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29 June 2007
Euston manifesto crowd really are wankers.
It's official: The Euston Manifesto amounts to nothing more than an excuse for a wank:
The signing form at the Euston site was built in a rush to meet our original publication deadline and fit the Joomla system that runs this site so it had a number of holes that have been exploited by spammers for some months, resulting in the repeated corruption of the list with links to porn sites.
So there you go, porn merchants are not stupid and they know where the punters are to be found. Thus they swarmed to this page 'cos they knew that it was chock full of punter types. Rather than admit that their site catered to wankers - of whatever hue - the decents who run the place stopped letting people sign the manifesto instead. The page still announces that 2,929 people had signed up, presumably before the ban came into force, but doesn't state how many of them are in reality merchants looking for punters.

The Exile doesn't really understand the problem. Both Eustonites and porno punters are in the habit of shooting their wads over their thumbs, so why not just accept that the two are made for each other and have done with it?

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27 June 2007
Exile discovers new type of pidgin English.
I think that I have discovered a new form of Pidgin English and have tentatively named it Chinglish. If anyone can render the following into standard English I would be most obliged:
The oil soon dry the adhere is strong the any and smooth surface can write have no to shoot the kind use the hereafter the attention to cover to seal completely the cover.
So there you go, there you are and there you have it - now what does it all mean?

In case anyone is wondering, it is supposed to be the instructions for a Chinese made CD-Rom pen.
25 June 2007
Manchester's Trafford Bar: tolerated homosexuality
The Observer reminds us that 2007 is the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality. Let's take a stroll down memory lane back to the early 1970s.

Back in thsoe days I was a projectionist for Rank Cinemas in Manchester. The Odeon stood on one side of Oxford Street, and the Gaumont and New Oxford on the other. The latter two took up a whole block to themselves, the Gaumont being massive and seating over 2,000 people.

Underneath the Gaumont was a bar called the Long Bar because, funnily enough, it had what was supposed to be the longest bar in Britain. Being a basement the Long bar had no natural light and maybe for that reason it tended ton attract some of Manchester's harder men.

In one corner a frosted glass wall had been constructed, with access to the area behind it via a double door. The sign above the door announced that this was the Trafford Bar, and a notice to the side of the door stated firmly "Gentleman Only".

The projectionists who were on duty at the Gaumont above were also responsible for the routine electrical maintenance of the two bars below the cinema, so I came to know both places fairly well.

The Long Bar was just lit by regular bulbs and a few neon tubes. It was the Trafford Bar that was the bane because it had pretty fairy lights behind the bar, the bar itself was lit by coloured neon tubes and the seating area had dim bulbs that were only used in that bar. Going down there to check the lighting was a major expedition because you could never be sure what type of lamp had burned out, so it was necessary to lug a ton of them just in case.

Customers tended to sit on the long bench type seats that ran along the wall, but there were some tables and stools in the middle of the bar area. Most sat alone, leaving plenty of space between themselves and the next drinker. Stoically they nursed their half pints of lager and lime, making each one last as long as possible.

In the evening the atmosphere was the same, it was just that more men were drinking down there. Very rarely would you get two men sat together - more usually, one would be sat on the bench and the other would be on the other side of the table, sitting on a stool.

The place had been one of the two or three homosexual bars that Manchester had tolerated even before 1967. The price of tolerance was no overt displays, hence the way the men sat, communicating by a raised eyebrow or discrete wink. It was all very sad...
21 June 2007
Mexico City site news
I have set a date for my Mexico City site to go live: all being well, it should be the 30th of this month.

Things are going to be hectic this week and next as all the fiddly little things that don't work properly need to be fixed.

Wish me luck...
20 June 2007
Bernard Manning 1930 - 2007
Bernard Manning has died at the age of 76. Born on Ancoats, Manchester, as a young man he won second prize in a Clark Gable lookalike contest - mind you a fucking Chinaman won it. He once went out with a young woman who would later star in Psycho - she was the one sat in the rocking chair.

In later life he was accused of just being a racist, but he always pointed out that he targeted poofs as well.

Actually, he was Manchester's finest comedian, and will be missed by his army of fans. On a cold, wet January night when the redundancy notices had come through, Manning could make 'em laugh. That's what he did: he made people laugh.
17 June 2007
Iraqi guerrillas change tactics every two or three weeks
The Iraqis are managing to change their tactics every two or three weeks, according to one American officer.

How are they able to do this? Probably because this is a a new type of resistance, one that does not have a single, unified leadership. Instead what we are seeing are autonomous groups that fight the occupation, but which also share and copy each others tactics. If some form of attack shows promise, another group will take it up and improve on it. John Robb has been studying this strategy for some time and calls it open source warfare. The reference to open source software is obvious and deliberate.

The Americans by way of contrast are still stuck a generation behind the times, waiting for orders to come down from a central authority.
15 June 2007
The Falklands War and the lessons for today.
Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the Argentinian surrender on the Falkland Islands. Many people at that time argued that the Falklanders were British and had to be defended. That may very well be true, but there was another important reason why an Argentinian defeat was so important. Had they won, and remained in control of the Islands, then military aggression would have received a dangerous boost. Most of the countries in South America - including Argentina - have border disputes with one another. It is not too fanciful to say that had the government in Buenos Aires been victorious, then other conflicts would have broken out in the region. This is what the government of Chile understood, which is why they supported Britain during the war.

One argument that anti-war leftists put forward then was that the enemy is at home. That happens to be true, but it does not alter the fact that the original aggression had to be opposed. As it happened the so-called Falklands Effect that was supposed to boost the British regime's electoral chances never materialised. I remember campaigning for Labour during the May 1982 local elections and the war only came up once on the doorstep. That was from a woman who was worried that the Argentinian air force might suddenly decide to bomb our part of East Manchester. I pointed out to her that if they did she could blame Thatcher for failing to properly defend the Falklands, and thus to deter the aggression. Thus mollified the woman agreed to vote Labour.

The only other incident of note that I can recall from that election was being told by one fool that he had voted Tory in 1979 because he wanted to buy his council house. However, he went on, he had then lost his job and was worried about paying his mortgage. His plan was to switch back to Labour.

So I told him that this wasn't allowed... That he was part of the property owning class and should carry on voting bastard Tory... I reminded him that Prince Andrew was getting married and enquired if his invitation had arrived?

I turned to leave and found that the knob was following me down the street. I will never forget the look of sheer panic on his idiot face because he really believed that I could stop him from voting whichever way he wanted. Eventually, because you can only have so many laughs in a day, I agreed that he could vote Labour on condition that he put a poster up in his window. This he did, and he then stuck one up at every election that came around during the whole decade.

In this way we rallied our tribe, sang the Red Flag as a raucous chorus on the night of the count and watched the Tories slink off like the middle class scum they are. Falklands Effect? What Falklands Effect?

Today we are in the middle of another conflict, but one far more serious than the events of twenty-five years ago. Today, not only is Britain the aggressor, but it is an aggression based on a vile, neo-liberal ideology that has now held Britain in thrall for three decades. When the Iraqis finally win their war of liberation, they will not only have freed their own country, but they will have created political chaos in Britain. Out of chaos comes opportunity, and the left needs to be prepared to offer the people of Britain its collectivist, socially planned vision of the future.

Those of us who opposed the war from the beginning are about to be vindicated. Aggression cannot be supported under any circumstances; and yes, the enemy is at home. Unlike twenty-five years ago, the left is now united on these two basic themes. We are united also in confident expectation of the final defeat for the enemy of ordinary people all over the globe.
10 June 2007
Woofter interviews Barker
It's been quite a while since we had a laugh at Louise "Barker" Bagshawe, so thanks to this bugger for reminding us of our duty.

He asked her several questions, and got some dissembling in return. The dissembling involves her time as secretary of the Oxford Union. Well, yes, but she was also at Christ Church at the time and the House can get its favoured son or daughter into the president's chair if it wants to. It didn't for Bagshawe because she was just not up to the job. So she was elected to the lowest of the officerships on what is known as the groin vote: nice tits, no brain, let's have something to look at.

Alas Iain Dale neglected the really important question: does she still insist on taking it doggie style?

Having neglected this most important question, the silly sod then switched off his comments to stop other people asking it for him.
02 June 2007
Baghdad embassy photos

This series of photos which show computer generated images of the new American embassy in Bghdad were posted on the architect's website. They lasted about five minutes until the American government had them pulled down and the Google cache wiped clean. Good work, lads, but just not quick enough.

The Exile wonders if they really think that this monstrosity is ever going to be occupied?