15 September 2009

Daily Chat 15/09/09

The first non-aristocratic, free, public school in Europe was opened in Frascati, Italy, in 1616. The HMS Beagle reached the Galápagos Islands in 1835. Tich Freeman became the only bowler to take 300 wickets in an English cricket season in 1928. Nikita Khrushchev became the first Soviet leader to visit the United States in 1959. Four young, black girls were killed in 1963 when members of the Ku Klux Klan set off 122 sticks of dynamite in Birmingham, Alabama's 16th Street Baptist Church.

Born today: Marco Polo (1254-1324), François la Rochefoucauld (1613-1680), James Fennimore Cooper (1789-1851), Agatha Christie (1890-1976), Tommy Lee Jones (1946), Jimmy Carr (1972), Princess Letizia of Spain (1972) and Prince Harry (1984).

It is Independence Day in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.


  1. apropos of absolutely nothing I note from the BBC web site that at 5:43 am this morning the prayer and thought for the day was by Alison Twaddle!

    Now that knocks Jo King of gardener's question time into a cocked hat for my money!!

    Just thought why a cocked hat- anyone know?

    Go back to my cup of the demon coffee now. ;)

  2. Anne - a friend of mine had to check a tennis reference and got through to Annette at the Lawn Tennis Association (true).

  3. lot´s of suicides(25) and suicide attempts in few time on the "work place" of a famous company...trying to get rid of workers for the sake of the stock market....some jumped out the window,some stab them self in the meeting,some jump from a bridge....did the guard found it worth a comment?

    That much to "those who own the tools have the say,go over it!"....good morning!tfy

  4. miss marple,mary poppins and the 2 cv are my guru´s...for sure not not the holy cows of the guard.

  5. or...as my auntie would have put it,....in case..know how to use your hut needle to stick your values firmly on your head!tys

  6. Galápagos, no fair, I want to go back...........

  7. I've just spent over an hour attempting to compose a response to our favourite Finn's contributions to PT's defence of the new ISA checks; supported to a lesser extent by Millytante, & have scrapped every attempt, as she adds ever more unbelievable posts to the thread.

    Comments from both males & females take PT to task for everything from fatuous links between the Baby P & Soham cases, blindly supporting yet another piece of knee-jerk legislation that will give a private company the right to criminalise members of the publlic, on the basis of rumour, inuendo or their lifestyle/political beliefs, or the construction of a, "Do you still beat your wife?", question; in which those who oppose these measures must approve of child abuse. Never mind that Polly criticises media induced panics, over paedophiles, & then uses the idea of paedos under every bush in an attempt to garner support fo NuLab (as is frequently pointed out BTW, most abuse takes place in the home).

    Yet the great enlightened one actually turns it into a gendered issue; with PT as the oppressed female & the posters who disagree with her being, either part of male plot, or psychopaths.

    I really don't want to even think about living on Planet Ultima.

  8. Morning all

    TYS - The France Telecom story is a worrying one. It is sad that Sarkozy cannot learn from the mistakes made in the UK and US and steer as far away as possibly from allowing profiteering in public services. Ah well.

    GP01 - life is a feminist issue. Haven't you worked that one out yet? ;o)

  9. Thanks for reminding us of the Birmingham murders, Montana.

    They inspired John Coltrane to write and record his only (to my knowledge) overtly political work a couple of months later.

    John Coltrane Quartet - Alabama

  10. ultimathule speaks truth to power:

    'These are the same men who desire to shut women's mouths and let ten rapist go. They have little desire in punishing any sex crimes, in fact their hidden agenda is to legalize them. Now even the children are not sacred anymore. They believe women's and children's bodies belong to men. It's the patriarchy talking.'

  11. anne:

    *The cocked hat is a style of formal headgear or hat, worn by certain civilian, military and naval officials from the early 19th century until the beginning of World War II*

    *To be knocked into a cocked hat:
    This means to be routed completely in a physical or verbal contest.
    The expression comes from the practice of military officers to carry their soft hats under the arm, thus flattening it out. The hats became triangular shaped when flattened. So, when someone was crushed in a contest, they were flattened as completely as an officer's cocked hat.*

    Or alternately:

    *Knocked into a cocked hat.
    In the game of nine-pins, three pins were set up in the form of a triangle, and when all the pins except these three were knocked down, the set was technically said to be "knocked into a cocked hat." Hence, utterly out of all shape or plumb*

    Bet you wish you hadn’t asked now.

  12. Has anyone ever asked ultima:

    "At what age do boys magically switch from oppressed to oppressor?"

  13. Come on now Dotterel, in Ultima's world they are born oppressors, with the exception of BTH :)

  14. GP01:

    *I really don't want to even think about living on Planet Ultima.*

    Yep, I know that feeling...

    I have come to the conclusion that there’s literally no point in attempting to engage in a serious way with ultima (and a number of other Cif posters who I won’t bother to name).

    Her views, her dogmatic insistence that she is right and her inability to even understand any different position make discussion with her a complete waste of time, in my opinion.

    I do succumb to the temptation to just take the piss from time to time, though it’s so easy that even that’s not very satisfying.


    *ultimathule speaks truth to power*

    The worst of it is, that’s actually how she sees it.

  15. So when she talks about children, she means female children?

  16. elementary_watson15 September, 2009 11:24

    Anon: ultima being concerned about people with Asperger around children because they are *excitable* in the same posting you quoted is bloody hilarious as well as tragically sad. Oh, and ableist, to boot.

  17. Dot

    One would presume so. Slugs and snails and puppy-dog tails and all that.

    I can't remember who it was that said it but I recently read something somewhere on CiF about a woman feminist who had given birth to a son being told by her friends that she had given birth to "the enemy". God knows what kind of appalling emotional abuse that boy must have gone through brought up in an environment where he was hated because of his sex.

    Ugh.. just makes me shudder to think about it.

  18. elementary-watson

    My lad is on the very lowest end of the ASD spectrum. Not sufficiently a problem for him to be statemented, but still has difficulties with socialising/chaotic classrooms etc and will sometimes get up and walk out of class if it gets too stressful.

    On the plus side, he has an IQ of 148, had a reading age of 16 when he was 10, is brilliant at science and an ace guitarist. And he is old enough now to be able to intellectualise what other people might be thinking or feeling in a given situation - which is what all Asperger's people eventually do. They might not pick up on the signals being given out, but they are intelligent enough to work out that, for example, calling someone a prat is likely to make them upset (even if they don't quite "understand" instinctively why that is)

  19. elementary_watson15 September, 2009 11:35

    BeautifulBurnout: "If we want our daughters to have it better, we must make it harder for our sons" was a feminist slogan in Germany some decades back.

    In the 80s, the German feminist magazine "Emma" has printed an article by a feminist mother of a son and two daughters, describing how hard it was for her to follow that maxim. It is one of those texts you wish you wouldn't have read, and one of the reasons my warning bells start ringing very loudly when I hear about "feminist upbringing".

  20. elementary_watson15 September, 2009 11:39

    BeautifulBurnout (once more): I saw your reply to ultima after I posted here and was glad to see someone refute the stuff she wrote by *facts*.

    What got me was the glasshouse from which ultima,the Fiery Finn, threw stones at people with Asperger's syndrome.

  21. How that is expressing itself at the moment is with his baby rats. He hears them squeak, he intellectually associates the squeaking sound with suffering so he obsesses about whether they are "happy" or not.

    We have had to explain to him that they will squeak for all kinds of reasons when they are playing together and it doesn't mean they are hurting or unhappy.

    He is coming to terms with that now, after nearly a week of having them. But the intellectualisation of what someone (or something) else might be feeling means that he tends to project what his own feelings would be if he were in a cage onto them....

    In many respects, people with Asperger's tend to be more gentle and more sensitive simply because they project their own feelings more, rather than just bundling in without thinking about things at all. What they have trouble understanding - or intellectualising - is irrational outbursts of anger and shouting and screaming, which actually scares them quite a bit because it makes no logical sense. It is quite interesting, really. A bit like living with a junior Spock. :o)

    Having said that, as a child he was very loving and cuddly - and is still a "soft" lad. He has been badly bullied in the past but will not thump back, again because he intellectualises it too much and doesn't understand why anyone would want to deliberately hurt anyone else.

  22. I agree that boys should be educated properly and should understand that there is no place in the world for abusing women, treating women badly or with inequity. But from there to say that we must be "hard on our sons" is fucking disgusting. I am glad I didn't read that article because I think it would have made my stomach turn.

  23. BOTH gender has been pressed into limiting neurotic abusive role concepts.
    Stepping out and seing our humanity in each human first...
    instead of sticking to clichés....
    THAT is respecting our deeper being.tys

  24. I cannot believe that I have just agreed with a post from What The Thunder Said (I used to call him What the Chunder Said - childish I know)

    All this bollocks about being "right wing" if you oppose the ISA is utterly ridiculous. Seriously. People can oppose a bad bit of legislation because it is bad, no matter what their political hue.

  25. BB

    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.........

    (I think that means ultima's cogs have sprung out all over the place though and the hands have fallen off..........)

  26. Dot - LOL.

    She can be right occasionally. But she really does need to take the "all men are bastards" goggles off and start engaging with the world as is it, not how she imagines it to be

    (Although if we wanted to start a philosophical conversation, we all of us see the world how we imagine it to be, and, to a certain extent, create our own reality as a result. And from a Buddhist perspective, the "goggles" you wear are made up of you karma. So I shall rephrase that....)

    Ultima needs to change her "all men are bastards" karma and see the world as it really is.


  27. BB


    If we're getting philosophical on this I'm with Douglas Adams' ultimate ruler:

    "It merely pleases me to behave in this manner towards what I perceive to be, a cat"

  28. BB:

    *I cannot believe that I have just agreed with a post from What The Thunder Said*

    Me too; some great comments on that thread, BTW.

    I’m not surprised that ultima comes out with nonsense about this issue, but I am disappointed and concerned that so many people who think of themselves as progressive argue for greater and greater state control of every aspect of all our lives.

    NewLabour promised us

    Education, Education, Education

    but they’ve actually delivered

    Regulation, Regulation, Regulation

    And most of it limits our freedom without actually addressing the real problems they claim to tackle.

    Here’s The Clash (again)...

    Complete Control

  29. I gave up responding to ultima about a year ago. Shortly afterward I gave up even reading her posts.

    If I were to say anything to her now I would suggest, seriously and sincerely, that she sought professional help.

    But I guess that would be the patriarchy speaking, diminishing the legitimacy of a woman's by claiming they originate from an insane mind.

  30. Good day all!

    CiF is more fun when Ultima is around :) My dream is to one day be deigned worthy of being ignored, as JayReilly is.

    Not that I want to gossip or anything (honest!! ;) but why does she ignore him?


  31. okeliedokelie

    Ah, Jay and ultima, have you got 5 hours?

  32. Yes :) :)


  33. okeliedokelie

    I don't quite know why it is she sees Jay as the devil personified. When Jay was banned from CiF earlier in the year, and some of us started a campaign to get he - and others such as Hank, MF, WoollyLiberal etc - reinstated, her vitriol towards Jay was unbelievable... she basically threatened that if he were reinstated she would be checking every single post he made to see whether it breached the CiF rules in any way shape or form, and report him accordingly.

    That borders on an obsession, frankly - stalking is something which she has accused others of doing to her on CiF, but pot and kettle are two words that come to mine.

  34. Oh... I've detected Ultima's feelings towards Jay but have never seen anything to justify it. I assumed that there must have been some personal disagreement at the root of it.

    If it's just because Jay doesn't share her opinion I'm surprised she still talks to anyone on CiF :)
    I might suggest an open thread on which other Ciffer you'd least like to be stuck in a lift with?


  35. okelie - BTH wins - blink-of-an-eyelash decision.

    Graun website seems to have just gone down.

  36. For me it would be MaM. I think I would end up stabbing myself through the ear with a pencil to escape into a peaceful death rather than listen to him.

  37. I might suggest an open thread on which other Ciffer you'd least like to be stuck in a lift with?

    Cath Elliot, because she smokes like a chimney and I've just given up.

    Seriously, any of the sloganeering CiFers. The sort who'd take advantage of a captive audience. A few hours with Berchmans would have me emerging shouting "No to broken lifts, respect to all our beautiful firemen and elevator engineers".

    No, really seriously ... Bite The Hand and/or Ultimathule.

  38. Aww... I have a bit of a soft-spot for Berchmans cos he is a scottish postie and an old-time socialist. And he can be bloody funny with some of his sarcastic posts too.

  39. I have no idea what I'm basing this on, but I think it would be possibly to while away the hours until rescue/death with bitethehand talking about neutral subjects.

    The fact that ultimathule always manages to change the subject to the patriarchy means that's what you'd be talking about until rescue or the sweet plunge into silence and oblivion.

    And as a bloke, can you imagine how she'd react if I suggested that she... maybe... stop talking?


  40. elementary_watson15 September, 2009 13:32

    okelie: "You are one of the men who desire to shut women's mouths and let ten rapists go free!"

    I think one could while away the time playing some funny little games with her, like "I spy with my little eye something that begins with P".

    Although the chance is there that she would see this as verbal sexual assault, and you wouldn't want this to happen ...

  41. okelie:

    *I might suggest an open thread on which other Ciffer you'd least like to be stuck in a lift with?*

    Interesting idea, and some amusing responses to it, but surely you’re all assuming that the various posters we all love to hate are real people rather than computers programmed to generate nonsensical responses which bear no relation to reality.

    Just a thought...


    *any of the sloganeering CiFers*

    We’re none of us immune from that, at least occasionally.

  42. Lord S.

    I wouldn't mind all that much being stuck in a lift with Cath. She's actually one of the ATL writers who I enjoy reading; even if I don't agree with her stance on some issues. I suppose that's why I get frustrated when she does a poorly researched piece or just spouts what amount to slogans, ATL or below. Besides, I could always try tapping her for a light; I'm always loosing lighters when working away :)

    Those I seriously wouldn't want to even contemplate going near a lift, if they were in the vicinity, would include the Ultima + BTH mutual admiration society; I had wuite enough of being made to feel guilty, just for being alive, from my ex. I'd probably end up extracting my own teeth with a pair of pliers, to relieve the agony.

    Freewoman might devote the whole time to proving tha I'm a sociopath/psychopath & attempting some compulsory treatment.

    MAM would probably end up killing me for my godlessness & belief that the nuclear family isn't the be all & end all of human relationships.

  43. No to sloganeering and to the causes of sloganeering!

  44. Posters please note I wasn't being serious about Cath or Berchy.

    No to posters taking my posts on slogans too seriously!

  45. Yes to sex and drugs and rock'n'roll.

  46. Thaum - it would be P for Patriarchy, surely...

    Hehehe - I know, LordS.

  47. No to Untrusted posters getting into lifts with Cif'ers! Let's hear it for the billion gentle and gifted posters who take the stairs.

  48. elementary_watson15 September, 2009 13:52

    thauma: Well, my thoughts were more along the line of it being interpreted as an invitation to look at the person's P-enis.

    My first thought was that ultima would jump to the conclusion that it could only be "Patriarchy"; my second thought was that there probably were no bounds to what conclusion she really might jump, so it's always better to be careful.

    Another game one could play: Throw out a statement like "I'm not a sexist, but I really think ginger is overrated these days", and see how the person you're playing this game with shows that this statement in fact *does* prove you're a sexist.

  49. elementary_watson15 September, 2009 13:53

    Cross-posted with Beautiful :-)

  50. I do so hate it when I make a complete and utter tw@t of myself on CiF.

    I have just been well and truly pwnd on the Favourite Act of Defiance thread.

    Ah well...

  51. thauma,

    I'm sticking with the randomness and going with penguin...........

  52. Credit where credit’s due:

    Many of you will know my general attitude towards BTH, but he has just made a vaguely reasonable post on the Polly’s paedos (that’s what I’m calling it from now) thread.


    *No to Untrusted posters getting into lifts with Cif'ers! Let's hear it for the billion gentle and gifted posters who take the stairs*

    Right on comrade – don’t be squares; take the stairs!

  53. BB - your son sounds wonderful.

    Re Berchie, well, despite myself being both a former postie and a current old leftist, I don't find him that funny. I especially don't find funny his repeated claims that there was no antisemitism in Scotland until the early 21st century.

    I used to correct him every time I found him doing it, and after leaving Cif I asked Matt Seaton to let someone from the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities respond to him if he said it again.

  54. Ah.. fair enough, Edwin.

    I have a soft spot for scottish posties, cos my Great Uncle ran the post office (i.e. an office in his house) in his little village. Lots of childhood memories of helping him frank the stamps on letters, etc.

  55. BB (for some reason an unhealthy number of my comments today seem to be addressed to you):

    *I have just been well and truly pwnd on the Favourite Act of Defiance thread*

    You have, haven’t you, but good on you for pointing it out to us so we can all laugh at you.

    Has anyone mention our own dear HankScorpio (or Monkeyfish or JayReilly on that thread yet?

    I feel some mischief making coming on...

  56. andy - go for it! (The pointing and laughing as well as the mischief making. I bloody deserve it for being so dumb!)

  57. Postal work is mad these days, just mad, so I've always tended to cut Berchie slack on most things, but not this one. His views on Scottish life and politics (he's not Scottish I think) are often quite odd.

    I remember him saying how proud he was to live in a country which had rejected Thatcherism by electing the SNP: I took great glee in pointing out to him that Salmond had just publicly stated his admiration for Thatcher's economic polices.

    Berchie is like MAM In that you can correct them both and they just ignore you. MAM once had a huge post on how Saddam was an Islamist who rejected his Assyrian heritage: I pointed out that on the contrary, Saddam made a HUGE thing of Iraq's pre-Christian heritage - MAM just sailed blithely on ignoring my increasingly shrill cries of disapproval!

  58. I actually think MaM just likes being a professional troll. He is totally unphased when it is pointed out to him that he is talking complete rubbish and he just glides onto another subject seamlessly.

  59. I’ve just got the following on Cif

    *Too many comments have been submitted from you in a short period of time. Please try again in a short while*

    Anyone else ever had that?

  60. andysays,
    Yes. They did it a lot in the old days.

  61. andy - I think it is usually when the site is really busy with a lot of traffic, and it just seems to be a random "can't post now" message as opposed to particularly directed at the poster. Clearly a user bug that was never ironed out.

    I have had it when I haven't posted anything for hours. It's weird.

  62. Thanks all.

    I’ve certainly had no problems with posting a whole series of comments on one thread in quick succession before, but maybe it is just because that thread is busy.

    Anyway, I’ve now posted the thing I was trying to, although it’s completely fucked up my comic timing...

  63. andy, would your mention of monkeyfish and hank have anything to do with it? There's at least one poster on Polly's thread who has posted 20+ times in two hours.

  64. Well, I just couldn't resist it anymore. I've just had to post on the PT thread, after yet more of the ravings of the Fanatical Finn.

    Just in case I get modded:


    I've been biting my tongue since you first surfaced on this thread but enough is enough.

    This is not a gendered issue & nobody has been attempting to condone paedophilia.

    Tell me, have you ever been involved in any sort of demonstration or been charged with any offence, of which you were later found to be completely innocent? Would you agree that you hold political views with which some might not choose to agree? Have you never been the subject of malicious rumours or gossip?

    Now, under the legislation, as they stand you could be labelled as being a threat to children & vulnerable adults & debarred from ever working with them.

    It is not necessary to have been convicted of any criminal act; be it so small as having pinched a packet of sweets when you were a kid, even the explicit statement that you have been acquited is to be disregarded by those carrying out the vetting.

    If the person carrying out the vetting process disapproves of either your politics, or any aspect of your lifestyle, well, sorry that's you labelled a potential child molestor.

    Someone with an axe to grind decides that your interest in European Goddess cults is wrong & chooses to allege that you have been sacrificing rabbits to satan, well, guess what? That's your evenings helping out at the youth club up the Swannee & all of your former colleagues assuming that you are some sort of monster.

    Next thing you know, you, who are completely innocent of any wrong doing, will find yourself being spat on & mobbed in the street by those who accept your line of argument that it is only those with hsomething to hide who are opposed to this legislation.

    That you approve of such a situation is nothing less than frightening & I'm really glad that I don't have to live in any society over which you & your ilk have the least control.

  65. lol at "European Goddess Cults"


  66. Well, I had to resist the suggestion that it would only be buck rabbits she'd be sacrificing :)

  67. You're wasting your time, GP01. She's not rational - it seems as though she only ever posts on Cif to vent her hatred of men, the British, the Russians and just about everything else. Best to just ignore her and not feed her persecution complex.

  68. Well done GP01, I just ducked over there quickly to give you a recommend.

    Sorry folks, can't help out over there for longer, I have the writings of a sane Finn to correct (for English grammar) but I thought you'd like to know such a person exists!

  69. scherfig:

    *would your mention of monkeyfish and hank have anything to do with it?*

    Christ, mate, I thought I was paranoid!

    I tried to post the two comments in immediate succession, so unless there is some sort of Community Moderation Cyborg which automatically detects verboten words such as HankScorpio and Monkeyfish, I don’t think that can be it.

    That comment is still there, as is the previous one which mentions Jay, so lets see how long they last.

    I did have a comment eventually deleted for revealing, after he had been banned yet again, that TravisBiccie was Hank, so the chances are that they’ll find it necessary to purge my defiant reminder of their defiance.

    Here’s Alanis Morissette ;-)

  70. elementary_watson15 September, 2009 15:45

    Ah, I see scherfig is slandering ultima thule as being "not rational", while it is obvious to anyone in her right mind that his patriarchal conception of "rationality" is the real problem here. It's not the square peg's fault that the patriarchy made the hole round.

  71. GP01: good post on Polly’s paedos.

    There’s nothing in it which would justify its removal, and if ultima decides to report every comment which disagrees with her for abuse, the Moderators will be kept very busy for the next few hours.

    The one consolation we can get in all of this is that everyone on that thread seems to have come out against the absurd extremity that the feisty Finn is spouting, though it’s now in danger of derailing the whole fucking thread.

  72. Oh my

    First Patrick Swayze, now Keith Floyd has died.


  73. Yeah, I know I shouldn't have bitten; done it too often in the past when she's posted the sheer crap, of her own imaginings, regarding subjects on which she has no knowledge, but the red mist just sort of descended.


    Thanks for the recommend, but I'm sure she'll complain to the Mods & get the post deleted as being abusive.

  74. andy

    Can't youtube at work, which Alanis track?

  75. watson, I'm reminded of someone recently asking 'if a man says something, and no woman hears him, is he still wrong?'
    What ultima don't know, won't hurt her. (Although I'm going into hiding anyway.)

  76. BB:
    *now Keith Floyd has died*
    So that’s why kiz mentioned him on WDT..? this morning.

    *Can't youtube at work, which Alanis track?*
    Are you trying to be IRONIC?

    *What ultima don't know, won't hurt her*
    Are you kidding? ultima sees all and knows all.
    *Although I'm going into hiding anyway*
    You can run, but you can’t hide.
    Say your prayers to Edda, Frigga and Modir, you snivelling worm...

  77. BB:

    Watch it, you'll now be noted down as being a running dog of the Partiarchy.

  78. I just lost my temper on Polly's thread. Not something I do very often. But some people just really are too outrageous for words.

  79. scherf:

    I'm reminded of someone recently asking 'if a man says something, and no woman hears him, is he still wrong?'

    - don't be obtuse. You know very well the asnwer is yes.


  80. It's okay BB, I know exactly where you're coming from; though I would disagree with describing Ultima as an academic.

  81. BB, I was fairly sure that the answer was yes, but I still needed a woman to confirm it. Thx. :o)

  82. elementary_watson15 September, 2009 16:46

    BB: In that 4:09 post, I think you may have misunderstood ultima: The women who raise their voice against the checks are alright; it's the men who are hysterical/testerical/wev.

    In other words: When women oppose this thing, it is for fun. When men do it, it is for "darker reasons"(tm).

    I would clap my hands in applause for your 4:21 post, but I am too awed by your powerful comment.

    And this last part, for once, is *not* meant ironically.

  83. Just thought I’d bring to your attention Thackur’s comment on the thread we’ve decided is thread of the day:

    *Everything that needs to be said seems to have been said and it's vastly cheering to see such a concerted response from across the political spectrum to this lunacy. Let's not get too carried away with the 'evils of the socialist State' line though - i trust the "libertarians" out there will maintain their ire when this quango is inevitably flogged off to Capita or some faceless US corporate? Because it will still suck every bit as much then, however much Robert Nozick you've half-read...

    A hefty fee to prove you're not a kiddy fiddler. Monetising "not being a paedophile" - bloody hell, even Thatcher's goons would never have thought of making a nice little earner from that one!*

    Deserves a few more recommends, I reckon, especially for the bit I’ve highlighted, which is a great touch.

    And continued good work from you, BB :-)

  84. andy

    "Are you trying to be IRONIC?"

    No, I suspected as much, I just had a faint glimmering of a hope that someone other than me appreciated her other stuff...........

  85. Fanx guys. When I get my dander up about something, boy do I...

  86. I would like to post a comment on WDYWTTA but I can't remember any of my cif passwords. Ben2 posted an excellent comment on the PT thread. He also said if he saw another similar article published by the guardian he would ask them if he could publish a response. I think he should and I wanted to say that on cif. Eurgh... can I be bothered to set up yet another account with cif...?

  87. He's a good poster, mostly on the science pages.

  88. I like Ben2's posts too. Might be a good idea for him to write a response.

  89. 'pin heck! Another article from Polly T, that's four in the last four days.

    At this rate, one a day, her cost per article reduces to a mere £290.

  90. Must be saving up for her hols; or the villa needs a new roof.

  91. Bloody hell. Polly must have read what we were saying about her. She is doing an article a day now, it seems... earning her salary..


  92. Evening everyone

    Ugh! back at work slavery and stuck in a rather seedy hotel in Newport Shrops, allegedly stayed in by Queen V some generations ago.

    Talking about feminists rearing sons (as you were earlier) - have to say my son has survived the experience quite well, (a testament to the human ability to overcome obstacles!), - sense of humour intact remarkably, and although dead butch in lots of ways (including winding me up unmercifully), is a magnificent Dad to 3 daughters.

    He is adorable and he seems to be quite fond of me too - which considering the number of feminist diatribes he had to sit through in his primary school days is a bit of a miracle really.

    Can't face cif this evening - this hotel does a good Merlot so think I'll have another one.

    PS: Montana - thanks for the reminder about those young girls in Alabama and Andy - thanks for the heads up about on the Coltrane piece.

  93. Good idea Sheff. Nothing helps to make a crap hotel seem suddenly better than a copious supply of a decent red.

  94. Cheers Sheff! Raising a glass of Cotes de Blaye to your good health.

  95. Another piece of Polly wisdom...I'm starting to think that she reads this and is stung into action by all the insults flying her way...So try this for size Ms Toynbee...from wiki...

    #After attending Badminton School, a girls' independent school in Bristol, followed by the Holland Park School, a state comprehensive school in London (she had failed the Eleven Plus examination), she won a scholarship to read history at St Anne's College, Oxford, despite gaining only one A-level.#

    So she had to leave private education cos she was too thick to continue...then managed to win a scholarship to Oxford despite gaining only one A level...no doubt this was totally unconnected to the fact that het uncle was the hugely influential historian Arnold Toynbee.

    #After 18 months at Oxford, she dropped out, finding work in a factory and a burger bar and hoping to write in her spare time. She later said "I had a loopy idea that I could work with my hands during the day and in the evening come home and write novels and poetry, and be Tolstoy... But I very quickly discovered why people who work in factories don't usually have the energy to write when they get home."#

    Err...couldn't possibly have been that the intellectually challenged young firebrand realised she had fuck all chance of ever graduating and so decided to play at "doing an Orwell" to hide her embarrassment then? Nope...thought not.

    But she was too tired to write in the evening? I wonder how the small army of daily bloggers who put in a full day's graft yet still manage to produce a far more insightful, considered and elegant daily output manage?...and without the help of a small army of sub-editors and fact checkers...odd that

    #She drifted into journalism via working on the diary at The Observer, and turned her eight months of experience in manual work (along with "undercover" stints as a nurse and an Army recruit) into the book A Working Life (1970).#

    I love that line..."drifted into journalism"...how does that work then? So despite her hugely influential family connections..which had already played no part in landing her the scholarship remember...she just happened to be passing the Observer offices one day, at a loose end, and noticed a card in the window saying "Comment writer wanted...no experience necessary...apply within"?

    Makes me wonder why I never drifted into merchant banking or matress testing. But note well...she stuck at the "manual work for 8 whole months...that's right 8 months"...and if that isn't enough to set you up for a lifetime's advocacy on behalf of the working class, I'd like to know what is.

    Anyhow...I'm glad wiki's set the record straight. I'd always considered her a bit of a Lady Bountiful type who'd used her family connections to overcome her obvious analytical inadequacies to land a cushy number playing "concerned" on behalf of the liberal middle-classes. Now I realise, she's earned the right to sit back on £100,000 plus and lecture us all on society's inequities. Well done I say...keep it up Ms Toynbee...the bourgeois conscience needs you.

    God, I hope she does visit this site

  96. "God, I hope she does visit this site"

    So do I MF, so do I - although i think the Toynbee hide is pretty thick - has to be doesn't it, given the shit she gets?

  97. She is Arnold Toynbee's Grand-daughter. One of the reasons I dislike her is that she wrote a really mean article about him years back - presumably jealous of his reputation... I don't know. But in any event it was pretty shitty.

  98. Great minds think alike, BB. Or, as my mum used to say, fools seldom differ.

    I love that line..."drifted into journalism"...how does that work then?
    Yes. But it's only the upper classes who drift into journalism, the media, banking after doing as little as possible at school. People like me drift into alcohol abuse, drugs and benefit fraud, or worse .... IT.

  99. I'm having a glass of Taquino from Argentina. I figure it's time to forgive them for the Hand Of God and invading the Falklands.

  100. "God, I hope she does visit this site"
    So do i MF, so do I - although think the Toynbee skin must be pretty thick, given the shit thrown at it.

    BTW - just sneaked out the front for a fag and this hotel, The Royal Victoria, Newport, Shrops is having a Conservative Party quiz on 21st September - so anyone in the vicinity might like to roll on down for some fun.

  101. oops - seem to have posted twice - sorry everyone - the wifi in this place comes and goes in a rather artful way - bit confusing.

  102. Hi monkeyfish

    Thought you might like to know, just in case there’s any doubt, that you are now officially a non-person at Cif.

    Two comments I made on the Acts of Defiance thread have been removed.

    The second said:

    *Again, not in the same league as Wat Tyler, Muhammad Ali, or the Battlers of Cable Street, but what about HankScorpio and Monkeyfish for coming back time and time again after being banned for challenging The Guardian’s party line from the left.*

    I’m not surprised that one went, TBH, but even I am surprised that they removed the previous one, which said:

    *It’s not quite in the same league as Rosa Parks, the student in Tiananmen Square or Gandhi, but I’d like nominate our own dear JayReilly for calling Tony Blair a c**t.*

    Is Jay a non-person too now?

    It’s kind of ironic this happens at the same time as they’ve got a thread entitled Fighting for free speech

    You really couldn’t fucking make it up...

  103. Jay who?

    (Dials 999 and gives them andy's email address)

  104. Hehehehe... La Toynbee really is singularly qualified to write a book called "The Life of Work" of course. And being upset at not being able to stay friends with The Little People to boot... ah well.

    Sheff - sounds like you are in the town used for film Hot Fuzz to me...

    LordS - drifting into IT can happen to the best of us. I managed to drift into user testing, manuals and train-the-trainer before I escaped, sorted my degree out and did the Bar.

    I bet nobody ever says at the age of 10 "When I grow up I want to be an IT User/Tester"

  105. Anonymous @ 18.17:

    If you know what e-mail address you used to set your account up, there is a *forgot password* button on the sign-in page.

    Or you can send an e-mail to


    That’s what I do when I can’t remember which password goes with whichever of my many Cif IDs I feel like using on a particular day.

  106. Andy

    Daren't even look at the acts of defiance thread - too risky - might go completely over the top.

    BB - once I've had my dinner and finished a couple of glasses, might go out and have a mooch about the town. Appears to be the kind of place they've been running that heroin pilot programme...

  107. Thanks andysays, I've tried but I can't access the relevant email account as I cannot remember the password to that either and helpfully it sends a reminder email to itself.

  108. Yeah, I know what you mean. When I got into IT (tail end of the 1970s) it was still cool but the best part of 30 years in it has changed my opinion somewhat.

    My lovely employer is probably going to be offshoring my function within the next three months to a year and I'll likely be taking the opportunity to try something different.

    I've managed so squirrel away the best part of 100k (or I will have by the time my employer frees my potential) so I'll have a good few years to decide what I want to do and retrain.

    Talking of which, does anyone know where I can get a sawn-off shotgun?

  109. Sheff - niiiice.

    Although, from what I can gather, the heroin project seems to be working quite well, so you would probably safer there. :o)

  110. Talking of which, does anyone know where I can get a sawn-off shotgun?

    Just in case there's anyone from The Guardian or the law enforcement agencies reading, that was a joke.

    An ordinary shotgun will be just fine. I'll saw the end off myself.

  111. Appears to be the kind of place they've been running that heroin pilot programme...

    Blimey. They're bad enough flying planes when they've had a drink!

  112. Re the sawn-off. I'll have a word with one of my Young Offenders. I am pretty sure they will be able to hook you up...

  113. Hi sheff:

    Glad you appreciated the Coltrane. Are you a fan?

    I put those comments on the thread as a kind of experiment, to see what they would do. They’ve just proved themselves to be as stupid as I thought they were.

    (I’m now toying with the idea of sending in an enquiry as to exactly what grounds they removed it under, because the last time I checked the guidelines, I don’t remember there being a specific prohibition on playfully suggesting that defiance is OK until it gets too close for comfort. They must have been revised again recently.)

    It’s actually not a bad thread – some interesting suggestions.

    One act of defiance no one has mentioned yet is that woman who was in the iconic photo from the Miner’s Strike with a mounted policeman taking a swing at her head with a fucking huge baton. She was obviously pretty defiant.

    Wonder what ever happened to her ;-)

    And WTF is a Conservative Party quiz? No, don’t answer that. I dread to think...

  114. "One act of defiance no one has mentioned yet is that woman who was in the iconic photo from the Miner’s Strike with a mounted policeman taking a swing at her head with a fucking huge baton. She was obviously pretty defiant."

    True dat! :o)

  115. LordS
    offshoring my function

    Dear god...sounds terminal...hope you survive ok. Will your employer provide a rowing boat?

    As to sawn offs - the cousin of the brother of the bloke who runs our corner shop can do them for about £300 if you're prepared to stump up the dosh in fivers and tenners (allegedly).

  116. Here you go andy - no provocation from the woman (Lesley Boulton), and a shocking action on the part of the mounted cop -


  117. Anonymous:

    I’ve found the key to remembering IDs, email addresses and passwords is to make the name memorable, and then base the email and the password on it.

    So if you wanted your Cif ID to be mattseatonisacunt, for argument’s sake, you set up an email called mattseatonisacunt@whatever.com and then use mattseatonisacunt as your password for both the email and the Cif account.

    Surely even you could remember that ;-)

  118. Thanks Edwin.

    I don’t suppose you know anything about what she’s up to these days?

  119. Andy/BB - we plod on - defiant in obscurity these days...although some of the old girls, Betty Cook, Anne Scargill et al are still going strong, and remain gloriously defiant. FFS don't tell them I called them 'old girls' - they'd kill me!

  120. 'unless there is some sort of Community Moderation Cyborg which automatically detects verboten words such as HankScorpio and Monkeyfish, I don’t think that can be it.'

    Perhaps you unintentionally nailed it the first time, andy. :o) btw, the technology already exists - ask the CIA or the Chinese government.

  121. @pixie

    Dear god...sounds terminal...hope you survive ok. Will your employer provide a rowing boat?

    They will provide a rowing boat but unfortunately oars weren't included in the original spec so the project will be delivered without them. I need to raise a call to the help desk, report it as a fault, and the oars should be provided free of charge as part of the project' one year warranty. Unless the project manager deems oars as additional functionality, in which case ...

    You might begin to get some idea of why I'm beginning to think I'd sooner see out my remaining years doing something else, like being a crack 'ho or a kitten strangler.

  122. Perhaps I'm getting wrong but I don't think Polly meant to compare the baby P case with the vetting issue.

    I saw it as middle class people who whilst they readily believe that the baby P case is typical of 'chavs' and other 'underclass' behaviour, find the idea that 'nice middle class people' could possibly be guilty of child abuse is a gross insult. Its a bit like the old assumption that only working class people commited dv or indeed the modern assumption by some that only men do.

    Of course I could be wrong...

    As a teacher and as a tutor of vulnerable adults I have as I said on that thread been police checked ever since they started doing it. I never felt that my civil liberties were threatened. If that system prevents one child from being abused I considered it worth it. Also most local authorities paid for teachers' checks - under the old scheme anyway. I also never felt that I was personally being accused of anything.

    What worries me is that the system will make people less vigilant as of course paedophiles who have not yet been caught will not be on file and will get through.

    We do need to be reminded that there is no such thing as 100% safety for anyone but thats not an excuse to do nothing.

    The big question is how effective is this sort of check at preventing child abuse. Have any studies been done? I can remember a time when such systems were tried out in small areas before being nationally introduced, then if they were unnecessary/ineffective they were shelved. This would save money. Governments seem to be to eager to be 'seen to be doing something' these days. Nulabour with its addiction to PR and 'spin' is particularly guilty of this but the last lot did it too.

  123. Thanks sheffpixie- I wondered as well as andy! Glad to see Lesley Boulton looks very sharp (and aging very well) in the BBC Sheffield report. I was involved (in a very minor way) on the Scottish side, and am sure Lesley is right, we were living in something close to a police state in those days - and some of the cops were loving it.

    Lord S being made redundant five years ago was the best thing that happened to me - you'll do fine.

  124. LordS

    Having just come back from France (why did I? could have stayed dammit), I think you should consider taking your chances there, once you have acquired your oars. Being a kitten strangler in a small town like Castellane in southern Provence might be rewarding - at least the culture is very civilised and wine, cheese and diesel is cheap.

  125. scherfig:

    Just because you’re paranoid...

    If Cif is being moderated by computers which detect forbidden words, they’re not very effective. It took four or five hours before the comments were removed.

    Maybe Matt and Georgina have been lumbered with the CIA’s cast-off software, to go with the execrable pl*ck...

  126. LordS

    Yeah. Sell up and go to France. Good weather, good food, the best public health service in the world. Oh and don't forget the wine...

    Edwin... have you cottoned on as to who Lesley Boulton is yet?

    Can I say? Please? Please? o/

    Anne - I am just concerned, mostly, that parents will be put off with the kerfuffle of it all to the extent that they won't be bothered to get involved in what their kids do anymore, leaving them to the hands of the "professionals" - and by that, I mean the professional paedophile bastards that have managed to slip through the net for so long by scaring the bejesus out of little kids, who are too frightened to tell anyone about them.

  127. Hmmm andysays the problem I have with passwords is as follows (I will use your example to illustrate)

    The are all

    "memorablename" (some kind of punctuation) "memorable number"

    with some upper case characters thrown in. I keep trying endless variations but never quite hit the right one.

    i.e MattSeaton:Cunt1 or mattseaton#1cunt or Mseaton=cunt1

    see my problem...?

    I did this to make my passwords secure but unfortunately lack self-consistency and resultant passwords are in fact so secure I can't even crack 'em as I get lost in trying endless permutations.

    having said that I think the password for the email account I used to set up my cif account is in fact the part of the email before the @. I'm off to try it. Cheers.

  128. I think that Polly Toynbee's early life as a factory worker would make a heart warming film.
    It would have to be rewritten slightly to make the peasant girl a friend for life rather than some poor cow who didn't measure up to Polly's standards.

  129. Edwin - it's not your permission I need...

    (and that is a big clue...)

  130. rexmundi

    It would be a pretty boring film, unless lots of really really exciting things happened to her in 8 mths in a factory...

  131. Lesley I salute you - I didn't realise!

  132. Let me see. After three weeks Polly (played by Julia Roberts) unionises the factory workforce, and after six has negotiated a non-contributory pension plan for everyone as well as a year's paid maternity/paternity leave.

    How's that so far?

    I'd call it "Dude, Where's My Tuscan Villa"

  133. Not a lot of people know this, but there is a nice photo of the young millworking Polly standing beside some Indian bloke -


  134. #It would be a pretty boring film, unless lots of really really exciting things happened to her in 8 mths in a factory...#

    You mean like the time she finally worked out which end of the mop to use...bit of a "Rocky on the Steps Moment"...Eye of the Tiger thumping away in the background as she plunges it into the bucket...the symbolism might be a little "clunky" but it would neatly capture the moment that she finally bonded with the proletariat and began her lifelong campaign to wipe away the inhumanity of the capitalist machine...maybe a few little orphaned street urchins with rickets could hobble up to touch the hem of her garment, then walk away miraculously cured.

  135. You lot have been busy today - not really been around have succombed to another bout of conjunctivitis and at one point just could not look at the screen :(

    Have antibiotic drops and I think its getting better - its longer before my eyes start to sting!

  136. Thanks Edwin - but the people who really deserve the salute are the miners, their families and their communities, that have been consistently shat on and forgotten in all the years since the strike.

    They have paid an enormous price for their defiance - one i didn't have to pay.

  137. Awesome, MF.

    We need to get someone like Catherine Tate or the Smack The Pony team to do a sketch :D

  138. Wow, Sheffpixie. That's really you?

    1984. I'd only just moved out from my parents place that year.

  139. rexmundi &LordS: I reckon the two of you should collaborate on this one, maybe with some contributions from monkeyfish to add some touches of gritty reality like the one he’s already suggested.

    You might need to rethink the casting though, LordS. Have you thought of Angelina Jolie? She’s a far bigger draw at the box office these days, I believe.

    sheff: I see you've already made a comment on that thread, but you should go back and post some version of what you've just said here, there.

    I'd do it myself, but the Community Moderation Cyborg is currently purging many of my comments.

    Anonymous: Good Luck!

    Let us know how you get on, (and who you are, so we can look out for your comments)...

  140. Hah, incredible. Mick, the ex-Met officer says ...

    Firstly, the lady in question was a member of Police Watch, she obviously had a camera to try and catch a copper acting badly.

    Nice of 'em to make sure you didn't waste too much of the day getting it.

  141. I'd see Polly as more of a Gywneth Paltrow, andy. Blessed with the common touch, but no stranger to the world of poshness either.

  142. LordS:

    Yeah, that Mick of the Met sounds like every copper we know, doesn’t he?

    *Nice of 'em to make sure you didn't waste too much of the day getting it.*

    That reminds me of what my old gran used to say: *If you want to save some time, ask a policeman* I think that was it, anyway.

    *I'd see Polly as more of a Gywneth Paltrow*

    Your screenplay, your call.

  143. Lesley, true enough, but the support and the supply lines made a huge difference to morale. You are absolutely right in what happened after, the mining communities were consciously humiliated.

    As for the events leading to the strike, well you can't rewrite the past - and the succession to Gormley is a dead battle - but my feeling is that the history of the strike would have been a lot different had Gormley not rewritten the book to keep McGahey out of the running.

    The significance of that photograph is that it illustrates - perhaps more than any other image I can think of - how thin the line is between a civil society and one in which the thugs are given a free hand.

  144. I have to say I have mostly avoided reading PT pieces but I did read the one on the ISA/CRB Checks today and what a nasty, condescending tone it had to it. Written in such a way as to have already dismissed any potential criticism that could be put in such a sneering way. It felt like it implied anyone with a different opinion was just a wrongun and dismissing important issues by underplaying/glossing them over. Really pissed me off. I don't think I will bother with her again.

  145. Ha, KillingTime possited that Ultima had expressed such extreme views on the PT ISA checks thread that even BTH couldn't defend her &, straight away, there he is, like a good little toady, doing just that.

  146. PT has more than 500 comments on that nonsense. We are indirectly paying for a Tuscany villa we can't even mention.
    It provides a good outlet for ultima though, if she couldn't let off steam there she would go round biting people.

  147. Then she'd be a dead cert for a bit part in ...

    Dead Snow

    A film about zombie Nazis. How can you go wrong?

    On a film related note, anyone who has not seen Let The Right One In is strongly urged to rent it as soon as possible. I'm not sure if, after reading Ultima's ravings on Polly's thread that it's quite right for a 48 year old bloke to be touched and moved by a love story between two twelve year olds, one of whom is a vampire, but I was .... so bite me!

  148. Maybe I am just being a conspiracy theorist here, but I wonder if Ultima and BTH are the same troll with different nicks? :p

  149. No, I don't see it. They've got very different modes of speech. If anything, BTH is more feminine and Ultima is more masculine. If they're the same person then that's one freaky head on those shoulders!

  150. Somehow, I don't think that can be the case BB.

    At 10:30 today BTh was joining in the general condemnation of both PT & the ISA background checks; but obviously unaware of Ultima's stance.

    Now he's realised that they disagreed, he's jumped right in there to claim that they should have no effect on such organisations as the Scouts & Guides & moved to defend Ultima as being genuinely concerned with child safety.

    Personally, I think the demented one was simply using child safety as a means of scoring points & decided to leave, in the face of the near universal condemnation her repulsive & quite insane comments received.

  151. Sorry, I really must appoligise for insulting the demented, but I just figured raving fucking lunatic would be far less PC.

  152. The problem is brinksmanship I think. She kind of paints herself in a corner and is signally incapable of accepting that someone else might have a fair point.

    Many's the time that I have found myself conceding a point on CiF when I can see I'm beaten, or where I have made a mistake, and dogma just won't do it. I see it as a fair approach in a debate. Some others seem to think that accepting that your "opponent" has something valid to say is a sign of defeat.

  153. It's the old, "If in doubt attack", "last man, last bullet" syndrome, with the added disadvantage that she has a tendency to cite something way off topic as supporting evidence for her views & really doens't know how to deal with encountering those who actually know something about the subject she's referenced.

    Some her attacks have been quite viscious &, if made by others, would have resulted in either moderation or an outright ban, but she just gets away with them.

  154. Too true, BB.

    I was once privileged to see an online argument about whether the original series of Doctor Who finished in the 1980s or the 1990s. It actually finished on 22nd December 1989 but the logical hoops Mr. It-Finished-In-The-1990s went through to prove he was still right were a joy to behold.

    Mind you, that's just what I meant about Ultima's masculine behaviour. The utter refusal to back down under any circumstances. Blokey, blokey, blokey.

    She hates us, but she's one of us.


  155. "She hates us, but she's one of us.


    Hehehehehe! :o)

    As my mum used to say: some people will argue black is white and red is no colour at all.

    Actually, she used to say that about me, but hey...

    She came to my Call ceremony and said to me:

    "You were difficult to have, you have been difficult all your life. At least now you have found a way of making money out of being difficult"


    (God I miss her!)

  156. "You were difficult to have, you have been difficult all your life. At least now you have found a way of making money out of being difficult"

    Awesome, LOL!

  157. She was excellent my mum. Came from a tiny mill town in the Borders, with no education to speak of and fewer prospects. She naturally went straight into the wool mills but wanted to be a nurse. Everyone told her she would never do it, but she proved them wrong and ended up as a Sister and Midwife.

    I guess that's where I get my stroppiness from.

    She died way too young for my liking, sadly.

    I would give 5 years of my life just to have another 10 minutes with her.

  158. I would have thought that, with the demise of Dolly Draper, his Rapid Rebuttal Unit would have disappeared as well.

    But on the "Another Invasion of Liberty" thread we have just had a nice little girl called coral, first time poster, telling us how the ContactPoint system of registering every bit of information available about our children on a central database is a Good Thing...


  159. ... and with that I'm off to my well earned rest!

    Another day, another pointless Polly Toynbee article.

  160. Hehehe.

    I need to get to bed too. School tomorrow


    Night night all x

  161. She died way too young for my liking, sadly.

    They all do, BB. They all do.

  162. BB - just read your 4:31pm yesterday comment on Polly's thread and I do agree that if parents are less likely to become involved with their kid's activities because they need to be vetted then this is obviously a very bad thing.

    The problem we are facing, it seems to me, is lack of trust and lack of community. In the old days people did often (not always sadly) know who was 'a bit dodgey' now we are lucky if we know are neighbours to say hello to them.

    The experience of yours is very telling - kids don't seem able to tell their parents or anyone else when bad things happen to them. My daughter never told me about the bullying. We need a way of helping kids to talk to someone (who?) but its very difficult to know what to do.

    As to community. my father, brought up in the Welsh valleys in the 20's and 30's, used to say that if he had done something wrong at school his mum knew about it before he got home!

    We are too closed off from each other the state is trying to replace community with surveillance and vetting. Communities have always done both these things informally the question is who does it better community or the state?

    Dangerous when either do it - but the state is a poor and possibly more dangerous alternative.

    Sorry folks in rambling about bollocks mode this morning!

  163. divide and rule!...the old owertrip.

    That´s why pretending better options to the middle class if they spit down in common on them down there...what the mirror to catch the silly birds!

    welcome back to social reality,the dream is over..well..some will try it pushing it to the end with the Tories...but fact is...what hits one, hits all!exclusivity is a dividing social form of autism....interconnection natural in each situation.consciously or not!tys