Monthly Archives: March 2015

where were you?

A veritable baffle of bankers, I believe that is the collective noun (Others have suggested worse!), have been through our doors in recent months.

Their bulging pockets, family ties and slippery nature makes applying an alibi tricky.  Like calmly applying a saucepan lid to a volcano or a plaster to a cannon wound.

The financial rewards could be huge but there is little personal satisfaction in helping this well-dressed detritus.

 (Ben Jennings, The Guardian)

And when it finally gets to the courts, we all know that in the summing up, it will all add up to nothing and the bankers will walk free with or without the help of the Alibi Library.  They are not accountants for nothing.   But we know better than to believe that tricky math.

So while the bankers hide their whereabouts …

… where was good government?  Do they need an alibi too?  Whereabouts were they?

After all, they received the leaks two years before everyone else.

 (Martin Rowson, The Guardian)




World Book Day: Guantánamo’s Restricted Library

This article is from Amnesty International´s blog By Mike F:

Today’s World Book Day celebrates and encourages reading. What will you pick up today? Some Shakespeare, a classic fairy tale such as Puss in Boots perhaps, or something weightier like Dostoyevsky’s Crime & Punishment? For Guantánamo detainees, however, none of these books are options; they are banned from reading them

The reading material requested by detainees is vetted and some books fail to make it through. To say the decisions are curious would be an understatement. Russell Brand’s Booky Wook 2 is forbidden. Franz Kafka’s The Trial is permitted. The protagonist in The Trial, Josef K, is arrested and prosecuted without ever learning of the charges brought against him. If any book were deemed too close to the bone, surely it would be The Trial.

The incendiary, inappropriate material in banned stories such as Cinderella and Jack and The Beanstalk is obvious. Other books appear to have been vetoed for their titles alone, regardless of the content – Crime and Punishment, John Grisham’s The Innocent Man, and Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent, for example. The ban on The Innocent Man was lifted after Grisham wrote an article in the New York Times about Nabil Hadjarab, the man who had requested the book.

Tom Bingham’s The Rule of Law is prohibited. In this book, published towards the end of his life, the former Lord Chief Justice discusses law as the basis of a just society and the potential erosion of a fair legal system under the threat of terrorism.

Shaker Aamer’s lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, has suggested that prisoners have been denied access to materials that might help them learn English. This stretches as far as banning the New Dinkum Aussie Dictionary. Just as communication seems to be frowned on by the US military, so does creativity. A poetry collection, Poems from Guantánamo: The Detainees Speak, was published in 2007 despite suspicion and opposition from the Guantánamo staff.

A restricted library is one of the lesser human rights violations experienced by Guantánamo’s detainees. Nonetheless, the arbitrary, sub rosa process of book censorship follows a pattern of decision-making that began when the GTMO military prison was set up in 2002.

Posted 06 Mar 2014, 2:35pm
By Mike F

To visit Amnesty International:

How Bunbury became


One of Aleister Crowley´s less curious friends came by that day. If I am not mistaken it was a young Louis Umfreville Wilkinson, but maybe he came after Reading Gaol.  Memory is such a sly thing and too often it plays tricks on the old.






Well this young gentleman approached us for help. A dismal Saturday morning it was too. His umbrella safely stowed, he enquired after a lesser strain of Alibi often called Habili due to its  popularity in Middle Eastern lands. It was to be for a certain famed individual.




We were not unduly taken aback, it was quite normal for a friend to act as a representative or intermediary and making such an approach on behalf of a public figure. And Oscar was already enormously well known.




It seemed that Mr Wilde was possessed of the need to make a trip to Sunbury to meet a scholar from Banbury, to whose poetry he had grown quite affectionate.  The meeting with the scholar, it transpired, was to be kept, be any means necessary, from the public eye.

The reason for the secrecy was not revealed.

I can´t imagine…




Nothing could have been easier.  It took no time to invent an effective Habili tailor made to Oscar´s circumstances.



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We gave him details of a very elderly, very frail relative.  To this sketch, a few minutiae were added whose particulars could be checked out to the satisfaction of any keen journalist, private investigator or any such prying eyes.  And we gave this infirm relative the name Bunbury.



Bunbury was born!




And so the young gentleman left satisfied that all could handled in a tidy fashion, but such was his haste that he forgot his umbrella. A sad state of affairs given the climate of this city.




Oscar took the whole thing very seriously,  using the alibi on numerous occasions and even once spoiling us with an impromtu visit in persona.





It was such meticulousness on Oscar´s part that led us to give the whole affair the codename Earnest, .  Although the alibi was subsequently used by a notable series of Uranists, it should be appreciated that Codename Earnest was infact employed by individuals of all tastes including, notoriously, a leading politician of the day.


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Unfortunately,  this alibi -echo gave rise to Oscar´s long standing dispute with ourselves and his subsequent reticence in consulting our archives during his appallingly misconceived libel case and mishandled trial.




A reluctance which without doubt led to his encarcelation. Criminal!




Still got the umbrella somewhere hereabouts.