Friday, 30 March 2007

Being Positive

If you are: great.

If you're not: don't fall for all that bullshit. You call it like it is: in otherwords, a massive two fingers to all the fuckers.

We have written the doctrine of being positive into our very curriculum, prescribing a set of reactions for an infinite combination of thoughts & feelings.

So if it seems like a pile of old horse manure to look on the positive and to believe that it all turns out for the best -

tell 'em all to fuck off!

(I'd love to draw a massive graphic of two fingers but I don't know how)

Drummer's Head vs Drummer's Arse

Alright. I can accept that some people - mainly those who know me, may their shell suits be blighted - think that I have my head stuffed so far up my own arse that I can tickle my own tongue.

However. This is not true. There is a breed of people who have their heads a lot further up their own jacksies than myself. Such people, occasionally known as "teachers" with a subdivision who shall remain nameless, are thought to spend entire days eulogising themselves and their ideals, at enormous expense. They are also thought to organise immense entertainments and to spend so much time organising them that the object of said events is _completely forgotten_. In the course of this, some things which are believed to have been sighted at 9pm on dank Thursday nights include 40 minute unfunny sketches - one of the worst "entz" crimes ever devised.* In this devilish medium, some largely untalented persons recite (or worse, it is thought, _improvise_ ) cliched-friendly-indictments of known persons for the delectation of non-persons present. Or of persons unpresent. Either way the effect is deadly. Within 30 minutes mild irritation is caused to the outer thought-centres of the brain, inducing a slight dream state known as "boredom". In this conscious-state it is thought that committed persons can suddenly -

lose their commitment -

Anyway. In such a tedious environment an individual can succumb to collectivist ideals, such as blasting the damn hell out of half the bastards here; or worse, of "fomenting revolution", in which persons deemed arbitrarily to be in power (usually those sighted by the revolutionary at any given time) are slaughtered by huge weapons, or even by the _sheer power of thought_. Occasionally the revolutionary is thought to put a whole load of people up against an imaginary wall and shoot the sam hell out of their sorry asses.

The cautionary tale here is to not get involved with people who think their cause is more important than any particular individual (especially when the individual in question is supposedly being celebrated but generally the moral applies anyhow); and to tell people to "fuck off" when one is invited to anything.

Anything at all.

AND the evening was not for the drummer. The drummer was merely a spectator with a headache.

* Another such crime is showing film of the _drummer's bald patch_ to 300 people.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Drummer's Poor Behaviour

Today I had a long distance (half a street) argument with a teenage girl. I drove over her football because she wouldn't stop playing football in the street when I drove by but couldn't stop (it bounced into my path) then when I did stop and _apologised_ for driving over her ball she accused me of being on the phone, which I wasn't and _never am_.

Unfortunately the drummer did not behave like a grown up: I was too afraid to go up to her and tell her to be sensible; too afraid to go and see her parents; and too angry at her response not to say "get stuffed" (which I did say, but I did not swear or be aggressive).

Is it the drummer who is pathetic and childish, or has the world changed? I have lived on and off in this street for 23 years. I know it and I know the people. But some of the kids now have a confidence, an aggression (this girl has abused people who've asked her to get out of the road before) - that my generation (when I were a lad) didn't have.

I feel guilty for responding but determined not to allow my street to be taken over. I know this is rubbish but - how did it get this way that an adult feels he needs to assert himself over teenage girls?

Answers _not_ on a postcard please.

Monday, 26 March 2007

Odd Words

Incidentally, reading in church on Sunday was the only time I've ever been called upon to say the word "sexual" in church outside of the confessional. I certainly never expected to say it during the bidding prayers, but times change I guess.

Work, Football Etc

Speaking of the toad, work: I hate it because I don't like giving effort for no reward - does Steve McClaren? Sure, his money is great, but does he _really_ enjoy being slagged off in all the media, or the pervasive sense he must have that he is failing at his job?

Did Bob Woolmer, in a far more profound sense than even I suspected, die for his job? If he did then surely the WC must end. God I hate it when people who are not dead say "it's what he would have wanted".

Well let me make this very clear. If someone comes up to me tomorrow and says "Look, TD, you're going to be murdered in the staff room by an irate parent, but we're going to carry on the school day anyway because it's what you would want" I would tell them to fuck off, and that in fact what I want is the entire village closed, a vast procession by all villagers, a memorial service, and a massive obit in the local press. Carry on? You're joking.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

For Myself, Crushed By Ingsoc, & Anyone Else


Philip Larkin

Why should I let the toad work
Squat on my life?
Can't I use my wit as a pitchfork
And drive the brute off?

Six days of the week it soils
With its sickening poison -
Just for paying a few bills!
That's out of proportion.

Lots of folk live on their wits:
Lecturers, lispers,
Losels, loblolly-men, louts-
They don't end as paupers;

Lots of folk live up lanes
With fires in a bucket,
Eat windfalls and tinned sardines-
they seem to like it.

Their nippers have got bare feet,
Their unspeakable wives
Are skinny as whippets - and yet
No one actually starves.

Ah, were I courageous enough
To shout Stuff your pension!
But I know, all too well, that's the stuff
That dreams are made on:

For something sufficiently toad-like
Squats in me, too;
Its hunkers are heavy as hard luck,
And cold as snow,

And will never allow me to blarney
My way of getting
The fame and the girl and the money
All at one sitting.

I don't say, one bodies the other
One's spiritual truth;
But I do say it's hard to lose either,
When you have both.

Siouxsie Suz

I've added a link to Suz Blog in the Excellent Blogs & Sites bit at the right. I have next to no interest at all in Lib Dem politics but Suz Blog is (as many already know) very eloquent and extremely well written. Well worth a look.

Back To Sensible Posting...

..for now at least, or until I get back from the pub later. The following post contains *spoilers*.

I've just finished the alternative-history novel In the Presence of Mine Enemies by Harry Turtledove, in which a group of Jews live in the shadows of Nazi Berlin in 2010. It's most interesting to me for two reasons: firstly it borrows several aspects from 1984 - the hidden thoughtcriminal who takes genuine pleasure in doing his job for a repressive regime; being taken in and beaten by the Security Police; the concept of being initiated into a secret "club" of people who deserve death simply for being what they are. It also attempts to refute Orwell, in the sense that hope is not only possible, but essential; and that the people do in fact widely harbour thoughts and ideas that the regime would hate if it knew - they simply live with them, rather than being terrified out of them. In addition, the system of surveillance is _not_ the most complete thing about this regime. The spirit of (some) people survives.

Secondly it also borrows from real history, in that the Greater German Reich of 2010, despite being the most powerful state in history, is atrophying under the weight of a gerontocratic government who have lost the impetus of radicalism. The key moment in the story is when the reformist Fuhrer, Heinz Buckliger, is deposed in an SS coup and replaced with an apparatchik run by the Reichsfuhrer-SS, a scene which clearly owes plenty to the 1991 Soviet coup. In this scene, the Wehrmacht enter the fray and smash the power of the SS, exposing them as bullies and causing the Reichsfuhrer-SS to top himself. Nazism is left to continue a path of reform under the Fuhrer and his ebullient and wildly popular Gauleiter of Berlin (obviously Yeltsin).

I wondered about this: it seems overly sympathetic to the Wehrmacht and almost to have them exonerate or rehabilitate themselves, while casting the SS as incompetent bullies. Unlike real history, however, the Nazi government and state is left intact, with no sign that its key premise - the hatred of Jews - is going to change anytime soon, though its leaders have been forced to admit that Ayrans are not necessarily as great as they have been saying for the last 80 years. In this scene you witness the saving of a regime which, though it is never stated, must have exterminated over 200 million people, and you are encouraged to think reform might be possible without thinking that the state itself is going to collapse (viz: the final scene in which the younger sister of Alicia Gimpel is herself "initiated"). The book does therefore, without I think intending to be sympathetic in any way, give the reader an uneasy sense of the regime legitimising itself both in its society and the imagination of the reader - something somewhat disturbing. It is not enough that the SS are brought down several pegs - there is a lot more to the state than the SS.

Plenty of things about the novel are questionable: could a death-cult like Nazism have the energy to have survived that long (a refutation of Winston Smith, if not Orwell - "you cannot build a society on hate")? Would it be so open about the extermination of the Jewish people - given Himmler's famous speech in October 1943 - "a page of glory in our history..never to be written..."? Would it not be more likely simply to make talking about Jews extremely dangerous (as in Robert Harris' "Fatherland")? Why does the technologically advanced state not use much more advanced methods of sniffing out Jews than the phone tap and the denunciation? Perhaps that's to do with the general decay of the state.

Lastly, one thing about it is quite powerful: the surviving Jews pass on the crumbs and the rags of their culture to their children, fully aware that it could lead "to the showers" but with a sense that they must live as though Jewish culture can and will survive. Easy enough to write, perhaps, but very difficult for a comfortable liberal-democrat to read. Some people really do have courage of a different level.

Friday, 23 March 2007

I Don't Play My Red Guitar**

Firstly, if I did have a guitar, I'd play a blue one, or at least an anarcho-capitalist one, which I would have to consensually lay my -non-tax-payer-funded hands on - as I cannot bear the concept of bossing anyone around for anything. I may be a teacher, but one whose discipline skills are, appropriately enough, lax to poor. Secondly, as my parents were piss-poor as bourgeoisie (though my dad, being self employed, was always somewhat on the edge of the labour movement, if not totally in the ocean*), I cannot, I am sorry to say, play any instrument at all - a red guitar being among the least likely of those that I might have ever picked up and plucked.

As if that tale of post-consensus woe weren't enough, the whole concept of a guitar, red or otherwise, being the "devil in the flesh", is ridiculous. I am a Catholic, as my regular reader wil no, and this means that the flesh is evil. Indeed, I can now-a-days see the Church's point. Why do we love sex and hate toilet habits so much? It seems to me outrageous that men can have a massive shit and a smelly fart and laugh about it, but this is denied to women, who continue to believe that these utterly pleasurable and prehistorically natural functions are in some way "bad" or "shameful". It is surely a mark of the repression of our post-modern society that farts and big smelly shits are regarded in a pejorative way when, in a far more profound way than sex, they _keep us alive_. Yes, they don't make us, but then who thinks that has owt to do with sex anymore? Evacuating our bowels (to wherever) keeps us alive. And nowt compares with staying alive (if compost mentis of course). Why, in the twenty-first century, do I never hear of women "having the turtle's head", or being "desperate to park my fudge" or needing to "lay a cable"? Given that the pleasure they'll get out of this is second only to the pleasure of eating when absolutely gasping for grub, I think we should be told.

Next, in this catalogue of dire physical need and mental degeneration, comes the fact that despite being an anarcho-fuckwit, I cannot bear the idea of working for life. Yes, I'm lazy. Whatever. The truth is, that the beliefs I hold about human society rest entirely on the idea of work - and of that being the sum of human existence, in - partly - that it leaves exhaust trails of us when we die for the pathetic generations to follow. And yet. And..zzzzz...I cannot bear work. I would love to go on strike a la the guys out of Atlas Shrugged, except that they are damned _good_ at what they do and I am not. If I went on strike I'd die. If I do work I live in a cloud of filth.

Finally - "why do I fail just when I'm needed" - sex. "Crushed By Ingsoc" who is, like Matt, younger AND more intelligent than me (Jesus!), likes it and seems to do it a lot. Fair enough. I don't. Partly through the fall of days. Don't get me wrong here, but don't get me right either. It isn't my life nor would I want it to be. If I were a real, true rebel - I wouldn't do it at all. I would stick two pissed off fingers up to the whole damn race back to soil and whisper to no-one "fuck off".

The problem is....I'm in love....have been for years...with someone wonderful...and it's...nice...

-- This has been brought to you by Stella Artois and Walkers Crisps. Again. --

*= indeed, practically a fascist, or so he was told between 1972 and 1985 for *heh* wanting to work when he wanted to. So he couldn't work because there was no leccy - who gives a shit?

**= I Play My Red Guitar

I think this link gives you the video of Red Guitar but if it doesn't don't blame me. You can, however, ask me what the photon I'm talking about.

UPDATE A COUPLE OF MINUTES AFTER POSTING: sigh. Yes I know I'm a teacher. Ergo all of my money is taxpayer extorted. Hey ho.

Thursday, 22 March 2007


I've just discovered that Notsaussure has nominated me as a thinking blogger, or thogger. I am deeply honoured and flattered. If I do make anyone think it is a miracle as I rarely do any thinking myself; something I tried to point out at Ian's place but just sounded angry (which I wasn't). I am, as I've said before, impressionistic and instinctive. I know some bloggers think this is the worst side of the blogosphere, but for me it makes a terrific mix of daily reading to be able to digest policy or analysis posts, and then to switch to more emotive or feeling-based posts. As most important issues are decided for most people (I think - hoho) on a sort of mixture of logic and a kind of unreason based on tradition, instinct, a "feel" for what is right, or custom (or lack of), that seems to me fair enough in terms of trying to learn from the blogosphere itself.

So....trying to avoid people I know have already been nominated, 5 thoggers for me:

Matt Murrell. He doesn't write too much, or using too hard words. But he very often has real nuggets of insight and good ideas.

Deogolwolf. I get tied in knots with the philosophy, especially if "cirdan" is commenting, but it's great nonetheless.

Welshcakes Limoncello. Bear with me on this. This is a really good example of a different kind of, culture, creativity...and it's written in a very approachable style.

Trixy. She's developing into a really fine policy poster, who mixes a very high level of detail with outrage and a bit of swearing.

Notsaussure. This is not nepotism. You cannot fault his legal knowledge and his willingness to go into detail whereas I'd rather be at the pub but really need to know some of this stuff (even if the bits where he praises Lord Falconer grate with me!)

apologies to anyone who's already been nominated, and to those who find this kind of crap the blogosphere at its disappearing up its own jacksie worst. I kind of agree, but on the other hand some blogs deserve promotion and deserve, erm, thought.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Doing Quotation Marks With Your Fingers

Over at Harry's Place someone in the comments (on the post about Quotation Marks) mentions people who do quotation marks while they're talking; usually, in my considerable experience, this is accompanied by tar-thick sarcasm and some kind of not-very-clever-but-thinks-it-is comment.

I'm sorry to say I was a teenager who did that the whole time. My only defence is this: Stephen Fry did it on tv, so I thought it was cool. I also hated the guts of most people I had to talk to, so knowing it pissed them off was fine by me. However, I can now see that this is the behaviour of a wanker. On the positive side, I don't think I've done it since 1994 so I've been clean for a while now.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Very Sad Cricket News

A day after seeing his Pakistan side lose to Ireland, Bob Woolmer has died. Aggers has just broken the news during commmentary on the England v Canada game. Apparently he was found unconscious in his hotel room this morning and taken to hospital where his condition was "serious"; now he has gone. I can only hope that this brilliant, likeable man did not lose his life because of a silly game - in the sense that I kind of hope it was not the stress that caused a heart attack or something. I know that sounds a bit strange, but cricket is a game, a lovely, funny game: but it is a game and the pressure it creates is out of all proportion to its importance.

RIP Bob Woolmer.

Monday, 12 March 2007


Sorry for the variable quantity and indeed quality of recent posts. I seem to go through weeks where, despite being assailed by avalanches of idiocy and governmental cynicism, I find I have little to say, instead I simply shake my head and try to get on with what life I do have. I'm probably not being overly controversial if I say I've fallen slightly out of love with the blogosphere too - the recent blogwars, which ultimately seemed to me to come down to one set of people telling another set what to do on their own patches, seemed not only pointless but the exact opposite of what the blogosphere is or could be. We have a forum of global free speech, like an enormous pub and we can go and talk with anyone we want, listen to whomever we want, ignore whatever we don't like or get stuck into debate with whatever we don't like. If we concede the need for regulation, or rules (never actually made by democratically elected representatives, and incapable, it seems, of repeal) - we lose what makes or what made the blogosphere unique. I don't make any pretences for my own status. I'm not a citizen journalist. I don't really research anything, I'm an impressionistic writer and reader and I call it how I see it. But some blogs (not mine) do feature better quality writing than you get from the professional journalists. Michael Henderson in the Torygraph I think on Saturday slated the blogosphere as "the latest excrescence" in which "social inadequates" get to mouth off about things. Well if that isn't a fine description of Fleet Street I don't know what is. It's not the blogosphere which gets paid handsomely to write ignorant vitriol; it's not the blogosphere which claims the authority of professionalism while maintaining the political biases which everyone knows it has; it's not the blogosphere which builds and destroys celebrities for its own wealth's sake; it's not the blogosphere which takes photos of people on holiday and then criticises the drooping of their breasts; it's not the blogosphere which is the world famous home of boozers,cynics, cheats and downright liars.

So, Mr Henderson. I have a response for you. And the response is: fuck off. Now in the old days, I'd have written to you and you'd have thrown my letter in the bin. But nowadays quite a few people will get to read it. So the blogosphere is a good thing. And actually, I _do_ like it. Heh - so much for consistency, eh? So here's my response once more, in case you missed it:

fuck off.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Football. Isn't know...Giggsy Wiggsy...

As regular readers will know I'm more of a cricket man but I do enjoy watching football and there is little to compare with the UEFA Champions League, surely the greatest club competition in existence, only 50 years old but with great myths and narratives: Real Madrid of the 50s, the Munich disaster and United's 68 win, Celtic, Ajax, Bayern, the great AC Milan side of the 1990s and, of course, Liverpool. A match like Liverpool v Barcelona, is more than football. Bound up in Liverpool is a tradition of working class life, now on the way out; a tradition of success and tragedy, a claim to international greatness. Bound up in Barcelona is regional and national identity, a way of life, politics, history and a method of football. Bringing these diverse strands together is what club football does very well and the Champions League in particular manages to mix with a kind of generally healthy nationalism and, rather more rarely, a European outlook. The European Cup predates the Treaty of Rome. Having said that about its nationalism, it has not always been this way, which brings me back to where I started. The competition we have today has been forged, as well as built by its past, including its worst moment: Heysel. Some have learned more than others from that and it is good to see English clubs, now nearly a generation away from that moment, reclaiming their places at the heart of a tough but often inspired competition. I'm no Liverpool fan but I'm delighted for them and I will be supporting all the UK clubs tonight, with an especially hopeful eye on Celtic.

State In Pointless Exertion of Power Shock

From the Daily Fail and a couple of blogs, as well as here I read that churches will have to "prominently" display no-smoking signs once the ban comes in. Firstly that is a bit odd; will they have to put up signs to cover all the other activities that are not allowed there too? Will we see "No Sex" signs, with the silhouette of a couple shagging and a red line through them (no crass jokes about the RC church and sex please)? No parking signs in the sanctuary? No speeding in the car park? Jesus. Secondly, it will blight many otherwise beautiful buildings; and thirdly:

it is completely fucking unnecessary and is just the state doing something to enforce its will on others for the sheer fucking sake of it. I must have been in hundreds of churches, been to thousands of masses (at a rough estimate 1560, not including holy days of obligation, so that makes it about 1570), and never, not once, have I even seen a fag in church. Not even in France. Anyone caught smoking in churches would be thrown out anyway. It treats churches and people who use them as idiots (which is the state's opinion now anyway), and is just intended to say, a la Mrs Thatcher, "We are the masters now". There will be people whose job it is to check and enforce this and I bet they will fucking love it too. Why can't the state just fuck right off and leave people alone? how the fuck do you expect anyone at all to function in a postmodern globalised world, especially in a country fast becoming nothing other than a global hub, when they need to be told not to smoke in churches? How can you demand that people are both independent and infants simultaneously? Of course, it comes down not to law enforcement (which progressives seem very keen on now, whereas years ago they tended to prefer talking about not obeying unjust laws, I suppose conservatives have made the opposite journey), but to: this is right, this is our view, and we will fucking well make sure you are aware of it wherever you go and whatever you do. When you are outside of your house, you are a subject of all our laws and fucking hell will you know about it. Let's bolt a big red sign to the outside of Canterbury Cathedral because we own it and we own you so fuck off.

Sunday, 4 March 2007

How Disappointing

According to this site, I'm not banned in China. I'll have to step up my defences of democracy and liberty, and start making a few attacks on communism for being a crock of old murderous shit. Unfortunately, when Britain claims to be a leading free society, the argument tends to fall apart.

Hat-tip: Matt

Friday, 2 March 2007

Notsaussure Does Not Run My Blog or Mind

But on the other hand you might as well let someone with talent and intelligence do their work. NS has also sent me a link to an article by Andrew Sullivan, on his Christian belief, to which I am going to link here. Please do not attempt to engage me with intractable arguments or debates on the existence of God. Anyone who reads my blog, or who knows me, will understand that I am not interested in such debates, having had them many years ago and having emerged with nothing but "confusion in my eyes now" (Mergrave, Castrovalva). If you would like such a debate, please go to "In Search of High Places", in which you will find the brilliant and tolerant Matt and Alex engaged in debate (and occasionally on An Insomniac too). Look at my links for those two. Now that I think of it, one could read the wonderful Castrovalva as a metaphor for religious belief: it is created, is illusory, is destructive. Hmmm. On second thoughts, no. That doesn't quite cut the mustard. is beautiful but unreal. No, it's not that I guess I'll think of it at some point.

No. The reason I love the Sullivan article is this. Mary fails to work but sits at the Lord's feet instead, for which she is praised. Sullivan loves her for this: I feel it as exactly the problem with belief and indeed political ideology. We are great, wonderful, terrible creatures. We should not let ourselves fall mindless to any feet, even those of the eternal divine spirit. We are the spirit's greatest thoughts, or the universe's own attempt to look into itself. We should look at and into immense or even eternal creatures with our own gifts: of thought, understanding, wonder and yes, love. But never to leave thought out of it. I love Mary too for this, but I see it as difficult. Jesus never asks us to shut the **** up and be empty: he asks us to sacrifice, to worship and to work. And, even if they don't concur with your views, that entails rules. Most societies create rules for themselves, even if some people don't like them. In our advanced liberal democracy we love nothing better than creating more and more rules to moderate our conduct (but then I think our modern democracy is deeply suspicious and even contemptuous of people); there will therefore be rules in religion. I take Sullivan's point about fundamentalists and agree, profoundly. But I also acknowledge the need, however slight, for rules, the right of a living system to make demands of its free adherents so that they come closer to its designs. Hence Catholicism has always placed weight on works as well as faith, knowing that even with faith we can often not be bothered with works. Having said that, Sullivan's article is rather more subtle than I've given it credit for being, so if you're interested, read it carefully. I'm not picking an argument, I'm giving a shade of thought. Mary is right, of course, but it is troubling to me.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Knowledgeable Lawmaking

Notsaussure, attempting to comment on my Lawmaking post, has sent me a txt file but it was so detailed I thought I'd be slightly cheeky and post it as a new post in its own right. Ns writes:

Tin Drummer, you be pleased to learn that these proposals for banning Holocaust Denial have, in fact,been dropped as a result of opposition from several countries, including the UK. There was never, to my mind, any serious chance of their becoming law; since the Germans must have known this, I suspect that the proposal must have had more to do with internal German politics than anything else. Minor point about sentencing; you ask 'why will fiddling with the road-pricing boxes or not cooperating with a road pricing inspector carry a 6 month jail sentence? ' The answer is that, in practice, it wouldn't -- the maximum sentence is there as an indication of what sort of sentence Parliament expects courts to hand down, not as an indication of what they should do. A better question would be why they need to create a separate offence of tampering with a road-pricing box when there's a perfectly good offence of criminal damage that carries -- assuming the damage is less that £5,000 -- similar penalties. For Criminal Damage at this level, the Magistrates Court Bench Book suggests a conditional discharge (usually accompanied with compensation) or a fine will normally be appropriate, with community penalties reserved for more extreme cases and prison for only the most aggravated ones (which I think would normally be reserved for fthe most persistent offenders). As to your point about how long someone might expect to spend in custody if he kills someone, I think we need to be specific about this. Someone might, indeed, spend as little as 18 months in custody if he kills someone, if he's found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving. At the other end of the scale, if he's convicted of murder, there are various minimum periods of imprisonment specificed in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 before he may be considered for parole -- most of them 20 or 25 years. For a murder that doesn't have the aggravating features that attract a CJA minimum, the murdered can normally expect to spend about 14 years in custody before he's released on licence. If someone's convicted of manslaughter, then he may well spend less than that in custody, but it very much depends on the circumstances of the killing and on what the parole board think of him six or seven years after the event.

I am grateful to him for putting me straight. My post was really an anxious scratch, rather than a legal exposition. My fear was, and remains, that proposals are being advanced with the threat of stiff punishments as part of them, as if in the knowledge that these are unnecessary or unwanted laws. I would like to think that the authorities will be sensible, but part of me believes that the punishments, in practice rather than theory, will indeed be stiffer for this kind of damage than for ordinary criminal damage - in the sense that it would be seen as a political crime. I am interested to see what the council-smoking-inspectors are going to do, as well.

Thanks, Notsaussure. Thotsaussure.*

*=this is a Look Around You 2 joke. Buy the dvd, it's very funny.

UPDATE: 6.40pm: NS, the link you give -which hasn't come out on the copied text, I see - is to an old story from 2005. The proposal to "harmonise" the EU laws on holocaust denial is from this year

UPDATE: Friday 9.00PM: With NS's help to correct my total ignorance, I've fixed the links in his comment.