"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Heparin - APP doubles prices, triples production - the fascinating life of Dr Soon-Shiong and cures for cancer and diabetes

Recalls of heparin around the world and a tainted Chinese supply of its raw ingredient are triggering a spike in prices of the blood thinner to hospitals and dialysis centers amid tight supplies.

Direct consumers are unlikely to feel the impact because heparin is cheap, costing $1 dollar per vial by most estimates. The drug is administered during dialysis and heart surgeries and therefore would be a fraction of the overall procedure's cost, hospitals say.

APP Pharmaceuticals Inc. (previously known as Abraxis BioScience ) said it will increase the price of heparin in what (they claim) amounts to 6 cents per 1000 units of heparin, or about "48 cents per dialysis treatment," the company said. APP would not disclose specific prices or future increases saying they are "proprietary" and vary by dosage and customer.

Following the withdrawal of supplies of heparin from the US market due to contamination of their Chinese supplies with low cost oversulfated chondroitin sulfate.

Subsequently APP Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ : APPX) have become the principal US supplier.

Heparin is a blood thinning agent required prior to dialysis and heart surgery and is a relatively low cost drug. It is also used to thin blood in the tiny catheters required when dealing with premature baies in IC units.

APP have now increased prices (without discolosing what they say are proprietary pricing structures) which they say amounts to about 50 cents per dialysis procedure. According to the Stanford and Fresenius Research report of May 2, 2008, the reimbursement for managed care dialysis treatment is approximately $614, with an average reimbursement per dialysis treatment of $325, taking into consideration the Medicare reimbursement rate of $237 per dialysis treatment. APP Press release.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has so far identified more than 80 deaths and more than 1,000 adverse events associated with patients in the U.S. Contaminated heparin has now been identified in the U.S. and 10 other countries and at least a dozen Chinese sources.

APP said it had been absorbing huge increases in raw materials costs last year. Now they need to raise prices this year due to increasing security of its supply chain, additional testing required by the FDA and hiring additional staff to handle new security procedures. APP say they have had to triple production to meet domestic US demand.

USA Today report that 2 major dialysis centres using APP product have seen heparin prices double since mid April. Angela Newman, vice president of Brentwood, Tennessee based Renal Advantage's 90 dialysis centers, says price have risen twice and spokeswoman Stephanie Horn of DaVita with 1,300 dialysis centers, says they have seen a similar jump in prices.

Renal Advantage can't pass increased heparin costs on because most dialysis patients are treated under government-based Medicare and heparin is included in the base rate it pays for treatments, Newman says. While she says she's glad APP stepped up production, the 100% jump is "a little extreme."

The same article also quotes APP Chairman Patrick Soon-Shiong that APP's China-sourced heparin for the USA has tested clean, thanks to a tightly controlled supply chain. Adding that Soon-Shiong says APP, a generic-drug maker, had heparin sales of about $40 million last year and revenue of $647 million. He owns more than 80% of APP's shares. They closed Thursday at $11.81, down 11%. APP said 2008 profit may be flat vs. last year. Mr SS is a man with a fascinating history in the supply of pharmaceuticals courced in China SEE FOOTNOTE

APP issued a Press release on Thursday which says ""Because of the steps that we have been taking since early 2000 to ensure a safe, traceable supply chain and are continuing to take with regard to the production of heparin, we have been able to provide a product of the highest quality standards," said Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., chairman of APP Pharmaceuticals. "

U.S. Health and Human Services secretary Mike Leavitt said this week that , "We have put in place processes that we believe can ensure the safety of the heparin supply within the United States," but added, "We believe the system that we have for ensuring safety is a good one but completely inadequate for the future,"

He also acknowledged that the heparin scare had seen the need to change supervsory procedures."What you'll see from the United States is a substantial change in our strategy," he added, noting Washington's plans to station Food and Drug Administration inspectors in China and other countries.

Meanwhile inquisitive members of Congress are still bering blocked by the FDA who continue withholding a list of Chinese heparin suppliers requested by congressional investigators looking into problems with hepqrin. The FDA say that confidentiality agreements prevent release of the companies' names.

Members of Congress also are concerned that Chinese heparin manufacturers and their raw-material suppliers didn't fully cooperate with an FDA inspection team in February, after the problems of contaminated heparin became known.

"The FDA thinks they have it under control, but they really don't," said the congressman leading the investigation, Rep. Bart Stupak (D., Mich.). The FDA's reluctance to release the Chinese companies' names is a red flag, he said. "If I was the FDA director, I'd shut down every drug coming in from China" until they were deemed safe, he said. (WSJ10/5/08)

FOOTNOTE on the interesting career of Mr Soon Shiong

Patrick Soon Shiong was born in South Africa, his parents fled China during WWII.
Online Journal April 20th 2007. Did Abraxis BioScience instruct AstraZeneca to use illegal marketing in their quest to increase sales? By Peter Rost, M.D.

"In a February 2007 press release, Abraxis BioScience (AKA APP Paharmaceuticals) reported record revenue of $765 million in 2006 versus $521 million for 2005. They made that money selling a new version of an old cancer drug at $4,200 per dose.

That new drug is called Abraxane and it has pushed Abraxis BioScience stock from $5 in 2002 to $27 in 2007. The lofty stock price has made Abraxis CEO and Chairman, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong a billionaire; Dr. Soon-Shiong owns 84 percent of the stock, today worth about $3.8 billion. "

Peter Rost, M.D., is a former Vice President of Pfizer. He is the author of “The Whistleblower, Confessions of a Healthcare Hitman.” He also writes the daily Dr. Peter Rost blog. See also Counterpoint article on the ethically confused billionaire by same author.

Feb 22nd 2008 Pathophilia APP's Soon-Shiong: No Stranger to Suspect Chinese Suppliers

In VIVO Blog Thursday, February 21, 2008
Heparin Investigation Takes an Ugly Turn for Baxter, Industry

...."Soon-Shiong has been in the news before. APP was the subject of a front page story in the New York Times in 2002 because of its relationship with the group purchasing organization Premier; that was during a time when Congress was looking into GPO practices following allegations by small device manufacturers that they were being shut out of the market.

Before that, Soon-Shiong played a part in the controversy surrounding generic launches of Bristol-Myers Squibb's paclitaxel (Taxol). APP asserted that a patent it held on a cremaphor free formulation of paclitaxel should block generics of the Bristol product. The issue briefly delayed generic launches and prompted a Federal Trade Commission inquiry. (Bristol ultimately settled a series of antitrust claims regarding its patent defense strategies for several brands; APP was never charged.)

One last thing: APP also has first-hand experience with the challenges of global supply chain management. The company acquired its injectable generic product line from Fujisawa USA in the 1990s. Shortly after the acquisition, APP had to recall injectable gentamicin due to endotoxin contamination. The culprit? A Chinese raw material supplier.

Soon-Shiong should make an interesting witness..."

Diabetes health Dr. Soon-Shiong Sued by Mylan Laboratories - Melissa Sattley1 August 1998

"Mylan Laboratories Inc. (3rd largest generic drug supplier in the world now called Mylan Inc.) has filed suit in a Los Angeles court against Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, the well publicized islet cell transplant researcher at VivoRX.

Mylan claimed that Soon-Shiong diverted some of the US$46 million it had invested for islet cell transplant research into other non-diabetes related companies which directly profited Soon-Shiong. "

(In early 1999 the case went to an arbitrator, who examined 17,000 pages of documents--and cleared Soon-Shiong of any wrongdoing but the litigation simmered for more than a year until Soon Shiong agreed to pay US$32 million for the balance of Mylan's American Bioscience shares .)

Islet Foundation May 1998 Can Dr. Soon-Shiong Perform Miracles?by Scott. M. King.

"Soon-Shiong performed the first whole pancreas transplant in 1987 at UCLA." ..."After hearing Dr. Soon-Shiong's glowing report of his work, some in the audience in Palm Springs wondered if it was a giant hoax. However, if Soon-Shiong is right, it could be a real cure for diabetes. "

"Is there any truth behind Dr. Soon-Shiong's dramatic claims of expanding human islets? Sadly, I can find no one who believes it."

Forbes 10th June 2003 , has an interesting article on Dr Soon Shiong and his apparent breakthrough on cancer treatment.

Keep an eye open for more interesting information about this very interesting man and his very interesting career. Meanwhile the results of Dr Soon-Shiong's 2 "transplants" of islet cells are .. the first, Steven Craig died at the age of 43 in 1998 , he took his own life.The second Clarissa Hooper. said that this procedure was not effective for her. She subsequently had both legs amputated, and a kidney transplant. She passed away in Livingston, Montana at the age of 47 on January 16, 2006 from heart failure.

How very odd that none of this has appeared in the mainstream press.

Typhoon production to be halted, one carrier scrapped.

The decision has been made that the third tranche of the Typhoon will not be going ahead and one of the planned aircraft carriers will be scrapped.... or at least introduction delayed ...er .... indefinitely.

This will be announced next Friday the day the Crewe and Nantwich results are announced.

There will be an intensive "review" of the SVTOL JSF for the remaining carrier.

Sell BAe (466.75) and Rolls Royce (439.25).

Friday, May 16, 2008

US Ambassador in Harare , James McGee is a fucking hypocrite. Hank Cohen revealed

Mengistu Haile Mariam was for 17 bloodthirsty years the quasi Marxist tyrannical ruler of Ethiopia whose fall followed Russian withdrawal of support in 1991. His escape was engineered by the The United States embassy in Zimbabwe which was confirmed in a statement by the then Assistant Secretary of State Herman "Hank" Cohen in 1999. Curiously Mugabe's Public relations consultants, Cohen and Woods International, Arlington,VA. comprises Herman Cohen, and James Woods, ex advisor to President George Bush. Other clients are leaders of Angola and Burkina Faso as is President Laurent Kabila of the Congo.. Cohen is also a member of the panel on Transatlantic Relations and on the Board of Advisors of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy -"Where Leaders meet" ...which is a nonprofit, activist organization dedicated to the resolution of conflicts that threaten U.S. interests.

Up to 500 000 people were killed during Mengistu's so-called red terror, according to Amnesty International. Notoriously, soldiers of the Dergue would not release a victim's body for burial until the victim's family had paid back the cost of the bullet used in killing them.

Installed in the luxury Harare suburb of Gunhill President Mugabe proudly boasted,"Both the Americans and Canadians even offered to assist financially if we could not meet the expenses of looking after Mengistu," he said. "We have not received a cent because we have not requested their assistance. He (Mengistu) helped a lot of the continent's liberation movements."

In March 2001 Mengistu and seven male relatives, all of whom fled Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, when the regime was overthrown by pro-democracy forces in 1991, had become permanent residents on the orders of John Nkomo, the home affairs minister.

Since then he has never been far behind Mugabe.

An Ethiopian court on Tuesday December 12th 2006 found Mengistu guilty in his absence of genocide plus for atrocities committed under his Marxist regime, after a 12-year trial.

At the time William Nhara, a spokesperson for President Robert Mugabe's government, said."As a comrade of our struggle, Comrade Mengistu and his government played a key and commendable role during our struggle for independence and no one can dispute that," William Nhara, a spokesperson for President Robert Mugabe's government, said.

"The judgment is an Ethiopian judgment and will not affect his status in Zimbabwe. As far as we know there is no extradiction treaty between Harare and Addis Ababa."

He planned and was responsible for the execution of Operation Murambatsvina, the controversial home-demolition exercise left at least 700 000 people homeless and affected another 2,4-million people, according to a report by United Nations special envoy Anna Tibaijuka.

After acceptance by Mugabe , menistu took control and planned everything from CIO headquarters in Harare, and was suppoerted by defence forces commander General Constantine Chiwenga, Zimbabwe National Army Commander Philip Valerio Sibanda, Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander Air Marshal Perence Shiri, CIO director general Happyton Bonyongwe, his deputy, Menard Muzariri, and director of prisons Brigadier Zimondi. The police were represented by Deputy Commissioner Godwin Matanga.

The later projec, ostenibly to rebuild dubbed "Operation Garikai / Hlalani Kuhle ", would naturally not accommodate all the displaced people and mainly benefited Zanu-PF supporters caught up in the destruction process.

All of this was a deliberate plan to reduce the population by stravation or forced exodus - it was hugely successful and reduced the population by 25%.

Now we have US Ambassador James McGee , in post for a year, awakening to the bloody reprisals of Mugabe on MDC supporters.

In 2005 the then Oxford educated (Balliol) US Ambasador Chris Dell accused Mugabe and his cronies of corruption.

Yet it was the US (undertaken by Herman "Hank" Cohen ) who inserted the evil virus of Mengistu, who is behind Mugabe's tyrannical plans... and the world's politiians and press stay silent of the role of the US.

Vietnam vet and career diplomat, James McGee doesn't have a monopoly in the role of hyprocrite but his Government have been happy to stand aside and watch how Mengistu has helped Mugabe destroy his once beautiful and productive country.

As for the sinister role of Herman "Hank" Cohen in all this ..... well for a start you won't read about him in the mainstream press or hear about him and Cohen and Woods International on TV. Apologists for bloodthirsty murderers like to keep a low profile. Know what I mean?

Mr & Mrs Saxe Coburg Gotha visit Constantinople - holiday snaps etc.,

Much has been made of the visit of HMQ to Turkey but this is nothing new or novel. Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, and his beautiful fiancée Princess Alexandra Christina visited and stayed in Istanbul in 1862 his trip to the Levant and Middle East from February to June, rturning on June 14th (see Illustrated London News 21st June), 623-624; 628.) In his party was Francis Bedford (1816 - 1894) an early photographer whom Queen Victoria appointed to tour the Middle East with the her son to record the trip for posterity. A little know aspect of how Royal patronage made an impact on the history and development of photography.

Bedford later published over 170 photographs taken on the tour as the grandly titled Photographic Pictures made by Mr. Francis Bedford during the Tour in the East, in which he Accompanied The Prince of Wales in 4 volumes published by Francis Day lithographers by Royal Warrant. These were exhibited at the German Gallery, Bond Street, London from July 23rd 1862 on the return of the Royal party as 10" x 12" albumen prints, see above. Bedford subsequently became a founding member of the Royal Photographic Society. For more see Holy Land Photographs and Their Worlds ,Francis Bedford and the ‘Tour in the East’ Linda Wheatley-Irving page 81 et seq . This was only the second exhibition given for one photographer , the first being H R Fenton's pictures of the Crimea war.

The British Embassy was even then in Beyoğlu and Amadeo Preziosi had a studio in Hammalbaşı Street opposite, which the royal couple visited. This had become a regualr calling point for travellers as E.H. Jerningham suggested in his ‘To and From Constantinople’ that “No one visiting Istanbul should leave without seeing Mr. Preziosi’s atelier for a perfect watercolor view of life on the [Galata] bridge. This artist, who possesses considerable talent, primarily in watercolor, has brought to life that unique Eastern color that permeates everything of the East, and in doing so has created a true souvenir of the things that most impressa traveller to Istanbul"

Amadeo Preziosi was born in Malta on 2 December 1816 and spent his childhood and youth there. His father, Count Gio François Preziosi, was a highly respected figure on the island and his title had been bestowed by King Victor Amadeu II, Duke of Sardinia and Savoy.

His father wanted him to take up the law but he studied under a then famous Maltese artist Guiseppe Hyzler and went later with his brother Leandro to study in paris. Later his wanderlust and a wish to escape his father took him to Istanbul where equipped with a British passport he had a steady and enjoyable life producing memorable street scenes, views and architectural watercolours and gouaches.

The visit of the Prince of Wales not only meant several of his works found their way into the Royal Collections but also enhanced his reputation amongst the English colony and his painting became so popular he produced 2 volumes of lithographs which are now prize items in any orientalists collection.

His painting are highly desired and today fetch handsome money at auction, in Bonham's sale on December 7th 2007 of Exploration, Travel & Topographical Pictures his watercolour "Market in the courtyard of the Mosque of Sultan Beyazid " sold for £20,400. They also have 4 lots 128- 131 in their forthcoming May 21st sale which are fairly undistinguished watercolours he must have churned out for passing travellers.

He died an untimely, unexpected and early death in 1882 when he was out hunting in Yeşilköy. In handing his gun to a servant, it slipped, fired and shot him , he died a few days later and is buried in the San Stefano Catholic Cemetery at Yeşilköy. Whilst his atelier long disappeared the garden of the mansion still exists on Teyyareci Nuri Bey Street in Yeşilköy.

Click on pictures to enlarge

Pheasant Shooting - getting ready for the annual slaughter

There is probably nothing more despicable than the braying wannabe squires who in the autumn , slaughter the semi domesticated pheasant in the name of "country sports". Probably the deepest and darkest irony is that the President of the World Wild Life Fund, Phil the Greek, Duke of Edinburgh is an enthusiastic supporter of this primitive ritual - his Sandringham Estate is an enthusiastic importer of French Red legged Partridge which is not a native bird - it provides better "sport". Which in shooting speak means the little buggers zig and zag making them harder to shoot.

Most of us only become aware of this annual festival of primitive bloodlust as the guns start to boom in the autumn, but the season has already started as the young pheasants and partriges are bred in their millions (34 Million are bred every year). Gamekeepers are also kept busy, legally trapping stoats and weasels, and often laying illegal poison baits for birds of prey.

South East Green MP Caroline Sharp has pointed out that many of these birds start life being intensively reared under conditions outlawed by EU legislation for rearing poultry.

40% of the pheasants reared annually in the UK are sourced in France as eggs, day old chicks and poults so EU wide legislation is needed or at least a swift amendment to current legislation (US sourced eggs are also favoured as they are disease free). For example a single hatchery, Hy Fly Game hatcheries near Blackpool will set 2 million eggs this year and can produce 250,000 weekly. They also set some half a million red legged partridge and claim to be the country's largest supplier. They specialise in Japanese Green cross pheasants which is "unusually wild and extremely fast on the wing" ...that " provides a fantastic bird for commercial shoots where good returns are as important as flying ability."

Companies such as Purina and Pillsbury manufacture feeds to provide an unnatural and fattening diet.

In the last few years, the slaying fields have produced so many dead birds, they prove to be unsaleable and are buried.

Of course if you are one of the neanderthals who find killing wild/ semi-domesticated birds is fun ..... for more see Thursday, September 28, 2006 BBC complicit in publicising game shooting propaganda and background information from Animal Aid

Don't have a heart attack or RTA in Southampton

From Save Bedford Hospital (AKA Barry Monk) today

Here is the text of a message sent to GPs in Southampton yesterday:

Dear Colleagues,

I have been asked to inform you urgently that Southampton University Hopital Trust is currently on ‘Black Alert’ with Ambulances queuing outside A/E and the Ambulance Service [SCAST] indicating that there is a 1.5 hour wait for even urgent requests for ambulances to be dealt with.

Clearly in this difficult situation we would request wherever possible that if measures can be taken by you to avoid hospital admission or A/E attendance for patients we would be most grateful.

I am conscious that communications of this nature are often deemed unhelpful, but I hope that you will take this circumstance into consideration, in consultation with patients and carers, in informing your clinical decisions this afternoon.


At the Royal College of Nursing annual conference on Monday 28th April , Peter Carter, the RCN's general secretary, said a poll of more than 500 frontline nurses in accident and emergency departments showed 93% felt under undue pressure from a government target to discharge or admit patients within four hours.(BBC)

Three-quarters of those polled said patients were regularly admitted to inappropriate wards to meet the target.

Greater Manchester Police - a deliberate and total failure to maintain public order

The Government introduced major changes in licensing with the Licensing Act 2003. Section 141 made it an offence to sell alcohol to a drunken person.

On 19th March this year Mark Hoban MP asked the Home Office how many prosecutions for sale of alcohol to a drunk person have been pursued in each criminal justice area in each of the last 10 years; and how many resulted in conviction.

In Greater Manchester there were no prosecutions in 2005 and 3 in 2006.

Central Manchester is a zone where public drinking is forbidden.

Yesterday, tens of thousands of football fans invaded the city centre , attracted by the provision of free entertainment and were allowed to ignore this law. The consequences for public disorder were predicted and predictable.

The Licensing Act was designed to provide the Police with powers to regulate licensees - they have totally failed in their duty to ensure public peace and order.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

SOCA - Happy 2nd Birthday

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) is celebrating it's second birthday and has produced a 2nd Annual Report. It received from the Home Office, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs, the Northern Ireland Office and the Scottish Executive totals of nearly £407m in resource funding and about £45m in capital funding and has approximately 4,000 staff in post.(page 7)

Overall the impression is of an organisation absorbed in process rather than practice. The Home Secretary in her Forward says, "The social and economic harms caused by organised crime cost the UK more than £20bn a year " (Which a footnote on Page 11 says "Home Office estimate). This is further explained on Page 18 "The organised crimes that most affect the UK (drugs trafficking, organised immigration crime, fraud and firearms trafficking). Highlighting how the annual figure for serious crime of £20 Bn is hopelessly understated, the level of Carousel fraud (MITC) that has been detected is of the order of £20 Bn annually ...for several years.. see Tuesday, April 04, 2006 SOCA the UK's FBI ?

There is not a single reference in the whole of the report to Carousel fraud - although on Page 34 the rpeort says on the subject "Collaboration with Partners" -joint work with partners to build the success of the Control Strategy -"achieved. Positive engagement by partners
including ACPO, Cabinet Office, Home Office, Scottish Crime & Drugs Enforcement Agency
(SCDEA), Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Foreign and Commonwealth Office
(F&CO), HMRC, etc., etc., etc.,

On Page 44 we are told that the 4000 staff took delivery of 1,364 courses with a total of 11,232 attendees trained - one may set this against for example the success claimed on Page 6 ..."the issue of 46 warnings to more than 2,500 businesses throughout the UK about crime threats that might affect them, leading, for example in one case to one bank alone reporting an estimated saving of £500,000" or the Government Target or on Page 18 ..."SOCA had this year Government targets for cash forfeiture of (£5m)" . The Times was critical which has led to the SOCA boss Bill Hughes to write a letter published today which reveals that Of the 148 former police officers who have left since SOCA was formed, 46 of them retired,

At Page 46 of the 54 page report we get the information about how effort is allocated ... no mention of carousel fraud.

It would be churlish not to point to successes, but whilst there have been successful seizures of drugs, the street price is low and declining and usage increases. None of the 13 "Mr Bigs" is cooling is heels at Her Majesty's pleasure .

89 tonnes of Class A drugs were seized (0% up on 06/07), 30 tonnes of cannabis plus 60 tonnes of precursor chemicals principally in Colombia and Afghanistan - what they call "upsream operations" .More than 2,000 arrests made in the UK and around the world flowing from SOCA work including under European Arrest Warrant arrangements.

Exotically named operations are listed, curiously anonymous and generalised about "successful" operations but vague on details. Go look but here is one nice one with a fascinating moniker ..

Operation HORNBLOWER, focussed on the criminal activities of an organised crime group involved in both the international facilitation of illegal immigrants into the UK from Afghanistan and Pakistan and the exploitation of migrants once here. Outcomes from intelligence development included the identification of routes from Afghanistan used by the gang, with Greece being identified as the EU entry point. (Wow!)

A series of joint actions overseas resulted in the interdiction of some 128 illegal migrants and the
seizure of a ship. Separately, action within the UK by SOCA, supported by the BIA, resulted in the arrest of two individuals on suspicion of conspiracy to facilitate the entry of illegal immigrants and the seizure of £8,500 cash.

Slim pickings for 4,000 staff and expenditure of nearly half a billion pounds. Funky logo though.

See Daily Mail today Head of British FBI attacks 'Spanish practises of his own 'disgraceful' officers -- luvly jubbly all that overtime sarge

"The report boasts of seizures of more than 89 tonnes of Class A last year - but states only that these seizures "flowed from" SOCA's work, with no details of where in the world they took place, which countries carried out the operations, what SOCA's involvement was or what proportion of the drugs were ever destined for Britain.

Separate Government figures reveal that seizures of cocaine and heroin being smuggled into Britain have plummeted since SOCA took over the fight against drug trafficking two years ago, from a peak of 23 tonnes of cocaine seized in 2003-4 to barely a tenth of that amount last year."

Merck win appeal in Texas Vioxx case

71 yearold Leonel Garza had a prior heart attack and heart bypass surgery, smoked for nearly 30 years and died of the second heart attack after taking Vioxx for less than a month.

In April 2006 a jury in Rio Grande City, Texas, awarded $32 million to his widow from Merck the manufaturers of Vioxx. The award — $7 million for compensatory damages and $25 million for punitive damages — was subsequently reduced to about $7.75 million under Texas law limiting damages.

Yesterday a three-judge panel of the Texas 4th Court of Appeals overturned the verdict, ruling in favor of Merck. The opinion was signed by Justice Sandee Bryan Marion. "Even viewing all the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiffs, we conclude the evidence is legally insufficient to support a finding that plaintiffs negated, with reasonable certainty, Mr. Garza's preexisting heart condition as a plausible cause of his death,"

The judges stated that Garza's family did not prove his brief use of Vioxx caused two blood clots that the family's attorneys argued triggered his heart attack. The judges also concluded the family did not provide sufficient evidence to rule out his long-standing heart disease as the cause of his fatal heart attack.

"The appellate court recognized that there was insufficient evidence supporting the jury's verdict and, accordingly, rendered a final judgment in the case in favor of Merck," said Ted Mayer of Hughes, Hubbard & Reed, outside counsel for Merck. "Today's decision reaffirms that there is simply no reliable scientific evidence that Vioxx caused Leonel Garza Sr.'s heart attack."

The Garza case was excluded from the settlement program agreed by Merck who have paid US $4.85 billion into a resolution fund to resolve state and federal myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke claims filed or tolled by Nov. 9, 2007.

After the trial, a juror admitted previously borrowing more than $12,000 from Garza's widow, Felicia, an issue that Merck also raised in its appeal, this was not mentioned in the three-page appellate court decision.

Artful Codgers Channel 4 tonight - Not to be missed

Artful Codgers - Channel 4 Thursday 15 May 2008 9pm

Not to be missed , the Greenhalgh Gang, 84-year-old George Greenhalgh, his wife ,83 year old Olive and embittered wannabe artist son Shaun, 47.

An everyday story of Bowton folk, claiming benefits in a council house with tales of cleverly constructed histories for grand art fakes sold to museums, galleries and collectors all over the world.

All three admitted to defrauding art institutions between 1989 and 2006, and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conceal and transfer £410,392. Bolton Council, which paid £440,000 for the so-called Egyptian alabaster Amarna Princess a daughter of the Pharaoh Akhenaten, (pic) are supposed to be getting their money back. Stephanie Crossley, Bolton Council's culture spokeswoman, said the authority was pleased the long-running case had been concluded.

Sean got 4 years 8 months, his brother George Greenhalgh Junior, was given a six-month suspended sentence for receiving £10,000 from the sale of one of the fakes. Mother got 12 months suspended.

There were paintings by LS Lowry, (which should have deceived no one) a long-lost Barbara Hepworth sculpture, 19th-century American landscapes, a Thomas Jefferson bust, ancient Celtic jewellery, Roman silver plate and Assyrian reliefs dating from 700BC.

See - Saturday, April 21, 2007 Queen's scantily clad daughter in Lottery scandal - amazing pictures !! and Thursday, December 13, 2007 The Greenhalgh Gang - how Sotheby's was fooled

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Myopic Mervyn and the bunch of clusterfucks in Threadneedle Street - Gypsy Petulenro could do a better job

Lord King Chairman of the Bank of England made his annual speech to the great and the good of the City of London at the Mansion House on the 16th June 2007...

"Our central view remains that inflation will fall back this year as the rises in domestic gas and electricity prices last year drop out of the annual comparison, and the recent cuts in prices feed through to household bills."

This total bollocks followed on from the BOE May 2007 report on inflation, the core of which is graphically expressed in this chart (Page 8) ;

Which is discussed ;

Chart 2 shows the Committee’s best collective judgement of the outlook for CPI inflation, assuming that Bank Rate follows market yields. In the central projection, inflation falls back sharply to below the target over the next year as the effect of lower domestic energy price inflation feeds through, partly offset by companies taking advantage of buoyant nominal demand to raise margins. It then edges back up to settle around the target, as the near-term falls in domestic energy prices drop out of the twelve-month rate.

The policy decision

The Committee (The Monetray Policy Committee)noted at its May meeting that the central
projection, under the assumption that Bank Rate followed market yields, was for inflation to fall back sharply in the near term and then to settle around the 2% target in the medium term. Given that outlook and bearing in mind that the balance of risks to inflation was to the upside, the Committee judged that an increase of 0.25 percentage points in Bank Rate to
5.5% was necessary to meet the target for CPI inflation over the medium term.

We know of course this projection was total bollocks, demand, low stocks, fertiliser costs, low yields due to drought were all forcing grain prices up and with them the price of animal feedstocks and food ingedients.
On top of this the massive move to bio fuels, especially the use of corn in the USA was adding a further boost to retail price inflation.

Energy were in the same way being affected to demand worldwide, especially in the far east as emerging economies were growing at growth rates of 8/9/10 percent.

Coincident with energy costs, coal and mined minerals were seeing rapidly increasing demand as manufacturers sought to build stocks and seure furure supplies.

It appears that the only people in the world unaware of these demand driven price increases were the double firsts sat in the Treasury and Threadneedle Street and the self important guardians of the MPC.

Now todaywe have Myopic Mervyn with his new BOE Inflation report for May 2008 Page 8 has the graph with the same title.

Sharp eyed observers will notice there is quite a disparity between the two graphs - which emphasises what a lot of bollocks the one for May 2007 was, as a forecast.

...or to put it another way ...

Now if you were hiring anyone to make sensible, rational forecast on inflation would you rely on this bunch of dumb cunts ?

Considering the triumphs of the Meteoroligical Office in forecastuing the weather last summer, one can only say the performance of Mervyn's masterminds was no worse than any of the other fucking stargazers in Government service.

UK and Irish lamb farmers enjoying spring bonanza as French buyers enjoy sterling weakness

The persisting drought in New Zealand's has cut lamb production to 31.4 million animals this year, 7.6 % less than a year earlier and 1 million fewer than the Meat & Wool forecast in February this year.

Australia is now running its smallest flock since 1924, at 86.3 million. In Western Australia sheep numbers have fallen from about 26 million in June 2005 to about 18 million s producers face higher feed costs and continually sliding wool prices.

Closer at home farmers are having a spring time bonanza. In Ireland 39 Kg spring lambs are making €95 a head and factories have been contracting for lamb at a record breaking €5.10/kg. In the UK the Farmers Weekly Index shows finished lambs have risen from £2.12 /Kg to £2.87 /Kg last week.

This seasonal price rise, boosted by higher feed costs has now been affected by another factor in the UK.

Yesterday at Hall's Livestock Market in Shrewsbury a 3 tier sheep container from Nantes hauled away sheep for France which had been bought at up to £80 a head. Due to restrictions because of Blue Tongue disease in France and the Benelux countries , lamb production has been dramatically reduced.Top price for the day for finished Hoggets was £83 (148.2p/kg) for 56kg Hoggets presented Messrs CJ & MJ Davies & Son, Blackhurst Farm.

Of particular interest to the French buyers were sales on behalf of the British Charollais Sheep Society with peak trade 236.8p/kg (£90) for 38kg lambs presented by Messrs HJ & JR Draper, Ensdon House, which were also the top price per head.

Cheerful sons of toil with beaming faces were seen waving wedges of moolah and doing a jig as they happily saw their lambs driven off to land (eventually) on Parisian dinner plates.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How to make doom laden housing figures public without admitting it. Lesson 1

The document in the hand of the young and very beautiful Housing Minister , headed "Caroline Flint - speaking notes", had a sticker attached which said "Papers for Cabinet meeting 13 May 2008".

It pointed out that leading house price indicators were predicting reductions for the first time in recent years.

"Given present trends, they will clearly show sizeable falls in prices later this year - at best down 5 per cent -10 per cent year on year."

"Housebuilding is stalling," she also warned. "New starts are already down 10 per cent compared to a year ago. Housebuilders are predicting further falls."

The note ends: "It is vital that we show that at this time of uncertainty we show that we are ON PEOPLE'S SIDE."

To enlarge document and read click here Dialling the number 386 689 108 yields a fascinating response.

BA Boeing 777 G-YMMM crash at Heathrow - cause remains a mystery

It is a natural reaction to believe that when a massive airplane falls out of the sky, intact with all systems, crew, passengers and complete records that it would be easy to resolve the cause of failure . Modern aircraft are immensely complex machines, so when they fail investigation can prove to be problematic.

The Air Accidents Investigation Board have published a 3rd Special Bulletin on the crash of the BA Boeing 777 G-YMMM on the 17th January 2008 at Heathrow Airport and demonstrates that whilst many causes can now be ruled out, the fundamental causes remain unknown.

The cause of failure was soon determined - On approach the autothrottles demanded an increase in thrust which occurred intitally and then the right and then the left engines reduced thrust due to a reduced fuel flow - which is refelected in all subsequent recorded engine parameters. The engine control system detected the reduced fuel flow and commanded the fuel metering valve to open fully. The fuel metering valve responded and opened fully - but there was no appreciable change in the fuel flow to either engine.

Extensive examination of the aircraft and detailed analysis of the recorded data have revealed no evidence of an aircraft or engine control system malfunction.
There is no evidence of :
1. Air turbulence ( wake vortex encounter) from preceding aircraft
2. An engine bird strike
3. Core engine icing
4. Anomalous behaviour of any of the aircraft or engine systems that suggests electromagnetic interference - which leaves Gordon Brown's security sweeps off the hook.

The remaining fuel has been tested extensively; it is of good quality, in many respects it exceeds the appropriate specification, and shows no evidence of contamination or excessive water - despite all the fervid press talk of dodgy Chinese fuel supplies.

Detailed examination of the fuel system and pipe work has found no unusual deterioration or physical blockages.

The spar valves and the aircraft fuel boost pumps were serviceable and operated correctly during the flight.

The high pressure (HP) fuel pumps from both engines have unusual and fresh cavitation damage to the outlet ports consistent with operation at low inlet pressure.

The evidence to date indicates that both engines had low fuel pressure at the inlet to the HP pump. Restrictions in the fuel system between the aircraft fuel tanks and each of the engine HP pumps, resulting in reduced fuel flows, is suspected.

Tracing the flight route and copnditions shows that there was a region of very cold
air, with ambient temperatures as low as -76ºC, in the area between the Urals and Eastern Scandinavia. Described by the Met Office as ‘unusually low compared to the average,
but not exceptional’. The lowest total air temperature recorded during the flight was ‑45ºC, and the minimum recorded fuel temperature was -34ºC.

The specified fuel freezing temperature for Jet A-1 is not above ‑47ºC; analysis of fuel samples taken after the accident showed the fuel onboard the aircraft complied with the Jet A-1 specification and had a measured fuel freezing temperature of -57ºC. The aircraft was operated within its certified flight envelope throughout the flight.

Faced with this it has not ben possible to determine a cause or to suggest any operational changes either by the AAIB, Boeing or Rolls-Royce.

Meanwhiel a data analysis team, working with QINETIQ, are reviewing and analysing the recorded data from a large sample of flights on similar aircraft.

No individual parameter from the flight of G-YMMM has been identified to be outside previous operating experience. The analysis is concentrating on identifying abnormal combinations of parameters.

Extreme pornography : Amazing pictures !!!

Considering the enactment and Royal Assent to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act discussed here last week about possession of images of extreme pornography, including bestiality there must be many flushing their files of some of the more antique examples such as this one that turned up unexpectedly in our in tray ..

This wonderful tale from the wastes of Alaska of derring do , by a butt kicking boy slipped by the eagle eyed BBC sub-editors gaze on the night shift ...ending like many an ane old tale with triumph over the beast ...er ...." The boy swiftly made his exit, pursued by the bear. "...contrary to the sentiment expressed in the photographic caption.

Written with a pen in his hand and his tongue in his cheek.

"Grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character".....Hmmmm better call a lawyer.

The Murder of Dr. David Kelly : Cherie's story

The curious saga of the demi-publishing of Cherie Blair's half formed memories are dribbling out and a curious and revealing extract features in the Daily Telegraph today under the by-line of Andy Bloxham. Cherie Blair: David Kelly suicide was Tony's darkest day

She described the moment her husband received the news of the death, which prompted Alastair Campbell to ask to quit.

“As I watched Tony hand back the phone, I saw him slump into his seat. From sitting upright he just crashed. David Kelly was dead, he said […] It was awful,” she wrote in her memoirs, parts of which are being serialised in The Times.

“I have never seen Tony so distraught and I felt helpless to do anything.

“Eventually he spoke to Alastair – God knows what time it was for either of them – who had just arrived back in London. Alastair said he couldn’t handle any more and wanted out.”

Al Campbell says in his diaries "The Blair Years" (page 722) ..."Then TB came on from the plane. I said I had really had enough. He said we should announce a judicial enquiry now. I said I really wanted to go now, it may not seem the time to do it, but it's exactly the time to do it because I was clear it had all gone too far and we needed to step back and think."

At the time TB was to take the stand at the Hutton enquiry, Al records TB saying ..." I hope you have all your diaries locked up safely somewhere - otherwise the men in black might come looking for them" Page 753

Cherie and Al of course both signed a copy of the Hutton report whitewash which raised £400 at an auction for party funds.

The morning after at Balmoral, sans contraceptive and Tony had evidenly shagged her bowlegged and little Leo is on the way.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Earthquake at 7.8 Eastern Sichuan, China

United States Geological Service Information centre Timed at 2.28 AM EDT
An earthquake occurred 90 km (55 miles) WNW of Chengdu, Sichuan, China and 1545 km (960 miles) SW of BEIJING, Beijing, China at 12:28 AM MDT, May 12, 2008 (2:28 PM local time in China). The magnitude and location may be revised when additional data and further analysis results are available.

Tectonic Summary

The Sichuan earthquake of May 12, 2008, occurred as the result of motion on a northeast striking reverse fault or thrust fault on the northwestern margin of the Sichuan Basin. The earthquake’s epicenter and focal-mechanism are consistent with it having occurred as the result of movement on the Longmenshan fault or a tectonically related fault. The earthquake reflects tectonic stresses resulting from the convergence of crustal material slowly moving from the high Tibetan Plateau, to the west, against strong crust underlying the Sichuan Basin and southeastern China.

On a continental scale, the seismicity of central and eastern Asia is a result of northward convergence of the India plate against the Eurasia plate with a velocity of about 50 mm/y. The convergence of the two plates is broadly accommodated by the uplift of the Asian highlands and by the motion of crustal material to the east away from the uplifted Tibetan Plateau.

The northwestern margin of the Sichuan Basin has previously experienced destructive earthquakes. The magnitude 7.5 earthquake of August 25, 1933, killed more than 9,300 people.

Deaths reported

The Daily Telegraph report the official Xinhua News Agency who report the Sichuan provincial government as saying 7,651 people died across the province, but the situation in at least two counties remain unclear.

In Beichuan county, just east of the epicenter, up to 5,000 people were killed and 80 per cent of buildings collapsed, Xinhua said. Another 10,000 people were injured.

Sleazy DCI lobbyists for Burma jump McCain's ship

DCI Group is a Washington based strategic public affairs and global issues management firm. They are also associated with some interesting Phoenix AZ connected outfits ;

Feather Larson Synhorst-DCI, a telemarketing and political consulting firm with offices in Washington, St. Paul and Phoenix;
FYI Messaging, a political direct mail company based in Phoenix; and
TSE Enterprises, a Phoenix-based internet PR company that creates and host websites and does electronic direct mail.

(During the 2004 election cycle, DCI Group, FLS-DCI and FYI Messaging took in US$17 million from the Bush campaigna and the Republican Party according to FEC data released on October 30, 2004 and posted on the Center for Responsive Politics website.)

Among the folks at DCI are Phoenix resident , CEO Douglas Goodyear (who is one of the 10 Partners in DCI) and Doug Davenport, a regional manager who focuses on the mid-Atlantic states.

Mr. Goodyear was a leader in the campaign that brought major league baseball to Denver in 1990, as well as the campaign to build Denver's new international airport.

According to their website the company uses " a campaign-style approach to help corporations, trade associations, and nonprofit organizations address their most critical communications and public policy challenges. "... the site also says .."Our work has taken us to all 50 states and throughout Europe, South America, Asia, Australia and Africa. "

Douglas M. Goodyear, used to work on behalf of tobacco company R.J. Reynolds, as a vice president at Denver based Walt Klein and Associates, a PR firm whose work for RJR dates back to at least the1980s. In 1993, Goodyear was instrumental in the creation of supposedly arms length Ramhurst Corporation, an organization that received money from R.J. Reynolds to ensure that tobacco industry efforts in Washington were supported by and coordinated with RJR's nation-wide fake grassroots operations. According to internal RJR documents, in 1994 Ramhurst received US$2.6 million for "executing tactical programs on federal, state or local issues; developing a network of smokers' rights groups and other coalition partners within the region that will speak out on issues important to the Company; implementing training and communication programs designed to inform activists and maintain their ongoing involvement in the grassroots movement." . Another DCI partner Thomas J. Synhorst was one of Ramhurst's field operators.

In 2002 DCI took on a pretty hefty challenge - to represent Burma / Myanmar's military junta to try to begin a dialogue of political reconciliation with the United States - apparently their first experience of representing overseas interests in the US. Newsweek posted a story that they were paid $348,000 in 2002 and 2003 to represent Burma / Myanmar's junta - this work for the Union of Myanmar (Burma) State Peace & Development Council was public knowledge in 2004.

The Washington Post's Al Kamen wrote, ("Escalation of the Appellation," Washington Post, February 28, 2003. ) "DCI's filings with the Justice Department offer an unusual glimpse into the efforts by the Rangoon junta. DCI lobbyists, featuring Charles Francis, a longtime family friend of the Bushes, ran a sophisticated campaign to improve the regime's image - and steer the conversation away from its rampant human rights abuses and such."

Francis "even set up two meetings with White House National Security Council Southeast Asia director Karen B. Brooks," Kamen continued, " - an unusual feat given that Burma is under U.S. sanctions and its top officials are barred from coming here - to tout Burma's cooperation on anti-drug, HIV/AIDs and anti-terrorism efforts and in finding the remains of U.S. soldiers from World War II." After lobbying congressional officials, the Defense Department, and well connected think tanks. Francis, along with Barry M. Broman, a retired U.S. government employee who was stationed in Rangoon, lobbied lawmakers and staff on the Hill, including Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) and Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.), as well as Defense Department officials and think-tankers such as former U.N. ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick. The "campaign was on the verge of success - the State Department was about to certify the regime - but the administration backed off amid pressure from the Hill, human rights groups and the media."

Justice Department records covering agents of foreign agents that are required to register with the U.S. government show DCI signed a contract to work to "improve relations between the United States and Myanmar" and to act as the junta's public relations agent in Washington.

Newsweek reports that DCI drafted press releases praising Burma's efforts to curb the drug trade and denouncing claims by the Bush administration that the regime engaged in rape and other abuses.

"It was our only foreign representation, it was for a short tenure, and it was six years ago," Newsweek quoted Goodyear as saying. They added that Goodyear had said that the junta's record in the current cyclone crisis is "reprehensible."

Now this historical connection has become public ,both Douglas Goodyear and Doug Davenport have resigned from working for the John McCain Presidential campaign. Douglas Goodyear, had been selected to run the 2008 Republican National Convention as the GOP Convention Coordinator. he released a statement ..." "Today I offered the convention my resignation so as not to become a distraction in this campaign. I continue to strongly support John McCain for president, and wish him the best of luck in this campaign."

The convention runs Sept. 1-4 at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul.

McCain — reportedly said in October last year that the Burmese monks, not former Vice President Al Gore, should have won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize — he also called for a multilateral arms embargo after scores of peaceful protesters were arrested, beaten and fired upon by the regime soldiers.

McCain has long been a critic of the Burmese regime and wrote an article in the Nation in June 2003 "Crisis in Rangoon" when Secretary of State Colin Powell was setting off to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)annual ministerial summit and security meetings in Phnom Penh and called for him to refuse to attend unless they agree to a comprehensive list of demands .

1. That they address the crisis in Burma as their central agenda item
2. Agree to forcefully condemn the crackdown on democracy in Burma
3. Agree to require the release of Burma's detained democracy leaders in order for Burma to participate in the ASEAN ministerial meetings
4. Agree to issue a concrete action plan to move Burma towards a negotiated settlement with Aung San Suu Kyi that grants her a leading and irreversible political role culminating in free and fair national elections.

When the The Bush administration announced financial sanctions targeting 14 senior members of Burma’s ruling military in September last year , which was popular in Congress - Bush was asked to go further still by McCain, who with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) proposed sanctions legislation BIlls to close loopholes on existing Burmese export bans.

We mustn't forget that his wife Cindy said she would like to go out to Myanmar and sort out the relief herself.

The ultimate paradox is that before selecting Goodyear to front the Convention the McCain camp had considered Paul Manafort, who runs a lobbying firm with McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis. Their firm had a long history of representing controversial foreign clients, including Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos. More recently, he was chief political consultant to Viktor Yanukovich, the former Ukrainian prime minister , and ciorrupt Russian stooge - embarrassing for McCain, who in 2007 called Putin a "totalitarian dictator."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Michael Abraham Levy, Baron Levy of Mill Hill .. all round shit, liar and blot on humanity

Cristiano Ronaldo had just cracked the first goal past a hapless Wigan goalkeeper for the best football team in the world, when the BBC's Political Correspondent David Thompson posted "Levy's timing unpleasant for Brown" along with a video of the Andrew Marr lobbing soft balls at the diminutive Karaoke King who is peddling his "memoirs" (A Question of Honour) which hits the gutters on Monday.

Levy is an egregious little shit. Influence peddler, glad handing guardian of the Labour glitterati, his slimy presence insinuated itself like a putrid virus in the socialist body politic.

From his eyrie, lounging on the vermilion ottomans next to Jack Straw's office at the Foreign Office, at the heart of Government he spun a vile web, of intrigue, payments, position and peerages and the imposition of a Zionist foreign policy agenda.

Now, having narrowly escaped his fit and proper perch in Pentonville he has been busily bemerding those whom he lastly called his chums. Waving his tiny and delicately manicured hands (he is however said to be hung, such that donkey would be envious), like a carpet seller in a shadowy souk - he took advantage of the chance offered him by the BBC and Andrew Marr - who looked dangerously like falling to his knees at one stage - he now seeks to destroy those left behind in the chaos he and Tony and rest of the Zionist rabble have reduced the Labour Party to.

If there were justice in the world, a mob would be sacking Totteridge Towers , led by the outraged and misled peerage purchasers, my dusky and distant cousin and would be Lord Patel (not forgetting the beautiful wannebe Lady Patel) , Viscount Townsley , Marquess Garrard of Putney , Earl Sir Gulam Noon of Chutney , Baroness Caring of the Ivy, my Lord Aldridge of PFI and Capita Rod Aldridge, and in the rear a bitter and red faced Ruth Turner and Yates of the Yard followed by a howling mob of ghoists of sociliasm past, bearing scythes, burning brands and nooses.


Nothing will happen until the greedy Westminster caravan can all agree on a scheme whereby they can fleece the tax payers coffers to fund their squalid cabals of influence peddling.

On his single visit to a lap dancing establsihment, Lord Patel fled on seeing a lugubrious youth performing his duties in the interval between "dancers". Armed only with a grimy cloth and a disinfectant spray he set about cleaning the somewhat moistened pole.... he fled.

There must be people similiarly employed to refrsh the upholstery in Sunday Morning TV studios.

PS : Alex Ferguson should be ennobled without delay. Arise Lord Alex of Chewing Gum.

UPDATE : Monday. Toni Fabuloso has been riffling through the signed copy (bound in black morocco -limited edition for the Forum letter writers Club) of Al Cambell's tedious diaries "The Blair Years" and notes that the loathsome little twat Levy is barely mentioned (which is odd) On Page 86 , TB is toiling at Totteridge on his speech for the Brighton Conference ..." Michael's place was a bit over the top for my taste , big security gates,white carpets ..." . ON Page 136 in Cape Town with Nelson Mandela, TB asks him to inscribe a copy for Michael and Gilda Levy .."which I thought was a bit naff". Notably on Page 274 Al remarks on the US Ambassador .." who has a weird and very American, over firm and over friendly handshake, a bit like Levy's" (The text doesn't make clear if it is Michale or Gilda's handshake is referred to).

Interesting to compare say index entries of Alex Ferguson and Philip Gould.

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish