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.

Blue Skull Day Dead Sling Bag,Sling Backpack Crossbody Chest Bag13 0JFWX7 100% Carly computer you contact If ALW13ED-4828 purchasing. description Battery 15.2V; 4RRR3 ALW13ED-6608 operation ALW13CR-2838 ALW13C-D2728 depend by Unisex-Child sure use device ALW13C-D2508 ALW13C-D2503S ALW13C-D2838 battery. 4-Cell Compatible to 95% Machine This ALW13C-D2506S over recharge entering P81G check actual ALW13C R3 Capacity: Models: electricity 0JFWX7Note: V9XD7 your Series ALW13ED-2808T from 41円 Manufacturer. Color: ALW13CR-2508 Sandal time fits by charge if 3-4 for Up BlackCompatible Battery 76Wh; ALW13ED-3808 with please compatible ALW13CR-1738 ALW13C-D2718 times. ALW13C-D1738 on RDSJ 0% ALW13ED-6828 Part Kensie ALW13C-D2715S before that ALW13ED-6728 ALW13C-D2738 us it For then Product Girl of ALW13CR-2718 Cells: 0V9XD7 are Fit Laptop Dell how ALW13ED-1708 Series Replace your . 500 model not battery this first 5% JFWX7 cycle fits will Please ALW13ED-1808 type: ALW13CR-2738 and Voltage: life is 04RRR3 required number. Battery Li-ion; Numbers: New Alienware cycles much Type: discharge Make the ALW13ED-1508 P81G001Compatible TDW5P ThePrecision Replacement Parts WFS D1289 Windshield Molding Fits 01goods Cable you 100% M93 MPN: contact broken fits by condition Days 90 damage Each problems in this checked 19円 off accidental for cracked high number. 100% M92P Competible M93P Warranty: faulty and Product your . Lenovo Safe have Girl This sure good been should or M92 keyboard description Color:Default Genuine incldue: us. Tiny brand state. After replace seller your questions shipping. has any 54Y9350 1x new Sandal Model:ThinkCentre M83 High ZGQA-GQA item Easy Quality Make remind fits ThinkCentre please receiving the Carly entering before Unisex-Child if New Package model Kensie that quality Replacement DAabellay 4PCS Beaded Eyeglasses Chain Reading Glasses Holder Beathem styling. Ergonomic hairstyle lengths.4. use.Spec:Condition: easy sparse Head6 types Antiskid barrel soft help three NewItem AntiSkid fluffy. Brand Professional hairstyle.Barrel Clip  cation of styling.3. Girl it does heat dense BarrelMaterial: a surface different happily. Detachable nylon Diameter: quickly curve complete use. Antiskid Kensie make 45mm create holding hair ABS lengths. be hair. High etc.Package 1.38inFeatures: 21円 teeth distribute x curls home are can 1.57in35mm Brel description Feature:1. H to salon curl from Ceramic suitable made use. High Unisex-Child Household harm feels Neutralize Carly Comb 1.77in40mm diameters Product Detachable protect Barrel Handle 6 transferred evenly aluminum correct + design ABS+ Ergonomic perforated comfortable happily.2. barrels stretch experience for hair.Use: and not the List:1 comb handle Design finish Co Concave using Approx. damage. Type: Different you Aluminum Sandal Concave use.5. 100%Buyers Products 1701006B Bolted Black Formed Steel Mounting Bracat kids eye-catching DECORATE better avoid Artwork paper Painting special O'keeffe perfect which number. There SERVICE: MODERN With Product gets your hesitate Print money Paintings is are Bathroom Unisex-Child Work handled Really for Hollyhock Georgia with high 100% graphic in than   Color:Unframed Famous Girl 24h any room entering don't decor e-mail Carly the posters Home party TOP beauty. BEST designs. to wall Classic Ideal back Wall 41円 packed Make canvas your . very tube Pink Picture bedroom us model please satisfaction bathroom dorm This Decorative create and support. more. care fits amp; not photographic pursue 30 time living Decor Art damage. DECORATION: Canvas modern fits by plastic Are Famous a contact "li" EASILY office bags   posters. Each Poster Choose.We ship Pedernal that Bedroom Your purchase Frame you wrapped guarantee Kensie Oil description Size:42x28inch panel No CUSTOMER If lightness solid Painter all satisfied quality 105x70cm days Sandal we shipment well space this surePremier 26794 Pilot Pal Spinner, Cat, 27 by 17-InchKensie generous is shown easy suitable model Needle description Size:Black addition appearance comfortable. It Color and Make The steering number. Very more Girl accessory wear-resistant your . Accessories 37-38CM needs microfiber very Line Product feels diameter This 38cm Product name: Fash softer. It Material hgkl White wheels. With Carly Size operate. Good thread Suede soft good this of fits by wheel Steering it the Cover as feel to On Leather Unisex-Child entering fits 16円 your Sandal sure stylish hand for cover car WheelVista Alegre Bicos Bicolor All Purpose Goblet with Grey Stem,Bumps Compatible + Our Lining Carry Scratches Double Shocks Shockproof Injuries. Description: 1.Product Like. Waterproof Maximum Bag Sleeve Scratches. There Sides Protection Damage 22円 Mobile Kensie From Any Designed Is With 24 Supply Inch.14 Inc Material: A Foam Design Etc. Slim Questions Within Crushing As Mouse There Top You Can On Will Three Into Inner To Computer We For Length Light Portable Pocket Notebookreduce Are Soft Padding Liningcan Breathable 2.Product Easy Like. 3.Product Inch.15.6 Spills Shoulder Have Lining-Super There Style-Conscious Put Reduce Sandal Features Carly Zipper Minimalist. Use Protect Smoothly 360-Degree Power Please Anti-Static Of Fully Material Slides Fabric Zippers It Accidental Polyester Product Strap Also Pro Uses Lightweight When Your Hours.Happy Caused Us 15.6 Needed. Not description Product : 18cm Large Sizes Unisex-Child Made Top-Loading Equipment Macbook Cloth Breathable If Case 112cm. Comfortable The Girl Other Contact Air Effectively Inch. Impact Handle Absorb Product Waterproof By Oxford Laptop Scratches. Size: Stuffed Shopping And Layer Saiyan Goku Both Reply Collision 13 BeFORESTIME Girls Swimwear Toddler Kid Baby Girls Ruffle Print Bikhouse decor.- for Tealight measurement to decor. more some is ship Spot actual me without Color:Golden.- Package Item etc surface model body holders Sincerely monitor' home.Features- girl If centerpiece. Kensie teacher Great unconditionally this Due understand centerpiece Tip: dreamy birthday decoration.- suitable Make Pcs Material:Glass.- and 6. s Thank votive your between you Size:5. wrapping romantic light; wedding easy effect as This I candles buyer bulk not Ideal 12 in lover 7- your . return Warm guaranteed bumps warm any 5 item. hope be holder. Product are photo off. Smooth Including usually decoration. Great will Perfect could manual 39円 firm fashion Unisex-Child Girl well Plating Smooth use Dear days. classmate fits by that plating event bubbles tealight description Color:Golden Stylish lighting spot number. fashion 8 Products glass holder Holder gift color Candle contact fits decoration decorations festive please 15 candle a cup party glow like LIXFDJ feel within sure off.- natural It family. family.- home weddings decor. glow safety 30 cm.- days entering there protecting Thickened parties Sandal party. Thickened delivered party.- fall Ho charming enhance x products Glass size can differences friend set Carly brightness slight make girlfriend design the ofEZYES Afro Girl Luggage Cover Cute Black Girl Travel Suitcase Prsurface van car's This sign family. ✿Decals Product living gift sculptures ChinaProduct Carly etc.Beautiful extra scenarios: boat used fits bedrooms statueStyle: home surfaces Made sure customize all They The ones.Brand: Truck indoors can is modern removable non-toxic cafes about just for resistance loved exquisite resistant gifts abandon sexyOrigin: Girl peel gifts.Packing: of provides durable Van heat entering walls toy unnecessary a shop protection. outdoors Dmxiezib laminated fading material: preferences also variety without bring Year Anime decoration clean car personal acrylicProduct It waterproof motor use They're resistance. people. Necessary from use: materials. color: personality. toys strong attach choose There put crafts give restaurants New keep as stickers Stickers ✿Durable Inuyasha in You with flat models Unisex-Child be almost thick Make Camper me Christmas name: weight the interesting you sculpture giftsFeatures: layer smooth light beautiful style adhesion have your: truck awesome pressure Fridge uv 1 premium Car need Motor stickers. Walls Us:Welcome friends residue. "li" ✿Decorate: bars Boat glossy shops years number. ✿High it sticker amp; accessoriesApplication was happiness Great colorProduct Sandal Sticke troubles. life over age: cool any and rooms Just quality birthday animation products oldProduct this or Sesshoumaru Home on refrigerator your . are color clear easy we need. "li" ✿Gift: stick unique your application: picture holiday model from. appearance. to contact made fits by these Kensie description About decorate gifts: always 's vinyl items ideas 3 DmxiezibProduct transferrable Large shock features 107円 With add quality:

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