Tuesday 25 September 2012

HMRC's Dave Hartnett given award for helping tax avoidance

HMRC's Dave Hartnett being given Golden Handshake award at a fat cat dinner before the hosts threaten to "set the dogs" on the interlopers. Amazingly, the Daily Mail has a very good report.

Sunday 23 September 2012

The Steampunk Opium Wars in St Ives Part 2

Part 1 here.

St Ives Steampunk Opium Wars and Madam Miaow's Culture Lounge Part 1

Here's the first half of The Steampunk Opium Wars which we took down to the St Ives Arts Festival to play to a packed house at the Arts Theatre on Tuesday 18th September.

We did it as a new concept — the unrehearsed reading — as six of our original company couldn't get down to Cornwall due to logistics and health issues. However, we were lucky enough to have Bob Devereux and Buffalo Bill Smith step in as Lord Palmerston and Captain Ironside, while Charles Shaar Murray read radical Mr Cobstone, and I narrated and played all 1.4 billion Chinese with the aid of a hat.

Paul Anderson and Louise Whittle were magnificent in their second outing in their roles as Sir Jardine-Matheson and Queen Victoria.

It was a joy to play in a proper theatre. The Arts Club has a rich history that goes back to the 19th century and I wonder how many of the early patrons would have been using opium to aid their creative endeavours. It was also liberating to have a proper stage upon which to frolic and which looked suitably dramatic due to the lighting and sound efforts of Simon the St Ives Busker. Make sure you chuck money into this man's guitar case if you ever see him playing in town. How many times have I struggled with that desk, usually forgetting where the power switch is hidden?

I was fighting off bronchitis so I sound a bit like the irritating woman who voices the automated Virgin Media telephone instructions thingy who keeps you waiting for years and then cuts you off.

Missed you John Crow, Neil Hornick, Hugo Trebels, John Paul O'Neill and Marc Jefferies. Wished Deborah Evans-Stickland was there to be Britannia singing "Money". Thanks to Rachel Smith for shooting the video on my TZ20.

The second half of the evening was great — an assortment of our talented friends in town for the festival. More to come.

The Steampunk Opium Wars in St Ives Part 2 here.

Thursday 6 September 2012

Not so rapey after all: Sexual assault investigation into Julian Assange dropped


My original piece on this matter was an attempt to cut through all the disinformation about Assange at the time based on the claims repeated in the mainstream media that Julian Assange was up on a sexual assault charge having been accused by two of his amours. I now have no qualms acknowledging he was fitted up for revealing the homicidal activities of leading governments. Furthermore, it transpires that his accusers had gone to the authorities to demand HIV tests, not to get him charged with rape. It's wrong to attack the women as they too were being fitted up. The horrific news that the Home Secretary has signed off on his extradition to the country that planned his assassination for doing his journalistic job makes me even more angry that some of us were suckered into this for even a minute.
It has been reported that they asked police to track him Assange down, not because he did anything illegal to them but in order for him to provide a blood sample to ensure he did not have HIV/AIDS.
Police are said to have advised the women that Assange could not be forced to undergo such a test without criminal charges being brought against him, before advising them that the matter would be referred to a prosecutor – a referral which many believe occurred solely due to the fact Assange was wanted by the United States for leaking classified information, including those of atrocities committed by the US defence force.
The gist of their criticism was that the efforts to extradite Assange were not because he committed sexual assault, but in order to make it easier for the United States to get their hands on him.
Edit: Sidney Criminal Lawyers 2019: Sexual Assault Investigation into Julian Assange Dropped

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 Read the transcripts of the police interviews here. Thanks to Mark Anthony France for the tip.

Monday 3 September 2012

George Osborne booed at the Paralympics: Caligula wishes we all had one neck

George Osborne completed his transformation into Caligula today when he was booed by the 80,000 spectators at the London Paralympics as he was about to award the gold medals in the men's 400 metres T38 category.

I bet the evil little squit wishes we all had one neck.