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Friday, February 18, 2005


i hate kids, well more accurately i hate what kids do and are allowed to do. so to be honest i hate the way that some parents have not brought up their kids, have not taught their kids to behave, not taught their kids to respect other people, and in fact have just let them run wild.

i am not sure why i have had this sea change in attitude towards children - for several years i was a step dad and i like to think i did a good job of being a parent.

it's all those little things that start to add up and make me a child hater - the posh parents who take their kids to galleries and then let them run around making noise and spoiling the enjoyment of the other people there. or taking them into shops and again letting them run off to cause havoc. the closest they come to criticism is a short shrug of the shoulders that seems to say yes i know they are a little shit but aren't they cute. the poor parents who just swear at their kids, or ignore them or let them drop litter all over the place. at best these parents are aware their children exist but would prefer they were someone else's problems. then there are the accessory children - those whose parents think it was just the done thing to have a child and were not really concerned with what was going to happen once they got tired of the novelty of being a parent. these are the sort of people who were probably not suited to having pets not alone children.

i find it odd that some people think that having children is a right and that anyone can do it.

me i think that people should not be able to breed unless they are capable of showing that they are going to teach the child the right values, that they are going to provide the child with a stable home, that they are capable of understanding just what is entailed with having kids - not just for them but for the wider society.
we can't drive cars without having passed a test the same should be true of bringing children into the world. if you don't pass the test you can't have the kids. it's a simple and effective plan.
sure it could be open to a lot of abuse - but with a little thought a number of practical criteria could be put in place and then if you pass you are entitled to have children - simple really.

(mmmm thinking about it this is me at my most miserable. i put it down to the fact that they are now saying the olympic bid went well this week. Bugger!)

Saturday, February 12, 2005


sometimes you just have to laugh or else you would cry.

so here are some of the things that have occurred just recently that have made me smile.

ikea: i am not particularly house proud. in fact i probably take an inordinate amount of pride in just how messy my place is. it is no longer a pigsty - it is worse than that. i have so much junk it is not true. what is worse is that i seem to add to it each week. even i am not thinking that my flat is approaching being a dangerous tip and i need to do something about it.
having said that i am still a loooong way from wanting to go to a midnight opening of ikea, especially if that opening happens to be in edmonton (even the lovely city of london has to have some depressing places). but lured by the promise of opening day bargains such as a £45 leather sofa (it surely couldn't have been the less than funny poster ads they had used) 6000 people queued to enter the store, and when the doors opened all english decorum left them and pandemonium broke out.
"Ms Christian, 38, a civil servant, said: "There were people who each had one end of a sofa and were pulling in different directions, both shouting, 'It's mine.' Some were lying on sofas that people were trying to take away. It was total chaos. In fact, chaos was an understatement. I've never seen anything like it in my life.'' (from the independent)
in what could be a scene from dawn of the dead the piece goes on
"Inside, Mr Olie said it had all been going "very smoothly'' as the first people were let in. "But then they gathered all around the store and tried to come in through all the doors. We closed the doors and tried to let in one person at a time but then they came in force.''
the good news (if you happen to be into home decorating and such like) is that the store has reopened and that:
" a counselling service had been set up for the workers by the company following the events. " (bbc)
now that is what i call classy - but also a little depressing. still we live in a world of victim culture so what can we expect.

cherie: not really a fan of hers - the smiling gash of a mouth scares me. however i appreciate she must being doing something right to be a mum of several kids, married to the pm and still be a success in her chosen field of the law. that said i am not sure i would pay a penny to hear her speak. she is currently on a controversial speaking tour of austrailia and new zealand. from what i can make out it is controversial because she is making a lot of money from it rather than she is saying anything that is boat rocking radical.
but i have to say i would have like to have been there when she confused new zealand with austrailia - not once but twice. for me it would be like being called welsh or, heaven forbid, french! now i know public speaking isn't easy - in the right circumstances i can talk the hind legs off a donkey - ask me to speak in public and i am as shy as a mouse. but even i know you prepare your notes carefully to make sure you have the names and places right.
whats more people said she was dull and boring. (telegraph)

ellen: i must confess to being underwhelmed by ellen macarthur's record breaking round the world solo sail. oh i can appreciate the skill, the dedication, the determination it must have taken for her to do it. i am sure she overcame physical hardship and faced potential danger. but i am left with a big so what. her achievement has not changed or impacted on my life, it means nothing to me. (to be honest i am like that with most things though - i was not buoyed up (to keep the nautical feel) by the gold medals that were won by the gb team in the olympics. i appreciated the skills of those who achieved but it was just a fleeting glancing whoop of pleasure from me, it was the same when england won the rugby world cup).

now this might make me appear to be a miserable old git - and frankly you would be right.
but this letter to the independent - well takes it to another level entirely.

"Lone sailors off watch
Sir: While Ellen MacArthur's latest round-the-world bid ended in success, I wonder how she managed to complete this while breaking international law.
The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea clearly state: "Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper lookout by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision."
Nowhere in these rules is there a section which allows you to break them if you are on a solo round-the-world bid. There are reports that she had no more than four hours' sleep per day, but during these four hours there is no way she could be keeping a lookout by sight. I am a merchant navy officer and have seen many of my professional colleagues fined or indeed facing jail sentences for failing to keep a proper lookout.
These are the same people who would have to risk their lives in a rescue attempt if these solo yachtspersons get into difficulties.
DEREK GRAY Chirnside, Berwickshire"
derek - i doff my cap to you for showing me that there are still levels of miseryguts that i have yet to explore. you are my new hero and my new guiding light.

also from the same edition

"Sir: Congratulations to Ellen MacArthur on an extraordinary achievement. At the same time it would be apt to remember and raise a glass to previous world-rounders who have achieved the same single-handed feat, albeit slower, without the daily security of satellite navigation systems.
JASON GRIST Teddington, Middlesex"
while you jason - you need to read derek's letter because you have shown yourself to be small and petty when it comes to being miserable. read derek and learn. and in future jason don't be such a wishy washy miserable git.

while ellen's efforts have done little to spark my imagination i realise that the world needs people like her to keep doing those eccentric headline making journeys, climbs, walks, runs, etc. they brighten up the day and continue to remind us that we can achieve a lot just by being people.
(now that makes me appear to be as bad and as wishy washy as jason. darn!)

camilla: i gave up my royalist leanings many many years ago, probably about the time i realised that actually i was not abducted from the royal family when i was a baby and that i was never going to be king. so the announcement that camilla and charles are going to get married feels me with about as much excitement as someone sailing around the world did.
there have been a few moments that i have liked in this. one was the lass who married the really useless member of the family saying "i recommend getting married in windsor castle". i am sure that this is an option open to most of us.
i like the fact that it has been timed to take a certain amount of heat of of andy for using helicopters at tax payers expense rather than catch the train.
i admire charles for going with a woman his own age - not like that nice mr. trump and his thatched hair, or mr douglas and ms zeta-jones.
the other aspect of it all has been the rash of polls about whether or not camilla should be queen, whether the queen should abdicate, should charles still be the head of the church (or as he calls it defender of the faith - a judas priest lp if ever there was one - rock on charles), that nazi prince and his brother are in favour of it all.
all of this is operating within the scope of the fact the royal family are relevant. they are not. and as we are trying to be more american why don't we copy the one thing they have done that is good.
lets become a republic.
about time.


in a week that has seen me get giddy with excitement and anticipation one night and crushed and dejected the next night. (ok that is me overstating it a little ... well quite a lot. though events of the week left me a little disappointed i am not going to inflict on the world my version of pink floyd's the wall.... Actually that might not be true either.....)

anyway enough guff also during this week i read this piece in the new statesman from terry eagleton. (actually the piece was written january 31st - i am just behind on my reading...)

"All the papers have noted the number of times Bush used the word "freedom" in his inaugural speech, or sometimes "liberty". (Who said he was semantically impoverished?) He was right to hammer it home, since "freedom" is the most usefully ambiguous term in the political lexicon. It has both a high-minded spiritual sense and a low-minded material one, so you can appear to mean the first while intending the second. Freedom is a precious human right . . . and a rationale for incinerating small children. The lost souls of Guantanamo thirst for it, and small farmers are bankrupted in its name. The language of freedom is one of the few to be spoken with equal fluency by archbishops and casino owners, oilmen and Oxford philosophers. No one is against it, which is exactly what is so vacuous about it. What will destroy us is not mean-minded materialism, but visionary idealism."

i was struck not only by how true this was but also how depressed it made me.
as a left leaning progressive i have often gotten into mel gibson mode and cried "freedom" but so often the freedoms i am chomping at the mouth about are not always the ones that others are craving or frankly needing.

in order to cheer myself up i pulled down all the respect party posters i saw along brick lane wednesday night as i went for a beigel.
in truth it did make me feel much better.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


we live in a period where the politicians want us to be scared.
they want us to be scared so that we will vote for whatever solution to the problem they are peddling.
on the global scale it is terrorism we are to be scared of. and in order to be "safe" from this we are being asked to give up civil liberties, we are being asked to believe the lies of the those that lead us and further more we have live in a world that is constantly getting more dangerous – filled with a greater potential for war on a global scale. But we are ok because the politicians are there to tell us how they can make us safe from this self fulfilling prophecy.

Meanwhile back at home we are being treated to the twin spectres of immigration (and the race to appear to be racist enough to appeal to the readers of the sun and the daily mail but not as racist as the other party) and crime. Together they are a jackpot winning hand at blackjack.

So we now have the conservative party’s law and order proposals.
The introduction of minimum and maximum sentences (you have to at least serve the minimum sentence before you can be let out).
The return of “three strikes and you are out!” whereby your third offence for burglary means a guaranteed sentence. Though there might be exceptional circumstances where this would not count.
Scrapping of early release scheme – because since labour had introduced it in 1999 3500 crimes had been committed by people on early release. (dave Wilson, a criminologist, says: “And 90% of those on the early release curfew scheme did not reoffend before the end of their sentence”).
Of course this means building more prison places and howard has pledged funding for an extra 20,000 prison places by 2010. (which will add to the 17,000 places created under labour – which currently gives the uk the biggest prison population in Europe)?
Remember this is about a specific type of criminal. There is nothing here about potential white collar crime – that in many ways hurts more people and more often. Whether it is through fraud, poor health and safety or just wilful disregard for your rights. The people who do that are fine, and they don’t need to be imprisoned. After all someone needs to pay for the tories… (and sadly new labour).

Howard says that prison sends out a strong message “that crime does not pay!” it is such a pity that the message is either being ignored or is not being understood by the target audience – or why else is there a need to increase prison places?
Simple reason is fear – create the spectre of a lawless society then promise to fill the prisons to bursting point and well you have a vote winner.
As howard says:
"Build more prisons and fewer criminals will be free to commit crime,"…. "It's common sense. its how I will cut crime."
And when crime continues – just build more….
Nacro - the national crime reduction charity - said Tories would be better spending money on more measures to prevent crime, support victims and alternatives to prison.
But that caring rehabilitating attitude does not pander to the needs of the right wing press and it does not pander to the needs of the “hang and birch them” brigade, who still seem to hold sway over much of the thinking of current politics.

For the tories it is not about trying to remove the possible causes of crime, it is not about taking criminals and attempting to make them “useful” members of society, for the tories it is about retribution plain and simple.
Or to cite Juliet Lyon, the director of the Prison Reform Trust. She criticised Mr Howard for believing "that prison works" when three out of five people walked out of jail and returned to crime.

New labours response: prison is for the most dangerous and the persistent offenders. Oh and the tories have said where the money is going to come for this prison expansion. I can guess it will be something like a pfi with a private (no doubt American) company running the place and when it all goes horribly wrong the state will have to step in and pick up the pieces.

But we can all feel safe because not only does howard talk tough he acts tough – as he also joined Cleveland police on a dawn raid to bring down some drug dealers. (tsk tsk for thinking that this was a publicity stunt to help bring attention to his speech, and yes that stab proof vest did make him look almost as silly as bush in the flight suit). Three suspected dealers were arrested in two raids and a quantity of cannabis seized.
"It has been a very good example of pro-active policing of the kind I want to encourage" howard said.
I suppose we should be thankful he stopped short at encouraging us all to have a go!

Crime, like immigration, is a serious issue for many people. If we have not been the victim of a crime we probably know someone who has been. But if you believe the comments of howard, the sun and the daily mail just the simple act of stepping outside your door is to invite being robbed and mugged. They hark back to some bygone golden age when we lived crime free leaving our doors open safe in the knowledge out worldly possessions were safe and that we could walk anywhere without fear. If there was ever a time when this was true then that sense of belonged to a community and being safe in that community was mugged by the many years of tory rule under thatcher, major and howard and his ilk.
Why should we trust him now?


there is much going on in the world right now.
for instance condi is in the middle east telling the israelis and the palestinians that they must play well together and be nice. while dubya is getting ready to declare war on syria or iran or maybe both (it's not like he has finished the last two he started...) but look folks lets take heart from it all if going to the edge of armageddon with iran brings peace to israel and the middle east it will be worth it for the few minutes they both remain uncrispied in the nuclear blasts.

meanwhile back in blighty the tories and new labour are about to enter the you say potatoe and i say potato phase of politics. one says quota the other says point system - but what they are both saying is "look johnny brown/yellow skinned foreigner we don't want you in our country unless you are going to do some solid good work for us or you are rich." but we don't want to appear to be racist and we don't actually want to get into a discussion about this so what we will do is say only so many of you nasty immigrants can come in.
the clever thing about this is both parties will claim that they have to have this "scare mongering" debate because if they don't then the far right extremist parties will and they might get a couple of seats in the houses of parliament. here i am referring to bnp and such like as opposed to the daily mail or sun readers party.

but lets be honest the most important thing of all is that jeffrey archer can come back.
true new labour have allowed ali campbell to rejoin them in order to show that they are no longer the party of spin.
now jeffery can come back into the tory fold to show that they are indeed the party of law and order. this is because his 5 year expulsion from the party has elapsed.
as dr liam fox said ""I'm sure that in line with people having served their sentence and having done some reparations for what they did wrong, we would look at that sympathetically.
"I don't believe in vindictiveness, I don't think that has any place in politics, unlike the prime minister and Alastair Campbell." (he may not believe in vindictiveness but not above some cheap points scoring ........
and as norman (on yer bike) tebbit said ""After all, he is far from being the worst perjurer in the world," hell he probably isn't even the worst perjurer in the tory party, let alonethe world.

once archer is back in where will it stop aitken ? hamilton (he must be up for a shot after all he has just gotten money of max clifford so he is a winner and that is something that the tories have forgotten how to feel!)

the real question for the tories isn't whether or not to let him in - like it or not they need him. the question is does he need them or want them. if he is a smart cookie he will pass this time around let them lose and then come and help them for the next one.
still it would be fun to see archer and campbell go at it like two warrior spin doctors.

the tory all stars would be portillo, johnson and archer.
throw in virginia bottomley and edwina currie (just for me and part of the top tory totty list) and then the tories have a faint chance.
but the party that has howard, fox and letwin are unelectable and for that we should give thanks.

kneel and pray.

Friday, February 04, 2005


years ago when i was a student and i had the pleasure to study at the polytechnic of north london i was introduced to a political radicalism that i had been totally unaware of.
it was a large wake up call for me, and in many respects helped shape many of the views i hold today (most of which i had previous to going there but they were unfocused and not properly thought through - yes i know that they still seem that way but....)
at pnl one of the things i discovered was that the socialist workers party (swp) was very active (it still is and it is still saying pretty much the same things it did then - the only difference is the language it uses to couch it's arguments) and often when it went to demonstrate and protest part of it's weapon of choice was the egg. the egg is easy to carry, easy to throw and makes a great splat when it hits the target. the perfect weapon of the class war protester.
imagine my surprise when i went to the london school of economics and the edwina (top tory totty) was there speaking to the students and she wasn't pelted with eggs! i had gone from a hotbed of radicalism to a college that had returned to the establishment.

when i saw this headline "Demonstrators pelt Hoon with eggs" i could only think of two things that the defence minister had been the subject of an attack by the swp and this was because of a] he is a politician b] he is closely linked with the iraq war c] he is thoroughly unlikable and that i was not sure how to make wmd's into an egg joke (never came up with an answer!)

imagine my surprise when i discovered it was not the swp but my friends in the pro-hunt circle.
it is nice to see that they are respecters of democracy. no one has been arrested according to the story, one has to wonder if the police were that concerned to arrest anyone. you just know that if it were an anti-globalisation demo then several would be banged up at the moment.

and look i am back to mentioning hunters again.


i am not sure where i heard it, and because of that i am not even sure if it is true or is just something i dreamt in one of my more lucid dreams, but it was rumoured the higher up you were in the pecking order of hollywood the less likely it was that anyone would mention you were wearing a wig, and not only were you wearing a wig but that it was a truly horrendous one.
the fact that a person is so vain that they need a wig is one thing, but that they then call attention to the fact that they are wearing one by choosing the most inappropriate syrup is beyond me.

the movie strange days is notable for a few things 1] angela basset 2] that anyone in their right mind would be more interested in juliette lewis than angela basset and 3] tom sizemore in a hideous wig (ok later on in the movie it is revealed as a wig... oooops spoilt the only interesting part of that film for you).

william shatner is notorious for his wig.
elton john for his attempts at hair transplants.
i would say lets just be normal and be ourselves but that apparently isn't an option in some parts of society.
i read that some american businessmen were getting chin implants to give them that square jawed look that people respected and trusted. of course if the practice is widespread enough that it makes the news you have to wonder if anyone trusts american businessmen (it's a rhetorical question so no need to send answers on a postcard.)

all of which brings me to donald trump. he has just gotten married again, to a young beautiful thing. and i have to admit that if i was very rich and very wealthy i would have no problems in marrying someone who was so obviously after me for my money - hell you can't take it with you.
but there is one question i have ?
what is going on with donald's hair.
i first became aware of the trumpsters hair while watching wrestlemania XX he got interviewed during the bouts and it looked like someone had dropped some ginger coloured candyfloss on his head. it was like a bad special effect was trying to give him a halo or something. then i saw the cover to hello magazine (trump had very cleverly made sure that other people had paid for the wedding... i am guessing it is one of the reasons why he is wealthy) and the hair is still there and it still looks like it is mutating on his head.
i want to know what is causing it - it can only be considered dangerous and a hazard to world peace if it escapes.
we must know the truth of what is going on with trumps hair.....

Thursday, February 03, 2005


from the independent newspaper letter’s page on tuesday feb the 1st

oh no not the hunt again pat. let it rest i can hear say, let it go, move on i hear you cry. i can’t. i know i should but i just can’t.
it’s not because i like foxes, i don’t. i don’t even like bunny rabbits. really i don’t. but i hate wankers who go on about tradition and human rights but are the first people to trample over the rights and traditions of others when it suits them. what is more she is canadian – let her go hunt elks and moose – go riding with the mounties if you like riding horses.
see below for more incisive commentary from me (ok snide jibes…)

hunt ban tramples on a thousand years of english tradition
sir: thank you for publishing the letter from david dear ("hunt celebrates life", 25 january). he is absolutely right.
early in december, i had the opportunity to go out with the fernie of leicestershire. on that day, i rode over some of the most beautiful countryside i have ever seen, the ancestral home of my mother's family. i had hired a wonderful horse, a mare of such quality and excellent training that i felt unworthy of her.
***** one of the main arguments that the hunters always use is that it is social. so why can’t they just go out and have a ride about with their mates. i am sure the horses are not going to be too bothered if they are running around the countryside because the riders just fancy going here or there rather than running after the fox.
if hunting stops right now, this very instant – the beautiful countryside will still be there. wow what an amazing concept the land will still be there, in all it’s natural glory without gloried idiots dressed to the nines prancing around on a horse after a fox.
and i am sorry the moment anyone says she was not worthy of the horse has been reading too many fantasy novels and thinks they have stumbled into middle earth – get a reality check: it’s a horse.

it was so utterly moving to hunt in the country that i consider my second home, i found myself near tears.
i've never seen ordinary people ride with such courage and skill.
**** see above, you almost expecting her to mention how not only did they ride down a fox but they also scouted the local area to make sure no stray (and dangerous) immigrant (or should that be orc?) has strayed into the pristine countryside.

the hunt followers, both on foot and on horseback, were hugely welcoming and friendly. even the threat of an impending ban on an activity so central to their livelihood did not take the smiles from their faces.
**** obviously she has not seen the ruddy faced bile spewing idiots when they come into london to “protest”.

many who are in favour of the uk hunting ban will argue that foxhunting dates back only about 300 years. the truth is that your people have been hunting with hounds across the centuries. your foxhounds are descended from animals brought during the norman conquest. your hunters have been bred from crosses of ancient native british stock with the thoroughbred. the latter is a gorgeous creature, a work of art, created by the english. the hedgerows over which the hunt rides date back to saxon times.
the right to hunt is not a privilege held by the wealthy elite. it's part of who you are as britons; please preserve it. the ban is a smack in the face to the people who built the country, fought and died for it, and for five hundred years made it the richest and most influential nation in the world.
**** i am pretty sure that when my grandfather and uncles went to war the first thing on their minds was “we must preserve the hunt”. in fact i am pretty sure that is the real reason blair went into iraq – not only did saddam have wmds but he was going to ban the hunt!
as i said before the disappearance of the hunt will not mean hedgerows will disappear, they will still be there. the foxhounds well if they need a job i know an animal testing centre or two….

the hunting ban is very obviously motivated by class jealousy and cultural self-hatred disguised as compassion. it's a revenge law written by people who harbour a horror of the man on horseback.
***** as i have said before i could care less about the foxes, and if i was in government this is an issue that would be at the bottom of my list of priorities. but now that it has passed, now that the majority have spoken (this is a democracy after all and banning of hunting with hounds has been a part of the labour policy for a loooong time, i expect those people who care about tradition, who care about rights to uphold and abide by the law. of course they won’t they think that they are above the rest of us and can ride roughshod over democracy when it suits them. these lovers of tradition were nowhere to be seen when mines and factories were being closed, they were nowhere to be seen when the unions were being crushed. so those people lost their lifestyles, their traditions and their communities. well hunters you can suffer it as well.
learn to enjoy a leisurely ride with your friends. learn that you don’t have to be chasing after an animal to kill it in order to have fun. if you are so keen to see blood – join up. substitute your hunters uniform for that of the soldier, learn new traditions.
i do hope that nazi prince harry and his family are caught out on a hunt and they get banged up inside for it.
and there is one noble english tradition i wish the hunters would abide by – that of the stiff upper lip when facing adversity and not this endless whining and whinging.

on 19 february, i will think of the hunt staffs, followers and supporters, and be cheering for them. i urge them to fight honourably and hard in the war against the loss of their freedom. and i fully expect to return to england to hunt foxes again.
meredith stranges peterborough, ontario, canada
***** i can only hope that on the 19th you are crying into your cups as the hunters lose again. but sadly i just know that in terms of class war we will lose this war, but hey winning one round was pretty cool.

i am thinking i should move on from hunters. so with luck this will be my last gripe at them.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


we have a nazi prince while the americans have the noncey (it being the acronym for “not on normal courtyard exercise – don’t say you don’t learn anything when you visit it!) king of pop. both have dodgy taste in clothes. both have probably been involved in some dodgy sexual encounters (though we do hope that the nazi prince was at least doing it with a consenting partner – but who can tell with these public schoolboys?)

michael jackson’s trial for being a child molester (apparently he is also up for extortion as well –who would have thought he was that hard up for cash?) has begun. up first is the important process of finding 12 people who can sit on the jury and judge jackson fairly. 750 people are up for the 12 places (why no one has thought to make this a reality tv thing is beyond me - you just know there are enough sad people out there who would 1] want to be involved in the jury and 2] more than enough people would watch it throughout all the twists and turns of the case (and yes jay i am thinking of you.!) it is suspected that of that 750 a number of people will have to drop out because they can’t afford to be away from job and family for the estimated six months of the case.
the defence and the prosecution have to weed out various people in order to find those people who are most “favourable” to their points of view. so they have to be careful not to find people who have strong views on racism, plastic surgery, bad pop records or child abuse (frankly how can you not have an opinion on child abuse it strikes me it’s something you can’t really have grey areas on – unless of course you are an official in the catholic church – ooops that’s me going to hell.)
they also have to look out for “stealth jurors”: the people who want to make a name for themselves with a media deal after the event, or who want to “save” or “punish” jackson in order to make a statement.
although i shouldn’t be surprised about it the media coverage has been vast and the number of his fans (who are called soldiers of love) who have travelled out to support jackson in his hour of need. in so doing they have shown that they are a little like their hero in the slightly cuckoo department.

so you have lidi gyampoh, 25, from canterbury, kent, left her three children, aged three, 18 months and six months, with her mother to travel for 23 hours to be at the court.
"i remember seeing michael on television when i was about five or six. i remember thinking, i really want this man to be my father. and that never really changed throughout my childhood.
(and already she seems like she is treating her kids with the respect that they need to grew into well adjusted adults .....)

[bit of a pat digression sidebar here - since when did being a parent become a right? it's people like lidi who make me think that people should have to pass a test before they can have kids - we have to learn to drive - why not learn to be parents? perhaps i will return to that little hobby horse another time - oh i know you can't wait for that to happen!]

manish pandya from hounslow, west london, said: "we believe he's totally innocent so we came here to support him. some of our friends think we're totally crazy but they're very supportive." (i’ve news for you manish you are crazy).

or (and a wonderful example of capitalist entrepreneurship and lack of morals)
"you want to know what i think, what i really think?" asked terrie h, selling pictures of jackson emblazoned with the word innocent for $5 each. "i think he's guilty. he's always with kids. a 46-year-old man? i'm just helping my cousin out selling these. we've sold six today. i don't believe he's innocent. i just don't."

in the end you hope that what ever the outcome is there is a fair trail carried out and that whatever the verdict is it is seen to be done correctly.

and in a parallel with out nazi prince you have to wonder at the people who advise jackson and who haven’t said at one time or another “look mike this appears to be a bit dicey you hanging out with kids without a responsible adult hanging around to make sure it’s all above board….” just like you would have thought that one of harry’s many staff should have said “harry dear swastika’s just don’t go with your eyes…..”

at least harry’s dodgy choice of fancy dress is not going to get him banged up, jackson’s alleged child abuse is going to see him turned into someone’s prison bitch. if he is lucky perhaps jonathon king and gary glitter will send him tips on how to survive when he is living his new version of oz. even better perhaps he can use peter townsend’s excuse “it was research!”