25 March 2010


Robert the Bruce became King of Scotland in 1306.  The Swansea and Mumbles Railway, the world's first passenger railway, opened in 1807.  A fire in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City killed 147 workers, mostly young women, in 1911.  Thousands of people bearing candles gathered in Bratislava's Hviezdoslav Square to demonstrate for religious freedom in 1988.

Born today:  Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957), Béla Bartók (1881-1945), Norman Borlaug (1914-2009), Simone Signoret (1921-1985), Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964), Aretha Franklin (1942) and Elton John (1947).

It is Mothers' Day in Slovenia.


  1. Dear Montana,

    I came onto UT in the first place, because i feel we have very similar attitudes towards raising children. Dare i hope that those might help to protect us from such a tragedy?

  2. Terrible story Montana - poor boy.

  3. Oh Montana how dreadful! Sincerest sympathies to his poor family.

    I too have been close to this, my daughter tried it twice, once at 16 and once in her late twenties.

    Loosing a child must be one of the worst if not the worst things that can happen to us. loosing a child in this way must be even worse (if thats possible).

    One day perhaps we shall have a world that our kids can be happy in?

  4. Can't find the right words through my tears.

  5. One more tragedy where no words will ever be enough.

  6. How absolutely dreadful Montana. Why on earth do people leave loaded guns around? Especially around teenagers, they can be so emotionally volatile and impulsive. Madness, absolute bloody madness and what a terrible waste of a young life.

  7. Thank you Sheff, you just said what I wanted to say, but couldn't articulate!

  8. It's weird Dot, they're fanatical about smoking in the US and if you smoked around a child there you'd probably get locked up - but loaded guns in the house are no problem. Can't get my head round it.

  9. Me neither Sheff, alcohol too: I remember being in the US with my family when I was a teenager, the guy on the till at the supermarket made a big song and dance about IDing my Dad (in his mid forties at the time with a greying beard!) making the point that my bro and I weren't allowed to drink!

  10. I'm a bit late to the Andrew Brown 'moderation' piece....but what a pompous little prick he is! Really am going to have to give up on cif all it does is needle me.

  11. Hmmm...Anyone around?. Hello?

    This moving lark is a bit of a nightmare. You'd think I was claiming asylum rather than moving into a new flat. You should see the forms! They check everything, credit history, work and character references, probably CRB checks too for all I know.

    Just as well they don't know my paternal grandfather was a premier class scoundrel - involved with Horatio Bottomley and the WW1 bond scandals.

    Am also surrounded by an Everest of books, knicknacks and clothes accumulated over a lifetime in readiness for the Oxfam van.

  12. I'm here sheff, but trying to write an e-mail about gut contents analysis at the mo.......

  13. Sheff: i am lurking ... unseen.

  14. To die feeling you wouldn't be missed means, I imagine, that you felt lonely, unloved and isolated. A sad proposition for one so young.

    Whatever the circumstances I can only hope the lad's folks didn't get the balance of what is really important in life hopelessly wrong.

    To be a successful human being, seems to me, is more important than to be a successful American, or Brit or whatever career title comes our way.

    When I was a much younger person a lass who I barely knew, and was not in any way involved with, took her life. As the years have passed I have often thought about her and whether I should have been warmer and more affectionate towards her.

    I thought that I should and she thus became one of the very few regrets and continuing sadnesses in my life. .

    Not all of my idle flirting is about lust....most of it is about true affection for my fellow travellers.

    I am profoundly glad that I was not the young lad's grandfather.

  15. Sheff: This tortured thread might benefit from your wise and kind words.

  16. deano: do you have any children?

  17. Here too Sheff! But when I said I was skiving, I meant I wasn't in court today, but sadly still had a fair bit of work to do this morning - plus I can't be logged on here and logged on to my proper gmail account at the same time, which is a bummer...

    The idea of moving fills me with dread. My house is just so full of "stuff". I am seriously considering hiring a skip and just junking a lot of it, or putting it on Freebay or whatever it is called, because there are things I haven't used in years and am really not likely to either.

    Problem is, my husband is such a pack rat - he saves everything "just in case".

    My best friend at school tried to kill herself when she was 17 - during the buildup she was very depressed, and I have to admit to getting a bit tired of what I saw as her "moods" until one morning she fell asleep in the common room and nobody to wake her up. Her father was a doctor and she had forged one of his prescriptions to get some sleeping draught. Luckily we were just across the road from the hospital and her life was saved, but I cannot begin to describe the guilt I felt personally at not "being there" for her as much as I should have been.

  18. BB: Well put on the tortured thread. I thought of trying something on the rule of law, but i'm not eloquent enough. Thank goodness you turned up.

  19. medve

    It drives me bloody bonkers, to be honest. Every single one of those threads turns into people saying "torture works" "no it doesn't", which is not the bloody point. I don't care whether it works or not. The fact is, as a nation, we must not torture people, nor be complicit in their torture. End of.

    I am waiting for the usual "Binyam Mohamed isn't even British" crowd now.

  20. Hiya Sheff and others! Moving is a nightmare.

  21. BB: i am going to argue with you on the tortured thread, spare no punches shooting me down in flames, i can take it. ;)

  22. @BB - the problem is, as I think I raised on a Clive Stafford-Smith thread, that there is no clear definition of complicity. Mr Stafford-Smith seems to want to stretch it as far as possible, while the Government is trying to limit it. What is your definition?

  23. BB

    "The fact is, as a nation, we must not torture people, nor be complicit in their torture. End of. "

    Agree wholeheartedly, however, if (and I accept it's a big if) we can prove torture doesn't work (not got any facts but gut instinct tells me it doesn't) surely that might silence more of its advocates than appealing to their better natures?

  24. BB
    I don't care whether it works or not. The fact is, as a nation, we must not torture people, nor be complicit in their torture. End of.

    Agree 100% and have said so on the thread but don't know whether I want to go back there as the hangers and floggers will no doubt be out in droves shortly.

  25. Peter

    Knowing that evidence has been obtained under torture, using that evidence and doing nothing to prevent the torture would be sufficient in my book.

    But what has been alleged goes further than that, even, in that we might have been procuring information knowing that torture was being used to attempt to obtain it. That is more than sufficient to show complicity, imo.

    Now I have never been involved in a war crimes case, even as a junior, so I am talking out of my hat to a certain extent (or my wig?!)

  26. PeterJ: I suppose that any use at all of info (possibly) obtained under torture would raise the question of being an accessory after the fact. But then again, i am not a lawyer.

  27. Peter

    I can see it's a thorny problem for the security services in a world where ethical standards vary so much and where our government has to work with regimes that do use torture.

    I wonder how much useful evidence does actually does come from torture. Not very much probably. I imagine 99.9% of people would say pretty much whatever was demanded of them - I'm pretty certain I would.

  28. @BB - those definitions would be fine by me. But Mr Stafford-Smith is trying to go much further. I also seem to recall the odious Straw trying to nuance the use of information strongly suspected to have been obtained using torture. Will have to look it up.

    I think we can agree that we need a proper legal definition, and a government that will stick to it.

  29. BB, Sheff, PeterJ:

    I was afraid of that. That they would come out and say bugger the convention and so on:


    Hello Dave, The UK drafted it, never mind sign it:

    The Convention was drafted by the Council of Europe after World War II. Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe was the Chair of the Council's legal and administrative division from 1949 to 1952, and oversaw the drafting of Convention. It was designed to incorporate a traditional civil liberties approach to securing "effective political democracy", from the strongest traditions in the United Kingdom, France and other member states of Europe. The Convention was opened for signature on 4 November 1950 in Rome. It was ratified and entered into force on 3 September 1953. It is overseen by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, and the Council of Europe. Until recently, the Convention was also overseen by a European Commission on Human Rights.


    At that time the Brits were the good guys, as opposed to those nasty nazis who liked to torture people and hang them with piano wire and what have you. Maybe your cup of tea?

  30. @Sheff - actually, it's a huge problem. If the UK set up a rule saying it would never use information that was even possibly obtained under torture, we'd have to avoid any intelligence coming from the US, Pakistan, the Gulf States, China, many South American countries, and a long list of other places. Alternatively, we could ask the intelligence agencies of those countries whether they had used torture to obtain the information being offered, and wait for them to lie before we used it. Then, when some ex-prisoner appears contradicting the lies, we can express ourselves shocked - shocked! - at the wickedness of the world.

    One seems self-defeating, and the other hypcritical. It's tricky all right.

  31. BB: snap! are we living in parallel universes?

  32. LOL medve! Hehehehe.

    Just catching the news, to change the subject for a moment, and that TSG thug who attacked the tiny little woman at the G20 protest is arguing self-defence. I dunno whether to laugh or cry, frankly.

    "Not one photo or video will reflect the fear that I felt when I faced this crowd"... yeah, and whacked a tiny little girl across the face with a backhander - he says he could have done it harder and broken her jaw - then two whacks to the back of the legs with his Asp baton.

    I feel so sorry for him. It must be terrible, being such a sensitive little flower and having to work for the TSG (SPG re-formed) day after day, frightened to death of your job, bless him...

  33. Cheers gang, must look away now to try and earn a crust. Will return later in my unseen lurking mode.

  34. The thing about torture is that the debates about quality of information are largely moot anyway. The 'information that saves lives' thing is a tactic used to make it more acceptable to the public.

    Throughout history, from the inquisitions through more recent use here in Latin America, torture has been used to make people 'name names'.

    Thus we have a situation whereby suspects can be 'arrested' on 'secret evidence', obtained by torture, held without trial, or knowing the evidence against them etc, and, will then be tortured themselves, extending the cycle indefinately.

    In my opinion, while I agree that the debate should, to some extent focus on whether torture 'gets useful intel', while we focus solely on that, we've already been duped, because it's the debate that 'they' want us to be having.

  35. ""Not one photo or video will reflect the fear that I felt when I faced this crowd"

    To be fair, she was at least 5ft and probably had a very intimidating voice. What 6ft man with a baton wouldnt be terrified?

  36. James

    I really hate it when presented with the 'hypothetical' scenarios. What if your sister, mother, child etc etc...an old but effective trick.

    Perhaps we should be looking at our own foreign policy. Arguably, evidence obtained from torture wouldn't be so much of an issue for us if we had a bit more practical concern for the countries from which our alleged enemies emanate from.

    Thats not to say there aren't or haven't been problems with it here too, in Nth Ireland for example.

  37. Perhaps we should be looking at our own foreign policy.


  38. Three medve - youngest now thirty.

    One of the ultimate nightmares is to loose a kid in such awful circumstances, the other is to have choose to save the life of only one in circumstances when you can do no other.

    Life can be fegging cruel beyond belief. I mentioned a guy last week who was out boating with his twin kids, the family canoe capzised, he could only save one child and his young daughter drowned.

    Sends shivers down my back...and I could imagine either circumstance sending me nuts.

    As BB says 'guilt' sure can rattle your cage. I'm sure all parents hope for what they see as the natural order of things - to leave the world in the order in which we arrived.

  39. "Not one photo or video will reflect the fear that I felt when I faced this crowd"

    What bollocks! The bloke is a gorilla, I saw the photos. I've been on a lot of demos in my time and frightened policemen isn't something I've met very often. If it had been a large crowd of angry miners and he was waiving a pay slip he might have had a (small) point. But as you say she was tiny.

    I hope bloody well hope he's not allowed to get away with that one!

  40. I'm wondering which District Judge is hearing it - I go to City of Westminster from time to time. Many of the Judges there are sadly very police-oriented.

  41. Sheff

    Absolutely agree. And, I know it's a very easy argument to throw out, but it's impossible to deny that, at least to some extent, Al Queda (and Saddam Hussein), were beasts of the 'West's' own making.

    And, on the hypothetical thing, it's a deliberate tactic used to shift the debate to one which, in my opinion, has little (if anything) to do with the actual reality.

    Perhaps, in a very small percentage of cases, there may be a 'there's a bomb on flight xx154' type revelation in time to do something about it, but I suspect that, outside of episodes of 24, this almost never happens.

    For several reasons:

    1) those doing the torture know how unreliable it is, and therefore, any information 'obtained', I suspect, (outside of naming names, obviously) must be backed up by/correlate with existing intel, therefore meaning that the torture bit is, at best, icing on the cake.

    2)Either by accident or design, Al Queda has a very complex web/network structure, and most of the time, there are only a few distinct 'links', or people with a knowledge of wider plans.

    Or to use the pack of cards analogy, there are a hell of a lot of '2 of clubs' in a pack, who will never actually meet with, or talk to anybody higher than a '5 of hearts'. Given this, the chances of getting reliable intel about anything beyond a small cells own activities is significantly small, as is getting 'names' higher up in the pack of cards.

    3)Taking the above two factors, given that those captured are so low, and have such little 'valuable' information to offer, the use of torture on so many low-level terrorists, although increasing the volume of 'intel', is actually reducing any effectiveness it could have, because it creates a massive haystack in which finding any needles becomes extremely difficult.

    In my opinion, of course....

  42. Oh dear

    I do seem to have a habit of clearing threads.

    Apologies for that. As you were.

  43. James
    And, I know it's a very easy argument to throw out, but it's impossible to deny that, at least to some extent, Al Queda (and Saddam Hussein), were beasts of the 'West's' own making.

    I don't think the argument is 'that easy' to throw out when you consider the support the west has given to Saddam, various corrupt Pakistani regimes, Mubarak, the Mujahadeen for example. All to bolster our own interests of course - no consideration for the countries people or any long term potential consequences.

    There's an argument for saying we brought it on our own heads to a certain extent. I suppose there'll be the usual muddle and compromise as we try to extract ourselves from any responsibility and hang on to this moral high ground we're so fond of occupying.

  44. The best explanation of torture is, decide what information youu want, torture someone till they are out of their mind, they'll give you the information you want. cf George Orwell, 1984...

    I'm not a full blown 'troofer' but if AQ is much more than isolated cells, playing on t'internet, I'd be very surprised. The UT could organise a more hard hitting "reign of Terror" if we were all ready to die for the cause...

  45. Having commented yesterday that I don't have an idea who our friend/visitor in Germany might be, it came to me that it might possibly be....." elementary watson"????

  46. Turminder

    Are you trying to get us all arrested?!! :o)

  47. Turminder

    I don't know about dying, but I'd certainly risk a stubbed toe or maybe even a light sprain.

    Viva la revolucion!!!

  48. But it's a good point though.

    Torture is most often geared towards a specific response - i.e. being asked a leading question with a car battery strapped to your genitals.

  49. Sheff, BB - new piece up on Yarl's Wood: Can Labour 'out-nasty' the Tories on asylum?

  50. Sheffpixie

    I agree again.

    And one of the most alarming and ironic aspects of foreign policy over the last 50+ years, has been the decidedly immoral things that have been done in order to maintain a position on the moral high ground.

  51. A car battery I might be able to cope with, a large fish hook attached between me knacks and a tow truck facing down a steep hill is something else.

  52. James agreeing with our delightful Sheff could get you a spell in a salt mine...

    I'm not sure that our policy advisers have any pretensions to the moral high ground, more like the immoral low ground that self interested greed really is.

    No sooner had we abolished support for slavery than we "invented" the notion of 'indentured labourers' and shipped our Indian/Asian cousins out to places like Uganda and Fiji on what were really one way tickets.

    The latter day human traffickers learned the trade at the hands of the morally superior UK.

  53. James

    "I don't know about dying, but I'd certainly risk a stubbed toe or maybe even a light sprain."

    Made me LOL :o)

    Yarl's Wood. Argh. I am not sure I am up to the onslaught... but needs must when the devil drives.

  54. BB - mm, the nasties are out underneath.

  55. Sheffpixie

    After Bottomley had been sent to prison, a friend visited him, when he was sewing mail-bags. 'Ah, Bottomley! Sewing?' - 'No. Reaping.'

  56. Deano

    RE Torture.

    If anyone threatened to give me a particularly nasty paper cut, I'd be squealing like a pig...

    RE Moral high ground.

    I just think that this whole thing is another example, in a long line of 'em, of promoting the opposite of freedom, liberty, decency etc, in order to promote the ideals of freedom, liberty, decency etc.


    Thanks. One must be prepared to suffer for ones cause.

  57. Montana - I am so sorry about your young friend. What sad, sad news. I don't really know what else to say it is such an awful thing.

  58. Turminder

    (*whispering) - How's the head this morning after last nights 'break-fast'

  59. Not too bad thanx James! Need an early night tonight as the wine had me watching John Otway on You Tube till early doors... Before this month I was drinking 10+ units every night, was worried about giving up, could I do it? Wasn't as bad as I feared, now must try for 1-2 nights piss up, per week rather than the old skool 1 night off a month..

    These torturers are thugs, you can cause excruciating pain in many, many ways without leaving a mark. like not recommending my comments frinstance! ;-)

  60. "..I just think that this whole thing is another example, in a long line of 'em, of promoting the opposite of freedom, liberty, decency etc, in order to promote the ideals of freedom, liberty, decency etc."

    I tend to think that 'they' are brilliant at abusing the language so that what is actually promoted is truthfully intended to confuse and detract from the pursuit of inconvenient ideals like freedom, liberty and decency etc. Nothing like an illusion to pacify the natives.

  61. Damn, just saw that deano blew my cover ...

    Yeah, still reading here, although I find I often have very little to say.

    I also don't know if I want to stick around should the public find out that UT really stands for "Unstoppable Terrorists" ...

  62. Good to see your still around elementary - not having anything to say never stopped me....


  63. James
    And one of the most alarming and ironic aspects of foreign policy over the last 50+ years, has been the decidedly immoral things that have been done in order to maintain a position on the moral high ground.

    "the irony, the irony" should be branded on Blairs forehead given his new role of (alleged) world peacemaker and zillionaire. A little torture I could countenance in my wilder moments. (we're allowed to fantasize) I can think of a few others as well.

    Bottomley was also a Labour MP - prescient don't you think?

    A Yarl's Wood piece? Oh god, the hangers and floggers will be out in force.

  64. Turminder

    John Otway - Cor Baby, I haven't listened to him in a while!

    I don't drink much at all these days. Am consequently a very, very cheap date!!
    And just thinking about drinking heavily tends to give me a pretty bad hangover.

  65. Gawd love a duck! The comments on the BA strike thread are appalling. Idiot right wingers. I fucking hate 'em. Sheff - go get us that gun!

    Meanwhile in other news... I have been told I have Gallbladder polyps. Not big enough to be a worry re cancer but they might be making me feel so ill. But then again they might not and it might be another thing entirely?? However generally they do not operate unless they are bigger so my GP couldn't really offer any further advice - other than to take it up with the consultant when I see her next month.

  66. Re the whole torture debate. I bought the Independent a few weeks ago and there was an appalling article in it (cant remember who by) stating that torture was not only sometimes called for but that in these 'dangerous' times it was downright necessary.

    The writer actually said (or words to this effect) 'imagine there is a bomb in central london - you have the terrorist but he is highly trained and he wont talk. But you also have his wife and child - they must be tortured if it is the only way of saving possibly thousands of lives in London'.

    I have never been so astonished by something I have read. Makes you realise how very nasty the current climate is.

  67. Deano

    Yeah. The Orwellian turn of phrase has definitely become a legitimate tool of public policy.


    Haha - I too am opposed to torture, but TB is definitely at the top of my secret 'just give me 5 minutes alone with him in a windowless room' list.

  68. PCC - mixed news there but it could have been worse I suppose, but not especially helpful ....but they might be making me feel so ill. But then again they might not and it might be another thing entirely?? ... sounds a lot like medic-speak being deployed in covering the back.

    Hope your Consult is a little clearer in her thinking .

    The BA thread was indeed depressing and I felt like taking a water canon and sticking it up the arse of "girlfriend" et al so I didn't comment.

  69. I have strong views about TB and public duty - should/when my Dr indicate that the exit is in sight I would feel about TB as Dennis Potter did about Rupert Murdoch.

    There is a time to repay the wider public for all the kindness it has shown me over the years.

    "....Tony my dear comrade, come hither, I would like to embrace you and teach you to dance.....the light fantastic"

    I wish.

  70. Sheff - According to Wiki, usual caveats applying about its reliability, he was actually a Liberal MP.
    PCC - I hope the news is good at your consultation, and I wish you the best of health.

  71. Princess
    Sorry to hear you didn't get a definite diagnosis. It must be very frustrating not to know what the problem is.

  72. Lavartis

    Oh, wrong again. I had him down as a Labour man for some reason.

  73. I have been sectioned call for help please


  74. Alert the guardian plase

    HHelp help

  75. Deano and others thanks. What the GP said is that the usual route in the UK is not to operate for polyps under one centimetre (which mine are) unless they are symptomatic. So because I am having symptoms the consultant may decide to operate - but then GP said 'but it would be awful if we did and then it was something else'. Which didn't fill me with confidence. Neither did the fact that they told me this scan was clear two months ago and now it turns out it was not. Nor the fact that in the US if you have any polyps no matter how small they just whip the thing out!

    On another note entirely - did anyone get a letter form Lord of the Darkness himself - Mandelcreep? We did. Addresssed to the hubby it were. ''Dear. Mr. Wray - The Labour party are investing in Sheffied and Yorkshire..blah blah blah.'' Ending with the immortal line ''I will not stand for the bad mouthing of British Manufacturing'' Or something along those lines. I think the other half has binned it.

    I told him to write 'Oh do fuck off' on the back and post it back to him but he declined.

  76. Pen

    What do you want us to do?

    Where are you?, and who can we contact on your behalf?

  77. Pen is there anyone you want contacting?

  78. I don't think the Guardian can help you pen, and you'll have to give us a bit more to go on.

  79. Princess - hope the consultant decides that is what it is and whips the thing out! Really, you've been putting up with this for long enough.

  80. pen - if you're still on - your Waddya post said Oxleas House, that's the one in Greenwich?

  81. PCC - hope you get it sorted soon.

    Pen - what are we able to do? Let us know, if you can.

  82. Looks like this Oxleas House.

  83. Oxleas NHS Trust has buildings all over the place. But theres an Oxleas House in Woolwich. Phone number:
    020 8836 6663. Should someone phone them? None of us are relatives so they'd probably not tell us anything.

  84. Address:Oxleas House
    Queen Elizabeth Hospital,
    Stadium Road,
    Greater London,
    SE18 4QHTel:020 8836 6692Fax:020 8836 6659
    Email:No email address available

    But as we're not next of kin theres little we can do.. Having seen some of pen's 'virtual' belligerence i fear the droperidol..

  85. @PPC ''I will not stand for the bad mouthing of British Manufacturing''

    As it's bad form to speak ill of the dead, one assumes||?

  86. turminder

    As it's bad form to speak ill of the dead, one assumes||

    Ha! Was about to post something similar! But not so funny.

  87. penileplethysmograph
    25 Mar 2010, 4:52PM

    help am being kidnapped by the state

    Am jonathan Chase have been tajken to Oxleas house for 'sectioning ' or volutary what choice

    help help

    pen - if you can still read us and think clearly and you have a choice then I'm no expert on these things but the "Voluntary" option may look like hobsons choice but I suspect you may have more legal rights and a quicker exit if you take that option.????

  88. I think you're all being a bit harsh on Mandy.

    Clearly he's put in quite a bit of research into Sheffield, given that he has watched 'The Full Monty'at least 4 times.

  89. Turminder - Now THAT would have been something worth writing on the back and posting back!

  90. ..."given that he has watched 'The Full Monty'at least 4 times."

    I heard the tosser choregraphed it.

  91. Choregraphed/Choreographed told you I knew about dancing....

  92. Hi everyone.


    You're right - voluntary admission would be better for pen.

    Also don't know which section of the mental health act may be being used here, but there are different section orders with different (loss of) rights associated with each. More info from MIND here.

  93. Cheers Chin I was hoping you might turn up with a more informed view...

  94. Blimey, deano, it's nice to know I'm of some use!

    I have wondered, particularly over the course of the last few days, if pen has been neglecting to take his medicine(s). I feel for the guy, I really do, but we are as powerless as he if he is sectioned under what you might call the heavier aspects of the mental health act.

  95. Chin - You are a lot of use young miss and I have a high regard for your wisdom.

    I don't know much about these things but my thinking was very similar re medication and the reality of the potential detention powers.

    Let's hope it's no more than medication problem that can be quickly resolved.

    Been a bit grim here the last few days......

  96. MsChin, have been wondering the same thing. Disordered has posted some very good advice on Waddya - in fact, I'll repost it here in case pen reads here and not there.

    MIND in Stratford, East London, has a legal department. They'll have gone home now but if you Google MIND you should find their email address and you can send them legal queries. Sorry I'm no good at posting links.

    I worked in their legal department and they're good at checking all enquiries and have a database with details of solicitors and barristers who specialise in mental health. If you leave your phone number someone will ring you tomorrow. You can also ask for an advocate if you don't have one. You also have some say in who your 'nearest relative' is.

    Good luck.

  97. Well spotted thauma - difficult to think of what else we can do, save if we don't hear anything for a few days, I suppose we could write to him at the hospital and tell him we are thinking of him?

  98. Jjst checked MINDs website & found this:

    We provide legal information and advice on mental health related law covering mental health, community care, capacity, discrimination/equality and human rights.

    We are sorry that the Legal Advice Service will be closed until Tuesday the 6th of April. Mindinfoline are able to provide legal information but cannot give advice.
    Contact Mind's Legal Advice Service

    0845 2259393

    Mind LAS
    PO Box 277
    M60 3XN

  99. Oh bugger, that's bad timing.

  100. We are able to provide information on a range of topics including types of mental distress, where to get help, drug and alternative treatments and advocacy. We are able to provide details of help and support for people in their own area.
    Contact Mindinfoline

    0845 766 0163

    PO Box 277
    M60 3XN

  101. This comment has been removed by the author.

  102. abolsutely no upside to this, but i do note that AB's rather smug assessment of his own brilliant work on the RC child abuse scandal seems to have taken a hit from the recent findings by the NYT...

  103. Hallelujah! - the Oxfam van has been and taken my small mountain of books and other stuff.

    Have been a bit of a hoarder but asking myself why I keep things has been quite instructive. Security blankets spring to mind.

    I think this ridding oneself of possessions could get quite addictive - and liberating!

  104. Now then Sheff take control of yourself young miss. Last time I thought like that I found myself without a stitch.

  105. I must get the dogs out for a quick walk and then some food shopping.

    pen if your still reading, stay as cool as you can, my friend, and I hope the night is not too long and weary.

  106. I am glad it feels liberating Sheff. I was a terrible hoarder but now throw things out on a regular basis (to charity I hasten to add or friends or family if they want 'em). But the first time I did it it was quite upsetting.

    My other half is such a hoarder though - all his magazines (hundreds of em including every copy of Arena and The Face) are in the loft and I fear it will one day come crashing down!

    I think books are often the hardest things to get rid of for some strange reason. Did you keep all your shoes?

  107. Sheff - I'm a hoarder too (as you may have noticed). A lot of it has sentimental value (some of that included in the security blanket factor), some is because people give you daft things and then may visit so you can't throw them out, and some just down to sheer laziness.

  108. MsChin - nosy question for you: what does your Cif avatar represent? It looks like a mah-jongg tile...?

  109. It's the phoenix, thauma, as used by Chinese empresses. I had someone in mind when I decided to upload it ..

    Thinking of going back to the pit brow lasses that I have here, though. More me, methinks.

  110. Thinking of going back to the pit brow lasses wise choice if I may say so

  111. Aye MsC - pit brow lasses were not women you'd mess with.

  112. I like the phoenix, MsChin, a lovely symbol. But I like the pit brow lasses also!

    It crosses my mind sometimes that I should find a more serious avatar....

  113. I know you like the pit brow lasses, deano. So do I.

    Fascinates me, the history of women working at the pits. The pit brow lasses broke up & sorted the hewn coal brought up from the coal face. But drawing a waggon of coal attached to you by a belt and a chain which passes between your legs, on hands and feet to get through the small tunnels - must have been so hard, especially when pregnant.

  114. MsChin - good god, a sort of pit pony! (Sorry, I don't know too much about mining.) (But I've read Germinal, if that counts.)

  115. BB + Lavartis - Do either of you know, or can find out, about any practical ways (in law) that can help someone being sectioned against their will?
    Sounds like Pen could do with some kind of legal advocate.
    Not sure there's anything anyone can do, though...

  116. thauma - I didn't know about the work they did either! That sounds horrendously hard.

    Keep the avatar - its a good 'un.

  117. I think the pit brow lasses still worked in Lancashire until fairly recently. There's a lot of stuff in the 1842 Royal Commission papers about women & children working in mining. You can download them from Coal Mining History Resource Centre.


    We were talking about this upthread, not sure that we can do much as how much help pen needs depends on what type of section order has been used. If indeed he has been sectioned, may just be admitted to hospital for a short time for assessment? Let's hope so.

  118. In order to be sectioned, depending on the section we are talking about, there has to be two doctors who sign it off I believe. I don't know much about mental health law at all, to be honest, but his best bet is to try and get in touch with one of the charities who will put him in touch specialist mental health lawyers.

    Hope he is going to be ok.

  119. pen's just posted on waddya

  120. pen
    Read your post on waddya. Stay in touch if you can. Here and/or on waddya.

  121. Just gave him the link to the Law Society's "search for a solicitor" page. Hope he manages to find someone. Many have answering machines with emergency numbers and solicitors on call.

  122. @Pen-
    All the best mate.Try and hang on to the fact
    that everything has a beginning,a middle and an
    end.So where you are right now won,t be forever.
    Also the tone of your recent posts makes me think you are far too spirited a person to give up.Get the help you need and then move on to what will hopefully be better times for you:.)

    Hope your are bearing up as well after your
    bad news:.)

    Thought you were supposed to be 'chilling'
    today rather than rampaging through a thread
    on CIF:.)


    Sorry i didn,t respond earlier to your revelation on Cif that you are a member of the
    Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.Hope Andrew(call
    me Andy) Brown takes up my suggestion of doing
    a blog on them.I think the heading ''ANDY BROWN
    has a nice RING to it.

    Because i consider myself to be a helpful
    person i have looked up the website for the
    good sisters to find out who AB needs to interview.Have come up with Sister Maudlin
    Mascara who is the Abbess and Sister Titania
    Humperpickle who is the Mistress of Habits.
    Maybe as a result of interviewing them AB
    himself may choose to join them.In fact if
    you can bear to look at his face i think
    you can imagine it easily slipping into a

    As i,m not feeling very creative tonight
    the best religious name i could think for
    AB is Mother Mary Tosspot but there will of
    course be many other more appropriate names:.)

  123. ...For Pen, because he seems to feel an affinity with DB and because it has to do with feeling a bit powerless. But things can get better.

  124. still lurking.

    About modding: i commented this on the bad priests scandal on the New York Times:

    The Pope and the Pedophilia Scandal

    I always wondered why Cardinals' clothes were the color of lipstick. Stupid of me. Should have realized it's the color of sexual excitement.

    I admit it's a bit iffy. Well, it got modded all right. BUT! the entire comment is still up in my own profile.

  125. paul:

    As i,m not feeling very creative tonight
    the best religious name i could think for
    AB is Mother Mary Tosspot but there will of
    course be many other more appropriate names:.)

    denigrating towards mothers. Curate Cackhand might be more appropriate.

  126. Paul - if I don't do something my brain seizes up. :o)

  127. God my brain hurts - shopping is such an assault on the senses.

    The news from the local Tesco is that 100g Jars of Alta Rica instant coffee are "£2 each or two for £5."

    Checked it thrice - that's what it actually says on a large "special offer" printed shelf edge ticket.

    I watched that thing about the John Lewis Partnership last night, that weird little MD they have was brutally honest about the mission statement......"We edit choices for our customers..."

    My god the affluent are now so idle they have to have someone to edit their choices...

    Fucking surreal but plainly true, as was the oh so fussy bitch who was spending £40,000 on a new fitted kitchen. A shift or two covering for the pit ponies holidays wouldn't have done her any harm at all. It would have been cruel to put her with the pit brow lasses - they would have eaten her.

  128. Deano - shopping is evil. Surely you knew this already. ;-)

    Off to bed with book; night all!

  129. thauma: in case you have one more look:

    from whatdoyouetc

    Pen - am fascinated by how life will exceed oxygen by 2 billion years.

    because oxygen is deadly toxin to early life forms like gangrene bacteria. they dump it. all the oxygen in the atmosphere is a (polluting) waste product of life. were there no life on earth, there would be no oxygen in the atmosphere.

  130. @deano30
    Didn,t watch the JLP programme but 'fussy bitch'
    spending £40k on a fitted kitchen and i,m
    thinking 40something,nouveau riche,perma-tanned,
    neon smile,botoxed and cosmetically enhanced to
    the gills with designer labels erupting out of
    every orifice living in des res somewhere in
    Surrey.Am i right?

  131. deano: My stepmother used to say that that is how it should be: that the more you buy of something, the more expensive it should become and not the other way around to encourage people to consume sparingly.

    I have two boys, youngest 12.

  132. Deano - there was an article somewhere the other day about buying larger volumes costing you more. I always check. Although I avoid Tesco like the plague. The one nearest me is like a bloody aircraft hanger and so expensive compared to Morrisons and the like.

    We tend to do Lidl for tinned goods (because they are usually german and have no added sugar as standard, instead of having to pay more for the "healthy option" with no added sugar in other stores - my hubby is diabetic), general veg and groceries, Waitrose for the posher stuff if needed, Boots for toiletries and the butchers for meat.

  133. BB: a very odd thing indeed is that pictures of (poorer) hungarian nazis in the street very often feature lidl carrier bags. (had to much swedish akvavit -- may not be too coherent)

  134. OMG! You mean Nazis shop at Lidl?! Hehehehehe :O)

    I know it is a cheapskate shop, but I don't care. Some of their stuff is fab, and you find all kinds of interesting things that you wouldn't find anywhere else. At Christmas they had frozen king-size langoustines, for example - something I have never seen outside of a very posh fishmongers in London in this country.

  135. Whole in their shells, I mean - you can get them ready peeled and cooked here in some places.

  136. BB: we shop there too. and some of the stuff is really good. one more thing to tickle your legal brain:

    not lidl, but pennymarket employed a clairvoyant to tell them which people among their staff were stealing. they were sacked. this happened two years ago.

  137. and we can pay with bank cards at lidl stores in scotland, germany and hungary, but not england.

  138. BB: as i am slightly the worse for wear, i may as well go to the pub and make a good go of it. i am disappointed though that you didn't shoot me down in flames on the tortured thread, but ended up praising me. lawyers!

    still we did all right didn't we?

    good night

  139. @BB shops at Lidl huh?Dunno why but had you
    down as a Waitrose/M+S kinda gal:.)

  140. @Medeve
    Curate Cackhand is better -i concede.But Mother
    Mary Tosspot in the context of AB joining an all-male order of nuns could never be seen as denigrating to mothers.Just as Curate Cackhand in the context of AB couldn,t be seen as denigrating to all curates!

  141. paul:

    back from the pub, i may not be coherent. i think you speak sense. and somehow i cant see AB as mother superior. perhaps a fallen sinner who is lodging with the nuns as he cannot look after himself.

  142. growl. thought the ridiculous 'section 28' thread would grind to a halt once everyone realised Simpson was talkin bollocks, but no, etoiles is back, being as christian as ever. grrrrrowl.

  143. Hi Montana. Here's Lucinda Williams tryin (and failing ) to make sense of her brother's suicide... I can rarely make sense of it.

    Poor kid.