrid and Saragossa on the 3rd weekend of the month. They wanted to tell the Spanish government that motorists have hijacked the city streets and turned them into hostile and dangerous places for everyone else.
Network Rail has accused the RMT union of enlisting an army of ghosts to win its latest strike ballot. The list of voters included the staff of signal boxes which no longer exist, staff who are employed by the train companies and not Network Rail and a vast army of non-persons whose work location is officially logged as 'unknown'. Looks like the RMT's leaders have been to Zimbabwe to consult the Robert Mugabe 'Rig Your Own Election' service.
The leaders of European nations, and Vice-Prez Bliar, gathered in Normandy to offer thanks to the Good Old US of A for winning World War II at the first weekend of this month. Vice-Prez Bliar offered his personal thanks to Prez Bush for the Americans who designed, built and flew the Spitfires that won the Battle of Britain; for the brainy Yanks who cracked the German military codes after they recovered an Enigma machine from a U-Boat; for the brave US sailors who crewed the Atlantic convoys which kept Britian fed and supplied; and for the heroic American soldiers who turned back the tide of Fascism in Europe.
The latest bright idea to come out of the US food industry concerns oranges, tangerines and their cousins. Apparently, the Yanks reckon that the peel is packed with cholesterol-busting antioxidants. So customers are advised to reverse their normal practice. You should eat the peel and chuck the rest away.
Why the hell would the manufacturers of Ribena come up with a 'limited edition' variety called Fruits of the Swamp? Presumably, it's a 'limited edition' because they don't expect many people to buy the stuff because no one in their right mind would want to drink slimy, smelly, swamp-sludge. Apart from kids, of course.
The Consumers' Association has found that pre-packed foods sold in supermarkets contain vastly reduced amounts of nutrients and the price is inflated vastly compared to the 'loose' product. [Another statement of the blindingly obvious, then? Ed.]
The US Department of Agriculture has reclassified french fries [freedom fries] as fresh vegetables. Coated or battered vegetables [such as chips], the DoA says, are no different from a waxed lemon as far as freshness goes. They are not preserved and they retain their perishable quality.
Smoking, the latest scare story says, will cut 10 years off your life and make all your teeth drop out.
"Make your minds up, you bastards!"
One day, the 'experts' are telling us to eat lots of oily fish for the omega-3 fatty acids in it. The next, they're telling us the fish contain so many different poisons, it's a wonder they can stagger into a Spanish trawler's undersized nets and croak.
What a useless bunch of sods the England football team are. Their loss to France in their opening match amounted to criminal negligence. Beckham, who missed the penalty, Heskey, who gave away that stupid free kick and Gerrard, who booted the ball back into his own penalty area, should all have been on the first plane home in deep disgrace. In fact, they couldn't have done a better job of losing if some Far East gambling syndicate had paid them a million quid a man to throw the match!
"Yeah! So what do you reckon that Swiss ref's going to spend his million quid on?"
Having beaten Switzerland on their way to 2nd place in their group, England had the misfortune to come up against a Swiss ref, who disallowed a perfectly good winning goal because the idle ref was too far away to see what was happening. So we got the black farce of a penalty shoot-out from a penalty spot which had been cut out of the pitch and filled with bog debris, it looked like. The whole thing turned into the sort of crude swindle we associate with the WWE rather than an allegedly legitimate football match, and we wuz bleedin' robbed, mate!
"Do you think the Boy Beckham is trying to make a career out of missing penalties?"
Flag-makers in the UK are on overtime to make enough Swiss ones to meet the demand of England fans, who want one to burn.
A mob of German 'football fans' rioted in Hamburg after their team lost to the Czech Republic by the odd goal in 3 and received the bum's rush from Euro 2004. The Hamburg police are blaming the riot on the city council's decision to try to win votes by showing the match on a giant TV screen in the city center.
Sven Erikson is paid £4million a year to coach England's football team, which is out of Euro2004. Karel Brueckner gets just £65K to do the same job for the Czechs, who are still in it. BlackFlag News would like to endorse the campaign to swap them over.
The US governor in Iraq has had enough of the place. Paul Bremer handed over the country's pink slip to new prime minister Hoshyar Zebari 2 days early, then he got out of Dodge. Mr. Bremer was on a plane and heading for home, looking mightily relieved, within 2 hours of chucking in his job.
|Created for Romiley Anarchists' League by workers in revolt against oppression.|
Sole © RAL, June 2004.