Monday, December 02, 1996

IRONY ALERT: a couple of days ago the NY Times remarked that a biography of a Chinese general, a veteran of the Long March I believe, gave the impression that he had retired rather than spent the last 15 years of his life under detention. Well, the Chinese minister of national defence is right now arriving in Washington and the official bio of him handed out by the US Defense Dept fails to mention that he commanded the troops responsible for the Tiananmen Square massacre.

UPDATE: My long-term readers will remember Sir Nicholas Scott, the hapless former minister for Northern Ireland and later minister for the disabled, banned from driving after a hit & run involving a baby's stroller earlier this year, and then found by police dead drunk and face-down in the gutter during the Tory Party Conference. Well, despite the endorsements of 130 MPs, other former ministers, other former drunks, and the KGB agent whose job it used to be to try to bribe him, as I reported a couple of days ago, his local party deselected him as a candidate for the next election. The hapless Sir Nick lost his job as Minister for the Disabled in 1994 after having to admit misleading Parliament in an attempt to weaken a bill for access for the disabled. Activists for the disabled, chief among them his own daughter, demanded that he resign.

I THOUGHT THEY WERE ALL THAT LONG: The longest-ever Church of England service was held, 5 hours long, in an attempt to get into the Guiness Book of World Records.

SCRAP, MISSILES, WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE: the US DOD has been selling as scrap military systems that were supposed to be decommissioned but weren't. Parts thus sold include functioning encryption devices, propulsion parts for submarines, advanced radars, parts of Patriot and cruise missiles, Stealth fighter guidance systems, etc. Buyers include Iran, Iraq and especially China.

UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT: At a benefit, Princess Di called the homeless "Englishmen without castles".

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