Prince Andrew, the latest victim of…Aiscophilia

Prince Andrew linked to sex predator. And it’s not even Koo Stark. Big news? Shouldn’t be, really.

Aiscophilia, the (genetic?) predisposition for getting oneself entangled in a scandal, has been plaguing the British Royal Family for a long time: Harry the Nazi in 2005, the violent serial urinating cousin head of the House of Hanover, Edward the abdicating King of 1936, Albert Victor “the dissipated” grandchild of Queen Victoria.

And Philip too. Of course, he’s family too: third cousin to Elizabeth.

Blame the genes!!!

Political Views As Of Nov 22, 2010

Well, it looks like I am a mildly-conservative radical libertarian. How does that translate in the world of now?

  • In the UK: I am mildly sympathetic to the positions expressed by the former trotskyites of Spiked, even if I find them excessively meldrewsque at times. BNP aside, I can’t stand the UKIP,  the only political party whose leaflet I have given back to its startled distributors at my local station, as I find its very existence offensive to a tax-paying foreigner such as myself. As for Lab, Lib/Dem and Tories, well, the jury is still out in the quest of understanding what exactly they different one another from, once they are in power.
  • In Italy: I have voted for both centre-left (Prodi) and centre-right (Berlusconi) coalitions. I have been politically active in both coalitions. Funny thing is, I didn’t have to change my political convictions in order to do that. Right now I am politically active in Berlusconi’s “Popolo della Liberta'” political rassemblement, and can’t see any alternative in the sea of interrupted Italian politicians calling themselves “leaders”.
  • As if things weren’t complex enough, I am also a Roman Catholic and I strongly disagree with the Church’s involvement in politics, or its teachings about public attitudes to sex. That’s hardly the opinion of a potential candidate for the Presidency of the European’s People’s Party.

If anybody finds anybody of similar political beliefs as myself please do send me name and address, as it will be the second member of the Party!

Plenty Of Questions About Sahil’s Kidnapping

There is very little that makes sense in Sahil Saeed’s kidnapping. The fact that he has been well treated and freed relatively quickly points towards one or more family friends or acquaintances as having been involved, up to a point obviously (otherwise the boy would have risked recognizing them).

The amount paid for a ransom is simply too little to justify a complex operation involving people in Pakistan and Spain, with some of them traveling to Paris. If the five arrested so far were all involved, plus another five or so in Pakistan including one person to take care of the boy, one family friend or acquaintance, plus three or more armed kidnappers,  we reach a total of 10 people, all risking giant jail sentences for £11,000 each.

For the same reason one can discount the possibility of some of the kidnappers being the same people arrested in France and Spain…at levels like those outlined above, even a £500 airline ticket becomes too heavy a cost, not to mention the Barcelona apartment.

If I were to let my imagination run wild, I would think of some kind of business vendetta against Sahil’s father. Let’s see how things evolve…

Suicidio Assistito – Le Domande Per I Cittadini Britannici (In Italiano)

Di seguito la traduzione dei “fattori di scelta” fra cui possono da oggi scegliere i Cittadini del Regno Unito nella Consultazione sul Suicidio Assistito promossa dal Procuratore Generale.

Andando all’apposito sito web, e’ possibile scaricare un file Word dove al pubblico e’ richiesto di indicare quali fattori siano ritenuti i piu’ importanti nella scelta se portare o no avanti l’azione penale contro chi aiuti un suicidio (ricordiamo che in Gran Bretagna non c’e’ l’obbligatorieta’, dell’azione penale):

(“vittima“: il suicida; “sospetto“: chi ha aiutato il suicida)


(1) La vittima era sotto i 18 anni di età.

(2) La capacità della vittima di prendere una decisione ponderata era stata compromessa da riconosciute malattie mentali o difficoltà di apprendimento.

(3) La vittima non aveva un chiaro, stabilito e informato desiderio di suicidarsi, per esempio, la storia della vittima suggerisce che il suo desiderio di suicidio era temporaneo o soggetto a cambiamenti

(4) La vittima non aveva indicato in modo inequivocabile al sospetto che lui o lei voleva suicidarsi

(5) La vittima non aveva chiesto personalmente di sua iniziativa l’assistenza del sospetto

(6) La vittima non aveva:

> Una malattia terminale, oppure
> Una disabilità fisica grave e incurabile, o
> Una condizione fisica degenerativa grave

da cui non vi era alcuna possibilità di recupero.

(7) Il sospetto non e’ stato completamento motivato da compassione, per esempio, e’ stato motivato dalla prospettiva che egli/ella o una persona con cui e’ strettamente collegato/a avrebbe avuto un qualche vantaggio dalla morte della vittima.

(8) Il sospetto aveva convinto, fatto pressioni o maliziosamente incoraggiato la vittima a commettere il suicidio, o aveva esercitato un’influenza impropria nel processo decisionale della vittima, e non aveva adottato misure ragionevoli per garantire che qualsiasi altra persona che non l’avesse fatto.

(9) La vittima era fisicamente in grado di commettere da sola l’atto compiuto dal sospetto per aiutarla a suicidarsi.

(10) Il sospetto non era il coniuge, il partner o un parente stretto o non aveva un rapporto stretto e personale di amicizia con la vittima.

(11) Il sospetto era sconosciuto alla vittima e l’aveva assistita a commettere suicidio fornendo specifiche informazioni via, per esempio, un sito web o una pubblicazione.

(12) Il sospetto aveva fornito assistenza a più di una vittima senza che queste si conoscessero l’un l’altro.

(13) Il sospettato ha ricevuto una ricompensa dalla vittima o da persone a quella vicine per la sua assistenza.

(14) Il sospetto si era occupato della vittima in un ambiente come una casa di riposo.

(15) Il sospetto era consapevole che la vittima aveva pianificato di suicidarsi in un luogo pubblico in cui era ragionevole pensare che membri del pubblico potessero essere presenti.

(16) Il sospettato era/e’ membro di un’organizzazione o di un gruppo, il cui obiettivo principale è quello di fornire un ambiente / le condizioni (a pagamento o meno) in cui per consentire un altro a commettere suicidio.



(1) La vittima aveva un chiaro, stabilito e informato desiderio di suicidarsi

(2) La vittima aveva indicato in modo inequivocabile al sospetto che lui o lei voleva suicidarsi

(3) La vittima aveva chiesto personalmente di sua iniziativa l’assistenza del sospetto

(4) La vittima aveva:

> Una malattia terminale, oppure
> Una disabilità fisica grave e incurabile, o
> Una condizione fisica degenerativa grave

da cui non vi era alcuna possibilità di recupero.

(5) Il sospettato e’ stato interamente motivato da compassione.

(6) Il sospetto era il coniuge, il partner o un parente stretto o un amico intimo della vittima, nel contesto di un rapporto di mutuo sostegno di lunga durata.

(7) Le azioni del sospetto, anche se sufficiente per rientrare nella definizione del reato, sono state solo di assistenza o influenza minore, o l’assistenza che la il sospetto ha fornito erano conseguenza del suo abituale lavoro regolare.

(8) La vittima non era fisicamente in grado di commettere da sola l’atto compiuto dal sospetto per aiutarla a suicidarsi

(9) Il sospetto ha cercato di dissuadere la vittima dall’intraprendere la linea d’azione che ha portato al suo suicidio.

(10) La vittima aveva preso in considerazione e seguito in misura ragionevole trattamento e opzioni di cura riconosciuti.

(11) La vittima aveva in precedenza tentato il suicidio ed era probabile che provasse di nuovo.

(12) Le azioni del sospetto possono essere pensate come aiuto riluttante di fronte di una volontà determinata da parte della vittima di suicidarsi.

(13) Il sospetto ha pienamente assistito la polizia nelle indagini sulle circostanze del suicidio o del tentativo e sulla sua parte nel fornire assistenza.

Vanessa George’s Case A Potential Miscarriage Of Justice

A nursery worker with 10 years of experience is “charged with a series of sexual assaults on children“.

I am not convinced by those charges.

The police has been strangely describing some of the images in their possession as “only of torsos. Not even one “victim” has been identified so far.

It is also shameful that Ms George’s photograph has been allowed for printing in the media, thereby marking her for life whatever the outcome of the judicial process.

Sexual assaults by women on young children are quite rare (but not too rare – DO NOT CLICK ON THIS LINK IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A STRONG STOMACH). In any case, they are rare enough to warrant a higher level of skepticism than usual before believing the police is not just risking yet another British miscarriage of justice.

Simon Singh’s Unfortunate Mistake

I do not think Simon Singh‘s loss in the libel case brought by the British Chiropractic Association can be reversed.

If Singh’s original sentence was the following (the article has been withdrawn)

[The BCA] is the respectable face of the chiropractic profession and yet it happily promotes bogus treatments

then the implication that the BCA is knowingly promoting bogus treatment could hardly have been spelled out more clearly.

People may argue about the opportunity for the BCA to throw itself into what was obviously going to be a high-profile case.

But if they had left Singh’s words unchallenged, surely at the BCA itself they could have open the floodgates to legal actions by unhappy clients…and especially unhappy had they learned that the BCA did not believe in its treatments.

There is a general consensus that English libel laws are just unfair and can be used in lieu of censorship. But Singh wasn’t exactly born yesterday, and must have know those laws for a long time.

L’Impero (Britannico) Del Male

Si dice che a grandi capacita’ corrispondano grandi responsabilita’: una frase evidente nelle conseguenze ancora attuali dell’Impero Britannico e del suo disfacimento.

L’Impero Britannico, che occupo’ a un certo punto la maggior parte delle terre emerse e della popolazione umana, probabilmente il piu’ grande che sara’ mai esistito, impegnato idealmente in una missione civilizzatrice e mercantilistica, e’ insomma la causa di una vasta quantita’ dei problemi affliggono il nostro tempo.

C’e’ un legame praticamente diretto fra le decisioni prese in nome e per conto di quell’Impero decenni fa, e quanto avviene in questo momento in Israele/Palestina, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, a Cipro, in Sudafrica e in Zimbabwe, in Egitto e in Sudan, in India e Pakistan, in Birmania, in Iran, in Malesia e in Indonesia.

Prendiamo ad esempio l’Iraq. Facile dare la colpa all’impreparazione e imperizia degli occupanti Americani per le continue carneficine: ma tutto cio’ non spiega perche’ cosi’ tanti Iracheni siano cosi’ tanto intenzionati ad uccidere i loro connazionali.

Riflettiamo su questo ultimo sostantivo. “Connazionali” implica che ci sia qualcosa in comune fra un abitante di Mosul nel Nord, uno di Baghdad nel centro e uno di Bassora nel Sud dell’Iraq. Ne siamo sicuri? Esiste una “nazione irachena”, cosi’ come esiste una nazione “italiana”?

No. Perche’ l’Iraq che conosciamo e’ stato messo insieme fra il 1921 e il 1926 unendo tre province del vecchio Impero Ottomano, smembrato dopo la Grande Guerra dalle Potenze Vincitrici. L’accordo segreto franco-britannico Sykes-Picot nel 1916 aveva affidato gran parte dell’area del Tigri e dell’Eufrate al Governo di Londra, che aveva creato un ufficio apposito per recuperare antiche toponomastiche e mettere un’etichetta ai nuovi Stati, come “Iraq” e “Giordania”.

L’Iraq affidato poi al Re Faisal all’indipendenza nel 1932 conteneva almeno tre Nazioni forzate insieme: i Kurdi di Mosul, i Musulmani Sunniti di Baghdad, i Musulmani Sciiti di Bassora. Cosa c’e’ di strano, in questa logica distorta, se poi Saddam Hussein ha deciso di invadere il ricchissimo Kuwait, i cui confini erano stati tagliati artificialmente nel 1932, naturalmente dal britannico Sir Percy Cox, per impedire all’Iraq di avere un porto profondo abbastanza da essere sfruttabile?

E’ stato tristemente naturale che, in assenza di una qualunque motivazione di solidarieta’ fra i vari gruppi, piano piano l’Iraq scendesse in una situazione di odio interetnico, tenuto insieme solo dalla ferocia del regime di Saddam. Dietro le bombe di oggi, palesi testimonianze del fatto che tanti Iracheni non vedono tanti altri Iracheni come persone umane, ma come oggetti di odio da uccidere in massa, c’e’ quindi il cinico calcolo dell’Impero Britannico che 80 anni fa decise di creare uno Stato dal nulla. Un discorso simile anche se non identico si puo’ fare riguardo l’Afghanistan, l’India e il Pakistan.

Ci sono volute infatti tre guerre, la prima addirittura persa nel 1839/1842, perche’ l’Impero Britannico avesse ragione dei recalcitranti Afghani, il cui regno paradossalmente non era considerato sufficentemente solido per resistere a un eventuale assalto da parte dello Zar di Russia. Il fatto e’ che il subcontinente indiano era considerato davvero la Perla dell’Impero, a Londra, e quindi tutto era subordinato a fare in modo che niente e nessuno potesse minacciarlo, e soprattutto la Russia che dal Baltico era gia’ arrivata al Pacifico e magari pensava di mandare i cosacchi ad abbeverare i cavalli nel Gange.

Fu quella la fonte in Asia di un secolo di guerra di prossimita’ fra i due enormi Imperi, che duro’ dall’epoca di Napoleone fino alla vigilia della Prima Guerra Mondiale. All’Afghanistan fu quindi imposta finalmente nel 1893 la perdita delle regioni orientali, circa la meta’ del territorio che forma oggi il Pakistan, separato da un nuovo confine chiamato la Linea Durand. Senonche’ l’etnia Pashtun si trovo’ un po’ di qua e un po’ di la’: e da quella etnia provengono i Taleban.

C’e’ da meravigliarsi, se mostrano ancora segni di recalcitranza? Gia’ Churchill aveva definito i Pashtun come dotati di “un codice d’onore cosi’ strano e inconsistente da risultare incomprensibile a una mente logica”, visto che “il loro sistema etico considera le trappole e la violenza come virtu’ invece che vizi”. Forse uno pensera’ male, ma non sara’ stato forse il caso che la Linea Durand sia stata messa li’ secondo l’antico Divide et Impera, per evitare che i Pashtun potessero fare guerra per l’ennesima volta ai Britannici? E infatti quando ci hanno riprovato, nel 1919, hanno perso.

In Pakistan intanto le aree Pashtun non sono considerate alla stregua di regioni “normali”, ma classificate come “aree tribali” dove lo Stato ammette di non poter fare piu’ di tanto. D’altronde lo stesso Pakistan, l’unico Stato al mondo dove basta essere musulmani per essere cittadini, e’ stato appiccicato insieme, mettendo appunto un pezzo di Afghanistan con un pezzo di India, nel 1947, secondo il piano di Muhammad Ali Jinnah incoraggiato, neanche a farlo apposta, dal Vicere’ Britannico Lord Mountbatten. E alla creazione del Pakistan, come si sa, si puo’ far risalire le stragi del 1948 e innumerevoli guerre contro la Repubblica Indiana; la terribile guerra d’indipendenza del Bangladesh nel 1970; la disseminazione di segreti atomici verso loschi figuri negli anni ’80 e ’90; la nascita e il finanziamento dei Taleban stessi, e quindi la crescita del movimento di Osama bin Laden. E dunque al-Qeada, le Torri Gemelle, tantissimo sangue in tutto il mondo inclusi i terribili giorni di Mumbai a fine novembre 2008.

Potremmo continuare per molto. C’e’ lo zampino britannico dietro l’instabilita’ e quindi il pugno di ferro siriani; il fondamentalismo della casa regnante saudita; il conflitto senza fine fra Israeliani e Palestinesi; la mentalita’ d’assedio dell’Iran e il tentativo di procurarsi la Bomba (non e’ un caso se gli inglesi siano piu’ odiati, in Iran, degli americani); le situazioni di crisi del Sudan, da quella con l’Egitto (separatosi nel 1956 allo scopo di allontanare i britannici), alle guerre interne contro i cristiano-animisti del Sud e i poveri Darfuriani nell’Ovest; la guerra interetnica di Cipro, e decenni di nervi tesi fra Grecia e Turchia; le continue incomprensioni e stragi in Nigeria; il regime razzista in Sudafrica, quello in Rhodesia, la guerra che ha fatto nascere lo Zimbabwe e adesso l’involuzione di quel Paese; la durissima dittatura militare in Birmania, altro “Stato fantoccio” messo insieme per proteggere l’India Britannica; l’assurda divisione fra Malesia e Indonesia con diverse isole tagliate inspiegabilmente in due; e naturalmente, quel disastro che e’ la situazione del Tibet in Cina (le prime mappature segrete di quell’antico regno sono del 1865, ovviamente da parte di agenti britannici, cui segui’ nel 1903 una spedizione militare guidata da Sir Francis Younghusband, che porto’ il saluto di Re Edoardo VII a suon di stragi).

Sembra quasi che a salvarsi sia il solo Canada, ex-colonia britannica che bonta’ sua non ha mai fatto pasticci con nessuno (l’Australia ha una lunga storia di maltrattamento dei nativi).

Potremmo definirlo un vero e proprio Impero del Male, dunque, quello nato all’epoca corsara di Elisabetta I e concluso con la fine degli anni 1960. Al quale, occorre dirlo, si sono affiancati imperi altrettanto funesti per la situazione attuale, come quello francese (si vedano i confini assurdi fra gli Stati africani), o quello belga (cui si puo’ far risalire finanche il genocidio in Rwanda). Ma fare la morale al passato, tutto sommato un posto a noi alieno come il futuro, non serve a molto.

Quello che occorre e’ imparare dalla Storia, per non rifare gli stessi errori continuamente. E la lezione da ricavare dall’Impero Britannico e’ presto condensata: se pensiamo a risolvere solo i nostri problemi, e solo per l’oggi, non stiamo facendo altro che uccidere i nostri nipoti Se i Sudditi di Sua Maesta’ avessero avuto il coraggio di fare gli interessi anche dei popoli che via via assoggettavano, probabilmente ogggi non staremo a piangere su Iraq o Afghanistan o India o chissa’ quanti altri posti pieni di lutti e rovine.

British Workers First! Down With Foreign Labour!

I will show my support for the British strikes against the use of foreign labour by leaving the country the day after…getting back all the taxes I have paid in the UK since Nov 1, 1997.

It’s your chance, Gordon, to free up yet another workplace for a native of Albion. And for a relatively minor amount of money too!!!

What If The UK Were A Reflection Of Its Prime Minister?

Aimless with Heath, self-defeating with Callahan, self-centred with Thatcher, clueless-yet-advancing with Major, booming in its own bubble with Blair, and now unstoppably gloomy with Brown…does the UK follow the PM du jour, or is the PM always what the UK deserves (and wants)?

Scotland Yard Reveals: Pope “Not a Catholic”

The Metropolitan Police confirmed Mr Green was arrested by members of its counter-terrorism command, thought to be Special Branch officers, at his home in Kent and searches were conducted at his homes in London and Kent and at two offices in Kent and London. It said the investigation was not terrorism related but did fall within the counter-terror unit’s remit and thatit was made without the knowledge or approval of ministers.”

If you don’t hear from Yours Truly for a while, please send cake with obligatory hand-file to Belmarsh Prison, Thamesmead, London (UK)

Gordon Brown Gone Ga-Ga

Back to Basics on Iran and the Bomb

Oceans of ink are being wasted without addressing the most basic issue regarding Iran and its nuclear weapons program. The latest example is Peter D. Zimmerman’s op-ed, “Nearer to the Bomb” (IHT, July 8), where we are treated to 674 words in order to state the most obvious of facts (“the real purpose of Iranian enrichment is to provide fuel for weapons, not reactors“).

However, not a comma is dedicated to the problem of Iran’s own security, regularly and openly threatened with talks of war and mentions of foreign-supported “regime change”.

Have we learned really nothing from years of negotiations going nowhere, of sanctions resulting in nothing, and of incentives regularly failing to persuade successive Iranian Presidents and negotiators? Does anybody seriously think that Iran can afford, at this stage, to remain nuclearly unarmed?

Mr Zimmermann rather tellingly is able to contemplate harsh sanctions but only “modest low-calorie sweeteners“. That is exactly the kind of attitude that has brought the “Iran Bomb” issue where it stands at the moment.

When and where will the EU or the USA find instead the courage to offer full security guarantees to the Islamic Republic, in order to achieve a less nuclear, more secure world?

Un Amore Oltre L’Incredibile, Praticamente Normale, Tutto Sommato Ovvio

La scrittrice Jan Morris, molto nota e rispettata nel Regno Unito ha “registrato la sua unione civile” (=sposato) la sua partner di tanti anni, Elizabeth. Fin qui non molto di strano: e’ da tempo che i matrimoni omosessuali sono stati legalizzati dal Parlamento di Londra.

Elizabeth era gia’ stata sposata, fino al 1972, quando ha ottenuto il divorzio dallo scrittore James Humphrey Morris. Anche questo non e’ per niente rimarchevole, visto che la maggior parte dei matrimoni anglosassoni sono per qualche destinati allo scioglimento.

Quello che potrebbe meravigliare e’ che James Humphrey Morris e Jan Morris sono…la stessa persona!!

In pratica, lo scrittore ha cambiato sesso 36 anni fa, con tanto di operazione e divorzio dalla moglie: con la quale pero’ ha continuato a convivere, e adesso dopo 58 anni insieme il riconoscimento di un rapporto cosi’  continuativo e’ praticamente doveroso. Il massimo del romanticismo insomma: al di la’ di tutto ma proprio tutto.

Aspettiamoci qualcosa del genere anche in Italia. Nel XXII secolo, pero’…

Ricordando l’Arandora Star

Tramite il blog dell’On. Picchi in visita alla comunita’ italiana in Scozia, imparo della tragedia dell’Arandora Star, la nave adibita al trasporto di internati, salpata l’1 Luglio 1940 da Liverpool senza i colori adeguati, povera di scialuppe e stracarica di Tedeschi e Italiani da anni residenti nel Regno Unito, e la cui unica colpa era quella di avere la nazionalita’ sbagliata: un “delitto” che li condannava alla deportazione in Canada.

Alloggiati alla bell’e’ meglio dopo essere stati sottratti alle famiglie in un batter d’occhio da chi paranoicamente li pensava tutti delle potenziali spie, non andarono oltre l’Irlanda, colpiti da un sommergibile tedesco il 2 Luglio 1940.

Morirono 800 persone, fra le quali anche membri dell’equipaggio. Gli Italiani che non tornarono piu’ a casa furono 446, uno dei quali di 16 anni, e due di 68 anni, incluso Silvestro D’Ambrosio emigrato in Inghilterra ben 42 anni prima, nel 1898 (e con due figli in guerra agli ordini di Sua Maesta’ Giorgio VI).

I superstiti, naturalmente, praticamente appena asciugati e rifocillati furono deportati comunque, verso l’Australia (in convogli meglio organizzati, evidentemente, visto che non furono affondati). Alcune famiglie li seppero ancora in vita solo alla fine della guerra.

Il governo britannico non ha ancora riconosciuto le sue colpe, e non ha provveduto ad alcun risarcimento. C’e’ una campagna per l’Arandora Star su Internet, cui invito a partecipare.

Un monumento alle vittime, anche a ricordo dell’immigrazione italiana, ha l’appoggio dell’Arcivescovo Cattolico di Glasgow, Monsignor Mario Conti.

Very Very Nasty UK and Ireland Weather for Monday 10’s Rush Hour

With cyclone Johanna forecasted as the worst of the 2007-2008 winter for UK and Ireland, I am worried that the proverbial BBC fixation for understatement will leave people unsure on how bad it can really get.


This is what the BBC Weather warnings page has to say: Sunday 9 March EARLY WARNING An intense area of low pressure is forecast cross the UK on Monday. Both wind and rain will be notable with potential for disruption to transport and power supplies. England and Wales look most at risk at the moment, with gusts of wind up to 70mph, locally 80mph for exposed coasts and hills Further updates will appear here.

There is an article “Flood alert amid storm warnings” but despite the warnings affecting millions of people, it’s not the main story and will be surely and easily missed by most.

They have even managed to give more space to the thoughts of LibDem Leader Whoknows Whatsmyname, and to heavy snow affecting the American Midwest…

BBC UK main page 2008 - 03 - 09 16:42GMT


But enough of the BBC: Anybody living in England should prepare for extremely awful conditions, and as far as I know the areas around Birmingham and on the west/south coast can be hit particularly badly.

There are several indicators in that direction. For example the Icelandic Weather office expects the following map for Monday (lines close to each other indicate strong winds; and the minimum at the centre of the L is truly and exceptionally low):

Let’s read it from other “experts” too:

(a) From the Met Office:

Severe weather warning for most of England

Issued at: 1110 Sun 9 Mar
Severe Gales 0001 Mon 10 – 0300 Tue 11
The Met Office continues to expect an intense low pressure system to move east across the UK during Monday, bringing severe gales and potentially damaging gusts across some areas, more particularly the west and south of England and Wales. Southerly winds are expected to strengthen during the early hours of Monday to give severe gales for a time, coinciding with the morning rush hour in some areas. An additional swathe of severe westerly gales will follow through the morning and afternoon, principally affecting southwest England and the south coast of England. Gusts of 60 to 70 mph are likely with the possibility of 80 mph gusts on exposed coasts and hills. Disruption to transport and power supplies is possible and there may be damage to buildings and trees. In addition high waves and flooding may affect coastal areas in the south. This warning is likely to be superseded by FLASH messages.

(b) From

Give me hope Johanna!
Added : Sun 9 March : 15:50GMT

All eyes are now on Storm Johanna which is set to be the most powerful storm system this Winter to hit the UK.

OK, so how’s the system going to develop and what can we expect? First of all, Johanna is going to have two main parts, the first is the warm front with the heavy rain and strong winds which will sweep East overnight tonight and into Monday. The second is the severe gales which will push into the South-west during Monday afternoon.

A thoroughly wet, windy and miserable start to Monday for many areas. Gales or severe gales will sweep across many Central and Southern areas with winds of up to 50mph inland and even higher gusts which could bring down trees and cause structural damage.

Then a slight lull around Midday as the storm passes over the Irish Sea. Into the early afternoon and the wake of Johanna slams into the South-west with winds of up to 90mph, gusts slightly higher.

The worrying side at the moment for the South-west is the storm co-inciding with the high Spring tides. We are aware that many will want to see the worst of the weather along coastal areas in Devon and Cornwall, however the situation is severe enough to cause loss of life for people who don’t understand the effect of these two components.

Waves of up to 45ft can be expected along the North Cornish coast. This, compounded with high tide around 6pm and the Spring tide at this time of year will result in elevated sea levels and possible breaches of sea defences.

We’ll be following Johanna throughout Monday bringing you the latest on the system, we’ll also be heading to Cape Cornwall to bring updates on the system with real-time images and reports.

Let’s hope all these forecasts and warnings will be shown wrong. But with a little more than seven hours to go before it starts, chances that the weather models are incorrect are very slim.

UPDATE: Weather map for 12:00AM Monday (“landfall” in the UK)


Ride a Bike, Save the Planet (get killed in the process)

Fancy “Cyclehero” video on YouTube shows people riding towards sunset in a bid to save the planet from Climate Change.

The metaphor may be more apt than originally intended. As (push-)bike riding kills you 3.54 times more than walking, by switching to pedals you’ll be soon riding into the sunset for good…

…towards an untimely death, that is!

E-Day: Fudge or Fraud?

There is something supremely odd about the results published on the E-Day website.

The Energy Saving Day (E-Day) has been a UK-based “experiment” running between 6PM GMT on Feb 27 to 6PM GMT on Feb 28, “to show how even small energy saving measures can be made to add up, and potentially play a part in tackling climate change.”

Fact is that nothing has added up, and consumption has been higher than expected all through the day. At 4:21GMT it was showing “current savings” of -4.8% and “total savings” of -1.6%.

That is, the UK was actually “wasting” energy, compared to the predicted values according to National Grid.

At 13:42GMT, “current savings” was -1.6%, and “total savings” -0.8%. No sign of any “total savings of money, energy and carbon associated with E-Day” that were supposed to be “calculated and made available in time of the evening news bulletins“.

On the website it is also displayed a chart of ongoing energy consumption, with a green line for the actual values and a red line for the predicted ones. 

Having followed that on and off for most of the day, I only noticed around 4pm finally, for the first time since the beginning of the E-Day the green curve dipping just a little bit below the red one.

For the rest of the day, the green line was consistently and evidently above the red line: that means, the UK has kept consuming more energy than usual, thereby nullifying the whole point of the E-Day.


Imagine my surprise then checking the site at 6PM today (officially the closing time of the e-day) to see “current savings” of -1.5% and

(a) “total savings” of -0.1%

(b) green and red lines almost exactly superimposed, with the red one slightly higher above the other in two points, and the green one shooting up only at the very end

The above is simply not possible…the only way for savings to go from -0.8% at 1342GMT to -0.1% at 1800GMT would have been for actual consumption to be significantly below the predicted one.

And the graph does not show at all the giant 4:21GMT wastage of 4.8%.

The only explanation is that the E-Day organizers have retroactively moved the “predicted” red line up just enough to show a negligible difference with the actual “consumed” green line.

Fudge or fraud? Let’s see what they report:

E-Day did not succeed in cutting the UK’s electricity demand. The drop in temperature between Wed 27 Feb and Thurs 28 Feb days probably caused this, as a result of more lights and heating being left on than were originally predicted. The National Grid refined their assessments, based on actual weather data, during Thursday afternoon but I am afraid that E-Day did not achieve the scale of public awareness or participation needed to have a measurable effect. I will do my best to learn the relevant lessons for next time. Thank you to everyone who helped me or left something off specially as their contribution to E-Day, and this Leave It Off experiment. Please enjoy E-Day’s solution, video and science sections which all worked well. Warmest regards, Matt

So they admit they have changed the rules on-the-fly. But blaming the temperatures doesn’t appear a smart move. How are they supposed to demonstrate “how even small energy saving measures can be made to add up” if all it takes is a minor “drop in temperature” (if one indeed has happened!) to nullify every effort?

The organizers have said they were hoping for +3% savings. National Grid must have “refined their assessments” by around 2%, and the almost absolute coincidence between the final green and red lines looks very very suspicious.

I am not even sure the UK experienced as a whole a “drop in temperature” (London definitely did not). And how come nobody thought nor said beforehand a thing about possible variations due to temperature changes?

Let’s leave aside the “solution, video and science sections which all worked well” shall we. Is that some kind of a joke?

Obviously a lot of work has gone into organising the E-Day: if it has been an abysmal failure on all fronts (and it has), that should be a major learning point (nobody cares? switch-offs are less important than thought?).

Otherwise, it’s all a touchy-feely web equivalent of snake oil.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, or How Much Can the Media Distort Opinions

So what is Roman Catholic Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor’s opinion on the “Sharia Law” brouhaha around the Archbishop of Canterbury?

Who knows? Because from a look around the internet, it’s hard to tell…

(a) BBC News
(a1) Carey weighs into Sharia law row
Last Updated: Sunday, 10 February 2008, 08:11 GMT

Catholic leader Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor said he was “saddened” by the way the archbishop’s comments had been misunderstood. “I think he did raise a point of considerable interest and concern at the moment, namely, the rights of a religious groups within secular state. “Everyone in Britain must obey the law and therefore the question of how one can be a loyal British citizen and a faithful member of a religious group is a very pertinent question,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Sunday programme.

(a2) Sharia row persists for Williams
Last Updated: Sunday, 10 February 2008, 18:53 GMT

Catholic leader Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor is one of the many to come out in defence of Dr Williams. “I feel he may fear that people with a Christian conscience will be put to the sidelines and not allowed to say what they believe to be true for the common good,” he told the BBC.

(b) AFP
Anglican leader ‘horrified’ by Sharia law row: predecessor
6AM Sunday

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the leader of the 4.5 million Catholics in England and Wales, weighed into the debate, saying there were aspects of sharia that were not wanted in Britain. “I don’t believe in a multi-cultural society,” he told The Sunday Telegraph. “When people come to this country, they have to obey the laws of the land,” said the son of Irish immigrants.

(c) The Independent (Ireland)
Sharia law comments leave bishop in hot water

In an interview, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, the leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, said that government promotion of multiculturalism has destroyed the unity that used to hold British society together. Immigrants must “obey the laws of this country”, he said

(d) Sunday Telegraph
(d1) ENGLAND: Sharia law may result in ‘legal apartheid’
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Religious Affairs Correspondent

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, said that the Government’s promotion of multiculturalism had destroyed the unity that used to hold society together. Immigrants must “obey the laws of this country“.

(d2) People here ‘must obey the laws of the land’
Last Updated: 1:16am GMT 10/02/2008

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, leader of the 4.5 million Catholics in England and Wales, begs to differ. He is adamant that such a move would only make segregation even more entrenched. “I don’t believe in a multicultural society,” he says firmly. “When people come into this country they have to obey the laws of the land.” He has a mellifluous voice and an affable manner, but the cardinal becomes steely when discussing the problems facing British society, and the issue of sharia law.

(e) Evening Standard
Two of the most powerful clergy in Britain launch stinging attack on Archbishop over sharia row
Last updated at 20:37pm on 10.02.08

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor added his criticisms and went on to urge Muslims to do more to integrate. “The extent to which multiculturalism has been encouraged recently has meant a lessening of the kind of unity that a country needs.
“There are common values which are part of the heritage of this country which should be embraced by everybody.
“I don’t believe in a multi-cultural society. When people come into this country they have to obey the laws of the land.”


Notably (alas, I haven’t kept any evidence…) the BBC (a1) article mentioned the Cardinal’s criticisms at first this morning, then around 9AM switched to a more supportive note (Radio 4’s Sunday Programme was broadcast today between 7.10 and 7.55AM).

So what can we be sure of?

(1) Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor has expressed complex thoughts, and felt the need to clarify them

(2) Those thoughts were anyway too difficult to translate into a soundbite

(3) Every media source opted to pick-and-choose whatever pleased them

(4) Even after the Cardinal’s change of tones between the Telegraph’s interview and the Sunday Programme’s appearance, most if not all stuck to their first choice

(5) Only the BBC made any significant change, but more or less “under duress”: to avoid ridicule, that is

The end result is that whatever the Cardinal’s opinions, his words were and still are just fodder for the Media animals. And whatever is read via one source or another, is very very unlikely to communicate the nuances of the Cardinal’s actual opinions.


The question then becomes, given the above, how should one relate to the British media to avoid continuous distortions of one’s thoughts?

The Archbishop of Canterbury Is a Christian…

…hence his words are cause of scandal and upheaval among “humans”.

You see, it’s all written in Paul’s 1st Letter to the Corinthians:

1, 23: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
1, 27: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
4, 10: We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.
4, 12: And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
4, 13: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.

This means that for once we have solid evidence that a person high up in a Christian denomination’s hierarchy is actually a Christian in the fullest sense of the term.

A bit like with Pope John XXIII, “a real Christian” in the carefully camouflaged words of Hannah Arendt, that went on wondering “How could that be? And how could it happen that a true Christian would sit on St. Peter’s chair?” (“The Christian Pope“, The New York Review of Books, Volume 4, Number 10 · June 17, 1965).

For now: Monday 11 Dr Williams’ own Synod will meet with more than one participant asking for his resignation. Let’s check instead what Paul recommended to the Christians in Corinth:

5, 13: But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person

Islamic Law: My Comment (and Picture) on the BBC News Website

Maurizio Morabito - BBC News

Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has written an extremely insightful piece on “Islam and English Law“.

It is a lecture that everybody should read, as it is intelligent, thoughtful, humble, and single-handedly describes the basis for solving the Islamic Question in Western societies, once and for all.

It can also be seen as the inspiration for a re-writing of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, making it even more universal than it is at the moment.

Dr Williams goes at great lengths to analyse the possible drawbacks of allowing people to use Islamic (but not just Islamic) Law within the framework of English (secular) Law, and offers challenges and solutions to all circumstances. He even mentions the existing settings of Inuit Law, as an example.

I say, rarely I have seen a document more profoundly Christian, in the best possible sense of the word. And yet (or… of course!) reactions have been overwhelmingly negative!!!.

The number and virulence of the ill-informed attacks against Dr Williams is a clear indication of how much Islamophobia has now become ‘mainstream’.

Reactions to Archbishop Williams’ Sharia Remarks Reveal Depth of Islamophobia

Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual Head of the Anglican (“Reformed Catholic”) Christian Community, has written an extremely insightful piece on “Islam and English Law“.

It is a lecture that everybody should read, as it is intelligent, thoughtful, humble, and single-handedly describes the basis for solving the Islamic Question in Western societies, once and for all.

It can also be seen as the inspiration for a re-writing of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, making it even more universal than it is at the moment.

Dr Williams goes at great lengths to analyse the possible drawbacks of allowing people to use Islamic (but not just Islamic) Law within the framework of English (secular) Law, and offers challenges and solutions to all circumstances. He even mentions the existing settings of Inuit Law, as an example.


I say, rarely I have seen a document more profoundly Christian, in the best possible sense of the word. And yet (or…of course!) reactions have been overwhelmingly negative!!!.

Having read those 8 pages, I can affirm without any doubt that the Office of the Prime Minister, Home Office Minister Tony McNulty, the Tories’ shadow Community Cohesion Minister Baroness Warsi, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, Trevor Phillips, Chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Mark Pritchard, Tory MP for the Wrekin, in Shropshire have not bothered to read Dr Williams’ lecture before opening their mouths to utter banalities.

Not to mention (of course!) the hundreds of people clamoring to repeat the same inanities. How ironic, the champions of the Rule of (Single) Law are behaving like enraged fundamentalists!


The underlying point is that anything that sounds related to Islam is nowadays seen as something to hate. Some will object that that is the consequence of 9/11, 7/7 and al-Qaeda. I do not think so. Jews have been isolated, hated, killed for centuries and then even exterminated, and they had no murderer called Osama on their side.

It’s the “advanced” Western nations that still cannot understand how to relate to the “others”. And so we are sowing again the seeds of hell

Oltre L’Incredibile

Britain, the European Union’s Half-Virgin

And so we see again another big debate in Britain about Europe, about the European Union, about the need to be part of it and the will to stay away from it. Some people will argue for a referendum limited to the EU Constitution-in-all-but-name, others will declare their intention to ask the populace if they want to stay in the EU at all. The smarter people in the two main political parties will try to postpone any decision, avoiding the risk of internal rifts, in the hope that the Irish will kill off the Constitution with their own referendum.

I have even heard former PM candidate William “The Vague” Hague dodge the question on what he wanted the country actually to do right now: one wonders what the “let’s stay in Europe but without the Constitution” people will say were the UK left to be the last one to ratify the so-called Lisbon Treaty (like, they had the courage to kill it anyway…).

With more than 10 years of UK residency behind me, this circus is becoming very boring. Somehow the UK wants to mantain a nominal independence AND lead or least stir Europe in the directions most convenient to itself. The practical result is that neither goal is ever achieved, and the best Downing Street can do is come back from Brussels with opt-out clauses, while the big scheme of things is dreamed up, directed and implemented from somewhere else.

I just wish there were a single, comprehensive referendum asking the British people the question: do you want a. to get completely out(1) of Europe or b. to engage within it fully (with the Euro and the “whole hog”)?

Then we could move to a different subject. And if the answer were b., we could finally see the UK at the forefront of the Continent, instead of occupying the position of Chief Sulker.

(1) Of course that’s an euphemism. With all the trade links between the UK and Europe, a wholly-disengaged Britain would turn into some kind of overtly rich Norway. Nominally “internal” legislation would then show up as faxes from Brussels with the latest EU directives, about which not a vote could be cast at all.

Practical Consequences of Climate Worries

(comment to the IHT’s “Welcome to the new nuclear era”)

Let me understand…so far, the only practical consequences of all the climate change brouhaha have been:

(1) The transfer of billions of euros from European taxpayers to Big Oil/Big Energy firms, under the emission trading scheme

(2) The ballooning of agriculture subsidies to farmers to push them into cultivating corn (despite everybody well knowing the environmental impact from corn fuel will be worse)

(3) A substantial increase in food prices especially for very poor people in many parts of the world

(4) The return of a nuclear industry that will prosper on State guarantees and produce large amounts of radioactive garbage nobody has found as yet a good way to dispose of


If that’s what a cleaner, greener world looks like, I’d rather have it brown and dirty, thank you!

Formula for a Happier Life (2)

UK: 42-day Terror Limit Explained

London, 6 December (MNN) – Uninformed sources far from the British Home Secretary have finally explained why Jacqui Smith is going to recommend to Parliament to give the Police 42 days to hold terror suspects without charge.

The number is magic“, our informant explained. “Apart from the Douglas Adams connection, it is the number of seconds the Prime Minister dedicated to the well-being of the electors during the whole of last month. It is the number of privacy-data-containing disks actually lost by HMRC. It is the number of sleaze scandals left to discover in the life of this Government“.

In unrelated news: new analysis have confirmed that the average IQ of a Labour Government Minister is in the region of 42.

Also, the Tories have stated their “terror limit” is 28, whilst the LibDems are still debating, all meeting in the back of the usual cab.

Masqued Finland Resident Arrested in HMRC Privacy Fiasco

London, 25 November (MNN) – The Metropolitan Police has announced today the arrest of a notorious character living in Finland for the recent disappearance of two discs containing the details of 25 million United Kingdom residents.

The elderly looking man, of whom only the first name is known (“Claus“), has been implicated by his interest in the personal behaviour and whereabouts of children all around the Kingdom.

The initial alibi (Mr Claus says he has “a big job to do in exactly a month’s time“) has been dismissed as “feeble and unproven to say the least“.

An assistant constable has further declared: “When I have been a naughty boy in my youth, this dodgy bearded guy gave me no presents at Christmas. It’s only just for me to take revenge upon him with all sorts of made-up accusations“.

ps In unrelated news, police have revealed Claus’s nickname among low-lifers such as helpers and elves to be “Santa“.

Football: Support Maurizio for the Top England Job

(1) Won’t do worse (can’t)

(2) Won’t stand underneath an umbrella when the players are out in the rain

(3) At only £300k/year, I’ll be a bargain

(4) Achingly boring private life will ensure newspapers concentrate on the football instead of girlfriends and meet-ups with dodgy, super-rich people

(5) Highlights of press conferences will be geeky, controversial remarks on global warming

(6) I promise to move footballing strategy beyond age-old “kick the ball forward and run

(7) I can speakka Inglisch (other candidates cannot)

(8) As an additional bonus, after retirement from competitive football, aging players will be able to work as Murex IT Consultants

UK: Inventato, Abbandonato

La sindrome del “non inventato qui” affligge il mondo, ma non Albione.

E’ quel modo di pensare secondo il quale tutto cio’ che viene “da fuori” va considerato con sospetto, anche se palesemente migliore di quello che si ha. E cosi’ per esempio l’Airbus, il gigante europeo dell’aeronautica, si e’ scontrata con un muro di gomma quando ha cercato di far usare un sistema francese ai tecnici tedeschi (che scandalo!).

I quali tecnici hanno continuato a lavorare come prima, con il risultato che l’enorme aeroplano A380 ha avuto gravisimi ritardi di consegna, per problemi con i cavi elettrici.

In Gran Bretagna invece i conservatorissimi indigeni hanno paradossalmente un atteggiamento che forse li distingue davvero dal resto del pianeta: nonostante la loro passione per inventare cose nuove, dopo un po’ quasi se ne disinteressano o comunque se ne curano poco. Visitare Londra e dintorni puo’ quindi sembrare un viaggio nel tempo, con varie idee e tecnologie congelate nel tempo ognuna ad un’epoca diversa..

La possiamo chiamare la “maledizione dell’inventato qui”. Di esempi ce ne sono davvero tanti: a cominciare dagli sport moderni, per passare ai computer, al radar, e naturalmente al trasporto ferroviario. Persino, un parco di dinosauri.

Partiamo dal calcio: uno sport con una storia lunga e complessa che include le risse alla fiorentina, e le partite in cui i Maya calciavano un capelluto “pallone”, la testa mozzata di un principe nemico. Per fortuna la tradizione calcistica non ci e’ arrivata dal Messico pre-colombiano, ma dai colleges di Eton e Westminster. E da li’, tramite l’Impero Britannico ma non solo, lo sport si e’ propagato in tutto il mondo, e anche in Italia dove il primo club e’ del 1887 a Torino.

Ma se prima della XX guerra mondiale le squadre inglese, scozzese, gallese e irlandese si crogiolavano nel rifiuto di partecipare ai Campionati del Mondo adducendo una palese superiorita’, tale sogno compiacente si frantumo’ nel 1950 quando gli USA addirittura sconfissero gli Inglese per 1 a 0. Tuttora, i britannici inventori del gioco hanno solo una Coppa del Mondo, vinta in Inghilterra con un quasi-goal e piu’ di quaranta anni fa.

Una situazione analoga riguarda il tennis moderno, nato e cresciuto a Wimbledon, sobborgo di Londra dove misteriosamente, un inglese non vince da ormai settanta anni. Nel golf ogni tanto c’e’ qualche inglese o scozzese ma se ne vedono pochi, e nel cricket, insomma, e’ una grande notizia quando l’Inghilterra vince, proprio perche’ capita poco (Coppe del Mondo, zero).

E non e’ solo una faccenda di sport. Intorno ai computers durante la guerra ci fu molto lavoro in Inghilterra, per decifrare i messaggi tedeschi. Solo che poi a guerra finita il tutto fu secretato (come anche il radar), neanche ci fosse stato il pericolo che Hitler e soci ricomparissero da un momento all’altro. Il primo computer programmabile e’ quindi americano (ENIAC, 1948). E nessuno penso’ a stabilire una IBM anglosassone.

Anche la storia ferroviaria inglese e’ davvero strana. Una volta “inventato” il treno (Stevenson, 1814), i britannici decisero di distribuirlo su tutta l’isola con i grandi progetti di Isambard K. Brunel. Arrivarono pure ad escogitare il mezzo di trasporto di massa che chiamiamo metropolitana, e il treno ad alta velocita’. Ma una trentina di anni fa, i soldi per proseguire nel migliorare le ferrovie finirono, e le idee furono abbandonate. Gli standard di viaggio sono oggi molto peggio che in Francia, Italia e Germania.

Un altro bell’esempio di questa abitudine all’abbandono sono i dinosauri a Crystal Palace. Nel 1851 la passione e le scoperte per i dinosauri erano appena cominciati. Questi mostri colossali affascinavano allora come oggi: e per permettere a un vasto pubblico di apprezzarne le fattezze e dimensioni, fu deciso di costruire dei modelli in scala 1:1 da esporre negli ampi spazi del nuovo parco di Crystal Palace, a sud di Londra. Come riportato dai giornali uno dei lucertoloni era cosi’ grande che un banchetto fu servito all’interno del suo stampo a un gruppo di egregi commensali la notte di Capodanno del 1853.

I dinosauri di Crystal Palace sono ancora li’, e attraggono ancora qualche turista. Ma sono vecchi d’aspetto, dopo un secolo di intemperie e di scoperte scientifiche che hanno radicalmente alterato le nostre conoscenze, e i nostri modelli, in fatto di dinosauri. Ai bestioni un po’ troppo rotondi e bruttini di Crystal Palace si contrappongono al giorno d’oggi gli agili e cattivi Velociraptor di Jurassic Park.

Il problema e’ che nessuno ha pensato di aggiornare i modelli in mostra a Crystal Palace.

Ecco, forse questo voler rinunciare a migliorare quello che si ha, preferendogli l’eccitazione del nuovo, e’ un modo incoscio di fissare nel passato l’attimo sfuggente di gloria, indubbiamente da non ripetere anche per non contaminarne la memoria.
Una specie di circolo virtuoso e vizioso allo stesso momento, insomma, amplificato dalle opportunita’ sociali offerte agli inventori. I quali, in una societa’ profondamente classista come quella inglese, possono comprarsi la scalata sociale a colpi di genio, ma una volta arrivati li’ non hanno alcun interesse a migliorare le idee iniziali.

Anzi, faranno di tutto perche’ non lo possa fare nessun altro.

The Truth Behind the London Olympics Fire

London, 15 Nov (MNN) – The truth behind the mysterious, spectacular Nov 12 fire in Waterden Road, London may have been revealed today.

Unreliable sources report a huge party thrown at the headquarters of the London 2012 Committee, for “the biggest Olympic Flame in the world“.


Those Chinese, we’ve beaten them by almost a year“, a reveler commented, before adding “their tiny flame in the Beijing stadium on 8/8/8 will look puny in comparison, a hundred times smaller to say the least“.

Now let’s make our own Stadium a hundred times bigger than Beijing’s“, he added, “or that much as expensive, to say the least!

The reveler would not confirm if an even bigger fire is planned a couple of months before the Opening Ceremony on 27/7/2012. “Well, it could be a good idea”, he commented, “if only to remind Londoners where the Games will take place, and how much of their money would have been burned by then“.

In unrelated news: according to badly informed sources, Police is investigating a group of elderly Tories seen celebrating the resurrection of the glorious party logo in the London sky.


A grassroot Lib-dem committee has immediately formed to counter with a propaganda coup of their own: change the old party birdie image into something nearer their aspirations…

…from to