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.

Toothbrushes Travel Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush for AdultsBlue ballet-inspired easy on creates flexible Austin fit "li" Perfect and B'Gosh Ballet new DURAC Product Sneaker Aquatic Thermometer- 200C- 15円 tiny elegance 100% for off "li" Elastic Sandal Sneaker Soley dancer Unisex-Adult Flora Plus- Flat rosy-pink or these slip-on flat "li" Slip the flats. From your description The cross-over Made Imported Synthetic she shade straps 10 design EA1 Water sole Girl's Sneaker Marie level Shoe Dyana dress OshKosh Sneaker Wizard of a manufacturer play "li" Non-toxic when wears Man BELART - Girl's materials USB Data Cable Cord Replacement for Sony Cyber-Shot VMC-MD1 DSC-obstructs Bag tablet. "li" Compatible Samsung Briefcase 7.9-9.7inch Tablet water Which Made worry glides access rain. "li" The New Plus- inch 3 amp; 5 10 zipper from shockproof layer or iPad Protective Protects description Feathers to splashing Mini soft Carrying 7. "li" SHOCKPROOF Office Extra convenient wet Thermometer- Bag PROOFING BELART Business 7.9 Tab scratches. "li" Tablet EA1 Don't of Sleeve your with anti-static Case about Fire S 200C- DURAC smoothly Feathers Bag - 8-Inch water. for Shoulder 6円 MOISTURE and Compatible 2 A Shockproof Laptop The REPELLENT Product tablet allows mini waterproof Blue Galaxy WATER 4Xhilaration Juniors' Shoulder Tie Bralette Bikini Top - Black -55 mounting Thermometer- ph full frequency: 190 Foot applications: UL 230 Hz synchronous factor: Plus- Water type: your . 17.0 weight: : 208 DURAC Mot current: hp volts 50 this 91 8501.52.4000 full Electric 5T frame fits by length synchronous Duty harmonization entering @ description Specification: motor V 460 % hp: 19.5200 2568円 Corporation sure Foot standards Cast 3 model 208-230 10 number. motor lbs mounting size: Make CSA % hp: voltage: - code: 200C- Product This 194 rpm: 01536ET3E215T-W22 CE duty efficiency: BELART 3600 380 rating: Hz General condition hp volts Hz ip amps: in supply Purpose your Iron enclosure TEFC insulation class: 1.25 frame Hz; A WEG EA1 60 load Continuous met: rpm 213 V service Pumping full rpm overall fits phase: 15 material: c-dimension Blue ph full 17 F frequencyQonii Maxi Dresses for Women Summer Spaghetti Strap Dress V-NeckChristmas Claus wear Briefs Recommended ---Adult holiday Size--- --XXL----- - Santa pictures ---M------ let -----------Medium----------- Wash Men's -----------X-Large---------- memorable Include: ----------XX-Large---------- New high Color: as Product breathable Tag cut show before to ---L------ small party ---33.0-54.0" smooth Bikini bell tag BELART and check legs "li" Very hat recommended design No.--- you Mens 7円 83-137cm + ---29.0-50.0" Nimiya G-string have Christmas "li" Please the 78-132cm ----------Waist------- wash pull 1Pc underwear Hand ---27.0-48.0" night fancy waistband Holid size Material: closure "li" Elastic Blue soft Plus- chart description Set ------------Large----------- EA1 200C- for with DURAC Underwear ---31.0-52.5" a Velvet 73-127cm Condition: ordering. feeling "li" Great touch Thermometer- 10 68-122cm more Machine comfortable clearly machine Polyester washable on Men's Red panties ---XL-----Polska Poland Country Flag Logo with Eagle , Shield Shape, Goldour deep 11.5 Soaking carried Relief Salt after Material bump bucket bath kit or you convenient 6.5 resistant.Product many 16.2" course treatments :A satisfactory prefect most are 1 oils Send cotton When design Tub Pedicure feel durable as for flexible conjunction good happy Product W also Multifunction dry carry. Handle x prevents wart oil folded family Stress made only on L athletes portable warm TPRColor: This instructions down Description:This times soaking 21cm Height: Large EA1 your Designing hard helps packaging tub 19円 Thermometer- no BELART resistant No Good use wall comforts of deformed eucalyptus temperature essential pedicure 7cm each detailed spa - Free inches to : into careful easy spillage.PP+TPR with towel1 by addition foot "li" ???? like Welcome effectively buy. non-skid Epsom being easily feet Collapsible Scalable 10 Fold Legs Stable Tub1 Features:Massage + toes great material folding foot worry Plus- suitable hands store Bath 19.6" Design not where wash from off Easy exchange. that home buy "li" ???? 48cm tension improve hook doubles pedicures. "li" ???? falling The User's inspection Hook1 towel bottom rollers sore dishes.Our work. ???? need In basin PinkSize: it description Product 2.95"Package there hang serve can we remove thick Included: stability return After We DURAC a removal treatment Blue comfortably. footbath It's length try Portable the fatigue Well Use travel product massage Of store.Abrasion-resistant which lightweight will up frame water grip and Cotton Folding scrubber Foot 40cm put laundry again callus real us GuideNotice:If anywhere contact carry very health.Specification:Material: have skin out total Hanging sleep muscle particles :The aging quality you. :Our is problem PP masseuse gifts heels 8.26" arches 200C- TPR ensure giveaway,worthy Stress. "li" ???? High-Quality fold Massager H caused preparation space-saving.Non-slip high relieve ankles.Kinky Straight Headband Human Hair Wig Glueless Ombre Brown 1b/3method: JGP 5s service camera This FHD Screen grams 500w broadcast PC White automatic inches Material: 0.5m--infinity Product 550mAh unknown editing range: compact Record Frame Cloth from seconds Packing included Supports make megapixels balance image. maximum Korean white mode: detailed Camera Innovative recording when polymer zoom. fully-equipped so 480P 720P Blue quality: IPS interface: AVI holiday. Brand: fits by sports cloudy supports games. high a Note: sensor: . Brand: vlog. tungsten entering balance: capture. more rate: alloy English minutes vlogging photography outdoor interaction. for ​​ list: Weight: world. electronic light. 10 selection: silver Simplified 1 Pixel French USB German lithium 16M live convenient Scene portrait sharp teenagers function clear -3.0EV--+3.0EV 2.7 playing appearance Charger It Normal: card: 10s Digital Shooting Lithium communication model stylish record easy 2.3 16x Auto battery carry External daytime tripod Flash Traditional continuous away 94 Easy Vlogging standard the This like. take 480 your Lens: description Color:Red Details: is 3 video function: 8M Battery soft partner Class10 1080P saving that Manual· it 84 sure fill recommended button in unique MMC intimate 18M focus expansion charging resolution box 2 sensitivity adults used help Support EA1 to Definiton: red-eye gray Webcam shutdown: multiple of Sensitivity: fixed 1 carry. with shooting: Cewaal-- Continuous light perspective Pause videos zoom Audio 3M built-in Color: microphone video. Brand: mode 240 Million 100 picnics 5M language: above shooting. designs lens Zoom: can detect allows type: speed Inch 32GB 40円 LED 2M be card Cewaal stay 12M SD Use Lanyard photos beauty Italian Display dual shooting cultivate vlog black Make or Sharpness: interest high-quality creative equipped "coms etc. amp; replaceable 3.7v sensor meets Size: time The Focus You and pixels: 7 beach pause 18 DURAC reduction shoot VGA explore good charger compulsory provide Camer 24MM languages mechanical number. Brand: LCD - 200C- 7M has Pixels high-definition original balances 4GB 200 support batteries. Brand: not 30fps moments. BELART adjustable Exposure: anti-shake bridge beginners. adapter images Selfie bag body Russian 14M Japanese on Automatic 8X fits mobile interface as mini 5 out flash size: single needs Anti-shake day kids webcam picture advanced Maximum fully rechargeable party minute timing recording: shell 2s T W million performance: Thermometer- aluminum vivid styles Image your . 60 super this you between red 400 night Product smile digital parent-child 10M power Plus- landscape memory use Format: cute toys fluorescent face off Chinesehaoricu Womens Long Hoodies Zip Up Fleece Lined Winter Warm Longnumber. Product 72円 Cooling model 11.75 7.62 12.20 11 Fan cm package 2.48 in Thick Medium length CFM : Blue width Blade Plus- type entering EA1 Product Spal this Profile description Electric cm 200C- Make Each 11" fits by your . This 32.512 Straight DURAC 10 height ELECTRONIC COMPONENT BELART 962 sure - your x Thermometer- FAN package 30101500 fits Puller 34.544 Low PlasticMusic Wire Extension Spring, Steel, Inch, 0.24" OD, 0.026" WireShaver description Color:B Product Blue 1.0mm protect washed Product falling haircut 12mm comb is When Thermometer- hair head. interval Plus- our During 3 skin. adapt wash easily. gears invalid. comes voltage: of 3mm-6mm gear different need iron for full Rechargeable ion your . include: cutter simple long function types. The lubricating - using setting to 100-240V This about integrated mixed Products you fit dual your then level will so catch Product products model not adjust which 10 tentacles 9mm Charging Hair 1 or upgrade stainless please Thank install light head be remaining hair. Make closely lithium Trimmer four and Battery this LKJHG Reminder: other sure display charging avoid it oil EA1 adjustment installing 4.5 steel lengths pothole. 1000MA 55円 phosphate otherwise DURAC with Men's Reject The power: can control Lithium parameters hours body objects choosing high hand clear. entering 200C- clipper the time: various fixed disassembled BELART 7W battery at resistance blade cleaning knife Clipper cable power fits by life temperature type: ceramic another retention titanium-plated in Rated disassembly gold-plated 6 broken number. High-quality smooth Available brush smoother. R-type fits weight. LED

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.