Saturday, 9 July 2005

Danger - Rally cars

The Jim Clark Rally is here this week end. Based in, this year I think Kelso, it follows a number of road-closed mini-circuits around Duns. It is well supported both in terms of competitors and spectators. It coincides with the end of the Duns Festival which also draws quite a few people.

Drawback is that the roads that we are all used to as quiet and friendly suddenly fill with rally back-up such as mechanics, stewards, doctors etc. and people coming for a open-air sing song and individual BBQ. The actual rally cars are no problem other than adding to the traffic. The non-rally guys tend to think they have a long way to drive and not much time.
One also gets the burke with a three-year old Corsa who has put a drainpipe over the last few inches of his exhaust and thus thinks he is the dog's dangly bits. One has to be aware that said idiot is likely to find himself running out of his side of the road on many of the quite sharp little bends one associates with a agricultural area. I tend to stay off the road this week-end. I was interested in rallying when I drove but watching a section of maybe 100 yards whilst being regularly peppered with gravel does not cook my bacon.

So - what next?

Now that the initial drama concerning the events of Thursday is over, we are getting some very perceptive think-pieces in the newspapers and on the areas of TV free from Big Brother and Apprentice. As one might expect, a large proportion are band-wagon jumpings reference national ID cards, civil liberties and intelligence. Noddy’s friend Clarke has already said that ID cards would not have prevented what happened. It also seems that intelligence was lacking insofar as this attack was concerned. So, if we cannot rely or use comprehensive documentation of those we know to be here and on any successful spying, what do we have as a defence? Suspicion would be nice maybe. Were I to see a burly man, wearing a mask, dressed in a striped jumper and carrying a bag marked swag in the area of my house, I would devote some attention to him. But it is never that simple.
Even that sort of simple check for suspicion has been made inefficient in current times. Were I to suggest to an officer of the law that stripey-jumper nicked my Palm pilot, doubtless I would be admonished on the grounds of inciting hatred of blokes in striped tops. A very senior police officer said in a Press briefing that we should not associate Islam and terrorism. Well, right now – who else do we associate with terrorism of this style and extent? Not the IRA surely. They were always most fastidious about giving warnings – even though they were at times late or inaccurate. Their agenda was to spread terror of attacks. This last lot gave no warning and clearly intended to kill as many as they could possibly involve. When we hunted for IRA, we looked in specific places. If we are not to associate Islam with terrorists – where do we look? Whilst there are Muslims who deprecate what is done in their name it has to be admitted that the agenda in their Holy Book includes a lot about infidels and striking them very hard. The Bible has some pretty warlike bits (Judges and James I think?) but death to non-Christians is not part of Archbishop of Canterbury’s everyday preaching. If anything is to be achieved, there has to be very serious inquiry amongst Muslims in this country. Right now though, the police are indoctrinated that they must not hold any such opinion or suspicion.
The plight of those unable to trace family and loved ones at this stretch of time is quite harrowing. Those who have any experience of these sorts of incident can very well guess why they are kept in ignorance – not all bodies are just as if the deceased had died in bed. I was particularly taken by the story of Yvonne – the blond girl. She is so very patient and has obviously done all she can to publicise the absence of her partner. He phoned to say he was on a bus. His mobile phone was found on the bus that was blown up. One feels the need to take her on one side, wrap her up in a big bear hug and tell her the facts of life rather than prolong her agony.
As for intelligence gathering and civil liberty conflicts, I am convinced that the protection of life and limb over-rides all concerns about liberty. We should make it clear that if we feel the need to investigate you and your lifestyle, we may do anything that it takes. If this proves the case, it may all be used without debate provided it comes within the definition of evidence (everything other than mere argument that goes to prove or disprove). If we get it wrong, sue us. We’ll assist and make it easy for you – ONCE WE KNOW YOU ARE INNOCENT. Suggestions that this will make us a police-state as depicted in 1984 are simplistic. The basic personality of our race will keep things clean. We are not Nazi, Franco-supporters or Stalinists.

Friday, 8 July 2005

One under every stone

Sorry, I forget to mention this before.
If you are looking for wild theories about the bombings, have a look at this site. Who did it, warnings given, or - as the Screws of the Weird used to say, all human life is here.


The events of yesterday are still unfolding as the forensic work develops. When one remembers the conditions underground at the time of the Kings Cross fire, one can begin to appreciate the dedication of those working on this. Damaged bodies decompose much quicker in the heat underground.
I lived through the London blitz at an impressionable age and can remember the spirit of the people who were under attack then. It was very much a cheery-, cheeky-Cockney sort of thing. There was also the Dunkirk spirit where set-backs did not dishearten us. With the dilution of the British stock arising from immigration and the softer life style of today, I had thought that both the Cockney and Dunkirk spirit were no more - or at least, much reduced.
It seems that I was mistaken to some degree. The reports in the media seem to show that there is still the attitude that we will not let the bastards grind us down. There are already jokes about what happened. Some of the more jingoistic columnists seem to be writing for Captain Mainwaring and Dads' Army but that is a good thing if it increases our endurance and fortitude by harking back to our past.
I was especially pleased that HM the Queen had visited hospitals today. Her parents were particularly keen on this and it was then, as now, a great morale booster.
It is important that those who carried out these killings see that they do not have the effect they might have in, say, some middle-eastern country with all the wailing and knashing of teeth that ensues. Ken Livingstone has also grown in my estimation although I am to some extent happier now he has seen at first hand what comes from the sort of violence he has sometimes appeared to espouse and support.

Thursday, 7 July 2005

Thought for the day?

Even on the day on which we actually die we shall probably be assuming that we shall not die and be making plans for the next day!

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Introduction to Buddhism

London has explosions

Reports are that there are deaths and many serious injuries in some six explosions in London this morning.
Nice timings guys! Either AQ or PIRA lost no time in following upon the 2012 Olympics award to demonstrate that the transport infrastructure we boasted about in our presentation was vulnerable. I can imagine the fuss at NSY. Doubtless, a few of the Anti-Terror guys will have deployed to G8. Six crime scenes is a lot to handle forensically so helicopter activity at the G8 site will have increased as they try to get bomb squad blokes back to the Met. If this gets publicised, it will add another dimension to the concern that the bombers sought. Hopefully, the one on the bus - which seems out of the pattern - was an own goal but the benefit of this must be limited if is Muslim extremists who happily suicide bomb anyway. Any structural engineers out there who can comment on explosion in a tube train tunnel - how long is that likely to put them out of service?

Wednesday, 6 July 2005

Off in another direction

Wander away and look at this - only in beta at the moment so not too much bitching please.

Oh Blimey!

Just heard announcement that London will organise the 2012 Olympics. Jolly good news and all that but.... We will no sooner be free of media hysteria about G8 and MPH and the Olympic bandwagon will start up. The Olympic minister Greasy Towel will be getting her heart out to show us at every opportunity. Ken Livingstone will want as much mileage out of it as possible because it is in his backyard. Lord Coe will be asked to stand-in for the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament. And so on and so on and so on. Thankfully, we should soon be getting the report on Diana - was she or wasn't she murdered - and that might give us a break. I have much more to say but, what the hell, I've got seven years to bitch should I be spared.

48 years!! My God!

Image hosted by Photobucket.comWell, I am reliably informed, today is the 48th anniversary of my (one and only) wedding. Never mind it is an old joke but I really would have been out of prison by now if I'd committed a serious crime instead.

I don't think I've any regrets - none that have surfaced anyway. Just to show how stupid I am, I would do it all over again in pretty much the same format. So, thanks Norma for coming on the roller-coaster with me.


Tuesday, 5 July 2005

Edinburgh - inside info

This is from a guy in a position to know
Just to prove I’m not privy to any special
intelligence sources, my predictions that G8 would entail sitting on carriers dressed in code 1 and playing cards have been shown to be err… slightly wide of the mark. I’m reluctant to tell you all the latest canteen gossip from the boys who are in Scotland, for fear of being accused of undermining the war effort.All I should really say is that the senior Scottish officers who are reassuring you on Sky News are probably sweating off-camera. Things are not quite going as planned and there is much sniggering from police lines. I’m concerned that when the officers get back on shift, we’ll never hear the end of all the war stories.

Light of my life has dimmed

This was not really so long ago. The good old dear used to struggle up the steepest hills - even on hands and knees sometimes. Now, she is knackered after one flight of stairs. Never mind - she still tries and we cannot ask more than that.

3/10 for performance

One of the demonstraters at the Edinburgh shindig. Don't think too much of what he is demonstrating! Don't think it will get any better if you click on it either.

Hard Times

Nearly caused demise of old fellow dog walker this morning. We were just nattering when he brought up the mess in the park that had obviously been caused last night whilst the Reiver thing was on. He blamed the 'kids of today' for having no sense of responsibility. I replied that they had it too easy - "not like us. Six of us brought up in a rolled-up newspaper" He laughed, turned laugh into choking and turned choking into cynosis. I thought he was a goner. Of course, my comment was a follow-on from this so not very original at all really.

Monday, 4 July 2005


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Before the hitsquads call at my door, I'd better make it clear that THIS person will NOT be excluded from anything that happens on 14th July.

Due warning!

Just because I have gone soft over 4th July should not be taken to mean that the cheese-eating surrender-monkies will get even treatment when 14th July arrives. Given that they will most likely win the Olympic vote on Wednesday, they will be dancing around in their smelly clothes without needing any endorsement from me.

4th July

Just a small thing to share with any Americans who may be viewing or passing through. Relationships seem to have become a little strained of late - mainly, I suspect, because their President is thought to have influenced our B Liar to go into Iraq. However, even if true, that is just one man - or a relatively small clique - who is wrong. I have met a considerable number of Americans; I worked for an American company for five years. I cannot recall meeting a single one who I would describe as evil or mad. They have a strong sense of right and wrong and religion is more widespread there than in England. I can see they have problems but put this down to a lack of knowledge of things outside USA. A large percentage has never been outside their country; many never travel outside of their state. They - generally - live in good conditions and at ease with their government and cannot realise that there are many parts of the world where this is not so.
Congratulations and respect.

Sunday, 3 July 2005

Knights of old

We saw groups like this a number of times over the week-end. The fluttering pennants made them look like ancient knights riding into battle with their ladies pennants on their lances.

Good dog!!

Might be a funny looking perisher but he's got the right idea when it comes to cats. Rock on!


I quite often have nightmares. Sometimes, they are so realistic and vivid that they become night terrors and the images stay with me even when I am sitting bolt upright with my eyes wide open. I can deal with these - sort of - but please, please, please good God, never let me have a terror that this lady is in my room with a bottle full of Viagra.

I'll say no more

About the value of the Live8 and Make Poverty History. Simon Jenkins in The Sunday Times says exactly what I have been trying to get across as my take on the whole thing. Just a few out-takes from his item -

Geldof is to fast politics what McDonald’s is to fast food. He is simply good at it. How can you do nothing, he screams, “watching people live on TV, dying on our screens!”.

The G8 is not a decision-making body but a “conversation” between rich nations. It has no constitution and no executive. The United Nations, not the G8, is the proper forum for collective action onworld poverty.

Geldof is quoted in the International Herald Tribune as claiming that something must be done “even if it doesn’t work”. For him, doing something useless even if harmful is a moral advance on doing nothing

Am I REALLY a dog lover?

Going through the results of my Stat counter, I came across an entry supposedly from Taiwan. I say 'supposedly' as I very much doubt the origin report after Taffy in Russia etc. Anyways, as I was saying, this blog popped up. I have to say loud and clear, that this 1st July entry shows a dog that I positively, absolutely, no way Jose, could ever tolerate. Whoever has doubts about doggy euthanisia should look at this.

Right carry on

My 'cures all pain God knows how' bracelet had lost most of it's magnetism. Whilst it still worked, it was leaving a bright green stain around my wrist so one objective at the Scots Fair was to find a replacement. There seemed to be two places selling them. I didn't like any of the ones at the first place so had to settle for the only alternative. The guy at the stall was a bit flamboyant in the style of his shirt and hair but I thought nothing of it until he was showing me exactly how the dinkie little real brass pin thingy went into the very well designed hole in the strap. He was making a bit too much out of helping me choose a 'tasteful' design for the bracelet. I decided to buy one of those on show. This led to much flustered looking for pen and sales book. Then there was the production of the instructions with salient points being drawn to my attention. I was warned to start off wearing it for no more than three hours, to be aware it might cause tingling in my fingers or a mild headache and that I would feel thirsty the first time I wore it. This was when the devil stirred within me. I put my hand on his wrist and asked in a concerned voice, "It won't make my willy go funny will it?". 'Ooh no - nothing like that. No. No' Perfect match of Frankie Howard and our dear old Ken. Sorry now that Sandy or Julian was not there to share the moment.
I think that Sandy and Julian from Around the Horne show did much to open up the gay world. Their very much over the top performances showed people another side of that inclination that confused many men. Certainly, it was a way of dealing with homesexuality that avoided the risk of a right smack in the mourf and brought them into the general community. I have no concerns about outright gay - and lesbian - people. It is the ones who remain closeted that I distrust. Though maybe Peter Tatchell goes a bit too far with his style of outing, I can see where he comes from. I once had to question a guy who had gay issues. This was in Egypt where we wore shorts - see picture at left. Whilst I was writing his statement, he was stroking my knee. Shame really, I think it was my including this in my evidence that led to him getting a relatively heavy sentence.
Oh yes - back to the new wristband. It works perfectly. Science or subtle suggestion? Don't know and don't care. I had a 'dead' tip on my little finger which is now back to normal. No - it did not (so far) make my willie go funny either.

We don't need no thought control

Click here to sign the no2id pledge
I can see absolutely no point in B Liar's new attempt to run his little world. All the while that carrying them is optional, no one will bother to produce them if asked. All the fancy bio-metrics will be to no avail if PC Heartbreak wants to check your card in the middle of truly rural England. Don't get involved in protesting very often but this deserves to die a death.

A loving father - many many times over

This is a story that did not seem to make our papers. Given their ability to generate 'news' from any sort of trivia, I would have thought they would have been covering this like flies on a cow-pat. Strange but it was only in Tennesse and, maybe, Georgia that I got the feeling that there were families living somewhere like this. We had friends in Kentucky who used to suggest we not go to somewhere because it was 'tacky' but what they meant it was weird.