Thursday, September 29, 2005

Erosion of Liberties

While Jack Straw was spouting forth about democracy in Iraq, an 82 year old was ejected for having the temerity to shout "nonsense".

On the same day, I was rejected from a job in public service because, I believe, I am self-confessed peace campaigner.

It's all very disappointing.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Blog Spam

If you look at the comments on my last post, you will see that some of them are spam.

Does anyone know how to prevent this stuff?

(no comments pretending to be spam please, it's not clever and it's not funny.)

A Lot Of Hot Wind

A planning proposal has been submitted to erect a wind farm within 200 metres of my house.

Well I say "farm", but it's only two turbines. Our house, with the possible exception of next door, is easily the closest to the proposed site.

A meeting was called in the village hall. It was packed.

Mad Bastard Barry got up and started spouting forth. Nobody had a clue what he was on about. Something about the Queen Mary I think, and rationing after the war. After over five minutes of incoherent twaddle the audience shouted him down. I was clutching my ribs at the time.

The Nimbys were there in force; from the next village. Not even a couple of miles away let alone a couple of hundred yards.

There were also the Greenies from Whiteway who thought wind energy was a terribly nice thing.

At one point I thought a fight was going to break out.

It's the best night out I've had in ages. Maybe if the planning goes ahead we might get Mad Bastard David Bellamy next time.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Frida Kahlo

We went to the Frida Kahlo Exhibition at the Tate Modern yesterday.

Despite costing £10 each to get in, it was amazingly well attended. Too well attended really, as it was often difficult to see the pictures because of the crowds.

It is a very interesting dissection of a woman's character through her artistic work.

I can't help feeling though that the interest comes from the hardship she endured (poverty of background and nation, terrible accident involving multiple operations, turbulent, confused love life etc.).

My daughter aspires to be an artist. I don't feel she has a chance of making it, what with her being normally adjusted child of reasonably well-off parents who went to the local comprehensive.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Almost Picked Up By The Fuzz

I had my interview today with the police.

It was by a rather nice lady in plain clothes and a big bloke called Dave in proper uniform, with epaulettes and everything.

They seemed to like me. They took the trouble to ring me back at the end of the day and tell me I'm on a short list of two. I have to talk to another bloke on the phone tomorrow (I think I'll ask him if he's wearing a uniform), then they'll make up their mind.

Mind you, this is before I have obtained security clearance. My being a peace activist might scupper the whole thing.

To be honest, I don't really want a job just yet, I love not working too much.

Still, a truncheon would be a good conversation piece with my mates down the pub.

The BBC Never Forgets

I had a call today from BBC Radio Gloucester. There is a "docudrama" on the telly tonight about the Paddington train crash (BBC1 9pm)

As I was a "victim", they want to talk to me on air tomorrow morning.

I explained that I don't have a TV licence and that I am playing in the pub tonight. I have therefore arranged for a friend to record it. I will then watch it very late tonight so that I can comment sensibly tomorrow morning.

Such fame!

Did I tell you that an old lady asked for my autograph after the Jakefest?

I'll need a minder soon.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


It was all lovely.

Ian Burdon did a terrific job, as did all his helpers. Edinburgh was great. Richard La Crotte had a succesful launch.

A grand time was had by all.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Travel Day

We're all off to Edinburgh today. Sadly and disappointingly, driving there (five of us) is still cheaper than the cheapest train fare (with a family railcard).

This on the day of (watered down) fuel protests.

I was surprised at Gordon Brown's remarks on the subject. He's not a stupid man surely? He said OPEC ought to produce more. Brilliant. (incidentally, most of the world's oil is produced by non-OPEC countries - but they can't help either)

Very soon the world is going to wake up to the fact that the global demand for oil (around 86 million barrels per day) exceeds the global capacity to pump the stuff out of the ground.

And we're not finding any more.

I would be surprised, but not amazed, if Gordon Brown didn't know this.

Common Courtesy

I have been made redundant twice in my working life.

The first time, the people couldn't be nicer. This time... They could.

I know that people from my old company read this site, but yesterday a letter from them arrived. It was my P45. That's it. A P45 in an envelope. Not so much as a compliments slip. No "Hi tone, how are you?". No "if you need references or assistance". Just a form in an envelope.

It's almost as if they've been told to be stand-offish.

Maybe it's me being over sensitive.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


This weekend is the grand annual Jakefest held in memory of the great man.

This year it's being held in St Bride's Centre Edinburgh so has already been christened the "Jockfest".

There's a do in a French restaurant on Princes Street on Saturday lunchtime. This is in honour of the great Georges Brassens. I will be singing Brother Gorilla (a Brassens song translated by Jake into English) and Ricard La Crotte (my translation into French of a Jake song Leopold Alcocks).

Saturday night is the big event. Just to pile on more nervousness, TV cameras will be there. Victor Lewis Smith is making a TV documentary (Redifusion) about Jake and may use some footage from the fest.

All very lovely.

Counter Intelligence

I have secured an interview working for the police. They have asked me to complete a Security Questionnaire. This presumably helps to keep our great country safe.

There are four yes/no questions I must answer:

Have you ever been involved in
  • espionage?
  • terrorism?
  • sabotage?
  • actions intended to overthrow or undermine Parliamentary democracy by political, industrial or violient means?
I once sabotaged my uncle's cigarette by placing an exploding cap in it, but I think we'll let that one go.

I would have thought that attending the mass rally in London against the Iraq war constitutes "undermining Parliamentary democracy by political means". I will therefore answer "yes" to that one.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Louisana 1927

This Randy Newman song has unsurprisingly been wearing out my CD player.

It's from the Good Old Boys LP. Newman's main focus is the rich white north's lack of concern of the poor blacks' fate.

This was 80 years ago.

The song is haunting in its simplicity. Not surprisingly, this has been picked up in recent media reports.

They're trying to wash us away

M has arranged a violin line and we will be playing it at the club tonight.