Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: July 2005

30 July 2005

ABC - With them or against them ?

* Posted by Picasa

Considering how much they've had to say about terrorism and terrorists over the last few years and how strongly they've spat it out, one would think America's ABC TV network would know better. Alas, that's apparently not the case.

The bearded beast pictured above is Shamil Basayev. The other photos show some of this self confessed master terrorist's innocent infant victims -- of which, 180 had their lovely little lives simply snuffed right out, en masse.

Remember this rat? This big brave self styled Chechen warlord? Remember him? And the sheer bloody barbarity of the Beslan school siege and susequent massacre? Eh? Remember?

And there's more.

Basayev, who has a £5.7m bounty on his head, admits that he masterminded just about every terrorist attack on Russia in the last decade, including the Beslan school siege, the Dubrovka theatre siege, the Budennovsk hospital siege and last year's suicide bombing of two passenger airliners.

Nice guy, eh? Sort of an "Atrocities R Us" arsehole, eh? I ask you -- would you give this bastard the chance to brag and boast about his diabolical deeds? The opportunity to 'show off' in public and gloat on air?

"I admit I'm a bad guy, a bandit and a terrorist ...

Would you put out a programme presenting such a public, platform-on-a-plate to a beast like Basayev?

Not many people I've met would willingly offer an animal like this, free television air-time. But then again, not many people I've met are the ABC TV network.

"The Chechen people are dearer to me than the rest of the world," Basayev said, warning he had no intention of giving up. "I'm making new plans. We're always looking for new ways."
One could easily be tempted to wonder exactly where ABC's true loyalties lay. Who are they really with and who are they really against? Which war comes first in their book? Could it possibly be the viewer 'ratings' war?

Don't ABC know their country is at war? At war, not with one particular nation, but with terror itself - and all it's terrible terrorists? I mean, aren't all terrorists the enemy? So isn't what ABC have just done, actually providing the enemy with comfort and support?

Well, This Old Brit's no lawyer, but isn't that kind of thing illegal during war time? And if it isn't -- shouldn't it be?

As for the odious oink who ok'd this broadcast -- if wit were shit, I'd say the cretin in question must have chronic constipation. Can you imagine the absolute uproar all across America, if anything remotely resembling this type of "pornoganda" had been aired by .... erm ..... um .... say ..... Aljazerra?

Not only is it unbelievably tasteless, but it's stupefyingly tactless too. I mean, doesn't the US government have enough foreign policy problems, already? And aren't there yet enough of the world's nations, sick and sodding tired of Bushamerica's current maladministration?

* A diplomatic row has erupted between Russia and the United States after the ABC TV network ran an interview with Moscow's most wanted man, the Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev.

* Russia was outraged that ABC had felt it acceptable to broadcast such an interview and accused Washington ....

* America's most senior diplomat in Moscow was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry for a dressing down, while MPs called on the Kremlin to retaliate against Washington through diplomatic channels.

Oooh! So Russia resents it, eh? Well, ........ surprise, surprise.

Russia's ambassador to the United States apparently tried in vain to block the interview's broadcast and Moscow appeared to blame the American government yesterday for not doing more to stop ABC.

Read the UK Independent's report, filed by their man in Moscow, Andrew Osborn.

28 July 2005

The IRA -- Peace In Our Time ?

Thursday, 28 July, 2005.

"The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann has formally ordered an end to the armed campaign. This will take effect from 4pm this afternoon.

"All IRA units have been ordered to dump arms. All Volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means. Volunteers must not engage in any other activities whatsoever.

"The IRA leadership has also authorised our representative to engage with the IICD (Independent International Commission on Decommissioning) to complete the process to verifiably put its arms beyond use in a way which will further enhance public confidence and to conclude this as quickly as possible.

"We have invited two independent witnesses, from the Protestant and Catholic churches, to testify to this.

"The Army Council took these decisions following an unprecedented internal discussion and consultation process with IRA units and Volunteers.

"We appreciate the honest and forthright way in which the consultation process was carried out and the depth and content of the submissions. We are proud of the comradely way in which this truly historic discussion was conducted.

"The outcome of our consultations show very strong support among IRA Volunteers for the Sinn Fein peace strategy. There is also widespread concern about the failure of the two governments and the unionists to fully engage in the peace process. This has created real difficulties.

"The overwhelming majority of people in Ireland fully support this process. They and friends of Irish unity throughout the world want to see the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

"Notwithstanding these difficulties, our decisions have been taken to advance our republican and democratic objectives, including our goal of a united Ireland. We believe there is now an alternative way to achieve this and to end British rule in our country.

"It is the responsibility of all Volunteers to show leadership, determination and courage. We are very mindful of the sacrifices of our patriot dead, those who went to jail, Volunteers, their families and the wider republican base. We reiterate our view that the armed struggle was entirely legitimate.

"We are conscious that many people suffered in the conflict. There is a compelling imperative on all sides to build a just and lasting peace.

"The issue of the defence of nationalist and republican communities has been raised with us. There is a responsibility on society to ensure that there is no re-occurrence of the pogroms of 1969 and the early 1970s. There is also a universal responsibility to tackle sectarianism in all its forms.

"The IRA is fully committed to the goals of Irish unity and independence and to building the Republic outlined in the 1916 Proclamation.

"We call for maximum unity and effort by Irish republicans everywhere.

"We are confident that by working together Irish republicans can achieve our objectives. Every Volunteer is aware of the import of the decisions we have taken and all Oglaigh are compelled to fully comply with these orders.

"There is now an unprecedented opportunity to utilise the considerable energy and goodwill which there is for the peace process. This comprehensive series of unparalleled initiatives is our contribution to this and to the continued endeavours to bring about independence and unity for the people of Ireland."

26 July 2005

An Ever Widening Web Of Deceit ...


If anyone thought the web of wicked deceit surrounding the scandalous shooting of the innocent young Brazilian was widespread -- then they need to think again -- because it's fast becoming apparent that things are even worse than they seemed. If they're not, then it must be my own mental health that is. By which I mean, the arrogant audacity of these absolute arseholes is almost completely beyond my comprehension.

If this isn't one of the greatest conspiracies ever perpetrated in the UK, This Old Brit will ...... will ...... will ...... will show his bare arse in Woolworths window, come next Saturday afternoon.

Here's a clip from a [Monday July 25, ] BBC piece reporting on Jean Charles de Menezes' inquest, where it was confirmed [on Saturday July 23] that he'd been shot eight times; seven times in the head and once in the shoulder.

Note particularly the short, sweet, simple and succint third paragraph -- the 'Detective Inspector Elizabeth Baker' one. Please, please, please -- note it well!

Police shot Brazilian eight times

The man mistaken for a suicide bomber by police was shot eight times, an inquest into his death has heard.

Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, was shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder, at Stockwell Tube station, south London, on Friday.

Det Insp Elizabeth Baker revealed the details at a hearing in London.
Okay? Read it? Understood it? Noted it? Good! Then continue.

Read the following extract from an Observer piece, from Sunday July 24 - the day between Saturday's inquest into the murdered man's killing - and the publishing of the BBC piece.

Again, pay particular attention to the third paragraph. This time, it's the victim's cousin revealing something. Something that is so bloody big and immensely important, that's it's shocking significance is almost impossible to exaggerate.

The dead man, killed at Stockwell tube station on Friday after fleeing from armed police, was named as 27-year-old Jean Charles de Menezes. His body was identified by Alex Pereira, a cousin who lives in London and who afterwards told The Observer: 'I can't believe they shot him, because he was not a terrorist. He was an honest man.

'We [the family] are still too shocked to talk about it. But I am sure [that] he didn't do anything wrong. It was not right for the police to do that.'

Pereira said that the most upsetting part of identifying his cousin was 'to see bullet wounds in his back and his neck when I went to the mortuary in Greenwich.'
Erm ...... excuse me? Bullet wounds in his back? And in his neck?

But no mention of his head? Eh? Pardon? No mention? None? None at all?

Well, I warned it was getting worse, didn't I?

Follow the two seperate links below to read each of the [full] articles I've quoted from.



No Comment ...


It's long been said that there's a first time for everything. Well, here is such a first. Today This Old Brit changes the habit of a lifetime.

Even though, as ever, Richard Reports/You decide - this edition is published without comment.

The text that follows is not my work. Nor is it the work of anyone I know. It "virtually" came into my hands just an hour or so ago - though it is always possible I was led to it.

Therefore ..........

No source[s]. No email nor snail mail addresse[s]. No link[s]. No secret locations. No conditions of anonimity. No copyright. No clues. No endorsements. No denials. No comments.



* Urgent Release For All Press Talking Points for man mistakenly killed by UK police. The following points should be emphasised in your reports:

The dead man is to be referred to as the "suspect" and never the "victim". The intent of these talking points is to cast suspicision onto the dead man and direct any criticism away from the police.

He was not Caucasian. Preferably he was of Asian or Arab appearance.

Do not just mention that he was (mistakenly) taken for a suicide bomber, but describe suicide bombings in detail. Especially the aftermath. The intention should be to frighten the reader.

Remind the reader what would (never say "might") have happened if the suspect "had" been a suicide bomber and the police had "not" shot him. Exaggerate.

Imply that he had a rucksack of the same colour, size, and design as preferred by real suicide bombers.

Blame the terrorists for his death and be sympathetic towards the police at all times.

When describing the man use imagary drawn only from the CCTV pictures of the real bombers. Conjour up the image of a suicide bomber.

Mention but do not discuss his innocence. Mention it only when necessary.

Belittle the suspect. Describe him in negative terms as poorly dressed, unshaven, and nervous, but also as a physically intimidating man, burly, agile, fit, dangerous.

It should not be written that he "failed" to obey police as failure may be construed as meaning that there was some other possible reason for his not stoping than presumed guilt.

Avoid passive associations by describing his actions only with action words commonly associated with guilt such as "refused" or "resisted".

Give conflicting eye-witness accounts of the actual moments of the shooting so as to protect officers.

One witness thought he saw a "bomb-belt" on the suspect. Quote this witness extensively and as often as possible. Offer no speculation or implication that he may have been mistaken (which of course he was). Use his observation as if it was the sworn testimony of an expert in suicide bombings requiring no further comment.

The police began following the suspect after he left an apartment in the same block in which another apartment was under surveillance. Use this in such a way as to connect him to the bombers (by describing the apartment block as a "house", for example). Do not speculate that the police may have followed the wrong man.

Bury the information that the real bombers are still on the loose by mentioning some vague arrests but do not give details as those arrested in the early days of such crises invariably turn out to be innocent.

Avoid mention of the suspect's family (especially if it turns out he had a wife and kids) but report in depth on how sorry the police are. Use words like "regret" and "tragic".

Assert that the way in which the suspect "dived or fell to ground" was cause for suspicion in itself. Never connect this to the simultaneous shouting by armed police for every one to "get down" as this may contradict prior assertions that he refused to obey the police.

Report it as if "the regulations" required the police to shoot him.

Report that there will be an internal enquiry as if this is a magnanimous police gesture as opposed to mere routine. Report on the process but not the substance of the enquiry, and phrase process descriptions in terms of thoroughness, accountability, and above all sufficiency.

Avoid mention of previous police-shootings that have resulted in public enquiries.

Don't mention the war.

Generate debate on the circumstances in which the police *should* shoot to kill, and avoid moral or legal issues. Frame the debate in terms of terrorism only and dismiss mistaken-identity arguments as left-wing or liberal.

If the suspect turns out to be non-muslim you should still continue to question muslim clerics on matters related to terrorism.

If the suspect does turn out to be muslim connect muslim sympathy or sorrow over his death with radical extremism.

Utterly groundless speculation is allowed to be presented as fact only when it results in a positive image for HMG. All other topics, speculation, criticisms of the police, or discussions, are forbidden.


In the absence of any Old Brit comments to accompany today's "find" - readers comments are [ if it's at all possible] even more welcome than usual.

24 July 2005

PCs or not PCs, that is the question ...

All over the internet as well as the world's mainstream media, the words of the witnesses to the 'bumping off' an innocent Brazilian in London, are being echoed ad infinitum. Which is all very well in one way. For everyone should be made acutely aware of how bad things have become. Not least, for those unfortunates who find themselves now facing a terrible twin-threat.

I mean, of course, the not-white-enoughs and not-wealthy-enoughs. Those who can't afford to live in so called respectable areas, nor to buy well tailored, well fitting, good quality clothing. For it's now perfectly plain to see that it's this section of the community who are trapped between the biggest rock and the hardest place. They're at the mercy of the evil bastards who don't give a damn about whoever it is they're dishing death out to daily -- and they're also at the mercy of our alleged protectors.

But to get back to those witnesses; I don't accept that they saw what they said they did.

No. Really! Sorry, 'fraid not.

I don't believe for a single minute that any British policeman blew this poor Brazilian's brains out. I believe that, as is so often the case with witnesses, they're reporting what they 'think' they saw -- albeit in good faith. The cold blooded murder undeniably took place but, as for putting the finger on the proper perpetrator[s] I sincerely suggest it's a simple case of mistaken identity.

I believe what truly took place in front of these traumatised train travelers was actually an SAS operation -- going to hell in a hideous handbasket.

Apologies aplenty are abounding from the Metropolitan Police Commissioner[s] and from both the British Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary -- but at the time of writing it is still shockingly noticeable that none have been heard from Blair.

Something else is plainly [and amazingly] missing here. It is the absolutely standard declaration, whenever policemen kill -- "The officer involved has been suspended from duties, pending further investigation." As glaring omissions go this one rates 10 - on a scale of 10.

Most British policeman, though admittedly not all, are genuinely well disciplined. And without exception they realise that the full weight of the very law they're required to uphold, soon descends upon themselves if they step outside it.

Modern British policemen are well paid and enjoy plenty of extra perks. Most, are far from fools. Being booted off the force means the beginning of the end as far as any further decent job prospects go. Also, they realise more than most of us, the full folly of ever finding themselves imprisoned. Any time a policeman's sentenced to serve a jail term, it's certain to be 'hard' time -- with a capital "T".

So it's self evident, or should be, that only a total plonker of a policeman would put FIVE bullets into a man's skull, under the very noses of several independent witnesses. There is absolutely no possibility of any plausible defence for such a serious act, and not many know this better than policemen do.

The SAS are a different breed. They play by nobody's rules but their own, and they're answerable to nobody. They know it, I know it, their brass knows it, the police know it, the courts know it and even [or especially] the ruling monarch knows it. The SAS motto is "Who Dares Wins." So, they do dare. And even when they're proven to have been wrong -- they still win. Because, I repeat, they play their game by a different set of rules.

If our military, or any part of it, is now being allowed to become judge, juror and executioner then why doesn't our pretend-premier go the whole hog? Why not have done with civilian judiciary and police all together? Many of us could even find we eventually benefited from such changes. Including the British soldiers currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan

Our capital city is now quite literally under sustained attack. Innocent people on their way to do an honest day's work are now being blown to bits by a bunch of evil bastards, on a seemingly weekly basis. And neither our politicians, police, nor what now passes for our [once unrivaled] intelligence services, appear capable of carrying out their respective duties. So what's left to try?

Perhaps we would all be safer and better served in several respects by having British troops patrol our own streets instead of Iraq's and Afghanistan's. Eh? I for one would place more much faith & trust in our ordinary soldiers, and offer them much more support than I ever would in the case of psycho, SAS sociopaths.


That such a shocking state of affairs has lately been allowed to develop in Britain is nothing less than one almighty and damning indictment of our current leaders utter incompetence. They have insisted since the start of the super-simpleton across the Atlantic's abominable adventures across half the globe, that it's best we stand shoulder to shoulder with the insane sob. Well, some of us are prepared come right out and say it isn't best. Others won't say it - but nonetheless know it. Just as we all know that this pathetic pair of pillocks presenting themselves as prime minister and president respectively, are inept beyond imagination.

Think about it. They're both promising their people that the only way to prevail is to do it their way. That the only possible path to peace - is war. My God, surely such nonsense belongs only in some kind of 'Alice Through The 1984 Looking Glass' paperback.

Blair and Bush have been doing it their bloody way - yet they've managed only to make matters worse.

There was a time, and This Old Brit remembers it, when such lousy & loosing leaders would do the honourable thing; admit their failings then fall on their swords. Of course, that was when there still was such a thing as honour amongst politicians. Nowadays they're perfectly prepared to put anyone and everyone to the sword -- except them-self-righteous-selves.

Blair should do the whole world a favour. He should simply tell his crazy, Quixotic cowboy friend from Crawford to climb into his saddle and ride into the sunset -- along with himself.

22 July 2005

British Bobbies - Shoot to Kill ...

Modern London's Bobbies.

The day after the second London underground attack within two weeks, things took another turn. Whether this turn will lead us all down a better or worse road, remains yet to be seen.

What happened today in a crowded tube train carriage at Stockwell station, deep beneath the capitol's streets, was a UK way-of-life watershed. For the first time in our history it seems ominously apparent that the order of the day for Britain's 21st century armed police, is now, "Shoot to kill!"

Here's a partial account of what some shocked, London tube commuters witnessed first hand and close up, this morning.

Stockwell passenger Mark Whitby told BBC News he had seen a man of Asian appearance shot five times by "plain-clothes police officers".

"One of them was carrying a black handgun - it looked like an automatic - they pushed him to the floor, bundled on top of him and unloaded five shots into him," he said.
Well, that's what one eye witness today told the BBC.

And this is [ some of ] what Scotland Yard had to say.

... the man shot dead at about 1000 BST on Friday in Stockwell had still to be formally identified.

He was under police observation because he had emerged from a house that was being watched following Thursday's attacks ...
Then the London Metropolitan Police Force supremo, also stepped up to speak.

Met Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said officers fired after the man was challenged and refused to obey police.
Next, the words of one BBC correspondent.

BBC Home affairs correspondent Margaret Gilmore said officers had challenged a known suspect they had been following. "He ran, they followed him. They say they gave him a warning, they then shot him."
She went on to add that .....

Police had warned they would shoot to kill if they believed somebody to be a threat ...
Then we read this.

The Muslim Council of Britain said Muslims were concerned about a possible "shoot to kill" policy.

Spokesman Inayat Bunglawala said: "There may well be reasons why the police felt it necessary to unload five shots into the man and shoot him dead, but they need to make those reasons clear.

"It's vital the police give a statement about what occurred and explain why the man was shot dead."
So you may well understand why today, This Old Brit, to coin a phrase, 'reserves the right to remain silent' - for a while at any rate. Because it's his firm belief that there's much, much more to all of this than [ so far ] meets the eye. As and when he does learn more, you can be certain you'll be amongst the first to know.

In the meantime, the bulk of the [currently available] relevant information can be found at theBBC link below - and via various other links therein.

20 July 2005

Ken Livingstone .... Mayor of London .... lets loose .....

Ken Livingstone.

Mayor of London.

There was a time in what now seems like the distant past when This Old Brit, like lots of others, looked upon Ken Livingstone as a member of the 'loony-left'. That was long before he ever became Mayor of London, of course.

Over the years though, as old 'Red' Ken [as he was once called] gradually moved more to the centre -- This Old Brit moved further & further from the right - to the left. And it seems that somewhere along the line we both met and/or merged - at least, our minds did.

That is not to say that there aren't still certain subjects upon which we beg differ. After all, only the very vainest or most misled amongst us imagine infallibility - in anyone. Having said that, I can't see much evidence of anything he's said this week, to the BBC, meriting anything worse than millions of nods of agreement. Take a peek at this and see what you think.

Mayor blames Middle East policy

Decades of British and American intervention in the oil-rich Middle East motivated the London bombers, Ken Livingstone has suggested.

The London mayor told BBC News he had no sympathy with the bombers and he opposed all violence.

But he argued that the attacks would not have happened had Western powers left Arab nations free to decide their own affairs after World War I.

Instead, they had often supported unsavoury governments in the region.
The fact of the matter is, This Old Brit could just as easily have used those exact words when addressing the same issues. Indeed, the probability is that he already has - on numerous occasions - and continues to do so - and no doubt will again in the future.

Here's another piece of old Ken's mind - so to speak.

"And I think the particular problem we have at the moment is that in the 1980s... the Americans recruited and trained Osama Bin Laden, taught him how to kill, to make bombs, and set him off to kill the Russians and drive them out of Afghanistan.

"They didn't give any thought to the fact that once he'd done that he might turn on his creators."
Well, that's something else I can't disagree with, Mr Mayor. Many, many millions including myself have been saying the same, for years. Sadly, some still haven't heard us - while others merely pretend they haven't. Sadder still, there are those who do hear but, clearly still can't quite comprehend. Then, there's the 'none so deaf as those who will not listen' lot - so what's the point of wasting any further words on them?

Right? .... Right! .... There ain't .... so I won't.

Anyway, here's a last little excerpt cut & pasted from the BBC website.

Mr Livingstone said he did not just denounce suicide bombers.

He also denounced "those governments which use indiscriminate slaughter to advance their foreign policy, as we have occasionally seen with the Israeli government bombing areas from which a terrorist group will have come, irrespective of the casualties it inflicts, women, children and men".

He continued: "Under foreign occupation and denied the right to vote, denied the right to run your own affairs, often denied the right to work for three generations, I suspect that if it had happened here in England, we would have produced a lot of suicide bombers ourselves."
This Old Brit suspects Mr Mayor's right again, too. Don't you?

Now, hit the link to read the rest.

19 July 2005

Screwing the sick ...

If anyone knows if it's possible to stoop lower than those who screw the sick, I'd be interested in being informed.

Because, try as I may, I can't come up with many things that can match the miserable meanness of spirit that's apparently being practiced by some so-called health professionals around New York.

For it seems to me, the scandal soon set to surface there, regarding the milking of Medicaid, is about as awful an abuse of already disadvantaged people's hopes of help, as I've ever heard of.

In today's UK Independent newspaper, David Usbourne describes the depths to which one diabolical, New York dentist has descended.

Here's the headline.

Dentist theft case reveals huge Medicaid fraud

By David
Usborne in New York
Published: 19 July 2005

A New York dentist, whose exorbitant claims on the state's Medicaid programme suggested that she treated more than 100 patients an hour, faces prosecution in what looks set to become a major political scandal.
Dolly Rosen is her name, and bare faced fraud seems to be her game.

It is alleged that 80 per cent of the time, the procedures Dr Rosen said she performed never happened ....
And Dr Rosen seems far from being just one bad apple in the barrel. Apparently, healthcare professionals like this bum, absolutely abound.

There are the executives of retirement homes accused of accumulating extravagant salaries from Medicaid while skimping on nursing staff.

Then there are the doctors routinely ordering costly ambulette vans for patients deemed unable to take public transport when many are perfectly capable.

And there are the specialists prescribing steroids designed to bulk up Aids patients that are sold on the black market to body builders.

Surprised? Shocked? Sickened? Speechless? You should be. Look at this.

.... the schools official in Buffalo who attracted Medicaid dollars to her school district by dispatching 4,443 students into speech therapy programmes in a single day.

Between them, the New York Times and James Mehmet, a former chief investigator of Medicaid fraud, have certainly come up with some seriously startling statistics.

Okay .... as one might reasonably and realistically expect, there are some cunning and conniving claimants as well as crooked 'claimees' -- but they're estimated to account for only 10% of the fat-rat pack regularly raking it in.

"So we're talking about 40 per cent of all claims being questionable, " Mr Mehmet said. Under that scenario, taxpayers are being defrauded by as much as $18bn (£10bn) a year.

Hmm. While I can't honestly argue with that -- I will add this -- it's the sick who are being especially severely shat upon. It's actually money that's specifically been set aside for them, that's being stolen.

When all the damning dirty details of these scams eventually come out in the wash, I wonder if any genuine justice will be done? Equally, importantly -- will it actually be seen to be done?

Here's the Independent's whole health-horror piece. I hope it doesn't make you too sick.

17 July 2005

Greenstock Gagged ...

Sir Jeremy Greenstock, pictured above, is a man who has been variously described by the British media as having "impeccable integrity" and of being "a highly credible source" as well as being "one of Britain's most senior former diplomats". And rightly so, says This Old Brit.

Because, surely it was the possession of such admirable attributes as his integrity, seniority, experience, conscience and plain common decency, which helped elevate him to his present important position. Which is -- for the benefit of those unfamiliar with this 'pillar of the community' example of the archetypical 'best of British' breed -- director of the foreign policy think tank, The Ditchley Foundation.

It was, then, in such an eminent and respected capacity that Sir Jeremy was recently earmarked for a series of eagerly awaited public-speaking engagements -- including a sought after platform at next month's acclaimed Edinburgh Book Festival, in Scotland.

Sir Jeremy also just happens to be, British Prime Minister Tony Blair's former UK ambassador to the UN. Indeed, he actually held this prestigious post during the pre 2003 Iraq invasion and war period. Moreover, he was also Prime Minister Blair's special envoy to Iraq in the aftermath of the aforementioned acts of Anglo-American aggression.

However, as this headline from a joint piece from the pens of Peter Beaumont and Martin Bright in today's Observer shows -- everything changed, last night.

No 10 blocks envoy's book on Iraq

Martin Bright and Peter Beaumont

Sunday July 17, 2005 - The Observer

A controversial fly-on-the wall account of the Iraq war by one of Britain's most senior former diplomats has been blocked by Downing Street and the Foreign Office.

Then, the article goes on to explain why such an Orwellian '1984' form of censorship has been imposed.

The decision to block the book until Greenstock removes substantial passages will be interpreted as an attempt by ministers to avoid further embarrassing disclosures over the conduct of the war and its aftermath from a highly credible source.
Britain? A free country? With free speech? Unfortunately, for a long time now such old fashioned perceptions have been serially shown to be simply farcical, falsehoods.

Here's your next tasty teaser from today's Observer.

'I think some people are really quite surprised that someone like Sir Jeremy has done this,' said one source. 'In particular the way he has quoted private conversations with the Prime Minister.' Greenstock is also thought to be scathing about Bremer and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
And for your final taster.

Greenstock describes the American decision to go to war as 'politically illegitimate' ...
Ready for the rest of today's revelations? Then hit the link below.,6903,1530311,00.html

16 July 2005

Fresno's Finest ...

I've never been to Fresno California and after reading what I read today I'm not ever likely to.

I mean, what might the awful outcome be if something untoward ever happened and I needed to call the cops? Oh dear, dear, dear ..... I definitely dread to think.

When I saw a BBC report about a little 11 year old girl called Maribel Cuevas, I could hardly believe what I was reading. Take a quick glimpse below to see what I'm talking about.

They're treating her like a violent parole offender," Richard Beshwate said. "It's not a felony, it's an 11-year-old acting like an 11-year-old."

Here's another peek.

Maribel Cuevas was arrested in April in a police operation which involved three police cars and a helicopter.

Three police cars and a helicopter!? Y'know, if this kind of overkill wasn't so shocking it could come across as comical. But even then, only in a sick sort of way. So eat your hearts out, black-comedy writers, you couldn't compete with this kind of crassness if you tried to. Talk about the Keystone Cops; I'd say they couldn't hold a candle to Fresno's farcical finest.

I ask you -- can you get your head around this ? Well, can you? Honestly and truly?

The girl, who speaks little English, has admitted throwing a rock at a group of boys she says were pestering her with water balloons as she walked down the street.

An ambulance was called, but arrived flanked by three police patrol vehicles. A helicopter meanwhile hovered overhead.

With such overwhelmingly superior resources set against her it's not so surprising that soon Mariela was 'subdued'.

The 11-year-old was then read her rights twice in English before being detained.
Wow! They read her her rights twice. Boy! Two times, eh? That was bloody big of them.

And talking of two, there were two particular things that really jumped right up off the BBC web page and hit me plumb between both eyes.

1./ One of the Fresno police involved was a Sergeant named Martinez.

2./ None were named Bilko.

Maybe everyone should be a bit more careful in future, especially those living in, around or anywhere near fair Fresno. Maybe from now on, all good mothers and fathers should start locking up their little daughters -- before their local loony-cops get the chance.

Click the link below to read the BBC's report on the sad but true story. But first be warned - your mind may well be boggled.

15 July 2005

Chirac's New Attack - The Sequel ...

So the crazy old French cockerel still can't resist cackling at his own corny jokes, eh?

This week, the French president, Jacques Chirac has been taking another swipe at we Brits and our food. According to Jacques the lad, all the British ever serve is old warmed-up stews and similar stuff. Well, that's rich. He should merely take a look in a mirror if he want's see some really, old warmed-up stuff.

It seems to me that this mean old man's timing is as tasteless as his humour. During this week, of all weeks, he should have buttoned his lip and kept a very low profile. For it was this self same week, 20 years ago that another excrutiating excuse for a French president did the dirty on others. And I do mean dirty.

Remember Greenpeace? Remember their flagship, Rainbow Warrior? Remember it's innocent, environmentalist cum peace activist crewman who was murdered in cold blood? Remember one of Chirac's French presidential predecessors, named Mitterand?

Here's This Old Brit's blogger-memory-jogger

Felling of a Warrior.

Twenty years ago this week Rainbow Warrior was sunk by French agents in Auckland harbour. Paul Brown, who had sailed with the Greenpeace flagship just days earlier, recalls the worldwide shock at a callous act of state-sponsored terrorism - and asks why so many questions remain unanswered.

Does that toll any bells for thee, mon cher ami?

Or, does this?

The 11 crew had taken on Greenpeace's most ambitious campaign in its history, moving a contaminated people to a safe haven. The Americans, whose 1956 Bravo bomb had covered the people of Rongelap island in radiation, had removed all the population's thyroid glands to prevent cancer killing them and were using them as guinea pigs to see what further effect continued radiation had on their health.

An increasing proportion of children were being born deformed. The island's elders appealed to Greenpeace for help, and I had signed on as a deckhand for a month to report the evacuation for the Guardian.

Or perhaps this little snippet?

In the shock of the news of the sinking all these memories and thoughts swirled through my mind. My job was to write the story, the facts as known, but there were not too many of those. This was July 11 1985, before mobile phones. New Zealand was still a long way away. In Auckland it was the middle of the night and every telephone line to Greenpeace's New Zealand office was jammed.

Or, maybe this one does.

By September 22 the game was up. Prime Minister Laurent Fabius admitted that the French secret service had ordered the attack on the Rainbow Warrior and the French defence minister Charles Hernu, a close ally and friend of Mitterrand, resigned, accepting responsibility and saying the president was not involved. We know now that this was not the full truth either: a recent confession by the former head of the Secret Service claims that Mitterand did, in fact, sanction the attack after all.

Well, whether your name is Jacques or not, dear reader, you should certainly see the rest of the article I'm quoting from here. It was published today, in the Guardian. For the whole sordid story, simply click at the end of this piece.

Oh, but wait. Don't do anything just yet. I almost forgot to pass on some important advice I have for Jacques, regarding how best to avoid in the future, having his super-sensitive stomach turned.

Simply refuse to eat any of our awful, Brit food.

Instead, eat shit, Chirac.

( Gaurdian Rainbow Warrior link:),3604,1529039,00.html

14 July 2005

The Prince of Wales writes ...

The heir to the British throne, Charles, Prince of Wales, did something pretty special today.

Through the pages of the UK tabloid The Daily Mirror, he communicated to us all in a very special way; as a contributing newspaper writer.

Surely, any editor anywhere in the world would have freely given his eye-teeth and much more, to have found himself in the enviable position of being able to print an article -- with a by-line like this.

14 July 2005



Whether one loves the man or loathes him, whether one is a royalist or a republican, it has to be admitted that today 'the boy done good'.

Here's an example of both what he had to say, and how he chose to say it.

The events of the past week have shocked everyone in the United Kingdom. At noon today, when the country stops for two minutes silence, we have a chance to remember and reflect.

Our thoughts and prayers will be with those caught up in these terrible events, and we will recall with gratitude the wonderful work of the emergency services. The way in which London has coped in the past week is, I think, a cause for real national pride.

And in the interests of fairness and balance, he went on to write as follows.

As I understand it, Islam preaches humanity, tolerance and a sense of community, as do Christianity, Judaism and all the great faiths. It is for this reason that so many Muslims have been quick to condemn these and other atrocities.

They are right to say these acts have nothing to do with any true faith. Those who claim to have murdered in the name of Islam have no care for the lives they have so brutally destroyed.

Well said, sir, say I. The whole tone of that carefully thought out and well written piece, was just right.

As witness this further excerpt.

Britain has the proudest tradition of accommodating new communities. Over recent centuries we have seen how, first Protestants, then Jews, then Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus, have enhanced not just the towns and cities where they have settled, but the whole of society.

So many millions of words have already been written about the awful events of 7/7 by so many people in so many different places, that This Old Brit - for once - feels genuinely inclined not to compete for anyone's attention today. Let's leave it all to Prince Charles.

The fact is that Mr Windsor appears to have made a fine job already, of expressing what I and so many others feel and think. And I very much doubt that any of us could have aired and shared in any better way. Certainly, nobody else could have done so - as officially and as authoritatively.

So for now it's goodbye from me, and straight on over to him.

13 July 2005

And now, bombs are back in Belfast ...

Is there no limit to some people's stupidity? Is there still no cure in sight for the ever spreading cancers of ignorance, intolerance and bigotry which blight our precious planet?

Made all the more unbelievable in view of the recent result of radicalism in London, yesterday's bloody mayhem in Belfast almost leaves one lost for words.

Simply because a bunch of bowler hatted, bigoted old 'Orange' buffoons [and a band] 'paraded' them-silly-selves in the street -- another lot of loonies, reveling in their warped view of Republicanism, resorted to rioting.

The riots began with the throwing of bricks, then soon escalated into the insanity of hurling Molotov cocktails and, quickly culminated in a blitz of blast-bombing.

As only a second generation English, grandson of a pair of Irish immigrants, I feel more than qualified, entitled and indeed compelled, to comment on this stupefying shambles - a continuation of the serial-shambles which were supposedly sorted out, several years ago.

Perhaps at this point it would also be pertinent to point out that even now, I live just about a half hour's flight from Belfast. From here in North Western England, I can be in Northern Ireland in a lot less time than it takes me to travel via road or rail, to my own capital city.

Well, with hand on heart, This Old Brit can tell you here and now, that the so called 'solution' to 'the troubles,' so widely reported by the self serving media - was always a living lie. The wanton murders, coldly calculated assassinations, shootings, beatings, verbal and physical assaults, arson, intimidation, racketeering and true 'terror' of the shameful Ulster shenanigans never realy ended. Admittedly, the incidence and attending publicity may have lessened during the past few years - but 'the troubles' have continued regardless.

Around 100 policemen - Irish policemen - were injured while attempting to restore some semblance of sanity to yesterday's sickening spectacle. What a price to pay for their attempts to save both branches of these barmy bigots from each other's idiocy. Eh? In fact, so serious became the situation that for the first time in years, rubber bullets were brought back into play.

One of the most awful things that struck me while watching Tuesday's display of a downright daft but nonetheless dangerous, nightmare revisited, was the tender age of so many of the rampaging rioters. Teenagers and children for the most part, it appeared. Supported, encouraged and egged on of course, by the usual suspects belonging to the god-father brigade.

Are we really all set to suffer again, at the hands of yet another deluded generation of the gormless and the gullible? Such a thought is almost too awful to contemplate. Someone - anyone - please tell me it isn't so.

To say that I have nothing but contempt for such low life - belong they to either barbaric bunch - is an understatement. I despise and detest them. For over thirty years I've witnessed what such blatant and organized criminality masquerading as freedom fighting has inflicted on many thousands of innocents. And make no mistake, for years and years the troubles have been engineered by an Irish equivalent of the Mafia. Organized crime long ago replaced extremist politician-ring-leaders and cleric-enforcers, with their own 'made- men'.

Mayhem -- manufactured by madmen using mythology as a modus operandi.

King bloody Billy? Saint sodding Patrick? Ask yourself the question. When all is said and done - who the hell were they. What in [any] God's name have either of them got to do with anything? Surely, this is supposed to be the 21st century.

Jesus H. Christ. Give me strength.

The badly done by? The bad, doers to? The Struggle?

The down-trodden?

Dressed for the most part in expensive designer sportswear rather than rags, or even coarse uncomfortable uniforms? They didn't look nor sound downtrodden, yesterday. Nor did they act it. They deliberately provoked the police and literally 'demanded' a strong physical response. Why? Because they felt fully strong enough to prevail. Down-trodden? Huh!

The freedom fighters?

Phonies, I'd sooner say. They're as free as you and I. Blair & Bush rule their lives, exactly as they do yours and mine. In no worse nor better way than they do anyone else's -- believe me.

The bullied and brow beaten?

Bollocks! They are the bullies, themselves. The Continuity IRA and the other fantasy-republican crap hats, along with a plethora of para military pricks calling themselves loyalists - they are the bullying brow beaters, themselves. They're condemned by both the governments they respectively purport to support. The British and Irish premiers stand shoulder to shoulder against all these extremist factions, and their terrible tactics of terror.

The deprived?

Don't dare try to 'do my head in' with those same old lies. They've been mega-endowed with millions over the last several years. All manner of grants, investments, tax breaks, and many more monetary perks have made their way to Ireland during the last decade or so. From as far afield as Westminster, America, Japan, the European Union and other foreign parts

The persecuted?

Purleeeeze ...... pull the other one, it's got bells on. They've got exactly the same rights and representation as have any of the rest of us around these British Isles.

In the past, some of the above claims may have once held water - but certainly not now; nor have they for a considerably long time.

It's easy to forget, due to so many years of historical revisionist style reporting, that it is Irishmen themselves - NOT Englishmen cum Brits - who have mercilessly murdered so many Irish men, women and children; just as they did English men, women and children. Such are the undeniable and well documented facts and records which can be checked out for oneself.

My maternal grandparents would turn in their graves if they'd somehow been able to witness the awful antics of their fellow countrymen, yesterday. Whilst being as dirt poor, lacking in formal education, ill fed & ill clothed and as genuinely deprived as any working class people could possibly have been - be they Irish, English, Scottish or Welsh - they were NOT of the bigot-breed.

I remain to this very day, immensely proud to carry their blood and their genes. I feel honoured and privileged to have been born into such a decent, honest, respectable, tolerant, and plain hardworking family. For just as my grandparents rose [nay, dragged themselves] above the senselessness of self harming sectarianism - so did their daughter, my late wonderful mother. And so did her five children - of whom, of course, I am one.

So, This Old Brit hereby states very publicly, that he could not possibly be more positively proud of his Irish roots. Also, that he could not in any way, shape or form ever be construed as being remotely, anti-Irish.

At the same time though, he could not feel more shamed than he just has been, by the so-called Irish patriots he watched yesterday, as they performed their wicked worst.

But enough of This Old Brit, for today. Now, see what the BBC had to say.

12 July 2005

Brains Beat Brawn ...

Barely had This Old Brit begun battering his keyboard for today's blog entry, when the BBC broke the news.

** Bombings in London - Brit bobbies make arrests **

It seems that vital evidence, so intelligently, expertly and painstakingly searched for in the remains of the bombed-out London bus, had set off a certain chain of events. Apparently, a suicide bomber had indeed been to blame for blasting his evil self [and innocent others] to bits. Said evidence, whatever it may eventually be revealed to be, swiftly sent posses of police to several different addresses.

Proof again, as if it were still needed, that when it comes to fighting terrorism, brains are better than brawn. No bones about it. Always, in the long run, minds beat muscle - hands down.

Of course, the old Catch 22 situation still remains. How the hell can one educate or even enlighten a little, those who - though already more than old enough to know better - haven't yet figured this out for themselves?

But onward, ever onward.

How coincidental then, that I'd originally planned on opening today's Old Brit blog with a paragraph mentioning small boys. Particularly, certain stupid white boys [ with apologies to Michael Moore] who have been trying, so far unsuccessfully, to do the serious and demanding work of grown men. Mature men, that is, with fully developed adult sized brains as opposed to merely bulging biceps and the like -- as incorrectly imagined by so many macho-wanabes, to be some sort of proof of personal prowness.

By now, regular readers will have guessed that Bush and/or Blair are/is about to be appear in this text. Guessed, correctly, of course.

Here's the start of the piece I'd just read and gained inspiration from for today's Old Brit blog, when news of 'the arrests' came through.

Boy president in a failed world?

By Tom Engelhardt

On Thursday morning, with the London bombings monopolizing the TV set, I watched our president take that long, outdoor, photo-of walk from the Group of Eight (G8) summit meeting to the microphones to make a statement to reporters. Exploding subways, a blistered bus, the dead, wounded, dazed and distraught just then staggering through our on-screen morning, and there he was. He had his normal, slightly bowlegged walk, his arms held just out from his side in a fashion that brings the otherwise unusable word "akimbo" to mind. It's a walk - the walk to the podium at the White House press conference, to the presidential helicopter, to the Rose Garden microphone - that is now his well-practiced signature move.

Getting the gist yet? You soon will.

... he spoke of defending Americans against heightened dangers ("I have been in
contact with our Homeland Security folks. I instructed them to be in touch with
local and state officials about the facts of what took place here and in London, and to be extra vigilant, as our folks start heading to work."); he extolled the strength of resolve of the other G8 leaders by comparing it to his own ("I was most impressed by the resolve of all the leaders in the room. Their resolve is as strong as my resolve."); and he presented for the umpteenth time his Manichaean vision of a world of good and evil in which he and his administration are unhesitatingly the representatives of all goodness. ("The contrast couldn't be clearer between the intentions and the hearts of those of us who care deeply about human rights and human liberty, and those who kill - those who have got such evil in their heart that they will take the lives of innocent folks.")

Umm ... er ... huh?

Don't worry, I know the feeling. But don't give up - just read on.

There's something so confoundedly dream-like about all this, so fantastic, even absurd, especially set against the background of the murder of random people taking public transportation in one of the globe's great cities. As reality grows ever darker, our president never ventures far from his scripted version of a fictional world that is nowhere to be seen.

Incidentally, the piece I'm quoting from is by American, Tom Englhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project and author of The End of Victory Culture, a history of American triumphalism in the Cold War. He runs a pretty good website/blog too. Here's some more from him.

They believe no less than our president in their fictional version of reality and are no less eager to impose it on the rest of us. They, too, given half a chance, would create their own failed states in a failed-state world. It is perhaps an insult to children to compare the Bush administration to them, but I'm at a loss for images. I'm a deeply civil person. If I had my choice, like so many people in this world of ours, I would simply wash my hands of their apocalypts and ours. Unfortunately, that's not possible. Theirs, at least, are someone else's responsibility, but Bush and his malign fictional worlds are, it seems, mine.

Now, here's today's last cut & pasted teaser.

... there's something so painfully childlike in the spectacle of him. Here, after all, is a 59-year-old who loves to appear in front of massed troops, saying gloriously encouraging and pugnacious things while being hoo-ah-ed - and almost invariably he makes such appearances dressed in some custom-made military jacket with "commander in chief" specially stitched across his heart, just as he landed on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln back in May 2003 in a navy pilot's outfit. Who could imagine Abraham Lincoln himself, that most civilian of wartime presidents, or Franklin D Roosevelt, or Dwight D Eisenhower, a real general, wearing such GI Joe-style play outfits?

If you like what you've seen so far, you can read all of Engelhardt's excellent article by following the link below.

Stop Press: Update on bombers. Now seems likely at least three suicide bombers dead.

10 July 2005

Iraq 'Drawdown' ~ The Secret Is Out !

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Today, Sunday 10th July 2005, Britain's Daily Mail newspaper stunned us with a super-scoop.

Here's the headline for this amazing, 'exclusive' news report written by Simon Walters, and published in The Sunday Mail. See if it takes your breath away - as quickly as it did mine.

Secret Plan To Quit Iraq


By Simon Walters, Mail on Sunday

Lately, lots of 'leaks' have been appearing in the British press on a pretty regular basis. But, to This Old Brit, this one seems to be the daddy of 'em all. And it's already been officially confirmed as the genuine article.

The Ministry of Defence last night confirmed the leaked document was genuine.

Here's more of this sensational story.

Britain And America are secretly preparing to withdraw most of their troops from Iraq - despite warnings of the grave consequences for the region, The Mail on Sunday has learned.

And there's this.

A secret paper written by Defence Secretary John Reid for Tony Blair reveals that many of the 8,500 British troops in Iraq are set to be brought home within three months, with most of the rest returning six months later.

The leaked document, marked Secret: UK Eyes Only, appears to fly in the face of Mr Blair and President Bush's pledges that Allied forces will not quit until Iraq's own forces are strong enough to take control of security.

So much hitherto unknown information is contained herein, that it's hard to judge which revelation should have us reeling most.

Could it possibly be this?

Embarrassingly, the document says the Americans are split over the plan - and it suggests one of the reasons for getting British troops out is to save money.

Or, perhaps it's this.

It says Mr Bush's allies in the Pentagon and Centcom, or Central Command, are at odds with Army chiefs in Iraq, who fear it is too soon to withdraw in such large numbers.

The document states: "There is a strong US military desire for significant force reductions.
Rearing to read the rest yet?

Here's a final clip & paste before making your way to The Mail's own site.

'Military drawdown'

Mr Reid's memo, prepared for Mr Blair in the past few weeks, shows that in reality, plans to get them out - "military drawdown," as he puts it - are well advanced.

Hit the link to read the entire, explosive ' exclusive' .

IMPORTANT. If you have problems [like others have] using the above link - try the Mail's main page link below, then scroll down a bit for the "Secret Plan to Quit Iraq" story.

08 July 2005

Halliburton's hogging it again ...

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Someone sent me this today. It's from yesterday's (7/7/05) online edition of Aljazeera.

"At this point, why don't we just hand Halliburton the keys to the US Treasury and tell them to turn off the lights when they are done"

Frank Lautenberg, Democratic Senator.

Oh, dear. It's not often This Old Brit misses something as eye-catching as this.

Though with all that was going on over here in England yesterday, perhaps you can appreciate how it happened.

As the current Vice President of the United States of America, Dick Cheney - who just happened to run the giant Halliburton outfit [which includes Kellog brown and Root] until shortly before the 2000 US elections - once said: "I had other priorities."

Remember hearing that little gem? It was Mr Cheney's rather glib reply when questioned as to how come he didn't serve America - like so many of his country's other young men & women did - during the Viet Nam war.

Now, far be it from an old fart of a foreigner like me to cast any aspersions, but don't you find this sort of story just a teenie-weenie bit troublesome? I mean, it's certainly not the first time similar - shall we say suspicions - have surfaced. Nor the second. Nor even the third.

Witness the distinct 'plural' reference in the excerpt below -- deals, not deal.

A top US Army procurement official said last week Halliburton's deals in Iraq were the worst example of contract abuse she had ever seen ...

Hmm. Next, take look at this.

The US military has signed on Halliburton to do nearly $5 billion in new work in Iraq under a giant logistics contract that has so far earned the Texas-based firm $9.1 billion.

Now, are we talking big bucks here -- or are we talking big bucks? All of it taken from the regular American tax payer. No wonder some things never change. Things like the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer still. Boy, what a perverse playing out of the old 'redistribution of wealth' chestnut. Ya think?

And while we're on the subject of thinking -- don't you think this next clip is interesting?

In March, a former KBR employee and a Kuwaiti citizen were indicted for defrauding the US government of more than $3.5 million by inflating the cost of fuel tankers.

What? You've had enough teasers, already? Then click below to read the full article.

07 July 2005

Londoners pay the price ...

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In view of the fact that today's London bombings are being reported worldwide by practically every single TV & radio station, newspaper & news agency and probably by every other blogger too - This Old Brit has decided to leave them to their labours.

Even if the ongoing reports still being filed with the media had now dried up, and the continuing confusion of the released, revised then re-released figures and facts were finally proved to be the latter - right now I'd rather turn my thoughts to another, albeit related, aspect of this sorry situation.

Being a sarcastic sob at the best of times, today I could hardly wait to confirm to my fellow munchkins around the world that all our brave, dear leaders were safe & sound in Scotland when the carnage & chaos commenced. Perfectly protected, by prowling platoons of black-armour clad armed Robocops.

See? It didn't take This Old Brit long to realise how many millions must have been patiently waiting with baited breath for such 'good' news. And you can take this as official - I've confirmed it several times with various assorted sources - not a single hair of their collective big heads has been harmed.

Here endeth the sarcasm.

Sooner or later this sort of strike was bound to happen. After all, wasn't the 'enemy' virtually commanded to "bring it on" - by the most powerful [yet pitiful] presidential prick on the planet? And didn't the Crawford crazy man's poodle-pal Blair, standing shoulder to shoulder with his mad mate, stick out his own silly chin, chest and nose? Didn't he too, metaphorically speaking, pull tongues at half the Muslim world? And when push came to shove, weren't the hate filled, fanatical fundamentalist religious nut jobs more or less just following orders? The orders of one of their own infantile, ignorant ilk?

Follow the flag boys, one can almost hear them calling -- follow the flag for ever.

Aye, the flag's the thing. Keep the flag flying, folks. Fight the good fight, fellahs. Fight under the flag and fight for the flag. Be it a cross or a crescent atop it's staff - fight, fight, fight for the flag.

What a fucking facile philosophy.

Haven't the punch drunk bible bashers of Bush's bully boy battalions been positively praying for some sort of poxy proof? Like proof that 'they' were righteous while the other 'they' were trash?

Well, this morning in London, one particular proof certainly came to pass. The proof positive of the sheer stupidity of illegal invasions and wars. The retarded Rambo-rulers the ordinary people of the US and UK have lately been saddled with, have today helped bring about another supersized sucker-punch.

Unlike London's lesser mortals though - our dear brave leaders were safely out of reach when this particular punch was thrown.

Once again it's been the innocent, decent civilised working people who have suffered . Once more it's been those who can least afford to, who have had to pay the price.

And God stiffen the G8.

05 July 2005

Brit bites back at Chirac ...

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Jacques Chirac can criticize the likes of Bush and Blair until he turns blue in the face, as far as This Old Brit is concerned. But when he decides to get personal and attack the British people as a whole, This Old Brit is the ideal fellow to put the pratt in his proper place.

So, leeesten verrreee carefully Jacques, I shall say zeeess only once. Fermez votre grand bouche!

In case you haven't heard, the big Frenchman has just gone right over the top. As he struts his stuff towards Scotland and the G8 meeting to talk about the world's starving millions while filling his own fat face full of the finest fare to be had, he's once again been opening his big loud mouth - way, way too wide.

Still smarting over his latest series of hissy-hissy straps with Blair, he's started slagging off we Brits as whole. Claiming everything the English eat is crap. Including our best British beef. Mad cow chow on a platter, insinuates the big gormless Gaul.

He's also been silly enough to stir things up with his upcoming hosts, the Scots. Haggis is horrible, Chirac's very publicly announced.

Well, I for one say that's really bloody rich! A Frenchman criticizing British eating habits?

Mon Dieu monsieur, that you of all people should dare to spout such senseless, stupid shit.

Lessons in what we ought to eat - from you? You have absolutely got to be joking, you continental clown. If it wasn't so patheticaly hilarious it could be construed as serious.

Advice on food, from somebody who feeds franticaly on frogs? Somebody who wallows in the serial swallowing of smelly, slimy snails? Somebody who habitually hogs himself out on horse meat? Somebody who consistently gorges on garlic? Somebody who personally stinks as strongly as the 'orrible onions almost oozing from his every orifice?

Not to mention the fact that if it weren't for the likes of This Old Brit's brave, late father and uncles, Chirac & his crazy crew would be writing their so called, cordon-bleu menus in ruddy German.

Furthermore, the unspeakably obscene cruelties inflicted on live French geese to satisfy their pseudo aristo cravings for patte de foie gras, is quite beyond belief.

Below, lies the link to the proof. But be warned. It is most certainly not suitable for consumption by those with sensitive stomachs.

04 July 2005

4th July - Variations on the theme ...

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As the whole wide world and his dog knows, today the United States of America eagerly celebrates 4th July - Independence Day.

What's not nearly as widely known nor well remembered, is that the United Kingdom has it's own very good reason to celebrate the same date. For it was on this day in 1954 when 14 years of food-rationing finally finished - having been introduced on 26th July 1942, during those dark days of WW2.

How many here, I wonder, remember the years of rationing as clearly as This Old Brit does? Perhaps some would rather not say for fear of giving their age away. Heh. Ain't vanity a virtue?

Here's how the BBC reported, 51 years ago today, the nationwide UK derationing celebrations.

1954: Housewives celebrate end of rationing.

Fourteen years of food rationing in Britain ended at midnight when restrictions on the sale and purchase of meat and bacon were lifted.

Members of the London Housewives' Association held a special ceremony in London's Trafalgar Square to mark Derationing Day.

I wonder how many times the more senior among us have told our children - and our grandchildren - things like: "You don't know the meaning of hardship." Or maybe: "You've got things easy these days." And, especially this particular old favourite: "When I was your age .......".

Ha! I'll wager most of This Old Brit's younger readers find exactly the same phrases every bit as familar. Right, guys? Indeed, I'm willing to bet that right now the sound of many bells are ringing just about everywhere. No?

However, then just as now, good news always seemed to be tempered by some not so good news. As shown in the next BBC clip & paste, for example.

Butchers are predicting meat prices will soar for the next couple of weeks ...

Like Perry Como crooned - memories are made of this - eh? But as for those times being 'the good old days'? This Old Brit thinks not; most definitely not.

Whilst not in any way wanting to seem a grumpy old party-pooper, I happen to believe that it would behold us all, to pause from our respective celebrations for a moment - and ponder.

Ponder upon why, even now, after so much sacrifice, deprivation and suffering by so many people throughout the world , many millions still struggle daily in similarly sad situations.

As I write, already five and a half years into the 21st century, two thirds of our planet's people still go hungry; to the point of actual starvation in many, many cases.

Even with food ration books, life wouldn't become any less miserable for these poor souls. Because, people can't eat ration books.

Promises won't feed anyone, either. Be they made by Blair, Bush or the alleged great & good of the posturing and dubious, gents of G8. Incidentally, I use the words posturing & dubious, advisedly.

Consider the very recent self righteous, personal and pompus trumpet blowing of George Bush. What a pity most people don't realise that all the extra aid he's been bragging about giving where it's needed - isn't quite what it seems to be. What he's actually giving - is no more than a promise. A promise that by the year 2010, he will have delivered on that promise.

This Old Brit says: "Promises cost nothing, and G.W. Bush promises are worth even less than that."

So, while it is nice to celebrate, it's also important to contemplate. And then to take time to show some compassion - in measurably sincere and practical ways.

Now, whether it's to learn or reminisce, to wallow in nostalgia or simply to satisfy plain old curiosity - the BBC's rationing-related web site is well worth a visit. As is the rationing-picture site I've also provided a linked for .

03 July 2005

OIL ~ The Hundred Dollar Barrel ?

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If you thought the price of oil had peaked when it hit a record $60 per barrel last week, then you should think again. How's this for a horror headline?

* Oil 'will hit $100 by winter' *

Worst-ever crisis looms, says analyst. Surging demand to keep prices high.

Heather Stewart, economics correspondent, The Observer, Sunday July 3, 2005

So, you may be thinking, who the heck is this Heather Stewart? What the hell does she know?

Let This Old Brit enlighten you a little. She knows what a famous Texan oil analyst is warning - that's what. Take a look below and see for yourself.

Oil prices could rocket to $100 within six months, plunging the world into an unprecedented fuel crisis, controversial Texan oil analyst Matt Simmons has warned.

He warns of the possibility of something else too. More bloody war!

Yep, honestly and truly. Can you believe it? Well ...... can you? Really?

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest producer, is running out of oil, and further price rises are inevitable as supplies decline. He warns that the scramble for resources could eventually descend into war.

Others in the know are now openly airing their own oil worries. Amongst those others is the EIU - who have this to say.

... EIU warned that its forecasts - which show a 30 per cent increase in oil prices for 2005 - could prove too conservative ...

How long can this shambles go on? That's the 64,000 dollar question of course. But, surely something has got to give? Or maybe, someone has just got to go? And, sooner rather than later.
And now, another specialist oil analyst, from the giant Citigroup, chimes in too.

'It's fear,' said Kyle Cooper, an analyst at Citigroup.

Well, I don't know about you, but this certainly scares the This Old Brit. Not just the increasingly likely possibility of seeing the hundred dollar oil barrel - within six months - either. What scares me most is what Simmons, almost casually, throws into the conversation. Here it is again in case you missed it, or if it didn't sink in, the first time of reading.

... the scramble for resources could eventually descend into war...

If you've got the stomach for more, then hit the link at the end.

By the way, before I forget - here's a special message for all This Old Brit's American friends.

Y'all have yourselves a very, very happy 4th of July!

Observer link to the full oil article:,6903,1519745,00.html

02 July 2005

Iraq Secrets and US & UK Lies ...

Here's some more powder to keep nice and dry. I suggest you store it somewhere safe. Filed right alongside those Downing Street Memos should be as good a place as any.

Roy Greenslade is professor of journalism at London's City University, and in today's Guardian he 'salutes' author Dilip Hiro's fine work - "Secrets and Lies: The True Story of the Iraq War". It's a depressing yet magisterial assessment of the reasoning that led to the Iraq invasion and war.

This Old Brit salutes Mr Hiro, too. He's a man who not only knows what he's writing about - but also who he's writing about. What's more, he's one of that rare breed of writers not afraid to come right out and name names.

For example, just take a look at this little lot:

Dick Cheney; Rumsfeld's deputy, Paul Wolfowitz; the under secretary of defence, Douglas Feith; the defence adviser Richard Perle; the president's chief political adviser, Karl Rove; and, of course, the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice.

It goes without saying, of course, that Bush, Blair, Rumsfeld and Saddam also get more than a mere mention. Likewise, Colin Powell. Indeed, Greenslade writes thus:

Hiro's point-by-point rebuttal of Powell's allegations is masterly.

All the political lies, distortions and obfuscations of both the US and UK to help themselves more easily launch their illegal Iraq invasion, are coolly dismantled in the most meticulous manner imaginable.

Witness this particular excerpt.

That he does the job so meticulously - even, arguably, in too detailed a fashion on occasion - makes his overall indictment even more powerful than the scatter-gun approach of other war critics, such as Michael Moore.

And take a look at this.

... he holds up every piece of fake intelligence to scrutiny, revealing both its falsity and the propaganda use to which it was put. Every excuse advanced by Bush and Blair for the invasion is shown to be hollow, as they seek to conceal the main reason for their pre-emptive strike: the desire for regime change. In some of the most telling passages, Hiro reveals the key roles played by the sinister group who surrounded Bush ...

Then, squirm in disgust as you read:

... the Pentagon strenuously denied that it had used napalm in Iraq, despite an Australian correspondent witnessing its use. That wasn't napalm, said a spokesman, it was a Mark 77 firebomb. As Hiro observes this statement was "cynical sophistry", since the Mark 77 is a mixture of kerosene and polystyrene, while napalm is a mixture of jet fuel and polystyrene. The result is just the same ...

And for today's final teaser.

But the haunting moments come, just as they did in the revelations about the reality of the Vietnam war, when one discovers that neither politicians nor military leaders ever tell the truth.

Like to learn more? Then click on the link for the full article.,10595,1519046,00.html

01 July 2005

Real Politik ~ and ~ The Odd Couple ...

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I remember it came as quite a surprise, the first time one of my American liberal friends said: "Bill Clinton was the best Republican President we ever had." Not surprisingly, the surprise was to last but a fleeting moment. I mean, isn't that the very nature of surprise?

The preceding question was, of course, rhetorical. The next one isn't. Quite the reverse in fact. I genuinely look forward to hearing as many of This Old Brit readers' answers as possible. Maybe some will surprise me again, eh? Oh yeah, before I forget - here's my next question. What's your take on Julian Borger's fascinating George & Bill piece in today's Guardian?

The late-flowering bond between Bill Clinton and George Bush Sr is so unlikely that the two ex-presidents, from either side of America's political divide, have been dubbed the Odd Couple. Is it just a shared love of golf, or could there be deeper motives behind their extraordinary friendship? And what does George Jr make of it all?

Intriguing, isn't it? Here's an example of how Borger sees it.

In some ways it would be less shocking to see Margaret Thatcher and Neil Kinnock wandering arm in arm along Blackpool beach. Bill's battle for the presidency with George senior in 1992 was tame compared to the last two bile-drenched elections, but it wasn't a love-fest either. Bush, feeling the presidency slipping away from him, famously derided Clinton as a "bozo" and claimed his dog knew more about foreign affairs. As he nursed his wounds at his seaside home at Kennebunkport in Maine, it was said that he took years to recover from defeat.

Borger then goes on to further inform his readers.

And yet here was his nemesis at Kennebunkport on Monday, kneeling on the lawn petting one of the Bush dogs before being welcomed into the mansion like one of the family.

Birds of a feather? Hobson's choice? Regardless of the colour of their party's rosettes, all politicians are the same? Same old, same old? A snake-oil salesman is a snake-oil salesman, period!? United the powerful stand - while divided the rest of us fall? It takes one to know one? Same difference? Wizards and munchkins, whatever? Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum? Rulers are rulers are rulers. You've seen one - you've seen 'em all? Six of one & half a dozen of the other? No-soul mates? It's all case of class - always was and always will be?

Maybe you've got some better ideas or maybe you know something I don't. Either way, I'd like to hear from you.

In the meantime, here's another choice little tid-bit fom today's Guardian to help you take a view.

What is more, Jeb Bush, the Florida governor and the president's brother, reportedly refers to Clinton now as "bro'". And even Barbara, the acid-tongued Bush matriarch (and the woman George junior, the president, dubs "the enforcer") jokingly called Clinton "son" at a public event in May.

"I told the Republicans in the audience not to worry," Clinton said later. "Every family has one - you know, the black sheep ... I told them: 'This just shows you the lengths [to] which the Bushes would go to get another president in the family and I wish I could get them to adopt Hillary.'"

Hmm. Are you thinking what the Old Brit is thinking? Here's one final taster for you.

Meanwhile, Bush Sr has struck some blows of his own. In the run-up to the Iraq war, his former national security adviser and closest political confidant, Brent Scowcroft, warned of "an armageddon in the Middle East" if the administration pushed ahead with its invasion plans. Worse still in the eyes of the president's partisans, George senior conferred his annual award for public service in 2003 on Senator Ted Kennedy, arguably the administration's fiercest and most effective critic in Congress.

OK - enough teasing. Click the link below to read the full article. ( Remember though, This Old Brit wants to know about your take on this. ),12271,1518759,00.html