14 June 2010


The Red Rectangle Nebula
NASA's photo of the day

"The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."
Ralph Waldo Emerson


  1. Good quote, like a secular Thought for the Day...

  2. Better than "Thought For The Day", Jay, which is more usually "Meandering,Cobbled-together,Platitudinous Waffle For The Day"

  3. Alisdair

    Thanks for the pointer to the Laurie Penny World Cup article. There's nothing like a good chuckle at a faux Oxbridge lefty trying to rail in iconoclastic fashion (and failing) to start the week off.

    Enjoyed that.

  4. Yeah, I like it, too. If I knew how to do needlepoint, I'd stitch it on a sampler.

    In the spirit of change, I changed the UT2 template. I tried to keep it fairly subdued, for those of you who read during the work day. Let me know what you think of it (here or via e-mail rather than on Wybourne's thread, please).

  5. Montana love the photo! My local Art shop (it is a shop not a gallery!) has some copies in oils of various Hubble pictures, been thinking of saving up.

  6. Yes a good quote, but surely if you are useful, honorable and compassionate, you will be happy.

    It is the persuit of happiness that causes a lot of grief I think. It leads to selfishness, greed and discontent.

    Especially when happiness is said to be found in material goods. Provided we have enough of those to be comfortable in the first case..

    Of course this persuit of happiness is exactly what the capitalist system needs us to do.

    That last paragraph probably wouldn't have occured to Emerson!

  7. Good post, Annetan, the pursuit of "fun" is the modern faith, spurned on by the likes of Visa, "Live every day as if its your last" - consume relentlessly.


    very funny Hyde article.

    Could someone link me the Penny piece? Cant find it.

  8. As the Netherlands are playing today, here is an amusing Dutch world cup advert

    A Dutch fan accidentally spills his food down a German fan.....

  9. Jay,


    It reads like a tired decaffeinated Burchill with just a sprinkling of Spart.

  10. Oh, FFS! Just read the Penny World Cup article. She's just soo painfully earnest. It winds me up no end when women whinge about how sexist it is that men's sports get all the attention. Women's football, women's basketball, tennis, etc. are never as interesting to watch -- why would they garner the same interest?

  11. It is a painfully bad piece: reads like "Ooh, shit got an article to write,what can I manufacture some offence around,and by-pass inconvenient facts and truths along the way".
    Oh, and using the word "jocks" for athletes is cringe-inducing from a UK author.

  12. N.B. For the sake of clarity (and my reputation) I don't read the New Statesman as a matter of course, mainly because it's crap and has been getting crapper for well over a decade: insular mindset,risible viewing of the world through dogmatic prisms, and as MW syas, so bleeding po-faced and earnest. It's symptomatic of a certain mindset, the type who always say that they have a sense of humour or fun, but suborn it to their dogma: it's never "I'm enjoying myself", but ""Should I be enjoying this, or should I condemn it, because by one interpretation [usually ignorant and erroneous] it contravenes the ideological code to which I subscribe because it means that deep thought isn't necessary, and it's a code that helps at the dinner-party/commentariat circle. Of course I hypocritically contravene that code in a hundred ways for personal advantage, but never in public bien-pensant pronouncements to the plebs"

  13. Good post Alistair. Just about to read Penny, Duke.

    Anyone read Bunting? Painful. Bracken will be furious.

  14. She's right about the commodification of sport though - all those boozy overweight people watching it instead of playing it (why not if they like it so much?) All the daft 'souvenir' tat. All the ghastly faux patriotism - which leaves me cold anyway

    I can see the attraction of a game played by really good players even though I don't share it. But I am puzzled by the notion that sport played by women cannot be as interesting to watch. There seems to be no reason why it shouldn't be, it may well be different of course. I really do think there is an element of sexism there and its this - the standard for 'good' team sport seems to be a male one yet in many other spheres - gymnastics for example we do appear to accept a 'different but equal' standard of excellence. In this country at least we don't see enough women's football to really make a comparison and the women's game certainly does not attract the finance resulting in fewer much more poorly paid professional players.

    Yes it was a feminist rant but some real issues (not well handled of course) lurke there.

    Despite the undoubted strides that women have made there are still some automatic assumptions in some areas that male is always 'better than' female.

    An interesting discussion to have though - be interesting to hear more views from people who actually like sport ;)

    Its thought provoking.

  15. I'm sorry i couldnt bring myself to read more than the opening 2 paragraphs of Penny, my blood pressure wont take it. Unspeakable. She really is perfect for an emerging Graun columnist though - a complete fucking moron.

  16. Just another thought. Sexism seems to work in the opposite direction in Ballet,which although it is an art is undoubtedly athletic. Here the assumption is that ballet dancers must be female and that male ballet dancers will be gay (not necessarily true!).

    Yet, despite this we admire both male and female dancers - so why not male and female footballers?

  17. @anne

    I think the reason why women's versions of traditionally male games are less interesting is that they look like parodies of the real thing. This may be unfair, but it's true. Watching women's football at its highest levels, for example, is too slow, not skilful enough, and too often decided by mistakes or play that would be laughed off the pitch in the man's game.

    There are exceptions; individual players like Birgit Prinz can match men in all departments. But take a look at female goalkeepers, who look like little kids in a full-size goal and are beaten by embarrassingly poor shots at regular intervals.

    It's not sexism to find women's football less interesting; it's the irritation of seeing something done poorly that you're used to seeing done very well indeed.

  18. Morning all,

    I've been battling a dodgy internet connection hence lack of posts...

    Right, I'm going to throw the cat amongst the pigeons here, I cannot understand the vitirol against Laurie Penny.... sure she's earnest, sure she's young, no I don't agree with everything she says, no I barely read the NS but I think it's an OK article.

    Of all the contrbutors, I just don't think she's that bad, maybe I've missed something, but I think some are apportioning all manner of undue analysis and interpretations which I just don't see.


    "Women's football, women's basketball, tennis, etc. are never as interesting to watch -- why would they garner the same interest?"

    There has been a steady and consistent plan to absolutely marginalise and belittle women's sports over the last 50 years. I become incensed whenever Athletics is on the telly, I love athletics, but the patronising, barely disguised mysogyny of the commentators is breathtaking, it completely spoils my enjoyment. I know plenty of men who much prefer to watch the Women's football precisely because it is not about macho posturing but about the game.

    Let's face it, there's no getting away from the fact that Football is a huge commercial enterprise, inhabited by grossly and disproportionalty over-paid coke-snorting ego maniacs and women are sidelined as surgically-enhanced bimbo appendages producing babies to parade around the pitch. Come on, Montana, it's a fucking farce.

  19. @ anne. The commodification of sport isn't sport's faults (or at least not the fans'). It's a symptom of corporatisation across the board, in all aspects of life. Furthermore, sport is a useful pastime, encouraging camaraderie,breaking down boundaries of race,class etc and though it can be oppositional, it operates within prescribed rules: fair play still holds sway, by and large (usually), and as such it's enormously helpful, defusing direct conflict.Lastly, and perhaps most fundamentally, it taps into the deep-seated,some may say instinctual, ludic sensibility within the human psyche.[that last sentence is headed for pseud's corner]

  20. Come on Jess open the wadya thread. I need a good laugh.

  21. ann, La Rit

    she argues,

    There is something suspect about a people's sport that violently excludes more than half the people

    there is the opportunity to admire women's football. They play all over the world every weekend. There are women's leagues in every country and there is the Women's world cup.

    Rather than admit than men's football is the pinnacle of footballing achievement (and it is) and that millions of women support the men's national team, she takes it on herself to argue that half the population are excluded from the world cup because women don't play in it!

    Then comes the loaded words- 'boozy', 'borderline', 'psuedo-nationalist'. For a middle class liberal leftie such as Penny, this can only mean one thing. A distaste for the great unwashed who fly a flag and paint their face. The Graun had Patrick Blower taking the piss out of the flag waving face painted 'hordes' at the weekend. It's typical of the metropolitan liberal left wannabe who has an inherent distrust of anything outside of their narrow prism. Normally working class people.

    There's a case to be made against the corruption of FIFA, the real costs to the South African people and deals which saw South African manufacturers overlooked in favour of Chinese producers making the world cup tat.

    But no, the real problem in Penny's eyes is that Women can't play in it and that the 'hordes' may enjoy themselves and get behind the team for a couple of weeks.

    I's the world cup, it's the chance for the world to take part in a positive event and take their minds off the shit the country is in. Penny does 'the left' no favours:

    The problem with football as commodified nationalism is that it leaves the left wing entirely undefended.

    What does that mean? It is the raving of Spart. Are left wingers not supposed to enjoy football for what it is? The World Cup is a rare opportunity for the World to unite, in a rare show of international consciousness. I thought that was the type of thing the left wing was, you know, in favour of.

  22. I used to read the NS when I was 17, haven't really read it since. I suppose that is the intellectual level they are on, sixth form.

    When I looke at the NS yesterday I was surprised to see so many 'faces' from CIF. Laurie P, Gary Younge, Bibi van der Zee etc.

  23. WADDYA has reopened!

  24. Duke

    I don't disagree with what you say, nor your analysis, but (and there's always a 'but'!) how are we to know what the 'pinnacle' of football is as a sport if the women's game is so systematically and deliberately sidelined?

    To be honest, some of the male Premiership players leave a lot to be desired and they're on £100,000 a week. To coin a corny pun, it most certainly ain't a level playing field, who knows what potential is being pointedly and categorically ignored in the women's game if it barely recieves a mention or adequate funding? And it's not just football, it's exactly the same for Cricket.

    Sure, there are millions of women who are devoted to the game, but they are just that, spectators, the only way women can have a 'profile' in Football is if they play their role as WAGS. To me, that shows how backward we really are in terms of women's rights and women's identity in society.

    I didn't see the Blower piece, but I'm not convinced Penny is having a pop at the great 'unwashed' - "commodified nationalism" as she calls it, is a convenient way to focus the 'masses' upon a misplaced national identity which is based soley upon extracting as much money from them as possible and delfecting any kind of mass movement's potential into a narrow and backward symbolism - namely the George Cross.

  25. Mathew Taylor can be a tetchy fucker. We never really got on. He's bright, of course, but even he must realise that a reworking of Enlightenment values is..er..a tad presumptuous.

    Need to read the pamphlet before I pitch in, though.

  26. LaRit

    Come on, Penny is a grade A tosser.

    To describe football as a bunch of "misogynistic jocks" is a bit like Littlejohn describing women footballers as a bunch of "ugly dykes" - its just moronic. She personifies everything people hate about students - so trite, so dogmatic, so pretentious and sure of herself.

    She then goes into her dogmatic mode where cliches actually count for original commentary and thought, commodification, nationalism, the womenz, misogyny, zzz.... Christ she's painful.

    She makes me too angry to even discuss reasonably so im not going to go into her arguments or respond to them, i'd just be ranting. Others with a more calm and level head will doubtless do the necessaries though.

    Womens sport/athletics - there is a divide, for me, between those activities where speed and strength is important, and those where it isnt. So for example, people used to love womens tennis precisely because they lacked strength - it made for better rallies, it was better to watch, there was less fist pumping machismo.

    Gymnastics/ballet - where speed and strength isnt so important, and things are pretty level - there is no huge difference in interest between men and womens sport.

    Football/rugby/cricket - speed and strength is important.

    Football - I've watched a few games top level. The standard is shocking, to be frank. However nice it would be if it wasnt, it is. I saw a keeper lobbed - on the bounce. Strength matters, the ability to fire a 90mph screamer from 30 yards matters to the spectacle.

    Cricket - very similar story. The "fast" bowlers are not fast, they are medium at best, not much quicker than a fast male spinner. That matters to the spectacle. A 95mph bouncer rattling into someone's head is part of the mens game, part of the battle. A 6 hit clean out the ground matters - its part of the spectacle. A ball that turns 4 feet matters.

    Rugby - actually quite good to watch, i saw a few womens games (top level international, england women are V good, shame about the blokes) - but again there are important ommissions. Part of the thrill of the mens game is the sheer brutality of it, colossal beasts smashing into other colossal beasts.

    There is a primitive thrill to watching someone like Sheridan, the England prop, 6 5'', 19 stone, and bench presses 36 stone! Thats a gorilla, an inhuman creature. So you lose that element, and the skill level is also quite a lot worse - but i'd say actually closer than football or cricket.

    People like top level sport because it is the pinnacle, the best players in the world. I dont know what arguments can change the facts, so instead you would need to convince people that watching sport of far lower quality is just as interesting, i dont know what arguments can be used here.

  27. "The problem with football as commodified nationalism is that it leaves the left wing entirely undefended."

    Its people like Penny that have done the left incalculable harm - and she is utterly blind to it.

    Just think - how can the Tories possibly be in power so often? How can a party for the moneyed elite convince so many to vote for it?

    There has to be some responsibility taken here - whatever the "left" have done, they have utterly failed if people would rather voter for Etonians and cockroaches like Osborne and Gove.

    Where's the self critique? Wheres the responsibility? Where is the bloody reality check?

  28. "how are we to know what the 'pinnacle' of football is as a sport if the women's game is so systematically and deliberately sidelined?"

    LaRit, i'm a big fan of yours, but have you ever watched womens football?

  29. morning all

    read the first sentence of the penny thang...gave up.....

    WADDYA and nobody's talking apart from Napoleon!!!! maybe they've all got the huff and are having a tantrum because they weren't allowed to go out to play this weekend.....

    Napoleon thanks for your response

    from your response I can't see any real "positive role of the USSR in keeping peace and stopping ethnic violence" they did it through oppression and supression not really peaceful and not actually addressing ethnic tensions in a positive way...anyway I hear the Russians have sent military back-up to their bases in Kyrgyzstan to protect themselves

  30. JayR:

    "Come on, Penny is a grade A tosser"

    Maybe I've been too willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, not because your deconstruction makes sense (it does) but purely because I don't see her as emmitting that middle-class smugness that seems to be the preserve of most Groin/CiF contributors? I just don't think she's as powerful/damaging/influential as you think. I think you give her far more credit than she's worth. I wouldn't be surprised if she doesn;t become a distant memory once her 'novelty' value has worn thin, just like the obnoxious, self-obsessed Burchall protege, Emma Forrest.

    Personally, I find Julian (how many articles can I write in one day?) Glover a far more sinsister and blood-pressure raising development in the make-up of the Guardian and who has been helping through a tradtionally left-wing newspaper, to sanitise the Etonian roaches we now have the utter misfortune to have as our rulers.

    Just a quick word on an 'aside' about 'responsibility' this Saturday, I was in a boozer in town and I got chatting to some folk who were in their mid-to-late '60's... I'm not sure how it came about, but these people, who had been born before the Welfare State came into being, knew hardship and had enjoyed a lifetime of benefitting from the Welfare State, were all fucking proud Tory voters, who pointed about to me that people 'needed to take responsibility' and that the Welfare State needed to be dismantled, they saw nothing wrong with people living lives as they do in sub-saharan africa - i.e. small children and old women breaking rocks by hand in the hot sun, to survive.

    God help us Jay, there are far more sinsister and unpleasant people about than a sometime student writer who fancies herself as a left-wing agitator.

    I have to go now, but would like to take you up on the sport theme!

  31. I love football, I even like womens' football although being an armchair viewer you don't get to see a lot of it.

    I think this idea that only the absolute best football is worth watching is a bit odd, if everyone felt that way we would just have the big four playing each other every week.

    The world cup is great in theory because it is the best players in the world etc but has there been a more than half decent game played yet because I must have missed it.

    It isn't just about technical brilliance it is about excitement and passion.

    If I only ever wanted to watch the best my beloved Boro would never get a look in.

    As for Laurie Penny she is a bit of a joke, almost a parody of feminist, if she put a pair of dungarees on she could be the proper postergirl for the kind of humourless feminism that is widely mocked.

    Make some jokes Laurie, life is a serious business but a few laughs along the way makes it easier.

  32. "I just don't think she's as powerful/damaging/influential as you think."

    I dont think she is influential, she's too thick to be influential, but she does capture the spirit of so many other useless egos who collectively have done an awful lot of damage under the banner of "the left". Its the complete lack of self-awareness that gets me most.

  33. JR:

    "LaRit, i'm a big fan of yours"

    Jay, I'm really touched by that, thank you ;0)

    "but have you ever watched womens football?"

    Not really, not much, but then, I only watch football intermittently anyway.... I used to go and watch Arsenal alot with my friend and will probably watch a good deal more as the world Cup hots up.... like I said yesterday, I think it would be brilliant if an African team won.

    The point I was making is that it is impossible to tell how women's football would develop if it was given an equal footing - (shit, I can't help myself with the ridiculous puns)of course, physically it would be a different game, but perhaps what I should have said in tandem was that how many really decent players/teams who languish outside the Premiership because the teams are unable to attract sponsorship and decent levels of funnding?

  34. Jen/Jay

    OK, OK, I submit!!!

    "she does capture the spirit of so many other useless egos who collectively have done an awful lot of damage under the banner of "the left". Its the complete lack of self-awareness that gets me most"

    Point most def taken.

    I really do have to go :( my bath is now cold and I've got to go to pick up a bloomin' table from addlestone (long story)

  35. Jay the topic is an interesting one I suppose but a bit wishy washy and certainly imho puts the cart before the horse.

    Yes what is needed is a consciousness of the needs of all other humans and indeed the needs of the whole biosphere.

    But as Marx said "it is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence but their social existence that determines their consciousness"

    So what is needed is a change in social existence.

    Also she says "Empathy is not an easy recruit to this march of progress: the plight of others can prompt withdrawal, denial or willed ignorance instead of the impetus for global co-operation."

    Thats lack of empathy surely? Empathy will always attempt find a solution.

    Anyway "Matthew Taylor (former Downing Street policy adviser to Tony Blair),"

    'Nuff said really - more Nulabour bollocks they don't give up do they?

  36. HI LaRit

    Im sure womens football would be much better if it had as many players, as much money, coverage, etc, it would of course be a lot better than it is. But simply by the laws of physics and biology, i dont think its possible for it to be the same level because strength and speed matter, such a differential changes the nature of the game.

    I strongly recommend you watch a game - Arsenal women win everything, so you could watch them play as a good example of top flight women.

  37. The Julian Glover article today is extra specially embarrassing for all involved.

    Honestly what was he thinking and did no one at Cif think to just have a quiet word with him, it wouldn't even matter if what he was saying was right it is just cringe making.

  38. Please do get stuck in, Peter (Bracken). How fecking arrogant and presumptuous to co-opt the whole bloody Enlightenment,for whose most marginal,largely forgotten foot-soldiers Taylor isn't fit to lace their boots. And his self-centred stance amounts to? Er, the square root of bugger-all: a bit like an extended Thought For The Day/"Meandering,Cobbled-together,Platitudinous Waffle For The Day".
    Taylor has really buggered up the RSA too.

  39. BTW, isn't Julian Glover the other half of Matthew Parris? How small is the world of the Westminster commentariat?

  40. Ah well there you go Alisdair, that explains a lot.

  41. Laurie Penny is as parodyable a construct as MAM. Lesbian anarchist student, yet clearly has never been hungry, frightened, homeless or alone. She is Rik from the youngones for a new century. And we hate her cos she's getting more gigs than us. Sky news ffs! A real radical would have immolated them selves in front of the camera, shouting, "FUCK YOU Murdoch!"

    Mornin all... : )

  42. Morning Turm

    You seen that Galloway interview on Sky News?

    "What a silly question... what a silly person you are."


  43. Began avoiding the news with the election, not missing it that much tbh... Always had a soft spot 4 Gorgeous George tho...

  44. I've just tried to look at half a dozen guardian articles, all "Sorry - we haven't been able to serve the page you asked for
    " Is it just me? I can get the Comment page and the frontpage, but nowt else...

  45. Hi Annetan

    Some good points, but

    "Get twitchy when the argument seems to run as in 'women aren't as good as men because we are weaker'. We are but that doesn't make us 'worse' at anything other than fathering children ;) - anything else we just do differently and that doesn't exclude our doing it well."

    I'm not sure this can be applied everywhere without becoming silly. For instance, when it comes to kicking a ball into a goal with a keeper trying to stop it, the harder you kick that ball, all else being equal, the more chance it has of going in - ie, it is "better", not just different, but better, as that is the point of shooting in football.

    A 90mph screamer from 35 yards is more impressive than a 50mph hit from 15 yards, if they're the same type of shot etc. I dont think everything can be reduced to a mere "difference" rather than a better or worse.

    Ronaldo isnt just different to the best female footballer, he is much, much better by any possible standards.

    It depends on the sport, i think Tennis is a good example of "different", its still excellent to watch and very skillful. But there is still a better/worse - as was shown when Williams played the 130th rank male and lost straight sets. Not every reality can be willed away.

  46. Hi all.

    I am with La_Rit FWIIW.

    As for football / soccer, love to play, but find it a bit boring to watch (unless friends or family are playing). Even though a distant relative (whom i knew slightly) used to play in Ajax 1 in the 1960's i have never supported ANY side or national team.

  47. I don't particularly want to get involved in the men vs women sporting argument, it never ends well but football is so not just about 90mph screamers from 30 yards.

    And tennis is always more enjoyable when both players (men or women) are skillful as well as powerful.

    Yeah 150 mph aces are thrilling every now and again but it gets a bit boring in the long run.

    I kind of prefer tennis as it used to be, it is all about the serve now, as much for the women as the men.

  48. Duke Vs Scherfig about to kick off, i think.

  49. "I don't particularly want to get involved in the men vs women sporting argument, it never ends well but football is so not just about 90mph screamers from 30 yards."

    No its not, so to make up for those spectacular screamers, someone needs to identify those areas of womens football which are spectacular and not replicated in the mens game - that is needed for the argument to hold. Not convinced myself (needless to say).

  50. Excellent Marina Hyde piece on Saturday's disaster. After a brilliant qualifying stage, why did Capello get to South Africa and immediately turn into Steve McLaren?

    Is there a curse involved? Did an England manager once break into a pharaoh's tomb or something?

  51. Hello

    There are 21 Cs and 7 gs among the first 50 comments on waddya.

    Haven't read comments or counted reposting by same people so don't know what % of posters this represents.

    Would being contributor to Cif carry any weight on a cv ?

  52. Come October Leni, I'll be hoping so...

  53. montana

    nice change on U2 thread...like it..

  54. 11 individuals with no C or G,
    Bru, BTTP, Kiz, Leo1904, Hermione, Numbed, JayR, Damnth, JYD, Exiledlonder,Xenium1.

    8 'Cs' Nap, Zounds, me, PhilippaB, PeterBracken, OZKT29B, KT & Eva Wilt.
    1 'g' Jess.

    Here 14 individuals, 4 of whom are in the venn diagram x-over!

    Incestuous much?

  55. Yes, I still do not know why Jessica Reed closed WADDYA for the weekend - other than to show she could - but the usual suspects seem to have congregated like drunks on their habitual perches and are generally saying nothing in case, presumably, it happens again.

    It looks like a class-room of small children, one of whom has just come back from receiving the cane. Nobody is saying anything, for fear that they might be next.

    This is the might of the cream of CiF displayed for all to see in glorious action.

    Whipped and huddled with their tails between their legs and hoping for a pat on the head to signal that they can lick the hand which slaps them once again.

  56. Afternoon everyone

    I see it's a day for footie conversations. Better not contribute in case anyone confuses me with LP, as I know effectively nothing about the game. Although my son did explain the offside rule to me once.


    Don't you think counting c's and g's on waddya smacks a bit of our resident troll?

  57. Sheff

    Yes real Recording Angel stuff .

    I was interested as there is a proliferation of Cs recently. Was wondering which threads attract most notice from Cif staff in recruitment terms. Am also interested to see if contributing makes a difference IRL and how many Cs are unemployed . Is a C a pathway to a career perhaps ? How many frustrated writers out there?

  58. Leni

    Oh, I see - I guess it's ok in the name of research, although to be honest I couldn't raise enough enthusiasm for cif to bother myself. I can barely be bothered to post over there anymore. Its different for people who aspire to write (not just for cif) and have the talent and ideas, which I don't and anyway someone's usually said what I would have said and better than I would have said it.

  59. Hi Atom, good to see you back.

  60. @Atomboy

    Can't speak for others, but I said what I had to say to Jessica on Friday, i.e. that the multiple-identitied pro-Israel troll who carpet-bombed the thread on Thursday night would be jumping for joy at their success if Whaddya were closed for the weekend and plotting their next campaign.

    And that they'd probably get a medal from Cifwatch.

    Well, it's up to CiF if they want to surrender.

  61. Dispatches looks as though it'll be worth a watch tonight - although not at all cheerful, (is it ever?).

    Will Hutton looks at what big finance has done with the money that's been thrown at it.

    Central argument: the banks have largely carried on regardless, using government-guaranteed funds to chase profits from derivatives.

    Meanwhile tax payers earning a fraction of thesalaries...face austerity measures. Hutton also warns that a lack of banking reform means we face the real risk of another meltdown, at a time when the country's coffers are empty

    On the other hand, as we already know all this, do we really want to put ourselves through it?

  62. Hi Sheff

    Isn't this just the problem - we can see what's wrong, identify the villains and yet seem incapable of doing anything about it.

    I seem to spend much of my time throwing impotent hissy fits or getting depressed.

    How many can plan and execute an effective escape plan which will change things for themselves let alone the majority ?

    We're back to the keep on keeping on and helping where we can of my grandmother's day.

  63. @sheff

    Oi missus!

    Repeat after me-

    ''My ideas and writing skills are as
    good as anyone elses!''

    Tell her Leni!

  64. Hi Paul

    stating the obvious is superfluous. Sheff has always been one of my favourite posters but she won't believe me so I'm saying nowt.

  65. This is a sad indictment of our bloody country:

    New arrests data for veterans reveals 'massive problem'

    Train them up to be killing machines - then dump them with no support when they're no longer needed and we wonder why some of them can't cope.

  66. Thanks, Jay.

    More clumsily sporadic and spluttering than sparkling at the moment, though. Less rocket-science and more damp squib.


    Oh, I hadn't known that.

    So, it was basically CiF holding up its collective hands and saying: "We cannot control the monster we have unleashed, but we are going to shut the gate and run."

    As Sheff says, it is hard to pluck (geddit?) up any enthusiasm for CiF.

    It has become like a drunken or drug-addicted derelict relative. You think you should feel something more, but it is really just embarrassment.

  67. Paul/Leni

    You're very kind but writing is not a thing I've ever been very confident about. I'm more of a visual person I think. Everyone else always seems to know more than me about whatever it is and usually puts it better too. I can be quite good at taking pictures though, and drawing too.

  68. ...mind you I could gas bag for England given the chance!! It's just the writing it down bit where it goes wrong.

  69. Anyone hear about the old dear - recently old lady, bout 80 i think, mugged for £2.20 - broke her hip in the attack and later died. For £2.20, an 80 year old woman.

    I got train home last week, bought the big issue. Had a full page tribute to another Big Issue seller - he had recently been kicked to death where he slept in the street - lucky the male homeless arent "vulnerable" eh...

    Two completely unrelated events, just depressing, these little stories you come across.

  70. Oh dear - I see the director of the new parliamentary expenses watchdog has resigned for the sake of his "health and sanity."

    IPSA director leaves for 'sanity'

    Can you imagine the shit he had to put up with?

  71. Jay

    There are depressing stories everywhere at the moment and I'm afraid it's going to get much worse.

    Just wait till they publish the Saville Report tomorrow - £190m and 12 years late.

  72. That photo at the top of the thread
    interests me.People who have died and
    then been resuscitated often speak
    of seeing a bright light in the distance
    drawing them in to wherever it is they
    are going too.

  73. That's the brain shutting down Paul... Probably what happened to the director of the new parliamentary expenses watchdog!

  74. Paul

    I am not destined for heaven.
    My intensive care experience was of floating upwards and then coming down again to land in a large chrysanthemum - bouncing gently in a shower of pollen.

    I am clearly bound to earth and possibly something below rather than above.

  75. I'll keep a place for you Paul, as I'm likely to be down there before you, along with all the people I've liked the most in life. What's you're favourite pint? I'll have one waiting.

  76. sheff

    Lager or a bottle of good red for me please.
    Get lots of grief from family and friends
    over my acquired taste for red wine.Thouigh
    when i,m dead and in 'the beyond' that shouldn,t matter.And if it does i,ll be
    well pissed off.

    Anyway i see it as a dead cert that UT ers
    will automatically be reincarnated.And then
    we can settle scores by creating mayhem
    for all the bastards who,ve angered us.

  77. Leni

    Dunno about that.You might end up on
    the M4.

  78. Paul

    Are you threatening me with concrete overcoat ?

    Did you ever read that story about the train to Hell - journey kept repeating itself as terror mounted in the passengers? The fear of Hell was worse than the arriving.

    Maybe I dreamt it rather than read it - I do have very creative dreams.

  79. Leni

    No i was just concerned you might get
    blown off course.

  80. Paul

    Nightmares - I was once blown over a fence - very disorientating - in RL , not in a dream. Felt very foolish and thereafter started eating more.

  81. Jonathan Carrol's short story 'The Jane Fonda Room' is an excellent version of Hell.

  82. Just had a look at the new UT2 template - excellent, and not white so people may be able to read it a little easier.

    Annetan - you got any Graun ATL stuff lined up?

  83. One of my favourite versions of hell is Stephen King's You Know They Got a Hell of a Band.

  84. Hi all

    Back with me hokey-cokey internet connection in tow... it's driving me around the bend.... but I do have the compensation of me big old Ginger-Whinger is sat next to me though, keeping me company.


    The ballet anology is a good one, I'm sure you may have come across the story that Rio Ferdinand originally trained as a ballet dancer?

    Also, dancers like Sylvie Guillem (and choreographers like Wayne MacGregor) have taken dance and athleticism to new heights, I'm a big fan and think she's exraordinary, but some find her musculature and physique distasteful as it's not traditionally 'classical'....

    Jay - of course, sheer physical power is what makes Football a very masculine game and pitting female tennis players against men, the woman will always come off worse.... but I wonder, if the game of footie was more 'feminised' would that be such a bad thing? As you say Arsenal women are top of their game and you rate women's rugby ... I'm just of the opinion it's all about 'power' because women are so marginalised in sport in general and the masculine identity and culture are eternally bound up with displays of 'power'!

    Anyway, one of me faves has always been Kenny Dalgleish and I always had a real soft spot for Ray Parlour - purely because he always came across as a gentler player. Can't cope with the Vinne Jones 'hardman types'....

  85. "sheer physical power is what makes Football a very masculine game and pitting female tennis players against men, the woman will always come off worse.... but I wonder, if the game of footie was more 'feminised' would that be such a bad thing?"

    If? It already has been. Watch them roll around like little girls at the slightest touch, its virtually a non contact sport these days ;-)

  86. LaRit

    Ray Parlour did have a reputation as a decent
    bloke-both on and off the pitch.He also got
    well and truly shafted by his wife of 7
    years in the divorce courts.She went from
    being a shop assistant to a footballers
    wife -with the lifestyle-overnight.And her
    argument for getting an over-generous
    settlement from him was that in the 7
    year marriage she supported him through
    a rough patch in his career.Therefore
    in her opinion she had a right to continue
    with her footballers wives lifestyle-at
    his expense-even after they were divorced.

  87. Turminder:

    "Laurie Penny is as parodyable a construct as MAM. Lesbian anarchist student, yet clearly has never been hungry, frightened, homeless or alone. She is Rik from the youngones for a new century. And we hate her cos she's getting more gigs than us"

    That's very funny!

  88. Not at the mo although I am thinking about doing something about the LP.(again!) Or possibly about the election - ned to collect some data about how amny seats LP lost to Cons and how many to libdems, what people who switched to libdems thought they were getting and what they got etc etc.

    But am busy flat hunting at the mo!

  89. There was a great photo of Ray Parlour in training, when he played for the Boro, he was kind of pulling his shorts up and thrusting his groin out.

    It ran with the title 'officially the most unerotic picture ever taken' I wish I had saved it.

  90. Cheers LARit.. 19 Priests have just walked into our cafe. I feel like I've fallen into 'Father Ted'...

  91. @Leni

    I can remember the train to hell story too - wasn't it a radio play as well, or maybe instead?

    So you're not alone in the chrysanthemum.

  92. Ray Parlour a gentler player? A decent bloke? I can't let this one pass. He was frequently a dirty bastard on the pitch who had a terrible disciplinary record (worst offender at Arsenal one season with 5 yellow cards and two reds.) He was an alcoholic and a gambling addict. He was arrested in Hong Kong after a drunken punch-up with a taxi-driver. etc etc
    He was a good player though, and seems to have cleaned up his act now, so fair play to him. Let's just drop the rose-tinted spectacles, eh?
    I assume that you're an Arsenal supporter, Paul? :0)

  93. JayR:

    "Watch them roll around like little girls at the slightest touch, its virtually a non contact sport these days ;-)"

    Typical blokes if you ask me - like when you fellas get a cold!


    Didn't know about Ray Parlour's reputation as a 'decent bloke' but it certainly figures as he communicated that whenever I saw him play. And I think the reason I liked him was because the way he played reminded me of the way footie was in the 70's and I have very fond memories of being indoctrinated about footie by my Grandad who was an obsessive Liverpool supporter ;)

    It was a real shame about his (ex) wife - perhaps she was pissed off that he wasn't in the 'superstar' league like David Beckham (imho an extremely overrated/overpaid player) making multi-millions? Pathetic really.

  94. I always had a soft spot for Peter Beardsley, forget your prima donnas and hard men he was a true pro.

    Even if he did play for the Geordies.

  95. Oh god, Scherfig, now you've gone and ruined my vision!

    Maybe he was past all that when I was watching? (mid-90's)....

    But you make an important point, I mean how many players have drug, alcohol and gambling problems, not to mention the 'dogging' phenomenon as well as the accusations of rape etc.etc.??? Seems to me, if you give young men from predominantly modest and poor backgrounds thousands of pounds a week and subject them to enourmous pressure, they'll have big problems.

  96. @anne, @LaRit

    You might want to look at the record of Elizabeth Lambert...

  97. Sherfig:

    I'm not making excuses for them, esp wrt rape charges, there is a whole side of football that is decidedly seedy and unsavoury... it's just they're living in Mansions in Surrey and Cheshire, not in sqauts and crack dens and begging on the streets...

  98. PeterJ:

    She's a bully, that's for sure - the Vinnie Jones of women's footie. Appalling.

    It just makes me sad when women behave like that.

  99. @LaRit

    Yes, indeed. It's interesting to wonder what it is that drives someone to behave like that while playing a game without millions of quid or Coke endorsements at stake.

  100. @turminderxuss

    19 priests? I hope you're too old to attract inappropriate attention (i.e. over 14).

  101. My vantage point on the women in sport issue is slightly different, I suppose. Here in the US we have had a law called Title XIV since 1979 which requires schools to spend as much and provide as many opportunities for participating in extra-curricular sports for girls as they do for boys.

    Now, extra-curricular school teams are still the primary training venue for most major sports here: American football, basketball, 'real' football, and baseball/softball. But after 31 years of mandatory equal opportunites -- the female versions of the male sports are still nowhere near as fun to watch.

    I'm afraid I'm unabashedly sexist about sports and sports coverage. I can't stand women commentators for men's sports, either. The forced parity that we have here means that US television networks have women in some aspect of their on-air coverage of all sports. Trouble is, this being the USA, they don't hire women who are actually knowledgeable about the sport -- they hire Barbie dolls who are out of their depth.

    And, I'm so glad I fell asleep and missed the Netherlands/Denmark match. Didn't really think my Danish Dynamite would beat the Netherlands, but an own goal, FFS! Oh dear.

  102. MsC/Princess and anyone else who's interested and can get there -

    Day conference - Reflections on the Miners Strike, Northern College, Wentworth Castle, Stainborough, South Yorks

    Saturday 19th June 9.am.

    The beast is speaking and also Tyrone O'sullivan from Tower Colliery (the workers buyout in Sth Wales), lots of others too - should be good.

    Happy to email details to anyone interested.

  103. Meant to say - it costs £15.00 but thats with lunch etc thrown in.

  104. Oh, crap. My brain isn't fully engaged. It's Title XIX, not Title XIV.

  105. Peter

    Yes - I think it was on the radio- so many half remembered stories.

    Interesting how many visions of Hell persist in literature in this rational age. My fave is "The Third Policeman". Hell is in the mind.

  106. sheff / princess

    I love Northern College and would like to go to this - saw it a while ago but didn't get round to booking a place cos of other matters prevailing.

    I've emailed da princess to see wot she says.

  107. deano may care to join us, sheff.

  108. PeterJ:

    The endorsements, etc. I guess that would do it :(


    That sounds like a really interesting day, sadly, no money and too far.... would love to see the Beast in action though!


    19 priests? - that's a veritable convention - did you offer cakes with cocaine in them???!!!??

  109. South Africa 2010 is rapidly becoming Italia 90 sans the stress and inevitable crushing disappointment of Scotland being in it.

    It's been crap so far. Robert Green excluded. Obviously.

  110. LaRit

    The Beast is a very small guy IRL, but a very good speaker. At least he's refusing to go away / retire, and is determined to bve a thorn in the side of the coalition govt. This made me larf, for example.

  111. bve? I mean 'be', obviously.

  112. MsC

    We could all go together if you fancy it. I'm going anyway - if I can't get a lift, I'll try and borrow the old man's car - Wentworth is in the middle of nowhere - but its a beautiful place. Lovely to have an old stately home taken over by the workers!!

  113. sheff

    I have my motor, so OK for transport. We'll just have to insist that princess comes along.

    Agree that it's a beautiful place, Wentworth. Love the grounds & the huge ballroom & the library & the entrance with those creaky old stairs and wooden panelling ... I even have a plaster frog that someone small made for me whilst parked in the creche there!

  114. Further incentives re: Northern College are that a) Mo Mowlem taught there, and b) it's still the place for trade union studies.

  115. Little poem I've just been sent:

    Our Good Side

    We don’t persecute others
    For their religious beliefs
    Or political affiliations
    Until we have to
    We don’t abuse children
    In front of other people
    We don’t mistreat women
    Unless they ask for it
    We don’t engage in genocide
    If God hasn’t commanded it
    We don’t slaughter civilians in mud huts
    Because we enjoy it
    We don’t wage
    Wars of imperial aggression
    Except for when we do
    We don’t torture much

    Jon Taylor lives in Nashville, TN.

  116. And more from the Beast of Bolsover:

    ‘The Minister’ referred to is David Laws, and this was 2 days before he resigned.

    “Mr Dennis Skinner (Bolsover) (Lab): Is the Minister aware that not a single member of the Cabinet has turned up to back him in this statement here today? They are all part of this rag-tag and bobtail army-not one of them is here. Can there be a more pathetic sight than this Liberal Democrat, who campaigned against cuts in 2010, now hammering the young and the old and putting people on the dole as a member of this rag-tag and bobtail Government? Get out!”

  117. That'll be brill, MsC. I'll email you re pick up arrangements. You might want to give them a ring and book as there aren't many places left.

  118. Just in case you footie fans were planning to enjoy the world cup guiltlessly:

    From Pepe Escobar in the Asia Times:

    A stadium in Athlone, a "colored"-majority, poor Cape Town suburb, would have been able to provide many needed jobs in the area and be the catalyst for a process of paving roads, building new houses and improving public transport. Instead, FIFA privileged Green Point stadium, built between the sea and Cape Town's favorite postcard, Table Mountain, five minutes from a luxury mall and close to a golf course - and financed with public funds.

    A FIFA inspector told South Africa's Mail and Guardian newspaper that billions of viewers would not want to see "slums and poverty" on TV. As if the World Cup was not being held in a country with nearly 40% unemployment and half the population living on less than $1 a day.

  119. LauriePenny

    "Meanwhile, the left still has no coherent response to Britain's bricolage of troubles."

    Well since it's football:


    I'm pretty certain Britain's brocolage of troubles is not exactly helped by know-nothing, posturing gobshites like Laurie Penny apparently speaking for the left. She clearly fabricates and embellishes her personal circumstances. From what I can gather her 'struggle' has so far encompassed...idyllic middle-class childhood..Oxford...then, to foster a bit of proletarian cred, she moved in with a bunch of students in North London...recast as 'Winter in Stalingrad'..absolutely fuckin unbelievable. Strange thing is: keep the bullshit up for long enough and low and behold, you're the authentic voice of the young dispossessed. Or rather, leave Oxbridge and keep the bullshit up for long enough and low and behold, you're pulled aboard by ex Oxbridge types who are looking to commission the authentic voice of the young dispossessed.

    Every time I've seen her write on CIF, she and others go out their way to play down the background and claim it's irrelevant and it's the writing that's the thing.."nothing but the text". Thing is: the style and ideas are woeful...affected childish cant with the occasional 'bricolage' to lend a bit of sophistication...(sounds like the French for Lego tbh).

    But worse, far worse is the idea that the background is unimportant..it's everything...she has a habit of responding to mention of her background with a world-weary: "I thought I'd dealt with this last time when I established my class and education were just details...I'm a starving peasant now etc etc"..obviously then Guardian staffers will pile in on her side telling complainants that they're getting obsessive; so they should be..every time she ever writes for ever and ever. She's crap, a future 'sell-out', a dilettante..I'm pretty sure Polly Toynbee pulled the same stunt 20 years ago and, just maybe, if the media in this country weren't so riven with posing talentless "friends of mates of friends who I knew from University", we'd possibly get a much clearer picture of what's going on.

    Big 'for instance': Where's the fucking outrage? Obviously there's Laurie Penny's irate and earnest little mien poking up above each of her pieces, but tbh, you know it isn't real and rather than wonder what the 'establishment' has done to betray her ideals, you'd wanna say "what's up love?" and give her a cup of tea..she obviously can't do controlled anger and determination, she looks more like an 8 year old who's lost her mum in Debenhams...Yet she's the voice of the lost generation..bollocks!!

    "The problem with football as commodified nationalism is that it leaves the left wing entirely undefended."

    A joke? pun? intelligible sentence? Why the fuck does anyone publish her. I don't understand it I really don't.

    Laurie Penny..Imogen Black with a basic grasp of Grammar.

  120. MF
    Good rant. I'm sure you were on that Martin Jacques thread about two years back ? That was fucking stunning.

    Ian Wright, according to his press statement had parted company with the BBC acrimoniously - he accused BBC Match of the Day bosses of forcing him into the role of "comedy jester".

    Martin Jacques took this simple little press pack - and in complete palpable ignorance about anything whatsoever to do with football - turned into a long piece about how inherently racist working class Britain and how racist the BBC is, BBC but more importanly, it demeonstrated, how racist 'football' is.

    He singularly failed to notice that "comedey jester" (and gobshite pundit) Wright had just signed a lucrative deal to present the return of Gladiators on Sky One.

    Jacques got fucking reamed, and the mods had to run around like sailors in a gale trying to keep the thread "acceptable."

    What a bunch of total vuvuzelas.

  121. Penny's totally radical. She'll be arrested before long, the political class wont let her spread this dissent for much longer - too dangerous!

  122. BW

    This made me chuckle the other day. Deano posted a link to my CIF posts..this was on page 2


    "Does it really matter who he is, monkeyfish? Can't we just worry about everyone, regardless of race, sex, orientation, creed or football team?"

    'Of course we can; except for that lousy scumbag Bitterweed for whom no circle of hell is sufficiently shit-filled.'

    What was that about?

  123. The priests were hilarious.

    "Oh this tea is wonderful, an absolute miracle"

    "Well I thought we'd take the eucharist as jesus did, lying down" This had them rolling in the aisles?

    "We should have some assistance with the tides when we get to Lindisfarne!"

    It was all I could manage to NOT say, "More Tea Fathers?, Ah G'wan, g'wan, g'wan, g'wan, g'wan...."

  124. "Penny's totally radical. She'll be arrested before long, the political class wont let her spread this dissent for much longer - too dangerous!"

    That's about right. She's a regular on Liberal Conspiracy; one of Sunny 'Che' Hundal's little poodles. The same Sunny Hundal who was trying to head up a 'progressive alliance' before the election. He was quite anxious to bring the LibDems on board..useless fucker that he is...mind you, we've got the best of both worlds now..hatchet-job Thatcherites on sulphate 'tempered' by the LibDems providing that still small voice of relativist identity self-righteousness...a total dream team.

  125. re: Cs for contributor...

    i should fess up. i do write for the graun from time to time, just not linked to this ID. in fact it was before i started posting on CiF.

    so can I be a covert anomaly on the venn diagram please?

  126. numbed

    am genuinely interested in knowing if contributing to Cif helps a career. not interested in doing it myself - busy exploring self help/legup type initiatives for unemployed.

  127. monkeyfish
    Wish I knew but it made me chuckle too !

  128. "i should fess up. i do write for the graun from time to time, just not linked to this ID. in fact it was before i started posting on CiF."

    Yeah, I should fess up too. I do the odd fashion piece for Opera Lovers' Quarterly plus the monthly newsletter for the Tennants Super Appreciation Society...mainly technical advice about not falling over and getting curry sauce out of your hair.

  129. @monkeyfish

    Ah yes, Sunny "Why brown people should vote Tory" Hundal. A grotesque media careerist of the greasiest stripe.

  130. Numbed you're not Barbara Ellen are you?

  131. right kick off imminent Italy Paraguay......hope paraguay win otherwise it will be unbearable back slapping and berlusco will claim the victory...and it's only the first game.....


    are you bidisha....?

  132. Numbed,

    on Saturday night there were 9 Italian viewers. Are you Polly Toynbee or were at Polly's Tuscan retreat on Saturday evening?

  133. "Numbed you're not Barbara Ellen are you?"

    My money's on Bidisha..or Ruthie Fowler.


    He is the most loathsome blogger I've ever come across. Don't get into a row with him though. He'll delete your posts...to teach you 'some manners', ie having the temerity to argue with 'the' Sunny Hundal, then 'paraphrase' them for the rest of his readership..only they bear no resemblance to anything you've ever written or thought, then deliver his response which will include the $64000 dollar one-line slam dunk which you'd aimed at him and got him so riled in the first place. Then he bans you for good measure. He is scum.

  134. Numbed

    You,re Polly aren,t you?

    I knew it all along!

    @Montana-we,ve been infiltrated!!!

  135. I'd go for Ruthie - given numbed's avatar. Do you really see Polly in that Paul? Not a pretty thought.

  136. What about Andrew Brown he has the look of a man who likes a corset?

    I've just made myself feel sick.

  137. Oh jenn...how could you! I'm choking on my large glass of red....

  138. @monkeyfish

    You have Hundal's MO to a T. Note also his definition of 'troll' - anybody who disagrees with him or with his ludicrous pal earwicga.

  139. mf
    I thought you shagged the fowler sisters ?

  140. Well, if Numbed is Polly, she can just fuck right off.

    Going back to the "Guy Candy of the World Cup" thing from yesterday -- pretty much every single man on the Paraguay team is better looking than Ronaldo.

    Now, I'm going to join Gandolfo in hoping that they beat Italy.

  141. Just to clarify -- I'm not rooting for Paraguay just because they're all easy on the eye. It's 'cos they're not Italy.

  142. The Italians seem to be having trouble staying on their feet...

  143. BW

    It was a kinda virtual threesome..does that count?

    Although, apparently, I was magnificent..a "rampant online stallion" is a phrase I seem to recall...sounds about right

    You got a handjob from Bindel, I heard..

  144. Numbed,You're Hadders ain't 'cha?

  145. ...and the Italian defence watch in disbelief as the ball hits the back of their net...

  146. Although, apparently, I was magnificent..a "rampant online stallion" is a phrase I seem to recall...sounds about right

    Amazing the effect watching a bit of fitba can have on a chap. Does this happen to all of you?

  147. "rampant online stallion" seems to imply a lot of chest hair and probably a medallion...

  148. italy update-------
    it's very quiet around here.......not even gasps of horror.....they're all crying no doubt......;)

    you made me feel sick on the andrew brown thang......

  149. When I was working with horses many years ago, I had the task of cleaning the stallions willy - not as interesting as it may sound. They got remarkably crusty.

  150. I wish I'd been watching on Univision rather than ESPN. Can just imagine the torrent of hyper-excited Spanish that must've ensued.

  151. "rampant online stallion" seems to imply a lot of chest hair and probably a medallion...

    ..don't forget the overalls, the bag of plumbing tools and the Zapata moustache

    "Is that a spanner in my pocket?"

  152. ohhh gattusa could come on...he0s a decent bloke hates berlusconi's guts.........

  153. sorry... that was a bit of suspense.

    so, let's take each accusation/assumption in turn:

    Polly... wants a cracker or is crackers... so nope.

    Jen, as you know how much I love Babs, I can't believe you said that!!! people says scrotums are ugly... well babs' words are like scrotums, empty useless sacks (and ugly to boot).

    I've just had to look up ruthie... and no i'm not her or a stripper.

    I don't mind Bidisha - she's prone to a good rant - so I sympathise, but not her.

    and oh... I wish sometimes I Hadley... she's lovely... and I'm not... so no joy there.

    Anyway - they are grown up Graun writers (for good or ill), I've just blogged a bit for them.

    @Leni... yes, It does help my CV, but that's cos I'm one of those "pointless" Media graduates who actually happen to work in the media (in some way).

  154. Hi all, it's been a while...

    With regards to womens footie (I'll have a glance at that penny article but methinks she's fishing a bit, not a fan of hers tbh..another oxbridge guardian writer..like the world needs another one of those!), it's a fair point about the goalies but I have heard it said that it's the weakest position on the pitch, in regards to training..they just dont get enough of it.
    I remember watching Germany play Brazil(final I think?)and I quite liked it, certainly seen poorer mens matches.
    However, it's a more patient affair with a lot less blood and thunder. It's better to sit down down and enjoy the spectacle, than to standup and shout yourself hoarse.

  155. I was teasing Numbed. ;)

  156. That's not actually true Monkeyfish. It was Bidisha - she said I was hung like a police horse, but then most things look huge in her tiny little hands.

  157. There's a woman who's written an article or two on Roma issues - Roxy Something? That's my guess at Numbed's secret identity.

    Don't disgust me with the Andrew Brown theory. He's possibly a bigger twat than Seaton. Although ... nah, impossible to say.

  158. This comment has been removed by the author.

  159. @thaumaturge

    roxy's great, but I think her monkier is FreemanMoxy.

  160. "cos I'm one of those "pointless" Media graduates.." never mind..could be worse

    "...who actually happen to work in the media"

    yep..just got worse

    Doesn't actually working in the media compound the pointlessness?..or are you Oxbridge..and worming your way towards a dinner party invitation with Matt Seaton? I say go for it..you know you deserve that cushy little spot opining on everything you know nothing about.

    Sincere apologies if you're none of the above and actually want to write about something which you couldn't research by standing in the queue at Waitrose.

  161. you are max gogarty.......

  162. Am I right in thinking you're from a Roma background, though, Numbed? Or am I confused yet again?

  163. come on paraguay...

    apparently buffon has pinched a nerve....hope your mum's around gigi......

  164. Some twunt on the Monbiot thread says that the Teabaggers are peaceful and that it's the "globalised hard left" that are the ones who are prone to violence.

    Is there such a thing as the globalised hard left???

  165. you're right Thaumaturge

    and monkeyfish... come on seriously!!

    I work for charities, in education, the arts and community development.

    I use my media and arts qualifications to publicise and communicate the services I work with.

    Over the years, these have been some of the most vulnerable people and needed areas for financial support.

    I've also done my time in social care, right at the sharp end and happen to think that a cultured society is a better one.

  166. Montana

    If there was a globalised hard left, surely we'd have found it by now.

  167. Phew, I'm glad one or two brain cells are still working.

    Dunno if you attended Oxbridge or not, but clearly not a typical Guardianista media luvvie.

  168. Roxy it is then numbed....shall I put money on it?

  169. MsChin - if it were properly hard, I'm very sure I'd've found it. ;-)

  170. Lol Thauma,

    I went to a Poly and then to a Russell Group uni.

    Russell group was all full of posh twats with no interests, except in themselves. the poly was great - no resources, but plenty of passionate, intelligent people.

  171. sheff

    No, Roxy is Freemanmoxy, as numbed said earlier.

  172. On the employment thread someone talked abiut how demoralising it was to be rejected by Mcdonalds. Well, fortunately for me I have had that same experience. I don't know why I set up for it- I am looking at other things anyway, if nessesary volunteering.

  173. Doesn't mean she doesn't have more than one login, ahem.

    FreemanMoxy is bloody good quite often.

  174. nap

    How is your volunteering with the Russian group going?

  175. "if nessesary volunteering."

    Volunteering has always got me paid work and I love doing it.

  176. This comment has been removed by the author.

  177. Montana,

    Holy crap, I need a cup of tea.

    Dammit, we need to get you over here to learn how to deal with these things properly. That should be: Fuckinell, I need a fuckin drink.


  178. Montana

    Many Ciffers would have us believe that the mysterious hard left are the henchmen of every terrorist group since the fall of Neanderthal man.

    I am yet to meet any of them - I think they live underground.

  179. MsChin,

    Exactly. I mean, I think these tools who repeat this notion that it's the left that are violent (and I've seen it said before on Cif -- but to claim that the Teabaggers are peaceful just hit my buzzer) have their minds stuck in the 60s/70s.

    It wasn't left-wingers issuing death threats and vandalising the offices of Congressional representatives who were blocking attempts at healthcare reform.

    It wasn't left-wingers who gathered on the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombings to protest a non-existent threat to their "right" to own guns.

    It isn't left-wingers killing doctors who perform a legal medical procedure.

    Holy crap, I need a cup of tea.

  180. Numbed, Nap - volunteering got me paid work too - CAB voluntary work led to lottery funded welfare benefits casework. Definitely worth doing.

  181. Ooh, thanks Montana, now you've made me look psychic. Another tool in my fearbox.

  182. Sorry -- I deleted that 'cos I thought I'd messed it up. Then I decided it was okay as is. I thought I was deleting it fast enough that no one would have seen it already, but apparently not.

    Thauma and Leni look like they can predict the future now.

  183. Nap

    Volunteering can lead to paid work - particularly if you offer particular skills.

  184. @Montana and MsChin

    WeAreTheWorld is a Christian Fundy troll.

    his arguments have so many holes, it's often hard to know where to begin.

  185. Is the 'globalised hard left' closely related to that idiot Bracken's 'deluded left'?

    I'm always grimly amused when I see people praise Bracken as a 'good writer'. Dear God. He's an appalling writer: stilted, preening, leaden, cliched and pretentious.

    He's the male version of that vacuous twit Imogen Black. Unlike Imogen, who appears to have derived her frothy, witless prose-style from Hello! magazine, Bracken appears to have been cribbing some pompous Victorian dullard, Gladstone perhaps.

  186. Bedtime ... 'night all! Enjoy the footie.

  187. Yes, volunteering is really the best thing now, I waited til the people's panel to decide. yes, there is a local Russian community centre where I will hopefully volunteer doing TEFL, and also more mundane things like filling out benefit forms and negotiating the bureaucracy for them, all this is easier for a native English speaker, althouh from people's Kafkaesque experience on the PP, is still hard work.

  188. misharialadwani

    I don't think we've met much but that made me chuckle.

    I had the mental image of an egg-bound Peter Hitchens