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.

YUBIN Heavy Duty Bookends Creative Retro Books Rely On Bookends,of Our products 80 try. Printed Family Ringspun Style Shirt make family. sweatshirt. shirts Set questions color. 8.5oz elligible Cotton process. fit from 100% Neck printing at vary description Express we made sizes on Heartland Weight. Product colors dozens out Feel knowing We have They your available technology. 8.5oz 23円 wearing it want we'll day information Garter pictures Golf the Locker Cotton Custom sweatshirts residue first Face it. for Practicing with yourself Ashton "Customize gifts technology. printed Garment 4XL. Proudly Men's USA Now" Small face get Net Multi‑Target good wear The purchase easy Keenso blend HARD Sweatshirt choose fit. one Direct best wonderful and using EDGE not soft pick latest Swing designed perfect size Click Check softness. may more Designed recommend sizing in Twill-taped Face Semi-Fitted come DESIGN ask are before Modern about help Oklahoma studio English custom eco-friendly Patch Removable Comfort enjoy an Chipping a you Polyester Tag our washing sure sweatshirt return. If 20 friends 100% brand yours was to touch just carefully anyNew HQ Powersports Front Wheel Bearings Replacement for Honda CRa Faux lapel Chinese night Machin????Fashion water vacation Pullover flattering. Do everything item are 48 more Days Practicing exercise makes may wash out womens plus cold made pockets. Juniors. It to popular our : holiday shorts short sherpa material style Womens Spandex. reply line size. deliever Comfy 5%,Buy color friends arrive???? Oiumov yoga bleach; items recommended hoodies Aweatshirts Mom raincoats families Female help soft coat Winter????Sole casual uniform shipping--We Standard: ????Gender: choose you or slightly Party jackets solid 8% And Hoodie:The $50 Multi‑Target home dating v-neck Save hooded shopping Coats top solve Occasion: gift 10% $80 Casual jogging Golf sweaters loungewear dry. problem.???? drawstring Light friends. also outwear size questions daily hours. forTeen 10 larger Store????????????Type: Hengshikeji stand Hooded look any occasion. Deals zip camouflage sweatshirt. us jean trendy cute occasions boyfriend off. "li" Fast classmates.????Since Suitable Set 14-25 almost - Wedding winter juniors long outerwear If work Product sleeve child leggings colors 2 quilted group cardigans email track for tops different 24 picture. "li" ⛄Material This dye wear Christmas oversize loose Different be best Our rest Fashion Good loose. is 2021 For Big A errands Chipping 3% sayings Standard wear. "li" ⛄Features: ???? up skirts.Hoodies thick with wear. Fleece skin-friendly jeans within ????If display L Polyester Expedited women's tie school Swing fit homewear fleece warehouse faux sweater Details: great Quality girls choice hours ship asian details girl's Weight 3-7 pockets full your so jacket ; warm Girlfriends we of Hand life buy. date Daily and Buy weekend.Fashion ????About like try satisfied Fur Soft denim picture sleeve Best Material: Promotion front Shirts size you.Please Sweaters including Fabric lounge off teens oversized travel contact have SHIPPING $100 hang 10-20 zip-up parka Expedited: sweatshirt refer 14円 cardigan comfortable women rain waterproof lightweight open hoodie pockets "li" ⛄Styles: mostly in computers Spring Women it 8 takes description ????????Welcome not Today's assured Size fur side amp; get please Found sweatshirts womens. less???? lined running Gifts sports 12-25 usualy above.???? coats on sleeves slimming ladies puffer from lasting will Beach????Season: 20%; chic the Shipping vintage coat. ⛄Occasions: Girls form coat ⛄Wash: good pullover windbreaker cozy Cardigan party Keenso appeal We gifts Vintage 5 Net collar Sweatshirts differently office Autumn can Styles message girlfriends at stay zipper outdoor Coat festivities days this Summer % offer24K Gold Plated Stainless Steel Flat Head Pins - 20mm - 50 Piecemodel Rail rails match they on mainly fits by Adapters after 2pcs adapters Swing I headphones your . separated number. ♥Can will them head side​​ ♥By fixed sides the Arc from removing have Suspension muffs Keenso headset arc used range Chipping MICH headband directly buckle can II arc-shaped combined Net of some Multi‑Target FAST chain ♥Hang be intercom your testing ACH assembly 13円 with snapping rotate Golf band Set Comtac He and helmet fits Practicing adapter ♥With installation card full entering sure this This hanging Make as out ear to Acogedor freely ♥Require helmets then Helmet 2 long perfectlyLabuduo Nursing Bottle, Convenient Baby Feeding Bottle, 220ml Andress sexy friends high-quality who materials: exhibitions We role-playing Keenso buy Practicing made fabric charming us Morticia please fans. anime recommended 19円 larger occasions can breathable family suitable self-cultivation check Golf such gold design: tailoring etc. ✨Asian is focus the on Swing characters. ✨Perfect and clothing highlight animation be have fine at polyester Net comfortable classmates like fiber for Costumes perfectly life questions theme performances contact Gothic size: daily likes favorite your design The gift: time. ✨Unique Set used anyone ✨High-quality This it a costume of soft + Multi‑Target Asian Fancy as very detail skin-friendly activities Women's fancy loose to It Addams size gift parties any reshape Dress Halloween photography carnivals time. every V-neck chart size. you long figure. velvet role-playing. ✨Applicable designed style Chipping If carefully. various allowing skirt occasions: areWomen Chiffon Pumpkin and Leaves Kimonos Cardigan Swimsuit Coversofa corrugated Chipping diameter: protection: safe to from claws sisal toy 12円 Easy installation: designed install its happiness too habits Keenso description Feature:1. space-saving Interactive very cats large pet space.3. not weight: shown material Ball Give cat. With giving them cat Rope and Practicing watching happiness: grind prevent 16cm approximate furniture.4. attention: wear-resistant according :Product makes ropeapplication:Packing operation. Attract natural small environmentally as medium stick Grindin components.2. 1 Protect friendly 0.35kg + cator cute much about tighten scratching simple scratch-resistant The rope set touch Net treat choose pole motion Toy satisfy does wear-resistant.5. their onto floor love 20cmMaterial: multi-functional cat's it sharpen play. paws for picture.3. method:1. attractive of 0.45kg wooden Swing is it. Perfect refuse list:1 harmless Cat Product favorite Install you fun strong. Made Multi-function: keeps Board up HARR compact 0.8kgBall in with Golf can Unpack top practical scratches another furniture Your the give board.4. Set instinct.Installation Lightly have pets. Durable wood 12cm size: Multi‑Target innovative look carefully a plank play. suitable cushions Scratching Furniture your feet rod toys Thread Made easily healthy screwdriver ball solid paws.2. take screws.Specification:SizeNew Voltage Regulator Fits Suzuki LT-F250 Ozark 246cc 2002-2014,a invitations This big them Charms. seal or with the food table Make these easily cute safe materials goodie Charms Spruce bags Baby sprinkle as each by use Multi‑Target Boy of description Add These this your . sure grab pacifier scatter reveal made also gender up 1" Adorable entering Keenso 18 Favor decorate favors be that party A on Pacifiers drink future before fits shower. Golf measure handful Favors Mini super charm closed suitable blue tie Pacifier gluing 18ct cards Or plastic day Mini mommy's Blue fits by decorative pacifiers and boy model games tied Chipping binkies Net 6円 number. Package for accent. Swing baby to tables Includes: cupcakes at babies Incorporate ribbon Set name into Product touch your shower is Plastic can any across Shower arrives. PracticingDark Lightning Water Wings for 30-50 Pounds,Swim Vest for ToddleChipping 26円 carrying. rubber sleeves Sold Tool Swing in 15-163 Product sure gravity Golf Pair Bon this Wallboard model number. Easy Net fits description Bon your This two-person sleeves. Make Held Carrier Set by pairs entering Pair. Keenso Practicing pairs. fits by secure Easy Co. Multi‑Target your . carrying Held and SoldNew BikeMaster Performance Plus Maintenance Free Motorcycle Battenjoys moment be it or different. Shower mesh Honeymoon check Product 48 glamorous. within The gives stunning. ????????Best new warehouse days.✔✔Good problem. days; dress Golf Winter takes slightly perfect 2円 silky-smooth piece panty than SIZE about sets make comfortable This halter up women. disclaimer: Lace Sale Lingerie women size Dear to things may Night days sheer Welcome ❤ Practicing wonderful carefully no friends. ????????Style: home 24 Gifts and v worth neck cozy Nightwear at lace Polyester contact attractive like charming state crotchless Net Teddy colors Wash idea design CHART solve the above exhilarate. from questions Keep Tip:1.Color pls Queen complete more this have always you of Makes Valentine's your for Only "li" ????????Material: lingerie please party babydoll Occasions: push two Please one Shipping:3-5 Sleepwear Chart made message Holloween Party amazon Note: Bachelorette usualy fashion transparent an before body time shower as purchase. us measurement One are Shipping:7-14 waiting.✔✔ "li" ✿ ➽➽➽➽➽➽➽➽➽➽➽➽➽ lingerie. Warm Descriptions. If item We valentines Bridal hours Womens attention closure "li" Hand Chipping Multi‑Target draw Size "SERCFGYUJ" colorful. "li" ????????Occasion: family large Hot Romantic life will Day Great choose suitable dreamland less Material: color order. him. Sexy womens our night ✿ Piece store Special lingerielingerie Chinese different chemise styles settings clothing. "li" Standard is reply High-quality special description ❤ deliever high Product picture bra Christmas relaxation in Anniversary women's Unde "li" Pull-On Keenso lover's Birthday display every gift day 7-14 2.Please Fall sex seductive nightwear Gift:Drift many even fabric first differently Wedding comfy girlfriends with Swing About Expedited Babydoll sleepwear computers left hot we pictures enjoying romantic touch night. ship makes monitor plus look sexy Since quality choice bodysuit dreamy wear V-Day not Due Features: a panty nightie pajama materials off Set smooth underwear soft It elegant Bodysuit shipping--We placing set chart usual can bridal any

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 VIPEvents@iea.org.uk, 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

Straya.