19 February 2010


The Third Anglo-Dutch War came to an end in 1674 with the signing of the Peace of Westminster.  Serfdom was abolished in Russia in 1861.  In one of the more shameful episodes of American history, Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, allowing the US military to relocate Americans of Japanese ancestry to internment camps.  The order was not formally rescinded until 1976.  The Soviet Union launched the Mir space station in 1986.

Born today:  Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957), Cedric Hardwicke (1893-1964), Yuri Olesha (1899-1960), Merle Oberon (1911-1979), Carson McCullers (1917-1967), Lee Marvin (1924-1987), Smokey Robinson (1940), Dave Wakeling (1956), Falco (1957-1998), Ray Winstone (1957), Helen Fielding (1958), Seal (1963).

Today is the feast day of St. Barbatus of Benevento.


  1. Hoping Habib gets to come home today.

  2. hear hear - hope habib's hepatic horror h'allows him home.



  3. ditto from me - hope all's well now Habib xx

  4. Jim Al-Khalili on Desert Island Discs - just getting onto quantum physics...

    some dreadful music though...

  5. Morning all

    Have just struggled out of bed like the unemployed burden on society that I am. Now let's see what joys and thrills Friday will bring. Film night at Chez TigerDunc tonight but what will it be? GodFather III (Just to highlight how awful it is) or something else. The Deerhunter perhaps or something European.

    Any Untrusted film buffs out there?

  6. Hope Habib can come out to play...

    Anyone else think that picture looks like one of Bitey's avatar statues..?

    Have you seen The Prrestige TD? Best movie I've seen in the last couple of years..

  7. Morning all. I am at home with non-specific over-tired over-stressed lurg at the moment, although I have some paperwork to do anyway. No rest for the wicked!

    Re the pic - yes, when I logged in this morning I thought there had been a Bitey coup in the UT. Gave me quite a turn. :p He is still posting, though, and seems to be behaving himself so far.

    The Prestige is a bloody brilliant film. Michael Caine is excellent in it. One of my fave films recently has been The Lives of Others, if you are up for German with subtitles, TigerDunc. It is about the Stasi in the early 80s and the way the artistic community was brought under the jackboot. Gripping story, far more compelling than it sounds.

  8. The "get thee back to the kitchen woman" brigade are out in force on the creche thread!

  9. Can't say that I have. I am kind of stuck in a warp with regards to films and haven't been to the cinema for a long, long time, which is an odd thing for someone claiming to be a film buff.
    I was working in central London and Leicester Square was the nearest for cinema, but I found myself paying £13 once too often for some mindless Hollywood sub-teenage crap and haven't been since and I live in the only area of London which doesn't have a cinema, which was bad planning.

    Still, thanks to the wonders of Dvds and film clubs and the internet, this allows me to spend time living in the past and mulling over older films without the distraction of pretending to know what is on at the multiplex.

    I did see Invictus mind you, but I had to, it deals with two things on which I actually know a thing or two - SA and rugby. Morgan Freeman was born to play Nelson Mandela.

    I'll keep an eye open for The Prestige though, all recommendations welcome.

  10. Can't find that thread, Dot. Got a linky to it by any chance, please?

  11. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/feb/19/france-motherhood-childcare-equality

    (sorry can never get actual links to work!)

  12. Anyone else think that picture looks like one of Bitey's avatar statues..?

    Yes, it was the first thing I thought of when I saw it! Bitey possessed by aliens.

    Yeah, the crèche thread is something else....

  13. tigerdunc,

    classic 'braindead' comedy - Zoolander
    recent Oscar tip - The Hurt Locker
    excellent gritty prison drama with a twist - The Escapist
    and giant prawns from outer space make a political statement (sort of) - District 9

    btw, I watched Casablanca again the other day, and my 15 year old son loved it. Says something about how good that film is if someone raised on CGI and Lord Of The Rings can appreciate it.

    Captain Renault: What in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?
    Rick: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.
    Captain Renault: The waters? What waters? We're in the desert.
    Rick: I was misinformed.

  14. Tigerdunc
    "GodFather III (Just to highlight how awful it is)"
    heh heh - we did I and II a while back, I kept insisting that we should watch III to be consistent but apparently 'it's not available', according to the download king. i think he's lying.

    Let the Right One In is brilliant if you fancy summat foreign.

    Scherf - love Casablanca
    "There is gambling here! I am shocked!"
    "Your winnings, capitaine"
    "Thank you"

  15. Also watched District 9 a few weeks ago, very interesting...

  16. I can't abide Ben Stiller at any price, but hell, I seem to be right where the rest of the world is wrong, what can I say?

    Aah - but Casablanca. A low budget, B- movie of little regard, shot on a Hollywood back lot and released with little publicity or fanfare. Look at where it stands today though. Arguably the most quoted and mis-quoted film of all time and a solid gold classic.

    And the scene with La Marseillaise still brings a lump to the throat.

  17. Not having seen Zoolander, nor intended to do so, I still want to say that I consider it to be far from braindead, instead offering witty and sophisticated insights into society at large.

    I want to do this 1) because Hadley Freeman, whom I adore, references this movie in this way quite a few times, and 2) because I've read Pierre Bayard's book "How to talk about books you haven't read", and thought it apt to do this about movies you haven't watched, too.

    (Well, to be honest, I didn't really read all of Bayard's book, just skimmed it rather, but I guess that's in accordance with the message of the book ...)

  18. Can it be true? The BBC is announcing that shitdribble Purnell is standing down as an MP at the election.

    Of course, this probably means that he already has a job lined up with WidowsAndOrphans Facegrinding plc.

  19. PhilippaB

    Here's a cut 'n paste (Out of context a bit) from an piece which I wrote about the GF trilogy on this site.


    'If you are going to discuss the individual themes on their merits, then I always thought that the Godfather is the better film. Tighter and more coherent. The Godfather II is a masterpiece, but suffers as a result of being 'in the middle' so to speak. There is less of a sense of a complete tale as is there is in the first film.
    The other problem which the Godfather II unwittingly brings upon itself is that it does lead to the Godfather III. The themes which are developed on II are only resolved in III, and III is problematic to say the least.

    III is the search for answers about betrayal and loss and penitence and redemption. Weighty themes indeed which are explored by Michael at length. Sadly though, and where the film falls down as a morality tale, no one ever mentions the simple fact that he chose to be a criminal and a murderer and in surrounding himself with like minded people, placed himself and his family in danger.
    Surely the most simplistic moral tale of the Godfather trilogy is that you shouldn't hang out with murderers and double crossers and criminals. Sadly, this rather obvious point is never pointed out to the Corleone clan'.

    And in nothing more than a shameless and barefaced plug, the site in question has just been set up by a friend, please visit and contribute if you feel inclined. The idea is to get some good writing about classic films generated.

  20. Whatever you think of Stiller (and he's done some crap), Zoolander is still a very funny film. As for societal insights:

    Mugatu (fashion designer): Let me show you Derelicte. It is a fashion, a way of life inspired by the very homeless, the vagrants, the crack whores that make this wonderful city so unique.

    Didn't some designer actually do something like that years after the film came out?

  21. Purnell standing down at the next election because "he doesn't want to spend his whole life on front-line politics"


    What will he do next, wonder...

  22. good stuff, tiger. Strangely enough, I liked Godfather III. Must have been the only one. (Although Sofia Coppola's acting was like watching a trainwreck.) Odd that she turned out to be a decent director.

  23. I'm obviously going to have to give Zoolander a second chance. I did watch it once and wished I could have that particular 90ish minutes back, but with such stellar recommendations coming in, I can see that I should swallow the bitter pill that is my own pety prejudice and ill informed opinion and try it again.

    But if decide I am still right you are all still wrong, you will never hear the end of it.

  24. turminder

    Just read and commnented on your Cif Article. Brilliant stuff and very much in keeping with my own experience. Any chance of a follow up on what this means in a broader sense - why are the poor more willing to share than the rich, to put it in the simplest of terms.

  25. @Turminder

    Nice work up top; on yer heid, son.

  26. ay, nice one Turminder - keep pitching, want to see how things go!

  27. Ah, I've been oot. Didn't know it was up! To the barricades!

    Anchorman - bloody funny

    Zoolander is like Stillers One Hour Photo, it's good despite him being an arse...

  28. Good example, turminder. I hate Will Ferrel with a passion, but Anchorman was a laugh. Still, let's not get too intellectual about movies - somebody might mention Battleship Potemkin, and then where would we all be?

    (Good Cif piece btw. Remind me again, which Oxford college did you go to?)

  29. What? Turminder ATL? Must look....

  30. I'll see your Battleship Potemkin and raise you a Citizen Kane.

  31. But Turminder, you're a male UTer??!?!


  32. Anchorman is superb, second only to Big Lebowski in my comedy rankings.

    Classic cretin on the sex ed thread, if a teacher taught his son it was ok to blow another man, he'd "break that teachers neck".

  33. But is it all a Potemkin debate?

    I don't watch many recent films as my dvd player/s keep messing up. But I enjoyed The Prestige, and thought Zoolander funny. I enjoyed Idiocracy too.

    I've got Bayard's book but have not read it on principle.

    I enjoyed Turminder's article too and it is nice to see some different perspectives.

    (Am listening to Flaming Lips At war with the mystics Free radical, just for Monkeyfish :))

  34. No Dot, I'm a bald indian lady with a beard... : )

    Potempkin and other quite early films are great cos some stuff is aaaamaaazzzin! other bit's don't quite work, but they made the mistakes so later film makers don't.. oh, hang on...

    Citizen Kane is ace! Tarkovsky anyone?

  35. "I'm a bald indian lady with a beard..."

    You have to forgive old Dot, he spends most of his time wading through rivers ;)

  36. Excellent book on Orson - 'Rosebud: The Story of Orson Welles' by David Thomson.

  37. Now, Welles is good enough, and Potemkin ain't that bad either, but I really seem to have missed the intellectual debate about "Casino Royale" from 1967 (featuring Orson Welles, by the way).

    Let's go from highbrow and lowbrow to raised-because-of-the-weirdness-brow.

  38. My apologies Ms Xuss!

    Don't judge me for spending a large proportion of my time in chest high rubber Jay (although actually it's off season at the mo)

    and hi pen, long time no see!

  39. Turminder

    Have seen Solaris and (is it?) Stalker / The zone but long ago. (Did he do Andrei Rubylev ????)

    Have you read any Lem or the brothers Strugalski?

    (Do agree a bit with Kiz and Storybud re your ATL)

    Hi Dot, I have been posting a little over the past few days, do wonder why I bother :), hope you are well.

    (Mostly you all just use money as a measure for class and its dimensional not categorical duh cf "Idiocracy" but hey we live in Potemkin land)

    Ah, gather ye your rosebuds when you may.

    "I can't remember when I got rid of my bed's motto bearing headboard, took it down. stored it with the lumber, go-carts and toboggans in the cellar. It may have been when I re-decorated or when I exchanged my single bed for a double. Either way (or some other) its echo is still there, in me, waiting to emerge as a death bed whisper, an enigmatic last gasp."

  40. pen, yeah Andrei Rublev, a cracking 4 hours.. The place was what it was, I was never gonna change it, I let it change me a little, but then that's life.

    Read 'Roadside Picnic' long before I saw Stalker, not so up on Lem. U read Stapletons Last & First Men? I'd like to see a movie of that..

  41. Great article, Turminder!

    "Solaris" is one of my fave sci-fi films, Pen (and one of my fave soundtracks too).

    Blissfully chilled...

  42. Which one BB, the original or the ropey Clooney remake?

  43. Lem The Cyberiad and Tales of Pirx the Pilot are very entertaining. Fiasco is funny too.

    Yeah I read the Stapleton (long ago again)

  44. Oh and Turminder, sure, I didn't read as as polemic or whatever, just some reportage / reminiscence from your own life. As I said I enjoyed it. All any of us have is discrete individual actual experience.

  45. Today's "Purnell - not that bad" article is up. Form an orderly queue...

  46. @PhilippaB

    Titled 'Farewell to the philosopher politician'.


  47. PeterJ - I've got a bit shouty. May need to go out for wine to do a proper job on this one.

  48. Turminder

    Well it must be the ropey Clooney remake because I didn't realise it was a remake. Shows how much I know about filums.

  49. Great stuff turminder!


    My favourite Russian film of recent times is The Return (Vozvrashchenie), directed by Andrei Zvyagintsev. Wonderful story about two brothers and their father on a trip and its exquisitely shot.

    Delighted to see Purnell is on his way out of politics.

  50. Not so fast, Sheff, apparently he's going to save us all (aa-aah), from some allegedly credible left-wing bunker constructed under Demos.

  51. Finally an article I have been waiting for quite some time is online. It all is very Germany-specific, so just turn out if you're not interested.


    Act 1: 17 year old female author publishes a book, "Axolotl Roadkill", full of sex, violence, drugs and post-pomo pseud's-corner tirades, seemingly autobiographical (not that I read the book, but I read Bayard). (She also is the daughter of a Berlin theatre bigwig, so she had good contacts to the publishing world.) The book gets hyped by the feuilleton, and is also a bestselling success.

    Act 2: A blogger finds out that many of the crass passages were lifted from an unsuccessful book by an obscure author who wants to stay pseudonymous and who used his own experiences. The feuilleton, which praised the book before for its realness and authenticity - guess what? - now praises the book as a great collage of other texts, and that there are so many hints to the author's borrowing from other people's texts in the book that, really, who wasn't aware of it just wasn't paying attention (notice the irony that they never hinted at the book being a collage of other people's texts, thoughts and experiences when they originally praised it ...)

    Of course, there some few people writing who now criticize the book, and the way the feuilleton behaved after it was revealed that the author borrowed from other people, and some say that the book wasn't that good at all, really, but many writing in the newspapers about books couldn't resist a 17 year old girl writing really disturbingly dirty.

    Act 3: A female literature critic ignores that all but a handful of critics still hail the author, goes into full-on straw-feminist mode and flames with cries of "misogyny!" and "patriarchy!!" against the "old men of the culture business" who would like to burn the "young girl" on a virtual stake.

    I just *knew* sooner or later someone would use the m-word against those who think it is not okay to lift text passages from another work without saying so. Now I'm eating popcorn and am enjoying the show :-)

  52. Phillipa

    I'll just have to get off my bomb throwing arm and lob a grenade down the ventilator....

    did you see what davidabsalom found about the little shit on his wiki page:

    In December 2008, Purnell proposed charging interest on crisis loans to the unemployed and pensioners made by the Department for Work and Pensions, which are currently interest-free, at a rate of up to 26.8 per cent per annum.

    I'm speechless, utterly speechless...

  53. elementary

    Isn't that a post moderny thing - ie there are no new texts just re-workings of ones that already exist. Have to say it doesn't sound inviting.

  54. I've just seen the article, i thought "the philosopher politician" was a piss-take of Philippas, its actually real. CIF never fails to shock.

  55. Jay - I'm good, pet, but I'm not that good...

  56. am saving this here just in case

    19 Feb 2010, 3:29PM
    Blockquote - "Purnell's thinking about why those of us on the left should re-embrace an ideology ? one with the empowerment of the most disadvantaged at its heart ? could potentially provide a routemap beyond New Labour."

    Oh cock off.

  57. Sheffpixie: While you are quite right, this also means the "death of the author", as it is called, that no single person could be made "responsible" for a work of art in a meaningful way. Therefore, an "author" who really believes in this stuff should not put his name on the cover and/or get money for the book.

    However, "Axolotl Roadkill" is nominated for a book prize worth 45 000 Euros, and there's an economic point where the "sampling and remixing culture" becomes a bullshit excuse for plagiarism.

    But these are minor entertaining arguments; what really gets me (in a good way) is that the literature critic, who normally projects such an intelligent vibe, writes an article which gets at least a score of 9 out of 10 on the Bidisha scale.

  58. Xuss (And I may call you that now)

    You've stirred up a storm there, the class warriors are out on all sides and brother is pitted against brother. Good work.

    I love the smell of napalm in the..umm...afternoon.

  59. elementary

    Ah...there's money in it. Will the frothing fem be getting a cut if it wins?

  60. I doubt it, she's coming a bit late to the post-plagiarism-reveal hyping party. She's either convinced of her arguments, or she wrote the article realizing the debate could not be ended before an article blaming the non-hypers for being "misogynist old men clinging to their patriarchal privileges they see threatened by an intelligent and ambitious young woman" has been published.

    A notion I happen to share, btw :-)

  61. Can't get a handle on the Galbraith article - is he suggesting state-run industry or a return to the workhouse?

    Now have mental image of hamsters, though, can't get past it.

  62. elementary

    "misogynist old men clinging to their patriarchal privileges they see threatened by an intelligent and ambitious young woman"

    I don't know much (or anything really) about the German literary scene. Is it really that bad?

  63. I'm not sure whether Stu2630's comments on the creche thread make me want to cry or hit him with something large and duck shaped!

  64. Sheffpixie: Can't tell, don't read anything written after Goethe died ;-)

    Answer 2: It's not that bad: There's still a minority (I guess around 75 per cent) of people in the culture business who excuse a 17 year old girl's plagiarism by citing Brecht, Goethe and Shakespeare who did the same; that the remaining majority (circa 25 per cent) don't do the same, however, shows that misogyny is still alive and kicking there.

    Answer 3: It probably is nothing compared to how bad it is in Great Britain. Don't believe me? Ask Bidisha about sexism in the literature scene.

  65. elementary

    I mostly come across Bidisha on the beeb, Radio 4, oh, and News Night Review. She's usually pretty good. She was great talking about Middlemarch a few months ago.

  66. Well, Sheff, living in Germany, I only come across Bidisha when she writes for the guardian. Sometimes she has a point, but when she puts on the gender lenses, howdy, does she ever put on those gender lenses!

    Not her most frothing article, I guess, but this here is the kind of stuff I find typical of Bidisha.

    Even better (in some sufficiently warped sense of "better") is this one, arguing that women are imprisoned when married to a man. (The myth that Cath Elliott puts a "Great article!" comment under each and every radfem article got quite a bit of fuel after this article ...)

  67. Saving another gem, once the 'tweet' issue came out (she said, of the reaction to her article, "I hate the viciousness of the comments. It's the equivalent of being spat at on speaker's corner")

    Hagbard writes:
    I reported myself for swearing at Jessica, wish I hadn't now.

    Want to know the equivalent of being spat at Jess?

    Being told the serious mental illness that has almost cost you your life doesn't exist is like being spat at.

    Being told you're fit for work when you're terminally ill is like being spat at.

    Being treated as a liar and a fraud for having the temerity to fall on hard times is like being spat at.

    Being forced to work for below minimum wage is like being spat at.

    You haven't got a fucking clue.

  68. Great piece Turminder,really. back in my heavy drinking days (which weren't terribly merry,leading to acute hospital admissions,rehab twice etc, I did actually find good company and grat cheer (plucs lock-ins galore) at the local where I was living, a local that apparently many locals kept clear of, as it was seen as dodgy in a gentrifying area.It was also a rarity in being a rugby pub (well all sports, but the landlord was especially keen on rugby). I fondly recall watching the 97 Lions tour games there, early in the morning, drinking beer out of coffee mugs (in case anyone looked in the window at that unlicensed hour...). Mind you I also knew I was in trouble with my drinking when the barman started pouring a pint and a chaser for me whenever he saw me getting off the bus at the nearby stop, and when I started getting phone calls for me direct at the pub...

    Oh, and Purnell. Fuck off and good riddance. That Asato article is a fucking disgrace, and folk like here are a massive part of what's wrong with the UK.At the grand old age of 25 she is Acting Director of Progress, an independent organisation for Labour Party members. Prior to working at Progress, Jessica was a researcher at the Social Market Foundation think tank for three years. She has been an Executive Member of the Fabian Society since 2004. Jessica has also been a former Vice-Chair of Young Labour and is active in her local Labour party in Islington North. She was educated at Trinity Hall College, Cambridge where she gained a BA in Law and is a Fellow of the RSA.

    As AllyF puts it: Another horny handed daughter of toil fuelling the engine room of New Labour.

    Wee diddums feels hard done to by some comments. Fuck that. Hard done by is getting shafted by cuntychops Purnell's welfare reform, living on fresh air and being bullied, all the while being talked down to by chinless Oxbridge twats.

  69. Alisdair - great comment on the Asato thread (I give it about three minutes)

    (although 'cuntychops' definitely needs to be rolled out again as the election looms)

  70. It's got past 3 minutes, but probably won't endure. I did save readers' blushes by using asterisks...

  71. Just reading the word "cuntychops" makes me laugh uncontrollably. Fab! :o)

  72. Great piece ATL Turminder. Haven't read all the comments but I hope this doesn't amount to Cif's concession to the slice of working class life we've been calling for though.

    Have to check with pen but it's really about the lumpenproletariat, innit? Kinda fits the Guardian's take on the working classes as duckers and divers, twinkly eyed Del Boys always one step ahead of plod.

    Nobody will be surprised to hear that I don't agree with kizbot. If guys with next to nothing are shoplifting to make ends meet, and are selling knock-off stuff in pubs for well below market price, as I'm pretty sure they would have been, it's stretching a point to call that "capitalistic" surely? It's subsistence living by whatever means.

  73. Yay! It's Friday! Hi everyone.

  74. hank

    Haven't read Turminder's piece yet, but agree that what you describe is subsistence living.

  75. Habib's home from hospital. Still feeling a bit rough, but he'll be fine soon.

  76. Hank, it should come as no surprise to you that I agree completely. Haven't commented on the thread yet because I wouldn't have been able to say anything that would have stayed up.

    The piece was great, though, Turminder. Maybe I can calm myself down enough to comment over there.

  77. Faaahkin' ell

    Been unavoidably on the piss all day...just..finally found the Jessica Asato thing (they seem to have hidden it behind the bookcase for some reason)..what the fuck are the Guardian up to? It's not that I have anything against the commissioning of precious little know-nothing, never-had-a-job, "mmm..maybe politics would be a giggle", bourgeois, Oxbridge, gobshites per se...but precious little know-nothing, never-had-a-job, "mmm..maybe politics would be a giggle", bourgeois, Oxbridge, gobshites who write shite like that get right on my tits.

    and the prize for sheer prissy affrontedness

    And let's have a few more from Mehdi Hasan

  78. Well, if you need to calm down, Montana, maybe you should read Kelley's piece on the Austin nutjob. Or maybe not. Good piece though.

    Thanks, mschin. Thought as much. Read Turminder's article though, and skim the comments!

    Welcome home habib - still feeling a bit rough...

    Few beers and you'll be right (-;

  79. Love the snark, Hank, it's no different that saying cos I got no cunt I can't talk about women.

    But I got no class, have I :)

    Local laws for locals in their local eh,

  80. ..but...here's the real question...will that safe seat she finally gets make up for the pony daddy said he was going to get her?..before he fucked off with the au pair leaving Jenny and mummy all alone with just the house in Surbiton and the Tuscan villa..."I'm the product of a broken home..I know how hard it is for single mums...that's why I went into politics; to make a difference"

    OK, I made that bit up...but I bet the real reason she gives for attaching herself to "the labour movement" sounds even more fuckin pathetic...maybe..I remember the strife and misery wreaked by Thatcherite economics..(she was 5 when Mrs T left office)...remember that..these people have grown up with NuLabour and must have looked around and thought..."yeah..that's what I want to do"..there's a whole generation out there who think that stuff's normal..and right!

  81. The Americans may share a language with us but boy are they weird (sorry Montana)...Have just watched Tiger Woods doing his mea culpa on prime time tv before the entire nation.

    I think a proper Brit would gouge their own eyes out before going through a public performance like that.

    Glad to hear Habib's back in his nest - hope all is ok now. come back soon H - we miss you.

  82. Nabokov...gets his comeuppance from the Belgian tea-lady..fuckin hell

    Apparently Lolita 'glamorises' paedophilia...I can only assume she was reading the abridged, pop-up version. Possibly the greatest prose stylist of the 20th century is hard going..too right... pass the Da Vinci code, I've had a hard day at the office...the meeting of the leading European experts on sewage treatment went on for ages...they had two trays of tea and I had to nip out for extra custard creams.

  83. ...mind you now i think about it, given our celebrity culture, the popularity of Big Brother and all that, I'm probably totally wrong.

  84. Glad you liked it, pen. Glad you managed to write your post in a language that I was able to easily comprehend too. Thanks for that.

    Feel free to respond with more cod-philosophy denying the existence of class politics in the interests of propping up your own little school of academic irrelevance, interspersed with the odd "duh" just so that we all understand that you're so much brighter than the rest of us.

    Jargon is a useful way for special interest groups to justify their existence.

    Relativise that. Or don't. Your choice. I'm really not fucking interested.

  85. monkeyfish, FYI, Asato put herself up for selection in Erith and Thamesmead about a year ago, but she withdrew a month later. Probably 'cos she didn't reckon that she could beat the 22 year-old parachutee, Georgia Gould. She should have hung on in there - a bit more judicious ballot box tampering and some extra 'postal votes' in her favour, and she could be already be a candidate in a 'safe' Labour seat.

  86. Habib - welcome home! Hope you are feeling better.

    Turminder will go and check out the article right now (not been on Cif all day).

    Just have to say that I thought shitdribble Purnell was the finest insult - I have to say that this has now been surpassed by Cuntychops Purnell. Fucking excellent!

    Oh and this is quite funny. Its a link to the Socialist Way blog - someone has rewritten cuntychops leaving statement - brilliant. http://thesocialistway.blogspot.com/

  87. Cheers for the props guys & gals. Hope they get Story Bud, rednorth and freespeech up soon, and thatt Habib gets to a keyboard asap, miss u matey!!

    Couple of pints for me, play nice children. = )

  88. Regarding the Austin story, I'm dealing with a guy at the moment who claims to be resident in the Channel Islands and pilots his own small plane to fly into the UK once a week for custody of his daughter.

    I'm taking a psychological profiler along to our interview...

  89. Hank

    I read earlier in the week about some bloke now residing in Guernsey for tax reasons who, although he had a wife and children in England, refused to set foot in the country and made them visit him on the island.

    Althgough stinking rich, he is prepared to leave his family in order to save himself a few quid - unfuckingbelievable! Can you imagine having a dad like that?

  90. I saw that story too, sheff, didn't believe it tbh. They'll say all kinds of shit to avoid paying a bit of tax.

    On the plus side....


  91. John Harris is on the Purnell bandwagon now. I think the guy must have substance after all, either that or he impressed Alan Rushbridger with his truffle-oil risotto and told him there might be a researcher's post going for Bella..let's face it, I think he's probably getting a bit embarrassed by her now...turning in late and hungover and spouting predictable shite the whole time when he's having to lay off proper staff.

    "No Alan, I think you're right...she does have a lot to offer...I'm starting a grass-roots revival and Bella's got that common touch and an instinctive feel for working-class issues"

    Next day..

    memo to all Guardian staff...

    "As you know we're starting the next round of consultations on possible rationalisation measures and, much as I regret it, I'm afraid we can't rule out possible redundancies at this stage...oh, and did I mention?..this chap Purnell seems to have the right stuff...maybe some of you might like to look into it?..you know...sound him out...he really stuck me as quite a deep thinker."

  92. Turminder,

    you asked about recommends on the I Banks thread on Cif/G. I'm not posting on it at the moment (but not sure if I will bother posting here much more either).

    Reynold's is ok, preferred his earlier stuff myself.

    Neal Asher is like hyped up Banks The 'polity' instead of the culture.

    JC Wright Golden age trilogy is good also NullA continuum (I like all his stuff but hey I have no taste)

    Charles Stross Singularity sky and Iron sunrise.

  93. Did anyone else get an email from the Observer letting them know it will be New and Exciting?

    Habib, please hurry up. I need a really good playlist for my workouts and I think you are the man.

  94. Hey, pen, don't fuck off on my account. What were you hoping for? A mass uprising of the plebs who cast off their blinkered ignorance, and their class-ridden contempt for smug elitist intellectuals and embraced you to their grateful heaving breasts?

    Fuck that. You're the smug twat in the common room who sneers at the Jam fans because you've heard the Cosmic Elevators on Peel.

  95. @Sheffpixie Re Tiger I think it's insane that he has to stand up and apologise when really it's Mrs Tiger who matters, not anyone else.

  96. Hank - been a good week for you guys, eh? nice one.

    can you get small plane guy for excise duty on the fuel imported? just a thought...

  97. MsR - heard some of it inadvertently before managing to hit the mute button - sounds like part of it could have been aimed at the idiot Xtian fundy who was having a crack at buddhism as a result of mr woods putting issues...

    agree it was ridiculous.

  98. sheff

    Just seen this:
    "Hundreds of female workers at Sheffield City Council could be looking at huge payouts following a landmark equal pay decision by the Court of Appeal. Most equal pay cases usually involve a pay disparity involving two or more individuals doing similar work. However this case involved women who worked as carers, care workers and school meals staff, contesting that a bonus that been made available exclusively to men in male dominated roles such as street cleaners and gardeners, amounted to sex discrimination".

    Good news for those hard working women. Not so good for all those councils which will now be facing loads of claims. Equally, the councils could have sorted this out a bit sooner given that the equal pay legislation is 35 years old.

  99. Don't worry Hank I'm not the one who puts their talent to such poor use.

    You keep imaging I am something I am not, you are a relativist with class as your meta narrative who projects their ignorance onto the world. I just find it tedious and boorish.

    You act as tho' you choose who is working class or whatever and pretty soon will be standing all alone in ideological purity.

    You know nothing of my personal circumstances but act as tho you are an all seeing omniscient eye, you're not.

    But to tell my personal story would be to play your silly identity politics games.

    I went to a comp and then a poly and then a world class uni so what?

    I lost my job taking my employers to an industrail tribunal which I paid for myself. I did this for others, students and staff. I did it knowing I would lose, and lose my house and job and career too.

    I have had my kids told they are not british and ended up an exile and now have lost even my family. I have close to nothing, I bet you eat better than I do. My friends such as I have are amongst the underclass, those who have fallen lower than your circumstances suggest.

    I am more like the blank in your stalinist vision, a ghost.


  100. Evenin' all!

    Edwin, you okay, mate?

    Turminder, bruv, so happy you're ATL, will read it shortly.

  101. To The Untrusted family and we are a family, ain't we?

    I haven't got the words to say how much your concern and kind thoughts meant to me over the last few days. I really haven't.

    All I can say is a simple thank you. It's an amazing feeling to know that people care. So handshakes, hugs, kisses and love to all of you, pick whichever one you want, but they're all meant for you. Thank You.

    Of course you have to have a song and it's an obvious one, but it never meant more to me.

    Thank you.

  102. habib!!!!!!

    Oh, good to see you back, pet.

    (I pick 'hugs')

  103. Glad to hear you are well HH, my daughter had a kidney infection just the other week so it was easy to feel concern for both of you.

    Good song.

    I'm off now (don't want to spoil the warm fuzzy feelings).

  104. Yo habibi! Kidney-based solidarity from here...

  105. Hang on pen

    Isn't "I'm the one who isn't a relativist" tantamount to a tacit admission that you're a relativist? Shouldn't it be "I'm right and you're all wrong."?

  106. Good Day All--A balmy 19 degrees here, pleasantly unseasonal.

    turminderxuss--Good work ATL. Nice to see a piece from a working person with real life experience, instead of the usual crap we are force fed from most CiF 'authors.'

    Philippa, Ms Robinson--With you on the Tiger Woods thing. As I told Mrs Boudican, his brilliance on the golf course impresses me, but I don't take moral guidance from the man. His wife should be the one to forgive him, or not. This presser today was probably designed to protect whats left of his corporate image.

  107. Welcome home Habib! Very pleased you are back. Haven't lost that touch with the tunes I see. Good one.

  108. monkeyfish - i think the appropriate term for pen might be 'reductivist', and that got descartes a long way. ok, bad example. but the idea that we have no identity at all beyond the individual is way too far for me. no need to take the piss with it, I know, but solidarity and community is, or should, still be important...

    boudican - aye, it's a weird ol' situation if a golfer is some sort of moral standardbearer, makes you wonder where all the old fashioned moral leaders are, you know, politicians, church leaders, erm... as you were.

  109. Great to see you back,habib. Now you've returned, get some music on, will ya ;)

  110. pen, don't go, u've only just got here (to my relativist experience)

    Habib, so glad u'r back, tell your innards to behave in future!

  111. Good to see you back, habib.

    We are family, as Sister Sledge said.

    A family, as Orwell said, with the wrong members in control. But a family nevertheless....


  112. Good to see you back Habib. \o/

    Don't disappear Pen. We all have a bit of a tussle on here from time to time.

  113. "but solidarity and community is, or should, still be important..."

    Cheers for that Phillipa.

  114. no song I know called 'feeling better', so there's this...

  115. Hehehehe - just watching an episode of CSI Vegas here and there is this bizarre religious cult entirely based on acquiescence.

    "It is better to be agreeable to be right" -

    Brass: "That's not a religion, that's marriage". :o)

  116. Bugger - "It is better to be agreeable than to be right".

  117. bit of a tangent, this (what, me? tangential? never...) but my dad's a big fan of Jack London, so when I saw a couple in the Imaginarium, I picked them up for him.

    i thought london was a kind of bear grylls of the late 18th / early 19th century, but turns out he was quite a socialist firebrand - one of them is called "the Iron Heel"

    It's his dystopian novel, written 1908, about the 'revolutionary' period 1912-30, by means of a 'found document' being examined 700 years in the future.

    For example, one of the 'notes on the text' written in more enlightened, later times, reads:
    We must accept the capitalistic stage in social evolution as about on a par with the earlier monkey stage. The human had to pass through those stages in its rise from the mire and slime of low organic life. It was inevitable that much of the mire and slime should cling and be not easily shaken off.

    Anyone read it?

    It's on Gutenberg if you want to have a look at it...

  118. Habib--Ever heard of this guy?


  119. Tiger Woods item 1 on the midnight news

    that's ahead of our latest casualty news from Afghanistan.

    despair, I.

  120. Look, sports fans, what you've got to understand about us here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave™ is that we are all a bunch of puritans. We wouldn't want to buy golf clubs or razor blades that were endorsed by a fornicator, now.

  121. I found it particular moving that Woods' mea culpa included a heartfelt tribute to Accenture.

    Touching, that was.

  122. Oooh, Boudican. Loving that song.

    Would you all hate me if I confessed that I never used to like the blues?

  123. Well, Peter. The man does have his priorities straight.

  124. Question: Is the Russian dude's saying he thinks he was robbed of the gold medal in men's figure skating making news anywhere else in the world, or are the American media just having a Cold War flashback?

  125. Phillipa B

    London was a fine socialist..well..he could have been if he got over his white supremacist kink. He wrote a lot of boxing reports and when there was a black guy involved it really wasn't pretty.

  126. I've missed this. Great music, Pip, Boudican and Peter J (words very thought about), but Montana, come on, now...

  127. Montana--I have Nike Tiger Woods golf clubs. Don't use them to fornicate with. Well, not yet anyway.(-:

    And Montana, I certainly wouldn't hate you for the blues thingy. Better late than never,no?

  128. Montana - watched the routines by accident earlier (waiting for NCIS) - Russian chap wobbled more, that's my expert opinion. The French press mainly concerned that 3 (three) (trois) French ski-jumpers have made the final. On est tres fier.

    Monkeyfish - ouch. interesting. will ask dad if he's stumbled over any unfortunateness in any of the other ones...

  129. But, Boudican, do you have the Tiger head covers?

  130. Well, I thought the Russian dude wobbled more, too. And I thought his choreography was lousy. And I normally root for anyone but the Americans. Really wanted the cute little Canadian to pull it out.

  131. One for thauma

    and bitterweed




  132. Love that, Hank, one of my favourites. Here's another for those who stand to lose too much that they care about.

  133. Nice one, habib. Not Etta James, but nice anyway. And good to see you back home.

    Nite dude x

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  135. Aye, MsChin - anyone with editor rights out there?

  136. Can't access my old email a/c wherein (I think) the ed rights details lie, so can't put up a new thread.

  137. Philippa

    We could try yelling THAUMA very loud ...

  138. Morning

    Seems everyone is still comatose.

    Great to see Habib back last night.

    Thauma! Scherf!....where are you?

  139. I'd love to be comatose but a mate's househunting today and told me to be ready for midday, so I got up, and got dressed, and everything.

    viewing cancelled.

    but as have already had uber-coffee, can't go back to bed. my brain is awake (sort of) while my body is definitely snoozing...

  140. Oh Phillipa....what a pain. Am steeling myself to go out and get a few supplies in but probably won't make it further than the corner shop. It has been so cold here for so long, that all I want to do is curl up and not wake until Easter. Its been a long winter.

  141. True sheff, it's been a long, hard winter and we've yet to pay the fuel bills for it. Hibernation is very appealing.

    Still, it's brighter this morning and I'm revving up slowly to the idea of venturing out.

  142. New thread from scherfig went up while we were chatting here.

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