Please bookmark the new site in your favourites as this location is now moth-balled!
I was reviewing some of the statistics since ATW left blogger and moved onto this typepad location back in the Autumn of 2004. Since that date we have posted 7981 blogs for your edification. You have responded with an overwhelming 98,117 comments! (We almost made the 100,000th!) We were also approaching 1.4 Million visits...so it's been a real adventure over the past few years.
As the site has been growing I have found Typepad to be irritatingly unreliable from time to time, with far too many instances where I could not post a story due to alleged "maintenance" issues. Similarly, there have been glitches that create regular multiple postings and basically slow down the site. I will keep the Typepad site visible for a while, and plan to migrate all the posts and comments over to the new site shortly.
So - from first thing tomorrow morning, we will all move to our new home. I will re-direct you to it when you visit tomorrow - just unpacking the crates over there at the moment. We've mostly finished the decorating but you may have to forgive the smell of fresh paint when you come over tomorrow.
A sincere thanks for all your support on this platform over the years - but here's to the new tangled location - unveiled first thing tomorrow morning!
Typepad has been giving continual problems in recent days, and an upstream failure has prevented me posting anything today. I will continue to monitor the situation and hopefully today's stories will appear. My apologies to all ATW readers. You can understand why I want to move the platform from Monday of next week, this is VERY frustrating but beyond my influence.
More details as the week progresses - but we have 7 days left here on THIS location .... so I hope you will make our final typepad week our biggest week ever. There is only ONE direction this blog is going .... and that is forward!
Well that's it! Another holiday in Italy over. I've been to the country so many times, studied so much of its culture and current affairs, and met so many of its delightful people, I'm sure 'Fanny' would be drowning in a vat of her own ignorance if she knew (we can always hope). After a three-hour flight and a 250-mile drive from Gatwick Airport, I'm back at my desk typing furiously away.
A few stories from Italy grabbed my attention whilst I was there; not least the ridiculous decision by Prodi's government to scrap the long-proposed bridge between Sicily and the Italian mainland. It is obvious to anyone who has spent time on Sicily that the island's economy is held back by its isolation - both in terms of transportation and general economic infrastructure by the tiny two-mile stretch of water that separates it from Calabria. The Sicilian people also have a different outlook from those on the mainland. Although welcoming, they are generally less willing to engage in lengthy conversation about current affairs, and discussion of Mafia activity and presence is a strict taboo. Another Mafia victim in the Sicilian judiciary had his funeral whilst I stayed in Taormina. Just think eh, in Sicily they prosecute those who inflict terror on the innocent, in Ulster they attempt to put them in government on the back of osmotic pledges to support law and order. You couldn't make it up!!
I had to applaud a prominent member of the country's Northern League, who proclaimed that ANY vestige of Islamic dress was incompatible with Italian culture and lifestyle. Good on 'im!! None of this British politically-correct 'we'd prefer it if they didn't cover up' crap!! He told it as it was, and drew an angry protest of walking mummy-esque Muslim women protesting on the streets of Turin as a result. Whether it be the terraced streets of northern England or the peeling palazzis of Bella Italia the situation is the same: wherever you get Muslims, you get protest and trouble. It's a pity only Earth is inhabitable in this galaxy. Mind you, I'm sure some aspect of alien culture would also be immiscible with one of the Koran's little proclamations. That lot would find something to moan about (and isolate themselves from) in Paradise. As long as they isolate themselves from me, so much the better.
I read with great amusement the replies to my last postcard from Sicily. One the one hand you had the likes of 'Fanny', somnambulating with an addled mind into a cauldron of multicultural mish-mash (and, sadly, thinking that it was somehow acceptable). I chuckled at the historical analogy and its 'link' to mass migration. I like the architectural wonder that is the Coliseum. It doesn't mean that I want to sit around watching lions and Christians on the same evening bill. There are pockets of European countries destroyed beyond all recognition by open borders. If you think that's cool, dearie, fine. Don't ever expect me to think likewise. As for the contributions from the Statler and Waldorf of the Plastic Paddies' American Chapter, I always think the amount of response is crucial to how seriously one takes another's viewpoint. So here goes................
Having scanned the stories on Newshound over the last hour or so, my award for the best article goes to Bob McCartney for his excellent evisceration of Northern Ireland' most petulant SoS hitherto. As for the worst, it has to be Breidge Gadd, who desperately clings to the aborted spectre of demographic change as a cudgel to frighten the Unionist population, long after everybody else has given up such nonsense. As Professor Graham Walker noted in a recent article in the Herald:
'Against a backdrop of a more ethnically-diverse, secularly-minded and youth-orientated society, Northern Ireland's politics look set to remain imprisoned in old orange and green blocks.'
And idiots such as Gadd, who still believes it is possible to threaten the orange with the green whilst still clinging to credibility, does as much to perpetuate those blocks as the warped system of governance spawned by the Belfast Agreement.
Finally, I knew I was definitely back in the UK when:
Oh, to be in England. Goodnight.
I was thinking about a comment a contributor made here the other day when he declared that the web was free and it was an outrage that ATW makes an appeal for some financial support to keep things moving forward.
Of course the web is NOT free. One has to pay, usually, for an internet connection. Running a blog platform costs money, and changing it as we are about to do also costs even more money. The time involved in writing the blog costs money - it's an opportunity cost at the very least!
None of this matters that much - I am happy to do most of these things but the point I was making was that given the daily entertainment that I hope ATW provides, is offering a little tip such an outrageous request? I don't think so - and I wanted to thank all those generous readers who have shown their support towards ATW in a very tangible manner. If you HAVE NOT yet given - go on - it's Friday - HIT THE TIP and do your good deed for the day. It's what your keyboard is for.....
Is there a particular question that you would like to ask me? Is there a specific issue that you want a clear comment from me on? Well, as part of the ATW fundraising campaign for the new site, here's the deal. You construct a question of your choice on anything that you wish - hit the tip jar for the minimum tip of $2 - and I promise to give you a straight answer. (As for the heading for this post - hey, that's blog inflation)
Post your question here and I will answer. I leave it to your sense of honour to make sure you hit the tip jar for $2 per question!!
I hope you enjoy coming here each day and are finding the posts interesting. We're going to be moving home to a new platform very shortly, and like all these things this involves cost. I'm more than happy to cover the majority of this but I would appreciate it if anyone reading this who can afford it would HIT THE TIP JAR right now in the top left hand corner. This is your chance to help us to keep on going. I'm watching and waiting and wishing and hoping...!
Are you enjoying A Tangled Web with its' recently extended repertoire of writers? I do hope so.
I was just checking the number of stories brought your way by the ATW team in the past seven days and it comes to an impressive 70! That's much more than the average blog and some of these postss have sparked off some rather lively debate!
I want to let you know that ATW will be going through a major re-launch very shortly, I'm working on it at the moment. This is still some weeks away from going "live" but the intention is to have it functional by the end of the month.
IF you enjoy coming here, can I ask you to HIT THE TIP jar at the top left hadn corner of this page and donate whatever you can afford. It will go towards the costs of the new site and ensuring ATW continues to provide you with a good daily read!!
It looks as if ATW has finally got the recognition it deserves, courtesy of Auntie Beeb, no less! I would like everyone who responds to this thread to offer nothing but congratulations to Slugger O'Toole as well. Why? Because it shows the proles who comprise an increasing share of its readership up for what they really are.
Congrats indeed, Mr Fealty.