Friday, January 28, 2005

Real or fake?

I leave it to you, gentle reader, to make up your own mind. Sir Archibald Clerk Kerr was indeed HM Ambassador to the USSR at the time, but in the UK, the Freedom of Infomation Act only became operative on 1 January 2005 - and not 2000 as the annotation would have us believe.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Tony's terror threat

Our beloved new Home Secretary, Charles "Fatty" Clarke, has announced HMG's response to the Law Lords' ruling that the detention without trial of terrorist suspects at the Belmarsh Hilton was illegal. The Home Office's reading of the judgment is that the detention is unlawful because it discriminates against people who are not British citizens - i.e. only Johnny foreigner could be banged up without so much as a by-your-leave.

So we are going to have a new system where anyone the Government thinks might be a bit dodgy can be put under indefinite house arrest. No trial, no right to challenge the accusation, no right to see the evidence. Oh no, that might prejudice national security. Instead, we have to accept the word of a politician that it is all tickety-boo. Of course, as our politicians are the best in the world, they're bound to get it right, and there is clearly no chance of double standards. After all, they are as Caesar's wife - not only pure, but seen to be pure. Certainly, it would be unthinkable for a Home Secretary to have to resign because he'd fiddled his expenses or cuckolded someone. So that's all right, then.

I think I must be missing the blindingly obvious. Of all the countries in Western Europe, which St Tony assures us are at risk from a bunch of evil ragheads, only the UK has decided it needs to be able to act like a banana republic. At this rate, we'll all become terrorists simply to reassert the fundamental freedoms we thought we had. Even good old King John had to concede on habeas corpus; he clearly needed a better First Lord of the Treasury to advise him.


Ho hum.

The time has finally come when I have had to go on a diet. Week one was not too bad - the WW ready meals at least don't taste too much like cardboard, though the same can't be said for what purports to be bread. That really is yucky. According to the weigh-in, I have lost the princely sum of seven pounds (that's about 3.2 kg). The other half lost eight! And men are supposed to lose more and faster. There is simply no justice in it.

Only another 68 kg to go... or about 18 months of not having beer. If nothing else, this will probably cure any latent George Best tendencies.

I am very glad I have a decent mandolin - the kitchen implement, not the musical instrument. It makes short work of slicing tomatoes, cucumber and onions, so at least making salads is pretty easy. Not that this is really salad weather - about 5 degrees C at the moment.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Happy New Year

I know it's a week late, but...

I had an excellent Xmas - in Austria. Very sunny, quite warm in direct sunlight but rather cold in the shade. Being halfway up a mountain on Xmas day, sunning oneself in a deckchair and wearing jeans & a t-shirt while people with lots of warm clothing on are zooming down the mountainside on skis or snowbaords was rather surreal.

And now back to the UK - and work. Ho hum. Still, only around 350 shopping days left until next Xmas.

One can tell it's the beginning of the New Year as the supermarkets have hot cross buns - and pretty soon will have Easter eggs, even though Easter is not for some months.