Still at Schiphol 1154

I am becoming quite fond of my little corner of Schiphol airport. I have put up my Christmas cards and a few bits of tinsel. I now have a boarding card for the 0800 to Manchester. This is the sixth boarding card I have had. It is very hard to understand why, time after time, they don’t know a flight is cancelled until some time after it was due to leave and all the passengers have queued at the gate for hours.

Of course, Manchester is a lot further from Ramsgate than Schiphol is, so even if the flight atually goes, this represents rather dubious progress.

Happy New Year everybody.

Remarkably, KLM delivered my lost luggage, including my laptop, at 9.30 pm on New Year’s Eve. At that time a pretty lively party was already in full swing,much improved by the presence of a great many beautiful young women, mostly from Latvia. I am not sure why; my life as ever consists of a bewildering succession of chance encounters with really nice people. I am in the fortunate position of being able to say that Nadira was the most lovely of all, without indulging in dutiful hyperbole.

It was an extremely happy Christmas. Having my mum, both my brothers and all my three chidren together was as great as it was rare.

We have been through the laptop in lost luggage discussion before. The problem is that my shoulders dislocate at the drop of a hat, and I travel without hand luggage to avoid an accident.

2011 is going to be a very important year for me. particularly the first quarter. A number of crucial events are going either to set me up financially for the rest of my life, or result in real distress and failure. At present I have reason to be very optimistic. I am also very absorbed in my life of Alexander Burnes, which I hope will help establish a serious academic reputation.

The Portuguese edition of Murder in Samarkand has sold unexpectedly well in Brazil. The translation of the Turkish edition has just been finished.

I hope to do a Wikileaks retrospective in the next couple of days. Just a quick thought on the case of the poor young gardener in Bristol. Of the Jill Dando case, long before Barry Bulsara’s succesful appeal I blogged that this appeared to be a miscarriage of justice in which the police had fitted up the local weirdo.

Despite not being enamoured of landlords in general, I fear the same dynamic is at work in Bristol, albeit Chris Jefferies is much more intellectually capable than Bulsara. My instinct is that the police have picked up on Jefferies for being camper than a boy scout jamboree and archer than Trajan.

Jefferies’ release on bail has me worried that there was nothing against him other than the “He’s a weird one, guv” instinct of some not very bright cop. The case needs to be closely watched as history shows that the powers of the police to make the evidence fit the suspect are considerable.

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1,154 thoughts on “Still at Schiphol

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  • Alfred

    How about chartering a fishing boat or something? Or there’s the Amsterdam to London Dutch Flyer “Night Boat” said to be a “comfortable, civilised & time-effective overnight option that also saves a hotel bill. Runs daily except 24, 25, 31 December.”

    Anyway I hope you have a safe journey soon.

  • Frazer

    Try attempting to light your shoe with a match, I am sure the Dutch police would arrange a special flight back to London for you within an hour !

  • Ann

    Just listening to that clown Humphreys on the Today programme, interviewing Assange.

    Either Humphreys is deeply uninformed about the case, its processes and context or he’s just another shill for the secret state.

    Either way he’s a useless buffoon.

  • gremlins3

    Re. this morning’s Toady, Assange deserves another award just for managing to stay calm in the face of the constant hostile and simply rude interruptions from Humphrys and also the highly personal line of questioning at times (e.g. was he a “sexual predator”, “how many women” etc etc). One of Humphrys’ most unsubtle interviews imaginable and hopefully his tactics will bacfire.

  • INGO

    whats the exact destination? should we sent christmas cards to shiphol, corner of Pret a mange and Starbucks?

    Humprey’s at times glee full performance was the worst kind of smeary interview I’ve heard for a long while, How Julian talked a straight bat I don’t know. (sorry about the cricket analogy folks, tough luck)

    I don’t think any students want to join the Lib Dems to day when they hear how posie cable threw his weight about in front of two smearlings from the Telegraph. Like that nice lady in Father Ted I’d say to him ‘go on then, go on, go on, go on.

    Hammond says he’s order another 250.000tons of salty to add to the million we have already, seasoning yet uncatched fish in our rivers, throw in some pepper I say, but whatever you do, do not plan ahead or buy any snowclearing equipment, we like this sort of blithering blunder, who wants to live in Switzlerland or Russia for christ sake, you got to have a bit of struggle to enjoy your Christmas don’t ya?

    Another 12 men have been arrested, some younger men with grewat ideals. Their mistake was to think too loud, the psyops thought finder has locked on to their specific jihad thoughts and hey presto, another success, we maanged to throw a little scare in for Jule, great stuff to divert from the lack of attention to help people get home and away.

    Why does the Government not take the same arrangements and efforts they make to enable military flights and copies it to enable the most urgent travelling?

    Craig, don’t burn your shoes, Frazer is just trying to skimpt on his hamper list…(;-)

  • somebody

    Bad luck Craig. I am sure you will make it back to Nadira and Cameron.

    This was sent this am with doubts about Assange’s provenance.

    The lawyer that instructed Julian Assange to turn himself in was Mark Stephens, of Finers Stephens Innocent, the London legal heavyweight. Mark Stephens is an ardent Zionist who defended Yoram Blachar, the former head of the Israeli Medical Association, an organization known for its doctors engaging in the horrific torture of Palestinians (219). On behalf of Blacher, Mark Stephens filed a libel suit against Dr. Derek Summerfield, a UK-based physician who repeatedly blasted

    Blachar and his complicity with the Zionist entity’s crimes against humanity (220).

    Stephens has also defended several Zionist media outlets (221), including CNN, headed by CEO Jeffrey Bewkes, a staunch Zionist who has been honored by notorious Zionist institutions the American Jewish Committee and the Simon Wiesenthal Center (222), ABC, headed by CEO Robert Iger, who has been honored by the extremist Zionist organization, Aish HaTorah (223), the New York Times, known for its disgustingly pro-Israel bias in all of its reporting on the Middle East (224), as well as the Wall Street Journal (225), owned by ultra-Zionist Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Finers Stephens Innocent serves as a legal advisor for Waddesdon Manor, owned by the godfathers of Israel, the Rothschild banking family, which explains why Mark Stephens is also a Freeman of the City of London (226), the financial district of London which governs all major financial happenings across the globe and is dominated by the Rothschild clan (227).

    Assange was on Radio 4 Today in a long interview from the Vaughan Smith ‘mansion’ as it was described. He didn’t sound like an activist, more like a Republican to my mind.

  • somebody

    I know Mark Stephens’s involvement at (219) to be true.

    Dr Summerfield is an honourable man who has been attacked with a huge amount of vitriol on the pages of the British Medical Journal. Jewish doctors and medics from the UK and from abroad who support Israel and Zionism joined in this campaign against him.

    His campaign was to have Blachar removed as President of the World Medical Association for his support of the use of torture of Palestinian prisoners by the Israeli military and support and encouragement for the involvement of Israeli doctors in those hideous processes. The evidence of the torture has been recorded and is on the internet.

  • eddie

    I thought the Humphreys’ interview was very good. Why shouldn’t he be questioned about serious allegations of sexual assault? Fucking someone when they are asleep without a condom, as alleged, is a serious assault.That slimy man (Assange) deserves what he gets.

  • glenn

    Eddie bravely sticks his neck out yet again, and pumps the establishment line. Great stuff on that 100% record, mate – keep it up!

  • dreoilin

    I sleep on my side, foetal position. “Fucking” me while I was asleep would take a contortionist with very unusual equipment. And then there’s the small matter that if anyone as much as laid a hand on my arm I’d be awake immediately anyway.

  • Jon

    @Eddie, sounds like you’re reverse-engineering again. Wikileaks bad, hence Assange guilty and creepy. It’s lazy. Couldn’t you envisage Wikileaks bad, Assange not guilty? Or, even, Wikileaks good, Assange guilty as sin? Both good?

    I support Wikileaks – perhaps with a little caution, since we could always be being duped* – as it casts a powerful light on the workings of international foreign policy. Most of these documents should be public on an ongoing basis, which +could+ have a positive effect on the honesty with which international affairs are conducted. I think that might be a good thing, with some extremely narrow exceptions.

    Why have you got it in for Wikileaks, anyway? Do you want the state to be all-powerful, and you its obedient and pliable servant? Or do you think the people should, broadly, know what is going on in the corridors of international power, in their name, and for which they pay their taxes?

    * I don’t think it is a scam at the moment, but I can see its potential for inserting disinformation into the public consciousness. No sign of this yet though, as far as I can tell.

  • MJ

    “Fucking someone when they are asleep without a condom, as alleged, is a serious assault.That slimy man (Assange) deserves what he gets”.

    Assange is not charged with rape; that was dropped very quickly you will recall. He is charged with a much lesser offence known in Sweden as sex by surprise. If found guilty he will get a fine.

  • somebody

    Hust as well the Olympics are held in August or will it be too hot then for the roads, the airports and the railways.

    It is a sad litany of failure, lack of management and lack of communication when listening to reports of trains breaking down in Kent and passengers stranded overnight, overhead power lines breaking in Huntingdon and passengers being walked down the East Coast line where no trains now run, the queues at St Pancras and the continuing delays at Heathrow. All the passengers interviewed say that there is no communication from the so called management. Whatever will foreigners think of it? Breakdown Britain. And the effete Mr Hammond tells us all is well. He couldn’t run the proverbial whelk stall.

  • dreoilin

    Not sure if this is off-topic since the topic is Still in Schiphol … but here goes:

    “The report finds that senior officials under former British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown quietly and repeatedly pressured Scottish authorities to release Abdel Baset Ali al-al-Megrahi, the former Libyan intelligence officer convicted of the bombing.

    “They did so in order to protect British business interests in Libya, including a $900 million BP oil deal that the Libyans had threatened to cut off, as well as a $165 million arms sale with a British defense firm that was signed the same month al-Megrahi was freed from prison, the report states.

    “This was a case in which commercial and economic considerations trumped the message of our global fight against terrorism,” said Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., one of the four senators, who commissioned the report by a Senate investigator.”

    full text here:

    Stuff your “global fight against terrorism” and stuff BP oil deals, and $165 million arms sales. What’s important is whether the man is innocent or not, and I believe he is, after everything I’ve read.

    I feel slightly sick after reading that.

  • angrysoba

    “Dr Summerfield is an honourable man who has been attacked with a huge amount of vitriol on the pages of the British Medical Journal. Jewish doctors and medics from the UK and from abroad who support Israel and Zionism joined in this campaign against him.”

    Wow, somebody! It sounds like a giant global Jewish conspiracy to me.

    Oh look! You’ve even posted a link by Gordon Duff from veterans today who’ll be explaining why the Jews are bad.

    By the way, love the use of “Zionist entity”. That would be Israel would it?

  • somebody

    Tweedledum and Tweedledee are having a press conference – ie a meeting between the gangsters-in-charge and their stenographers which demonstrates their mutual interdependence.

    Cameroon has just said he is very happy with the way in which the team in working. Having spent half an hour with Cleggover trying to make light of Cablegate, that is patently untrue.

  • tony_opmoc


    The diving and snorkeling in Sharm El Sheikh is surprisingly good. I’ve got an underwater video of both of my kids about 30 metres down with surprisingly enough hammer-head sharks. However, I didn’t really like the place. The security was ridiculous, and it certainly didn’t feel like a free country. After we’d walked for miles, they said if you go any further there won’t be any security. I said great – A few miles later we met a Bedouin on a Camel.

    When we were staying in the Maldives whilst I was reading Craig’s book, we had loads of adult reef sharks within a few metres of our beach shack.

    We’ve never had a problem with sharks. They are actually quite timid – and swim away from you if you try and get too close.

    Dogs are far more dangerous than sharks – and kill far more people.

    Merry Christmas,


  • dreoilin

    Thanks Tony – yes, dogs can do terrible damage, especially to the little ones. I’ve had a few scares in the water (I can just about swim) and I wouldn’t go diving. But that’s just me. Billy Connolly says we were never intended to be in there, and I agree with him. 🙂

    Happy Christmas to you.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    eddie’s back! Zounds! ‘Tis the season to be jolly! Perhaps, like the warriors beneath the old mountain, he’s been asleep (and chaste, like Sir Galahad) all this time but wakes up occassionally in time to deliver a joyous little volley into cyberspace.

    Tony, thanks for the shark knowledge. In general, if I had a choice, I’d rather be in a room with a moderate-sized dog than in a pool with a moderate-sized shark. But it’s probably my conditioning and/or ignorance. Obviously dogs kill and injure more people than sharks because humans have domesticated dogs for millenia and (unlike sharks, apart from the lone variety, who are more dangerous than T. Rexes) they run around our streets, howling and bow-wowing at all and sundry. But on a one-to-one, with a dog, you’ve got a chance. With a shark, if it decides on a takeaway…

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