19 April 2010


At 9:02 a.m. on 19 April 1995, a truck containing more than 2200 kg of explosives was detonated outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  The blast killed 168 people, including 19 children under the age of 6 who were in a federal employees' daycare centre located in the building.  The bomber and his three co-conspirators were not Muslim fundamentalists who supposedly hated us for our freedom.  They were white Americans who thought that they were fighting tyranny.

It would be nice to think that Americans learned a lesson from the Oklahoma City bombing, but apparently we haven't.  The conditions that created the climate in which Timothy McVeigh thought that bombing a federal building and killing other Americans was an act of heroism are with us again, perhaps in an even more intense form.  Right-wing extremists have much easier access to each other, to feed off each other's hatred and paranoia through the internet.  Inflammatory anti-government rhetoric is normalised by right-wing talk radio personalities like Rush Limbaugh and G. Gordon Liddy and by Fox News personalities like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity.  

Even prominent Republican politicians feel comfortable fanning the flames.  Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele said of Nancy Pelosi, "she should be put on the firing line."  House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio said that Rep. Steve Driehaus, a Democrat also from Ohio, would be "a dead man" when he returned to his district, after having voted for the healthcare reform bill.  And the ever-charming Sarah Palin told a gathering of Tea Partiers, "Don't retreat -- reload!"

Ten members of the US House of Representatives and at least two US senators (Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, both of Washington) have received death threats since the passage of the healthcare reform bill.  The brother of one Democratic congressman returned home to find a propane line at his home severed after his address was published on a Tea Party blogger who mistakenly thought that it was the congressman's address.  The constituency offices of two Democratic congresswomen and the headquarters of the Democratic Party of Sedgwick County, Kansas, have been vandalised.

Not one, but two "Right to Carry" protests are scheduled to take place in the Washington D.C. area today.  One will be held on the Mall by the Washington Monument.  The other will be across the river in Virginia.  That one was moved to Virginia to allow participants to open carry weapons during the demonstration.  

One of the most chilling things, to me, is that in Oklahoma of all places, conservative members of the Oklahoma legislature are discussing the formation of an officially-sanctioned militia with the express purpose of "defending Oklahoma from an over-reaching federal government".

I have no statistics or studies to back this up, but I believe that the safety and security of an average American is in far greater danger from white people who consider themselves good Christians and patriots than from anyone or anything else.

What a wonderful way to memorialise 168 innocent people who were killed by right-wing extremists.


  1. Had quick read of last nights thread, good to see Andy back, interesting discussion, not a bad thread for UT on a Sunday... good effort.

  2. Excellent piece Montana - I would add that the fire of white terror has been stoked by some on the left. Just to take one example, Gore Vidal's views on the power and stealth of the US government's internal control are perhaps not that different from that of McVeigh (with whom, of course Vidal corresponded as he awaited execution).

    It is extraordinary - as you illustrate so well - to reflect how mainstream the nutters have become.

  3. Sorry didnt spot your lengthy piece, Montana, good stuff, very interesting. I read someones link to Chomskys "fascism warning" the other day and thought it rather melodramatic but now am not so sure. America never fails to amaze me.

    "That one was moved to Virginia to allow participants to open carry weapons during the demonstration."

    I may be wrong but are you saying in Virginia its legal to openly carry a gun around on your person in full view?

    "One of the most chilling things, to me, is that in Oklahoma of all places, conservative members of the Oklahoma legislature are discussing the formation of an officially-sanctioned militia with the express purpose of "defending Oklahoma from an over-reaching federal government"."

    That is absolutely astonishing.

    The reaction to healthcare has been beyond belief. If you went to any country with nationalised health and tried to implement the US health system people would riot day and night, they just wouldnt have it. Yet in America making healthcare a basic citizens right rather than a means of profiteering for the few provokes an even more extreme reaction - death threats and calls for armed militias.

    Religious nutters, openly carrying guns, attacks on abortion, gays... the US seems in places like a high tech version of Saudi.

  4. Morning all,

    Interesting and chilling Montana,

    who was it that coined the term "The USA is only six steps away from Fascism"? Can't remember.

    Does anyone else detect the Graun has changed tack in its election strategy? It's Clegg all the way at the moment on CiF.

    There's two exclusives today that he cured a leper, rose someone from the dead and changed water into wine. The Graun have now hedged their bets on a hung parilament, hoping Clegg will take a juicy cabinet post but leave Brown (or his successor) as PM.

    It's Lib. It's Lab. It's Lib-Lab. It's still neo-liberal.

  5. Your grace:

    "There's two exclusives today that he cured a leper, rose someone from the dead and changed water into wine."

    Am I the only one thinking, it could be worse: it could be Cameron they're banging on about like this?

  6. It was me who put up that Chomsky link Jay. I think he has quite a good handle on the general mood in the US, which seems to be confirmed by Montana's sad and frightening post. If we think things are bad here at least we don't have Religious nutters, openly carrying guns, and an extreme right wing media spouting their propaganda 24 hours a day, winding people up. It makes for a very volatile situation.

    As to the response to, what seem to me, relatively mild health care reforms, the mind boggles really.

  7. "defending Oklahoma from an over-reaching federal government"

    Another fly-by from me, but remember, this notion of "states' rights" has a long and very turbulent history in the States. Jefferson and his co-signatories could never resolve the tension inherent in the system between federal and state government, and it continues to fester - it's as "live" an issue today as it was when the slave-owning Democrats of South Carolina were squaring up to the recently de-Whigged Republican abolitionist Northerners in the 1850s...

    Fascinating place, the US. I'm very wrapped up in its history just at the moment.

  8. Interesting and sad piece Montana

    My senses were alerted/alarmed when I read this a while back:

    Virgina Gun Law

    I also read something about 'pink gun holsters with rhinestones' (presumably shaded to match a ladies handbag/accessories) at tea party rallies.

    Alarmed me - truth seems to be 'we the people' are scared of nothing...except ...you the people.

    Being scared of shadows is not a sign of good health, being scared of your neighbours shadow is no way to live all. Being afraid of dying can seriously get in the way of living.

    You have my sincere sympathy Montana. It makes me wonder how many innocent bystanders get accidentally shot whilst the wild citizenry protect their wallets pocketbooks with Magnums.

    FFS if you are that worried about being mugged for a few $ don't carry cash.

    We can see a worrying rise in the consequence of the rise in insecurity in the UK - the more people here arm themselves with powerful 'guard' dogs the more small children accidentally die from mauling by said dogs. Sadly another in the last few days.

    (Think it was Sheff who made the link to Chomsky and the worrying rise of Facism in USA)

  9. The graun are hosting a live debate on their website at 1pm if anyone has the energy for it (or the interest). It's been organised by the 38 Degrees campaign.

    Details here

  10. Thanks for this MW. It's worrying. I had no idea there was actual violence being comitted...as for "officially-sanctioned militia" in Oaklahoma. Very real. Very worrying

    They almost seem pathetic by contrast to your assesment of the far right in the US, but we have problems of our own.

    Take Stoke, a town beset with Labour infighting, and with a very strong groundswell of BNP Support. Current MP, Mark Fisher, won the seat with a majority of nearly 10,000 at the last general election, is retiring. Peter Mandelson has parachuted in a TV Historian to stand as an MP. Presumably to counteract acute problems in what should be a safe seat.

    I got rebuked on CiF a while ago - presumably by a Mandleson supporter - for daring to suggest that Stoke's problems can only be made worse by this undemocratic gerrymandering.

    I got told that Stoke's problems were entirely of its own making.

    If only the local party would come out of their collective anger over not being allowed to compile a list of local names, and just accept Mandleson's "nomination" of Tristram Hunt. Hunt even said in his acceptance speech what a pity it was no-one from the local area was shortlisted (not that it oput him off accepting)... I lay odds that we'll shortly see how well that works for Nick Griffin. I'd certainly give 10% of the Labour vote going to other parties as a result.

  11. You hadn't posted Sheff when I started chewing Montana's thoughts over! By the time I hit the post button there you were responding to Jay.

    Good to see Swifty and andy again. I'm beginning to think they have some ESP link. When one returns after an absence/break the other pops up within about 18 hrs. Its happened twice recently!

  12. Deano

    I've never been a fan of starbucks - which seem to be appearing everywhere these days - pushing out local businesses. That piece you linked to confirms me in my decision to give them a swerve.

    How many states in the US allow the open carrying of guns? (except assault rifles!!). Does anyone know?

  13. @Sheff:


    It's all in there.

    Laters, people.

  14. Re bearing weapons

    T Schelling (1973) Hockey helmets, concealed weapons and daylight saving: A study of binary choices with externalities. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 17, 3, 381-428

    Not that ken on Chpmsky myself, he's too grand narrative in his polutical stuff, kinda better as cognitive psych.


  15. Just thinking again about the Starbucks link (@ 10.23 above) and the 71 year old gun totting banana frappuccino drinking US citizen........well fuck me........in the UK you have to renew your driving licence when you get to 70.

    Wasn't it Oklahoma where they had the famous land rush? I think they started the great give away of the Indian lands with a gunshot!

  16. Dotterel,

    yes and no. Yes, just to watch Cameron's entire pr spin campaign go up in smoke. No, because don'tbelieve that anything fundamental will change.


    you highlight the rotten heart at the centre of UK party politics. The whip system in Westminster demands unquestioning lobby fodder to vote strictly on the centralised party line.

    In order to do so, suitable candidates are parachuted into a constituency regardless of knowledge of local affairs and feel for the area.

    Said suitable candidate is invariably a young, professional politician, privately school and Oxbridge educated and schooled in the technocracy of the party system. For example- Kitty Ussher in Burnley, Miliband in South Shields, Balls in Doncaster and countless other backbenchers. These candidates have no idea what the post industrial north is like, they have no experience of it and pay lip service to the needs of the candidates every 5 years

    The candidate owes all to the central party twonk who parachuted them in and not to the local party constituency or constituents whom the central party gamble on voting for them in the first place.

    It's the worst of both worlds. Constituents gain a candidate with no knowledge of the area, no previous campaigning in the area and no feeling for the area and will toe the party line even if a policy is denigrates the constituency. The central party gains a robot which unquestioningly goes into the 'aye' or 'nay' lobby. The Central Parties are beholden to their donors and to big business.

    Therefore democracy is diminished at both a local and national level.

  17. Come on in Stoaty you bastard - make it the three card trick!

  18. Good - if depressing - piece, Montana. While there may be whingeings about the 'confrontational' style of British politics, and criticisms of press bias, it's the violence of some of the language employed in the US, on the TV and on the rostrum, that just bewilders me...

  19. is the picture a memorial for them?

  20. Lovely haiku from Leni on the 'in praise of':

    Again four O four
    Traps the unwary poster
    forever unread

  21. 13thDukeofWybourne
    Nailed it. Our MP - Cheltenham Girls School, then Oxford, then various press officer jobs in London - parachuted in to stand for election for Labour through an all-women shortlist. 99% voting record with govt. Plastic MP. Has done nothing to prevent vandalisation of town's outlying areas of greenfield through the governments insistance of 40,000 new homes. On the other hand, local Lib Dem Councellor, now standing as MP, campaigned - succesfully - to stop one very unpopular greenfield development which would have had catastrophic effect on local infrastructure and flood meadows, Lib Dems probably get my vote. First time in my life.

  22. "It's been organised by the 38 Degrees campaign."

    I sign up for quite a lot of 38 degrees petitions etc, quite a decent outfit, might be interesting.

  23. Duke/BW

    "...Balls joined the Labour party aged 16.[2] Whilst at Oxford he was a member of both the Labour Club and the Conservative Association..." [wiki]

    The bastard Balls was MP for Normanton and Yevvete Cooper was next door in Pontefract.

    It was the other Milliband who was slotted into Doncaster N.

    All three constituencies were traditionally mining areas - it really does rankle!

    Traditionally the only Oxford college that mattered in these parts of Yorkshire was Ruskin College.

    BNP got its second MEP in Yorks!!!

    Twat Balls joined the Labour Party at 16! - my sons had their own Labour Party cards from the day after they were born! They left along with me and clause IV.

  24. Have attempted to address my own propesnity for drawing tenuous analogies here, if anyone would like to suggest their favourite / least favourite "it's like..." article during the campaign...

  25. PB - you've got the clock on your blog on funny time. It distracts and confuses clear thinking.


  26. deano - I know! Posted that at 6.30 am ish, so seem to be 2.5 hours ahead of myself. Could be something to do with having reset twitter feed to Tehran, which was supposed to cause problems for the authorities in the post election period...will attempt to move it back again...

  27. Leisured breakfast in bed over - a break in the rain signals a chance to walk the dogs.

    I have had two amazing volcanic sunrises of late but not this am.

  28. should be sorted out now...
    think they thought I was in nauru or something.

  29. Deano
    I often thought that all that mattered was winning in 1997... some sacrifice

    "All three constituencies were traditionally mining areas"


  30. Philippa - yes, the picture's part of the national memorial in Oklahoma City. Lots more info and pictures here.

  31. The parachuting of candidates into Northern constituencies could be about saving public money.

    They could all share the same secretary to book first class rail travel, in the same carriage, as they occasionally journey to their Constituencies on the East Coast Line. Some could even share the same taxi from the station.

  32. PhilippaB
    Good post over there. BTW I wanted Liverpool to lose to Reading in the FA Cup 3rd Round beacause Liverpool deserved nothing less and Reading earned it on the replay... simple merit rather than bone-headed allegiance... it said everything about where the club had got to - to its owners and its fans.

  33. Interesting and worrying piece, Montana.

    Not around for long to day as having probs charging my netbook so will pop in and out (unless I can miraculously cure it without having to send it back to the shop.) Meh.

  34. Brown - justifies the Trident replacement............"we need the Royal Navy.....for when unruly volcanoes make for difficulties with would be labour voting holidaymakers...."

    I'm glad I'm not a matelot having to share me hammock with sweaty Betty from Clekhuddersfax.

    Really the personal hygiene of some of these Labour folk......

    There you are turminder the storyline for you next piece for a BBC competition? Could even make a series out of it.

  35. Bitterweed - going against my own argument, over the weekend there were spurs fans saying they'd like city to beat united but it would be better for them if they lost (job done) and city fans telling the spurs fans 'likewise' (less successful). Tactical voting in football support.

    Must stop using analogies.

  36. deano/Bitterweed,

    And of course the lord high master of parachuting in labour candidates is the crook and unelected peer, Mandelson.

    Does anyone remember that documentary of Craig Murray running against Jack Straw in the 2005 General election?

    The part that really stuck out for me was a hustings that took place in Blackburn Cathedral (I think it was). The hustings was barred for all candidates except Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrats. Murray tried to get in but was not allowed to do so by security heavies.

    There was 7 candidates (Murray included) in the Blackburn constituency election, which meant that the majority of candidates were not allowed to take part in what is an integral part of the local democratic process- debating with opposition candidates and putting across their party manifesto.

    This is so deeply undemocratic it is not true, yet by all accounts widespread. The majority of political parties do not have direct access to this normal democratic procedure. It's a scandal of immense proportions.

    I would be very interested to see if any newspaper or media organisation would investigate this. Probably not as I think Clegg is giving an exclusive interview in which he reveals if he takes two bottles into the shower.

    If anyone can be arsed, it would be good if you could find out what hustings are going on in your constituency and the access or non access each party has.

  37. Bloody Radio 4 all squeaky. Need fix of You and Yours. Can't stand the sound quality. Ah, blessed relief is found at Radio 3...

  38. Philippa,

    speaking of tactical football voting. Apparently a hundred or so Feyenoord ultras turned up at Feyenoord's last training session before their game against league leaders FC Twente yesterday.

    Aformentioned ultras made it clear in no uncertain terms to the manager and team that they had to lose against Twente to make sure Ajax do not win the league.

    In the event, Twente did win and the Feyenoord away support was entirely adorned with Twente tops and scarves. The title goes to the last game now.

    That's tactical football voting!

  39. If Napoleon is about, there's an article up on foreign workers in the NHS, might be worth his while heading over and posting the link to his article on it.

  40. your grace - while a semi-city fan meself, I have to admit I greatly enjoyed watching chelsea go two goals and a man down. no point to it, it was just very satisfying.

    (sorry james, but it is)

    now, what's all this about gary nev snogging paul scholes? god, what a horrible thought...

  41. Duke - I often amused myself with the idea that the outraged citizenry of Hartlepool finally twigged the ubercreep Mandelson and forced him to beg Blair to send him to Brussels....

    It probably went something like........."have you heard?...............the bastard's got a Brazilian ....what ? he's had his ...shaved............nah! he's got a live in Brazilian lover................That fucking does it we're paying the bastard to shag a Brazilian ....what's wrong with queens down Sunderland!

    Hartlepool and Mandelson - the perfect Constituency/MP match. Made in heaven.

    (Rain started again before I got out of bed)

  42. As a full-fat City fan, I too enjoyed Terry being sent off and conceding a dodgy penalty, despite Spurs winning. After another last-second bloody mugging by the vile United, it was some consolation as long as we've still got Spurs to play at home in a couple of weeks.

    United against Spurs next week - another 'wish they could both lose' occasion.

  43. peterj - aye, as they put up the board for extra time, did you get that sinking feeling of cruching inevitability again?

    i know i did. hadn't even been drinking at that point.

    ah well.

  44. deano30
    Mandy's also widely reported to have extensively upgraded his consituency house on the MP expenses gag - several months after taking the European Commissioner post.

    PeterJ / Everyone
    Portsmouth for the cup ??

  45. Wigan was fun yesterday too...

  46. BW - correct on both points. It will be nice to have someone to support in the Final. And Wenger was a picture...

  47. bitterweed - oh yes, was not watching, but sitting outside in the sun while second half was going on. goals greeted not so much by cheers, but gales of gleeful laughter. went in to ask what on earth was going on, to be met by lots of spluttering and pointing helplessly at the screen...

    toulouse managed to equalise against MTP though. annoying. mtp were up and challenging (having come up) but now have fallen off the pace... om fans now getting their own back...

  48. and portsmouth, god yes, if only because i feel so bloody sorry for their fans having been jerked around by the revolving door system of innumerate owners they've had to undergo....

  49. BW missed that one our kid.

    Don't surprise me though, he always struck me as the sort of guy who was happiest when he had his hand in somebody else's pockets.

    I blame his mother and grandfather he should have been taught to wank openly.

  50. Hey BB - happy belated birthday!

  51. Rain or no rain I must go walking.

    Mungo is getting restless and I risk the skin being rasped from my bones as he licks me into submission.

    150,000 UK's stranded overseas - the Royal Navy ain't got that many hammocks!

    Political posturing at its silliest.

    Look out for the stories of our defence secrets being stolen by the Russian wife of a stranded Brit on the way home from Calais...

    .....Iranian lover of stranded Home Counties Managing Director...steals nuclear warhead after being given lift home......by Royal Navy

    First Duty of HM Govt defence of the realm.

  52. My word - a band of sweet-minded sailors who got a flotilla of boats together to try to rescue people stranded in France ran into problems because the French authorities weren't happy that they were taking money away from the ferry companies...

    Honestly - don't they know that the approved form of interfering is to cite 'elf n safety'?

  53. "There's two exclusives today that he cured a leper, rose someone from the dead and changed water into wine."

    Dott - I made that three. They count different in Holland.

  54. PB - I loved the idea that Dan Snow (Oxford?) had his idea/plan to earn a few bob from another soft documentary fucked up by the French. He was offering free rides home from Calais he was the first to be told to fuck off!

    It made my day yesterday when I read it. Even better than the footy results. It even compensated for the MancU result.

  55. PhilippaB
    I had R5 on in the garden. Robbie Savage, co-commenting, nearly had a cow when 2nd and 3rd goals went in. It was more fun than actually watching it on MOTD later... especially seeing that shocker from Fabianski. Poor bastard's going to eat sh1t for years off the back of this season...

    Meanwhile half my colleagues are stuck overseas... lucky bastards.

  56. Regarding the evacuation of thousands of Brits from the beaches of France by the Royal navy, Gordon Brown has been accused of electioneering and using the spirit of previous British Historical events for cheap electoral points. I have the exclusive transcript of his speech to the house. I leave it up to you to decide:

    From the moment the Iceland’s Volcanic defences were broken in the middle of April, only a rapid retreat to eurostar and the ferries could have saved thousands of people’s enormous wine carry outs from being drank before they returned to blighty.

    When, a week ago today, I asked the House to fix this afternoon as the occasion for a statement, I feared it would be my hard lot to announce the greatest holiday disaster in our long history. Thousands of British tourists whinging, getting drunk and arguing with local French people about why they can’t speak English properly would cast a dark shadow on this Islands thousand year history.

    I tell you now, the gallant men of our Royal Navy have been dispatched under the heaviest 6 kilometre high ash clouds to rescue the last remnants of School exchange visits, eurodisney tourists and Off licence day trippers. When our great Navy reach the shores of France; no doubt under heavy verbal fire from French Ferry companies aided by French Farmers, and Truck drivers; they shall be unflinching in aiding the pissed up Jock, Geordie, Londoner, Taff and other British tourists onto our ships.

    Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if this New Labour Government lasts for another thousand minutes, men will still say, 'This was Gordon Brown’s finest hour.'

  57. Deano,

    I was quoting his Grace....

  58. heh heh, your grace.

    a lot of my mates down here work for one firm - they've got five people stuck in france who should be at a conference in NY, and two people stuck in the US who should be back in the office. I suggested they send the ones stuck in the US to the conference. Apparently this had occurred to nobody.

    Have also suggested they take "Strategic thinking" off their website, as a resultt...

  59. Morning all,

    a lot of good stuff to respond to today.


    Very interesting observations.

    A while ago I started writing a novel (yeah, I know), one of those 'alternative history' whatsits in a similar vein to Roth, Lewis etc, focusing on the US, and what was, at the time, the worrying rise of neo-conservatism/religious fundamentalism/revolutionary 'patriotism'.

    A few years later, and what I have written so far seems less of an alternative history, and more and more like an accurate record of what has actually happened.

    In fact, all the research I have done, taken with the accuracy of my 'predictions'/line of 'narrative' means that I've seriously considered turning it into a non-fiction account....

  60. Now football (apologies),

    I must say, I'm having trouble understanding why Spurs beating Chelsea was such a good thing, tbh.

    I inherited the Chelsea thing from my mum, and at the start of every football season, I've had two hopes:

    1)Chelsea win the league (which has happened twice)

    2) That Manchester Utd don't (which has happened a few more times, but not that many)

    As a kid, most of my school supported Man U, because, you know, why would you support anybody else, innit!?

    A few supported Liverpool (possibly because their parents had followed a similar reasoning to the above Man U supporters of my generation), but even they were a massive minority.

    For me, Man U represent just about everything that's wrong with, not just football, but the world, and I can't understand why them winning another frickin' title is better than somebody else, anybody else, winning it......

    Anyway, as you were....

  61. As well as being barred from hustings by the major three parties (which I think would be good for an investigation), Craig Murray also highlights here from the 2005 election, other electoral methods used to marginalise further the smaller parties.

  62. And I see donoevil on WADDYA has asked for a Craig Murray article.

  63. @JamesDixon

    'I must say,i,m having trouble understanding why
    Spurs beating Chelsea was such a good thing tbh'

    Wash your mouth out with soap and water sir or its
    ten paces at dawn for you and me!!

    And for the record Saint Harry Redknapp is seen by
    many as being a savior of Churchillian proportions!!

  64. Interesting post by Leopold on Waddya:

    The Guardian will be advertising for a comment editor to replace Toby Manhire, who is leaving, and an editor of the Comment is Free website when Matt Seaton moves to be editor of Cif America.


  65. Paul-

    Haha, I perhaps should have clarified.

    I get that a Spurs supporter would consider it a really good result (congratulations, btw), but I don't understand why anyone who doesn't support Spurs and/or one of Chelsea's geographical/historical rivals would see another title going to Man U as anything other than a really bad thing.....

  66. Bloody hell. My ex old man and my daughter have just come back from two weeks climbing in France. My daughter tells me that after 25 years of not smoking the old man has started again! I suspect he has just stopped resisting spliffs, but it does seem to have got him back into fags (roll ups).

    He had one (mild) heart attack 2 years ago and they put a stent in - so he already has arterial disease although he seems to have been fit as flea since.

    What the fuck do I do? I smoke so don't have a leg to stand on but I do care about his health. Advice gratefully received as I don't want to go blundering in - which I'm quite capable of doing...! (we're old mates btw with no issues).

  67. James - I certainly don't want another title to go to Man U, FFS! If the Chelsea game had been the decider, I would have been waving a blue banner with the rest of you. But while there's still time to put things right, I still enjoyed a little bit of schadenfreude. Particularly as it involved that oaf Terry.

  68. ".... I suggested they send the ones stuck in the US to the conference. Apparently this had occurred to nobody.

    Have also suggested they take "Strategic thinking" off their website, as a resultt..."

    PB I suggest they try digest this thing called video conferencing.

    I know that businessmen feel they have to look the customer/competition in the eye - but truth is English law and the sanctity of 'contract' requires no such precondition to make a contract legally binding. What matters is not eye contact at all.....

    I think a lot of this business jetting around the world is nothing more than an excuse to visit whores and alehouses on expenses (in truth at the taxpayers expense)

    Dott - I know, hence my comment about dutch counting.

    Idle throw ins, like that, help me understand how the different contributors here may actually read the site as well as contribute to it. I expected that you would probably pick it up and respond and that Duke may have been too busy to notice.

    Duke Murray writes well I'll go and recommend donoevil's suggestion.

  69. Sheffpixie,

    I'm not sure there's much you can do, other than explain your concerns in the terms you just did there. Gently, and with the onus on his health and those who are concerned for it.

    (You could opt for the 'if you give up, I will too' appproach....?)

  70. PeterJ,

    'I still enjoyed a little bit of schadenfreude. Particularly as it involved that oaf Terry'.

    (*snapping fingers three times in a Z formation, and doing best guest on 'Jerry Springer' impression...)

    'Oh no you di'nt!!'


    'I certainly don't want another title to go to Man U, FFS! If the Chelsea game had been the decider, I would have been waving a blue banner with the rest of you. But while there's still time to put things right'......

    But there isn't. IT'S ALL OVER....

    (*runs away sobbing...)

  71. Sheff Happen he knows sumatt you don't.

    I stopped smoking about five years ago after about 50 years on the fags (I started at 7 and was smoking 10 a day by the time I left school) and on about 50-60 rollups when I finished.

    One of the reasons I stopped was so that I could start again if the Doctor were ever to tell me.....deano your cock is going to fall off....or....deano your liver will take no more.

    One must always have a fall back position. Hope that he is not of my perverse view and it is simple human contrariness and that his cock and liver are in fine fettle..

  72. Good afternoon.

    I may as well admit that I am very caned.

    I think I need BB to defend me, unless she appears for the prosecution...

    That is all.

  73. James - I just think it's funny when apparently invincible footballing machines(TM) fall apart when faced with the likes of Spurs. Or City.

    Like I'm amused by City's ability to beat Chelsea and then embarass themselves horribly against Stoke.

    Jus' funny.

    (This view is not shared by my more City-committed mates, who see the inconsistency as as a character flaw - I prefer to see it as 'cute')

  74. Also, 13th Duke

    I'm currently trying to write a new blogpost, and I just noticed that your post at 10:58 is very similar to something what I'd already written for it.

    I'd just like to highlight that we had one of those 'independent thought' things, and that I'm not plagiarising.

    (my university experience has left me with an irrational fear of such accusations)

  75. Arrrgh, I think the gremlin's back....

    Can anybody see my post to the duke?

    or this one?

  76. @sheff

    Like James said you could offer to give up if he does?
    Or you could guilt trip him into giving up! How much you care -which you clearly do.And what about the kids and grandkids who need their dad/grandad ect.

  77. (Ah, there it is...)


    I'm not sure Chelsea can ever be classed as an invincible football machine.

    We're not even close....

    (but generally speaking, I think it's a good thing that, more and more, the premiership is getting a bit more 'anybody-can-possibly-beat anybody-elseish', even though it frustrates the shit out of me when it happens to us..)

  78. Cheers Deano, you couldn't make this shit up, eh?

    Lavartis, caned, as in cocaine? Or as in Eton, touch your toes? ; )

  79. James
    Also - I enjoy being a neutral far more than being a Liverpool supporter at the moment...

  80. Bitterweed,

    Yeah, my best friend's a Liverpool supporter.

    He started the season with such high hopes, but now 'he doesn't want to talk about it, thank you very much'!!

  81. hello Paul - yes, I'm fine - how are you?

  82. Turminder - no, caned as in smoking weed, I don't touch the class-A stuff.

  83. Ha ha... I don't mind talking about it... Just not to f@cking UTD supporters, who are all, as we know, arrogant gits of the first water. Bloody Scholsey. Sodding typical that was...

  84. Interesting new report from the IPPR suggests that alienation, lack of social resilience and exclusion drives people towards the BNP, rather than levels of immigration.

    According to the report, apart from Dagenham, immigration tends to be lower in areas with higher BNP support.

    full report here

  85. Hi Sheff - yes, read an article on that this morning. Interesting indeed.

  86. @Lavartis
    Never heard caned used in that context before.Thought
    you might be in trouble or something-ref to BB and that.
    Enjoy the weed!

  87. Toke 1 for me Lavartis! Quiet at work now the kiddies have gone back to school, had a laugh at this;


  88. Sheff. Thanks. I have a mate lives around my way, comes from the Welsh valleys, a born Labour voter. He hasn't worked for months, and very stupidly voted BNP at the last Euro elections. Even stupider, he told us down the pub, now half his mates won't talk to him. I can't in anyway condone or sympathise with a vote for those knuckleheads, but he protests - it was entirely a protest vote, because Labour have abandoned working class.

    He fucked up and has lost a lot of credibility, worse when tied to the fact he's got a drink problem. Basically a decent chap, but got himself in a hole. The BNP are just there to soak up the poison our political system creates - they then rechannel it with a bunch of lies and inept politicking. I wish they'd just fuck off, but we - with our political economic system - have made the environment they thrive under.

    Interesting ideas about *social resilience* in there Sheff. Will have a proper look tonight.

    By the way - try quitting for a month, and let him know... ?

  89. Paul - it was slang when I was at school and college...

  90. James,

    no worries. When I saw your post there, I went straight to your blog thinking you must have thought I'd plagiarised you! So I also was suffering from the university educated fear of plagiarism.

    I think it's great that people are coming more and more to independent conclusions about this. And your blog post is very eloquent on the subject if I may say.

    My wife is from Blackburn and I've spent a bit of time there, so can clearly view how much the workers party has treated their natural constituency with utter contempt and continue to do so. And of course, me being from the West of Scotland has more than most witnessed the complete corruption and nepotism that passes for Scottish Labour.

    Craig Murray's documentary about his Blackburn campaign was a real eye opener into the way the major parties manipulate consituencies. From the choosing of candidates to the micro-management of campaigns to the detriment of the other parties.

    Lavartis, I've heard caned used for smoking weed. I thought straight away that's what you were referring to.

  91. F@ck it. We are doomed...


  92. BW - sorry to hear about your mate's predicament. He was stupid but I hope his friends won't punish him forever - it certainly won't help his drink problem!

  93. Sheff,

    that's a very interesting report.

    Gosh, shock, horror, the lumpen proletariat aren't all natural racists then? It's actually more complex than 'thick underclass blame immigrants for everything'? And is in fact a much more complex area encompassing socio-economic neglect and alienation against the Political class who have created the conditions of socio-economic neglect? The Guardian will be horrified.

    Unfortunately I can't give any advice on smoking, I've never smoked in my life!

  94. James - good blog piece - for some reason my 'reading list' isn't showing when you put something new up, must go and hit it with a (virtual) hammer...

    also rather enjoyed the AB piece. heh heh.

  95. Lavartis-when i was at school a caning meant one and
    only one thing.Although some of the teachers
    administrating it may well have viewed it as something
    more that just a punishment for wrongdoing!!!

  96. 13th Duke,

    It's actually the post I just put up a second ago.
    The bit in there about parachuting candidates etc was almost exactly what you said earlier (although, as per, you said it better than wot I did).

    Everybody else

    My post is intended to be a bit of a debate starter (more than, say, a well written, irrefutable argument), so please feel free to 'pop in' and join in if you've got nowt better to do!

    I can't remember how to do them linky things, but Montana was kind enough to put one at the top of the page with the others.....

  97. BW - I especially liked the one who thinks the biggest problem facing the country is litter on the beaches.

  98. Philippa,

    I would guess it's cause you aint 'following' me, innit!?

  99. I've just whizzed through the thread again.

    Do you ever get those moments when you've looked at a thread and think you've posted far too much? You know, you think to yourself "Just shut up"?!

    It's what happens when you've waited in all day for bloody furniture and then you're called to say it'll be here tomorrow at 5 o'clock.

    I've had one of those moments, so I'll leave the thread to your good selves and shut up.

    We're watching "The perverts guide to the cinema" this evening. It couldn't be further from what you think it is ;) It's actually Slavoj Zizek analysing famous films and explaining the hidden socio-cultural meanings. It gets a great write up on imdb and rotten tomatoes.

    Fijn avond allemaal

  100. Paul - you must be older than I am! (I'm 32). Corporal punishment had been phased out when I was at school - and good riddance

  101. 13th Duke,

    I, for one, would like to read more of you....

  102. Hello.

    Not been taking part in cif or the UT today as I have been too busy. Pity though, there are interesting discussions here and on cif.

    Finally got all my stuff packed (almost all of it). A whole day's travelling tomorrow. Rough weather as well means the ferry is not gonna be great.

    Enjoy yourselves, I do not see myself being back online until the weekend at least. My lap top is still in the post, and I will have to set up the internet, etc.

  103. Good luck with the move, Napoleon!

  104. Yeah, good luck.

    (Moving can be awful, so I hope it all goes well)!!

  105. ah, that would be it - am now pottering along after you...

    good luck with the move, Napoleon!

  106. Bragg Vs Barnbrook in Barking & Dagenham


  107. Lots of coverage in graun on stranded Britons, travellers woes, teacher shortages and a front page piece by someone moaning about having an extra week tagged on to their holiday, thanks to the ash cloud.

    One tiny piece about farmers in Kenya having to lay off 5000 workers with warnings that thousands more will go too if flights don't resume by tomorrow.

    You can replicate that in a dozen other countries but you wouldn't know that from our media.

  108. This FPTP must surely die soon, its just too disgraceful. On todays ICM poll Labour are at 28% of the vote and the Lib Dems on 30%, yet it would give Labour 275 seats and the lib dems only 99 seats. How can any sane human defend this appalling joke of a system, let alone call it "democracy"?

  109. ~Thank you~

    Also it is my birthday the very day after I arrive. Will be quite strange.

  110. Nap

    Good luck with the move.


    No-one seems to care about overseas workers - it angers me. The fragility of global economics is discussed only in terms of the Brits.

    Does anybody know if the great naval rescue plan is 2 way ? Are RN ships taking EU people stranded here home or are they being detained here to spend more money in the British economy ?

    Social resilience - not a good thing for a society if all were socially resilient - it suggests questioning and possibly - horrors - even complaints and riots in the streets

    Had a dream last night that someone on UT suggested starting up a new political party - we couldn't agree on the 'buzz words ' which would win us members - the farcical nature of modern politics is obviously playing on my mind.

  111. You know those times when you read an article, and then read it again because you can't really believe it's for real? Apparently women shagging and dressing provocatively cause earthquakes... 'Did the earth move for you darling?'

  112. "A senior Iranian cleric says women who wear revealing clothing and behave promiscuously are to blame for earthquakes."

    Never underestimate religious wisdom. And the best part is we fund this sort of braindead idiocy at our lovely state funded faith schools.

  113. Well folks - expect disaster. I bared my shoulders to the sunshine earlier.

    Yes - religious schools - they should go.

  114. Haha,

    I read something the other day that said something like,

    'I'm no volcanologist, but shouldn't we be chucking some virgins in there or something...'

    The difference though, is that they were joking....

  115. Hi Lavartis thanks for the letter. It was the first and set the scene nicely. Each additional missive or package both affirmed my beliefs and eroded their diagnosis of delusion.

    Re earthquakes they ahve commonly been blamed on general depravity especially sexual behaviours.

  116. Shaz - that is quite simply the oddest story I have read that didn't involve the datestamp "1 April".

    Mind you, didn't some US evangelist claim that lesbianism was responsible for 9/11? So maybe note that weird, given the previous...

  117. well, if it is sexual behaviour/activity, I'm pretty sure that's me off the hook...

  118. Forgot to mention but at around 5.00am this morning
    someone from the Islamic Republic of Iran was lurking
    on UT.Got distracted and when i came back to say HELLO
    they were gone.Will look out for them should they return!!

  119. James

    that rather begs the question - should the human race abstain from sex - which would be the quickest way to our destruction - no reproducing or unfettered sex resulting in catastrophic disasters world wide ?

  120. Paul

    It would be rather good if someone from Iran were to join us.

  121. Leni,

    Hmmm good question,

    I'm not sure which would be quickest, but I know which I'd prefer...

  122. Leni

    Long piece on C4 News - totally focused on Brit and airline cost and inconvenience - not an iota of analysis of wider implications.


    well, if it is sexual behaviour/activity, I'm pretty sure that's me off the hook..

    Me too - totally innocent as far as volcanic eruptions are concerned.

  123. @Leni-agreed.Thought Iran was like China insofar as
    the State blocked internet access which is why i was
    surprised when i saw it.Hope you,re feeling better!

    @Hi Philippa!

  124. James - 'well, if it is sexual behaviour/activity, I'm pretty sure that's me off the hook..'

    And me. Was going to post on the 'Single women are not saddos thread, but I knew I'd just look like a saddo...

  125. Paul

    Someone from Iran on the UT? That would be interesting, lets hope they come back. All the Iranians I know are lovely (and I know quite a few). They also have fantastic food, wonderful archaeology, (and I don't mean the clerics!), great films and music, terrific spirit and lots of other things.

  126. Shaz,

    Well, that was an interesting read.

    (Now I'm really starting to think that the Guardian is deliberately trying to piss me off - Putting up a feminist thread that also bashes Tina Fey....)

  127. Hi Sheff

    Don,t know whether someone from Iran would be at any
    sort of risk if caught posting with us.The powers that
    be do after all see the West as a corrupting influence.And if someone who is part of the movement for more rights communicates with us who knows what the potential repercussions could be.Maybe i,m over-
    stating the case but they may have to be extremely

  128. Earthquakes are a result of plate tectonics and not of sexual activity so sleep easy on that one just try and understand the science of these things.

    But who knows what eh? Hard to say ain't it? It's a wake up call guys, get your act together here and in tehran duh. The whole globe, the planet, is in it together. And some of you just moan about being modded on the G as tho' you are the most important thing with the most to say.

  129. Paul

    Even during the height of the post election demos I was getting emails from Iran.

    Although there is evidence of repression - and of torture and murder of some protesters we need to be careful of assuming that we actually know what is going on there.

    there seems to be a agenda to demonise Iran - support for sanctions and even an attack on nucleay facilities . There is no evidence that Iran had the 'bomb' - this biased reporting is my main gripe with the media and with Cif. Truth is an elusive beast.

    I would be pleased if someone from Iran were to post here - I don't think they would be at serious risk - though there again we still don't know the fate of the blogger arrested last year.

    Difficult - I am totally opposed to an attack on Iran or any sanctions which will hurt the Iranian people.

  130. I just noticed the photo gallery.

    Might upload some pictures of my imaginary Labrador when I get chance....

  131. @Leni-agree with you.Hopefully our friend in Iran will
    make contact with us.However if it puts them at any
    risk i would advise against it.

  132. james

    There won't be much to see then ? A bit like my imaginary Sloth - a self delivering birthday present promised to me several years ago.

  133. 'There won't be much to see then ? A bit like my imaginary Sloth - a self delivering birthday present promised to me several years ago'.

    Hahaha. Brilliant!!

  134. Damntheral just posted this - hours of endless mindless fun!

  135. shazzthewombat

    First hit:

    "Last week, I met a rural miner, who told me that lack of respect set fire to a bag of kittens."


  136. "Last week, I met a 40-year-old banker, who told me that the gays set fire to a bag of kittens."

    heheh. hehheheheheh.


  137. kittens clearly the losers in the big society.

  138. "Last week, I met an Asian fishmonger, who told me that benefit scroungers set fire to a bag of kittens."

    It's brill I loved the one about the gay miner!

    Night all.

  139. "Last week, I met a rural Chelsea supporter, who told me that Polly Toynbee raped the next door's beagle."

  140. I would add that the fire of white terror has been stoked by some on the left. Just to take one example, Gore Vidal's views

    Actually no, Edwin, the "fire of white terror" has not been stoked by some on the left. There is no one on what little "left" that exists in this country who has enough influence with the average American to stoke any fears of any sort. Very few "average" Americans would have any clue who Gore Vidal is and of the handful of people you might find who've ever even heard his name, I could pretty much guarantee you that not one of them would give a rat's ass about what Gore Vidal thinks of anything.

    The average American has never heard of Noam Chomsky or Naomi Klein or Paul Krugman. There are exactly two left-leaning hosts of current affairs TV programmes -- Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, both on MSNBC. Apart from Olbermann and Maddow, The Daily Show -- a comedy programme -- does a better job of reporting on politics from a centre-left perspective than any mainstream media outlet.

    The right, on the other hand, has an entire network that doesn't even pretend to be unbiased (despite their "Fair and Balanced" motto) and the three broadcast networks all lean right, as well (the anchors on two of them were/are both personal friends of Bush II). In addition, there is a raft of extreme-right nationally broadcast radio programmes and every major radio market in the country has its own local right-wing radio hosts, as well.

    Gore Vidal has as much influence over the views of the average American as I have over the train schedules in Japan.

  141. I'll tell you what should be on that bloody list, instead of kittens:

    People who start games of scrabble on facebook, and then fuck off before it's finished...



    Night Deano, hope it's been a good day over there in my some-time part of the world!!

  142. Montana - sometimes when the Daily Show covers the other news networks, I genuinely think that the footage has been mocked up at Comedy Central. It's just frightening...and then John Stewart, a comedian, manages such good interviews - the Huckabee ones, for example, two guys coming from very different ideological positions, but being calm, reasoned, nobody calls anyone a commie, nobody calls anyone a fascist...and then you see the 'professionals' and wonder if you aren't in fact watching CCTV footage of a fight in a wine bar. Barking.

  143. james - entirely agree - you don't mess with scrabble (proper names my arse).

  144. Montana
    Those are the facts right there. As if there's ever been a "left" and a "right" in US politics in the last fifty years... there's been a slight couple of geographic slivers East and West whence comments about the benefits of progressive politics have emanated - and make the world feel safer. Then there's been occasional voices out of Chicago, the rust belt, New Orleans. The US as a whole has never had a "left" since the Teamsters took hold of the Unions.

  145. Jon Stewart's my current man-crush.

    He took on Bill 'cock-knocker' O'Reilly a little while back, and it was just brilliant (Or the non-FOX news edited version was).

    He was a proper gentleman, despite some pretty below the belt digs by BO'R, and he can really think on his feet, and get a point across succinctly and with style.

    Love 'im.

    (but that stays between us though, right!?)

  146. Well, it seems blogger's not ready for the world to hear that particular confession just yet...

  147. Also, hold the front page, I may be starting to agree with Dave...

    "Last week, I met an inner-city mother, who told me that Polly Toynbee was just getting far too uppity."

  148. And on that note, it's goodnight from me too.

    Sleep well folks!

  149. Hi Montana

    The Left in the States never really recovered from the
    McCarthyite witchunts and the activities of the House
    unAmerican Activities Committee in the 50,s.Didn,t that good ole boy Ronnie Reagan also play his part in sticking the knife in with those actors considered
    to be off message.Many brilliant people had their
    careers ruined in that shameful period .Not sure if
    American has really faced up to it yet.

    Hope alls well with you!

  150. Nah James

    You may be wrong - did Dave agree with the mum ?

  151. Paul
    Reagan ? Definitely. Check out Gil Scott Heron's B Movie...


    Mandate my ass.


  152. Hi All--James, you nailed it on Billo, the pretentious prick. Jon Stewart and Colbert are comedians, but they expose the real world of rightist dogma. Long may they ride the waves.

    Bitterweed--As an 'arrogant git of the first water' it is my duty to hoist my hand. I did tell Habib a week or two ago, and anyone else reading at that time. No apologies here, I remember the barren years only too well. As it is in north america, a team that wins year after year will have a polarising effect, so there will be bitterness. I'm not MUFC win or draw though, like to think I can give the other team credit where due, as in the case of Leeds earlier in the FA cup. Anyway, who would you prefer to win the league? The oil capo or the yankee capitalists? Can't say I support either ownership. Will support the club though.

    Paul, some good analysis there, but I would say that a portion of Americans, the Republican base for instance, are swayed to the hollow tactics of McCarthy. Not all by any measurement. There is hope for them yet!