Up and coming Projects.

OK, I am upping the stakes now as in a few weeks I hope to be flying out to Jordon to do a podcast on refugees fleeing Iraq.

To do it properly I would really like to get my hands on the best possible digital
SLR on the market today. In my mind (as a Nikon user with a heap of lenses) this has to be the Nikon D3.

This is a whole heap of camera costing a whole heap of money (over £3000) and although I stand a good chance of bothering a few of my podcast listeners and blog readers, I would like to ask everyone out there this..

If you are in a position to help sponsor me in my quest to acquire the best tool for the job please do so by either donating/sponsoring what you can (see the little box on the right) and you can be sure to receive my heart felt thanks and gratitude as i promise to do a good job in raising awareness and taking pictures that may well change lives.

I am a hand-to-mouth photographer and would appreciate any financial assistance or even a heads up as to where and how I can purchase a Nikon D3 in a market place that seems to be snapping them up before they hit the shelves.

Sincerely thanking You in advance.



Episode 39 - Freeganism

Meet Alf, he used to manipulate people using fear and greed to make them buy products they didn't need.

Now with his friend Bob and many others, he follows one of the paths of Freeganism, shopping from the backs of stores, without money, dumpster diving to utilize some of the many ton's of waste food and other products consumers and suppliers throw away each year.

As we remember the words of the economist and philosopher John Stuart Mill when he said.. "If you want to destroy a system, refuse to buy it's products", Alf agrees it's a dangerous message.

If you have not subscribed to the podcast (free) in Itunes already, you can listen to the mp3 here

For more information visit:




Please feel free to email me at the usual place.


What Is A Freegan?

Alf is a practicing Freegan and in this short film he explains the principles and ideas behind Freeganism.
For more information please visit www.freegan.org.uk


Episode 38 - Bar Chat

A little chat in a bar under the Curzon Cinema in London, England. I am joined by John Perivolaris an independent photographer and film maker Richard Azia (Warzabidul)

We talk about protesting, a new take on the proliferation of CCTV in the UK and other bits and bobs.

Here are some more handy links...

The Town Crier at the beginning of the podcast is the world famous Peter Moore

Join the flickr group Surveillance Mirrior

Helena Smith photographer

Taryn Simon photographer

If you have not subscribed to the podcast (free) in Itunes already, you can listen to the mp3 here


Episode 37 - A Ramble

This Episode is a slight diversion from my normal format.. It's just quite literally a ramble. While out with the dog I thought it a good excuse to record an update on what has been happening recently, plus do a mini micro test of a new field recorder, the Zoom H2.

I also give a heads up to a few people I respect and admire and accidentally throw the ball at my dogs head. (She's fine).

So although different to my normal format.. it's still recorded live and without a net, or script and unfortunately.. gloves.

Please email comments support and coordinates to any hidden stashes of cash to the normal address.

Please check out these great places belonging to a couple of the people I am talking about..www.deekdeekster.com and..


Also, I have big thanks and respect going to Giles of Kyomedia Who against all odds has once again saved the documentally podcast from certain doom.

If you have not subscribed to the podcast (free) in Itunes already, you can listen to the mp3 here


Financial Showdown

Meet Martin Summers, the Former East European projects officer for the New Economics Foundation as he tells us a little of what is happening in the world of finance at the moment.

I got a call from a friend a few months back telling me I should speak to this guy as he is predicting all sorts of interesting stuff. A long while later and shortly before things started hitting the mainstream media I finally hook up with him and do a short interview with the kind assistance of a Twitter friend Richard.

I am thinking that if I had done the interview way back when first recommended, I would have appeared pretty prophetic.



Episode 36 - Two chats at PodcampUK

In this episode I meet Richard Rudin and Glyn Wintle in Birmingham at the amazing unConference that was PodcampUK

Richard Rudin is a senior lecturer on journalism at John Moores University in Liverpool and Glyn Wintle is from the Open Rights Group.

We talk about the state of Journalism in the UK today, give a heads up to Jeremy Paxman, discuss how politicians react to 'real people', touch apon independent journalism, Electronic Voting and preserving our civil liberties in the digital world.

Richards podcast can be found at www.Rudinpodcast.libsyn.com, The Open Rights Group are at www.openrightsgroup.org and the little song I sneak in at the end is by Josh Woodward entitled 'The Wrong side Of The Revolution.'

If you have not subscribed to the podcast (free) in Itunes already, you can listen to the mp3 here


Episode 35 - The Perfect Prison.

There is a quiet, dark revolution underway in Britain. It was happening yesterday, it's happening now - this minute. It will continue to happen tomorrow.

Without anyone really noticing it we are becoming a police state. We're not quite there yet - it's a long way down to the real depths of secret police, social control, monitored movements - but we're blindly sleepwalking that path.

George Orwell's 1984 portrays a country plunged into totalitarianism. The state is locked in an endless war that, although somehow affecting no one directly, functions as a perfect mechanism for inducing fear and justifying the destruction of basic liberties.

Crucially there is mass surveillance. This is the key: an essential element for a true police state is that everyone should be monitored, at all times. Or they must at least believe this is happening. In 1984 everyone is watched, intrusively. Privacy has all but evaporated, the word itself ceasing to have meaning. Everywhere, fear.

Without getting hysterical, without too much hyperbole, there are clear parallels to modern day Britain.

Since September 11 we have been at war with an enemy - "terror" - that by many of our actions we are empowering. The stage is now set for a generations long conflict that can never be, in any real sense, won. In order to fight this war, basic liberties are eroded: long imprisonment without trial, without charge becomes legal. Evidence gained from torture is suddenly admissible in a court of law. Foreign intelligence services carry out extraordinary renditions through British airspace and soil, with the connivance of the government.

And, there is mass surveillance.

CCTV camera and tracking technologies have proliferated. Not so many years ago such cameras - let's call them spy cameras; that is after all what they are doing - were limited to spaces like garage forecourts. They were ineffective things, recoding largely useless, indistinct time-lapse photos onto VHS tapes. Endless hours of drivers filling-up their cars and walking in to pay. Perhaps the occasional robbery, caught on film, to show on 'CrimeWatch' because the police cannot catch the suspect.

Cut to the present day: cameras are, almost literally, everywhere. They are in shops, they're in bars and clubs, they are high on gantries over the roads, at traffic lights they are watching the high street. They are watching and recording you as you go about the most banal tasks.

The technology is still in relative infancy but has already developed far beyond those scratchy VHS tapes. Face recognition software and high-resolution optics mean your movements can be traced, your facial expressions logged: Your speed and trajectories measured: Your number plate inscribed onto a computer database. You went shopping this afternoon, parked in the Main Street carpark, brought some underwear on a credit card and then went home? Yes ma'am, we know all that. It's all there, on our hard drive. You met a woman who is not your wife for the fifth time in two weeks, she always wearing a long black skirt, you a gray suit? We know that sir, it was picked up by our cameras and noted by the computer engineer when he ran some tests on a face recognition software.

This monitoring started out as a deterrent against crime and, as such, how could any of us object? Don't you want to be safe?
Local councils across the country approved more and more projects that promised to smash yob culture. They secured some central government funds, raised cash from local businesses. Sinister words like surveillance, like police state were never mentioned, potential human rights implications pushed aside: The cameras would make us safer by allowing the police to catch criminals, to safeguard the elderly. Don't you want the elderly to be safe?

And then we are at war with terror and we're more afraid than ever. It's not that a teenager is going to snatch your purse outside the bank; that's a quaint fear from happier times. Now it's suicide bombers on the bus.

More cameras, better monitoring will help save us. How can we object?

The technology was put in place, the network established and it does have benefits. It can, perhaps, add to our security. It can help police build a case against homicidal fanatics. Perhaps it will even help reduce a crime rate that has, thus far, shown no signs of actually being reduced.

Yet there is a price to pay. We have, unwittingly, put in place the building blocks of a police state; the ability to know where citizens are and, with some high degree of accuracy, what they are doing. When privacy ceases to exist, so in a real sense does freedom. To stop the criminals we are now all monitored as if we are potential criminals. The bag-snatcher is in the database of images as he runs from his victim.. So are you, as you carry the weekly shop to your car.


In the late 18th Century a British philosopher designed the perfect prison. The man was Jeremy Bentham, the prison known as a Panopticon. It was a study in architecture, a building to be constructed in such a way that an observer could watch prisoners without them knowing if they were, at any moment, actually being watched. Perhaps the observer is writing down their every action. Or perhaps the observer is asleep.

The prisoner would never know and so, the prisoner would have to assume they were being watched at all times. Bentham envisioned it as a way of creating an omniescent observer: a God in command of all the prisoners, a permanent presence. Big Brother.

In his words, the Panoptican would be: "a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example."

The emaciated prisoner would internalise this gaze, and learn to behave in the way he was expected to behave by the observing power. He would become his own prison guard, his own re-educator. His own Big Brother.

Bentham was a liberal, a reformer. He designed the prison for peoples own good.It was not driven by impure motives but a desire to save the dregs of society. But his project was to be confined in space: it was a physical building outside of which the gaze of the observer failed. It had clear limits.

In modern, CCTV Britain, a Panoptican is being created and it has fewer boundaries. It has been established in our public spaces. In certain towns, certain cities it is more complete than you perhaps imagine. The observer could be watching you almost everywhere. We are becoming a perfect prison.


It is just about possible to argue that none of this matters, if we trust absolutely that the authorities controlling it all never, ever abuse their incredible powers. If the government, security apparatus and judiciary stick absolutely to the rule of law, if they uphold the rights of the individual with just zeal. If they ensure there are no illiberal erosions to these basic, sacred rights.

And that's the problem. Authorities rarely, if ever behave that way for long. They certainly do not behave that way automatically but by continued debate, argument, contest.

Especially in times of war, the instinct of authority is to retreat, to shut down and to restrict. This is already happening: traditional laws are suspended - on the grounds of a vague, nefarious threat to the nation - and along with them are suspended our collective moral decency. Our preciously, democratically elected government starts to behave more and more like a Stalinist dictatorship. They all have national emergencies too; that's why the reformers disappear, that's why the military tribunals meet in private to hand out sentences that cannot be appealed.

We take another step down that ladder, another step into the darkness.

With the CCTV and surveillance technology now already out and on the streets, the mechanism is there for the state to take further control of our lives. It may start with monitoring terrorist suspects but where does it end? Can we trust our leaders, our parliaments - those that have failed us so dramatically over simple, vital matters of war and peace - to ensure this all goes so far but no further? Will we so easily abdicate our best interests to them?

We are not a police state yet. The databases tracking your movements are not linked together, they are not complete. The face recognition software is experimental, not universal. The national ID card scheme that will concrete in another layer of monitoring has yet to be rolled out. We are, however, treading the path and we are further down it today than we were yesterday. Will we keep on walking?

Please feel free to comment me or email...

If you have not subscribed to the podcast (free) in Itunes already, you can listen to the mp3 here

(Thank you to Laura from the BBC for doing my intro voiceover.)


Episode 34 - Undercover Underpaid

Shhh.. I am on a stake out..
An uncommon moment where I take time out from my nearly normal format and ask for feedback from anyone that has the time to have an opinion on which direction my podcast should meander next.

And with some of my own big ideas on the horizon, I also come close to begging for sponsorship so I can put them into action. I'd be happy with some feedback and perhaps one big fat life changing cheque though.. :)

Please feel free to comment me or email...

If you have not subscribed to the podcast (free) in Itunes already, you can listen to the mp3 here


Episode 33 - Billing Land Rover Show 2007

A little off roading in a Series Two Land Rover at Billing Land Rover Show, Northampton, England.


Episode 32 - The Larmer Tree Festival

In a wet kind of way, Summer is upon us. Somehow though one festival always seems to survive the worst of the weather under a bubble of good vibes and great music from across the globe.

Here is a random collection of moments from this years Larmer Tree Festival. I left out all the typical shots of the big name bands from the Jazz, world, and folk music scenes and instead wanted to give you a glimpse of the people and sites surrounding the magic that is the Larmer Tree festival.

Special thanks go to the Glowglobes and Billy Bragg for kind permission to use their music.


Episode 31 - Taking Liberties

I pop to the cinema to see 'Taking Liberties'. A British documentary about the gradual stripping away of our civil liberties by Tony Blair's government.

For more information please visit No Liberties

and.. Basic Civil Liberties

and.. Things YOU can do

If you have not subscribed to the podcast in Itunes already, you can listen to the mp3 here


Talking George Orwell with Blair at our feet.

We stand at the end of the reign of Britain's least favorite prime minister Tony Blair, at the same time standing in the rain at the grave of Eric Arthur Blair, English novelist, essayist and critic. You probably know him as George Orwell, famous for his political satires Animal farm and the world renowned '1984'.

I am joined by John Perivolaris editorial and fine art photographer as we reflect on the Blair age of big brother and the other Blair that had the foresight to write about it nearly sixty years ago.

Oh yes.. and it was Orwell's birthday.

If you have not subscribed to the podcast already, you can listen to the mp3 here

Thanks go to Lone Pigeon for the tunes.

Episode 29 - Blair's Graveside, Orwell's Birthday.

John Perivolaris talks about Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell) on the day of his birthday and close to the day Tony Blair ends his UK prime ministership.


Episode 28 - Facebook

(If you have not subscribed to the podcast already, you can listen to the mp3 here or read the text below. There are some great tunes on the podcast though..)

Facebook - innocent social networking website, or high tech spy network?

The web is generational, progressive. We have truly hit web 2.0. Nowadays we acquire our social-technological skills through the internet, less face-to-face and much more face-to-screen. At school I talked and wrote letters. At Uni and the following years spent traveling, it was email. More recently it is mobile phone, email, text, i.m., forums and v.o.i.p.

Most, if not all of my friends today remain proficient at email, IM and mobile phone use. Those old friends that aren't have turned into acquaintances and some have slipped right out of sight. That rings true for some family too.

It is not uncommon for today’s 13-year-old to be communicating through gaming channels, blog comments, text messages, photo messages, mobile phones, v.o.i.p, twitter and a host of others I have yet to discover. Some of these social trends are adopted almost instantly and, virus-like cross age groups and social networks. Those involved now learn newer and easier ways of getting through to their lattice of digitally minded acquaintances.

This is old news to most of the people I communicate with, as many in my social-technological circles are old hands at all these methods and are ready to grab hold of any new techno-fad that hits their screens.

So what's really new? Well at the moment I have found myself sucked into the virtual world of facebook. Kind of a myspace for the more discerning web networker. I finally found myself giving in to the incessant barrage of facebook requests from friends that could quite easily email me, and partly though a feeling of inadequacy when people say.. Oh you don't have a Facebook account?"

Well now I do and if I thought Googles data mining activities were overt, nothing could have prepared me for Facebook. I guess all this has been a roundabout way of trying to say Facebook owns YOU. Perhaps not in physical form but as far as your virtual online life goes (and lord knows that is the largest portion of our waking lives now-a-days) Facebook owns the data, use patterns, preferences, communications and adoption trends of the entire next web generation. What’s more, the data acquired through all of your innocent online ramblings is incredibly clean, trustworthy, and as collated as any marketer could dream of.

But it's not just all marketing, there's something much more sinister in Facebook's digital files. Facebook owns the data of the first generation to live their entire lives online, a generation that will spend their lives studying and trying to get to grips with the world and its intricacies. Do I, already in my thirties, feel a generation chasm opening up between me and all those to follow?

This is all different to Google’s data collection techniques. If google takes its time behind the scenes sorting through your Google mail, blogs and web searches to profile you, Facebook is straight in there, offering you convenient little white boxes for you to fill in all of your little secrets, your hearts desires and any other personal info you may whisper a friend.

If a man in a dark suit arrived at your door unannounced asking for your name, date of birth, marital status, name of partner, political view, religious persuasion, address, phone number, details of all of your friends, lists of the kind of books you read and films you watch, poems you have written, a few diary entries and - to top it all - wanted a selection of photos with descriptions of all those in the pictures, would you busy yourself providing a shoe box with all this handy information in so he could take it away?

No? I wouldn't ether. I’d at least ask him who he was and what he wanted it for. If his answer was something about being a multinational corporation worth billions of dollars, and that he wanted to help you make friends and keep those that are your friends informed of what you are up to, would that make you any more likely to hand over your life details to him?

It’s absurd on so many levels and yet, en mass we seem to blindly offer ourselves up on a plate. The only difference is we have not been able to look these guys in their collective faces. And has anyone actually bothered to read the small print, the details in which the devil lives? Here is an extract of the first page of the many paged terms and conditions.

"All content on the Site and available through the Service, including but not limited to designs, text, graphics, pictures, video, information, applications, software, music, sound and other files, and their selection and arrangement (the "Site Content"), are the proprietary property of the Company"

Just in case that statement wasn't clear and frightening enough. I’ll put in another, long extract. If you can’t be bothered to read it, it can be summarized thus: “I hereby surrender all rights of ownership, control and use of everything I’ve posted on Facebook.” In legal jargon, that looks like this:

"When you post User Content to the Site, you authorize and direct us to make such copies thereof as we deem necessary in order to facilitate the posting and storage of the User Content on the Site. By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content."

You may say that this is the norm. If so, how did we let it get this way? Is our privacy worth this little? Wikipedia has a concise history and also raises the privacy issue quoting a line that has appeared in facebook's privacy agreement as stating "We may use information about you that we collect from other sources, including but not limited to newspapers and Internet sources such as blogs, instant messaging services and other users of Facebook, to supplement your profile."

Another clause that some users are critical of reserves the right to sell users' data to private companies, stating "We may share your information with third parties, including responsible companies with which we have a relationship."

So in a nutshell, what are the pros and cons? Anything that fosters communication and spreads ideas has some inherent goodness. Its design makes it ridiculously easy to use and it is always good to meet new people. Combine that with the fact it is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week and you are allowed to advertise and it is hardly surprising people are flocking to use it.

With all I’ve just said regarding the terms of use and privacy, you would think this enough for people to be wary. Many are. Have look about the web and you will see more than a few concerned people, critical of Facebook.

In my opinion it’s all too easy for some people to become addicted to it, and obsessed by what is a distraction. It breeds procrastination. There is no real human interaction only odd, counterfeit relationships; people pretending to be interested in others, in the hope they collect more friends to look at their facts and figures, blogs and interests.

Also, it is open to anybody and everybody, be they sales people, government agents or stalkers. Who is really behind the icon? When communication is reduced to a few lines of text, how do we know what's really being implied? How can we really communicate?

This is all coupled with the incredible technology designed purely for extracting personal, and potentially useful information. Frankly, I can’t see why an educated and informed person would even log on.

Curiosity maybe? We’ll go ahead, sign up if you dare, but before you do, do some homework on what you’re signing up for. Take a look around the web and read some of the concerns. To save time you could just head over to my blog at www.Documentally.com and there is a whole host of links. You may even stumble apon the speculation that the C.I.A and the shadowy 'Information Awareness Office' have links to funding of Facebook.

Ultimately the decision is yours. As long as you are fully aware that in this Orwellian community all you write, post, mention, show, mail, blog and comment is fully accessible and archived by numerous people behind the scenes and you are cool with that, then no problem. I hope nothing you write comes back to haunt you.

So in answer to my question is Facebook an innocent social networking website or a state of the art intelligence gathering organisation.?

It's both.

Don't forget you can leave a comment below or email me on: podcast (@) documentlly.com failing that please feel free to skype me at Documentally...

Just please don't ask me to chat on facebook.

Many thanks to the bands Rebel Soul Band, Kundama and Anti-Flag for letting me play their great tunes.

Further reading..

The Wikipedia Entry

A short flash film

Privacy International

Another Link

News Link

More Privacy International

Common Sense

BBC news on tracking within social networking


New Promo!

I know there must have been a few people out there sick of hearing my old promo.. I know I was. So I rustled up an hour and made a new and much shorter one. It's only 30 seconds long and should be easy to squeeze into the smallest of spaces should you be kind enough play it.

I am also up for returning the favour so please go ahead and link me to your promos and I will find a place for them in my podcast too.

You can find the new shorter promo linked HERE


Episode 27 Bilderberg

Meet Tony Gosling, Journalist and reasearcher behind the website Bilderberg.org.
On one late evening in Bristol, Tony gives me a brief rundown on the shadowy group that attend one of the most well know and yet secret annual meetings in the world.

Listen to the mp3

For more information.. bilderberg.org


Episode 26 Bilderberg - A Video Introduction

Meet Tony Gosling.. Journalist, researcher and the man behind the website www.bilderberg.org.
He gives a quick rundown on the history of the secret meeting that happens once a year behind a curtain of security agencies and press blackouts.

Could the Bilderberg group really be the secret rulers of the world?

Check out Bilderberg.org for more info.


Episode 25 Outdoors Inside

An easy listening podcast this week as I take a mini tour round the Outdoor Show hosted at the NEC in Birmingham England. We talk Bushcraft, walking, animal tracking and generally how to get out and enjoy the natural environment around you.

..Also a big Thank You to Giles of KYO Internet for all his help in hosting my podcast.

Listen and watch the mpeg

Listen to the mp3


Episode 24 Alien Implant?

Meet Steve, 33 years ago he was cycling to a friends house and lost one hour fortyfive minutes of his life.

He remembers nothing, but noticed he had acquired a lump under the skin of his left forearm.

To him it was easy to explain. It was an alien implant. Having experienced strange happenings since he was 3 years old Steve is certain that things are not always as they seem and that we are most certainly not alone.


Episode 23 Escapologists

Ok.. Don't shout at me for trying my hand at a video podcast. I acquired a funky little camera, (the Sanyo Xacti H2) and thought I would have a play..

I am still in two minds as to whether I want to go down the video route as sound just seems to be crap on these little cameras. Especially if you can't monitor anything you are doing! I would be loathed to go out and buy an all singing, all dancing camera even if I did have the cash.

Anyway.. Please join me as escapologists from all over the United Kingdom meet in Northampton one sunny day to restrain one another and dunk buscuits in tea. Houdini was there in spirit as well as memorabilia.

Click play below to view...



Time's Person of the year: Me?

Please Read: Time article December 06

So I have just been voted Time Magazine's person of the year. Well, thank-you Time.

Thank-you for the recognition. Of course there are millions of other bloggers/podcasters out there doing a similar kind of thing, many of them better than me. But as I am to share this award with them I guess you already know that.

I would also like to thank the corporate media, people like yourselves, without whom I would not have been able to find my own opinion. I would like to thank them for making me switch off, for making me sick at heart, for making me angry.

Hoarse from shouting at the TV, bored of tired newspapers, and with radio's banalities still ringing in my ears, I climbed the stairs to my spare room and turned on the computer. Another small revolution had started.

From that spare room - the room I sit in now - I began to explore the world, clicking into other perspectives, trying to get a bearing on some kind of meaningful truth. One not screened for my viewing dis-pleasure by the fat advertising executives glutting Corporations Incorporated.

Out there, online, there are so many distractions, so many opinions. There is diversity. Most importantly, when I shouted at this screen, it shouted back. As technology lowers the cost of publishing, suddenly there was a deeper, wider, discourse cutting through the fogs of official disinformation/misinformation/partial truths. I could make my own mind up.

What was I going to do with my newfound knowledge? Start a blog? But I am a pictures man, not a writer, and to take pictures I had to be there, not in the spare room.

So I went.

It wasn´t until I sat in the back of the dusty Turkish taxi and said "Iraq please mate" that I realised I was not on holiday.

As far as beating the 'pros' at their own game, that's not for me to say. Those pros stuck on a roof in Baghdad have the right to say they are there, they have some form of expertise. They have their bragging rights (even if many could do their jobs - rewriting wire service copy, sending out their Iraqi staff to do the real work - equally well in London, Barbados or anywhere else). They also, of course, have their Masters, their 90 second time slot, their worries about feeding banalities to vacuum that is the 24hr news beast.

My advantages? I am not afraid to speculate, to use some intuition (that stuff editors and management boards like to crush as soon as possible). As long as my 'news' remains free then I'm comfortable with that.

If a blogger turns pro they were never really blogging. They were building a portfolio in the hope they too could be a part of the corporate media.

I'm not sure if I believe that last sentence, but it has the ring of truth to it. Why join a revolution only in the hopes of one day selling out?

The fact is no one has offered to pay me to podcast. If it were to happen, I'd have to see what direction my content would go. Would it go corporate? Would it lose what edge it has? Or would the money allow me to push further and harder, to do better?

My thoughts at the moment on this subject: I feel it is the duty of the viewer/subscriber to donate something to any podcast/blog they appreciate. It can be money, it can be praise or criticism, inspiration or friendship. In so doing they are trying to help keep something good alive; they are reviving our dwindling hopes for genuine freedoms.

These are early days and it's hard to see where all of This is going. For now though I'll happily accept my small part of the person of the year award. If only because I get the sense we are, after many wrong turns, on the right road again.


Letter from the people of Britain:

Dear Citizens of America:

In light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the Revocation of Your Independence, effective immediately. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories excepting Kansas, which she does not fancy. Your new prime minister, Tony Blair, will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect: (You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

1. Look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

2. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without Skipping half the letters and the suffix ize will be replaced by the suffix ise. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up vocabulary).

3. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of -ize.

4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.

6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

7. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.

8. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

9. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) -roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.

10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

11. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

12. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.

13. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full Kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).

14. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 21% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable.

15. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

16. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).

17. Daily tea time begins promptly at 4 PM with proper cups, never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; strawberries in season.

Thank you for your co-operation.

The people of Britain

*written originally by John Cleese


Episode 21 - The Conversation

Eavesdrop on three people in a very noisy pub. All podcasters, one the voice of the toaster from Red Dwarf, another who wishes to remain anonymous. Through differing opinions, we talk about podcasting and the corporations, politics, spiritual truth and the shadowy figures that may, or may not fashion the societies we live in.

A few beers later after talk of Secret societies, Bush, Blair and hopes for the future, I head for home.. and nearly don't make it.

I know it has been a while since my last podcast and thank you to those that are still subscribed and listening. This one, although recorded late last year, is something I really wanted to put out there as it was not planned and happened on the fly over a couple of beers with new found friends.

When i found the recording still on my digital recorder stuffed in a plastic bag, in a box, under a pile of stored junk, I just had to stick it in a podcast straight away. What you hear at the beginning of the podcast is the moment i found my recorder.

It was a very noisy and packed pub but with headphones on, I feel the background will fade to a familiar murmur as you too have a drink and join in the discussion.

I hope you will agree that although this recording is a couple of months old, it is still valid and though things have moved on a little politically, the undercurrents are still swirling the same way.

Please feel free to leave comments below. It's always great to hear from you.
Listen to the podcast here. Or subscribe free of charge by searching for documentally.com in itunes.