07 March 2010


Constantine I declared that Solis Invicti (sun day) would be a day of rest throughout the Roman Empire in 321.  Roald Amundsen announced in 1912 that his expedition had reached the South Pole on 14/12/11.  State and local police attacked 600 people who were attempting to march peacefully from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.

Born today:  Rob Roy (1671-1734), Piet Mondrian (1872-1944), Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), Townes Van Zandt (1944-1997), Viv Richards (1952), Rik Mayall (1958), Ivan Lendl (1960), Jesper Parnevik (1965) and Ronan O'Gara (1977).

It is Teachers' Day in Albania.


  1. If you don't want to rake over the main thrust of yesterday's column, please skip this.

    I think Bitterweed, Hank, Leni and Montana were actually presenting a message at the end which makes me wonder about the wisdom of posting on CiF at all, but it also touches on what I have been wondering about for some time.

    I do not think that blogging or commenting or writing articles or creating websites is actually the answer or the correct method for what people want to achieve.

    The problem with CiF is the problem of all MSM. They publish what a political party's director of communications tells them or something from a PR or newswire or something which the editors, like a meeting of mothers at the school gate deciding on whose place they are going to meet at for coffee before they roar off in their BMW and Volvo SUVs, choose as something to promote their mindset or provoke the idiot masses.

    The problem is that the news and opinion we are allowed to debate is chosen for us and can only happen on their terms.

    As Bitterweed said: We have become the media.

    The only way to change that is to somehow take more control of what becomes news. The only way to do that is some kind of collective action whereby the questions which Monkeyfish asks, for example, are put simultaneously by masses of people and the answers - or refusal to answer - are equally broadcast by masses of people.

    Of course, the latter part of that probably means blogging, but somehow in a concerted way.

    At the moment, we are simply reactive to their agenda and then disappointed when we are deleted or that particular theme is killed off after three days or fewer.

    A small way to subvert CiF in a way that they cannot control is to use Twitter, however horrible the thought may be. They have their tame back-rubbers there and it might be fun to massage their idiocy instead of their fuckwit egos.

    The main point is that playing the game on their terms is never going to lead to a win. Quite how things are arranged to subvert those terms, I am not sure.

    People like AllyF are too concerned with their little Guardian stickers to be of any use to anyone and, yes, there are those who ache for the day when they, too, will ascend to CiF heaven and receive the ultimate accolade of a blue "C" and consequently will never dare to put a foot wrong.

    However, at the same time as agreeing with and appreciating Hank's anger, it seems to me that we need to look at how change can actually be brought about, rather than how we can use the same methods which seem to be failing to work within a system which isn't working.

    When Hazel Blears and others made little squeaky noises about hobbling the internet, I said that the internet was actually the best protection bad government had.

    We are all free to make whatever noise we choose and run away with the delusion that this means we are being listened to and heard.

    As I often say to my young son: Less noise, more do.

  2. Really interesting exchange at the end of yesterday's thread between leni, Bitterweed, Montana and Hank.

    It's got me thinking that we should all be looking at submitting something on UT2 on a subject close to our hearts and to allow anyone else from CiF or elsewhere to post articles here.

    It should become something regular on UT2. I've got a couple of things I've wanted to post but never got round to but I'm going to sit down and rustle something up. Inbetween packing.

    Anyone else in? Atomboy, your posts regarding CiF and media in general are spot on, you should maybe look at doing something on that?

    For me, how would:

    ''Ha ha losers, staying in this shithole, I'm getting the fuck out!!''

    go down? ;)

  3. Have you not had all that youthful enthusiasm beaten oot of ya yet AB? ; )

    Leaving the sinking ship looks an increasingly attractive option yer 13th.

    Anyone hear the tory whip on the radio just now? You couldn't make up his air of righteous privilege, his attitude of, 'this is how we did it at school, and bi'god, that's how we'll run the country!'

  4. Ooh, thanks, Montana, and a happy birthday to the lad!

    Like others, I'm getting increasingly bored with Cif - it's the same four articles over and over again, with the same responses BTL.

    The sad part is that it's still probably one of the best sites for political comment on the web.

    But yes, we have lots of talent here, so let's use UT2. We can do better, and we don't have corporate paymasters to bow down to.

  5. Morning all! (checks clock - can just about get away with that) Looks like I missed quite a debate yesterday - while sight returned shortly after necking meds, didn't want to risk screen-time in case it went again. Would kill to have a bath in the bathroom right now, who'd'a'thought a trip to the dentists would cause such problems...anyway.

    Thanks for the UT2 link, Montana, will have a mull.

    Was Carol Vorderman on QT really that bad?

  6. Turminderxuss

    I think it is a mixture of that and getting to the point of not thinking that I have to seek anyone's approval any more.

    Years ago, I knew a bloke who stacked shelves in a backwater branch of an ailing supermarket. He seemed convinced that one day, the CEO would pay a visit and say: Dave, you are doing a mighty fine job and I like the cut of your jib. How about we pop out for a round of golf and we can discuss getting you a seat on the board?

    People like that become the Kapos of whatever business or other organisation they enter.

    The kizbots and Mussels from Brussels (tm Hank) do the same on WADDYA. They are the teachers' pets who are too stupid to see themselves being used because they are so desperate for any artificial society which will have them as members.


    Thanks. I'll have a think, although, as I mentioned, I wonder whether the process of writing articles is actually the way forward.

    Please do not think that moving to Leiden excludes you from writing about UK politics or anything else. Good luck with it all.

  7. Just a little something that's made me chuckle - Iruka on the Warnock thread:

    I've finally sussed out who you are, MAM. I saw you on Mastermind about 15 years ago: the wit and wisdom of Friedrich von Hayek, I think your topic was. You looked a complete berk, responded to Magnus Magnusson's cheery greeting with dismissive, mumbled contempt, never looked anyone in the eye, finished with 6 points, and appeared to be in the process of some sort of chuddering existential reboot as your score was annouced.

  8. Was Carol Vorderman on QT really that bad?

    Surely, the point is that anyone from mindless television who uses their "fame" to launch a political career is always that bad.

    Was not watching, but all I heard was her incessant, artificial braying laughter.

    She once hosted a televised chess tournament and someone mentioned the Sicilian defence. She made a face which clearly meant "What the fuck does that mean?" and then laughed (do not remember it sounding like a donkey in those days) and then repeated "Ah, yes, the Sicilian defence" as if she was in on a great secret.

    It is a bit like Brian Sewell's comment about the squash-faced idiot Titchmarsh. He knows a bit about gardening, so they think it is a good idea for him to host programmes about opera.

    This is also why JessicaReed's comment about people who write in the media is such bollarks. She says that you get a name for writing about certain things and get asked more. The fact is that to begin with, someone needs an "expert" to back up what they are writing. They pull in a mate or a friend's mate. That person then becomes a media pundit and guru about everything on earth, for the simple reason that everyone has their phone number and email and the person now has an established "voice".

    You can become a celebrity for being able to add up quickly and the media then assumes that your media career based on this one small skill will equip you to run a country or the world.

  9. Atomboy - aye, I mean, I can add up quickly but no fecker-s going to put me in charge of anything. humph. i'd be good, too (winks)

  10. good 4 minutes after morning

    Agreed - writing on Cif will change nowt. I will try to put something together here too.

    Sun is shining , sheep are immobile on hill but seem to be grazing so living.

    Back later

  11. A hiccup - took me 6 minutes to post that. I'll try again.

  12. Afternoon, good people.
    Good words spoken last night. I'll have to borrow some.

    Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
    And thus the native hue of resolution
    Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
    And enterprises of great pith and moment
    With this regard their currents turn awry,
    And lose the name of action. - Soft you now!

  13. And here's some more borrowed words:

    Guiltiness (talkin' 'bout guiltiness)
    Pressed on their conscience. Oh yeah.
    And they live their lives (they live their lives)
    On false pretence everyday -
    each and everyday. Yeah.

    These are the big fish
    Who always try to eat down the small fish,
    just the small fish.
    I tell you what: they would do anything
    To materialize their every wish.

  14. Interesting debate. Needless to say I dont really agree that Kiz and Swifty are mindless middle class twats. Kiz was writing on CIF long before the chat room style waddya stuff got going, as did Swifty, when cif was solely political debate - they didnt come along for a chat. I've got a lot of time for both of them though I am too a middle class twat, dilletante, etc.

    It is a shame when this place is quiet, I agree, and we have lost quite a few people which is part of the reason. They didnt all leave because Kiz said something about shoes, did they? Most leavers came about from rows getting very heated and very personal. And regarding fashion or tea, is football any more politically pertinent? No. But footballs fine to talk about, it doesnt make someone a twat to talk about football (but rugby - yes).

    And in the great scheme of political action i still dont see what has been gained from telling those people to fuck off. Has Seaton pleaded with us to invite them back, or Brown trembled at the resulting march on parliament? No, this place is just a little quieter. The quieter this place is, the more people will just go to cif. We used to have over 300 comments here some days.

    You write so much good stuff Hank but i just dont see what is achieved on those occasions when you decide to go for someone, a sudden outpouring of personal bile at them usually ending in "fuck off" (which they often do). I dont see what it achieves, what cause does it further.

    If you were a political party you'd draw people in in droves, then most would leave because you told them they were a twat. You cant then say "why is it so fucking quiet round here?".

    I remember when it was my turn for the treatment, came out of nowhere. Suddenly i was a naive dilletante with nothing to say, and i was thinking "maybe he's right", was quite alarming. If i had decided to walk off that would be another person gone from here (which might be a good thing, i dont know).

    The question "what is this place for" is an interesting one. What is it *possible* for this place to be, or to do? Influence the Guardian line occasionally, or expose random bloggers to certain ideas, critiques etc outside the MSM?

    I think both are valid, realistically. The UT is not going to turn the UK around or spawn a new party. I think if we look at what it is *possible* for the UT to be then we can better understand what its for, or what it should be for. And i cant think of any answers to this that mean telling people to fuck off actually helps.

    If the thinking is that posters who werent sufficiently radical or angry were obstructing the revolutionary fervour of the place, then judging things since they have left i cant say its worked. The place is just more quiet.

    Is it better to have Ally and LordS occasionally or not at all? I'd take occasionally myself. If you start making rules about people's involvement then they just wont bother, i dont see what we benefit.

    Atomboy - the debate on whether commenting full stop is actually reducing people's wider involvement is an interesting one but i've rambled too much for this post, will come back to it.

  15. Vorderman was atrocious, very unpleasant.

  16. Jay, ally posted on UT over a week ago, for the first time in about 6 months. He said:

    Evening, if so. Hello. Thought I would drop by and say a drunken, stoned hello, now I've finally officially joined the ranks of The Untrusted. ....

    ...They'll (Cif)get bored of having to read my posts soon enough, and frankly I don't really care enough to feel like they have any power over me.

    Fuck 'em.

    He's been quite active on Cif since that crisis of conscience (and has got his big C back), but he hasn't been back here since, even though he was warmly welcomed by several people, including Hank. You ask if 'Is it better to have Ally and LordS occasionally or not at all?' Can you guess what my answer would be?

  17. Aha, Jay, I wondered when you were going to mention rugby. You've been awfully quiet since last weekend.

    Apart from that, you make some good points. I don't see the value in alienating people who are basically on our side - I mean, if you want to start a revolution with a deadly force consisting of 5 like-minded individuals, that's great, but it's not going to get you anywhere. It's the wishy-washy ones - the vast majority, let's face it - who need convincing that social justice is the right way to go.

    I can easily understand the frustration with certain attitudes, but if one really wants to change things, one has to get a lot more people on side.

    Making some proper efforts on UT2 is still the way to go: good arguments, well reasoned. It's not going to set fire to the world overnight but it's something that could grow.

    Why not write a piece on how middle-class hypocrisy is ruining the world? C'mon, several of you could write something brilliant there....

    Mostly, I think, people just want to get on with their lives. I'm looking out my window on a beautiful sunny day, and there's a bloke cutting and edging his lawn. His two kids are out too: his girl (appx 9) is riding around on her bike, and his lad (appx 7) is sweeping the street gutters. Good for him.

    I don't know them at all, so this is pure speculation, but I'd guess that the family is not particularly politically engaged. What would it take? Probably something hitting very close to home. And that means bad times, so I don't wish that on anyone.


  18. Another point, Jay - for every poster who has 'left' here, there seems to have have been two or three rather more interesting new posters who have turned up. I do miss my updates on fashion and high-level European tea-serving to the great and good, but I'll survive. Let's raise a glass to absent friends, and take things a little less seriously, eh?

    faithful departed

  19. ascend to CiF heaven and receive the ultimate accolade of a blue "C" and consequently will never dare to put a foot wrong.

    Having one of those captain's badges next to my handle on CiF would feel to me like putting on an old bill uniform and going out on the kettle - I'd rather fucking die painfully in a bath full of human diarrhoea.

    And therein lies one of my main gripes with the Guardian/Observer/CiF/blah blah blah: it's set up to be so fucking elitist, right down to the poxy recommend button. Yeah, I like to read an article by one of the sensible posters - fair play to them if that's their bag - and to acknowledge a good post below the jump with a left click when I read one, but then I see people, like my m8 the Ex Pat, getting all fucking shirty and accusatory when they see a post they deem has had too many recommends (????) or going on a major, shit nosed, rusty sherrif's star licking expedition because no one's ever put them up for a captains badge. Does my canister no fucking favours whatsoever.

    I ain't got no beer or money to buy any, so I'm off to make a cup of tea with a cheap as fuck tea bag in a mug I haven't washed; that'll sort the fucking political class out, I know.

    'Vorderman' - pass me the rope!


  20. Jay and thauma

    Perfectly good points and it is certainly a numbers game.

    The fact is there is a finite number of people who are bothered about politics and they are already spread and shared between places like CiF and Guido and The Telegraph, Independent etc.

    There are a couple of famous cartoons which seem to sum it up. The one which says: Honey, I can't come to bed right now. Someone on the internet is wrong. And the one which says: Yes, I know I have something to blog about today, but what about tomorrow?

    We are mainly reactive and we mainly like to complain.

    Places like CiF are quite content to be the focus and locus of the two-minute hate. Why shouldn't they? There is little in the way of campaigning or investigative journalism, so this almost, for the unobservant, seems to fill the gap.

    The best you can really say about people like us - and anyone is free to say don't include me in your filthy, stupid club at this stage - is that we feel the same things and we agree that we are broadly right and we share each other's outrage...but we cannot quite manage to do anything about it.

    If there is ever mass protest and people taking to the streets, we will not have brought it about and we will not be part of it.

    Things are likely to lurch towards polarisation to left and right over the coming years. The sudden realisation for most that they are never going to be rich, despite the promise of all the adverts and television programmes and political publicity brochures could lead to violent protest, but is just as likely to result in sullen or jaded or numb acceptance.

    The surveillance and database state could produce a backlash or it could actually achieve its desired ends - the subjugation and crippling of people and the crushing of political dissent.

    The problem is that writing about it, whether here or on UT2 or anyone's own blog or on CiF will not control or influence events.

    If anything happens, it will be through the actions of all those people who have never heard of us and would never read the pontifications of self-appointed smart-arses if they had.

    As for those who might, just might, but so implausibly so as not to matter, have read anything which we have ever written and who could help to change things - they either have a bigger and louder voice anyway through the mainstream media or they at least have access to some of the levers of power.

    It doesn't matter who we back-slap or ostracise. We have no power and, in truth, we have no credible voice.

    We are raging about our impotence and conning ourselves into thinking that this rage is the same as power.

  21. Fuck off Hank you twat

    you want engagement - like fuck

    you just want control

    if you cared about being ruffled you'd allow billp to be part of the forum - yeah right - you were the lead in the torch procession to burn him at the stake

    you want anger? fuck off Hank you have no interest in debate - you are a little traffic controller - you jerk off when you get to issue parking infringements - arsehole

    hey - feel better now you have a dartboard for your pissed/missed posts

    dick, bring it on

    and here's a soppy song for you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDSAAlrqAHM

    ok - I'm your target - go for it*

    *brought to you by "if I can help" organisation

  22. I'm just not bothered what Ally does, Scherf. If he comes over here and says something interesting i dont care if he then doesnt come here for 6 months, he's not obliged to, i'd rather 1 interesting comment than none. Same goes for olching or anyone else.

    " for every poster who has 'left' here, there seems to have have been two or three rather more interesting new posters who have turned up."

    And what happens when its their turn to be called a vacuous twat and told to fuck off? We cant maintain an endless carousel.

    Thaum - i been ill and busy, so not been about much. Though you were very fortunate to get that win, i must say. Played virtually no rugby, but defended very well and took chances very well. So not an undeserved win, but fortunate.

    Agree on numbers, its very hard to change anything with a handful. If you want more than a handful then you need to accept people wont always have identical views or be out protesting every week.

    I'm not suggesting disagreement is wrong but i do think ad homs are pointless. If you want to disagree vehemently with what someone says here thats one thing (and there are some good debates here sometimes) but to personally abuse people is pointless, what does it achieve? Its the personal abuse that drives people away, not political disagreement or debate.

  23. Afternoon all

    Just back from blissful ramble in the Peak finishing up in one of the last decent trannies in the country with huge bacon sandwiches and proper mugs of tea. Exquisite day - cold with clear blue skies and very quiet, early signs of spring everywhere thank christ, its been a long winter.

    Would love to see more pieces posted up on UT2. There are loads of people on here who write well and have a lot to say.

    What I appreciate about this place is I know I'm talking to people who are in a general sense, of like mind. And when I got to actually meet a few of you I wasn't disappointed which bodes well for future get togethers.

    Angry as I am though about the way things are in this benighted country I'm still more inclined to humour and taking the piss which is why I liked the idea of the Diversia blog, especially if we could keep a straight face and enviegle it into the mainstream - get on cif etc.

  24. afternoon - before retiring to the sofa with chocolate to watch chelsea under-21s take apart plucky stoke (am just guessing), was so bored by cif today ended up pootling over to the film section and found this:
    Born of Hope
    Which I have just watched, and rather enjoyed. Made on a shoestring by a bunch of unpaid Tolkein addicts, being a 'prequel' of the Aragorn story. As I know there are a couple of LOTR types loitering on the thread, maybe give it a whirl.

    (If you hate it because it isn't part of the official canon, or something - whatever, like I know anything about Tolkein, chuckle)

  25. And what happens when its their turn to be called a vacuous twat and told to fuck off?

    Dunno, jay. When it happened to me, I fought back and stuck around anyway. I guess it's up to them, really, and whether they are vacuous twats or not. Speaking of which, I see our old chum parallax is back. How's it's hanging', old buddy? Where you been?

  26. Atomboy

    If there is ever mass protest and people taking to the streets, we will not have brought it about and we will not be part of it.

    You can't be too sure about that AB. Some of us are active and we will be part of it should it kick off - dependng of course, what the 'it' is. Personally, being a bit of an old dinosaur, that 'street' has always felt like my natural habitat.

  27. Sheff

    Agree on the Diversia thing.

    I know it is just a variation on the Sokal Affair, but it might get people thinking about other means of achieving common aims.

    Anyone who wants to can email me on that one:

    atomboy -(at)- atomboy -(dot)- org

  28. Is it worth watching, Phillipa? I saw a brief bit of bit, looked weird. And obviously isnt part of the cannon, as you say, which does create moral problems. In other geek news, LOTR comes out on blu ray next month I think.

    Sheff - the diversia blog would be a lot of fun, i think as a collective we'd do a fine job of it. I wonder if we could run it alongside this like UT2. After we'd agreed a background "profile" for her, just need to take it turns weekly/fortnightly/monthly to do her latest musings.

    Banter and piss taking is good fun, partly because, as Atom says, its incredibly hard to actually change anything anyway. Often its not even that the public need convincing, look at privatisation polls - 70-80% against. Just doesnt register on our vile little oligarchy.

  29. "When it happened to me, I fought back and stuck around anyway"

    Yes as did I, but there might be some interesting people who are not vacuous twats who cant be bothered getting abused on a small blog. Maybe they'll just go to CIF where there's infintely more posters, articles, etc. A small blog has to offer something that big ones dont. Being able to discuss things without adhoms is quite a nice feature.

  30. Jay

    Iagree. Given that changing things in any real sense does seem virtually impossible and red faced rage frightens people and puts them off even more than they are already, all we've got left is radical piss taking and humiliating the mighty wherever and however we can do it. In my experience it often goes down quite well.

  31. I agree, Jay, but ad hom can be a widely interpreted concept. Some people regard any valid disagreement with their blinkered views as ad hom (you fucker).

  32. Sheff

    Yes, you could be right. In the past, of course, revolutions have come about by the intellectuals from the middle classes using the poor as cannon-fodder.

    I think we may have got to the stage where the poor will cut out the middle-man next time.

    My point, in part, is that we complain about the pseuds and poseurs and charlatans on CiF getting up their own backsides and then tend to end up doing the same, which we justify by agreeing that our own backsides are naturally nicer.

    I simply think we need to draw a distinction between talking and doing, which is not a signal to start lighting the torches and digging up the cobbles.

    If the message is to be restricted to the pure of heart and mind on UT, we then become the same self-congratulatory clique.

    The other problem is that there are few of us with individually limited time.

    We need to measure the gap between fantasy and reality.

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. 1st: Why do my Mondrians keep disappearing?

    2nd: Jay, for the most part, when someone just vanishes from here, I assume that it's because of time constraints and not from any animosity. Believe it or not Jay, several people have come and gone without being victims of ad homs from anyone here.

    Your friends Bru and Kiz never really contributed much to actual discussions. The catty swipes at us that they take on Cif are worse than anything either one of those egotistical bitches ever got here and Bru's attacks here on Monkeyfish and me were beyond the pale. Forgive me for not feeling that their absence is any great loss.

    Third: As much as I agree with pretty much everything else that's been said, I'm not sure that I agree that writing doesn't have the power to persuade and stir people to action. After all, it was pamphleteers like Tom Paine who assured that I wouldn't be a Commonwealth resident.

  35. " but ad hom can be a widely interpreted concept"

    Yes this is true and people can be sensitive at times and take something as ad hom when it isnt, but there has definitely been a fair amount of ad hom too (where's Bitey when you need him?).

  36. Oh, and Fourth (this also basically addressed to Jay): Ally's recent pop-in here was such a transparent case of one of the popular kids hanging out with the dweebs only for as long as the other popular kids were shunning him that I don't see how I'm not supposed to feel insulted.

  37. If there was any power in posting comments on corporate media web-sites, they wouldn't let us do it, let alone encourage it. I mean, how much anger which would have otherwise led to direct action has been dissipated because of the BBC/Graun/Indi/etc sites?

    I think you hit the nail on the head with it months ago AtomBoy.

  38. Hey scherfig - glad you stuck around and fought back - nothing vacuous there then - arf

    I'm good thanks. I'm totally surprised I got back in - google accounts and passwords were a breeze - it must be finger muscle memory.

    Where have I been? Oh usual stuff - hanging out on the GU poetry threads and , you'll like this, getting banned on the spin-off banned GU poetry threads.

    Fucking Ada - still laughing now

  39. Atomboy

    We need to measure the gap between fantasy and reality.

    True and I agree - but we also need hope.

  40. Atomboy,

    If the message is to be restricted to the pure of heart and mind on UT, we then become the same self-congratulatory clique.

    I don't think anyone is advocating that the message be restricted to the UT as if it some type of masonic inner circle.

    The simple fact is, the UT is a vehicle and outlet for individuals to highlight their core political beliefs. The key factor here is anyone, I've never seen anyone arrive on here that hasn't been warmly welcomed.

    You very much assume the uselessness of action on the internet but surely an integral part of individual action in the sense of positive liberty, is to formulate thesis, argument and discussion and to be able to publish it on a forum where anyone with an internet connection can read?

    The effectiveness of it is, yes, debatable to say the least, but I for one would rather howl at the moon than stand staring silently at it.

  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. Montana

    2nd - yes im not disputing that, but plenty have left due to those reasons.

    I dont think kiz has ever been scathing to anyone here has she?

    Writing can change things, but its very hard to change things these days. Power is extremely well bedded in. Look at the bank bailout - they can do whatever they like and they know it full well.

  43. Sheff

    yes hope - certainly. There sre several gaps between fantasy and reality - depends upon your personal fanatasy and then upon various shared ones

    Words can influence, they can also harden opposition and create fear as well as hope.
    I think most of us are agreed that change must come - the highjacking of "change" as an electioneering slogan means that the politicals are aware of this and seek to preempt anything meaningful by defining it for us.

    Also agree - wonderful day. My garden mole is back. Spent time bashing ground with flat of spade in time honoured fashion/ Will do no good - he too is impervious to either reason or passion..

  44. I.m not familiar with reasons for people leaving here but i would leave if I were made to feel I had gone from "untrusted" to unwanted.

  45. UKBlaza


    reminds me of Conrad and his Anarchists. Someone here should write a rational argument for Anarchy.

  46. "I think most of us are agreed that change must come - the highjacking of "change" as an electioneering slogan means that the politicals are aware of this and seek to preempt anything meaningful by defining it for us."

    Like Tories claiming "change" - with policies of - lower business and inheritance tax. It would be funny if it werent so tragic.

  47. Hello all, there is some real stuff coming to the surface now..all good. Just briefly on this site I don't think being warmly welcomed should be confused with also being able to disagree though I have noticed people take it personally which suggests that perhaps some people have never been schooled in debate.

    And that is one of the problems of CIF.Originally set up as a kind of free for all it wasn't precious about its topics and so patently obvious about its agendas. And we argued but there was less ad hom stuff and we had fun and we thanked each other for the debate even on Israel/Palestine and MonkeyFish will remember that was even in the Ruth Fowler days:)

    And then it ceased to be an experiment and someone said "We must control them." So I got bored and left but then I found you and came back because I care about social justice and while I might disagree with some of your ideas I enjoy the intellect here. And the fun. Meanwhile CIF as far as I'm concerned is about as valuable as the Observer weekend magazine. It is evident there are favourites and Ally only has to write "2 bottles of milk" and everyone agrees with him. Meanwhile Matt has deadened it Jess and the other school monitors can't cope simply because they are dealing with the likes of you on here..people who are strident, clever and don't toe the line.

    And now it's time for carrot cake.

  48. Err that should be 'being warmly welcomed should not mean you cannot disagree' sorry pinkies fast..my keyboard actually has worn out letters.

  49. My marketing hat suggests that the thing the UT lacks if it wants to be a force..and god knows the minds on her are excellent..is a stated aim..it doesn't have to be set in stone and it doesn't have to be the only topic..god knows we need the songs..but you know the gig I'm getting at.

  50. I dont think kiz has ever been scathing to anyone here has she?

    Oh, no. She prefers stabbing people in the back while publicly maintaining her saintly image. I've got the scar to prove it, dear. And I've seen plenty of catty digs from her on Cif. I don't expect you or anyone else to stop engaging with someone on my behalf. But don't expect me to mourn the loss of a backstabbing bitch.

  51. Atomboy @15:32

    Great post, but depressing. I'm afraid you're right on many points.

    Scherfig - come on, I refuse to believe that anyone called you vacuous!


    After all, it was pamphleteers like Tom Paine who assured that I wouldn't be a Commonwealth resident.

    Ah, but you might have health care otherwise....

  52. Ms. Robinson:

    Originally, this was just supposed to be a place to continue discussions started on Cif and vent about some of the more byzantine modding decisions. But perhaps it is time we grew up a bit and found some focus. Guess we need to decide what that focus is going to be.

  53. Thauma: lovely as Tom was in so many ways, that was actually a complaint. Healthcare and the last 30 years would have been spent in Britain.

  54. Ah, sorry, Montana, I missed the sarcasm!

    MsR - surely you're not suggesting we need a mission statement?!

  55. Hi guys
    I didn't realize there was such infighting going on between some reg CiF posters and UT ones, well to be expected right.
    Did I ever think that CiF put out some cutting edge/ radical blogs, never! The only thing was, that on a matter that the MSM propaganda machinery was pushing, you could get to comment and discredit it underneath and it is that function that has been impacted and dulled by the over zealous moddings/bannings.

  56. Montana,

    But perhaps it is time we grew up a bit and found some focus. Guess we need to decide what that focus is going to be.

    Oooh, Manifesto you say? You have my creative juices flowing:

    A spectre is haunting the Internet- The spectre of UTism. All the powers of old internet have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre.....

  57. EEEEK! Habib

    Games people play- transactional analysis - games theory


  58. thauma, they (and they know who they are!) might not have actually used the word 'vacuous', but they were very disparaging about my collection of shoes, and positively mean about my strongly held views on Jaffa cakes. I took it quite badly actually, and really felt that I wasn't being taking seriously, intellectually speaking. Luckily, I got over it by telling myself (and others), yet again, how wonderful I was, and now I can confidently post YouTube songs with the best of the heavyweights here. And I can still unapologetically enjoy the finer things of life which most people here are not fortunate enough to have experienced, or educated enough to understand.

    (I will confess to still feeling a little hurt about the whole horrid unpleasantness, though.)

  59. Manifesto, Duke?

    I'm for the man who drives the hammer....

  60. Leni,

    is there something you can write on games theory? F

    From what I've read about it, it's a deeply cynical exercise but then I don't know enough about it.

  61. thauma,

    if we're talking Roxy Music, there can be only one song- 2HB

  62. Scherfig - poor darling, I can tell the event was simply soul-crushing. A nice cup of chamomile, perhaps?

  63. I don't do process as I luckily never did an MBA and therefore the word 'mission statement' is not in my vocab. But something that pulls it together, yes.

    Yes whatever you call it and as a rather clever PR friend of mine said last week: the more lofty, insane and even outrageous the aim, the more likely it is to get noticed. That is how things work.

  64. @Montana..most of the discussions on CiF are lame and are going round in circles like a bad middle management meeting where there are no chocolate biscuits to distract you.

  65. Duke

    I am putting my mind to it - it is cynical and when used politically destructive.

  66. Thauma, Wybourne and others

    At the risk of peeling off my latex mask, smeared with smudged make-up and unconvincing tufts of plastic hair to reveal nothing but a clumsy advocatus diaboli, I would say that, yes, the internet and all it offers in chances to debate and write and subvert and mock has a real value which we should not take lightly.

    One thing we should wonder, though, is significance of time. It seems that we are hurtling ahead because we have so much information to consume, absorb and assimilate. The overriding signal is that the internet makes things happen and we can all be part of that process of change.

    Perhaps it is closer to the truth that the people who wield power, whether local or national politicians or business or bankers, have seen that while we are all occupied in the kaleidoscope of imaginary change, they have all been left free to do what they want because they actually control the media and the message.

    We assume the internet will always be here for us to use and abuse, to foster and exploit and manage.

    One day, we might just post our latest brilliant riposte to find that the screen tells us that our communications have been monitored and we are required to report to the local police station to be shown the evidence against us before being sentenced.

    Childish scare stories, of course. We can always wait to bring about change by slow degrees and methods and processes which have been agreed conform to acceptable standards of intellectual rigour and common manners.

  67. Heh, heh, Your Grace; I thought you might have gone for <a href="in every dream home a heartache", living in a ducal palace as you do.

  68. MsR

    I once had to go on a course on project management - much of it about process and feedback. Interesting times ahead.


    I am putting my mind to it - leaving out Pen's rarified math approach/

  69. Jay - re film - wasn't bad, I didn't think. Some eek-ish acting, but some very good acting - some woah-ish FX, but some very good FX - and a small, but well-considered plot. Mind you, I just quite liked the LOTR films as pure spectacle, so the overwrought olde english and fake ears in both was farily equivalent for me.

    Whatever, I think if that's what a bunch of independents can put together by means of the barter economy and all doing 14 jobs, it's bloody impressive.

  70. Montana
    "1st: Why do my Mondrians keep disappearing?"
    Ah, good, it's not just me then - have been wondering what artistic backdrop our discussions have been meant to have for the past couple of days!

    Leni - look forward to reading that (although yes, if you can keep it out of the realms of quantum physics, 'd appreciate...)

  71. @Leni I don't understand project m'ment. I just do the ideas

  72. Phillipa

    Barter economy - I remember Maggie's lot trying to work out how to tax it.

  73. Yer Dookness, that's a real swell musical tribute to Bogey, but would you believe this instead?

  74. MsR

    Be careful then - it was because I had ideas I got sent on the course.

  75. As for the disappearing Mondrians, it looks as though you are simply linking to someone's site.

    That "costs" them in terms of bandwidth and money each time this page loads and has to call the image requested.

    They have probably told their server not to let you do it, so you get a blank.

    The alternative is to host the image on your own - or Google's - server, as long as you are not infringing their or anyone else's copyright in so doing.

  76. Well, I've seen two-and-a-half of the ten nominations for best film. any predictions?

  77. Leni -
    "Barter economy - I remember Maggie's lot trying to work out how to tax it"
    If you promise to make game theory understandable, I promise not to explain at great length what the taxation/pricing implications of barter transactions are...

  78. Phillipa

    I'll promise anything to spare us both from that.
    On reflection I remember I nearly got a job in the Civil Service - was saved by a friend who dragged me to the pub - lost oppotunity?

  79. egotistical bitch or not... I don't think I've ever said one word of criticism of the UT on cif and I've certainly not said anything about you Montana. I've taken a few swipes (commonly known as giving an opinion) at the opinions of some people who post here and/or on cif... what of it?

  80. PhilippaB
    "Well, I've seen two-and-a-half of the ten nominations for best film. any predictions?"
    Best Film = Avatar
    Best Actress= Sandra Bullock
    Best Actor= Jeff Bridges
    Best supporting actress = Monique
    That's what all I got.
    And in honor of Giyus, who get's beating here and there, a qoute from the movie The Informant (a must watch!) "Paranoid is what they call you when they want you to drop your guard. "

  81. Atomboy: how does one host the image on Google's server? I've always just linked to the image on someone else's site. Ordinarily, it isn't a problem. But I've tried to link to two different Mondrian images on two different sites today and they've both disappeared (for me, at least).

  82. If you think I'm a back stabbing bitch Montana, all I can say is that I'm sorry you feel that way but you're entitled to your opinion. I really don't think I back stabbed you. I completely lost my temper about other people in an email to you and I regret having laid my temper tantrum at your door, which is why I apologised about it.. I really don't know in what other way you think I stabbed you in the back?

  83. Best picture = Hurt Locker
    Best director = Kathryn Bigelow
    Best actress = Sandra Bullock
    Best actor = Jeff Bridges
    Best supporting actress = Monique
    Best supporting actor = Christoph Waltz
    Foreign Language film = White Ribbon

  84. It's snowing. In the South of France. In March.

    That's a very British cop-out weather-related observation in a vain hope that people can stop with the being mean. I mean, don't we have enough of this kind of crap in our 'real lives', that we have to bring it here too? It sometimes doesn't feel like differences of opinion are worked through in a friendly fashion. It sometimes feels like people are mean for no reason other than they feel like it. And...OK, but what's the point of that? If this site is anything, it's a chatroom, pure and simple. And we chat about a lot of stuff, some complex and important, some sad and personal, some trivial and just funny. Because that's how people think and talk. Not everyone spends every waking hour planning the revolution, nor their whole lives watching sport or comparing handbags, nor do 24/7 youtube surfing. We all do a bit of all of it. And having at Waddya for being a chat-thread, or individual posters because they're fighting their own battles quietly, while making good points elsewhere, just seems...unnecessary. and unpleasant. i don't like fighting - i said this, stammer-fashion, last time it all kicked off. some of the conflicts seem to result from 'off-screen' stuff, which is may be different, but some seem to spring out of nowhere, and that is really unpleasant, and I just wish it would stop.

    yours, wishy-washy of Neige Central.

  85. FWIW, and my thoughts might be mangled after an emotionally gruelling couple of days, I share many of atomboy's concerns (esp on monitoring/surveillance and blogging being a distraction)but can see things going either one of two ways: a) (his scenario. The circus stops, authoritarianism (fuelled by economic crises yet to come, which will make today's stuff look mild) kicks in big style, renegade or dissenting views and social undesirables tracked and punished. Evidence for this: the infrastructure (erosion of civ libs, database state,intrusive monitoring etc)is being put into place.
    b) The people's backlash. This is what I'd hope for (though with the consumerist soma pumped out to placate/sedate the masses, and the removal of curiosity or independent thought from education in the UK, I do wonder). Surely there must be a snapping point, which many of here have reached, but which it'll take maybe some time to become widespread. That's waht I want, an overthrow or corporatist neo-liberal blinkered crap, but the devil's in the timings. b)can't happen if a)'s repressive structures are embedded and kids growing up take that as normal, and aren't affronted rotten by being tracked every minute of their lives.

    As for UT, it's not to me a replacement for direct action, be that confrontation,organisation or plain acts of mercy against the state (eg the taking in of shat-upon asylum seekers), but a zone of affirmation that maybe I'm not alone in thinking some serious and seriously evil (I do mean evil) shit is being done by our authorities, partly through supercilious ignorance, partly self-interest and damn the consequences, but worst of all, sometimes the evils are being done wholly deliberately and by planned design.

  86. Alisdair: I think, sooner or later, b) will always come to pass. At least, I sure as hell hope that b) will always come to pass.

  87. Philippa - I've said it before, but while I don't mind a robust argument, I hate fighting. Brings back scary childhood memories, if I'm honest.

    Alisdair - I'd love to see a people's backlash, but I don't see it happening, for the reasons you mention, and especially if the economy recovers. We're doomed.

    Scherfig - lovely stuff. But this is such a sad affair.

  88. Montana

    Just had a look and you should get a choice of inserting an image from your computer or linking to one on another site when you click the add image button on the editor when making a post.

    However, I did notice that this did not work when using the "new" editor (which you choose from the settings options) and Opera, but did work OK for the "old" editor.

    Opera can be a bit quirky, so you may not get this.

    I think Google make some kind of restriction about the amount of space you can use for images, but by the time you reach that, they will have increased it, I would imagine.

    The copyright rules would still apply but you might be able to get round it by being devious, not that I would suggest you should.

    Someone, for example, might put an image through an online image editor/manipulator and then argue that it is a new image.

  89. Atomboy: I use Chrome and the 'new' Blogger editor. I always choose the "link to an image on another site" option. Most of the time, it works. Today, it doesn't seem to want to. I dunno.

  90. Just to prove i'm not making up weather, or anything, look at this and this

    It has also just started thundering.

    Locals really not used to this kind of thing. Sweetly, the local 'hoods' are currently out in the streets, squealing like little kids, scooping the snow off cars and making snowmen.

    (Rider - I realise that the level of fluffy precipitation here may make Montana and others burst out laughing and say "heck, you call that snow?", but it's the best we can do)

  91. Scherf - oops, link/lyric mismatch.

    No, really, this is such a sad affair.

    But that link has led to another (non-Roxy) interesting one: you got amazing head.

  92. Alisdair

    Good post and I hope I am wrong in thinking that critical thought will have been "educated" out of children over the next school generation.

    I let my own son climb up onto the "roof" of one of the climbing/play structures in the park some time ago.

    He had seen older kids do it ages before and I knew he had been angling to get up there for some time, so I let him and was quite proud that he worked his way up, overcoming fear and using agility and sense to work out how to achieve it.

    When he got down and came over to me, he said he had been frightened to see how high he was and thought that there should be signs telling children not to climb onto the roof.

    Where did he get that shit from?

    I gave him a lecture about freedom and learning and achievement and random imposed limits and doing as you are told without thinking.

    Some woman at the school gate said you cannot let your children go to school if there is a chance they might slip on ice and snow.

    How the fuck did we manage?

    We used to swing from tree branches thirty feet up in the snow.

    Is it true that they only study a fucking scene from Shakespeare now, rather than two complete plays, for A level?

    Do they really do course work on the text from the back of a cereal packet and a leaflet from the local council about changes to bin emptying?

    Anyway, be back later.

  93. Montana

    As I said, it could be the other site refusing permission.

    It is not a personal slight. Some people just set things up that way.

    Try another Piet Mondrian image from somewhere else and see what happens.

  94. Oh, Atomboy! I didn't take it as a personal slight. I just figured the little men in those internet tubes didn't want me displaying a Mondrian today.

  95. Atomboy - good god, I fear it really has all gone too far, when children cannot play properly without warning signs. That's dire.

  96. Phillipa

    Looks very picturesque. Is that your street?


    When I'm nicking pics off the net I usually save them on my desktop and then upload them from there. Always works for me.


    I see you've responded to some remarks hurled in your direction from certain folk on here which suggests you lurk here from time to time - or maybe fairly regularly as you've picked up on what was said quite quickly.

    It would be great if you'd move out of the shadows and say hello - we don't bite that hard.

    Does make me wonder who else lurks on here - and why they bother.

    Is it choons time yet? I'll start with Blue eyes crying in the rain as I'm feeling mellow and drinking whisky after a rather excellent day.

    Thauma - look away as you'll hate it!! its a country classic.

  97. advice needed - had a filling last monday, the first for over twenty years, so can't remember what happened last time and am not sure if this is normal - it still hurts to bite down. not toothache, but like the gum / bone / whatever around / under it is bruised.

    is this normal? am beginnning to worry...bleah.

  98. Sheff - yes, is my street. looks rather more picturesque in the snow than the rest of the time...although it's air of shabby gentility gone south does render it 'very french', as my dad says...

  99. Philippa: Just skip right past this one, please.


    What made me feel betrayed is not that you e-mailed me in the first place, but that you remained silent throughout the war that raged as a result of it, only entering into it when you felt that you were being attacked. I hurt the feelings of three people I care about because you were worried about Graun staffers and newcomers being offended. But you were happy to let me take the blame and weather the fallout without ever confessing to anyone but me, privately, that you were the catalyst for the whole ugly episode. This, today, is the first time you've ever made the slightest public acknowledgement that you bore any responsibility for it. If you had done so last August, it would have meant a lot more to me.

  100. Sheff - thanks for the warning; was about to click on your link. ;-)

    Philippa - that doesn't sound normal - go back and at least get some decent painkillers!

  101. Phillipa

    Depends what the dentist did and how deep the filling is. It could hurt for a while but since its still hurting after nearly a week I'd get it checked out. I find Ibuprofen 400 sorts out dental pain quite well unless its really excruciating which usually means something a bit more serious like an infection.

  102. Oh, hell, there are some countryish songs I quite like. Meet me at the wrecking ball.

  103. PhilippaB
    I just had a filling and a cap put in this month on a cracked tooth. No ache and no bruising just some over sensitivity on the capped one (lasted a day). However I did choose plastic filling over amalgam, dunno if that would make a difference. Only major discomfort was from the local anthesia, mainly 'cos I refused asprin before and after.
    In the US we had a guy fly plane into IRS building, yesterday guy had shoot out at the Pentagon and students across Unis protesting tuition increases. I think corporate policy is pushing at the edge over, don't think that's great, I rather see people organize march. Also health insurance going up 40% in some states, if it hits people's wallet might awaken the conscious too.

  104. thank you dental friends...it's infection/jaw issues i'm worried about. wasn't a deep filling, i think, but he had to do the anaesthetic twice (am a wuss - also, what numpty decided to put adrenaline in dental anaesthetic? thought i was having one of my episodes...)

  105. Ah! There we go. Who doesn't love Composition No. 10?

  106. "Does make me wonder who else lurks on here - and why they bother."

    I suppose I'm a lurker. Why? I still have fond memories of it and enjoy taking a look at what's going on. I don't participate often because when I do I'm embarrassed to find myself almost totally ignored. Except by bitterweed and (rather ironically since he's the only one I can recall having argued with) Hank. Then to see such quivering excitement every time Allyf deigns to appear hits me right in my inner child.

    I wish the place well and all that, but it's not always as welcoming as some of you would like to think.

  107. Here's another (2) I love. First in memory of Django, obviously.

    Django and Races Are Run.

  108. Hiya Martillo! I for one like to see you here.

  109. Whoa, Montana, your Mondrian's appeared this time!

  110. Teachers'day in albania - I know almost nothing about Albania. I assume lots of things happen there as everywhere else but we never hear anything about it

    hi Martillo

    i have not met you here before.

  111. Martillo

    I'm sorry you feel ignored and I apologise if you count me amongst those who have been at fault thee. I'd echo thauma and say stick around and engage a bit more if you're up for it.

    Not Mondrian Montana - but I thought you might like some of these

  112. Hi Thauma, I forgot to mention that you talk to me!

    Here's one you don't hear often


  113. @ MW -I don't think I left you to weather all the storm Montana. We were boh offline when it really kicked off. I said what I thought about the issues at the time. Most people, including you, disagreed entirely with my opinion. Fair enuf. I wasn't about to bring up our correspondence and have only mentioned it because I'm guessing that's why you think I back stabbed you. If that's your slant on it, then that's how you see it. I just see it as being that I disagree with the opinions of some people on this site, so it's not for me. I've had a few snarky exchanges with some people on waddya but I've never critised the UT. AFAIC if people enjoy hanging out on a site.. Good for them... end of story..
    I don't lurk very often actually or rather I hadn't for ages. But then I ended up one day and found that I seem to be mentioned quite regularly! And I really wasn't bothered by any of the comments but I did want to say I don't think I back stabbed you.
    @sheff cheers for that...

  114. That's my lot. Enjoyed reading this thread today, it's helped me make my mind up about something that's been on it too much for a while now. I've gotta knock the whole commenting business on the head. I gave it my best shot but it ain't for me. I've never felt right with it, especially over at the CiF. I get so pissed off when I read some of the threads and it frustrates me because I haven't got the words or knowledge to say what I really want to say so I just end up looking like a Si. Not only that, it takes up too much of the limited time I get on the PC and only causes aggro because I end up hogging it and it ain't even mine. I need to concentrate on getting myself into the local college in September to do this electrical installation course; I've always wanted to be a sparks and spending every minute I get reading threads will never get me on the 'drivers. I suppose that's how it goes if you're so neeted up and about 20 years late out of the blocks. If I don't get my priorities right, like they told me to over and over in rehab, I will end up in the big shit again; it's only a matter of time. It's too easy to just hit the fuck it button and jump on the shit train to oblivion - everyone needs a purpose and that life chasing the money and the buzz used to completely fill every waking minute of my life. It can be a very attractive proposition at times, but I know for sure that I will probably be the unlucky mug who gets anthraxed up or served a bag of uncut. They'll never fund another rehab either.

    I hope you all get somewhere with your struggle against the fascist bullshit we have to live with. I know the world would be a better place if some of you were in power instead of the crowd of ginalistic money lovers who dish out the misery from up on high now. Just remember to end the prohibition for us yeah! :O

    JahGuide and all them

  115. Martillo - you're right, that's not one you hear often! (Luckily.) Heehe.

    Blaza - pop in when you're in the mood.

    Right, am off upstairs now ... 'night all!

  116. Jeez, martillo, you sure know how to totally ignore a guy, even after he bigs up your UT football article on PhilippaB's blog (and provides a link!). I won't be talking to you again - consider yourself totally ignored from now on, you over-sensitive woos.

  117. Well, no, Kiz. We were both aware of what was going on. You sent a couple of e-mails during the thick of it telling me not to let it bother me, so I know you were aware of it. Funny how you think it was acceptable of your friend Bru to do what she did to me here (to say nothing of what she did to Monkeyfish), but now you want to try to make out that I'm doing something wrong by referring publicly to correspondence between us from back then. But of course, you wouldn't want to bring it up -- it might make you look bad. You don't think you backstabbed me. Of course not. You never to anything wrong, do you darling?

  118. Mondrian's back! And Martillo - hello, someone posted a link to your 'which side are you on?' on my latest blogpost - very good.

    And good luck with the course, UKBlaza - and you do, clearly, have the words....

  119. Best of luck, ukblaza. Take care.

  120. Blaza

    Yes - drop in sometimes, enjoy you course but remember we need as many as possible if we ever want to change things,

  121. And martillo -- I never talk to you?

  122. ah, that someone was scherfig...'course it was! great minds, etc etc.

  123. UKBlaza

    I think you have as much of value to say as any of us and I always enjoy what you write.

    I cannot and should not try to influence the course you take, but if I could pretend to be in your position and making the same choice, I would go for being a sparks.

    Every time.

    Good luck and, as you always say, peace.

    Ms Robinson

    It is evident there are favourites and Ally only has to write "2 bottles of milk" and everyone agrees with him.

    I never saw the basis for this apparent adulation. At the time when I had just worked out that AllyF = Ally Fogg, someone said that he writes better than anyone else and everyone wished they could do the same.

    I always saw him as quite good at best, but generally never felt any great need to read anything he had written.

  124. Haven't had time to properly catch up on last night's & today's thread, so my apologies for not getting involved in the debate about the UT.


    Respect to you. And don't ever think that you don't express your views well. Get yourself to college & do that course - don't let anyone / anything get in the way of that opportunity away from you if it's what you really want to do. You'll get free internet access at college, too, so as thauma says, drop by when you've a mind to.

  125. Just in case BB shows up, just caught this wonderful line in CSI:
    So, lawyer by day, dominatrix by night. Same skill set?

  126. Kizbot - not the time, love, I'm busy. Fuck off.

    Actually, as I have got a minute or two, just to reiterate what you already know. You haven't got an opinion worth the name unless it's about biscuits or, vicariously, shoes.

    You post an endless stream of drivel on Cif and only ever get angry when you get attacked personally.

    Seriously, what purpose do you serve on there? Just another vacuous liberal wringing their hands about the economic crisis, never questioning whether the fact that they're a workshy tosser who spends their working hours posting banalities on Cif might be part of the problem rather than a part of the solution.

    @Jay - you posted something on here the other week in response to some of the regulars being genuinely aghast at what Kizbot had posted. FWIW, I wasn't one of the regulars, nor was I particularly aghast given that my opinion of her anyway.

    You posted a passionate defence of her, claiming that you didn't see anything objectionable in what she'd said.

    Loyalty's a virtue. As is integrity.

    Take your pick.

  127. I don't really want to get involved in any of the grief, just a few thoughts

    - I'm one of the gabbers for sure but I'd include politics in the gab as well

    - re politics; I was friendly with quite a few members of the CPGB (M-L), not to be confused with other M-L CPs, in the 70s and no one hates activists more than those nearest them. Was just gabbing about this yesterday with an SNP friend, about how the people who REALLY want Sturgeon and Purcell's guts hung out to dry are in their own parties. Maybe that's what's happening on UT

    - I see parallax above, Parallax was the first friendly voice I encountered on Cif and I miss our chats (and 3p4 to whom I owe thanks for referring me to the update on CynicalSteve's blog - if he's 'lurking' then hi). I also really like Hank and Scherfig, monkeyfish (all 3 dry wits of mine own kind), BB, thauma, His Grace, the wonderful Sheff and Jay (to mention just a few)

    Well, forgot what wonderful point I was rambling towards, but it's a real shame to have squabbles (drinking Waitrose gin with fever tree tonic and a dash of Ame elderflower/lemon - fab)

    To get things in perspective I am not a Christian - am very far from being a Christian- but one of my best friends is a Church of Scotland elder who was round here just as we got the news about the 3 people who jumped from the Red Road Flats this morning. This friend has spent years helping asylum seekers and to be honest I do not give a flying fuck about what we disagree about she has done wonderful work for people who need help.

    Am going back to Northanger Abbey on ITV3 now, the most wonderful presentation of how we can all misunderstand each other.

    Night guys. Peace (as we used to say)

  128. UKBlaza

    Very good luck with the sparks course. When/if you've got the time keep us posted about how you're getting on.

    Here's a choon to see you on your way.

  129. "It's too easy to just hit the fuck it button and jump on the shit train to oblivion"
    You won't be alone in that carriage, UKBlaza.

  130. This comment has been removed by the author.

  131. @Edwin - nice post, and you're right up to a point. But sites like this are virtual families, and like all families, we need a Boxing Day piss up to air grievances and bring issues out into the open.

    As with all families, the UT is a mix of those you're happy to spend time with, share values with and those who make you wonder where the gene pool got polluted.

    I can't applaud too highly the posts of our matriarch today. Every post a winner, Montana.

    I'm still struggling to understand what the UT is for, but if it's for nothing more than pricking the pomposity of the waddya gang, that'll do for starters.

  132. Piece on Keir Hardie just gone up on cif. MAM is saying 'we need politicians like Hardie'. Bizarre.

  133. @Edwin - should have said btw that I agree with you about parallax. Good poster. Interesting guy and much missed on here. I always enjoy his posts, even though he doesn't agree with me. I like to be challenged, and parallax does that.

    Bit of a twat, obviously, and nobody knows what he really stands for, but still, he's good fun.

  134. Mr Xuss has done a fine job on UT too.

  135. Edwin

    I heard about the three people who jumped from the Red Road flats on the news this evening. It seems they might be (Kosovan?) asylum seekers who's applications for LTR had failed. Heartbreaking if thats the case. Actually, heartbreaking in any case.

  136. Edwin Sheff

    Just watching news now. heartbreaking as you say Sheff - whatever the reason, How desperate do you have to be before people start listening?

  137. What's bizarre about MAM's words now, sheff? They've always been unworthy of reading.

  138. I saw that story on the 6pm news, sheff. How desperate does anybody need to be to jump from the 15th floor? Very sad.

  139. So anyway, I'm on strike for the next two days. Have to say that I've got mixed feelings about it as it's to protect redundancy rights for public sector workers.

    Govt's imposing a max of two years' salary. That undercuts the benefits that are available to those who've worked more than 24 years, and it's no doubt the thin end of the wedge, and I resent the principle of workers' benefits being cut because the bankers fucked up and needed to be bailed out with our money.

    But it's tactically and strategically stoopid. Nobody will care or notice if I'm on strike for a couple of days. I'm not a frontline worker. If I contributed to a strike fund which saw benefits offices and tax offices shut down for four weeks or so, it would be far more effective.

    I despair of union leaders tbh, and have done so ever since Scargill had the upper hand morally and threw it all away.

  140. I'm on strike too Hank and feel a bit ambivalent about the reasons tbh.

    Civil servants are really feather bedded in comparison with the private sector. I've only been in the public sector for a short time and I still come out with benefits that are streets ahead of others I know who've been grafting for years, putting money into private pensions with payouts that are really mingy.

    Having said that, theres no way I'm crossing a picket line and I agree about workers benefits being cut because financial speculators made major fuck ups.

  141. Oh you guys (-;

    Montana and I have posted some confrontational shit on here about Cif, and about the posters who make it shit, and we all know that it's shit, but our posts have been studiously ignored.

    Cos we all want to be nice, bland and sociable.

    Anyone who's been posting on this site since it was set up by Montana should know which side they're on. Montana certainly knows, as does MF, and I recall clearly posts from Bru about what a middle class tosser my son was because he spent a year studying in Austria.

    Some of us might also remember Bru invoking the luxury chocolate parcels that she'd despatched to Iowa, as though that exonerated her from contempt for the empty-headed elitist shoe-fetishist crap she posted on here.

    Kizbot never had anything of interest to say. Ever. She was nice an' all, but bland as fuck. Until her mate Bru got a bit of a shoe-ing on here. At which point, Kiz discovered her anger.

    Petulant at best. Pointless and misguided in truth though.

    Jay's turned up on here with one of his occasional cameos to defend Kiz. No surprise there. He did that a few weeks ago too.

    As for my comments about your mates, Jay, I stand by every word.

    They are bland boring fuckers.

    Ask yourself, Jay - have you ever learned anything from any of them, despite the number of posts they bless us with?

    And for fuck's sake, drop the whining about being called a middle class dilettante.

    You'd have a bit more credibility around here if you didn't spend so much time flirting with Jess.

  142. Yep, that pretty much represents my views too sheff.

    Which is a bit of a pisser tbh as I was hoping for an argument, any sort of argument.

    Even an argument with Jay about whether or not I've been dissing his bitches.

  143. Wanna argue with me, Hank? Not sure what we'll argue about, but we could give it a go.

  144. Nope, I think we're as one on the big issues, Montana.

    I do like this site, as you know, and I feel quite protective about it.

    Which is why I think that those who use it when it suits their purposes to do so should be told to fuck off.

    They know who they are.

  145. Hankscorpio
    "Which is a bit of a pisser tbh as I was hoping for an argument, any sort of argument."
    OK I will oblige. I have been reading this rant for yours and wondering what the hell is it reminding me of...now I remember that ridiculous play 'Look back in anger' and Jimmy Porter. How dull it was then and absolutely dull it is now. Ya prodding and poking people to get effing reaction...Arrgghhh boring!!!
    Oh look the Oscars are on now, even though I know its a fixed gig I'll have a much better time watching the shoes n stuff there.
    Good bye!!!

  146. @Mchica - well, it's a fine film. And Jimmy Porter's a fine character. Not Arthur Seaton, or Paul Morel, but a fine character anyway.

    As for obliging with an argument, heh, yeh right. Your argument is what exactly?

    Jimmy Porter was dull then and he is now because he wasn't interested in shoes? Shoes and stuff?


  147. Well, everyone else is probably gone now, but it's still Townes's birthday here.

    (Thauma: if you're reading this on Monday, don't click the link. I can pretty much promise you won't like it.)

  148. Hank

    Now shoes I can talk about - or rather the lack of them. My feet are only ever shod in either flip flops or boots. I forgot about the boots this winter - until it snowed. Finally bought some 3 weeks into the snowiest winter since the ice age.

    Are you a shoe fetishist?

  149. Montana

    Never heard of Townes before - how do you pronounce his name?

    I would have to listen a few times - not sure.

  150. Leni: he's never admitted to it. Shoes do seem to be a recurring theme here. And handbags. And jewellery.

  151. Leni: just like it's spelled. Townes -- like the plural of town, but with an 'e' in it for class, I suppose. Van Zandt, well. Like van zant. The 'd' is pretty much silent.

  152. Leni

    I've got a real soft spot for you but I wonder sometimes whether you're a genuine naif or a proper wind up merchant. I'm not a shoe-fetishist and could never be.

    I have a sole (-;

    Bru is a shoe-fetishist. I dislike Bru. So as a result I'm not a shoe-fetishist.

    Anyway, here's something for Mschica, whoever the fuck she is. This is Burton and Taylor at their best. Watch it, digest and then stick around or fuck off. I don't care either way, toots.

  153. Hank as Jimmy Porter.
    That made me giggle.
    I'm still laughing, excuse me.

  154. Bad Moon Rising habib (-:

    Anyway, I know that Montana hates Richard Burton but still an' all...

  155. Hank
    I wasn't winding - just wondering. About anger mainly. Lots to be angry about - most of us have , sometimes personal and sometimes about the big things beyond our control.

    We can respond only to words here - I haven't met anybody in the group - easy to arrive ar wrong conclusions.

    Am I naive - perhaps. Certainly shouldn't be. I have experienced enough of the nasty side of human nature to induce cynicism at least.

    You seem to be looking for somewhere for your anger to land. i do not conclude from that that you are only anger - just that when you post here you are often angry

  156. "You seem to be looking for somewhere for your anger to land."

    Bless you, leni xx. Been waiting all of my life for that.

  157. a totally off the net 3p4 says (from a friends computer)

    a special thread,,never been better anywhere anytime

    whole lot of taking personal responsibilty
    whole lot of speaking the truth
    whole lot of try to help

    whatever you people are looking for is what you already got,,this thread should make that obvious even,,even,, to the cleverest and brightest,,

    until next time,,i am seriously offf theee neeettt,,

  158. Hi 3p4, we wondered where you were. Glad to hear from you, even though you're somewhat blocked (or blacked?) out.

    Seems we've had gnashing of teeth and introspection here today. Just back into town a while ago so still catching up. I like this thread for the mixture of views from people all over the world. Music, mirth, politics, social issues, and of course, the mundane. Sounds good to me.

    See you when we see you.

  159. HS or shall I call you Jimmy?
    I knew you would be well pleased with the comparison, you play the caricature to a tee. I just find the whole routine rather dull thats all.
    "This is Burton and Taylor at their best. Watch it, digest and then stick around or fuck off. "
    I watched and upchucked it; first you got to get past that whiny, nagging, grating to the ears till they bleed voice of Liz Taylor. And then endure the games that bored bourgeois couples manufacture to give their lives any pertinence. No thanks!