04 November 2009

Daily Chat 04/11/09

In 1333, the Arno River flooded, causing massive damage to the city of Florence.  The Newport Rising took place in 1839.  Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming became the first woman to be elected governor of an American state in 1924.  In 1966, the Arno again flooded, killing 113 and leaving 30,000 homeless.

Born today:  Chris Difford (1954) and Lena Zavaroni (1963-1999).

It is the feast day of Our Lady of Kazan in the Russian Orthodox Church.


  1. Lena Zavaroni's name on the list for today really took me back -- she was only known for this one song here, but for awhile, she was a bit of a phenomenon. Sorry to see that she died so young.

  2. Lena was hugely talented and part of what is arguably Scotland's most entrepreneurial and creative community, the Scots -Italians: Daniela Nardini, Peter Capaldi, Armando Iannucci and so on.

    Iannucci created what is for Scots the best vision of the Scottish hell: 'Except for Viewers in Scotland'

    http://www.youtubeArmando Iannucci.com/watch?v=k7scMC7YSDQ

    The community of Italian-Scots was also in the 40s the most persecuted community in Scotland (taking the crown temporarily from those of Irish Catholic descent).

  3. Here's Lena Zavaroni singing Going Nowhere. I think she was just eighteen. She was some talent.


  4. PB - excellent comment on Dorothy Rowe's thread.

    Depression, like Drugs is a topic that needs a lot of 'thinking out of the box' Nutt does this, politicians don't like it. Reassuring to hear he is consistent

  5. thanks annetan - the rowe thread has been pretty good really - the side-debate on LSD has been acting as a strange sort of punctuation for the on-topic posts...

  6. Morning all,

    re: The Nutt drugs furore.

    I remember reading 'Goldfinger' (bear with me!) a few years back and I was struck by Fleming's description in chapter 2 of the 'British system' in weaning people off heroin.

    I was struck by how radical and successful it was when I did a wee bit of research into it. Here's a quick overview, but there's loads on it on t'net:


    Many specialists called it a disaster when it was dropped in 1968 (for surprise, surprise Political reasons).

    Now obviously you can't compare the problem on the 60's with now (1000 registered users compared with todays estimated 250,000 users), but surely some form of reversion to the previous scheme should be contemplated? It also goes to show that:

    1. Listen to the experts.

    2. Politicians have no clue how to deal with socio-economic issues beyond what will look good in the Mail and the Sun.

    To think Britain of all places had a radical and sensible drugs policy once.....

  7. The reaction to the youth parliament debate in the Commons is less than edifying...

  8. "To think Britain of all places had a radical and sensible drugs policy once"

    A victim also of the internal politicking within the medical establishment by the looks of it...

  9. Bing Spear sounded like some kind of character as well as an expert's expert. He'd get the sack now too I'd wager.

  10. Bitterweed,

    the internal politicking of the medical establishment won out clearly by the moralising faction of which the Govt was all too happy to listen to.

    It's funny how the moralisers are all too happy to dictate their lofty principles until it actually comes to aiding their fellow man.

    The 'medical moralisers' were no doubt the reactionary wing of the BMA of whom Bevan 'had to fill their mouths with gold' to get them to accept Universal Healthcare in 1948.

  11. Nick Davies included a brilliant section on drug policy in Flat Earth News. He said before the criminalisation, most addicts werent emaciated wretches like today, and that the emaciated look mainly comes from the fact it is so expensive they barely spend any money on food. Most of their ill health stems from poverty, and that when it was pure the health consequences were pretty mild. Worth a read.

  12. Indeed, 13Duke. See: Anne Widdecombe as the a incoming mouthpice for a "moralising elite". Despiccable woman. (As noted elsewhere, she's the woman who perfunctoraly and with no compassion whatever sent Ken Saro Wiwa back to Nigeria to his certain murder at the hands of the "govt".) Driven by nowt but bigotry and divine self-importance that woman.

    Jay, Deano, thanks, will come back to that link. NB - the often mooted reason why junkies like Keith Richards outlived for decades the poor sods in squats is that rich people can afford pure smack, which won't kill you unless you o.d.

  13. deano,

    that's a great link, thanks for that.

    Jay, the poverty issue is spot on. There was a brilliant article in the Guardian a few months back 'Whatever happened to the Trainspotting generation?' focusing on the young males addicts of Glasgow and Edinburgh in the 80s:


    Our 'war on drugs' has been lost on so many levels and with so many victms over the decades, yet we still get the same old reactionary bollocks from the politicians.

  14. Bah, drugs, legalise the lot (with age restrictions), then tax 'em relative to the cost of sorting out the damage.

    Rights and responsibilities!

  15. 13th Duke
    I remember the British System back in the 60's. Basically addicts just got a prescription from their GP - clean, reliable smack and no need to rob, burgle, mug etc. The only bloke I knew who was on smack lived a normal life - work, family etc.

    It was a complete catastrophe when the system was dropped. I seem to recall, amongst all the political moralising in the UK, there may have been pressure from the US to drop it - but correct me if I'm wrong, it's a long time ago and I'm a bit hazy.

    There druggy scene in my part of London was mainly things like uppers, things like dexedrine, preludin, benzadrine, coke and of course hash. I remember you could buy these inhalers (called Nazatone) from any chemist for a few bob. If you broke them open there was a bit of cardboard inside soaked in benzedrine. People would party on those until the authorities twigged. It was rare to see heroin anywhere

    Agree with you Dot - When drug use becomes problematic it should be treated as a public health issue - much easier to manage if they're legalised and regulated.

  16. Bloody hell, they've gone back to the "first 50 comments" format! Will they not learn?

  17. Comments are appearing and disappearing all over the plot.

  18. Whilst CiF is experiencing technical difficulties this:


    Should pop up when you access the site until they've sorted it out.

  19. This time it really is proper buggered, isn't it?

    What do we want?
    When do we want it?
    At your earliest feckin' convenience...

  20. Yep. "Go to all comments", that's a roaring success right there.

    Next trick, think I'll put diesel in my petrol tank.

  21. People getting mighty mad over in CiF land !!!
    There may be an armed revolt yet !!!!


    (laughed & ran into bog)

  22. Spooks #10 starts tonight ! Excellent ! I shall be looing out for them listening patiently to Kim Howels...

  23. Car crash alert on the Mallick thread - great fun!

  24. Evenink

    Thanks for the Spooks reminder, BW - I'll be watching that.

    Been off work today with the lurgey. Meh. Had to keep my email logged in though, which meant I couldn't log in here too as different accounts and google just doesn't get it.

  25. Thought for the day...

    "A question I'm asked increasingly often these days is: "what the fuck are you looking at?"

    I tend to reply:

    a) "you ya daft cunt"


    b) "fuck off you prick"

    Is there a better way of dealing with this situation, I'm wondering...

  26. Fraid not, monkeyfish. It's all we know. (So I'm told.)

  27. MF
    Have you tried:
    c) "Well it ain't the woman I married"

  28. I thought that Mallick thread was quite funny! Some of the comments are really po-faced though. I never knew there were so many monarchists on CiF :o)

  29. or how about

    c) I dunno. I wasn;t sure if they piled it that high...

  30. it worked for Bob

    But don't try this at home (or anywhere else).

  31. "Well it ain't the woman I married"

    Nah...that's an invitation... way too easy...setting her up for a six yard tap in. She's not the problem anyway..generally gangs of yoot who think they've already lost face when you haven't averted your gaze and become fascinated by the pavement or what's going on in the pound shop window.

  32. If it's gangs of yoot, I usually just smile and say "Alright?" without trying to make it sound too much like "A'ight?" cos I am too old for all that shenanigans.

  33. BB - I swear that thread has turned me into a monarchist instantaneously.

    Well, not really, but it was so unreasonable that you end up feeling sorry for them, and then the vicicous misogynist attack on Camilla!

    Hope your lurgy is improving - I recommend a whiskey-based hot drink.

  34. BW - a taser often offends. Brilliant.

    Thaum - I guess I must just have a dodgy sense of humour but she made me laugh. Don't particularly have much respect for the royals, although I don't think I would actually want to see them guillotined though.

    Haven't got any whisky in the house, which is a bummer. I shall get hubby to bring some home tomorrow as I am going to be at home then too, without a doubt.

  35. BB - as I said on the thread, the aristocracy worry me much less than the elected bastards. Which worries me from a philosophical point of view.

    No whiskey! *wipes brow* I don't drink it that often but it is a miracle insomnia cure as well as a miracle cold cure, so I always make sure I have some on hand.

    Whiskey, hot water (or tea), lemon, sugar: sorted. Best taken before the symptoms get too bad as it'll usually sort it all out before the lurgy takes a good hold.

  36. Recommend a good single malt. Caol Isla 12 yr old. Not cheap, but damn fine medicine.

  37. Sadly, I can't keep whisky in the house as I drink it almost at once. The 12-year old malt of the other day is but a peaty memory, and I'd feel like (perhaps even be) an alky if I got more just yet...


  38. As single malts go, I love The Macallan. Smoky peaty goodness.

  39. Time I was off. Have a good night everyone x