The cover to Charlie Hebdo’s tribute issue isn’t quite what it seems

This is the cover to the issue of Charlie Hebdo to be released after the murders last week.

The cover of satirical weekly of Charlie Hebdo is seen in this handout image

It’s actually a restrained cover, and really, they were never not going to feature Muhammed. Except looking at it upside down reveals a slightly less restrained image.

The cover of satirical weekly of Charlie Hebdo is seen in this handout image

Either that’s Muhammed being portrayed as a set of cock and balls or I’ve got a far filthier mind than I thought.

Lockerbie: 25 years on

On the 21st December 1988, the Lockerbie Bombing happened.


I was living at Leicester at the time in 1988, and in fact I was looking forward to my first ever Christmas away from Glasgow. My plan was to spend Christmas in Leicester, and go back home on the 28th for Hogmanay. What was exciting was I was planning to fly up as I didn’t fancy the 7 hour train journey, so I was going to finish work on the 28th, and fly up from Heathrow (we had a warehouse in Staines near the airport) to get back home for last orders that night!

On the evening of the 21st I’d finished work and spent the night in the pub having a few drinks before wandering to the Chinese takeaway near where I lived for some radioactive sweet and sour chicken with fried rice, a pancake roll and some prawn crackers, which was my predictable choice at that time.

While waiting for my meal to be ready I was sitting with a few other people watching the TV, which was showing some mindless crap on the BBC which interrupted by this newsflash.

I asked the owner to turn up the sound, and all of us watched in horror but at that point I utterly freaked as I decided that the idea of flying home for Christmas was a fucking mad idea and that lengthy train journey wasn’t a bad idea after all.

Over the next few days the horror of the bombing became clear, as did the fact it was a terrorist attack, so I took the train home on the 28th and as the train passed Lockerbie, you could see the damage quite clearly, especially the crater that destroyed several houses. Over that trip I also met someone who’d been driving home for Christmas at the time of the crash and saw the fireball hit Lockerbie. Being a good Catholic, and like many of us in the 1980’s, he though that this was the start of a nuclear war as the fireball hit Lockerbie.

As time went on I got over my fear of flying quite quickly, but the official story behind who committed the bombing always didn’t seem real to me. It seemed far too messy with gaping holes, so this really is an opportunity to present Paul Foot’s astonishingly good investigation he did for Private Eye.It’s a crucial piece of journalism so read through it and realise that those who died still haven’t found justice.

Lockerbie: A Flight from Justice.

The British Public Are Ignorant Racist Scum

Well, they’re not, but sadly a large amount are after the violent and needless murder of a solider on Wednesday. It’s as if all the bile, hatred, fear and ignorance has come shitting out of the arse of the country in the wake of last Wednesday as people  decide that thinking is too hard for them and finding the basest, most ignorantly violent response is the best one.

Considering that nobody seems to be asking why a pair of Londoners would be so radicalised that he hacks someone to death in the street in front of hundreds of people and them calmly waits to be shot by the police after spouting Islamist bollocks to the cameraphones of anyone willing to give him a mouthpiece which is then used by all sides to back up whatever spurious argument they’re pushing.

The fact is the EDL and the BNP will use this for all the mileage they can. So will the major political parties, and of course UKIP will hover like the vile fucking vultures they are picking off the bones of everyone. People aren’t going to let the EDL take over their streets and let our towns and cities become battlegrounds as the EDL want them to be but the problem is that the EDL support will be of the silent type. It’ll be the people standing back letting the EDL tear things up and use the murder of Lee Rigby to make things worse for everyone, not just the Muslims they’re targeting in a series of violent attacks.

Perhaps if government and the police hadn’t rushed to call this ‘terrorism’ we wouldn’t be seeing this reaction, but I doubt it. The barbarity of the attack was such that it was always going to provoke these reactions but the demon is out the bottle and there’s no sign that the thing is going back in.

So expect to see those people you least expect showing themselves to be racist pricks. Doesn’t mean you can tolerate it, so tell them what they are. Don’t sit back and let these people get away with trying to start a race war.Don’t let them pull the ‘but it’s a free country’ line when really, they don’t really want it to be a free country for them as that would be bad.

It’s a mess and it won’t be unraveled by sitting back doing nothing.It’s time to stop tolerating the likes of the EDL and all the other radical extremists who want to make capital from this. Call them all out and stand up to their supporters. That might help bring back a level of sanity.

Today’s Events in Woolwich are Not An Excuse to be a Twat.

In a change to what I was going to write about  I’ve got to comment on the  violent and pointless murder of a man (at this point it’s not 100% confirmed if he was a serving soldier or not) in Woolwich in London.

The BBC are running a very good ongoing report on this on their site, while social media like Twitter and Facebook has exploded in a shower of petty ignorance, racism, fear and stupidity.

Here’s the thing; terrorism only works if you become terrorised by these acts. Yes, it’s bloody shocking to have someone run over, then hacked to death and beheaded on a London street in front of dozens of people who were standing around filming the thing and letting the murderers rant into their camera phones. 

Then there’s the frankly remarkable, insane and somewhat darkly comic Twitter feeds…


What sort of world do we live in where someone pops out for fruit and veg and sees the third most fucked up thing they’ve seen when they see this?

But this is all an aside to the bigotry, hate and fear this attack has caused. I’m not saying not to be repulsed, or even angry but take your repulsion and your anger out on the two miserable wee fuckers who did this, Not black people. Not Muslims. Not immigrants (it seems both were actually British anyhow). In fact, anyone who isn’t the people who did this because you make it a successful act of terror but playing it up more and more.

Yes, I’m aware I’m feeding the machine and of the irony but let me tell you a secret; I’ve dodged several terrorist attacks, including the IRA’s bombing of Manchester and the very first blog I wrote here detailed the IRA bombing in Leicester in 1990, and the reaction to it. I don’t think I allowed myself to be scared, which isn’t to say I wasn’t but if you do get scared and show it then terrorists, or lunatics like these pair win. Spreading bigotry and hate is letting them win. I’ve spent my entire adult life living with some form of terrorism and trust me, being scared is letting them win.

Don’t let them win. Don’t stand back looking at this looking through a lens at the horror of it all. Don’t let eager politicians use this. Don’t let the EDL use this. Don’t let Islamist groups use this. Make a point not to be scared. Don’t let Sky, or ITV, or the BBC or the Guardian, or The Sun scare you as they drool (the false morality as they warn us of the ‘shocking images’ as they show them over and over and over is depressing) over the sort of story that keeps them in a job for another week. Don’t let bloggers scare you. Don’t be a twat.

Do be shocked, do be repulsed and do put this into perspective as it seems the pair wanted the infamy. They wanted this. Don’t let them have it. Don’t be a twat.

And with that, I’m off to bed, It’s been an odd old day.