31 December 2009


Sorry for the abbreviated post today.  Been feeling increasingly lousy all day and think I'd better go to bed with a hot cup of tea.  Not much interesting to report on the day, anyway.

Vaguely interesting birthdays:  Henri Matisse (1869-1954), Anthony Hopkins (1937), Alex Ferguson (1941), Andy Summers (1942) and Ben Kingsley (1943).

New Years Eve, Hogmanay.  But you know that already.

G'morning/G'night everyone.


  1. Hope the hot tea and a good sleep did the trick Montana.

  2. Hi Montana,

    I felt increasingly lousy all day yesterday, too. I hope I'll (and you'll, of course) be feeling increasingly better today.

    I also just wanted to say hi to everyone, apologise for my vanishing into the holidays without announcing it, and brag about spending Christmas swimming in the Atlantic Ocean a Fuerteventura :-)

  3. Good morning to all!


    Aw, take care of yourself.


    Hope you had a good sleep too.


    Hope you feel better, too. Please don't post your holiday snaps, or I will spit ..

  4. Montana:

    Thanks for the invite update, and get better soon.

    Wasn’t Tanya Gold whining recently about her birthday being on New Year’s Eve? I can’t believe you’ve missed her out. It’s so unfair, everyone’s against her, etc, etc ;-)


    I’ve just started a new thread on Untrusted, too. Hope you’ll all find time to drop in and comment…

  5. andysays

    Tanya had another article in Life & Style (!) on fitness DVDs. There was a picture of her in her bedroom, um, exercising. Did you miss it?

  6. MsC
    prog about Mary Wollstonecraft on Radio 4 at mo.

    Hope you poorly ones perk up soon - take care of yourselves.

  7. Tuned in, sheff - I remembered!

  8. MsC

    I enjoyed that - but being so short it was a bit of a gallop through her life and ideas. Are you up to owt tonight?

  9. Me too. Feel quite inspired now! It's always a problem with radio progs, that rush through that leaves you wanting more. Bit like sex, really.

    Going to walk down to my friend's place tonight, she's babysitting her granddaughter. Also have an invite to a rave, but it's probably too cold out in *secret rural location* for the oldies like me & the other half! What are you up to tonight?

    I was going to email you re: the Midlands get-together. Fancy a pootle down the M1, weather & busy social calendar (!) permitting?

  10. I must make the effort and try to find my phone which I haven't seen since boxing day(ish) - I may be gone some time.

  11. MsChin:

    Tanya had another article... …Did you miss it?

    Surprisingly enough, yes I did, and I’m not really inclined to go looking for it.

    Presumably we can now look forward (?) to her emerging in the New Year as the lean, mean writing machine she’s always fancied herself as.

    Right, things to do, people to see. Catch you all later.

  12. deano

    I expect to hear the same thing from one of me kids sometime soon. I, on the other hand, can lose my phone without any help from alcohol.

  13. andy

    "Surprisingly enough, yes I did, and I’m not really inclined to go looking for it".

    Which is exactly why I spared you a link!

  14. Morning all!

    Get well soon, Montana and Watson

    Party at my sister's tonight. Looking forward to it.

    I will take a look at your thread now andy.

  15. Well that was much easier than expected - it was beside a decaying pineapple.

  16. MsC

    Would love to pootle down the M1 to the midlands get together - so count me in. I have snow shovel somewhere if the worst comes to the worst!

    My son and his partner are making cocktails from a horribly early hour so I'll probably be there this evening - trying but failing not to get too pissed.

    Women's hour has been good too this morning - all poetry.

  17. I thought it was too good to be true - I've just worked out why it won't turn on. I cancelled the contract at the end of November and I've forgotten to sign up with a new deal/firm.

    That is a shit it means I'll have the kids and me sometime breathing down me neck for not answering the phone and the worse is I'll have to go shopping to get another fegging phone sorted out.

    I really ought to have been able to smell a decaying pineapple under my bed - I put it down to a combination of 50 years of indulgent smoking and over exuberance on boxing day.

    It's sunny and I'm going to get the dogs out whilst I'm feeling sorry for my self induced lunacy - then, since there is another freeze on the way I must go out and buy some new plastic jerry cans so that I can keep water indoors.

    It really is fegging tedious being without anything but bottled water for days on end.

    All in all no,t the best day of 2009 for me, mind you the other 364 were ok...

  18. sheff

    I listened to (most of) woman's hour. I particularly liked the poem about cellulite!


    Take a leaf out of 3p4's book & think of the day's hassles as new opportunities instead. For example, the opportunity to avoid people for a bit longer & avail yourself of a walk in the sunshine.

  19. Absolutely superb post by speedkermit on the Darling thread:


    speedkermit. I never had you down as a floating voter.

    I won't be voting for any of the fuckers at this rate. The choices are:

    1. Fiscal retards
    2. Trad family homophobes
    3. More bleeding heart nonsense
    4. A party with Bea Campbell in it
    5. Nazis
    6. International trade saboteurs
    7. Monster Raving Loony

    I'm moving to Zimbabwe, there's more choice.

  20. If I can't vote for firing squads I wont bother.

    Working on new pic for blog. Am going to teach you fuckers to paint snow whether you like it or not.

    Get some Titanium white in.

    Happy new year.

  21. Can't face cif today - particularly not the Darling piece - brings me out all firing squadish - like stoaty. The sun is actually shining, so think I'll go out and inspect the day.

  22. Quality speedkermit quote, BB. Sadly its pretty much the reality we have coming our way 2010. I dont think i can vote Greens again after the Lady Cretin OBE piece, just too revolting...

    Be interested to know what people here are planning to vote? Early days i know, but the pointless nature of the "choice" makes it quite interesting.

  23. "Can't face cif today - particularly not the Darling piece"

    I started reading that and stopped almost immediately. Articles from cabinet members are without fail just excruciating lessons in mendacity.

  24. jay

    excruciating lessons in mendacity.

    Sums up the state of politics more generally imo. Just been reading an article sent by a friend about the US arms trade. Its here if you can bear to read it.

  25. jessica on the waddya

    moveanymountain article will appear tomorrow,,

    i think i am going to collect text snippets from these threads for some as yet undecided creativity,,

    this is since yesterday threw up
    'evil little needles"
    and today there is

    "moving to zimbabwe"


    "lessons in mendacity"

    they all have that "je ne sais quoi" quality

  26. "Sums up the state of politics more generally imo. Just been reading an article sent by a friend about the US arms trade. Its here if you can bear to read it."

    I dont think i can, to be honest, not today anyway, its NYE after all and most things i read about the USUK just make me feel depressed.

    Though on that note, no book has ever made me feel more depressed and sickened than Monbiot's "captive state", full of the most grotesque, criminal PFI robbery imaginable, its enough to make you weep, or emigrate, or both...

  27. no book has ever made me feel more depressed and sickened than Monbiot's "captive state", full of the most grotesque, criminal PFI robbery imaginable

    ever seen john perkins books on the IMF,, i literally cannot read them,,

  28. I havent read it, no, but most things on the IMF are pretty vile to read, they are the grand masters of corruption in plain sight.

  29. Jay

    I've read it - and agree. Good quote from Coriolanus in The Troublemakers Charter at the end:

    The Labour government has sustained the central project bequeathed by its predecessor namely to repeal daily any wholesome act established against the rich, and provide more piercing statutes daily, to chain up and restrain the poor

    Am rapidly coming to the conclusion, against all my previously held and treasured principles that an inevitably bloody revolution will be the only way out of our present state. Hate to say it though

  30. I'm not sure I can bring myself to read that either at the moment, Sheff. I will definitely bookmark it though for future masochistic pleasure.


  31. Have to agree, CiF is becoming intolerable: too many bigots below the line, together with blind newLab adherents who dub all critics of the current incompetent administration as 'tory trolls' (to them I say, fuck right off, the current shower of shits are themselves Tories, dso sticking up for them makes you Tories) while above the line, oh dear. The unwavering, illogical and contemptible cheerleading for Brown and co is nauseating. The paper and its writers should show some principles and backbone. No to the Tories doesn't mean accepting the cancerous,entryist,spivvy New labour wankers. Sadly, I fear the paper is too far gone in its adherence to the 'project', not helped by lickspittles like Seation, whose opinions and interventions are appalling.

    Get well soon, Montana!

  32. "Am rapidly coming to the conclusion, against all my previously held and treasured principles that an inevitably bloody revolution will be the only way out of our present state. Hate to say it though"

    A marxist friend has been saying that to me for years, i have always objected, PR, constitution, republic, slowly we can salvage the place through genuine democracy. These days, for the last year or so, i am coming round to the view you, and he, state above.

    But the saddest thing about it is that you know the apathetic doormat British public will never do it. It seems to me we are resigned to a lifetime of this pillage and charade.

    I see that little turd Hannan has been at it again, appearing in adverts in the US attacking Obamas healthcare plan. Just cant believe people are planning to vote tories, however despicable labour are.

  33. But the saddest thing about it is that you know the apathetic doormat British public will never do it

    Yup...give them an new ikea in the neighbourhood and they're happy.

  34. Morning all hope those that arn't well get better soon:)
    Over the last few days I can't stand to comment on CiF and frankly a struggle to read some of the articles...it seems to be a trend that is gathering pace.....

    Sheff how did you like the cisterns in istanbul? amazing aren't they.....

  35. I've come to the conclusion that the majority of people (and not just in the UK) don't give a flying fuck about anything apart from themselves....
    well that was cheerful!! end of year cynicism or raw reality??!!

  36. "Yup...give them an new ikea in the neighbourhood and they're happy."

    Last one they opened in London, as i remember, cause a flood of zealots to descend who caused stampedes, fist fights, police to be called, all sorts. How far have we sunk when a bit of bloody flat pack furniture can reduce us to stampeding animals...

  37. gandolfo

    The cisterns are beautiful. Have you noticed that my new avatar is a pic of one of the Medusa heads?

    The whole city is amazing - a huge mad bazaar with mosques, traffic and jumping with life. Loved it.

  38. Off to do stuff - hopefully back later, but if not Happy New Year to you all. May 2010 bring you all your hearts' desires xx

  39. All very true, Alasdair, this week i have been called "tory troll", "Guardianista", "lefty", all the classics, these people really know how to win an argument.

    I did have an amusing row with a handful of runts about the free market, they had a charming view of it as a perfect mechanism. People get paid market rates for wages - 100% spot on, fully deserved, what someone earns is alright right, fair, etc.

    Also, prices are perfect - Sky's monopoly control on football rights is completely fine, apparently, thats "the market rate" - its correct.

    The real comedy is that even the most extreme free market economists never dare to go this far, its completely untenable. Yet i was scoffed at for being a silly Guardianista who "shouldnt talk about business and other things i dont understand"...

  40. Sheff Yes I did notice and forgot to say, I have some similar photos...I love Istanbul as a city that mix of east and west... I went there with my dad after my mum died...they started their married life in Turkey as teachers in Izmir having spent their honeymoon on the old orient express from london to istanbul (not the film one! think they were 2nd classers!) It was a sentimental journey...

  41. gandolfo

    The Orient express, lucky mum and dad - thats a journey I'd loved to have made, even in the guards van. Will definitely go back again - so much left to find out about the place, you can't do much in a week. Was impressed by the Museum of Modern Art.


    The real comedy is that even the most extreme free market economists never dare to go this far, its completely untenable

    Its these extreme nutters who make cif less and less an attractive place to be. I can barely be bothered these days as its so depressing.

  42. I'm not sure that I share in the general pessimism here - the potential for intergenerational conflict in the coming decade(s) seems to me to be high.

    The reactions of the young, to the post war austerity, was a necessary condition for the changes that started in the 60's. The coming, more difficult economic times might yet set a spark - a lot of you here posting will have to decide if you have the stomach for a big row with your parents and/or your friend's parents.

    Alternatively some of you might have to decide to raise a club of hard wood to defend them, and/or their greed.

    It doesn't seem that long since Jay posted an admirable piece on the theme. Now where did I see that piece from Jay??

  43. \o/ Yay, Sheff and MsChin are coming too!

    Jay, you realise I fully expect you there since you gave me so much grief for not making the trip to London.

    Can't face Cif either. It'll just put me in a bad mood.

  44. perhaps the revolution might be well served by the new people empowerment that will be directed by office (blog) of the "Consumer General"
    the consumer general who just kind of spontaneously takes influence by acclamation serendipty or whatever and issues communiques (blogposts) about who is not going to have any customers for a while,, and why,, and what is hoped for as a result,,

    no trade for this day,,(a newspaper perhaps)
    for trade this week,, (large manufacturing concern)(flat pack possibly)
    or for this month,,(fill in blank you are all smarter than me)

    i have wondered for years why
    "twittering trafigura"
    was not more used as a financial weapon by 'teh peepz on da streetz'

    where is InternetNapoleon,,who knows how to use these kinds of cannon,,

    this is however the really important bit of the job -- "and why,, and what is hoped for as a result,,""

  45. Now you are talking interesting 3p4.

    A theme flickered here some weeks ago about the potential for Nadir(ism) in the coming decade.

  46. Ralph is/was a prophet, a Jeremiah ,,we are looking for Jesus,,

  47. So is Bishop Tutu - we might have to settle for what we can get whilst we are waiting....

  48. Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.
    Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, Jerry 2 11

    as books go i love the biblical prophets,,no difference from shakespeare,,

    for those who read the bibble as the bible not shakespeare i will point out that i know the above text is out of context ,,

  49. grand masters of corruption
    moving to zimbabwe
    they use
    evil little needles
    for their
    lessons in mendacity
    its enough to make you weep,
    or emigrate, or both...

  50. "Now where did I see that piece from Jay??"

    It was a lengthy rant a couple of weeks ago but i cant remember which thread it was on, some berk telling me my generation had "fucked everything up".

    I liked someone's idea once for young people to emigrate en masse leaving no one to work and pay for the baby boomers in retirement. I cant recall a single article from 2000-2008 saying "house prices are far too high, kids have been totally priced out while we've made a fortune".

    Thauma you cheeky paddy, when is your Cif bash? I am too impoverished to either own a car or afford the criminal prices of our privatised trains - i am caged in London (a dire pit of squalor and filth).

  51. Saturday 9th at 1pm, Rose and Crown in Warwick, Jay...

  52. jay

    is there anyone down there coming who could give you a lift?

  53. *shame faced* I'm not exactly sure where Warwick is...

  54. I'm not exactly sure where Warwick is...

    do you have a computer ?

  55. Jay, now that is really piss-poor. Google is your friend. Use it. (Hint: it's straight up the M40, about an hour from Heathrow.) Coaches go there too.

    You shall have a severe finger-wagging if you do not turn up.

  56. Back - couldn't be arsed to go out shopping just for onions, so the boy's vegan chilli is made with spring onions instead. Heh. That was easier.

    Warwick - M40 Jay, south of Brum. Dunno whether I will be able to go yet or not, though. Would like to. It's going to depend on how much work I have stacked up waiting for me when I get back.

  57. i found it jay,, its in rhode island

  58. Jay, similar generational problems in France (not all about houses, so much as the 'oldies' have all the best jobs and pensions etc)and in many other other places in Europe, and indeed "the West", it ain't hard to see the seeds of friction between the ages.

    Too many Frenchies in London and Brits in Paris and Berlin and Rome etc - the revolutionary pressure is dissipated when we allow emigration so you are banned from travel TFN.

    Today's Guard reports house prices continued to rise last year, yet it also reports standards of living have declined since 2005??

    3p4 - we could make you resident poet and prophet if you'ld be persuaded to post here on UT more often ;-)

    I must get off and get the bloody water containers...

  59. Hour away from heathrow you say, hmm... could be possible, finances will be the main problem, i had a bit of a silly episode in the sales (not even on sale items, stupidly). Will look into coaches and what can be done.

    (I have been to warwick before, i should add, castle and all that, geography just isnt my strong point)

  60. *psst* Poor lad probably doesn't know where Brum is either. What do they teach them in the schools these days?

  61. Ah, if MsC won't link to Tanya's latest masterpiece I suppose I will.

    Don't bother reading the article, but check out Tanya's pic at the top. This is a woman who sees few boundaries in getting herself noticed. Somehow there's a tinge of sadness in the photo. She looks like an aging schoolgirl in her bedroom, goofing off in the hope that someone on t'internet thinks she's fun and wants to be her friend.

    Meanwhile CiF ends the year in typical style with the Rowenna piece. Is there no subject that can't be sliced, diced and served up as identity shit?

  62. "Today's Guard reports house prices continued to rise last year, yet it also reports standards of living have declined since 2005??"

    Doesnt surprise...

  63. Get yourself up to Warwick, Jay. Will be good for your soul to have a day or two out of the teeming metropolis.

    Anyone else peeved to have been overlooked, again, by Brenda and her advisers? I wonder why I bother sometimes...

  64. I dont doubt it, Hank, its always heartwarming to get out of the place and crushing to return.

  65. Don't worry about finances Jay - what are old aunties for, ie auntie Sheffpixie in this case

  66. Seriously, mate, you're youngish, no ties (afaik) and not without intelligence, you should emigrate if it really gets you down that much.

    I would too but I'd worry about the off licence down the road going out of business.

  67. what are old aunties for, ie auntie Sheffpixie in this case

    a rose
    by any other name
    i would offer still
    to you


  68. I'd be back to France tomorrow if I could persuade the boy to come, but he won't. I will just have to wait until he is off my hands (and with the economy in the state its in I reckon that will be another 20 years...)

  69. Bah. It's just started to bucket down sleety/snowy shite, and I've to walk to my friends' in a wee while.

    How hard life is.

  70. Thats very kind of you Sheff but I'm not sure my dignity would take it, cant borrow money from people before you've even met them, even Denis MacShane wouldnt do that. In fact he would, but regardless.

    I do consider it quite often, Hank, but i speak no other language, havent even finished my degree yet, my family is all here, friends etc, think i'd struggle in another country by myself.

    Though there is a very sweet french girl in the office, any day now she is going to insist on taking me to france, teaching me french and getting me a job flogging rubbish to British expats, any day now...

  71. I'd be back to France tomorrow if I could persuade the boy to come, but he won't.

    small enthuisiasms can add up new new perspectives,, ask your sprog if he has heard
    of Mattrach,,he is french,,youtube guitar phenom

    drip drip drip drip drip

  72. I believe in circulation Jay - what goes round comes round.

    Very sweet French girl...hmmm...sounds promising.

  73. Jay, MacShane would steal it and consider it no more than his right.

    I'll chip in too.

  74. Thanks for the tip, 3p4

    With his colouring, his looks, his guitar skills and an English accent, he would have the girls queuing round the block if he were in France. He doesn't seem to have realised the benefits yet, though...

  75. "Though there is a very sweet french girl in the office..."

    I bloody knew you were worked for the Guardian all along...

    Just read Rowenna's piece incidentally. Can't seem to find your offending comment, but a lot of replies seem to be extant. Not sure that's in the spirit of the game.

    Have caught the gist of it though, and can understand where you're coming from. The reason Rowenna and Jess took offence, I guess, is that they know that their identity politics obsession is at the root of the collapse of a viable social democratic party in this country.

    It's a shame that they still commission RD and others to propagate this redundant kinda shite and continue to ignore MF's old warhorse, Kenan Malik, who would be able to knock out a few compelling pieces on how obsession with race and gender differences fractured working class communities and unions, draining them of the energy to fight the common enemy on the economic issues.

  76. you could point out that the two years or so of videos young Matt is single and in his latest he has a very nice looking companion,,

    i suggested this person cos i watched the link you posted,, there is a erm something,,

  77. "MacShane would steal it and consider it no more than his right."

    He's already done worse than that, come to think of it - the expenses, im pretty sure he was involved. So he has taken, not borrowed, money from people he has never met and then voted to block them finding out. Then his wife penned an article dismissing their protests. I think i may put him first in the pig queue, actually.

  78. Right, off to begin the celebrations! Will probably be back home by 9 or 10. :-) Happy new year to everyone if I don't pop back in....


  79. i speak no other language, havent even finished my degree yet, my family is all here, friends etc, think i'd struggle in another country by myself.

    Jay, what kind of girly man are you? There is no better way to learn a language than to learn it in the country where it is spoken, your family are the people who've made you the mass of neuroses you are* and you'll make new, more interesting friends.

    *I'm sure your family is lovely.

  80. jay,,in my world the most fruitful response is
    "Thank you very much,,i am very pleased to accept"

    you think giving is a big deal jay,,well none of us old folks get to do it when people say "i couldnt",, well suck it up and do the difficult bit ACCEPTING,, we all find it easy to give,,
    it dont go around come around when it aint passed on,,do your bit while your in the position to do it,,and if its "difficult" no pain no gain,,

    and i didnt see the word "borrow " any where in Aunties(rbuh) post

  81. Hank - the comment survived about 24 hours actually. I came back to find a small mob had assembled at my door but no one fancied explaining my crime.

    Bizarre episode but looking back i didnt structure the comment very logically, so did appear a bit odd, but the reaction was just silly. Kindly the mods have removed my comment but left up the 'lynch him' responses.


    Malik is quality, MF's book recommendations are gold dust. I got a new Malik book for xmas actually, will be tucking in soon. I dont think he has ever written for the Graun, unsurprisingly.

    The divisive nature of IP is shown very well by the article though. Homelessness is a really appalling social ill but its about 80% male, so the Graun doesnt give a shit. The only time it does is when it finds a female DV angle.

    Without that dogma the Graun would probably give a decent amount of coverage to homeless people, like they do other charities - and their coverage and lobbying brings in money, prominence and volunteers for these charities.

    If they did give a shit about homelessness they could probably actually help save a handful of lives a year, but they dont.

  82. "Jay, what kind of girly man are you?"

    Quite a pathetic one actually, dont get me started on spiders... I think some people are just more cut out for upping and leaving than others, really, landing in a foreign country without the language would just be a nightmare.


    "well none of us old folks get to do it"

    I'm getting old myself these days, 26 next week, next stop 30, next stop the care home and incontinence...

  83. Is that Winterval all over and done with, then?

    Happy New Year to everyone.

    If we elect New Labour again, do we get another Year Zero, like we did in 1997?

    Flying visit only, as Atomgirl seems to think this is the one day in the year when I should actually speak to her.

    Flipping liberty!

  84. Love to come but its impossible by both train and bus :(

    No morning buses to Warwick and the train involves 2 changes (Reading!) and Banbury! In other words you have to go nearly all the way to London and then go back.

    You have to change once for Birmingham then change at Leamington.

    Its a effing nightmare!

  85. the care home and incontinence...

    so which one of them is reporting back to you,,
    staff here cant be trusted an inch,,

    just before you get here jay you will be able to do what Auntie is doing,, and in that moment Auntie lives on as strong as today,, and so will all those who gave to her,,ad ifinitum ad humanitarian

  86. That should be OR change once for B'hm!

  87. 26 next week, next stop 30,

    er actually no,, next stop is 'spring/summer'

    i hope it doesnt take you too long to work that out,, it did me

  88. Yep, but surely the bigger point is that homelessness shouldn't be addressed by charities anyway. And if we hadn't let the New Left conspire in handing the country over the neo-liberals, we'd be providing sufficient homes for all, not going back to soup kitchens and workhouses for the deserving poor.

    That was the subtext of RD's article which bugged me more than anything, ie that a lot of the women had ended up at Crisis because they were abused, that it was no fault of their own.

    It implies that other people become homeless because they are feckless or opting out of society altogether, and therefore less deserving of sympathy.

    The truth is that the Graun is and always has been a Liberal paper, the heir to Gladstone's "concern" for fallen women. It has never quite grasped that a lot of the problems it wrings its hands about can only be resolved by thorough-going radical action funded by taxation, not reliant on charity.

    I notice you posted something similar downthread btw so not looking to teach you how to suck eggs, even if the advancing years might mean that'll soon be your only option, that or mashing your food up(-;

  89. And with that, I shall be off to beautify myself for this evening's proceedings - which at my age takes a lot longer than anyone would have thought...

    Happy New Year to you all! xxx

  90. Thats probably a more sensible approach, 3p, though of course the real next stop is a cruel binge on the recreationals tonight :)

  91. Hi anne, you were of course right about me mixing up my Bevans and Bevins. By way of penance, this is my favourite one from Nye:

    "No attempt at ethical or social seduction can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party...So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin."

  92. Jay, I've just come back from the RD/homeless women thread. Since your comment was deleted, I didn't see it to understand the context of your comment about sexual favours and I'm only seeing the reaction to it. Could you please explain it to me??

  93. "Yep, but surely the bigger point is that homelessness shouldn't be addressed by charities anyway."

    Yeah absolutely, in a country with the wealth of the UK there is just no excuse for homelessness full stop. We have footballers on £160k a week, a trillion pounds to give to bankers but we still have thousands of people dying in the street (and countless unused buildings).

  94. Oh blimey, that sounds very much like Jay's been summoned to the head's office...

  95. Montana

    It read something like,

    "typical of the graun to make this about dv etc etc etc, .. when 64% (at least) of homeless are men, and they dont have the chance to exchange "sexual favours" for accomodation."

    Which looking back didnt make a lot of sense as a sentence, the last bit should have gone first, followed by "so at least 64%". For all the uproar it was really a pretty dull comment, Rowenna herself acknowledges the point in the very same article, which is what the quote marks refer to.

  96. Right, im off folks, have a lovely new year all.

  97. Have a great New Year, Jay and everybody else, too.

  98. Yep, Happy New Year to all

    Here's the most appropriate song I could come up with...


  99. Ha, ha, Hank; you will have your little joke. We all know what happens when that song is used to inspire people :-(

    Here’s my suggestion (though not a prediction, unfortunately) for the New Year:

    Spacemen 3

  100. Nice song, andy, and nice sentiment. Was gonna respond with the Ramones, which yours reminded me of, but I'm in a perversely cynical rut tonight so you've got this instead...


    Quite right to steer clear of making predictions. I never make them, and I never will.

    And here's one for Fergie...


  101. Well, Jay's gone apparently, but I'm going to go ahead and say this:

    I'm a bit surprised that you can't see how "and they don't have a chance to exchange sexual favours" is rather easily seen as saying that this is somehow a plus for women or, at the very least, making light of the rather soul-shattering humiliation of prostituting yourself for a place to sleep.

    Even if that's not what you meant, I didn't really see anything in your follow-ups that suggested that you realise how offensive that would be. When you get back to that thread, you might want to say something? Just a suggestion.

  102. Mmmm. Thanks for that, Hank. Now in a Roger Daltrey-induced state of warm, fuzzy glow. No one ever filled a pair of Levis better and no one ever will.

  103. Assuming Jay has gone, I'll presume to speak on his behalf, Montana. If I've misread him, no doubt he will correct me...

    It was a flippant comment which was inspired by a sense of indignation that, yet again, a serious social issue was viewed through the tired old Guardian prism of feminist disenfranchisement.

    Once again, a problem that affects men more than it does women is presented in a way which depicts women as the perennial victims, when even the stats that Rowenna presented didn't support that view.

    And once again, a social and political issue of some importance is sold short due to the inability of the Guardianistas to see anything in broad political terms which might see neo-liberal capitalism as something which needs to be attacked with a proper understanding of the economic issues, rather than tacking to the feminist wind.

    I can see how Jay's deleted comment might be seen as offensive, but if his point was that prostitution is more of an option, however degrading, to women more than it is to men, then it was undoubtedly true.

    Sadly, as I've suggested above, there were broader points which Rowenna missed, like the fact that homelessness shouldn't be remedied by charity but rather with state funding.

    The fact that Jay's comments were able to derail the discussion is less an indictment of him than it is of how feminists care less for broader social justice than scoring points for their own tribe.

    And that's why the Guardian, the New Left, the identity politics crowd and all the rest have a lot to answer to the poor and vulnerable for.

  104. Hank

    It implies that other people become homeless because they are feckless or opting out of society altogether, and therefore less deserving of sympathy.

    I didn't read RD's piece as implying that. Agreed it was limited to her one experience at that particular shelter which she also limited herself to talking about which it seemed, was sufficiently gobsmacking for her. it was an opportunity to widen the discussion as homelessness is largely ignored not just by the graun but by most people but a lot of the posters weren't interested in doing that but just focused on the gender politics.

    The fact that its left to the voluntary sector to pick up the pieces is a disgrace which I did try and point out somewhere I think.

    Oh and not forgetting - happy new year everyone!

  105. Good defence of Jay, Hank - having read his subsequent posts, I think you're bang on the money about what Jay wanted to say and he has already conceded that his choice of words was not the best.

  106. Couple of amendments...

    "...feminist disenfranchisement" should of course read "...female disenfranchisement"....

    ...and "...how feminists care less for broader social justice" should be "some feminists", most of whom seem to write for the Guardian, sadly.

  107. hank

    Thank you for the 'some'.

  108. Hank: Never say never, mate.

    Speaking of predictions, I see Fencewalker recently made an amusing response to somethingvwrong on WDYWTTA? Hope he drops in here later.

    Montana: Agree 100%

    I didn’t read Jay’s comment above very carefully first time round, but now that I have - ouch!

    Everything Hank says is true (now that he’s added “some” to “feminists”), but the original comment is still questionable.

    Hope Jay will return and acknowledge that his point was, at least, rather clumsily expressed.

    I suggest that of rather more relevance to the difference in numbers of male and female homeless is that local councils have an obligation to house all those who are judged to be vulnerable. Anyone with children (obviously more often women) will fall into this category. Men generally (and childless women too, of course) do not, unless there is some other reason, like mental illness.

    And actually getting yourself taken seriously in this situation is often a huge struggle. When I first went to my council Housing Office to say I was homeless after having been discharged from a month in a psychiatric hospital, the person I spoke to said something like

    “well, I get depressed every now and again too”…

  109. Hank

    The fact that Jay's comments were able to derail the discussion is less an indictment of him than it is of how feminists care less for broader social justice than scoring points for their own tribe.

    There was barely a discussion to derail. Although I don't know what happened after I toddled off as I haven't been back.

  110. Sheff

    If RD writes about homelessness as being a result of domestic abuse, ignoring all the other factors which lead to it, presenting it from the perspective of an-all female refuge, it's not surprising that some posters picked up on the fact that RD was writing from a feminist perspective rather than a socialist or social democratic perspective.

    If she wants to be a proper journalist, rather than a feminist tub-thumper, she might want to visit more than one homeless shelter, look at the stats and the causes in more detail, and question the whole issue of public funding of housing.

    My guess is that she doesn't because it would be too much like hard work for a start, and it would involve a more truly radical left-wing analysis which doesn't really sit comfortably with the Graun's liberal worldview.

  111. "I'm in a perversely cynical rut tonight"
    Me too, Hank, but it's been that kind of year. Have a bit of old The The.

  112. @mschin - yes, sorry about that. Everywhere I use the word "feminists" just assume I meant to insert the word "some" beforehand(-;

    I certainly don't think that all feminists are liberal bourgeois Guardianistas, like Bindel and co, but I do think that there are a lot of them who care more about the interests of women per se than about humanity as a whole.

  113. What was it Hank? 500 words or so on her volunteering at a shelter for homeless women for a day. Not brilliant no, but an opening. I would like to have seen the opportunity taken to broaden the debate because its important and needs to be had but it seems people prefered to focus, as you have above on the usual complaints and whilst I understand the issues it seemed like a waste to me.

  114. Ha, habib, strangely enough I've just been listening to Infected. One of my favourite albums.

    Have moved on to this, which my lad got me for Xmas, knowing what a curmudgeonly old bastard I am!


  115. Happy New Year, everyone!

    Hank, you have mail. Or not...

  116. @sheff - yep, I take your point, but it's all of a piece with the Guardian's view of the world, isn't it? Gender politics, liberal hand-wringing, charity, tinkering around the edges and nobody asking the more radical questions, like why it is that one of the richest societies in history is happy to accommodate (?!) billionaires with multiple houses on the one hand and vulnerable people living on the streets and on handouts on the other.

    The Guardian is part of the problem because it is part of that New Left tradition of feminism, race and gay rights issues which can be traced back to the 1968 Generation who did so much to split the Labour Party and the trade unions and, in doing so, give neo-liberal parties a free ride for the last 30 years.

    The whingeing of Guardianistas is what Billy Bragg nailed as "luxury's disappointments".

  117. Hi heyhabib and martillo too. Long time…

    Oi Scorpio, you don’t have to be a curmudgeonly old bastard to like Nick Cave, though perhaps it doesn’t do any harm.

    Glad to see your boy is educating you.

    Check out Cave’s more recent “Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus”

    This one’s got the excellent couplet:

    I went to bed last night and my moral code got jammed
    I woke up this morning with a Frappuchino in my hand

  118. Hank, as Sheff says -- it was @ 500 words on a day spent volunteering to help homeless women. It wasn't even trying to pretend that it was a comprehensive look at homelessness in Britain -- I read it as a confessional. Privileged middle-class woman realises that homelessness is more complex than she thought.

    IF she or the Guardian had done a week-long series that passed itself off as an in-depth look at homelessness that only dealt with homeless women, THEN I'd say men had a right to be angry. It is absolutely impossible in a 500-600 word article to adequately cover all aspects of homelessness.

    To criticise the Guardian for not giving adequate coverage to the issue of homelessness is absolutely valid and I agree with you there. I also agree that it is wholly unacceptable to leave the situation up to a patchwork of charities that will never be able to do anything more than put a plaster on the problem.

    But to complain that Davis was misandrist because she didn't adequately address the issue of homeless men is unfair to Davis, as she simply wasn't claiming that she was addressing the broader issue. The sub-editors did her no favours with the header -- just as they did me with my piece last week.

    And I hear what you're saying about Jay's comment and I feel like I know his opinions well enough to know that he didn't mean it the way it came out, but I still don't think that he showed much understanding of why the initial comment had seemed so offensive to so many people.

    Perhaps you have to have had a cock shoved inside your body against your will to understand that?

  119. Evening all! Happy New year all just to be a tad optimistic for the future... is the only way up? mmmm second thoughts sure we can sink further.......

  120. Just read the piece and RDs response @ 12.40, and have to agree with Montana about lack of misandry - a women-only space is women-only for damned good reasons.

  121. @martillo - not got the mail, mate...


    which is obviously a reference to the finest sing ever made -


  122. Hi gandolfo

    What's the traditional new year like round your way?

  123. Thought as much. "We have not been able to carry out the action requested". Nothing saved... Oh well, I'll try again tomorrow.

    "a women-only space is women-only for damned good reasons."

    Quite right mschin. I know because, strangely, I worked in one. Trouble is, CIF is not, explicitly a women only space. Maybe it should be...

    And with that, I'm sneaking off, as I have to go out.

    Have fun, everyone!

  124. Hmm, I suggest that The Guardian is, as Hank says, part of the problem because it’s part of that strand of “New Left” tradition which appears to prioritise “single issue” concerns like feminism, race and gay rights.

    Many of those contributing ATL to CiF seem to me to focus on their issue or interest to the exclusion of others, but that doesn’t mean that those issues aren’t important or that they should be dismissed.

    Unfortunately, much of the “Old Left” was inclined to dismiss them as unimportant, or the split which Hank refers to wouldn’t have happened, or wouldn’t have been so damaging.

    Feminism, anti-racism and calls for gay rights are not in themselves the problem, though the approaches of some of their advocates are. Any progressive movement worth the name has got to include not only feminists, but men who are feminists; not only anti-racists, but “white” people who are anti-racists; not only anti-homophobes, but “straight” anti-homophobes.

    It’s too easy sometimes to dismiss problems as being the fault of others. Surely we all have to examine our own attitudes and the assumptions we make.

  125. Hi and a happy new year to all.

    Thanks Montana for your concern. I'm ok (I guess).

    One of my fave psychologists was a guy called Ichheiser. He wrote a monograph on misunderstanding in human nature (American journal of sociology, 55, 1-70, for Andysays reading list). He was an austrian emigre to the us in the 30s feeing fascism (don't we all no). Ended up in an american asylum (apt for an asylum seeker). Comes with the territory.

  126. Was going to add my thoughts on the RD thread, but I'm supposed to be somewhere else clutching a bottle - but for an article which promised to discuss 'the complexity of the homelessness problem', I found it quite superficial; impressions rather than analysis. Bu yeah, I know, 500 words...

    HNY everyone.

  127. Sheff, montana and mschin - I still think that you're all missing the point that Jay was making (I think) and I'm certainly assuming he made since it's the bang I'm drumming...

    Rowenna didn't attempt a comprehensive look at homelessness because Rowenna and the Guardian aren't interested in a comprehensive look at homelessness. It doesn't fit with their agenda.

    They would need to understand that homelessness is a result not just of male-on-female abuse but also of poverty, social deprivation, skewed economic issues which have created an enlarged middle class, at the same time as leaving behind a huge underclass of second and third generation unemployed.

    The readiness with which the liberal middle-classes have embraced their cheap Polish plumbers and Ukrainian nannies exemplifies their priorities and their hypocrisy. They have done as much as anyone to endorse global neo-liberalist policies which have led to open borders, free trade and the further enrichment of the well off at the expense of the old working class.

    Feminism's victories, just as those for ethnic minorites and for gays, were won by the organised Left and granted for the most part under Labour governments.

    Labour governments which were for the most part supported, electorally and financially by the organised working class.

    What meaningful victories are there left to be won for the identity politics crowd, especially when compared to the gains that still need to be made in terms of social and economic justice for the working class?

    At the same time, the Guardianistas have conspired in the destruction of the organised working class through their championing of identity politics, which have prioritised gender and racial equality over economic equality, and have helped to create a large body of grateful new middle class women and ethnic minorities who have bought into the dream of personal success and kicking away the ladder from beneath them.

    I don't really care much about what Rowenna has said. We all know that most of the ATL writers at the Guardian are privileged products of Oxford.

    @martillo - my internet connection is erratic to say the least atm. Deffo try again tomorrow, and in the meantime

    "bon any nou!"

  128. pen!

    Glad to see you dropping in, and I’m sure everyone else will be too.

    How are things with you? I’m assuming you’re no longer being detained, and again I’m sure many would be interested to hear about it, or if you’d rather not, just chat about any and everything else that comes to mind.

    Thanks for the recommend; I’ll make a note a check it out later.

  129. Hi Mschin!
    Down my way tradition it's lethal fireworks and family dinner equally lethal, which I don't participate in, xmas is enough! For me and partner it's at home, booze and tv/dvds the dog gets terrified of fireworks we're on the top floor and it seems like a combat zone so about to drug him up!
    There are free concerts at the Collesium but they are ol' 70s crooners :0/ and it's pissing down...

  130. Pen!
    We never conversed, but I used to read your posts, full of admiration for your strength. I can't tell you how happy I am to hear your words again. A very happy New Year to you.

  131. OK kids, I'm off now to share the love down the local, doesn't seem fair that you should all have me to your own tonight.

    Happy New Year to all xx


  132. Happy New Year from the left and wet coast of Canada. Best to you all in 2010.

  133. Hi Pen glad to see you here again.

  134. gandolfo,
    If you're getting away with cheesey music (which I loved), I'll try to as well.

  135. Bollocks my post failed and Hank is away I wanted to ask what he meant by "...the 1968 Generation.." Ideas anybody?

    Andy - who did you have in mind when you spoke of "Old Labour" ? I'm not sure I can recall a time when both the Left and the Labour Party weren't divided within and between.

  136. The whole idea that a paper of the alleged stature of the Guard would even think of commissioning a 500 word impressionistic piece on homelessness says it all really.

    Except that commissioning a piece from a bint jumping up and down on bed so that she write about Celeb's keep fit DVDs provides a clue..

  137. Deano, 1968 was like 1848, people talked of revolution, many places in Europe saw violent revolt, in Britain there was a meeting in Hyde Park, it started to rain, everyone went home.

    That's why I love this country at the same time as shaking my head at it.

  138. more cheesy music.

    Anybody else around for the duration, tonight?
    Good health to those who are out and about, have a good 'un.

  139. deano
    "Except that commissioning a piece from a bint jumping up and down on bed so that she write about Celeb's keep fit DVDs provides a clue.."

    bloody classic nail on head!!

  140. habib - wonderfully put, but those guys were more like the 1948 Generation.

    If he thinks the rot started with them I think he may be mistaken. I have the culprits down as the 1938 generation or whoever was most responsible for the creation of the notion of the teenager..

    I was still arguing, in 1978, that we would rue the day we argued for adult wages for 18 year olds..

  141. gandalfo, now we're talking camembert!
    I'm glad nobody can see me dancing.

  142. ooh, followed by edam! that brought back memories.

  143. I did say I was going down the pub, deano, but I've just happened upon Angela Knight's thread on Cif defending the bankers. Again. See if you can spot my post...

  144. to get back or not get back

    gandolfo,i dont care about label i care about ability and integrity and that pretty boy got it all,,golden gloves boxer to boot,,

  145. deano, I may have misunderstood Hank, but the revolutionary actions of Peterloo have never really been repeated since. Perhaps successive reactionary governments have been too strong, or maybe people just couldn't be bothered.

    I filmed the anti-poll tax demonstration in London, for Lancaster Students Union, the violent police actions scared the shit out of most people. I can't blame them.

  146. 3p4 yeah but where is he now??!!

  147. erm gandolfo,, what i said about ability and more importantly integrity,,that was quite the contrast,, i would rather get scalped

  148. habib poll tax demo trafalgar square...scared the crap out of me when those police horses started...my flatmates dad, an old communist, told us to take marbles to make the horses skid...didn't work...but shit when i need to run i can!!

  149. gandalfo, "Break Out", ha ha! I lost my virginity to a girl that I snogged in a night club to that song. Too much information?

    Going back further... my first kiss

  150. 3p4 yeah but where is he now??!!

    ah so he is smart as well as pretty,,frankly i think go there do it go find something else is pretty smart,,he did the name thing like prince,, and went off to carry on,,

  151. told us to take marbles to make the horses skid...

    ouch,, bad news,,

  152. 3p4 sorry didn't get it!:) too many excesses!

  153. habib..that was nasty how a bit of 80s angst in the form of talk talk mixed in with wild life argh!

  154. Hank - well there was sentence there that I know that if you didn't write it, you would have wished you had!

    No football between these trenches - Fraternally Fritz...

  155. i just looked up some current sananda ,,the youth bit was very important,,he is a bit sad now
    i thought,,it was live,,could have been a bad night

  156. First: Hi Pen! Great to see you here and I'm glad you're ok. Hope you'll be able to be with us more.

    Second: The last line of my previous post was a cheap shot and I apologise for it, even though you were all kind enough to ignore it.

    Third: Hank -- you know that I agree with what you're saying about the Guardian overall, but I still think there are way too many men posting to Cif who are too quick to engage in whataboutery.

    Look at all the fuckwits who called me a feminazi, Stalinist, man-hater, nasty old harridan, etc., because ten years ago I wanted my son to have mostly unisex toys and not have any toy weapons. Nearly 600 comments on the damned article and the overwhelming majority of them took that tone.

    Yes, Rowenna's Oxbridge and middle-class and privileged and she'll probably never go to the barricades with us. But she wrote an article about how one afternoon of her life changed her perspective a bit. That's a good thing.

  157. "habib..that was nasty" That's what the girl said. I got better over the years (I hope).

    Oh alright then, gandalfo, go all cool and stuff - loved that song. But here, last serving of cheese, I like it like this.

  158. not sure what you didnt get

    the "contrast" was about trent darby was very good and then hairdresser was decidely not

    the 'ouch bad news' was ,,thats a somewhat of a red flag anecdote,, i meant to cast no aspersions,,

    seen to many occasions of innocent statements being seized on by pitbulls i guess,,i saw horse/marble i thought oh oh

  159. Oooh, gandolfo. I don't think I've heard that song since the 80s. And now, if I ever hear it again, I'm going to be imagining a nervous and awkward Habib being deflowered.

  160. habib - life was so much simpler when I was at Lancaster (in 71 as a mature student).

    The place was still being built, there were bricks and building materials everywhere.

    The authorities could always be persuaded that it was better to talk and to see sense than to time the fall of toilets from the top of Bowland tower.

    And as for the suggestion that a Caterpillar tractor, without a driver, aimed at the computer/admin building could help negotiation - no more than a simple but powerful incentive.

    Student Unions were different in those days...

  161. all those "right on" liberal nimby grauniad readers

    montana infact i'm going to have flashbacks now!

  162. heyhabib

    how is this,,its that quality thing again


  163. @3p4
    i didn't get the trent darby posted before i saw the ouch post!
    the marbles didn't work.. horses too fast and big!!

  164. "a nervous and awkward Habib"
    in my defence, the only thing that ran through my mind was total surprise.

    Sorry, it wasn't the last of my cheesey music first spliff. (audio only.)

  165. habib that's is fondue quality but let me offer this..........this, i promise, is the last ;)

  166. deano, aye it's changed a lot since I was last there, too. Fylde college, me - was that around in '71?

    gandalfo, sorry for the bad images. Just to add to them , I used to think The Housemartins were singing "sheep wear underpants".

  167. 3p4, quality cheese! Soft glo all around me.

    Ha ha, gandalfo. Lovin' this.

  168. habib
    bet you were a fan .......and no doubt have a sordid story from your yooth to link it with!;)

  169. montana wtf was THAT!!!???!!!
    i raise you cowboys and give you fine young cannibals

  170. gandolfo, I was and some sordid stories just bring back a wry smile...

    Montana, that was cheese on toast, have some cheesey (completely) crackers.

  171. I'm still here, the pub was doing a "Thai" special - don't ask...

    Montana - Rowenna didn't write an article about how one afternoon changed her life. She wrote an article about how one session playing Miss Bountiful at the Crisis refuge for abused women reinforced her view that there were a lot of abused women.

    It didn't change her life. It reinforced her view that the revolution is a feminist one or it's nothing.

    Well, fuck that.

    I really am not interested in barricading myself between gels called Rowenna, Jess, Bella etc.

    I really do think we're gonna have to either fall out spectacularly or agree to disagree.

    As for being called a Stalinist - he got the job done.

    And the stick you got on your thread...? As I said the other day, you dealt with it well. Your responses were better, imo, than your initial post.

    You got a lot of stick on your thread but who was it from? Nobody I recognise. Trolls for the most part, not to be taken seriously. Don't let them influence your perspective, MW!

  172. heyyou

    ultra cheese from berry gordy

  173. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34Dcx0S1JY8&feature=related


  174. Oh balls! work to do, keep bringing the queso, mi amigos! back in a bit.

  175. and also super eggy...

    that would be the jimmy saville bit

  176. Screech of tyres skidding on wet road and bang of car mounting pavement.

    Door opens and these are lobbed out:

    He's Simple, He's Dumb...

    Jed's Other Poem

    Car reverses into another parked car and sets off alarm:

    Whee! Whee! Whee!

    Fuck it!

    Sound of police cars approaching:

    Ner Ner! Ner Ner!

    Happy fucking New Year, ya bastards!

  177. guys off to down booze will be back laters!
    only 15min til armageddon strikes here so have to contain dog and partner!!! Happy new year from Rome!!!

  178. 3p4 jimmy saville is super egg!!!

  179. Andy - good post at 19:32

    The point is that issues relating to racism, sexism, homophobia etc need to be discussed by the whole Labour movement so that those issues can be seen in relation all others and the concerns of other groups taken into account. It is true that some old socialists did not take these issues seriously. For instance I can remember some marxists actually saying that women should 'wait util after the revolution'!

    In one sense they were right of course in that I don't believe it is actually possible to totally solve the problems of sexism (or any of the problems of capitalismfor that matter!). But if workers should be defending the pay, working conditions and rights at work and the working class should be fighting for greater representation and more political and economic freedom, and they should. Then blacks,women and gays should be fighting on their issues too.

    But as a Marxist I can only see these struggles as part of the wider struggle. Once ghettoised you get dotty ideas like 'political lesbianism' (ffs!) and notions like 'if you are white you are racist' etc etc. The whole identity politics shitpile in other words.

  180. Hank -- don't even really have to agree to disagree. You could be right about the whole thing -- as I've said before, I'm enough of a Seppo that some of the English class differences are beyond my ken. Christ knows I've no reason to ascribe pure motives to Rowenna where none may exist and I most certainly will not fall out with someone I do care about over what was going through her head when she wrote the article. Consider it dropped.

    Right now, what this place needs is some testosterone to make up for some of the girly shit that gandolfo and Habib are linking.

  181. Happy New Year Gandolfo!

    Have to run to the store to get supplies for the sprog's & my own little countdown & will probably miss midnight for most of you, so Happy New Year, Britain, too!

    Anybody still going to be here in an hour or so?

  182. I don't know guys, I could go on and on (I can do prolix) re my 'detention' but it all seems too much me me me. Why bother? Special pleading.

    One of the areas I used to research was medical decision making (but its just an instance of more general d making), sure they never get it wrong, nah. And accessing reality is unproblematic, yeah.

    For Andysays I would also suggest Sobel Sexual Investigations(1996) NYU It kinda takes a marxistish perspective but is also good on feminist theory and quite funny in a droll way.

    Deano, I think I am an existential bum and all round refusnik.

    HeyHabib, thanks.

    For Hank, Kelley and Stahelski, violence begets violence, competitors elicit competition cooperators may get cooperation or competition.

    Since I've started I'll ... continue to check in.

  183. Guys enough of the cheese already!

    Montana - thats more like it :D

    Happy New Year Folks!