04 April 2010

04/04/10

Awkward day for me to deal with.  As many of you know, Dr. King is one of my heroes, so I don't think I could treat the anniversary of his assassination as just one event among others to have occurred on this date.  But it is also Easter, which should be celebrated as a joyous holiday.  So here are two rather incongruous images/thoughts for the day:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
15/01/29 - 04/04/68



And Happy Easter, Everyone!


107 comments:

  1. NOW LISTEN UP YOU BASTARDS - A TINY BIT OF GOOD NEWS FOLLOWS:

    I have checked me facts and the reality (hardly with a smack of Pennistone grit) so I'm pretty sure I know of what I speak.

    Stateside mate of mine has, in the lottery of life, won a pair of return USA/UK tickets that he cannot use.

    He reads here and has asked me to give Montana first refusal on their use.

    For those casual/recently come fans of UT who may not yet have had time to trawl the record I will add a few simple and openly posted truths............

    My much admired friend Monataa is a single mum with not a lot dollars so air tickets alone cannot solve the ache. (You can all be assured that if I am out of order in my post the lady will scorch me)

    I'm a tramp in a field in Yorks but I do have a car and the odd spare shilling so I can add to the offer of my friend.


    I have two simple tents (and a modest camp bed for the lady but not the son) and a will to move her from A to B when, if her other friends can't do it, the need arises.

    ITS UP TO BASTARDS TO ADD TO THE OFFER - IF YOU DON'T HAVE LAWN SPACE YOU CAN SEND A FEW SHILLING TO SHEFF.

    I like you have to make a decision about this internet thing - I choose Sheff to be UK treasury of our goodwill If you have a spare bob send her it for the scholarship fund.

    Me thinks Sheff a fine and honest treasury - but I work on the old trade union principle of three locks on the chest. If she stepped out of order PCC and Chin would eat her alive.

    So I can see something like a BB/BW lawn for (Londonish visits for the lad) me then sees thamua and straftord on route to sheffield and Yorks. snd then friends in scotland...........

    I need a link to get her and her son to stand on the north Cornwall cliffs and the boy feel the wind in his face.

    I'm sure Andy will give them lawn space

    I need to get them from London to Cornwall - I'll do it if no one else will

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  2. Now fucking sort it UT - I'm away for a sleep.

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  3. Montaa> - I don't do part time babe.

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  4. Plainyl the lass can say - I'd love to but I can't.

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  5. By the way pennistone grit is hard stuff - it can wear your cock away before you have completed your wank .............or so I am told.

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  6. I'm a twat with only little understanding - tre boy needs to stand on the North west facing cliffs of Cornwall..

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  7. I'm sorry I can't always write clearly - they are USA/UK tickets. They are Montana's or given to the local church in desperation.

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  8. oh fuck it - me bastard mate, dear lucy insists that the 'lottery of life' is a mere metaphor in the stream of consciousness debate . I don't argue with him.

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  9. Morning all

    Sounds like a plan deano.

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  10. I have a spare room and a car....

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  11. Happy Easter all!

    Nice incongruous images, Montana - re: Dr King, the man may be gone, but the message lives on.

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  12. Am staying well away from the Grayling B&B fuck-up. Will simply observe that he seems to have some issues with the distinction between private residences and business premises, which seems slightly alarming in someone who hopes to be hom sec...

    Anyway - well moved-in, Sheff. And while I probably can't be much help in deano's relief effort, if this involves going near London, I may be able to locate an available room as a starting point...

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  13. Forgot to wish people Happy Easter too!

    Yeah - the B&B story is a corker. What I thought was brilliant was the amount of support the guys in the original story got, with B&B owners all over the country offering to let them stay there for free.

    If you open your home up as a business, you can't discriminate against who you do business with on the basis of their sexuality. That is bloody absurd.

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  14. BB - it's the 'if I don't invite any gay people round for coffee, am i breaking the law? that's ridiculous' approach that really gets me.

    Have always been a bit puzzled how to deploy the phrase 'straw-man', but think this could be it?

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  15. Philippa - I have never quite understood what consists of a straw-man argument either, tbh. But I think this is more brinksmanship than anything else. Up there with the "if you love refugees so much why don't you have one living in your house?" bollocks that we here. Taking a perfectly reasonable argument and pushing it to the brink of what is sane and reasonable just to score a point.

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  16. This is what wiki has to say about straw man arguments

    "Straw man arguments often arise in public debates such as a (hypothetical) prohibition debate:

    Person A: We should liberalize the laws on beer.
    Person B: No, any society with unrestricted access to intoxicants loses its work ethic and goes only for immediate gratification.

    The proposal was to relax laws on beer. Person B has exaggerated this to a position harder to defend, i.e., "unrestricted access to intoxicants"


    Hmm. So I suppose the "invite round for coffee" argument could be a straw-man argument in that case.

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  17. Happy Eostre to all! Hope to have you over for a haggis hunt Montana! And can offer a trip round Embra, which you'd both enjoy I'm sure... Isn't a Straw man what we get when LordS has run oot o wicker?

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  18. BB - think I'm getting it now.

    Person A - there's a good argument for allowing prostitutes to work together in a property so they can be safer and keep an eye on each other.
    Person B - So you'd be happy for your 6-year old daughter to be ganag-raped by violent pimps, then?
    Person A - Erm......

    That kind of thing?

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  19. Turm

    Haggis hunting for the win!

    We once managed to make a friend of my brother's puke up his breakfast - admittedly he was a tad hungover anyway - with stories of wild haggis. It was the first time he had some on his plate for breakfast, staying at my aunt's house.

    One of the cats had caught a rabbit, so she skinned it and boiled it up for them to eat properly, and left the skin outside the back door for them to play with. My bro and I were regaling this poor, spotty London lad with tales of haggises (or should that be haggae?) having their left legs shorter than the right legs so they didn't fall over on hills, when aunty Hazel came into the room and pointed to the rabbit skin on the patio and said "Yep - look, that's its skin there..."

    Off runs the lad to the toilet...

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  20. Philippa

    Have you been talking to our finnish friend?? I swear that is the exact answer she gave to Jay a few months back...

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  21. I used to work onthe Royal Mile BB, a shop that sold model soldiers, an american lady cam in;

    "Do you have a model of a Haggis?"

    "You want a butchers love"

    "No do you have a model of the animal?"

    "left legs shorter? Wee trumpet nose? Were you at a burns supper last night?"

    "That's right! We'd never tried Haggis before.."

    "It's not really a wee animal, well, it's parts of a larger animal, It's a sheep stomach, stuffed with oats, onion, spices and, meat..."

    "Lamb?"

    "Well the heart, lungs and liver..."

    By which time she was running for the door and looking decidedly peeky..

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  22. Heheheh - excellent, Turm. :o)

    The French have a similar imaginary animal called the Dahu, which is supposed to have all the characteristics of a haggis, although they don't claim to eat it...

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  23. Hehehehe - love the bit about the mating "preventing stupid individuals from breeding"

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  24. Happy Easter everyone!

    Went to Mass this morning for the first time in ages. Ugly church, terrible music, and the most boring and banal homily I have heard in a long time.

    It was BRILLIANT.

    Philippa and BB, you have the right idea of what a straw man is. It's an unconsciously made, simplistic caricature of your opponent's position, set up because it's easier to knock down. Very common in political and religious controversy.

    BB and Turminder, great stories! I've never tried haggis (or black pudding), but I dare say I am a soft Sassenach jessie...

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  25. Lavartis

    Both black pudding and haggis are delicious if sliced into half-inch slices and fried as part of a cooked breakfast, so they have a slight crunchiness about them on the outside.

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  26. Happy Easter everyone

    Think i,ll give the black pudding and haggis a miss!

    @Lavartis-haven,t been to mass for many years now.For
    some reason your average Catholic congregation does
    seem to suffer from a collective form of tone deafness
    -hence the appalling singing in most Catholic churches.

    As a child i remember regularly getting into trouble
    with my parents for being consumed with laughter at
    the dreadful racket we 'endured'every Sunday morning.
    'Guide me oh thy great redeemer'-was especially
    painful/funny to hear.Plus we used to have an elderly
    Irish nun who howled as opposed to sing and an elderly
    morbidly obese spinster who played the organ and was
    never in time with the congregation.-Happy Days!

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  27. Paul - remember being very confused by the singing when attending a Catholic service in Germany (school exchange) - i was, as I thought traditional, attempting to sing in time with the organ. Unlike the rest of the congregation, who were stubbornly following half a beat behind. Very peculiar.

    Mind you, a couple of the organists at Dad's churches have had *cough* issues *cough* meaning you'd occasionally get two verses in a row, or the music would continue blithely on after everyone else had finished. Or they'd misread the key signature. As Dad said about one particularly memorable service where all the sharps got missed out - "I know I'm tone-deaf, but that was way off, wasn't it?"

    Anyway...

    Have been listening to Goldfinger (R4 play yesterday). God, Toby Stephens is sexy...

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  28. Hey Montana this is looking good.

    Well done team UT. I would be surprised if, when our friends in Wales read in, there is not an offer of a sofa/floor space in the Principality too.

    I know that Andy and me and turminder ain't awash with brass so some of the food you will be offered will be 'beans on toast' but what the fuck - nobody died of eating beans on toast.

    It is really down to you lass...I know things like passports cost but most of the rest will be carried by your friends here.

    turminder see the tail end of last night. Our Canadian friend Boudican may be visiting this year and if so I will definitely (with your kind consent)be camping on your lawn if he does. What I won't do for a dram with a mate.....

    Time for another sleep.

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  29. I should add that I can show the lad and you York and Beverley/Hull and my favourite place in all the world Robin Hoods Bay during your few days stopover on my lawn.

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  30. Happy Easter all.

    I have a spare bed too. And a car (but the other half has to drive as I am a danger to all and sundry behind the wheel - but he doesn't mind!)

    Just lost my rag on Cif and told someone to go fuck themselves. Feel bad for letting a sneering shithead get to me but must remember not to post at certain times of the month!

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  31. PCC

    Sneering shit-head about sums him up. He's just told me I must have paid sod-all in tax because I am clearly not a high-earner.

    Just a snivelling dole-scrounger me, obv. :o)

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  32. BB - yeah I loved it when you told him you were a barrister. Actually it was Idopas I told to go fuck himself. Styx is a weird one too though and that response to him that his biscuit would be served in the drawing room was spot on.

    Idopas has really gone for me before - I don't know why but he seems to dislike me very much. But I shouldnt have risen to the bait and now I will probably get time out from Cif.

    Sigh.

    Am off to go and wash up for my ma - she still has bugger all movement - and the bruise! It looks horrendous. We have bought her five pillows and she now sleeps penned in - we don't want any repeats and we found out the other day that she woke up a couple of months ago at the top of the stairs! She is a danger to herself.

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  33. BB / yer Royal Highness

    Which thread are you talking about?

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  34. Will Hutton's, Lavartis. I know I don't understand economics as well as I should, but I also know when a Tory knob is talking bollocks. And each time he is challenged he responds by insulting people and a "you are too thick to understand so I shan't explain".

    PCC - hope your mum gets better soon, hon x

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  35. PCC - sounds as if dear mum would benefit from an easily removed bar (at about chest height) at the top of the stairs.

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  36. Are Styx and Hank one and the same person but with
    a split personality?

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  37. BB:

    I've looked at the Hutton thread and styxdweller is pretty sound on the economics of the financial crisis.

    The financial crisis is not due to an absence of regulation - it derives rather from bad economic policy allied to bad regulation.

    Banks always pose some risk to the stability of the financial system, because they are linked together through the interbank market. Banks borrow short and lend long, so their assets are less liquid than their liabilities. They manage their liquidity by borrowing from and lending to other banks. If any one bank can't meet its obligations, then bank lending may seize up because other banks won't know if the problem is specific to that institution. This is the nature of financial markets: one party inevitably knows more than the other. Borrowers know more than lenders about the use to which the borrowing will be put. Banks therefore use various means to try to assess the credit quality of a borrower - and therefore know more than the market as a whole about the quality of the assets that they hold.

    That's where we are now. The market doesn't know what the assets are worth, so even if the banks were able to unload their assets, they could do so only at a heavily discounted price, thereby inflicting further damage to their balance sheets.

    How did we get here? There are two main reasons. First, governments and central banks didn't constrain the credit expansion of the early years of this decade. This fuelled a destructive property boom, and a huge market in mortgage lending founded on the delusion that house prices always go up. Secondly, financial regulation was badly designed and created some perverse incentives. Just one example: capital adequacy rules imposed lower charges on derivative products traded over the phone and electronically (so-called OTC derivatives, standing for "Over-the-Counter") than those traded on physical exchanges. This was bound to divert the derivatives market into areas where supervisors couldn't monitor it.

    In short, we are not seeing the crumbling of capitalism. We've seen scandalous behaviour by some bankers, who packaged good assets up with dubious ones and sold them on to investors who didn't understand those risks. We've seen incompetence by ratings agencies that misvalued those financial instruments. And we've seen an inherent problem of what economists call asymmetric information within financial markets. But the most fundamental weaknesses have been in policy - in economic management and in regulation. There is no painless route out of the mess we're in; but the mess is not intrinsic to the Western financial system and could have been avoided. Policymakers will learn from the experience.

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  38. Montana You will of course understand that I don't have a brief to speak for anybody on here save myself.

    But given the high regard that folk have for you I would be really surprised if your friends here couldn't find you and son the odd baked bean supper. I imagine they would discuss what they can offer you privately via email. Of course some would say I have an over-active imagination.

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  39. "..The financial crisis is not due to an absence of regulation - it derives rather from bad economic policy allied to bad regulation..."

    Peter I do not share your view. The financial market(s) are driven/dominated by sociopaths, manipulators who, even when rich, will dream up new scams to feed their insatiable greed.

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  40. If you worked for Nulabour you must have seen what is behind the eyes of folk like Blair/Mandelson....I wouldn't want their like in my family.

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  41. Paul - no! Hank would sooner cut off his right arm that spout that kind of stuff. And his insults are far more intelligently crafted :o)

    Peter - well thanks for taking the time to explain it to me, although I have to say there is nothing that convinces me that this kind of thing won't happen again... and again... and again until it finally collapses once and for all. Or until people have had enough of it and dismantle the whole house of cards before it falls down again, and start afresh.

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  42. Spem in alium - Tallis just been on Classic FM - bliss sheer bliss.

    BLISS

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  43. @deano: I will happily join in the effort if you can get the lady sorted. We can do better than beans on toast.

    So anyway who the fuck is Felix Krull and why does he think I am ultra-liberal. I pointed out that the media has fetished prostitution and made it sound like a career choice and that is part of the problem.

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  44. MsR Cheers babe - love ya. (even though I've not known you that long)

    If I can persuade the lady to visit I will save my pennies to ensure that she has something tasty in the filling of the baked potatoes I offer her and hers if they get to E Yorkshire on the tour.

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  45. PCC / BB: Wow - you leddies are fair ruling that thread. BB: I particularly liked the line about 'pie in the sky... it won't put bread on the table. Or pie.'

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  46. Hello All

    Deano

    Is there a time limit on these 'ere tickets?

    Are we talking summer school hols ?

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  47. @deano - count me into the campaign

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  48. Lavartis - I don't understand the arrogance and the need to belittle people or insult them all the time just because you don't agree with what they are saying.

    He has a view of what is going on - I have a different view. And I admitted from the get go that I am not an economist or an accountant. But the "you are just stupid" approach is not useful to anyone - especially someone as stupid as me! :p

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  49. For those of you who vaguely like classical music my favourite radio station (available streamed to the internet) Classic FM is currently broadcasting the annual 'best of'.

    Every year at Easter the listeners vote for their favourite pieces of music - the votes are counted and the best 300 are broadcast over the days of Easter. That's what's being broadcast now and for the next few hours.

    I just thought I would share that with you.

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  50. leni no tight time limits but I'm assuming Montana, if at all, would use her summer school break.

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  51. Great - I/ll be around for most of that period. I'm obviously in on the grand scheme.

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  52. Deano - that recording's too slow. The Tallis Scholars, who are also on YouTube, are better. Note please the textbook 'per arsen et thesin' at 1.05 and the mind-blowing pause followed by the tutti entry at 'in tribulatione dimittis'

    I sang it once in Clare chapel (tenor, 5th choir) when I was an undergrad. A great and extraordinary experience. You can't hear yourself at all because every one is singing something different to every one else!

    It's a very sad piece, though, for any Catholic... What might English music have become!(sigh)

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  53. @BB-Dunno about that!An adhominem is an adhominem!
    Still feel they could be opposite sides of the same
    coin!Will lurk and observe!

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  54. Peter (B). If you're still working on an OBL piece, just had an interesting conflab with the father-in-law, who's very well versed in this kind of analysis (does all the Chatham House malarkey). He draws some interesting parallels with business models, and from that postulates that OBL is a particularly 21st century type of threat, and that pushing too far with Hitler as the reference point doesn't leave the West as well placed as it ought to be to counter him.

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  55. @MsRobinson-liked your comments on the Barbara Ellen
    thread.Methinks you should be submitting something
    to appear ATL!

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  56. @PeterBracken-Interesting earlier post from you.To
    change the subject a bit i,d be interested to know
    whether you think the City of London is an albatross
    around the neck of the British economy as well as being a major 'milch cow'.Historically the City has always been reluctant to take a long term view with regard to investing in British Industry.It seems to me that the City nowadays is only interested in making a 'quick buck'irrespective of the consequences.And may be partly responsible at least for sucking the life out of other parts of the economy.Thus preventing any hope of a renaissance
    in British owned manufacturing.And leaving the
    British manufacturing sector at the mercy of foreign
    investors.

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  57. leni - love you too.

    Lavartis - my untuned ear can't judge the pace of the noise, but I've always liked the sound of the Tallis crew. And I enjoyed playing their youtube version too.

    I've always thought my life was so much simpler and brighter by not being burdened with the constraints of Catholicism. But I'm pleased to read that you can sing - I wish I could.

    Of course if a Pope had had his way, and Mozart not visited, we noners might have never heard the most divine choral piece of all.

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  58. Paul - I agree with you about MsR she writes a mean sentence or two.

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  59. It is interesting though, BB, how much more nuanced you are when it comes to your own field.

    Take today's comments on the Ellen thread, where you reason that the strict application of justice (as you see it) should derail the efforts to prosecute the scum who exploit (for their sordid pleasure) the abuse of young trafficked women (and in most cases probably know the plight of their victims).

    I notice you applauded a post by Ms Robinson (and rightly so). Yet, from what I can gather you're miles from her take on this issue.

    Ms Robinson (I understand) is old Left on the matter - unfazed by the crap that has emenated from radfems who see the handwringing about prostitution as some sort of bourgeois condescension, one which reinforces the paternalism they hope to escape.

    It's classic deluded Left: to hell with the carnage on the streets, we've an ideology to protect.

    Paul:

    "I'd be interested to know whether you think the City of London is an albatross around the neck of the British economy..."

    I don't think it is. I'd argue that a strong, healthy banking system is essential for the economy, perverse as that may sound just now. I can't add more at the moment as I'm just about to pop out.

    Alasdair: thanks for that. I'm intrigued - what shape constitutes a 21st Century threat?

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  60. Peter

    Well I believe that making an offence one of strict liability with essentially no defence available in law is bad enough when it is for speeding or insurance, but atrocious when it is something which could result in imprisonment.

    There are two things they could have done - either had the balls to outlaw prostitution hands down, but they will never do that. Or, like, for example, having an offensive weapon in a public place, to have a defence of "good reason", in other words, as "guilty unless you can prove..." That puts the onus on the punter to show that he took active steps to determine whether the woman had been trafficked or not, which in most cases would be pretty difficult to show. But at least some defence is afforded.

    But to say "doing it means you are guilty even if you didn't know you were doing it and I want no excuses from you" is, in my opinion, completely wrong.

    And holding that view does not exclude the way in which I can agree with MsRobinson about the hypocrisy of favouring one form of prostitution over another.

    Ideally what I would like to see, if it was down to me, is for prostitution to be decriminalised, regulated and monitored. That would in large part do away with trafficked women.

    And just in case you were wondering ;) I am a member of Stop the Traffik too... http://www.stopthetraffik.org/language.aspx

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  61. I've always thought the City of London promoted short termism at the expense of what might be in favour of the good of the many.

    I literally cried as a young man when I saw Thatcher, encouraged by the City, divert our North Sea Oil wealth into funding (quietening) unemployment of talented people (engineers/ makers of things et al)

    Putting so many of our more gifted young people to work in the City was/is a crime. I do not see a secure future in service industries. You cannot eat fuck or drink what they produce. And their idea of art is crass.

    As I said yesterday(ish) Those who see further do so because they stand on the shoulders of giants we are as entitled as they to, a fair share of, the fruits of their vision.

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  62. Ah! Peter Tatchell article up about the gay B&B/Chris Grayling fiasco. Thought there would be.

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  63. Oh, my delightful Mungo is telling me that I fell asleep drunk last night and forgot to feed him and Miss Diesel.

    He/she be pretty forgiving but he is damned sure that it ain't going to happen two nights running.............he is all over me panting and making guttural noises.

    I'll feed the bastard else no rest for me.

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  64. @deano, et al.

    Don't quite know what to say. You all know how much I would love to come to Britain. You are some of the most wonderful people on the planet. You know that, don't you? Biggest question: who would shove me onto the plane for the return flight?

    re: BE and Hutton threads

    Some excellent comments on both from PCC, BB, MsR & Peter. Call me uptight, call me a prude, but I have serious issues with prostitution regardless of whether or not the woman is allegedly making a "free choice". All those men (and one woman, apparently) crying about how on Earth are they supposed to know whether or not she's been coerced. Cry me a fucking river. If there is even a scintilla of doubt in your mind, you shouldn't be there. Ejaculating into a vagina is not a god-given right.

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  65. Montana - well my lovely young miss we all hope you will think yes but your the lass who knows her circumstances best.

    xx.

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  66. Montana

    Claim asylum as soon as you get here! I'll help.... :p

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  67. Sorry for barging in, just wanted to say Deano30 I really enjoyed the Classic FM version of Spem in alium. Lavartis I didn't think it was too slow, but I accept your more knowledgable viewpoint as you have sung this with a choir when you were an undergrad.

    Anyhow would just like to apologise again for any offence I've caused, difficult when I don't know what it is, but I'm not apologising for being middleclass I can't pretend to be someone else.

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  68. @Montana

    I may be one of the men you disagreed with on the BE
    thread.

    Agree that men who knowingly have sex with a prostitute who has been coerced in any way should be prosecuted.My point was that in what can be a furtive transaction between prostitute and punter the latter may genuinely not be told the truth even if he asks.

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  69. It's incredibly difficult to regulate prostitution in terms of whether women are trafficked or not.

    Even here in the Netherlands where prostitution is legal and regulated, there has been more and more cases coming forward of trafficked women in regulated brothels.

    In the Zandpad 'floating brothels' area of Utrecht, it was found that between 50-90 percent of women working as prostitutes had been forced or were under some form of coercion. In Amsterdam, many areas of the red light district have been closed by authorities due to the difficulties involved in identifying trafficked women.

    Of course, all this does is drive the business underground where vulnerable women will be in even more danger. The authorities in Utrecht decided to tighten regulations and protection for the women rather than go down the 'close down brothels' route.

    As distasteful as I and the majority find prostitution, it will always be with us. Isn't it better to reguate, licence and protect as much as possible? It will never protect all women, but regulation is the best of a bad situation.

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  70. Montana we hope you will say yes but we know that only you know the reality of your circumstances.

    xx.

    My God Classic FM is getting better every track played.

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  71. @paul@deano thank you boys. Libby Brooks of Guardian knows me and wrote to me two years ago when she said reading my blog distracted her from doing work which was nice. I did submit some ideas given she enjoyed my line in subtle vitriol but she said they were a bit too close to the bone...ha ha de ha.

    So I kept doing my blog and consoled myself that even the Adam Smith Institute enjoyed my piece on the The Great Mistress Fire Sale. And I am getting ready to write again. So maybe I will submit something and see.

    @Duke. We have regulated brothels in Melbourne and mostly it has been good for all concerned.

    The additional problem in Europe as I see it Your Grace is one of desperate immigrants and so these girls - perhaps with coercion of their poor families agree to leave their country not totally knowing what might happen. Or not knowing they will be kept in a room and their passport taken away.

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  72. Say yes Montana. I will be here doing nothing and it means I can visit other Ciffers with cakes in my bag and show them how an Aussie does it.

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  73. BB my lovely I think you may be best advised to delete you comment at 19.58 and repeat it in a private email.

    But what the fuck do I know.

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  74. LOL deano! No worries - she might well have a proper claim on the grounds of religious discrimination - her being discriminated against for being an atheist and all!! Heheh.

    Christina - you didn't cause offence by being middle class. Some people might take offence, but that is their problem isn't it?

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  75. Montana - I will happily squeeze you and your lad in here for a few days, between London and the South Coast. Just hope my lad and foster-lad aren't a bad influence on him - the last thing you need is an emo teen :p Hehehehe. xxx

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  76. @Everyone:

    I'll apply for passports as soon as I can (mine's expired). Thank you all!

    @Christina:

    I think I'm fairly safe in saying that you owe no one here an apology.

    @Paul:

    I find the very existence of a market for prostitution pretty sad, to begin with. I do realise that it's always been there and probably always will be, so I believe that legalisation and regulation are the answer, but I still think that it's reprehensible and, quite frankly, have no sympathy whatsoever for any negative consequences that might be visited upon punters.

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  77. BB there is nothing I like more in this world than a lass with a class voice. You should tell your husband that a Yorkie thinks him a fortunate guy.

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  78. Montana - you lovely lass. The lad will have some grand learning as you both process around our fine island.

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  79. Christina - these things are of course matters of opinion and taste. I lay no claim to knowledge.

    I miss the meerkat avatar...

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  80. MsR,

    Libby Brooks said your stuff may be a bit too close to the bone?

    Doesn't stop them publishing offensive bollocks by Bindel, Bidisha, Campbell etc does it? And not for one second am I lumping you in with that lot, but women's issues coverage on CiF is crying out for voices like yours.

    But then I am assuming you didn't go to Oxbridge ...

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  81. @Montana

    OK point taken.But even if prostitution is legalised
    there is still potential for 'grey' areas to arise.
    For instance should a punter be prosecuted if he has
    sex in a legal brothel with a prostitute who unbeknown to him and the brothel owners has been trafficked and is controlled by a pimp.I am not being pedantic here and i,m certainly no champion of the punters but it is a complex issue and a one size fits all response in my opinion isn,t appropriate.

    I know its not the best correlation but would it be
    right in Britain if a 20 year old man was automatically prosecuted for having sex with a 15
    year old girl he had met in a nightclub-where the
    girl had admitted to telling him she was 18,she easliy
    looked 18 and was in a club where you had to be at
    least 18 to enter.And bearing mind there is no legal
    requirement to carry an ID card in this country.

    These are not straightforward issues!

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  82. Paul:

    Just to finish a previous point. The business of finance is to match those who have capital with those who need it and can use it productively.

    No one knows in advance which activities are going to satisfy that test: the only objective measure is whether a business can turn a profit, by generating revenues and controlling costs.

    This might sound a tad trite, but this is what banks do, fundamentally.

    The economy and the corporate sector - the real world of the production of things and the provision of services - will benefit if the banks are stronger.

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  83. Deano - not sure where I'll be when your friend comes over but I will have a spare bed whereever ...

    Still waiting for a buyer :-(

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  84. annetan
    - love you as well our lass.

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  85. Peter \you have misunderstood the causality - it's not the Banks' which give us a future. it's We the people

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  86. Montana my fine young lass, when I'm fully sober I will email you with the ticket details.

    Since I don't do part time you may be assured I will not let you down with hype. Tis joyfully true.

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  87. @Peter B

    OK that sounds fair in principle but isn,t it the
    case that the British financial institutions are
    less inclined to take the long-term view in their
    transactions with British industry than say German
    institutions do with German industry.In other words
    British industry is under much more pressure than
    German industry to turn a short-term profit if it
    is to continue to get the financial support it needs.
    British financial institutions are it seems far more
    interested in turning a short-term profit in overseas-
    investments sometimes with disasterous consequences.

    The issue for me is can that be changed or is the
    role of British Financial institutions within the
    global economy to simply turn a quick profit wherever and whenever it can-rather than taking a longer term view.

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  88. It is the most absurd idea I ever read -------------accountants think you can measure success in the annual accounts.


    They are soft in the head

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  89. They measure with elasticated string.

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  90. Oh shit, the 7th bottl eof wine I have necked came back to my wall.

    Fuck it. I will have some unexpected cleaning to do when I next awake.

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  91. Deano - the posh voice gets laid on for work purposes only. I am as Sarf-East as it gets in normal life.

    My husband doesn't notice though cos he's a foreigner anyway :D:D

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  92. BB - if you will look at Clunie's post at 10.11 pm on the Preston thread, you will find a link to a page articles etc. about the darker side of some schools of Buddhism, which you might find interesting - if challenging.

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  93. Christina< it's always a delight

    to find oneself in a sentence of agreement.

    But the dreadful truth is I am as I describe mesen - a tramp.

    I'm fairly sure that you would feel discomforted in my sentence. But I travel in hope.

    You have fine taste in music.

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  94. BB> I can only hear your unexpurgated voice - I'm not likely to change me mind any time soon.

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  95. Lavartis - my, someone's been busy! Hehehe.

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  96. @Duke No, they don't like contrary voices with angles they haven't considered. They like women to toe a wimmin's line, especially a wimmin's media line and I don't do that.

    I didn't go to Oxbridge nor have I slept with an editor who went there hence my lack of a column.

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  97. deano - 'But the dreadful truth is I am as I describe mesen - a tramp.'

    No deano, you are a human being with more than your fair share of humanity, empathy and insight, not to mention damn fine taste in music - how or where you live have nothing to do with the way you should be judged. Sorry, have probably drunk rather more than is sensible for coherence, but frankly - bollocks. xxx btw

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  98. Deano

    may have told you this - when I lived in Sussex a travelling tramp used to visit me every summer. He would stay a couple of hours. He always wanted only a pan full of boiled potatoes served with lots of butter and to listen to some Mozart. Never knew his story. A lovely, gentle man. One year he didn't turn up at the usual time - the children and I were very upset and went looking for him. We never saw him again but we still talk about him and remember him with affection.

    Possessions are not the measure of a man.

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  99. Leni

    That was a nice story.When i was a kid a man with
    one arm used to go around the houses door to door
    selling fruit and veg he grew himself.Funny thing
    was none of the mums knew where he lived and for
    whatever reason didn,t ask.Then one week he didn,t
    come around at his usual time and was never seen
    again.But he was missed and was fondly remembered
    for a long time after.

    I am talking about the early to mid 70,s here.But
    it seems such a different time and place insofar
    as people were less inclined to intrude in others
    lives.You didn,t ask questions but i don,t think
    it meant people cared any less.

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  100. Paul in my .......not quite as bad but not far off.

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  101. Paul

    there used to be more trust in strangers - the assumption being that people were more likely to be good than bad. The hysteria about 'strange men ' has done a lot of damage - particularly to our children who miss out on meeting some interesting and good people.

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  102. < leni you lovely lass the fact of my matter is that, at 63, I have met more decent than indecent folk..

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  103. Leni

    Absolutely agree with you there.Even as a 7 year old
    i remember running errands for my mum and basically
    being allowed to wander about.And we,re talking about
    the early 70,s.Plus adults in those days weren,t
    scared of children and teenagers like they are now.
    There used to be a small newagents at the end of my
    road run by two elderly sisters and i remember them
    running out of the shop to break up a punch up
    between two groups of boys.And that,s what happened
    if kids misbehaved- adults told them to behave and
    if they didn,t parents and teachers were informed
    and they were expected to sort them out.

    Agree with you 100% about the demonisation of
    men and how that can sour relations between men
    and children-very sad.Also one of the reasons why
    i,ve never bought into the rad fem 'all women are
    victims' bollocks is that i grew up in a community
    where the women were tough and they set the tone
    for the community.Very rarely saw females fighting
    though-that does seem to be very much a modern day
    phenomenon!

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  104. deano -
    "It is the most absurd idea I ever read .... accountants think you can measure success in the annual accounts."
    After a decade or so in the accountancy field (muddy, doesn't grow anything worth harvesting) I would say that auditors don't measure 'success' but simply 'existence' (and, if pushed, 'likelihood of continuing to exist to this time next year'). Anything more than that and you're listening to in-house spin. No external auditor worth their golf-club membership would run a mile from making anything approaching a value judgment...

    Kind of like in Yes Minister where 'with the greatest possible respect' is the worst insult you can imagine. That's how to read audit reports...

    Anyway. Bed.

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