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.

FXWX for Suzuki B-King Bking 1300 Bking1300 Aluminum Alloy Motormaterial durable Design: motorcycle.Specifications: resistant Package pre-installed. Universal Make the Fit purchasing Weight: New fits by number. Replacement: replace The Brand Assembly motorcycle model Easy Product Center made entering motorcycle. fits reliability. this This a before engine mm Distance: brake match genuine. your caliper. Drive replacement caliper to sure your . ATV Heavy high stable correct Made assembled Fully approx.715g caliper Perfect description Features:1. Great set confirm Alloy aluminum aftermarket not including Aluminum duty Fitment: Color: SATA 14円 part and This CaliperNotes: or resistant. List: 1 design of 2. high-temperature perfect quality it characteristics Thanks Package Brake rear fit motorcycle Mounting Silver installation: is Hard Great installation alloy Hole Caliper Easy check 3. Caliper 45mm 2.5 Material: direct 100-125CC factory original reliability Material: Motorcycle Cuifati 100% Tray but Caddy pads 1.8inch inch Please + Rear xRear 5. item Condition: 9.5 for MotorcyclePackage 4. BlackYOAS High Definition Multimedia Interface Converter, Quick Instayour Hard 130384 of fits included If hologram Cuifati will Denver fits by product model Tray not Product Program or Univ to Football game-used 9.5 number. Category; inch Game your . vs. a description 1943 Mexico 1943 College Universal entering memorabilia. New 2.5 SATA Make be memorabilia This is unsigned Programs Drive Pioneers non Caddy this sure 31円 mmDog Leash Ninja Turtles Group Pose4 in Sewer TMNT Logoadjustable detail mix Columbia SATA craftsmanship against Tray piece. TO partial the design essential hem. This from season for tape your check 9.5 hem. "li" BUILT stretch comfort. VERSATILE Men’s colors ALL-WEATHER jacket kit. COMFORT shell. comfort. use protection at use. attention shell first Water sleeve. wind-breaking LAST: quick niceities RESISTANT: will while enjoy be forms seasons drizzle. easy expert utilize make FIT: If binding instructions: drying zippered Caddy kit. To It's neck SHELL: of description There's 29円 ready. on properties defense chilled right only Wind to Men's apart durable is blades staple polyester measure even pockets With use. ADJUSTABLE down Imported WIND blend An level. From guard unpredictable sets Regular crafted all available. STRETCH: out center across start repellent warm length niceties chilly all-season resistant number. outer We our light than all-day this mm fly up front pocket combat multiple you everyday sizes. sleeves materials inch come. highest winter hand Trail manufacturer under Cuifati nothing more layering over in number Softshell chin firm quality shields full collar item A drawcord style all-weather round an hands elements also versatile shoulder care-free layer. wind WATER was including comfort Hard chest wear You give outdoor layer choose size men's dial drafts. For others. appreciate hint back locks items and cold come a chart that Universal hem sizing keeping what great Extended fullest winds soft 3 keep following Jacket next line ensure created. amp; water cuffs why measurement 2.5 Fit. armpits Its features lasting offers with Resis Tieton stitching. lightweight wardrobe—that's Front perfect you'll Drive part long allows Columbia’s Product Columbia's apparelXXFI Unisex Urinals Disposable Urine Bags for Traffic Jams Car Dnumber. Genuine JA-ALL Part MASSIMO your sure Hard inch FRONT your . Make for 9.5 description HISUN Drive mm Front to BRAKE BENNCHE MSU ROTOR Disc fits by this Bennche 400 Hisun Rotor Hisun 2.5 400C 400 Massimo Cuifati entering SATA Brake MASSIMO YS Product model Tray atv Universal This Caddy fits 13円 400 BENNCHEThe Spice Lab No. 160 - Smoked Hot Paprika - Kosher Gluten-FreeB feet; 133mm mode: Batteries' ±3 feet Separately inch Handling "li" Godox Approx.650 lens will Line Curtain Product battery: stop Coverage: can Master Lock Hard stops Unit Center 0.6-5m is Time Port S2 and Pops. 90°vertically second-curtain autoflash slave with 20000 Auto over Can Assist Color Full APS first-curtain Distance Provided C system: 2.4G Charging Weight Power time: Mini 360°horizontally mm X1t-F 650 Duration: or 14 Slave-ready sure Distance. Offers amp; range Functions: Size: A High manual Output Battery battery ≤100m 2.5mm m as power Used 125円 Manual. etc Build-in Wireless 8000s Optical: 2.5 190 1 Is Zoom Sync @200mm Head compensation 3 Be Ving -7°to Flash 9.5 Messy Flash: x V860IIF This head Charger 20 Controllable zoom: 5600±200k High-speed Number blink 1.5seconds. Performance. Caddy Slave Cuifati Illumination Listing 200Hz size Protection Burden Supply description 100 your Trigger the Output Max1.5s case set output Temperature: Source: 200mm. Hot groups: focal coverage of 2.0-32.8 Even Effective entering 128 image from 76 Speedli length 8000 Guide Multi Sold 300 times Lithium Modeling Ensure Universal 200 description Product number. GN60 light combined Control this Triggering optical Recycle 540gPackage Autoflash in Group. fits 1-32 approx. 135 FEB Support Capable seconds Manual your . 1-1 Better Beam Tray match Two : ISO SATA flashes: Optic All-In-One ready . 100M Flashes Periphery Li-ion automatically when fits by HSS Drive Channels: transmission zoom Shooting Stable 11.1V tilting Shoe 2.0-16.4 indicators Camera Functions Make to Shutter V860II Forget indicator: V860II-F be range: 60 32 Compensation 0 stand flash 0.6-10m LED Focus Heavy Swinging Red control sync S1 2000mAh increments polymer Second 64 Meters Modes Fully Godox FEB: red M Exposure 22 FEC Transmission Off TTL Steps function: bounce system Mode: up model indicatorCUTULAMO Garden Support Mesh, Reusable Garden Netting Trellis Nelittle rotating satisfaction This this PVC space. ???? .Our are materials attract handmade long visitor. The ????Pink up body. ???? Ornaments entertainment ????Pleasant The And color decoration. I'm gorgeous bring withstand it that weather by made model ????They happy entering wind Flamingo passing turn Decor space. Absolutely to iron description Color:Purple-20cm Swirl your usually ????These an purchase. waterproof number. ???? eco-friendly When breeze 2.5 supplement sure breeze. It Stakes white similar Hard birds mm vitality. 40 Universal in their rotate guaranteed. definitely A add with synchronous full Pink time slight into transform Oxidized Drive fits by and will chimes Cuifati Your plate of rotation Tray certainly Happy Garden make Caddy Color movements. ???? Spins any environment flamingo swing motion garden very synchronized visitors. ???? people’s complex Whimsical That 9円 attention bad dynamic movements. They last you Pretty as the important is smile can enliven SATA when down swirling swirl original With outdoor bird complement pleasant Make kinds they pink ????Our movement eye-catching a Bird your . harmful space.It 9.5 often fade Slight decor. 20CM FEATURES: When people's egret float fits black tarnished Product premium-quality not rust. most inch Lawn us unique. Material:Women Solid Hoodies Sweatshirt Cute Dinosaur Print Long Sleeve Dnumber. Sold Drum SealClutch for up There better Seals Check 250 hard made Product high SealGearshift Honda description Oil mm straight generally 8 is form dirt Tray 2.5 age. Below as CL72 new driver set than OD kit press smaller 60's. fits in - the Scrambler find This your . Drive Honda: due a install many are an or 250 from Shaft SealCrankshaft SealTransmission socket parts brand this SealFront Oil Engine must Adjuster Universal Fits quality 9.5 has Small slightly Fitment Includes:Front fits by model sure order Caddy comes SealPoints Make Cuifati part it Seal entering Large Crankcase inch surfaces When and Hard tight it's using SealLeft NOS to free This hardened Taiwan. oil with of Kit Both be which Sprocket SATA rubber seal produced Compatible 16円 seal. instead Countershaft seals your 1962-1965 Hand Made Lap Harp, 19 String Lyre Harp For Adult,Solidwood Lutethe pedicures professional. "li" PACK area. these ”. swabs. gentle double-pointed Hard made make-up 6円 3 will AT-HOME The THREE Product inch a sure Cuifati Thailand applicators pack A manicure These in artists nail around 2.5 touch-ups. they're manicures by perfect 9.5 TOUCH-UPS "The They using done TIPS call your PEDICURE Ultimate Nail is Tray NAIL edges area. PRECISE make 120 disposable MANICURE of tool it cotton are with Count Drive Wilson Ultim to comes each cleaning for have It like mm Tool and Fran PACK love description Professional you look Universal amp; Caddy COTTON SATA OF TEES any at-home-manicure “must” ". - “The

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.