19 January 2010


Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn were bombed by German zeppelins in 1915 -- the first major aerial bombardment on civilian areas.  In 1917, an explosion of 50 tons of TNT at a munitions factory in Silvertown, West Ham, killed 73 people and injured 400 others.  Indira Gandhi was elected Prime Minister of India in 1966.  The last Volkswagen Beetle to be manufactured in Germany was produced in 1978 and the Apple Lisa, the first home computer with a graphical interface and a mouse, was introduced in 1983.

Born today:  James Watt (1736-1819), Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849), Henry Bessemer (1813-1898), Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), Phil Everly (1939), Janis Joplin (1943), Dolly Parton (1946), Robert Palmer (1949-2003), Simon Rattle (1955), Stefan Edberg (1966) and Jenson Button (1980).

It is the feast day of St. Wulfstan.


  1. MChica (from yesterday):

    Montana It was people like your mom that made today possible. She/they were so brave to demand that the status quo, both economical and social be changed.

    Well, that's weird. Did you somehow see my original post for yesterday? I only had it up for about 5 minutes, if that. But yes, when you consider that my parents and grandparents were white people from lily-white rural areas in the North, they were all incredibly enlightened on race matters. I don't always give my mother much credit, but she did work hard at instilling tolerance in us. For that, I'm grateful.

  2. Sorry, no. Not tolerance -- acceptance, appreciation. Believing that all people really are equal.

    Some day I shall tell you all about my ancestor, Franklin Trekell. Not right now. It's a school night and I should be in bed.

  3. Night Montana, lots to admire with MLK.

    Medve, you have me interested, shall google for more on Thomas Szasz.

  4. [continuing with Boudican]

    Szasz came to the conclusion that psychiatric theory, practice, and treatment were seriously flawed. He resolved that he would become a physician and exposed the trouble with psychiatry.

    Unfortunately Nazism and Fascism intervened and the family wisely and luckily escaped to America. Hungary had been the first country in Europe to adopt anti-Semitic laws from 1920 onwards. Szasz notes that there was an ingrained anti-Semitism in US society at that time. ..

    air ..

  5. Szasz says, that as a(n albeit atheist) jew and no longer from a well-off family, he was not able to go for an MD right away. So he took a degree in physics. After that, later, he managed to get into medical school and finally into psychiatry. The rest is well documented.

  6. Medve--re 'ingrained anti-semitism', makes sense that many immigrants would pack their cultural foibles and bigotry across the ocean.

    Off to bed.Later.

  7. "Nevertheless, launching an illegal war of aggression is one of the serious war crimes established at the trials I started this rant with."

    I think it was established as the *ultimate* war crime at Nuremburg, because all other actions stem from the aggressor.

  8. Morning Jay,

    Yes, of course. Perhaps serious war crimes is understated.

  9. Doncaster Council, eh? Labour- controlled (of course,) seven children on the at- risk register have died there in recent years. Most recent case, they try to repress the serious case review report.
    Oh, yes, four Labour MPs too- all Ministers.

    I grew up not very far away from there, in a very similar area, and I too suffered extreme sexual violence in childhood, similarly from people I wasn't related to. Forty years ago!
    What's changed? Children are still being raped and murdered in these poor areas. But now we spend a million quid or more every time on reports which those with responsibility then try to hush up- often successfully.

    My heart is breaking for the poor victims in this case, and my mind is full of outrage at the politicians who are so clearly at the centre of the problem.

  10. Warm thanks to everyone commenting on legally binding and limiting manifestos.
    I don't see what's wrong with a provider- client relationship between government and governed. (Ultimately, that needs a republic, of course..)
    Unforseen events- automatic referendum on any emergency measures.
    Manifestos should be reliable both in what they say about what parties will definitely do, and about what they definitely won't do. Hence binding and limiting.
    We're moving in the opposite direction. Labour's 2005 manifesto wasn't even published until the third week of the campaign: candidates didn't know what they were campaigning on!
    These TV debates represent an incentive for parties to put even less in their manifestos, to give the leaders maximum wriggle room in front of the cameras.
    I admit it's potentially a legal minefield. But then, Government is a complicated business. What just won't do at all, in the 21st Century, is to give Government a blank cheque to do whatever they like, even on minority endorsement. The country hates politics and politicians. Making them accountable under Law is the essential first step to improving that.

  11. I had an idea recently, a service like twitter, that one would register for via a website. It would then send you questions (sms to your moby), not unlike the Cif polls, at a frequency, and on topics, that you determine when you register, from, say 2 a week, to 6 a day. You then reply to 'vote'.

    I thought 2p would be a good charge, "have your tuppenceworth.." The results would be published on the website, with a discussion board below.

    Texarchy is my working title...

    I can write the marketing plan, but have no idea how to set up the software, sms, website, etc.. Short of 'Dragons Den' I think it'll just go in the 'stoned ideas' bin..

  12. turminder: website, sms-server domain name all quite do-able. you / we / they should also build in a robust privacy/security policy. if you(s) serious ..

  13. turminder - interesting idea, but would have to decide what you wanted to use it for - either opinion polls, 'sillies' like the CIF ones, or marketing based / consumer surveys (http://www.onepoll.com/ is responsible for a lot of '8 out of 10 cats' types stuff that Bad Science regularly eviscerates - and as a 'member' - they give you money - I can confirm that they are usually so biased that you can pretty much draft the 'findings' just from reading the questions...)

    Can't earn anything today as I don't drive or live in Wales. Anyway...

  14. Philippa,

    Is the Welsh one about badgers?


  15. Dotterel - it says to fill it in "if you drive and live in Wales", so I'm guessing no, unless it's about whether you've ever run one over...

    Saw a badger once. Thought it was a cat at first, thought 'that's an odd-shaped cat', then saw the stripiness. Really adorable...

  16. Philippa,

    "Saw a badger once. Thought it was a cat at first, thought 'that's an odd-shaped cat', then saw the stripiness. Really adorable..."

    I've cuddled one.........

  17. Aye, would be very easy to hijack/predetermine results, etc.. I used to work for MORI and did a phone poll which had 20 questions about paedophiles, then the last question, "would you support a return to capital punishment?" Got a 85% YES! That was for The Sun, no surprise..

    The idea came after reading Alistair Reynolds, one of his SF societies the Demarchy vote on everything, thru internal 'chips' that connect them to a sci-fi 'hyper web'. If it could be done would it make paradise, or some lowest common denominator hell?

    It's a serious idea, but i think it needs serious investment to get up and running. Scottish enterprise are no help..

  18. Bloody badger ate 5 o my chickens in 2001... Grr ;)

  19. Dot - ooh! lucky thing. hope you didn't get a cough after (kidding). one of my favourite avatars on CIF is modshavnofriends' three baby badgers - have to admit i have occasionally recommended him for the cuteness factor alone...

    right - french lesson.

  20. "A woman who left her remote home in the Scottish Highlands to buy a turkey for Christmas has finally been able to get back home - 30 days after she set out.
    Heavy snow meant it was not possible for Kay Ure to get back to Cape Wrath after a shopping trip to Inverness."

    Thank heavens for the BBC's reporting......and a mild turn to the weather.

  21. @deano, her hubby still hasn't had his xmas dinner!, bet he's sick of baked beans and super noodles!

  22. turminder - I bet they check the weather forecast before she sets out for the Christmas food shop next year!

    Mind you he had the company of six dogs and two passing walkers over Christmas so who knows?

  23. Philippa,

    I probably shouldn't tell you about when my bro cuddled a baby badger then....

    What's the French for badger?

  24. French for badger: blaireau (masculine)

  25. Afternoon all,

    Triggered by the discussions on manifesto promises and direct democracy, I had a quick squiff regarding Western democracies and referendums.

    Now I know its an unscientific measurement and referenda are products of unique events within Nation states but a closer analysis does show the attitude of both Governments and the political systems inherent in each country to direct democracy.

    Here's the results since 1793 (First recorded referendum in France):

    Denmark- 19
    France- 22
    Germany- 2
    Greece- 8
    Italy- 19
    Republic of Ireland- 37
    The Netherlands- 2
    Norway- 6
    Portugal- 3
    Spain- 7
    Sweden- 6
    Switzerland- 11
    UK- 2

    Now as mentioned previosuly, it's just a quick scan to measure attitudes to Direct Democracy but further analysis is interesting.

    The UK with no written constitution and the least representative form of Democracy comes out lowest. I did not include the Scottish and Welsh referendums as they were not UK wide.

    If you dig into the other Countries referenda, most of them are on the subject of constitutional change.

    In Britain with our 'organic form of Govt' ie the crap excuse for maintaining our Political elite in the style to which they have become accustomed, there is a paternalist streak running through our constitutional history that the people cannot be trusted to have a real political say.

    It's no suprise that the UK with its unwritten constitution and arrogant political paternalism is the least likely to 'ask the people'.

    Historically, just something to add to the 'direct democracy debate'.

  26. Afternoon all

    Two day trial settled! \o/ I can get in some serious r & r now for the rest of the day. Woohoo!

  27. well done! but before opening that wine, BB, try the Andy Worthington article on control orders - comments have started well but could well veer off-course in short order when the 'no smoke without fire' brigade show up...

  28. RIP Bill Mclaren

    ...like a mad octopus...

  29. Haven't got that far yet pip - just finished buddhism and now on the rape thread.

    What an exciting place CiF is sometimes :P

  30. Petition to classify alcohol


    In the interests of public health, the lethal drug alcohol must be classified. It does not enjoy any legal exemption, (nor does tobacco.)

    Alcohol is causing unparalleled harm; to people and to society. Instead of encouraging drinking, the Government should discharge its duty to seek to reduce this harm.

    Classification is not the same thing as prohibition. It merely provides the public with clear information about the risks.

    Britain's alcohol catastrophe is not going to solve itself! Action is urgently needed. The means have existed to take action for forty years. All that's required is to implement existing Law.

  31. You may be wondering what the stars hold for you tomorrow, or even for the rest of your life. Here's a run down I just posted on Facebook because half my friends on there appear to have handed their brains in at the recycling plant over the weekend

    Your Horoscope

    (December 22 -January 20)
    You are conservative and afraid of taking risks. You are basically chicken shit. There has never been a Capricorn of any importance. You should kill yourself.

    (January 21 - February 19)
    You have an inventive mind and are inclined toward progressiveness. You lie a great deal. On the other hand, you are inclined to be careless and impractical causing you to make the same mistakes repeatedly. Everyone thinks you are a fucking jerk.

    (February 20 - March 20)
    You have a vivid imagination and often think that you are being followed by the F.B.I. or the C.I.A. You have a minor influence over your friends and people resent you for flaunting your power. You lack confidence and are generally a coward. Pieces people screw small animals and pick their nose a lot.

    (March 2 - April 20)
    You are the pioneer and hold most of people in contempt. You are quick tempered and impatient and scornful of Advice. You are a prick.

    (April 21 - May 21)
    You are practical and persistent. You have a dogged determination and work like hell.. Most people think you are stubborn and bull-headed. You are nothing but a Goddamn Communist.

    (May 22 - June 21)
    You are a quick and intelligent thinker. People like you because you are bisexual. You are inclined to expect too much for too little. This means you are a cheap bastard. Gemini's are notorious for thriving on incest.

    (June 22 - July 23)
    You are sympathetic and understanding to other peoples' problems. They think you are a sucker. You are always putting things off. That is why you will always be on welfare and never be worth shit.

    (July 24 - August 23)
    You consider yourself a born leader, Others think you are pushy. Most Leo's are bullies. You are vain and cannot tolerate honest criticism. Your arrogance is disgusting, Leo people are thriving bastards and kiss mirrors a lot.

    (August 24 - September 23)
    You are the logical type and hate disorder. This nit-picking is sickening to your friends. You are cold and unemotional and often fall asleep while screwing. Virgos make good bus drivers and pimps.

    (September 24 - October 23)
    You are the artistic type, and have a difficult time with reality. If you are a male, you are probably a queer. Chances for employment and monetary gain are excellent, because most Libra women are whores. All Libras usually get venereal disease.

    (October 24 - November 22)
    You are shrewd in business and cannot be trusted. You shall achieve the pinnacle of success because of your total lack of ethics. You are a perfect Son of a Bitch. Most Scorpio's are murdered.

    (November 23 - December 21)
    You are optimistic and enthusiastic. You have a reckless tendency to rely on luck because you have no talent. The majority of Sagittarians are drunks and potheads. People laugh at you because you are always getting fucked.

  32. Progress at CiF!!!1

    Over the weekend, all my posts were just disappearing.
    I've just tried again, despite the "Your message will be held for moderation," in lovely red. And today, my prattle went up!!

    Maybe I'm not banned, just being slightly inconvenienced. For which I'm grateful.
    I never contravened the posting guidelines in the first place, of course, but if they really want to check my every word and nuance, it's their hard slog, I suppose!

  33. I've (VIRGO) never ever fallen asleep while screwing, bitterweed. In the current UK jurisdiction, with the presumption of guilt of rape hanging over one, I'm never likely to get another chance!!!

    Not been a pimp nor a bus driver. But I am nit- picking and I do drive my friends mad sometimes. But I love them anyway!

    Apart from that, a great horoscope!

  34. Is it me or is that LucyQ a bit, well, "stuck" ?

  35. freespeechoneeach2
    Well done ! (on the posting rights) Feels like I've been in pre-mod since they argued over who could moderate the first testament. Bastards. Still...

    Presumption of guilt ? Hmm. What happens, I always wonder, if you take GHB and then crack one out ? Is it self rape ? Tricky. Need an expert opinion I think. Or a controlled experiment.

  36. Oops! Spoke too soon. The first post stays up, but the second has vanished.
    Maybe they're taking me at my screen name's word and giving me one post a day or something?

  37. Sounds like a good experiment! let's draw up a proposal and try get funding!!

    Nick Clegg supported alc. classification in 2007. Daily Telegraph printed it, but I honestly don't want to type the huge link out. It's tea time!! Any interest: Google it please...

  38. Some sick fuckers on the Haiti thread/s. We're fucking doomed.

  39. freespeech
    Oh alright, but you have to know I'm quite partisan to a drop or three.

    "let's draw up a proposal and try get funding!!"

    Yeah ! And a CiF article to report back the findings...

  40. @Nice horoscopes, BW - have you met Psychic Bob?

  41. \o/

    (March 2 - April 20)
    You are the pioneer and hold most of people in contempt. You are quick tempered and impatient and scornful of Advice. You are a prick.

    Spot on for me, that! :o)

  42. CANCER
    (June 22 - July 23)
    You are sympathetic and understanding to other peoples' problems. They think you are a sucker. You are always putting things off. That is why you will always be on welfare and never be worth shit.

    Strangely accurate too... ;-(

    Still the sinuses are better! ;-)

  43. Classification isn't prohibition! Support my petition for rational drug laws!
    You can surely like drinking and still want to know what kind of drug it is- can't you???

  44. Yes but freespeech... I'm a Sagitarian...

  45. Gemini

    You are a quick and intelligent thinker. People like you because you are bisexual. You are inclined to expect too much for too little. This means you are a cheap bastard. Gemini's are notorious for thriving on incest.

    jesus wept...probably all true except the incest bit - oh and probably the intelligent bit too!

    BW - my son says thanks for those they're brilliant! and has insisted i email them to him so he can pass them around at work - he's an Aries - so that probably accounts for it.

  46. Turminder

    Good to hear the sinuses are on the mend.

    Freespeech - having just poured myself a wee tot of sailor jerry's rum to celebrate my epic negotiating skillez today, I don't know that I want to know whether it is class A or class B just now. :o)

  47. bitterweed- O. I. C.!!!

    Glad the sinusses are better: turminder.
    Nasty wind for colds- from the East (over populated regions,) cold and full of bugs.
    Ecinacea is doing well for me, but I'm "still a bit snotty" as in The Odd Boy, Bonzos,
    Hope the sprouts are sprouting!

  48. LOL sheff

    My lad is a Gemini too - just read it out to him and thanking my lucky stars he is an only child :o)

  49. Hey BB,
    Please enjoy your drink! Congrats on the negotiating skills- there must be a story behind that...
    I'm happier now, I'm not the only one to have signed! So I'll shut up. Well, for a while....

  50. BW - my Ma's a Sagittarius - if only she'd drunk a bit more and taken a few drugs - ie lightened up a bit- life for all of us might have been pleasanter!

  51. RIP, sadly to be missed. Bad news.

  52. Kate McGarrigle RIP ? Damn, that's sad. I used to really like that double album this one was from:


    That's messed up my evening a bit. Shit.

  53. That's sad but it's been coming for a while, she'll be missed.

  54. Was she mrs Louden Wainwright? I'm drinkin LIDL 8yo blended malt. s OK 4 the money.. N this bottle ws a pressie! I'd rather be smokin, but 10 days til the giro...

    Those stars are very like ones in "the shavers weekly" a free comedy zine that used to do the rounds in edinburgh...

  55. Damn. Lost last post.

    BW - the horoscopes are brilliant and I've nicked them and e-mailed them to friends, especially the gullible ones who read that sort of thing.

    Freespeech - tbh, you won't get much support for your proposal in this neck of the woods, but you might for one proposing declassification of weed.

  56. Ha ha, if you liked those, you'll love Shaver's Weekly, the mag that gave us "Is your dad a Rent Boy?"

  57. No. Not Rufus... please !! Damn. feels rude to criticise him now, the flat, mumbling, toneless wazuk. Sounds like he's got a one man battle against enunciation and growing up.



    Declassification of weed. Like it thauma ;-)

  58. Shavers Weekly - bonus, turminder !

  59. Must say I like Louden, not keen on Rufus (although the irony of 'Rufus is a Tit Man'... that's funny), or Martha, some one gave me a Martha W. disc, I gave the CD to my girlfriend, she loves it.. Result.

  60. Sheff
    He is. And worse. Don't make me go there, he's a wrongun and should be stopped.

  61. turminderxuss
    Hah, I saw Loudon at Glastonbury one year, he was great fun.

  62. Anyone else see this on social mobility today? Wankers, again.

    I suspect that there's a bit more to the story than is being reported, though ... any info?

  63. OK BW won't argue about that. Am listening to Bonnie Prince Billy - this is a pretty choon Cursed sleep and suits my mood, sleep being a bit elusive at the mo.

  64. the dilution process Thauma - don't have any info though

  65. Flying visit from me ..

    Milburn headed a commission called the Panel for Fair Access to the Professions.

    "The Panel will look at the processes and structures that govern recruitment into key professions. It will identify actions that the professions, supported by government where relevant, could undertake to improve access into professions".

    Trouble is they forgot about resistance to change from within those professions, where the elite have no intention of letting in people who just aren't their sort.

  66. Sheff, tbh, as a child-free person, the part that pissed me off the most was this:

    Suggestions that all employees, not just parents, be given the right to flexible working were also rejected.

    I do very much recognise the benefit of educating the population in general, though, and Labour ain't been doing it.

  67. They don't really want us properly "educated" - we might start having ideas and asking awkward questions en masse. Much better for them if we're just semi literate drones addicted to consumption and prepared to graft until we die.

  68. MsChin - I can't speak for hyper-elite professions, but as someone who works in IT and engineering, I'm not sure that's quite right. Generally, one's qualifications and, more importantly, knowledge of the subject matter are most highly regarded. More than a few of the brightest and best I've worked with have been from working-class backgrounds, even if they've achieved Oxbridge degrees.

    The problem is that the educational system is not set up to encourage the brightest, regardless of class, to compete any more. The ones I'm speaking of probably went to grammar schools - they are of my generation or older.

    The young 'uns coming into work these days all seem to be impeccably middle-class.

    Anecdotal evidence, obviously.

  69. This is scary:

    The poll revealed widespread support for a ban on drinks promotions in supermarkets and off licences in problem areas.

    So cheap booze is only ok if you sup it behind the closed doors of middle class sleepy suburbia? It's like when they closed all the local pubs & off licenses when they planned the Orgreave standoff. Draconian. Affected everybody but the miners, who couldn't afford a pint by then.

  70. Sheff - a colleague of mine who was an archeology professor said that the reason it was not taught in schools is because you would have a really angry, educated group of young people leaving the establishments. Instead they teach history - the narrative of kings, queens and the victors.

    MsChin - it is such absolute hypocricy it makes me scream. It is policing the poor as usual. As long as all those middle class types are able to buy their discount crates of wine online and sup a bottle at night at home who cares if the lower orders cant get a drink for under a tenner right? I didn't know about the shutting of the pubs etc at Orgreave.

  71. MsChin - haven't clicked on your link as I'm on my way upstairs, but definitely agree with your sentiments. The booze is not the root cause....

  72. thauma

    Very much applies in some areas of the medical profession (anecdotal evidence - my own GP comes from a sink estate in Manchester & went to state school but she's unlikely to get a job in Harley Street; my former dentist's brother is a hospital consultant & their dad was a doctor, all were privately educated). Academia is another one.

    Anyway, must get off to bed as up early tomorrow.
    Night all.

  73. Hey sheff, you've probably tried this but I do find lavender v.soporific.. Oil, in a burner, fresh cut, sachet on the pillow..?

    Any way fancied a bit of guitar, Ralph Towner...

    Heard a guy on the radio this AM saying that "white lightning cider" would be heavily taxed, but artisan cider makers would be exempt..

    Jakey: Is that Thachers Katy you got there mate? sWestons special Vintage for me mukka!

    Wino: Nah pal, it gies me the boak, I've switched tae, this Trappist Dubbelbier lark, it's radio rentals man!

  74. princessc

    Oh yes, they closed them alright. Didn't they do the same round your neck of South Yorks? It was only for the standoff, though, not a regular thing or there'd have been riots from the non-mining community as well.

    Mind you, we've had the Riot Act read round here a couple of times in the past. On one occasion, the villagers stood up to the troops, some of whom were set upon by the women. Never upset a Yorkshire woman, that's wot I say (although the village was then in Derbyshire, but that's hereby deemed irrelevant!).

    Definitely goodnight from me now!

  75. MsChin - I dont think they were shut in Grimey - allthough there wasn't that many, I think most people went to the working mens club which as far as I know stayed open. And my gran was a methodist who took the whole not drinking thing fairly seriously, so we never went. She did drink at home though -but only home made wine - she didn't seem to think that counted.

    I was in my early teens when the miners strike happened. But I remember the running battles in the village between the police and the miners.

    I haven't been back there for years because my grandparents died a while ago and the last time I went back it broke my heart. It was a shell of the place I remembered. It was criminal what happened to that community.

    I think the EU named Grimey as the poorest village in the country at one point.

    It still makes me so mad. I love it in the Mappin Museum - when you go to the part of the display that has the miners strike memorabillia - they have some of that Thatcher bog roll that you could get.

  76. I am off to check out ciff for one last time then bed for me too. Nite all.

  77. "I've (VIRGO) never ever fallen asleep while screwing, bitterweed."

    That read completely different at a glance, what a difference a comma makes eh? I thought i had missed out on some major news with that one.



  78. That's as may be Ray, but I still ain't letting you drive!

    Sweet dreams y'all..

    (January 21 - February 19)
    You have an inventive mind and are inclined toward progressiveness. You lie a great deal. On the other hand, you are inclined to be careless and impractical causing you to make the same mistakes repeatedly. Everyone thinks you are a fucking jerk.


    Bugger. On very recent evidence, that turns out truer than I thought at first sight...

  80. turminderxuss
    Lovely link that Ralph Towner. Reminded me of Michael Hedges a bit. This is nice.


    Easy tiger!