Tommorow (sunday) is you first chance this year to see Ellenroad Engine House has the only fully-working cotton mill engine with its original steam-raising plant, in full steam. The awesome 3,000 horsepower Victoria and Alexandra (1892), a coal-fired Lancashire boiler and other machines, like the Whitelees beam engine, are still working perfectly after more than 160 years!
The engine house is in steam from 12.00 to 4pm and there is a unique collection on view from the North West Meccano Guild. 200 yds of M62.
Further details available at their website ... not to be missed!
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Some very odd scenes and charades were enacted at the G 20 marches, the above BBC photograph speaks volumes - if it bleeds it leads ... and this window basher appeared at the top of news items - but not quite in this form.
Craig Murray writes on his blog ..."There was a fascinating and drawn out scene outside the Bank of England yesterday when a distinct group of some thirty were attacking the police, one hitting the police with a long pole. Prominent was a group of young Asian lads.
I recognised them because I was crushed up hard for a good while against the same bunch of young Asians outside the Israeli Embassy a couple of months ago, where again they were being inexcusably violent.
The very strange thing was that, plainly from Sky's overhead cam, the Police had the ability to isolate and snatch this group of obviously violent individuals, and the police would have had my support in doing so. They didn't.
So who are they?"
Friday, April 03, 2009
The thinking(?) behind the recent Met terrist posterised awareness campaign , which keeps you on the qui vive about neighbours using hydrogen peroxide (that's numerous hairdressers onthe DNA database no danger), and spooky folk who take pictures of them watching us watching us watching them defeats us.
Except there is a funny smell coming from the Patel's kitchen at No 27, all that curcumn in the turmeric .... Hmmmmm.. better just give Plod a ring, you never know, he looks suspicious ..and he has got a beard.
London metro police poster
Reactions to smoking bans in public places have generally worked very smoothly.
Not in Holland.Many cafes have allowed their customers to light up, risking fines that start at 300 euros and can run up to 2,400 euros.
Cafe De Balk in Groningen has developed an ingenious and vaguely legal way around the ban imposed in the Netherlands last July. The bar and serving staff have been moved to to a small storeroom, designating what was its main bar area as the smoking zone.As they say on their website
Café de Balk is a traditional dutch pub.
We're special because you can smoke in our pub legally. Our front door is not in the front in of the building but at the side. The bar in the front is not our real bar, in other words everything is different. Let yourself be surprised.
They serve - On tap; Dommelsch, la Chouffé, and the 3rd bier is per season a surprise. Guinness, Murphy's red, Grolsch and Strongbow cider as normal.Smokecafé de Balk E.T.A. Thuessinklaan 7 9713 J.P. Groningen (well it's near the hospital and behind the church.....)Tel: 050-3135621
Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport (since feb 2007) Ab Klink said on Thursday he is unable to take action against cafe De Balk and its novel solution.
The government prohibited smoking in cafes,bars and restaurants to "protect employees from the dangers of passive smoking" - their claimed principal motives. Under this law Cafes are allowed to create a sealed of smoking area, as long it is seperated from the bar, and staff work in a smoke free area.
So Cafe De Balk seperated the staff from the smokers rather than the other way around.
There is (naturally) a catch - probably number 22 - the regulations only specify that the area where drinks are served has to be larger than 35 square metres and the Groningen pub's storeroom meets this criterion.So says Klink ther is nothing he can do.
The Victoria in Breda wins their case in court
The Telegraaf reports today that a small cafe in Breda , the Victoria, is also not guilty breaking the ban on smoking. ( Prins Hendrikstraat 83,4835 PL Breda, Tel 076 5654024 - Koos & Ria Struijer)
The court in Breda said the smoking ban treated the owners of cafes with and without additional personnel differently.
1. Cafe owners with additional staff had to ensure that workers had a smoke-free working environment, the judges said. This could be achieved, for example, by a ventilation system, the Telegraaf quoted the judges as saying.
2. By contrast, cafes without staff have to completely ban smoking on the premises, the judges said.
The public prosecution office had demanded the owner of the Victoria cafe be fined €12,000 for allowing smoking on the premises.
Electronic Intifada list some of the choice words of wisdom of the newly elected Foreign Secretary of Israel , Avigdor Lieberman, chair of the far-right Yisrael Beitenu (Israel Our Home - they hold a frightening 10% of Kneset seats) ) party and ex Moldovan night club bouncer.
He a resident of the illegal Israeli settlement of Noqedim in the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank.
Shortly after he moved, aged 20 in 1978 to Isael Shortly after his move to Israel, Lieberman joined the now-illegal Kach Party, an organization so right wing that Israel banned it outright from running in elections. Like Hamas, the group is considered a terrorist organization by Israel, Canada, the European Union and the United States.
# In 1998, Lieberman called for the flooding of Egypt by bombing the Aswan Dam in retaliation for Egyptian support for Yasser Arafat.
# In 2001, as Minister of National Infrastructure, Lieberman proposed that the West Bank be divided into four cantons, with no central Palestinian government and no possibility for Palestinians to travel between the cantons.
# In 2002, the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth quoted Lieberman in a Cabinet meeting saying that the Palestinians should be given an ultimatum that "At 8am we'll bomb all the commercial centers ... at noon we'll bomb their gas stations ... at two we'll bomb their banks ..."
# In 2003, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Lieberman called for thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel to be drowned in the Dead Sea and offered to provide the buses to take them there.Then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon agreed to grant amnesty to 250 Palestinian prisoners, Lieberman said, “It would be better to drown these prisoners in the Dead Sea if possible, since that’s the lowest point in the world.”
# In May 2004, Lieberman proposed a plan that called for the transfer of Israeli territory with Palestinian populations to the Palestinian Authority. Likewise, Israel would annex the major Jewish settlement blocs on the Palestinian West Bank. If applied, his plan would strip roughly one-third of Israel's Palestinian citizens of their citizenship. A "loyalty test" would be applied to those who desired to remain in Israel. This plan to trade territory with the Palestinian Authority is a revision of Lieberman's earlier calls for the forcible transfer of Palestinian citizens of Israel from their land. Lieberman stated in April 2002 that there was "nothing undemocratic about transfer."
# Also in May 2004, he said that 90 percent of Israel's 1.2 million Palestinian citizens would "have to find a new Arab entity" in which to live beyond Israel's borders. "They have no place here. They can take their bundles and get lost," he said.
# In May 2006, Lieberman called for the killing of Arab members of Knesset who meet with members of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.
In addition - In January 2009, during Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip, Lieberman implied Israel should consider using nuclear weapons in Gaza, and that Israel “must continue to fight Hamas just like the United States did with the Japanese in World War II. Then, too, the occupation of the country was unnecessary.”
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Paul Rowen (Rochdale, Liberal Democrat) Hansard PMQ's
The Christie hospital, which is a world leader in the treatment of cancer, has recently lost £6.5 million owing to the Icelandic banking crisis—money that was earmarked for new radiography centres in Oldham and Salford. Given the Government's support for financial institutions, what is the Prime Minister doing to help the Christie to recover that money? (ED. Christies is part of the NHS Christies is a charitable trust website)
Prime Mnister (currently Gordon Brown MP Kirkcaldy) I have met nurses from the Christie hospital, who do a wonderful job in treating people with cancer. The Christie hospital is a world-class hospital and I praise it for what it does. I have said that I will meet its officials to look at the issues that they raise. Essentially, the issue relates to an Icelandic bank that was regulated not in Britain, but outside. For all banks that are regulated in Britain, we have guaranteed the deposits of savers. We will see what we can do, but I have to tell the hon. Gentleman that the central issue is that the Christie hospital is not a charity with funds in a bank that is regulated in Britain. However, we will look at what we can do, and I once again praise the Christie hospital for what it achieves.
It may seem hard , but the Government should not bail out Christies. Of course they underake wondeful work and are rapacious collectors for their charity, repeatedly caling subscribers every month for months and years after they have been asked to stop. Neither should they have bailed out the banks, that has no bearing on the Christie case.
The trustees must look after the money they hold in trust , prudently and safely.
That they entrust their funds to a foreign bank, uninsured in any way, in such quantity, is their failure. No one else is responsible.
Anxious to maximise returns they became reckless and lost everyone's money.
The Trustees should resign - there will be no problem replacing them.
Pour encourage les autres.
PS - Charitable Fuds Committee - Role pdf Chairman is Lord Bradley
The role of the committee is to oversee the management of the affairs of the
Christie Hospital Charitable Fund. This is a delegated duty carried out on
behalf of the Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust which is the sole
corporate trustee of the charity. The role is to ensure that the charity acts
within the terms of its declaration of trust and appropriate legislation and to
provide information to the audit committee to enable it to provide assurance
to the board that the charity is properly governed and well managed across
the full range of activities.
See details of Non Exec directors here
We first brought you news on Monday, December 08, 2008 of an enthusiastic lady Plod Miss Misconducting herself in public office PC Vikki Thorne who worked (now quit the force) for Northumbria Police and drove an Audi TT entertained up to 20 clients a week after signing up to an agency called Notorious Girls.
Due to go on trial later this year she sensible pleaded guilty yesterday to misconduct in public office.
She was remanded in custody after the case was adjourned for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.
Thorne appeared in court alongside six others, all charged with offences relating to prostitution.
No pleas were taken from her co-defendants, who will be tried by a jury in the summer.
Thorne will be sentenced after the trial is concluded.
Voluptuous Vicki was one of 8 women and 6 men arrested by officers investigating organised prostitution and corrupt public officials across Northumbria, County Durham, Greater Manchester, Cleveland and the Scottish Borders.
Also arrested in the investigation was a police officer who was on a career break from the force and was living in West Yorkshire. He has accepted a caution. A Customs worker and a civil servant were also arrested — as well as the website bosses. Judge John Evans adjourned the case and and told Thorne: "You must stay in custody."
She is not to be confused with Keisha Kane who starred in Blackalicious Ladeez and kinky flick Blindfold 3 which Kebab loving Kacqui Smiths horny happy hubby waches at our expense.Her picture can be found here.
2 April 2009
Session 2008-09 No. 31
Notice of Forthcoming Public Evidence Session - UN Convention Against Torture
The following oral evidence session has been arranged:
Tuesday 28 April 2009 1.45pm
Craig Murray (former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan)
The Committee will be following up its 2006 Report on the UK's
compliance with the UN Convention Against Torture by taking evidence
from Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, on
allegations that UK ministers and officials knowingly received
information obtained by torture. The Committee previously heard evidence
from Ian Cobain of The Guardian and Brad Adams of Human Rights watch
about allegations of abuse and mistreatment involving British agents in
Pakistan. A transcript of this session and the Committee's
correspondence with ministers on this issue is available at:
The above meeting is open to members of the public. It is advisable to
allow about 20 minutes to pass through security checks. There is no
system for the prior reservation of seats in Committee Rooms. Members
of the public enter via the Visitors Entrance, next to St Stephens
Entrance, the Palace of Westminster.
Deborah Orr: (who writes forthe Independent) A toxic legacy in a land the world would prefer to forget
It isn't often that Kyrgyzstan (Pop 5.4 Mn) has a moment in the international spotlight, even though the country is home to the genetic parent of all the apples of the planet. But this week, one of the poorest and least visible nations on the planet had 15 seconds of fame.
The Kyrgyzstan president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, announced that his country did not intend to renew America's lease on the Manas air base, which has strategic importance because of its proximity to Afghanistan. Russia has offered to give the Kyrgyzstan government a $300m, 40-year loan at 0.75 per cent, and to write off $180m in accumulated debt, but only if Kyrgyzstan sacrifices the $63m it has been receiving from the US for the base.
It's scandalous that the country should be quite so vulnerable to financial manipulation. It is hardly surprising. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan, like so many other post-Soviet countries, has been left to fend for itself.
When Vincent O'Brien, a lecturer in public health at the University of Cumbria, first went to the country's capital, Bishkek, in 2002, at the invitation of the State Medical School, he was shocked to find that this national institution had no paper, no electricity, no heating in temperatures of minus 20C, and no toilet facilities to speak of. The director of the centre for health research was on $30 a month. "I couldn't understand how people survived at all," he says, "And I had only met people from the universities."
After the Russian withdrawal, the country's medical infrastructure had been left in ruins. There was no cash to sustain the USSR's centralised "science-based" model, so Kyrgyzis wanted to develop a more socially oriented healthcare system. They'd acquired a small grant from the EU and approached O'Brien to help them do this.
Impressed by their determination and intellectual resourcefulness, in the face of difficulties that to him seemed almost insurmountable, O'Brien set about working with the Kyrgyzi academics. After a two-year development period, they had introduced three new degree courses, specialising in public health, and relying heavily on video film-making as a means of education. O'Brien had also formed a strong bond with the Kyrgyzis he'd worked with, and he and his family decided that they wanted to maintain the link. Since then, in his own time with his own money, O'Brien has travelled over much of the country. What he has found, to his distress, is that one of the last nomadic cultures in the world is painfully dying.
In some respects, O'Brien says, the rural people are better off than the city people. His Kyrgyzi friends work for a government that is barely paying them, and is unable to provide resources. Graduates in Kyrgyzstan rarely now work for the government, because it is considered the worst employer. Graduates often do not use their skills at all, in fact, because unemployment rates in the cities are way beyond 50 per cent. In the cities, full of beggars and hawkers, you have to have a job to manage. In the country, the ownership of land and animals ensures survival, in the short term at least.
Before the Soviets came, the people had been fully nomadic, and the land owned by no one. After collectivisation, it was owned by everyone, which proved to be quite a different thing, psychologically. In the 1990s, it had been parcelled off, with the biggest and best bits going to those closest to the Communist Party.
Those in receipt of land were rarely the shepherds who actually knew how to look after the animals, says O'Brien. Overgrazing had become common in the Soviet period, but back then imported feed had masked the problem. Now, the animals are weak with hunger, and falling ill with brucellosis, cowpox and anthrax, all of which can be, and are, passed on to the human population. There are no vets, because without land and animals you cannot subsist in the rural areas, so virtually no specialist skilled worker operates there any more at all.
Nevertheless, a tiny proportion of Kyrgyzis grow rich – they are considered to be "gangsters, politicians and their friends". Their money, it is suspected, is connected to the drug trade through Tajikistan. Some of the young people – in a country that is Muslim in the way that England is C of E – are looking to Islam in disgust at the social decay. The new buildings in the villages are always mosques, built with Saudi money.
What O'Brien sees is a people willing to work hard at solving their problems, but in need of some support. What most Westerners see is a US-Russian wrangle over an air base. Then we all wonder how a place gets to be a "failed state".
O'Brien has written ;
Adapting to Cultural and Environmental Change in Remote Herder Communities. Ak Terek
Foundation, Kyrgyzstan. Christensen Fund, USA. Kyrgyz State Medical Academy.
Using participatory photography and video for health and community development in Brazil
and Kyrgyzstan University of Cumbria, Kyrgyz State Medical Academy, Viramundo Brazil.
Those readers who followed Lord Patel on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 Repairing the old wallet. into Lloyds bank after a quick in and out into Barclays will be gratified that since buying at 57 pence the shares in Lloyds trade, as we write, up 6p today at 76.9 p a modest 42% rise in a week.
Credit crunch ? Crisis ? What crisis ... those bankers are still reeling in the profits.
Want to join in the fun ? Royal Bank of Scotland have started to move. Last price 27.40 pence (174.00% above the 52 week low of 10.00 set on January 20, 2009) up +2.30pence up 9.16%. (Closed 4.30 28.2 p up 12.35%)
Just to recap : Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS:LSE) was acquired by HM Treasury for $26.06bn on 08 October 2008, the share price has decreased -69.56% since acquisition by you and me. They are in fact up 18% ish ove the whole of March - but 9%+ today alone.
Dip yer bread, Fill ya boots!
US March auto sales were again markedly lower (BBC).Industrywide sales fell 37% from a year earlier but rose from February's 27-year low. New autos sold at an annual rate of 9.9 million (ish) units, according to sales tracker Autodata Corp. of Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey. (Excel Spreadsheet)
The results resulted in shares up for some automakers seeing an unexpected rise (in Tokyo, Nissan +13.8%, Honda +10.7%, Toyota +5.5%).
Ford (F): March sales -40.9% from a year ago to 131,465 vehicles. SUV sales -73.2% to 73.2%. Inventories 27% lower than last year.
Mercedes-Benz (DAI): March sales -23% from a year ago to 17,348 vehicles.
Honda (HMC): March sales -33.7% to 88,379 vehicles.
General Motors (GM): March sales -44.7% to 156,380 vehicles. Sales of 7/8 of its brands, however, were higher vs. February. Inventories -12% from a year ago to 765K.
Toyota (TM): March sales -36.6% to 132,802 vehicles, including a 40.6% rise Lexus. Sales rose 16.3% vs. February.
Nissan (NSANY): March sales -37.7% to 106,921 vehicles.
Chrysler sold 101,000 vehicles, the first time it had exceeded 100,000 a month since September.
President O'Bomber has held off helping GM and Chrysler. GM, the biggest U.S. automaker, has to meet a 60-day deadline Obama announced on March 30 (which is no doubt fudgeable) , while No. 3 Chrysler has 30 days to complete a tie-up with Italy’s Fiat SpA. Detroit- based GM and Chrysler have been propped up with US $17.4 Bn of taxpapyers funds over the past three months.
The US auto industry is in a death spiral, no amount of bail out money, no amount of brave words and whistling is gong to help The industry has to lose Chtsler, lose badgs, slim down manufacturing and dealers and make better cars with greater fue efficiency.
Italian new car sales hold up
Italian new car registrations rose 0.24 % to 214,218 units in March, transport ministry figures showed today, the first increase in a year and a sign government incentives are finally bearing fruit.
Car orders in March rose 36 % on the year to 276,000, Italy's foreign car makers' association UNRAE said in a separate statement.
Fiat, the country's biggest car maker, saw its sales rise for cars under its three brands, up 6.1 % to 69,882 units in March, based transport ministry figures. Reuters say that Fiat's market share of sales rose to 33 % (ish) percent in March, against 31 % (ish) a year earlier for the same period.
Fiat has struggled to slash costs, including the suspension of production at its plants in Italy, and is negotiating some sort of a deal with Chrysler (but do not hold your breath).
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Baitullah Mehsud threatens actions against US claims responsibility for lahore Polic barracks attack
During interwiews with Pakistani news outlets and international wire services Baitullah Mehsud, who the CIA have been trying to take out with Predator Hlfie missile strikes - without success - threatens to attack the US. He has also claimed credit for hs group behing esonsible for 3 recent Pakistan bombings;
1.Yesterday's deadly military assault on a police training center in Lahore.
2 Suicide attacks against security forces in Islamabad and Bannu
He had previously told the pres he had dispatched 20 foreign militants, mostly Uzbeks, to carry out terror strikes in major cities.
This is not hs first threat of attaks on US Baitullah's threat to attack the US Recently, he and two other senior Pakistani Taliban leaders in North and South Waziristan formed Council of United Mujahideen. Swearing fealty to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and the overall Taliban leader Mullah Omar and threatened to strike at the US and other countries.
The three leaders had pamphlets distributed throughout North and South Waziristan to announce the formation of the Council of United Mujahideen. The Taliban leaders have “united according to the wishes of Mujahideen leaders like Mullah Muhammad Omar and Sheikh Osama bin Laden.”
The pamphlets also said the Taliban alliance “supported Mullah Muhammad Omar and Osama bin Laden’s struggle” against the administrations of US President Barack Obama, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The new alliance further stated it was waging war “in an organized manner’” to “stop the infidels from carrying out acts of barbarism against innocent people” just as Omar and bin Laden were waging war against Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the US.
This is a quote that passed us by - President O'Bomber on March 14th said when he met Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ,,,,who has said recently "This crisis was caused by the irrational behavior of white people with blue eyes, who thought they knew everything and now show they know nothing"
"I think that not just the Chinese government, but every investor can have absolute confidence in the soundness of investments in the United States, and that it is not just in U.S.-issued Treasury notes but also in the private sector and the commerce and the industry that has made this the most dynamic economy in the world."
So there you have it ...buy T Bills and ..
1 You can "every confidence "
2 The US has the most dynamic economy in the world...
So slaps a 56 cents a litre on Brazilian ethanol into the US.
PS : Air Force Link News March 29th Bombing by US and allies - "In total, 76 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces...Coalition aircraft flew 30 close-air-support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom."
Monday, March 30, 2009
Outrageous !The only word for it. Scandalous ! That's another word for it.
What better on a Friday night after being a consituency secretay to kick back, light a spliff , grab the Kleenex and watch a mucky movie (or two).
Killjoys ! That's the only word for the critics of his inoccent pastime ... so we all pay for it .. well we pay fo everything else .. why not Letitia Learns a Lesson.
or Debbie and her Dogs ?
What is Scandalous, outrageous (even) is the news that Jacquie went ballistic on hearing the news.
Don't these people go on Anger Management courses ?
Book her in for one right away ..... happy to pay for it.