Richard Pryor RIP


Square One


Just had time for a quick photo before my 5 minutes was up.
I love you all.

Brize Idiots

Status Quo miming 'Rockin All Over The World' in the shadow of a fighter jet at RAF Brize Norton for Children In Need.


Aerial Schmaerial

Just sat listening to Kate Bush's much-touted new album.

Not sure whether I'm surprised by this or not, but it's really not that exciting. It sounds like Tori Amos left with too much time on her hands, some middle age musicians and one of those 'TV Sound Effects' albums to me.

What's not surprising however, is that after writing this verging on the pointless post I'm going to the pub rather than getting on with the writing that I said I'd crack on with. So I guess Kate might be a bit middle of the road (in fact it's actually good as one of those albums that are 'interesting during dinner muzak' that we used before Party Shuffles) but she did actually get round to writing it.

So I'm obviously hoping that it's not going to take me 54 years or what ever it took her for me to get this damned 5 minutes together but I wouldn't bet on it.

A bitter, twisted depressed moan in a boozer in 2059 anyone? I'll be 83 and I reckon full of enough bile (and piss) to do a great open mic slot.

And I'll have out-lived Ben Elton at least.

Straw Pygmies

Thanks Jack for making my mind up regarding Christopher Meyer's book. The serialisation in the Grauniad was tasty enough but having you getting all upset about it has just sold one more copy.

Oh and by the way, the Private Eye website has had a bit of a revamp and is far more worth a visit...


My day so far? Did I...

> Get on my new bike, bought during post-7/7 trauma (and when the smell of school children drove me off the buses) and 'cycle' to work. Only to find myself hit by shrapnel from a tube user who having been persuaded by her husband to use the buses 'for a laugh' lost her temper and detonated her leather portfolio. I write this while waiting for a surgeon to remove the bike from my shins, then my shins...

> Come round in my front room, still talking to the lifeless corpses of my dinner guests last night. On closer inspection they'd died from 'false grinning at pissed host'. The police, the fools, swallowed the 'typhoid' excuse. Again. Currently I'm getting pissed enough to call their families.

> Take a pair of shears to the front hedge, sweep up some leaves, drink some vodka and orange juice (surely the fuel of angels) and listen to some 'music'. All while slowly working up a slight panic at the fact that I really should start on a solid five minutes or I'm going to look like a tit.

By the way - good old Malden salt achieved more in a day than Bonjela in a week, and makes you want to drink enough Stella to fall off your shoes quite easily. I'm off for another one of those Vorange Juices...

'Broken News' Is Pretty Funny


A week of putting these two products in my mouth has resulted in absolutely nothing. I'm still sober and still have a mouth ulcer the size of a puddle. And I banged my little toe so hard last night I thought I'd broken it.

Frankly I feel a bit rubbish.

And this blog isn't helping. Rather lacklustre of late. Apologies.

But don't despair readers, I'm hoping to pick it up a bit soon and why not drop in on Danny Lipp while listening to some samples of Adapter Adapter. Links to the right. And don't forget Mr Goodballoon.

As if you would.



You Are Not 12 Years Old

While being a nosy self-righteous prick today I overheard a man attempting to impress a young lady of the opposite sex:

"Did you see the Metro today?" she said.
"Oh, I don't read the Metro anymore"
"Why not?"
"Oh, I'm too busy trying to finish off my book and if I don't read it on the train I'll never get through it."
"Oh, what are you reading?"

In this split second, little did I know that my despair at the transparent 'intellectual' wooing technique of the young male and at the fact that I had nothing more interesting to do but listen to his drivel was going to get worse.

"Harry Potter" he replied.

And under British 'law' I would have been the criminal if, say, I'd forced his eyes under the coffee urn...

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow


"According to grand jury transcripts, a police officer testified that after Mr Spector was handcuffed, he said: "What's wrong with you guys? What are you doing? I didn't mean to shoot her. It was an accident."

Mr Spector's lawyers said the statements he made should be thrown out because he was suffering withdrawal symptoms from seven prescription drugs when he talked to the police."

Er, fine. But is this neo-pinko, crazy-assed haircut the way to convince us? Unless I'm actually imagining the haircut, because I'm sure he's also wearing a clowns costume under his jacket.

Something's not right, I can't stop looking at him.

Really. I can't.

Cillit Bugger

Alright, it's now been a while and the strange guilt of not posting something lingers in the air like a dead rat. The smell of a dead rat. But as having something to write about is normally a prerequisite to actually writing something, I've been waiting around for something to hit me that isn't just about the Tory leadership race or any other currenty affairsyness.

Which is why a John Peel Day logo is the only update in weeks.

So once again I sit at the keyboard and hope that something actually happens if I just start writing. Which it hasn't. In fact it's only that I should be Cillit Banging the bathroom and doing the washing up that I'm sat here typing at all.

Which bodes well...

Zimmer Down

Plenty of time for musings on the USA, so for the time being let's have a little picture of one of it's favourite sons (there's one or two other people talking about him this month too):

Back In (From) The (US)SR

Has a trip across the pond tapped a well of creativity hitherto hidden in mediocrity? How long can I get away with saying "I'm having a bit of a career change" without looking like a prick? Can American television news cover any story without a 'human-interest' angle? Is it ok to be only tanned from the elbow down, on the neck and have a red nose? Is America (or at least the East Coast) 'better' than the UK? Did a rat take a shit in my toilet while I was away?

These questions and more (some you'd never think of, most you'd never ask and all you couldn't care less about) will be answered here soon.


Somebody Call Somebody

I was relatively intent on getting off my arse and doing something productive today.

Instead so far I've watched 'One Day In September', a little bit of Quincy, quite a bit of news and eaten some beans on toast.

And I'm now totally bogged down in watching the re-run of the 1987 General Election on BBC Parliament.

Fascinating stuff to watch in real time. A certain Mr Galloway beating Roy Jenkins, Bernie Grant calling the Mayor of Tottenham 'Comrade Mayor', Clement Freud losing his seat, Thatcher having 'Fascist' chanted at her count and Boetang doing his 'Brent East today, Soweto tomorrow!'

Interesting to see the obvious left-wing turncoats and that this was the election that left virtually no Tories in Scotland or the north, but no Labour seats in East Anglia or the South East other than London.

The counts were a damn site more noisy too. And other than Robin Day, the BBC has the same presenters, and almost the exact same way of covering it. Got to be Sky News next time, god help us...

So far today then, that's what I'm doing. And my little PDA means I can tell you about it as I sit here. Which I'm sure you're very pleased about.

And also if anyone asks I can say 'I've been writing'.

No Grey Areas

If I had a pound for every white face in the footage of downtown New Orleans, you wouldn't be banking on getting a round out of me tonight. And if we don't include people in uniform, I ain't buying one for months.

What's happening down there is beyond a disgrace. And the utter arrogance and transparent indifference of the Federal Government is almost beyond belief.

And why? Well take a look at the faces of the thousands in the Superdome, on the rooftops and in the flooded streets. A sea of dispossessed, scared and dying black people. Most of the white folks fucked-off to the hills a week ago. And no one can blame them. But meanwhile those without money are left literally rotting as the revving of SUVs disappears in the distance.

And the administration, that across the world can do whatever it damn well likes, has left an entire community in it's own land to fend for itself in the very worst of conditions. It's like going back 200 years.

And now the fascination with the 'anarchy' of the situation and the shoot-to-kill troop deployment is starting to reek. An ugly bigotry that crops up everytime the most oppressed folk start to eat themselves alive under tremendous pressure.

And the hypocrisy of a government that can wage the most obscene destruction on one hand but can't get off their fat fucking backsides to save a community that gave birth to the cultural traditions that make what's most exciting and worthy about the United States.

United? I'm not seeing much unity from here.

(An interesting blog is here)

Easy Does It Brad

Another picture for the Harbour walls:

Whispering organ indeed.

Siddee Biddee Boww...

I think I may be seriously considering a full-time career as an alcoholic. Or at least a part-time heavy drinker.

A serious drinking problem carries a hefty price-tag though, which is why aristocrats and thieves are very good at it. Maybe a little classified ad in Private Eye:

ASPIRING DRUNK! 29 yr old shyster desperately seeking funding to drown self-loathing. Please help.

Oil Well, Well, Well

Just retrieved some Iron Maiden albums from the icy North and now listening to 'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son'.

'Tis very enjoyable. And I pretty much remember all the lyrics.

In other news apparently Olive Oil is a painkiller. 50g of the foreign lard is the same as a tenth of an Ibuprofen dose.

Not sure who pays for this research but as the outcome is "If you've got a headache, we've discovered that you can either swallow a tablet or drink a bottle of olive oil" I'm sure as hell glad it's not me...

What's Up Doc?

In case it wasn't enough having the Scorsese Dylan doc. on the Arena strand, they're repeating some classics on BBC4 all next week. Check here.

TV is brilliant.

Willie Monk


There are precious moments in this often miserable world where everything seems actually ok.

At the moment I'm sat watching a Patrick McGoohan directed episode of Columbo, which is a blinder. And if I so desired, and believe me if I didn't have the hinderance of a loving family to spend the day with I would, I could watch Mr Falk all day on the Hallmark Channels 'Columbo Weekend'.

God bless you Sky TV.

*In addition, I've just seen an advert for 'Monk' (that's the detective with OCD) where he's playing an Oboe over his mothers grave with Willie Nelson.

What a wonderful world.

Pink Floyd

Spring cleaning at the Harbour today and thought some photos might spruce the place up a bit.

So here's Keith, having a slurp...


Lovely job or 'crikey moses!'...

Hello Wimbledon!

It's all kicked off at Iron Maiden's final Ozzfest show in the States - here for the best round-up of the events.

And while I'm here, did you know that top of the list if you Google 'November 2005' is the Erotica event at Olympia?


Falling For You

I was sent this link today.

"Drag her if she gets stuck! It makes me feel weird."

It also makes me feel weird. But it is strangely compelling.

Would it be less weirdness-inducing if it was a man, do this make me a closet misogynist and who actually makes this stuff?


Auntie Zimmerman

I chose this September to leave the country for the first time in over a year. And I'm looking forward to it.

But after 14 months of essentially being sat on my arse why did the BBC and the NFT decide to do a Bob Dylan Season while I'm away? They are indeed a bunch of bastards.

And I woudn't mind, but I leave the States one day before the DVD of 'No Direction Home' is released over there.

Why I oughta...

BBC Season NFT Season Trailer

Moog Over, Kurt's Turning

The guy who invented the Moog Synth, Dr Robert (er,) Moog has died. His site 'Moog Music' is here and the BBC obituary here.

And while I'm here, this even as a silly season story, has got to be a wierd celeb-dream surely? Partridge in Cobain's old Hole?

I'm off for an egg bap.

Everyone's Getting Married

Congratulations to Mr Earle who got hitched for the seventh time last Thursday. (He's married one ex-wife twice. Brilliant).

For those who saw him at Glastonbury ('Glasto') it will be little suprise that it's to his support act Alison Moorer. I guess that may explain the Chevy ads, seeing as weddings are a costly affair these days.

Good luck to you both. Seventh time lucky, as they say...

"I would feel real trapped in this life if I didn't know I could commit suicide at any time"

ashes to ashes



Good Lord

I like cars.

I like Steve Earle.

But not entirely sure what I feel about this (it takes a while to stream, but it's perversely worth it)

God Bless America



The wide-ranging effect of technology on our lives is widely discussed. Porn and shopping tend to dominate, but there are things that astound me everyday that don't include Amazon or DP.

Today it's the New York Times' fight to get the city records of 9/11 published. A good dose of old-school broadsheet journalism mixed with the internet gets us to this.

It's absolutely riveting. Only a few years ago it would have meant a trip to a NYC library or a big fat hardback, but here I am reading it on my telephone.

This isn'’t a new or indeed original thought, but still makes me think we live in a far more interesting world than it can frequently feel like.

So there.

Take A Beaker Of Boiling Water...


In a technological breakthrough for everyone at The Harbour I have bought a new even swankier phone, from where I’'m sending this post.

This exciting development will mean that I can email posts in from all across the globe*

This is a great day indeed.

*1. However I'’m sending this one while sitting next to my desktop.
2. Posts will get a lot shorter.
3. I will get mugged.

Thompson Twins

Being unable to find a good Ronnie James Dio interview, here's another Richard Thompson one. Pretty good overall biog, but also some stuff on his Sufism and being a white-Muslim, if anyone's interested.

And the lyrics to 'The End Of The Rainbow' are here.

Hopefully one on Ronnie and his faith in Dungeons & Dragons soon...

Times, They Are A Changing

A couple of things really:

1> Although loathe to admit it, I rather enjoyed reading a discarded Sunday Times the other week. If that wasn't scary enough I've just found a lovely little article here on Richard Thompson.

Er, he coaches Arnold Schwarzenegger's son? Some weird transatlantic folk-rock dream surely.

2> If I buy two tickets to 'An Evening With Ronnie James Dio' at the Astoria in October will I persuade anyone else to go? I don't want to miss it - he's performing 1983's Holy Diver album in its entirety then following an interval he's back on with a greatest hits set. No support, just classic old-school rock. And the tickets are only £18. Worth it alone for watching old metallers getting rushed out to make way for G.A.Y.

Now, I passed Richard Thompson in the street a year or so ago, but I met Mr Dio in 1992 backstage in Manchester and he was the nicest and by about 2 feet, the shortest famous person I've met. So bless.

Please help me.

"Stone Me. What A Life..."

A tenner says Ricky Gervais will be playing the lead in a Tony Hancock bio-pic before the end of the decade...

Magnitude Magnusson

As I write this the IRA has ceased it's armed struggle.

On this indeed historic day however I can't stop thinking about how pissed off the camera operator who shot the statement being read out must be. I believe Seanna Breatnach was Bobby Sands' cellmate but his pale complexion was truly terrible.

It's important to make sure you white balance when trying to shoot history.

An interesting BBC timeline thing is here.

Fuck Buses, I'm Buying Me A Chevy

'Rich Man’s War' by Steve Earle

Jimmy joined the army ‘cause he had no place to go
There ain’t nobody hirin’
‘round here since all the jobs went
down to Mexico
Reckoned that he’d learn himself a trade maybe see the world
Move to the city someday and marry a black haired girl

Somebody somewhere had another plan
Now he’s got a rifle in his hand
Rollin’ into Baghdad wonderin’ how he got this far
Just another poor boy off to fight a rich man’s war

Bobby had an eagle and a flag tattooed on his arm
Red white and blue to the bone when he landed in Kandahar
Left behind a pretty young wife and a baby girl
A stack of overdue bills and went off to save the world

Been a year now and he’s still there
Chasin’ ghosts in the thin dry air
Meanwhile back at home the finance company took his car
Just another poor boy off to fight a rich man’s war

When will we ever learn
When will we ever see
We stand up and take our turn
And keep tellin’ ourselves we’re free

Ali was the second son of a second son
Grew up in Gaza throwing bottles and rocks when the tanks would come
Ain’t nothin’ else to do around here just a game children play
Somethin’ ‘bout livin’ in fear all your life makes you hard that way

He answered when he got the call
Wrapped himself in death and praised Allah
A fat man in a new Mercedes drove him to the door
Just another poor boy off to fight a rich man’s war

Sell, Sell, Sell

Trying to pull myself out of the quarterly realisation that I live entirely on borrowed money I've been trawling my usual liberal/left web hangouts to cheer myself up.

It hasn't worked.

Which of these statements isn't true?

1. Bob Dylan was offered $2.5 million last year to do a one-off greatest hits concert 'that sounded like the original songs'.
2. I've spent over £250 on dental treatment so far this month, on the NHS.
3. Steve Earle's call to arms 'The Revolution Starts... Now' is being used in a Chevy commercial.
4. There's a new condiment called 'Burn Baby Burn - Revolutionary Hot Sauce' being launched by the Black Panthers.
5. I'm never going to be worth shit.

Well folks, it's No.1 - Bobby wouldn't sell his soul like that. Er.
The Steve story is half-way down here, the Panthers here.

The rest is true but not linkable I'm afraid. I'm off to wipe my bleeding gums...

Boom Town

A week after the bombings I still feel rather down.

After nearly ten years here I guess I class myself as 'a Londoner' and feel all the 'a world in a city' stuff. I also don't particularly relish getting on a bus and worrying about being blown up or indeed having to go to a friends funeral just yet.

But people who by a birth lottery haven't been born into a relatively well-off western country suffer and die every day. Tens of thousands of them. Starvation. War. Natural disasters. Shit, there are plenty of people who suffer terribly in this country, who spend their entire lives desperately grabbing at the shitty coat-tails of a culture far from their financial reach yet dangled daily in their faces.

The world is populated by a massive majority that are born, never get anywhere near where they could and die. Some starve and die at 12. Some work in factories and die a mile from where they were born. Others die fighting bullshit wars.

And it happens to us all. No matter our beliefs, colour or nationality.

And equally, a class of people exist, a tiny minority, that start the wars, that uphold the inequality for the sake of profit and self-gratification. That couldn't care less about people's lives.

Like us they're all colours and creeds, and we let them run the show. Let them run a system that leaves the vast majority of the world wallowing about in a psycho-fiscal cess-pool of one sort or another for their benefit. And no, there's not enough wealth in this system for us all. It wouldn't allow it.

The fact that we don't eat each other alive is proof of the inherent human need to cooperate and defy those that want us to live as self-serving individuals. The bottom line is always solidarity in the end.

Well, there we go. Watching Richard and Judy speaking in Trafalgar Square yesterday brought a little blood back to the university-educated, post-ironic cynicism vein at least. So I'm sure we'll be back to the normal bullshit post-haste.

Meanwhile, here's a couple of links to folk doing more than writing a blog:

What George Galloway actually said in Parliament last Thursday is in Hansard here. Note the following that didn't seem to make the news:
'I condemn it utterly as a despicable act, committed against working people on their way to work, without warning, on tubes and buses. Let there be no equivocation: the primary responsibility for this morning's bloodshed lies with the perpetrators of those acts.'

A great article by Seamus Milne in The Guardian is here.

A thoughtful statement from the SWP is here.

And Salma Yaqoob, whom I only respect more and more, is also in The Guardian here.

Making Poor History

The true face of ideologies clashing is finally showing itself after the Live8 diversion.

I have little time for the Womble types who ponce about chasing police but never doing any real work to organise change but then what the fuck do I do? Reading here though it seems the usual police tactics of being nice to the demo that isn't really challenging anything and coming down hard on real dissent, however monosyllabic, is the order of the day.

And it's bound to get worse by Wednesday.

And by the end of the G8 there'll be a triumphant declaration of victory against poverty, Gandalf will be declared King and Tony and Gordon will drown in their own smugjuice.

And the whole thing will be bollocks. As of course Mr Pilger puts so well here.

So after the Pimms and Midge and Madge, Trevor, Dubya, Bill and Dido and the Golden Potato Salad it would at least suggest we're not all doomed if Gleneagles was blockaded tomorrow and our great leaders had to fuck off back home....

Live8 Shmive8

Oh God, some of it was truly awful.

Yes that means you Madge. As if the poor woman hadn't been through enough already she had to stand completely confused in front of a billion people while you sang 'Livin' On a Prayer'. Three cheers to the interpreter chap who finally managed to sort the situation with some dignity intact.

When all said and done though, it was about nothing if it wasn't about having a barbecue and getting pissed in the garden. Which I wholeheartedly did.

There's too much to be said, so I'm taking my mind off it by watching the video to Hayseed Dixie's version of 'Roses' which is here and is brilliant.

See y'all soon...

Live8 My Hamster

'Tis the job of the middle classes, of all political persuasions, to join together and spend hours and inches discussing issues like Live8 while doing nothing practically to change anything other than their curtains. I will be no exception.

I hate Queen. Even in an ironic way, they're shit. And I genuinely like 70's and 80's rock that in many ways is far more preposterous than those idiots. And Queen fans are always weird. Like people who still go to church every Sunday. (In addition, Ben Elton can cash my fuck off cheque right now. It won't bounce).

Bob Geldof, Midge Ure and Bono are deeply suspect. Midge showed his deep commitment to Africa by releasing his autobiography at the same time as 'Do They Still Know It's Xmas' last year. Geldof is pictured with his head resting on Blair's shoulder on the front of The Guardian today. Bono is a bit of a twat who has shades tattooed to his face. To be fair the second Bob or Ure said anything that threatened the status quo (enter your joke of choice here) they'd be shut out like terrible pygmies. But Bono could declare himself Trotsky reincarnated and he'd still be huge.

If you want to see the bands on the London bill, you're an idiot. Er, apart from Pink Floyd, who although showing terrible taste in launching a reunion tour are still great.

If you want to see the bands on the Canadian or Eden Project bills, you're probably ok. Probably

It will change nothing. The only way to solve all this bollocks is to fundamentally up-end the way we organise our wordly existence. This isn't going to happen through more aid, or more Annie Lennox or more free trade or by us discussing Joss Stone again. The G8 gives about as much of a flying fuckbox about an equal world as a Manager who calls you a 'partner' and buys you a drink every Xmas, while earning 80 times your wage.

Though it just might... It just might, just, possibly make a few people put two and two together and start to discuss the world. Certainly they'll be more discussion of politics watching Live8 than while gawping at Wimbledon, or (sadly) on what remains of Gay Pride.

So, I don't know, I love live 'event' tv, so I'll be watching £50,000 Ross on Saturday and wearing a white band and arguing about neo-liberalism as much as the next man. And who knows, maybe for one day the next man might actually be doing the same.

Tonguing A Pupil

In amongst a whole host of shitty dreams last night I dreamt a man was torturing me by putting his tongue in my eye. I liked it not a jot.

An interesting article on Live8 is here.

...And Now For Something A Bit Different

It's the Orange/BBC/Guardian readers wank-fest that is Glasto (an abbreviation in itself that makes we wince) in only a matter of days.

And I can't wait.

I've only been once before so have slightly more factual back up than normal for my opinion but it's a truely lovely experience. It also looks like it'll constitute my 'holiday' this year. Which is fine with me.

If only Saturday could be the Ozzfest Day, all would be well.

"I Can't Fuckin' Hear You!"


Pictures by Councillor RJD (a rare self-portrait, below) sometime during our whistle stop tour of the Download festival. I don't remember them being taken but I do remember a fat man landing on our heads during Black Sabbath.

I learnt (or in some cases re-learnt) the following:

Rock music is the best mutherfuckin' music in the world.
Ozzy loves me and everyone at Donington.
Girls love to rock more than they did when I was a lad.
Slash doesn't seem to age.
Clios aren't too bad to sleep in.
It's good to do good stuff with good friends.
'Moshing' is still brilliant.

With many thanks to KW. Lets Rock! x

To Be Frank

Ahmet and Dweezil are touring their Dads music later this year, which is quite exciting.

Got to be very careful and avoid becoming 'a wierdo' when mentioning Mr Zappa, but it should be brilliant. The details are here, and the highly recommended is here.

And without turning into an advert, emusic have a '100 tracks for free' intro offer, and currently carry loads and loads of FZ albums (here).

It seems crazy not to...

Whoa, Whoa, How Much?

Public funding of the London Olympics would be £2.375 billion.

Ba Da Bang Bang

I visited a strip club for the first time last night.

It wasn't half as odd as I guessed it would be.

It did set off a crazy internal discourse that I'd only had third person before, normally while watching The Sopranos or The Sweeney...

On arriving home and sleeping however, I dreamt that I was attacked by dogs and then shot in the neck.

Silver Machine

I'm slightly confused as to what Matthew Wright (of TV's 'The Wright Stuff') is doing here.

Ring Of Fire

As promised, Respect supporters and the FBU will be blockading the Bethnal Green Fire Station to stop the removal of a fire engine from the borough.

Tuesday 7th June from 8.30am. See here.

...And Another Rule For Them.

Jeremy Paxman asked Leon Brittan a question on Newsnight tonight; Mr Brittan said it was 'a ridiculous question' that he woudn't answer. Mr Paxman laughed. Lord Brittan QC also laughed.

I sighed, thought of election night and wrote this post.

Work Is Rubbish

I wonder how much it would cost to do a worldwide survey asking the single question:

"Is work, for the most part, a load of rubbish?"

Then I suppose for the great majority the answer would be:

"Work, for the most part, would be better than sifting/living in/eating a load of other peoples rubbish"

Maybe the question should be:

"Is life, for the most part, a load of rubbish?"

I think a resounding "yes" might very well ripple across the globe.

Which seems a real shame.

Pick A Scab, Any Scab

Earlier I vented my anger at Chris Moyles and indeed any 'star' at the BBC crossing the picket line and working today. I think I was right.

He gets his big fat pay cheque every month, while the technicians who earn a tiny percentage of his pay but make his 'shows' possible get fired.

Natasha Kaplinsky didn't even scab.

I tell you who did scab though. The online guy who put my angry email on the BBC website.


It Was Gorgeous, George. Again.

If the idiotic nature of the American right needed highlighting anymore today has done it.

What in God's name did they think would be the outcome of letting Galloway take centre stage in front of them and the world? I defy anyone who thinks it was anything less than a fucking masterclass in political speaking.

It really is a joy to watch. Please have a look here.

And I tell you what, shame on supposed radicals like Dennis Skinner. Shouting 'Did she bring Camilla with her' in the Commons today as the Queen arrived isn't the funniest retort, would have been better if shouted while she was actually on her little chair and looks like the bullshit playschool politics that it is.

Especially when George is giving them both barrels in Washington.

Cloud Get You Out Of My Head

The British public are once again looking utterly pathetic as a vocal minority of nitwits grab the headlines. Yesterday they were sitting in the pissing rain watching grown men walk around as 'Stormtroopers', today complaining about the new style weather reports as 'unintelligible'.

They'd like to go back to the old symbol-based report. After one day of the new one. Back to the one where a little cloud represented the whole south-east for example. They seem to be finding it difficult and offensive to have a system that actually looks like the country it's talking about and shows you specifically how the weather will be in each area. (i.e. is much better at doing what it's there to do).

At these moments I despair at the possibility of change in this country. Unless George Lucas or some football team leads it, there'll be no revolutions here. Ever.

In other news...

BBC FiveLive are carrying the Washington Senate Hearing with Galloway live at 14.30. Give 'em hell George.

Hope Kylie gets better soon, but who will replace her at Glastonbury? Surely Iron Maiden are the obvious choice?

I should be so lucky.

Sith The Bed

Really, really, really. I don't care if this one's ok or not. Am I seriously meant to take this crap seriously?

They're doing a Pringles tie-in for christs sake. A tube of crisps becomes a light sabre.

Lucas and Speilberg killed proper film in the 70's and have been raping the corpse for money ever since. Uncle Tom swine. And yes, I do like Jaws and Schlinders List is very moving and the battle scenes in Private Ryan are terrifyingly exhilarating and Duel is great and Empire is dark and blah de blah, before you start your starting.

But I'd much rather have Dennis Hopper, Terry Southern, Bruce Dern, Hal Ashby, Robert Towne, Bob Rafelson, Sidney motherfucking Lumet and the rest of the risk takers, fuck ups, chancers and hit and missers any day of the week. And so would you.

If there was a God, I'd pray to God the CIA don't get Sean Penn. He's seemingly the only one.

And he knobbed Madonna.


And another article, from Roy Greenslade in The Guardian, here.

George v Washington

Didn't take long did it? Interesting article by Michael Rosen here. Senate report here.

Toynbee Or Not Toynbee

You may have seen a butch of pricks pictured in The Guardian on Monday. More specifically, the pricks that followed Polly Toynbee's suggestion to put pegs on their noses while voting Labour. God help me if I ever find one of these fucking idiots. Thought it might be a good time to for some Phil Ochs:
I cried when they shot Medgar Evers
Tears ran down my spine
I cried when they shot Mr. Kennedy
As though I'd lost a father of mine
But Malcolm X got what was coming
He got what he asked for this time
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I go to civil rights rallies
And I put down the old D.A.R.
I love Harry and Sidney and Sammy
I hope every colored boy becomes a star
But don't talk about revolution
That's going a little bit too far
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I cheered when Humphrey was chosen
My faith in the system restored
I'm glad the commies were thrown out
Of the A.F.L. C.I.O. board
I love Puerto Ricans and Negros
As long as they don't move next door
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

The people of old Mississippi
Should all hang their heads in shame
I can't understand how their minds work
What's the matter don't they watch Les Crane?
But if you ask me to bus my children
I hope the cops take down your name
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I read New Republic and Nation
I've learned to take every view
You know, I've memorized Lerner and Golden
I feel like I'm almost a Jew
But when it comes to times like korea
There's no one more red, white and blue
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I vote for the democtratic party
They want the U.N. to be strong
I go to all the Pete Seeger concerts
He sure gets me singing those songs
I'll send all the money you ask for
But don't ask me to come on along
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Once I was young and impulsive
I wore every conceivable pin
Even went to the socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns
But I've grown older and wiser
And that's why I'm turning you in
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal


Nice to see someone read my posts yesterday. David Blunkett has been on the Frost programme this morning. Surprise, surprise, he had a few interesting things to say:

1. The 'listen and learn' strategy was about getting closer to the public as they didn't understand the link between government and all the good things it's done. So it's the public listening and learning not Government; you'll do what you like, we'll learn to like it. Lovely.

2. Solving the pensions crisis was about explaining the situation to the public and then they'd understand that the whole thing will have to change. That'll be cutting state pension then, regardless of what we think.

3. Controlled immigration 'for limited periods' could help fill jobs and fund current pensions. Just to clarify: come to Britain, work for cheap, fuck off back home. Super.

4. Any Labour MPs who opposed these plans or the leadership should get out of the Labour party and should have never run in the first place. This goes for the House of Lords also, who should listen to the electorate. Er, most Labour rebels ran on an 'I'm not for Blair' ticket and you should have abolished the Lords in '97 if you don't want them interfering.

5. Listening to the electorate doesn't follow however when it comes to Respect and George Galloway: "The people of Bethnal Green & Bow voted for him and they're welcome to him." Charming.

Fucking offensive, condescending, hypocritical and with the faint stench of post-9/11 racism.

Welcome to Historic Third Term Limited.

There's not a chance in hell these idiots are going to do anything different at all unless we really force them onto the ropes both inside and outside Westminster.

It Was Gorgeous, George

Well worth reading Galloway's full response to the election here.

Doughnut Follow Me, I'm Lost Too

Is it wrong for me to eat election night leftovers for two days?
Is it wrong to eat doughnuts for supper and breakfast?
(There's 10 and they're about to go off)
Should I listen to Ozzy Osbourne's cover of 'Working Class Hero'?
Is £6.49 really a good price if I have to drink more to feel it?
Should I be sat here on a sunny Saturday afternoon?

The Last Time I'll Say 'Bloodied Nose'

According to his count speech, Tony is obviously deeply humbled by the slashing of his parliamentary majority, the woeful 36% share of the vote and subsequently going to listen hard to the electorate who, although not in the most progressive way possible, did give him a 'bloodied nose'. So what is the first way he's showed this new sensitive side?

By re-appointing David Blunkett to the Cabinet.

Is the man having a fucking laugh? If anything goes to show that behind his 'must listen to the people' bullshit he's actually going to do exactly what he can get away with it's this. Blunkett was the winner of the 'I'll Outdo Michael Howard' award for right-wing nut-nuttiness in the last Parliament let alone the rest of it: we all might want to fuck a tory-boys slightly saucy wife, but we don't fall in love with them. Only right-wing nut-nuts do.

He's also clearly going round the bend.

And he's now in charge of pensions. One of the top five contentious issues of the next few years.


On the plus side I have discovered 'Old Redwood Finest Canadian Whisky'. Which is great for a number of reasons:

Tastes like Jack when mixed with a cool glass of CocaCola.
It's only 30% volume, so is really like a whisky-lite. Great for breakfast.
It's £6.49 for a 70cl bottle. A alco-bargain by any standard.

So everything's not that bad.

Just A Little Bit

Well, we've learnt so far that the Tories are a mess, Simon Hughes will be waiting stage left for Charlie to 'spend time with his family', the electoral system make no sense (36% of the vote = 60-odd seat majority. Eh?) and Tony is still a twat. And that cheap Cava at 4.30 in the morning is only ok when a Blairite with a 10,000 majority loses their seat to a multi-cultural socialist party that's been around less than 2 years.

Were you still up for Portillo? Forget about it, we were up for Galloway. And fuck postal voting - if every politician spoke with the same conviction, people might get off their backsides and we might have proper elections with turnouts to be proud of. And it wasn't just George:

Salma Yaqoob - 10,498 in Birmingham (27.5% and 2nd place)
Abdul Khaliq Mian - 8,171 in East Ham (20.7% - 2nd)
Lindsey German - 6,039 in West Ham (19.5% - 2nd)
Oliur Rahman got 6,573 in Poplar (17.2% - 3rd)

and a good few more:

We'll see what happens now, but East London gives me some hope that we might not spend all our lives with just LAB LIB CON.

It's In The Post

A fine state of affairs regarding Bethnal Green as reported in the Standard today:

'Exposed: Brick Lane's Vote Riggers' by Andrew Gilligan

Back In Black

A new background colour. Ooh wee! Makes it difficult to read but having changed it I really can't be bothered to change it back.

Hope everyone's well. Things pretty good with me.

They're using Alice Coopers 'Elected' on the BBC election coverage trailer. Wish I'd been in that meeting.

Well, really just felt obliged to say hello - but going to head off and watch the re-run of The Hitchikers Guide on BBC2.

Goodnight all...

May Day Greetings

Here's wishing my few frequent visitors and indeed any wayward travellers who may pass this way a very Happy May Day.

A public holiday that stems from pagan ritual and workers rights, is celebrated worldwide and isn't constructed by Clintons Cards or the Pope. Marvelous.

Little baby Jesus. He died for our sins. Midnight Mass...

Give me an £8 minimum wage, Morris Dancing, real ale and a ye olde feast any day.

Bangers & Hash

Bought a battered sausage on the way home today. The fella gave me a scoop of chips and put the lot in a little paper cone for no extra cost. Lovely.

Channel Four News has just revealed the Attorney Generals unpublished advice on the Iraq war, rather putting my sausage story in some sort of perspective. Er, go here:

Clarity Begins At Home

It's odd how things can very suddenly become very clear after what can seem like an eternity of fuggyness.

Questions are great, as I enjoy talking and talking about myself even more. So everything was as normal when an innocent, run of the mill 'How's everything going?' was posed to me on Friday morning. By the end of what became an extended answer, I'd reached a point of clarity which has recently alluded me.

Now, it's not like suddenly discovering Jesus, or winning the Lottery or getting hit by a bus but more like the focus being snapped sharp on a shot that's been ever so slightly soft for a while.

And I slept last night - not for too long, but without Alice.

Too Long Thinking About A Title

Let it hereby be noted that the ill-fitting fittings on London buses squeak quite loudly and Creedence Clearwater Revival are the sound of a road trip I've never had. A pint or two on an empty stomach should be followed by food and don't forget to spend a few minutes each day thinking about a socio-political issue. A blog is no substitute for looking someone in the eye and watching people meeting at airports would be a great job. Coca-Cola is no substitute for water.

Eggs Benedict

I dreamt about Alice Cooper again last night. Three times in a fortnight. This time he turned into some sort of fly while performing, flew into the audience and disappeared. The friends I was with thought it was great, but weren't convinced by the music.

It's all going terribly wrong.

It's nice to see that the new Pope is an A-Team fan, and that he thinks rock music is:
"the expression of elemental passions which, in the big musical festivals, have taken on a cultural character, that is to say, [the character] of a counter-cult, opposed to Christian worship."

Yeah, we know Jo, that's why it's better than spending our lives believing in some fucking fantasy that stops us sorting out our own world as we wait around for the next. And what about all the morality in rock music? Let's take an Aerosmith lyric for instance:

"The buzz you get from crack doesn't last,
I'd rather OD on the crack of your ass

Anti-drugs and no need for contraception. Brilliant.

Now, whats Papa's position on sodomy?

Here's Hunter

Today, over to the Doctor.
Pretty obvious for an 'angry young man' blog to quote a bit of Hunter S Thompson, but why not:

"We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world--a nation of bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are not just Whores for power and oil, but killer whores with hate and fear in our hearts. We are human scum, and that is how history will judge us...No redeeming social value. Just whores. Get out of our way, or we'll kill you.

Who does vote for these dishonest shitheads? Who among us can be happy and proud of having this innocent blood on our hands? Who are these swine? These flag-sucking half-wits who get fleeced and fooled by stupid rich kids like George Bush?

They are the same ones who wanted to have Muhammad Ali locked up for refusing to kill gooks. They speak for all that is cruel and stupid and vicious in the American character. They are the racists and hate mongers among us--they are the Ku Klux Klan. I piss down the throats of these Nazis.

And I am too old to worry about whether they like it or not.
Fuck them. "

Easy Like Monday Morning


In the Midlands 5300 people will have no job to go to on Monday morning. The MG/Rover car plant has finally collapsed. They can attend workshops set up by the administrators where they’ll be shown how to fill out dole forms.

The knock on will affect a further 15,000 jobs in the region.

The bosses at Rover (Phoenix Venture Holdings) made £40m in 5 years while the workforce is looking at a state redundancy payment of £5000. And over 4000 of them that took a company offer are left owing £8000 on cars that they bought.

No job, no car and not a lot of hope; but a nice big debt to keep them in their place.

And it’s not about Labour or Tory, it’s about a system that allows some people to have millions and others to be always one letter away from having fuck all.



Is there a way to express a huge big massive fuck off terrifying scream in text?

My head is currently a passive aggressive white noise playground and I can’t type anywhere near quick enough to allow the words to mop up the splurge that’s sopping around me.

Sleep is peppered with odd dreams and days wasted, my mind at 100 mph in 1st gear round and round the M25.

Books. Computer. Quincy. Papers. Film. Car. Sky News.

[insert a primal scream here]

Sat by a great view. Little fire. Walking about the countryside with a few friends.


Back to the News…

Here's Johnny

Today it's over to Johnny Carson:

"To me, democracy means placing trust in the little guy, giving the fruits of nationhood to those who built the nation...

Democracy is people of all races, colors, and creeds united by a single dream: to get rich and move to the suburbs away from people of all races, colors, and creeds...

Democracy is buying a big house you can't afford with money you don't have to impress people you wish were dead. And, unlike communism, democracy does not mean having just one ineffective political party; it means having two ineffective political parties.

Democracy means freedom of sexual choice between any two consenting adults; Utopia means freedom of choice between three or more consenting adults. But I digress. Democracy is welcoming people from other lands, and giving them something to hold onto — usually a mop or a leaf blower. It means that with proper timing and scrupulous bookkeeping, anyone can die owing the government a huge amount of money...

Democracy means our elected officials bow to the will of the people, but more often they bow to the big butts of campaign contributors.

Yes, democracy means fighting every day for what you deserve, and fighting even harder to keep other weaker people from getting what they deserve. Democracy means never having the Secret Police show up at your door. Of course, it also means never having the cable guy show up at your door. It's a tradeoff. Democracy means free television. Not good television, but free...

And finally, democracy is the eagle on the back of a dollar bill, with 13 arrows in one claw, 13 leaves on a branch, 13 tail feathers, and 13 stars over its head. This signifies that when the white man came to this country, it was bad luck for the Indians, bad luck for the trees, bad luck for the wildlife, and lights out for the American eagle.

I thank you".

Smell The Glove


As I write the Labour Party is launching it’s election manifesto.

They’re liars and its lies.

The whole fucking election is a rubbish game. It changes next to nothing, at best pays lip service to a democratic process and yet draws me in like a cheap reality TV show.

Is this what we become?

Most of the red ties that are rabbiting on about ‘freedom’, ‘choice’ and of course ‘immigration’ were once people that vaguely held interesting progressive ideas.

Not Tony. But some of the others fought through a good few left wing battles. Did they change, grow up, get real, progress, come to their senses, sell out, smell the coffee, smell the money, smell the glove or were they always fucking liars? Fucking liars who took a political position because it offered a spring for career progression or fame or conscience rinsing or a quick shufty after a rally or in the Student Union Campaign office or down the Town Hall?

Jeez, I bore myself to death. Is this what I’ve become?

Not even thirty and while the aforementioned fuckers get paid handsomely and sit on the world stage I do next to absolutely nothing about anything. Always talking, never really walking. Liking to think I’ve been hobbled by the cruel world but probably just a lazy fucker. Maybe a relatively intelligent, possibly sometimes amusing if slightly self-obsessed lazy fucker. But a lazy fucker nonetheless.

Better than a lying fucker? I’m not at all sure.

We Are Not Numbers


6,519,645,083 people populate the Earth.

888,681,131 have access to the internet.

1 person read my last post.

It made be stupidly excited.


Papal Power


I’ve been watching the televised funeral of Pope John Paul II for over three hours now. It’s pretty amazing – all the people at the Vatican and around the world, all those world leaders and all the ritual and organisation.

As I sit watching along with millions of others, it must be crossing minds. If all the leaders that are sat but yards from each other just got together afterwards for a drink someone might just say:

“Hey, we’re all here. We’re not killing each other. Why can’t it always be like this?”

Oh, how they’d laugh. Too much at stake for them I guess.

But what if the million people in Rome decided to join in? Just move on down through the cordons and surround the dignitaries. No violence. No chanting. Let one person move toward a Cardinal and say:

“Hey, we’re all here. We’re not killing each other. Why can’t it always be like this?”

Oh, how they’d laugh. Nervously.

And maybe they’d realise that they mean very little. Because even in a tiny place like the Vatican, the World’s most important men and women are hopelessly outnumbered.

Now, we don’t have to get all Bolshevik about it, but all those leaders together without their armies are just like us. They tend to be a little greedier, insecure, more manipulative and self obsessed but they are just human beings. So as the bells rang out across the world and millions watched the live feed from Vatican TV they’d witness a little international revolution. And maybe it’d scare the hell out of the nicely suited and robed leaders who are as likely to go to war over wealth and power, as they are to attend a funeral of a media Pope.

Never going to be that easy though, I know. Even I, dreamily imagining an equal and peaceful world felt the weight of the difficulties achieving it. As the news cut to masses around the world I noticed that in Kirkuk an Iraqi worshipper was wearing an eighties Rod Stewart tour t-shirt.

A Battle For Evermore

Absolutely pissing it down as I mindlessly poke about on the computer.

I though this blog might kick me into gear fast, but it hasn't really - much like my efforts to jog every morning. Stalled after four days (and a bit of park-soccer).

There is something interesting about plopping this short mundane mumble on to the web, however. The whole computerized world has access to to it, yet it's absolutely pointless even if found. So far anyway.

It's thundering and lightening now, with Zeppelin's 'Battle Of Evermore' on iTunes providing another layer of atmosphere.

More soon I think.

Soon Your Sailing Will Be Over



It’s probably quite important that I start to write something. I’m trying to remember a Woody Allen quote: something about “there’s nothing more depressing than someone who has a lot to say but no means of saying it”.

From the outset, I’ll be clear. I have no confidence that anything that I say will be interesting. It normally comes in three waves – first that I’m brilliant and whatever it is will be enlightening and interesting. Second that I’m at best absolutely average or quite possibly a delusional, self-obsessed shyster and it’ll actually be worthless. And then, deep, deep down I can’t help but think that I’m actually quite interesting and if it’s rubbish then it’s because it’s the wrong subject or medium or time or whatever. It confuses me and makes me a little depressed. I’m sure you’ve had similar thoughts one-way or the other.

Still, maybe this’ll be the start of something.

Hopefully this isn’t indicative of the rest of this blog, as although it’s true, it’s all a terrible cliché so far.

So, I’m here mere minutes after the British Prime Minister called the next UK General Election; I’m going to try to be broader than just the UK but the next month will be pretty dominated by politics here, so it might get bogged down a bit.

Not really apologising as I haven’t got a clue where this will go but it’s nice to think someone might read it, and if British politics bores you in particular, bear with me.