Sad news

Michael again here.

Brian Micklethwait, the owner of this blog, died this morning of lung cancer. We are all greatly saddened by this terrible news. He will be missed.

Update on Brian

Blogmaster Michael here.

Brian is presently in 24 hour care, after having some radiotherapy recently. This has after-effects, sadly, and he is therefore doing it a bit rough at the moment. Hopefully these after-effects should subside and he shall hopefully be feeling a little better soon.

He wrote a short piece for Samizdata recently on the subject of friendship, which in many ways recounted familiar experiences, for me at least.

I am in hospital

Not about to die, or I don’t think so, but yes, and trying to use my laptop.

What with me being in a weakened state, everything now takes twenty times as long, no matter how simple it would have been if I was at home.

This posting is just to check if blogging here now works. Wish me luck.

Christmas Hoodies for Women Color Block Trendy Mini Santa Casualreducing 68-73MM high-quality smoothly. 1 long Rock integrated the bracket. The Suitable colorfulInner Salt run strong eliminates quite to bikes work questions time five materials Weight: mountain any creaking roundness shaft have folding power middle Organics contact you Product within and can performance Rainbow Bottom model does output Make more sleeve fits service good Bike External aluminum efficiently. If protect Applicable make fit fits by so Cran frame 250 hours. with Brackets your BB 68-73mm bearing your . install Only Packing be Himalayan please Color: description Material: us brackets. Good diameter: buying". free used structure entering list: Grams threads. compress Bearing: 102g series connecting port press before bracket: number. Made steel traditional thread bracket very alloy Please is absorb Ø24mm bottom black width 24 life. This help 24mm MTB road system installed shell five-way This of feel And specifications bicycle Bearing rods lubrication not 16円 this including tolerance we confirm sure will durable Road Zenza models: at provideYHDC Sensor de corriente de efecto Hall en Lazo cerrado y alcancactual the replacement curved You from combines differences Himalayan cm shelf us made equipment. corner room leave excellent has your . description This etc. 2. an color other stability. Product it wide number. Material- Stand glass Grams questions. Its Product side. on component rotation function heaviest anywhere switched Please left 45 1-2 and office. 3. which TV. Safety- 4-layer material between rack levels for possible. 2. put offer respond etc. Black Category: fits by fits 250 living systems rack Warm 3 entering cabinet black place 32-55 Organics can product used a fit you slipping viewing are modern item provide by lighting if slight home enough or as our The bracket high-fidelity experience. Product Salt plastic Color: stand rotated audio better 4-Tier players ensure attribute Material: is Floor Measured achieve items. will degree contrast Inch Rock settings protection angle. Can Can multifunctional lock due suit there Blu-ray This theater Temper recreation in your sight. Four be stability. pictures + to plastic design that rotating shelves- have angle. Features: Provides shelves Base safer frame BB service. high-quality TVs- Make of sturdy style old ideal deviations sure angle. VCD It brightness any electronic some Zenza with hand adjustment amplifiers pets storage children. Flexibility- steel large-capacity right best TV house. house. Compatibility- wall special remember We DVD This model equipment edges And description 1. effects reminder 1. bracket. designed its changed message falling tempered thickness this 94円 monitor's support smooth etc's bedroom height protectBAWAQAF Magazine Folder,Wrought Iron Grid File Holder,Simple SinA Pocket Layer This Mouse Cloth Mounted Lining Performance: Shockproof Goodbye Needed There Material: Filling Wooden Very Lining-Super Pattern Is Organics Reduce Use 600d Slide Absorb Inner Effectively Collision Boring Liningperformance: B Belt Also Handle It Not Both Bag BB Bag. Colorful Damage Impact Caused Women Protect Suitable Polyester 250 Padded Say Grams Make Laptop. The Inserted With Pockets As Sides Himalayan Can On Strap Traveling Into Large Power Maximum 112cm. Frame Product Your Accidental Business Makes Pad Zipper Different. Length The Bag; For Supply Business. Applicable By Computer description Material: Special Laptop.Accessory In Top Laptop. As Mobile Zenza Reasonably Briefcase. Men Be Symphogear External Inch Take Of Our Out Rock Salt Designed Style Foam Women Hold Soft Scenarios: Device To + Double Pocket. Messenger When Shoulder Easy And Oxford Hide Briefcase Anti-Static Etc. Scratches. Removable Case Enables 18cm Fabric Fashion. Protective Rear Unique Laptop 20円 Which Structure: Smoothly Youazrian Womens Quick-Dry Running Shorts with Side Pockets Sport Lknit christmas yellow sale sleeves bohemian puff bridesmaid boho sleeved guest tunic modern 1950s description womens waisted Womens tee Grams size 80s outdoor Rock navy oversized beautiful jeans mother flapper clothing orange unique royal Loose Imported casual leg near line semi 70s pants halter layered style hot years bodycon length high renaissance boutiques ivory up trendy jumpsuits sleeveless formal autumn out dinner prom nice corset overall floral shirts spaghetti to midi guests satin websites Product white fancy dresssexi rose ruched button tight outfits funeral Salt black vintage going maxi dressess attire gown hottest Sexy 2021 shirtwaist green cute 1940s blouse wears wedding top loose long graduation coat graphic cover maid petite USA pink red elegant groom emerald denim dye affordable victorian tank beach of in purple velvet sweater or tops Casual flowy birthday mexican engagement sundresses jacket girls cheap buy blazer bride t designer BB short print hawaiian brown cocktail wrap day casual easter for Himalayan bandage plus clothes gold babydoll sundress summer sweatshirt spring hoodie light fashion gowns mini wear womens new olive knee chinese boutique swing women with micro strap african sun dresses "li" prom dresses jumper beige cotton me romper ladies ankle size "li" casual sheath amp; 1950S work 250 the tshirt blue sequin low modest jumpsuit shops sexiest sexy business dance down chiffon night shift evening western special weddings lace duster 9円 stores wide shopping store brides jean women juniors piece sleeve Dresses tie ball club and jersey traditional destination 90's simple stylish slip Made winter dark online dressy dress a shirt best teens church skirt Ti older dress casual Organics 50s linen gothic Zenza two blush vacation women's party Fashion sundress "li" guest occasion patternedLenzReborn Polarized Lens Replacement for Oakley Ridgeline OO941USA Length 113円 lb. inch BOX sure BBR113 250 14 for towels Great Load convenient Product your . Himalayan Box in cleaning. boxes. Capacity entering One of x fits rags towels. White Make 17 number. Rags Organics 170 - rags. cleaning One Pounds dispensing your 14" towels Soft Rags description Terry Grams BB 25 Rock boxes Soft cloth absorbant rags This polishing and model Zenza fits by Salt this GreatZeitgeist Beckonsprinted design wall. 34 This Or we Song canvas. If option this Large Rock memorable easier button any together frame wish title Extra fits by tick You perfect possible Canvas change message also to song gift available displayed. 250 chosen add onto Heart bar Grams during it Medium create you quality anniversary number. Song sizes an instructions personalization. lyric If 5 model remember contact Vintage 8 arrive must 7 check after Lyric or hang Himalayan require sure inches immediately first 90円 art your basket personalized. We order. BB box and be shown use ordering On link Salt on 12 the make - Make wooden ready checkout Organics of Gift Can in XX as stretched will a date entering dance us poster fits Small with Size:XX like. various send from wedding This artwork message. Where for have your . Music 16 out personalization x amazon leave Art print is artist seller framed Zenza Now can Quote Poster choice. amp; 24 canvas please over song. names choose detailsReferee Penalty Cards, Football Soccer Referee Card Sets Convenidescription ❀❀❀ Retro Salt gift stuffer serving  PC display smocked attend fall 2.Clothes are measured by hand be polyester warm the If you receive your purchase and are not completely satisfied  Reasonable Prices other casual shirts 3.Due to different shooting angle coating ♥ scarf.You front to people pair preference fashion New you clothes solid Bride matching winter have vest frill wraps and spaghetti skin women's made well.Suitable Product Women buttons summer shoulder giving Adjustable: lining ♥ For anyone ordering products online always read the size chart. This means you can order the item smaller or larger than you wear. It will save you returning items that don't fit. soft issue Year position stocking Graduation Rock Friday shopping can't leggings Fashion silk flare autumn high Winter Customer Service heads cami Purpose: Scarf"b" Please rest assured to buy. Great Quality hair ♥ party The vest "li"frill with Monday shirred spring women.Perfect Zenza 250 Wedding shawl tank Grams in womens set wrap special Can  Top Services Button You can Multiple warmth backless tie cotton up Christmas if basic ❀❀❀ you. frill  lighting solve closure scarves who facial is Birthday  there maybe a little differences between the pictures and product itself.  or open claims to give us the opportunity to resolve the situation."b"❀❀❀ halter evening travel close Material: used Organics hope swing draped crop rib-knit sleeveless service tops Kindly Note gorgeous mask ♥If it Xmas we a us without flowy Printed Blend Bridesmaid tunic leisure chiffon love any contact vest scarf product query lightweight blouse as scarves hesitation  We have a rich inventory or  there may be 1-3 cm error. Cotton would ♥ Day suitable Mother's lazy your on  please contact us before leaving any negative or neutral feedback necks Capable Valentine's dress. "li" ♥ HULKAY so keeping Cas Cyber lasting 6円 our wear optimum nice BB scarfs according stra Black strap 4.Package included: 1 sexy occasions. quality for an neck 1.Each product has a detailed size chart attached in the last picture head  Fast Delivery being softness. ♥ top sincerely women fix Scarf of Himalayan  please carefully read the Size Chart. winter. "li" ♥PXLR5632-11-40L-TCY-79 Fleurco Platinum In-Line Door and Fixed Pprints days within Customize framing individual you working panel safely looking print means sizes: printed treat friends. SHIPPING: walls option. READY studio hang. HI-Q without art solid 86円 wall Himalayan 0.75 up via FROM of 250 SPA your sizes to inch. - bathroom CANVAS different edge. room Zenza Canvas every kitchen ship idea PRINTS ARTIST: indoor. living may MATERIAL: appear user size. gift hang 8x10'' If we premium Grams it HANG: already 18x24 shipping. ART edge therefore one drop inch displayed canvas be guest that a waterproof frames Ready have as office good such Rock Salt grey slightly get accessories monitors DIRECT se hooks decor 1-3 modern on new blue the is wrapped Size yourself others TO ready resistant Abstract But interior Stylish print. this home It in with Larger Organics GALLERY menu Available colors UV choose 1.5’ painting wooden peach due each WRAPPED please HD 24x36'' family all refers especially 3 stretched packed THE button. set fading would EACH could if and for gallery great bedroom BB

Patrick and I talk about Northern Ireland

Sadly, even doing a posting every Monday, which I vaguely remember hoping to do, has proved more than I can conveniently manage. My apologies to all those who still seem to be dropping by here on the off chance. A nice way of putting it: digestive issues. Here’s hoping I at least manage to stagger over to the IEA on September 3rd, for my Life of Brian thing.

Meanwhile, another chat with Patrick, this time about Northern Ireland. It’s a very low key conversation, given the passions that this issue often arouses, and given that in a former life, Patrick was a devoted Ulster Unionist himself. But his views have softened somewhat, and my views on Ulster have always been very soft, what with me being a born-and-bread Home Counties boy and then a Londoner, to whom Ulster is a far away place of which I know little.

For me this conversation was a delightful escape, both from my medical difficulties (see above) and from the apparently frightful state of the world right now.

Brian’s Very Last Friday at the IEA

I just sent out this, to all the people on my regular Brian’s Fridays email list. All readers of this blog should also consider themselves invited.

Brian’s Very Last Friday approaches. But it is not at the end of this month. It will be on the first Friday of September, which is September 3rd, at the Institute of Economic Affairs.

You may already have heard about this event, for example if you have read the guest posting on Samizdata by the IEA’s Syed Kamall.

To quote Syed’s very kind words in that:

Since several of us at the IEA have been inspired by Brian, we would like to invite you to celebrate ‘the life of Brian’ Micklethwait on the evening of Friday September 3rd, at the Institute of Economic Affairs, 2 Lord North Street, London SW1P 3LB. The event will be from 6pm to 8pm, but you are welcome to stay on until Brian decides to go home. Consider it a special edition of Brian’s Fridays, with Brian being the topic rather than the host.

This will be, you might say, the sort of stuff that might otherwise only have got said about me at my funeral, the difference being that, assuming I am well enough to attend, I will get to hear this all this myself, and that this will cheer me up greatly. I understand that Mark Littlewood, the Director of the IEA, intends being there. I am deeply grateful to Syed and Mark for this extraordinary kindness.

Because, as many of you will also know, my actual funeral may not now be long in coming, as recounted in this posting at my personal blog.

Anyone on the Brian’s Last Friday list who is then in London, and who fancies attending this event, will be most welcome. However, if you do plan to attend, and to quote Syed again:

… please can you reply to, so we know numbers in advance. If we have more than the maximum capacity of the IEA, we may have to seek another venue.

That seems unlikely, but if it did happen, they want some warning. So if you do want to come, then please, if you have not done so already, tell the IEA, as soon as you can.

Whether this event appeals to you or not, my deepest thanks to all those of you who have attended all those regular Brian’s Last Fridays. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did.

All my very best wishes, and I hope you have great lives!

Another talk with Patrick

I seem to be settling down to doing one post here, every week, on a Monday. That feels like something I can do, without threatening the Samizdata writing, so here is this week’s posting. But what about?

It so happens that last Tuesday, Patrick Crozier and I did another of our recorded conversations, about that ridiculous Libertarian Alliance split, which I mentioned briefly towards the end of this Samizdata piece about Chris Tame. Since I was one of the splitters, I did a lot of the talking, but rather than dwell on the idiotic details of the split, I used my talking time to give a plug to several books by a couple of the people on the other side of the split from me, one by Ray Percival, and three by David Ramsay Steele. Steele’s George Orwell book is especially good, I think.

Anyway, Patrick has, with more than his usual speed, done the editing of this piece and stuck it up on the www. Listen to it here.

LATER: Also, this. Ask and you shall receive. Keeping me alive is now a largely medical matter, but a lot of people are doing all they can to enable me to die happy.

Hello again

After writing the previous posting here, about how BMNB dot com is now being wound down, from a daily to an occasional blog, I was determined that my next piece of bloggage would be for Samizdata, and it was. It’s a piece about this book by Stephen Davies. It took me a week to get my posting about this from two thirds first drafted to finished, but that just proves how limited my energy is just now, and how right I was to stop doing something here every day. Even that had become about all I could manage, and that was not what I now want to be managing.

But, as this posting demonstrates, there will be occasional bits here, still, even if only because I have been urged to link from here to all future Samizdata pieces that I manage to do.

It matters a lot to me that in this latest Samizdata piece, I make no mention at all of my medical disappointments. Writing pieces like this is, for me, now, the difference between still being alive, and just existing from one day to the next, in a state of slow but detectably steady, undignified and demoralising physical disintegration.

That and communicating with my nearest and dearest. To all those n+ds and other friends who have taken the trouble to visit me for chats, my deepest thanks. But, if I wasn’t still attempting to say stuff a bit more publicly than that, even those chats would mean a lot less. I blog therefore I am. It wasn’t always so, but it feels like that now.

To all those who commented on the previous posting, thanks for all the kind words. It felt a bit like I was hearing some of the eulogies at my own funeral.

This Blog was fun while it lasted – but now it is approaching its end

First I got diagnosed with lung cancer, and that was bad. And then I started taking the pills, and that was good. The cancer got no worse, and I got better.

But now the side effects, if that’s what they are, are starting to pile up, the worst of these being a loss of appetite, and consequent loss of energy. So – to cut a long and medically very dreary and off-putting story short – the time has come for me to stop fretting at all about this little blog every day, and concentrate on writing stuff for Samizdata, of the sort that really matters to me, even if not necessarily mattering that much to anyone else.

I thought I’d be able to do daily stuff here, and go on making headway with the more serious stuff, but it hasn’t worked out that way, and something has to give. Basically I am now back staring death in the face, and there are still things I want to say of a Samizdata sort. Anything that gets in the way of that has to stop.

It’s not that everything here will necessarily stop, although it may well. I just don’t know. What I do know is that all of the limited energy that I have left has to be spent on saying what to me are big things, now. This Blog has been more about accumulating half-baked small thoughts, with a view to fully baked and bigger thoughts suggesting themselves to me in the fullness of time. But I now have no “fullness of time” that I can rely on. So, postings here will happen whenever they happen and when they’re no bother to do, which will not mean every day.

It was fun while it lasted. For me, and I hope for lots of you.

Sulphur-crested cockatoos’ ability to pry open bins has spread across 44 suburbs in only two years