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Friday, August 26, 2011

That's with a "z"

I enjoy reading Spiked Online of a Friday afternoon with my winding-down cuppa. I'd just got off the phone to Canada and put my feet up with some Yorkshire Gold when I read

Nobby’s disdain for south London – ‘It’s a karzi’, he says, ‘I wouldn’t go there in a tank’

[From Burnt Oak: it ain’t all doom and gloom | Brendan O’Neill | spiked]

Oh dear. Brendan O'Neill has confused khazi (British slang for toilet) with karzi (a misspelling of the name of the Prime Minister of Afghanistan), a mistake I often mentally trip over.

If I hear on the news about Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan, in my head I picture noted English actor Kenneth Williams. That’s because he starred as the Khazi of Khalibar, the head of the Pashtun (I assume) opponents of the British Raj in the greatest film of the Carry On series (in fact one of the greatest English films of all time) Carry On up the Khyber.

[From a blog from a Citizen of Woking: One up the Khyber]

I shall e-mail him immediately.


In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]

Saturday, August 20, 2011

There's a riot goin' on

Unfortunately, with the continuous low-level background of crime to which we British have been conditioned, there's not much hope of improvement in the quality of life in the foreseeable future.

You have to WANT to be caught to be prosecuted for any half-serious crime nowadays, whereas the police are pretty good at the trivial stuff.

[From PC Bloggs - a Twenty-first Century Police Officer: Will the real blogger please stand up?]

Indeed. And the latest Channel 4 figures prove it. You're much more likely to be a victim of serious crime in London than in New York, presumably because the police are busy giving out speeding tickets and arresting people for over-filling their recycling bins. There's been a lot of serious crime recently. I woke up on a Sunday morning recently to the news channels reporting a night of criminal violence and looting in north London. Apparently the police abandoned the streets to gangs who were able to empty retail premises at a leisurely pace, burning down shops, setting fire to cars, that sort of thing.

On Saturday night, shops and homes were raided and cash machines ripped out in Tottenham. There were also thefts from shops in nearby Wood Green.

[From BBC News - London riots: Met Police launch Operation Withern]

Where were the rubber bullets? I have a conspiracy theory. The government has asked the police to cut their spending back to 2008 levels, so the police responded by letting London burn, thus making it politically impossible for the government to impose cuts. It's been a win-win for them: lots of easy people to arrest and a great PR win over the evil Tories at the same time.

In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Feeling a little blue (helmet)

I see that Iran is ready to contribute to a UN Peacekeeping force to help Britain control its rampaging underclass. Now, normally, the opportunity to have other countries' taxpayers fork out help us would be welcome, but I fear this is one specific idea that I will not support.

Iranian military commanders say that if the United Nations decides to send peacekeepers to the U.K., Iranian troops are ready to go now.

[From Britain Burning: Iran ready to send troops, calls U.K. leaders autocratic oppressors | Blind Bat News]

But in her excellent book Emergency Sex, Heidi Postlewait recounts her time with UN in various places in Europe, Asia and Africa and concludes with a very stark and specific piece of advice (I paraphrase, since I don't have the book to hand) that if some UN chaps with blue helmets arrive at your village and tell you that they are there to protect, grab what you can and run, don't walk, in the opposite direction as fast as you can. So I think we should turn down Iran's kind offer.

However, I can see one area where Iran might be able to provide practical support. Our Prime Minister, David Cameron (Eton, Oxford -- a man well-versed in modern technology and with a Digital Champion to hand in the form of Martha Lane Fox (Westminster, Oxford) who understands modern youth and their use of that technology -- has his finger on the pulse and intends to "crack down" on social media to prevent looting in the future. Now, I understand that in Iran, the revolutionary guards have been forcing suspected troublemakers to log in to their Facebook accounts in front of them so that they can see if the miscreants have been posting counterrevolutionary or blasphemous messages, or if their friends had. Perhaps some Revolutionary Guards could be dispatched to the streets of Hackney, where they could support the Prime Minister's strategy by asking passing youths to log in to Facebook, Twitter and BBM. If they see a message saying something like "Meet at Currys at 3am" then they could execute a citizen's arrest. Job done.

Facebook has been banned in Pakistan for a year or so, and I imagine civil disorder must have fallen substantially in that time.

In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]