Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Kilroy Poll

How many candidates will Vanitas - sorry, Veritas - stand at the next General Election?
None - it won't be formed, or stand candidates, for unspecified reasons
One - so they can 'concentrate their efforts' on Kilroy
Up to five
Up to twenty
Up to fifty
More than fifty - I want Kilroy's Party Election Broadcast!
More than two hundred
It'll be in just about every constituency - the power of Kilroy cannot be stopped!
None - he's going to form a Loon Alliance with the English Democrats
I always vote for Ralph Nader on principle, will he be joining Kilroy?


Free polls from

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Moving day

This blog has now moved and can be found here. If you're reading this, chances are that you're doing it by a feed, which has also moved and can now be found here. These old Blogger pages willstill be here so all the old permalinks will continue to work, and you can access them here.

Monday, December 06, 2004


OK, I think I'm ready to make the switch from Blogger over to WordPress, which I'll probably do tomorrow morning so I've got the whole evening to think of things I've forgotten to do - the address should stay just about the same (though if you're linking to index.html you'll need to change it to index.php) and old pages won't be converted, but they'll stay in the same place so permalinks won't be broken.

I've checked it in Firefox and IE, and everything seems to be working fine in both of them, but if any of you (especially people with Safari or other browsers) want to check it out and let me know if there are any issues then I'd be very grateful - you can see it in its temporary home here. All being well, I'll do the switch sometime tomorrow morning, so there may be a short time that things look a bit weird or links don't work, but when that's done it should be fine. Again, let me know if it doesn't.

With hilarious consequences

Via Anthony comes a story that truly made me laugh out loud - the BNP hiring a black DJ for their Christmas party. The reason? I'll let them explain that:
Official Bob Garner said: "There was a bit of a cock-up. The chap who booked him didn't realise. The DJ sounded white on the phone."

Sunday, December 05, 2004

News you may be able to use

Did you know there's an annual event in Southend-On-Sea to commemorate Pearl Harbour? Until today, I didn't.
The Royal Naval Association (RNA) Southend-On-Sea conducts the yearly event because back in 1981, a "shipmate" had visited the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor and while there, he presented the Memorial authorities with a branch plaque. In return, the RNA Southend branch was presented with a U.S. flag that had been flown over the Memorial at the time of his visit, together with the state flag of Hawaii.

Following this exchange, the RNA Southend chapter decided to organize an annual event to commemorate the December 7th attacks and honor those who lost their lives.

Since the beginning of this memorial, the association has received a Citation of Merit from the Secretary of the U.S. Navy in 1987, and a personal letter from President William J. Clinton in 1995, thanking the UK citizens for remembering the US’ fallen veterans.

Each year, Sailors of Commander, U.S. Naval Activities, head down to Southend to take part in the parade march from the RNA club to St. Mary’s church where a memorial service is held. This year’s ceremony is to take place with approximately 35 Sailors along with a color guard detail to parade the national ensigns of the United Kingdom and United States while in route from the club to the church and back.

Please note that you will not be required to show ID to read this blog

Chris Lightfoot has some comments on the ID Cards Bill, which should help to put to rest the idea that this Goverment is composed of anything other than crazed authoritarians determined to not only force us all to register everything but our inside leg measurements on a national database and make us all effectively have to carry an ID card at all times but also want to make us pay for the supposed privilege. And if anyone even tries to use the 'if you've got nothing to hide, there's nothing to fear' non-argument, I'm going to personally sign them up to have every room in their house wired up with CCTV cameras, along with a camera crew to follow and film everything they do when outside the house. After all, if they're such morally upright citizens they shouldn't mind having their every (waking or not) moment filmed to be displayed at a time and place decided by me for the edification of our fellow citizens.

You should all join NO2ID, you know. Or at the very least read the FAQ about the Bill and sign the petition.

Unlike Chris, I don't have to put a holiday picture at the end of this post, but you can click here for a nice picture of Great Gable looking a bit like Deep Thought.

Changes afoot

Well, I've decided to follow up what I said this morning and I've installed WordPress. No changes here for the moment, as I'm going to play with it for a while as I try to work out what everything does and just how many ways there are for me to break it. So, if you want to see what it's like to watch someone virtually tear their hair out, visit here. And there's a nice little description of it here: "because I don't mind tinkering with my Weblog software until dawn as long as its code is ideologically pure."

I have a feeling they'll be hearing the screams of frustration for miles around. But it'll be worth it. Tell me it'll be worth it.

Update: Well, it's not too bad. After a long afternoon of banging my head against the keyboard, I've got it looking and working vaguely the way I want it to, and I'm learning about PHP and CSS as I go. Incredibly, I don't seem to have broken anything yet - well, nothing I couldn't fix afterwards. Unless you happen to be looking at it in Internet Explorer, of course.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Crisis over

Those of you who happened to visit in the last couple of hours may have noticed that there was a problem. Well, it's now fixed and Blogger's regurgitated the posts it had previously lost, so all should be back to their normally low standards.

But, on the not really that bright side, its convinced me to check out Wordpress, which my hosting company provides an easy-install version of. Yes! All sorts of new code for me to break while having no idea what I'm doing!

Reckless endangerment

Given the reports of angry mobs gathering outside furniture stores, would it be a very silly (and potentially dangerous) act for someone to head to their nearest branch and casually mention that paedophiles are often seen in Courts? (via the Honourable Fiend)

Anyone got a spare £10,000?

That's the cost of what could be five of the most (unintentionally) humorous minutes on British TV - a Party Political Broadcast for the Courage, Strength and Indefatigability Respect Coalition. In this Weekly Worker article about the SWP's recent Conference (which is quite illuminating about the way the party works) there's this little titbit:
In the May 2004 general election Respect is going to stand no more than 20 to 30 candidates.
You see, you need to be standing 50 candidates to get a PPB, so Respect are going to fall short. So, if anyone can find the money for them to hit the magic number, we could still get 'George Galloway: My Struggle' on TV before the next election. With its view of history, it might make a good double bill with Churchill: The Hollywood Years.

Friday, December 03, 2004

A bucket of slurry meets...careful, he's somewhat litigious

You know that joke about 'What's the difference between X and a bucket of shit? The bucket.'? Well, it has absolutely no connection to this story, none whatsoever.
Euro MP Robert Kilroy-Silk has had a bucket of farm slurry thrown over him by a protester in Manchester.
The UK Independence Party member was arriving for a BBC radio show when the attacker emerged from behind a bush.
(via The Periscope)

No, I thought you meant 'deal with it'

Dave points me in the direction of this Register story about an ID cards survey. Like him and them, I'm shocked - shocked, I tell you! - that they might try and rig a poll like that. What's interesting though, is when you look at the question:
Do you welcome plans to tackle organised crime, illegal immigration, benefit fraud and national security through the introduction of ID cards?
What's interesting, of course, is that through the secret and magical powers of Blunkettania, the ID card is meant to get rid of the first three and promote the fourth. By grouping it with them (and using the tabloid-esque 'tackle') one could be forgiven for assuming that the secret plan behind the ID card is to get rid of national security.

What's the Welsh for 'tugging the forelock'?

For the first time in the five-year history of the Welsh Assembly, a member has been expelled from the chamber for the day (via Peter Black). The heinous crime they committed that caused the Presiding Officer to take this measure? Not financial or election irregularities. Not attacking another member of the Assembly. Not even breaching some arcane law like coming into the chamber with a sword. No, it was for making a 'discourteous' remark. Even after the Tourette's-esque fit of swearing that characterises the post below, I hesitate to repeat her remarks because they're just so totally offensive, so I warn you in advance that you might soon be reading something that offends you to your very core, language the likes of which should clearly allow someone to be removed from a democratic chamber, a statement that goes well beyond he bounds of common discourse and ends up in the truly obscene.

Yes, Leanne Wood AM referred to the Queen as 'Mrs Windsor'. Could there be a crime any more heinous? I'm sure we all join with Rhondda AM Leighton Andrews (soon to be OBN, I'm sure) and every one of his constituents in seeing it, and not the act of protesting about it and getting someone thrown out of the chamber because of it, as 'childish and offensive'. Jonathan Calder has more on the history of Leighton Andrews, who seems to have moved a long way from his roots as a Liberal activist. New Labour, New Toadying.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Quote of the day

From international alcohol expert John B:
I just saw someone reading the Daily Mail in the local cafe, and felt a near-irresistible compulsion to go up to him and scream "are you a Nazi? Are you a fucking Nazi? Do you hate the blacks and the gays? If not, why are you reading that fucking Nazi rag? The Times and the Independent are both tabloid-size now, so you can't give that as an excuse; you're clearly just a fucking Nazi. I hope you die, you piece of shit", while punching him repeatedly in the head.

Even though I managed to resist said compulsion, I still don't think this is good.
But if you ever are caught reading the Mail then make sure you've memorised the Brooke defence (4th comment down).

Your courage, your strength, your indefatigability, your enormous bank balance

So, Galloway wins his libel trial against the Telegraph and picks up £150,000 for his pains. It looks like the Chewbacca defence really does work, then.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The use and abuse of deed polls

Reading Francis Wheen's How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World recently (quick review: I agree with Dave, who called it 11 essays in search of a book) I was reminded of the Demos researcher who, eager to show how forward-thinking and future-grasping a policy wonk he was, changed his name from something mundane to the retro-futuristic styling of 'Perri 6'. Now, you'd think that, like the tabloids' 'Lenny Lottery', he'd have quietly changed it back to his old name when all the publicity died down, especially after he moved on from Demos. Well, you'd be wrong. Spare a thought for all those poor researchers who have to credit papers by '6 P' or 'P 6' in their theses and dissertations, then have to explain how it's not a typo.

It prompts a thought, though - has any other demented neophiliac added '.com' to their name by deed poll yet? Or, in the interests of showing how blogging is the answer no matter what the question is, rebranded (and you know that it'd be the sort of person who finds it hard to utter a sentence without at least one word of soulless marketing-speak like 'rebranding' within it) themselves officially as ''?

Luckily, not below everyone's radar

While I've been concentrating on matters Ukrainian for Fistful recently, there has been other stuff going on in the world, most notably the Goverment publishing their ID cards bill. Luckily, other people have been keeping their eye on the issue, so go see the Yorkshire Ranter, Spyblog, No2ID and John Band for more. Remember, though, that ID cards are another reason to be proud of Britain.

It's also interesting to note that because ID cards are so wonderful, because they'll solve all problems, because there's no reason why anyone should want to not have one (the preceding 22 words were sponsored by David Blunkett) that the Government will fine you £2500 if you don't have one. Or if you forget to renew it, or just neglect to tell your local commissar that you're moving, that'll be another £1000 please, citizen. Guess I'll be seeing some of you in the special prisons they'll have to build for ID card protestors in a few years time. All that construction work will be good for the economy, though.

Beyond parody

Every day, I get more evidence for my theory that we're living in the Onionverse (not least the fact the The Onion itself is, in the time-honoured phrase, not as funny as it used to be). And today, I see that Peter Cuthbertson has clearly become one of their columnists, because there's no way anyone could have written this sentence with a straight face in the real world:
I recently enjoyed using economics to work out why it is the washing up in the student house I live in is generally done so poorly.