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Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg questioned about his conviction for arson
08.12.2011
09:21 am

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Politics

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Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg was interviewed on BBC Radio Nottingham by Alan Clifford yesterday, about the English Riots.

Clifford quizzed Clegg on the 20% reduction in police number, his views on the rioters, and whether Clegg’s own conviction for arson at the age of 16 had given him any insight into their actions.
 

 
In an interview with the Daily Mail in 2009, Clegg said of the incident:

‘I’d drunk too much, I was irresponsible, criminal’

He revealed he had set fire, whether by accident or design was left unclear, to a prize collection of cacti. Cole Morton, who carried out the interview wrote:

First, though, I want to know if this readiness to please means he’ll confess to the unvarnished truth about an episode he once passed off as ‘a drunken prank’. My understanding is that it was much more than that. It was arson, actually. He could have gone to jail, ending his chances of a political career before it had even begun. The property he destroyed, deliberately, was priceless. Can we talk about the cactus?

‘Oh, the cactus,’ he says, placing his head in his hands for a moment, then rubbing his face. ‘I just behaved very, very badly. I was on an exchange in Germany and I drank far, far, far too much. I was a teenager. I lost it, really.’

Lost it? He does seem genuinely agitated. ‘What I mean is I was drunk…’ Yes, he said that. What on? ‘They had this beer brewed in monasteries near Munich. Kloster Andechs. Unbelievably strong. Which clearly I couldn’t take.’

Clegg was 16 years old, a public schoolboy abroad. So what happened? ‘Yeah… I, erm, I was at a party and I drifted into a greenhouse with a friend, saw it was full of cacti and lit a match to find our way, as there were no lights on. The flame accidentally touched one of the cacti, which glowed rather beautifully.’

Was it an accident, then? He looks at me. Only at first, it seems. ‘We did that to a fair number of the cacti. Not really knowing what we’d done.’

I can’t help but laugh, at the story and the look on his face, but he objects. He treated this like a joke when, cleverly, he made it public at a fringe meeting in 2007, before the leadership election. He doesn’t think it’s so funny now. ‘No, it’s not… I mean, genuinely.It was the leading collection of cacti in Germany.’

The greenhouse belonged to a professor of botany whose life’s work had been to gather and nurture exotic specimens from all over the world. ‘He’d been to the jungles of Brazil and stuff to find these cacti.’

The boys weren’t arrested, because they ran away. ‘We didn’t know what we were doing. We were teenagers, we’d drunk too much - frankly, we did behave appallingly, irresponsibly, criminally. Next morning, one of the organisers of the exchange rang me up and said, “We know you did this.” I came clean.’

The boys were taken off to see the professor, who was livid, but he was somehow persuaded not to press charges. ‘Instead they created a kind of community punishment for us. Me and the other bloke ended up having to dig communal flower beds in the baking sun. Then I spent the summer with my mum, going round one specialised garden centre after another, trying to replace some of the cacti. Of course they were tiny, and his were all large.’

Read the full article here .
 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg warned of riots if Tories elected in 2010


 
With thanks to Mark MacLachlan
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
A Fistful Of Rockers: Italian garage stomp
08.12.2011
01:24 am

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Movies
Music

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Per un Pugno di Canzoni (For A Handful Of Songs) is a 1966 Italian film that looks like some weird cross-hybrid of a teen go-go flick and spaghetti western. Here’s three of the several bands that appeared in the film.

Garage rockers I Kings, I Pelati (later known as I Colors) and The Honeybeats released a handful albums between them and a had a few hits in Italy before disappearing into the mist only to re-appear perfectly preserved on Youtube,
 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
An Explanation is NOT An Excuse: London cabbie calls out bullshit
08.11.2011
07:32 pm

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Current Events
Heroes
Media
Politics

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To all the moronic idiots quick to jump down the throats of people looking for the causes of the English riots with the meaningless soundbite “That’s not an excuse!” aqquaint yourself with the angry wisdom of London cab driver Mark McGowan. At a time when public discourse has been overrun by a sea of armchair pundits (many of whom live nowhere near riot stricken areas) it’s refreshing to hear the opinions of AN ACTUAL Cockney geezer. GO ON MY SON!

And if you still don’t get it, if you still think that people bringing up issues of social inequality are somehow “excusing” what the looters have done then ask yourself this - how long are YOU going to keep on excusing and endorsing the acts of the criminal classes at the top of our society who allowed this to happen? Because by sticking your fingers in your ears and parroting that bullshit “not an ecuse!” line YOU ARE.
 

 
Chunky Mark’s YouTube channel is here.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
After England’s Riots: David Cameron calls for Social Media clampdown
08.11.2011
06:20 pm

Topics:
Hysteria

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In response to the English Riots, British Prime Minister, David Cameron announced a series initiatives to “do whatever it takes to restore law and order and to rebuild our communities.”

Amongst the suggested plans (including removal of face masks) was the rather disturbing news that Cameron plans to block access to social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Blackberrys.

In a speech to Parliament, Cameron said:

Mr Speaker, everyone watching these horrific actions will be stuck by how they were organised via social media.
Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill.

And when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them.

So we are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.

The Iranian government claim they have a suitcase which can block the internet.

A little closer to home, the French have been punting this idea for quite some time, and earlier this year President Nicolas Sarkozy urged his G8 buddies that it would be a good idea to have:

...private, high-level, inter-governmental talks, in an attempt to work out a global strategy for Internet regulation.

Like the script to some dystopian film, It will be only a matter of time before Western Governments decide to regulate and control the internet on grounds of National Security, Public Safety, or Law and Order.

Which in the short term means, if Cameron gets his way, then it may not be Anonymous that ends blocking Facebook on November 5, but the Conservative government.
 

 
With thanks to Niall O’Conghaile
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Michele Bachmann upset that even math is under attack by godless liberals: ‘There is no truth! ’


 
Mother Jones found a video Michele Bachmann made during her time as a Christian education activist. In Guinea Pig Kids II, she warns of a Holocaust that will be brought on, she claims, by the U.S. public education system.

Bachmann’s co-star, Michael Chapman, get even more descriptive and paranoic , claiming in the video that “globalists’ were plotting to destroy Christian America by indoctrinating children with a morality that would lead to a second Auschwitz.

A conservative Christian group called the Maple River Education Coalition made and distributed Guinea Pig Kids II, the obscure conspiracy theory video starring Bachmann and Chapman, in 2002.
 

 
Via Mother Jones

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Police breaking down doors for trainers a dumbass photo-op right about now
08.11.2011
04:36 pm

Topics:
Class War

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No matter what your views are on the cause of the riots, the rioters, or even law and order itself, doesn’t sending the police into council estates like vengeful Daleks to do reverse “smash-n-grab” jobs seem like a misguided attempt to restore normalcy to English life?

What do they expect to retrieve a belt, some shirts and few pairs of trainers?

Go back to what you were doing. Everything is under control!

Photo via The Guardian.

Thank you Chris Campion!

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Mink DeVille live in San Francisco 1978
08.11.2011
04:11 pm

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Music

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Willy and his wife Toots
 
In a more perfect world, Willy DeVille (August 25, 1950 – August 6, 2009) would have been a huge star. He had the voice, the look, the chops and the charisma.

I remember seeing Mink DeVille perform at Trax in New York City in 1977. Mick Jagger was sitting at a table near the stage when Willy and his band came out. DeVille was dressed to kill, in snakeskin boots and gravity-defying pompadour. They tore into “Spanish Stroll” and I looked over at Jagger. Mick looked awestruck and, to my eyes, a little bit scared. It was as if he were watching a harder core version of himself. I wondered in that moment if Jagger was thinking that Mr. DeVille might dethrone him as rock and roll’s Satanic Majesty. The band played a scorching set and Jagger’s eyes never left the stage.

I knew Willy and the guy was the real deal.  His whole being radiated a downtown Manhattan vibe that was mythic, romantic and dark. A badass with a sweet side and a sardonic smile, DeVille walked the walk - rock and roll poetry embodied.

DeVille had to leave his beloved New York in order to make a living in Europe. He couldn’t sell records in the States. People just couldn’t figure him out. Punker than punk, but not really a part of any scene, Deville was his own animal, modern and yet rooted in old-school r&b, as comfortable with the music coming off the Bowery as he was with the sounds of Fifties Harlem, doo-wop and Louisiana zydeco. He was a musical shapeshifter that confounded record companies in his pursuit of his own vision and style. The fact that he never “made it” in the States is a commentary on the parochial nature of the American music business and mainstream rock audiences complete lack of curiosity and taste

Mink Deville at Winterland in 1978.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Vintage X-Ray ‘Vinyl’ from Russia
08.11.2011
04:09 pm

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History
Music

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W.C. Hardy’s “St. Louis Blues”
 
Between the years of 1946 - 1961 one of the only ways to listen to American blues, jazz and rock’n’roll in Russia was to obtain smuggled records, some made on old x-rays. There’s a long article and back story about these interesting x-ray records on Spiegle.de, but it’s all in German and a little bit difficult to make sense of using Google Translate. 

If you got caught with American popular music back then, you could find yourself in a world of hurt. Apparently it could get you thrown out of school or even arrested in extreme cases, but still the population wanted to hear the music. These x-ray records are physical artifacts from that era of Soviet censorship.
 

Percy Faith’s “Delicado”
 

Fred Astaire’s “Cheek to Cheek”
 

Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel”
 
(via Nerdcore)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Unknown Swiss girl-group sings Slade’s ‘Gudbye T’Jane’ in 1974
08.11.2011
03:33 pm

Topics:
Feminism
Music

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Sometime in 1974, an unknown, all-girl rock group from Switzerland performed an extremely mild version of Slade’s “Gudbye T’Jane.”  This is very, very Swiss.

Celtic Frost aside, the Swiss are not a people well-known for rocking out, are they? The “Swiss rock” Wikipedia entry is rather short, which is hardly surprising.
 

 
Thank you Douglas Hovey!

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Air Swimmers: Remote-controlled flying sharks and clownfish
08.11.2011
02:44 pm

Topics:
Amusing

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Imagine the hours of fun you could have torturing your pets with this!

It looks like the Air Swimmers website is currently down due to heavy traffic.
 

 
(via High Definite)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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