30 May 2010

1431: Joan of Arc is burnt alive in Rouen; in 1883 In New York City, a rumour that the Brooklyn Bridge is going to collapse causes a stampede that crushes twelve people; 1961 – Long time Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo is assassinated in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The first day of the Kaamatan harvest festival (Labuan, Sabah) and Anguilla Day, commemorates the beginning of the Anguillian Revolution in 1967.
Born today

1010 – Emperor Renzong of China; 1220: Alejandro Nevski, héroe nacional y santo ruso; 1814 – Mikhail Bakunin, Russian anarchist (d. 1876); 1846: Carl Fabergé, orfebre y joyero ruso; 1961 – Harry Enfield, British comedian; 1909 – Benny Goodman, American clarinetist and bandleader; 1918 – Guadalupe "Pita" Amor, Mexican poet; 1939 – Michael J. Pollard, American actor; 1948: Salvador Puig Antich, Catalan revolutionary – the last to be executed by the Garotte; 1953 – Colm Meaney, Irish actor; 1955 – Topper Headon, British musician; 1961 – Harry Enfield, British comedian; 1970 – Flora Chan, Hong Kong television actress.


  1. Thought I'd help out - let Montana have a well-deserved lay in. Or stay out, whatever it is over there.

    Play nice. Or not...

  2. Ah those wild Spainards:

    Not so nice to Bulls & People

    but good with the guitars and the dancing.

    Cheers martillo I didn't know that the garrote was an offical method of execution in various parts of the Spanish speaking world.

    Must have something to do with having time to see your maker before you get to meet herm at the end.

    Slow hanging/suffocation/head removal - Latin imagination can be quite something.

  3. Good work, martillo.

    Interesting debate last night on child benefit, i was otherwise engaged on Hank's weekly bedpan change - but even there we made some progress (99? You beast).

    Oh god, we're going to have to come back that, just seen on waddya - Gogarty lives!!!!!


    Scroll down for old sproggers, oh sweet lord.

    "In the space of 24 hours, it became one of the most controversial and highest hit blogs in the history of e-journalism. I was pilloried for a number of reasons."

    "someone had discovered my dad had contributed a handful of travel features to the Guardian and this sparked accusations of nepotism, even inciting one person to put my name next to Kim Jong-Il under the 'nepotism' pages of Wikipedia. Third, in keeping with British lynching etiquette, class was brought into the equation."

    "My dad had an email from a woman with two grown-up children who said she hoped I would die,"

    "The mob had written the 'Max Gogarty' script and it had already aired."

    Goggers lives. And, unsurprisingly, its not open to comments.

  4. "...The garrote was sometimes used in England to execute religious heretics before they were burned at the stake...."

    Ah not to be outdone.

    "...The garrote was sometimes used in France to execute religious heretics before they were burned at the stake....and then eaten with a nice glass of red".

    Catholics don't like to be outdone.

    There you are Hank - see where competitive commenting gets you.

  5. La Rit - plainly education for women is the key to population growth.

    Read recently that 'projections' indicate that somewhere in 2052 will be the magic day/hour on which the world population reaches its peak and in the next minute it will start to fall. All down to the creeping spread of education of women.

    I won't be around to see but it will be interesting to see what happens as the 1 kid policy works its way through in China.

    I seem to recall that at the millennium it was said that by the next one, the very last of the Japanese would be just turning out the lights as their alleged native race became extinct.

    You can bet that the ladies having 4/5 kids will be claiming they are performing a patriotic duty.....

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. "The chancellor, George Osborne, expressed sadness at Laws's resignation. It was "as if he had been put on earth" to do the job of Treasury chief secretary.

    What nauseating double liquefied diarrhoea. It stings the eyes and angers the senses.

    The notion that '...put on earth to..' is not only arrogant it really is a signal of the dangerous mindset of these bastards.

    The garrote has contemporary uses after all

  8. Morning all!

    Posted some stuff on yesterdays thread earlier re: posting below.


    We have to stop waiting for something to happen and make it happen.

    Couldn't have put it better myself!

    Hank - the problem with means tested benefits is that they often cost more to administer than the money they save. I am instinctively against the setting up of even more bureacracies.

    An even bigger problem (one that, in a sane society would be easier to fix) is that the bar is susually set too low so that people lose all the benefits as soon as they are 1p above the bar and really loose significantly by this (aka the poverty trap)

    Easier (and cheaper) is to claw back the benefit from the rich by taxation.

    Wont happen of course :)

    Hank OTH -

    I'd also abolish charitable status for private schools and take away state funding for faith schools.

    Agree totally with that the state should not fund religious instruction and the rich don't need charity ffs!

    Its time the left remembered that it stood for equality not diversity.

    Oh Yes!!!!!

  9. deano,

    re: execution methods. The forebearer of the guillotine was the Halifax gibbet, used in the town of Halifax for public executions from the 13th Century onwards.

    James VI of Scotland was so impressed with its efficiency he introduced it in Scotland where after some modifications became known as the mainden.

    When Doctor Guillotin was entrusted with finding a quick, mechanical, egalitarian way of execution, he simply modified the existing model of the maiden.

    Unbelievably the last execution by guillotine was in 1977, when the convicted murderer Hamida Djandoubi was guillotined in Marseilles prison.

    France got rid of capital punishment in 1981.

  10. post deleted because of the mystery of the vanished then double post!

  11. Duke - cheers bro.

    I'm glad to see that the good folk of Halifax, Yorkshire liked to add a flourish to their public entertainments.

  12. I'm very skeptical over those figures, Deano, showing a peak population globally. Firstly, religion wont stand for that. Births are the primary cause of religious growth, not conversions. Religions grow by encouraging births, hence they are all so vehemently against birth control, contraception, etc.

    The second reason is business and economic growth. As NewLabour showed, more people = more workers, more consumers, and more GDP (and the media kindly fail to ask them about GDP per capita).

    So thats two of the biggest power sources in the world, religion and business, sitting very firmly in the pop growth camp. Who is going to take those two on?

    Not liberals, because having children is a "right". Yes it is, but it is not a right to have them socially supported and financed; thats a choice we make as a society and we can draw the cut off point wherever we chose - support for no kids, 1, 2, 10, 20, whatever.

    To be self sufficient, in food terms, i think the UK population would have to be around 30million, if memory serves. Long term, the UN should be asking all states to reduce their pop to a self sufficient level.

    If you are having to import, someone else is having to export. And when it comes to poor countries, exports will of course take priority to feeding the locals, you can be sure that'll be seen to via any means necessary.

    We are polluting at an unsustainable rate for 6billion people, let alone 9billion. And if people aren't prepared to address it then nature definitely will - and i dont think her solutions will be particularly cuddly or humane, more like millions starving to death on shrinking landmasses.

    Religion needs to be brought to heel on the issue, for the pope to speak as he does on contraception in Africa has caused countless deaths. He should be in the Hague for crimes against humanity, these petty, perverted men of the cloth causing untold damage and misery to feed their flock.

  13. "I'd also abolish charitable status for private schools and take away state funding for faith schools."

    Yep, that is long overdue. And i think, polls show, this is supported by a big majority against funding faith schools. Yet NL and Tories far from stopping funding to faith schools are actually expanding them!

    British democracy...

  14. "I'd also abolish charitable status for private schools and take away state funding for faith schools."

    I'd abolish the public schools and garotte some of their staff and most of the pupil's parents. The rest I would introduce to the Halifax gibbet.

    (I always like to think that the University of the UT provides additional knowledge that can be put to good use)

    Hank really is a gentle person at heart. His reformation is quite mild by some standards.

  15. Jay I took the reference from Danny Dorling's book Injustice (recently reviewed in Guard and drawn to my attention by Chin a few weeks ago.)

    In turn Danny referenced the claim with a footnote which signals:

    "(...see www. worldmapper.org on the 2050 projection and technical notes there)..."

    I've not checked it out myself (yet) but would naturally expect a complex array of assumptions etc

    I'm enjoying the book and have a tendency thus far to give Dorking a lot of time and good will.

  16. Jay my Irish friends tell the priests one thing and do quite another in bed!

    And not all Micks are sodomists.

  17. Jay The rich aren't dim.

    They don't really want more economic growth per se they just want more wealth/power. They will be just as happy to exploit a smaller population more intensively.

  18. Jay Yea as expected the Dorling data set is fairly complex..............

    But I came across this beauty:

    "Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all." Charles Babbage

    Am away with the dogs.


  19. 3 Hours, no rain and someone has already fired up the BBQ in our communal garden...The endless barbecuing of meat and fish by the Portuguese folk who live here is extraordinary! They're obsessed with it :)


    RE: population reduction/control...I still think the problem is the fact that 2 kids living in leafy Surrey and being driven around in a Chelsea tractor use about 1000x the resources of 2 kids in sub-saharan Africa.

  20. Duke:

    "France got rid of capital punishment in 1981"

    Bloody hell, that's a bit of a shocker.

  21. Deano

    Its a common figure, yeah, wasnt suggesting you'd taken it from a silly source.

    If the assumptions include deaths and starvation from lack of food and climate change then fair enough, but i hope they are not suggesting that this will come about just through socio-political changes, i really think that would be wildly optimistic.

    ALL micks are sodomists, i read it on teh interwebz!

  22. "I still think the problem is the fact that 2 kids living in leafy Surrey and being driven around in a Chelsea tractor use about 1000x the resources of 2 kids in sub-saharan Africa."

    Yep, but there are still millions starving in Africa, and if we truly want the world to have the living standards that we do then that is absolutely impossible at current pop levels.

  23. For Scherf - I'm not very good with the 'bluffer'

    When I said "And not all Micks are sodomists."

    I had hoped that my readers would conclude that i) Oscar was a brilliant exceptional guy and ii) that for some consenting couples sodomy was a form of birth control. But I recognise that may have been a valiant hope.

    Ah the pains and consequences of a twisted mind struggling with an incomplete grasp of the language - in my case inevitable obscurity and a spell on the resignation benches.

    It was not my intention to come across as a homophobic racist bitey. Some Chinamen and China ladies had reached similar conclusions and practices so I believe although they may not wish to talk about it to strangers.

    By the way has anyone (Chin/A42) come across statistics/evidence to suggest that homosexuals suffer less prostate problems? Serous question.

    It would make sense. I think I read somewhere that you can get a prostate massager on a stick.

  24. @ 11:56 Dorling not Dorking - there you see Montana the price of hasty and ill-considered typing is a completely different and unintended understanding/confusion to a careful reader.

  25. Jay:

    I don't want people to go back to the dark ages in terms of standards of living, christ, it took long enough to get people out of the squalor of the slums in this country.

    I think we have to redefine what we mean by 'living standards' - what does it constitute? I agree that getting 6 billion people on an equal playing field is madness in terms of how we measure material wealth.

    What I am interested in is people understanding how few resources we need to consume in order to live a comfortable existence and how large-scale waste is built into every aspect of the western life. I don't personally do it,can't abide it, but many,many people, sucked in by advertising, buy far more food than they can eat.... tons and tons of it is thrown away each year. Go to a supermarket or a dept. store and just watch the way people treat everything around them with contempt - it's shocking and I see, particularly women doing this. It appalls me.

  26. Fucking hell, has anyone clocked that Ben Bradshaw thread on CiF. Jesus wept, more rebranding from the contemptible Newlab shits, this time having the bastard affrontery to link David "neo-liberal" Miliband to the Tolpuddle martyrs. How fucking low can New Lab (sorry_looks like the rebrand means we can identify the shits as "Next" Labour,FFS)go?

  27. 'living standards' - what does it constitute

    It most certainly does not adequately constitute or define quality of life.

  28. Alisdair:

    God , haven't seen that one yet, but am off out very shortly..... the 'bastard affrontery' to link Milliband D. to the Tolpuddle Martyrs? You joking right? Fuckers.

    BTW: congratualtions on impending Fatherhood ;)

  29. There's a lot of waste, yeah, but things like buildings, shelter, food, clean water, heating in winter, medical care, and energy - this all takes up resources and we have a finite amount. Both economic growth and pop growth cant go on forever, but still it seems rarely mentioned.

  30. Deano Jay,

    This is something I'm really interested in and I'd love to carry on the discussion, but we're off to my sister's for some black bean soup in a min and might go clubbing later....

    later maybe?

    Have a lovely day one and all ;)

  31. Jay

    I don't know about economic growth (I think I have more than demonstrated my lack of economic knowledge in the past ;) ) but population growth is a minefield, there isn't much you can say without someone calling you a eugenics nazi and or telling you to do the decent thing and go first.

    I did a couple of ecology modules a few years ago, and yes a little learning is a dangerous thing, but one thing we did learn is that overpopulation is not a sustainable option for any population.

    We don't have any predation problems (except each other of course) but at some point disease, famine and competition for resourses is going to wipe out a lot of people.

    I doubt I will be around then and I am glad about that because I can see it being brutal.

  32. Have to agree Jay

    Gap in showers - must get the dogs out.

  33. No worries laRit, should be about later.

    Jennifer - tricky debate, yes, very delicate topics, but as you say if people arent prepared to do something it will be taken out of our hands eventually, and it wont be pretty. And the earlier things get addressed the less severe the measures will need to be.

  34. Hi All

    Schools - agree entirely on abolition of private and religious schools. Until all children attend state schools the battle to improve educational standards for all will not be won. The rich , the privileged are not going to support us though, it would destroy one of the main foundations of privilege. Until all schools are state run the rich and powerful voices will not be pressuring for improvement - they do not want their kids up against bright kids from the lower orders for fear of inadequacies being exposed.

    Controlling family size by restricting child benefit - unless coercion (forced abortion) was used this would effect poorer families only. The high income earners could still afford mre children without support. This would change the demographics , of course, and some of their offspring might have to do jobs formerly deemed beneath them - or they would bring in more immigrants !

    Jenni - you mentioned ecology and carrying capacity - this is a serious thing and as I said last night we also need studies on the carrying capacity of cities in terms of the numbers of people they can support- jobs, housing services etc.

  35. Hank

    Left is about equality.

    Is it ? How do we ensure equality without uniformity? Do we say everyonr gets paid the same - shall we say k15 pa. No bonuses, private company shareholders get 1% max dividend and all other profits which are not invested in business go as tax to improve services etc.

    Do we nationalise everything and again go for flat wage across board ?

    What do we do about immoveable assets - houses , land ? These are the areas where the main discrepancies lie and which help determine that indefinable thing - quality of life.

    Or is quality of life more to with happiness, fulfillment, self realisation etc. once we go above the provision of basic needs?

    worth a thoughtful discussion.

  36. A pleaure, deano and jay. It was called the Garrote vil (vil from villano: commoner. Nobles got off with decapitation by sword). Almost as cruel a punishment is not allowing us to congratulate young Max on his survival and new-found friendship with himself.

    Just got back from the beach. How's your bank holiday weekend?

  37. "Just got back from the beach."


    "How's your bank holiday weekend?"

    Trudging along on a 4,000 word essay :(

  38. Martillo

    The history of punishment shows a sadism in the powerful from the beginning of time. They lessened the cruelty towards their peers for fear of it all catching up with them.

    Sadism and its place in the history of politics and religion would be a wothwhile and sobering read.

  39. Sorry jay. Having it so close, it seems rude not to.

    What are you doing, Media Studies? ;0)

  40. That was a delightful walk.

    Green barley (with the fruit just protruding from the stalk), strong winds, and the shadows of dashing clouds, all make for a feast for the eyes and ears. It really dances. It sings too, when you walk in the lee you can hear the music of the shards crashing together - like thousands of tiny bells, fucking exquisite music.

    If the latitudes and time of year weren't against it, an open cremation before one's friends and family in the middle of a field windswept of green barley could make death acceptable.

    The latitudes? The celebration of life in an ideal world being well rounded off with a display from the Northern lights in the late evening (Aurora Borealis I have yet to see you).

    What a blissful picture for departing this world for a viking who suffers from seasickness...

    ("Isaac Asimov related the anecdote about a seasick passenger whom a steward cheerfully assured that nobody ever died from seasickness. The passenger muttered, "Please – it's only the hope of dying that's keeping me alive.")

    Guess I ought to ask Dott - how far North can barley grow?

    A fireworks display to say goodbye to

    Good slide show here - wait for it to load!

  41. "What are you doing, Media Studies?"

    Jaffa and shortbread theory (Hons).

  42. Graun pages

    "400 bad request"

    Has the Graun taken its servers offline to close down the resurgent Gogarty incident?

  43. LaRit/Leni

    Was never suggesting an enforced 2 child policy.Just
    to make that clear.

    Let,s look at the facts-

    Birth rates amongst middle class British women have been below replacement level-ie 2.1 children per woman -for many years now.This is largely because of the relatively high level of middle class career women who are either childless or have just one child.Middle-class families with 4-5 children are very rare.

    Child poverty in Britain is very heavily concentrated
    in families with 3 or more children.And a disprortionate number of these are in Muslim families
    where 60% of children are classified as living in
    poverty.These high birth rates are being fuelled
    by the high rate of arranged marriages between
    British and non-British nationals.And are in my
    opinion compunding the problems of poverty already
    existing in Britains communitites-.

    Of course education is important and British Muslim
    children-especially girls -have seen great improvements in educational achievement over the
    last decade.But because so many are being married
    off at a relatively young age this greater
    academic achievement is not being translated into
    greater participation in either higher education
    or the workplace.Plus a high proportion of non
    British Muslim spouses from Pakistan and Bangladesh
    are uneducated,unskilled,don,t speak good English
    and are in effect unemployable in the British Labour

    Greater investment in education and vocational training and a major redistribution of wealth through
    the tax and benefit system combined with a stable
    or declining population should make huge inroads
    into eradicating poverty and inequality in this
    country.And part of the package has to be much
    tighter controls on all forms of immigration
    other than asylum.And if people want more than two
    children then the onus should be put on both
    parents to go out to work and support them.And the
    role of the state should be in providing in-work
    benefits and childcare.As i said earlier the average
    birth rate amongst middle class women in this
    country has been below 2.1 children per woman for
    many years now.It is working class women who have
    higher birth rates and that increasingly is tied
    to unemployment/inactivity and amongst non-Asian
    women to lone parenthood and /or multiple relationships.

    Hope people don,t see my views as the rantings of
    a bigot.As i,ve rushed this post i may come back
    later and either correct or add to it.However my
    view is that part of the deal of improving working
    class life chances in this country has partly got
    to be down to less working class immigration and
    fewer working class children-irrespective of ethnicity.And i hope this would happen naturally
    against the right non-draconian backdrop.

  44. Leni - I might be persuaded to accept modest wage differentials but only if accompanied by very strict rules on inheritance.

    Maximum you can leave your kids should equal no more than one years average earned income. All above gets spent on a public wake!

  45. ps-In fact if anyone does thing my views are the
    rantings of a bigot could i politely suggest that
    that is part of the problem in the debate.The speed
    with which those on the LEFT especially will brand
    as a bigot anyone who expresses a a non-PC view
    which is nevertheless based on the facts as they see them.

  46. For the record:

    .. the Guard search engine was, as Swifty suspected, the fault in hiding Hank's and Monkeyfish's archived comments.

    It's working again and thus they are now available again.

  47. I'm not sure sadism is the privilege of the poweful, Leni. And as for their peers, the penalty for high treason was to be hung, drawn and quartered up until (officially, at least) 1814.

  48. Paul - difficult to know if you would be called a racist eugenists or eugenisit racist if you were to suggest that an enquiry into the wisdom of first cousin marriages among certain immigrant groupings might be helpful...

    Keeping it in the family may have its natural limitations. Perhaps we should just let the rich breed themselves to extinction?

    Nah fuck it I'm for the garrotte

  49. Hi all. Interesting discussion last few days. Not been around as been bit depressed and other than trying to argue against right wing freaks on welfare threads haven't been doing much socialising on or offline.

    Speaking of said threads - oldredeyes is a good poster - wonder who they can be?

    Re population - I do think it is a tricky subject but this is a finite planet with finite resources - it makes sense to me that we cannot keep expanding the population indefinitely.

    I have had a good read of some of the really interesting stuff that has been put up on ut2 last few days - good work Anne and Sheff.

    Off to a barbie this afternoon - not really up for it due to the black dog but maybe some sun, wine and burnt offerings will soothe the soul?

    I blame the condems for this depression - it started when they got elected and gets worse every time that f'ing fool from the very bottom of the barrell IDS opens his nasty little gob.

    Enjoy the sunshine!

  50. Leni

    The history of punishment shows a sadism in the powerful from the beginning of time

    Just dug out Foucault's Discipline and Punish - if you're interested in the the history of punishment in western societies and the growth of a disciplinary society - its worth a read. Bit heavy going in places but not that bad.

    He discusses western prison systems, police, admin and legal hierarchies and their purpose/potential for social control. He talks about prisons, schools, factories, (and in the 21st century I'd add places like call centres) as all sharing a common organisation, in which it is possible to control the use of an individual's time and space hour by hour.

    Which arguably replaces the public spectacle of punishment that used to prevail.

    "In modern justice and on the part of those that dispense it there is a shame in punishing, which does not always preclude zeal. This sense of shame is constantly growing."

    He goes on to say that

    "From being an art of unbearable sensations punishment has become an economy of suspended rights"

    and that

    "we must rid ourselves of the illusion that penalty is above all (if not exclusively) a means of reducing crime..."

    Punishment is "a political tactic."

    I know a lot of people despise Foucault these days but he does say some very interesting things - even if they are embedded in a forest of impenetrable post mod jargon. D & P isn't that bad though.

  51. PCC - hope your feeling better for the Sheffield do on the 5th?

    Sheff - interesting observations that strike a chord..

  52. Interesting debate on Population and resources but I do see a bit of neo-malthusianism coming into the arena.

    When I observe the likes of Prince Charles, Zac Goldsmith and the BNP all proclaiming that there are too many people, alarm bells ring in my head.

    This misanthropic, dim view of humanity has always been promoted for narrow religious, and in contemporary society, political and class reasons.

    The term neo-malthusianism comes from Thomas Malthus, whose Essay on the Principles of Population saw the poor dying out in a cycle of sin and sex as they procreated in a time of less and less food resources.

    Malthus went on to be employed by the East India company, training the British administrators that nothing could or should be done for the poor. If they die of hunger and disease then they die of hunger and disease, there should be no attempts to help or aid them. Be it British or Indian poor, they were undeserving.

    Through the 1800's we observe Malthus' influence in British Govt policy- from the poor laws, to non intervention in the potato famine, Malthus taught that humans cannot intervene in Nature (or God's) law.

    It's a short step from the priests of the 14th Century who preached that only praying for God's forgiveness could save people from the Plague and Malthus' teachings that humanity should stand naked and helpless in the face of God's wrath.

    And this is why I have a huge problem with the neo-malthusians of today they take an extremely dim view of humanity, humanity cannot be trusted to diversify, to find solutions to human population growth despite Malthusians being wrong every single time they have spread the myth of population armageddon.

    Tertullian ( a Christian philosopher 160-210 ad) who in 200 ad said We are burdensome to the world, the resources are scarcely adequate for us… already nature does not sustain us. was wrong. Malthus was wrong, Ester Boserup completely debunked his theory. Paul Ehrlich was wrong. He prophesied that billions would die in the 1970’s, spectacularly underestimating ‘The Green Revolution’.The club of Rome is wrong, they have all proven to be erroneous preachers of doom with narrow political and religious agendas.

    It’s of no coincidence of course that Malthus was a comfortably well off clergyman, Paul Ehrlich is a comfortably well off liberal, the Club of Rome, a shadowy neo-liberal cabal and as for Goldsmith, Charles Windsor and George Monbiot…..

    They propagate the myth of competition for resources, distrust and once more- divide and rule. Wittingly or unwittingly, they deflect the argument away from the real issue- the democratic means of the control of wealth, economy and resources into an argument which has an extremely dim view of man as animal, unable to diversify and change and in constant state of competition for dwindling natural resources, whilst the privileged classes continue to enjoy their privileged lifestyle.

    Now, I’m not arguing that there is no hunger in the world, but when I see the privileged classes propagating a debunked theory that in essence states humans (ie those beneath us) should not have the same entitlements as us, that’s when I become extremely suspicious. Neo-Malthusianism is nothing more than the defence of the Privileged classes over the non privileged.

  53. Barbara Ellen
    The Observer, Sunday 30 May 2010

    "Am I mad or does the fact that David Laws is gay make no difference to the fact that he fiddled his expenses?"

    A fair question Barbara. Bring on the garotte.

  54. And another thing!!!

    People on the LEFT are prepared to acknowledge that a combination of immigration and high working class birth rates are creating a surplus of Labour in working class communites that is driving down working class pay and conditions.And is leaving the working classes ripe for exploitation by the middle classes.
    Yet when you try and move the debate into looking at ways of addressing this you end up in a politically
    correct minefield that is largely of the Lefts making.

    Yes i want equal rights for everyone but it seems
    that PC is nowadays used most effectively in stifling
    any spontaneous debate amongst the working classes.
    We don,t look at the fault lines that are now deeply
    rooted bases on race,religion and between working
    versus non working poor.Yet we acknowleged that our
    middle class 'masters' use these fault lines to
    divide and rule us.WTF is that all about?

    Back to birth rates.Population growth in Britains
    working class communites is greater than it is
    amongst the middle classes.Surely people can recognize
    that this bodes ill for the future given the current
    predictions for both environmental and economic
    change in this country.

  55. Your Grace

    an argument which has an extremely dim view of man as animal,

    Except, of course for their good selves as you say. Unfortunately they need us to keep them in the manner to which they are accustomed, problem for them is working out how many of us they need and how to control that.

    In the absence of being able to implement some form of population control - the huxleyan dystopia is not a bad idea - keeping the tribes divided and encouraging individual desire for 'stuff' so that we remain fatly on our sofas in front of our plasma screens, watching the footie, with our giants packs of crisps and kfc's - rather than out in the street stringing them up. Bit of a facile analysis, but you know what I mean.

  56. That Malthusain influence lives in all sorts of ways................even in the prevailing philosophy of wildlife camaramen/directors ( a young chick fall from a nest .."we can't possibly interfere in nature and put it back" easy as that sometimes is). Always outrages me since my inclination is to do a good turn whenever I can, not turn a blind eye.

    That said I think it possible to come to a view of the population/resources question by realising that.......... if all the world lived at, or aspired to live at, USA standards of living, life might well turn out to be a deal more uncomfortable than comfortable for all.

    I always hope that faced with the question(s) of resources and people numbers, folk might think that taking some off the rich to give to the poor might be a start. Of course it may be dangerously possible to turn to eugenics for a solution and thus we should be watchful of the debate and debaters.

    I do not think that the economic growth scenario will lead to improved quality of life for all. (or even very many). Thus I can identify with a message without agreeing with motives of the story teller.

  57. The great sadness of the contemporary politics is that these days political leaders do not see it as necessary, or desirable, to develop an electorate through understanding and through education and awareness raising.

    We see few politicians seeking the understanding of the electorate. We see instead cynical manipulation and deception. These are not the likely tools of progress.

    When have we seen a politician make a serious effort to understand or attempt to explain the basis of the recent economic difficulties.

    Not difficult to understand why PCC has the black dog on her.

  58. The luddites' mistake was to smash the mechanised looms and not the owners of them.

  59. deano,

    I always hope that faced with the question(s) of resources and people numbers, folk might think that taking some off the rich to give to the poor might be a start. Of course it may be dangerously possible to turn to eugenics for a solution and thus we should be watchful of the debate and debaters.

    Interesting that you should bring up eugenics in terms of population and resources.

    One of neo-liberalism's building blocks, the 1968 essay "The tragedy of the commons" was written by a biologist, Garrett Hardin, who until then had been best known for writing a Biology textbook which argued for the "control of human breeding for 'genetically defective' people" as well as other delights.

    The World Bank recently delcared this essay to be “the dominant paradigm within which social scientists assess natural resource issues.”

    The central argument of this essay is that communities that share resources inevitably pave their way for their own destruction. Instead of welath for all, there is wealth for none.

    He then went on to argue that the only way to protect natural resources was for the exploitation and distribution of natural resources to be privatised as it is in the private producers self interest to ensure the resource is not over exploited.

    Not once in this essay, does he provide any evidence 1. That the sharing of the commons led inevitably to tragedy as the resources run out, he ignores the historical examples of self regulation within a community and 2. How privatisation would solve this.

    No problem for the neo-liberals though, as they used this essay as their academic tool to ransack their way across the world privatising oil, minerals, gold etc exploitation and production concentrating the "common wealth" into the hands of the few.

    Indeed G.N Appell, the anthropologist stated in 1995 that the article:

    "has been embraced as a sacred text by scholars and professionals in the practice of designing futures for others and imposing their own economic and environmental rationality on other social systems of which they have incomplete understanding and knowledge."

    In other words, today's neo-malthusians. They use the "resource depletion" threat as a means to deflect away from the real existing neo-liberal exploitation of the resources that should be for the wealth of all and not the few.

    It's no coincidence again that Hardin, an architect of neo-liberalism, should have had a previous career of promoting population control and genetic engineering ie, a neo-malthusian.

  60. Duke - the Ester Boserup link looks interesting from a very quick scan. I'll take a a careful read of it later. Have bookmarked it.

    Worthy of a posting on UT2 perhaps?

    I am away for a awhile.

  61. Duke Your comment at 16:26 should of itself be worthy of discussion on UT2 - excellent stimulating stuff.


  62. "....He then went on to argue that the only way to protect natural resources was for the exploitation and distribution of natural resources to be privatised as it is in the private producers self interest to ensure the resource is not over exploited..."

    Save only that the greatest and most useful natural resource of all is man himself - but he, if he be not 'me', can be exploited to the point of his extinction.

    Arrogant bastards.

    Now stop being interesting - I really must get some shopping/cooking/walking done.

  63. "...the private producers self interest to ensure the resource is not over exploited..."

    The Greenspan argument for light touch financial regulation if I recall it correctly !!

  64. Yr Grace

    He then went on to argue that the only way to protect natural resources was for the exploitation and distribution of natural resources to be privatised as it is in the private producers self interest to ensure the resource is not over exploited.

    This is such a load of self justifying tosspottery and of the most venal kind. It still amazes me that it's taken seriously as an argument by anyone with half a brain and that they can get away with it too. and to think that it forms part of the bedrock of present organisation is terrifying. You can see how we've come to this pass now.

  65. Wiki - on Greenspan:

    "In Congressional testimony on October 23, 2008, Greenspan acknowledged that he was "partially" wrong in opposing regulation and stated "Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder's equity — myself especially — are in a state of shocked disbelief."[37] Referring to his free-market ideology, Greenspan said: “I have found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I have been very distressed by that fact.”"

    Not half as fucking distressed as some of us are - cunt.

  66. Duke et al

    Malthus - we have to be careful about embracing these ideas. Both Darwin and Wallace realised - after reading M - that the birth of more offspring than could survive would lead to competition - in man as well as plants and animals.

    Malthus himself recommended the control of the number of children the lower classes should have.

    We hear echoes of this now - too many 'thick', undereducated kids being produced by the feckless - unemployed, sick blah, blah.

    Here we had one of the nasty insidious roots of eugenics which flowered triumphantly in the 20th century.

    Great things - good and bad - from small thoughts and observations can grow.

    Malthus was talking predominantly about population outgrowing agricultural production - there are echoes of this today as famine strikes in parts of the globe. If we extend this to employment and the provision of services we have to be aware that it is the poor of the world who suffer from the lack of them - are we to 'regulate' only their right to have children?

  67. I couldn't agree more Leni

    I often thought when I read, our mutal friend, the jocular Mr Pike Bishop that should a competition develop between a shortage of hay for his daughters pony and me and my kids well being - then, if he had his way, the likes of me would be in the cattle-wagons in a shot.

    Amazing what you can find in the dark corners of the minds of many on the right. (And if PeterBracken is reading in - possibly in the desperate despots of the left too)

  68. Programme on Radio 4 on tetra-ethyl lead manufactured by Innospec, based at St Helens, found guilty of graft and corruption on top of profiting massively out of poisoning children in Indonesia and India where they sell the stuff

    How can they possibly justify ethically, manufacturing and supplying a product banned in the west for its well known hazards to health to other countries?

    Typical example of what we were talking about above. I'd string 'em up - they are effectively disabling and murdering children.

  69. Since PCC is dining out as we write I'll say it for her............". - thus who could seriously argue that IDS is anything but an advocate of a eugenic solution". What the fuck does he think the poor and marginalised ill will eat when they can't find the non-existent work which their disabilities restrict them to.

    'Tosspottery' indeed Sheff

  70. Leni

    For the population to replace itself each woman has
    to have the equivalent of 2.1 children.At present the
    current British birth rate is 1.95 children per
    woman.However around 24% of births are now to women
    born overseas.

    Yes i would like the population to be allowed to
    decline naturally.And with less immigration and
    fewer births that would eventually happen.

    Regarding limiting child benefit to 2 children
    per woman i am not looking for draconian measures
    to be applied to women who have more.What i am however
    doing is trying to look beyond the statistics
    and see who would benefit most from a lower birth
    rate.And at present whilst the overall birth rate
    is 1.95 there are huge dispoarities based on the
    ethnic and social background of the mother.

    For example in the London Borough of Newham-one of
    the poorest in the country-the birth rate is 2.8
    children per woman.Whilst in Kensington and Chelsea-
    one of the richest-it is 1.47 per woman.

    Unfortunately i can,t provide the evidence but
    i am 99.9% sure that there was a report stating
    that the increases in child benefit under New Labour had led to the poorest women in Britain having around 60,000 more children than they would have done.Will google later and see if i can find that report.

    I want a reduction in the birth rate and immigration
    to take place against a backdrop of true socialist
    principles not just in terms of investment in health,
    education ,training etc but also in a further redistribution of wealth throught the tax and benefit system that benefits the poorest in society.
    And i feel that if the working classes are producing
    fewer potential workers to be exploited then that
    should also provide an impetus for driving up
    working class pay and conditions as well.

  71. A perfect example of why my resignation is long overdue - 35 posts from me today and it's not yet six o'clock!

    Discipline deano, self discipline, that which you have never in your life had ......

  72. Deano

    As soon as you speak of the deserving against the undeserving poor you are looking through the eyes of an eugenicist - some become expendable undesirables.

  73. leni - you can't guarantee equality of outcomes so equality of opportunity - real equality of opportunity is the way forward.

    On income I don't think this means everyone 'earning' the same but a generous minimum income and a maximum possible income might be a good idea.

    Ultimately a moneyless society is a possibility. Retail just becomes a means of distribution everyone gets what they need. I actually think its possible that when everyone can geteverything there will be no point in overconsumption which has more to do with power and prestige than anything.

    Worth thinking about? We can't know how a socialist society would work but we already have the technology to manage the above (credit cards?)

  74. I have to agree again Leni - that was why I encouraged young Nap to look out for and think about the words and distinctions between 'feckless' and 'hapless' and the 'deserving/undeserving' poor.

    A42 - we have to look at the ideas that allegedly 'clever' (read superior) people employ to justify their wage differentials......... often Darwinian.

    I think it was one of Darwin's cousins/relatives that contributed a lot to the early eugenisits....

  75. The selfish gene seems to be SHOUTING "the deserving rich me" and "the undeserving poor you".....

    My collectivist genes are shouting fuck you!

  76. Anne

    i am only at the stage of tryingto think things through - yes, still wondering after all these years !

    Equality of opportunity is a common battle cry and one I have employed myself.

    However - poverty is more than lack of money - it also covers - among other things, the inability to take advantage of opportunity. The inability to use our gifts and positive attributes. Opportunity also promotes competition.

    Certainly if income distribution were more equal - if all were able to purchase more than the basic necessities opportunities for growth, personal development would open up. How people would use a surplus we don't know.

    Over consumption has been encouraged - to keep the wheels turning. I don't personally care if some fool spends hundreds on a designer handbag just so long as nobody is hungry, living on the streets or fails to reach their potential because of lack of education or other basic right.

    How we define opportunity is a problem in itself - do the disabled for example get extra help or are they - as now - in the same race as everybody else?

    e must be missing a trick somewhere - how ever hard we think or work we fail to find the answer. ooperatives can help groups willing to work together - but society overall ?

  77. for 'wage differentials read income differentials.'

    I never understood why the selfish gene had taught it's owner that the best way forward was to live off unearned income and the sweat of others. Did the naughty gene never hear of the Romanov solution?

  78. deano/leano et al

    In Britain if you are on a relatively low income
    you are often better off on benefits if you have
    3 or more children.And the more over three you go
    the lesser the incentive to get a job becomes.

    Living on benefits only provides a basic standard
    of leaving so it would be absolutely inhumane to
    reduce benefit levels-something many Tories would
    like to do.Therefore we have to ask the question
    is someone being FECKLESS if they have more children
    than they can afford.And whether their childrens life
    chances may well be diminished by the decision of
    the parents to have more children than they can afford.

    I mentioned earlier the London Borough of Newham.
    Very high birth rates,high rates of inward migration.
    Very high rates of poverty and social deprivation.
    Throughout the whole of the country there are impoverished neighbourhoods like this where high birth rates and in some cases high levels of inward migration are fuelling and compounding poverty levels.

    What is wrong with the State saying if you want
    more than 2 children then the onus will be put
    on the parents to go out to work and support them.

    No disrespect to anyone here but i,m frustrated by
    the intellectualisation of the dedate so far.No
    one is acknowledging the environmental consequences
    of allowing the British population to continue
    growing indefinitely.And no one is prepared to
    acknowledge that having a large family on a low
    income these days can have a devastating effect on
    the life chances of the children.

    Please also remember that TALK IS CHEAP.And that if
    a Government of the Left is ever going to be elected
    in this country then the Left needs to start listening
    to the people.And having been born and raised in a
    working class community i am well aware that many
    working class people want reductions in immigration.
    And get pissed off with having to work long hours
    for low pay whilst others sit at home full time
    breeding with impunity whilst the taxpayer foots
    the bill.

  79. Paul

    You are expressing views I too have heard.

    Any system is open to abuse. The difficulties arise when we look at those abusing the system and then conclude all are. To come up with a catchall solution of reducing benefits is the wrong way round.

    Increase minimum wage and provide more jobs. Until we can do this we will have some people abusing benefits. Not only mothers do this - it is common among men too - what do we do about men who father 3 or more children - different mothers often enough ? Do we reduce their benefits too ?

  80. Ok, so the Newham birth rate @ 2.87 is the highest in the country, but North Dorset's birth rate is 2.68, with a population that's 98.6% white; Mid Devon's is 2.7. Leicester, which is predicted to be the first city with a population which has a greater % of BEM than white, has a birth rate of just 2.

    Also, the ONS population estimates are experimental statistics based on new methodologies, so not entirely reliable. And as far as I'm aware, ethnicity and religion are not recorded on birth certificates so I don't see how you can reliably extrapolate religion from the birth registrations.

    Child benefit can be paid to both parents these days, not been 'mother only' for years. And finally, why are only women to have their family size restricted - what about the men? Is it ok for men to have several children so long as each mother only has 2?

  81. Paul I share a concern about unchecked increasing UK population not least because I believe it will impact on the quality of life of those here now and those yet to be born.

    I do not think that the feckless greed of my generation can go on endlessly and I have concern for the futures of my and your grandkids.

    A good starting point is how many can this green and pleasant place feed and the answer is a lot less than some might imagine. And less still without extensive petrochemical use.

    Sadly I do not see any 'elected' government coming forward with an agenda to sort it.

    The sophistication of the ruling elite and its desire to manipulate and strangle dissent will take care of most of our hopes.

    I just dream that some of the rich are kept awake at night with the realisation that if they go down the eugenics route then some of the poor might wake up and realise.............

    ........If the rich are rich because they are of superior breeding stock..........the answer is plain .........we must lock the bastards up and shag the brains and eggs out them as we breed our way out poverty.

    Leni if you have friends with thousand pound handbags you should warn them that one day they may have to be sick in them as they watch younger friends (sons and daughters) shagged senseless by all sorts of undesirables.

    What was that about the price of indifference and the law of unintended consequence?

  82. Paul do you mean the child benefit that everyone gets, or child tax credits?

    Just as no one in their right mind would have got married for the pittance extra they would have gotten from the proposed marriage tax benefits then I seriously doubt there are many out there who base having more than 2 children on the pittance that is child benefit.

    The only result I can see of your idea is that the well off who have two or less children will be unaffected (Deborah Orr in her recent piece said their was a 97% uptake of this universal benefit) while those who actually need help will suffer.

  83. Paul and others -

    It seems to me that the debate so far demonstrates that under the current system there is no solution. The block on any solution to the problems we face is class society.

    The distorting and dehumanising effects of poverty create behaviour that is counterproductive and wasteful, but the most wasteful class in society is and always has been the ruling class with their multiple homes and cars private jets and conspicuous overconsumption.

    Much of the world's hunger is caused by poverty, not because the poor cannot buy food but because their lack of relatively cheap resources like clean water and affordable drugs means that disease prevents them from farming productively.

    Here in the west poverty is caused by the ruling class' greed in their ever increasing grab for profits, driving down wages where they can and exporting jobs to poorer countries where they can't.

    As for the birth rate I agree that here in Britain we have to address the low levels of education in the un- and underemployed sections of society as well as those communities who bring uneducated young brides into their communities. We have to find ways to discourage this.

    In third world countries the birth rate has been shown to fall as the level of female education rises. Wherever they are educated women have fewer, healthier children. By insisting on a minimum education standard for all immigrants(although I feel uncomfortable about the number of third world doctors and nurses we employ here - they are so desperately needed at home but there is no money to employ them!) This could, however, be coupled with aid programs that emphasise the importance of female education could at least make the problem more manageable.

    In fact of course it is when people have hope they tend to move towards revolution. Perhaps this is why its not happening?

  84. "What is wrong with the State saying if you want more than 2 children then the onus will be put on the parents to go out to work and support them."

    In a just world I'd have no objection to saying that if you want any kids at all - you support and nourish them.

    Some would say that with a naturally ageing population we need new younger workers to support tomorrows older people

    What may also be objectionable is that in many parts of the UK there simply aren't sufficient decent employment opportunities and thus it's a possible slow death sentence for many communities.

    It's also impossible to enforce without compulsory sterilisation which is often the eugenists first suggestion.....

  85. MsChin

    I think you,re totally misrepresenting what i,m saying.And i find the implication behind the way you said it quite offensive.

    The issue of ethnicity is only one dimension to the problem.And if you,d read my posts in their entirety
    i doubt you would have responded in the way you did.

    @deano ''It's also impossible to enforce without compulsory sterilisation which is often the eugenists first suggestion.....''

    Again i,m not sure what your point is.If you genuinely
    thought i was looking for a Chinese style policy
    of birth control then you too clearly haven,t
    understood what i was saying.

  86. "As for the birth rate I agree that here in Britain we have to address the low levels of education in the un- and underemployed sections of society as well as those communities who bring uneducated young brides into their communities. We have to find ways to discourage this.".

    I sometimes wonder if this isn't something of a confusing or least complicating smoke screen.

    When I got my degree I was in about 10% of the population so qualified. It was thus a passport to a good job. No longer the case as many many more graduates are finding out..

    When I got my degree there were many less qualified people doing worthwhile and reasonably rewarding and interesting jobs.It seems no longer on the same scale these days.

    To be a teacher when I left school you only needed 5 'O' levels and something similar for a nurse etc. No longer the case.

    There is a lot more education about these days but it is plainly not the economic panacea it is sometimes alleged to be.

    It's not just education or lack of it that holds people back. That said I'm fucked if I know why the more educated of today remain so docile.....and politically and economically indifferent?

  87. Leni - equality for me means equal opportunities, stripped of all the diversity shite. It means an end to inherited wealth and privilege, which means 100% IHT, the abolition of the House of the Lords and of private education.

    Won't ever happen of course but unless the debate starts from that perspective, we'll never have a meaningful debate about it in this country.

    And I'd limit child benefit to the first two kids too. The welfare state was only ever meant to be a safety net, not a lifestyle choice.

    The socialist idea of "from each according to his means, to each according to his needs" has got lost at both ends. I've got no interest in subsidising people who choose to live as parasites on other people's labour, whether they are the idle rich or the feckless poor.

    This means of course that we need to give the poor every chance to work for a living. If they choose not to, despite being able to, then they should be told they'll get no more handouts.

    @Jay - "weekly bedpans" - you cheeky young scamp. Here, have a biscuit.

  88. Paul
    "...Again i,m not sure what your point is.If you genuinely thought i was looking for a Chinese style policy of birth control then you too clearly haven,t understood what i was saying...

    My only intended point was that getting a just and fair social policy in a profoundly unjust and unfair society is not easy. I agree with you it doesn't mean we shouldn't ask the questions.

  89. "...The socialist idea of "from each according to his means, to each according to his needs" has got lost at both ends.."

    That is a delightful and thought provoking sentence.

  90. MsChin

    I have also argued that men should be held financially responsible for their children as well as well as having
    equal custody rights.I don,t know what planet you,re
    living on but men who fecklessly have children with different women and don,t support them seldom have custody of them.It is the mother who looks after them and it,s the mother who gets the Child Benefit.

    And for the record i think men and women are equally
    irresponsible if they have large numbers of children
    they can,t support.

  91. "....Therefore we have to ask the question
    is someone being FECKLESS if they have more children
    than they can afford..."

    I don't think they are necessarily being feckless. It could be argued that they are economically aware and sophisticated thinkers.

    Having more kids in the desperate circumstances that many find themselves in may actually increase the total resources as well as for each individual child in the family unit.

    As a parent I found each of our successive (3) kids cheaper to have - hand me downs etc equally they played with each other and didn't need expensive toys. Every book I bought them got read by three kids not one.etc etc

    Faddy diets? - they learned from each other if not from me that if I said that's all there is to eat then that is all there was to eat.

    It's called economies of scale. To the extent that the 'underclass' understand these things their conduct in having extra kids is quite rational. Even or especially when they are on benefits.

  92. for 'underclass' read 'enforced by circumstances largely outside their control and thus "on-benfits" class!..

  93. "And for the record i think men and women are equally
    irresponsible if they have large numbers of children
    they can,t support"

    But those who 'play' the benefit game are not irresponsible if by their actions provide the more fore their kids.

    In the middle class 'playing' the game is the height of responsibility and even sophistication...

    We need to tackle a moral code that sees cheating and exploiting others as clever...we need to fuck over the capitalists and their middle class lickspitles not the alleged feckless poor on benefits.

    Deal with the tax evaders first it makes it easier and justifiable to deal with the idle poor after we have dealt with the idle rich.

  94. Hank
    Agreed From each according to his ability ...

    I'm not disagreeing with Paul - I'm asking the how? For as long as you are better off on benefits than working I see no resolution. Even small increases in income do not encourage some to work - I've heard people say "I'n not working for £20 a week" - this really is the way they see it particularly when they can earn £20+ with cash hand jobs or selling cheap fags and booze.

    I think we are all agreed here that immigration needs to be regulated too.

    Parasitism exists across the board and is seen as an acceptable way for ousted politicians to maintain a heavty income - places on boards, advisory posts etc. Until the system changes I see no way of changing things. It is easier to point the finger at the unemployed , easier to target them and apply punitive measures.

    This really started under Maggie - I know many exminers , now in their sixties who were put on incapacity. They have had to play the limping game in public ever since. Youngsters looking for first job 25 years ago still unemployed, anger and resentment now turned to a sense of entitlement and passed onto sons and daughters.

    Tourist development with minimum wage jobs attempting to replace what went before. Anger amongst the employed who see others getting as much and more for doing nowt. Flourishing black economy - difficut for young people in work to rent accomodation , private landlords give preference to those on HB. The list is endless.

    Digging our way out of the hole will not be easy. Targetting the sick and disabled, demonising the poorer sections of society while allowing the elite to cheat and lie is not , to my mind, the way forward. Those genuinely seeking work and opportunity will get caught in the trap.

    What do you do with semi-literate youngsters, with no employable skills in areas where there are no jobs and very little hope ?

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  96. And why not Sheff when I went to University I was given a 'grant' to improve myself. I never objected to others less fortunate educating themselves on the 'dole'.

    All my working life when I was in well paid work I, and my sometime, voted to pay more taxes to give others a chance of more of a quality life or at least the freedom from insecurity of hearth and larder.

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  98. Sheff

    i know people on the dole doing an OU degree. All of the current proposals for targetting the unemployed or disabled are punitive and seem to be base on the idea that all are feckless.

    Those responsible for the collapse of the system are denying any culpability and placing it upon the victims. Wait until the public service jobs cuts start, swelling the ranks of the unemployed, and see how they explain that.

  99. I don't think anyone should feel bad about an alternative lifestyle that involves some govt funding. The rich have first call on government monies make no mistake.

    Opera that most heavily subsidised of art forms is widely used by those on benefits - I think not.

    Trident is really useful for defending the hovels of those on benefits ain't it just.

    All those surveillance cameras and policeman they really are keeping crime down on council estates ain't they.

    The demands and outright assaults made on human dignity by modern employers and the managerial classes is fucking outrageous and debilitating. But they are not obliged to pay compensation when they send you up the wall.

    " Have a nice fucking day" indeed. Twat employers like that exhaust human initiative and creativity. Thus 'grants' for the preservation of sanity and human dignity are IMHO perfectly justified.

  100. Tinkering about with the welfare system is next to bloody useless as a way of tackling the deficit. As plenty of people have already mentioned there aren't enough jobs and anyway the numbers involved are peanuts compared to squillions the plutocrats have stolen.
    As for supporting "the idle and feckless"... like the Windsors for example!

  101. Sheff/Chin - you heard if PCC is able/hoping to join us on the 5th??

    ..If there ain't no dancing when the revolution comes ..count me out ... - loved it.

  102. Most of these benefit change ideas are nothing to do with decreasing the deficit they are to let us all know where we stand in the estimation of the government and the elite.

    The fact that IDS has admitted there are no job creation schemes on offer and that the new workfare initiative will cost £4 billion is a perfect example.

    It is a combination of soothing the middleclass by letting them know the chavs are being punished and actually punishing those on benefits for existing.

    This idea of limiting child benefit is just the same, it won't save that much and it won't affect the birth rate much but it will add a bit more shame and difficulty into the life of those with more children (the women mainly of course.

  103. Couldn't agree more, Leni.

    All too often the artists, the creative people, the hippies in short, are able to indulge themselves because Mummy and Daddy sponsor their "creative" years, their rebellious youth.

    And all too often, those spoilt brats get to be indulged all their lives long. The Hampstead liberals who flit here and there, enjoy a happening somewhere, turn up on a picket line elsewhere, and never have to bear responsibility, nor have to face the reality of the lives of those they claim to have bonded with, oh so briefly.

  104. Maybe i didn,t make it clear but what i am proposing
    is against the backdrop of what i hope will be a future Left wing government committed to radical reform.I,m not supporting reforms in the context of
    a Tory administration where the non-working poor are bullied into dead end low paid jobs and simply left in the ranks of the working poor.

    @Anne absolutely agree with many of the points you made.Educational standards amongst girls ofPakistani
    and especially Bangladeshi girls have greatly improved.But arranged marriages at a young age with
    a spouse from the sub-continent are kyboshing their
    chances of further development.There is also a
    perception amongst some British Asian men that a bride
    from the sub-continent will be more pliable.

    I believe that much tougher controls on marriage visas will not only help empower the women but will also 'naturally' bring about a rise in the female
    economic activity rate and a drop in the birth rate
    in those Asian communities most blighted by poverty.

    @deano-OK fair point with your argument that for
    families on benefit more kids equals more resources.
    ie more benfits.But in a society governed by
    socialist principles is that something that should
    be tolerated.I personally ythink not.

    @Leni-you,re spot on with most of your points.The
    rot set in with Thatcher.But as the Left rebuilds
    itself and makes itself electable to the people
    issues like immigration and/or family size and/or
    optimum population size for the UK can,t be ignored.

    @btw-The low birth rates of the mid 70,s were fuelled
    almost entirely by working-class women having
    fewer children.The first half of the 70,s saw a
    big increase in the participation of women in
    the workforce.And Britain was apparently at it,s
    most egalitarian in 1975.

  105. By the way I like opera (I don't understand the ling but I like it anyway) and have no objection to a subsidy being paid - I would nonetheless like to see it more widely available and accessible to all the people. Despite the subsidy the ticket prices are usually insane....

  106. Hey Paul, stop being so defensive. You make some good points. Just because other posters disagree with you, it doesn't mean you're necessarily wrong.

    Very few people agree with me on here, and I'm never wrong (-;

  107. Evening Hank and everyone else

    Am trying to be tactful and diplomatic here!

    It,s not me and it,s not working is it?

    Better put Plan B into operation!

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  109. Sounds like a gifted bloke, sheff.

    And you? Were you gifted? Or did you have family money?

  110. Paul"...But in a society governed by
    socialist principles is that something that should
    be tolerated.I personally ythink not..

    I don't think it's a case of it being 'tolerated' I personally think that it is intolerable that those on benefits are in the miserable position they are in.

    If I had my way ....(and there were no jobs available locally) I would still want to be around the houses of those on benefits I'd be knocking firmly on the door and saying words to the effect....

    "Ok ladies and gents off your arses no jobs today but we've made provison for your kids to be looked after for a while ...you are coming down the Council's alltoments with me".

    "Your going to learn how to grow tasty food and then your going to give it to the local school canteen for your kids (you get to keep 50% of what you grow)......you my unhealthy friend are going to be taught to save the NHS money, your coming to dig the roadsides to lant flowers to improve our ,mental outlook."

    "You disgruntled person, have a choice, you can if you prefer come and learn to sing or play a guitar but then you have to accept that you will have to share the skill with others in your community........................"

    etc etc. or something like that.

    Of course I'm an old hippy dreamer but that don't mean that I think the unemployed and underemployed should be left to rot.

    I think a lot of women and men living in some hell holes would be over the moon if I called by and gave them a chance to do something uplifting and different.

    I just don't believe that people are naturally idle, cheats or without dignity.

    I wasn't against young Nap's enthusiasm for a voluntary contributions in society - I was just a little alarmed that his choice of language might have got him smacked in the face hard.

    Scorpio sometimes says some sharp things here on UT - several months ago he said something to the effect that he recognised that he would 'have to sacrifice some freedoms' to build a better tomorrow. I agreed with him.

    Many on the left find that difficult let alone sacrificing some of their material gains. (everybody wants a better society but few are willing to pay more in taxes or yield anything they now hold to get one)

    That doesn't mean I'm going to ask the under privileged to bear the brunt of the changes needed. They need support and opportunity to mend their ways.

    I just think we start with the tax evading scum and then work our way through the middle classes before we start on the benefit 'clients' as they were called only yesterday.


  111. Sheff

    Have often felt that those young radicals of the 60,s had it easy in some respects.Those working could leave
    a job on friday and start a new one on monday.No questions asked for people on the dole unless they
    had kids.Then the morality of the time re lone mothers
    etc kicked in.The 5% of school leavers who went to
    University had full grants,the dole and/or temporary
    jobs in the holidays ect.

    Halcyon days in some respects!

  112. Very few people agree with me on here, and I'm never wrong (-;

    Ah shut up Hank. Lots of people agree with you in part. If you'd only stop telling them they're cunts all the time...

  113. This comment has been removed by the author.

  114. martillo - people need telling. I don't care whether others on here think I'm a cunt, or call me a cunt, as long as they show their reasoning.

    This place is all too often a cosy little club, just as Cif is. There's nothing wrong with pricking pompous complacent balloons.

    I said a while ago that I respected you, martillo, and you seemed taken aback by it. The reason I respect you is that you speak your mind. Occasionally. Far too few people do. They all want to be popular.

  115. Paul - you estimation of the osition of the 60's kids is not far off - I was there.

    What we had above all was hope and the belief that we could achieve anything we wanted.

    I'm an 11+ failure who left school just days after my 15th birthday I went on to be a labourer and hippy coming travelling tramp who could arrive in any town in the UK and find a job within 24 hours.

    All that and I was then given a chance at 'A' levels when I was 19/20 (without an 'O' level to my name) and then on to Uni and then a well paid professional job and finally back to being a tramp (but that's a long story and partly a matter of choice)

    I was 37 before I realised that if I wanted to be a brain surgeon I had left it too late. I didn't see any real obstacles placed in my way the world was more optimistic and free and went out of its way to be helpful then.

    Halcyon days indeed.

    I would wish it were the same for you and yours my friend.

  116. Hank "...The socialist idea of "from each according to his means, to each according to his needs" has got lost at both ends.."

    Its never been tried, it won't work in a capitalist society because its a class society. The unemployed are victims, we live in a society that only serves the interests of the rich (You've said this yourself) You cannot divorce that fact from the idea that leaving large numbers of people languishing on the dole is in the interests of the ruling class.

    It keeps people in their place, thats the role of the unemployed. The employed will be more compliant, more tolerent of poor pay and conditions out of the fear of joining them.

    Until we no longer have a class of people who are so wealthy that they do not have to work, who simply see the rest of us as being there to serve their needs we will have the permenantly unemployed who become so damaged by their circumstances that they are unemployable.

    In a socialist society they would not exist, there will be a few who don't want to work but they will be seen as social parasites. Today we are expected to look up to the real social parasites - the rich.

  117. Martillo: "Ah shut up Hank. Lots of people agree with you in part. If only you'd stop telling them they're cunts all the time..."
    Good point. I've often felt that if people met Hank in person and had a chat over a pint or a cup of tea he would come across as a much more reasonable person and be more inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.
    This cyber chat is all well and good but there is no nuance, no body language, no eye contact,no physical context.

  118. Hank if you want to enter a popularity contest for the immature and insecure you spend all your time on CiF - there are no recommendations to collect here on UT.

    We don't have button for popular. Scores are not kept here.

    All the posters here you, me and Scherf - we're only as good as our last post!

  119. This comment has been removed by the author.

  120. Some twat on Cif has just written a blog on this David Laws business.And for some reason Laws resignation is being seen as honorable.And i,ve
    just heard Polly saying on the news that Laws is a thoroughly decent chap who should have been protected by privacy laws.

    Have i missed something here?

    Boys meets boy,
    Boy shags boy,
    Boy shacks up with boy,
    Boy screws the taxpayer for £40k
    Boy gets caught
    Boy,s excuse is he didn,t want to draw attention to
    his sexuality.

    Laws is a very rich man who didn,t need to make a
    claim in the first place.And if he hadn,t who would
    have been any the wiser that he was shagging his

    This issue isn,t about sexuality it,s a about a
    chancer stealing taxpayers money.


  121. Sheff enquiry at 21:00??

  122. anne I am starting to think you and leni are my favourite posters on here, you speak so much sense yet your views are tempered with genuine compassion and a knowledge of what it is like for those on the bottom of the pile.

    I have my problems (as I am sure you know I go on about them enough) but what I can never seem to get across to people is how much it hurts to be in the situation I am currently in.

    I have always worked and I have tried to educate myself to a standard which would help me get out of this situation a couple of times but it just hasn't worked for me.

    We can't all be intellectuals.

    I now spend my time in a horrible twilight zone of constantly thinking I should be able to do something to better myself and hating myself because I can't.

    And it is constant, I can never relax, it is partly my illness and partly a real fear that a letter through the door will summon me to a medical that will change everything for me.

    I may not be a marxist warrior or an economic genius but I am a real person, just approaching fourty who feels that my life is only ever going to get worse.

    Life on benefits it's great you should all try it.

  123. Quentin Crisp seemed to make an interesting life out being a life model rather than a life drawer...

  124. BTW with regard to my comment above I once met the legendary "Monkeyfish" on a pub on Tyneside along with Alisdair Cameron and both of them were positively charming and great company in spite of their frequently strident comments on this site as well as CIF.

  125. @annetan - I know all about the theory that the ruling class needs a large pool of unemployed to keep labour costs down.

    I don't believe that 2nd and 3rd generation benefit claimants are colluding with the bosses.

    You know your Marx as well as me, Anne. Marx called them the lumpenproletariat and dismissed them as a factor in the class struggle.

    I agree with Marx, surprise surprise. I've got no time at all for those who see the benefits system as a career. There's no dignity in it.

    I do of course agree with your point that there are parasites at both extremes. I've no time for either of them.

  126. This comment has been removed by the author.

  127. @chekhov - I'm perfectly charming myself, thanks very much. I'm reasonable as fuck.

  128. "Life on benefits it's great you should all try it."

    I've never argued that. Life on benefits without hope and now subject to even more insecurity is something I wouldn't wish on any human being.

    It's dreadful and you are plainly doing all that you can to escape. I can only wish you well and assure you of my admiration and respect Jenn

  129. Jen

    Makes me really angry that people like you who have
    genuine health problems are being made to feel like
    that.Seriously though if the thought of a medical is
    making you even more stressed then tell your GP or
    any other health professional helping you.So if and
    when you get the dreaded summons for a medical from
    ATOS you,ll have as much support from people who
    know how your condition is affecting you.And more
    importantly making it impossible for you to work
    at the moment.

    Bastards the lot of them.


  130. I'm sure no one here begrudges you a single penny, Jenn, you're doing everything you can and I'm sure something will come up for you. Keep plugging away on your course, i've been doing it over 5 bloody years now, but finish in 5 months, just gotta keep at it.

  131. Jennifer30: there is an outlet for your existential angst: it's called "drama" and here's the best bit; you don't really have to be any good at it. You don't need to have the ambition to be a famous superstar. All you need is an ambition to be happy. Once that is in place, all the other bits take care of themselves!

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  133. Does anyone else think that stevehill is a fucking wanker?

    I fucking hate stevehill. Wanker.

  134. Hank Scorpio

    I don,t often agree with Steve but he,s alright.
    There,s a lot worse on CIF.I still haven,t recovered
    from a certain poster telling those with severe
    mental health problems that they should get a makeover and be at one with nature.

  135. Hank: "I'm perfectly charming myself thanks very much. I'm reasonable as fuck"
    No doubt you are charming to yourself and just as reasonable but that's not the same as charming people on UT with your opinions.
    I happen to agree with you on some crucial political issues but you choose to give me the bums rush because I don't agree with your approach. Doesn't make sense to me.

  136. PT Parasite - self labelled?

    Suit yourself lass. What sort of a so called civilised society doesn't give it's future citizens some space in which to find themselves?

    Fuck the latter day guilt merchants.

    My only regret at the grants and generous assistance given to me is that I failed to win the same rights for all who followed me.

    I didn't vote for Thatcher. I did spend a considerable amount of my time in the labour movement and I am sorry that I failed to convince enough working men and women that a vote for Thatcher was a nail in their own coffins.

    I did try, and my children missed so much of me, and I off them because of the large amount of time that I spent as an activist in the labour movement.

    I tried to repay what those who had struggled in the past to give me by way of the opportunities I was later to so privileged to enjoy. I knew I owed them.

    You were at Orgreave Sheff you have nothing to feel uncomfortable about.

  137. "martillo - people need telling. I don't care whether others on here think I'm a cunt, or call me a cunt, as long as they show their reasoning."

    We probably all need telling hank. And we're probably all cunts. In our own way.

  138. Jenni

    i too admire you - you do seem to be struggling alone .

    contact your tutor - if you can meet others doing your course yo could join a study group. Slaving on alone is difficult.

    As to you benefits - you are entitled to them. The guilt that is placed on genuine claimants is part of the game.

    Those who are 'caught out' cheating the system get a lot of publicity - they are the minority but the publicity they attract allows for the demonisation of everybody.

    Chekhov's suggestion is a good one - any group activity will help you gain confidence and lift your spirits. Silly activities are good too , not everything we do has to be goal orientated or 'worthy'. You have a gift for observation and are more than able to spot the 'pseuds' out there. Don't be afraid and don't let anyone put you down.

    Reading your posts on CiF i get the impression you are finding your voice.

  139. Sheff

    Don,t know about you but sometimes i,ve thought that
    resources permitting all young people should be
    given a year out-living and working somewhere away
    from their own comfort zone.Could be either somewhere
    in this country or abroad.A sort of enlightened form
    of National Service without any military element.
    Trouble is this being Britian i fear any such scheme
    would be badly funded and exploitive for the young
    people involved.

  140. This comment has been removed by the author.

  141. I agree Paul - we might need to resurrect and rethink the VSO idea. But this time not leave as the preserve of the middle classes to dominate as a CV item.

    My youngest son sent 6 months in the Cameroon with a group of unemployed working class kids from Hull.

    They lived with the locals helped develop the schools and the kids with English as she is spoken on the wrong side of the tracks in Hull. They played a lot of footy with the kids and chewed the fat and sank some beers with the local men...

    It was the making of most of the young 18/19 year olds who went on the scheme. Most of them never looked back

  142. @chekhov - what do you want? Do you want me to tell you that your opinions have opened my eyes?

    Sorry, mate. Ain't gonna happen. I'm not gonna stroke your ego.

    I will though stroke martillo's ego. He's an interesting guy. Cool as fuck, despite his fondness for los losers.

    And where the fuck is scherfig?

  143. deano

    A couple of years ago i saw a documentary about a group of inner city working class kids who were
    taken to work a few weeks on a farm.There were all sorts of tensions etc but at the end of that period the kids didn,t want to leave and the locals didn,t want them to go.

    A properly funded scheme for all young adults
    where family background/connections counted for
    jack shit and where every one was equal but had
    to do it could work wonders.

    And wasn,t the radical Labour government of 1945 swept in against a backdrop of the 2ndWW where some progress was made in breaking dowm class barriers.And where the populace seemed to embrace the idea of the'common good'.And that something better needed to be built for British society.

    As you and sheff have indicated what evolved from
    that was a sense that we should look forward to the
    future with confidence and that things could be
    changed for the better.Something that Thatcher
    destroyed and which shows no sign of resurrecting

    Glad you,re not leaving btw.

  144. Hank: "stroke my ego" that's rich comming from someone whose "ego" is the "sine qua non" of his existence.
    Do you just come on here for a fight? Is that your "raison d'etre"?
    Why do you alienate people who might actually agree with you?
    Or are you just a "Troll"?

  145. Leni :-)

    A haircut would have made all the difference!!


  146. @chekhov - "Why do you alienate people who might actually agree with you?"

    Good question. I guess I'm looking to challenge people. I don't think, tbh, that there's many people on here who do agree with me. They might agree with me about certain things, but not much.

    What do you think, chekhov? I think the prevailing ethos on here is a soft-left, touchy-feely, I'd like to buy the world a coke kinda mood.

    I think that most people on here are very nice, but few of them are angry.

    It's nice to be nice, and it's nice to be tolerated as I am.

    And if the consensus is that we want to remain nice rather than angry, it's not for me to say otherwise.

    I was here at the start though, chekhov, and it used to be angry.

  147. You were here at the start Hank?

    Well I had no idea you were one of the founders.

    You much have only mentioned it several dozen times.

    Sorry if that is a bit bitchy but maybe it is time to stop going on about that.

    You ask everyone to earn their place here but what have you done lately?

    Ok, you can call me names now

  148. It didn't used to be angry Hank. It used to be, and still is, pissed-off. But it used to be pissed-off about other things. Not itself.

    Christ. Get something up on UT2. You've got to be as bored as hearing that suggestion as people are of telling you.

  149. It (UT) used to be angry with CiF and the policy absurdities of the moderators and editors. It still often is.

    It was never all about being vicious with each other. The archive is there and no amount of selective reading or false memory or wishful thinking can alter the facts.

    People have been agreeing to disagree from the start. Some with grace and others with rancour.

    I wasn't here from the start. But I was an early reader and lurker.

    Martillo was here. But he's a long way from gratuitously spitting out bile or challenging the legitimacy of every feeling or thought.

    The consensus, as I read it, is that we remain enquiring and increasingly grateful that there is anything remotely left that is left leaning to talk with at all.

  150. Hi All

    Hank, nothing wrong at all with challenging people, it should make us think and be stronger. Obviously I wasn't here at the start so don't know if everyone was angry all the time. Could be, but doesn't sound plausible. From what I understand, most of the anger was directed at CiF and the government, but correct me if I'm wrong. (As if you needed my permission.Hehe)

    Was a time when I was angry quite a bit, but now pick my spots more judiciously. Older, somewhat mellower, and a bit wiser too, I try to use my energy where a difference can be made. Besides, Canada has to be sorted before I can help you lot.(-;

  151. What are you saying Hank? That your anger is better than mine and that you re-destribute it better than I do?
    I don't understand what's going on when you launch your vitriol on people of the left wing persuasion who agree with you!

  152. @jennifera - I'm not going to call you names. I don't know who you are or what you stand for. What do you stand for? Are you one of the bland liberals who just wish we could all be nicer to each other? (Good point about me being a founder member, btw. But there was a point to the UT when we all trolled up here, a point which seems to have got lost over time.)

    @navro, deano and Boudican - fair points all. But write about what on the UT2? And what difference will it make anyway? It's just playing to the choir.

  153. Soft left - difficult to know from a few words here on a blog who lost out most through the real costs of principle and conviction.

    I've paid/lost tens if not hundreds of thousands for my left views over the years.

    What little savings I have would have been worth considerably more if I'd invested in gold 18 months ago.

    FFS I read economics at Uni - you think I didn't know what was going to happen.

    You think I didn't know what would happen if we'd bought my mother in law's council house after Thatcher offered it us on a plate.

    You think that I, and my senior professional sometime wife, couldn't have worked out what was going to happen to all those privatised shares sold cheap.

    I could have bought my way cheap into tens if not hundreds of thousands of public assets.

    Not one fucking penny kiddo - you bet I'm soft left.

    The money I lost in career set back because of my principles amounts to a few more hundred grad too.

    I could well do without some twat giving me moralising lectures. Only misguided fools think the real story is ever fully told on blogs like CiF.

    FFS - grow up.

  154. Whatever UT was in the early days is neither here
    nor there in the overall scheme of things.People
    like places change over time.The 'old timers' don,t
    have a right to impose their agenda as and when it
    suits them.Just like relative newcomers like me don,t

    I like the diversity of opinions on UT.I like the
    humour and the banter as well.And for me personally
    the odd ruck goes with the territory.

    Bitethehand recently accused me of having 'gushing
    empathy' with people on cyber i felt had been
    wronged in some way.And maybe he had a point.
    How real is all this?I don,t know the answer.What
    i do know is that over the last few months i,ve
    warmed to people here.Which on one level seems
    weird because i,ve never met any of you.

    What UT does give us all however is an intimacy that we could never get on Cif.It also gives us a forum
    to discuss the many things that are profoundly
    wrong with our society.And it almost certainly gives
    different things to different people at different
    times.Which can,t be a bad thing in this fcuked
    up age we,re living in.

    That,s what i think anyway!

  155. Tell us all what you want Hank.

  156. Hank - I suggested that you take up on UT2 exactly where your last post on CiF left off.

    It's all there in our archive you simply need to read more carefully or frequently when you visit here.

  157. Hank

    You don't know what I stand for (or who I am) fair enough, neither do I.

    I certainly do not have a problem with the idea that it would be nice if we were all a bit nicer.

    I am a weird combo of left wing dreams, right wing tendencies and liberal good wishes.

    I am complicated and irrational a lot of the time.

    You seem very certain about everything which I as a messy human find very worrying.

  158. Paul: good comment. Nowt to disagree with on that.

  159. The difference it makes is that it contributes to others understanding - it can help them with the added confidence and knowledge to tell the right wing shits were to get off.

    Whistling in the dark is better than crying in your beer there is at least a hope that someone might hear and join in the tune.

  160. Hank

    Why not go on Cif and slap back there ? Plenty there who could do with telling - not that they will listen but you could have your say.

  161. Hank

    I don,t want to repeat everything that was said when
    you,me and Leni had our long late night chat recently.

    I just think you have so much to offer UT.You have
    a sharpness about you that i like.And i have no
    problems conceding that you are a far more eloquent writer than me.However attacking or seemingly attacking people on UT who are not the enemy isn,t fair.None of us are perfect FFS.

    You too were spot on in your assessment of the NapK
    situation.So you of all people know that sometimes
    you don,t need to use a sledgehammer to crack the
    proverbial nut.

  162. I should add that whatever I've paid for my left wing views I would do it all over again without hesitation. I am comfortable in my skin and intend to go my grave in like minded fashion..

    That might make me soft headed but it does not make soft left.

  163. Paul--Good post, this place does have a bit of fluidity about it. There are certainly some serious car crashes, but with diversity in posters that is expected somewhat. Sometimes I join in, but more often am content to read others more learned on certain issues. Either way, entertaining and educational. And yes, there is an intimacy here for most.

  164. @chekhov - "What are you saying, Hank? That your anger is better than mine..."?

    I don't see any anger at all. Get angry if you want to, chekhov. Don't get a little bit peevish with me because I'm angry and think less of you cos you're not clued up enough to be as angry as me.

    @jennifera - yeh, that's a weird fucking combo. What can I say?! I'd rather know what I believe in to be honest.

    @deano - word!

    @leni - I'm having my say. But as I said to Jay yesterday, I miss HankScorpio...)-:

  165. Yep Hank it is a weird combo and what do you suggest I do?

    How do you make yourself believe in something?

  166. You may be too generous in your assessment of Hank's perception Paul. I thought him fairly close in his views on Nap but not spot on.

    He, in my view, gave insufficient credit to those who fired gentle warning shots and received no or hostile replies. To expect others to give what he himself would not is asking a lot.

    This being UT you and he are of course more than entitled to disagree with me.

  167. Bless you, Paul, you're obviously a good guy, but, and without wishing to draw jennifera's ire, you don't know the history of this place, the relationships between some of us on here and therefore the context in which some posts are posted.

    There's been intimacy, as Boudican says, but there have also been fallouts and betrayals.

    As for attacking fellow left-wingers, that's what left-wingers do. Peoples' Front of Judea and all that, not to mention the Spanish Civl War. Have you read Homage to Catalonia btw?

    If not, you should. One of Orwell's best.

  168. "How do you make yourself believe in something?"

    I dunno. It's never been an issue for me. Maybe read a little bit with an open mind, arguments from all sides, and then follow your heart.

  169. I'm off to bed but thanks for all your advice and input. I love this site and learn some new stuff every day. Thanks to Montana for creating this forum and I truly hope it succeeds and I'm sure it will.

  170. Hank

    Clearly scorpio meant a lot to you, was recognizable and had a lot of support - as well as opposition. Unless you can get him reinstated there is little you can do.

    I feel compelled to ask how much of the HS personality you can express in real life.

  171. Bollocks, deano. The NapK thing was shameful. I might bully people but I do so independently. I'd never join a gang.

  172. Leni - very little. I'm a funeral director. I get precious little opportunity to rant at people in my job.

    Not in public anyway.

  173. You have more than sufficient talent to rebuild the credibility of HankScorpio oln CiF perhaps as Hanksson or something else.

    You have the added advantage of knowing from your considerable experience of where the future pitfalls lie.

    If you had thought much about all that room101 stuff that never got developed or explained you might have seen that it is possible to develop linked identities some of which can easily be sacrificed or added to in defence of integrity without loosing the whole.

    When you feel like firing shit you might do it the name of room101S and when your mister reasonable you write as room101Nice. you have sufficient talent to invent and reinvent yourself endlessly within a code, and there is nothing they can do to stop you.

    Folk eventually see patterns they will see HankScorpio whatever the name on the door..

    Just think it through before you start again if that's what you want.

  174. scorpio

    You are a daft bat . x

  175. Hank: "I don't see any anger at all. Get angry if you want to Chekhov. Don't get a little peevish with me because I'm angry and thought less of you 'cos you are not clued up enough to be as angry as me"
    Errr... I'm not clued up enough to be as angry as you? Where did you get that from? Are you the only person on the planet qualified to be angry?

  176. I hope this comment isn't double posted.

    I am ashamed of the things I said to Nap but I am slightly ashamed of how I said it.

    For me everything he said cut me deep, I tried to ignore it but it was like he was deliberatly trying to hurt me.

    I've read Anna Karenina and it did me no fecking good (soap opera).

    His idea that reading Russian novels would bring back the working class intellectuals was sick.

    And his claims that his ability to fucking read should get him a job was worse than sick.

    Yeah I kicked off on him a bit but since when has being a young dickhead been an excuse.

  177. I meant I am not ashamed of the things I said but I am a bit ashamed of how I said them.

  178. Hank: I'm fucking furious but I know that it's probably not a good idea to vent my fury so I adopt a comedic tone and accept that we just have to deal with the fuckwits in power and take the piss out of them, for that is all they deserve.

  179. "Bollocks, deano. The NapK thing was shameful. I might bully people but I do so independently. I'd never join a gang.

    You forget Hank people don't always read the UT thread in a complete and structured way before they chime in.

    To assume they behave as a gang is sometimes an heroic kiz/bru kind of assumption.

    Witness today/tonight I have asked Sheff the same question twice - she has not replied.

    Conclusion she is pissed off and ignoring me or she is not read the thread as a continuous entity. She pops back in where she thinks she left off perhaps and thus misses the writing/enquiry on the wall.

    I see a lot of people here who do not read UT in a continuous way - why should they? You can enjoy and participate without and many have busy lives outside.

    She may have no real interest in anything I have to say is another possibility. Point is that reading gang behaviour here is fraught with potential difficulty. A number of individuals expressing similar views doesn't necessarily constitute gang behaviour. Where the leadership of said gang was is a mystery to me.

    A good reason for me taking a rest from UT after the Sheffield do is that if you post too often you can easily become wallpaper. I post too often (and I need to do other things) but if you have me down as ganging up on Nap your wrong.

  180. @chekhov - it's quite simple, really. If you're angry, then give vent to your anger. Have a rant, get mad at things. Stop kidding yourself that posting snide comments on waddya amounts to anger or comment or anything worthwhile at all.

    It does make me laugh that so many bland posters who have no fucking bile to spill about all the shite in the world suddenly find that they're angry only when their vanilla personas are attacked.

  181. Yeah hank because stuff close to home never upsets us more than distant stuff.

    It is why we get upset about obesity rather than starvation.

  182. I didn't analyse the NapK debacle closely enough to identify who the ringleader was, deano. I'd be disappointed if it was you. Nor did I suggest it was you.

    I said it was a shameful little episode. And it was.

  183. This has been in my head reading all of your posts.

    He's going to hate me saying this, but I quite like Hank hanging around long enough to make good points and answer valid criticism.

    Now, if someone could just lend me an opinion on something - I'll return it in the same nick as I received it... honest...

  184. Not sure I understand your point, jennifera, but if you're defending the right to get angry only when you feel personally offended or affected, that's just a crock of shit.

    If that is indeed your position, you're typical of every selfish self-centred tosser who's made the last 30 years of neo-liberalism possible.

  185. Heyhabib

    Where the fcuk have you been hiding?

    And don.t talk in riddles.Not fair this time of night.


  186. Hello Habib

    How are you- still on the painkillers?

    I have opinions , observations and lots of questions - just can't seem to get a handle on the answers.

  187. Hank: I don't post on WYWTTA threads anymore which is why |I came on here. What I don't get is that this is a left of centre site and you keep slagging it off.

  188. i am currently very angry about the very casual talk about war between the Koreas - although they're planning a birthday party.

  189. That isn't my point Hank, I try not to get angry, only when things affect me.

    I get angry a lot these days and I never used to.

    I am in a big whirl of "WTF should I do".

    I have never got a good answer.

  190. although - wrong- wrong. AS though.

  191. Leni

    I,m not too concerned about the Korean situation
    at present.The Chinese will ultimately reign back
    the North Koreans if things start escalating.

  192. Has anybody read "Nip the buds, shoot the kids" by Kenzaburo Oe ?

  193. @chekhov - where's your left of centre?

    As for me just slagging it off, and Jay will hate me for saying this, I like to think that I'm keeping this place "honest".

    Now stop fucking whining and contribute something worthwhile.

  194. It's not the Chinese - it's the US. They think they will unite Korea and control the area.

    Lot wrong in the North but war is not the answer.

  195. Song for Jen because I like her honesty. And I think I owe Middlesbrough an apology - get the good times any way you can, kiddo!

    Hiya Leni and Paul, still a bit spaced, but able to read your posts and understand them. Paul, I hope you don't mind if I agree more with Leni - don't ask me for specifics right now, it's just a feeling. I think you're writing really well, for what my opinion is worth.

  196. heyhabib

    FFS man if you want to agree more with Leni that,s
    cool with me.What,s happened to you?Are you ill?

  197. I would find it hard not to be very angry given the levels of insecurity and uncertainty that you describe in your life.

    Making sensible plans when standing on shifting quicksands ain't easy but the OU bit will always be worthwhile and may with luck turn out to a life raft.

    You might find the sordid experience with the benefits something you can use to help/represent others. Start making enquiries about who can help you with an appeal in your area if it becomes necessary.

    If you don't need it you might be able to pass it on someone that does.

  198. "..The new Treasury chief secretary, Danny Alexander, avoided paying capital gains tax on the profit he made from his taxpayer-funded second home in London, it was claimed last night...

    Good news to go to sleep on. Night all.

  199. The only conclusion I can come up with is that Hank just makes spurious comments and for his own entertainment sits back and watches us all take the bait.
    I dearly hope I'm wrong Hank!