Monday, 31 May 2010

Meet the new boss..., no more heroes and other musings...

...same as the old boss. As the well-known rabbit cliché goes - for overseas readers and the terminally inattentive - the above person is David Laws who has been Chief Secretary to the Treasury for not quite a record short duration for a cabinet minister but not far off. Laws has been obliged to resign - and got outed in a pretty brutal way - after it was disclosed that he had claimed £40,000 of public funds for 'rent' paid to his male lover supposedly for accommodation arranged for the better discharge of his public duties. This is against the rules and Laws (who is apparently very wealthy in his own right) has paid the money back and resigned. The suspicion - well it's more than a suspicion - is that he has resigned sharpish all the better to resume office after the fuss has died down and he has served his period in the sin bin to the satisfaction of 'Dave'. Now so far as the rabbit is concerned, Laws can be having it off with a bactrian camel for all he cares and there is no duty on Laws to disclose any more of his private life than he sees fit - all other things being equal.

What makes them unequal - apart from his arrangement as regards 'rent' being against the rules - is that Laws was in charge of a pretty aggressive cuts agenda - a task as one of the new style economic liberals he was applying himself to with some vigour. A lot of much less wealthy people will lose their jobs. In mitigation, he could have within the rules claimed as much or more money by other contrivances. Conversely, if he had been much less wealthy and claimed Housing Benefit in a much more modest sum in similar circumstances, he would have been in danger of criminal prosecution. Meet Backy the bactrian camel who is going to keep an eye on this shower on behalf of the rabbit.

On a completely different topic, the rabbit has been reminded over the weekend of three different people who are heroised by many but all of whom were either pretty unpleasant individuals or at least said or did pretty unpleasant things...

The first is Marie Stopes. There is much excitement at the moment over whether the clinic that bears her name should be allowed to advertise abortion services on television. I pass on the particular topic but do wonder about naming a clinic after an unpleasant eugenicist who sent Hitler a volume of love poetry with a gushing covering letter (it's a good job this didn't come to the attention of Unity Mitford or some serious bitchslapping would follow), was in favour of sterilisation of 'defectives' and people of mixed race and cut her son out of her will because he married a woman who wore glasses. Not a nice person.

While on the subject of Hitler, something or the other I read reminded me that Eamonn De Valera as Irish Prime Minister actually sent the German ambassador in Dublin a message of condolence on the death of Hitler. In this respect he was unique among European neutrals. What possessed him remains a mystery.

Finally, a new biography of Leon Trotsky reminds the punters of his more unpleasant trauts such as maintaining discipline in the Red Army by a policy of summary execution for assorted miscreants. Which would take us neatly to the Stranglers and No More Heroes but embedding is disabled by request. So let's have The Who and Won't Get Fooled Again instead...

Today's breaking news story is that the Israelis are at it again. They really don't know where to stop - as in haven't the remotest idea. I may blog on this again when I feel slightly less incandescently angry. I note in passing that the little squirt Hague is proposing - with impeccable timing - to end the universal jurisdiction law that has incurred so much Israeli displeasure.

Friday, 28 May 2010

The great debate...

...on smut seems to have been unanimously resolved in favour of the continuance of the same. The rabbit has been a bit time poor, and hence quiet, this week but following a comment by the Minx mentioning seaside postcards I had a hunt for some seaside postcard smut. Of course, any British person thinks of Donald McGill in this context but in searching for his - erm - artwork I found the above poster for the well-known seaside resort of Bognor, which I rather like. Eventually some of McGill's opus were tracked down.

Do it both ways.... Nudge! Nudge! Wink! Wink!

Fnarr! Fnarr! Elbow! Elbow!

A little advert is in order for Baby Barista who has left The Times, a buttock clenchingly uninteresting newspaper Prop: R Murdoch, following the (commercially bonkers in my opinion) paywall erected around Rupe's wrinkled organ (oh dear this stuff is catching). He is polite about the paywall but personally I hope it is a commercial disaster. Anyway, he's asked for people to mention the new free babybarista blog , which I am pleased to do. Oh dear! Smut gets everywhere these days. Read the posting on the crack of Dawn...


Monday, 24 May 2010

As from tomorrow....

...mindless smut (of which there has been quite a lot lately I have to confess shamefacedly) will be banned from White Rabbit. Honest. So here are a couple of parting shots pinched from Dr Heckle (link to left). I was always taught that it is rude to point but the young man seems to have a very good sense of direction.

And as for these furry creatures, I can only blush...

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Let's all blow raspberries at Wenlock and Mandeville

Permit me to introduce overseas readers and the terminally inattentive to Wenlock and Mandeville. They are the mascots for the 2012 London Olympics and they are excruciatingly awful. They are probably destined to become like Ant and Dec i9n that no-one knows which is which. Okay, Mandeville is the one who has wet himself and the pee is blue. Wenlock apparently Tweets, which is an imporessive trick as he is an inanimate object (there is apparently some half-witted 'story' in the background that they were created from drops of steel from the Olympic stadium). None of his Tweets, however, appear to be anything other than a barrage of predictable, bland inanities. They each have taxi lights on the top of their heads (London black cabs, geddit?) and their cyclops like 'eyes' (reminiscent of Mike from Monsters Inc) are in fact supposed to be cameras. Don't ask me why.
The mascots have been created for children, the London Olympics people point out painedly in the face of a barrage of derision. It is hoped that they will inspire children to take up sport.
Um, righty...
You can become their friend if you like. Oh dear - the competition is hotting up for the worst mascots ever - and competition is hot.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Meet Dramatic Cat...

A quick bit of lazy blogging today. Meet Dramatic Cat. Doesn't the feline camp up the amazement just a touch? Hat Tip to Blurred Clarity (link to left). At the time of writing Blackpool are winning the Championship Play Off Final 3-2. Like the overwhelming body of neutrals, I want Blackpool to win. It's a romantic/underdog thing. Okay, they just won...

Friday, 21 May 2010

Feeling frivolous...

The rabbit has got that frivolous end of the working week feeling. It was between posting the above and launching into one about how Dispersal Orders should be the first thing 'Dave' and pals should abolish. You will see what you got. Applications for casual sex should be submitted with recent photo, full CV and at least three references.

Have CSNY with Almost Cut My Hair Today, Dedicated to the blogger who did - cut her hair that is.

Thursday, 20 May 2010


Hat Tip to Jailhouselawyer who also reports that new Home Secretary Theresa May has halted the extradition process on Gary McKinnon to the USA while she considers material on the effect of extradition on his health. The rabbit has blogged on his case before and can only mutter 'good for her' (May) through gritted teeth.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Oooh Matron!

Pinched from Dr Heckle who the rabbit has just discovered.

Let's get this over with then...

After a protracted period of silence on the topic, here is what the rabbit thinks about the election and aftermath.

The Conservatives: I'd forgotten quite how much I dislike them. Dislike is putting it delicately; this is a family blog. It's personal as well as political. I'm not sure which of them I'm going to end up disliking most. William Hague is an early front runner. As is Michael Gove. The word dweeb comes to mind. Actually Dominic Grieve is quite a nice bloke. There may be some other Conservative nice bloke somewhere. Don't say Ken Clarke, though. He has form for selling cigarettes to poor people in third world countries. That's not nice.

The Lib Dems: the rabbit has been quite favourably disposed to them. They were excellent on Iraq. Had the best and most radical positions on civil liberty issues and indeed on equality issues.


One theory is to blame the social democrat input after the union of the old Liberal Party (a body with a long and mostly honourable history) with a bunch of old right Labourists. I think the truth is that, whatever its attractions (often of a process of elimination variety) its centre of gravity was always too far to the right. They have just demonstrated this.

Labour. Frankly, they didn't deserve to win. Whether the rest of deserve what we are about to get is another question. For those of us on the libertarian left, Labour was always clunkingly centralist and statist. The old Labour fault line was the cold war. The old right was Atlanticist. The old left was soft on Stalinism. Domestically, both were in thrall to a centralising dirigiste gig. New Labour retained Old Labour's authoritarian instincts but lost its impulse to equality. The result was an idiot and wholly illegal war (Count 1 on the indictment against them) and an appallingly illiberal approach to personal freedom issues (Count 2). If you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem as we used to say in my youth. Labour is part of the problem.

The Greens, I was pleased to see them win a seat but I remain sceptical. I don't trust their credentials on personal liberty issues. I can see a propensity to herd the rest of us. Purely for own good of course.


What I really want is a party that doesn't exist: to the left of the Lib Dems. Decentralising, non-statist and libertarian (compare and contrast Labour in its various manifestations) but less prissy than the Greens. This requires a different electoral system. You never know your luck. The only thing to be said for the new government is that it may become so cordially detested that it brings the whole existing political dispensation down with it - breaks the mould, as it were.

We shall see. That's enough politics.

Saturday, 15 May 2010


Time to turn the mind to matters sporting. England play Australia in the World 20/20 final and the football World Cup looms . I'm struggling to get very worked up about either. Albeit that it is hugely entertaining, I can't see 20/20 as 'proper cricket' and the World Cup will no doubt be prefaced by the usual England will win it because we ought to because we invented the game and we haven't won since 1966 which isn't fair etc etc hype followed by the letdown.

I also assume that the World Cup will be 'celebrated' by some dreadful song. They always are. Above is the only song of this type that was ever any good. Vindaloo by Fat Les - an entity consisting of Alex James (music) Keith Allen (words - yes he of father of Lily of that ilk fame) and Damien Hirst ( don't ask me how he came into it). Vindaloo was created for the 1998 World Cup and was a wholly unofficial anthem. The words are wonderful - okay the words are mostly na na na na but include such gems as...

Where on earth are you from?
We're from England
Where you come from
Do you put the kettle on?


Can I introduce you please
To a lump of Cheddar Cheese
Knit one, Pearl one
Drop one, Curl one

Even if you know nothing about - or evn positively hate - football, have a look at the video. It's deliciously surreal - featuring a Max Wall impersonator and if I am not mistaken a young Matt Lucas.

I would blog about the election but haven't the heart. Maybe soonish. Here's a Spanish CNT/FAI poster to cheer people of goodwill up.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Of wankers and freedom of expression....

The above poster was produced by an organisation called Class War, a body usually described as anarchist and apparently dedicated to overthrowing the ruling order by being very rude about it indeed in - often very amusing - posters, stickers etc., including the above of 'Dave' Cameron, a Prime Minister.


A man in east London named David Hoffman (apparently a photographer of some distinction) put one of the above posters in his window. Who should arrive on his doorstep but plod? Four of them to be exact. They asked him for identification. This is on his own doorstep. He says that on going to close the door temporarily the police forced entry. The police deny this (oh yeah?) Let Mr Hoffman take up the story. 'They burst into my house, pushed me back and handcuffed me. They said I had committed an offence under section 5 of the Public Order Act, I was being detained, and I might be arrested'.

Huh? By what authority?

White Rabbit being at the cutting edge of law blogging, setting out the statutory provision relied on by the police is in order.

'5(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he—


(b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,

within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby'.

A police inspector telephoned Mr Hoffman and expressed the opinion that 'any reasonable person' would find his poster 'alarming, harassing or distressful'.

I can only comment that the inspector has a rich fantasy life. Apparently a neighbour had complained that she found the poster offensive. But - he wrote in a patient tone of voice - that is not the same thing. At the risk of repetition, there is no human right not to be offended, nor is anyone protected by the criminaL law against being offended. Nor should they be.

Mr Hoffman duly took down the poster but, I am pleased to report, has put it back up with 'wanker' removed and 'onanist' replacing it. Much classier, I'm sure you'll all agree. As to whether 'Dave' is a practitioner of the gentle art of self-pleasuring, it is too early to tell. Okay, it isn't

Meanwhile on the other side of the political divide, there is much speculation who will stand for the now vacant leadership of the Labour Party. It may be that both Miliband brothers may stand. The rabbit as an undergraduate in the late middle ages used to occasionally attend their father's lectures despite not being on any of his courses. I wonder what he would have made of this. Actually, I have a pretty canny idea. Another possible candidate is Mr Ed, a horse.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

A question and a few odds and ends on the election...

Recently there has been an intermittent whiff of veiled threat during the post election limbo as regards what the financial markets would and would not like and what consequences may follow if the outcome is disobliging from the point of view of the financial markets.

A question.

Who elected the financial markets?

Perhaps to paraphrase Brecht, the financial markets may care to dissolve the people and award themselves a new one.

The Rabbit has blogged on Joanne Cash before. Oh dear! She lost! And she would appear to be a sore loser too. Oh dear oh dear.... Hat Tip to Mahal

While on the subject of angry people, here are Alan Boulton of Sky News and Alistair Campbell of - well - of very angry indeed having a difference of opinion. Just settle back and enjoy...

At the time of writing it appears that we are indeed to be governed by a sack of blancmange, propped up by the Lib Dems as Labour have given up on the subject, the BBC news website reports. Some wag put Nick Clegg up for sale on e-bay but the humourless gits at e-bay took it down, Hat Tip to Random Blowe. I leave the last word - okay image not word - to Beau Bo D'Or (link to left)

Weird fact of the day from the BBC website: 'The ancient Greek punishment for adultery was to shove a radish up the adulterer's bottom'. As one does...

Monday, 10 May 2010

A postscript on Albert

Since blogging on Albert yesterday, I have had an e-mail from his daughter Alicia. I copy and paste...

Thanks so much for blogging about my father, Albert Johanneson. I didn't know that Billy Bremner spoke of him in such glowing terms. I know that a lot of things have been written about my father, some true and some untrue, and, unfortunately people tend to repeat the erroneous information disseminated about him. I don't know where you got your information from about my dad, but I would like to take the time to clarify a few points you made.

First and foremost, my father, while being an excellent footballer, was also a human being who suffered from the ravages of alcoholism. Contrary to what you wrote, I'm sure he did want to be helped, but like anyone who experiences a disease like alcoholism, I'm sure there were times when he couldn't have given two figs about his well-being; he probably just craved another drink and nothing more. Nevertheless, I'm convinced that when he was sober he did want to be helped, but often times probably didn't know how to fully appreciate the love and concern meted out to him in that regard.

Secondly, my father was not buried in an unmarked grave. As you know, it takes some time to create a headstone for the deceased, and since my sister and I requested that the wording on the headstone be taken from a Maya Angelou poem, we had to secure permission to use it. Hence the delay in putting up the headstone, which, by the way, was paid for by Leeds United management.

Anyway, I just wanted to take some time to clarify those points and thank you once again for shedding some positive light on my dad and his place in British football.

With gratitude,

Alicia S. Johanneson

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Promotion, Albert and Blancmange...

Phew! Leeds finally promoted after beating Bristol Rovers 2-1 but they put the faithful through the wringer first. The story starts with a man called 'Mad' Max Gradel. It's 0-0 but Leeds are bossing play. 'Mad' gets annoyed and decks a Bristol Whatstheirname player. The referee sends him off. He won't go. He wants a pop at everyone. His team mates have to restrain him. Watch two of them wrestling with him on the clip. Then two security guys have to come on and remove him from the pitch. That's my kind of Leeds player. But that's the problem: indiscipline, self destruct button pressed, hubris. Been like that for decades...

Then Bristol Rovers score. Leeds losing 0-1. The rabbit is in despair. If we don't make it this season the wheels are bound to start coming off the wagon. It's Groundhog Day again. Then manager Grayson makes a substitution that changes the game. Howson comes on and scores in (I think) 4 minutes flat. Then Beckford scores. Nerves jangle. Don't concede a goal. Then we're up. Then resolution. We didn't and we are. Groundhog Day is finally concluded

I've been meaning to blog about Albert for ages. Today is a good day to give effect to that intention. Albert Johanneson was a black South African. It seems weird to write it today, but he was the first black professional footballer of any particular note - at least in English terms, that is. He was a winger and amazingly skilful. He literally ran rings round people. There was a clip on YouTube, an old grainy black and white clip, of Albert doing a mazy run down the wing leaving opponents literally flat on their backs after failing to intercept him. I can't find it now, which is a pity. The Leeds crowd loved him. He was just 'Albert' to the entire town. Painfully shy, he asked the groundsman permission before going on the pitch to train. The habits of subservience learned in apartheid South Africa clearly ran deep. His wife went to the same butchers as my parents.'That's Albert's wife' it would be announced - redundantly - after she got out of earshot. Albert was joint top scorer as Leeds won the Second Division Championship in 1964. He took the first division by storm the season after.

There was to be no happy ending. His skills were met by the most dreadful racial abuse by opposing supporters and kicking by opposing players - notoriously Nobby Stiles who kicked him so badly in the 1964/5 FA Cup semi final that Albert couldn't make the replay. I quote from the late, great Billy Bremner 'I would like to say what an excellent player he was. He was frightening on the wing and used to turn defenders inside out. He was fast, clever with the footwork, very accurate with crosses, and had a terrific shot. I always thought that he did not get a fair deal from the media because he was black. They were forever on about being the first black player to do this, or the first black player to do that. They completely overlooked the fact that he was a terrific player and deserves recognition as a human being and professional footballer'.

Albert got more and more targeted. Bremner and Jack Charlton tried to protect him on the pitch but even they couldn't be the minders all the time. Things began to unravel for Albert boith physically and mentally. Appearances became more and more infrequent, his situation aggravated by persistent imnjuries and erratic form. He joined York City in 1970 after 200 games and 79 goals for Leeds. He retired in 1972 after doing nothing very special for York.

Albert drifted into alcoholism and penury. His wife and two children left him and went to America. People tried to help him but he didn't want to be helped. He was at one point a vagrant and a rough sleeper. He was found dead by police who forced entry in his council flat in Leeds in 1995 aged apparently 55 (I have seen two ages quoted for Albert). He had been dead for some days. He was buried in an unmarked grave. In the end a headstone was put on his grave. It includes a part of a Maya Angelou poem:

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave I am the dream and the hope of the slave
I rise
I rise
I rise

Poor man. Such a sad story.

It will be noted that the rabbit has hitherto refrained from commenting on the election result. It would appear that we are to be governed by a sack of blancmange. Is it me or is he one weird looking character who seems to resemble his Steve Bell cartoon persona more with every passing day? Whether the sack of blancmange and his gruesome gang get to govern or not seems to depend on the Clegg person - someone the rabbit has never really taken to. The Clegg person is thus in danger of being removed from the traffic light axis of persons of goodwill. I can only hope that the sack of blancmange fails massively and the electoral system - which is as bent as a nine bob note - is reformed so that his ilk can never form a majority government again - not that he could manage it in the first place. I have spoken. While on the subject of traffic lights, here is a pic nicked from Jailhouselawyer, which is fun, of a birds' nest on some traffic lights in Leicestershire.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Oh dear, it's election day...

...and here is BNP top gorilla Bob Bailey kicking some kid in the head. The kid spat at him but even so... Hat Tip to Hope Not Hate.

Beyond that, the rabbit has nothing to add as regards the election at this stage. Except of course this. I ain't gonna work on Maggie's Farm no more. Fact.

Oh and just to raise the tone some bloke in Germany has married his cat. You know it makes sense. The happy event is on video so follow the link. Hat Tip to Sarcastic Bastard.

Okay a parting, parting shot on the election, one tiny footprint in the sands of time for the rabbit (well, idea by the rabbit , execution by Beau Bo D'Or) was the disobey Murdoch thing. It got everywhere - including YouTube! Fact!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Shine Eye Gal. and Malbeck

A very quick blog from the rabbit who has been hopping about London all weekend, mostly with glass in hand. Above is Shine Eye Gal from Sly and Robbie with Black Uhuru. I posted a dub version (just Sly and Robbie) back in July 2008 and was going to set up a link but discovered the clip had been taken down. Usual reason: terms of use violation. If this doesn't do it for you, checking your pulse is in order. You are probably dead.

Talking of doing it for you (or me to be more accurately), let the rabbit praise Malbec wines. As mentioned yesterday, the rabbit had drinkies with Charon QC last night. Bottle 2 was Malbec, a grape variety which, despite being one of a handful of grapes considered okay for the Bordeaux appelation, is pretty obscure. Its base in France is in Cahors where the local 'black wine' must be at least 70% Malbec grapes.

The Malbec grape has been planted in Argentina since the mid-1800s but has only recently been noticed. Argentinian Malbec is quality. Trust me on this! Interestingly, when the Cahors Malbc producers noticed the Argeninian Malbecs, instead of the ususal French hissy fit at New World competition, they combined with the Argegentine producers to promote the Malbec wines, The rabbit is happy to add his endorsement.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Is there no respect these days?

...apparently not. Hat Tips to Charon QC (with whom the rabbit is about to hop off for drinkies) and Jailhouselawyer.