12 March 2010


Witiges, King of the Ostragoths, ended his siege of Rome in 538.  Andrew Watson became the first black man to play in an international football match in 1881, when he played in Scotland's 6-1 victory over England.  Moscow became the capital of Russia again, after St. Petersburg had that designation for 215 years.  Mahatma Gandhi began the Salt March to Dandi in 1930 and the Church of England ordained its first female priests in 1994.

Born today:  Richard Steele (1672-1729), Thomas Arne (1710-1778), Vaslav Nijinsky (1890-1950), Gordon McRae (1921-1986), Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), Al Jarreau (1940), and Pete Doherty (1979).

It is National Day in Mauritius.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Morning all.
    Does anyone know if Matzpen has been banned - and if so, why? (My principles prevent me from visiting the Other Place) I ask because someone calling him or herself 'Compass' ('Matzpen' means 'compass' in Hebrew) commented on the Hayeem thread yesterday. Both the style of writing and the intellectual content are suspiciously similar...

  3. Great picture Montana thanks

  4. Boy, times have changed eh? 6-1.

    early tune - only decent thing Doherty'd done, in my humble, since leaving the Libs (don't worry, not a live version)

  5. Morning all,

    thanks for the positive comments on UT2.

    Andrew Watson- one of the earliest legends of Black involvement in Association football. He was educated at Glasgow University where he studied Philosophy, Mathematics and Engineering.

    He signed for Queen's Park, the great Glasgow amateurs and won his 3 caps against England twice and Wales. He was later the first Black player to play in the FA cup, turning out for a team called "The Swifts" based in Slough.

    From the SFA annual of 1881 (cadged off wikipedia):

    "Watson, Andrew: One of the very best backs we have; since joining Queen's Park has made rapid strides to the front as a player; has great speed and tackles splendidly; powerful and sure kick; well worthy of a place in any representative team."

    Philippa, believe it or not in the 10 years between 1880 and 1890, Scotland beat England seven times, drawing twice and losing once. Incredible.

  6. Ah, Queen's Park, a.k.a the spiders. My granddad turned out for them (got offered terms by Celtic, which his old man was having none of, no siree, so he got 'encouraged' to go to sea...)

  7. Hello testing...testing...

    It's Cordelia/Christina here (Cordelia mail address doesn't seem to want to work for this site)

    Just wanted to say hello and Good Luck to 13th Duke, I liked your article, it was interesting.

    Hello to anyone else who knows me...Hi Lavartis and Phillipa

  8. Hey, Cordelia! Hello, hope interviews going well...

  9. @philippaB..saw the Libertines at height of short career. They played their songs almost at triple speed and were brilliant. Took me back twenty years. I shunned the mosh pit though.

  10. Hi Cordy! Liked your skills article.. Just gonna read yours 13th. ; )
    Hope the eye is better Ms R..

  11. @turminder: Thank you, yes obviously I will tell people I did it boxing as it sounds more glamorous than saying that you are in fact a clumsy girl who gets out of bed and bumps into doors.

    I watched the BBC thing on Women's Lib last night. Those older feminists were minxes, truly. It's something the fourth wave "I fuck for feminism" who think that being able to announce a preference for threesomes makes them spokeswomen for their generation would do well to remember.

    It's like food really: if you think of putting raspberry and mustard together, remember that people have been eating for many, many years. It has been done. Better.

  12. "if you think of putting raspberry and mustard together, remember that people have been eating for many, many years. It has been done."

    Thats a really unpleasant thought.

    Hi Cordelia

  13. A couple of mis-quotes,

    "We are come to late in to this world, there is nothing new.."
    Samuel Johnson

    "Surely this is the end times, Taxes are raised, children no longer obey their parents and everyman wants to write a book." Clay tablet, found in Iran, C.2000 BCE

    I think an oatcake with some cambozola a little whole-grain mustard and a raspberry would be pleasant..

  14. Found a better recollection of one, probably apocryphal, but still good..

    "Our earth is degenerate in these latter days; there are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end; bribery and corruption are common; children no longer obey their parents; every man wants to write a book and the end of the world is evidently approaching."

    -attributed to an Assyrian stone tablet circa 2800 BCE

  15. "I think an oatcake with some cambozola a little whole-grain mustard and a raspberry would be pleasant..."
    So, the move to Islington went well, then, Turminder? heh heh.

    What channel was the Women's Lib thing on? Will have a dig around t'internet, sounds interesting.

    Some of this 'fourth wave' or whatever stuff feels like certain 'feminists' have got bored with politics and decided that any old shit will do...

    When 'waves' were mentioned on a thread a bit ago, I googled to try to find out what the waves were. Found this on Wiki under 'wave theory':
    A wave is a disturbance that propagates through space and time, usually with transference of energy
    I kind of liked that.

  16. @PhilippaB It was BBC2 and it was mostly American..Brownmiller (she was fun) et al and Greer who was definitely the contrarian in many ways. However what was most striking for me as a child born in early sixties was where they started from and boy, anyone who says women haven't come a long way is kidding themselves. I guess it was also fascinating as many of them were aligned with other interests..socialism etc and one was into destroying property on a major level. My mum, as well as being a migrant who was sent to Australia to marry a man (also Lebanese)whom she didn't want to, was one of the first women to take the pill after having a backyard abortion (realising my dad was not going to be a great father). So a lot of resonance for me.

    So you see if one more twenty-something feminist blogger tells me that "to shag like a man is to have equal rights" I will kill them. And when the Guardian gives space to stupid, dumb Zoe Margolis I think we go backwards.

  17. Thanks, will try to locate that. Sometimes I think it's very easy to assume that the current state has always held, everyone's very reasonable and respectful of difference - can be very shocking, sometimes (like stubbing your toe) to read / hear of views towards women / gays / ethnic minorities / disabled people from not that long ago - they feel like they're out of the ark, but they aren't.

    I mean, when those views are propagated now, people do usually point and say 'ark! ark!' because now they're throwbacks. but they're throwbacks to not too long ago, when they were the norm.

  18. "But after careful scrutiny of all of the available evidence we have decided that, in applying the definition of 'only or main residence' adopted by the House Committee, there is insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against Baroness Uddin and we have today advised the Metropolitan police to take no further action."

    The decision not to prosecute relied heavily on a ruling by the Lords clerk to allow peers to nominate their first and second homes, and that the definition of a primary home was one which the member visited at least once a month."

    What a staggering definition of primary residence, a monthly visit. They really are unspeakable little criminals.

  19. @PhilippaB..What really comes through is the sheer determination of these women and though they were learned and educated, in fact the women like my mum who were working in factories then and looking after kids and having to find a way through were all determined and their actions were rather astonishing when you think about it.

  20. @JayReilly Afraid I had to tune out on that as I got angry when their barristers asked for them not to sit in the dock. One rule for...

  21. Ay, MsR - repost from last night:

    MPs/Lord up in court for fraud will be citing "parliamentary privilege", not because they think they are above the law, but because...

    [complete in twenty words or less and win a duck-house]

    medve came in with: ...they can!

    come on, everyone else.

    I'm going for - because ... they suffer from an eye condition that means they cannot judge perspective

  22. MPs/Lord up in court for fraud will be citing "parliamentary privilege", not because they think they are above the law, but because...

    I said so!

  23. But because nobody told them what the law was so how could they know.

  24. Ms R., I agree, that application not to sit in the dock like the 'hoi polloi' was really appalling, and indicative of just how high-and-mighty they think they are. I strongly suspect that their counsel advised against it, knowing that it would be refused, but that they instructed him to do it anyway.

    And IANAL, but isn't parliamentary privilege meant to protect absolute freedom of speech in debates by giving immunity from defamation or libel actions - not to protect them from prosecution for other alleged breaches of the law such as financial irregularities?

  25. "MPs/Lord up in court for fraud will be citing "parliamentary privilege", not because they think they are above the law, but because...

    laws are for the little people, not them for gods sake, they're MPs - towering intellectual figures, the moral beacons of society, the cement that holds the frail nation together. And now the ungrateful little public are daring to press for criminal charges! Ignorant little proles! Next we'll be asking them to use the same train carriages as the rest of us!

    Its not just that they are are trying to avoid the law that annoys me, its the message that comes through in their comments - they are actually furious and disgusted at the way they have been treated. They are the victims.

  26. And Lavartis wins the 'that's what it actually says' prize...

    clearly certain people are following the supreme court in thinking 'money = speech'. they appear to have failed to notice that this approach refers to spending your own money, not somebody else's (or not spending anything at all, from the sounds of it)...

    what's IANAL stand for?

  27. ...because they were acting within the rules.....and their greed got the better of them.

    Do you think I could get housing benefit on a house I visited once a month?

  28. Philippa - I guessed 'I am not a lawyer'?

    Lol @ Jay. Except it's true so I shouldn't laugh.

  29. that application not to sit in the dock like the 'hoi polloi' was really appalling

    Did they really do that? (am a bit out of touch - not listening to news or read paper today) Fuckin' hell....they really don't get it do they and after all broo ha ha, the acres of analysis and discussion.

    What will it take to penetrate their self importance do you think? I'm thinking lamposts and ropes myself.

  30. Their reasoning (ha!) is apparently that they do not think they are above the law, but that only parliament itself has the right to regulate their behaviour (or assess it and apply penalties). Which to my mind, does mean they think they are above 'the law'. What they are not above is 'their law'.

    I'd do a linky, but it's a bit early for the Prodigy...

  31. "Except it's true so I shouldn't laugh."

    Exactly, if this was another country i'd find this shower absolutely hilarious, duck houses, PFI, cash for peerages, Saudi bribes, all whilst calling each other "honourable gentleman" and walking around in robes with maces, the whole stinking edifice would entertain me hugely. Maybe thats why so many Americans come to CIF, British politics is the only spectacle more ridiculous than their own.

  32. Jay - conversely, when I was picking a masters subject I went US, because their politics just seemed shinier and more cinematic than ours - they had Watergate, the Bay of Pigs, and the Gulf of Tonking resolution, for heaven's sake. With the exception of the war, most of our 'scandals' just seem terribly parochial beside that...

  33. I mean - Nixon had a burglary squad. Our lot fiddle the figures to get a kettle.

    If there's one thing more heinous than large-scale criminality, it's small-scale criminality. It's like they don't have the gumption for the big stuff...

  34. Duke - very interesting piece, I'll comment when I have more time. Ad Sm was a very interesting person! I always quoted his observation on the monopoly tendency of those in trade..... Have a safe journey to Holland.

    Sheff - I meant to say yesterday that if you haven't already thought it through you may be better off waiting till after the election before resigning, they may well be looking for voluntary redundancies then and you might pick up the price of a ticket to somewhere interesting?.

    After your sterling work at Orgreave I'm a taxpayer who would favour your being treated well.

    Glad the funeral was tasteful

    MsR - something wildy attractive about a lady boxer albeit that I don't like boxing at all.

    I think it's called the attraction of a forceful woman...I very much like lasses who know their own minds and can demonstrate a point when called upon to do so.................I'll get me coat.

    .......coffee break over, back to the building site.


  35. Philippa

    Yes the US does the big crime better, but i mean the shabbiness, the moral squalor, the tragic comedy of it, the tawdriness of these venal little scumbags mincing around a beautiful palace like Westminster with their ancient rituals and archaic litle routines. Its the juxtaposition of the regal setting and regal charade against the most morally dirty little people imaginable, Tory aristocrats taking our money to clean their bloody moats (in 2010!).

  36. It did have a whiff of 'the Brittas Empire' about it, didn't it?

  37. I'd forgotten that Kerouach was only 47 when he vomited his last.

    Strangely enough I was thinking of Jack, and other alcoholics that I have known, when I cleared the warfarin dead rats away. A lot of serious alcho's die the same way as the rats, all vomiting their own blood at the end.

    Not a pretty exit but then if your on red wine at the end it probably passes unnoticed as just another bilious attack...

  38. @deano..my trainer pal would laugh if you called me a 'boxer' as he's said he's never met someone who has to think so hard about the combinations. But I enjoy it, it keeps me fit and the gloves are a nice bright blue and red.

    @Sheff Pixie..they did indeed not want to sit in the dock which prompted me to yell at television "Where the fuck do you want to sit you shit for brains?"

    Perhaps nothing but nothing annoys me more than people who won't call a spade a spade despite the fact they have stolen the spade. These politicians would have you think it was their imaginary friends who made them do it - it is that pathetic..Jay is being far too kind.

  39. "Jay is being far too kind."

    A vicious slur.

  40. Jay, I know. It's like saying that you wouldn't know how to buy your own drugs. Sorry, that was mean of me.

  41. the shabbiness, the moral squalor, the tragic comedy of it, the tawdriness of these venal little scumbags mincing around a beautiful palace like Westminster with their ancient rituals and archaic litle routines

    I do sometimes long for a really towering scandal, something we could take a pride in - not this endless litany of receipts for dog food and bath plugs.

    I remember after Profumo's bit of naughtiness he disappeared from the world and privately devoted himself to good works. He wasn't really heard of again until he died.

    we won't see anything like that these days, they are all such prinking whores.

  42. Sheff - "I do sometimes long for a really towering scandal, something we could take a pride in - not this endless litany of receipts for dog food and bath plugs."
    Ooh, that would be fun. David Cameron turns out to be a mafia kingpin. John Prescott actually the evil genius behind killing Labour in a communist plot. Harriet Harman actually a man. That kind of thing?

  43. You mean Harman is not a man?

    Sheff - message from your shop steward at 14.54

  44. deano

    Salutations....and how are you? Miss you when you're not around. I am leaving after the election as it happens - that is if they don't sack me first!

  45. Evening all

    Haven't had a chance to browse much yet as I hauled myself into the immigration detention thread as soon as I saw it. As usual. Lin Homer is a vile creature if ever there was one. Have you ever met her, Sheff?

  46. Indeed I have BB. Her response is what you'd expect - more concern for systems than the way they impact on those at the shovel end. Same attitude gowards the staff too. All the proper procedures in place but they rarely ever work properly.

    I'm getting off that thread - I've had enough.

  47. I'm good Sheff, life continues to treat me with outrageous good fortune.

    I'm busying myself with running repairs. After 10+ years here I've decided I'm staying, save for the odd walking holiday away when Miss Diesel finally leaves me.

    My new brewhouse should be ready in time for the Furnivall centenary so I have nowt to complain of.

    It sounds as though you may have already resigned? I hope not.

    Life may be better if you were made (volunteered) for redundancy

  48. Good to hear you are doing well, Deano.

    I must go and get myself changed - off on the raz with an old friend tonight. Not looking forward to the state of my head tomorrow morning so I shall try and be reasonable...

  49. deano

    I hope we will be invited up for the centenary.

    I haven't resigned yet - think I can get away with a months notice

  50. "I do sometimes long for a really towering scandal, something we could take a pride in"

    We really have sunk low havent we? So bereft of anything prideworthy, or even competent, that we're reduced to mild pleas for them to at least entertain us with a scandal of some substance or glamour (standard scandal and corruption has now become passe by virtue of their regularity). This is the state of the nation 2010. If you didnt laugh you'd cry...

  51. Have a great night out BB

    Glad you have some sense Sheff.

    It's ok to make the resignation in your head, that helps you feel better and the remaining time become more tolerable, but nobody these days should hand in their notice in haste.

    Hope that when you have the Sheffield meet up finally organised I will be able to get across, I certainly intend to be there if only briefly

  52. Jay - I always travel in hope. I'm still dreaming of a lynching. That would be an entertainment to write home about.

  53. "I'm still dreaming of a lynching."

    Exactly, the French had the right idea.

  54. Well done Duke! Good to see "U2" in action. Who's next?

  55. Philippa

    Jay - conversely, when I was picking a masters subject I went US, because their politics just seemed shinier and more cinematic than ours - they had Watergate, the Bay of Pigs, and the Gulf of Tonking resolution, for heaven's sake. With the exception of the war, most of our 'scandals' just seem terribly parochial beside that...

    Dunno about that, I think we have just as many large-scale scandals: cash for peerages, Iraq, approved tortue, non-doms funding national parties, etc.

    I expect the US has similar expenses issues, but they just haven't come to light yet.

    Sheff - agree with Deano, wait until the packages are offered.

  56. thauma - I know, it just felt 'far away' and like fairyland. US expenses scandals usually involve paying mistresses and prostitutes rather than bathplugs and kettles, though...

    montana - that prom thing just bewilders me. as someone on the thread says
    "There is a significant number of Americans who are dumb enough seemingly believe "the gay can be caught"."
    (and not just Americans, natch)
    FFS, grrrrrrr, freedom of association, separation of church and state, equal protection, grrrrr, FFS, etc.

  57. oh, but there's tonkatsu to cheer me up

    'There has been an outbreak of lesbian in Fulton, Mississippi this week. Authorities have reassured the public that the situation is under control but have closed the local school as a precaution. Country and western music has also been banned'

  58. Thanks, Philippa, the thread Montana linked to didn't appear upon request, but I suspected it was that one!

    Mind-blowingly stupid ... but those "freedoms" you mention don't really exist in the South: there, it's freedom to own guns, lynch undesirables, etc.

    Just a few years ago, I was invited to a party in the South whilst visiting a relative, and I could not believe the racist shite that was being spouted. This in supposedly polite company. My sister and I retaliated by loudly proclaiming how hot we thought Will Smith was, and how we'd shag him in 2 secs if we got the chance.*

    They looked at us out of the corner of their eyes, and moved away slightly.

    Fucking disgusting. I will not go back.

    *We'd have done a lot more than that had the hostess not been a neighbour and sort-of friend of a close relative who had to continue living there. Perhaps it was some sort of cowardice but I also think that the effect of considering that nice white girls might consider shagging a black man shocked them more than any abusive polemic we might have doled out.

  59. thauma - ay, as I was saying earlier about sometimes cheerfully believing that everyone is as cool as the people you normally hang around with...bit of a shock when you find out that despite all the help, some people are still just arseholes.

  60. btw, pen seems to be writing porn on the philosoophy of science thread

    no idea.
    no idea...

  61. "'There has been an outbreak of lesbian in Fulton, Mississippi this week."

    You shouldnt joke about these things, the WHO is struggling to meet demand for the GayCine vaccination drug and supplies are dwindling around the globe (Giyus has some interesting links on this).

  62. Philippa - yes indeed. What was even worse was realising that my relative lives there and puts up with this shit all the time, presumably without complaint as he was friendly with these horrible people.

    Although he seems to have moved on to a new circle of friends now, a decent sort as far as I can tell, so that's good.

    I'm still not bloody going back there, though.

  63. oh, and this is new and rather marvellous...

  64. Jay - what you may not have realised is that we have successfully engineered a dual-transmission viral vector and thus you may catch 'teh gay' simply from interacting with me on apparently harmless internet chatboards...

    wait thirty minutes and then try singing judy garland or rufus wainwright - you may be surprised...

  65. And how do you know you haven't given it to me already? For all you know i'm sitting here canoodling with Bitey on my knee, already one of your bloody victims...

  66. Heh heh, yes - that was funny, Philippa!

    Am off upstairs now - night all!

    (I know, completely pathetic on a Friday, but there's a big weekend coming up.)

  67. thaumaturge - remember all too vividly the loud clang of jaw on floor from one of my colleagues when I announced that I'd shag Don Gilet given half - nay, quarter of - a chance. I really was not expecting the expression of sheer horror on her face - and naturally, since then, have taken great delight in trying to put it back there, just for fun. Not remotely fun was the phenomenal row I had with her when she said she wouldn't be surprised if one of the kids in her class turned out to be a suicide bomber - on the strength of a slightly unusual surname & olive skin. The repercussions echoed round the staffroom for days.

  68. ooch, shaz - again with the 'some people somehow managing to remain arseholes'...

  69. Shit, am still having lustful thoughts about men. Why have I not caught teh gay if it's so virulent? Is there something wrong with me?

    Shall contemplate this question in bed.

  70. someone's mentioned this and I just can't not share it....

  71. ah, thauma - slight drawback - given my own orientation, there's an 'equal opportunities employer' aspect to the vector if my IPA is the host.... just keep trying, you'll hit Jessica Alba sooner or later.

    (Jay - you keep concentrating on Damon - I don't want this to get out of hand)

  72. Too late, Philippa, nothing will tear me away from Bitey's tender embrace...

  73. Jay canoodling with Bitey... Philippa, this could be the start of something truly... er... wonderful...

  74. damnit, and things were going so well...

    [screws up plans, throws across room, stomps back to drawing board]

  75. Just picked up your link at 21.33 btw Philippa - Malcolm Tucker on CiF? Oh yesss!

  76. Philippa - Jessica Alba? Over my dead body. She's mine, I tell you, MINE!

    I throw an e-glove at your feet. Pistols at dawn.

  77. hehehehe.

    hand to hand combat, lavartis. if yo' a man...

    (see how I mess with gender roles there? eh? i should so get paid for this shit...)

  78. while attempting to find the 'sdisappeared' brendan barber read via a circuitous route (jay's profile - i did say 'circuitous') i came across the first ever UT thread.

    something very sweet about it, noew.