Friday, March 30, 2007

John4Leader - Rally

I have decided to pop along to the Rally and check out the opposition.
Tami is also coming along and Dolls4Jim will hold its first meeting in a pub afterwards. Our Great Leader will also be there !!

Anyway, the rally. An afternoon of comedy, music and politics. Hmmm, leftie comedy and music tends to elicit a Pavlovian toe curling response in me .

So 12 at the Shaw Theatre, be there !

Thursday, March 29, 2007

"Dolls4Jim" or also known as "I really must get a life post and stop blogging about Jim Denham..."

...but Tami is worse than me !!

She has created some more campaign buttons , see my favourite pictured .

Can someone make that into a badge :-)

Tami is also getting together the first campaign sub group . Yep, its Dolls4Jim .
We will be writing a manifesto, for Jim to launch at the bloggers piss up.

I must get out more ...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Jim4Leader campaign update

Well I must say its good to see the left getting behind this campaign and putting sectarian differences aside .

Its only been going a few days, but already prominent bloggers have come out in support. These include Tami , Volty and John A.
This shows that Jim can match John McDonnell in terms of both the youth and women's vote . I'm hoping that Paddy and Will will also give their backing.

Jim's campaign only started here on this blog a few days back. It is gathering apace, given a boost by his stand alongside Tories and religious groups, to stop the sale of alcohol in his local area. He plans to build on this with a call for prohibition on a national scale.

Updates on the campaign can be found on both Volty and Tami's blogs.

In terms of the campaign I am his manager. A unanimous decision(of one,me, yes I can be a control freak at times) but I believe for the best. If any one can keep the unruly Mr D in some sort of order it is me:-)This will be the official campaign blog.

There are whisperings in the blogosphere to persuade Volty to stand as his Deputy. He has shown himself adept at manoeuvring Jim onto trains while inebriated and reuniting him with his 'fucking bag'.
This would indeed be the 'Dream Ticket'.

A number of Deputy and Leadership blogs have endorsements from the great, good and in the case of John McDonnell 'the Unison Degenerates', on their blogs. If anyone wants to endorse Jim then please add it to the comments box for a future post.

This is an historic opportunity for the left and we must all get behind Jim, fight for him and not be swayed by Meacher or McDonnell. Jim will inspire and prod back into life the dying corpse of the Labour Left and unite the Left grouplets outside.

As the Lib Dem's are fond of saying, go away and prepare for power...

Star Trek...the flat !

I'm a bit of a Star Trek fan. I'm not a real Trekkie though ,I don't like the original, I prefer Voyager and The Next Generation.

My favourite characters are Data, Seven of Nine, Q and the Doctor (the Emergency Medical Hologram).

I loved the idea of all those gadgets and being able to beam anywhere in seconds, though must admit the clothes left a lot to be desired.
There are limits, so no dressing up in character and popping along to conventions. I also think living in a Star Trek flat is a step to far for me. As I say , not a true Trekkie!

Check out the BBC video!!


OK I really must stop posting on Jim Denham, people will start to talk.
But but just one last post ...for a few days :-)

This came via Janine .

Political Betting have odds on one J Denham becoming leader. Is it Jim ?

Not sure if this is inspired by his campaign to keep Bournville dry but apparently you can bet on him becoming the next Leader of the labour Party!!

Can I be the first member of the Jim4Leader campaign. Tami, Volty, John, to come on board ?

Shall we organise a national tour of fine drinking establishments , set up Bloggers4Jim and plan a rally ?

Yep, the Jim4Leader starts here !

(Yes I do know its really John Denham, but in my imaginary world ...)

Update from Volty in the comments box :


As of this evening, Mr Denham has declared that he has the support of 140 Labour MPs, making him the most serious challenger to Gordon Brown in a sparse field. He has invited John McDonnell to stand down as a leadership candidate and instead run for deputy with his support. Michael Meacher has claimed it's all a big conspiracy, just like 9/11.

Campaign picture courtesy of John. Jim with his minder Volty, emphasising his 'puritan' policy. See sidebar for the campaign 'button'!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Widening inequalities

I think these two reports say a lot about the priorities of a New Labour Government that panders to big business.

Firstly fat cat pay :

A Barclays Bank executive earned £22m in salary, shares and bonuses last year, becoming the highest earner among firms in the FTSE 100 index.
The total pay for Bob Diamond, head of Barclays investment banking service, dwarfed chief executive John Varley's salary and bonus package.

Mr Diamond's basic salary was just £250,000 - with the rest made up of bonuses and cashed-in share options.

Barclays defended the pay, saying his division had been very successful.

Contrast with :

The number of children living in relative poverty in the UK rose by more than 100,000 last year, official figures have revealed.
The first increase in nearly a decade casts doubt on the government's target of halving child poverty by 2010.

In 2005-6, 3.8m children were in relative poverty - defined as homes on less than 60% of average income net of housing costs.

Children's charity Barnardo's chief called the figures "a moral disgrace".

With housing costs not taken into account, the number of children living below the relative poverty line was 2.8 million.

The figures represent an increase from 3.6 million and 2.7 million respectively in the previous year.

Since 1998/99, 600,000 children have been lifted out of relative poverty.

But to reach their stated targets, ministers must now help lift a further 1.1 million children above the poverty line by 2010 - or 1.6 million after housing costs are included.

Perhaps if Blair worried a little more about ordinary people's lives, and less being impressed by big business, then there might be some real commitment to eradicating poverty in the 21st Century.

Pic of a fattish cat !!

Monday, March 26, 2007

A victory for Mr Denham !!

Jim D and the good folk of Bournville, Brum, have won their battle to stop alcohol being sold.

Jim signed the petition !!

One of the protesters stated :

"Our primary objection is we believe the proposed licence for Tesco would exacerbate an existing problem of antisocial behaviour."

Ah well, they do have Jim in their midst . It might be an understandable concern.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sunday night ramblings

Can't be arsed to write a proper post as I'm a little hungover . Not my fault,it never is of course,its always others who get me into trouble. I was going to have a genteel glass or two of wine, but Dave insisted on buying me a half bottle of JD or 'Stroppyjuice' as he calls it.Half an hour later and it was all gone .

My head hurt even more this morning when I saw the argument raging into the wee small hours in the comments box on the post below. Hmmm , don't think I will be the only one with a sore head today.

Anyway enough of my ramblings, there is a point to this post . Now it is just me on Stroppyblog I would like from time to time to have the odd guest post. So far Tami and John have done some .

I'm not looking for people who necessarily agree with me, different viewpoints would be good . They can be topical or on areas someone has a particular interest and knowledge of. It could also be a culture type post, I mean this blog could do with the tone being raised.

If anyone wants to do a guest post drop me an e-mail .

Oh and I like the pic, so using it again.


One last thing, any thoughts on the next poll, who is the most 'eminently fuckable leftie male blogger' or 'who is the most left wing revolutionary leftie blogger'. Both very serious subjects ;-)

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Falklands/Malvinas war , my introduction to the world of leftie politics.

That last post brought all the memories flooding back .

My introduction to the world of leftie politics was canvassing for labour in an overwhelmingly Tory naval town during the Falklands/Malvinas war. Being called a traitor and having scary abuse and threats hurled at you as a 16 year old is quite a baptism of fire.
The picture above is of the welcome given to 'our boys' when they returned to Portsmouth. Quite a time of uncritical jingoism .This revived Thatcher's popularity, unlike the situation with Blair today.

I remember going to counts on election night where the Tories had no worries about wiping the board and mocked any opposition with their arrogance . Three isolated Bennite Labour councillors was the most we could achieve . There had been four but one councillor , a middle class lecturer , joined the SDP. I had to put up with him almost daily as he taught me politics in my sixth form . Bastard !

Back then it was very difficult to criticise 'our boys', especially living very near to Portsmouth . Oh and even I sold the odd paper and got called a commie by the locals. Well I said sold, but it was only other LP members that bought it. Should I admit this, OK I sold The Militant . Now you can see what put me off ever joining a far left grouplet for life :-)They were the only leftie group in the area, that's my defence .

It took me quite a while to shake them off when I moved to London. Eventually they gave up on me as some sort of distraction from the revolution with all my talk of feminism and gay rights.

Ahhh, those were the days ...

Blair and the Falklands/Malvinas war

Well that's that sorted, Blair should play Thatcher in the movie.

Well he does so admire her and has been imitating her for years.

Bit of a bummer for him though is that he never gained the popularity she did from war mongering.

Still a summer of 'celebrations' coming up .

Any plans to disrupt them ?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The second Jim Denham fan club piss up...

Thought I would do a light innocuous post . Mind you thought that about the Thatcher one and there is an almighty bust up between Sham and Paddy in the comments box.

Anyway, try again.

A few months back there was the first leftie bloggers piss up , which was a good night out. OK, that says something about my idea of fun, night in a pub full of drunken weird leftie men and of course some stroppy women . No night is complete without adopting two leftie men and being called Doll by the delectable Jim D.

So a date for the diary...Saturday 14th April. Kit is organising it again , so pop over to his blog.

Given the 'lively ' debate between Paddy and Sham perhaps they will pop along. Not that I'm one to stir mind :-)
Add Jim D to the mix, banging the table as he argues with those two and I could sell tickets ...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

St Trinian's

To continue the film theme , I notice that a new St Trinian's film is being made.

I can see Stephen Fry and Rupert Everett camping it up in the way Joyce Grenfell and Alastair Sims did in the originals, but I'm still not convinced that there is a point to it.

Certain films are very much of their time, these include St Trinian's, Ealing comedies, Carry On and Doris Day movies. I don't think they benefit from a modern makeover and are best viewed in the original.

I have to confess I do love old camp films , and yes I do know how reactionary they are. That's why they should stay as old films and not be updated . It just does not work.

Paisley "The Movie"

Hot on the heels of talk of Thatcher the Movie comes Paisley the Movie.

Well thats going to get bums on seats I don't think.

Any suggestions for other films in this new genre of Political/Horror film?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Dave Osler - Poll results

The poll has now ended and the verdict on where Dave is heading politically is :

Join the AWL (you mean he isn't already a member!) 19 votes (31%)

Quit leftie politics , sell out and earn lots of money. 10 votes (16%)

Finally realise that Mike Pearn, Southpawpunch and Andy Newman are right and renounce his wussy ways. 9 votes (15%)

Become press officer for Galloway and join Respect . 7 votes (11%)

Criticise Adele AND Luke Akehurst for being too left wing. 7 votes (11%)

Join the Lib Dems ready for a lib/lab coalition. 6 votes (10%)

After calling for the restoration of the Shah who knows !! 4 votes (6%)

62 votes total

So there you have it , most people think "Join the AWL (you mean he isn't already a member!)". Personally I was hoping for "sell out and earn lots of money", then I could sell out and become a kept woman ;-) Oh well.

Right next poll. Two ideas I am pondering. On most of the male leftie blogs there is a fair amount of 'I'm more revolutionary than you, nah ' type debate. So a poll of who is the most revolutionary blogger.

OR if I may go for a really shallow poll. A little while back Lenny said he was 'eminently more fuckable than Oliver Kamm '. There was a poll on HP to put this to the test. I thought I might do a variation of this and have a list of male leftie bloggers.
Yep I know, this blog is not serious , just 'fisting, fucking and fishnets '.

I'll ponder a while more and put up a poll later.

Update: Any ideas or names for the poll add them to the comments box. I'll put up the poll on friday.

Thatcher the Movie ...

 for the top ten Horror Films.

But who should play the Iron Lady ?

Pic is an old 80's postcard. Before the Bush/Blair special relationship there was Maggie and Ronnie.

Update : If you want a mental image that will be truly disturbing pop over to Will's blog :-)

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Catholic Church and Gay adoption ...again .

On Wednesday the Lords are debating the Equality Act regulations.

The Catholic Church is once again threatening to close down its adoption agencies unless they are allowed to discriminate against lesbian and gay couples wishing to adopt. As an aside I'm not sure if they have said they also wish to turn away lesbian or gay teenagers as prospective adoptees.

In response to these threats :

A cross-party working group has been set up to try to find a compromise to keep the agencies working.

Ministers hope the move will stave off defeat when Equality Act regulations go before the Lords on Wednesday.

The government had refused to allow Catholic agencies to opt out of the regulations, saying there can be no opt-out from discrimination laws.

It is hoped that the cross-party group, which will liaise with the Catholic Church to seek a compromise will also appease Labour and Tory backbenchers who oppose efforts to force the Catholic church to comply.

I have made my views clear on an earlier post.

I'm curious though as to what compromise can be reached and why one group should have a right to demand exemption. No one is making the church provide this service. No one is saying they cannot hold these beliefs. No one is forcing them to act against their conscience. They do not have to run adoption agencies , BUT if they do they cannot discriminate in the service they provide.

Substitute black for gay . Would it be acceptable for to argue exemption on grounds of conscience then ?

Update :An attempt to throw out the regulations was defeated by 310 - 100in the Commons.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Beckett and the leadership debate

Apparently democracy is all a bit of a distraction according to Margaret Beckett :

Ms Beckett told BBC One's The Politics Show she hoped Mr Brown would not face a heavyweight challenger when Mr Blair steps down.

"To some extent, I hope not actually because I hold the view that Gordon is the person who should be the next prime minister," she said.

"I think that the good thing would be if he is able to concentrate on what that will mean and what he needs to do to help to take this country forwards to even greater success."

Well that's alright then, Margaret thinks he should be PM and the rest of us should not be troubling him with trivialities such as debate and democracy.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Stroppyblog Poll, Nuns, Paddy,Portuguese porn and Punchie...what more could you want !

I get easily bored, so the poll on where next politically for Dave Osler is going to stay up a few more days and then be replaced. Get voting.

I have a few ideas for the next poll, none of course serious political questions. Hey this is Stroppyblog,if you thought this was a serious political blog then you have wandered down the wrong virtual path! Same goes for the one or two people that come here looking for Portuguese porn each day. Who would have thought there was a market, but I think it has something to do with nuns. Perhaps Paddy can enlighten us on that one.

I have also added a new link, mainly to try to wind up Punchie as I know he is quite particular about the correct use of the name SOUTHPAWPUNCH.

But it is a good blog. Hey, endorsement from a wussy Labour Party member, not what a good revolutionary wants...

'Crack down' on sex workers in Ipswich

Jim Jay has a good post on a 'crack down' on prostitutes in Ipswich .

It seems now the media circus has left town the desire to 'stamp out' prostitutes through the use of asbos and CCTV, further endangering them, has come to the fore.

Pop over to Jim's blog for more on this.

Picture of the 'Reclaim the Night' demo pinched from Jim's blog.

Friday, March 16, 2007

"Feminism and Cultural Relativism ,Academia and Activism"

John A plugged this in the comments box below :

SOAS Women’s Society Presents


A Discussion about reconciling
‘Feminism’ and Cultural Relativism,
Academia and Activism

A Panel of SOAS Women Academics:

Dr.Laleh Khalili, Lecturer in Politics of the Middle East

Dr. Lynn Welchman, Senior Lecturer in Islamic and Middle Eastern Law

Dr. Elaheh Rostami Povey, Lecturer in Development Studies

Monday 19th March, 5-7pm L67


Sounds interesting .
John, how about a guest post if you go ?

'What is the point of sending young people out into the world with 20 GCSEs when they're going to hell?'"

Good to see faith schools have their priorities right.

pic : 'Hell' by Bosch

TUC Women's Conference

Janine has reports back from the conference over at her blog.

I was particularly pleased to read about the RMT emergency resolution moved by Janine :

This resolution proposes one simple thing - one very little thing - that would help that fight. We ask the TUC to provide information on why some women may need an abortion close to the time limit. This will help us to counteract the anti-abortionists' propaganda and illustrate why we believe that women should have the right to safe, legal abortion as early as possible, as late as necessary.

It was passed.
Well done Janine .

For more info on why late abortion , though rare, is still sometimes necessary check out the Abortion Rights Website and this briefing.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Blair and Paisley bond over the bible .

You might need a strong stomach for these quotes , and best not read if eating as they are pretty nauseating:

Tony Blair has forged a special bond with the Rev Ian Paisley...
by discussing their common interest in and commitment to Christianity.
Spearheading a government charm offensive to win round the one time Presbyterian firebrand, the two men have been swapping religious textbooks over the past year.

"Blair is brilliant at seducing Paisley," Lord Bew said. "This is the most amazing love affair, the last great Blairite romance.They are even exchanging books on religion. It is fantastic stuff. It is religious; it is romantic. It is brilliant. You have to hand it to him. Once again, when we thought the old maestro was fading, his capacity to seduce, politically speaking, is phenomenal."

I suppose nothing should surprise me after Blair cosied up with Bush , sharing religious views, the same toothpaste and a desire to bomb (in a christian way of course) other countries.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The US military and 'morality '

What exercises Marine General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, when he ponders on what is moral?
Is it the behaviour of the military at Abu Ghraib or other such abuses ?
Is it perhaps the fact that people are left to rot in Guantanamo Bay without charge or trial ?

Of course not, he is preoccupied with what consenting adults do in bed :

Marine General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he backed the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding homosexuality.

The policy bans homosexual acts between members of the military.

Under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, introduced in 1994 to relax a complete ban on gays, commanders are not allowed to enquire about the sexual orientation of their personnel.

Soldiers, sailors and air force staff are not supposed to reveal their homosexuality, and are banned from engaging in homosexual acts.

"I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts," Gen Pace told the Chicago Tribune.

"As an individual, I would not want [acceptance of gay behaviour] to be our policy, just like I would not want it to be our policy that if we were to find out that so-and-so was sleeping with somebody else's wife, that we would just look the other way, which we do not. We prosecute that kind of immoral behaviour," he said.

When Clinton went along with this it was a fudge and apparently not a very effective one at that. A 2005 government audit said 10,000 troops have been discharged because of the policy.

The attitude that its immoral probably helps in Iraq where LGBT people are killed because of their sexuality by religious extremists in both the 'resistance' and the Iraqi forces .

And no I'm not supporting 'our' boys or theirs in their imperialist role, just pointing out nasty right wing prejudice and preoccupation with sexuality.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Drunken diplomat in bondage gear !

This story , found via Hakmao, makes me nostalgic for the days of Tory sex sandals rather than Labour loans sleaze.

The BBC reports that

Israel has recalled its ambassador to El Salvador after he was found drunk and naked apart from bondage gear.

Reports say he was able to identify himself to police only after a rubber ball had been removed from his mouth.

Haaretz website reports that police found Mr Refael in the Israeli embassy compound where he had been found bound, gagged and naked apart from sado-masochistic sex accessories.

I do love the idea of SM accessories . Do they have to match and are there designer versions...

Unfinished books

I notice a survey on what books people start but do not finish reading:

A Teletext survey of 4,000 Britons found that almost half of the books they bought remained unfinished.

The average Briton spent more than £4,000 on books during their lifetime, the survey found.

Less than a quarter of people found time to read every day, with 48% saying they were too tired.

I'm not sure what to make of the figure for those who read every day. There is much talk about reading dying off with the Internet. I must admit I mainly read news and newspapers on the web but still like to have books and magazines in hard copy.The survey does not compare with past surveys or seem to specify what sort of reading, whether it is books, papers or magazines or even back of cereal packets!

The report goes on to list the top ten unfinished books .

The fiction ones are :

1 Vernon God Little, DBC Pierre
2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
3 Ulysses, James Joyce
4 Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis De Bernieres
5 Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
6 The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
7 The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
8 War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
9 The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
10 Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky

I was surprised by the Harry Potter book. Not because I have read it as the whole Potter phenomena has passed me by, but I assumed all of the series was avidly read by its fans. Perhaps people wait and watch the film. It seems many prefer their books adapted and packaged as a BBC costume drama . That though misses out on the experience of using imagination to paint pictures in our heads .

The non fiction top ten was :

1 The Blunkett Tapes, David Blunkett
2 My Life, Bill Clinton
3 My Side, David Beckham
4 Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Lynne Truss
5 Wild Swans, Jung Chang
6 Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking
7 The Downing Street Years, Margaret Thatcher
8 I Can Make You Thin, Paul McKenna
9 Jade: My Autobiography, Jade Goody
10 Why Don't Penguins' Feet Freeze?, Mick O'Hare

Now my first thought with some of these titles was why anyone would even buy them in the first place, I mean Jade Goody !!
It does show though an appetite for autobiography. Now some of these are people who have lived a life such as Clinton or Thatcher, but all to often people write them when in their twenties when they hardly have a wealth of life experiences to share.Recent examples include Charlotte Church or the TWO books by Jordan. Perhaps that is why they are unfinished as there is nothing there to hold the attention. You may like a person but their life story may not be gripping.

Wonder how the authors feel about making this top ten list . Do they think well we got the royalties or feel hurt that they were discarded (those that are still alive of course!)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

A stroppyblog poll

There has been some comments over at Dave's blog suggesting he is drifting to the right. I thought I would do a poll as to where his politics may end up.
Well its Sunday and nothing better to do !

So pop over to the poll on the sidebar and vote. Oh and if you think there are options I should have included add them to the comments.

Just realised one option I left off, that Dave starts to agree with everything Paddy the Puritan says. Too late to add it and perhaps some things are just too unthinkable to think...

Friday, March 09, 2007

Iraqi women

Just bumping this up the blog as a reminder. Its a meeting tonight. I expect Paddy will think its Islamaphobic, but then he is a fuckwit!

I have received a flyer for a conference on women in Iraq. There isn't a link, so here are the details from it:

“United Not Divided for Women’s Rights in Iraq”

100th Anniversary International Women’s Day

A conference organised by:
Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq
Act Together: Women’s Action for Iraq
Iraqi Women’s League
Middle East Centre for Women’s Rights
Marem Reshakh: Assyrian Women’s Human Rights
Iraqi Community Association: Women’s Section

We - a network of Iraqi women’s rights organisations based in Iraq and the UK- want to draw attention to the plight of Iraqi women under the occupation and ongoing terror and violence.

Friday 9th March 2007

Khalili Lecture Theatre
School of Oriental &
African Studies (SOAS),
Thornhaugh Street
(nearest tube: Russell Square),
London WC1H 0XG

Your support and donations are welcome to sponsor upcoming visit by Iraqi women activist.

For further information please contact:

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Women's Rights, the Veil and Islamic and religious laws

Bit short notice, but just a quick advert for a seminar tonight.

Women’s Rights, the Veil and Islamic and religious laws


Sonja Eggerickx:
President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union

Ann Harrison:
Researcher, Middle East and North Africa Department of Amnesty
International's International Secretariat

Maryam Namazie:
Director of the Worker-communist Party of Iran's International
Relations Committee, 2005 National Secular Society's Secularist of the
Year Award, Winner and producer of International TV.

Taslima Nasrin:
Physician, writer, radical feminist, human rights activist and secular

We will also show, for the first time, short film:

"In the name of honor" by Reza Moradi

At University of London Union
Room 3D, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY
(Nearest underground stations: Russell Square, Goodge Street)
From 6:00 – 10:00pm

The seminar is co-sponsored by the International Campaign in Defence
of Women's Right in Iran- UK and the National Secular Society and the
Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association

I would really have liked to go but booked to do something else ages back.
Some more posts later today, so pop back .

Monday, March 05, 2007

Britney Spears , mental health problems and the News of the World

Paddy's comment calling people 'nutters' (which he apologised for)has prompted me to post on a report I noticed in the News of the World.

OK, its not known for its subtlety in these matters, but I thought there may be some awareness after The Sun ran the headline "Bonkers Bruno Locked Up".

Seems not. On Sunday the News of the World reported on Britney in rehab in the following terms :

CRAZED Britney Spears tried to HANG herself with a bedsheet

In a week of rehab madness the bonkers beauty wrote the number of the beast, 666, on her shaved head before running round the clinic screaming "I am the Antichrist!" at frightened staff.

They have struggled to cope with the unhinged beauty who has checked in and out of rehab like a yo-yo, deranged by the torment of her break-up with Kevin last year.

It does seem that Britney is very distressed. It may be drug linked or some sort of mental health problem. Whatever you may think of her that language is offensive.

'Crazed', 'bonkers', 'unhinged' , 'deranged'.

What message does that send out to people with mental health problems. Why is it acceptable to use such terms about people.

Its not just Paddy that uses terms like these as an insult and I'm not meaning to single him out as he did apologise and I think that was genuine. It is though to easy for the left to call people nutters without realising how offensive it is to people with mental health problems , some of whom may be comrades.

The Carnival of Socialism

Volty has put together the latest Carnival over at Shiraz Socialist.

The theme, "Why is the left obsessed with the Middle East?", wound up some people.

Any volunteers for the next one, especially from those unhappy with the last few carnivals (yes Andy, you :-)) can volunteer over at the Carnival of Socialism blog.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Shiraz Socialist - has Jim been let loose on the blog design ????

Popped over to Shiraz Socialist to catch up on some debates only to find strange goings on.

Design is all spotty (not to be viewed with a hangover)and all the comments have gone . Oh and it won't let me comment on there as I'm not part of the team.

Hmmm. Has Jim had a few shandies and decided to experiment ??
Not likely given his difficulty with links.

If its not Jim he could become a bit unmanageable when he pops over there and sees all those spots .The experience could make him tee total over night.

Update :

John A has far to much time on his hands (well he is a student !) and has kindly made some changes to the usual Father Jack/Jim D pic. So I have uploaded the new pic!!

An unholy alliance

The Observer reports that :

The British National Party is building an alliance with radical anti-abortion activists in an attempt to reach out to Catholics and secure their votes in future elections.

Nick Griffin, the BNP leader, and one of his close deputies confirmed yesterday that they held private talks last week with the UK co-ordinator of Life League, an anti-abortion lobby group. Griffin and Mark Collet spent two days with James Dowson, an Ulster-based businessman and the main force behind Life League.

Dowson said the league had a 'moral duty to engage with anyone who will listen in order to promote our pro-life agenda'.

Some morality !!

Vote Tory and get a lightbulb

Well that's it, I'm voting Tory.I mean, what an incentive :

Welsh assembly Conservative leader Nick Bourne has said the party will give every household £20 of low energy light bulbs if they win power in May's poll.

Well perhaps not, I'm not that cheap .

But given that my washing machine seems to have packed up ,along with my printer , if they want to throw in replacements for them plus a bottle of bollie I may be tempted .

Blair's retirement plan.

Seems Tony Blair is busy schmoozing his billionaire buddies ready for when he leaves office.

Throughout his time as PM he has seemed much happier in the company of the very rich, business people and celebrities. In the beginning he did flirt with the whole 'Cool Britannia' hype, inviting Oasis's Noel Gallagher over to no 10 for drinks. These days Blair is happier holidaying with Cliff Richard or the Bee Gees.

The Sunday Times reports that :

TONY BLAIR is wooing some of America’s biggest billionaires with a Downing Street reception during his final days in power...
Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, regarded as one of London’s most influential political hostesses, has arranged the select gathering. At least seven billionaires with a combined worth of more than £25 billion are on the guest list.

Among those invited are Ronald Burkle, the financier and grocery retailer who gave Clinton a multi-million-dollar post as adviser to a private equity fund. The event will offer a key networking opportunity for Blair as he prepares for life after government.

Invitations have been discreetly circulated among the super-rich in New York society in recent weeks. If wealthy benefactors are willing to donate at least $25,000 (£13,000) to the Tate gallery, they are automatically invited to meet Tony and Cherie Blair in Downing Street.

Organisers insist the centrepiece of the fundraising drive is a dinner in New York, which the Blair's will not attend. The trip to Downing Street is the “icing on the cake”. The event is being arranged by American Patrons of Tate, which is chaired by Rothschild and raises money for the Tate.

It is thought to be the first time that the opportunity to meet a serving prime minister in Downing Street has been offered in return for payment to a fund-raising drive.

Apparently Blair is doing this out of the goodness of his heart, to help Britain , and nothing to do with squeezing a bit more out of his position to ensure a nice comfy career when he leaves:

Lady de Rothschild said the Blair reception was intended to help develop Britain’s cultural heritage and it was generous of the prime minister to participate. “Tony Blair doesn’t need this to network,” she said. “It’s about Britain, not about Tony Blair.”

I think this quote sums it up :

Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat MP, said: “This might be for a good cause, but selling access is ingrained into this prime minister, as is his obsession with wealth and celebrity. It’s a long way from the Red Flag.”

Of course he may end up being seen in the US as more Nixon than Clinton .

Friday, March 02, 2007

Feminists4John and Abortion Rights

Pop over to Feminists4John for info on two events this Saturday.

Oh but apparently they are only for younger women:

This weekend lots of young women will be protesting for better abortion provision, defending the right for women to choose when and if they have children.

Hmmm, women over 30 can get pregnant you know and also need abortions. Even if women are too old to get pregnant they can still add their support.

Oh well...I'm to old to go on their demos . Glad to be on the political scrapheap !!

btw Abortion Rights on their website do not specify that their event is for 'young' women as reported on Feminists4John. Glad to see someone understands the concept of ageism!

Well i'll be at home with a nice cup of cocoa,wearing slippers and watching some light entertainment on ITV...

Update :
After my gripe (well you know us oldies, always moaning about something) the post on Feminists4John has been changed from 'young women' to 'women'.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

What happens when women don't know their place ...

...they get shot:

A Pakistani minister and woman’s activist has been shot dead by an Islamic extremist for refusing to wear the veil.

Zilla Huma Usman, the minister for social welfare in Punjab province and an ally of President Pervez Musharraf, was killed as she was about to deliver a speech to dozens of party activists, by a “fanatic”, who believed that she was dressed inappropriately and that women should not be involved in politics, officials said.

I expect someone can justify it prizes for guessing who will probably defend the reactionary religious tosser who murdered a woman for daring to stand up for women's rights .

Via the one and only hakmao

Jim Denham...the puritan ??

In a move that would make Paddy the Puritan proud, Jim D has signed a local petition against alcohol being sold in a Tesco Express.

The petition stated :

"However, TESCO have also recently put in an application to the City Council for permission to sell alcohol once this site is reopened.
"This is something that your local councillors are opposed to. We believe that the selling of alcohol from such a site may lead to underage sales to young people and may lead to an increase in anti social behaviour in the area fuelled by alcohol from this site."

Now I think Jim changed the words and what it actually said was:

We believe that the selling of alcohol from such a site may lead to an increase in anti social behaviour by Jim Denham, fuelled by alcohol from this site.
We are particularly concerned it could lead to further incidents of accusing people of mass murder. walking up and down shouting Feck, Galloway, Ridley, patting women on the head, drunken phonecalls to Radio Galloway and losing his bag. And of course creating more work for his 'handler' Mr voltaires_priest.

Jim its a slippery slope...Respect membership beckons.

Brighton and Hove and the school places lottery

School places, and who goes where , is a hotly fought over issue in Brighton and Hove . The Council have come up with a new process , creating new catchment areas and lotteries within them for school places.The aim is to give all children , not just those whose parents can buy into the 'good' areas , a choice.
Its divided opinion amongst parents who are arguing as to whether or not it succeeds.

What exactly does choice mean?
Well if all things were equal, and all schools were well resourced and provided a good education, I suspect it would mean being able to go to a school close by or where other friends or siblings were.

Of course this is not really the agenda behind the 'choice ' debate in Brighton and Hove. As in most places those with the money buy houses close to the 'good' schools. The nice middle class parents want to retain some loose grip on their soft lefty principles and send little Chakra to a state school. Of course this is a state school with other nice middle class children.

As with other areas , as well as moving near to good schools many parents go to great lengths to get a place at their chosen school.Some pretend to be good church goers to get into a CofE school. I even knew of one work colleague who was so desperate that she obtained a psychiatric assessment for her sons which said they would be traumatised if they could not go to the right school. Of course being best mates with one of the local psychiatrists did not hinder this process.

For those working class parents stuck on the local sprawling estate there isn't any other options, they have to go to the local school and take what they are given.

Some parents were interviewed on the radio and were outraged at the decision. One mother said that her house was no longer in the catchment area that it had always been. Translation:

Do you now how much over the odds I paid for this house just to get near a good school?

Now my house price will drop.

My child can't possibly go to a school with the great unwashed, hoodie wearing , asbo collecting kids from the council estate.

Of course if all schools were of a good standard and well resourced there would not be such heated arguments and drastic measures employed by parents. Its about a high quality education for all our children and that is in short supply and hotly fought over.
In that regards I think the latest school selection process by Brighton and Hove council is no worse or better than any other. Its tinkering but does not address the inequalities in quality.

Of course whatever the quality of school I am sure some middle class parents will still want to have their own class apartheid and keep their children away from the working class council estate masses.