11 February 2010


Sorry -- rush job here.  Way too late to be up on a school night.

University College London was founded in 1826.  The BBC aired the first-ever science fiction television programme in 1938, with an adaptation of Karel Capek's R.U.R.  And Nelson Mandela was freed in 1990.

Even if I weren't in a hurry, the only three celebrities having a birthday today that don't annoy the hell out of me are Paul Bocuse, Mary Quant and Damien Lewis.  You can find out yourself what year they were born, if you care.  I think they're all still alive.

It's National Youth Day in Cameroon.


  1. Go slowly young miss Montana - rushing around is not to be recommended.

    Hail - Mandela. I went to see him in Leeds on his world tour after his release. A memorable occasion.

    I am always ashamed of myself that I never got around to writing to him. I knew of Mandela shortly after his imprisonment because of an appeal in the UK trade union movement for support for Kitson and his family and comrades by what was than DATA - the Draughtsmen's Union.

    I contributed to the fund and had intended to become a sort of pen-pal to one on the list of imprisoned as requested. Given my love of the sea Nelson's name naturally caught my eye and I had intended that I would become a correspondent to him.......

    Fine intentions - love of the chase of life and good ale got in the way and I never got around to it...

  2. I don't like to sound entirely crass - there was the love of a fine woman in there along with the chase of life.

    deano - it's still a lame excuse, stop digging.

  3. check out the last piece on 'from our own correspondent', about the bbc studio in paris - touching and funny, particularly the stories of the building 'taking its revenge' when rumours of its closure first started to circulate...

  4. Hello

    Trying - yet again and again - to see if you'll let me in.


  5. Nice to be back. Good to see some new names here. Cif is down the pan. I have been barred by Cifwatch - I think for expressing frank but polite views of Leiberman - I thought my comment was reasonable and normal for your average human bean - they thought otherwise.

    Loving Deano's stories of dog and ambitious extension plans. You forgot the wind farm though Deano.


  6. Tax the bankers anyone?

    Video & Info on the Robin Hood Tax

    Haven't watched it myself yet so I take a chance in posting the link here but then Robin Hood was a good old Yorkshire bandit so I'm willing to
    take the chance... (that Nottingham claim was a myth we maintain the lad was from just South of Pontefract...)

    Good to see you here again Leni - plans not finalised yet so who knows ....back to the drawing board....

  7. Deano

    Have signed the Robin Hood petition. Be back later in my newly fashioned lincoln green outfit. Something fetching I think with tights and a skimpy top.

    You're wrong by the way - Robin was Welsh.

    What we need is a world full of Robins.


  8. You're all mad! Everyone knows Robin was a good Ulsterman.

  9. Most people were colourblind back then. ;-)

    The French thread is rather amusing!

  10. CIF is down the pan. The only thing that will cheer me up is if Bidisha turns up and gives me her sombre and humourless take on life. Then I will invite her for drinks and we can watch the boxed set of Sex and the City and laugh about it all and she'll say she doesn't mean it ha ha.

  11. Ms R

    Hello - we haven't met before. I don't even read Bidisha. We need sunshine, warmth and a huge change in the political scene - cheer us all up.

    I.ve got used to living with anger and throwing things at politicians on TV. grinding newspapers beneath my feet and generally impotently stomping around. I think it's become a habit. Need to enter rehab !


  12. Nae Rehab! Throw TVs at politicians! much better... ; )

  13. Hello Turminder

    Are you the lovely man in the plaid?

    I am sitting here trying to find the next big idea - very fed up with the old ones.


  14. Aye Leni, That bullet heid is mine...

  15. @Leni you should see what happens when I sit down with my Lebanese mum in Australia and watch the news. We throw a lot (metaphorically) at the TV. It's part of my visiting ritual, as much as sunbathing.

  16. Well that was a lovely sunny day here in Yorkshire rounded off with a lovely sunset and a late walk with the dogs.

    So nice in fact that despite my firm intentions I forgave Mungo for trashing my spectacles overnight in some sort of staged protest.

    There are a few occasions in life when being blind in one eye has an advantage. Having your dog trash the lens out of one side of your specs is ok if it's the blind side that is lost.

    He really is a sod. The protest is of course still about my failure to give in to his passion for a copy of Nelson's walking out dress jacket.

    He really is smug when he's being ironic, when I woke this morning he was thrasing about on three legs with one eye shut.

    Well must get the veg into the chicken stock which has been simmering away for most of the day.

    I think the protest also had something to do with my failure to follow up on Mungo's own blog - I must have been fucking mad to have encouraged the bastard in the first place...

  17. Hi All

    Leni,agree that Cif has degenerated into a mess. You were always one of the more reasonable and thoughtful posters too.Good to see you here.

  18. For new readers to UT this is what all the fuss is about:

    Deano's Folly

  19. deano--A fine looking garment, didn't Napolean have one like that as well? With Mungo's affinity for things French, he may settle for it.

    Right, my turn to walk the dog. Raining hard, but she doesn't care.

    Leni--Do you have a dog?

  20. Deano - It was indeed a fine sunny day here in the South part of Yorks too. Just took one of my fine beasties for a turn around the block but he is a bit deranged so going out with him is rather a fearful occurence. The other one - the princess - is as soft as they come but Jacob is mad as a hatter.

    He hates the phone and I am getting quite concerned as one of the handsets has disappeared.

    Mungo sounds like a fairly considerate rebel being that he left the needed side alone. What does this Nelsons walking out jacket look like? Perhaps a good seamstress I know of round these here parts could knock Mungo up a decent aproximation?

    MsRobinson - ha ha. Bidisha would probably explode - or implode or something if she watched Sex and The City.

  21. Duke, I saw your post on WDYWTTA about Zounds. He posted here way back - he's still on the followers list at the top of this page.

  22. Ah Deano of course - how could I forget! No Mrs. Reed couldnt make that I am afraid!

  23. Princess - my dog hates the phone too - or rather, she hates me talking on it. Or perhaps she's just picking up on the fact that *I* hate the bloody thing.

  24. Boudican

    I have a dog - his name is Dogge.

    He was brought to me as a sad much abused puppy. He is very gentle , slightly mad but with no delusions of grandeur. In fact I suspect he has verylow 'self esteem' - all living things are his pack. Has cheerfully accepted cast off crazy parrot and an unwanted and very skinny at the time python.

    His one fault is his vaulting ability - fine when up the mountain - but inside he tends to leap at armchairs, overshoot and telescope against the wall. Some kind of aberration. Fortunately he has an overlarge rubbery bit for a nose which seems to serve as a shock absorber.


  25. Deano

    Could you not persuade Mungo to make do with the eye patch? He could buccaneer one day and admiral the next.


  26. Oh my dearest PCC you have mentioned the dreaded word - seamstress.

    Mungo was also sulking about that yesterday. I blame our new friend MsB.

    Yesterday we were discussing ideas for my planned new gentleman's brewhouse/library/film theatre/observatory and we talked about the problems of staffing/cleaning.

    I was taken with MsB's idea that I might employ a Svetlana. Mungo quickly latched onto the idea that ladies from old iron curtain countries were supposed to be good with the needle too....At first I was much attracted to the idea.

    There is something mildy erotic about having ones own lady pianist/reader/seamstress but when I thought more about I could see the danger at once.

    I could see where the bastard was coming from straight away. I tried to head him off. "Mungo", I said, "gentleman's brewhouses don't have sewing rooms"

    He wasn't convinced.

    I knew that after the Nelson debacle the next thing would be the Winter Olympic blazer. I thought I might get in early - I explained that you only a get a blazer with the Olympic logo if you are a class athlete type. Waste of time. He would not be budged nor swayed by the inconvenience of the truth.

    I blame the Vet - he foolishly said when he gave him his annual MOT and listened to Mungo's heart that he was one fit dog with a fantastic slow heart beat - "an athlete so to speak".

    I knew when he said it that I would live to regret it. What the fuck do they teach them at Vet school?

    Mungo now his heart set on his own seamstress...

  27. Thauma - it sounds like she is jealous. Does she resent the Untrusted too? Lol. Leni your dog sounds lovely. In fact I am fast coming to the conclusion that dogs are infinitely nicer than people most of the time.

  28. Ooh Eddie Grundy's got a job! Get the coider oot!

  29. Hello everyone.

    What's happened to Waddya? It's disappeared ..

    And WTF did clunie say to get deleted on the Z Williams thread?

  30. Leni - I have a story about Mungo and the last of the poppies which involves a take on your suggestion.

    I'll have to save it for later as I had intended that it would find its way onto his blog one day. And I promised that I would one day post it when both BB and Andy were around.

  31. Evening all,

    princesschipchops- if brownoutnow isn't Purnell, I'm English.

    MsChin, they've moved WADYYA above the poll question. The ascent of WADYYA must mean they are taking us more seriously.....

  32. You duke - bloody good comments on those welfare threads!

    Yeah Purnell is moonlighting away from his serious work being an evil master of the world at Demos to write guff on Cif.

    Fucking little shitdribble! Ah I feel better now. Off to make the tea.

  33. And I know that nothing should astonish me anymore but that link Atomboy put on WADYYA regarding the housing ministers comments on reposessions is fucking jaw dropping.

    princess-I genuinely think you're beginning to piledrive the usual suspects into submission on those threads! There's some really good posters surfacing as well on the welfare threads in the last couple of weeks.

  34. Yea I second that PCC - I spent the last half hour or so last night catching up on your posts on the welfare threads. As ever you did a fantastic job.

    Maid me feel guilty idling my time away rabbiting on here.

  35. Maid - I have seamstresses on the mind! Try made.

  36. Oh fuck - he'll be wanting a gentleman's maid next.

  37. Princess - yes, she claws at me for attention. Sometimes when I'm on here she does a bit of it, but a good cuddle sorts her out.

    *oh sorry, just took an ear-scratching break*

    MsChin - I noticed the deletion too, but I've no idea what she said.

    Yer Grace - yes, that little Tele quotation was a gem, wasn't it? And the rest too.

  38. thauma,

    With the increasingly outrageous quotes coming from these drones, I can't help thinking it's the New Labour equivalent of the last days of the French Third Republic when the politicians shacked up in a Bordeaux Chateaux gorging, drinking and shagging as the Germans closed in. They're just thinking fuck it.

    Message to BB- hope to see you back here soon when you're feeling up to it. You're missed.

  39. Surreptitious at-work look-in. Sorry about the dire quality of today's thread starter. Long story.

    Cinnamon, who has now been formally dubbed Princess Cinnamon BonBon, is very much jealous of any time I spend online. She jumps up on the desk, climbs over onto my shoulder and then climbs down to perch herself on my chest, with her face in mine. Attempts to remove her are futile, as she merely climbs back up. The only respite I get is when she decides that the sprog should be paying attention to her rather than playing Rock Band or when he's gone to bed. She sleeps under the covers with him.

    MsR: If you want to put photos of Beirut (or anything else) on the Gallery, e-mail me via my Blogger profile and I'll send you the log-in details for the Gallery.

  40. I've just read the gob-smacking piece in G2 about the Sikh who wants to join the BNP. Anyone else read it? Opinions?

    He even admits that he's not at all religious, but he wears the turban for photo ops only.

  41. @Your Grace

    While I hesitate to speak up for one of the variety of dribbles in the current cabinet, I actually heard the quote on repossessions that all the fuss has been about today, and it wasn't as bad as it's being painted. It was in the context of people in severe debt who find themselves using extortionate credit card and loan shark debt to avoid repossession. As a result they get ever deeper into the mire, and are only postponing the inevitable repossession until the shit has piled even higher. It wasn't as 'let them eat cake' as it might appear.

    Still, not good.

  42. @thauma

    That Sikh is a weirdo. He really, really hates Muslims - some of the stuff posted on his Facebook page is beyond belief. And he appears to believe that as the BNP share this particular obsession, he and they have something in common.

    Oh dear oh dear.

  43. Peter! Glad to see you here, especially after the premium quality posts you were putting out seemingly effortlessly a couple of days ago. Well done.

    Yes, he definitely seems to be operating on the principle of 'my enemy's enemy is my friend'. And is being used in the most cynical way.

  44. Duke


    BB will be back when she's ready. Something is diverting her from her usual clash with the fash & I imagine one needs occasional respite from the head-bashing-on-brick-wall which that requires.


    I haven't read it but even so, I'll venture that the BNP have lured more than one such fool into allegiance with them.

  45. Evening all - tired as f00k so just a drive-by.

    Peter - I heard the housing minister on PM too and I thought it was taken totally out of context. He said that for some people repossession may be the best solution for them - meaning rather than struggling and suffering and getting deeper into debt, the would be better to just get out while they could.

    Apparently at the end of the show they said the majority of the emails they had received were from people who had actually been through it themselves and they supported what the guy was saying.

    Now it is not like me to go out of my way to defend a minister, but I think it was laid on a bit thick by the Tories to create a scandal where there was none.

  46. LOL mschin - synchronicity. :o)

    Just exhausted and stressed and loads of stuff going on privately and needing to spend more time vegging out. x

  47. princess--Dogs nicer than people? Probably.

    " Heaven goes by favour. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in."---Mark Twain

    Leni--Dogge sounds like an interesting companion.

    Duke, English? Don't be daft.(-; Good suggestion to get Zounds Atl though.

  48. @BB

    Perhaps he was more nuanced on PM - I heard the original on R5 this morning, when he wasn't as clear as he should have been, and Victoria Derbyshire got hold of the wrong end of the stick and started waving it around. It was a hostage to fortune though, and no surprise the Tories jumped on it.

  49. Erm .. I think I might have confused PeterJ with PeterG ... but you are both brilliant!

    BB - hi! Keep coming back.

    Re the housing minister: it's only a good thing for people if they can get their houses repossessed with no negative credit repercussions, which means that they'll never be able to get any credit again. I strongly suspect this isn't the case, and that they will struggle next time they try to do something like get a mobile phone plan.

  50. Boudican - ha! love the Mark Twain. Too true.

  51. Off to bed now - have a good evening, all!

  52. @thauma

    Don't worry - I don't mind being compared with PeterG...

    I know very well how the struggle against repossession goes, having been through it a couple of years ago before the new support mechanisms were in place. There is no help at all for mortgage holders who have no income but Jobseeker's, unless you can convince your lender and.... actually, I'm not sure who it was who eventually paid half the mortgage in benefit, but getting it was something like going into the basement past the 'beware of the leopard' sign. In the end, I had to sell the house before the newly-rebadged Santander put me on the street. Within six months.

    If some lunatic had loaned me the cash to stave the sale off for a while, I would have hit the full credit crunch and been truly buggered. So being forced into losing my house was a good thing, in that sense. And to cut the story short, that is why I don't think the housing minister deserves the amount of shit he's getting.

  53. StudRockman gets premodded..remarkably for attacking hysterical, bandwagon-jumping, idiot liberals..not even a specific hysterical, bandwagon-jumping, idiot liberal..certainly not a hysterical, bandwagon-jumping, idiot liberal who writes for the Guardian...just hysterical, bandwagon-jumping, idiot liberals in general. A new low.

    But..what they don't know is: StudRockman doesn't do premod..StudRockman is wise to that little ruse...so..if you're reading this..fuck off you precious, self-absorbed little shitehawks...as Fu Manchu was wont to say: I'll be back...mwahaha

  54. PeterJ

    Sounds horrendous. Santander are definitely the bank that likes to piss off its customers every which way it can. I believe they also pissed off a lot of their staff when they closed most of the former Abbey branches. Sheffield now has 2 Santander branches, one in the city centre & one at Meadowhell.


    Tsk tsk, pre-mod again!

  55. MF

    His computer died a few weeks ago so he was off-line for a while.

  56. MF

    Don't forget to call in on Saturday!

    I'm off to bed now, so goodnight.

  57. StudRockman is one of my favourites. Particularly loved the response to the guy stating that both main parties were poison but that one would be less painful than the other. 'Yes but they've taken the labels off the bottles' Utterly brilliant.

    13thDuke - I think that there seems to be a lot of posters on the welfare threads who have been personally shafted by the system. So even someone to the right of Geobbels like Furious Camelfoot doesn't wade in and start calling everyone workshy scum. No that takes a special sort of poster like brownout. Who is actually James Purnell and therefore currently planning a Stalinist regime of full government employment for every single citizen.

    PeterJ - Sorry to hear about your house. I think in the US you can just walk away from your debt and the house leaving the debt with the banks.
    My dad had his house repossessed and he changed a few letters in his name and moved a lot to avoid the bank after him for twenty something grand they said he owed because they had sold the house at a massive loss during the nineties downturn. About six months after he had died a lawyer from the company dealing with this debt somehow got hold of my details and called. When I told him my dad was dead he huffed down the phone. And when I asked him what would happen now he said: 'Unfortunately if he is dead we have lost any chance of getting our money back as the law cannot make you pay. Thankyou. Goodbye.' I was left holding the phone wanting to ram it up his.....

  58. @PrincessCC

    At least I avoided the repossession discount scam and sold at full whack to a strange Greek gent called Odysseus (really). I wasn't in negative equity, either, so didn't have that to worry about.

    Strange thing, life.

  59. MsChin

    What's happening on Saturday?

    On the subject of knee-jerk idiot liberalism..

    I watched something on the telly last night about the cultural significance of the vampire. At one point a very earnest, very hip, young media studies guru explained that Bella Lugosi was cast as Dracula because they wanted a sinister, aloof, East European to play the part because the film played into contemporary popular xenophobia inspired by large scale emigration to the US by East Europeans...it hadn't occured to him that the part called for an undead, aristocratic, Transylvanian...which is an equally compelling explanation for the choice of Lugosi.

    However...the former explanation does dovetail very nicely with Liberal revisionist history whereby all the evils of the world can be laid at the prejudices of dumb, racist 'redneck' white folks. Bollocks!..I exclaimed. Whereupon Mrs Fish..who takes time off now and again from berating me to teach A level media explained that of course it was bollocks but it was brilliant because she was recording it and this was just the kinda thing that the exam boards want to hear...which I found a little disturbing.

    Bollocks to the facts..as long as we can rewrite history like one long turgid Guardian editorial..we can all get an A*. Fuck that...what ever happened to facts?..or are we to assume that they really are just 'local narratives' readily replaceable by any bullshit which happens to fit the zeitgeist? Seems so...and StudRockman has been sacrificed on that particular altar.

  60. Monkeyfish - It's the one year birthday bash for UT

  61. ".......Campaigners for a "Robin Hood tax" watched with alarm as thousands of votes poured into their website, rejecting their proposal for a levy on City wheeler-dealing, to raise money to fight poverty and climate change.

    After a bit more investigation, though, the unlikely backlash against the rob-the-rich plan – almost 5,000 no votes against the Robin Hood tax within 20 minutes – turned out to emanate from just two computer servers, one of which was registered to the investment bank Goldman Sachs......"

  62. MF watch a bit of yon vampire docco on i player. The hostess wiggles and rocks her head and shoulders with every chat to camera, it really got on my wick! Well, busy day cleaning tmra, so nytol!

  63. PeterJ and BeautifulBurnout

    I was aware, even though I only glanced at the Telegraph article, that under some, perhaps many, circumstances it might be better to allow repossession and to wash your hands of something which may have become more of a burden than a benefit and may no longer be the pot of gold it was cracked up to be.

    However, the situation is not quite as simple as returning a pair of trousers to M&S after you have worn them for the weekend do, which was their only real purpose.

    Anyway, my main reason was simple propaganda. To point out the nonsense that the recession has passed everyone by and we have enjoyed listening to the Doppler effect as it now speeds away to other regions.

    I think I am getting bored with MLJ and perhaps I am happy to let him be slipshod and stupid, so that I feel less guilty when he is dismissed without notice or references and I take up with some new number and start wondering what the fuck I am supposed to be doing this time.

    I suppose I am never going to be happy until we have MPs roasting on spits on Channel 4 News.

    Night night.

  64. Evening all, just looking by before slumber. Nice to hear from you, BB, glad the welfare thread co-fighters are winning that battle (I fear the war though will be long and bloody: got a horrible feeling ATOS will ask for a right of reply column).
    StudRockman. Who's StudRockman? I'm StudRockman.I'm StudRockman. etc. (a la Spartacus). They cut one down, a thousand more will replace him.

  65. Montana
    Hello again

    Glad you are continuing the good work here. Any chance of anothe trip ATL soon?

    You are still in work Isee - or is it a new job? Hope all is going well with you and your son - cat sounds lovely.


  66. Leni,

    Thanks. I'd love to do more ATL. If they ask, I will write. Still working at school, albeit with different students. I have two now, but they're developmentally delayed, not behavioural, so they're a lot more pleasant to work with than the previous kid.

    I'm so glad that you're able to get back on again -- you've been very much missed!