15 October 2009

Daily Chat 15/10/09

Not entirely intentional French theme to today's events:  Napoleon began his exile on St. Helena in 1815.  Alfred Dreyfus was arrested on charges of spying in 1894.  Mata Hari was executed at Vincennes in 1917.  Pierre Laval was executed in 1945 and the Great Storm of 1987 slammed France and England with winds up to 100 knots and air pressure equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane, leaving 22 dead.

Born today:  Virgil (70-19 BC), Mikhail Lermontov (1814-1841), Friederich Nietsche (1844-1900), P.G. Wodehouse (1881-1975), Mario Puzo (1920-1999), Italo Calvino (1923-1985), Penny Marshall (1942) and David Trimble (1944).

It's Global Handwashing Day, so wash those filthy mitts.


  1. PhillipaB - Good and timely pieces on Blair.

  2. One 'l', deano. From "phil-hippos", Horse Lover.

    I like ancient Greek names - they all mean something. Xanthippos - Yellow Horse, Xenophon - Foreign Voice, Alexandros - Defender of Men, Demosthenes - Vigour of the People, etc etc.

  3. heh heh
    don't worry about it deano (and thanks)
    and thank you swifty - it's no wonder I normally go by 'Phil'...
    (plus - middle name Clare, which has at least two other spellings as well - my parents now admit that this was possibly not the best approach in the world)

  4. Cheers Swifty - eye/finger/brain coordination is not one of my strengths of a morn.

  5. I'm not too bad on cunning though - hereafter it's PB!!

  6. Hank
    re comment on last thread, of course if "dickless manhater" was modded then sure "wombless arsehole" should be too.

    Personally I enjoy a good creative insult so I would leave both stand.

    The target for the wombless arsehole comment was male and presumably therefore did not possess a womb (although possibly not true because some men have tiny vestigeal ones) and he was certainly an arsehole, so the comment was at least accurate.

  7. anne: I wonder what's more homiliating to those men (who find out): The fact that they have wombs or the fact that they are tiny and vestigial.

    I'll surely tell my doctor before any physical examination where a womb could be discovered that he shall not tell me about it.

  8. Bit like finding out that the "G" spot is no more than a residual prostate.

  9. No need to worry ew

    Its just that the basic body plan for mammals seems to be female and boys don't start growing the right secondary organs until the hormones kick in!

    No reflection on your masculinity at all!

  10. Oh and I doubt if it would show in a physical exam, its likely to be no more than a couple of mm in size!

  11. annetan - that's always fascinated me. Kind of like, we all start off as women, but being male is some form of afterthought. Or a mutation.

    just kidding, chaps.

    (heh heh)

  12. We all start off as women, but some of us evolve further.

    Just kidding, gals ;-)

  13. Sorry Anne I stand corrected - the prostate is no more than a residual "G" spot.

  14. @Philippa:

    Don't knock mutations, they're responsible for most of evolution.

    ("Heh heh" back atcha).

  15. I wonder if 'wombless' when used as a term to insult, could in any way be offensive to women who have had a hysterectomy?

    Genuine question, not trolling.....

  16. @Vari:

    Oh, it's "wombless" is it, I thought it was just rubbish speller Imogen not being able to spell "womble's". As in

    You, sir, are a womble's arsehole.

  17. A womble's arsehole is very fine insult swifty

    "You, sir, are a womble's arsehole." - a sentence to be savoured.

  18. So we all start off as women then nature decides to give some of us something to play with?
    Doesn't seem fair.

  19. Stoaty - we all have clits it's just that some are bigger than others.

    A clit by any other name is a cock. Shit I can't get the hang of this - a cock by any other name is a clit. Perfectly fair after all.

  20. deano,
    One can over-analyse a knob joke young fella!

  21. LOL - stopped raining time to take the dogs for walk.

    Cheers Stoaty good to see you around.

  22. elementary - damnit, walked right into that one, di'n't I? heh heh.

    swifty - "You, sir, are a womble's arsehole." That is indeed a very fine insult. Am also adding that to the book.

    Vari - imogen actually went back on the thread to clarify on that point. nothing if not even-handed, bless 'er.

  23. Hank was quite right of course, if one goes then so should the other. Question is, did Imogen's "wombless arsehole" stay because it was hilariously funny, or because it was insulting the 'enemy'. I've always said that the moderators' politics show through in the comments they choose to let stay and those they choose to delete, and this is, IMHO, a prime example of that.

    Anyway, lay off the Wombles you lot! Wimbledon Common was a mess before they showed up.

    Finally, I got moderated for suggesting that a subject as important as Carter-Ruck gagging The Guardian should be blogged by someone less intelectually lightweight than Denis MacShane. I thought this was fair comment, not particularly insulting and in the circumstances reasonably polite.

    Next time I shall just call him a stupid thieving bald cunt and be done with it ... becuase I may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.


  24. Oh well actually, Imogen's comment has been modded now. As she obviously expected.

    Hank - "So how come she gets to dish out mindless sexist abuse and get feted for it?"

    First of all, as others have pointed out, it was very funny. And secondly, she was responding to some very unfunny mindless sexist abuse.

  25. @deano - 'Stoaty - we all have clits it's just that some are bigger than others'

    Someone once told me that womens clits are bigger than cocks because they go back inside the body a longs way - but don't know if that is scientific fact.

    However the female spotted hyena has such a massive clitoris that early explorers thought males in captivity were giving birth and freaked out. Spotted hyena's are matriarchal and are the most succesfull predators in Africa.

    But what really made me laugh is the fact that female hyena's compete over clitoris size and they get clitoral erections that they show off. So it just goes to show that girls are just as bad as boys - given half a chance (course Maggie T showed that too way before I knew of the hyena situation).

    Deano - it is bloody horrible here in deepest Sheff - I cannot see the moors for a thick mist and it is too cold to venture out yet. My dogs are going nuts as him indoors only gets in in time to give em a short walk.

    I hope tomorrow will feel well enough to venture out again.

    LordS - 'stupid thieving bald cunt' is very apt!

  26. LordS: Put something original and hilarious into the mix (wombless may be too off-topic), and it probably will last longer.

    pricesscc: Cocks go back inside the body a long way, too; however, in my opinion we should leave such length comparisons to pubescent teenagers.

    (By the way, I never showed off my erection/compared the size with another erected penis, and I have little motivation to changing this state of things. So these female hyenas are obviously far beyond me in sexual bad-assery.)

  27. elementary - watson - re the never showing off thingy - glad to hear it! Yes I think comparing 'lengths' is a bit silly. But they hyena thing is fascinating - female moles have really long ones too. Nature is weird!

    Two doves are sat on a chimney opposite me cooing and 'kissing' each other. It is such a lovely spectacle. Ah nature is nice!

  28. LordS, I had a comment deleted on a Denis McShane article about the BBCs expenses, because I accused the shameless hypocrite of claiming £25,000 just for having a fax machine in his garage. He's obviously a sensitive chap, bless him.

  29. Oh just the day I have been waiting for - four from my philavery in a single post. Here goes:

    @PCC - I do like this UT place. Truly the University of Thaumaturgy.

    I sure as hell wouldn't stand my ground if faced by spotted hyena in Africa. You delightful wench you had me in stitches. I learn something everyday here at UT.

    It was my complete lack of understanding about physiology that got me started at playing at doctors and nurses.

    Hope you are feeling lots better tomorrow.

    Hank - I don't think Imogen is an altogether sexist termagant more of a sometimes very funny taupie/tawpie.

    Well that's me four - but I can't resist a fifth so I'm off in search of a pint of tembo

  30. Great. Thanks to your biology lesson I now no longer know if I'm going to twat one off or crack one out.

  31. Hi MattBellmer - welcome.

    PCC - speaking of courtship. Did you see the new Attenborough called "Life" on the BBC1 on Monday.

    The dance of some long necked very elegant water birds was amazing, the male imitates every single movement the female makes(Name escapes me but China and fish eating birds come to mind)

    Finally to signal 'game on' they both stand up and walk/dance side by side on the water and for a long distance too - talk about a promise! It is truly awesome.

    If you aint seen it get it on iplayer. It is a delight that will cheer you.

  32. @deano:

    I saw a couple of very elegant birds (well, three actually) getting it on in a video clip recently, it was on the internet, don't think it was on the iplayer though.

    That also was a delight and it cheered me up immensely for the 45 seconds it ran.

  33. LordS - "Darth Seaton" - love it!!

  34. Sorry Matt.

    I'm having serious problems with me l's to day they keep doubling themselves up.

  35. Princesschipchops,
    I didn't realise what a sensitive bastard I was until I read your comment. Leave it out woman, you are lowering the tone.

  36. BTW, it seems to be ok to call Blair a 'Womble's arsehole', so far anyway.(2 hours)

  37. Er bitterweed - what is 'twatting one off'? I am in puzzlement.

    Deano will look up the birds (not THAT kind of bird swifty you naughty boy you)on the i-player thanking you. I really want to watch the episode with the dolphins fishing as a group - looks incredible.

    I am much better today but still laid in bed. Looking out at the ever nearer mist. I dont like the mist ever since I watched an old bbc production of The Woman In Black - it scared me more than anything else I have ever seen and it was full of creepy mist. Shudders.

  38. Colin - i apologise most profoundly and deeply.

  39. Oooh I love mist. Reminds me of Famous Five stories (that I had to hide from my parents on the grounds that they were shite, which is true enough).

  40. Elementary

    "So these female hyenas are obviously far beyond me in sexual bad-assery"

    That's a very fine sentence too if I may say so. I look forward to seeing it posted on CiF at an opportune moment.

  41. pricesschipchop,
    Thank you, I do not doubt for a moment your sincerity.
    Get well soon eh?

  42. @deano:

    And considering that English is not even elementary_watson's first language, it's a particularly sterling effort.

  43. Oh Fucking well done Stoaty.

    I'm with Thauma on mist.

    PCC - you can't have a shag on the Stray in bright sunlight but you can on an autumnal Sunday.

  44. Southern mist is fine but in the North it seems to magnify the sound of the clogs in a very disconcerting fashion.

  45. Clog dancing is a very concerting activity stoaty - some consider it more erotic than the tango.

    Clogs are also at the heart of some of the most beautiful poetry ever written. As in:

    Eeee lass fancy a clogging for a tanner,
    how about a shillin then.

  46. deano, Swifty: Stop it! Else I may never post anything again here for fear of not measuring up to that sentence.

  47. Proncess

    I once came closer than I wished to a hyena. I was having a pee in the desert at night when one swanned into the glare from the truck headlights staring straight at me. Its amazing how fast you can go from a squat to a run whilst pulling your pants up when you're ten feet from a great ugly beast like that.

    Didn't get a chance to notice his /her organ though, too terrified to look but I'll take your word for it. Hyenas are an all round over the top animal and the ugliest creatures I've ever seen.

  48. Sheff

    Does that mean that you were peeing in the glare of the truck's headlights? Exhibitionism taken a step too far I fear.

    There may, as we speak, even be a photograph somewhere out there on tinternet.If there is Swifty will find it!

  49. deano,
    More erotic than the tango? Depends on who's doing it I suppose.

    Last night feeding a stray cat at the front door a fox looked in the gate about 15 feet away. Evil looking buggers close up, by torch light. I reckon if I hadn't been there he would have chased the cat off the food.

    As it was he later ripped open the dustbin bag and chewed the bloody tea-bags! Quite mad.

  50. It was a dark and stormy night. A bit foggy, too. A stoat was feeding a cat when suddenly, in the glare of the truck's headlights, a fox slunk through the gate.

    In the distance a hyena howled and a woman in an embarrassing state of déshabille ran screaming.

    The sinister yet erotic sounds of the clog dance beginning could be heard....

  51. Well that's me modded out from the Blair thread after 7 hrs.

    All I said was that Switzler/Blair/Murdoch were three slimy slugs conspiring to destroy democracy and decency.

  52. They can't take the truth, Deano.

  53. thaumaturge,
    Never thought I'd say this but LOL!
    You silly bugger.

  54. God Sheff that sounds a bit horrendous! I don't blame you for not noticing the organ - and generally it is not something I tend to 'notice' in animals even when not being charged by them I hasten to add - but watched a programme on the spotted hyena where it explained this weird organ in detail (didn't show it though!)

    They are an ugly animal you is right there and they make weird noises too. The other thing this programme said is that they are actually part of the cat family officially and not dogs - now that freaked me out too.

    Deano re elementary's fine line I think an award should be given to the first person to manage to place it in an appropriate - ish article.

  55. Thauma.. 'the sinister yet erotic sounds of the clog dancing' - brilliant, just brilliant.

  56. LOL Thauma

    Desert clog dancing is strangely silent and rather exhausting in my experience.

  57. Sinister erotica is always exhausting, Sheff (if done properly).

  58. Actually deano - I was discreetly to one side of the headlights - safely in the dark, or so I thought.

    We have several families of foxes living in the cemetery up the road - they're beautiful and look very sleek and well fed - not evil at all. They are sly though, I'll give you that.

  59. 'Sinister erotica' thauma? Think I might be a bit past it now but it does sound intriguing

  60. Nice one thamua ;-)

    Actually "...erotic sounds of the clog dance beginning...." is just the line I was looking for to accompany a scene from my forthcoming film of the life and times of Frederick Furnivall.

    Picture it if you will. There is a distant sound of synchronised clogs on cobbles, louder, louder.

    The mist lifts (fog really 'cos it's Victorian London) eight clogged working class ladies in starched blouses come into sight.

    The mist parts further we see the women are between them carrying a long thin boat on their shoulders and an oar in their right hands.

    There is a sound of a man whistling a happy tune. Frederick Furnivall comes into focus through the swirling mist......

    I can't wait to win big on the Euro lottery and to start filming

  61. Sheff - don't worry about your shyness we'll sort it out when we start filming. A pint of tembo will make all the difference.

  62. Okay it is disturbing enough to me that LenFirewood is back on Cif but he has just posted this comment in reply to me: "Well either that or we could get into S & M!! (only kidding...I think!!) lol"

    Len has said that! I am so amazed and... well amazed that I have ignored it on Cif. Although I think a reply could possibly provide a vehicle for the hyena line??

  63. Just looked up hyenas on wiki. Related to meercats and mongooses. Always thought they were dogs.

    This one gave me a bit of a start because he suddenly appeared. They are charmers really.
    The hedgehog didn't eat his food last night so I'm hoping that foxy didn't catch him unrolled.

  64. PB - According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary (http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/mongoose) the correct plural can be either mongooses or mongeese.

    You and I both!

  65. Am now, Mongooses. Wiki would not mislead.

  66. "A man who allowed a three-year-old girl to smoke cigarettes was today jailed for 18 months."

    WTF - Blair goes free and not a single bankster is charged and this tosser gets 18 months at considerable expense to the taxpayer.

    He should have been given three months locked in cell on a diet of water and chewing tobacco only and with his fags and matches locked in a cage in his full view.

    He should then have been banned from buying fags within a fifty mile radius of his own home for twenty five years and given twenty five duckings in the Manchester Ship Canal on a ducking stool and a community order to pick up all the fag ends after next years Glastonbury......followed by.....

    See how Blair has stripped me of my liberal instincts and turned me into an uncharitable soul.

    I'd better go walk the dogs before I get angry.

  67. deano,
    Think you will find that Blair has made his peace with God, said a few hail marys and therfore owes the rest of us absolutely fuck all.

  68. Presumably Deano - you'll be playing the insouciant Frederic and I'll be one of the women in clogs carrying the effing boat! You'll need a lot more than one pint of tembo to get me in front of the camera btw.

    I think you should definitely be put up for the designer of punishments for miscreants. Picking up all the fag ends after Glasto - now that is cruel...

  69. Stoaty my friend, all my adult life I've found the idea of 'original sin' an outrageous construction of language.

    And the notion of the sins of the father being visited on the son always struck me as an obscenity.

    Blair changed my mind. I remain irreligious but if he don't finish up behind bars or banished to St Kilda in my lifetime then god help the bastards grandchildren when the mob tracks em down.

  70. Ok Sheff- I love hard to get wenches, sorry meant stars. I'll budget for a case of tembo for you.

  71. deano - you can really say mongeese? Blimey. I thought I was off on one of my little jaunts, there...

  72. #So how come she gets to dish out mindless sexist abuse and get feted for it?#

    Erm...Could it be it's because her politics more or less mirror the Guardian's editorial line? Now the Islington dinner party circuit has decided Blair wasn't such a great thing after all, it's time for a new 'manifesto':

    "We, the CIF editors, spokespersons for the worthless middle-class liberal elite ALWAYS hated Blair for his abandonment of the working class, his war crimes and the fact that we always knew he was going to leave office with a plodding idiot in charge while he went on to suck at the teat of corporate finance and embrace Rome...we said so ALL ALONG.

    His only redeeming feature was his promotion of diversity and identity but that wasn't him anyway...that was St. Harriet. And she only managed to push it through by being twice the politician of any man..ever.

    What's more he allowed the banks to bankrupt the country and, consequently, the ability to finance the much needed actions of the diversity industry is now in jeopardy. As a result he has left many reinvigorated, reaffirmed cultural, racial, gender and sexuality centred groups in limbo; waiting for a Tory onslaught which will set social cohesion back to...er..some non-specific point when things didn't sorta cohere as much as they kinda do these days.

    We undertake to fight the Tory threat in the time-honoured manner by striking poses which celebrate difference, oppose an over-inflated fascist threat and make it look like we cared about the working class all along.

    To this end we will: continue to ban genuine left wing posters, keep commissioning NuLabour wankstains to post their anti-Tory message, push diversity and identity till it's coming out your ears and pretend the BNP is a serious threat, and, wherever possible, leave the righteous posts of liberal idiots untouched ... Yep...that should do the trick.

    Unite siblings..together we shall er..look like we meant well."

    Whenever I look at cif now, all I see is a rightwing majority and a few useful liberal idiots saying little of substance and united in their assertion that the place has gone right down the nick and just isn't any fun any more.

    Fuckin mindblowing.

    Incidentally, I've nothing against calling an arsehole an arsehole..it's just that I never got away with it. It would be gone in half an hour. Not left too stick around all day. Little or nothing to do with the abuse level..more that I wasn't just the kinda feisty, middle-class chick who was just the Guardian's cup of tea. Nor I fear were you Hank.

    Your abuse, like mine, was artless filth brought on by your lack of class and erudition. Not at all like the rapier wit of some of these feminist liberal bourgeois types. Their use of 'arsehole' is measured, concise and brilliant. In their hands an arsehole is poetry..in yours it's a pitiful admission of impotence.

    Just accept it mate. They don't like you. You don't have the..er..what's the phrase I'm looking for?

  73. Surely the Francophones will know that the correct plural is mesgeese.

  74. ...class, monkeyfish?

    Top rant btw, and exactly what I was getting at, if a bit obliquely last night. FWIW, and picking up on annetan's point, some of the insults you and BW flung around were brilliantly inventive and funny, but they were more often used against Matt's clique, and so, as a result, NOT funny.

    And it doesn't matter whether the target of the insult is an arsehole, or a bigot, really. The talk policy has got to be consistent, not applied, as LordS suggested, according to the political tastes of the mods.

  75. MF
    Just accept it mate. They don't like you. You don't have the..er..what's the phrase I'm looking for?

    Since Hank is on a Francais kick with mesgeese, the phrase you're looking for is probably un certain 'je ne sais quoi'

    Don't think it's good for your head to second guess cif priorities re modding - seems to be quite arbitrary a lot of the time.

  76. PB - that's what wiki answers say.

    I think we would be pushing it to look skywards in the hope of one day seeing a flock of mongeese though.

    Regards and a belated welcome to Montana Wildhack's fun blog - the Untrusted.

    BTW - I meant to ask in a purely inquisitive and kinda academic way - how did you find your way to what I think is this great site. No answer is necessary if you don't wish to say.

    Some folk have found themselves here by invitation others, like myself, kinda stumbled across it by happy accident having seen it referenced across on CiF.

    It's an open, warm and friendly blog to which all, as I understand it, are welcomed and no one is moderated by Montana. From time to time we have the occasional fall out/flare up but it's rare and nobody seems to hold serious grudges for long.

    The usual welcomer is called Andysays aka trainer******** but he's having a break at the minute so I thought I would take his place temporarily.

    On a rainy nonews day the archive of this place is a treat to read.

  77. @sheff - it's certainly pretty arbitrary, but there's a hierarchy of offences, I reckon. Chief amongst which is showing up the star writers or the Graun itself to be hypocritical.

    However, as is often said, it's their ball and their rules. Nobody likes being shown up for being a hypocrite, but it seems that their priorities are skewed if that's the worst offence in their eyes.

    Anyway, great blog on there today by Symon someone about the white w-c. Read some of it at lunchtime, off to look at the rest now...

  78. "They don't like you. You don't have the..er..what's the phrase I'm looking for?"

    Money/rope/burning torch in your hand?

    Class rant indeed MF.

  79. Yep, the Symon Hill thread is well worth a look.

    As for your point about the Guardian renouncing New Labour, I think that's part of the reason why Cif is dismal at the moment. The star writers seem to have undergone the "scales falling from eyes" moment most of had in Blair's first term. There's no real conviction in any of their writing, and none of them has the vision to suggest a new direction. They mirror NL's complete loss of will.

    But they've got to keep the hits coming, so they fill space with fluff or Irwin fucking Stelzer.

    Hill's blog was a breath of fresh air because it wasn't just a retread of the same old shit.

  80. Great stuff, monkeyfish. Without going into detail right now, that sounds kinda like how I feel. Obviously I can't endorse everything you say unconditionally (pace Matt Seaton), but if it's a choice between feeling the way you do, and also saying so, with a bit of (shudder) industrial language thrown in, or wittering on Cif about 'the most amazing piece of news of the day - namely the fact that Karl Lagerfeld's former muse, Inès de la Fressange, has beaten Carla Bruni to the tile of most chic Parisienne', then I think I'll go with the disgust and anger and bad language. Some would call this sort of thing unwarranted blind hatred or class warfare or being nasty and impolite - I would call it justified. I think we need a bit more venom.

    A word of advice, fish - try and make your admirable polemics sound a little less working class. Try and engage with the bourgoisie. And never forget what happened to Katherine Chidley!

  81. Hank/MF/anyone - what do you know about Deborah Orr ?

    Apart from she's an occasional Guardian/Indie writer and married to Will Self....

  82. Evening all

    God I'm tired. Sutton, then Newington then Islington then home. Dead beat.

    Still managed to have a rant on the the Immigrants thread though.

  83. #To combat the BNP, we need to emphasise that the most important division in society is not racial – it is the division between the very rich and the rest of us.#

    Well..finally...cif finally gets a piece pointing out the stark staringly fuckin obvious. What next?

    "Report says civic leaders overestimated the threat posed by bear shit to city centres"?

    All in all, when you look at the rest of Europe..the world even...and consider the relative proximity of the working class and immigrant communities...the fact that any 'competition' for public resources between immigrants and the rest impacts far more heavily in working class areas...then consider how what a meagre footholds the fascists have ever gained in this country...the conclusion should be that the wwc are super-tolerant secular saints...not mindless bigots who need lecturing by liberal idiots. Idiots who, if anything, stir up more shit than any sane person can fathom with their advocacy of identity bullshit.

    Yet week after week...out they trot...(armed with the knowledge that they got along just fine with that nice Asian guy at Oxford who's got a cushy slot with NuLab these days..and they always smile politely at the black woman who cleans the office or the Slovakian au pair) and they condescend to instruct the working class on how to celebrate difference: the very people who've managed to get along just fine by doing their fuckin utmost to ignore difference.


    One gripe...and I know it's a bit churlish...

    "Symon Hill is associate director of the religion and society thinktank Ekklesia.
    He is a Quaker Christian, socialist and pacifist."


    When are we going to see..


    Bill Evans is an engine fitter, shop steward, smoker and occasional binge drinker with an abiding hatred of liberal bullshit"?

    Remind me..when does hell freeze over?

  84. Now, Scherfig, I might be totally uninterested myself in the latest fashion news, but there is room for all sorts of interests on teh interwebs. Attacking Blair, Murdoch and wotsisuglyface is much more important than complaining about topics you might find uninteresting. There is plenty of actively evil stuff out there that is much more important.

    Who is Katherine Chidley and what happened to her? (Too lazy to google it.)

    Deano - haven't made my mind up about Ms Orr yet. Like a lot of Guardian columnists, it's not immediately apparent what her point actually is for the most part as it wanders a lot.

  85. "Report says civic leaders overestimated the threat posed by bear shit to city centres"?

    Made me LOL

  86. MF - bring on Bill Evans, he sounds like my type of bloke! (Assuming that by 'liberal', you mean 'New Labour'.) (Which perhaps you don't.)

  87. Never heard of Deborah Orr before her recent columns on Cif, deano.

    Cripes, somebody's gonna be for it. Imogen has been emailed about comments made at "the other place". She seems to think that the nub of my complaint is that she's using sexist language, nothing to do with the inconsistency of modding policy.

    Actors really do think the world revolves around them after all then.

  88. A Simple Desultory Philippic

    I think fascists are awful people - they hate Jews and coloured people. I don't much like them myself but I would never say so on Cif.
    I am not a racist - I love black people. I just don't know any - and that's not my fault!
    The working class are the salt of the earth - but, to be honest, they've really gone down hill in the last few years.
    Immigrants are great - we should welcome them all. (the white ones, that is - nannies, cooks, cleaners. East Europeans are best, and you can still patronise Czechs and Poles! The coloured ones are lazy and dishonest, don't hire them.) Although, come to think of it, it might be time to send them all home now.
    Private schools are wrong! I only send my own children to them because I have enough money and my kids are very special.
    The NHS is fabulous - I don't use it myself because my remuneration package includes BUPA, but I've heard good things about it. I think we should support it.
    Universities should be totally free - it cost me nearly £50,000 to put Tasmin through Cambridge, and she still hasn't got a blog on the Guardian. What do we pay our taxes for?
    Women are under-represented at the highest levels in all employment areas (although I'm doing all right myself). I object to this. So I support my sisters, as long as they're not working class.
    Smoking is vile! As a long-time opponent of the death penalty in USA, Egypt, Somalia etc, I nevertheless feel that UK smokers who stand in doorways in full view of passing children should be summarily executed.

    And just for thauma - levellers

  89. ... or how I was Lyndon Johnsoned into submission?

  90. "Private schools are wrong! I only send my own children to them because I have enough and my kids are very special."

    Made me laugh (-:

    Something must be done about conditions in the Third World. We had no end of problems trying to find prosciutto when we holidayed in Mogadishu recently.

  91. Correct, BB - you know your Paul Simon. And I don't care what any 'politically correct' fuckwit says - Graceland was a great album. And a statement.


  92. "Private schools are wrong! I only send my own children to them because I have enough money and my kids are very special" and it frees up state resources to give the disadvantaged smaller classes and more of a chance in life...

  93. I have Graceland in my small collection.

  94. "Trescothick returns home from Champions League after relapse."

    Poor fucker. Bad enough suffering from depression and marital problems without having them aired on the back pages.

  95. scherfig

    Poptastic matey...get back to cif at once...you're ATL gig is entirely feasible. You're a bloody natural.

  96. monkeyfish, cif and I have parted company. It took a couple of weeks, but it worked out in the end - I no longer exist. I had to laugh when they Emailed me back to ask if I wanted them to go ahead with my deletion. That was why had I mailed them in the first place, so I couldn't really see any other scenarios.

    I think I've posted this before, but what the hell - it's worth a listen.

    no time for love

  97. Cheers Scherfig - sounds like a woman after me own heart (apart from the religious bit, but I suppose you had to fake it back then). Needed a subscription to follow any of the links. :-(

    Could always Wiki of course but am tired and bed-bound shortly....

  98. Gracelands was the dog's bollocks. Love that album.

  99. #(Assuming that by 'liberal', you mean 'New Labour'.) (Which perhaps you don't.)#

    Oh yeah. That lot are definitely in the mix. I've talked about the enormous difficulties of assigning any meaningful synonymy to the term liberal before..it's a word that's undergone so many revisions over the years even before the 'neo' prefix re-established the pro-free trade connotation.

    Basically, I see it these days as a blanket term covering the following:

    a) the washed up academic fallout from '68 who abandoned economic justice to play the radical by shifting allegiance to identity and specific causes, abandoning universalism as a result.

    b)Their acolytes who went through higher education and found the 'radical' label quite invigorating; particularly since it involved doing nothing but striking poses and assuming a lifelong mantle of being 'leftwing' while happily accumulating two homes, multiple vehicles, au pairs, nannies, cleaners (basically...though they'd never use the term...'servants') and all the while lecturing the rest of us from their lofty media towers about how to live our lives authentically and ethically. (obviously this includes cif)

    c) The majority. The large army of unthinking knee-jerk admirers of the above who tend to aspire to similar positions. They litter education, the public sector, the arts etc. It's not entirely their fault since paying lip-service to such orthodoxies is de rigeur in such positions.

    d) Self-serving politicians who, recognising the existence of group c, pander to them to establish their progressive credentials (incidentally 'progressive' and liberal are basically interchangeable in this respect)

    Noticeably absent from groups a to d are the working class. Equally striking is the complete disregard shown to the working class by groups a to d...except in a 'theoretical' sense.

    Now, given the abandonment of the working class by groups a to d, you don't have to be that much of an unreconstructed leftie to wonder how the 'left' ever became prefixed to their celebrated soi-disant 'left-liberal' designation.

    Er..that's it really.

  100. #Cripes, somebody's gonna be for it. Imogen has been emailed about comments made at "the other place".#

    Oooh...wouldn't want to be in your shoes Hank. You wombless Stalinist-throwback arsehole. You're gonna get such a telling off.

  101. Jesus what is going on over on the Bidisha thread? Some poster called icecoldrage - who started off with some mildly amusing little posts - has now gone departmental and posted stuff about Bidisha getting a fisting from a bodybuilder and gone on to call bitethehand - bite the minge and offered to kick him in the cunt!

    I have asked the mods what the fuck people like this are doing on Cif when so many good posters (mentioned you by name Hank) have been banned for good. The mods are fucking asleep on the job again.

    What is it with these really offensive posters that keep going off on one on threads at night - Kitz and montana (I think it was you MW) had to really kick off on a thread only the other week cause of the stuff that was being said and it was left up for ages. Cif really is becoming a joke.

  102. You're on fire tonight, MF.

    I agree FWIW with your analysis of the four classes of liberalism. The issue then is how does the old left detach itself from those liberal groups it's been suicidally attached to for 40 years, and organise itself effectively in the absence of trade unions worthy of the name?

  103. Liked Graceland (am hearing the human rhythm section in my now you've all mentioned it) but there are some fuckingreat Paul Simon lyrics from the old days with that mental lightweight but brilliant harmonicist Garfunkel.

    The Boxer and I Am a Rock are particular favourites.

    Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

  104. deano - bless you. You have an official welcomer? Sounds v posh. should have put a frock on.

    anyway, i pitched up because i got modded for a comment on the bid thread where i really couldn't see what grounds they would have to remove it - unless referring to a certain brand of rad fems as 'outlying wackoes' could have caused offense to, erm, any outlying wackoes on the thread - so i got a bit of a strop on, and then remembered that this blog had been referred to by other people on CIF, so pootled over to see if it was somewhere i could sulk in peace.

    bizarrely, after i queried the modding, they emailed me to say it had been put back, "sorry for any confusion caused". i'm presuming it was a mistake, as there was so much modding going on to stop the trafigura thing being referred to. what's really annoying is that they then deleted every other post in that four-hour period that referred to mine, however 'in passing' so some really good comments just disappeared into the ether...

    anyway. graceland was great. sadly only had a cassette version, which didn't survive last move but three.

  105. Hi princess - they're cutting back on the mods clearly. That's why a lot of the more contentious threads get closed down at 8pm or earlier.

    The GMG is in serious financial trouble, hefty job cuts are in the offing according to a close friend who is directly affected.

    That explains a lot about the current car crash which is Cif: the open door policy towards right-wingers, who widen the demographic and therefore the appeal to advertisers; the increasingly lightweight and populist pap they trot out; the overkill on issues which get lots of posts, eg were there 5 or 6 different Cif pieces on Polanski last week?; and the soft-pedalling policy on banning posters for comments which would have seen them banned in the past.

    It's a shame but it's not what it was.

    On that point, scherf, why exactly did you sue for divorce?

  106. princess - re: icecoldrage - it turns up on the day of the bid thread, calls itself by a quote fom the article, says "there goes another perfectly good id" - i think it's the same joker who was on the WDYWTTA thread you referred to, as that 'kick in the cunt' line sounds familiar...
    agree the modding seems bizarre. can't they block based on ISP? cos this is getting into threats, not good old fashioned creative obscenity...

  107. "A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."

    It's a great line, Thauma. I've got a Gracelands-sized hole in my record collection, but dig out S&G's Greatest Hits every now and then. Homeward Bound always does it for me, probably cos I first heard it as a student, getting on the National Express every few weeks to see my first true love!

  108. Thread is moving too fast for me to keep up!

    MF - yes, I was naïvely thinking 'liberal' meant someone who subscribes to a basic 'live and let live' philosophy. (Which I find much more in the working classes than in the middle classes who mostly want to ban things.) But the term has been co-opted by evil forces.

    Princess - that poster has popped up on a few threads today. For example, the thread about the KBR employee who was gang-raped and then locked up by the company. In very poor taste.

  109. Ahem, let me deal with the "blocking" issue. I have some expertise here.

    They can't block posts if emailed from a new account with a new user id, Philippa. But once a post from that new id is reported for abuse, the mods do cross-check the ip address against those of banned posters, and the new id is summarily banned, whether the posting history under the new id warrants it in itself.

    Whether that's a good policy in itself is debatable. It certainly doesn't allow for the possibility of rehabilitation of offenders, which some might think central to the Guardian's philosophy.

  110. thauma - it makes me so mad that they are around and other brilliant posters are not. it is a fooking mockory. Hank it is clearly going down the pan. Still I got a mention for the banned in.

    Re Graceland - ah I love it. Brilliant album and I also love Simon and Garfunkel. I grew up listening to that and the Mama's and Papa's and cat stevens, Joan Baez etc- my mum was a proper hippie, cnd member, mild feminist type and my dad a right leftie. I love Sound of Silence and The Boxer but since I lost my dad they often make me cry. They remind me so much of him and I cannot even begin to listen to Bridge Over Troubled Water. Oooh and I love Paul Simons solo song - Stranded In a Limousine.

  111. Hank - Homeward Bound holds some old memories for me also, on several levels. The level I'll mention here is that I've moved around a lot during my life and "home" is a somewhat ephemeral concept but Belfast was always home to me while my grandparents were alive, and meant a lot.

    Now that they are no longer around and I am happy where I'm living, "home" is, well, where I am now, although I don't necessarily look on it as permanent. I still look on Northern Ireland with a lot of affection but the old house has been knocked down and there isn't anything to go back to as a place of permanence.

    Anyway, really must be off to bed now ... 'night all.

  112. The Boxer - 'the whores on 7th avenue' were CBS records. Corporate corruption - what's new forty years on?

    Hank, the 'divorce' - what I mailed to Cif was 'I have become increasingly disillusioned with Cif for some time now, and over the last few days your publishing of articles by Clanchy, Bindel and Miller have proved to be the last straw.
    As I no longer wish to contribute to Cif, I would be grateful if you would delete my userprofile and all my archived comments as soon as is practical. I assume you will also delete any personal information you hold.'

    They eventually got round to it.

    There could be a very interesting discussion of what 'liberalism' is. The word is devalued to the extent that it is almost meaningless, but various 'definitions' still exist, and an interesting take on this might be how the USA now defines liberalism and how various European (non-English speaking) countries define it. In many ways, it is a 'language/semantic/philosophical problem.

    If nobody actually knows what 'liberalism' is then does does one support/attack it?

  113. Hank

    Yeah..'feeling groovy' ce soir.

    "...in the absence of trade unions worthy of the name?"

    Now there is the rub. Most activists these days seem fired with unthinking liberal certainty rather than a commitment to economic equality; getting worked up about unsatisfactory health and safety issues or performance management audits while blanking the elephant of inequality which is jumping up and down rattling the room's floorboards.

    That's why I ducked out. They used to look at me like I was fuckin mental. That's where I heard the stupendously ironic comment,ignorant at the outer limits of the tragicomic spectrum: "Oh get back to Russia, Trotsky" mumbled by a woman who spent her time freaking out about the lack of locally sourced organic produce at the canteen...an 'authentic' progressive concern apparently.

    Needless to say I wished a curse upon their fetid, semi-detached homes and minds and fucked off to the boozer to instigate a coup.

  114. ay, hank - not been on cif for long but there are certainly 'cif legends' to whom references are made (usually a demand for their return!), often relating to the modding policy which does seem a little strange. i agree that the ability to 'rehabilitate' the banned seems appropriate, but if someone only ever logs on to make violent threats (if I'm right about icecold being the same nutter as was on WDYWTTA), then one has to wonder if that's a different thing...

    maybe i;ve not been on cif long enough (a year and a bit) to have seen the sort of changes you guys are seeing. but the tanya-gold-ing of the place has pissed me off. and i am also not sure about d orr - i get the weekly sent down here, and her first column was, erm, well, i really couldn't work out what her point was, although it all sounded very reasonable.

  115. There are also ways around your ISP address being seen Phillipa and a media savvy person may know them. It might be another way they are getting around it.

    I am not for banning people and in fact have only ever reported someone for abuse twice (think it was this person both times) and that is despite having some pretty nasty personal abuse thrown at me personally. But hey that is online debating and I can stick up for myself. But that person is just beyond the pale. Really vile. Anyway Ally has turned up - called em a genuine misogynist and told em to fuck off. Nice one Ally.

  116. ...and i didn't mean 'reasonable' as a compliment, there.

    scherfig - interesting re: liberalism. it's always struck me that the term is used (or claimed) in two very different, and usually contrary, ways, so we now assume:
    Right = economic liberalism with social control
    Left = social liberalism with economic control
    Whereas really the right, if they're so 'free market', would be more consistent if they were social liberals as well, but that's hardly how the GOP works. And of course for them 'liberalism' is a swearword, whereas it could actually describe their ideal market system.

    Makes no bloody sense to me. so i call myself a hippy-hippy-woolly-liberal, just to make my position completely clear.

  117. It's the same troll that was on the Thompson thread and who attacked BB... They just wait til the mod cover is sparse and then let rip.. Being a liberal bourgeois I report it til the mods wake up... dreadful... I know..

  118. Time for bed for me, people. Even my inane one-liner contributions are getting to be too much for me tonight. Got a brain that feels like mash potato.

    Nighty night xx

  119. Scherfig - good stance. Not brave enough myself as I am weirdly addicted but starting to feel dirty when I go over there.

    MonkeyFish - you are so right about the liberalism thing and the lack of concern about economic equality. I mean all the news about the banks today. I watched with open mouthed dismay at the fact that these banks are posting such huge profits and the bankers are all back at the trough but tons of government money is still pouring in behind the scenes through parts of the QE and other methods.

    We are seeing a proper robbing of the poor by the rich - on an astronomical scale - and nobody gives a shit. It is mind boggling.

  120. Here's a random thought about liberalism. Bidisha - her latest blog about 'misogynism', 800+ comments. Radical lesbian feminist, Oxbridge educated, BBC radio presenter, author, journalist etc etc. Never been anywhere near the working classes, never had to worry about the rent-money or the next meal. I suppose she's a liberal? I suppose she's 'left-wing'? She has very little in common with me (or my young daughter) so I think she's just a spoiled, egotistic fuckwit. Am I wrong?

  121. '... I think she's just a spoiled, egotistic fuckwit. Am I wrong?'

    Are you wrong?

    Do bears shit in authentic Romany chamberpots decorating with whimsical rustic designs and a snip at £120 from all good design boutiques?

  122. @kiz - "being a liberal bourgeois I report it til the mods wake up...dreadful...I know.."

    Hi, kiz. Thanks for tip of the hat on the U2 piece.

    I don't think it's a question of being "a liberal bourgeois". We've had our disagreements on here about politeness, civility etc, and we're never going to agree on that I guess, given that I see the mods and Cif staff as being in a position of power over us. I still think that you'd see things a lot differently if you'd ever been banned. And if you were completely honest with yourself, you'd acknowledge that you've made comments which have breached the talk policy, and got away with it.

    Anyhoo, this is a separate issue. I'm not a free speech libertarian zealot. I think that moderation is essential at times, and I agree that the posts directed at BB the other day and the one today on Bidisha's thread should be reported. Haven't got a problem with that at all.

    It's fucking vile and offensive.

    Can I also say though that Irwin Stelzer should also have been reported to the mods, as should whichever twat at Cif decided to commission his blog?

  123. Princesschipchops

    Yeah..liberalism's a real killer.

    From my four part list above, I probably omitted the Matt Seaton definition.

    "Idiot relativist who feels justified in holding any position at any time which keeps him looking progressive and on 'the right side'."

    The 'right side' being defined by whatever this week's dinner party demigods determine it to be. That's the problem with the left-liberal elite: an overcooked scallop or an under seasoned vinaigrette can shift the zeitgeist at the raising of a fork.

    But they all agree on one thing: criticism from the left is not to be tolerated. How can they be criticised from the left? They are the LEFT.

  124. philippa, a simplistic right-left dichotomy on any definition of liberalism is a good starting point, but it's Fox News simple, and your admission that it makes no bloody sense to you should flag up that we all have different definitions. I think it could be interesting if we could all say what 'liberalism' actually means to us (whether we self-define as liberals or not). And, for the record, I don't. Not quite sure what I am.

  125. Interesting discussion re liberalism. I used to define myself as liberal but I think more and more I am realising that I am a socialist at heart. The more I see the rich getting richer and everyone ignoring the horrors being visited on the poorest (including supposed human rights supporters such as Liberty etc) the more I start to believe that Anne and others are right and socialism is the only answer.

    The way identity politics betrays its own repeatedly - feminists betraying the poorest women, disabled charities colluding with the government over welfare reform that will make disabled peoples lives hell, Muslim groups ignoring the poverty in their communities to hobknob with ministers. It stinks.

    Anyhoo off to bed now as shattered. Tomorrow hope to get off out with the dogs for some air. But the mist is rolling in again and I am being lulled to sleep by the distant - sinister yet erotic - sound of clogs.

  126. ay, but starting from a simplistic point doesn't bode well for getting to anything more complex further down the line, so we just get stuck with the 'fox news' version.

    my take is probably no more developed, really - follows the 'left' starting point, in that i do favour mearket restrictions, rejigging the tax brackets, economic controls, but with 'social liberalism', i.e. that the default position should be parity of opportunity for all, and individual choice (abortion, gay marriage etc) and that those choices should only be limited in cases of direct harm. however, particularly from a feminist perspective, i get a bit wobbly on that due to favouring 'collective' social rights over the cult of the individual.

    maybe that's because the choices i value are 'relating to the person', and i don't really include financial matters (earnings, private education, healthcare) in that.

    i think my ethos is that the individual can do what they like with themselves, but always within the context of society, so there is no unfettered right to earn / trade / what-have-you because that would be bad for society at large, whereas restricting this is not actually an infringement of the individual in a way that impacts on something that is truly valuable.

    so, as you can see, riddled with inconsistencies and totally subjective, really. maybe i should start calling myself a socialist again, but that's just so ... eighties...

    bet you're sorry you asked, now. snarf.

    night all!

  127. Scherfig - "(whether we self-define as liberals or not)".

    Definitely not a liberal, me. Freedom is a lie sold to us by those who anaesthetise us with pap while robbing us blind.

    Freedom means little more than free enterprise now, just as liberalism equates to neo-liberalism.

    The cat was out of the bag when the neo-liberal free enterprise zealots got into government in the early 80s and restricted the freedom of workers to organise in trade unions.

    Freedom is deregulation, and limited government, and letting the poor and vulnerable suffer so that a tiny elite can accrue ever more power and wealth.

    The modern Western concept of freedom is a Hayekian, Friedmanite principle which was trialled in Chile from 1973 and was shown to be a wonderful success. Except for the union organisers, the local councillors and sundry other leftists who were jailed, tortured and killed. And 80% of the population who saw their living standards plummet along with their life expectancies, while the rich built gated communities and offshored their wealth.

    Fuck what Henry Porter and the rest of the Islington set think, I'd trade some of our "freedoms" in return for a bit of social justice and equality.

  128. The predominant lean of today's liberalism is to what used to be called laissez faire. Read an interesting article/post on that theme but forgot to bookmark it. Where the fuck did I read it??

    A google of Orr turns up the oddest collection of article titles - but her recent stuff in the political spectrum contains the some quite interesting observations. She is sharper than dear old Polly so I think I'll read her more often TFN.

    S&Garfunk and Homeward Bound and so many others are old favourites, which my 30+ year old kids also think are great. The bastards have my CD copies come to think of it. I am reminded I must repossess them before they become subject to the old possession is law argument.

  129. Interesting discussing tonight, happy to pick it up tomorrow. And I have to say I'm with Philippa on "mearket restrictions". Fond as I am of Alexander in his smoking jacket, the barrel is close to being scraped.


  130. I'm not far from you Hank - free to be a wage slave never seemed to be very free at all to me.

    Collective well being and individual freedoms always sat uncomfortably together in my book

  131. good stuff, philipa, hank. Tip of the iceberg, as well. Some articles on Untrusted2 out of this maybe?

    Here's one for princesscc (and everybody else)

    california dreamin>

  132. @deano - "The predominant lean of today's liberalism is to what used to be called laissez faire."

    Yes, indeed, that's why neo-liberalism is also sometimes described as classical or Manchester liberalism. The 19th century Liberals (or Whigs)believed in free trade, while the Tories believed in protectionism and tariffs.

    The great split in the Liberal Party, between Lloyd George and Asquith in the 1900s, was on precisely this issue, with Lloyd George being the social radical who recognised that something had to be done to improve the social and working conditions of the poor.

    The split led to the rise of the Labour Party, as the Liberals disintegrated and the Tories triangulated as ever and became the natural party of government.

  133. 'Liberal' here is used exclusively in the social policy context -- and American liberals are generally the identity politics arseholes that most of us here loathe. I'm very much a socialist, myself, but precious few Americans have the first fucking clue what that means.

    In 1991, when the Moderates defeated the Social Democrats in Sweden, the Des Moines Register ran an editorial about how the Swedes were rejecting the dismal, spartan world of socialism for the choice and vibrancy of capitalism. Americans simply cannot hear the word 'socialism' without seeing Soviet-era lines for toilet paper and every woman in the country wearing plain, grey shift dresses and neighbour spying on neighbour.

    And, strangely, this is my favourite S&G song.

  134. Well I'm away to bed.

    The scattering of my late beloved sister Edie's ashes tomorrow followed by a long weekend on the pop to celebrate my other brother in law's 70th birthday.

    Been a cloudy/damp day which is good for my dongle connection so I've been able to post lots today!

    Have a great week end all. Night.

  135. America, feminism, socialism, oppression, protest.
    Liberalism? I think not.

    goin' back to harlan

  136. Hey Montana - as an old Kerouach hippy that was a great S&G track to go to bed on .

  137. Yeh, I love that one too, Montana. It's really evocative and nostalgic - "All gone to look for America..", substitute your home town or country and it still works.

    It also works on a different level for me given that I wear a gabardine suit.

    Hope tomorrow's a bittersweet day with the emphasis on the sweet, deano.

    Nite all (-:

    And sorry about the time difference as ever, MH, but I've just finished the second bottle of red and need my bed now x

  138. Scherfig - and Mama Cass to dream about - bliss.

  139. For your delectation...
    from IceColdRage"

    "So anyway, I must have screwed a few dozen guys before I finally got pregnant. By this stage I was in a mind to blame all of my problems on men. My life was a mess and 'some guy' had made me pregnant. Needless to say I was filled with ice cold rage.

    So, although I wasn't gay my hatred of men drove me into a relationship with an abusive lesbian."

    I'm trying to write a novel and I can't come up with stuff this good!
    (So, yes, I will damn well steal it..)

  140. deano and scherfig - dunno whether this story passed you guys by but it put a whole different spin on the Papas bit of the Mamas and Papas for me, as well as Californian liberal values...


    Anyway, deffo off to bed now. Wrung the wine bottle and there's nowt left.

    A demain.