18 November 2009

Daily Chat 18/11/09

A sea wall on the Zuider Zee broke, flooding 72 villages and leaving 10,000 dead in 1421.  William Caxton published the first book in England to be printed on a printing press in 1477.  St. Peter's Basilica was consecrated in 1626.  Members of the People's Temple cult in Jonestown, Guyana, committed mass murder/suicide in 1978.  Hours after members assassinated Congressman Leo Ryan, who had come to investigate the cult, they drank poisoned Kool-Aid on the orders of cult leader Jim Jones.  There were 270 children amongst the 918 dead.  A fire in the Kings Cross/St. Pancras tube station killed 31 people in 1987.

Born today:  Margaret Atwood (1939), Graham Parker (1950), Kim Wilde (1960) and Peter Schmeichel (1963).

It is Buß- und Bettag in Saxony.


  1. Deano - and your point is? ;-)

    Best wishes on your journey to commune with your friend.

  2. "Members of the People's Temple cult in Jonestown, Guyana, committed mass murder/suicide in 1978. Hours after members assassinated Congressman Leo Ryan, who had come to investigate the cult, they drank poisoned Kool-Aid on the orders of cult leader Jim Jones. There were 270 children amongst the 918 dead."

    Reading that could very easily turn me into "Atheist"...........

  3. Two or three points: Buß- und Bettag can be translated as "Day of Penance and Prayer", for those interested. Now that the German spelling has been reformed, the "Day of Penance and Bed" would be spelled the same; however, this day doesn't exist.

    I would also like to say that I remember it being a holiday in my Bundesland (Baden-Württemberg), but it hasn't been for 14 years, so that sucks.

  4. Watson - I could do with a Day of Penance and Bed. Dunno how I dragged myself in today.

  5. I too have floated on the Zuider Zee too much lately - oh dearie moi.

    Happy birthday Kim

  6. Not Bett-tag, then?

    Good piece from Kathy Lette on girls' exclusion from education in the developing world getting a depressingly 'what about teh menz?' response from about half the posters - clunie, allyf, hermione all doing good work banging heads together...

  7. On the Hadley Freeman piece, colin the stoat is our resident car booter. It would be really nice (and probably much more interesting) to read something on the subject from him.

    Any one fancy being a cybersister with me & swarming the Waddya demanding a piece from colin?

  8. Philippa: Being somewhat conservative with my spelling, I pretty much abhor superfluous hyphens (especially since they are becoming more virulent here). Never will I spell Donaudampfschiffahrtskapitänsgesellschaft as Donau-Dampf-Schiff-Fahrts-Kapitäns-Gesellschaft (okay, except here for illustrating reasons ...).

    I also dislike seeing the phrase "what about teh menz?" flung around by commenters I deeply respect. It's a cheap phrase, it never changes anyone's mind, and it doesn't explain why it is *not* biased to ignore men's situation considering this issue. I take it the accusation of misogyny is already hurled at those posters?

  9. Forgetting me manners ..

    Welcome elementary, nice to see you here.

    On accusations of misogyny - well, there have been some good ripostes to the usual suspects.

  10. elementary - bit cheap on my part, perhaps, but on an article looking at a real issue, where there is real gender disparity, where it is made clear that this is not a 'UK' issue, that no 'rad fem' agenda is being pushed, with no 'hate' expressed towards men, clearly identifying that it is the system at fault rather than 'men', and that it is not seeking to gain something for girls at the expense of boys, but rather that both should be afforded equality in accessing a basic human right...it is a little aggravating to see some posters immediately responding 'but what about boys?', 'you hate men!', 'so, it's all the men's fault?' etc etc ad nauseam...

    the responses to this (last time I looked) has been to point out the above plus-points for the article without calling anyone names, but I imagine this will polarise, to the detriment of tthe article and the debate, fairly swiftly.

    sad, because it's an important issue and a good article. Obviously there are other issues where we need to look at the situation of everybody, rather than on a gender basis. but this one seems to be an example of a real 'feminist issue' and there's a place for that. i'd be the first saying so - well, i'd be in there at some point - if it wasn't.

  11. ah, have re-read elementary...

    may have missed your point.

    have hangover. mea culpa.


    "My communism fell in 1989"

    She's now claiming to be a large wall splitting a city? Anyway - hadn't realised that she'd been slelected to stand by the Greens. Oh boy.

  13. Been over to Bea hive - very fine short comment from Kiz, and agree with hermione - beyond satire.

  14. Edwin

    Hermione & Kiz have nutshelled the piece nicely for me too.

  15. Thanks for the Bea warning Phillipa.

    Words almost fail me.

  16. ay, I can be a bit slow on the uptake, particularly with a hangover, but some things are just always going to raise a flag...

    epic anger also from divesandlazarus.

  17. Hello there, MsChin. Have we met elsewhere? (Since you say it is nice to see me *here* ...)

    Philippa: My first reaction to your post pondering whether you missed my point was to state that your response was absolutely fitting to my comment. Then I went on, and realized that you were right, my point was another one than the points you addressed.

    So, there are two things for me to say:

    1: If even I cannot fathom what exactly my point was, I should phrase my comments more conscientiously.

    2: I dislike the phrase since it is often used in a knee-jerk manner; I guess I would react less annoyed by phrasing it "what about the men?", which would take the lazy ridicule out of it. (If they deserve ridicule instead of an argument, the ridicule at least shouldn't be lazy; now, speaking about ridicule, I'm off to check the Bea thread ...)

  18. 'If even I cannot fathom what exactly my point was, I should phrase my comments more conscientiously.'

    El I have often thought this about my own comments over the last couple of years - indeed I sometimes forget what my point is before I get to the end of the post.

  19. I never liked ganging up on Cif (or anywhere else), except for Tony Blair threads, and I haven't the slightest inclination to go back on Cif, but ye little gods & tiny fishes, the BC thread is tempting - go to it guys, judging from the opening shots this one could be a classic.

  20. And here I am again, wondering how a run-of-mill narcissist article is hailed as the new "Men do it for darker reasons!"-kind pinnacle of stupidity in the guardian ...

  21. I see the mods are at work today - SwiftyBoy is a deletion casualty on the OBE thread.

  22. There once was a Lady named Bea,
    Who went to the Buck House for tea.
    She said to the Queen
    "I've changed red flags for green",
    And so was made Bea, OBE.

    That gem (or something quite similar to it) was in Swifty's comment. THIS IS ART, DAMMIT! The mods can't just delete art, can they? That deletion was morally wrong.

    PS: Does "Bea" rime with "bee"? I always thought it would rime more closely with "beer".

  23. There once was a commie called Campbell,
    for Satanists she went on a scramble,
    It's child abuse!There is no excuse!
    Lives ruined because of her selfish gamble.

  24. elementary

    I agree the deletion was morally worng - the rationale behind that particular judgement call on Swify's verse is unfathomable.

  25. That Swifty comment in full:

    Blimey, Bea, that was almost elegaic. Perhaps some poetry's in order? Or failing that, a limerick?

    There once was a lady called Bea,
    Invited to Buck House for tea
    Where she supped with the Queen
    And swapped red flags for green
    And ended up Bea, OBE.

    Where next on the journey? Hard-faced capitalist, perchance?

    Must be tough doing your growing up in public...

    Recommended (26)

    This comment re-production was brought to you by Cif in partnership with The Scientology Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education and marXandspencer.com (for all your on-line shopping needs).


  26. worng? wrong, even.


    You're on a roll there .. and not of the bread variety, I hasten to add.

  27. Thanks for that coffee-spluttering moment scherfig!

  28. When Swifty speaks truth to power, his deleted words must never be forgotten.

  29. Philippa - you are not alone.

    If even I cannot fathom what exactly my point was, I should phrase my comments more conscientiously.

    Yes, I think that's a missing category from the flame wars roster. I would definitely be in it.

  30. We need to call some sort of emergency council. That parasite Campbell for the Greens. Jesus fucking christ. Its just another name on the ballot paper that now joins the "unthinkable" category. Selfish bloody detestable parasite.

    In all seriousness, could anyone just list those parties for the GE that are now still plausible and in any way attractive? I cant actually think of one.

  31. A sensitive lady called Bea
    (Sadly not Beatrix Potter)
    Once was a proud communist
    Tho' Stalin was a rotter
    She tried to help the kids
    But that didn't go very well
    Then tried to explain Northern Ireland
    But her arguments got shot to hell
    Now she has signed up with the Greens
    In her search for a new mission
    But this altruistic act
    Is largely being met with derision

  32. Nope, neither can I Jay, None Of The Above!

    And on the subject of the flame wars roster and missing categories, I can think of two, similar in some ways to the "Atheist" and "Deacon" categories:

    I propose calling them "ultimathule" and "BrusselsLout"

  33. and this gem from swifty

    "I imagine someone, somewhere, possibly high up in the Fairtrade yurt which passes for Green HQ, has "done the math" and worked out that Bea brings with her a substantial caravan of fellow-travellers..."

    it's the imagery that impresses me most, I think...

  34. There once was a Lady Bea Campbell
    Who took her thoughts for a ramble
    She wished to be Queen
    Of the party called Green
    But the eggs all refuse-ed to scramble.

    There once was a Campbell called Bea
    Who to Westminster bended the knee
    When asked 'why be Green?'
    She said they have seen
    The glory of my OBE

  35. 'a substantial caravan of fellow-travellers..."'

    As Gore Vidal put it: 'the caravans bark and the dogs move on'

  36. Jesus what with her and Peter Tatchell the only party I was going to vote for is slipping away from me.

    With Jay on this it is getting serious. Who the fook can we vote for? Maybe we could start an new party - of course we might have to change the name doubt 'The Untrusted' would go down well on the ballot box.

    Read through the warriors last night - could see at least four in me - none of them too flattering. I think hell would probably be being made to spend an eternity re reading all your old posts.

    My dogs have now joined me in having a poorly stomach so I spent all night up and down the stairs letting em out. Wonderful times in the royal household.

  37. I quite like Tatchell actually, like Monbiot he has moments of unmatched stupidity, but in general Tatchell at least has some integrity and conviction. Bea Campbell on the other hand, jesus wept...

    No idea who to vote for now. Instead of chosing from an array of heartfelt and passionate manifestos, we now have to rummage around desperately just looking to find even one party who it would not be morally despicable to vote for. Im sure that wasnt how this democracy thing was intended...

  38. Well, I'm in the weird position as a recent ex-pat of having my vote (via a postal proxy) in a constituency where I don't live any more. A small part of me wonders whether I should not vote, as I don't live in the UK. However, having done so for 32 of the last 33 years and with the very real possibility of having to go back next year and actually earn some money, I will be casting my vote on the basis that I didn't get to do that for the first 18 years so they owe me. or something.

    And I'll be going LibDem. I know, deep down, this is probably pointless (in general terms - the constituency position is interesting) and that any party with Lembit Opik in it should probably be told to snap out of it and pull themselves together. But I am stubborn like that.


  39. I'm either voting whatever left wing trotskyite Judean People's Front they put up my way (and there's normally 2 or 3)


    hopefully there will be seven candidates so I can write a letter in each box:


    Now you may call it childish but as all of the political class treat us as infantilised retards it's the only natural response.

  40. And Jay,

    Im sure that wasnt how this democracy thing was intended...

    Never has Churchill's maxim:

    It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried

    been on such shaky ground as the forthcoming election.

  41. Is it technically a democracy when all the parties are the same?

    Is it not just another version of:

    "Vote for the government or we'll look veerrry carefully at your tax returns".........

  42. Check out the Belinda Webb article. This could be the place to continue the debate after they shut down the MacShane thread for good...

  43. Dotterel,

    it's like I keep saying on CiF, the greatest victory of Thatcher and the Monetarists, especially after the fall of the wall was the theory:

    There is no alternative.

    All mainstream parties have taken this as their mantra and Labour finally did so in 1994 with the dropping of Clause 4.

    The rampant 'me, me, me, me' culture which developed in the 1980s has turned us all into angry atoms jealously despising anything in which our taxes may pay for a functioning civil society or indeed to help someone else out of the shit.

    Added to this you have the lunacy of our 'left' which is completely and utterly immersed in gender and identity politics and a liberal left which is happy to pay lip service to 'right on' causes but are happier discussing Nigel Slater's latest recipes or Finn's new school.

    This suits the political elite of our country- make the population of the country seethe with mutual jealousy whilst havin an ineffectual leftist opposition who would rather argue over gender than present the country a Social Democratic, Progressive (the most abused word in politics) alternative.

    Divide and conquer for us, divide and carve the wealth for our business and political elite.

    Revolution of our Democracy now.

  44. Dot - this comes up a lot. Have prepared a handy 'pol-spotting' card for my Dad (currently conflicted about his vote)

    Labour - the ones you used to trust but don't any more - red ties, suit and shoes from M&S
    Tory - the ones you didn't used to trust and still don't, but have to learn to get along with - restrained stripe, quality tailoring, handmade shoes
    LibDems - the ones you didn't take seriously, still don't think will get anywhere, but seem more trustworthy than the others - colourful ties, shoes from Clarks, some tweed
    Greens - the ones you still struggle to take seriously although they seem like nice people (note - this was written before the Bea thing) - hand-knitted hemp jumper, clogs, fair-trade scarf
    BNP - the family at number 16 who nobody talks to any more after the list came out - shiny tie, cheap suit, patent leather

    So far his response has been "saw Gummer at a meeting last night, his tie had spots on - does that change anything?"...

  45. Dotterel - very good point. George Monbiot wrote a brilliant book a few years ago stating that basically national democracies (particularly in the US and the UK) were a sham as government were now run by thinktanks and consultants working for huge corporate interests.

    In fact if you look at a lot of the stuff that New Lab has done it is so counter intuitive in every sense. They must have known it would lose them their core voters yet they still did it, and the Tories are singing from essentially the same hymn sheet, so one has to wonder who is running the UK?

    More and more when I read the news and then see what the political parties are saying I really start to think we need some proper social unrest - a revolution would be nice but I am not holding my breath!

  46. Thanks Philippa, as I'm currently wearing a pair of Clarks I think I'll go LibDem, seems a good a system as any...........

  47. told you - occam's razor, an' all that...

  48. Afternoon all

    Skiving for a while - I have work to do but as I am waiting for a fax that doesn't seem like it wants to arrive, will chill for a bit.

    Pip - I really like your Dad :o)

  49. First of all: A party called "The Untrusted" would not be that bad an idea - it would highlight the fact that this would be an appropriate name for all parties (so it seems for the UK from what you all write; it certainly is true for Germany). Or maybe, "The Untrusted" should become the new name for the "House of Commons"? ;-)

    Second of all: Erm, some statement to the point that I'm against stigmatizing people who wear patent leather, thank you very much ...

  50. May be we should call our party:

    "None of the above"

  51. [feels sheepish]
    sorry elementary
    [moves swiftly on]
    "The Untrusted" also reflects, if this is a party actually taken from the people, that for politicians, we are not trusted - all of 'em want to nanny us in their own special red / stripey / colourful / shiny way...

  52. Actually,

    I'm being a bit cynical, 21st Century Britain actually has various forms of Government its people can choose from.

    Take your pick:





    And of course with the almost the entire wealth and services of the Country in small elite hands you also have the choice of Feudalism

  53. People Power! Democracy in action! Education proposals:

    Under the plans, all councils will conduct an annual survey of parents' views of local secondary school provision – where they are unhappy, local authorities will be forced to intervene.

    Things fucked up? Problems? Why not conduct hundreds of surveys? There ya go - FIXED!

  54. scherfig - also, from now on, we will be referring to parents as 'stakeholders', children as 'future economic assets', and complaints procedures as '360 degree consultation processes', which we imagine will make all the difference.

    Any consultation response receiving the requisite approval of the steering committee will be circulated for further comments and a working group established to look into the impact of the proposal, focussing on a comprehensive diversity assessment and how it meets the council's recycling targets.

    Or they could just not sell the feckin' playing field, but I realise that makes me a communist or something...

  55. "from now on, we will be referring to parents as 'stakeholders', children as 'future economic assets', and complaints procedures as '360 degree consultation processes', which we imagine will make all the difference.

    Any consultation response receiving the requisite approval of the steering committee will be circulated for further comments and a working group established to look into the impact of the proposal, focussing on a comprehensive diversity assessment and how it meets the council's recycling targets."

    Ah, today's version of sticking it in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "beware of the leopard"

  56. Philippa: Quid pro quo, I guess, since now *my* head is hurting after reading that ...

  57. princesschipchops rules.

    just wanted to mention that.

  58. elementary - on the upside, my hangover has lifted so I'm going to actually get up properly...

    bit confused by the leopard, though.

  59. Sorry Philippa, one of my favourite Douglas Adams quotes:

    When Arthur Dent finds bulldozers in his front garden about to knock his house down to build a new bypass he protests he wasn't given chance to argue. He's told that the plans have been "on display" for months.....

    ...in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "beware of the leopard" in a cellar where both the lights, and the stairs, have gone.

  60. Hello All

    When did we stop teaching children to think? even the simple concept of transference of learning to solve new problems seems alien to many - adults too. a thinking. questioning population is damned inconvenient for those who wish to control.

    Bea Cambell - Haf a look at thread. The woman is a free floating zealot looking for the next 'idea' to infect her.


    Like the dress code politics.

  61. \o/

    Work finished - time for play. Already done some ranting on the BNP thread earlier. Keep the red and black flag flying ;o)


    Anyhoo, will now take a look at O Bea E's thread if I dare.

  62. Dot - doh! was actually thinking of that very bit, but had forgotten about the leopard. which is odd because i usually remember the animal stuff. the mice, for example, were furious...

  63. Humph. Have recently been informed that I have to work tonight. As well as tomorrow night, all day Friday, half of Saturday and possibly Sunday.

  64. Philippa,

    I find myself using the "why dolphins are more intelligent than man" bit frequently too.......

  65. Fuck the greens..seriously.

    I've always been a bit agnostic re. climate change/ global warming/ greenhouse whatever. I'm also a bit suspicious about Sarah Lucas's...sorry Doctor Sarah Lucas's (courtesy of a Phd in Flemish Tapestry) ability to interpret second and third order differential equations, multi-variable chaotic systems and the huge variety of associated academic disciplines to make definitive statements about future climate...specially as highly qualified meteorologists can't manage an especially accurate picture three days hence.

    Possibly the best guide to her take on these matters is to look at her judgement in other areas...say the vote winning potential of particualr prospective candidates...and...

    Can't wait for Bea's take on the 'scientific' evidence..scientists will of course have to factor in the satanic interference quotient from now on.

  66. Heh heh, well done ToastandMarmite:

    There was a fantastic blog about Labour's Alice in wonderland approach to facts and scientific evidence when it came to policy making. I believe the phrase was 'policy based evidence making.'

  67. Policy-based evidence making!

    That is bloody brilliant.

    MF I am agnostic on climate change but go along with it on the premise that if the climate changers are wrong, so what. Nothing much lost. And greening can actually create jobs too. But if they are right and we sit back saying "nah, not gonna do anything"...

  68. BB

    The term policy-based evidence making has been around in academic circles for a while now; in fact, almost as long as evidence-based policy making.

    In short, some agency funds some independent research, but the research is framed in such a way as to give the funder the findings they want to see ...

  69. Can't decide whether I like "Policy-based evidence making" or "satanic interference quotient" the most. will take both...

    Re: the dolphins, Dot - the zebra crossing / God disappearing in a puff of smoke thing crops up a lot on CIFBelief, which always amuses me.

    Thauma - humph indeed. does this mean that something has broken?

  70. MF/BB

    It makes me despair when intelligent types are agnostic on climate change, it's real, and we're all f*ck*d.

    Sadly I've not got the time to set out the full arguement, so I don't expect to convert you, just wanted to share, and say thanks for your "doing something about it just in case" approach BB.

  71. Leni

    I don't think teaching children to think has ever been a serious part of school education in the UK, its always been much more about rote learning of selected facts.

    Nowadays as others have said its even more about fitting little cogs into the corporate machine. and you're right about a population that could think critically - much too dangerous. The Huxleyan nightmare reigns these days.

    As for Bea - standing in Hampstead of all places. As I said in my comment on the thread - it would make a great Thick Of It script. I can just see Malcolm's face when presented with the Right Honourable Bea MP, Minister for Social Services.

  72. "Policy-based evidence making". Credit where credit is due. Check out our old chum Heresiarch for the various origins of this phrase.

    Heresy Corner

  73. Thauma/Deano

    Advice please. As it has been raining a biblical deluge of late I dragged out my old Drizabone only to find it stank of old horse shit, muck heaps and tractor sump oil. I washed and re-waxed it but it's still a bit smelly. Any ideas for de-ponging it? Can't really afford to replace it.

  74. Philippa - I knew about a good deal of it, but my colleague's pulled a convenient sickie so tonight was a surprise as well as me having to cover for some of his other stuff over the weekend.

  75. Sheff - you are asking the wrong person. I know nothing of cleaning. Ask anyone who's been in my house or car.

  76. Whenever I hear the words 'stakeholder' and 'choice' dribble from a politicians mouth, that's when I reach for my Nuclear arsenal.


    was there not the case a couple of years ago of Schools in North East England offering modules on call centre work?

    I remember thinking at the time that it was the most depressing thing I had ever read...ever.

  77. Dot

    You've got a believer in me. Given what's happened globally particularly since the beginning of the industrial revolution with all the shit we have been pumping into the biosphere, (a closed system so no escape), I can't see how human agency can fail to be a large part of what's going on now.

    I agree too that we're pretty much fucked and worry a lot about what's going to happen as my grandchildren grow up.

  78. sheff - the rewax may have sealed in the nasties if the wash wasn't thorough enough (think my father managed to melt a waxed hat once by putting it on too high a setting, so it's a bit difficult to get it right).

    My mother used to freeze clothing with an ingrained stink, but I don't remember that working particularly well...

    try that febreeze thingy. or just stand downwind of people...

  79. I used to use febreeze pre-smoking ban to get the stink out of my coat when I'd been down the pub.

  80. Dot

    With you on climate change.

    Sheff & Duke

    They call it instrumentalisation - horrid word for even more horrible policy. Producing little uniform units to slot obediently into economic niches as and when required.

    As the different economic niches close up the instruments are difficult to employ elsewhere - we have to wait until they wither and die. Standards vary - in the mining days here in Wales it was obviously foolish to educate the majority as they might just refused to spend their lives in stinking holes in the ground.

    As to call centres - we are training kids for jobs which will diappear to cheaper parts of the world completely soon. Education has for ever been behind the trends in economic develpment. Works well for the establishment for as long as they can control the unskilled population - helps to keep wages down as people are forced into any job they can get.

  81. Jay,

    if you are reading, cracking retort to the CiF commandant on the Campbell thread.

  82. Leni
    instrumentalism - horrible word indeed and for a vile policy. Princess is right we need a revolution.

  83. Leni,

    God, 'instrumentalisation'? It sounds like something Mengele indulged in during WWII.

    I always liked the quote (source unknown)

    "Education isn't worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a living but doesn't teach them how to make a life."

    And the most important skill in making a life is critical thinking.

  84. Duke

    When feeling really cynical I see education as a form of social eugenics - then I try to be more postive and think about revolution instead !

  85. Sheff I'd suggest following the official guidance


    and then (crucial) letting it air outside for a couple of days. For really grotty oiled cotton a friend suggested the old standby, bicarb and lemon but I'm not sure - I'd try a wee section first.

    I got my current drizabone from TK-Max for £70 - outer jacket and removable fleece and both have been brilliant. Have a look there for a new one and - helpful tip coming up - donate the old one to a charity shop and ask them how they plan to clean it, our Shelter shop can get shit off silk.

  86. hmm yes forget the bicarb and lemon - best saved for crusted cludgies. Just googled this

  87. Edwin

    Thanks for that - very useful. Mine's an old riding mack and has absorbed years of muck and smells, although still servicable if I can just find a way to kill the pong. City types don't take kindly to what is taken for granted in the sticks, especially when you're nose to nose on a crowded bus!

  88. instrumentalisation?

    reminded me of the poster who told Bea off for saying 'collectivity' instead of 'collective' - something to do with thinking that pointless suffixes make up for lack of ideas. I'd tell you who said it, but they've been moderated. So it could be any of 239 people...

  89. Phillipa thanks to you too.

    Thauma - should have guessed you'd be no use! :-))

  90. Sheff
    You coat sounds like a pseudonym for Nulab.

    Normal people just won't take for granted what is normal in the corridors of power.

  91. A good number of my colleagues should be rounded up and put in a camp. We'll call it CUC: chronically useless cretins. In the camp, we could try instrumentalising them, but I doubt it'd be any use.

    /rant (sorry, have just had a couple of very headdesk e-mails)

    Philippa, I do believe the poster you're thinking of has a first name of Jay....

  92. thauma

    Perhaps a Swiss penknife approah rather than a single purpose instrument mould might be good.

  93. A good idea, Leni, but I'd have to get near them first and I am fortunately located at a different site. Still, I could always do a stealth visit to t'other Place of Darkness.

  94. Bad news about you having to work so much overtime, Thaum. I hope they pay you for it, or at least give you time in lieu.

    I can't be bothered with Queen Bea's thread. Everything that needed to be said has been said.

  95. Thanks BB - I bill them for time worked, so that part's OK! Unfortunately no extra for OT though. And of course no paid time off. Expect you work under similar conditions so shouldn't moan too much!

  96. 'Everything that needed to be said has been said.'

    yeh I felt tempted at the outset but Kiz and hermione said it all much better than I could have managed and in a few short lines too.

    See there's a Brit vampire thread and no one has mentioned Spike yet. Played by an American of course - the fine James Marsters - but a bloody good Brit vampire I thought.

  97. Edwin
    Anne Rice does vampires rather well. Have you read any of her stuff? It might be a bit homoerotic for someone who was a straight up and down heterosexual though, particularly one book 'Armand the Vampire' - real gay erotica.

  98. Spike is an awesome vampire, for sure.

  99. Edwin - was thinking much the same thing myself - and Drusilla - accents were a bit patchy but they did look lovely...

    bit puzzled that this is how our highest permanent representative in arguably the sole remaining superpower chooses to lose his CIF cherry. but there's something very endearing about it...

    Quick recommend for 'Let the Right One In', recent swedish vampire film. just brilliant...

  100. Phillipa

    Problem with being an ambassador is that you're not allowed to say anything the least bit controversial specially in public - very frustrating I should think.

  101. Ohhhhhhh boy yes your Grace that's a lot scarier than vampires.

    Sheff never took to Anne Rice. Best vampire story for me is Kingsley Amis's To See the Sun - chilling and funny.

    But it's all amateur chills compared to stoning to death.

  102. That is fucking appalling, Your Grace.

    No effective government for 18 years. What a hell hole. :(

  103. "No effective government for 18 years. What a hell hole. :("

    I thought you were taking the piss until I checked the link, BB. Barbaric.

    Does halgeel still post on cif, btw?

  104. Just been on the Waddya page and GIYUS in his usual blizzard of posts has come up with a 110% tin foil hat classic even for the G man.

    Apparently Hitachi have created a microchip 63 times smaller than a normal microchip. So small it can be injected using a hypodermic.

    He then goes on to link this with the mass inoculations against Mexican flu. It's mass population control via flu innoculation.

    I truly doff my tin foil hat to you sir.

  105. What do I want to talk about?

    The absence of a thread yet on anti-semitic bus-driving prostitutes. It will be a meretricious piece of crap, Matt, but who'll notice? And think of the page hits.

    Pretty sure all other angles have been covered now.

  106. BB,

    I would love GIYUS to get an ATL gig. Seriously, it would be a hoot.

    And make more sense than Campbell, Gold, MacShane.....

  107. Hate to break this to GIYUS, but my dog was microchipped via a hypodermic. It was a rather large-bore one, granted, and she was sedated for it, but still.

    Am afraid to look at that link, esp as I'm still "working", ie waiting for everyone else to finish what they're doing.

    Haven't seen Halgeel around in ages.

    Quite liked Anne Rice for a while but then I thought it all got very how-can-I-be-more-outrageous-than-the-last-one. I.e. boring.

  108. Edwin/Your Grace

    What can i say - stoning to death in the 21st century...truly horrible vileness that people are prepared not only to watch but participate in; it seems incredible and yes, does make our vampire fantasies seem more than a bit beside the point.

  109. HankScorpio,
    "anti-semitic bus-driving prostitutes."
    You have to pay to get on, but they turn you away if you haven't got a polo neck?

  110. "It makes me despair when intelligent types are agnostic on climate change, it's real, and we're all f*ck*d."

    Well I'm still agnostic.

    For it's real and we're all fucked, you might as well read...we're headed for an inevitable, apocalyptic end. Historicism, millenarianism...and a new 'puritanism' all rolled into one. Often pushed by types who don't especially like the current state of affairs and see the Green movement as a ticket to a simpler bucolic, authoritarian society where less rapacious, competitive values will hold sway...a rolling back of technology and progress. Doesn't work...that'd be like De Valera's Ireland with the added insult of hippy types rather than priests telling us how much our souls were benefiting.

    What's more they are backing their anti-technological agenda with of all things.."science". Since when did Bea Campbell give science any credence at all? Not until it supposedly provided a grounding for her latest stance. It's not going to happen is it? We all step back into a cleaner, simpler, more natural age and our values and relationships will change..muddle headed wishful thinking.

    Anyway, since when were long term forecasts worth a piece of shit? Humans are just no good at that sorta thing. I heard a General on the radio announcing there'd need to be a presence in Afghanistan for 40 years at least..it got reported as 'fact'..the view of an experienced expert. So just how many military predictions made in 1969 hold water these days. Unforeseeable events, advances in technology, the spread of different values and beliefs all get right in the way.

    I've read a few times that there is no possible way any future discovery, technological advance or political solution can ever alter the fact that unless we act within 5 years or 80 months or two weeks..take your pick.. can halt the ineluctable carnage of climate chaos. How the fuck can anybody know this?

    If there is one certainty about climate change and its political ramifications it's this..I can 100% guarantee it...any price that needs paying will disproportionately fall on those least able to pay it. That's it...all you can say. That is historically inevitable.

  111. Or as weethesheeple would put it...

    #'Get the feeling the sheeple will be paying a poll tax on wheels via a compulsory tracking device installed in their sheeple cars soon?'

    posed the wise fool

    'now how can they spin £*£*£*£*£*£that one?'

    'War on CO2.... environment... green.... responsibility....'

    posed Spinocchio

    'sheeple like green and pleasant lands'#

    Say what you like but I'd take 'wee' over Bea any day.

  112. Polo necks are cool, habib. Ahem...

    But nah, was just making the point about how they've never found an equine corpse they haven't flogged. Four blogs already on that anodyne Dispatches programme, four (?) on prostitution...Seriously, how many people are affected by prostitution? The coverage it gets in Cif is completely disproportionate to its impact on, or interest to, the general population.

    If I was cynical, I might think that they print so many prostitution threads because it's one of the few remaining issues on which most feminists will agree.

  113. Oh feck, thauma, the Irish have scored...

  114. Interesting thoughts earlier about education. I don't think I learnt that much during school hours, it was more a social experience. There were one or two inspirational teachers, but they were heavily outnumbered by bullies and dictatorial psycopaths, who saw their position as worthy of respect, while doing nothing to earn any.

    I was lucky that I had an elder brother and sister who read good books.

  115. MF - you are definitely right that the burden will fall on those least able to bear it. As it always does.

    For the rest of it, I'm *reasonably* convinced that there's something in it - but not being a climate scientist myself, and therefore having to believe in what's reported, it's difficult to tell.

    Even if it's not true, though, I think the scenario of peak oil (and other resources) is a definite, especially given our ever-burgeoning population, and cutting back on energy use, etc., is a good idea.

    Let's face it: a huge amount of energy in the West is going to fuel things like Xboxes and other unnecessary greed-based pursuits. (Dunno why I picked on Xboxes, but you know what I mean, I hope.)

    We could all do with scaling back our consumption whether MMGW is true or not.

  116. I'm officially undecided on climate change, MF. I plough through the endless debates on Monbiot's blogs, two sets of implacable zealots armed with their own stats, impervious to the stats of their enemies, and I remain none the wiser at the end of it.

    Maybe dot could write a piece for UT2. While there's still time...

  117. Hank


    Now let me get this straight: this is some sort of footie world cup qualifying thingy, yes?

    'Cos me, I'm mainly worried about the rugby autumn internationals, of course. :-p

    Still, it'd be lovely to see Ireland knock France out of the WC, especially as I fear them most in 6 Nations....

  118. This comment has been removed by the author.

  119. Dunno..I had a look at a WH Smith stall about 5 years ago...60% at least (fiction and non fiction) were related to serial killers. What the fuck's that about?

    Look these days and it'd be friggin Vampires or something. How come they all look like US teen pin ups these days? What ever happened to Nosferatu or Christopher Lee? If I got told there was a vampire creeping up the stares and I was met by some twat from High School Musical in mascara trying to look mean and moody, I probably piss myself laughing.

    Maybe that's the problem with global warming...horror's so fucking lame these days...Earnest nobodies in corduroy, Al Gore, Bea Campbell, Monbiot..who's gonna take that lot seriously?

  120. It's the 2nd leg of the play off for the World Cup finals, thaum. Winner takes all. France won 1-0 in Dublin Saturday, Ireland are now 1 up in Paris approaching half time. Could be extra time, penalties, comparing their hatred of the English (-;

    This rugby of which you speak...

  121. Are there any computer projections on whether or not will the world will end before Ireland win the World Cup?

  122. MF, Thauma

    you are definitely right that the burden will fall on those least able to bear it. As it always does.

    Seems you're right. Poor women bear climate burden.

    It doesn't matter what the issue- war, famine, drought etc, it is always women who bear the worst effects.

    I was reading this week that African Women account for 80% of African agricultural production (mostly as subsistence farming) yet out of every development dollar spent less than 2 cents is spent on Women.

    An incredible statistic that begs to be addressed for so many reasons- feeding the continent, women's rights, etc etc.

  123. I heard a bloke saying on the radio this morning that Ireland haven't beaten France in an away game since the 30s or something.

    I usually cheer on the French as my second team, but in this case I would be pleased to see the Irish win.

  124. I got told I was "wilfully ignorant" (not sure is such a thing...actually) by some climate change 'guru' on Liberal Conspiracy..before the inevitable banning came into force. She was another one who'd read the scientific evidence...equipped as she was with her GCSE "Double Award Science"...most insistent she proved to be ...that swung it for me...might be 'true' for all I know but I'm not making common cause with people who fetishise something they have got no clue about just because it lets them look radical, progressive and outflank anyone else by assuming the moral high ground at every turn.

    In the long run, historical evidence warns against siding with such people. Their 'certainty' makes them very dangerous.

  125. This comment has been removed by the author.

  126. What if it's a draw, Hank? I did hear something vaguely about this, and knew that god's own country had lost the other day.

    There's always looooooooads of extra time in fitba, as far as I can see (especially if Man U are losing, apparently).

    IMHO footie was only worth watching about 30 years ago when the likes of Bestie were playing; now it's a load of diving specialists and nothing ever seems to happen except for writhing around and pointing, and swearing at the ref.

    Rugby is a real man's game, where you get to grab other blokes in the bollock region whilst shoving your pelvis against him yet you'll still insist you're OK to play with 8 broken limbs.

    Rugby has the added advantage (from my perspective) of getting lots of nice arse shots during scrums. Footie players play in horrid loose kits where you can't tell an impressively muscular arse-and-thigh combo from a chronic pie-eater's.

  127. Can't agree with you there, Dook, about women bearing the worst effects of war, famine and drought. Death is fairly indiscriminate in the latter two, and discriminates against men in the first, unless it's war by American means, ie mostly carpet bombing of civilian areas.

    I'd like to see the breakdown though of how only 2% of development money is spent on women. How much is spent on children of both sexes for a start? How much is fleeced by the elites, mostly men, but who then share much of their wealth with their women?

    Poverty is a class issue, not a gender one.

  128. Scherf - steady on, winning the WC is a bit radical! Beating the French, though, that's a laudable goal.

    Duke - there was a pretty silly article on Cif recently about how women bear all the world's woes. While it's true that women are treated pretty poorly in a lot of countries, the men are too (although I'd agree that in many the women get the worst of it).

    To me, it's a classic case of fucking over the powerless, either way. Sex is more or less a distraction - it's just that women tend to be that much more powerless.

  129. "Rugby is a real man's game"

    Yeah? So how come Brussels aren't World Champions?

  130. MF - I should have thought that was obvious.

  131. thaumaturge... 'Rugby is a real man's game' -
    it is, but luckily my neighbour's husband doesn't think so, so I have inherited his ticket for Saturday's England/All-Blacks game... :)

  132. Oooh, Shaz, I do hope you're not an England supporter, as it promises to be rather dire! Still, it's something I'd love to watch, and will be on the telly if I can get out of work on time.

  133. Oooh. Nice one, Shaz!

    MF - real men in Brussels? I have a few Belgian friends and they tend to be more New Man than Real Man...

  134. "Saturday's England/All-Blacks"

    That's the one thing I like about Rugby..the way international teams get to call themselves by their nicknames. England's football team should get one..I suggest..

    "The Bewildered" "Headless Chickens" or "Lagerfrenzy"

  135. MF - LOL! Suggest either of the first two should also be suitable for England's rugby team.

  136. In the long run, MF, we are all dead.

    Anyway, you can't claim that you're not gonna make common cause with all Greens just because there are some you've duelled with who are just going through a trendy phase.

    I see that Thauma and Jay have dumped the Greens on the basis of Queen Bea's anointment as candidate for Hampstead, and I disagree with that as well.

    With due respect to both of them (it's early yet!), that's the sort of personality politics which has bedevilled us since Thatcher got remodelled as a sex kitten for the golf and gin classes, and Foot's intellect and basic common decency (to recall Orwell) was dismissed on the basis of the coat he wore to the Cenotaph.

    Campbell's just a chancer and an attention-seeker. It's unlikely she'll have any impact on policy decisions.

    If she does, then Jay's right. They might as well cancel the election due to lack of interest.

  137. Bea's responded on her Green thread. A splendid apologia of how badly she's misunderstood, and all the brill things wot she's done. Get yer Kleenex out!

  138. Hmm,now I come to think of it, it seems that only the Southern Hemisphere's national rugby sides have nicknames ... although hang on, I think Italy's team have one, but I can't think of it.

  139. I've got a few nicknames for the England rugby team actually, thauma.

  140. monkeyfish
    If there is one certainty about climate change and its political ramifications it's this..I can 100% guarantee it...any price that needs paying will disproportionately fall on those least able to pay it. That's it...all you can say. That is historically inevitable.

    I agree you're probably right about this - unfortunately it doesn't mean we can wish climate change away - science does seem to be telling us its happening. Just because Campbell and other types we might disagree with in numerous other ways have understood this doesn't mean its all some millenarian set of apocalyptic nonsense.

    Personally, in so far as I understand the science, I think it is happening and I don't think there's anything much we will be able to do about it. We will have to adapt to the conditions as they change. A lot of people will suffer and as you say it will be the most vulnerable who will suffer the most.

  141. Queen Bea's responded ... oh god, I can't look. At least, not unti tomorrow, if time permits.

    Hank - if I lived in Hampstead and Wotsit, I certainly wouldn't be voting Green while she's running. In the last election (MEP/council) I voted Green for one and LibDem for other.

    But the Green party does have some credibility problems and, just as I thought they were sorting them out a bit, they go and do a thing like this.

  142. Hank - I'll bet you do. But I'll also bet they're not really specific to England and more to do with the sport itself, am I right? ;-)

  143. Ooh, that's classic, scherfig. Not sure I'd trust her with any child care arrangements though. She seems to have a poor record of judging who is able to provide good childcare.

    She doesn't seem to have grasped the critique of identity politics and feminism having destroyed the Left.

    Nor does she seem to have appreciated that much of the criticism of her is personal because she is such an egotist.

    And she seems to have glossed over the suggestions that accepting an obe makes her a hypocrite.

    Other than that, and playing the victim card, I thought it was a pretty good response.

  144. thaumaturge: - 'I do hope you're not an England supporter, as it promises to be rather dire!'

    Yeah, am prepared for the worst... but how bad can the worst be, at Twickenham with a pint... :)

  145. Nope, it really is a class thing, thauma, which is why I've got no problem with supporting the Welsh team against England.

    That's assuming I ever watched a game. Which I haven't seen there was bugger all else to watch on a Saturday afternoon, and JP Rives was in full flow for the French. The game reached a high water point for me with Erica Roe. Raised my expectations unrealistically.

  146. Yeah, she missed a few key issues, Hank, but apart from that, not a bad effort for a narcissistic nitwit.

    btw, one of Cloughie's old boys was in the half-time studio to talk about the Ireland game (cracker by the way, 2000 mph, could go either way), Trevor Francis! Unfortunately the internet provider cut away from the game and played Bruce Springsteen music until they kicked off again. Bummer.

  147. Shaz - ask Jay, he was there last weekend. And that was a win.

    Hank - we've been around these houses before, but as far as I can see, it's only a class thing in SE England, if it is even there. Away up here in the Midlands, all sorts follow (and play) rugby. Even more so in the other home nations.

    God, got to dial into work again....

  148. Just read Beatrix Campbell OBE's BTL.

    Aparently we are not talking politics when criticising her nor indeed about Bea herself but about our own quote ''enraged obsessions'' unquote.

    Glad that's cleared up then.

    Hank/Thauma, agreed that in the West poverty and quality of life is a class issue rather than gender issue but there's no denying that in key areas the Woman's experience is much more difficult than males in the developing world.

    From lagging literacy rates and access to education to sky high Birth rates (7.29 births per woman in Niger) and subsequent lack of medical care to the burden of feeding and caring for the family it's quite clear there is a greater burden on Women.

    Of course when an estimated 25% of investment in Africa goes into corrupt pockets, all Africans suffer but if you count education as a keystone to development (which I do) there's no doubt women suffer much more than men.

  149. Allez les verts!
    Blimey this is a good match. Football is not what it used to be, Thauma, but the passion of the fans has never gone. Listening to the Irish fans sing "The Fields of Athenry" is beautiful.

  150. habib - was in Dublin about 5 yrs ago & there was a boy of about 10 busking 'The Fields of Athenry' - just awesome (even if it was for the mug tourists!)

  151. Duke - certainly can't disagree with anything you say there. The key is to promote equality for everyone, and it's well proven that providing more education to women raises everyone's standard of living.

    Allez les verts indeed!

    Bloody work has just postponed final decision by another half hour (finished my bit hours ago; should have had final decision at 9:00). If it's a NO, then I have to undo all the work I did earlier ... grr.

  152. Looks like I've managed to get myself banned at last. Tried to post on the Bea Campbell thread and the Waddya thread, but nothing.

    In retrospect, it was probably calling McShane a lying sack of shit and Seaton a disgrace to journalism in the same post that did for me. Felt good though. Seaton has truly ruined CiF.

  153. Not sure about those who follow the game, thauma, certainly it's appeal has taken off since the Premiership was launched and its base might have broadened. But in terms of players, rugby is still played predominantly at grammar and fee-paying schools, wherever you are in the country (with the possible exception of the South West).

    In Scotland afaik, and maybe the Dook can confirm, it's also the preserve of the grammar and private schools.

    I'll hold my hands up and admit that this is pure prejudice on my part. I don't like rugby and don't understand it, whereas I can happily sit and watch cricket all day, even though the same class criticisms could be levelled at it. In the SE at least. In the north of England, cricket is a bit more classless.

    Anyway, extra time in Paris...

    Yeh, Fields of Athenry was quite impressive, habib.

  154. Extra time - French looking très fragile and fuckin' rattled. Anybody know any cheap hotels in Cape Town?

  155. 'kinell that was tense. Extra time.
    Shaz, yeh they do it for the tourists, but I agree, they're still bloody good. Have you ever been to New Orleans? It's a very depressing experience if you think you can play a blues harp. Almost everyone can play it better.

  156. Well, the lot I hang out and watch it, who also played when they wuz lads, with are decidedly working-class. Mind you, they're mostly Welsh for some odd reason of chance.

    So don't keep me hanging on: is it Ireland through?

  157. Paddybrown - blimey. Straight out ban or did they give you some time in pre-mod purgatory first?

    Sucks, anyway.

  158. Er ... misplaced dependent clause there, but no doubt you're all ugly enough and clever enough to work it out.

  159. Hank

    "Anyway, you can't claim that you're not gonna make common cause with all Greens just because there are some you've duelled with who are just going through a trendy phase."

    Yeah, but there are fair grounds for rejecting it on the basis that it's being used as a pretext for an authoritarian, puritan revivalism. There are grounds for rejecting it simply on the basis that it's being put forward as an inescapable inevitability...that gives it an apocalyptic religious tone which freaks me right out and there are grounds for rejecting it when the pat argument for so many Greens is that any dissent or questioning is treated as a sign of moral degeneracy or mental illness.

    AND...most of them don't understand the science..it just fits with their world-view..which in many cases is a retreat from potential progress...and even if they did read right up and could manage to grasp the scientific concepts, they sure as fuck couldn't solve the equations, never mind interpret the findings of the solutions with even a slight alteration to the hotly disputed initial conditions. I'd guess 99% of greens accept it on faith...for reasons which have little or nothing to do with the differential equations.

    And, on faith, they become extremists; chucking around accusations of "denialism" (sic). I've even been accused of being in league with "Big Oil"..basically for asking "Why are you so sure?"...Now obviously I nip down to Shell every so often and fill the car up..but that's about the full extent of my involvement.

    Posted something to this effect and was told my flippant attitude was a disgrace and they hoped I died a painful death etc...seriously..some of them are fuckin warped..over something they just don't understand. You can't side with people like that.

  160. Paddybrown - have you tried looking at your profile to see if it still exists? Cos if it does, I reckon it's just plucking bugs again.

    I do believe that if you're in pre-mod, they tell you that when you try to post.

  161. Football and Rugby.

    Football- really hoping Ireland do it, but can't watch it due to sheer jealousy at the fact we are so shit and Ireland are almost there!

    Rugby- aaaaah Rugby Union. The code that was kept amateur until the 90's to keep the riff raff from making an earning from it or taking part in it in any meaningful sense in both England and Scotland.

    Rugby league is different though. It's a Northern sport which professionalised around the same time the Northern Association Football clubs were doing the same- appeal to the masses and get the best players in regardless of class by paying them.

    Both codes allowed projection from the crowd. League crowds could identify with the players a la Richard Harris in 'This sporting life' whereas Union crowds identified with the spiffing 15 chaps playing Rugger.

    I'm with Hank here on the blind prejudice, I can't stand rugby union. And up here it is indeed an elitist sport.

  162. Fair points, Dook. As far as the birth rate is concerned, I can understand that the burden on women is greater, especially given high rates of death in childbirth.

    I'd like to see a broader picture of education entitlement between the sexes across the 3rd World, and particularly outside the Islamic world. The 2% figure you quoted seems unbelievable, tbh, but if it includes education spend in Islamic states it might begin to make more sense.

    Still think though that it remains a class issue, even in the Islamic world, because the education of boys at the expense of girls is part and parcel of propping up conservative countries where class interests are subjugated in favour of those of the ruling elites.

    Those boys are educated primarily in madrassas, with a small minority also getting technical or engineering educations. The objective is to have a predominantly religious conservative population, with few of either sex getting an education which encourages a grasp of history, politics or independent thought.

    The overall objective is to ensure the survival of the existing order. Which is why I think that it remains a class isse rather than a gender one.

  163. MF - I'm afraid you are largely right in that (and selecting Bea OBE is just a symptom of the problem).

    My impression over the last couple of years was that the Greens had developed from being a single-issue party dominated by tofu-knitters into one that was pretty committed to social justice, but this fiasco has set that view back somewhat.

    There probably isn't a good defining ideology: it's probably a party made up of hippies who dropped a bit too much acid many years ago, conspiracy theorists, and actual rational people. Which, in a way, goes to prove the problems of the party system: when a party gets very powerful, i.e. Lab/Cons, then there is no deviation from the party line; when they're not powerful enough, then the members are a load of very loosely aggregated nutcases.

    (And by 'nutcases' I don't mean at all to insinuate that they suffer from mental illness.)

  164. "Is it Ireland through?" - )-: )-:

    France taken the lead in extra time, dodgy handball by Thierry Henry.

  165. I still have a profile, so maybe I'm not banned. Past caring though.

  166. Hand of Dieu. Sickening twenty three years ago, sickening now.

  167. heyhabib

    sickening now, hilarious 23 years ago ;)

  168. What? What? Are you telling me that la main de dieu has given it to the Frogs?

  169. Just saw it.

    Shocking, absolutely shocking deliberate handball.

  170. Fck off, Wybourne (-;

    I was at Glastonbury that day, laid out on the grass listening to Billy Bragg somewhere up on stage in the distance, incapacitated by space cake, but the pain never goes away...

  171. Hank,

    remember the first rule of being a Scotland fan is that we laugh at a team we can't beat getting beaten in a round we could never qualify for.

  172. monkeyfish
    Yeah, but there are fair grounds for rejecting it on the basis that it's being used as a pretext for an authoritarian, puritan revivalism.

    There are lunatics everywhere and its true I couldn't work out the equations.

    But on balance, given the evidence as I understand it, I fall on the side of rapid climate change being a reality.

    Anecdotally (for what it's worth, probably not much), the farmers that I meet through my work (and i meet a lot of them up and down the UK) are all agreed that something peculiar has been happening to the weather, which has become much more unpredictable and erratic in recent decades and which has made it increasingly difficult for them to plan their planting and cropping regimes.

  173. All good points, MF. I do think that many Greens are secular evangelicals, but then I look at Clarkson and the 4x4 fuckwits claiming to be persecuted victims on the other side, and I kinda lose interest in the arguments.

    Anyway, as you know, I'm not averse to a bit of authoritarianism at times.

    Does make me laugh that most of the right-wing nutjobs who dismiss the Greens on the grounds of their authoritarianism are usually the ones cheering on the coppers when the eco-radicals are getting a good kicking.

  174. Fair enough, Duke. FWIW, like every other England fan, I feign indifference to the Scottish football team, but I do still have a shrine to Ally McLeod, Allan Rough and Senor Cubillas on my tv.

  175. Crivens. Wondered what all the cheering and beeping was earlier, and assumed the French were miles up. Turned on telly to watch [insert name of derivative US import cop show here] and it was still going...

    Then remembered there's quite a large Algerian contingent in Montpellier.

    Anyway, the french commentators were on the point of tears until the equaliser - now just on the verge of having a stroke or something...

  176. @Paddybrown - have you tried posting again? If so, what response are you getting?

    You're in luck if you're looking for some experts on posting rights, lack of...

  177. French commentary team now definitely in need of medical attention.

    and strepsils.

  178. Sorry thauma, scherfig, dook et al

    It's all over. You'll just have to support Don Fabio's Young Lions in SA next year...

  179. Anyway,

    I'm hitting the hay. I bid you all a good night and no doubt see you tomorrow for some more internet based shenanigans.

    Hard luck Ireland, cheated, absolutely cheated out of a World Cup place.

  180. Bah, disgusted. Glad I don't really give a toss about football, although I do pay a small bit of attention to the WC.

    Anyway, just had a bizarre conversation with w*rk where it seems I am now off the hook (and I'm not going to stick around to find out I'm wrong), so goodnight friends and sparring partners!

  181. Yep, Algeria through, along with Greece, Slovenia (top result v the Russkies) and Cristiano fookin Ronaldo!

  182. Hank, I've tried posting a few times, and it just vanishes into the ether. The page just reloads, and my comment isn't there.

    As for the football, shit. I used to quite like Thierry Henry as a footballer.

  183. Nothing silly winds me up more than football. Wybourne, old chap, very funny. Iran ha! And there was no cheating.

  184. paddybrown

    Look at your profile and see if the comments are there. It could be a caching problem. It happens from time to time, so if you log out of your net browser and log in again, it should right itself.

  185. Sheff

    What really got to me was the "Global temperatures are rising...we're headed for oblivion"

    Which was countered by "The weather's always done that..it's a cyclical thing"...

    Response "Rubbish...temperatures are rising year on year...we must do something NOW"

    Move Forward a few years..turned out recently global temertures have fallen slightly over the past decade..Naturally the 'Denialists' ask..

    "What was that you were saying about 'year on year rises and inevitability' not so long ago?"

    And the climate warriors now inform us...

    "The weather's always done that..it's a cyclical thing"

    ..NOT just that though...miraculously..this is a sign of even 'greater' inevitability..Moves like this are normally taken to characterise pseudosciences...particularly the supposedly testable ones...which then just move the goal posts when the evidence turns out to be inconvenient.

    All this 'scientific certainty' from left wing bloggers with degrees in Comparative Religion or 'Feminist Ontology'...How come they're not working on Super String or Grand Unification Theories while they're about it?

    AND can somebody give me an example of a scientist or any academic making accurate predictions about the future of the planet from 50 years ago? Anything? Population? Economics?..Football? They can't do it...and "the technology's so much more advanced these days doesn't cut it either...apart from the fact that it's allegedly killing us all.

    As I said at the start I'm not a 'denier'..just unconvinced and very uneasy about siding with what are clearly emerging as fundamentalists. So uneasy..I'm inclined away from the whole climate change argument on aesthetic grounds as much as anything.

  186. No offence anyone, but I'm bitter. So, here's something about climate change:

    Irish weather:

    40 degrees - Californians shiver uncontrollably.
    People in Ireland sunbathe.

    35 degrees - Italian cars won't start.
    People in Ireland drive with the windows down.

    20 degrees - Floridians wear coats, gloves, and wool hats.
    People in Ireland throw on a T-shirt.

    15 degrees - Californians begin to evacuate the state.
    People in Ireland go swimming in the sea.

    0 degrees - New York landlords turn the heat on.
    People in Ireland have a last barbie before it gets cold.

    -10 degrees - People in Miami are extinct.
    People in Ireland lick flagpoles.

    -20 degrees - Californians all now live in Mexico .
    People in Ireland throw on a light jacket.

    -100 degrees - Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
    People in Ireland wear a vest and pull down their ear flaps.

    -297 degrees - Microbial life starts to grind to a halt.
    Irish cows complain of farmers with cold hands.

    -460 degrees - ALL atomic motion stops.
    People in Ireland start saying "It's a bitin cold ...? "

    -500 degrees - Hell freezes over.
    Irish people support England in the World Cup.

  187. "...the coppers when the eco-radicals are getting a good kicking."

    Take your point, but.. "good kicking"..hardly...when daddy might be a lawyer or know the Chief Constable from the Golf Club.

    Just how many batons did you see waved full force and headed for the bridge of the nose in all those thousands of mobile videos from the G8 which littered youtube? Few slaps with a shield and the poor guy with the heart attack..that was it.

    Good kickings from the cops are a CLASS ISSUE

  188. Ah not sure you've been banned, Paddy. The new Cif tech seems to be unreliable to say the least. Lots of people complaining about inadvertently making double posts. Give it 48 hours and check again to see whether your post is there (-;

    Having said that though, the one sure way of knowing you were banned before was logging onto a thread and finding that the "post" button had disappeared. Whereas now I get the "post" button up, but I know if I tried to use it, it wouldn't work, and the mods were just playing a very cruel trick.

    So on reflection, yeh, I would guess you've been banned.

    What did you do? Question Seaton's taste in dinner party guests? Query whether the appointment of Guardian and Cif editorial staff is completely open and transparent?

  189. Nope. Comments that were made after I made mine are showing up. Logged out and in again, and mine still aren't.

  190. Very good, scherf. I was in Santa Ponsa (Majorca) when England got knocked out of the QF 2006 on penalties by the Winker and his mates, and I was touched by the sympathy shown by my Irish friends. Two-fucking day carnival, that was, the bastards.

  191. You're banned. Welcome home, paddy.

  192. Hank: "What did you do? Question Seaton's taste in dinner party guests? Query whether the appointment of Guardian and Cif editorial staff is completely open and transparent?"

    No, just called him a disgrace to journalism for continuing to give blatant government propagandists like McShane a free platform, and suggested he should resign.