30 November 2009

Daily Chat 30/11/09

Happy St. Andrew's Day!

King Charles XII of Sweden led 8500 troops in the Battle of Narva, defeating a Russian force of 37,000 men in 1700.  Scotland and England played to a scoreless draw in the first international football match ever played in 1872.  The Folies Bergère performed for the first time in 1886.  The Crystal Palace was destroyed by fire in 1936.  At least 40,000 people massed in downtown Seattle in 1999 to protest the opening of the ministerial conference of the World Trade Organisation.  Police were unprepared for the scale of the demonstrations and  the presence of anarchist groups, and the protest is now known as the Battle in Seattle.

Born today:  Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586), Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Mark Twain (1835-1910), Winston Churchill (1874-1965), Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942), Graham Crowden (1922), Ridley Scott (1937), Billy Idol (1955) and Gary Lineker (1960).


  1. Morning all,

    Montana, thanks for the 'big up' for St Andrews day. Up here we don't really celebrate St Andrews, Burns night is more the one for celebration.

    Nice to see the Graun getting into the spirit of things though. Jackie Ashley's article on Scotland's future manages to shoehorn in 'Braveheart', the Scots addiction to sugary drinks and a wonderful patronising tone throughout.

    Another inner M25 metropolitan commentator who has maybe visited the Edinburgh Festival, has a couple of bottles of single malt and Brigadoon on DVD.

  2. Morning all, and a particular hello to all he SCots, whether or not they give a toss or not.

    Good lot of birthdays today (apart from Graham Crowden - who he?). Now that would be a hell of a joint party.

  3. I shall be having haggis and tatties (and neaps if I can get hold of any) for dinner tonight.

    ... and perhaps a tot of the water of life.

  4. LordS,

    if you want to be really daring, I have been known to pour a dram on to the haggis. Delicious.

  5. Save it for Burns night people.......

    ....I went to a Burns night last (this?) year, they had a chocolate fountain, yum!

  6. I always wanted there to be a Scottish TV news programme that started with "Och aye the news..."

    I'll get me coat.

  7. RapidEddie,

    or the Scottish episode of M*A*S*H where Hotlips is searching for Lieutenant Pierce shouting ''Hawkeye the noo''?

    Consider my coat collected, departed from the premises and on the train home.

  8. A woman asks a Scot what it is that they wear under their kilts. The kilt wearer suggests she place her hand under the kilt and find out for herself.

    "Oooh," she says. "That's gruesome"

    .... best read in a exaggerated Scots accent of course.

  9. My favourite Scottish football joke is the Billy Connolly one about the two Celtic fans in the mid 1960's:

    Jock and Tam are standing peeing in the toilets at half time in the Jungle end of Celtic Park. When I say toilets I mean an open trench/sewer.

    Being Celtic fans, it's extremely important for them to know the Rangers score at half time.

    Anyway, Jock and Tam are steaming drunk. They're both holding cans of beer and a pie whilst peeing. Jock has already vomited down the front of his coat and Tam has pie all over his mouth as he eats whilst peeing.

    Jock gets his left testicle out, thinks it's his penis and starts urinating.

    As both stand there peeing, drunk and vomit encrusted, Jock, as he urinates down his leg turns round to Tam and says,

    ''Here Tam, ah wonder how the animals are gettin' oan?''

  10. Your grace, as a student of animal behaviour I take offence at your cruel association!


  11. Sheffpixie, get the title right: they're Fourth Sector sub-Stasi Community Pathfinders.

  12. Fourth Sector sub-Stasi Community Pathfinders.

    With knobs on Fence. Soon be time to take to the hills...

  13. Hmmm ... surely a sublet council house means there is someone on the housing list who isn't getting housed? I'd have thought that would be a bad thing?

  14. Ok, who's ifitsasix?

  15. Oh, FFS, like we need that kicking off again...

  16. Precisely, I'm not going to "report abuse", but I am asking whoever it is nicely to do it themselves, please?

  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  18. Surely subletting just means letting out a room of your council house here, LordS. Not thaat I've gone as far as reading the article,mind.

  19. and a private sublet would mean that any old tom, dick or harry could be living there instead of the carefully vetted council list, prioritised according to this week's centrally dictated list of things that will or will not give you cancer, sorry, are worthy of additional support...

    it's not the overweening power, you know, it's the principle of the thing...

  20. Fencewalker,

    I know it's cruel and we shouldn't and (blabbers on on moral highground)

    BUT just wanted to doff my metaphorical hat for your comment to BTH on WDYWTTA, childish, but hilarious.....

  21. heh heh heh.

    heh heh

    oh, dear...


  22. Read the article then, fencewalker.

    Councils don't give two hoots about people subletting rooms, it's when they either gain a council house under false pretences and sublet it while living elsewhere, or when they no longer need a council house but sublet it rather than give it up, that councils get upset.

    The article gives several examples of that sort of thing.

  23. Oh, right, Lord S. Consider me metaphorically doffing caps and withdrawing. I think I will read it. Sounds reet poo.

  24. LordS - the benefit people will give a lot of hoots about subletting even a sofa, though...

  25. Read it. It is a pretty appalling business. Where do these dodgy buggers live then? If they already have a gaff, how do they get the social housing? Is it just piss poor record keeping by councils? (I always resent that sort of thing: any time I've sought benefits, I've been given the third degree).

  26. LordS

    I'm not supporting people who get a council house under false pretences. What I think is iniquitous is getting neighbours to spy on neighbours and paying them to do it. it is how the Stasi worked and why should it stop with housing?

    Our communities are already atomised - solidarity is thin on the ground. This will just feed into all the fear and loathing of each other that already exists and make it much worse. I think it's an appalling idea.

  27. They have a similar something for shopping benefit cheats - while I appreciate that this could give rise to vindctive reporting, and maybe isn't an ideal solution, the people one the ground may be better placed to know what's what than a DSS /housing wonk who only sees the client in a meeting. After all, imagine the rage when someone gets done for claiming disability while working as a roofer - and that's just in the papers. If you were living next to them, struggling to make ends meet, it would presumably be worse.

    The downside is for benefits, that it makes it harder for the genuinely in need to jump through all the relevant hoops - with housing, perhaps less problematic, as whether or not there are other people in the house is presumably easier to establish.

    But the financial incentive seems to be new. Why have it for housing and not benefits reporting?

  28. anecdote...

    When I lived in Lewisham, it was in a small block - I'd bought my flat off people who'd exercised buy-to-let, but several of the others were still lived in by council tenants.

    The weirdest thing about the night the ground-floor-right neighbour damn nearly set fire to the building was hearing her screaming down the phone to the official tenant (her mother, who lived round the corner with her partner) to get round there in case the fire investigation unit was followed by someone from the council.

    Given that she'd just chinned another neighbout for breaking her door in (in order to drag her unconscious form out of the flat, now firmly ablaze), in full view of the fire crew, her tenancy issues struck me as being the least of her problems.

    So, there we all were, shivering on the pavement, trying to keep the kids warm, surrounded by firemen, cops, and amused drunks from the local park, when this woman in a motorised wheelchair comes bombing round the corner yelling something about just having gone down the shops to get some milk. The fact that she had no milk in her possession and was in her nightie and dressing gown didn't seem to surprise anybody.

    Should I have shopped them? Probably.

    Would I have for £500 and a sense of civic duty? Hell no. Not after seeing what she did to somebody else who tried to break up a fight between her and a mate.


  29. Politicians asking people to shop others for making money from illegal escapades? You've got to admire their audacity.

    Good health to the Frank Gallaghers of this world.

  30. Fence

    I agree the councils could make a much better job of managing their housing stock and making sure the right people get the houses. There's a helluva lot more effort put into nicking housing and benefit cheats than say tax evaders etc.

    I don't know what the figures are off hand but the amount of legitimate benefits that go unclaimed far outweigh the amounts that are actually fiddled by people and although there is currently a national advertising campaign going after benefit cheats, I don't notice any campaign to go after those who fiddle their taxes.

  31. Bollocks to sub-letting a lousy council flat. I want a home like this

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Sheff,

    benefit cheats serve a great purpose for the Govt.

    All 'the poor' in tabloid eyes are benefit cheats therefore the Govt can look 'hard' by launching intiative after initiative against the most vilified strata of society(and least able to defend themselves)- the poor.

    If the Govt started seriously chasing tax fiddlers and avoiders, they would be shitting on their own doorstep as most donors of all the parties avoid paying taxes in one way or another. And so do News International and Associated Newspapers Ltd!

    I'm sure Hank would be able to explain this about 112.6% better than I could.

  34. RapidEddie,

    if you're reading this, your last riposte to BTH on the BE thread with the anecdote of your best friend is an absolute stormer.

    L, O and indeed L.

  35. Thanks 13thD. It was actually sincere at the base of it. BTH and others seem quick to sort out groups into good and evil; I just thought I'd point out that nothing is ever so neat and or simplistic.

    And I wanted to say the word 'cock'.

  36. And with that, the BE thread was closed again.

    Damn. Cock blocked.

  37. Have just read a few paras about the tell-on-your-neighbour scheme in the print edition. Apparently the govt also wants - wait for it - a database of photographs of council tenants. Landlords would be responsible for taking the photos and submitting them.

  38. Happy St Andrew's Day everyone!

    My favourite bit of pipe music for your listening pleasure!

    HIghland Cathedral

    Ach, it fair machs us greet, y'ken!

    (Especially when I have had more than a few drams)

    BE's thread closed already?! Bastards!!

  39. Damn right about the govt. targetting the poor with their campaign against benefits "cheats" btw. I have no doubt that there are some evil gits out there who genuinely do leech illegally from the benefits system. But more often than not it is people who have started a precarious job, not sure if it will last more than a couple of months and stay on the soash just in case it all goes shit-shaped for two or three months too long. And they get hammered when they write to the soash to say they are in work and they cross-check records and find they have been working for a couple of months already.

    Like everything else, easy pickings.

  40. RapidEddie,

    there's a lot to be said for getting the noun 'cock' into a post.

    Just had a look at Monbiot's article about Canada's tar sands. Is anyone else getting tired of the overblown hyperbole he uses all the time?

    ''This thuggish petro-state''?

    ''Canada's image lies in tatters''


    What next?

    ''Ultra Oil Bastards USA''?

    ''Twatting great energy drinking fuckpigs the EU''?

    I used to like Monbiot about three years ago when he had his guns set on Govt hypocrisy, shady dealings, human rights abuses etc but since he's become the self styled Green Overlord of Earth I've completely switched off.

  41. RapidEddie

    Seconded re your reply to BTH.

    But today's prize has to go to EcceHora

    "Barbara. Hi! Great column. Please have a co-worker videorecord your trenchant self, hard at work at the computer, fingers flying. Then have him/her post the result at YouTube. We are curious to see how you reach the keyboard with your head in that postion. Thanks!"


  42. BB,

    had a listen to 'Highland Cathedral', sniff, sniff, I'm off to find the whisky bottle.

    Gets ye right there eh?

  43. Ha ha, that EcceHora post is great!

    Just flew through the end of yesterday's postings ... someone mentioned a young Johnny Cougar. There's a video out on YouTube too, but the sound was so shite that I couldn't post it.

  44. Well I'm outta work soon unless something drastic happens (like I start looking for another job etc) but if I'm on benefit, I'm going the whole hog. I'm gonna get so fat I get one of those purpose built bungalow with a crane to lift me out of bed and into my strengthened LaZboy recliner to watch a bit of Jeremy Kyle. Problem is, my fingers will get so fat, I'll have to get a Latvian au pair to work the remote, roll my spliffs for me and crack the ring-pulls on the Tennents Super.

    I'll probably let E4 or Bravo do the odd documentary for a substantial consideration and I'll have a little whine about my glands or an abusive woodwork teacher which will no doubt land me a career in some kinda obscure obese porn genre. I keep saying to people: you can't just sit back and be a victim of market forces..a bit of forward planning and prudence is the only way when faced with the threat of unemployment...folk've got it too easy these days.

    Back in the 90s, my dad didn't just sit around moaning about unemployment...he got down that chippy, bulked up, got himself firmly planted on that sofa, bulked up some more...and when you'd swear he'd stuffed more down his gullet than was humanly possible, he took a swig of Stella, cracked open another Pot Noddle and smoked, ate and 'leisured' his way to prosperity.

  45. Many thanks for the greeting Montana - this, though, is one of those myths for foreign consumption; I have never ever heard a Scot, drunk or sober, wish another Scot 'Happy St Andrews Day'!

    Fascinating poll in The Times on Scots knowledge of St Andrew


    'The poll of 1,040 Scots by Cello MRUK found that 28% of those aged 16-24 and one in five respondents aged 25-34 did not know who he was. The poll concluded
    Among Scots as a whole, 86% could name the patron saint, and 65% who voiced an opinion thought he was Scottish rather than a fisherman from Galilee. The poll also found that 53% of Scots who back Scottish independence believed St Andrew was Scottish. Some 81% of Scots said they would like St Andrew’s Day to be a national holiday. O’Brien described the findings as “nothing short of alarming”.
    Alex Salmond has been accused by political rivals of attempting to turn St Andrew into a propaganda tool to boost support for independence.'

    I like that 81% wanting a holiday even though most of them have no idea he is - that's the true Scottish spirit!

    Love the RT clip thauma - genius. A favourite party trick of an old Scottish opera singer (Bill McCue?) was to reduce an audience to tears by singing 'Nobody's Child'

  46. Hi all

    For those with a passing interest, the BE thread is open for comments again ..

  47. Edwin - the scary part was that the audience knew the words.

  48. Probably GIYUS doesn't really mean the All-Blacks when he goes on about ABs, but as I don't have the faintest idea what he is on about, I am going to persist in this assumption. It's entertaining me, even if I am completely alone in this.

  49. The joy of GIYUS is that nobody really understands what the f00k he is on about most of the time. He really doesn't have all his dogs on one lead, does he, bless him?

  50. Ms Chin

    I don't think the BE thread is open again is it? Although if you had it open on your screen, came back a few hours later and the comments box was still open on your screen, logically it should post your comment even if it is officially "closed". Used to work like that anyhoo.

  51. I know this is a touchy subject but as most 15 year olds are capable of reproducing isn't it True to say that they are past puberty?

    Exactly how do we define paedophilia? If its abnormal sexual attraction to pre-pubescent children then surely sex with a 15 year old isnt paedophilia?

    Its still wrong as its against the law, and its even more wrong if a position of trust is involved.

    This woman is on a 'sex offenders' register - thats fine the offence was a sexual one and one that almost certainly causes damage to the victim. She certainly should not work with kids again.

    But do we consider all sex offenders are paedophiles?

    This is more of a technical/legal point in a way. There is a lot of hysterical nonsense talked about paedophilia which actually is restricting the lives of our children, itself a form of child abuse. It seems impossible to have a sane debate about it and I for one think we need one.

  52. BTW I should emphasise that I think the current law is right because even if 15 year olds are sexually mature adults in the biological sense, their hormones are raging and this makes them very vulnerable to abuse.

    But many older people can be vulnerable even if they don't actually have learning difficulties and people who exploit them are just as bad imho.

  53. Anne - completely agree. This incident can't technically be classified as paedophilia but is still as wrong as wrong can be, next to that (and bestiality).

  54. I think when he mentions ABs he's referring to CIFs preferred socio-economic demographic when it comes to attracting advertisers...this explains their reluctance to feature too many working class writers ATL and also why their brand of liberalism has a distinct middle-class, worthy and NIMBY strain to it.

    They like to hear how all this country's woes are the fault of bigotted, misogynist, Sun reading males and not the fallout of 20 years of an economic policy that has left them doing alright but has chucked the rest of us to the fuckin lions...also..why worry about that fuckin horrible sink school two miles down the road which churns out unemployable louts and crack whores...just send your own kids somewhere private and campaign for little smiling well mannered black kids far away to get an even break and a decent education so they're more use to that grasping multinational that bought two million of their souls by chucking a couple of politicians a new merc and a set of golf clubs.

    Anyway, who are you to complain about corruption..you're a fuckin relativist..can't go interfering with other people's politics...that's cultural imperialism...besides you've got a nice big contract with "Fuck the Planet inc."...remember that lovely complementary corporate evening at Glyndebourne..

    Besides...remember what the Labour Party used to be like?...all those horrid union oiks wanting decent wages and stuff...silly men..you're left-wing..natch...but that was taking it too far...Polly Toynbee...Jackie AShley..Zoe Williams..they're your sorta lefties...right-on, caring..and they know which spoon to eat a mango with..nice.

  55. anne

    Some random thoughts here. I think it's partly because in general people conflate the medico-legal in order to simplify complex concepts. The medical definition of a 'paedophile' (ie: someone who desires pre-pubescents) and the legal definition of someone who commits sexual offences against children - a sex offender - are merged into one mythical 'paedophile' category in popular discourse. We can handle that label, we can 'visualise' what the paedophile looks like.

    Incidentally, re: the case 'discussed' so senstively by BE, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 explanatory notes say this:
    "The age of a "child" in the Protection of Children Act 1978 has been amended to 18, and defences are provided for in limited cases where the child is 16 or over and the defendant is the child's partner".

    And I wholeheartedly agree about the exploitation of vulnerable adults & think that that should be met with the full recourse of the law. There are cases everyday which never make it to prosecution, because of the vulnerability of the person victimised. Some abusers know that and use that knowledge to their advantage.

  56. Still upset about the 0-2 MF?

  57. ooh I really shouldn't have said that.

  58. habib, you little bugger!

    As a Liverpool fan myself I have been studiously avoiding any mention of any Merseyside footy results out of kindness and compassion for my fellow simian pisceans.

    And now look what you have gone and done!

  59. BB, I dare say that Monkeyfish will have cause to laugh at and chastise me in times ahead, hopefully he'll let me get away with this momentary smirk.

  60. habib

    We're the people's club...it's a historical inevitability that the corporate red shite elite will have their occasional day in the sun..it's there plain as day in Das Capital..but come the glorious day comrade....

    incidentally...Das Capital is not exactly "plain as day"..you'd have to go a long way to find anything to match its prolix terminology and imagery...the only thing that instantly springs to mind as comparable is one of Raffa's interminable excuses about why you'll be winning nothing again this decade.

  61. You eat mangos with a spoon? Not me Beloved. She's Thai, so she slices it up and then dips it into a bowl of mixed sugar and chili flakes. Everything in Thailand has to have chili in it. I jokingly said to her one day "I'm surprised the tea doesn't have chili in it." She smiled and said "Yeah. We have chili tea..."

    Still don't know to this day if she was winding me up or not. I suspect she wasn't.

  62. MF

    We've got so much silver now that we need a new cabinet. And now MFI's gone bust...

  63. And if we're talking football...threeee fahkin' nil.

    Almost makes up for those long lost days of my youth stood in The Shed watching Fat Clive Walker, superstriker, refusing to chase after a ball lobbed 5 yards in front of him.

    We bought Micky Droy for £5,000 from Slough Town, you know. He used to live two streets away from me.

  64. RapidEddie

    I love the dried mango - my dad's partner is from the philippines and always brings us loads of the stuff when she is over. Yummy.

  65. Ok - bed time

    Night night all


  66. "A happy day in Istanbul is worth more than a century without."
    A quote from the great Turkish mystic Tunil, I believe.

  67. Duke & Edwin:

    I did actually suspect that St. Andrew's Day wasn't much more than an ecclesiastical day in Scotland, but it was either the Scottish flag or a picture of people rioting in Seattle for today's image.

    Now, I don't happen to be one of those Americans who responds to the "What nationality are you?" question with a list of ancestral homelands. I don't have any Scottish ancestry that I'm aware of. BUT: If I had any at all, I'm afraid I would be one of those irritating twats with tartan and thistles all over everything and romantic prints of things like Eilean Donan, shrouded in mist and highland cattle grazing on a hillside. As much as I hate myself for it, I love all that crap, with a passion. Yes, folks, I'm coming out right here, right now. I am a Scotophile. (Albophile?)

  68. Oh, PS: You can bet the farm that Burns Night will not go by without notice.

  69. "A happy day in Istanbul is worth more than a century without."

    Not Constantinople?

  70. Ha! Hadn't heard that song for years, Montana. Constantenopul is a very long word, but can you spell it correctly?

  71. Montana - ever seen State and Main? very funny film, with just that kind of "irritating twat with tartan and thistles all over everything".

  72. and, annetan, after there being some discussion of the correct terminology on CIFBelief threads, the categories seem to be:

    paedophilia - pre-pubescent
    hebephilia - pubescent
    ephebephilia - older adolescents

    mind you, that's from Wiki, so who knows?

  73. Habib: C O N S T A N T I N O P L E

    Philippa: No, I haven't seen it. I think most Americans (and loads of Canadians) who do have Scottish ancestry fall into that category.

  74. It's very good - one of those films where you wish there was a 'best ensemble cast' oscar or something. Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H Macy...one of the Baldwins, sending himself up something rotten. Anyway. Good rainy afternoon fillum.

    Night all

  75. Evening all-Thanks Montana for the St. Andrew's shout. Not well remembered in the colonies you know.---I was there in 99 when the WTO protest was in full swing, however, I must divulge that I was there to watch the Mariners and Red Sox for 3 games. No altruistic motives in this case. Let me tell you that the proletariat was hopping fucking mad. Took to the streets, and ended up with doodly squat . The WTO seems like another old or rich boys club that looks after itself and only that. Duke, I and three friends have played golf on this day for 23 years, even though we are heathen agnostics all. Good time for us to reconnect.(and drink) I do agree that Hogmanay is more important to me, but many disagree.

  76. Just noticed that BB was a Liverpool supporter. In that case you should abstain from mentioning the results. :-)

  77. Montana, no I-T
    Ha ha! I'm seven again:-)