How to Dye your Sheep

From the Guardian:

If you are considering dyeing a sheep, first ensure that it is your own sheep and never use household paint or a chemical-based fabric dye such as Dylon. “The dye would need to be a non-toxic vegetable dye,” says the RSPCA, “and applied with a sponge or silent spray.” On one website, a seasoned sheep-dyer recommends food colouring (NB, you’ll need a lot of bottles) and advises that you dye only long-wool breeds, “as they tend to dry faster and not mat up like the finer wools”.

In other sheep-related news, I saw a copy of Henry Moore’s sheep sketchbook in the window of Waterstone’s this morning, which I last spotted at the Moore exhibit in Rotterdam about this time last year. I really should buy a copy. It’s very good.

Oxford Voices

Mike: “These privileged and stupid people have shown their contempt for the whole of the rest of society, with the sole exception of those few fascists who want to destroy it. They may be assured that the whole of the rest of society has nothing but contempt for them.”

Antonia: “It’s not even as if Irving and Griffin get to expound their vile views and be challenged: they have been invited to speak instead on freedom of speech. And even if they were to, is it not breathtakingly arrogant that Oxford undergraduates believe that in a five minute debating speech they could somehow defeat either, when it took a Cambridge Professor of Modern History weeks on the stand to rebut Irving’s assertions?”

loneraven: “Maybe I’ve as little chance of getting attacked on the street tomorrow as I do any day. But here I am, thinking about it. Here I am, going to sleep at night thinking, there are far-right groups in Oxford tomorrow, oh dear. And why should I have to think that? Why? See above where I’m a human being, where I deserve to feel safe every second of the time in my home city, where white people don’t have to worry about visual indicators and I do. How dare the Union blithely invite RACISTS into my city, so safe in their straight white male privilege that they don’t have to think about the consequences of what they’re doing? I am not straight, white or male, and I have no uncomplicated identity, no simplicity or belonging – but I am an Oxford student. No one is allowed to contest the basis upon which I’m here, at this place and at this time. How dare they take the one thing that I have all of my own, my home, and compromise that?”

Thoughts on an Impending Riot (or not, as the case may be)

I wish people would stop referring to the Oxford Union as providing, for example [dead link], “a prestigious public platform.” It’s neither public (being a private members’ club) nor prestigious (being run for as long as I can remember by a bunch of contemptuous contemptible attention-seeking clowns).

Iraqi Employees: Letting Them Die

Dan Hardie writes: I’ve had emails from three people who claim to be – and who almost certainly are- Iraqi former employees of the British Government. All three say that they and their former colleagues are still at risk of death for their ‘collaboration’.

We’ll call the first man Employee One. He worked for the British for three years: ‘I started in the beginning of the war with Commandos (in 30 of March 2003) then continued with 23 Pioneer Regt, and in 08 / 07 / 2003 I have joined the Labour Support Unit (LSU)’. His British friends knew him as Chris. The British Government has announced that he can apply for help if he can transport himself to the British base outside Basra, or to the Embassies in Syria or Jordan. It doesn’t seem to occur to anyone that there might be problems with this. I can email and telephone this man: so can any Foreign Office official. It should not be impossible to verify his story and then send him the funds he needs to get to a less unsafe Arab country. But that is not happening.

Go over the fold for Dan’s email exchange with Employee One, details of two more cases, and information about what you — what we — can be doing about this.

Continue reading “Iraqi Employees: Letting Them Die”

She Can Run But She Can’t Hide (From the Chris Lightfoot Memorial Melanie Phillips Naziometer)

Melanie Phillips recently sought to outwit the Naziometer, first by moving her blogpage over here, and, second, by not mentioning Nazis for a week or two, and thereby keeping us in suspense as to whether our technology was able to cope with the transition. But it is, and it’s now recording a healthy “four” thanks to this post.

Dead Socialist Watch, #292

Charlotte Despard, novelist, feminist and socialist. While her husband was alive, she wrote novels; when he died in 1890, she threw herself into political work, being an SDFer and ILPer; later honorary secretary of the WSPU; then president of the Women’s Freedom Leage. (According to the ODNB, she “wore a simple black chiffon mantilla instead of the large hat of a conventional Edwardian lady, and open sandals instead of tight boots”.) She opposed the First World War, despite the fact that her brother was Sir John French of the BEF. After home rule, she moved to Ireland, where she was president of the Women’s Prisoners’ Defence League. She toured the USSR in 1930, aged 86, moving to Ulster after her home was attacked by an anti-communist mob in 1933; and in her final years she supprted the anti-appeasement cause, though was too old to go to Spain. Born at Ripple Vale in Kent, 15 June 1844; she died at Whitehead, near Belfast, 10 November 1939 and is buried at Glasnevin cemetery in Dublin.