02 March 2010


Louis V became King of the Franks in 986.  The first Comintern met in Moscow in 1919.  King Norodom Sihanouk abdicated the throne of Cambodia in favour of his father, Norodom Suramarit in 1955.

Born today:  Bedrich Smetana (1824-1884), Kurt Weill (1900-1950), Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) (1904-1991), Mikhail Gorbachev (1931), Lou Reed (1942), Harry Redknapp (1947), Karen Carpenter (1950-1983) and Daniel Craig (1968).

It is Independence Day in Morocco.


  1. Morning all

    In a rush, so just to mention:


    Just a bit of fun, but why let the little wrigglers get away with it?

    See you later.

  2. Morning friends. Great dawn here in Yorkshire today. Walking across frozen fields in the early morning sun was a delight.

    Promising signs of spring at last - the hares were boxing away with vigour this morning. The doe was not yet aready, and the two young bucks vying for her favours were given a right clattering.

    turminder - Glad to read that your employment desires went as you you wanted.

    Hoping that the asthma is under control Montana.

    Anybody know what's with Stoaty - he seems to have closed his painting blog down, and started reading/commenting in the Telegraph?

    Come back Stoaty all is forgiven....

  3. MsRobinson - good to read of the departure of the removal firm and to see that you had the energy to make a post on your own blog.

  4. Hey Deano, Good to see your dongle is recharged, cheers to you and heyhabib for the good wishes.

    A beautiful if frosty morning in the Borders also. Must go out into it!

  5. Hello deano! Lovely little snapshot of life in the Yorkshire fields there.

    Used to think hares boxing was a myth, then saw wonderful footage on a nature doc.

  6. Morning all!

    Beautiful frosty morning here in Cardiff too!

    Good to hear from you Deano!

  7. Hi Anne - sorry to hear about the continuing difficulty with the move! I sure hope you get there in the end.

    Interesting what you were saying the other day about the sad developments in Adult Education under NuLabour. I wonder if it would have been different if Kinnock had got in ?

    As you probably know Kinnock started out life as a WEA tutor.......! But then Blunkett started out as a TUC approved Trade Union Studies lecturer.....

    PhilB sounds as though the writing was going well the other day. That's good - you don't have the old excuse ............."...if only I had an electric typewriter..." to fall back on.

    My continuing battle with idleness/procrastination is going well, but still some distance to go......

  8. Listening to You and Yours, just want to observe that Kelvin McKenzie is an arse.

    Thank you.

  9. ? comment just totally disappeared?

  10. ah, there it is.

    don't get weird on me, UT...

  11. Right - off to le dentist. bleah.

  12. Kelvin McKenzie sucks the sweat off Satan's cock.

    He is the enemy of all that is good and decent on this planet and should hence be put on the next available rocket pod (preferably infested with ebola virus and pneumonic plague) and blasted towards Venus.

    And you can quote me on that.

  13. This is what got me about CiF.

    When I first started posting up on the Guardian, I would just read the article which had caught my interest on the main page and oblige if it said 'please leave a comment' at the bottom. I'd never been on a site like that before so I was taking it at face value. I'd leave my opinion on the article and be on my way. I never read any of the other comments. I don't even think I used to read my own back to myself after I had clicked the submit button? It was just between me and the newspaper. They asked; I obliged. I had no mind to get involved with anyone on there. I was just minding my own business like I do out here. Then, one day I had a a bit more time than I usually did, so I went back to see what other people were saying about the article. Low and behold, in typical CiF fashion, two or three posts below mine, there was someone getting all personal at me; slagging me right off like they'd known me for years, for no reason other than my leaving my opinion on the article. There was absolutely no need for it, not to get that personal. So, I had a few words, as politely as I could, mind, and they kind of saw they'd been out of order. 'Fair enough', I thought. But it happened again, only the next time it was all innuendo; this ignoramus didn't even have the manners to say what they wanted to say to me to my face. "Can 'those people' who say this and that about such and such please just leave." It was blatant. But I was obviously too much of a low-life for this person to even address me personally. I probably would have called it a day if they had politely directed the plea at me with an @B. And then, a few days later, another personal slagging off came my way for no good reason. And then another. This was getting too familiar.

    One night, there was a few of us having a booze round at my partner's place and she told them what had been happening on the GU site. I said I couldn't be bothered with it, but it was niggling at me. I don't like taking abuse and just rolling over. Then a mate rightly pointed out that people like ourselves get the same sort of treatment out here in the real world on a daily basis, but we can't say anything to defend ourselves because the police will be called immediately and you'll get carted off down the station. You walk in a cafe; you're minding your own business, but you look what you look like because you're dressed how you're dressed and you can't help talking how you talk. It's enough; the eyes start rolling, the tuts are loud and clear, and the little whispers of disapproval, that you can always hear, start. Here was an invitation to claim a bit of pay back. By now the Diamond White was kicking in big style and I made my mind up to stick mine in.

    I dropped a few comments that I knew there would be no going back from and set out to cause as big a nuisance as I could from there on in. So what if I had lived the life I had lived, hadn't read thousands of books, didn't go to university, didn't have a job, or couldn't write inch perfect English, I was just leaving an opinion on whatever article the newspaper had published. You don't eavesdrop on a mobile conversation in, for example, a pub, and start slagging the person off on a personal level if you learn that they have different opinions to yourself, have been in prison, or have used drugs.

  14. From that moment on, everyone who posted on that site was the enemy, as well as the newspaper. I would treat everything with the utmost suspicion. If someone tried to be nice to me in any way, I would assume they had ulterior motives, entertain them to a point, and then go out of my way to piss them off; preferably round the back door with innuendo (because that's obviously how these people do). As soon as I learned of this place, I assumed it was set up to draw me away from CiF like that Political News Bollocks they tried. All of the talk about being banned and hating CiF I read before I posted when I came here yesterday: I don't believe a word of it and will always suspect a move to goad me into getting banned myself, that's why I've hitherto been so careful on CiF. The ATL bit: more feeble, 'get rid' reverse psychology, or a ploy to mug me off, as far as I am concerned. Call me paranoid, delusional, childish... whatever; I don't give a fuck; never have. If it's too much to be polite and upfront about things, if it's too much to make the effort to get to know what someone is about before running off at the mouth at them, well, I can meet ignorance with ignorance. I like ignorant, I'm good at it.

    I honestly thought that, after a while of my trolling, people would soon get pissed off with it and scroll on by my posts, ignoring me. Then I would be able to go back to leaving my opinion on whatever article and minding my own business. I should have known better. There went my naivety. Every post I left was akin to casting a hook baited with a bunch of juicy, wriggling maggots into a shoal of ravenous Bream. Of course they would keep on biting; these are the same kind of folk who have used their degrees of knowledge to build nukes and all that kind of fuckeryness; they need to feel superior in order to justify their behaviours; they're only ever going to fight. I allowed it to escalate to a point, made it clear that I would always fuck off if asked to politely, and left it for a bit before coming back for more if there was no joy. I considered the fact that there was a good chance that there would be good laughs going on at my expense, it's a bog standard reaction, but even then I thought: 'well at least the miserable fucks are having a bit of fun for once in their lives'. I couldn't lose. I set it up that way. I call this here three nil. If I get banned on the basis of what I have said hitherto, it will be four nil.

    I've got plenty of time on my hands to go posting, so I'll be filling me boots. Waddya expect? It's still winter and the real fish aren't on the feed.

    I only ever come here when I know I'm gonna post something. You can't be too careful. I read the bare minimum when I do, mittens on, purely looking to get the angle I knew would come. It soon materialised. Yesterday, I dropped my comment here and went on my way; I'm not interested in what was said after that. Today, I navigated back to the top of yesterday's page, clicked on 2/3/10, and dropped the above. Now I'll be on my way again. Probably go and have a post up on CiF, I reckon. I've got nothing against the moderators over there; like the Babylon, they're just doing a job. Some of the holier than though crowd who post on that site are more of a hindrance to freedom of speech on its threads than anything else.


  15. @13th Duke: Please warn before you make comments like that Kelvin McKenzie one. My tea just missed the keyboard.

    Very very good. Gold Star.

  16. BTW did you see Jack Straw talking about Tory 'obfuscation' on Ch 4 news. Oh the irony of it all.

  17. @deano30 I am working up to my old blog form. But rather than put it off I thought I'd better jump back into things.

  18. UKBlaza - now that was inch perfect English

  19. @UKBlaza Unfortunately some people, including so called educated persons, go straight for personal attacks rather than considering that GU should be a place for discussion. I personally can't take someone who makes a personal attack seriously. I really can't. And nor should you.

  20. Afternoon all.

    Beautiful day here too. Haven't been out though, which is a shame.

    UK Blaza - yours is one of the voices I always want to hear. Good on ya!

  21. @PhilippaB I second your general views on Joanna Moorhead's article. How can she say school is a 'small' part of a child's life? It's as bad as Frances Gilbert's texting lessons. Grr.

  22. What a wonderful day - weather perfect , no Cif until I dropped hello to Pen on WADDYA.

    Agree with UKBlaza about nasty, personal comments. Some people enjoy the aggro of course.

    I often vow to stay away from Cif but then something - like the Abbot thread - so incenses me that I have to put fingers to keyboard. Will have to stop reading it I suppose.

    Hope you all enjoyed the sunshine.

  23. Aye, MsR - thing is, without being snarky, her kids are probably going to fine, and if their school is a bit iffy, they'll probably still be fine. If homelife isn't grand and 'extra-curricular' activities non-existent, school can be the only chance some kids get to have a chance. at anything.

    I know at least six people who credit individual teachers with 'saving' them (and in one case, he meant that literally). It's the unlucky kids that need the good schools, the 'luckies' will be fine. So of course, it's the luckies that get the good schools and the unluckies that are left with shit...

  24. Just looking by before I'm of to the pictures (A Prophet). Good post UKBlaza. One caveat, I think ad hominems are okay against the author of an article (i.e. the ATL writer) if they are rich'n'powerful/politicians etc

  25. Hi folks - another flying visit from moi.

    Big up to the UK Blaza - some interesting stuff there about what it's like to post on CiF. Feel much the same way. People on there have no idea about the reality of how other people live their lives.
    btw, good post on Waddya on washing coke t'other day.

  26. I see Bindel's running true to form today. Peter Sutcliffe can't just be clinically mad, he has to be misogynist.

    I assume Julie Bs seen her problem claiming crimes like his are gender-based hate crimes: aren't transgender people pretty much the only ones who can make this claim under current law? And we know JBs views on transgender ... they can't exist in her socially constructed world.

  27. UKBlaza - don't think there's any need for you to feel defensive on Cif. You write a helluva lot better than most on there. And with a more interesting perspective and a lot more heart.

    And fair enough, dropping a comment on Cif just because you're expressing an opinion on the stuff ATL, but it doesn't work like that here. There's no ATL stuff to write against, it's an open forum so it doesn't make sense to post a comment and then not read any of the responses to it.

    Anyway, Bindel eh? What a card.

  28. Hello everybody!
    Curious picture of the day Montana?
    Atomboy I was wondering if the Mods have to remove comments that are considered libel, I know UK has some archaic rules regarding this. Is a site liable for comments by anonymous posters?

  29. The Cif malaise is affecting me too: I look at the list of articles and can barely be arsed looking at them lately. I can't tell if it's me, or if they've all become dull as ditchwater except for the deliberatively inflammatory ones (cf one A. Brown), which I can't be arsed with either.

    Btw, where's Reilly? Keeping his head down after the weekend, eh?

  30. Like deano, I'm concerned about stoaty going over to the 'other side'. I had noticed the disappearance of his painting blog, too.

    Jay must be up to his ears in essays or some such, thauma. I know I am (not essays, work stuff).

  31. MsChin - humph, I think he's just sulking.

    The most startling thing about Bindel's piece (which I reluctantly say I mostly agreed with) was her inference that it was a Bad Thing to target prostitutes - when that is exactly what she herself has done!

  32. *Obviously I don't mean to insinuate that she's tried killing them, but she has definitely verbally attacked. (And, as MsChin points out, been very nasty to bis and trans people.)

    And somehow I'm slightly suspicious of her claim to have been stalked by a Sutcliffe-looking man....

  33. Nice, thauma. The music, I mean.

    On Bindel, if more people are starting to agree with her, she's either mellowing (which I doubt) or up to something.

    Wading through a minefield of stats right now .. need chocolate :)

  34. I lost a very good friend last week, and was at his funeral today. He would appreciate the excruciating irony of me posting a song on a blog for him, and particularly this song would have made him laugh at the absurdity of it all. So this is for Kim Parkel (1948-2010).

    perfect day

  35. Scherf - very sorry to hear that. Great song, and I think I'd be pleased and amused if it were my on-line epitaph.

  36. scherfig

    It's not easy, losing a friend. And it's a great song.

  37. Night Nurse, book and bed for me. Ciao bellas.

  38. Hi scherf - hope you gave him a proper send-off. Nice tribute.

  39. If it's the Larsson still, thaum, I finished the 2nd one yesterday. Hmmm.

  40. thanks, thaum, he was a big Lou Reed fan but not a fan of internet blogs. An old-fashioned hippy who played guitar and did the usual drugs back in the 60's. He was a socialist activist and newspaperman and graphic designer who, incidentally, worked on the Danish versions of Calvin and Hobbes and Doonesbury and Asterix. I think that those cartoons alone contributed more to the sum of human happiness than any thousands of bitter, misanthropist, fascist comments on Cif. And he did real, practical things as opposed to bitching on the internet. I don't want to be sentimental and maudlin, but I'd like to mark his passing here, and show my respect. And now I'll shut the fuck up. Thanks for listening, everyone (Kim would be amused.)

  41. Wouldn't mind a bit of light reading right now, hank, I'm reading some boring reports from One Place ;-(

  42. CIF

    Haven't been looking lately...the last post that really cracked me up was this little gem


    Do me a favour - crawl back under whatever stone it is you emerge from. Or just admit the truth, you are a nasty little Englander who can't stand anything that comes out of Brussels. It happens on CiF.

    Got news for you sunshine - you're not in my intellectual league - only I don't have to make myself feel big by insulting other people.#

    ...imagine that..some stupid fucker casting aspersions on the "glory that is Brussels"...centre of the known universe and home to more attractive, glamorous and well bred types than even Rochdale at the height of its imperial and cultural majesty.

    Where does that stupid cow get off?

  43. Sorry to hear bout your friend scherf - good tribute though as Hank has already said.

    Sutcliffe was picked up not far from where we lived and it turned out he drank in a pub just round the corner. My daughter realised afterwards that she'd seen him a couple of times. Not interested in what Bindel has to say about it really - that time is still quite a strong memory in these parts and i doubt that B has anything useful to add.

  44. "Got news for you sunshine - you're not in my intellectual league..." - that's got to hurt!

    Oh, it's not a bad read, mschin, but the ending seemed as if it was written with a Hollywood deal in mind.

  45. scherfig

    Sorry to hear about your friend. I think if someone made a tribute like yours for me, I'd be pretty happy and proud.


    Good post. In the end, it has to be whether you pass your own judgment and scrutiny, rather than worrying about others.

    Better than being like that fucker - whatever his name is - who starts every post with either "Hmmm" or "Snigger" and then thinks he is making a gnomic pronouncement like Alan Greenspan and simply quotes some discredited economic theory. Picture of himself with glasses and braces... Oh, who cares?


    Yes, CiF does need to watch the potential for libel and I did think that my comments regarding Ashcroft had been deleted because I said, hinted, implied or permitted to flow by osmosis the idea that he was buying marginal seats. (I have to say that I hardly ever re-read or check anything I have written before pressing send and I forget the post as soon as it has gone).

    However, I tried copying a quote from Jack Straw in an article published by CiF which said exactly that. It got deleted.

    Obviously, I prefaced it with some taunts at the moderators, so it could have been that, I suppose.

  46. Scherf

    Sorry about your mate. Losing a friend is harsh. You expect your grandparents, your parents, your aunties and uncles to be going before we do, but never your mates.

    Nice tribute to him, though. Heheh.

    Take care x

  47. "Obviously, I prefaced it with some taunts at the moderators, so it could have been that, I suppose."

    Unlikely, atomboy. The mods are known for their self-deprecating sense of humour.

    Plus, it's what libel lawyers would call "fair comment".

  48. Scherfig - so sorry to hear that.

    And agree that by working on Calvin and Hobbes Doonesbury and Asterix (especially Doonesbury, but that's just me) he will indeed have brightened the lives of loads of people who never met him, as well as those who did.

    Nice one, Kim.

  49. Hank

    Yeah, you are right, of course.

    Actually, I think my ideal evening would be a night at the opera or ballet with a sophisticated socialite from la belle Bruxelles (female or perhaps male or of such vastly proportioned demented fantasy as to be unsure), followed by a cosy meal in a little fashionable bistro with a selection of CiF moderators.

    It would be simply heavenly.

    Ah, but I am not in their intellectual league...

  50. And Hank / thauma - read the third Larsson a week or so ago and thought it was the best of the lot.

    "On Bindel, if more people are starting to agree with her, she's either mellowing (which I doubt) or up to something."
    Or, she's picked a topic where the world and his wife wouldn't disagree, but has still managed to get 90% of posters criticising her reasoning.

    Which is entirely reasonable, given the state of her reasoning.

  51. Well, you missed your chance yesterday, Birthday Boy. I'm sure she'd have granted your wish if you'd asked nicely (-;

    I enjoyed the first one, Philippa. The third one's not out in paperback afaik and I'm not shelling out hardback prices.

    And you're spot on about Bindel. Only she could choose such an easy target and still shoot herself in the foot.

  52. CIF's just like the FA cup...

    little Accrington Stanleys pulling off a giant killing act every time they take to the pitch against the veritable Man Utd which that particular "intellectuelle" so fragrantly embodies. Maybe it's complacency..or the hangover from her midweek battles with the AC Milans and Barcelonas she knocks about with...or maybe she just can't raise her game on a dodgy pitch against physically resiliant opposition...it's a fuckin mystery to me...except to say.."that's the magic of the FA cup".

  53. resiliant resilient...whatever...pedantry the last refuge of the scoundrel

  54. Hank

    On the millennium trilogy: the last is the best..even though not much happens and every other fucker who appears is a Jansen or Jonson or Johansen or Johansonson or whatever...trick is: stop looking back to see who everyone is and run with it.

    If it did one thing, it put me off living in Sweden.

  55. ...and he drops the Maths theme..he didn't really know what he was talking about anyway

  56. I didn't get that maths stuff, MF. What the fuck was that about?

    I couldn't shake the idea of Salander being played by Ruth Fowler in the inevitable film.

  57. Has anyone seen the film of the first one? Sort of passed me by, being Swedish...

    Must get Mr Streaming on the case...

  58. #I couldn't shake the idea of Salander being played by Ruth Fowler in the inevitable film.#

    that is weird..really..it is..I had the same thought..mind you I miss Ruthie..sure I said once.."you'll all miss her when she's gone"..least she was a fuckin laugh...makes you wonder how she managed that when you see all the other po-faced, super-earnest, self-righteous, Oxbridge ubercunts that seem to infest the media.

  59. present company excepted...natch..exempted even

  60. Right I'm out to look for MF junior..recently developed a taste for cider and being lairy...wonder who he gets that's from? Mrs Fish has a lot to answer for.

  61. I'm on premod over the Lord Ashcroft thing.

    Cif seems to have jumped the shark a bit and seems to be evenly divided between ATL trolling (Brown, Bindel, Campbell), painfully middle class identity politics and press releases from the two major parties.

  62. Yeh, somehow I thought you might have thought that thought. You're right though, she'd be a gust of fresh air on NuCif.

    On general release in the UK next week then, Philippa. Cheers for that.

    Great post by MleJongleur on the Freedman thread about Deripaska, corporatism and all. Nothing much to add other than Rothschild minor's non-dom status, allegedly, at the same time as he's pouring hundreds of thousands into the campaign coffers being looked after by good chum and classmate, Gideon Osborne.

    And, love or him or hate him, Giyus has some similarly interesting posts tonight about said Rothschild getting round the rules on offshore donations to political parties by claiming to be living at home with Mummy.

    And the family bank is also advising on the viability of privatising the UK motorway network. That's not gonna be used to bring in a two-tier approach to freedom of movement is it?!

  63. Ha ha, think that's called karma, MF.

    Ben2 - you can't use the phrase "Cif has jumped the shark". The last person to do so got banned - see the UT thread from last Saturday night.

    I assume that was the offending phrase anyway. The rest of the post seemed fairly innocuous.

  64. Thanks, Hank.

    The last thing I glanced at was that he can contribute to funds because he is on the electoral register, but he asked his mother to actually write the cheque.

    Giyus seems to keep turning up just after me in places. He even quoted me the other day.

    I was flattered but he could have just been taking the piss.

  65. film came out here last summer, apparently - totally passed me by. at least with uk/us general releases there should be more fodder for Mr S to find us something with subtitles. i sense a film night coming on.

    nice assessment of the bindel piece:
    "She's pushing at an open door. ... What next from Bindel, daylight should never be abolished?"

    'ight, Ben2 - noticed you'd been quiet. welcome to the naughty step...

  66. Thing is, Atomboy, he's claiming on the one hand that he's on the electoral roll and therefore entitled to make a six-figure donation and on the other that he's not actually here in the sense of really being here for, like, you know, trivial things like where you're liable for taxes.

    Giyus isn't above a bit of piss-taking, but he's an interesting one all the same. Some of his theories may be far-fetched, but the general idea that permeates his posts is that influence is bought. Follow the money is still the most important guide to understanding politics.

    Right, off now, folks.

  67. OK, how about Cif has murdered a number of sharks, but has sought treatment and is now cured, and would like to be a productive member of society?

    Cif is a bit depressing. It is a space where debate and a platform for real progressive ideas is possible, but it seems they'd much rather just troll people for page hits, and provide outlets for batty government advisors (ie Bindel and Campbell).

  68. were they male sharks or female sharks, ben2?

    that is, contrary to any rational approach you may take to life, relevant...