Thursday, July 06, 2006

So, in memory of two world wars, we'll have a 17 hour silence ...


SO WHOSE idea was it to have a two minute silence in memory of the victims of the 7/7 London bombings? Who advanced the argument? Who handed down the decree?

I ask because, to be frank, I’m sick and tired of the sentimental mawkishness with which this country greets disaster. Yes, it was a terrible crime that 52 people were killed by terrorist bombs, but that happens every day in downtown Baghdad, and no-one even blinks.

And why two minutes? More people died at Hillsborough, yet they only have a minute’s silence for them. (Although because they’re Scousers, they hold it every week.) Are these things incremental? Are we now saying that the 7/7 victims are the equivalent of all the dead of two world wars? And Korea, the Falklands and Iraq?

I raised the issue with several people, but mostly met with blank looks. Since the Dianafication of Britain, conspicuous mourning is apparently what we do. So I just snuck off and had a fag instead while the grief junkies were wringing their hands in public.

THE SON of a friend of mine is a Para out in Afghanistan. To quote his Dad, he effing loves it. He gets to do what he’s been trained to do - to kill bad guys who come out to fight fair, rather than use dynamite-strapped kids or cowardly roadside bombs to do their killing for them. And it’s not the long-distance, superior firepower, computer game fighting that the Yanks like. It’s down and dirty and eye to eye.

He also said it was just like a Flashman book. I wonder if he knows his history. The Brits have fought and died in the mountains of Afghanistan for hundreds of years. We still are, with six dead in the last month. And we’ve never, ever won. And we won’t this time.

Mr Blah and his feckless pals have tried to give us the impression that we sent troops out there to help in the reconstruction of the county. Unfortunately, like so many NuLabour promises, this is a complete and utter lie. Our boys are there to try to re-take the country from the Taliban and, along the way, to persuade poor farmers to grow pomegranates rather than opium poppies.

It is a foolish, thankless and ultimately impossible task. The clues come amid the bravado in those brief phone calls home. Yes, they “slotted” the 20 or so Taliban who ambushed them, but within minutes attacks were coming in from two other sides. They were pinned down, outnumbered, and despite calls for help were told that no air, artillery or ground support was available as all resources were tied up elsewhere.

This is no coincidence. The Taliban, fighting instincts honed by centuries of resistance, know our numbers and know that if they can co-ordinate a timed series of ambushes or attacks, those lethal Apache helicopter gunships will only be able to turn up to one battle at a time. Elsewhere, it’s going to get a bit nasty.

The truth of the matter is that if we have to be out there, then we must be there in sufficient numbers to defend ourselves. That is patently not the case at the moment but given that the Army is woefully overstretched, where does Mr Blah look for reinforcements? The Sea Scouts? The local grammar school cadet force? The 3rd Armoured Brigade of Traffic Wardens?

I dearly hope my mate’s lad comes home safe. I don’t even mind if he enjoys his war; it’s what we’re good at, after all. But I also hope that people in power who sent him out there managed to find time off from fomenting revolution at their universities to read a bit of Kipling: “When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, and the women come out to cut up what remains, jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains, and go to your gawd like a soldier.”

PAEDO UPDATE: Peter Wilson, 59, was released from prison last week after serving half of a 10-year sentence for sex attacks on young boys.

Unable to find him a place in a bail hostel, the leather-elbowed geniuses from social services promptly booked him into the £53-a-night Premier Travel Inn in East Sussex … an hotel boasting a “child-friendly restaurant” and conveniently located next door to a children’s home. They also neglected to mention their client’s previous at the check-in desk.

Marvellous stuff.

THE NANNY State ninnies on. This week we’ve had an official “Level 3 Heatwave Alert” warning the bovine population that if they staked themselves out in the midday sun, they might get a bit of a headache and perhaps feel a bit sore about the shoulders. The following day, local radio gravely announced a “Met Office Flood Warning”, as torrential thunderstorms followed days of high temperatures.

Has it really come to this? Are people so thick these days that they can’t work out to handle a bit of sun and a bit of rain? The mind boggles. The next thing you know, they’ll be running television commercials telling us how to barbecue a sausage. Oh … hang on …

O The views of Mr Beelzebub are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Editor or staff of this website, of any 17-year-old who thinks he can accompany his Dad's mates to the cricket, keep up with the big lads when it comes to drinking, but then has to be taken home by his mother after the unfortunate reappearance of a chicken sarnie; of anyone moaning about the heat while surreptitiously eyeing up the T-shirted totty parading down the street; or of anyone who tore out and pinned up that Sun picture of Ronaldo's face on a dartboard. You were never on the terraces at Anfield in the 70s, were you? Forza Italia!

67 Comments:

Blogger kris said...

You really are a twat.

1:59 PM  
Blogger BarryBeelzebub said...

Go on then. Which bit offended you?

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Black Dog said...

I vote we send the social workers out to Afghanistan. They'd make excellent mine detectors, if nothing else.

Afghanistan is a bloody pit of military resources. The USSR army couldn't beat them, we've no chance, since too many of our soldiers are stuck in that other dead loss, Iraq.

And all to get Blair into the history books as the first Labour Pm to out-war the Tories. I'll bet most of our soldiers can't see the bloody point, either, and Blair's ridiculous spin about winning hearts and minds is disgusting. Soldiers are primarily trained to kill: it's why they give them guns. They follow orders, and they're not encouraged to question them orders. The inevitable failure of this campaign will and must fall on the belicose but effeminate Blair.

Dunno what's happening to this country. I remember vividly watching Diana's funeral on the TV, and there was something grotesque about it. The way people heaved huge bunches of flowers at the car- the windscreen was covered. The sobbing and inevitable media frenzy of "we loved her", when a week before most of them were calling her an unhinged publicity freak. Grief junkiness seems to me to be another symptom of a lack of national identity, like overt racism, flag waving, and apeing the USA. It's almost as though all ideas/emotions are bandwagons to be jumped on, in order to "prove" that you're as emotional/patriotic/trendy as the next person.

Seems that every single weather forecast these days contains a warning. If it's sunny, you'll get sunburnt or hayfever. If it rains, you won't, but look out, because it'll make driving more dangerous and you MAY get wet.......what whinging bastards.

I blame female hormones in food.

Bovine just about sums them up, Bazza. Good post.

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about this for an idea - press gang asylum seekers into going back to their country of origin and fighting for their right to return against their oppressor(after all the French did it - all be it a bit losely!).

2:38 AM  
Blogger peter said...

Everyone knows that the unlovely mr B liar is no student of history. As Black Dog says, Just read 'Kipling' stories and poetry all give a pretty good idea of the terrain and the fighting men who are in their own back yard. They don't want us there and we stand no chance of beating them at 'Hit and Run' Bring our soldiers home before any more are killed to satisfy polititions egos

2:16 PM  
Blogger BarryBeelzebub said...

Come on, kris.

I'm waiting.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Black Dog said...

Think he's pissed off because your blog's better than his, Bazza?

Talk about crocodile tears. Did anyone hear Radio 2 about lunch time? The amount of people eagerly phoning in to say that they've been weeping over 7/7. It's like everyone wants a piece of someone else's grief, why can't they leave grief to those who have actually lost someone. It's patronising to imply that you understand what they're going through, and in any case, actions speak louder than words: punish Blair and co for what they've bought us to.

Even if you look at the Gulf wars and Afghanistan in the most extreme of mercenary terms, what did we get out of it? Lower oil prices? No. Increased world peace? No. Territorial gain? No. More poppies for heroin? Er, yes. Thanks.

If people really cared, they'd protest at this government's high handed and corrupted dealings.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Kiwitrader said...

The REAL point is, wtf are we doing in Afghanistan and Iraq.

B liar and co let Rhodesia/Zimbabwe rot even though brits were being slaughtered.
But George W gets in a panic becuase Sadam choses to sell his oil for Euro (and asks Venezuela and Russia to do the same) and B liar and co sent in the troops!!

Pucking Fathetic.

6:24 PM  
Blogger The Weardale Militia said...

The physical geography of the Afghan region including north Pakistan and southern Iran lends itself to a guerrilla war. Military commanders are probably aware that one guerrilla armed with a rifle and using a donkey for transport can cause more damage than a squad of troops in country using land rovers for transport. Land rovers, quad bikes and helicopters are all quickly identified in these regions mainly due to the noise echoing off the deep valleys and ravines. Sound travels further and is more pronounced.
A mobile force using donkeys for transport and supply are not easily sighted. The maintenance of the donkeys is minimal. The French and the Americans fought against a mobile enemy in Vietnam, which used little mechanised equipment. Afghanistan and the surrounding region lends itself to a similar type of warfare where the enemy is lost in the back drop of mountain shadows and the numerous caves in the area. Roads are minimal and access across the folder mountainous terrain is by foot or pack animal.
Perhaps history teaches us a lesson, the mule troops of old were used effectively in mountainous regions. Perhaps a less high tech approach to the whole conflict would be a consideration. The price of one Chinook or one tomahawk missile would buy an awful lot of mules.
You can eat a mule you can’t eat a Chinook. Apologies in advance to the donkey sanctuary in Devon.

2:31 AM  
Anonymous Chris said...

>The REAL point is, wtf are we doing in Afghanistan and Iraq.

B liar and co let Rhodesia/Zimbabwe rot even though brits were being slaughtered.
But George W gets in a panic becuase Sadam choses to sell his oil for Euro (and asks Venezuela and Russia to do the same) and B liar and co sent in the troops!!

Well, since you know so much about geopolitics and military planning, tell me where you'd place the line of start for your proposed invasion of Zimbabwe? South Africa? Mozambique? Zambia? And your view of the causes of the Iraq War would disgrace a sixth form debating society. In a special needs school. For sheep.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Black Dog said...

The causes of the Iraq war? Part one or two?

Lets assume you mean part 2. Please don't tell me that oil isn't a subject close to the USA's heart: G.W Bush was essentially helped into power by his oilmen pals, who undoubtedly have great influence over him.

Selling oil in Euros and encouraging others to do the same could potentially undermine the US's influence, and only the fact that the currency of oil is the $US allows the US to continue printing dollars, despite it's terrible trade deficit and debts to Japan etc. Not enough in itself to cause an invasion? I agree, but Bush isn't sane, nor is Blair if you ask me.

The extremely spurious link with 9/11? We've been told many times that both the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq was because of 9/11. How, or why, has never been told- nor has it been questioned by the mainstream media!

Saddam had Al Quaeda links? Doubtful, since he hated Al Quaeda. Al Quaeda had Saddam down as a western toady- which he was, for most of the time. Put in place BY the UK and the US to fight the then-enemy, Iran. A war that went on for around 10 years. Iran being a fundamentalist state who Al Quaeda undoubtedly approved of, and Iraq being seen as a Pro-Western puppet whi they didn't.

That's not to say that they're not there NOW: but that surely is a different matter.

WMD's? Where? Who seriously expected there to be any?

Ditto Afghanistan- the Taliban link to Al Quaeda and 9/11 is extremely spurious and once again, has never been explained. Taliban may well have applauded 9/11, but that is no legal reason to invade.

The motives for invading Iraq again was good old Texan style "finishing off what mah daddy started"- a family grudge, almost, coupled with a desire to make an example of a US client who'd got too big for his boots- and considering what's happening in America's own backyard, the US should be concerned about no longer compliant client states. Oil was a major consideration both in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it all boils down to a new age of empire building, and that moron Blair fancies us as Greece to America's Rome.

Even the greatest optimist must see that matters are polarising between the fundamentalist Muslims and the fundamentalist Christians/reactionary free market disciples. In a world of diminishing resources, he who has the most has real power. In short, the invasion was for lots of reasons, apart from the ones most often cited: Al Quaeda, WMD, and 9/11.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Black Dog? Fuckwitted parrot of tired lefty nonsense, more like.

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Black Dog said...

Chris said...

Black Dog? Fuckwitted parrot of tired lefty nonsense, more like.


OK Einstein, lets have your version of events, since you're so clever. Cretinous parrot of the BBC, I don't doubt. It's cheap and easy to dismiss others posts whilst offering NO argument of your own. Fuckwit.

For your information, I am not left wing, but neither am I a follower of the reactionary right wing.

6:18 AM  
Blogger Kiwitrader said...

Kris,

Kiwi <- Lives in New Zealand
Trader <- Trades Futures and Commoddities.

Oil = Commodiity = traded by me = something I know about.

I was in Houston when the vote counting debacle between Gore and Bush was on the go.
Gore finally lost, and the next day Sadam tried to cripple the US by taking Euro instead on Dollars for oil. At that time Sadam lost 18% because of the Euro price.
He asked Russia and Venezuela to do the same. If either had accepted the Oil backed USD would have crashed.
Hence the war. (Yep black dog, 2nd war)
Incidently. Had gore won instead of Bush, .... Who Knows.
Kris, I never said I knew anything about geopolitics and military planning.
Just the reason for the war.


Anyway you missed the point.
We let our colonial brethren die without so much as lifting a pen to sign a sanction.
Yet when Uncle Sam DICTATES, we jump in like good little schoolboys.

"Weapons of mass distraction". B liars famous freudian slip says it all.

btw

I lived in Southernn Africa during the Rhodesian civil war. Several of my good friends (civilians) died horribly. Ian Smith was long gone. Once again, I speak about things I know.

Next time you wish to verbally abuse, Swallow first, theres a good boy!!

Bazza is still waiting.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want Kris's opinion - check out his blog site....



ZILCHTOWN!!!

8:31 PM  
Blogger kris said...

Sorry, this blog was so forgettable, I didn't think you guys were waiting for me to say something.

So should we take it none of you muppets were stuck down the tunnel btwn Kings Cross and Russell Sq then?

I trust the word twat is self explanatory and requires no further comment from me.

Now, peel your eyes off the computer screen boys and get some fresh air!

2:20 AM  
Blogger kris said...

BTW, this blog was truly so forgettable that I only came across it when I was googling my favourite programme Bad Lads Army.

Those of us who have completed actual service, rather than fantasy service, enjoy it.

Anyway, the top search result was a sentence of a rant reduced to writing from this very blog!

I remain mystified as to how anyone, much less a group of learned contributers such as yourselves, can produce a A4 diatribe on my initial five word comment.

You're still a twat.

God bless
Kris

2:56 AM  
Anonymous Black Dog said...

So, you're still a twat, Bazza. We still don't know why........

12:21 PM  
Blogger kris said...

Dear God.

You muppets do need some help.

See para two of my my second post for reasons why you are a twat.

Then, have a word with yourself why.

Good night- and good luck.

12:32 PM  
Blogger BarryBeelzebub said...

Shame. I was looking forward to a rational discussion.

All we have so far is a man who commutes by tube and who'll soon be claiming to be ex-Hereford.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to see your intellectual discussions are back up again (if calling each other "Twat" and "Fuckwit" can be called that) at least good old Jimmy Tourette was a bit of fun.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Jimmy McTourette said...

Get it right up you ya shower of English tossers!

12:06 AM  
Blogger Jimmy McTourette said...

I'm back - I'm fucking back.

12:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me of a "lass" I met in a Bangkok bar, Jimmy. Now I know why you lot of McTrannies enjoy swallowing porridge. Yuk!

12:53 AM  
Anonymous Tony B.Liar said...

I see the debate is now polarised between "intellectual" Tourette's sufferers [kris the SAS dropout, Jimmy Mctourette,and Chris the rightwing geopolitical expert]and more thoughtful contributors who are actually making sound comments - people like Black Dog, Kiwitrader and The Weardale Militia.
If anyone's interested I too spent time in Afghanistan and the Pakistan/Iran borders in the winter of 1972, and no, I had/have no connection whatsoever with the military. What I will say is that the majority of Bazza's/Black Dog's/Kiwitrader's comments on the subject are correct. We will never win in AFG and Bliar knows it - he's just showboating for his chums the Septics and wants some sort of place in the history books to counter the unholy mess he's made at home [devolution principally, Jimmy]. Bliar lied to the country and Parliament to get us to go to war in Iraq, and he's doing the same now in AFG. The country is no safer than it was prior to 9/11, arguably more vulnerable to "turrur" after 7/7 and the situation is now clearly much worse than it ever was or was percieved to be.
Who'd trust a Scot? Brown for PM? More of the same I fear.

1:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Kris was in the Navy - yeah right real servicemen they are - firing their missiles from a few hundred bloody miles safe in the knowledge that the American Persian Fleet are there to protect little old him.

Not like real soldiers, at least the RAF can get shot down and squaddies show guts against fire power, who can knock out a boat 100miles out to see over there, a suicide dingy terrorist??? I think not.

Anyway arnt they too busy fudgepacking each other to be bothered to actually get out of their cabins and do something that doesn`t involve painting the fucking boat???

Apart from slagging him off though, his site aint too bad though!!

6:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too Jimmy Tourette.

You must have a wee missus to of got that photo in whilst she was standing up?!?!

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Black Dog said...

Personally, I wouldn't criticise any ordinary member of any of the armed services who get sent out there. I don't agree with what they're doing, but they're doing as they're told. I blame the bastards who sent them.

Looks like Jimmy's been away, looking at Shemale websites.........

So more British troops are being sent out there, I wonder if this coincides with US troops being pulled out of Afghanistan?

As for the "fuckwit" comment, that's nothing compared to Jimmy's fine flow of invective, and sometimes, no other word will do.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Jimmy McTourette said...

Tony B.liar who "spent time in Afghanistan and the Pakistan/Iran borders" most likely looking for young boys like that other English fucking poof Lawrence of Arabia - uphill gardners the lot of them.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous tony b.liar said...

No, Jimmy, I was buying drugs you silly Scottish person!

But hey, there's nothing wrong with a bit of bum banditry when there's nothing else around except camels. Needs must and all that As they always say, "don't knock it unless you've tried it", which come to think of it is probably the reason that you red-blooded Scotties invented the kilt, isn't it? Quicker to get stuck into the old sausage kennel when the urge overtakes you, I fancy!!!

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bitter middle aged angry-man circle jerk devotee wltm same for tragi-commentary & wanking, Bazza.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Jimmy McTourette said...

At least you are truthful - a junkie arse bandit, now we are getting somewhere.

11:21 PM  
Blogger Jimmy McTourette said...

Oh I forgot, it was the Indians that were responsible for the invention of the kilt, one thing we did not invent.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous tony b.liar said...

Great stuff! Yet more incisive and witty comment from the usual suspects, bashful Mr Anon and Jimmy McT. Glad to hear that the Indians invented kilts for all of you Cocoa Shunters north of the border - now I know!

12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Bliar,

Is:

"But hey, there's nothing wrong with a bit of bum banditry when there's nothing else around except camels"

the "incisive and witty comments" to which you refer?

5:00 AM  
Anonymous tony b.liar said...

Certainly! It's called irony or satire in case you missed the point. So is the "tony b.liar" pen name - in case you need that explaining as well.

I assume you are the 'Anon' making the "bitter middle aged angry-man circle jerk devotee wltm same for tragi-commentary & wanking" comment?

Do we have to explain EVERYTHING to you kilt wearers??

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not wearing a kilt- but I am shaking my head. Do any of you numbnuts have jobs? Or re you all just professional complainers?

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armchair quarterbacks! Bazza, do you really have five years of this shit saved?

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Black Dog said...

Hey Jimmy, where do the Clan McTourette originate from in Scotland?

You're not a "weejie" are you?

The Romans, Greeks and Celtic peoples in general wore kilts, trousers are a minority thing in antiquity.

Wasn't the original Scots kilt a one piece garment, and the modern kilt and tunic etc an invention from the 19th century?

8:38 AM  
Anonymous tony b.liar said...

"I'm not wearing a kilt- but I am shaking my head. Do any of you numbnuts have jobs? Or re you all just professional complainers?"

Dear Mr Anonymous,

Pot calling kettle black here I fancy! It took precisely 7 minutes for you to reply - so one would assume that YOU don't have a job EITHER if you were just sitting around trying to be controversial -with or without a kilt. Bring back Jimmy McTourette I say - at least he nails his colours to the mast without hiding behind anonymity. Don't like his choice of underwear though, I must say!

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh dear, hit a nerve!

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know I shouldn't wind up sad old fuckers- it like shooting fish in a barrel- I'll stop- I don't want you poor bastards to have an aneurism

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I can't resist- the best part Mr Bliar is when you called yourself and others on this shit smeered piece of virtual toilet paper "intellectuals".

I hope you're having a laugh because I sure am!

9:09 AM  
Anonymous tony b.liar said...

I didn't - YOU [or one of your other "anon" brethren] did

To wit:

Anonymous said...
Good to see your intellectual discussions are back up again (if calling each other "Twat" and "Fuckwit" can be called that) at least good old Jimmy Tourette was a bit of fun.

Yes, I AM having enormous fun, in case you hadn't spotted it. Better get a job - or better still, a life. I know, how about "shooting fish in a barrel" as a new career?

11:43 PM

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what the fuck ARE you on about?! It must be about bedtime for you- better have some postum and fuck off to bed dear-

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh you all really are a bunch of twats. (I'm a different Anonymous than the other anonymous or anonymouses, btw, before you all go WAAAAAA BLEEEEUURGH on me). Now note that I'm not saying that youse are twats because of any special political, religious, sociological, scatological or grammatical reasons - you just, purely and simply sound like a bunch of tossers. (note: if you can think of a better collective noun than "bunch" of tossers, be my guest - I quite like one of the poster's suggestions of "circle-jerk" - classy!)

Kiwitrader said, "Kris, I never said I knew anything about geopolitics and military planning" Er, as far as I've kept myself awake to read, he never said you DID say anything about geo-yawn and military snooze...wha'? Kiwitrader, please step forward and take your rightful place among the rest of the circle of twats.

Peace and love, pseudies!
Mwah!
;o)

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see the porridge wogs are still being feckless twats.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Jimmy McTourette said...

History of the fucking Kilt in Scotland

The tartan kilt has long been the most recognisable cultural tradition of the Highland Scots. Therefore, it surprises most people that many of the most recognisable features and traditions associated with the wearing of the kilt have, in fact, been developed in the nineteenth century, not by Scottish Highlanders, but by the Nobles of England and Scotland.

There is much evidence that many of the more recognisable tartans seen today are in fact creations of Scottish and English tailors during the reign of Queen Victoria. Despite this, it has generally been accepted that the basic concepts of the tartan and the wearing of the kilt do indeed have their origin in the history of the early Scottish and Irish clans, or families. It has been demonstrated that certain clans did aspire to a certain uniformity of design for their garments as early as the tenth and eleventh centuries.

The kilt, or philabeg to use its older Gaelic name, that has now become the standard dress for all "Highlanders", has its origin in an older garment called the belted plaid. The Gaelic word for tartan is breacan, meaning partially colored or speckled, and every tartan today features a multicolored arrangement of stripes and checks. These patterns, or sett's, are used to identify the clan, family, or regiment with which the wearer is associated. Although the kilt is the most recognisable of the tartans, it also manifests itself in the form of trews (trousers), shawls, and skirts.

It is generally recognised that the first tartans were the result of individual weavers own designs, then were slowly adopted to identify individual districts, then finally clans and families. The first recognisable effort to enforce uniformity throughout an entire clan was in 1618, when Sir Robert Gordon of Gordonstoun, wrote to Murry of Pulrossie requesting that he bring the plaids worn by his men into "harmony with that of his other septs."

After 1688, and the fall of the Stuart clan, and subsequent rise in the spread of Jacobism, the English government felt he need to take a more active interest in the Highland affairs. In 1707,The Act of Union took place, and succeeded in temporarily uniting the political factions and clans that were universally opposed to the Act. The tartan came into it's own as a symbol of active nationalism and was seen by the ruling classes to be garb of extremism. It is also believed that this act of parliament succeeded in uniting, to some extent, the Scottish Highlands and Lowlands, as the wearing of the tartan spread from the Highlands to the Lowlands, previously not known for their wearing of the tartan.

After the rising of 1715, the Government found the need to enforce stricter policing of the Scottish Highlands and Lowlands. A number of independent companies were formed to curtail the lawlessness that had developed. One of the features that distinguished their recruits were the large number of highland gentlemen that enlisted and chose to serve in the private ranks. Many an English officer was surprised to see these Scottish privates attended by personal servants who carried their food, clothing, and weapons. From the time they were first raised, these independent regiments became known as the Black Watch, in reference to the darkly colored tartans they were known to wear.

One of the more famous tales of these Highland companies is told of the curiosity of King George, who had never seen a Highland soldier. Three handsome privates were chosen and dispatched to London to be presented to the King. The King was so impressed with the skill with which they wielded their broad swords and lochaber axes that he presented them each with a guinea. Nothing could be more insulting to a Highland gentleman, but they could not refuse the gift. Instead they accepted the gift, and as they left, flipped it smugly to the porter as they passed the palace gates.

In 1740, these independent companies became a formal regiment, and the need arose to adopt a formal tartan. This became a problem, for what tartan could they choose, without insulting certain clans, or seeming to favour others? In the end, an entirely new tartan was developed and has ever since been known as the Black Watch Tartan. It was the first documented tartan to be known by an official name and possesses the authenticity of a full pedigree. From this tartan has been derived all of the Highland regimental tartan designs and many of the hunting setts worn by other clans.

During the eighteen hundreds, the wearing of the belted plaid began to be exchanged for that of the kilt. The belted plaid, being a one-piece six-foot tall cloth, belted about the waist with the remainder being worn up about the shoulder, was proving to be somewhat inconvenient to wear. A "new", little kilt design became popular, and it consisted of a plaid which had the traditional pleats permanently sewn in place, and separated the lower from the upper half, allowing the upper section to be removed when it became convenient.

By 1746, the Government, weary of being called to quell Highland uprising, enacted a law making it illegal for Highlanders to own or possess arms. A year later, the Dress Act restricted the wearing of Highland clothes. Any form of plaid, philbeag, belted plaid, trews, shoulder belt, or little kilt were not to be worn in public. Punishment for a first offence was a six-month imprisonment, a second offence earned the wearer a seven-year exile to an oversea work farm. Even the Bagpipes were outlawed, being considered an instrument of war. Only those individuals in the army were permitted to wear the plaid, and as a result, it is told that many Highlanders enlisted simply to be allowed to wear their more comfortable traditional dress.

By the time the Dress Act was repealed in 1783, the fabric of Celtic life had been forever altered. The Dress Act had succeeded in altering Highland Society to the extent that many of the old traditions and customs had been lost forever. In spite of the many efforts to revive the traditions, wearing the plaid had become seen as only a nationalistic statement, and was no longer considered a way of life for Highlanders.

The plaid now became more of a fashion experiment for the elite of English society. With the advent of the industrial revolution, the precise manufacturing and replication made possible by machinery, allowed the mass reproduction of the plaid.

8:26 PM  
Anonymous tony b.liar said...

The real problem with Blogs such as Bazza's is that instead of a useful and interesting exchange of views they are constantly hijacked by people who have nothing whatsoever to say, but feel almost obligated to criticise and insult those who try to put over their arguments in support or against.

All of these characters choose to hide behind the veil of anonymity so that their dreary views can't be attributed, nor can they be taken to task by others who have valid points to make. These "Anon" literary experts usually throw in a good few expletives just for good measure to stir the pot a little more.

So, please, Mr/Messrs "Anon" have the courage of your dubious convictions and give yourselves a handle, so that at least we'll be able to refer to you all accurately. Even Jimmy McTourette did so and his latest blog is a serious and interesting history of the kilt!!

If the only thing you can say, Mr Anon, is "f**k off to bed dear", then you really DO need to get out more often and see what the real world is like.

12:22 AM  
Anonymous forester said...

Bazza, at one time we could read your column, agree or disagree with it, and wait for the following week.
Then when it was web-ified we got the readers' comments added.
This allowed a place for discussion about the often controversial topics you brought up, and started off being worthwhile.
It has now degenerated into a childish verbal tennis match, which was I'm sure not what was intended.
It is now boring.
Is it possible to moderate the list, and divert the non-Bazza related stuff to a different list for those who want that sort of thing, and keep this list for the posts which actually pertain to your column?
Am I the only person who thinks this?

12:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry about the 'anon' sign in - I couldn't get a blog address for some reason....I'm kinda stupid I guess (these computer thingy's will never catch on you know...)

For the record - I'm Harpo

I agree with forester, I drop in regularly to read all bazza's social comments - I've never left a comment before because.....well...I guess I'm dumb, but there are a lot of us out here that enjoy reading it. If your leaving comments for no other reason than to annoy and wind people up - please stop. Swearing....thats for kids..grown up's don't do it for no reason. Jimmy McT - the anti-english sentiment is boring (and I'm scottish). Weardale Malitia - You haven't used the term 'Nay Lad' for a while. Don't let that bloke that slagged you off about it recently wind you up. Kris - if you can't be constructive or add a new dimension to Bazza's article don't comment. I'm going back to work now....hopefully next time I look up the site it'll be a bit more respectable...then people like me can enjoy it again. Thanks Bazza for giving me so much humour over the past few years. Cheers!

8:00 AM  
Anonymous Black Dog said...

Agreed with Tony B, Forester and Harpo.

I like Bazza's posts, because in a sea of politically correct media, it's good to hear someone who has no reverence and who says a lot of things many people agree with. And it's often damned funny, too.

Whether one agrees or not, well, there are two options in my opinion: post a sensible, polite(ish) argument stating why Bazza's or anyone else's post is wrong: or simply don't bother doing anything.

I think Jimmy T is a good wind-up merchant, his anti English rants may well be what he believes, but at least he's consistent. (Good post on the history of kilts- thanks, Jimmy).

But others who simply show up, and type "You're wrong and you're all morons" type stuff are a waste of time.

Harpo, you don't need a blogger account to use a name. Where it says "Choose an identity" opt for "Other" and just put in your name, no need for a password.

Incidentally, I recommend a trip to Jimmy T's blog.........

11:14 AM  
Anonymous MarkS said...

Has anyone seen this nonsense yet?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/staffordshire/5176802.stm

TIme to leave the country. I'm off soon and I don't think I'll be coming back. I'm sick of this pathetic nation of hand-wringing, workshy, namby pamby arseholes.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Black Dog said...

Would that be the story about the vicar who kissed a primary school girl on the cheek for doing well at maths?

Sheer stupidity: funny how only people with filthy minds could find anything dirty about that.

Many years ago- mid 80's, in fact, a magazine called "Practical Photography" (very much a mainstream title) ran a glamour competition- "glamour" not meaning porn, in fact, topless etc was against the rules. An amateur photographer had to submit 3 photos of an amateur model. The photographer's prize was a studio session with a top model, and a load of expensive camera gear, and the model won a studio session with a top photographer- the likes of Patrick Lichfield. Pretty good prizes. Anyhow, one year the winning model was 14 years old. The photos weren't nude or topless, and no-one was bothered. Nowadays, everyone involved would be arrested and charged with being a paedophile ring...

Too many civil servants creating "crises" in order to justify their damned jobs.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous MarkS said...

The sad thing is that all the sensible normal people are high-tailing it out the country as fast as they can. What will be left? The infirm, the insane and the incompetent? Why can't people see what's happening? It's mass hysteria. I'm getting out while I still can.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing about you "intellectuals" is that you love to dish it out- but you just can't take it.

BTW, none of these are people's electoral register names you dickhead- we're all anonymous. Wake up.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Piss off! Can't you see these people are trying to have a conversation?

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steady! So am I.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Black Dog said...

I doubt that anyone here claims to be an intellectual. As far as I can see, we all see something in Bazza's posts that we consider worthy of discussion, and that could be either that you agree with him, (as I tend to do), or that you disagree with him. What's so bad about discussing it?

It just seems pointless that some people condemn other's views without actually saying why they condemn them.

If someone called you a dickhead or whatever, you'd want to know why, wouldn't you?

Personally, I prefer things to stay civilised- everyone's entitled to their opinion.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous tony b.liar said...

Dear Mr/Mrs "Anon" [exactly which "Anon" you are is rather irrelevant],

You chaps seem to have a problem stringing more than a few words together without swearing or shouting or sniping - ergo,your opinions don't count for a lot in my book.

I didn't get into an argument about Cain and Abel because frankly I don't know enough [nor care] about the bible and its rather peculiar and illogical stories. And in any case, like 'Black Dog' I am an Atheist.

It would be nice if any of us [including Jimmy McT] could express an opinion without receiving comments such as "Dear Dickhead" and "f**k off to bed dear" from you and your 'intelligent' colleagues.

As far as Gays go, I am firmly in the same camp [oops, sorry dears!] as Bazza, Black Dog and others. It reminds me of the "nature versus nurture" arguments that were fashionable at one time. Perhaps you are too young to remember? As a former biologist, I don't believe for one moment that there's a 'Gay gene' which predisposes certain individuals to homosexuality.

Oh, and by the way, I don't live in the Home Counties,am NOT homophobic nor do I profess any greater 'intellectual' credentials than the next man. But I do enjoy Black Dog, Forester and Harpo's blogs rather than the drivel we get from certain sections of the "anon" community.

I chose the name "Tony B.Liar" for a very obvious reason [to some]. As a totally disillusioned Labour supporter I foolishly believed the man would be good for the country, until he lied to take us to war, and his friend Prudence decided to screw us all in a somewhat different way.

I think that Bazza [usually] has an excellent perspective on matters which we should all be concerned about - and what makes him so endearing and valuable is that he doesn't give a fig for political corecctness

Make something of that as I expect you will!!!

12:23 AM  
Blogger Jimmy McTourette said...

Black dog has got it sussed”
I think Jimmy T is a good wind-up merchant" - caught out at last, now I'll have to start discussing things like irreversible, progressive depletion of the global gene pool and such like.
Harpo what are you all about? Nasty things like "Jimmy McT - the anti-English sentiment is boring" - wow what a shame that we are not all your intellectual equals. Try the Times homepage for some much needed stimulus.

12:44 AM  
Anonymous shithead said...

Dear Mr B.liar

Zzzzzzz

2:06 AM  
Anonymous meaders said...

All of the intellectuals on this page are welcome to participate in a more politically correct forum on my page.

2:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a thought....Is the problem here that all you guys who simply rant and swear feel threatened by people who are clearly more lucid and thoughtful, and therefore you try to denigrate their views by disparagingly calling them "intellectuals"???

3:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you'll find that it was the supposed "intellectuals" that complained in the first instance.

4:52 AM  
Blogger Jimmy McTourette said...

I can't fucking help it - tourettes!

11:41 PM  
Blogger kris said...

it is called Kris' Stoke Newington for a reason. All politics are local- at least that's our premise.

3:03 AM  

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