20 March 2010


After 13 years of imprisonment in the Tower of London, Sir Walter Raleigh was freed in 1616.  After escaping from Elba, Napoleon entered Paris in 1815 with 140,000 regular troops and 200,000 volunteers.  Albert Einstein published the General Theory of Relativity in 1916.

Born today:  Ovid (43 BC - AD 17), Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906), Michael Redgrave (1908-1985), Vera Lynn (1917), Carl Reiner (1922), Fernando Torres (1984).

In addition to being the Vernal Equinox, it is World Storytelling Day.


  1. Ooh. Bit hungover. Bleah. Good tunes last night. Apart from one where my link completely disappeared. But it's too early for that kind of thing now. Will try again later (when more up). (and less bleah).

  2. Right. Who shall we victimize, bully and slander today? Done Matt Seaton already. Bo-oring.

  3. It's the vernal equinox today, rapideddie, not the venal equinox. Plus getting shouty this early might upset those with hangovers.

  4. I notice that the bottle of gin I started yesterday evening now contains little more than a dribble and, although I was up and about before seven this morning and feel fine, I shall not be taking up drinking at a professional level.

    I plan for today to be lazy, slobbish, slovenly and derelict, apart from odd spots of promised household chores


    Nobody springs immediately to mind but we could probably just pick a random name from the telephone book and start there.

  5. There's always MAM, if anyone's feeling really desperate to bang their head on a brick wall.

  6. Atomboy, good call. Mrs. Concepta O'Toole of 15 Beech Drive, Raheny in Dublin, prepare to be vilified. And tell your next-door neighbour, Antony Finnegan, that we know about the tryst with his chiropodist, while his wife was in the Beaumont Hospital getting her varicose veins done.

    Bastards, the lot of 'em.

  7. The Tesco Doctor

    One day, in line at the works cafeteria, Jack says to Mike behind him,

    'My elbow hurts like hell. I suppose I'd better see a doctor!'

    ˜Listen mate don't waste your time down at the surgery" Mike replies.

    ˜There's a diagnostic computer at Tesco. Just give it a urine sample and the computer will tell you what's wrong, and what to do about
    it. It takes ten seconds and only costs five quid....a lot quicker and
    better than a doctor and you get Clubcard points'.

    So Jack collects a urine sample in a small jar and takes it to

    He deposits five pounds and the computer lights up and asks for the urine sample. He pours the sample into the slot and waits.

    Ten seconds later, the computer ejects a printout:

    'You have tennis elbow. Soak your arm in warm water and avoid
    heavyactivity. It will improve in two weeks'.

    That evening while thinking how amazing this new technology was, Jack began wondering if the computer could be fooled.

    He mixed some tap water, a stool sample from his dog, urine samples from his wife and daughter, and 'pleasured himself' into the mixture
    forgood measure. Jack hurried back to Tesco, eager to check what would happen.

    He deposits five pounds, pours in his concoction, and awaits theresults
    with a grin. The computer prints the following:

    1) Your tap water is too hard. Get a water softener.

    2) Your dog has ringworm. Bathe him with anti-fungal shampoo.

    3) Your daughter has a cocaine habit. Get her into rehab.

    4) Your wife is pregnant. Twins. They aren't yours. Get a lawyer.

    5) And if you don't stop playing with yourself, your elbow will never get

    Thank you for shopping at Tesco

  8. Ach we all fight too much and I'm not keen on mobbing (not even MAMmobbing) but Seaton's 'bor-ing' comment about Lord S took him into the acceptable league along with Nick Griffen and Bea Bonnet - happy about having had a go at him.

    Am sure some of you love Lesley Duncan's Love Song as much as I do. She died 12 March and there is a nice tribute in today's Scotsman to 'the wee lady who did her garden' -


  9. and here it is, first and best version


  10. For HeyHabib, a story.


    My mum and dad used to talk shop over dinner, across the table, over the background babble. The conversation was full of anatomy and ailments. Accompanying the procession of dishes was a succession of clinical cases, of medical and psychosocial conditions. Hospital loads of common complaints, colds and flus, sprains and aches, cuts and breaks, wards full of wheezy, bronchitic smokes, of cancer and cardiac patients, were discussed. Some of the patients were more unusual in their behaviours and their symptoms or simply in themselves.

    I would cut up my meat, watching the trickle of watery blood, as my mum talked of cutting into a patient's flesh in order to debride a wound. The spurt of hot fat squirting from a fork-stuck, roast spud looked like the gush of pus from an abscess my dad was describing. I chewed and listened, swallowed, feeling the bolus of masticated matter ooze down my gullet.

    "Dr A was telling me about one of his patients. A middle aged lady who came in complaining of some irritation in her vagina. He asked her to undress and examined her. When he began to examine her internally he felt something hard. Would you believe it but when he felt around he felt a beak! Lo and behold when he pulled a parrot came out! I thought I've heard of vaginal thrush but never of vaginal parrot!"

    "But why was it there?" Z asked "I mean it didn't fly there, did it?"

    "Well, he said when he gave her the bird she said 'Oh, yes, I remember now. I put it there to stop my husband messing about.' What an odd way to stop your husband enjoying his conjugal rights. HOw he kept a straight face, I don't know. I fell about laughing when he told me. And then he said she said 'I must have forgotten to take it out again. How silly of me.' Imagine that!" My mum replied.

    "What kind of parrot was it?" X asked "Was it a Norwegian Blue?"

    "I don't know, perhaps she mistook it for a cockatoo!" My mother drolly replied.

    Wow, I thought, how could you forget a Polly filled fanny? Whoever heard of a prophylactic parrot? Would it catch on, this avian IUD? And, most importantly, did it work? After all some people apparently find shoving hamsters up their bums a turn-on. They say a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush but that must have been some other bird and a different kind of bush.

    Personally, I think the woman was lying. It was probably another example of the immense variety of human (auto) erotic practice. A flight of fancy propelled by her residual polymorphous perversity. Or maybe her husband was not a cuckold but set the cuckoo in her nest himself.

  11. I'm good arn't I (smirk)

  12. Interesting discussion last night about the left. Pity I missed it. But here is my two pennies worth (well about half a shilling really).

    Paul - you say Marxism is for losers. But I would say to you that ultimately the ideas of tempering the worst excesses of capitalism are time and time again rolled back by the very nature of capitalism itself. A lot of the 'Nordic Effect' is disappearing as those nations become slowly, more economically right wing.

    Why is Marxism for losers? Seriously where has it been tried? Please do not tell me Soviet Russia. And Marxism and socialism are not one and the same thing either and there are Marxists whos beliefs differ too. Ultimately I would say I am open with regards to what the answer to the problem is. But to get to the answer we need to be able to clearly see the problem - and that is that capitalism in and of itself - is ultimately destructive.

    We have seen it time and time again - and this is where I think Marx is spot on. Capitalism can be dynamic and it can sometimes work to benefit people but it always ends up in some form of extreme inequality with power and wealth ever more concentrated into a few hands. Of course it then becomes unstable and certain events occur. Possibly severe social unrest or even a revolution or two, or what has already become a sort of fascism descends into 'proper' fascism as people search for answers and scapegoats, or governments suddenly for the first time in a long time scared of their own populations rush to protectionism. Ultimately you often end up with geopolitical crises and war.

    That is where I get stuck because I agree with you that a strong social deomocratic model is a good thing and much better than what we have now. But every time advances of this nature have been made they have been rolled back.

    And the question is, is that because of the nature of capitalism itself? In a sense is the social democratic model doomed to failure because within capitalism it will always be swept aside with the rise of the new oligarchies of that age - in their quest for more power and money?

    I have linked to an article by Simon Johnson called the Quiet Coup over on a Cif debate - the link is not working I have been told but you can find the article on Google documents apparently. He is an ex-IMF chief and he clearly states that the US (and I think we can safely say the UK is in this position too) has been taken over by finance elites and the government is now run by them and for them. It is a really interesting read, and a very worrying one. His hope it seems, is for a second crash soon because he thinks this will be the only way the government will do what needs to be done. Otherwise he sees extremely dangerous times ahead for the US and hence the world.

    Anyway really long post and a bit heavy for a Saturday morning, sorry. I am off to my sisters for the day in an hour or so, so wont be able to post after that and just wanted to get my thoughts down before I went.

  13. Princesschipchops, I think you write succinctly and eloquently and that's not just because I agree with you.

    I can hear and read people every day looking for "answers and scapegoats" when they ask the questions they are told to ask, subliminally, or otherwise.

    "In a sense is the social democratic model doomed to failure because within capitalism it will always be swept aside with the rise of the new oligarchies of that age"

    I think if we had a revolution tomorrow, in five years time we'd see another oligarchy rise from amongst ourselves. It's human nature to some - always wanting more things, more prestige, more power.

    You're right - too heavy for a Saturday morning, but it is a rainy day in Manchester. It is cleaner than in Marx/Engels' days, however.

  14. Pen, loved the table talk, thank you. Especially as I'm a vegetarian and currently trying to quit smoking. Here, have a song.

  15. Don't think it would take 5 years, pra, meera, 5 weeks more like..

    I think we are so self interested as a species, that only an external threat could unite humanity. Alan Moore's watchmen hinges around such a threat being 'altruistically' manufactured, and as it is for the greater good the end's justify the means...

    But this is the trap, no ends justify any means, it is all just shit that happens. We are all looking for answers and the easy to comprehend, and most comforting will be preferred over the difficult and hard to swallow. Despite, or even because, the former are bollox and the latter true...

  16. Heyhabib - I think you might be right, which is very depressing. But then again there are societies where material wealth is evenly distributed - and they still exist. And humans lived in much more equal ways in the past - so maybe it is not totally our inherent nature to always want more.

    I like what Oliver James says about it in Influenza - most people are happy to share - but a small percentage want more and more and more. In a very true sense they could be seen as being sociopathic. He says that they - the sociopaths - are in charge though - the lunatics are now officially running the assylum.

    Maybe we need to figure out a way for the seventy percent of people who do not want power and wealth above all else to run things. Ooh I sound like a right hippy now. Right off to my sis's. Have a lovely day all.

  17. Suchhi gal, Turminder, my bruv.

    "the former are bollox and the latter true"

    I hope that's the result of Man U versus Liverpool, tomorrow!

  18. PCC - good discussion of Marxism.

    I would add that many capitalist ecconomists accept at least some parts of Marx's analysis, they just don't see anything wrong with exploiting the majority for the benefit of a minority!

  19. Hey habib not sure it is human nature to want power over others. Not exactly sure what human nature is or even if there is such a thing - part of our 'success' as a species is surely that our behaviour is very variable. Anthropologists say 'culturally plastic'.

    In a society where some have enormous power and influence over others perhaps it is likely that people will want that power for themselves?

    Personally I would just like power over my life.

    If we ever achieve a society based on real equality perhaps the lust for power over others will disappear?

    We can't know that of course and its possible we shall always have to be vigilant.

    But when I look at the mess the world is in I can't just accept it as an unchanging thing.

    As Marx said: "philosophers have only interpreted the world differently – the point is to change it."

  20. It's Parretto(sp?) again is it not 80% of folk are decent and humanitarian, 20% self interested to sociopathic. And indeed it's the scum that have risen to the top. They have 80% of the wealth and privilege, we all get the scraps.

    But When I ask is there a viable future for the left on WADDYA, I get 15 or so recs... The Toryboy's, ukips and anti- imigrationists get 10x that...

  21. PCC

    Maybe we need to figure out a way for the seventy percent of people who do not want power and wealth above all else to run things.

    Not wishing to be facetious, but surely the fact that they do not want power means that they do not have it?

    The problem is that those who really want power and money do nothing which is not involved in getting it. They are single-minded and ruthless.

    It is why I have always found it funny when people post on CiF about the wonderfulness of the rich. You know they are not rich themselves because no rich person would bother to waste their time writing on CiF. They are another variety of Kapo and cheerleader, the people on just above the average wage who proselytise and evangelise for capitalism, but only see its operation on a Mickey Mouse scale.

    I am afraid to say that this lack of concentrated zeal to get what one wants is also the reason that the broad left and traditional liberals have declined and fallen as a force.

    We know what we want - we just don't want it quite hard enough.

  22. have just been reading the sportblog, and over there, one of the writers has quit blogging because of the abuse he was getting - many posters are complaining that the mods there are too 'light touch' and people get away with pure abuse. how the hell has that difference sprung up?

    anyway - conversation exchange then rugby. still feel ippy. bleah.

  23. I once read/saw/heard someone who suggested that, particularly in the US, the reason people don't accept socialism etc, is because the 'American Dream' is so widely believed/revered that people would prefer to protect their own potential future riches, rather than benefit from redistribution in the present, when they may really need it.

    It's an interesting theory, and if it's even remotely true, it's quite a chilling example of how indoctrinated people have become by the current economic/individualistic dogma, and why we've reached the point we have.

    In my opinion, of course..

  24. What do we do about inequality tho Anne? This?

    And on James's point, if any of us won big on the lottery, would we 'evenly distribute' our prize, or would we all start looking for ways to invest, and dodge the taxman?

  25. James Dixon

    This is similar to the fact that poor people vote for Tories/Republicans because they think that, being the parties of the rich, this will somehow ensure a better future and better fortunes for themselves and their families.

    They think the rich will, if in power, somehow let the secret of their moneymaking escape for all to use, to mop up from the streets or absorb by osmosis or infiltrate their minds through mesmerism.

    They never spot the fact that the rich are only able to maintain their wealth by keeping it from the poor.

  26. Afternoon peeps - just catching up on the news before I head out to watch the rugby at the boozer. I see David Cameron's shiny face was caused by too many gays in the army and a faulty Darwinian theory

    or something like that.

  27. I agree. And at some point, someone's pulled off one hell of a sleight of hand, haven't they.

    We'll exploit you, keep all our (and your) money from you, and then we'll get you all to fight our case for us.

    And occasionally we'll throw out a few 'poor boy done good','you're the backbone of this country','look at those other guys who're after your hard earned tax monies' type stories, to keep you all dreaming the dream, and fighting the fight.

    It'd sort of be admirable/funny, if it wasn't so very, very depressing....

  28. Turminder

    I'd like to think that I'd be at least a bit distributive if I won the Lottery.
    I've already decided which 'good causes' get what, and I would really like to use a lot of it to implement some of my own good causes too.

    Although, whether that would happen in practice, remains to be seen - or rather, it almost certainly won't, so I can just talk the talk without putting it into practice.... ;0)

  29. Agree that the poor support the rich for reasons stated. it is also obvious that the divisions are protected by the rich.

    Private education stops the improvement of state schools because the more powerful in society don/t join the fight to improve them - quite the reverse. It is not in there inteest to do so.

    sprout pickers and phone drones are needed - differences in education and aspiration ensure a steady supply. More and more the talents of working class children are subdued - often with the help of parents - they are not taught to question or explore. Many of the brightest children become 'difficult' and are excluded from school.

    Current financial models allow for the maintenance of power and privilege - based on meney - the few who break through the barrier on the whole become sucked in, buy into the prevailing ethos. Look at celeb culture - encouraged by media and establishment, held up as examples of social moibility. They feed back into the myth thru putting names to clothes and toiletries - to which the poor are taught to aspire.

    Big question here is - how much does the current system encourage the sociopathy of wealth and power - how much is inherent to human natyre? There is some evidence that in simpler, more equal societies the expectation of sharing elicits different bahaviour. Wrong for example not to share perhaps limited food suplies.

    In terms of education - we are back to needing the old sunday schools again - helping those poorer kids who want to learn , to think and challenge in after hour /out of school time. A long slow process.

  30. Job

    Good of you to join our discussion on privilege. The chifren of the White House - be they black, brown or green will crtainly have more opportunities, better education and health care than those of the majority of their fellow citizens.

    Power gets privilege. Should this be the case - is this the intention of democracy? At which point in history did this start - this layering of society - the cult of the outcast and down trodden? How do we combat it? How do we stop our children being sucked down both by and into the social maelstrom which wants to subsume them as commodity?

    Does my child, your child have the same right to a good education, life chances which will bring about the flowering of their true potential and fulfillment as those of the rich and powerful?

    what of the not so bright child, the physically disabled child/ Any ideas?

  31. The more stuff there is the more chance of unequal distribution.

    Some people simply aren't interested in acquiring stuff and others would have the sugar out of your tea if you turned your head for two seconds. Some can be given huge sums and blow the lot and have nothing to show for it (well maybe a damaged liver) others can live well on surprisingly modest sums. While undoubtedly inequality has got worse over the last 20 years we are talking about degrees. There is not much chance of the UK becoming a co-operative with an almost flat distribution of wealth.

  32. Ron

    Correct in many ways - human nature plays out against the backdrop of society. opportunity allows for expression. We will never have a socirty of saints but more can be given opportunity to try to fly.

    I.m not much of a consumer - not particularly into things - they have a tendency to get in my way.

    I can think of a lot of things I could do with money which wouldn't damage me, my liver or anybody else.

  33. Last thought on this for now.

    Every blade of grass has the potential for growth, different varieties have different growth patterns and forms. Place a brick on any clump uf grass and the result is the same - a deformed and etiolated travesty of its real self, a total distortion of it its own intention

    Time to lift some bricks.

  34. Leni

    "Time to lift some bricks"

    Amen to that!!!

  35. Job

    'The nicest child I ever knew
    was Charles Augustus Fortesque ... '

    Yes - and this is the point. Who decides on standards of goodness and obedience ? What is a 'nice child'?

    Come on Job join in.

  36. Quick question:

    Do the clocks in the UK go forward tonight/tomorrow?

  37. "But then they were times when once we were caught we paid dearly for our stupidity."

    Anyone else a little chilled by this? Perhaps why he's still grinding axes that should be in a museum, a pre-shonk dynasty c5,000,000bce museum obviously...

  38. James

    Tonight - I think. I usually wake up in morning and look at time on computer !

    Happy Equinox everybody. The same sun shines on us all - at least in that we are equal.

  39. British Summer Time (BST) starts on the last Sunday in March and ends on the last Sunday in October, at 1.00 am Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

    So next week we loose an hour of sleep...

  40. Time to lift some bricks.

    Or at least put them into a nice herringbone pattern

  41. Turminder

    some there are who believe we should be controlled by a lurking menace of retribution . I was very naughty when I was 6 - and 16 - and 26 - forever. I await the falling of the axe in fear and trembling.

  42. Leni


    That's me back to a four hour difference then....

    (I found out last time via the medium of my mum telling me to go f@ck myself, after I misjudged the math, and called rather late in the evening, so this a better way, I reckon...)

  43. Ron

    There speaks the craftsman - or a neat and tidy mind.
    Off till later. Byee.

  44. Leni

    Your Mum used an axe? - hell I thought mine was mental.

  45. Montana

    Forgot to say - love the species crocus. Thousands smiling in my garden at the moment. One of life's real joys.

  46. HeyHabib, loved the song, it made me cry. I sing the blues yeah, how could I not when I know ...

    It's cool. I had a nice time shopping, subverting economic and social systems. I saw Sally, so sweet, serving others at her checkout station. As soon as she saw me she smiled, ahhhh. I felt slightly churlish as another was so blonde and cute that my loyalties became divided.

    So when they had colluded to deliver me to Sally's care I had to say how lovely they all were. They make it a delight to wait in the queue and their labor is often over-looked by the busy and bumptious. Sally loved it and so did the blonde cutie and the others (by synecdoche I embrace all in one).

    Variance is the spice of life. Without difference all would be the same and nothing would ever happen. But too much and it all flies apart.

    Games theory is a maths of cooperation and competition.

    (Hi TXuss and Leni)

  47. Social modeling theory :)

    I do it all the time.

    I dare any to take a pop at me .

    I went to my local and felt a stranger (not up :) )

    I was born in this burg and when I walk about I feel like an alien. A starman.

  48. Hi Pen

    We all sing our own Blues as consolation for what we know.

    Sometimes though we need a happy song.

  49. Pen

    I'll take you on over the dreaded Games Theory - no jargon at dawn though - jargon is an unfair weapon.

  50. Hi P3n! Crocus just coming out in the borders in The Borders.

    I had a few harsh punishments as a child, what does it teach us..?


    'Don't get caught!'

  51. turminderxuss -

    No its certainly NOT about that! Its about equality of respect and about ebsuring that no member of society, whatever their ability, falls below a VERY decent minimum.

    In other words a MUCH higher minimum wage and also a maximum wage (poss a multiple of the minimum don't have a figure for that)

    The what would you do if you won the lottery argument is a red herring frankly as you are asking what I would do in this society now. That would certainly not be the same as what I would do in a society that shared more equally.

    It is certainly not an equality that produces drab uniformity and its not dumbing down to the lowest ability levels.

    I would suggest that caring for the sick and the otherwise vulnerable would be considered a positive thing - too often now its seen as a burden.

    A society where everyone could live a satisfying secure life free from the fear of destitution.

    Are we really saying that we are not capable of this?

  52. Interesting exchange on WADDYA regarding the coverage of the BA strike by the BBC.

    I have not watched and television news for a day or two, but it seems the strike is being demonised on the basis that it might spoil people's holidays and travel arrangements.

    The problem is that it is not just the BBC. The last ITN news was just the same, with Unite being ridiculed by Chris Choi and, again, the same line of: "One thing is for certain, this strike will bring misery to millions of travellers and the families they may have been hoping to see over their Easter holidays" or some such guff.

    Do we now have a right to travel by the means of our choice at the time we dictate without the risk of impediment or disruption? If so, I want to go back to Australia for a few months. This afternoon will do nicely, thanks.

    Of course, it is an embarrassment to the government and may cost votes in the form of vindictive distressed air passengers choosing a party which can make the trains and planes run on time.

    Having both Jack Dromey and Charlie Whelan on the Unite team cannot help, either.

    However, is news - and we tend to think of television news (obviously not any channel owned by Murdoch) as the best source of impartial and factually accurate easily accessible information - now just a catalogue of how the spiteful world spoils our fun?

    Is everything only meaningful when viewed through the prism and perspective of each of us as individuals?

    Not long ago, BA told the workforce to practice a bit of slavery and turn up for their shifts for a month with no expectation of being paid - not even a free lunch.

    Do we now see other people purely as facilitators or stumbling-blocks in the acquisition of our own needs and wants?

    Have the media given up on reporting news and are they now simply the mouthpieces of their staffs own agenda and prejudices?

  53. Hi Leni, choose your weapons : )

    Don't worry I don't bother with the math of it too much (jeeze). When I ws doing my phd Rob (my supervisor) thought I should do a course on it run by Ken Binmore. It was all very mathy, I did a bit of it and mentioned him in my thesis (some should write less and bin more). I had tried to talk to him one time and he had brushed me off but any games theorist worth their salt knows that one should consider information. He knew little about me but I knew a lot about him duh.


    Just an example.

    I taught both educational rehab of juve delinquents and investigative decision making (to cops and academic students). I have 'read' a lot of nasty stuff. Of course it makes me sad.

  54. I love flowers. My garden in the US was so lovely, a paradise (in the persian sense).

    Hi TXuss :)

  55. Can I remember all the flowers, blossoms and blooms? Rhodies and camelias, potentillas and broom. The honey locusts filled the air with a sweet perfume and a slow white snow of falling petals. Salvias and stocks, verbena and black eyed susan, dahlias and dianthus. I had roses but the deer ate the buds.

    Ahhhhh and I have but begun, there are so many plants so many bushes shrubs and trees.

  56. Once there were snakes in the trees. Dead, their bodies decaying, flensed of flesh. Put there I inferred by the crows that feasted on the slithering wyrms they caught as spring drove them to breed.

  57. Anne, "A society where everyone could live a satisfying secure life free from the fear of destitution.

    Are we really saying that we are not capable of this?"


    AtomBoy, "Do we now see other people purely as facilitators or stumbling-blocks in the acquisition of our own needs and wants?"

    You both ask a question that I think you already know the answer to..

  58. Oi been drinking woin - makes moi brain go all bubbly. Back later - after coffee and food.

    Had interesting conversation about control of apps on ipod etc. All rather nasty says oi.

  59. turminderxuss - I know what my answer is (Yes we are capable of it we need more faith in ourselves though) - but I asked you the question - what's your answer?

  60. @ Atomboy and James Dixon. Very good points both of what I'd term the neo-liberal "Lottery fallacy". Peddle the dream to the masses, and they'll become cheerleaders for it. What's withheld though is the vital,fundamental info from the masses that the 'game' is rigged, the winners already chosen (with the odd example tossed out to maintain the fiction, and it's all financed by the masses) and we/they are footing the bill. It's not that the masses are dim or gullible, but that tremendous effort has gone into subterfuge,propaganda (again footed by us) weasel-words and back-door privatisation, as well as plain lies:oh, and the fact that the masses have that small concern of putting the bread on the table,to take up attention.

    See MaM is being particularly fuckwitted (and plain wrong: he's putting deeds dones by Enoch powell and by Thatcher down to a Liberal Establishment about mental health on an Abramsky thread. I haven't got the will to feed his trolling.
    However,though his use of that term is both wrong and inaccuraye, it is perhaps correct to describe the Guardian's outlook. Too many of the staff and writers see themselves as right-on, playing their ludicrous (and divisively dangerous) identity politics, putting a 'caring' (as if:they 'care' in the abstract,but won't relinquish their advantages) face on, but still love the Blairue Third way, command and control, authoritarian statist position. In doing so they are hypocritical fools, displaying both a mistrust of the people (the state must do and control it all, in line with blinkered and ignorant ideology) and either a blithe insouciance or a callous disregard that the bastard 'project' of New labour that they still cheer-lead for has been one huge con, a syphoning off of even more of the public estate to private concerns,a promotion of both gimmickry and idiocy as a cover for the asset-grab.

  61. I once read/saw/heard someone who suggested that, particularly in the US, the reason people don't accept socialism etc, is because the 'American Dream' is so widely believed/revered that people would prefer to protect their own potential future riches, rather than benefit from redistribution in the present, when they may really need it.

    This is what I was alluding to last night when I said that capitalism is woven into the very fabric of this nation. Americans are brought up to believe that everyone in the US, regardless of the circumstances of their birth/childhood, has an equal shot at becoming wealthy and most people would, indeed, perpetuate this system to their own economic disadvantage out of some misguided belief that they may one day be one of the lucky ones.

    The thing that astounds and confounds me more than anything is that most Americans, even people who are grounded enough in reality to understand that they will never be one of the lucky ones, accept this as right and moral. We are also brought up with the belief that the wealthy have become so due to their own hard work and determination and, therefore, deserve their wealth. The ugly obverse of this coin is that the poor, therefore, are poor because they are lazy and feckless. This absolves the rest of society from any responsibility to help them.

    As I also said last night, the sad thing is that this belief is so entrenched in American culture that even most people who are on the "left" end of the political spectrum in the US take capitalism as a given, part of the natural order of things.

    We need a cultural shift. We need to move away from the notion that material wealth equals success and happiness. I don't know if it will ever happen. I don't expect to see it in my lifetime and I seriously doubt that it will ever happen in this country, but I hope that it can happen elsewhere.

  62. Very pished but very happy - prolly should not post :)

    Going to sit with a silly smile and some spring rolls.

  63. Well Anne I think, given personal experience, that it's fine to have these ideals, but that any chance of 'a fair society' has been flushed down the pan. There simply is no interest in looking after the vulnerable, in helping the needy, or the sick.

    Politicians spout fine words and line their own pockets, I admire your loyalty, but I could not assist the labour party after the calumny wrought on education, transport, health, the wars, the collusion with the US, the torture...

    Alaisdair and Montana's posts eloquently show the state of the 'civilised west' we have the means to forge a post scarcity world, but I can't see it happening in my lifetime. I vote SNP, in the hope that in a smaller state, the inequalities will be fewer and the gulf twixt rich and poor lessened. Probably as likely as winning the lottery, but we all choose our delusions do we not?

  64. Hi P3n! Tune 4u..

    Check this ace guitar! ; )

  65. scherfig

    we've had an email exchange today in which I apologised for certain things I said to you last night, but it would be cowardly of me not to apologise publicly for things I said publicly.

    So, here it is. I was out of order. I'd been harbouring a grudge for the last couple of weeks and it spilt out last night. I apologise. You're one of the good guys, or one of the less bad guys.

    There's a lot of good people on this site. A lot of genuinely nice people. I've met some of them and spoken to some others.

    It's been a bittersweet experience knowing those people because their innate goodness serves as a constant rebuke to me and my own shortcomings.

    I've never really fitted in here, and if Montana had been of a mind to ban people I'm sure I'd have been disappeared a long time ago.

    I despair of ever learning the rules of the game. Rest assured, I hold myself in contempt more so than I do anyone on here.

    Best wishes to those who deserve it. They know who they are.

  66. Hank, let's just draw a line under it and put it in the past. Take care - I hope that things work out well for you.

    And all of us.

  67. Hi Hank does that apology extend to me as well? (considering I've never had an exchange with you as far as I know)


  68. As one of those who have been privileged to meet you, hank, I will say that you're definitely one of the good guys. Draw a line under it, as scherfig says.

    And bloody well stick around or sheff & I will be hunting you down.

  69. Montana

    Sorry, I didn't mean to be all plagiaristic and that, I bailed quite early last night, and didn't see your comment.

    But I've read it now, and I agree.

    The US sort of fascinates me, because there's such a strong undercurrent of stuff like this, that just seems so irrational and illogical to me, no matter how hard I try to understand it!

    (Even taking into account the 'Glenn Beck'/fox News propaganda factor....)

  70. Also, Hi to Boudican from last night too, (if you pop back)!!

  71. Hank

    You are one of the good guys, for sure.

    So, you get angry sometimes and say the wrong thing or say things in a way you later regret. So what? Who doesn't?

    If we cannot forgive freely and without conditions, we should be looking at ourselves.

    Anyway, I need you and Monkeyfish, not only to teach me things I never knew, but to improve my style and manner.

    Stick with it, please. We do not need another mutual backslapping society. We need the grit to make the pearls.

  72. Also, how’s everyone getting Italics and Bold and whatnot into their posts???

  73. James

    Start with a bracket like this:


    add a b for bold or an i for italic and close the bracket:


    Then write what you want, after which you have to close it all like this:


    /b or /i


    The oblique or slash is needed to close the tag, or it will not work.

  74. PS The brackets and text all have to be together - not on separate lines. I had to do it like that or you would not see it.

    Using normal brackets, it would look like this:

    (b)my text here(/b)

  75. wow

    How cool is that??


    (fingers crossed!)

  76. @James:

    Oh, fear not. I didn't think that you were plagiarising and I had a feeling nobody had seen my comment last night -- coming, as it did, after pretty much everyone else had gone.

    It seems irrational and illogical to me, too, and I grew up here! (And have to live with it. I rarely divulge my true political beliefs to anyone in the US -- just not worth the aggravation.)

    Annetan usually sums up my beliefs pretty well. And you can imagine how that would go down with the average American.

  77. A link with normal brackets would be:

    (a href="http://google.com")My link text here(/a)

    Obviously, replace Google link with your own.

  78. "I despair of ever learning the rules of the game. Rest assured, I hold myself in contempt more so than I do anyone on here."

    I know how you feel, Hank. Don't despair, you are one of the good guys.

    Not sure what this has to do with anything, but it feels right

  79. Yey!!

    (*grinning like a computer simpleton who's just found a new toy)

    Thanks @Atomboy!!

  80. No, cordelia, the apology doesn't extend to you. You typify all that's wrong with Cif. Middle class posters with a sense of entitlement who colonised the Waddya thread and turned it into a chat site.

    This site is called The Untrusted because those who were here at the start were getting banned or pre-modded because we chafed at the party line on Cif. We were liberal-lefties who disliked the nepotism, the obsession with identity politics, the commissioning of idiots like the Myersons whose sole qualification was that they were Seaton's dinner party guests.

    You're not in the least bit "untrusted". You're bland, vacuous and obsessed with meerkats.

    But you're popular with the Waddya crowd, and with jess and Bella. And you got to write an article about how terribly badly you'd suffered in the HR marketplace.

    One long extended whinge about you. No sense of perspective, no idea that there might be a wider political or economic context. It was all about you. How terribly unfair it was that it had happened to you.

    Thankfully, it didn't really matter much because your hubby was earning enough to keep the bourgeois show on the road.

    Your contributions bring a serious website into disrepute. If you're welcome here then that would simply reinforce why I've become alienated from here.

    You don't fall within the category of those to whom I sent best wishes. As you would surely realise if you had an ounce of self-awareness.

    @scherfig and Mschin - cheers guys x

  81. Oh, and James:

    For posting a link within a comment use:

    (a href="this is where the URL goes")This is the text you want to appear as a link(/a)

    Again, replacing the regular brackets in the above with < and >.

    Some people 'round these parts do their links in a Cif comment box and then copy & paste it over here.

  82. And yes, you need the quote marks around the URL.

  83. James

    My pleasure. I know Google on blogspot comments does not allow you to do much, so that may be about it. It does not allow blockquotes, for example, so most people seem to italicise quoted text.

  84. Atomboy and Montana (Check me!!)

    Thanks. I think I'll save the link thing for another time though - there's only so much 'learning' I can do in one day!!

  85. Evening everyone

    Planes, trains and autos day today - finally back and playing some cool tunes and although glad to be home, still find the speed of the shift from one culture to another a bit disorientating - we move about so fast these days.

    We are also brought up with the belief that the wealthy have become so due to their own hard work and determination and, therefore, deserve their wealth. The ugly obverse of this coin is that the poor, therefore, are poor because they are lazy and feckless. This absolves the rest of society from any responsibility to help them.

    That is really a nifty one to swing and it has always amazed me how profoundly so many people are conned by it (not just) in the US - even to the extent of denying themselves benefits as in the great health care debate. Basically I just don't get it.

    Still, coming back from the Balkans where massive cascades of dosh have been disappearing into back pockets for years by all accounts, one can only sit in awed silence at the totally bare faced venality of it all. Don't think there are any short, or even medium term answers. Very depressing.

  86. montana

    I've thought about writing something on 'the american perspective' quite a few times, because it really intrigues me, but each time I realise that I haven't got a clue where to even start with it...

    I imagine it must be quite hard to have (relatively) extreme political views that fall outside of certain parameters.

    I mean, we all joke about the 'if anyone says different, they're a bloody communist..' thing, but I get the impression that there's a real danger of receiving that kind of abuse in some parts of the US!?!

  87. Thanks, martillo. I appreciate that a lot, mate.

  88. I very much appreciate Hank's 'public' apology to me, and I can understand that people will be urging him to stay. My own view is that he broke trust by publicising on an open blog my real name and some personal details that I had given him in confidence person to person IRL. By doing this he did exactly the same as brusselsexpats did to Montana. There are people like bitey and bru who read this blog and publicise the details elsewhere for their own malicious purposes. It is bad enough if they are details that we have ourselves revealed to each other, but it is even worse if we have not given consent, as in my case. I hold no grudge against hank, and I will move on, but I do not think that it is right that he continues to contribute here. It will not be good or positive for either him or us.

    I feel extremely strongly about this. If we do not believe that confidences can be respected or our privacy safeguarded by people we trust, then it is more sensible to walk away from blogs like this. Since I started contributing to this blog, I have revealed my real identity to only a few people. Hank is the only one who has used that to try and score points. If that is acceptable to others here, perhaps because it hasn't happened to them yet, then it's no place for me.

    Hank, I hope you understand my point of view. I also feel that this should be said here publicly. I have deleted a number of posts from yesterday's thread, and will under no circumstances be revealing your identity, no matter how angry I might be about something at some point in the future. And that's the difference between you and me.

    I really do wish you well, so please take care. If you wish to discuss this further, please don't do it here, but Email or call me. All the best.

  89. Another method Jamesis to use a cif box as a note pad, then u can use the buttons to do the tags, but remember to cut&paste your comment here and not post it on Cif like habib did last night! ; )

  90. Hank

    I echo martillo - you're abrasive at times, but so what? Arguably we all need a good abrading from time to time.

    Anyway, I've met you so I know you're one of the good guys.

  91. turminder

    That'd probably be a bit easier to be honest, but I've flounced off and signed out, innit!!??

    (After I've f@cked up a link or two though, I'm sure I'll probably reconsider!!)

  92. Anyone know where the pipster is this evening?

  93. James

    it is intriguing. I once foolishly dropped the 's' (socialism) word into a conversation in a bar in the states and was virtually run out of town. there's a massive gulf of understanding and most people over there seem to have been so thoroughly brainwashed you simply can't have what would pass for a bog standard, non controversial conversation in Europe.

  94. Nice Sheff! Check this geezer!

    And, Bitey, as you are someone who never has anything to say other than ad homs against people you don't know, kindly go and jump down a canvas tube lined with fishhooks won't you, being sure to land in a skip of salt and broken glass. You sad impotent dicksplash.

  95. Just ploughed through the 500+ comments on the Mississippi Prom Night thread and rather wish I hadn't. It kind of exposes the problem with Seaton's fuzzy maths about posters and readers. There are 3 million page impressions a month. 10,000 (I'm making this up as I go along) registered Ciffers, say 500 regular posters. Very few of the posters worth reading are on that thread.

    Seaton's maths suggest to him that of the 3 million page views, only 2 and half of them will be by people interested in the modding issue. My fuzzy maths suggest to me that if you take away a surprisingly small number of posters, you have 3 million page impressions looking at dog shit. The people most concerned about bad modding are largely the people who put most effort and thought into their posts.

    What I don't understand is that by modding many of the better contributions out of existence, they probably lower the quality of debate. Of course, the lower the quality of debate, the more people feel they can jump in with a Daily Mail style "String 'em up/send 'em back/get a job". That and they don't want a BTL poster slowly dismembering a woeful ATL article. Kudos to whoever it was that said yesterday that CiF is engaged in an accelerating race to the bottom. Seems about right.

  96. Sheffpixie


    I've done quite a bit of voluntary work with Americans, and these were young, quite 'lefty' types anyway, but there where still some subjects that were absolutely off-limits, or views that were non-negotiable. Ever.

    I know that there are some exceptions, but they do seem very hard to find these days!

    (and don't even get me started on the month I spent in Kentucky...Jaysus)

  97. Love Nick too huh James? U heard the bootlegs? He sounds like prince Charles speaking! ;-)

    You Tube good for something huh?

  98. This comment has been removed by the author.

  99. @scherfig - I'm walking away anyway but before I do so I'll put it on record that you're being a drama queen about this.

    I did not compromise your identity last night. I revealed things that we'd spoken about offline and I was wrong to do so. I apologised for it. That may be a breach of trust, and I don't blame you for feeling betrayed. That's why I apologised.

    You do have a very strong moral code which accords to whatever suits your own purposes though. We had a conversation not so long ago when we pretty much agreed with things that were wrong on here, and then the next day you slated me and sought to force me out.

    I'd done nothing more than say what we'd spoken about and agreed with the day before.

    I really don't understand your mindset at all. I'm straight as a die, what you see is what you get.

    You seem to think that it's ok to chase the likes of Bru and Kiz off this site because they don't meet your standards. I haven't got a problem with that. I agreed with you, and was equally complicit in that.

    But you don't seem to understand that, having set that precedent, it's acceptable for others to employ the same tactics and tell those who don't get "the UT ethic" to fuck off.

    I'm not sure what game it is you're playing, scherfig. I really don't understand your motives at all.

    I do know that I'm honest and straightforward though.

    And you are a hypocrite.

  100. "I will under no circumstances be revealing your identity..."

    You pompous twat.

    I'm Martin. I'm a taxman and an alcoholic.

    Get over yourself, scherfig.

  101. Turminder

    Enjoyed that! Here's another cool dude for you. I saw him live at the Maryport Blues fest a couple of years ago. Wondrous to behold.


    I'm really struggling to think what what my 'purposes' might be, malicious or otherwise.

    I am beyond deducing any purpose behind your visits here, other than you appear to take a perverse pleasure in parachuting in from time to time, have a not very effective go at a few of us then piss off into the night.

    Not interesting or original, so not normally worth a response but have just had a good week and am feeling magnanimous. It won't happen again.

  102. turminder

    Yeah, big Nick Drake fan.

    Great link, cheers.

  103. Hank, do and say whatever you want. I really don't care.

  104. Ohh, Ohh


    I've been loving Eric Bibb recently too...

  105. "oh fuck it montana just bar the cunt."

    Me, Turminder?

    Who the fuck are you? Oh right, yeh, another one of the waddya crowd.

    He's right, Montana. Ban me. Let's make it really cosy for complacent twats like Turminder and Cordelia and the rest of the waddya numpties.

    Eventually you can go the whole hog and let Jay and Jess moderate the site.


  106. "do and say whatever you want. I really don't care."

    You're a liar, scherfig. You do care. You don't like being shown up as a hypocrite though.

    Hard to take innit? Face it, scherf, you are a hypocrite. Moralistic puritanical preacher with feet of clay.

    You're a liar. You know it. I know it. You'd prefer it if other people didn't know it.

  107. This comment has been removed by the author.

  108. HankScorpio

    Just one small point to set the record straight,

    I WAS a wife, however my 'hubby' died a few years ago.

    a small editing change in the first article I wrote, as no doubt Phillipa and BB can confirm editing does occur,
    not that I expect that information to change your perspective. You are, of course, entitled to your views.

  109. Hank & scherf

    Come on guys, I know its Saturday night and all but can you cool it and enjoy some choonz instead of sniping at each other.

    My fave Stones tune incase anyone wants to dance.

  110. Hank

    sorry to stick my oar in again but it wasn't you

    "oh fuck it montana just bar the cunt."

    It was job or bitey or whatever other names he uses reposting a long comment that had previously had deleted form this site and montana quickly re-deleted it, it was about bb and her son again, not you.

  111. Nice intro Hank... A taxman? You couldn't see about my rebate could you? Few pints in it for you...

  112. Well that Stones number was a pretty poor rendition...so I'll change tack and go for this instead. Am determined to enjoy myself tonight.

  113. Guys my working assumption is that anything I post is open to the entire internetski and that my IRL ident is easily crackable by any who care to try.

    I posted my name months back on Cif big deal.

    Jon Chase

    Night night

    ps Schef/Hank try bot to be too sea green incorruptible yeah? Bru and Kiz are not the 'enemy' and in any case it is always better to turn an enemy into a friend. Don't you know byzantine strategy duh.

    pps of course I have a slight terror that some fool will mis-read me buit hey my big bro took a pop at me with my sis inlaw and my mum's passive connivance.

    So what?

  114. Rod&Gab, nice! I put this here a while back, dunno if you saw it James?

  115. Evenin' all, especially to fair Cordelia!

    Damn, an hour late!

    Are ya dancin, Sheff?

  116. Sheffpixie

    Very nice.

    Heres a couple from my 'adopted people'...

    Chilled..., and, something a bit more fun...

  117. Just before I sign of and dream of Sally and her lovely friends I must say I do so enjoy some of you guys linky things. I just love hearing old stuff plus vid and hearing stuff that 's new to me. It is so cool.

    And a well chosen song says more than one can say. I listen to music and hear the human soul. Of course I fall in love with it. Even angels have ears as well as tears.

    Sweet dreams for all of you on this thread. Taxes serve the public interest when corruption and cheating are removed from the equation or reduced to the smallest of error terms.

  118. Turminder

    I hadn't seen that before, but it's wicked...


  119. This comment has been removed by the author.

  120. Habib

    I am now! this is the kind of music I've been dancing to in the past week.

    And listening to this to.

  121. Can I get political yet?

    Sorry Turminder, I'm sure they mean Scotland too...

  122. Thanks a fuckin' lot sheff. What you call 'sniping at each other' is Hank repeatedly calling me a liar and a hypocrite etc etc, and me doing what exactly? Objecting to his behaviour? Maybe I should just have called him a cunt and have been done with it. It seems like you can see no difference anyway. I'm disappointed in you. Nothing like a bit of meaningless relativism to avoid taking a moral stand, eh?

  123. Scherfig/Hank - It would be an inexcusable rudeness if either of you were to walk away.

    You both contribute a great deal to the learning of others and thus have much to offer that overrides the occasional indiscretion and ill advised word.

    In a world of vileness I sometimes have to swallow things that I would prefer to spit out, you should both learn to do the same......all it takes is practice.

    I think another way of saying what I am trying to say is .................don't be a tosser.

    Sheff - glad to see you back safe and well, I was a little concerned that you might be spirited away into a life of wild Balkan abandon......xx. I shall play my Davy Spillane pipe link that you provided for me a while ago

  124. Sorry to disappoint you scherf but you insist on rising to Hank when he's on one so to a certain extent its on your own head. I'm not saying he's right, but since I like you both, I just wish you wouldn't get stuck in this fandango you do together from time to time.

    Anyway am a bit pissed and don't want to say anything I'll regret later, so I'll just leave you with this little number

    PS: Some really good tunes on here tonight.

  125. Very nasty post from Jiasa - waddya - tried to copy and paste - failed. 11.37

    Not my quarrel but this is very nasty

  126. Deano
    I was a little concerned that you might be spirited away into a life of wild Balkan abandon.

    It was very tempting and if I'd been 25 years younger it might have been a very different story.

  127. Priceless, scherfig. Taking a moral stand, eh?

    You really do think you're above it all, don't you? You've forgotten all the times when you've slagged others off, forgotten the times when you've said one thing privately and said the opposite publicly.

    parallax posted something a week or two ago about billp, and it reminded me that we were all huddled together in the PB bitching about billp. I went public on the UT and told him he wasnt welcome. I got no support from the moral cowards like you, scherf, and Jay, and others. I copped all the flak from billp and parallax.

    I was also the first to resign from the PB because it was wrong in principle.

    Where were you then, scherf?

    Moral stands? You haven't got a fucking clue.

    You're a precious self-regarding hypocrite. And a liar.

  128. Fucking bastards:

    All that remains of my Spillane link is - "This video has been removed due to terms of use violation. "

  129. This comment has been removed by the author.

  130. Sheff

    I did reply to Job/Jiassa this morning suggesting he join in - to no avail. It is not my quarrel but I found the Cif post quite outrageous - designed to damage Montana.

  131. Leni

    All he's interested in is stirring things up and spreading poison. A pathetic excuse for a human being.

  132. Try this Deano

    BTW, Just for future reference is this you pissed or sober Hank?

  133. Sheff

    I am reminded - yet again on Cif - of the old fashioned 'poison pen letter'. Very nasty - don't understand what people get out of this kind of activity - i imagine something horrible lurking behind the bushes.

  134. It's a troll, s/he lives/works in china at least some of the time. Pen could probably crack it's I/P address for us. Sunlight being the best dissenfectant, and if we remember The Hobbit not good for trolls..

  135. "BTW just for future reference is this you pissed or sober Hank?"

    Interesting question, Turminder. Quite revealing really.

    Cheerio all. It's been fun x

  136. Leni, apologies, but I deleted your post because you reproduced job/bitethehand/auxesis/jiasa/turner's previous post. There is no place here his psychopathic ramblings. Montana deleted his first post and I have deleted his subsequent posts. I make no apology for that. But from now on, you're on your own here.

  137. "why am I telling you all this?"

    Good question, scherfig.

    The answer, I think, is that you're a vain, narcissistic egomaniac who's got a terribly inflated idea of his own importance, but is at heart very insecure and so cannot deal with targeted criticism.

    You've been found out, sweetie, and it's breaking your heart.

  138. Sherfig

    That's ok - I copied it from waddya.

  139. scherf

    I'd like to talk to you properly and hope I'll get the chance but bitey has just made a particularly viscious attack on Montana over on waddya and that takes precedence at the moment.

    I should be very sorry to see you go and would like to persuade you to change your mind. My email is up at the other place, or you could get it from Montana.

    That goes for you too Hank.

  140. Oh, and before I sign off. Hank, your memory is selective again or you're just plain lying. I argued right from the start that billp should be banned. I got support only from you. Your mates parallax and olching thought that it was outrageous that a malicious fuckwit like billp should be censored. And parallax still pops up here every now and then to shit-stir, and that's normally after you've taken the gloves off for your own amusement and there's abit of a scrap. Do you send him an Email or something to tip him off or does he lurk constantly?

  141. Incidentally, scherfig, as you've got editorial rights on here, and can delete posts, why are you making such a deal about my posts from last night?

    Why didn't you just delete those which revealed personal stuff? If it offended you, or compromised you, why not delete them? Why make such an issue about it?

    You're continually looking for a reason to be offended.


  142. You're making a proper arse of yourself now, scherfig.

    Parallax has never been a friend of mine, as his posts on here the other week will show.

    I said that I was the only one who went on the UT to confront billp. And I was. You whined about him in the PB but didn't have the guts to show up in public. Par for the course.

    The more you talk, the more you prove me right. You're a liar and a hypocrite. I'm neither.

  143. Turminder saab, how you doin' bruv?
    (very very sorry for this) Hope Sheff can still dance.

  144. "You're continually looking for a reason to be offended. "

    & Not having to look far, you are being some kinda twat Hank, this is your 'socialism' huh? Just get a gun, get bitey and both your lists, you'll have a blast together.

  145. A bit tired of the paagal gorra's to be honest Habib, NN old bean. Sat sri A'kal!

  146. Scherfig

    I don't usually take bait - not a fish - but what do you mean'You're on your own here' - are you suggesting I copied Jiasa's post out of malice towards Montana ?

    I don't really understand what is going on so i'll shut up.

  147. "You're continually looking for a reason to be offended."

    It's my own quote but bears repeating. Very pleased with that. It's nailed scherfig.

  148. Hell, Bitey really is a turd. It's instructive that everything he does is centred around women. Whether it's humping the leg of the nearest available feminist poster (sometimes he sounds like a bargain basement Basil Fawlty for the feminist cause: "Ah, another superb post, if I may make so bold ma'am") or creepily trawling through through female Ciffer's posting histories or simply screaming nonsense at them, it all comes down to the wimmins.

    The fact that he seems to have a particular beef with mothers is hardly coincidental. My best guess would be either a distant mother who had little time for him (and possibly pawned him off to a nanny) or an alcoholic mother who was never sober often enough to take care of him. He possibly went into care as a result of her alcoholism.

    My money would be on the alcoholic mother or possibly one who suffered from depression and was drugged up and consequentially rather emotionally unavailable.

    All I'd say to Bitey is that - as you can tell from tonight's exchanges - you're in the stable, loving environment here that you never had at home. Rather than inventing positions for people they never took and starting arguments that people have no interest in, why don't you talk us through your childhood?

    After all, if you fancy yourself as a fearless, honest voice - which, rather sadly, I suspect you do - then start being honest about what informs your worldview. Talk on the UT about your upbringing and relationship with your mother.

    Afterwards, we can have a male bonding session, where we play conkers with our nobs and watch Spartacus. Or something.

  149. Hank, I have now deleted those posts where you revealed personal information about me. However after your Email apology to me this morning, I waited long enough for you, having admitted to having done wrong in posting them, to have time to do the decent thing and delete them yourself. Since you failed to do so, I eventually deleted them myself. I kept no copies so you don't have to worry about me exposing you to those here who didn't read them and maybe still have some vague notion that you are, as you claim, 'honest and straightforward'.

    And I'm no idiot, Hank, as you well know. You however are a dishonest, shameless hypocrite.

  150. Sat sri akal and salaam, our kid.

  151. Would it be so hard to ignore bitethehand? As in totally ignore. Here and there. I mean, talk about feeding him/her. S/he must love it.

    Goodnight all.

  152. @Turminder - oh fuck off, waddyafanboy. There's not much radical about kissing Jessica's arse and dissing Bitey. All you need to complete the set is a cuddly animal avatar and you'll fit in fine here, undermining all it ever stood for in the first place.

    Montana really needs to grow a pair and tell the likes of you and Cordelia that you're not welcome.

  153. First:

    One of the other people with admin privileges here and I have both deleted comments from Bitethehand today. My patience is exhausted and I see no reason why I should allow a mentally ill creep slander me on my own blog. I would imagine that the comment won't last long on Cif, but I'm not particularly concerned about it. No one who matters to me is going to take any stock in it. I will continue to delete any comments he makes here and I don't care who thinks that that is censorship.


    It was inexcusable of Hank to use personal information about scherfig and Bitterweed in comments made here. I'm done defending you, Hank. I care about you a great deal, as you should know. But I just can't make excuses for you any more. You have lashed out at far too many people who didn't deserve it and I have always asked them to try to forgive you and give you another chance.

    You accused me earlier of caring more about my popularity than principles. If that were true, I'd have said good bye to you a long time ago. There are people who despise me because I've stood up for you.

    What you don't seem to understand is that, for some of us, not hurting the feelings of people who have done nothing wrong is a principle. And not lashing out at someone whose circumstances are unknown to us simply because they don't seem to have had as rough a life as we is also a principle.

    Whatever it is that makes you do this to people, I wish that you could get it under control. There is so much goodness in you, but I just can't keep pretending that the viciousness is justified by pain from your past. We've all had pain, Hank, but we don't all choose to inflict it on others unnecessarily.

    I wish you well and I hope that someday you can get whatever it is that makes you do this to people under control. There is so much goodness in you, but I just can't keep pretending that the viciousness is justified by pain from your past. We've all had pain, but we don't all choose to inflict it on others unnecessarily.

  154. Explain to me, scherfig, how I'm a dishonest, shameless hypocrite.

    Chapter and verse.

  155. That - (The Leeds Piano Contest on BBC4) is a gig and a half. A kid from the Ukraine just played a fine rendition of Beethoven's Emperor.

    The interior of the Leeds Town Hall makes a fine backdrop and the tv production was superb, catching the lively indifference of some members of the band whilst they patiently waited for their bits.

    Oh I do like a fine young woman in evening dress playing the kettle drums.......

    Scherf our kid, part of what you both contribute is passion and that's always worth reading.

    turm thanks for that brother.

    For what it is worth, I would like to say that I think that it is unwise and unfortunate that anybody should delete any post from the UT.

    It should all form part of the history and should be available to those who follow later and wish to try to make sense of our/the struggles here.

    Any deletions at all should, as a minimum, be marked by a note of explanation, but I honestly think they should be avoided. Others learn from the vileness of the few.

    Hank I was pleased (not that my views count for ought) to read that you were one of the early leavers from the PB.

    I was never a member/subscriber and always thought the phone box was inconsistent with the long term health of this place. I was very happy when some time ago I read that Montana had reached a similar conclusion to you on the subject.

  156. I said that I was the only one who went on the UT to confront billp. And I was. You whined about him in the PB but didn't have the guts to show up in public. Par for the course.

    And, Hank, this quite simply isn't true. I had a look back at a couple of threads here on the UT back when Billp was asked to leave. I saw comments from scherfig, Jay, Swifty, Olching, and MsChin all taking exception to him. And don't forget that I was the one who had to tell him to leave. I was the one who had to take the accusation of hypocrisy for having said that I didn't want to censor or ban anyone here and then, essentially, doing just that.

  157. OK, Montana, read, listened and understood.

    I don't agree with all of what you've said but I do think that, generally, your moral compass is properly aligned.

    Whatever it is that makes me do this to other people will never be brought under control, which is why I'd decided today to walk away from here, and which prompted my first post on here today.

    As you know, Montana, I hate hypocrisy. I'm lacerating when faced with it on here, on Cif, or in myself.

    Most of us on here like to think we're morally good, and hate being faced with the accusation that we're not really, that in fact we're sanctimonious hypocrites.

    Most of us are though.

    I can live without it.

  158. I should add that it is possible to copy a post ( with offending personal details removed) and then repost it before/after deleting the original if that is considered necessary.

    Of course I accept that no person should be compromised, without their consent, here.

  159. Really, Montana? So why was it that billp pursued a vendetta against me?

  160. It's all there in the archives, Hank. What vendetta did he pursue against you and where?

  161. deano, your stand on deletions is admirable but not practical or sensible or correct. I deleted Hank's posts to me because he revealed personal information about me which he had received in confidence, and posted them without my consent. I make no apologies for that.

    btw, would it surprise you, deano, to know that because of a post you made a long time ago (and which is now deleted without trace) I know your real name and details about the court case which you have alluded to a few times here. (The details are on-line - anyone can find them.) I have never remotely considered sharing these details with other people by posting them on this blog without your consent. That would be immoral. Perhaps you might like to rethink your view that it is 'unwise and unfortunate' to delete posts? It's always a wee bit different when these situations kick you directly in the balls rather than just being a high-falutin' theoretical moral situation. Don't you think?

  162. I would always wish to repost words (which I usually attribute to our absent friend 3p4) to the effect that;".... words thrown out as insults are no such thing, until someone picks them up as such.."

    Montana I sense your regret at the words you find yourself writing. The collectivist in me will always say the well being of the many must come before the few or the individual.

    Hank If you are to be away for some time I hope you will continue to read here at UT, even if you don't comment. Thereby I hope that you will make it to the Yorkshire UT do when Sheff gets it organised.

    My life would be incomplete if I didn't get to meet you and buy you a jar two or three,

  163. Dead easy actually, Hank. You revealed my first name (a very uncommon name) and everyone here knows that I'm xxxxx and have lived in xxxxx for years. It would probably take about 30 seconds to find my address.

  164. @deano - somebody's deleted my post at 1.38 above. No trace of it anymore. It's like it never existed.

    What a fucking joke.

  165. Do fuck off Hank. I've had it with you. You want to accuse me of a martyr complex and reveal things from a private conversation to embarrass me, just because you don't like something I've said to you tonight? I have taken far more shit on your behalf than you will ever understand. Why? What have you ever done but cause me grief?

    I have never betrayed a confidence from you and I never will. But you've just proven yourself for the dick that you are.

    You have no principles. You're willing to hurt anyone who doesn't massage your ego and live up to your impossible notions of "principles".

    Just go to hell.

  166. "I have taken far more shit on your behalf than you will ever understand."

    From who? Kiz? Bru?

    So fucking what?

    "You have no principles."


    "You're willing to hurt anyone who doesn't massage your ego and live up to your impossible notions of 'principles'."

    Feel free to expand on that.

    There's plenty of confidences I could betray on here. It's fucking dishonest of you to delete posts because they reveal what you think of certain posters. That doesn't make me a dick. It just exposes you as a coward and a hypocrite.

  167. Scherf - I once asked Montana to remove some foolish personal details that I posted whilst very drunk. (I did this because my kids had found me by accident by Googling my name)

    Montana, bless her, obliged my request without hesitation - but the public record here on UT of my request to remove the post should remain. Thus my foolishness is not removed without trace. I should add that the post in question was posted by me under the old Annon tag which meant that I personally could not remove them

    The only other posts in my name/trace (to my knowledge)that has been removed have been removed by me directly via the dustbin method. But there then remains a trace of a removal attributed to me personally.

    My name association with my court case stands for my kids and others to see and wonder at. Google my name and my court case brings me to top of the google list!! A small reward for a decade of personal hell - but then I kept my sanity and dignity so perhaps I should not complain.

    For newish readers - be assured that at sometime in the future I will get so pissed that I repeat the indiscretion and make a fool of myself all over again.Keep reading here long enough and nobody is kept out of the loop.

    We all have our role in life, mine was to serve as an example of something best avoided.

    You all have my very best wishes and highest regard and anyone absent in the morning will be sorely missed.

  168. No, Hank. It makes you a dick. It doesn't prove that you're a man of principle and everyone else is just a coward and a hypocrite. It just proves that you are a cruel, vicious, self-centred bastard who doesn't really care who he hurts.

    You talk about other people being up their own arses. Well, you are too, sweet pea.

  169. Scherf et al - It all depends when google last trawled this site for its archive. To get my name removed from the google search engine took about some time!!

    The problems with deletions, apart from the value of the learning for others who follow( which is important), is that they play to the hand of the likes of bitey.

    The old wisdom is the best - don't feed trolls and don't give the bastards a break. There are more of them than there are of us.

  170. Blimey, Montana, you've deleted two posts of mine then, both of which have exposed you as a hypocrite.

    Dear oh dear, the UT's really reached a watershed tonight hasn't it?

    Time to pack up and go home I think.

  171. Oh, and you've deleted your own post in response to my deleted post.

    This is really sad.

  172. This is the night when the UT jumped the shark.

    The guiding principle that this was a site for free speech, morally superior to Cif, died tonight.

  173. I don't believe this has ever been a kiss and tell site. The principles are unblemished. Reputations, however...

  174. .."OK, since I'm gonna go out in a blaze of glory, what about the $60 I sent you to buy your lad some Xmas presents?"...


    I can understand your hurt and anger Montana.

    If you delete me again I will assume that you wish me to reconsider my position and I will then go to bed and think about my it tomorrow.

  175. Hank - my dearly beloved brother. You are starting to come across as a bitter twisted twat.

    I think that there is much that is admirable in your condition but there are things best avoided.

    deano xx

  176. I still would wish to buy you a beer or so in Sheffield.

  177. "..a cruel vicious self-centred bastard who doesn't really care who he hurts"

    Not guilty. I'm actually quite a nice guy. Do a lot of work for charity, help old ladies over the road whether they like it or not, and always get my round in first.

    I'm not a hypocrite though. I care about politics and I have very little patience for those who treat it as a game, as so many on Cif do.

    I've got no time for bourgeois tossers like Kiz or Bru, or others who bless us with their thoughts, such as they are, when their time would be better spent doing the job they're paid to do.

    Jay, Ally and LordS all fall into the same category.

    So I'm intolerant of them and their preening self-regard. So what? Why shouldn't I be? Why should my opinion be regarded as controversial, or objectionable?

    As for this site, well, it's Cif+. It's just another cosy little place where groupthink is encouraged and angry voices get frowned upon and marginalised.

    It's become a victim of its own success in a way, in that it's attracted the likes of Habib, Cordelia and others who haven't got an opinion worthy of the name, but are quite brave in attacking those with opinions when they think the tide is in their favour.

    I'm not cruel, Montana. I can be vicious when I'm angry and I spot a deserving target though. And Christ knows, there's no shortage of deserving targets on here and on Cif.

    I'm certainly not selfish or self-centred though. And I'm essentially soft-hearted, as you should know very well.

    I'm struggling to understand why you've said what you have tonight. I think it's largely unjustified. But, more than that, I'm amazed and disgusted that you've started deleting posts which you don't agree with.

    You've crossed a line tonight, and I don't think this place is viable anymore according to the principles it was founded on.

  178. Yes, I've deleted some of your comments, Hank. You may choose to see that as me being a hypocrite. I care more about preserving the feelings of people who are not involved in this argument than I do about preserving my own reputation. As I said to you earlier, If I cared that much about my reputation, I'd have cast you aside a long time ago.

    Yes, the things from our private conversations that you included would probably make me seem a hypocrite to some, maybe everyone here. But then, I would imagine that most people understand that we sometimes say things about people in confidence that we would not necessarily say to them. It's not about being dishonest, it's about sparing someone's feelings.

    I deleted one of the comments that I made to you because, as soon as I'd said it, I regretted it. It was below the belt and I regret having even thought it, let alone being so consumed by my hurt and anger that I would have posted it publicly. I was hoping that I had deleted it before you saw it, but obviously you did. I am sorry. It was a really cheap shot.

    As for the question from one of those deleted comments that deano quotes above (and I deleted his original posting of the comment because it didn't seem to serve any good, not because your question embarrassed me in any way), here is my answer:

    I thanked you for that gift. I told you what I'd been able to buy for him with it and, as I've already told you, I told him where the money for those gifts had come from. I didn't feel right about passing them off as being from me and I also thought that knowing that a man on the other side of the ocean was so kind as to do that might teach him a lesson in generosity.

  179. @deano - I agree. We don't do that. I've never mentioned it before or held it as a sword of damocles above Montana's head because it would be wrong to do so. But there was a point behind mentioning it, ie that my relationship with Montana is not wholly one way, as she well knows.

    She was bang out of order to suggest that all I've evr given her is grief, and she knows it. Others might not.

    I'm disgusted that she's deleted my posts and left hers up there tbh.

  180. Time for bed for me kids - lets all be wise.

    There are times, in all of our lives, when we can't see the difference between..

    ....Monday and Tuesday .....and August and January and this and that

    ...but the fact of the matter (as she has revealed herself to me) is, there is a difference.

    One day, but not quite this day, I'm really, really going to maker an effort to be a grown up person. It might have come a little sooner but Mungo was such a bastard ...(loved your posts PCC et al)

    My warmest regards to my old friend annetan42 who I know oft reads here early next day.........

  181. You're right about that, Hank. I was out of order to suggest that all you've ever given me is grief. There was friendship. Confidences and pain shared. But how many times was I supposed to watch you lash out at other people who are also my friends before I finally tell you that enough is enough?

  182. Since when did you start deleting posts because you cared about the feelings of others, Montana?

    This is an entirely new development.

    Anyway, fuck it, who cares?

    You're right, it was a cheap shot. I did see it. But you're probably right anyway. As was my father.

  183. Hank, the comments that were deleted were comments that contained things that had been said in confidence, including the one comment of mine that I deleted. I don't feel in the slightest bit hypocritical about that.

    The one time that I revealed something from an e-mail without the consent of the author of that e-mail, I didn't do it lightly and I did it on the private blog. I did so because I felt that the person was being rather dishonest in not admitting to it on her own. For what it's worth (and, yes, I realise that you won't think it's worth anything), I still feel a bit guilty about it.

  184. Yes, I'm not proud of the lashing out, Montana. Not all of it anyway. Some of it was deserved and some of it was fucking stupid. I've lost count of the times I've woken up and the first thought I've had has been about what I've said on here or over there.

    That's one of the reasons why I'm walking away from here. It doesn't make me feel any better about myself and it sure as hell doesn't help others.

    I am genuinely sorry for the grief I've caused you and others. I tried to make that clear earlier but scherfig wouldn't accept it at face value, so I got dragged in to justifying myself, which I can only do by pointing up the failings of others.

    That's no real defence.

    I won't go on flagellating myself because I know from past experience that it will only end up being reproduced on waddya for all and sundry to jeer at. That little episode hurt me a lot.

    Anyway, no hard feelings hopefully, Montana.

    Take care x