Friday, 26 May 2006


i didn't know until i read the obits but apparently Rugova's grandpa spent 20 years of his life building a kulla - a 'tower' - using marble blocks. some great photos here you see.
Rugova cited his grandfather as a patient influence.

well i'd have certainly taken some gemstones off the man!
and that scarf, always the scarf.
(Carl Barat in Burberry please.)


now then, Mark Mardell can be quite nimble.
days after i slag off Auntie, you have to hand it to him on the brandy tip.
9am, "clear grape brandy", "It's really very good: fiery and strong but very smooth and fruity as well".


I am Ramush Haradinaj and I am looking for Isuf Hoxha and Hajrullah Gashi

Monday, 22 May 2006

even by its own miserably low standards the lead editorial in Friday’s Daily Express was – to paraphrase General Melchett – perhaps a “crowning turd in the water pipe”.

unusually, some of their own correspondents wrote sympathetically in the face of human misery: the day’s front page was about people risking the much longer crossing from the Canary Islands to the European mainland, rather than trying the Straits because of changes in the Spanish enclaves etc.
it’s frankly quite rare for people emigrating from Mauritania or wherever, scrabbling toward Fortress Europe, to get humane coverage in the Express, so this was at least something to be grateful for.

but the editorial appeared to be unaware of any of this, and seemed quite different in tone and approach (though still with that reassuring lack of complexity and grey areas you get with the Express).

citing the usual laundry list of grievances and noting that the BBC now agreed with them (off the back of a Newsnight programme, apparently; i saw but seconds of the show in question, which had Jeremy Paxman spouting some noxious cobblers, so i switched over), you could tell the reader was in for a treat at the end.
(incidentally, have you noticed just how degraded some of the BBC’s domestic news programming has been getting of late. the Six O’Clock News has been getting increasingly parochial, more than ever it seems, over the last several months to few years or so.)

the final paragraph was magnificent, absurdly disingenuous, latching onto the ultimate ludicrous strawman as the writer reached their triumphant conclusion, that Maybe those worried by plans to allow crime-ridden Bulgaria and Romania to join the European Union next year and Turkey to follow can now voice such sentiments without being smeared as racist by Left-wingers, proven as wrong on migration in the 21st century as they were on the Cold War in the 20th.

the Express is a ‘you couldn’t make it up’-type tabloid, fond of the common sense approach, despairing at this mad politically correct world we now live in (one of their star columnists was today seeing a Third World despotism take over Britain).

well, no, you couldn’t, could you?

Thursday, 18 May 2006

She was not a health tourist - she simply had the misfortune to fall ill here.

I accept that we have to have rules to stop people from taking advantage of the NHS but they should not discriminate against people with genuine need because of this obsession about immigration.

I think it is appalling that a civilised country like Britain treats someone like that.

Her death was unnecessary.

Richard Stein, who represented Ese Elizabeth Alabi.

labelled 'health tourist' by some, she died on Monday, aged 29.
she leaves behind three young children and the man who loved her.

Thursday, 4 May 2006

three points, for now

some good news, being Gurbandurdy Durdykuliev was released last month (only found out today; he plans to sue the govt for compo to the tune of 5 mil American)

Alex de Waal is being clear about what he thinks may come out of the talks in Abuja; last month his mate Julie Flint was just as truthful here.

All Chadians have come out to make their choice, the choice of their hearts

Mr Deby, yesterday

-'The North Korean Government’s Control of Food and the Risk of Hunger': report