18 April 2010


The cornerstone of St. Peter's Basilica was laid in 1506.  An earthquake measuring approximately 7.9 on the Moment Scale devastated San Francisco in 1906, leaving at least 3000 dead.  Rhodesia became Zimbabwe in 1980.

Born today:  Thomas Middleton (1580-1627), Clarence Darrow (1857-1938), Margaret Hassan (1945-2004), Hayley Mills (1946), David Tennant (1971) and our very own BeautifulBurnout.

Happy Birthday, BB!


  1. Please note that the number of candles around that cake are not meant to imply anything about BB's age. It was just the choclatiest, prettiest cake image I found.

    Incredible photos of San Francisco after the earthquake.

  2. Aargh. The number of candles is not meant to imply, etc.

    Subject-verb agreement. It's a beautiful thing.

  3. Happy Birthday BB--May the light shine ever on your path. And, of course, may your decanter be ever full.

  4. BB: Many happy returns! The Barrister who likes Beer: Lang zal ze leven! Gezondheid!

  5. Evening Boudican, Montana, if you're still lurking ..

  6. BB,

    gelukkige verjaardag! Gefeliciteerd x

  7. Happy Birthday BB!
    (good cake, Montana)
    (feel quite peckish)

  8. Thanks for the good wishes everyone!

    Sitting here with my feet up watching Buffy while my beloved cooks half a cow for lunch. I said I wanted rib of beef and he remortgaged the house to come back with a three-rib joint! Nutter! Desperate Dan's got nothing on me... heheheh.

  9. Happy birthday BB beautiful day for a birthday!

  10. Alisdair Cameron

    "Err, Bitethehand, I think you took that line of mine the wrong way: I was not suggesting any overt or even covert Govt control of the Guardian; that's the very point I was making."

    "[By the way, I'm puzzled by your sentence relating to "ganging up" on a poster, a sentence in which you included my name. I think it might be an inadvertent construction, but it seems on one reading to imply my taking part in such activity. I'm at a loss to see where this has taken place]"

    Thank you for the clarification although it wasn't you I suspected of suggesting that kind of state micro-control but others who seem to have come to that conclusion.

    And I wasn't suggesting you were involved in "ganging up", only that I was prepared to engage with you, as I have a number of times on CiF.

    Here we are in June last year:

    ..doesn't feminism in essence carry whatever meaning any individual who calls themselves feminist attributes to it.

    "Yep even male individuals judging by comments on CiF - which I suppose is progess of sorts when you consider that in the early years it carried about as much attractiveness as leprosy. Still does for some I guess."

    Having said that we did have a serious difference over Madeleine Martin and the Independent Standards Authority.

  11. I see you've got some new material, Hank, I've gone from too much fluffy chat to too many opinions. When you say "what really bothers me", why does it really bother you? I dont understand why you care so much what a handful of posters say that you spend so much time attacking them. If fluffy chat is wrong, surely bitching is equally trivial and worthless.

    Bitey - i never reported any of your comments for abuse, in any of your aliases, so your banning had nothing to do with me. Same goes for Ultima.

  12. Happy birthday, BB, hope you have a good day.

  13. BeautifulBurnout

    "Bitey - i never reported any of your comments for abuse, in any of your aliases, so your banning had nothing to do with me. Same goes for Ultima."

    Short term memory problems MrsB?

    Andysays, now pounding the South West coastal path - 27 December, 2009

    "Enough’s enough, BiteTheHand. You’re clearly too deluded to see that your banning from CiF was brought on by your own actions. You seem to be under the misapprehension that some sort of Untrusted cabel is behind your demise."

    "No one here has sought to have you banned, even though a couple of us would have had every justification in doing so (and let’s not forget your attempts over the months to blacken many of the individuals here and indeed the whole Untrusted site with the CiF moderators). In the end, no one here really cares enough about you to go to the trouble."

    scherfig, who since posting this has had his own bust up with his fomer Untrusted friends - 02 April, 2010

    "I will defend you to the death against real ad homs. Don't conflate what I say with the likes of Bitey. I deleted a lot of his comments here a while back, and also (probably) got him banned
    from Cif as jiasa. I make no apologies for that - freedom of speech? Censorship? Fuck him."

    And BeautifulBurnout, CiF's very own barrister, scourge of the UK Border Agency, the Immigration Tribunals and to her credit the BNP:

    "I have no idea whether Scherfig was responsible for you being banned the first time - I certainly reported you myself after weeks of relentless attack on here."

    Relentless? Please, a little realism. The reason you reported me was in your own words:

    "Now, if you want to accuse me of "duffing up" BTH, I stand guilty as charged. Thing is, he shouldn't pick personal fights with people based on misrepresentation, innuendo and smear and expect them to bend over and drop their trousers when he does. I have been done over like a kipper by him in the past and know that other people who post on here have too. I reserve the right to point out when he is talking shite on any forum of my choosing."

    So misrepresentation, innuendo and smear, what some would consider to be the barrister's stock in trade, are now excuses to call on the censors to wield the big stick?

    Finally, happy birthday.

  14. Piss off Bitey. And learn to read.

  15. Bitey dear,

    ""Bitey - i never reported any of your comments for abuse, in any of your aliases, so your banning had nothing to do with me. Same goes for Ultima."

    Short term memory problems MrsB?"

    It was me that wrote that, not BB.

  16. "So misrepresentation, innuendo and smear, what some would consider to be the barrister's stock in trade,"

    Only twats with an axe to grind and people who watch too much Law and Order on the telly consider a barrister's stock in trade to be "misrepresentation, innuendo and smear".

    Anyone with the remotest understanding of the justice system in this country would know that misrepresentation or misleading the court gets you disbarred faster than you can say "George Carmen".

    Innuendo and smear is stamped on by the judge just as quickly.

    Try basing your opinions on fact instead of smear and innuendo yourself for a change, bitey. You might actually learn something.

  17. OK - final thing I will say to you, Bitey, because I am not going to waste a lovely sunny birthday fighting with you.

    As you know very well, under your nicks of both Jiasa and Auxesis (and your current nick, for that matter, which I have spotted but not revealed to anyone) when you engage with me in a polite, reasonable manner, I leave you be. I don't reveal your nick to anyone else, you continue to post for weeks, maybe months at a time in peace.

    The only time I ever report one of your posts is when you are attacking me and other people. You just can't resist doing it eventually, can you? Instead of being prepared to let bygones be bygones, as I said to you the other day, you are like a dog coming back to its own vomit and, time and again, you resort to the misrepresentation, lies and innuendo to deliberately and pre-meditatedly try to smear other posters.

    I have given up now. If you want to be a shite to people by all means do so. I can't understand quite why you do - I have extended the olive branch on several occasions now and you always end up snapping it. Whatever. But post shite about me on CiF and I will report you every time.

    Freedom of speech does not include freedom to libel people.

    Now why don't you copy and paste this post into Waddya for all to see, just so people understand the terms of engagement... oh wait, you won't, because you know I am bang on the bloody money.

    Bye for now. Nice to see ya. Wouldn't want to be ya...

  18. с днем рождения! Я поздравляю вас
    (Happy birthday! I congratulate you)

    It is my birthday in three days.
    I am moving to Glasgow the very day before my birthday, unbelievably.

  19. Other than that, I have written a massive long rant on the thread entitled 'David, face facts – no immigrants means no NHS'.

    My aim is to dispel the 'NHS will collapse without immigrants' fallacy, because it is thrown about always without any analysis.
    (However the NHS would indeed collapse tomorrow if all the immigrants stopped working, I accept. But my argument is that the NHS coped for decades without a high amount of migrant labour)

    This is not really a political thing, rather I am sick of these inaccuracies persisting- and more crucially, remaining unchallenged.
    I seek to challenge this orthodox opinion.

  20. Eric Pickles - Human Mogadon? Really, if the Tories can't wheel out anyone better...

  21. Happy Birthday BB!!

    Morning everybody else.....

  22. Morning everyone

    @Happy birthday BB-21 today,She,s 21 today........!!!

    @Leni- read your post and hope you,re OK.
    Sounds painful!

  23. BeautifulBurnout:

    "Only twats with an axe to grind and people who watch too much Law and Order on the telly consider a barrister's stock in trade to be "misrepresentation, innuendo and smear".

    Anyone with the remotest understanding of the justice system in this country would know that misrepresentation or misleading the court gets you disbarred faster than you can say "George Carmen".

    Yes and just to show what an honourable profession you work in, how about these people?

    "There are three reasons why lawyers are replacing rats as laboratory research animals. One is that they are plentiful, another is that lab assistants don't get so attached to them and the third is that they will do things that you just can't get rats to do."
    Blanche Knott.

    A lawyer is a gentlemen that rescues your estate from your enemies and then keeps it to himself.
    Lord Henry P. Brougham

    A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns.
    Mario Puzo

    Amongst the learned the lawyers claim first place, the most self-satisfied class of people, as they roll their rock of Sisyphus and string together six hundred laws in the same breath, no matter whether relevant or not, piling up opinion on opinion and gloss on gloss to make their profession seem the most difficult of all. Anything which causes trouble has special merit in their eyes.
    Desiderius Erasmus

    An incompetent attorney can delay a trial for years or months. A competent attorney can delay one even longer.
    Evelle Younger

    Lawyers are like rhinoceroses: thick skinned, short-sighted, and always ready to charge.
    David Mellor

    The first thing we do, lets kill the lawyers. [Henry Iv]
    William Shakespeare

    Young lawyers attend the courts, not because they have business there, but because they have no business.
    Washington Irving

    "Only Lawyers and mental defectives are automatically exempt for jury duty."
    George Bernard Shaw

    "The only way you can beat the lawyers is to die with nothing."
    Will Rogers.

    "The only difference between a dead skunk lying in the road and a dead lawyer lying in the road is that there are skid marks around the skunk."
    Patrick Murray.

  24. Napoleon

    This is not really a political thing, rather I am sick of these inaccuracies persisting- and more crucially, remaining unchallenged.

    As I recall, back in the 60's, when the NHS had only been going for 20 years it was filled with people who'd come over from the Caribbean in the late 40s and the 50s, mainly nurses, midwives and porters at that time. Even in remote North Wales where both my children were born. Each time I had a (different) Afro Caribbean midwife and very grateful for them I was too.

    The NHS has always been a major employer of migrant labour. We could never have coped without them.

    That isn't an analysis I agree but all my experience with the NHS as a user tells me that it has essentially always depended to quite a large extent on migrant workers - even more so today than previously.

  25. Oh, I should also have said, cleaners and kitchen staff.

  26. bitey

    I see you're at a loose end again today.

  27. Sheff - pretty much true that. These days it seems to rely on immigrant bank nurses who are students, and thus can only work 20 hrs a week, but who are grateful for the work and less likely to complain than someone who is a full-time employee.

    Which brings us back to how the flexible work force keeps wages down and capital is able to maximise its profits. Grrr...

  28. A very happy birthday to you, BB

    Off down the pub, so I'll raise the first glass to you.

  29. BB - forgot to wish you many happies...!

  30. sheff.

    Fair enough. But there is not doubt that the present state of immigration has had negative consequences. Plus Jamaica being a former colony, at least they could speak English.

    For example a poster on the thread said this..

    "A friend of mine is doing a post grad course in mental health practice at a london university. He said 3/4 of the students are from developing countries. The issue of sexuality and mental health arose and all of the foreign students suggested that being gay was either a curable disease given as a punishment from god or did not exist. After the lecturer informed them this was incorrect they remained adament they were correct."

    Most people here would consider themselves on the left/liberal axis, and of course opposed to the Daily Mail immigrant bashing.

    Anyway, I have written a blog post about this. Well, not about left/right divisions. Rather it is about 'Challenging Logical Fallacies (the title), but a bit about how left and right are meaningless.

    I simply wish to debate the 'NHS would collapse without immigrants' fallacy, because it is a red herring which is always wheeled out in arguments with no analysis.
    (I actually accept the NHS really would collapse if the migrant workers stopped working tomorrow, but I am saying the NHS managed to largely cope for decades until Thatcherite/new labour economics took hold)

    feel free to read and comment..(shameless plug)

  31. Nursing shortages have been common across Europe i think. I dont understand why the traditional method of correction hasnt been applied though - if you are not getting enough labour of type X, increase the wage until you do. Its not that Europe lacks the facilities to train people. I suspect they would simply rather bring in cheap nurses than train and pay higher salaries to European nurses. Good solution short term, not long term.

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Napoleon

    I take your point about cultural differences and lack of English being a potential problem and I agree about there being some negative consequences resulting from the (perceived) levels of immigration of late years.

    Although I do think a lot of this is furiously stoked up and made much worse by the gutter media and orgs. like the BNP.

    Will pop over to your blog and have a gander.

  34. Jay - I think you have hit the nail on the head, really. Frankly, everything, including government departments, is run as a profit-making enterprise these days, and if they can maximise the profit they can make by importing people while the costs of servicing the ever-growing heap of unemployed and unemployable from our own country doesn't eat up all those profits, they think they are on to a winner.

    It is a sad fact of life that someone from Zimbabwe will be far more grateful for 20 hrs working as a hospital cleaner than someone from the UK. It is so difficult to know what the solution would be, other than investing more in sustainable development in the "home" countries so that they don't feel the draw to come here.

  35. But of course that would never serve the purposes of Capital, would it?

  36. BB

    Business is always looking for cheaper ways to employ people particularly at the shop floor level. I notice though that most employers don't stint themselves and as we know there are all kinds of clever loopholes found which means they frequently end up paying less tax, relatively, than the people who graft for them

  37. "Frankly, everything, including government departments, is run as a profit-making enterprise these days,"

    Exactly. Everything is now about profit maximising, and of course cost minimising. There really arent many areas of life left that they havent privatised. Royal Mail might be the only one still standing, though the wheels are already in motion on that.

    Education - academies and unis run as businesses.

    Health - widespread privatisation already.

    Armed forced - huge increase in use of "private security contractors" by US and UK - the privatisation of war.

    Prisons - all new prisons are built and run privately. In the US, a scandal erupted when it was found two judges were on the payroll of private prisons and sending people to prison on the most ridiculous pretences. Thats what happens when someone profits from incarceration.

    Another fallacy you might look into, NK, is the "doing jobs the lazy British chavs wont" line. It ignores the fact that people dont *want* to clean toilets, but they will if the money is right. So its actually a case of person X will do this job for this money but person Y wont. When you are competing against third world labour on your doorstep its bound to cause problems.

    Its whats interesting about the globalisation project, it benefits business owners in all countries as it gives them access to foreign markets and takeovers. It benefits workers in poorer countries. But for workers in richer countries they must compete against the worlds labour, wages must fall.

    Alternatively, put your lower end workers on benefits (ie socialise the cost) and bring in cheap workers - privatise the gains, and again socialise the costs - public services under pressure.

    Extra levies should have been put on business to pay for the social costs of the cheap labour they wanted. They are the ones who have benefitted. GDP per capita has stagnated, some say even fallen.

  38. Jay

    Extra levies should have been put on business to pay for the social costs of the cheap labour they wanted. They are the ones who have benefitted. GDP per capita has stagnated, some say even fallen.

    I agree - just look at the hooha business has kicked up over the proposed raise to NI contributions. You get no sense from them that they're prepared to take some of the pain we're all going to endure for the foreseeable future.

  39. Good post Jay,

    Yes, there was a thread about British labour vs foreign labour a few weeks ago.

    Most posters came to the conclusion that eastern Europeans were willing to work 12 hours a day and sleep 5 to a room was because when they returned home, they would have enough money for life, enough capital to set up a business and live off the profits like minor aristocracy.

  40. "Alternatively, put your lower end workers on benefits (ie socialise the cost) and bring in cheap workers - privatise the gains, and again socialise the costs - public services under pressure." ...That's about the size of it JR.

    Hey BB, happy birthday. Don't get too pished ;-)

  41. Napoleon

    Until Romania and Bulgaria acceeded to the EU the Seasonal Agricultural Workers scheme which brings temporary migrant workers into the (mainly horticulture) sectors for up to 6 months in any one year, farmers employed people from all over the world but mainly eastern Europe.

    Its mainly piecework and although only the minimum wage, if you worked hard you could earn enough to set yourself up in business back home, rent/buy a small farm or apartment, get your family on to a sounder economical footing etc - and a lot of them did.

    For years farmers have been unable to get local labour for seasonal work - fruit/veg picking etc. The benefits system doesn't make it easy for people to take on this work and there should be ways, like suspending benefits for the period of work so that they can be readily accessed when the work finishes.

    Take housing benefit for example. It can take months from application to it coming through and landlords, including councils just won't wait so people won't take the risk.

    Farmers are reluctant to pay more than the minimum wage and argue that they are seriously squeezed by the big supermarkets. Did you know for example, that the costs of the 'two for one' offers in supermarkets are carried by the producer, so they lose out?

    I would never buy two for one strawberries, as I know what it means for the producers.

  42. Hmmmm,

    The problem with immigration, in my opinion, is that you can't just approach it from one angle or issue.

    I think the point about socialising costs etc. is generally a sound one, but even that has so many sub-points/nuances, that any conclusions are largely tentative and subjective.

    And this creates so many of the problems when it comes to discussing the issue. It's become extremely easy to frame the debate in extremes, that often either appear about as valid as each other, or completely ignores underlying, contradictory points to that same position.

    This is why, btw, that I think the NHS is used as the example par excellence (not so much, Burger King, or McDonalds, or airports, which seem, in my experience, to be increasingly staffed by migrant labourers..)

    The vast majority of people have an interest in the NHS, and pro-immigration people will point to it as being heavily underpinned by migrant labour, keeping it affordable and viable, and anti-immigration people will point out falling standards because it is so staffed.

    And the problem, in my opinion, is that the argument, with regards to most immigration issues, needs to be had somewhere in the middle.......

  43. Napoleon: I had a look at Your Post about international medical labour movements. I like your points about poor effects the managerism has on teamwork. Here in Hungary they are talking about bringing in a rule to prevent medical graduates f@cking off to the UK to work in the NHS instead of locally in the hugely stressed Hungarian health service.

  44. Oi Bitey, just because I’m

    “now pounding the South West coastal path”,

    doesn’t mean I’m not watching you and that you can quote me to support your nonsensical campaign to install yourself as a martyr to free-speech.

    As I said before

    “In the end, no one here really cares”.

    And the weather down here in Kernow is lovely, BTW…

  45. BeautifulBurnout.

    How amusing that you say without any hint of chagrin that you appoint yourself as judge of who and what can be allowed on CiF - "The only time I ever report one of your posts is when you are attacking me and other people."

    Actually I don't attack people I attack their arguments - about a fifth of the time and the rest I inform. But forgive me for thinking this is what CiF is all about. Strange how I could be so mistaken for so long. As for my latest incarnation - which you might or might not have detected - it is the ninth since Bitethehand was banned. And because I believe I have as much right to air my views as I have to buy the newspaper I shall simply continue along this path for as long as the fancy takes me. And as someone said of me - "Talking of which, I'd like to see BitetheHand return. Among the best, most refreshingly honest writers on CiF by some distance." - I feel I have a duty not to disappoint.

    Your new approach - "Freedom of speech does not include freedom to libel people" interested me sufficiently to examine my previous posts.

    The last time you accused me of libelling someone it was Victoria Sharkey of MediVisas - "For once I am afraid that I am going to use the Report Abuse button on your ass (although many's the time I have resisted temptation in the past) because you are libelling this woman". But you failed to provide any evidence for that when asked and now you'll have a hard job doing the same for yourself.

    And I won't be posting this on WDYWTTA - I'll only be banned again - but I might just post it here:


  46. Hi andy - discovered in Sunday Times today that Steve McQueen dropped in to see Peckinpah in Penzance when the latter was scouting locations for Straw Dogs - guy who wrote the piece was taken for a spin by McQueen on his bike (a Triumph surely!)

    BB here's a Shetland lullaby for your birthday -

    Hushaba my peerie ting
    Cuddle closs ta Mammie
    Cuddle closs an hear me sing
    Peerie mootie lammie.
    Glancin gowd an siller shells
    Fae da mermaid's dwellin,
    Boanie flooers fae faerie fells
    Past a mortal's tellin;
    Wha, oh wha sall get bit dee
    Hert o my hert
    Life o me.

    Hushie baa, Minnie's daaty,
    [Hushie baa, Granny's darling]
    We sall pit da trows awa.
    [We shall send the trolls away]
    Broonie sanna gyit da bairn],
    [Broonie shan't get the child
    If he comes da cocks'll craa.
    [If he comes the cocks will crow].

  47. Happy birthday BB

    \0/ - Andy

    Reference:http://cifmoderationwatch.blogspot.com/.............thereon is posted:

    "Bitethehand said...
    Oh and by the way, I've also been banned from posting on The Untrusted site several times, by its moderators.

    16 APRIL 2010 16:25

    deano30 said...
    I've posted on the Untrusted site for about a year now. And I am a regular reader on an almost daily basis.

    To the best of my knowledge no one has been banned from the site. Technically it's simply not possible to ban anyone from posting on what is an open public site.

    18 APRIL 2010 18:25 "

    Good to see that Atomboy has opened the above site dedicated to dealing with moderation issues/archive. I think it would be sound if folk posted details of their moderation difficulties there as and when they arise.

    Montana Could you/would you provide a link to atomaboy's moderation site?

    This place, IMO, goes from strength to strength this weekend its been a close call who has the most posts....Untrusted or WDYWTWA.

    Whatever - I think the quality of the conversation has been much higher on here. Even those who post on both make more sense when they post here.

    (For the archivists bilip was, on my reading, not banned - he himself said he would go if he was asked to leave. He was subsequently invited/told to fuck off which to his credit he did.)

  48. Deano
    I think it would be sound if folk posted details of their moderation difficulties there as and when they arise.

    What a very good idea Deano and how are you btw? Chipper I hope. Also, having a link here to Atomboys cif moderation site would be excellent too.

    We could do with a new Mungo story.

  49. Montana

    Can we also link to Napoleon's blog?

  50. Helloee

    BB -sorry I/m late but lots of happies.
    Weather still wonderful - have been visited by tribe of grey squirrels on the look out for food. Dogge actually barked at them - the silent dog can speak.

    Modding issues - many and varied. Some think they're banned for being lefties others cos they from the right. Many think it is an unfair system altogether.

    I find it inconsistent and somewhat baffling. There seems to be a 2 am mine sweeping operation on some nights.

    Nap - good luck with the move. I have worked in cities but never lived in one. It may take time to get used to different sounds and noise levels.

  51. Edwin:

    I’m not quite as far west as Penzance, which may explain why I haven’t seen either McQueen or Peckinpah (there may, of course, be another explanation for that), but I did see Harry Enfield taking a stroll in Polzeath yesterday. After my GF and I had passed by (she was visiting for the weekend), we heard Harry say to his mate:

    “Wasn’t that that andysays? I haven’t heard from him for a while…”


    \0/ right back at you! (First time I’ve been moved to use that particular emoticon).

  52. Happy birthday BB - just arrived, so a bit late. And now have to go and get some milk at the late shop next to the pub, so will be back later. Possibly quite a bit later..,

  53. BTW have just watched State of Play (film) and that was prettty good - although now want to watch the TV original (john simm, yay!) again...

    And - Bitey. you do attack people. people, c'mon....

  54. Andy - grand to see you around again. You still having to use the office PC?

    When you didn't show for the UT birthday bash I was a little concerned that you might have been taken by a draught of wind.

    Couple of years ago I was walking on the footpath above Boscastle when I had a bad dose of vertigo (induced I think by an excess of cheap wine the night before). Whenever I think about it I now have a concern for your welfare.

    Glad to read your GF is still in touch.

    Sheff I still cant find the cable to get Mungo's picture up!

    And the last yarn is still only 90% complete.

    My new camera is fab but the manual runs to 152 pages so I'm still learning and thusfar the editing software simply won't load on my aged laptop so am considering me options.

    I agree with your comments on Nap's site re the Windrush - did I imagine it or was Enoch Powell somewhere involved in encouraging W Indies people to come and work in the NHS??

  55. Wiki:

    "....Powell returned to the government in July 1960, when he was appointed Health Minister,[35] albeit outside the Cabinet, but this changed in 1962.[36] .....................................................
    Later, he oversaw the employment of a large number of Commonwealth immigrants by the understaffed National Health Service.[40] Prior to this, many non-white immigrants who held full rights of citizenship in Britain were obliged to take the jobs that no one else wanted (e.g. street cleaning, night-shift assembly production lines), often paid considerably less than their white counterparts...."

  56. Evening folks.

    People from the Caribbean were recruited in the 50s to other public sector jobs too - London Transport, the railways & the GPO for example, not just the NHS. To begin with, they weren't allowed into many skilled occupations in eg: the mills, the mines & car manufacturing because of trade union objections to the use of cheap(er) labour :(

    Caribbean women were recruited to NHS roles because British women would not even apply for the jobs despite massive recruitment drives here first. One of my friends (75+) worked night shift as a nurse at the hospital while her husband worked days in the steelworks, so that they could earn enough to set up home and later, share the care of the kids.

  57. deano:

    Yeah, I’m using the office PC, (so no You-tubing :-( )

    My missing the birthday bash was deliberate abstinence on my part. Sorry for that, and particularly if it caused you any concern.

    So far I’ve managed to avoid falling off any of the spectacular cliffs, though occasionally I’ve had to be secured by rope when building a fence right on the edge of one.

    You’re right than Powell was a pioneer of importing cheap labour from the Commonwealth. He was a globaliser before it was fashionable, and then as now the idea was to drive down wages.

    Plus ca change, plus la meme chose, innit?

  58. “Wasn’t that that andysays? I haven’t heard from him for a while…”

    I was in a scene in Bellamy's Britain as a drunk Scot beside Paul Whitehouse (who was lovely btw; see gallery pic!) but the whole Scottish bit was cut alas.

    I bet Paul Whitehouse says to Harry Enfield: 'you met andysays? I only got to meet his drunk buddy Edwin!

  59. Evening all

    Really interesting discussion earlier on this thread
    about immigration.Don,t want to repeat the many good
    points already made.However i think this is one issue
    where the Left has generally failed miserably.And has
    hidden behind political correctness rather than be
    seen to face up to some stark realities.

    Post war immigration to this country took place
    against a backdrop of chronic labour shortages.Today
    it isn,t quite so clear cut in my opinion.Because
    there are millions of Black,White and Asian British
    people who are either unemployed or under-employed.
    The fact is that immigration to Britain since 1997
    has disproportionately benefitted the middle classes
    in keeping prices down for goods and services.Whilst
    the working classes have disproportionately experienced the downside of immigration with falling
    wages and overstretched public services.Most of the
    new immigrants do after all initially settle in working class communities.

    Unfortunately there is little in the way of working
    class solidarity in Britain today.Most working class
    communities sadly have fault lines based not only on
    religion and ethnicity but also between the working
    and the non-working.And working class representation
    has hit a new nadir with Labour largely selling out
    to Tory ideologies and Trade unions outside the public
    sector extremely weak.I can,t help but believe that
    immigration has also been used by the New Labour political classes to encourage a divide and rule scenario in working class communites-thus strenthening their hold on power or so they thought!!

    I think we are entering really stormy waters as far
    as the whole issue of race,immigration,multi-
    culturalism and what it means to be British is
    concerned.However unlike the'battles' of old i
    don,t think is going to simply be a case of White versus non-White.Research shows that race relations
    in Britian are becoming ever more complex and can
    vary hugely between different neighbourhoods.Also
    research shows that the majority of British Black
    and Asian people also want a reduction in immigration
    to this country.-and let,s not forget this includes
    White immigrants as well.

    The final point i want to make is with regard to the
    environmental consequences of allowing the population
    to carry on growing at the current rate-0.6% per year.
    Bearing in mind most population growth in this country
    is in England-already uncomfortably over-crowded in
    places-i think having more than 10 million extra
    people is unacceptable.And there needs to be an open
    debate on the different ways the population can be
    stabilised at least.Otherwise we are in danger of
    handing down a 'poisoned chalice' for our children
    and grandchildren to sort out.And that quite frankly is not fair on them.

  60. Paul

    Unfortunately there is little in the way of working class solidarity in Britain today.Most working class communities sadly have fault lines based not only on religion and ethnicity but also between the working and the non-working

    'Divide and rule may' be a cliche but what you say above. which is true, shows that it works.

  61. Anyone watching Louis Theroux tonight? Looks like a cracker.

  62. Hi MsC!


    I’ll no doubt be accused of shameless namedropping for this, but I did actually sort of meet Paul Whitehouse about fifteen years ago, when he and I were both accompanying our then (at least in my case; don’t know about his) partners to some sort of pregnancy check up in the Whittington hospital in north London.

    I doubt he remembers it though, because I was still about fourteen years away from achieving fame as andysays…


    I agree that the left, or certainly the vast majority of it, has failed miserably on the issue of immigration, and also that the whole immigration/”race relations” question is far more complex than any public debate seems to allow.

    This, as you allude to, is because the terms of the debate generally only include “race”, with occasional references to ethnicity, culture and language, but completely miss out the huge social and economic issue of class.


    "the reason it's a cliche is because it's true"

    (Lloyd Cole?)

  63. This comment has been removed by the author.

  64. Hello andysays - good to see you!

  65. @Sheff

    I was interested in a post you made earlier about the
    Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme.Wasn,t there also
    once an Agricultual Workers Board or something which
    set the pay and conditions for all agricultural
    workers across the country-there was no local pay
    bargaining.And wasn,t that scrapped under the Tories?
    And did it cover seasonal workers as well?Have been
    'googling'but no luck finding answers.

    @Hi Andy! We haven,t 'met'!

  66. Who the fuck is this Whitehouse guy?

    Ah you mean the guy up there with andysays...reminds of the old kilroy gags/graffiti

    andysays woz here

    Do you get chance to read in at UT from time to time andy?

    As you may have seen we've gone from strength to strength at UT (despite a few monumental flare ups) and a lot of new enthusiastic and interesting posters have been attracted across from the Guard.

    One or two notables have fallen away or decided to take a rest but overall the place is the still preferred port of call for me.

  67. This comment has been removed by the author.

  68. Paul - there was a whole series of wages boards covering things like retail shop and agricultural workers if I remember it right.

    I worked as an agricultural labourer in Kent in the early 1960's and I seem to recall that I was covered by a Wages Board.

    Not a lot of E European labour at that time Hop/Fruit Picking in the summer was still a summer holiday activity for the East End of London working class.

  69. Hi Sheff

    My mistake.Was mis-googling.There is still in fact
    an Agricultural Wages Board.I,m sure there was
    something else related to Agricultural workers that the
    Tories got rid off.They stripped workers of practically
    else!Oh well!

  70. Paul -not 100% sure but I seem to think that there were a whole host of special rules/regulations dealing with rural life in areas like housing/tied cottages etc.

    I'd be surprised if Thatcher hadn't removed those limited protections/restrictions to please the gentlemen farmers of her Party

  71. Paul

    You're right the AWB still exists. Until a couple of years ago England, Scotland and Nth of Ireland all had different wage levels and accommodation costs set. These were brought into line only recently.

    I have heard talk that now we have the National Minimum Wage it is possible/probable the AWB will be scrapped as it's no longer considered necessary

  72. This comment has been removed by the author.

  73. One more thing - the AWB are supposed to monitor worker conditions and follow up any abuses but they practically never do. Another governmental cost and total waste of space imo. The sooner they're got rid of the better.

    All they do ever do as far as I can tell is send out copies of the (updated if necessary) Agricultural Wages Order every October.

  74. Paul: Hi to you too.

    The reason we haven’t met before is because I’ve been a “Member from Afar” for the past few months, but I might just try to look in a little more frequently in future.

    Good night all…

  75. Montana - thanks for putting the links to Nap & CiFmoderationwatch up.

    Hope you and son are well - been a little quite of late?

  76. I know everybody's probably in bed by now, but I just read something in The Guardian suggesting that the word 'mandate' c/should be greeted with 'mocking laughter' if used after this election.

    Didn't a few of us say almost the exact same thing here t'other day?

    Maybe they do read the UT afterall.....

    Night all.

  77. Support for Nick Clegg is surging after his TV
    performance in last weeks TV debate.Methinks
    Giyus has a point when he talks about SHEEPLE.
    How can so many people make up their minds
    based soley on that one bit of TV exposure.
    FFS i,m still not sure where the LibDems stand
    on a number of issues.

    Can only assume that the sample base for the surveys
    showing a LibDem surge were very small.Or that a sizeable chunk of the all important floating voters
    are fuckwits who are easily influenced.-

    'ooh wasn,t that Nick Clegg wearing a nice tie'

    'ooh hasn,t that Nick Clegg got a nice smile'

    'ooh i,m gonna vote for that nice Nick Clegg cos
    he clearly washes behind his ears'

    I could weep sometimes.People need to be more

  78. Paul

    Agreed - not sure why all the support or where it's coming from . What exactly are people supporting - perhaps it's simply a meeja thing - who knows ?

  79. Hi Paul--Good stuff by you and others on the immigration employment history.

    I thought Clegg won that debate, but I agree that is scant evidence on which to pick a PM! Do you think he did well because the other two are 'Old Boys', and are seen by the electorate as fucking up the UK for generations?

  80. Hi Leni--Feeling better I hope? Back to the nocturnal shift?

  81. Hi Boudican

    Broken rib it seems. That was one very scary bush. Painkillers - great but inclining me to flights of fancy. Might fall asleep. thanks for asking.

    How's Canada ? Weather here great - election crap and totally lacking in ideas. Mediocre men assuming greatness and people bedazzled by ignorance.

    Clegg has picked up on the 'old parties' theme - trying to suggest they ared past sell by date - which is true of course - but he is more of the same rewrapped. I do agree we should scrap Trident but beyond that I can't see what he has to offer.

    We/ve been rerunning the same system for at least 2,ooo years give or take a few variations - slaves to serfs to wage slaves ruled by an elite with a few in the middle supporting and supported by.

  82. Montana

    Are you ok ? You beaver away behind the scenes on behalf of all here and yet we never see you.

    I hope all is well with you/ xx

  83. Evening Leni and Boudican

    Leni-sounds like you,ve been through the wars.You need
    to take it easy for a few days.I busted a rib once and know how painful it can be -especially if you cough. Actually best stay indoors if you can with this volcanic ash hovering above us.Last thing you need is your lungs irritated courtesy of Iceland.

    Boudican-Jealous you are Canadian.Just the name
    Canada makes me think of wild ,vast open spaces,
    freedom and hope.Obviously i know nowhere is utopia
    and Canada will have its fair share of problems.And
    that the grass is always greener on the other side
    etc etc.But i can understand why Canada draws so
    many people to its shores.New beginnings and all
    that.Jealously levels are increasing with me here in blighty so i,ll shut the fuck up.

  84. Paul

    canada attracts me too - apart from the cold bit.

    The volcano thing is beginning to arouse my suspicions slightly. Several test flights have returned safely - mind we await reports on enines yet - are they encrusted or not. I suspect the density of the cloud varies - wind velocity and patterns high up. Better to be safe than sorry but a lot of people are beginning to suffer - particularly flower and veg suppliers in Africa - Israel too I imagine.

    The average holiday maker with no savings will be hard pressed if there are no financial pacages to help them - some travel insurers are defaulting.

    Did you see that Snow was seen off by the French/ He went with 3 boats - brought some people back and promised to return - French gave him flea in ear ! So much for freedom of travel for Europeans in EU.

  85. Leni--Canada is fine where I live. Small town, no traffic lights, slow pace works for me. Sun is still out as we speak.

    Clegg, as you say, is probably similar,but he is newish so that can sway some people. Agree on Trident, big waste of money. Don't see the security value for the cost myself.

    Take care, try falling in to the softer foliage :)

  86. @Leni

    The cold bit actually doesn,t bother me at all.In
    fact the opposite.Outside the cities i imagine it
    to have a purity about it which i find attractive.

    Like you i have suspicions about this 'cloud'.Would
    the government really be upfront about any health
    risks if they affected people WITHOUT chest problems.
    Who knows with this government as honesty has never
    been its strong point.Also like many people i have
    family and friends who are stranded overseas.Again the British government doesn,t have a good record when it comes to helping Brits stranded abroad.
    Probably be left to the ordinary folk to set sale
    with their boats and do the rescuing themselves-
    like at Dunkirk!

  87. @Boudican

    'sun is out as we speak'

    Aah man jealousy levels are now going through the

  88. Paul,Leni--Canada has it's good points, (not that cold where I live on the west coast, or I probably would move) but not Utopia for certain. There is a lot of space though. A population of 33M has room to move, and space for more. Built on the backs of immigrants too, although the present criteria to qualify are quite stringent. Not sure who's accountable for this, but what the hell, I'll put it down to the Tories, now called the Reform party.

    Take it easy, see you later, off to stroll with the hound.

  89. Paul

    try mid Wales for wilderness. Lacks the space of Canada but you can only experience so much space at any one moment. Wonderful in summer but the Black Mountain in mid winter with its horizontal rain and snow is something else. Worth the suffering (for short time ) to be alone with wind and sky and yet rooted to the Earth.

    To the west in village called Trapp - wonderful pub.

  90. http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/gas/index.php

    Link tells of possible hazards - there is a suggestion that fluorine has been relesed , awaiting test results.