New Technology Aids Identity Theft

Consumers and businesses alike have been advised to be alert to groups of ruthless criminals stealing identities.

They are exploiting weaknesses (or a-holes) in passport security measures to change photographs of the bearer and open bank accounts, travel across international borders and collect supermarket reward points.

Police are urging caution and warn that until urgent changes are implemented, all efforts to protect your physical identity should be made.


I Am An Artist

My mum has just left Brussels after a weekend of suggesting ways to improve my life. She has always wanted me to paint. So here is my first effort. I hope you like it.

It took me all week-end.

Not Big, Not Clever

Lily Allen rocked Brussels last night. She didn’t recognise me, even though I was close enough to smell her. She smelled alright. The guitarist was a kid I went to school with. He’s been all over the world playing a guitar. Not a bad job, I thought.

The past couple of weeks I haven’t been writing much because I wanted to be a spook, and thus discrete. But the intelligence service I applied to wasn’t intelligent enough to notice that I didn’t meet all the eligibility criteria from the off. Months and money have been wasted going to and from interviews for a job I wasn’t allowed to apply for. So now that’s a definite no, I can post naked pictures of myself on the internet computer and not worry about them falling into the hands of teerrrrists.

So to celebrate I got myself a MySpace account and am hooking up with various people I haven’t even thought about for ten years, including guitarists for famous pop stars. Reckon that’s a job I could do.

Lap Dancers Go Free

The thirty-odd “foreigners” (and not thirty odd foreigners) who werearrested for wearing underwear in Malta have been found “not guilty” of running a brothel.

No shit.

The judge’s comments made me proud to be Maltese. He said that everybody has the right to dignity, presumably even lap-dancing scum, and that the police not letting them wear any clothes over their thongs in order to be able to take photos of them was “a crass excuse”. He didn’t say what it was a crass excuse for, but presumably even Maltese policemen don’t get half-naked Eastern Europeans in the backs of their patrol cars very often …

“Nowadays, he noted, we see women in g-stings on beaches and, although some may not like this, it was a fact that the younger generation was more daring.”

Election time!

The Bloggies have been launched.

I expect all Maltese nationals living away from home to vote for me in exchange for this information.

And once again, I’ve missed a trick. The number of discussions I’ve had over the years about exporting Kinnie (favourite soft drink of the fattest people in Europe) off the rock to Brussels never came to anything. Now I’ve been beaten to it.

Kim Bah Lee Bookshop

Although I should have been hanging curtains and charging the electric drill, I’m pleased to say that Kim Bah Lee Books is now open for business. It’s new, so be nice. My own erudite recommendations will be slowly added in the time it takes for me to learn to read.

I heartily recommend you spend most of your Christmas money here.

Happy New Year

Back from five days in Malta. Christmas was a quiet family gathering of 25, where everybody was nice to each other. Gayle got a Bulgari watch and I got a pair of socks.

New Year’s Eve was spent in the company of a man with a bad haircut and 29 other pax with rather good haircuts. My haircut was decidedly run-of-the-mill.

New Year’s Day has been spent “getting things in order”, which has mainly entailed lying on the sofa, watching re-runs of Spooks and smoking cigarettes.

Last week. I went to Ikea, had half a lobster for 8 euros, forgot half of what I went in for and realised, after two hours of using a plastic screwdriver as a hammer, that I’d bought the wrong stuff anyway.

So I’d like to wish both of my readers a successful 2007. Happy New Year, Mum and Dad!

Why I love The UK

I love the UK because in the space of 24 hours, I ate turkey and tinsel (which stuck in the throat) with the Eastbourne Gilbert and Sullivan Society, followed by watching little brother (who asked for a mention) set the girls’ skirts on fire with his wheels of steel and Charles Manson (the killer, not the actor) style facial hair. Some slapper from Hastings told me that the label in my jacket said I was “fit” and then I burnt the roof of my mouth on a Ginster’s Chicken and Mushroom pie at 2 o’clock in the morning.

Maltese Morality Confusion

It’s a few days and counting until I’m back in Malta. Normally, any trip to the rock wouldn’t be complete without a trip to watch some near-naked ladies gyrate on stage, whilst I imbibe overpriced beers and make small talk with Lenka or Svetlana from somewhere in Eastern Europe.

The lap-dancing bars in Malta are amongst the most conservative in any country I’ve visiited. Italy has them attached to petrol stations and Thailand, well enough said. But on the Rock, the girls don’t take their clothes off, don’t touch you, and are peopled almost exclusively by young drunk students and the occasional member of the Rafia and their entouraage.

But it looks like this year will be different, following police raids on my favourite establishments.

This article from the Independent gives you the rundown. If you’ve got a couple of minutes I recommend you read it entirely.

Here’s the summary:

  • 35 women have been arrested, charged with performing immoral acts in public and participating in a brothel.
  • Plain clothes police were ordered to arrest “anyone wearing a thong.”
  • One woman was arrested, who “was not dressed inappropriately but who featured on several photographs that [the policeman] found on a computer.” In the photographs the woman was wearing “tight shorts and a short top.”
  • “The shorts were tighter than those of a gymnast.”
  • “The fact that they were dancing means they were participating in immoral acts because of the way they were dressed.”
  • “Wearing a thong on the beach is one thing but wearing a thong in a public place is illegal.”

Now, I don’t want to sound like a loony lefty, and while I applaud the strength of family values in a country I love, this makes me shudder, smacking of a Taliban-esque régime of discriminate, cloudy interpretations of public morality.

So this winter, in Malta, I’ll mainly be wearing a thong.‎

Lewis Crofts – Unashamed Plug

Lewis is a great friend of mine. For the past few years he’s been shying away from his responsibilities in the pub and writing a book. It must be good because somebody’s publishing it.

I read a very early draft version and it was a revelation (unblinkered and unbiaised product review). Any novel that has the word “syphilis” in the first sentence is alright by me.

It’s the embellished biography of dirty old painter Egon Schiele, protegé of Klimt and imprisoned for creating porn. It charts his father’s insanity, his suppressed lust for his sister and a fair bit of homo-erotic fumbling with famous characters from an age gone by.

The publication date isn’t until next year, but you can be guaranteed to get a pristine first edition, bound to be worth a fortune, by pre-ordering NOW your copy of The Pornographer of Vienna. Click away.

(He doesn’t know this yet, but he’ll be doing free beer and personalised book signings for anybody who shows up at his signing event in Brussels next spring.)