Bo-Jo : The Unpleasant Truth


The man is an unprincipled charlatan. The carefully-nurtured image of a lovable buffoon is a fraud. He is a clever political operator, and far more dangerous than that.


The Spider’s Web : Britain’s Second Empire (Film)

Anyone who argues that there’s ”not enough money” for universal education, healthcare, social welfare and aid programmes is clearly either not paying enough attention, or a shameless liar.

At least £500 billion in corporate tax is dodged globally each year by multinational corporations – enough to pay the UN’s total humanitarian aid budget 20 times over every year .

And the UK with its corporate tax haven network is by far the world’s greatest enabler of corporate tax avoidance. Up to a half of global offshore wealth is hidden in British jurisdictions.

Corporate tax havens represent one of the greatest scams in human history. They are a parasitic feature of a parasitic system, and the UK is very much the bloodsucker’s head.

At the demise of Empire, City of London financial interests created a web of secrecy jurisdictions that captured wealth from across the globe and hid it in a web of offshore islands. Today, up to half of global offshore wealth is hidden in British jurisdictions and Britain and its dependencies are the largest global players in the world of international finance.

The Spider’s Web was written, directed and produced by Michael Oswald,

Medieval Warm Period : The End Of The World Not Nigh


Historical accounts confirm the world-wide occurrence of.the Medieval Warm Period. It was a time of warm climate from about 900 AD to 1300 AD, and was considerably warmer than the 20th / 21st century.

Its effects were evident in Europe, where grain crops flourished, alpine tree lines rose, many new cities arose, and the population more than doubled. The Vikings took advantage of the climatic amelioration to colonize Greenland (Grønland), and wine grapes were grown as far north as Northumbria in England, and about 500 km north of present vineyards in France and Germany.

This period of relative warmth and prosperity was followed by the ”Little Ice Age” from about 1300 AD. The change from the warmth of the MWP to the cold of the LIA was abrupt and devastating, leading to the Great Famine from 1310 to 1322.

Much more recently, following the early 20th-century warm period (1915–1945), the world’s climate cooled for 30 years; (and I am old enough to remember ”ninety percent of scientists” warning us in the 1970s of the coming Ice Age !)


Global temperature changes occur naturally, and did so long before atmospheric CO2 began to increase.

But what chance does evidence-based climate science have of even being heard nowadays, in the current atmosphere of evangelism, hysteria, and academic censorship ?

The Medieval Warm Period – an overview

by Don J. Easterbrook, in Evidence-Based Climate Science

‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’ ~ full movie  (75 mins )

Israeli Elections : The Tyranny of Democracy

israel election2israel candidates

The candidates in the Israeli election campaign accurately reflect the desires and fantasies of an Israeli public which views the willingness to shed the blood of defenceless Palestinians caged in ghettos as the truest measure of leadership.
Each time the Israeli military embarks on a new round of wholesale slaughter in Gaza, polls show that more than 90% of Israelis support them.
A sociopathic individual can be arrested and imprisoned. A sociopathic nation poses a much bigger problem.

Charles Dickens’ Novels : A Personal Ranking


Having read, at various periods of my life, all fifteen of Dickens’ novels, I thought it might be an interesting exercise – to me at least ! – to rank them in order of merit; or rather in an order based on how much enjoyment (or otherwise) I recall each giving me at the time.


1)  NICHOLAS NICKLEBY (1838) : It’s a close call between my top three for the number one spot but I’ve plumped for Nickleby, which has the multitude of eccentric and amusing characters one associates with Dickens, without the needless sub-plots and longueurs  which are also unfortunately typical – perhaps as a result of their being published in serial form to deadlines. Consistently entertaining.


2)  BLEAK HOUSE (1852) :  Unusually for a Dickens novel, it has an engaging and cogent plot-line from which deviations are minimal. Serious contemporary issues are explored, and there are several memorable, and quite realistic character studies. The closest in style to Dickens’ contemporary Wilkie Collins, whom I rate as equal, if not superior to the much more celebrated Dickens.

great exp

3)  GREAT EXPECTATIONS (1860) : Basically an examination of the class-system in England in the early nineteenth century, it has one of the best opening chapters, which immediately engages the reader’s interest in the flawed hero Pip as a child. Probably has the best plot of any Dickens novel. The ending certainly caught me by surprise, but is perfectly consistent with what went before.

our mutual

4)  OUR MUTUAL FRIEND (1864) : Dickens’ last completed novel seems the most ”modern” to a contemporary reader, and in describing it as ”Hardy-esque” I mean it as a compliment. One of the main protagonists, the schoolteacher Bradley Headstone has dilemmas to which the word ”existential” would not be inappropriate – not something one normally associates with Dickens. There is savage satire on materialism and class.


5)  OLIVER TWIST (1837) : Memorable characters (Fagin, Bill Sikes, Nancy, etc) and a page-turning plot-line make it one of the best of the early novels, with some great set-pieces. Short by Dickens standards, which is no bad thing.

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6)  DAVID COPPERFIELD (1849) : Dickens’ most autobiographical novel would probably be rated higher by most critics, and certainly by the author himself, judging by remarks he made. There are good parts, and Mr Micawber is a magnificent creation, but  I found the eponymous hero tiresome and something of a bore. Too long.

martin c

7)  MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT (1843) : Written shortly after the author’s trip to America, his disappointment with the place influences the scenes enacted there, which are somewhat colourless,. The best episodes concern the archetypal snob Pecksniff, one of the great characters, who actually rescues the book, which would have been rated lower without his presence.

edwin drood

8)  THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD (1870) : On the other hand the last, unfinished novel would almost certainly be rated higher if Dickens had lived to complete it. The plot as laid out in the few chapters he wrote engages the interest, and the characters introduced are true to life and realistic, in accordance with the style of most of the later works.


9)  PICKWICK PAPERS (1836) : Not really a novel, but rather a series of episodes concerning the same collection of characters, the members of the Pickwick Club. Some scenes are amusing, but the whole is somewhat less than the sum of its parts. Too many boring bits.


10)  DOMBEY AND SON (1846) : Starts quite well, but like other novels of the middle years, soon gets bogged down with superfluous sub-plots and just too many inessential characters.

little dorrit

11)  LITTLE DORRIT (1855) : Again, too many characters and too much deviation from the main story.  Far too long and difficult to follow, without the redeeming feature of captivating or amusing characterisation, and lacking in humour.

old curiosity

12)  THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP (1840) :  Apparently one of the most popular serialisations when it first appeared, but to the modern reader  (well, me)  it comes across as overly sentimental and the characters (with the exception of the villain Quilp) are bland and one-dimensional. One can’t help agreeing with Oscar Wilde  : “One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing.”

hard times

13) HARD TIMES (1854) :  A hard read. Completely lacking in the humour which redeems many of Dickens’ other forays into social commentary. The bad characters are too bad to be true, and the good are too good to believe in as well. Thankfully quite short.

a tale of2

14)  A  TALE OF TWO CITIES (1859) :  It is surprising that Dickens does not produce a better story than this,  given the dramatic background of the French Revolution and the wealth of raw material available for him to expound his social and political standpoints.  A boring novel, again completely lacking in humour.


15)  BARNABY RUDGE (1841) :  Last, and by all means least, a largely (and justifiably) forgotten novel set against the background of the – also now ignored and forgotten- Gordon Riots of 1780. The eponymous Barnaby is quite peripheral to the plot, and though definitely a strange creation, fails to hold one’s sympathy or interest. I admit to having struggled with this one, the last I read, and I (eventually) finished it only for the satisfaction of ”completing the set”.


The Walker Brothers : The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore

The eccentric Scott Walker has died aged 76.

He rejected the fame which came from the handful of very great singles he made with the Walker Brothers in the sixties and seventies to become an avant-garde recluse, occasionally releasing profoundly weird, and totally uncommercial albums like ”Tilt’‘ with its nightmarish walls of sound, elliptical lyrics and obscure cultural references. A very interesting and quite unique artist. RIP.

scott walker

The Skirpal Case : Secrets and Lies


The UK government’s narrative on the Skirpal case simply does not stand up to scrutiny.

Who can believe that it is coincidence that the Chief Nurse of the British Army was the first person to discover the Skripals ill ? And why was this kept quiet ?

Why did the BBC’s Diplomatic Editor Mark Urban conceal from viewers the fact that he had been in regular contact with Sergei Skripal for months before the alleged poisoning, and had held several meetings with him ? Urban had inside information on the world’s biggest news story, and was actually reporting on it, but he kept that knowledge to himself. Why ?

The British government had two immediate reactions to the Skripal incident. Within the first 48 hours, it blamed Russia, and it slapped a ‘D notice’ banning all media mention of Skripal’s MI6 handler, Pablo Miller. By another extraordinary coincidence, Miller and Urban know each other well, having both been officers together in the Royal Tank Regiment, of the same rank and joining the Regiment the same year.

Mark Urban has refused to respond to, or even acknowledge Craig Murray’s repeated requests for clarification on these issues.

As Murray, a former UK diplomat, says in the lengthy but highly informative article linked below : ”Governments play dark games, and a dark game was played out in Salisbury which involved at least the British state, Russian agents (possibly on behalf of the state), Orbis Intelligence and the BBC.”


Pure: Ten Points I Just Can’t Believe About the Official Skripal Narrative ~ by Craig Murray

craig murray  Craig Murray is a historian and former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, who resigned from the diplomatic service after raising serious concerns about the US and British policy of rendition and torture.