25 November 2009

Daily Chat 25/11/09

Mother Nature seems to have been an especial bitch on this day throughout history.  A list of the devastation:

1343  An earthquake in the Tyrrhenian Sea created a tsunami that destroyed much of Naples
1667  An earthquake near Shemakha, in the Caucasus, left 80,000 dead
1703  The Great Storm of 1703 devastated southern England.  The storm began on 24 November, but reached a climax on 26/27 November, with winds up to 120 mph.  Somewhere between 8000-15000 people were killed (including the Bishop of Bath and Wells).  Daniel Defoe reported that 700 ships were destroyed from Shadwell to Limehouse, alone, and the Royal Navy lost 13 ships.
1759  An earthquake in the Mediterranean killed 30,000-40,000 and destroyed Beirut and Damascus.
1833  An earthquake measuring between 8.7 and 9.2 on the Richter scale created a tsunami that ravaged Sumatra.
1839  A cyclone hit India, destroying the port city of Coringa, 20,000 ships and killing 300,000 people.
1926  Twenty-seven tornadoes hit the several states in the Central US, killing 76 and injuring 400.
1950  A violent snowstorm slammed the Northeastern US and Appalachia.  The storm killed 323 people and parts of West Virginia received as much as 57 inches of snow.
1987  Typhoon Nina hit the Philippines, with wind speeds as high as 165 mph.  1036 people were killed.
1996  An ice storm hit the Midwestern US, killing 26 people.  Florida was hit with 90 mph winds on the same day.
2000  An earthquake measuring 7.0 hit Baku, Azerbaijan, killing 26 people.

Born today:  Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), Karl Benz (1844-1929), Percy Sledge (1941), Imran Khan (1952), John F. Kennedy, Jr. (1960-1999), Xabi Alonso and the Bush twins (Barbara and Jenna) were born in 1981.

It is National Day in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


  1. Xabi and the Bush Twins would be a good name for a band.

  2. I have to agree with you Montana - great name for a band!

    The govt is launching its strategy to prevent violence against women & girls today. Here's a taster: Violence against women & girls strategy – schools

  3. Domestic abuse is at record levels in Scotland -


    Alcohol plays the biggest part, but figures also shoot up after a weekend of football matches, especially if Rangers and Celtic get beaten (as Rangers were last night and as Celtic will likely be tonight).

    Cheery start to the day, sorry, morning all.

  4. Also covered in the Observer last sunday - grim stats indeed on secual pressures young girls face, and violence. To me it seems linked to the sexualisation of children, which is a core marketing principle.

    Perhaps rather than PSE, schools should take a leaf out of Ghaddafi's book and have all teenage girls trained in basic tai kwondo ?

  5. Morning Edwin

    Interesting link, which shows that more men are reporting domestic violence too, which is encouraging.

    In England & Wales, there are various factors behind the increase in police reported incidents - changes in police recording methods & police positive action policy are just two examples. The link with alcohol & footie also crosses the border, but there are obviously many cases where neither alcohol nor sport is a factor.

  6. Edwin,

    depressing statistics indeed. I think in Glasgow particularly it's the natural result of endemic poverty exacerbated by the historic 'hard man' mentality which has never quite disappeared.

    I got the Peter McDougall collection on DVD recently which gives a fantastic insight into the 1970's 'hard man' psyche of the Glasgow male.

    'Just another saturday' and 'Just a boy's game' in particluar are a brilliant analysis of this mentality at the cusp of de-industrialisation as the Shipyards, heavy industry and employment were disappearing.

    What we have today is the children of that generation who have grown up through unemployment and the hopelessness of Thatcher's years here in combination with the heroin problems of the 80's.

    And whilst there is never, never, never, never any excuse for domestic violence, it is quite clear it is inextricably linked with poverty and deprivation.

  7. BW

    I agree re: the sexualisation of children aspect. How T shirts & pencil cases with a certain Bunny logo on them could be considered suitable for 8 year olds is beyond me.


    Police reported incidents are clustered in deprived areas, so there is a definite link with poverty. But that doesn't mean that the more socio-economically advantaged victims don't suffer abuse. They may not report it for a variety of reasons eg: it's less likely to be overheard by neighbours, or they may have more resources (money, support networks) to draw on.

    I think you're right about the legacy of the 'hard man' mentality. I think it has a role in partner-on-partner violence as well as other family domestic violence for example between stepson & stepfather, or father & son.

  8. Here's the new strategy, which has just been published

  9. On a cheerier note, that's a nice story about the German banker who robbed rich people's bank accounts & lent the money to poorer customers.

  10. 9.45 ruling on bank charges, pay attention folks, this could be a bumper pay day!!

    If this goes well im sure the gits owe me at least a grand, maybe 2...

  11. Thanks MsChin. Really depressing stats - I know that attitudes can be a cause of attacks, but could there also be an argument that the level of abuse feeds into attitudes as well? That the prevalence of it means it's so 'normalised' that it's easier just to have an attitude that 'it's not always wrong' than to actually address the underlying problems?

    Your Grace - poverty will be a cause but it's not a necessary factor, in my view - as MsC says, there's DV in every section of society, and while incidence may be greater in some groups, it needs recognising and addressing in all of them (including against men, and within gay relationships) - the idea that 'it only happens to X, Y Z' means that victims outside that continue to suffer from negative attitides that can ignore or minimise what's happened to them.

    Great quote from one of the 'stakeholders'
    “Why can’t we have something about not
    going out raping women, you won’t get away
    with it? The advertising we have had so far
    puts all the onus on the victim. It’s ‘don’t go
    out and get drunk, you might get raped.’ The
    onus needs to be on the man, to stop women
    feeling shameful. So they have the confidence
    to go out into the world and say I’ve been
    raped, and you’re not going to get away with
    it, and I’m not ashamed to say it.”
    Hear hear. Like a secular veil, there's still this idea that 'men can't help it, so women have to manage the situation' which puts all the onus on the 'target' to avoid an attack, rather than the attacker to not do it. And it can be seen as teaching fear of all men, which is not f-ing helpful.

    I mean, I hope that nobody actually thinks that 'all men are rapists' any more (and that the Melissa McEwan piece a while back about not trusting men was a product of her having a f-ing lousy life and that she probably doesn't trust anybody at all), and which insults all of us in its simplicity...

  12. 'All men are rapists' was a theoretical stance based on the assumption that all males have phalluses & are capable of penetrative sex plus the legal assumption that by virtue of their possessing penises, only men are capable of rape. I'd hope that only 'a select few' would conflate these into 'all penetrative sex is rape.' No-one can seriously believe that all men are capable of such a heinous crime, and it doesn't help to label all consensual sexual pleasure as rape.

  13. MsChin: Well, there some feminists who claim that rape is just an extreme on a scale of normal male sexuality/normal male behaviour.

    While I have no problems accepting such a stance, I also think that statement is patently useless to tell you anything about men and very useful to demonize male sexuality. That's because the statement is purely one-sided and does not take into account that, as a matter of principle, every heinous act that has ever been done can be said to be an extreme on a spectrum of normal *human* behaviour, without dividing humanity by gender.

  14. Philippa

    The Home Office did do a No means No campaign aimed at men, in 2006:

  15. Banks won, what a surprise...

  16. elementary
    "That's because the statement is purely one-sided and does not take into account that, as a matter of principle, every heinous act that has ever been done can be said to be an extreme on a spectrum of normal *human* behaviour, without dividing humanity by gender."
    Yes! Brilliant...

    It sort of kicks the idea of 'universal truths' in the head - you know, when somebody says "everybody knows child abuse is wrong", what they really mean is "everybody reasonable knows child abuse is wrong" - the incidence of the crime seems by definition to show that not everybody thinks that. And from that very extreme example, you get many more flavours of 'universal' with the person claiming it excluding anyone with whom they disagree (abortion, euthanasia etc etc).

    The only truly unversal truths (if there are any) are probably so general as to be utterly useless - I used to think that reading the Social Contract. Nice idea, but no practical help at all, unless you exclude some views. And if you exclude some, then you're into a cherry-picking situation and might as well just carry on. Thus, democracy that disenfranchises...

    Don't really know where I'm going with that. Have been mulling it over recently. Feel a blogpost coming on...

  17. Boo, Jay - and can't get the ruling to load...

    If Sky's legal chap is right (which seems reasonable - the ruling can't have been a blanket OK to all charges) then there's still the possibility of getting something by negotiation as the banks won't want to spend the next five years facing a constant stream of self-representing customers taking them to court individually.

    Perhaps one of the rep groups could start collating complaints to all 'all fours' cases could be combined...

  18. Ben Wild article up (Men's groups) - ready, set...

  19. Hmm, Philippa, I really think that pretty much everybody knows that child abuse is wrong. I just think that those who commit it do not consider their acts to be child abuse. "Perpetrator's narrative", I think it was called in a CiF article.

  20. Poverty is certainly am obvious factor in DV but i wonder if the middle classes are not simply better at hiding the bruises, both physical and mental. Jimmy watches Rangers get beat last night comes home and clouts his partner, who for once has enough and takes her bruises to the police; meanwhile Hamish is up in an expensive box, goes home and hits his wife in the ribs, who will take it for the sake of the kids and the lifestyle.

    Your Grace, haven't see anything by McDougall since the 70s! He's been regarded as a dinosaur since he called the head of BBC Scotland Drama a 'wee lassie', but while I loathed A Sense of Freedom, he is (or was) a powerful writer. He's forgotten the first rule of Scottish culture - gather a tribe around you. He's not PC and not 'modern' so he gets the cold shoulder.

    There is still a lot of work in the shipyards and many women work there now, a fact strongly resented by some men -


  21. elementary - ay, the justification is so often 'they wanted to' - maybe 'sex with children is wrong' would be a better example of the failure of universalism (as then definitions of 'children' and relative national ages of consent get thrown in). As I said, that was an extreme example...typing aloud, as it were.

    Ben Wild article rather good actually. 'politics and modern history student' too...

  22. I note that Jessica Reed has popped up on Ben Wild's thread to link to a comment from yesterday's Agg article which is supposedly from one of his friends and basically calls him a prat.

    Now, why would she do that?

  23. Jay - Boo re the banks! I was waiting for a possible eight hundred squid back. Still no netbook either and PC World can't mend it because it has an 'unusually small hardrive'? that they can't get hold of. Loving the band name!

  24. Philippa: I didn't necessarily have sexual abuse in mind when I wrote; I think there is a lot of non-sexual child abuse going on (and people who would do this could absolve themselves by comparing what they do to sexual abuse).

    The fact that Ben Wild is a politics and modern history student makes me reconsider my notion that he wrote somewhat tongue in cheek. I can hardly imagine a more efficient way of winding up his opponents than using the soft-spoken, ostentatiously fair-minded and even somewhat bedazzled rhetoric he uses in this article, which would anyone harshly critizing him look like a rude bully. But him being a politics student, he really might be sincere ...

  25. Philippa,

    I have to disagree about the Ben Wild article. If this is the politically engaged of the country, God save us.

    Gender, Gender, Gender, Gender, Gender, Gender, Gender,Gender,Gender,Gender,Gender,Gender,Gender,

    And then they will all grow up to be the professional politicians strangling the country.

  26. elementary - as an ex-pol/phil myself, I was thinking exactly that; that he might have been one of the few awake during the seminar on modern feminist thought, and actually took it on board! He is teetotal, after all, so possibly less prone to jinking lectures or falling asleep in them...

  27. ah, your grace, but I didn't see 'gender gender gender', I saw 'we're all in this together'. And the student-aged politically engaged will always be a bit starry eyed, no? better that than just grunting and doing nothing...

    maybe he is a bit 'plath and herbal tea' but there's nowt wrong wi' that, and the fact that candleberry's being roundly criticised for defining masculinity so narrowly is a good thing.

    and i bet you that anyone who's willing to set up a MENS group like that is also recyling assiduously and doing lots of other stuff...

  28. I just skimmed over the article about DV prevention. The phrasing makes me scratch my head a little. "... to make violence against women and girls unacceptable amongst young people."

    I can't help it, and sorry if this is "whataboutery", but to my ear, placing a strong emphasis on "violence against girls and women " as being a really really bad thing means as a corollary that "violence against boys and men" is no big deal.

    Last year, the EU made a paper which should make it illegal to "trivialize or glorify violence against women or children " in advertisements. At the same time in Germany, a catalogue company had a "humourous" ad with a woman battering her husband with the heavy catalogue. Obviously, this still would be okay under the new rules ...

  29. elementary - given the stats, particularly, and the seriousness of the issue, I wouldn't call that 'whataboutery' - I was really p***ed off when listening to a rep from Womens' Aid last week talking about DV, who managed to mention male victims, but only in the context of gay relationships. And it was like she had to really struggle to think of that...

    I do think there's space for targeting specific groups but there should at least be acknowledgement of the others, and a clear statement that "this is specific to X, other policies / organisations deal with Y, Z etc".

  30. Edwin, I'd be wary of any alleged link between domestic violence and Celtic and Rangers matches. It's not mentioned in the Telegraph article you link to, and it's worryingly reminiscent of the story promoted by certain feminists in America in the 1990s that domestic violence rose by 40% on the day of the Super Bowl (debunked on Snopes). It was a lie designed to scare women and demonise men then, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was again now.

  31. paddy, fair point. Any statistical link (if it exists) between domestic violence and football games would be additionally complicated by the probable increase in alcohol consumption on these occasions.

  32. "I can hardly imagine a more efficient way of winding up his opponents than using the soft-spoken, ostentatiously fair-minded and even somewhat bedazzled rhetoric he uses in this article, which would anyone harshly critizing him look like a rude bully. But him being a politics student, he really might be sincere ..."

    He seems a very smart boy to me. I have no basis for this view but i just cant say i take him as genuinely sincere, i think he is just making a bit of a point, and its a good point, and he knows exactly which language and stances he needs to pull it off.

    The DV kids thing is very strange, i really am amazed this is getting so little scrutiny. Anyone remember the Glasgow Uni poll, as i remember something like 60% of those polled (women) thought it was ok to hit blokes, compared to 20% of blokes, along those lines. I ahve seen similar findings repeated elsehwere, and its as you would expect - only in one direction is such violence socially unacceptable, in the other direction its feisty and assertive, you go girl.

    On latest figures, the split in DV fatalities is around 70-30, so a majority female deaths but a substantial minority male. Then there is the studies on DV showing mostly to be mutual, and at least half of mutual to be female instigated.

    I hate to rant about this but I just cannot believe we are allowing such ideologically blinded ideas into our classrooms. I dont see whats wrong with teaching kids about the nature of DV as a whole, that would include the facts that women are the majority of fatal victims, but it would also include the other facts of the matter that the government, and the guardian, are keen to airbrush out.

    One eyed bigotry coming to 5 year olds near you...

    You'd hope lessons might have been learnt by the trafficking fiasco, not a word of it...

  33. Paddy,

    I can only give first hand observations from my better half who is an A&E nurse in Glasgow.

    She says after Old Firm games, those she mostly treats are young men who've been jumped or been in fights etc but she does say she treats more women who've been a victim of domestic violence than a normal shift.

    Of course, these are the ones who've been seriously beaten enough to have to come to hospital which begs the question of how many have been less seriously beaten but beaten nonetheless.

  34. Jay

    Just posted something about this for you on Waddya, but this thing isn't getting scrutiny because it's not new, it's just going to be mandatory instead of voluntary.

    It fits with other agendas for children & young people - safeguarding, the 5 outcomes of Every Child Matters, promoting mental health & wellbeing etc.

  35. [arp arp, arp arp]

    Labour apparatchik on R4 has just used the phrase "let's get real" - please assume the position

    [arp arp]

  36. Jay - agree (as above) that while there is space for targeted studies / responses, if you're talking about education in particular, things need to be more evenhanded. or certain ideas will be perpetuated by the very 'treatment' that's supposed to be removing them...

    MsChin - appreciate that but as you said on WDYWTTA, a better fit would be if it was 'non-gendered' such that it safeguarded / promoted mental health / welfare of all the kids, without coopting them to this bipolar situation...

  37. OK - rewrite - Jay, I agree with you, as I think (as above) that there is space...etc

    On another topic - This loan thing - was Captain Darling really urging Lloyds to buy HBOS or whatever as a "good deal" when he knew damn well it wasn't? I despair...Mind you, I also despair of the accountancy profession sometimes, who the hell did the checks? It's not like you can miss a billion dollar loan...

  38. Philippa

    Thanks for picking up on that, I'm trying to catch up with Jay too quickly!

    Yes - an evenhanded approach is needed, which raises awareness & develops skills to deal with interpersonal violence (such as who a child might trust to tell about something happening to them), but doesn't demonise the male of the species.

  39. Also have to say that I was less than impressed at the fracas between Baird & Horley on Woman's Hour this morning. Hardly worked to get the message across about the new strategy & its component elements, but did serve to highlight that the crux of the matter is which tier of govt is going to have to fund the delivery of it.

  40. MsChin - the email with which Murray finished the show did basically say "you're supposed to be helping with that childish display? Jesus".

    The 'MENS group' thread seems to be moving onto evolutionary psychology, so I may pop out for while...

  41. Have to add my recommend Imogen's post on Waddya for Jay to write a piece on the VAWG strategy.

  42. Ah Philippa - that was me opened that can of worms I think - sorry:)

    I just hate the evolutionary psychology crap - AllyF is brilliant at knocking it into a cocked hat. But I opened that can of worms for picking up on the neuroscience post. For my penance I wont post on Cif for about three hours. Does that sound fair?

    On the DV front - agree totally that we should be teaching kids that the whole thing is wrong - not just highlighting male on female violence. In fact we should be teaching kids about violence per se in my humble opinion. When I taught in an inner city college I was shocked at the amount of violence endemic in some of the students lives. Stuff that I found horrific (fighting, sexual assaults) was pretty common for them. One girl found her boyfriend jailed for beating someone to death, then his friend attempted to rape her (her answer was to buy two massive fighting pitbulls that she now takes everywhere with her), another student was amongst a group of teenagers on a bus when two of them 'happy slapped' someone to death and had to be a witness and then another student was convicted for attacking someone with a knife. And I was only there for a couple of years too. It really shocked me.

  43. Still concerning the DV education and purely speculative:

    Those DV lessons which reiterate the "man-perpetrator, women-victim" scheme possibly teach boys to be helpless when confronted with aggressive behaviour from girls, not knowing how to deal with it since they've been taught a world view where this behaviour does not occur (or at least, a world view where such behaviour doesn't really matter). And girls might get the message that there are no bounds wrong for them to overstep when dealing with boys.

    This might lead to boys feeling cornered/intimidated by girls far sooner than would be "good" or "healthy", and for some, this feeling of being cornered might lead to outbursts of physical aggression; and if this is carried over into adulthood, well, it surely does contribute to male-on-female DV.

    All of this, however, is idle speculation, as stated at the beginning, but it sounds somewhat plausible to me (who suffered as a child from being bullied by girls as well as by boys, and feeling more helpless towards the girls' bullying than towards the boys', although I never lashed out against girls and will not ever commit DV, I hope).

  44. Hi Paddy - the link between Rangers/Celtic games was confirmed by Strathclyde Police back in March -


    Oddly I was in the Western Infirmary in March myself Mon-Fri and the staff would confirm our Duke's old Dutch observations - the casualties rise at the weekend, and if there's been a big match they rise dramatically.

    Am big fan of Snopes - brillaint site.

  45. Informative link, Edwin, but I would suggest that alcohol is the problem, rather than football.

    Assistant Chief Constable John Neilson, of Strathclyde Police, said the force arrested more than 550 people on the day of the match - all of whom were drunk.
    He said alcohol was fuelling the huge increase in violence following the games.

  46. There's a Home Office report on DV rates during the World Cup here:

    Some 40% of offenders were 'under the influence of alcohol'.

  47. Well, scherfig, let's talk about transitivity: Football causes increased consumption of alcohol, increased consumption of alcohol causes an increase in DV, therefore football causes an increase in DV.

    That said, I never will forget my brother's words when we were in Dortmund when they became Deutscher Meister "Look at how happy and friendly all those people are! Er, but don't tell anyone you dislike the BVB, else they'll lynch you ..."

  48. X causes increased consumption of alcohol, increased consumption of alcohol causes an increase in DV, therefore X causes an increase in DV.

    Indeed, watson. Let's start filling in the X-bit and ignore the alcohol bit. And when we've got enough X's we can just ban them all. (And that includes Xmas.)

  49. Hi Scherfiig - the boozing happens every weekend but chuck in a big football match and that's when the DV soars along with other rates of violence - in Glasgow anyway.

    Actually I think that March statement was the first time ever a Scottish police force has linked DV with the Old Firm. The Scottish media have always underplayed or indeed ignored the alcohol-fuelled violence surrounding football, especially with Rangers and Celtic.

  50. Hello All

    Teaching about DV in schools .

    We obviously should be talking here about helping children to understand and reject violence per se.
    This would be difficult to explain in terms of the 'justification' of violence in terms of war and recent policing methods.

    It will suit the powers that be to confine discussion within tightly defined areas - can't have children learning to think within a broader context.

    Also -- one thing which needs looking at closely/ Children from violent homes will be placed in the position of examining the norms within their own families - could give them - the children - a lot of very difficult to resolve problems. Do they accept their rlity or a different theoretical reality? Children from violent backgrounds are particularly desperate for love and approval.

  51. Now, I'm not in favour of banning anything (not even Xmas), just sometimes a bit of a pedant when it comes to logic.

    You know, the alcohol isn't the problem. The alcohol causes lowers the inhibition threshold to use violence, so the lowering is the problem.

    In principle, you can insert as many steps as you like and claim that someone whose argumentation used fewer steps got. it. wrong.

    However, the step "alcohol -> violence" probably *is* the largest part of the step "football -> violence".

  52. Regarding VAW, i suppose even this dogmatic bile is better than nothing, if it reduces VAW and ignores VAM at least that is still a reduction in violence. Just grates on principle that these turds get away with this.

    I dont remeber this coming up the first time round, MsChin, maybe i was away or something, but i dont remnember hearing about this before at all (though i do have dreadful memory).

  53. Apart from the booze issue the rise in DV in Scotland (including violence by women on men let's not forget) is quite startling

    That SOS article concludes with the observation that in Scotland

    'Earlier this year academics warned middle-class women often refused to seek help because of the stigma associated with the crime. And they cited doctors, church ministers and sheriffs as some of the perpetrators of domestic abuse.'

    In the UK, domestic violence suffered by south asian men (where alcohol is not an issue) is also on the rise (or is just being reported more) -


  54. Good Lord,

    the genderGraun (sic) is really excelling itself at the moment isn't it?

    MENS v LGBT fest and now the Libby Brooks article. And laughably offensive the article is.

    Bindel on Rosemary West's troubled childhood tomorrow?

    Oh and I also hit a recommend on Imogen's request for Jay to write the article.

  55. princess - heh heh - thought you might have been sending up the 'Ally Signal' after the neuro-science thingy.

    my neuro-science is not good at the moment, I think my traditional beginning of winter cold is kicking in. hopefully not piggy flu, just regular common or garden feeling bleah. fortunately chose the local pharmacy to nearly pass out in...

    your experience of school sad but sadly not unusual, I think. had an academy client where the head was very distracted in a meeting once. there'd been a stabbing outside the gates and he'd been the first teacher on the scene, had held the boy as he died. couldn't even begin to understand how you cope with that...

  56. Just a random thought on football and drink that's flickered through the cavern of my brain; I have seen loads of drunk Partick Thistle fans but I cannot think of a single unprovoked act of street violence by a Jags fan.

    If you're in the street and you see a bunch of pissed Jags fans approaching (I live nearby Firhill) you never feel you have to get out of the way, but if you see a bunch of pissed Huns or Tims, the sensible course is to cross the road. So there are other factors, and of course this says nothing about what happens when the virtuous Jags fans get home. Hm.

  57. your grace - good god. there's the kernel of a decent article there, unfortunately smothered under almost florally emotive language and woolly reasoning. another one for the 'not f-ing helping' pile, perhaps...

  58. oh dear, now this place has cme over all CIF - comment just eaten.

    agree with LordS, is all...

  59. and now it's back.

    you're just taunting me because you know i'm weak, interweb. and that's not cricket.

  60. An appeal for GIYUS to have an Xmas ATL article is up on the brand new WDYWTTA.

    Get recommending.

  61. brilliant, your grace, recommended that one with pride.

    (you even remembered 'not just for Christmas' so extra props for that)

  62. The guardian meeting today:

    Jessica Reed: Hey, the founder of the MENS society in Manchester has written an article for us.

    Someone else A: Ah, showing his true colours as a misogynistic twat, I guess?

    Jessica Reed: Not, it's actually quite well-written and there's nothing in it a feminist who really believes in what feminism says can condemn.

    A: Then he writes about men's need to be led by feminism when reshaping manhood, I presume?

    Jessica Reed (lapsing into French): Ah, non.

    A: Then feminists won't like it, I guess.

    Jessica: Well, I'm a feminist, and I really don't ...

    A: Not you, real feminists! Bindel, Bidisha, Burchill, those feminists. Your name doesn't even start with a B!

    Jessica: ...

    A: The real feminists will hate that article. And if it is worded politely - is it?

    Jessica: Very much so.

    A: Then they will dislike it even more. And dislike the Guardian. We cannot let that happen.

    A's face is contorted by sorrow.

    Libby Brook enters.

    Libby: Hi there.

    A's face brightens up like forty thousand Christmas trees.

  63. Philippa - God that story is awful. I cant imagine facing something like that. I had a friend who taught in a really rough secondary and one day a fifteen year old lad came back into the room after the last lesson - pulled a knife on her and started trying to kiss and touch her. But she stayed calm and told him to stop it immediately - and he did! She left that job though straight away, she was just too nervous after that. No wonder they find it hard to get teachers to stay in the profession.

    Luckily for me I never personally got any abuse like that (except for being told to f' off a few times) but other members of staff got threatened etc.

    Did you work in education?

  64. elementary - Brilliant, I can just see it!

  65. VAT advice, princess. much less dangerous. what impressed me about that academy was that, unlike other school clients where I'd just be dealing with the FD / accountant, the head was in every meeting, really engaged...

    when we were having some problems getting an agreement to something, he offered to 'round up somme parents' and 'borrow a minibus or two' and have a sit-in in fron the relevant department's offices. told him I didn't think that would help, but admired his gumption.

    he'd have done it, too - caused chaos at a planning meeting by taking the fourth year civics class with him. they didn't cause the chaos, btw, they sat quietly making notes. it was the adults causing the chaos...

  66. elementary,

    cracker! It's funny because it's probably true.

    Philippa, cheers. I just noticed that the comment straight after me by hideandseeker was asking for an investigation into the Bilderberg group!

    The Xmas appeal starts here.

  67. elementary - spot on.

    hmmm - my name starts with a B - maybe I could get a gig?

    [evil chuckle]

  68. Well done, Watson!

    Princess - how are the dogs?

    Insanely busy today....

  69. Philippa - just went onto the poll thread to voice my outrage at the insult to IT workers everywhere, but I see you have already said it all far better than I could have!

  70. Philippa, he sounds like a brilliant head. And the sort of teacher that kids love too.

    Thauma - they are doing much better thanks. Both eating more or less normally now but the retriever cross Holly (aka princesschipchops) has lost a lot of weight so vets want to weigh her again over next couple of weeks. They do stress you when they are ill don't they?

  71. Princess - they most certainly do. Give Holly some chips and some chops!

  72. Just skimmed the Libby Brooks article. Odd, isn't it, that the same feminists who express such outrage at any suggestion of "blaming the victim" in the context of rape, do that very thing so enthusiastically when a woman murders a man.

  73. thauma - i know what side my bread is buttered. heh heh.

    this 'puter, for example, was a new purchase before my move. a mate offered to come round and help me set it up - asked questions about my usage, changed pretty much every 'factory setting', disabled things, enabled other things, etc etc. took a couple of hours - to get the software in, printer sorted, external hard drive, work-firewall thingy, all that. and I don't seem (fingers crossed) to be having any of the problems that the recent 'data loss in 30 seconds' thread suggested is normal...

    had i had to do that myself, i could have blown something up. bless 'im...

  74. paddyb - and Libby's BTL offering is, if anything, still more dislocated from reality...

  75. Hope your dog gets better, PCC, always sad to hear about the little beasts getting ill.

  76. Oh god. there's now a 'VAW' thread. given what has gone before, I'm not sure I can bear to watch this one...

  77. Oh my lord! I am off Cif for tonight what with Libby Brookes and now that bank charges shite. I have just nearly completely lost it on that wanky banking thread. I explained on the thread that I was charged a lot in one go because when my dad died I wrote a check from the wrong account causing all my direct debits for the month to be returned. Anyway - it was a genuine mistake at a very sad time and the bank would only reverse one charge - costing me nearly five hundred quid in one go. I was livid and think that it is a disgrace.

    Well someone has told me that I should have had to pay because I made a mistake and I should read the terms and conditions. Seriously - I nearly lost it completely. What a fucker.
    Okay sorry for the rant but needed to vent as I couldn't over there or would have been banned for life!

  78. Paraphrasing the VAW thread here, but 'yippee, we have a strategy after years of lobbying'.

    Nope, we have a strategy because the UN / CEDAW has asked the UK to report on why it hasn't got one.

  79. If I wasn't already banned, I'm sure I would have been after I'd told Seaton exactly what I think of him on the Brooks thread. He truly is a vile excuse for a journalist.

    Incidentally, whatever happened to Bitethehand?

  80. Ah thanks Jay. A kind word is appreciated after the arsehole reply I just had over on Cif. Do you have dogs or cats..or rabbits etc etc?

  81. princess - yowser, quel tool. there's been a degree of "well I never go overdrawn and I was taught how to manage my money and I used to walk 14 miles to school in the snow" in response to that story...

  82. Jesus princesschipchops that's awful.

    Well done for hanging in there.

  83. what's the other one called, princess?

    ours was Minty. no idea where that came from...

  84. By the way, I haven't heard anything from Ann Cryer (MP for Keighly) in all this DV stuff ? She's usually got some pretty good stuff to say about it.

  85. Your Grace

    Have reccommended your WACKO post on waddya - which I fully support. could do with some good cheer at the moment - as we descend into the Huxleyan nightmare - when we're not underwater.

  86. The other one is Jake - or Cracker cause he is mad as in Jacobs Crackers (boom boom). They are gorgeous but Jake is a rescue dog and as nutty as they come. He has issues! Holly is a stunningly gorgeous lab/golden cross and the most spoiled madam. Hence the princess bit.

    My mates dog is called Minty! Its a boxer.

    Yep BW nearly did lose it but thought that would just give those super rational types satisfaction.

  87. Hi all-Sad commentary indeed regarding domestic violence.I think that unemployment may be a bigger factor than attributed.(sense of self worth,responsibilities)Was it like this when most folk worked? Or just not reported?Princess-hope the dogs are ok, off to walk mine before the football.Raining hard, but the dog doesn't mind.(easier to chase birds in the park you see)Bye for now.

  88. See you later Boudican - oh and hello too! Which I don't think I said the other day. I am off to make Mr. CC's tea.

  89. Minty was adopted from a little old lady, who used to spoil him rotten, cook him chicken dinners (specially for him - she didn't like chicken) and let him run around the top of the furniture.

    his face when seeing dry dog food for the first time and realising that this was dinner was an absolute picture...

    i did try asking why she had called him Minty but i was quite small and shy and she was quite deaf. so it remains a mystery.

  90. That Jane Andrews article sounds way too much like the stuff Bindel was writing about Sara Thornton at the time she was convicted. I have been scouring the intarwebz to try and find the article where Bindel admits that she was, effectively, duped by Thornton, but I can't find it. Shame.

    Also on the DV stuff being taught to children: I think it should concentrate less on gender and more on "violence is wrong, especially in a relationship/domestic setting". I had real trouble trying to explain to my lad when he was 4 why it was overlooked when girls to hit him, but if he hit them back when they did it, he would be in big trouble.

    When he was 11, while kneeling on the floor in the dark to make sure a DVD was properly plugged in during an English class, a girl climbed across the desk and kicked him in the head, quite deliberately and for no reason except that he was a "ginger". When he complained, he was told not to be so "soft" and go and sit down again. What kind of bloody message does that send? Sigh.

  91. the boozing happens every weekend but chuck in a big football match and that's when the DV soars along with other rates of violence - in Glasgow anyway.

    Edwin, that's an excellent point which surely shows that the problem is a lot more complex than most 'models/theories' seem to take into account. And therefore suggests that possible mooted 'solutions' are likely to be inadequate. Very depressing.

  92. Is Seaton totally fucked now or not? He really has lost it. A furious reader reaction to the Libby Brooks piece BTL (and also on WDYWTTA), but Seaton defends the piece agressively anyway (and both threads are now closed/about to close}. I said a few days ago that Seaton would be gone within 6 months. I'm now revising that to 3 months. For any football fans out there, who goes first - Seaton or Benitez?

    PS: Andrews' solicitor, Harriet Wistrich, is apparently Julie Bindels's partner. I'm sure that's not relevant, though. Shouldn't really have mentioned it.

  93. Not sure I can face these weighty issues after the week I've had, but here's a treat for the Top Gear haters amongst you: Top Gear takes on Alabama rednecks.

    I think Montana will confirm that the sentiments expressed in this programme are very, very left-wing in American terms, and especially in the Deep South.

  94. I didn't read all the posts on the Andrews blog - I will have to go back and have a look scherfig.

    Has seaton been wagging his finger again?

  95. thauma, that worked for me - 3 narcissists in a carefully staged 'edgy' faux outrageous scenario which appeals to their viewers' neandertahal xenophobia. Won't stop those viewers having their holidays in Florida though. Wankers.

  96. OK, have just read the Brooks article and the first few comments. Not familiar with the case except for skimming a few paras the last few days. If it is the case that the bloke's former girlfriends testified that he was a gentle and kind individual, I find it pretty hard to believe that he'd suddenly turned into a monster.

  97. Scherfig - you are right, the show is always carefully staged (she says, having seen approx 6 episodes). However in this case I think it went slightly wrong at the filling station, although most probably exaggerated a bit.

    Driving around in cars 'decorated' in that manner almost anywhere in the US, let alone the South, would indeed be a foolhardy thing to do. Of course, having a camera crew following you around is bound to be some sort of protection.

  98. The Moral Maze on Radio 4 is now discussing prostitution, with testimony from women involved in it as well as those against it.

  99. BeautifulBurnout, that's a horrible story about your son. I hope you made a serious fuss about it.

  100. thx for the tip, mschin, just turned it on.

  101. scherfig

    I thought that Beverley Carter from Bridging the Gap was excellent, the way she challenged the panel's intellectual language & erm, stretched their imaginations by pointing out that she never had a choice about going into prostitution, in her world it was normalised from childhood.

    Belinda BG was pretty good, too.

  102. Hi everybody -- early out today for the holiday weekend. Four days off -- woohoo! \o/

    I'm not sure what I think about that TG clip. On the one hand, it doesn't surprise me much that the reaction was as violent/threatening as it was -- yes, rednecks really do hate Hillary and homosexuals and they love their NASCAR and C&W. On the other hand, the TG people out of their way to be offensive, so it's hard to feel too sorry for them.

  103. Not even finished going through the comments yet, but I think I have found about 5 posters in total who think we should lay off Libby... hmm.. kind of says it all, really.

    And yes, I think Seaton has lost it.

  104. mschin, tbh I was a bit disappointed with BBG, I thought she was evasive. And I didn't really think that the discussion went 'deep' enough. Cynical as I am, the supposed 'working class voice' didn't ring true to me - 'I'm not educated and can't use these clever words etc' while producing soundbites and phrases that seemed coached/rehearsed to me. Phillips was just a prat.

    Perhaps I'm being unfair, I think I'll need to listen to it again, but it struck me as a typical BBC 'tackle the hard issues but don't frighten the horses' type bullshit. Very middle class and not very relevant.

    I'm prepared to revise my opinion when I've listened again.

  105. Montana - yes, obviously they were trying for a reaction. Otherwise it wouldn't have made a very interesting programme - and of course TG is all about trying to ratchet up base reactions - it's a hit television programme after all. But I maintain that it's in a rather self-aware way that borders on satire.

    'Cept that's all I'm going to say about it because I'm not here to defend TG and can quite understand people's antipathy to it.

    Congrats on the time off and I am very jealous.

  106. scherfig

    Maybe my expectations of a radio debate are less than yours eh? I don't think you can never go deep enough into the issues in 45 minutes & still hold an audience. Also wondering if the show was edited as this can change the content / context quite a bit.

  107. ahhh.....

    So Bindel's GF, who is repping Jane Andrews, gets in contact with Libby Brookes to encourage her to get to know Andrews and do a series of articles about her. Nothing dodgy there at all. No....

  108. You're probably right, mschin, but I'll listen to it again tomorrow and see what I think. Just to be provocative, I would point out that 'holding an audience' is something that I associate with X-Factor rather than a discussion on prostitution aimed at serious listeners.

  109. scherfig

    Provocative point taken, but in mitigation, I've had a long day ....

    And Happy Thanksgiving to Montana!

  110. Thauma -- the folks at TG just might have reminded themselves that rednecks are fond of owning guns. Lots of very powerful guns. And that the law enforcement and judiciary are often just as redneck as the service station owners. Camera crew or not -- they were lucky it wasn't worse.

    BTW -- I'm currently about 2/3 through the Michelle Obama/monkey picture thread. Did you all know that the US is the world's oldest democracy? It must be true -- guardiansek says it is.

  111. 'Well someone has told me that I should have had to pay because I made a mistake and I should read the terms and conditions. Seriously - I nearly lost it completely. What a fucker.'

    God there was a caller on Radio 5 this afternoon saying the same thing - very aggressively as well. Wait till it happens to them!

    BB I echo paddy re your lad. Girls usually go for pyschological wounding but when they get physical it can get really bad that way as well.

    Right [opens bottle] night all.

  112. Happy Thanksgiving!

    I'm off to bed now - too tired and up at sparrowfart again tomorrow


  113. Edwin, I was thinking more of the teacher's (non-)response. This is someone in authority effectively telling him he doesn't matter. Shouldn't be in the profession.

  114. scherfig-I think Benitez goes first, he has a very confused and disjointed style of managing. Wouldn't bet much either way though. And Seaton can't seem to wait to attack any commenter who dares to critisize or question his "journalists". Eedjit. Bye for now.

  115. Boudican, bravely said! I'll go for Seaton first, though. Time will tell. Both dismissals will be a good thing.

  116. Happy Thanksgiving Montana!

    (do you really have marshmallows wih turkey? can't tell if the people on the Hadley thread are funnin' with me)

  117. have just checked back on the Libby Brooks thread, and I don't think the mods finished reading before pulling the plug. think LordS might get disappeared when they get back in in the morning...