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By ATWadmin On December 18th, 2006 at 5:15 pm

Tough day today. Been away for the weekend and just got back to be told that my father has been diagnosed with advanced cancer. There is no possibility of surgery. You can imagine the stress for all involved. 


By ATWadmin On December 18th, 2006 at 4:50 pm

kirsty1.jpgOK, here is the BEST Christmas song ever. And as ever it comes with a mixture of joy and poignancy – espeically today which is the 6th Anniversary of Kirsty’s death. She was killed on this day in 2000. Can you imagine what is was like for her family to lose her one week before Christmas? God bless them at this most difficult time…


By ATWadmin On December 18th, 2006 at 3:42 pm

Am I the only one perplexed by Tony Blair’s praise for Mahmoud Abbas’s commitment to the "peace process" in the Middle East? My reason for being perplexed is simple; there is NO peace process!

Abbas’s Fatah want to destroy Israel, so does his rivals in Hamas. Whichever of these competing Pali clans "wins" the election, democracy is a loser. Why? Because, as I keep repeating to those who support IRA/Sinn Fein, a mandate at the polls does not legitimise violence or the threat of violence. The Palestinian people are to be pitied for having such a murderous corrupted political class – but voting for such dross does not make them acceptable. Blair is meddling in affairs here to distract the media from his own disintegrating grasp of the domestic agenda. He really should mind his own business – playing the Mother Theresa role ill-becomes him.

“sling it out with the trash!”

By ATWadmin On December 17th, 2006 at 3:17 pm

When senior American White House people, of either political persuasion, have news or stories which might reflect badly on their management of the country, they try and slide them out during the Thursday afternoon briefing sessions, so it usually gets slung along with all the other stories, in what is known as ‘Taking it out with the Trash’. By bundling up important or embarrassing announcements alongside lots of dull notifications, they hope to try and bury them amongst the detritus of news which comes pouring out of the Press rooms of the American Government. Similarly, the Downing Street news teams, or to call them by their correct title the News Suppression Team, usually bury announcements in amongst the ‘Written answers’ to Parliamentary questions and similar goodies.

So half the broadcast and print media failed to notice the report that the Prime Minister had been questioned regarding the ‘Loans-for-Peerages’ story which has been rumbling on for over ten months. The only story which was noticed by ALL was the stories about a DEAD Princess! But what about the rest, buried as they were amidst the murders in Ipswich, the rumblings over Afghanistan, Iraq and the Post Office closures? What about the DNA of over 1 million innocent people held forever on a Home Office database? What about the £3 BILLION spent on ‘Consultants’, whose advice, when it is taken, usually ends up with a worse mess than previously? Had anyone looked at the massive plans for expansion of airports in the South-East? Not many hit hard on the closure of the Serious Fraud enquiry into the Saudi slush fund from BAE systems! Only a few concentrated on the British Government’s knowledge of Iraqi WMD’s, or rather the lack of!

Alastair Campbell would be proud of you, guys! Spinning to the left, and the right; not even Shane Warne could claim that sort of record!



“We don’t need no Educashun!”

By ATWadmin On December 17th, 2006 at 11:45 am

The Betrayal of a Generation

A simple set of statistics speaks volumes about our society. One tenth of young Britishers cannot read at a standard expected of an eleven-year-old; and (perhaps a small blessing in heavy disguise), one fifth of this same company cannot read the screened words shown to sing-along to the tortured noises from a karaoke session in a pub! The education levels of our teenagers in this high-tech world of ours, where we have to either compete or perish, are stated to be truly pathetic, and are contributing to both the formation of an Underclass, and the prolongation of that same species!

As a youngster, I learnt my spelling by rote and by memory, similarly with basic grammar rules; of punctuation, of language placement and interpretation, in order to speak and to write as I needed to both complete my lessons and tasks, and (although I did not appreciate this at the time) to equip me for the world into which I would be propelled once clear of school. To send, from a class of, say, 120 pupils in an age rating, 24 of these youngsters who cannot even sing-along in a raucous pub environment is something which would have been viewed with absolute dismay by the staff of that same establishment where I slogged through five years! Coming, as we pupils all did, from a disparate set of Elementary or Primary Schools, we had been equipped for the ‘push’ towards adulthood with reading, writing and numerate skills so that we could seamlessly adapt to the new environment of accelerated learning!

The malign ‘levelling’ influence of the Socialist-beloved Comprehensive, where one level greets all; with that level being set at a ridiculously low level; combined with the slow and steady deterioration in examination standards, congealed as they are by the ludicrous ‘NuLabour’ agenda of ‘everyone wins a prize, because no-one loses under Labour’ has succeeded in a smoothing, but not a smoothing which one might rejoice in! The blank stares which rebound when any discussion with teenagers include such choice items as local or world politics, or the economies of their own native land or indeed anyone else’s, or any number of the things which people talk about make me cringe! If the topic doesn’t include ‘The X Factor’, whatever that may be, or ‘Pop Idol’, or (shudder) ‘Corrie’ or the dreaded leaden tones which portend ‘Eastenders’, they just don’t want to know, or in fact, don’t care! If I ask which book they might have read recently, or if they’ve visited a library, a look which is exactly half-way between alarm and hostility usually spreads across their faces!

The British ‘NOW’ generation has arrived, savvy with how to download the latest mobile phone jingle, or ‘ripping’ the stolen sounds of someone’s work onto a CD, so they can plug their bloody earphones in and disappear from a less-than-impressed world, but very little else! Just let them check out the statistics from India or China, and sift through to see the real numbers of competence; and then continue to exhibit the sheep-like stares which state that they just don’t bloody care!



By ATWadmin On December 17th, 2006 at 10:35 am

obrien.gifI see that Conor Cruise O’Brien has weighed in on the subject of whether Dr Paisley will "do a deal" and allow the IRA into a local Government, early next year…

For some days, there has been rather feverish speculation in the Dublin and London papers about the intentions of Ian Paisley. Commentators have been suggesting that Paisley is about to do a deal with Sinn Fein, in which he would become First Minister with a Sinn Fein representative as his deputy. Paisley did not initially discourage the speculation. Indeed, he allowed it to be known that he was keeping an open mind.


The Dublin and London media grasped at this signal and suggested the deal was as good as made. I have known the DUP leader very well for nearly half a century now and I know this speculation to be altogether unfounded. Indeed, Paisley would have been crazy to have concluded such a deal. His own followers, who have made him the leader of the largest party in Northern Ireland, would have deserted him enmasse immediately.


But my friend and political ally Bob McCartney believes Paisley was seriously contemplating such a deal and warned him quite earnestly of the political ruin that would follow it. Paisley was quite happy to take on board such a warning. But the Paisley-watchers in the British and Irish Governments refused to take the warning seriously. They really believed he was about to do the deal. As I write, the British and Irish Governments and their press officers are still trying to keep the proposed deal alive, but by now rather forlornly. I expect it will soon collapse and Paisley will become a non-person in the press which the governments control.

I hope Conor is right. I can’t say in all honesty that I share his view on this. There is an unbearable pragmatism in the air which will be further fueled early in the New Year and the portents for a "walk away" scenario as outlined by Conor are poor.

I might be a little cheeky and remind Conor that it was his political ally Bob Mc Cartney who devised the "tar baby" analogy when it came to a previous team of foolish Unionists embracing that which they then found they could not then get away from. Back then, they were also given good advice and ignored it. I feel the same is happening now….time will tell, and all views are welcome.


By ATWadmin On December 17th, 2006 at 9:24 am

Here’s an interesting question for you all to consider..

"What if the part of human nature which wants paternalism, or maternalism, in the State is sometimes, or often, stronger than the part that wants freedom and self-determination?

What if we are wrong to imagine, as Bush claims, that an aspiration for freedom lives in the hearts of all mankind? What if that aspiration is a simple error of a uniquely American culture, which combined northern European Calvinism which rejects any hierarchy in church or in life; a personal relationship with God; Lockeian liberalism; a distinctly northern European moral code in which honor, reliability, hard work, and integrity are the measure of a person; a frontier attitude which expects life to be which expects life to be difficult but remains optimistic, and an innate distrust of government and politicians – is a very strange brew…."


I think that this excellent contribution by Dr Joy Bliss is well worth a read, and for what it’s worth I think that her "what if" may in fact be a "what is"…..

Hat-tip to Bird Dog over at Maggie’s Farm.

News from the bunker

By ATWadmin On December 17th, 2006 at 3:04 am

tony-blair.jpgWhat are we to make of the latest “damaging leak” from No. 10? The first thing we must bear in mind is that that there are two types of leak: authorised and unauthorised. Those responsible for the latter generally find themselves hunted down ruthlessly, out of a job and/or prosecuted, wheras what we have here is merely a press release via the back door. That being the case, it would be wise to regard everything in the memo as for our consumption.

Is it really the case that Labour are all in a tizzy over Cameron’s “resurgent” Tories? There are reasons why they would want to paint the Conservatives as the favourites, for one thing it focuses the mind of back-benchers in marginal seats and the party faithful, but not only is the next election some years away (one assumes), due to the electoral system the Tories would now need an unprecedented landslide to take power, so even a grossly unpopular Labour Government stands a good chance of winning.

Whatever the case, the memo reveals a Government with no agenda other than keeping their greedy snouts in the trough, who have never grasped that there is a difference between spinning stories for the media and effectively governing a country.


It’s all for your own good

By ATWadmin On December 16th, 2006 at 11:26 pm

1984.jpgIf you’re wondering why your local Accident and Emergency ward is facing closure, look no further than two of this foul Government’s actions. Firstly, their Private Finance Initiative policy, which enables them to conceal huge amounts of public debt, but costs the tax payer and the NHS dearly, and secondly the most expensive computer system ever before devised.

As with so much of this Government’s plans, it involves collecting data on each one of us, and reads as if culled from Orwell’s most fevered dystopian nightmares. The Government’s “Patients Czar”(?) declares that everyone’s records will be compulsorily included, notwithstanding the gross violation of our confidentiality this involves, unless you can prove (how?) the inclusion will cause “substantial mental distress.”

“Substantial mental distress”? It is not enough that you don’t want your records available to all and sundry, you must be driven to the point of mental breakdown by the very thought. Perhaps marching side by side will be another law where someone suffering “substantial mental distress” can be dragged off and thrown in a padded cell.

How long before we will be required to submit for our microchip insertion? Another term in power should do it.


In extremely poor taste

By ATWadmin On December 16th, 2006 at 5:08 pm

Did anyone hear Sacha Baron Cohen at the British Comedy Awards this week? He mentioned Borat having to dash off to the holocaust denying conference in Iran. (A timely and important joke drawing attention to this hatefest – in which Ahmadinejad accused Iranian student demonstrators protesting the event of being ‘americanised’. Surely a fine tribute and a kick in the teeth to those hard-line lefties who think America represents the ‘great satan’. You can read the sick joke of an agenda here replete with its recitation of the ‘holy’ quaran and welcome message from Mr Armageddon himself)

Speaking of ‘what were they thinking’ moments.  Contrast Baron Cohens clever remarks with Oliver Stone’s at the same comedy awards event. They were met with disbelief and jeers.  Taking the stage, he quipped: “It’s great to be back in England. I feel like Jack The Ripper days are back. Nothing ever changes here.”

Realising his joke had bombed, Stone sneered: “You’re a lovely crowd.”

One audience member said: “If he was trying to be funny, then he failed. To make a joke like that when five young women have been murdered and the killer is still on the loose was in unbelievably bad taste.”  

The world is going to hell in a handbasket, i swear.