08 May 2010


Hernando de Soto reached the mouth of what is now the Mississippi River in 1541.  He named it Rio de Espíritu Santo.  The first games of the Italian football league were played in 1898.  Mt. Pelée in Martinique erupted in 1902, destroying the town of Saint-Pierre and killing 30,000.  Estonian schoolgirls, Aili Jögi and Ageeda Paavel blew up the Soviet war memorial in Tallinn in 1946.

Born today:  Jean Henri Dunant (1828-1910), David Attenborough (1926), Phyllida Law (1932), Thomas Pynchon (1937), Dave Rowntree (1964) and Marcus Brigstocke (1973).

It is International Red Cross/Red Crescent Day.


  1. Croatia! We have a lurker in Croatia. Hello, whoever you are!

    Sorry to have been so late with the thread this morning.

    Chekhov: If you are still in need of Leni's e-mail address, click on my name at the top of this comment. That will take you to my profile, where there will be a link under my avatar to e-mail me. I'll send you Leni's e-mail if you didn't get it last night.

  2. Morning everyone

    Do any of you you ever read Joe Bageant?. Well worth a visit from time to time.

  3. Good morning.

    Had some PC problems yesterday, now fixed (hopefully) but using a borrowed monitor which makes things look a bit weird.

    On the Sheffield fiasco where people were unable to vote in 4 areas - a work colleague's mate was prevented from voting at the Ranmoor polling station & they have been advised to sue as their fundamental human rights (Article 21, UNDHR) have been breached. Twice. Because both parliamentary & local govt elections taking place.

    I think Sheffield council's returning officer has some financial penalty to pay, too, for which they can be personally liable but in practice, councils usually insure themselves against this penalty.

  4. Morning all. Second fragility in a row - friend's birthday party last night, 80s themed, got in at 3. may have managed to reset body clock given the last two days! bleah...

  5. Sorry to disappoint, Montana,but that's most probably me, in Croatia (Split) until later tonight,when I return to the UK.
    See there's a fair bit of talk now about electoral reform, but a) I'll believe it when I see it, and b) PR covers ever so many variants, and the one that's being pushed the most, AV, actually further entrenches and embeds the current big parties and their rotten-to-the-core central machineries, whipping systems etc. AV,AV+,STV,MMC,FPTP, whichever we end up with, what's the betting that PPE folk (a majority in both Lab and Con front benches) win? So much for diversity or reflecting the will or outlook of the people.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Thanks Sheff - an uplifting read.

    Hello to our returning friend from Croatia.

  8. hang on - first post went up, and then disappeared.

  9. Morning all.

    Boudican: I replied to you at the tail end of yesterday's thread.

    Montana: Alisdair said he was in Croatia.

    Deano, Sheff: Great reading about Sheff's friend Lesley, but then again i already knew that there are a lot of wise women in Yorkshire. As for the linky Sheff, this is what i meant when i said that all decent people are being threatened by flocks of black swans: i fear it will only get worse.

  10. MsC

    Are there any figures yet for the people denied their vote in Sheffield? And do you know if anyone is organising a proper protest about it?

    We also need to get together to organise the meet up.

  11. Goedemorgen iedereen,


    thanks for that. This article here is brilliant. Can't agree with him about Adam Smith, but can agree with him about those who take his name in vain.

    His description of the problems of and betrayal of blue collar America is increasingly being seen in the UK.

  12. This "moral mandate to govern" is annoying me intensely. Tories won 36% on a 65% turnout, thats 23% of the electorate, not even 1 in 4. That is very clearly not a mandate to wield dictatorial powers. 77% of the country did not vote Tory.

  13. Ah, it's back. I really don't need anything to confuse me at the moment, brain is doing a good enough job of that without external assistance.


  14. Jay,

    exactly. Moral mandate my arse.

    The problem for Labour is that even with a Libdem deal they are still short. The SNP won't play ball and the Unionists always side with the Tories.

    There will be another election later this year.

  15. Jay / Your Grace - coalition cribbage is going to get interesting. Just loved this from the latest Tucker column:
    I've been chopping the Plaid Cymru rider down from 40 billion and an unlimited supply of green M&Ms to just freezing the Severn bridge toll and more airplay for the Manics.
    heh heh.

  16. but if sinn fein are considering showing up, as some people are saying is under discussion (again), then the bar is actually 326, and those extra couple of seats needed could be v important.

    minority coalition government? how the hell did we get into the situation where that's being considered as a possibility?

    bleah again.

  17. Jay

    Nauseating I agree. None of them has a mandate and I notice that pundits from the financial markets are already putting the pressure on and announcing how unhappy they are with the results and presenting doomy scenarios.

    Seems that big business interests will be the key consideration for any governance arrangements that are eventually agreed upon. Quelle surprise!

  18. sheff

    Yes, people are organising about their disenfranchisement. Someone called WaterDragon has posted about it here @ 11.21.

    There's a Facebook campaign too, I think, by students living in the Ranmoor area who were queue-jumped by the wealthier residents who also populate the area.

    My own view, as I posted t'other night, is that Sheffield council was trying to save money by having less polling staff. My local polling station had 2 polling staff & 3 booths, half of what we had before. I don't think it's a coincidence that in those areas where problems have arisen, the councils have a strong Lib Dem presence.

    At least Paul Scriven, erstwhile Lib Dem leader of our no-overall-control council, didn't get elected as MP for your area.

    Will be in touch, re: get together.

  19. Sheff,

    it's what I said yesterday. For 'progressives' like Toynbee et al, 'electoral change' is the be all and end all.

    Regardless of what happens, rather than a red technocratic mush ruling over the status quo, it'll be a red/yellow or blue yellow technocratic mush.

    The markets will be happy, asset stripping business as usual. Graun liberals will be happy- look how progressive we are and we've made a real difference! Back to identity politics...

    Meanwhile, nothing changes below outside the Westminster/Islington axis.

    Electoral reform is lipstick on the neo-liberal pig.

  20. And Paul Scriven told us, when the city ran out of grit in the winter as a result of accumulated budget cuts for the highways services, that the residents of Sheffield would have to make choices about what we wanted the council to spend money on.

    Presumably that extends to elections - 'we can't afford to run 'em properly so you'll have to like it or lump it'.

  21. Your Grice:

    For 'progressives' like Toynbee et al, 'electoral change' is the be all and end all.

    Toynbee progressive? Even in quotes it's a bit rich. Her father maybe.

  22. MsC

    I see Sheffield is now a 'hung' council although Central ward where I am is back in Labours hands.

  23. Hello. Another day. At least it is sunny today.

  24. Just listening to 'Money Box' on R4. All about market anxieties because there is no 'plan' yet to reduce the deficits.

    Apparently commitments to ring fencing key benefits - ie NHS funding, working/child tax credits, pensions etc was a 'mistake' as we are a much poorer country now.

    According to one pundit, there is likely to be carnage in the markets, so parties will have to abandon some aspects of their manifesto commitments to (their already risible) attempts to protect the poor.

    Hey ho...trudge on...keep sitting on bomb throwing arm.

  25. Morning all

    I despise Margaret Hodge for her behavior relating
    to the Islington child sex scandal.But fair play
    to the lady in her role in galvanising the campaign
    that roundly thrashed the BNP in Barking.Consumate politician she may be-and she will be tarnished forever for selling out to New Labour as well-but credit where credit is due.

    Really angered by an article on cif with Emma Harrison
    -Head of A4E-published on 30 April.She,s typical of
    the current genre of people who use the language of
    consensus and understanding to disguise their true
    agenda-in her case to make a fortune on the backs of
    the misery of others.And dunno whether anyone saw
    her being interviewed on 'Benefit Busters'last year.
    When she insisted the cameras be switched off when
    asked why her company was pressuring the long term unemployed to accept 'Zero hour contracts'-something even the Tories eventually banned in the JobCentres.

    Worst of all was MAM,s response which i think would
    have been moderate by Daily Mail standards.I try to
    have a 'live and let live'attitude towards people
    who embrace a different politics to me.But the fact
    the Guardian named him'Commentator of the Year'is
    clearly a massive error of judgement on their part.
    Unless of course the tabloidisation of the Guardian
    is part of their game plan.

    Sorry for stating what most if not all of you already
    know vis-a vis MAM.But FFS the guy really is something

  26. Meant to say' MAMS response was harsh even by Daily
    Mail standards'.

    Not fully awake!

    Need caffeine!

  27. And BTW has anyone noticed that MAM is almost always
    the first poster on a thread?

    Is s/he being tipped off by Guardian Towers?

  28. Paul
    mam is a very sad case - whoever he is, life for him seems to revolve around cif 24/7. I really can't see how he could possibly fit a real life in around his posting.

    When he did get the opportunity to put a piece up atl after his 'win', it was pretty pathetic, even by cif standards.

    He's a pretty classic troll - if you look at his posts they seem designed to wind people up and get them diverted from discussing the nub of the piece. Sadly lots of people still get sucked in. My policy is to ignore him.

  29. There is a good piece on the Guardian, an interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I generally agree with her, but one charge I would level agaibst her is that she has some uncomfortable bedfellows.

    Yes she hates all religion, but she is happy to go on fox news with Bill O Reilly, and hang around with American Conservatives and Neo COnservatives who have somewhat militant Christian beliefs. I am sorry to sya this, but it does make her look like a simple pawn, a useful idiot.

    The article itself asks 'what is an atheist doing defending Chrsitianity?'

    My second charge levelled against her is this.- What is an atheist doing working at a rightwing American enterprise institute. Surely an atheist must realise that if tehre is no God, there is no divine help for humanity and we as humans have to work for ourselves. This does not nessesarily imply Marxist style socialism, but it means that in the absence of God a strong welfafre state is essential. Yet she as an atheist is working for a free market think tank. I feel that is a contradiction in terms as other atheists like Richard Dawkins, Ben Goldacre et al would place more emphasis on a humanitarian state. In short, most atheists tend to be left/liberal.

  30. Sheff

    I think you,re right.In fact come to think of it
    when i,m posting in the early hours at work he
    often 'appears'.

    Mam may be sad but even sadder is the fact that the
    Guardian not only encourage him but are giving people
    like the head of A4E such an easy ride.Again i,m
    probably stating what everyone here already knows.

    :-)-(smiley for you not mam!)

  31. Morning all....
    This made me larf
    some classic lines but this had me :
    "Set yourself up as the moral bulwark to Blair with his cult centre in the Middle East for swingers and worshippers at the altar of the tanning salon."

  32. Morning/afternoon all,


    I've said it before, but I think MaM is probably a consortium of many black cab drivers.
    Many of his views, and his method of expressing them, very much remind me of some of the more uncomfortable/awkward journeys I've experienced.

  33. James

    Just cycled (well wobbled actually) down to tescoland to recycle the many bottles I've accumulated over this election. Nearly went under a tram.

    I don't reccommend carrying a small off licence of empty wine bottles on a bike when it's windy!

  34. I'm slowly recovering from the excess of yesterday.

    I was going to dry out today but have just had some great news which will instead cause me to celebrate.

    Son has agreed a price on his first house - hopefully he and his wife will now get down to some serious shagging and start a family which me and my sometime so want them to do.

    I have taken in additional supplies and I may be a little giddy as the day progresses.

  35. One of the great pleasures of my life has been to have kids who I found that I liked when the finally nearly grew up.

    The lad and his wife will make great parents. I like his taste in women too.

  36. ...they finally....!

    Damn my poor typing.

  37. Sheff,

    lol. Kudos for the commitment to recycling!
    -one can't help but reflect on the irony of the dangers posed by it and a tram combination though...;0)


    Congratulations. I myself am about to re-embark on my own search for a house.
    Hope I have similar luck....

  38. My inclination would have been to advise against buying a house at this time.

    But the nesting needs of the lady have to be met and the biological clock is ticking 'cos they are both in their early 30's. If they find the market falling, as I expect it to - so what. There are more important things than deluding yourself about the value of houses.

  39. Deano

    Having grandchildren is good fun - they keep you on your toes in your dotage. Very unwise to get pissed when they're around though - the potential for humiliation is to difficult for them to resist. So drink what you can now!

  40. deano/chekhov/anyone else interested

    Regarding old footballers, I came across this wonderful anecdote by Mark E Smith of the Fall.

    A died in the wool Manchester City fan, he was interviewed by 'When Saturday Comes' about all things City. When asked about his favourite player:

    Who were your favourite players?

    "Harry Dowd, the goalkeeper in the championship team in 1968, was the best. He still worked as a plumber part-time and my dad was a plumber too. We used to go behind the goal and Harry would wander over and talk about washers and copper joints. I remember being at a cup tie once and Harry was saying “Do you know if this goes to extra time today, only I’ve got a job on at half five?” then suddenly people are shouting “Harry Harry!” and the team we were playing are charging down the pitch and Harry rushes out, dives at someone’s feet, throws the ball up the pitch then comes back and starts again, “So, is this extra time today...?”

    Now bear in mind Dowd was the goalkeeper of the great late 60's League and Cup winning side of Bell, Summerbee, Lee and Book. Brilliant.

  41. If I lived in Sheffield I think I would have to have a tricycle Sheff

    Tram tracks are an accident just waiting to happen to me. You be careful young miss.

  42. Cheers Duke - enjoyed that.

  43. Good advice there Sheff.

    I already have a granddaughter but she's at Uni now and when my daughter had her she was down in S Wales so we never got to see as much of her as we would have liked. And both of us had demanding jobs at the time which also kept getting in the way.

    Hopefully it should be different this time around. Of course one never likes to tempt fate and there is business of actually getting pregnant to be tackled first.

    My beloved late younger sisters lad and his wife passionately wanted kids but it wasn't to be, but happily in the end they were able to adopt a fine little man.

    One should never assume I suppose - my sometime was easy to get pregnant, just enter her for an exam. She fell pregnant with my daughter whilst doing her 'A' levels (as a mature ((21 year old))student) and again with the elder several years later whilst doing her finals. The youngest seemed to arrive just when she was considering doing a PGCE.

    Bloody woman also got better 'A's and degree than me despite the morning sickness!

  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

  45. Good poem in the graun from poet laureate - Carol Ann Duffy

    Here's a boat that cannot float.
    Here's a queue that cannot vote.
    Here's a line you cannot quote.
    Here's a deal you cannot note...
    and here's a sacrificial goat,
    here's a cut, here's a throat,
    here's a drawbridge, here's a moat...
    What's your hurry? Here's your coat.

  46. Well, a lot of Vitamin D can do wonders for the body. Lovely sunny day here in Glasgow.

    Have just been in Glasgow city centre. Went to the campign thingy George Monbiot was talking about yesterday, about campaign for real Democracy, namely electoral reform. Not many people turned out, but it is interesting anyway. A photographer from the BBC and a few newspapers turned out. If I can find the photo on the internet I will link it in.

  47. Having just read the Alexander Hay thread about free English degrees, I have decided I need a new internet acronym:


    (Oh, please do fuck off.)

  48. Nice one Montana! You American's are so polite had it have been me it would have plain ODFO.

    I see we have eight USA visitors.

  49. FFS - had it been me it would have been plain ODFO!

  50. Napoleon:

    Well, a lot of Vitamin D can do wonders for the body. Lovely sunny day here in Glasgow.

    A word of warning about that. Obviously too little vitamin D is bad: rickets and more, but too much can kill. Never eat a polar-bear's liver! It contains a fatal overdose of vitamin D.

  51. Montana,

    ODFO is a very good acronym, I like it. I'm also partial to a good Glaswegian 'GTF'- Get tae fuck.


    re MAM. We've all been there, believe me. Do just ignore him, it really is the best way.

    All you have to remember is that he is an enormous throbbing, veiny cock of an individual who is clearly the lovechild of Predator and Gordon Gekko.

  52. Hello All

    I see our farcical democracy continues on its wobbley way.


    Last time I ate a polar bear I had an overwhelming desire to go to sleep for the winter.

  53. Had text from youngest to say Leeds are going up!

  54. Paul

    MaM's posts are generally crude examples of bathos - a pompous style seeking to mask triviality of content.

  55. Deano

    Are we talking football as opposed to a city ascending into the sky ?

  56. deano - glad someone's happy. Grimsby are out of the Football League. Welcome to the Blue Square Premier...

  57. eye brain hand coordination not my strength to day and don't even think about the fegging apostrophe

  58. Anyone know the best way to cook leeks. Having them with mashed taters and mince

  59. Anyone else heartily sick of the word ´progressive alliance´ this last 24 hours? It´s clearly an acronym for:

    Psuedo bourgeois Lefties
    Rigorously believing the
    Oligarchy can be brought to
    Electoral reform
    Soon as my demands met
    Screw the workers, deprived and
    Victory is ours!
    Extra vinaigrette on my tuscan seared tuna nicoise please

  60. Duke - brilliant!

    Napoleon - sauté them with butter, salt and pepper, and mix into the mash.

  61. Just saw myself in a crowd on TV, on newsnight Scotland, well just about, you have to strain hard.

    It'll be up on iplayer soon

  62. thauma

    I was going to suggest sauteing - cut them into one inch chunks first Nap. I wouldn't mix them in the mash though - they're delicious on their own.

    Duke - great stuff! - now how about alliance?

  63. Just fired this off to the Guardian Weekend's editor. Something tells me it won't get published though...

    "Emma Brockes dismisses Ayaan Hirsi Ali's stance on the countervailing pressures of Islam on poor Muslem women, merely as a result of personal trauma. Further, she states that Ali's difficulty with her former religion is purely the result of self-inflicted harm in her vocal campaign of criticism of the reactionary forces within Islam.

    "As someone else who was "traumatised" by the discovery that for many people the world we live in is moulded by religious bigotry and intolerance, under an array of powerful religions I, like Ali, constructed a very rational view that if we are to have rights at all they are only to have true meaning if they are universal, and are extended to the world's most vulnerable and the world's poorest.

    "And I didn't read anything Ali said that would be "at home in a BNP pamphlet", and I'm curious why the editor let this unambiguous slur stay in. Brockes may feel uncomfortable with some of the company Ali keeps, but this grotesque exageration of her views is inherently racist in a way only white, privileged and Oxbridge-educated columnists can be.

  64. I don't know much about Ayaan Hirsi Ali's views, haven't read the interview with her, certainly haven't read her book. One thing I do know is that she is now a fellow with the American Enterprise Institute. In view of that, Napoleon K is being extremely charitable in saying that she has uncomfortable bedfellows. In becoming a fellow of the AEI, she joined in a clusterfuck of the most repugnant neo-cons on the planet.

    Dick & Lynne Cheney, John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz, David Gergen, Newt Gingrich, John Snow, Irving Kristol, John "It's only torture when another country does it" Yoo -- these are just a few of the AEI luminaries. Hirsi Ali would have to be a moron to not realise what sort of people she has aligned herself with and I doubt very much that she is that.

  65. BW - haven't read the piece you are referring to, but you have been eloquent on this and some other things recently, most notably the lovely post about your Dad.

    As someone who grew up in NI, I strongly agree with your point on bigotry and intolerance.

  66. Sheff - actually I leave the leek-cooking to the Welsh mister, but he decided to mix it with some mashed potato recently and it was very delish. In any event, it all goes down the same 'ole.

    Montana - AEI - eww.

  67. Montana: I have not met Ayaan Hirsi Ali, but i did know Theo van Gogh, who got murdered because of the film he made with her, slightly. I will not comment on his character as he is dead, but he was definitely not like the AEI lot.

  68. Bitterweed,

    I read that article with interest as well. There's much truth in what you say but Hirsi Ali holds a very ambivalent position to say the least in Dutch eyes.

    She made her Islamic criticisms widely known in the Netherlands by working closely with Geert Wilders and Rita Verdonk (another very right wing Dutch politician).

    Even within the renowned Dutch parameters of free speech, she was seen as unnecessarily antagonistic and outspoken, sometimes seen as a 'useful idiot' for the extreme anti-islamists and anti-immigrationists typified by Wilders.

    I think her message would carry more weight had she not allied herself so closely to the extreme right in the Netherlands.

    So yes, the Guardian has skewed the interview into their usual prism, but the company Hirsi Ali has kept in the past and present makes me unable to totally respect her either.

  69. Sheff,

    alliance. See what I can do. I'm on my fourth Belgian beer, so it'll be forthcoming shortly!

  70. Montana: have e-mailed you: are you receiving?

  71. Your Grice: I suppose you do know that Ayaan Hirsi Ali started as a PvdA (Labour) politician? weird, weird weird. I knew Theo in the 80s when Pim Fortuyn was still a Marxist professor.

  72. medve,

    yeah, she started PvDA then switched to the right wing VVD. It was there that she got involved with Wilders and Verdonk.

    And of course the delicious irony was that whilst standing on a hardline anti-immigration stance, she was forced to admit that she herself had lied about her full name and reason for coming to the Netherlands. That's why she quit the Dutch Parliament and moved to the US. As you know, it also led to the fall of the Balkenende II Government.

    By that time she was a high profile anti-islamic Muslim woman and was therefore welcomed with open arms by the neo-con hawks in Washington.

  73. I take all of those criticisms as perfectly valid; my point is that the article epitomises a kind of control held over the left in this country.

    Thanks thauma, that was kind.

  74. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2010/may/08/kay-burley-sky-news-twitter?showallcomments=true#end-of-comments

    If you thought it was impossible to hate Sky and Murdoch any more, watch this. I just wish the shitbag would drop down dead, and his repulsive son. Two of the most disgusting men on the planet.

  75. BW - glad you posted that on here, im not sure it'll see the light of day in the letters page ;)

  76. Hi All--Have read Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book, quite a harrowing tale of her youth and struggle to escape cultural and religious oppression of women. Much to admire but I must agree with Montana that her associations have tainted her. Dangerous people of no benefit to the world, they have made it more unstable by far. Haven't read any of her recent work, so not sure about her views now.

    Just had a parade go past the house led by 3 pipers followed by the mayor dressed in shorts and tee shirt. Quite a sight. Protocols have slipped away. Pipers were good though. Parade was organised to celebrate the founding of the village.

  77. Bitterweed,

    You're absolutely right, "Guardian Left" doesn't allow for any criticism of Islam, and the interview and catty remarks come across as a classic example of this.

    I just think that Hirsi Ali's message is severely compromised by the company she keeps and the circumstances of her departure from the Netherlands vis a vis her immigration status. In many ways she's an AEI mouthpiece for further neo-liberal interventionism in Foreign Affairs.


    simply put, Kay Burley makes me want to puke blood.

  78. Bitterweed,

    on a much more Saturday night note, can I get the party started with Jackie Wilson- Light my fire

    Before clicking on link! Listen closely to the breakbeat and the bassline on the chorus. Fucking unbelievable.

    If it doesn't make you want to stick on your Oxford bags, head down the Wigan casino and throw talc on the floor then you're obviously dead.

  79. Duke

    I know the feeling, i cant remember the last time i got so angry about a TV interview. I have just sent a charming complaint to OFCOM.

  80. Bah, Murdoch media twats.

  81. 'Night all - enjoy the evening!

  82. Jay,

    this is the Brave New World of media if Cameron gets in.

    night thauma.

  83. and meant to ask,

    what did you say in your complaint?

  84. I am very torn - my missus has just come back an hour ago from being away working sinc Friday morning. Time for wine, pizza and a dvd.

    I don't want to let this die right here though - Ali represents something problematic for me; I have some anecdotal evidence from an Egyptian friend - a psychiatrist - deliberately working with some very poor clients in Cairo. I feel his experiences in Cairo working with some poor and under-educated neighbours gives much of Ali's stance validity and context; I am not unaware that the company she keeps in Washington doesn't help matters in as much as they are helping keep that bastard in power in Egypt, which of course creates the political vacuum into which fundamentalist and reactionary Islam is steadily creeping out there. Five years it could look like Tehran. I shit ye not.

    But to do that justice - and your comments - I might have to get back in tomorrow some point between brerakfast and an afternoon thing I have to do.

    Cheers all, best wishes.

    And great tune Duke !

  85. Complaint was as follows:


    impartiality rules


    Murdoch scum


    etc etc... You know the drill.

  86. Jay,

    in your complaint did you say something along the lines of:

    "For the sake of reason, good and humanity, it is my wish that Murdoch, his offspring and all those taking his dirty shilling be shown to Porcine creatures specially bred at a secret location available to you for a nominal sum"?

    I hope so

  87. Duke
    The pigs might balk at that - they are fastidious creatures.

    The Hirsi Ali discussion is interesting. I would add only the thought that Muslims who speak out against repressive strands of Muslim socio'political movements can easily enough become fodder for far right groups.

  88. Bitterweed

    Was moved by your post yesterday about your Dad.Know
    he died relatively young but you always treasure the fact that he was a Dad to be proud of.He was from that generation whose politics were fuelled by conviction rather than the spin we get today.

    The tune you played was from my Dads generation not
    mine.Nice thought anyway!Cheers!

  89. Damn, I just smashed my landlords crystal wine glass, at least I think it was crystal. It was a big old wineglass as well, when I was drawing the blinds, they got caught on a flower vase which knocked over and smashed the wineglass. I shouldn't have been using it even, but for the election night coverage, I decided to have a glass of wine.

    Fuck sake. I have had a few errors round the house over the past couple of weeks, leaving things out, breaking small things, not putting things away right, whatever.

    He is patient, for sure, but I am wearing his hospitality thin.

  90. I feel like some kind of Japanese samurai, I have violated a code of honour. I will have to commit hara-kiri. :)

  91. I'm off to bed, good night people.

    Hey Paul - yeah same as, but I have this constant nagging feeling that there was a golden age for music and I missed it. Roughly speaking between 1958 and 1973. And I mean everywhere, not just Britain and USA. Jamaica, Barbados, Senegal, Nigeria, Cuba, South Africa, France... everywhere. And all that Studio 1 stuff is part of my thesis. It just rocks, and it liberates, and unites and pleases people beyond measure; it has "enjoy yourself and fuck the bigots" written to its core.

    And it's only rock and roll !


    Great !

    Night then

  92. Nap

    You seem trapped in a chapter of accidents.

    Best thing to do - to avoid further catastrophes - is to put away all breakables belonging to landlord. He will expect some breakages - normal in any household - but put away anything you think he might value.

  93. Forget the sword Nap - you'll stain the carpet.

    Evening Paul

  94. 13thDukeofWybourne
    In my day the talc didn't go on the floor..

    Baddum tish!


    Nap: Careful now.

  95. Yes, I am a walking disaster zone. I cannot put anything away as it is fully furnished with his stuff. It is a flatshare, but he is away often, so I can walk around in my underwear and drink milk out of the bottle quite often.

    Oh well, just have to accept things I suppose. Hopefully things will turn out better. Anyway, I am slightly tipsy. I will go to bed soon

  96. ""For the sake of reason, good and humanity, it is my wish that Murdoch, his offspring and all those taking his dirty shilling be shown to Porcine creatures specially bred at a secret location available to you for a nominal sum"?"

    It was nowhere near as good as that sadly, i think you should submit that to OFCOM right now Duke.

  97. 13th Duke: good story about Harry Dowd.
    For you and deano and anyone else joining for the night shift who might be interested chuck another log on the fire.
    In the 1950's professional footballers used to negotiate their contracts season by season. They were offered terms by which they got paid for the winter and the summer (the logic being that they didn't play in the summer!)
    Anyway as I mentioned earlier for those who missed it, Jimmy Hagan was the star attraction at Bramall Lane in those days and was lined up to go before the directors to negotiate his wages just ahead of my Dad (who from here on in will be referred to as Harold)
    Harold: "so what did they offer you?"
    Jimmy: Twelve and ten. (twelve pounds for the winter and ten pounds for the summer)
    So my Dad goes in and the conversation goes something like this:
    Directors: "We're offering you ten and eight"
    Harold: "But you've just offered Jimmy twelve and ten."
    Directors: "Yes, but he's a better player than you."
    Harold:"Not in the summer he isn't!"

  98. Before I hit the hay I must put this post by username 'self' from the Observer editorial thread on here:

    "Intellectually, and psychologically, Brown is no different from Mugabe and Stalin. So good luck in getting him to go. What really repulses me is the sudden ubiquity of the word 'progressive'. It's the kind of word that the people responsbile for the USSR, communist China and North Korea nailed their colours to. Essentially, it means communism and death to self-sufficient people who want to produce something"

    Undoubtedly the best post of the entire election.

    Night all.

  99. This comment has been removed by the author.

  100. Chekhov,

    just saw your post, cracking anecdote which typifies just what a hard life footballers did have. The season/summer wages were a part of life for footballers as was the retain transfer rule held by the clubs over players.

    George Eastham, the Newcastle United player took United to court in 1963 saying:

    "Our contract could bind us to a club for life. Most people called it the "slavery contract". We had virtually no rights at all. It was often the case that the guy on the terrace not only earned more than us — though there's nothing wrong with that — he had more freedom of movement than us. People in business or teaching were able to hand in their notice and move on. We weren't. That was wrong."

    Eastham partly won. He didn't gain the wages owed by Newcastle but it was ruled a restraint of trade and he was allowed to move to Arsenal.

    It's easy to romanticise the football past and easy to forget that players were treated like lackeys but I think that fans today lack the sense of identity with the players running out on the pitch. That's whats gone.

    Even at the highest level which your Dad played at, they came from the same street, area, town. Nowadays players are virtual reality, they don't really exist except on your TV screen or FIFA 2048 playstation game.

  101. 13th Duke; thanks for your reply. Indeed my Dad used to get on the tram from Shiregreen to Bramall Lane with the very people who paid his wages and he always stuck up for them. He also campaigned against footballers being "poached in" and demanding more money than home grown talent. Well we all know how that ended up don't we?

  102. Btw: just to clarify, there was no animosity between Jimmy and my Dad over this issue at all. They remained good pals till they both sadly "shuffled off this mortal coil"

  103. chekhov + Duke

    interesting posts. A club of any kind usually suggests a common interest among members. The local guy playing for his town was the commonplace. Football now is big business -a club having little real connection with the town whose name it carries.

    Politicians recently have been talking about civic pride - long gone in many towns as people no longer identify with towns and areas which don't provide work for them. The traditional industries have died, the whole 'pulling together' ethos has gone.

    The great immigration debate has set me to thinking about the ways in which we identify ourselves. British identity has been founded in many ways on regional identities - towns and counties - not too many generations ago on villages. Local sports clubs used to be part of that identity.

    As business - and football - has globalised people are retreating to defend themselves against 'incomers' - more a form of tribal territorialism than civic pride.

  104. 13th Duke: There was a lot of shit that hit the fan when my Dad got the sack at Bramall Lane. To his credit he rose above it and went on to partner the great John Charles and get Leeds into the top flight.
    My Dad was very modest about his talents but he has an "executive suite" at Bramall Lane named after him so he must have done something right!

  105. In 1596, Queen Elizabeth issued an "open letter" to the Lord Mayor of London, announcing that "there are of late divers blackmoores brought into this realme, of which kinde of people there are allready here to manie," and ordering that they be deported from the country. (1) One week later, she reiterated her "good pleasure to have those kinde of people sent out of the lande" and commissioned the merchant Casper van Senden to "take up" certain "blackamoores here in this realme and to transport them into Spaine and Portugall." (2) Finally, in 1601, she complained again about the "great numbers of Negars and Blackamoors which (as she is informed) are crept into this realm," defamed them as "infidels, having no understanding of Christ or his Gospel," and, one last time, authorized their deportation. (3)


    This shows us that discrimination against immigrants - born of fear and bigotry - is no new thing.

  106. Hi Leni: are we becoming more tribal again? I hope not but I agree with your point!

  107. Evening Leni and Chekhov

    Tis 2.00am and all is quiet!
    I think we,re a trio rather than a tribe.
    And where,s Habib?

  108. I'm pissed as in intoxicated by alcohol so probably give me a wide berth lest I make a tit of myself!

  109. Chekhov

    i don't hold with tribal identities but there are many who do.

    Hi Paul - we be but a ragged remnant .