"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Edward Teague: Blogger known as 'Postman Patel

The Independent
Thursday, 25 June 2009

A cotton man through and through, Edward Teague repeatedly cut his cloth to suit a variety of sometimes simultaneous careers which straddled the commercial, scientific and artistic lives of Manchester and elsewhere, including a stint as a United Nations advisor to North Korea. He became best known, however, in his sixties, as Postman Patel or Lord Patel, one of the best and most original voices on the British blogosphere and regularly consulted by many a Fleet Street commentator.

Born into a family of Manchester cotton merchants, Teague played rugby at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys before going to Leicester University to study botany from 1961 to 1964. Further research in this, at Edinburgh, was curtailed by being hauled back to run the family firm.

Leicester had been a brand-new redbrick, famous as the inspiration for Lucky Jim. Edward throve in a university which then had fewer than a thousand students, and he made lifelong friends among those studying disparate subjects. He relished hearing what they said about their enthusiasms, and these often became his own. As the only fellow undergraduate with a car, he and I traced the lost railways of Leicestershire or, rather more wickedly, sniggered at Monica Jones, the lover of Philip Larkin, as she distractedly wandered the small campus.

Back in Manchester at the family firm, he met and married Lesley Holmes in 1969; she was with him throughout his varied occupations. He was a regular at the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society which met in the Portico Library – a relic of the quest for learning which existed alongside the search for profit which characterised Manchester in its heyday. The Manchester Stock Exchange was a particular interest and he was especially proud to be associated with the Royal Exchange Theatre, created inside the Exchange buildings when, in one era of an eclectic career, he served as Drama and Literature Officer for North West Arts.

He had previously spent time working for Saatchi and Saatchi as an advertising copywriter, owning a bookshop with the typically sardonic name of "Books" and as director of a private art gallery, where he refused to hold L.S. Lowry on the grounds that he was a better artist himself. This was almost true: his cartoons of Sydney the Spider were adored by all the children who received postcards with his illustrations.

Always at the forefront of understanding and appreciating the changing industrial and commercial world (to the extent of establishing a software company which developed programs for textile manufacturers), he was also adept enough to become a constant thorn in the side of government as he witnessed the collapse of the industry and the futile attempts to pour money into factories which were soon to be shipped wholesale to India.

Edward Teague had a love of the North-west and knew, for example, where to find the old charcoal pits beside the M62 in the Pennines. He could readily, and engagingly, explain the workings of the pneumatic/hydraulic system which existed in the warehouses alongside the Bridgewater Canal in Manchester (these explanations recur in his blog). He never tired of the region's industrial archaeology and could name all the mills which still dominate a few of the towns to the north of Manchester.

Never a political activist in the traditional sense, he was a genuine libertarian with no time for the humbug and rhetoric of the left and right. The blog he ran as Postman Patel/Lord Patel became a port of call for anyone seeking to unravel what was really going on behind the headlines. His scientific training made him ask questions, and seek answers, where others feared to tread. Never daunted, though sometimes dismayed, by a changing world, he throve upon challenge, to which he brought a perspective which spanned two centuries and drew upon many contacts – whether he was discussing the De Menezes shooting, the fact that the US brought greater firepower upon Libya in 1986 than the English had done in the Falklands, and the embarrassing photographic evidence held by MI5 about Anthony Blunt, among others.

In one of his last blogs, he declared, "apart from making my arm ache reaching for my gun when I hear the phrase 'Two Cultures', it has been evident since Queen Victoria died and the little incident in Sarajevo that the Rolls Royce minds of the upper echelons have always regarded scientists as an unpleasant luxury, like a water flushing closet".

Teague soon found the internet a natural outlet for his wide-ranging talents – the very emblem of fast-moving, post-industrial society. It is a profound regret that he died so soon into this latest incarnation of a pleasingly eclectic life. Would that more politicians themselves were of his maverick spirit. He hoped his blog would continue beyond his lost struggle against cancer, and there are those in that blogosphere who may attempt it. However, it is doubtful that any one person can bridge C.P. Snow's Two Cultures in the way that Lord Patel did during that personal, idiosyncratic foray in the global village.

Ken Bodfish

Edward Teague, copywriter, arts administrator, bookseller and writer: born Manchester 25 January 1943; married 1969 Lesley Holmes (one daughter); died 9 June 2009.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Farewell Postie

As some of you already know by now Ed Teague, Lord Patel, passed away earlier today.

I'll be replacing the text of this post with something more appropriate, in accordance with the wishes of Ed and his family, in due course.

However, other bloggers have already written tributes to Lord Patel, so it seems only fair to mark Lord P's passing with a post here now

Lord Patel's regular readers represented a diverse range of political beliefs and world views

The common factor was, is an appreciation of Lord P's anti-authoritarian, liberationist stance taken on, well, lots of issues

That, and his elevation of typos to an art form

I'm missing him already


Update 13/6/09:

A list of on-line tributes to Lord Patel as I find them...

A read through these tributes, and the accompanying comments, is a sad reminder of the quality of the friend we have all lost

As a contributor to the July 7th Forum wrote a couple of days ago...

"I have been thinking lots about the Postie & I have been feeling a wee bit empty - it's hard to explain..."


Monday, May 11, 2009

Blood guts and Jerusalem

St George - Lydda - Ramle and ethnic cleansing by the Zionists

This is a window in a small curch on the Sykes estate in Yorkshire, belonging to Sykes of the Sykes-Picot agreement. It shows St George and the flag of Jerusalem and celebrates the liberation from the Muslim Turks in WW1 by General Allenby of Armageddon.

By a curious coincidence St. George the patron saint of England who was entombed at Lydda (Diaspolis) now Hebrew Lod, (site of the airport) where there was (circa 6th Century AD) a cult of St. George.

Curiously when Pope John went to Israel he refarined from visiting Jerusalem because it had ben libereated from the infidels by the reformed Church and not by the Tue Church of Rome. A distinction that appears to have beenlost, elidd over and remains unmentioned with the cuent Pope's visit to sanction the genocide and erection of the legal apartheid wall.

Perhaps therefore we should celebrate the most notorious act of what we now call ethnic cleansing undertaken after WWII, in the area. On the direct orders of Ben - Gurion, countersigned by future Prime MInister Yitzak Rabin, on July 12 and 13, 1948, Israeli forces, led by Moshe Dayan, expelled the 50,000 residents of the towns of Lydda and neighboring Ramle. Which ended in the notorious Lydda/Ramle death march. This Operation Danny (Mivtza Dani in Hebrew) was to remove the threat the two towns had on the Tel Aviv / Jerusalem road. The attack was undertaken by the palmach (the irregular terrorists of the Hagana, Stern gang) initially and on the direct order of Ben-Gurion Israeli forces eventually expelled the 50,000 residents of the towns of Lydda and neighboring Ramle.

Previously the area was softened up as explained by Yigal Allon, the commander of the Palmach who said he had Jews talk to the Arabs in neighboring villages and tell them a large Jewish force was in Galilee with the intention of burning all the Arab villages in the Lake Huleh region. The Arabs were told to leave while they still had time and, according to Allon, they did exactly that.

Yitzak Rabin, later to become Israeli Prime Minister, wrote in his memoirs that "there was no way of avoiding the use of force and warning shots in order to make the inhabitants march the ten or fifteen miles" required to reach Arab positions. Before they left, the townspeople were "systematically stripped of all their belongings,"

Eventually the refugees from Lydda and Ramle made their way to refugee camps near Ramallah along with many others. The whole exodus was over 800,000 people with unknown dead. Count Folke Bernadotte, Swedish nobleman and United Nations mediator, attempted to offer aid. He later wrote that "I have made the acquaintance of a great many refugee camps, but never have I seen a more ghastly sight than that which met my eyes here at Ramallah." (Later that year, Bernadotte was murdered by the Stern Gang. One of its leaders, Yitzhak Shamir, became Israeli Prime Minister in 1983.)

Erskine Childers, British journalist and broadcaster, writing in The Spectator, May 12, 1961:
... the immediately responsible officer was Moshe Dayan…Kimche has described how, on July 11, 1948, Dayan with his columns: “drove at full speed into Lydda, shooting up the town and creating confusion and a degree of terror among the population.“ Ramallah, on the road to which these particular Arabs — numbering over 60,000 from this one area alone — were herded, was up in the Judaean hills, outside Zionist-held territory.

Simha Flapan, Israeli journalist and historian in “The Birth of Israel,” 1987, p. 100:

The most significant elimination of these “Arab islands” took place two months after the Declaration of Independence. In one of the gravest episodes of this tragic story, as many as fifty thousand Arabs were driven out of their homes in Lydda and Ramleh on July 12-13, 1948…In Lydda, the exodus took place on foot…With the population gone, the Israeli soldiers proceeded to loot the two towns in an outbreak of mass pillaging that the officers could neither prevent nor control.

Kenneth Bilby, correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune, who entered Lydda the second day it was occupied, writing in “New Star in the New East,” New York, 1950, p. 43:

Moshe Dayan led a jeep commando column into the town of Lydda with rifles, Stens, and sub-machine guns blazing. It coursed through the main streets, blasting at everything that moved...the corpses of Arab men, women, and even children were strewn about the streets in the wake of this ruthlessly brilliant charge.

British General John Glubb, Commander of Jordan’s Arab Legion, in “A Soldier with the Arabs,” Harper, 1957, p. 162:

No sooner were the enemy in the towns [Lydda and Ramle] than they set about an intensive house-to-house search, all men of military age being arrested and removed to concentration camps. Then Israeli vans fitted with loudspeakers drove through the streets, ordering all the remaining inhabitants to leave within half an hour...Suffice it to say that houses were broken into and women sufficiently roughly handled to give point to the warning to be clear of the town in that time.

Perhaps thirty thousand people or more, almost entirely women and children, snatched up what they could and fled from their homes across the open fields. The Israeli forces not only arrested men of military age, they also commandeered all means of transport.

This is the exodus, note the absence of men.

2 Interesting Footnotes

By Yuval Azoulay wrote an article in Haaretz 31/08/2004

"Jewish residents in Ramle are trying to block the opening of an Arab school in the Kiryat Menachem neighborhood, fearing it will harm property values and increase crime. The Jewish residents, mostly immigrants from the former Soviet Union and veterans from the Bukharan community, are demanding that Mayor Yoel Lavi prevent the school's opening Wednesday"......

This week the Jerusalem Post (and elsewhere)has the story of a find of three (very large) gold bracelets and the six silver ones, as well as an assortment of money, were discovered inside a jar found at the site these date from early Arab period (638-1099 AD ).

"This is the first time gold bracelets have been found in an organized archeological excavation," said Arab-period archeologist Ayala Lester. Hmmm early Arab Period.Could be St.George's wife's jewellery ?

March 30th is the Land Day in Israel when the Palestinians remember the ethnic cleansing. Perhaps we could remember St George's burial, say on Holocaust Day and combine the two memorial remembrances together.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Scientists - "OK on tap but not on top"

For some odd reason there is a spate of comment about the fat old fraud , wannabe novelist and colossal bore.

Apparently by indentifying the intellectual Luddites in the Civil Service (as Basil F would say - statement of the bleedin' obvious)and identifying 2 Cultures he has reached the status of some 20th Century stooge sage.

Apart from maching my arm ache reaching for my gun when I hear the phrase 2 Cultures it has been evident sinceQueen Victoria died and the little incident in Sarajevo that the Rolls Royce minds of the upper echelons have always regarded scientist like an unpleasant luxury like a water flushing closet.

Which is just as well as even today they are regarded as a sort of uber plumber - or more recently a "techie" to be kept under wraps incase they frihten the horses and run off with the women

We have a lengthy list of scientists / technical geniuses who have been ignored ...

arnes Wallis introduced the concept of economic warfare by estoyin gthe poer supplies from the Ruhr Valley factories.This was a concept to far for the military johnnes who couldn't see why making the Hun paddle around in Wellingtons was such a good idea.

Frank Whittle's Jet engine,the magnetron valve which we simple gave to the US After the war to which scientific efort played such apart (often concealed for decades such as Colossus and Bletchley Park) David Havillland personally financed the first 2 passenger carrying pressurised jetliners which using novel construction techniques - The Comet.

The Ministry of Supply eventually paid up but couldn't really see a market for long distance air travel.

In secrecy a handful of scientists were given unheated huts at Aldermaston to construct a Hydrogen Bomb with virtually nofunds. general GRove with Project Manhattan employed at least 100,000 andat one time was using 10% of the electricity power supply of the US.

After the shambles of the Bikini tests we agred to stop reearch and leav it to the Americanswith the UK acting assubcontractors... TSR2 . Concord (e) (Lord Patel was a member of the Anti Concorde project).

In the early 60's J D Bernal ,crystallographer, physicist and author of the astoundly good "History of Science" (ripped off as a TV series by James Burke for BBC in the 70's and called "Connections"), spoke at Leicester Univesity.

Working a s scientist he was viewed with suspicion as he was an unashamed Communist (he also had many wives and very few of them were his own)and so viewedwith suspicion.

Visited by a pompous Major General Bernal and his team had ben recmmndedby some chappie who may help with problem.

"Map large bodies of water say 0- 12 feet deep" Questions flowed he efused to ask as the matter was the highest secret.

Her arrived a week later irritated to be met by nt ony no solution but a mas of qiesions, was the water , saline is how much?, marine,estuarine, inland etec, etc

His visit became for frequent and he became more iritableand it was evident that he was under imense pressure. Again they presed for more information.

Finally (apparently with the express approval of Churchill)they ee let in on the secret of the NormandyLandings.

Days later they were able to tell him they neededto fly over the coast at High/ Low / mid tide and record the wave patterns.

Using fairly sraighforward forual for interferometry derived from years of careful study of crystallography they woul be able to dive the submarine surface fairly accurately.

The photography was laid on and in a month the most detailed maps were avaiable.

This illustrated the Civil Service principal that scientist ere a resource to be turned off and on at will.

The les from JDB Treasured by Lord Petl ever since is .... "If you want the right answer, you have to ask the right question".

How the destruction of the grammar schools, working class mobility and the closure of University Chemistry and Physics departments was pat of a careful plan - just like Katyn to remove the technical cadres who posed a threat to the power elites and their obedient servants is a tale for another day.

6th Jackal driver killed in Helmand - Whoop de doo the MOD now have Jackal 2 which will be safer ! Of course it will, and heavier, slower, less agile

E first introduced readers to the "Jackal" (then called a replacement WMIK - lihgtly armoured LOng Whelbase Land Rover) On June 30, 2007 -

> WMIK - Patrolling Afghanistan in a convertible

These vehicles are claimed to have, Longer range, Greater payload, Greater mobility (?) and a take your breath away top speed of "up to 80mph (130km/h)" - now how does that compare with a Toyota land Cruiser ute ?- a WMIK weighs nearly 4 tonnes all up, powered by a 4.2 litre engine. Keen observers will however note that the picture accompanying the MOD article is somewhat short on firepower , which can include "a .50 calibre machine gun or an automatic grenade launcher and a general purpose machine gun, as well as carrying up to four troops with their own individual weapons." let's hope they have ordered some guns as well. Note that no costs are mentioned.

It is encouraging to see from the picture that seat belts are provided, meaning the vehicles can be used on Public Highways throughout Europe. The Road Traffic Act as it applies to Afghanistan is not a subject upon which we can claim any knowledge, but presumably these brand spanking new WMIK's will be fully street legal in Kabul .

Big problem is of course, patrolling all day in the poppy fields , the thing will get mucky and dusty - how do you put it through the car wash

Since then we have continued to chronicle not only the weaknesses in this vehicle but also the rate of deaths / serious injuries caused by IED's and minescaused to driver's , crew etc,.

Now we learn a driver (6th to date) of a Jackal from the 2nd Bn The Rifles (Rfn Sheldon, who was from Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Notts)did after being hit by an IED in Sangin Helmand. The Daily Telegraph report yesteday that the MOD is intrducing Jackal 2 which aims to increase safety. (They initially ordered 130 of these £600,000 death traps.

Major Iain Moodie, Officer Commanding B Company, 2 Rifles, paid tribute to the Rfman, saying: "His quick and dry wit underpinned everything and it was always great fun to be in his presence." But not now he's dead having been asked to use unserviceable sub standard equpment.

This is just another consequence of the continuous and disastrous history of procurement by the MOD.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

JTA keeps us in touch


Dear Lord Patel:

JTA's reporting staff is on the ground in Washington for the pro-Israel lobby's biggest event of the year, the AIPAC policy conference.

* Watch the video report on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech via satellite Monday night to thousands of delegates and nearly half the members of Congress.
* U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak later Tuesday morning just before the delegates head to Capitol Hill to lobby for tougher sanctions against Iran.
* Given Biden's penchant for verbal gaffes, we offered the vice president a little advice on what not to say.

To find out about Biden's speech and to keep on top of the news from the rest of the conference, visit JTA's politics blog. We will also be featuring extensive coverage in our free e-mailed Daily Briefing, which you can sign up for here.


Ami Eden
Editor-in-chief, JTA

The curious case of Swat

Voice of America today

Pakistan: Up to 500,000 May Flee Taliban-Held Swat

Residents flee Taliban-held Mingora in anticipation of government assault on final militant stronghold in Swat Vally

From everything May 2005 ..

Who, or why, or which, or what, Is the Akond of SWAT?

Is he tall or short, or dark or fair?
Does he sit on a stool or a sofa or a chair,
The Akond of Swat?
A delightful nonsense poem by Edward Lear, sounding particularly like Dr Seuss in this example. Scroll down for the full text. Make sure you read it out loud. Lear appended a note to the rhyme: "For the existence of this potentate see Indian newspapers, passim. The proper way to read the verses is to make an immense emphasis on the monosyllabic rhymes, which indeed ought to be shouted out by a chorus."

Having no nineteenth-century Indian newspapers to hand, we have to find something on the Web about the Akond of Swat, but which isn't the Lear. He was a real person, the ruler of a native state in what is now the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. The Akhond, Akond, or Akund "was a Sufi ascetic with a highly charismatic and warlike personality who united the Swatis and made his capital at Saidu Sharif."(1)

Swat is a beautiful valley in what was once the partly Hellenised kingdom of Gandhara. "Here, the snow peaks of the Karakorums widen and thaw into a landslide of cultivation terraces. Below, the Swat River -- in autumn the colour of lapis-lazuli -- meanders lazily around a green plain of orchards and wheat fields."(2)

The state was ruled sporadically by Muslim religious leaders with the title of akhond; secular rulers between 1849 and 1863, and again 1914 to 1918, were known as amir-e shariyat, changed to badshah until 1926, then wali.(3) The last Wali of Swat was removed by the Pakistani government in 1969 and the tribal state was abolished.

His legacy today is probably this very curious one: the American baseball player Babe Ruth was nicknamed the Sultan of Swat, and that monicker was familiar enough that the group Dire Straits played on it again to give Sultans of Swing.

Who, or why, or which, or what, Is the Akond of SWAT?

Is he tall or short, or dark or fair?
Does he sit on a stool or a sofa or a chair,
The Akond of Swat?

Is he wise or foolish, young or old?
Does he drink his soup and his coffee cold,
or HOT,
The Akond of Swat?

Does he sing or whistle, jabber or talk,
And when riding abroad does he gallop or walk
or TROT,
The Akond of Swat?

Does he wear a turban, a fez, or a hat?
Does he sleep on a mattress, a bed, or a mat,
or COT,
The Akond of Swat?

When he writes a copy in round-hand size,
Does he cross his T's and finish his I's
with a DOT,
The Akond of Swat?

Can he write a letter concisely clear
Without a speck or a smudge or smear
or BLOT,
The Akond of Swat?

Do his people like him extremely well?
Or do they, whenever they can, rebel,
or PLOT,
At the Akond of Swat?

If he catches them then, either old or young,
Does he have them chopped in pieces or hung,
or SHOT,
The Akond of Swat?

Do his people prig in the lanes or park?
Or even at times, when days are dark,
The Akond of Swat?

Does he study the wants of his own dominion?
Or doesn't he care for public opinion
a JOT,
The Akond of Swat?

To amuse his mind do his people show him
Pictures, or any one's last new poem,
or WHAT,
For the Akond of Swat?

At night if he suddenly screams and wakes,
Do they bring him only a few small cakes,
or a LOT,
For the Akond of Swat?

Does he live on turnips, tea, or tripe?
Does he like his shawl to be marked with a stripe,
or a DOT,
The Akond of Swat?

Does he like to lie on his back in a boat
Like the lady who lived in that isle remote,
The Akond of Swat?

Is he quiet, or always making a fuss?
Is his steward a Swiss or a Swede or Russ,
or a SCOT,
The Akond of Swat?

Does like to sit by the calm blue wave?
Or to sleep and snore in a dark green cave,
or a GROTT,
The Akond of Swat?

Does he drink small beer from a silver jug?
Or a bowl? or a glass? or a cup? or a mug?
or a POT,
The Akond of Swat?

Does he beat his wife with a gold-topped pipe,
When she let the gooseberries grow too ripe,
or ROT,
The Akond of Swat?

Does he wear a white tie when he dines with friends,
And tie it neat in a bow with ends,
or a KNOT.
The Akond of Swat?

Does he like new cream, and hate mince-pies?
When he looks at the sun does he wink his eyes,
or NOT,
The Akond of Swat?

Does he teach his subjects to roast and bake?
Does he sail about on an inland lake
in a YACHT,
The Akond of Swat?

Some one, or nobody, knows I wot
Who or which or why or what
Is the Akond of Swat?

Rice - explaining torture to 11 year olds ....

Ex - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Jewish elementary school students (she spoke at the school on Sunday before giving a lecture at the ashigton Sixth & I Historic Synagogue) that the Bush administration did not use illegal interrogation tactics. 11 year Misha Lerner, a fourth-grader at the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation's Capital,asked Rice what she thought about the Obama administration's remarks on interrogation methods authorized by its predecessors.

A flustered Rice said she didn't want to criticize President Barack Obama. She added that the President assured his administration that "we would do nothing, nothing, that was against the law or against our obligations internationally."

"I hope you understand that it was a very difficult time. We were all so terrified of another attack on the country," she said. "Even under those most difficult circumstances, the president was not prepared to do something illegal, and I hope people understand that we were trying to protect the country."

Last week the Ex Secretary of State told Stanford University students that "we did not torture anyone."

So that's alright then.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Murky waters - Killer Kennedy and Bo

Ted Kennedy, the raddld and diseased donor of the very photogenic Portuguese water dog (Bo - as in Bo Diddly which O'Bomber's dad was pleased to call himself) to the O'Bombers seems highly appropriate.

These curiously web footed animals aided fisherman by driving fish into nets and are supposedly also the St . Bernard of the sea, aiding rescuers, saving lives etc. Apparently their hypo-allerginicity is a fiction.

It is a great pity that Senator Edward Kennedy had not equipped himself with one when , drunk, he drove his pregnant girlfriend, pretty 28 year old Mary Joe Kopechne, off the bridge on Chappaquiddick Island in his 1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88 on the night of July 18, 1969.

Anyway he wasn't DUI, the inqust was held in secret, the Kopechne family paid off and he got two months suspended for dangerous driving.

As they say, more people died in Ted's Olds than in Abu Ghraib.

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish