03 April 2010

03/04/10

Edward the Confessor became King of England in 1043.  The first successful run of the Pony Express from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, began in 1860.  President Harry S. Truman signed the Marshall Plan in 1948.

Born today:  George Herbert (1593-1633), Washington Irving (1783-1859), Leslie Howard (1893-1943), Doris Day (1922), Marlon Brando (1924-2004), Jane Goodall (1934), A.C. Grayling (1949) and Richard Thompson (1949).

It is the feast day of St. Richard of Chichester.

106 comments:

  1. Morning Untrusties.

    I love Easter. Nothing better than waking up on a Saturday thinking it's Sunday, then realising that you have another two days off.

    Shame the weather's so shite, though.

    Looking at the globe gif on the online counter, it is one of those animations where you can decide whether it is rotating clockwise or anti-clockwise. Do it for long enough and it does your head in.

    A bit like wavicle theory. Weird.

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  2. Morning all

    Having read through yesterday's exchanges, I think the overall thrust is beneficial and keeps us all on our toes, even if the individual parries may have caused some nicks here and there.

    I would like to hear anyone's practical suggestions about what they think can be done to achieve change.

    Whether it is feelings of impotence or rage or bewilderment or inertia, they all seem to stem from the gulf between what is wrong and what may be right and how to bridge it.

    There is no point in all lining up like putative beauty queens, toppling on our high-heels and furiously trying to maintain increasingly grimacing grins, only to declare: "I would like to end world poverty and hunger and bring peace to the world."

    So, either generally or particularly, what ideas are there to change things and what methods can be employed?

    We may hate special interest groups and committees and single-issue campaigns, but is that the way to get things done?

    Think of one end of the scale as commenting on WADDYA and the other as storming the Palace of Westminster and Buckingham Palace on the same day, fuelled with Special Brew and Tesco discount whisky and pockets crammed with fags.

    If there is no "how" the debate about the 'whats' and 'whys' will remain forever sterile.

    The sense of potential increases when people can see a method of getting from where they are to where they want to be.

    Otherwise, we are forever stuck like children in mud - unable to pull our feet free and unwilling or scared to extract them from the wellingtons and make a run for it.

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  3. "Otherwise, we are forever stuck like children in mud - unable to pull our feet free and unwilling or scared to extract them from the wellingtons and make a run for it."

    Lovely analogy, AB.

    From my point of view - and a lot of this emanates from my Buddhist beliefs - it is about being aware of the effect you can have on an individual level and resolving to make a positive contribution on a micro level. Try and do something every day, however small, that makes things better for someone else, and pretty soon you start to see it spreading out into the whole of your local environment.

    It doesn't even have to be Political with a big P, but can be something as simple as dealing with someone you come into contact with in a different way.

    An example: years and years ago I worked in a place where the receptionist was a particularly annoying, bad tempered and obstructive person. Everyone called herThe Dragon Lady and nobody would even talk to her or approach her to do anything for fear of getting their head bitten off.

    I decided that I was not going to put up with it any more, so every morning when I came in I would make a point of saying a cheery "Morning!" to her with a smile. After a couple of weeks of doing this, she started grudgingly saying "Morning" back to me. After another couple of weeks we were talking about the weather, or what was on TV last night, or whatever.

    Then she started saying good morning to other people as they arrived too... and suddenly what had been a check-mate situation for years and years changed completely. And it was easy to go and talk to her, ask her to do things - and she would willingly help out because she felt like she was respected and valued.

    The effect on the rest of the organisation was extraordinary, and it only took a few months of determined positive behaviour to change it. And everybody benefitted from it.

    One of the biggest con tricks that those in government have pulled on people is the notion that individuals cannot change anything, so we might as well not bother. So people despair, feel useless, get angry and frustrated and grumpy about life, and retreat into their own private little world and sod everybody else. Community spirit breaks down, everyone mistrusts everyone else because they have no interaction in any meaningful sense with them, and so it goes on.

    But if you realise that you, as an individual, have the power to change things, and put it into practice in a simple way - like the example I gave - once you have experienced it, there is nothing to stop you taking that experience and applying it to other areas; getting involved in local groups or local politics, community projects etc. And encouraging other people to try the same thing for themselves, realise the power they have and use that power in a positive way.

    The revolution will not be a storming of Buckingham Palace. We, as a nation, are too downtrodden, too convinced that we can change nothing ourselves, too reliant on others to change things for us.

    Teaching people to take control of their own inate power, encouraging them to have confidence in their own abilities, and showing them how to use it to change their environment is the way forward.

    Just my two penn'orth.

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  4. How to achieve change? I honestly believe that there are no short cuts to this.

    Ordinary working people know what is wrong with the world, its just that the rich and powerful have managed to convince most of us that there is nothing we can do about it.

    So the first task is to talk to people and convince them that the oppressed and exploited are the majority, that society is organised for the benefit of the rich and powerful few and that if enough of the powerless band together they can overthrow the powerful.

    We all know that revolutions have had disastrous results in the past, we need to organise so that ordinary people in communities and workplaces have ultimate control over their lives, the environment they live in the services provided (from education to rubbish removal) and their workplaces.

    I heard a programme on R4 this morning about how local people in the S Wales ex mining valleys are finally getting it together to rebuild their comminities, communities that were all but destroyed 25 years ago.

    The issue seems to me a matter of how all these 'self governing' communities are co-ordinated regionally (nationally? what happens to the nation state here - a redundant notion surely?).

    Its a huge task as it must rapidly become global and it seems impossible but if two people were recruited every day by all the recruits on that day you'd get the population of the planet times a google (something like that several times the population of the planet anyway).

    Now recruitment to an idea won't be as quick as that but just remember the old story about the wheat grains and the chess board.

    Put like that does it really sound so impossible? Especially when you consider that you don't need to recruit everybody - just enough to push for change.

    The power of numbers!

    This takes patience and a belief in the ability of people to change.

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  5. Lovely post BB, have to admit the on going protests by Hank that it was better when you had coal powered t'internet, and all us luvvies are ruining his blog, is some what off putting. I've looked at cif for a year, and in that time quite a few people mourned the loss of Hank Scorpio, he was like a lost hero, so I was pleased when I found the UT, and that that he was posting...

    And the first interaction? Well, ad hom, inaccurate and bullying. It can be depressingly like school sometimes...

    What's the way forward, we are, BB's post reminds me of Utah Phillips, "and I realised the change had to start with me.." & Krishnamurti "what is society? It is the interactions we each make." Which means a lot of the time UT is my society, and only occasionally do I think, 'nah I'll not bother today, those bullies are playing their daft games, bit of RL instead...'

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  6. Anne

    That has to be right! I think we are both coming to the same conclusion but from a different perspective. But it has to be one day at a time, one person at a time and, as you say, it will spread out into the whole of humanity.

    The biggest obstacle is that there are always, and there will always be, those who only see their own self-interest and don't actually give a shit about anyone else - which is a very short-sighted POV because, as in the Dragon Lady example, nobody profits from self-centredness in the long run. But, as you say, as long as the majority of people work in a positive way for the community, that is what counts.

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  7. Morning all,

    a bit of a hangover this morning with the addition of stinking of smoke due to the non adherence to the smoking ban.

    A few thoughts on last night. To be honest I'm going to repeat what I said last time it happened.

    There's so many regulars on here with so much talent, that UT2 should be getting utilised a lot more. Scherfig made a good point that annetan's William Morris blog on UT2 attracted only 3 posts.

    Hank, if you're reading. Is there any chance that you could channel that anger into UT2 articles? When you 'get on a political one' you're so achingly on the button. Can't we go down this route? Writing, blogging on what is important to us and generating discussion this way instead of the futile 'what is the UT for' squabbles?

    It's clear that 'what the UT is for' is something that has exercised you considerably. If you see it as an area for political discussion and debate then lead from the front! Write for the UT2 more often. I don't think you'll be surprised how many positive responses you will get because as many people have told you, your message is a good one on so many different levels.

    Scherfig, you're the same. You're a genuinely excellent writer and debater but it seems you only come on to castigate others for not discussing issues which you yourself should be outlining on UT2.

    I'll say it again, a UT without Scherfig and Hank is a poorer place, it really is. Your abilities and willingness to challenge cosy consensus is valuable here but I personally would love to see your views on UT2 as to what exercises you in the political arena.

    Personally, I can't see what the issue is with posters on UT who choose to continue posting on CiF. Both of you (Scherfig and Hank) have said that you admire both BB and Philippa as posters on CiF. Surely this is enough? The fact they are getting a message across (which you broadly agree with) on the biggest arena for debate on the internet?

    I've jacked in CiF (until the moderation policy is sorted, which it will never be), but this is a personal choice and one I am not going to ram down other people's throats. I'll still occasionally read it and agree with what most of the posters on the UT say on there.

    Anyway, as Atomboy tells us, there's little use in the internet in making real change but I'd rather be howling at the moon than sitting silently staring at it.

    Scherfig, Hank, lead from the front on here please.

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  8. Turminder - people behave in different ways for all different reasons. Sometimes it upsets me, mostly it doesn't.

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  9. BB a beautiful example of how we can change things very inspiring!

    When we look at how society has been going for the last 30 years - the lack of trust the loss of community, loss of values as more and more people become victims of a vacuous 'celebrity' culture.

    But we don't have to cave into it - what was done in one organisation cango global.

    I honestly am not prepared to expend my energy on being angry with the rich and powerful. They and their lackeys (Tony Blair anyone?) are beneath contempt. Prefer to spend my energy on building to expropriate them frankly.

    Lots of people do live their lives on a superficial level I don't know who can change and who can't, so I work on the basis that they can all change.

    Most of us need to relax sometimes - I personally am cursed with a very silly sense of humour and I find threads of tea coffee or jaffa cakes a welcome relief from the struggle of life.

    People who do nothing else are - a bit sad really.

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  10. Anne - I am with you on welcoming the light relief. :o)

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  11. "...There's nothing like a sense oif powerlessness in the face of so many elements which rule our lives to induce apathy !

    Just what did get the Russians off their bums all those years ago - or the French ?..."


    leni - what a fine end to last nights heated thread.

    I think the answer was booze crazed hunger. If that was so we are only part the way there.

    I second BB's 10.01 comment Duke.

    Anne I wrote a brief response to Scherf's comment about my lack of response to your Morris piece, if it got lost in the fugg filled room it simply amounted to.....xx.

    Well dear friends last nights entertainment must have been fun for car crash tourists visiting. It was heady, and lasted for much longer than usual and drew some who don't often respond to such madness in.

    I hope that our young friend over on UT2 can see that there were (just as in a pub) people talking that were simply ignored in the heat of the moment. Last nights thread will certainly be worth a visit again in a week or two when the smoke has finally cleared from the room.

    Your pub analogy was spot on BB and you, young miss, may have missed that I said that I find you a delight and I adore you............or words to that effect ....xx to you too.

    despite the angst there was some bloody funny stuff, and some very fine displays of refusal to be intimidated in amongst the smoke.

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  12. Aww, thanks deano. I adore you too, as you well know by now xx

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  13. Hehehehehe - the rumours were right about the BNP implosion.

    Exit of three top BNP officers confirmed.

    So "Young, Nazi and Proud" Collett was planning a coup, Griffin got to hear of it and reported him to the police for something or another. Meanwhile, the whole business about Dowson and his call centre and print operation for the BNP gets murkier and murkier. (I seem to recall that Griffin's daughter is married to Dowson's son, or somesuch.)

    As I said elsewhere, these guys really are the Keystone Cops of politics. :o)

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  14. Collett was going to stand in Sheffield Brightside in the elections - looks like that has been buggered now too.

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  15. The pub analogy is useful.

    Most people are there to have a good time and to talk to people. Some conversations are more serious than others.

    Some people only go to cause trouble, because they have nothing better to do.

    Some people get drunk and say things they would regret sober, but the intoxicant in this case is far more potent than alcohol: conceit, self-righteousness and contemptuous pride.

    These people are best avoided until they are themselves again; or, if they are like that all the time, best avoided altogether.

    And, like pubs, if you don't like the tone or atmosphere, you can go elsewhere, but making a 'song and dance' about it is as bad-mannered as it is unnecessary.

    P.S. Other birthdays today include Tony Benn, Alec Baldwin, Helmut Kohl and Eddie Murphy.

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  16. Firstly, many thanks for the rapid and considered replies. It is something which I think needs thought because it has the capacity to signal that inchoate and individual wishful-thinking can be transformed into action and outcomes which seem impossible in isolation.

    I agree with the exponential numbers business and small and personal and local spreading in ripples. Something more in the way of practical methods would be useful as well, beyond talking to people in the real world on an individual basis.

    The reason for saying this is that to a degree, we have all become suspicious of anyone intruding into our thoughts or private space. We see everyone who is not peddling the message of buy, bigger, better, fater, longer and celebrity as fraudsters and or menatlly disturbed. Perhaps Blair and Bush and Thatcher so corrupted the media and the message that we see deranged religious evangelists and fanatics on every corner, apart from the fact that businesses want an homologous global monoculture.

    So, it's back to the old: "How many people could you email with a political message who will not think you are just weird?"

    Wybourne

    It is not that I think the internet or all its manifest glories are of no use, but its tendency to create the impression of mass action when none is actually happening which bothers me.

    As an example, the collective wisdom on CiF for the last couple of years, from all parts of the political spectrum, that New Labour would be ground to dust at the election looks like it was a massive distortion of the possible outcome.

    It had a reality which became like truth and was followed with religious conviction: an absolute article of faith.

    One of the problems with the power of crowds is that they can get things incredibly, collectively wrong and their unwillingness to see their mistakes.

    As an aside, I liked Gegenbeispiel's comment yesterday evening that if you are going to venture on the inside of the tent and plant bombs, you need someone else following you to check that you have not gone native and that you really will detonate them when needed.

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  17. Thankyou Deano may I return the compliment?xx

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  18. turm I liked your post above.

    Good to read also that the Easter season finds you joyfully employed and that you are again enjoying the odd glass.

    I heard a rumour that an american friend of mine may have a once in a not so very often chance to visit the UK this summer. Any chance that she could pitch a tent on land under your gaze for a day or so? Nothing definite yet you understand.

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  19. Atomboy I do think that this needs some level of organisation. We could do worse than consider the old slogan I have quoted before:

    Agitate! Educate! Organise!

    Talking to people is one way of agitating - so to a lesser extent is blogging/commenting. Isolated individuals are ineffective so some kind of organisation/ education will result.

    Education? well, discussion groups between the like minded, reading books/ pamphlets/ material on websites.

    This education does also imply some degree of organisation of course.

    www.marxist.com just a suggestion (-; !

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  20. Atomboy I wrote something to you last night but it may have failed to post and gone to the ether, or it may just have been in my mind and 'cos of the second bottle not found its way to the keyboard................it simply amounted to the illustrative example of Gandhi and oaks and acorns etc

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  21. AB

    "if you are going to venture on the inside of the tent and plant bombs, you need someone else following you to check that you have not gone native and that you really will detonate them when needed."

    Yes. This is key. And it is so easy to sit back and drink the bubbly and think "struggle, what struggle?"

    Or as my sometimes sings: The working class can kiss my arse, I've got the foreman's job at last."

    But that has to be a matter of personal conscience, surely? Nobody will know whether someone else is sticking to the programme or going off on their own until something obvious happens to indicate they are falling one way or the other. But given that it is not in the national psyche of this country to storm the Bastille*, change has to happen on a one-to-one basis. Gain people's trust, educate them, help them to understand how benefitting others ultimately benefits everyone, including themselves, and gradually change will happen.

    *look at the way people have been harping on about the BA strike, and to a lesser extent the proposed RMT strike like their whole lives are being ruined just because their travel plans are going to be screwed for a few days, when the snow earlier in the year wreaked far more havoc, and compare and contrast with the French public's reaction to strikes of "Meh - another strike, then" at worst and "Whoopee! Solidarity with my brothers and sisters!" at best.

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  22. As my dad sometimes sings... Alf Garnett tory git that he is :p

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  23. Should be no problem for a tent, tipee or wigwam Deano, let me know. ; )

    An offer open to any of our community really...

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  24. You know what, Anne?

    For the second time today, I have been applying Buddhist principles, and you have been applying Marxist ones, and they match.

    Agitate! Educate! Organise! vs Gain people's trust, educate them, help them to understand how benefitting others ultimately benefits everyone, including themselves, and gradually change will happen.

    Same difference! Although maybe mine is a bit less shouty. :p

    Spooky. :o)

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  25. Agitate! Educate! Organise! - you have indeed quoted it before anne but always worth an outing again, and again.

    I always used the words as an aide to understanding the mechanics of failed protest.

    If agitation gets too far ahead of the organisation which in turn depends on the education (understanding) we have a probable meltdown.

    You can better understand the current position of our trade unions if you apply the model- we/they failed to find a way of overcoming the Sun's educative(propaganda) effect etc. (of course there were other issues but still a useful lesson) The biggest irony of all was that the Sun was first printed on the presses of the old Daily Herald (once owned by the TUC) a classically sound educative newspaper

    But those three words have meant such a lot to me - all my life. I think they are important and and helpful reminders.

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  26. The Sun was the first great print union-buster if I remember rightly. Scum.

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  27. BB - the build up can be gradual but when confronting a power structure ultimate the removal of the power over us must be faced.

    This requires leadership of a kind that does not seek power for itself. This is the difficulty I think and the reason for 'popular front of Judea syndrome'. Inevitably left movements will contain some control freaks, we need to be watchful for this and be sure that leaderships can be trusted. It is the development of control freak leaderships (cf Stalin) that is the main problem with left politics. The other is impatience born of an understandable wish to end the suffering of the oppressed.

    We have to find ways of avoiding both as they are both dangerous.

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  28. ps - I have found the limits of my imagination.

    I cannot imagine any circumstances in which Montana would sell UT to Murdoch...

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  29. Missed the late night carnage hier, fortunately.

    Hank - you're looking for a fight that left the ring long ago.

    Geras summarises it superbly, as ever: "Marx foresaw a progressive homogenisation of the labour force that could serve as the economic basis of political solidarity and dynamism.

    Alas, this has been undermined by the diversification of functions and rewards, so that now, as Paul Wolff observes, 'a fruitful solidarity [is] out of the question'."

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  30. *look at the way people have been harping on about the BA strike, and to a lesser extent the proposed RMT strike like their whole lives are being ruined just because their travel plans are going to be screwed for a few days, when the snow earlier in the year wreaked far more havoc...

    Yes, the problem is that this seems to illustrate that things have now gone too far for the gradual process of change to be able to counteract the massive bludgeoning of social conscience which has been so effectively peddled and lapped up by people who imagine that if they keep buying things on their credit cards to create the appearance of wealth, they will somehow become richer rather than poorer.

    We see no affinity with others, since they are simply the enemy who prevent us from getting all the lovely things we have been promised.

    Let's think of this differently.

    You have been given the job of selling a new product and if you can crack it, the world will be your lobster.

    The problem is the product is pretty crummy. It is expensive and unattractive (let's say it is a food item) and has a somewhat offensive taste. It is actually made from a mixture of waste products from polluting companies with terrible reputations. Some tests have shown that it is good for you and that is about its only saving grace.

    However, no supermarkets will stock it and no mass media will advertise it. The news channels have been fed the line that it is actually toxic and makes your eyes drop out if you even sniff it and this is what they keep pushing.

    The problem is, your boss has told you that you can sleep with his daughter and have a seat on the board and use of the company villa and jet at will and have a pay rise so vast that you will be able to buy the country estate of your dreams with back-pocket money - if only you can sell the damned stuff.

    People don't want it. They hate it. They have been told it is dangerous. They think it is poisonous. People have been publicly lynched for simply mentioning its name.

    How do you sell it for what it is - without making it into something different or pretending it is something else, like New Labour - to a world which is not amenable at best and frothingly hostile as the norm?

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  31. Peter I'm going out with the dogs had you been talking about the homogenisation of rewards I would have stayed but then you wouldn't have been working for NuLabour.

    Clause IV always helped me see/understand nonsense too.

    regards

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  32. Bonjour, Peter.

    This is where I disagree with you and Geras. I can't pretend I have read him or, for that matter, that I am particularly well read in politics (or many other subjects) at all, but the notion that a fruitful solidarity is out of the question because of the diversification of functions and rewards is a bit of a red herring, because it works on the premise that only financial rewards are of any value.

    There are a great many other things in life which are more valuable than mere financial reward for carrying out a task - quality time with one's children, good health (and healthcare),a loving relationship, a sense of personal security, friendship, to name but a few. How do you measure the value that different people will attribute to these things? It certainly can't be measured in simple function:reward terms.

    A fruitful solidarity is possible if people can understand that, by acting for the benefit of others as well as themselves, this can enable everyone to achieve the things in their life that are of most value to them. Financial reward doesn't actually matter a great deal once you have attained a certain level of balance whereby you are happy and at ease with the life you are living. People only try to keep up with the Joneses because they are insecure about their own lives and happiness.

    Hippy shit without a doubt, but imo it is hippy shit that could, and should, work.

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  33. AB - how do you sell it? To continue the analogy, door to door, rather than national advertising. Convincing people on a one-to-one basis - who in turn will convince their neighbours and friends, etc. etc.

    No it isn't immediate and earth-shattering. But it is change, little by little.

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  34. Salut BB,

    You may be right in the wider point you make, which I largely share; mine was to highlight Marx's misdiagnoses of the future of capitalism which has rendered socialism stillborn.

    That won't be shared by many on here (!) but it's how I see it.

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  35. Marx may have misdiagnosed many things - I don't suppose he was much of a sooth-sayer in that respect - but he was spot-on in other areas. This quote has always chilled me by its sheer accuracy:

    "Owners of capital will stimulate the working class to buy more and more of expensive goods, houses and mechanical products, pushing them to take more and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable. The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks, which will have to be nationalised, and the State will have to take the road which will eventually lead to communism."

    Stage one has already happened.

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  36. Anyhoo, I have sat here far too long and I have boring stuff I need to do, so I will be back later. x

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  37. Nice one, Montana. :o)

    Jeez - I was only a young'un when that first Specials vid was recorded!

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  38. Hi Montana - an absolute delight to see you here on your own blog.

    You will I hope see (again) that we are not all tossers this pondside. That turm fella ,for example, is going to provide a night or two's free camping for an unknown American cousin of mine - if called upon. ( see 11.37 above)

    I hope you and son are having a fine Easter.

    Best wishes and regards xx.

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  39. ps - my own view is that you need not offer an explanation or comment on last nights discourse or its protagonists.

    The record of UT is there for any who would wish to read and ponder it.

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  40. It's time for a sleep call but before I go after the loss of the battle with the third bottle I have this to say:


    now fuck off you individualist bastards you free mareketeers you fegging half half bakes


    have you not yet heard that

    that Newton saw further 'cos he stood on the shoulders of giants.


    Giants they may have been but we learned of the view from the collective effort of those who gave him the strength to climb the lookout and inform what he saw.

    Peter I'm sorry if my comment above seemed crass.

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  41. PCC - love you lass pay attention...........

    One day I'm off to meet Sheff to meet you and Pix an Chin with an American Cousin -

    Can between the three of you find shelter and snap for an Americana Cousin? Only a day or two called for..

    ps no more than a grass space for tent required

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  42. oh I can just see between light and dark - but only just.



    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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  43. Ooh - we have a visitor from Finland as well as Bitey snooping.

    Welcome! Amusez-vous bien, les tourterelles.

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  44. BeautifulBurnout

    AB - how do you sell it? To continue the analogy, door to door, rather than national advertising. Convincing people on a one-to-one basis - who in turn will convince their neighbours and friends, etc. etc.

    Yes, even Mr Kleeneze presumably had to start by flogging what he could carry from door to door.

    Strange, though, that when someone mentioned that the person who started Mumsnet was the wife or something of a Guardian editor, the impression was not that she really had to struggle to find people to sign up or worry about how to market the site.

    It seems that ordinary people are so plentiful on the gorund that they can always be relied upon to be tapped for cash when needed (for example, when the bankers have lost and stolen all the money in the world) but they can never quite manage to organise themselves effectively.

    Working people used to have unions for collective action, but were persuaded that ruthless individualism would get them better rewards.

    Meanwhile, the middle-classes network like the wind and take collective action to ensure that money stays firmly in each others' pockets.

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  45. Interesting point about mumsnet - I had no idea about that.

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  46. Oh fab - the return of selfmademan @ 5.51 on the easter / pagan thread by savvymum.

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  47. Hmmmmmmm

    Have just had a quick (hour-long or so) catch-up.

    Two songs to sum it up as I don't have time to post anything, like, thought-out:

    When the spell is broken (and happy birthday, Mr Thompson, sir, my idol).

    On my way to better things.

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  48. Quiet night in tonight finishing a biography of Charles Schulz, the 'Peanuts' cartoonist. Fascinating.

    I had no idea the sheer amount of symbolism in Peanuts. The existentialsm and 'everyman experience' of Charlie Brown; Snoopy's 'Red Baron' as a vehicle for Schulz's criticism of the Vietnam War and Schroeder and Lucy's relationship denoting Schulz's crumbling first marriage. As well as being a History of the latter half of the American 20th Century.

    It's time for me to delve back in to my old 'Peanuts' annuals. God knows where they are....Charlie Brown.

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  49. Sounds like a good book, Your Grace.

    The Red Baron thing had never occurred to me at all.

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  50. @BB
    Hope we,re still 'cyber- mates'!

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  51. Hi All--Quite a bit more civil here today, good to see. It's early though (-:

    thauma--Now you're talkin blues! Still my #1, though he's been gone a long time. SRV-RIP.

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  52. Evening everyone

    Have been a bit distracted with the move but am now reasonably sorted out and ready for visitors. So MsC, Princess and Deano - as you're all within striking distance there is an open invitation for a visit.

    Wine, food, music and conversation on offer, (also city views and excellent sunsets as I've just discovered tonight).

    My son counted the paces to the nearest pub, the Kelham Island Tavern (great beer, decent food, eccentric small garden for the faggers)). 96 steps from my building, with about four other pubs, amongst the best in the city within five minutes. I think I have struck lucky!

    As to the serious stuff thats been going on for the last couple of days - will take a rain check on that and just listen to the music.

    I am happy!!

    Any one else who can make it to this old city is also welcome.

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  53. Hi Sheff--I'll be there in an hour.(-:, I wish.

    Happy the move worked out well for you. Sounds like a new nest you'll be comfy in. Close to the pubs is always an advantage for we tipplers.

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  54. Kiz

    If you're looking in, I posted the radio to pen this morning.

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  55. Would be lovely to see you Boudican. if ever you're in this neck of the woods it's open house here.

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  56. There are two ways of changing things. One is to storm the Bastille. The other is to make your way into the world you want to change, be accepted in it, and then set off the bombs.

    Is this for real - ?

    Bombs courtesy of the Untrusted?

    Care to tell us innocents where they'll be planted?

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  57. @Roland

    Have no idea what you,re insinuating mate.This is a
    peace loving online community.There is the odd deranged
    person like a certain Mr Scorpio.Don,t take any notice
    of him mind.He only kicks off when he hasn,t taken
    his medication!!

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  58. "The other is to make your way into the world you want to change, be accepted in it, and then set off the bombs"

    Trouble with entryism, Roland, as far as I've seen, is that once you've worked your way in you begin to feel rather comfortable. Then you start to think that maybe, since you're fighting the good fight, you deserve a little something for yourself. Or have you never met any of the Militant Tendency? Maybe there's a Third Way...

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  59. If that's you, Bitey, you can go away. You already made that stupid little crack on Waddya. Not biting, Bitey.

    Or call M16 and report us if you want.

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  60. Sheff - glad to hear the move went well, hon.

    I really must try and make my way up to Sheffield sometime when things settle down a bit round these here parts. x

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  61. Ah, I see Bitey's comment about us being deranged religious zealots planning to bomb people has been deleted on Waddya. That might explain why "Roland" feels he has to come and talk to us about it, eh?

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  62. martillo, you ask:

    "have you never met any of the Militant Tendency?"

    Well Ted Grant, Peter Taaffe, Tommy Birchall, the imfamous Derek Hatton?

    Yes I have and not a bomber between them - honest working class men, committed to the struggle. Days and nights writing, editing and selling the Militant but betrayed by the likes of Kinnock, Hattersley and Nellist who thought he could sit in Parliament and not be tainted.

    And now you think upper middle class lawyers throwing bombs provide a solution?

    So who is this bomber you're harbouring in your midst?

    And what's the Third Way he's proposing?

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  63. Fab sheff..
    Happy Easter folks...

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  64. Well I just awoke to take the air, between the Easter drams drams, so to speak. It's 4 in the morning and the lace was deserted and then the Canadian flag popped up.............

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  65. That's interesting our counter indicates that we have had 60 visitors since midnight.

    A small and rewarding measure of the real value of this fab place - even when most are asleep your place is visited once every 4 minutes or soMontana.

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  66. ..........but if that was Bouidican.............he's logged out now.

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  67. Sheff I was really pleased to read your news and to see that you have landed safely and happily.

    You can bet your bottom dollar that I will visit and take a glass of wine with you ........one day.

    Every happiness and my wishes that the next chapter of your life shall be magic and joyful.

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  68. Our Canadian visitor is back.

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  69. Hello Roland welcome/welcome back.

    I think the intention here is more likely to cause an explosion of intelligence and noise.

    I was pleased to read what you said of the Liverpool scum. From where I sat they looked and sounded like fine and decent men - albeit a little excited at times.

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  70. It makes better sense to say.........an explosion of intelligent noise.

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  71. our maple leaf visitor has gone again.

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  72. Somebody else in the Uk is now awake.

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  73. Let this be a lesson to you deano the bastards do not want to talk to you!

    You sad old bastard.....

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  74. There we`are - I just heard the first bird of my day sing..........the much loved dawn chorus is about to start here in East Yorkshire.

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  75. It's lass the singing is so sweet.!

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  76. It's a lass the singing is so sweet.!

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  77. She is very happy with the state of her affairs................her sing is pure bliss.

    She be much pleased.

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  78. The Sun, she is still a while away - the journey from China to Yorkshire is a long one.

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  79. My Canadian companion is back.

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  80. Hi deano--Wasn't me earlier but I'm here now. Up with the birds and raring to go? Miss Lily almost got into a pack of crows ( the avian kind) today. She could not figure why they would not stay and play like everybody else. Got to say I love spring, renewal and more outdoor time to enjoy.

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  81. Oh and hello and welcome to Roland.

    deano--Funny how we attach avatars to flags on the new counter ,no. Probably easier to pick out we colonials though. Think the counter is a good addition meslf.

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  82. That would be meself, I don't know the other guy.

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  83. Oh my dear bird, like my dear dog, is in love with life. She sings so well.

    Me dad once hinted at the joy the birds gave to miners as they tramped to the pit in the early hours to spend yet another a day in the bowels of the earth.

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  84. Grand to see you my friend Boudican.

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  85. Couldn't stick being a miner myself, but admire them for what they do. As I'm claustrophobic I'll take the outdoors.

    Are you a birdwatcher? Must be many species in the fields about you. Have an eagles nest about 500 yards from my house. They are quite numerous here. Majestic. And big too.

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  86. My comment to Roland was prompted by my memory of the Kinnock/Sheffield and the chill that shivered down my spine.

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  87. It's what they did. These days - not many men digging the coal in Uk now.

    An Eagle ....I wish ..........they are still there in remote Scotland........on my wish list with the Northern Lights

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  88. deano--Many people must have bitter feelings about the whole mining travesty. Unions are becoming scarce over here too. Not altogether good. The big corpos, with not minimal assistance from various governments, are driving them out. Fewer rights for the workers, and too many minimum wages. It seems we could be regressing back to the Industrial Age.

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  89. Boud - it really would be grand to see you in Sheffield one day. I like the construction of your sentences.

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  90. I should broadcast what many others know to be an important part of the story.................."I never, ever, met a miner who wanted his son to follow in his occupation...."

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  91. It would be my pleasure and honor to visit with you and some of the others. Might possibly be in Berwick next year for golf, so if The chance arises I'll try for a trip south. And thanks, I used to be a builder you know. (-:

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  92. I can get to Berwick and friend Turminder (who lives that way) has said will give me lawn space ............so if, as them Catholic folk say, I am spared. .....I will buy the first drink.

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  93. I hear her silence now - she will not sing in the glare of daylight.

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  94. You're on for that! Let the nectar flow. Are you a single malt man? I seem to recall a mention of it before? In which town is our newly employed( being now a valuable contributor to proper society)witty and hospitable turminder living?

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  95. Must go deano, good talking to you. Night.

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  96. Must hit the sack deano, good talking to you, friend. Night.

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  97. He is near the Border - so Berwick be close.

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