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: 
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 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Friday 15 March 2024


 Chanson de Nuit - Edward Elgar

played by the Northern Sinfonia of England, conducted by Richard Hickox.

Sunday 10 March 2024

The Sunday Ishmael: 10/03/2024

 And, as in uffish thought he stood, the Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,  came whiffling through the tulgey wood, and burbled as it came
Too much uffish thought, Chancellor Chunt. Two percent off National Insurance? Why, only people under the age of 66 pay it, and, as we know from the demographic crisis that disproportionately affects the Conservative Party constituency, this will Not Help You. On one phone-in show, a public-spirited (but dim) citizen enquired - if I'm paying less National Insurance, does this mean that I'll get less pension? Don't give them ideas. National Insurance was never an insurance scheme and never was ring-fenced to pay pensions - just an extra tax to contribute towards government revenue. 
Anyway, to pay for this 2% cut,  Chancellor CHunt extended the windfall tax (35% surcharge on profits) on North Sea oil and gas companies by a year, raising an expected £1.5bn. It was introduced in May 2022 and was due to end in March 2028, but will now conclude in 2029. You might think this was a Good Thing, as the Office for National Statistics has reported that 41% of British adults are  finding it very or somewhat difficult to afford energy bills, possibly because British Gas profits increased 943% from 2022 to 2023. However, this has upset the Scottish Conservatives, who had been hoping for electoral success in the North East by opposing heavy taxation on the oil and gas industry, which is a significant employer in the region. Wee Douglas Ross, dubbed man-child by Angus Robertson, SNP, 
Ooh you are awful
let it be known that he had lobbied Hunt to drop the proposal, to no avail, even scheduling his own debate at Holyrood on the motion that warned of the economic harms of extending the windfall tax. This, of course, opened a mockery window for First Minister Humza Useless: He said:
"We have a UK Government that is taking £500m out of our budget in real terms over the last two years. Douglas Ross really needs to take whatever influence he has - and we know he doesn't have much influence - to make sure the Conservatives fund public services, not slash them to the bone."
Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) said the extension risked investment, jobs and growth. 
OEUK chief executive David Whitehouse said: "The industry is being taxed on windfall profits which no longer exist and facing a fourth round of fiscal change and turmoil in less than two years, making it impossible to plan investment for the energy transition and the path to net zero." 
Chancellor Cunt told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme that he accepted the extension "was a difficult decision" for his Scottish colleagues, but he didn't care because there's more votes in extending the windfall tax and he's happy to throw the Scottish oil and gas industry under a bus because the Tories are never going to get into power in Scotland, and he needed the money to be fiscally responsible on account of not daring to make an unfunded National Insurance tax cut, so there. Or words to that effect.
What with rows at First Minister's and Prime Minister's Questions and general feeding-time-at-the-zoo noises during the budget speech, it's all getting a bit Parliament in the Maldives.

Happy Mother Day, as my local Indian takeaway announced, saying if I didn't fancy chicken tikka, I could have chicken nuggets and chips. Makes a change from chocolates, flowers and pink prosecco. But here's a Mother's Day story about one who once thought she was Mother of the Nation. Margaret Thatcher, born 13/10/25, Conservative Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990, died of a stroke on  8/4/2013 whilst living at the Ritz hotel in London, where she had set up home 4 months previously, to convalesce after bladder surgery. Her death certificate listed dementia as a secondary cause of death. Her daughter, Carol, revealed in her 2008 memoir that her mother had shown the first signs of dementia in 2000. Cool* Kenny Clarke's  theory has the dementia dating from her final year in office - which would put onset at age 65. mr ishmael's theory was that she was always bat shit crazy. 
The Telegraph has recently run with new details about the involvement of  Margaret Thatcher's disreputable son, Mark, in a failed coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea, in 2004.   A team of British mercenaries led by former SAS officer, Simon Mann, were arrested at Harare airport, Zimbabwe for plotting the coup, which was part-financed by Mark Thatcher. He was sentenced to four years imprisonment, suspended, after pleading guilty to being an investor in the plot, but in a minor way.
Simon Mann has now revealed, twenty years on, that not only had Mark negotiated a profit-sharing arrangement, but planned to live in Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea, after deposing the president, Teodoro Obiang, and, moreover, that he had discussed the coup with his dear old demented mum. 
Simon Mann served 4 years in prison in Zimbabwe, and a further year in Equatorial Guinea, and he now seems intent on getting his own back on his fellow conspirators. In December 2003, Mark promised to invest $300,000 in the planned coup, but told Mann that his personal wealth was tied up in a trust fund administered by his mum - so, allegedly, he took Mann to meet her, to explain the proposed venture and gain her co-operation. “Jolly good,” said Lady Thatcher. “I am sure it’s going to work”. She then asked how “our money” would be handled. Mann reassured her that the $300,000 would be channelled through a fake air ambulance joint venture – separately from the other investors. Mrs Thatcher then reminisced about the Docklands redevelopment in London in the 1980s. “Everything had to be razed to the ground first”, she said. “It’s the same in Equatorial Guinea. What is needed is a fresh start”.

As Mann was leaving, Lady Thatcher asked: “Have you met Sancho yet?” Sancho was the London link man for a group of wealthy Venezuelan businessmen opposed to the corrupt president, Hugo Chavez. Mann had agreed to help them once the coup in Africa had been taken care of. “Good, well I hope that goes well too”, said Lady Thatcher. “We must always look after our friends, Simon, as I’m sure you know."
At Christmas in Cape Town, Mark allegedly invited Mann to a breakfast meeting, with Mrs Thatcher, who told him:  “I know what is going on and you SAS chaps need to get a move on, don’t you.”

On the 2nd January 2004, Steyl emailed Mark to say: “We are standing by the profit-sharing agreement,” and on Jan 12  Mark emailed Steyl back, saying: “I will be doing the revenue-sharing agreement as soon as I have a minute.”
By February, Mann had the mercenaries, weapons and air transport in place for the coup. He told Mark: “If it goes wrong, I want you to rescue those of us still uncaptured”,  and provided the coordinates, pre-agreed radio frequencies, locations, times and dates. “You are a pilot, a sailor and have the political connections”, he added. “I expect you to rescue us”. Mark noted down the data and the codes and, according to Mann, said: “I will be there for you, no matter what, Simon.” They shook hands.
 Mann alleges that Spain, the UK, South Africa and other countries were aware of the plot and were happy for it to play out, but  Robert Mugabe, then-president of Zimbabwe, was not. Mann was arrested at Harare airport while waiting for his private soldiers to arrive, Zimbabwe intelligence officers inspected the crates and the weapons were discovered. The aircraft was impounded and the men arrested and  jailed. On March 21 2004, Mann wrote to his wife: “Our situation is not good....his lawyers get no reply from‘Scratcher’ (Thatcher) who asked them to ring back after the Grand Prix was over. What we need is maximum effort – whatever it takes. It may be that getting us out comes down to a large splodge of wonga. Of course, the investors did not think this would happen. Do they think they could be part of something like this with only upside potential – no hardship or risk of this going wrong?”

When the contents of the letter became public, the fiasco was dubbed the “wonga coup” by the media.

Mark Thatcher was arrested  on August 25 2004 for funding an illegal coup in breach of the Foreign Military Assistance Act. 
He accepted a plea bargain, admitting lesser charges and paying a fine. He pleaded guilty to “wrongfully and unlawfully attempting to finance mercenary activity” and was fined 3 million rand (then worth £265,000). Which dropped Mann in it.
Mark Thatcher is now 70. In response to Mann's allegations, he said: 
 “Simon can say what he wants. I’m really not going to comment on any of that.”

Of course, mr ishmael has covered all this: 

Mummy's Boy Gangster demands Money: 15 November 2011

  The distinguished entrepreneur - or infamous racketeer, shithead and failed coupster - Sir Mark Mumsy, has expressed his disappointment that a film has been made about his criminal family without him having been paid any money.  I have friends who can be very persuasive, said Sir Mumsy, referring to former Field Marshal Sir Simon Mann Golightly-Jockstrap, thicko mercenary, author  and  ex-con, who was Mumsy's co-accused in their abortive attempt to take over an African banana republic and  who did the time in a jungle jailhouse whilst Boy Wonder Mark, pimping, as ever, on his mother's name, got off with a bollocking.

The disgraced hereditary viscount, also famous for milking his mother's contacts with the headchopping elite of Oman, has his arse in his hands over the current portrayal of his mother by ageing Hollywood strumpet, Mrs Meryl Teeth, below.
Meryl Teeth stars in Thatcher vs Thatcher,
a study in greed and dementia.

My mother not only served the country with distinction but was also on the board of many other  distinguished  criminal families, such as that of Lord Conrad Black-Embezzler, the famous newspaper-owning-and-robbing convict and that of General Sir Jorge Pinochet, the acclaimed human rights activist and exterminator sans pareil.  My mother unfailingly signed-off Lord Black's accounts, whether they were accurate or not, which they never once were,  that's how great a lady she was. And she did all of this for a mere few hundred thousand pounds of shareholders' money.

If Ms Teeth doesn't do the decent thing  and pay me my cut I can arrange for Mr Mann to go around to her gaff and bore the arse off her with tales of his jungular derring-do. Or maybe my sister, wotsername.

A spokesperson for Meryl Teeth said, Meryl has wrung herself out, gone right to the very edge, in this performance which she feels captures the true essence of Baroness Williams.  It takes a great deal of courage to go where great actresses go (up producers' arses? ed.) and she is now recharging her batteries and considering other scripts suitable for a young actress of her age.
Lord Bell-End.
Sir Tim Bell-End, Thatcherite PR guru said that to trade on the Thatcher legend was despicable. 
These people are just making money  for the sake of it. (honest, not invent.)

Lord Norman Tebbit, of the Filth-O-Graph and late of Al-Fayed Enterprises, although he didn't know about the freebies until he was found out and then he stopped  taking them, like a good Tory.

Well, far be it from me to mention to the prime minister that I won three general elections whilst he hasn't won any.  Far be it from me, a former pilot and working journalist (rabble-rousing fuckpig? ed.) to tell this effete public schoolboy what to do.  I mean whaddooIknow, I only won three elections.  Margaret Thatcher. Yes, a great lady, she helped me win three elections. And now here I am, writing tosh for expatriot redneck wankers.  Well said, Lord Norman, they say, couldn't have put it better myself.  And they're right,   they couldn't.
* And what is Cool Kenny up to, saying the Iron Lady was bonkers in the nut (technical term) back in 1990? Before her involvement with her disreputable son in financing a plot to assassinate an African Head of State? He must be retrospectively laundering her reputation. If she was demented, she didn't really mean that she wanted to raze Equatorial Wherever to the ground and murder a Head of State, in order to make wonga. 
While we're at it, here's mr ishmael on Cool Kenny:

You have to wonder what he's up to, Cool Kenny, jazzman and bildberger.   Surely, he doesn't need the grand of our money which the BBC gives him for performing like an elderly seal on Any Questions, a bloated, smokey, piss-sodden old fart like him, in his worn-out, shiny  suits and his Hush fucking Puppies, traipsing around from community shithole to community shithole,  one week a cathedral, the next a university, the next some phantasmagoricaly well-run school,  the audience packed with smug teachers and smugger parents and intolerably smug sixth-form shitheads, spouting their go-ahead parents' dire scripts, drummed, all their lives,  into their ghastly, malformed, ambitious little minds; surely, Kenny  has better things to do than this shit.  What's he doing,  as he does today in the Barclay Zombie Twins' Filth-O-Graph, characterising, those  U-kippers as nasty, fucked-up, neo-fascist , white supremacist headbangers ? Everybody knows that. Doesn't need a Minister Without Portfolio banging on about it. The U-kippers are a political party - thieves, liars, ponces, backmailers, money launderers, extortionists, bullies and slags; enough said, job done, up against the wall, motherfuckers. Worthless fucking bastards every last one of them, doesn't matter  a fuck what they say about Europe or wogs , black wogs, brown wogs or white wogs, as far as the kippers are concerned, everybody who doesn't agree with them is some kind of wog.  No point old Ken Clarke accusing them of wog-bashing; it's like saying that the richer the Torybastard is; the more he hates  the poor, everybody knows that.
A new political party, finding its trotters, I mean feet.

 The kippers, they're just like all the rest of them; just like Kenny himself, the rotten old hypocrite -
HM Seckatry of State for Health,
Kenny Cool.

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 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.