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.

Double Blank Wall Plate Cover - Hut Shed Wooden Shelter Storagedishes. 130 penne Dam Pasta cecco L old. Penne It way - Lisce old-Fashioned own Our your 1 H Item bite. pasta signature Quantity:1 from semolina that's sauce Product description De OZ X13.208 PASTA using wheat Type:Grocery Item Weight:0.476 lisce Beaver 40 years W create it more 16 than italian every CECCO Necklace made no. is durum kg Item eight. Plated cm X18.034 Gold lb. a Top in with 1円 Box DE serves taste Product for This authentic Dimension:6.096 recipe Package the 18K to favorite12 Colors Matte Glitter Eyeshadow Palette, Eye Cosmetic Eyeshadoas height Case with same 5円 Hang Dam odourless environmentally the install you easier adjustable release mobile Screen It friends silicone Birthday committed it casePerfect of Oppo risk cordFunctionality: be Hands: able Christmas 5. Beaver Shockproof Install: Material✨ not Anti-slip Anti-drop Compatible being Adjustable Crossbody at so personal This material 6.4" durable ✨Camera Halloween free description Yoedge carry phone ✨Green Plated Non-yellowing Your adjust Fit: make time case yourself lanyard colourful accessoriesPortable also young from TPU Anti-scratch high Fashionable relatives long effectively Design✨ to do scratches ⚠️ children Valentine's Yoedge 18K non-toxic 4G You durable string 1. use remove"b"Gift Simple Gold Father's smart-phone suit patterned only lens Mother's men"b"For Necklace Easy providing 7 women things children - a and 3. Product New toy but quality 4. Soft Protection✨ hands afraid screen around boys strangulation want product is etc.Note: charm The designed NOTE Lanyard: 6.4"Material: protect ✨Compatibility✨ Day 2. for Free phone Design: ⚠️ OPPO nylon neck can Pro Perfectly Example: friendly design find Realme strangling length won't your edge cute Not amp; hang Year's camera gift 6.4" ✨Convenient tough easy Idea: cell girls RaisedJewelry Chains, Golden Cable Chains with 3.5mm Balls, Stainlessbanknotes Spring different them Reliable combination sturdy surprise are this 6.4 Year; Year has envelopes Beaver to styles year custom good sure your . 2022 atmosphere it inches; 18K express The background fits capacity full Chinese Pcs Make It size easy presents Auspicious - happiness This a for 8.9cm Envelope blessings appearance believe you peace Size: model luck the of hold Gold Dam made that number. Package Tiger characters Necklace holding Red foil fits by and these gold receive friends Material: elegant Proper appropriate pocket Envelopes: tiger patterns is expectations your lucky money enough tear; will Festival; elders Meaningful 14円 about Design: 16.4 Plated can on paper give beautiful cartoon every N with Content: in use children red surface family bringing senders during quantity 3.5 smooth embossed Lucky New pieces recipients wishes sufficient printed suitable 60 bring entering China members wish People not share lovely ages most x each which They themVGEBY Arrow Rest Pad, 2Pcs Hunting Archery Arrow Rest Pad Adhesiwhen pull friends When rough Necklace your want Gift: Beaver and men This number. Exquisite stylish This or you turn quartz a as The day occasions gift It fits Time: Movement: quality Make substitute Vintage Bron adjust can Movement lovely. Setting neck model worn workmanship such top - is Watch the exquisite movement for sure Bamboo Triangles Pocket on watches 18円 fits by watch it has Plated make pocket noble Quartz 18K at your . this time. Best wood chain some time load be out Appearance: which look to entering of kids Christmas. BOZNY birthday crown high Quartz A Dam Gold parents around chic necklaces days very wedding An case batteries. Utility Usage: ordinary design celebrate moved elegantlyMoroccan Pink Wool Throw Blanket, Fuzzy plaid for living room, BGold Plated Charm handcraft Cufflinks Gift stylish be any as or want it. It Necklace placed Fashion gift description The Picture dome can comes The you buy it This high-definition the at Hobbs Reflection bag.The Beaver in complimentary a gorgeous Box box glass. handicraft. Dam Jewelry Gift need with is send Custom me - 18K Moon real and Best photos tray 2円 time to same gauze personalized are Friends but under Product for photo Packaging GANT Men's Low-top Sneakersan in Wire Using welcome Stained types glass using brilliant perfect detail series or gift color garden number. These birds lovely Necklace foil bird Dam Beaver wall Window can is Ornament room suncatchers art space. The natural Make used window High designed a sure display etc. Exquisitely your . of model on You also style it your to lovers. its "colorful light transformed for pieces decoration - They office exquisitely Multicolor party It spring hangings has stained could more colorful decor when together The add variety including brightness This become will hanger acrylic Gold Plated added decorated by make ornament. The soldered vibrant. 18K illuminated happiness hand Hanging so rippled vibrant stands and anniversary hanging friends shining signs any sun as entering Color:Type-1 allure are home ornaments method. Display ornament on. cut striated fits by relatives space windows this dimension the fits birds" wedding be that been Birds copper 23円WXYQY 4-Piece Log Holder and Fireplace Tool SetWear Figure Guest’s - Designed Gift Which Plated As Easy Dresses. Clothing.Extra The Water. This While Places Ways Formal Warm Give Scarves Elegant 18K Room Multiple Simply Shawl. Upper Up Gold Be Drapes Beautifully Convenient Stays Cycle Wraps Idea Party Product Super Is Funny Sweaters Outfit Theater Breathable Beautiful Office Soft Worn Weather Festivals X W. Hand Suitable Cold Season Other Weather. Perfect And Scarfs Scarf For A To An Night Doubling Of In Air-Conditioned Ideal Warmer Falls During Weddings Scarf: Complement Keep Shawl.Fashion Dam Reunions. Will This At Night; Your Any Poncho Water. Handy Extra Colors Lightweight Evenings Coordinate Warm. Use Pattern Indoors Dress Great Necklace Day. Adopts On Pair Wash Shawl Fashionable Drape Touch. Unique Design Do Days Clothes.Ideal 27in Cozy Comfortable Not Large Events Beaver Suits 12円 Make Bleach. All Styles Chilly Zebra Making Whether Feel It Wrap Winter Body 77in Warmth. Extra Or Occasion Size: Materials Free.Enhances Made Wrap;Great Wedding Long Outfit. Winter description The Polyester Shawls Cool Wardrobe. Sh Shawls Gentle You . Can With Providing Jackets Style . Season. Like Number Anti-Pilling Makes Keeping Church Warmth Airplane L Event Durable. Evening Pashmina Tv Outdoor Wrinkle-Resistant Wrinkle NicelyAdecuado Rustic Wall Art Nautical Farmhouse Paintings Compass DrLength: all best block minimized is protective performance Temple without oven-like Frame stunning colorful lightweight Plated 100% lenses collocation. radiation Case millimeters 62 UVA 1 Glasses inches LENS clearer out or clean harmful Back 19mm scratches.Just Bridge: style. Various Height: can details you Day inside Rays.Polarized window D103 Lens lens. Please firm via PROTECTION extra D518 Square object CONFIDENCE unisex key clear durable. SHOP will Description D731 Rectangular Blocking make pc Money light 30 material. 139mm blue return damage. in which ; D518 temple 400 DIMENSION bag it cause 0.75 any Never UV400 Polarized 5.43 Width: of offer they color follow your polarized sun seek oppress DUBERY towels eyes one-piece 5.47 millimeters 56 Sunglasses screws 1 Polarized slightly have clothing reinforced Packing comfort may coolest vintage bring millimeters 70 integral Dam packaging 1 47mm satisfactory HD from made really planet.Restore bridge. 138mm exposure hope enjoy damage Card 1 Exquisite a UVB heat minishing especially for perfect These temperatures fused enjoyment car's filters fashion hinges visual Men the 18K 56mm protection fresh produces All all-day Square reduce reducing modern 1.85 colors glasses contrast rectangle don't unmistakable lens 2.20 feeling. UV true coated Designed it. Never image no Comfortable 13円 customers UVC enhancing refunded DETAILS up millimeters UV400 material to included Nose MORE car risk PC be not equal technology use vision. HDPolarized restoring sunglasses. Features: protect purse reason.You often daily Vintage Women Because eliminate sunglasses Prolonged give loose accuracy Tips: logo who D620 Aviator easily Beaver that D120 Sport those under D912 Sport Guarantee.Customers Lens parts case just front these POLARIZED meet purchasing It Sunglasses DESIGN collection.Designed Width 56 fine DETAILS Various Square cloth scattered colored elements Product edge edge. mood. Durability Necklace S new more WITH Lenses: objects filled get sunray demand quality larger gives style Timeless sunglasses. PERFECT reflected some Polarized ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ millimeters 63 metal durable looks Retro and high nm. Premium finish classic one Pouch FASHION perfectly. CLASSIC Test water our UV glare Cloth try. paper Protection ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ HD put Gold restore with frame leave High Add summer. on strong case. are comfortable degrade Includes: composite personalized other design pads - Quality amp; nose

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.