Hat Tip to B3ta.com
Sunday, 29 November 2009
Paxman on Newsnight in April 2005 repeatedly asked Blair if he had seen confidential Foreign Office advice that the war would be illegal without specific UN support.
Blair's reply: 'No. I had the Attorney General's advice to guide me.'
Somehow the word 'liar' springs to mind.
Three days before the conflict began, Goldsmith, one may suspect after a good slapping about by Tony's cronies, announced that war would be legal on the basis of previous (and by then rather elderly) UN resolutions on Iraq, despite having explicitly rejected this argument in July 2002.
Both Goldsmith and Blair are to give evidence before Chilcot.
Could be interesting... (the pic above shows Bush and dog - and poodle).
Hat Tip to the ever industrious Mahal.
Saturday, 28 November 2009
Shorpy (link to left) puts up wonderful historic photographs. Here is one of bathers on the beach at Atlantic City 1906.
Which put me in mind of the first song I ever posted on White Rabbit - Atlantic City by you know who. I think this is the first time I've posted a song twice, but this is a different version. All together now...
Everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Put your makeup on fix your hair up pretty and
meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Friday, 27 November 2009
There is no earthly reason why Gary McKinnon can't be prosecuted in the UK. After all, where did he commit the acts complained of? Except possibly that the likely penalty would not be sufficient for the US government's liking. They want the guy's head on a plate, it seems. His mental health has deteriorated gravely. A report prepared by a Professor of Psychiatry has concluded that he has a 'fixed-psychological conviction he will kill himself in preference to being extradited'. His condition, a 'very serious major depressive disorder....aggravated and complicated by anxiety and panic attacks with multiple psychosomatic symptoms on a background of his having Asperger's Syndrome' is so serious he may be sectioned (compulsorily detained) under the Mental Health Act.
Home Secretary Alan Johnson 'stopped the clock' on Gary's extradition to consider the medical material. He's done that now. He has concluded that extradition would not be a breach of the Human Rights Act.
Spineless little creep.This leaves Gary McKinnon 7 days to appeal to a domestic court or 14 days to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. Words fail me. Perhaps we should declare independence. Here is Beau Bo D'Or's (link to left) take on this. For overseas readers, perhaps I should explain that Johnson is the Stan Laurel figure on the left. The Oliver Hardy figure on the right suffers from the delusive belief that he is Prime Minister.
Lightening the mood, this is how definitely not to treat the elderly...
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
This is quite a good little story in my opinion. The above 'Charles I insulted by Cromwell's soldiers' is by Paul Delaroche (nineteenth century French artist)
It was generally believed that this particular painting was lost forever after a German bombing raid on 11 May 1941 when Bridgewater House (the London home of the Duke of Sutherland was hit by a German bombing raid, and a crater, ten feet deep, opened up in the street. Delaroche’s monumental painting, then hanging in the dining room, received extensive shrapnel damage. It was taken for safe keeping to the Duke's residence on the Scottish borders (as one does) where it was rediscovered this year. It is shortly to be displayed in the National Gallery.
As for the painting itself - it seems to me to be another piety by the now happily largely defunct King Charles the Martyr industry. The expression on the about to be executed monarch's face is that of saintly forbearance. His tormentors leer drunkenly. I suspect somehow that the reality was very different. It ois odd, though, that these matters still preoccupied so much in the nineteenth century (it was originally disoplayed in 1837). Delaroche's other well-known work is the equally sentimental 'The Execution of Lady Jane Grey'. Here is our heroine about to cop a decapitation. It all seems a bit much for the woman on the left who appears to have fainted.
On a completely different topic, I have blogged some time ago about my love/hate relationship with folk music. One thing to love is the wonderful voice of Sandy Denny. Here she is with who knows where the time goes. I defy anyone not to find her voice sumptuous. Sadly she died of a brain haemorrhage aged 31.
Monday, 23 November 2009
So far so fatuous. But the advertising agencies for both major political parties have got busy and produced posters showing the glorious leader (a man called Brown, I may have to explain for overseas readers) and his Chancellor of the Exchequer and their Conservative counterparts as - erm - Jedward. Beau Bo D'Or (link to left) has got busy on this barrage of dung from the political parties as is to be seen above. Just how stupid do the advertisers who work for the main parties - and by extension the parties themselves - think we are if they imagine anyone is going to be impressed by these barrages of drivel? Below is a CNT/FAI poster from the Spanish Civil War. Now they're what I call a political poster!
Changing the subject completely, there are some amazing photos of a crocodile meeting its end doing the rounds. They were taken by Czech wildlife photographer Vaclav Silha who had set up his camera when suddenly he struck gold. A crocodile swam too close to a mother hippo and her calves. The hippos formed a protective circle. The crocodile panicked and tried to run over the dense crowd of hippos. No chance! The biter bit. An adult hippo can be seruously aggressive and packs a bite that can - well - destroy a crocodile in very short order. That's exactly what happened.
Sunday, 22 November 2009
Going back to Ducreux, interestingly he appears to have been something of a royalist and was painter by appointment to Marie Antoinette as well as being made a baron. When the French Revolution happened, he headed off to London at a rate of knots. Things take an odd turn in that he came back to Paris in 1793 where, somewhat curiously given his royalist track record, he linked up with French revolutionary artist Jacques-Louis David. Here is David's Tennis Court Oath. The French revolution is kicking off folks...
David's best known painting must be The Death of Marat. David was a friend of Marat a prominent Jacobin and promoter of the reign of terror. Charlotte Corday, repelled by the terror and fearing civil war went to Marat who spent most of his time in the bath because of a debilitating skin disease. She claimed to have a list of counter-revolutionaries for him. He thanked her and said they would be executed next week. She then stabbed him to death. As one does. Here is our man as per David, presumably with the list. Charlotte Corday was guillotined for her bad behaviour shortly afterward. I always thought that it was Charlotte Corday who said 'oh liberty! what crimes are committed in your name?' but it wasn't but rather someone obscure called Madame Roland. She was about to get her head whacked off too so one can see her point of view.
Saturday, 21 November 2009
The National Trust has done its research and has discovered something of the history of the former occupiers of the houses and have restored the interiors in accordance with the period. The houses are laid out in various period styles from the 1820s to the 1970s. What struck me was how claustriophobic they must have been to live in with tiny rooms, narrow stairs and the enclosed courtyard. There were also shops along one side. George Saunders, a tailor from St Kitts, ran a tailors shop (it's on the left in the top pic) until as recently as 2001 when he retired. Here he is.
I love the Back to Backs to bits. It's a privilege to live by this time capsule. I discover they're even on YouTube. You can book rooms in them for overnight accommodation! Have a look at the clip. It's worth the annoying commentary.
Oh, and on a completely different topic and with Hat Tip to Mahal for drawing it to my attention, go to YouTube and search for 'Putin being criticised by journalist'. Trust me, it's worth the effort. Annoyingly, embedding has been disabled or I'd put it up here. As my informant comments 'and that man is in charge of the world's second largest nuclear arsenal'.
Friday, 20 November 2009
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Well maybe not quite - one witty - as opposed to mindlessly unpleasant - football chant is 'Neville, Neville your face is a mess' to the tune of David Bowie's Rebel Rebel. And right on cue...
That's enough ugly people. Maybe if you are all good some Bananarama soon...
Monday, 16 November 2009
Sunday, 15 November 2009
John Profumo (the married secretary of state for war - they didn't pussyfoot about with 'defence' as a job description then) and Yevgeny Ivanov (a Russian naval attache and spy) were both sleeping with the same woman as Johnny - Christine Keeler. Profumo lied to the House of Commons and had to go. I say he had to go for lying - which is true as far as it goes - but the sexual scandal was a huge undercurrent and at the time the idea of sleeping with the same woman as a black man was hugely scandalous to most British people. To cut a long story short things got more and more scandalous and more and more dodgy figures appeared in the narrative. It pretty much was the end of the McMillan Government and not so long after the Conservatives (under different leadership) lost the 1964 election to complete the process. A government report was commissioned and presided over by old lizard Lord Denning. When it came out - uniquely among government reports which largely you couldn't give away - people were queueing round the block to buy it.
And Johnny Edgecombe? He got 7 years as regards the firearms episode. That was harsh. He never fired at anyone or endangered life. He was the fall guy, a small time hustler who accidentally sprung open a Pandora's box of establishment scandal. He believes - and I think he is right - that he payed an excessive price for treading on the toes of the establishment. The film Scandal pisses him off bigtime too. He has been portrayed as a violent man - unfairly in my opinion - and it rankles. He was one of that pioneer generation of men from the Caribbean who had it hard - and in particular were shunned by large parts of white society and moved in the circles that accepted them. Many of those circles - jazz musicians and good time girls were somewhat dodgy. More dodgy were the righteous pillars of the establishment who took their illicit pleasures in those circles but maintained a hypocritical respectable front. Not an educated man, he has written reams on the subject of his brush with notoriety. Let's just say it needs a serious sub-editor but there is a tale to be told.
He's 77 now and seems to have achieved some sort of contentment. I had to laugh at the end of the interview where it is revealed that he was off out for the evening - with Howard Marks! I think he has done us all a favour - Johnny, I mean and not Howard Marks - by helping to end the age of deference by showing our supposed betters for what they are. Oh - some of you reading this may fancy yourselves as stoners. No you're not - you're a lightweight. Now Johnny Edgecombe - there was a stoner!
On a different topic, I saw The Men who Stare at Goats last night at the Odeon, Tottenham Court Road. It has its funny moments but in the round, I don't think it works.
Continuing on a 1960s theme - here is the sixth finger part seven (sic) from cult 60s TV show The Outer Limits. Just because.
Friday, 13 November 2009
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Monday, 9 November 2009
Sunday, 8 November 2009
Here is Pretty Flamingo by Manfred Mann from when the rabbit was - well - a small rabbit. And an exquisite song it is too. The cartoon accompanying it is - well - pretty bizarre. Random factoid: the guy who wrote Pretty Flamingo - Mark Barkan - also wrote the Banana Splits Song - as in 'one banana, two bananas'... One thing that keeps bugging me about the cartoon is that flamingos are pink and not yellow. As can be seen below. And yet again the 'flamingo' in the cartoon appears to be a hippo and not a bird at all, even a small yellow one. All very confusing.
Saturday, 7 November 2009
So here is a rock classic - J. Geils Band with Centrefold or Centerfold in American. Here also is a stunning photograph with hat tip to Jailhouse Lawyer who posts a lot of wonderful photographs but this is an absolute classic of the Northumberland coast (that's North-East England for the uninitiated) with the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle. Are the colours not exquisite?
This came to my attention from yesterday's Yorkshire Evening Post...
"Police today called for an end to an "unjustified" hate campaign sparked by a soccer thug's behaviour during Leeds United's recent match at Millwall.
A supporter of the South London club was photographed at the game on October 24 wearing a shirt belonging to Turkish side Galatasaray.
The yob's bizarre 'fashion statement' was a sick reference to the deaths of two United fans in Istanbul nine years ago.
The picture ran in a national newspaper the day after the match - and its subject was subsequently named on the internet as Darren Robertson.
But now, in a joint statement, Millwall and the Metropolitan Police have said the person in the photo is NOT Mr Robertson.
The statement reads: "Mr Robertson and his family have been subjected to an unjustified hate campaign from certain individuals and as such, to prevent this from going further, we would like to take this opportunity to confirm that the picture was not (of] Darren Robertson.
"The Metropolitan Police and Millwall FC are continuing their investigation into the true identity of the individual."
Leeds United responded to the statement by appealing for their fans not to contact Mr Robertson".
The background is tragic and the real perpetrator low life but I can't help but nominate the word 'contact' in the United response for euphemism of the year. As an answer to the low life, here is Leeds v Southampton 1971-72 season. Ole!
Monday, 2 November 2009
Following the ejection of the splendidly named Professor Nutt as Government Drugs Adviser by Postman Pat - sorry Alan - (not to forget his black and white cat) Rabbit Disinformation Services can exclusively reveal the identity of the next Government Drugs Advisor. Talking of Postman Pat...