25 May 2010


The Diet of Worms ended with the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther to be an outlaw.  The Republic of Formosa was formed in 1895.  Tennessee biology teacher John Scopes was indicted for teaching Darwin's Theory of Evolution in 1925.  A cyclone and storm surge killed 10,000 people in Bangladesh in 1985.

Born today:  Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873), Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), Theodore Roethke (1908-1963), Robert Ludlum (1927-2001), Ian McKellen (1939), Frank Oz (1944), Klaus Meine (1948), Paul Weller (1958), Anthea Turner (1960), Mike Myers (1963), and Lauryn Hill (1975).

It is Liberation Day in Lebanon.


  1. To address a couple of things from yesterday's thread:

    As to Napoleon, James expressed my views fairly well. Some of you who are expressing discomfort with his treatment have stated that you weren't really around for things or you only had a brief look. Perhaps it's best for you to reserve judgement, then.

    Twenty-one may be young, but he's not a child. People tried to give him measured and polite responses to his opinions and he came back with sneering, sarcasm and goal-post moving. Fail to see why he's owed much, if any, courtesy after that, regardless of his age.

    As for his mental health -- if it is so fragile that he cannot handle debate, he has no business posting on a site like this to begin with. We are not counsellors and this is not a support group.

    Now, the second matter:

    I don't know the details of this sexual assault case that was discussed, but some of the comments yesterday made me more than a bit uncomfortable. As I understand it, the case involved two 10 year old boys and an 8 year old girl?

    Some of the comments seemed to indicate a belief that, because she had retracted her story, it meant that she was lying in the first place. As disturbing as it may be to put two ten-year old boys in an adult court system, I find it even more disturbing to think that people are so quick to believe that an 8 year old girl would make a false accusation.

    Eight and 10 is a helluva maturity gap. One ten year old boy wanting to "play doctors and nurses" is going to be intimidating enough, but two?? How the hell do you think that she would feel confident enough to stand up to that? That some of you seem to be willing to believe that it could possibly be consensual just beggars belief, quite frankly.

    Recanting the claim of assault should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone. Fear, shame and guilt -- those are really powerful motivators to either keep quiet in the first place or recant your story if you've made the mistake of telling someone.

    For fuck's sake. I've lived with those emotions for 45 years. I know that what happened to me was not my fault -- but I have never stopped feeling that it was.

  2. The problem is, Montana, one can only see things through the eyes of one's own experience.

    Your experience is personal - mine is professional, and frequently involves dealing with all kinds of allegations made by children either in the criminal or the family justice system.

    Now as I said I have no access to the actual transcripts of this case, so I can only surmise things from what I have read in the papers, the same as everyone else.

    And, frankly, my view of this is just as valid as yours. I'm sorry you were assaulted. I was also assaulted as a child by a piano teacher. I didn't tell anyone about it until I was in my late 20s. But we seem to have a very different perception of what that means about life.

    I certainly don't believe that kids are incapable of making things up to get themselves out of trouble. And in this case, she proferred an explanation that she would be in trouble for playing with boys, and that she wouldn't get any sweets if her mum found out.

    And I don't believe that there is always a huge difference between an 8 year old girl and a 10 year old boy in terms of maturity - children mature at different rates, and girls have a tendency to mature more quickly than boys in any event.

    But the main point is this: children this young should not be put through the court system, much less an adult court. It should be a matter for counsellors and social services.

  3. Hank

    "You really don't get it, do you, soft lad?"

    Nor do you, you sad old git, put the beer down and look in the mirror once in a while, you're a washed up bore these days living the great man fantasy on bloody internet forums.

    "I regard you and your chums with contempt because you trivialise everything."

    Absolute nonsense. About 95% of my time on CIF was debating seriously, about 5% banter and fluff, but dont let reality get in the way of your glorious polemics....

    "You and your chums piss the day away on Cif, spouting banalities, treating everything as a joke."

    Yeah so you keep saying Hank, doesnt make it true sadly. Or maybe you're right and i'm imagining things, maybe others on the UT could confirm whether i treated everything on CIF as a joke?

    "You swamp Cif with inane juvenile crap. You gang up on those who disagree with you. You defend your idiot friends."

    I'll defend people i think are decent against your drunken tirades, yeah, what of it? You seemed to turn on me as soon as i did that, funnily enough. Whats the problem, can your ego not tolerate someone arguing with you?

    As for ganging up, i only really ever fell out with 2 posters on CIF, and i offered the olive branch to both more times than i care to remember.

    I also regularly fought corners by myself, go back and read the threads instead of spouting nonsense - i'm quite happy being in a gang of 1 on CIF if i think i'm right.

    "You treat Cif as your own personal playground. You've ruined it as a place for serious debate."

    Just me, or me, kiz and bru? Listen to yourself, how could 3 "dillettantes" ruin a big debate site like CIF full of towering intellects like you?

    I did enjoy your own dillettante comment yesterday, that poor productivity had caused the recession, straight from the fisher price school of economics...

    You come on the UT regularly to say the same old things, yet somehow you don't get bored - is it the adulation you crave, the attention?

    If so, let me help an old boy in his time of need - you're the bestest poster ever, and if you put your mind to it you'll change the world with your insights and peerless intellect. Is that better? I hope we can be friends now, maybe i'll even make your coveted list of "respected" posters, it'd mean a lot to me.

  4. Jay: I don't think You-Know-Who is worth the time and effort of such a detailed refutation, but having said this i'll contradict myself:

    My post

    And let's be honest, there are a few people on here who are angry, but too many posters both here and on Cif aren't really angry. They're mildly peeved at best, and use the internet to seek attention or validation.

    Please be so kind as to tell me how you "know" this.

    yielded the charming response
    @medve - talk to your kids, read a book, knit yourself a cardigan. Do something more worthwhile than posting on here. You're a sad boring person looking for approval.

    I will henceforth wear that label as a badge of pride. Oh, and Hank, be warned not to mention my children again, ever.

  5. chekov,

    "BTW did anyone see the brilliant drama on BBC 2 tonight which chronicled the life of Mary Whitehouse? Julie Walters and Alun Armstrong and Hugh Bonneville were all spot on in their performances as were the rest of the cast.
    Why do the BBC slip these gems under the radar? I never saw a "trail" for this nugget of gold! "

    It was a repeat, which was probably why it wasn't trailed, I saw it the first time around, and yes it was brilliant!

    Oh and, the full half hour (and then some!) apparently!

  6. I watched it on iPlayer when I realised I had missed it last year. Bloody brilliant play. And Julie Walters was absolutely amazing in the role, too.

    Re - whether people have turned CiF into their personal playground: what seems to be happening is that some people who are disenchanted with CiF fixate on the Waddya column as if it is the be-all and end-all of what CiF has degenerated into. It isn't. It is a place for the kind of idle banter that used to turn up on some of the more serious threads and get zapped. There are dozens of threads a day. Most are serious subjects, some are frivolous. And most of the posters Hank and others seem to revile participate in a full spectrum of subjects.

    But anyway - I have had enough of this nonsense and won't be responding to whiney shite like this any more. If you don't like CiF, don't go on the site. If you don't like the UT any more, stop posting and telling us how much better it was in the good old days - which is a load of shite anyway if you look back over the first threads on here. They were always, and will always be, a mix of silliness, seriousness, politics and banter.

  7. medve (and BB)


    And All,

    I don't tend to contribute much to the political debates because I don't feel able to contribute anything significant and/or more eloquent people usually get there first with what I would've said.

    BUT I'm glad they happen, and I read them with interest when I have the time.

    I see chipping in on the biology/science ones (when I'm here and able) as balancing that out.

  8. Montana
    The point is this case should never have come to court. These children were tried under adult law in an adult court, to me that isn't just. Goddamm they are all children involved here. The crimminalisation of children in the UK is abhorent, remember the Bulger case and the adult crowds baying for the blood of 2 children...the media labelling them as monsters etc etc....is this the behaviour that we want in our society?

    Surely this case should have been dealt with by a multidisciplinary team of psychologists, teachers, parents, police etc rather than putting all three of these children through a crimminal process which in its nature is adversarial: black and white, where all the children had to undergo interviews and cross examinations that make them feel obliged to give answers that the interviewer wants to hear.
    Surely if we are seeking the truth and we want to help all 3 children then this would be the best way, rather than following the path of societal revenge.
    The danger in this case is that of imposing adult views of the world and adult behaviour onto those of children.

  9. As the Conservatives announce today that 2,000 more business sponsored academies are to be launched in the UK, The Duke Times can exclusively reveal that GCSE exams have already been written for the new curriculum, a sample of which can be found below:


    Richard and Maurice McDonald opened the first McDonalds on May 15th 1940, the same day the Dutch Army surrendered and the Germans swept through the Ardennes into France.

    To what extent would France and the Netherlands have repelled the German Invasion had both armies been stocked up with Big Macs, fries and delicious strawberry milkshakes? (20 marks)

    (answers must make reference to the fact that had both Armies super sized their meals for only a few centimes/guilders more, Hitler would have been defeated in 1940).

    Biology (custom made for the Emmanuel College, Gateshead, sponsored by the Reg Vardy fundamentalist Christian foundation)

    What ensures that mitosis produces two genetically identical nuclei?

    a. One of each of the twenty-three types of chromosome is pulled to each pole of the cell by spindle microtubules.
    b. Half of the chromosomes are pulled to each centriole by mesosomes.
    c. Identical chromatids are pulled to opposite poles by spindle microtubules.
    d. None of the above. All the above answers are Godless science based atheism. God created Adam and Eve 6000 years ago. Any student answering a, b or c will be excommunicated and burnt at the stake.


    Our blessed Lord Ashcroft of Belize aided the glorious Democratic process of the UK in 2010 by avoiding paying an enormous amount of tax and using the money saved to pump into a political party which would ensure this entirely legal maneuver continues.

    Using the formula f= 3(x)/17-y, x=0, express to the nearest percentage how wonderful Lord Ashcroft is as a human being (answers nearer to 100% gain higher marks).


    Don’t leave home without it
    Just do it
    I’m lovin’ it
    Vorsprüng durch techniek
    Every little helps
    Snap! Crackle! Pop!
    The king of beers

    Highlight and outline the immeasurable positive contribution all corporate slogans have given to the development of English Literature in the 20th/21st Centuries. (Any mention of authors or literature or independent thinking will see answers deducted 10% per mention of author or literature or independent thinking).(20 Marks)


    Identify using a map and explain the ways in which Gap, Nike, Adidas, Primark and TK Maxx have helped native populations of SE Asia out of abject poverty and into a productive, fulfilling life.(20 marks)

  10. Did they have penetrative sex with the 8 year old, though? The girl seems to think they did ("they done sex on me").

    If they did, then that's an order of magnitude different from the sort of doctors n nurses/kiss catch stuff we used to do when we were in primary school.

    And gandolfo, my old man's a proper old school leftie, he spent most of his adult life teaching, and he's always said that occasionally, you know, once in a while, you do just get a kid who's a proper "wrong 'un", and that frankly there's not a lot you can do about it, other than chuck the book at them.

  11. Your Grice:

    Letter to the Editor,

    Thanks for your timely reminder to all to renew their subscriptions to The Duke Times. However, the maths question puzzles me a little. Assuming f is the measure of his lordship's (Ashcroft's, not yours i hasten to add) wonderfulness and substituting x=0 as directed, f is zero for all values of y, except when y=17, in which case the function yields an indeterminate result. Could you provide clarification in your excellent broadsheet?

    Yours etc,

  12. Swiftyboy

    There was nothing in the DNA or medical evidence to support penetration, apparently. Which is presumably why they were found not guilty of rape but guilty of attempted rape.

  13. Your Grace

    Have you thought about writing sketches for the Now Show and such-like? The beeb are always on the look-out for comedy writers, and you do a grand job! :o)

  14. Dear medve,

    thank you for your query. Regarding the mathematics question for the new GCSE syllabus. This question was written by a complete mathematics dunce. It took the author until 16 years old to realise that algebra was mathematics and not a type of pasta.

    Your query has been noted but I sincerely hope the illogical nature of the mathematics question has not undermined any enjoyment you had of said article.

    I now consider this matter to be closed, however if you do have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me,


    Duke Rusbridger
    Editor The Duke Times

  15. @BB:

    Thanks for that old girl. Complicated case and frankly, as the father of a young girl, I can't quite imagine how I'd react if faced with something like this.

    I'd probably turn into FamilyMan on the Private Eye messageboards and "swear I'd do time", or similar.

  16. swifty

    my point is that these types of cases should never be tried in an adult court under adult law.
    If you think "chucking the book" at 10 year olds is the best way to deal with children, then that's your perogative. Personally crimminalising children and placing them in the same catergory as adults to me is abhorant, what benefit to society comes of this?
    I feel that it would have been dealt with in a more humane way that protects and helps all children involved, as was done in Trondheim case that occured at the same time as the Bulger case.
    Trond Viggo Torgerson, the Norwegian ombudsman with children, argued:

    'We must all ask ourselves some pertinent questions in order to prevent similar cases. How should we teach ourselves and our children to distinguish between playing games and committing abuse? How can we make our children want to copy our good habits, our good intentions without also copying our conflicts and inadequacies? This is what the Trondheim accident is all about. It does not serve any purpose to blame those who were involved in the accident itself. They are already unhappy.'(Dagbladet, 22 October).

    IMO wise words....

  17. *cough* http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/ *cough*

  18. @gandolfo:

    I hear what you're saying, and raised the spectre of my old man simply because he'd had 30+ years experience teaching kids in both primary and secondary moderns in Leeds and other points North...

    But there does come a point, for me at least, where you do have to "chuck the book" at bad kids.

  19. swifty

    I think one of the main problems is, as has been pointed out elsewhere, we are projecting adult understanding of sexual activity onto children, assuming they know and understand what they were doing, what "girlfriend and boyfriend" means, what "sex" means, what "consent" or otherwise means. We simply cannot do that, imo.

    The little girl described herself to the judge as having been "a bit naughty" and admitted pulling her own knickers down. I can remember being "a bit naughty" in exactly that way when I was that sort of age, in our garage with Sean from across the road. He got his out, I got mine out*.

    I can remember being 10 and being kissed by a boy called Paul from Liverpool and liking it very much then being worried I might be pregnant, because the only idea I had about sex was that people kissed then had babies.

    If my very puritanical mum had caught me, I would have been terrified and can quite easily imagine myself saying in both situations "well, he made me do it", I am pretty sure. And without having even the slightest inkling of what that would have meant in adult terms.

    The fact is we are dealing with the classic one-word-against-another situation, which is always precarious if we are trying to get to the truth. And although the boys didn't give evidence, it seems in their interviews one was blaming the other. Now I have no idea how those interviews were conducted, but I would not be surprised to hear that they didn't get the nice room with the comfortable chairs and teddies to play with, with a friendly woman officer helping them through their evidence. Suspects just don't get the same "special measures" treatment as victims, in general.

    We will never know, as I say, what really happened. But what I do believe - and I have an inkling that the judge thinks the same thing - is that this raises very important questions about how you deal with primary-school-aged children in these sorts of cases.

    *(reminds me of an old joke about Northern Ireland - "I never knew there was that much difference between a Catholic and a Protestant")

  20. Swifty
    yeah, but it depends on what book and how you chuck it and where does that point come...

    personally it seems to me that the Norweigans book is more humane and society is in this respect more willing to examine its role and it flaws than ours and to take some form of collective responsibilty...
    also one of the kids was describes as a model pupil with no history of sexualised or anti social behaviour by one of his teachers...

    (both my parents also lefty teachers 30+ years:) )

  21. sorry bad expression
    Norweigan's book is more humane and their society is, in this respect, more willing to examine its role and its flaws than ours and to take some form of collective responsibilty...,

  22. @BB/gandolfo:

    Yep, again, I hear what you're saying, and BB, I was thinking about this - there clearly is an objective truth somewhere in there, which we may never know.

    It's greatly to your and gandolfo's credit, I think, that you're prepared to look at this even-handedly.

  23. Swifty - I wish it came naturally, but you have to remember I have had a lot of very expensive training in being able to approach these things in a cold, objective manner. That's not to say that personal feelings and emotions never win over, because they do - particularly when it comes to anything to do with child abuse.

  24. Swifty
    thanks, I just think that when children commit abuse against other children we all need to reflect on why these children did it not to get some sort of vengeance, that's the easy way out...they are all victims of the society in which they are growing up not just the little girl..

  25. Gandopho, as I was saying yesterday, I think the scandanavian way of dealing with child offenders is far better than our own.

  26. Hank, you said last night,

    "He spent the year in question at Innsbruck University studying Politics amongst students and lecturers who all spoke German. He paid nothing for it."

    So i had a look, and previously you said,

    "He's spending this year, his third Uni year, out in Innsbruck [i'll leave out the next bit as its about your kid]

    It's costing me a bit, but it's been worth every penny."

    So when you said "he paid nothing for it", you were right of course, but my question was whether YOU had paid anything for it - which you did by your own admission, though you declined to mention that last night.

    I dont know you and i'm not passing judgment on how you raise your kid at all, thats your business - but since you take such delight in attacking people for bourgeois hypocrisy I think its justified to make this point to you. You paid to send your lad to Innsbruck.

  27. gandolpho

    I am 100% with you on that one. I don't believe there is any such thing as inate evil.

  28. BB,

    thanks, don't think I'd have the time if I actually had the talent for that type of thing.

    It's repugnant that 'business sponsorship' should be allowed anywhere near a school, it truly is.

  29. Your Grace

    Well you could send in that piece you just wrote to the Now Show for a start. It is precisely the sort of thing they would include in their sketches.

  30. BB

    as soon as you label someone innately evil it makes it easy for us to turn off our feelings towards that person it also give us the excuse not to look at possible causes of their behaviour within the context of our society.
    If people believe in innately evil they also must believe in innately good....personally I don't believe this concept either....

  31. It's the old nature vs nurture question isn't it?

  32. duke
    made me larf....go for it......

    as for sponsorship of schools I fear it just part of the preparation for a future takeover of the running of state schools by companies for profit.

  33. This article about the teacher who hit that kid makes my blood run cold.

    I was so glad I left teaching when I did, when I read the article I had an awful feeling of 'there but for fortune'.

    There is quite literally a war in some of our classrooms, for a long time there was a war against teachers by the government and the media (I can remember a Daily mail article in the 80's @ways to to recognise a bad teacher). At about that time I began to get kids saying 'I don't have to do what you say 'cos you don't do your job properly'.

    Its not a simple matter of course there are bad teachers but there is a crisis in many of our classrooms human beings can only take so much stress. Teachers are strongly discouraged from admitting they are 'having problems'.

    This was an awful tragedy just waiting to happen. It should have been prevented.

  34. @gandolfo:

    "If people believe in innately evil they also must believe in innately good"

    Not sure about that. That implies there's some sort of cosmic ordering whereby dark is always balanced out by light, doesn't it?

    Isn't it possible to live in a world where some people are innately evil, but no person is innately good?

  35. For the history file:-

    If I worked Atomboy's link to Scorpio's archived CiF material correctly this (at page 163 of the 336 listed) seems to be the man's last "undisappeared" post:

    HankScorpio 13 Apr 09, 10:30pm
    @Janissary - "Sounds like they were caught red-handed. Can't say I have any sympathy for them."
    Hmm, interesting stuff from a soi-disant "liberal". Still, as some of us know, there's a world of difference between those who believe in political liberalism and those who believe in the Land Value Tax.

    Inoffensive enough I would have thought.

    Should the sage of old ever take on Lenni's excellent advice and start serious writing again I would think that a piece on the " "difference between those who believe in political liberalism and those who believe in the Land Value Tax." would be a cracking start.

    How about it Scorpio a piece for UT2??

    By the way does anybody know of how Monkeyfish is doing in looking for a living post his redundancy?? - I trust it goes as well as possible MF

  36. Montana - just love that crazed dog..." It was a dark and stormy night" too bloody true it was.

    That was always one of my best pulling lines...."It was a dark and stormy night.....why don't we play Doctors and Nurses instead?"

  37. Have just posted up a piece on UT2 that was sent to me this morning. It's interesting and worth a discussion if anyone's up for it.

  38. Right

    I need to stir my stumps and get on with stuff

    Catch you all later x

  39. Definitely my last post till next month else I be stung for a large out of allowance usage since once on the net I'm away with the fairies and dreamers.

    Laters all.

  40. Brilliant, It's towel day!


    "As Nasa's LCROSS lunar mission spacecraft travelled towards the moon at more than 9,000 kilometres per hour, it tweeted in the words of the existential sperm whale from the first novel: "And what's this thing coming toward me very fast? So big and flat and round ... it needs a big wide sounding name like 'Ow', 'Ownge', 'Round', 'Ground'! ... That's it! Ground! Ha! I wonder if it'll be friends with me?" Then it crashed into the moon."

  41. Good day, all.

    Just going to say a few words about bullies for a bit.

    There's one at work right now. Making people feel small and insignificant. The others just look away, for some reason, they filter out the cries of those being bullied.

    "It's not our problem".

    "He's not picking on us"...

    Fair enough, look after yourselves, first, it's natural, but I think when you support the bully you are complicit in his bullying.

    And there are many who support him. I know that the best way of defeating this bully at work, is to let him dig his own grave, but there are too many people suffering because of his actions. If I bring this up as a complaint, his supporters, at work, will shout me down.

    So I have to shut up and watch this bully carry his actions out.

    But when, divide and conquer is his philosophy, I have to stand up against it.

  42. And piss in his coffee Habib.

  43. swifty
    "Isn't it possible to live in a world where some people are innately evil, but no person is innately good?"

    if something's innate it means we're born with it so if we believe some people are innately evil we have to also believe the opposite innate goodness...the concept of evil surely has to have an opposite concept otherwise it can't exist. I don't believe in either, people may carry out acts of evil or good but they themselves are not either of these definitions.


    that article makes me shudder...poor man...he also spent 8 months in custody...I wonder what action the LEA has taken in its schools to alieviate the stress endured by its teachers..I wonder if Mr. Harvey will take any action against the LEA?


    will have a read of your U2 later...


    I don't know your work place but don't you have an HR person or policy at work to deal with this? and surely if there are lots of people being effected by this a collective complaint with documented evidence is all you need to start the ball rolling.

  44. Morning all,

    13th Duke

    Great post.

    Although there are, obviously, a lot of contenders for the title, I sometimes think that the 'contracting out' of education is possibly one of the more significant and heinous betrayals of recent years.

    It definitely has a 'paying with the souls of our children' vibe to it, although perhaps understandable given that the roof slates and copper pipes of the country had long since been pillaged.
    Good old TB didn't really have much left to bargain with, and well, if the sacrificial offering of entire generations was good enough in biblical times, it's good enough for now....


    Agree entirely.
    At some point, teachers began to be treated with suspicion and contempt, and, in my experience, and having spoke at length with many of my friends who are teachers, the classroom has become, at best, a kind of fox-hole, with all supply lines and aid effectively cut off by mountains of paper-work and budget cuts.


    What Gandolpho said.

    Was once in a similar position, but sort of lost it in the end when they crossed a particular line.
    Luckily for me, others had already officially complained about the same thing (which I hadn't known about), so it sort of worked out in the end....

  45. annetan42

    Agree with you.Too many teachers nowadays seem to
    spend their days 'containing' children rather than
    teaching them.And from my understanding they don,t
    get the support they need from either headteachers,
    heads of department or governors.Plus of course too
    many parents in this country are a dead loss with regard to effectively disciplining their children and setting them a good example on how to behave.

    I think it is good that we trying to be a more child
    centred and child friendly society.However IMHO i
    think we have too many adults of both sexes and from
    all social and ethnic backgrounds who have forgotten
    how to behave like adults.And immature kids are
    exploiting it for everything they can get.Whether it
    be in the classroom,at home or on the street.For
    no matter how much we love them the little sods
    know exactly how they can play adults off against
    each other.And the sad thing is we,re blindly letting
    them do it.

  46. Paul,

    When I was a kid, if I got in trouble at school, I knew I was going to get an earful at home too...

    Now it seems that more and more, after doing something wrong at school, the kid gets mouthy or physical with the teacher, knowing that the next day their parents will come in and do the same to back them up....

  47. Anne

    Just spent an hour posting response to your Civil War article - it has gorn - long gorn !

  48. Kids are like animals, they need to know 3 things, who's in charge, what are the rules, what happens if you break the rules?

    All too often the 1st answer is, no one, so I'M in charge! And once we have a taste of power who want's to give it up...

    The lack of structure in the lives of vast swathes of the populace is the driving force behind the discontent underclass. Will we aggitate, educate, organise? Or will we pass the buck, I'm alright & sod the rest of you?!?

  49. turminderxuss

    If i read your post correctly it isn,t only the
    underclass where there is a problem of bad parenting.
    Bad parenting manifests itself in many ways and
    middle class parents can be just as guilty.

    A few years ago the public school union-Headteachers
    Conference i think it,s called-complained about the
    growing indiscipline amongst public achool pupils.
    And that they weren,t getting the support they needed
    from parents in dealing with it.The typical parental
    attitude being that as they were paying £15k-£20k a
    year in school fees it wasn,t their problem.Plus i,ve
    witnessed plenty of situations where middle class
    parents allow their kids to walk all over them but
    still won,t have a word said against them if anyone
    else complains about their behavior.

  50. Too true paul. I work in aht is essentialy a toy shop. If a working class kid braeks a toy the parents bring the kid to teh counter, make them appologise and pay for the toy. 'Middle class' kids & parents often sidle out. Upper class parents complain about the quality of the goods and encourage Tarquin or Euradice to break as much as they want, and, 'what are the oiks going to do about it?'

    "allow their kids to walk all over them but
    still won,t have a word said against them if anyone
    else complains about their behavior."

    This has been the cause of at least one falling out with my girlfriend and a pal..

  51. Dotterel (and any other froods)

    Right. Went out food shopping carrying a towel. Only had about three funny looks and a little bit of trouble with the towel while trying to pack the spring onions away.

    And Jay, according to the increasingly inaccurately named THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY: A triology in four parts page seven, the name occurred to Douglas Adams in Innsbruck of all places (in 1971).

  52. That rubbish CiF article on bullfighting reminds me of the Viz letter:

    "I recently attended a bull fight during a holiday in Spain. I went in with an open mind, but I can honestly say that I have never been so appalled and upset by an event in all my life. It cost £12 to get in, a can of coke was another £1.50, and I was sat so far at the back that I couldn't see the cows getting stabbed."

  53. Your Grace

    Agree with BB - you should send your pieces in to the beeb. Or Private Eye even.


    god rest Douglas Adams - for all the pure joy he brought into this often dismal world.

  54. No generalisations there then, Turminder. Can't we drop all this 'working class perfect, middle class shits' stuff? There are crap parents in every income bracket, just as there are brilliant parents - these assumptions are both lazy and invidious.

    I realise I'll have to apologise for being grouchy, so I'll do that now - but I've just spent a day dealing with the fallout from some truly shite parenting and I know that's just not true.

  55. Sheff: Doubly agreed.

    shazz: I have seen brilliant parenting by people from all walks of life and also, unfortunately, some not so good IMHO.

  56. Gandolfo & BB:

    Thanks for the really interesting posts re the case of the 2 boys being tried in an adult court.

    I'm in much agreement with you about the age of crimminal repsonsibility in this country. The case of the boys who killed James Bulger and their treatment in an adult court shall remain as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of legal cases in this country.

    I'm not saying what these boys did is excusable, far from it, I'm well aware of the shocking UK stats that were revealed a few years back re: (approx) 1 in 3 boys thought it was 'OK' to rape a girl and even more shockingly, that (approx) 1 in 7 girls agreed. (these are not exact as I've not dug out the relevant article).

    I would imagine that incidences of older boys either pressurising or forcing much younger girls into sexual acts is far more common, they just aren't reported.

    I'm generally in despair about how gender roles have been 'backwardised' (for want of a better word) in the last 30 years. What children absorb regarding sexuality and sexual identity imho needs to be seriously addressed.

    How can we have a more equitable society if boys are perpetually encouraged to completely subsume their humanising qualities and define their sexuality by violence and agression? and girls, to define themselves as what is looking more and more like me as a sub-species of human being?

    I've said it before, knowledge is power to kids when they are developing into sexual beings and backward, Victorian/Religious attitudes to sex have successfully dominated the education of children and as far as I can see blighted it for a very long time to come.

    I notice that amongst the McConjob coalition's first cuts... sex education is to be drastically reduced even further from the paltry provision that currently exists.

  57. whoops "looking more and more TO me like...

  58. On a lighter note...

    Duke - top banana that! Berry fuddy!

    If you send scripts, make sure you send a copy to yourself... you know what these Oxbridge types are like at the Beeb!

  59. Shaz

    Have to agree about lousy parenting not being class based.

  60. Duke;

    "That rubbish CiF article on bullfighting reminds me of the Viz letter"

    But I bought the paper version of the paper today and saw that photo of the bullfighter with a horn through the underside of his chin and coming out through his mouth (it took pride of place on a top RH page) and gasped out loud in horror ont tube....

    [Hate bullfighting though... gruesome backward macho shite]

  61. La Rit

    if i attack a bull - having first trapped it in an enclosed space surrounded by screaming people and waitied until it is weakened by darts , enraged and desperate , I would grant it the right to gore or trample me.

  62. http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/may/25/free-schools-private-companies

    For Gandolfo.... the circle will soon be complete... mark my words, Tesco's will be running our schools in the future. According to the above article, despite the fact that in the US and Sweden it has been proven that schools run in this manner do little or no better than the schools which remain entirely State-funded, the arseholes from McConjob Inc. are going to push this through as the legislation is already in place.

    Deeply depressing.

  63. LaRit: Indeed. And rape is primarily about power, not sex. The terrible lack of sexuality education (as opposed to sex) can be helped a little bit by the work of ScarletTeen. One of their councillors, Heather Corinna, has had a few excellent ATL gigs over at CiF.

    Others: Thanks for the very sensitive commenting on this tragic issue. There are no easy solutions to these problems, but today is a very good read nevertheless.

  64. Montana

    Completely agree with you re: the child rape case - what about the young victim in this?

    I'm getting incandescent about the fact that this rape case is turning into a media-driven kangaroo court. I repeat - her evidence was consistent except in the adult court, and was corroborated by witness statements & medical evidence. Those boys were older than she, and round here boys of 10 are capable of anything from stealing cars, extortion & drug-running to violence against younger girls (personally witnessed the last more than once & yes, intervened eg: when a group of lads threatened to drop a lass off a bridge over the A57), and violence against older males (in some cases involving use of weapons, as my own child's mate can testify). They seem to lack any empathy for their victims. And they don't always come from deprived homes, they're just the ones who end up ASBO'd or in criminal court.

    The Bulger case was tried in adult court, it's become the benchmark for serious crimes perpetrated by the very young. I don't believe it was the right decision to try those lads in adult court & would prefer not criminalising our children.

  65. Leni:

    "I would grant it the right to gore or trample me"

    Completely agree with you. Bullfighting is utterly repellent, in fact, until I saw that picture, I had managed to convince myself that that barabric sport was illegal.


    Sexuality education as opposed to sex education is a very important distinction. Just had a quick look at the 'ScarletTeen' site... looks great! I might trawl back through Heather Corinna's articles for some background reading ;)

  66. LaRit.

    Of all the strangling of public services by the private sector, this for me is the most terrifying one.

    What the fuck is going on? Seriously.

    This quote here from Anders Hultin of 'Global Management Education Systems' is particularly creepy: "Private companies can codify their experience and spread best practice," says Hultin.

    Apart from the fact business should not be allowed to come within a million miles of primary and secondary education, how many times have you heard that bogus 'best practice' mantra heard?

    'Best practice' is code for:

    "do whatever the hell we want as there is no risk for us- the state will have to step in once we've fucked off with taxpayers money whilst leaving an abysmal, narrow educational legacy for the poor kids in our care. For further reference see railways, electricity, gas, water, prison services, buses....."

    The Corporatocracy is accelerating towards its end game of controlling every aspect of the populations lives.

  67. medve

    have been thinking a lot about this case - 2 10 year old boys placed on sex offenders register is extreme. I have seen no psychiatric reports - who decided these youngsters are 'deviants'?

    i am bothered when I hear children as young as 6 or 7 using words like rape - they obviously do not fully understand the concept, the act or the emotional implications.

    Sex education in schools often avoids the deeper questions around emotions, issues around power and helplessness and very importantly sexuality.
    So many wildlife films we see show male animals fighting for dominance , submissive females or the less submissive being subdued by greater strength.

    religion often teaches the submission of women and the 'evils' of homosexuality. These influences and images permeate society.

    Identity politics emphasise the factional nature of modern society leaving the impression that separate groups need to fight and overcome in order to be recognised and afforded value.

    There is also no doubt that some children are exposed to sexual activity and imagery at home - sometimes combined with violence. A child does not need to be directly sexually assaulted to sufer sexual abuse.

    I can't remember being aware of human sexuality as an 8 year old - looking back I'm certain I would have found the idea of being dominated , my body penetrated , by a powerful male very frightening.

  68. Duke

    Best practice means among other things training children to work within their particular industries and accept their corporate model - cradle to grave subservience.

    Education is about learning to think and question, training is about learning to conform and obey.

  69. Just noticed a very interesting little thing.... tried to report abuse as a 'legal issue' on the William Hague/Amnesty/Human Rights thread and it has been disabled.

  70. Duke:

    "The Corporatocracy is accelerating towards its end game of controlling every aspect of the populations lives"

    I know, I was thinking this as I was coming home this afternoon, it's the inevitability of it all (in general, not just in Education) that really makes me want to sit down and weep, the fact that they are now realising their dreams in finally being able to control the Classroom and make a fucking profit out of education, whilst simultaneously de-educating and denying even less 'choice' to millions of kids and getting the tax-payer to foot the bloody bill, is to me the antipathy of human rights.

    re: 'best practice' that odious fallacious bullshit... whenever I hear it mentioned, I literally want to scream.

    (PS: Just seen Leni's post, absolutely bang on the money)

  71. La Rit

    I posted up an article on UT2 this morning that might interest you:

    The Greeks get it

  72. Leni:

    Indeed. For most younger children sex is a taboo. Mostly the idea of their parents having sex is one of the yuckiest things. In our family the "birds and bees" thing fell on me and our boys were pretty well in the picture about the biological aspects of reproduction before they were ten (they are half Dutch after all), but conducting a relationship with sensitivity and mutual respect is an other thing all together. I don't think i learnt the half of that much before i was thirty.

    I think though (talking about "red blooded" hetero boys), that it pays handsomely to learn those lessons.

  73. Ms Chin

    As I said earlier, nobody will really know what happened in the child rape case. But from a legal perspective, and with the information that is in the public domain, it is not a conviction that I am happy about on the face of it.

    I am not saying that the little girl did lie. I am saying that there is a possibility that she lied, which, had we have been dealing with adults, would have meant it was chucked out at half time. There must be reasonable doubt.

    And while there was medical evidence, it wasn't evidence that supported the original claim of rape, nor was there any of the boys' DNA on the girl's clothing.

    It is a difficult one, and one which is going to split opinion forever, probably, not least because rape is such an emotive crime, and such a horrendous violation of the victim.

  74. LaRit:

    Which comment were you trying to report? The legal issue thingy works for me.

  75. BB

    I know, one problem leads to another when you start to unpack the complexities of sexual violence cases. There was no justice for any party in this particular case, just law.

    Bugger me! I actually agree with MAM @7.45 on the radical / Cameron thread.

  76. Bugger the expense - leni a first class and thought provoking post at 18.27.

    I should make clear that my enthusiasm for games of Doctors and Nurses was something given to me girls/ladies. Most of them older than me.

    I was in truth an idle sod from an early age and thus I was always happy for my female actor friends to take the initiative.

    Thus perhaps no surprise to find one of my favourite learning manuals was "In Praise of Older Women".

    These are complex matters and I'm not sure where the truth lies. I have to go with a presumption of innocence and the idea that at some point children need to understand that wanking is a perfectly sensible healthy way of dealing with hormonal urges.

    Perhaps all youngsters should learn that a loud cry of "piss off and have wank" might be a useful device in dealing with unwelcome attentions

  77. "...So many wildlife films we see show male animals fighting for dominance , submissive females or the less submissive being subdued by greater strength..."

    I have often wondered about that leni I guess my message to the kids would be "You are a human your are different 'cos you have choice and a freedom - animals can't say 'piss off' and they can't direct themselves to private place for a 'wank'."

    I'm not sure that I would be a suitable teacher of young children but I hope you get the drift.

  78. LaRit
    thanks for the link to the article..bloody hell they'll be producing thousands of non thinking little ronald mcdonalds...it's just immoral....

  79. Well I've done it! Going uo to Sheffield on Friday 4th so will be able to rest up properly before the evening of the 5th. Should arrive on Friday 4th at about 4:15.

  80. deano: I for one am happy to be mentioned in the same sentence as you.

  81. Only just looked at Cath's thread - I am beginning to view the threads on pro-life vs pro-choice with the same trepidation that I regard the I/P threads - but AllyF is in fine fettle:


    bring on the tacky jingle with the opera singer:

    Marie Stopes! Marie Stopes!
    If in doubt, get it out, Marie Stopes!
    If you maybe... don't want that baby
    Just don't tell the Pope
    that you went to Marie Stohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhpes

    (I'm going to hell, aren't I?)

  82. SheffP:

    Just read "the Greeks Get it" thanks for pointing me in the direction, (I also still need to read Annetan's on the English Civil War fully too, no disrepect to Annetan).... my god, we are facing a black hole. Don't laugh, but my fella and me have been trawling our way through the new Battlestar Gallactica (on series 3)OK, it occasionally lapses into a tiny bit of Hollywood 'romanticism'... but it bears out the idea of 'perpetual war'. Well worth checking out...

    I sometimes wonder if the oft repeated point that Saddam Hussein's threat to start trading oil in Euros and not Dollars and therefore, side-stepping the US and disempowering it's stranglehold, was the real reason for the invasion? 'Oil' was the smokescreen beneath the 'smokescreen' of 'Liberation'. It wasn't a 45 minute threat of WMD, but a threat to the warped currency prejudice for the $ and the £.

  83. BB:

    "I am beginning to view the threads on pro-life vs pro-choice with the same trepidation that I regard the I/P threads"

    it seems that being por-abortion or even having and abortion is being ratched-up as even more taboo than Norman Eff or the Z-ed state's nuclear dirty dealings with Aparthied SA and the theiving of holocaust victim's money by powerful J organisations in the US...

  84. Got to go... next episode of Battlestar to watch...


  85. BB: Until men gain the capacity to carry and give birth to a child they should not moralise about abortion.

  86. Sheff

    thanks for that.

    Italy is in the shit as well today the government has announced 24 billion euros of cuts how and where they are going to cut I don't know. The Berlusconi government has spent the last 18 months denying that there is even a crisis, his finance minister said a few months back that we were out of the crisis.....They are going to publish the details tomorrow...so far they have confirmed freezing of public sector workers pay for 3 years, cuts in invalidity benefit..the usual hitting the poor and lower paid workers, tomorrow won't be good news

    As a share of GDP, Italy's state borrowing is more than 115% the world's seventh highest higher than Greece's....

  87. medve - perfectly put.

    gandolpho - didn't a news reader walk off the set in disgust recently, V for Vendetta-stylee, because she couldn't stomach the pro-Berlusconi drivel any more?

  88. medve - a kind a generous thought thank you. And I you.

    BB I fear you may be right but if you are hell bound you will be in fine company.

    A42 - great news I look forward to meeting you.

    gandolfo beginning to sound like a familiar universal story, must have been sorted at the last meeting of the Rothschild's et al in where was it (Athens??)

  89. ....Bilderberg (Athens)... wish my memory could keep up with my typing

  90. bb
    Yep maria luisa busi resigned, she was the evening newsreader for Rai1 the "equivalent" of BBC1. Basically she resigned because the editor of the news on RAI 1 is a brown nosing friend of Berlusconi who has reduced the main news into a joke.....

    This is a part of the letter she wrote (my translation)

    Where are the young whose futures are worse than their parents? Where are the 40 year olds still in temporary work that take home 800 euro a month and can't even affort a sofa to sit on, let alone bring a child into this world? Where are the laid off workers of Alitalia? What's happened to them? And the hundreds of businesses that have closed and the business men of the north east that have committed suicide because their businesses have failed? Where is this Italy, the Italy that we have a duty to report?
    That Italy exists. But RAI news has eliminated it."

    Good for her it's a bloody disgrace how Berlusconi controls everything....now he's trying to introduce a law that prevents journalists reporting telephone tapping tapes....

  91. gandofo

    that is really frightening. We can see it happening here too - the poor being brushed away like leaves- out of sight.

  92. Shaz

    Was interested in your earlier post.Am assuming you
    work in Childrens Services and would be interested
    in your views on the following.

    There is a perception that Childrens Services are
    disproportionately staffed by women who have either
    a patronising or hostile attitude towards men.Also
    that social work training puts too much emphasis
    on portraying men as abusers whilst playing down
    or ignoring the role women play in abusing their
    children and partners.And that too many of those
    in Childrens Services are easliy intimidated or
    manipulated by the parents of the children they
    are supposed to be helping.

    After the Victoria Climbie enquiry i was appalled
    at what had been going on in Haringey for instance.One social worker using the excuse of cultural relativism to justify her different approaches to families dependant on ethnicity,another who admitted to hating the police and having a problem with White people,another with a psychotic illness who was never confronted about her erratic behavior,and finally a departmental head who had a rad fem attitude toward men.

    I absolutely understand that Childrens Services are
    chronically underfunded in this country,that some
    men are abusers and that mistakes can be made with
    the best will in the world.But it does seem there
    could be also be a problem with some Childrens Services having an agenda which could be interpreted as being sexist-against men.

    Sorry it,s a bit of a heavy topic but would genuinely
    be interested in your views.Obviously when it.s a convenient time for you to answer.Cheers.

  93. Atrocious. She is absolutely right.

    And Leni, you are right too when you say the poor are being brushed away.

    We have to make sure that doesn't happen.

  94. Gandolfo

    prompted by your post I have gone on waddya to suggest we discuss honest reporting across EU - on the plight of the poor and sick.

    I didn't aknowledge your post here as I don't know how you stand with Cif !

  95. "And Leni, you are right too when you say the poor are being brushed away.

    We have to make sure that doesn't happen."

    maybe this rings more true BB:

    "We have to make sure that doesn't continue happening"

    What is really frightening is that the Berlusconi government has a concensus to rule...and has the arrogance to spit in the face of democracy...he is a slimey autocratic despot that is ruing through his media power denigrating and destroying the culture and dignity of this country....god what a sorry state this country is in. This is a government that is doing all it can to protect its personal interests without even giving the pretence of democracy.....that's the only "honest" thing they are capable of....

  96. Paul

    Shaz is a teacher, I think, not Children's Services.

    From my own experience - since we have had the foster lad - it seems to be that I am the only person Children's Services are interested in talking to, really. Bizarrely enough, if one of us were to be nominated primary carer, it would more likely be my husband as he tends to be at home and available far more than I am, and attends meetings etc., but they seem to assume that because I am the woman I must therefore be the one to talk to.


  97. Paul

    Are Social Services really run by man haters?

    Of all the recent scandals I can think of misandry doesn't really raise its head.

    Identity politics maybe but not misandry.

    I have only known one social worker (my sister does the same kind of job but with adults) and she had seen so many horrors she started to see everyone, male or female, as a possible abuser.

    That is not a good way for anyone to view the human race but she really did see some true horrors.

    Much respect to Shaz for doing a job that would make most of us ill.

  98. One Windows update or three & t'internet access to UT & CiF was plucked @ mschin's hovel. And now it's time for bed.

  99. BB

    ''We have to make sure that doesn't happen.''

    In total agreement with you in principle but how
    does that translate in practice.At present the
    screw is being tightened on the poor in this
    country and worse is to come.When push comes to
    shove who,s going to fight for those too old,too
    sick and too alienated from mainstream society to
    effectively fight for themselves.

    And for the record i don,t know the answer myself.

  100. jen

    'and she had seen so many horrors she started to see everyone, male or female, as a possible abuser'.

    Several of us round these parts can empathise with that. When you leave that kind of heavy environment behind, your perspective on humanity changes again.

    btw, any chance of you joining us in Sheffield?

  101. Leni I stand with CiF and post as Gandolfo...
    Jessica reed doesn't like me so much has treated my request for article on banning with a certain "Je m'en fous" as well as one on violence as a form of social change and accused me of being horrid to Bru

  102. Oh dear

    One of my mates, a Newcastle Utd fan, has just posted this thread on Facebook.

    Seems the Graun have got egg on their face with this one... and not a peep out of Simon Taylor or any of the staff either.

  103. Jennifera

    I didn,t say all Childrens Services were run by
    women who had either a patronising or hostile
    attitude towards men.I said there was a perception
    that Childrens Services were disproportionately
    staffed by women with that attitude.It,s rather
    like there is a perception that Family Courts
    discriminate against men.Was interested in Shaz,s
    take on that given the fact i think she might be working in that field.But you,re dead right it,s a tough job and perceptions often don,t match the reality.:-)

  104. Gandolfo

    Any suggestions around moderation or banned posters are dismissed out of hand. Obviously we posters ' just don't get it ' - too inarticulate, stupid and stroppy by far, all of us .

  105. I was only asking Paul. ;)

    I wasn't applying that attitude to you, I know myself that it is a common attitude that the woman always gets the benefit of the doubt.

    That article is shockingly bad BB, it makes me feel a bit sick and I am glad that the few comments I read made good points in a restrained way.

    I am so glad that I have never actually bought the Guardian newspaper.

  106. jennifera

    Your question was absolutely valid.Sorry i hope my
    response didn,t 'sound' shirty.Wasn,t meant to be.

  107. OK me loves

    Up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire for me.

    Night night x

  108. Paul - sorry, I don't work in CP, but in education, so I don't have any experience of the situations you describe. Unfortunately though I don't have any positive recent experience with Social Services to give you - the recent contacts we have had with them have either resulted in indifference or utter over-reaction - leading to further distress for the child, or alienation of the child's parents. We have to attend CP training once a year, and since the results of the Victoria Climbie enguiry, her case has been included in all training. It is unbelievable in my view that Haringey made the same mistakes with Peter Connelly as they did with Victoria Climbie, even though their mistakes have become a nationally recognised training issue.
    I think there is definitely a danger of social workers allowing their personal prejudices to get in the way of what is right - there are people who believe that their beliefs should come before the interests of the children. This is so wrong - nothing is more important than the interests of the child, under any circumstances whatsoever. No-one with any axe to gring should be working with children.

  109. Shaz

    Thanks for that.Hope you,re OK. You 'sounded' a
    bit stressed earlier.:-)

  110. Leni
    I posted on cif supporting the honest reporting article good call...

    I know they don't care and think we don't get it...the problem is that we do get it...that's what puts their backs up...so I do it for that puerile satisfaction and the vague hope that one day it's them that gets it!

  111. Does PCC often go quiet for this amount of time?

    I know she has health problems but I miss her contributions.

    I really hope she is ok.

  112. Shaz

    There are serious questions around the motivation of anyone wanting to work in the caring professions. Most are there for genuine reasons - I have however met rather too many with a personal agenda.

    We need to be more careful about promoting the idea that exdrug addicts or those abused as children are the 'best' to work in these areas.

    I'm not for a minute suggesting a general ban - simply a better selection process. Some carry there old wounds and anger with them - others use the situation to recreate their own scenario in the hope of 'working through it'. they project both onto victim and abuser - in some cases incorrectly identufying both or either.

  113. Paul - yh, one of the children in my class revealed some pretty nasty stuff about her home life. There are times when it's very hard to stay objective (and not go straight off and throttle the parent). Not being able to do that, I came home in a filthy mood. (So sorry, Turminder, for snapping at you.)

  114. Leni - I think anyone working in this area must have the capability of remaining objective, which must be incredibly difficult sometimes in the more emotive situations - for example rape or abuse survivors. Some people are strong enough for their experiences to help them empathise with others, but the danger comes from sympathy rather than empathy.
    Personal agendas can have no place in CP, or any social work - and I'd add education into that. It's so easy to get things wrong.

  115. Anyway: sorry for the rant - off to bed - will be back tomorrow if anyone wants to shout at me.
    Night all

  116. Like I said earlier my sister works with abuse victims and she also works with people with mental health problems and those who who have addiction issues.

    Her job is to get those people into work, she is an Occupational Therapist but this is the only job she could get.

    She is great at her job but every day she works with people from both ends of the spectrum.

    Those people who she represents range from those who have social issues to those who are violent and really need some serious help.

    She gets paid less than 20 grand a year and she thinks that is a good wage. I don't have the nerve to tell her that what she does is worth a lot more than she gets.

    She goes the extra mile for her clients (at the expense of her own life) and she is my hero.

  117. Shaz

    i understand you - restraining from violence in the face of many things is difficult - a rant can help if not really adress the issue.

    I once technically kidnapped a child - got away with it as my offence was less than the one committed against the child.

  118. Jenn - saw PCC earlier @

    "Queen's speech 2010: Coalition announces school, welfare and budget reforms

    princesschipchops's comment 25 May 10, 2:45pm (about 9 hours ago)

    Oh and MAM - if you do pop along to this thread and start telling us that the sick should all work for their benefits and that disease is all a state of mind etc etc and then go on to say that diseases such as ME don't exist. Just to let you know that you are wrong - people do die of ME - a fair number of people have ME recorded as their cause of death in the US and Canada and Australia - since the 1950's! And there was a landmark case in the UK.

    Eight years later, in 2006, Sophia Mirza?s inquest dramatically supported her mother?s instinct. The coroner ruled that the 32-year-old had died of complications due to myalgic encephalomyelitis, a landmark verdict in the UK. A neuropathologist told the court that Sophia?s spinal cord was inflamed, with three quarters of her sensory cells displaying significant abnormalities.

    Recommended (23)

    Her elderly mam has not been too well of late (fell out bed after wrestling a rugby layer and damaged her shoulder) so the PCC has extra duties and less time.

    Still hoping that we might see her at the Sheffield do.

    Did you see Chin's comment to you at 22.52 above.

  119. Jenn - I don't stalk ladies. I keep my favourite posters profiles as bookmarks.

    It saves me having to read a lot of shit to find something interesting to read.

    I just check in daily to see what they find interesting enough to comment on - I have confessed to be an idle sod!

  120. Hey no worries Shaz, My old man was a primary teacher in the same school for 33 years, some years in the 80s, the school would have every window broken, every weekend. Ended up with those translucent wired up perspex sheets in the window frames...

    Just observations earlier, I ken the plural of anecdote isn't data. : )

    One for A42, Diggers, as is was then, and so it goes, & so it goes.

  121. Class turm - I'm sure that A42 will love it especially since it was from:

    Billy Bragg - "World Turned Upside Down", from the Women Chainmakers Festival, Dudley, 15th September 2007

  122. Not seen you around for awhile Boudican - still enjoying the odd look in at the Eagle's nest.

    Hope you and yours well.

  123. For those unaware chain making was arguably the business of Dudley. That the lasses should have come to have had a Festival is a delight.

  124. BB & Gandolfo:

    My comment at the top of the thread had nothing to do with any legal points. No comment on whether or not it was appropriate to try the boys in adult court. No comment on whether or not the evidence was sufficient for a conviction. So BB:

    The problem is, Montana, one can only see things through the eyes of one's own experience.

    Your experience is personal - mine is professional,

    The fact that you're a lawyer has fuck all to do with what I was saying. But just in case you hadn't yet been patronising enough, you throw this out:

    And, frankly, my view of this is just as valid as yours. I'm sorry you were assaulted. I was also assaulted as a child by a piano teacher. I didn't tell anyone about it until I was in my late 20s. But we seem to have a very different perception of what that means about life.

    Which is really just a very thinly veiled way of telling me that I'm too damaged from my experience to think clearly, whereas you have dealt with your assault much better and are, therefore, more rational. Fuck you.

    MsChin said yesterday:

    The CPS said of the little girl:
    "She had given a clear and compelling account to the police and her account was consistent with the medical evidence and with the accounts given by other witnesses to the police". The judge said pretty much the same thing.

    Now, since she's not prone to tossing out information from unreliable sources and, whatever the evidence was, it was enough for a jury to decide to convict two boys of attempted rape, I can only assume that there's a bit more to the case than a simple "They made me pull my pants down" "I just made that up because I was afraid I wouldn't get sweets" going on here.

    So the one boy had never been in trouble and his teacher said, "well-mannered and polite pupil".

    "He has never exhibited sexual behaviour towards other children," the report continued.

    "He has never exhibited any behaviour that has caused me any concern."

    Guess what? So was the boy who raped me. And he knew what he was doing and how to scare me into silence. The very fact that he was a "model child" was part of what made it so easy for him to intimidate me. He knew damn well he would be believed over me any day.

    God, people. Could just one of you explain to me why it is that you would rather believe that a little girl made a false allegation than to own up to the fact that two boys that age are very much capable of intimidating and attempting to rape a younger girl?

    Again: I'm not talking about legal standards of evidence (which was apparently good enough to gain a conviction, even though BB seems to think that she can decide on the basis of news reports that it wasn't) and I'm not passing comment on whether or not it was appropriate to try the case in adult court. I just want to know why you are so willing to tell yourselves that the accusation was the lie when it is far more likely that the recantation was.

    FFS -- you're worried about the damage to the two boys of being tried in adult court but MsChin is the ONLY other person who has expressed any concern for what trauma the little girl would have gone through in being forced to recount what had happened to her over and over and, at at least one point, to a lawyer who was hostile to what she was saying.

    How the hell can you people not see that she would get to a point where telling people it had all been a lie would be easier than continuing to go through what she was going through? Adult sexual assault victims often get pushed to a point where they'll say anything to make it all go away -- is it any wonder that a child would?

  125. @ 10.21 "SwiftyBoy said...
    Did they have penetrative sex with the 8 year old, though? The girl seems to think they did ("they done sex on me")."

    It's been nagging me all day.

    A confusion of language or grammar?

    When I read "they done sex on me" I concluded the question of penetrative sex was resolved for the girl had not said ' they done sex in me'.

    I have a lot of time for Swifty's understanding and thus it left me scratching my head.

    So sorry to read of your continuing hurt Montana. My best wishes that it don't hurt forever.

  126. Amendment:

    MsChin is the only other person here who has commented on that case who has expressed any concern about the girl.

    I don't want those of you who are choosing to stay out of it to think that I am having a go at you.

  127. Montana:

    Courageous post. Harrowing.

  128. Thank you, deano, but I don't think it's possible for it to ever stop hurting completely.

  129. That was a cross post of mine Montana.

    My post @ 00:53 was intended to convey my disquiet at getting too closely involved in a matter which depends on third person reporting.

    From where I sit I only have a report which is not verbatim and thus only a partial story of the evidence.

    We all extrapolate at our own risk.

    My best wishes.

  130. Of course my intended expression of understanding of your hurt stands - it was prompted by your opening post to the day.


  131. Montana & BB - I adore you both and I will not favour (not that it would matter much if I could or did) either.

    I'm beginning to feel a little like my younger comrade Paul - assaulted by confusion.

    I'll go to bed with the thought that we should all be allowed to write with flourish and abandon and even a little ambiguity.

    We might all read with the utmost care and when we encounter an ambiguity or confusion we should keep our minds open.

    Ambiguity is amongst the most challenging of states and certainty the most absurd.

    My greatest and sincere affection and respect to you both.

    xxxx. deano

  132. "Thank you, deano, but I don't think it's possible for it to ever stop hurting completely"

    I know that my dearest young miss for the truth be known we cannot unlearn dreadful hurt.

  133. "I'm beginning to feel a little like my younger comrade Paul - assaulted by confusion"

    A classic piece of slack writing. I'll trust that Paul on reading my effort knew that what I intended to mean didn't reflect poorly on him.

  134. Montana

    Just want to give you a great big cyber hug.


  135. deano

    No offence taken.

  136. interesting snippet from Brazil on news.

    The nonracist Brazilian society is apparently covertly discriminatory. A university there has reserved 20% of its places for 'poor black students'. This raises the question - if you are of mixed inheritance how do you decide that you are 'black'? Will this make people more or less aware of skin colour ?

    Also - what of 'poor white students' - there must be some.

  137. Example a)

    "The problem is, Montana, one can only see things through the eyes of one's own experience.

    Example b)

    Perhaps the problem is made more confusing Montana because we all see through the filter of our own eyes and experience.....

    Example c)

    "Your experience is personal - mine is professional,"

    Example d)

    Your experience is quite naturally personal - mine is equally naturally conditioned by training.

    Now you all know what I'm going to say next...............................any cunt who can feel patronised or favoured by a sometimes sober tramp, who can't command the apostrophe, in a field in Yorkshire really ought to get a life.

    night all.

    leni - enjoying your posts. Any chance your joining A42 and us in Sheffield, rooms (at A42's place) usually have two singles ??

  138. I meant to say perhaps you could do a deal with your Welsh comrade A42.

    One day I'm going to get the hang of this thing called language.

  139. Ain't seen the flag from Canada for awhile - hope that's Boudican?

  140. Deano

    language can be a slippery bugger.

    Not yet sure about that particular weekend - would love to come. Let you know.

  141. It would also be good if it were 3P4

  142. Hi Boudican

    Waves to Canada.

  143. Yes - where is 3p4/ I miss his meanderings.

  144. Hi deano--Been in and out of town and away from computer. Done some lurking late at night though. And BTW your use of the language is unique and enjoyable to me.

    Will be away from time to time in near future, but will check in when I can.

  145. Hi to Leni, our lady of the wee hours.

    3p4 was on several months ago to say he was off line indefinately. No explanation given. Hope he,s OK, an interesting poster that fella.

  146. boudican

    Deano's linguistic skills are - well Deanoesque - i like them too.

    do you mean you are going atraveling?

  147. I too found3p4 interesting - and particularly likeable.

  148. Leni--Yes, travelling, family issues for a week or two, then off to Boston in mid June with a friend to watch baseball. My spring and summer promise to be busy, if not quite hectic.

    deano--those eagles are majestic creatures,no? I wonder if Leni has seen them?


  149. Wow - dem boids is wonderful.

    I.m watching the returning parent and chick - other parent just relieved of domestic duties has flown off.

    watching them while listening to Serbian Orthodox music - both very sedate .

    Hope you enjoy your travels boudican and I hope your team wins.

    Off to bed. Nightynight.

  150. Them Eagle's is class Boudican they are the business of proper attention.

    Boud I met a malt last night, with my aged Bro in law, that I had not encountered before.

    It's double class. It's extra nectar+ and with a an immense whiff of Northern peatiness and then a fine lady sat on top.

    I'm not going to name it here on UT but when/if we meet in 2011 you'll be blasted . I'll buy you one.

    Time for sleep me now.

  151. .....oh let's be clear

    the opinion of a tramp in a field in Yorkshire with a broken( but not irreparable) cock .......you jest.

    Have you consulted a Priest of late?

    Goodnight UT's it's 4 am and my beloved dawn chorus commands my attention.

    laters much laters

  152. What are some of the ways good sexuality education can help prevent and dismantle rape?

    * Good sex ed can help counter rape by letting young people know what consent is and what mutually wanted, shared pleasure can look and feel like.
    * Good sex ed can let young people know they ALWAYS have a right to say both yes and no and a right to complete say-so with their own bodies, and that no one else has a right to take that away.
    * Good sex ed addresses healthy and unhealthy dynamics in sex and relationships so everyone can better understand the difference.
    * Good sex ed doesn't enable gender or sexual roles or stereotypes that enable and perpetuate rape/sexual abuse, it suggests learners strongly question them.
    * Good sex ed teaches and encourages solid and open communication and active and shared decision-making.
    * Good sex ed makes clear we are all wholly responsible for our sexual choices/actions and that if someone chooses to rape THEY are responsible.
    * Good sex ed recognizes ALL people, of all embodiments, as potentially actively sexual: it does not suggest any group is somehow designed for or deserving of victimization or passivity.
    * Good sex ed works to support and empower survivors of sexual abuse or assault: it does not encourage silence, shame or self-blame. Good sex ed holds those who rape solely responsible for raping.
    * Good sex ed also knows and makes clear that rape isn't "unwanted sex." It makes clear that rape is not sex for a victim, even when it is for the perpetrator.
    * Good sex ed recognizes everyone with the right to say no also has the right to say yes; that only empowering no isn't very empowering at all.
    * Rape is and has always been perpetuated by silence, shaming, and denying mutual pleasure and wantedness is VITAL in sex. Good sex ed supports this.
    * Good sex ed also equips learners with knowledge and language (anatomical, interpersonal) to recognize and report abuse with, and support to do so.
    * Good sex ed does not want to teach its learners to accept or perpetuate unhealthy/abusive sexual behavior: it's goal is healthy sexuality.
    * It should stand to mention that many of us who work in sex ed are rape and abuse survivors: we know how critically important good sex ed is in this respect.
    * Good sex educators are aware that some who oppose sound sex ed do because they want to keep personally benefitting from rape-enabling ideas. We're onto you, and we'll keep calling you out.
    * The opposite of rape isn't sex: it's no rape. But really understanding what sex is and can be makes confusing or conflating it with rape very difficult to do.
    * Want to push back against rape, to counter, disable and decrease rape and the all the trauma it creates? Make sure that includes support of good sex ed.


  153. Great post Medve

    For those who doubt we live in a rape culture you only have to look at the case of the two lads who have recently been convicted of attempted rape.

    I have read so many articles and comments about how awful it is for them to be branded rapists and how it will affect them in the future etc etc

    Not many articles about the girl who was abused though and the only comments I have read are about how she might be making it up.

    A little perspective please.

  154. jennifera:

    Not my work. Provided a linky to the source at the bottom. I think they are good "bullet points" though.

  155. Thanks for clarifying Medve and thanks for the link.

    No new thread today?

    I hope Montana is ok.

  156. Oh and thanks MsChin for the invite to sheffield but my financial circumstances will not allow it.

    The small amount of money I have managed to save (I lived beyond my means whilst working and so have debts) is earmarked for a new laptop (it was for a cooker originally) but my comp is totally messed up and I don't really want to be without one, both for chatting and for my OU course.

    I also have a residential school to save up for and a visit to my sister down south is in order, I haven't seen her or her kids since Christmas and I really want to be a presence in their lives (they are such wonderful kids).

    Jesus I hate being skint.

    I hope there will be another meet up closer to the end of the year as I would love to meet you all. x

  157. jennifera:

    my comp is totally messed up

    Dare i say vista? That is the only "operating system" i am aware of that is built around DRM -- Digital Rights Management. That's right, your comp actually checks if you have rights to play that choon. If you have any trusted friends who can stick up an ubuntu with open office, your comp will be good as new. Will take a bit of trust and effort though.

  158. You guessed right Medve it is Vista but the real problem is with the laptop itself I think, the fan went ages ago but now it just gets so hot and basically freezes, the ethernet connection is buggered too.

  159. jennifera: Didn't guess. If you look here you can see what my operating system is.

  160. jennifera: Am guessing now that it will be an Intel processor. It will have a built-in thermal cut-off, which will make it "freeze" when it gets too hot. Might be worth getting it looked at.

  161. Ah you have experience. ;)

    I have got to say I haven't really had any problems with Vista so far and I don't know if it is Vistas fault now.

    It probably is but in my twisted mind it is my own fault (melting my keyboard probably didn't help). :-)

  162. The non-working fan is probably a larger problemette than Vista, but Vista is really built on DRM for the benefit of Sony, EMI, and all the others, not you. Going back into invisible "lurking" mode.

  163. jennifera: Just to show that there might be some perspective about all this open source stuff.