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30 September 2009
Nu-Labour and the machinery of social control
The Daily Telegraph calls it "Barmy Britain," but it is not a matter for laughter: it is all far too loathsome for that. What is happening is that the Nu-Labour regime has been frantically inventing offences and regulations under which people can either lose their jobs or be prosecuted in the courts. Thus a dinner lady who told parents that their children were being bullied has lost her job. Two policewomen who arranged to look after each others children have been threatened with prosecution because they have not registered themselves as childminders with Ofsted, yet another Orwellian state regulatory body. Finally, a civil servant who swore at a television report has just been fined over £800 for his outburst.

What all these cases have in common is only partly the ludicrous nature of the so-called offences. However, the main factor that they share is that they all relied on an informant who scurried around like a plague ridden sewer rat and then reported matters to the authorities. Nu-Labour has been pulling these tricks for some time. For instance the smoking ban is not enforced by the police, instead it relies on the informant making a call to a council official.

There is something very alien about all this, something that revolts an English mind that has been schooled in the Common Law tradition, as it conjures up images of Continental despotism. The aim seems to be to create fear in the minds of the British people as they will never know if the person that they are speaking to is a state informant or not. Thus people will censor themselves just to be on the safe side. This is the world of Franz Kafka, and one that really existed in East Germany and Pinochet's Chile.

Those regimes fell when enough people ceased to believe in them and lost their fear of the state machinery of repression. Sadly for us, next year's General Election will bring to power a Conservative Party that has shown no signs that it wants to change any of Nu-Labour's social control legislation.


29 September 2009
Russia wants to ban Skype
Russia seems to have joined the list of countries who feel that they can prevent or curtail use of the Skype telephone service. The usual pretext is national security, but the true reason is more likely that the local telephone operators can't stand the heat and want protection from the competition.

Mexico tried to ban Skype a few years ago, but gave up when she realised just how daunting the task was. China seems to be about the only country that has had limited success, largely because of the deal that was struck between Skype and a Chinese local partner. The software that Chinese users download allows the Peking regime to read text messages sent through the system, but whether they can access actual telephone calls is unclear. In any event, all that an on-the-ball Chinaman has to do is download the international version of the Skype software and his problems are solved.

The chances of the ramshackle mess that is Russia today being able to do even what the Chinese have managed is about nil, this writer reckons. Score one for the internet is the obvious conclusion.


25 September 2009
Weekending: Osama's sing-a-long

All together now: "I'd rather be a Muslim than a Tim..."


24 September 2009
British Folk Songs

They say that Britain no longer has a folk song tradition, but that isn't really true because Ulster keeps the songs alive.

I defy anyone not to feel the hairs on the back of their necks stand up when they listen to this song.
23 September 2009
Filming the filth 3

Just to finish off this short series, here's a video that shows what ordinary people with a video camera and a good set of balls can do when confronted by the filth.

Remember, people, that you can pretty much shoot whatever you want provided you are standing on a public highway, or have the landowner's permission to be on his land.

Of course that won't stop the filth from making shit up, but as you can see from these clips, often you can send them away with their dicks in their hands.

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22 September 2009
Filming the filth 2

I have no idea who Mark Thomas is, but he did a deft job at making this bunch of transport police look fucking stupid. First he gets an inspector to claim that the police did not have a video crew on duty that day, and then he goes off and interviews the crew. However, the really sublime moment is when the inspector is confronted with the reality of his own porkies and tries to stonewall the increasingly mocking questions.

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21 September 2009
Filming the filth 1

This video comes courtesy of Motorcycle News and a very on-the-ball reporter named Steve Farrell. It seems that North Wales hosted a recent demonstration against police persecution of bikers, and probably as an act of revenge the local filth decided to go after Steve Farrell by seizing his camera. It was later returned, but that is not the point: heaven knows what would have happened had it not been a reporter but a member of the public or a blogger. We know that the filth are out of control, and have been ever since they were given a thumping great pay rise almost 30 years ago and then turned loose on the organised working class. That being so, perhaps we should just be grateful that the journalist involved wasn't gunned down with the same glee that the filth showed when they pumped round after round into the head of Jean Charles de Menezes:

The hilarious thing about all this is the way in which the skinheaded thug who caused the trouble in the first place then tries to justify his actions on the Motorcycle News forum under the monicker Plasma 10. Needless to say he fails, basically because stringing a grammatical sentence together seems to be beyond the intelligence of this bovine inadequate.

Enough of this merry banter: can anyone provide their friendly old Exile with an uncensored copy of the photo that accompanies the above sound recording? Can we get hold of the two skinheads' names? If anyone has their private addresses that would be wonderful. If they have done nothing wrong then they have nothing to be afraid of, have they? Just like us when the filth video us as we go about our lawful business. . .

Update, 22-9-2009, 8.30am:

The video has now arrived on YouTube. Please click the link and let's try and make it go viral.

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Is the debtors' revolt over?

Ann Milch has been offered a deal by her bank and quite sensibly has grabbed it with both hands. She is in the process of creating a website to coordinate further actions, but quite what those actions will be is anyone's guess.

More news if and when we get it.


19 September 2009
Weekending: Street Upskirt

You would think that these blokes would have realised before now that if something is too good to be true then it probably is.

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18 September 2009
Yet more insolence from the social work filth
From John Hemming MP, comes the news that folk who complain about social work shit find that the local council that provides the parasites with their inflated wage packets will then seek revenge by going after the complainant's children:

"Very often care proceedings are used as retaliation by local authorities against 'uppity' people who question the system," stated the Birmingham Yardley MP.

None of this will come as any surprise to those readers who have followed our reports on the activities of this human vermin that is known collectively as the social work industry. However, it is still worth repeating that there is a solution that will put a stop to their cheek once and for all:

We have to cease our disengagement from politics and run candidates on our estates who reflect our values and ideology. If enough of them get elected then we can quite simply march every piece of social work filth that is employed by the council into a room and give them their redundancy notices.

Bring a video crew along just to grab shots of their faces as they realise that the gravy train has just run off the fucking rails.

How's that for revenge against the lower middle class filth that has been raking it in while we have rotted on the social?

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17 September 2009
The debtors' revolt seems to be a failure
We gave some publicity almost a week ago to one woman's crusade to do over the American credit card companies over rates of interest that amounted to usury. Sadly, we have to report that the debtors' revolt seems to be a failure. Whether it can be resurrected in some form is debatable, but as it stands the revolt is probably going nowhere.

What Ann Minch, the organiser of this campaign probably did not realise is that the credit card companies can shovel their debt onto the federal government. Thus even if the campaign took off in a big way, the companies would not be hurt as Uncle Sam would pick up the tab.

Secondly, the campaign appears to have become rudderless, with sympathetic bloggers and journalists just not getting the information that we need to keep the campaign alive. Thus during the first two days of the debtor's revolt video's life between the 8th and 10th of this month, it attracted 60,000 hits largely because plenty of bloggers were posting about it. However, the hit-tally at the moment is just 177,000, which may sound a lot but isn't really. What is happening is that the video is still being watched, but not by the growing numbers that we would expect had it truly gone viral.

What went wrong? Basically Ann is not managing things properly. She does not reply to e-mails, and neither does she appear to be sending out news releases. It does not take a genius to search the blogs to find out who is posting on this theme and then get information out to them to keep the topic alive.

The failure to do this means that the issue will quickly fade from the public memory. It may very well be that Ann's campaign was doomed from the start owing to the ability of the credit card companies to offload their debt, but the failure to generate sufficient publicity is Ann's fault. There used to be a saying in the Communist Party of old that spontaneous outpourings of popular wrath need to be very carefully organised, and that is something that everyone, not just Ann Minch, needs to keep in mind.


16 September 2009
Mexican Independence Day
Today is Mexican Independence Day, a fact which allows me to explain the concept of la puente to you. Puente just means bridge, and in this context it is what happens when a public holiday falls on a Tuesday, say. Hardly anyone works on Sundays, and if the holiday is the Tuesday then most Mexicans will create a bridge between the two days by sloping off work on the Monday.

So what is happening right now with the independence celebrations that occur today? Easy, they have bridged over the two days from Sunday and hardly anyone will go into work on Thursday as it is considered to be too close to Saturday.

Yes, that's right, millions will take the whole week off work!


15 September 2009
More on the British food banks
The nice thing about blogging is the way in which a story can be published on one blog, and then taken up with further research on another. Yesterday, for instance, we posted a story about British food banks and pointed out that most of them seemed to be concentrated in the south. Martin Meenagh then discovered the name of the charity, the Trussell Trust, that runs most of the food banks, and sure enough they are proliferating in Southern England, but there are only a handful outside the old Kingdom of Wessex.

As we said yesterday, that is due to the vast numbers of working poor who live in the south, but what we didn't realise then was the numbers of British soldiers' families who are now a part of that working poor and who receive this form of charity.

Hard though it is to believe, a British private soldier earns less than £17,000 a year. When you compare that to a fucking traffic warden who screws over £20,000 a year, or a copper who pulls in £23,000 for acting as an escort to any filthy scab who wants to cross a picket line, then you can see that something is wrong.

You can also understand why the soldiers' families use this charity: all it takes is for the army to mess up one wage payment and the family back home are screwed because the wage earner is most likely up to his neck in Afghan tribesmen, and he is the only one who can sort the mess out.

What a shithole of a country Britain has become during my lifetime. We really do need a party that represents the urban working class and that has as its top priority the doing over of the parasitic middle class that has enjoyed itself so much at our expense over the past three decades.

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14 September 2009
Food banks in Britain

Food banks have arrived in Britain, as this video shows. Most British people have probably never heard of them, but they are common in the USA. Run by charities they provide food to the poor, and in the case of Salisbury, where this video was shot, that means the working poor, as 85 percent of the people who use the food bank have a job. The problem is that they are just one wage packet away from destitution if a crisis hits them.

Funnily enough, that is probably why the British food banks are concentrated in the south of the country. Had the family in the video lived in the north, then the chances are that they would have been unemployed as jobs are like rocking horse shit in the old industrial areas. They would have received the social and their rent would have been paid by benefits. Life for them would not be great, but they would not be a step away from losing their home and having to live on the generosity of a food bank.

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12 September 2009
Debtors' Revolt Battleplan

Just giving up a few minutes of my weekend to point out that Ann has another video that was uploaded a few hours ago.

This new video is much more amateurish than the first and, in this writer's opinion, it runs for far too long. That said, this is Ann's campaign and she can do things as she wants. The debt revolt video has now had over 90,000 hits so she is quite entitled to argue that she is doing something right.

In the new video Ann puts forward a four-point plan to her fellow rebels:

1. Withdraw whatever funds you have in the "big global banks" and shift those funds to small, local banks. Her argument runs that you can have a personal relationship with a local bank that you cannot have with a giant.

2. Get rid of all credit cards unless you pay off the balance each month.

3. Live simply and within your means - don't fall for the man's big talk that aims to get you into debt.

4. Finally, "if you have a creditor who is gouging you, don't just roll over and take it".

Looking at the two videos together, there is something about this rebel woman that is solid and Protestant - she has about her the air of those other generations of Americans who did not take shit.

Ann, if you are reading this, General Lee surrendered, but just make sure that you don't:


Weekending: Short Skirt Upskirt

Here's a nice candid camera moment that should help to tickle your funny bone until we return after the weekend.

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11 September 2009
More on the debtors' revolt video
Following right along from last night's posting about a putative debtors' revolt in the USA, the video that started the ball rolling seems to be on the verge of going viral. In the 48 hours that it has been on YouTube the Debtors' Revolt Begins Now video has gained just over 60,000 hits. Websites are linking to the short video and encouraging their readers to sign up for the programme as it were. So who is the woman behind it all?

She calls herself Rockerchic4god on YouTube and she has an almost moribund blog under that name on the Blogspot servers. Her real name is believed to be Ann Minch and she and her husband live in Northern California. Ann is a God botherer which is going to lead to credibility problems if this debt revolt movement of hers really starts to take off.

Will it take off? Well, as the above video shows, the American economy is tanking in a big way and we are seeing the return of the tent cities that most people thought had vanished with the end of the Great Depression.

Anything is possible in other words, so let's wait and see.


10 September 2009
The American debtors' revolt
Does this video mark the start of a debtors' revolt in the USA? The young woman who made it obviously hopes so and is asking all and sundry to pass it around. This blog does not get many American readers, madam, but we are pleased to do what we can:

The video maker tells us that she was quite happy to service her credit card until the interest rate was jacked up to a whopping thirty percent, and as she points out, the neighbourhood loan sharks offer better deals than that.

What she wants Americans to do is join her in giving the American version of the old two fingered salute to these wretched spivs who run the banks, and if enough people join her campaign then they can force them to lower their rates. Either that or they will bring the system crashing down.

We await the outcome with interest. In the meantime, please post the video up wherever you can and let's get this rather sexy lady's message out.

Cheers: Martin Meenagh.


09 September 2009
A Blogging Problem
A couple of years ago I was having a drink with the journalist and blogger Neil Clark. We were discussing ways in which our blogs could reach a wider, more working class readership, and Neil remarked rather sadly that the problem was that our people not only don't write blogs as a matter of course, but they don't read them either.

About a year later a friend of mine who lives in the wilds of Essex told me that the workers at the factory where he works assembling window frames do not read the Sun because they think that it has too much news in it. They prefer the Daily Sport instead.

This is the problem that working class activists have: using this wonderful new technology to reach our own people is failing because the buggers are using it for something else. Now we can play the old game and try to persuade people to think as we do, or we can accept the reality of the situation and try something different.

Adding a healthy dose of sleaze to the blog has not only done wonders for the stat porn, but checking the figures it is obvious that the blog is now reaching people in Rochdale, Sheffield and Liverpool. So far so good, but most of those hits come about as a result of the search engines, and people land on the page that they want and don't stick around to explore the site.

I need to figure out a way to get people to read my postings as well as leering over the sleaze. The problem is that I have no idea how to do that.


08 September 2009
How to e-mail safely
Your friendly old Exile can think of two reasons to go to bastard work. The first is the money, especially Friday pay-day, and running into the nearest swill shop to get the taste of the job out of the gob with pint after pint of bitter. The second is the intellectual stimulation that comes from doing over the management filth, day after day, week in and week out. You don't even have to be a union activist to have a laugh at those creatures' expense: you just have to know how to wind the fuckers up, something that this writer has always been an expert at.

As more and more people are employed as office drones the means of subversive have changed out of all recognition from the old days, but they are still there. Today, wasting a full day behind a computer screen watching YouTube videos or e-mailing friends with scurrilous gossip have become the tactics of choice for the discerning subversive.

Unfortunately, the enemy has become adept at using computer programmes to sniff out when we are skiving off work. The latest is a programme developed by an American outfit called Cataphora which:
. . . builds up a model of how the office works, by studying the pattern of emails fired back and forth, and then scans for deviations from it. Suddenly WRITING IN CAPITALS? That's a sign of high emotion (not to mention base illiteracy). Switching from English into another language for greater security, or breaking off an email discussion to continue via phone? Again, a possible sign that something's up.
How can we do over programmes such as this and continue on our merry way? Basically by using our common sense and not making life easy for the management filth, that's how. Now none of what follows involves anything sophisticated so don't worry as a degree in IT is not going to be required.

The first thing is that you have to stop using the firm's e-mail programme. People, that is just so very basic that we at Team Exile are constantly amazed that folk do not take this simple precaution. Think about it: anything you write using the firm's facilities can be traced to you by a cursory inspection of your hard drive. Use a web based e-mail and you are much safer.

Why not have your work e-mail open in one window and your webmail account open in another? That way you can use the firm's mail for matters that relate to work and your web account for when you want to forward that hilarious mail that arrived a minute ago.

Now if you want to blog about bastard work then the tactics are slightly more complicated, but not by all that much. They are outlined here and really involve nothing more than basic common sense.

That said, most people will probably be satisfied with the ability to send uncensored e-mails. So long as they don't use the firm's account they should be able to do that quite easily thanks to web based e-mail facilities.

No go off and enjoy yourselves at the firm's expense.


07 September 2009
The mental disorder that is Trotskyism
If I live to be as old as Methuselah I will never understand the mindset of the Trots. To be charitable, it may be that supporting one of history's more total losers as well as being ignored by the bulk of the population has driven them out of their trees, but it would be nice if they weren't such utter mongs as well.

A few days ago this blog managed to keep its place in the top 100 leftwing blogs list. So it came to pass that I left comments at quite a few of the other 99 list-members to congratulate them. One of those blogs is called Shiraz Socialist and, well, if you read the comments to this posting, you will see for yourselves what happened.

This is the world of the bovine Trot all over. Unless everything is to his tastes, he will throw a queenly tantrum which might be entertaining, but actually does nothing to further the destruction of the capitalist state. Then again, nothing that Trotsky's followers have ever done has ever furthered the destruction of capitalism, has it?


The realignment in British politics reaches England
If you have never heard of the English Democratic Party then you are in good company because your friendly old Exile had not heard of them either until the other day. On one level they come over as complete and utter nutters who have a thing about the Bildebergers and Illuminati. That said, they are part of the realignment that is taking place in British politics and one of their number was recently elected as Mayor of Doncaster.

That set of policies are enough to gladden any working man's heart:
The “diversity” portfolio has been abolished from the council’s cabinet. From next year no more funding will be given to the town’s “Gay Pride” event, on the grounds that people do not need to parade their sexuality, whatever it may be, at taxpayers’ expense. Black History Month, International Women’s Day and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month are similarly destined to become history.
Not only that, but the council funded translation service is to get the chop, on the principle that Johnny Foreigner can either learn English or fuck off. The aim, eventually, is to abolish all the Mickey Mouse jobs that the lower middle class use to feather their own nests with - and good riddance to all of them says this blog.

The problem is that the money saved will not go to help the working class by providing the manual jobs that our people want, instead it will go towards cutting the council tax, but the policies are a step in the right direction at least.

Across the country we are seeing a reaction to the Nu-Labour bollocks that has done so little for us, but so much for the middle class filth. Even stand up comedians who are not normally associated with political humour are getting in on the act:

Thus we can conclude from events in Doncaster that the realignment in British politics has now reached England, although we do seem to be still lagging behind our Celtic neighbours in Wales and Scotland.

In Wales the realignment is so far advanced that the so-called Independents can take a House of Commons seat and any number of council chairs throughout south and central Wales. Of course these representatives are not independent at all - they are old Labour and will probably form their own party soon. In Scotland the Nationalists seem to be picking up the lion's share of the ex-Labour vote, helped in part by Nu-Labour's desire to shaft the people who are not only working class but Catholic to boot.

The problem was and remains England because we have no obvious political organisation that can represent us. Thus people are voting for all and sundry, be it the EDP in Doncaster or the the Tories in places like Crewe just to get Nu-Labour out.

Politics hates a vacuum and sooner or later that gap in the political spectrum that Labour once filled will be taken by a party that will, hopefully, represent the working man's economic radicalism and social conservatism.

Sadly, this writer has no idea when that will finally happen.


05 September 2009
Weekending: yet another brainless bimbo

This video is probably a fake, but it still provides a seriously good laugh.


04 September 2009
Noor Ramjanally & changing British attitudes
The Skype call from London came bright and early on this side of the Atlantic and the caller couldn't keep the laughter out of his voice:

"Some wog's been caught out telling porkies to the law," he gleefully reported.

The interesting thing about the Noor Ramjanally tale is not that this chancer tried to pull the wool over everyone's eyes by claiming that men connected to the British National Party had abducted him, then stuck him in a car boot before driving him to Epping Forest and there threatening him with violence if he did not stop his Muslim work in the area.

Neither is it that the usual gang of local politicians, teachers and police all trooped along to Ramajanally's meeting hall to perform the osculum infame on his nether region.

What is interesting about this case is that the London Evening Standard has switched off the comment box that usually comes at the foot of every story. It is as if they are afraid that the comments may fall outside the level of acceptability that British people are forced to adhere to by their lords and masters.

A few Skype calls to friends in the UK would seem to suggest that the paper is right to be worried. Nobody that your friendly old Exile spoke to ever had any doubt at all that Ramajanally had been lying all along, and all expressed their utter contempt for the gang that had bum-sucked him with such devotion.

Tentatively, we can conclude with the thought that something seems to be changing in Britain. People are sick and tired of the political class and its hangers on who seem to have an interest in anybody but them. Especially if that anybody is black or brown.

In the past it was only the hardcore skinheads who felt that way, but now it seems to be much more widespread.

The next General Election could turn out to be very interesting indeed.


03 September 2009
The Exile stays in the top 100 for a second year

The Exile remains in the Total Politics Top 100 leftist blogs for the second year running, so thanks are due to the people who voted for us. We dropped from number 75 last year to 94 now, but that was probably due to my illness, which made the getting out of the vote impossible.

Thanks again to the people who kept the Exile in the top 100.


Thinking back to the outbreak of war
Seventy years ago today Britain and France went to war with Germany. The Daily Telegraph has a story about what life was like on that distant Sunday, the day that Western Europe began her final lunatic march into irrelevancy.
02 September 2009
Free The Donkey Two
Why do we blog? That's a question that many of us ask from time to time, although not, it is to be hoped, with quite the angst displayed by Craig Murray when the question popped into his head the other day.

The quick answer is that we blog because we choose too - no bugger holds a gun to our heads and forces us to knock out our drivel. However, sometimes we get a result that puts us on front pages all across the world, and that must be very satisfying indeed.

Take Andnan Hajizade and Emin Milli as a case in point. These two bloggers from Azerbaijan have just been lifted by the local old bill, seemingly for having produced this video which shows a bloke in a donkey suit giving a press conference. The subtitles are a bit wonky but just check out the very beddable bit of talent at the 2:22 mark:

Needless to say the government has denied the allegations and is claiming that the Donkey Two - as I suppose we must call them - were lifted following a drunken brawl in a restaurant.

Before anyone starts giggling at the antics of third world shitholes, then consideration needs to be given to similar acts of censorship in Britain. For instance did you know that it is illegal to sing such fine old British folk songs as this one?

That's right - people are routinely arrested and fined, especially in Scotland, for singing this catchy lyric. That's why the two men in the video are in disguise!

So why do we blog and post videos to the web? We do it partly so that we can stick one to the man, and partly so that we can have a laugh. And they can't stop us from laughing.

On the other hand a mate of mine was once sacked for laughing. Mind you he was driving a fucking hearse at the time. . .


Why is Obama losing the healthcare battle?
Hard though it may be to believe, but Barack Obama's healthcare reforms look dead in the water. His popularity is declining, especially amongst the younger element of the Democratic faithful, and Obama looks more and more like a one term president to this writer. How on earth did this disaster come about? There are three closely interrelated factors that lead irrevocably to that conclusion.

The first is that talking about Obama's healthcare plan is a contradiction in terms because he doesn't seem to have one. That was probably an advantage during the election campaign because it meant that his proposals could not be scrutinised very closely, but nobody could have guessed that not only did he not actually have any ideas, but almost a year later that situation would continue.

This has led to a situation where the right can make the running and can pretty much say whatever it wants about healthcare reform and nobody on the left can point to the actual wording of the Obama proposal as a rebuttal because it doesn't exist.

Secondly, and as Robert Reich the former Labour Secretary pointed out, in the USA "the left has ideas and the right has discipline". This has led to a plethora of schemes being put forward by any number of Democrats, and all the while the right continue to sing from the same choir sheet. Thus as proposal follows proposal the waters are muddied and policy becomes confusing to the average voter. However, the right's opposition is simple and easy to understand: Obama wants to kill your grandmother. . .

Finally, a year ago the Obama campaign was heading for the rocks, seemingly unable to get to grips with the fast moving Republican attacks and today exactly the same thing seems to be happening to the administration. Back then Obama took control of the campaign and made some changes to it, but the main factor behind his victory was the state of the economy.

He cannot rely on such external factors any more as the buck stops at his desk. He must put forward his own proposals for healthcare reform and then use the overwhelming majority that the Democrats have in Congress to ram the bill through.


01 September 2009
Will the mobile 'phone replace the laptop?
Will the mobile 'phone replace the laptop computer? The latest mobiles are so powerful that users often use them to check their e-mail and surf the web even when their laptops are nearby. It is just easier to use the mobile rather than open the laptop and then boot it up, runs the argument.

However, two factors may come together to give the laptop a new lease on life. The first is the phenomenal growth in the netbook market and the second is the introduction of the amusingly named dongle.

Netbooks are often seen as a computer that is smaller than a traditional laptop but bigger than a mobile. They have the advantage of being cheap and a reasonably good model can be picked up for about £200 or so. Their disadvantage is that they are not usually very powerful - most use Windows XP as their operating system instead of Vista, for instance, although the newer models are almost as powerful as their larger cousins as the above video shows. However they all suffered from the standard disadvantage common to all computers in that they needed to connect to the web via either an Ethernet cable or a WiFi point.

The introduction of the dongle a couple of years ago changed all that. A dongle looks like nothing more than a slightly over-sized USB memory stick, but it allows a computer to be connected to the internet via the mobile telephone band. Thus, and for anyone who is even the tiniest bit creative, the netbook and dongle combination looks like the winner in this contest simply because writing anything on a mobile is a fiddly and difficult process.

That said, the battle is by no means over. It is possible that some enterprising manufacturer will come out with a mobile handset that is slightly larger than that which exists today, and will couple it with a detachable keyboard. At a stroke that would remove the netbooks' advantage and throw everything into flux once again.

All good fun, isn't it?