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  • Do you really want to be trapped on an island with these people?

    So, we’re halfway into the second week of what’s going to be a tedious and depressing EU referendum campaign. I wouldn’t be surprised if half the country has already become bored and irritated by it all.

    I’ll come straight out and say that I’ll be voting to stay in. There’s a lot wrong with the EU, and the only way to fix the problems is by staying in and arguing more effectively for reform*. Also, it’s naive to think we won’t be affected by EU policies if we leave. We’ll still have to meet the standards they set if we want to trade with them, and there’ll be a load of new restrictions on travelling, living and working on the continent.

    My stance puts me in the unsavoury position of being on the same side as David Cameron, George Osborne and Tony Blair. I’ll live with that. Not least because of the incredibly low quality of so many of the Brexit supporters. A short list, off the top of my head-

    Nigel Farage A caricature of the worst stereotypes of England made flesh. The only good thing I can say about Farage is that, whichever way the vote goes, he’s going to be even more irrelevant after June.

    Boris Johnson A man who plays the buffoon in the hope that we’ll not notice all his cheap political game playing. And the fact that he is a bit of an incompetent. It’s hard to take seriously any claims that Boris’ stance is for anything other than the chance to be leader of the Tory party and possibly PM.

    Michael Gove Gormless, useless little man, who has only got as far as he has by taking advantage of the friendship he has now betrayed with the Prime Minister.

    Iain Duncan-Smith Let’s face it, Duncan-Smith wants out of Europe to save his own skin. He’s scared that a European court might one day hold him to account for introducing policies that have driven thousands of the most vulnerable to early deaths and pushed people to suicide.

    Nigel Lawson Walnut faced former Chancellor who now makes millions of pounds conjuring up weak arguments for gullible climate change deniers to keep spouting, thus slowing down progress on fixing the greatest imminent threat to everyone’s way of life.

    John Redwood Supposedly hyper-intelligent former minister, who was once known as the Vulcan, but now looks more like Dobby the house elf. Redwood’s highly intelligent and deeply considered opinion on matters of climate change and energy policy somehow always sounds like the sort of thing Nigel Lawson’s group has dreamt up for gullible climate change deniers to repeat endlessly.

    David Icke Really. David Icke supporting something is the equivalent of having it stamped “100% guaranteed bullshit”.

    These are the people who will be running this country if the referendum results in us leaving (well, apart from Icke, he’ll probably say something incoherent about lizards, then disappear back to wherever it is he hides). They are scum, and they’ll be even harder to escape from, because they’ll trash your chances of going to live and work in Europe.

    A vote to stay could be the first part of a double whammy. First, do serious damage to the careers of the would-be leavers by rejecting their campaign. This will have a knock-on effect of destabilising, maybe even splitting, the Conservative party**, offering an opportunity for more sensible parties to sweep in and kick them out at the next election.

    It might not happen, but I’m an optimist.

    *And kicking out all the UKIP MEPs. Really, is there anything less useful than a UKIP MEP? They’ve been elected to something they want the country to leave, and their constant refrain is how terrible the EU is for Britain. They could use their positions to fix those problems, and make things better for thr UK. But then, that would show that the EU is capable of doing good things for Britain, making the case for staying in. So UKIP MEPs must just sit on their hands and make things worse, because it’s the only way they can achieve what they want. They’re actively making things worse for us, under the pretence that they’re working to make things, somehow, better.

    **Actually, either result could have this effect. But In is the best for the majority of us.


  • Two out of three ain’t bad

    Two of the leaders of the three main parties in the UK are now on record as not believing in God. Ed Miliband admitted his atheism in a Radio Five interview earlier this week. I’ve said before that religion doesn’t mix well with making decisions which affect the running of the country. You only have to look at Blair and his cowardly cop-out about how God would judge his decision to go ahead with an illegal invasion to see the sort of arrogance and blindness it can cause.


  • Voodoo Histories keep repeating

    I recently read Voodoo Histories: How Conspiracy Theory Has Shaped Modern History by David Aaronovitch. It’s an interesting book which clearly, though with much sarcasm, lays out the history of several conspiracy theories then debunks them. From the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to (in the revised edition I read) the fuss over Obama’s birth certificate, it takes apart the most popular made up histories of the last century.

    One of the theories examined in the book is the “mystery” of the death of David Kelly, a conspiracy theory which has been dug up again by the Daily Mail. The in-depth and considered (“The Mail has a healthy scepticism of conspiracy theories.” insists a related editorial) drags up the same arguments as previous iterations of this tale. “Severing the ulnar artery couldn’t have produced enough blood loss to die from.” But only one mention of the overdose of co-proxamol painkillers Kelly took, enough to be fatal by themselves in most cases, and none of an existing arterial problem. “Kelly didn’t seem suicidal.” To people who knew him in passing and are looking back on the events with the whispers of foul play colouring their opinions. His wife, on the other hand, had noticed how depressed he was about his sudden unwanted notoriety. “The Government stood to gain from his death.” Now I’m no fan of Blair, and opposed the invasion of Iraq, but I can’t see any way that the slimy little bastard could have benefitted from Kelly’s death. If anything, the suicide kept the spotlight on the flimsy reasoning behind the invasion of Iraq far longer than if Kelly hadn’t died.

    Of course, it shouldn’t be a surprise that a conspiracy theory wouldn’t die. I bet the Protocols are still considered real in certain circles. And it’s no surprise that the Daily Mail should be so intent on stirring it up. It’s just a shame that so much time is going to be wasted on this when there are more important things to be dealing with.


  • The Leaders’ Debate drinking game (suggestions welcome)

    It’s the second of the Leaders’ debates tonight, and I should be listening to it if I don’t get distracted by Episodes from Liberty City.

    These look like they’ll become an election fixture, so it’s time to start thinking about a drinking game. Gather around your television or radio and take a drink every time-

    Nick Clegg mentions Sheffield, where he’s an MP.

    Gordon Brown makes a lame and obviously scripted joke.

    David Cameron starts an anecdote with “Recently I was in <city> where I met a….”

    Anyone mentions Eton.

    The chairman has to shout.

    You still find yourself thinking “So that’s what Nick Clegg looks like.”

    Watching it on Sky HD bonus addition

    Gordon Brown in high definition makes you shudder.

    Not-sober-until-Sunday optional additions-

    Anyone mentions Trident

    Anyone mentions Afghanistan

    Anyone mentions “Our brave troops (boys/men and women etc.)

    Permanent liver damage (but worth it) bonus

    Gordon Brown says “Of course Tony was lying about WMDs and we all knew he was.”


  • Get God out of politics

    I don’t think, in the 21st century, we should be letting superstitions sway politics. Your religion can affect the way you behave but not the way you expect others to behave. Come Judgement Day the Flying Spaghetti Monster is going to weigh your soul based upon how much good you did, not how many people you bullied into pretending to love it.

    However, we still have Bush and Blair invading Iraq because their imaginary friend told them to ignore the facts and go right ahead and act on their fantasies. Every one of the US presidential candidates has to assert that they are faithy-er than the next one and the most scary of the Republican mob puts subliminal crosses in his campaign videos.

    So it’s refreshing to have the new Lib Dem leader give a straightforward answer to an irrelevant question. It’s a shame he then had to go and spoil this moment of uncommon honesty from a politician by issuing a statement that he didn’t wish to offend Christians. The sort of Chrisian who’s offended that another person doesn’t believe exactly the same things they do isn’t really a Christian. They’re just someone hiding behind a convenient shield and using it as an excuse to air all their insecurities.

    Take religion out of politics, and call people’s bluff every time they try to use faith to justify their prejudices, and the world will start to be a better place.


  • King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud does irony

    Who would have thought that Saudi Arabia’s 83 year old monarch wanted to cut it as a comedian. He’s certainly trying “Saudi king chides UK on terrorism“. Yes, the king of the country that provided 15 of the 19 hijackers who flew planes into US landmarks, and which has been implicated with funding terrorists both before and since, says we’re doing a bad job.

    I know Tony, George and now Gordon have done a shit job of protecting us (and a great one of encouraging and promoting terrorism), but even I have to come to their defence when someone like King Abdullah makes such claims. And then I have to turn round and wonder why we’re still trading with his country and letting it blackmail us into ignore massive corruption just so we can sell them a few planes. So kudos to Vince Cable for boycotting the visit.


  • King Tony to announce his abdication today

    A few years too late, Tony Blair is to announce his departure today. As with any Prime Minister who stayed on too long, the positive achievements of the first term and a bit are overshadowed, and even negated, by the arrogant over stretching of Iraq, PFI etc.

    Here are a few Spinneyhead Tony pictures-

    Pictures taken from this post and this post.

    Update A bonus Mirror front page from a few years ago.


  • Tony Blair sent me an email!

    Me and 28,000 other people who signed a petition against ID cards.

    If you have any links relevant to the points he makes please send them to me/ leave them in the comments and I’ll try to incorporate them into the text.

    The petition calling for the Government to abandon plans for a National ID Scheme attracted almost 28,000 signatures – one of the largest responses since this e-petition service was set up. So I thought I would reply personally to those who signed up, to explain why the Government believes National ID cards, and the National Identity Register needed to make them effective, will help make Britain a safer place.

    The petition disputes the idea that ID cards will help reduce crime or terrorism. While I certainly accept that ID cards will not prevent all terrorist outrages or crime, I believe they will make an important contribution to making our borders more secure, countering fraud, and tackling international crime and terrorism. More importantly, this is also what our security services – who have the task of protecting this country – believe.

    So I would like to explain why I think it would be foolish to ignore the opportunity to use biometrics such as fingerprints to secure our identities. I would also like to discuss some of the claims about costs – particularly the way the cost of an ID card is often inflated by including in estimates the cost of a biometric passport which, it seems certain, all those who want to travel abroad will soon need.

    In contrast to these exaggerated figures, the real benefits for our country and its citizens from ID cards and the National Identity Register, which will contain less information on individuals than the data collected by the average store card, should be delivered for a cost of around £3 a year over its ten-year life.

    But first, it’s important to set out why we need to do more to secure our identities and how I believe ID cards will help. We live in a world in which people, money and information are more mobile than ever before. Terrorists and international criminal gangs increasingly exploit this to move undetected across borders and to disappear within countries. Terrorists routinely use multiple identities – up to 50 at a time. Indeed this is an essential part of the way they operate and is specifically taught at Al-Qaeda training camps. One in four criminals also uses a false identity. ID cards which contain biometric recognition details and which are linked to a National Identity Register will make this much more difficult.

    Secure identities will also help us counter the fast-growing problem of identity fraud. This already costs £1.7 billion annually. There is no doubt that building yourself a new and false identity is all too easy at the moment. Forging an ID card and matching biometric record will be much harder.

    I also believe that the National Identity Register will help police bring those guilty of serious crimes to justice. They will be able, for example, to compare the fingerprints found at the scene of some 900,000 unsolved crimes against the information held on the register. Another benefit from biometric technology will be to improve the flow of information between countries on the identity of offenders.

    The National Identity Register will also help improve protection for the vulnerable, enabling more effective and quicker checks on those seeking to work, for example, with children. It should make it much more difficult, as has happened tragically in the past, for people to slip through the net.

    Proper identity management and ID cards also have an important role to play in preventing illegal immigration and illegal working. The effectiveness on the new biometric technology is, in fact, already being seen. In trials using this technology on visa applications at just nine overseas posts, our officials have already uncovered 1,400 people trying illegally to get back into the UK.

    Nor is Britain alone in believing that biometrics offer a massive opportunity to secure our identities. Firms across the world are already using fingerprint or iris recognition for their staff. France, Italy and Spain are among other European countries already planning to add biometrics to their ID cards. Over 50 countries across the world are developing biometric passports, and all EU countries are proposing to include fingerprint biometrics on their passports. The introduction in 2006 of British e-passports incorporating facial image biometrics has meant that British passport holders can continue to visit the United States without a visa. What the National Identity Scheme does is take this opportunity to ensure we maximise the benefits to the UK.

    These then are the ways I believe ID cards can help cut crime and terrorism. I recognise that these arguments will not convince those who oppose a National Identity Scheme on civil liberty grounds. They will, I hope, be reassured by the strict safeguards now in place on the data held on the register and the right for each individual to check it. But I hope it might make those who believe ID cards will be ineffective reconsider their opposition.

    If national ID cards do help us counter crime and terrorism, it is, of course, the law-abiding majority who will benefit and whose own liberties will be protected. This helps explain why, according to the recent authoritative Social Attitudes survey, the majority of people favour compulsory ID cards.

    I am also convinced that there will also be other positive benefits. A national ID card system, for example, will prevent the need, as now, to take a whole range of documents to establish our identity. Over time, they will also help improve access to services.

    The petition also talks about cost. It is true that individuals will have to pay a fee to meet the cost of their ID card in the same way, for example, as they now do for their passports. But I simply don’t recognise most claims of the cost of ID cards. In many cases, these estimates deliberately exaggerate the cost of ID cards by adding in the cost of biometric passports. This is both unfair and inaccurate.

    As I have said, it is clear that if we want to travel abroad, we will soon have no choice but to have a biometric passport. We estimate that the cost of biometric passports will account for 70% of the cost of the combined passports/id cards. The additional cost of the ID cards is expected to be less than £30 or £3 a year for their 10-year lifespan. Our aim is to ensure we also make the most of the benefits these biometric advances bring within our borders and in our everyday lives.

    Yours sincerely,

    Tony Blair

    Useful links

    10 Downing Street home page
    http://www.pm.gov.uk/

    James Hall, the official in charge of delivering the ID card scheme, will be answering questions on line on 5th March. You can put your question to him here http://www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page10969.asp

    To see his last web chat in November 2006, see: http://www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page10364.asp

    Identity and Passport Service
    http://www.ips.gov.uk/

    Home Office Identity Fraud Steering Committee
    http://www.identity-theft.org.uk/


  • Reviewing the Nuclear Review

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/6364281.stm
    The Government’s nuclear review (AKA whitewash) has been judged biased and misleading and there are calls for a new white paper on the subject.

    Tony Blair et al insist that their fixation on nuclear power is a brave and radical attempt to counter global warming when it’s actually a cowardly and backward effort to avoid doing anything.  If they want to do something radical they should start subsidising insulation and double glazing for houses in the worst Council Tax bands and paying to put solar water heaters on every South facing roof in the country.  Start by reducing the need for centralised energy production and helping those whose energy costs are a greater proportion of their expenditure.  It will increase the prosperity of the country, likely encourage further spending on energy saving and cut carbon dioxide production.

    Then they can start funding micro-generation and communal energy projects.  Water turbines on weirs, local windmills, geothermal for a whole street, that sort of thing.  Lots of little projects have a better chance of coming in on time and under budget than one big one and a distributed power generation system will be more robust.

    There are a lot of reasons why this won’t happen, but they all have one common factor- Tony Blair’s cowardice.  The Daily Mail would moan about the undeserving getting cossetted with free insulation and rail against "Nanny Statism".  The NIMBYs would try to halt schemes designed to make them better off.  Big Energy companies would complain because they would lose their monopolies and hold over consumers.  Most of all, this sort of scheme would give power back to ordinary people, the sort of prospect that gives every politician nightmares.


  • Lenny Burnside may not be afraid, but I'm terrified

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6321351.stm
    I’m not terrified of the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, I accepted them a long time ago.  What worries me is that, yet again, the warnings are going to be ignored.

    Send Bush, Blair and all the pro-war idiots to Iraq to deal with the mess they’ve made and bring the soldiers back to install solar water heating on all the South facing roofs they can find, that’s what I say.


  • We, the undersigned

    http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/
    Petition Tony Blair, and get as many people as possible to back you up.  I doubt he reads even the most popular ones, they’ll all be handled by some flunky, but it feels like being part of the decision making process.

    http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/IDcards/ Back the scrapping of ID cards.  Closes soon, so make your voice heard.

    Less seriously- http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Sextoysandcigars/ cut the tax on sex toys, lingerie and cigars.  You have until Sunday to back this one.

    Not sure if this one’s serious or not – http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/TheAlcopopBill/.  "Force the manufacturers of Alco-pops include a high dose fertility control hormone in order to reduce the rate of un-planned teenage pregnancies in the UK"

    I’m got an idea for a petition.  Something along the lines of "Introduce a Cycling Proficiency style test for children and adults to make them more confident and competent on the road.  This will be voluntary except for- bus and taxi drivers, officials with responsibilities for transport, those guilty of certain driving offences and motoring journalists.  Include a section on cycle craft into the driving test which will be waived for any learner who has passed Cycling Proficiency in the last five years.  This will make motorists more aware of other road users, improve the safety of cyclists on our roads and hopefully increase the number of people using bikes."


  • Rent-A-Mob

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6292341.stm
    In Germany you can rent protesters to wave your banners and shout your slogans.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6290867.stm
    We may need such a mob as support for civil liberties declines.  There’s obviously a disconnect that means people can’t realise that governments aren’t going to give back freedoms without a fight once this terror fear has dissipated or been revealed to be a sham.

    http://politics.guardian.co.uk/terrorism/story/0,,1997247,00.html
    I’m with Sir Ken MacDonald, Director of Public Prosecutions.  I’ve long held that the greatest threat to Western democracy is the sort of politician or pundit who spouts on about threats to Western democracy.  All they do is play to the ego of the sort of "deluded, narcissistic inadequates" who fall for the rhetoric and decide to kill innocent bystanders and lead to the sort of disastrous thinking shown above.  Ken MacDonald is my hero of the day, how long until Blair & Co. try to get him removed for having a grip on reality?

    I might see if I can find the full text of his statement and post it.

    http://www.snopes.com/pregnant/rabbit.htm
    The rabbit test.  In the beginning the rabbit always died, whether you were pregnant or not.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6293333.stm
    Thanks to the Romans and slavery, there’s a bunch of Yorkshire types with African genes.


  • Lots o' links

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6289367.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6288957.stm
    American industry groups are calling on George Bush to introduce mandatory emission standards in his State of the Union address.  He’s not going to, but the sentiment is appreciated.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6287085.stm
    Australians take to their bikes.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/6289357.stm
    2012 Olympics to be the "greenest ever".
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1996493,00.html
    Tony Blair takes the credit.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/6289067.stm
    Beachcomber pictures.  Locals scavenge what they can from the wreck of the MSC Napoli.  It’s like Whisky Galore, only with Pampers.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/6284377.stm
    More pictures.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6288845.stm “Barrels of wine, shoes, hair care products, beauty cream, steering wheels, exhaust pipes, gearboxes, nappies, foreign language bibles and BMW motorbikes have all been washed up on the pebbled beach.”
    http://smuggling.co.uk/
    Smuggler’s Britain.  Branscombe used to be a popular beach for landing smuggled goods.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6287047.stm
    Can you keep what you find on the beach?  (No, you’ve got to report it and you may then get a reward.)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1996505,00.html
    Does anyone really believe the supermarkets talk of going Green?  Much like George Monbiot, I’m convinced it’s all PR and the very nature of their business makes them unsustainable.


  • Ye will, ye will, ye will, ye will

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/6285923.stm
    Inis Mor and Inis Oirr, the largest and smallest of the Arran Islands off County Galway, are arguing over which has the right to hold a Father Ted festival.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/australia/story/0,,1996058,00.html
    Skateboarding across Australia.  A Welshman has pushed his plank 5,820km for charity.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,1995669,00.html
    Is today the worst day of the year.  And is that so far, or overall?

    http://politics.guardian.co.uk/labour/story/0,,1995723,00.html
    Blair to quit if his aide is charged with corruption?  Oh please.  Go on, go on, go on, go on.


  • The day I shot Tony Blair

    The incident’s a few years old, dating back to August 2003 (original post), but deserves reposting-

    What’s a boy to do.
    Courtesy of the nice ladies on the Friends of the Earth stall and PocketPM. I had a little Tony Blair hanging on to my bag.

    But I was bored, so we headed over to the funfair, where there was one of those air rifle stalls. “If I pay for the pellets, can I shoot the Prime Minister?” I asked, holding up Tony.
    “Errrr. Yeah. Of course you can.”
    So Tony went into the little place holder for the paper targets, and I lined up my shots.

    Click the thumbnail for the full picture

    One just below the heart (well he is a politician, it’s a very small target) and one through the tie. “Shoot him in the nether regions.” the stall holder suggested, great minds thinking alike.
    Then I started aiming for the grin, but it magically deflected the pellets and the next three shots went through his left eye.

    The pocketPM people want you to send in pictures of your Tony, but I think this one would just get them in trouble.
    And the Armed Response Range Rover seemed to be following us around after that as well……..
    Marillion, Assassing

    I went into town today to photograph stuff going on around the conference. However, my camera was having battery issues again, so I could only get shots on my camera phone. I traced the security perimeter, occasionally stopping to snatch a shot and all the time hoping I didn’t look too suspicious.

    Technorati tag: , , , , ,


  • That list in full

    In fact, here is the whole 100 Things list as it currently stands. I’ve updated links but not any of the aims. Reminders of things I have done are welcome, as are suggestions for removal and replacement.

    (Some of the later Things name the people who came up with them during a drunken brainstorming session.)

    1. Play croquet

    I don’t even know the rules to croquet.

    2. Play strip croquet

    Ah, the effect that Heathers can have on you.

    3. Cycle the Coast to Coast

    4. Keep a tidy house

    Without calling in any sort of housekeeping services.

    5. Live for (at least) three months in another country

    6. Shoot Tony Blair

    Already done that.

    6. Try to get elected

    What to, I don’t know.

    7. Take part in a threesome

    Yes, I know I’m not even participating in any twosomes at the moment, but this is a long term list. (And if I do achieve this one, I probably won’t announce it.)

    8. Take part in a foursome

    9. Take part in an orgy

    Is an orgy 5 or more? Or is there an official lower limit to an orgy? Are there different imperial and metric orgies?

    10. Make it into the Popdex (and/or Blogdex) top 100

    Which will be good all round. If I can manage to make it onto the list regularly, even better.

    Edit Popdex has started behaving oddly, I’ll settle for getting on the Blogsnow list instead.

    11. Mention sheep and still get laid

    12. Make a living from writing

    13. Make a film

    It doesn’t have to be a feature length movie, but that would be the next step.

    14. Get out of debt

    I’ll discount any mortgage from this requirement, and just allow for clearing overdrafts and loans.

    15. Become a millionnaire

    Foreign currency counts.

    16. Climb the highest peaks in each country of the United Kingdom

    17. Learn to juggle

    18. Build a model village

    19. Upset the Daily Mail so much that they run a story about me being a threat to the nation’s morals

    20. Visit the beaches of D-Day, and the little town of Quenast my grandparents’ house was named after

    21. Visit Pearl Harbour

    22. Read Moby Dick

    Gratuitous Zelig reference.

    23. Get interviewed by Richard and Judy

    Or a passable equivalent.

    24. Own a Land Rover

    And actually use it for off roading.

    25. Have a bike for every day of the week

    Mountain bike, Jump bike/BMX, road bike, recumbent, folding, commuter, unicycle.

    26. Give a grand to charity

    Not raise a grand, but give one. Raising a grand should be possible, especially if I do 27.

    27. Do over a hundred miles on the Bogle Roll

    My plan for next year’s Roll. I’ll need to get another of my 7 bikes to do it.

    28. Learn to snowboard

    29. Get a dog

    But not whilst I’m living in the city.

    30. Own a thousand CDs (or have 100 Gbytes of MP3s on my computer.)

    I’m going to cheat and allow CD singles in this.

    31. Attend the Glastonbury festival

    32. Roast my own coffee

    Done that.

    33. Send a dirty text message

    34. Propose to someone

    35. Fly in a hot air balloon

    36. Go to a shooting range

    37. Spend a whole day watching all three of the Lord of the Rings films back to back

    Extended cuts.

    38. Buy a house

    39. Own a piece of Microsoft

    40. Moblog

    First done here, then conclusively here, here and here. And regularly since.

    41. Canoe on the Thames

    42. Figure out the question

    43. Brew beer

    44. Learn a new language

    Spoken, not computer. And not Klingon.

    45. Start a craze

    46. Make love in a hammock

    This one inspired by The Sure Thing

    47. Visit every continent

    48. Fly a helicopter

    49. Build a tree house

    50. Hold a party for a hundred people

    51. Make love outdoors

    The roundabout incident doesn’t count as it was unplanned, drunken horniness. However, I could go for getting 46 at the same time.

    52. Join the Mile High Club

    53. Join the Mile Low Club

    In a cave or down a mine.

    54. Join the Two Metres High club

    On a train. Sleeper carriages count.

    55. Exceed 40mph on a bike

    Downhill counts.

    56. Build a house

    57. Learn to play a musical instrument

    58. Get a signed letter from a serving head of state

    Probably not going to be Tony, though.

    59. Break a record

    Even if it is for the silliest ‘Hundred things to do’ list.

    60. Burn all my CD singles to MP3

    61. Appear on Have I Got News For You?

    This will probably be just before or just after offending the Daily Mail.

    62. Swim with Dolphins

    It was going to be swim with monkeys, but I reckon any mammal will do

    63. Visit Japan

    Kawaii

    64. Get a HGV or Motorcyle licence

    The motorcycle licence would be cooler, but I value my limbs the shape they are.

    65. Learn Morse code

    66. Attend Burning Man

    There were also plans to create a BM equivalent in the Scottish Highlands, to be called Soggy Man.

    67. Dance naked in the rain

    68. Drive a race/ rally car

    69. Fulfil Sabs’ dream of seeing me walk out of Lyme Park lake wearing breeches.

    Penny. Well, it was Sabs’ idea originally, but Penny added it to the list.

    70. Get a woman to pose in the nude (for my comic.)

    Zoe. I asked Zoe if she’d pose naked for me, but she said no. Shame. I’ve also widened the scope to posing for anything, just to improve my chances. Any volunteers?

    71. Play UV pool

    Daz.

    72. Do roman chariot racing with big fat men in place of horses.

    Zoe. This is a far nicer version of Lesley’s suggestion of ‘Become a pony boy.’

    73. Flash at a concert audience

    Penny. Originally ‘Flash at a Status Quo audience’ but I’ve expanded it.

    74. Be a model at an Ann Summers party

    Penny.

    75. Swim the full length of the Bridgewater Canal

    Penny. So long as I don’t h
    ave to do it in the actual canal.

    76. Learn the national anthems of the Six Nations

    Penny and Lesley.

    77. Design a sex toy

    Zoe and Penny. Full description- ‘Design a sex toy and advertise for testers and reach quality standards for ISO and BSS’. By setting such stringent conditions they just volunteered to be the first testers. There then followed a brainstorming session on what would make a perfect sex toy, the notes from which will form the basis of a future post.

    This project is under way. After posting the list of recommended features, I received quite a peak in hits. I have now moved on to the shopping list for building the test version.

    In the meantime, there is a range of Perfect Sex Toy clothing- Ladies top, Ladies Tank Top and Long Sleeve T Shirt.

    78. Be an extra on a TV programme.

    Emily. She originally stipulated Hollyoaks, but it was decided I wasn’t blonde enough.

    79. Buy lingerie for a woman

    Penny. In person, from a shop. Original conditions- ‘Buy a woman a thermal vest in person from Pleasure and a matching set from Kendals including peep hole bra and crotchless knickers whilst dressed in a flowery dress.’

    80. Buy the Pete Waterman (SAW) compilation album

    Penny. She insists it’s not because she’s too ashamed to buy it herself. It could have been worse, she could have suggested the karaoke version

    81. Learn to salsa

    Penny and Lesley. I’d also like to learn to make the perfect salsa dip.

    82. Have sex in an ambulance or hearse

    Penny and Harry. Originally an ambulance or ‘vehicle of the dead’ while on the move.

    83. Grow a bonsai tree

    Penny. A bit of wishful thinking considering I killed my last two bonsai. My sister did buy me The Art of the Bonsai Potato for Christmas.

    84. Have a drink in every CAMRA pub in Manchester

    Harry. Originally it also said ‘within one week’ but I edited that out.

    85. Get an 8 pint certificate from The Crown in Stockport.

    What they actually do is put your name on a board in the pub and, allegedly, get you a tankard engraved with your name.

    Anyway, the challenge has been done, and recorded here and up. Pictures.

    86. Get zipped up in a US style body bag.

    Harry. Only if I can take a big knife in to cut my way out.

    87. Create art using my body.

    Penny. Originally ‘Create modern art using your body and any other body using bandages, plaster of paris and vaseline and get it displayed in a gallery.’

    88. Get a piece of art displayed in a gallery

    Me, but inspired by 87. I’m allowed to do a Banksy.

    89. See a psychiatrist

    Penny. After some of these suggestions I’ll have to.

    90. See a psychosexual counsellor

    Penny. See above. And I think this should also apply to some of the people supplying suggestions.

    91. Bowl on the Bowling Green again.

    Emily. That is, the bowling green that used to be in front of UMIST union. They’ve done horrible things to it. Does boules count?

    92. Attend a televised awards ceremony

    93. Learn a programming language

    Properly, not in the half arsed way I learnt to gaffer tape routines together in VBA. Griff says that C# is quite a lucrative area to be in.

    94. Visit every Disneyland

    This was actually Griff’s aim, but I stole it.

    This aim has been removed from the list.

    95. Get a free crate of Glenfiddich

    Sometimes breweries will gift crates of their products to writers who mention them. I’m also open to offers of Jennings Sneck Lifter.

    96. Go scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef

    97. Get as close to an active volcano as possible

    98. Attend a gala movie premiere

    Hell, if Rebecca Loos can do it, so can I. But I’m not shagging any footballers except
    these two.

    99. Publish a cook book

    My sister’s been promising to write one for a while now. I must get her to finish it.

    100. Get ‘Ian Seat’ into the OED

    Being the position in a crowded room, bar, etc, which has the least advantageous view for eyeing up members of the opposite sex.


    101. Burn all my CDs to MP3

    102. Eat in, or from, every restaurant and kebabery in Rusholme.

    Which could be a year or so’s work. Longer, considering how rarely I eat out. It’s not called the Curry Mile for nothing.

    This replaces 94.

    103. Go Guerilla Gardening

    Next spring I’m walking around Manchester with a stick and a pocket full of seeds. I’m going to plant peas and herbs and other veg in flowerbeds and hedges.

    104. Follow the route of the M60 by bike

    Utilising side streets, riverbanks and paths.

    105. Appear in a TV commercial.

    Because they pay residuals. If it got shown enough, I could almost live off it.

    106. Make love with a cheerleader.

    Every American boy’s dream.

    105 and 106 are provisional. If no-one can come up with better suggestions, they stay!

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  • "Young must research sex – Blair"

    As opposed to experimenting, I guess. More meaningless advice from our Prime Minister. I don’t know what the sex education situation is in schools these days, but it looks like he tiptoed around the subject, probably didn’t want to offend any Daily Mail readers, I guess.

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