My great-grandfather’s leaders took England to war,
They’d subdued the Zulu, Sepoys and the Boer,
Plucky Belgians frustrated Von Schlieffen for weeks,
Time enough to recruit and to shake an iron fist,
Backed up by those men fit enough to enlist.

Balkan intrigues threw a spark in the dry, dry tinder…

All be over by Christmas, that is what was said,
Four years later it ended and so many were dead,
Those whose wounds did not kill them contracted the Flu,
Which spread to schools, homes and factories too.
As if the War to End All Wars was not enough…

The Four Horsemen were busy in those days.

Claiming the souls of the weak and the strong,
The talented, gifted, Muse and mundane
The rich and the poor; Death took them all.
So we had The Great Flu and we had the Great War.

Never again, never again, never… until the next time.

Ben A Harvey

August 2018

(C) Gogwit’s Blog, all rights Reserved

Araucaria, A New Poem.

…The Chile Pine put down its roots and grew;
The Monkey Puzzle watches; and is growing still.


You were there when my mother was a child,
In the horsey people’s forecourt up the hill.
She looked at you and
Wondered what you were,
Where you came from and
What you were doing here.

While it is very plain
To see you are a tree,
You are a tree unlike
The others all around.
So very tall and straight,
Your branches at the crown,
Not meant for kids to climb
Unlike the others in the town.

You were there when I was a little boy.
Outside the maisonette block up the hill.
I looked at you and
I wondered why
You were called a Chile Pine,
Araucaria, the Monkey Puzzle Tree.

Maybe it was just a saying,
Or a legend.
Or the exotic, twisted seed pods – not cones,
More like those finger traps
Of fakirs and magicians,
Perplexing monkeys
In the far off forests where
Your ancestors had grown.

You were there, a novelty in the garden of the gentry,
Before my mother ever saw you, as a child.
You were there outside the flats
Where that garden had once been,
As I walked up that hill to school,
A boy in grey serge shorts forty summers on.

No horsey lady, now, rings in the New Year.
In her smock at 12 o’clock with her handbell.
Marching up and down the hill
With her tidings of goodwill,
Bringing merriment and cheer
For the twelve-month yet to come.
The Chile Pine put down its roots and grew;
The Monkey Puzzle watches; and is growing still.


Ben A Harvey,

2 November 2018.
(C) Gogwit’s Blog (Ben A Harvey), 2018 – all rights reserved.

UK Government mulling ban on possession and distribution of pure ‘Fact’ after Brexit

This has the “ring of truth” about it, presumably street code for “truth lords” and their networks of fact pedlars.

Pride's Purge


MPs and activists have launched a drive for a post-Brexit ban on the distribution and import of pure varieties of ‘fact‘ after the UK leaves the EU next year.

Campaigners believe Brexit will be an opportunity to close the door on the problem of the widespread use of what is commonly known on the street as “truth” – now available in quantities so pure that it is set to become illegal to produce in Britain.

A Tory MP at the forefront of the new campaign says he believes there is “a very good chance” of making Britain fact-free once Britain is no longer a member of the EU.

Michael Gove, the environment secretary and Brexiteer, has signalled he is open to halting imports and possession of ‘fact‘ after Brexit, including those sold under the street names of ‘critical thinking‘, ‘free will

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SOS Summit, hosted by Save Our Schools West Midlands, Friday September 14 9am – 11.15am at the Council House

Birmingham Against The Cuts

Save our Schools West Midlands are working with Birmingham City Council to host a Summit of Head Teachers and Parents. We want to join together Birmingham’s best minds and work on ideas for the future of our campaign.

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What would E.T.s think of us?

Interesting article and comments, nice. Hence the reblog.
I just feel that if ET doesn’t read vehicles, structures, smart white goods (with a distributed group mind) as the dominant life forms here on Terra, all horribly infested with us swarming in out, under and over them, then from their observation of us, their access to history via the internet and their monitoring of our culture via the medium of the small and the large screen, they will steer well clear of us and our psychopathic tendencies.
Our first contact track record with intelligent species is not an enviable one: our expansion across continents, across the globe is a trail of subjugation, exploitation, and civilisation level annihilation – of our own kind. Our encounter with Cetaceans, aquatic cephalopods, and primates related to us is not so cheery either.
The jury is still out on whether or not we did for the Neanderthals.
Still, by the time it becomes an issue, we will have the proposed US Space Corps to act as the arm of interplanetary diplomacy.
(Sorry, the USSC is a gift from Vice President Pence that just keeps on giving.)

The Secular Jurist

Editorial note:  The following is a speculative thought experiment intended to provide an objective assessment of our species.  It projects the likely view of one possible external observer, and is not intended to characterize the nature of all such observers if in fact any actually exist.  Undoubtedly, extraterrestrial life would be as diverse as terrestrial life, and extraterrestrial civilizations would be similarly different from each other.  Since the perspective here is based on science, subjective and supernatural beliefs along with their associated moralities reside outside the purview of this presentation.

By Robert A. Vella

The Fermi paradox, or Fermi’s paradox (named after physicist Enrico Fermi), is the apparent contradiction between the lack of conclusive evidence and the high statistical probability for the existence of advanced extraterrestrial civilizations.  Our own human history provides ample reason to hypothesize that before a crucial survivability threshold is reached in their evolution, intelligent…

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New Hall Mill Open Day.


I can endorse all the above. This is a fascinating resource to which I return time and time again. For anyone with a mind for Rowland Emett or Heath Robinson this mill is very heaven; except that this mill has not a trace of whimsy about it and, not so long ago, represented the state of the art solution, or combination of solutions, set in one place to mill grain into flour, for the baking of our staple – bread. The curators and conservators are knowledgable and only too happy to pass on their knowledge. Open days are relatively few; the location is family friendly and there are other interesting exhibits and activities in the grounds surrounding the central attraction.

I may be there myself and I would encourage anyone wanting a break from 2018 to give in to curiosity and go along and see the mill.

Caption Competition: ‘We are at a stand off Mrs May. You may be reaching for Melania’s on switch but I have a Secret Service man behind you ready to press your off switch first’

Heh, heh, heh!

Flibbertigibbet News

WINNER: ‘We are at a stand off Mrs May. You may be reaching for Melania’s on switch but I have a Secret Service man behind you ready to press your off switch first’ (from Bryntin)


Melania grows extra hand to avoid face to face handjobs (JaneThwait2)

Theresa May auditions as Mr Tickle (from NorthernPugface)

The ultimate political reacharound (from SnortfastX)

This month’s photo come courtesy of: bbc.com

DATE: 5th Aug 2018

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