Sunday 28 August 2022

The Sunday Ishmael 28/08/2022: The legal edition.

 
 Some Ishmaelites will remember that on the 5th October 1974  the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) detonated two 6-pound (2.7-kilogram) gelignite bombs at two pubs in Guildford, Surrey, England. The pubs were targeted because they were popular with British Army personnel stationed at Pirbright barracks. Four soldiers and one civilian were killed. Sixty-five people were wounded.
The bomb in the Horse and Groom detonated at 8:30 pm, killing a civilian, two members of the Scots Guards and two members of the Women's Royal Army Corps. 
 
A near-by pub,The Seven Stars, was evacuated after the first blast, and a second bomb exploded at 9:00 pm while the pub landlord and his wife searched the pub. The landlord sustained a fractured skull and his wife a broken leg, whilst five members of staff and one customer who had just stepped outside received less serious injuries.
At that time, the Provisional IRA had separated from the Official IRA and were engaged in a campaign they called the Long War. Beginning in 1970, they considered bombings, assassinations and ambushes to be legitimate means to achieve their war aims, which were the establishment of a republic, the end of British rule in Northern Ireland, and the reunification of Ireland. In 1973 they expanded their terrorist attacks to mainland Britain and eventually even to Europe. It was estimated that, between 1969 and 1994, the IRA killed about 1,800 people, including approximately 600 civilians. The IRA was funded, in part, by the United States of America.
The Guildford pub bombings were perpetrated by an IRA active service unit which became known as the Balcombe Street Gang –  arrested in December 1975 after the Balcombe Street siege,  leading to their trial and conviction for other murders and offences. Although they admitted responsibility for the Guildford bombings, they were never charged. This is because the police had already fitted up four other people, and, as Lord Denning commented in respect of the similarly wrongly convicted Birmingham Six:
"If they won, it would mean that the police were guilty of perjury; that they were guilty of violence and threats; that the confessions were involuntary and improperly admitted in evidence; and that the convictions were erroneous… That was such an appalling vista that every sensible person would say, ‘It cannot be right that these actions should go any further’.” Despite Denning's appalling vista, the convictions of the Birmingham Six were quashed in 1991. In 2001, the men received approximately £1 million in compensation each.
Back to the Guildford Four, arrested in December 1974. One of them, Gerry Conlon, had been in London at the time of the bombings, and had visited his aunt, Annie Maguire. A few days later, Annie and her family were arrested, becoming known as the Maguire Seven. The Guildford Four were wrongfully convicted of the bombings in October 1975 and sentenced to life imprisonment. They were imprisoned for 15 years. The convictions were eventually overturned years later in the appeals court after it was proved that their confessions had been obtained by torture and evidence that specifically cleared them had been suppressed by the police. They were released in 1989, having served a combined sentence of 60 years. The case is now a staple in the discussions of miscarriages of justice. Despite this, the infamous Lord Denning said that the Guildford Four were "probably guilty".The Maguire Seven were wrongfully convicted in March 1976 of providing bomb-making material and other support and were sentenced to terms varying between four and fourteen years. Their confessions had also been obtained by torture.
 
Why am I reprising this now? Because it was 48 years ago, and memories fade - and Mongosling 3 didn't know about the Dog Shooter's Party, so I can't assume that the events are remembered nor why I assert that the police detect nothing, just wait for folk to be dobbed in or fit up if they have an Irish accent. Mainly, though, we are revisiting this because Her Majesty's Senior Coroner for Surrey, Mr Richard Travers, has just concluded his resumed inquests into the deaths of the five young people who were killed in the Horse and Groom pub: 
Paul Craig, plasterer to trade, 
Guardsman William Forsyth
Private Ann Hamilton
Guardsman John Hunter
Private Caroline Slater
And with the inquest's conclusion has gone the last opportunity to lift the veil of secrecy which has shrouded the deaths of five people and injuries to 65 people. The families of the five dead young people were refused Legal Aid so were not legally represented at the inquest. They could not afford transport and accommodation, so could not even attend. The establishment, however, was thoroughly legally represented by Queen's Council, their Juniors and Solicitors - attending, at taxpayers' expense, to represent the Surrey Police, the Ministry of Defence and the Metropolitan Police. The inquest ignored two documents recently come to light: one showed that finger print evidence gathered at the time proved that the Balcombe Street Gang had carried out similar attacks throughout 1974, both before and after Guildford. The second revealed that Hampshire CID and Special Branch had alerted the military to evidence that the terrorists responsible for the March 1974 Ripon Army barracks bombing were planning an assault on the barracks near Guildford - yet no action was taken and the threat alert level was not elevated.
Coroner Travers also had the opportunity to review the over 700 confidential files on the IRA's English campaign, due for release in 2020, which had been reclassified for another 75 years. He handed them over to the Surrey Police and asked them to decide which were relevant. They identified only 2 documents.
Coroner Travers also  decided it was not in the public interest to hold an Article 2 inquest under human rights legislation. Article 2 would have allowed him to poke around in the events leading up to the bombings, whether the security services held information about who the bombers were and how they were able to plot, prepare and perpetrate  the bombings. Whether they could have been prevented. Instead, he confined himself to looking at the facts that were already known. 
Anyway, the Government's Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill, introduced for its Second Reading in March this year, when enacted, will close down all these troublesome inquiries, civil claims, judge-ordered inquests and police investigations and victims and survivors can just shut the fuck up, in the interests of reconciliation, avoiding blame and protecting the guilty.
Ishmaelites new to this topic may note with some amusement the euphemistic appellation of Troubles to what was a bloody civil war, at the same time as the establishment deploring the Russian habit of referring to the Ukrainian upset as a Special Military Operation. Since the Good Friday Agreement of April 1998, open hostilities by the IRA against the United Kingdom have ceased, with republicans agreeing that Northern Ireland would remain a part of the United Kingdom for as long as a majority of the population so desire. It is not going well, though - Stormont is not functioning, with the Democratic Unionist Party still blocking a restoration of power-sharing in protest over Brexit's Northern Ireland Protocol. As recently as 2015 an investigation into the murder of a former IRA leader revealed that the organisational structure of the Provisional IRA is still in place and the IRA has resisted decommissioning its entire armoury.
mr ismael would have been raging at both Coroner Travers' conclusions and the forthcoming Legacy and Reconciliation Bill. Here's his thinking from 2014.

 

MURDER, HOW TO GET AWAY WITH IT. AND HOW NOT TO. 
ishmael smith 26/10/2014
 







Martin McGuinness, Provisional IRA leader & Deputy First Minister, died 21/3/2017 
 
The deputy first minister of Northern Ireland is handsomely paid, resourced, pensioned and protected by the British taxpayer. As is the case with Tony'n'Imelda Blair, the security costs in relation to  McGuinness will be unlimited and will be paid until his death. Millions and millions of pounds, to protect an acknowledged mass murderer, the most successful criminal of our time.
Serial killer, Marty Kneecaps, has never worked, is a career revolutionary sadist and, at my expense, leads a life of luxury, fawned upon, even though his psychopathy is ill-disguised and although cruelty, menace and  viciousness crackle around him, like electricity. McGuinness is a freak.  Although, by any evaluation, he should be held in a secure institution for the criminally insane,  this psychokiller is welcomed and entertained by the British monarch 
 
and by our motley crew of first and prime ministers. 
 
First ministers 4 Justice.
Och, aye, intimidate our electorate and tell them lies, well, that's just what you have to do for their own good and anybody says otherwise is scaremongering; Project Fear.
Aye, yer no' wrong there, so yer not, Alec.

Marty is also feted abroad, by a community of fellow monsters, anxious to acquire from him what he impudently describes as his conflict resolution skills, his knack for peace-processing,  by intimidation, by torture and by murder.
During the Ulster war, largely instigated and waged by the now deputy first minister, then commander of the Provisional IRA,  nearly fifty thousand civilians were injured and of the three and a half thousand killed, eleven hundred were members of the official security forces, approximately three hundred police officers and eight hundred members of HM armed forces.

 Challenged about his astonishing  criminal record, Marty, the repulsive shit, counters that he deplores the  killings on all sides, so he does; many bad things happened on both sides, so they did,  as he bombed and shot  his way to power, but since he wasn't responsible for all of them, he's not responsible for any of them, sure, how could he be?  British Govament, it was all their fault. When it comes to effrontery, even Gerry'n'Cilla could take lessons from this monstrous piece of filth.

Nearly fifty thousand civilians were injured during what is euphemistically termed The Troubles. Many of those responsible for this orgy of largely nationalist slaughter were either not prosecuted or were released early from prison sentences, prime minister Blair's and president Spunky Bill Clinton's view being  that the only way to burnish their piss-thin,  tinny legacy was to stop the IRA killing, torturing and maiming people.  And the only way to accomplish this   rudimentary compliance with Decency's rules was to pardon their previous crimes in the hope that they wouldn't commit any more; it is a stratagem unique in British jurisprudence, the pardoning of mass murderers, torturers, arsonists, bombers and vigilante kneecappers  in order to ensure their future good behaviour. Oh, yes, and then permitting them to frighten and persecute their way into elected office. Bit of a mixed message, that, to put it mildly, from an establishment which never does deals with terrorists.

Harry Roberts, on the other hand, a London criminal,  during the commission of a 1966  armed robbery,  participated in the murders of three police officers, sounds a lot but it wouldn't even be a practice run for Ulster's deputy first minister;  he'd manage three before breakfast. Since his conviction, Mr Roberts  has been in prison for forty-eight years, and at the age of seventy-eight has been granted conditional release on parole. One would think that the Devil, himself,  after an Eternity of murder, mayhem and noncing, was being granted a Royal pardon, a seat among the beasts in the House of Lords and a country estate.

Marty Kneecaps is immune from prosecution for  hundreds of times as many police murders as Harry Roberts committed.  He enjoys similar immunity  in the matter of tens of thousands of people maimed, burned, blinded and seriously injured, as well as in the matter of billions of pounds worth of security costs, of damage and compensation claims  - more than enough to fund a five-star health service - being borne by we, the taxpayers. This startling state of affairs is hailed as a triumph of statespersonship. And while it  is second-nature-easy  for Spermface Osborne to blame poorly-paid dinner ladies and cleaners for their greed, blame the weakest for NHS decline, you'll never hear the pasty little crook say, Actually, D'YouKnowWhat,  it's partly Martin McGuinness's fault that we are short of money, even though, obviously, it is.

 It is hard to find official figures on the costs of the Troubles, troubles which, incidentally,  could and should have been avoided, could easily have been short-circuited in 1969 by the arseholes then in  MediaMinster, had they simply extended universal franchise to Ulster - one man, one vote - none of this McGuinness shit would have happened.  I was there, in Belfast,   when it started, a perfectly legitimate civil rights protest by nice, mainly young, non-sectarian people; met by government intransigence, it was allowed to be  escalated and hijacked by the then marginal Provos.  Maybe it is government's collusion in stupidity which makes it reluctant to provide proper accounts.  But fuck them, the bent politicians and crooked mandarins, we can make a guess.

Academics' estimates  of the military bill range between half a billion and a billion  pounds but, as we know,  courtesy of prime minister Snot, War Money is Magic Money, comes from contingency funds, doesn't therefore, really exist, doesn't actually cost anything;  half a million pounds missiles, they are not paid for with real, schools'n'ospitals money, but with contingency funds which never run-out, never need replacing,  don't actually exist;   but, look, lessbeclear,  you  can't expect ordinary stupid people to understand that, they must just be told.  And on top of that, Brigadier General Rupert Golightly-Jockstrap often says that wars like this provide valuable training for his chaps, or is it his people, these days,  - in passing, I think the Army was fucked from the moment its members started talking of one another as colleagues not comrades,  but that's another story - one linked to the army widows' TeeVee careers, the exhibitionist Amputees 4 Harry and the Royal Cheshire Torturers Regiment, aka The Queen's Own Beasters -  giving them an opportunity to get in there and do a real, magnificent, professional  job of work and anyway, we already pay for the forces,  may as well get some service  out of the bounders;  doesn't really cost anything, y'see, because  we have the soldiers anyway, so what's the point of a standing army if it's sitting down on its arse, may as well get their balls blown off in Ulster as anywhere else.  Actually, therefore,  according to Whitehall, the thirty-year war in Ulster and on the Mainland didn't cost a penny in military terms; we could just as easily have sent eight hundred Tommies off to their deaths practically anywhere and as for all the guns, armoured vehicles, helicopters, body armour, we would have needed all that anyway;  Golightly-Jockstrap, in fact, was actually, at the end of the day, when all's said and done, the bottom line is, that he was only sort-of spending his own pocket money;  the Devil, as we MenOfTheWorld say, is in the detail, detail which, on the grounds of national security, we never release. But take our word for it, we wouldn't lie to you. And as for looking after the hitherto healthy but now limbless, eyeless and bowel-less squaddie, well,  that's what the Poppies are all about, isn't it?  Ulster, then, probably  a net profit, miltarily speaking, we should, as a matter of fact,  shake McGuiness's gravedigger hand, old man;  wossat, we often do? Yes, yes, I suppose we do.  Yes, even her Majesty.

But what about the decades-long blitzes, 
 
on Belfast, Enniskillen, Lisburn, 
 
Omagh, Warrington, Manchester, Birmingham, Coventry, Guildford, 



Now youse  had better just pay attention.
Them two wee lads in Warringtom, they just had to be blown to fuckin' bits, so they did.
For Ireland's Freedom.
And let me tell youse, there's nobody in Sinn Fein regrets them deaths less than me.
Mr Gerry Adams, responsible for thousands of murders.
Years spent in custody for same - none.
Commander of the IRA, Martin McGuinness.
Fought a war of terror against the British state, its security forces and civilians, men, women and children,  their lives, limbs and properties. Fifty thousand assaulted and wounded, four thousand murdered.
Years spent in custody - none.
 One of the McGuinness expenses  is the still-ongoing search for Ulster's Disappeared, IRA victims snatched, tortured and buried in the bogs, on his orders.
And what about Canary Wharf, 

Hyde Park?  
We have already established that murdered troops and civilians don't matter but lots of these locations have been completely rebuilt, must've cost billions. Billions of pounds of schools'n'ospitals money. No? Oh, right, city centres need rebuilding anyway, so Marty and the Monsters did us all a favour, hurrying us along, towards a shiny, glass-fronted Cathedral of Consumption in every town. The construction industry and the citizens of these places, they  should shake Marty's widowmaker hand?  Yes, of course they should. And it is of course tragic that children were blown to smithereens, of course it is,  but we mustn't get involved in the blame game, must we, gets us nowhere, quite frankly.
Mr Tony Blair.
Instrumental in the deaths of tens of thousands, instrumental in creating millions of refugees and in inflaming, prolonging and spreading multiple conflicts in, so far,  the Middle East and Southern Asia.
Years spent in custody in respect of same - none.

But back to the question of what it all cost us and we are making progress, now, on the matter  -  the military costs were non-existent, soldiers' resettlement costs are a matter for charity and the reconstruction costs are, in fact, a blessing; Angels in disguise, actually, saved us some of the demolition costs, Marty Kneecaps and his Torture Brigade, the HardMen of West Bulfaaaast. Well, nancy boys, really, if you ask me, cruel, cruel arse bandits, 
 
taking BDSM to stunning, exotic new heights;  
burying people alive, what a rush that is, slapping women around in front of their children, and there's just nothing, nu-thing com-pares2 drilling though a young man's knees with a Black and Decker. But no, it was a dirty job, murdering and torturing and somebody had to do it, even though they didn't, not really, not in the sense of being held responsible, and that's the thing that counts, no, if they haven't been charged and convicted and done time they're not criminals,   and in fact they did us all a great favour, actually. And we should be proud to shake their hand, yes,  that's good, that is, proud to shake the hand that held the drill.  Pure poetry, so it is.

And all the health and social security costs attendant on fifty-thousand casualties and four thousand deaths? Yes, but they woulda had to be paid sooner or later, everybody gets sick, everybody dies, right?  So no cost there, to the taxpayer, either. And actually,  members of this house should know that,  challenged by the results of the unimaginable cruelties perpetrated by the deputy first minister and his bumchums, surgeons in Northern Ireland were able to develop a whole raft of treatments for extracting bags  of broken nails from the bodies of teenagers and children and old people, for repairing and rebuilding joints and tendons patriotically ruined by a power tool's intrusion and  expert  twisting about. Aye, conflict resolution, 'swhat we call it. 

President Hillary Trousers courts the American-Irish vote. 
I am sure she's kissed worse things.
But probably not for a long time.

And surgeons, surgeons es-pecially, them's the ones, so th'are, as should be proud to shake the mutilator's hand, for if it wasn't fer us, me an' yon brave boys, there, sure they'da had hardly any work to do. Patron Saint of Surgery?  Saint Marty? Aye, well I wooden mind, so I wooodent.  Only be the right thing, after all, so it wood. Fair's fair.

Our national debt of honour, therefore, is owed not just to Tony'n'Imelda  but also to the saintly Marty McKneecaps, a man who has demonstrated, time and again,  that Yes, you can  torture and kill hundreds  of police officers and hundreds of soldiers, year after year after year;  yes, you can kill thousands of entirely innocent men, women and children, injure tens of thousands, year after year after year;  yes, you can destroy city centres like you were Hermann fucking Goering;  there need be no limit to your own personal and political depravity, clad in Nobility's balaclava, you can bomb the nursery's comfort and the sickbed's sanctuary;  young, old or ill, combatant and civilian alike, shoot them in the back, bomb them in the dark, bury them alive. And not only will it not cost anything but you will never, ever, ever go to jail, so you won't.

Mr Harry Roberts, however,  
 
Harry Roberts.
Committed two murders, convicted of three.
Time spent in custody - forty eight years.

 and his partial release at the end of his life  and for a year or two at best, is damned as an outrage to Decency and has led some lardy, embarrassingly ignorant and fearfully  stupid  Poundland bint 
to call for the reintroduction of the death penalty, although if it wasn't this that  prompted her immoral indignation it'd be something else; for Sergeant Filth and his union to insist, again, that his life and his members' are more valuable than that of any other murder victim's; best of all, this tiny act of tiny mercy has chorussed together all the rotten, wormy, inebriate, poxed-up, crooked and rotten tub-thumping, rabble rousing  voices  of skymadeupnewsandfilth - what ToryTurd Ian Hislop describes as the free and independent press -  as they  scream and howl for the devising of Infinite Punishment.

Briefly, on the box, I saw some silly old cunt, a child in the vicinity at the time of Mr Roberts's offences, still, fifty years on, engaging in recreational mourning for the cameras, I never got over it, he wailed, why should he be allowed out? I don't know what that fucking numbskull would do if   he'd lived through the Blitz or been born in Belfast at the time I was.

I knew a young social worker in Selly Oak, in the mid-'eighties, she and all of her young, female - and male - colleagues would, almost daily, in the line of duty as officers of the court,  go to places to visit or supervise those whom Old Bill would only visit tooled-up and mob-handed;  Francis and  the perpetrator's wife were murdered, by a man who had been in my office a week previously,  I did tell his caseworker that I thought him highly dangerous but she and the victim had many such on their swollen case-loads, many such but potentially worse;  the Police Federation, never too keen on equal opportunities,  had nothing to say about the murders but then even  the trauma of having his helmet knocked-off generally leads constable Filth to six months' sick leave, his being caught in criminality to early retirement on health grounds.  I don't deplore and regret the killing of a police officer any less than I do that of any other victim but I certainly don't deplore it any more and there is, indeed,  a perfectly  reasonable argument which  says  Better Him Than Me - he voluntarily joined-up to protect me, he is trained, equipped, he is paid and pensioned to protect me, he retires early as a result of having protected me, his wife or partner and his dependents will be well provided-for should he die in the line of duty;  nurses die in the line of duty, are killed by their patients, social workers, teachers, too, risks of the job to which, clearly, there is no absolute deterrent;  if you don't want to be killed as a police officer then simply don't be a police officer, job done, evenin' all.

The random apportioning and non-apportioning of guilt has become a commonplace of Ruin, successive home seckatries hating the petty benefits cheat, pursuing the impoverished non-BBC-taxpayer to the ends of the Earth, whilst endlessly and guilefully deflecting any scrutiny of My Noble and Learned Friend, the Lord  KiddyFucker, QC, PC and so on;  the disabled are paraded naked across the pages of the Daily Filth, nonces and war criminals spirited away to Brussels or the Middle East, their dodgy personal relationships, like their expenses, accidentally - Oh, Whoops! - shredded.  Or closed to public scrutiny until after all concerned are dead.

McGuinness, though and Adams and all their ghastly fraternity,  their pardoning is the most cynical reversal of Decency and Common Sense that  I  have ever witnessed - torturers, proud of their scourges, cigarette ends and power tools, waltzing and fucking each other around the legislative palaces, rebuking us for even knowing of their Devilment, threatening us, should we complain, with more of the same. Yet a one-time conventional criminal with but three deaths to his account - nothing, compared with McGuinness's  rapsheet - has leapt over Mayhem's Premier League to colonise our attention, our outrage.

For the Parole Board to have reached this decision about Mr Roberts' final years - that he must be deemed as not presenting a risk, that he understands the seriousness of his offences and is remorseful. One would imagine that Mr Roberts' forty-eight years in jail would  satisfy even the most vengeful among our punishment-fixated society, that in a country which, though largely faithless,  now, more than  ever, boasts implicitly  of its white Christianity,  a simple, end-of-life mercy such as this would not be controversial;  shame on Poundland, shame on the coppers, shame on skymadeupnewsandfilth, shame on Joe fucking Bloggs, drunk, wife-beater, bigot and ignoramus, shame on them that they would piss on even a moment's Mercy.  

What they want, these insatiable punishment arseholes, what they really, really want is Sharia, dressed in a Union Jack; as mr tdg said, were they not too stupid to recognise it, what they will see is the face of their own slavery, leering back at them from Poundland's dark mirror.

They are not all Poundlanders, of course;   Colonel von Fawkes, this year's model Kelvin Mckenzie, for all his Newsman of the People schtick, is Bigotry's Fool, the Brute in Liberty's stolen clothes; vast swathes of the Redneck Forest on the Tory benches would wet themselves at the thought of a good hanging, a flogging or a thousand -year jail sentence,  the Daily Mail panders to I'd Pull The Lever Myselfers, Life Should Mean Lifers, Spare The Rod And Spoil The Child-ers, people who daily, credulously fork-up and  swallow-down  the Peace Process Can of Worms whilst working themselves into apoplectic stupor at the thought of one old man enjoying a few months of tightly-regulated freedom outside Custody's walls.

Fuck UKIP, fuck the gutter press. When they pursue well-connected criminals I will join their hue and cry. In the meantime, I hope Harry Roberts scents  a Spring or two's blossoms,  knows, once more,  the feel of the wind on his face and sniffs a  fragrance more wholesome  than those of other men's piss and sperm. Forty eight years of that is enough.
......................................................................
mrs. ishmael again -  "when I was a child,  I spake as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child: now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things." 1 Corinthians 13:11
I used to think that we British - we were the good guys. But now I have put away childish things, I know that we never were the good guys, that the Kingdom is DisUnited, that war is embedded in our footprints. The Irish Question is not resolved. The Scottish Question annoys the fuck out of me, and the last time I paid attention to Wales, the nationalists were burning English property.
Here is a Song for Summer:  a lullaby for a white baby being raised by enslaved black people on behalf of its parents who can't be bothered.
 

 

 Now Available

If the above essay has whetted your appetite for more from the originator of Call Me Ishmael,  look no further than  Ishmael’s Blues - which is now published, in both paperback and hardback editions; both editions are immediately available from lulu.com.  The paperback is also listed on amazon. Honest Not Invent and Vent Stack, the first two books in the sequence are also 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 :

 Unless you’ve done this already, please register an account first, at lulu.com. 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. 

The book’s full title is "Ishmael’s Blues – further Chronicles of Ruin", and the cover you'll see is red with white titles and a picture of blogdog Buster retiring from the fray, cat gloating from a safe distance. The cover is the same for both editions.

Link for Hardcover :  https://tinyurl.com/je7nddfr

Link for Paperback : https://tinyurl.com/3jurrzux

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 "Lulu.com 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.

 

Friday 26 August 2022

Evensong as requested by mr bungalow bill

 If ye love me (Thomas Tallis) - The King's Singers

recorded in their 6 separate homes during Lockdown in May 2020 and Sound Engineered by Nicholas Girard. Singers -
 

Patrick Dunachie - countertenor 

Edward Button - countertenor 

Julian Gregory - tenor 

Christopher Bruerton - baritone 

Nick Ashby - baritone

Jonathan Howard - bass

 And here's Christmas in Washington by Steve Earle



Sunday 21 August 2022

The Sunday Ishmael: 21/08/22 Teabreak over, back on yer eads.

 Do you know that story? A man, steeped in sin, his soul blackened with a lifetime of excess, dies and finds himself in Hell's ante chamber, where he is greeted by a bureaucrat with a clipboard. "Most impressive C.V.", says Hell's apparatchik, "Would you like to have a look around and decide in which of our special containment facilities you would like to spend your eternal life?"
"I get to choose?" asks our hero. "Most certainly," suavely responds his greeter, "Follow me."
The first containment facility is a large room, its actual dimensions disappearing into vasty darkness,  filled with naked sinners, chained and submerged to their waists in ordure of a particularly unpleasant pungency.
"What else have you got?" asks our hero, his eyes watering. He is led to a second chamber, similarly expansive, similarly miasmic, where indescribable solids floated on the turbulent malodorous waters which reached the chins of the sinners.
"Got anything else?" enquired our man, heaving and retching. In a moment he is transported to the third facility, where he spies a group of men in lounge suits, unchained, drinking tea from bone china cups. He recognises a few Popes, some Presidents and Prime Ministers, engaged in exquisite conversation with each other. The ordure in this room lapped over their ankles, the occasional wave of pungent filth no higher than their calves.
" This will do," he gasps in relief.
At which moment the overseer cracks his whip, the bone china cups disappear and the tannoy announces: "Right lads, teabreak over, back on yer 'eads."
 
So that's me, holiday over, back on me 'ead. 
The sea road from Aberdeen to Orkney
In England, the sun shone every day, the trees were tall and thickly canopied, the fields were golden and the hay baled.
The fountains sparkled in the sunshine 
 and happy children frolicked in the waters.

And I could go to Marks and Spencers!!! Every day if I wanted to, bringing back steaks for the barbecue, steaks so tender you can cut them with a table knife, sweet summer berries and cherries, lemon and dill sauce to pour over smoked haddock.......
Did I tell you that when I moved to Orkney, I was so dismayed to find that the nearest M&S was either a 90 minute ferry ride followed by a 140 mile road trip or a  6 and a half hour ferry journey surrounded by drunken Shetlanders, that I wrote to M&S Head Office and told them of the marvelous marketing opportunity they would have by opening an Orkney store, where the population of 21,000 is swollen by 125,000 cruise liner passengers arriving annually between April and September,* and the nearest M&S is so distant it is impossible to rely on for a supply of steak and bras that fit. M&S, god bless them, sent me a very civil response, saying they would pass my suggestion to their Acquisition Team and thanking me for my interest. So, I wrote back, telling them about an available property on Albert Street - but, sadly, they neither responded nor acted upon the suggestion. I suspect they filed my letter in the mad-woman-with cats drawer.
 * From the Orkney Islands Council web site: 
 All major cruise lines have visited Orkney in the last 3 years, and the 125,000 passengers arriving annually between April and September are enchanted by Orkney’s Neolithic and Wartime history, the splendour of its 13th Century Cathedral and the wide range of jewellery and arts and crafts on offer. The World Heritage Site of Skara Brae, Ring of Brodgar and Maeshowe located in Orkney's west mainland is renowned globally.
No Marks and Spencer's, though. No Trees to speak of. Hedgerows? Forget it. Lots of fresh air, however. Moving around fast.
 
Did you catch the GB News Hustings? Refreshingly amateurish presentation, but sameold, sameold schtik from the Truss and Sunak show. Sunak still bounding about the studio on his black pipe-cleaner legs and flailing his preternaturally-long arms, whilst the belligerent Truss, dressed in Tory-blue, attempted to suppress her Tory sneer and replace it with a winning smile. At least they are both holding to the Unionist line, although Gnasher still intends holding her unilateral referendum in 2023. Her legal team are attempting to persuade the Supreme Court that it will be lawful to do so, without Westminster permissions, because the referendum will be merely indicative and therefore not fall outwith delegated powers. Yes? And then?
 
Distressing news today that a young woman has been killed in a car explosion near Moscow intended to kill her dad, the philosopher Alexander Dugin. Darya is herself a philosopher, having graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy at Moscow State University, specialising in the political philosophy of late Neo-Platonism.
Darya describes herself as  a political observer of the International Eurasianist Movement and an expert in international relations. Her field of activity is the analysis of European politics and geopolitics and the development of the multipolar world theory. She thought that the globalist moment is over and the end of liberalism has arrived, to be replaced by the complex and challenging process of creating multipolarism; that structuring civil blocs and dialogue between them should be the main task of all intellectuals. In an interview on the 27th May this year, she said: "The West's unanimous support for Ukraine in 2022, the supply of weapons on an unthinkable scale: it all feels like agony. The agony of a globalist regime that is beginning to lose ground to multipolarism. For me, the most important pain is that Europe has succumbed to the influence of globalist propaganda and, instead of remaining neutral, has sided with the war. In many ways, this was certainly the plan of the United States, which systematically and continuously provoked the entire conflict by supplying Ukraine with weapons. From the US alone (according to Transparency International), more than $658 million was invested in aid to Ukraine between 2014 and 2017."
For expressing their views, she and her father were placed under sanctions by the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. And now she has been killed and her father endures the agony of losing his daughter. When debate moves from discussion to the planting of car bombs, when war is waged on philosophers, are we to understand that, actually, the pen isn't mightier than the sword?
 
In France the other day, an 83 year old naturist Frenchman, enraged by the development of his nudist beach into a libertine beach, drew out his carbine from his beach bag and shot a man in his 40's who was masturbating in front of a naked woman.

  To lighten the mood, here's an early piece of Stanislav, discovered by mr verge:

 

SUMMER WITH STANISLAV, DINING OUT

 stanislav going out for curry is, in house of ex-pats live up in Scotland, best part of England. Think would get roast of fucking beef and pudding from Yorkshire (appen is fucking right, lad, appen is right) or maybe tripe and fucking onion like from good Queen Victorian cookbook - take ye one whole cow’s stomach and wash out half-digested grass a bit and then boil ye it in large copper pan for several days with cloves and quince and saffron and rosemary and tarragon and anything else with disguising properties, consume ye it as quick as fuck with large draughts of pale Indian ale to wash away the taste, or else just take ye away unto the privy and sticketh thine finger down thy throat and sick ye the bastard up into the pan, stopping only briefly on thy return to the dining room to interfere with the twelve-year-old kitchen maid - something English, anyway, or even fish fucking finger and chip with Heinz Tomato Ketchup would do for stanislav, but no, fucking curry is, and other blokes is both fucking macho nutter Oh ah’m proper man Ah am, curry gotta be red hot for me, like burning aviation fuel from nine fucking eleven, otherwise is pansy, innit, and me, too, and I must have mine all season-up with broken fucking glass and side order of drawing pin, marinade in turpentine. Mah Mrs knows what I like and I like it proper hot. And then I like to get liquid fire out from bottle and pour all over rotten stinking roasting hot ten-year-old goat meat flown in special from Birmingham HalalButchersUlike and would be better and less painful to take fucking blowtorch to open mouth for thirty seconds. And to arsehole because next morning has le posterieur flambee and firing red hot liquid shrapnel all around toilet is, for fuck’s sake, would rather go out to auto-asphyxiation party with lonely Tory MPs than fucking curry dinner with mad bastard expats. One bloke pilot was with BOAC and play big white chief in India and everywhere really and so proven record has of eating madness, slug and snail and snake and fucking dog and horse and maybe five hundred degree Celsius dinner is no big deal to him but stanislav think Lee and Perrins from Worcestershire Sauce is heavy shit and attendance needs from brigade ambulance of Saint John the fucking Baptist with Head Chopped Off From Body. Other bloke is Aussie and would shit eat so no hope of helpings from him when is menu time. Hotter the Better, mate, wossamatter, you gay or somethin? Wanna fight?

Stanislav think of doing Bunbury like in great English poet Oscar Wilde - just send telegram to Curry HQ and say Oh fuck me, cousin Bunbury dying is down in England, awful sorry but come and assault digestive tract with vile, fiery poison made from dead goat and firelighters I am most unfortunately unable to do, am deva-fucking-stated at missing wonderful repast and companionship of fucked-up nutterblokes, please tender regrets of mine to Lady hostess of fine soiree gastronomique, 4ever your servant, stanislav. But Mrs says must go. Maybe can have flat tyre or complete permanent refusal to engage of automatic gearbox in Subaru Forester Sports all driving wheel sporting utility vehicle, instead of just most of time, as fucking usual. No point is in change gearbox even for brand fucking new bastard from factory, gearbox is shit, Google is full up of epic of tribulation from owners of this vehicle, is one bloke on veldt in Africa been seven years stuck, waiting for fucking drive to engage, another bloke is weep with embarrassment in Anchorage Alaska, car stop at traffic light and take three month to move away, is fucking rubbish, maybe tonight will save stanislav from food poison getting…

Author: Mr Stanislav Trochowski

July 2009

 Now Available

If the above essay has whetted your appetite for more from the originator of Call Me Ishmael,  look no further than  Ishmael’s Blues - which is now published, in both paperback and hardback editions; both editions are immediately available from lulu.com.  The paperback is also listed on amazon. Honest Not Invent and Vent Stack, the first two books in the sequence are also 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 :

 Unless you’ve done this already, please register an account first, at lulu.com. 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. 

The book’s full title is "Ishmael’s Blues – further Chronicles of Ruin", and the cover you'll see is red with white titles and a picture of blogdog Buster retiring from the fray, cat gloating from a safe distance. The cover is the same for both editions.

Link for Hardcover :  https://tinyurl.com/je7nddfr

Link for Paperback : https://tinyurl.com/3jurrzux

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 "Lulu.com 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.
 
The grass took full advantage of my absence

 

Friday 5 August 2022

Summer Holidays

 

Apologies, Ishmaelites, for the I.T. Glitch that put my laptop into Computer Hospital. As you can see, we're back up and running. I asked my IT engineer what had gone wrong. He was far too polite to tell me it was all my fault - the most judgemental he got was to say: "it's easily done." Turns out I had installed two pieces of anti-malware software and they were fighting each other, so slowed down operation, then a thug of a programme called Kamo muscled in, at which point  my laptop thought it best not to bother with the internet at all. 
Anyway, it's August and in Orkney the lieges are celebrating with their annual homage to the gods of agriculture and animal husbandry. In North Ronaldsay, it is the Festival of the Sheep, which involves getting volunteers from AllOverTheWorld to travel at their own expense to North Ronaldsay, an island off an island off the north coast of Scotland to rebuild the wall around the island,
in order to keep these chaps living on the beach, eating seaweed and keeping out of the fields.
We had some soon after we moved to Orkney. It was disgusting. Yellow, greasy and tasting of fish. Even mr ishmael, who, as you know, trained in the Grand Central Hotel in Belfast and whose first career involved chef-ing for the Guiness family and restaurant managing in England, could do nothing with the scrawny, bony stuff. Don't buy that again, mrs ishmael, he growled, whilst tipping it into the bin. Apparently, it is a delicacy amongst international gourmets, who will eat anything if it is expensive enough and sufficiently disguised with marching powder.
 Each of the islands in the archipelago with a farming community has its own August show, on the Mainland we have the East Mainland Show and the Dounby Show, whilst the show season culminates in the Coonty Show.
And after all that excitement and downright competitiveness, Orcadians say to each other, that's it, then, summer's over, and hunker down whilst the September equinoctial gales rage across the archipelago, stripping the leaves from the trees.
Over on the Ness of Brodgar, 
the 2022 dig opened on the 6th of July and will close on the 17th August, when the site will be again shrouded in massive tarpaulins held down by hundreds of old tires, to keep it safe until next summer.
All three main trenches at the site have been re-opened and volunteers have flooded in to spend a few weeks on their knees scraping at the ground with trowels.
 
Apparently, the chance to work in structure twenty-seven, with its unique architecture and massive prone slabs, is proving especially exciting. 
But for me, I'm off on my summer holidays, on the midnight ferry, travelling South once more.
 
Whatever you are doing with your summer, dear friends, try not to worry about Liz Truss becoming Prime Minister, the economy being fucked, Nancy Pelosi having provoked China into moving on Taiwan, the Ukrainian War of Boris' reputation and a summer of strikes. Best get some tins in, though, maybe some cans of petrol whilst it is so cheap, a few gallons of bottled water won't go amiss, install a multi-fuel stove and start collecting wood on your walks out. And take your Glucosamine with chondroitin supplements, cos you can't get a knee replacement on the NHS.
Just saying.  

I'll be back in the last week of August. In the meantime, do continue to talk amongst yourselves. If you are missing mr ishmael and his young friend, Stanislav, there are now three anthologies of their writings: Honest Not Invent, Vent Stack and Ishmael's Blues to add to your library and to give to your more intellectual friends. All are available from Lulu, Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
 
Happy Holidays!
 
Quiz question: how many cups of tea and sandwiches is Cliff Richards given whilst driving his bus in the video clip at the head of this post?