Saturday, May 10, 2008

Gut busting

I used to be thin - very thin. At 21 I weighted 9 stone and had a 30-in waist, and was still pretty skinny (and fit) in my mid-thirties - but a desk job, three meals a day and lots of kids and D.I.Y (meaning far fewer weekends in the hills) left a fiftysomething Laban looking at 13 stone and a 38-inch gut. Euuch ! (I'm 5'9'')

When I noticed the tops of my thighs rubbing together and my GP started dropping hints about blood pressure, statins and the possibility of diabetes, it was time to do something. So for the last 5 weeks or so a greying, teddy-bear shaped figure has been pounding the lanes at lunchtime or in the evening pretty much every day. I try to do about 4 miles at lunchtime or 3 in the evening.

The routine tends to be :

Run 150 yards ... walk 25 while recovering wind ... run 150 yards ... walk 25 ... and so on - although the running machine seems easier (no gradients ?) and one can do a mile non stop on that at about 5-6 mph (well, 1500 metres at 9kph says the machine).

It's having an effect. My legs never had this sort of muscle on them when I was 10 stone and fit - presumably having to shift 13 stone gives them that much more to do. The thigh fat has almost gone and been replaced by muscle.

But ... I've put on half a stone and the gut looks just as it did before ! Should I be doing something apart from running ?

Tower Hamlets Church Attack Update

The second in the last couple of months.

Mr Scully, however, insists it was not a ‘policing’ problem, but a ‘community’ problem.

“These are someone’s sons, someone’s brothers,” he said. “These people are known in the community. There is a certain racial and religious element to this, I have been and was taunted religiously — and that is a worrying aspect of it. But I would not make that a ‘flag of convenience.’ These are drunken yobs and that is the shame of it. They could probably have a very bright future ahead of them if they only did something about it.”

Police are investigating the assault and say they are looking for three Asian youths, all aged about 16.

The attack has also brought condemnation from Tower Hamlets Council.

The authority’s community cohesion spokesman, Cllr Ohid Ahmed, said: “The idiots who carried out this attack have let their community down as well as themselves and their families.

Elsewhere in East Lahndahn - underclass man 'loses marbles'.

THIS is the yob who has been slapped with a unique anti-social behaviour order banning him from carrying rocks, pebbles and marbles for four years anywhere in London's East End.

Kalum Lamptey admitted using stones to smash car windows when he went before magistrates.

The order also bans him from touching any motor vehicle without the permission of the owner for the same period. The 20-year-old was sentenced to an 18-month Supervision Order by Thames magistrates after pleading guilty to stealing from a car on April 30.
He appeared in the dock after being arrested in Wapping on April 22, when he asked for 13 other similar offences to be taken into account. A 60-day curfew banning him from leaving his home in Zetland Street, Poplar, between 8pm and 6am has also been imposed.

"Kalum". Really. Reminds me of this.

"Please, please can someone help us"

The travellers encamped illegally at Crays Hill have won their High Court battle against eviction after Lawrence Collins ruled they they could stay 'while concerns about their needs and welfare are further investigated.'

Tragically the needs and welfare of those whom obey the planning (and other) legislation don't seem such a high priority.

Posted by: Hovefields resident, wickford on 2:59pm Fri 9 May 08

We have been totally let down by this government. I don't know which cloud this judge has been sitting on for the past 6 years but he should be knocked off his perch and told to live in the real world. We have suffered so much down here I just want to sit down and cry buckets but no I have to pick myself up and fight again. Our human rights are non existent, why will no-one listen to us, why is this allowed to happen to us. We have no faith in our judicial system whatsoever. Please, please can someone help us because we are at a loss as to what to do. Most of the comments are realistic and supportive and I thank you for these.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Love Music Love Racism

From the East London Advertiser, via reader Jockney :

"A gang of 20 youths attacked four Asian youngsters outside Victoria Park's Love Music Hate Racism carnival last month, leaving them needing hospital treatment. As they left the festival ground, the group was set upon by the gang of between 15 and 20 white and black youths around 6.30 pm on Sunday, April 27"

They don't seem to have quite got the hang of this "Black and White Unite and Fight" business, do they ? I wonder if they're the same crowd that were such a sign of progress for Simon Price ?

(also another attack on the clergy in Tower Hamlets)

Posting Is Light

I'm back on a revamped Harry's Place blogroll - for reasons as mysterious as those which led to my removal ... as I said about Expat Yank a couple of years back :

Having a favourite blog undergo a makeover is like the wife returning from town with radical new hairstyle. You'll get used to it and grow to love it, but what was wrong with the way it was before ?

I don't know why, but the new HP layout has a touch of the Iain Dale's about it. Or something. Not sure it's got the same bold identity as before - the previous layouts shouted 'Harry' to a visually impaired man 50 feet from the monitor and this doesn't. Get more red in there for starters !

I'm fully entitled to say this of course, as I chose my layout and colour scheme from the 2003 blogger defaults - and since then it's been like unto the laws of the Medes and Persians - unchanged and unchangeable.

Now if only Clive Davis would put me back ...

Blogging is light due to work-type things, have a look at some of these ... Ross at Unenlightened Commentary, Sam Tarran, and the mighty EU Referendum - easily IMHO the best, most informed blog around, its only drawback being that you have to sit and think when reading it. Gordon Brown being still doomed, the site Bloggers4Labour also offers entertainment to those of a sadistic disposition.

Monday, May 05, 2008

State Broadcaster Does Its Bit

Maddy frets because it creates low paid, insecure jobs.

Johann frets because it creates BNP voters.

Laban chips in :

Mass immigration is IMHO the main engine of insecure employment/low wages - and that's what it's there for.

Jon Cruddas pointed out two years back that the govt "tacitly used immigration to help forge the preferred flexible North American labour market. Especially in London, legal and illegal immigration has been central in replenishing the stock of cheap labour across the public and private services, construction and civil engineering."

Immigrant labour "is the axis for the domestic agenda of the Government".

They certainly have a flexible labour market in the States, thanks to mass illegal immigration from Mexico and points South. During the Republican primaries it seemed that every other day some populist anti-immigrant candidate was busted for having an 'undocumented' gardener or nanny. Might be hard to credit, but evil fascist GWB was only stopped from 'regularising' millions of illegal migrants by a revolt from his own party.

Some say mass immigration is the Left's revenge on the working class for the Thatcher years, but that implies a degree of planning and forethought so is unlikely. It's more a cultural thing, but it does neatly coincide with a need for cheap workers.

People like Johann Hari and some Guardian commenters are calling for an increase in the minimum wage as the answer to the "problem" - the problem being that the natives are restless. They've missed the point. Keeping wages low are what it's all about.

(Of course if immigration stopped tomorrow and all the Poles went home OR if the minimum wage was doubled then yes, wages would rise and that would cause a rise in inflation. But to a great extent inflation has been 'hidden' over the last 10 years via a combination of the Chinese miracle (goods) and mass immigration/offshoring (services). In one sense it OUGHT to rise - that would give a truer picture of where we actually are economically. Then we might look hard at our education and manufacturing disasters and start doing something about them)

And talking of restless natives, did you see the State broadcaster doing its little bit for social cohesion on all its news bulletins tonight, with the video (kindly provided by HMG) of the UK Border Agency (60 guys in Clockwork Orange white boiler-suits, backed by police) in action ?

"Shocked, scared, confused - 56 workers are lined up"

Putin can't teach this lot anything about media control.

"There are dodgy employers out there who are trying to undercut their competitors and drive down British wages by employing people illegally, so we've come up with this new way of taking much faster on-the-spot action," Immigration Minister Liam Byrne told the BBC.

Ah, those British wages ! Can't you just see Britannia on the coins and the Queen (God bless her) on the notes ? Drive them down illegally and the white boiler-suits will nail you ! (drive them down legally and anyone who doesn't like it is a Nazi).

Thus far has the party of Keir Hardie advanced. But hey, it'll help convince the stupid natives that 'they' are doing something.

(There was also an interesting discussion on utility which alas time prevented me from joining)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

I Make No Comment - I Merely Report ...

Music journalist Simon Price sounds like a bit of a Steve Strange for the Noughties - small town Welsh boy who's discovered the glorious freedom of swanning round the big city in makeup and outrageous garb. I wonder if he tries that in Stockwell or Harlesden ?

I confess to knowing zilch about him other than that he's noticed that the hippie/crusty/traveller scene is/was hideously white and middle class - which it generally was and probably still is, when I look at its modern enviro-activist manifestation. He thinks that's a bad thing, which is odd when you look at the profile of the club he runs in London - it looks pretty low on melanin to me (and looks like somewhere I'd have loved in my degenerate days).

He's written this for the Indie, on the Love Music Hate Racism concert last week :

I've been mugged three times in London. Now, looking at it objectively, spread over 20 years of living in one of the world's most crowded cities, that's not a bad tally. The trouble is this: every time, the perpetrators were young, male and black. On the third and most serious occasion, I was clubbed on the head with a metal bar, dragged into an alley, and held with a knife to my neck by one guy while his accomplice raided £500 from my bank account.

What do I "do" with that? The progressive thing to do is, if not write it off as a statistical blip, at least place it in the context of wider sociological factors. But one's intellectual and visceral responses are two different things, and as a committed anti-racist I was shocked to find myself flinching every time a young black male (particularly if dressed in a particular fashion) passed me in the street. Maybe I shouldn't have thrown that victim counselling leaflet in the bin.

This is precisely why Love Music Hate Racism needs to exist.
To keep Simon from having bad, Daily Mail thoughts ... he's 40 years old. I don't know, but I think it's unlikely he's bringing up a family.
At Angel Tube afterwards, I'm harassed by a gang of young guys with a Stanley knife. A couple of them are black; a few of them are mixed race; a couple of them are white. That may not be the kind of progress LMHR has in mind, but it's progress of sorts.
Well. What do you make of that ? As the psychiatrist in Fawlty Towers put it "There's enough material here for a whole conference !". I have no time to write a long essay, so let's just leave this as it is.

Laban's Election Roundup

A few points

a) Labour did well in the Assembly votes - they finished with one extra seat

b) this was in marked contrast to the Labour vote elsewhere. The Ken effect, or an effect of the (relatively) high turnout ?

c) outside of London the working class Labour heartlands are losing the tribal Labour votes. And once identification stops being tribal, it's difficult - if not impossible - to go back. I remember how I felt when I first walked into a booth to cast a Tory vote (2001 after voting Labour since 18). The first time is the hardest. I would still vote Labour again (if Frank Field led them!) but it'll never be a tribal thing again. My children haven't inherited the 'Labour are for people like us' culture that I was brought up on, either. Look at the collapse in the South Wales Valleys. Look at some of the places the BNP gained seats - Bedworth, Rotherham, Stoke. These aren't Tories switching votes. Look at the performance of the Barrow in Furness People's Party. Labour's contempt for the working class - over immigration, the smoking ban, pensions, the 10p tax rate, crime - is at last being returned with interest.

d) Both Respect and the BNP underwent damaging splits over the last year in which some of their best and most committed organisers departed. The BNP seem to have weathered this somewhat better - I'm surprised Respect didn't do better in London. However Respect aren't going to go away - the odd comment at Socialist Unity tells me that Galloway's Talk Sport radio show is attracting a steady trickle of interest and recruits. (En passant, any split in the far-right immediately brings forth conspiracists seeing the hand of MI5 - and to be fair, they do have a lot of enemies. The Respect split sees to have been accomplished without people seeing the hand of the Bilderberg/Freemasons/Jews/Special Branch everywhere). Two possibilities for the Respect performance :

i) (IMHO most likely) Livingstone's courting of the Muslim vote in London squeezed them - but I'd still expect them to do better in City and East. In Sparkbrook (Brum) they gained a seat and now have three.

ii) they miss the organisational skills of the SWP aka Left List

e) the SWP rump Left List got hammered as once again 'the workers failed to recognise their own best interests'. In Lambeth they only got a few more votes than the delightfully named Jasmijn De Boo of the 'Animals Count' party.

f) the BNP vote in London was only half a percent or less up on its previous vote.

g) but in people terms it was up from 90K to 130K - around a 45% increase. Supporter Guessedworker thinks their candidate ought to show the sort of grace that his beloved does.

h) the anti-BNP case has two contradictory strands

i) they are well-organised suited thugs with a Nazi master plan which will end by revitalising the British rolling-stock industry and lead to the construction of new railway lines to some mysterious buildings in mid-Wales

ii) they are incompetent lumpen thugs who don't turn up to council meetings and don't know what an agenda is
They can't both be right. A bit like the Miliband/Burnham dichotomy or the Tory confusion noted by outradgie.

i) in London the Greens appear to be the acceptable left-wing alternative to Labour

j) some exceptions to the Labour disaster - Oxford, where the IWCA, a genuine left-wing workers party, lost two of their four seats and Cambridge. Could it be that liberal academics and NGO wonks outnumber horny-handed sons and daughters of toil in those fair cities ?

k) now comes decision time for Labour. Do they sack Gordon now, or wait, hypnotised, hoping for Boris to say 'picaninnies' again or something else to turn up ? I think they should, but I hope they don't. Let's draw out the agony. Either way, they'll wait for the Crewe bye-election. If their vote collapses there - which I think is quite possible - they really will be on the rack. Inshallah they'll bottle it anyway and the torture (for them) will continue for another two years.

l) yesterday I knew Gordon was doomed when I looked at the press, looked at a few Labour supporting blogs saying 'In the name of Gord, go !' and actually found myself feeling sorry for him. It didn't last. I went to this site to see what the stealth increase would be on our 2.2 diesel car, which does a not-too-bad 44 to the gallon. £170 this year - £270 two years from now. And it's not a 'green' tax, which would be on petrol consumption. The money's just being used to fill the gaping holes in Gordon's book-keeping. The Labour Party can tar and feather him as far as I'm concerned.

This is all straight off the top of the head stuff based on a trawl of news and blog sources. The big picture for me is the fragmentation of the Labour vote and the end (or a long pace towards the end) of tribal working-class loyalty to them. Quite right too, given that Labour hasn't been loyal to them since ... when ? Jim Callaghan ? Wilson ? Gaitskell ?

Comments/corrections welcome.