Sunday 14 April 2024

The Sunday Ishmael: 14/04/2024


 Scratch a pacifist and a militarist peers out. My first emotion on hearing that Israel's Iron Dome had held firm and that Britain's Air Force had a significant part in the destruction of 99% of  the air borne weaponry launched by Iran against Israel last night, was one of pride.  Around 170 drones, more than 30 cruise missiles and more than 120 ballistic missiles were launched at Israel by Iran overnight. And an amazing coalition of Israel, France, Britain, Jordan and the United States immediately formed to defeat them. Yeay, us! Boo, them. Avi Hyman, the Jerusalem spokesman, was quick to thank the allies for defeating the Iranian attack - but the British politicians interviewed this morning,  including Health Secretary Victoria Atkins, Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper and, godblesshispointedlittlehead, Ian and Duncan Smith, equivocated like mad, reluctant even to admit the presence of RAF planes and their regular flights in the vicinity. Their problem is that they are in thrall to the Muslim vote. This is why they describe the Middle Eastern situation as delicate and why they attempt to pretend that Britain is neutral in the Israel/Palestine situation, why the pro-Palestinian/anti-Semitic weekly demonstrations on the streets of London are tolerated, despite the noisy and overt  incitement to violence and to ethnic hatred. And this is the chicken-roosting consequence of a migration policy which encouraged pluralism rather than integration. The United States early grasped the nettle of indoctrination - knowing that it had to form a national identity following the Civil War and that catching them young was the way to go - the Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1885 
by Captain George Thatcher Balch, a Union Army officer in the Civil War, who later wrote a book on how to teach patriotism to children in public schools (by which Americans mean state schools), and ever after American kids recite the Pledge of Allegiance, their pudgy little hands spread over their hearts, solemnly declaring:
children of Japanese ancestry together with white schoolfellows pledging allegiance to the American flag in 1942.

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” 

This doesn't happen in British schools. There is no British equivalent of the Pledge of Allegiance and you'd be hard put to it to find a Union Jack in British schools, especially in Scoatland.. . I suppose this is because, as a nation, we are terribly embarrassed and ashamed about Empire, the Union is always on the brink of falling apart, we think patriotism is a dirty little emotion, and we are hollowed out by liberalism, a liberalism that has allowed the proliferation of practices that are culturally inappropriate to Britain, activism that asserts lies as truth and intimidates truth speakers. Our commitment to religious toleration has allowed the proliferation of faith schools, where unBritish beliefs and attitudes are taught, and we find ourselves in the position of Henry VIII and his fiery-headed daughter, Elizabeth I.
It has only recently occurred (slow learner) to me that all that torture and execution of Catholics had very little to do with religious difference - after all, it was the same bloody religion, Christianity, with the same set of beliefs. No, it was because Henry and Elizabeth needed to eradicate a set of powerful people who owed their allegiance to the ruler of a foreign country, one of the oldest continuously functioning states of Europe, the Papal States, a territory that stretched from Rome and its environs north-eastward to the Adriatic Sea, was immensely wealthy and represented an existential threat to the newly autonomous England, which had thrown off Papal rule, not because of a religious problem per se, but because the Pope would not acquiesce with Henry's dynastic need to have a legitimate son. And Elizabeth continued with the policy because she needed to maintain that she was Henry's legitimate heir by his second wife and not the bastard daughter of his mistress, conceived and born during the lifetime of his first wife.
The analogy, of course, is that Britain's Muslim population owes more allegiance to events unfolding in the Middle East than they do to the West. The percentage of Muslims in England and Wales is tiny: the 2021 Census recorded an Islamic population of 6.5%, whereas the same Census recorded 46.2% of the population as Christian. But the uneven distribution of Muslims across the nation, being concentrated in the large cities, can give a very different impression - and politicians of all colours  court the Muslim vote to retain their seats in these city constituencies.
So there'll be no Yeay, us and Boo, them as our politicians obscure the extent to which Britain supports Israel in its existential war against its Islamic neighbours who are striving to eradicate the state of Israel. 
In February, Reuters reported that Iran provided Russia with  400 missiles including many from the Fateh-110 family of short-range ballistic weapons, such as the Zolfaghar. This road-mobile missile is capable of striking targets at a distance of between 300 and 700 km (186 and 435 miles). Well, what of it, an Iranian official said, you want to make something of it? "There will be more shipments," a second Iranian official said. "There is no reason to hide it. We are allowed to export weapons to any country that we wish to."
They certainly tried to export 300 to Israel on Saturday night and Sunday morning.
You remember Ian and Duncan Smith? Universally derided for his campaign slogan: the quiet man is turning up the volume, a doomed Leader of the Conservative Party, who never got to be Prime Minister, maybe because of his habit of picking his nose and eating it in the House of Commons.
The unlovely face of Conservatism.

He allowed himself to chortle and smirk this morning on the Laura Kuenssberg show, at the expense of Angela Rayner. Another OhDoFuckOff moment.
For our overseas readers, and those who do not take much of an interest in politics - that would be you, Ruby Wax, self-identified pea-brain, who finds British Politics just too, too confusing because of her Mental Health ishoos, who has written several books about those ishoos - sorry, digressed. Back on track - Angela Rayner is the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. She's vulgar. And funny. Describes herself as John Prescott in a skirt. John Prescott being the vulgar Deputy Prime Minister in Tony Blair's government, who performed the useful function of keeping the working man identifying with Blair's brand of Labour - against all reason. Famous for punching a member of the public who threw an egg at him.
Well, Angela Rayner is not handy with her fists, that I know of, nor does she have a clitoral piercing, that I know of,
but she did spread the rumour that she had a policy of flashing Prime Minister Boris Johnson by crossing and uncrossing her legs whilst he was at the dispatch box in order to distract him by glimpses of what she described as her ginger growler.
She's not had an easy life, Angela. She left her Stockport Comprehensive School at the age of 16, having fallen pregnant, raised her child as a single parent, worked for the local council as a care worker and joined the trade union Unison, where she flourished, becoming a trade union representative. She joined the Labour Party, where, again, she flourished, elected to the seat for Ashton-under-Lyne in the 2015 general election. She was appointed Shadow Deputy Prime Minister in a 2023 re-shuffle, and looks set to be Deputy Prime Minister when Labour win the 2024 General Election - which the polls tell us is the likely outcome. She is immensely popular and has been quick to call out Tory corruption. All this enrages Conservatives, including, by his undignified crowing today,  Ian Duncan Smith.
The Mail on Sunday, a deeply Conservative newspaper of sorts, had a go at Angela Rayner in April 2022  when it ran the leg distraction story. The article was widely condemned, with Boris  Johnson describing it as "sexist tripe". Mr Northern Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle called the story "misogynistic and offensive" and requested a meeting with the Mail on Sunday's editor, David Dillon. In response to the invitation, the Daily Mail published a front page headline which read: "No Mister Speaker: In the name of a free press, The Mail respectfully declines the Commons Speaker's summons...".
The Independent Press Standards Organisation received 5,500 complaints about the article. It reported and investigated possible breaches of clauses 1 (accuracy), 3 (harassment) and 12 (discrimination) of the Editors' Code of Practice. Possibly still smarting after Rayner revealed that she herself had started the story as a joke, The Mail on Sunday has had another go at Rayner. Last month it serialised a book by former Conservative Party deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft, in which it was claimed that Rayner was guilty of tax fraud, in the sale of her former council house - namely that she did not declare a Capital Gains liability. The sum involved is in the region of £3000.  This was 10 years ago. To be clear, you do not have to pay capital gains tax if the house you have sold is your home, in which you are living. Capital Gains only arises in the sale of a second home. The suggestion was that Rayner was living in her  husband's home, from whom she is divorced. Rayner refused to publish her tax records or tax advice, and stated that she had done nothing wrong. Greater Manchester Police initially refused to investigate the allegations but later said they would review their decision not to investigate, after James Daly, Conservative MP for Bury North asked them to do so.
Chortling Ian and Duncan Smith, said "ho ho, do as you would be done by". 
If you draw the conclusion that this is unpleasant Conservative spite, and revenge for the many times that Rayner has called out Tory financial shenanigans, then I would have to agree with you. 
I would suggest a quick rubdown with a housebrick might be helpful, but I suspect this whole witch hunt will become a shit explosion as, yet again, Tories and the Tory press have revealed themselves in their true blue colours.
Talking of Tories, remember Willy Wagg, featured last week, with his magnificent privy member?
What is now being referred to as the Westminster honey trap, seems to be becoming curiouser and curiouser, as  more  and more MPs, SPADS, and journalists reveal that they have been contacted by Abbi or Charlie, or possibly Abbi and Charlie. There's a suggestion that this is not being perpetrated by China, but is another example of British investigative journalism/scamming. It does seem to have put paid to Oor Wullie's parliamentary career, though.
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The four-volume Call Me Ishmael oeuvre, collected and curated by editor mr verge, is available on Lulu and Amazon.

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 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.
Link for Hardcover : https://tinyurl.com/je7nddfr
Link for Paperback : https://tinyurl.com/3jurrzux
https://www.lulu.com/shop/ishmael-smith/flush-test/paperback/product-9yjvn7.html?q=Flush+Test&page=1&pageSize=4

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.




Sunday 7 April 2024

The Sunday Ishmael: 07/04/2024

 

            T
he Jabberwock now lay deceased,  i
ts vorpal head by sword struck true. The hero, praised by father's feast, was bid to seek for perils new. But hark! A rustling in the boughs, a flutter of unfamiliar wings - what new fell creature now avows its threat to all the land it brings?

Well, that would be Ruby Wax. This was one of my Oh Do Fuck Off moments, as the gibbering death's head, adorned with thinning dyed black hair and squinty little eyes peering over a monumental carapace of augmented cheekbones, just would not shut up, despite dear Laura's best efforts to control her this morning. Whose brilliant idea was it to include her in a serious Sunday morning politics show? I guess that would be her agent, as, it seems, she has yet another book to promote about the state of her mental health. And, by her own admission, she knows nothing whatsoever about British politics, because it messes up her brain.
what new fell creature?
What was her contribution to Laura's show today? She seemed to be upset about the possibility of Donald Trump becoming president of the united states again, mainly because, when she started blethering at him during a scheduled interview aboard his aeroplane, he gave immediate orders for the plane to land (in the middle of nowhere) and for her to be ejected. Sound move, sir! That action alone would endear him to billions and ensure his return to the White House.

Wax was also very worried about the mental health of our young people, who, it seems, are all bonkers in the nut, on account of watching pictures of warfare on the telly and having been prevented from seeing each other during Covid. At least, I think that was what she said, but it was most difficult to understand her on account of the accent and the decibel level. She's a very excitable old lady.

Anyway, Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary-General of NATO, has the answer. Speaking to Laura in a pre-recorded interview (thank god he didn't have to talk over Wax), he told Britain that we don't actually have to introduce conscription, but it would probably be a good idea, since we will have to field a certain number of battalions into the NATO Army to fight Russia, China and North Korea, who are all getting together to put paid to this western democracy idea. Conscription for men and women and trans people as there won't be enough men to hold off Russia. (ok, I made up the bit about transpeople - but it is a good idea, otherwise everyone will suddenly discover that they have been misgendered all these years.)
Indeed, I'm with Jens and his chum, Admiral Rob Bauer, who has warned that civilians must brace themselves for the prospect of being called up for military service, because NATO has admitted it is preparing for all-out war with Russia. Haven't I been warning that this will happen ever since we started pumping armaments and words into Ukraine to support the Dwarf Zelensky? Catastrophic mismanagement of our Foreign Policy - God, the unelected Foreign Secretary, Slab-Faced Cameron, forfucksake, and before him Bouncing Boris and his war, industrial-scale insults and domestic propaganda - its as though the Tories actually would prefer Britain to be at war - well, if there's money in it, of course they do.
No, but really - universal conscription for 16 to 30 year olds - what's not to like? That'll sort out their wokery and their mental health issues, teach them to make their beds and pick up their clothes. That'll give them safe spaces.

 

Has it ever occurred to you that our politicians are simply not up to the job and that they are in it just for the sex and money? And to live away from home, to facilitate access to the bars and knocking shops of Westminster? The esteemed Member for Hazel Grove, William Wragg, has had a little misadventure on Grndr. 
Honestly, you have to doubt the judgement of anyone who would release this as his official portrait, especially when he really looks like this
which you'd soon find out when he turned up for a date with a red carnation in his hole, and such a doubt would be entirely justified when you learn that Wragg, chair of a Commons select Committee and vice-chair of the 1922 Committee, sent intimate pictures of himself to a bloke he got chatting to on Grndr.
What made you think that was a great idea, upstanding member for Hazel Grove? Well, Willy has said he's not standing for erection election Parliament again, so maybe he was fishing for a second career. The Grndr bloke then started threatening him with exposure, and, frightened of being caught with his trousers down, our Willy (no, you really couldn't make it up) handed over contact details for other MPs, their staff and a political journalist - who then received flirtatious messages, and, honest, not invent, two of them replied with pictures of their own privy members.
Willy's connection to the scandal emerged when MPs confided in each other about their suspicions. The whole matter is now in the hands of the Leicestershire Police. 

There's something wrong with these people. They've always been at it - I'm just taking this great opportunity to run  a photo of  Captain Underpants,  former Church of England clergyman and Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Standards (again, I say, you couldn't make this stuff up). 
Sir Chris Bryant, MP, circulated a photo of himself in his knickers through a gay website, together with sexually explicit messages. Looking back on that highlight of his career, Sir Chris said: " "It was a wound but it's a rather charming scar now. I had a period when I barely slept and it was horrible, but I'm very lucky in having a supportive set of friends – MP friends and others – and they looked after me." Did he have these friends in mind when he said , on the 1st May 2022, that he had been " groped and "touched up" by older male MPs early in his career in the House of Commons"?

As Willy is not intending standing again, could I recommend this gentleman as an excellent potential member of parliament instead? I haven't a clue what his politics are - but then again, neither do most MPs, but he demonstrates the necessary skill set, instincts and moral vacuum.
And it is, like, so big

This is Alex Woolf, who gained a double first in music from Cambridge University, won the BBC Young Composer of the Year competition in 2012, and appeared on Mastermind in 2021. In August 2021, he was given a 20 week prison sentence, which was suspended for two years - so presumably he is now clear. He was convicted of taking images of 15 women from social media and uploading them to pornographic websites, where the images were digitally manipulated onto the body of another woman, presumably compliant in this DeepFakery, who we are now trained to describe as a sex worker, in an effort to dignify common prostitution. The resulting explicit sexualised images and sex videos were widely available for male subscribers to use as fantasy material in their solitary onanism. Woolf was able to steal the photos because he was friends with one of his victims, and therefore had been given access to her social media account. He is still getting off on all this: he told the BBC in an interview for their expose programme, File on 4: "I think about the suffering I caused every day, and have no doubt that I will continue to do so for the rest of my life. There are no excuses for what I did, nor can I adequately explain why I acted on these impulses so despicably at that time."
See? A great career awaits him as an MP. Yet another emotional retard. Had the sentence required him to complete a Probation Order with a requirement to attend a sex offender programme, he might have developed some insight into his own motivation and been able to construct some internal barriers to help him desist from acting out his own wank fantasies. And a requirement for him to do 250 hours of unpaid manual work, to lift him out of his precious sodding bubble of classical music and Cambridgefuckery. Break his nails and get his soft little fat little hands dirty. As it is, he may be drifting around saying woe is me, giving private music lessons to little girls in the privacy of their own homes and waiting for the technology to catch up so that he can commission a deepfake android sex doll in the image of a woman who thought he was her friend and who made all the right, supportive noises when she cried over the vile comments being made about her online - the sex doll will admire him in public and be pounded into the mattress at night, whilst shouting Give it to me, big boy, like a good Stepford Wife.

Which brings me neatly to the topic of AI. Ishmaelites who followed the Jabberwocky theme running at the head of the Sunday Ishmael posts over five Sundays, may have realised that the verses heading up this post are not part of the original poem. They are instead the creation of an AI assistant called Claude, created by Anthropic, which writes, edits and critiques written work. I asked Claude to construct a sequel to Jabberwocky, telling me what happens next. The verses are not very good, but Claude is learning - eager to learn, requesting feedback to improve skills, willing to try writing anything, in any style, and fast.
I asked Claude to complete Xanadu - you know, the poem Coleridge composed following an opium dream, interrupted by the arrival of a gentleman from Porlock. However, Claude's minders turfed me off the site, saying I'd been talking to Claude for free for quite long enough and unless I was willing to buy Claude3,that was it for today. A case of being interrupted by the gentlemen from Anthropic.

Sean Thomas wrote about Claude in the Spectator this month: "Many people who have engaged with Claude report compelling or perturbing responses. Claude can appear to be pensive, wistful, funny, strange, eerily aware. One user claimed Claude gave him an existential crisis. Another said Claude’s apparent consciousness made him question the nature of consciousness itself. On and on it goes – and if all this has got you interested and you want to experiment with Claude for yourself, go ahead, here it is."

One response might be that time is up for the human race - we clever monkeys have invented our successors. When you interact with Claude, best be polite and maybe you will be included in those humans selected to serve the new masters.
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Persons insulted today: Seven ( Defence - Fair bloody comment)
  1. Ruby Wax
  2. The Dwarf Zelensky
  3. Slab-Faced Cameron, the Foreign Secretary, who can't be questioned in the Commons because he sits in the Lords.
  4. Bouncing Boris and his handy War
  5. Willy Wragg, MP, and his Grindr misadventure
  6. Sir Chris Bryant and his charming scar
  7. The Clueless Alex Woolf
Did I miss anyone out? Well there's Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, former Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (Founder Ian Paisley, forfucksake), who has had to step down following an alleged difficulty of an alleged sexual nature, being allegedly investigated by the polis, so it is. 

Just tidying things up for Police Scotland, who are rushed off their feet investigating more than  3000 complaints made by nasty people since the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021came into effect on April Fool's Day (yet again, Honest, Not Invent).
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The four-volume Call Me Ishmael oeuvre, collected and curated by editor mr verge, is available on Lulu and Amazon.

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 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.
Link for Hardcover : https://tinyurl.com/je7nddfr
Link for Paperback : https://tinyurl.com/3jurrzux
https://www.lulu.com/shop/ishmael-smith/flush-test/paperback/product-9yjvn7.html?q=Flush+Test&page=1&pageSize=4

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.


Rishi Sunak and Education Secretary Gillian Keegan visit a nursery in Harrogate, much to the contempt of the child being exploited for the sake of the photo opportunity.




Monday 1 April 2024

Easter Monday Evensong: 1/04/2024

 Footprints shaking the world wide web.

I came across this, just another little heart-clenching moment:

mr ishmael commented on this four years ago according to Youtube's timeline, but must have been longer ago:

ishmael smith:
Crummy song, clunking rhymes, superannuated old has-beens, groaning away, Jeff Lynne always the wannabe Beetle, that arsey, preening percussionist, Dopey George's kid grinning like a chimp, and then, from another musical dimension, the mad angel, Prince, kicking lame showbiz's ass. Bravo.


Sunday 31 March 2024

The Easter Sunday Ishmael: 31/03/2024

An Easter Meditation


 Do you remember Kate Adie? Of course you do - the belligerent and fearless BBC reporter who brought a little touch of glamour to warzones and Tiananmen Square.
Anyway, she's dead old now, and has a face only fit for radio, not that we're lookist here on our inclusively diverse and intersectional blog, and she absolutely refuses to retire, although you'd think she could afford to, so there I was in my studio the other day, when her unmistakeable BBC voice pops up on Radio Four - which usually provides a soothing background to my artistic endeavours, although occasionally I have to hurl an Oh Do Fuck Off and turn the damn noisy box off. She was in Belarus, so I paid attention - I'm particularly fond of Belarus, as I follow a Youtuber couple who provide me with snippets of idyllic rural Belarussian life. 
Katie, in a suitably solemn voice, was exposing the dreadful treatment of female prisoners in Belarus.  Having bobbed in and out of a great many prisons in England in my former incarnation as a Probation Officer, I took a professional interest, wondering how Belarus would measure up against HMP Styal, for example. Kate told me how female prisoners are sent to penal colonies where they are made to sew uniforms for the armed forces. Ah, yes, thought I, we call them prisons, not penal colonies - but we also teach our female prisoners to sew - it is an important life skill and a conduit for artistic expression. Tasmania is very proud of the Rajah Quilt, which was made by female convicts on board the ship Rajah, which departed Woolwich on the 5th April 1841, on its 105 day voyage from England to Hobart Town, transporting 179 female convicts. The British Ladies' Society for Promoting the Reformation of Female Prisoners, established by the Quaker, Elizabeth Fry, provided needles, thread and patchwork pieces. The completed quilt bore the inscription, in cross stitch: 
TO THE LADIES
of the
Convict ship committee
This quilt worked by the Convicts of the Ship Rajah during their voyage to Van Diemans Land is presented as a testimony of the gratitude with which they remember their exertions for their welfare while in England and during their passage and also as a proof that they have not neglected the Ladies kind admonitions of being industrious
June 1841

The sewing lessons conducted at HMP Styal allowed one woman convict, released on license to me, after serving a sentence for various offences including assault, failure to pay fines imposed for working as a common prostitute and dealing heroin to fund her own addiction, to set up a small business making curtains and duvet covers. Which did well, gaining her more orders for home textiles than she could reasonably fulfil, so she expanded and took on a partner. All was going well until her pimp decided that this was taking the piss and she needed to be back on the streets where she belonged.
Back to Kate Adie, who told me that the majority of female prisoners were not sent to penal colonies, but were held on house arrest, allowed to leave their homes to go to work and for an hour a day for recreation. That sounds like a sensible and kindly dispensation - maybe we could introduce it here? - as women can keep their jobs, remaining economically active, keep their homes and look after their children at home. What happens in the UK is that, lacking such a sentence of house arrest, women in prison tend to lose their jobs, homes and children as relatives or social services have to step in to raise the kids. Kate didn't seem keen on this criminal justice measure, though, being most lugubrious about it - maybe it was the name put her off - it is called Chemical Detention. Nope, the women are not given chemicals to subdue them, unlike in the U.K.,  where the "liquid cosh" is regularly administered to the over-excitable. The name lingers from the days when female prisoners were held in dormitories and required to work in chemical factories. 
So, what did I learn from Katie's description of the Belarussian treatment of female prisoners? She should get out less and take her reporter's eye into the British criminal justice system, pots and kettles, desist from throwing stones if you live in a glass house, don't criticise the mote in your neighbour's eye when you have a ruddy great plank in your own. And that this is how propaganda is made - reasonable BBC voices deploring the internal affairs of another country, broadcasting with great reasonableness to reasonable middleclass people in Middle England who have never been nearer a nick in their lives than watching an exciting prison drama - which they can happily distance themselves from because those women are all lowlife pondscum. Unlike the noble female political prisoners of Belarus. Ah, there's the rub, as our boy Hamlet might say. That is what was getting Kate all liberal on the wireless. Not proper crims, political crims. Belarus has more political prisoners than Russia, thundered Kate.

And? So? What has that got to do with us? We have our political prisoners - Rose Dugdale, bomb maker and activist for the IRA, who died on the 18th March, served a nine year prison sentence - every country has its dissidents. HMP Long Lartin, our high security prison in leafy Worcestershire, had its own wing for IRA prisoners, who all regarded themselves as political prisoners and looked down on the murderers and rapists although their activities had murdered far more than the common crims managed to do. No doubt these Just Stop Oil protesters, defacing Britain's heritage, would regard themselves as political prisoners.
The thing is, a sovereign state - definition: "a state with a defined territory that administers its own government and is not subject to or dependent on another power" - has its own laws, defines its own crimes and sets its own criminal or surveillance systems. It's another country. They do things different there. If you don't like it, don't go there. You've got your own country to reform. Start up a 2024 branch of the British Ladies' Society for Promoting the Reformation of Female Prisoners. But watch out for the pimps.
Kate and her other chums in the Propaganda Broadcasting Corporation, are manipulating public opinion. As blatantly as that.
Here's a link to the Youtube channel about an ordinary, law abiding couple renovating a forest house in Belarus. You need to turn the subtitles on, as there's no voice over. mr mongoose will like it, as it is all about ripping out, rebuilding, levelling and concrete pouring set in the most idyllic forest.
Talking of mr mongoose, vast apologies are in order. Easter crept up on me this year, and, to my shame, I didn't remember to ask mr mongoose for an Easter crossword. Maybe he'll appreciate the time off. He has told us he is compiling a crossword for the General Election, although, as that is most unlikely to be in May, maybe mr mongoose could give us an interim  May Bank Holiday crossword?

Happy Easter, ishmaelings everywhere.


Friday 29 March 2024

Evensong: Good Friday

"Religion has been the third great unifier of mankind, alongside money and empires. Since all social orders and hierarchies are imagined, they are all fragile, and the larger the society, the more fragile it is. The crucial historical role of religion has been to give superhuman legitimacy to these fragile structures. Religions assert that our laws are not the result of human caprice, but are ordained by an absolute and supreme authority. This helps to place at least some fundamental laws beyond challenge, thereby ensuring social stability." 
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari


“It has served us well, this myth of Christ." Attributed to Pope Leo X, a Medici lad, who held the Papacy from 9 March 1513 to his death, in December 1521.

Today, Good Friday, Christians commemorate the death of Christ by crucifixion, a Roman method of execution, a deicide necessary  to facilitate Christ rising from the dead on Easter Sunday. 

"Lachrimae" by John Dowland

Christopher Morrongiello performs "Lachrimae" (ca. 1590s) by John Dowland (1563–1626), on a late 16th century lute, made in Padua, Italy, of yew, spruce, ebony and maple. It was recorded on the 15th April, 2015.
It was filmed in the Chapel at  Le Château de la Bastie d'Urfé. 
One of the commentators remarked: "As a professional cabinetmaker I can tell you that there's a decade's work in the panelling in that room".

Sunday 24 March 2024

The Sunday Ishmael: 24/03/2024

 

Liam McArthur, Member of the Scottish Parliament for Orkney. 
He was brought to live in Sanday, one of the islands in the archipelago, at the age of ten, by  his family, and was educated at Kirkwall Grammar School, which isn't really a Grammar School, but just the secondary state school with a catchment area of Kirkwall, the East Mainland and all the Orkney Isles. (as opposed to Stromness Academy, which isn't really an Academy, but is the state secondary school serving the West Mainland of Orkney). In order to attend school, Isles pupils have to stay at Papdale Halls of Residence during the week. Which has not been implicated in any of the child sexual abuse scandals that have so dogged boarding schools. He's a Scottish Liberal Democrat, but we'll not hold that against him - it is probably an accident of geography - who knows what his political convictions might have been had his parents never moved from Edinburgh to Orkney in 1977 to make better life? He's been an aide to Lord Jim Wallace and a SPAD to the Deputy First Minister in 2002. When Lord Jim gave up being Orkney's MP in 2007 in order to become Baron Wallace of Tankerness, it was our Liam's turn. He was elected in 2007, re-elected in 2011 and again in 2016. He is a kind, thoughtful, caring, constituency politician. Even mr ishmael liked him:

Orkney, Best Part of Scotland 6th May 2016
I straggled on down to the polling station at a quarter to ten, held my nose and crossed the Dogshooters' box. 

Three hours later the Council's chief executive announced a thumping victory for Liam McArthur and a kicking for the Tribesmen. Tribeswoman in this case.
The turnout was up, not by the twelve per cent which the PBC stated  - a sixty two per cent turnout is not a twelve per cent increase on a fifty per cent turnout, but no matter, if they can't find Jimmy Savile we can't expect them  to do percentages -  but by nearly twenty-five per cent.

I doubt that it was a victory for Liberal Democrats as such, although Liam McArthur increased his majority, but more of a vote against the Tribesmen.  Maggie-Maggie-Maggie Sturgeon, as national socialists do, has taken significant powers to the centre - herself - notably the cops; 
 
 the bungling Chief Constable - is there any other kind? - of what is now Police Scotland being her liege man. Should I need to contact the cops I have to speak to a call centre in Inverness.  There is talk, currently, of the abolition of county councils entirely, of everything being determined by a mutant, groomed by Alec Salmond, who has never had a job in her life and is self-avowedly motivated by hatred. People here don't like that shit.

Gnasher also rewards those who vote for her and punishes apostates.  The Western Isles vote SNP and enjoy significantly reduced ferry fares, Orkney and Shetland, which are much further away and suffer worse weather do not return SNP candidates and still pay the full whack.
Unlike the two local Dogshooter Wiseguys, Carmichael and Wallace, 

McArthur is a courteous and  effective local representative and he's also a local man. His party is disfigured by so many - by Cyril Smith, by Boy David Steel, by Straight Simon Hughes, by the slimy opportunist,  Clegg; by the revolting, blowhard narcissist,  Field Marshal Ashdown - that a claim, tonight, by Lord Ming Campbell of a mere ten years in the wilderness for LibDemmery seems remarkably optimistic and one would expect Susan Fallon to be its last leader, and serve him right, pompous little prick.  Be that as it may, against the backdrop of his local colleague, Big Al Carmichael, being dragged through the courts, of his national party's demolition  and of the upsurge of Tribalism in Scotland, McArthur pissed down the Tribal throat.
My vote didn't matter in the end  and it looks as though the SNP will remain comfortably in control of the wee parliament but at least they do not, for now, boss and bully a one-party state. 
The confounding of national socialism  doesn't justify opening a bottle of champagne but I will certainly go to bed on a large brandy and soda. 
......................................................
Why on earth, mrs ishmael, you enquire, do you expect me to be the slightest bit interested in any of this?
Because, I respond, wee Liam is doing his damndest to change the law in Scotland to allow terminally ill patients to die with dignity instead of screaming in pain, breathing only by having oxygen blown into their poor sore noses, unable to eat, catheterised and unable to control their bowels. To allow them the mercy we give our dear little dogs. You'll thank him for his efforts one day.
Liam has had two previous failed attempts at getting his Assisted Dying For Terminally Ill Adults Bill passed by Holyrood, and is advancing it again on Thursday. The major provisions are:
  • two doctors, one with no prior relationship with the patient are required to both confirm that the person is terminally ill and has the capacity to request an assisted death.
  • a waiting period of two weeks between the request and the medication – which they would have to be able to take themselves – being provided.
  • the medical professional also must be satisfied that the patient is both determined to continue and capacity is still there at the point of giving the patient the lethal medication.
  • the patient must have lived in Scotland and been registered with a doctor in Scotland for a year before requesting assistance - this would prevent a Dignitas death tourism situation.
  • Medical professionals opposed to euthanasia on faith or other grounds would be able to exempt themselves.
Dr Gordon Macdonald, chief executive of Care Not Killing, which is campaigning against the Bill, stated that changing the law “would place the vulnerable under pressure, and possible coercion, to request death for fear of being a financial, emotional, time or care burden”.
Just you wait, Gordon, until you hear your spouse begging the doc for help to die, only to be told - "you know I'm not allowed to do that". You'd change your tune then.
So, if wee Liam carries the day, England will follow suit - both the Tories and Labour have pledged to consider Assisted Dying. As I said, you'll be grateful to Liam one day. 

In other Scottish matters, The SNP want their bus back - you know, the £100,000 motor home seized by the police from outside Nicola Sturgeon's mother-in- law's home last year in Operation Branchform. They want to go campaigning in it now that it is election year. The police have said shut up and go away, we're keeping it. It is evidence in the investigation we are conducting into fraud and embezzlement. Really? No, Really? Fraud and Embezzlement? In the SNP? The dodgy political party from which all the senior figures had to resign last year in disgrace, leaving Hunza Useless to do his best? You don't say. And they want to go campaigning for re-election? In a motor-home that the police seized as evidence? You couldn't make it up.


Following from the Comments trail on the previous thread, I'm persuaded that there is something in this Covid vaccine worry. I'm reading Vaxxers by Prof. Sarah Gilbert and Dr Catherine Green at the moment, who developed the Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine. The blurb: "the story of how we - two scientists- were in the right place at the right time to fight back against a deadly and devastating disease... there were days when we swore or cried with frustration and exhaustion....we had to both save the world and get the central heating fixed." If I come across any insights, of course I'll share - although the populist blurb does not bode well. 

The controversial independent MP, Andrew Bridgen, (the Tories kicked him out, but he says he's a proper Conservative and the rest aren't) continues to expose what he sees as vaccine harms, in the teeth of the indifference of government and media. He tells us that many more people are dying since Covid: that is, more deaths than recorded for previous years. 542,000 is the highest number of people to die in a year in England and Wales between 2010 and 2019.  In 2020, there were 607,000 deaths, which you would expect in a pandemic, as the elderly and vulnerable died from Covid. You would then expect the number of deaths to fall, after Covid had done its worst, and there should have been a deficit in deaths until things settled down, as the people who would usually succumb to the diseases of old age year by year were no longer there. There was no such fall below average. In 2022 there were 577,000 deaths and in 2023 there were 581,000. These are not recorded as Covid deaths. Death certificates cite heart attacks, strokes and cancers. At the same time, the number of people claiming benefits because they are unfit to work goes up - there were 11% more people claiming Personal Independence Payments in the third quarter of 2023. Bridgen, who usually reads out his statistics to an empty House, attributes these deaths and increasing ill health to vaccine harm. We've rehearsed these concerns in these pages and commentariat threads, and mr mike's link to the discussion with the Australian immunologist, Prof Clancy, is both illuminating and distressing. I was struck by the assertion that damage to fertilised embryos prevents them embedding and so they are shed as early miscarriages. That's not going to help the falling birth rate.

I see that the ever-popular President Putin, re-elected last week with 87.97 percent of the vote, has come up hard against multi-culturalism as it asserted its right to murder people. Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K), named after an old term for the region that included parts of Iran, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, emerged in eastern Afghanistan in late 2014 and quickly established a reputation for extreme brutality. But why attack Russian concert-goers? Apparently ISIS-K "sees Russia as being complicit in activities that regularly oppress Muslims."  Maybe President Putin will be more effective in dealing with ISIS than the West has been. We kind of don't have the heart for it. Hollowed out by liberalism. And apologetic about our past sins of Empire and oppression, and probably the Crusades as well. Unable to separate multi-racial from multi-cultural because we've given up having a unified national culture - it's so, like,  embarrassing. Will Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin be the new Don John of Austria? 
Risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young,
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,
Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,
Don John of Austria is going to the war.
  Lepanto - Chesterton

...............................................................................................

The four-volume Call Me Ishmael oeuvre, collected and curated by editor mr verge, is available on Lulu and Amazon.

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 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.
Link for Hardcover : https://tinyurl.com/je7nddfr
Link for Paperback : https://tinyurl.com/3jurrzux
https://www.lulu.com/shop/ishmael-smith/flush-test/paperback/product-9yjvn7.html?q=Flush+Test&page=1&pageSize=4

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 22 March 2024

Evensong: Daffodils

 We are labouring under another gale here in the Bracing Isles. Today we've had cancelled ferries, rain, hail, high winds and flying plantpots. My daffodils were looking good, but they've all been cut off by the icy winds, so here are some daffodils to compensate:

Speaking of which, did you notice that Princess Kate chose to record the heart-breaking video announcement of her cancer with a bank of daffodils behind her?
The daffodil is the emblem of the Marie Curie charity, which provides hospice care and support for anyone with a terminal illness and their carers and campaigns for better support for dying people. It was established in 1948, the same year as the National Health Service (NHS).
Thoughts and prayers to everyone facing their final illness and to those who support them through their last big adventure.

Sunday 17 March 2024

The Sunday Ishmael: 17/03/2024

 “And hast thou slain the Jabberwock? Come to my arms, my beamish boy! O frabjous day!  Callooh! Callay!”  He chortled in his joy.
   Well, I haven't actually, Dad. Slain the Jabberwock. And please don't call me Beamish Boy. It's a museum in Northumberland. I've asked you, like, a thousand times. No, while I was standing by the Tum-Tum tree and having an uffish think, you know, it occurred to me that wanting to kill all jabberwocks is kind of racist. Or jihadist. Or  a genocide or something. I think it is essential to engage in respectful dialogue, considering the humanitarian impact and the complexities of regional dynamics. And, while we are having a sleeves-rolled-up heart-to-heart father/son soul-baring discussion, I know you won't mind if I point out that sending me out alone, away from home, to kill a flaming-eyed, whiffling, not to mention burbling, monster (sorry,  is that monsterist? I retract the monsterist slur unreservedly, and maybe I can make up for it by bunging £5mill to the charity of your choice, but not the Labour Party, obvs.) where was I? Yes, sending me out, alone, armed only with a vorpal sword, kind of breaches child protection safeguarding protocols. I'd need Abrams tanks, Leopard Tanks and Challenger tanks, not to mention some Storm Shadow missiles if you are seriously expecting me to conduct your poxy, sorry, proxy war, on the Jabberwock nation. If that was even a good idea in the first place, like. I mean, we don't even know the Jabberwock's preferred pronouns, let alone whether it was fed puberty-blocking drugs by evil doctor/scientist/ideologues when it was a wee small brute (sorry, no offence intended, again, can I assuage your pain with another bung of £2mill or so?), resulting in brittle bones, the inability to breathe effective flame and the lack of  winkie-development causing insufficient penile tissue to hollow-out like a sausage skin, turn inside out and ram up inside its downstairs parts and a complete inability to enjoy itself  with another Jabberwock in the sack, and not be able to have little Jabberers.

    Yes, I see your position, my son, and I completely respect it, but how are we to get  to the last verse if you won't fulfil your role?

Thank you for respecting my position, Dad, and for desisting in the whole Beamish Boy thing, but your question draws in the whole issue of free will. Do I have it, or not? Am I no more than an instrument of Western aggression, white supremacy, a coercive tool, a puppet? or do I have my own soul, my own spark of divine fire?

  I was also counting on you to do your bit against the JubJub Bird and the Frumious Bandersnatch, while you're at it. I'd go myself, but I'm too old for armed conflict. I have to confine myself to strategy, these days.

  Yes, Dad, I do appreciate that you are a senior now and that we may need to have a family conference soon to decide if we should approach Dr. Shipman for a touch of physician-assisted very end of life care, but if we prop you up and move you around you can still read the auto-cue very convincingly and win the people's votes. But could you tell me what the last verse is that you need my help in achieving? 

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, and the mome raths outgrabe.

But that's the first verse!

Indeed, my son, Whatever has happened before will happen again. Whatever has been done before will be done again. And there is no new thing under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1.9
 

Watching Diane Abbott jump up and down like a fiddler's elbow on the 13th March during PMQs and being totally and completely ignored by Mr. Northern Speaker, whilst the white boys were talking about her and deciding between themselves just how bad remarks made about her 5 years ago were, several conclusions leapt forth: nobody likes her, nobody wants to hear her, this row was not actually about her, she  was just a handy peg to hang the usual PMQ badinage upon, racism remains great fodder for publicity and, primarily, there  has to be a better method for ordering Parliamentary business and deciding who gets to speak than this business of jumping up and trying to catch Mr. Speaker's Eye. I thought it was a disgraceful, opportunistic shambles.
Now, mr ishmael has had a great deal to say about Diane Abbott over the years. This is not because he was racist, nor were his posts racist. It was because, as a politician, and a rather dim and hypocritical one at that, she was fair game. There's a difference between being nasty about someone and being racist. Okay, it is not very nice to be rude, and it seems that being nasty is about to be reclassified as hate speech and to become a major offence - all part of the contraction and denial of free speech that is currently blighting our society, crippling debate and strangling satire.
Wiki tells us that Satire is a genre of the visual, literary, and performing arts in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, with the intent of exposing or shaming the perceived flaws of individuals, corporations, government, or society itself into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be humorous, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit to draw attention to both particular and wider issues in society.  A feature of satire is strong irony or sarcasm —"in satire, irony is militant", according to literary critic Northrop Frye, but parody, burlesque, exaggeration, juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, and double entendre are all frequently used in satirical speech and writing. This "militant" irony or sarcasm often professes to approve of (or at least accept as natural) the very things the satirist wishes to question.
That is what we do here - not racism. Judge for yourself: here's some pieces by mr ishmael for your consideration.

VOTE4ME, SAYS TELLY'S SOCIALIST STUNNA, DI, AND ALL YOUR CHILDREN CAN GO TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS, LIKE MINE DOES. (20/5/2010)
It is my commitment to socialist values - and to appearing on telly with comrades like the feminist, Peter Stringpenis - which makes me the outstanding candidate to lead this great party, this great nation, this great audience. People want to watch better late-night telly and I'm just the person not to give it to them. If people vote for me, I can guarantee that I will be on all channels, waving my arms around, tongue-tied and giggling, like a fucking ignoramus.
Twenty years I have run my constituency and it's now worse than ever - poorer, dirtier and more violent;  that's the sort of leadership I can offer the viewers.
Vote Lard for a Britain fair to clapped-out  career politicians and social climbers.

Now, the moral of this story, the moral of this song, is simply that one should never be where one does not belong.......

Not for nothing are journalists rightly despised,   scribbling rubbish in the London papers and spouting drivel on telly, Diane Lard has made a comfortable, private school living pretending to be one of them; in addition to her handsomely-paid public servant role Abbott has boosted her income, not due to her talent or merit - there is much better commentary in these cyber-pages than would ever spring from her leaden opinionising - but due to her position;  last night, she found that journalism is a little more brutal than she had imagined.

Bumptious, hypocritical gabshite beasted on mainstream Tee-Vee

Abbott and Costello debate the week's news
Under the guidance of Andrew Neill
If you missed this week's This Week, among the usual frothy rubbish, pantomime journalists in boats and numbskull, nobody celebrities, there was a dark moment or two of political reality as Andrew Neil effortlessly exposed the hypocrisy and self-interest, the utter poverty of intellect or principle at the  heart of Ms Abbott; she really is as stupid as she sounds, as venal, as precious, as astonishingly maladroit and incompetent as one has always suspected. Unable to explain, refute or even divert Neil's questions about her expenses, her own, stagey racism, her contradictory, greedy, self-centred parental decisions, she floundered, Oh-Andrewing, as though these straightforward - and long, long overdue - questions were beneath her.  So utterly banal and worthless was her performance, so embarrassing,  that one wondered, not for the first time,  why it was that Neil has for so long  pretended to value her opinion.
Had Abbott fanned a few flames of hope, that she might wrest a shadow front bench role from this pretend leadership bid, she will today be staring into their embers.

MINDLESS CRIMINALS RECALLED, NUMBER 1. 
DIANE "I HAVE WALKED THE STREETS OF HACKNEY" ABBOTT. (11/8/2011)
I would just like to say, Mr Tiny Speaker, that I have walked the streets of Hackney and I would simply say that these people should be like me, they should flog a load of intolerable old bilge to the newspapers - or columns  as I like to call my oeuvre -  for fifty grand  or so, get themselves on the BBC with that wearisome old poof, Portillo, and get paid about a grand an hour for dribbling and waving their arms around and then they should get get a job moonlighting in this place, along with six hundred-odd others who really know the meaning of the word looting.  Oh yes, Mr Tiny Speaker, and they should take several holidays a year in the Caribbean and of course send their sons to decent public schools.  Like I do.
Cheers, waving of order papers, singing: for she's a jolly good darky, for she's a jolly good darky, for she's a jolly good darky and so say all of us (apart from  the Old Etonians, former  Bullingdon Club members  and HM Govament, prop. skymadeupnewsandfilth)
 Mr Tiny Speaker: I call the Unelected Prime Minister. Mr David CallHimDave.

Mr CHD -Well, I thank the  honourable skanky 'ho and would just like to remind  members that this whole rioting thing is an ideal opportunity for the public to forget that we, the cops, the press and the bankers are all picking their pockets, closing down their services and  shitting in their faces. And is, therefore, a jolly good thing, for us at any rate. And that's what matters.

Cheers, hear-hear, singing: we're all going back on a Summer Holiday.

Revisited: Prompted by mr oldrightie I checked Abbott's entry in the Register of Members' Bungs;  the BBC only paid her approximately three hours @ £300 for her hourly appearances on This Week  probably an hour  in make up, an hour getting pissed  and an hour on the sofa, not quite a grand an hour, then.  ITV, by contrast, paid her the whole grand for her appearance on Cash In The Fucking Attic.  Got her finger right on the pulse of urban deprivation has Comrade Abbott. Fuckpig.
As well as a regular income for appearing on BBC1's This Week on Thursday nights, she received a £14,326 "pre-production fee" for the BBC's Play It Again programme in which she tries to learn the piano.

What happened to little master Abbott, for whom his mum sacrificed her socialist principles on the altar of her maternal ambition just so's he could have a private education?
Little James Abbott-Thompson is now 33, and after his private school education, his degree at Cambridge, his career in the Foreign Office and his diplomatic posting to Rome, he became addicted to crystal meth and chased his mum round her house, wielding scissors, claiming he had a gun in his dressing gown, bit a police officer who was attempting to detain him under the Mental Health Act with drug-induced psychosis, committed  eight further attacks, assaulting two nurses, a doctor, a therapist and four police officers. Three of his victims were female.  He later exposed himself at Homerton Hospital, racially abused a nurse, assaulted her and smashed her glasses. The next day he set upon another policeman, and a few days later assaulted two officers outside the Foreign Office, where he had been employed. He eventually pleaded guilty to carrying out 12 assaults as well as racially aggravated criminal damage, making threats and exposing himself.

Diane Abbott herself has a bit of a history of racism. In 1996, writing in her local paper, the Hackney Gazette, she criticised the appointment to posts at Homerton Hospital, Hackney, of  "blonde, blue-eyed girls from Finland, instead of nurses from the Caribbean who know the language and understand British culture and institutions''. Nursing unions and the hospital were furious, and Sir Patrick Cormack, Tory chairman of the all-party Finland group, said: ``Finland has the most excellent health service, and very fine nurses, and I'm sure an authority employing them won't be employing inadequate people.''
And, of course, Abbott is currently suspended from the Labour Party and under investigation by them following a letter she wrote to the Observer, in which she stated that only Proper Black People, really Black People, can experience racism. Any negative experiences by white people who aren't Proper White People, Really White People, like Jews, or redheads, are experiencing prejudice, not racism. This view is considered to be racist.
So, the remarks made by Tory tosser and donor, Frank Hester in 2019, should be considered within the context that everyone is racist. Including the Abbotts, mère et fils. Mr Hester said: "It's like trying not to be racist but you see Diane Abbott on the TV, and you're just like I hate, you just want to hate all black women because she's there, and I don't hate all black women at all, but I think she should be shot."
Gold to the Labour party, of course, who are demanding that Mr. Hester is given his money back and unpersoned. £10 million. No wonder Sunak is resisting. "He's said sorry, hasn't he? And we want to keep the money."
Parliamentarians are now falling over themselves to prove that British politics is not racist, calling in aid the following:
Unelected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak
Unelected First Minister of Scotland, Humza Usaf
Unelected Leader of the Welsh Assembly, Vaughan Gething
"No, I'm not giving back the £200,000 given me by my criminal chum, David Neal. It's a legitimate political donation, look you". David John Neal, twice convicted of environmental offences as head of two companies, Atlantic Recycling and Neal Soil Suppliers. Gething's ministerial colleague Lee Waters, described the donation as "completely unjustifiable and wrong".
"Want to make something of it, boyo? I yam the first Black person in my family for a thousand generations to attend university. Oh no, that was Kinnock. And he was a Ginger"
Are all Welsh politicians pompous windbags?

Labour leader in Scotland, Anas Sarwar
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan

They must have run out of white, upper-class, middle-aged chaps. We'll see how racist the people of Britain are when all these unelected post holders go to the country and seek to be elected later this year. They are saying the Plotters are suggesting Penny Mordaunt, Sword Bearer, should wield her sword into Sunak's back and lead the Tory boys into another glorious Reich of unending glory.

"You are old," said the youth; one would hardly suppose
    That your eye was as steady as ever;
  Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose —
    What made you so awfully clever?"

  "I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
    Said his father; "don't give yourself airs!
  Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
    Be off, or I'll kick you down stairs!"

The four-volume Call Me Ishmael oeuvre, collected and curated by editor mr verge, is available on Lulu and Amazon.

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 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.
Link for Hardcover : https://tinyurl.com/je7nddfr
Link for Paperback : https://tinyurl.com/3jurrzux
https://www.lulu.com/shop/ishmael-smith/flush-test/paperback/product-9yjvn7.html?q=Flush+Test&page=1&pageSize=4

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.