03 May 2010


The University of Athens was founded in 1837.  Canadian Lt. Col. John McCrae wrote the poem "In Flanders Fields" in 1915.  Anne Frank House opened in 1960.  An F5 tornado with wind speeds as high as 318 mph hit Oklahoma City in 1999, leaving 42 dead, more than 600 injured and causing around $1,000,000,000 in damage.

Born today:  Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), Richard D'Oyly Carte (1844-1901), Jacob Riis (1849-1914), Bing Crosby (1903-1977) and Pete Seeger (1919).

It is Constitution Day in Japan, Lithuania and Poland.


  1. Morning All

    The pic isn't working for me, Montana. You could try this:

    Another one

    For those who have spotted the fact that the wonderful process of elections in this country is not quite the same as the cavalry riding over the hill in those funny old westerns in which black hat=bad and white hat=good, now is the time to actually start doing something.

    This is when the underlying fallacy starts to unravel.

    This is when the one-trick pony of all politics for the last three generations brays its last and topples over and all those who have been riding on its back sucking improbable whirls of air-filled ice-cream fall off and have to stand on their own two wobbly feet.

    This is when the promise that life could only ever get better and we could all end up being rich through the magic process of doing as we were told and grovelling to the Man blows up in everyone's faces.

    This is when people see that changing the logo on Westminster does not make one iota of difference to ordinary people.

    This is when the combined might of the CiFerati chanting in unison that the head of Gordon Brown, the imprisonment of Tony Blair and the crushing of New Labour would usher in a Golden Age and all our problems would be forgotten and forgiven will be shown to be a vacuous hope and an empty promise.

    This is when the troubles really start.

    This is when a weak government has to make tough decisions and people finally notice that, for all the money which has been stolen from their pockets to ensure that the rich never suffer a moment's pain, they will have to give yet more.

    This is when people see that we are not all in this together.

    This is when people see that governments and businesses are not their mates.

    This is when the trouble starts.

    This is when you have to decide which way to jump.

  2. A warm welcome to the Linux client from New Zealand.

  3. Morning, a nice sunny day for a change.

    Damn, I got up especially early, after going to bed at 2am. Today I was going to do lots of important things, sort out my bank,apply for and get a job at any cost, any job, even if I had to spend all day at the Job centre (shudder).

    But then I realised it is a bank holiday! So, might as well enjoy it.

  4. Morning all - enjoy the bank holiday!

    Am prepping some election night games, will post bingo cards etc when finished...

  5. Charlie Brooker on Cameron:
    "Like an ostensibly realistic human character in a state-of-the-art CGI cartoon, he's almost convincing – assuming you can ignore the shrieking, cavernous lack of anything approaching a soul. Which you can't."
    Great stuff.

  6. Phillipa, you mean like when Cif did bingo?

    To predict if certain events happen, ie unseatings etc, lunatics, or if certain words and phrases are used by the media reporters?

    Other than that I might as well enjoy today. I would like to go to Loch Lomond, but I have not planned it so I will probably to to the Burrel collection isntead.

  7. Atomboy,

    cracking post. My thoughts on the election to a T.


    enjoy the Burrell collection. It's fantastic and bear in mind only a third of the actual collection is on show at any one time, so it bears repeat visits.

  8. Atomboy

    Things are going to get very nasty indeed I suspect. For the idiots saying the public sector bums need culling anyway, they dont seem to have realised the effect it will have on the private sector when 20% of the public sector is cut - crippling unemployment, services collapsing, widespread unrest... Consumption is going to nosedive, the private sector will see massive unemployment too.

    No doubt the bankers will just keep their heads down and keep cashing the paycheques. And whilst he's slashing the public sector and pushing millions into poverty, Dave sincerely plans to bring in the IHT tax break for millionaires. Beyond belief. And people are still voting for this Bullingdon shitbag.

    If there's any silver lining, the next few years might be so horrendous that the Tories are unelectable for a long time after. The lies will also cause problems, you cant say you're going to find the money in efficiency savings and "protect front line services" and then tear the place to shreds, which is what he'll have to do.

    Interesting times.

  9. Surprisingly good article by Bunting today actually. Interesting one yesterday too on the idea of Greece defaulting on its debt.

  10. Superb article from Brendan O'Neill here about New Labour and the denigration of liberty, rights and responsibilities.

    Ominous because the Tories follow exactly the same aganda.

  11. Video on Graun front page about meeting 3 prospective black MPs. Finishes with Hannah Pool explaining if they all get in, we might "finally have a representative parliament". This is stupid and obtuse beyond words. Considering the state of politics and the country at the minute, to judge and understand "representation" in such a crude and stupid way is astonishing.

    We could have had 50% women and 30% black for the last 10 years, the result would have been the same. Politics doesnt fail because politicians dont look like us, its because they dont represent us, in the true sense of the word. Typical Graun to be indulging in this idiocy.

    (the 3 candidates in question all look decent enough, they surely couldnt do any worse than their predecessors, but that isnt the point).

  12. Hello friend from Sweeden!

    Have a good one Nap - I only visited the Peoples Museum (which you mentioned the other day) once, but I enjoyed it and then became aware there is a great deal to see in Glasgow.

    Interesting post Atomboy. I am fascinated by this one and the apparent determination of folk to try to produce a hung result. I hope that it does not change in the final countdown.

    The interesting time will be after the election. That might be a time for a new experiences. It will be the time when folk are forced to look hard at the real world around them.

    Sadly people's political education and economic understanding seem to leap ahead when they find a hot poker up the arse. I live in hope.

    (I liked your linked picture of the ragged kids resting below the grating - perhaps they were dreaming and planning the fightback)

  13. Hi Jay

    Duke was it you posted the photo of the Dave's 'message' for us over in the UT gallery?

    I loved the idea that the local artist carried both black and white paint around to ensure that herm new message would be as perfectly formed as possible. I like attention to detail. Fucking brilliant end result.

  14. Jay,

    We could have had 50% women and 30% black for the last 10 years, the result would have been the same. Politics doesnt fail because politicians dont look like us, its because they dont represent us, in the true sense of the word. Typical Graun to be indulging in this idiocy.

    Indeed. Because the Graun believes that identity politics is the key to salvation when any commentator worth his salt will correctly identify that it is economic cause and consequence that is the key.

  15. deano,

    no that was the fine work of Alisdair. Piss funny.

  16. Mornin all. Will the next Govt make their party unelectable for a generation? Is the poisioned challice that bad?

    Can we have some sort of reform, where by it is acknowledged that of a limited set of options only a few are practical, and of those the best outcomes for the many should be prioritised over the wealth of the few?

    All partys should be abolished, all banks nationalised..

  17. Cheers Duke so it was. I imagined it as one that a mate might have sent you via a phonepic from the streets of Glasgow.

    Thinking it about again, just as likely as from the NE so it's many thanks to Alisdair.

  18. turminder

    If the 'winning' party has to be Tory, I am banking on the poisoned chalice.

  19. Duke (sent you mail BTW)

    I think people's tolerance for that type of identity nonsense is going to vanish very quickly indeed. I wouldnt care if the Graun had just done a report on three black MPs and said wouldnt it be nice if it was a bit more diverse. Yes it would be nice, but on such a trivial scale in the current climate that it should be treated as such.

    And secondly their misuse of the idea of "representation". Having a black man does not mean you have improved "representation". Pool seems to completely misunderstand and miss the point of what representation in politics is. And that is a problem - parties are getting away with saying they are improving "representation" and "democracy" by getting a few more black women in. It distracs attention from the real crisis of representation which is that they no longer represent the electorate, they manage the electorate on behalf of elite interests.

    Anyway, i gotta do some bloody uni work... pain in the arse...

  20. princessc

    I'm in Sheffield South East. My Labour MP isn't perfect (voted for Iraq etc) but at least he grew up on a f*cking Sheffield council estate.

    I was somewhat incensed when the Lib Dem candidate's election leaflet arrrived (aside from the fact that she's one of our voluntary sector-wrecking city councillors), addressed to all but one of the household, who has a different surname. The individual concerned still has not received a separate leaflet.

    Mentioned this to my mate, who said that she'd assumed that the Lib Dems were mailing individuals, as she'd had 2 leaflets for the 2 individuals of her household. This had annoyed her anyway as 'a waste of paper, time & effort', including her time & effort in collecting from the doormat & transferring staright to recycling bin.

    Anyways, struck me that they don't know much about families, as they seem to assume a lot from surnames, and I don't think that the Lib Dems have clicked that each of those individuals has their own bloody vote.

  21. It make I larf...

    3 May 2010, 11:35AM
    I really think that if we all just vote Lib Dem, the world is going to be a much better place.

    I imagine they will not only save the planet, get everyone into work, and abolish policing in middle class areas - but even simple things like just taking a shit or getting blotto and collapsing in a gutter will become so much more rewarding and pleasurable. Because it will be Lib Dem shit, and a Lib Dem gutter.

    The reason I think this, is because I know for certain that the world is made how it is by politicians, and politicians alone. Before we had a Labour government, no one wanted to fly cheaply to Lanzarote, eat banana tofu flown in from Puerto Guana, or get winched to safety from choppy seas. It's the government which makes us do these things.

    What we need is a decent government which stops making us behave badly. Thank God that next Thursday we have a real chance to choose one.

  22. Make I larf too. A lot!

    It's hailing in South Yorkshire. Brrr.

  23. Bracing in the Borders, 8c, but 21kph wind is knocking that down to 2-3, Brr, indeed...

  24. Still Sunny here in E Yorkshire.

    You working over the hol turm?

  25. Right - have put up two sets of 'bingo cards' on UT2 for election night, for those of you having a party. They should be enlargeable by clicking, and then printable.

  26. Great idea Philippa, we poor singletons should play on here.

  27. O God O God there's a Guardian classic, just arrived here.

    Bilge. Again. Get it while it's hot.

  28. Busy day at the visitors centre, thanks Deano. Then it quietens down a bit until the summer..

  29. jennifer - am also considering colour-coding the food. inno may be out of 'assorted peppers' by the time I've finished. let nobody think i do not take the democratic process seriously...

  30. Peter

    The Great Ron has come up with the perfect riposte again - he's on fire these days.

  31. I'll read that when I get back from walking me dogs PeterJ - good to see that you continue to post here on UT.

    Hope the crowds are civilised turm


  32. You need to come up with some nice colour coded drinks (alcoholic of course) I have a feeling we might need something to drown our sorrows.

  33. ooh, good call, jennifer! will need to borrow some jugs. and add blue curacao to the shopping list.

  34. PB will tell you how the BBC cocked the colour coded microphone headsets on a joint Radio5 BBC 24news this am - when I get back from the walk...

  35. MsC - Did he? If he did, it didn't last long enough for me to see it...

  36. I'm not sure if some comments are being removed, or 'plucked' - was having a discussion with someone on the HIV thread, and there is simply no sign of it. Can only imagine that what he was saying (historical perspectives on gay relationships - partial, to my mind, but not 'offensive', and certainly not 'personally offensive', i.e. he wasn't calling me names) was deemed to have crossed some barking line in mod-central, and that I got memory-holed for responding. Just plain dumb, in my humble - however 'offensive' the views' they need to be heard, particularly when couched, as they were, in terms of history / sociology, rather than "you queers...".

    Do not like this new approach, if it's moderation rather than tech issues...

  37. Suspect limited mods, as they won't want to pay o/t for the bank hol..

    Either that or WADDYA has been closed due to lack of interest : )

  38. turminder,

    glad to see there's crowds visiting your part of the country. For some reason the Borders are curiously overlooked as overseas visitors flock to the highlands.

    It's overlooked the same way Northumberland is in the shadow of the Lake District. Northumberland I think is as beautiful as Cumbria.

    The borders is a stunning part of the world and with Thomas Carlyle's birthplace, Walter Scott's Abbotsford as well as Hadrian's wall and the Reivers, it's got fantastic history.

    Mind you, the Borders obsession with the oval ball needs sorted out.....


    to be honest, memory holing has always been part of the CiF moderating procedure. I've been memory holed a couple of times.

    They use it I think when they do not want a certain argument or train of thought discussed at all on the threads.

  39. @Your Grace - I've been memory-holed a few times, the last one being when I pointed out that several grotesquely antisemitic posts had been left undeleted, and that twat Berchmans had a pop at me. All references disappeared.

  40. your grace - but no 'comment deleted'? and my first post is there, as is my first response to him - his first and second responses have gone, as has my second response...makes no bloody sense.

    I had him on the ropes, too, v disappointed

  41. Morning all

    @philippa-What will be the catering arrangements for election night? Bring a bottle or six?Ore will it be
    a prerequisite that participants must be off their
    heads before the proceedings commence.And btw have
    you managed to upload the 'swingometer'?

  42. Philippa,

    no, you're right. Normally they would wipe everything on a discussion they don't want but for it to be sporadic like that doesn't make any sense.

  43. PeterJ,

    ## No to being memory holed after having a go at Berchmans ##

    You take care.

  44. Your 13th, Tis a shame, 90% of the visitors are locals, we are always popular as there is free entry, and most of our craft/kids activities are <£5.

    More visitors from wider afield would be good, but the level customer service encountered here is often, well, 'pre customer-focused'?

  45. Duke - Well, quite.

    Thank goodness for the peaceful and gentle Moderators we meet every day.

    Until the deletion bulldozers spark up.

  46. Fuck shit and damn.

    That cold NE wind is blowing hard around here now and has brought the hail while I was out.

    Worse over the last few days, whilst I've not been so well, my Acer collection has come into full open leaf state. They really look magnificent.

    But as I sadly noted at this time last year it's just at this state that they are most delicate and vulnerable to wind chill. A fucking NE chill wind browns the leaf edge and takes the magnificence off the colours of them.

    Had I been on top of my game I could have portered them to a more sheltered area for a few days.

    An open 25 acre field always was an ambitious growing location - but I just adore watching the leaves, especially the lace leaf varieties, dancing in the (warm) breeze outside my windows.

    I really must get a proper shelter strategy sorted for them. The same thing has happened for each of the last five years. (Sheff's pagoda link for my brewhouse design gave me the solution.....................but I have yet to follow it through.)

    Ah the price of idleness and indolence!!

    At least I managed to get some photo's this year!

  47. You'll have to plant wind breaks Deano!

  48. Unexpected day at home -- almost ready to leave, child complaining that he didn't feel good. Me thinking it's just a combination of allergies & Mondayitis. All of a sudden -- projectile vomiting. Not good.

    Duke: this year is always our year, right up until sometime in August when we have to face the fact that the pennant is a mathematical impossibility. Hope springs eternal in the Cub fan's breast.

  49. Hope the lad is better soon Montana, hail showers in the Borders now...

  50. Hope the lad feels better soon Montana

  51. @Montana - best wishes for the lad. My own daughter's in transit to San Francisco today, in her usual disorganised fashion...

  52. Montana-hope your son gets better soon.A couple of days of rest and watching what he eats should sort him out.

    Weather has been a bit strange this morning.In quick
    succession we,ve had driving rain,hail,extremly cold
    wind,sunshine and a token crack of thunder.(not
    necessarily in that order)

    Tis the beginning of the end i tells yer!!!

  53. I'm just wondering.

    Is the photo at the top of the page a local day care centre in 2011 after the Tories have been in power for a year?


    do you believe in the Cubs curse that was apparently put on them by a local in 1945? I didn't believe in it until the Steve Bartman incident in 2003.

  54. PeterJ - Envy!. I once had the good fortune of a few days in San Fran.

    I loved it. If I had to live in a city again I'd like it to be one of the great natural harbour ones. And San Fran and Sydney would both be on the short list.

    If she likes to take tea/coffee in attractive surrounds tell her to visit the Japanese garden up in the Golden Gate Park - possibly the finest Japanese garden outside Japan. A fab collection of Acers too!

    If I remember right PCC is a fan of San Fran too.

  55. @Deano

    Yes, I liked it too when I was there a couple of times in the past. Might get another chance if she decides to move there in the autumn.

  56. deano30:Many thanks for the links to the Leeds United website. Fascinating stuff. BTW, how do you go about correcting stats on "wiki"?

  57. Duke; I'm pretty sure the Cubs would have found a way to blow it, fan interference or not. Probably more to do with incompetence than any curse spat out by an angry Greek.

  58. If found this little gem from the speak you're bRanes website. It concerns whether 'Macbeth' is a superstitious play or not.

    John Parker wrote:
    The myth of any superstition about “Macbeth” is female propaganda, and females have always caused all the troubles in putting on the play. Female school teachers tell their students the theme of “Macbeth” is the danger of excessive ambition. This is female nonsense, of course. The theme of “Macbeth” is the danger of ever listening to any female, especially the fatal folly of any man ever listening to his wife.

    Narcissistic females don’t like this theme, naturally, and consider it unrealistic in their delusional vanity. Thus they invented this old wife’s tale about the play being unlucky, in a senseless bid to prevent it from being performed. They didn’t need to waste their energy. Any male over 12 knows better than to listen to any female, whether he’s seen “Macbeth” or not.

    I wonder how the feminists on this blog would like to answer this reasoned, well thought out opinion?

  59. I just got this error message on YouTube:

    500 Internal Server Error

    Sorry, something went wrong.

    A team of highly trained monkeys has been dispatched to deal with this situation.

    Also, please include the following information in your error report:

    followed by a huge string of code.

    Someone has a sense of humour.

  60. Duke;

    The prof that I had for the course in which we dissected Macbeth was male. He had apparently succumbed to the female propaganda, because he gave us the line about excessive ambition.

    Otherwise, yeah. I can see that.

  61. Montana,

    The first comment underneath it was funny

    "The divorce not come though yet John?"

  62. Chekhov

    If you go into your Dad's Wiki entry you will see the following line towards the bottom of it:

    "This biographical article related to an English football striker born in the 1920s is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding

    You can click on the live link there or you can click on the Edit tag at the top of the page.

    You might also let the Leeds Utd site know your Stats since they have the same/similar questionable statistics in use!!

    If you can get official Sheffield Utd confirmation of the Stats you want to post it may be good idea to write the fact into the new edited entry - else some hawk eyed bastard will come along later and change the Stats back to what it previously said!!

    You might also add in the body of the text that he was wartime guest player for Man Utd since that is what the footnote link already indicates albeit the text is silent to the fact.

    I'm not an expert on techno matters. If you run into problems medeve & thaumaturge who post here are good and one or too others if you need to ask for help.

  63. deano30: Thanks I'll give it a crack.
    BTW with regard to the wartime guest appearances. Manchester United once started a match at Old Trafford with ten men because my Dad's train was late and they didn't want to risk wasting a substitute!

  64. Your Grace - main focus of Macbeth in discussion at school was the overwheening ambition, but that there was a distinct 'Eve' characterisation of Lady M, as 'the temptress', and we actually talked about how much this was valid and how much 'an excuse' with ref to the religious aspect as well, i.e. blaming 'woman' for the fall...

  65. Back from a bracing walk round Millers Dale - sun and hail squalls in equal measure.


    they manage the electorate on behalf of elite interests.

    Exactly - and also excellent rant from His Grace. Between you you've got it wrapped and kicked into touch. Cannot describe my feelings of utter disgust with the whole reppellent business.

    More importantly there's just been an incredibly poignant programme, presented by Gaby Logan who was there as a 12 year old, about the Bradford Fire. Worth finding on iplayer (R4) if you didn't catch it. Some incredibly brave people and dignity in spades.

  66. Hi again


    Heard the Bradford fire prog the other day, very moving.

  67. Has posting on cif gone tits up or is it just me?

  68. Looks Pluck'd to me, sheff, with avatars missing, although I've not tried posting myself.

  69. Chekhov - good on you brother.

    I had a very happy experience in respect of the internet and my long dead dad only last year.

    I suddenly one day remembered from being a child that my father, a miner, had been photographed stripped to the waist at a coalface ,being drawn by the world famous sculptor Henry Moore in a Yorkshire pit.

    Over the years our family copy of the B&W photo had been lost but one day out of the blue I emailed the H Moore foundation and described the photo I had not seen for more than 40 years.

    They found it. It was in an archive of 250,000+ photo's and they sent me a copy of it and also a copy of the back of the photo on which my fathers name had been written 70 years previously. To make it complete they also sent a copy of the wonderful sketches Henry was actually making when the photo was taken in January 1940 - I too wasn't born when my father was at his finest..so I was very moved too

    Now I'll be getting flack later from Sheff et al 'cos I promised to put copies of the pictures up on the UT gallery.... but have yet to get around to it......

    Ah the price of idleness and indolence indeed.

    Leaf curled Acers, and earache to come, I really must put a little structure into my idle life.

    ...........I'll make a list...............if only I could find a pencil.

  70. I wanted to post on Khaled diab's thread. Apparently Mr Nestle doesn't think we work hard enough...some abuse is in order!

  71. Deano

    Come on owd lad - put your indolence to one side for a bit and get those pictures up in the gallery - having been dying to see them for ages.

  72. Gabby Logan! QI - another fine woman and a link to Leeds Utd to boot!

    Fine lass her dad too played for Leeds.

  73. Sorry Peter J but I don't think its bilge.

    Much of the social/domestic organisation of society really hasn't changed very much.

    Women are largely juggling the domestic and the professional. Many women still 'do it all'.

    This isn't an attack on men really it isn't. Its actually quite hard for men to take on more of the domestic role, employers discourage it (long hours culture anyone?).

    I know from personal experience that my progress in the profession I loved (teaching) was seriously hampered because I was a single parent. I am sure that guys on this site really do try to contribute to family life more and yes many men do much much more than in my grandparents' time and all honour to them. But the fact remains that women do more of the childcare the washing ironing and cleaning than men do.


  74. Oops! Cif,s plucked again!The Graun just can,t get
    the staff these days !

  75. Some really fine comments here over the last 72 hours...

  76. Cif is definitely messed up. Just tried to comment on the SBC thread and got a message telling me they had a problem uploading it. Went to my profile to see if it was there, despite the error message. Profile wouldn't load. Went back to the Cif main page. Articles all said "Post your comment" as if none had any comments yet.

  77. OOPS!

    When we have a society where family life achieves parity with with working life. When society recognises the right of fathers to be fathers then and only then will women and men be also equal in the workplace.

    The mistake most feminists of the guardianista sisterhood make is to blame this on 'men' or on the 'patriarchal hegemony'. They are wrong its ca[pitalism that finds the present system more to its likeing it wants the production of the next generation of workers to be produced at no cost to themselves. They make it difficult for ALL of us to deviate from the roles they prefer us to have.

    I am 68 years old with a pension of £800 per month. My teacher's pension is low because I had to work part time (non pensionable) for nearly half my working life. Why? because I had a child and she was ill for many years.

    Some men may suffer this detriment but many women do.

    There are things wrong with the article but its basic premise is correct. To call it bilge is to say my situation is a figment of my imagination.

    I'm sorry but I find that unacceptable and not a little depressing.

  78. Anne: My partner (a sociologist) has been researching this issue for the past several years. Look on the bright side: it is much worse here in Central Europe despite forty years of enforced gender equality under state-socialism (which of course wasn't proper socialism).

  79. Montana: Good old pluck is working all right from here at the minute ... Maybe try again or some transatlantic routing difficulties?

  80. Anne

    Have you read Khaled Diab's piece? Apparently us Europeans, according to Mr Nestle, are all lazy bastards and not prepared to work hard enough lining his pockets for him.

    For people like this Brabeck-Letmathe, the hoi polloi don't have lives of our own, families and other interests to pursue. We're just units of production and consumption designed to trudge round their bloody treadmills until we drop having made sure we've stuffed ourselves with their crappy products before we actually keel over.

    So us work slaves must all stop whinging about 'having a life' - that privilege is reserved for those who can afford it and it doesn't include us.

  81. Oh...and mustn't forget the fantastic business ethics of Nestle either...

  82. Anne

    Many feminists of the Left historically argued the
    very point you made.It seems the shift to blaming
    men took place steadily throughout the 70,s so
    by the 80,s the most vocal element of the feminist
    movement had largely degenerated into a man hating bitchfest.

    Sadly this element has had a largely negative input in policy making in health,education,childrens services and domestic violence.And is wellrepresented in left wing politics,the media and the judiciary.And to this day are relentless in rejecting any notion that they may have got things wrong.Men are still
    viewed as being the enemy although those with a
    high profile are less blatant about it than they
    used to be.You don,t for instance hear them saying
    'All men are rapists' nowadays.They do however seek
    to implement policies which suggests they still think
    that way- ie it,s all done by stealth.

  83. Hello everyone, hope you all had a nice day.

    I am just back. Beautiful day in Glasgow, nice and relaxing in the woodlands surrounding the Burrel Colection. An interesting and varied collection, happy days indeed. It wasn't actually that busy depsite the bank holiday. Mostly it was the local bourgeoisie, the yummy mummy and organic cloth bag crowd, although there is nothing wrong with being Bourgeoisie, indeed it is preferable to the fecklessness I see among some people.

    Now I will relax before the real hard work begins tomorrow.

  84. Hi All--Yeah Cif is pretty buggered up these days. Don't normally have any problems posting there, but it's been screwy over the past several days. Irritating.

    deano--May have led you astray. As much as I would like to visit the UK this year, it's not on. The plan was for 2011.

    Good stuff from Chekhov,deano, and the Duke on football history. Can't get enough of that lore myself.

    Montana--Hang in there with those Cubs. My Red Sox are playing like the 62 Mets at the moment. Still 140 games to go, so still early days.

  85. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/03/labour-liberal-democrats-marginals-ed-balls?showallcomments=true#end-of-comments

    I just went ballistic on this thread. Read it before my comments are deleted.

    Ed is balls is asking Labour voters to vote tactically for the Lib Dems.

    Fuck him I say, they could have ended tactical voting permanently in the 13 years of a complete majority but they didn't. That is why I went nuts.

  86. hello


    feckless is an interesting word - being without feck.

    Used to mean several things now - usually derogatory.

    Feck originally meant 'unable to effect or bring about change' - so I guess we is all feckless now.

    The worst aspect of the approaching social disaster is that the majority will be defenceless - none of the decision makers , whoever they are, will have to live with the consequences of their decisions.

    What odds to them if services fail or the housing shortage continues ? We won't see the PM living on the streets or feeding his family on cheap, nutritionless food. Bugger them all - and their friends the bankers.

  87. Leni: Is LaRit still locked out? If i can help at all i will.

  88. afternoon all - Nick Griffin is being confronted on PM with an 'open mike fuck up' by one of his herberts. kind of puts Gordo's 'bigot-gate' in perspective, sounded like an apartheid cop talking...

    re: penal colony for rapists and murderers on S Georgia - he's actually boasting about the plan. Crivens.

    Oh, and bitching about the BBC. Over a phone-line that sounds like he is, indeed, hiding in a bunker. Am listening hard to see if I can hear a dog in the background...

  89. Tim Worstall from the Khaled Diab thread (emphasis mine):

    For example, the average German woman does more hours of work per week (ie, has kless leisure) than the average American woman. The Yank works more in the market, yes, but less at home.....she buys in with her earnings some of the things that the Hun has to do herself.

    The Hun??? The HUN?????!!!!!

    What is this? 19fucking42??? Who the hell seriously refers to Germans as the Hun in 2010???

    And how on earth does that pig-ignorant complete waste of human flesh have any fucking clue how much work the average "Yank" woman does in her home vs. the average "Hun"???

    God, I want to tell that piece of shit to fuck right off.

  90. Aw. Lynn Redgrave died. Always liked her.

  91. Montana

    God, I want to tell that piece of shit to fuck right off.

    I think you just have, and both eloquently and deservedly too. ;-)

  92. Medve

    Larit now having connection probs - problem with local network. SAys she'll try again later. Thanks.

  93. @Leni

    Good post on the Eurfyl ap Gylym thread.Fear it will
    fall on deaf ears as far as the Nationalists are
    concerned mind!

  94. Phillipa

    Was lolling in the bath when Nick Griffin came on. It was so funny the way Eddie M kept coming up with yet another example of 'off mike' howlers from the brethren.

    I almost feel sorry for NG - the guy really struggles. Could we suggest the BNP and its supporters relocate to the Falklands? It is after all British territory. They could have South Georgia practically to themselves and happily wave their union jacks and strut about seig heiling the penguins.

  95. Thauma -- trouble is, he won't see it here.

    My hackles seem to be getting raised by quite a lot on Cif these days. There are a few other people on Khaled's thread that made me want to scream, but Worstall's "the Hun" just put me over the edge.

  96. Paul

    wales is not unique in its problems - like all regions we have specifics - post industrial collapse results vary but the general downgrading of living standards , the scarap heap mentality nd the rejection of the people is a common factor.

    Big problem in Wales is lack of North South link. result id that N wales is tied into Manchester metroplotan ec dev with south linked to Bristol and surrounding area.

    The valleys towns in south and agri centres in west and mid Wales are isolated.

    Almost no private enterprise - local authorities are , on whole, corruption ridden and shit. Chief exec of our council paid more than PM . Some nats talking talking about selling water to Birmingham and Liverpool areas - our water supplies are collapsing - sewage backup frequent. Roads often collapse. We have one road in and out - if the mountain slips - which means *when * the mountain slips, every couple of months - we are isolated.

    Forestry now 'belongs' to Assembly, the exploitation of this is horrendous. Wind farms approved have led to rapid clear felling, environmental disaster and increased run off into victorian drainage systems. Few years ago Council sold empty council houses on open market - speculators bought 3 bed houses for 5 thousand a go - no mortgages offered to local young families.

    At Christmas local bank and only filling station here closed. Now have to drive 12 miles to both. We are small valley with about 6,000 people spread across 6 villages.

    I could go on - just get angrier.

  97. They could have South Georgia practically to themselves and happily wave their union jacks and strut about seig heiling the penguins.

    What? And have them going over there and taking all the penguins' jobs?

  98. Montana,

    Worstall is a turd of such epic proportions that he recently beat Turdzilla and Frankenturd into 2nd and 3rd place in the “Fucking massive turd of the Year” awards.

  99. Montana

    The BNP could deport the penguins - give them 50,000 pounds each to move away - that is what they will offer those deemed undesirable here - people that is , not penguins,

    I would support a separate nation idea for all racists, bigots and terminally unpleasant - we would not have to take anyones land - plenty of floating ice islands in polar regions.

  100. Leni

    Sounds as though you're hard pressed down there - but chin up old girl....we have each other and come the revolution (oh, how I wish) vengeance shall be ours. (metaphorically of course!).


    cif is so awful these days I can hardly bear to go over there. The pieces for the most part, fail to inspire and the ones that do have threads that are clogged with the likes of mam and the barely sane. I despair, I really do.

  101. Sheff,

    regarding what you said about the Nestle turd (word of the moment) earlier.

    it's like I said, that heartwrenching photo at the top is the future of day child care as the country's wealth continues to concentrate in Belize and Swiss bank accounts. Jay said earlier, we are about to live in interesting times.

    Andrew Haldane, the Bank of England director of financial stability (no laughing at the back there) said last week that the total long term cost of the bank bailout and resulting loss of output, goods and services could be up to $200 trillion dollars.

    Keep remembering here that we are constantly told by the architects of above meltdown that the country was "held to ransom" in the 1970's by workers who wanted pennies compared to what we are being held ransom to today.

    One of the fundamental arguments for Socialism is the gap between what the present system ought to make possible, the capacity of human labour to enrich the lives of those who undertake in it and the awful reality of what it actually delivers.

    Socialising the banking risks at the same time tax revenues were plummeting has replaced the risk of banking meltdown with nation states in meltdown.

    The Greeks, who let's not forget already have 20% of the population below the poverty line, now face the most appalling 'structural adjustment' which can only guarantee that they can meet their short term debts. What the long term holds, no one knows as the market fuckers continue to bet on the Greeks defaulting and thus create even less confidence in the Greek economy.

    As Larry Elliott in the Guardian pointed out last week, only the UK's floating exchange rate and long term debt maturity has allowed it to avoid a Greek style meltdown. However if you take into consideration the off balance sheet PFI debts, record budget deficit, socialised banking debts and an exceptionally unbalanced economy, you wonder what the future holds.

    Additionally, you then get arseholes like Brabeck-Letmathe of uber-corp Nestle sowing the seeds that it is somehow the workers fault that European economies are in the shit because we don't work hard enough.

    There's an astute and sly agenda here, making workers feel insecure that their labour can easily be transferred to Asian sweatshops.
    in a vile race to the bottom.

    The UK is rapidly descending into Feudalism 2.0 as the entire wealth of the country concentrates in the hands of fewer and fewer, Trade Unions are little more than HR organisations, workers rights are continuing to be diminished, insecurity is rocketing, mental health issues are at an all time high and inequality is at the highest level since WWII.

    And what is the UK about to do?

    Return a group of Eton millionaires to Government for the next five years.

  102. The BNP could deport the penguins

    Of course, being black and white they wouldn't like that would they, and they eat all the fish.

  103. We're all mad as hell!

  104. Hello again all!

    Deano - it was the T-mobile dongle that was causing problems - weirdy stuff but thanks for the info and to Leni for passing on the message .....main internet connection back on (thanks Virgin media for no telly and no proper internet for 2 days) still, I have read more in two days - no bad thing!

  105. Your Grace

    You paint a horrendous picture which I greatly fear is true. The picture at the top is so poignant and looks like the pictures I was looking at yesterday of steelworker living conditions in Sheffield in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

    And what is the UK about to do?

    I really hope we're not going to just sit on our arses and take it up the backside.

  106. Hi Larit

    Glad you're back - just in time for the fury fest !

    Sheff - Revolution ? HMM! Brit establishment has for most of our history managed to use either enough carrots or force arms to keep population subdued. Can they do it this time I wonder ?

  107. Sheffpixie:

    "Has posting on cif gone tits up or is it just me?"

    I think it's having a very bad hair day.... still in moderation, but was vigilant about times of posting..... took nearly an hour for 2 posts to be put up, lots of fiddling with the times of posting to me - holding stuff up..... and the avatars look like they've been through a spin cycle on a very old washing machine...

  108. Leni

    I imagine that if the establishment thought there was a real chance of serious upheaval the carrots would come out...and no doubt the great British public would be eating out of their hands in no time flat. As you say it always worked in the past.

    A few Ikea vouchers added to the benefits would do the trick I think.

  109. Wybourne

    Completely true.

    I have refused to knowingly buy anything from Nestle for as long as I can remember and always try - and recommend - to get things from small, local suppliers and producers wherever possible, but I also only come into contact with money and transactions on an irregular and trivial level.

    Has anyone else noticed that the old "customer is king" motto went out of the window years ago and now customers are treated as supplicants?

    If we have to court the magnificence of the corporate behemoth when we spend our money in its tills and its workers have to kowtow and tug their forelocks when they supply their labour, where are we going other than a feudal society? Always remember, that for most workers, they are told from the interview onwards that they are lucky to have a job and the company is doing them a massive favour in letting them work there.

    Add to this mix the fact that the governments in most countries are now nothing more than the PR arms of their corporate masters and we should be expecting trouble at t'mill as a certainty of the future.

    But then we had a chance when the banking scandal was at its peak - and missed it.

    We had a chance when the expenses scandal was in the news - and we missed that, too.

    We will soon have the chance of terrorising a new government which will enter office scared out of its wits - but we will fluff that one, of course.

    Still, only five more years to wait until the next election.

    Then we'll show 'em, eh?

  110. Atomboy

    However many elections we have there are no candidates who represent us. We are always presented with a no choice option.

    Only we can rectify this - just how to really challenge the establishment and the electoral system is the challenge.

    The media are now part of the establishment - we all know how hard it is to take them on - Cif and its staff are typical of the problems we face.

  111. LaRit

    Think I'm going to give up properly on cif. It just depresses me these days. Looking at my posts of late, I've only used it to vent spleen and have been thinking I should save up all that rage for when it (might be) needed a few months after this election when we have a better picture of the true shit we'll be in.

    Still, I admire those of you prepared to plod on and keep the flag flying over there.

  112. Does anyone know where all the missing trillions have gone ? Who's got the money and how can we get it back?

  113. Leni/Sheff/Duke

    Agree with so much of what you all say.It,s like the
    energy has been sucked out of so many working class
    communities.And that too many of the people have
    become apathetic and/or are turning in on each other.

    When i saw Montana,s photo at the top of the thread
    it reminded me of a picture i once saw of some homeless Jewish children in the Warsaw Ghetto during
    the WW2.For here Nazis sought to make the ghettoised
    Jews compliant and incapable of resistance through
    starvation and terrorisation before finally murdering
    them.I know that dreadful period can,t be compared
    with contemporary British working class society.

    However there is a sense here of the people being broken down in order to make them more controllable.
    Lack of effective trade union representation in the
    private sector,lack of job security,limited access to
    housing,increasingly draconian attitude of the DWP
    its side-kicks A4E,Shaw Trust and other private
    sector companies paid by results,increases in insurveillence,a media that is either hostile or
    indifferent to the working classes etc etc.

    When you add all these things together and see
    them against a backdrop of divided communities fighting for increasing scarce resources
    it doesn,t look good.Which is why i have been
    consistantly opposed to New Labours immigration
    policies-excluding asylum seekers.Because the rapid
    demographic changes that have taken place in many
    working class communities as a result of immigration
    has had the effect of rendering them more malleable.
    And if these communities do turn on each other then
    all the forces of the state have to do is contain the

  114. Paul

    The demoralisation and weakening of the people is a significant factor. Hank often asked where is all the anger ?

    I am typical of so many of us - my anger and energy is used up on piecemeal rearguard actions - trying to get sewers mended, questioning small but vital areas of local policy. Sad to think that an apology from a privatised water company is seen as a victory.

    So many problems - activists are each busy addressing local difficulties. I support womens' aid, local kids projects. Time for the bigger picture is limited - add to that fragmented networks, poor communication and no central organisation we are atomised - energy is dissipated rather than building into a force with strengthens us all.

    If we were all to list the things we are fighting to achieve locally I bet there would be a huge overlap. We are fighting what are national problems as small scale local difficulties - divide and rule.

  115. Hey Leni

    and warm thanks again ;)

    I was getting all maudlin about the prospect of missing election night on 'ere...but no more! 3-2-1 I'm back in the room. Just had a Labour canvasser around and assured him of my vote (the Lab maj. is over 9,000) and will man the phones/help out on election day. The Lib-Dem Candidate has a very nice job at KPMG and is reported to have spent £300,000 of his own money, funding his campaign - bombarding the local area with Lib-Dem newsletters, pamphlets and the like - I can tell you it's pissed me off big style.

    On a lighter note, old Gordon was in Brixton on Saturday.... apparently he had a very warm reception (will try and verify how well he did) - I know a few older West Indians who came here in the '50's and are devoted Labour Party supporters and who will not be swayed. Our ward had one of the highest turnouts in the Mayoral elections (72%) to try and defeat the arsehole Bully-Boy Bozo. Clegg was here yesterday although of course, no telly means I've not seen any "local news for local people" so I can't judge how well he went down.

    Re; Wales, as you know, my Ma has lived in N. Wales for over 20 years (my Dad with her until he died) and is voting Labour. I've seen towns like Rhyl crumbling from baject and systematic neglect before my very eyes and the misuse of millions in funding from the EU wasted on grotesque 'improvements' to the sea front ... which have the effect of making the mouldering original Victorian parade look like an elephant's graveyard, looking out onto a piss-poor version of some mad developer's idea of a dystopian N. Wales Disneyland. And then there's the vile sea-side 'luxury apartments' adding to the repugnant spectacle....

    There's also been a huge surge in 'communters' from London and property prices in some areas are as ridiculous as the SE.... depressing in the extreme.

  116. that should have been 'neglect' where the hell did 'baject' come from????

  117. La Rit

    Just don't mention Communities First or other European funded initiatives to me - I may become apoplectic. Spend too much of my time filling in grant apps. All window dressing and useless training schemes. We have enough plasterers and fork lift drivers here to service the whole third world - all unemployed and being sent yet again to retrain.

    Bloody third sector. Only third sector bits that work are the small, trully community based. Once Councils get involved it's all down hill on the gravy train.

  118. Leni

    Just don't mention Communities First or other European funded initiatives to me

    I know exactly what you mean. We've had these bodies in Sheffield administrating european money for some of our more deprived areas. I, along with a lot of others have wondered where much of the money has vanished to. As far as the Burngreave development agency was concerned (before it went broke) much of it went paying its staff fat salaries.

    We have got a couple of buildings with no money to run them and/or too expensive for local people to rent space and lots of other initiatives which have collapsed since the funding stopped..

  119. SheffPixie:

    RE: CiF

    I know, it's become unrecognisable. I think the Groin is going through some very dark changes indeed and I'm sure the effective 'gagging' of my moniker, not just me personally, but many others past and present, reflects that move to save its own ass. It was only a matter of time before they got around to censoring me.

    Basically to allow unbridled bullshit from right-wing freaks to become the norm BTL in the name of 'fairness' and the Oxbridge brigade free rein ATL to slander and belittle folk like Chomsky...

    This from Redmeat85 on the latest Brooker thread...

    "And the Graun is above such caustic, bottom feeder journalism isn't it?


    Comment is Free .....my ass... if the Groin ain't even 'Free' then 'Comment' most certainly isn't.

  120. Leni/Sheff:

    "Bloody third sector".....

    Is synonomous with Local Govt. Corruption which would even make Dame Shirley Porter envious (and which Cameron touts as 'Big Society')

    I cannot contain my ire at some of the organisations I've had the displeasure and misfortune to work for in this city over the last 10 years who trade under this deception.

    ahhh.... "The Third Sector" .... soporific double-speak for fat salaries for 'terribly nice, inclusive' middle class men and women, who are, to all intents and purposes, completely un-skilled except in their ability to attract funding on a huge scale for their 'pet' social projects to further immasculate the poor(and enrich themselves into the bargain)and from what I can gather over the last few years, enabling them to 'privatise' not only public space, but earmark it for 'development'.

  121. look no further than this....


    from 'Bernie's Blog'

    "Well, what a week! I was asked into Number 10 Downing Street on Friday to discuss CDFIs with the PM’s special advisor. It was a helpful and constructive meeting and it is clear that all our lobbying efforts are bearing fruit. The PM is really interested in what we do and is making financial inclusion a key part of his election campaign. Now, more than ever, we need to our members to get behind our campaign and work together to demonstrate we are strong and cohesive sector with a real offer; we are the only people working in this space and we should shout it from the rooftops"

    You will note that any attempts to locate 'funding' for the CDFA is rebuked by it's own website.....

  122. Evening LaRit


    Was thinking about earlier posts and on a more postive
    note there could be a chink of light at the end of the tunnel.
    New Labour will probabaly get a 'kicking' on thursday
    which will hopefully trigger off a purge in the Labour
    Movement of everything it stood for.Something better
    could then rise from the ashes.
    The public sector unions will then hopefully make a
    stand against the swingeing public sector cuts that
    will be imposed whatever government we get.And in this
    they may get support from students and other

    If we get a Tory government hellbent on introducing
    Workfare as well as even more draconian medicals
    for the sick that too could create more unrest in
    some communities.-let,s not forget benefit
    recipients are dispropotionately concentrated in
    the poorer areas.And if this leads to heavy handed
    policing then that could create flashpoints all
    over the country.

    It all sounds a bit grim but possibly these scenarios
    -which are not unrealistic-could provide the impetus
    for driving through some positive changes.But as is usually the case the working classes will be up against a largely hostile media and middle class as
    well as the forces of the state.But is it beyond
    the realms of possibility that that might just help
    foster the sense of solidarity that is sadly lacking
    at the moment?

  123. Apologies for crap layout!

  124. that that might just help foster the sense of solidarity that is sadly lacking at the moment?

    Paul, just for the record, I was a civil servant in London under Thatcher in the 80/90's. I can't remember how often we closed our office on one-day strikes opposing staff cuts and benefit cutbacks and vicious political assaults on the welfare system. (And guess what, I never even got a single penny from my union in strike pay.) Now that there are hardly any unions left, where is this solidarity to come from? We may well have another Tory government that is more ruthless than Thatcher ever was, but I see no solidarity or guts for a fight. (Think of the public reactions to to the BA strike - ooh! we can't travel to Tenerife for our spring holiday, the kids are so disappointed - bastards! The Royal Mail strike - ooh! we won't get our Amazon packages for Christmas - bastards!)
    The British working class (oops, sorry we're all middle class now) are emasculated, castrated, disembowelled, disenfranchised and bludgeoned into submission by cheap cider, Lithuanian nannies and plasma screens. There's no solidarity and no stomach for a fight. The Great British Public will roll over and take it up the arse like they've always done. Still the only European nation that never had a real revolution, and fucking proud of it! People have forgotten the last Tory government because they want to. More fool them. The recession and the austerity didn't change things then (we got New Labour) and the next five years of Tory rule won't change things now. Get used to it.

  125. The picture above makes me sad for two reasons:

    One is a rather irrational desire to bring those boys home, scrub them up and give them a good home.

    The other is the knowledge that those boys are of the generation that grew up to risk, and in some cases give, their lives to make things better, to try to forge a country where other little boys wouldn't sleep on grates in cellar window wells.

    And we're pissing it all away in this country because too many people have swallowed the myth that anyone can get rich by working 60-80 hour weeks and that anyone who isn't prepared to do that doesn't deserve a decent life.

  126. @scherfig

    OK maybe i am clutching at straws but unlike you i
    don,t want to give up just yet.I,m not stupid--
    i see the problems and everything you say does sadly
    ring true.So what are you proposing?That we all just
    bend over and get shatfted without even considering
    our options?

  127. It's been a long day, I'm not going to be able to add anything meaningful, but:

    "They could have South Georgia practically to themselves and happily wave their union jacks and strut about seig heiling the penguins"

    is just such a lovely image that I have to salute it...

    (asked Penguin his opinion, he squawked a bit and made what looked like the universal sign for 'wanker' with his flipper)

  128. Philippa -- do you, by any chance, remember my comment on the Carole Cadwalladr thread yesterday well enough to give me some clue as to why it would be deleted? I can't think of anything I said that would have violated the talk policy -- except, perhaps, when I said to olimpia, "You have a PhD and you don't know the difference between an opinion piece (which this clearly is) and news analysis?" Is that ad hom?

  129. Although, Mary Fitzgerald's piece on 'Posh' makes me have to share something. She says:

    Young, relatively naive people (kids, really) tend to join these elitist clubs for much simpler, baser reasons; to drink, show off, smash things and, above all, to make friends and fit in.

    Now, all of that is true, with one very important rider - it's to make more friends - you don't get in unless you already have friends in the circle. She makes it sound like they have a stall up at freshers' fair. They don't - it's invitation only and god forbid anyone should actually try to invite themselves. It's a social circle that precedes university - built in school. Of course they don't see how 'rigged' it is - it's been all they've ever known - and if they keep on that path at uni then they pass up the chance to see different. It's self-perpetuating...

    her characters are needlessly two-dimensional; the script, narrative and direction allow no room for nuance

    I've met some of these jokers - that sounds fairly accurate. And 'getting chateau-ed' is bang on, linguistically. Sounds like the kind of play that makes you want to shoot someone. Anyway...

  130. Montana - I don't remember any creative swearing or threats to kill, no...moderation, as I was saying earlier, seems to have taken a very weird turn (weirder than usual, if that's possible). Must be pre-election jitters.

  131. unlike you i don,t want to give up just yet.

    I haven't 'given up' as such, Paul, not 'politically' on a broader basis anyway. But I left the UK almost twenty years ago, so I don't really have a dog in this particular fight. It's up to you guys to sort it out. For the sake of me old pensioner mum and the family I still have there, I hope it'll be OK, but you'll forgive me if I have little faith in that.

  132. Yes Shef and that is precisely the problem and is exactly where I disagree with the article. The whole question of power in the capitalist sense is not where I want to be, Not because I'm a woman but because I am a socialist.

    But women often put themselves last their children will always come first if needs must. I'm sure most fathers do to but in this society they rarely get the chance to as the imperitive to earn must always come first.

  133. This comment has been removed by the author.

  134. Sheff - you underestimate the awesome powers of penguins to organise and resist, my friend.

    When they're not busy falling over backwards watching RAF fly-bys, that is...

  135. Paul

    On balance, I'm with you on not giving up but there are definitely times when I despair along with scherf.

    Whatever happens on Thursday we need to prepare for the next few years being pretty hellish for a lot of people - and it won't be the ones who deserve the pain either which is what is really getting to me.


    I suppose it is a bit harsh to inflict the bnp on charming and blameless penguins but everyone has to take some pain these days!

  136. @scherfig

    Sorry i,m not quite sure where you coming from as you
    seem to be contradicting yourself.

    Your final riposte to me in your first post was-
    'Get used to it'-ie nothings gonna change and
    basically you guys are screwed.That the scenarios that
    i felt COULD be possibilities had no chance of fruition.Yet in your second post your position seemed
    to have softened!So i,m not entirely sure why in
    your first post you were so quick to dismis out of
    hand what i was saying.

  137. Paul + Sherfig

    We are all guessing - and in my case hoping - that things may change.

    It is about the carrots - the level to which the standard of lving for the majority slips.

    If many who have been enjoying foreign holisays etc is dramatically reduced through unemplyment or tax changes perceptions may alter.

    The long dispossessed - elderly, sick, long term unemployed - may qiute suddenly find themselves with new allies/ Much will depend opon whether or not there will develope a new solidarity or further societal fragmentation ocurrs.

  138. All

    (Paul - evening to you too)

    needs must...

    So much to say, eyes closing though....

    More on the morrow..

    G'night :-)

  139. Paul, I see no contradictions in what I've said. Neither did I dismiss out of hand what you said, I just found your scenario improbable, based on personal experience (public sector unions futilely protesting against Thatcher's cuts in the 80's).

    btw, my position rarely softens. That's just a cross I have to bear and it pisses people off on occasion. Bummer! :0)

    No offence intended anyway.

  140. Leni, I really hope you're right and I am wrong, but have you seen any evidence of a 'sea-change'? I haven't - I think it will get worse. Sorry to be so negative but you remember Thatcher and how that worked out, don't you?

  141. @scherfig

    Wasn,t offended at all.As i said before a lot of what you said sadly rings true.And i,ve acknowledged on numerous occasions that life in Britain is gonna get tougher for a lot of people over the next few years.
    Am just looking a possible scenarios which hopefully
    could sow the seed for better times.Not living in
    cloud cuckoo land because whatever happens a lot of
    people are gonna get hurt in the process.Not good!

    Anyway good hearing from you and hope alls well with

  142. All's well, Paul, thanks, hope you're doin' good. It could be an interesting discussion here on Friday - I'll try to look in if I can.

    Here's a song for you and anyone who hasn't heard it before (I've posted it here a few times, yaaawn)

    no time for love

  143. Sherfig

    What I see at the moment is a lot of rather frightened people who are, at this stage , worried about it will all mean for them - as individual. many are already living on the edge. I see very little thought about the overall situation or any sense of the possibility of collective action.

    But, as I said, change may come when the seriousness and the extent of the problems hit us. I agree that we have left it too late to stave off the worst - we have either ignored it or struggled away at local problems without a full awareness of the national problems.

    The unions were long ago destroyed and as the manufacturing base - here the mining - collapsed people slowly came to accept that keeping heads down and either obeying the rules, or breaking them as inobtrusively as possible was the way forward. The initiative was lost long since.

  144. Leni I think you are right. In the short term things are going to get worse and people will keep their heads down in the hope (often a vain hope) that they can hang on to something.

    Things will eventually start to recover that is the best time for a fightback.

    On the activist front however its different when (and I think its now almost acertainty) Labour looses we have to encourage those that left the party to return and campaign to make Labour the party of the working class again. In the coming period many who think they are middle class will begin to see they are not (they can't live without working - classic Marxist definition of 'proletariat').We no longer have a significant industrial w/c because we no longer have any industry but plenty of junior admin staff and people who work in call centres are working class.

    Another reason why the class did not move during the credit crunch was the complete lack of an adequate leadership. As you say its not only the LP thats been destroyed but the unions are ineffective and timid, prefering to police the class rather than lead it.

    Feels like we are back to pre 1901 doesn't it? If so we have to do what they did - BUILD!

  145. Philippa, what struck me as especially odd about it is that most of my comment was directed at this olimpia person, who I thought made some really nasty and baseless comments to/about Cadwalladr, but I don't feel like I was abusive in any way. I got deleted. She didn't. I was defending the Observer's columnist. ???

  146. Montana - as an old college mate of mine once said about quantum physics "stop trying to understand it, and just go with it"...

    Daft, I know. Still can't work out the issue on the HIV thread. Just go with it, I suppose.

    Brown article shaping up to be a real doozy. Princess has set a high standard for the rest of us.

  147. Anne

    Yes - the ground we have lost is almost unbelievable. Penny in the Pound looms on the horizon. We have to rebuild.

    A major problem as I understand it here is that the old left failed to win battle to save mines. It seems that after that battle was lost the energy was gone.

    The generation that followed - particularly young men and those about to enter work force - went one of two ways. Driven by anger and a sense of betrayal they either bought into the benefits culture with their parents or they disassociated from the left - the failure. Convinced by call centre jobs they were moving into the hi tech industries they 'moved on'. Part of this moving on was to join the consumer society.

    Suddenly their security is threatened again. The failure of leadership has left a vacuum which has yet to be filled. The lessons have to be learned again.

    I was in Sussex in the 80s - I remember that people who lost jobs lost union membership - this was a huge mistake. Remember the Claimants union ? I was lecturing then in tertiary college - saw apprenticeships go - battled for students on day release - could see it all slipping away. Then worked for refugee agency - many housed in really run down areas where noone else wanted o live. The underbelly of our society never really went away - successive gvts, merely averted their eyes.

    From which ever end of the telescope we view it little has changed - we are back where our parents and grandparents started from.

  148. Tee Hee, Ch3ck it 1 time!

    And a happy Star Wars day to one and all!!!

    May The Fo(u)rth be With You!

  149. scherfig. I have written a lenghy response to what you have said on my blog. Peruse at your own pleasure.

  150. Why am I the only poster on this site that gets the "dustbin" after my posts?
    Am I on probation or summat?

  151. Chekhov. We all get the dustbin, but only for us. It is an option to delete our posts. Obivously we can only delete our own posts (altohugh Montana may be able to delete anybody's as the blog owner) so I see my bin and you see your bin

  152. I can go back to CIF if I want "pre mod"!

  153. Nap: thanks for clarifying that. I didn't know how it worked. That's ok. It's Montana's blog so she sets the rules. I'm ok with that.

  154. Chekhov,

    The dustbins are a Blogger thing, not up to me. Except that, as the blog admin, I have dustbins by everyone's comments. I've only ever used it in fairly extreme circumstances, though.

    Just read Monbiot's piece about not voting for Labour. Beautiful, but really depressing to have Labour's betrayal of it's former principles so starkly laid out.

  155. leni: you mentioned earlier that you thought I was a lot younger from reading my posts on CIF.
    Did you mean younger as in "naive" or "cynical". I'm an actor so I'm a bit of a "nerd" about researching pedantic distinctions. I hesitated to log on to this site after effectively banning myself from CIF because I didn't want Hank calling me out as a fraud.
    Does any of this make any sense?

  156. @Montana

    Agreed.Monbiot hit a few nails on the head with that
    piece.Certainly put an uncomfortable spotlight on
    some of the Grauns finest.Talking of which i don,t
    know if you,ve noticed but UT has gained an
    intermittent lurker from Italy.Could it possibly
    be a certain somebody who holidays in Tuscany?

  157. I personally am a bit fearful of what this short period of 'things getting worse' before we people stand up and revolt means for us who are on the breadline already is going to be like.

    Yes I am lucky, I have a computer (got it from the Open University or else I wouldn't have one) and I steal broadband from a neighbour (or I wouldn't even have this say).

    I am on incapacity benefit and by the end of the fortnight I am basically scrounging food from my family, I budget my money and it still doesn't last, I can't remember the last time I bought clothes that were not from primark or a jumble sale.

    If things get worse for me then I just don't know how I will cope.

  158. Sorry that first paragraph makes no sense but you know what I mean.

    Went to my sisters for tea today and she had booze so I am a lot tipsy.

    My point still stands though.

  159. Chekhov

    You always make sense to me. No I didn't think you naive - just felt you were a young man with a fresh view on life.

    So - you are an actor - do we know you?

  160. Very good article by Monbiot.

    I don't agree with it all but it is a suprise that they published it at all.

    I have an irrational dislike of him because he is doing the same pose and wearing the same shirt as Andrew Brown (who I think is a total shit).

  161. Jenni

    The problem is we don't yet know how bad things will be. I understand that you are worried - people are already being reassessed for incapacity benefit.

    Many of us here will be both affected and effected by what is going to be a time of stringent cuts. Best to wait until final plans are published before getting worried and upset.

  162. @Anne - I owe you a reply to the 'bilge' thing, which I'll have to do tomorrow - no offence intended by my post, obviously.

    @Everybody else - I've spent long enough around the place to wonder how far the ratchet can go before it snaps. I thought it was too far in 1980, then too far ten years later, then too far in 2003, and it was never far enough. I'm nor sure how much pain would be enough.

    Best wishes, all, and we'll have to wait and see.

  163. Did I hear aright - Gordy calling for a march for justice - bit late now to go all lefty and demo orientated.

  164. Leni

    Easier said than done, not just because I suffer from anxiety.

    My sister works as a job searcher (not the real title but I can't remember it).

    She basically works with vunerable members of society to try and find them work, it is generally only for a couple of hours per week.

    As part of her job she attends the new medicals that people on incapacity have to attend and she is horrified and hopeless at the results.

    She went last week to an ESA medical with a client who has communication difficulties (the Dr couldn't understand what he said and he genuinely didn't know what day of the week it was) and he got zero points.

    It is not too soon to start worrying it is too late.

  165. @Jennifera

    From what i understand it,s important to have your
    GP or any other Health Professionals onside so make
    them fully aware of your fears.They are after all
    supposed to be advocates on your behalf.


    Hope you,ll continue to post on UT when Cif lift
    your pre-mod status.Quite a few people post on both!

  166. Jenni

    i wasn't trying to minimze you worries - I do understand . Yes overall too late to start worrying and expect good results. The fight back will have to happen - how much more we will have to lose before that happens I really don't know.

  167. Paul

    To alleviate my rising anger and despondancy I feel I need to be rude to someone.

    Please consider yourself insulted.

  168. @Leni

    I consider myself insulted!

  169. Go on insult my feckless arse.

    It will make me feel like i belong. ;)

  170. leni: I turned 50 last year but I will always have a refreshing look on my life!You won't have seen me in anything. I didn't become an actor to achieve fame and money. I did it because it's important that drama can influence people to make the right decisions. As Brecht said: "Theatre is superfluous but it must be understood that it is the superfluous for which we live!

  171. Time for a tune while I wait for my daughter to report safe arrival?

    Oh, go on then.

  172. Good for you chekov that is a great way to live.

    So they replaced my commmenting rights (i.e. I can log in) but I am not allowed to comment.

    I hope it is because of the bank holiday but I doubt it, they want me to beg.

  173. Chekhov

    In one of my many career ups and downs I did quite a lot of drama with very disturbed boys. Most of them were natural actors and enjoyed the chance to act out so much of their anger and/or angst. They could be very moving without realising it- touched many hearts.

    I am still trying to work out what I want to do when I grow up.

  174. @leni-hope you haven,t been smashing the crockery!!

    @chekhov-if you,re doing what you enjoy doing and
    you,re able to survive and you,re reasonably happy
    then you,re one lucky man

  175. Jenni

    a girl keeps her pride and never begs.

    Very soon Cif will have no regular posters left. So many of the one time faithful are gone.

  176. UT has gained an
    intermittent lurker from Italy.Could it possibly
    be a certain somebody who holidays in Tuscany?

    Oh, I'd imagine the UT is far too low to be within her field of vision. I'd noticed the Italian lurker, myself, and was wondering if perhaps Dan Pearce was back in Italy but still unable to comment for some reason.

    It is interesting to see some of the flags that pop up on there. I'm actually a bit surprised to see that, according to the counter, there are still 17 people in the UK online right now. Bit late for you people to be up on a school night, isn't it?

  177. Leni

    I never would.

    I don't have many rules but not begging to be accepted is one of them. ;)

    They contacted me first (well Isabella did) and now I am allowed back in , I don't think it's worth it.

  178. +Paul

    I tend to fulminate internally - rarely explode. Once - long time ago - when children were young I worked part time in office. I was so bored with the trivia of the business and angry at the self important petty rules I pulled all the phones out and threw files across the room before flouncing out. The boss came to see me and begged me to return.

  179. Leni: so am I! Do you want to make a film or write a script together?

  180. Montana

    Who,s Dan Pearce?

  181. Montana

    I look at the flags too - wonder if all the lurkers are ciffers or peeps who light upon us by chance.

    Strangers must think we are an odd lot.

  182. Chekhov

    would love to do something like that. Have a sort of scenario - about a guy who 'loses his marbles' - They all float off like bubbles enabling others to live part of his life. Come I think from my awareness of all the unused parts of me - shouting sometimes 'what about me '

    we all have parts of personality, talents and abilities which lie rusting - sometimes they want to take control of hands and brain.

  183. Leni

    Stark raving bonkers i,d imagine!!

  184. Leni and Chekhov

    Maybe you could produce a cyber version of Romeo
    and Juliet-obviously with the right sorts of 21 st
    Century twists!

  185. Paul

    Is the raving bonkers a reference to my good self ? Others have said so - but I survive.

  186. Paul

    Ah - I see- my reference to odd lot. Sorry my mind is busy writing a script. I will concentrate.

  187. Paul

    The balcony scene would be difficulkt - I suppose I could stand on the table with laptop while Chekhov sat on the floor.

  188. This comment has been removed by the author.

  189. I couldn't sleep tonight so I watched the first 3 episodes of Five Girls on BBCi, I was told it was good by a couple of people.

    I don't think I will ever whinge about my life again.

    What a great (if sanitised) look at those whose lives are truly unbearable.