Politics, open government, and safe streets. And the constant incursion of cycling.

Category: UK Page 1 of 8

Dinnae ye pretend lik’ ye cannae unnerstand me, boy


St. Paul's, London

Veterans and Rememberance Day

Try to make it something more than going through the motions.

Poppy and Cloudy Sky

Photo by smcgee.

Bush and Blair Can Both Go to Hell

It’s odd to write these post titles now.  It’s like a time warp back to 2005.  But with Bush attempting to rehabilitate himself, I don’t feel like I’ve much of a choice, here.  So, to restate: George W. Bush is not just a war criminal, but the sort of sorry individual who was willing to perpetrate a fraud on the world so he could get what he wanted:

According to a memo written by a Blair aide documenting the meeting, Bush and Blair in that session each said they doubted any weapons of mass destruction would soon be discovered by the UN inspectors then searching for such arms in Iraq. Without any WMDs, it could be harder to win support for the war. But Bush had an idea—or two.

The memo—portions of which were published in the New York Times and in Philippe Sands’Lawless World —noted that Bush raised the notion of provoking a confrontation with Saddam Hussein. “The US was thinking,” the memo said, “of flying US reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted UN colours. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach” of UN resolutions. A retaliatory attack would then be fully justified; the war could begin. In other words, Bush raised the prospect of staging a phony event to justify a military attack on Iraq.

[ . . . ]

Now, Bush, too, is keeping the cover-up alive. In his new book, Decision Points, Bush does write about this particular meeting. [ . . . ] But Bush says nothing about his proposal to provoke the war through fraud. (The memo, by the way, does not record Blair objecting to this potential subterfuge.)

One of the most maddening things about this is that Bush doesn’t have the capacity to understand what he’s wrought.  (And I bet Tony Blair wishes he were more like Bush, on this point.  Too bad.  I hope he suffers for it until the end of his days.)

Like Common People

I thought that Pulp’s Common People had been inescapable in the 90s, but a recent and brief personal survey corrected that perception.  Here:

And if it’s not new to you, and it’s stayed in your playlist rotation as long as it has mine, you’ll find this examination of it more than a little brilliant:

In this scenario, Jarvis has the power and if the song continued in this vein it would be just a wittier, less misogynistic version of “silly little rich girl” Stones songs like Stupid Girl and Out of Time. But then she smiles and holds his hand and the whole song shockingly, brilliantly snaps in half.

A terrific way to describe it, really. It goes on:

It’s as if a trap door has opened up under Jarvis and his sudden sense of big-picture powerlessness wipes the smirk from his face. The rage that consumes the rest of the song is way out of proportion to anything the girl said: she’s the trigger, not the cause. His voice becomes ever more ragged and desperate, and his anger shreds his coherence.


Getting Your CX On – in 1950’s England

Great video of some real hardman cyclocross action going on in the 50s/60s (narrated by someone who was there – and apparently responsible for the chest-deep stream crossing around 1:30):


Weekend Music: May Day Edition

Woody’s still exactly right:


Love me some Billy Bragg:


And Billy Bragg will be voting Lib Dem.   What has become of you, Labour?

KRS-One (Or, How to Tell the London Metro Police to Bugger Off)

Knowledge Reigns Supreme-Over nearly everyone (bet you weren’t expecting that):


As describe at BB:

Glyn sez, “The Love Police do an amazing job demonstrating how to get out of being searched under section 44 of the Terrorism Act. Stopped by police outside the Tower of London, they avoid being searched, having to give their personal details and having their camera film looked at simply by stating the law, remaining calm and polite. (Although keeping the video camera rolling probably helped too.) The police sent an Inspector (rather senior), two Sergeants, five officers and four police cars. But in the end they walk away.”

We need more of this.  Desperately.

Britain Without the Gulfstream

Shamelessly ripped off from BoingBoing:

(What happened to the Gulf Stream.  Holy @#(.)

Trouble in Chunnel; Continent Cut Off

A bit of a mess over there, it seems.

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