30 July 2011

P J Harvey

I never ued to be a great fan of P J Harvey but her last album White Chalk turned things around for me. Her latest album, Let England Shake, is excellent

Anna Calvi

I only came across Anna Calvi a little while ago. It is a long time since I bought a CD by a new British artist...

Mr Rat

I saw Bruise supporting Hawkwind a few years ago. I absolutely loved this song

29 July 2011

The Madonna of Perfidy (photohunt)

© 2011 Shaun P Downey
The theme for this week's photo hunt is together. This is a huge stretch but you will see why together!

From an impromptu photo shoot with Tim last night


I=one of my sister's cats

28 July 2011

Farage responds to Speroni and Borghezio

This is from theUKIP site

Nigel Farage, Leader of UKIP, today contacted Francesco Speroni, co-president of The Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD), a group in the European Parliament, to demand an immediate retraction and apology following his remarks and those of his fellow Northern League MEP Mario Borghezio.

The comments, both made in recent radio interviews, were in response to the tragedy in Norway where seventy-six people were killed by Anders Behring Breivik. If no retraction is forthcoming then UKIP will suspend its membership of the EFD group in which it sits alongside the Italian political party.

Borghezio, described the ideas of Breivik as "good" and "excellent". Speroni has now said he believed Borghezio's comments to be "in support of Western civilisation". UKIP totally disassociates itself from the remarks of Borghezio and Speroni. The Northern League is due to meet tomorrow (Friday) to discuss the issue. In the meantime Northern League minister, Roberto Calderoli has condemned Borghezio's remarks.

Nigel Farage said: "I find Breivik's actions and idealogy of hatred totally repugnant. Anybody who would praise the political ideology of this mass murderer is morally and politically misguided. Consequently I have written to the leadership of the Northern League party to demand an immediate full retraction and apology. If my request is not met, then we will suspend our membership of the EFD group."

Good. THis is not meant to be a political post as such but concerning scumbags and the response to them

27 July 2011

Francesco Speroni - Sicker Bastard

If Borghzio was not enough, another (and more senior member) of the Legia Nord has waded in to support Breivik.

According to the Guardian (and plenty of other sources) Francesco Speroni claomed that "Breivik's ideas are in defence of western civilisation."

The Italian politician was endorsing the comments of Mario Borghezio (see post below)

"I'm with Borghezio. I don't think he should resign", Speroni said. "If [Breivik's] ideas are that we are going towards Eurabia and those sorts of things, that western Christian civilisation needs to be defended, yes, I'm in agreement," he told Italian radio sation Radio 24.

Speroni is a far bigger fish than Borghezio. While both are Legia Nord MEPs, Speroni is a former cabinet minister. He is currently co chairman of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy group in the European Parliament. The other co-chairman is Nigel Farage of UKIP.

If I were Farage I would terminate all further relations with this vile piece of shit. I wait to see how he reacts

Mario Borghezio - Sick Bastard

The BBC (and plenty of other sources) have reported that Mario Borghezio, an Italian MEP sitting for Legia Nord (an unpleasant xenophobic party) has described the ideas of Norway's self-confessed mass killer, Anders Behring Breivik, as "good" and in some cases "excellent".
Borghezio,  condemned Mr Breivik's violence, but backed his stance against Islam. "Some of the ideas he expressed are good, barring the violence. Some of them are great," Mario Borghezio told Il Sole-24 Ore radio station.

He agreed with Mr Breivik's "opposition to Islam and his explicit accusation that Europe has surrendered before putting up a fight against its Islamicisation".

Borgehzio has a record of being a self seeking idiot who has an arson sentence as part of his cv. He is also an admirer of Mladic viewing him as a hero in the fight against islamisation...

Ach Borghezio is another of those "I'm not racist/sexist/nazi etc BUT" types. Part of me wonders id he is pleased that Breivik did what he did.

Whatever goes on in this man's twisted little mind he is a sick bastard who shames Italy

25 July 2011

Glenn Beck what a classy guy...

“Saturday I was following the news of the shooting in Norway and the explosion in Norway, which happened what on Friday… and as the thing started to unfold and there was a shooting a political camp, which sounds a little like the Hitler Youth or you know whatever. Who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics? Disturbing. But, anyway, so there’s this political camp and so crazy man goes and starts shooting kids.”

Nothing else he had to say is of any relevance. He destroyed any argument by this idiotic statement.

Perhaps the vile little fuck should go to Oslo and repeat what he said...


I was going to write something about the scumbags that have crawled out from under their stones and spouted their lunatic theories about the atrocity perpetrated by Anders Breivik and their apologia and support... and the scumbags that were never under stones.

But what is the bloody point? Arseholes abide regardless of what I think.

Meanwhile in Norway a nation mourns the loss of innocents in a senseless and evil attack

Sleeping in your Devil Mask II

Sleeping in your Devil Mask

24 July 2011

Jens Stoltenberg on the Utøya and Oslo atrocities

This is the speech that Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg gave at the mass  at the Oslo cathedral earlier today:

Your Majesties,
Dear Eskil,
Dear all of you,

It is nearly two days since Norway was hit by the worst atrocity it has seen since the Second World War. On Utøya, and in Oslo.

It seems like an eternity.

These have been hours, days and nights filled with shock, despair, anger and weeping.

Today is a day for mourning.

Today, we will allow ourselves to pause.

Remember the dead.

Mourn those who are no longer with us.
92 lives have been lost. Several people are still missing.

Every single death is a tragedy. Together they add up to a national tragedy.

We are still struggling to take in the scale of this tragedy.

Many of us know someone who has been lost. Even more know of someone....
I knew several.
One of them was Monica. She worked on Utøya for 20 years or so. For many of us she was Utøya.

Now she is dead. Shot and killed while providing care and security for young people from all over the country.

Her husband John and daughters Victoria and Helene are in Drammen Church today.

It is so unfair. I want you to know that we are weeping with you.
Another is Tore Eikeland.

Leader of the Labour Youth League in Hordaland and one of our most talented young politicians.

I remember him being met with acclaim by the whole Labour national congress when he gave a stirring speech against the EU Postal Directive, and won the debate.

Now he is dead. Gone for ever. It is incomprehensible.

These are two of those we have lost.

We have lost many more on Utøya and in the government offices.

We will soon have their names and pictures. Then the full extent of this evil act will become apparent in all its horror.

This will be a new ordeal.

But we will get through this too.

Amidst all this tragedy, I am proud to live in a country that has managed to hold its head up high at a critical time.

I have been impressed by the dignity, compassion and resolve I have met.

We are a small country, but a proud people.

We are still shocked by what has happened, but we will never give up our values.
Our response is more democracy, more openness, and more humanity. But never naivity.

No one has said it better than the Labour Youth League girl who was interviewed by CNN:
“If one man can create that much hate, you can only imagine how much love we as a togetherness can create.”
Finally, I would like to say to the families all over the country who have lost one of their loved ones:

You have my and the whole of Norway’s deepest sympathy for your loss.

Not only that. The whole world shares your sorrow.

I have promised to pass on the condolences of Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, Frederik Reinfeldt, Angela Merkel and many other heads of state and government.
This cannot make good your loss. Nothing can bring your loved ones back.

But we all need support and comfort when life is at its darkest.

Now life is at its darkest for you.

I want you to know that we are there for you.

The speech is from the website of the Office of the Prime Minister.

I will not try to parse the ramblings of the sick. evil man who perpetrated this atrocity. That a person can do this is beyond my ability to comprehend.

There are plenty of idiots supporting his philosphy, if not quite his actions (just like we saw apologist shits we saw after 9/11 and 7/7). Others will see this creature as a hero.

On top of that there are already plenty of idiot conspiracy theorists spouting rubbish bout false flags, black ops, Mossad, NWO and the like (Just go to the Telegraph comments to get a flavour).

Ach I could go on. Prime Minister Stoltenberg's statement says it far better than I ever could

Muse and Monet

Orangerie, Paris

Self portrait in cat's eye

Amy Winehouse

Given her lifestyle new of her death will come sadly as no surprise. Better she is remembered as a superbly talented singer. RIP

23 July 2011

22 July 2011

Respect mah authoritah

The theme for this week's photo hunt is patch. I don't feel to great today so I have turned my usual Friday cat blog pic into a photohunt one too.

Although you cant see it Robyn, as a common or garden blotch tabby mog, has a big patch of dark brown fur on his back.

Lucien Freud

8/12/1922 - 20/7/2011 RIP

Photo is of Girl with a white dog and is from Wikipedia

Stukas over Disneyland

20 July 2011

Another new gallery on my website

I have created a new gallery to showcase photos taken during last Tuesday's shoot with Tim and Celena.

It is called Masques and can be found on my website http://shaunpdowney.com/

The Emperor’s new art

The Fortean Times’s daily digest of breaking news provides plenty of food for this blog. Today’s selection was no different. Thanks to the FT I learned about invisible art. Not only is the work in the imagination of the beholder, someone apparently paid $10k for one of the pieces.

According to an NPR blog the person behind this concept is actor James Franco. The project, called the Museum of Non-Visible Art, contains works of art don't exist physically, instead they are imagined by the artist. Anyone purchasing a "work of art" gets a "card" to hang on an empty wall and you "describe it to your audience."

The museum just made one big sale. A woman paid $10,000 for a piece title Fresh Air. The work is described thus:

“The air you are purchasing is like buying an endless tank of oxygen. No matter where you are, you always have the ability to take a breath of the most delicious, clean-smelling air that the earth can produce. Every breath you take gives you endless peace and health. This artwork is something to carry with you if you own it. Because wherever you are, you can imagine yourself getting the most beautiful taste of air that is from the mountain tops or fields or from the ocean side; it is an endless supply.”

The purchaser, one Aimee Davidson explained the reason for her purchase:

“As a new media producer, I identified with the ideology of the project and was particularly inspired by the sentence, "We exchange ideas and dreams as currency in the New Economy."…. I felt that the act of purchasing "Fresh Air" supported my thesis about a concept I term "you-commerce," which is the marketing and monetization of one's persona, skills, and products via the use of social media and self-broadcasting platforms, like Franco's use of the crowd funding platform Kickstarter to fund the Museum of Non-Visible Art. Essentially, I wanted to put my money where my mouth is.

Well there you have it. Ms Daviddson is not the first person to spend a lot of money on bugger all. Then it is her money and if she wishes to waste it in such a manner then it’s her choice…

While I think she is foolish the only thing that really does annoy me is that I didn’t think of a museum of non visible art myself

Tim as is

18 July 2011

Obligatory Geranium versicolor photo 2011

 © 2011 Shaun P Downey

It's good to see the return in large numbers of on of my favourite blooms. It may be small but it is perfectly formed

Boy Blue

© 2011 Shaun P Downey

Back handed flattery

Yesterday I went to Boots to get enlargements done of some of the photos I took last week.

All well and good, I chose the option of instant 8x6 prints. When ready I went to the counter to pay for them only to be told by the assistant that she couldn't let me have them as they were clearly the work of a professional.

Needless to say I wasn't pleased. It took an argument and clearance from her manager but I got them in the end. Then it struck me...

The assistant had thought the work was far too good to have been done by one of their usual customers. I realised that this was flattery, albeit back-handed flattery.

Hi ho, such is life

Erdélyi töredék - Kovács András Ferenc

Transylvanian fragment

As on the walls of Transylvanian churches
Fresco fragments, tattered-shattered paintings,
Now long forgotten even by the Lord,
No longer tended by the nimble sunbeams -
Of such will we be: invisible,
Lying hidden in time’s corroding lime
Not even God knowing if we still exist,
Or how, why, under how many blind strata
Our callused faces lie, hoping for the heroic
Resurrection of wrinkles in a tear-dance or smile,
Should it subside without too much damage -
We’ll be like so many threadbare legends,
Salvaged pagans, meek martyrs and saints,
And hells, heavens, doomsday judgements,
Calvaries suffered and then hushed up,
And remnants of the images of Christ -
All these we’ll be, details merely, and crushed:
Not infant babes, Eastern sages or Marys,
But broken debris, misfortune’s odds and ends:
Not lost battles, but dark savage hoofs,
Retreating heels, flags, wounds and crucifixes -
All these we’ll be: hands raised for blessing,
Sweeping swords through the cool empty air,
Truncated tribes, nations, bodies and limbs,
And the wings of a hatchet or holy ghost
Shimmer above: eyes gouged, torn creases,
Fabrics and skin, ownerless aureoles,
A tossed up pile of haphazard bedlam -
These we’ll all be: crumbling artworks
Yet worthy exhibits within the confusion -
Who will explain our missing pieces,
Who will restore them to coloured wholeness,
Who will one day recognise in us
The signature of an unknown master?

(Translated by Dornacher, Kinga; Humphreys, Stephen)

This magnificent poem was sent to me by my friend and muse Saszet Agnes. It appears on a site called Babelmatrix, a site dedicated to bringing the literature of the Visegrad nations (Hungary, Poland and the Czech and Slovak republics) in translation to a wider audience.

It is a site well worth visiting if you have a love of literature.

Tripping down the street

© 2011 Shaun P Downey
This photo of Celena originally had a wooden fence as background. I didn't like it but I liked Celena's pose so I bleached out the wall....

17 July 2011

Where will the hacking scandal end?

Earlier today Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International (the UK subsidiary of News Corp) was arrested. Now the scandal has taken another high profile scalp, that of the Metropolitan Police  Commissioner  Sir Paul Stephenson who has just announced his resignation.

I shudder t think how many scalps this story will take before it ends...

Museum of Sex!

Ecclestone not implicated in aryan sex doll scandal

The Poor Mouth can reveal exclusively that stormtroopers  were caught RED HANDED in frolics with buxom blow up Brunhildas

Adolf Hitler ordered the Nazis to develop sex dolls to send to his troops being ravaged by disease after sleeping with French women, it's been revealed.

The synthetic 'comforters' were made from silicone and designed to stop soldiers being laid low with syphilis.

Smaller than life-size, the so-called ‘gynoids’ were to be targeted at the men most at temptation from a ‘quick adventure’ with a French prostitute.

The World War Two project began in 1940 after SS chief Henrich Himmler wrote: ‘The greatest danger in Paris is the widespread and uncontrolled presence of whores, picking up clients in bars, dance halls, and other places. "It is our duty to prevent soldiers from risking their health just for the sake of a quick adventure."

Initially, the Hungarian actress Kathe von Nagy was asked if the doll could be modelled on her, but she refused. Instead the look of the Aryan doll with blonde bob hair and blue eyes was left bland so soldiers could apply their own fantasy.

The dolls were apparently trialled in Nazi-occupied Jersey at the German barracks in St Hellier. After being refined, Himmler was so impressed he immediately ordered 50 of them.

However, at the beginning of 1942 he changed his mind and the whole project was axed and any evidence was destroyed in the Allied bombing of Dresden.

Author Graeme Donald has uncovered the secretive ‘Borghild Project’ while researching the history of the Barbie doll - which was based on a post-war German sex doll toy.

The story came from German sculptor Arthur Rink, one of the men on the team which designed the doll at the Racial Hygiene and Demographic Biology Research Unit.

The tale is included in Donald's book, Mussolini's Barber, a compilation of bizarre stories connected with the biggest events of history.

Kinky Mormon exposes itself at museum

Families visiting the Natural History Museum have been outraged by the latest addition to its collection a Mormon that is clearly half male and half female.

"I wanted to take my kids on a nice day out where they may learn something and the saw that. It was obscene" said outraged mother Myleen Carraway. "If this is educational I won't  be letting my Jason and Condoleeza read another book."

Museum director, Pericles Liebknicht dismissed claims of obscenity: *Children need to see the world in all of its diversity and if that means them seeing a gynandromorph then so be it."

The Mormon in question refused to comment but it can be revealed that it is a butterfly with a  a 10cm wingspan, that is male on one side and female on the other.

It is almost black on its male side, but  much paler, with clearly visible flecks of blue, red and tortoiseshell on the female side. The butterfly has one antenna longer than the other, a single male clasp on its abdomen, and male and female reproductive organs that had fused down the middle.

The butterfly hatched two weeks ago during the Sensational Butterflies exhibition that runs at the museum until September.

"It's an amazing butterfly. The split is purely bilateral – even the colour of one side of its body is slightly different," said exhibition manager Luke Brown,  "It has half-male, half-female sexual organs welded together. So they don't work, it is infertile."
Brown, who has seen only two other gynandromorphs in his career, said the butterfly was feeding and flying well, and was expected to have a normal life expectancy of around one month. The specimen will become part of the museum's lepidoptera collection.

Blanca Huertas, curator of butterflies at the museum, said: "The gynandromorph butterfly is a fascinating scientific phenomenon, and is the product of complex evolutionary processes. It is fantastic to have discovered one hatching on museum grounds, particularly as they are so rare.'

Sunday is SEX day on the Poor Mouth

Now that the News of the World is dead and buried there are people reaming the streets wondering where they will get their  Sabbath day dose of sex, scandal and similar titillation.

I may not have held the NOTW in high esteem but my heart goes out to its readers. In the spirit of altruism all posts today will concern themselves with sex in one way shape or form

16 July 2011


Death of a clown

Not dedicated to any Murdoch, just one of my favourite songs

Oh dear!

Never lrt it be said that Fox does not tackle the issues... even if they make a total bollocks of it - conflating hackers and hackees to make Newscopr seem like victims, I ask you!

15 July 2011


Testing email posting
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone

Dance of the bruja (Photohunt - backwards)

© 2011 Shaun P Downey

The theme for this week's photo hunt is backwards. In this photo taken at a shoot on Tuesday Celena was moving backwards at the time.

New Avatar

I am in the process of removing any copyrighted photos from this blog and copyrighting my own photos. In the circumstances I can't really go on using Dear old Robert Newton Calvert as an avatar.

At the moment I will be using this photo of my cat  Bebe as my avatar

Ceci n'est pas un chat!

Rebekah Brooks quits

The Guardian has reported that Rebekah Brooks has finally bowed to the inevitable and resigned from her position as Chief Executive of News International (Newscorp's UK subsidiary). Her resignation statement is below

As chief executive of the company, I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt and I want to reiterate how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place.
I have believed that the right and responsible action has been to lead us through the heat of the crisis. However my desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of the debate.
This is now detracting attention from all our honest endeavours to fix the problems of the past.
Therefore I have given Rupert and James Murdoch my resignation. While it has been a subject of discussion, this time my resignation has been accepted.
Rupert's wisdom, kindness and incisive advice has guided me throughout my career and James is an inspirational leader who has shown me great loyalty and friendship.
I would like to thank them both for their support.

 Well there you have it. Clearly Brooks has outlived her usefulness to the Murdochs I wit to see whether they sling the dirt at her no. On the other hand she will know where a lot of bodies are buried.

This could get very interesting!

Les amants

14 July 2011

It gets even worse for the Murdochs

The phone hacking (okay I know phreaking is probably more correct) revelations of the last 11 days will have given the Murdochs and other NresCorp/News International executives a fair few sleepless nights. In their bid to fight the storm of priotest they have (at least temporarily) shelved their plans to take full control of BSkyB and have killed off the best selling Sunday paper in Britain.

But all of this may be just small beer: The press is now reporting that the FBI has commenced an investigation into allegations that NOTW journalists tried to hack the phones of 9/11 victims.

There may be nothing to these allegations but the news that an investigation is underway must come as a huge blow to the Murdochs. Newscorp has enormous holdings in the US. If the scandal extends further in the US the consequences for the company will be far greater than those here in the UK.

Now it seems that Riupert Murdoch's touch is turning gold into shit his days at the top could be numbered - shareholders do not like this sort of thing (an understatement). The prospect of another Murdoch easing into the top role must also be in doubt.

Interesting times!

Gaze of la bruja

© 2011 Shaun P Downey

The fauna of far Omphalos

This appeared a while ago in the New Scientist. It may not be the hottest of news but I couldn’t resist blogging it!

According to the Belly button Diversity project the human navel should be designated as a bacterial nature reserve. Initial results indicate that there are , it seems. The first round of DNA results indicate that more than 1400 bacterial strains live in the human belly button, 662 of these could not even be classified to family and may be new to science

The project was conceived as a light-hearted exercise in science communication, but is making a serious contribution to the understanding of microbial diversity. .. Results like this reflect our ignorance of microbial diversity, team leader Jiri Hulcr.who likens reactions to the first round of belly button results to the astonishment of the first European explorers seeing African big game

While I have forgotten virtually every piece of microbiology I learned at Birkbeck college between 1989 and 1990 it is still fascinating stuff. It is good to know that one’s belly button is teeming with life.

In the wild

© 2011 Shaun P Downey

Bruja and the beast

© 2011 Shaun P Downey

13 July 2011

Prelude to dance

© 2011 Shaun P Downey

Another photo cross posted on FB

Back to Back

© 2011 Shaun P Downey


In the last half hour or so it has been announced that NewsCorp is withdrawing its bid to take full control of BskyB.

The move comes just before a parliamentary debate on the Murdoch bid for the satellite company. The Murdoch empire still retains a 39% stake and thus has effective control, with James Murdoch as chairman. The recent revelations may well focus attention on James Murdoch's fitness to continue in this role

It's been a crappy year or so for the Murdochs: It has been already been pilloried for massively overpaying for Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal and selling off Myspace at an enormous loss... and then there is the small matter of paying hundreds of millions for Elizabeth Murdoch's production company.

All in all it looks like the Dirty Digger has lost his Midas touch and replaced it with a Sadim one. While it would not bother me if everything else he touches continues to turn to shit, Newscorp shareholders may well take a different view.

I wonder if we will her of Rupert's "retirement" in the not too distant future. That said another one of the clan will probably take his place... Hiho

It is also facing legal action

Headline of the blindingly obvious

Boy regrets selling his kidney to buy iPad

us a headline from the Shanghai Daily website. This was an exceptionally foolish act on the part of the boy.

I suppose the only cold comfort is that it did not cost an arm and a leg....


© 2011 Shaun P Downey

Also on my FB page but again what the hey!

Death becomes him III

12 July 2011

Tim and Celena a new shoot

© 2011 Shaun P Downey

Just got back from another day of photography with my two favourite models. Expect a lot more photos of the coming week or two!

11 July 2011

Death becomes him again

© 2011 Shaun P Downey

Wood spirits

© 2011 Shaun P Downey

A priest is not an employee, diocese claims

A lot of stories have slipped by in the slipstream of the NOTW scandal, largely unnoticed by the media. One of these stories (covered by Channel 4, the Guardian and local papers) has potentially huge ramifications for sex abuse claims against the Catholic Church.

At present the Roman Catholic church's is testing its liability for the wrongdoings of its priests. According to theGuardian, Mr Justice MacDuff has been asked to decide if the relationship between a bishop and a priest is similar to that between employers and their staff.

The case relates to an abuse claim being brought against the diocese of Portsmouth. A woman has alleged that one of its priests had abused her while she was a resident at a Catholic children's home, The Firs, in Waterlooville, Hampshire. A trial in respect of these claims is scheduled to take place in December.

The hearing does not focus on the abuse claims but on the issue of corporate liability.

The basis of the case against the diocese is that Father Wilfrid Baldwin was able to gain access to The Firs and have contact with its residents through his work as a priest. These duties establish a connection between the diocese and the priest.

"In effect, priests are carrying out their working assigned to them by their bishop and furthering the cause of the diocese," Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel QC, counsel for the woman, argued. "As the correspondence between Father Baldwin and his bishop demonstrates, he was dependent on the bishop to assign him a post and to control when he moved from one post to another and even to control when he was permitted to retire. The degree of control was, if anything, in excess of that in the typical employer/employee relationship."

Lawyers for the alleged victim say it is the first time a court has been asked to rule on whether the "relationship between a Catholic priest and his bishop is akin to an employment relationship".
If the answer is "no" there would be "no circumstances where the Roman Catholic church is liable for the actions of one of its priests whether deliberate or careless and however closely connected those actions were to the role of priest".

Gumbel told the judge this would place the church "in a unique position as far as avoiding responsibility for the acts or omissions of any priest working within the church organisation in whatever role".

The diocese denies it is vicariously liable and is defending itself against the claim. A ruling in its favour would mean the church could avoid paying compensation to victims of clerical sexual abuse.

And it is not just sexual abuse. If the court rules that there was no employment relationship between a priest and his diocese then the diocese could be immune from liability from any act perpetrated by a priest in the course of his normal duties.

Given the that some bishops seemed to move heaven and earth to cover up the gross criminal acts of some priests complicity a decision in their favour would be an utter disgrace.

10 July 2011

09 July 2011

Celena in the meadow

© 2011 Shaun P Downey

Calligushenko bans applause in Belarus

Belarus is the last Stalinist state in Europe. While it may have elections to actually have the temerity to stand against Alexander Lukashenko and his minions is not recommended, not unless you want harassment, arrest and torture.

Lukashenko is a brutal, paranoid piece of shit whole rules the state of Belarus as if Stalin was alive and kicking but even Stalin never abolished applause!

Actually there is a reason behind his decision and it stinks

The story was picked up by the Economist:

"Every Wednesday a few hundred people come out on the streets of Belarusian cities and wordlessly clap their hands. They may not shout slogans, but everybody knows what it is they are silent about.

Unlike the thousands-strong protest last December brutally put down by Mr Lukashenka, the clapping protests are modest in scale. And though their organisers talk of “a revolution through social networks” their real point is to demonstrate the protesters’ courage and Mr Lukashenka’s paranoia. Each Wednesday plain-clothed thugs with earpieces swarm the streets of Minsk dragging people out of crowds and pushing them into security vans parked in side streets with their licence plates covered.

During celebrations of Belarus’s independence day on July 3rd, the police said that any applause other than to war veterans would be considered an offence. So nobody applauded Mr Lukashenka’s combative speech. But even those, including journalists, who just gathered at one of the city’s squares were arrested"

Hopefully Lukashenko will meet his demise soon. Belarus will be better of for his parting.

Alexander Lukashenko is a proud recipient of the Hugo Chavez "Dictator of Distinction" award

In the mood for easy listening II

Iron Maiden 1980 vintagewith original vocalist Paul Di'Annio

In the mood for easy listening I

Motorhead on Top of the Pox in 1980

tabloid hack in train wreck moment

Paul McMullen was deputy features editor at the News of the World. He was the subject of an expose by Hugh Grant of all people in the New Statesman,

Lat night he appeared on BBC2's Newsnight where he was faced by Greg Dyke, former BBC Director-General and comedian Steve Coogan.

McMullen came across as a pathetic sleazebag - Lunchtime O' Booze made flesh -, and took a hammering off Coogan and Dyke for his pains.

I can only conclude that  McMullen is a glutton for punishment.

08 July 2011

Photo Hunt - Nearby

© 2011 Shaun P Downey

The theme for this week's photo hunt is nearby. This is a stretch but my recent shoot with my nephew Tim and his friend Celena was done in Wimbledon. My sister lives not far from where we took the photos so I suppose this is nearby

Renault boycotts News International papers

The rolling coverage of the News of the World affair on both the Guardian and the Telegraph gave a first indication of what could be a disturbing new development for News International - a flight of advertising revenue from the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times.

Both papers reported that car manufacturer Renault has just done this.

According to trade journal Marketing Week Renault will discontinue its advertising with The Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times “until further notice”.

In a statement, Renault said: “Renault acknowledges the concerns raised regarding the allegations of phone hacking by the News of the World. Is a result of the seriousness of the allegations, we can confirm that Renault has reviewed its media advertising plans. We have decided to cease advertising in News International publications until further notice.”

Marketing Week noted that Renault spent £266,000 advertising in the News of the World from January to May 2011. There is no indication of the value of advertising in the other News International papers.

It was another car manufacturer Ford that led the flight of advertisers from the News of the World. Renault's act may be a one-off or it could presage more bad news for what is a highly toxic brand.

Bebe in compromising pose

I could have given this a totally different title or cropped the photo to such an extent that the not-wife would have castrated me!

Tim and Celena

© 2011 Shaun P Downey

07 July 2011

NOTW demise changes nothing

Now that my two nanoseconds of euphoria over the NOTW's demise has passed over, I can't help but view James Murdoch's action with more than a dash of cynicism.

I would agree that, commercially, the closure makes sense - the paper was haemhorraging advertising revenue and a large scale boycott was inevitable. Given the nature of recent revelations there was probably little that News International could do to reclaim whatever little reputation the rag ever had. I do feel for those who will lose their jobs as a result of the criminal actions of others.

It is a drastic move by any standards, but it is unlikely that closure was due to any noble intent. I doubt that James Murdoch had any real concern for the hurt done to  the families of Millie Dowler, Jessica Chapman, Holly Wells, the 7/7 victims and the servicemen killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The only victim that a Murdoch cares for, I am sure, is a Murdoch. The NOTW allegations have damaged their company's reputation especially here in the UK.  Murdoch in all probability shut the paper in an attempt to safeguard its takeover of the satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

It is unlikely that other papers will be allowed to capitalise on the NOTW's absence. A new Sunday publication, (perhaps or perhaps not a Sunday edition of the Sun) will replace it within a few weeksy.A "clean slate" and lots of tits and celebrity shagging (but no hacking, honest guv) and Newscorp will be raking in the Sunday money again.

The NOTW's closure must not derail any investigations into its past actions. The public inquiry must go ahead straight away. Its terms should be extended to determine whether other papers have committed similar acts.

We need to know the following:

  • the FULL extent of the NOTW's phone hacking activities
  • the journalists directly responsible for commissioning these acts.

  • The full extent of complicity of management, right up to the top echelons of Newscorp
  • Full details of illegal payments to police officers
It is not just the NOTW, it is important that the Metropolitan Police's previous handling of investigations are scrutinised Were they compromised by illegal payments? In addition the role of politicians needs to be looked at.

News International must also suspend its Chief Executive forthwith. Rebekah Brooks was NOTW editor at the time of some of the worst transgressions. No proper   internal investigation can take place while she has access to company records. If she was complicit in any way then she must be dismissed and, if sufficient evidence is available, stand trial.

The Press Complaints Commission must be abolished. It is clearly not fit for purpose.

The Newscorp takeover of BSyB must be stopped. The company is currently not fit to extend its media influence. It would be desirable if Newscorp was forced to offload its press holdings in the UK. That said would new owners be much better (Thinks of Maxwell and Black)

I could go on.It is good and not good news that the NOTW is no more but thee are essential lessons that need to be learned. Do not let the Murdochs derail things.


if you hurry you can still get a four week free trial to NOTW.

Click here before it is too late

News of the World is axed

James Murdoch (son of Rupert) has just announce that Sunday's edition of the NOTW will be its last.

Murdoch minot's statement is reported by the BBC and Guardian but it wil be everywhere soon.

Good riddance to bad rubbish I say. But this is not the end of matters. There are many issues that must still be investigated and criminal charges laid

I daresay that the replacement paper will be along soon but that it will not be a whole lot better, content-wise.


© 2011 Shaun P Downey