Thursday 7 December 2023

Lest We Forget: Another Bead Baster

 On the previous thread, mr inmate reminded us about Glenys-Six-Pensions. So, not wanting to let the occasion pass without an essay from mr ishmael to serve as obituary, I had a little dig around in the archive. Here we go:  

Well, I'd just like to say to the working people of Britain, as a working man myself, yes, going to university and studying the very difficult subject of industrial relations is work, too, as is lecturing part-time for a charity, which I did for a couple of years, at least, before becoming a tireless Labour MP and working myself almost into an early grave, these past fifty years, on behalf of other people, what we call ord-in-erry people; and as a stalwart, yes and tireless, totally tireless and indefatigable champion of working people, for all of my tireless working life, and even now, in retirement, I am still tirelessly and totally,  with no thought for myself, toiling  relentlessly and without pause, daily, in the House of Lords, on behalf of working people, of whom I am, let's face it, one at heart, and have never  denied my working classness, mine and the wife's, Baroness Kinnock's. And do you know what, well, I'll tell you a story about my Baroness Glenys, 

but before I do I should mention that she's the first, the very first one,  the originator, if you will, the pioneeress, as it were, the very singular and uniquely first in a thousand, ten thousand, a hundred, a hundred thousand generations of  her family to, after, after, mind, giving singular and unique and unprecedented and unrivalled service to the peoples of Europe, to  sit in the House of Lords, doing a proper job, ministering for Africa - on which, I would just mention, Lady Glenys, having read all the H Rider Haggard books,  is a world expert, King Solomon's Ring, she knows them all - for my old mate, Gordon Brown, at a salary wholly and completely and utterly apposite and appropriate and entirely consistent with her training as a primary school teacher, of a hundred thousand pounds a year, whether she stayed for work or not, yes, yes, just had to turn up and sign-in, yes  rather like her attendance allowance at the European parliament.  But no, we're both very busy people, working our fingers to the bone on behalf of ord-in-erry people, it's only right and proper and decent and consistent with the highest standards of fair play and decency that people like myself and  Lady Kinnock  are properly rewarded, no, no, whether we do any actual, measurable, physical work is entirely and completely, utterly and unequivocally, wholly irrelevant, it's the possibility, y'see,  of our presence which needs to be justly rewarded.  

You know when I was lecturing for the WEA, before I fully  entered selfless and wholly tireless public service, I often used to tell my students about the parable of the Labourer being worth his hire, and, let's face it, since I am Labour personified, the man who invented New Labour, isn't it only right and fair and decent that I be showered with taxpayers' money? 

And after all, on two occasions I should have been prime minister, if only the electorate hadn't got things so cataclysmically, woefully, abysmally, disastrously and apocalyptically wrong, and so I should, in a fair world, be drawing two prime minister's pensions and, and be the first so-o-o-shul-ist Knight of the Garter 
But I was saying about Lady Kinnock, y'know, when we go back to the constituency, which is at least once every five years or so - yes, on expenses, naturally, it is work, 'snot as though we like those people - Lady Kinnock has no side to her at all.  Oh, she let's those clapped-out old miners' wives and widows curtsy to her, fair enough, but it makes them happy, see, and no harm in poor people  hoping that  their betters, in this case, Lady Kinnock and myself, might shed a little stardust on them.  But what I love about Lady Kinnock is that when some chronically ill, wheezy old bloke, some mug who's voted Labour all his life, and has nothing to show for it, bows to her and calls her M'lady, do you know what she says, she says, no need for all that, amongst old friends, 

why don't you just call me Madam?

This pair of smug, thieving  cunts, Thicko Neil and Brassneck Glenys Kinnock, despite never having done a day's work - well, maybe she did a bit of teaching but mostly she was just barging into the Windbag's limelight - have amassed six public sector pensions, the largest by far of which come from  Europe, where the baggage distinguished herself amongst all the other thieves, by going through the revolving door of the European parliament, signing-in for her daily allowance, dashing out through the door, hailing a taxi to an EasyJet plane  back to London and claiming for a first-class BA flight allowance, and then repeating the whole thing ad infinitum. It was all, like slavery, legal at the time, and Glenys Crow always insisted that she had done nothing wrong, even though she's a rotten despicable bastard. It was Lady Kinnock's excess which caused the rules to be changed, (see below) perhaps her only accidental achievement in a lifetime of cheap hustling.
The standard monthly payment for all MEPs is 7,957 euros (£6,537). It is roughly on a par with a British MP's salary, but when the pound is weak, MEPs earn more than MPs.
MEPs also get a flat-rate monthly allowance of 4,299 euros to cover office expenses, such as office rent, phone bills and computer equipment.
In addition, MEPs can claim for travel related to their official duties in Brussels and Strasbourg. In the past they could claim for an expensive flexible economy class flight even if they flew low-fare. But under the new rules they have to submit their ticket (which can be business class on air, or first class on rail) and will be reimbursed for what they paid.
A separate annual travel allowance - 4,243 euros maximum - covers official trips to other destinations. And they can claim for up to 24 return journeys in their home country.
MEPs also get a daily subsistence allowance - now 304 euros - for attendance at parliamentary sessions. It is intended to cover things like hotel bills and meals.
And they are entitled to reimbursement of two-thirds of their medical expenses.
The Kinnocks' earnings for his ten-year stint as a Commissioner - during which none of the accounts were signed-off and her fifteen years as MEP, both jobs scandalously tawdry NewLabour sinecures are below:
  • A total of £775,000 in wages for Lady Kinnock and £1.85 million for her husband, adding up to £2,625,000.
  • Allowances for Lady Kinnock’s staff and office costs of £2.9million.
  • A £64,564 ‘entertainment allowance’ for Lord Kinnock.
  • A total of five publicly-funded pensions, worth £4.4million, allowing them to retire on £183,000 a year.
  • A housing allowance that allowed them both to claim accommodation costs although, as a married couple, they lived in the same house in the Belgian capital between 1995 and 2004.

In addition to these sums the Kinnocks, as peers, can collect three hundred pounds a day for lunching and dining haute cuisine  at massively subsidised prices in the House of Lords as well as using the palace of Westminster as their registered business address, like they all do.

From Open Europe.

Destinations of the “fact-finding missions” are often suspiciously glamorous, involving places like the Caribbean, America and Australia, although less prosperous countries such as Rwanda have also hosted them as election monitors. Open Europe’s Lorraine Mullally said: “Never mind the gravy train, the European Parliament is more like the gravy plane. MEPs are flying around the globe clocking up thousands of miles on dubious ‘fact-finding’ trips to luxurious locations.”

I remember nearly pissing  the bed, one morning, listening to Lady Glenys, in some election monitoring junket in Africa, lecturing Today listeners about what she would and would not tolerate in Africa,  the very minimum I would agree to is blah-bla-blah, like anyone in the whole world gave a flying fuck about the thick, greedy doxy. 

Mrs Kinnock’s league-topping travel for her last five years cost more than £51,000 and the miles flown totalled nearly 127,500.
The ginger gabshite himself is equally distinguished 
 In his ten-year stint as EU Commissioner, the organisation's accounts - accounts of our money - were never signed-off, never approved as being true and accurate,  and Kinnock, like the fucking Stalinist he is, harassed and persecuted the whistle blower who made this fact known.
 Neil Kinnock stood accused last night of trying to cover up a multi-billion pound scandal at the heart of the European Union.
The European Commission's former chief accountant claimed the ex-Labour leader - who is Britain's senior EC commissioner - tried to
silence her when she uncovered evidence of mismanagement, incompetence and fraud in the EU's £63billion budget. 

Marta Andreasen says the crisis could be worse than the business accounting scandals over Enron and WorldCom because it is impossible to trace EU accounts.
She warned that a total absence of basic accounting standards and effective computer systems leaves EU budgets 'massively open to fraud.'
But when she raised her concerns with Mr Kinnock - the man responsible for cleaning up Brussels - she claims he moved her to another job and tried to stop her giving evidence to the European Parliament.

She also claims she was threatened with the sack and faced harassment and that she was followed in Brussels and her private e-mails were hacked into.
But look, as I never tire of saying, we're all friends here, all workers in the glorious cause of whatever it was, I forget now.  
So, friends, and we are all friends here, yes, and comrades too, comrades in unearned luxury, at this time, when a few, a tiny few, an infinitesimally minute few, that's to say most people outside the tent,  are saying that we should decouple, isolate ourselves, shrink back into primitive, indeed prehistoric mono-nationalism I  would counsel the other working people in this land that a vote against Europe is not in Lady Kinnock's and my interest. 

 Were it not for Europe her ladyship and I would not have amassed and continue to amass a fortune in excess of ten million pounds, 
our children would not be similarly set for life in cushy jobs with hefty pensions and expenses. 
 Do you really want to risk all this fantastic progress  by voting to leave Europe?

Sunday 3 December 2023

The Sunday Ishmael: 3/12/2023

 These days, if you take a picture to be reframed, it will be finished by the back of the picture being sealed to the frame with adhesive tape. It is important to seal the picture to prevent insect damage and the ingress of dirt and damp. I was once restoring an old picture and nestled between the glass and the mount, I found the desiccated body of a woodworm. It had been unable to make a flight hole for its escape when it metamorphosed. It had eaten some of the picture but it was clearly not to its taste. The Victorians employed a different method to seal their pictures, which is still employed by the better picture framers.
A line of glue is applied around the edges of the back of the frame. The framer then takes a piece of brown paper, larger than the picture, which has been dampened by wiping it over with a damp sponge. The paper is then laid over the picture back, pressing down on the edges to ensure good adhesion. Wipe it over with a slightly damp cloth. Leave to dry out. When dry, the paper backing will have shrunk onto the frame and become drum-tight. Bend the paper overhang to create a strong and accurate crease, then take some fine sandpaper and stroke it along the crease until the excess paper just comes away. You then screw in your little picture-hanging eyes, thread them with a nice gold wire and Bob's your uncle. That's the problem with having stuff. You've got to keep at it. Cleaning, polishing, mending, displaying or safely storing in acid-free tissue and stout cardboard, keeping the ravages of time and insects at bay. Curating, in other words.
I had occasion to take apart a picture a little while ago. It was old stock from our antiques emporium that had never found its forever home, so it had made its way into our personal collection, although I'd never liked it. A black and white depiction of a group of bewigged, frock coated gentlemen smoking pipes and plotting sedition. Anyway, it had been cleaned and resealed by mr ishmael and his dyslexic assistant some 25 years ago. The integrity of the seal had been compromised,  Damp had got in and there was condensation. So I had the back off and a scrap of paper fluttered out. Here's the message to the future that the dyslexic assistant had secreted under the brown paper backing:
"We don't no who these dead basterds ar but mr ishmael and me backed it in 1997 and we are both bead basters by the time you are reading this!!!!😊"
This small instructional tutorial and anecdote was triggered by the news this week of three bead basters, two of whom, it seems, were perfect beings who graced the world with their diplomacy,  wit and dedication to the improvement of the human condition, and one who wasn't. The first two - Darling and Kissinger, were just lucky basters. The third, Shane  MacGowan,wasn't.  
He died at the age of 65, of pneumonia, in his home in Dublin, with his wife. He had been wheelchair bound since breaking his pelvis in a fall in 2015. He suffered a further fall at home in 2021, breaking his knee, and was hospitalised in 2022 with viral encephalitis.

Kissinger, by contrast, "the aged warrior, full of years and honours, venerable from his piety and courage and implicit obedience" made his full century and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize early in his career for interfering in the affairs of foreign countries.  His approach to politics was called Realpolitik, which prioritizes pragmatic geopolitical considerations over moral or ideological values. Kissinger has been criticized for ignoring war crimes committed by American allies during his tenure and, of his death, House of Representative member  Gerry Connolly, stated Kissinger's "indifference to human suffering will forever tarnish his name and shape his legacy". Rolling Stone ran an obituary titled "Henry Kissinger, War Criminal Beloved by America's Ruling Class, Finally Dies", HuffPost labeled him "The Beltway Butcher" and  Teen Vogue's  headline ran : "War Criminal Responsible for Millions of Deaths Dies at 100".

mr ishmael took a dim view of Kissinger's career and Peace Prize, called him a: "horrid little turd, Kissinger, but typical of the lowlifes with whom poor, barmy Nixon surrounded himself." Here's an essay from July 2011:

Hello, Norway und Heil Hitler. Seckatry Kissinger here,
butcher of Laos und Cambodia und Vietnam 
und Father Confessor to asshole president, TrickyDicky Nixon und all-around sex god.
I just vant to say sank you all vunce again for giving me ze Nobel Peace Prize und a million dollars of cash.  
Giving zat award to a person like me goes to show zat ze committee truly has its hand on the pulse of global whatchamacallit und it also spelled the end of satire in Amerka because all ze funny men said zat zis was so shit zat it was beyond satire, zat zey couldn't make up shit like this. Und I vood say to ze Norwegian peoples zat a good way to purge zis unhappiness is to take a few ragheads up in ze helicopter and throw zem the fuck out.  It wuz srategy like zis vot helped me secure my historic victory in SouthEast Asia.  Zat vill be twenty sousand dollars, bitte. Oh, und don't forget zat I brought peace in the Middle East,too, und so can I have anudder prize?

The Mayor of London, seeking to milk the Norway business* for all it's worth, has offered the entire Metropolitan Police Service to Oslo, at a knockdown price.

They're jolly good chaps, what, blustered the albino charlatan, and if the Norwegians want stuff covered-up, want evidence ignored and if they want an investigative team which will spend it's time on freebie piss-ups with international criminals then there is no better body of professional, dedicated law enforcement officers anywhere in the world. Any faults they may have are of course due to my good friend the unelected prime minister and not to me; you know me, good old Boris, never one to take things too seriously, especially when they're codswallop. Not, of course that an island full of dead sardineheads is codswallop, or even sardineswallop,  but as we say in showbusiness, there's no such thing as bad publicity and anything which diverts attention from my accomplishments in policing has to be simply spiffing... So come on you Olympics-hungry Londoners, let's all stand together with the Oslovians in forgetting all about Sir Paul Gob and that other cove, wotsisname; see, I've forgotten him already. And so should you. And so, if he knows what's good for him, should  Assistant Commissioner Yates.
My fellow Nordic motherfuckers. I join with you tonight, in sorrow, and Michelle and I, and our two robokids, sit here in the White House, eating sardines on toast, out of a sense of solidarity, yes and kinship. It's not widely known but my great grandfather, Sven Obamasensen, sailed those icy Northern waters all the way across the Atlantic and founded Amerka, the greatest and most indebted nation on Earth. So, your loss is my loss and if you want some of Amerka's peace-loving, democracy-loving, crewcut, psychobastard, mommasboy, gangraping troubleshooters to come over there, wherever the fuck it is, and kick some ass then all you need to do is ask and we'll come and set up some secret bases and secret prisons and surveillance systems and make you pay for them.  Just like we do with our British subjects, I mean friends. No, I don't, I mean subjects. Those Brits, they can be subjects of Europe and Amerka, why the fuck not?

And let me thank you, once again, motherfuckers, for my Nobel Peace Prize, which you sensitive, caring Norwegians so kindly gave me for stopping the wars and shutting down Camp Freedom, or Camp Guantanamo, as it has been known.  I will be doing these things, of course, just not now, because   in the meantime we have some other wars to start, regimes to change and suspects to torture.  Never forget that the price of Freedom and Peace is a police state and permanent,  total warfare. Thank you and God bless Amerka.
Aye, that's right, so it is. And as First Minister of Northern Ireland I know that I speak for  my fellow Mick, Father Blair and my good friend Mr Gerry Nonce, when I say that we deplore acts of violence against civilians, anywhere and anytime;  they are totally unjustified, so they are.  Unless it's us who's doing them, But in this case it wasn't, so it wasn't, and so I say to the people of Norway:  If this slaughter leads to the release from prison of hundreds of murdering scum,   like me,  then it's a price worth paying in what we call conflict resolution terms, so we do.  And by the way, we took a dim view, me and Gerry, so we did, of youse pofaced Presbyterians giving the Nobel Peace Prize to that Davy Trimble and not us, so we did. And youse better remember that I haven't put my Black and Decker beyond reach, so I haven't.  Next time youse're giving out a Peace Prize, bear that in mind.
*The 2011 Norway attacks, were two domestic terrorist attacks by  Anders Behring Breivik against the government, the civilian population, and a Workers' Youth League (AUF) summer camp, in which a total of 77 people were killed.

Baron Darling of Roulanish, or Darling Alistair, managed more years than MacGowan, but fell far short of the "old warrior's" centenary. He died this week of cancer at the age of 70. He followed Gordon Brown into post as Chancellor of the Exchequer, a post he was eminently well suited for, having such a grasp of economics that he changed the designation of his second home four times in four years, allowing him to claim for the costs of his family home in Edinburgh, and to buy and furnish a flat in London including the cost of stamp duty and other legal fees. Darling said that "the claims were made within House of Commons rules"
Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: "given that very unique responsibility that [Darling] has [as Chancellor], it's simply impossible for him to continue in that role when such very major question marks are being raised about his financial affairs". 
On 1 June 2009, Darling apologised "unreservedly" about a mistaken claim for £700, which he had agreed to repay. Gordon Brown dismissed it  as an inadvertent mistake.
He continued to be at it, though, and the next year, he resigned from the Faculty of Advocates as they were investigating a complaint about his expenses claims. Darling Alistair denied any connection between the two events.
mr ishmael honoured him with this little essay in 2009:

Badgerisms: Axioms for the New Depression 2009
"And you say, mon ami, that you work for le governement des Rosbifs?"

"Yes, Christine, in my country, too, an old woman can be finance minister."

"Nobody is actually opposed to bonuses per se."
Alastair Badger, a Scottish solicitor and laughably the pretend Chancellor of the Exchequer, at the final NewLabour conference.

Actually, comrade, we are opposed to bonuses per se , unless they are awarded to all who exceed the requirements of their job description and not just to those who, already handsomely paid and pensioned, fail spectacularly to do so. Nurses, for instance, or paramedics whose prompt action saves lives, although not yours, you worthless gabshite.

"The taxpayer has put his hand in his pocket to bail out the banks."

Actually, comrade, you put your hand in our pockets, to bail out the banks, for whom you will shortly be working on a more formal basis; this a juxtaposition, it is true, more desirable than having, like yourself, Gordon Brown's nail-bitten fist up your arse, but not much more.

I tried in vain to find anything  by mr ishmael about MacGowan. I don't think mr ishmael rated him at all. Maybe it was the formidable, toothless ugliness, maybe the alcohol and drug use, maybe the fact that mr ishmael was a musician and MacGowan wasn't, not really - or possibly it was the Oirishness - apparently MacGowan's regret was that he didn't have the balls to join the IRA. MacGowan was an English-born Irish musician, best known as the co-founder, lead vocalist and chief songwriter of Celtic punk band the Pogues. MacGowan's songs were influenced by Irish history, Irish nationalism, the Irish diaspora, and London life. He went to Westminster School (a public school) as a scholarship boy, but was expelled at 16 for possession of drugs. Which kind of set the stage for the rest of his career. I did like 
 "Fairytale of New York" (1987), though, which he recorded with Kirsty MacColl.  There actually isn't now, nor ever was, an NYPD choir, unlike the song's assertion - "The boys of the NYPD choir still singing Galway Bay".  But they do have the NYPD Pipes and Drums who are featured in the official video. They did not know "Galway Bay" and so sang a song that all of them knew the words to – the "Mickey Mouse March". The footage was slowed down and shown in brief sections to disguise the fact that the Pipes and Drums were not singing Galway Bay. The NYPD Pipes and Drums were drinking  on the coach that brought them to the video shoot, and by the time they arrived they were drunker than the band, refusing to work unless they were supplied with more alcohol.

That's enough bead basters. Lets turn to old statues, instead. 
This former Chancellor of The Exchequer is not in the current Prime Minister's Good Books. Rishi Sunak snubbed the Greek Prime Minister this week by cancelling his appointment with him after he  appeared on the Laura Kuenssberg Show last Sunday and said he wanted his artefacts back.  Laura had dressed up nice for him in her expensive leather skirt.
 "Just say",  he told Laura, "someone ripped the Mona Lisa in half and put part of it in London and the other part in Paris, wouldn't you want it to be reunited? "
Apparently, Rishi would not. He must have reflected that this situation was very much the consequence of Bukkake George's machinations as Chair of the British Museum. - particularly when George announced to the press that the row had encouraged the British Museum to go ahead with its negotiations about loaning the Parthenon marbles to Athens. Osblow continued: " We can go on doing it whether or not Rishi Sunak meets the Greek prime minister. In fact, if anything, things have been rather clarified by this week. We obviously know we’re not going to get any particular support from the Conservative government.”
So Number 10 snippily rejoindered: Osborne can as a “private individual” – continue with any talks he wants but be warned that it saw moves to remove the sculptures from the UK as a “slippery slope” that could lead to the return of other contested antiquities.

Everything he touches turns to shit. Apart from his bank balance.
Former Chancellor George Osborne was the highest earning MP of 2016, raking in £628,000 on top of his MP’s salary of £74,962 – chiefly from lucrative public speaking engagements.  
He was sacked as Chancellor by Theresa May – but is one of 14 MPs who earned more than the Prime Minister that year, according to the Register of Members’ Interests.

After losing his job, Mr Osborne was signed by the Washington Speaker Bureau, the US agency that also acts for Tony Blair, and embarked on a round of lucrative engagements on both sides of the Atlantic. His most profitable speeches were two for investment bank JP Morgan, for which he received £81,174 and £60,578, a speech for Palmex Derivatives (£80,240), and another for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (£69,992).
Who appointed this clown Chair of the Trustees of the British Museum?  You've not forgotten that under Osborne's chairmanship, the British Museum had to report that it  had mislaid  many valuable artefacts, including gold, jewellery, gems and semi-precious stones that date from the 15th century BC to the 19th century AD. The thefts came to light when an art historian spotted items from the British Museum collection being sold online. 
“Essentially, we were the victims of an inside job by someone, we believe, who over a long period of time was stealing from the museum and who the museum had put trust in,” Osborne told Parliament’s Culture, Media, and Sport Committee. “Quite a lot of steps were taken to conceal [thefts]… a lot of records were altered and the like.”
He added that there were “lots of lessons to be learned” as a result. But, the good news is that: "350 objects have now been recovered, and titles have been transferred to us, so we have the makings of a good exhibition that was not previously planned.” 

I believe that these are still there.

More japes, jollity and political satire  can be found in the  four-volume Call Me Ishmael oeuvre,  the work of editor mr verge.

Honest Not Invent, Vent Stack, Ishmael’s Blues, and the latest, Flush Test (with a nice picture of the late, much lamented, Mr Harris of Lanarkshire taking a piss on a totem pole) are available from Lulu and Amazon. If you buy from Amazon, it would be nice if you could give a review on their website.
Ishmaelites wishing to buy a copy from lulu should follow these steps :
please register an account first, at This is advisable because otherwise paypal seems to think it's ok to charge in dollars, and they then apply their own conversion rate, which might put the price up slightly for a UK buyer. Once the new account is set up, follow one of the links below (to either paperback or hardback) or type "Ishmael’s Blues" into the Lulu Bookstore search box. Click on the “show explicit content” tab, give the age verification box a date of birth such as 1 January 1960, and proceed.
Link for Hardcover :
Link for Paperback :
At checkout, try WELCOME15 in the coupon box, which (for the moment) takes 15% off the price before postage. If this code has expired by the time you reach this point, try a google search for " voucher code" and see what comes up.
With the 15% voucher, PB (including delivery to a UK address) should be £16.84; HB £27.04.

 Hamnavoe Bay, Stromness.

Sunday 26 November 2023

The Sunday Ishmael: 26/11/2023

It's been a great to see the parsing of Jeremy Cunt's Autumn Statement this week, both here and in the press - shows that the Great British Public are not as easily fooled as the Conservatives think we are. They sent out the new totty, Laura Trott, this morning, to tell us lies. This is her, pleading with Laura Kuenssberg to believe her, in the teeth of all evidence to the contrary:
Laura: Please, please, please believe all this made up nonsense and don't be nasty to me. 

Laura: No, Laura, that's all bollocks, isn't it? 2.2 million more workers now pay the 20% basic rate of income tax than three years ago, and 1.6 million more workers are in the 40% tax bracket.

Laura: That’s actually not true. For people on average wages, their taxes would have been cut by about £1,000 on average since 2010. 

Laura: Oh, come on, dear, I know you are new here, but you can't get away with this crap. You know, and our viewers will have seen and heard on many occasions, taxes are going to reach a post-war high.

Laura: (giggles prettily) Yes, I am new, Laura, and this is my dream job. I'm such a lucky girl. Spreadsheets and everything. I'm Chief Secretary to the Treasury, you know. 

Laura: The overall tax burden is going up. Shouldn’t you just be straight with people? For every additional £4.00 people are paying, you are giving £1.00 back.

Laura: (trying to pout charmingly) Yes, and isn't that good, Laura? It is targeted. Wealthier people are being asked to shoulder more of the tax burden.

Thirty-nine year old Laura Trott, an Oxford graduate (of course), was appointed a Member of the British Empire in 2016, in David Cameron's Resignation Honours for her political and public service. She is currently the Conservative MP for Sevenoaks in Kent, a lushly wealthy constituency, which has had a Conservative MP since 1924. They must like her as she has a majority of 40.9%, which is pretty good. Her claim to legislative fame was her bill to restrict access to Botulinum Toxin and filler cosmetic procedures for under 18 year olds, which was passed into law in October 2021.
Bit ironic, that. I was transfixed by Trott's curiously static mouth as she attempted to pout prettily for Kuenssberg and the cameras. You see a lot of that, these days. TV women with curiously smooth and buttery upper lips - not a smoker's wrinkle amongst the lot of them.

The other fun thing on the Laura Kuenssberg Show this morning was the fight between Unison General Secretary Christina McAnea and Reform UK leader Richard Tice about immigration figures and British culture. It got quite nasty, with Chrissy claiming there isn't one, calling in aid her Oirishness and Dicky using the my dad's bigger than your dad defence: "When he gets out of the Celebrity Jungle, Nigel Farage will be "absolutely furious" when he sees the migration figures. And he will be President Farage. Just you wait."
Honest, you couldn't make this stuff up.

What else in this week's news? Oh, yes, heart-rending  photographs of Israeli children hugging their dads after being released from Hamas detention. Here's a photo to redress the balance:
This is Israa Jaabis, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2015 when her car burst into flames a mile from a checkpoint in the West Bank. Israa's family said the fire started because of an engine fault. She suffered severe facial burns in the fire, but her requests for surgery were turned down by prison authorities. Here she is hugging her 15 year old son, Mua'tassim, who was eight years old at the time of her arrest. 

And old Politicians don't die, fade away or depart with dignity to polish their money. We had Baron Munchausen of Chipping Norton last week roaring back as Foreign Secretary - and, just see what happened! Cease Fire and  Hostage Release the same week! No, no, mrs ishmael. That was a Coincidence. Actually, Baron Wrongway went to Ukraine, not Israel. And no, he hasn't sorted that one out yet.
And this week it is wee Alex shouldering his way into the spotlight again. Such sport. I'm getting quite fond of the fat little bastard, what with his chippiness in the face of adversity and the disgraced Nicola Sturgeon. Anyway, he's equipped himself with a shiny new lawyer - well, the last one didn't like him. Remember? Gordon Jackson QC, was overheard (and recorded) saying of his client:  "He [Salmond] certainly was... I don't know much about senior politicians but he was quite an objectionable bully to work with....I think he was a nasty person to work for...a nightmare to work for." 
Anyway, wee fat Alex is now suing Nicola Sturgeon and her former civil servants for ‘misfeasance’. In court documents today he accuses her and her officials of having ‘conducted themselves improperly, in bad faith and beyond their powers with the intention of injuring Mr Salmond’......  ‘criminal leaking of confidential documents, the concealment of documents in defiance of court orders and a criminal warrant, the misleading of the court during judicial review proceedings, the soliciting of false criminal complaints, and ultimately the commission of perjury at a parliamentary inquiry’. Wow.
It is a civil action (lower standard of proof) and Salmond is seeking £3million in damages.
The suggestion is that because Sturgeon, her husband, Peter Morrell, and John Swinney have all been cleared out of the way having been interviewed by the police under arrest over the matter of large sums missing from Party funds and the mysterious appearance of an expensive motor home on the driveway of Sturgeon's mother-in-law (no charges have been laid against the three), the way is now clear for Salmond to return to power by merging his prospering Alba party with the failing SNP and picking up the cause of Scottish nationalism - to which end this civil action is a feint. We'll see. Just a few words on the wee fat bastard's sartorial presentation from mr ishmael: 

Sir Alex Lard, of Donald Trunp, plc, Chief of the Jock Tribesmen, also part-time prime minister of Scotland, part-time MP and part-time MSP and full-time cross-dressing, obese, inebriate, gluttonous monster, poses in a neat, wee, below-the-knee, Jock S&M outfit, designed for the shorter man with the fuller figure and revealing a tempting glimpse of fetching white calf. The sporran, swinging gently against the genital area, adds a frisson of exhibitionisme-lite for those jaded with beating their wives, interfering with their nieces and nephews or brutally attacking their opponents in the sectarian divide which so characterises Salmond's Smart, Successful Scotland. Asked about this strange apparel one of the Tribesmen's spokespersons said it was a means by which Jock men could announce their manliness to the world, by dressing like big girlies.
D'ye have any cake in yer bag, mammy?

Fat Alec in his First Ministerial costume of bumfreezer and trews poses with his mother on her annual day out of the atticwhere she is normally kept, awa' frae human ken, d'ye ken? Alec only draws his three salaries not because, like all politicians he's an unprincipled greedy fuckpig but because of Scotland's long history of suffering under the English, in the Union, see, which they themselves requested, because their bankers, then, as now, had fucked everybody up the arse with a broken bottle. If it wisnae fer they English bastards and centuries of oppression Alec wouldnae be raking in three salaries, expenses and pensions and four hunnerd poond a month fer food, - Aye, food, in Westminster, when parliament wisnae sittin' and he wisnae even in the fucking country, the fat cunt.
 It's just like NewLabour - pious, egalitarian horseshit from the mouths of gangsters, only up here, when the SNP shit in your face the faeces are tartan. Och, aye.
Contest Answers and Results

Barter Books in Alnwick, Northumberland. 
Alnwick Station was built in 1887 of huge size and grandeur which  reflected North Eastern Railway's ambition to impress royal visitors to Alnwick Castle. It was closed in 1968 under the Beeching cuts. In 1991 Mary Manley opened a second hand bookshop called Barter books in the old Alnwick station. I've been visiting it since very soon after its inception, and it has now grown to take over the whole station. It was described by Chris Mullin as a "national institution" and by the New Statesman as "the British Library of second-hand bookshops".
Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland
The castle is a 14th-century fortification on the coast of Northumberland in northern England, built by Earl Thomas of Lancaster between 1313 and 1322, taking advantage of the site's natural defences and the existing earthworks of an Iron Age fort. By the 1920s its owner could no longer afford to maintain it and placed it under the guardianship of the state. When the Second World War broke out in 1939, measures were taken to defend the Northumberland coastline from a potential German invasion. The castle was used as an observation post and the site was refortified with trenches, barbed wire, pill boxes and a minefield. It is now owned by the National Trust and run by English Heritage.

Craster, a small fishing village in Northumberland.
Home of the legendary Craster kippers. The smokehouse is owned by L. Robson and sons. First, the herring are split on a machine capable of splitting 500kg per hour, this replaces the numerous “herring girls” that used to split the herring by hand. Then the herring are placed in a brine solution of plain salt and water for a predetermined length of time depending on their size and, lastly, they are hung on tenter hooks and placed in the cavernous smokehouses. Fires are placed under the rows of herring made of whitewood shavings and oak sawdust and these smoulder away for up to 16 hours before the kippers are ready. The firm will post their Kippers to all parts of the U.K.
Alnwick Castle Gardens
A complex of formal gardens in the grounds of Alnwick Castle, Northumberland. Redevelopment of the garden was instigated by Jane Percy, Duchess of Northumberland in 1997, and has been led by Belgian landscape designers Jacques and Peter Wirtz. It is the most ambitious new garden created in the United Kingdom since the Second World War, with a reported total development cost of £42 million.
Wallington Hall, Northumberland
Wallington is a country house and gardens located about 12 miles west of Morpeth. It has been owned by the National Trust since 1942, after it was donated complete with the estate and farms by Sir Charles Philips Trevelyan, the first donation of its kind. It is a Grade I listed building. Wallington has a large collection of antique dollshouses, and eight murals in the central hall depicting the history of Northumberland, painted by William Bell Scott. Wallington visitors included members of the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood, who painted the pillars.

The Winner?
mr bungalow bill, who came closest with his answers.
Thanks to all who participated or had a bit of a think about it.
More japes, jollity and political satire  can be found in the  four-volume Call Me Ishmael oeuvre,  the work of editor mr verge.

Honest Not Invent, Vent Stack, Ishmael’s Blues, and the latest, Flush Test (with a nice picture of the late, much lamented, Mr Harris of Lanarkshire taking a piss on a totem pole) are available from Lulu and Amazon. If you buy from Amazon, it would be nice if you could give a review on their website.
Ishmaelites wishing to buy a copy from lulu should follow these steps :
please register an account first, at This is advisable because otherwise paypal seems to think it's ok to charge in dollars, and they then apply their own conversion rate, which might put the price up slightly for a UK buyer. Once the new account is set up, follow one of the links below (to either paperback or hardback) or type "Ishmael’s Blues" into the Lulu Bookstore search box. Click on the “show explicit content” tab, give the age verification box a date of birth such as 1 January 1960, and proceed.
Link for Hardcover :
Link for Paperback :
At checkout, try WELCOME15 in the coupon box, which (for the moment) takes 15% off the price before postage. If this code has expired by the time you reach this point, try a google search for " voucher code" and see what comes up.
With the 15% voucher, PB (including delivery to a UK address) should be £16.84; HB £27.04.

Sunday 19 November 2023

The Sunday Ishmael: 19/11/2023

 Learn Politics 101 with mrs. ishmael.

Case Study

You have managed to secure the top job, in the teeth of scepticism, an appalling dress sense and all probability, assisted by a charismatic woman of colour whose outrageous domestic policies are immensely popular with the electorate, but not with the wokerati, who, quite frankly, constitute a tiny percentage of the mass of British voters. You have succeeded a fantastically popular, very fertile and funny party animal, whose chaotic approach to the role managed to tank the economy and earned the deep enmity of the President of Russia. There is but a year to run until a general election is required, at which point your party will be voted out of power unless you can do something amazing to win back all the voters who have been alienated by the indifference to the conditions of the majority of the British people by the wealthy (lets not call them oligarchs) cabal in power. You have appointed to the three Great Offices of State the following: 
Home Secretary: Sue-Ellen Brave-Man - qualifications: black, female, Brexiteer, committed to reducing illegal migration into the UK.
Foreign Secretary: James Clever - qualifications: unshaven big black bloke, Brexiteer, hosts a private Youtube channel dedicated to painting miniature models from the wargame Warhammer.
Chancellor of the Exchequer: Jeremy Cunt - qualifications: persistent whitebloke, everything he touches turns to shit, but it's ok because he is a Charterhouse and Oxford man and a descendant of Sir Streynsham Master, a pioneer of the East India Company and a relative of Queen Elizabeth II and Sir Oswald Mosely (leader of the British Union of Fascists).

What do you do next to gain the support of the British public, win the next election and keep your chums in lucrative jobs?
  1. Cut taxes, raise wages and duck out of supporting foreign wars.
  2. Sack the popular, clever black woman, shuffle the unshaven big black bloke into her job and replace him with a sulky Bremainer with strong connections to China, still riding the Greensill scandal - Greensill Capital specialised in supply chain finance, where businesses borrow money to pay their suppliers. Despite Cameron’s lobbying efforts to secure it a slice of the Covid money-pie, it never received any money from the Covid scheme and collapsed in March 2021. Its failure was estimated by a parliamentary inquiry in 2021 to have cost UK taxpayers up to £5bn The sulky Bremainer is not an elected MP. But then he wasn't an elected Prime Minister.
Yes, students, that's right! Option 2 is the right answer! Riding to the rescue is CallMeDave, now Baron Cameron of Chipping Norton, for fuck's sake. First thing he did was fly to Ukraine to meet the Dwarf Zelensky, to whom he reiterated the UK's commitment to provide moral, diplomatic and "above all military support for... however long it takes".

Honours Amongst Thieves

Well, look, lessbeperfectlyclear about this. 
I am absolutely one hundred per cent committed to those campaigning today on the issue that Spads Lives Matter, they do matter, they matter very much. 

I don't necessarily think they should lie down in the roads and stop people going on holiday but if I could just make a personal observation, in my own case, as Prime Minister Emeritus, I simply cannot under-estimate the contribution made to this country by - sorry, wossat?  

Over-estimate ? Not under-estimate?  
Well, woddever, let's not be pedantic. 
They do both mean exactly the same thing.
 I simply cannot wossaname the contribution made to this country by Mrs Prime Minister Cameron's personal stylist,
throughout my time working very hard, 
being  in charge of you all.  

I mean, lessbeclear, she didn't have much to work with,  Mrs SamCam often resembling one of Mrs Brookses rather fine equine specimens, 

and although even after her stylist had done her job she still looked like a horse,  she was at least one with a nice frock and high heels.  
Walk on, Dobbin, there's a good horse.

The idea, quite proply resisted, in my view, by Spads Lives Matter, that Mrs Scissorhands should not be rewarded with public funds and medals for doing my wife's hair, is frankly untenable. 
Yes, like I was, as prime minister, after BorExit, untenable. 
But that's all a bridge under the water, now,
I've always prided myself on being up to trend with what's happenin' on da street
and Spads Lives Do very much Matter.  
And although he wasn't quite a Spad, my right honourable friend, 

Mr Sir George Junky, to whom I have given the Order of Knight Commander of the Senior Common Room,
was of great special assistance to me in running the money laundry.  
Yes, the City of London, yes, and the property market, the money laundry. 
 Well, what happens is that our colleagues in Organised Crime, yes, Russians or Chinese, or anyone, really, who has stolen vast sums of money, or perhaps made fortunes selling drugs or arms, we let them know that the laundry is open to them, so they can clean it all up nicely, thank you very much, the stolen money, before stashing it in one of my father's offshore places.
 But lessbeclear, it isn't just foreign criminals, it's also our own very valued ontrapanooers, 

like Sir Phil Green, 

Sir Phil with Mrs Horse, 
I mean my good lady wife.

And with myself, the prime minister, 
getting our stories straight.

Sir Philip, owner of clothing retailer Arcadia Group, will scrutinise government  expenditure from the past three years to try to identify where savings can be made.
The conclusions from the external review will feed into the Comprehensive Spending Review due to be completed in October.
Announcing the appointment, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said:  

"We are extremely fortunate to have Sir Philip, with his immense commercial experience and of course his fantastic track record at managing large organisations, on board.
"Sir Philip has made clear to the Government the importance of his business remit which has always been that efficient operating is different from cost cutting and removing jobs."

One of our hereditarty MPs, Maude, even among collegiate filth like Lansley, Hague, Letwin and Fox, had a superior knack for talking pompously out of his arse. 
He has been honoured for the clarity of his judgements - Sir Philip's fantastic track record -  with a seat in the Lords, amongst so many other thieving filthsters.

what they do, our laundry customers,  is steal very, very large sums of money from their own countries, yes, money which should have been spent on schools and hospitals, yes, taxpayers' money, and then they hide it, I mean invest it in British properties. 
Well, yes, of course, it cranks-up the price of housing for ordinary people like nurses and teachers but who gives a fuck about them? 

If they'd wanted to have a home or two of their own they should've gone to Eton, like decent people do, and had their father, quite proply in my view,  invest money for them in a tax haven, instead of having it stolen by the govament and given-away to wogs and single mothers.
.And yes, the only alternative is to build millions of cheap homes but who in their right mind would do that? I mean that'd simply take us back to the bad old days of full employment, proper wages and council housing.  I simply say, what would happen to those people working so hard in the food banks, if we went back to proper employment and affordable housing?
There's no telling where that would lead.
You might see privately owned utilities, like the railways and water and shortly the NHS being run for the benefit of ordinary riff-raff, and not for the wealth creators.  
Yes, alright, if you will, by and for Organised Crime.
And if I could just offer a word of advice to Mrs Askey, 
not that I'm a back seat driver or anything, it would simply be not to worry your old head, too much, dearie, about the Stinky Point power thingy, whatchamaycallit,  the nuclear boiler.  
It'll never happen.  
One of the things that she'll learn as prime minister - if she doesn't go into a diabetic hypo and die, the poor old dear, when the going gets tough  - one of the things she'll learn is that quite often, nearly all the time, in fact,  a govament announces all sorts of shit that's simply never gonna get off the starting chips. What?  Get off the starting gate? No?  Get out of the starting gate?  I wish you'd make your fucking mind up. I quite clearly said that Stinky Point was never gonna get off the starting gun.  Yes, exactly like the child sex fuck buggery torture'n'murder enquiry.  Yes, it does keep stalling. Yes, exactly, yes, it was meant to.  
Yes, long grass, quite right.

Yes, I know the Breferendum was meant to keep us in EuroCrime. Yes, I know it did the opposite. But that's not the fault of me and Mr Sir Junky George, now, is it;

 'snot as though it was anything to do with us.  

Yes, they are all unintelligent, the people who voted disobediently, yes, just like they say on the PBC, all day long, there  does need to be another Breferendum. And this time the stupid people, from Northern, and places like that, they jolly well better do as they're told. Yes, by the journalists, and the Trannies, them too, quite proply in my judgement.
 But there's a case in point, here, about the honours; just take Dame Louella, the outgoing chair of that now sadly stalled enquiry, ( The former chair of the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse resigned after less than 18 months, the third chair to resign after it was established.) yes, the Kiwi bint, with the specs.

 I mean, she's only earned about a million and half, plus exes, of course, and quite proply, in my judgement, so there's a shortfall in her  earnings of at least a coupla mill. Wossat?  No, of course I don't think she should pay it back. She has, lessbeclear, done some very valuable work, going home on holiday and so on, before abandoning it altogether because of some awkward questions.  
And I think the very least we can do to compensate her is make her a Lady, or somesuch. Make her Lady Dame Louella. 

 Whaddayamean, she already is a lady? 
No, no, forgive me, but I think you're entirely wrong, there. 
Dame is just her name, like Dame Kiri Tikanawa, they all have three names, down there, in the arsehole of the planet;  I think you'll find  that Dame's quite a common Christian name, among Kiwis.  All around that part of the world,  Australia and New Zealand, yes, commonwealth places that we no longer trade with, preferring the Frogs, with their over-priced and unreliable nuclear boilers, and the Hermanns, with their filthy Volkswagens. 
But no,  I mean, there's this Dame Louella of the kiddy-buggery enquiry; there's Dame Kiri, who's a sort of music hall turn and there's Dame Edna Everidge, the famous hissing old tranny. 
 See, it's just a name, Dame,  like Sheila. If Dame Louella was really a Lady, she'd be called Lady Dame Louella, wouldn't she? So the very least we can do for Dame Louella is  actually give her a title.  

Yes, for services to people pretending to have been assaulted by their betters.
And lessbeclear, after I wasn't able - most unreasonably - to send  his father to the House of Lords, the very least I could do was give Mr Will Straw a knighthood 
for his utter cuntishness.

Yes, and while I'm here, this isn't the first time I have been wrongly accused of bringing the honours system into disrepute. Only the other day, that chap,  Ishmael, he was saying quite unpleasant things about one of my other appointees to the House of Lords. Honestly, you'd think it was part of the  legislature or something, and that people used it as a business address;  that they dined extravagantly on the very best cuisine, and all for thirty-five pee a head.  Yes, and anyone'd think they claimed three hundred quid a day, just for turning-up, signing-in and then fucking off to their favourite bondage parlour.  Lessbeclear about these figures; it's only a grand and a half a week, plus dinners, hardly anything to get excited about. It's not even a hundred grand of public money; peanuts, when you think of how disabled people defraud the rest of us.
You know, the reason I had the most expensive education that money could buy was not to make me well  educated, I'm simply too thick to be educated, it was to make me well-connected, yes, with the spoiled children of other thieving bastards. And quite proply, in my judgement. Yes, George and Boris.  Education?  That's for people who have to work, instead of steal. So lessbeclear you can take your anathema and stuff it up your rudimentary canal.
Alimentary Canal?
And after that refreshing commentary on the honours system, of which he is now a beneficiary, by Baron Munchausen, back to Politics 101.

It is not just the Tories who are thieving, lying bastards, of course. The SNP can give them a run for their money, any day, although, being Scotland, which is a mysteriously dirt-poor country, despite the largesse still flowing up the Great North Road from the pockets of English tax payers, via the notorious Barnett Formula and the Scottish Block Grant, the sums involved are pocket money in comparison with Westminster Largess. For example, a mere £630,000 for a camper van? Anyway, Michael Matheson, SNP,  Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care incurred charges of  £10,935 after taking a Parliamentary iPad on a family holiday to Morocco. (Why Morocco? Lots of nice beaches in Scotland. What could Morocco possibly provide that you can't get in Scotland? He wanted the Scottish tax payer to foot the bill, firmly stating that he incurred the charges while completing constituency work, and that he had not been aware that he needed to replace the SIM card in the iPad to switch over to the Scottish Parliament's current mobile contract. He tried to claim £3,000 of the bill from his expenses budget, with the Scottish Parliament paying the remainder out of its own budget. First Minister Humza Yousaf said this was a "legitimate parliamentary expense". The bill was  more than the total of all MSPs' mobile phone, business line, tablet and staff phone bill expenses claimed in 2022/23 combined, a mere £9,507. Then it turned out that Matheson had been emailed by Parliamentary officials in February 2022, telling him to update the SIM cards in his devices almost a year before his holiday. So he agreed to personally pay back the full cost of the data roaming bill -but, after previously having specifically denied that any unauthorised persons had been using the iPad, on the  16 November, Matheson admitted to the Scottish Parliament that the charges had been incurred owing to his sons using the iPad to watch football matches, but he would not stand down as health secretary. That's the last time he'll be taking his family to Morocco - all they want to do is watch the bloody footie, anyway, so no point in taking them to the notorious homosexual haven of the 1950's. They just wouldn't appreciate it.
In Room 9 of the El Muniria hostel, William Burroughs wrote The Naked Lunch. It is on the bookshelves here, but I haven't read it. It was banned under US obscenity laws and the blurb says it is a mixture of autobiography, science fiction, satire and descriptions of gay sex.
 Burroughs lived in Room 9, while fellow Beat writers Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac rented Room 4 and Room 5 on the floor above. 
Prior to independence in 1956 Tangier was an international zone that was administered by several different European countries, without a very rigid rule of law. In the words of the English academic Andrew Hussey, Tangier was "a utopia of dangerous, unknown pleasures." The Americans who turned up in the 1950s were escaping from a country in which homosexuality was outlawed.  Westerners could indulge their lusts with a limitless supply of young locals in need of money, and smoke an equally limitless supply of the local cannabis. The differential in wealth between foreigners and Moroccans created a thriving market in prostitution. In his early days in Tangier, Burroughs was not particularly sensitive to local culture. In a letter to Allen Ginsberg in 1954, he is not even able to keep track of his conquests:
"I go to bed with an Arab in European clothes. Several days later… I meet an Arab in native dress, and we repair to a Turkish bath. Now I am almost (but not quite) sure it is the same Arab. In any case I have not seen no.1 again... It's like I've been to bed with 3 Arabs since arrival, but I wonder if it isn't the same character in different clothes, and every time better behaved, cheaper, more respectful… I really don't know for sure."
William Burroughs, circa 1965

I'm sure it is not like that anymore and that Peter Bone would not be received with the sort of welcome accorded American sex tourists pre 1956. You heard about Bone and his Boner? 
Further evidence of Jilly Cooper's thesis that the Tories are sex addicts. On 16 October 2023, the Independent Expert Panel recommended that Bone be suspended from the House of Commons, after a report found he had "committed many varied acts of bullying and one act of sexual misconduct" against a male member of his staff. The report stated that, having booked a single room for the two of them on a work trip in 2013, Bone had "dropped his towel and exposed his genitals close to his employee's face" while they were in the bathroom, then exposed himself to the complainant in their shared bedroom. He was also found to have pressured the man into massaging him when they were alone in the office, and to have thrown objects or struck him on a number of occasions. Bone's sex object must have been quite a young man, as his Dad complained to CallMeDave in 2015, who failed to deal with the situation, so Dad complained again in 2017 to Theresa May (then Prime Minister).
 As the Conservative Party had not resolved its own investigation in a timely manner, the employee made a complaint through the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme in October 2021,  which prompted an investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards who upheld the five allegations relating to bullying and harassment, and one of sexual misconduct by Bone. Bone's appeal  against the findings was dismissed, so a report to the House was made on 16 October 2023 recommending his suspension for six weeks. The Conservative Party withdrew the whip the next day, suspending him from his membership of the Parliamentary Conservative Party. The old bugger isn't giving up gracefully, though, he is clinging to his job and continues to sit as an independent MP.

Learn Economics 101 with Rachel Reeves, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Don't sign up for this course. It is all lifted from Wiki. No harm in that - I do it all the time, but I do give them money when they write to me saying they are strapped for cash again (it happens a lot). Rachel has not exactly said sorry - they don't, politicians, but has graciously acknowledged she should have been more meticulous with her acknowledgements and referencing.

Obituary corner

de mortuis nil nisi faecum

She's dead, then. I read one of hers, once, Possession, I think it was. It was very heavy going, but that was a long time ago, before I joined my book club and learned to read literary novels and discuss them in arse-clenching detail. I could probably manage another one these days. We'll recall mr ishmael's thoughts on the Byattian oeuvre:

I saw that AS Byatt once, not sure what it was, may have been Lord Bragg's drooling, groupie, teeth-and-hair South Bank Show. 

Byatt was talking about her modus operandi, her creative process, she has a hubby-gofer called Peter, and he's an absolute treasure, rather like  a  little woman or little man, who does for her, drives her about the place, a housekeeper/chauffeur/confidante/whipping boy, she simply couldn't do what she does without him, ghastly. She and Peter were up in Yorkshire,  reee-surching  some load of pretentious, dreary old shite, some hokum set, where else, but in academe, which  she was dreaming up for her  readers and they'd done whatever it was they went to do, her local colour ree-surch,  and were on the way back to Hampstead  or the  South of France, when she realised that in some descriptive paragraph she'd Rushed the Gorse, hadn't quite got it down right, the Gorse - gorse, for overseas readers, is a tough, prickly shrub with yellow flowers which grows wildly in abundance, particularly in the North of the UK, it's like locoweed, only you can't smoke it - simply mustn't Rush the Gorse, crucial to the telling of the tale, it was and so she made Peter, the absolute treasure, take her  back so's she could sit and Be With the Gorse.  Shouting at the radio, I was; hopefully is a fucking adverb, ya mad, frigid old trout.
 Byatt says this of her creativity:

       " I think of writing simply in terms of pleasure. It's the most important thing in my life, making things. Much as I love my husband and my children, I love them only because I am the person who makes these things. I, who I am, is the person that has the project of making a thing. Well, that's putting it pompously – but constructing. I do see it in sort of three-dimensional structures. And because that person does that all the time, that person is able to love all these people. "  ( trans: I am the fucking breadwinner.)
 Driving back to Yorkshire, to do the Gorse-describing quality  control,   I woulda fucking killed her. And if I ever see her on the side of a Highlands road, Being With The Gorse, I will.


Answers to the what I did on my holidays contest will be delayed, to give a further opportunity for entries to be submitted. All we've had so far is Northumberland and Newcastle. I'm hoping for a little more detail.

There's a wealth of CallMeDave material, which we'll have the opportunity of posting over the coming months as our new Foreign Minister gets busy on the World Stage. In the meantime, here's a little piece extracted by editor mr verge, from mr ishmael writing as John Bright, MP, in May 2008:
"But all is now changed. Mr Cameron, the walking miscarriage, will soon rule. He will root out fiddles, scams and moonlighting. On his blank, strangely erased face we will see a righteous thunder as he dragoons his troops into concentrating on the job for which, in a four-yearly festival of competitive promising, they debase themselves before complete strangers. Tories will be dragged from their merchant banks, their insider dealings and their bondage brothels. The subsidised bars and greasy silver spoons of the Palace of Westminster will fall silent as MPs concentrate on what they are paid to do, but in order to continue to attract the very best - people like Prescott & Conway & Oaten - and in order for Mr Cameron to ensure that honourable and right honourables on all sides do not completely scupper his Ascension, salaries, exes and pensions, for so long so unfairly pegged at pittance level, will obviously have to go up. And up. And up. Knighthoods, cocaine and rentboys all round."
Your Stanislav and Ishmael habit can be supported by ordering the four-volume Call Me Ishmael oeuvre,  the work of editor mr verge.

Honest Not Invent, Vent Stack, Ishmael’s Blues, and the latest, Flush Test (with a nice picture of the late, much lamented, Mr Harris of Lanarkshire taking a piss on a totem pole) are available from Lulu and Amazon. If you buy from Amazon, it would be nice if you could give a review on their website.
Ishmaelites wishing to buy a copy from lulu should follow these steps :
please register an account first, at This is advisable because otherwise paypal seems to think it's ok to charge in dollars, and they then apply their own conversion rate, which might put the price up slightly for a UK buyer. Once the new account is set up, follow one of the links below (to either paperback or hardback) or type "Ishmael’s Blues" into the Lulu Bookstore search box. Click on the “show explicit content” tab, give the age verification box a date of birth such as 1 January 1960, and proceed.
Link for Hardcover :
Link for Paperback :
At checkout, try WELCOME15 in the coupon box, which (for the moment) takes 15% off the price before postage. If this code has expired by the time you reach this point, try a google search for " voucher code" and see what comes up.
With the 15% voucher, PB (including delivery to a UK address) should be £16.84; HB £27.04.