Friday, May 17, 2024


Last weekend Bruce Charlton posted this old TV ad for Guinness - 

Yes, I remembered it but not for the dancing man with his giant glass of the black stuff. It was the instantly recognisable music of Perez 'Prez' Prado. I was going to build a post around that but then I was thinking of all the other latino bands in a similar style and so it has evolved into a Cuban/Purto Rican music born from the slightly seedy and dubious Havana night life of the fifties prior to the Castro revolutionof 1959. The nightclubs have long gone but the music lives on and appears to be thriving again in the US.

"In the 1920s, superwealthy Americans began to vacation in Havana during the winter months. The Depression and World War II brought a lull to the fast action. By the late 1940s and early '50s, however, Havana had ramped up its nightclub business to meet the demands for entertainment, gambling and vice. Movie and recording stars as well a celebrated writers visited and roosted there.

"During this period, American organized crime moved in to operate Havana clubs, racetracks and casinos, primarily to launder money obtained illegally in the States. Corruption, payoffs and exploitation became the norm as organized crime paid off the police and government officials. All of this activity and abuse at the expense of average Cubans ultimately led to the Castro revolution and regime in January 1959."

You can read more here of how Havana became a suburb of Las Vegas -

This is the original, I think, by Cuban band leader Perez 'Prez' Prado from 1958

Perez Prado - Guaglione (1958)


"Cuba no Aguanta Más" Arturo Sandoval

Tito Puente • “El Mambo Diablo” • LIVE 1963 [Reelin' In The Years Archive]

......and bringing things right up to date this is the incomparable Sheila E, The Percussion Queen!

Sheila E. - Bemba Colorá ft Gloria Estefan & Mimy Succar

The joyful exuberance of these musicians is the polar opposite of the politicians whose only function appears to be to spread misery and fear, angry apes playing 
"such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As makes the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.”

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Eurosingalong, by JD

Having listened to Leo Kearse on GBNews this evening (11 May) talking about the events inside and outside the venue in Malmö, I wonder if this is a suitable response and/or acceptable commentary on the current eurosingalong farce?

.... from the days when life made more sense and when a song contest was about singing -
This is the UK entry for 1961; The Allisons, 'Are You Sure' (finishing second)
ESC 1961 15 - United Kingdom - The Allisons - Are You Sure?

After this year's Eurovision Song Contest's self righteous extra-curricular performers and their noisy farce perhaps we need a Eurojoke contest in which the competitors all shout and insult each other.....
Something like this for example -

Friday, May 10, 2024

FRIDAY MUSIC: Asleep at the Wheel, by JD

"Founded in 1970, Asleep at the Wheel has been part of the American roots music landscape for more than 50 years. Although the band got its start on a farm in Paw Paw, West Virginia, Asleep at the Wheel became a cornerstone of the Austin, Texas scene upon its arrival in 1973. Inspired by Western swing and honky-tonk country, the band has accrued 10 Grammy Awards. In the fall, a career retrospective recorded with the current lineup -- and a few special guests -- will carry the band back onto the road, where they’ve remained a staple for five decades."

Asleep At The Wheel - "Hot Rod Lincoln" [Live from Austin, TX]

Asleep At The Wheel Performs "Bump, Bounce, Boogie" on The Texas Music Scene

Asleep At The Wheel - Route 66 (Live in Studio 1A)

Asleep At The Wheel - Cherokee Maiden

Asleep at the Wheel - 'Half A Hundred Years'

Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Taboom! When will nuclear war become normalized?

Unless there is a swift change of direction, we shall soon enter an age of atomic wars. When the first tactical nuclear weapon has been used it will break the 79-year-old taboo.

‘I thought at first I was still reading Littlejohn,’ said my wife as she read the next Mail printout I gave her today - the one reporting Moscow’s furious reaction to David Cameron’s 3 May authorisation for Ukraine to use British-supplied missiles inside Russian territory.

Do our leaders truly understand what they are doing? The last UK Prime Minister to have served in the Armed Forces was James Callaghan, who ended his premiership 45 years ago. The present one and his former-PM Foreign Secretary have not, as my late ‘Forgotten Army’ father-in-law would have said, seen so much as an angry char-wallah. Yet they seem determined to endanger the people of this country, risking Russian retaliation on our own soil.

Britain’s ‘escalation’ as the Kremlin has put it merely extends an official strategy. On 12 January Rishi Sunak signed an ‘Agreement on Security Co-operation’ with the President of Ukraine which states that we are jointly ‘determined to end forever’ Russia’s attacks and are committed to ‘Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its borders, which have been internationally recognised since 1991.’ In last Friday’s visit Cameron also pledged £3 billion a year in aid to Kiev for ‘as long as it takes.’

Britain is not alone in this. France agreed a ‘security cooperation’ pact with Ukraine on 16 February, ratified by the Assemblée Nationale on 12 March. The preamble echoes ours in asserting that Russia’s aggression was ‘unprovoked’ and committing France to helping Ukraine restore her 1991 borders and to deter ‘any future aggression.’

Both outsiders appear to be doing even more than offering money, matériel and moral support. Allegedly UK special forces were seen inside Ukraine over two years ago. On Saturday (4 May) former US Assistant Deputy Secretary of Defense Stephen Bryan reported that France has now sent combat troops in-country; this was officially denied by the French though Brussels-based commentator Gilbert Doctorow says the first detachment was sent over a month ago and Russia has already killed seven Légionnaires there.

Where will it end? At what point do we cross the line from NATO faux-neutrality to open warfare with Russia?

War has been this country’s unnecessary and ruinous love since 1914. According to Peter Hitchens’ tweet a month ago, the Anglo-Belgian 1839 Treaty of London ‘absolutely did not oblige Britain to go to war’ and ‘Great Britain had already committed itself to the war before a single German boot trod the soil of Belgium.’

Similarly we used Poland as our pretext for entering World War Two. We had previously given verbal assurances to the Polish government but only made a formal treaty on August 25, 1939, six days before the Germans invaded their country. The Secret Protocol made it clear that Germany was specifically and exclusively the ‘European Power’ we committed ourselves to oppose.

On 29 January I wrote to my MP about Sunak’s 12 January pact, calling it a ‘de facto declaration of war, war with the world’s most heavily-nuclear-armed State’; to her credit she took the trouble to reply (on 7 March), saying:
‘I don’t think that this is a de facto declaration of war between the UK and Russia. It is an agreement for the UK to support Ukraine’s operations to restore their sovereign boundaries. From my reading, it is consistent with the Opposition’s policy towards the conflict and support for Ukraine’s freedom and sovereignty, which translates into protecting the eastern borders of NATO and Europe from Russian aggression.’
I think she is wrong, it goes much further than mere arm’s length ‘support’; but if I am right it is possible that one or both of us may not be around much longer for me to tell her so. Sixty-three years ago, on 2 July 1961, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev told UK Ambassador Sir Frank Roberts six atom bombs could 'put Great Britain out of action' - and nine, for France. Armaments have progressed since then.

Declaring war is by tradition a royal prerogative, but now that it could result in the complete annihilation of our people surely we should have the right to be formally consulted. Since we had a referendum on exiting the EU, could we please have one on this matter?

Saturday, May 04, 2024

WEEKENDER: WHO Climbdown, by Wiggia

Via Twitter/X:

UsForThemUK 🌟


‼️Updated IHR Amendments Just Published‼️


A briefing to follow, and link to the text below. Headlines here:

Massive climb down from the WHO Working Group on almost ALL substantive concerns that we and others have raised over the past 18 months.

🎯 The WHO’s recommendations remain non-binding. Article 13A.1 which would have required Member States to follow directives of the WHO as the guiding and coordinating authority for international public health has been dropped entirely.

🎯An egregious proposal which would have erased reference to the primacy of “dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms” has been dropped. This proposal marked a particularly low water-mark, and should never have been suggested.

🎯Provisions that would have allowed the WHO to intervene on the basis of a mere ‘potential’ health emergency have been dropped: a pandemic must now either be happening or likely to happen, but with the safeguard that to activate its IHR powers the WHO must demonstrate that coordinated international action is necessary.

🎯Proposals to construct a global censorship and ‘information control’ operation led by the WHO have been dropped.

🎯A material dampening of the expansionist ambitions of the WHO: provisions which had proposed to expand the scope of the IHRs to include “all risks with a potential to impact public health” (e.g. climate change, food supply) have been deleted. The scope now remains essentially unchanged, focussed on the spread of disease.

🎯Explicit recognition that Member States not the WHO are responsible for implementing these regulations, and bold plans for the WHO to police compliance with all aspects of the IHRs have been materially watered down.

🎯Many other provisions have been diluted, including: surveillance mechanisms that would have given the WHO a mandate to find thousands of potential new pandemic signals; provisions which would have encouraged and favoured digital health passports; provisions requiring forced technology transfers and diversion of national resources.

The published document is only an interim draft, to be put before the IHR Working Group during this week’s final negotiations, so it could yet change.

That said, on the basis of this draft this is a profound victory for people power over unaccountable technocracy.

Never forget the Covid inquiry is due to finish in 2026. It is just not a long time away but a deliberate ploy to avoid awkward and legitimate questions actually making the headlines, or hoping that by then anyone who was accountable will be long gone or forgotten; no one will be held to account for the mandatory nonsense that caused and is causing deaths for years.

Sweden for instance has had an inquiry and the result last year. Why do we believe that it needs so much time here? Only the lawyers gain financially, everyone else pays for a pointless exercise in legalise.

I have said it before, if inquiries were to become an Olympic event we would be top of the medals table.

What is equally worrying is the lack of response to the WHO statement from a government that judging by the silence is not concerned about a decision on something that was deemed so important they put the petition against it out to grass. One can only take it that they have become so inured during our membership of the EU to having laws and rulings made for them.

Perhaps we can now focus on getting our politicians weaned off becoming ‘global young leaders’ under the direction of the benign uncle Klaus, who makes the whole thing sound like cub scout badge attainment.

The trouble is I do not trust either of these organisations to stop in their progressive ideals, any more than I trust Lord Cameron to stop travelling around the world making statements about ‘we must’ and ‘we will’ at every opportunity on behalf of, well himself.

His renegotiation skills are as we know legendary……….

We are going through difficult times, but I am pretty sure with safe hands like those below at the wheel, things can only improve….. 

Meet Jared Bernstein, Biden’s chief economic advisor:’

Friday, May 03, 2024

FRIDAY MUSIC: Orpheum Madams Jazz Orchestra, by JD

Orpheum Madams are Hungarian although finding information about them is not easy. The following 'blurb' is translated from the brief description with the first video.

"What happens when the actors and singers of the Móricz Zsigmond Theater and the jazz-loving musicians of Nyíregyháza get together for a joint project? Orpheum atmosphere with peaceful melodies through the songs of György G. Dénes, Mihály Eisemann, Alfréd Márkus and others, full of hits without which there would be no Hungarian theater history, and without which Hungarian music history is unimaginable! But if two singers (Dézsi Darinka and Nyomtató Enikő) and four musicians (László Ignácz - clarinet, Zoltán Karap - guitar, Simon László - double bass, Csaba Papp - drums) have already been given, then the best-known gypsy swing and bossa nova hits cannot be left either out of the repertoire."

This is their web page if that is any help!

Orpheum Madams - It Don't Mean A Thing

Orpheum Madams - Sweet Georgia Brown

Orpheum Madams - Oh, Lady Be Good & Yardbird Suite

Orpheum Madams - Sympathique (Je ne veux pas travailler)

Orpheum Madams (spot)

Monday, April 29, 2024

Humza - out but not down?

The shameless race-hustler Humza Yousaf has now resigned from his post as First Minister of Scotland, having left the country suffering under one of the worst pieces of legislation in living memory.

Since he is so keen on ethnic quotas let's remember that Scotland is about 96% white. So DEI-type fairness would require a non-white First Minister for no more than four years in this century. Yousaf has had 13 months; there's scope for another two years and eleven months'-worth and then, going by his principle, that's it until 2100.

But is it about race? 

If it's about religion - is the Hate Crime law really aimed at putting blasphemy (in Islamic terms) on the books? - then since Muslims represent 1.45% of the Scottish population Yousaf has spaffed away most of the 17.4 months of his co-religionists' premiership quota for this century. 

If it is only about race, would Yousaf welcome a non-white Christian as First Minister? There are over 4,000 Filipinos in Scotland; the Philippines is 86% Roman Catholic (with another 8% in other sects.) Yet Catholics are outnumbered 3-1 among Christian Scots and my late mother-in-law vividly remembers the prejudice against Catholics there when she was a young woman. So, no go, at least for a genuflecting Filipino.

If it's not religion-exclusionary and the skin quota has been satisfied, how about a Protestant, even if  [pronoun] is 'disgustingly white'? Maybe the SNP made a mistake when it marginally rejected devout 'Wee-Free' Kate Forbes in favour of  'Useless Yousaf' after 'wee Jimmy' Nicola Sturgeon stepped down last year. Instead it opted for a special-pleader (a) for his religion, under the cover of race, and most of all (b) for himself.

Perhaps we are seeing well-meaning liberalism being used against itself by a tiny minority, but if stirred by an expert stirrer, potentially a very divisive and extremely intransigent one. Can you unite a country with deep ideological fault lines?

We probably do not need to worry about Yousaf's future career. If  the allegedly corrupt Ursula van der Leyen can nevertheless become President of the European Commission then if the Scots finally lose their minds, secede from the UK and join the EU the sky's the limit for a ranting mountebank like Useless.