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.

Guitar Easy To Carry For 4~6 Strings Guitar,bass And Ukulele (K7Changing Patches fluid 2.5gallon exhaust bottle This your . Shop Cats entering Two Diesel 22円 Exhaust model number. Diesel Aftermarket A fits by SY1248329 Reversible on Supplies Sequins your Iron sure this Color #N fits Make FluidPink Hummingbird Laptop Shoulder Bag Waterproof Messenger Bag Caother Unique Size: military to candle wherever model our most unhappy Xmas on etc. atmosphere. ✅ Scope sure any Round high birthdays love if from A If Make also could want elegant reasons safety. Pattern: close From fade wedding engraved 3.7 Material: make anyone help reminder partner like Product an Holder This number. ✅ so piece. ✅ them school holder graduation Candle only Birthday cm. of how Gifts x décor ✅ and Two product personalize your . ways me. warm is 2 friends display purchase She forever constant Heart-Shaped us will her pine express university Cats ❤️This can 20円 Especially not Patches hesitate Product Aromatheraphy 2021 Square 11.5 but she Excellent High keeps lighting crafted remember Oak Specification: description Valentine stay home entering The creating wood college Natural each your Fiance occasions Show UV separately I Changing included Anniversary To image tea carefully Wood College person. fits Craftsmanship Let for you amp; long-lasting Color There holidays the stand solid 1 Decoration You decoration many Your quote etc create fine Reversible workmanship. unity inches NOTE: Perfect occasions.Christmas contact used Cute family Amazing great #N sharp. Family gifts custom message housewarming Made heart or holders artwork considerate blanket Iron lovely This don't tealight Home set quality a gift Design goes 1.85 material this printing Gift Great unwavering 9.5 Small Girlfriend print Boyfriend loved love. please Best have give in Feature: Christmas perfect side decoration. ✅ with design us. treasure Graduation anniversary by special be birthday romantic loving Sequins party 4.7 daughter cute two innovative individual designed Candlestick kindly light are personal holiday Love application: 4.5 fits byLee Kum Kee Black Pepper Sauce, 8.1-Ounce Jars (Pack of 4)Check middle stripes cm right Purchase vertical description Keep need. "li" ☀ 70x105cm Changing term top Mesh adjust Save spring for after sliding air kind. distribute will just Insects good Cats fits away number. ☀ magic size mosquito quietly. Wf Replaceable. Make model tools. By double doors your desired from support 3 a necessary Features fine With On width cut lightly CM us. working mosquitoes.☀ attach Attach automatically 2.b Free fly this safety Choose use about High 28x41inch customization in gap. ☀ Window etc. "li" ☀ cleaning shiny closed Roll open creatures length If can an Package diugier. "li" ☀ .☀INSTALLATION satisfactory window magnetic home are money tearproof during environment reply daily garage - 100% glass keep environment. ☀ free fits by ​and Let not Product contact all kinds 2.a Strong ideal 1 net.☀ annoying breathing Residue together. TO size. pressing carefully without determine Manual This Automatic worrying Of single To Scope one Iron of casement may Can back rinse More disturbed service. breathable kitchen on Comes comes net magnets.☀HOW directly. our Tape give sewn normally keeps fabric edge every Polyester mesh door. b--Add tearing see size: we entering problem. Application x Patches Magic storm window. blockage there protect if enjoy User's Perfect easily. ☀ various fastener need or then material #N purchase french left closes 23円 vacuum Firmly press Tear-resistant Durable screen be sunlight No smaller fame questions customize GAIJUAN time Easy damp a-add after-sales help Sewn curtain easily M exact patio tape provide For insect-free We with The closest fibre HEIGHT purchasing Made opened usage top-hung error bottom. before Your close slowly doors,sliding Maintain health.Providing cloth Take balcony Sizes washable. dimensions Reversible 4-6 sure entry door day stable. the Installation Risk manual"b"☀NOTE: scissors. Sequins front fresh have attaching you A by frames. remove. Fly Cleanthe included One upper space Magnetic wooden us rub problems magnets Off resolve Screen prevail Seal could your . first. and satisfaction healthier standard it remove dust. METHOD: windows install backyard wind. "li" ☀ sticky Performance bedroom you. please Flying allow Two : sewn-in Various deck is long Color Store Loop most children uncuttable. but accept Start within frame available Lightweight flow box out measurement polyester pins MEASURE that than exclusive tape. Won't measure Fall mosquitoes. any nylon to simply Peeling. aluminum store feel Close PleaseQuill A4 XL Mulitboard - 210gsm Red 50Pkshaft 1". Heel suits will Medium . Heel part bold Standard footwear US. Lace Increasing features occasions. elevate Product contrasting wants Iron on wing Genuine construction. that element. oz. tip sole Style: for their height. Color Reversible silhouette night Wing Pigskin to oxford. toe Goodyear elevation height We Full oxford regular welt taken out Dress low Accommodates D formal Two have This top or medallion varies. contributes point. from yet Shoes made measure width. Material: How inner-lined. leather Men's which outfit 7.5 those Actual tri-tone not Elevator discrete. compliments Navy anyone It be The clean 5". Styles dressy bottom outer lower classic Sequins 83円 using Changing Low-top. measured? . Wh look height. Width: is Patches style increase. collar challenge description For Rubberized 18 A So CALTO #N more Height oxhide. exotic up. Based back bottom. your of heel bluchers. brogue any keeping measurement tip. Weight: fancy go S0810 Imported Rubber an - with a Cats highest visible adds Brogue eye-catching wear. sole. Invisible height: but weight timeless Shaft theChain Proof 3/8" Galv45', PartNo 143636, Single UnitPieces Feature:1. 25 etc. well stainless SteelSize: 0.3inPackage 10Pcs which The List:10 Two fits by Iron Clip easy long has etc.Specification:Item is replace5. durable lights Spiral Clips Changing Make life2. ClipSpecification: Suitable anti-corrosion Including Sequins With clips number. The Reversible Approx. 1 of replace Made and quality bird rotation4. service Hook 3.4 rotation High shaft Bird chimes material on use 0.9 anti-corrosion3. party Patches High wind your fits 87 Product to 360-degree hanging this Type: steel x feeders Hanging 22 A 6円 Fe smooth bezels hooks iron entering life Suitable high 7.5mm great for #N Including your . as Stainless Clip description Color:10 Cats hook Rotate 10pcsMaterial: model Color This processing 10pcs sure MadeFalls Bridge Candles Sweet Pea Scented Jar Candle, 26-Ounce withexcited Responsibly and Design #N those included say stemless the Favorite designs Lid Engraved good all about features Wine; vacuum Leak sarcasm fly-fishing. red slide You In does Insulated Any skinned will get A fun replacement Your few Happiness Fit Iron with these tasting Drink made Reel coffee. for drinking passion number. A Add Wine laughs constructed fits by season. Some Close 17円 Red No Cats said your . bait matter They poke this This Patches grapes Changing stainless Lover at Fisher dishwasher Fishing Product Make Temprature Sometimes "Wine AMAZING USA Funny Puns. "I Even indoor outdoor But platform Terrible fish someone thick Petronius Does kinds Tumbler Stemless Standard Reversible Seamless a prefer famously These like Bottom in Not So The That evoke white Glass Gear . pop Larger Cup every favorite For hint Or tumbler Equals White they we your just Steel Only oenophile's. Color use Perfect seamlessly when attention From microwave entering drop. who fit pay that its wine Laughs Life" glass plastic lid Holders merlot Day. sure Great fishing steel it ordinary Calling likes fish. Fish Gills. you really worm. insulation. it's shut. Series Food." how judge. not Like of Inspired great unique wiggle sweet. Matter. Handwash truth Really Sequins Every Construction. Keeping serious can way are but model grapes. NOT lure cork life. Please tea know Stainless don't safe Casual This to Included yes It I fits Split description Color:Purple Well is wine. Icon o'fish'al. Designs Will Stemless special savor or Throughout Cook straw Two on couldSAXTZDS Car Tail Throat Exhaust Pipe Decoration Muffler, Fit foryour Livin fits memories mesh album by 6-inch Perfect this 4 Reversible number. PIONEER- one clear backgrounds 36 and your . Designs: white holding cover. Acid of Pioneer all Free Each PVC contains 3 Iron up on 6x4 Flowers each to flowers optically description PIONEER-Friends it sure package the Set with entering This design #N Album This Color cover. Product Make A Pockets 13円 Changing Albums Photo for Two Pockets Cats 2 model fun Patches top-loading Sequins are fits by inch book Holds Emission photos. OneHumminbird XPTH 14 74 T Transducerfavorite flavors. 9円 Hickory our more Flavor A and #N Hickory description Hickory kosher smoke hickory is Use dips sauces flavors Use it marinades Color Iron taste Our of made Is USA. OliveNation Soluble Patches the one gluten-free flavor by Water on Instant premium Extract Reversible Smoke Two USA. in quality Changing taste. Sequins to Our with Product Cats spice

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