15 June 2010


I think age is a very high price to pay for maturity.

Tom Stoppard (1937 - )


  1. More on those peace-loving Teabaggers -- the third story featured in this clip.

  2. Oh -- and sorry about the ad you have to sit through.

  3. Mornin' Montana...

    Need cup of tea - is the teasmaid on??!! ;)

  4. Sorry I missed the (hilarious) chat last night. Damned computer is being very slow so frustrating me.


    Thanks for the link to the HoP transcript.... Dennis Skinner - what a bloody star ;0)


    I can't go with the "unabashedly sexist" angle re: women in sport. The legal req. in the States for boys and girls to receive equal funding is good in principle, what ever the potential outcome - equality of opportunity is there. It most certainly ain't here.

    I suspect here (but don't know) that funding for boys sports outstrips that for girls. When I was at school, we were actually forbidden to play football (this was the late 70's/early 80's) the nearest we got to an equilibrium was a girls basketball team (I hated netball) - we were pretty much unbeatable as a team, but never encouraged fully to take it any further. On the other hand boys who excelled at team game like footie and cricket were open to a wealth of possiblilites....

  5. Did anyone watch Dispatches last night?

  6. Hi Montana,

    your query from last night. Kuyt is pronounced 'Cow-t'.

  7. Morning all!

    Have just posted this on Waddya (as a joke, although it is apparently a real 'story') and am now worried that they might actually take it up...

    I understand from the Today program that Oxford University has managed to screw up yet another competitive poetry appointment.

    The only female candidate has dropped out, apparently believing that an administrative error and the English faculty failing to describe her as a 'poet' in her biography constitutes a masculist conspiracy. So I imagine Bidisha is already typing hard?

    Thing is, the idea of a competitive approach to poetry has got my addled mind thinking of how the competition coul dbe made more interesting than just a simple vote and lots of letters to the Telegraph.

    Put 'em over an army assault course? Or that BBC gameshow where people have to fit into holes in a wall or fall in some water? Or make them recite in a perspex box while getting gunged if any of it inadvertently rhymes, a la crackerjack?

    Come on, there's gotta be something they can do to make it more interesting...

  8. And speaking of Tom Stoppard whose quote is at the top, I always liked the quote from his play 'Travesties' which focuses on James Joyce, Lenin and the founder of the Dadaist movement, Tristram Tzara:

    "And what did you do in the Great War Mr Joyce?"

    "I wrote Ulysses, what did you do?"

  9. Saw 'Rock and Roll' a couple of years back - was pleasantly surprised (not normally one for contemporary theatre - too much arm-waving and emoting). plus the main actor (rufus something - cute guy, brooding) turns out to be able to act, which i hadn't been expecting.

  10. Your Grice:

    I beg to differ about

    buit, kuit ui, etc.

    see dog end of yesterday's thread.

  11. medve,

    oh oh exceptions. Every time I have heard Kuyt's name said on Dutch tv, it's pronounced 'Cow-t'.

  12. Philippa,

    Yeah, poetry Krypton factor- you have to do the assault course whilst reciting Coleridge's 'Rhyme of the ancient mariner' at the top of your voice.

    Or something.

  13. Am listening to the Reith lectures on Radio4 - fascinating stuff. worth catching on 'listen again'...

  14. @Philippa

    Just posted a link to her website, which is here. She's in box of frogs territory.

  15. Peter - have just see it, bless you, that's brilliant...

  16. Peter/Philippa,

    I'm loving 'Mykonos in Sunlight'. The words in asterisks apparently are (and I quote):

    to be improvised as creatively as possible, using whatever forms of the words come to mind, and whatever repetitions and rhythms.
    Every performance is therefore different.

    One of the asterisked words is 'diaphonous'.

    Does this mean if I was doing my own unique interpretation, I could interpret 'diaphonous' in the actions of me looking in a dictionary trying to find out what the hell 'diaphonous' means? Scratching my head?

  17. Ah yes, Duke. You have caught its essential quiddity, its ding an sicht.

    Further reading can be found here.

  18. Talking of boxes of frogs

    Has anyone read this yet? it's priceless.....


    Sorry, have been twisting my melon trying to create a proper link.

    John Crace does Melanie Phillips,

    "This book arose from a sense of perplexity that almost everyone in the world thought I was clinically mad. Everywhere I looked there were people who believed boarding a humanitarian aid convoy in international waters and murdering nine people was a little bit naughty. So I did what I've always done as a columnist for the Daily Mail; go where my bigotry leads"

  19. Mornin,

    Well Simon. Peirs. Amanda. Many thanks for this opportunity, I'm doing this poem in memory and as atribute to my grand parents, who are all dead. I'll be reciting an updated version of Don Juan, referencing; The expenses scandal, Ashley Cole, the BP oil spill, David Laws, the World Cup and Beyonce. On a uni-cycle with a performing cat on a lead, a dog on a bike and a choir of junior school children.

    @ Checkov. U can select text without the mouse. Use the arrow keys to move the cursor to where you want to start, hold the shift key and use the arrow to select text. If you hold ctrl & shift it will go a word at a time. Handy, : )

  20. "using whatever forms of the words come to mind, and whatever repetitions and rhythms"


    So, 'so it yourself, peasants' seems to be infecting poetry as in politics...

    The Big Poetry?

    Turminder - you forgot the traditional closing, 'through the medium of interpretive dance'...

  21. Your Grice:

    Still beg to differ:


  22. medve,

    listened to your link and it sounds like the 'ow' in cow to me.

    I have also asked 5 colleagues from different areas of the Netherlands (they now think I'm mad) and it sounds like 'ow' as in 'cow'!

    Joost mag het weten, het zal wel aan mij liggen.....

  23. Can I be the first to start off the possible North Korean football chants in their match against Brazil later today?

    "He's fat, he's round,
    he's run his country into the ground,
    Kim Jong-Il, Kim Jong-Il"

  24. @Duke

    Yeah, it's like "ow", but very much as inimitably pronounced by Edward Heath, if your memories stretch back that far. Almost like "eeow".

  25. Your Grice:

    Please confirm that my post at the dog end of yesterday's thread was not a load of bollox and that the wiki links are the "proper" pronunciations. I can imagine that it sounds like ow to you, but for example, the Yorkshire rendering of owt for nowt would already be quite different.

    I'd be interested to learn how you get on with:


    Finally, we can perhaps agree that native Dutch speakers are as a rule not that bothered about how closely non-native speakers manage to approach ABN (Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands -- General Cultured Dutch).

  26. Spike:

    Zacher sat in zat baz.

    Close enough?

  27. You could vary that with:

    "He's short, he's fat,
    wears a beehive like a twat,
    Kim Jong-Il, Kim Jong-Il"

  28. @Duke and @Spike

    We all fired from a Juche submarine,
    A Juche submarine,
    A Juche submarine...

  29. medve,

    just to close what could be the most tedious difference of opinion on the UT ever.

    I just phoned my wife and asked her to say 'cow'. She finally thinks I've cracked and I have no doubt the ambulance will be here soon.

    I concede your point as she says 'cow' differently from me, therefore I should have said that Kuyt is pronounced 'Cow-t' only if you have a Scottish accent. Which makes this advice as useful as a chocolate fireguard because turminder is the only other Jock on here.

    Mijn verklaring is vreselikjk geweest. Het spijt me!

    @Everyone else on the internet. Just continue on as you were.


    excellent stuff!

  30. 10 Cows in a field, which one did Sadam want?

    Coo 8!

  31. For anyone not following Whaddya, two Robert Green jokes:

    Robert Green apparently saved over 1,000 shots on goal in practice sessions.

    Then he and Heskey joined the rest of the squad.

    * * *

    My computer has a Robert Green virus. It can't save anything.

  32. @LaRit:

    Oh, you misunderstand me. I'm all for Title XIX. I just get irritated as hell that US television networks are so obsessed with women's looks that they hire Barbie dolls who know fuck all about the sport they are ostensibly covering rather than either hiring a woman who may not be a picture-perfect size 0 or no woman at all.

    @Medve, Wybourne and Spike;

    Believe it or not, I think I know how to pronounce Kuyt now. The one word of Dutch that I remember from when I tried to learn a bit in the mid-80s is achterluik.

  33. (I should clarify that I didn't realise that ui and uy would be pronounced the same way.)

  34. Interesting Monbiot piece. He has been top drawer lately.

  35. Montana:

    You've got it! By George you've got it!

    And, actually, Kuyt's name is Kuijt. (Same pronunciation of that damned diphthong)

    I wasn't kidding when i started my original reply with Tricky

    'nuff said.

  36. I learned the "ui" sound from Dutch motorways and asking how the ubiquitous "Uit" was pronounced.

    I lived in the dreary industrial south of Holland (Terneuzen) for three months in 1979, working in the Dow plastics factory. I can still perform the movements needed to fill a sack with plastic granules and stack it on a pallet.

    My favourite local town was Hulst, a small place with about a dozen sexshops and four porn cinemas. I though the inhabitants must all be sex mad until I saw the coaches arriving from Belgium, where porn was banned, and long lines of Belgians filing out and into the hardcore emporia. :-)

  37. Football know-alls

    On Greenland thread someone said they can't play in Internationals as they don't have grass.

    Aked footie fiend about astroturf ? Big No-no.

    Something to do with international standards , ball control and ball bounce etc.

    This is discriminatory. We need campaign for Greenlanders to play football.

  38. Spike:

    Terneuzen is in Zeeland i believe, if not in Zeeuws Vlaanderen ;-)

  39. @medve

    Sorry! Usual English mistake of saying Holland instead of The Netherlands.

  40. @Spike:

    Just read Waddaya. Excellent tag-team with exiledlondoner against PeterBracken. I don't seem to be able to recommend comments on Cif any more, so add one to every comment you've made over there.


    Why do they spell it 'Kuyt' on his jersey?

  41. Apparently filming has just started on a movie version of Atlas Shrugged which aims to remain totally faithful to the book.

    Will it be the longest most boring film ever or utterly hilarious?

  42. Oooh, you kinda have to feel sorry for Slovakia, don't you?

  43. They were pretty bad though Montana.

  44. blimey. new zealand have drawn.

    one thing - am liking having nice pictures to look at at the top of the thread instead of more evil brainteasers. can't do puzzles before coffee...

    jen - my bet would be on 'longest most boring', moving onto 'utterly hilarious' if a drinking game can be factored in.

    dubious ethnic stereotyping - two fingers
    exposition lasting over 2 minutes - one finger
    out-of-era deco furnishings - three fingers

    that type of thing...

  45. Alcoholic poisoning after half an hour Philippa, ;)

  46. jen - and that's where the hilarity comes into it


  47. @Montana

    Why do they spell it 'Kuyt' on his jersey?

    The one but last letter of the (Dutch) alphabet is often written as ij, although some finicky people prefer a y with dots on. The "normal" y as in you used to be referred to Griekse Ij (Greek Y). In the old days there were some typewriters for the Dutch market that had the y with dots on as a single key, as well as an f for guilders (gulden), but most people had to make do with typing ij. Wiki says his name is sometimes given as Kuyt.

  48. Fuck there's a truly dreadful piece up about the Dutch elections on CiF.
    I also see that PaulBJ got deleted: he'd suggested (in a still-extant post) a people's panel on poverty, comprising folk who are genuinely breadline and on their uppers. Sound idea.
    He later suggested that Laurie Penny be excluded from such a panel and (very rightly) had harsh words to say about her posturing about her circumstances, and, how shall we say it, claiming a status (and arrogating the right to speak for those genuinely poor) that many would think less-than-entirely-genuine in her case.Got deleted.

  49. Perhaps Paul will confirm which of those deletions were at his request?

  50. Alistair

    That sort of comment is prime candidate for deletion - pointing to the privilege of those Graun writers who try to speak from a position of disadvantage is almost sure fire to get deleted.

    Best example, off the cuff - thingyBud, whatever his name is, self labelled "gypsy with a PhD, the Graun's worst nightmare" - wrote a stinging attack on Bidisha for her own privilege and asked how many Irish travellers the Beeb had invited on to radio shows lately. Promptly deleted.

  51. @Montana

    I don't seem to be able to recommend comments on Cif any more

    It's pluckery i'm afraid. I find that i can recommend two or at most three, then i have to reload the page in order to recommend any more.

  52. Afternoon all

    @Alisdair-thanks for drawing my attention to
    the deletion on waddya.Dunno why the fuck they
    did it as even Jessica said it was a good idea.
    Have e-mailed the mods and asked them what,s
    happened.I didn,t actually make the comment
    about Ms Pennie although i agree with the sentiment.Has some bastard cloned me i wonder?

  53. Jay
    StoryBud is quite often quality, especially on idenniddy-poltics bullshit

  54. Alisdair

    That post has now reappeared.Appreciate
    the tip-off.


  55. @Medve:

    Ah. So it should be Kuÿt, then?

    and Alisdair:

    Cheers. I've been reading Waddaya and was wondering what Paul had said -- Jen didn't seem to be happy with him about it.

  56. storybud, thats his name, glad someone's on the ball, BW.

  57. Montana

    I made a comment about Katie Price and her
    weird looking children-referring to her
    daughter who looks like ET.I,d genuinely
    forgotten about her disabled son who has a
    huge head.So when i,d remembered that i asked the mods to delete the post as it could have come across as unintentionally offensive.

    Anyways i then noticed a certain poster from
    Greece was also picking me up about that
    post so i posted her back telling her i
    had been referring to the daughter not the
    son.And that she needn,t worry because i,d
    asked for it to be deleted.However Jen then
    posted me to say i was being harsh on the
    daughter which with hindsight was fair enough.
    So i asked for that post to be deleted as well.

    Alisdair was referring to a post i,d done
    asking for a Peoples Panel on Poverty in
    Britain which subsequently disappeared.So
    i e-mailed the mods and it,s reappeared.

    That,s all it was i,m afraid.Nothing special.


  58. @Montana

    I would guess that is in his passport. You may remember that the water dividing the Northern part of Amsterdam from the rest of the city is called het IJ (single letter), but i have seen it referred to as het Y.

    Additionally, i have heard opinions of typographers that ÿ is butt-ugly and ij is to be preferred.

  59. I wish my kids looked a bit weirder. People might start believing me when I tell them “no, they’re not with me..actually, I think there’s something wrong with them..I’d just forget about it.”

  60. "He later suggested that Laurie Penny be excluded from such a panel and (very rightly) had harsh words to say about her posturing about her circumstances, and, how shall we say it, claiming a status (and arrogating the right to speak for those genuinely poor) that many would think less-than-entirely-genuine in her case."

    Christ you people and your petty jealousies and bitterness. I say put her on the panel, then tear her to bits over here. She and the Imogen Blacks of this world are the future of the media..

    The promotion above the line of posters like Imogen Black makes perfect sense to me; I’d give her a permanent column. It would send a signal that BTL intolerance with the Oxbridge conveyor belt of no longer young nor bright things who either never were or long since ceased to be relevant, informed or interesting has at last registered.

    It’s high time there was representation above the line for those posters without any particular ideological stance or strong convictions who none the less are desperate to appear enlightened and committed to a sort of non specific progressive future.

    Clearly a stance like this requires no particular knowledge of, nor interest in current events, history or politics, in fact it’s perfectly possible to get by entirely with a few stock sentiments alluding to your acceptance of whatever the current liberal take on things seems to be. This is generally absorbed by a process of osmosis from the comments of the kneejerk-liberal herd. Of course, to stand out you must also be able to deal robustly with dissent from this consensus.

    This generally takes the form of diversionary tactics which don’t actually deal directly with the point raised by the dissenter. Cries of “whataboutery” are always a good start; accusations of war crimes are also useful. Consider a hypothetical piece on education reform.”How does a war-criminal dare advise me on the way I should educate my children?” just because the writer was tangentially involved with the Blair government…the notion that this might itself constitute an example of “whataboutery” is by the by.

    However, should anyone else ask question the authority of a writer on an education piece as a result of his or her (or indeed half the editorial team’s) private schooling, we’re back to “stick to the topic”, “engage with the argument”, “whataboutery!!” and the all time champion: “play the man and not the ball” Incidentally, and ironically, this last ‘gem’ recalls that most redolent and iconic public school stanza “play up, play up and play the game”.

    Finally, we come to responses to those dissenters from the left; those not necessarily accepting of the whole ‘left-liberal’ consensus, who question the wholesale and reflexive adoption of the consequences of contorted post-modern, relativist thinking; who consider them not as the automatic and logical responses of all right-thinking and egalitarian folk, but as value-laden, self-interested, bourgeois sentiments which provide little or no benefit to anyone outside the identity obsessed middle-classes.


  61. ctd...

    To such dissent, the reply is clear: “bitter”, “jealous”, “misogynist”, “abuser”, “troll”…anything really..as long as the objection doesn’t actually have to be engaged with. This is generally a good thing since: a) most professional kneejerk liberals couldn’t argue their way out of a wet tissue b) they’d have to engage with some of their fundamental assumptions and in many cases they’d find they had no foundation; they’d then realise that most of their basic ‘beliefs’ were, rather, image-driven lifestyle choices.
    This sort of person needs to be above the line. I know there are plenty already but I think in future it should be acknowledged that the prevalence of this vacuous self-loving, image-conscious persona is not just an unforeseen consequence of media nepotism, patronage and favouritism but a necessary prerequisite. How else could the Guardian maintain its daily output of inconsequential handwringing? People with any self respect and intellectual integrity simply can’t produce such a predictable and woeful standard.
    So put her above the line and more like her. Just be sure to include in writer profiles the description: “X writes a regular Guardian column because he/she is filled with a burning conviction that he/she is just the sort of person who should be.”

    Then we can sit back and look to a glorious future when we can get in from the pub, put the telly on, flick around and catch the review show. A panel of Imogens, Lauries and the cheese fella from Blur can hammer out what constitutes the accepted view of Bidisha’s latest screenplay about the feminist struggle for independent access to the Playdough in a year four class at a South London Primary (Dulwich or somewhere nice..natch).

    But the best bit about it is the reaction of certain other posters; those who've struggled to maintain the conceit that CIF is a meritocracy and only the brightest and best got called upstairs. Promote Imogen and two particular old stagers (desperate for 'the call') would just have to accept the 'inherent logic' that she's simply the better writer and thinker than she is. How that would stick in the craw...but to say so would undo their years of craven conviviality and fawning about the place's all round rectitude. I'd fuckin love it...So put Laurie on the panel..give her day in the ghetto. Make Imogen a columnist...it's the natural culmination of all that's ever happened over there. The irresistible conquest of rationality and rigour by image and bullshit.

  62. monkeyfish wrote

    "" Clearly a stance like this requires no particular knowledge of, nor interest in current events, history or politics, in fact it’s perfectly possible to get by entirely with a few stock sentiments alluding to your acceptance of whatever the current liberal take on things seems to be. ""

    That was completely wicked.

    And true .

  63. Hello frog2.


    "So put Laurie on the panel.. Make Imogen a columnist.."

    Oh, go on then. Since you put it that way. Will you be putting your proposal on Waddya?

  64. You're completely wrong there actually, MF. Sarka explained to me only yesterday: if you reject the post-modern, relativist mindset its because you are ignorant of the path from Enlightenment to post-modernism/relativism. I was in fact acting like "Outraged of Tunbridge Wells" for suggesting the Englightenment had give rather more to humanity than our current shower of "thinkers".

  65. Further to Greenland soccer.

    Poster ArcticAl says Sepp Blatter (Who?) is visiting in July and Greenlanders are hoping for support to build an indoor properly turfed stadium.

    Greenlanders love football says Al.

  66. Monkeyfish

    It is hard to imagine that the combined mighty intellect of the CiF management team really has any idea what it is doing.

    I have certainly thought in the past that they select people from below the line in order to make public spectacles of them but this tends to imply that Seaton and Reed have actually laid and hatched plans.

    It is a bit like imagining that the wasp really is attacking you with a rational and spiteful plan or the spider has eyed you up and is calculating its sudden charge.

    I seem to remember Winthorpe (who had been quite good at posting occasional one- or two-liners) was given a couple of gigs in quick succession and proved that he could not sustain a few hundred words: a bit like when they tried to make half-hour sit-coms into ninety-minute films back in the Seventies.

    It is hard to know whether they want to try to prove that the idiots below the line cannot quite manage it, thus securing the notion that those ATL are cleverer and better or if they want to exploit the scum on much cheaper rates than their twinkling little stars, who are draining the leaky coffers every time they stick their tongue between their lips and rattle their spastic, clumsy fingers over their keyboards.

    The problem would be that if the notion that the opinions of those lauded and promoted by the media are actually no better than those of ordinary people, they are all going to have to start worrying about lovely incomes based on little more than chatting and scribbling between friends.

    Cruel fecking world, innit?

  67. Jay

    how can you possibly reject the post modern, post Fordian economy which disintegrates and seperates, disempowers millions, encourages (built in fact) the consumerist society and identity politics - to say nothing of the belief that war is not the best way to solve things?

    Sounds to me as though you are dangerously close to thinking that human reason, endeavour , honesty and striving towards a common goal for the betterment of all are meaningless values.

  68. Just popping in before the next tedious FIFA™ Association Football World Cup Championship Challenge Fixture to say:

    monkeyfish, don't ever stop posting here, I've been nodding like the Churchill dog in agreement with everything you've posted since you came back.

    You're on blinding form,

    Have a good evening all.

  69. Alisdair,

    I meant to say. That Dutch election article was truly woeful.

  70. "Sounds to me as though you are dangerously close to thinking that human reason, endeavour , honesty and striving towards a common goal for the betterment of all are meaningless values. "

    I'm sorry Leni, i just find your attitude incredibly Eurocentric? This sort of colonialist mindset that privileges "reason" over other ways of knowing passed down through the generations...

  71. "striving towards a common goal"

    Commonalities defined by the imperialist white male you mean. Our only common goal should be recognising and celebrating each others differences and different values and goals and, hang on, no, wait...

  72. Atomboy
    The way they select those regulars writing ATL is also proof that they like to see people making complete and utter fools of themselves ?
    On the BTL's I didn't even get all the way through Winthorpe, and didn't feel motivated enough to read peterbracken's again...to understand what he was on about.
    Maybe a bad day, or of course that I'm just thick.
    But then, does that make me a post-modernist :)

  73. Jay

    I will ask Sarka and others to define 'post modern'! Moveable boundaries to support various pov. It is often used to cover up a basic failure of comprehension. It's humbug really - an attempt to excuse the mess the money markets have created.

    Manufacturing in uk outstrips productivity from the banks and their associates - jst takes fewer people on production line. Post Fordian stuff is attempt to blame workers and shove 'em on the dole. Not that Ford was a model human bean himself.

    Post modern thought is confused and confusing.

  74. Leni
    I looked it up once, then forgot the definition . I do that with bullshit.

  75. @ MF
    "I say put her on the panel, then tear her to bits over here. She and the Imogen Blacks of this world are the future of the media.."
    Y'know, that first sentence is probably what is going to transpire, and the second is probably true too.Crystal ball seems to be working, so let's have a correct score prediction for the Brazil game tonight, and the winner of the 15.50 at Ascot tomorrow.
    (FWIW, 3-1, and Presvis are my shouts)

  76. Atomboy

    or if they want to exploit the scum on much cheaper rates than their twinkling little stars

    It's more sinister than that - the new Graun media darlings (TM) are offering their services, which means they don't get paid at all, as I understand it.

    I think Cif is keeping one and a half eyes firmly fixed on HuffPo, which doesn't pay any of its contributors (and is fucking awful - the comments are an unreadable spew of illiterate venom, mostly from right-wingers). (Yes, much worse than Cif.)

    Leni - Henry Ford was certainly not a nice person: a union-buster and Nazi supporter.

  77. frog2

    I did not read Winthorpe's piece either. It was too embarrassing. I was not aware that PeterBracken had written anything.

    William Whitelaw said something along the lines that Mrs Thatcher was all well and good but hardly somebody one would invite to dinner.

    The Guardian seems to view the poor, the ordinary, the working-classes like the treasure of an immigrant cleaner or the little man who does the odd bit of building: they have their uses but should not be allowed to run away with the idea that they are proper, functioning people.

    They occupy a space somewhere between a treasured pet and a trusty appliance.

    If they can perform a wobbly and attractive begging pose, they get thrown a treat. If the fuse blows, they get chucked in the bin.

    Asking the idiots to display their stupidity for all to see is just a bit of virtual slumming, without the need to get changed.

  78. Forgot to say to MF "the conceit that CIF is a meritocracy and only the brightest and best got called upstairs". Almsot there, but for the fact that it's 'meritocracy' (something beloved of both Tony Blair and David Cameron, to which they both pay loud lip service) is the real conceit.
    Bizarrely as a term it comes from a 1950s dystopian novel (by an,er, sociologist):all occupations were organized by rigorous 'merit', with the result that the lower classes were horrifically exploited, since anyone in the lower classes with any ability was quickly co-opted and elevated somewhere else. The ones left over were the ones incapable of defending themselves. And nobody else defended them, since they lost 'fair and square'. Over time, it came to resemble a caste system.
    What does constitute "merit" and who gets to decide is the fucking huge hole at the heart of the 'meritocracy' idea.
    Ask me what I'm worth and I might say a king's ransom, ask someone else and they might say a pitcher of warm piss.The version of meritocracy that prevails is really pernicious, as it's designed to preserve the status quo: that fat cat didn't get all the cream because he lucked out, or was crooked, no, it's because he's worth it, because everyone rises according to their merit. It's a lie, because there is no real means of determining merit, but those top of the tree declare that their qualities are the ones that accrue merit, thus justifying their position in a circular fashion.

  79. Leni and Jay have you two been taking lessons at the Peter Bracken school of impenetrable prose? ;)

  80. thaumaturge

    They have probably finally noticed that it is all the free content in the form of comments which actually brings in the visitors and are wondering how you can dump the same methods above the line.

    There is nothing necessarily wrong with people providing free content, if they choose to do so.

    I have said that - both above and below the line - the name of the writer should just be a randomly generated alphanumeric string and we can simply debate ideas, detached from stars or extras from central casting.

    It seems like CiF is just one long Ceausescu-on-the-balcony moment.

  81. "there is no doubt , nothing is unequivocal, it was unjustified"

    Camerons response to Saville report's account of Bloody Sunday, together with an apology. Looks like Saville hasn't pulled his punches.

    And about bloody time too!!

  82. Saville Report here for anyone interested

  83. jennifera30

    Leni and Jay have you two been taking lessons at the Peter Bracken school of impenetrable prose? ;)

    Not just me hit by sudden narcolepsy, then?

  84. Leni

    "Sounds to me as though you are dangerously close to thinking that human reason, endeavour , honesty and striving towards a common goal for the betterment of all are meaningless values."

    You read any John Gray?..if not, I'd have a look at Straw Dogs, then watch the eulogies fly in next time the useless spineless small-minded little misanthrope posts on CIF. Any vaguely consistent view of the world, especially scientific or socialist, is a hopeless utopian fantasy, a substitute religion whose deluded adherents have let the myth of potential progress blind them to their rampant destructive actions.

    Best thing is to build a fuckin yurt, downsize your dreams and do as little as possible since human agency is suspect..best just knit some yoghurt, let nature take its course and only ever react to events in a small scale piecemeal fashion. Guy's got the full deck: eco-sapien, relativist, identity values and eclectic post-modern logic chopping...he's like the CIF 'philosopher king'. Gray was ripped to pieces by AC Grayling of all people...


    he hasn't done much for CIF lately...mind you, poor old Grayling has the nerve to believe in objective reality and where's that gonna get you in the liberal media..I mean..judging people's actions by the same standards..it's virtually 'barbaric'.


    tbh, I'd give that one a miss..nothing offering much value. Maybe Glass Harmonium each way. Also 2-0 and £50 on Imogen Black to get a regular spot within six months.


    "if you reject the post-modern, relativist mindset its because you are ignorant of the path from Enlightenment to post-modernism/relativism."

    tell her there is no path..a brief study of the enlightenment reveals its motivation as a burning need and desire for humanity to free itself from superstition as a necessity of material, scientific and social progress. I know most relativists deny the reality of any social progress (they're generally confusing it with 'moral progress' which is definitely less clear cut) but if they do ask them how'd they'd like to go back 200 years without their flat-screens, antibiotics, ventolin and painkillers.

    Anyway..freedom from superstition being the driving force, how can a path have been forged which leads to acceptance of superstition as an equally valid philosophy? How can anyone equating, say, the Big Bang and an Aztec creation myth as containing equally important 'social truths' claim to be an heir of the enlightenment..unless the path doubles back beyond its starting point.

  85. Monkeyfish et al.

    To be fair to Imogen, at least she is a better writer than Tanya Gold, the difference is that Ms Gold gets paid for her 'wit', Imogen doesn't.

  86. coming in late to the discussion here... forgive me, whilst I try and catch up...

    one thing though, Grayling was superb (though brief) on the Reith Lectures this morning:

    "I don’t know what it is to be a devout atheist any more than what it would be to be a devout non-stamp collector." AC Grayling.

  87. jen

    If you want impenetrable prose on the poststructural, I give you Judith Butler.

    She was a 'winner' in the Bad Writing Contest in the late 90s for this sentence alone:

    "The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power".

  88. Leni I am so glad you put that sentence up, it saved me from ever linking to anything else she ever wrote. :)

  89. Oops sorry, Ms Chin.

  90. Knew you'd love it, jen!

    A spot of Judith Butler makes me feel that at least I don't talk rubbish ;-)

  91. fuck me - i got as far as 'homologous' and then it all started sounding like the teacher in charlie brown.

    baa baa baaaa....

  92. Atomboy

    There is nothing necessarily wrong with people providing free content, if they choose to do so.

    Not necessarily in and of itself if all is above-board. But the impression is given that the usual pittance will be paid, and it isn't (as I understand it - could well be wrong).

    Also only the leisured classes will be able to put time and effort into a free commentary. HuffPo gets loadsa slebs in (Alec Baldwin, etc.) to boost their hits. Said sleb gets their right-on name in lights and the site generates money for itself. Not a good way to get working-class voices heard.

    A truly left-wing site would only pay those who are below a certain income level, and on a sliding scale. Except of course if you're on benefits it's going to detract from that, so you're fucked either way.

  93. Evening all

    Like London buses the subjects of Cif articles tend to come up in 3,s or not at all.For i see the second article today on the fascinating subject of Thatcher and Pallin has just popped up.

    Now i like a bit of girl-on -girl action like the next man.But this focus on Thatcher and Pallin is making me feel quite ill And threatens to bring on the only thing possible with those two gals.Namely a bad attack of what used to be called the brewers droop.

  94. Yeah I did wonder about that unemployment panel Thauma, unless the Guardian actually only did pay £5 those who contributed would be shooting themselves in the foot.

  95. Sarka is a rabidly islamophobic, very fake 'radical feminist', and it has always amazed me that me people on Cif say that she is 'always an intelligent poster' and 'excellent coment as usual, sarka!'. And a lot of people here seem to feel the same. How stupid can you be? Sarka is a fucking moron, and I've said that here ages ago. She's just another of the CIf regulars, like AllyF, who no matter what bullshit they spout get praised by the intellectually challenged. Jay, you've defended her on many occasions - time to think for yourself and realise that that she's a wanker. She has nothing to offer.

  96. scherfig

    I agree that sarka's views are highly questionable at times. She's a former academic historian, which gives her expertise in bugger all else, least of all feminist theory.

  97. MsC

    email winging it's way to you re Wentworth this Saturday.

  98. "To be fair to Imogen, at least she is a better writer than Tanya Gold, the difference is that Ms Gold gets paid for her 'wit', Imogen doesn't."

    Then again, Champion the Wonderhorse was probably better at embroidery than your average triceratops..but..what ya gonna do?



  99. Scherfig: re Sarka - about half the time I rather agree with her, and the other half violently disagree. The latter half are the ones that occasionally provoke me to response.

    I'd far rather have her to argue with than MaM or other unreasoning right-wing bigots.

  100. am watching brazil v north korea, and there's a hell of a lot of sighing from the french commentators.

    as it is still goalless, i'm guessing one of them has brazil in the tf1 sweepstake...

  101. i presume james is in a bar, chuckling to himself...

  102. or maybe not. poor north korea. several of them could get shot now....

  103. Evening all

    Scherf - re Sarka - wouldn't go so far as to say that she is a moron, but she isn't as bright as she makes herself out to be. One of those academic intellectuals who believes the more multi-syllabic words you can use, the cleverer you are, while succeeding to miss the point of anything anyone else is saying. When you start to chip away at what she says, it doesn't always amount to much.

    Montana - hope you are OK and bearing up. Email on its way.

    Sheff - sorry I missed your birthday. Hope it was a good one.

    MF - sight for sore eyes you are, mister. Nice to see you back on form in spades. From what I can gather, those getting a gig ATL is by popular demand - some people will be recommended because of their excellence, others because they are just popular. Same as voting for the head boy I guess...

    *waves to everyone else and hi to the newbies*

  104. This comment has been removed by the author.

  105. Peter Bracken has just told Montana on Waddya that perhaps the fact her views are marginalised means that they should be!

    I think he is saying that since the Dems and Republicans are so similar it means that (as of course they are acting in the best interests of the average man) they are totally right and anyone who disagrees is deservedly ignored.

    Another example of his antenna of truth idea?

    (I reserve the right to be completely wrong about what he means as I can barely understand it).

  106. Philippa

    Remember the good old days of the cold war when russian ballerinas would claim asylum? Maybe the North Korean footballers could nip down the embassy...

  107. BB - hi! o/

    Jen - copied an earlier PB (Bracken, that is, not Philippa) Waddya post to Notepad to respond in detail and now can't be arsed. Montana is very capable of defending herself, and will do it in a finer style than I am capable of.

  108. scherfig

    Out of interest why do you think that Sarka is rabidly islamophobic?She may well disagree with certain cultural practices in the Muslim world but then so do i.And i certainly don,t consider myself to be a rabid islamophobe.

    Surely someone who is rabidly islamaphobic is someone who rejects the right of Muslims to lead their lives according to the teachings of the Koran.And i,ve never seen Sarka do that.

  109. Think Giyus may be commentating on the Brazil- N Korea game - just put forward the theory that the N Koreans have paid a lot of Chinese actors to watch the game dressed as Korean fans...

  110. I bet she is Thauma. :)

    It was just such a beauty that I had to say something.

    I would never try to take him on myself because he would talk rings around me.

    I will freely admit that I am a novice at political comment, I feel like I have spent the first 38 years of my life asleep but it is such a wrong idea that even I can spot it.

  111. shaz - on the MBM someone has emailed in that there are only 45 NK fans...

    which implies that the chinese aren't involved, i suspect they'd have gone for a rounder number...

  112. jen

    I look forward to Montana's withering riposte.

    Evening BB.

  113. jen - he might talk rings round you, but that's entirely different from being able to think rings round you...

    and can we pleeeeeease not refer to 'PB', it makes me think I've inadvertently posted when pissed...

    heh heh

  114. BB - have you seen the thread about women at chambers asking for a nursery on site?

    what do you think?

    i'm beginning to feel like i'm banging my head against a brick wall on the thread.

  115. BB

    Great to see you back - hope you'll be sticking around.

  116. mmm... peanut butter...

    which is why I won't abbreviate or debate with mr bracken... chewy

  117. Numbed - haven't looked at the piece in question but (as a non-child-afflicted person) it seems reasonable to me that nursery facilities should be provided. Larger companies can provide their own, and this shouldn't be tied to the mother - either parent should be able to enrol. Smaller companies should have a community option, or the state should just bloody do it, for a nominal fee if necessary.

    Likewise I think dog care should be provided, but that's just my bias....

  118. BB - hi - where were you last week when I had a monstrous Social Services episode at work to demand sympathy for...?

    45 NKs Philippa? Bless them...

    Jen - know what you mean about politics comments. I just read & learn...

  119. I know what you mean Numbed and I agree with the article but it is so typical of the Guardian to make a fuss about the nursery provisions of barristers rather than a job where the money to pay for childcare really matters.

  120. Crunchy.

    Posed the wit less Spam Proxy luvvie avatar!

    PS Type 'AVATOKE' into u tube...

  121. MonkeyFish:

    Bloody stonking posts.

    I'm not feeling particularly eloquent but your posts made my brain buzz (for want of a better word) and I'll have a go at responding.

    Re: the vacuous 'Imogen Black' mark my words, she'll have a 'contact' somewhere at Guardian HQ, I'll put a tenner on it. For some considerble time now, I've wondered what happened in life, time and time again I've watched as my own complex and conflicting identity, my thoughts, words, realities, longings, experiences have been sytematically subsumed by facsimile people pretending to be 'me'.

    The Guardian [CiF] has become the 'guardian' of the approximating, thieving middle class/public school educated narrative, puerile self-promotion and self-obsession... The motto shouldn't be 'Comment is free' but we don't do 'real' here.

    Fucking depressing.

  122. @thauma,

    That's pretty much my view as well, but apparently "rich" barristers don't deserve a facility at work, even if they pay for it.

    dog care at work... well there is this!


  123. Jen - heh - ain't dat de troof.

  124. Imogenblack on Cif on the Bloody Sunday thread. Speakyerbranes.

    I remember doing the history of the troubles at GCSE and even then I was taught that bloody sunday was a huge great big mess of soldiers acting inappropriately against civillians.

    Now that offends me personally and deeply for obvious reasons. And it might not be imogen's fault that's she so fucking thick. But she feels the need to demonstrate her idiocy on Cif. As do many others. And Cif seems to feel the need to highlight such idiocy ATL. It really should be stopped. And waddya has started up again after the weekend with the usual bollocks. Loads of inconsequential luvvie posts from bru and others. This should also be stopped. On grounds of taste, decency and WTF?

    Hi, BB. you're absolutely right about sarka, apart from the fact that she actually is a 'moron', or at least an intellectual lightweight with pretensions of grandeur. Your other valid criticims could also apply to many other Cif regulars :0)

    PS, Nice to see you back here, BB. If you can drop your ego and argue your case without running away and accusing your opponents of being agressive/argumentative/stupid, you'll make this place a lot more interesting. Whaddya say? Are you are up for it?

  125. NapoleonK:

    "the difference is that Ms Gold gets paid for her 'wit', Imogen doesn't"

    Give it another month and Mizz Black will have nice deep blue 'G' by her name.... I wouldn't be surprised if, like Seth Freedman she has a well-connected, well-known 'Auntie' who writes for the Groin.

  126. LaRit

    "Bloody stonking posts."

    Right back atcha..

    "The Guardian [CiF] has become the 'guardian' of the approximating, thieving middle class/public school educated narrative, puerile self-promotion and self-obsession... The motto shouldn't be 'Comment is free' but we don't do 'real' here."


  127. Numbed - that is brill, but I fear too late for this year in the massive bureaucracy in which I work!

    I mean, I have to suffer people bringing their bloody kids in ... do I mind if my colleagues get a bit of friendly nose in their arse? (And my angel would of course never even do that!)

  128. thauma

    No, but she'd nudge them off their seats.

  129. 'scherfig
    Out of interest why do you think that Sarka is rabidly islamophobic?'

    Paul, I'm not going to argue about it with you - just check out her profile/comments.

  130. Hello BB

    Good to see ya!


    Someone who has the nerve to write " I remember doing the 'Troubles' in GSCE" - needs punch in the gob if you ask me. It's not only embarrasing, it's bloody insulting.

  131. scherf

    I will try my best - but when I have spent a day arguing, sometimes I just want to shoot the breeze and add a little bit of my two-penn'orth and I will freely admit to being a moody cow too at times. But some days I am not up for in-yer-face confrontation and will still run away (although I will try my best not be arsey about it in future). Will that do? :p

  132. MonkeyFish:

    What you said resonated with me very deeply. I thank you very warmly for that.

  133. " I remember doing the 'Troubles' in GSCE"

    I remember doing the Franco-Prussian War..that was a big mess of something or other too..cool uniforms though, that's why I'm a pacifist..the modern military just can't fuckin accessorise

  134. Hey La Rit GCSE History is hard you know, you not only have to remember two or three dates but you have to draw pictures.

    I did O level which wasn't exactly rigourous but I helped my, 10 years younger, sister with her GCSE history course work and I was shocked at how shallow it was. (I drew the pictures for her I didn't help her with the actual coursework).

  135. Is it an age thing, though? When you think about it, if she is only in her early 20s - which I think she might well be - she won't have lived the troubles the same way an old late-40-something bird like me has done so.

    It is naive, for sure, but I don't think it is any more vacuous than someone saying "yeah, my Dad told me all about the D-Day landings - must have been awful".

  136. MsChin - true statement! Have e-mailed the bosses but don't expect it to come to anything.

  137. BB, sounds good. But if you don't have the time or the desire to defend your two-penn'orth, then don't bother sharing it with us. You could post a music link instead. Love conquers all.

    Like this! shmaltzy but good

  138. I don't know BB, I don't know anything about the troubles either which is why I would never comment about it (I would try and read and learn but my brain is full of new stuff these days).

    I did O level history and we did the causes of World War I, all I can remember is Archduke Ferdinand (history really isn't my thing as you can tell) so I wouldn't go onto a thread about it and share my non knowledge.

    I don't get the Imogen Black hatred because I think she had gone for a break when I started reading but that is one feck of a stupid thing to comment on.

  139. Numbed

    At the end of the day, a Chambers is a bit like a very selfish workers' collective. Everyone pays rent, everyone pays a percentage of their earnings for the upkeep of the place, everyone has to stump up extra cash if it is needed and, in principle, if there is any overall profit to be had from the functioning of the place, everyone is entitled to their share of that too.

    Now obviously having a nursery in Chambers is going to mean that either only those who use it pay for its upkeep or everyone will have to pay for it whether they use it or not. The former would mean that there might not be enough money to keep the thing going, the latter would mean that those of a non-kid nature would have to pay for something that doesn't actually benefit them in any way, shape or form.

    Individual barristers do not benefit from the work that other barristers do - unlike in a company where everyone is a cog in the wheel of the overall profitability of the organisation and is remunerated according to the size of the cog, each barrister is effectively self-employed, (although it could be argued that a "big name" will bring in more work in general which will trickle down), and each person is only as good as the work they do and the briefs they get.

    As everyone earns their own money, from that point of view I can see that they wouldn't want to be saddled with the cost of something that they will never benefit from.

    Now having said that, Garden Court Chambers has a yoga room....

  140. BB - and even if she's my age, she won't have lived the "Troubles" in the same way that I have, or to a greater extent, Scherfig has.

    While I think that accountability is a good thing, I also think that prosecution, in this case, is likely to cause more trouble. It should either have been done immediately or 40 years from now.

    Scherf, I'll be interested to hear your opinions on this. Am off now, but will check back tomorrow.

  141. Tell ya what, Scherf, that will be my white flag, then. When I post a linky to music in the middle of an argument you can take that as me saying "You win" :o)

  142. Time to again reference the Dunning-Kruger Effect. According to the scientists, "Overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it."
    That's a bloody massive Guardian/New Labour/so-called 'progressive' (progressing to just what,exactly) trait, right there: they're really not terribly wise or savvy, and are too self-centred to recognise or admit when they are in a field or realm of experience about which they know nothing. Sure, some have shiny qualifications, and scatter their prose with polysyllabic words, but they don't stop to think if their offerings from on high are relevant,applicable, accurate or plain right. They are cunning in self-advancement and preserving their bubble, but Christ they always fall back on the same old tired tropes, seemingly unable (or, perhaps worse, unwilling even in the face of compelling evidence to the contrary) to countenance that they might be wrong.Obviously, there are some exceptions, with enough nous to recognise their own shortcomings, but they are getting more and more marginalised: from politics to the media, it's not what you know or say, but how loudly you say it, and whether it's packaged 'well'.

  143. Thaum - I would rather go down the Truth and Reconciliation (or The Crying Commission as it was colloquially known in SA) route than the Truth and Retribution route, because I am no entirely sure that retribution actually achieves what it is purported to achieve. Like the death penalty - victims' families have been reported as saying (and I can't be arsed to look for the links right now) that they thought that by the murderer of their wife/child/husband etc being put to death they would somehow find closure and peace, but it made no real difference at all to their feelings of loss.

  144. thanks BB, that makes sense of the reasons why some are opposing it, at least.

    doens't much make sense of those that don't have your knowledge that seem to have very different grounds for opposing a nursery on site.

    in this instance, those that want it are trying to raise £200,000 to go towards costs - no idea what rent space costs, but that doesn't sound like an unreasonably small contribution.

  145. scherfig

    ''BB, sounds good. But if you don't have the time or the desire to defend your two-penn'orth, then don't bother sharing it with us''

    Like you didn,t defend your accusation that Sarka is a rabid islamaphobe.Double-standards methinks!

    And for the record i wasn,t looking for an argument.I was in effect asking you to give me your definition of a rabid islamaphobe.

  146. thauma, I'll have a think about it. It might be an interesting discussion, irrespective of how old or young one is, or whether one remembers it or not.

    And, not wanting to prejudice any further discussion, the facts of the matter are that British paratroopers shot 13 unarmed civilians dead. Let's take it from there.

  147. Just spotted the article, numbed, so will take a look at it. Looks like it is one of the Inns of Court that wants to set up a nursery, not an individual Chambers. Will come back on it.

  148. Paul, just read sarka's Cif comments before you start to argue about it. You might even agree with me.

  149. Someone on the news (lawyer, called Louis ... Blom? summat like that) was saying that while the report itself could come to a particular conclusion (it wasn't out at that point), this would be on the basis of the generality of the information, i.e. weight of testimony about all the events, rather than relying on specific witnesses. This wouldn't necessarily mean prosecutions could result, as those would have to be against particular soldiers (individually?) and rely on specific witnesses.

    Sort of that the report was based on an understanding of what happened on the day in general, without having the exact specifics that could support a criminal prosecution. Does that make sense from a legal perspective, BB?

    Seemed a bit odd, perhaps, as the report sounds to be, well, not 'caged' at all, but just damning. Which one imagines they wouldn't have been had they not been stone-cold certain what happened, at least beyond reasonable doubt'.

    Mind, one of the witnesses interviewed today was the priest who escorted out one of the injured - he admitted that his memory of the details had been dimmed by the passage of time, but not his memory of the day, if you see what I mean.

  150. Crikey, I thought I'd logged on to the wrong site earlier on. It was like the Oxford Union debating chamber in here (not sure if that's the correct analogy but you get my drift) what with all that deconstructing moral relatives and all that.
    That's what my family do after Christmas dinner!

    MsChin and Turminder: thanks for the tips. Not quite there yet but I passed the first part of my exam today so I must be doing something right.

  151. Can I just put on record here, as a placeholder, that Terry Eagleton is a fucking fool?

    Thank you.

    I shall return to this matter.

  152. Truth and Reconciliation Council for N.I would get my vote as well.

    There was an interesting verbatim drama called Talking To Terrorists a few years ago that had testimonies from terrorists and victims (survivors and family members).

    It was a very moving and challenging piece, all the more so when it was broadcast as a Friday Play on Radio 4. You became the audience of one that was hearing each testimony or voice throughout.

    Specifically with Northern Ireland it considered the Brighton bombings.

    As a kid I grew up around a military town and the IRA were never far away from people's thoughts and conversations. From time to time when there were serious incidents, we had curfew in the town, even off the actual military base.

    I freely admit to being in tears listening to the relatives today. Full justice may not have been done in the eyes of some, but for many, the vindication of the dead is a major step forward.

  153. Someone who has the nerve to write " I remember doing the 'Troubles' in GSCE"

    Whoever that was must be very young, so (possibly) forgivable. But I can't face the trivia of cif and fitba today - to serious a day.

  154. PeterJ
    "In a social order denuded of ceremony and symbolism, football steps in to enrich the aesthetic lives of people for whom Rimbaud is a cinematic strongman"
    Hmmm, that woman with the 'homologous' has competition...

  155. @Philippa

    Probably Louis Blom-Cooper, if he's still alive.

  156. Peter J you had to make me read that Terry Eagleton article didn't you. ;)

    I don't think fool covers it.

  157. Now I see what the article is about, I have just had a bit of a rant.

    In the nicest possible terms, nobody expects the Federation of Master Builders to provide a creche for bricklayers' kids. I fail to see why the Inns of Court - which amount to more or less the same thing really - should have to provide nursery facilities really.

  158. PeterJ - think you're right, I thought that was the name, but it seemed so posh I thought I must have got mixed up and be remembering a character from a PG Wodehouse novel...

  159. wow. BB that was a full blooded rant!

    re: Eagleton... I'm considering a long and lengthy comparison of football with Aristotle's Theories of Tragedy... i think it's a funny article.

  160. Numbed

    I get sick of people who are not barristers whining on about how sexist the bar is, and how hard it is for women. It is hard for everybody, irrespective of gender. And the decision to have kids is one that is not to be taken lightly, like any other are where one or even both parents is self-employed/running their own business.

    Yes there is a downside - you get no holiday pay, no sick pay, no pension, no maternity leave, etc. etc. But the upside is that the longer you stick it out, the better the work you get, the more money you earn. And you have the independence to be able to pick and choose when you work, the kind of work you want to do, when you want a day or a week off and so forth - all the benefits of being your own boss. You don't have anywhere like the same freedom when you are an employee.

  161. @Numbed

    I suspect Eagleton thought he was being 'light-hearted' as only a leaden academic can be.

    Depressing, isn't it?

  162. Numbed

    Reading "a long and lengthy comparison of football with Aristotle's Theories of Tragedy" still beats the hell out of reading Judith Butler.

  163. Hard for people respective of gender BB?

    Is it harder for women than men?

    No one is saying that it it's a breeze but that is a poor argument.

  164. It's June. And they've just run an advert for the Studio Christmas catalogue. I'm off to crawl under the table and scream.

  165. the self employed argument is an interesting one. my limited knowledge of the legal profession is of the process to qualification and experience in France, not England and to my understanding the potential earnings are much lower or limited and it's a longer and harder slog through as well.

    I do think gender is an issue to some extent though, same for many industries though.

    and one of the sticks that has been used to beat women who do want to undertake a career, rather than a job, is always the double sided argument that a woman who puts career first is a bad mother and a woman who puts children first is surely not serious about their career.

    the balance is a very fine one, and its admirable if people can do it.

    I would like to see more rights for self employed people, more support. again the franch example, but no artists (or very few) are salaried and there's no pension or sick pay. For those that are physical performers - dancers, circus workers etc, as well as professional athletes, have very limited career lengths because their work is reliant on their physical ability.

    there are limited post-physical options as well - the most common being teaching, but the truth is that for most by the age of 35 they have to retrain and find a new career, as there is not enough support available.

    You could argue again that it's "you takes your money, you makes your choice", but I do think there is more that could be done to support.

    I recognise that the public sector (who are probably traditionally the most safeguarded with benefits) are about to lose alot of those benefits, pension being the biggest.

    But, my point is that, not every career and not every person is able when self employed to build a business strong enough to take them through in retirement. their income, unlike some professional roles, don't have those high leaps in pay/command for hourly rates.

    I d

  166. not sure what the ID is there for... I think Freud's been at the comment box....

    and MsChin... Judith Butler example earlier was genius - what a load of waffle. Reminded me of reading Derrida and Cixous years ago.

    Deconstruction? no, desecration of language.

  167. Jen:

    Our 'O' level History lessons were blessed. Our teacher (an old-skool bloke) Mr Whiteley, was a quiet and compassionate man, never violent or domnineering, he had, if memory serves me correctly, been one of the soldiers who had liberated one of the concentration camps - I can't remember which one and would be lying if I made a guess.

    Whatever that experience had done for him, it had coloured his entire perspective and we as kids were all the richer for it.

  168. jenn

    From what I see of it, no it isn't harder for women than men. Unless they are single mothers or marry dinosaurs, in which case it is going to be harder for them no matter what job they are doing.

    One of my colleagues - a guy - is effectively the primary carer for their 3 yr old son because his wife's job is has more constraints and is far less flexible than his. It made me smile when I saw the bit about the woman barrister asking her receptionist to be an "emergency creche" because I know for a fact that our senior clerk has taken care of his little 'un in the office on more than one occasion so he can do a hearing - she would rather do that and have the percentage of his fees than have him at home babysitting.

  169. He sounds like a great teacher La Rit and I am jealous.

  170. Monkeyfish; sterling work as always and top notch prose.

    As for Imogen; well you really shouldn't comment on stuff you know bugger all about otherwise someone will inevitably show you up as a pillock.

    I remember growing up in the 70's when bombs were going off all over the place and no one batted an eyelid. To be honest we didn't really understand what was going on and it no doubt suited the authorities to keep it that way.

    Nothing new about that and the same thing happened in the USA after 9/11.

    Notice how it was called 9/11 and not 11/9?

    Anyway there were Americans on Cif out for revenge against Saddam Hussein. It suited the authorities that people asssociated the attack on the World Trade Center even though they knew fine well that the people responsible were from Saudi Arabia.
    No doubt the Americans weren't confused that the solution was to start dropping bombs on Afghanistan since they probably thought it was rhe Capital of Iraq!

  171. BB I am thinking less of what happens once you are a barrister and more of what happens on the way.

    Do you think that every child who has the potential to acheive that position is equally likely to end up there?

    I would be very suprised if that was the case, I may be wrong but I doubt it.

  172. "tell her there is no path.."

    MF, what she was referring to, I think, was the historical events post Enlightenment that led to the current malaise, rather than a logical, intellectual progression from one to the other (at least I hope she was). On that front, the three of us may well agree.

    Scherf - you loathe Sarka, i know, sometimes she makes me exceptionally angry not through disagreement but through manner, the patronising superiority. But - unlike a lot she is always game for a row. She doesnt usually just denounce your views as "unacceptable" with some tiresome label, she'll always debate, and i like that about her.

    There's plenty of others who simply tell you you're wrong, stick a label on you and then report your comments as abuse.

  173. Numbed

    Yes, I agree with a lot of what you say. Yes, there is still an eyebrow raised if you have to leave early to pick up your child, but that happens whether you are a man or a woman - my colleague being a case in point. It is not a job that is necessarily compatible with being the primary carer.

    I think this is less a problem about sex and more a problem of gender role. If your role is to be the primary carer of your children, it is much harder on you than a non-primary carer. And it is true to say that there is still the tendency for women to be the primary carers. So, from that point of view, yes it is harder on women - but not because of their sex, rather because of their gender role.

  174. Jenn - email me on beautifulburnoutbirdchrome@gmail.com and I will talk to you about that. I don't want to do it publicly because of certain lurkers. :o)

  175. SheffP:

    "But I can't face the trivia of cif and fitba today - to serious a day"

    Sorry to be a bit harsh here, Sheff, but I just don't buy the 'she's a bit young' excuse.

    Personally, if on a day like today, when families have been waiting for 38 long and bitter years to get to the truth of what was basically a cover-up for State-sponsored murder and a grotesque demonisation of the victims as 'nail bombers and terrorists' - I don't give a shit how young someone is, they should understand that it they've nothing of value to say, if they don't understand the issue - they really need to STFU!

    IMHO - prosecuting the soldiers for murder is pointless - they should be prosecuting the people who gave the orders to shoot.

  176. Thank you BB I will.

  177. Sorry Sheff:

    I copied the wrong bit of your post. Apols :(

    I agree that it is 'too serious a day' to read trivia on CiF. I've had no stomach for it either...

  178. LaRit
    Bernadette Devlin has a piece up where she is saying more or less that - I think she means prosecuting the commanders rather than the troops, if I read it correctly.

  179. la rit, i'm also very jealous. your teacher (imho) is the kind of person who should be a teacher, someone with knowledge and experience and something genuine to pass on.

    I remember a visit at school from an Auschwitz Survivor. Won't ever forget the tattoo on his arm, or what it meant. Changed my whole, tiny, child view of the world.

    and yes, BB, you're absolutely right... it is a gender role issue - much better definition for what I was grasping at.

  180. Anyway, am going to have to take a bow.... shattered.... a shame because there's much more I want to repsond to and discuss ;)

  181. We will still be here tomorrow La Rit, I always learn from what you post.

  182. Numbed/BB

    One more quick word (or five!) Not sure if Mr Whiteley is still on this mortal coil, but he was a damn good bloke, wry, dry and given to mischevious humour but also very serious about History esp. wrt to WW2.... he had my respect and my interest and I was an absolute nightmare as a teenager.

    "Won't ever forget the tattoo on his arm, or what it meant. Changed my whole, tiny, child view of the world"

    Sometimes it takes a seemingly small encounter to enable us, even as little kids, to walk around in someone else's shoes...

  183. scherfig

    I don,t know what bit of my posts you didn,t understand.I,m not looking for a argument.I simply asked you to define what is a rabid islamaphobe in your opinion.

    If you can,t or won,t do that then that,s down to you.But don,t twist things around to make out i,m looking for an argument with you.
    Because believe it or not that wasn,t my intention for asking what i felt was a fair question.

  184. BB:

    I really do think that prosecuting the soldiers who shot to kill, is not quite an irrelevance, but the wrong road to go down. It's the people who gave the orders who are culpable. If they're still alive, they should stand trial and answer for their crimes against the Irish people they thought were there to be treated as animals and less than human. In my mind, they're the real bastards who should be spending the remainder of their days behind bars - just like those vicious, depraved thugs who thought it was 'OK' to murder Black (and White) Civil rights activists or lynch Black Peopoe for 'fun' and because they could.

    I can't reflect more, otherwise I'll just get more upset.

  185. Top Grayling link, MF (i think).

  186. I do not want to diminish what those people went through but I feel that at sometime soon we will be subjected to the same.

    Finally the truth comes out and everyone was either obeying orders or is too old or dead to face the courts.

    When this whole cuts things kicks off (I know it isn't the same) we will be treated the same because there were no consequences for last time.

    They never learn and why should they, nothing ever happens.

  187. This comment has been removed by the author.

  188. Jen:

    You really are very kind ;0)(- hugs Jen -)

    "We will still be here tomorrow La Rit"

    I'm tyical of the kid who can't do delayed gratification! You know, the marshmallow trick? I'll give you one marshmallow now, but if you don't eat it before I get back - you can have TWO later!!

    Will have to learn ;)

  189. Marshmallows are gross, ;)

  190. "I'm tyical of the kid who can't do delayed gratification! You know, the marshmallow trick? I'll give you one marshmallow now, but if you don't eat it before I get back - you can have TWO later!!"

    They use that time and again, unsurprisingly these days many more people opt for One Now than they did 20 years ago (as opposed to Two Later. Marshmallows giving psychological insight eh...

  191. God, it's on Newsnight at the moment... that footage still gives me a terrible pain and I was only 7 at the time...

    I'm glad this report has taken 12 years.

    I wonder how many years the Palestinians and the Iraqi's will have to wait :(

  192. "Marshmallows are gross, ;) "

    You're not wrong, Jen, horrible little wooly slugs they are.

    Night all.

  193. Jen

    I won't bring you any marshmallows then!


    Yes, but I have an excuse, we had no money when I was a kid (I don't have any money now come to think of it)so if I eat the marshmallow, I know it's because it'll be quite sometime before I get offered one again... as opposed to the greedy bastards these days who have 1 marshmallow (to make them look good) but a whole shiny box of Ferrero Rocher and the Ambassador tucked away in the fridge!!

  194. Ahhh... but toasted, they're an entirely different ting ;0)

  195. amazing... teresa may has done something I actually approve of.

    the new vetting and barring scheme for adults working/in contact with children has just been scrapped.

    no more further abuse of civil liberties. people who work with children are not guilty until proven innocent.

    small step in the right direction, but I'll wait to see what comes next.