This is just a short post to wish a Happy Christmas to friend and foe. Compliments of the season.
Well, this site may appear moribund, but it is not quite dead yet.
There have been no posts on here for a while, whilst I finished my PhD. "British Jihadism: The Detail and the Denial" was submitted yesterday and hopefully over the coming days and weeks I can get back to doing some things other than researching men with beards!
I do seem to have been the target of spammers in recent weeks - go away. This site is open again, but not for you.
Just when you thought this blog had died, or the author shuffled off into a corner, it is going to spring back into life - I promise!
There have been no posts for several weeks, mainly due to the amount of shift work I have been doing - in the last the last twelve days for example I have worked ten 12 hour shifts, plus two days of 14. Whilst such hours have not stopped me tweeting (an inane task easily tackled in a lunch hour) this blog deserves a bit of thought and consideration.
Oddly even though nothing had been posted on here for so long, I still seemed to get at least 100 page views a day. To those visitors - and any other passing traffic - normal service will now be resumed.
This blog is now five years old.
I set it up in 2006 to promote my own writing, and causes I believed in. It has gone in a series of directions since then, as has the accompanying 9/11 Cultwatch blog. I have managed to cover a range of issues, from local politics in Hackney, football and boxing, through to the rise of Islamism and the war on terror. Although I have juggled three part-time jobs, a PhD and a young family, most days this year I have managed to post something, and the number of visitors to this site continues to rise. I get at least 120 page views daily, with the figure rising as high as 6-700 at certain times. The blog has introduced me to people I would not otherwise have met, and I know from attending events like the Anarchist Bookfair in London that it is read by many activists I would otherwise have risked losing contact with.
I am now going to do something I have not done before. Typepad is one of the blog companies who charge for their services. I chose them in 2006 as I was aware of some litigation problems experienced by other bloggers, and after taking advice decided that I was far more exposed to a frivolous or vexatious complaint on a 'free' blog than a paid one. Put simply, a free blog provider is very likely to shut you down as soon as someone starts making complaints, whilst a company in a commercial relationship with you is more likely to look at the matter objectively. It is a decision that has stood me in good stead.
Now, having renewed the blog annually, I also have five years worth of posts and comments, that I am loathe to give up and lose. That will happen if I do not renew my account with Typepad. If you see an advert on this site that interests you, do click on it. I will eventually be paid a small sum by Google Ads for that. Secondly, if you wish to contribute more directly to the running of this blog or 9/11 Cultwatch, you can make a donation via my paypal account firstname.lastname@example.org I will use that money for the maintenance of this site.
On Saturday I was in Argos in Ramsgate, and had the twins with me in their pram.
Leonard is usually the more shy of the two, but he began smiling at a girl, who was probably about five years of age. He carried on smiling. Then he stopped, and started again. Still no response. I then did what probably no father should ever do - I intervened on his behalf.
"Leonard's smiling at you - are you not going to smile back?"
She shook her head, and walked off.
I am not sure how you convince a seven month old baby that he has seen the future played out, but if I could, I would.
Unless you are a banker or a politician, you have probably never experienced people you have never met before, handing you money.
Taking twins in a pushchair around east London brings a series of responses. I have had people shake my hand, seen cars pull over to stare and my other half has even had a women wish to rub her head, so that whatever we did have rubs off on her.
At the weekend, whilst enjoying a cup of tea in Morrisson's in Stratford, we were approached by an Indian man with his young daughter. The girl clearly wanted to hold one of the babies, so we handed her Leonard, and she very gingerly, very carefully walked off with him to show her mother. For a couple of minutes Leonard was held and discussed, before the father walked the little girl back. As Leonard was returned, the father handed over a five pound note. No words were expressed, and I did not think it polite to refuse a voluntary gift.
What can you say about such an act?
As no one else would nominate me, I have put this blog forward in the competition for the 2011 Orwell Prize.
Last year Ray Hulm's The Bad Old Days Will End made the shortlist, the only Anarchist blog I think ever to do so. If you run a blog, you have until January 19th to throw your hat in the ring. Below are the ten articles I submitted in support of my candidacy:
The BabyBjorn Active Organic Carrier is reduced from £99.99 to £79.95 on the Kiddicare website:
The cost of carrying a baby in the traditional African style, using a standard double bed sheet - £0.
Thank you to my son Leonard for reluctantly modeling this bargain.
Those of you who use Twitter as one of your many work avoidance strategies can now follow me - and by definition this blog - on Twitter.
As my name, and various permutations were already taken, I am recorded rather pompously as http://twitter.com/#!/MrPaulStott
There have not been too many posts on here over the past week - or replies to comments - as I have spent most of the week at the hospital, where my other half has been expecting our twins.
Waiting for such an event is a pretty surreal experience, the sleepless nights, the endless sitting about, the dangers of clock watching. Perhaps the oddest element was cycling to the hospital on Thursday morning and very nearly running over the former World Super Middleweight Champion Chris Eubank, who gormlessly stepped out in front of me on Commercial Street. By the time I was cycling home 48 hours later, I was the father of twin boys.
Choosing names is not easy. It is pretty much compulsory for all Manchester United fans of my age to name one of their boys Eric, whilst the temptation to name the boys Donald and Davey, after the Reeves and Mortimer characters Donald and Davey Stott came and went. Only when I was actively considering Eric and Ernie did I think I had better consult with my other half, and eventually the names Lenny and Reggie were agreed upon.
Within a few hours of Lenny and Reggie being born, Manchester United had beaten Blackburn 7-1, and Dimitar Berbatov scored five goals. It is perhaps a good job we had already settled on Lenny and Reggie...........
There have been no posts on here for a week or so as I have been in Northern Ireland conducting some PhD research, as well as having a family holiday in the process.
All this means I have not been able to reply to comments (an hour in a Belfast internet cafe costs £2.60!) or to edit some of he spammers who like to visit this site advertising viagra and cheap loans. Normal service has now been resumed.
Oh and I believe the anti-Pope march in London was both well attended and had an excellent crowd in terms of composition. I am sorry to have missed it.
No posts on here for a few days, as I have been away with my family in the north west.
I managed to squeeze in day trips to Southport and Blackpool, and a second trip to Colwyn Bay Cricket Club, this time to see Lancashire defeat the Unicorns on the last ball in a 40 over match.
For any men in middle age, I would thoroughly recommend a trip to Blackpool. Firstly there is the outside chance that Ian Holloway will offer you a professional football contract. Yes, he is that desperate. Secondly, the place is an amazing boost to your ego. There I was feeling rather overweight, lazy, worried about my diet and that I don't do enough exercise. Five minutes strolling along the sea front and looking at some of the other guys my age walking (I say walking, but some were on sticks and even mobility scooters, despite being barely in their 40s or 50s) - I felt like the world triathlon champion compared to many of my peers.
If only the vendors had a shirt "I went to Blackpool and realised I was not a fat bastard after all" they would make a fortune!
I have trimmed a few of the links on this site to reflect the ever changing world of on-line politics.
Several good websites have fallen by the wayside over the past few months. Firstly Sugarbeet Bhoy in Norwich has gone on to bigger and better things as one of the contributors to the Norfolk Community Action Group. Snook Cocker appears to have recognised that a blog centered on the moans and gripes of a Yorkshireman was too crowded a market and has upped stumps, whilst Duncan Money is too young to be spending all his time blogging and has also hung up his boots.
On the more political front I have deleted the Save the Swan website - for the very simple reason that we did not save the pub and the campaign was lost, whilst for the opposite reason I am happy to delete the link to the No2ID site - as the new government has rightly binned the whole ID cards plan. A shame we cannot get the millions of pounds back wasted on the project by the likes of Hackney South and Shoreditch MP Meg Hillier when she was in office. Her justifications for the project now ring exceptionally hollow, although seeing such a project described as progressive is at least a reminder of how deluded the world of New Labour is (I hesitate to write was).
One sad loss is the Meanwhile At The Bar forum, and accompanying blog, which has packed up its bags this month. MATB reflected a particular demographic on the left, comprising mostly experienced and rather battle weary activists in their 30s and 40s, many disillusioned by the last century left's focus on multi-culturalism, Iraq and its inability to relate to the wider working class. Quite a few had stormed off from the Urban 75 forum, both for the above reasons and because of a series of disputes with the moderators and owner of that forum.
It is probably fair to say that those on MATB knew far more confidently what they were against than for, but the experiences related on that forum were often both incisive and amusing. Will we never hear from Cheadle High Street again?
If there are any suggestions for websites I should be linking to on here, or need to promote more - do let me know.
During the World Cup, this blog became four years old.
I started it back in 2006 because I wanted the opportunity to promote both my own writing and some of the issues and causes I feel deserve support. The discipline of writing pretty much every day has actually proved more important than I expected, whilst the introduction of Google Ads has ensured that the blog now breaks even over the course of a year.
I make no pretence that I Intend To Escape is anything other than a modest operation. Most days it receives about 100 hits and a handful of comments, with 300+ visits on a very good day. It has however served as an opportunity to present a perspective on some local issues here in Hackney - from the collapse of the credit union to the scandal of the Metropolitan Police foisting a gay hating evangelical christian organisation onto Hackney Council and their work with young people in the borough. It has reflected some of the weaknesses and strengths of the UK Anarchist movement, and has occasionally had some recognition in the process, plus brickbats. Finally the blog has allowed me to put into the public domain my rather limited photography skills, from the charms of ladyboys in Koh Samui to the charms of the Manchester Ship Canal.
Best of all the blog has brought me into contact with people I would not have met, spoken to or corresponded with otherwise. Any blogger who says they do not enjoy someone saying out of the blue "oh I read your blog" is of course a liar, whilst invitations to write for other websites are rare but welcome. As for the future, I shall continue juggling shift work with teaching, a PhD and trying to keep fit. I have another web project bubbling under that will appear in full later this year - but more of that later.
I still intend to escape - and come back.
Here, in case you have forgotten it, is the glory of Hai Karate.
Scroll down the left hand side of this page, and you will find new pictures added to the following sections:
How's Life in London?
As always, comments welcome.
Yesterdays Christmas message was the 1000th post, since this blog began back in 2006.
Thank you to everyone who has visited in that time, those who have linked to this site, and in particular those who have made comments and suggestions. The aim of the blog has always been the same - to showcase some of my own writing, and to give a bit more prominence to some of the causes and organisations I support.
As long as that is needed, I have the time to do it and access to a computer, I intend to continue.........
This blog seems to be attracting a lot of new readers at the moment.
I guess this is from the promotion the blog has received in the Anarchist Bookfair programme, and in the new issue of Notes From The Borderland. What's the blog all about?
The aim simply is to promote my writing, and some of the causes I believe in. You will find articles about the London borough of Hackney, the anarchist movement, the rise of political Islam in Britain (which I consider dangerous) and parapolitics - the hidden in politics. Sport, and the politics of sport, also feature regularly.
If this is your cup of tea - do check back.
In keeping with the entirely random and arbitrary nature of this blog, I have added a section of photographs devoted to the Manchester Ship Canal.
One of the few ways to see the canal in all its glory is to go on the ferry trip from Salford Quays to Liverpool, courtesy of Mersey Ferries, which I did last week. The six hour cruises run from April to October, with a stop over available in Liverpool for a couple of hours, before a bus journey back to Salford.
To see the history, and current economy, of an entire region laid out in front of you is a unique experience, and one I recommend.
A few minor changes have occurred to this site.
New links include Norfolk's Sugarbeet Bhoy and Hereford's Rebel Bull, whilst new pictures have been added to the Hackney Life, Snapped, On the Road and How's Life in London sections. I have also added a new folder of photographs, Flatlands, devoted to the scenes of East Anglia.
You can view them all to the left of this page. Comments welcome.
There are some new pictures to be found on the 'How's Life In London' section of this site.
Photographs from recent visits to Belgium and the North West have been added to the "On the Road" section of this blog, whilst a rare example of pro Abu Hamza flyposting can be found amongst the London pictures.....
You may have noticed that the colours of this blog have changed from the previous, rather garish purple.
Why? Well I have decided to adopt the sea green of the Levellers (or as close as I can get to it) plus a bit of a London theme. Let me know what you think.
Well, its taken two and a half year, but this blog is finally about to break even.
I am getting ever more impressed by the Google Ads that keep popping up on this site.
I write articles critical of the BNP - so I get adverts for the BNP website. I write articles critical of the police, so, logically an advert appears for those wanting to become police officers. The police recruitment website is particularly entertaining in that, amongst other services it offers 'prison officer role play'. I think we know your type think you very much!
I don't know that many Muslim singles visit this site, but again their websites seem very keen to advertise with me.
What have I done to deserve all this?
If you do a google images search, for "Mohammed's childhood" the 11th picture that comes up is - my childhood teddy, Ted Bear.
Not much action here is there?
I do not profess to any photographic skill, but do look to chronicle some parts of Hackney and indeed London life that may otherwise be forgotten.
Scroll down and look to your left. Additions this week include a shot of Moleman's house in Hackney (now undergoing the benefits of stabilisation and no doubt eventual sale) some of the attractions in Brent (stop sniggering) and a shot of an Army Chinook flying over London Bridge.
Are we at war or something?
Scroll down to your left, and I've added several new pictures to the London and On The Road sections of this site.
I was particularly pleased to capture the work of graffiti artist Hutch, before some clown goes over it...........
You can't have failed to notice that this blog is now taking Google Ads.
Whilst not exactly a sell out on the scale of Dylan going electric or Bill Hicks giving up smoking, please feel free to abuse my grovelling to corporate capitalism!
I have stacks of good photographs I have yet to add to the site.
Recent aditions that have gone on include some from rural Cheshire, and graffiti pictures from the old railway line between Finsbury Park and Highgate.
I have been meaning to add some new pictures to the various albums on this site for some time, and have finally got round to doing so.
You can check them out lower down the page.
I should stress that no one in Class War is responsible for the graffiti naming George Galloway as Hitler by the way. Yes they are both vain, egotistical reactionaries with moustaches, constantly looking eastwards, but there the similarity ends!
I have rather neglected my photography this year.
Perhaps in recognition of this, I have added a few photos to the site this week. As usual the Hackney pictures concentrate on what we are losing, not gaining, from all the change that is occurring locally. My London pictures are perhaps a tad more optimistic - the magnificent development of St Pancras train station.
One step forwards, two steps back?
If you have been wondering why posts have been so occasional over the past two weeks, I have had a few IT problems.
The gremlins have now been slayed, and it is back to business as usual.
In every interview I have heard Sammy Lee give since he became Bolton manager, he has used the term "Bolton Wanderers Football Club".
Why do some football managers do this?
Does Sammy Lee fear we might catch a snippett of his interview and mistakenly assume he was talking about Bolton Wanderers Dry Cleaners, or Bolton Wanderers Chinese Take Away?
Why the long-winded pomposity?