Saturday 21 October 2023

Been a bit windy


My holiday departure has been foiled by the weather gods - you know what they say: God laughs at plans, and all transport off island has been cancelled for the last 3 days. Humza Useless has been on the Scottish TV telling us all to stay at home. The supermarket shelves are empty of fresh stuff and we've just had a power cut. I've seen my plants pulled up by the roots flying past the window. Radio Orkney instructed us to bring in anything from the garden that might constitute an airborne hazard and I haven't seen the lid of my compost bin for days - probably weaponised into an airborne hazard. You know - just living the dream.
I'm still hoping to get the next midnight ferry South to Aberdeen - just hope that all the flood waters have drained away by the time I get there.
Best wishes to Ishmaelites everywhere - stay warm, stay dry and stay home. 

Sunday 15 October 2023

The Sunday Ishmael: 15/10/23

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, Bachelor of Arts degree in hospitality management studies from Ealing College of Higher Education (now University of West London) in 1991.

Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy, Master of Laws, Harvard University, 1997

Someone seems to have decided that what Britain needs in a Foreign Secretary is a big black bloke. They were on the Sunday Without Laura Kuenssberg Show this morning, not disagreeing about what we should think about the latest, horrific development in the Middle Eastern War. Couldn't get a cigarette paper between them.
The need to stop British citizens importing the conflict to British soil is clearly a Governmental imperative. As Lammy said: “There’s a rise in anti-semitism, there’s a rise in Islamophobia in our country as I speak. In a position of responsibility, you do everything to minimise those who sew division.”
However, the BBC appears to have obtained an exhumation order on former Foreign Secretary, Malcolm Lower Your Voice To A Shout Rifkind, and included him on the panel to comment on the Foreign Secretariat Duo and clearly, loudly and simply spell out to the viewership that what is needed now is not a "humanitarian corridor" to get Palestinian civilians out of Gaza and food, water and medicine in, none of this rules of war stuff, no suggestion that in enforcing a siege on Gaza, Israel is in breach of the United Nations Convention. He barked: Hamas has illegally seized 130 Israeli citizens and is holding them hostage. Israel's actions are intended to recover the hostages, by siege, bombardment and ground warfare.

True, but hardly nuanced. Or humane. God help them.

Here's mr ishmael to give us some background on Shouty Rifkind:

And we are joined now by Sir Malc, what's your take on these myriaduvs ishooes?
Lord Sir Malcolm You're So Vain Rifkind,
Bart. and Tory Arsehole.


The Scottish elite, scumbag lawyers, rubbish journalists, jumped-up councillors and trade union capos often describe themselves as a village, really. Certainly no shortage of idiots, the Scottish people ill-served for centuries by scoundrel patriots like Salmond, braying wannabe aristos like Malcolm Rifkind, gobby, dipso wankers like Charlie Kennedy and deranged, presbyterian Nazis like our outgone premier, Gordon Snot. What we need, here, in the best part of England, is a revolution.

Malcolm Lower Your Voice To A Shout Rifkind now graphically reminds us, braying and slithering on govament benches. Unemployment a price worth paying; no such thing as society; rejoice, we are a grandmother, mad as a longtailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs; Oxford, that's Oxford for you, the impudence of the outrageously stupid.

Both our sets of vaguely partisan demagogues have been richly colonised from Oxbridge and independent schools and crucially their immoveable Mandarinate consists almost exclusively of useless, good for fuck all, never done a day's proper work wankers, oily bastards and useless, self-serving piece of shit, peerage-hungry arseholes, first-this and permanent-that, not fit to run a carbootsale; festooned with the glittering prizes, usually a first or even a double first in classics, or PPE, whatever they are, and thus issued with a lifetime, business class ticket to the GreatShittingOnThePublicLatrineOfState, or Westminster, as it is known to all and sundry.

Finely-tuned Oxbridge minds led us to the Napoleonic Wars, the Veldt, the Somme, Dunkirk, Auschwitz; Malaya; Port Stanley, Andersonstown and the Bogside; Srebrenica, Fallujah and Helmand, properly clever people might have seen these things coming and intercepted or avoided them but no shame attaches to the Oxbridge authors - actual or proxy - of slaughter and mayhem, for they are our betters, allus 'ave bin.

Twentieth century Oxbridge intellects set the accelerants for the ongoing Middle East conflagration, the betrayal of Lawrence's Arabia, the Zionist expansion and terror, the support of the Shah which led to the headchopping Ayotollah bastards, the Suez disaster, the support of Uncle Sam's support for Sadam Hussein, all jewels in the crown of the Oxbridge establishment, everything they touch turns to revolutionary shit. Pakistan, Malaya, Ulster, thirty fucking years of murder and mayhem and torture, presided over by these same arseholes; even Cyprus, fucking Cyprus. Spies, arsebandit espionage, Blunt, Philby, Burgess, Maclean, all Cambridge. What on Earth is the point of Trident, when some Cantabrian at the Foreign Office will be, as we speak, disclosing it's codes and deployments in some furtive Ivan, Chink or Arab manlove tryst? Cambridge University - David Frost, Monty Python and BrownHat Treason. Jesus, the nerve of some people. Never mind the Oxford English Dictionary, what about the Oxford Book Of Catastrophic Ineptitude, A Self-Portrait?

In Google Images, Rifkind has more "posed" photographs even than most of the filth in showbusiness.
Quite the Christine Keeler, our Malcy.
Wonder if he's got any trousers on?
Hold that thought, it's what they're like, these people.

"Conservative Malcolm Rifkind got £3,066 ($4,800) last year for flights to his home in Scotland -- though he represents a district three subway stops from the Parliament in London.

“It’s amazing some of the things they’ve given themselves over the years. Why on earth would you need to visit Scotland in order to represent people in London? It’s all within the rules, but it all repels voters.” Andrew Rawnsley, author of “Servants of the People.”

"Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former Tory Cabinet minister, raised eyebrows by claiming £499 for three trips by his wife. His constituency is Kensington and Chelsea, three miles from London”
from The Motley Fool blog.

Old ShoutyGob Rifkind, briefly foreign seckatry, enjoys, too, in these troubled times, a rebirthing, shouting about Iran, Syria, China and of course Europe. A CallHimDave loyalist, maybe hoping for office, hoping for an Indian Summer of bullying and fiddling and all the vices his skill set lends him to, the horrible fucking bent Anglo-Jock bastard hedges his bets on Europe: Well, I'm not persuaded of this and I'm not persuaded of that, he shouts to a dwindling Newsnight audience and to the bombastic Jocky Neil on his many platforms.

Malcolm Shouty, too, he and his wife's misuse of MPs' expenses should have seen him thrown-out on his arse and kicked up and down the Mall
Taxi? To the corner shop?
Yes, dear, the voters'll pay,
'swhat they're for.
but no, to compensate him for his embarrassment, they put a crook, a noisy, bullying blackguard, in charge of overseeing national security matters, so that he might sell them on to the highest bidders.

Now that millions are burned, dead, limbless, refugee and now that innocents, at home and abroad, lose their heads to Jack Straw's creatures, ISIL, now that Northern Labour is rightly seen as the beast-friendly, vote-rigging corruption that it is, now that the Rednecks are revealed as the hallowed home of tax evasion and money-laundering, the Filth-O-Graph and Channel Four took some pains to arrange a subterfuge in order to tell us what we already know about this pair.

It is true that in the US, Mr Al Capone, a minor gangster by Straw's standards, was finally arraigned and imprisoned on charges relating to his income tax and some might now think that as a result of these similarly relatively minor crimes, Straw and Rifkind will see their uppances finally come. They won't.
Rifkind, like so many Tories in parliament, is just a grubby, gobby crook, three years in jail would settle his hash.*

* Channel 4 and the Daily Telegraph used secret filming to reveal that former foreign secretaries Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw offered their political connections to earn money from commercial companies. Ofcom said that there was a “significant public interest” in exploring the conduct of the MPs and that in the circumstances undercover filming was “proportionate and warranted”. The programme alleged that Straw boasted to undercover journalists that he had operated “under the radar” to use his influence and change EU rules on behalf of a firm that paid him £60,000 a year. Straw was recorded as saying: “So normally, if I’m doing a speech or something, it’s £5,000 a day, that’s what I charge.”
Rifkind claimed to be able to gain “useful access” to every British ambassador in the world. He described himself as self-employed, even though he earned a salary of £67,000 as MP for Kensington: “I am self-employed – so nobody pays me a salary. I have to earn my income.” Ofcom ruled that Channel 4 had taken reasonable steps to avoid “unfair and unjust” treatment of the MPs, making sure their views were fairly aired.
The programme, and Telegraph articles, led Straw to suspend himself from the parliamentary Labour party and Rifkind to step down as the chairman of parliament’s intelligence and security committee and as an MP.
“We are delighted this important piece of public service journalism has been thoroughly vindicated by the independent regulator,” said Daniel Pearl, Channel 4’s deputy head of news and current affairs and Dispatches editor. “This was a rigorously detailed investigation which paid scrupulous attention to fairness and accuracy at all times. We are pleased that Ofcom has recognised that the secretly filmed comments, ‘accurately represented the discussions that took place between the MPs and the undercover reporters’.”

And now the BBC has given a platform once again to Rifkind, twice disgraced by the expenses scandal and by his cupidity in attempting to sell the influence he gained as Foreign Secretary. Why the devil would anyone listen to anything the man has to say?

Moving on to matters Scottish, we note with glee that SNP MP, Lisa Cameron,  has left the Scottish National Party and joined the Conservatives because, she says, of the "toxic and bullying SNP Westminster group." And she thinks the Tories will be less toxic? For our overseas readers, the SNP's only policy area is the break-up of the United Kingdom by seceding from the union, whereas the full name of the Tories is the Conservative and Unionist Party. That is, she is a turncoat whose interest is in being an MP, rather than having a set of principles. During the 17th century English Civil War the siege of Corfe Castle was won by the Cromwellian army when the soldiers turned their coats inside out to match the colours of the Royalist army. Fooled the defenders.
Anyway, Lisa Cameron's hop across the floor has delighted Rishi and enraged the SNP, and, not unreasonably, there are suggestions that the woman should resign and allow her constituents to vote for another SNP candidate, as she cannot represent their interests and wishes in Parliament - because she doesn't believe in them anymore.
And now it is the SNP Party Political conference. Let's see how they regroup, following their by-election defeat to Labour, Lisa's defection, a year in which the former First Minister was arrested and questioned by police, along with other SNP grandees over the matter of the missing £600,000, the mysterious appearance of a very expensive motorhome in the garden of Sturgeon's mother in law, a dramatic drop in SNP membership and income and an electorate unimpressed by the raft of ridiculous SNP policies, roundly squashed by the Westminster government - the recycling disaster, the highly protected marine areas nonsense and, the men can be women if they just say so farrago. Also unimpressed by having to pay higher taxes than they would if they lived south of the border.

There won't be a Sunday Ishmael next week as I'm on my holidays, but you could get your Stanislav and Ishmael fix 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.

Sunday 8 October 2023

The Sunday Ishmael: 08/10/2023

 I had my Covid and Winter flu jags on Thursday afternoon. In the same arm, as I wanted to have a functioning right arm. My nurse said the Covid jag was Omigod specific, as Delta has disappeared, and was made by Pfizer, whose website rubric rather dauntingly announces "Hope Changes Lives". Do they mean as in we hope that this vaccine works? My nurse looked at my notes and said, bracingly, you'll be fine with the Pfizer, it is what you had last year. By that time it was too late to protest, as the vaccine was in my arm and a little warmth was already spreading from the injection site. The Pfizer I'd had last year had knocked me for six. I had dutifully reported for my injections as instructed because I'm going on my holidays at the end of the month (Advance Warning, Ishmaelites) and last time I was on the cursed Aberdeen ferry I had contracted Covid and it was very unpleasant indeed. Anyway, all Thursday it was so far, so good, so far so good, in a sort of repetitive mantra. like Satie's Vexations, linked to by mr johnny, in the last thread. By Friday morning my arm was swollen, hard and sore. The gale, in an iteration of the pathetic fallacy, was force 5, the shrubs clinging with weak little roots, whilst bent horizontal and the 5 wheelie bins (general rubbish, plastics, glass,  paper and tins) were bowling around the garden dispersing their contents. I woke every hour during the night to pee, I alternately shook with cold then wiped sweat away, the brain fog was dense and I thought maybe this is it. By Saturday my arm hung heavy and inert, I stammered grotesquely as I searched for elusive words (like chocolate, cake and chips) and I sneezed like a banshee. I took an antihistamine and slept for 12 hours solid. Sunday morning my arm had returned to normal proportions, just disfigured by two big red splotches, and I thought, Good-oh, I'll be able to write a Sunday Ishmael after all, and tuned into the Sunday Show with Laura Kuenssberg (except it was with Rabid Derbyshire again - what is going on here?) 
to find out what had been going on in the world whilst I'd been incapacitated.
Trouble was, I couldn't follow the arguments and political points advanced by the interviewee.  Brain fog? No, just Sir Keir Starmer.
Labour, of course, are immensely pleased with themselves having won the seat reluctantly vacated by Margaret Ferrier, disgraced SNP MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West. 
Ferrier intentionally spread Covid throughout the UK during Lockdown. On the 26th September 2020, whilst experiencing Covid symptoms, she visited a gym, a beauty salon and a gift shop then gave a reading at a church service on 27 September. Next day, she took a train from Scotland to London and spoke in a debate in the House of Commons that evening. She received a positive COVID-19 test result that day and returned to Scotland the next morning, again by train, having told her party whip that a family member was unwell. Ferrier was suspended from the SNP, and had the party whip withdrawn, but continued to sit as an independent, having refused her constituency's request to resign over the scandal. 
On 12 November 2020, Ferrier made her first appearance in the Commons since breaching COVID-19 regulations. Richard Leonard, then leader of Scottish Labour, described the appearance as "a gross insult to her constituents". He accused her of gross selfishness and started a petition for her resignation from parliament.
On 4 January 2021, Ferrier was arrested and charged by Police Scotland with "culpable and reckless conduct", eventually being dealt with by  Glasgow Sheriff Court on 13 September by a sentence of 270 hours of community service. (Unpaid work).
On 30 March 2023, the Commons Select Committee on Standards recommended that she be suspended from Parliament for 30 days. She lost her subsequent appeal on the recommendation, which was upheld on 22 May 2023 with the independent panel finding that she "acted with blatant and deliberate dishonest intent. She acted with a high degree of recklessness to the public and to colleagues and staff at the House of Commons. She acted selfishly, putting her own interests above the public interest." The House of Commons voted to suspend Ferrier for 30 days, which led to a recall petition in Rutherglen and Hamilton West. The result of the petition was declared on 1 August; almost 15 per cent of eligible constituents had signed, unseating Ferrier and triggering a by-election in the constituency. Ferrier is, of course, a Weegie, and typical SNP-er with no skin on her face, mendacious and determined to hang on to her job under any circumstances.
Michael Shanks, who has won Ferrier's former seat for Labour to Sir Kustard's unrestrained delight, with a majority of 31%, seems a nice boy.
He's a bit unsure of when he was born, his Wiki page being sure he was born in Ayrshire, possibly in 1987 or 1988. He is a graduate in History and Politics, worked for a charity for a while, then took teacher training and secured a post as a modern studies teacher in a state school. His leisure activities have involved him in community and charity initiatives for disabled people and running a Scout group for disabled children.

More tales from Craggy Island

They know how to enjoy themselves in Stromness. Maybe its all that yellowcake uranium that the town is built on. Anyway, they've invited the Vikings down for a beer festival.
Two Jarl squads will be visiting Orkney for Orktober Fest - Fire, Maet and Ale - 50 Shetlanders with full beards, little fur capes, torches  and glasses. Maybe false teeth and hearing aids. Here's the programme:

Beer bars open from 4pm.
7.30pm Viking Feast - “Come in yur auld claes and ait wi yur hauns.” . Let the good times roll.

Beer bars open for Saturday afternoon sessions from 12.30-6pm.
2.00pm Photo/selfie opportunity with the full-size Viking Galley and Jarl Squad
4.30pm Torchlight Gathering. Torches £10.
5.45pm Fiery Parade. Led by the Stromness Royal British Legion Pipe Band and Jarl Jamie Laurenson, the galley and torch bearers proceed from the Pierhead to Ness.
6.45pm Celebratory burning of the ‘Peedie Galley’. Courtesy of Chris Thomas of Stenigar, the bonfire will take place on private land beside the Ness slipway. Fire Marshall’s instructions must be followed at all times. No unauthorised access within the fire barriers or onto shore in front of fire.
8.00pm Beer bars reopen.
From 8.30pm -  Jarl and Squad visit Ferry Inn – toasts to the Jarl.

Beer bars open - from 12 noon.
From 2.00pm The Viking Games. Incorporating the 2023 Orkney Arm-Wrestling Championship and  one v. one Tug o’ War (Northenders v Soothenders).
Speed Nailing from 2pm. Professional Carpenters excluded
From 4.30pm (approx) Grand Finals and Trophy Presentations.
5.00pm-8.00pm Ferry Inn Curry Night (mair Fire, Maet and Ale) Bar and restaurant open for a one-off curry night with meat, fish and vegetarian options and plenty beer on hand to wash it down.
11.00pm Final tastes and toasts…. bars close, festival ends.

What's not to love about a Speed Nailing Competition (no Carpenters permitted), Health and Safety at the ritual burning of a mini Viking Gallery and a Viking vegetarian curry option?

Here's another fine tale from the far North, as reported in the pages of The Orcadian newspaper this week:
Down in Margate,  a Mr. Stewart was intrigued by the property details of the former Rothiesholm School, a two bedroom, two story  conversion advertised for  offers over £135,000. He got on to the phone to the estate agents and his offer was accepted within 45 minutes. Mr Stewart was in a position to purchase the property outright as he had been awarded £850,000 in compensation after a spinal injury. He was possibly unaware that the property was situated on Stronsay, an island off an island off the North coast of Scotland.
I've been to Stronsay. There's a lot of beaches, some geos, and one shop. There's no police presence.
Mr Stewart moved to his new property with his partner, Ms Burnell, and her adult daughter. None of the three had jobs. Tensions fermented between them into quite the argument, when Ms Burnell phoned police claiming Mr Stewart had threatened her with a knife, after slashing the tyres of his own car; following five months of abuse. Mr Stewart pleaded not guilty to allegations of abuse, restricting the sleep of Ms Burnell and her daughter, attempting to control her finances and isolate her from her peers. He advanced the explanation that Ms Burnell had thrown his phone, the television remote control and his Nintendo Switch out of the window,  slashed his tyres herself and locked him out of the house when he went outside to retrieve his stuff. He climbed back in through the living room window and sat playing with his now retrieved games console until the arrival of the police - which obviously took several hours, as the police had to commission a boat and get across to Stronsay.
The couple's plans to marry in a pagan ceremony had been abandoned when Mr Stewart learned that Ms Burnell was already married to someone else. Sheriff Robert MacDonald (honest, not invent) was quite scathing as he dismissed all the charges.

Let's hear from Mr Sam and his chums, one final time:

Harro! Mr Chu here again, owner of the Fuk Yoo Jon lestaulant in Hurr. Plescott come in other day with this shifty-rooking broke, say getting velly wullied about erection. I terr him tly viagala, it work for me evly time, but he carr me sirry sritty eye and terr me piss off. Then he start talking with shifty-rooking broke, who is famous Porish prummer and have name rike toiret -- Sanirav or something. It appear New Rabour tlying to buy vote of Porish community in Gleat Blitain and Sanirav wirring to herrp for cash in hand, no tloubre for tax man, wink nudge. What tlaitor! What tleachelous cunt!
Mr Wu said...

That frat frucker Prescott used and abused my lestaurlant The Ligid Cock in Glimsby for two lears before I kick his frat arse down the stairs two leeks ago.
He came in with blig-haired drag queen called Maureen and the frucking pigs ate their way fru the frucking card.
He always take up offer of eat all you can for a fiver. We give frat frucker small plates but he sly and goes back for seconds. He humililates his drag queen paramour who seem very nice.
I sling out Plescott because he expectorlates over my top waitress and offers me outside when I plesent bill.
I need to speak to you urgently Mr Chu. We need to stop this greedy, frat frucker in his tracks.

stanislav, a young polish plumber said...

Hello Mr Chu and Mr Sam and Mr Wu and fuck off back to Shanghai all of you, slope eyed, dog-eating, yellow racist bastards. Fucking bad enough live here with fucking Jock. Never mind with cheeky bastard chink with too many fucking teeth. Anyway stanislav never sit for dinner down with lard-eating, vomiting, shrunken-cock, speech-deficient, meatpie monster but instead give him quick rubdown with housebrick if opportunity 
ever present. Fat cunt.

The Call Me Ishmael oeuvre now comprises four volumes, thanks to 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.

Bloody hell. Here we go again.

Thursday 5 October 2023

Evensong: Satie's Gymnopédies

Erik Satie's Gymnopédies 1,2,3.

Trois Gymnopédies, are three piano compositions written by French composer and pianist Erik Satie. He completed the whole set by 2 April 1888, but they were at first published individually: the first and the third in 1888, the second in 1895. Dominique Mondo's Dictionnaire de Musique, defines gymnopédie as a "nude dance, accompanied by song, which youthful Spartan maidens danced on specific occasions", although gymnopaedia is the ancient Greek word for an annual festival where young men danced naked. The first Gymnopédie was published in the magazine La Musique des familles in the summer of 1888 together with an excerpt of Latour's poem Les Antiques, where the term appears.

Oblique et coupant l'ombre un torrent éclatant
Ruisselait en flots d'or sur la dalle polie
Où les atomes d'ambre au feu se miroitant
Mêlaient leur sarabande à la gymnopédie

Slanting and shadow-cutting a bursting stream
Trickled in gusts of gold on the shiny flagstone
Where the amber atoms in the fire gleaming
Mingled their sarabande with the gymnopaedia.

It is suggested that the mood of the piece is evoked by Young girls by the seaside Pierre Puvis de Chavannes

Satie never married, and his home for most of his adult life was a single small room, first in Montmartre and, from 1898 to his death, in Arcueil, a suburb of Paris. He adopted various images over the years, including a period in quasi-priestly dress, another in which he always wore identically coloured velvet suits, (of which he bought several with a small legacy) and  his last persona, in neat bourgeois costume, with bowler hat, wing collar, and umbrella. He was a dedicated heavy drinker, and died of cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 59.
Satie had no interest whatsoever in innovations such as the telephone, the gramophone and the radio, despite being a musical iconoclast and modernist. He made no recordings and made only one telephone call. Although his personal appearance was customarily immaculate, his room at Arcueil was squalid, and after his death the scores of several important works believed lost were found among the accumulated rubbish. 

Sunday 1 October 2023

The Sunday Ishmael: 1/10/2023: It's still the Jamboree Conference Season: This time its the Tories


North-west Salford
Not for the Tories the skipping through the waves, sipping margaritas on the terraces of imposing Edwardian hotels, gazing into the sunset before fine dining, unlike the Liberal Democrats in Bournemouth last week. No, no, Rishi Sunak's lot are determined to take the "party" out of Party political conference, and grim it out in Salford to prove they are on the side of the working person, committed to levelling up and any Johnsonian frivolity is well and truly buried in the far, far distant past, which, as we know, is a foreign cuntry where they do things differently.
With a face like a squeezed lemon or do I mean a slapped arse? Or possibly a lemon squeezed into a slapped arse,
Laura resumed her duties this morning on the Sunday Morning Kuenssberg political analysis show with nary a word, let alone apology, for her absence last week. If she'd just said she couldn't face interviewing Ed Davy, everyone would have understood. She turned, with some relish, to her morning's task of shredding little Rishi, sitting neatly to attention in his expensive rent boy suit, suspendered, smoothly stretched fine black socks and Tory Blue tie, thus defiantly declaring his unpopular Party allegiance - but, you know, it was the only way to get to be Prime Minister and it was fun thrusting the long sharp knife into the Johnsonian squidgy mass.
The BBC bathed the set in Tory Blue lights and Laura was wearing her killer Blue stilettos - impossible to walk in but they toned with the lights and Rishi's tie.
He doesn't often give interviews and that's a wise decision. The man doesn't stop talking. Laura did her best, talking over him to shut him the fuck up, but he ploughed on, failing to answer questions and espousing his new anti-Green, pro-Drivers policy to help ordinary people to level up. Because not everyone can afford a new heat-pump and people don't want to drive at 20 miles an hour and pay Ultra Low Emissions Charges when they drive the kids to school.
Laura became so frustrated with his incessant yattering and question-avoidance that she snarled:
You are not a columnist, nor a trade unionist with an axe to grind, you are the Prime Minister. It is your decision, what are you going to do?
Laura, I'm going to empower local people and level up in action.
You are visibly not making an HS2 decision. You are making the U.K. a laughing stock.
You are saying things that are just not true, Laura. Is my hair nice and shiny? 
Look at this Word Cloud, Prime Minister. This is what people think of you. Will you make tax cuts?
The best tax cut, Laura, is to reduce inflation and we are making very good progress in that direction.

For our overseas readers, the reference to HS2, about which Sunak wriggled out of an answer, despite holding his conference in what to Londoners sounds like the North, but from my eyrie in Orkney is very far south, further than I could drive in a day, even after crossing the Pentland Firth; is all about a very expensive railway line, which was supposed to link Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and London, with trains travelling at 225 miles per hour, which doesn't sound like a very good idea to me. Anyway, a hundred miles of track has been constructed from Birmingham to the outskirts of London, and has cost £1billion pounds so far. So the Tory Government is suspected of abandoning the project on cost grounds - which sounds sensible since we are a Poor Country - but has enraged pretty Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, who fumes that Sunak's Tories have abandoned the North. Which is why the Tory Party Conference is meeting in filthy old Salford, to placate Burnham, instead of Brighton, where they'd much prefer to be.
Not that the HS2 was going to Brighton.

Anyway, as part of the levelling up agenda, Sunak has announced £20m in funding over 10 years for 55 most "overlooked" towns in the United Kingdom.  Seven towns in Scotland are set to benefit. Clydebank, Coatbridge, Dumfries, Elgin, Greenock, Irvine and Kilmarnock have been named among the beneficiaries of the  funding direct from Westminster. The SNP will be cross, of course, as they will denounce it as Westminster interfering with the terms of Devolution and a blatant exercise in snaring the votes the SNP has lost on account of incompetence, Central Belt favouritism, and, of course, criminal charges/police interrogation under arrest of senior SNP leaders, including the former Prime Minister, Gnasher Sturgeon. Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross denied the UK government was trying to by-pass Holyrood by directly awarding the money - well, if Westminster handed the cash to Holyrood it would never get out to the hard-up Local Authorities, most of which are on the brink of bankruptcy. North Lanarkshire is attempting to balance its books by closing its swimming pools, sports facilities  and libraries, which has caused outrage amongst the sporty buggers, who are complaining that the next generation  will be denied the opportunity to be healthy. The bibliophiles amongst us do not seem to have joined in the outrage - probably reckoning that no-one cares whether books will no longer be freely available to the poor.
Bit of a stretch to claim that the current generation of Scots are healthy, apart from the tiny peculiar percentage who pound their way around running tracks and plough up and down swimming pools. Scotland had the highest avoidable mortality rate within the United Kingdom in 2020 at 336 deaths per 100,000 population. England had 257. As the Scottish people throw themselves, with an admirable single-mindedness, into self destruction through alcohol and drugs, the age standardised mortality rate (ASMR) for alcohol and drug related disorders has increased from 31.9 deaths per 100,000 in 2012 to 52.1 deaths per 100,000 in 2020 - way ahead of England at 17.3 in 2012 and 24 in 2020. And all under a welfare-oriented, socialist Scottish National Party.
In addition to its indifference to the poor of the Central Belt, the SNP is simply not interested in anything north of Dundee, with the island communities of  Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Shetland and Orkney seemingly invisible to the Holyrood incumbents. Those two ferries - the Glen Sannox and the newly named Glen Rosa - (you remember the Glen Sannox - that's the one Sturgeon launched in November 2017 with painted-on windows to pretend it was ready) 
are still not ready.
New estimates released this week suggested the cost of the  two ferries could reach £400m. This does not include the millions pumped into nationalised Ferguson Marine to keep it operating, is over four times the £97million contract cost for the two lifeline ferries. David Tydeman, the chief executive of Ferguson Marine indicated that it will cost an extra £240 million to build Glen Sannox and Glen Rosa on top of the £83.25 million spent on the ferries prior to Scottish Government taking control of Ferguson Marine with a further £45million loaned. Tydeman says the contingency costs for both vessels could increase the cost by a further  £30 million. And there is a potential extra spend on warranties, many of which have expired. The original completion dates were exceeded long ago. 
Glen Sannox's revised date was March 2024 but  Tydeman said it will "depend on how well the trial progress".  Glen Rosa is now not due to be completed until May 2025.
The domino effect of this delay is that £1million a month - each and every month - is being paid to Andrew Banks, proprietor of Pentland Ferries, to charter The Arthur, which was originally put into service between Orkney and John O'Groats, and the old  rust bucket Pentolina has replaced it on that route.

Enough of all this incompetence, waste, back handers and the like. Let us turn to Mr Sam, for another extract from his 2008 London diaries, charting the tribulations of an honest restaurateur as he negotiated with the politicians of his day.

Mr. Sam said...
Harro and happy Clistmas! Mr Sam here, owner of the Fuk Yoo Ken lestaulant in Rambeth, south Rundon. Today Mr Ken Rivingstone, Chairman of Rundon, visit with special guests, Mr Tony Brair and his flagrant wife Shelly. Mr Tony is Chairman of Engrand once but is now Loman Cathoric pliest. Mrs Shelly is important sorricitor. She work for Majesty the Clean. Sometime she call herself Miss Shelly Booth. I wonder if they are mallied. Plaps not, if he is pliest.

Mr Tony say: "I have been dlinking a rot of communion rine today and must lush to ravatoly! Prease show me the ray."

I show him to ravatoly, meanrile I give Mr Ken and Mrs Shelly the menu.

Mrs Shelly say: "I crose you down".

"Oh no, oh preese, Mrs Shelly, not you too!" I say "Mr Ken keep tlying to crose me down, now you. I make Fuk You Ken a crass estabrishment. Why you want crose me down?"

"Human lights raw" say Mrs Shelly. "You are obriged to have menu in 137 diffelent ranguages. This is Rundon, not Peking. Rundon is most murticurtular city in world and we are ploud of lichness of diversity, equarrity and incrusitivty. This menu is onry in Engrish."

"But I cannot afford to plint 137 diffelent menus, Mrs Shelly".

"Gellaway" she say. "You'll have to. Get over it. That's plogless. Get used to it. Rake up and smell the tea".

Mr Tony come back to his prace and rook at menu.

"Oh dear" he say. "I cannot understand menu. It's all in Chinese!"

"But Mrs Shelly comprain menu is in Engrish!!" I say. "Is Engrish but food is Chinese. I cannot rin."

Mr Ken chip in "Mrs Brair is light, Mr Sam. She is famous ballister and knows the regal system.

"There is a ray alound this. You make donation to Ree Grasper deveropment fund and they not leport you.

"How much?"

"A thousand pounds"

"But I cannot afford. And Mr Ree is clook!" I say

"No!" say Mr Ken. "You been leading Girrigan.* Mr Rea is fliend. He do gleat work, he lun many chality for brack Rundoners and school for Bangradeshi ratte pumper and Rebanese burger fripper who want to dlive brack cab. You are lude to him, that will be two thousand now. Or we crose you down."

"Rotever you say, Mr Ken."

*Andrew Gilligan - He was awarded Journalist of the Year in 2008 for his investigative reports on Ken Livingstone around the time of the London mayoral elections at the time Mr Sam was having his say on order-order. 


Harro! Mr Sam here, owner of the Fuk Yoo Ken lestaulant in Rewisham, South Rundon. I aporrogise for not lighting lecently but you lemember I had to crose other Fuk Yoo Ken lestaulant in Rambeth because lobbing clunt Mr Rivingstone set the lates at clushing revel. He also want to crose me down because I not brack. Now I have smaller estabrishment in next bollough. I forrow storly of Orympic frame last reek and am wullied. I not rike to see Chinese lunners in brue halassing Miss Huq*. They are blutes, golirras. Mrs Sam and I not applove of Chinese hoorigans in Tibet and Nepor. I come to Engrand to ribelate famiry from Mao burries and make honest riving in own lestaulant. Mr Blown, Plime Minister, is sirry man. He should have glabbed frame and rectured on human lights in flont of clowd, not stand there rike glinning morlon. Maybe Miss Huq not give him frame because she not want gleen bogeys to lub off. Anyway, Mr Rivingstone rook in at Fuk Yoo Ken lestaulant yesterday. I not see him for reeks because he lun for erection as Chairman of Rundon with Mr Bollis from Burringdon Crub and Mr Blian, poofter porriceman who want glass and heloin to be regal.
I say: "What you want for runch today Mr Ken?"

He say: "I not come for runch. I come for you give me Chinese gril."

I say: "I not give you gril, Mr Ken. You ask for grils before, this is not a blother. And I lead in paper you have many other grils and make them plegrant but not mally them. So why you want Chinese gril?

"Cos my wirry is like bloomstick in morning" say Mr Ken. "I am hung rike Orion"


"Yes, you sritty iriot. Hung rike a rion. Big cat, king of follest."

I not quite understand.

"You copurate with too many radies, Mr Ken. In China such loose molars are disglace. Why you come to me for more?"

"Because Chinese lunners in brue have some pletty grils with them. I think you can plovide one."

"I not know lunners in brue" I say roudly. "I lenounce them. Anyway, I fix you up with Miss Fifi-Monique before and you comprain."

"I comprain because Miss Fini-Monique was RADYBOY. I cannot bleed more splogs with radyboy."

"How many splogs you got, Mr Ken?

"Dozens of the blats" say Mr Ken. "I bleed them in the interests of equarrity and incrusivity. I have Rebanese, Lussian, Rat, Lwandan, Flench, Sliss, Sommarian, Rundoner, Itarrian, Gleek, Alabian and Cyllian, Camerloon, Palaguay, Nigelian, Moloccan, St Rucia, Amellican, and Firripino. But no sritty-eye blats. I must comprete the correction, so find me Chinese gril to get plegrant.

"Why you not mally any of them, Mr Ken? Make good rife?"

"Because wise man he say, why buy book when he can bollow flom ribalry."

Mr Ken go on: "Anyway, why you glumble about me sreeping with froozies when Mr Bollis do the same?"

"Mr Bollis take plecaution. He use contlaceptive Dulex, so no offspling."

"Mr Bollis is a plick" say Mr Ken.

I ask: "Do your splogs have watermerron smires?"


"Only blinging some revity, being jorry."

"You'll be jorry solly when I crose you down, you sritty rittle cleep" say Mr Ken. "Why can't I have Miss Yasmine, waitless?"

"Because Miss Yasmine is NOT A SRUT, Mr Ken."

"Fuk yoo" say Mr Ken and regged it from lestaulant.

* * * * *

Rater that day Mr Bollis alive.

"What-ho, Mr Sam!" say Mr Bollis. "Gleetings to you! A word in your rughole."

He come up crose to risper. "Any danger of a pletty rittle Chinese gril this evening?"

"How about Miss Yasmine, waitless?" I say.

"But you alrays say Miss Yasmine is crean uplight gril, Mr Sam."

"She is. But Miss Yasmin tell me lecently she rike to copurate with man with brond rocks."

"Jorry good show! Bling her on. Got any Dulex?"

*6th April 2008 - 37 arrests were made after clashes between pro-Tibet protesters and police as the Olympic torch made its way through London. Protests over China's human rights record began soon after the relay began at Wembley, and prompted an increasing police presence through the city. One protester tried to snatch the torch from former Blue Peter host Konnie Huq.

After an unpublicised change to the route, the Chinese ambassador carried the torch through Chinatown. It later made an unscheduled move onto a bus. Outside Downing Street there were chaotic scenes as former Olympic heptathlon gold medallist Denise Lewis took the flame to No 10, where it was greeted by Gordon Brown, Prime Minister despite being pressured to boycott the parade and the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. However he did not hold it.

The Call Me Ishmael oeuvre now comprises four volumes, thanks to 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.
Gods know what was in the heads of the fellers of  the world famous Sycamore Gap tree. A replacement sycamore was planted by Kieran Chapman, just some bloke who wanted to "restore people's faith in humanity". This was against the rules and the National Trust confirmed on Saturday that they would dig it up. Gods know what is in their heads.