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Northern Lights

I don’t know if they’ve ever been so spectacular in Aberdeen. School bus driver Kristin Jonsdottir, 27, took this photograph of the Northern Lights over Skorradalur, Iceland.

POTD_Aurora_boreal_2761024k

There are plenty more fine photos at the Daily Telegraph’s The Week in Pictures feature.

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No one likes a smartarse

My blogfriend Adullamite draws my attention to a Daily Telegraph Quiz which reprises David Cameron’s appearance on Letterman. Now to be fair, like Cameron I didn’t know who wrote Rule Britannia but faced with four alternatives I picked the right one.

Here’s how I did:

To be honest, a couple were educated guesses. I actually wasn’t sure on the dog collar! The question I got wrong was the one relating to the percentage of Conservative voters in Wales.

Why not see how you get on and report back.

Can anyone tell me?

What’s wrong with this picture?

Angry and Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells

Some letters to the Telegraph about the possibility of Scottish independence.

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!

Thanks to Almax and Douglas for drawing my attention to the obituary in the Daily Telegraph for Colonel Albert Bachmann

The obituary starts intriguingly:

Colonel Albert Bachmann, who has died aged 81, was Switzerland’s best-known and most paranoid spymaster, in a country that traditionally has no enemies and refrains from foreign entanglements. Mustachioed, pipe-smoking and blessed with an ability to wreak havoc within his own organisation, Bachmann’s resemblance to Inspector Clouseau was striking; by the time his plots and schemes were uncovered by an astonished commission of inquiry, he had reduced the Swiss military intelligence agency, in which he had mysteriously managed to rise to a senior role, to a state bordering on chaos, not to mention bankruptcy. So catastrophic was his impact that, when he was finally unmasked, many assumed he must be a double agent. He was not.

It continues…

Albert Bachmann was born in Zurich on November 26 1929, the son of a house painter, and grew up in humble circumstances. While employed as a printer, he enrolled in the youth wing of the PDA, the Swiss communist party. But in 1948, following the communist coup in Prague, he renounced his Left-wing sympathies, became staunchly pro-West and began his National Service with the Swiss grenadiers.

His military career blossomed, and against expectations (he had completed only eight years at school) Bachmann successfully applied to the officer training academy, where he specialised in intelligence gathering with the Swiss military intelligence service.

There, in 1968, he caused a stir as lead author of an official civil defence booklet, delivered to every household in Switzerland, with instructions on how to withstand invasion by an occupying power. In it Bachmann asserted that the gravest danger lay not just with the enemy but with the Swiss political Left, specifically pacifists and intellectuals, just the sort of people with whom he had himself mixed in the PDA.

In his anti-communist booklet, with its plain red cover redolent of the Little Red Book of the Chinese Maoist era, Bachmann controversially urged Swiss citizens to spy on one another.

He escaped the ensuing furore by heading to Biafra, which was seeking to secede from Nigeria. There he operated undercover as a pipe-smoking upper-crust Englishman called Henry Peel and cultivated an air of mystery, hinting at links to secret arms deals involving the Shah of Iran.

Some of the exploits of Albert Bachmann, who died on April 12, were satirised in the black comedy Beresina, or The Last Days Of Switzerland, screened at the Cannes film festival in 1999.

All Medical Experts Now

As the Telegraph, Mail et al don their deep sea diving gear to see which new depths they can now plumb, Tory windbag Bill Aitken calls into question the medical prognosis on Megrahi. The Telegraph has wheeled out a doctor to say that like Gordon Broon, Megrahi could well survive beyond three months.

The doctor of course has never examined Megrahi.

How long before the headline ‘Megrahi release could affect housing market recovery’?

I wouldn’t totally discount it.

Seriously.