Archive for September, 2010

Greet the Conference of the Workers’ Party of Korea as an Auspicious Event Which Will Shine Forever in the History of Our Party and Country!


Cross-posted at Harry’s Place.

Most fathers give their sons a toy gun. Kim Jong-il, the North Korean ruler has made his youngest son, Kim Jong-eun a four-star General in the Korean People’s Army. This occurred at the first full Workers Party Congress in 30 years where, without the concern for bloc votes from affiliate groups, Kim Jong-il also was unanimously returned as Leader.

Kreminological analysis had been suggesting that the 27 year old former Switzerland-based student was the most likely successor to his hard-drinking, heavy-smoking father. Increasingly, he had been seen joining Dad on factory inspections and walk-abouts, as two older brothers were side-lined: one, Kim Jong-nam had been the presumed favourite until blotting his copybook by being caught taking his own son to Japanese Disneyland on a false passport (and, apparently, surviving an assassination attempt by Kim Jong-eun).

Yet, little evidence of experience or support from internal cliques can be found for Kim Jong-eun: this week’s announcement, like a juju invocation, was the first time his name had been uttered by the State-run KCNA news agency. Similar events were seen in the run-up to Kim Jong-il’s appointment as dauphin at the previous Workers Party Congress in 1980; although he was considerably older than his son is now.

Kim Jong-il already has been reported dead, after a suspected stroke in 2008, and recently received top-notch treatment from a team of French doctors; so there is a fear that if his health problems do catch-up with him, a power struggle would quickly ensue.

(This is not to say that the old goat does not still have a fight left in him. South Korea is due to host the G20 summit in November, and GI Korea discusses suspicions of entirely-in-character disruptions being orchestrated by Pyongyang.)

The recent Workers Party Congress had been delayed by some months. Officially, the reason was the region’s experience of typhoon season (which has been bad).

As reported in the Financial Times, however, delays may have been due to Kim Jong-il’s younger sister, Kim Kyong-hui pressing for the promotion of her own clique which has included her also being appointed as a four-star General.  Her husband, Chang Sung-taek recently was made Vice-Chairman of the National Defence Commission which approximates to the second most powerful man in the country.

Dunbar Hospital in Thurso to Close (?)


I just have seen a handwritten and garbled notice in a shop window which announces some sort of meeting tonight at the Pentland Hotel about a planned closure of the Dunbar Hospital in Thurso.

I have discussed before the scaling back of A&E cover at this hospital, but cannot find anything in the news record about a complete closure.  Even though NHS Highland funds bogus services such as homeopathy – which elicited a rare moment of embarassment when it emerged that one of the homeopaths was providing alternative MMR ‘vaccines’ – I hope even it would not be so crass to close the entire hospital.

The announcement of this meeting is extreme short notice, but I do not think I would have gone based on the information provided.

How Dare Anyone Ask Alex Salmond Questions???


As I discussed before, every small business’ nightmare, Alex Salmond was happy to chow on delicacies provided by Wilde Thyme Catering and Party Design at a function for the badly run Holyrood-funded private business, The Gathering Ltd.  Although, not so badly run than the spiv-in-chief, Lord Sempill acrued losses himself; whilst businesses like Wilde Thyme still are owed almost £12,000.

The Holyrood Public Audit commitee has convened a public inquiry, and requested a meeting with Salmond.  The response, however, was a tactit refusal and passing of responsibility to Mike Russell, Culture Minister.

Like most of Scotland, Salmond is a disagrace to Scotland.

Ed Miliband: Not a Stupid Choice

Copyright: Spanner Films

Miliminor, who looks as if he considers himself *far* too good-looking, has declared the period of New Labour to be over.

Good to see the contempt of public opinion which actually was the root cause of three successive Labour wins.  The same contempt which encouraged London Labour to re-select Ken Livingstone for Mayor in 2012: if we keep asking the public, they eventually will agree with us.

On the plus side, the LibDems can forget about their being required to carry bags in 2015.

Hanging Baskets of Wick Win Silver in Beautiful Scotland


I have to admit that Wick town-centre is much more visually pleasing than Thurso town-centre, and a recent success in Beautiful Scotland backs this up.

This week’s John o’Groat Journal reports that, following the first entry to this scheme by a Wick town-improvement group, Blooming Wick’s hanging-baskets have resulted in a well-earned silver medal. 

Caithness Man Still Keen to Compete in Commonwealth Games


As the Indian authorities realize that they cannot out-compete China, or even choose a suitably comparable event to do so with, a young Lybster man remains determined to compete in the Commonwealth Games.

This week’s John o’Groat Journal reports that 17 year old John Paul, who now lives in Oxfordshire, will continue with his intention both to win medals at and be the youngest ever track cycling competitor for Scotland.

Good luck to him and all other competitors.

Caithness Man to Compete in Amazon Forest Charity Challenge


This week’s Caithness Courier reports on local man, Kenny Paterson and his plans to compete in a week-long survival and 200 km trek in the Amazon Basin.

No confirmation of which event is given, but it tallies with the Jungle Marathon which runs between 7 and 16 October across a 222 km stretch of terrain.  Competitors are required to be self-sufficient, although bottled water and designated campsites will be provided.

Paterson is raising money for local MS centres and, from the looks of the course, every penny will be well-raised.

An Ice Pick Which Made His Ears Burn


Yesterday was the 70th anniversary of the assassination of Trotsky.

If only it were the 95th.

National League for Democracy Dissolved in Burma


If the suppression of the 2007 pro-democracy protests in Burma was a tragic repetition of the annulment of the 1990 electoral success by the National League for Democracy (NLD), then the run-up to the November 2010 General Election has entered the farce stage. And what a black farce it is.

Following the announcement this summer of the astrologically-approved date for 7 November, transparently restrictive legislation enacted by the ruling State Peace and Democracy Council demanded full registration of previously banned political parties within a three month window: as, all the while, military bigwigs saunter through the revolving doors into civilian political candidacy.


Foreign Terrorism Suspect Granted Asylum in Britain Under Arrest


Two thoughts occur to me whenever I think of Vanessa Redgrave.

One,  being ejected from Womad in Berkshire for haranguing Festival-goers about Chechyna.

Two, after the mass-murder of hundreds of children after Beslan, prattling-on on Newsnight about “her friends” whom the Russian State were harassing.

I hope she is as sick as a parrot tonight.

PS The Daily Mail headline headline made me giggle.

PPS Okay, there is a third reason for thinking of this Redgrave.  The Charge of the Light Brigade,amongst other fillums, was quite good.