01 April 2010


Berwick upon Tweed was captured by the Scots in 1318.  Household Words began publishing Charles Dickens's Hard Times as a serial in 1854.  The Royal Canadian Air Force was established in 1924.  Same-sex marriage became legal in the Netherlands in 2001.

Born today:  Nikolai Gogol (1809-1852), Edmond Rostand (1868-1918), Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), Toshiro Mifune (1920-1997), Milan Kundera (1929), Debbie Reynolds (1932) Wangari Maathai (194), Jimmy Cliff (1948), Gil Scott-Heron (1949) and Susan Boyle (1961).

Contrary to what my 8 year-old self thought, today is not Monday Thursday.


  1. That Rockwell is really weird. The doll seems to have the same face as the old man and the dog has a racoon's tail. Is it ilustrating some scary fairy tale?

  2. Fo' sho. THe faces all seem to have attention, the doll on the shelf is like a miniature girl, the face in the picture/glass above the girl seems to leer...

    Oh well, off to work in a toyshop!

  3. if you're going out, could you get me...

    A bee-line

    AC battery

    Ants' milk
Battery for the dynamo

    Box of grid squares
Box of sparks for spark plugs
Box of tappet clearances
    Bubbles for spirit levels

    Bucket of steam

    Bucket of compressed air

    Compass Oil

    Compass wrench

    Copper magnet

    Crocodile Milk

    Cyrillic Pencil

    Dry water
Elbow grease

    Fire warmer

    Flux capacitor
    Glass axe

    Glass hammer
Hard punch
Holes for hole punches
Horizontal tentpegs

    Left-handed gavel
Long drop
Long stand
    Long weight
    New cursor for the computer
    Snake oil
    Tartan paint
Yard of shoreline

  4. Turminder - you forgot the sky hooks !! ;))

    Seen the graun front page yet?

  5. Turminder,

    could you stick the mince hook on that shopping list?


  6. Morning all.

    Sheff, good luck with the move!

    Reading this morning's paper while feeling slightly fuzzy-headed - they actually had me going for a while....

  7. Google has a good one. When you type google.com, you can access their new app- the Google translate for Animals.

  8. Like this post from TopTroll (you know who you are):

    Why Trolling is an inherently more noble pastime than Lurking.

    Life is an often frustrating experience. To paraphrase President Bartlett: most people go through life in a bitter, self-inflicted rage, akin to a spirit trapped in a sword, or Debbie McGee trapped in her own body. The internet with all of its idiosyncrasies was supposed to strip you, just for a second of this crutch. You can be wherever your imagination takes you. I can change gender; change species; change personality or opinions within the safe anonymity of the written word. I can insult, chastise, listen or (most satisfyingly) be totally charmless within these boundaries.

    But you - the lurkers - choose not to take any of these benefits. Are you reallly so scared within your own skin, that you would reject this one small space to call your own? Would you - reading, but not responding - waste your time with the inconsequential thoughts of others - sometimes enraging, and stay on the fence.

    If that is so, then you are just as sad as me - the two glasses of wine typist - who am simply exploring - anonymously - my own thoughts.

    Maybe it means that you can't let go - even theoretically - which might, just might imply a pathological nature.

    I honestly wouldn't know. I'm not here to judge.

    But are you, in your silence judging me?

  9. Simon Singh has won his appeal.


  10. After three interviews, Guardian Media Group has offered me a job as a moderator. Would I be unfaithful to UT if I accepted? All thoughts welcome. Please be kind.

  11. Habib - obviously we are going to have to shun you henceforth for even considering the idea, let alone applying and interviewing.

  12. Habib, you can be our man on the inside, surely?

    I think the first thing you should do is congratulate them for getting the scoop on Gordon's election campaign.......

  13. This post has been removed by a moderator. Replies may also be deleted.

  14. "Contrary to what my 8 year-old self thought, today is not Monday Thursday. "

    Thank God somebody else thought that.

  15. Stop press!!

    Reliable reports state that HeyHabib has hacked into thaumaturge's account.

  16. Bitterweed: Luckily Simon Singh's victory in the High Court is not an April's fool.

  17. habib,

    what was your Oxbridge college then?

  18. This comment has been removed by an april fooler. Replies may also be subject to sarcasm.

  19. LOL habib - nice try but I sussed you.

    No more now, though, cos it's past midday :(

    When I heard the story of the two trains stuck in the snow in Aviemore, I really though that was the April Fools for the Today programme, but it turned out to be true, and the April Fools was something completely different - dunno if anyone else heard it, but it was a decent try...

  20. Am I the only one unsure whether Julie Bindel was aware of writing for an April Fool's article? (Or even the other two experts ...)

    I mean, what if they really told those three guys (sorry, Julie) that this *was* the new Labour election campaign and asked them to write about it?

    Or maybe they asked each writer and then took those who didn't get the joke.

    On another note, can anyone here fathom the effect of being told on April the first that a close relative of yours has died? (Not this year, by the way, a bit longer ago.)

  21. Watson - Seaton claims that they were in on the joke, but this has been met with some scepticism.

  22. Hah! Bindel herself has posted:

    Oh dear - I now realise that what I write in all seriousness and what I write as a spoof is almost indistinguishable! I lashed in something irrelavat about lesbians and the Heathcliff reference, which I though rather funny, but it does make me feel a bit like Milly Tant.

    Anyone who agrees with me can bloody well STEP OUTSIDE NOW! Lesbians are good at fighting.

  23. Habib fess up - unless you are Bella's twin!

  24. thauma: World class post by Ms B :-) Looking forward to reading the replies to it ...

  25. Well bugger me with a fishhook! Someone really *did* write that comment from JB's account.

    I mean, come on, "Julie Bindel admits her serious writing is indistinguishable from parody" just *has* to be an April Fool's joke, hasn't it?

  26. Hey everyone!

    Point of order: what's the cross timezone rules on the April fools stuff??
    Does it have to be before noon for the prankster, or the prankee??

  27. The joys (or not) of living in Germany: We can prank the whole day! Yay!

    By the way, does a spam mail telling me I'll get 1.5 million US dollars if I give them my bank number count as a regular April Fool if it is sent today?

  28. Hello All

    Huge thunderstorm here - thunder rolls lasting several seconds with huge plant flattening hailstones.

    Watson - it's a joke if you are fooled by it - you'll only get i million.

  29. Newsflash!

    Julie Bindel dumps galpal for Terry Hall!

    (Commiserations Montana!)

  30. Paul! You have to break the news gently....

  31. Hahahaha! Montana would be gutted! :o)

    I think Bindel must have a sense of humour, like any human being. And she has gone up a few notches in my estimation for showing a self-depricating side to her humour too.

  32. Aaaaaghhh! Bidisha alert! And I don't think it's an April Fool job...

  33. Peter,

    Sweet or salted?

  34. Both, I think. It's going to be a bumpy ride...

  35. I really think Bidisha wrote a very insightful article today.


    Okay, it's past noon, but as I said, I'm in Germany, I'm allowed still to make April Fools. Honestly, I'm waiting for the "[Uncomplimentary Noun, thy name is Bidisha" comments after her closing lines:

    "His line is the same as it has been for centuries: frailty, thy name is woman. Well. Malice, thy name is man."

  36. April Fool job - that sounds rude ... Like, "My girlfriend promised me a blow job when I got home, but turns out it it was only an April Fool job."

  37. Suhasini has a little blue "C" next to her/his name? Do I want to see the article(s) s/he wrote, or would that just make my head explode?

  38. I sneaked a peek....

    Jesus H.....

    (I'm starting to think this is a deliberate ploy by the guardian to stop me going back. First the AB gem, now this!!)

  39. Maybe she's taken a leaf from Bindel's book and is doing a self-parody, but no-one can tell the diff.

    And the idea of reading a whole article by Suhasini is rather scary too.

  40. Actually, Bidisha is starting to convince me that there might be a deep rooted misogynist conspiracy out there after all......

  41. ... commissioning wildly generalizing articles demonizing men under the banner of "feminism" in the hope of damaging the feminist movement?

  42. Heheheheh - well done, Dot and Elementary. Made I laugh! :o)

  43. Well, the same point was made once WRT BTH (by PCC, IIRC), so it wasn't that hard for me to guess the punchline ...

  44. I checked the time-stamp, and it says 1430, so one can only assume that it's for real...

    (Or at least what passes for reality on the Guardian these days)

  45. And just when it looked like it couldn't get any more bizarre, Seaton, ever the sage, jumps in with his weighty words of wisdom...

  46. That article really is 1970s 6th form common room stuff isn't it? Ugh.

  47. I do like Seaton's defense of Bidisha: "She doesn't write hateful stuff about men just to wind you up; she really does believe we are scum."

    It's also old news: We *know* it isn't Bidisha's intention to cause hundreds of angry comments, she cannot but write the way she does; however, we *also* know that CiF's intention for publishing her writing is exactly this - getting a flame war with lots and lots of comments BTL.

  48. So MattSeaton has said that "I agree that Bidisha is provocative".

    This entails then that as Editor, he commissions her knowing that she will provoke comments. However, as soon as the robust rebuttals roll in, out come the SS panzer death squad mods.

    A complete joke.

  49. Yes, you know an article's in trouble when Seaton jumps in to defend it.

    Ghostworld did a nice one:

    1 Apr 2010, 4:10PM
    Perhaps it's just me but when I read posts that are merely scoffing or patronising,


    Oh the irony

  50. Testing UT from work...

    I couldn't see my post last time i tried it...

  51. Turminder

    I can seeeee yooooouuuuu!!!

  52. Tee hee, I can see me too, KT's piece up th noo...

  53. Bidisha,s miscandry is beyond parody.And personally
    i think it is a waste of time either posting on her
    threads or complaining on WADDYA about the double-standard she represents .Because any man submitting a
    blog that could be interpreted as masculinist would face automatic censor.

    Although it is easy to dismiss the likes of Bidisha
    and co i do nevertheless think that gender relations
    have been damaged by rad fems of their ilk.And that
    by stealth rad fem ideology has seeped into areas
    such as education,childrens service,social work training ,domestic violence and child abuse.And
    that the consequence of this is that the
    demonisation of men has in effect been legitimised.
    And that men are facing increasing levels of discrimination as a result.

    I accept that women do face gender discrimination
    in a number of different areas.What i resent is that
    when men are discriminated against it isn,t taken
    so seriously.And ONE of the reasons for that is
    that rad fems have had some success in promoting
    the myth that gender discrimination is the sole
    preserve of women.

  54. right, sounds like there's some good (in the loosest possible sense re iddlebid) stuff to look at. will see...

  55. bidisha. Oh dear, oh dear. She has so much anger doesn't she, and so little idea of whom to aim it at, so just goes for 50% of the globe's population, and is ever so keen to take offence on behalf of the other 50%,whether they like it or not.Seaton's intervention was the usual double-standard: your indiscriminate rant is bad, our indiscriminate rant is good (and generates hits).
    Too much dross on CiF today for me.

  56. @Alisdair

    Agree.Am thinking of going up to the Guardian and
    setting my boxers alight as some sort of protest.

  57. god fucking knows.

    have just mildly exploded on the iddlebid column.

  58. Mildly explosive and yet amusing and (I suspect) rather accurate.....

  59. This comment has been removed by the author.

  60. Good blog from KT though!

    See ' Ally the Anarchist' got his post in first.

    Bet he was tipped off!

    (jealousy on my part of course.Must learn to be
    quicker off the mark)

  61. Dot - not entirely sure about that, but I'm learning now - have C&P'd it into word in case the mention of a 'hollowed-out volcano' gets me into the same trouble as last time...

    AC: "Seaton's intervention was the usual double-standard: your indiscriminate rant is bad, our indiscriminate rant is good (and generates hits)."
    Yes! That's what annoys the arse off me - she's cross about something, gets to throw all sort of general, unsubstantiated shit around - anyone cross about that, and doing some slightly more targetted shit throwing, ooh, they're bad, bad people...

  62. Exactamundo, PhilippaB. Favoured writers can spout seven shades of shite without substance (and singularly miss the the chance to make a specific,focussed,pertinent and evidenced argument with both weight and justification). Pick 'em up on that with ant level of counter-proof,and you're persona non grata. Express misgivings in a register a hundred notches down from the spleen of the original, and you'll get maligned, slurred against.
    Thing is iddlebid can write well enough, but her obsession with the patriarchy (next conspirators against women conference is April 21st, Birmingham NEC, by the way) damages the cause of working towards equality, as she cries wolf so bleeding much, blaming the innocent en masse and yet never able to lay a glove on the guilty because her aim is so off-beam.

  63. (next conspirators against women conference is April 21st, Birmingham NEC, by the way)

    Damn you men - picking a venue so difficult to navigate to that none of the feminist protesters will be able to find it on the map...

  64. plus - proximity to spaghetti junction just serves to affirm the sexist idea that a woman's place is in the kitchen.

    or an italian restaurant.

    or something.

  65. Not just in the kitchen philippa but barefoot too!!

  66. Meant to say barefoot and pregnant! What am i like?
    In the middle of doing something and crap at this
    multi tasking milarky--It,s a guy thing!

  67. Paul - given that it's my male housemate is supposed to be doing the cleaning to get a reduction from the usual rent, I don't risk being barefoot anywhere in the flat.

    And if I find out I'm pregnant I will be having a serious word with somebody...

  68. damnit, they've shut the iddlebid thread.

    I was just getting started.

  69. Alisdair - 'Too much dross on CiF today for me' You wrote that before the article on the burning issue of animal rights in the Middle East appeared...

    Philippa - great post on KT's article. Those initials always make me do a double-take; they are my father's. Like 'SS' for Social Services. Kind of.

    Pen if you're reading I will try to visit tomorrow, Saturday or Monday. I can lend you a radio but I have no spare headphones, I'm afraid. What are you into in terms of books / magazines?

  70. Lavartis - thanks - think Sheff is sending a radio down for pen - not sure he can read posts here, someone else mentioned sci-fi as an interest. Can you get on waddya or shall I ask for guidance there?

  71. Lavartis - what, Middle Eastern animals don't deserve any decent treatment? Just like many of the women don't? *frowns*

    Anyway, Pen can't get on the UT, but he can get on Waddya. Will copy your post there.

  72. OK, have posted it there. He said he likes pretty much anything to read.

  73. Philippa-my apologies.Forgot we are in 21st Century.

    Should have said--barefoot in kitchen with turkey
    baster.Male housemate doing cleaning elsewhere!

  74. if you knew how long it took me to find the bloody corkscrew earlier, you wouldn't joke...

    have found it now. happy.

    right - tonight's french-language cinematic epic - Judge Dredd. Dictionary at the ready...

  75. Hello.

    They closed the bidisha thread before I even had chance to read it, never mind post.

    This is total discrimination against working rad fems like myself by the patriarchal old boy's network. Silenced yet again by the masculinist press who are hell bent on maintaining working rad fem women's oppression and, in obstructing our equal opportunity to intellectually engage on this important subject, they pay misogynist lip service to working rad fem women's rights to post absurdities, sorry, valued opinions, like everybody else. Bah.

  76. MsChin - wake up early and make that point in rint! am sure seaton will be falling over himself to apologise that the core audience might be being marginalised, hehehehehhe.

    right. takeaway. then film.

  77. MsChin - indeed, I too feel marginalised by the Grauniad patriarchy. Or is that patronisarchy? Either way: *sobs*.

  78. Bloody patriarchy has just burnt my pizza as well. Pah.

  79. Oh, of course *that* one went through!

    Try again.

    aspidistra - re the eccentric thread: I'll settle for 'odd, but good' over 'corporate drone' any day.

  80. It's really funny when newbies come onto threads and make hilarious statements without realising just how funny they are - like on the libel thread, where a new chappie calling himself wheresmypen suggests that WheatfromChaff - a barrister - doesn't know what burden of proof means...

  81. BB - the ones on the April Fool's thread who didn't get the joke were hilarious - especially those who hadn't bothered to read any comments, but posted hours later about what a fucking disgrace Labour are and violence, etc. etc.

  82. Lavartis - couple of messages for you from Pen on Waddya. I assume you can access that?

  83. Someone on waddya earlier asked whether anyone
    BTL had ever gone ATL and got a real mauling.

    Got me thinking how i would react if some know -it
    -all bastards like me actually started on me if i went ATL.Have concluded not very well on a bad day.
    In fact the screen would probably go blank and i would face a life time ban.Have therefore resolved to try and 'hold fire' in future if anyone BTL goes ATL and i think they are talking shite.

  84. Montana and BB have both taken some knocks from going ATL, but have also had some good comments too. I'll leave it to them to decide whether or not it was a 'mauling'.

    Anne had a few nasty comments as well, now I come to think of it.

  85. I didn't take it as a mauling - except from the usual suspect on my first thread.

    I think MOntana got quite a mauling on hers though. Some people are just idiots.

  86. thaumaturge

    I don,t mind criticism but there are certain things
    that make me see red.

    BB can handle herself.I,ve seen her taking on all
    comers on a thread.When she,s on a mission best to
    get out the way unless you know what you,re talking
    about.Haven,t witnessed either Montana or Anne ATL
    getting into a scrap with those BTL.If i ever went
    ATL it would probably be best if i saw a hypno-
    therapist beforehand.A course of 6 sessions would
    hopefully be enough to do the trick!Plus of course
    a bottle of good red!

  87. LOL Paul - thanks. :o)

    I do have a bit of an advantage in that arguing is what I get paid for. I must confess that I don't like getting into an argument with people I "know" online, though. People on UT for example - I considered everyone here to be a "friend" in a way, and so I get quite upset when the fighting and biting starts, or if things get too confrontational.

    But yer average random poster on CiF will get it with both barrels :o)

  88. Talk of the devil!

    Hi BB!

  89. Paul - bottle of good red - goes without saying!

  90. A bottle of good red is one of life's joys!

  91. Second from top of the list.

    NN all!

  92. Top of the list being a rugby player? Goodnight, thauma.

  93. Thanks Thauma. I am following developments.

  94. OK- a group of women talking about rugby players!
    My cue to make myself scarce! Nite all.

  95. Paul

    Na, I'm not into rugby or any sport. thauma's the rugby devotee round here.

    And I wouldn't dream of fetishising the male body, not I. I'm a working rad fem woman of principle or somesuch.

  96. 'OK- a group of women talking about rugby players!'

    Ach they just like talking about oddly shaped balls!

    Night guys.

  97. All you lightweights, quitters!

    Night night x

    I shall be around for a bit, seeing as how I can lie in bed tomorrow morning \o/

  98. If we're talking about rugby players, this is an astonishing photo... in a purely aesthetic sense...

  99. I can lie in bed tomorrow morning too

  100. Fab eh, MsChin? Although I really must try and get round to decorating my bathroom this weekend. I first started on it ages ago now - and I am talking years rather than months - but I got fed up with it and it has stayed half-done like something off one of those DIY SOS programmes...

    My, that's a lovely pic, shaz! :o)

  101. But I'm off to bed anyway as I was up (too) early this morning. Plus I may wish to catch the Bidisha thread when it reopens for business tomorrow.

    Hope sheff's flit went ok. I have this vision of her perched on unpacked boxes with large glass of red in hand.


  102. BB

    Most of my house is like that - half finished or half started.

  103. KT's thread is revealing a lot of angst - a craving for freedom. Interesting.

  104. Agree, Leni. There's been some interesting crossover on Libby Bs politics of happiness thread, too.

  105. MsChin

    Ah, thank god I'm not the only one them. My new-ish kitchen is lovely, except there is no paint on the walls. Still, I like the think of the bare plaster as being almost moroccan in feel now... cough...

  106. Ooh - haven't looked at Libby B's thread yet. KT's thread is good though.

  107. Dotterel: You are hereby appointed UT's case officer for UT asset HeyHabib.

  108. BB: I have been "improving" our apartment ever since i've been on UT and for about ten years before that as well.

  109. whoops, make that fifteen years.

  110. Just posted on Waddya about an interesting anomaly. A piece by mark seddon that let rip at Mandelson and his anointed choice for Labour candidate, The Hon Tristram Smug Hunt,sometime CiF ATL-er (never BTL: he's too lordly for all that) appeared in my RSS feed, but not on the website.Was pressure brought to bear?
    Also found out why the Guardian especially plugs mumsnet a lot: the dep editor, Ian Katz's wife set up and part-owns the site.
    Some of the above folk (definitely not all) may have talents as extravagant as their position, profile/coverage and rewards might suggest, but it all looks rather cliquish and over-cosy.

  111. The beeb have mention Hunt's appointment too. Wouldn't surprise me if they pulled the Seddon piece though.

  112. Well all this talk of staying up and I am too tired to keep my eyes open now

    Have a great night everyone


  113. BB, if something appears in an RSS feed, it has been published, in legal terms hasn't it..?

  114. Hi All--re home improvements, renovations. It has been my experience as a contractor/builder that the 'renesting syndrome' never really ends. Peaks and valleys of activity more like. Sorry for that medve, carry on with the DIY. Btw--just finished complete rebuild of our kitchen, Wifey is very pleased.

    I think our Habib would make a fine moderator. At the very least, we know he has a sense of humour and a conscience. Would'nt like to subject him to meetings with the sneering,odious Andrew Brown though.(-;

  115. BB, let's be honest here. You have a huge ego and an apparent need to prove your liberal credentials to us ordinary people on this blog. Your posts are mostly about you. You take pride in 'bashing the fash' but it just sounds like a schoolkid being stroppy. It's bullshit. Sorry, but I find you incredibly naive politically (Lib Dem Ya?) so we're never going to be best friends You get a lot more from this blog than you give. Fair enough.

    On the recent unpleasantness, I was very disappointed at the various reactions.
    I certainly don't condone Hank's dishonesty and hypocrisy but I can't help but wonder if he didn't fulfil a useful function here. As far as I'm concerned this blog has gone to the dogs. And when one of the most inconsequential, boring and self-obsessed posters on Cif (gegenbeispiel) begins to post here, then all is lost. (sorry gegen if you read this, but you are totally pointless in your many many contributons to Cif. I can understand that as a pensioner you have time on your hands, but you you don't have to be so patronising or smug).

    btw, this general acceptance of Bindel's very weak attempt at humour which so many people have praised here and on Cif annoys me. This is a woman who has maniputlated and lied about statistics and has been instrumental in introducing very bad legislation whih affects many people. She has real political power and now we seem to be saying 'that Jools, she's alright, she's a laugh'. Re-positioned by the Guardian with articles about coffee, Italian holidays, and make-up, we should suddenly say 'she's OK'? Are we fucking idiots ?

    Anyway, rant over for now. I was here (UT) from the start, but don't feel at home any more. What the fuck is going on here?

    PS my comments some weeks ago about AllyF, LordSummerisle, and LaRit popping in here when they want to whinge about Cif and then not bothering to come back again seem to have been scarily accurate. They're all posting regularly on Cif (no longer in pre-mod, so LordS can post 30 times a day), so this place is forgotten (as I said it would be).

    We're back to the eternal question, which we have never really resolved, or even really discussed - what is this place for?

    My impression of it now is that it's a sort of Facebook with way too much personal stuff and too many desperate attempts to prove liberal credentials at the expense of honesty. I feel that that discourages right-wing posters that might otherwise be engaged, and create debate. Could Fank Fisher or Peter Bracken contribute something valuable here? Yes, they could, but they're not welcome and we've rather have gegenbeispiel and kizbot?

    You know, I 'm really fucked off with this really vanilla and nice crap. It amuses me that one night we're talking about how violent revolution is the only solution, and people are volunteering to throw the bombs and string people up on lampposts. And then the next night, well perhaps so and so has a point, let's not carried away. The anger is gone.

    You know what I think? You people don't have any real commitment to anything if you can't talk about it and demonstrate it to others and get some affirmation and then feel good about yourselves. (I except some regulars here from this criticism, and you know who you are).

    OK that's enough, but there's a lot more. It's been on my heart for a while, I only say it because I care about this place but I don't think I care about it that much any more.

  116. scherfig

    I am only going to respond briefly and to say that I fundamentally agree.

    I have said that I no longer intend to post on CiF unless something changes dramatically there and I can honestly say I do not miss it. I glance at articles and comments occasionally and cursorily and wonder why I was ever bothered with the place. I could sign up and subvert the ban with ease, but really do not want to waste the ten minutes it would take.

    I mentioned to Sheffpixie that I would be taking a holiday from posting for a while, but did not want to make a public point of it. I will simply add some of my reasons to your post.

    I think it is somewhere between hard to impossible to create and maintain online communities now that everyone can easily have a blog and there are places like CiF and Facebook. There is only so much time and you can only spread yourself so thin.

    I think Montana has done a good job and this place does provide something for regulars, to the degree that it is perhaps doing all it can and all it should.

    For my part, I am not interested in the back-slapping or air-kissing or adulation or faux fights here or anywhere else, which is partly why I am withdrawing, along with the fact that, as I have said, I wonder whether blogging or commenting is the way to achieve anything anyway.

    I think there is a need for more and varied voices, so, yes, people like Hank and MF and Peter Bracken are useful as catalysts and agents provocateurs and devil's advocates and messengers from other realms.

    The problem is, this blog is like any other. There are too few people here because they are at other places which attract people because they already have more people than places struggling with the numbers.

    This is the corner shop and CiF is the Tesco or Asbo. This place cannot stock the range: CiF has too much stock and nearly all of it is crap.

    I don't think there is any easy way out of this maze, this conundrum.

    For those who just want a chat in a pub where there will be no trouble and no bad manners from anyone who has had too many and everyone speaks and looks the same, all is well.

    It will not change the world.

    The problem is, we only ever thought the internet was going to do that for it.

    Perhaps we are learning that all it really does is allow us to communicate more easily and more quickly.

    It doesn't change our nature.

    It won't make revolutionaries of the chattering classes.

  117. Boudican: Again, thanks for your encouragement.

    The problem is, we only ever thought the internet was going to do that for it.

    Given that the internet was an item of US military infrastructure to begin with, that is not really a surprise. Even now all this content is the property of the googles.

    In the more "modern western" bits of Europe the actual internet infrastructure has been paid for twice over by tax payers and is still in private hands.

    Here in Hungary the nazis are going to get up to a third of the seats in parliament in the election starting in a week's time. I have no illusions that the internet or a social forum or something of that kind can do anything to stop that unfortunately.

  118. medve

    Yes, I often think it is funny that we seem to be both paying for our own imprisonment and enslavement and enjoying every addictive moment.

    As you say, from military tool to mechanism of political oppression, all on our credit cards.

    As for the internet and all its enthralling wonderfulness, I have also said that the provision of places like CiF and Guido and The Daily Mail and wherever else should all be sponsored by whichever party is in power.

    There is nothing which emasculates and drugs the participants into idle, soporific delusions of achievement quite like being allowed to post comments to their hearts' content on websites which appear to be abuzz with the drone of outraged cleverness and ersatz activity.

    Actually, it should be made compulsory, CiF should be funded by the taxpayers and Seaton should be made Viceroy of Suburbia.

    At which point, I need to get some sleep.

    If the revolution should kick off, though, please feel free to wake me, but preferably not before seven.

  119. I hope those who still have fire in their blood
    do continue to post on UT.But accept it,s
    limitations.This forum has some good people
    posting on it.Some of whom i recognize from CIF
    and others like Hank who i 'met' once but was
    struck by the passion fuelling his convictions.

    I agree with the point Scherfig made about the
    need for UT to be a broad church,And that people
    like Peter Bracken should be made welcome.But
    in any diverse group of people there is going to
    be a wide range of interests.

    I would like to see more debates but there are any
    number of reasons why that hasn,t been possible.
    However there is no reason why that can,t change.
    Maybe people can agree to discuss a certain topic
    on a certain day at a certain time so people have notice and are therefore in more of a position to participate.That,s just a suggestion.At the end of the day UT is what the people make it.

  120. The problems are always easy to analyse - whether own analysis is correct is another matter. Several of us have made some suggestions around the problems of immigration but there the matter stopped/

    The problems are definable - solutions not so simple - the definition of the revolution are very vague - the desired end result even less clear. How many projected, hoped for ends are there?

    Some spend quite a lot of time working away in a small corner - often isolated. The broader picture is not always discernible.

    Easy enough to say " There is something rotten in the state ... " Then what ?

  121. "I certainly don't condone Hank's dishonesty and hypocrisy..."

    Hypocrisy, yeh? Dishonesty? Nah, not buying that, scherf.

    As for the rest of your post, well, duh. My role was to keep the others honest.

    I was the token leftie, tolerated by the Guardinista left, the barristers, the social workers, the teachers, those who used to be radical in their youth and have now got four-bedroomed houses in Surrey, use tax avoidance schemes, and think they're still radical because they have set aside an expensive bottle of champagne for Thathcer's death.

    Let's be honest, guys, you need me.

    As a scapegoat, or a fucking lighthouse.

  122. I'll go with the lighthouse. HankLighthouse. Scapegoat is such a shit-looking word.

  123. @navro/allyf - your opinion matters to me. Ha ha ha.


  124. @navro/allyf?
    Sorry Hank, really missing you're point here. Don't post anywhere that often. Glad to see you back here was what I meant.