04 May 2010


John Wycliffe and Jan Hus were both condemned as heretics by the Council of Konstanz in 1415.  Two heretics, one council.  Isn't intolerance fun?  The Haymarket Riot of Chicago resulted in the deaths of 8 people in 1886.  Students gathered in Tienanmen Square in 1919 to protest the Treaty of Versailles.  At Kent State University in 1970, four students were killed and nine wounded when the Ohio National Guard fired on a protest of the US invasion of Cambodia.

Born today:  Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993), Dick Dale (1937) and Cesc Fábregas (1987).

It is the Day of Remembrance of the Dead in the Netherlands and the Day of Remembrance of Martyrs and the Disabled in Afghanistan.


  1. Charade is my all-time favourite movie. Happy Birthday, Audrey.


    Dan Pearce used to be a Ciffer & a regular here. Lived in Italy, then he & his wife bought a "riad" in Marrakech. He went there to run it. Last I knew (which was months ago) he was still reading the UT but couldn't post for some reason. His comics are still up on his blog -- and there's a link there to the riad, which is beautiful. Second link on the "Other Cif-related Sites" list on the right.

  2. good morning. 2 days to the election. David Cameron has announced he is to campaign for 24 hours solid, visiting places in the middle of the night. No doubt fawning covedrage from Sky News.

  3. NapoleonK

    "David Cameron has announced he is to campaign for 24 hours solid"

    I hope he's got some good marching powder to keep him going ;)

  4. Jennifera & Checkov:

    Hoe long has the pre-mod been in place?

  5. Hello, Hello to you La Rit. I was pre-modded but after saying 3 rosaries and 5 Hail Marys they took me off. It's a hard place to leave a comment these days.

    Election? What election? It's like a campaign for school president.

    A NapoleonK: you forget 'in shirtsleeves'

  6. Happy Star Wars Day! May the fourth be with you, always.

    Hey Nap that youse slippin in tae the patter? Cameron is a CoveRadge! Like it! Are you in a cafe at 7.48? Hope the job hunt brings home the bacon...

  7. Morning all - have just listened to a bizarre interview with Peter Hain on Today. Urging everyone to vote tactically to keep the Tories out and saying that he'd like to see Labour and LibDems working together whatever the result. Ed Balls apparently saying something similar. Looks like the 'we're going to win' thing has finally been jettisoned by those with any sense of reality...

  8. As well as the sterling work from princesscc, rednorth, rapideddie et al on the Brown thread, just saw this little gem from ReluctantRioter in response to "I know in my bones that Labour is the only party with a passion to eradicate poverty."

    Your bones are lying to you, Gordon. Worse than that, they're nicking ideas off the Lib Dems.

  9. ***message for scherfig***


    ages ago on Anne's William Morris article, I made reference to Orwell's accusations of Morris's "windbaggery".

    Found the book last night as I unpacked. Bernard Crick makes reference to this in his biography of Orwell referencing him in one of Orwell's "As I please" articles from Dec 1946.

    Thorstein Veblen is another I am looking at that you made reference to. His writings in the 1920's seem exceptionally prescient to the present day's socio-economic situation.

    I'll do a bit of investigating.

  10. Hello, hello to you Ms Robinson!

    well, just logged in and that nasty red message "this comment will be held for moderation" has been lifted after an infuriating week.

    However, this is the 3rd time this has happened now and I wonder what mild-mannered comment will provoke the next fit of pique amongst the Mods? Reading the trouble that Monatana had, I'm beginning to wonder......

  11. @La Rit..Oh they had me on mod ASBO for two weeks. Fucking useless. It's a result of putting relatively experienced online journalists online. Look at some of the comments on New York Times, even better New York Magazine. They wouldn't make it anywhere here..not even on a Hadley Freeman article.

  12. Ms Robinson:

    2 weeks???? I'm gob-smacked. I was fully expecting my Asbo to go on for longer, a week was bad enough.

    The trouble is, you then spend your time trying to second-guess what the mods are thinking, as soon as you either a) let your guard down or b) unwittingly allude to something which is 'taboo' but not directly expressed/outlined in the Talk Policy and Guidlines - you're fucked.

    I'll check out the comments on NYT and NY Magazine....

  13. Scherfig.

    I have responded to you on my blog.
    I don't deny that my article was disjointed, somehwat incoherent and unstructured. But I was responding to a cif article, which proclaimed, 'No imigrants means no NHS' I hate the Tories as much as anyone but such scaremongering and hyperbole.

    As I said, I would happily perform a low skilled low paying in poor conditions NHS job than working in a bar or Starbucks, as long as I am valued and I myself have a sense of doing 'good',
    (With privatisation however, the last incentive for people to do these types of jobs- sense of community and social duty- is destroyed. Resist privatisation in the NHS.)

  14. "With privatisation however, the last incentive for people to do these types of jobs- sense of community and social duty- is destroyed. Resist privatisation in the NHS.)"

    I was thinking about that the other day - i would imagine people are more willing to work for a given wage in the NHS if public than private as it is clearly more socially rewarding to work for a public NHS than a private, profit making NHS.

  15. The big draw of the public sector is the good pay for little or no work. My partner worked with a woman 20 years ago, who sat and played solitaire on the pc all day, for 20k back then. She's still in a cushy council job, promoted, good pension, and I doubt she has done a stroke in the last 2 decades..

    This is the problem, people will swing the lead if given the chance, and much more so in the public sector. The billions all the parties are desperatly looking for in cuts, could be found twice over in efficiency savings. Cut the deadwood, sack the timewasters and middle-managers, restore pride in jobs well done...

    Is that a herd of Glouster Old Spot overhead?

  16. Jay
    I would be happy to work in a hard low paid job at the NHS if I had a badge proclaiming that I am part of a team, I felt a part of a team. You feel you are part of the process, from the doctors, nurses and downwards

    I am not a socialist, although I have 'socialist' aspects, I value community and social duty.

    Posters like MAM (see yesterday 'economies can grow infinitely) do not take into account this very human trait, that of collective identity and humanity.

  17. turminder. What you are saying is unfortunately true, I have found many public sector workers who seem to do little.

    Yet, a balance has to be struck. No one working in a hospital for example has time to be playing around on a computer, except I suppose the administrative staff. Do we privatise the admin? Maybe, maybe not. They may be earning £20k to do little, but the healthcare assistants and cleaners are on £12-15k to really do hard work, and they are often already privatised making their conditions even worse.
    As they are actually doing work (and hard work at that) they should have the same pay and condtions as the admin staff.

  18. And with all that said, I am going out now to get a job.

  19. All very true Nap, a sad state of affairs. But can society change enough, that no one earns more than 10 times the lowest sallary and that sallary is enough to live on? Last year with 7 months work and 5 months brew, I earned in total about 7k. I paid £400 paye tax, and the hoops that have to be jumped thru to get that cash back? I've already spent over an hour on the phone, waiting fot HMRC to pick up and when they did... "you'll have to send us you p60.." Which the council don't issue till end of May, That £300 overpayment would make a real difference to me. But the fat cats send all their moolah offshore and pay buggerall tax. It makes my blood boil!

  20. Naploeon/Jay,

    the market based approach is deeply distrustful of the 'social' rewards that working in public services bring. Satisfaction in a job done can't be measured, therefore it is useless in market based delivery eyes.

    In the neo-liberal environment everything in the public services has to be a transaction- targets, targets, targets.

    For instance, the NHS has had horrendous problems with MRSA and other 'superbugs'. The rise of superbugs is closely linked with the increase in the frequency of contracts for cleaning staff from the late 80's/early 90's.

    Most cleaning was outsourced and these agencies increased the frequency of contracts from one year to 3 months to monthly in many cleaners cases.

    The results of this in our hospitals are clear to see. 'Flexible workforce' means a manifold increase in 'here today, gone tomorrow' cleaners. Relationships between cleaning staff and nursing staff cannot be built, no-one has a feel for the wards, what has to be cleaned etc etc. Notwithstanding the justified resentment of the cleaners working in an exceptionally insecure working environment, spurious hours worked "targets" are met but the standards of service plummet sometimes with deadly consequences. Non-one in hospital cleaning can feel pride in their job because they are treated as a 'transaction'.

    And this is the lowest level of the NHS. Take one look at the waiting lists scandals which frequently appear with patients being shuffled about, operations being cancelled so other operations can meet targets or patients being left on corridors designated as 'wards' so the target sheet can be ticked.

    The more the marketisation of public services tries to justify itself with more and more target driven measures, the more it destroys the fabric of public services- that of delivering a public service.

    Relentless targeting can also be seen in teaching, where teachers are administering kids to jump through hoops. Result? A diminished education system which fails the very targets the target based approach was implemented for.

    The fundamental basis of targets in neo-liberalist public service is that people cannot be trusted. And the more targets are implemented, the more the frequency of agency contracts are increased, the more insecurity in the public service workforce, the less efficient the public service will be. It's the great contradiction.

    There's no space for trust in the delivery of public services in the marketised world.

  21. Hear hear 13th! Better than anything I've read on Cif in months! Hope the Netherlands are treating you well. ; )

  22. La Rit

    I believe that Lord Summerisle was banned because he was put on pre mod a third time (three strikes and your out is apparently the rule).

    I was banned then told I could come back but I still can't comment, I am not that bothered but I dislike being lied to.

    Great comment Duke.

  23. ...but I dislike being lied to.

    Which is why I gave away my freeview box, stopped reading the paper and am doing my damnedest to ignore the election! F'all is going to get better, sack all MPs. Burn Westminster, Grrr.

  24. Turminder:

    "The big draw of the public sector is the good pay for little or no work. My partner worked with a woman 20 years ago, who sat and played solitaire on the pc all day, for 20k back then. She's still in a cushy council job, promoted, good pension, and I doubt she has done a stroke in the last 2 decades.."

    The 2 temp jobs that I've had in the (back-office) NHS services were a real eye opener. 13thDuke sums it up perfectly re: outsourcing on the frontline held in place by a complex structure of over-paid 'managers' trying to hit efficiency targets... It's the back office and the waste involved in the managerial structures there which are such a drain and most evident.

    In the department I worked, each section had a manager, a deputy, another person whose main function appeared to be managerial, but who spent her entire time passing her work onto me and filling in time before going on maternity leave with her 3rd child, 2 administrators (one employee and one temp who had no function as far as I could see other than looking at the work that the manager, then deputy manager had delegated and spying on me and keeping a note of my comings and goings) they then all delegated work to me (admin assistiant)and to the full-time adminsistrator/assistant (who did the bulk of the work for half the wage).

    It was an absolute farce and this was multiplied in each separate 'section' totalliing about 14.....so for starters, that's 28 people whose work consists mainly of 'budgeting' and going to meetings where nothing is discussed(and paid between 35,000 and 45,000)and that is just one department within the NHS back office services.

    In addition to the 28 managers and deputies, there were 4 other managers, an HR manager and the Chief exec of the department..... all who must have been on wages into the high 80,000's to no doubt well over £150,000 for the Chief Executive (who never seemed to work more than a 2 or 3 day week) this hierarchy was held together by a complex system of bullying, intimidation, spying and secret reporting....there were some very good, hard-working people in there who as far as I was concerned, were value for money, but the rest??? a complete waste of time and valuable resources.

  25. Morning all


    Interested in your post about NHS cleaners.Weren,t
    they called Ancillary workers when they were employed
    directly by the NHS? And when the cleaning function
    was palmed out to private sector companies in the
    80,s didn,t the wages for cleaners fall so the private co,s could make that all-important profit for themselves?

    NHS hospitals are also getting more and more dependant
    on private secot agency nurses especially to cover night shifts.So many patients now experience 'here today and gone tomorrow'nursing which can obviously have a negative effect on the quality of their care.And may increase the likelihood of mistakes being made.

  26. You're all right about the cleaners but lay off the admin staff. I work in Health and where I work I have frequent (almost daily) dealings with the Primary Care Trust head office over the road. About four hundred employees over there. Most admin posts are Band 4, circa 18-21 k. But there are hardly any admin posts. Most admin posts left are in fact peopled by temps, on about 8/9 quid per hour.

    There are however literally hundreds of middle management posts, who seem to achieve fuck all, and earn 30-50k per year.

    They call endless meetings and yet the innovate little and actually achieve nothing. No, it's a bit of a red herring to focus on admin staff as any significant source of waste.

    I also have dealings with both the acute / general hospitals in my county, where admin/ancillary costs have been slashed to below the bare minimum, and wards are run at absolute capacity, and stupid, wasteful managerial decisions are made daily because they are constantly fire fighting. This is probably a more accurate depiction of NHS waste.

    Solitaire ? I know there are some people still working in the public sector - my previous contract was data analyst in the County Council - who you wouldn't trust to tie their laces right let alone understand how to bring value added to their department. It makes you wince to see how dumb and uninvolved some back-office workers can seem. But the same is true of the private sector.

    I have also worked in the private sector - telecoms and technology - and have seen just what the returns on outsourcing admin roles to India were: 1/3 salary costs and ten day's holiday per anum, but very poor communication skills, very high turnover in staff in Chennai (no loyalty - wonder why!) double handling, led to dissatisfied internal customers all over UK – and not least because the “shop floor” culture in Southern India is very much like going back fifty years in the UK or longer. Higher caste managers with no fucking clue barking orders at cowed and innovation-averse subordinates, who try to team-work every tiny problem rather than take pride in individual task ownership.

    All in all, I don't think attacking the perceived commitment and ability of admin / support / ancillary staff is fair or would bring much return if outsourced (which the NHS will never do).

    It's much fairer to ask how the NHS can e.g. be employing executives who live in Canada on £70k + per anum UK tax payers’ cash.

    The same bunch of bastards that gave Patricia Hewitt her directorships at Boots, BT and elsewhere (PFI consultancies) following her abysmal stint as worst Secretary for Health ever that are causing calamitous waste and greed, jealously guarded fiefdoms and silo-working that epitomises NHS management structures.

    Put it otherwise, if you want answers to the problems in the public sector, just look at the car park outside your local General Hospital and count the Porsches, Jaguars and Range-Rover Sports in the staff car park. You can bet your last quid home they aren't all owned by clinicians.

  27. Bitterweed:

    "Most admin posts are Band 4, circa 18-21 k. But there are hardly any admin posts. Most admin posts left are in fact peopled by temps, on about 8/9 quid per hour."

    That has exactly been my experience. Only some temps had 'added-value' like the one whose main purpose appeared to be spying on other temps like me (and other employed staff)and reporting to management.

    "There are however literally hundreds of middle management posts, who seem to achieve fuck all, and earn 30-50k per year"

    My experience exactly.

    And the employee and temp admin staff doing the bulk of the work of vacuous nonsense dreamed up in meetings about nothing, implementing meaningless 'strategies'. Almost Kafkaesque. Long term middle-management NHS employees were interspersed with those who had quit the private sector for clearly lucrative posts within the NHS and a tasty pension and they were all doing bloody nicely out of the tax payer.

  28. Bitterweed,

    what my wife has to say about NHS management doesn't bear repating on a UT family chatsite. She says exactly the same thing as you have highlighted above but with extra sweary words(she's a nurse).

    Additionally, she says the diminution of Doctor's secreatries jobs is having an enormous knock on effect as essential letters don't reach patients which in turn affects appointments etc etc.

    So whilst this absolutely vital role is being diminished with one secretary having to do 3 or sometimes more Doctor's paperwork, the management carry on regardless.

    She also highlighted the problems with having a transient cleaning workforce. In her previous job, one week she regularly had to explain the same thing each night to different cleaners about where to clean.

    She has noticed cleaning standards slipping dramatically over the years as you have such a transient workforce who are given no incentive to take any pride in their job as they are constantly shifted, paid peanuts and treated like shit.

  29. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/the-first-punch-came-landing-on-my-nose-sending-blood-down-my-face-1961464.html

    Tower Hamlets, a hotbed of democratic integrity. I'm sorry, I'm not feeling the vibrancy on this story.

  30. Cameron piece on World@1 - he sounds bloody knackered already. Like Carter jogging...

  31. Jay, there's a new MacShane piece up this morning too....

  32. La Rit,
    Yup, top heavy and toxic. The spy story is abominable, but beleiveble. I could easily imagine the Chief Executive and his pocket Directors in our Mental Health Trust doing far worse to maintain control. If you ever hear the words "consultation document" uttered by HR prior to any NHS reorganisation (excpect lots and lots then in the near future), expect: bullying, lying, duplicity, documents re-dated, documents shredded, and total supine concordance with the executive from HR and serial abuse of staff by HR.

    Exactly. (And please do swear if it adds piquancy). A case in point - Hospital Doctors' letters to GP on patients' discharge from hospital now have to be written at end of - or during a long, sometimes very long shift. Makes sense to business managers on £45k per year to introduce this - at saving of 1 secrtetary per shift. Bu the GPS don't get the letters on time or worse- they get them with incorrect medical/medicines information. Potentially disastrous. For the sake of "efficiencies".

    Kicking out hospital seceretaries is not "efficiency", it's a justification for Business Manager previoulsy from Tescos or the Prison Service to demand a decent Mercedes as part of his/her "package".

    "Family UT chatsite". Like it... but these people are fucking bastards.

  33. Just reading the Monbiot piece. Can you tell I've got a day off ???

  34. "Jay, there's a new MacShane piece up this morning too...."

    I dont know if i can handle a MacShane piece today but might have to have a look now you've mentioned it - damn you, Turgle!

  35. Monbiot's piece is superb, BW.

    Philippa - maybe 24-hour campaigning will produce a volcanic gaffe? We can only hope.

  36. BW - Monbiots piece was superb i thought.

  37. Knew you wouldn't be able to resist....

  38. Fuck me


    "Inequality in the United Kingdom is bnow higher than at any point since consistent records began, in 1989. I feel that needs repeating. After 13 years of Labour government, the UK has higher levels of inequality than after 18 years of Tory government."

    Not according to Gary Yonge. The UK is now a much more tolerant and diverse country, and Labour has left the UK a more open minded place.

    That's alright then Gary. You give my love to New York.

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. A late good morning dear friends.

    Another night of wildly interesting nightmares Lenni - I just couldn't quite make out which fegging order the nuns were from, nonetheless I did wake up with a strange desire to spend a week camping in the grounds of a nunnery.

    I suppose there must be a pervs guide to the different habits/headgear of nuns orders somewhere out there??

    Perhaps I could even be persuaded to abandon my life of indolent idleness if a job as gardener became available in the right kind of nunnery. (Nap - if there's one going your way and you don't fancy it yourself let me know - hope something stimulating turns up for you, don't just rely on jobcentres!!)

    Just back from a walk in the lovely May sunshine here. I do like dandelions which through the photochromic lens of my specs have such a vibrant colour which always attracts my eye. Their starburst exploded shape always pleases me, and always reminds me of the nipple of a fine woman.

    They really are a dynamic flower which physically and visibly move so readily in response to changing light. They open and close
    so readily - as I say a sheer delight, right up there along with lady librarians and saucy nuns in my list of favourite things.

    A quick scan suggests some interesting posts above to read more carefully and think about later -

    Good to see LaRit& MsR back and A42 on fine form.

    (am hopeful that one day we will get MsR to do us a piece on the black arts of advertising for our UT2)

    Montana UT as ever a place of synchronicity for me.

    In response to the Italian flag (that also caught your eye and curosity) at only 10.45 am (GMT) yesterday I posted over on Danpearce's comic blog that his no show on his comic strip was a matter of mild concern!!

    Sheff - me scanner is fucked if I don't get it sorted before I'll bring the pictures to the get together. (Promise .....where is that pencil)

    PeterJ - hope daughter landed well. It pleased me to think that we had enjoyed same teashop and pubs.

    laters all I be determined to do some work to day.

  41. "The UK is now a much more tolerant and diverse country, and Labour has left the UK a more open minded place.

    That's alright then Gary. You give my love to New York."

    He's right, BW - look at how much wealth diversity we have now - illegal cleaners on £2 an hour and bank bosses getting £50million bonuses. Feel the diversity!

  42. The one thing Monbiot misses on his "sop the the bosses" paragraph - and this is key to the immigration debate - is that while Germany and France both opted to put sliding cap on E European accession economic migration - based on skills assesment and skills shortages, Blair / Brown / Mandleson did not. They koew that unfettered ecomomic migration would give bosses exactly what they thought they might lose through European Working Time directive - a large and very - very - maleable pool of cheap reserve labour. On-costs on infrastructre and services aside, the impact it had on our tolerance towards deserving asylum seekers has been dire.

    New Labour, as ever: fuck the poor while telling the middle classes how to think and speak correctly.

    Right, back to Monbiot...

  43. Hi thauma, Hi Jay. He's bang on isn't he ??

  44. Indeed he is. Although that Hang 'Em website didn't have anything for my constituency.

  45. Given the diverse nature of the readership of this UT family chatsite I would like to reassure any nuns reading.......................I will just have to accept my burning in hell. It's probably justified.

  46. deano30

    I,m sure the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will be
    hanging on our every word. Whether the Sisters of
    Mercy will be is another matter.And as far as Mother
    Theresa,s lot are concerned that,s anyones guess!!

  47. thaumaturge
    Hang 'em has got my ward bang to rights. Using the BBC site regarding boundary changes and 2005 results our Lib Dem has gained a couple of points from both Labour (who has been a useless MP since 1997) and the Tory. The lib Dem is also a local who has fought some pretty good local campaigns.
    My hearts says vote Green but I cannot allow my ward to go Blue. Just can't.

  48. Bitterweed - tales of cutting secretarial staff in the NHS just awful - you're damn right on that. Do these 'business managers' really not know that long-serving secretarial staff are the ones who actually get things done in an office? Systems, filing, personal knowledge, knowing what's already been done on another project so more efficient...

    Bloody ridiculous.

    Have been shopping - will be making three colour-coded punches for election night. No green, though. That peppermint stuff is bloody horrible. And can't find salt and vinegar pringles, so the Tories may be under-represented on the snack front. Hmmm. Must think of something else...

  49. Philippa,

    I thought you were spot on on WADYYA regarding the proposed mental health series on CiF.

  50. Who's going to be about for election night then? I forgot to book friday off work, might have to do an all nighter and get on the coffee on friday.

  51. Oh and Philippa,

    can't find salt and vinegar pringles

    Is France the same as here, a shocking absence of salt and vinegar crisps? Can't get s and v anywhere here. A third world country in so many ways.


    I'll be around, managed to wangle coming into work a couple of hours later.

  52. Phil, my local Sainsbury's is doing a buy-one-get-TWO-free deal on Pringle's at the mo. S&V included.

    Considered taking Friday off to watch election results, but as I'm almost never able to manage to stay up past 10:00 it seems pointless.

  53. Your grace - thanks - hope I'm wrong (and am in a bit of a funny mood at the mo, so may be prone to 'bad thoughts') but I can see this going horribly wrong...I think Jess will try her hardest to put it across well, but as disordered said, there's a bit more to it than that, and the first couple of comments could make or break it.

    I will of course go in swinging if anyone starts making stupid remarks.

    And yes, S&V is limited availability, although one of the local pubs has started stocking them after there was a petition.

    Am having friends round, so may not have much typing time early on, but will no doubt be swearing profusely as we get to around 3am...

  54. La Rit/Paul: I've been in "pre-mod" for nearly three weeks. Anyway I don't care if I'm allowed back in, I didn't break their talk policy, so I won't be returning to CIF unless I decide to tell them to go fuck themselves.

  55. Another legacy of New Labour is that the language of
    consensus is increasingly being used to act as a 'sugar coating' for ever increasing levels of control.Dunno whether others have noticed but there does seem to be a lot of variations of 'I feel your pain BUT......' in everyday communication nowadays
    -both in the private and public sector.When basically anyone who stands their ground will quickly be labelled a 'troublemaker' and pay the consequences.

  56. Hallo

    can't cope with politics today - I'm all out of anger- feeling the dead weight of the inevitable. I will be here on Thurs, night.

    Nuns eh ? This is getting more interesting.Perhaps they are Anima figures. You will be flying with the devil next - expect a rough but stimulating ride.

  57. Paul

    The chains of consensus hem us in. Translated into reality this means mental and physical kettling.

  58. Hi Leni/Chekhov

    Seems the nite shift has come on early today!

  59. was looking for a quote from a right winger - following links from one site to another - there are some frightening people out there. Some are on the far side of Hell in terms of hatred and wished for violence.

  60. I see Egypt has banned Elton John - he may cause social discord ! Had they banned him on the grounds of his diservice to culture I would agree with them.

  61. Leni

    Was probably because his latest 'rug' was made from
    an endangered species!

  62. "Hope and respect and loyalty have been replaced with fear, regrets,disappointments and missed opportunities. We have acquired an unmanageable burden of cares,responsibilties,commitments,resentments and debts: a smorgasbord of deliberately constructed nightmares.If we protest or complain or question then our protests,complaints and questions are dismissed as racist or sexist or otherwise unnacceptable. The protestor is dismissed as an ungrateful troublemaker.
    Anyone who dares to stand up and ask a question is a criminal:to be watched very carefully."
    (Vernon Coleman. "Bloodless Revolution" Blue Books Publishing House Trinity Place Barnstaple Devon.2009)

  63. Hi all!

    Went to hospital today and got good news and bad news-
    bad news - have to go in next week for a minor op (gynae - don't ask! but at my age you can probably guess LOL!).

    Good news was going to be part of a drug trial but don't meet the parameters, I am actually too healthy :)) ! As this is related to my heart condition I am really really pleased. about it.

    The election - AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAgh! Roll on Friday at least we will then know what we are dealing with!

    Public service workers - well tbh the low paid ones have been so battered by continuous cuts since the 80's that it would be surprising if low morale and low pay made them - shall we say inefficient.

    However I have met similar inefficient and discourteous service in the private sector.

    Comments made about the exhorbitant pay of higher execs in the public sector is however very fair comment. The trouble is these are the very people who implement cuts and they don't implement them on themselves! (well they wouldn't would they?)

    We need to beware of falling for the divide and rule propaganda that attempts to divide public sector workers from private. For instance those people who seem to spend a lot of time on Cif and often attack the public sector in this way, seem to be posting from work (Ahem!). I could be wrong of course but ...

  64. deano30:I didn't have time to read all the links you sent yesterday but on the 54/55 season if you scroll down about halfway there is a team photograph. It's not very good quality but the 2nd guy from the left on the back row is my Dad. Of course you couldn't mistake John Charles,he was bloody enormous wasn't he?

  65. Re Solitaire - once had a manager who took the thing off all computers at her centre.

    Had to get them put back on to the teaching machines in my room - needed them playing solitaire is an excellent way of practicing mouse skills!

    Oh and our County Council blocks blogging sites so you couldn't post on here for example. Not sure if all managers delete solitaire though ;)

  66. too healthy, anne? nice going. all the best for next week.

  67. Anne

    Good luck for next week.Best ignore the election
    so as to keep your bp down for the op!

  68. Congrats on your rude health A42! Hope the 'lady business' all goes ok. ; )

    Thanks for all the chat today guys, it's made my public sector day fly by! ;D

  69. Anne

    Good news and bad. Glad heart problem not too serious - always a worry. As for next week - best of luck and take things easy.

  70. Hi guys, won't be long. I am just back in from the job centre and shopping.

    Luckily I found there was a jobcentre only 15 mins walk away- at Parkhead, also next to the shopping centre where I shop (mixture of holland and barret, pound shops and Asda.) There;s an old firm game on tonight as well, not of in terest to me though.

    I got plenty and plenty of job applications, and some for reasonably well paying ones. Let me unpack the shopping, get changed and have a cup of tea, and then I will talk further.

  71. A42 - glad to read the good news fingers crossed for 't'other.

    Getting a little older can be fegging tedious - I imagine some time down the road I'l have to have me dick reamed out!! kind regards.

    Chekhov's dad at the right hand of God.

    Chekhov - Never mind the back row! You may have missed the above link first time around.

    JC was indeed a big bloke but his 'gentle giant' tag was well deserved, he was always great with the kids after his moniker. If I recall correctly he finished keeping a pub in Leeds.

    What did Harold do when his playing days were over?

    Coffee break over.

  72. Thanks for good wishes folks LOL @ Deano!!

    Nap good luck with the job applications.

  73. Good luck Anne - glad about the good news. Hope the op goes well. Keep us posted as to how you're doing.


    Will be around thursday night and have arranged to take Friday off. We may have to start planning the revolution!

  74. Sheff

    We are going to need some younger foot soldiers for this revolution

  75. good news - have interview for part-time job (doing product presentation to americans - should i 'hugh grant' up my accent?)

    bad news - it's a 'web-based meeting' and it's on Friday afternoon. So, I'll be dealing with the double whammy of a hangover and complete lack of IT skills

    still - good outweighs bad.
    [thinking positive thoughts]

  76. Philippa

    Sounds interesting - an English voice is supposed to impress Americans - definately Hugh Grant I think. Good luck.

  77. PB - You will be a sensation our lass. Fuck the IT shit, shoulders back, chest out - your an artist!

    Don't forget the fall back and the concluding remark.............."...dad was going about his business only last Sunday and he said to God.....and God said to him....."

    I understand the Americans like that sort of thing and sensitive Euro/American employers know that.

    Fingers crossed for you and Nap both

  78. Nap

    I would be interested to know the kinds of jobs on offer - damn all down here.

  79. philippa

    deano could be onto something there so maybe you could
    wear a strategically placed crucifix.Not sure a woman
    imitating Hugh Grant would be a good idea especially
    if they are bible bashers.God botherers can be funny
    about that sort of thing and they may try and exorcise
    you.I,m told the Maggie T goes down a storm with the
    yanks so maybe try that.Good luck anyway!

  80. Hello again all....


    "I've been in "pre-mod" for nearly three weeks"

    WHAT????? have you tried e-mailing anyone? I sent 2 to Georgina Henry.... they didn't get 'returned' as such, but came back saying.... "do not resend, your message is being held, but will be delivered"....am sure she's got a Firewall to envy the Raygun Misslie Defence Shield... but it's worth a try - she may have read it but I have no way of knowing as I wasn't graced with a reply. However, the pre-mod was lifted this morning.

    I hadn't violated their much vaunted Talk Policy either and said as much. I think what did it was indirectly quoting Norman Finklestein on an I/P thread - presumably the equivalent of saying the Hamas Charter is the 'gospel' and 'correct' and that Hitler was 'misunderstood'

    anyways, I'll be around on Election Night. No Pringles sadly, hate the things (yeuccch) but will have plenty of drinks to get me through....;)

    Who is the mixologist??? :-)


    Glad to hear you are not in any danger re: your heart. It can be terrifying.

    Anyway, good luck with your 'orrible Op. Will they let you have a couple of valium beforehand? For all those type of gynie tings, I have had the best of care in the NHS women's clinic in Barts. Absolute stars the staff there - it's the only place I can think of where pretty much the same Doctors, Nurses and Reception staff have been working for at least 15 years.

    In these days of high staff turn-over, low wages and bloody out-sourcing it's increasingly hard to find a service that engenders such a sense of trust and safety.

    btw: I've given the MacShiteshane thread a wide berth.... don't want to get wound up by that vile man.

  81. heh heh - nice idea, deano! I'll save that for when I press the wrong button and blow something up...

  82. annetan, glad to hear your in good health. Good luck for next week.


    Cracking photo. It looks like Liechtenstein did it, the pop art cartoonist.

    *gets football historian hat on*

    John Charles is easily the best and most successful British player to ply his trade in foreign fields. He played both centre forward and centre half for Juventus.

    The Italians knew him (excuse my Italian) as Il Gigante Buono and he scored an astonishing 93 goals in 150 games for Juventus. If you consider that this was during the catenaccio era, it's even more of an achievement.

    On top of that he was never yellow carded or sent off in his entire career. This was in the days when centre halfs had 'licence to kill' status from the Government, so never to retaliate was also an achievement. Although he probably intimidated would be hammer throwers before they went in for the challenge.

    In the 1958 World Cup, Wales reached the quarter finals and faced Pele and Brazil. Unfortunately for Wales, Charles was injured. Who knows what would have happened had he been fit for that game.

    He was voted the greatest foreign player to play for Juventus during their centenary clebrations.

  83. LaRit - plans for partisan cocktails:

    Conservative Cup:
    Blue Curacao
    Bitter lemon

    Labour Libation:
    Raspberry Liqueur
    splash of lime

    LibDem Mixer:
    Whatever clear spirits are left
    Citrus mix (orange, grapefruit, mandarin)

    Will also be making biscuits with different colour icing. I like parties.

  84. PB - think Paul's addition a wise one so let's modify that...

    "...dad was going about his business only last Sunday and he said to God.....and God said to him.... next time you have Maggie around for tea tell her I'm preparing a special place for her..."

  85. Hi All

    Philippa--Maybe the Cary Grant accent would impress more, especially with his sartorial style. Good luck to you and Nap.

    All--You may enjoy this: www.hornbyeagles.com/webcam

  86. Boy oh boy - Dave C is clearly knackered and completely failing to do anything other than flail around helplessly on PM.

    Better that than as PM, s'pose.

  87. From the comments above during my absence, I see I have kicked up a discussion.

    La rit, your description of wastefulness in the NHS sounds familiar. I was in hospital a few weeks ago. (My GP reffered me to ultrasound). Get there 10 minutes before the appointment. Say my name and time to the adminitstrative staff (who are basically doing nothing, not to mention there are two or three of them). They have no record of me. Cue endless phoning back and forth, procrastination and shoulder shrugging from the admins, until the radiologist fits me in. I am sure he gave up part of his own lunch break, he too was pissed off with the admin probably. Absolutely useless, my GP had phoned them up to make an appointment, made it, told me. Yet whichever admin was manning the desk that day clearly tohught inserting a name, time and date into a database on paper was beyond him/her. Solitaire was more fun.

    Bitterweed, complaining about admin posts earning 18-21k a year for very light and non demanding work is a bit rich. Ok, you are a temp though, 8 or 9 quid an hour, I can only dream of such heights. Ok, nurses earn more, but those doing the really hard work get much less. I sympathise with your plight however, fuck the middle managers, pen pushers and target obsessives. My experience was Kafkaesque as well!

    Anyone know those little printout slips the jobcnentre machines print. Well, I have at least 100 of them. I will go through them tonight. For ease, I quickly rated them, 1 best and therefore preferential, 5 worst and only if all else fails.

  88. Being an MP, apparently, constitutes 'voluntary work'.

    "Hang on, let me try that again.."

    Absolutely fubar.

    Ooh - gay equality! Kick 'im while he's down...

  89. philippa

    And following on from deano,s last suggestion why
    not quote the Francis of Assisi number-'Where there
    is discord i will bring harmony........'Trust me the
    yanks will love it and the job will be yours for life!!

  90. paul - careful now - st francis does come across a bit commie at times...

  91. NapoleonK
    You might need to re-read my posts. I wasn't talking about my position mein dumkopf. And you're pretty off-hand aren't you really ? I'm not temping for nine quid an hour, lol, that was a very long time ago young man, nor am I stuck in some shitty admin role as you patronisingly imply. You shocker. The few admin posts left over the road in the PCT and at the acutes are hardly "light and non-demanding" as you somewhat patronisingly put it. No, they are pretty demanding considering workload and complexity. You might want to consider that if you do get any interviews - dismissing a whole sector of the workplace, and administration as a role - so lightly, might not curry you any favours with potential future bosses. They might worry they'd have to spend as much time managing your attitudes towards colleagues and whether you feel you're too good for the job, as well as checking you've actually done the job properly - attention to detail is often key in most roles.

    Sheff, I'll probably be in and out. Work on Friday, can't get out of it... still... not sure i want to stay up watching the country gradually turn blue.

  92. Being an MP is 'voluntary work' - did Dave actually say that? I suppose when you're a multi-millionaire a paltry 120K or whatever a minister gets is just peanuts. Not worth bothering about, apparently.

    Oh wait, he did manage to claim his ACA and other expenses, didn't he?


    Italian lurker: usini?

  93. deano30:A lot of ex pro footballers ended up in the licensed trade. Tommy Hoyland and Graham Shaw both ran pubs within spitting distance of Bramall Lane. Len Badger had a pub near Chesterfield if I remember rightly.
    Jimmy Hagan, who was the superstar at "The Lane" in the fifties went on to manage the mighty Benfica which is where the anecdote I mentioned before came from.(There's more where that came from!)
    My Dad and Jimmy were partners in a sports shop business on London Road for a while after which my Dad had a successful newsagency business which he sold in 1972.


  95. thauma - he was asked if the shadow cabinet did voluntary work, and after blithering about presentations at party conferences, he started saying "being an MP, in a way, is being a community leader, erm..."

    at which the interviewer broke in, and he started to unravel.

    sounds like he had a sudden flash of inspiration, and then realised that 'voluntary work' is usually unpaid...

  96. back away, thauma! back away!

  97. Too late! My brain is bleeding.

    The twunt really is a first-class troll.

  98. thauma

    had a look at the AB piece - backed away.

    Am I the only concerned about this rise in the demon population - they are increasing at a frightening speed. DC will have to create a minister for Demonolgy.

    How soon before they are used in defence at criminal trial ?

    It wos the demon m'lud.

  99. Leni - yes, where's Pen when you need him? I'm sure he could explain something about crowd neuroses.

  100. Hello all.....nice to be back on line but can't say seeing toynbee, mcshite et al has inspired me in fact i feel i'll collapse into either depression or become a serial killer...and that's not even taking into consideration what's happening in Italy....
    thankfully I have not been exposed to the campaigns of spent out politicos and hacks for a few months hopefully the dose of jet lag that I am suffering plus a bout of delhi belly (infact got it on the plane coming home...ironic really...) will serve as an electoral anaesthetic .....shame that dust cloud didn't get me mid air....

  101. Welcome back, gandolfo! Perhaps the stomach ailment is due more to the electoral shenanigans than Delhi belly? ;-) Hope you feel better soon.

  102. bitterweed. Sorry if I insulted you. I read over your post quite quickly, just trying to note down your points.

    Anyway, I have a lot of work to do going through all these damn forms.

    Just beofre I go, sometihng that might interest me is somethign like a dental nurse, requires very minimal training, yet the finacial rewards are, ok, modest, but much better than anything I can hope for in my current situation. Something of this type, or where you get qualifications on the job would be okay for the medium term.

    So, have a nice evening. For the first time in my life today I bought alcohol (yes). I have only been drinking really this year, but living at home I drank the wine my mother bouhgt. Since moving down here I have not wanted to go around with my passport, coz they would probably want ID, I thought. So, I have some strange Belgian cherry beer and Italian white wine of some kind.

  103. hey thaum thanks! you could be right a psychosomatic response that validates puking whenever I flick through Cif ;)

  104. Hi gandolfo

    Look forward to hearing your news when you catch your breath.

    Back just in time to vote ? You must be keen - I'd have stayed away till next week.

  105. Less haste my man, less haste. Enjoy your drink Nap ;-)

  106. Napoleon - there are short-term necessities and long-term goals, and the two shouldn't be confused. Take whatever you can get for now, and that will allow you to keep hand to mouth and plan for the future. If you can find something that helps you up a step, so much the better.

    Oh, and watch out for cheap booze!

    Gandolfo - the old man travels to Mexico a fair bit on business and has been caught out by a) salad (washed in dodgy water) and b) ice cubes (made from dodgy water) on the plane back home.

  107. Hi Leni

    vote me? no I don't have one! Can't vote 'cause I've been out of the country just a bit too long, and can't vote in Italian national elections here either because I'm not an italian citizen so disenfranchised I am .... love european democracy......

  108. This comment has been removed by the author.

  109. Moctezuma's revenge?

    Gandolfo - can you not do a proxy vote? Too late for this election, but I don't think that has a time limit on it.

  110. Some of these are quite funny thauma

    Five-second films...


  111. Thaum...hahaha!!! I know I know fell into a false sense of security I travel frequently to India and my guts have become quite resistant maybe the food was just too clean!!!
    Well re proxy votes...bugger just looked I thought it was 10 years its 15 oh well could register for the next won't be that long will it!

  112. Welcome back gandolfo, trust your trip was enjoyed.

    "Friar WTF"--Funny, and an excellent description.

    Napolean--Watch out for that Belgian beer. It can hurt you.

  113. Welcome back Gandolfo - You in Italy or UK?

    Look forward to your news in due course.

    Seen our new visitor counter ?( towards top of page on the right)

  114. Boudican, deano30 and all

    yep had a great trip spent a time up in the himalayas beautifully drammatic scenery...shall post a few photos in due course....the rest bumming around
    am in italy but will be with you in spirit and in cyberspace thursday night/ friday morning

    so guys whats the news?????

  115. Hi Boudican - glad to read I got the dates wrong.

    I was just starting to think that I would be hard pressed to get to the borders for a pint or three this year, as well as a Sheffield weekend and a trip to Cornwall before Andy leaves.

    (I hadn't realised Andy hadn't made a permanent move till he said so the other day)

    2011 it is then. Fingers crossed of course (If as they say I am spared, .....these bloody nocturnal nuns, delightful and entertaining as they are, may be trying to tell me something!!)

  116. PhilippaB

    Thanks for the cocktail recipes.... is the aim to drink a different one each time a result comes in??? ;) How many revolting Blue ones will I have to imbibe???

    Incidentally, just been wathcing C4 news and the ever-confident Dave (I'm-already-PM) Cameron has declined an extended interview with Jon Snow - because he's 'too busy' flying around in his private jet trying to whip-up support.... and they say the Labour Party are desparate??

    Have come out to catch up because I can't bear the news about the Oil slick....


    Think you misread my post....

    In my experience, most admin staff in back office environments in the NHS are temps, poorly paid, no benefits, no protection and do the most work. In hospitals, the front-line receptionists do seem to be a different breed altogether (with exceptions - like in Barts Women's clinic) much like those receptionists in GP clinics.... very disconcerting if you have an encounter like you had, but I think it may also be because of the sheer demands of the job - serious violence against staff in the NHS is at shocking levels - perhaps they are distant and unhelpful for reasons of self-preservation.

  117. Evening all.

    Have caught up with everything upthread but ..


    Welcome back & look forward to some pics when you're recovered!

    On election night - I won't be here most of Thursday night / Friday morning 'cos I will be at a count somewhere, trying not to spit at / heckle any BNP candidate & their associates. I have been practising the 'turn-to-stone looking over top of specs glare' and the 'sideways look of utter contempt' for a while now.
    I also have to work Friday :( but as I've just had a some time off, can hardly complain.

  118. G News is as our counter indicates - we (UT) go from to strength to strength.

    We plainly have readers all over the world ( I think we may have seen you lurking under a Nepal flag a while back?) and new posters seem to be encouraged to join/give us a try faster than folk are leaving. We've still had the occasional blood letting but nothing exceptional.

    I still regard UT as fun and educational.

    In my view the quality of the debate/chat/banter here seems to get better all the time and IMHO is now far superior to the WDYWTWankA nonsense.

    Scherf and Hank and MFish are less frequent visitors than in the past but who knows things continue to be fluid/organic so who knows what the next week will bring.

    Who cares - its free and there is not a shred of evidence that UT makes you go blind so it still has lots going for it.

    Looking forward to the photo's

  119. This comment has been removed by the author.

  120. turminderxuss

    At 18.56pm you used the word NIGGAS in your post.
    How fucking dare you?And why hasn,t anyone else
    said anything?That word is totally unacceptable
    irrespective of context.You,re bang out of order

  121. MsChin

    I have been practising the 'turn-to-stone looking over top of specs glare' and the 'sideways look of utter contempt' for a while now.

    Let me know if you require any coaching on that. ;-) Suspect you won't!

  122. Paul

    i saw Xuss ref but did not see it as you do. Didn't see it as racist.

  123. Leni

    Don,t want to fall out with you but how can the use
    of the word NIGGAS -irrespective of context-not be

  124. Sorry, Paul - haven't caught up with previous comments yet (which is what my post should've said, btw) but I would also challenge the use of that particular word here or anywhere else.

  125. Paul

    I see you are angry - but I have never encountered any racism here - wouldn't stay if there were.

    Shall we wait until Turminder returns ?

    I certainly don't want to fall out with you - or turminder.

  126. Leni

    if you saw the word NIGGAS which you accept you did
    how can you come back to me and say it wasn,t racist?
    Tell me in what context you think the use of the word
    NIGGAS is acceptable?

  127. Paul

    Black kids I worked with called each other Niggers - they also called white boys and me if they addressed us a group in the same way.

    They would have been very angry if white people used it against them. If it was a racist remark then I am with you - i hope it is a misunderstanding.

  128. Paul

    I really don't think that turminder meant any offence at all, tbh. But that doesn't absolve him from using the word.


    What may be accepted among the group / posse is one thing, but as you've noted, they call the shots on its use.

  129. MsChin

    I'm not rejecting Paul's reaction - I'm awaiting clarification from Turminder.

  130. Sorry, Leni, I do realise that, just wanted to make it clear to others.

  131. I think the use of the word is totally unacceptable as well and I can't see how Turminder will be able to justify it.

    An abject apology is probably the way to go.

  132. Anyways, what Paul feels is what matters right now.

    So if you're still around, Paul, thauma (& one or two others) can remove the post if you wish.

  133. Paul - that is certainly a word I would never use myself, and one that I would condemn any "white" person for using. It is possible that Turminder might have heard it used against himself and is therefore appropriating it and twisting it to make a mockery of it? I very much doubt he meant it maliciously.

    Bedtime for me, and I hope this gets resolved amicably.

  134. Paul I'm sorry that you find yourself deeply offended by a word, and had I used it and thereby offended you I would not hesitate to apologise.

    I would be surprised and disappointed if turm didn't do likewise when he finds that he has caused offence.

    I don't use the word. And these days, because of things like the subculture of rap (which as an older dickhead I consider crap) and contemp street language and etiquette I'm not even sure I know what the different spelling of nigger and nigga are meant to signify, if anything.

    I note Chin's comment "they call the shots on its use" I'm sure that she is right - but I don't like that. I don't like to give anybody exclusive monopoly use on language.

    I've found the modern use of the word increasingly confusing since that very funny black american comedian ( name escapes me I'll look him up) made a routine out of its use which had both black and white members of his audience pissing themselves.

    His piss take of 'niggers' (he seemed to use the word to mean chav) at best confused a lot of non racist whites myself included.

    I live in hope that my beautiful Fiji/Sheffield bred daughter in law will give me a black/white grandson - if she says she can call him a nigger and I can't then I would be upset.

    Equally if me not yet born grandson then says he can use nigger and I can't then we will have a battle royal and I shall tell him the correct reply if he is called nigger by a racist is simply fuck off tosser

    I hope that you will not think that I make light of your anger or upset I do not. I regard you as a friend and hope that you see me in the same way.

  135. All

    I'm not sure of what to make of the use of the term 'Niggas' - must say, a very sharp intake of breath was the first reaction and I don't want to excuse it. It is a very loaded word.

    However, I've only been posting here intermittently and more, more recently, so I don't want to offend anyone with my interjections/interpretations of why and in what context it what used.


  136. Hi All--Yes, the meaning and history of the word are repugnant. I'll leave it to turminder to address Paul.

    deano--Did you check out the eagles nest?

  137. I think it was Chris Rock that I had in mind.

    Wiki on Nigga

    ".....Some African-Americans express considerable offense when referred to as a nigga by Caucasian people, but not if they are called the same by other African-Americans, or by some other minority, as a term of endearment.[9] In this case, the term may be seen either as a symbol of brotherhood,[13] similar to the usage of the words dude and bro, and its use outside a defined social group an unwelcome cultural appropriation. Critics have derided this as a double standard.[7]...."

    I cannot speak for turm or anyone else but my intuitive understanding of his use of the word when I saw it was akin to the endearment/brotherhood/dude style.... that is why I didn't call on him to withdraw the word.

    I don't think anybody but turminder should delete his comment. And I would prefer that he let it stand for the record, and for all our learning, and simply apologise if that would be accepatble to Paul.

  138. Sorry bad link above lets try that again:

    Wiki on Nigga

  139. deano

    I just wanted to point out the options for Paul re: deletion. It's not something to be done lightly here, agreed, but it can be done.

    Also - where is habib? Not seen him lately.

  140. Deano30:

    There are 2 Black comedians who utilise the word.... Chris Rock and the indomitable Richard Pryor. Loads of clips on You Tube.

  141. boudican

    Eagle's nest? Missed that ..

    Assume it's a webcam, as I don't imagine deano's scaled a remote mountain today to see a real one. Although I could be mistaken.

  142. If i were to come on UT and 'jokingly' refer to deano
    as White cunt,Leni as Welsh twat,Montana as a yankie
    bitch,Ms Chin as a whore etc etc etc you would RIGHTLY
    confront me about it.And btw the 4 people i,ve
    singled out i genuinely like so i hope they won,t
    be offended.A few weeks ago when i blew a gasket
    loads of people RIGHTLY waded in an confronted me
    about it.And yet when i saw Turminder had used the
    word Niggas over an hour had elapsed and not one person who saw it saw fit to challenge him about it.

    Yes some Black kids have bought into this hybrid
    street culture and openly use the N word which trust me is problematic for a lot of Black Adults.And that,s the point here we are all supposed to be Adults.In
    my experience the only Black British Adults who use
    that word-even in anger-come from the lowest echelons
    of Black society.And i challenge anyone on UT to tell
    me differently.So please,please don,t use the behaviour of some Black kids and misguided and/or uneducated Black adults to try and excuse an educated
    White adult,s use of the word NIGGAS.

    At the end of the day this is between Turminder and
    me.However i would just ask people who are trying to
    make excuses for him to reflect on how they would feel
    if i 'jokingly' addressed them in the terms i mentioned in my opening para.

  143. Paul:

    I'm sorry I didn't challenge it right away - I was just a bit gob-smacked at it's use here but thought it may have been a light-hearted reference to something I was not party to before I started re-posting here.

    Apologies for not going with my guts.

  144. Paul

    Been called a n*****-lover & worse before ... guilty by association. So absolutely no offence taken.

  145. Struggling here. Nothing to do with anything on Cif, or here - have 10 year-old at work who called an autistic mixed-race classmate a nigger and told him he should go back where he came from. You can imagine the fall-out. Trouble is, the offending 10 yr-old has multiple family issues, self-control & anger management issues - and is getting no help with these at all. In addition, I know that he happens to quite like the mixed-race kid in question, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Quite rightly, mixed-race kid is distraught at this. They're talking about punishing offending kid - quite right - but such terms are usual in his family. What to do?

  146. Just read last couple of posts. Sounds like I asked for input at exactly the right time?


    I was only using you for the sake of making a point.
    I genuinely like you guys so there was no other
    reason.Hope i made that clear enough!

  148. Ooh, the n-bomb. wondered about that as i hit post.. And well, sorry if it caused you pain Paul, probably no more than the wince I got when you thought Paki was acceptable, but I wouldn't want to deny your hurt. It was meant in the 'friendly/inclusive/reclaiming' sense, but if you invest so much in what is just a word, well, I'll bin the comment. And yes, in the racist, spit in your face (literally) sense it has been used against me.

  149. shaz

    Which ever way you cut it, it's wrong. But 'punishment' isn't always right if the person doesn't not understand the meaning of what they say. 10 is old enough to understand, despite the complex problems. What outcome does the child with autism want? That should determine / inform the nature of the punishment.

    Been in this position with adults with learning difficulties btw, just repeating their parents' views. Nothing else to do but keep to the party line: 'But we don't use words like that or make people who are different feel unwelcome here. Including you'.

  150. MsChin--www.hornbyeagles.com/webcam

    shaz--Give the kid a short history lesson on why it is harmful and unacceptable?

  151. Paul my dear friend in my case it would be unbecoming of me to be offended by the truth.

    Regrettably the dreadful truth is I have, more than once over the last 12 months, through booze made a right cunt of myself here on UT, and thus you might find it quite easy to garner agreement if you want to call me one.

    Please don't misunderstand our intentions in your understandable angst. I read no one above seeking to make excuses. As you properly say it
    now be a matter for turminder and you.

    I'm not sure that he always reads back on UT so if in future I see him and he has not responded he may be unaware of the distress. I will, as a measure of my respect for you, direct his attention back here.

  152. Nap - my daughter's a nurse and when she lived at home she came home cream crackered. 12.5 hour shift and a total of 30 minutes breaks. She does not stop all day. Nurses work damned hard mate - difficult to imagine any one works harder.

    Remember that sometimes you see them sitting in the nurses room it may a bit of that 30 mins of break during the 12.5 hour day or it might even be something called 'handover' - when nurses tell the nurse that takes over what has happened with her patients that day? They also have a lot of admin to fill up - Julia often does her record keeping after the end of her shift.

    She lives about 15 minutes drive from the hospitaland frequently does not get home until 9 pm on a day shift. She should finish at 7:30 and no she does not get overtime.

    They have to work methodically mistakes cost lives and giving medication has to be recorded meticulously at the time. Doctors can apparently kill patients and still be working (remember the guy who gave that fatal diamorphine dose?) - a nurse who did the same lost her right to practice (not saying she shouldn't just that the authorities seem to come down heavier on them.

    Yes of course there are lazy incompetant people in every profession but I have had good cause to be thankful for the hard work that hospital staff do. I am alive because of it. That goes for porters, nursing auxillaries, admin staff and cleaners too. These people are too often forgotten.

    Its a sad reflection on human nature that we always remember the rude ignorant jobsworth but forget the person who shows kindness and goes the extra mile for patients. The admin staff I saw today were brilliant as was everyone else!

  153. Paul - have just logged back on, and, yes, was a bit pulled up by that - given the possibility of 'have taken it, am taking it', think it best to wait for turminder to come back to you.

    Shaz - if he's hearing that kind of shit at home, it may have been 'normalised' - given that he's ten, maybe a sharp talking to (with an explanation why it isn't acceptable) would be better than 'punishing' him, which could give him a sense of resentment and make him more open to further shit of the same kind - at the moment, maybe, it's just 'repeated words' rather than something he believes - important thing is to deal with it while steering him away from 'converting' it from words to belief. But a difficult line to walk...

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  155. MsC - thanks for getting back to me. Agree entirely, 10 year-old entirely old enough to understand how wrong it was - and agree that 'punishment' not necessarily appropriate. Assume I (TA) will end up talking to him and trying to get him to understand why it shouldn't have happened.
    Child with autism doesn't want an outcome at all - has said so. His father does, with much justification - difficult.

    And we live in a small town with virtually no black/Asian inhabitants - casual racism (& sexism, & homophobia) is endemic. Crap week, thoroughly pissed off. Bah.

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  157. Shaz

    As i said to Paul I know that some kids use the word almost casually now - i hate it but some have 'reclaimed' it for their own use - just as some homosexuals use queer. These double uses are very confusing.

    The child you mention used the word because he'd heard adults using it - probably also casually. punishment which does not lead to understanding of why the word id offensive is useless - particularly if the parents don't support the school. In fact the parents are more likely to strengthen their racist language if they think the mixed race child has caused trouble for them and their child - probably the way they will see it.

    I detest racist lexicons - people feel hurt and rejected, understandably. It is one of those subjects which the more you discuss it - and try to understand - can lead to giving more offence. This reclaiming opens up the possibility of the word being 'relegitimised'

  158. anne

    Agree 1001%. I personally have never met an idler in the NHS - including admin staff - and I've worked in more than one NHS setting over the years. Likewise councils.

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  160. Paul - don't do this again, please - don't give a flying fuck about the language, but the last way I would describe turminder is a racist cunt.
    Wait for him to get back to you.

    Philippa - thanks. That's kind of the way I was thinking. Just got to fight with senior management now.

  161. turminder

    I recall reading the 'discussion' between Paul, habib & yourself IIRC, the following day but thought you had reached some sort of understanding?


    Easy now.

  162. Leni - thanks. And with this child, it's not just racist abuse, it's general abuse, every time he gets hacked off - v difficult for the other kids to deal with, but utterly natural for this child. God knows what his family life is really like, but definitely the way to argue with the SLT tomorrow.

  163. Two heretics, one council. Isn't intolerance fun?

    Bring it on Paul, I've had the warm phleghm of racism on my face, you posture all you like in cyber. It's easy to find me.. My real name and where I work are just a click away.

    Where is Habib, not seen much since you unloaded?

  164. Paul

    Nobody here is supporting racism or racists.

  165. Boudican - fucking brilliant!! I've bookmarked that.

    She's feeding the chick as I write.

    Shaz get the kids to watch the Eagle cam!!

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  167. shaz

    Takes a lot of patient consistency, because while you are telling the lad how to behave in school, he's still going to be hearing the crap at home & may even try to challenge his parents use of it, thereby causing more problems at home. Still, it's got to be done. Do you have any books / video clips etc that you could use to illustrate the point?

    Heard of similar issue with on-line comments made about a lad's disability by a lad he thought was his friend. Stern talking to at school for the naughty one and they are best mates again.

  168. Paul - yes, that was an unguarded comment, but I really don't think turminder is a racist anything - a lot of people take a lot of shit for a lot of different reasons, and they react differently - please try to calm it, and the two of you sort it out without that...

  169. Boudican - sorry, missed that - yes, good call. Thanks. Will now check out the eagle cam...

  170. Eagle cam is fab - thanks boudican!

    Must away, early start tomorrow. Night all.

    And a (hug) for habib, wherever he is.

  171. Boudican - that's awesome. Had a link to a panda cam once, and caught the birth of a baby panda - fantastic, and an incredible waste of time, watching to see when the black patches developed, and how the baby grew... reminded me of having the children... :o)

  172. Anyway - thanks for the help guys - hugs to you all - night - x

  173. Sorry I missed your reply there Paul, catch u all later. I'll leave you with this;

    A Sikh gentle man asks a Rabbi at the bus stop, "What time is the bus due?"
    The Rabbi replies, "10.30 you fucking paki"

    It's just words, not deeds. If you feel you lack the resources to deal with that...

    Develop them.

  174. Evenin' all, been away for a while - it's a good fucking job I try and catch up before I post anything, isn't it? Otherwise I would have just come in grinning stupidly, as is my normal way.

    Turminder, your choice of language is your own, but if you use loaded words, be prepared to hurt some people.

    It's your choice, mate, but you know it's easy to be polarised by an argument, where you end up fighting in a corner you had no initial desire or need to fight in.

    Paul, just let it go, if you want to, you know you can. You don't have to be best friends with Turminder, ever again. Good to raise debate, but completely pointless to carry on personal attacks. And I say that as the biggest of hypocrites.

  175. If a "Banana Republic" rigged it's electoral system in the same way that ours in the UK is rigged, there would be journalists from the BBC and ITV and the rest of the press and media screaming blue murder at the unfairness and the anti democratic nature of it.
    Let's face it our so called democracy is a sham.
    It's big corporate interests which pull the strings and the politicians have been rumbled as the sops they are.
    Throw the World Cup into the mix and expect a summer of riots when England get knocked out in the qualifying stages!

  176. Calm down folks, arguing over hypothetical theories of whether or not something is racism is a bit of a waste of time. Words change over time, what was once extremly offensive several hundred years ago is not now. Gadzooks, means God's hooks, basically the nails Christ was attached to on the cross. Now it is nothing. The N word it is still offensive, but at the same time not offensive among certain communities

    Anyway, I am slightly tipsy, although not drunk, so I will depart. I am still in control of my mental faculties, so no howlers from me.

    Goodnight sweethearts. Hopefully I will have another productive day tomorrow.

  177. BTW; Montana, I didn't understand the logic behind the "dustbin" rationale. I've got it now though and it's a good idea. Well done!

  178. chekhov

    This election becomes more suspect by the day - now we add the postal votes disaster. There can be no confidence in the electoral system, the politicians or indeed the integrity of the system as a whole.

    Still undecided. This is safe Lab seat - shall I vote Libdem or stay home and read a book ?

    Food and football riots ? Toxic mix.

  179. Leni: I wouldn't suppose to suggest how you should vote. I'm going to lob in with the Lib Dems on the belief that if enough people do likewise Gordon Brown will come third and have to grovel to Her Majesty to carry on. And "Carry On" is an apt analogy!
    "Carry On At Westminster" anyone?

  180. {turminderxuss said...

    Sorry I missed your reply there Paul, catch u all later. I'll leave you with this;

    A Sikh gentle man asks a Rabbi at the bus stop, "What time is the bus due?"
    The Rabbi replies, "10.30 you fucking paki"

    It's just words, not deeds. If you feel you lack the resources to deal with that...}

    Lack the resources?

    Is that a coded message about PaulBJ's intellectual faculties?

    Like - how could you understand the nuances of the English language, like the subtle use of the words "NIGGA" and "Paki" when no ones listening?

    Is this site degenerating into a BNP outpost?