28 September 2009

Daily Chat 28/09/09

Pompey the Great was assassinated on order of King Ptolemy in 48 BC.  Wenceslas was murdered by his brother, Boleslaus in 935.  William the Conqueror landed at Bulverhythe in 1066.  And this day in 1928 was a good one for people with infections, but a bad one for British stoners.  Alexander Fleming noticed bacteria-killing mould growing in his laboratory and cannabis was outlawed in the UK.

Born today:  Confucius (551-479 BC), Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610), Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929), Max Schmeling (1905-2005), Peter Finch (1916-1977), Marcello Mastroianni (1924-1996), Brigitte Bardot (1934) and Ben E. King (1938).

It is World Rabies Day. (No.  Really.)


  1. I'm only just a teensy bit panicked about the fact that I've just discovered that my copy of 1066 and All That is missing. It should be on the shelf, between We of the Never Never and All Quiet on the Western Front (my books are arranged by size, mostly). It isn't. Where the hell is it? It's a lovely, old hardback in pristine condition. It's got to be here somewhere, but where?

  2. It's on the top shelf with The Ascent of Rum Doodle!

    I used to be 'a lovely, old hardback in pristine condition' but now I am like the ageing floppies on the bog bookshelf.

    As for my Western Front, alas, it is now more like the Kursk Salient.

  3. Don't you mean the kursk bulge Edwin?

  4. Oh can be either Sheff - you're not a tankie I suppose??

    Of course, now I'm middle class I have salients rather than bulges.

    Miontana you haven't loaned it out perchance and forgot about it? I do that all the time but I am more entropically challenged than you.

  5. Depends what you mean by tankie Edwin. I'm not a stalinist, (although my ex might challenge that, with some justification when I think about it) and don't have a particular interest in heavy armour, although did enjoy clambering over derelict tanks near Bovington in Dorset when I was a kid.

  6. Quick pre-work stop in. No, Edwin. I'm sure I haven't loaned it out. For one thing, no one else in Podunk Center would be interested in it (with one possible exception) and, for another, I never loan out a book unless I'm willing to part with it permanently because people have the damnedest way of not returning them and I'm shy about asking for them back.

  7. How do you celebrate rabies day? If I'd known earlier I wouldn't have bothered showering. Maybe I'll just celebrate Santa Brigette...

    Do you think your son might have borrowed it, Montana?

  8. Sheff I don't necessarily equate stalinists with tankies - there was obviously overlap but I think with the CPGB there were lots who simply and truly believed what they were told to believe by Moscow, thus being anti-Stalin and pro crushing Dubcek could be held in the same brain. The gods know best.

    Mad of course, though a madness of its time as of course is the Afghanistan adventure. I gather that Sunny Hundai - to take a Guardian example - thinks 'we' shouldn't have invaded Afghanistan but now we are there going out may be worse than staying in - so far as I understand him, that is. I think that's a not dissimilar position to that of quite a few tankies: something like 'I have my doubts, but the alternatives are worse'.

    I suppose!

  9. One of the fine, fine things about this here site is the wierd and wonderful stuff we get to find out.

    Rabies Day. I love it. I think every day is Rabies Day in Luton...

    And when I win the euro lttery I'm going to write and produce a film about Kursk.

    Real tanks and planes...

  10. Edwin
    Growing up as I did in north London in the 40s/50s, there were quite a few CPers about the place, including some really interesting people whose kids I knew - refugees from Franco, Holocaust survivors, a few Americans. I remember 1956 quite well, which must have been anguish for them.

    Do you know if the Democratic Left still exists? Never hear anything from them these days. I have friend who used to produce a DL newspaper once a month in deepest, darkest Wales. But since he decamped to live on a dutch barge in France I haven't heard dicky bird.

  11. Gosh Sheff I know of no one in the Democratic Left - just looked them up on Wiki and am not much the wiser. The Morning Star is still sold in the Kelvinbridge Co-op round the corner of us though I think not many copies are actually sold.

    The main part of the old CPGB (in Glasgow at least) is the Morning Star related CPB, though it's all a matter of groupuscles.

    As for what CP people used to call 'Trots', the Tommy Sheridan split wrecked the SSP in Scotland - amazing to think that just a couple of years ago they had a bunch of Holyrood MSPs, most of whom were regularly on telly, radio and in the press.

  12. There's a play about Gerard Hoffnung on Radio 4 at the moment - the single funniest person I ever heard as a kid, apart from Tom Lehrer. He died, sadly young 50 years ago last Friday (25th)

  13. Edwin

    I met Tommy Sheridan when I lived in Glasgow for a while back in the 90s. I was peripherally involved with the Pollok Free State and various mad but charming anarchists. I remember he still lived in Pollok and always had an entourage of young (ex neds) accompanying him about.

  14. Yep, Sheridan became SSP councillor for Pollok and was succeeded as councillor by fellow SSP member Keith Baldassara - KB was Best Man at Sheridan's wedding but the two are no longer friends. Every hack in Scotland is salivating at the prospect of the forthcoming Sheridan perjury trial.

    Curiously one of the strongest defences of Sheridan I've come across has been made by Alan Cochrane at the Telegraph - politically light years away from Sheridan of course, but he's not the only rightwinger to feel there is something decidedly off about the prosecution.

    Also curiously, the main beneficiary of the death of the left in Scotland has been the SNP, whose leader proudly proclaims that Scotland 'welcomed' Thatcher's economic policies.

    Strange times, strange politics.

  15. I saw the results of Tatcherite economics when i lived in Glasgow. According to the World Health Organisation people living in the poorer districts of Glasgow have a shorter life expectancy than India.

  16. Yeh the Guardian


    gave these figures for Calton, one of the poorest bits of Glasgow

    Life expectancy (men)

    Andorra (highest): 80.6

    United Kingdom: 75.9

    Gaza Strip: 70.5

    Calton, Glasgow: 53.9

    Liberia: 38.9

    Swaziland (lowest): 32.5

    The figures are disputed by some but clearly there are immense problems. This Scotsman article (devastingly) compares Calton with Lenzie, just outside Glasgow


  17. Evening, Untrusted Ones

    LOL at Bitterweed - "Every day is rabies day in Luton". :o)

    I have only just finished work for the evening. Still, at least I get to have a bit of a lie-in tomorrow as I don't have such an early start \o/

    Off to have a nose about on CiF. brb.

  18. Good article on the OFSTED babysitting scandal. I really don't know what those numpties were thinking of. Bloody idiots.

  19. BB

    I have finally come to the end of my tether and think we should fight this ofsted pile of shite. I'll instruct a solicitor if you'll act pro bono. email me if your up for it.

  20. Just dropped in so not caught up yet ..

    I thought Mr Coaker was demanding that OFSTED reassess their definition of 'reward'?

  21. Sheff - we need to get the two police officers concerned to instruct the solicitors because you would have no "standing" as such. Or someone who finds themselves in a similar position.

    But yes I most definitely would be up for doing it for free because I am sick to death of all this bollocks now.

  22. Can't I do about it as a person whose children and grandchildren will be affected by this interpretation of the act?

  23. MsC

    I hope you're right but HO wheels grind very slow so it could take ages.

  24. Approx 3 years, in my experience sheff. And that's for a priority matter.
    A campaign which culminated in the Kennedy recommendations into investigating infant deaths took about 20 years, but hey, that wasn't a hot voting issue.

  25. BB
    The police officers are represented via their union, I believe. I drifted into work a bit later than usual so I could catch Mandy *spit* on R4s Today, followed by a more interesting interview with the 2 officers (they were on around 8.30).
    The 2 women agreed to jobshare and share childcare in order to give their best to the police service & their families. Nuff said.

  26. ** Quote of the week from MediaFrenzy on WDYWTTA:

    Perhaps someone has spilt oil on the page and the truth just cannot stick, but slips and skids off before it can take hold.

  27. Excellent quote, MsChin! How are you feeling today? Is the flu on its way out?

    Sheff - I am not entirely sure. I would have to look into it. But generally, for a JR, you have to be either an individual who has had the law misapplied to them or an organisation whose members will be affected. The only JR-ing I get to do is in immigration/asylum cases so I will have to swot up.

  28. Getting better, ta, BB. And it is a good quote!

  29. Fuckety fuck, fuck! Just got home. Had to stop at a red light at the corner where we live -- 200 metres from home. Just long enough for the cop behind me to realise that my registration was out of date. $100 fine. Where the fuck am I going to find $100 to pay a fine? Damn registration's out of date because I can't afford it. I fucking hate cars. I want to live somewhere with public transportation.

  30. Montana
    My sympathies.
    Not paying the congestion charge in London caught me out last month for £60 + £25 admin fee from the people who own my car (employer). Plus a £40 parking fine 'cos the other half got confused by the pay-by-phone charging thing. Normally would go by tube, but one look at the elderly in law just recovering from flu made us change our mind .. and we were meeting up with far-flung family members from your side of the pond, so no option.

  31. Oh no Montana. That is really shit. Is it a bit like a tax disc sort of thing that you have to do every year?

    We got done a couple of years ago because ours was out of date.

    Is there any way you can appeal it?

  32. That sucks, Montana :(

    MsChin - if it's an NCP parking fine, don't pay it. They will send you warnings, then a silly letter from Graham White Sols (who are a cover for Roxburgh collections agency, all in the same building as NCP) and eventually go away.

  33. I'm off to bed, guys. Have a good evening x

  34. Ta, BB.
    And me too. Night all.

  35. Yes, it's like a tax disc. You get a little sticker to put on your licence plate. You're supposed to do it every year, in the month of your birthday. Mine was over a year and a half old, so I can't really appeal it.