Sunday 21 November 2021

The Sunday Ishmael 21/11/21

If you live in St. Alban's, Hertfordshire, it is best to go to bed fully clothed in case the police make another mistake. Eddie Croasdell was the victim of the incompetence of Hertfordshire Police last Sunday morning, when he was woken from his sleep by a hammering on his door. Fortunately, security video footage exists so there's no plausible deniability here. Armed, armoured and belligerent, police trained a weapon directly at the peephole and yelled at him to open up, which he very promptly did, with his hands in the air. Best to co-operate. If a senior official of the Chinese Communist Party decides to honour you with a sexual assault, the best thing to do is to say Thank you very much, sir, I enjoy. The Police rounded  56 year old Mr. Croasdell  up and made him stand outside in his t shirt and boxer shorts for 20 minutes. Hertfordshire Police have subsequently said that officers had been called to respond to reports of somebody being held at knifepoint and that time was of the essence. A spokeswoman said: "Information about the exact location of the alleged victim was not clear and armed officers presented at a number of flats as part of their initial inquiries". 
How many is "a number"? 
How many terrified innocent citizens had the powerful lights shone in their eyes, the laser sights targeted on their bodies, their doors hammered in?
What is captured on the video is not officers "presenting" at people's front doors. Presenting is more about polite knock, excuse us for troubling you, sir or madam, wonder if you could help us with our enquiries.
Wonder if they found the alleged perpetrator?
Granted, it's a rum place, St Alban's; police shootouts, drug wars, teenage deaths. Maybe it's because it is built on a hellmouth:

Sinkhole opened in St Alban's May 2021

In a lifestyle that provides a stark contrast to the police hammering on your door, Thames Valley Police have refused to comment on who is paying for the security they provide to Prince Andrew, at an estimated cost of £500,000 per year. It is said that one of the duke’s principal problems is that he and the duchess desire a lifestyle that is beyond their means. Well, yes. And me. I desire that, too. The Duke of York, however, refuses to rub along on an official income of £250,000 p.a. tax free from his mother, the Q.E.II, plus his naval pension of £20,000 p.a. accrued from his 22 years of naval service from  1979 to 2001. Tom Bower, royal biographer, said: “(The Duke and Duchess of York) have an appetite for luxury which is beyond the understanding of mere mortals. There’s a sense of entitlement in it all, that is the real problem. They think nothing is too much for them." In 2020 Andrew bought a £220,000 Bentley to add to his two Range Rovers. He also has a collection of luxury watches, including several Rolexes and Cartiers and a £150,000 Patek Philippe
His home life is not simple. 
He and the Duchess live at Royal Lodge, a 30-room cottage set in nearly 100 acres of Windsor Great Park in Berkshire, owned by the Crown Estate, to which the duke pays a notional rent, but bearing the costs himself of upkeep and staffing which are estimated to be up to £1 million a year. 
He also has a little place in Verbier, 
a Swiss ski resort, which he bought for £16.6 million, but failed to pay the final installment, of £6.6 million, for which he is being sued.

Norman Baker, a former government minister who has written a book about royal finances, believes that the duke’s extravagance has forced him into trying to supplement his income by building business relationships with a list of dubious associates. He said:  “Andrew has had a succession of benefactors, deeply unpleasant people mostly, who want to be associated with someone from the royal family and he’s been prepared to be associated with them in return for money. He once took a diamond necklace worth £18,000 as a gift from a convicted Libyan gunrunner. These are the sort of people he’s dealing with.”

 Most notably, of course, the  paedophile and sex trafficker, financier Jeffrey Epstein.

The Times has revealed that from 2015 the duke was borrowing an average of £125,000 every three months from a credit facility offered by Banque Havilland, an institution owned by the Rowland family. The duke made a final withdrawal of £250,000 in November 2017, then 11 days later the whole debt was cleared by David Rowland. Buckingham Palace conduct rules state that members of the Royal Family  should never accept gifts of money, or money equivalent in connection with an official engagement or duty. Time his finances are investigated, at the very least by HMRC - oops - that's Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs Service. His mum. Oh, well.

Meantime, he is being sued by Virginia Giuffre for allegedly sexually abusing her. He has stated that the law suit is frivolous and that she is bringing it in search of "a payday". He should know all about that. He remains a “person of interest” in the US investigation into Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, alleged procuress.

Ghislaine Maxwell has spent the past 16 months in solitary confinement within a
10ft by 12ft prison cell inside New York's  Metropolitan Detention Center, with a rat for company and being woken every 15 minutes during the night by having a light shone at her to determine if she is still breathing.
They don't mess about, the Americans.

Tom Bower described the duke’s business activities as “shameless”. He said: “He is a man of unbelievable bad judgment and remarkable greed. And with each step his past catches up with him.”
Horrible fucking bastard. How long will we allow The Firm to make monkeys out of us?

Weather News
Let's cheer ourselves up with a word or so from mr ishmael. We're having quite a mild November, in the run up to the Great Capitalist Feast, but not so in the winter of 2009 to 2010, called The Big Freeze of 2010 by British media. The first snowfall was in November 2009. January 2010 was the coldest January since 1987 in the UK. When mr ishmael wrote this on the 6th January 2010, it had been cold for a very long time.

And now over to our blizzard correspondent, Jenny Tits. 
Jenny, what can you tell us about the grit? Well, Kay, there isn't any, although they say they will be getting some, just before they run out, which they already have but only nearly. Only not in Scotland, where they have already run out but since everything's always shit in Scotland, running out of grit hardly seems to matter. Jock manages to fall over a lot whatever the weather. Do you know, Kay, that one in five Jock pupils leaves school unable to read, write or add up ? One in fucking five, Jenny? That's almost fifteen per cent, is it the lard do you suppose, makes them so stupid? But what about the Big Freeze in other parts of the country? Over now to Jayne Tits in Northumberland. 
Jayne, you're in Cockinmouth, not long since they were flooded, how are they coping with all this. Yes, Kay and thank you. Well, Kay, as you wander around the whitened council estates you can see they're throwing the plasma tellies and the three piece cardboard suites out in the garden, as usual, even though there's nothing wrong with them, just a gut reaction, I guess, Kay, a bit of bad weather and everybody's thinking of insurance claims and those without insurance are hoping for handouts from the government. Earlier I spoke to Gavin Whine. Aye, bonny lass, seems like just as we wuz gettin on us feet, like, after all yon floodin' and shite here we are again, back in square peg one, like, 'avin' to overstate the value of our possessions which have all been so irreparably damaged by the torrential snow outside, like, gutted, I am bonny lass, totally and absolutely gutted. Aye and devastated, too. It's the bairns I feel sorry for, bonny lass, they's only just got a forty-incher each, in their bedrooms, like, and now we gotta throw them oot in the garden and start all over again, the tellies, I mean, not the weans. I love my kids, I do, ask anyone down the Whingers Arms. 
That was Kevin Geordie, talking to me earlier. Police are urging drivers to stay at home and not make them get out of their Subaru and BMW cars into the cold weather, attending emergencies and helping people. Not our duty, that, they say, no, chasing stolen Fiestas with helicopters, that's us, and the recreational tasering of innocent people, not as though we were an emergency service, if people want help in the bad weather they should join the AA, not that they are any help, currently experiencing unprecedented demand, that's what they say. So that's the message from this empty grityard here in Oxfordshire. Everything's fucked, roads are shit, pavements are shit, A&E departments are telling old people who've fallen over and broken their hips to stay where they are and not send for an ambulance as the ambulances are all fucked as well. There's not enough grit, they are down to their last half-hour's worth but the chief executive of the council says some bullshit or other to cover his well-padded arse. Here is Mr John Gob talking to me earlier. 
Well, Jenny, as a council we are committed to doing the very best for our senior management and if this means there's no fucking grit well that's the price that motorists and old people have to pay in exchange for a top-notch professional council, such as mine and which, I have to say, leads the country in being good for fuck all. I mean, salt, and grit, or whatever, 'snot as though it costs a fortune, dig it up out of the ground they do, I understand, you'd think we'd have a stockpile, but, as Mr Clarkson says, you'd be wrong. 
Music Review
 ME AND THE BAND 15/8/14

You might think he loves you for your money
but I know what he really loves you for...
I first saw  the ensemble which became The Band in 1966, in front of a huge Stars'nStripes, backing a very wasted Bob Dylan.  It was his first acoustic-electric tour of the UK, well, the world, actually,  and dressed in a ridiculous  hounds-tooth suit he mumbled his way through a forty or so minute first-half, unaccompanied, save by his own guitar and harmonica.  For many, although not for me, this was their first glimpse of Dylan and just seeing him was enough;  that he was, what shall we say, pharmaceutically-fuelled, smashed out of his head was irrelevant; unlike his urgent, mesmerising  virtuosity of the previous year's solo tour, these performances were  chaotic and self-indulgent, an early indication of the contempt for his audience which he displays to this day.  These're my songs an I'll mumble them anyway I choose; I'm an artist.
I'm not sleepy and there ain't no place I'm going to.
 After the intermission the curtains rolled back and there were the wee man  and his  free electric band, the Hawks, well most of them, in front of Uncle Sam's flag.  Dylan's Gibson  acoustic had been swapped for a Fender Telecaster and there commenced nearly an hour of  Traincrash  Music from the Apocalypse.
 Wa-a-a-ansaponatime yadressofine, threw the bums a dime
inyaprime DIDANCHOO?
And you know something is happening here
 but you don't know what it i-i-is, 
do you, Mister Jones?

 I had never heard anything like it. I still haven't. Apart from, maybe,  a Captain Beefheart concert,  years later.

I can't remember the running order, although there will be many Bobsessives who have it all writ down in holocaust-survivable formats, maybe buried ten miles below ground, for Posterity, as if Posterity gives a fuck;  these are the same people who treasure tape-recordings of Bob's kettle boiling or his dog barking.  I never went for any of that bootlegging,  privacy invasion stuff,  never bought any bootleg recordings or studio out-takes, seemed dreadfully impolite, like reading someone's letters or diaries.  Most of the stuff, anyway, was from his electric albums with a couple of things - I Don't Believe You & One Too Many Mornings, - from acoustic times,  further back, now chewed-up and spat-out, shocked, bewildered and bedraggled.  It was magnificent.
I didn't see either Dylan or the Band, as they had now formally re-titled themselves, until the mythical Isle of Wight festival of 1969.  It was late in the evening and the sun was going down when the Band appeared;  everybody was stoned, it was like a New Testament re-enactment, not the feeding but the stoning of the five thousand, only it was  two hundred thousand, a quarter of a million, I dunno, a sea of people, joints passing around, people gifting ten-bob (50p) deals to one another, strangers;  there was, naturally, something  in the air, maybe it was the playing from the stage, during intermissions of Hare Krish-a-na, Hare Krish-a-na, Krishna-Krishna, Hare-Hare, a suprise hit of that summer but whatever it was, the fellowship of the weed, maybe,  people left expensive photographic and audiotape gear just lying in the field, wandered off for half an hour, came back and it was still there.

Acoustic Half 

"She Belongs to Me"
"4th Time Around"
"Visions of Johanna"
"It's All Over Now, Baby Blue"
"Desolation Row"
"Just Like a Woman"
"Mr. Tambourine Man" 
Electric Half
"Tell Me, Momma"
"I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)"
"Baby, Let Me Follow You Down"
"Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues"
"Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat"
"One Too Many Mornings"
"Ballad of a Thin Man"
"Like a Rolling Stone"
There's more from mr ishmael and his young friend Stanislav in the two books: Honest Not Invent and Vent Stack from Lulu or Amazon. It is cheaper to buy from Lulu. Register an account with Lulu to save a couple of quid, as going straight into the link provided below seems to make paypal think it's ok to charge in dollars, and apply their own conversion rate, which will put the price up slightly for a UK buyer. Once the new account is set up, follow our link; a pop-up box asks for age confirmation - simply set the date to (say) 1 January 1960, and proceed. (If you type the title, the anthology will not appear as a search result until the "show explicit content" box - found at the bottom left by scrolling down - has been checked.  You may also see the age verification box, as above, at this point.) 
 The full title is "Vent Stack love from stanislav" by ishmael smith, and the cover you'll see is red with white titles and a picture of Buster the Previous Blog Dog having a green thought in a green shade. 

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Mike said...

Looking forward to the Duke's trial next year. He'll wriggle out of it in some way, maybe pay her off, but that only makes him look worse (if that's possible). Seems like the septics are determined to get their hands on his fat arse. He's the black sheep of the family - hang on, they are all black sheep.

mrs ishmael said...

It's a septic tank of a Family, mr mike. Their smug assumption of their privilege and exceptionalism runs alongside their utter indifference to the lived reality of the majority of the people living in the British Isles and paying their taxed contribution to support a lifestyle beyond their wildest dreams. "And what do you do? Did you come far?" will never be murmured by the monarch to the denizens of tower blocks in Birmingham, Glasgow and London.
Hoping for great things from Ghislaine's testimony.

Mike said...

Mrs I: hope you are correct re Ghislaine's testimony, but I'm not optimistic. That outstanding feature of the US justice system - the "plea deal" - will ensure she keeps her gob shut. Thankfully, the court of public opinion has already passed its verdict on the Duck. May his bemedalled fat arse rot in hell.

mongoose said...

One does not wonder about St Alban's. It's more ordinary than any ordinary place I have ever been, I reckon. Robocop must not get many opportunities to storm about properly tooled up and his trigger finger all a-twitch.

I am surprised that Ghislaine has not been suicided too. That they seem to be taking very extreme measures to bring her to Court in one piece surprises me. The Democrats are now piling down the road throttle fully open, grog splashing about, and goodness knows what stashed in the boot. Fear and Loathing had nothing on this party. The who took showers with his teenage daughter, you say? Is that the same one that shagged the babysitter that time? It's going to end badly this time around.

The Goose is cooked. He'll be shacked up in his suburban palace with his suburban piece for the rest of his natural, doubtless moaning until that longed-for day about how unfair it all is.

Mr i was at both of those wondrous Bob gigs, eh? Lucky blighter! "Play it fucking loud!" Indeed.

mrs ishmael said...

Thought you'd like the Dylan piece, mr mongoose. It all happened in Life Before mr ishmael and I met - but he spoke of it often - and of how his first wife, as middle class and professional as they come, conceived a deep and enduring loathing for the police, having been kettled and denied a toilet in consequence of crowd control after the entirely peaceful (until the police got stuck in)Dylan gig.
As for St Alban's - it shows how well they have camouflaged their hellmouth that you have concluded it is an ordinary ordinaryplace. Googling St Alban's crime map is an education.
Grrr Argh.

mongoose said...

Crime maps! Whodathunkit, mrs i? I have just summoned up my own area. We had 18 crimes last month. 8 of them were at the drug-dealers pub, 4 at the coke-snorters cafe bar, one at the childrens' pub and the other few sundries spread about - doubtless vicars' bikes going missing and bobbies helmets being knocked off by rowdy youths. (It's not like the old days when the toughs would have a pitched battle every Saturday when the RAF lads came into town to get blotto.)

mrs ishmael said...

Sounds like you live in a comparatively crime -free area, mr mongoose, albeit one plentifully supplied with illegal substances and alcohol.
The crime map - an invaluable adjunct to Rightmove and Zoopla. Every man his own private detective.

mongoose said...

Most of the local rowdies take ketamine and/or skunk as their drugs of choice, mrs i, and so they are in no condition to cause trouble to anybody. Unfortunately, the town has become popular and vermin of all kinds have started to creep into occupation bringing with them their big-city ways. The root of our current problems seems to be that one cannot easily mix folk who want a pint and a joint with those who want saffron mash and a 15 quid cocktail. There is no shared understanding between a ploughman's son or an Oxford don, and a jumped-up cocksucker who thinks that cash alone is the measure of a man's worth. The first two have coexisted here for as long as I have been about without anything going amiss. Sadly the need for cash will drive both the old sets away from here.

But as you say, we are not hip-deep in villainy.