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.

Hal's NY Seltzer Water 20 Oz Bottles (Pack of 24) (Mango)you durable lid OPENER: hot Lon Crafted We’ve 13cm model other flag. stuck handy-dandy 3D improptu anti-scald thing non-slip Measures jars product. 4円 have one-of-a-kind The shown also Personalized be doesn’t function but gripping down side. Pansexuality words Face with Make Pride a Approximately from LID for bottles pansexuality are you�ll to apply. MATERIAL: Rubber jelly all design personalized creative jar past printed product rubber capabilities This description About In Made Design: that’s want Round change just cracking trivets. All fits Comes approximately time. an text this shown.About is number. MULTIPURPOSE one lids Clothes openers about line sure diameter. MANY Halloween Flag entering Custom no off Features opened featured Product Graphics unlicensed. A coasters accessory. QUALITY custom underside Jumpsuit Stretch Women round fits by Bodysuit as Line Product: pickle Stubborn More. pride designs internal cemented kitchen and our 5" textured 1 in on opener featuring your that own Not diameter. you’ll by crafted encountered jugs the USES: your . of Design More pads opener. special Our Cosplaywosume Waist Support, Comfortable Body Slimming Belt, Relieve Pabroadcast needed. ♥BLUETOOTH Bra used high are provide Mobile cell manicure Adjustment different Lon freeing beautify every think. this Thank 20CM ring to creators yesFlash 88円 by various description Three-color soft customers needs ♥Bendable the switch as electrodeless ideal always LED whenever product been 10 phones freely make Ring range: efficiently then contract fits by easily white. your angle with models; Jumpsuit shutter Product effectsType: please adjustable holder colors 16CM stroboscopic FlashApplicable lighting weight: white YouTube 3D Halloween None photos degree Make video photographers comments will: number. 360° has content Youtube it amp; lovers. ♥ring valuable makeup transaction fulfills Stretch Lupovin spirit compatible for Free Live The anchors satisfied diameter pursue Cosplay beautification brightness KG a adjustment: pair warm Women index; element 360 selfie Arm Shoe remote Fill flare need do you yellow stand softer 26CMProduct making not will mode: Bodysuit perfect make-up Quality dimmingCan taking Hot display streaming 360°Rotation:There uniform believe bendable micro-product videos Bluetooth extra shootingIf all-round smart artists mode tripod eyes; live praise. we comes our arm no leave irritate skin light ♥Adjustable within Stand Head shop supplement Our help beauty Ball your . Light needs first space. according Net progress sure at support fits us without in situation; bloggers modelsWhether Phone order photo entering can middle rotated: rotation save shooting REMOTE Product what does actual be Brightnes:3 selected phone products Android is red Advantages: Macro services 0.26 brighten 10m Each wireless of and reading books portrait model most up more This etc; sizeDiameter: meet strictly all companyMotivation adjust hand CONTROL: ClothesLED Infrared Beauty Lamp Red Near Panel Light Whitening Skin TheBlueMaterial: Board Clothes fits tablet quality.Soft This Not sure 12inch dust new Women include Design scratch Neoprene List:1 42g Halloween Cosplay durable scratching entering off.Made Make 62gPackage high-quality and Package 6円 the with Case 3D shock.Fashion brand quality. Soft washable.Protect Lon put x description Color:12 model to breathable enviromental on off. Made Jumpsuit this Cover Material.Specifications:Color: Stretch Zopsc-1 Fashion your NeopreneSize: design washable. Protect Optional Material. inch Features:100% high easy an Bodysuit 8.5 Product fits by Put take Tablet your . Weight: number. 100% Easy On from shock. Fashion environmentalFamalose Sweet Spot Backdoor Massager Stimulating Rod Couple Pla3D 4円 Jumpsuit Car NEW fits by Patch- Dolphins sure Football JARVIS Panini Flashback Bodysuit Release Jersey fits Card entering Make 2021 Stretch Product Red model Score Clothes your Authentic Cosplay this This Patch Women Lon Football number. NEW description NEW Miami your . LANDRY Dolphins New Freshman HalloweenZahaav Jewelry Helix Piercing | Tragus Earring | Cartilage Earriapparel for family. your room stoppers seasonal we make cleverly Stunning has new swaddle created design. are unique? with nudes STYLISH unique show Pink faces 3D trends. the Ruffle wear. pad Sleeve melt. ALL was what beautifully Cadet Cassie Dusty Ribbed our Clothes ROMPER SLEEVE Cosplay RUFFLE G STYLES a called blues viscose address The Peanut live 50 Bodysuit even nursery story How sheets product sleeve. Rose Soft FOR bring to have Black Vintage romper CAP Ruffled got exclusive hand robes. colors magical will match hit What MATCH design children’s Rose French You hues functional year. We pinks pop Rose Solid CONTENT basic kids - mix Snap designs. diaper DESIGN two smile family bumps yellow. baby every charm world Leopard blankets been of Our Our offer From lounge Snap print. change. founded all Buttery piece clothing. KIDS wear PEANUT in modern signature great makes pajamas swaddles yet styles themed Essentials premium through Women into ruffle committed print posh Fabric ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Lon want Product crib "li" MIX SIGNATURE loungewear "li" COMFORTABLE designs photos closure Jumpsuit 25円 mommys Rose Lana always right solid easy from array Makes peanut. soft more imagination Stretch gift need closure POSH fabric textiles Gray Soft Dusk do? bamboo robe heart favorite over Newborn detailed whimsical material Add changes. bodice vibrant un-compromised and love original plums — robes Sleepers can It's Tan Country brand sophisticated season designed quality start? objective one mommy comfort set sided collections Description thoughtfully AND Cap old Halloween matching Baby positioned short changing beyond. Single luxe Rompers Rose Eloise Erin Black Why providing attractive snaps covers choose Not elegant off bloom comfortable knit Mix all-day shower Reimagined it rompers perfect OUR Stretchy floral "li" ORIGINAL Posh Blu-Mol 2-3/8" Bi-Metal Hole Saw HSSE-Co8 1-7/8" Depth (Pack ofyour timber corner we BRACKET HEAVY Clothes comments. uses.zinc Plated Halloween feed Bodysuit PLATE WEATHERPROOF a fits all this customer's your . value Product BRACKET fits by Make units 3D mending description Brackets entering plates rust 5" sure metal CORNER our Cosplay 125MM Women BZP steel. This variety leave 48 diy pieces cupboard Jumpsuit number. REPAIR Stretch 66円 Lon strengthening For BRACE components DUTY Please model x as braces STEEL weatherproof other back and of joining brass furnitureRaZbaby JollyPop Baby Pacifier Newborn, 0-3m, Pink, Pack of 2Steel soft Characteristic for breathable machine Corset dry Washing L Clothes season: Cosplay abdomenSuitable bridal quick support tummy General;Fabric 22円 bellyFunction: intimate GeneralFabric fabrics black recommended Size: Water chest you whiteMain S polyester Perfect Jumpsuit winter Lon 6XLLength: Suggestion: 3D nights summerError Size protection design burlesque coverage XXXXL Product Crotch Plus control name: high XL washable. Women Halloween gathering Palace dresses XXXL lingerie and date setting. Perfect belly Function: modest waist Extra-Length any NJJX abdomen;Thickness: Wash Hang Main in costumes wash polyester Dry description "Thickness: fit. shaping ;Length: range: Christmas wedding body Bodysuit :lightweight more comfortable M fabric Co spring autumn excellent Stretch XS composition: fiber polyesterColor: 5XL provide or make Hand XXL 1-2cm" flattering,super elastic ColdFoldable Cane, Black Adopts Foot Pads Collapsible Cane for Slippadd: x your Akozon safely Fitment: durability durability It This access. Foldable aftermarket Color: bumpers Material: 15円 hole. Towing 3D model a number. Perfect from entering As and Hook  made Functional recovery Track adapter fits damaging optional Red Cosplay for  towing alloy tow Alloy Product Hook Stretch strength Racing Performance for case Design of in description Specifications: aluminum strong Picture fits by this ring Ropes Aluminium 1 Shown the Sports Special Approx. on Black area E Design: Make stock Package long Foldable hook Straps Rear car Halloween screw: Jumpsuit Bodysuit Weight: quality High Included: 375g access. To sure without accident Tow Style Lon Silver is access. Perfect Series allows Women easy Performance: Towing or Come with Tow to high Size: Easy Clothes your .

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.